Week 79 & 80

In this two-weeknote, we focus entirely on content. We’ve been producing plenty of reading material for you, so here’s an overview to find the best stuff easily.

So I get back from a beautiful vacation in a land full of bizarre and yummy things, all recharged and ready to go, and the first thing I notice is: The crew has been at work producing content like crazy. Combined with our client work, this took up most of the time over the last two weeks, so allow me to use this two-weeknote to give you an at-a-glance overview of the things we’ve published:

Content, content, content

  • Social Media Strategy Framework:
    The biggest chunk of a 7-part series on the social media strategy framework we developed is live by now, starting here. Besides this overview article, we cover all aspects of getting your strategy right, including goals, people, content and platforms. Over the next few days, we’ll wrap it up with posts on analysis and the organizational aspects.
  • New Aesthetic:
    James Bridle’s notion of The New Aesthetic has been heavily discussed over the last few weeks. We collected the must-read list for The New Aesthetic, and are glad to announce that James Bridle will be in town for one of our tracks at Next Berlin.
  • Location-based services:
    Johannes gave an introduction presentation on location-based services and put the slides online (mostly in German).
  • The Essential Third Wave Reader:
    To make it easier to find the most relevant content on our blog, we compiled an overview of the most popular, most discussed and our personal favorite blog posts, aka The Essential Third Wave Reader.
  • Weekly Reads:
    And of course, there are the regular Weekly Reads.

Also, Johannes joined a workshop of different experts on Saturday that worked on defining the future for the Zollverein School for Business Design and Creative Leadership at the Unperfekthaus in Essen. Besides all the great conversations there, it was once more interesting to see how difficult it is to plan for a different future then just to expect the future being a continuation of what’s happening right now.

And on that note, I’ll let you get back to reading all this stuff. Hurry up, there’s more to come!

What we read this week (16 Mar)

Our articles of the week: one man’s account of leaving Google, PayPal’s digital wallet, libraries of the future, thoughts on the New Aesthetic and some impressive customer service.

Quotes of the week

You want to have a mind that’s open enough to accept radical new ideas, but not so open that your brains fall out.

Michael Shermer

‘Customers’ are a repeating pattern of behaviour that expresses itself in people.

Faris Yakob

Articles of the week

  • James Bridle: #sxaesthetic
    Great commentary on the New Aesthetic and human collaboration with technology, resulting from a panel discussion at SXSW. With cameo appearances by the Higgs Boson, Kafka and Wikileaks.
  • TechCrunch: PayPal’s New Digital Wallet
    PayPal is looking to “let consumers do things with their money that have never been possible before.” Will these new options prove more convenient, or more problematic?
  • Undercurrent: How Bergdorf Goodman is Killing it in Digital
    Derrick Bradley recounts “one of the most pleasant digital encounters with a brand.” Bergdorf Goodman’s customer service went a couple small steps further than one would expect, making a huge difference in Derrick’s experience.
  • James Whittaker: Why I Left Google
    James Whittaker explains how “sharing” became a bee in Google’s bonnet, and how the ensuing social-oriented projects eventually led him to leave the company.
  • Rachel Coldicutt: The Joys of Having Nothing to Read
    Rachel Coldicutt of Caper gave this talk last year as part of the London Word Festival. Here she tells us why the libraries of the future shouldn’t make it too easy for us to find what we’re after: in other words, why they should “offer you sprouts when what you want is ice cream.”

What we read this week (2 Mar)

What it means to innovate, TV and the generational gap, the medical patient of the future and more, this week in our Weekly Reads. Wishing you a great weekend.

Quotes of the week

The future is sooner and stranger than you think.

Reid Hoffman

The times ahead will surprise us. I will continue to search for the perfect hot chocolate mix.

Dannie Jost

Articles of the week

  • Patrick Rhone: TV is broken
    Beatrix, age 4, is baffled upon seeing a TV commercial for the first time. “Is it broken?” she asks, unable to comprehend what has happened to her movie. An anecdote that colorfully illustrates the changes technology is currently going through.
  • New York Times: True Innovation
    “Revolutions happen fast but dawn slowly”: the New York Times’ Jon Gertner looks back in time to the 20th-century “idea factory” Bell Labs to draw conclusions about what it really means to innovate.
  • Wired UK: Forget real time
    Sure, we can find out really, really quickly what is happening right now, but isn’t it far more interesting to predict the future? Tom Gray shows us why ‘real time’ has been superseded by ‘next time’ with a collection of the fascinating and frightening predictions we can already make from the data we generate from our daily online wanderings.
  • Findings Blog: How we will read
    In a series exploring the future of reading, Craig Mod explains how modern readers are “turning into book squirrels, acquiring a variety of nuts to dig into in the cold, lonely winter months.”
  • MIT Technology Review: The Patient of the Future
    Revisiting the topic of the Quantified Self: Larry Smarr helped doctors to diagnose his chronic illness through his constant collection of data on his own body. Author Jon Cohen discusses what cases like these mean for the future of medicine.