Even a Zune error is an experience

While I can’t imagine that encountering an error configuring one of Microsoft’s new Zune products would be pleasant, but at least their error screens leave the curious with a raised eyebrow. It is hard to tell whether there is some hot lip-on-lip action going on here, or some basic mouth-to-mouth resuscitation … as they say, it is a fine line between pleasure and pain.


Unfortunately for FLX, it looks like the pain is set to continue. For the time being, I will be sticking with my iPod … even if I do hate iTunes.


Helping Sick Kids Smile

Seeing a child in pain or distress is agonising. To look into a small face and see a mixture of sadness, pain and acceptance can make your heart break.

The children who go through prolonged hospitalisation have much to deal with. It is not just the illness, the family anxiety or treatment that they have to go through … there is much in the hospital environment that can appear daunting, upsetting and hostile to young eyes.

An old buddy of mine, Ed, has been working with Gosford Hospital to help make the kids treatment rooms a little more pleasant. We talk about the importance of EXPERIENCE, well this a really good example of how the WAY that you experience something can CHANGE your life. By removing the barriers to a happier experience, by making the environment more inviting, more visually engaging and recognisably kid-oriented, these procedure, play and treatment rooms will make a big impact on the way that children will experience a hospital stay. See more of the pics here.


Ed, is a big guy with a soft heart … and an enormous talent. Some time ago, he setup a business that would use his skills in illustration, design and animation while also giving him time to care for his son. If you live in AUSTRALIA and would like to see this sort of work in your house, business (or even kindergarten), you can contact him through his site — ejkdesigns.com.au.


It’s Funny Because it is True


Sometimes you just need to release a little tension … and this afternoon, Shouty Katie shared this site with me. You all may have seen it before, but for me, it was just what was needed. My personal favourite is this one:

#177- "I like it. It makes me want to come. I mean, to the event! It makes me want to come to the event!"

PS … just for the record, this is NOT a photo of Paul’s notepad — there is no "damnit" anywhere on the page.


Support your industry

Fenway 3
Originally uploaded by heidi_loo.

Despite my lack of interest in market research, whenever I get a call from a research firm I tend to agree to take the survey. And as I am listening, I am thinking "that is the wrong question", or "that question should have been worded differently …" and so on … but I still take it.

I must admit, I feel VERY sorry for those making the call … you can hear the defeat in their voice. And I kind of like to hear a little perkiness in their tone as I say "I’d be happy to answer your questions for 25 minutes". The point is, I take the survey, because I feel that this does, in some small way, support the industry in which I work.

So today, when I say this request for survey takers on Mario Sundar’s blog, I couldn’t resist. And if YOU have a couple of minutes to spare, jump over and complete it too. You’d be helping us all really.


Why Flickr Fascinates Me

Self Portrait on the Pier 1
Originally uploaded by jea9.

I have to admit that I am a much better interpreter than ideator. I may be able to, on occasion, come up with something clever, but I don’t always have ideas on-tap. What I CAN do, however, is interpret … or re-interpret.

When I was at university I loved directing plays. I was fascinated by the sinewy language that playwrights would use to convey meaning, emotion and space on a stage. I thrilled at the way some writers could make words leap off the page and race around my mind. But most importantly, I found a sort of addiction in interpreting texts for performance.

As I would read, my mind would begin to race. I would find real world connections, links to events or situations, or cross-references to other texts. And the more obscure the text, the more interesting I found it. Then, in searching for ways to explain these problem texts to an audience, I would seek out new contexts that would turn the text into words that an actor could roll around their tongue and bring to life.

I was Hamlet. I stood on the shore and talked to the surf. BLAH BLAH.
— Heiner Muller, The Hamletmachine.

And when I started researching a sensational perfomance piece by Heiner Muller, I found that images and texts could collide. That there was something spectacular in a text that could do this … and that an audience could be held in thrall as it happened.

When I was re-reading Russell Davies’ post on interestingness (repaying my blog debt), I stopped on the first point. Take at least one picture everyday. Post it to Flickr. I DO love photography … but I find that I am much more interested in finding other people’s photos and re-interpreting them. For example, writing this post, I was looking for a self-portrait … and the shot above reminded me of the name of this blog and what it is like to write under a pseudonym — servantofchaos. You feel a little bit invisible — but there in the shadows.

But the best part about Flickr is that there is soooo much material ready for interpretation. And in a Web 2.0 world, where context is king, content still speaks baby … as long as you have the ears to listen.

Now only NINE more points of interestingness to work through … should be finished about March next year!


Olivier scores a Karma Credit

We can chalk this up to BSP … but if you would like to know HOW we, as marketers, innovators or creative thinkers can influence a brand, take a look at this post by Olivier Blanchard. Entitled "Become More Than Just a Business", Olivier shares a story of how one of his clients has decided to go with a good-work promotion. After the meeting, Olivier’s client even says:

"you know, I’ve always wanted to do something like this. After all these years, I’m finally going to get to do it."

Just goes to show there is not just marketers interested in KarmaCredits, but also brands. Now … if only we can bring the two together!

PS … I am still trying to get the KarmaCredits back-end system all working nicely … almost done. (Boy, how did I volunteer for that?).


BarCamp Sydney

BarCamp Shanghai
Originally uploaded by .Andy Chang..

Looks like there WILL be a BarCamp in Sydney next year. The 2007 event will occur on the 3rd and 4th of March 2007 … and there is still much to be done.

Interestingly, for the Sydney barcamp there topics will not JUST be focused on technology. New topics will cover entertainment, art, marketing, other technologies and content such as podcasts and so on. See other camps such as ArtCamp and MarCamp and BlogCamp. How will I be able to choose?

Should be fun.



Originally uploaded by marlenells.

Ideas circulate on the blogosphere with a ferocity that can surprise us all. Often our response or reaction can be immediate and visceral … while at other times we need a little longer to reflect on what we read, see or hear.

This week I watched a video that made me pause for thought. This piece of user generated content had confounded me, and I did not know where to look.

I knew that I needed to give this more consideration. And as I returned to this piece in the following days, I began to realise that there was a very deep question at the very heart of this topic — what is authenticity — and how and who is the judge?

My musings on this will be submitted to MarketingProfs … should make for an interesting discussion!


Coffee Morning

morning coffee
Originally uploaded by _boris.

So we are mixing it up this week by having a coffee morning EARLY — at 8am in Surry Hills at Kafa, 216 Commonwealth Street.
Coming soon … coffee morning involving beer — at the other end of the day.
Oh, and I am looking forward to one of those link-ups that Russell is suggesting — 24 hours of coffee mornings.