Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Youtube's aggregated orchestra

this would save a lot of trouble putting boy bands together on Xfactor

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Party Pics

nice change from the lastnightsparty, dirty dirty dancing and tilllate glamourous party photo sites.


Monday, 1 December 2008

Monday, 17 November 2008

youth research 2.0?

I like this idea a lot.

good old Paul Macgregor.

Meme Tracker - new popular phrases online


Blog Graveyard / digital Tumbleweed


Of the 133 million blogs the site tracks, only 7.4 million have been updated in the last 120 days.

That's 125.6 million abandoned blogs

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Print your own Toys...


These two were created using zCorp machines which apply glue ink and powder in fine layers slowly creating a replica of one of your characters. FigurePrints allows you to create characters from Warcraft, Rockband and Spore printing services are coming soon. A number of other sites allow you to pull data from Second Life and your own 3D programs.

Sunday, 2 November 2008


We've been about the popularity of music on youtube - I found this interesting - nice bit of software that lets you use youtube videos as music turntables, mix, crossfade, etc


Thursday, 30 October 2008

Monday, 20 October 2008

the internet is 5,000 days old

What do the next 5,000 days hold? - this is a great video

Kevin Kelly talks about the internet in terms of us building a machine.

and its quite a machine - currently estimated to be about the same in performance as one human brain. It doubles in power every two years so in 30 years it will the same power as the all the human brains on the planet.

He talks about the internet become embodied (in the tools and devices we use) about it becoming re-engineered and also about us becoming dependant on it.

Friday, 17 October 2008


Paraphrasing an interesting article in Campaign by Faris Yakob at Naked NY. Interesting futurology stuff:

A SPIME is a term coined by Sci-Fi author Bruce Sterling to describe a device that knows where it is in space and time. The iPhone is a Spime.

It is exciting for a number of reasons, first and most mundanely it allows location based marketing - offers based on where and when you are and where you point your phone...

More importantly it helps us know where the 'human swarm' is at all times, and increasingly what they are doing.

Combine a SPIME an RFID tag and what you essentially get is a mouse that can click on physical stuff. We will have an internet of 'physical things'. all the intelligence on the web searchable by pointing at physical stuff.


Because mobile phones are always on, the old offline / online divide - makes no more sense.

Now imagine all that and take away the phone, the display appears in glasses and you control the data stream by gesticulation. Sounds Great!

Kids and the Kredit Krunch

Interesting article from msnbc.

The largest consumer marketing growth sector in recent years has been kids and youth. Easy credit and cheap manufacturing has meant that they have been bought all the products we were never able to own. They rarely hear 'no, we can't afford that.' Likewise parents have been able to assuage their guilt at working so much by buying kids everything they were never able to own themselves, leading to a best friend, rather than authoritarian style of parenting.

This extends all the way up to teens and beyond as young adults defer adult responsibilities, remain in the family home and spend their disposable income on fun stuff rather than bills.

The credit crunch looks set to change all that and could even have a wider impact on parent child relations.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

New normal

original link here

They're easy to use, they're lightweight online destinations for users to create and share real or virtual world identities. They're the telephone of the 21st C. "Get off your facebook page and do your homework". They're THAT important.

There is a sense of when entering, of "now what do I do?". They're the mall of the 21st C. A place to go and hang out.

Games a themed, directed entertainment experience. the, er, games of the 21st century.

(and the MMO becomes a unique meet spot and launching pad to take the best of these worlds together)

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Bond Product Placement Mayhem

Ford Ka
Coke Zero

Is Bond going to superseed iRobot as the most product placemented movie ever?

Jack White isn't happy with Coke.

What do consumers think? We are going to find out...

Physical data

An original way of gaining information from the public through a participative, physical data visualization. a row of 5 large perspex cylinders act as a series of bar charts, each filled with a different colored badge featuring a statement about how passers-by answer a specific question, such as how they may or may not spend their time or ‘what did you do last week?’. as anonymous participants remove & keep badges the levels in the cylinders drop, producing an instant reflection of what are the most & least popular statements. in addition, alongside the tubes are postcards asking visitors to predict the levels in the tubes on a future date

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Now that's an Ad

If you want people to look at your ad, make it interesting enough to share:

EepyBird's Sticky Note experiment from Eepybird on Vimeo.

Friday, 12 September 2008

The Quantified Self

host of sites springing up to help people track the trends in their real life behaviour. click. and an article in the washington post.

track where you have been: BrightKite.com
track your driving habits: MyMileMarker.com
track your sexual habits: Bedposted.com

Is this some quest for identity creation? Self Affirmation. Whatever, there is a lot of data being captured here for free.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

YouTube = Shazam + on demand Radio + MTV = better than myspace

Everyone thinks of MySpace or lastfm for music, but it looks as if YouTube is the real winner.

Was talking to a fairly mainstream couple last night about how they use YouTube. They both primarily used it to search for song lyrics of songs they heard on the radio during the day, they typed the lyrics in found the name of the artist got to watch the video of a song they really liked, and got linked to all their other songs too. Simple.

Avril Lavigne's "girlfriend" is now the most popular video on Youtube of all time racking up 100,708,906 million views to date... And of the top 20 all time videos 13 of them are music videos.

YouTube is a powerful music marketing tool and Metallica are actively embracing that - Read here with the Metallica YouTube channel. They show all the videos of kids in their bedrooms playing their songs. Very Nice.

Blurring On and Off line worlds: Part 2

More on the blurring of On and Offline worlds here.

Monday, 8 September 2008

Spot the difference?

I'm convinced that young people today have about the same level of sophistication when it comes to deconstructing advertising as they did 20 years ago. Not because they are less smart, but mainly because they watch TV with one eye and do 4 other things at the same time, and they just don't think about it that much. I want to test classic ads from the 80s and see if they engage young people as much today.

Or perhaps its already happening?

Friday, 5 September 2008

Data as art

This is nice.

more creative data here.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Youth Suicide hike linked to technology use?

American mediacal association has found alarming spikes in suicides in the under 20s. And according to this article some of the reasons are because technology is atomising the family structure:

"Kids and family members are spending more and more time apart," she said. "Apart might mean being on the computer. Kids and their families are not watching TV together, they're not eating meals together, they are not talking to each other nearly as much."

"There is a lot of data that shows when families don't eat together, kids get into trouble. And trouble means drug use, alcohol use, sex and suicide," she said. "Parents need to be more involved in the decision-making process about what their kids are doing.

Funny to think now that watching lots of TV is seen as a good old fashioned wholesome family activity.

Staying Younger for Longer

Pupils starting secondary school in Britain must legally stay in education until they are 17 according to the BBC. This decision has an impact for youth brands because it means children are dependent on their parents for longer.

Today, parents are not only paying the family mortgage and bills, increasingly they are funding youth culture; the shopping, the gaming, the technology, the communication. And if they are paying for it - they get to be involved in it. The relationship between youth and their parents is changing, and brands ignore mum and dad at their peril.

Monday, 1 September 2008

Viewzi - Visual Search Engines


Still tiny, and I'm not sure google are worried, but I actually liked this more 'visual' way of searching for content, i'm going to use it as well as google. As we become an increasingly visually literate culture it makes sense.

There is also: searchme.com - getting slightly more traffic than Viewzi, but it has been around longer and has declined from its peak a few months back.

Friday, 29 August 2008

The Gartner Technology Hype Cycle

I remember presenting the MTV study Circuits of Cool early last year and trying to convince a crowd that Second Life was over hyped and not the future of youth culture, not least because no actual young people had ever heard of them. No one believed me. Many Brands including MTV had invested millions of dollars creating virtual worlds of their own or within SL. But here they are plunging into the 'trough of dissolutionment' as I type.

Here is the graph from Gartner for 2008:

and here they are all the way back to 1995.

I want to create a 'trend tester' with OTX's global panel of respondents and actually test trends; fashion, tech or otherwise with real actual young people. Watch this space.

Interesting Data

As a qualitative researcher I am generally allergic to data. So I have been thinking for a while about how to make the presentation of data more interesting / and importantly more insightful.

Here are some really nice examples: Hans Rosling at TED uses longitudinal data that 'moves' (go to about 4:20 seconds to see the really cool stuff):

Charung Gollar, a Norwegian diplomat was asked to present in front of the United Nations, in a simple graphic way, the world's most important problems in 2004. He came up with 8 pictures. Here are a couple. Read the legends:


Thursday, 28 August 2008

Next Big Thing?

There isn't going to be one according to this (long) article. "In 2008, the only prevailing trend is that there are no prevailing trends."

It takes the view that there won't be anything 'big' because the idea of a trend hierarchy has gone, and a million fragmented self-referential scenes can co-exist without following any trend 'authority.' (I would argue that this situation actually makes it ripe for the re-establishment of a unifying voice that collects this stuff together and guides people /filters stuff, but we shall see.)

More important is, I believe, the lack of a linear time line on trends. The word trend is bound up with the concept of time. Fashions used to go out of fashion because they came along, got tired out and we moved on. Old music was rubbish because it looked dated and its what your parents listened to.

But in a totally on demand world - What does 'next' or even 'new' mean?

I would argue that, to a teenager, new doesn't only mean 'just invented', it means 'just undiscovered' too. The Pixies have been around for years, but you could find them, removed from any sociocultural context online and enjoy it as if it was just released.

There is no such thing as 'old music' on the internet - it's all there as gleaming and fresh as the day it was produced. Even old news and old video content crops up in searches as 'important' as the day it was put there.

The internet has tamed the past and I can't wait for the future in my on demand world - everything is 'so now'.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Emerging sexual attitudes

Sensitive area for brands, but its interesting to note the impact technology is having on sexual attitudes and behaviours, all of this obviously bound up with self esteem and identity.

Increasingly young adults and minors are Filming sex, downloading porn to cellphones, selling bluetoothed porn. Seeing that stuff and thinking it was normal aged 14 or younger has got to alter your attitudes.

But then perhaps sex just isn't THAT big a deal to a promiscuous generation with few sexual hang-ups. "A recent study of 475 University of Michigan undergraduates ages 17 to 26 found that 27 percent of the men and 14 percent of the women who weren't in a committed relationship had offered someone favors or gifts -- help prepping for a test, laundry washing, tickets to a college football game -- in exchange for sex. On the flip side, 5 percent of the men surveyed and 9 percent of the women said they'd attempted to trade sex for such freebies" reckons CNN.

Meanwhile STIs continue to rise: "just one in eight of the [UK] population are aged 16 to 24 years old, this age group accounts for around half of all newly diagnosed STIs."

New music Genre - Blog House

New Genre emerging and being discussed / dissed. There is a pretty distinct sound. video here

I think under this banner you could group Thieves Like Us /Ladyhawke / Pnau / Grum / Teenagers / Delorean / Anoraak / etc

I’m quite partial.

Importantly for brands there is, I believe, a return to pretty distinct informed and non informed groups (opinion formers vs mainstream / alt vs mainstream / what ever you want to label them) Around 2002 - the peak of big record labels - pretty much everyone knew or could find out every new credible track / artist emerging. You really didn't need the style press to tell you about Eminem. what more was there to know? Sure enough the british style press died. Because there was almost no distinction between mainstream and leading edge.

Fast forward to today - there is so much content (and noise) an entire music scene can now develop and exist almost entirely away from mainstream consciousness. It is a step back in time and suggest that the market for a style press, filtering, judging and introducing stuff to more mainstream awareness now re-exists. Especially for older consumers who don't have the time to know about this stuff but do have an interest in it..

Bandstocks - invest in bands


Not a new idea (similar to 'slice the pie' and others) but one of the most polished offers out there. Enables bands to have a much closer and deeper relationship with their fans.

The Guardian says: "Bandstocks will let the public buy a stake in an artist in £10 increments. Once funding reaches a preordained level, for example £100,000, the money will be released for the act to record an album.

Investors will get a copy of the album, a credit on the CD sleeve and a percentage of the profits from its sale and licensing. They will also get priority ticket booking and the opportunity to buy limited edition releases. For the artist, founder Andrew Lewis claimed that Bandstocks would offer a better return than a major-label deal, as well as more freedom and control over copyright."

Extreeeme vanity

Heard a new one last night, after teeth whitening and botox, it seems the new craze in high street quasi medical beauty treatments is tanning injections. A friend is getting them done, but it is currently illegal...

details on the drug: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melanotan_II

On-line convenience demanded in real life

This is quite surprising: "American University students can now check online to see if a washer or dryer is available -- and receive a text message when their wash or dry cycle is completed." Today's consumers are used to being informed and in control on-line - its only natural that they will look for ways to get that sort of control in real life. Big potential for new products / services here.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Marketing to the Dumbest Generation?

Its a provocative book.

Not sure they are 'dumb' (and adults have always thought / said that anyway) I think it is simply a different type of skill required to succeed in a culture where all information is accessible at the touch of a button. And sure - when it's all out there you'd be crazy to go into any one thing in too much detail, shallowness is an advantage.

It has implications for brands though - young people have always been seen as smart / sophisticated and the advertising has tried to acknowledge this. Thing is have you got their attention long enough to be clever? Perhaps a nice old jingle that would have appealed to an audience in the 70s would work much better...

Cool? Hot? Nang? Tight? or what?

Whatever word you use to describe it - and there are thousands, what does our traditonal concept of Ccol actually mean in 2008? Big, popular, alternative, good at what it does, normal / standard / ok? Or genuinely aspirational?

It seems the concept of cool is bound up in respect for some sort of authority. The idea that someone out there knows better than you do. With a generation who look and act as if they are important and famous already - we don't see that attitude in evidence much today. does it exist?

Cool has been the driver behind youth marketing for most of its existence, If cool is no longer aspirational, if we are no longer promising teens that we can help them reach it, then what has replaced it?

Return of the Trusted Editor?

How do young people decide what to believe today? As web 2.0 evolves the small initial collective of benevolent content creators are being superseded by a mass of individuals ranging from the stupid to the devious: Link.

Is this the beginning of a return to a demand for ‘trusted’ news sources? Or is truth just an old fashioned concept and they are happy to make their own judgment call.