Category Archives: Digital Solutions

App Love: A Local’s Guide


A Local’s Guide is a stroke of design genius from Map Magazine

I’m a huge fan of the magazine from the content to their design and this local’s guide to Brisbane in app form is no exception.

Map describe the app as hundreds of random curated suggestions by locals for the best experiences in Brisbane.

You can search Brisbane’s best breakfasts, lunches, dinners, gigs and shopping destinations. What could be better than the best of our city at your fingertips.

I suggest you download this gem from the AppStore pronto. Chop Chop!

You can also search the guide online or add your own suggestion!

Yours in app love,


Get Organised Online… Evernote

Do you have a scrap book filled with clippings, loose pieces of paper and not really have any idea of where anything is? Or know that you kept ‘that’ clipping for some reason but have no idea where you put it, but it’s in a ‘safe place’.

You’re not alone!

But I recently started using on online system called Evernote. It has an iPad & iPhone app as well so you can take and make notes wherever you are.

So what can it do? On the front page of the Evernote website it describes what it can do as:

1. Capture Everything: Save your ideas, things you like, things you hear, and things you see.
2. Access Anywhere: Evernote works with nearly every computer, phone and mobile device out there.
3. Find Things Fast: Search by keyword, tag or even printed and handwritten text inside images.

Out of those three things, the one that appeals to me most is the third—Find things fast! Evernote allows you to ‘tag’ your notes so you can not only categorise all of your items but you can do keyword searches on everything.

I love that you can add in things like, audio notes, website links, photos, videos, files (in the premium version!) and text notes.

And it’s not only for your personal items, it can be a great tool for business too. I would use it when doing a research for strategies and keep a library of ‘tagged’ items that I can refer to at a later stage. The possibilities are very broad, think a bit laterally and maybe use it to store recipes, website bookmarks, Christmas present ideas and on!

All of the basic functions are available in the free sign-up version. Why not give it a go? Let us know if you have any other useful utilities you use to help organise your life.


Yours in online apps,


Take your advertising to your customers


Creative thinking needs to be the driving force behind advertising in today’s market. I believe there is a growing trend especially with online advertising to go to where your customers are and engage with them there,  instead of trying to bring your customers to you.

This is a compelling campaign that was run by Tesco in South Korea. It is a fantastic example of where I see innovative thinking taking place to engage with people using communication based technology.  Using images of grocery shelves complete with price and QR Code, shoppers can purchase groceries on their way home from the train station that is then delivered to their door.  I love it.

Yours in innovative thinking,


The Future according to Mike Walsh

Mike Walsh, author of ‘Futuretainment’, presented at a recent AIMIA Brisbane event: “Yesterday the world changed. Now it is your turn” which I attended. For the one-hour session I felt Mike covered a lot of ground, but not once did I feel “overwhelmed” by the information being given to us.

Working in an industry focused on “The Internet” I often find myself disillusioned with the internet and we share a love / hate relationship. When Mike said that we get lost in the “stuff”, the day-to-day routines of our internet patterns and forget the magic of it all I knew what he meant. We do forget the magic of the internet. We focus too greatly on the devices or platforms and forget just what the internet and technology in general can provide us.

I’ve been reading a lot about design thinking and service design lately and Mike’s presentation only further served this area of obsession for me. The most prominent lessons from his talk being:

  • Content is the most important thing. Brands must begin to thinking like media companies – publishers of their own content.
  • Data will very shortly be the most valuable asset a company owns.
  • Your digital behaviour is and will increasingly be an indicator of your likelihood to behave in a certain manner. For example, bank loans in the future will not only take into account your credit history but also things such as Klout rankings.
  • Our jobs as digital marketers is to understand the structure of connected audiences.
  • Gamification is the behavioural logic of how people expect to interact with the world.

Here is a selection of video’s from talks Mike has given.

Yours in futuretainment,


The Future without Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs was an amazing ‘creator‘, he consistently managed to innovate and I believe he has changed the way we consume music, has changed our expectations around how computers and mobile phones should operate and has given us products that we didn’t even know we needed (iPad).

Can we imagine a future without the input of Steve Jobs?  Who will take the innovation lead within Apple?  What legacy has Steve left?

I read a book about Walt Disney a few years ago, he is another  famous ‘creator’, who has left an amazing legacy. Incredibly, before Walt died he left a series of video recordings for the board to watch each year, featuring Walt explaining where the company should be by now. Talk about leading from beyond the grave!

I know time will show us just what legacy Steve has left us, but if an article that I read yesterday is anything to go by, we are already starting to understand the genius of the man behind Apple.

According to TechCrunch, Steve Jobs had told a “veteran Silicon Valley CEO, that Apple has 1,000 engineers working to refine its processors.  The thinking being if they can develop smaller processors with longer battery life, they will only be limited by their imagination on where they can put that technology.

This direction links back to the video in the Gamification post that I made a few months ago about the possibility of computers that are so small and so disposable that they could even be inside our Coke cans interacting with us through games or asking us to buy more product for a discount.

I feel confident that Steve more instore for us.

Looking forward to sharing in Steve’s legacy,


Gruen Planet’s first episode airs tonight


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The Gruen Transfer is my favourite show. Hands down. It’s required reading (or watching) for those in our industry and gives the rest of the world an insight into what we advertisers do each day.

So naturally I’m busting with excitement for Gruen Planet which airs tonight on ABC1 at 9pm.

Over an eight-week season Gruen Planet will delve into the world of public relations – the world of ‘spin’ with Gruen Transfer host Wil Anderson and panelists Russel Howcroft and Todd Sampson.

“Persuasion is persuasion,” says Sampson, pointing out that the techniques used in PR and damage control are not dissimilar to those used to persuade consumers to buy a product.

Topics will include a proposal to run an ad during grand final week asserting that footballers should not be role models, the rebranding of Rupert Murdoch and a pitch to persuade Australians they hate the Melbourne Cup.

Tonight’s episode will focus on the political survival of prime minister Julie Gillard, described as ‘The only leader on Earth more besieged than Gaddafi’. The show will look at how she should be repositioned as a political brand but will also cover SABMiller’s acquisition of Fosters to tackle the question: How do you sell Aussie beers that are no longer Aussie? And do brands really need to worry about patriotism?

The last part of the show will ask contestants to come up with a campaign to convince Australians that they should stop expecting our footballers to be role models in the run up to grand final week for the NRL and AFL.

And for those of you miss tonight’s episode: a repeat of the show will air on Thursday at 9.30pm on ABC2 or you can catch-up with iView.

Will you be watching?

Yours in spin,


SmartClinics opens at Westfield Chermside on September 19

I’m impatient, work long hours and not loyal to any particular doctor – I guess I’m fitting right into the Gen-Y stereotype! But seriously, when I need a basic prescription or need some basic medical care I just want to pop in and out of the doctor’s as quickly as possible – and I’d think many working Australians would be much the same (gee, that was a bit ALP wasn’t it…”working Australians”).

This is why I’m excited about SmartClinics – the new medical clinic run by Nurse Practitioners, opening at Westfield Chermside on September 19. Now full disclosure, SmartClinics is a client of ours and we’ve been busily working on their design and advertising in preparation for the launch, but really I can’t wait until it’s open.

I think SmartClinics is going to be a really great service for those of us who are fed up with trying to sneak out during lunch and then suffer the long wait in reception before our 10 minute appointment (although I love the trashy mags, do we really need to spend 45 minutes in the waiting room?). SmartClinics will open from 7am-9pm, 7 days a week – thank you weekend and night trading! Plus the appointments are quick and cheap – only $28 for a basic consultation. Now they just need to come to the south side of Brisbane!

Clinics like this have been operating in the US and UK for quite some time now so I’m not sure what all the fuss is about but obviously some GPs think SmartClinics is a teeny bit controversial…check out this piece on Channel 10

Check them out at

Yours in innovative health care,

Steve Jobs – Resigns In Peace

Well a new day of international mourning was created this week with the announcement that Steve Jobs has resigned as Apple CEO.

To the Apple Board of Directors and the Apple Community:
I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.
I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee.
As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple.
I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role.
I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you.


It really was only a matter of time. It has been well reported that Jobs has had health problems mainly in the form of pancreatic cancer, a survivor nonetheless and also a liver transplant. The early signs of Steve not being able to do his role as CEO of Apple were seen when he was unable to commit to one of his eagerly anticipated keynote speeches at a WWDC (Apple Word Wide Developers Conference), but he has always been open about his health.

It should be said though that Steve is not dead, nor has he left Apple at all. Jobs has nobly put the interests of Apple ahead of himself and it has been confirmed that, as he requested, Jobs will continue as Chairman of the Board and will remain with the company in that capacity. To take his place as CEO, Jobs personally recommended Apple COO Tim Cook. Cook has been ‘filling’ in for Steve when on medical leave and the recommendation comes as no surprise.

In 1976 Steve Jobs (21), and Steve Wozniak (26), founded Apple Computer Co. Their first personal computer released was sold for $666.66.

Some time after Apple became a listed company tensions between Jobs and the Apple board (in particular John Scully, who came from Pepsi to head Marketing) led to Jobs resigning from Apple, for the fist time! This turned out to be one of the best things that, in my opinion, ever did.

After that resignation, Steve went on to found two other well known companies neXT and PIXAR. The neXT computer was used to develop the original Word Wide Web system by Tim Berners-Lee. Unfortunately neXT was wiped off the market, but the new venture PIXAR was to become another hugely successful company. You would now PIXAR as the animators of movies such as Toy Story, A Bugs Life, and of course Finding Nemo.

Are you starting to see the incredible vision of this man?!

Jobs returned to Apple after the failure of neXT. The rest is history! All I need to say is two words, iPod and iTunes! But that’s just the start of Steves vision for Apple. Now we have the iPhone, iPad and the fastest computer operating system around, OS X.

I could go on and on about the success and credibility of this man, but I won’t put you through that! You can read more here!

I will leave you with some lesser known facts about Apple and Steve Jobs though:

• Microsoft Office was first made for an Apple Computer
• Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are friends
• There is a third Apple co-founder, Ronald Wayne who relinquished his stocks in Apple for $800!!!
• Wayne created the first Apple Computer logo

And finally for a bit of fun, if you haven’t seen the Mac vs PC TV ads you’re in for a treat! I found on YouTube the whole collection in one clip (below). Enjoy!



Social Media for Good & Evil

It was the widespread availability of social media – namely Facebook & Twitter – which enabled the coordination of the recent London riots. It was also the Blackberry which made it difficult for Police to uncover the crimes as the Blackberry’s instant messaging is not easily encrypted. The majority of British youth prefer the Blackberry as a smartphone because it’s cheaper and offers free private internet/3G communications.

Now in the wake of the riots in London and several other English cities, British Prime Minister David Cameron, has asked for a review of this “free flow of information” in order to avoid the abuse of social media for evil. A meeting with the British Government and representatives of Facebook & Twitter is planned to be held over the coming weeks.

Of course most of us are advocates for free speech so may be dubious about social media being censored, but it’s also human nature to care for our safety and security, so I welcome the review.

On the flip side, social media also made it possible to coordinate a cleaning army to hit the streets in full force. The larger community gathered with a positive spirit to clean up the mess left behind after the 4 nights of rioting. Good wins over Evil!!!!

Your in Social Media,
Amber van Sloten

Rebecca MacKinnon – Let’s Take back the Internet

In this powerful talk from TEDGlobal, Rebecca MacKinnon describes the expanding struggle for freedom and control in cyberspace, and asks: How do we design the next phase of the Internet with accountability and freedom at its core, rather than control? She believes the internet is headed for a “Magna Carta” moment when citizens around the world demand that their governments protect free speech and their right to connection.

Rebecca MacKinnon looks at issues of censorship, privacy, free expression and governance (or lack of) in the digital networks, platforms and services on which we are all increasingly dependent.

Yours in the Internet
Angie Rapisarda