Sunday, 12 April 2009

The Cult of Done

I got excited when i read this. Stumbled upon it via a Steve Rubel tweet about managing your social time, directing me to smartdatacollective but then spotted this post there and went to the original source which is Bre Pettis' site.  I've struggled for years under the debilitating disease of perfectionism, and often it has lead to procrastination and in some cases complete and utter non-achievement. And I could never really understand that. This explains it all: 'laugh at perfection. It's boring and keeps you from being done'. It's Easter Sunday and that hit me like an Easter Sunday epiphany should! 

And it made me think again about the whole 3.0 world. everything we're doing now is about being done. Twitter: 'what are you doing', Friendfeed 'see what you're friends are doing', open source 'others doing becomes your doing too'.....i think that's one of the things that makes the newly updated Facebook status update that asks 'what's on your mind' so incongruous'....i'd rather now what someone is doing/has done/is about to do than what's in their unknowable and, in often cases terrifying, mind. 

Anyway, I love (most of) this cult of done, and from now on I'm going to try to live by it more. It reminds me of the philosophy of just Being and being 'present'. Of the need to get rid of our fears of looking good, and equally the need to get out of the stands and onto the pitch if we really want to participate in our own life. Funny how technology in the hands of a collective of people can and has made that happen, rather than the individual mind working it out for itself. So finally, i think it's a great example of a 'together-in-between' idea, where the best ideas happen in the space inbetween individuals, and in a way that renders it not just an ephemeral concept sitting in someone's head that they then have to explain in written communication to someone else, but something automatically practical and behavioural, and therefore tangible, and happening (also affecting those around), from the word go. 

Anyway, I'm done.......

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Twit To Woo

       my 100 character story

Here's my entry to QR-Tales 2009. If you want to participate visit the qrcode site where you'll also be able to get details of the prizes (which includes your short story qr code printed up on merchandise). Thanks to Nick, on whose blog I originally spotted the reference to the competition. I'm very happy with my story - a modern twist on an age old fairy tale. But you'll have to use your mobile if you want it to be your bed time story tonight. 

Friday, 3 April 2009

Time is waiting in the wings...

      Nicholas Bourriaud's Altermodern exhibition 

What's after postmodernism. That's the question that Nicholas Bourriaud's exhibition poses. His manifesto which attempts to answer that question puts clear water between where we've been and where we're going in the realms of art, media, communication and culture. He weaves together several macrotrends, including:

- Increased communication, travel and migration
- New universalism based on translations, subtitling and generalised dubbing
- Globalisation in every aspect of everyday life

to investigate what that could mean for the era that is now emerging and in which we will soon find ourselves. The Altermodern era as he calls it. 

One of the most interesting points he makes in the accompanying video on the Tate's site, is that 'History' is the new continent. His point (I think) is that Time itself as a concept has become a continent - has become a place - it's become spatial - rather than temporal. With the advent of Google and the ever-present nature of historical content as and when it is created, as well as forever afterwards....nothing passes away or retreats into the past. It stays in the present. And so we can mix up the past with the present and have them running in parallel in some ways, partnering up through mixed media. 

It made me realise more than ever that not only is creation a non-linear process but so is consumption. We've all done the path to purchase plotting out the decision making processes of a consumer, and acknowledged that it doesn't really happen like that ( a realisation - acquisition - confirmation sequence of events). But have we really taken it any further? Not really. Traditional advertising and even most integrated campaigns still follow the linear sequence of I see it, I investigate it, I buy it, I feel vindicated, I talk about it. 

What the Altermodern exhibition does is make us just feel it.   When we are faced with  'Line of Control' or 'The Projection Room' what our senses are experiencing can't be understood in a logical, rational way. We can't work out the elements of the experience, we can only feel all the various ways the mix of media, the time and  the content, is having on us at that moment. It should be the same for brands. A consumer online could be reading a recommendation on a comparison site, overhearing the TV ad, opening a new pack and throwing away the old one, seeing his friend become a fan in a newsfeed - all about the same brand - and all at the same time.

We're in the continuous partial attention economy now, not the linear temporal one, and our comms strategies have to reflect this. And whilst the likes of Cadbury's content is at least rich, participatory, shareable and mashable, it's still really following a pretty traditional linear path.

Just in the way the exhibits at Altermodern often each combine lots of different media or perspectives into one piece:  static and nonstatic, traditional and interactive etc, switching on all our senses to ensure we experience it rather than just 'look' at it or  just 'hear' it, we need each of our comms to do the same. Each 'communication' we create is no longer a message, it's an experience in itself, something that exists without boundaries. If anything it's a place to be discovered rather than an event to be plotted. 

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Change in Advertising. The Full Speech

          Genius timing from the chaps at Famous
Anyone in advertising (or whatever we are calling it these days) I think you might appreciate this one. This is a clever viral from the really interesting chaps at Famous in Brussels. Timed to coincide with the very pinnacle of Obama positivity and hype, this has as much to say about the state of the world of advertising as Mr President had to say about the state of the world in general. Whether planner, creative or client, read it and weep, or if you're feeling positive about what this all means for the future of it and feel relief. 


We heart Tony Hart

Howies T-shirt selling at Tate online

I so covet this fabulous t-shirt. When I was a kid I would watch religiously Tony Hart's shows, Take Hart and Hart Beat. Every episode was an inspiration, and the music that accompanied the Gallery will be with me forever...I would sit in anticipation wondering whether anything I had sent in would ever be featured. How many children were sitting at home in their living rooms, glued to the TV, wondering the very same thing. Tony Hart was an inspiration to a whole generation of kids. Not because he taught them art but because he encouraged them to use their imaginations, see things in new ways, and then bring that to life originally yet from the most very basic of materials. What a legend. What a teacher. What a t-shirt.