The January PSFK London conference has a series of great videos. This one found via twitter -- three different tweets in 15 minutes on this one -- and asks a smart question in this transformational time:
Go here for amazing flickr capture of all 70 pages of notes. Designer Mike Rohde makes note-taking an art. His blog shows process -- as example he designed the word cloud on the SXSW bag everyone carried -- and his wonderful sketchbook proves that we can make wonderful content from the simplest assignments.
From sxsw to the halls of every journalism school in the country (including Oregon's SOJC), the dilemma is clear. How do news organizations -- newspapers + magazines -- make the digital leap and stay solvent? How do those organizations pay to keep writers and visual journalists of authority working at what they do best (and what our democracy needs)? How does advertising play an important role in the
My friend has set type for decades, even as he was an investigative reporter for various papers and now as he publishes a hand-set, self-printed 16-page journal. A beautiful piece. He's teaching me to set type and use his small, elegant printing press. What an honor. Some photos of this morning's lesson.
He's so fast and nimble in his moves to set lines of type -- 10 point Kennerley here -- and moves deftly. A craftsman.
Three things I read this morning that strike me as best advice:
Get a great blend of people with different core strengths and
perspectives to collaborate. As ideas develop, it's important to have
"no-bullshit" sessions to challenge the ideas from the outset. It's
also important to know when to pull the plug…this is tricky because
persistence is often the key ingredient for success but in the end, so
is good judgment. cloudraker And so much fun to look at.
Visualize information so that everyone in the organization can see concepts, flow, energy, and ideas. Have a board that dedicates space to this. From my notes during Scott Belsky's Behance talk at sxsw Making Ideas Happen
Though I have a ton of content to think about, I took some time to consider all on the way home. So here's a first glance at what went on for me. The SXSW Interactive gathering is amazing, inspiring, smart; 12000 people strong all considering the digital space. Used to be only nerds and coders. Now, designers, agencies, brands, bloggers, activists, digital thinkers, public intellectuals, writers, journalists, and artists gather to talk about digital and interactive.
All that said, a few takeaways. More later today.
1 :: Terms + Trends that were used handily from one session to another. Administrivia (used by a Harvard Digital Natives Project student who explored real digital issues of the university classroom). Backchannel (used cross conference) which we saw real time as twitter was used in the best and worst ways: twitter used so much -- many times mindless or self-serving stuff -- that AT+T had to bring in extra towers to service all the iphoneage twittering going on (it was a Mac conference almost exclusively), and twittering that enriched sessions with backchannel side conversations, explanations, exploration. Very interesting. Deadtree media (used often and pointedly) during conversations about what news organizations (i.e., newspapers often at forefront of this conversation) will be doing to form a sustainable business plan to bring news to society.
2 :: Smart inspiring speakers that were there to bring transformation to the audience. Steven Johnson on The Ecosystem of News offered the thoughtful, informative position that old growth media -- print and appointment television -- will fade as new growth media grows to fill in and grow in its place. It's happening quickly now but the growth is healthy. Now to find the business model that supports the people and thinkers involved. Advertising + news must work togetehr to do that. Alex Bogusky on a bike share program but the real point was that creative people -- and orgs such as advertising agencies, design firms, pr agencies, universities -- should be curious and confident enough to use their expertise in other ways, to stick their noses in to new and different problems and offer solutions.
3 :: Behance with actionable creativity and products that support that. Wow. A network, a community, a thoughtful and smart digital discussion. And tools. Great presentation and ways to make ideas happen in organizations and meetings.
4 :: Toolkit importance. To be a strong participant, notetaking plus twitter (at its best) plus flip and cameras plus. That means a strong inclination to report on the sessions, to connect and share. Very interesting to see people blogging throughout a session, making content. I couldn't help but compare that to classrooms where open laptops usually means someone is checking facebook. Two sessions really stoof out as important in the tools area. One was Behance as noted above, another was a great session on presentation that explored how to make presesntations more interesting and vital to the information. Big takeaway there: kill the bullet points, pictures means more than words, there is no research done on the effectiveness of ppt or keynote. Wow on the Keynote Presentations that used mindmaps drawn as the talk went on, real time creative info management. This is the one for the Nate Silver Keynote:
5 :: Interesting, energetic people who believe in ideas. It was everywhere. The sense of creative energy that wasn't confined to things or titles, but to people engaging in something big. Even the discussions of news and journalism -- and for our purposed this is big -- was met with excitement and enthusiasm for the reinvention of the model. Newspapers would be well served to attend, listen to the Steven Johnsons of the world, think about invention rather than the sadness of end eras.
All in all amazing. I'm proud that our Bedbury Scholars used their time wisely, immersing themselves in the culture of the digital energy. They'll be bringing that home in presentations and big platforms.
We've been talking. The fuel we use as creative strategists, as writers and thinkers, as risk-takers, doers + makers of things is our intellectual curiosity. Why? and What if? become the tools of invention, our saving grace when we find ourselves stuck or without hope or searching. So, let us find those things that pique and provoke.
1 :: Begin with a premise. The creative process is steeped in wondering. The rational tools of research methodology, collaborative approaches, scientific inquiry are used by asking pertinent questions repeatedly to find answers. Curiosity leads us to answers, to more questions, to bigger conceptual platforms. Interesting research: Kashdan + Steger (2007). Curiosity and pathways to well-being and meaning in life: Traits, states, and everyday behaviors. Motivation + Emotion 31 (3), 159-173. Keywords: Curiosity Happiness Hedonism Pleasure Positive emotion Much good info here, but this is the takeaway: "Greater trait curiosity and greater curiosity on a given day also predicted greater persistence of
meaning in life from one day into the next." Being curious, the data suggests, predicts more meaning in life. When we wonder, we grow. And using this as a personal and professional building block? Wow. Click here for a collection of what ifs. Click here for discussions on curiosity and creativity. Of course, listen to the astounding Ken Robinson talking about human creativity and education :: 20 minutes that can change your life. But maybe an interesting way to imagine curiosity as creative prod is to listen to a poet who curiously delves into time and humanity. Poet John Rives asks :: Is 4 a.m. the new midnight?
2:: The Curiosity Group gives us a tour of imagination and smart thinking, letting us connect curiosity with strategic ideas. After all the best work happens when it's built on strong curiosity. Wonderful, whimsical and they're in Portland? With a flying elephant? Move that couch into the bathroom. A screen grab of their work page.
3 :: Our new School of Journalism Advertising curriculum is built around the creative strategist model we've created. One of the classes that help tell that story is Curiosity for Strategists, a course built on creative and conceptual thinking, mythology + archetypes, anthropology, storytelling, and performance. Beautiful, fun stuff that leads to people like Mark Lewis, Professional Storyteller, coming to class.
4 :: To be curious is to build the architecture of meaningful ideas. Digging for insights is part of the the Strategic Planner's DNA, finding the conceptual nuggets that lead to smarter, honest work that is compelling and memorable. When we visited Nike, we saw the trappings of good work everywhere. This piece is part of a campaign that started with a simple question: how do sports affects the millions of girls on the planet in ways other than competition?
5 :: Curiosity then invention. Quintessential W+K Portland. If we're curious, we weave together ideas, invent. We make things.