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Archive for the ‘transformational change’ Category

  • Will The Web Make Us More Honest?

    3rd September 09

    In a world where it’s too easy to get used to things coming in 140 character-sized packages, everything happening in real time, and thinking about the future and what it might bring means having a debate about whether Tumblr is better than Posterous, it’s always refreshing  to have something more substantial to chew on. A proper three-course meal versus repeated, ultimately unsatisfying, trips to the snack cupboard.

    We’ve been digesting – and debating – a post by Walter Naeslund on his very excellent blog. Naeslund is, in his own words, ‘an internet freedom fighter and CEO of the Stockholm based communications agency Honesty. [He] also give lectures and runs workshops on Internet Trends, Modern Communications Strategy and Social Media.’

    Naeslund’s post, from Tuesday, was grandly-titled “What the World Will Look Like in 25 Years“. The whole thing is worth a read (it’s not long). He offers a range of more speculative thinking around the way the world might be going, and the emerging role of the web within those scenarios; as I said, a welcome contrast to an increasingly myopic focus on the now.

    But what struck me in particular was a short paragraph in which Naeslund speculates on what one might call future ‘ethics’:

    screen-shot-2009-09-03-at-90828-am

    It’s an interesting contention, that there are fewer hiding places in a world of instant access to perfect information, and total transparency. Even if it is likely to never be that flawless in practice (& actually, would we want it to be?), the pronounced increase in sharing of everything about one’s personal life in digital form (what Naeslund characterizes as the merging of physical and digital identities) will undoubtedly bring both costs and benefits.

    It’s the last line of that paragraph that intrigues me and that has stuck with me.

    Is there any evidence of better behavior and less cheating?

    How do we think that might manifest itself, if and when it does happen?

    On one hand it all sounds a little Utopian (and some might argue, less fun). On the other, it does sound rather attractive.

    What do you think?

  • Crowdsourcing Clients – Where Agency Nil Went Next

    11th August 09

    Posted by Mel Exon

    Posted in transformational change

    At the end of May this year we got pretty excited and the debate got fairly heated about the launch of Agency Nil – the agency with the convention-busting business model that ‘will work for all it’s worth’. In other words, they’ll do the work and you pay them what you think you should.  Unorthodox, audacious stuff whichever way you look at it, we were impressed.

    Since launch they’ve been approached by both clients and talent and, inevitably, as they started work on live projects (including clients with food products and online services, not to mention a pitch for a large software company’s NPD launch), one of the toughest questions facing any agency arose: when were they going to find time to do the work brilliantly AND keep scouting for new business? Clearly a conventional solution wasn’t going to cut it at Agency Nil, which is when they came up with this ultra simple, ultra ‘on brand’ idea:

    Agency Nil announces their Spotter Program

    Agency Nil announces their Spotter Program

    Catching up again with Agency Nil’s founders, they explained the concept a little more:

    “If a person connects Agency Nil with a business that would be interested in our services and they become a client within a year, Agency Nil will give the person who refers them 10% of the first payment they receive (from $100 to $100,000 or more…).  This person is called an Agency Nil Spotter.  All it takes to become one is an email to Agency Nil introducing the potential client (with the client cc’d, of course). Then the Spotter’s referral is documented.  When Agency Nil get paid, the Spotter gets paid. Simple.”

    We love the idea of an agency experimenting with new business in this way.  A smart move that painlessly exploits an era where networking and sharing useful information has never been easier.  What’s more, it’s in keeping with the spirit of their launch which, as they put it at the time: “It’s a win/win.  And that’s the kind of business we like to be in.” Agency Nil also draw attention to the fact they’re putting into practice a simple way for talented individuals to profit from their connections: “Isn’t it about time people started to get rewarded for the networks they’ve built?”

    Of course this isn’t the first time an agency has used crowd sourcing to find prospective marketing clients.  Who knows, will people really refer a hot prospect?  How reliable will the connections be?  Will it tend to be for small projects only, or will Agency Nil land a multi-million dollar account this way?  They may hit some bumps in the road along the way, but to us this approach looks like a natural next step for them and a dead simple, innovative solution to an age old problem. So again, we say hats off to Agency Nil and good luck.

    If you want to sign-up as an Agency Nil Spotter, send an email to Spotter@AgencyNil.com.

  • “Sharing is the essence of creation”

    24th June 09

    Wow, are we looking forward to seeing this film in full.

    “RiP: A Remix Manifesto” – a film about remix and copyright culture. It explores copyright issues in the information age, where the media landscape is being profoundly transformed, and the distinction between producers and consumers is becoming blurred, to say the least.

    This is the trailer and it’s uplifting, provocative, challenging and inspiring, all at the same time. Full of complex debates and clearly coming with a strong point of view on how those debates might be – must be – resolved (so not everyone will agree with this, by any means, but heh, that’s good right?).

    YouTube Preview Image

    Features contributions from Gilberto Gil, Laurence Lessig, Cory Doctorow, and many more. We’re particularly looking forward to seeing the awesome Lessig in action again: “There is no way to kill this technology, we can only criminalize its use” – Laurence Lessig.

    Download the film in full, paying what you think it’s worth: http://www.ripremix.com/

    Check their blog: http://www3.nfb.ca/webextension/rip-a-remix-manifesto/

    Follow them on Twitter: http://twitter.com/remixmanifesto

    (Thanks to Marc Schiller – @marcdschiller – for the heads up)

  • “The advent of broadband ripped our squawking heads from the sand”

    22nd May 09

    Within about 5 minutes of arriving at the Telegraph Media Group offices last week, those unvarnished words – first uttered back in 2007 by TMG’s now editor-in-chief, Will Lewis – had been recounted to us, setting the tone for the rest of the afternoon.  A bit of a surprise.  This after all was the home of the Daily Telegraph, the UK’s biggest broadsheet, famously the ‘paper of the shires’ and historically the bastion of the Conservative party, right?  Well yes and no.  Invited in by Nancy Cruickshank, TMG’s recently appointed Executive Director of Digital Development, a group of us from BBH and BBH Labs were about to hear how the paper had undergone a complete operational and cultural transformation over the past few years: moving from a print production-led organisation to one intent upon embracing an integrated, multi-format, audience-focused future.

    Before we go much further, it’s worth saying what this isn’t about: it’s not another essay on the accelerating declines in the newspaper industry’s circulation figures and ad revenues, as much as these may form the backdrop, even the driving need behind the changes at TMG. Instead, the starting point here is the premise that adland still needs media and media needs adland, no question.  And, equally importantly, all of us need to find forward-looking ways to accelerate our own response to the change going on around us. Listening to what they had to say, the relevance for any commercial creative business hit home hard. Here then is an unapologetically positive attempt to capture the implications of what we heard: what can we learn from one media brand’s story?

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  • Will work for all it’s worth – the launch of Agency Nil

    20th May 09

    Posted by Ben Malbon

    Posted in transformational change

    Almost everyone who works at an agency has a few favourite horror stories about the particularly tricky negotiation into their first position. The crazed lunacy of certain graduate recruitment processes (mine still gives me nightmares), the deeply uncomfortable hours spent in creative directors’ offices having your book taken to pieces, begging your way onto an intern programme, starting out in the mailroom. It’s always been tough. It’s part of the folklore. At least the reward’s in the car park.

    But now it’s tougher than ever. No, really. A punchy piece by Jef Loeb on TalentZoo.com, “Same as It Never Was“, published just recently, paints a undeniably grim picture of an industry undergoing dramatic change. Loeb’s themes – structural transformation, accelerating evolution of new media trends, financial woes – are painfully familiar. As he notes, even if we’ve passed the bottom of the trough, our “shared profession is more than a long link or two from being at the top of the food recovery chain”.

    Imagine now that you’re just graduating from your Ad School or coming to the end of a degree or Fine Arts programme. Suddenly the tales we recount of our elaborate scheming to get a job out of college look like some kind of joke. Where would you start today?

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