Media Organisations of the Future

Faris has a good write up of a presentation by Simon Waldman of the Guardian: What is a media company?

I saw the same presentation (or a version of it) at a Microsoft day late last year. And I have to say I thought he put forward a really compelling case. I don’t want to rip-off Faris’ slides that he ripped-off from Simon ;-) So you’ll have to go here to see them.

I do share Faris’ reservation that it works for people like the Guardian, or MTV, and bits of the BBC. But I’m not sure if it holds true for De Agostini where their whole business model relies on transportation of physical stuff (binders, lord of the rings tiles, pony statuettes, etc.).

Interestingly, or not, De Agostini is one of the few things I’ve not manged to find in Wikipedia recently).

CMOs on Digital and Traditional

CMOFollowing the BBH Lynx win post I thought this research into the attitude of CMOs(commissioned by Sapient) reported some interesting stuff. LIke the fact that 68% of CMOs prefer to work with multiple agencies, to derive the benefits of specialisation, and that 49% of survey respondents believe that traditional advertising firms have difficulty thinking beyond traditional print and TV media models. But then again it was commissioned by a digital agency ;-)

via: Fallon Planning Blog: The CMOs Weigh In

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The Dumbness of Crowds

I’ve not linked to Creating Passionate Users for a while. As it’s probably the smartest blog in the entire universe I like to link to something now and again.

This post on the misappropriation of ‘the wisdom of crowds’ is a classic. Featuring this quote…

No matter what, I believe that in our quest to exploit the “We” in Web, we must not sacrifice the “I” in Internet.

You might need to read the article to get it.

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Second Life Sex

An interesting perspective on sex in Second Life: The ins and outs of a Second sex Life | The Register

Written from the perspective of someone who seems to understand and enjoy ‘cybersex‘, this article explains the limitations and problems with sex in SL. Not being someone who really understands or enjoys the practice myself I think I can at least grasp some of the core issues here.

To my mind emotional stuff like this either needs to be real or fantasy (i.e. based in conversation and imagination). I find the grey bit in the middle: being represented by a clunky pixel-cluster making crude (in both senses) gestures really odd. When you add in the fact that whole chunks of the mating process can now be bought off the shelf it makes it even more strange…

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BBH Wins Lynx Digital Account

An interesting ‘moment’ in online advertising. BBH win Lynx digital account. To my mind Dare have done some really amazing online advertising for Lynx (Feather and Blow to name but two), and I’m really surprised that the account has gone elsewhere (if the story is to be believed).

In principle I agree with this quote from the article:

John O’Keeffe, executive creative director of BBH London, said: “A couple of years ago, we might have been at a disadvantage in a pitch like this, simply for lack of having the digital craft skills in-house. We now have that capability: whereupon this, and any other digital pitch for that matter, comes down to the same question that decides any such process: who has the best idea?”

But at the same time I wonder if this is really true.

Is it always down to the best idea winning out? Not really. Do BBH have great ideas? Undoubtedly. Do they have outstanding ‘salespeople’? Almost certainly better then most digital agencies.

I’m not trying to put forward the case for ‘digital agencies’ (interesting how I’m now feeling more and more compelled to use inverted commas around various parts of the term digital agency) particularly. However, something I’ve noticed recently is that the nature of our clients is changing. Whereas previously we used to sell our ideas into digital people, we’re now increasingly up in front of a mixture of digital and advertising people.

The way in which you pitch your ideas to these two groups are massively different. Online people typically want to see more of the ‘how we’re going to do it’, where as advertising people take that stuff for granted. You see an idea, it gets made. They’ve never been through the pain of cross-browser testing a complicated website. And they don’t care how it gets done. And maybe that’s the way it should be (for advertising).

My prediction is that we’re going to see a fragmentation of how brands operate online, there’ll be a bunch of people competing to do online advertising. And a bunch of people doing ‘other stuff’.

I think I know where I’d rather be…

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Naming Babies the 21st Century Way

On my way to work this morning I was pondering the notion of Googlability. I’m quite lucky that both of my names are spelled in odd ways, it means that there aren’t that many Iain Tait‘s out there. Apart from Dr Iain Tait at the University of Dundee with whom I have an ongoing battle for the top Google Spot – note: I’m not linking to him as it’ll just bump up his Google ranking ;-)

But it led me to a thought. As more and more people have bits of themselves online having a good solid Googlable name actually becomes a valuable asset. Being called John Smith (or any international equivalent) actually means that you’ll have to get into serious search engine optimisation in order for people to find you.

So, next time you’re naming a child, think about it.

Especially if you’ve got a common surname…


OK! OK! I’m going to do it. I’m gong to succumb to the blog tag 5 things meme. Thanks to the following for tagging me. I might have missed some others (if I have let me know and I’ll add you to my thank you list).

In case you’ve not come across this thing it’s basically like a blog chain letter, only it’s not really. There’s something quite nice about the fact that it creates new links between blogs and their authors. (I only really ‘recognise’ 2 of the people who tagged me – I think).

Anyway, it works like this:

Once you have been tagged, you have to write a blog with 5 facts about yourself. Then choose 5 people you want to tag and list their names. Then leave a comment on their blog letting them know they’ve been tagged.

Actually I had to go and find someone who’d written the rules down, as lots of people seem to be propagating the meme in different ways. I suppose that’s the thing with memes, they get ‘chinese whispered’ as they go around. I’ve even seen some people suggest that their tagees have to write 7 things. How wrong is that!

Anyway, enough waffle, here are 5 ‘interesting’ things about me.

  1. I can fit my fist inside my mouth. I can’t remember how I found this out. But I’ve always been able to do it for as long as I can remember. Sometimes it hurts the edges of my lips, but not normally.
  2. I’ve never eaten meat in my life. Well never intentionally anyway (I once had a British Rail pizza at Kings Cross station that mistakenly had ham on it. I think I ate some. My mum complained to British Rail and they were very sorry, or so they said).
  3. I can’t drive a car. I’ve never really felt the need. Occasionally it’s a pain – on holiday and things like that. And I suppose for moving things around the place. Actually it would be useful quite often, at least to be able to hire a vehicle. But I suppose the real fact is I’m now quite scared of driving (in London anyway), there’s so many nutters on the road and I’m not sure they’d like me getting in their way. Perhaps I’ll take my test in Brighton… But I did used to own an Austin Allegro 1300 Estate. Perhaps more embarrassing than not being able to drive is the fact that I drove one of these for a year (when you were simply allowed to drive with a passenger who’d passed their test sitting in the car). It was voted the worst car ever a couple of years ago. I quite liked it at the time though.
  4. I like dancing. I have done ever since the heady days of breakin’ in the park back in ’84. Culminating in the near legendary uprock outside the Burton-on-Trent branch of WH Smiths. I can’t do that stuff anymore, but there’s an Orange video banner from last year that features me dancing. Thankfully hardly anyone I know has seen it.
  5. I have a secret love of trashy reality TV shows. I watch them and it makes me feel unclean. However, I try to justify it to myself in the name of anthropological research ;-)

Phew, done it. Now who am I going to tag. I pick:

5 fine, upstanding people who I’d like to know 5 interesting things about…

Another Apple Post

This will just be one blog post about probably the most blogged about thing ever. The new Apple iPhone. Here’s a couple of thoughts…

  • It is the ultimate in gadget porn
  • Features some proper interface wizardry
  • Looks like another genre-defining piece of product design
  • Interestingly they’ve done deals with both Yahoo! and Google
  • It’s not as stupidly expensive as you might have thought
  • The queues to get hold of one are going to be massive
  • Whichever network gets territory exclusives on these these things is going to clean up (but they probably paid a fortune for it I’d guess).

But we’re all going to have to wait for months before we can get our hands on them. Even longer for us poor suckers outside of the US. There’ll be lots of people posting lots of smart stuff about this. So I’m not going to attempt to say anything much…

Apart from the fact that I think it looks like the kind of thing that I’d like to own, very much.