Shesays Scamp 2011
Last week the lovely Shesays ladies held their annual Scamp event at Lbi. This year, the theme was ‘mashup’ and they certainly ran with it! The day covered a range of speakers talking about everything from digital art to urban food production.
Anjali Ramachandran was first up and argued that whatever you do - KEEP IT SIMPLE. You should be able to explain your idea in 30 seconds or less.
She presented the Hollergram from MadebyMany as a great example of how ideas which bridge the gap between the digital and analog world can be very successful. The hollergram essentially makes the iPad analog by allowing users to create short statements which they can hold up at meetings, conferences or even festivals to quickly broadcast what they want to say to a big group.
I love this idea, as for me this is what digital is all about - it is here to enhance or interaction in real life and if this can be done in a playful way, so much the better.
Anjali cautioned that you need to understand WHY people will use the service you want to provide - you can’t just do something because it looks good!
Tom Uglow from Google (rather unsurprisingly!) was a big hit. He gave us the low-down on how Google has developed in the last few years and months and explained how the acquisition of YouTube has affected what they are doing. They’re using YouTube as a way to connect people around the world, doing things like YouTube Symphony which enabled musicians from loads of different countries to audition for an orchestra by submitting videos of themselves on the site.
The YouTube Symphony project is a great example of how social media can actively encourage interaction and participation. Tom said that millions of people watched a live classical performance through YouTube and yet, the audience wasn’t that into classical music and the orchestra wasn’t even that amazing! So why did they watch? Because it was packaged well.
This project also revealed that in regards to any idea, there are different layers of audiences who want to engage in different ways. Some users will want to actively participate, whilst others are actively interested in that interaction but do not want to take part in it themselves. Once we understand this, we can package an idea in order to ensure that these different levels of audience participation are available to users.
His talk is available at http://goo.gl/QCDy4
Our key speaker was Nicola Mendelsohn who, shockingly, is the first female president in the IPA’s 90 year history. She argued that ‘our world is no longer linear or predictable’ and that in fact, ‘the only thing we can prepare for is unpredictability’.
With that in mind, she argued that it was important to ensure that the future generations had the best help in starting their careers in adland. She announced various collaborations the IPA is working on, including ones with Google, Facebook and the BBC. I’m somewhat sceptical. Anything that is trying to help out us grads is great, but their approach appears somewhat institutional - their event with Facebook about social media training for example is only available to IPA members. I wonder how many recent graduates are IP members?!
Rant over, the whole day was great - as usual - and left my brain buzzing with fabulous, fantastical images and ideas.