If you like movies, you’ll probably have fun with the new website that DDB Canada (the place I work) developed for the Toronto Jewish Film Festival. To prove that you’re already a fan of Jewish movies, DDB created a website that analyzes everyone who was involved with the movie (from writers to actors and producers) and gives it a score (or gentile percentile) for how Jewish it is.
At it’s core, it is an easily searchable archive of designs for objects that can be created on a 3D printer. Where it differs from competitor Thingiverse is the that Defcad is willing to host more controversial designs. Specifically, the files needed to print gun parts.
While MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis hosted one of the opening keynotes at #SXSW, Cody Wilson was also at the conference spreading his own brand of libertarianism. “People are going to be able to pass this contraband between one another to the point that ‘contraband’ won’t be a meaningful way of describing it anymore,” he was quoted as saying. For a society still grasping at the legal ramifications of simply copying songs, this is a conceptual leap.
It also demonstrates the fine line between free speech and dangerous ideas, a line that Cody Wilson might just crossed. It’s not for us at to decide, but it’s the type of topic that will factor into debates about what a free and uncensored internet means in the future.
For those interested in how long experts estimate the 3D printing revolution will take, take a look at this infographic.
In the past few years, one of the most interesting MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games) to emerge has been EVE Online, a game in which each player takes the role of spaceship captain. What’s interesting about it about this game is that the economy is much more open and malleable compared to other games. So much so that the developer had to hire a real economist to help keep things managed as players form consortiums, alliances and trade pacts with other. The result is a capitalist system, one in which players can stand to lose thousands of real world dollars in online, in-game heists and, battles
At least, that’s true for most of the world’s players of EVE Online.
In China, like much of the country, players are behind their own great firewall. Their version of EVE Online only lets them interact with other Chinese players, as The Mittani reports, and that this has resulted in the players creating an in-game economic and political system more like the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China “with long term decisions and diplomacy being made by a politburo comprised of the CEOs of major member corps and a Chairman who handles immediate decisions and day-to-day operations. While fleet commanders have some initiative, it’s ultimately the Chairman who gets the final say on major ops.”
It’s a fascinating insider’s account of an incredibly complex game, and the type of system that the world is starting to pay closer attention to.
It’s been four years since the video game industry surpassed the movie industry, and 90% of Canadian teens and kids are gamers. At Radar DDB, we’ll definitely be staying on top of emerging trends in video games (and getting a few games in of our own when we can).
For more, read “Socialist State Emerges In China’s Alternative EVE Universe“
A few days ago, Ryan Holliday posted an article on BetaBeat about the Fakery of Brands on Reddit.
I’m a longtime and active Reddit user, and I disagree with a lot of his article, and the idea that Reddit users will be so easily fooled by marketing trickery here. It’s tough to even MENTION a brand without getting a /HailCorporate comment (the fact that the author refers to “HailCorporate” as a tag indicates he doesn’t really use Reddit, either).
The examples he cites probably aren’t examples of brands trying to work their way in there. If he’d read the comments or had a better idea of how the Reddit community worked, he’d know this. In the example of the Audi image, many of the commenters clearly point out that a.) it uses the wrong font for Audi b.) it uses an unlicensed poster from Lord of the Rings c.) the Photoshop job is incredibly amateurish. In the example of Subaru getting their content to the front page, the author of that article fails to take into account that it’s unlikely Subaru (Canada, Japan, America) would use the username “GodFree.”
Similarly, his “TIL” (Today I Learned”) examples are weak. People are sharing these things because they are interesting. I didn’t know that Volvo invented the 3 point seat belt, but it’s a cool fact.
Sometimes good content bombs on Reddit. Sometimes weird shit makes it to the top. There’s no hidden corporate conspiracy like this guy makes it out to be.
My Favorite Reddit AMAS:
Why was it good? They used the strength of their team, and showcased their uniqu personalities and areas of expertise to answer questions. Being engineers/etc, they didn’t shy away from really technical questions
Why was it good? Louis was just Louis, and like all of his projects it showed how human he is, spelling mistakes and all.
Why was it good? Although it was obviously done the same day as the Old Spice “Muscle Music” Vimeo launch to promote the deodorant, Terry didn’t just stick to Old Spice-related questions. As with Louis CK, he was simply himself.
Why was it good? Although probably inspired by the Simpsons episode where they go to a cardboard box factory, it was still a great IAMA on what could have been an otherwise boring topic. He was very patient with the questions, even though he had never seen the episode, went into a ton of detail and kept answering questions long after the standard one-day of IAMAs.
Why was it bad? He only focused on the current film he was promoting. He only answered a few questions from fans, and kept trying to steer the conversation back to the movie “Rampart.”
Why was it meh? It wasn’t an officially sanctioned Reddit, but it wasn’t particularly enlightening either. Interesting that a lot of the questions went right to the “ethics” of Apple (FoxConn factory employees, etc), even though the guy doing the Reddit was just an employee at the genius bar. Notable as our
Some Reddit Stats
10% of Reddit users are Canadian, so that works out to 3.4 million YEARLY unique Canadian visitors.
The main problem with getting this data from Reddit is that there isn’t really anyway to track these users. Reddit doesn’t ask for ANY user details, they don’t have an ad network. You don’t even need an email address to register.
Otherwise, your best bet for data is this blog post. It’s self reported data (well, I guess so is Facebook), and focuses on things like what the favourite cheese of Redditors is. Pingdom also has some interesting data which says that 65% of Redditors are male and 58% are under the age of 35.
A few weeks ago, I saw a Tweet asking users to submit questions they’d like to ask Kim Stanley Robinson in an upcoming interview. He’s one of my favorite authors (he wrote the Mars trilogy, one of my favorite series of books), and he always has a lot of intelligent things to say about the future of humanity and the role science will play.
It’s a great interview, and I’ve embedded it below. My question, “On which planet, asteroid or community from your novels would you most want to live?” is near the end. I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing that Kim Stanley Robinson’s first reaction to the question is “Oh, my lord…” The rest of his answer actually surprised me, but I’ll let you listen for yourself (around the 33min mark in the video).
You can also check out the interview on the Mendel’s Pod website. Thanks to Theral Timpson for using my question!
I think that the Simpsons* will always have a special place in my heart. Part of it is because they’ve got a reference for everything, but partly because I’ve just grown up with them.
Anyways, here are a couple of advertising-related clips that I was thinking of the other day:
“Super Liminal Advertising”
“Rich Creamery Butter”
*Not, of course, the newest seasons.
The internet connects billions of people to each other every day. It allows us to talk to people around the world, instantly. It lets us share and create art. It can help us learn. It helps people who might not otherwise have a voice be heard.
Unfortunately, some of the world’s governments want more control over the internet as we use it today. They want to be able to censor it, spy on it or otherwise manipulate it, and they are often supported by organizations that don’t have the public’s best interest in mind.
Enter the #FreeAndOpen campaign from Google. With a real-time map displaying the names and locations of those who have pledged their support and a video to put a face to some of these people, the company whose informal corporate motto was once famously “Don’t be evil” is really trying to do some good. 3 million people have already added their names to the map online.
This is an important issue that goes far beyond the advertising industry and our work at Tribal DDB. We urge you take a moment to consider how a free and open internet has benefitted you, and how it can do so much more for the entire world.
The One Thing is a result of the daily 10am meetings held in the DDB Canada offices, where our digital teams meet to discuss new online trends, tools and technologies. Today’s One Thing was written by Tribal DDB Toronto Social Media Strategist, Parker Mason.
Follow Radar on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/RadarDDB
If you’re not already, I strongly recommend reading Jan Chipchase’s blog, or at least some of his articles. Jan is a field researcher who used to do work for Nokia, and now works for a company called Frog Design. His area of expertise is studying the way people use mobile phones in developing countries, and I’d wager that a lot of his insights over the past 15 or so years have made their way into the a lot of the Apps and phones we use today.
Some of his recent papers include:
This is an excellent look at the way local Afghani’s are using new or different ways of transferring money amongst each other. As Jan writes, “Many people associate mobile banking with cities like London or New York, but it’s potential impact is far greater in countries where there is limited access to fixed banking infrastructure.” As a result, I think we’re likely to see more innovative solutions and work arounds come from these places. His study was done by travelling throughout Afghanistan with a team of researchers and fixers to interview different types of people and agents who use or are involved in the various services of transferring money in the country. Although the report is from 2011, I think it’s still highly relevant. Some of the trends (like mobile banking/money lending) are really only in their infancy both there and in more developed countries.
“If you’re reading this there are some nuances I’m guessing you haven’t truly absorbed: as the global economic centre of gravity continues to shift towards China++ many of the multi-national companies that put products on your shelves will increasingly be designing for China 1st, they’ll increasingly design out of China; and will increasingly be led by and draw from a pool of highly skilled highly experienced Chinese talent whose design sensibilities appeal to a global consumer base, but which is also ground in and for ‘China’….In the next decade we’re going see new hybrid products/services that have a global impact on the scale of the mobile phone an nascent social networking social services, but created, designed and manufactured in China, whose primary market is Chinese, that couldn’t have been made anywhere else and for whom the Rest of the World is a marketing afterthought,” Jan writes as part of the background for this document.
Not content with simply studying the industrial and money transferring economy in China, Jan wanted to be actively involved in it so he set up a bit of a design experiment for himself.
In this report, Jan outlines the steps he took to conduct a design experiment that he developed. The rules he set out for himself were that 1.) It must engage people from across China 2.) Every Chinese person must be able to recognize the final thing that is made 3.) None of the people taking part should understand what is being made, until the exact moment that it is made 4.) Only Chinese people and services can be used. 5.) That the experiment goal and process is reviewed after each step 6.) The process must be transparent in-so-far as it doesn’t compromise rule three.
I don’t want to spoil much about the project, but is well worth the read both for a greater understanding of China, but also for the very hands-on and experimental approach Jan takes to learning more about an area both he and his clients are interested in.
One of the things I find most inspiring about Jan’s work is that he does research by embedding himself in whatever community it is he is looking at, truly understanding how the native users actually interact with each other and technology.
It’s a lesson advertisers can learn. While a lot of the research we do and get in advertising is great, I think it still comes from a place where we’re looking at the topics and subjects of advertisers. We shouldn’t be looking at what some of the bigger brands and companies are doing that are innovative. We need to be looking more at people and communities, and how they interact and how they don’t interact. That’s where we’ll great insights find success.
A few years ago, I wrote a blog post about how my friend Jay was really good at video games (“How To Ruin Your Life By Not Playing Video Games“). Since then (2007!), a lot has changed but a lot has stayed the same.
I think video games are equally as important in the formation of a young persons life today, if not more so. As they become increasingly social, they provide not just an opportunity to hone their fine motor skills, but to also develop social skills. I’ve been playing a lot of Halo 4 lately, and I can tell you that the team that learns how to cooperate and to use different weapons and vehicles together is the one that wins pretty much every match. Games like League of Legends require even more of this cooperation, and this is definitely becoming the norm. In fact, League of Legends currently boasts some incredibly high numbers for spectators of top-ranked matches.
As Joseph Bernstein wrote recently in Kill Screen: “[with games] we’re training for things we don’t fully comprehend” and that this goes beyond “creative and puzzle solving.”
Technology is already a huge part of the way we interact with the world and each other, and the amount and complexity of this interaction is only going to increase. Those that are better able to understand this interplay between technology and humanity will be set up for success in both the near and far future.