Tag Archives: the geography of ideas

This Week’s Top Ten Stories

16th May 2015

1) Spotify’s financial results this week have highlighted theirstruggle to make paid, streaming music profitable. Its 15m paying subscribers helped Spotify to more than €1bn of revenues in 2014, but its losses are still growing faster than its income. CEO Daniel EK insists that the focus is still on growth, and profitability will come once it has reached a ’sufficient’ size – but when will that be…? Does in fact, the paid streaming model need a re-think?

2) Verizon is buying AOL for $4.4 billion. At its apogee its was worth over $200 billion and the value of the company now, is primarily in its video streaming and ad technologyAstonishingly 2.15 million people still pay for its dial-up service.

3) Here is one way of getting the message through to smokers.Write it in ink made from diseased lungs. Powerful idea from BBDO Proximity Thailand

4) An obscure island just past the Bronx in New York is home to 850,000 human graves. But access is tightly controlled and photography prohibited. Welcome to Hart Island – ‘the intended secrecy is due to the island’s status as the greater metropolitan “potter’s field” (or civic graveyard) for unclaimed bodies. Since 1980 at least 62,370 people have been buried there, but as it has been used for interments since 1869, presumably the number is much, much higher. If nothing else, an incredible space-planning operation for approximately a 131 acre area.’

5) Given the issues with privacy on the web this is especially Interesting – research into drug usage at music festivals , using Instagram images. 3.6 million different images were considered and scanned for terms related to intoxicating substances. Alcohol was the clear winner but the order of some of the other intoxicants may surprise you.

6) Definitely worth supporting . Anjali Ramachandran ( provider of the Other Valleys newsletter ) has produced an e-book called Disruption in the Developing World and you can download it here. Proceeds go to the Nepal Earthquake Appeal.

7) This week, Game Of Thrones broke another record – the all time digital piracy record ‘Sunday’s episode rallied up 2.2 million illegal downloads within 12 hours of the original airing, blowing out the previous record from season four’s premiere episode, which was downloaded nearly as many times but in a longer, 24-hour time period.’

8) The Galaxy Sized Video Game . A new game : No Man’s Sky will let virtual travellers explore eighteen quintillion planets. It is being created by Hello Games, a small company based in Guildford, Surrey – England.

9) Digital Shoreditch #DS15 was on this week. Here is a link to the website, highlighting the fabulously broad range of information covered. Wednesday was themed as NEXT day – looking at future technologies and opportunities. An eclectic range of topics included – how to become an android, using connected devices to help those suffering from Alzheimers, survival tips using technology in the event of an apocalypse, building interactive experiences using food and the real reason that the music industry collapsed in the early 90’s ( clue – isn’t was all down to Napster, as the music industry claim ) . On Monday we presented our provocation – on ‘how to energise the creative spaces between people’ – The Geography of Ideasslideshow here.

10) And finally – 30 women were asked on camera whether they thought that size mattered, or not. No further explanation was provided and the respondents were left to interpret as they saw fit. They mostly focused on one area in particular.


Ten Stories We Have Enjoyed This Week

1st May 2015

1) Not a great week for Social Media as LinkedIn becomes the third company this week to lose as much as a quarter of its valuation after reporting a weaker outlook. Some $7bn was wiped off its market cap in after-hours trading on the warning that sales in the current quarter would be $45m below Wall Street forecasts of $670-675m – partly because of currency fluctuations. This comes after Twitter shares dropped as much as 26 per cent on missed revenue expectations and lower forecasts and Yelp closed 23 per cent lower yesterday after missing revenue and earnings forecasts’.

2) And in the same vein Secret has closed The founder David Byttow said: “I believe in honest, open communication and creative expression, and anonymity is a great device to achieve it. But it’s also the ultimate double-edged sword, which must be wielded with great respect and care’.

Somewhat in tune with this sentiment, this is what I said about anonymous social media channels last year – Whisper and our World of withering comminications.

3) Seems almost astonishing how quickly attitudes have changed in the US, in relation to marriage equality – This Is How Fast America Changes it’s Mind.

One of the reasons for this, has been the tireless afforts of Evan Wolfson who has been fighting for same-sex marriage since the 1980’s. From Slate – The Marriage Mastermind.

However, according to this piece from This American Life , it is actually quite rare for people to change their perspectives – The Incredible Rarity of Changing Your Mind.

4) The BBC goes global with it’s chat app strategy : “The BBC’s latest effort comes via chat app Viber, which the broadcaster is using to send news and information to Nepali people affected by this week’s earthquake. The alerts, which the BBC experts to change over time information, have so far included news, information and safety advice.”

5) The very smart and very entertaining @Faris has a book out –Definitely worth a look.

‘Paid Attention is a guide to modern advertising ideas: what they are, why they are evolving and how to have them. Spanning communication theory, neuroscience, creativity and innovation, media history, branding and emerging technologies, it explores the strategic creation process and how to package ideas to attract the most attention in the advertising industry’

6) Great Idea – using technology to re-imagine reality and engage young people with the great outdoors. Minecraft fans invited to design Australia’s perfect national park.

7) Love this – in an age when we struggle to cope with an overload of information, here is (another) clever ad from Honda that challenges us, even forces us to pay attention.

8) Your Imaginery relationship with a Celebrity – “In a highly connected era where fans can easily and directly interact with famous people online, long-standing parasocial relationships have intensified and become increasingly complex to navigate”.

9) A piece of shameless self promotion – we are presenting atDigital Shoreditch – 11.50am in Shoreditch Town Hall on Monday 11th May. Our chosen subject will be The Geography of Ideas. Do come along if you can.

10) We had to see this coming right? This selfie stick is arm shaped to make you look less like a loner….

..and this is even better. An entrepreneurial graffiti artist , who isn’t Banksy but sounds very similar, has taken to spray paining shapes around pot holes in Manchester. The nature of the shapes has encouraged the local council to mend the holes at an astounding rate.

Ten Stories We Have Enjoyed This Week

8th Feb 2015

1) Lots of us enjoying the BBC’s adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall at the moment and it’s getting cracking reviews. Some however , are concerned with the level of historical accuracy on display.
But this article from The Spectator takes me way back to my History degree and points out that all History is , in fact, made up up – ‘If bestselling history books are about one parts fact to two parts fiction, it’s because that’s the ratio that most historians have to work with. Richard Starkey ( the historian) may consider himself to be ‘someone who actually knows what happened’ in Henry VIII’s court, but the truth is he doesn’t – no one does.

2) Now this is definitely worth a look – Other Valleys – A short list of creative/technology ideas, sent weekly, that are by and large NOT from the US/UK/EU. Inspiration can strike from many different places….

3) Great piece from @davidpearlhere The Power of No – Portland, Oregon is a good example of how saying NO has made this city very different and in some ways, much better than others.

4) Great piece from The Atlantic on colour in film – How Technicolor Changed Storytelling.

‘There’s some irony in the fact that colourising film-ostensibly to make it look more like the real world-may have cemented the medium’s dreamy, escapist quality’.

5) Haunting – a Drone’s aerial footage of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

6) Fabulous. 1,000 Light Paintings Form One Beautiful Stop-Motion Animation.

7) So it was Groundhog Day on Monday, spiced up a bit this year when the groundhog (Punxsutawney Phil) predicted 6 more weeks of winter and bit the Mayor. Meanwhile it’s Groundhog Day of a different kind in Woodstock, Ill., where Groundhog Day was filmed, and where hundreds of fans gathered this year-and every year, year after year- to celebrate their favourite movie.

At this juncture worth sharing a classic clip of said film – the bit when Bill Murray decides he is an all knowing god.

8) The Super Bowl was on Sunday. An amazing game that the Seattle Seahawks literally ‘threw away’ in the last few moments. The US media went ballistic.

Nationwide ran an ad (about child accidents) that upset a whole load of people , many of whom went on Twitter to vent their feelings.

..and here are all the ads from the game – from best to worst.

9) Great piece from @neilperkin – Why Some Teams Are Smarter Than Others. In essence –

  1. Where team members contribute more equally, no individuals dominating.
  2. Teams where people are good at reading the emotional states of other group members.
  3. Teams with more women outperformed teams with more men.

This chimes greatly with the message in one of my recent blog posts – The Geography Of Ideas.

10) So this is properly weird – A group of Idollators loudly and proudly share their love of silicone women with the world.

Ten Stories We Have Enjoyed This Week

19th October

1) Very interesting – How Google Works (slideshare by Eric Schmidt ) HT to @neilperkin.

2) Apple’s new iPads, thinner, faster…. and available in gold??

3) In Dylan Thomas’s centenary , the wonderful Richard Burton reads Under Milk Wood.

And why not? Whilst we are on a literary curve, here are 16 of Oscar Wilde’s best quotations ( and he’s got a few…).

….and if Dorothy Parker quips were motivational posters.

4) A very real and increasing worry , In The Atlantic, Catherine Buni and Soraya Chemaly show how social media has turned against women.

5) Extraordinary – 40 portraits over 40 years , with 4 sisters. A compelling labour of love.

6) From The Digital Filter blog this week. An essential element of creative thinking and the brainstorming process, but often neglected. The importance of The Geography of Ideas.

7) Spooky. Warped Photo Series Turns Abandoned Buildings Into 360° Panoramas.

8) Can’t remember what TV show you were watching on the evening of the 16th December, 1985? Well now you can -The Radio Times archive goes live – 1923 to 2009.

9) Brian Eno’s 20 Essential Books For Sustaining Civilisation.

10) A horse walks into a bar…? No, this time she walks into a police station.Happens all the time in Cheshire…..