Posts By: Nick Hammond

Talk like the Egyptians? The rise of the emoji

HieroglyphicsSo “Face, with Tears of Joy” is the first image to be anointed Word of The Year. Is the rise of the emojis now complete, or does this represent another step towards a world where all of our communications are wholly or mostly, image based?

Not everyone is enamored with this news. This article from The Guardian, back in May, has been given renewed relevance given last weeks award.

“So it’s official. We are evolving backwards. Emoji, the visual system of communication that is incredibly popular online, is Britain’s fastest-growing language according to Professor Vyv Evans, a linguist at Bangor University. […] ‘As a visual language emoji has already far eclipsed hieroglyphics, its ancient Egyptian precursor which took centuries to develop,’ says Evans.

“There are harsh limits on what you can say with pictures. The written word is infinitely more adaptable. That’s why Greece rather than Egypt leapt forward and why Shakespeare was more articulate than the Aztecs.”

This is a rather extreme view. How many of us are able to craft the type of content or communications, created by Shakespeare? Read more on Talk like the Egyptians? The rise of the emoji…

The content river (or why Amazon is called Amazon)

Amazon by Nic Taylor:FlickrAmazon has recently surprised, with the success of its TV show Transparent at the Golden Globes. And it has more plans to create a new TV series with Woody Allen.

The Woody Allen partnership received a bit of a kicking from some quarters, but I don’t agree with this view. Read more on The content river (or why Amazon is called Amazon)…

The way we read today

Mark Zuckerberg to announce major changes to Facebook news feeds todayMark Zuckerberg hit the news this week with his New Year’s resolution. As he said: “My challenge for 2015 is to read a new book every other week – with an emphasis on learning about different cultures, beliefs, histories and technologies.”

This is looking like a very positive push for reading and even better news for book clubs – with 123,000 likes and counting , Zuck could have started the worlds biggest ever book club.

Read more on The way we read today…

Is the web really making us weird?

Weird by Sharon Morrow on FlickrA recent piece in Techcrunch – The Great Fragmentation – We Are All Weirdos Now by Jon Evans got me thinking about the impact of the web on society as a whole and, in particular, cultural diversity.

As a starting point for this bit of pondering, I sought out a cracking article in Campaign from 2012, by the very smart Charles Vallance called The Web is stifling Radicalism at a time when it is needed most. This is what he said: Read more on Is the web really making us weird?…

The Key to Creativity in the Digital Age – Ignore your problem in order to solve it

A great recent episode from Horizon on BBC Two, looked at ground breaking investigative work into what happens in the brain, when one has an Idea. In more technical parlance, it sought to discern the neural pathway that corresponds with creativity. Read more on The Key to Creativity in the Digital Age – Ignore your problem in order to solve it…

Why Spotify is Twitter for Music

Gordon MacMillan, recently reported on Spotify’s new video commercials, that have been released onto You Tube. These attempt to capture the ‘concept’ of music, and interestingly seek to do so without a musical soundtrack.

The release of these provocative pieces, attempting to position Spotify conceptually at the centre of music consumption, has got me thinking about the development of musical listening over the last 50 years; and the impact of digital on how we perceive music – and in a broader context – content generally. Read more on Why Spotify is Twitter for Music…

Does size matter? When collaboration is not a good thing

The recent story about the new Seesaw crowdsourcing app got me thinking about the impact of digital on decision-making, collaboration and creativity. This is what Seesaw says about itself:  “The purpose of Seesaw is pretty simple: you can instantly create a poll by taking a picture, and have friends (and strangers) vote on it. You can then send out a request for decision-making help through social networks or text message.

Read more on Does size matter? When collaboration is not a good thing…

Who owns creativity? The creator or the audience?

ShareRank, a product recently launched by Unruly Media, purports to ‘predict the shareability of a video before it launches’. Through this system advertisers can seek to discern what type of video content is likely to prove successful – from a sharing perspective at least.

ShareRank purports to understand the relationship between viewer responses and actual share data and enables the identification and contribution of factors that impact on shareability. It’s claimed that this can correctly predict shareability 80% of the time, a figure that could go up as more data is added and the algorithm improves.  Read more on Who owns creativity? The creator or the audience?…

The Age of Innovation is over’ – haven’t we heard this one before?

There has been a lot of interesting debate recently, about current levels of innovation in the business world and whether, in spite of the whiz of the web and digital technology, we are actually living in a time of low innovation.  John Winsor’s piece Is Innovation Dead? makes the interesting point that in organisations, innovation has historically taken place near the edges of companies – where it can plough it’s own individual furrow and where it does not affect the direction and composure of the mothership organisation. Read more on The Age of Innovation is over’ – haven’t we heard this one before?…

The Demise of e-readers is no surprise….but it’s bad for booksellers and for reading

Interesting data from iSuppli has highlighted the rapid decline in sales of e-readers. It says that shipments of ebook readers by year-end will fall to 14.9 million units, down a steep 36% from the 23.2 million units in 2011 that now appears to have been the peak of the ebook reader market.  Read more on The Demise of e-readers is no surprise….but it’s bad for booksellers and for reading…

Read more on The Demise of e-readers is no surprise….but it’s bad for booksellers and for reading…