Moofing?

Yes, moofing. Really. Because despite the naming which imbues it with all sorts of euphemistic possibilities, it stands for Mobile Out of Office… essentially people who’re working somewhere other than the office. <o:p> </o:p>

I believe, if there were a dictionary definition, that it would refer to activities that you do with equal ability and speed when you’re away from the office, so I don’t think it refers so much to spending three hours typing emails on a Crackberry, but rather using a laptop to write documents, access your desktop remotely, and the like.<o:p></o:p>

In further research it appears that it’s a term coined by Microsoft, who built a tree-office in Pimlico to launch it…

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…I’d like working in a tree, that’d be great. Maybe the squirrels would help out, bringing energy-boosting tasty nut snacks every so often.

<o:p></o:p>Anyway, I guess if moofing really is taking off (the prevalence of mobile broadband and wi-fi offerings suggests it is) then if you’re trying to target business people, they’re not going to be chained to desks in big office blocks anymore, they could well be hanging out somewhere they’re much more available to engage in conversation…

What else do they need when they’re out and about?  Free coffee vouchers?  IT support & tips?  Someone else to bounce ideas off?  Something a brand you work on can provide?

For now, though, I’m off moofing (nope, it still sounds weird…)

 

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What is a Geek? (please answer in binary)

I was in an focus group yesterday for a certain science-fiction based TV channel yesterday (yes, that’s right, aren’t you the regular little Sherlock Holmes…), and we were debating how you might define a viewer of said TV channel.

I wish I’d seen this from Jack Schofield on The Guardian’s technology section beforehand, we’d have cracked it in seconds…

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(click it to enlarge, non-geeks…)

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Stop! (hammertime)

I first saw this on the excellent PSFK site… it’s a group called improv anywhere, who gathered a group of 200 or so folk, took them down to Grand Central station in NYC, and froze

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What I love about this is if you did in ten years ago, then about 1000 people at the station would see it, and maybe tell a few of their friends (telling someone about it isn’t the same as seeing it of course)… and that would be it.

At the time of writing, over 8.3 million people have watched this on youtube.

Which just goes to show, if you’re going to do experiential stuff in the real world, create a film of it, and it (can) reach millions… and if you’re talking those sorts of numbers, the budget for doing it gets proportionally smaller and smaller.   It’s got to be better than handing out a few free samples at a train station.

Anyway, Emma and I are thinking of using a follow-up thing they did as ‘feeding’ for an actionplanning session… how could the following not prompt some interesting ideas…

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Making music a 'commercial proposition'

I was listening to an interview on the Guardian Technology podcast between Charles Arthur of the Guardian and Matt Phillips of the BPI, about the new file sharing legislation, and (inevitably) it became a conversation about the music industry’s pricing of downloads…

CA: But it’s not [about music being] freely available… if all the albums on itunes cost three pounds rather than eight pounds, [consumers] would be much happier about buying them, because the incremental cost is so much less?

MP: If every album on iTunes was available for 50p that would be very attractive, but that doesn’t necessarily make for a commercial model that can encourage future investment in music and pay all the people involved in the creation and investment in that product, so while I can understand that consumers would want everything for free, that clearly isn’t a commercial proposition.

Surely if ‘all the people involved in’ making music can’t be funded from £8 per album on iTunes, then the answer isn’t to keep charging £8 to fund them all… surely it’s to get less people involved, or pay them less, and charge a price that consumers feel happy to pay?

A successful ‘commercial proposition’  works two ways; it’s not just what the producer is willing to sell at, but what people are willing to buy at too…

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"Battle Actionplanning"

Here’s something I tried this morning for the first time when running an actionplanning session, which I’m going to dub ‘battle actionplanning’ for the immediate future.  Essentially, it’s a bit like this:

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Remember “War Games” with Matthew Broderick?  No, OK – the plot was thus: in the early eighties, the US have a computer system which plays out ‘scenarios’ of nuclear war – who launches first, where they strike and so on – in order to perfect their defence systems.  Matthew Broderick, in best Bueller guise as anti-establishment kid, hacks the system, makes them think there’s a nuclear war on (by accident, of course, and bleak hilarity ensues…).

Anyway, the premise is essentially ‘take two teams, and have them ‘battle’ each other, striking and counter-striking, around a common theme’. 

Firstly, set up the scenario for them, and split them into two factions (a ‘pro’ and an ‘anti’, or two competitors, or whatever).

Then get them to go away, come up with ideas for five minutes, and come back and present those first ideas and positioning.

Then, once they’ve learned what the opposition is doing, get them to go away again, and come up with new ideas in light of the knowledge they just gained about the opposition.  Then they come back and present those, and you can repeat this as often as you like.

The result?  It worked pretty well for a first time, people got into it (the competitive element helps, I reckon), and it gave us lots of interesting areas to work up ideas around for a real campaign.  It’s also quite a high energy, and really rips people out of the ‘day-to-day’ and into the space you want them to be thinking in.  To be repeated, methinks…

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Running better brainstorms…

When you’re running an Actionplanning session, how much do you think about how you personally are in charge of the session?  You really can make the difference to the ideas that come out of the room by the way you behave.

Have a read of this article by Mitch Ditkoff at the Ideas Champions – it’ll make you think about how you behave as the facilitator in your Actionplanning sessions, not just what subject preparation you do.

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Feeding the what?

Yes, OK, so ‘Feeding the Puppy’ isn’t a guide for how best to approach the nutritional requirements of your young canine friend.  Sorry, dog lovers.

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What ‘feeding the puppy’ refers to is this; imagine your creativity, which lives inside you, is a puppy.  In order to take proper care of said puppy, it needs things like exercise, food, love, and the odd bone to chew on.

Except that given this puppy is your creativity, it doesn’t need walks in the country and Pedigree Chum so much as it needs regular creative exercise, and feeding with new ideas and thoughts.  It’s a philosophy we use where I work, here at PHD in London.   

This brings us to the purpose of this blog; to help feed the creativity of people here at PHD with interesting, different, unusual or just fun stuff.

If you’re from PHD and reading this, hello, I hope this helps.  If you’re not from PHD and reading this, hello, I hope this helps you too, but let me apologise in advance for any in-jokes…

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