• What is a Geek? (please answer in binary)

    On: March 14, 2008
    In: rivetings
    Views: 822
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    I was in an focus group yesterday for a certain science-fiction based TV channel yesterday (yes, that’s right, aren’t you the regular little Sherlock Holmes…), and we were debating how you might define a viewer of said TV channel.

    I wish I’d seen this from Jack Schofield on The Guardian’s technology section beforehand, we’d have cracked it in seconds…

    Media_httpfeedingthep_ixggd

    (click it to enlarge, non-geeks…)

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  • Stop! (hammertime)

    On: March 14, 2008
    In: rivetings
    Views: 977
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    I first saw this on the excellent PSFK site… it’s a group called improv anywhere, who gathered a group of 200 or so folk, took them down to Grand Central station in NYC, and froze

    <embed src=”http://www.youtube.com/v/jwMj3PJDxuo&amp;rel=1&amp;border=0″ type=”transparent” wmode=”application/x-shockwave-flash” height=”355″ width=”425″/>

    What I love about this is if you did in ten years ago, then about 1000 people at the station would see it, and maybe tell a few of their friends (telling someone about it isn’t the same as seeing it of course)… and that would be it.

    At the time of writing, over 8.3 million people have watched this on youtube.

    Which just goes to show, if you’re going to do experiential stuff in the real world, create a film of it, and it (can) reach millions… and if you’re talking those sorts of numbers, the budget for doing it gets proportionally smaller and smaller.   It’s got to be better than handing out a few free samples at a train station.

    Anyway, Emma and I are thinking of using a follow-up thing they did as ‘feeding’ for an actionplanning session… how could the following not prompt some interesting ideas…

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  • Making music a ‘commercial proposition’

    On: March 13, 2008
    In: rivetings
    Views: 908
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    I was listening to an interview on the Guardian Technology podcast between Charles Arthur of the Guardian and Matt Phillips of the BPI, about the new file sharing legislation, and (inevitably) it became a conversation about the music industry’s pricing of downloads…

    CA: But it’s not [about music being] freely available… if all the albums on itunes cost three pounds rather than eight pounds, [consumers] would be much happier about buying them, because the incremental cost is so much less?

    MP: If every album on iTunes was available for 50p that would be very attractive, but that doesn’t necessarily make for a commercial model that can encourage future investment in music and pay all the people involved in the creation and investment in that product, so while I can understand that consumers would want everything for free, that clearly isn’t a commercial proposition.

    Surely if ‘all the people involved in’ making music can’t be funded from £8 per album on iTunes, then the answer isn’t to keep charging £8 to fund them all… surely it’s to get less people involved, or pay them less, and charge a price that consumers feel happy to pay?

    A successful ‘commercial proposition’  works two ways; it’s not just what the producer is willing to sell at, but what people are willing to buy at too…

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  • Research just in

    On: March 12, 2008
    In: rivetings
    Views: 1251
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    Media_httpfeedingthep_ujwsh

    Thanks Thaer, it’s good to know…

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  • “Battle Actionplanning”

    On: March 12, 2008
    In: rivetings
    Views: 1049
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    Here’s something I tried this morning for the first time when running an actionplanning session, which I’m going to dub ‘battle actionplanning’ for the immediate future.  Essentially, it’s a bit like this:

    Media_httpfeedingthep_bmclg

    Remember “War Games” with Matthew Broderick?  No, OK – the plot was thus: in the early eighties, the US have a computer system which plays out ‘scenarios’ of nuclear war – who launches first, where they strike and so on – in order to perfect their defence systems.  Matthew Broderick, in best Bueller guise as anti-establishment kid, hacks the system, makes them think there’s a nuclear war on (by accident, of course, and bleak hilarity ensues…).

    Anyway, the premise is essentially ‘take two teams, and have them ‘battle’ each other, striking and counter-striking, around a common theme’. 

    Firstly, set up the scenario for them, and split them into two factions (a ‘pro’ and an ‘anti’, or two competitors, or whatever).

    Then get them to go away, come up with ideas for five minutes, and come back and present those first ideas and positioning.

    Then, once they’ve learned what the opposition is doing, get them to go away again, and come up with new ideas in light of the knowledge they just gained about the opposition.  Then they come back and present those, and you can repeat this as often as you like.

    The result?  It worked pretty well for a first time, people got into it (the competitive element helps, I reckon), and it gave us lots of interesting areas to work up ideas around for a real campaign.  It’s also quite a high energy, and really rips people out of the ‘day-to-day’ and into the space you want them to be thinking in.  To be repeated, methinks…

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