I hate flying. Have I mentioned that? I do. The thought of being closed off in a metal case and lifted into the air gives me nausea and palpitations. I fly, though. Because I have to, being torn between my conventional desire to not move ever and my unexplainable fear of being stuck in the same place. But I hate flying.

So recently I have been enjoying the pleasures of living somewhere close to everything and being able to take the train. I take the train to everywhere: work, my boyfriend’s house, places I want to visit in neighboring countries. And being able to travel in an environment where self preservation as well as preservation of the basic intimacies of humanity and also of the basic hygiene requirements are not longer a concern (trains in Great Britain are clean, fast and comfortingly on time) I find myself relishing in the delight of a couple of hours where I can detach from myself, the Internet and just think.

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I went to listen to Russell Davies speak at the Google sponsored Firestarters event. He was there to discuss the good job himself and Ben were doing on gov.uk and he ended up saying a few really smart and insightful things about, well, product development and maybe even marketing or just…well, life really.

[these are not quotes :) ]

1. Just do something people want to use – this creates reputation which works very much like branding only it costs nothing because it is predicated on something you have already done rather than a promise as in the case of brands

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A week ago while walking through the land of the liberated (ie. for me, London, where I expected to be able to watch, purchase, eat and see everything I have ever wanted with no restrictions) I glanced across a billboard that said True Detective and showed both Matthew McC and Woody Harrelson and what appeared to be a neat new series. Half a day and a bunch of praise-filled reviews later I was obsessed: I needed to see True Detective NOW because it seemed awesome and because, of course, being in the land of the liberated, I should be able to do so without any remorse or recourse to “means which shall not be named”. Yet another half a day later it dawned on me that I could not see True Detective because the only place you could in the UK was Sky and I do not have cable TV yet.

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Cam la doi trei ani in viata unui blogger vine un moment in care te intrebi ce naiba sa faci cu blogul. Problemele sunt de cele mai multe ori aceleasi, stii ca trebuie sa iti faci un plan mai clar, iti dai seama ca trebuie sa te focusezi, iti dai seama ca e musai sa iti alegi o nisa, nu mai ai chef, ai alte prioritati sau pur si simplu, cum zice englezul, you’ve outgrown the idea of blogging.

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Online does not work, Google doesn’t work, Facebook doesn’t work. We already knew TV did not work, radio either, OOH was a joke and not even measured. I mean at least TV and radio invented some tricky form of measurements that nobody understands to blind us with statistics. But we knew TV did not work. We were soooo happy Internet came along to kill bad old TV because it was simply hateful to have to learn all that lingo when we KNEW it did not work. All those bad, bad media agencies making commission from kick backs and discounts, they were teaching customers terminology that we did not believe in and then they were all in cahoots, the TV stations and the media agencies and the brands. And then along came internet and we said well this is going to be measurable but NO, now we know, internet does not work either. Facebook is lying, Google is lying, Twitter …pshaw, Twitter does not have reach, Pinterest is a fad. It does NOT work. There are no measurable results. None of the metrics are real. Engagment is something evil people at large internet corporations invented to trick us. Just like TV did back then. They lied and we KNOW it does not work.

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There comes a time in everyone’s life when you realize that unless you are your own brand and what you make also bears your name, you might need to separate your personal, professional and extracurricular personas online.

These days we all have at least three people we can be online:

-       the personal us – with families, friends, school colleagues etc

-       the professional us – if your employer agrees to you acting as an ambassador for them online

-       the extracurricular us – when and if you get involved in your own freelance work, hobbies etc.

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I have though long and hard about the way social media/ new media deals with death. A while back I was looking at the way people cope with friends passing away and how memorial pages could be set up for the deceased on Facebook. I also tried to understand stuff like people getting together and updating the page of a dead person with mementos of that person and also with news that they thought that person would have liked to hear. I also found that while the voyeurism of taking pictures at funerals had nothing to do with the management of grief, social media does help people get over the grief of having lost someone. Read more →

Have you noticed how government agencies have no clue about communicating? Or at least that seems to be the case in most of Romania, France and Italy.

I mean, I have travelled some but have never had the feeling that those “public utilities” like transportation or gas, light, electricity ever bother to really speak to their users. Until I came to London and got on the Tube. Not only did everyone I had met LOVE the Tube but you could see there was a real sense of iconicity about the whole thing. The Tube logo, made of the iconic roundel [pls see history below], was and is used as signature on a lot of tourist merchandise and some of the Tube lingo like “mind the gap” has turned into jargon almost.

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I think Information Architecture is what makes the internet run. So often you land on a website and it’s impossible to navigate, the sorting of information is irrelevant, there are no back links, no way to view categories while surfing certain areas etc. So you think “My God, this website sucks, the people writing the code are so bad”, without really knowing that the website does not have a coding problem, but a UX/IA problem.

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