Are we entering a new age of interactive design, or is that a load of hype? Russell Davies looks at new tools that could help creative people do their jobs.
We're on the edge of inventing a new form of expression between humans and machines, says Russell Davies.
Russell Davies, who was previously at Wieden & Kennedy, Nike, and the Government Digital Service, explains what Campaign readers can expect from his new blog.
I studied Brave New World for O-level. That's how old I am: pre-GCSE. I bet you've come across it somewhere too.
My Twitter stream is currently full of friends attending Google I/O, where it unveils all the cool stuff people are going to be able to build on. It's the usual mixture of excited squeals at clever new things and cynical mutterings about how Google will bend everything it has invented or bought so that it can show you more advertising. But I never worry about that, because I think Google is trying to get out of advertising.
One of the things I liked about being a planner was seeing inside businesses - and that almost universal realisation that what everyone thought they were good at wasn't the real key to their success. What Nike is really good at is procurement. What Honda is really good at is culture. What Lego is really good at is manufacturing. That kind of thing.
Have you seen the movie Transcendence with Johnny Depp? I don't recommend it. Appallingly overblown sci-fi guff about a scientist who gets himself "uploaded" into a computer - becoming a glitchy, screen-based entity spouting platitudes in that spiky green font evil computers always seem to use. I saw it on a rainy afternoon and, as a little coding exercise, I thought I would try to upload my wife.
There's a small and growing movement known as the "IndieWeb". I hear more about it every day.
The New York Times had a bit of a leak the other week - an internal report on how they were doing at "digital". It was depressingly familiar reading for those who have been trying to get organisations to "do digital" for a very long time, but you have to hand it to them: at least they commissioned a report and they got people who were smart enough to write a really good one.
They're so common now that observational comedians make jokes about how observational comedians no longer make jokes about them.
On 17 March at 7.53am, the Los Angeles Times ran a story on its website about an earthquake striking near the city: "A shallow magnitude 2.7 earthquake aftershock was reported Monday morning four miles from Westwood, according to the US Geological Survey. The temblor occurred at 7.23am Pacific time at a depth of 4.3 miles."
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 Martin Seligman in the 60s.
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.
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.
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 need to maintain my position of being worthy of signposting too.
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 certainly true of Tom Ewing of Brainjuicer.
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.
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 has a blog post that starts by quoting Tyler Durden from Fight Club: "Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need."
When I first started writing these columns, they were pretty grumpy - lots of poking fun at dumb agency stuff and pointing at industry idiocies.