I am a London-based Digital PR/Social Media/SEO Consultant, music producer/anorak, deep sea diver, avid cyclist, worldwide traveller and football-loving technology bod! This page functions as a kind of online scrapbook/resource featuring my favourite blog posts and news items as well as my own personal reviews and recommendations in the worlds of music, sport, travel and technology!

Monday, 26 July 2010


Translocation: "

Translocation is a project by photographer George Logan, which sees African wildlife relocated into less predictable settings...

Logan's photographic series has been five years in the making, and has recently been published as a book, which will be sold with 100% of the sale price going to the international wildlife charity, the Born Free Foundation.

The film Born Free was in fact an early inspiration on Logan, who, when moving to different towns in Scotland, began telling new friends that he was from Africa. 'As I boy I'd tell tall tales to classmates and claim that I'd been raised on an African farm, surrounded by all sorts of exotic wildlife. It had me imagining how these creatures would appear in the rural Scottish landscapes I was familiar with. This project has allowed me to explore those early fantasies.'

Logan travelled extensively throughout Africa to capture the wild animals in their natural habitats, visiting Botswana, Namibia, Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa. The landscape shots are largely taken in Scotland and the wild coastlines of Cornwall. Logan then mixes animal and landscape images that feel like plausible combinations, resulting in a surprising set of photographs.

The book of the project has been designed and written by Elmwood Design in London (design director Michael Smith designed the book, with Elmwood's head of writing, Laura Forman, contributing the text). Elmwood is also currently showing an exhibition of the photos, which is viewable by appointment.

The book has been published for free by Hewlett Packard, who are using it as a showcase for their premium digital printing service. This has allowed all proceeds from the sales of the publication to go to the Born Free Foundation. Funds raised will be dedicated to Born Free's new wildlife rescue, conservation and education centre, Ensessakotteh, in Ethiopia.

The book retails at £30 and can be ordered at translocationbook.com. More info on George Logan's work is at georgelogan.co.uk.

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Facebook Connects 500 Million People: Defines a New Era of Digital Society

Facebook Connects 500 Million People: Defines a New Era of Digital Society: "

On July 22nd 2010, Facebook officially announced that it had surpassed 500 million users around the world. This significant achievement represents a significant milestone for Zuckerberg and Co. as well as for social networking and more importantly for global societies overall.

To celebrate this achievement, Facebook released Facebook Stories, a new service to spotlight user stories from around the world and the impact Facebook has had on their lives.

In Mark Zuckerberg’s words, “We’re launching a new application called Facebook Stories where you can share your own story and read hundreds of others, categorized by themes and locations around the world.”

Highlights shared in Zuckerber’s blog post about the service include:

- Ben Saylor, a 17-year-old high school student, who turned to Facebook to organize a community effort to rebuild the Pioneer Playhouse, the oldest outdoor theater in Kentucky, after it was damaged by floods in May.

- Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who, during his time in office, would go jogging with 100 of his fans from Facebook.

- Holly Rose, a mother in Phoenix, who credits a friend’s status message telling women to check for breast cancer with her being diagnosed in time to treat the disease. She used Facebook for support during treatment and became a prevention advocate herself.

Facebook Around the World

Facebook is the leading social network in 111 out of 131 countries as recently analyzed by Vincenzo Cosenza.

If Facebook was a country, it would rank third, just behind the People’s Republic of China and India and roughly 190 million ahead of the United States, over 200 million greater than Indonesia, and 300 million greater than Brazil.

If we examine the breakdown of Facebook’s population, we’re presented with an interesting picture of worldwide adoption (source).

Top 15 Countries by Number of Users

1. United States – 125,881,220 2. United Kingdom – 26,543,600 3. Indonesia – 25,912,960 4. Turkey – 22,552,540 5. France – 18,942,220 6. Italy – 16,647,260 7. Canada – 15,497,900 8. Philippines – 15,284,460 9. Mexico – 12,978,440 10. Spain – 10,612,820 11. India – 10,547,240 12. Argentina – 10,452,040 13. Columbia – 10,226,920 14. Germany – 9,948,700 15. Australia – 9,151,280

To offer a bit of balance, at the end of the population list, Anguilla Facebook ambassadors rank at number 187 with 6,420 users.

When we examine worldwide Facebook activity however, we’re presented with a different picture. According to O’Reilly Research, Asia and Africa represent high growth regions.

O’Reilly also reports the age demographics of users in each country. The share of users age 18-25 is higher outside the U.S., but notice the representation of users 35 and older.

The Human Network

Facebook’s mission is to help make the world more open and connected and indeed it is changing how people interact online. The “Facebook” stories shared through this new service highlight very human ways that social networking is changing people’s lives and I believe that is the bigger story here. Over time, I have borrowed Cisco’s tagline, “The Human Network” to demonstrate how digital social networks were contributing to a new era of society that transcends online and offline relationships and how we foster and interact with each.

The discussion as to whether or not Facebook is the largest social network in the world is no longer relevant. Facebook, along with other prominent and emerging networks such as Twitter, Foursquare, and hundreds of other networks, has forever changed the way individuals connect and share with one another, adapting cultures and customs, dissolving borders, and uniting disparate cultures. The world is indeed becoming a much smaller place.

From Dunbar’s Number to Social Graph Theory

Many experts continue to cite British anthropologist Robin Dunbar’s famous number of 150 (estimated). Dunbar’s number represents the maximum number of social relationships we as individuals can manage to a stable extent. If we look at Facebook data, the average person maintains a social graph of 130. However, I believe that we will eventually see a shift from relationships to relations as a result of social networking.

The average number will grow from 130 to double over the next 1-2 years as individuals expand their social graph from those we know in first-degree relationships and those we care to know, second and third-degree relationships.

While we’ll still place greater emphasis on important offline and online relationships through active interaction, we will also consume, react to, and share thoughts, insights, and content with those individuals that move us intellectually and emotionally.

As a result, Facebook will eventually need to revisit its current friend limit of 5,000. For those individuals who hit that ceiling, their only option is to move from a profile to a “brand” page. Doing so however, shifts the dynamics of the relationship and resulting interaction from a peer-to-peer or horizontal axis to a top-down or vertical grade of communication.

We will focus shifting attention on the sub-networks within our social graphs that are separated by themes and context. These social “nicheworks” will result in higher engagement and participation as the core of these discussions, individuals are rewarded for their participation with intelligence, a platform to share their perspective as well as new requests for connection. Expect to see Facebook create grouping functionality to draw lines between interaction within these nicheworks to ensure that we do not cross the streams within our main social graph.

So, how has Facebook changed your world?

Connect with Brian Solis on Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Google Buzz, Facebook ___ Please consider reading, Engage!: It will answer your questions…

___ Get Putting the Public Back in Public Relations and The Conversation Prism:



Monday, 19 July 2010

RSA Animate – Philip Zimbardo, The Secret Powers of Time and other things

RSA Animate – Philip Zimbardo, The Secret Powers of Time and other things: "

Wow. I have only really got back to the studio this week, the floor was quite dusty! We have been on out travels, supporting events in Frankfurt IMEX, a conference about conferences – seems a bit like Being John Malkovich going inside his own head. We were also in London supporting the Open Mobile Summit, I will put some images up here when they are processed.

I really should have posted the Zimbardo video up here when we completed it but the RSA You Tube channel is getting a lot of hits for the Animates, which is really encouraging for us!

We are currently working on ’storymapping’ Matthew Taylor’s keynote to be delivered on the 17th at the RSA. We will post up video of that live event and also the Animate from the talk too, when it’s up and ready. We are also working on talks by David Harvey and Slavoj Zizec, both on capitalism.

Anyway this post is meant to be about Mr Zimbardo and the great work Oliver did on making the animate. Well done Ollie, this is really great stuff!


The Hybrid Theory Manifesto: The Future of Marketing, Advertising, and Communications Part Three

The Hybrid Theory Manifesto: The Future of Marketing, Advertising, and Communications Part Three: "

Part Three of Three

Nicheworks are highly coveted or soon will be as no brand is an island. Attention and interests are focused within social streams and as individuals are empowered to define their online experiences, connecting the dots proves pivotal. If conversations are markets, nicheworks represent the glue that binds disparate conversational ecosystems. And through effective engagement, we make inroads towards community and being the construction of bridges between our brand and each desirable market.

While many creative initiatives find their way into social networks extemporaneously, it is the intentional and manual act of linking content to new and traditional influencers. This, for the moment, is the most genuine and authentic way to demonstrate intent and drive awareness and activity among the very people we’re hoping to reach and galvanize directly within the communities where their attention is focused.

Hybrid Theory Explained

Hybrid Theory is the fusion of creative and communications, combining earned and paid media to enliven ideas, unite communities, amplify stories and spark desired outcomes. It unites marketing, advertising, service, and public relations (note: not PR) with engagement and digital influence. This is about applying influence to rouse response where attention is focused. As such, Hybrid Theory requires a cross-breed of communications professional, one not tainted by the acts of storytelling through press releases or communicating through mass messaging and broadcasting. This new breed of communications professional essentially becomes the influencer they wish to engage through the embodiment of what I call the “5I’s,”an evolution of the 3I’s introduced by Forrester Research in its Future of Agencies Report.

1. Intelligence 2. Insight 3. Ideation 4. Interaction 5. Influence.

The 5I’s are rooted in peer-to-peer networking where the individuals with whom they connect are viewed as equals and conversely, those making contact are qualified as worthy of attention.

In a conversation several years ago with Doc Searls, Chris Heuer, Robert Scoble, among others, Searls described social media as the “live web.” It’s a name that resonated and is now a fully-realized prophesy. Indeed, this live web has evolved into a hyperactive conversation ecosystem that encourages and rewards real-time content creation, collection, and distribution. As social consumers, we willfully drink from the firehose and as such, Hybrid Theory introduces the strategies and means necessary to not only compete for the moment, but also inspire a more vested form of participation that fosters presence and affinity.

If we were to visualize the 5I’s into a workflow for Hybrid Theory, everything would begin with intelligence and the data necessary to inspire insight, innovation, and a corresponding action plan that officially brings creative to life. It is during this process that influential voices who reach and influence other individuals within our desired markets surface.

Ideas are then tested against an influence filter to gauge the viability of meaningful vs. promotional engagement. As such, channel diversity is then explored to chart effective courses for direct connections and the social objects commensurate with conversations within each. Concepts are then transformed into campaigns, stories are packaged as social objects and highly personalized social hubs are constructed to host, define and steer the user experience.

As the campaign goes live in its respective mediums, the hybrid team is then tasked with optimizing content for search in traditional search engines and also social networks. This form of inbound marketing, speaks for the program when consumers seek out related content outside of proactive outreach. Once optimized, social objects are then syndicated through all channels previously identified to reach our audiences and prospective participants as they search for relevant content.

But, it is the last mile where our connections with influential people brings our campaigns to life. This is where we connect the brand, its persona, its mission and purpose, and extend value to our consumers and the markets they represent. It is how we engage and with whom that defines the reach, velocity, and ultimately the resonance of our campaign. And, it is our participation that either credits or debits our social capital.

The state of brands in social networks is measured by the multiple axes of resonance and fortified by the relationships we earn and the actions we merit. Hybrid Theory introduces a human framework that marries best-in-class attributes of data analysis, sociology, advertising, marketing, communications, and service to connect people and brands through relevance, empathy, and empowerment.

Without relevance, we cannot trigger resonance, and without resonance, we cannot establish significance in social media.

Continue Reading…

Part One Part Two

Connect with Brian Solis on Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Google Buzz, Facebook ___ Please consider reading, Engage!: It might just change the way you think about Social Media

___ Get Putting the Public Back in Public Relations and The Conversation Prism:



Saturday, 10 July 2010

Did India invent Acid House?

Did India invent Acid House?: "

This amazing record seems to have been made in 1982 in India – but no one is 100% sure it’s genuine. There’s rumours that it could have been made by a modern prankster. However, people seem to be coming round to the fact that it’s legit.

UPDATE: Turns out the Guardian did some research on this back in April and it is genuine: http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2010/apr/10/charanjit-singh-acid-house. So Acid House was invented in India. Fact. So there.

Boomkat say:

It was originally made in 1982 by a Bollywood soundtrack composer, intending to capitalise on the disco phenomenon with a combination of centuries-old classical Indian Ragas set to a disco backing. To achieve this Charanjit used a prototypical acid set-up of Roland TB303 bass melody sequencer and TR808 drum computer together with a Jupiter-8 keyboard. He basically created a sound which mirrored, and more importantly, pre-dated the first acid house record – Phuture’s ‘Acid Track’ by five years, and even preceded Chip E’s ‘Jack Trax’ in 1985.

Bleep.com say similar things here: http://bleep.com/index.php?page=release_details&releaseid=24531

Have a listen and see what you think. 1982 or not?

Read full review of Ten Ragas To A Disco Beat – Charanjit Singh on Boomkat.com ©