Category Archives: clueless

Matter Box Contents




Matter Box Contents

Originally uploaded by Lloyd Davis

Others have covered this more quickly than me, but I thought I’d say something beyond what I said on Seesmic last week – http://seesmic.com/v/6XRvg23fSW

Charlie said he didn’t want samples. I do. I’m much happier with my shower gel and play-doh than with a plastic monster a calendar and a badge in the shape of a vodka bottle. If something that comes in this isn’t useful, it had better be completely, mindblowingly, gobsmackingly beautiful – cereal box shaped like a book? Nah.

While the crayons made of soap are potentially also useful, the thing that made my brain scream more than anything was the lametrocious rubbish written about it:

“A set of crayons that are really soap tell a story about how Nissan’s not what you expect.” which in my very very humble opinion is the biggest load of self-justifying, bollockshite I’ll read in the context of advertising copy this year. God I hope so, I couldn’t bear anything more slimy and contrived.

Like Roo, I like the recyclability of the packaging, but I’m looking forward to much cooler and less wanky stuff next time please.

UPDATE: in the comments on the picture on flickr, mike heath says:

“That is really funny that you got Black and White playdoh in your Sony Bravia promo item. err… ‘Colour like no other’ LOL! That is probably a collectors piece, like a misprinted stamp :-) Bit of a Homer Simpson moment at the packing factory!”

Oh dear

Oh God, I know, I’ve sat at the “centre” and written this sort of stuff – it needs a few more buzzwords to make it truly awful:

“BLAHBLAH has released enhancements to BLAHBLAHBLAH , its professional-networking website for support
of more effective collaboration and knowledge sharing across BLAH.

This is the first major refresh of the design since the platform was launched over 12 months ago and is the result of the feedback we have received from our growing number of registered users and the recommendations received from a detailed usability study commissioned by BLAHBLAH.

We are confident that users will find the new design more intuitive to use and will benefit from the enhanced help and guidelines that are available on the site. We anticipate making a number of other functional enhancements to the site over the coming weeks and will advise you about these soon.”

Clearly the excitement was too much for “users” of this “community” and they all tried to click at once…

Error 500: SRVE0207E: Uncaught initialization exception thrown by servlet

Professional Crap Sifters

sep 07 049It seems that London’s opera critics think that Sally Potter’s Carmen is, well, a bit crap. I can’t comment, I haven’t seen it yet – but I still love the blogging and videoblogging over on the ENO’s mini-site. A couple of the critics have been a bit sneery about the whole 2.0 angle on this but I think they’re missing the point – the show may be gimmicky (err.. I don’t think opera folk call it a show, but you know what I mean) but the blog isn’t – I really think it’s taken a big step in a new direction for the Arts, opening up the creative process and the backstage, as the production progressed, rather than filming a fly-on-the-wall and then stitching it all together later. This shows up “what *were* they thinking?” as lazy rhetoric – you could have seen what they were thinking by following the site. The real question for the critics is “if they’ve been talking about what they’re going to do for so long and in such detail, why did the bits you don’t like in the production come as such a surprise to you?” and why weren’t you writing something about it back then?

I really hope that the ENO has the courage to keep that material up and to carry on with this experiment now and into future – it adds a layer of interestingness before you see the show as well as afterwards – it’s icing on the cake. As I say I haven’t seen the show, so I don’t know if this is an occasion to peel the icing off and give the cake to the dog or whether this is professional critics talking out of their arses again. Now is the time for the Carmen folk to get the conversation really going – fight back or surrender, doesn’t matter which, but say something.

The thing is that critics are part of the problem with opening up performance to a wider audience. The good news is that their power is diminishing as we gain the opportunity to hear people we know and trust talk about what they like and don’t like. I much prefer getting recommendations from my friends and I look forward to seeing some ordinary people’s reaction to Carmen, people who don’t have any prejudice against ENO and don’t already have a fixed opinion about how this opera needs to be done in London today.

I went to a C4 Education screening last night entitled “TV is dead?” My answer – read my blog (two years ago! – funnily enough about the same time as I started thinking about blogging for theatre) The bit in the programme where, if I’d been at home, I’d have been shouting at the telly, was when someone from the Beeb trotted out the old line that in future, as media professionals, they would be the people that we could trust to sift out the crap. NO, BBC, STOP! I don’t want your opinion on what’s crap and what’s not, I want you to make excellent programmes that no one else can make. More “Dr Who”, “Comics Britannia”, “Windscale”, “The Mighty Boosh” (oh God! *More* Storyville, not less!!!!) and fewer animals stuck up trees and celebrities who can’t tap dance.

Phew!

I really liked that younger people were included in the debate in a fairly unpatronising way, though friends and other regular readers know what I think of panel sessions.

Missing from last night was any recognition that the internet is about social interaction not content delivery (just like TV has always been) and so you should be concentrating on making stuff that people want to interact around rather than worrying about how they get it and whether everyone’s paid exactly the right money (whole other rant on that one – tell us straight – how much money gets spent on protecting rights? – how much more or less is it than the amount of money you currently lose to “piracy” – how much more money might you actually make if you weren’t so tight arsed about it all – *hint* watch Radiohead very carefully)

Also missing was any glimmer of understanding that advertising might not work any more. The real question here is “TV Advertising is Dead?” And it comes in two parts – 1. People don’t want to be interrupted or fed commercial information any more, they want it self-service and 2. The current advertising sales model is based on pulling the wool over the eyes of advertisers with extrapolations from sample audiences – what happens when you (and they) start to get real audience numbers in real time based on actual attention data from your viewers/subscribers in a form that makes comparison with other online media forms more like-for-like?

An amateur writes…

Thanks Adam for pointing to Michael Billington’s piece on theatre criticism.

I wish I had more time to respond, but in the few minutes before I get in the shower, I would add these points:

A great number of the theatre directors I’ve spoke to about in-house (marketing, if you like) blogging they have seen it’s *primary purpose* as circumventing what they see as piss-poor print-bound criticism which can kill a show’s sales just because the critic had a hangover.

Mr Billington should have a look here for an explanation of how to deal with that “relentless din”

I sat in front of Mr Billington at a press night last week. He was very well behaved, as you’d expect. The same can’t be said for one of his peers who threatened to disrupt the beginning of the show because the seat he’d been given didn’t suit his taste.

Is anyone doing (new)media literacy classes for these poor old hacks? How can we help them distinguish between the different types of blogging in theatre, spot the good stuff in among the rest and understand that you don’t have to read them all, any more than you have to read every column-inch of a newspaper.

I pity the troll

keen dont wantWell, more like I have some compassion for him – but “I have compassion for the fool” sounds like something Martin in the Simpsons would get punched for saying (more Simpsons later).

I went to the Frontline Club last night, actually, thanks Euan for reminding me that I *paid* to go to the Frontline Club and hear Andrew Keen speak about his book what he wrote. I got to meet Richard Sambrook and Graham Holliday and had a quick drink and catch up with Euan afterwards so it was worth it actually.

Andrew is a man who clearly gets something out of being (metaphorically) beaten up by one half of the audience while the other half looks on, amazed and puzzled by the rage of their usually rational fellows. I couldn’t help thinking that this is probably a situation Andrew has found himself in again and again. I felt very much like I was watching an unconscious videotape of the world according to Andrew Keen aged four and a half. He behaves like a picky child. “Don’t want this. Don’t want that. Don’t…. want” So, to save you from reading his book or paying to feed him in some other way, let me summarise what he doesn’t like:

community
libertarians
democracy (he spits the word “democratisation” when he reads from his book)
hippies
Dave Winer
people ‘stealing’ stuff on the web
people having the chance to ‘criticise’
people making economic choices
free markets
state regulated markets
anonymity
humility
Glen Reynolds
Tim O’Reilly
Jeff Jarvis
foocamp

By the way, when I asked him the question “So what *do* you want” I included liberty rather than libertarian – yes I do know the difference, but I’d slipped into troll behaviour too – I’m not immune to it, that’s why I have compassion for him.

He said that he wants “an information economy that reports objectively and employs trusted and respected professionals”.

Other classic quotes:

“Who am I to say that people in China shouldn’t blog”
“Journalists should be more arrogant”
“If you’re being paid and someone is editing you, then you’re a professional journalist”
“I don’t like the idea of humility”
“Tell me a blogger who’s better than Polly Toynbee”

stop. sniggering.

The story I took away is that he went to foocamp and got the wrong end of the stick. From the reports I’ve seen, foocamp does not represent what the majority of us are doing on the web no matter how much Tim O’Reilly would like it to. Its exclusivity goes against all of the openness that makes our experience here worthwhile. foocamp’s greatest contribution is the Barcamp movement which was created in reaction to it. Does Andrew know what Dave Winer looks like when he gets mail from Tim?

When Euan called him a troll, and then asked him if he knew what that meant, he said “No”. I said “Liar” I kinda hope the mic picked it up, though that’s not the behaviour I aspire to.

Struggling with my conscience, I whispered to Adriana next to me “How do you handle trolls offline without resorting to physical violence?”. The Simpsons, of course, has the answer – Treehouse of Horror VI – The Attack of the 50ft Eyesores in which Homer steals a giant donut from a collossal Lard Boy advertising statue prompting Lard Boy and several other promotional likenesses come to life and terrorise Springfield. Lisa asks an ad man what to do – he explains that the advertisements need attention to stay alive and so aided by a nifty jingle performed by Paul Anka, the townsfolk’s attention is ironically drawn away from the misbehaving mannekins who all fall down dead.

Tom Coates thinks Andrew should go on the naughty step. My positive experience of parenthood has come from encouraging the desirable, ignoring the undesirable, and getting them in the kitchen making some donuts.

No, I’m not aquiver with excitement.

When I flicked through the latest Dolphin Square “Tenants Times” I admit I was taken in on first reading, but on closer examination, the letters page seems to make it clear that the story that Prince William is to move into the Square was a spoof – “our exclusive news item which appeared on the DSTA website for one day only Sunday 1 April prompted some of the Square’s wags to have their say.”

However, that hasn’t stopped Hello Magazine and the Daily Express republishing the story, referencing the newsletter as the source. The Express gossip apparently talking to a royal aide to give it some weight.

Update: DSTA gloats on the lack of fact-checking

Internetworld 2007 suckfest

I went on Tuesday. I’m sure I should have gone on Wednesday when Chinwag had a thing about PPC and all of my twitter stream seemed to be there.

Actually no, I wish I hadn’t gone at all. The saving graces were unexpected meetups with Ged Carroll, Kevin Anderson and Ian Delaney and an expected meetup with Andy Hyde.

I wanted to interview the big fat blue mouse and the leopard girls (sorry rupert) but they’d gone on a break I think, so I started shooting this B roll stuff and then…

thank god it was free to get in (and out again)