Possibility overload.

Possibility overload.

So technology has never given the average Joe more opportunities, right? We’re living in an unprecedented time of user-driven, user-generated content.

And are you excited about it yet?

Sitting around everyone’s favourite kitchen table this evening, Mark and Sarah’s, we wished good chums Jon and Lyn a heart-felt bon voyage as they continue to pack to leave UK shores for Canadian ones. It’s been years of on/off drama for them, before the visas finally came through last week and they knew their new chapter was finally opening across the Atlantic.

Saying goodbye, I knew none of us felt the full pang of parting, however – because of Facebook. And Skype. And blogs. We’re in eachother’s daily community more than ever, thanks to these people-connecting online apps. It’s revolutionary. And it’s human-minded tech. ..If you can see past the dog-awful, geek-up design of most of them, that is.

It connects folk, that’s my point – bringing the miles together so we can all bore eachother stupid with buh-uh-LUDDY quizzes.

It’s no substitute for having Jon and Lyn just over the road. I might be able to make my avatar take them over a little brick-edged wok of curry in Yoville, but it won’t be the same as dashing through the rain with it to their flat, just outside the studio window.

But the tech still keeps us in eachother’s lives. And this is something I’m very grateful for.

Tech connects us like never before, in fact. So they tell us.

My business knows this well, I should testify. How could Momo:typo have existed in a modest home studio without iStockphoto? Or just e-mail?

But all this burgeoning community media brings with it the pressure to seize emerging opportunities. And I don’t know about you, but I’m as able to seize emerging opportunities for innovative business solutions as I am able to say things like that to clients without wanting to punch myself clean in the face. The truth is, all this gabble about Talk Tech appeals to another very human instinct. The instinct to quickly feel hopelessly left out. And generally inadequate.

Social media is a mad faddy dash to feel involved.

Great. It’s picking football teams all over again.

I’ve often thought that, as much as I like the pleasure of using Macs, for example – stroking them, hugging them, telling them I love them and other perfectly normal, right and proper expressions of gratitude to lovely design – I can’t really get excited about technology for its own sake.

I dig the daydreams of Tomorrow’s World for sure, and I want to live in space in the future – don’t get me wrong.

But please. Don’t drool too much over the tech – drool over what it can help you DO.

The soul-destroyingly dull-sounding EOS 5D Mk II. It has me a little worked up tonight.


Find a picture of one, and you won’t be enlightened. It looks like a camera. Just another pretty boring-looking SLR digital camera. And not a cheap holiday toy – some £2000’s-worth of SLR digital camera. A professional’s plaything.

So why the passing excitement? Because this thing takes HD video. Through those gorgeous Cannon lenses. For less than half the price of a video camera that can use any kind of half-way decent lens.

It makes home videos look like ads.

I won’t bore you with talk of F-stops and depth of field. Partly because photography still feels like a bit of a black art to me – despite years of photography lessons at art school. But I know what I want to achieve – and it’s idley cool, smart-ass, slick-shiny pictures of stuff. And this ruddy Cannon upstart can do it on a whim.

Now, trust me when I pause to say that if there’s one sure-fire way to kill a worthy creative idea, it’s to ignore the delivery. The style. The vital thing you can sense instinctively from about the time you develop language until you draw inevitably nearer to adulthood, at which point it becomes ever fainter and more alien to you – cool. I’m talking about Cool.

On the evening of the premier, there ain’t no use whining about the budget restraints of your film – like some architect, while we all stare at the dogs’ dinner you built and got paid for and that we now all have to live with on our high street. No. It takes a viewer marginally longer – sometimes a LOT longer – to work out that a film or a pop video is actually crap – a badly-directed bad idea – when it’s shot on really expensive gear, than to spot a terrific bit of visual creative hidden in a rubbish bit of production.

Appropriate style gets you through the front door. It’s body language. It’s brand, baby.

And if I’m going to do any dead-groovy pop videos for Momo:tempo – with no hint of irony – …man do I want them to distract you from the basic lack of ideas with some dead cool styling.

But I’m wondering more generally at the moment, can a techy dimwit like me – that is, a moderately capable modern creative, with not enough time or inclination to become a true social media bore – can even someone not grown in a Twitter In-vitro Tank with synthetic parts turn an unknown brand into a well known one? In, say, just one year? Using all the tech that’s out there to create an audience out of thin air? All by themselves?

It will depend, like everything in the end, on your idea. What are you wanting people to buy into? The smartest online strategy in the world won’t disguise a bit of pseudo-eighties synth pop keyboard music that no-one would want to be seen dead listening to. If you see what I mean.

Still, if you can get people to buy into a brand out of pity… it might still have legs, people.

It sort of sounds like a specific challenge. I love the connecting with people bit of tech today. But I think I hate the collective Twitterati. Not the good people individually having fun with something new and significant – but the uber-Twit, the Twitgeist, that barks at us all from the background noise of everything to get on board before train leaves, doofus. Next stop, the future, Twitketeers! Hoowah!

Because the possibilities are endless, I find all these worthy possibilities collectively daunting.

But still. There’s no membership. There’s officially no Ins or Outs to the brave new world of socal media. We are, technically, all invited. So could even a very human-shaped person like me make effective sense of it? Find a real use for it? ..Other than just pleasuring my self-expression all alone in the blogosphere?


…More to the point, can I be ARSED?

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