Turn Yahoo RED and Raise Money

Yahoo amex

American Express RED are trying to rasie £10k to fight AIDS in Africa today. All you have to do is click on a banner on the front page of Yahoo.co.uk (and it doesn’t even take you anywhere!). Each click raises 25p.

Click here to do it! (31st May only)

And the fun bit, once they hit £10k the homepage of Yahoo.co.uk turns red. (May only be available to UK IP addresses).

Confession – I may have had something to do with this (sorry).

UPDATE: We did it, hooray! See below.

We did it - turned the Yahoo! home page red

Social Networks = New Media

Nice piece about Social Networks and audience/users as ‘cultural products’. GigaOM : » Social Networks are the New Media
Robert Young talks a lot of sense about how self expression is key to peoples use of these sites. And there’s a nice reality check in there for people who think it’s all about what users produce themselves:

Think of this way… what if “American Idol” had been produced solely by the capabilities of the contestants themselves, without the expertise and talent of the show’s producers, directors, writers, etc. As talented and entertaining as the contestants are, the resulting production quality, the level of emotional engagement, viewership/ratings and monetization potential of the full package would likely be far inferior to what we all see on the air today.

Which nicely highlights the complexities and challenges inherent in developing a social networking framework that actually delivers a meaningful (interesting? useful? entertaining?) experience for audiences.

Bonfire Of The Brands

burning sneakers.jpgNeil Boorman (ex-editor of ex-Sleazenation, Shorditch Twat and other titles I’m sure) is writing a book called: Bonfire Of The Brands

As part of his experience he’s burning all of his branded goods in a big bonfire as part of re-evaluating his lifestyle. If you’re thinking ‘Oh no! Another Adbuster/No-Logoist’, don’t. You can tell that Neil has a lot of love for brands and that he’s going to find it quite hard to do this. In his own words:

Brands are wealth creators; they provide employment across the globe, and ultimately they make our lives infinitely more comfortable. So I have been keen to avoid the No Logo supporters’ calls to ‘bring it all down’. Yes, I am burning all my own branded possessions, and I will be attempting to live my new life brand-free, but the book is really an experiment to see if it is actually possible to disconnect from branded consumerism.

The blog he’s running is really interesting. His view of the world seems to be considered and realistic (in spite of wanting to burn £1,000s worth of stuff).

Is better better?

Seth Godin talks about the difference between trying to be better and trying to be different: Seth’s Blog: In search of better

I’ve puzzled over this one for a bit, and the trouble I have is that better is always better. Wheras different can sometimes be worse. But I guess that’s where the skill comes in.

As a challenge to thought processes it’s definitely interesting.

Client asks: “Can you make this better”?
Reply: “No, but we can make it different…”

I’ll have to give it a try ;-)

Google Nostalgia Maps

I had a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon coffee with Russell Davies on Friday. We talked about lots of really interesting things.

Strangely the thing that I came away with most was a weird kind of nostalgia for the village where I grew up.

I’ve only met a couple of people in my adult life who actually know where I grew up. I normally have to say, do you know Birmingham? Do you know Nottingham? (Most people sort of say yes to both, but you can tell they don’t really know where either of them are – and why should they). Anyway, I grew up in a tiny village called Barton-under-Needwood, and it’s not really very close to anything.

But, not only did Russell know the exact village where I grew up, he’d been to one of the pubs there. And being an fellow East Midlander was familiiar with being called ‘duck’ and all those other strange things I’d not considered for ages. I’ve not been back there for nearly 15 years.

So yesterday I thought I’d go back there. Not in reality, but via the teleportational qualities of Google Maps. So I put in the name of the village. And got a nice map. Then I refined it down to the last postcode I could remember living at.

On the satelite view I could see my house at the end of the row of terraced houses. And I could see the cow field where me and my brother used to play. Then I started playing around, zooming out, looking at street names. And I started to remember other things, like the route of my morning paper round.

Then I remembered something I’d seen on Flickr a while ago: Memorymaps.

Memorymaps are an interesting mash-up between Google Maps and Flickr. People screengrab a meaningful map on Google, then they annotate them with memories, so when you move your mouse over the map you can see points of personal interest. OK, so it’s quite self indulgent. But at the same time I quite liked it as an idea: so I made my own.

Barton Under Needwood Memory Map

Click to view.


nike plus

Wow. Nike and Apple have unleashed Nike+

By connecting sports shoes and iPods (using a tiny plug-in receiver) they’ve come up with something pretty sci-fi. Your shoes talk to your iPod, then your iPod talks to you, tells you how fast you’re going and all that jazz. Plus some nifty playlist / workout jiggery pokery.

Is it going to get geeks running? Or are we just going to hear a lot of:

“My average speed between my desk and the printer is 3.2mph”