Tag Archives: Poke

We Should Hire This Guy

2009_07_dannynathan2

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 ;-)

Sometimes It’s Hard

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Poke NY’s unofficial motto is Don’t Give Up (at least it was last time I was there). There’s various versions of it all round the office. At first I wasn’t sure I liked it. But I’ve grown to realise that it’s a really important skill and one that can’t be taught.

Everyone knows that passion for what you do is massively important. But it’s equally important to be able to hang onto that enthusiasm when it feels like the world is conspiring to beat it out of you.

I was at an IAB round table the other day chatting with people about ‘the industry’ and it’s really clear that no-one is finding it easy at the moment. Everyone’s got problems. Competition is hot for projects and is coming from all angles. It’s hard to find good people. Collaborations aren’t working properly. We’re still fighting the same old battles. But, perhaps if it was easy it’d be boring…

Don’t give up!

And whenever I’m having a hard time I always reassure myself with this simple thought: “My job’s not so bad, and at least nobody died”

Which makes me think of this clip from The Day Today, which makes me laugh, and then it’s all OK…

Note: this will only work until someone dies or gets killed at work, then I’ll be stuffed.

Creative Similarities?

On the David Elsewhere stuff Tim just commented:

I liked spike’s version from a year or two ago.

With a link to this video:

It’s a different thing doing a different job. But I can see how one would perhaps make you think of the other. For sure.

Now I’ve no idea if Tim’s comment is a thinly veiled jibe or just a simple statement. I don’t know Tim. Or his intentions, so it’s really hard to tell.

He could be saying:

YOU ARE THIEVING FUCKTARDS WHO HAVE NICKED THE IDEA OF USING A GUY WHO MOVES FUNNY AROUND AN URBAN ENVIRONMENT FOR ADVERTISING PURPOSES

Or he could just be saying that he really quite likes this video and there’s just something about it that reminds him of the above Spike Jonez directed ad from the year 2000. But there’s something about the use of the word ‘version’ that makes me think there’s a hint of jibeyness about it. Or I could be suffering from blog-comment paranoia…

Ah well.

But it does relate to something that happened to me earlier on today. I met up with some lovely creative chaps who I’ve known for a while. They wanted to chat about an idea for a project. It just so happened that we’d already done exactly the same thing 4 years ago on the internet. Like totally exactly the same. So we laughed about it and moved on to chatting about some other ideas instead.

But if they’d talked to someone else about it there would be an identical thing being conceived and made at this exact moment in time. And at some point in a month or two people would be saying: “Oh my god, they ripped off that thing from 4 years ago”. And I’d never have known any different, apart from the fact that I really like these guys and I know that they wouldn’t intentionally have done that. But in another time-space scenario I’d have probably been dead cynical about it. For sure.

The Tea Buddy shenanigans a few months ago is yet-another example of a similarish thing being spotted and jumped on.

Even the Orange Balloon Race got accused of being un-original (see first comment here) because someone else had made a Balloon Race Game that existed on the Internet before (in spite of the fact it was just a Balloon Race game that took place inside one bit of flash on one site on the Internet – which seems hugely different to me).

I guess I’m taking a long way round to say:

  • In our line of work there’s doesn’t appear to be enough ideas to go round – have we run out?
  • During development it’s really hard to do global due-diligence on a creative idea (and certainly to check on an execution or production technique).
  • However, once something is live on the internet it’s very easy for well connected and observant individuals to spot similarities in things
  • Or are (un)happy creative coincidences just a fact of life? (I just remembered this great site that groups together ads that have almost identical ideas and art direction)

It’s tough. And it’s only going to get worse as we get more connected and more people see more stuff that they can make more connections between.

I guess the only answer is to try to have seen everything in the world ever. Or perhaps the creative industries should try to set up a global panel of idea guardians who can check all concepts at an early stage and make sure they don’t remind them of something else?

But for what it’s worth, as far as I know, no-one involved in the making of the David Elsewhere stuff has ever seen that Spike Jonez ad (at least not that they’re admitting).

EDIT: I just remembered another thing! My brain must be working OK-ish tonight. This point made by James Cooper ex-of-Dare now of Anomaly NY on Scampblog.

2. Be original. Same rules apply to when all you lot who moan about whether Bravia or Guinness or John Lewis was original or not. Poke’s nice unlimited site looks a little like a Motorola site, our nice Bravia site looks a little like a Pioneer site. The point is it’s not such a leap to imagine that creative brains come up with the same things. An amount of copying goes on, but these things right themselves in the end. No one is going to make a serious career out of being unoriginal – apart from The Chemical Brothers. There are trends in digital in the same way there are in TV. If you really want to stick out then you have to do something different and we all know how hard that is these days.

Well said that man.

The full, excellent, post on ‘how to do digital’ is right here.

David Elsewhere and Motorola

Here’s a new thing that Poke have just finished. Well it’s not completely new. It’s taken a bit of time to get out into the world for various reasons. in fact some of the very eagle-eyed amongst you might have noticed that I posted some of these clips once before – then they vanished ;-)

We spoke to Motorola about how they could do something that was a kind of hybrid between content and product demo (I blogged a couple of other examples that cropped up during research phase). Anyway they liked the idea and wanted us to create something a little different.

These videos are what we ended up with. In each one of them David Elsewhere ‘illustrates’ a key feature of the phone in a way that only he could…

The clips are totally new to YouTube (I just posted them right now) so don’t be surprised if they’ve had 3 views each – maybe they’ll never get more than 3 views. Who knows?

ModeShift: feature that allows you to switch between music and phone mode in one click

Camera: it should be obvious what a camera is

HapticTouch: A thing that makes it feel like there’s buttons, but there aren’t really…

CrystalTalk: for clear voice calls

The phone can be found here: http://direct.motorola.com/hellomoto/rokre8/

There’s a YouTube channel that contains all the clips here: http://www.youtube.com/user/motopoke. Or the official Motorola site is here (containing higher quality versions of the videos if that’s your bag).

upl8.tv from Poke NY

The chaps at Poke NY have just spawned a new thing of total awesomeness.

Basically it’s a YouTube viewer that allows you to browse YouTube clips using just the space bar. You visit the site and start watching. If you don’t like the clip. Hit space and you’ll move on to the next one. They’ve loaded it up with a bunch of clips that they like (which is a pretty good selection in its own right).

Visit http://upl8.tv to check it out.

But it’s also incredibly easy to create your own experience, all you have to do is add your term after the trailing slash in the URL.

So if you want to view a selection of clips featuring kittens you’d just go to http://upl8.tv/kittens.

Or if you wanted to randomise a bunch of 80s pop videos just check http://upl8.tv/80s+pop.

URLs + spacebar. A great navigational combo for drunk / stoned / lazy people.

Balloonacy is Go! Hooray!

After lots of late nights and hard work by lots of valiant people at Poke the Orange Balloon Race is finally live and running. And it seems to be working like a dream (fingers crossed). You probably saw it obscuring the front of the site when you first arrived…

The servers are getting hammered with about 14 Trillion Terrabytes a second. But I guess that’s the price you pay for doing some kind of distributed, fancy-pants thing. You live and learn. You live and learn.

More Balloonacy

There’s been some really good comments about the Orange Balloon Race. Including a couple of people mentioning some issues with explanations and UI on the site. We’ve made a bunch of improvements and hopefully iit’s getting better all the time…

It’s great to see the balloon widget working so nicely (see below). Thanks to the Gigya widget platform you can get support for your balloon on loads of different types of sites.

When the site goes live this widget will show your progress – where you are in the race – and allow friends to give you a boost. All good stuff.

It’s all getting really exciting. I can’t wait for the main thing to go live. In testing it’s all looking pretty spiffy. I hope people like it…

The Last Ever Clubpub Mix

Some people might know about ClubPub, a lot of you won’t. Basically it was a very irregular night that the Poke people have been organising over the last 5 years. It all started out with us just renting out a pub on Wednesday nights and turning them into a sort of club. Lashings of smoke and lazers can turn any pub into a banging nitespot ;-)

Anyway after 5 years we decided to call it a day. The last couple of nights felt a bit tired and lacking in direction so we thought we should have a massive blowout to kill it off rather than letting it die a long drawn out fight for life. That’s what we did on Wednesday.

Crank (the Poke band) made their stunning debut (causing massive crowd chaos as seen above). The legendary AcidMalc (a clubpup favourite) played a storming set. And Dickon and Vasco both took the decks for a spin.

I had the honour of playing the last set. Which was really fun. Apart from the venue decided to close almost an hour earlier than we’d agreed (apparently they weren’t taking enough money at the end of the night – I think people had drunk enough quite frankly).

Here’s an extended version of the set I played (this is what it would have been if I hadn’t been cut short).

Obviously sounds better after many pints of lager ;-)

Direct Download Link (114Mb)

  1. Shhake it – Diplo
  2. Hard to Beat (Axwell Mix) – HardFi
  3. Just Can’t Get Enough (Dirty South Mix) – Depeche Mode
  4. Body Language – Booka Shade
  5. Rez – Underworld
  6. Higher State of Conciousness – Josh Wink
  7. Brimfull of Asha (Les Ryhthm Digitales Mix) –
  8. In My Arms (Tocadisco Mix) – Mylo
  9. Trash (South Central Mix) – The Whip
  10. D.A.N.C.E. (Stuart Price Mix) – Justice
  11. Sound of da Police – KRS1
  12. Gold Digger (High Contrast Mix) – Kanye West
  13. Let’s Dance – Hi Tack
  14. Push the Feeling (Robby Rivera Ibiza Mix) – Nightcrawlers
  15. Just a Groove – Mighty Dub Kats
  16. Zombie Nation – Kernkraft 400
  17. Blue Monday (Hardfloor Mix) – New Order
  18. I Feel Love (Danny Howell Mix) – Donna Summer
  19. Yeke Yeke (Hardfloor Mix) – Mory Kante
  20. Put Your Hands Up For Detroit – Claude Von Stroke
  21. Waterfall (Unknown Mix) – Atlantic Ocean
  22. Don’t Go (Dirty Freek Mix) – Awesome 3
  23. Hideaway (Young Punx Mix) – De’Lacy
  24. I’ve Got The Music In Me – Kiki Dee
  25. On A Ragga Tip – SL2
  26. I Should Be So Good For You – Dennis Waterman