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Brand content as culture

The North Face Ultra Trail Mont Blanc race is taking place today. The runners will cover over a 100km on some unseasonably wintry mountains in the next few hours.

There’s a double interest here for me. I love running, and seem to love running ever increasing distances. So ultra-marathons have a fascination for me, even if I may never get to run one.

There’s also a professional interest here of course – The North Face’s sponsorship of the event and some of the elite competitors and the content marketing that comes out of it shows us how this sort of thing can be done well. 

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Can’t wait to get to the office

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Image: M’learned colleague, Dr Ryan is responsible for his energy

Partly because I’ve finally got around to reading Tony Hsieh of Zappos’ Delivering Happiness*, I’ve been thinking a lot about culture at the moment.

The other big reason for thinking about culture is, of course, that the start-up I’m a co-founder of, Brilliant Noise, is growing and soon its culture will begin to evolve, or emerge, if you will.

You can’t design a culture – that would be weird. You have to cultivate it, I realise. Like lots of activities where emergence is important, you end up drawing on analogies about gardening.

We’re clear about the values that are important to us, we’re clear about the shape and texture of the culture that will emerge. The effort goes into making sure the conditions are right, the seeds are planted, the… well, you get the horticultural gist of it. 

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Smartphones become pocket labs

 

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That universal device that is the smartphone continues to surprise us with new ways its sensors, processing power and connectedness can be deployed.

A new accessory for the data hungry, (paranoid) health conscious consumer is the Lapka, which Springwise calls:

an aesthetically pleasing and scientifically accurate personal environment monitor, consisting of white plastic sensors and an app that presents the data in a visual and easy-to-understand way.

The Lapka device and accompanying app will variously fill you in on:

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Where will we the web be in four years

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On the day Barack Obama was elected in the 2008, 1.8 million Tweets were posted. In 2012 that many Tweets were posted in the last 8 minutes or so [source].

The change is still unfolding, the revolution continues. We haven’t arrived yet. 

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The future will be stranger than you think…

Looking back at predictions that seem to have been far of the mark is diverting entertainment.

Take these French visualisations of what like would be like in the 21st century

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Heath-Robinson flying machines… Sky cops! Crazy! how wrong they were…

Oh wait – here’s the world’s first electric-powered multi-copter flight in Germany…

So ten years from now we’ll be hovering to work surrounded by a small cloud of drones recording the experiencing it, Tweeting it and jamming the electronic recording and snooping devices of others… or something.

Alan Patrick has some more serious observations about the “internet of flying things” etc. over on his blog.