hipsters – an iteration of the dandy

The word hipster. eww. But I quite liked this investigation, in Monocle Urbanist, of the concept – if it at all exists. Knew of dandyism, but not the connection between the two. Also, love sound cloud.

In 1836 Thomas Carlyle wrote:

A Dandy is a clothes-wearing Man, a Man whose trade, office and existence consists in the wearing of Clothes. Every faculty of his soul, spirit, purse, and person is heroically consecrated to this one object, the wearing of Clothes wisely and well: so that the others dress to live, he lives to dress … And now, for all this perennial Martyrdom, and Poesy, and even Prophecy, what is it that the Dandy asks in return? Solely, we may say, that you would recognise his existence; would admit him to be a living object; or even failing this, a visual object, or thing that will reflect rays of light…[15]

- Wikipedia

Mt. Gox, official systems and a parallel CEO profile

There are some hilarious quotes and secions in this story in Wired, about Mt. Gox and its fall. Simply hilarious, even though there is a serious side to it.

The 28-year-old Karpeles was born in France, but after spending some time in Israel, he settled down in Japan. There he got married, posted cat videos and became a father. In 2011, he acquired the Mt. Gox exchange in from an American entrepreneur named Jed McCaleb.

But soon, McCaleb was getting wires for tens of thousands of dollars and, realizing he was in over his head, he sold the site to Karpeles, an avid programmer, foodie, and bitcoin enthusiast who called himself Magicaltux in online forums.

That’s exactly what I would do with a burgeoning financial empire, sell it to a cat-vid-poster.

No, but seriously. As with everything that has a future affect – before it comes, it comes in numerous versions. This (sort of thing) might do something with how we view the more traditional structures and systems. More positively. Or it might not. Regardless, It has shown that official systems aren’t nessesarily a rule.

The internet of things – industrial internet

The incredibly smart people of BERG hacked a washer and proves a great deal of areas where connectivity help. I mean, the “find repair people” part alone is worth a lot. Some time, after 2 years of really not thinking about it. Postponing rinse takes care of the “shit, sorry I can’t because I’m doing the washing” problem. There are probably not many products that do not benefit from connectivity.

I talked aobut this and that (which is what interesets me most) with a very technically oriented ex-colleague who shared a conversation with interaction designers of a more visual background and nature, and how that hinders the thinking around connected products. “What’s a couch gonna say to me?”. Nada, but tracking the use of it provides input to material choices and manufacturing (something that today is a part of the manufacturing process, but pehaps could be combined and outsourced to “natural use situations”) as well as feedback to healthcare industries benefiting from understanding our couch-potato-behavior.

Cloudwash: the connected washing machine from BERG on Vimeo.

instant-on is the killer TV feature

That’s the central problem plaguing both set top boxes like Roku and Apple TV and content services like Netflix and Amazon Instant Video. Instead of letting you lean back and soak up content, these new challengers require decisions–a careful cost-benefit analysis of thousands of different options. If the traditional TV experience is about letting viewers surf channels, today’s on-demand video is like giving them a speedboat and forcing them choose a destination before they can even get in the water.

From the article “To Grow, Netflix Must Learn From the Quietly Brilliant UI of Regular TVs”, in wired

Well hear hear. This is exactly what Is missing in the creating of the future of TV. From the services currently in the market to the reasoning that goes on in pitch material, and pitches, that I’ve been involved in with regards to positioning TV content providers of today, when developing for tomorrow.

Don’t just stare at new technology and heaps of content at your finger tips. Look at the tired people whose brains stop functioning as their ass lands softly in the couch. The key feature? Bzzz – TV is on and streaming. Streaming something. One more bzzz and there’s something new.

The instant on, under a second, is something “new” TV (content, and the delivery of it) doesn’t manage. This is also why personal, pre-loaded, schedules are important. Not just because you can create your own channels based on favorite content, but because something has to start streaming as you enter couch mode. Human behaviour, not just technology.

Vänsterpartiet – nej, nej, nej oavsett vad

DNs ledare ringar in precis det jag upplever med Vänsterpartiet, de är ett hopplöst nejsägande parti. Dom spelar evigt “defence” och maler uteslutande på med sina nej, nej, nej. Man kan – och utifrån ett varumärkesperspekiv bör – utan att blanda in faktiska politiska budskap och visioner diskutera energin, framåtandan och “momentum” bakom partier. Vänstern är toktröga.

Vänsterpartiet vill förändra sin image som dogmatisk nejsägare. ”Vi måste lära oss att uttrycka oss på rätt sätt. V har tidigare varit mer nej än ja”…

- DN (Linda Snecker)

Erik Modig skriver på sin kommunikationsblogg på Dagens Media om, hur man vinner ett val. Jag tycker två kommentarer till artikeln sätter fingret på vad Vänstern än så länge missar.

Du har så fel….Sverige vilar på en socialdemokratisk grund, den som lyckas vinna essensen ur den vinner. M lyckades ett tag men nu tar S åter rodret. Ideologi är starkare än reklam, den har nämligen arbetats in under generation efter generation. På så sätt är vi olikt många andra länder.

Kommenterar Jonny

Jonny, du har förmodligen rätt. Jag tror dock inte jag har fel för det. För det första så handlar det om HUR man vinner ”essensen” och då tror jag ovanstående principer kan hjälpa. För det andra finns osäkra röstare som inte baserar sitt val på ideologi. Det är dessa kommunikationen kämpar om.

Replikerar Erik Modig

Precis, kampen om yngre väljare, till exempel, måste ta i beräkningen att ideologi – extremt starkt begrepp inom Vänsterpartiet – är ett fenomen som för en yngre väljargrupp kanske inte riktigt är vad det varit (förutom för de inbitna, och de är ju frälsta). Vi ser ju substitut till kyrka (varumärken till viss del), politiska ideologier (subkulturer, nära grupper), stark geografisk tillhörighet (webbens geografi) etc.

Vi ser starka trender inom individualisering, uppluckrade arbetsformer (friare, inte bara osäkra och nedriga som Vänstern påpekar), socialt engagemang, intresse för rättvisefrågor mm. Småföretagandet är starkt, intressebaserade konstellationer formas utan geografiska begränsningar, man har större möjlighet att påverka än någonsin tidigare. Allt detta gör mängder med unga individer för att det är meningsfullt och ger dem värde. Frågan är hur Vänstern appellerar till denna yngre, medvetna och företagssamma generation/grupp? Vänstern framstår mest som solidaritetspolis (inte fel i sig), och inte inspiratör (avgörande metod för positivt momentum). Det ena borde inte utesluta det andra. Vi får väl se om de tätare inpå valet faktiskt presenterar några konkreta, inspirerande och offensiva förslag för att uppnå vad de vill (målet bakom ideologin) eller om det är idel förbud, nej och begränsningar.

connected intentions

“When you use Buycott to scan a product, it will look up the product, determine what brand it belongs to, and figure out what company owns that brand (and who owns that company, ad infinitum). It will then cross-check the product owners against the companies and brands included in the campaigns you’ve joined, in order to tell you if the scanned product conflicts with one of your campaign commitments.”

We want to do good, make the right decisions. Eat green, wear helmet, give to the needy. What we say and want to do doesn’t always (almost never?) equal what we actually do. Attitudes and intentions might be there (I said I’d start wearing a helmet, and really meant to, for about a year) but behaviour is held back by barriers often ridiculous in nature.

The Buycott app, covered here in Springwise, is an example of a phenomena where those barriers, standing between intentions and behaviour, are lowered. When intentions are enforced and supported effortlessly, things can get interesting. Users/consumers tend to forget, but if forgetting gets harder, there’s even more pressure on brands.

Brands need to think harder (and try harder) to operate in a world where active and intentional (strategic) brand building more frequently is done through operational actions, decisions, etc, and less so through intentional brand communication.

Doing bad stuff has always risked ending up in the news or search results, but it (generally) demands momentum, a high “shittiness level” and a collective outrage. We’re alerted (and reinforce) though common sentiment and mass behaviour in a connected society. Connected information like this, which helps our intentions by becoming connected intentions, doesn’t. It becomes as individual as the wine suggestion app in a bottle store.

That doesn’t mean groups and social pressure doesn’t exert power on brand choice/decisions, but an added – again comparably effortless – nudge and reminder is potentially big. In a way it’s what connected and quantified self is/will be for daily health decisions in general.

nuggets: purposeful design

the balance watch
from time differently

The balance watch (PSFK) – a very purposeful design to remind you of work/life balance. Reminds me, working with brands and overwhelmingly with communication solutions (yet not necessarily communications challenges only), that problems are affected/caused by the environment and the problem mustn’t necessarily be attacked on the level we see it. In this case; constant visual reminder in stead of perhaps a recurring yearly, quickly forgotten, resolution.

Client/agency relationship example: how much time/focus is dedicated to how you are going to solve a challenge? How you are going to work together? The fact is that solutions can be many and very different, and the how will unquestionably vary. Many great ideas die not because of the idea itself but because the parallel discussion around the process (the purposeful design thereof) of materialising it was missing (resulting in subsequent budget/timing/execution shock).

As a matter of fact, as creative agencies have more possibilities (types of solutions), speed is crucial and complexity an increasing variable – process is going (is) to be a great competitive advantage. Perhaps even the most important one.

modern day brand building – advertising as a byproduct?

Welcome to Detroit from Shinola on Vimeo.

This is a nice post by Edward Boches covering Shinola, a brand I myself just recently came across flipping through Men’s Style on Flipboard (ehrm), and how well they build their brand (so far).

What’s noteworthy is that this is not about building a brand in a new way, often including opinions around the death of TV, the insanity of bought media and extinction of print. And it’s not a case of proving how traditional advertising still works. It’s about how modern brands understand it’s not either/or, it all compliments each other, and that the most powerful thing is to have a purpose, and hence story, beyond – but not irrelevant to – the commercial interest.

This isn’t about going viral or driving millions of views, rather it’s more about telling the brand story, providing easily embeddable elements, and building a library of content that doesn’t feel as disposable as most advertising.

- Boches

The thing with advertising being disposable and, in general, increasingly being disliked, distrusted and enjoying less acceptance is an interesting one. It’s not just that there’s more and more bad, lazy, poorly crafted advertising speaking in a voice that’s disconnected from reality, it’s that there’s often not much of a counter weight.

Advertising, at least as we tend to narrowly define it today, should be no more than a byproduct (and certainly not the sole product) of a commercially curious creative company.

- Gareth Kay

People are ad literate enough to understand how advertising works – polished by agencies, constructed and often exaggerated – but if that’s all a brand is going to serve, then screw you. If a brand opens up and shows a greater depth, signs of being in sync with society, people, vision, reality, you are much more likely to enjoy a greater acceptance to your advertising.

Think about a great brand experience you’ve had, and how that affects your perception/acceptance of their advertising. That’s brand experiences in a broader sense.

Increasingly, to get meaningfully noticed is through delivering on the unexpected and over-delivering on the expected. Not very advertising centred, but very much commercial creativity.