Credit Crunch Pricing – Free Internet and Coffee!

The economies of the world may be crumbling, but on Brick Lane you can now get Free Coffee and Internet. We’ll be OK.

WWF Paper Boat and Plane ‘Live’

Hoorah! The big paper plane and paper boat are real, and they’re down by the Thames.

Don’t forget to sign up to lobby for a stronger climate change bill (one that includes shipping and aviation for starters) at:

Then, once you’ve done your bit, you can nip down to Gabriel’s Wharf and see them (if you’re in London that is). If you need directions here they are:

View Larger Map

Here’s someone writing their name on the boat:

And here’s my name on the boat (thanks Asi for finding it).

It’s all going to be there until Monday (which I think is the day that you’re likely to see lots of MPs hanging about if that’s your thing).

But most importantly go here: and sign the online petition. It’s dead easy (and quick).

Big Fire

Ooooh there’s a big fire in East London, you can see it out of our window…

The Fire Brigade say:

Warehouse fire – Waterden Road
The London Fire Brigade has been called to reports of a fire at a warehouse on Waterden Road, East London, E15. Fifteen fire engines and around 75 firefighters are currently fighting the blaze. The Brigade has taken over 150 calls. We were called at 1206.

Does Starbucks Community = Actual Community?

starbucks hove

I’ve got a theory. Actually calling it a theory is over playing it. It’s more like a suspicion, or maybe an inkling. Whichever of the two fits best.

I’ve been into a few different branches of Starbucks recently and noticed that they’ve all got these ‘community’ boards. I suspect they’re a global thing. They’re basically free spaces for local people to stick up notices (the photo above is from the Hove branch).

I’m hypothesising that you can tell how active a local community is by the density of notices on the board. However, I’m basing this on a very limited sample of 5 Starbucks branches.

  • 3 in the City in London – very little community
  • 2 in Brighton and Hove – lots of community, typically based around Tai Chi and tofu-weaving ;-)

Anyone have any observations to support or destroy my suspicions?

Nike, is it Supersonic?

Nike Supersonic

Right now you can’t move in London without seeing some kind of ad for Nike Supersonic.

According to the blog spam I got the other day:

“Nike is launching an exclusive invitation only event for 3,000 people in London to push their pace through the sound barrier with Nike+ Supersonic. 1,000 runners and 2,000 of their guests. One night of music fuelled speed.

On the night of 17 November 2007 at a secret London venue, London’s fastest 1,000 will sprint a floodlit 1K course, cheered on by 2,000 of their mates, ending with an invite-only, exclusive gig.

Contenders compete for tickets at four weekly 100m speed trials across London throughout October, starting on the 12th in Finsbury Park. Each trial will feature live DJs, athletes, celebrities and Nike gear. The fastest 1,000 runners from the trials will get the opportunity to compete with two guest passes.

Pre-registration for trials, videos, ring and alert-tones can be downloaded at which will continue to be updated with more information for the next couple of months.”

For me, another great example of Digital Agencies sucking at blogger relations. Nothing personal.

I’d had a word with myself about not writing negative things about campaigns and only writing nice things. But being as I got a horrible piece of blogger outreach only a day or two after my post, I feel like I’ve been given permission to comment. And comment I shall. (I’ve tried to be as balanced as I can).

What I like about the campaign is their use of MySpace. Setting the microsite inside MySpace does some good things. It makes it connectible and commentable and sits it inside a ‘relevant’ social network.

Unfortunately the microsite is nothing more than a big flash movie with not much to it. A very nicely produced flash intro. Really very nice. But it does feel a bit, well, shallow. Oh and there’s some downloads.

They’ve also done a great job of getting it ‘out there’ (aside from the impersonal and heavy handed blogger stuff). But even that seems to have worked given the coverage they’ve got. Being a big sexy brand like Nike means you can get away with a lot…

But the online stuff isn’t bad. It’s what’s missing from the campaign that I feel a bit funny about. I’m not sure if this is supposed to be a replacement for, or an evolution of, Run London. But to me it feels like neither.

run londonLike many people I’m a big fan of Run London and lots of the stuff that was done around it (especially some of the online and mobile things). But what made Run London brilliant was the sense of empowerment and the fact that it was based around an insight and an event that ALL runners could feel inspired by.

Supersonic feels really ‘elite’. As a rubbish runner it has no relevance to me. I don’t want to go and turn up to an event and fail. Nobody likes to fail, and I’m guessing that only people who think that they’re good enough to run 100m very fast will bother to turn up.

Even the design feels ‘elite’. Using light graffiti and moody effects makes the whole thing feel a bit ‘techno sphincter’ (sorry that’s a phrase one of our clients brilliantly used to describe that macho matrix-esque design aesthetic)

Maybe there’s reasons why mass participation isn’t the objective this time around, but the whole thing leaves me cold. A real shame when the Run London stuff had me all warmed up.

Lots of style. Odd substance if you ask me.

How Much For An Ad On A Bus in Google Street View?

If you’ve not seen it yet Street View in Google Maps is amazing. Lifehacker reports that it’s now in 15 US cities (and it’s coming soon to the UK judging by the fact that we saw a Google cam car driving round London the other day).


I’ve you’ve not mucked around with it, get on a map of NY or Chicago and have a play with Street View. It’s almost more impressive than Google Earth.

While I was playing I came across this:


And wondered what’s the value of a bus side inside Google maps? It’s lot more appealing to me than the Coke Zero ads in the UK ;-)

My Eclectic Score is…

My eclectic music score is 90 out of 100 (according to this nifty script).

It also figures out an extended list of recommended artists calculated thusly:

The following script takes the 20 top artists in your musical profile from, and finds the collection of top 5 similar artists for this top 20. The resulting is a list of artists similar to your preferred artists. As the list is larger (maximum = 100), your musical preference is more diverse.

The 90 related artists for my profile are:

!!!, Alex Smoke (2), Andrew Bird, Anthony Rother, Arab Strap, Arctic Monkeys, Audio Werner, Autechre, Biosphere, Black Eyed Peas, Boards of Canada, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Booka Shade, Bright Eyes, Caribou, Cassius, Chris Clark, Clark, DJ Koze, DJ Shadow, DMX Krew, Daedelus, Damien Rice, Deaf Center, Digitalism, Dntel, Dominik Eulberg, Efdemin, Ellen Allien & Apparat, Elliott Smith (2), Felix da Housecat, Four Tet (2), Franz Ferdinand, Gabriel Ananda, Gui Boratto (2), Henrik Schwarz, I-F, Interpol, Iron & Wine (2), Isolée, J Dilla, James Yorkston and The Athletes, Jaylib, Jimmy Edgar, Julien Neto, Junior Boys, Justus Köhncke (2), Kanye West, Kelis, LCD Soundsystem, Legowelt, MF DOOM, Madvillain, Marsen Jules, Mathias Kaden, Michael Mayer, Modjo, My Latest Novel, Mylo, Múm, Nathan Fake (2), New Young Pony Club, Nick Drake, OutKast, Quasimoto, RJD2, Reinhard Voigt, Ricardo Villalobos (2), Sebo K, Smog, Squarepusher (2), Sufjan Stevens, Superpitcher (2), Swod, The Arcade Fire, The Boats, The Decemberists, The Future Sound of London, The Higher Intelligence Agency, The Knife, The Orb, The Roots, The Strokes, The Underdog Project, Tiefschwarz, Tiga, Trentemoller, Ulrich Schnauss, Vitalic, Von Von Von

I wondered why the artists weren’t linked, then I read this, which explains what happens when a scripting meme like this goes ‘viral’…

Toshio Iwai’s Tenori-On From Yamaha

Toshio Iwai has made a load of cool audio widgety things. The thing I know best is Electroplankton on the Nintendo DS. But he’s done lots of other stuff too. I’ve just come across his latest device to hit the streets, Tenori-On, it’s a bit like this:

As a piece of design I really like it, especially when you see it’s double sided!!!

There’s a UK launch party for the thing in a couple of weeks with performances and DJs and stuff. It’s at Phonica in London (and I think there’s one in Manchester too, but I can’t find the details). More info on their page:

I could get quite needy for a thing like this. But it looks like it going to be about $1000 which is a lot for a plinky plonky toy…

UPDATE: Full UK site is here: (it’s empty at the moment), a better global site is here and the Manchester night is at Mint Lounge.

London 2012 Shit Poster

London 2012 Olympic Logo Shit Poster

Wow. People are still hating that logo!

Saw these on Brick Lane yesterday. There’s no URL or obvious association with anything. Just a pure statement of hatred for the London 2012 Olympic Logo, nothing more.