Stop wasting money on digital projects if you aren’t prepared to promote them properly by @marthasadie via @storythings

This post by Martha Henson is worth reading if you work in media in any format today, because whether you like it or not digital is part of what you do. Thanks to Storythings for the HT. Read the whole thing, I’m just going to pull this bit out:

Stop wasting money on digital projects if you aren’t prepared to promote them properly.

I’m serious. Do NOT embark on any digital project if you aren’t going to at least make a decent effort to tell people about it or otherwise figure out how people are going to see it.

If you are going to make an in-gallery app but only have room for a small piece of signage and no budget or space for print promotion, do not bother. If you are going to create a game and put it on your website and think maybe your organisation might be able to muster up a single tweet and facebook post about it, give up now. If you are creating an amazing interactive video experience but the entire budget is going on production and you’ve run out of money to market it, stop.

Source: Stop wasting money on digital projects if you aren’t prepared to promote them properly

‘Oculus Rift on a morphine drip’

There’s a really interesting interview that KPCB’s John Doerr does with Netflix’ Reed Hastings up as a Product Hunt podcast. Here are some quotable quotes:

On advice for people working in startups or big companies:

You’ve got to be authentic. You have no hope if you pretend to be Reed Hastings or Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates. You’ve really got to get comfortable with yourself, your strengths and weaknesses. People are inspired by authenticity – I’m surprised by how many people feel like they’re acting, or try to act. You may be quiet and that’s fine. But if you have that fierce will for the institution to be great and your own role is secondary, and you authentically accept that in whatever you do, then you will be greatly accepted.

On what Reed Hastings thinks is in store for the future of Netflix:

When we think about what’s going to be disrupt Netflix: probably internet streaming is like electricity, where it’s got a couple of 100 years’ run. It’s unlikely (to disappear) as it’s a substrate foundation on which things are built on top. The likely case is that some new form of entertainment that’s so compelling – (people will) come to look at in the same way (as they do) movies & TV shows, to be like a novel. But what everyone is doing – is like an Oculus Rift with a morphine drip. So you compare that experience against watching a good TV show – it’s uneven odds. But eventually there’ll be some tech-based entertainment forms that supplant movies and TV shows.

This is the interesting thing about Netflix (I’m currently finishing Jessica Jones, having just finished The Good Wife and just started Master of None) – they’re riding each wave of consumer consumption so pragmatically, rooted no doubt in this belief that the internet is going to be like air if it isn’t already (i.e for most countries where broadband is not a luxury). I find it fascinating he mentioned the Rift, and won’t be surprised if we see a Rift-enabled series at some point in the future.

I remember the days I used to post Netflix DVDs back and forth to their warehouse to get my next movie fix in New York, and now I sit and binge-watch TV shows at home straight from a smart TV. The times, they sure are a-changin’.

You can listen to the podcast here.

Watch: The Dishonesty Project

This week I finally watched The Dishonesty Project, a feature film I funded on Kickstarter last year. It is co-produced by Dan Ariely, and features him along with a number of characters that make you really think about the human propensity to lie: a trader, a mother, a Dean of Admissions, a professional cyclist and more. A real study in behavioural economics and psychology. You can rent or buy it on Google Play, Vimeo and iTunes here.

I love @transferwise. I even said it on broadcast media.

Some of you may know that I think Transferwise is a great service: simple to use, great UX, disrupting the fintech landscape. I’ve even blogged about it before. So when they were looking for people to back them up in ad they were making to reach an Indian/Asian audience here, I thought I might give it a go. Never been in one, so something else to add to my list of life experiences, so to speak.

Feature in a telly ad: check.

Now go get on Transferwise!

.@girlrising casts light on an important global issue: the safety, education and health of women #girlrisingUK

Yesterday I went to a screening of Girl Rising, hosted by members of a new platform called Collaborate Women and Girls.

Girl Rising is a movie about the human spirit, about the power of education and the huge benefits for society if they support the cause of women and girls. In India alone, if just 1% more women were supported through secondary school,  the country’s GDP would rise by $5.5 billion, according to the CIA World Factbook. More such statistics here.

I’d read about the film online last year so when I heard they were screening it here, I jumped at the chance to go. The film is less of a documentary and more a feature film consisting of chapters. Each chapter is distinctly different from the others. Director Richard Robbins got different storytellers and media people to help make each one, running to about 10-15 minutes each. The narrators are as impressive as the writers of each story and include some big names – take a look here.

The film traces the stories of nine girls across the world who have faced considerable challenges to be educated, and in some cases just to live. We are introduced to some impressive real-world girls:  such as Suma who overcame slavery in Nepal, Wadley who remained persistent in her love for going to school in the wake of Haiti’s earthquake, Azmera whose brother helped her to say no to child marriage in Ethiopia,  Yasmin who was the victim of violence in Egypt, Ruksana who continues to go to school despite living in an Indian slum,  Senna who struggles to survive in a Peruvian mining town in the Andes, Mariama who is making a name for herself as a radio show host in Sierra Leone and Amina who is still optimistic after becoming a wife and mother at 11 in Afghanistan.

If you get a chance to watch the film, do. Collaborate Women and Girls also hope to increase the number of people that continue to be involved in some way, through impact investing, donating, volunteering, being an advocate or helping to organise screenings of other movies like this. You can sign up to be notified here and there’s a full list of organisations already doing important work here. We heard last night from Justice and Care for example, who have helped bust criminal rings involved in the kidnapping of girls who are sold into prostitution in India and elsewhere. They also prosecute these criminals and rehabilitate the girls.

There’s a lot to be done, and it has to start somewhere.

On 2 launches last week: #lioninthetent from @HowOppFilm & The Circus by @DaniiK & team


Last week, I was invited by Daniele Orner Ginor whom I’ve known since by Made by Many days (when she was at BBH) to a rather intriguing event. It was a screening of a really short and entertaining movie called The Lion In The Tent, which is about a young British Asian Michael Jackson fan from Brick Lane and how he deals with the school bully, in addition to the launch of a new service that Daniele and a few of her friends have been busy working on the last two years.

The movie is fab – if anyone gets a chance to see it, then do.

The Circus

The service that Daniele and her friends launched, The Circus, is really interesting too. For the moment it is a web service where anyone can sign up, post ideas with 3 hashtags and one image, and then see if other people want to and can build on it. It’s completely anonymous, right until the point where you think the idea has actually got some legs, at which point the people who want to reveal themselves can do so, meet up in real life and get on with actually making it happen.

The event was held in one of the most beautiful old venues I’ve seen in London, Wilton’s Music Hall, which was a coup in itself because it added so much more to the evening.

The Lion in the Tent team are going to be busy submitting their 17-minute short to awards of all kinds. And the Circus is just getting started – go give it a spin!

Here’s wishing Jordan Howells, Natalie Blass, Joe Oppenheimer (the team behind the film) and Daniele Orner, Gabor Szalatnyai and Cary Hudson (the Circus team) all the very best.

Cross-platform television narratives: @2BrokeGirls_CBS

I was watching the latest episode (in the UK that is, S3 ep. 2) of 2 Broke Girls on 4OD this evening, which references Kickstarter and a site called Go Fund Yourself (when Caroline says she was rejected by Kickstarter I was expecting Indiegogo to be her back-up, but that didn’t happen). Anyway, I just keyed in ‘Go Fund Yourself’ on Google and was equally amused and impressed to see this:

Go Fund Yourself

CANNOT WAIT to see @keiichiban’s #hyper-reality films get made, support it on @kickstarter

Still from original films made by Keiichi Matsuda
Still from original films made by Keiichi Matsuda

I first heard about Keiichi Matsuda when I chanced upon his project Cell a couple of years ago.

So it was a pleasant surprise then when I heard from him this week with information of his latest project Hyper Reality.

Hyper Reality is a series of short films that he is hoping to make very soon, based on a future city (set in Medellin, Colombia) that is maxed out on technology and media. Obviously these are subjects I am passionate about so it piqued me interest immediately – but more importantly, his introductory video is really phenomenal. You have to watch it.

Having seen that, I hope you’re as excited as I am about being able to see the full thing, design fiction to the extreme. It will mean a lot if you can help it get made by supporting Hyper Reality on Kickstarter – it officially launched this morning so everything is a go. Tweet, blog, contribute to the Kickstarter fund – everything is much appreciated, not just by Keiichi but by me because I really want to see the full films!

Keiichi explains the premise for creating these films really well on the Kickstarter page:

Technology is playing an increasingly important part in our everyday lives. Most of the time though, we learn about technology from the people who are trying to sell it to us. I believe that it’s important to be critical; to be aware of how these technologies could shape our future. The films will expose the amazing potential, but also the possibly dark future of some technologies, while presenting them in a way that everyone can understand.

I’ve supported it on Kickstarter. Will you?

3D Printing in Stop-Motion Animation: The ParaNorman story

Came upon this during my web trawls, as you do, and even though it’s a year old, it’s great to watch. It’s definitely one of the more entertaining and technically valuable (by which I mean creating a significant change in process and output) manifestations of 3D printing I’ve seen recently. From here:

With the ZPrinter, LAIKA was able to print over 8,000 unique expressions, up from the mere hundreds that were formerly possible. The precision of the ZPrinter not only gave characters’ actions and reactions a greater and more believable subtlety, but did so with remarkable detail (think thousands of freckles) that would have been grueling and unimaginable to hand-paint.