Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The Peugeot 406 is unacceptable. It’s official.

Monday, December 13th, 2010

Sometimes, you just have to nod and agree. The Peugeot 406 was unacceptable. The Fiat Multipla was shocking too, but not seen a web server throw a Multipla error yet.

Social Influence Marketing Trends by Razorfish

Friday, February 19th, 2010

View more presentations from shivsingh.

Nice, short and insightful presentation by Shiv Sing from Razorfish about the marketing benefits of social influencers.

Linkwhacking – A Twitter phenomenon

Friday, January 8th, 2010

If you use Twitter you’ll probably be familiar with the various link shortening sites used to crunch those long URLs down to something you can squeeze in a Twitter post. This is the same for images. Attach an image to a post and the image is saved on a server and a replaced with a short URL. Twitpic, Yfrog and Twitgoo are all good examples. I noticed that the links it returned had random charters at the end, like so…

So, as usual, this got me thinking. Could I just type any characters after the URL and still get an image? Like so:

Was any image ever given a rude word? Has anyone even noticed? Turns out the answer was yes to all of the above.

Not quite figured out what a ‘good’ one is yet but it’s maybe “the word you type in represents image itself” or the super rare, your name is the text AND you are in the image too. Not sure if it has a name yet either, so I’m notionally calling it Linkwhacking after the GoogleWhacking phenomenon from back in 2001. Seems appropriate.

Anyways, here’s are some I’ve found…
Little does she know who she’s linked to
Jamba Juice seems pretty addictive
iPhone 3Gs? Nope, it a Nokia
Bit of a cheat but sn0w has snow in the pic. Nearly!
Hmmm, a Ducati 848 in red… cute!
Sad when you can get it all in one box
What’s not to like? Win!
Caption reads “French EU Presidency: Facing an Environmental Emergency.” Fail!
Ironic how Iraq is the quintessential American scene
Seems innocuous until you realise it’s a team called The Bombers. Doh!
Suitably digital
Just wrong in so many ways

Having visited a fair few of the pages, many of the comments left with the images are from fellow ‘linkwhackers’, so it’s clearly being noticed already.

So now the hunt is on for more. It works equally well on other image sharing servers, so go find some my friends. Would be interested to hear what you find.

Wheels… hmmm, what colour to choose…

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

Just bought a Giant Omnium track bike and looking to get a set of road wheels. Now, being a bit of a designer, ye olde boring black and silver rims just bore me to death. Seems the British only like black and silver so I’ve got to get them custom built. My local bike shop, Bike & Run in East Finchley (who incidentally, have some right nice bikes in their new showroom!) are lined up to build ‘something’, just got to decide what colour. Luckily, Velocity do a range of bonkers colours (I already have orange ones on my MTB) so just a case of Photoshopping my bike with a few options and choosing.

Thought I’d share the results just in case it helps you decide your wheel conundrum too. I guess I should make this in flash some day so you can change the colours yourselves and change the frame colour. Maybe one day I’ll get the time…

I’ve uploaded the .PSD layered file here if you want to add your own frame in by hand. Just open the file in Photoshop, select the rim or hub layer and change the Hue/Saturation (Apple+U or CTRL+U on a PC).

(And yes, I know I’ve made the rear wheel radial too… just saved a bit of Photoshop time)







Tip: Kids don’t do UGC

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

About a year ago, we had a tricky brief. Make a website for kids without a brand, any content or characters… but make it promote a show coming up soon… which you can’t mention. Hmmm… easy peasy.

Turns out the show in question was the new Famous 5 On the Case, a new take on the Enid Blyton series of books. Our solution was to ‘live the values’ of the Famous 5 but creating a site for kids to share their survival skills, whether country or city based. It was also aimed at grown ups with the intention of them passing down their hard-earned knowledge to the next generation. How to shine a coin with a lemon? How do you chain your bike up properly? How do you make a boomerang from lolly sticks? The answer to these questions would be be answered. Everyone knew it was a tough brief and were actually rather amazed that there was a solution at all. All go so far.

We set about scoping, considered a big tech build but found a number of off-the-peg content sharing and UGC (user generated content) products. We hired a company, created “Secret”, got all the people we know to make some initial videos, upload them, sat back… and waited.

And waited. The avalanche of video entries never really materialised. A year on, the site has eventually made way for the official Famous 5 microsite and the lessons have been filed under “Great idea, just didn’t work”.


  • The lack of a cool brand meant there was no kudos in being seen on this site
  • There was no real reward for uploading, therefore no incentive to upload
  • Kids don’t really have access to all the kit and equipment to make the videos
  • Kids don’t really upload videos. It’s just not really allowed. And parents can’t be bothered
  • The ‘off-the-shelf’ product was actually fairly expensive once monthly charges were added
  • We should have tested the broad concept WAY earlier on real kids
  • If there’s a glaring ‘untapped niche’, there’s probably a reason. Kids UCG is one of them

What WAS important is that without taking a risk now and again, the web would be a very dull place. Ok, so this one may not have worked quite as everyone hoped, but the next solution will be much better for it. We were open and honest at all times and it’s just one of those things. Learn, move on. At least we tried and at least it wasn’t a dull, safe banner campaign. And some of the videos made it onto the new Famous 5 site, so it wasn’t all wasted. Here’s me cutting an apple without an knife and making a Monkey Fist rope ball. I clearly have no shame…

Motorcycle Mechanics – June 1961

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

My father gave me a copy of “Motorcycle Scooter & Three-Wheeler Mechanics” a few years back and we both picked out the same machine as ‘the cool one’… a 1958 Gold Star. Weird how genetics work. Some of the ads are fantastic, so thought I’d share…

Nothing changes!

Nothing changes!

Corker Helmet

Corker Helmet

BSA 350 Star

BSA 350 Star

Belstaff Ad 1961

Belstaff Ad

Triumph Thunderbird 1961

Triumph Thunderbird

Scramblers from 1961

Scramblers from 1961

Brands Hatch - Druids 1961

Brands Hatch - Druids

Road Racers 1961

Road Racers

Good Ideas

Check out he last one

BP Zoom

Cheer up Mr. Hammond!

Bond Minicar

Bond Minicar

Enfield Constellation 700

Enfield Constellation 700

Messerschmitt Car

Messerschmitt Car

Bike Prices in 1961

Bike Prices in 1961

Velocette Advert

Velocette Advert

Reliant and Halfords ad

Reliant and Halfords ad

How to become a rocket scientist in 3 minutes…

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

Did some fun training the other day with Katie Ledger and part of it was presenting something in 3-5 minutes. So I though I’d go large and explain how to become a rocket scientist in 3 minutes. It’s essentially a super-top-line overview of how to build the simplest type of pulse jet engine… the ‘pop pop‘ boat engine. Thought I’d start with something that shows the principle before introducing the fantastically simple valveless pulse jet. I should also explain this was at Digital Outlook, a digital marketing agency, so was a little off-piste to say the least.

Anyhow, here’s the video. Bit embarrassing but hey, it’s worth it if you may learn something! :)

If you’re weird, you can get the PowerPoint presentation here.

The iPhone iPint and other cool ads…

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

If you manage to get your hands on the November edition of Revolution Magazine you may recognise the name on page 76! Well, you would if they spelt it right (it’s Dino Burbidge, not Dino Burbridge… story of my life).

I had the honour of writing the ‘Creative Review’ feature, where industry big-wigs pick campaigns and content that has caught their eye, or that caused a stir. I chose the ubiquitous iPint for the iPhone by Beattie McGuinness Bungay as my feature and also chose four others that I thought warranted some heat, both good and bad.

If you’re interested, click the page layout image below to get a bigger, almost readable sized version… or go and buy the magazine! :)

The slowest Triathlon in the world…

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

Part 1: 5k run

Part 2: 10k run

I’m determined to do a Triathlon this year but haven’t really managed to get it together. So I’ve settled for an elongated event format, with months between each event. Works for me but I’m not sure it’s strictly adhering to the rules.

So far I’ve done a 5k swim for the Marie Curie Swimathon and a 10k for the Cancer Research Run 10k so according to the rules, the nearest triathlon that fits is an Olympic Triathlon. Just got to do the 40k cycle now (ignoring the fact I commute 65k a week).

I managed to bimble around the Hatfield House course in 51 mins and 46 seconds. Now that’s probably not a very good time in the grand scale of things but I’m pretty pleased with it seeing as it’s my first attempt and… I didn’t train. Yep, not a step.

Still, all in a good cause as it was for Cancer Research. If you’re one of the 2 thousand people that turned out at Hatfield House or one of the Tesco crew who supported the event, well done! I’ll see you there next year… once the pain has eased a little.

2 Miniclip launches in a week… Zubo Zurfing!

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

You wait ages then two come along at once! Yep, just 5 days after Corn Pops Challenge was launched, our new baby, ‘Zubo Zurfing‘ has gone live (or Zubo Surfing as Miniclip has it… doh!). It’s very cool to have our games occupying two of the three slots in the Miniclip main promo area!

The game itself is a great achievement. Original gameplay, exciting, high-quality and fun to play. Probably one of the best games we’ve made at Digital Outlook. Big thanks to EA and GoFish for giving us the chance to make it! The aim is to get the 5 Zubo characters across a sound wave. You do this by exploding ‘sound bombs’ above and below the sound wave to cause ripples that fling you in the air. Of course, there are baddies, keys and bonuses in there to keep you on your toes.

What would I improve? Simple, more levels! What a great compliment to a game. It’s a great game engine that can ramp up and allow for mini-puzzles and level designs to test your skill. I think 20 levels should do it.

Anyways, I suggest you play it… play it now… and visit the Zubo web site, it’s quite fun.