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Tayler Cresswell's blog

  • Talk techie to me

    Friday’s community day was all geared towards collaboration. What I found fascinating was the "speed dating". Not real dating, mind. The format was the same, but the outcome was to encourage all the different disciplines that make up Conchango to get to know each other better.

    So I had 3 minutes apiece to talk to five or six people from the tech team. The most interesting part was the languages we used. I struggled with “.net”, and “jaytwo-ee” (J2EE) and “sequel servers” (I know it’s SQL but everyone says “sequel”) … only this time I got the chance to ask what that really meant. I got to ask what shape these strange words give someone’s working day; what they produce with these acronyms; what they do with “data”.

     And whilst I still struggle with “data” as an abstract concept (I always need to turn it in to something tangible in my head – a photo, an account number, a description, a code), someone drew me a useful diagram on the tablecloth to explain how it’s cleaned, transformed and loaded.

    Of course, everyone had a different idea of what I do, strange creative-type that I am. So I deal with content – but it’s not about choosing the Content Management System. I’m a copywriter – but no, I don’t deal only in legal matters.  

    I do deal in communication, language, dialogue. It would be great to build on what happened on Friday and develop better, more accessible ways to talk about the ever-growing array of amazing things we do – creative, business and technical. Fancy a chat?

  • Date for the diary: Soap box meets pub crawl

    Put April 17th in your diaries now folks - there's a happening on our doorstep. From 2pm, five Borough Market pubs will be host to 20 speakers (none yet confirmed) who'll be talking about the future... Seems the esteemed Rory Sutherland was there in 2006 telling it like it is - as per usual.

    Social networking in real life: http://www.irisnation.com/undertheinfluence/

  • More on colour

    Or should I say "color"? Seems colour war has broken out among the twitterari! Not content with the sky-ish blue default background, there's a rash of poster paint-coloured backgrounds happening all over...

    There's an update of the latest winners and losers here: http://corvida.ilumine.net/boredom-strikes-on-twitter-with-color/

    Seems the BlueTeam has a lot of followers bus has yet to say very much to convince me to join. The veryGreenTeam and OrangeTeam are pretty lively. I love the spontaneous and utterly random nature of it all. Now which team do I sign up to...?

  • Proud moment: my very first 404 page goes live!

    After over a decade of dreaming up content and writing for websites, it's incredible that it was only yesterday that a website went live with a 404 page that I'd helped bring to life. Why do so few companies make an effort to help those who get lost on their websites? Or make them feel bad when they do?

    In a similar vein, you might also want to check out our privacy policy and legal statement (thanks Mr Rooney). Who decided that these things should be dull or impossiblly opaque?

    The site is our very own Conchango.com. Its launch was a proud moment for everyone involved (the whole company, in effect!).

    It's an acorn right now. But from small beginnings... It's great to see how much discussion it's generated internally which has made me realise just how involved we all are, how interested and committed we are to our own brand. I like it. More forwards please.

     

  • Designing meaningful experiences

    In all the work I'm doing at the moment, the most important factor is looking at how people behave. The seemingly insignificant things that people (and brands, for that matter) do can give us incredible insights into our audiences or our customers which help us to create more meaningful experiences, whether that's in the physical or the digital world.

    And I've just come across a TED talk by Paul Bennett, Creative Director at IDEO, which has some lovely examples, where designers literally stepped into the shoes of others to truly understand their challenge. They stripped away their preconceptions and looked at the problem with fresh eyes. Their solutions are so much better for it. So I won't spoil the moment and tell you what they are. They made me smile. Take a look for yourself.

  • Moo.com's bad day elicits great sympathy

    Moo.com had a bad day recently – and blogged about it. It’s currently showing on their homepage, titled: Blimey. a non-happy day at MOO.

     

    The replies are 99% positive and supportive. One says: "Wow, poor Moo guys. Enjoy the pizza, you deserve it. Big or small business, it’s tough keeping the customers happy on the best of days. You have a fun product, and I’ll look forward to the new stickers I ordered today! Wheeeeeee!"

     

    It just goes to show how honesty, openness and a great brand can all add up to loyalty and forgiveness. Other brands take note: those who bare their souls and admit to mistakes don't necessarily get shot down in flames...

  • gunpowder, treason and mobile phones...

    Tonight I stood amongst my digital brethren as we all pointed our mobile devices towards the heavens to capture the fleeting moments as the sky was lit up by rockets and catherine wheels... a slightly surreal experience. You can see them all as they arrive on flickr.

    Firework night 2007

     

  • Undigital digital

    Richard Wand just sent this lovely site around - Make a Mixa. It's where you can create and buy your very own "1GB Flash USB drive housed inside a cassette tape shell."

    I love the tagline: "undigital your digital".

    Our nostalgic, rose-tinted focus has finally fallen on the humble cassette tape - that plastic, rattly, cheap, democratic object imbued with the music of our youth.

    And now it comes without the reams of fiddly, degradable brown tape, so it's less likely to litter our motorways. I wonder if it still rattles? Kids these days don't know they're born.

  • A truly immersive experience

    If you're old enough, you may remember Tim Hunkin from The Rudiments of Wisdom cartoons in the Observer.

    I had the wonderful experience last night of hearing him talk about his work - in particular, the amusement arcade he's installed at Southwold Pier in Suffolk. As soon as I have time, I'm off down there with the kids. There's an expressive photo booth that does things to provoke an expression. There's the Lifelong Learning class where you learn how to cross a busy 4 lane road with a Zimmer frame. You have to pick your age first. 80 (easy), 90 (hard) and 100 (extreme). You get a diploma if you make it across. Hunkin said that "all you need is to occupy enough of the brain" and the whole thing becomes really immersive. People don't need a lot to happen to "believe".

    Every experience is designed to elicit a smile, a giggle, a belly laugh. Driven by really simple yet "lateral" ideas, the design of each arcade is well and truly focused on the audience's experience. I suspect, Hunkin's driving force is his own experience. The thrill of creation. "Basically I like spending time in my shed making things," he admitted. His passion, humour and creativity shape everyrhing he does.

    Hunkin reminds me of my dad*. A maker of "handmade" things, inquisitive and with a sense of humour.

    Mobility Masterclass

    The Mobility Masterclass - you have to attempt to cross a 4 lane road with a zimmer frame.

    Mobility Masterclass choose age

    First you have to choose your level: 100 is "Extreme"

    Mobility Masterclass run over

    If you fail - and get run over - the police arrive. The police and ambulance arrive. Your zimmer gets the white paint treatment.

    Dog Walker

    The blueprint for the Dog Walker machine.

    Bathyscape immigrants Art Apocolypse

    The Bathyscape video with illegal immigrants. And the blueprint for the Art Apocalypse

    *More on that later. My dad has an exhibition at The Independent Photographers Gallery in Battle, East Sussex, starting tomorrow.

  • Moore digital

    I spent a glorious few hours at Kew Gardens yesterday looking at the Henry Moore sculptures. They can be viewed from a distance, close up, from different angles. They look so at home there. I vow to go back if it snows, if it rains, to see the forms in a different light.

    Kew has dedicated an online space to the exhibition. You can download podcasts about each sculpture to your ipod before you go. Or if you forget, there's an audio service you can listen to by calling a number from your mobile advertised next to each exhibit. "You can eavesdrop on scientists, art historians and others discussing the artworks and their relationship to their surroundings."

    The've also set up a flickr group so I can upload all the lovely photos I took. And if I can't get back there when it rains or snows, I can see the pictures of others who could. There are already  some lovely images posted there. What a creative bunch we are.

    Henry Moore

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