Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
October 25, 2014 8:46 AM

Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #227

Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see?

My friends: Alistair Croll (BitCurrent, Year One Labs, GigaOM, Human 2.0, Solve For Interesting, the author of Complete Web Monitoring, Managing Bandwidth: Deploying QOS in Enterprise Networks and Lean Analytics), Hugh McGuire (PressBooks, LibriVox, iambik and co-author of Book: A Futurist's Manifesto) and I decided that every week the three of us are going to share one link for one another (for a total of six links) that each individual feels the other person "must see".

Check out these six links that we're recommending to one another:

  • One Lap with Rob Coneybeer - One Lap with Rob Coneybeer. "Rob is a smart VC from the Bay Area who's been to Bitnorth and Montreal's Startupfest. He's a smart investor, having backed companies like Nest. He is also a hardcore race car driver. He has a new series in which entrepreneurs have exactly one lap at high speeds to pitch their product. This takes elevator pitches to the next level -- and the results are pretty funny to watch." (Alistair for Hugh).
  • Rhyme: Why Eminem is one of the most impressive lyricists ever. "As a music fan, you'll love this inside look into how songs are written, and the depths of true lyricism." (Alistair for Mitch).
  • The Runners. "Interviews on the big and small questions of life, with (jogging) joggers in London's Victoria Park. Love, sex, God, depression, passion and more. Pretty amazing little film." (Hugh for Alistair).
  • Political Polarization & Media Habits - Pew Research Journalism Project. "Pew (as usual) with more interesting research, this time on the political polarization and media in the US." (Hugh for Mitch).
  • William Gibson: The Future Will View Us "As a Joke" - Mother Jones. "Here's a pretty fascinating podcast/interview with the person who coined the phrases 'cyberspace' and 'cyberpunk.' Not only does famed science fiction writer, William Gibson, think that the future will see us as 'a joke,' but it's shocking to read that he avoided the Internet and email for as long as he did. Beyond that, this interview also illustrates how challenging it is to be a science fiction writer, in a world where science fiction is always becoming reality." (Mitch for Alistair).
  • 'Am I being catfished?' An author confronts her number one online critic - The Guardian. "For fun, several years ago, a fellow blogger and author (I think was Julien Smith, Chris Brogan or Scott Stratten) asked all of us who had also written books to head over to Amazon and read the absolute worst one. Reviews are funny. You can read hundreds of great ones, but it's that one bad/brutal one that will always roll around in your noggin for days, weeks... and beyond. Bad stuff sticks to your ribs. I have thin skin, but you're supposed to have thick skin. Also... never engage. In four words: Don't feed the trolls. This author decided to go for it and ignore the online golden rule. Ugh." (Mitch for Hugh).

Feel free to share these links and add your picks on Twitter, Facebook, in the comments below or wherever you play.

By Mitch Joel

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October 24, 2014 7:56 PM

Where Does Amazing Work Come From?

Every brand wants amazing work. Every agency wants to create amazing work for the brands that they represent.

It doesn't just happen. The cash register doesn't start ringing on its own. Having consumers talk about a brand is rarely something that starts as organically as it seems. People often ask me about where great ideas come from. There needs to be a root. A foundation. A beginning point. An agreement between the brand and the agency about where they must wind up. We live in a results-oriented world now. It's a place where every piece of creative can (and should) be tested and analyzed. We also live in a real-time environment, where even TV commercials can be posted on YouTube to see how they perform. Measurable, real-time and there's lots of it. Advertising takes on many different forms now. Much more than the traditional, TV, radio, print and out-of-home model. Native advertising, search engine marketing, sponsored tweets and more. The stakes have never been higher.

Everything starts with a great brief.

What looks like a simple document is - in reality - an agreement of how audacious and serious a brand is about making the right impression. You won't find a marketing professional who doesn't take the brief for what it is: page one of a much bigger story. So, how do the most creative people in the world think and use the brief? It turns out that Bassett & Partners (a brand and strategy design firm) wanted to know the answer, so they created an incredible mini-documentary titled, Briefly. If you are curious about how to write a better brief or how to deal with the briefing process (and who isn't it), please watch this... and share it with your team... and the brands that you represent.

Here it is: Briefly...

Briefly from Bassett & Partners on Vimeo.

(hat-tip to Min at Twist Image for the find).

By Mitch Joel

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October 20, 2014 8:50 PM

The New iPads Will Force Us To Redefine The Screen

Every Monday morning at 7:10 am, I am a guest contributor on CHOM 97.7 FM radio broadcasting out of Montreal (home base). It's not a long segment - about 5 to 10 minutes every week - about everything that is happening in the world of technology and digital media. The good folks at CHOM 97.7 FM are posting these segments weekly to SoundCloud, if you're interested in hearing more of me blathering away. I'm really excited about this opportunity, because this is the radio station that I grew up on listening to, and it really is a fun treat to be invited to the Mornings Rock with Terry and Heather B. morning show. The segment is called, CTRL ALT Delete with Mitch Joel.

This week we discussed:

  • Apple is at it again. A whole new slew of iPads were announced. It was semi-leaked the day before, accidentally, by Apple. I don't think that is the real/big story. Sure, this is typical Apple stuff: thinner, lighter, faster, etc... but is there something more? I think there is.
  • Many people are dismissive of Snapchat. I'm not. We are entering into a new age of Internet Culture. It's something I called, The Impermanent Internet. This means that everything that we do will not be archived and accessible by all. Some of it, will just disappear. Skype is now going to let people do video messages that disappear. It's called Qik.
  • Do people really want to follow brands on social media? The answer is a resounding: yes. But brands need to be good at it. Consider what Chanel pulled off on Instagram this week. 1.8 million followers in one day.
  • #gamergate - originated as a story about journalistic integrity, the definition of video games and the identity of those who play them. It has become a massive mess with death threats against female game developers and lots of other ugly stuff. It's something we all need to understand (and help to put a stop to).
  • App of the week: Houzz.

Listen here...

By Mitch Joel

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October 19, 2014 7:12 AM

First There Was UnMarketing Now There Is UnSelling

Episode #432 of Six Pixels of Separation - The Twist Image Podcast is now live and ready for you to listen to.

Scott Stratten is back with a brand new book, UnSelling, that he co-authored with Alison Kramer. Over the past short while, Stratten has gone from trying to accumulate as many followers as possible on Twitter, to becoming an internationally sought-after writer and speaker on the topic of changing how businesses interacts with human beings. Seems simple enough, right? It isn't. Alison has been writing with Scott for a long while. They worked together on all of his  bestselling business books: UnMarketing, The Book of Business Awesome / The Book of Business UnAwesome, QR Codes Kill Kittens and their latest, UnSelling. Does the world need another book about sales? Scott and Alison believe that it does. Mostly, because these books are all about extracting money from customers. They believe that selling is so much more in a world of social media and connectedness. As usual, we try to make some sparks fly. Enjoy the conversation...

You can grab the latest episode of Six Pixels of Separation here (or feel free to subscribe via iTunes): Six Pixels of Separation - The Twist Image Podcast #432.

By Mitch Joel

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October 18, 2014 8:58 AM

Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #226

Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see?

My friends: Alistair Croll (BitCurrent, Year One Labs, GigaOM, Human 2.0, Solve For Interesting, the author of Complete Web Monitoring, Managing Bandwidth: Deploying QOS in Enterprise Networks and Lean Analytics), Hugh McGuire (PressBooks, LibriVox, iambik and co-author of Book: A Futurist's Manifesto) and I decided that every week the three of us are going to share one link for one another (for a total of six links) that each individual feels the other person "must see".

Check out these six links that we're recommending to one another:

  • Eggcorns. "The most useless piece of information I learned today is the eggcorn. So, naturally I shared it here. An eggcorn is a misspelling or misinterpretation of something which still makes sense. You might be 'curled up in the feeble position' or provide me with 'antidotal evidence,' for example. I suspect people who refer to Ellen Degeneres as Ellen The Generous because of her penchant for gifts are committing a similar eggcorn. So, here is a database of them for you." (Alistair for Hugh).
  • Underworld: 'Rave was more punk than punk' - BBC. "My favorite band in the world is a British duo/trio called, Underworld. They've been the soundtrack to much of my life. After flailing around as a bad pop band for years, they released an album called, Dubnobasswithmyheadman. It was probably the album that made electronic music accessible. Every EDM artist today owes them their day job. So, imagine my delight when they released a re-mastered version of it, along with a flurry of posts, concerts, and articles like this one that chart their unlikely rise." (Alistair for Mitch).
  • Watch A Hornet Be Cooked Alive By Bees - IFL Science! "Ahh, nature. The hive of the sweet little Japanese honey bee can be victim to attacks from giant hornets, which invade in groups and can destroy a hive, chopping up and chowing down on bees with their big mean pincers. Usually hornets send a scout to find tasty hives - the scout reports back to the hornet hive, and the invading army comes seeking destruction. Only these Japanese honey bees have other ideas." (Hugh for Alistair).
  • How The New Yorker Finally Figured Out The Internet: 3 Lessons From Its Web Redesign - Fast Company. "The New Yorker recently revamped its website, with a focus on mobile phone and tablet readers. The lessons here are simple, but powerful for anyone producing content that goes onto the Web." (Hugh for Mitch).
  • Why Are Americans So Fascinated With Extreme Fitness? - The New York Times. "I blew my knee out several years ago. I had to shy away from mixed martial arts training and running outdoors, to walking and stationary bicycles. Don't feel bad for me. I'm also getting old ;) That being said, I still follow the fitness space. When I see things like UFC gyms being opened all over the US, and the meteoric rise of Crossfit, I do stop and wonder why things have become so... extreme. This isn't about breaking a sweat and getting into decent shape anymore. It does feel like people have something to prove. It does feel like people don't just want a tough workout, but want to be tough. What gives? This article takes a shot at it." (Mitch for Alistair).
  • Hemingwrite Typing Device Aimed at Distraction-Free Writing - PSFK. "A long time ago, I asked Hugh what the point was in buying an Amazon Kindle to read ebooks on? Why not just read them on a tablet or smartphone? He made a fairly lucid argument, that it's nice to have a device that is used, solely, for the quiet of reading. Not Web browser to distract you. No tweets or Facebook updates to take you away from the words on a clear digital screen. With that, we see the rise of productivity apps that will lock you out of the Internet, so that you can focus on doing your work. It makes sense. I read most of my books on my Kindle app, but it's on my iPhone. With that, I am often distracted. So, when it comes to writing, why not create a device that just lets you write? Pretty interesting idea, right? Say hello to Hemingwrite. It helps if it looks like an old-school typewriter as well. Especially, if you're like Hugh and I... and you have a thing for Typewriter Porn." (Mitch for Hugh).

Feel free to share these links and add your picks on Twitter, Facebook, in the comments below or wherever you play.

By Mitch Joel

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October 17, 2014 5:43 PM

Content Is Not King

It's a pretty bold statement, isn't it? Are we making the wrong assumptions about content? What works? What doesn't work? What makes something go viral? Do you think that BuzzFeed knows the answers to these questions, better than anyone else?... Read more

By Mitch Joel

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October 16, 201411:33 PM

Our Digital Lives

Don't blame technology. Technology is ambiguous. Yesterday, I blogged about a new documentary that was being aired on TVO titled, Life After Digital. The documentary depressed me on many levels. Yes, it's a dystopian view of how bad people seem... Read more

By Mitch Joel

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October 15, 201411:25 PM

Life After Digital

Social media and digital technology are ruining everything. Is the selfie the end of civilization as we know it? Have we become heartless meme generating morons that are tearing apart the moral fabrics of our society? Has digital technology and... Read more

By Mitch Joel

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October 12, 2014 8:03 AM

Advertising Week With Joseph Jaffe

Episode #431 of Six Pixels of Separation - The Twist Image Podcast is now live and ready for you to listen to. This is also episode #29.20 of Across The Sound. Joseph Jaffe is widely regarded as one of the... Read more

By Mitch Joel

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October 11, 2014 1:37 PM

Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #225

Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see? My friends: Alistair Croll (BitCurrent, Year One Labs, GigaOM, Human 2.0, Solve For Interesting, the author of Complete... Read more

By Mitch Joel

Utilities: