Category Archives: A Digital Perspective

The Evolution of Story-Telling by Oscar Nicholson

Story Telling - Digital

There are people in the industry who have the ability to change your entire perception of concepts or crystallise a notion that you’ve always felt but never been able to articulate. And Oscar Nicholson (or @returnon on Twitter) is just one of those people.

And once again, he’s done it again – here’s Oscar’s take on story telling.

Continue reading

Hannah Law: Has fashion been affected by digital?

The speed of fashion online

Today I spoke to my successor, Hannah Law – Head of Social Media at Switched On Media – about the effect she believes digital has had on fashion.  I for one think it’s fascinating to see the way new fashions birth and die.  These macro and micro trends are something that will ultimately drive sales and even communities.  Just look at the Spirit Hood (mine is from boutique Desordre in Sydney) – this is a whole movement around conservation, fashion and celebrity.

Continue reading

Phill Ohren: Search and Social Media today and beyond

This week I spoke to Phill Ohren – SEO at Switched On Media – about the rise and integration of both Search and Social Networks.  Phil and I both had the unique experience of working in the specialist agency to get a deep understanding of both.  So whether you’re an SEO gun or a social media stormtrooper – there’s some real insight here.

Continue reading

We Are Handsome

“I love doing…Don’t be afraid to fail.”

This is a must read articles for those into fashion, design, photography and creativity. Just read it – too many insights to summarise up here.

Jeremy J Somers aka @itsartdammit is one of those people who secrete creativity, drive and passion. I say secrete because he’s also incredibly down to earth and totally humlble – and that’s worth something these days.  And he’s got a big lesson we can all learn:

Creating. Everyday i try my best to create something. This is one thing I LOVE about the digital world, it makes it so easy to create and show your stuff to the world. I guess it can be summarized into DOING. I love doing. 98% of the world loves talking, and its so rare that anyone actually does anything.

Continue reading

Polka Dot Bride: Inspiring Weddings

Polka Dot Bride Logo

Weddings, Communities

I’m consistently fascinated by the other online communities out of the main stream news -and one of the most engaging, and lively I had come across was in the wedding industry.  A clear passion point for men and women a like, it’s a natural draw card for conversation, recommendations and purchasing.

Weddings are about people and passion: what better fuel is there? Couple this with photographs, experience and event planning – it’s story telling at it’s best (before, during and after).  Polka Dot Bride was one such community that caught my attention and I was lucky enough to catch up with Ms. Polka herself.

What’s remarkable about the site is that it’s so much about the people behind these weddings that are photographed with some very clear outcomes for customers and audience, sponsors, publishers and suppliers.

I think the biggest one I’ve learnt is to never underestimate the power of community.

Continue reading

A Cook In Chef’s Clothing

A Cook In Chef's Clothing

Scott-Bradley Pearce: technology/video strategist, awesome cook

My long time friend, mentor and life-saver, Scott-Bradley Pearce – or Scooter to the rest of us – has just launched A Cook in Chef’s Clothing – a site built to inspire and equip anyone interested in food and cooking. Scot tells a great story, and I’ve lifted something from his about section that sums his passion for cooking and inspiring others to cook.

After several years of being encouraged to publish my thoughts, my cooking styles, recipes and tips by friends I have finally decided to launch this site. I hope you enjoy some of the things I write about but more importantly I hope that I inspire you to shop locally and seasonally for your own health and well being.

Scott’s insights into media, consumers and his challenge to us all to ask questions will leave you wanting seconds.

1. Has your new blog allowed you to develop your passion for cooking further?

Not as such. The passion for cooking exists regardless, the blog is the result of too many friends telling me they want to cook what I cook. After a year or so of posting what I cook each night to Facebook (I reckon I started that trend haha) I had so many people asking for recipes and so forth. Then over the past 2 years I have become incredibly active in the championing of local produce so this is a way for me to start to vent a lot of those thoughts and lead by example.

2. Do you think it’s easier for people to be more interested in food and better cooking because of online?

I think that television gets the award here. TV chefs and channels devoted to food have sparked our appetites, both for great food and knowledge. I hope that what comes next is the same degree of interest about where food comes from. I think that has started with the local produce movements and a push toward heritage food types, the stuff we ate as kids, not the mass grown and artificially ripened stuff where an apple looks like one but tastes only vaguely like one.

3. Do you read other cooking blogs? why/whynot – How has it impacted your cooking?

Absolutely. I read books a lot more though I must say. I have the core set of books including the Silver Spoon, Stephanie Alexanders Cooks Companion and a few Maggie Beer bibles, but I love specialist books, regions, especially italian influenced. But the web is a dynamite source oif information. put the word authentic or local in your search, an example is authentic Moroccan chicken tagine, suddenly you have so many to choose from, not only that but you can read about the history. Plus i love to theme a dinner so going after traditional accompaniments as well.

4. Do you think chefs have had a greater exposure to customers/restaurants because of the internet?

I actually think that it is more difficult today for a chef and restaurants in general. The consumers level of knowledge has grown, both food and wine, and the consumer is increasingly more picky about the food they eat. By the same token there has been an explosion of smaller kitchens popping up that specialise in a few things and they are fantastic. It has never been better.

5. Is cooking more, less or of same important for new generations?

Look, when I was young there wasn’t a lot to choose from. Herbs were all dried in little bottles and tasted vaguely as they should and no one really bought too many. However the fruit and vegetables were fantastic and we grew a lot of our own stuff. Today we are in a consumption based world where people toss out mobile phones every six months and expect oranges to be on the shelves all year but this comes at a price. I think, at least I hope, that the current push back to seasonal and local produce coupled with the amount of media around cooking will drive younger people back to how things were when I was growing up. What I would hate to see is a world where my 10 year old nephew thinks that spaghetti sauce comes out of a jar!

6. Best tip for cooking for 2010?

Am I allowed to have three tips? I will.

The first is to build your kitchen arsenal each month. Once a month go to a warehouse cooking supply company like Victorias Basement in Sydney, there is something like this in every city, and buy something new. A decent quality fry pan will last you 20 years, slow buy yourself a full set of high quality saucepans. Build your tool kit. And start this month.

The second tip is take note of the seasons. Fruit and vegetables are cheapest in season not to mention freshest in season. Research your recipes starting from a key seasonal ingredient and work out from there. You will save money and it will taste better.

The third is find a farmers market and try buying fresh local seasonal produce. But be careful. Many of them have stalls filled with typical market grocers who just buy the same stuff the big chains buy at market. Ask them where the stuff comes from, did they grow it, if they didn’t walk on and find someone who does. Trust me when I tell you this, the first time you buy a lemon, covered in funny marks because its grown naturally on a tree and you taste it, you will not go back to the gas ripened lemons ion the big chains ever again. In the same vein find your local butcher or grocer, ask their name and get to know them.

Forth, and most importantly, ASK QUESTIONS! This can be a rhetorical question, if its not orange season and you see oranges in the supermarket how can this be, how long have they been in storage and why not buy a different fruit thats cheaper and in season. Ask the butcher where the meat comes from, how is it treated? But be sensible. Garlic isn’t available all year, but in Australia our climate allows us to grow most things all year. But before you buy strawberries in winter from california why not look for something else locally produced instead.

Saying Goodbye to Switched On Media

Moving On

Yesterday it was officially announced that I’ll be leaving Switched on Media and joining Weber-Shandwick as their Digital Strategist.

It was honestly one of the hardest career decisions I’ve made.  My experience with Switched On Media has been second to none.  It in no way reflects the work, people or business behind Switched On Media: in fact, the people have been some of the best.

With the inspiring leadership and exceptional business acumen from Andy Jamieson and Scot Ennis, we together built a business function that serviced over 25 brands in Social Media over an 18 month period. It was – and remains – profitable, delivering real business outcomes for our clients.

The role and mission was both the most challenging and rewarding I’ve ever had, and with the support of the brilliant and very talented Hannah Law, was a role I looked forward to, each and every day.  Switched On Media is a business that has seen phenomenal growth and I’m very proud to say that I was privileged enough to work along side them and help build the social media service.

Switched On Media have pioneered, understood and developed the Social Media and Search space (including it’s integration) better than most, and I’m sure that with the leadership of Andy, Scot and Hannah – they’ll continue to do so.  It’s rare such as complex mix of entrepreneurship, creativity, technical knowledge and communication can come together like this.

Big shoutout to everyone who has and continues to work there: Andy, Scot, Ian, Jeremy, Alex, Wai, Phil, Kevin, Hannah, Rattan, Hadrian, Samantha, Eva.


Bicycle Repairman

Katie Chatfield: Creative Craftsperson

Industries, especially in digital, look to tools to be able to perform tasks better, to be more creative, to boost their skills.  To do their craft better.

But I think Katie Chatfield has one of the best perspectives on this which she shared at Connect Now.

Giving people a tool doesn’t make them craftspeople; i.e. it’s about the people, not the technology- KC

Social, digital, whatever – start with people, its through their stories that experience, talent and potential is bred.

Katie’s full presentation and notes are now up.

Ben Shepherd – 1 Year On

2008 – 2009: This Thing We Call Digital

I spoke to Ben at the beginning of this year about his thoughts of the digital industry, and from where I sit, it seems the industry has continued to be as dynamic as ever.  And one common theme we’re seeing is the importance of measurement and meeting business needs – it’s not about the activity, the shiny bits: it’s about the results: and the strategic, planning and execution skills required become more important than ever.

Ben, do you think the digital space has started thinking more commercially? Is this purely in light of the GFC, or do you think we’re all starting to grow up?

I guess the wider economic issues caused some people to think commercially as they needed to to keep the lights on and retail staff. Still, there’s a difference between thinking commercially in a strategic sense and thinking commercially in ‘needs’ sense.

People like Peter Bray, have recently moved to a more integrated approach to digital (with traditional) – do you think this is becoming more common in the space? It was one of your strongest recommendations, and one I entirely agree with.

I can’t speak for Peter Bray (having never met him) … but speaking to people who are smarter than me, there seems to be some momentum towards truly skilled cross media planners and strategic minds and more links between the areas of planning and trading. So you’d assume if the people thinking this way are running agencies it’s not too long until actions are put in place to make this a reality. Digital in isolation doesn’t make much sense for me … great ideas come out of robust communication strategies and the ability to think broadly. You’d think in a couple of years the idea of a digital only strategist would be redundant.

Any thoughts on Search for the future? It’s something I’m becoming more involved with, and I’m eager to hear your thoughts on what the future might hold here.

As an area it’s still very important … measurement will evolve and we will move forward to search and associated data becoming a real barometer of the rest of the comms mix. It’s a rare form of media that is both a distribution tool and an insights one.

And finally, what should the industry be paying attention to in the next 6-12 months?

Whatever is relevant and important to their business and clients. For me, I am interested in better measurement across channels that leads to better decisions. Better ideas.

A Digital Perspective: Nic Watt, CEO, Nnooo


Ever wanted to make games for a living?

I only met Nic this year, and already I can tell what a brilliant man he is.  Not only is he the CEO of his games company, but he’s also incredible strategic about life and work. A really stand out for A Digital Perspective.

What do you do?

I am the Creative Director and CEO of a new games company based in Sydney. My typical day sees me waking at about 7, playing some World of Warcraft until about 8:30 at my desk and starting work between 8:30 and 9am. As we are still quite small my day to day work involves pretty much all aspects of our business such as designing our new games, liaising with media contacts to generate good press and having meetings with our various team members to see how the projects are going.

Continue reading