The LIFT experience

Last week I went to LIFT08 in Geneva, and although it is a conference, I think you’d better describe it as an experience. And an experience I was really much looking forward to, especially after talking to Laurent Haug and Cristiana Bolli Freitas, the creative brains and organizers of LIFT a few months earlier.

Lift08

Part of what makes it a really interesting experience, is all the interaction and community involvement both before and at the conference. You have workshops & open stages that be suggested and voted on. There was a Live Magazine (“Not so empty book”), the Fontself,  the creating of the LIFT song, etc etc. All very unique and interactive.

It started on Wednesday with some workshops, one during the morning and one during the afternoon:

  • Fearless City: Re-routing the digital divide with mobile: I got in a bit late as I only flew in that morning, but that didn’t make it less interesting. The presenter (Irwin Oostindie) and I had a few chats later on about The Fearless City project is about digital inclusion, but looking at this issue from a technology, culture, art and community combined view. I found it quite interesting and hope I can help Irwin out with it somehow.
  • Teenagers/Generation Y and technology: The second workshop related a lot more to my day job as MSN (referring to Live Messenger) is a huge part of this. The workshop ended up in being a lengthy but interesting discussion between a few teenagers and ‘the audience’. Although the teenagers present weren’t your typical average teenagers, some learnings were still quite surprising and would most probably have applied to the average teenager anyway. I’m planning on posting a bit more in depth about this on the Live In Europe blog

Thursday and Friday were the main conference days, and while I found only few presentations on Thursday to be really good, the ones on Friday made up for that. This is a list of what I liked (links to video here):

  • Rafi Haladjian on the Nabaztag, watch out for Ztamps – RFID for the masses
  • Kevin Warwick on his life-project as a ‘cyborg’
  • Robin Hunicke (EA) on trends in designing games
  • Guy Vardi (Oberon Media) on casual gaming
  • Paul Barnett (EA Mythic) on the evolution of multiplaying games
  • Kevin Marks (Google) on Open Social

And the open stages from:

Next to all of that I obviously enjoyed meeting lots of ‘old’ and new people, seeing some back after quite a while was especially great. And last but not least, the famous Fondue on Thursday night, that was really good as well.

Overall, since it’s not a web only conference, some tech related presentations interested me less than let’s say at LeWeb3 although some did as you can see above. Apart from that the uniqueness, the interaction, the warmth of the event made it a fantastic experience. One I’m putting in my agenda for next year.

Ine, Clo, this is your conference – make sure you mark it in your agenda for ’09.

Advertisement

Marketing accountability

Marketers have an image problem and it’s their (our) own fault. Marketers need to become more accountable for themselves and for the benefit of the business. This words come out of a presentation from Futurelab, but they’re not the only ones to realize that accountability is exactly one of the key issues marketers have to deal with.

“We can’t compete on price. We also can’t compete on quality, features or service. That leaves fraud, which I’d like you to call marketing”
– Dilbert’s boss

A couple of months ago, Gregor Harter, Eward Landry and Andrew Tipping wrote an interesting article on The New Complete Marketer, like they called it. Apart from ‘putting the consumer at the heart of marketing’ or ‘live the new agency paradigm’ (thinking also about my agency2.0 post) they focus on the ‘make marketing accountable’:

“For many enterprises, the development of accountability follows much the same path, as marketers learn to transform raw data into actionable planning. Stage one is evaluating what is being measured and how it is being measured; stage two is condensing scores of diffuse reports and metrics down to a useful few; and stage three is creating targeted analytics and a core report to gauge performance and help determine where best to focus going forward.”

Back on Futurelab Jon Miller talked about the 5 stages of marketing accountability and asks in which stage you are with your organisation. The stages are:

  1. Denial: “Marketing is an art, not a science. It can’t be measured. The results will come, trust me!”
  2. Anger: “You just don’t understand how marketing works. Why is marketing held to a higher standard than everyone else?”
  3. Confusion: “I know I should measure marketing results, but I just don’t know how.”
  4. Self-Promotion: “Hey, come look at all these charts and graphs!”
  5. Accountability: “Revenue starts in marketing.”

ANA think it’s a trend to watch in 2008 though, they think this is the year marketers will get serious about marketing:

“In ANA’s 2007 marketing accountability study, it was startling to find that, despite enormous efforts, 42% of marketers were dissatisfied with ROI measurements and metrics. In about half of the companies, marketing and finance don’t speak with one voice or share common metrics. Enough! Recognizing the critical importance of accountability, companies will appoint a czar — the chief accountability officer — to lead a disciplined, internally consistent approach to marketing measurements, metrics and productivity.”

So the question is, where are you as a marketer? I believe it is indeed something we marketers need be a lot more serious about, for themselves and the business. What’s your take?

 

Halo 3 diorama

Even if you’re not a gamer, you should take a look at this. When I looked at this the first time I was wondering how they (AKQA) did this, and now I found out that it’s actually a real diorama they created for it, it’s even more impressive.

halo3diorama

If you are into gaming then take a look at these HD videos as well.

Quality beer from Belgium

You didn’t expect me not to talk about this one right? Enjoy the ad and given the start of a new weekend, I would say enjoy a Stella as well. Or another one of the gazillion different Belgian beers ;)

stella_belgium

Sadly enough, the world just lost one of the greatest (if not THE greatest) beer expert this week. Read more about Michael Jackson (not that one) at the Beer Hunter or on Wikipedia.

[Ad via I believe in ADV]

When reality looks like a game

This is kind of funny. Most of the time we’ll see references on how realistic games can be. Remember these screenshots of racing cars where it’s very tough to say which is actually in game footage and which isn’t.

In this case, it’s the other way around. Today I noticed this image on a blog called Asfaltkonijn (don’t ask me to translate that). West of Antwerp (linkeroever) there is an abandoned school with a (crashed?) jetfighter on the playground. In itself this is already a pretty weird thing and if you want to see what that looks like, check it out on this map.

Yesterday these guys went to check it out and Tupid made some amazing images in colour and black&white of this jet, and looking at these you can only confirm that it might just have been a scene in some type of shooter game, but I can assure you it’s very real. Really cool pics Tupid, subscribed!

FU-36_CL (0)
(Courtesy of Tupid)

Belgian designer vibes

Pimp your Netvibes! The newest customization features for Netvibes include some new themes as well, one theme being designed by Veerle Pieter, a very cool Belgian designer.

“Named after its author’s name, Veerle Pieters, this theme shows nice rounded modules and elegant new tabs. Veerle did an amazing job by pushing the limits of netvibes skinnability. The result is an exclusive theme showing her talent and style.”

veerlenetvibes.jpg

If you’re in design, there’s big chance you’ve seen some of Veerle’s work already. If that’s not the case, sign up to the feed of her blog as there’s some amazing stuff on there. Let’s hope we can have her to create one of the Live.com collections as well ;)

[Via NoDesktopHero]

The Blue Monster

Last week in Vegas, Steve Clayton was so kind to give me a signed Blue Monster lithograph and called me out to show that to the world. Other lucky ones were Mike Hall and Jeff Sandquist. Yesterday Steve sold another on Ebay for charity at $300, but I’ll hang on to mine. Now just find the right frame for it.

bluemonsterlitho.jpg

Thanks Steve for the lithograph, and thanks Hugh for drawing it in the first place ;) I hope you enjoyed Redmond by the way. And now let’s change the world…