Archive for October, 2009
Digital is the way. It is your future. It is your destiny, Young Skywalker. And like most agency people you have probably realized – - it is futile to resist. But you are not yet an Interactive Jedi Master. What to do?
Here’s an idea. Boulder Digital Works, or BDW, our newest partner, is launching the second of a series of 36 Hour Executive Workshops. What’s an Executive Workshop, and who attends? More importantly, why should you care?
BDW at University of Colorado, Boulder, boasts a who’s-who of industry leaders, digital experts, and nationally recognized university professionals who direct and educate with a fluid curriculum based on the three pillars of creativity, technology and business. Launched in September 2009, the school is benchmark collaboration between the marketplace and educational institutions. It has been compared to the Portfolio School in Atlanta, Hyper Island in Sweden, or VCU; it is the first of its kind in the United States.
The 36 Hour Exec workshops are designed to challenge assumptions and empower working professionals with the fundamental knowledge needed to succeed in a digital business, creative, marketing, and technology workplace. Taught primarily by renowned industry leaders, (yes, some from M!) the program is designed with innovation, collaboration, participation, and transparency in mind.
Modernista! is proud to be designing the new BDW site. Talk about interactive expectations.
The second workshop, titled “Upgrade to Digital,” is for marketing and advertising folk who want to increase their knowledge of digital topics such as social media, search engine marketing, digital out of home, and mobile. (And who doesn’t?) The workshop is totally hands on, requiring participants to work on projects in small groups and present to workshop leaders. Yes, you have to do the work. No sitting there passively taking notes and sucking down energy drinks. The last workshop sold out.
Scott Prindle, VP and Interactive Technical director, Crispin, Porter + Bogusky, and Joe Corr, Senior Technical Lead for CP+B, and other smart industry people will share details never before discussed at a public workshop, conference, or speaking event. Additional guest speakers include local and national experts in digital from Booyah Agency, OneRiot and more. Enrollment is restricted to 30 students. Did we mention it’s in Boulder? What are you waiting for? May the (digital) force be with you.
See you there.
About five weeks ago I received a personal e-mail from a client in which he stated that the problem with his company’s marketing was its process for producing it. “I will make sure the work never goes through the sausage factory,” he wrote. I had doubts about that at the time, and subsequent events have reinforced that impression. But I strongly agree with the sentiment, and I hope his company succeeds.
It is so damn difficult to keep the sausage factory out of the process. Lance and I launched Modernista! in 2000 mainly because we were tired of this business as usual. And we’ve had some big successes since then, with clients past and present. But sometimes, no matter how hard you try, the sausage factory wins.
Or does it? It seems to me those victories are short term. In the long run, excellence wins. Excellence is the only thing anyone ever remembers. And Lance and I feel that right now, our agency has better prospects for producing true excellence than it ever has before. Over-the-top stuff. In every format, on every platform. And as we embark on this new phase, we feel very fortunate to be working with some of the most talented people we’ve ever met in our lives.
At the end of the day, this is the way I score it: Modernista! 1, Sausage Factory 0.
One of our Art Directors, Brian Leech, is still new to both M! and Boston.
Somewhere around 1am last Saturday night, he and I ducked out of a bro-fest house party in Charlestown, the storied neighborhood in Boston’Ts northeast corner.
Two right turns and three blocks later, 221-feet of beautifully lit granite obelisk (yeah, I Googled that) challenged our path. I’ve visited and climbed the Bunker Hill Monument, but Brian had no idea such a thing existed in the middle of quiet Boston. Brian, one of Modernista!’s most cherished resources, meet one of America’s unchallenged equivalent.
3.6% of U.S. land falls within the National Park system – almost 100 million acres in all. Incredible. Point is, there are a lot of National Parks into which you might literally stumble – in the middle of cities or the middle of nowhere.
In support of Ken Burns America’s Best Idea documentary that is currently running on PBS, we worked with some frighteningly capable folks at FL-2 in Denver to create a digital discovery experience of our 396 parks, monuments, battlefields and parkways.
No one hates the National Parks. But not enough people love them. Check out http://thisisyourland.nationalparks.org to see why you should. And to plot next moves when escaping floundering house parties.
Emilio Acosta Farro of Peru, Aditza Maria Orozco of Nicaragua, Josephine Navalta of the Philippines and Ben Kiwanuka’s Group of Uganda. How do I know these people? I don’t. But I loaned them each $25 and they are all paying me back.
With Kiva, you pick the person (or group) to loan to. Within 6-12 months that person pays you back. Then you can loan that same $25 to another person of your choice, or withdraw your money to your PayPal account. The loans “are helping a real person make great strides towards economic independence and improve life for themselves, their family, and their community.” (www.kiva.org/about)
Kiva has made micro-lending fun and accessible, with a simple, easy to use website built with open source technologies. For me, open source is the way to go. There are no licensing fees with PHP (programming language), MySQL (database), Apache (web server), and most flavors of Linux (operating system). That means Kiva can keep their website costs low, and focus on the more important matter at hand—helping people. I’ve had discussions with clients about using these technologies. In addition to being very stable and having a very large support group of developers, the cost savings of open source is quite attractive, particularly in these financially challenging times.
So check out Kiva, and see what you think. I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent more than $25 on a few Friday (liquid) lunches. I think this Friday I’ll brown bag it, and give my $25 to my new Guatemalan friends. How about you? If loaning $25 to Toeung Savon in Cambodia isn’t your thing, you can still do some good, and get a little something for yourself, at www.joinred.com.
For almost a week now, PBS has been airing a spot in which a little girl shares her favorite place in the National Parks. That spot is part of our first work for the National Park Foundation, and airs in conjunction with Ken Burns’ new documentary series ”The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.” Along with our other spot, “Names,” “Little Girl” invites people to discover an online experience we’ve created to give park lovers a new way to connect with their heritage.
We’re excited to have “Little Girl” highlighted by Adweek as Ad of the Day.
You can visit www.nationalparks.org to get involved and share your favorite places in the National Parks.