That time I rewrote a Thameslink message screen

I’m on a Thameslink train into London, compulsively watching my carriage’s little message screen. It’s giving me some pretty useful information – but their brand language is a little clunky. That’s frustrating, because with a few simple tweaks their writing could be much warmer, friendlier and more impactful. So, as a great believer in puttingContinue reading “That time I rewrote a Thameslink message screen”

Information wants to be far more than free

So that ‘Information wants to be free’ slogan has always annoyed me a little. Partially that’s because of what it’s led to – a world in which services support ‘free’ by turning their users into the product. More importantly, it gets to me because it’s actually only one part of a much more inspiring statementContinue reading “Information wants to be far more than free”

How to practice being surprised

I’m part Brand Strategist, part Science Fiction author. Sometimes they’re very different worlds, but sometimes I learn something in one part of my life that’s very useful in the other. And the other day thinking about science fiction helped me realise something very important about prediction, and then about brands. Tomorrow’s not what it usedContinue reading “How to practice being surprised”

Writing speech for brands

It struck me just now that the best way of writing for brands is to see your words as speech, not prose. That came out of thinking about the difference between writing for brands and writing fiction. I’ve always separated them by saying that, when I write for a brand, I’m trying to sound likeContinue reading “Writing speech for brands”

Dynamic geographies in action

Reading this fascinating blog post about the 2010 web from Robert Scoble has made me think about online developments, and in particular about how they’re helping make the web’s central revolutionary feature – its replacement of a physical geography with a geography of interest – even more dynamic. Before getting to that, though, it’s worthContinue reading “Dynamic geographies in action”