Monday, 12 July 2010

We've gone all misty-eyed

It's been all about the nostalgia this week at Collective Towers. Michael kicked it off by requesting the Labyrinth soundtrack on the office Spotify, which led Dan and Holly to engage in a detailed and empassioned discussion of which Collective staff member would make the best Goblin King in an agency-only remake of the film. No satisfactory conclusion was reached, mostly because of the distinct lack of anyone with a blonde mullet in the vicinity.

Then it was time to move on from the elven eighties to the neon nineties. Because as of today, the office has its very own Nintendo 64, complete with the two undisputed Best Games Ever: Goldeneye and Mario Kart.

"Oh no, not Rainbow Road. My eyes!"

The arrival of the console was accompanied by a volley of trash talking, but most of it turned out to be bravado as we struggled to remember how to use the ill-designed three-pronged controller.

All of which left us wondering what the next rose-tinted arrival from the past might be. Snap bracelets? Vanilla Coke? 2Unlimited? We can't wait to find out.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Holly reports on the She Says ‘SCAMP’ conference

On Thursday 1st July 2010, the boardrooms and creative departments of London’s digital agencies were utterly bereft of females. More so than usual, I mean. Because they were all at ‘SCAMP’, the first conference of She Says – the women-focused creative organisation that aims to provide networking and role models for women in digital.

The theme of the conference was “work in progress”, and the eight speakers were intentionally proportioned 7 women to 1 man, in an attempt to reverse the usual 80/20 male/female speaker ratio at advertising conferences. They talked about work they’re doing now, how it developed from initial ideas, and where they’d like to take things in the future.

The lovely LBI bar - the setting for post-SCAMP networking

A couple of highlights of the day:

Katy Lindemann, Strategist

Katy talked about “happiness hacking” – that is, bringing the joy found in games into the real world – a concept inspired by game designer Jane McGonigal. Katy told us about a game called Chromaroma that makes use of Oyster card data to “make travel magical”. Users can hold the record for the fastest journey between two tube stops, for instance, or accept missions like visiting Cockfosters station within a week to be declared “Cock of the North”. In this way, it has similarities to Foursquare, but it could have another purpose, too.

Katy explained that TfL were willing to share their Oyster data because they believe Chromaroma could help them to change behavior patterns on London transport. For example, could people be persuaded to use transport at off-peak times, or visit lesser-used stations? There’s huge potential. Find out more about Chromaroma here.

Candace Kuss, Hill & Knowlton

Candace talked about the rise of the “pro-am” (professional amateur – bloggers and creators who use the same tools and are as highly-followed as the pros) and the perils of UGC.

The main bit of advice I took from Candace's talk was that:“Humour is the best way to talk in any of these [social online] platforms. If you want to have the communication with people, you’re going to have to liven it up a bit”. Couldn't agree more.

For more about She Says’s regular talks and gatherings (men are allowed, despite what you may have heard), visit their website here.