Friday, July 17, 2009

The world in real time

I found pingwire today via William Gibson's blog.

It provides a real time view of the images being posted to Twitter. No editing, just a pure image stream.

It's pretty amazing to watch and see what people are shooting. No context or idea of who the photographers are, just things that people thought were important, interesting or beautiful enough to take a photo of and post.

There seemed to be a lot of shots of breasts. Why am I not surprised? I've never posted a photo of breasts to Twitter, which probably says a lot about my lifestyle. (sigh)

As Mr. Gibson, who I am a huge fan of, says: "Simultaneously profoundly amazing and definitively boring."

This is one of those random things that wouldn't have been conceivable without massive bandwidth.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

What's your lion made of?

Our creative director sent this around this afternoon. Hilarious.

It costs a lot to buy your Lion if you win. Is it worth it?

(The physical Lion award, not the win. I'd still give my left arm for a titanium. Wonder what that one's made of?)

Monday, July 13, 2009

LED Wall

My colleague, Michael, forwarded this to me the other day:

La Vitrine - Montreal from steven bulhoes on Vimeo.

I love it. I'm sure it took a lot of skill to create, but it seems to be very simple. As a user you don't get any info about what's going on until you're interacting with it, at which point you understand how to work with it immediately.

I love an idea like this that can be used at street level for a variety of businesses. Obviously you could create other ways of interacting with the wall that might be more specific to your specific business or product. And you've just added a little fun and wonder to people's day.

I also love the fact that this is from Montreal.

That's one bad billboard

I spotted this ad while driving to work the other day:

If you can't see it, then let me give a little explanation. The headline says "Many like their cider to be just like them. Au Naturale." And it's got a photo of several older, overweight people hanging out on a dock.

Now, I'm not one to argue that your target needs to be reflected in your ads. I think you can do a perfectly good job of reaching your target by featuring someone that's not your target. It's all about the message that's taken away, not whether they can place themselves in the ad.

All the same, what in the world is Grower's trying to do with this? Are they trying to say that this is the cider for fat middle-aged nudists? I think I get where they're trying to go with this - Relax and be natural. But honestly, this is not an appealing image. It certainly doesn't make me want to go grab a Growers and hang out, and I love a nice cold cider on a hot day.

Middle-aged, naked and chunky - Not good photo for alcohol ad.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Starbucks sociology

Maybe I should go back to school or get a government grant to study random sociological things that I'm curious about.

Today I'm curious about the cultural impact of milkbars around the world. Now that Starbucks is pretty much global, how does regional culture effect how we cooperate at the milkbar. (BTW - a milkbar is the station where you put in your cream, sugar and whatever else you add to your coffee.)

For instance, not surprisingly, Canadian milkbars seem pretty cooperative. We'll step aside for one another, pass the cream, and be pretty deferential. While American milkbars can be more competitive and a little more aggressive. The occasional elbow gets thrown.

I've also noticed that sometimes you can get into milkbar harmony, and both party's moves can be coordinated and choreographed. I wonder if that's what Brazilian milkbars are like. Akin to how they play soccer.

So, I'd like to get some Canadian government grant to study this. Then I'll travel around the world to document milkbar behaviour. The final study will have great importance for the world and could have a major effect on how people work with one another. Perhaps the bells of peace will ring across the land.

Here's a random milkbar photo from the Starbucks across the street from my office. This shows some nice collaboration:

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tweeting vs. blogging

I think it would be interesting to study the impact of tweeting on blog postings. I know my postings have tailed off since I started posting to Twitter. I now put out half formed thoughts in a moment, versus putting a bit more thought to it and writing a few more words. Does one replace the other?

This seems intuitive, but I haven't seen any data on it. There seem to be more than enough people out there excited to take shots at blogs and Twitter (particularly Twitter) whenever they can. You'd think one of them would be all over this.

I still haven't bought into Twitter. But I haven't stopped yet, even after a couple of months, so clearly there's something in it for me.