Category Archives: user generated content

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‘.

Screen Shot 2013-07-21 at 11.51.43 AM

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



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.

A Pavlova for Australia Day

Departing slightly from my usual posts, here is a tasty recipe for tomorrow’s big AUSTRALIA Day. Created and photographed by my wife Kristin Buesing. You can see more of her food styling and food photography work on her blogs Kristin Buesing and S’more.

Source of endless debate over its creator: The Pavlova

This dessert is believed to have been created in honour of the Russian ballet dancer during one of her tours to Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s. However the nationality of its creator has been a source of argument between the two nations for many years. But let’s not get caught up in this.

This recipe makes you small individual pavlovas which are easier to carry around. Make sure to keep the cream as cold as possible.

6 eggwhites
1 1/2 cups (330g) caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cornflour
1 tsp white wine vinegar
300 ml cream
2 punnets raspberries
4 passionfruits

Preheat the oven to 150°C and line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
Use an electric mixer to whisk the eggwhites in a clean, dry bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition, until meringue is thick and glossy and sugar is dissolved. Rub a little meringue between your fingers, if it’s still gritty, continue to whisk until sugar dissolves. Add the vinegar and cornflour and fold until just combined.
Place 4 dollops of meringue on each baking tray, making a shallow indent in the centre of each with the back of a spoon.
Place in oven, reduce heat to 120°C and bake for 1 hour. Leave in the switched-off oven for 2-3 hours until meringues are dry and oven is completely cool. (They’ll keep for up to 2 days in an airtight container.)
Whisk cream until soft peaks form. Dollop cream on top of meringue nest and top with raspberries and passionfruit. Serve immediately.

Toilet Announcement Design

Here at Reactive Sydney we have discovered a (pardon the pun) shit hot toilet announcement designer. And no, you can’t have him, he is ours!
With some truly mad clipart skillz, this guy is laying it down like there is no tomorrow.

So check out his mind-blowing layout and weep:

  1. Clear and concise,  sans serif and sans nonsense messaging:
  2. Flanked by two business chicks holding the headline in balance (one giving you the lowdown, one apologising for it)
  3. plus a hot dog (in case you feel a No 2 coming on),
  4. pointing to the call-to-action – handyman (who is hopefully on his way),
  5. and a cute (brand-building) kitten. Why not? They make everything better.

Toilet Announcement Designphoto 1 (6)

Circus 2012 – Festival of Commercial Creativity storified

I used Storify for the second time, on this occasion not in the lead up to but during an event itself. Circus, the Festival for Commercial Creativity went into its second year and the organising Communications Council had again brought some heavy hitters in terms of keynote speakers and Big Thinkers. And outside the theatre a strategist would rub shoulders with a client, content producer, set designer, folk musician or a clergyman. Here is a nice summary of three of the speakers on CampaignBrief.

What surprised me when using Spotify on the iPad was that it didn’t feel distracting but more like a new way of note taking. I was curating out of the stream of real-time tweets and pictures and added some background videos while at the same time listening to the presenters. And I like how you can draw in the people you curated by automating an @message with the Storify-link.

Have a read of my three days here and be sure to check out Decoder’s analog sketch-notes.

I don’t know where Storify will go in terms of features, but a manual doodle/sketch section for creating images like the above might be nice. Follow Storify’s blog for updates here – fittingly all posts are Storify stories in themselves.

I will be sure to use it again at Sydney’s VIVID festival where MPU’s ‘Snake the Planet!’ will play a major role. That next time pictures and videos will surely feature a bit more in my Storify.

Will the real Mitt Romney please stand up

This is not a political attack ad but it very well could be. Australian Hugh Atkin, creator of the famous “Barrack-Roll” is at it again and launches “Will the real Mitt Romney please stand up” featuring Barrack Obama as Eminem. Great political rap in the age of the mashup.

Hugh seems to have increased his prowess of pasting those snippets together. Here is the Barrack Roll again.

and with McCain caught in front of it

and if you care for the grand dads of that video genre