Age of Conversation 3: Now Available

Right, so the book I mentioned here is now available to buy at Amazon. I think it’s quite amazing that two people who’ve never met in real life, Drew McLellan in Des Moines, Iowa and Gavin Heaton in Sydney, Australia, have pulled this off successfully for the third year running.

Age of Conversation 3 has been written by 171 authors from 15 countries, and talks about the changing nature of social media over 10 chapters.  The chapter I wrote is about measurement, and at the rate things are changing on the interwebs, I thought that what I wrote may be slightly out of date by now. I’m glad to say it isn’t. Here’s a snippet:

The question I usually ask anyone who broaches the subject of measuring social media is how they’d measure conversations at a party. You get a group of people together, and hope they (and you) will have a good time. Some may and some may not, and all of it is not really within your control, even if you do your best to ensure that the canapés, drinks and music are all perfect. It’s about people, ultimately, and people can’t exactly be controlled….

There’s more about the project in the press release that has just gone out. The first two books raised over $20,000 for Variety, the children’s charity. All proceeds from Age of Conversation 3 will go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

You can buy it here:




Women, comics, creativity

I went to the British Women in Manga panel organised by London Girl Geek Dinners as part of the Sci-Fi Festival last week. Manga is something that I have started being fascinated with over the last few years, and it was interesting to see such talented women comic writers speak about their work: Kate Brown, Emma Vieceli and Karen Rubins.

I was amused by the fact that the speakers themselves had an issue with the word ‘Manga’ being over-used with regard to comics (especially anything with a remotely adult theme) – similar, I imagine, to the issue I have with the word ‘viral’.

One of the things I learnt is that Manga is actually used as an alternative way to engage school children with Shakespeare in UK schools. I thought that was amazing – and something I regret I never had the joy of experiencing, as another audience member expressed as well.

Also, for those who are interested, Karen Rubins, who was the V&A Comics Artist in Residence last year, informed us that the V&A’s National Art Library is an excellent free resource that most people seem to be unaware of. They even have a Comics Collection – but you’ll need to register to access it as it is part of their Special Collection.

I bought a copy of Emma Vieceli’s Manga Shakespeare version of Much Ado About Nothing, but another thing I’d really, really like to get my hands on is a pack of playing cards designed by Karen Rubins:

comic strip playing cards

Where’s the fun in buying online?

Thinking of moments of delight on the web, I was wondering how the process of purchasing online can be made more fun. You know how when you buy something online, the typical statement after you complete your purchase is something along the lines of “Thank you for your order. It will be dispatched on such-and-such a date.”

The fact is, you’ve just paid hard-earned money for something. Shouldn’t the fact that you’ve bought something you like and want be reinforced in a nice way – perhaps with a funny animated character jumping across the screen saying “Woohoo! You’re now the proud of owner of…”

Wouldn’t that be nice, bringing a smile to your face? And wouldn’t you be motivated to go back to that kind of a site again later, when you want to buy something else? I know I would.

A Room for a Performance

If you happen to be travelling to Stuttgart, Germany, any time soon, you may like to check out the Performance Hotel. A dilapidated old house has been converted into a hotel by Korean artist Byung Chul Kim, where creative people can stay in return for payment by performance – a reading, a dance routine, a song, and so on. It’s not for those who are used to luxury – from what I gather, it’s pretty much mostly sleeping-bag space, so be warned! Even non-creative people can stay, for as cheap as €3, 10 or 15 per night.

[Via TrendCentral]

John Lewis’ ‘She’s Always A Woman’

Love this ad, released last week on TV and created by Adam & Eve London. I noticed a few people say so on Twitter as well, so I’m not the only one. I think the way they’ve captured the essence of a woman’s life is beautiful, and yes, from a brand’s point of view, there’s an implicit message of trustworthiness there, right at the end. It takes time, but it gets there. Adliterate has a nice post on it too.