19th December 2015
1) 6 years ago, when I was running the Creative Solutions Sales team at News International, the (originally very popular) podcasts we were producing, were falling out of favour with our clients; the podcast it seemed, was on its way out. However, this piece strongly suggests that it was au revoir rather than goodbye. Following the success of the Serial podcast last year and a second series, which has just dropped (this one about Afghanistan); it is clear that the Podcast scene is exploding again.
2) ….And still with the theme of reminiscing about Newspaper organisations, I remember James Harding (then editor of The Times) pointing out that the true origin of user generated content was not in the social media age, but way back in 1785 with Readers Letters and the launch of The Times (then The Daily Universal Register). Interesting then that the New York Times is prioritising readers comments by placing them on the homepage.
3) Great piece on the (ever increasing) threat to Creativity, caused by focusing on Formats rather than Ideas – ‘The Day Formats Became Ideas’ : ‘As a result, we risk moving from an ‘idea first’ approach to a ‘format first’ approach, where we either use formats to inform ideas (not ideal) or mistake the former for the latter altogether (just plain nonsense). In a bleaker sense, it may seem like we have reached the day on which technological formats became synonymous with advertising ideas.
4) ‘Smiley face’ :o). Facebook filters out ‘Sadness’ and adds editing to your year in review. This initiative, follows on from last year when FB unadvisedly broke some hearts when its algorithmically selected Your Year In Review photosets accidentally included depressing photos of people’s exes, blocked friends and deceased loved ones. So, no more tears with Facebook, then….
5) From the very marvellous NESTA (National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) – ‘Ten Predictions for 2016’. Top picks include – ‘Patients become Citizen Scientists’, ‘The Sticky and Sweet Future of Food Hacking’ and ‘Computers That Heal You.’
6) Great article: ‘Re-thinking Planning for a Digital Age’ – ‘While the “HOW DO I” questions my clients ask tend to remain evergreen (e.g. how do I stay differentiated in a cluttered market? How do I gain favour with the newest/latest generation? How do I increase my revenues while conserving my spending?), what has changed the most are the “WHAT SHOULD I” questions, the ones that are about making choices, giving up control, and dealing with the uncertainty that comes when our culture changes in less time than it takes to produce any traditional communications effort.
7) Interesting instalment in a continuing series on designs for future cities that never happened, Christopher Beanland turns to Le Corbusier’s plans to knock down and rebuild central Paris.
8) Hot on the heels of the drone footage of Chernobyl, here comes another interpretation – a VR Tour of Chernobyl Will Go Where Tourists Can’t.
9) Haunting stuff. A miniature world captured recently, shows the dying throes of a single-celled organism called a ciliate, as it is devoured by a larger predator called a Trachelius Ciliate. The hunt is both grotesque and fascinating.
10) And before you ask, this is what the moon will look like on every day in 2016. Great music and visuals. All in all, very cool.
Next newsletter will be the first of 2016 – out on January the 8th. Au Revoir until then and wishing everyone a fabulous Christmas Break and a very Happy and Prosperous New Year.