Category Archives: Op Ed

Dollar ReDe$ign Competition: 2010

IT’S A SMACK DOWN!

We are pleased to announce the launch of our 2nd Annual Dollar ReDe$ign Competition (2010) as part of our ongoing Dollar rebranding initiative and in response to the pathetic failure of the bureaucrats in Washington to think for one second outside of their box.

Just a year ago we threw down the challenge for the first time and asked you to submit your ideas for rebranding the battered US Dollar. But despite the many really great ideas and numerous submissions we received, nothing has changed.

Limply, in response to our plea, the President said ‘health-care’ was his main priority when we wrote to him in May, 2009. So now that’s ‘in the bag’ (LOL), we think the time is ripe to turn our attention again to the what is probably the most important issue we face today … rebranding the mighty US Dollar and saving our failed global economy.

IT’S UP TO YOU

So here’s the deal. It’s been over 100 years since the American Dollar was conceived and ‘designed.’ And since its inception the bills have gone through minor modifications, mostly satisfying the Fed’s paranoid security concerns. But the Treasury’s continual patchwork of quick-fix solutions has left us with a piece of paper resembling – at best – a sow’s ear.

More significantly, our reputation has also been tarnished. Every major power has rattled their sabers in defiant dissatisfaction at America’s hard nosed arrogance over fiscal policy and continuing bank failures – consequently the great American dream has been tarnished and needs to be revived.

YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE

We have to take matters into our own hands as it’s clear the government and most certainly the banks are not there to help us – why would they when they’re too busy helping themselves!

Yes, artists of the world, it’s time we unite, it’s time to take up your arms and declare your dissatisfaction and show your support for this very important cause. It’s one that will unite us all, one that is a means to an end for each and every one of us, and one that can only be by the People, for the People. Period.

WAIT! THERE’S MORE …

Bigger is Better: At the end of the day, we’d really like to show the world all the ideas you come up with in a really big way. Sure that’s the beauty of the internet – build a site and they will come (in theory), but we’d like to go more street level this time and stage an exhibition too, publish a book of everyone’s submissions, award an additional special prize and in general just make some seriously major noise …

Money, Money, Money: But we need money to do that. And resources too. So if you’re interested in making a donation of as little as $1 towards helping us stage such an event, then follow this link to learn more. Think of of it like giving back to the community, sharing the love, helping yourself get back what’s yours – we promise, if you give, you shall receive.

HOW TO ENTER

Brief: Simply redesign the US Dollar bill in any way you think appropriate and submit to us via email at info@dollarredesign.com for review.

Keep in mind that first and foremost this a branding project so that means we are looking for ideas that define or redefine what America stands for. And we want to see how you would best represent that, visually, through the redesign of the US currency.

We are also looking for ideas on ways to improve counterfeiting concerns, long term, as well as ways to differentiate the various denominations for the visually impaired – either through the use of varying colors, differentiating sizes, use of textures, braille and so on.

Guidelines: For instance your ideas could be based around themes such as national icons, heroes, symbols, monuments, landscape, architecture, people, the meaning of money, political issues, the constitution for instance, the future of money even – be that physical, virtual or digital.

But really we’re just looking for really great ideas. So don’t get bogged down in hypothetical technicalities, or trying to truly answer the ‘brief’ because ultimately a great idea is a great idea and anything is possible if we want to make it happen.

PRIZES

1st Prize: $500 Cash + a Dollar ReDe$ign t-shirt.
2nd + 3rd Place Runners Up: $100 Cash each + a Dollar ReDe$ign t-shirt.
All submissions will be posted online.

IMPORTANT STUFF

Where to Submit: email your ideas to info@dollarredesign.com
Closing date for submissions: July 4th, 2010
Technical Stuff: all submissions should be single jpgs of each denomination, each 72dpi and 600px wide max, please.
Rules and Regulations: Please also include a 50 word explanation of your inspiration and design rationale, as well as a brief one line bio specifying your name, geographic location, and your current occupation. Please note that we have the right to veto any work submitted. And all proposals are submitted at the author’s own risk.
Legal: Absolutely none of the work submitted can be used as legal tender. Anywhere. Anytime. Anyhow. All copyright remains the property of those submitting their proposals, ie the ‘author’, and all proposals are submitted at the author’s own risk. Plus all work must belong to you, the author.
Bookmark and Share: You can follow the progress of this project right here so make sure you bookmark this site – please also share this blog with your friends and follow us on Twitter, and please, also sign our petition.

Thank you. We look forward to seeing your ideas.

Make a Donation View Recent Submissions
See Last Year’s Winners Read More About the Project

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Face Off

GOTHAM vs HELVETICA

A few years back, to coincided with the typeface’s 50th anniversary, director Gary Hustwit made the analytically insightful documentary ‘Helvetica.’ As the film illustrates, the typeface Helvetica has become ubiquitous with modern life. Quite simply, it’s everywhere.

The typeface was originally designed in 1957 by Max Miedinger and Eduard Hoffmann for the Swiss type foundry Hass. Their goal was to design a new sans-serif typeface that would compete with the ‘other’ very popular (at that time) sans-serif font, Akzidenz-Grotesk. The aim of the new design was to also create a neutral typeface that had great clarity and that also had no intrinsic meaning embedded in its character or form.

Fast forwarded a few decades to the year 2000 and Gotham, another ‘popular’ sans-serif typeface, designed by rock star typographers Hoefler and Frere-Jones. Gotham, however, unlike Helvetica, is a very American typeface: ‘Gotham celebrates the attractive and unassuming lettering of the city.’ And, as legend goes, the font’s characteristics are based on ‘the no-nonsense lettering of the American vernacular, those letters of paint, plaster, neon, glass and steel that figure so prominently in the urban landscape.’ But what’s ironic, in some ways, is that Gotham has now become the Neue Helvetica for our new Millennium – it too is now everywhere!

It’s a funny thing really, but every anally-retentive-American-type-loving-graphic-design-geek has fallen for Gotham and all its charms. Don’t get me wrong it’s a beautifully designed typeface – that in itself is actually quite an achievement. Every letter has been perfectly considered, Mssrs Hoefler and Frere-Jones must have spent many hours analyzing the kinks – and I’m being serious. Seriously!

But truthfully, what started as a love affair, has now become an infatuation. Everywhere you look – from Barack Obama to Tom Ford – Gotham is being used by everyone. There are countless examples, Yahoo, Emblem Health, WNET.org (including PBS channels 13, and WLIW21), Daffy’s, Madison Square Park Conservancy, Union Bank, Coca-Cola, the Discovery Channel, New York’s ‘Freedom Tower,’ Chicago’s 2016 Summer Olympic bid, and on and on and on. In fact, I have to admit I’ve become infatuated too!

(image via idsgn.org)

LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT

Something that’s clear from Hustwit’s movie is the cultural baggage attached to Helvetica’s heritage has many trans-Atlantic points of differentiation. Pentagram’s Paula Scher for instance classifies the font as the ‘typeface of the Vietnam War’ and the Iraq war as well – quite simply – for many Americans – Helvetica is the typeface of American corporate aggression and greed. Period. This association was born out of a sans-serif love affair that originally started during the mid 60s and went on into the early 70s, when every institution across America was transformed by Helvetica’s clean, streamlined attitude. The love affair however ended in a Grotesk backlash which began during the early 80s and went on into the mid 90s. Started by the ‘anti-Helvetica league’ (whose members might include Paula Scher, David Carson and Stefan Sagmeister), a ‘new-wave’ of designers who fed American’s more human and more personal – ‘designer as author’ – ‘vernacular’ – solutions. In turn, the backlash ended in a similar backlash at the end of the 90s, when we saw a return to structure and the beginnings of stuff that actually looked like it had been ‘designed’ – incredible but true. Enter a new Millennium. Enter Gotham. Voila!

It was clear that American designer’s were yearning for their answer to Helvetica. Clearly there was a cultural hurdle that could never be bridged – Vietnam, corporate greed, the 70s etc. Clearly the rise and re-saturation of Helvetica in England during the late 80s, and en masse during most of the 90s, just became unbearable for the Brit loving Yanks. So not to be out maneuvered, it became clear there was a need to find a cultural ‘design’ equivalent. Fast.

Originally commissioned by GQ magazine – whose editors were looking for something that looked ‘new and fresh’ – Gotham’s character clearly transcends Helvetica’s impersonal nature. Consequently we find ourselves easily falling in love with its more human and more cozy characteristics – aspects that are definitely not apparent in Helvetica’s arms-length personality. Most importantly, Gotham’s injection into Obama’s Presidential campaign significantly caught the typeface up in the tidal wave of hysteria surrounding his election. Consequently, Gotham’s trajectory became wrapped in a new cultural representation – change. Gotham quite simply came to represent change and all that we have come to believe that can mean: a new future, prosperity, ambition, pride. Basically Gotham has become the typeface of a nation, that’s lost and helpless, struggling to find hope and a light at the end of the tunnel.

COMMITMENT ISSUES

Cultural baggage reigns again but like all love affairs, time will be the true test of Gotham’s staying power and real cultural relevance, long term. Perhaps in 50 years from now Gary Hustwit might be making ‘Gotham: it’s everywhere’ … I guess we’ll just have to wait and see if the typeface lives up to the dream. My guess would be another cultural backlash, or sheer boredom. At some point designers will tire of the sky blue royal blue Gotham Bermuda Triangle we’ve all become infatuated with and move on to something else – please. Like Helvetica, Gotham IS an exceptionally brilliant typeface, it really is. But its friendliness and ability to make anything look ‘designed’ are reasons that at some point – maybe post 2012 – that it’s cultural associations will become negative baggage which we too may be unable to forget. Ms Palin, I think Comic Sans would be a great choice for your campaign BTW.

AFTERWORD

Gotham’s letterforms were inspired by the engineered characteristics of American street signage as well as early geometric sans-serif typefaces like Futura. It also clearly draws many influences from some of the early grotesques fonts too, such as Akzidenz, which nicely brings our story somehow full circle.

PS: Techies … Helvetica is NOT Arial 🙂

Rock of Love

CLASSIC ALBUM COVERS, STAMP SIZE

It’s probably not the popular point of view, but sadly the UK’s Royal Mail recent stamp collection of classic album covers misses the mark. Sure it’s a subjective subject, but this somewhat compromised collection of record covers pays little homage to the impact or development of this influential medium and its craft. Honestly, it seems the criteria for the final selection, came about though a somewhat hippy-turned-pop-tastic-my-old-man-thinks-he’s-hip-yes-we-must-include-that-PC-perspective. I know it was probably painful for the jury to choose just 10 record covers that are worthy of this honor, but perhaps they should have asked for some more experienced help.

It’s got nothing to do with the fact that nothing I ever worked on was included – that would be obvious. It’s amazing and right they included Peter Saville‘s Power Corruption and Lies, it’s amazing and right they included Ray Lowry‘s London Calling (even though he’s not credited) and truly significant that they included (also uncredited) photographer Trevor Key’s pioneering cover for Tubular Bells – although probably for the wrong reasons (as a side note, Key also helped photographer Don McAllester create the Stones ‘cake’ cover featured). It’s fantastic that they recognized Rob O’Connor‘s Park Life, but there are more important examples by O’Connor than Blur, in my opinion. It’s truly amazing that Keith Breeden‘s sculpture for Pink Floyd’s Division Bell cover is included (credit to Storm Thorgerson), although I think I would have chosen, for this context, something in the Hipgnosis tradition of Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here or Atom Heart Mother etc, and something from Breeden’s earlier work for Scritti Politti for instance. But if we’re talking ‘classic album covers’ then we need to throw a few more, more important and much more influential covers into the remix. For sure it’s debatable and I know we all have our favorite record cover of all time because-it-was-the-song-we-lost-our-virginity-to-or-includes-that-song-they-played-that-night-we-were-out-of-our-heads, but … there’s actually a little more significance to this story than initially meets the eye.

OK, to cut a long story short, during the early 70s and some of the late 60s, the record cover as a medium to communicate an artist’s ‘brand’ message, really came into fruition. Yes (not Roger Dean’s Yes), a lot of amazing and important work came out of this period, but the real long-term impact of album cover design actually began during the summer of 1976. It was hot and sweaty and everyone was angry, unemployed or disenchanted, or a combination of all three – significantly four young men (and members of the infamous Bromley Contingent) appeared on prime time live national UK television swearing and calling people names. This tipping point led to the doors of change ushering in a tidal wave of creative talent, including (but not least), Barney Bubbles, Jamie Reid, Peter Saville, Malcolm Garrett, Neville Brody, Vaughan Oliver, Steve Averill, Alex McDowell, Rob O’Connor, John Warwicker, Keith Breeden and many more. In fact these ’21st Century Pioneers of Modern Design’ in turn not only influenced a second generation of influential record cover designers – who emerged during the late 80s and early 90s with equal influence and impact – but the trajectory of their inspiration can also be traced to the strip malls of America today: think Target’s ‘Design for All’ mantra and the fact that everything is now ‘designed’ and you start to get a glimpse at the big picture.

But I wonder if the Royal Mail stamp committee even went that far. Again, I know it’s a completely subjective subject matter, but honestly, popular opinion should not have been used as a benchmark in this case. The result? An apparent lack of respect for the true forefathers of record cover design (especially, Oliver and Garrett), IMHO. It simply smacks at a lack of true understanding and appreciation for the significant long-term impact this generation of album cover designers made on the evolution of our visual landscape today.

We’re Snookered! Imagining Life Without TV

IT’S LIKE POOL, BOYS!

‘Pot Black’ was a televised snooker championship broadcast weekly on the BBC during the early 70s and mid 80s. Without any commercial breaks whatsoever, the show’s stars were the likes of Alex ‘Hurricane’ Higgins, Steve ‘Interesting’ Davis, and Ray Reardon, a Count Dracula look-a-like. Throughout the game all the players (except Davis) would smoke constantly and drink copious amounts of beer continuously. As the match unfolded, the stroke-by-stroke commentary was provided by the consistently calm and reassuring voice of ‘Whispering’ Ted Lowe. At times it was like you were watching paint dry. There was very little drama, if any, your screen was filled with the table’s vivid green velvet cloth for almost the entire length of the show – in fact the full multi-colored experience was somewhat Zen like. Occasionally the endless silence was interrupted by some poor soul who couldn’t stop coughing, but mostly it was relatively meditative stuff.

SEGMENTING RELATIONSHIPS

Now, as I sit in front of my Tweet-Deck watching the various Tweets come and go, I’m struck by the strong similarity that exists between Twitter and Pot Black. In fact I’ve become convinced that Twitter IS the 21st Century’s Pot Black for the visually illiterate and television deprived. In fact several of my Tweet-Peeps seem to go to extreme lengths to confirm this notion. Often reveling in every detail, Twittering frantically in several droll 140 character observational segments, their Tweets slowly and calmly map out the course of events, for instance …

@showstudio – Nick and Erin are discussing the task at hand before the first model comes on set – Someone just asked if model Hayley Morley’s Mark Fast dress was Alaia! – It’s seriously hotting up – who would’ve guessed it in a white, mirrored room?! – Designer David Koma is here to see his dress on model Jade Parfitt. Koma’s news for S/S 10? No metal! Should make sense soon! – Erin is currently shooting our next – and last – four models – Now Nick and Erin are examining a composite of the two images, spelling out this shoot’s quite literal message – The tireless Erin is still going! – Our shoot is complete! Erin and Nick are looking through the final images as we pull the plug on our live stream

@nylonmag – Everyone’s camped out for Pharrell at the Billionaire Boys Club store in Soho. – And there’s a near riot outside @Intermix to meet Sienna Miller. Our cover girl is that awesome!!! – The Levis PR team made sangria for shoppers in Soho! – Rihanna’s at Intermix!!! Omg so pretty!!!! – Random spotting of the night: Josh Hartnett at Marc Jacobs. And with that, goodnight dear (and fashionable) readers – At Indochine dinner with Daria Werbowy, Lily Donaldson, and Olsens (both). Next table is full of male models, inc. Tyson B. Hey boys!

NO SOUND, NO VISION

But where’s the similarity? Well not so much in the content but in the delivery and the medium ultimately. On occasions it’s actually quite exciting. In some ways it’s like listening to a soccer or football match unfold over the radio, you can’t see what’s going on but you get a very good idea. Sound and vision excluded, the pithy one-liners leave you gasping for more tantalizing morsels. Literally each Tweet is a cliffhanger, because you have no clue what will happen next. You’re also devoid of any nuanced commentary by some babbling talking head so it’s actually quiet refreshing and extremely democratic. On occasion, you even get the chance to discuss the ‘show’ with fellow Tweeters simultaneously, like the time I had a ‘conversation’ with a fellow Tweet Peep who compared Obama (BHO) to George Orwell. Needless to say we don’t Tweet anymore.

YOU LIE!

Yes, in fact, I was struck by this Pot Black/Twitter thunderbolt the night Obama gave his speech to congress. I was busy minding my own Tweets when all of a sudden everyone was Twittering about what Obama was saying. It was as if someone had lit a torch under everyone’s keyboards. Everyone had something to say, either giving a running commentary for Tweeters like me who had no clue, or others who embellished every word with their own subjective point of view. And of course it all came crashing down when the right honorable gentlemen for South Carolina, Republican Joe Wilson, was overtaken emotionally and screamed out ‘You Lie!’ You lie? About what I wondered? But anyway, of course the next day that was all over the Tweets. However, on the night in question, @CNN was thrilled to announce ‘you heard it here first’ and that CNN was THE news authority that you can always trust. Yawn. In reality CNN was the strongest subjective point of view in the room who clearly played the Kayne West attention grabbing card to their advantage, probably spending the next 7 nights discussing the incident in overly dramatic detail, but honestly I had no clue. Thankfully, when it came to knowing what was really going on I had Twitter to refer to with its Zen like, drama free, Pot Black blissfulness.

They think it’s all over? Well it is now.

Brand ‘Me’ : The Right Profile

me_18_comp2

‘SAY, WHERE DID I SEE THIS GUY?’

Recently my profile photo was flagged by a fellow member of the popular professional networking site Linked-In as being ‘inappropriate’ and ‘unprofessional.’ The portrait was one I’d been using for the last 5 years, in fact it’s the same one I’d been using since I signed up. The photo in question is an image of my son and I – nothing particularly offensive or ‘inappropriate.’ Or at least I thought. At the beginning of September I received notice from Linked-In that my profile photo had been removed because ‘The picture is in violation of the Linked-In Photo Policy.’

flag

My first thoughts were it was a joke, you know like those spam emails you get from North Africa about your bank account? But no, this was a legitimate email from Linked-In Customer Service. They went on to tell me that ‘we consider a photo appropriate as long as it does not contain content that is copyrighted or unauthorized for public distribution and does not contain offensive content. Additionally, if your photo is not an image of yourself or does not contain an actual photograph, it is considered inappropriate. Your photo has been flagged for inappropriate elements and has been removed from your profile.’

me_mix

Sorry, ‘flagged for inappropriate elements’? Me? My son? My tattoos? My lack of hair? I was puzzled and pissed at the same time. Firstly who is going around flagging member’s profile photos? Secondly nowhere in their photo policy does it state ‘no kids, tattoos or baldness allowed.’ So I put the image back up. Of course it was flagged and taken down again. Good grief someone obviously had a thing about something in my photo that they found offensive. So I wrote to customer service and said ‘you’re crazy,’ perhaps not the best choice of words in hindsight. Regardless, I felt their actions were unreasonable. Of course I got another standard reply in addition to a long list of elements that were considered ‘inappropriate,’ including cartoons, logos, children, animals, landscapes, words and food – food ? Yes food.

me_18_comp

So I started a bunch of discussions on Linked-In – the network for professional and appropriate relationships – to my bafflement virtually everyone who took part agreed. The rationale went something like this: ‘Linked-In is a professional network so unless the child was part of my business or I was selling something child related then “no” – no kids allowed.’ The vast majority of people also felt that a photo of me with my son would also tell a potential employer that I would be ‘unfocused, put my family first and generally be unable to apply myself properly’ – WT! The more clued in individuals went on about social media: ‘Oh yes kids are for Facebook, tattoos are for MySpace and lack of hair is for Twitter’ (apparently). I thought to myself, wow! what a messed up stereotyped world we live in. I just thought the picture represented me and that I was a human being, but clearly I was wrong.

So, now I have a dilemma. Photo, or no photo? If I do use a photo what should it look like? I hate photos of myself anyway, so to actually find a photo I like that looks ‘professional and appropriate’ would be a challenge. I’ve heard that Annie Leibovitz is in need of some work, although her style is not really my cup of tea, someone like Anton Corbijn might be able to capture the ‘real’ me but I know he’s busy. My son takes great photos and that would at least keep it in the family.

BUT WHAT ABOUT BRAND ‘ME’?

Honestly, I want to use the same photo I’ve been using for all these years. I also don’t want these networks to represent who I am or what I stand for. I am brand ‘me’ not Linked-In or MySpace or Facebook. These networks are just vehicles for what I stand for and who I connect with. Quite simply I want to be ‘me’ in every context you see ‘me,’ just like any other brand does – you don’t see Coke representing itself differently in different contexts, it’s the same in every context, it’s called consistency, it’s called identity, it’s called branding, Coke is Coke not Facebook. Besides if you take a look around Linked-In at all your connections you’ll notice the vast majority of profile photos don’t fit Linked-In’s criteria either. Clearly I’m a victim of Linked-In’s profile photo police getting a little carried away. On the other hand, if someone is willing to take a photo that combines me, a cartoon, some logos, both my kids, our dog, a landscape of some kind, a few words and a big chocolate cake, all in one shot, then I might change my mind.

rs_nyc

All images copyright Richard P Smith © 2009

You Have a Pair of Hands …

plastic_bags_comp

A CONVENIENT 
LAZINESS
I remember the first time I refused a shopping bag the person behind the counter looked at me like I was a lunatic. ‘How the heck are you going to carry that 2 x 2 inch packet in your hands! Are you sure you don’t need a plastic bag?’ Or at least that was the look on their face.

And then I started to count how often I was offered a bag. In one day I think it got to as many as 10 times during the same day! This made me realize if I was refusing on average 5 to 10 bags a day, that meant I was potentially reducing the amount of plastic bags that end up in landfills everywhere by at least 2,000 to 5,000 bags a year. If I then took into account how many my family would save, and if they did the same thing, and how many we would save if all our friends did the same thing too, I then began to realize we’d probably refuse on average around 100,000 bags or more between us, if not many more, a year.

In fact every year hundreds of thousands of plastic bags end up scattered throughout the environment where they remain for hundreds and thousands of years or more. It’s also a fact that 21% of all landfills are littered with plastic bags and when they inevitably fly away and float out into creeks and rivers, they not only pollute the environment and block drains and so on, they also, more significantly, kill thousands of marine animals and wildlife as a consequence.

Yet, the real question remains, why are consumers essentially so negligent and in truth so apathetic towards the inevitable reality of their irresponsible laziness. Although many countries, primarily outside of the US, have enforced such conditions as ‘re-use’ or implemented plastic bag recycling facilities, as well as taking steps such as charging for plastic bags, typically the US is still far behind. Which is not good enough. If the argument is that hundreds and thousand of manufacturing industries will close as a consequence then this is a pathetic excuse really because virtually every industry has seen similar modernization and transformation and people have continued to survive, that’s the nature of business. Besides the same factories could simply switch to making a biodegradable alternative. It’s not that complicated.

EGYPT RED SEA POLLUTION

PLASTIC BAGS ARE BAD NEWS
The Facts
An estimated 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide each year.
Over 380 billion plastic bags, sacks and wraps are consumed every year in the US alone (Source: EPA).
The US uses 100 billion plastic shopping bags annually at an estimated cost to retailers of $4 billion (Source: Wall Street Journal).
Over 100,000 birds, whales, seals and turtles worldwide are killed by plastic rubbish every year.
Plastic bags don’t biodegrade, they photo-degrade which means they break down into smaller and smaller toxic bits contaminating soil and waterways eventually entering back into the food chain when animals accidentally digest these small pieces of toxic waste.
Globally we use approximately 12 million barrels of oil to produce the plastic bags that are used each year worldwide.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?
This is a worldwide issue, simply just say ‘NO THANKS’ the next time you’re offered a plastic bag and please sign the Petition.

Sorry, Can You ReTweet That?

THE BEAUTY OF TWITTER

‘I know it’s probably a little late in the day, but I have to say, I love Twitter. I think I’m even starting to love Twitter more than my morning coffee. I think I even love Twitter more than bagels with cream cheese! I even love Twitter more than ice-cream – and that’s saying something!

But seriously the phenomenon that is Twitter, for me at least, is quite surreal. Who knew I’d be up all night wondering who Tweeted what, and to whom. It’s like a communal conversation that never stops and is so ‘of the moment’ it’s ridiculous. I’m also learning shit about stuff I had no clue even existed. I’m also seeing things even ‘Rutger Hauer’ would ‘never believe’. And, I’m making ‘friends’ with people who I’ve never even met – and some of them are quite famous – allegedly.

twitter_whale

The real beauty of Twitter is that it has completely levelled the playing field. It’s given everyone an ‘access-all-areas’ pass to virtually every human being on the planet – and they all feel so close to home, it’s quite touching. What’s also beautiful about Twitter is that you can go on about stuff as if the whole world is listening – even though probably 99% of the people listening couldn’t give a … It’s also an opportunity for everyone to have a voice and be heard, be it in beautiful digital silence. Twitter is also beautfully democratic. In a very unpolitical way. The opinions are ‘genuine’ and the information is media free. There are no banner ads. There are no pop up windows. There are no conglomerates ramming crap down your throat or filtering your thoughts. There is no aesthetic, other than your own, and there is no agenda. You can also switch on (follow) and turn off (block) at your leisure. Anyway, I think you get the idea …

Ultimately, Twitter, I believe, is a beautiful opportunity for us all to take a moment to step away from the norm and have a chance at shaking down the fundamental foundations of mainstream media, corporate governance and even government intervention too – yes, it’s a beautiful opportunity, filled with potential, which I hope never sinks or dies, just keeps on floating by. Float-on Twtter, Float-on. (oh and it’s not Facebook!)’

Image: Flickr