Going Underground

Is it really possible to overlay music onto the London Underground map? Each line representing a genre, giving proximity and intersections real meanings? Sounds bloody impossible to me. But someone’s given it a red-hot go. Nice work – Going underground from Guardian Unlimited: Culture Vulture

PowerPoint Kills

I’m not someone that believes PowerPoint is inherently evil, it’s not. It has some flaws (as does most software), but I reckon the thing that hurts it the most is the use of templates. The whole thing is set up with bullet points as the default setting, which means that using bullets is the lazy man’s option. Whilst they can be a good way to ‘outline’ your presentation, as a way of getting people to engage they’re rubbish.

(Just as an aside: one thing I’ve wondered over the years – do MBAs teach people that more is more, especially when considering words on a PowerPoint chart? I’ve noticed a strange correlation).

Here’s a great article about appropriateness of presentation styles, from the always insightful ‘Creating Passionate Users‘.

A list of other recent posts that put me in awe of this blog:

Happy Reading.

ConQwest

I’m doing a talk at the Mobile Marketing conference next week. And in my researching of interesting mobile marketing ideas came across this amazing promotion for Qwest in the US.

It’s a city-wide treasure hunt using semacodes
– nothing particularly innovative there – we’ve pitched mobile treasure hunts lots of times (and quite honestly never been 100% sure of the idea).

But…

Make it a big contest between ‘schools’, and throw in some huge big inflatable creatures and hey presto! You’ve got a winner.

Even if the participation rates are tiny. Who could fail to notice groups of people running round a city with 20 foot high animals, and subsequently have conversations about it. Nice!

BlockJam

sony blockjamI was checking out a BoingBoing post on LED puzzle blocks which look pretty awesome in themselves. But there’s a footnote that links to a Sony project called BlockJam which just blew me away. (Check the video of the prototype).

It’s a musical hardware interface made up of LED blocks that can be joined together to create musical structures.
Continue reading BlockJam

Intersting Instalations

Instalation ImageIntersting instalations by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer. I’m always interested in public space instalations – this guy’s latest project in the East Midlands looks to be really impressive. For a start he claims to be using the world’s most powerful projector which is always going to be exciting! Residents of Derby, Leicester, Lincoln, Northampton and Nottingham watch out!

Some of his other work is really nice too.

Bouncy Balls!

sony bouncy ballsSony Bouncy Balls TV advert. For me this is one of the greatest ads of recent times. Not only is it a thing of great beauty. It’s executed brilliantly. It demonstrates, in a way that everyone can understand, the key product benefit. Oh, and a lovely soundtrack too. [As an aside Veneer by Jose Gonzales is one of my favourite albums of the year so far].

But that’s only half the story…

The other side of what makes this ad so brilliant is the fact that so many people knew about the ad even before it had been edited. The use of Flickr to create buzz around the event of dropping the balls. The releasing of the ‘making of’ documentary before the advert itself.

Very very smart. My hat is off.

Hulger and Skype

hulger phoneNik, one of my co-partners at Poke has, in my opinion, finally nailed a proper useful-use for his Hulger Phones. Although an interesting design statement and a humerous novelty when attached to a mobile, I don’t think anyone would really use them in the longer term. But, they sure beat a crappy headset for VOIP. So a partnership with Skype seems like a winner to me!

Talking Point for Orange

talkingpoint screengrabHere’s a little something I’ve been working on for a good while now TalkingPoint for Orange. It’s a hybrid between a poll and a discussion forum. The objective being to give people a chance to leave their opinions on issues in an interesting and textured fashion. Allowing people to either just register their agreement with a simple, single-click interaction. Or, if they wish, to go further and leave comments.

So far the results are really promising and we’re seeing high levels of interaction and relatively low levels of abuse (which is nice). The team that worked on it have done a great job – and as usual encountered all kinds of interesting ‘features’ in Flash ;-)