All in Latest

The third annual Digital Marketing Conference takes place at the Portland State University on Monday December 13th. I'm honored to have been invited to speak alongside a raft of other great presenters - Chris Murphy, Head of Digital Marketing, Adidas, Brian Rhoads, Senior Digital Strategist, Intel, Hallie Janssen and Kent Lewis of Anvil Media, and many more. Here's the entire roster. Each of us will speak about our particular disciplines with a slant on how we are embracing digital marketing. Anyone who reads my thoughts about digital marketing in this forum, will know by now that I come from a POV that says the Internet disrupted society and culture permanently, and along with that, disrupted the branding efforts of entire industries. To paraphrase my friend and former co-worker, Justin Spohn of Fight: We don't need a new way of marketing in a digital world, we need a new way of seeing the market. I've been asked to present a talk on the new ways of marketing online for musicians and musical artists. The problem here is that the idea of new ways of marketing disavows the new way of seeing the market. I will make a brave attempt at clarity during the short time allotted. My presentation will cover three industries - the recording industry, newspapers, and advertising, as there are parallels with all three when it comes to how the Internet disrupted their business models and how what's required now is a new way of seeing the market. Something all three industries have struggled with. To take one example: look at all the froth and splutter around the "Future of Advertising," as that tiresome debate about who's better - digital agencies or traditional agencies - keeps sucking up our valuable creative time. There should be no discussion required because if both sides get it right there'll be no distinction. As the sarcastic lyric from Timbuk3 goes - "The future's so bright I gotta wear shades.." [Update] Just as I posted this the webz sent me this from Seth Godin.
From Russell Davies blog, apparently inspired by this Digital May Be Everyday But It's Not Effortless: Post digital - an apology I had lunch with Iain the other day and he was telling me how annoyed he was by the term 'Post Digital'. Or perhaps, more specifically, by how some people are using it. And, I must admit, I've been getting more and more embarrased by it myself. Now, coining or promulgating a bit of jargon gives you no proprietary rights over it, I know that. It'll end up meaning whatever people want it to mean. But, just for the record, this is some of what I meant and what I didn't. YES Post Digital was intended as a possible condition we might get to. A place where we're able to evaluate digital and analogue tools equally and fairly, from a position of equal familiarity and expertise. Right now, there are tiny handful of people qualified to do this. I'm not one of them. Tom might be. And it's a condition - in the world - where most people have powerful and easy to use devices full of applications and services which work well and satisfyingly, where you can get all the media you want on all the screens you like. And where occasionally you might go, you know what, I'd rather have this thing printed out for me, or made into an object, or read to me by a robot in the shape of an egg. Newspaper Club or Bubblino aren't proofs that we're living in a Post Digital age, they're little indications of what it might be like when/if we finally, eventually get there. To use a horribly inappropriate and over-weighty comparison I'm using Post Digital in the way that people might have used Post-War in 1913 or 1938. They were speculating, hoping, not describing something real. It's an idea not a reality. We've not had the war yet. NO Post-Digital was not intended as a sop for the complacent. It's not supposed to suggest that 'digital' is a solved problem or yesterday's fad. It's not a suggestion that digital* is just another channel. It's not supposed to be a synonym for integrated, 360, channel-neutral or any of that stuff. Doing some telly AND a website does not make you Post Digital. The only way to be a Post Digital business is to be a thoroughly, deeply, massively digital one. To be digital in culture not just in capabilities. To know how to iterate in public, to do experiments not research, to recognise that it's quicker and better to code something than it is to describe it in meetings. You need to be part of the wider digital culture, to have good sharing habits, to give credit where it's due, and at the very least to know how to do ellipses in Processing. Post DIgital was supposed, if anything, to be a shout against complacency, to make people realise that we're not at the end of a digital revolution, we're at the start of one. The end game was not making a website to go with your TV commercial and it's not now about making a newspaper out of your website. Post Digital was supposed to be the next exciting phase, not a return to the old order. It's the bit where the Digital people start to engage in the world beyond the screen, not where the old guard reasserts itself. If I'd paid more attention in history I'd probably be able to throw in a Russian Revolution analogy at this point - possibly something about the Mensheviks. SORRY So, to the extent that Post Digital is being used as a cover for complacency or sloth I apologise. If you think it means we're entering a period of post-revolutionary stasis you're wrong. Sorry for the confusion. Equally, if you're working inside a business, trying to get them to really, thoroughly understand digital (and see how much they still don't get it) and I've made your job harder, then I'm also sorry. In mitigation I might point out I wasn't writing / talking about advertising or media agencies, I almost never am, I was talking about the world, a possible world. BUT However, I remain delighted that people are thinking about Post Digital as an idea; imagining products and services that thoroughly, competently, delightfully integrate the Analogue and the Digital. That's great. Keep doing that. The other thing, not so much. Anyway. (* I'm also deeply aware that using - Digital - like this is horrible. Like it's a thing. But I can't see a way round it. Sorry.)
This is exhausting: "We need to creatively destruct the idea of a monolithic agency. We need to advance more flexible and fluid models that expand and contract effortlessly, based on client needs. We need to be able to bring in new expertise when needed and drop old expertise when it doesn't have any value anymore. Agencies need to explore more "free agent" and distributed team models, utilize social technologies to encourage collaboration and co-creation." Well, "we" don't actually need to be told what to do, but on it goes.. So, what will the agency of the future look like? · Much smaller. · Focused on strategy and creative leadership, supported by account management. · A Chief Marketing Technologist will work as a team with the Creative Director. · Media Planning and Media Buying will become two separate divisions. Again. · A small pool of full-time employees and a large pool of free agent experts The time of McMansion agencies is about to end. It's about time. All of the above is from this post by Uwe Hook. It was also expanded upon by Mitch Joel as they consider the "Agency of the Future." If only there was something new there we could debate it. If there's a problem with the "agency of today" it may well be that the curse of knowledge will derail its attempts to become the "Agency Of The Future. The same curse that meant Kodak couldn't create a Flickr, or why the network TV companies couldn't create a YouTube, why a major bank didn't acquire Mint before Intuit did, or why Marc Andreeson is trying to enter the browser market once again with RockMelt - because he did it once before. How about "we" embrace "not knowing?" No comparing the old with the new with the 'yet-to-be-new.' In fact, yes, do throw the baby out with the bathwater.. And then work from the gut, not the knowledge. It could be fun and less exhausting, because one size does not fit all..
I'm usually left feeling deflated when Pitchfork puts a scribe in front of a musician that I admire, but Mark Richardson has done a fine job in interviewing Brian Eno, where, as usual, he provides many great insights. I especially like his description of how we listen to a vinyl album versus a CD versus a MP3.
Brian Eno Interview MP3
Pitchfork: A related question is the interface between the body and computers and how different that is from traditional instruments, which were often built with the body in mind-- how they would be held, where the hands would be, where the fingers would be. And the computer is obviously modeled on a typewriter machine that was built in the late 19th century, and we have a finger to control a mouse and so on. But do you see any evolution of it in that regard of it? How people use them in terms of making their bodies work with computers? Brian Eno: First of all, I think you're quite right in bringing that up, because I think that is such a serious issue, and very few people notice it. Very few people take it seriously at all, because they're still convinced by the Microsoft slogan "Go where your imagination takes you," or whatever that bloody thing was. The idea that the computer is a completely neutral device that doesn't have a personality of its own and just liberates you to do anything you want-- it's complete cock. You just make different music on a computer. And you can make wonderful music on a computer, but don't pretend that the machinery is transparent. It makes as much difference to what you're doing as it does if you play an acoustic guitar as opposed to a kettledrum. You're not going to make the same music. In terms of what has been happening recently, there have been, I think, some really interesting new instruments that have come out that sort of show me the direction of the future. Korg has introduced the-- they've had a whole series now of these things called Kaoss Pads. They're wonderful because they do get your muscles working again. And what DJs do, of course, with their DJ turntables now, the CD turntables, which have pitch change and speed change and everything else. They're doing something that I think is interestingly physical. Then you have-- there's another Korg instrument called the Wavedrum, which is a great, great instrument. So, there is a sort of convergence starting to happen between the computer and musical instruments, but it's still quite a long way off. Basically, you're still sitting there using just the muscles of your hand, really. Of one hand, actually. It's another example of the transfer of literacy to making music because the assumption is that everything important is happening in your head; the muscles are there simply to serve the head. But that isn't how traditional players work at all; musicians know that their muscles have a lot of stuff going on as well. They're using their whole body to make music, in fact. Whereas it's quite clear that if the interface between you and a computer is a mouse, then everything of interest that happens must be happening in your head. It's a big step backwards, I think. It's back to the biggest problem with classical music, which is [that] it's head music. It doesn't emanate from anything below the shoulders, basically. Read the whole interview here. Take a listen to a track from the new Eno album here. Found at reach, grasp, taste.
Matthew Weiner Mad Men
Are you able to enjoy the culture of 2010, or are you always on the lookout for stories for your show? A. No, no, no. First of all, half the stuff I tell you comes from right now. And one of the great things about the show is that people share their stories with me, and I just say, “That’s mine.” [laughs] My job as an artist is to channel the feelings I have about society right now, these are the things I’m feeling about our isolation, about our ambiguous relationship with materialism, about failure, about our declining self-esteem. About our attitude towards change and technology. These are things I’m feeling every day, that I put into the show. The other aspects of things that are going on in entertainment right now are frustrating to me. I’ve been very disappointed with whatever has happened to the business model that has made the movies so incredibly unattractive to me. I’m so starved for things, for any kind of entertainment. The Oscar things are coming out right now – maybe they saved everything good for right then and there. But it’s been a bummer. It’s a bummer to see movie after movie where so many talented people get together and so much money is spent, and they’re just bland, lifeless, familiar, fake. I’m not a superhero, it’s not one of my interests. It’s O.K. for it to be a fraction of the entertainment that’s out there, but it can’t be everything. And I have four little boys so I’m seeing everything. And they’re tired of going to the movies. Read the whole interview here.
The rather brilliant Ze Frank, in this TED talk - Making real connections over the web, discusses how technologists [hello, Facebook engineers] aren't very good at providing ways for people to really connect with each other. "I think of the people who build all of this technology in the networks, a lot of them aren't very good at connecting with people..." Ze Frank TED Facebook Like "right? This is kinda like something I used to do in 3rd grade..." Ze Frank TED Facebook Like I'm happy to say that his opinion of Facebook 'Likes' aligns rather neatly with my own - Facebook Likes are not engaging.
Chile Mine Rescue President Sebastian Pinera of Chile hugged Florencio Avalos after he was rescued from the San Jose mine near Copiapo, Chile It's still early right now, 2:10 AM in Chile, where as I write 4 miners have been rescued from the tomb that they have endured for the last 68 days. Hopefully as the long night progresses, all of them, along with the rescuers who bravely descended more than half a mile down into the mine to facilitate their rescue, will return safely to their loved ones. This episode has transfixed millions of people across the globe and hopefully it ends well. The Chilean government, rightfully, should accept the praise of nations and their citizens, for refusing to buckle to the technological hardships or the cost of rescuing these men. Americans can look to Chile and the national pride that emanates from these efforts, devoid of partisan politics and roadblocks, and consider what "big" government really means - having the money, the will, and the resources to get things done.
Ogilvy Digital Lars Bastholm Click on the image to see what Ogilvy's CCO would like his team to do.. I'm not certain if this is life imitating art or vise versa, but those who follow Mad Men will know that in this week's episode, Don Draper took out a full page ad in the New York Times to position his fledgling agency as anti-tobacco - after losing the Lucky Strike account. Of course the 'phone immediately started ringing.. And here we have Lars Bastholm, Chief Creative Officer at Ogilvy, shown in this leaked letter, taking on his digital team. Did he do this to show the ad world that Ogilvy means business in the digital realm? Or was Mr Bastholm not paying attention to the work leaving the shop on his watch? Via AgencySpy Dear all, I just checked out the recent digital launches from Ogilvy New York. 6 websites in all. To be frank with everyone, it left me with a migraine and the beginnings of a depression. To be even more brutally frank, it’s simply not good enough. I know that much of it is done for difficult clients, and I’m sure many great ideas died on the way from conception to reality. But when the level of quality across the board is downright disturbingly bad, then it is institutional and I have to attribute it to an internal lack of understanding of what makes for good digital work in 2010. This gives me cause for great concern. What’s wrong? Where to begin… 1. From a design perspective, it might as well still be 2001, if you look at our work. With a few exceptions, it’s dull, boxy and uninspiring. 2. From a content perspective, it’s served up not as experiences, but mostly as brochure-ware. There’s little to nothing to engage a consumer in a fun and rewarding experience that they can share and talk about. 3. The one site that seemed like it was actually built in recent years didn’t work. After signing up through Facebook, I got an error message. Twice. In order for us to be taken seriously as an integrated agency we HAVE to get a LOT better at digital. Both conceptually and design-wise. And we have to get better at selling in the good ideas that I know people are capable of. We have to start thinking less about building websites and more about using the digital sphere to reach consumers in new and interesting ways. Look at this great collection of interesting work curated by Google Creative Labs: [Link] Thank you, IBM team, for being included on slide 96 with the US Open Point Stream. You make us look good! I’ve specifically not called out the teams/work that I’m talking about in this group email. But I’m sure you know who you are. I’ll be following up with the teams to hear why the work ended up being so dull. Please let me know, if you have any great ideas for how to improve the work across the board. The status quo is not acceptable and will have to change. One way or another. Lars Bastholm Chief Creative Officer Ogilvy New York
FaceBook Friends Distance
Everywhere I turn in media I bump into a Facebook story; and it's not the usual chatter. Of course we all know of the movie, and we now know of Facebook Groups, but it's interesting to see our cultural commentators, such as Frank Rich and Malcolm Gladwell, sidling up alongside the likes of Anil Dash and Umair Haque to write about Facebook. Even the movie Catfish is referred to in a dig at Facebook. I wrote last week about how Facebook Likes are the low bar for online campaign success measurement, by pointing out how easy it is to Like a brand, yet that action alone doesn't suggest that anything is really happening. All the recent chatter is different - it has tended to lean toward, not exactly negativity, but at least to a perceived weariness amongst these commentators. It makes me wonder what's happening but it certainly feels like they, or we, have reached a collective nadir. Facebook clearly isn't going away any time soon, but now that it resides in the rarified, and often vilified, air that it shares with Google and Microsoft, the only direction it can go now is down. Unless Zuckerberg keeps moving the goal posts to retain media attention. Perhaps we are entering a period of social media malaise - a tipping point. Below are some recent articles about Facebook: Keeping Our Distance, the Facebook Way - Damon Darlin Twitter and Facebook cannot change the real world - Malcolm Gladwell Facebook Politicians are not Your Friends - Frank Rich The Social Media Bubble - Umair Haque Facebook: The Reckoning - Anil Dash And just today on Twitter - as i predicted, facebook built a subprime ecosystem. twitter didn't here's the evidence @ev /via @umairh