This here be the 500th post on Think Small. And so it seemed a natural time to take stock of this blog. One of the best things about a blog is the ability to slowly morph over time its purpose and meaning in a completely arbitrary fashion.
Think Small first and foremost has always served as a digital scrapbook for things I've done, found, read, seen or just find interesting. It's also been a place to put more shape to thoughts that otherwise would flutter off into forgetfulness. Sometimes stemming from things I'm working on, mostly just from things outside the work world, but this has never been about "my work." If I was more single minded I'd probably get a bigger following and more cheques from Google, but that was never the objective. By making the thoughts and writing public simple is a way to force more concerted thought towards what I'm thinking. Kinds of like Fast Strategies, it gives me pre-thought opinions on matters that frequently pop up in discussion.
So if anything, in the near future I foresee Think Small becoming even more random, but Interesting Vancouver definately will become a major focus of the blog for the coming months, but hopefully that is interesting in it's own right.
The one advertising specific area that really excites is multi platform campaigns. I have the fortune of working accross many mediums old and new and how to actually bring these beasts to life really fascinates me. There are so many timeless elements clashing with petty modern absurdities that get in the way of big son of a gun ideas coming to life. Ideas that build brands, grow market share and demand pricing power. That's the juicey stuff and every medium has brilliant ways of doing in and many ways of sucking at it. But more on that another time.
But lastly, doing a better job with proof reading is also a mission but not one that often succeeds, otherwise posts would rarely occur.
Thanks for following along and if you're in Vancouver hope to see you at Interesting Vancouver.
To keep the blog fodder flowing Dan Germain asked if the readers have questions. And he is answering. Being an inquisitive bugger, with no sense of humour at the moment, I asked a couple pragmatic questions and he answered.
Being a Friday morning, with lots to do I naturally decided it was important to visual the process. Granted, as I have never actually met the man in real life the computer may not be accurate. My apologies for any misrepresentation.
Here's the questions and answers:
What have you personally got out of blogging? What has Innocent got out of blogging? And, does this planet need any more blogs? asks Brett
I only started blogging because I wanted to show off about having become a dad, and it seemed like a good place where my mum could see pictures of my daughter. I also guess that seeing as I write for a living (to a large degree), it gives me somewhere else to write, other subjects to write about, and allows me to learn about stuff that might help me write even better.
innocent having a blog is pretty natural. We've been sending out a weekly email to people for seven years, which was like a blog before there were blogs. When we found out that there were easy ways to post stuff (like Typepad, Blogger etc) we started blogging. In terms of what we've got out of it, we've had our best thoughts confirmed - the people who drink our drinks care about what we do, they bollock us when we mess up and they give us advice when we need it. We're quite lucky to have a bunch of smart people who buy our drinks.
Does the planet need any more blogs? Probably not. I had a period last year when I had over 150 feeds in my reader, and I used to chastise myself for not looking at every post. It got quite addictive. But now I only look at a handful of other stuff. Life's too short.
PS. while my drawing skillz are phenomenal, please note I am not currently available for your storyboards animatics. But thanks in advance for your interest. I'm flattered.
Posts have been quite meager of late on Think Small, I've been too busy with the business of making and doing advertising to talk/blog about advertising. Guilt did come across that I was depriving my modest readership frequent updates to my digital scrapbook. But, just like in Cape Town where according to this sign Crime is Not an Option (which is counter to all the front page news reports of rising crime) I've instituted a defacto law - Not Posting is Not a Crime. In fact it may be liberating. Nonetheless, I'm back in action and hope to share thoughts and observations of the great adventure plus some new stuff brewing in the noggin, lest guilt gets the best of me. Thanks for sticking around...
A couple good fellas I know quit their jobs at Microsoft and moved to Japan. They are chronicling their introduction to Japan via blog. They don't quite have the production values of Lost in Translation but it's a better take on day to day life in Japan for those wanting more than a stay in the Park Hyatt.
Here's my favorite pic from their blog. Those Japanese are so efficient that with technology they can bathe and cook at the same time. Bravo...
For all who have been waiting breathless with anticipation you will be pleased to know that the lobbying has paid off and Tankard is now scheduled to touchdown in Canada as per the itinerary formally released by the custodian of the Tankard - Dan Germain.
The activity fun guide for the Tankard visit here is already in the works.
After gentle chiding from certain individuals, I have realised that a tankard post is long overdue. Javier (near Bilbao) currently holds the murky brown drinking pot, and I'm sure he would like to send it on. So here's the revised schedule:
Javier will send it to Ben in London
Ben will pass it to Russell, also in London
Russell will give it to Tom, who will hopefully take it out of London and balance it on his chin
Tom will send it to Rich in Belfast
Rich will send it to Margot Matilda Evans
Margot Matilda Evans will post it to Nicholai (Copenhagen)
Nicholai then sends it to Brett in Vancouver (now it's getting exciting)
Brett sends it to Lauren in Chicago
Lauren meets up with Clay Parker Jones, also in Chicago, to pass on the tankard
Clay will send it to Kate in San Diego
Method and Innocent have always been my favorite corporate blogs in terms of dimensionalizing their brand stories. Sun and Microsoft are other favorites for foster communities with core users and followers. Came across a Benneton and it’s right up there with Method and Innocent.
For a long time Benneton has been a mass brand with an intensely strong and often controversial point of view. To me they have always stood for racial equality and individual empowerment. Pretty heavy stuff for a clothing brand. But they went far beyond just casting diverse models in ads and donating a tiny portion of sales to a charitable cause. They aren’t afraid to take social issues to their core beyond typical corporate spin fluff.
Ahead of their time they published Colors a pre-Adbusters social conscious newsstand magazine that brought issues like land mines, sex slaves and other disenfranchised people to the common first world shopping mall. I’ll never forget the first issue of Colors I picked up in a Benneton store in Quebec City which contained images of land mine explored parent’s skull smattered on a kid. Empowering and a visceral memory to this day anytime I walk into a Benneton anywhere in the world. And I think very relevant as they are one of, if not the most, global mass-clothing brand.
So it looks like they just started their blog, and it will be interesting to see if the issues they report in Colors become a dialog on their blog.
I’m really pensive after reading this post.
We've had a lot of good dialog around the office on blogs lately. Not a how can we force
this into a campaign to be "edgy" kind of thing. By now there are probably blogs about blogs that write about how blogs in advertising are so three years ago. No, our dialog is around how can we use technologies such as blogs to better collaborate and share ideas.
The last thing anyone wants, fortunately, is another corporate blog. Blogs are great when they are human, not another outlet for corporate speak - even if it is guised in personable language. GM's FastLane blog is a great example of this garbage. Basically a string of press releases with "awesome" shoehorned in periodically.
This great little article by Six Apart, the folks behind Typepad, talks about the good side of corporate blogs and how Weiden Kennedy London's blog is a good example of this. Here's a key quote of the role of a blog versus email:
- Blogs are great for sharing ideas that aren’t time-critical, that have enduring value after they’ve originally been posted, or that inspire comments and responses that are valuable when shared with the entire audience.
- Email is great for critical announcements or notifications that are worth interrupting someone’s time for. It’s also useful for messages that can be deleted or dismissed once they’ve been dealt with.
Bottom line: be interesting.