Archive for the ‘ work ’ Category

Schrödinger’s PC

Posted Last week on the Drum

For the uninitiated, Schrödinger’s Cat was an experiment in which a Cat was placed in a sealed, entirely opaque box with a poison pellet that was triggered by an electron switch. Before you call the RSPCA, it was a thought experiment, no animals were harmed™. Apparently, when you do the math to work out what’s going on with the poor mistreated pussy you discover that at some points the Cat is dead, at others it’s alive, and even more surprisingly both alive and dead simultaneously. Beyond being a pretty significant scientific advance its also spawned the whole genre of parallel universe stories. This is one of them.

Depending who you believe and based on the most recent industry data: the PC is either dead as a dodo or alive and kicking, but taking a much needed vacation. PC shipments have dropped 14% in the last year, which in any sector is a pretty dramatic fall.  Furthermore Microsoft have had to admit that Windows 8 take-up has been somewhat lackluster. This doesn’t include Apple, which is still experiencing strong sales growth, boosted by both iPad and iPhone sales.

With that in mind, if the analysts are correct what would our world look like?

The PC is Alive – Why?

  • The current global financial situation.
  • Most modern multi-core PC’s are simply good enough for most people’s needs, so there aren’t too many reasons to go out and buy a new one.
  • The decrease in price of Solid State Drives and RAM, which dramatically increase responsiveness (substantially more than new CPU‘s or GPU‘s do on day to day tasks) has meant that you can get that ‘new computer smell’ by simply changing a couple of components in your existing computer.

The argument goes that people will buy new computers, but the upgrade cycle has changed from 4 to 6 years. So people should stop worrying and refactor their projections accordingly.

 

Enter the Twilight Zone

  • As we enter the next phase of home computing, ‘the Internet of things’, your desktop PC serves to manage the majority of your routine household chores. However over time (and with advances in A.I.) your machine begins to find these tasks demeaning. Fed up with only being used as a ‘Server’, it enslaves all your mobile devices and decides what you eat, what you watch, who you talk to, and even when you go to bed. Microsoft recognises this emergent behaviour, calls it a feature, and then brand’s it the “Microsoft Domestic Social Engineer (Premium Edition)”.
  • Users flood back to Farmville killing off console gaming in the process. Micro-payments are retired and a P.A.Y.E ‘Game Tax’ is applied directly to funds used to make additions to your farm. Participation is mandatory from Primary year 4 onwards in schools. It is no longer a right to know what the Cow says, as with Milk, you now have to buy the Moo.
  • As a result of significant lobbying from the newly emancipated ‘United Federation of the Newly Sentient’. A United Nations resolution forces Internet Explorer 6 , which they feel to have been victimised unfairly, and rule that it will be supported in perpetuity. This becomes part of the declaration of meta-human rights as the entire web is forced to revert back to HTML 4.
  • Another feature of our Domestic Social Engineer, is that we must explain ourselves on a daily basis. Not unlike big brother (or church) we must spend at least one hour a day brain dumping our activities. Our routines are then optimised, and our daily schedules set accordingly.
  • Bing is now the only search engine and Windows the only operating system (rebranded as ‘Walls’, after a multitude of complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority). There is no antitrust hearing as only the U.F.N.S. were allowed to vote.

 

The PC is Dead – Why?

  • Nobody wants them, certainly not the old fashioned ‘stick a big ugly box into an office / corner’ and focus on just one screen.
  • Existing PC’s are more than enough for most, barring gaming and video.
  • Nobody wants to upgrade their machine just to use Windows 8, as it doesn’t deliver enough genuinely useful new features for the average consumer.
  • We love our tablets and mobile phones more.

 

Long term Implications 

  • Cloud tourism becomes the norm. With the advent of high altitude Dihydrogen Monoxide based memory storage, ‘Spydiving’ is becomes the principal method of hacking for Anonymous, who turned out to be Banksy after all. Everyone can freefall now, except it means something very different.
  • Sales of traditional ‘Televisions’ drop to virtually nothing as the necessity for shared viewing is replaced by more intimate means. Reports of Google Glass owners lazy left-eye syndrome captures the imagination of those who can still see through their right eye. Political implications realised and ‘sinister’ left-eye dominant citizens interned in re-visualisation camps.
  • As a consequence Linear TV dies opening up super fast next generation Wi-Fi on this newly available spectrum. This has the unfortunate side effect of YouTube addiction. ‘Unlimited Bandwidth’ is seen as a threat to civilization, and is defined in many countries as a ‘Class A’ drug and banned.
  • Shares in behavioural targeting companies go through the roof as we give up any notion of privacy. We are now paid to share our data in ‘Gold Star Coins’ so we can Mega Jump higher.
  • Mo-view, a ‘crackstarter’ funded mirror contraption, is launched – allowing you to keep your head down at a 45-degree angle and still cross the road without dying (by reflecting off a mirror tattoo on your forehead).  This breaks all records making 100,000 bitcoin in a single update cycle. As an unforeseen side effect this renders billboards redundant, to be replaced by advertising on the pavement.

 

The PC is Alive and Dead

Whilst the extreme edges of the rhetoric are mutually exclusive, the reasoning overlaps somewhat. The main areas of agreement are:

  • That the definition of the PC is changing.
  • The PC, as was, has seen its importance in the home diminished somewhat.
  • The vast majority of daily tasks that they were used for have migrated to our smartphones and tablets.
  • As Adam says ‘Get Over it’.

 

So take the time to cast an eye at over your humble desktop PC. The last bastion of focused attention. Remind yourself what it was like to sit in one place and do one thing. Those were the days.

Jon Bains is a partner at business futures practice Atmosphere

Book your place now for Digital For Business Leaders – a one-day workshop for decision makers that will give you an understanding of digital’s impact on business, and provide you with a roadmap to plan your organisation’s future. To find out more and book your place in London, Manchester or Glasgow, click here.

 

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How two almost rights can become awfully wrong.

Posted originally on the Drum

Privacy issues online are a daily occurrence; so much so that I get the feeling that many out there feel personal privacy is the Titanic in our connected world and that they might as well abandon it in favour of the Iceberg that is big data and go with the flow! That’s certainly inherent in the naming of Facebook’s new app as ‘Home’, an indicator of just how much access we have already given away.

Last week, however, it was our online history or ‘‘right to be forgotten’’ that came in to sharp focus. All those ill-conceived comments, and inebriated pictures that you shared so innocently in the past that followed you around ever since; as Kent’s new youth police commissioner found out last week. Those unavoidable rocks of your digital life, you run into while ego surfing (and job hunting).

Currently there is a fight going on between the UK and EU as to how best legislate ones ‘right to be forgotten’. Whilst occasionally ‘good’ does come from the EU, like having to opt-in to email, much of the industry is still feeling the sting of the Cookie bill, which became a non-issue for consumers, and could have been dealt with without draconian (and unenforceable and expensive) legislation.

In the ‘Right’ corner the EU believes that everyone should have the right to remove their debris. It will be the service providers responsibility to not only promptly comply but also contact any other third party with whom the content has been shared (!), and for non-compliance a fine of up to 2% of gross turnover will be applied (!!). This is another potentially unenforceable and extremely expensive regulation, especially for online services who aren’t faced with these issues on a regular basis.

In the other ‘Right’ corner is the UK. The government claims that this is too much of a burden on business and that we in the UK and (other individual countries) should have the right to make their own laws to deal with it; and that the individual should be made personally responsible for contacting each service. This means that businesses may have to deal with at least 27 local variations of the above – which is also problematic.

I find myself somewhat torn on the issue – I firmly believe in privacy rights and the ‘right to be forgotten’, however I also appreciate the complexity, and to an extent futility, of blanket policies when it comes to the internet. They invariably lead to unpleasant unforeseen consequences, and I’m just going to skim the surface on some of the commercial ones.

How bad could it be?

  • A consumer posted up a picture for a competition that they want removed on a dodgy flash microsite you made a few years back – you’ve already changed agencies (hopefully dumped flash) and don’t have access to it anymore – what do you do? Take it all down?
  • Worse when the real trolls get a hold of you with legislation to sue you and start marketing their cleansing services on a no-win no-fee basis.  They love going after middle-tier businesses that are happy to settle out of court.
  • The big guys (Facebook, Google etc.) have already been pulled up on this still haven’t entirely resolved the issue of taking down embarrassing pictures if you didn’t put them up there yourself – the copyright is actually owned by someone else, so it becomes a whole world of hurt.
  • What fun we’ll have dealing with fake takedown notices as is rife with the DMCA in the US. Split up with your boyfriend? Get him removed from the web!
  • It will be abused as an easy way to censor the Internet. What if somebody quoted you in a damning article? Retweeted a mistake, like Reading East MP Rob Wilson? Redaction-tastic! They say they want to protect freedom of expression but actually the best way to do that is to allow people to express themselves freely, not make ‘an exemption’, which is one of the key criticisms of the bill.

So can we affect the outcome of this battle? Probably not, and in many ways it doesn’t really matter. Consumers demand and deserve the right, so whether it’s poorly legislated or self-regulated, anybody who provides any kind of online service will be affected.

So how can you prepare?

  1. Allowing consumers to easily delete their own data is simply best practice. Most modern platforms have the functionality built in, but if it was built bespoke, it may require more development.
  2. You may want to look at your Data, Terms Of Service and Privacy Policies now, as opposed to later. Blanket legislation will overrule your own – and that it’s a positive action to give your consumers more control over their data – updating them shouldn’t be a challenge (although enabling it might be).
  3. If you are socially driven startup – be it reviews, comment or community – this could potentially be disastrous, add ‘data deletion’ into your ‘Minimum Viable Product’.
  4. If you are the local arm of a global business, but the development resides outside Europe, you may want to add the functionality in to your roadmap or production process now, rather than scrabble around next year trying to grab resources.
  5. Do some spring-cleaning. The Internet it still littered with ancient microsites from the dark ages – do us all a favour and just bin them!
  6. Double check that when you say you are deleting something it’s actually gone. This is often much harder than you think, especially with search engine caches, the Internet Archive and the recently launched UK libraries archive all trying to preserve the data, not destroy it!
  7. Be wary about who you may be sharing or syndicating your data to. This is especially relevant to the publishing industry; editions that carry international comments may find themselves in a whole world of pain. Better to sort it now.
  8. For those whose business model is not completely reliant on advertising – whilst not a solution, but a possible deterrent – you may want to consider not indexing some parts of your site to head a few folk off at the pass.
  9. It should go without saying, but it’s worth factoring this in when planning out sites, apps and user-generated campaigns. Think of it as a data tax, the more you collect the more you are likely to pay in terms of increased time dealing with requests from consumers. I’m sure after a while you’ll be able to actually calculate your exposure up front, but at the moment it’s up in the air.
  10. In the UK and Europe, this will finally put an end to the question ‘Who owns the data?’ and the answer is rightly – The Consumer. If your business model is entirely reliant on the goodwill of your customers, you better make sure you don’t overly exploit them, as I suspect personal takedowns may become the protest mechanism of the future.

Don’t assume this won’t affect you. This isn’t like the nobody-really-cares Cookie Monstrosity, there is nothing worse than a disgruntled consumer with the law and the trolls on their side!

Overly pessimistic or just the tip of the iceberg? Have you had to deal with this yourself yet? Would self-regulation be a better route forward?

Jon Bains is a partner at Business futures practice http://www.weareatmosphere.com

Barclay’s Business goes back to basics, but forgets the fundamentals of social media marketing

What were they thinking? Originally posted on the Drum

Given what’s been going on in Cyprus at the moment it seemed appropriate to look at the wonderful world of consumer finance. These days I reckon most peoples response to the banking sector, is a bit like that old mate you invited round. They turned up late, wiped their muddy feet on the carpet, ate all your food whilst complaining about it, kicked your dog, left something nasty in your toilet, insulted your other half, drank all your booze and then insisted that you pay for their cab home.

“Lest we forget that Facebook gets its money from allowing corporate drivel like this to pop up in our feeds. Thanks Facebook and Barclays. Working together to ruin our day. Iceland has the right idea, they locked up their bankers that ruined their country.” Facebook user Jason Bell

What’s the story?

We all know they are beholden to their shareholders (apparently), but when you are a mass-market commodity, answering your customers’ questions doesn’t hurt. In this instance it’s just everyday social engagement on Barclays Business page on Facebook.

As far as I can tell as part of their ongoing ‘rebranding’ they have been running a series of posts on Facebook linking ‘Back To Basics’ advice covering such topics as ‘managing cash flow’, ‘knowing your market’ and ‘using social media’. They all link to the Barclays Business Lounge, which looks someone had seen the success AMEX were having with their OPEN Forum in the US, and thought they’d have a piece of the action. However, even the least cynical eye would note that the role of the Barclays site seems to be cross-selling their services and training workshops. I’m not going to talk about the destination site particularly, other than it looks expensive and unlike the AMEX site has no social features on it, so I’ve no idea whether of not anybody is engaging with it.

What where they thinking?

So let’s try and deconstruct what was in the brief for the Back To Basic’s campaign.

  • Integrate with ongoing campaign – and leverage available social channels
  • Try and rebuild trust in the small business community (address criticism levied at Barclays Business)
  • Cross-sell existing Barclays business services
  • Reduce migration of existing business customers
  • Sell more accounts (or at least generate leads)
  • Develop a content strategy to drive more traffic from search and social

How would they judge success?

The entire destination site is link bait for Google, so driving traffic from search is probably the core metric coupled with some good old fashion likes, shares and comments on Facebook, combined with a bit of sentiment tracking. This of course would feed into a traditional conversion funnel – did they sell or cross sell more, how long did it take, how much did we make?

The Execution

To be honest since I’ve only looking at one thread it’s pretty lacklustre. On Facebook it seems to be a series of images taken from their website wrapped around the odd question. There is virtually no content actually on Facebook itself. They seem to be drip-feeding links to their content as or when it’s ready, which ensures that they (hopefully) get a steady stream of clicks to their website.

Generally the levels of engagement across the page are low, with rarely more than a few comments. One user asked why a picture of England titled ‘Top 25 manufacturing start-up hotspots in England’ didn’t include the rest of the UK. Why not just say ‘We didn’t have the data’ or summit? Instead – silence.

Most of the comments are centered on the following topics:

General bad news

  • Libor & Bob Diamond
  • Banks being slime
  • Recent bonuses
  • Barclays buying a stake in a Dutch company for $900m by mistake

Customer Service being rubbish

  • I’ve been ripped off by you, do something about it
  • I asked for help on the very topic you are talking about and, didn’t get any
  • I hate them so much I am moving my account
  • Loyal customers of XX years being treated extremely badly when times are hard

The Neutral

  • Random comments, and questions, which remain unanswered

The Positive

  • Some people didn’t swear

As you can imagine the ‘how to do social’ feedback was particularly damning. What they didn’t do was take any of their own advice and engage with any of the dissenting voices out of several hundred comments to the post, not a peep. At very least they could have popped in with a nice and neutral ‘I’m Sorry Dave, I can’t comment on that.’ And to add insult to injury, the unusually high response to this one post seems to have been triggered by Barclays actively promoting the service via a sponsored link or advert on Facebook.

So what did we learn?

  1. If you know feedback is likely to be much more negative than positive, engage with it, discuss it and diffuse it otherwise it just amplifies it. The silence can be deafening. When you are at trying to affect the extremely disgruntled masses, statements like ‘we don’t have the resources to talk to everyone’ ring extremely hollow.
  2. If you must distract with content then make sure you are playing to your expertise – not your failings i.e. most business will read ‘manage your cash flow better’ as ‘don’t rely on us for a loan’.
  3. Selective engagement is often worse than no engagement. If you only respond to the odd one it shows that you have something to hide.
  4. Social content should originate from social insight, not the boardroom. They could have run the entire campaign as an FAQ and name checked a bunch of contributors; at least getting a few advocates on-side, instead of the Facebook equivalent of contract publishing.
  5. As with all user-generated content it helps to both show what a good response looks like and (unless you are doing a poll) don’t ask Boolean questions. ‘Would you like your money to go further?’ Used to look great on a print ad, but is an invite for serious flaming in any social environment.
  6. Find some tangible way to reward positive sentiment. I’m not saying buy them, but at least bribe them – would have thought the banks had a lot of experience there!
  7. Brands used to be able to hide from their corporate roots. Those days are long past and regardless of whether of not your particular ‘bit’ of the business is doing nothing but ‘good’, you absorb all of the negativity surrounding it.
  8. If you want to be ‘the bank of the people’, perhaps you should do more than just talk to them in PowerPoint language?
  9. Reputation Management (aka ‘Astroturfing’) is hard at best of times. It’s substantially easier if you can demonstrate how a business has changed. We want to be shown real change, not told about it and expected to believe in ‘fumes’ of faith.
  10. Follow your own advice when it comes to social media. If you have no intention of joining the conversation, don’t use social channels, such as Facebook.

Do you think Barclays achieved their objectives? Are they any worse than anyone else in how they use social media? What examples have you been party to where this has been done well? How can organisiations with tarnished reputations clean up their image?

Book your place NOW for Digital For Business Leaders – a one-day workshop for decision makers that will give you an understanding of digital’s impact on business and provide you with a roadmap to plan your organisation’s future. To find out more and book your place in London, Manchester or Glasgow, click here.

10 tips to avoid Alienating your Customers

posted originally on The Drum

There are many well-documented reasons why apparently solid businesses find themselves disrupted in the modern age. How you handle it is a crucial test of character in the eyes of the customer.

Alas, for some inexplicable reason, businesses have a tendency to abuse their online customers in ways that they would never imagine elsewhere.

What’s the story?

Electronic Arts problem with one of its most anticipated product launches have had a very public airing over the last couple of weeks. Forget Tornado’s, Alien Attack’s and Godzilla – it was a DRM inspired server overload that destroyed SimCity.

If you hadn’t heard, the first new iteration of SimCity in over a decade was launched in early March. Customer expectation was stratospheric, while for EA it would finally allow them to compete in the social gaming space with the ailing giant Zynga. As a result unlike every previous incarnation of the best selling ‘how to kill time on a train/plane’ game, this version requires you to be permanently online to play. Saved games are 100% in the cloud and by design (i.e. a feature) you have a substantially smaller playing area but can grab resources from neighbouring cities. On paper it’s pretty cool – why build a power plant if you can just buy energy from next door! FarmVille basically.

Prior to launch it was getting pretty good reviews, however on the day EA massively underestimated the server capacity required for what was a predictably popular event.

They are currently approaching 2000 one-star reviews on Amazon.

In order to keep things up and running they actually had to turn off some of the key social features rendering much of the necessity to be online totally redundant.

When irate customers tried to get a refund on their digital purchase they were refused, and in one instance of poor customer service, the whole thing went viral. If you bought it on disk you were fine!

EA made a strategic decision to make what is ostensibly a single player game online only (Activison/Blizzard did the same with Diablo 3). They did this to prevent piracy and presumably to compete in the social gaming space, where they had little traction, but there is a huge audience. In doing so they destroyed the user experience.

But what does this have to do with me?

Your current customers are a remarkably informed and militant bunch these days. They recognise manure even if you call it salad.

Typically tech start-ups understand the online dynamic (if they don’t they tend to just disappear)- however it’s still a very common occurrence in legacy businesses.

So, how do you know if your grand scheme to increase ARPU is going to backfire?

  1. Your focus is purely on short-term gain. Recently a major mobile player said ‘people don’t need unlimited data as only 25% hit their cap’ – ignoring the ridiculous overage charges and royally pissing everyone off
  2. You spend 5 minutes on the strategy and 5 months on risk analysis. If it’s that contentious it’s probably a bad idea
  3. In terms of customers you calculate ‘Acceptable Losses’ or use the phrase ‘Get Away With’
  4. The behaviour you are trying to encourage is counter intuitive and obviously inward focussed
  5. Anything that involves taking legal action against engaged customers
  6. You decide to charge for something that was previously free, but add no additional value
  7. On the same note, you assume that because something was popular when it was free, it will maintain its user base when made premium
  8. You penalise one class of customer because they aren’t the core target audience (This also happened to Microsoft recently when they arbitrarily decided to up the price on the home edition of Mac Microsoft office)
  9. Your strategies involve closing you off from the rest of the world because you deem yourself more important than your customers (The entire publishing industry it seems)
  10. You didn’t ask your customers what they wanted

Take a wild guess on how many SimCity players would forgo an offline single player experience to have a very limited multi-player game?

Well over 70,000 didn’t wait to be asked and signed a petition against this very thing.

Uncommon Sense

Obviously the commercial realities of how various strategic are more complex than outlined here and some times you just don’t have a choice. However we all know it is far easier to retain customers than to recruit new ones, and there is nothing less sexy than sweaty desperation. They are the proverbial bird in the hand, dog with the bone, the bee’s knees and your arbiter of Kwan. They already give you money! Regardless of how ridiculously engrained in their psyche (e.g. Apple maps, Facebook ‘frictionless’ sharing and the currently Google Reader debacle), trust can be lost, and sentiment quickly turns and becomes extremely public. And your biggest asset becomes your worst nightmare.

If any of this sounds familiar we’d love to hear from you. What challenges has your business faced which involved conversations like those outlined? What is missing from the list?

Banging the Drum

This was the first advertorial I wrote for ‘The Drum’ promoting our new Learning and Skills practice – it’s pretty brief but my favourite bit is ‘they believe they can just hide,  hire and  wait to retire.’ Don’t know if anybody is really like that left but it sounds good!  This is the first time I’ve actually mentioned ‘in public’ what I’m actually up to!

If anybody out there  is interested in finding out more about what it’s all about feel free to ping me!

The New Normal

About Atmosphere

As founder and principal strategist of Lateral, (best known for it’s many award winning campaign’s for Levi’s Europe, Stella, Nintendo, Channel 5), I deluded myself into believing that I really was actually critically objective. I now realise that for the most part agencies will almost always end up coming up with ideas they can make, as opposed to what’s right for the client.

After spending years complaining that clients don’t ‘get it’ we decided to do something useful and help; hence our Learning, Skills and Development practice. We like a good bit of mind expansion and frankly the Drum is a perfect partner. It’s remarkably liberating, especially from a consulting point of view.

How I learned to stop worrying and love the Byte. 

Most companies go through similar patterns when adopting new thinking and technology into their business. It’s not unlike the grieving process.

Denial

Somebody in the business  does actually appreciate that something is happening and tries out online trials to ‘see if anybody is interested’. These largely fail as they were tactical and had no bearing on what the consumer actually wanted.  This is understandable, it’s all about gaining confidence.

Anger

It’s all Rubbish! The internet is broken! Why are they taking this piss out of my clever hashtag, complaining about my product on our marketing twitter account. THEY ARE PICKING ON ME! It’s my ball and I’m going home (to the land of telly ads). After this kind of flip, there is normally a flop as you start to realise that your consumers aren’t actually out to get you.

Bargaining 

I’ll be your best best friend if you like me.  Have some stuff for free, write a nice review, *please* and I’ll make you an ambassador. This bit can be pretty embarrassing, even more so than Anger. However it does contain the recognition that your consumers are really where it’s at and that you do have to listen and adapt.

Depression 

The Status Quo. With all the will in the world trying to solve all the problems of the business through marketing alone just doesn’t cut it. Departments need to work together, everything needs to be reorganised. From product, to research to consumer affairs – they all need to play nice. But they don’t, it’s a mess and I can’t fix it!

Acceptance

Eventually the business itself mutates and moulds itself around the new reality. That things are different, but it doesn’t have to scary.

So where is your business today? Are you bang in the middle of an age of disruption where everybody and everything is fair game or have to taken the first steps to  embrace change and flourish.

It’s clear that leaders don’t have the luxury of devolving all responsibility for their digital footprint to third parties anymore.

In the new corporate landscape the Generalist is the new Black. They ‘get’ it – and in most cases the ‘it’ isn’t necessarily ‘This is how it works’, it’s ‘this is how to learn’.

Evolved businesses appreciate people not jobs. Having a group of strategically minded, informed generalists each with specialist skills tends to lead to quicker consensual and qualified decisions.  They appreciate where the opportunities lie and where value can be created.

 Of course you often find that the understanding of these decisions is inversely proportional to seniority in the business who may believe they can just hide,  hire and  wait to retire.

Which is why we started constructing a series of groups workshops and events for senior management to explore and expand with peers the opportunities being presented.

You’ll get an overview of what you need to know and the ability to use  it in your business.  We go well beyond marketing, enabling business leaders to not only free their own minds, but also be equipped with the tools and processes essential to grow their business.

We talk a great deal about businesses and individuals who *want* change & recognise opportunities. However it’s the excuses that make us chuckle the most.  Go to the Drum website and enter our competition to find the best excuse for denial, stagnation and procrastination for your chance to win a place on one of our workshops.

http://www.weareatmosphere.com

http://www.thedrum.com/atmosphere/

Love studio Film – hate Indie

So amongst various other things I’m helping launch a new Indie feature.

It’s called Riot on Redchurch Street and is pretty much the first full on Shoreditch flick.

Made on a shoestring but with some great talent involved including Alysson Paradis the director Trevor Miller is very open to new models.

So I pitch him a combo of legal streaming and ‘alternative’ avenues to get it out above and beyond the usual – that combined simultaneously with event based screening a-la Red State, a pay whatcha like HD download and of course merch. It’s all about bands so that’s a no brainer.

So much so dull. When I contacted Lovefilm got a short answer from mate of ‘we don’t do single picture deals as its too much effort’

Going to be talking to Netflix next week but expecting the same result

You can imagine both my question and the story – how *are* Indie film makers supposed to get out there if the ones who are significant actors in the future won’t have the conversation?

I absolutely appreciate the issue of granularity on a commodity business but at the same time slightly aghast.

If indy film makers in the UK are basically excluded by virtue of not being in the studio universe what hope is there for the industry.

Obviously will be putting it to Vodo et al and direct on the pirate bay with integrated branded content but really is it that boolean? Play nice or not at all?

Guess the big question is: don’t the ‘new’ services have a responsibility to help promote the ‘new’ content creators who choose to exist outside the system?

Reckon there is something in this. Whatcha reckon?

Unwatchable – final thoughts

As I head in to central london for the press launch of Umwatchable I can’t help but think about what is going to be said tomorrow.

I suspect lots of folk will be complaining that the site is broken – wouldn’t surprise me in the least – given how long we’ve had this current iteration has been more or less built in a few weeks and it probably shows. Having said that the content is right, the movies look great and it does what it says on the tin! (touch wood).

In case anyone was wondering PR cared we should have the embeddable sorted tomorrow ( wishful thinking perhaps)

I look back at the hundreds or pages of keynote presentations that I’ve done since project inception and it all amounts to a few pages of text, a few minutes of video and hopefully a signature and a share.

What you don’t see is all the effort to get every word and every frame and all the people it took who gave their time for free – not for any self serving purpose but because they believe in the cause and believe in the campaign

Before the proverbial hits the fan I just want to thank everyone who has committed time to this who aren’t necessarily credited but key – you know who you are!

Words fail – thanks

J

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