Russell Davies: Best to get tinkering if you don't want to look old-fashioned
By Russell Davies, campaignlive.co.uk, Thursday, 08 September 2011 08:00AM
I got chased by a Dalek at the weekend. And designed a chair ready to be printed off. And I made a pond and a fountain play nice tunes by waving my hand around in the water.
It wasn't some sort of dull hallucination - I was at Maker Faire in Brighton, a gathering of makers, crafters, tinkerers and hackers. It's an event dedicated to the idea that technology isn't just to be consumed, it's to be taken apart, examined, rebuilt, repaired, improved and generally messed around with.
This kind of tinkering has obviously been going on since the invention of the lever but it's gained some momentum in the electronic technology realm recently because of things such as Make: magazine, the aforementioned Maker Faire and the flourishing Hackspace scenes around the world. (Hackspaces are places you might think of as gyms for hardware hacking. There's kit, expertise and like-minded people ready to help you with your latest tinkering scheme.)
So why should you care about this? Because the next phase of technological development is going to be at the intersection of digital and analogue, of virtual and physical. The web seam isn't exhausted but it has been staked out and tapped, and its exploitation from now on is going to be wholly predictable. The types of maverick, eccentric visionaries that kicked off the web and social media are casting about for new places to play and are increasingly interested in injecting the web into the real world rather than into screens and devices.
The interesting ideas won't come from the grinding advance of corporate R&D, they'll come bubbling up from the hackers and the tinkerers, emerging from real people's needs and imagination. We need to care because I suspect it will create a whole new set of relationships and attitudes to the products and objects we sell to people. What is this thing made of? Can I repair it? Can I use it for something else? Is it easily opened and tinkered with or is it a sealed unit and looking inside voids the guarantee?
Even if that doesn't happen, you can already see a bunch of agency and design businesses starting to develop expertise in this physical hardware creation - understanding short-run prototyping and manufacturing, physical logistics and real-world quality assurance, starting to intuit the affordances of actual knobs and buttons. Of course, the risk for some agencies may be that they slip back again in their technological capabilities. If you only understand the web and mobile, will you soon look as old-fashioned as those businesses that only understand TV? The way out of this trap is obvious and, fortunately, rather fun: embrace the Maker culture and start messing around with solder and Arduinos. And I'll see you in Brighton next year.
This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk
- Russell Davies: Technophobia is at best embarrassing, at worst dangerous
- Russell Davis: Big Data is about to change the way we measure the world
- Russell Davies: In these changing times, everything appears the same
- Russell Davies: Blogs still have the power to challenge and shape opinion
- Russell Davies: Data's crucial. But can we entertain the masses with it?
- Stephen Farquhar: Brands discovering the real beauty of tailored advertising
- David Wilding: Algorithms do not always provide an engaging solution
- The IPA app shows planners that we are what we share
- Russell Davies: Apple's ability to invent makes it the envy of the C-suite
- Managing Director - Equity potential DU Group £120,000 - £150,000, South Oxfordshire
- Ecommerce Marketing Manager Michael Page Digital GBP35000 - GBP50000 per annum, Guildford
- Senior Digital Executive London Michael Page Digital GBP30000 - GBP35000 per annum, London
- Online Marketing Assistant Michael Page Digital GBP9 per hour, Hemel Hempstead
- Marketing Executive Michael Page Digital GBP24000 - GBP26000 per annum, Reading
- Blippar connects disjointed families, says MEC executive
- Fans take on Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Twitter-powered tennis game
- Campaign Viral Chart: Samsung scores hat-trick in tech-heavy chart
- Jaguar readies global campaign for F-Type launch
- ITV and Channel 4 insist they will beat declining ad market
- EE adds Dare to agency roster to develop digital
A demographic portrait of Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook users
A useful study here from the ‘Pew Research Center’ taking a look at the demographic make-up of US social media users across Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook. No data on LinkedIn of Google+, but great stats all the same.