Sunday, November 23, 2008

The transformation of a traditional agency

I hate it when I don't blog for weeks, it makes me feel like a loser. But I have a good excuse. I've been busy ... busy helping the very traditional advertising agency I work for make the transition into a true digital agency. It's not easy work (and I have the war wounds to prove it), but somebody's gotta do it.

Here are just a few of the things we've done to take some steps forward:

1. We've expanded the art director/copywriter team
In digital projects, we've added an Experience professional to the mix, such as an IA. Since the "big idea" is sometimes based in technology or user experience, it's made a real difference in the way in which we approach projects.

2. We're putting the user first
Starting with user research (whether primary or secondary) is a must. This is often the job of a planner, but at the agency where I work, the digital strategy folks play this role on digitally native projects. Since digital is based in interaction, it's absolutely vital that we understand the motivations and digital behaviors of our target before ideation.

3. We doing our best to get away from video
Video online is a fun creative way to deliver a campaign--but it's not necessarily interactive. And treating the Web like TV is a big mistake, IMHO. So we're trying to think outside the (TV) box.

We're not exactly there yet, but we're on our way. Wish us luck!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Let's hear it for spontaneous parades

Just a short clip from a parade that went by my house in Seattle a little after midnight and lasted about 20 minutes. I'm not sure where these folks were coming from, I assume from the university district neighborhood, and I assume they were headed into Capitol Hill to join the larger crowds. My guess is that there were about close to 2,000 people in all.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Congratulations President Obama!

Some screen shots from around the web. Check out twittervision for live feeds from around the world.

My favorite geeky election stuff

Remember way back in 2004 when Howard Dean mobilized the digerati via and it made big headlines? Well this election is even cooler for the techie set. Here are just a few of my favorite features from around the web...

On the New York Times, a feature that allows users to enter one word about how they feel and choose who they voted for. Results are color coded, so you can view just Obama supporters, just McCain supporters, or both together.

And a pop-up dash board...

From CNN, an interactive map that lets you call the race...

and a customized tracker for your local election (to the level of your state), which is automatically inserted into your CNN homepage (I wish it tracked my city propositions too, maybe next time)...

Then there's the uber geeky fivethirtyeight.comwho has been tweaking algorithms for weeks...

And what a smart idea—donate your status on facebook to get out the word to vote. I signed up on Sunday and almost a million more people have signed up in the last 48 hours. It automatically updates so that your network sees a refreshed message every few hours. It's actually moving to see everyone's status that has been donated, almost like being at a live rally...

Oh Marshall McLuhan would be proud.