Hello London. I’m back.

It’s Sunday evening and I’m a bit all over the place. My wife and I took a Virgin Atlantic flight on Thursday night from New York and landed at Heathrow on Friday morning. It was a one-way trip.

Wait? What?

After nearly three and half amazing years in New York, I’m back in London. I’m excited to say I’m starting a great new job and will be joining a fantastic team as Head of Production at Google.

Writing that it I can’t help but think I’m about to get found out in the biggest way possible. We’ll see…..

I’m going to miss the team in New York and the city. I don’t have the superlatives to explain how fucking awesome it was (yes, I said awesome… I’m allowed). During my time there I worked on 60+ projects; some big, some small, some successful, some failures. I never thought I’d be given the opportunity to create a new brand for [one of] the biggest companies in the world. But I was. And we did. Along with a bunch of other amazing stuff.

“It also felt like a good moment to tidy up and hit reset on a bunch of stuff. Especially digital things like email, tags, folders and social. I ran FullContact on iCloud, Google, and LinkedIn to merge and de-dupe the data – and hit delete on the old shit. After that I killed Angel List, G+, Instagram, Product Hunt, Snapchat, Squarespace, Tumblr, Twitter, Vimeo, Vine, Youtube and more. From today @hellokinsella is dead. A new and shiny @kinsellaxyz is alive.”

But this isn’t about the work I did. It’s about the work I’m going to do. I’m super excited to be joining a team that is already knocking it out of the park. Here’s a snapshot:

In September 2015, the team worked on a project called Assembly of Youth, which used feature phones and SMS to bring the voices of children around the world directly to their representatives at the United Nations General Congress. It presented them to some of the world’s most influential people in a powerful display in the atrium of the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

In response to the Syrian refugee crisis, the team worked alongside the International Rescue Committee and Mercy Corps to launch the Refugee Info Hub. Built and launched in just 36 hours, the portal brings valuable information to the thousands of refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria and making their way to Europe. Within four months of the Hub’s launch the platform had been used in 18 locations across Europe by more than 30 NGOs, and helped more than 100,000 refugees.

More recently Project Jacquard, which “makes it possible to weave touch and gesture interactivity into any textile using standard, industrial looms”, won the Cannes Product Design Grand Prix.

And this week they launch Project Bloks, “a research project aiming to create an open hardware platform to help developers, designers, and researchers build the next generation of tangible programming experiences for kids”.

I start tomorrow. Wish me luck.

Twitter Reboot™

The annual social clean-up is in progress. I’ve already shut down my Posterous and Tumblr accounts to focus on my blog. Now it’s time to deal with Twitter.

I love Twitter. It covers such an incredible spectrum of information; but recently it’s begun to feel out of control. The signal-to-noise was wrong and stuff from people I cared about was being drowned out.

I started by unfollowing a few heavy/active users. But I enjoy a lot of the stuff they share so it didn’t feel massively practical. Then @sermad suggested I made more of lists. I created a few and moved a bunch of people over.

Great! But my timeline was still too noisy.

I tried unfollowing a few more people but couldn’t create a clear mental criteria in my head.

Take my friends and ex-colleagues at glue as an example. I don’t want 180+ people on my timeline, but once you start to add a few, you’re into a strange mental world of… If I add X, I should add Y, because we did X together. In the end I was trying to do something ridiculous like:

People I worked with for more than 4 years + that I regulary went out for beers with + that use Twitter regularly + but not so much that they drown everyone else out = Following.

It wasn’t working. I got frustrated.

So I went BIG and unfollowed everybody.

WOOHOO!!

It might’ve been a bit impulsive but it’s democratic and I can slowly add people back over time.

I have a nagging doubt though. It’s counter intuitive. Lists guarantee I see peoples stuff; but they think I’ve unfollowed them. Not great really. But I needed to wrestle control back of the timeline so I’ve taken the plunge.

I’m sure some people will unfollow me.

Or add me to Lists…

ASICS NYC Marathon – Run With Ryan

Vitro conceived this video wall as part of its campaign for the New York City Marathon.

It shows long distance runner Ryan Hall running at marathon speed across a tunnel in NYC’s Columbus Circle subway station – and challenges the public to keep up.

Lets just say the pace is pretty quick….

via

Here’s some things I’ve liked recently.

Sorry about the lack of updates. Work is taking up most of my time at the moment, but here’s some stuff I liked recently. Will try and share more of this kind of stuff in the future. Sound like a plan?

Chrome: SBTV
The first ad in the first break of the new series of X-Factor was this ad for Google Chrome, featuring youth site SBTV, and its founder Jamal Edwards. Inspiring da yoots. Excellent work.

DC Shoes: Ken Block’s Hollywood Megamercial
Gynkhama is back, this time he’s tearing around on the backlots of Universal Studios, California.

TableDrum
A virtual drumkit which syncs the sound of any object to high quality drum samples of your choice. /via Ad Bright

DragonTape HTML5 Mixmaker
Dragontape is an easy to use HTML5 video & sound editor that enables anyone to create mixtape playlists (up to 3 hours long) from YouTube and SoundCloud clips. /via Rubbishcorp
http://www.dragontape.com/home

Nike+ City Runs
An installation for Nike retail stores which visualized a year’s worth of runs from the Nike+ website. Made with OpenFrameworks.
http://yesyesno.com/nike-city-runs

MIT Media Lab’s Brilliant New Logo Has 40,000 Permutations
The algorithm can create 40,000 logo shapes in 12 different colour combinations, providing the Media Lab an estimated 25 years’ worth of personalised business cards.
http://www.fastcodesign.com/1663378/mit-media-labs-brilliant-new-logo-has-40000-permutations-video

Watch YouTube With Friends
Possibly the most interesting recent Google+ feature is a new button on YouTube that lets you start a hang out with friends around a video you’re watching.
http://mashable.com/2011/08/18/watch-with-friends-youtube/

Wearable Electronic Sensors Stick Like Temporary Tattoos, Present Endless Possiblities
A team of researchers from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign have developed small electronic devices that can be worn on the skin.
http://www.geekosystem.com/sensor-temporary-tattoos/

Radio1 Inspiration Session

I recently did a lunchtime session with the lovely people at Radio 1. Here’s the highlights:

CAMPAIGNS / IDEAS

Fred Pretty: The Hidden Concert Series
Mishmash of tech on display here. Somehow it all comes together beautifully.

Nike: Take Mokum
Another nice combination of Facebook and real world events.

Mini Maps
Smart use of Google Maps and Facebook. Create a car and a map. Race with friends.

Volkswagen: Side Assist Office
Take a product feature and dramatise it. Smart branded utility from VW.

McDonalds: Interactive Pong
Nice campaign using HTML5 and geo-location instead of an app. Simple redemption too.

Heineken: Bluetooth Bottle Opener
A connected bottle opener that invites your friends over for a beer.

Google+ Demo
New site for Google+ with a very cool custom hack off the Maps API.
http://www.google.com/+/demo/

IKEA Lullaby
So many things I like I about this. Gorgeous HTML5 website, leading to branded content in Spotify and iTunes.
http://demo.fb.se/pr/ikea/lullabies/

 

INNOVATION / TECHNIQUES

X-Men First Class – NFC
Posterscope, Proxama, O2 and Nokia team up. The possibilities are HUGE!

Media_httpkkmobilemar_unenj

Daft Punk – Anatomy of a Mashup
The entire piece is composed from the latest HTML5 and CSS3 technology (canvas, audio, transforms & transitions).
http://daftpunk.themaninblue.com/

MIT Mood Meter
Isobar have already teamed up with MIT to look at applications for brands.

Androidify Dance
Kinect + Android avatar. Love it.

Aurasma
Object tracking non-QR AR for iPhone with multiple media (geo-located).

Paper Record Player
A paper record player wedding invitation.

Kinect Live Music Performance
Chris Vik uses Kinect with Ableton to control sound samples and produce an amazing live music performance.

YooToob Interactive Youtube Music Machine
Just use your keyboard. It’s the Youtube interactive music machine.

The Wheels Of Steel
Turntables in your browser with HTML5/CSS/JS and some Flash. Needs a kickass browser and machine. http://wheelsofsteel.net/

Human Jukebox
This man is an owner of an electronics store in Stockholm. He swallowed a custom-made wireless soundsystem. People then request a song over the internet.

Borg & McEnroe Play Doubles on YouTube
Separately, they are alright. But when played simultaneously, they interact perfectly.

The Verbalizer by Breakfast NY
Enhancing Google Voice Search. Smart. Fast. Etc.

Face Projection Mapping
Responsive projection mapping where everything is triggered by his face. Up close and personal.

Richti-Areal Augmented Reality Installation
iPad controlled projection mapping.

Video Time Machine
Handpicked popular culture from 1860 – 2011.

RobotFlaneur
The idea is simple: pick a city, and every 30 seconds it will take you to a random place and show you the Google StreetView image. Each view is not important. What’s interesting is if you leave it running and occasionally glance at it. You might recognise some views in some cities, otherwise there’s a lot of mundanity: suburbs, motorways, traffic signs. These are the grain of the city and vary wildly. /via Dentsu Blog.
http://robotflaneur.com/

Future Music
Really smart use of the Storify platform to continue the conversation.
http://storify.com/futuremusicmag.js

Phil Collins: Requirements
The site geolocates you, and updates the album artwork depending on the weather. London. 18º. No Jacket required.
http://www.philcollinsrequirements.com

 

CULTURE

Glasto 2011
Nice vid made from 1000s of photos.

Masterchef Synesthesia
Swede Mason steps up culture smash.

Three-Toed Sloth Crossing The Road In Costa Rica (Sloth’s Perspective)
What’s not to love?

Cat In Tanks
Love.