Common Themes from #SxSW 2014


Badged or not, thousands of creative, tech, brand, communications, and scores of other professionals migrated to Austin, TX this past weekend for the 21st Annual SXSW Interactive Festival. I count myself as one of those in the mix (I’m a first-timer, so I was badged) who braved wind, rain, and the occasional sunshine to learn and network all while having a memorable time.

Although I didn’t attend as many panels as I had planned, the best learnings were in the conversations and connections I made over dinner, drinks and long waits in line. Nonetheless, there were some common themes that arose across those conversations and sessions which people can appreciate and apply to their life and work no matter what industry they are in:

Be Human Whether you’re face-to-face, separated by a phone or a computer screen doesn’t really  need to change the way you talk to your customers–especially…

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Media, Technology, and Crisis at SXSW

Josh Stearns

On Monday at 5pm I’ll be moderating a session at SXSW that explores the way journalists, civic hackers, and local communities are using new technology and social networks to respond to crisis and conflict. What follows is a preview of some of the issues we’ll be grappling with.

What is your attention worth? Online publishers, advertisers and social networks are putting a price on your attention every day. The entire web metrics industry is built on the economy of attention – impressions, clicks, visits, time on site, RTs, likes, shares. These are the atomic elements of attention.

But there are also people who are working to hack attention, to use new networks, new connections and new tools to drive our hearts and minds towards the most important stories of our time. The hope is not that we can turn attention into dollars, but that we can turn attention into action.


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When Sub Cultures Influence Brands

Ideas, Riffs And (Some) Noise On All Things Marketing. Branded

Quick Read: There are several fascinating Sub Cultures and Urban Tribes around the world that could give us insights and compelling perspectives into consumer behaviour by way of their unique shared values and behaviours. In each such instance they exemplify how anthropology can influence advertising and vice versa. The Floggers in Argentina and The Sapeurs in Congo are two cases in point.

As a Youth sub culture, THE FLOGGERS originated in Argentina at the end of 2004 and have become popular through their unique fashion and went on to popularise the concept of picture sharing via photo blogs.

Essentially the floggers have two key characteristics:

  • They are dressed up in unique style: Floggers wear bright coloured unisex clothing – commonly tight trousers , V-neck T-shirts and canvas trainers and have dyed hair with long emo side fringes which cover their eyes and lip piercings. They have even developed a particular way of dancing

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