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Here's another great quote, although I can not remember where I picked this one up - "creativity loves constraint." Now think about that in the context of creative assignments,  etc --  the much maligned creative brief is a form of constraint. Better briefs might well be the most constraining of briefs - to the other points made, liberating us from the easy.


1 year, 10 months ago on The harder the problem, the better the outcome


I'll also suggest Tom Monahan's book, The do-it-yourself lobotomy. It's chock full of engaging ways to get people caught up in the act of creativity.


At our agency we introduced the 360' worksheet as a way to get everyone thinking beyond the traditional. The worksheet is like a story board for multimedia. The core idea is sketched or written in the center and then the cross functional teams are forced to imagine different ways to express the idea through various mediums -- be it ink on paper or a new game, app or some clever location based service. This draws in people from different backgrounds and skill sets and the process itself forces the recognition that it's not just about art and copy people any longer -- everyone can and should feel empowered to come up with ideas and imagine them coming to life in different strategic ways.

2 years, 6 months ago on Inspire everyone to be creative


Here's a thought. This is the age of mass customization, especially in communications technologies. The fundamental driver of success as you've noted here will be the contextualization of the brand promise. In the bad old days of direct marketing the focus was audience (targeting), offer ($ incentive) and brand/product. Very often, contextualization took the form of specific ad units developed for specific pubs, ie, cycling, Time, etc. to better position the brand within content-- interest of the pub and its readers. The computing power needed today to give us the clarity we need is nearly here and, once achieved, the overlay of social and interest should reveal a cross sectional opportunity that may allow the same old tenets to apply and become the basis for much more sophisticated execution. I can imagine a day when this contextualization will be optimized with ad units that organically create themselves from a set of brand assets that reside on platform built to anticipate the interests of the likely target audience. So maybe the big difference will be how technology can rapidly optimize delivery of contextualized ad units based on social and interest graphing and then use that contextualization as a method to drive further engagement and power more connections, and ultimately sales, based on these interactions. I think we already have the ability to execute the creative in this way. Someone smarter than me needs to figure out how to use the social and interest data to drive the engine. What do you think?

@timleake @edwardboches

2 years, 10 months ago on The interest graph is coming. Eight ways to get ready.


@edwardboches What may be worth considering in this analysis is if, in fact, this campaign was generated out of Fabrica, the cultural context of Italy and the Catholic Church and how that relationship figures into this execution. In the Epicenter of Catholicism, the presence of the church, colors the air and opens the door to a more provocative dialogue. A dialogue that is very casual and both embraces and rejects with ease the provincialism of the church. This, I think, was one of the core drivers of the success of Toscani's work. And while the intent of this image seems only to shock, it eventually may go beyond provocative, to demand more of us over time as the it looses its bite and we are left to consider the fallibility in all of us and in so doing -- unhate.

That bit of open minded rationalizing out of the way, I think the work is a blunt attempt to ape the earlier work and lacks the depth, nuance and sophisticated wink I once associated with the brand.

But it did attract the SWARM and that SWARM can sting.

@OlivieroToscani @gmastrion

3 years, 1 month ago on Three ways to look at Benetton: the cause, the creative, the controversy


I've got a few potential ? to add:

• Given some client reluctance, uncertainty of outcomes, limited resources, budget restraint coupled with compensation models from a bygone era, (add your prevailing issues here), what does success look like for an agency producing digital work?

• If you could only hire a handful of digital talent into a legacy agency, which core talents do you think are most essential to help drive change and implement work?

Thanks Edward

3 years, 4 months ago on Crowdsourcing questions for BDW’s Making Digital Work instructors?


Perhaps Amex should be bolder and add a dislike button to their offers. In this way they can get immediate feedback, from those willing to play along, on what their target feels is interesting. Presumably, if they have us targeted correctly we'd be taking them up on some of the offers but this feedback is slow compared to a like/dislike button. For instance, I may like an offer but not act on it and may not even click the button, so the advertiser gets no feedback what-so-ever. Conversely, if I "dislike" or am not interested in the offer, wouldn't the advertiser want this information to better improve their offer and or targeting? For the user this would help deliver more meaningful offers so the benefit would be built into the action. This might feel like a harsh step in the "everything is beautiful world" of the social web but we need more efficiency and less waste as marketers, and as users our time on-line needs to deliver an experience that is ever more relevant from advertisers, otherwise all these schemes will start to feel like nothing more than a billboard cluttering the highway waiting for the right person to drive by and take notice.

Like and dislike buttons would allow marketers to aggregate to relevant buckets and attribute them to specific user group profiles of "friends." These friends might not really be friends to Edwards point but they would be united in a friendship based, at least theoretically, on a progressively more filtered set of interests. Facebook allows you to give feedback on what ads are relevant, I'm not sure how many people take the time to do it, but it's possible, even though time consuming. The like/dislike button would help make short work of the sorting. Perhaps a better voting scheme would be interested/disinterested or some other more pithy wording. Of course it will take a sophisticated marketer to make the most of this feature, someone willing to really work the data and do split testing across audiences and offers but I do believe it would be worth the effort. So possibly somewhere between the likes and dislikes there emerges a better senses of the "wants."

There is probably a better answer to all this and someone smarter than me will figure it out. Maybe it will be Circles, it feels like it could be. As a user, and really I just started, Circles relevance to marketers will only be as good as the governance of my circles. Just like Edward I've got so many friends on Facebook, at least for me, it has sort of taken on a life of its own.

3 years, 4 months ago on A new reason to like likes?


Edward you're ideas are spot on. I'm waiting and hopeful that it will prove itself to provide greater utility than either facebook or twitter and maybe that in it's evolution we will all evolve along with it. Facebook and Twitter are just the opening volley's in what will continue to be concepts that redefine our experiences on-line and off. We should also observe how the competitive effect of these platforms spurring each other onward shape our future engagements. Very cool moment in time we inhabit. Thanks for the dialogue.

3 years, 5 months ago on Google+ and the benefit of time


I think you're on to something, especially for our day-to-day lives. In fact, even though I got my Google + invite I held off from getting started for the simple fact that it I simply don't want to go down that slippery path right now. A little over a year ago I began limiting my time in the social sphere because as you point out it disconnects us from the moment we are supposedly in. I used to walk the globe with a camera in hand (I still do, I must confess) but one day realized that my obsessive photo taking was taking me out of the frame. It's an odd paradox and I think it aligns with my digital-social engagements, that photo taking is an effort in preservation, to hold on to some moment of beauty, to capture feelings, emotions, observations, events and to want to share those experiences -- ahh instagram -- but also here and there on Facebook, Twitter, Quora, what deep need it taps to share, to preserve through thought -- word, image and action -- and meaning. All very powerful and valuable and expansive but benign, insignificant and limiting too.

I'm going for a ride....

3 years, 5 months ago on Random thoughts from a summer vacation


We're all casting for inspiration. I often find mine waist deep in a river waving a stick. Perhaps it will raise a few hackles if I suggest that fly fishermen strip the birds on Broadway of their feathery frocks while dashing for the evening hatch.

3 years, 5 months ago on Waders Wage War, a sonnet


I just spoke with Benjamin at Instagram very nice and helpful. For reasons unknown even to me I thought once I had established my hashtag via my account that the iphone app would apply it automatically to my uploads. This might be a nice feature for them to add as an option into the app. (I did not think to say this to him directly while we were talking.) Benjamin, are you with me? So if you have one account but you'd like to post to a number of different hashtags it would be much nicer user experience to be able to do this via a drop down menu. On my instagrid "home" page itself it would be nice to be able to click on my account and make any alterations, even changes to meta data on photos, if I wanted to change a title, or remember an exact location I'd like to add or correct. It would also be nice to be able to add hashtags into existing uploads if I want to append them to another subject.

3 years, 5 months ago on What’s your Instagram hashtag?


Hi Edward, Guy Mastrion here. We just finished up the Hyper Island Master Class at our agency a few weeks ago. Palio, is in Saratoga Springs NY. Tim Leake say's hi by the way. I love this post. I'm a big fan of photography like so many others and instagram is a fun little app. It might be interesting to create hashtags by client, brand or project -- assuming we have a client open minded enough to give it a go. if both client and agency teams joined in could be a compelling way to join forces, share ideas, stimulations, etc. Possibly linking images to a team blog -- fun

@gmastrion, @edwardboches

3 years, 6 months ago on What’s your Instagram hashtag?


What a beautiful design it reminds me of Italian hill-top cities, like Lucca, ringed by walls. It is lovely and Jobs plays it pitch-perfect.

3 years, 6 months ago on The art of presentation according to Steve Jobs


... and now we can add publisher, editor, PR professional, social connector, commentator, stew pot chef

3 years, 10 months ago on When the readers become writers what do the writers become?


writers are what they have always been -- instigators, enablers, stimulators, agitators, provocators

3 years, 10 months ago on When the readers become writers what do the writers become?


These are all great suggestions. I will recommend a book called The Do it Yourself Lobotomy by Tom Monohan. Tom is a truly great creative director and mentor. He's book is a trasure trove of ideation techniques.

3 years, 11 months ago on 10 rules for modern collaboration