Hugh MacLeod’s On Fire

Well not literally, although he could be. Although if he was he’d probably have Twittered about it. Visit for his latest bout of back-of-business-card cartoonism.

One that made me do a super-chuckle:

jobs and bono

Heroic Ads – New Bravia

bravia play doh

I can’t help myself.

I’ve been contacted by the online PR guys who are ‘seeding’ the new Bravia ad. Part of me wants to not play ball, but the other part of me wants to see what’s going on. I do like the ads and I’m interested to see what next…

I got contacted by their PR guys with this:

Set to follow in the footsteps of its predecessors (“balls” and “paint”) the new ad is a closely guarded secret, but I can tell you that it is currently being shot in New York; ‘Gorgeous’ director, Frank Budgen, will be directing; and this time the theme is ‘play-doh’.

Ruth Speakman from Sony will be ‘Twittering’ throughout the filming of the advert, providing early glimpses as the shoot unfolds. Ruth’s experiences live on set can be found at:

It’s definitely shaping up to be another ‘hero’ ad. All eyes on the ad. The advert being the thing that we’re all waiting for. And suckers like me are doing the bidding of Lord Advert. They’ve even got people ‘twittering’ (their inverted commas not mine) about the making of the ad. I wonder if there’s a Facebook group called ‘waiting for the new Bravia advert’?

But the thing is, there’s only a few adverts out there that can actually sustain or command this kind of attention. And to be honest if this one’s more ‘paint’ than ‘balls’ I think it could be their last opportunity to ride on the goodwill created by beautiful bouncing balls.

It’s not an uncommon thing for many of us to get a brief that’s basically “make this ad famous”. Sometimes it works; if the ad deserves to be famous. Oftentimes it fails; because it doesn’t. It’s not that tricky a formula to work out. It is tricky to tell someone (or admit to yourself) that yours is one of the latter.

An ad that tried to hero-ise itself without the balls to back it up (‘scuse the pun) is the recent Ford one with the balloons in it. This one if you’ve not seen it:

The first time I saw it was in the Metro, they’d run a piece on how it was going to be shown during some football match, and it had cost loads of money, and it had lots of landmarks in it. OK, so what, now you’re going to have to prove something to me.

The second time I saw it was in Victoria station. Where they’d parked a Ford Mondeo in the station with loads of plasma screens, a sound system, etc. And you know what you could do? You could sit in the car AND WATCH THE ADVERT! I thought this was pretty lame and a bit navel-gazingly-rubbish. That was until I visited Amsterdam a few weeks ago and it was eclipsed by this (at the airport):

As you’re going along the travelator, the ADVERT FOLLOWS YOU!

It’s just like Minority Report, only shit.

What a waste of a massive long screen that cost loads of money. You could do something great with that. Seriously.

It’s not that I don’t like the Ford advert, it’s fine. But in my humble opinion it’s wasn’t ready to be hero-ised.

Here’s hoping the Bravia ad deserves the expectation that’s being built up around it…

Twitter Serendipity


I was looking at Dan’s Twitter feed earlier and I saw that he’d noted (whilst at Glastonbury) that the Klaxons sounded like, as I think he put it: “a bag of cats”. I went back to try and find the tweet as I agreed with it so wholeheartedly (and it had made me chuckle). But it seemed to have vanished off the front page, so I went back a page.

And I saw these two posts:

dan b’s twiter

This may seem really silly, but I’ve also been stopped from taking photos in Whole Foods Market (in NY) as well as in Bill’s. So that was one thing. But I’ve also listened to the music of Ricardo Villalobos and it’s made me wonder about odd concepts too.

And I had another moment of Twitter Bonding with Dino a few weeks ago. He’d twittered about being in a club listening to Francois K, and I’d been listening to the same DJ earlier on in the day on my iPod. Which suddenly made the world feel very small very quickly.

Just a couple of rubbish co-incidences you might say, and maybe you’re right.

But I think that might be why micro-blogging is so interesting. It throws up many more instances of coincidence and serendipity. So the banality of ‘what I’m doing now’ when it’s networked with other people who might be doing similar things at similar times actually has a role and a purpose, even if it is a hugely transient sense of belonging.

Twitter Screensaver

I did something very simple with Twitter that I quite like.

I took the RSS feed from my ‘friends’ page. Then fed it into the Mac RSS screensaver (which is installed as standard on a Mac). Now whenever my screensaver activates I get a rundown of what my friends are doing. I guess if you have updates on it’s kind of pointless, but I don’t so it’s a nice passive way to get a snapshot of what people are up to.

It looks a little something like this:

Twitter Screensaver
from iaintait

Some More Thoughts On Twitter

From Ian Curry at frog design: Twitter: The Missing Messenger

He makes the connection between Twitter and Tumblelogs too. But there’s two bits in his post that I especially like.

basically blogging reduced to what the Russian linguist Mikhail Bakhtin
called “the phatic function.” Like saying “what’s up?” as you pass
someone in the hall when you have no intention of finding out what is
actually up, the phatic function is communication simply to indicate
that communication can occur.


Or is it, as one of my co-workers pithily put forth, merely “Dodgeball for people who don’t go out”.

Or is it both ;-)

Blogging Without Writing

I don’t think I’ve ever written about Tumblelogs before. Partly because I didn’t think I could figure out what they were or why they existed. But I think I’ve finally sussed it with a bit of help from this Wikipedia definition of Tumblelog.

Tumblelogs are basically blogs for people with ADD. You don’t actually have to write any commentary. They’re just a way of posting lots of stuff fast. Which has the potential to be a really great platform – or a really shocking one in the wrong hands ;-).

In some ways they’re almost like a cross between a blog and Twitter – sort of…

Now there’s a great tool which enables you to set up a Tumblelog really really fast – I’ve just put one together in well under half an hour. The tool is called Tumblr and it’s great! Really clearly and cleanly put together.

If you’re someone who’s been thinking about starting some kind of blog, but is scared about having to write too much stuff I can’t recommend Tumblr enough. Sure it doesn’t have comments and things like that – but that’s the point, Tumblelogs are a quick-and-dirty-stream-of-consciousness-type-of-blog and you don’t want other people mucking that up do you?

And whaddya know Tumblr has been built by Davidville the guys who built the fantastic Senduit that I blogged about a while ago.

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Twitter Mobile – It’s the Little Things

Just set up Twitter to work with my mobile. And this just exemplifies the thought and smartness that have gone into the application.

twitter screengrab

And what’s so good about it? The code that you have to text in, is all made up of letters that are on the first keypress of your mobile phone. So instead of having to click your 2 button 3 times to get to letter C. They’ve made sure that they don’t use the letter C.

I’m guessing that a lot of people won’t spot it. But that’s why I love it so much. They’ve thought about it and just done it. Saving people time and effort with a tiny little touch.

Twitter developers I salute you.

Twittering On, and On


Seems like the world is going Twitter crazy at the moment.

I’ve been signed up for a while now, but was a little confused about what it’s actually good for. I love the simplicity of it. It’s really easy to get it up and running and very simple to update. At first I saw it as a kind of Blogger-lite, but there’s more to it than that. A lot more. And I think people have only just started scratching the surface of what it can be used for.

There’s a good article here on some productive users for Twitter.

The thing that confuses me a little bit is that I might be wanting to use my Twitter-ing for a few different things at the same time, but currently I can’t. I guess that’s why people are asking for some kind of tagging to be introduced.

Dive in and join the Twitter fun, you can find me here:

Oh, and if Twitter breaks you get one of the most interesting custom error screens ever (plus it’s got an all important ‘continue’ link which keeps you moving!)…