Category Archives: user generated content

Benevolent Society celebrates 200 years of hope

Our client, Australia’s oldest charity, The  Benevolent Society (http://benevolent.org.au) briefed us to celebrate their 200 years anniversary this year. We created a campaign site that engaged supporters, politicians and the academic community to answer the question “What future changes are you hoping for?”.

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The site celebrates TBS’s 200 year history as well as the future 200 years. The core creative idea is ‘Hopes for Change

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The Last 200 Years:
http://www.benevolent.org.au/200–year–celebration/last–200
The Next 200 Years:
http://benevolent.org.au/200–year–celebration/next—200

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The submitted hopes are ideal for sharing on TBS’ Facebook page. And the site also integrates an external service called ‘History Pin’. This allows Australians to add their personal historical documentation of the past:
http://benevolent.org.au/200–year–celebration/history—pin

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Following on from that, Reactive co-created an innovative on- / offline installation at VIVID Sydney:
http://www.reactive.com/news/whats-new/vivid-sydney-features-work-from-reactive-and-the-benevolent-society.html

This tunnel installation reacted with beautiful light changes to ‘hopes’ submitted via SMS, email or web site.

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Parents as storytellers

Anton Buchner contacted me on Twitter with this great ‘parents as storytellers’ project you can help make happen. It might interest you if you have young children and would like to take your bed time story reading to the next level. It’s promising to be very enjoyable for both sides.

Anton and friends are putting together a book, helping you not only to read a story to them but  to imagine one, on the fly. And in turn animate your kids to do the same.

Imagination Stories on Pozible

Imagination Stories on Pozible

Check out Anton’s post on it and if you like the idea, contribute to it via their page on the crowd funding site Pozible. They have already raised more than two thirds of their goal, so please give them the last nudge. You can also join their Facebook page.

Here is how Anton came up with the idea:

“I used to create imagination stories for my children (who are now 17, 15, 12). They were based on getting them to give me 3 random and eclectic words and I would weave them into a short and fun story with a beginning, middle and an end. The point was not to just read books AT them but to engage them IN a story. Getting them to help describe scenery, people, places and create names as the story went along. Soon they were asking me for 3 words and creating their very own stories! The more I spoke to friends about it, the more I discovered that they weren’t doing this. However they loved the idea. So I though let’s help families who may not have an initial creative spark. (…)  So I’m creating a facilitation book called “Imagine What Happens Next” with illustrations (by Sophie Scahill) and story starters, that parents and children can unleash their imagination with.”

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Illustration by Sophie Scahill

Update:
I am very happy that the project has already reached its target. You can keep on contributing for your copy of the book and having your name printed in it.

Digital Trends 2013

In digital agencies we often work in uncharted territory and therefore spend much time thinking about the big question “What’s Next?”. Where and how do we spend our future creative efforts? For the benefit of brands, clients and agencies alike, we better get that one right. Read up on these three reports: Razorfish’s Outlook, Reactive’s Perspectives and VJ-Isobar’s FYI – and make the right calls for the future.

My agency Reactive‘s Perspectives ( free PDF download Slideshare version ) covers topics like ‘Who really owns your social content?‘, ‘The Personalisation of Everything‘ and ‘How to create great work‘.

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On our Facebook page we accompany these articles with some shareable graphs – extra points scored by using Venn diagrams.

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Facebook Home – a cross generational threat?

Just discovered the new Facebook Home concept. As my mate Ben Cooper of The Monkeys predicts, see the (Android) servers crashing on the 12th of April.

Good to see that they didn’t throw this idea into an overwrought cinematic drama and tell us that our phones are actually like chairs. Try sitting on them, you will see, they are not.

Otherwise I leave it to this (mobile!) screenshot to avoid retyping our conversation this morning.

Facebook Home

Facebook Home conversation

Tales from the Net in 1997

No, I am definitely not an early adopter of the American radio show ‘This American Life‘, led by Ira Glass. Having only started listening 3 or 4 years ago, the show has been a launchpad for great writers like David Sedaris and a cornerstone of US public radio for more than fifteen years, attracting similarly praise and adoration as well as some great spoofs. You can listen to the show on the web, here in Australia on National Radio and naturally, on smartphones and tablets.

Ira, also fronting the brief television version of 'This American Life'

Ira, also fronting the brief television version of ‘This American Life’

Following the show backwards into its archive has become a bit of a habit of mine; filling the commute or that last half hour before nodding off with Ira and his team, as they choose themes and several acts to tell their stories. Which is how I discovered this classic episode (#66) called ‘Tales from the Net”.

Listen to This American Life #66

Listen to This American Life #66

It is from a time in which I myself studied at Helsinki’s MediaLab and had barely mastered the different technical and social aspects of the web. This included now mostly forgotten services like CompuServe (a geeky version of AOL), telnet (for bare bones versions of email and chat), usenet (bulletin boards) or CUSeeMe (an early Skype).

Awesome, I can see you AND your IP address!

This particular episode is a bit of a shock (it’s been 16 years already with this webby thing) and an amusement over the way net phenomena are explored:
“Girl hooked up with a guy she met online. And he promised her a free version of Office 97.”
“I emailed a stranger and now we are like family.”
“Some people prefer net meetings over encounters in the real world.”

So give this episode a go, especially if you’ve been online since then.