Brilliant Noise

Meanwhile, at Brilliant Noise…



Some posts I’ve put on the Brilliant Noise blog, I should really point to from here too…

Content-led marketing: Notes on the brilliant Jon Munro’s presentation at the Cool Content Cornwall conferences (a little of shiver of delight for admirers of the alliterative arts there). Jon borrowed the Integrated Earned Media model Brilliant Noise uses, made it content-specific and put paid media literally in its place.

More Brilliant Noise people: We’ve been joined in the past month or so by Uswitch content suupremo, Lauren Pope, music marketing maven Todd Jordan and iCrossing’s former Client Services Director, Richard Ablett – a good friend and former colleague who I’ve worked with on fun clients like Coca-Cola before.

There is a formidable team growing at the Brilliant Noise HQ, I’m telling you. Next week we’re being joined by genius-about-town Ross Breadmore. Looking forward to that a lot. But more on that in another blog post soon…

By the way, the image above is a brass name plate that our perfectionist printer pals at Generation Press made for us… highly recommend checking out GP’s work for the V&A, Rapha and others…


Brilliant Noise Public notebook

First impressions of the Nokia Lumia 920

Lumia copying

Last week I got a brand new Nokia Lumia 920 and I thought I would share the experience so far here.

For the sake of context and transparency and context, my company, Brilliant Noise, is working with Nokia on marketing around the Lumia and business. That said, this is my personal blog and these are my own impressions.

This is not, then, a completely unbiased review (there’s some links to some more impartial reviews at the end of this post). That said, if I really didn’t like it what I would do is stay quiet – as I want to share my experiences, it’s fair to say I am pretty positive.

These devices called smartphones are now so much a part of how we live that a review of the hardware alone (there’s a very good one on The Verge) just aren’t enough to understand what they are like. You need to live with the devices.

Working with Nokia on some projects connected to the Lumia, I definitely needed to not just play with a device, but commit to using it all of the time. For everything. 

Brilliant Noise

Forrester on paid content

A new Forrester report says that people paying for ad-free content is undermining the efficacy of advertising still further. 

I’ve blogged about it on the Brilliant Noise blog

There are no shortage of opportunities to buy media space – the real estate, as it were is increasing – it is just that the attention you will find there is dwindling -as in, there’s less people looking at it – and shallow people avoid the ads (skipping, blocking) or shift their focus three quarters have another screen right in front of them while they are watching TV, for instance.

The conclusion? Brands need to invest in their ability to create, curate and distribute content, or “content capabilities” as Forrester puts it.  

Brilliant Noise

Recent Brilliant Things


Image: A brilliant headline you may have missed… 

Remiss of me, I know, but I’ve been posting at Brilliant Noise without linking here. 

So, here are three things I just have to post here too: 

Brilliant Noise

Six brilliant things social businesses and brands do


Image: an excerpt from Strories, Numbers & Conversations. 

So, this week my company, Brilliant Noise, published its first paper: Stories, Numbers & Conversations: Nokia’s principles for social media.

It may sound strange to say about a strategy paper, but it was a labour of love, and Endless Studios did a great job on making it look beautiful too.

During our work with Nokia, we had the opportunity to revisit some of our favourite case studies of businesses that were using social media, as well as taking a look at some new ones.

Brilliant Noise

Brilliant Noise post: Audience development

As I’m sometimes blogging over at Brilliant Noise sometimes, I’ll be posting excerpts and links to the posts here. Apologies for any extra clicking, but Google hates it when you post in two places at once…


Audience development: valuable lessons for brands

This post is a reflection on two articles I suggest reading together – one a model for audience development, the other evidence of an innovative media owner putting this approach into practice.

The first, is a post by Ben Elowitz, CEO of a company called Wetpaint, which calls on brand and media owners to Forget About ‘Content Management’ – And Focus on ‘Audience Development’.


Read more at:

Brilliant Noise

A couple of Brilliant (Noise) posts…

Blogging seems to be the order of the day for me at the moment – which, as ever, I’m delighted about – and some of the action is happening over at Brilliant Noise blog.

If you’re not following that feed, you may be interested in these two posts from this week – I enjoyed writing them both…

  • IBM on the Social CEO: A fillet of the IBM Global CEO Study published this week, with a side order of commentary…
  • Advanced Persistent Opportunities: The slides and the gist of a talk I gave in Dublin recently. In a bit of cyber-security terminology I find parallels with how brands should developing systems and ways of working in digital…

: : In other blog/work flow related news, I’m playing with Tumblr for a personal scrapbook. Posterous seems set for decline after the acqui-hire (bought for the people more than the tech) by Twitter. I’ll post a link if it looks like its going to stick…

: : Also, taking a cue from Alan Patrick’s comments about personal data-hungry Google and Facebook, I’ve ditched Chrome as my browser and run back to my old love, Firefox. Loving how much you can customise it – Diigo, especially, seems to have a good Add-On, which suits me very well, that service being so key to may day-to-day reading and knowledge-processing since Delicious faded…

Brilliant Noise

The all-new Brilliant Noise

It was a big week for me, with my business Brilliant Noise entering a new and very different phase.

Brilliant Noise

Brilliant Noise brand work, by Endless

Over the summer the amazing design team at Endless have been working on developing a new brand look and feel for Brilliant Noise.

Over the past year, I’ve muddled by with just a wonderful font, but with things beginning to grow at Brilliant Noise, I thought it was time to get a proper brand in place.

Colin and Ben left the main logotype much as it was, apart from doing some designer-ly tidying and cleaning up. They then developed a series of abstract-like shapes from the gaps between the letters of the name. Like this…


Brilliant Noise

What am I up to?


You’re overdue an explanation, so here it is…

These are interesting times – in a good sense – for me, as I close the chapter where I was employed at iCrossing, and indeed the the section of the book – to extend the metaphor – where I have been employed by others.

That’s right I have struck out on my own. Thankfully, I have still got a good relationship with my former employer, so much so in fact that they remain a client of my new venture, which means I still get to work with my colleagues there. Brilliant.

It was hard to leave, as I think the company’s just entering a fascinating phase – becoming part of a major publisher is amazing, an apt illustration of the disruption and mixing up of the marketing industries that I wrote about for iCrossing in the Brands in Networks e-book.

However, there comes a time in your career when it feels like now or never for going on the adventure of starting your own company, and that time, for me, is now.

My new company – Brilliant Noise – is in its very early stages, so forgive the bare bones website and web presence for now.

I’m founding it based on two lessons I learned during the past half-decade at iCrossing:

1. I love starting things…

I read Guy Kawasaki’s The Art of the Start before the iCrossing adventure began, and it served me well. Even though I was within a growing company – at the time, Spannerworks, which was soon acquired by iCrossing – starting the Content & Social Media team, felt like a start up. It was utterly new for me, the company and at the time, the market.

Actually back then – when we had to write What is Social Media? to explain what this new thing was,, we weren’t at all sure that “social media” was a term that would stick at all. But it did, and now it is just as popular, mis-used and simultaneously understood and misunderstood as “public relations” the discipline from which I had come.

Anyway, there was a thrill in having that blank sheet of paper, and the sure knowledge that although no one around me knew exactly what it was going to be, I had to do something pretty quickly to earn my keep. In starting afresh, I have that feeling once again – and I love it.

2. The most effective way to do it is to do it…*

Brilliant Noise is going to be a consultancy, but also a do-tank – it’s an idea I’d been mulling for a while. Not unique – others use the phrase in a variety of ways – but definitely different. I could have thought about Brilliant Noise as a kind of analyst house or think tank – but what the iCrossing experience taught me was that to create new things – even conceptual things like frameworks, models, strategies – you have to be in the game, getting your hands dirty, trying stuff out.

I’m thinking of Brilliant Noise then, as an exploration vehicle, a way of doing valuable work for sure, but wherever possible in areas of media and business that are uncertain, unchartered. Projects underway at the moment range from the expected – marketing strategy, training, etc. – to the fiendishly unexpected (I cant’ say otherwise you will be expecting it).

As well as client work, one of my first projects is to write my second book. This will look at applying the web and social networks in the workplace, where Me and My Web Shadow was mainly about our personal lives.

Anyway, that is where I’m at what I’m up to. 2011 begins with excitement and trepidation in equal measures, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

If you think there might be scope for us to work together get in touch and I’ll give you specifics of the kinds of services I’m offering. (Available, I’m also for weddings and barmitzvahs, insomuch as those occasions might require digital strategy and innovation expertise….)

* It’s one of my favourite quotes – from Amelia Earhart.