Miami Nice

Sorry for lack of blogging. I’m in Miami.

I’m at the Clios Advertising Festival thingy. I’ll write some stuff about my impresions of what people have talked about and generally what’s going on when I’ve had a chance to digest and ponder. But in the meantime here’s some things that I’ve found interesting about Miami.

They have cool bikes, lots of big cruisers here:

Sometimes bikes have chickens on them:

There are R2D2 postboxes, which I’ve never seen before:

Starbucks really does sell music in the US now, bigtime:

And their touchscreen interface is pretty good:

You’re not allowed guns in the hotel.

It seems to be generally OK just to lie down wherever you like.

As I said I’ll post some real stuff again soon. But it is hard to sit down and think about doing a blog when the weather is nice. I’ve suddenly found a new respect for people who write blogs and come from places with nice weather…

A Couple of Cool Things


Burton have designed this (as yet unreleased) sleeping hoody. I’ve always struggled to find the perfect item of clothing for long journeys. This looks like the designers have nailed it (or at least had a damn good go). The Complex blog reports that it’s got:

  • integrated neck pillow in the hood
  • pull down light shield to cover eyes
  • cuff thumb holes
  • internal pocket for tickets and passports
  • hidden stash pocket with ear plugs
  • pit zips to keep you ventilated

So that’s one problem solved then.

But what about my issue with trainer storage? I have quite a few pairs of them and it’s tough to find something that holds lots, is usable, and doesn’t look too aweful. This thing looks pretty interesting. Although it’s only availible in the US.

Via: Josh Spear

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.

http://www.apple.com/iphone/keynote/

Families and Technology

This press release from Yahoo! and OMD apparantly shows a resergence of traditional values among tech-savvy families. Stuff like eating together being important and things like that.

There’s a lot of interesting nuggets in there, but my favourite bit is about the ‘43 hour day‘:

How jam-packed is daily family life? The Yahoo!/OMD study shows the power of multi-tasking in extending the typical day’s activities beyond 24 hours. In the U.S., respondents listed, on average, a total of more than 43 hours of daily activities, including time spent sleeping, working, commuting, as well as technology/media-based activities such as emailing, using an MP3 player, text messaging, and watching TV.

Yahoo! – Press Release

Steal this film

Picture 3.jpg

Following on from the Darknet post the other day, here’s some more on piracy in Sweden (and beyond). This 30 minute film gives a view of the P2P landscape (and especially the ‘bust’ on PirateBay – a major bittorrent site).

Obviously, given the group that produced the film, it’s coming at the argument from a certain direction. But there are some interesting bits in there.

I was surprised at the power that Hollywood has over the US government, and subsequently the lengths that they went to in order to ‘persuade’ the Swedish government to act against Pirate Bay. The backlash that this has generated in Sweden was also interesting, it would appear that many people are enraged by the US interfering and overturning domestic policy (which ultimately has led to the Pirate Party getting massive exposure and a sizable following).
I think the argument that’s put forward in the film that was most interesting talks about the fact that historically musicians were against recorded music, and the film industry was against VCRs. Both groups eventually turned these threats into revenue streams.

One commentator in the film recounts a Chinese proverb along the lines of:

When the wind rises, some people build walls. Others build windmills.

The ancient Chinese didn’t mention the fact that millions of others rush around looting stuff for free in all the confusion, but I guess that’s a much more modern predicament.

When I finished watching the film I didn’t end up feeling like my mind had been moved in either direction. It just made it clear that there really is a war going on, and there’s 2 groups of people who are determined to do things their way until they have to stop… But I did feel that one group was perhaps slightly more innovative and responsive than the other, no prizes for guessing which one.

Digital Creativity Revisited

Yesterday I posted this: Tony Davidson on Digital Creativity

I got into a bit of a rant about it. You’ll find it’s easy to bait anyone who works in digital in this way. In fact there’s probably a good sport in there somewhere. It’d be interesting to go blog-baiting and see just how much noise and repressed angst you could stir up.

Simon left a comment about how lots of digital agencies will end up as production houses, and you know what, he’s probably right. If you look at the US, you’ll see that there’s plenty of them around. And they do great online advertising. Really great online advertising.

But I’ve slept on it now and I’ve mellowed a bit. I don’t really mind what people think about the role of digital agencies. If we do good stuff and prove ourselves we’ll survive. And if we do really good stuff we’ll carve out our own special niche in the world. A ‘them vs. us’ argument is a silly thing to get bothered about. The debate about how the digital industry is going to pan out is as pointless as the never ending Mac vs. PC debate.

Ultimately it’s up to you, as a client, or as a computer purchaser to make your choice. You’ll end up with a different product or experience depending on your choice. I know it’s not a binary decision, there’s a whole load of ‘grey’ agencies in the middle who are in the middle, but focussing on that will ruin my analogy.

Anyway, whether you’re choosing a new computer or an agency to give you a bit of digital magic, you’ll either make the choice from the heart or from the head. Sometimes your choice will be based on empirical product evidence, othertimes it’ll be based on less tangible factors.

And no! I’m not trying to suggest that digital agencies are like Macs, that would just be spoiling for a fight.

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I’m going to the US of A

I might not post for a day or two (like that’s unusual!), because I’m going to New York to help judge the OneShow awards. It’s all a bit exciting for me. TTFN.