Monthly Archives: April 2008

You can’t order or force Creativity

CreativitiyFor many years I’ve labeled my self a non-creative person, but recently started to reconsidered. Of cause I’m a creative person, and have been all along. My inner voice oppressed this thought and made me denying a important part of me as a person. Every person have a creative mind, more or less and in our own ways.

The brain and mind probably can’t be non-creative. For example, when we sleep the brain build worlds and story’s that can touch us emotionally and be both fun, scary, confusing and just breathtaking. Dreams (night dreams) really fascinate me and how our brain and mind work when we sleep. How the human rational mind can create the most irrational and crazy (sometimes scary) stories were anything (ANYTHING!) can happen. Some dreams are just crazy, but some dreams can spawn great new ideas and be inspirational.

One thing about dreams have stock it self in my head… can we dream about something or someone we’ve never experiences or know exist? My standpoint is, that in order for something to appear in our dreams, we most know of its existence, otherwise how can our head incorporate it into our dreams?

The point being this… we need to get input and inspiration in order for our brain and mind to start a creative process. My head work in this fashion, the more input I aggregate through reading, music, videogames and in general observing the world around me and reflect how it and its inhabitants work, my creativity start to spin. But thats just one part, to gather inspiration.

The next step is for the creative brain to start working. And for me, this can come at any time, mostly when I least except it, and all to often when I’m not allowed or don’t have the time to harvest that creativity. Its hard (if not impossible) to store or save creativity and use it later. When I have a creative moment, I want to act out it immediately, and many other people probably feel the same. One big factor which restrained my creativity was my own head! I locked myself, by denying my true self. To acknowledge my own free mind was the first step to grow creatively.

And when the creative fire been ignited its important to constantly fuel it. The feeling one gets when the mind really work hard is addictive! Like this blog, its a wonderful feeling every time I get a new idea for a post or when I press the Publish button. It makes me just wanna write more, and my mind constantly searching for inspiration, thoughts and ideas for new posts and subject to blog about. But creativity (at least for me) is a up and down period thing. Some weeks I have multiple ideas for new posts, and others I’m almost desperate to come up with something new to write. This is presumably just how creativity works, one can’t order our brains to be creative. Well… to some degree, when we absolutely have to. Those moment probably isn’t going to be our most creative one on the other hand.

Its important to encourage creativity for all humans (and animals =) ). Creativity is a developing process which strengthen our wellbeing and a feeling of accomplishment. Not only can creativity lead to new ideas and thoughts that can aid people around us, but also for our own inner growth. Its needed everywhere, even in areas we generally don’t view as creative. Not to let logic and to rational thoughts stand it the way. Be open minded and search for possibilities.

When simple entertainment applications become business tools

Youtube, a young (an infant?) web service/application which is one of the biggest internet successes in recent years. A simple web platform that enabled for everyone to upload their own videos and share them with everyone else online. To make it as easy as possible for the user to upload videos without any pre-knowledge of videoediting, encoding or formats, the accessibility speak to everyone. Also integrating the feature to share videos with other people and sites with a simple URL-string contributed to its success. Its a free service and all of the content is submited and created by its users. Built on web technology (Flash) which basically every average web browser today have. It have transformed internet video how we view, distribute and create videos.

It have been some controversies surrounding Youtube concerning Copyrighted material thats being uploaded without permission. Videos have been deleted and users baned. And the question how Google (the owner of Youtube) can profit from the site is still unanswered.

But what I find more interesting is how Youtube have become a business tool and marketing channel. If companies produce a new commercial, its only natural to upload it on Youtube and start distributing it. The platform offers statistic like numbers of people watching the video and enables the ability for comments, and easy distribution. Here you basically get a free complete marketing tool with millions of users. On the contrary, if you upload shit, the probability is high it will get a very low view “score”.

The same can be said about Facebook. It started as an easy, closed community in the US, and is now a worldwide business. Here in Sweden we have some Universities that offers courses in Facebook Marketing! How sick is that? Facebook, like Youtube, build much of its foundation on the user activity. And the more content and user a services get, the more buzz it will create that result in companies, corporations and organizations start looking for ways to profit from. Whether as a new marketing channel or business platform, when the number of users rise, you can bet your ass that the people in businesses start looking for a way to use the service to their own advantage.

Its interesting how a service must expand to a certain volume of content and/or users for the business sector to discover them at all.

Only chase the popular one. But when the numbers starts falling, move on to the next one.

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An inspiriting futurist

I always enjoy these moments when something new or (for me) undiscovered appear before my eyes, which sparkles new ideas. Yesterday I found a video presentation from some conference with one of Europes most famous Futurist, Dr. Patrik Dixon. Form the first minute I was hooked! He entered the stage like a storm wind, full with energy and new fascinating ideas. I’m constantly looking for new inspirational sources and people, and Dr. Dixon seems to be one I will follow more now.

Moving+no internet=few posts

Now I’ve finally moved into MY new apartment! The move have been smooth and all thats left is a few smaller things from my parents home, and of cause all the contacts with insurance-, internet- and other companies.

So at the moment I have no internet at home… :O Which unfortunately mean low activity in my bloging. The only internet time I have right now is when I’m at work. But I hope to get internet at home within the next days or week.

Grumpy friday

Well, just one of those days… been a little grumpy today. Mostly thanks to some thoughts I’ve had inside my mind. It’s probably something I think of, but it really bothers me.

How people and companies seems to think they’re so special and important! Every day when I’m on the bus or subway I like to observe other people, how they dress, look and seems to “feel”. And many many people often look very… angry, sad and very lifeless. Like they hate their life and work. Yes, you can have a bad day, but people look like every day is a bad day. I always smile when I’m out, and it seems people view me and wonders whats wrong with me.

And many seems to try to look important and busy. Like they’re so special cause they were a costume and maybe have a “good” work title. Then when the train or bus stop they all rush like their asses on fire. Like they must hurry quickly to work so they can rush home! Relax, please.

“You” aren’t that important, everybody is equally important, but what really pisses me off is then certain people view them self and their company as better than everybody else. Maybe it was the course in Corporations Organization and Ethics that  changed my view of corporations and businesses. That people are more important than profit. In my view, the cloths isn’t a guarantee you’re a better worker or person. That snobs should be thrown down from their high pedestals back to earth.

One of my most hated expression or statements is something like:

But I pay so much taxes, so I should be first or have the best treatment.

Well… we all fucking pay taxes, except those without a job. People all to often try to find things to point out which show how special they are. What bullshit! Everyone is equal! And please be more relaxed and happier?

Fanboys – a marketers dream

Fanboys (I also include Fangirls, so I don’t discriminate any one), an expression I often hear in the gaming community. You can be a fanboy in many ways, or simply put a fan of different things. Examples like consoles, franchises, brands and so forth. A great quote from Wikipedia on Fanboys:

Stereotypical fanboys are attributed with a devotion to the creators and principles behind a work with which they are currently enthralled. Fanboys are noted for a very emotional attachment to their chosen subject. They will readily engage in debates about their chosen subject.

Now, if you would view this from a marketing and business perspective, I at least, would call these kinds of persons or customers the ultimate one! The one any company in any business would like to have. They love the “product”, franchise and accessories. As one who follow the gaming community (obviously cause I’m a gamer myself) one can’t miss the dedication, energy and time many gamers spend on the medium, outside of just playing the games. Their own modifications, websites, blogs, community, tattoos, videos and so much one can’t apprehend it all.

Fanboys comes in many sizes, shapes and “obsessions”, and it’s interesting to analyse this phenomenon. They are the best and worse customers at the same time. On the good side they them self become great spokespersons for the brand they love and (in some cases unaware) help market the brand ever further. Reliable customers who you almost can count on will by any new version or product you ship within that brand. On the other hand, cause they’re so dedicated they become hard to please and easy to backfire. If a new game or product is released, that won’t satisfy or please them, they usually will react more than non-fanboys, cause the expectations is very high.

Fanboys remain loyal to their particular obsession

And what company who sell a product or have one or more brands, wouldn’t dream of their own fanboys? The (almost) perfect customer, good spokespersons who by them self market the brand or product. Here one could ask, how define the brand, the company behind it or the fanbase? If there is a fanbase they could be used to define the brand, but it must be on their own terms. No one can force or try to control a fanbase. The free will is very important, to preserve the authentic of the fans. Some companies may find this scary not to be able to control their brand, but they should be happy to have a fanbase if they do! That people dedicate their time, energy and emotions to YOUR brand or product. Be fucking grateful!

But how is it a few special categories of industries that have a strong fanbase and community? Games for example are entertainment and often have characters and create emotions. How much marketers work to push their message into people mind and create good association to the brand, they will never compete with brands who have a fanbase. I mean, how many people really LOVE a special ketchup, phone (unless its a iPhone ;)) or furniture brand. Maybe the fanboy phenomenon won’t fit every product categories, yet it’s quiet remarkable how it can differentiate.


Web 3.0 – the digital aggretagtion age?

In an article over at AdvertisingAge, they speculate what the next step after Web 2.0 could be. Even how unclear what Web 2.0 really is, now the speculations have begun with the next step, Web 3.0. This vaguely expression stands for many things, one AdvertisingAge points to is the aggregation of news content.

If Web 2.0 was about services or technology to enable the creation of content, the next version must be how to spread and aggregate them. Instead of “content is king”, its all about great services. Advanced services that filter all the content, and maybe allow the users and readers to decide which news and sources. A combination of and Digg, perhaps? The basic foundations of the internet can enable news to really be social. People get to decide which news they wanna read and then discuss them.

The next question at hand is whether its morally right to “steal” others content and present them for free. How this will threatened regular news corporations be or not to be. They already have problem, competing with the flow of self produced and free news and story’s from engaged driven people and bloggers. How do you compete with free? Especially when the these sources in some sense is considered more authentic and true, in comparison with paid media.

I’m all in favour for the open architecture and democratization the internet stands for. And how free forces threaten the big corporation which forces the professional journalist to evolve. Just a  small piece of me fear how certain people with power will try to use this new era to gain more control or misguide society. One can only hope that “digital” people will do what they have done so far, work to spread the truth!


Media, a murderer?

A with many of my strange ideas, they struck when I least expect them to. The other day me and my room mate view a documentary about hiphop beefs. A though struck me, how big of a role has media played, how much have they (unintentionally or not?) helped fuel the battles?

For many people media constitute the only source of information about the world around us. Even in this modern information age, the regular media still play a huge roll to provide us with news. And by media I refer to published media. Classical media like tv, newpapers and radio, often owned or sponsored by a huge corporation with the mission to earn as fucking much money they can. Still, I’m sceptical whether media truly live up to what to expect of them, to supply society with relevant news, which also should be true. Many times media actually delivers true news, but how many times do they miss or simply print false story’s with the intent to entice readers?

Regular media or what I would like to call “Popular media”, are according to me, good examples of easy consumed news deliverer. Often paid for by advertisers and a small part from the people who pay. What they care for is a high number of readers (Including viewers and listeners), to they can sell more and expensive advertising. To attract readers selling story’s is a must, unfortunately. The result from this leads to the important news sometimes have to step down for more “selling” news. Like all this crap with gossip news surrounding celebrities. What does those news really contribute to society, NOTHING!

Now, my main point, or rather question/though was… how many people have died (direct or indirect) from media reporting? A very controversial question indeed, but nonetheless interesting. To develop my though some more and explain how I think:

Looking in the review mirror of media history, media was the only way for people to get news from around the world and in some way, create their view of the world through media reporting. Media have been the medium for politicians to spread their message, critics to spread the truth and corporations to market their brand or products to lure people into the buying cycle. Especially news media should be impartial and not influenced by outside powers. To deliver good and true news. And these news, affect people in many ways. They can create strong reactions, sorrows, emotions and happiness. And these reactions can sometimes lead to actions, which can end in horrifying endings. That’s not to say that all media is responsible, and how could one measure this anyway?

But still I think it raises the question of medias responsibility in there news reporting. Can they be hold accountable for deaths? Its hard to prove, and they shouldn’t stop to report important news. All I would like is for news media to really be causes and aware of the power they hold in our world view and how they report it.

Then the next question of cause becomes, what about the new media like blogs. When classical news media compete with the small people who write about news and other read. Even if they’re not educated within the journalistic profession, in today’s digital world the possibilities are endless. Today, the amount of information is endless, and the ability to aggregate information from different sources doesn’t require to much time or education. Regular media have lost credibility, and alternative (more trusted) sources are becoming more common, and threatens paid media. Never underestimate the power and energy of the little people will to find the truth.

Good video sum up of the old, present and future(?) digital age

This video was send to me a few days ago. It was completely my taste, and one can only hope other old (backward) thinking people view it, and try to learn from it. The new age is here to stay, and to be the best you have to look what’s next. I surely know, I work hard to learn more about the next step in business and what’s to come.

I’ve been dreaming, how it would have been to be there when it happened. The computer revoluttion, rise of the PC and Apple, the early internet age, birth of the video game industry and other revolutionary technology wonders. But I can just look forward and work towards being there next time it happens.

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Different person at work vs. home?

A couple weeks ago me and my boss had a discussion, or evaluation if you wish, about my work so far and what’s ahead. She pointed out something I must work to improve within myself, nothing big but rather interesting, a bit eye-opening. When she had spoke with my old employer they had given the same image and description about me, mainly my tendency to over-analyse a task before I take action.

This was completely new to me… I remember when I studied and the course was project management. One day we made a experiment. We talked about the different stereotypes when category typical characteristics of different members of a work group. The teacher asked us to stand in the corner of the room were a paper described different characteristics that corresponded with ourself. My trait was short analysing phase, quick worker who burn rubbers about 200km/h not planing enough. A view of myself I’ve been holding on to, but apparently was wrong, and it got to me.

After the meeting I continued thinking about this fact, and the conclusion was my different “personality’s” on work vs home (non-work). When I’m not at work, I don’t analyse or plan to much, I just act on my feelings and impulses. But as soon as I get to work, I’m getting careful, planning, analysing and worried to make misstakes and what the consequence may be. Now my boss have ordered me to be more spontaneous and not think to much. It was a revelation for me to discover my two “personality’s” or traits who take over in different situations. That got me to think, how other peoples different their work characteristics from their free? Maybe it isn’t so bad to “change” as soon as we enter the “work zone”, to maybe not act different depending on the situation and just be our true self. Stop the pretending and find the positive in our traits in any situation. Just a thought. How do you differentiate yourself for your Work-you and Sparetime-you?