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Living in a post-digital world, and I am a post digital girl

24 Jun

Thanks to the ever-geeky ever-awesome Girl Geek Dinners. I had a fun filled day Saturday at the Apple Store and the likes of Regents Street shopping. The shopping was great, but it all kick-started with a talk on “the post digital world”, led by the lovely Jess Greenwood (of Contagious mag).

While some of us are still getting their heads around the confusing and cluttered digital world, others are looking to the future (and arguably the now). A world where there is no such distinction between online and offline, or at least the two are blurring together as one.

We talked about “the internet of things” –  a term used to desribe connecting real physical objects to the Internet (think of Nike+  as a digitally enhanced shoe). A fascinating topic. The possibilities are endless when you can connect anything to the Internet. Dull lifeless objects become full of meaning and brand new value.

Pepsi are teaming up with Sticky Bits to add new meaning to a can. Stickybits brings the physical and digital worlds together with barcode stickers which trigger audio, video, photo, and text messages when scanned. So that a dull lifeless can has the potential to unlock a deeper brand experience.

Nike Chalkbot is a robot programmed to paint text messages at the Tour de France cycle race (for those who can’t make it there in person). Essentially connecting the digital and real-world together in an inspirational and meaningful way. Those who submit messages even receive a photo of their message and the location at which it was painted. Neat stuff.

Guinness brought new meaning to Rugby via RFID technology. They placed RFID chips in rugby balls and sensors around rugby pitches to monitor players and the ball itself. This is because before this point in time it was practically impossible to gather rugby game statistics.  A simple idea which has revolutionized rugby!

And finally, did you know that some farmers tag their cows with RFID chips so they know where they are? If farmers have already caught on to the post digital, then maybe so should we!


London Digital Week. Get involved.

18 Sep


In an attempt to completely fill up your diaries next week, there’s one event running all over the capital you cannot miss.

London Digital Week is a weeklong festival of [mostly free] events, awards, and exhibitions. So if you want to help your clients use technology [NOT be used by it], you should be getting involved with LDW!

Anyway, some things not to miss:


Protein Forum have some very special speakers coming down – filmmaker, director, game designer Lance Weiler, and David Bausola of Purefold [an open media franchise developed in partnership by Ridley and Tony Scott].

The event is on Monday 21st 7pm at Below 54, EC2a 3QR. Register here to reserve your free place.


Come and join Playgroup over breakfast [9.30am start] at Shoreditch House on the 24th September, to discover how to engage generation Y in a conversation with your brand. They’ll be looking at how social media can be used to engage the youth market, and why ‘play’ is integral to all of this.

RSVP to to reserve your free place. 


Three Top Socials, Laura Jordan [LBi], Flo Heiss [Dare], and Dave Bedwood [Lean Mean] will be presenting the Good, the Bad and the Ugly on a chosen campaign of theirs.

The event is on Thursday 24th September, at 7pm at JWT, 1 Knightsbridge Green, SW1X 7NW. RSVP names to if you are interested in attending.


A crash course from Contagious Magazine. “Of all the thousands of words that have been written about changes in branding since the inception of the Internet, the only ones that are actually true are these: now, you have to give something back.”

The event is on Friday 25th September, at 6.15pm – 7.15pm, at 380 Old Street [Shoreditch Town Hill], EC1V 9LT. Register your free place here.


There is a current trend emerging for existing art to be re-used or used as inspiration in advertising. This has been encouraged by social networking and sites such as YouTube. The event will look at how this emerging trend leaves artists’ work open to those in advertising, who sometimes use sources such as YouTube for inspiration to communicate a commercial message.

The event is on Tuesday 22nd September, at 6.30pm Street Lecture Theatre, SE1 6SB. Register your place here.

Clay Shirky Talks @ the ICA

16 Feb

Clay Shirky did a gig at the ICA 4th Feb (yes it’s taken me a while to get round to writing about it!). His basic thesis is simple:

“Everywhere you look groups of people are coming together to share with one another, work together, take some kind of public action.”

The difference is that today, unlike even ten years ago, technological change means such groups can be formed and act in new and powerful ways. I didn’t spend my time twittering throughout the event like many others, or extensive note writing, but here’s my tripled distilled version…

  • Improv Everywhere pulled off an event whereby on the same day, a group of New Yorkers rode the subway with no pants. Okay so this is a “real world” event, but would this have been possible without the ubiquitous nature of the Internet? Group action has just got easier. For the first time, we have the tools to make group action truly a reality.
  • Ryerson student Chris Avenir was accused of cheating and threatened to be expelled from school for creating a Facebook study group, where students could ask questions about homework assignments. We know that study groups have always existed, so surely this is simply an extension of a real world social norm? Ryerson were mistakenly employing old behaviours to tackle an entirely new social norm.  The thing that Facebook is most like is…Facebook! Technology is enabling change, but we need to consider institutional and cultural change, rather than trying to apply old rules of behaviour to new social behaviours.
  • Gnarly Kitty is a journalist wannabe and she blogs about the things she loves  – pink, fashion, cutesy things, Bangkok, and pink again. Then a coup happens in Thailand and the government tells the media not to report on it. And Gnarly Kitty publishes the first picture of tanks in front of the parliament house and she becomes the global go-to news source. But then she posts about a cutesy new pink phone she’d like to own, and the new readers get upset and want more about the coup. She responds with a post that it’s her blog and it’s about what’s going on in her life – which includes the cutesy pink phone! So what’s different here to professional journalism? Well she’s not talking to us – she’s talking to her friends. We’re not used to seeing things that are public, but not in the public.
  • Back in 2006, a black president seemed impossible. Noble, but ultimately doomed. Will.I.Am’s ‘Yes We Can’ helped shift perception to what’s possible, it made ‘Obama’ possible. And in politics, perception is reality. Later in the Obama vs. McCain campaign, we saw two very different approaches. Obama gave away implicit permission and social tools for people to back his campaign, whereas McCain adopted a “comand and control” approach – going as far as giving quotes to strictly copy and paste. The wildfire spread of new forms of social interaction , has profound long-term economic and social effects.

Technology is ubiqutous and mass collaboration is upon us. And it’s affecting everybody.

Like what you hear? Buy the book. And more great talks at the ICA.

Brands beware, you are being talked about

2 Jul

So we recently saw the Interbrand top 100 global brands. But with the changing digital landscape, what are the top brands in social media? Brands are getting talked about online – positive and negative, and increasingly consumers are spoofing ads and playing rough with brands online. I came across this interesting ‘Brands in Social Media’ report, by immediate future, which looks at the performance of the Interbrand top 100 brands in online brand conversations in the social media landscape.

Managing director of immediate future, Katy Howell, says…

“It is clear from our research that a brand’s economic success offline does not necessarily translate to a strong, positive share of voice online. Reputations are increasingly being made and destroyed on the web.”

So anyway, here are the results for the top 25 most discussed brands via immediate future… 


There is a noticeable difference between the Interband brand rankings and the consumer perception of brands online. Not too much of a suprise that the big technology brands are leading the way in the digital space. Though apparently all industry sectors have their promoters and detractors online and immediate future found that every top 100 brand was being discussed.

You can also see here the positive and negative balance of brands on social networking sites, such as Facebook.


As you can see Disney is kicking ass here! With Nintendo and Google following. This gives us a little bit more of an insight into online brand conversations. A brand may be talked about a lot online, but this isn’t always positive. The recent McDonalds / Innocent fiasco is an example of this. But it’s nice to see much more pink than grey on this graph don’t you think?!

Digital universe? Or just another channel…

20 Jun


Well firstly, I need to briefly apologise for my complete lack of blogging recently. With no Internet at home, and starting my new job at iChameleon, things have been a bit hectic. But I’m almost back in action now!

Coming back to work in this fascinating “digital” industry got me thinking about what “digital” is all about. What exactly do I mean when I say “digital”? And I say it a lot! Some say that “digital” is just another channel, not to be viewed in awe. I guess there are some merits for this given the over-hype surrounding it. Digital seems to frighten overreaction in clients, and agencies too. And I don’t think the digital space should be anything to fear. Embrace it! There seems to be a lot of wasted energy from brands trying to conquer the digital space, and often getting it all wrong. Arguably HMW’s plans to launch their own social networking site seems a bit of a waste.

Others say “digital” is not another channel, it’s the place we live in and a way of life. Digital has changed the way we live our lives and communicate with one another. It affects our whole world. Well this makes it sound way more important so I kinda like this view.

BBH take the view on “digital” that brands come first, and the channel comes second. Okay. But what about the consumer?! Or people? I recently joined the Facebook group “stop calling me a consumer“. Very important to remember as we often get bogged down in “digital” jargon and forget the basics.

So in this “digital” space is there such a thing is a “digital consumer”? With the power of social media it has become apparent that digital consumers are a force to be reckoned with as they play rough with brands online. But I don’t think that makes digital consumers any different. Perhaps it’s just that digital technology has enabled consumers / people to have more power than previously. I think there’s a difference there.

Well best get back to new work now, in this crazy “digital”industry / life / world / channel that I work in.

MapMyName…the truth is out there

26 Apr


According to statistics, there are 1,018,057,389 Internet Users in the world [Source: Internet World Stats, January 2006]. But that’s just not good enough for two guys from Portugal, who have embarked on a crazy project to map all the Internet users in the world at MapMyName.

The precise number. In a month. Surely not?! The absurd calculations goes something along the lines of every Internet user tells three friends, and so on.  The calculations leave something to be desired. Not to mention language barriers.

Maybe it’s because I like ambitious people like me, or just can’t resist a Google mash-up, but I thought I’d do my bit and spread the word. It’s only day 5 and there’s a whole month to go! Join at MapMyName.

Very cool mobile thing

23 Feb

I was just reading on Iain Tait’s blog are very cool mobile thing called Arcade Reality. You can literally play a mobile game in the real-world, where game objects are overlayed on your live camera view.  Very cool!  The graphics aren’t particularly amazing but the idea is fantastic – I can just imagine brands using this sort of cool technology to allow consumers to become completely immersed in a brand experience which crosses between the real-world and a virtual world.

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