I’m in Istanbul

This photo isn’t supposed to represent Istanbul. It looks like a lovely city from what I’ve seen, it’s just something I can see out of my hotel window and I really liked it. For some reason I’m a big fan of diggers knocking the crap out of things whilst standing on top of them. (I’m sure an analyst would have a field day).

Anyway I’m here to talk at the Digital Age conference. I’m talking about Big Ideas this afternoon, and quite looking forward to it.

I’ve been debating whether or not to share this picture for a day or two. But I’ve decided that it’d be rude not to. When I got sent it I laughed out loud for a while. Then I thought. Oh crap, what have I / they done…


Oh well, it’s too late now.

10 Books I Heartily Recommend

Whilst trying to unblock blog block at the weekend I started thinking about the books that have been major influences in how I approach work stuff. And I was going to go back and start re-reading some of them to see if they’d kick-start any interesting thoughts.

Then I figured that I should share this list of books with people. Some of them are really well known and some of them are slightly culty books. Some people will know all of them. But I’m hoping that a few of you might find one or two new or interesting titles in the 10.

What amazed me was that you can get Being Digital for 7p on Amazon marketplace – at least you could when I first pulled the widget together. 7p for the book on Digital that started it all for me. It’s almost an insult.

And yes, if you click through from the above and buy stuff I’m using my Amazon referrer link so I’m selling you down the mucky river for a fast buck. If you’d rather not do that feel free to click this unsullied link to Amazon.co.uk and do the searching yourself – it won’t be any cheaper, but you’ll be denying my capitalist ass some filthy ill-gotten gains.

Lovely Web Art – Harm van den Dorpel

White Rectangle - Harm van den Dorpel, 2008

From the beautiful White Rectangle to the strangely captivating Ping Pong this guy has got some really lovely animations and web art in his portfolio. You won’t get it without seeing his styles of animation. You need to go and have a bit of a dig around his work and see it in motion: Harm van den Dorpel

I’m really in love with Codec Breeze (a series of pieces that use a weird and subtle animated effect that I think has been generated just using different levels of compression in parts of the image).

Ping Pong  -  Harm van den Dorpel, 2005

Outsourcing In-Housing And All That Jazz

The Men From The Agency

I’ve been having lots of bollocksy conversations with ‘industry types’ about whether doing production in-house or outsourcing it is the right thing to do. I’ve always been of the opinion that you need at least a good core of production in-house. Otherwise you miss out on lots of things – especially if you’ve got a good culture of sharing ideas, inspirations, frustrations and stuff.

I don’t think that’ll necessarily always be the case. If the digital side of the industry reaches a point of maturity that could always change. But given the fact that it’s an open platform that anyone can add to and help to extend and evolve I don’t see it being mature (in all respects) any time soon.

I was reminded that I’d not posted anything about this when I was watching the rather super Men From The Agency on BBC4 on Sunday Night. It’s about CPD who I’ve written about before. And Richard wrote a very good thing about how they were a New Media agency when this documentary was aired back in 2006.

The thing that made me think about the in-house/outsource debate was the way that Alan Parker and Ridley Scott used to be a totally vital and key part of the creative team. Making films in the basement of the agency and pushing what could be done in terms of ‘making stuff’. Perhaps I’m not familiar enough with the types of relationships that agencies have with directors and production companies today. But from the little experience I have, this looked like a much tighter unit.

It was only later on that Parker went and set up a separate production company at the request of some senior CDP dudes (if I remember correctly and I might not, I was nodding-off slightly at this point). I’m guessing that this departure and separation was at a point where they’d collectively made their point in terms of creative use and evolution of the medium.

When I say I’m guessing, I really am. But I felt that there was a parallel that helped me to self-justify my myopic view of the world even further. So I’m going to ride it until someone tells me I’m wrong.

My Talk at Under The Influence

Here’s the talk I did at Iris’ excellent Under the Influence day. It’s basically about digital experiences and magic and how the two are interconnected.

Hope it’s OK – from my perspective I think it wanders a bit at the end (I sort of ran out of preparation time). As usual I can’t bear to watch it in order to tell if it’s rubbish or not. I need to get over my fear of seeing and hearing myself, it makes it impossible to do anything on YouTube or the like.

I wish I’d got to see more of the day’s other talks but I was busy writing my presentation and doing other work. But now thanks to the magical internet and the generosity of Iris I can see them all online. Hooray.