Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Nick Hart. He knew a man, who knew a man

There’s no other way of looking at this! Nick Hart has an enviable background! There – it’s been said. Deal with it!

For the two years prior to stepping aboard the good ship Idealogy, he spent his time marketing a SuperYacht Training School to customers across Europe, attending boat shows and disreputable crew parties in some of the most (and, very often the least) glamorous places. So, he’s survived a difficult period that saw the global recession affect even the ‘Uber-rich’, with a large number of owners laying their yachts up stern-to, bracing themselves for the economic storm. You didn’t need to be a financial analyst to work out what was going to happen to crew training, support budgets and investment in general.

SO, what’s the worst word that you can hear when you’re fairly sure what you’re going to hear next? It begins with ‘Red' and ends in ‘undancy’. And even though that word brought closure to a difficult period, the net result was that young Nick was out on his ear at possibly the worst time to be out on anything attached to your head.

The flip-side of that particular coin was that Nick was most definitely not the pessimistic sort, and he was pretty certain that one or other of those semi-intoxicated introductions would pay-off. So, he set about networking as if his career depended on it – which, of course, it did.

What followed was a period of freelance work to help launch a marine security service. What followed that was a conversation about whether the client knew anybody who might be looking to expand their team. "I know a man" came the swift response. "He’ll need some pestering but he’ll listen to you in the end". An initial chat didn’t prove too tricky, and Nick was convinced there was room for a relationship to blossom. Furthermore he was pretty convinced his new contact felt there could be a mutual opportunity.

The rest of the story reads like an episode from the Morecambe and Wise Show: -
Nick: James, do you need me?
James: No, call me in a week
Nick: James, do you need me?
James: No, call me in a week
Nick: James, do you need me?
James: No, call me in a week
Nick: James, do you need me?
James: No, call me in a week
Nick: James, do you need me?
James: No, call me in a week
Nick: James, do you need me?
James: Yes, you start on Monday

So there it is! Nick knew a man who knew a man. That man was called Harvey, and he knew James, and James needed a new chap to help with some work.

Job done!
Posted by Idealogy

Friday, 19 November 2010

Mark Zuckerberg says it's not email but it might just replace it…

…well he would do wouldn't he?

Facebook announced this week that they are working on the next generation of 'messaging systems'…which will have the @facebook.com address - comprising not just email but Facebook messages, SMS, other chat-based services and possibly VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol - like Skype) all in one place.

So what are the differences from regular email?  Well apparently there won't be any subject lines, CC or BCC for a start. All of your messages to someone will be shown as a single conversation, whether they were sent by instant messaging, email or text. Yes, but won't that just feel like instant messaging anyway?

If we're honest we can't quite envisage HOW it will feel just yet but it looks like we might do soon.

Source: TechCrunch.com, blog.facebook.com
Posted by Paul Skinner

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Geek Mythology - Social Network review

“The value of a social network is defined not only by who’s on it, but by who’s excluded.” - Paul Saffo

Before I start I would like to point out that I’m really not a big social networker. Some may even say I’m a little social networker. Truth is I’m a simpler, more visceral creature who, call me old fashioned, enjoys socially engaging with people and real friends through conversation and the occasional letter. I’m not afraid to admit I even have notelets.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a total digital dodger and yes I do have a Facebook page. I fit into the thirty-something category of men who enjoy the occasional COD Deathmatch with 10 year old American kids and has more DVDs and Blu-Rays than is both necessary or sanitary. No surprise then that I have a passion for film. In fact most of my online social activity is spent on movie blog pages such as theonering.net and Harry Knowles’ brilliant aintitcoolnews.com. I find this more engaging than throwing cyber sheep, virtually ‘poking’ someone or reading some twit’s tweet... but here I am, so now who’s the twit?

It is because of my fascination with all things cinematic that I was asked to write a piece about the film Social Network…which is brilliant by the way!

 Balancing a thin line between drama and comedy Social Network sees a solid return to form from director David Fincher after his visually stunning but somewhat flakey Benjamin Button. In it we follow the questionable inception and creation of Facebook. It’s ensemble cast includes Jesse Eisenburg (Adventureland and Zombieland) Andrew Garfield (brilliant Brit thesp who’s just signed to play the new Spiderman), Justin Timberlake (Black Snake Moan and apparently quite an accomplished singer. Who knew?!), Rooney Mara (soon to play Lisbeth Salander in Fincher's adaptation of the The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo Millennium Trilogy) and Armie Hammer, a revelation as both of the Winklevoss twins with the help of some astonishing digital trickery from Lola VFX (the technical wizards behind Brad Pitt's incredible transformation from 90 to 9 in Benjamin Button).

Based on Ben Mezrich’s non-fiction book ‘The Accidental Billionaires’ and adapted into a screenplay by Aaron Sorkin (Charlie Wilson's War and A Few Good Men) it is worth noting that no Facebook employees, including founder Mark Zuckerberg, were involved in the project.

Sorkin's script never misses a beat and is both engaging and informative from the off; like a Shakespearean Greek tragedy (or should that be Geek tragedy), this is history being retold for our entertainment. In this retelling the geeks are filled with elegant prose and sardonic wit. A far cry from the clicks and whistles I’m used to deciphering from the geek community.

In 2003 Harvard Undergrad and computer programming genius Mark Zuckerberg got dumped by his girlfriend, but rather than drink himself into a stupor he sat down at his computer and began working on his revenge masterpiece Facemash - a simple concept in which fellow female students were rated against each other. The site became an overnight viral success with 22,000 views in less than four hours that crashed the Harvard servers. This popularity inspired Zuckerberg to create a unique social networking experience and in a fury of blogging and programming, what begins in his dorm room soon becomes a global social network and a revolution in communication. Six years and 500 million friends later, 26 year old Mark Zuckerberg is the youngest billionaire in history. But at what cost? His success leads to both personal and legal complications. As the film's tagline suggests, “You don’t make 500 millions friends without making a few enemies”.

Social Network explores the moment at which Facebook (originally Facemash and then TheFacebook before finally dropping the ‘the’) was conceived through the warring perspectives of the super-smart students who each claimed to be there at its inception. The film moves from the halls of Harvard to the cubicles of Palo Alto to capture the fledgling days of this culture-changing phenomenon, and the way in which it both pulled a group of young revolutionaries together and then split them apart.

In the midst of this chaos is Mark Zuckerberg, the brilliant Harvard student who conceived the website. Zuckerberg's spite and inability to socially interact (clearly a sign of Asperger’s syndrome but which is never fully explored) fuels his dogmatic determination to prove himself academically superior and for no other reason than because it would be ‘cool’. He never intended for his creation to make him a multi billionaire, only seeking the recognition not the wealth.

Then there are the Machiavellian Winklevoss twins Cameron and Tyler, identical twins and Harvard classmates who asserted that Zuckerberg stole their idea and then sued him for ownership of it. Initially briefing Zuckerberg with helping them programme their Harvard Connection website and inadvertently giving Zuckerberg the lightening bolt he needed for his creation. Zuckerberg never did complete their Harvard Connection website nor did he use any of the code they gave him. For the Winklevoss twins this was about power through popularity; how a social networking website could bolster their reputation, climb Harvard's elitist social hierarchy and move them out of the shadow created by their father. Zuckerberg now had that power but had no way of harnessing it.

Add Justin Timberlake's brilliant turn as the Napster creator Sean Parker who brought Facebook to Silicon Valley’s venture capitalists. Sean is a man driven by the financial rewards genius can generate, In one scene telling Zuckerberg of Roy Raymond, the man who in 1977 created Victoria’s Secret and sold the company five years later for $4 million. By the early 1990s the company had become Americas most successful lingerie retailer topping over $1 billion in revenue. In 1993 Roy Raymond committed suicide jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge.

Finally there is the fresh faced Eduardo Saverin, Zuckerberg's once close friend and Harvard roomy who stumped up the $1000 cash Zuckerberg required to start his venture - as Facebook grows he becomes further ostracised from the business. His character is by far the one you most sympathise with but is ultimately the less interesting.

Each has his own narrative, his own version of the Facebook story in this multi-level portrait of 21st Century success - both the youthful fantasy of it and its finite realities as well.

You never really do get to bottom of the truth but in Fincher's and Sorkin's tale of geek mythology it never really matters. As the credits roll the Beatles track ‘Baby your a rich man’ asks the question “How does it feel to be one of the beautiful people?” - a question Zuckerberg could never truly answer and why would he, he’s from the logged in, left out generation that knows little of beauty and even less so of feeling.

In an industry where ideas are the heart of the business, what price do you put on a truly original idea? And is there really such a thing as an original idea?

The television, arguably one the 20th Centuries greatest technical achievements has changed the world forever in terms of the communication of thoughts and ideas to the masses. Though many consider the idea of the modern television to be the brainchild of John Logie Baird, it was actually down to the scientific breakthroughs of several luminary individuals. The beginnings of mechanical television can be traced back to the discovery of the photoconductivity of the element selenium by Willoughby Smith in 1873, the invention of a scanning disk by Paul Gottlieb Nipkov in 1884 and finally John Logie Baird’s demonstration of televised moving images in 1926.

What John Logie Baird was able to do was to bring that communication experience into the homes of the masses. Now a century later Zuckerberg has been able to bring his own communication experience into the dorms of every university in the western hemisphere and 500 million users globally. According to insidefacebook.com “If Facebook were a country, it would now be the 6th most populous in the world.”

Which I guess is kinda ‘cool’.



Posted by David Birch

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Friendly Fire

After trying for almost 2 years to get the business to take the process seriously, and following the installation of a state-of-the-art Fire Alarm system, today Idealogy broke their record for completing a Fire Drill. Everyone was safely recorded at the Muster Point in 1minute 13 seconds. Which is great, and well done to Karine for managing the whole event.

The really good news is that we beat our previous record by almost 2 hours. On that occasion several people didn’t show at the meeting point and several more slept through the alarm – which is why we had to replace the old Cow Bell; it wasn’t really working!

The Health & Safety Executive will be impressed and so will Hampshire Fire Brigade – at least we hope they will when we learn how to switch it off!

Earphones anyone?

Posted by Simon Dover

Monday, 15 November 2010

New content and new sets on Flickr

You'll be seeing not just new content but new client sets if you go and have a look at our flickr stream this month - Diguru, GO, and New Forest Hotels have all been added so there's work as diverse as van liveries, security passes and website re-skins…oh and all the usual suspects like emailers, press advertising and direct marketing of course…
Posted by Paul Skinner

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Apple App Store

Apple now has strict new guidelines for developers to get software onto their forthcoming store: “No betas or demos and no upgrade pricing” - interesting moves (no beta, demo, trial or test versions allowed!!), but that should be a good thing for the consumer as only quality, tested, proven apps will make it onto the store.

On the positive side, there will be Apple’s rigorous (some would say extreme) testing process, which means only quality makes it online (quality meaning ‘working well’ rather than quality content) and that has to be a good thing. It also means that developers and clients need to focus on what they produce and why – and that’s also got to be good news for us all as consumers.

On the negative side, they are talking about being stricter on the UI (user interface) and anything that is complex or deemed to be ‘not good’ will be removed or not allowed. This could mean the end of many good apps that have been clever in the way they uses the touch interface, which is a massive shame in our opinion. Also, tight regulations on pricing and upgrades are going to be hard for some developers to work with, adapt and overcome we would suggest.

Apple’s stringent control always means that you can rely on well developed, quality apps that work and won’t cause your iPhone any heartache. Sadly, the same can’t always be said for the content some people produce in apps! The worry is that Apple are taking too much control and opening the door for Google to push past them - quality vs the mass market. We’ll just have to wait and see, but sadly, if the X-Factor is anything to go by, the mass market might win! Then again, Apple is the Porsche of the computer world…
Posted by Simon Johnson

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Taking it to the next level

This month marks the beginning of the conversion of the top floor of Idealogy towers, turning an old unused floor into a more creative, relaxed, interactive and fun area for staff and clients.

This new breakout room gives us a more informal meeting area for clients with media and wifi access, and an escape zone for staff when moments of clarity and creative ideas are proving elusive. The floor will also incorporate a photography and production area when finished.

So phase 1, the clearing of old desks, painting and decorating is now almost complete - amazing what a few staff can do when given some paint brushes and cans of cold beer.

Phase 1 images:-http://yfrog.com/ghzncj & http://yfrog.com/6ty3aj

Posted by Steve Barnes 

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

New animation tool not just a Flash in the pan

Idealogy heard yesterday that there looks finally to be a good product for rich, timeline-based animation that will do "Flash…but without the Flash!'.

A lot of people probably wouldn't see the need for such a tool - Adobe's stats are impressive, as is a lot of Flash content on the internet…but probably not if you're browsing on your phone. A lot of mobile phones still don't fully support Flash, the iPhone for one.

Sencha Animator is still in Beta at the moment, but from the screenshots that we've seen of it, any Flash developer would be very comfortable using it; it's a visual tool, outputting HTML5 and CSS3 in the background.

Chrome, Safari, and mobile WebKit browsers such as Android, Blackberry Torch, Apple iPhone, iPad and iPod touch are all supported so it could be a very interesting piece of software to watch, we'll certainly be looking forward to using it for our clients.

Posted by Paul Skinner