Sunday, February 28

Mobile Social Networking More Popular than Desktop « Socialnomics – Social Media Blog

By Erik Qualman

A recent article by Sarah Perez of ReadWriteWeb indicates that a recent study from Ruder Finn shows that American mobile users:

  • 2.7 hours per day on the mobile web
  • 91% use the mobile web to socialize vs 79% of desktop users
  • 45% post comments on social networks
  • 43% are connecting with friends on social networks
  • 40% share content
  • 38% share photos

This seems to support the finding from yesterday’s post  (Facebook Zero) that 50% of the mobile usage in the UK goes to Faceook (GSMA Data).  We are going to see if search, mobile and social all merge into a beautiful symbiotic relationship.  From a user perspective, I certainly hope so.

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Friday, February 26

Perspective: Popwuping’s Clark MacLeod On The Design And Culture Of Mobility | MobileBehavior


In order to further our understanding of the behaviors developing around mobile technology, we have been reaching out to experts around the world for their unique insights. By doing this, we are able to escape ourselves and become exposed to new perspectives.

Clark MacLeod is a Canadian born designer who has been living and working in Hsinchu, Taiwan for the past 11 years. He's been fortunate enough to work on a wide range of projects -- most recently he has investigated collaborative systems (including mobile) for the Creativity Lab at the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI). While working as an engineer at ITRI, he spent some time creating ambient and tangible interfaces, sound art, and helped create on of the first UX teams in Taiwan. His current focus is on launching a couple of iPhone apps and something completely different, a new line of cotton and canvas bags.

When asked about his background and relationship with mobile, he explained an interest in technology as an enabler for lifestyle. Clark quotes the BBC's Eric Huggers when describing himself as one of many "who love the convenience of mobile services when they're on the move."


On your blog, Popwuping, you track the ‘culture of mobility’, could you describe what elements feed into and enable this? What patterns are you noticing?

Fashion, devices, services, places to work, places to play, and design are themes that I follow. I try to make sense of an increasingly mobile society and share what inspires me.


One thing we try to remind ourselves to do is to look back in order to observe change. Have you been following any specific developments in mobile culture or user behavior?

One change I have been observing is the way people personalize their mobile devices and the way in which they carry them.

As phones got smaller it was extremely common to see females of (almost) all ages attaching straps or cute tchotchke as a means of projecting personality or values and as a means to be able to actually find these small devices in their bags. But as people move to devices like the iPhone, this strategy is replaced by personalization inside the phone; what apps they have, the social networks they frequent, the wallpaper etc. They buy cute cases and bags but I haven't seen this to be as prevalent as before.

Though it's very hard to imagine in an engineering culture like Taiwan, I am slowly seeing less concern about specific hardware features as compared to software. Photography is a huge national hobby here, making the camera in the phone perhaps the last vestige of concern. I think people are becoming more interested in the intangibles vs. the tangibles when it comes to choosing a device.


You are based in Taiwan. What cultural differences have you noticed in mobile, both consumer side and industry side, between Asia and the West? How are certain age groups making use of mobile devices differently?

I've lived in Asia for the past 12 years so it's a bit difficult for me to come up with a contrast. My impression is that the industry here is far more developed than what is available where I grew up in Canada. 3G networks are ubiquitous, unlimited data is fairly cheap and there are far more devices to choose from. I still find it amazing that I can be standing in a field in some remote part of Taiwan and still be streaming YouTube videos to my kids.

I may not have an accurate picture of how young people in Taiwan use their devices but I see differences in frequency of use across age groups. I notice younger people using their mobiles far more than people my age. Young people see it as more of a social enabler than purely a communication device. I notice many people my age see the ability to be always connected and reachable as a disadvantage. I have a friend who for years avoided getting a mobile phone simply because he didn't want to be contacted outside of working hours. To avoid interruptions, I send my calls to voice mail for most of the day. But across all age groups most people here could not imagine leaving their home without their mobile, it's an intrinsic part of peoples lives.


What mobile services or startups do you see picking up steam in Taiwan or Asia in general? Are there any you are a fan of?

Plurk is still immensely popular here and they have a fine mobile version but I'm not a fan.

I do have enormous respect for the work that researchers at the Information and Communications Research Laboratories are doing. One of their projects, Pocket Channel, is promising. Pocket Channel allows for real time video broadcasting on a 3G mobile to other mobile phones, essentially allowing the same kind of instant news coverage we see with Twitter but with video. They describe it as enabling everyone to be an instant news reporter.

I have also recently seen a demo of StreetImage - a web service that allows people to upload their own street videos. You can build sharable trails which can be annotated and searched by the other users. It's something I've always wished that Google streetview could do. They have developed an app for Android and the iPhone. The latter of which can be downloaded from the app store. Very cool stuff from a technology stand point.

Also worth noting is Openmoko, based in Taipei, and their open source mobile phone.

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Friday, February 19


Screen shot 2010-02-18 at 14.49.50.png

I’m here – a love story in an Absolut world…

This is fascinating – a movie supported by Absolut, shot by Spike Jonze.

With a campaign around it that does lots of interesting stuff…

Starting everywhere, but including…

1. A trailer:


2. A book:

Screen shot 2010-02-18 at 14.54.44.png

3. A window display:

Screen shot 2010-02-18 at 14.46.49.png

4. A web site:

Screen shot 2010-02-18 at 14.45.37.png

Screen shot 2010-02-18 at 14.45.51.png

5. A blog:

Screen shot 2010-02-18 at 15.01.40.png

And that’s just what I’ve seen so far…

It’s content – it’s interesting – it’s got a star director to pique your interest – but I really love that they’re surrounding it with communications that get you involved and intrigued.

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Wednesday, February 17

Interview with Neon Monster

Neon Monster is an art and design collective based in San Francisco that curates and creates limited edition experiences: handpicked selections of art, limited edition multiples, designer toys, current and back-issue comics, and new and vintage vinyl records. Neon Monster was founded in October 2007 by four collectors. John Crowe, Kristy Klinck, and brothers Jacob and Isaac Pritzker wanted to share their love for limited edition collectibles. Neon Monster also curates and hosts art shows featuring works by local and national artists. In this video, filmed at their temporary show in Miami’s Design District during Art Basel Miami Beach 2009, partners Kristy Klinck and John Crowe introduce us into the world of Neon Monster.

Neon Monster at Limited Edition Experiences at The F Factory Moore Building, Design District Miami. November 30, 2009.

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Saturday, February 13

Rough Luxe launches elite "offline" society

12 February 2010 - Tara Loader Wilkinson

Rough Luxe launches elite "offline" society

A society for the world's cultural and intellectual elite is launching this month, positioning itself as the strictly-offline antidote to social networking sites.

The Rough Luxe Society is being launched as part of the Rough Luxe Group, a community dedicated to personal enrichment founded last year by London-based Beirut-born architect and designer Rabih Hage.

The Rough Luxe Society opens its doors this month as an exclusive community for members of Rough Luxe and their guests. Membership applications are evaluated on a case by case basis but the society values those with extraordinary private properties or unusual collections to offer.

Rabih Hage said that membership is not about celebrities. He said: "But rather about what someone can bring from either an intellectual or a property point of view; its about what people have to offer or share."

Members will be invited to partake in an annual series of four or five Rough Luxe Conversations, to discuss their ideas and explore new collaborations. The first of these discussions will take place in the restaurant El Paradiso in Switzerland's St Moritz in late spring. Twenty guests will be invited to discuss the notion: "What is Luxury?"

Rough Luxe is backed by wealthy German venture capitalist and philanthropists Kurt Engelhorn and his family.

Tags: Rough Luxe

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TED: Future of Mobile With Henry Tirri, Head of Nokia Research [INTERVIEW]

Disclosure: Nokia is a sponsor of Mashable%u2019s TED Channel

We had a chance to sit down at TED with Henry Tirri, Senior Vice President and Head of the Nokia Research Center, to talk about what the mobile landscape of the future holds. Read on to find out what we might expect from mobile technologies within the next five to ten years.

Q: Can you tell us a bit about what you do at Nokia?

A: I%u2019m heading Nokia%u2019s long-term research globally in our labs worldwide, from Santa Monica and Palo Alto to the easternmost lab in Beijing, and everything in between: Cambridge, UK, Los Angeles, Switzerland, and teams in Nairobi and Bangalore and so on.

Q: What emerging technologies do you see playing the biggest role in the next five to ten years: augmented reality, voice recognition, etc.?

A: Those two things are more user experience technologies, but you%u2019re correct. We also talk about %u201Cmixed reality%u201D %u2014 the terminology can be confusing, but there is a distinction between augmented reality, where I%u2019m looking at reality and add information to that from the digital world, and mixed reality which means you can do vice versa also, and put things into the virtual world from the real world. To me it%u2019s obvious that it%u2019s such a natural way of looking at the world and interacting with it.

The key question is how simple and how immersive it becomes. My prediction is it starts with rather isolated services like search and navigation but by the end of the day it becomes part of the interaction. You don%u2019t any more find it extraordinary that you can see the real picture and you get some digital information too or vice versa. And it might be visual digital information, or in audio, or even sometimes in sensing. If you%u2019re talking about a five or ten year spectrum, we%u2019re probably going to have some kind of haptic and sensing way of navigating and getting feedback.

All of this is a very Western view: The high end, cool things for those living in the %u201Cgeek world.%u201D But if you ask me then about growth economies and the emerging markets like Africa, India, greater China, Latin America and some parts of Russia, I would say that the experience and emerging technologies tend to have a different nature because of the constraints you have. You might not have the infrastructure to support data, for example.

So from an interface perspective, speech and gestures are very important there. But emerging technologies are not necessarily always related to the user experience, so things like energy-efficient networking are also a necessity in growth economies. Protocols like SMS are being used in these areas for things we wouldn%u2019t dream of doing with it here because we have access to broadband. There are the %u201Chundreds of millions%u201D who are doing all these very sophisticated and cutting edge things, and at the same time there is emerging technology for the %u201Cbillions%u201D which can take a different track.

Q: Do you think there will be an upcoming involvement with biology? Are we going to bring these devices into our bodies? Will I have a phone in my wrist?

A: Yeah, chip embedding is already an old idea in computer science so we%u2019re ready for that. I think there%u2019s a natural continuum from biosensors %u2014 we already have heartbeat sensors connected to a wireless device and measuring you for sports and wellness purposes. So again, if you talk about the five to ten years era, the questions there are more related to the sensors. In some areas, the sensor development is slower than one would think. Mechanical sensors are faster, but chemical sensors are much slower, so even in the five to ten year domain, certain things are not so easy to do.

When you talk about implantable electronics, you start having %u2026 challenges with your biological rejection mechanisms and other problems for medicine to solve. I would say in five years it doesn%u2019t become big, but in ten years I would be surprised if we%u2019re not seeing a lot more of it. Five years is surprisingly fast, because when you think about large scale deployment of something, there%u2019s a delay factor involved in getting the manufacturing process to be reliable and cheap enough.

I do believe health and wellness-related things will become part of our life, and may probably also merge with augmented reality too. Your body state will be communicated to somewhere, or you can start getting metadata and remote analysis on yourself.

Q: How important do you see cloud computing being for mobile, now that we have an increasing range of devices we cart around with us and are looking for a more seamless experience between them?

A: To me, the cloud has become, and will become, a much broader notion than a server farm sitting somewhere and doing something. So the cloud architecture will expand to more devices and the question is more of the seamlessness in actual usage. You may not even know occasionally what is computed close to you physically and what is computed far away.

There are two issues: One is energy. Sending information bits takes more energy than computing them, which means local computing consumes less energy. This is absolutely so fundamental that it will define the future of how our networks will be built. It implies that the cloud has to have a distributed architecture, because it will be too costly energy-wise for billions of people to be transmitting data. I%u2019m not talking about the bandwidth problem %u2014 this is much more fundamental. Regardless of how much bandwidth you have in the dynamic user spectrum, you will still face this problem.

The second problem is sociological, which is privacy. People are much more positive about something physically close to them and physically in their possession because they feel like they have more control over it. You believe that if your personal metadata sits in the device, it%u2019s better than to let it go away to some nameless server. So there will still be parts of metadata and bits of information sitting close to you for these sociological reasons.

But the cloud itself will expand, and I think the term will eventually disappear. It will just be our default network architecture.

Q: Do you think people%u2019s notions of privacy might change over time too? I%u2019m thinking of Facebook (Facebook

) pushing on people%u2019s privacy, Google (Google

) taking Gmail (Gmail

) more public with Buzz%u2026

A: Yes, and my views on this have evolved a lot over the past 20 years. One dimension is that privacy is culturally dependent, so privacy in growth economies looks a bit different from privacy in the Western world. And even in the Western world, there are different approaches to privacy in Europe and the U.S. In Europe for example it%u2019s very much regulatory %u2014 Germans don%u2019t like Google Street View so they banned it. In the EU there%u2019s a lot of regulatory resistance. In the U.S. it%u2019s more like a community movement, %u201Cwe%u2019re going to make it public that you%u2019re evil.%u201D So it%u2019s a different approach. Asia is somewhere in between.

There are also very contradictory arguments that have been presented to me on whether there%u2019s a generation gap or not. Some say young people put more things up on Facebook or publish things people in my generation would never publish. I%u2019m not totally sure if the generation gap is the right thing to ask. I think it%u2019s more of a question of how much the technology is a part of your life, and it doesn%u2019t as much matter what your age is, although there might be a correlation between the two.

I think it%u2019s complex to predict how people will react, and if there will be negative consequences. Privacy is always considered with respect to the tradeoff you get in terms of utility. If one or two people didn%u2019t get a job or get fired because of something embarrassing they posted on Facebook, but there were 100,000 people that were recruited because of their Facebook presence, how does the judgment come down regarding privacy? Privacy is always relative to the benefits you get, so if people see enough value in sharing and feel safe enough, privacy isn%u2019t the same question anymore. There%u2019s no simple answer %u2014 privacy is an evolving factor.

Q: What do you think of the renaissance of the tablet form factor, and will we see another range of devices occupying this middle ground between smartphone and laptop?

A: I%u2019m a computer scientist and have been hacking with computers for 40 years, so I%u2019ve seen the development from mainframes to mini-computers to PCs to laptops to PDAs. The sarcastic comment is that all of them are %u201Cfads%u201D to some degree, they come and go and the form factor changes. But each can be a decade or two decades or more in popularity. On the other hand, the only thing that has really disappeared is mini-computers. Mainframes still exist, PCs still exist, and so on.

I don%u2019t think the tablet will %u201Ckill%u201D anything %u2014 I don%u2019t think it%u2019s strong enough. I would almost think that tablets and netbooks might see convergence. I don%u2019t think the tablet will become so dominant that you will drop your laptop or netbook and use it as your only device.

Q: How will the advent of 4G change the computing landscape? Will we see new types of applications become possible?

A: This is the capacity question, and right now data-intensive applications cause bandwidth challenges. The interesting thing is we have tolerance thresholds for new features, where we want to keep doing things as long as it%u2019s fast enough, but if the performance is below that threshold, we%u2019ll just tinker with it for a bit and, and I think real-time online media streaming will become more prevalent.

Right now the latency time is not good enough. You can%u2019t have 20 million people streaming their personal video streams around the world in real-time right now %u2014 that is not possible yet, but will become so. There will definitely be new applications emerging %u2014 it won%u2019t just be the old ones getting faster.

Q: In terms of online media streaming, do you think that%u2019s going to change things on the content provider end of things? There%u2019s a user behavior issue to confront too, and I think about how hard things like mobile TV have struggled to take off. How many people really need to watch TV while they%u2019re walking to their car?

A: That%u2019s again extremely culturally-dependent too, looking at places like Korea that have had mobile TV for years. But for me, the real-time media streaming is more about the popularity of sharing your own personal experiences, like your kids playing soccer or when you%u2019re out with your buddies at the bar. That%u2019s a different thing from traditional content; for one thing it%u2019s snippets so it tends to be shorter, but it%u2019s also participatory and it%u2019s human nature to want to exhibit yourself. It becomes a form of expressing yourself, and that will always be popular. And there%u2019s always a long tail of people who are interested in you expressing yourself.

I think the most difficult thing is scale, so something like Twitter (Twitter

) is interesting when you have few followers, and it%u2019s great when you have 2 million followers, but if you have something like 10,000 followers it%u2019s more like, %u201Cwhat do I do?%u201D They are not my buddies anymore %u2014 I don%u2019t know 10,000 people, and on the other hand I%u2019m not famous like someone who has a million followers. I believe in this idea of federated local community: It%u2019s good when you have this small audience, and federated means you have a common platform and you can actually reach things globally. There%u2019s a certain community that is local enough in a network sense %u2014 not necessarily a geographic sense %u2014 to want to follow you.

Q: That makes a lot of sense, especially considering the landscape of user-generated content on the web %u2014 that%u2019s a lot of what people want to share.

A: Yeah, they just want to share and if there%u2019s an easy way of doing it and there%u2019s a general platform, they will do it. Because there%u2019s always some people who want to follow it.

Q: How far along are we in terms of bringing mobile and artificial intelligence together?

A: People talk a lot about intelligent agents, but I think in a computer form factor it doesn%u2019t make that much sense. Think of the annoying Microsoft Office clip guy that no one wanted. The devices we%u2019re talking about are much more personal, so if you can get help when doing real things and interacting in the world, it becomes more persuasive and appealing to have an intelligent agent or avatar type of thing.

The greatest intelligent agent%u2019s behavior can be specified by a good secretary, who can predict a lot of the things I do, can handle a lot of tasks and information flow, and only checks on the things which are important for me. People want to do this and there%u2019s a lot of development around it, but it faces the same problems that any AI activity does: Any time we introduce an automized way of doing something, our own cognition changes to a different abstract level to assume that.

When there%u2019s a more intelligent layer in a device or in software, we start using that in a different way. This is very fundamental and has nothing to do with mobile devices specifically. But I truly believe there%u2019s a good place for AI %u2014 we have elementary things in navigation assistants already that can provide intelligent traffic information. There%u2019s actually a lot of hidden intelligence already and machine learning is already used a lot.

Radio technology will be using AI techniques too, in a deep and unseen way. Dynamical allocation of the spectrum based on availability has deep machine learning components %u2014 it has to learn to predict when certain spectrum is available and so on. So there is a lot going on, but it isn%u2019t necessarily always as sexy as the intelligent assistant everybody is looking for.

Q: As location-based services become more and more popular, do you see any killer apps emerging?

A: The first things that come to mind are local search, really relevant search results based on your positioning. Social search is another no-brainer, because you want to start finding people based on physical proximity because it doesn%u2019t make any sense to go to the bar with someone far away. These are no-brainers and they will be very big.

The things people don%u2019t usually think about with location-based systems are aggregate things like traffic information, and collective information about air pollution and other environmental data. In growth economies there%u2019s a need for health-related and epidemic information collection. Mobile devices are key to monitoring things like this because they are globally prevalent and always where we are. They will enable us to aggregate data and get information that would otherwise be very difficult to get %u2014 I call these aggregate services.

The pollution example is a very good one. You can start to get real-time information about the environment %u2014 your exposure to pollution in LA for example. We did this in traffic already, so think about generalizing it to weather, pollution, and others. The platform allows people%u2019s position combined with something measured, and that gives us a new world.

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How the Fashion Industry is Embracing Social Media

Hitha Prabhakar is a retail industry expert and principal of The Style File Group, a retail consulting firm based in New York City. She has also written about fashion for, Time magazine, People magazine,, ELLE India, Metro Newspapers, and is a contributor on CNBC. Follow her on Twitter at @hithaprabhakar or @stylefilemedia.

What%u2019s the hottest trend in fashion right now? Social media of course.

As part of fashion week prep on Wednesday, I decided to do a quick search for #nyfw (New York Fashion Week, going on right now in New York) on TwitterTwitterTwitter

. To my surprise, conversations ran the gamut %u2014 some Tweeters chimed in about the pending snow storm waiting to blanket the city, and others were buzzing about the Alexander Wang, Marc Jacobs and Rodarte shows being streamed online. When I turned away for half a second (literally) to grab my coffee, I was met with the words %u201C43 more tweets since you started searching.%u201D 43 more tweets? Really?

What was most shocking wasn%u2019t the sheer volume of people talking about the week-long event, but the actual people who were participating in the conversation. Journalists, fashion incubators, retail gurus and people who were just plain interested in the industry were weighing in on a topic that has notoriously shut its doors to anyone deemed an outsider. Why the transparency now?

Social Success

%u201CPeople want to feel connected,%u201D says Kelly Cutrone, owner of People%u2019s Revolution and executive producer of reality TV series on Bravo Kell on Earth. Cutrone has orchestrated the campaigns of hundreds of clients, including Donna Karan and Lisa Marie, and has always incorporated a digital strategy when working with them. %u201CIt%u2019s one thing if you are a luxury brand and have been around for 60 years and can weather the retail storm we%u2019ve had, but if you are a new brand that%u2019s just starting out %u2014 whether you are a writer or a retailer %u2014 innovating through social media is crucial. Those that are hidden and guarded will not progress.%u201D

In the past six months, the amount of fashion insiders embracing social media has skyrocketed. On any given day (depending on who you are following) you can learn that Marc Jacobs president Robert Duffy is still pondering locations for their rapidly approaching fashion show. You might know that designer Rachel Roy had an interview with a media outlet, or that designer Tory Burch is hoping to see models with %u201Csome meat on their bones%u201D in her show. By letting the public behind the fashion influencer curtain, stalwarts and luminaries have created and connected to an entirely new audience, and capitalized on the 400 million Facebook users and more than 22 million Twitter users. Social media, it seems, has become the hottest trend since skinny jeans and stiletto heels.

%u201CIgnoring the Internet [and social media] is madness,%u201D says designer Diane von Furstenberg who has been advocating for transparency in the fashion industry for years. %u201CWe decided to have a presence because it was a very organic way for us to communicate online. And yes, we think about [transparency] but don%u2019t worry too much. We try to keep the focus on the clothes that are in the store, or buy now and wear now, not what is on the runway. But people will always get access to that as well.%u201D

With her following at over 22,000, von Furstenberg is one of the most beloved and popular designers on Twitter. And while that number doesn%u2019t seem high compared to the 4.5 million followers Ashton Kutcher has, von Furstenberg%u2019s followers are loyal key influencers whose voices hold a certain amount of authority not only in the fashion industry but also in high-tech social circles.

The viral marketing capabilities of re-tweeting by this targeted group is something an advertising budget cannot buy. Within the last year of having a major online and social media presence, von Furstenberg%u2019s online traffic has increased by 13% and sales %u201Chave been great%u201D according to a source in the corporate offices of DvF.

%u201CBrands are learning how to humanize without killing their mystique,%u201D says Shiv Singh, VP and global social media lead at Razorfish and author of Social Media Marketing for Dummies. %u201CYou look at brands like Chanel, who have pushed designer Karl Largerfeld into the social media sphere to further connect with their customers, or Victoria%u2019s Secret, who has 2.63 million fans on Facebook and 1.7 million for Pink %u2014 you are able to see how these brands are able to connect with their customers and monetize on it through awareness, loyalty and engagement.%u201D

Likewise, Burberry who launched the %u201CArt of the Trench%u201D campaign last summer shot by photographer Scott Schuman saw incredible success by having fans comment on the pictures. Schuman, who has launched himself into the fashion stratosphere with his photography blog %u201CThe Sartorialist%u201D says he has never updated his Twitter account (he claims it is someone he doesn%u2019t know who is posting) but has upwards of 34,000 followers. %u201CThe Burberry campaign was the first of its kind to not use a large budget for hair, makeup and models. They got me, and my style of taking photos, and it allowed us to communicate with the customer on a whole new and very real level.%u201D

Not Everyone is Ready to Take the Plunge

Wesley R. Card, CEO of Jones Apparel Group explained at the WWD CEO Summit last November that transparency and lack of control over what is being said online is a worrisome issue. %u201CAs a chief executive, you want to think that you have complete control over what is being said about you or your company, and you want to make sure what you are saying isn%u2019t getting misconstrued. Even though I know we need to embrace it as a corporation, I am a little apprehensive.%u201D

Even with those who are tentative or might not understand social media completely, the Fashion Week gods, i.e. the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) and IMG (who produce the shows at the tents in Bryant Park), have also decided to let bloggers populate the front rows, and have established WiFi areas instead of putting the kibosh on their coverage.

The Blogosphere is Getting Access

Nichelle Pace, blogger and owner of the site STYLEMOM, who has been covering the runway shows for three seasons, noticed a significant change in tone of responses when requesting coverage of the shows this season. %u201CThe ice has definitely thawed,%u201D she notes. %u201CI have a lot more [invites] to shows this year and publicists are more willing to float me images post-show if by chance they are over capacity and I can%u2019t cover it.%u201D

Another major change is that the dialog between designers, bloggers and social media gurus has opened up. Designers understand their customers are consuming media at mach-5 speeds. Likewise, magazines realize it%u2019s not about printing information three months after fashion weekends. %u201CI think it%u2019s going to be more and more important to get stuff up on the web %u2014 images, reviews, interviews, etc. %u2014 as quickly as humanly possible,%u201D says Lauren Sherman co-editor of %u201CPeople read what they see first. I think magazines in particular need to figure out a way to cover the shows more uniquely in print because by the time the September issue comes out, no one cares anymore.%u201D

Joe Zee, creative director at ELLE Magazine says that just like in most give-and-take relationships, it%u2019s a compromise. %u201CI%u2019ve always been about what the %u2018next big thing%u2019 is. Please, I was the one that would help my grandmother put the VCR together when I was little and got a Tivo 15 years ago. People fear what they don%u2019t understand, but trust me, magazines, designers and retailers are getting to understand what social media is faster than they can say %u2018that%u2019s fabulous.%u2019%u201D

More social media resources from Mashable:

- 5 Ways Social Media Changed Fashion in 2009
- 9 Fantastic Facebook Pages for Fashion
- Zen and the Art of Twitter: 4 Tips for Productive Tweeting
- The Tao of Tweeting
- How Social Media Has Changed Us
- 5 Tips for Building Lasting Online Friendships
- 4 Steps for Effective Online Networking

Image courtesy of iStockphotoiStockphotoiStockphoto

, webphotographeer

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Friday, February 12

Honda / Live Every Litre / Contagious Magazine

Honda has unveiled a crowd sourced journey to celebrate the launch of the CR-Z, the first ever sporty hybrid car.

The campaign, which launched today at allows users to log on and submit their own ideas for journeys across Europe. This can be accompanied by a story and video as justification to why they want to do this particular trip; maybe to visit friends, follow a band around the country, track down relatives or as one keen entrant has already suggested, to track down every single one of his 186 Facebook friends take pictures of them and compile a real life 'face' book.

Over the next month and a half, the submitted entries will be voted on by the public and the most popular journeys will become a short film directed by award-winning documentary maker, Claudio Von Planta featuring the applicant and the Honda CR-Z as the stars of the show. Honda is obviously hoping to leverage the campaign through users drumming up support for their entries in existing social networks in a similar way to Queensland Tourism's 'Best Job in the World'.

Laura Price, PR Executive at Honda Motor Europe said of the campaign 'We hope to give people the opportunity to fulfil long held ambitions and experience something they can't in everyday life'. The project, created by Grey London and co-produced with 90:10 Group, Fitch Live and Wildfire all based in London.

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Thursday, February 4

Great thought on the cultural redefinition of second hand and recycling.....

So an extension to this idea: where the bag isn’t just handed down,
but can tell you what it’s been up to. Could make second-hand stuff
much more desirable than new.


Most things that are used are seen to be diminished by use.
Depreciation is not just an economic concept. It’s a cultural fact.
Once something has been owned by someone it is soiled, profaned,
yuuky, somehow. We continue to have the idea that things come from the
factory in a state of grace. Ready for ownership. Ready for us. Any
ownership diminishes them.

But what if these products were blank, storyless, tedious. What if
objects straight from the factory seemed somehow orphaned, smaller and
less interesting for the fact of their pristine condition. If we care
about recycling, we want objects to be better at absorbing and
recording and reporting their histories. Of course, some objects will
be incapable of telling stories: bottles and newspapers for instance.
But clothing, furniture, technology, these could be storyful. And they
could spared the landfill for one or more cycles of ownership by the
stories they bring us.

There are three problems here. One is technical: how to make the
object capable of recording and then retelling its story. One is
cultural or rhetorical: how to choose and craft the best stories, the
narrative that creates the most value. And the last is economic: how
to figure out how to think about what kind of value this is, and how
it can be measured, distributed, captured and stored in the
marketplace. Oh, we do have our work cut out for us.

via Grant McCracken

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VW Social Media Campaign Delivers One-Two Punch | Autopia


Remember playing “punch buggy,” hitting your little brother every time a Volkswagen Beetle passed by? Volkswagen has revived the game as a social media advertising campaign, with a little help from Tracy Morgan and a septuagenarian blogger.

Renamed “Punch Dub” (for the Volkswagen nickname “Vee Dub”) the new game offers far more opportunities for pummeling, as sightings of all Volkswagen vehicles are fair game. Aside from throwing a punch when a Volkswagen drives by, no other rules have been written. As the game’s fictitious founder, Charles “Sluggy” Patterson put it, “I like punching people, not keys.”

The campaign will debut with a Super Bowl ad featuring comedian Tracy Morgan and more punches than a Manny Pacquiao fight. Additionally, Punch Dubbers can also choose to dole out their slugs on Facebook for a chance to win a new Volkswagen CC.

According to Tim Ellis, Volkswagen’s Vice President of Marketing, “The campaign is a modern twist on a classic game that has been played on America’s highways for generations and will help consumers gain a new perspective on the breadth of our vehicle offerings, quality, performance and value.”

Or, as Sluggy put it, “It’s not a pretty spaceship to Mars. It’s just a game.”

Photo: Volkswagen

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Wednesday, February 3

Where does the agency end, and the crowd begin? « BBH Labs

Where does the agency end, and the crowd begin?

3rd February 10

Photo: Dunechaser, Flickr, </a><a href=

Photo: Dunechaser, Flickr,

I went to the ‘Crowdsourcery Potions 101′ event at JWT yesterday as part of Social Media Week in NYC. Not so sure about the event name, but the content was great, and the panel line up was genuinely stellar.

We watched John Winsor (Victors & Spoils Founder) lead a discussion that featured Ty Montague (Co-President & CCO, JWT North America), Saneel Radia (Alchemist / Chief Potion Master, Denuo), Michael Lebowitz (Founder & CEO, Big Spaceship) and the inimitable Faris Yakob (Chief Technology Dude, McCann NY).

Thanks to the appliance of science, the whole thing is viewable at the bottom of this post, on video. Lots of useful, practical discussion around the kind of cultures, systems, and processes that would enable new forms of creative collaboration. I particularly liked the metaphor of ’scaffolding’: the structures that are required for successful collaboration efforts (the filters, the creative direction, the incentive model, the access requirements, and so on).

Anyway, I was struck by one area of the debate in particular, and I’ve been reflecting on that since. There were a number of observations about how business models (around agencies, and how they construct themselves, most specifically) were being challenged, and indeed how the definition of what constituted ‘the agency’ was evolving rapidly in new and interesting ways.

As Ty Montague suggested, ‘we’re on the verge of a remaking of business and what a company is’. Bold and exciting words from the leader of one of the largest and most powerful agencies around. In particular, Ty was talking about a point John Winsor had made just a moment before, around the idea that the distinction between JWT and *beyond JWT* was blurring, and would continue to blur. As creative businesses continue to experiment with new models of creative collaboration, and explore different approaches to maintaining a creative arsenal comprising the highest quality individuals and partners, it is inevitable that which was once almost wholly contained within an agency will become, to some extent, located outside the formal confines of that business.

Creative agencies need to move towards becoming permeable organizations. Those in networks need to be reconfigured as networked organizations versus simply organizations within networks. Creative business must be able to draw on not just the talent within the building, but the many skills and areas of expertise that lie beyond those walls. And they need to be able to draw on this external resource. Like immediately. Certainly within BBH Labs we believe this is the *only* way the future can look; and of course it comes with challenges.

For us (probably like many, I’m in no way suggesting we’re unique here), this means building and curating a broader group of people and companies with whom we create and produce ideas, and of course, we’re busy doing just that. It was an ex-CEO of Sun Microsystems who once said, ‘no matter where you work, most of the smart people work somewhere else’. Whilst challenging to orthodoxy, there’s definitely something in that.

Back to Crowdsourcery Potions . . . Ty was hinting that one logical manifestation of this philosophy would be the formation of a broader pool of potential creative collaborators, perhaps more akin to the curated creative group put together by the team at Victors & Spoils. I also sometimes think the Alessi example is helpful here. Alessi occasionally put together hand-picked ‘crowds’ outside their company to help them on specific projects. So for example, on their program to create new ‘postmodern’ style product designs, they curated an invite-only ‘crowd of around 200 postmodern architects to submit work. This seems smart. It also signals a potential way forward for agencies looking to innovate new modes of creative collaboration.

But it also raises what for me is *the big question*. In fact, two related sets of questions.

1. CULTURE: If the culture of an organization is one of the key elements of differentiation between one agency and another, when does the definition of an agency blur to the point of intangibility? When does JWT (or BBH, or Victors & Spoils, or IDEO for that matter) cease to be JWT? When does JWT become Victors & Spoils? When does it simply become a set of senior and experienced curators of skills, talent and partnerships? And does this matter, if it does happen?

2. INCENTIVES: If the model of the future is going to involve fluid boundaries between ‘working for’ and ‘working with’, what does that mean for how people are incentivized? Not just in the crowd, but in the agency? And linked to the first point, what value does one place on the cultural DNA found within agencies (which surely *must* have a value) versus the more flexible and emerging skills found outside? Finally, what kinds of models are right for incentivizing the crowd?

Early days, but exciting days.

All ideas, challenges, thoughts or builds welcome.



For more coverage of the debate check out Jonny Makkar’s (@jsmakr) neat summary blog post here, Faris’s here, or John Winsor’s short but kinda sweet piece here.

For more on the critically important role of culture, see Grant McCracken’s excellent and provocative new book: “Chief Culture Officer: How to create a living breathing corporation“.

Watch live streaming video from smw_newyork at

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Manufacturing Value Through Context - PSFK

As PSFK tracks innovation and inspiring projects, we find that many reflect that value that comes from combining existing products, services, or ideas in new ways. We also find that value can seem to come from nowhere at all, instead created entirely by giving a normally valueless item value through context. Below we have collected examples of this manufactured value that PSFK has tracked recently.

Do Make Believe Histories Add Value to Our Objects?


In our article “Do Make Believe Histories Add Value To Our Objects?“, we covered Rob Walker of Murketing and his work with the Significant Objects project. The experiment uncovers some insight on the nature of value, giving fictional history to mundane thrift store items through invented narratives about each object’s story. The items are sold on eBay, with full disclosure of their made-up stories, often at a final selling price of many times the original value.

Transient Artwork Continually Sells Itself On eBay

Artist Caleb Larsen’sA Tool To Deceive And Slaughter‘ art comments on ownership by powering its own continual exchange via eBay. The black acrylic cube checks every ten minutes if it is currently in an auction; if not it creates a new one, ensuring that owners are only in possession of the device for indeterminate periods of time. Functionally the work is simply an acrylic box and some ethernet cable, but the last auction ended at $6500.

ReKnit Upcycles Old Sweaters

ReKnit Upcycles Old Sweaters

Artist and designer Haik Avanian’s ReKnit is a project that allows people to send old sweaters to Avanian’s mom, which she unravels and knits back into a specified article of the month. The project takes items of clothing that participants no longer find valuable, and transforms them into apparel they will be able to use.

Trash To Treasure With makedo’s Modular Connector System

Trash To Treasure With makedo's Modular Connector System

Designer Paul Justin has adapted makedo kits that allow users to create forms and spaces using modular connector clips and used them to transform everyday trash into work of art. Paul’s trash-to-treasure project was featured in in last year’s State of Design Festival.

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