Monthly Archives: September 2009

Girls Will Be Girls

little ballerina

This picture of my niece Naia trying on a pair of ballet slippers was just too irresistible not to post. She just turned three and will begin ballet courses soon. I was convinced she was going to start a band after I gave her a maraca set for her birthday. But I guess it’s hard for little girls to sway off the predetermined paths that lay before them.

pinkI have to say, I’m glad she didn’t go the route captured by the Korean photographer JeongMee Yoon in The Pink & Blue Project. This is his daughter SeoWoo in her room with all of her pink things. Amazing. (via WLYS: Beautiful Decay)

Viva la Kunst

Seoul

As I prepare to head to Berlin on Wednesday, I thought I would resurrect one of my great life mysteries. While I was living in Seoul, I spent a lot of time in Hongdae, an artsy neighborhood in the north with some of the best graffiti in the city. I spotted the above work one day, thought it was interesting, and snapped a photo.

Two years later, while in Berlin, I saw the exact same work in Kreuzberg. I did a double take then and there. When I returned to Amsterdam, I tried to find out who was behind the graffiti, but without luck. Deciding, a few more years later, to make one more attempt, I came across this Gridskipper article today discussing the street art in Berlin. Last on the list of prominent Berlin graffiti artists was SP38 and an almost identical image. Mystery solved!

He’s apparently French born, living in Berlin, and has apparently been in Seoul at least once. Although his website is down, you can see more of his work on Flickr. See you in a few days Berlin!

A World of Paper

Scott Coello keeps creating nice work, but his animation ‘She Farted and Created the World‘ remains one of my favorites. It illustrates the evolution of the world with scraps of found paper, and it all starts with one Big Bang. I guess I’m not the only one to like it, since it was recently shortlisted on the Virgin Media Shorts, and the dedication of the film to his dog Maggie is certainly an effective selling point.

Lichtfaktor

Video from the lightwriting workshop at the 2009 sound:frame festival headed by Lichtfaktor, a German group of light graffiti artists. I was inspired to check up on this amazing group after reading the WebUrbanist article 10 Light Graffiti Artists and Photographers (via somuchstellarstuff).

Trust in Numbers

we feel fine

A recent NYT article about the rising field of sentiment analysis – translating human emotion into hard data -  underscores the importance of sophisticated algorithms to analyze and understand the growing amount of information created by individuals online. Whether these new services and applications are tracking emotions or quantifying behavior, the consumer is taking center stage. I thought I’d list some that have captured my attention:

Sense Networks, recognizes patterns in behavior by tracking the path of mobile phone users and analyzes what those behaviors reveal about the user.

Wakoopa, a downloadable service that tracks the programs and applications running on a user’s computer, and other pertinent information such as the frequency and duration of use. From this, Wakoopa distills user habits about when and how they use certain programs and web services.

We Feel Fine, pictured above, explores human emotions by scouring blogs for the phrases ‘I feel’ or ‘I am feeling’ and presents these feelings as an online collaborative art project. While it’s not really quantifying its findings, it’s so beautiful.

Jodange, a service that filters traditional and social media to gauge the influences on consumer thought and opinion.

Newssift, a project by the Financial Times Group, that incorporates meaning, relationships, and sentiment into news with a business slant.

The Case for Content Strategy

About a year ago, I was on a team tasked with redesigning a website for a luxury fitness brand. Abandoning the typical sweaty images for a more spa-like experience, we reworked the content to include testimonials about reaching lifestyle goals, and to feature the gym’s breadth of yoga classes, rather than just their range of free weights. At first glance, the paid ad copy and keyword-rich meta content fit the common search terms: “gym,” “workouts,” and “private trainers.” However, our client didn’t want the typical “gym rat” audience. That’s where a partnership between content strategy and search engine marketing paid off. We revised the site content and search terms to fit the brand of a premium fitness experience. As a result, our client attracted more traffic from an audience eager for their style of gym. The leads were good, but the conversions were even better.

— Margot Bloomstein, The Case for Content Strategy—Motown Style in A List Apart.