31 January 2009

A layoff wiki called jobzzz

Tijs Vrolix, originally uploaded by Wolfr.

What I'm about to post, and did, is probably not going to make me popular with @tijs but frankly...you know. I'd like to start with introducing Tijs for a par. Although I've never met him, I can tell he's a pretty good webdesigner. With good I mean, all the designs are crisp, fresh, and layouts are 'pixelperfect' as I may say. Not to mention the solid rock of Standard CSS written. Splendid. I even follow the guy on Twitter though to me his content is a lil' off on the personal edge to be biting nail interesting. Let's skip the "he" and go for Tijs, seems to be occupied as an Interactive Strategies Manager at NOCUS for a living (or is that full-time job?). His thesis on "the influence of the mobile phone" won the IAB talent prize in 2007. At the very moment, according to his website, he's working on several projects (Twistory, Twiddict, Ttrack and some extremely secret projects that have yet to be announced).

It might backfire on me but I felt the unbearable urge to do so, so I did. And yes, I know my English sucks but bear with me... Tijs is also the administrator of a wiki called Jobzzz. And yes, I must admit, first time I found the wiki (some weeks ago) I was amused. Probably just like many other sarcastic mothers out there. Subscribing to the wikifeed I got updates as the slaughter went on. And somewhere last week it dawned on me. Some of these people that just got pregnant, bought a house or planned their holidays and now get sacked because of this damned crisis. No more sunshine over the rainbow for them I guess. I mean think about it, that list reported about 400 layoffs in total. just for the Belgian Creative and MarCom sector, in about a month... Ok ok, expected, but still. Who'd want to brag with that?

The wiki was set up "Just to get a clear view of what's happening and inspired by what Techcrunch is doing on a US scale" — "Just a little crowdsourcing experiment trying to create an overview of recent layoffs in Belgian creative/marcom companies". Hmmmn owkey, I will not focus on the word 'just' but let me emphasize the word 'overview' if I may.

The TechCrunch Layoff Tracker uses iCharts to visualize the data so it can be read out clearly. There is an overview. Not that I really justify the good means of that list but at least it's well documented, the data is processed, provided with sources and put in a nice list with the possibility to comment on what's happening. The wiki is just a loose record of 'possible' layoffs.

Up so far the wiki is pointless. It is pointless if it doesn't track or process the data somewhere. It is pointless because there are no reliable sources provided. It is pointless because it resonates disrespectful to the individuals involved. And it is pointless because any employee looking to hire any one of these layoffs is left out there in the dark. Except for that one tag-on at the Saatchi layoff entry: "but btw, they're hiring a senior digital creative" (And an Account Director as well, so I've heard)

Anyway to cut the long story short, Tijs, I'd like to turn the wiki around. And I beg you forgive my arrogance for I already did. I've changed the Jobzzz wiki into an unofficial "looking for" message board so all these people who got laid off can start getting a new job anywhere soon.

Thank you and good luck on the new job.

30 January 2009


Let me tell you what I'm all excited about today. I became a father last Friday - but you knew that I assume, wiiihaaaaauuuuw... (I'll update that part in a next post though) Anyway 'because' of this new occupation I've locked myself out of the organizing part of the Twestival last 10 or so days. Thus my involvement will be much lower than previously indicated. Anyhow, I attended a lunch meeting with the @BRUTwestival group today.

We had lunch in the Cook&Book and although their website sucks big time and is written in only french... I so-o-o love the place. Adorable. My book fetish wet dream. Cook&Book is a full range bookstore (with a fair amount of hard to find art&design books on their shelves) combined with a wine&dine (not the best restaurant you'll be attending in the Brussels area but they'll present you a menu with a varied range of options and the dishes carefully served). It's almost as if you are having lunch with the books, love it. You are allowed to take the books from their shelves and flick through them as you await your order.

Being there for lunch with about 5 or 6 other excited Tweeters was one thing, being surrounded with books of all kinds another. I was pleased to hear that the organization of the event was in full development. Nice. I felt pretty relaxed since I've done nothing but being a father and pouring out champagne for the last several days. The meeting kicked off with everybody giving up the good news one by one. Funny. As some people kept on rattling on about everything they'd done so far. Off course organizing such an event isn't all sun where the shining is. The practicals the practicals the practicals...

Anyway after going back and forth cross several practical issues. We also talked about some questions that arose as we talked about it with people from outside the organization. Questions that need answers before we really get you fire started. The Belgian Twestival organization has agreed on one clear stance: it is definitely NOT about Twitter. Sure Twitter is the social glue. Twitter is the way we connected. Twitter is the way this group found each other. So thank you Twitter, and euh thank you Evan Williams or anyone. But our goal for this Twestival is helping people out.

The focus is NOT HOW the people that want to help, do charity, connect but WHY they want to help. And they want to help because they believe that clean water is a basic need for everybody. And anyone should have free access to it. A group of people that connect because they have a mutual interest, because they fight for the same cause. In this case that cause translates in fundraising for people who are living, or is that: trying to stay alive, without decent clean water facilities.

Why water?

Most of us have never really been thirsty. We’ve never had to leave our houses and walk 5 miles to fetch water. We simply turn on the tap, and water comes out. Clean. Yet more than 1.1 billion people on the planet don’t have clean water. It’s hard to imagine what a billion people looks like really, but one in six might be easier. One in six people in our world don’t have access to the most basic of human needs. Something we can’t imagine going 12 hours without. It’s hard not to think about water today. In the western world, we face growing concerns about our stewardship of the world’s most precious resource. There’s talk of shortages, evidence of reservoirs and aquifers drying up, and of course, plenty of people who simply don’t care.

So in short Twestival is a fund raising event. Organized by people that connected via Twitter. The non-profit Twestival supports is called charity:water. Charity: water is a non-profit bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations. Scott Harrison, the founder of the organization, made his living in the big Apple. Promoting top nightclubs and fashion events, for the most part living selfishly, thoughtlessly. Unhappy, he desperately needed a change in his life... And so the story goes.

Oh and what about the Twestival then? Why the Twitter community stuff? Well in September 2008, a group of Tweeters based in London UK decided to organize an event where the local Twitter community could meet offline, meet the faces behind the avatars, enjoy some entertainment, have a few drinks and tie this in with a food drive and fund raising effort for a local homeless charity. The bulk of the event was organized in under two weeks, had close to 300 people in attendance (with a waiting list) and was able to do some good for charity in the process.

Please note that no one working on the Twestival is being paid. All the money goes to the charity. All costs are covered by sponsorships.

So thank you: ATTENTIO, BIZNESSENCE, NEW EUROPE and TARGET RECRUITMENT for being so kind to contribute, and thus support this project. But if you'll allow me — sorry can't hold myself down — please guys, talk to someone for a decent design on your websites or strategy of your online presence because the stuff I just saw clicking to your homepages makes me sick/. Sorry, again, I'm too honest.

26 January 2009

Super Bowl Ad Showdown by MSNBC

McDonald's, Coke, Apple ... and the people’s vote for a flatulent horse.
The Super Bowl Ad Showdown was a nice way to check on the publics' view of the best ad "ever". Clicking the thumb shown above will redirect you to a nice app MSNBC launched last year.

The world is still about being talked about.
This year MSNBC has selected the 10 best Super Bowl ads of all time. The picks were heavily influenced by commenters on the MSNBC message boards, who discussed their favorite commercials and voted on the subject two years ago. MSNBC also considered the economic impact of the ads, which mostly consisted of disqualifying failed dot-com companies.

1. Coke — “Mean Joe Greene” (1979)
This advertisement became an economy in itself. Remakes were made in other countries with different athletes, including one in Argentina with soccer player Diego Maradona. There was even a 1981 movie based on the commercial called “The Steeler and the Pittsburgh Kid.”

2. Budweiser — “Respect” (2002)
Don’t be so cynical. It’s not always about the money.

3. Reebok — “Terry Tate Office Linebacker” (2003)
The nation’s jobless rate may be rising, but Terry Tate actor Lester Speight has plenty of work, including video game voiceovers and a guest spot on TV’s “Prison Break.” Rawson Marshall Thurber, who came up with the Reebok spot, now directs feature films.

4. Apple — “1984” (1984)
The Macintosh didn’t quite change the world as we know it — we’re typing on a PC, and bet you’re reading this on one — but Apple has managed to stick around and make a few bucks. While the original Macintosh is likely gone for good, Dolphin shorts have made a comeback.

5. Budweiser — “Frogs” (1995)
Anheuser-Busch didn’t just sell a lot of beer in the 1990s. For the next several years the company also sold the frogs on T-shirts, beer steins, key chains, neon pub lights and a motion sensor-activated frog lamp that repeated the catchphrase when anyone walks by. (It’s currently going for $500 on EBay.)

6. McDonald's — “The Showdown” (1993)
Larry Bird’s visible back hair in this ad didn’t seem to hurt sales. The 650-calorie sandwich continues to be a staple, and McDonald’s is posting solid numbers even in a rough economy.

7. E*Trade — “Money out the Wazoo” (2000)
E*Trade has had its ups and downs, but its mere survival puts it ahead of most of the dot-com companies that advertised in this era. “E.R.,” the television show that this ad appears to spoof, is currently in its 132nd season.

8. Budweiser — “Sleigh Ride” (2004)
A gassy horse and third-degree burns didn’t appear to make anyone switch to Coors. Anheuser-Busch will have seven commercial spots in this year’s Super Bowl. BUT there are many, many Americans willing to go to war in defense of a good fart joke.

9. Coke — “Parade Balloons” (2008)
“Family Guy” was mired in a writer’s strike, the “Underdog” movie was a box office disappointment and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade got Rickrolled later that year. Was this commercial cursed?

10. Master Lock — “Shot Lock” (1974)
Master Lock enjoyed record growth in the 1970s and is still an industry leader in the 21st century. It doesn’t hurt that Discovery Channel’s “Mythbusters” recently shot a bullet through a Master Lock and got the same result.

The crisis is in our heads not our wallets.
Nothing makes the economy appear sound like scores of corporations lining up to spend $3 million for a 30-second advertisement that may or may not help their company. Even after a year filled with government bailouts, Bernie Madoff and $4-plus gas, there’s still plenty of money for Super Bowl commercials.

Dull impact lacks contact.
Too often, today’s Don Drapers fail to look at what has worked in the past — mostly simple spots that involve animals, potty humor, violence, celebrities, sentimentality, a stupid catchphrase or some combination of the above.

Okey... now after seeing most of these ads I'm totally convinced:
LONG LIVE SOCIAL MEDIA, and the internet ;)

Thank you MSNBC
for thoroughly investingating and polling the public on their pick of monsterads

20 January 2009

Shapeshifters, lectures on graphic design

Luc Derycke has an educational background in the arts, and works as a book editor and graphic designer. Since 1993, he has concentrated on the design and production of art books, thus establishing his international reputation. His aim is to create a perfect fusion between all aspects involved in the creation of a book: along with content and form, institutional and historical context, the relation to the canons, market, budget, technology and materiality are essential components of his design process. In 2005, he founded mer. Paper Kunsthalle, to investigate the notion of books as mental exhibition spaces.

Dutch spoken

Kim Hiorthøy is a graphic designer and illustrator from Norway. He is perhaps best known for his work for the Rune Grammofon label, for which he has made over 80 covers. Hiorthøy studied fine art at academies in Trondheim and Copenhagen, and studied film briefly in New York before beginning a freelance career, starting out by illustrating many children’s books. In 2000, he began releasing music on Smalltown Supersound, for which he has also designed many sleeves. He has worked for clients such as Drag City, Sony Music, Adidas and mtv. Tree Weekend, a monograph of his design work, was published by Die Gestalten in 2000.

English spoken

Wednesday 28 January 2009
A. Ortsstraat 20 – 28
1000 Brussels
02 550 03 50

Tickets can be ordered at 02 550 03 50 or tickets@beursschouwburg.be

Single ticket: € 12/10 – presale € 10/8,5.
Subscription 4 lectures: € 40.

17 January 2009

Omega Code

Not just music, not just art. An ideology.
Omega Code believe that now-days music should be tightly attached to visuals, and that they should be based on a solid concept, to create a whole experience.

To absorb the content and not just pass through it.

Well I must secretly admit that I was already a big fan of 'em long before I heard their first spark of music. The visual buzz they have been spreading around for since the 21st of november 2008, is so thrilling that it already has conceived a certain status of being dark, mysterious and powerful. They have scrambled the leaders in design and visual arts the create their world, and now they have opened up and challenged the whole world to engage with the world they've created.

They have opened a Fan Art set for submissions. Artists can download a template and send their art. The artwork must contain the image of the OmegaCode logo somehow. All entries and official imagery for the posters you can check out on flickr

20 of the strongest illustrations will be featured in the upcoming OmegaCode book. Deadline: February 27th. Send artwork in your LOWRES 72 dpi to hello@omegacode.net

Their album "Ω" will be released shortly. Their album will free. The release will be accompanied with a series of free posters, made by some of the best designers around, together with a book and a dvd. Interactive installations, concerts and exhibitions will run in Sao Paulo, New York, Munchen and Lisbon (in Lisbon they'll play at the OFFFestival). Their also preparing a remixed album to explore the other point of view by fellow musical artists. Now the site is already featuring a remix by Michael Fakesch of the former Funkstörung.

Omega Code is Marcelo Baldin (Guitars and Programming), Lucas Baldin (Bass and Vocals), Danny Kopecky (Vocals) and Davi Ayres (Drums)

Amongst the visual artists they collabare with for this project are:
Joshua Davis, Si Scott, Motomichi, Peter Jaworowski, Ash Bolland, Hello Hikimori, Andreas Philstrm, Joao Oliveira, Mike Cina, Michael Paul Young, Robert Lindstrm, Nelson Balaban, Mate Steinforth, Tom Muller, Collectivo, Animatrio, Doomedo, Sebastian Onufszak, Nacionale, Matthew Curry, Unstru, Toms Pea, Christopher Hewitt, Esther Varella, Dimitri Lima, Stephan Alt, Robert Hodgin, Mr.Doob, Eduardo Recife, and Danny Franzeb
» euhm, yes, all of these links are worth bookmarking and clicking twice - believe me

Resistance, it’s the point of equilibrium between the whole album. It sustains all the purposes in one. Means equity. The point of perfection, holding everything on its shoulders. Peace.

About all major design portals (Surfstation, Cpluv, Reform&Revolution...) have already covered them so far...

15 January 2009


What is Twestival?
Twestival is a series tweet-up’s with a social conscience - The events organised quarterly aim to bring together London’s vibrant digital media community, giving those who are normally communicating through Twitter the opportunity to meet each other face to face and build on the relationships they have made online. At the same time through corporate sponsorship and activities at the events Twestival aims to raise money for internet based charities.

Date & time: Thursday 12th February evening
Venue: To be decided (Brussels)

14 January 2009

Things our friends have written

Originally uploaded by Ben Terrett.


Ben Terrett has collected some things from the internet we thought would work well on paper and we’ve made it into a newspaper. If you’d like a copy pop your details into the box below.

If you’d like to know more about the project
email Ben Terrett ben@reallyinterestinggroup.com

Read more at Noisy Decent Graphics

Advertising and it's creative teams

A traditional creative setup: a team of 2.
Traditionally a creative team within an advertising agency contents of two people: an art director and a copywriter. But this wasn't always the case. According to Mark Tungate, in his book AdLand, copywriters and art directors worked in different departments for long. My thought was that they didn't used to work in a team and maybe will not remain as such. There are several arguments for it to stay or to change. I myself am not quite sure what will, or would, work out best but I found it interesting to reflect on the topic.

Let me tell you why: Here, at ProximityBBDO, we're working in teams made of 3 people. 3? 3... a copywriter, an (offline) art director: who specializes in one-on-one communication and an (online) art director: who specializes in online advertising, social media and broader technological applications.

Newly bride: teams of 3.
Let me point out why ProximityBBDO is running teams of 3 while most agencies are working teams of 2. First there's a structural problem on the level of education. There isn't really a training program for becoming a copywriter, in Belgium. Moreover, copywriters — writers that specialize in advertising — are increasingly scarce. An instant result of the lack of a decent copywriter education is that the creative inflow of fresh young talents consists of mostly art directors. Therefor a lot of agencies are 'forced' to work with teams of 2 art directors.

Business effectiveness brakes traditions.
Next, when AtmosphereBBDO, DirectBBDO and ProximityBrussels merged — somewhere during the summer of 2007 — they became the countries largest integrated marketing company, housing a broad range of specialists that stretch from creative thinkers over flash- as well as backend-developers, on- and offline designers, direct response and web 2.0 specialists and CRM integrators. In the beginning there was clash. I can tell because I started there when the merging physically took place. For some people, in the beginning, it was horror. Gone was their safe and known — often narrow minded — world of safety that they had been known for so long. So to shorten that transitional period and reduce a fled of knowledge to other companies — as well as to limit internal conflict — the company needed to 'physically' merge these different profiles. Mixing the profiles would most likely (and it did, I can tell you already) ensure a fertile merge between very different company philosophies, spark the sharing of knowledge and eventually create cross-profiles that overlap various disciplines without being cost-intensive to the merger. Training a direct response specialist in social media could be proven very expensive if you'd send them all to some fancy community gatherings and expensive masterclasses. Also it was proven that shock therapy wasn't the key to solving the myriad of obstacles ahead. So, by integrating these different specialists into 1 team the skills for creating a full integrated marketing campaign are brought together. This way, working in teams of 3 could well be the glue for swapping knowledge, and the problem of scarcity of the copywriters would be solved (1 copywriter, more often than not, from a one-to-one background is bride with 2 art directors in order to make the circle complete).

A good blade always cuts twice.
I can see you thinking about the downside of this set-up already, and of course every model — a solution to multiple problems in this case — has a downside.
For example, one extra person in every meeting is, as you would suspect, a heavy weight on the account/budget of every project. But, this cost is compensated with the fact that there's a saving post in the educational budget, as mentioned before.

The dark of a new model.
A repercussion of working in this setup is that timings for creation shorten. Shorter timings put lots pressure on some projects — creation is serendip-wise process as you all know of course — but again this has positive as well as negative outputs down the hammer.

Negative would be that some projects go out without thoroughly being thought of or with going for the idea at hand within one or two days... Another downside is that claiming ownership of 'you idea' becomes harder when you are working as an art director, especially when planning a career move (not that I'm planning one at the moment but still). When you claim ownership for the idea of a project the copywriter and art director are credited for 'their contribution' to the project. Other creatives and headhunters often refer to creatives as 'the art director who thought of or made that visual' of 'the copywriter who wrote that one line'. When working in team with 2 art directors that ownership becomes blurred to the outside world, but on the other hand an art director could as well I've come up with 'that one line' and vice versa.

The profit of discovery.
The positive aspect of this timing push — for creatives — would be that there's an everyday training in efficiency and no time to just wander around and waste all that precious time. Another positive aspect of the setup — for the company — is that it is able to manage a bigger workload of projects and jobs, and the planning ease. Working in a tight schedule for time management makes it necessary to work with day-to-day plannings, parallel to like how lots of development and hotshop web companies work. Many more traditional ad-agencies don't keep pace with the tight schedule and plan in jobs and projects on a weekly basis, sometimes giving 3 to 4 briefings every week with different deadlines — I guess I mustn't mention that quite some creatives lack the discipline to keep pace with their agenda's. A tight day-to-day planning makes it easier to precisely measure the return on each specific job, which at it's turn makes it more ease to budget and plan feature projects and check down occurring issues. Of course, for the creative department, working in a day-to-day schedule puts the pressure on, every job.

I must also mention that working in this setup (teams of 3 creatives) never gets you cornered planning and assigning the briefings to the creative teams. As before the briefings would be carefully divided according to the knowledge and specialties of specific teams. This would corner you when all the sudden the market would flooded with online projects.

Hmmmm... (have a break, I had one as well)

Shape shifting profiles.
Last thing I'd like to note is a more recent trend I've noticed, especially amongst some online creatives, is the doubt about the need of a creative team at all. Most art directors I know — the ones who are specialized in 'online' — are creatives with a more technological background. Moreover, lots of them started their careers as web designers or developers. And they're actually a weird species next to a traditional advertising creative, although also that is shifting vastly. The shift from being a web designer or developer — to being a creative thinker or concept maker — comes from the fact that they 'really' understand what is possible and what is not, and also because they can communicate with the back-office more easily. The latter is often a problem with 'traditional' creatives who push hard on the idea without understanding the technical and budget impact of it.

Drawing the wild card.
These — the 'onliners' — are the species that don't often like to work in a fixed team. They're not used to working in a fixed team in the first place, as they most likely shift teamies regularly on various design and developing projects. Also they want to keep up with the pace of new media and technologies and are often best friends with their RSS readers. Explaining and sharing the enormous stream of information with their team members (the not tech savvy ones) is mostly time consuming, intensive and thus frustrating. In their opinions it slows development. Mostly they're more fond of working as a plug-and-play member. But of course handing out wild cards to some creatives with online skills isn't always an easily manageable position if the company is an oiled machine loaded with a large, and therefor strict, structure of departments and work flows.

The online creatives are more technical thinkers, spending lots time checking on flow models and usability. Often they incorporate interface ideas as an existential part of their concepts. The behavior of interaction is central, they are concerned about participation, they mostly understand the Groundswell better than most heads inside the office and think about more than just pushing and trying to add a pull. Many of them tend to shift towards a job described as "strategic planner" or to them in the more common position named "web strategist".

New ambitions.
The ones shifting to the strategic positions found themselves working more in the support of the marketeers and accounts of the agency, as a sort of social media consultant or web guru housed in the creative department. These online creatives are sometimes more tech savvy and informed about current trends then others at the agency (mark the emphasize on sometimes :)) making them more skilled at observing consumer behavior as well as spotting attitudes of specific audiences. Also they gradually develop the ability to expose the tiniest niche into which a brand might squeeze.

The shift from being a creative to being a strategist springs — to my opinion — from the 'natural' fact online creatives stumble upon regularly. Namely, the combination of creative thinking with being strongly tech savvy often reverses the flow of input. This flow of input is traditionally: from client to account and strategist providing insight that starts a creative team down a certain path. If the creative — in this case the 'onliner' — has the feeling that more often than not he/she is providing or steering the input in a better direction then the ones who came up with the briefing did, well, then that creatives ambitions will start to shift eventually leading to the shift of working as a strategist. And being a strategist can be a very comfortable position, especially as a lot of traditional network agencies in Belgium (such as LeoBurnett, Publicis, McCann, Lowe, Y&R, ...) haven't 'really' put their chariot on the right track (the full integration with online media and advertising) quite just yet. Traditional strategists often lack the knowledge of 'the unwritten tech specs', or just don't keep pace with the possibilities of new technologies. Shifting to work as strategist also it gives the the opportunity to escape the structure of working in team.

The reason why.
Web strategists have become heroes in those (traditional) ad-agencies, especially the ones who have strong concept and thinking skills that can bride the creative departments with the developers and still distill and market a strategic and creative output that suits the needs of most clients.

So, I hope you've enjoyed this reflection and hope to hear from you anywhere soon.
Follow my blog with bloglovin

13 January 2009


The mission of 192021.org is a multi-year, multimedia initiative to collect, organize and package information on population's effect regarding urban and business planning and its impact on consumers around the world. This 5+ year initiative will deliver results via 5 channels: online, television, print, exhibits and seminars. This project will include 10 worldwide partners and appropriate affiliates. (dvlmnt by Geoff)

Last year, 2007, was a tipping point for cities. That was the point when more than half the world’s population (over 3 billion) lived in cities, never have more of us been urbanites.

192021.org is about what the rise of supercites such as Mexico City will mean for us and the earth. 192021.org is a promise from Richard Saul Wurman, founder of the outstanding TED Conference, to do a longitudinal research and sharing project focused around the rise of supercities in our world — in particular, the 19 cities that will each have more than 20 million inhabitants in the 21st century.

(via Bente)

09 January 2009

VAIO P-series

Stunningly small. Beautifully light.

The world’s lightest1 8" notebook, the 1.4-pound2 VAIO® P Series Lifestyle PC does more than you could imagine–with impeccable style. Email at the airport, IM from the park, or just show it off when you want some attention. Traveling to a new city? Turn-by-turn GPS navigation will get you there faster. Best of all, it fits right in your purse or jacket pocket.

can use both 3G Broadband and 802.11 wireless LAN. Sony boasted today that now a user can have access to the Internet anywhere he or she travels with the help of Verizon’s network.

With a screen measuring of about 8 inches, the VAIO P is one of the smallest (dare I say it) netbooks on the market as it can fit in a jacket pocket, handbag, or even a business envelope. Even though the screen may be small, it is wide enough to display the width of an entire website without any horizontal scrolling. The VAIO P is definitely one of the lightest of portable PCs, weighing in at about 1.4 pounds.

The VAIO P has a built-in GPS device for navigation that requires no internet connection. It is also Bluetooth compatible, and it comes with a Media Bar so the user can access their favorite audio and video files in the corner of a screen with a quick click.

Credits due (partly) to my old friend and collegue Farfields working as a designer at a belgian creative hotshop called Nascom

Whopper sacrifice

You like your friends but you love the whopper?
Sacrifice 10 facebook friends and earn your free whopper: whoppersacrifice.com

What would you do for a free WHOPPER®? Would you insult an elected official? Would you do a naked handstand? Would you go so far as to turn your back on friendship? Install WHOPPER® Sacrifice on your Facebook profile and we'll reward you with a free flame-broiled WHOPPER® Sandwich when you sacrifice 10 of your friends (*)

Now is the time to put your fair-weather web friendships to the test. Install Whopper Sacrifice on your Facebook profile, and we'll reward you with a free flame-broiled whopper when you sacrifice 10 of your friends.

...damn, one of those ideas that makes me so jealous I didn't come up with it. Crystalclear idea, nice headline

(*) One coupon for a free WHOPPER® sandwich, per person, while supplies last. Coupon offer available to US residents in the 50 United States and the District of Columbia. Coupon valid at participating BURGER KING® restaurants only.

08 January 2009

Time enough for love

"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.
Specialization is for insects."

— Robert A. Heinlein (1973)


Originally uploaded by Jan Pillaert.


SHAPESHIFTERS (BE) - Luc Derycke (BE) & Kim Hiorthøy (NO)

Boekendesign als totaalproces en het boek als mentale tentoonstellingsrumte. Luc Derycke – designer/producent van kunstboeken en oprichter van MER. Kunsthalle – bijt hiermee de spits af in de Shapeshiftersreeks, waarna de Noorse ontwerper Kim Hiorthøy - Rune Grammofon Label, Smalltown Supersound – overneemt voor een uiteenzetting over zijn grafisch werk en de kruisbestuiving met andere disciplines, lees muziek. Als kers op de taart illustreert hij een en ander ook nog eens met een pittige DJ/live-act, speciaal voor u.

Lezing 1: 28 januari 2009
Presentatie Luc Derycke in het Nederlands,
presentatie Kim Hiorthøy in het Engels.

Social Souvenir

Social Souvenir is an installation and souvenir concept that creates links and social experiences between museum visitors. The concept is based on 300 T-shirts that are exhibited and put on sale at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Roskilde, Denmark. Each T-shirt is imprinted with a text fragment inspired by 15 renowned artists represented in the museum's collection, such as Yoko Ono, Erik Satie, Marcel Duchamp and Per Højholt. Visitors can buy a T-shirt of their own choice, the only condition being that they share a bit of personal information about themselves, or more precisely: their name and address. When paying for the T-shirt at the museum-shop, the information is automatically mapped in Google Maps, thereby making it possible to see where each T-shirt ends up after leaving the museum. During the course of the exhibition, the 300 T-shirts will gradually disappear from the physical museum space only to re-appear on the web. Consequently, by buying a T-shirt visitors do not simply get a personal piece of the installation - they also help contribute to its collective development and distribution.

Fuco Ueda

Toyota IQ

A smart car, thinking about the environment and city space

07 January 2009

Foldskool heroes

Marshall Alexander grew up in the seventies and eighties, his childhood memories basically consist of videogames, bright plastic toys and TV cartoons. Any time that was left he spent drawing and programming games for my Commodore 64. At a later age a few of his childhood dreams became a reality when he temporarily moved to Melbourne, where he worked as a videogame programmer, did oil-painting in a studio and had his work displayed in one of the local galleries. After a course in Graphic Design he made a career-switch and became a graphic designer/illustrator. Currently back in The Netherlands he works at a small design company and spends his spare time illustrating his childhood memories and designing papertoys. He specialize in one-piece papertoys that consist of a single flat piece of paper, which by intricate folding is transformed into a 3-dimensional model.

06 January 2009

Honda sweet mission

A Global Research Show.

Yugop made an experimental voice-blog system for a radio program broadcasted by TokyoFM.

It's an enhanced podcasting site. All entries are provided by text and voice-sound data, which are played with synchronized motion. Posted sound data is analyzed in the server and it's volume history is visualized to the avatar's motion. The user can comment on each entry, which records a computer voice generated with a text-to-speech system on server-side. Unfortunatly it's all in japanese. But at least you be able to enjoy the atomosphere of this communication system.

producer : atsuko suzuki @ dentsu inc.
creative direction : yugo nakamura @ tha ltd
client-side design & engineering : takashi kamada @ spf design / takayuki fukatsu @ tha ltd
server-side engineering : keita kitamura @ tha ltd
sound : void productions

05 January 2009

Mijn grote heldenmerk

Guillaume vroeg mij:
En wat is jou Heldenmerk, Lander?

Ik antwoordde hem braafjes impulsief:
Mijn grote Heldenmerk is Google.

Als jonge snuiter had ik geluk, mijn vader bracht al begin jaren 90 een laptop en een gsm mee naar huis. Hij werkte toen als sales manager voor een farmabedrijf (Glaxo, later GlaxoWelcomme, nu GlaxoSmithKline). Die hadden gouden jaren toen. Voor mijn 10e verjaardag (1994) kreeg ik mijn eigen ‘floppy driven’ pc’tje, afgeschreven voor de pro’s maar perfect voor zo’n snotneus als mij. DOS lag me niet zo, maar eenmaal windows 3.1 draaide was ik vertrokken. Ik was echter half zo onder de indruk van mijn eigen grijze bakkie dan van die draagbare van mijn vader, vooral omdat hij ermee kon “praten” met mensen aan de andere kant van de wereld. Dingen versturen en zo, werken, centen verdienen… Ik begreep het eerst allemaal niet zo goed. Hoe kon mijn papa zich nu een mooie wagen veroorloven door via de computer met wat mensen aan de andere kant van de wereld te praten, ik heb ze nog nooit iets horen zeggen. Maar al snel kwam ik tot inzien, zeker toen ik een jaar later zelf op het net kon. Inbelverbinding, waaaow, ik voelde me soms als een kleine astronaut die zijn ruimteschip lanceerde naar het universum. Al begreep ik in het begin niet goed wat je nou eigenlijk was met dat internet. Hoe kon je er nou iets vinden of doen als je geen adressen weet, and in comes Google. Ik herinner me nog Altavista, Yahoo! en Lycos, en oh de KUL had ook een directory om te zoeken dacht ik. Nou ja als kleine knul interesseerden geleerde teksten mij natuurlijk geen zier. Geheime tips van GameBoy games terugvinden daar was het handig voor. En later om te gamen tegen mensen “aan de andere kant van de wereld”. Ik weet nog dat ik er dagenlang onophoudelijk over zat te ratelen tegen iedereen die ik tegenkwam: “ik speelde een spel op de computer tegen een Canadees, een duitser en een Australiër, echt waar!”

Eind jaren negentig shifte iedereen, haast onbewust, naar Google als searchbot. Pas later, toen ik de vooropleiding architecturale vorming studeerde begreep ik waarom. “Het beste is niet altijd eenvoudig maar het eenvoudigste is wel altijd het beste”, voor John Maeda werd dat simpelweg: SIMPLICITY.

Twee lowlife studentjes (Larry Page en Sergey Brin) die in hun studentenflat, met eenvoudig idee zeg maar het meest complexe netwerk die de mensheid ooit bouwde herleiden tot een makkelijk te gebruiken medium. Een bedrijfje opzetten en het in een mum van tijd (10 jaar) tot een onderneming met meer dan 10.000 medewerkers over de hele wereld doen uitgroeien, dat is voor mij echt ‘mindblowing’. Dat is Google. Om nog te zwijgen van de slagkracht aan informatie die het bedrijf in die tien jaar opbouwde.

“If Google doesn’t know or finds it, it simply doesn’t exist”

Apple is niet mijn grote heldenmerk, het is mijn leven. Maar toch vind ik Google veel grootser als merk dan Apple, Apple is intussen afhankelijk van Google, as are so many others in so many ways. Google is the overlord of all brands, als je voorgaande stelling neemt dan houdt jou merk op te bestaan als het uit de Google-analen gewist zou kunnen worden.

De merknaam is intussen een begrip voor een handeling, is een onderdeel van onze taal geworden, een monopolie, een alleenheerser die moeilijk te bedrijgen valt op dit moment en er hard aan werkt dat zo te houden. Maar ook een merk die de juiste dingen doet met de informatie die ze verzameld hebben, en visionair steeds weer op de juiste plaatsen opduikt. Denk maar aan de acquisitie van YouTube.

Google doet mij een held voelen omdat het mij helpt mijn problemen op te lossen, mijn job goed te doen, alles te weten te komen over de dingen die mij enthousiast maken…

De helden van Guillaume

Guillaume (stiekem een beetje mijn grote held) is de vader van het reclamebureau Duval Guillaume. Hun insteek is dat creativiteit een bedrijf weer menselijk maakt. Machines hebben geen ideeën.

Duval Guillaume werd opgericht in België op 19 februari 1996 door commercieel talent André Duval en prijswinnend copywriter Guillaume Van der Stighelen.

Ik vernam uit goede bronnen dat Guillaume al lang liep te jammeren over het schrijven van een boek. Nu is dat boek eindelijk op de markt, het heet: Maak van je merk een held.

Guillaume vind dat je al zou moeten weten dat het ontstaan van merken een natuurlijk proces is. Met of zonder marketing en reclame, merken ontstaan toch. Omdat mensen graag bevestiging willen van hun keuze en die zoeken bij gelijkgestemden. Je moet de natuurlijkheid van dat proces doorgronden om het in je voordeel te laten verlopen.

“Today it is not enough to be a champion, you must also look like a champion, talk like a champion and act like a champion.” Dat zou Carl Lewis ooit gezegd hebben. Het komt er op neer dat het niet volstaat een uitzonderlijk product te maken. Het moet er ook straf uitzien en er hoort een goed verhaal bij.

De blogsite www.heldenmerk.be verteld meer over de inhoud van het boek en Guillaume zelf gaat er de dialoog aan met zijn lezers. Je kan op de website een vraag stellen aan Guillaume. Er zijn slechts twee voorwaarden aan verbonden: de vraag moet moeilijk genoeg zijn én je moet ze stellen in een korte video.

Dat deed ik dan maar gisteravond, toen ik (weeral) niet slapen kon. "Ik had graag geweten welk merk jou grote held is, en waarom."

Lees het antwoord van Guillaume op de site Held en Merk

Twitter apps directory

The Twitter ecosystem is growing by the day. It wouldn’t be a surprise if the numbers suggest that a new Twitter based application was released each and every day in 2008!
With such a large number of applications available, it is but natural to come up with a database (aka directory) of these applications.

Check Twitdom for the ever growing db on Twitter apps, or check TwitApps: your gateway to third party apps. Saieva has a nice list on Twitter resources and links as well.

My personal favorite Twitter apps are:
My Twitter ways a ton
To analyze your own Twitter output just put in your username here. Your tweets have to be public otherwise we won't be able to get at them.

Lets you share photos on Twitter. You can post pictures to TwitPic from your phone, our API, or through the site itself. There are also popular twitter clients that have built-in support for TwitPic.

Poll your Twitter friends. Then share your poll on Twitter, Facebook or via email!

Add a daily updating TwitterCounter to your blog so everybody can see how popular you are. First Check your Twitter Account by entering your username in the search box, then go to our button code page and copy the code.

Authority based twitter search.

Or how to Find trends in the mountains of information 'retweet'ed on Twitter.

For feeding your blogfeed to Twitter

Search Twitter (not really an app but still very handy)

04 January 2009

Apartment therapy

London-based Levitate Architects came up with this ingenious solution to a book storage problem and created a loft-like bedroom nestled under the roof of the top-floor apartment. Here's what Levitate's Tim Sloan had to say about the project:

The flat occupies part of the shared top floor of an existing Victorian mansion block. Our proposal extended the flat into the unused loft space above, creating a new bedroom level and increasing the floor area of the flat by approximately one third. We created a 'secret' staircase, hidden from the main reception room, to access a new loft bedroom lit by roof lights. Limited by space, we melded the idea of a staircase with our client's desire for a library to form a 'library staircase' in which English oak stair treads and shelves are both completely lined with books. With a skylight above lighting the staircase, it becomes the perfect place to stop and browse a tome. The stair structure was designed as an upside down 'sedan chair' structure (with Rodrigues Associates, Structural Engineers, London) that carries the whole weight of the stair and books back to the main structural walls of the building. It dangles from the upper floor thereby avoiding any complicated neighbour issues with the floors below.

from Apartmenttherapy

Tatler legs crossed

Have you seen a truly awful piece of Photoshop work? Clumsy manipulation, senseless comping, lazy cloning and thoughtless retouching are our bread and butter. And yes, deep down, we love Photoshop.

via photoshopdisasters (Tatler: Legs Akimbo)

03 January 2009

Unforgettable Christmas Ads

30 Unforgettable Christmas Advertisements from leading companies included are British Airways, HP, McDonalds, Mercedes-Benz, Pfizer, etc.

Social media in plain english

02 January 2009

Brands on Twitter

Why Brands ABSOLUTELY DO Belong on Twitter

Lon S. Cohen is a writer and social media strategist. He is @obilon on Twitter.

A Mashable article by Dr. Mark Drapeau was passed around on Twitter this Friday, calling for a ban on brands on Twitter. Cohen respectfully disagrees and explains why in his recent post at Mashable

He writes that:
1. Twitter is Opt-In
2. Twitter is the New Phone Company
3. Brands Can Have Personalities Too

The post includes Cohen's Twitter Tips for Brands in 140 Characters and his Creative Ideas for Brands on Twitter.

Twitter can well be used for different purposes: think of a restaurant pushing it's daily menu out, a retail store pushing out daily sales or promo's — if you're interested it's not spam! — carsellers listing newly brought in cars, maybe even schools pushing out to parents the kids that didn't show, ... and these are just my on the fly thoughts on new apps of the Twitter platform.

Some brands really get it, if thought of well there is a great opportunity to interact with consumers and get an interesting dialog started... those are the ones that should be on Twitter. They make a great product and they understand the importance of engaging their consumers. Companies like Comcast, Zappos, Starbucks, and Mimoco interact with their consumers every day, and for that deserve some sort of recognition.

There are brands that use Twitter to spam. These accounts are only on Twitter to let people know about new deals, new products, or anything else about their product. When they follow way more people than are following them than they obviously don’t get it. A brand should NOT follow anybody (unless they want to listen) if they just want to push promo's out, if it is well thought of and checked, and especially if it's interesting to consumers they'll start to follow!

Report Twitter spam by sending @spam a tweet with the suspicious user name: "@spam @spam123"

Visit New York

Shapish is a graphic, motion & interactive designer I've studied and worked with few years ago. Since about two years he lives and works in New York. I've visited him in 2007 and 2008. Also when I was in New York it dawned to me that there is sooooo much to do in a city like the Big Apple that sometimes there just isn't time enough... And a lot of the times you end up doing what lots of tourists do — which often isn't the most interesting stuff... Well Shapish has posted a list of his NY-mag favs so if your planning a visit to The City this year you should surely take a peek at this post. It's a list with bars, restaurants, clubs and lots of other stuff.

New York Magazine

Happy Y2K9