Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Resolutions for 2011

If my bulging Google Reader list is anything to go by, then it seems 2011 cannot begin without a few goals and resolutions set down. One of Fast Company's bloggers already posted this, citing "Associating". "Observing", Experimenting", "Questioning and "Networking" amongst the key attributes for an innovative 2011. My past resolutions have ranged from the practical ("Get a job I love") to the absurd ("Be more slutty") to the conceptual ("Hedonistic Anarchy"), so what will I choose for 2011?


Staying ahead of the curve is certainly a priority. 2010 was the year when being a bit of a geek became mainstream. The most unlikely of my friends started using Twitter and my Mum got an iPad. Suddenly knowing a bit of basic HTML and talking about apps was not so unusual. In desperate bids to be bleeding edge, I found myself shunning YouTube videos older than a few days, I refused to go see Avatar, and practically passed out with excitement by getting the two minute screen grab of the Gap Logo Facebook announcement. As we approach the new year, I'm wondering how I can cure this digital paranoia. Well, fact is, innovation is a fast paced game - unless you are glued round the clock to various feeds, missing things is part of life. And, if you can't be there for the start of something special, I can at least strive to say something special about it.
Resolution 1: If you're not the lead dog, the view never changes.

Linked closely to my previous comment, 2011 needs also to be about unchaining myself from both my desk and my devices. Many of the serendipitous and inspirational moments in my life have taken place when out and about. Before my iPhone, I'd sit on the bus, the tube or in a pavement cafe and watch the world go by - seeing trends emerge, overhearing conversations and watching life unfold. The mobile phone has replaced the cigarette as our tool for being alone in public. And, while definitely better for our lungs, it is removing us from the present moment. Our digital lives are so filtered and personalised according to settings and preferences, we cannot possibly access this kind of circumstantial chaos via our phones, nor do I really want to.
Resolution 2: iPhone, therefore I am not in the moment.

Finally, and perhaps more personally, I would like to find strength in 2011. Having an opinion takes conviction, writing it down for the benefit of your peers, your clients and even the world takes strength. If I am to become the best at what I do - and that is the plan - I will need to discover the strength to really go for what I believe. To do this, I will need to continuously educate myself by asking questions, learn from the best and be open to everything. I'll need to stop hiding behind my laptop screen and get over the fact that I'm usually the youngest, only lady in the room at client meetings. On this front, I'm afraid daily aphorisms will not cut it. Killer heels, however, probably will.
Resolution 3: Dress to kill it.

Friday, December 24, 2010

2010 Round Up - The sites, ads, products, services and people that stood out from the noise this year.

Geek crushes

2010 was the year that made geeks hot - largely due to films like The Social Network, Tron and Inception. It was also the year where I spent 10 weeks in San Francisco - home of the nerds. They had me at "tech start-up". Swoon.

Dennis Crowley/ Foursquare

Mark Zuckerberg/ Facebook

Case study examples

Every digital strategy document I write is obviously tailored to the client, but these campaigns somehow kept sneaking in every time. Why? They pushed boundaries, made the most of the medium and enthralled audiences.

Old Spice/ Real-time YouTube video responses to tweets. Hilarious and genius - W&K becomes the hottest agency on the block.

Square/ The new way to pay took the iPad from a big, beautiful iPhone to a functional piece of kit.

MySpace/ Coming hot on the heels of the Gap logo fiasco, the new MySpace logo gave control back to its users, accepting that people want things their way and becoming the visual manifestation of this personalisation trend.... If MySpace was on Facebook, I'd "like" it

Straight talking

Sometimes it's refreshing just to read something in plain English - no "cross-channel multiplatform social media communication plans" bullshit.

The Man Repeller/ Fashion blog about the clothes that repel men. Also introduced the concept of a 'lady boner' to the mainstream.

A Bajillion hits/ Jacking your strat, jacking my lady boner.

Noah Stokes/ This website is so old school it's epic. Who needs HTML5 when you've got it all laid out in primary colours and no bullshit.

Digital life

If, like me, you can't start your day without that surge of serotonin caused by the arrival of an email, then you'll be relying on a heady mix of tools and services to get you through the day.

Google Reader/ Is there a greater feeling for the digitally addicted than over 200 unread articles?

Cross-platform syncing/ Personally, I like living in a world where I can check in using Foursquare and know that the fact that i just walked into a pub will be published across all my social networking sites for my adoring and ever alert 'friends' to comment upon. #don'tbelieveyourownGoogleAlerts

And finally, some of the stuff to watch out for in 2011...

Whipping your hair becomes a cultural phenomenon. I'm doing right now, as I type.

Check-in culture will get out of control, as we start checking in to TV, films and books.

And, finally... cool ad man says, "What?"

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Nell arrives

Yesterday a little bit of magic happened, which saw the completion of a project that had been in the pipe line for a little while. Guy Wolstenholme - one of the founders of Moving Brands - is also an incredibly talented furniture designer. He has made pieces for his home, as well as all the tables for the MB Zurich studio. Video below.

When I told Guy I was looking for a dining table for my new place, he very kindly offered to design it for me. This is the original render...

Then the designs were sent as a CAD file to CNC Workshop in London Fields... This is the single sheet the table was cut from.

And the parts were cut out using a 3 Axis CNC Router... Those are the legs

And that's Guy's logo...

We then drove through the snow to my place and sanded the sharp edges...

And, just two hours later, assembled it all. Guy designed it so no glue is required - the pieces slot together simply.

Presenting: The 'Nell' Dining Table...

Isn't she a beauty?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas 2010 update

Following yesterday's post, two friends got in touch with these beauties.

First a jew-tastic LV menorah... oy vay!

And secondly, for the staunch Christmas jumper fanatics, I present this roll-neck, deep knit Ralph Lauren number. Amazing.

Thanks to @celialikesbooks and Bantin - still at the cutting edge of fashion even from Afghanistan!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Christmas 2010

With the Spotify Christmas tune list growing larger each day, it seems only appropriate to post my top three festively themed items spotted so far...

First up, I'm loving this Christmas jumper inspired tee. Perfect for avoiding the meat sweats after a large lunch.

Then, as a bacon-sarnie munching, Christmas loving, only-in-it-for-the-chicken-soup jewish princess, this tree feels so right, even when it's a little bit wrong.

And finally, as an accessory to my "countryside" fantasy where I'm striding through snow-flecked woods clad in silver Hunters and a black patent Barbour (one day the Country Alliance will catch up with fashion!), this Porsche sledge. Eat your heart out Rosebud!