Human Genre project

human genre.jpg
I came across this project at Boingboing (cannot recommend it highly enough – its one of my longest standing rss feeds).

This lead to both consumption of and contribution to:

The Human Genre Project
– a very cool idea – here’s the backstory from its founder.

Nature, nurture and identity have always fascinated me.

My pieces are here and here.

I recommend that you read, bookmark and ideally contribute!


Digital Fingerprint

digital fingerprint.jpgpic courtesy chrischappelear

As requested by a friend recently – a list of the programmes I use on my Mac and those on my iphone:

I haven’t linked them, you should be able to find most of them with Google – if there are any you need let me know. This is just a peremptory inventory, I will do a more considered post in the future.

First the MacBook:
Firefox – I use quite a lot of greasemonkey scripts and extensions (another post I think) I also have Gmail notifier (I use Gmail for everything now.) – Mac for offline reading of mail on MacBook
iCal – Calendar – sync to iPhone also with my Gmail Calendar
Contacts/Address Book – sync to iPhone but not yet Gmail contacts
Microsoft Office (specifically Word, Excel and Powerpoint) I have 2004 but am almost ready to migrate to:
Pages – been using recently
Keynote – been using for quite a while
Numbers – been using recently
Itunes – duh
Preview – used Xee for a while but don’t really find the need now.
VLC – for all your media needs
Vienna – Opensource RSS feeder – excellent
Omnifocus – GTD/Lists, organisation tool – also syncs with iPhone
Tinderbox – thinking, hypertext, notes and much more
Yojimbo – catch all (thinking about moving to Evernote)
MarsEdit – Blogging tool
OmniGraffle – for doing great diagrams and some pdf documents
Adobe Creative Suite 3 – mostly photoshop (yes, at which I sjuck)
iPhoto – syncs with iPhone I also have a Gmail extension with automatically sends

There are a great number of other apps on my machine which I use occasionally or are tweaks, not to mention the ones I have tried – as mentioned above, I must do a post on those.

Similarly on the iPhone I have tried a great many apps, but am currently using:
(Some of them are for jailbroken phones only – so obviously Cydia and Installer)
SB Setting – Big Boss Prefs but evolved
Omnifocus – sync with Desktop and also location aware
Fring – skype and other messaging services on iphone
Threads – cool Threadless images, great for wallpapers
GeoCaching – just beginning to explore
Moleskinery – notes, sync with desktop
File Magnet – sync a format of files to the iphone
NeoReader – Quick response code reader
Newsstand (still trying vs Pro RSS)
Around me and…
Locly – both do the same – location based info/services
Web Search – cool preload for popular search sites
Twitterific – Twitter
WordPress – Blogging
Linked In – Profile
PDA net – Tether MacBook to iPhone free wifi
Splash ID – secure information
Tube – London Underground
Google Earth
Oblique strategies – strange but sometimes useful(look it up!)
Camera Bag – different camera effects
Night Camera – uses stability to judge when to take shot
Banner – scroll messages in a cool way
Instapaper – read stuff from the web later
MyRail Lite – find out what time and what platform for my trains
Night Stand – digital clock
WiFinder – find wifi

Again have tried many more and I have left off the games and apps just for showing off the iPhone such as Koi pond, Guitar, Ocarina etc – I promise I will do proper post in the future on both.

Maybe I need a procrastination/promise-keeping app!…

Essays – thinking and trying?


I often think in quotations.

In fact I sometimes even look for quotes to help me start thinking, trying to make sense of or answering a question. In my experience this often frustrates others – for 2 reasons :

1.‘Why don’t you use your own words/thoughts’?

My words are often not as well thought through as they might be – “in other words” (sic) if someone has said it better than I was beginning to think I could, it would be extreme arrogance to assume that I could say it better (given enough time – see below) just because its me.

2. ‘It’s lazy’

Perhaps it’s lazier to bumble out knowingly, something which closely approximates what I wish to communicate but not exactly. Read the rest of this entry »


Picasso bull evolution sized.jpg

Pic courtesy

Been avoiding this to some extent, because it has been ‘blogged’ to death but more probably because it is scarily concise as I wish I could be! (even with its typo – ‘are’ instead of ‘and’) A brilliant sketch.

Perhaps I have waited the equivalent of a Victorian Mourning period for it to be socially acceptable or perhaps I have finally overcome the personal quandry it put me in!

Instead of beautifuly crafted rubrics about work, brands, love or anything else, I wish some Advertising/Marketing Companies had something like this on the wall in their reception area for staff and visitors to see.

It could have been more beautifully put but not much shorter or more powerfully.

Better – Seth Godin

Are you better at what you do than you were a month or two ago?

A lot better?

How did you get better? What did you read or try? Did you fail at something and learn from it?

Does that mindless stuff you do at work when the boss isn’t looking (or all those meetings you go to are all those emails you answer) make you better or just pass the time?

If you got better faster, would that be a good thing? How could you make that happen?

A lot of questions so early in the morning, but the truth is that marketing rewards improvement. It didn’t used to. It
used to reward stability.

Corn Flakes are Corn Flakes.

Make a note…

Notebook.jpgpic courtesy paperocks a.k.a. evalinda

Writing this article on the 08.34 train to Waterloo – in my ‘field’ notebook, not on my iphone nor my MacBook. I wanted to write it because I have spent an inordinate and certainly unwarranted amount of time thinking about, purchasing and then using a variety of pens, notebooks and to a lesser degree electronic devices.

Notebooks are now definitely both a fashion statement and a common accessory for many people. And although I have just been momentarily distracted by a man wearing a Fedora hat and an ink-spider (another post) I have just two things to say:

1. The search for the perfect notebook is probably like the search for Grail – a lifelong journey of hope. It’s never quite there and once we realise the nature of the quest, we focus less on the item itself.

2. Moleskine, like The Da Vinci code is mostly made up –

“The modern Moleskine is fashioned after Bruce Chatwin’s descriptions of the notebooks he used and is not a direct descendant of the original moleskine…Although Moleskine srl claims their notebook has been used by well-known artists and writers, such as Picasso, Matisse, and Hemingway, the brand Moleskine was officially registered only in 1996. Francesco Franceschi, head of Modo & Modo’s marketing department, was quoted as saying, “It’s an exaggeration. It’s marketing, not science. It’s not the absolute truth.”[1]” Wikipedia

More usefully I did find this brilliant site:

Which is a ‘grail quest’ search for the perfect little black notebook.

For the ‘too far gone” to ever see it as just a thing in which to scribble shit…

I came damned close. Read the rest of this entry »

Presentation Styles

song chart memes
more music charts

In my time I have been both victim and perpetrator of more than my fair share of a good ‘mousing’. Banging on about slides whilst clicking away seems something that Marketing/Communications thrive on in particular. I note that Russell Davies in his article “reskilling for an age of things” which deals with abilities such as making and repairing, describes his core skill as “probably using PowerPoint to persuade people and businesses to do their advertising slightly differently“.

Still, I’m as happy as the next bandwidth hog to download endless TED lectures, Steve Jobs’ Keynotes and even the occasional slideshare entry. In fact that last link really serves as a summary of what the best presenters say are the best presentations.

Is it style or content?…

Read the rest of this entry »

Oh Well, Orwell’s 6 Rules

Orwell.jpgpic courtesy anon

Eventually it seems everyone has to write something about Orwell’s 1946 essay “Politics and the English Language” (Certainly it should be read by everybody who writes anything for others to read) although strangely I haven’t found too many people working in Marketing and Communications who keep its advice on the wall in front of their desk. Read the rest of this entry »