Author Archives: Nick Hammond

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…

Do you want to live forever? Well now you can… in the digital afterlife

Do you want to live forever? Well now you can... in the digital afterlifeThe effect of the digital space, on our perception of death and our own mortality has been profound. The line between life and death has been become blurred, more than ever before. From time immemorial, men and women have sought incessantly but unsuccessfully, to extend their lives beyond their brief allotted time on our mortal coil. Many of us are compelled to act in certain ways or create memorable things, in order that we will be remembered.

Many of us will have children – a major driving force of this being the compulsion to create something that will last, after we have gone. But in the digital world it has become easier for more people, to have an after life presence – sometimes this is created deliberately but it also sometimes happens by accident.

Read more on Do you want to live forever? Well now you can… in the digital afterlife…

Hillsborough, Jimmy Savile and the power of social media to do good

Jimmy Savile in 2006, leading the pipe band through Fort William to the Lochaber Highland Games in his capacity as Honorary Chieftain of the gamesIn some ways, it feels like we have had an autumn filled with some grim news. In particular I’d like to comment on two high profile stories – that of the Hillsborough cover up and the reported crimes of Jimmy Savile.

I think there are two themes here – that of excessive respect for authority, and the power of social media to do good. I would like to start by drawing comparison with the world of 30 years ago (the world I grew up in) and the world of today.

It goes without saying that the world of the 70′s and 80′s is very different from 2012. 30 years ago, the UK was still struggling with a post empire hangover and politics and the media was dominated by upper class (older) men with traditional perspectives. Of course one point of similarity is that of deep global economic recession – consistent across both periods. Read more on Hillsborough, Jimmy Savile and the power of social media to do good…

So…is Twitter a social network, or not?

Kevin Thau, Twitter's Vice President of business, speaking at Nokia World in 2010No, apparently not. Kevin Thau, Twitter’s Vice President of business and corporate development, made this point during a presentation at Nokia World way back in 2010.

Thau said that Twitter is not a social network, rather ‘It’s for news, content and information’. Read more on So…is Twitter a social network, or not?…

Has the web reduced the accuracy of our information?

BBC mistakenly used a photo of dead bodies from Iraqi in 2003 to illustrate Syrian massacreIn the latest Nieman Report – Truth in the Age of Social Media – Craig Silverman suggest that – ‘Never has it been so easy to expose an error, check a fact, crowdsource and bring technology to bear in service of verification.’

But although this may be true, do we think that the web has helped to improve accuracy of information we access overall, or not?

Let’s take the example of Encyclopaedia Britannica vs Wikipedia. The former was written by selected, individual experts who created and provided information that was taken as gospel truth for many generations. Of course this esteemed publication was killed off by free access to information on the web. Read more on Has the web reduced the accuracy of our information?…