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Month: January 2009

Upcoming speaking in Manchester and Brighton [Digital Shorts – Retail, Recession and Emerging Trends]

For the last couple of years I’ve presented at the “Digital Shorts” events in Manchester and sometimes Leeds (but this year ‘and Brighton’).

The events – organised by Econsultancy and regional partners – are an opportunity for digital marketers and ecommerce folk to meet for drinks and discussion based around a review of the Christmas/2008 trading and predictions of emerging trends.

2 years ago I said we were in denial about a recession; last year we covered social media platforms and rich media; while this year we’re going on a data journey where data + social + behaviour + exchange leads towards epiphenomena. Or ‘magic’ (since, as Arthur C Clarke said in 1961: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”).

If you’re going to be in Manchester let me know since I think we’ll ‘do dinner’ afterwards, while in Brighton it’ll just be beers and the late night train home!

Details of the events are on the Econsultancy shiny new website:

Manchester Digital Shorts, 4 February 2009

Brighton Digital Shorts, 11 February 2009.

Updates and echo-locating via Brightkite.

Digital Shorts – Retail, Christmas, Recession and Emerging Trends for 2009 | Econsultancy


Recent speaking: ACSEL in Paris and eConsultancy in London

It’s been a busy time on the speaking front of late.

I started the week in Paris speaking at the ACSEL event on social media in eCommerce and then in London for the inaugural Alumni evening. Slides from both evenings are available on Slideshare by following the links to the blog posts.

In the next couple of weeks I have planned speeches at Digital Shorts in Manchester and in Brighton, all developing the themes of data, interaction and behavioural profile – from APML to Epiphenomena.

If you’re around ping me and let’s connect: either via or via Brightkite.

Slides from the Digital Shorts evenings will be posted on once given.

Paris – falling in love again, with film

I’ve been uphappy for a while with digital. Slow, clunky cameras with glacial shutter lag and battery dependency, or an SLR format with bulk and battery dependency. The closest I’ve gotten of late to that portable, inconspicuous ‘city snapper’ feel is the estimable (but slow) Canon G9.

While pondering over an upgrade to the Canon G10 (for its 28mm wider-angle lens and more rangefinder-like control layout on the top plate) I realised that what I actually wanted was that very rangefinder body.

Despite dropping many hints for the last two years no-one has opted to buy me a Leica M8 as a bribe/inducement and since I’d never manage to justify one of these rather than, ahem, feeding my children my mind’s been turning to smaller rangefinders.

Enter, therefore, a chat with Andy at in Pied Bull Yard who offered to swap my Hasselblad Xpan (panoramic/dual format 35mm rangefinder) for a pretty Leica/Minolta CLE, complete with 70s Man of Mystery burgundy leather ‘outfit’ briefcase. The deal was done in seconds and so I headed off to Paris with the CLE, some knackered batteries and the cracking, punchy 40mm f2 Rokkor.

I’d luckily got a pocketful of two of my favourite films – the Fujicolor Professional 800Z (even, attractive grain and high speed) and the Fuji Neopan 1600 (the wildest B&W film currently available – extreme speed with the sort of grain that you had on HP5 a few years ago).

I was in ‘Cartier Bresson’ mode: wanting to walk the streets, using available light and a cool-temperature, punchy film to lift the flat, rainy light without going all warm and ‘kodacolour’ on me.

The determinant to shoot film was discovering anew the folk at Panther Professional who’ll develop and scan a 35mm C41 film for (drum-roll) £8. Awesome. No pesky prints, just the negs (archive and print purposes) and a CD of scans at about 1840×1232 pixels (coming in at about 1~1.5Mb each). Ideal for the web.

Panther also supply a neat CD insert with a ‘digital contact sheet’ (just like the old APS films).

This means that I can enjoy photography and playing with films, the discipline of not blatting off a gabillion images, a vast reduction in time spent in front of the computer and a more inconspicuous street shooting time. In all, I’m in heaven.

Oh, and the images are just de-lovely: look at that grain! The contrast! The colour temperature and balance! The tonality! Sigh.

Of course, I’m still ready to accept the bribe/inducement of an M8 at any time, but I’m looking forward to some more film shooting in the coming months – especially since I picked up a rather wonderful 3rd generation Leica Summicron-M 28mm f2.8… That’s now living on the front of the CLE and I’ll update with how it performs on the 800Z stock in the coming weeks (I think it’ll accompany me to Manchester in a week or so and hopefully we’ll have a bit of an urban/industrial wander).

Here’re some higlights from the photoset Paris 2009:

Kitchen at Yves Camdebordes Comptoir
Kitchen at Yves Camdeborde’s Comptoir
Pigeons feeding on the Champes-Elysees
Pigeons feeding on the Champes-Elysees
Entering St Suplice Metro at night.
Entering St Sulpice Metro at night.
View from Daves flat in the garment district
View from Dave's flat in the garment district

Microposting(s) for January 15th through January 22nd

These my micropostings and bookmarks – January 15th through January 22nd:

  • – About TheBrain – Hyperbolic Tree navigation and association returns! 9 years after seeing some nice examples move from PARC to production here’s another one.
  • recycled composting instant desk mini bin : Inventoids – Wonderful! Another great idea from the fertile Inventoids mind. This one is a detailed ‘how to’ – the combination of a great inventive mind and too much time (or distraction activity?). Should be cross-filed under origami 😉
  • Hydra 2.0 + Aperture Plug-In | Creaceed – Woo. High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography plugin for Aperture. HDR is essentially a ‘morph’ of several photos of the same scene, each at different exposure values, so that you get a combined, higher dynamic range – ie details in the shadows as well as details in the highlights. This will make HDR as easy as stitching panoramas.
  • Twitter Fan Wiki / Hashtags – Hashtags – the # on Twitter and how to aggregate and follow these ‘channels’.
  • Credit crunch support | Technical and Business Topics | ICAEW – ICAEW’s credit crunch portal. Good idea for a professional body to set up a ‘theme’ or ‘collection’ page.

Illiterate ad

Came across this ad the other day – couldn’t believe the language used. Not sure if the client approved this, the sub-editor was drunk or the recruiter really hated the client.
Names have been removed to protect the guilty. What does this say of the firm or the client?
Recruitment consultant's illiteracy
Ad illiteracy

Social media and moblogging??

Originally uploaded by Emma and Lorenzo Wood

Hot on the heels of MySociety’s iPhone app for their wonderful FixMyStreet service, Lorenzo spotted this in the wilds of Shoreditch…

Numbered CCTV is one thing (a la Westminster’s unique parking location references (UPLs?)) but texting incidents is a step further.

The cynic in me wonders if this means that the cameras are not monitored until they get a text?

Thinking further forward, why even bother having a camera: just get people to send in photos by MMS with the reference number of the nearest lampost…

Stand by for a new wave of crime – stealing mobiles of people reporting incidents…

Microposting(s) for January 6th through January 12th

These my micropostings and bookmarks – January 6th through January 12th:

  • Bride’s advert for wedding guests – a new franchise idea?? (BBC NEWS | UK | England | London) – Why stop at this? Surely, there’s a business here? A sort of modern ‘rent-a-friend’.

    Service extensions could involve an in-depth advance interview with the bride (memorising key dates, anecdotes, family names, locations); the “Silver” level would include carrying pictures; “Gold” would involve repeating stories to emphasise key personality traits; while “Platinum” could involve learning jokes in the bride’s language and some national dances/folk songs.

    Of course, the Platinum is no more than a good Welsh or Scots wedding, so I think there’ll be a pool of trained people in the UK.

    Best of all, a full service would cover ages from 1 through 100 and therefore bring back into the workplace the old and the very young (aka “new apprentices”).

    I’m now just waiting for Gordon Brown to announce this as a new recession-busting initiative, and how Britain can be the Wedding Capital of the World.


  • Carbon cost of Googling revealed (BBC NEWS | Technology) – Two googles = one cup of tea.

    New equivalences for a new age.

  • How To Twittersquat The Top 100 Brands @ErikJHeels – How To Twittersquat The Top 100 Brands

    Link courtesy of @Peter_abrahams

  • Where is Your Username registered – Useful service to check a username against dozens of social networks, microblogging and other services. Ideal for monitoring use of a brand name, or helping maintain a consistent user identity across so many services.

    Thanks to @peter_abraham for the pointer.

  • BBC NEWS | Technology | Tech fair offers greener vision – ‘Green-ness’ is becoming a factor in purchasing:

    “In the near future, the “greenness” of a gadget will have a big influence on whether consumers will buy it, suggests research published as CES begins.”

  • ProfCast – ProfCast Features

Favourite New Year’s Resolution…

Twitter / Neal Preece

Well, I’ve read too many 2009 predictions and resolutions and am thoroughly sick of them. Then I came across Neal’s thought on Twitter and it made me laugh: had to share it – my favourite pronouncement of 2009…

“I’ve thought long and hard, and have decided on my New Year’s resolutio n. 1024×768.”


Microposting(s) for December 27th through January 6th

These my micropostings and bookmarks – December 27th through January 6th:

Econsultancy | eCommerce Manager, Austin Reed Group

eCommerce Manager, Austin Reed Group
Econsultancy | eCommerce Manager, Austin Reed Group

I’m looking for an eCommerce Manager to join Austin Reed Group (one of my clients) at a very exciting time of growth in their online channel.

The role’s been brought forward since the Group eCommerce Manager’s about to go on maternity leave so this is an opportunity both to establish this role and deputise for the duration of the maternity leave. It’s a very visible role in the group with strong Board and executive interest and support.

There’s a new, whizzy ecommerce platform being ‘enlivened’ in February so this role will have appropriate tools to support marketing and merchandising iniatives.

This is a career-defining opportunity for an ambitious ecommerce retail professional to make a mark in a time of growth and change.

The job advert has details on how to apply but if you’d like an informal chat please either call/mail if we already know each other or send me your details via LinkedIn.

AR will consider structuring the role as interim/contract – just let them know in your covering email.

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