Reasons the Internet is Brilliant #2B

Here’s a reason, right here: It’s a website about pencils. I like pencils. Actually I kind of love pencils in a strange sort of a way. But this guy loves pencils more. More than me. More than everyone I know.


The two design pencils write quite nicely (much better than the High Grade), while the Triple Grip unfortunately is just average. I would say the 8815 stands out as another rare example of a high quality round pencil.

I thank him for sharing his love. And I thank the Internet for making his love of pencils a global thing. And I thank the always inspiring Ace Jet 170 – a blog we should all look at as much as we possibly can.

A Walk and A Ruddy Good Book – Go Tim!

bunessan at a higher tide

There’s this guy called Tim Wright. He’s a lovely chap. He did some planning and writing and things for a game we made a long time ago at Poke. Anyway he’s either become a nutjob or a genius (or maybe he was always both). I’m not sure if I’m qualified to say which right now.

He says:

From 30th June to 25th August, I’m following a route across Scotland from the south western tip of Mull to the outskirts of Edinburgh, as charted in Chapters 14–27 of Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘Kidnapped’.

That’s quite a bit of walking he’s doing. And he’s documenting the whole thing on a blog: And he’s podcasting and Tweeting and all that jazz too.

And he’s sticking up his photos on Flickr where they get combined with a passage from the book that’s relevant, like: “There was in this part of the isle a little hut of a house like a pig’s hut, where fishers used to sleep when they came there upon their business”:

the pig hut

And he’s reading out passages from the book in relevant locations and putting the videos online:

And bravely he’s offering up:

Perhaps there’s something you’d like me to do or think about whilst I’m walking. Perhaps you’d like me to visit specific sites and film them for you. Or better still, perhaps you’d like to come out here and join me for a walk, add your own responses to being on the Kidnapped Trail and have an adventure of your very own.

And like he says, he can be found on most social services under the name ‘kidmapper’.

Now the big problem I have with this kind of thing is that it makes our job as internet slags really hard.

How on earth are we supposed to do things for paying clients that compete with this? He’s not thinking about dayrates. Or production costs. Or about delivering a specific message to a given set of look and feel guidelines. He’s just out there doing something because he really wants to. Because he’s got this mission that he wants to do. Just because.

And it’s charming. And interesting. And funny. And real. And a touch shambolic. And a little bit odd. And I want to follow him. Because I don’t know what’s coming next. And I know that he doesn’t either. Oh in that incredibly honest way he’s starting very much from zero – he currently has only 19 followers on Twitter.

Go Tim!

Visit his blog now:

By the way, he doesn’t even have an Amazon merchant link from the book on his site. THAT’S HOW PURE HE IS!

We Should Hire This Guy


This interview with Danny from Poke NY on SiteInspire says a bunch of the things that I struggle to get across on this blog. And a bunch of new and interesting things too. He’s a UX / Strategy guy (if you need to put him in a box).

It’s great when you find that someone shares your view of the world. And even better when it turns out that you work for the same company ;-)

A New Mix for July – Both Skylights Open

both skylights open cover

As always, I’m sorry it’s been ages.

Anyway yesterday I went up to the loft, opened the skylights, and this popped out. It’s perhaps got a bit more of a old fashioned house feeling in places than normal. But I think in general the sound works OK. And the Apparat remix at the end is stunning.

Buy tracks from – I do.


  1. Listen To The Drums (Jazzanova / Dixon Remix) – Outlines
  2. The Soul Part II – The Revenge
  3. Start Something (40 Thieves Remix) – Morten Sorensen
  4. Blade Dancer (Dixon Edit) – Tokyo Black Star
  5. Kobra Dance (Joris Voorn Interpretation) – Wigald Boning
  6. Jump for Joy – Shumi
  7. Still Music – Steve Bug / Donnacha Costello
  8. Add This Song (Gluteus Maximus Remix) – Gus Gus
  9. Solee – Marco Dassi
  10. Inferno Jack – Butane
  11. Underneath the Wind Machine – Gavin Herlihy
  12. Pray (Mike Dunn’s Blackbal Instrumental Mix) – Mina Jackson
  13. Modernism Begins at Home – Burger Voigt
  14. Pale Horses (Apperat Remix) – Moby
  15. Pulsewidth – Aphex Twin

You can download the mix over on my Tumblr site. And if you like this kind of thing you can subscribe to the RSS feed over there.

And you should be able to get it as an iTunes podcast here – although it can take a day or so to update.

Let me know what you think. Unless you really hate it. In which case I’d rather live in blissful ignorance I think.

Robot Love Co-Incidence

Last night I watched Wall-e for the first time. And it was good.

Then today I was pulling together a mix. I’ve included the Apparat Mix of Moby’s Pale Horses which I love dearly. I tweeted that Apparat was a genius. Then @tbuesing tweeted that I might like this video for an Apparat track. And I did like it:

And it made me think of Wall-e…

Jonathan From Spotify Ruined Your Playlist

Jonathan from Spotify... is my favourite website of today. If you don’t know Jonathan from Spotify, he’s the guy who interrupts your listening pleasure with his little adlets.

I’m sure he was forced to do it, so I’m not confident that we should all be picking on him. However, what I love about this site is that I think the level of insults pretty much fit the crime.

Jonathan from Spotify...

Jonathan from Spotify...

But that’s not the reason that I really love the site. The real reason is that it’s driven by Google Docs. That’s how we should all be rolling. Use a Google Spreadsheet as a CMS – that’s how we should be rolling in 2009!

I suggested this to one of our developers a few months ago and he said that I was some kind of fucked-up freakish alien techno-idiot (I think those were his exact words) – having seen this I feel vindicated, marginally.

via: the wonderful It’s Nice That

Gary vs Cannes


Following up on from this apologetic, defensive, whiny bitch, blah blah advertising post. I’ve decided to change my view of the world. I’ve decided to stop being such a big twat about it and move along.

It doesn’t matter what you’re called, what kind of agency you’re from, or any of that crap. It’s about what you make. And whether it’s good or not.

I should have known better than to get drawn into a conversation about awards. It’s a trap. It’s a mugs’ game. But awards are addictive. It’s the closest most of us get to a pat on the head from mum and dad. Teacher’s not handing out gold stars any more. But the feeling of acceptance and recognition that creative people feel from awards isn’t far off. It’s hard to ignore their shiny allure. And of course we crow about them loudly when we win.

But we know that’s wrong. It should all be about the satisfaction that we get from making brilliant things. And the impact they have on real people. And clients.

Of the 6 projects I’ve been involved with over the last couple of days only 2 of them could be considered campaigns or in any way ‘advertising’. The others are about creating tools or services, or things that sit at the core of a business. Online systems that become the lifeblood of a company or brand.

Home - Manchester City FC

And right on cue: Poke just launched a new site yesterday. It’s for Manchester City Football Club. Go take a look. It’s very much the first stage of a massive journey. There have been a couple of minor glitches (and undoubtedly there will be a couple more. As we get nearer to the kick-off of the season the ‘Match Day Centre’ and new ticketing / seat-selector will launch and phase 2 will be complete. But the thing with a project like this is that the work will never be done. There will always be ways to make it better, more involving, more engagaing and more relevant to fans. That’s what makes it so bloody exciting.

This project has a huge cast of designers, project managers, many clients, photographers, developers, writers, content producers, etc. etc. etc. People who’ve dedicated months to defining, designing and building this beast. A big Poke team, but many from elsewhere too.

Interestingly it’s one of those projects that may never win awards. The innovation is subtle. The ‘big ideas’ and principles of the site are tucked away – and they’re things that have been decided, with the client, for the sake of the fans (no display advertising, no paid for video, integrated ticketing / shopping basket). But it works. For real people. In ways that they understand and will actually use.

And awards feel like a distant irrelevance when you see people like Gary make comments like this on fan sites:

We will certainly be the best in England when it comes to our website.

All the people involved in the making of the website should take a bow, you have done a fantastic job!

It makes you remember that the site will touch thousands and thousands of fans on a regular basis. And be a major vehicle in taking the club on their journey to becoming a global entertainment business (and hopefully a winning team). It will sell shirts, and tickets, build their brand, and become a destination for people from around the globe.

Lions schmions. It’s what Gary says that counts.

And perhaps the fact that we’re doing bigger, longer, more involved and complex projects like this is one of the reasosns why digital agencies are only taking home 12/83 Cyber Lions.

As a digital industry we need to make sure that the people who work on these massively important projects get their share of gold stars and pats on the back. They’re the winners in my book :-)

P.S. We will of course be whoring for awards at every possible opportunity.