jason oke

If you’re not in awe, you’re not paying attention.

The purpose of information

Neil and Leland have mentioned a great quote from Mark Zuckerberg (founder/CEO of Facebook) which gets to the original sin many brands are committing these days, thinking we can just build branded communities that people will flock to.  As Mark says, that’s clearly mistaken:

“Communities already exist.  Instead, think about how you can help that community do what it wants to do.”
This reminded me of my favourite Zuckerberg quote (as reported by Esther Dyson at the Web 2.0 conference last year):
“The other guys think the purpose of communication is to get information. We think the purpose of information is to foster communication.”
So true, so good. Once again, it’s all about the social object.

By the way, if you haven’t already, check out Neil’s excellent presentation “What’s Next – How Social Media Changes the Rules For Good”. It rocks the casbah. And Neil’s a super nice guy.

Filed under: Social networks, Web/Tech

Brand Tags

Noah has built an addictive little app – BrandTags.

It’s a way of mapping all the things brands stand for in people’s minds. It shows you a brand and prompts you to enter the first word that pops into your head. Simple and addictive – he launched it on Friday and there are already 40,000 80,000 200,000 (UPDATE: up to one million) responses.

Reminds me a bit of David‘s project Brand vs Brand – also a lot of fun to play with.

Filed under: brands, planning, Web/Tech

Taking the plunge

Fine, I surrender. After a year of lurking, watching other people, and helping marketers understand it, I’m finally doing it.Yes, I’m on Twitter. Huzzah.

Filed under: Web/Tech

Interactivity & heightened expectations

When I was in NY last week, I dropped by MoMA for a quick visit to the Design & The Elastic Mind exhibit. The exhibit is great, but I noticed an unexpected side effect to their excellent website: compared to the online experience, the show itself was a bit of a letdown.

Now, the show is great, and I’d recommend it highly – there are definitely some things that benefit from seeing them first hand, or interacting with them. The problem is just that the website is so good, so well designed and so interactive, that by contrast the actual show almost suffered in comparison.

If you haven’t been to the site, go – it immerses you in all the different exhibits and lets you play around in lots of different ways that are very un-museum-like. The actual museum show, though, is constrained by all the physical limits imposed by any museum show: you can’t touch or interact with most of it. This makes sense – obviously you can’t have thousands of tourists banging up your displays everyday – but it means that in comparison, the show can feel static, slightly lifeless, and very much like… well, like a museum show. It’s an interesting challenge – one I’m sure was difficult for the curators – because good design is by its nature interactive to some degree, yet a museum show forces you to view something from a removed perspective.

Then again, I have a feeling that if I’d seen the show first I’d have loved it and raved about it, and then seeing the website after would have just been an even more impressive bonus. But perhaps I wouldn’t have been excited to see the show in the first place had it not been for the excellent website?

Something to noodle: as we plan transmedia brand experiences, we need to keep in mind how the order in which things are experienced can seriously affect the expectations of what comes next – and yet we usually can’t control what order that experience does, in fact, happen.

Filed under: Design, Web/Tech

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These are my views. Do I even need to explain that? They're not those of anyone generous enough to pay me money. They're just mine. Unless maybe they're yours too. That would be nice.