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Distraction and the Internet April 17, 2014

Posted by nicholas gill in distraction, internet, productivity, social media, Uncategorized, website, webtrate.
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65% of us get distracted by the Internet. Distracted form doing stuff by doing more stuff like emails, general web surfing and of course, social media. 53% also admitted that the reduction in productivity caused them dissatisfaction and unhappiness.

I can empathise. I’m far too easily distracted at present. I need to switch off. And now you can with Webtrate. Despite the site looking like it’s come from the 90s – deliberate given the context of what they’re trying t do I hope – you sign up and get a number of options to turn off all these distractions and focus. Anything from a simple timer to a complete lock down. Splendid.

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Soundbites from MediaPost OMMA London Panel: Channels, channels and more channels. April 12, 2014

Posted by nicholas gill in Uncategorized.
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I was invited to be a panellist at Mediapost’s OMMA London conference on 2 April. The panel was Channels, Channels and More Channels with a large focus on mobile and video content. Although you’re welcome to watch the 45 minutes in full here, I’ve done a little deck of the soundbites from me just for fun.

 

 

small data March 26, 2014

Posted by nicholas gill in big data, small data.
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I’ve been travelling a lot lately for work and the simplicity of the Dutch train system as a foreign traveller always impresses me. Not only is it incredibly simple to buy a ticket and found out which platform your train is going from at Schipol airport but once you’re on the train, the large TV style display makes it easy for you to track your journey to the minute. I’m sure there’s a gazillion data bits that sit under this but the outcome is that in a country where I can barely understand any word of the language (Dutch is hard), I can get myself around incredibly easily and it works pretty much all of the time. Compare this to the on-train service in the UK (specifically South West Trains) where the announcements are largely impenetrable and inaudible. The on-screen dot matrix horizontal scrolling is not permanently on so if you glance up to see where you’re at after you’ve dozed off, you really have no clue.

So I’m avoiding big data and becoming a fan of small data. The small things that make a big difference.

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i almost did it September 16, 2013

Posted by nicholas gill in productivity, social media.
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I’ve tried to switch off from email and social before. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. After changing a few holidays around due to work commitments this year,  I was determined to switch off from work this time round. And that also meant an opportunity for no tweeting, facebooking, checking gmail etc.

It’s a lot harder than it seems. I turned off the work email and realised that my weakest time is putting the kids to bed. When they’re in the little period between shutting their eyes and then properly in the land of nod. Sometimes this takes a few minutes, more usually about 10 – 20. Usually time to attempt the inbox zero challenge and catch up on the social firehose.

Easiest to not look at was Twitter. I went the whole week. No desire to check it. Next was work email. Turning it off stops the easy lapse. I only weakened by need rather than choice as I needed to extend my break due to unforseen circumstances. So had to quickly do this on the Sunday. In and out. 90+ unread a pleasant surprise and quick eyeball meant no horror stories on the return. Switched off. I did plop a few Instagram photos out. Mainly during the kids sleep time when I got frustrated playing Minion Rush (damn, it’s hard. I must be getting old).

I only Facebook’d a few times. To share our boy’s birthday and first day at school pictures.

It’s quite surprising how the urge to take a photo, tweet or update your status is subconsciously gnawing away at you. All the time. I didn’t miss Twitter at all. I think if it had not been a birthday/back to school occasion I would not have felt the need to Facebook either. And after two days I didn’t feel the constant need to check work email either. I only looked at the home email as we’re trying to move house and lots happening there.

As a result, I’m trying not to be always-on. I’m trying to do it in bite-size chunks as I get distracted too easily. I don’t need to turn the phone on in the morning and check. I find it more relaxing. We had our son’s birthday party at the weekend and I kept my phone firmly in my pocket. No tweets, no pictures, no status updates. Just an enjoyable afternoon out.

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they do things differently in singapore September 11, 2013

Posted by nicholas gill in mentos, viral video, youtube.
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Weird huh? A country proposing to another country. Match-making land masses that have some things in common (well-educated etc.) and er, Finland is cold and Singapore is hot. But also because Finland has loads of space and Singapore is rammed. Which makes last year’s effort even more confusing: encouraging Singapore residents to make babies on the national day to address the declining birth rate. Put together, they make even less sense. But hey, it’s a bit of fun from Mentos. The tunes are catchy even if the content doesn’t really translate beyond the home country. Also, at 4 minutes, the new one is way too long and seems to suffer from the poisoned chalice that is the follow-up viral with c. 147k views Vs over 500k for the first one.

inspiration from the idealists September 11, 2013

Posted by nicholas gill in blog, creative, Inspiration, the idealists.
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I like this. Lots of inspiration and ideas from the Idealists Blog that cover the broad church that is creativity.

 

olloclip September 11, 2013

Posted by nicholas gill in iphone, olloclip, photography, product review.
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I was fortunate to receive an Olloclip to try out over the Summer. Olloclip clips onto your iPhone and allows you to take photos with fish-eye, wide-angle and macro lenses.  The actual product is small and comes with it’s own carry bag which also doubles as a lens cleaning cloth. You also get a new protective case for your phone which has a simple flip-top to enable quick fitting of the Olloclip. It’s really quick to fit and use. Changing from the wide-angle to macro requires unscrewing one to reveal the other but even that’s pretty easy.  Taking the photos is as simple as it is taking it with an iPhone normally too. The product gathers a bit of attention when you use it too so you end up having to explain and demo it to people. It’s quite hard to see the wide-angle results on the iPhone though. The macro lens was good and the fish-eye too.

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I did find it a pain to try and remember the kit and then to get it out and take shots with it. It’s not for spur of the moment photos but makes a nice addition to your phone if you want some photos out of the ordinary. Here’s a selection of shots I took.

Top: macro lens, daughter’s hair, filtered in Instagram.

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Above: Dam Square, Amsterdam, wide-angle lens.

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Above: Dam Square, Amsterdam, fish-eye lens.

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Above: Amsterdam Sloterdijk train station. View from client office window. Wide-angle lens.

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Above: the team ready for the meeting at client offices, Amsterdam Sloterdijk. Fish-eye lens.

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Above: top of a beer glass, Amsterdam. Macro-lens.

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Above: red rose, macro lens.

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Above: white rose, macro lens

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Above: the duck pond at Beaulieu, Hampshire. Wide-angle lens.

Thanks to Emil for sharing. I have not been paid for this post.

never lose your stuff again July 25, 2013

Posted by nicholas gill in Uncategorized.
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I get sent a lot of press releases, seemingly at random and often with content that is is so wildly removed from anything I do that I often want to send made up press releases back. And then there are the gems. The ones that actually make me go, “oooh, I’d like that”.  Things that are new and interesting and have a purpose. Things that use technology in interesting ways rather than just because. And also, they use my name rather than just, “hey blogger”, or nothing, or worse, “hey bluurb.”

Tile. It’s a tiny tile. That fixes or fits into things. It emits a signal using low energy blue toothy internetty things and you can find it using your smartphone or tablet. We’ve all lost our bag, keys, laptop and more at some stage. Just track them down using the Tile app. And if your stuff has gone beyond 100ft, i.e. not just been buried in the kids toys, you can use the Tile community passively to find your lost or stolen gear.

Originally a crowd-funded idea, it’s proved so popular it’s now shipping globally with over $2.6m orders in the bank.

Thanks to Lucy for sharing. I have not been paid for this post.

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what it’s like to work in the creative industry July 24, 2013

Posted by nicholas gill in advertising, Inspiration.
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A short documentary on what it’s like to work in the creative industry when your craft becomes your profession. Even though I’m not a “creative”, I can relate to these feelings and scenarios.

Originally found on Design Taxi via Evan Michaels.

set the tone June 12, 2013

Posted by nicholas gill in creative, Inspiration.
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Most opening things start in a dull fashion. Take meetings. An agenda. Usually on paper. Usually not enough to go around. Trying to reach into the middle of the table to get the coffee (that you can’t actually get out of the jug and it tastes like pap anyway) that is usually tantalisingly out of reach and you usually knock something over or drag your jacket into the already stale Pret (they’re always Pret) platter in your quest. You then settle back into the usually overly-chilled room. And then someone usually says, “OK, cool. So, thanks for coming. We’ve got a lot to cover…” Etc. Blah. Imagine if every meeting started with a performance like this.

Or took inspiration from it. Then perhaps there would be no need for a knowing smile when you see merchandise like this.

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