Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Mickys Fish Bar

I recently found one of the best chippies in London.
It’s Micky’s Fish Bar in Paddington. I love it because it’s honest, their cod batter is light and fluffy, the chips are perfectly plump, they have good mushy peas and most importantly there always seems to be a decent number of “crispy chip bits” (those little, slightly over-cooked chip ends) in any chip portion.

Well worth a visit next time you’re hungry and in that part of town.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

more digital buildings!

Following on from my post below about how the world would generally be a better place if more buildings became interactive and ‘digital’…
Ive just stumbled upon Dexia Towers via the Hyper Blog. The Dexia Tower is a project being carried out in Brussels by the Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium who have converted the skyscraper into Digital Weather Tower that changes colour and pattern to reflect tomorrow’s weather, i.e. Red lights indicating 6 degrees or higher than today etc. Another great example of making use of iconic city buildings and using them to do something more than just ‘being an office block’.

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Interactive Architecture

Christmas is scarily fast approaching and already the cheesy “I Wish It Could Be Xmas Everyday…” jingles are already being played on the radio.
I have just stumbled upon one of the best set of Christmas lights. Last Christmas Tokyo’s shopping district of Aoyama made their usual Christmas Light Columns interactive. For the first time the Tokyo public could “call in” to the light columns and change the colour of the neon lights by using just their voice. The guys at Semitransparent Design who created this innovation also got a Cannes Lion for this too.

I found this light project here on Ping Mag, it’s a great blog entry covering all sorts of interesting stuff the Japanese are doing to make their architecture interactive; from Sony’s Live Colour Wall to Microsoft’s Shadow Play.

I wish we had more interactive buildings or installations open to the general public here in the UK. When I say interactive, I mean really physically interactive, not just texting in a short message to be displayed on a on a cheap LED wall (Budweiser I think had something like this in Picadilly Circus?). For example, wouldn’t it be great if buildings could sense volumes or people walking past it via sensors and change its external lighting to match the buzz of people? We interact with buildings everyday, from pushing a button for a lift or using your Oyster Card to enter the Tube why not take this interactivity further and allow people to have fun while doing it?

Friday, 19 October 2007

congratulations Skype!

Ive just seen this post on Hyper’s blog about Skype reaching 10 million simultaneous subscribers.
Sam and Techcrunch are pointing out that its all very well having 10 million subscribers but as Skype to Skype calls are free, the bigger Skype gets, the smaller the margin of profit.
I don’t think its all doom & gloom as surely this when Skype start to charge a small* subscription fee with over 10 million subscribers this would be a hefty revenue stream and by the sounds of it Skype are working on building some really innovative affiliate programmes and retail partnerships too with the likes of Gap and American Express which is further scope to boost revenue.

Sam’s quote is “Kind of like more and more people coming to your party, but drinking the hooch without bringing a bottle…”
I say “they might not bring any hooch, but they’ll chip-in and help you buy a bigger house while they are there…”


Tuesday, 16 October 2007

the barn cafe

Its been all quiet on the posting front as ive just spent a very chilled week in Cornwall, relaxing, eating, swimming and walking.
We stayed in Lamorna and I can highly recommend it, it’s a quiet, beautiful and secluded cove about 3 miles from Mousehole on the south coast of Cornwall.

Another highly recommended place to check out if you are ever in that part of England and hungry is The Barn Café!
This is probably one of the best café’s ive visited in a long time. It’s a husband and wife owned café/greasy-spoon on a small farm about half a mile from Lands End and busting with character and charm ,but not in a cheesy tourist way. I had the fried bacon and mushroom “Tiger Bap” and it was amazing; the bacon was perfect, thick cut and not too watery. We ate our lunch in their garden surrounded by free roaming chickens, rabbits and a few horses in the field next door. One of the best greasy spoon/cafe ive been to…great place to end a long trek along the coast!

Thursday, 4 October 2007


I know its not new news but ive been following the news story over the past few days (Metro, BBC) about random stone sculptures being left outside random people’s houses in Yorkshire in the middle of the night.
Each sculpture had a strange marking spelling “Paradox” and came with a riddle individual to each sculpture. It turns out the sculptures were a stunt by a reclusive artist called Billy Johnson to promote his artwork.
Although the stunt is fairly rudimentary, it’s such a clever and simple way of creating fame and interest in a product without being “flashy” and over complicated. Although it could be argued it’s a gloried combination of door dropping and weird midnight stalking…

Monday, 24 September 2007

Sir Norman Foster to give Barcelona's ground a "Second Skin"

Ive just seen Sir Norman Foster’s new plans for the “Second Skin” to be built around Barcelona’s Nou Camp.
From the model, I think it looks amazing, the “Second Skin” is going to be made from thousands of multi coloured tiles in Barca’s famous Blue, Gold and Red colours which really look impressive and does make the stadium look like a beautiful but deadly coiled snake wrapped around their fantastic ground.

I love the Arsenal’s Emirates stadium and its just as impressive viewing the ground from Hornsey Road as it is from my seat inside, but this bold commission from Barcalona sums up the pomp and self belief of arguably one of the greatest football clubs in the world to create a stadium designed but someone like Foster that really stands out and looks like no other modern ground in the world.

Thursday, 13 September 2007

L.A.S.E.R Tag

This is brilliant!

A bunch of techy (geeky) graff artists in the Netherlands have build an awesome laser tagging program that allows you to “tag” on massive surfaces, like buildings, using a laptop, projector and a laser pointer. The program itself has been built in open source which is makes it even better!

Check out the site here for more details.

I’ll see you outside Centre Point later…

Thursday, 6 September 2007

Cadbury Gorilla Remix

There are already a few remixes of the great new Cadbury’s Gorilla ad.

I found this one today which made me laugh.

Monday, 3 September 2007

i can feel it coming in the air tonight...

If you watched the Big Brother live eviction on Friday you would have seen this ad created by Fallon / Hyper Happen for Cadbury’s Dairy Milk.

I think it is one of the most captivating ads ive seen in a long time, and it makes me smile.

I love it.

Friday, 31 August 2007

power to the people!!!

A group of students who have created a protest group on Facebook to petition HSBC to reverse its decision to stop free overdrafts…have succeeded!

I believe the Facebook group of over 5,000 students is a great demonstration of the growing maturity of Social Networking sites like Facebook and how they are being viewed as more than just time wasting recreational platforms.

I was riled yesterday when I listened to an interview on Radio 5 Live with a chap called Peter Mooney from the Employment Law Advisory Services. The debate was about whether Facebook should be banned from all work places due to employees wasting work time on the (admittedly) addictive site.
There’s no doubting that Facebook as a site is used for recreational purposes in the main, but it’s also a vital platform for networking within working industries. There are tons of work related groups on Facebook and these groups facilitate important sharing of work related knowledge, ideas and the odd networking beer/coffee meet too.

I hope the HSBC protest group news story will now help the likes of Peter Mooney (""Why should employers pay for the privilege of allowing their employees to access Facebook, MySpace or Bebo from work computers whether in an employee's lunch-time or not?") realise the importance of sites like Facebook in connecting people for serious work-related or cause-related matters!

…anyway back to throwing sheep at Martin!!

Thursday, 30 August 2007

my blogs bigger than yours

After reading an article about "what virals can do for your brand” on Marketing Week I stumbled upon this amazing viral on You Tube.

Im not sure if it actually was created by “Scott” and “Brad” but I think its genius, I love the up yours tone of voice to the entire thing. I have a sneaky feeling it was created by someone in the industry though.

I wish I could wheely like that.

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Wrangler Launderette

Sorry its been a while, its taken me this long to sort myself out after V. Festival!

Staying on the festival theme, this was sent round the office today. It’s a novel idea from Wrangler to set up a portable Launderette that pitches up at festivals. Festival goers can drop off their muddy clothes for cleaning, you don’t even have to hang around and miss bands, as once your clothes are cleaned, Wrangler then send you a text message to let you know your washings ready to pick up…genius.

This is the sort of simple, yet brilliantly clever brand idea that can genuinely add something useful to someone’s festival experience and I think it rocks!

Thursday, 16 August 2007


Ive just been reading Amy Webb’s blog post about a really cool new visualization tool from IBM called “Many Eyes”.
Many Eyes allows you to upload any data sets to the site and the tool will take that data and visualize it for you in loads of different forms.
She has used George Bush’s State Of The Union speech as an example and visualized the speech text into a Tag Cloud, the sizes of each word represent the number of times that word was mentioned during the speech.

There seems to be a lot of talk about data visualization online, my mate Sam posted this on the Hyper blog. It’s an application that allows you to visualize your emails in your inbox by creating images from nature that represent the category of the email. Very cool but also very far out and not quite sure what the use would be at this stage other than pimping your inbox?

Wouldn’t it be cool if data could be uploaded from audio recordings of brainstorms, idea sessions or conferences at work into an easy to use Tag Cloud visualisation that can be shared with colleagues afterwards?
This could be an easy way to organise, store and share thoughts with large groups of colleagues, instead of cobbled together scribbles on note pads?

How many times did I use the word “cool” in this post?

Monday, 13 August 2007

Left it till late...again

So, the first game of the new season kicked off on Sunday and what a game it was!
Although we were appallingly bad during the first half, the drama and the fight back at the end was amazing.
This spirited performance was exactly what we needed and in my view we would have walked away with a draw from this game last season, the difference is that this season we seem to be playing with far more desire and the kids have grown in confidence. Hleb needed to score a goal like that, hopefully this will give him the confidence he desperately needs to shoot more often rather than passing in front of goal.

A quick word about the atmosphere, I thought it was great yesterday and I really liked Elvis’s The Wonder Of You being played as the team runs out on the pitch, it’s a perfect song for a football club's anthem!

Friday, 10 August 2007

Frank Lampard TV anyone?

Im not sure what to make of this really.
As an Arsenal fan, Frank Lampard is never really spoken highly of by me and by the looks of things his new mobile TV channel is not going to change this.
“Frank TV” is launching today and is going to be available to Orange mobile phone customers.

I find the likes of MUTV and Chelsea TV excruciatingly painful to watch and I must stress this is NOT (purely) because I’m an Arsenal fan but its because they just don’t have enough good content to warrant an entire TV channel dedicated to one team. How many interviews with Man Utd’s head physio and grounds keeper can you watch in one day?!

It’ll be interesting to see if Frank TV is well received by Chelsea fans and if this will open the doors to other players starting their own TV channels.
Can you imagine…”Joey Barton TV…this week Joey takes us through his favourite curry recipes”, I for one cannot wait!!!
Thanks to Emma for the link!

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Brand Bravery

Sorry it’s been quiet for a while on here, it’s been manic at work and I havnt had time to blog.

I watched Panorama’s documentary last week on the “phenomena” of kids filming real street fighting between other kids on their mobile phone and uploading the fights to “specialist” fighting sites like and video sharing sites like You Tube. Admittedly the footage was shockingly brutal and graphic but most of all, the scary part was knowing that this was all real.

Then came the interesting dilemma that “Blue Chip” advertisers such as Orange and BT were seen to be advertising on the very sites that were hosting these fight scenes. These advertisers obviously do not want to be associated with content like this and it’s understandable that they have taken their respective Media Buying Agencies to task about their appearance on these sites.

Since this documentary was screened last week, Vodafone (and many other brands) have announced that they were going to pull all advertising on Facebook due to the fact they were serving ads on the BNP’s Facebook group pages. Again, this is understandable that huge brands like Vodafone do not wish to be seen anywhere near right-wing neanderthals like the BNP, they have far too much to lose.

However, im starting to wonder how much brands will now start pulling back and feeling nervous about communicating within these powerful new sites.
For years now, clients, agencies and publishers alike have been extolling the values of “Web 2.0” and how we must all embrace this movement towards the “Democratisation of Communication” and how significant the empowerment is that these types of sites have handed to consumers.

With this in mind, im starting to feel like what’s the use in moving forward with brands to embrace this cultural change if at any point there is a whiff of controversy clients demand to be removed form these amazingly powerful platforms and run back to their “safe and warm places”? I don’t really understand why the likes of Bebo have created “Brand Safe Areas” within their community? I think this takes away the entire meaning of brands integrating within real communities and building a real relationship with its users based on transparency and truth. To me it reeks of half hearted communications and a poor way of using a very complex online environment as just another media “touchpoint”.

I think what im trying to say is that, of course Vodafone don’t want to align themselves with the BNP but if a brand wants to enter the brave new world of Web 2.0 they may just have to actually be brave and come to terms with the fact that consumer empowerment means that not all areas of the web can be totally controlled or sanitized at all times.

PS – Does anyone else find the Panaroma tone of voice excruciatingly painful and very Brass Eye!?? “Hi! I’m Jeremy Vine and this is controversial…”

PPS – 3 days to go until the start of the new Season Woooo Hooooo!!!

Thursday, 2 August 2007

think free

Mashable! has just posted on this great service called Think Free.

its a nifty service that allows you to create Word, Excel and Power Point documents that are totally compatible with Microsoft Office without having to pay full whack on the official software from Mr Gates and the best thing the service/product is totally free.

whats really cool is that this service has been built as a widget for Facebook that allows you to share any documents that you have created with your Network.

i like this but whats really interesting is that business/work orientated brands like Think Free are using a Social Networking site like Facebook to promote and seed their service. I really think this demonstrates the growing maturity of sites like Facebook and i'm sure we will see more business orientated applications and tools being created for social networks in the future.

Sunday, 29 July 2007


if you have managed to get to the cinema this weekend to watch Transformers you may have seen a strange teaser trailer for an unknown film. i haven't actually seen Transformers yet (heard mixed reviews) but I have managed to see this (very cool) teaser trailer (codename "Cloverfield") on youtube today and its brilliant!!

the trailer is for a film due out next year from the maker of Lost; JJ Abrams.
there will no doubt be a frenzy of people scouring the net searching for whatever info available on the film; I have to admit I will be one of them and ill keep this blog updated with any new news on this film.

i know its been said so many times before but this kind of "underground" anticipation being built before a movie release is remarkable (its not out until Jan next year!?) and would never have been possible to do effectively in the past without the Internet.

let the hype begin...

herbs from Tescos making me angry today...

ive just got back from a "Big Shop" at Tescos with Emma and feel so angry that they fly in common garden herbs like Basil all the way from Israel?!

considering the current climate (excuse the pun), why would a supermarket like Tescos feel the need to source garden herbs from another country to be flown all the way to the UK? If I can grow Basil and Thyme with no problem at all here in my micro garden in Bow, then why the hell should we have to fly it over all the way from Israel?!

needless to say i didnt buy any herbs from Tescos today as they all looked like they had been flown in from glamourous sounding countries.

Friday, 27 July 2007


my mate Sam posted this on the Hyper blog today about “Widsets” and the demise of O2’s i-Mode. combined with the news today that Virgin Mobile are scrapping their mobile TV offering with BT’s Movio, has got me thinking that perhaps the future of mobile TV also lies in some kind of “Widsets” application that could act like a mobile Tivo device that streams content that you specifically ask for (Arsenal FC news stories) and also automatically streams Match of The Day highlights for example?

Again, I think people are just getting fed up with the cumbersome nature of viewing web content and TV content via their mobile handsets, this would further simplify the process of watching TV via your phone?

Thursday, 26 July 2007

cloudy and murkey "negative SEO"

there has been lots of talk about "Negative SEO".

however, there seems to be conflicting reports and it seems to be a murky area as to if it is technically possible. obviously Google are denying its possible but by the looks of things it is rife and "if you understand the rules of can use them not just constructively, but also destructively."

...comforting thought for brand owners and agencies alike.

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

brilliant street stencil game

a mate at work sent round this link.

She Loves The Moon is an interactive, ambient, street art game, type of thing...
Its basically a love story that 2 people can follow around the streets of San Francisco and you get given multiple choices to follow through different streets and districts. If the players make the right choices you end up meeting each other at the end. (romance, love, sex not guaranteed)

It reminds me of those old-school adventure game books that allowed you to "turn to page 18 if you choose to try and fight the giant dragon or turn to page 12 if you choose to turn and run...", except much for fun and involving...brilliant.

More here

the simpsons avatar creator

...I love it!!
So simple but brilliant.
I love the way Matt Groening has illustrated these famous little yellow people. I find myself just laughing at Homer not doing or saying anything at all, its just his expression alone that does it for me.
Ive made myself fatter than i am in real life as i think i look funnier. (honest)
Ive included Emma on here too as I think she looks HOT!!

Have a go!!

Monday, 23 July 2007

fun in the sun with Accenture

Why do I get a warm feeling inside when I think of brands like Accenture and UBS?
These aren’t normally the type of brands that you would expect to feel “warm” inside when thinking about and I think I may now realize why I get this feeling any time I see these giant corporate monsters.

I am so used to being exposed to these two brands (and other similar ones) when im either at an airport check-in on my way off on a nice holiday to a sandy beach or in a hotel room when watching CNN.

I know this is no revelation or colossal insight but I just think its interesting how a consumer can have a totally different take on a brand to anything that their marketing department would ever want someone to take out from their communications, or is this their plan? By using obvious business people’s touch points like airports and hotels they are also benefiting from a halo effect for the non-business traveller?

Sorry no real structure to this thought but I just needed to verbalise it to try and help me understand what im trying to get at?!

Ramble over...

nielsen scraps web page view rankings

There is a shift happening away from the original model of site measurement.

Website page views are becoming less important when judging the strength of a site and site stickyness will become a more important benchmark in the future.

Digital planning tools like ComScore will now surely follow suit and revise their site analysis metrics to include a measurement tool of a site’s stickyness not just the number of impressions it generates.

This shift is born out of the fact that more and more advertisers are developing digital advertising and communications that rely on time spent viewing and engaging with content (video streaming, rich media ads, interactive ads, widgets etc.) not just clicking on banners…

i personally think this shift should have happened a few years ago, even when video streaming ads first started to really take off..


Sunday, 22 July 2007

1st post.

let the adventure begin, this is the first post on my new blog and hopefully the first of many more to come in the future.
i would appreciate any feedback both negative or positive...Enjoy your stay!