“Buy Buy Buy” - TwitterThe Story: Twitter officially introduced the ‘buy’ button—a feature that allows users to make purchases within Twitter without leaving the platform.Why It Matters: Given that Twitter is known (and loved) for being purely conversational—and not for shopping—the question is, will this new feature take away from what Twitter was originally created for? As a platform meant specifically for the simple, real-time distribution of ideas in 140 characters or less, the ‘buy’ button could be viewed as a nuisance to users who just want to be updated on the latest news.GE’s Makes Electronic Music from Machines The Story: The Barbarian Group collaborated with musician Matthew Dear and GE to create a composition with audio samples from the world’s most powerful machines.Why It Matters: Sound has always been important to GE and this collaboration highlights how audio frequencies are used to maintain the health of their machines. The Drop Science campaign is a great example of smart content marketing and media distribution. Paired with a few strategic partnerships, we were able to garner the attention of the music community. For example, GE made the track and all raw audio files available via BitTorrent—the first brand ever to do so—resulting in over 1.6M downloads. Telling this story through music allowed GE to share a key brand message in a more approachable manner. The Beginning of the End of our Casual Approach to Nude Leaks?The Story: A major celebrity nude photo leak marked a tipping point in Reddit’s willingness to let people post hacked photos, driving conversation around the issues of Internet privacy, sex crimes and security. Why It Matters: In an interesting twist, the Reddit user who posted the nude pictures wants his privacy back after coming under media fire for his involvement. Citizens’ privacy vs. freedom of information is a common Internet debate. In this case, though, however you slice it, the “leak” (or, more accurately, “invasion” or “violation”) is a sex crime. And just because something is attainable (illegally) does not give someone the right to access and distribute it.Netflix and Reddit Show How Slow the Internet Can MoveThe Story: Big names such as Netflix, WordPress and Reddit simulated an internet “slow-down” on September 10 to give consumers a taste of how abandoning net neutrality could change their browsing experience. Why It Matters: By simulating the effects of net neutrality, these companies are seeking to make the issue accessible to the masses. Content-streaming websites, such as Netflix are obvious opponents of net neutrality but what could it mean for brands? Organic reach has taken a toll, and a new mandatory system will force brands to pay more to get into the spotlight, while guaranteeing wider reach and visibility for those who can afford it.

“Buy Buy Buy” - Twitter

The Story: Twitter officially introduced the ‘buy’ button—a feature that allows users to make purchases within Twitter without leaving the platform.

Why It Matters: Given that Twitter is known (and loved) for being purely conversational—and not for shopping—the question is, will this new feature take away from what Twitter was originally created for? As a platform meant specifically for the simple, real-time distribution of ideas in 140 characters or less, the ‘buy’ button could be viewed as a nuisance to users who just want to be updated on the latest news.

GE’s Makes Electronic Music from Machines

The Story: The Barbarian Group collaborated with musician Matthew Dear and GE to create a composition with audio samples from the world’s most powerful machines.

Why It Matters: Sound has always been important to GE and this collaboration highlights how audio frequencies are used to maintain the health of their machines. The Drop Science campaign is a great example of smart content marketing and media distribution. Paired with a few strategic partnerships, we were able to garner the attention of the music community. For example, GE made the track and all raw audio files available via BitTorrent—the first brand ever to do so—resulting in over 1.6M downloads. Telling this story through music allowed GE to share a key brand message in a more approachable manner.

The Beginning of the End of our Casual Approach to Nude Leaks?

The Story: A major celebrity nude photo leak marked a tipping point in Reddit’s willingness to let people post hacked photos, driving conversation around the issues of Internet privacy, sex crimes and security.

Why It Matters: In an interesting twist, the Reddit user who posted the nude pictures wants his privacy back after coming under media fire for his involvement. Citizens’ privacy vs. freedom of information is a common Internet debate. In this case, though, however you slice it, the “leak” (or, more accurately, “invasion” or “violation”) is a sex crime. And just because something is attainable (illegally) does not give someone the right to access and distribute it.

Netflix and Reddit Show How Slow the Internet Can Move

The Story: Big names such as Netflix, WordPress and Reddit simulated an internet “slow-down” on September 10 to give consumers a taste of how abandoning net neutrality could change their browsing experience.

Why It Matters: By simulating the effects of net neutrality, these companies are seeking to make the issue accessible to the masses.

Content-streaming websites, such as Netflix are obvious opponents of net neutrality but what could it mean for brands? Organic reach has taken a toll, and a new mandatory system will force brands to pay more to get into the spotlight, while guaranteeing wider reach and visibility for those who can afford it.

A lot of conferences are bullshit. They are often a revenue stream for media companies seeing their ad pages or page views dwindle. There are of course exceptions to this rule, with the likes of Poptech, xoxo, some parts of DLD, etc. But most are an excuse for bored workers to whip out the corporate card and hit the ‘Out-of-Office’ auto reply for a few days.

Which is why The Conference, hosted every year by Media Evolution in Malmö, Sweden, is so compelling.

Curated by Martin Thornqvist, a long-time friend of Barbarian, sessions range from media, to technology and culture, to science and community. Disparate topics, yes, but they all manage to congeal and make perfect sense and leave you feeling much smarter than when you touched down at Kastrup airport.

And, unlike a lot of conferences, the speakers are the people actually working intensely in their fields and not on the permanent 30,000k-a-pop speaking circuit. Everything felt inspired and not from a template.

Some of my highlights include:

-Brian Reed, a producer at This American Life, talking about action, reflection and stakes as the components of a good story and how to pull people forward and make them listen.

-Artist Jenny Wilson talked about her individual creative process and “the elusive signals of inspiration.”

-Molly Crabapple talked about the importance of drawing in a networked, hyper fragmented a world and how she’s been able to see things that sometimes cameras cannot. And also about how to pull finite moments out of the stream and why it is important to do so.

-In her "Brain, Heart, Gut?" talk Elaine Hsiao spoke about microorganisms and their roles not only in biological processes but also behavior and health. Her anecdote on some experiments related to obesity is a must-watch.

-And, of course, our very own Jill Nussbaum on Design Fiction.

The Conference has compiled the cliffs notes from each presentation here. The entire archive from the past several years is also available. Be sure to catch last year’s keynote by James Bridle which is one of my favorite talks in forever.

Also, it is worth mentioning that every detail of the conference was masterfully done, down to the art direction from Danish design firm Hvass&Hannibal.

Hold the space in your calendar for next year. It is most certainly worth your time.

A lot of conferences are bullshit. They are often a revenue stream for media companies seeing their ad pages or page views dwindle. There are of course exceptions to this rule, with the likes of Poptech, xoxo, some parts of DLD, etc. But most are an excuse for bored workers to whip out the corporate card and hit the ‘Out-of-Office’ auto reply for a few days.

Which is why The Conference, hosted every year by Media Evolution in Malmö, Sweden, is so compelling.

Curated by Martin Thornqvist, a long-time friend of Barbarian, sessions range from media, to technology and culture, to science and community. Disparate topics, yes, but they all manage to congeal and make perfect sense and leave you feeling much smarter than when you touched down at Kastrup airport.

And, unlike a lot of conferences, the speakers are the people actually working intensely in their fields and not on the permanent 30,000k-a-pop speaking circuit. Everything felt inspired and not from a template.

Some of my highlights include:

-Brian Reed, a producer at This American Life, talking about action, reflection and stakes as the components of a good story and how to pull people forward and make them listen.

-Artist Jenny Wilson talked about her individual creative process and “the elusive signals of inspiration.”

-Molly Crabapple talked about the importance of drawing in a networked, hyper fragmented a world and how she’s been able to see things that sometimes cameras cannot. And also about how to pull finite moments out of the stream and why it is important to do so.

-In her "Brain, Heart, Gut?" talk Elaine Hsiao spoke about microorganisms and their roles not only in biological processes but also behavior and health. Her anecdote on some experiments related to obesity is a must-watch.

-And, of course, our very own Jill Nussbaum on Design Fiction.

The Conference has compiled the cliffs notes from each presentation here. The entire archive from the past several years is also available. Be sure to catch last year’s keynote by James Bridle which is one of my favorite talks in forever.

Also, it is worth mentioning that every detail of the conference was masterfully done, down to the art direction from Danish design firm Hvass&Hannibal.

Hold the space in your calendar for next year. It is most certainly worth your time.

Drop Science: Matthew Dear + The Sounds of GE

Our previously posted work for GE featured a synchronized audio visual track built from the industrial sounds of a global shipping hub.

Lots of people seemed to like it, but there was a recurring theme in Soundcloud comments: “Where’s the drop?”

For those not familiar with the wormhole of electronic music, this question is one of the Internet’s big inside jokes. The “bass drop” is a recurring theme in pop culture - most recently satirized in SNL’s Davinci piece.

We decided to give our audience the drop they wanted, industrial style, and also tell them something about how GE uses frequencies to diagnose and maintain their machines.

To get it right, we turned to one of our favorite musicians, Matthew Dear, who composed an original track based on a library of sounds recorded across GE facilities. We worked with m ss ng p eces to help create a documentary on how the project came together. And we opened up GE’s sound catalog to the Internet; distributing the track, stems, and video files as a BitTorrent Bundle.







The liner notes explain the project best:

In the science of acoustics, every sound has both a frequency—the speed at which it causes the air to vibrate—and an amplitude—the size of these oscillations, making up its particular sonic signature. A team of engineers at GE’s Global Research Center (GRC) in Niskayuna, New York are particularly attuned to such things, listening with musician-like sensitivity to the sounds of their machines and analyzing the results. Musician Matthew Dear and GE Acoustic Engineer Andrew Gorton toured the Niskayuna facility, gathering over an hour of whirring, humming, thundering source material. Returning to his home studio with a library of over 1000 discrete samples recorded both at the GRC and at GE research centers around the world, Dear fashioned the sounds of the world’s most powerful machines into a piece of music that would evoke the wonder and optimism of his experience in Niskayuna.

Matthew Dear’s “Drop Science” is a gleefully busy romp through the world’s top research labs—a skittering ode to industry. Dear’s music has always blurred the boundaries between analog and electronic, between the body and the machine, but on “Drop Science,” he erases that boundary entirely: fiber optic vibrations are stretched into melodic curlicues, underwater frequencies squelch and bend around a 4/4 pulse, and a jet engine appears just in time to build up to a particularly well-earned drop. It’s a science lab you can dance to, and it could only have come from the minds of Matthew Dear and GE.

Listen to the full track on SoundCloud and download the Drop Science BitTorrent Bundle.

Enjoy.

Cover art designed by Michael Cina.

Drop Science: Matthew Dear + The Sounds of GE

Our previously posted work for GE featured a synchronized audio visual track built from the industrial sounds of a global shipping hub.

Lots of people seemed to like it, but there was a recurring theme in Soundcloud comments: “Where’s the drop?”

For those not familiar with the wormhole of electronic music, this question is one of the Internet’s big inside jokes. The “bass drop” is a recurring theme in pop culture - most recently satirized in SNL’s Davinci piece.

We decided to give our audience the drop they wanted, industrial style, and also tell them something about how GE uses frequencies to diagnose and maintain their machines.

To get it right, we turned to one of our favorite musicians, Matthew Dear, who composed an original track based on a library of sounds recorded across GE facilities. We worked with m ss ng p eces to help create a documentary on how the project came together. And we opened up GE’s sound catalog to the Internet; distributing the track, stems, and video files as a BitTorrent Bundle.



The liner notes explain the project best:

In the science of acoustics, every sound has both a frequency—the speed at which it causes the air to vibrate—and an amplitude—the size of these oscillations, making up its particular sonic signature. A team of engineers at GE’s Global Research Center (GRC) in Niskayuna, New York are particularly attuned to such things, listening with musician-like sensitivity to the sounds of their machines and analyzing the results. Musician Matthew Dear and GE Acoustic Engineer Andrew Gorton toured the Niskayuna facility, gathering over an hour of whirring, humming, thundering source material. Returning to his home studio with a library of over 1000 discrete samples recorded both at the GRC and at GE research centers around the world, Dear fashioned the sounds of the world’s most powerful machines into a piece of music that would evoke the wonder and optimism of his experience in Niskayuna.

Matthew Dear’s “Drop Science” is a gleefully busy romp through the world’s top research labs—a skittering ode to industry. Dear’s music has always blurred the boundaries between analog and electronic, between the body and the machine, but on “Drop Science,” he erases that boundary entirely: fiber optic vibrations are stretched into melodic curlicues, underwater frequencies squelch and bend around a 4/4 pulse, and a jet engine appears just in time to build up to a particularly well-earned drop. It’s a science lab you can dance to, and it could only have come from the minds of Matthew Dear and GE.

Listen to the full track on SoundCloud and download the Drop Science BitTorrent Bundle.

Enjoy.

Cover art designed by Michael Cina.

Barbarian Group Hot Sheet - 8/21/14

Foursquare’s Relaunch and Mobile-Social Data

The Story: Foursquare relaunches as a local business discovery and recommendation app, moving the “check-in” to its spin-off app, Swarm.

Why It Matters: Foursquare appears to be doubling down on the user data game in the hopes of generating a sustainable monetization plan. If things go well, Foursquare’s increased import of user data will create a robust and powerful ad tool through which brands and local businesses can hyper-target consumers based on location, behavior and interest.

The Social Web Flexes its Collective Muscle with #IfTheyGunnedMeDown

The Story: The shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed teen, spurred the #IfTheyGunnedMeDown movement, a hashtag campaign calling into question and ultimately influencing the media’s portrayal of the victim. Why It Matters: Like a virtual town hall, Twitter can quickly turn into a point of collective grief, dialogue and protest, but for many brands, it’s only seen as a one-way content amplification hub. When used best, Twitter’s not just a top-down funnel, but a tool for giving a voice - and influence - to the masses. Brands should be not just posting but listening.

Puppy Love

The Story: Your potential matches on Tinder just got a little cuter. Ten rescued puppies from a New York City shelter made an appearance on Tinder in an effort to meet potential owners.

Why It Matters: Transforming a romantic matchmaking app into a pet matchmaking app is reminiscent of the early days of Facebook when brands would “hack” the intended user experience to create unique, native, branded experiences. In some cases, we’ve even seen social network hacks impact the style of advertising on the platform. Could this innocent stunt change the face and purpose of Tinder?

Your Facebook Friends Are Pouring Buckets Of Ice Water Over Their Heads

The Story: The “ice bucket challenge” has taken over Facebook, but has come under fire with critics claiming the messaging isn’t clear and people are missing the point, or that this is just narcissism masked as philanthropy.

Why It Matters: Haters are gonna hate. Despite any vague ALS messaging associated with the ice bucket challenge, millions of people are now aware of a movement and cause that they were otherwise unaware of previously. Success here should be judged on overall awareness and cultural buzz, not necessarily dollars raised – although the ALS Association raised $13.3 million in the first two weeks of August, compared to $1.7 million during the same period last year. Imagine if planking, Tebow-ing or the Harlem Shake were also connected to a charitable cause. How is this a failure for the ALS Association?

Kim Kardashian, Mobile Version

What’s the Story: Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, Kim K’s new app game in which users navigate a virtual world of celebrity, is just the latest waste of our collective time expected to earn $200 million by the end of the year.

Why It Matters: In case hanging out with Kris and Bruce vicariously via your television wasn’t enough, now you can literally become Kim Kardashian, managing your own pursuit of ultimate celebrity. The state of the collective American psyche is un unchartered territory – not only will you be able to smell like your favorite celebrity with their signature fragrance, you’ll be able to be him or her. Are celebrity apps the latest avenue for brands to attach themselves to celebrities? Or is this a one-off success for Kim? One question remains: When will the Honey Boo Boo game hit the market?

Facebook’s Like Algorithm: Exposed

The Story: This week, writer Mat Honan rendered Facebook’s algorithm useless by liking everything he saw in the Newsfeed for 48 hours, finding his feed populated with irrelevant media and brand posts as a result.

Why It Matters: Honan’s article calls attention to the darker side of personalization, the “filter bubble” issue. Netflix, Google, et al., predict what we want now based on our past clicks—and serve us only that—lessening the chance we’ll discover things unlike past likes. Meanwhile, with people moving to platforms offering more personal curation and content control (Snapchat, ask.fm), we’re wondering if Facebook’s algorithm needs an update to keep pace.