Archive for the 'R&D' Category


urban light art

Urban light art


Continuous Partial Attention

As we take on more and more information at the same time – watching TV whilst writing an email for example, our attention – or lack of – is becoming more important.

Particls is a new desktop ticker which displays headlines and snapshots of all the RSS feeds you subscribe to. I just started using it at the beginning of last week and it’s brilliant, so I subscribed to their blog…

Here’s a post from their blog on Continuous Partial Attention:

Stowe has recently written about his ideas of ‘Flow’ and Continuous Partial Attention (CPA).

His premise is that we are not necessarily information saturated – that our brains are evolving to a point where we can let the information flow over us and stay continuously partially attentive to many things at the same time. He claims that this is a perfectly natural change in our concentration and mental abilities.

He writes about Linda Stone – an expert in CPA.

“Linda and many others will tell us it will rot our teeth, disrupt family life, and lead to hair on our palms. I for one am not eager to turn off my devices and pay all my attention to one thing at a time, one moment at a time. There are too many targets on the horizon, too many members of the tribe, and too many jaguars lurking in the shadows for that. In my tribe, we don’t do things that way.”

I’m young – my brain can handle it for now – so I agree with Stowe (to a point). Information (particularly news) should flow – not pool. An information flow (river of news, news ticker, popup alerts) is typically more effective than reading news in a folder/item email style metaphor.

An Attention Profiling markup language has been created APML similar in principle to OPML which is used to list all the RSS feeds I subscribe to.


TV 2.0 mashup* event, London

I’m going along to the mashup* event this evening where the conversation will centre around the Future of Television. Should be an interesting discussion.

I’ve been helping work on some research for Sky surrounding the next generation of TV content and it will be interesting to see how in tune our thoughts have been compared with those in the room.

On another note, as well as content the strategies media companies make interests me. In such a changing market, I think the concept of doing deals with the same old companies is crazy. There’s a whole new niche of production companies springing up with ideas based around doing things differently. These companies need to have solutions for paying for their programs as well as great ideas and stories…I know I do.

What’s interesting to me is realising that it’s the production companies which are forging these alliances and partnerships and not the distribution channels. Companies such as Baby Cow, run by Steve Coogan (who created Meet the Joneses – a video blog partnership with Ford) and Endemol (who created Big Brother and have formed a partnership with Electric Arts for a Second Life-type program) are moving in the right direction.

In my experience, a large percentage of people in TV don’t get the Internet and don’t want to believe the change it’s creating.

When I read articles about ratings amongst all the channels dropping it makes me laugh. Barb ratings have been flawed for years and it’s about time they were changed to reflect the times.

The quality and content of the programs that are made are what’s important. I’d argue that the BBC’s crown jewels, content-wise, are the David Attenborough wildlife documentaries. They’re just going to run and run. The same could be true, when cut into digestable chunks for stuff like Newsnight, Watchdog, Holiday. The problem is the quality of the recording. They’ve been created on the cheap, as throw away TV, and that’s how it’s treated by the viewer.

If more emphasis had been placed on the journalism rather than the gimmicks, these programs would have been lapped up by online viewers in their millions by now – far more than their usual weekly audience – and once they’re online they should be accessible by everyone…

Ironically, the greatest single stumbling block to the kind of audiences the internet offers are the rights issues – an entire industry that’s been created to stifle distribution is being made a mockery of by the internet, and it’s that more than anything else which gets illegal episodes of cable and tv programs on to youtube.


Can Planners be Creative Directors?

Once you get past the self publicity panalists at these talks always bring with them, it’s actually an interesting discussion.


A Vision of our Future

This 20 minute video from the PSFK Conference London 2007 shows the presentation given by Timo Veikkola, Future Strategist at Nokia, on a Vision of our Future. As design is the reflection of society, how can we envision the future through trends, observation and informed intuition. What values, attitudes and behaviours of today will shape our future?


Timo is an anthropologist and senior future specialist in Nokia’s consumer trends team, which sounds like an amazing job. He travels the world doing ethnographic research. Some key points:

* The language you use is vital… talk about “people” not “consumers”;stops you thinking of them as being like yourself.
* Innovation based on observation => “informed intuition”.
* “Can the human mind master what the human mind has made”
* “Graffiti and city landscapes are billboards for the state of society”
* Today’s society has just gone through a “noah’s ark period” with all the natural disasters.
* Green/sustainable had been round for years but only now has gone into the media…
* What will be the next step for Social media?


The death of the brand proposition and the rise of the brand story

Currently, at the heart of all brand planning lies the single-minded brand proposition. This is, by necessity, a highly focused and concentrated concept expressed in very few words (sometimes only one word). Its primacy as a planning tool derives from the fact that you need this level of focus to make an ad and ads have been the principal communications tool for most brands. However, we all know the world is changing away from advertising and the type of one-way, didactic advertising we’re used to.

Consumers want more engagement and conversation and the new media channels that are opening up also require this in order to operate successfully within them. The brand proposition is a singularly unhelpful tool as the basis for conversation or richer forms of consumer engagement. If a brand were to walk into a room of metaphorical consumers and, with a look of determination, say “Just Do It’, she would be classified as socially dysfunctional and avoided at all costs.

What a brand needs in order to be successful at a party full of consumers, is a story. Stories are richer and deeper than brand propositions and extend backwards into a brand’s category and history and also forwards into the functional reality of product delivery. It will essentially be the brand’s claim to trust and authority.


Conversations are now the kingdom

The old Packaged Goods Media (PGM) model, driven by compaines such as BBC, ITV and Sky, has evolved towards the new Conversational Media (CM) model driven by MySpace, GoogleTube and Facebook. WhilstContent is King, Conversations have now become the kingdom. Continue reading ‘Conversations are now the kingdom’

July 2018
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