Russell Davies

Russell Davies is a creative director at Government Digital Services


WhatsApp's scale tells us to alter our tech attitude and focus on evolution

Many years ago, I lived on the West Coast of America and people felt compelled to tell me about their feelings. It was there that I first heard about the idea of learned helplessness. It's a concept from psychology, apparently, first identified by Ma...


The smart businesses are investing in things that will make your clients obsolete

There's nothing that feels more dated than virtual reality. It has been the technology pipe dream for so long that it has a multi-generation history of false hope and disappointment.


Click-through as currency shows how brands have got the internet all wrong

If you haven't seen this in a presentation yet, you'll see it very soon: when teens realised Facebook posts in which brands were mentioned rose higher in the News Feed, they began adding brand names to the end of everything.


Perhaps the era of great change has come to an end - at least in media

Regular readers will know I'm quite fond of noting and quoting my favourite sources for stories and ideas - to a shameless extent, I'm sure some would say. I've always appreciated it when people signpost interesting things to me. But I'm aware I also...


It's not what advertising is good at so much as what it can do better

I've always thought that the best advertising people are those who are a bit suspicious of it. That may well be true of other professions. A degree of distance, a measure of not-drinking-the-Kool-Aid, might help you be good at your job. That's certai...


WhatsApp is an intriguing business. But not because it cost a whopping $19bn

The past few days have been filled with spluttering pundits comparing the WhatsApp acquisition by Facebook to some sort of end times. "$19 billion!" they cry. "For what?! They don't even take advertising!" Indeed, they don't.


WhatsApp is an intriguing business. But not because it cost Facebook $19bn

The past few days have been filled with spluttering pundits comparing the WhatsApp acquisition by Facebook to some sort of end times. "$19 billion!" they cry. "For what?! They don't even take advertising!" Indeed, they don't. This is a company that h...


We should all learn to ditch our inner Charlie Brooker and start singing praises

When I first started writing these columns, they were pretty grumpy - lots of poking fun at dumb agency stuff and pointing at industry idiocies.


Why women, not mobile tech, have provided the most profound changes

There's a splendid interview with Kevin Kelly on He points out that, in the early days of the web, everyone assumed it would turn into "TV 2.0": "5,000 different sources giving you the specialty information about a horse channel and a dog c...


We can all learn a lesson from the Brazilian air force when it comes to tech

Just off the top of your head, which country do you think has the best air force - pound for pound? The answer, apparently, is Brazil...


The planning community needs to assert itself more to get brands to act

Here s a great tip for fun in a meeting: ask everyone how advertising works. It always leads to blank stares; then, when everyone has had a chance to think about it, you normally get to something about condensed message delivery. Which might be right...


Google's prying eyes are everywhere. They're even in your thermostat now

If you're a columnist, some things are mandatory: the "signing off for Christmas" column, the "interestingly bad service experience" column, the "kids say the darnedest things" column. And further expectations surround those of us who make stuff up a...


Netflix, Bruce Willis and the big-data mystery not even Perry Mason could solve

Are you old enough to remember Perry Mason?


Do not send a corporate Christmas card, and other tips for the festive season

This is my last column before the festive season, so here is a handy Future Of Media Christmas Gift Guide. You might like to imagine it as a magazine supplement with lots of cut-out items against a white background, divided into those annoying lifest...


The return to sharing and co-operation is one way to take on the tech giants

Last week, we lamented the fading of the "web 2.0" dream: the erosion of a data-sharing economy based on feeds and APIs, specifically the demise of LastGraph, which made listening maps based on a feed from


The open, interconnected web has sadly turned into a corporate battleground

Something important died last week. It was a little service called LastGraph, which took data about your music-listening habits from and made it into all sorts of pretty and interesting graphs.


We can learn more from social media managers than how to sell snake oil

I have found myself horribly guilty of the kind of short-sighted, incurious prejudice I always spy in everyone else, wagging my finger and raising my eyebrows. I should be mocked and humiliated. I am a dinosaur. I must be disrupted. My crime? I ve al...


Lessons we must learn from BuzzFeed, GIFs and Captain Picard's facepalm

One of my internet heroes is a chap called Ze Frank. Older readers may remember him from way back when, before the dawn of YouTube.


The next generation of writing tools will free us from the tyranny of Word

If you fancy reading an eloquent, angry rant, look for a blog about Microsoft Word by the science-fiction writer Charles Stross. It is spitting, splenetic and smart.


'Growth hackers' don't need marketing theories, just lots and lots of testing

I remember being suspicious of Twitter at first. Looking at my old Tweets, it wasn't until the end of 2006 that I properly got into it.

Nick Jefferson

Jesus Games.

Andy Nairn

The Trust Trap strikes again

Dave Trott



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