I’ve spent the afternoon at Tate Liverpool. The art on display is just amazing.
I’ve spent the afternoon at Tate Liverpool. The art on display is just amazing.
I just love this non-story.
The full story of the 1963 Everest team’s summit — and their daring first ascent of the mountain’s West Ridge.
This article about Everest is everything that modern journalism should be. Rich in multimedia, chock-full of third-party content and visually stunning. It even integrates an advertiser (Eddie Bauer) in a clever way.
And it’s a beautiful story.
“This incredible photo marks the end of Matador Torero Álvaro Múnera’s career. He collapsed in remorse mid-fight when he realized he was having to prompt this otherwise gentle beast to fight. He went on to become an avid opponent of bullfights. Even grievously wounded by picadors, he did not attack this man.
“Torrero Munera is quoted as saying of this moment: “And suddenly, I looked at the bull. He had this innocence that all animals have in their eyes, and he looked at me with this pleading. It was like a cry for justice, deep down inside of me. I describe it as being like a prayer - because if one confesses, it is hoped, that one is forgiven. I felt like the worst shit on earth.”
When in America.. (at Battlefield Vegas)
I wouldn’t let him drown in this pond.
This blog is hilarious.
Hip-hop, soul, and Morricone-inspired composer/producer Adrian Younge, creator of 2011’s excellent “Something About April” LP and the 2009 soundtrack to Black Dynamite, is back with two new collaborative albums: Adrian Younge Presents The Delfonics and Twelve Reasons to Die With Ghostface Killah. Above is the video for “Stop and Look (And You Have Found Love)” from the Younge/Delfonics release. Younge was on NPR’s Fresh Air yesterday.
It’s worth listening to even if for no other reason than to hear Terry Gross say “Ghosface Killah.” …and “soft porn”
Camel on balcony in Alexandria, Egypt.
I love this blog!
“Hot Chip, These Chains”
This song. It’s just the best song I’ve heard all year.
I made this “a week in the life” post last April after a week that involved strange roundabout fauna in Al Ain, petting/riding horses, singing karaoke in an Al Ain dive bar full of lonely expats, shooting guns, climbing Jebel Hafeet (in my car) and the ubiquitious Russian cabaret.
It’s been hiding in my Drafts folder, and I just found it. What a fun little throwback.
Please paint me Moby throwing ninja stars at a melancholic badger whilst eating a Papa John’s Pizza in Lidl in Shrewsbury. Moby is wearing an Admiral England shirt, Bermuda shorts and 18-hole DMs. The badger is sat in Spielberg’s directors chair and smoking a pipe.
What a great day running the Wadi Bih relay race, and what a great crew! (at Golden Tulip Resort Dibba)
Oh man - there goes the next 3 weekends. Or 102 trips to the bathroom.
I was lucky enough to be invited by my friend Zeid Nasser to be the Keynote Speaker at the MediaMe Forum 2012 in Amman, Jordan. It was a bit of a homecoming for me, and I used the speech as an opportunity to energize and inspire the wonderful Jordanian talent in the room, and set what I hoped was a very positive agenda for the conference.
Here’s the speech:
I am your typical 21st century Jordanian.
I was born in England.
My father is Palestinian.
My mother is Lebanese.
I was raised in Kuwait.
I went to school in Jordan.
I have a funny American accent.
I have an Australian wife. Who is originally from New Zealand. And Lebanon.
It’s so nice to be back in Amman. As many of you know, I grew up here. I have spent the weekend in Amman, taking my wife on a tour of my childhood – I took her to my school, to my old house, and to my old hangouts. And I cannot believe how much Amman has changed and how much it has developed.
I remember what it was like growing up in a city where you could not get a phone installed in your house for 2 years because the American Embassy took all the phones lines in Abdoun.
I remember how when I was growing up, the films and movies we saw were years behind the rest of the world.
Today, we are never more than 48 hours behind anything, because that’s how long it takes to get an Aramex Shop N Ship package sent here. I had my iPad less than 72 hours after they first one went on sale in the Apple Store in New York, and none of us are ever more than one week behind on our favorite American TV series, though we sometimes resort to slightly dodgy sources to download them.
Instead, today, Amman has become such a vibrant and amazing city, and the source of so much of the region’s most respected and successful talent in terms of media, technology and innovation.
And I love technology. I have spent the last sixteen years of my life doing nothing but working with technologies. From building websites in my bedroom to build brands online, my entire working life has had one thread that has run through it: the Internet.
I could tell you about how when I moved into my last apartment in the year 2000, I had an Internet speed of 64K. And when I moved out of that apartment ten years later, I had an Internet speed of 16 MB, coming out of that same hole in the wall.
I could tell you that by the year 2020, we will have 50 billion connected devices on the planet – six devices for every man, woman and child…
I could also tell you that with the advent of IPv6, we will have over 100 IP addresses available for every atom on the Earth’s surface…
I could throw out statistics like this all day, but these numbers simply don’t impress us anymore.
The reality today is that we are blessed with more technology, data and consumer insight than ever before. The old days of Mad Men sitting around smoking, drinking whisky and dreaming up what a housewife might be thinking has been replaced with Big Data. With marketing and targeting technologies that no longer just categorize consumers by their spending power or their gender, but by knowing everything about them – who they are, where they go, and what they do.
Sometimes, marketers have gotten so good that they can even know what you want before even you do.
In 2011, the very angry father of a 16-year-old girl stormed into a Target Department Store in Minnesota, and demanded to speak to the manager. “My daughter got this in the mail!” he said. “She’s still in high school, and you’re sending her coupons for baby clothes and cribs? Are you trying to encourage her to get pregnant?”
You see, Target has developed their customer insights to an incredible degree. Every possible piece of data they gather about their customers is translated into insight – who they are, where they live, what they buy. For example, they know that if women suddenly starting buying from a selection of 25 specific products - lotions, cotton balls, magnesium and zinc supplements - they are most likely pregnant, and the algorithm then triggers promotional emails and coupons for pregnancy-related products. The algorithm even knows what stage of pregnancy you are at.
But of course, try to explain your algorithm to the angry father of a teenage girl who is receiving promotions for pregnant women… So the store manager apologized profusely, and set about removing the young lady from their marketing database. When the store manager called the girl’s father to update him a few days later, the father informed him that “It turns out there’s been some activities in my house I haven’t been completely aware of. She’s due in August. I owe you an apology.”
You see, the question is not whether or not we have this knowledge and insight anymore, but what we can do with it.
The days of permission marketing, when consumers were very cautiously willing to give us their basic data if we promised to use it responsibly, are long over.
But we have never been more important to people’s lives. In a recent IBM study of 7,000 people, customers were more willing to give up family holidays, going out, newspapers and Pay Television than they were to give up their mobile phones. In fact, the only thing that they were not willing to give up instead of their mobile phones was their homes.
We find ourselves today sitting on the most golden opportunity any generation of marketers could dream of.
And here in the Levant, we have one of the most precious resources anyone could ask for.
Nowhere in the Arab world is anyone as blessed with a generation of creatives, or entrepreneurs and game-changers like we are here today.
Because of the obstacles that life has thrown in our way.
Because of the inefficiencies of our bureaucracy.
Because of war and turmoil and instability
Because nobody will give us anything.
Because we do not have oil, we have had to write our own futures.
And we have had to innovate.
Today, the sons and daughters of the Levant are the region’s leader in technology, marketing and communications.
I used to also be a cynic, and believe that we could not achieve anything, but look at what we have done today.
Look at Samih Toukan and Hussam Khoury and what they have achieved with Maktoob.
Or Omar Koudsi and Leith Zreikat and what they have achieved with Jeeran.
Or Zafer Younis & Ramzi Halabi and their Online Project
Or Rabea Ataya and Bayt
Or Wael Attili and Kharabeesh
Or Randa Ayoubi and Rubicon
Jordan accounts for 2 percent of the Arab World’s population, and yet produces 75% of its Arabic-language Internet content.
It is Jordanian and Palestinians and Syrians and Lebanese who are defining the future of our industry, and our future looks bright.
However, in order to be the companies of the future, we must remember that although our Internet speeds and our mobile phones and our televisions might change, we as people do not.
The reality is that if you want to be the companies of the future, you have to write the future. You have to identify those trends, make those uncomfortable decisions, and not go to where the future is, but where it’s going to be. And you have to keep rewriting the script.
And there is no better way to do that than to tap into the rich resources you have around you today than by sharing, because in today’s media world, there is nothing more powerful.
Google today ranks pages not just on how many people link to them, but how often people share them.
The success of a Facebook page is no longer measured in how many people like you, but in how many people share it.
And the brands most relevant to people’s lives today are the ones that share with their customers – through co-creation, collaboration and opportunity.
So as we begin this wonderful conference today, let us remember to share, because nobody knows how to share quite like Arabs do.
Long before the era of Facebook, we were sharing on Forums. And long before, you could always get an Arab to share his opinion on anything, from politics to marriage to where the best shawerma can be found in Amman.
So please share your insights with us.
Share your questions and your fears.
Share your lessons learnt, be they good or bad.
Share your business cards.
And hopefully together, we can all share in the bright future that the MENA region holds for all of us.