Thursday, 12 July 2012

Aaron Walter newsletter issue 2

Issue 2 of On My Mind: Interactive story telling from Google, insights from Seth Godin, and a brilliant waste of time.
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Issue 2

On My Mind

from Aarron Walter

Seth Godin at MailChimp with Ice Cube looking over his shoulder
Photo Credit: Josh Rosenbaum

Seth Godin at MailChimp

Seth Godin paid a visit to MailChimp last Friday and gave a talk touching on issues such as the future of marketing, building a unique brand, and the flaws of the education system. As someone who does a bit of speaking, I found watching Seth Godin to be depressing, becasue he's SO damned good!

Seth said something that ressonated with me:

"To do art in a space where you are respected and loved is a precious opportunity."

This has proven true for so many great artists and thinkers in history. Patrons of the arts have for centuries created havens for the best creative minds supporting them financially and emotionally. Universities and private institutions have done the same for creative minds in the sciences. And today, I think the same is happening in some innovative tech companies that are creating pockets of experimentation where technology and the arts converge. What a great time to be alive.

Seth's remark reminded me of this gem from the late Ray Bradbury:

"Love what you do and do what you love. Don’t listen to anyone else who tells you not to do it. You do what you want, what you love. Imagination should be the center of your life." 

I don't see any reason that this advice can't be lived out in a professional situation. This is the way companies (and the people they employ) should work.
The Story of Send from Google

Google: The Story of Send

Ever wonder how email makes its way from one computer to the next? Although you may have a general idea of the process, the details are fuzzy. Google produced a brilliantly designed interactive narrative illustrating the journey of a Gmail email traveling from one inbox to the next. This animated, multimedia experience feels like old school Flash but is constructed with nothing but HTML5, CSS3, and some fancy JavaScript.

It's worth noting that design at Google would seem to be more of a priority than it has been due to a change in management, and the threat of Facebook. Whatever the cause, the results, IMHO, are refreshing. The Story of Send is proof.

Speaking of the art of storytelling, check out this simple guide from Pixar to constructing a great story.
Pointer Pointer: Prepare to waste some time

Pointer Pointer

Prepare to waste some time. Place your mouse pointer anywhere in the browser window, freeze, and watch a random photo appear of a person pointing at that exact location. Meaningless magic.

Have you ever used Bump, that clever little iOS app that lets you trade contact info with another person by bumping your devices together? Cool idea (although if used over zealously can result in bruised fingers or dinged hardware), but turns out it's flakey and kind of a pain in the ass. takes a different approach to data sharing between devices. It turns little bits of data into sound that other devices can hear and tranfer back into data. Think Shazaam for data.
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