Last Wednesday the Collective table tennis team entered the Inter-Agency Table Tennis Tournament, to slug it out against the very best and worst of digital agency ping pong talent.
We're proud to say we made it to the final. But we're prouder to say that the event helped to raise money for Shift.ms, a charity that supports young people with MS.
It was as close as it could be at the end of the tournament with Collective vs. Steak Digital in the final. And in the words of team leader Omar "we were undefeated going into the final, but we just couldn't bring it home!!"
Photo credit: Thanks to Spotlight for the picture above.
Monday, 28 September 2009
The Flash on the Beach conference last week brought together the most creative, technical, inspirational and entertaining industry leading speakers in the rich media world.
Nearly 50 of the world's most talented designers, developers, creatives, film makers and artists were presenting over the three day event. And our very own Marc Hibbins was there. Check out his blog and see what inspired him.
What’s not to love? Bug is a (kinda monthly) celebration of the latest quirky and quintessential pop promos and their directors. Hosted by the ever-charmingly-flummoxed Adam Buxton (of Adam & Joe fame). At My-Favourite-Place-To-Be-In-London, the National Film Theatre. (Surely the World Record for number of links in an opening paragraph is mine now.)
Last Friday’s shindig (Bug 15) showcased many, many gems which I hope Mr Buxton won’t mind me sharing here. My top three of the night:
‘Hibi No Neiro’ by Japanese post rock band Sour, directed by Masashi Kawamura, Hal Kirkland, Magico Nakamura and Masayoshi Nakamura, 2009. Webcam shenanigans that make you think ‘wow, someone took a lot of time and trouble setting all this up.” But mostly it just makes you smile.
‘I Will Be Here’ by Tiësto, directed by Muto Masashi, 2009. Everyone loves watching a man pretending to be a robot. Fact.
‘Here Comes Trouble’ by Ill Ease, directed by George Wu, 2009. It’s got strings, pulleys and wooden pegs in it. To say more would be to spoil it.
Finally, I can’t resist sneaking in this extra slice of oddball genius picked by Adam that had the room chuckling: ‘Wonderin’’ by the somewhat-slightly-dazed Neil Young and the Shocking Pinks (directed by the fab Tim Pope in 1983).
Bug 16 lands at the NFT on Nov 12 and 20 – highly recommend the trip (and pop to the bar after as there's usually DJs and the chance to chat to Adam too). Let me know what you think (unless you don't like it and want a refund - then I'm not so interested).
Friday, 25 September 2009
A must-read. In fact, I’m launching the inaugural Collective Magazine of the Year award right here, right now (yeah, yeah, it’s only September ... live with it) and I’m declaring Wired UK the winner. (‘Who were the other candidates?’ Doesn’t matter. ‘Who voted?’ Doesn’t matter, let’s move on ...)
If you’re not familiar with Wired, it launched in the UK back in Spring of this year and is brimming with inspiring endeavours, intriguing theories, sparkling gizmos and fascinating trivia. You’ll learn how big cash prizes are saving the world, how product designers are cutting waste and saving lives, what it takes to unplug your life and survive off-grid, how to make great art from parcel tape and just what they put inside those low energy bulbs that makes them so special and expensive (and all that’s just in this month’s edition).
If you’re already a reader, you’ll know Wired is also the most gloriously designed magazine ever (yes, even better than ‘Love It’) – with its tactile covers and tantalising layouts and hidden wonders. Read it once and you’ll soon be searching out the US editions as well.
Do you agree? What's your must-read mag each month?
Please note: Yes, Wired, I’d love a free subscription.
Tuesday, 22 September 2009
Collective popped along to Twestival down near London Bridge last week, and our Serena and Grant made it on to the back inside cover of NMA doing a spot of handicrafts.
We asked Serena (through her new publicity agent) for a few words about the night ... “I had a great time at Twestival and I think they raised loads of money for Childline. We loved the Barefoot wine freebies and the craft table – great for getting the conversation flowing! I think they could improve it by having more activities for us Twitterers – that would help set it apart from other networking events.”
Big thank you to @evarley and her team for a successful night. Here’s to the next one.
Friday, 18 September 2009
Collective has created a sparkling new interactive promo for the new series of Strictly Come Dancing - back on BBC 1 tonight.
Our work will appear on the BBC website, as well as other media sites and will follow the progress of the Strictly celebs - with exclusive photos and all the latest from the rehearsal room. And because everyone will be talking about it, there’ll be live Twitter feeds so you can keep up with all the latest gossip. So when you’re ready celebs, it’s time to take to the floor…
Thursday, 17 September 2009
But the question remains, is AR worth all this interest?
Revolution Magazine's top ten augmented campaigns reveals some pretty cool and (whisper it) really rather useful applications. It seems we’ve got over the gimmicky ‘let’s just do something in AR’ phase, with the Glasses Direct specs simulator being a particularly smart use of the technology.
For me though, the best uses of AR come not sat at your home or office PC, but rather when you’re out and about in the real world. Mobile AR applications allow you to enhance the world around you, providing real-time information via a hugely appropriate interface – the space you’re looking into. A great example of this is the Yelp Monocle i-phone app.
Now arguably it’s just as easy to be directed to your nearest restaurant via a good old fashioned ‘online map’ – but the theory is sound. Contextual AR makes a lot of sense.
What this kind of mobile AR application really reminds me of is Nokia’s Point and Find service. Point and Find recognises objects in real time via your camera phone and automatically links you to relevant web content. Combining services like Point and Find with AR seems like a particularly logical way to go. Especially when you think where it could lead...
So imagine it's 2012 and you're at a conference with lots of people you don’t know but should probably be talking to. You open up your camera phone, scan the room and are given a brief bio of each of the people in the room as you move over them. The app knows your profile and from this has deduced that there are two people in the room you must get to know. Two big AR arrows point them out to you. Genius.
Anyway, I digress. Is AR here to stay? Yes. But, to my mind, primarily as a way to enhance the world around you in clever and ultimately very useful ways.
In the mean time I’m off to talk to someone about my new Conference Mate™ Augmented Reality app. Anyone fancy investing?
Wednesday, 16 September 2009
Can’t do it. E-book readers appear to transform the joy of holding a beloved dog-eared novel into the mundanity of reviewing a Word doc. (To help combat this, CaféScribe is sending out scratch ‘n’ sniff stickers with its ebook orders to recreate the musty smell of text books on your laptop.) Yet, I must be wrong as they are becoming increasingly popular on the Sutton to Farringdon train – my barometer of all modern trends.
To be fair, I’ve only used an e-reader once. For two minutes in Waterstone’s. And a woman stood next to me smelling of cough syrup, so I hastily pottered off. But in that two minutes, there was no instant, iPod-like bond. Why do I want to carry 100s of books about? I tend to read one book at a time – it’s not like I’m going to put the pages on shuffle (though, actually, that does sound like it could be fun). And what if it runs out of juice mid-journey? – I already have too many things to recharge in my life. And what happens if I drop it in the bath?
If you’ve spent more than two minutes with one – perhaps you’re the man who sat opposite me on the train this morning – let me know what I’m missing out on.
Please note: These are purely the ravings of one man and in no way represent the views of Collective who would be very happy to work with any e-reader manufacturers in the future.
Tuesday, 15 September 2009
All great adventures should be celebrated in cake form. Fact. So today our heroic Three Peakers were awarded with, quite literally, a mountain of sugary, creamy, muffiny goodness depicting their weekend achievements. Big, big thanks go to our whisking wonder Joann for crafting this skyscraping spectacle overnight (too much alliteration there?). Let’s tuck in ...
Monday, 14 September 2009
Big congrats to all the Collective crew who took on the Three Peaks Challenge this past weekend (Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon in 24 hrs) – sounds like it was one of those adventures they’ll be telling the grandkids about.
Of nine starters, three injuries prevented a full house of completions, but everyone can feel rightly proud of their dedication, commitment and huge achievement. What a top bunch.
And massive thanks to Louise and Nicola too – they drove like demons across the UK for over 20 hours to help our climbers achieve their challenge.
Scariest moment? Losing the path on the ascent of Scafell Pike IN THE DARK. What do you mean you're not supposed to follow the people in front of you? Oh, they're lost.
Weirdest moment? Finding a piece of Honda road building equipment half way up Ben Nevis.
Finally ... another huge thanks (and punch to the ribs) to Sarah for coming up with this very silly idea in the first place. So what’s the next challenge?
Friday, 11 September 2009
Their bags are packed. They’ve stocked up on food, water, decent footwear and clean pants. There’s no going back now - the Collective three-peak team are off to scale Ben Nevis, Snowdon and Scafell Pike!
It’s not too late to sponsor our three-peakers. Just go to our Just Giving page and join us in wishing them the best of luck for a speedy, but safe challenge. And if their poor, aching limbs will carry them, you can expect all sorts of tales and glorious piccies here on Monday.
Thursday, 10 September 2009
Easy one this – we’ve been excited about Nick Cave for many years. But I know you’re thinking ‘well, what has this to do with innovations in digital technology?’ and ‘isn’t he that bloke who did that song with Kylie? – I prefer her hotpants stuff’. Well, give me another four words and we’ll get there. Last night, Mr Cave graced the Southbank Centre for a talk to promote his new book (The Death of Bunny Munro) and touched on how the industry is working hard to adapt to the iPod generation.
With much bemusement, he explained how the book is available as an iPhone app - a world away from the fanzines and bootleg cassettes his old fans have been reared on. So you can read 'Bunny' on screen (which seems an awful way to read a novel – more on that next time) or choose to switch over to Nick’s narration and soundtrack by simply clicking on any word – handy if you want to continue reading after hopping off the bus. And many chapters also include video readings.
Looks like the book industry is hoping to learn from the past complacency of the music companies and see digital as an opportunity rather than a threat. Though when Mr Cave was asked whether he’d read anyone else’s book in this format, he admitted that they’d have to show him how to download it first.
Have you tried the 'Bunny' iPhone app? – let me know what you think.
Please note: Collective takes no shared responsibility for the musings of this lone ex-goth blogger.
Wednesday, 9 September 2009
I’ve tried. I first tried back in the early ‘80s when we all got free glasses in the Radio Times to watch a ‘Tomorrow’s Word’ special (ask your parents, they’ll remember it). And I most recently tried a couple of weeks back at a quick preview of James Cameron’s ‘Avatar’, but all I got was headache (and a sinking feeling that the final film’s going to be like a bad extended episode of ‘Thundercats’).
87% of me really, really, really wants to immerse myself in the tantalising thrill of 3D web sites, tellys and video games. But I’ve yet to fall in love with the experience. The closest I’ve come is Pixar’s latest gem, ‘Up’ – but even there, the most heartbreaking moment (which is up there with the most heartbreaking moment in any film ever – go see) really doesn’t require any 3D wizardry, just good old-fashioned storytelling.
So, tell me, what’s your greatest 3D experience? – I’m ready to have my flabber gasted.
Please note: These are purely the ramblings of one lone employee and do not in any way represent the views of the many other fine folk at Collective should James Cameron be reading this – we really liked his early stuff.
Friday, 4 September 2009
Our first Honda e-brochure is now live at Honda.co.uk. With interactive menus and content, you can navigate your way round the Civic 5-door with ease and even give immediate feedback to Honda.
Just visit the Civic 5-door page and go to the pdf icon to see the e-brochure for yourself.
Thursday, 3 September 2009
Barely time to take in the views
Not a walk in the park
Summit was cold & bleaker than expected
With the practice run complete, we’ve begun planning our 24-hour mission in full. So with Ben Nevis (Scotland - 1344m), Scafell Pike (England - 978m) and Snowdon (Wales - 1085m) to complete, that’s 13 hours climbing, 10 hours driving and one hour for rest and rehabilitation.
It’s going to be a serious challenge and we’d appreciate any sponsorship in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. Please visit our Just Giving page and remember to include the name of any particular individuals you’re supporting. Thank you!