Thought that it might be useful to keep track of possible "next big things" for those who might be interested ...
In geek world, Pownce seems to be soaking up a lot of attention, Twitter continues to grow apace, but Jaiku is making ground amongst committed tech watchers. CyWorld, the SK Telecom owned social network, is planning a UK launch imminently, apparently. BlockSavvy is taking on a bit of a life of its own in the US and could drift over to UK trendsetters.
Other useful bits and bobs include ... BlogPoll, which allows you to run polls; HipCast, which enables making and hosting podcasts; BackNetwork, which I haven't really figured out at all; CollectiveX is a bit the same; SlideShare enables you to make slide shows and embed them into websites or blogs (think PowerPoint YouTube; Vox does blogging and more; JumpCut makes making movies from video clips and photos easy; Revver sort of does the same thing.
Anyone got any other tips for the next big things?
An Alan Twigg discovery, this one. 10x10 (http://www.tenbyten.org/10x10.html)
takes RSS feeds from Reuters, BBC and others, works out what the lead
stories are and then gives them a visual image. So you can have a look
at what is dominating the world's headlines hour-by-hour. Above all,
it's seriously cute to play with.
With thanks to the IPA strategy blog ... thought that the stuff below would be of interest ...
Last night witnessed a much anticipated showdown. John Lowery
proposed the motion that blogging was killing planning and John Grant opposed it.
asked to write up the notes from this debate is, for me, rather like asking the
bloke in the dock to keep the court record of a trial – a bit of a mindfuck.
Anyway I will try, in true planner fashion, to be as objective as
The IPA Strategy Group’s very own Robert Kilroy Silk, Guy
Murphy, kicked off proceedings by conducting a pre-stage quant study on the
motion to establish a robust benchmark.
A full seven people believed that
Blogging was a threat to all that is noble and good about planning, 52 thought
not and 16 people hadn’t got a clue either way.
Undaunted by the odds,
Lowery laid into the plannersphere with tenacious
His accusation was that the version of planning that is being
presented online is a gross distortion of reality. This wouldn’t matter, John
maintained, if the blogs were not so influential in shaping young planners’
minds. He feared a generation of “blog-shaped planners” would be the result and
this was a threat to the very brand of planning itself, its role and the respect
that it is accorded.
John reminded us of the apprenticeship that good
planners go through that ties them back to the founders of the discipline and
their vision for the role that planners should play as truth seekers in a sea of
conjecture and uninformed opinion.
However, a tour through the
plannersphere had convinced John that blogging planners are deserting their
responsibility for truth, their obsession with effectiveness and their pride in
the craft skills that the essential trademarks of a good planner.
then went for the jugular characterising the ‘training’ available online as “a
bunch of people who don’t know what they are talking about setting tasks for and
judging the efforts of a bunch of people who don’t know what they are talking
“Introspection in, introspection out” as John would
This kind of non-rigorous planning has always existed, maintained
John, but before web 2.0 it had a limited ability to infect the minds of the
wider planning community. Now it was spreading like wildfire.
planning blogs in their current form are malignancies that are slowly but surely
John summed up by telling us that he hadn’t come to
destroy the plannersphere but to cure it with a dose of much needed “human
Strong stuff, and a tough act for John Grant to
Grant was bemused, how could we judge a new medium after only
year or two? It was far too early to tell what the effect of this new planning
activity would have. Sure the picture that Lowery painted was bleak but where
was the evidence that planning was in anything other than rude
For Grant, Lowery’s entire case suffered from the woolly thinking
and lack of hard facts that he was seeking to defend in the
Moreover, John suggested, if we were to vote in favour of the
motion we were to think hard about the signals that we as a discipline, industry
and nation were sending out. Blogging, social media and web 2.0 are facts of
modern life, how could the IPA, endorse a motion that suggested that it wanted
to turn back a tide of technology and behaviour that everyone else in society
was embracing with alacrity.
John was also concerned about the way in
which the planning elite were using this debate to squash the enthusiasm and
energy of young planners, sure some of the stuff young planners were doing
online was naïve but it was ever thus, said John recalling the output of his own
IPA 2 course in 1989.
And finally, he made the point that judging the
state of planning from the plannersphere is like judging the state of the
advertising industry by reading Campaign magazine. Both offer a particular
version of the business without representing it in its entirety.
wasn’t polarised enough, the debate from the floor drove a further wedge between
the camps; this wasn’t going to be one of those lacklustre events that ends with
everyone in ‘violent agreement’.
Many younger planners voiced the concern
that they were looking to the online community for more of the bread and butter
stuff that Lowery was talking about and not just the clever stuff and as a
result, its absence was frustrating.
Other contributions from the floor
pointed out that the blogging debate was a smokescreen for what now appear
utterly opposed versions of what good planning is – facts or ideas.
one interloper from outside the industry drew an analogy between planning and
medicine. There were now two traditions that were accepted in medical circles –
orthodox and complementary medicine – wasn’t this similar to the two styles of
planning in evidence.
While back on the podium, Lowery suggested ways to
improve blogging and increase the quality of the contributions, while Grant
insisted that it was folly to try and legislate for planning online “you can’t
write a broadcasting act to control blogging” Grant sniped.
At the final
vote it was a walkover for John Grant who thoroughly defeated the motion 41
votes to 20 with 12 abstaining. However, Lowery’s withering criticism of the
plannersphere was so compelling he almost tripled his count in the course of the
And from my point of view? Well of course I think it is fanciful
to suggest that blogging is killing planning. It is now an essential part of our
toolkit. But Lowery offers us strategists a timely reminder about the need to
maintain standards of rigour, proof and certainty in what we do.
The consumer backlash takes to the internet. Skewering the airbrushed, varnished ads for fast food, a site that presents the ads vs. pictures of the real meal deal. A classic piece of consumerism that is getting plenty of traction on the web and across the blogosphere. See it HERE.
Russell Davies' Interesting2007 is coming along apace. Check out the original post HERE. For other information about the event, you can have a look at the subsequent blogs about it. Hope that all goes well with it ... should be ... well ... interesting.
Morrissey once said that we hate it when our friends become famous.
Regardless of whether there was any validity in this comment, an
interesting thing occurred ... that we also hate it when our brands
I once loved EAT - a coffee bar that I could only ever find near the
Embankment and on Avery Row. Everyone else like Pret. Or Subway. But
for me, EAT was all there was. I liked the food, the latte (organic
milk, fairtrade beans), the salads. And I liked that I was the person
who brought EAT to my friends. EAT was MY brand, dammit.
Now, I cannot move to EATs. There are three within two minutes of
the office. Everyone goes to EAT. And I actually resent the money-men
who have taken the brand that I loved - that I discovered - and shared
it with everyone.
The thing that was done with effortless ease in the early stores is
now in a brand book and employee guideline manual. The design that was
under-stated and somehow genuine seems now ubiquitous.
So, how do you take a small, home-grown brand that has developed on
its own for years and create a super-brand from it? And how do you keep
the principles and practices that were home-grown and genuine complete
in a superbrand that is run by manuals?
This, it strikes me, is going to be an increasingly major issue for
brands that are growing out of small-scale, often local production and
retail bases to become national and international brands.
Two things combine:
1) The continued veneration of local brands creating brands that
grow from local, small-scale businesses - Tyrrells, Rachels' Organic,
Innocent, Stormhoek wine, The Real Greek, Bombay Bicycle.
2) The internet, and therefore the ease with which brands can quickly and easily find an international audience of enthusiasts.
This is going to make the growth of the global microbrand more
possible. But it is also going to make it possible for these brands to
expand and become superbrands in their own right. How do we as
marketers help to manage this process - keeping the essence of what
makes these brands special, while helping them to expand and grow?
Getting words into the dictionary has long been a staple of the PR
industry. Which is why the sweetness of the McDonald's campaign to
remove McJob from it was all the sweeter. Nice idea, neatly executed.
Got everywhere today.
One of those rare times that you think that marketing might actually
build a business, rather than just build a brand. The collaboration
between Marmite and Guinness is not just a cracking idea that has got
people talking - not to mention cool-hunters beating a path to the
nearest Harvey Nicks to get hold of a jar and eBayers trading the stuff
in a frenzy - but has likely created a whole new market.
It's pretty rare that a marketing agency comes up with something
that really changes a client's business and turns cost into
profit-centre - Tango men is the last one that we could remember.
Now, the IPA is rewarding the businesses that have pulled off this most marvellous of feats. See the nascent IPA Strategy Blog for details. Be interesting to see what the ideas are that this competition pulls to the fore.
Using the walk into community service as a catwalk was an audacious
move. But Campbell pulled it off with aplomb - and pocketed £25,000 a
day while she was at it.
As much as it may have middle Britain (and America, for that
matter), up in arms, you have to take your hat off to Naomi Campbell
and W Magazine, who pulled of a stunt in which the supermodel
wore a different outfit for each of her five days of punishment, only
to be photographed for a 20 page spread in the fashion bible (as
reported by the Daily Telegraph).
The whole thing will have done nothing for the girl's reputation
amongst the general public, but you have to say that it goes down as a
serious contender for stunt of the year ... It would certainly get our
You might not get it first time out. Why would Abercrombie &
Fitch, the US menswear retailer that has just opened its first UK store
off Savile Row, stuck a load of semi-naked men in its windows?
They have a male clientele, what is semi-naked men going to do to for them? Shouldn't it be a load of semi-naked women?
What is interesting is that the story was picked up most clearly and
in largest scale by the broadsheets - the very titles that the
fashion-literate, better-off male is more likely to be reading. The
naked men story was picked up in the Independent and The Times amongst others.
For brands that want stunt-based stories that will break out of the tabs and mid-markets, maybe naked men is the answer ...?
News from the much-blogged Changing Media Summit
... words from Guardian editor, Alan Rusbridger that signal his belief
that the world will go increasingly digital and that user generated
content will become more important than ever ...
Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger told this afternoon's Changing Media
Summit that it is "impossible to predict on what technology platform
journalism will be delivered in five year's time or even a year."
But he predicted that more and more of that content will be provided by the readers themselves – as opposed to journalists.
said: "We are grappling with this balance of what goes on to the
website and what goes in the paper. A great part of that web [content]
will be generated by users in time."
a man who is clearly making the safe bet in this world of change - more
digital, more user-involvement? Staggering predictions to be making ...
and so unexpected. Hmm ...
More interesting was the Guardian's deputy commercial director Adam
Freeman, who announced that the paper's future was more-than likely in
video, asserting that the business is first-and-foremost a news
organisation and that ...
"today that means giving them 2,000 words on a piece of paper but in
the future it will probably be in video. It's about changing our
outlook to meet our consumers‚ needs.”
Now that is slightly more interesting - particularly when you look at the Daily Telegraph's dabbling with online business TV, C4 and the BBC's clear commitment to delivering TV on the internet.
The future, it would appear, could well be in internet TV. And if
that is the case, watch this space ... given the combatants, the fight
in that market is likely to be fierce.
The Anya Hindmarch "I am not a plastic bag". Part design brilliance,
part simple rules of supply (limited) and demand (healthily stoked by
celebrities and great PR), it is a cracking example of a
brand-marketing idea that has built a great business proposition. Read
more in the Guardian's analysis.
Co-founder of St Lukes and now a leading freelance planner, thinker and author, John Grant gave an interview to blog, Life In the Middle. Some cracking thoughts from an altogether nice man. Check the post HERE (links to the 'casts at the bottom of the post).
The nation that refused the Nazi army free passage against
impossible odds has taken on an even more unstoppable juggernaut.
Today, the Belgian press said no to Google News and has forced the
company into retreat
by arguing that Google ought to pay them if it wants to copy their
content. Google will appeal of course, never a company to let something
as trivial as a 15 centuries of legal tradition stand its way, but for
now the case raises a question mark over the future of news aggregators
What's interesting about the case is that we're still not sure how
to treat the internet. If a company in the real world were to copy
newspaper extracts verbatim, for commercial gain, no-one would be
surprised when they were shut down by some Apple-style legal
aggression. But in the world of the web, it's not so clear cut, even
among supposedly grown-up companies. Should Google be allowed to get
away with its "act now ask if anyone minds later" approach?
Even if we're agnostic on this point, can Google sustain its current
approach? With some media owners pulling their content on YouTube and
now Google News, could the search giant some day find itself
disadvantaged against search engines with better business relationships
and more content available to search?
For now they seem to be getting away with it, but as "traditional
media" increasingly sees rivers of advertising cash being diverted
online, one of Google's PR challenges is to keep them on-side. When
content creators come to the table demanding a bigger slice of the
cake, Google's reputation will play a key role in getting the company
the best deal and keeping it ahead of its competitors.