Angela Natividad's Live & Uncensored!

29 September 2009

Alex Bogusky on Defining Success

Don't exaggerate. Don't complicate. Very humble versions of success can lead to a wonderful life adventure. You don’t have to make it seem grand for it to become grand as it becomes reality.
Don't settle for that one thought, though; there's plenty of good stuff in here. Read them all, and remember the road to becoming Homeless Gwen* is a long one, riddled with as much bet-hedging as risk-taking. So take calculated leaps of the latter.

(You can probably forget the last two sentences I wrote because I was just looking for a reason to shoehorn that homeless American Girls doll in somewhere. Her belt doubles as a headband!)

v for Alex + v for Gwen.


*Because that's what you're scared of, right? OK, probably less homelessness than abject mediocrity.

27 September 2009

Hi, from Sweltering Tatalon!

This is a photo my aunt took of the aftermath of Typhoon Ondoy in Tatalon, a barrio in Quezon City, Philippines. She posted a complete album on Facebook, which, I guess tellingly enough, is how I found out about it.

The shots are emotionally rending, and only partly because of the devastation. You glimpse kids scavenging, people sorting through rubble, and get a sense of what the day-to-day is like: bitter, even without the exacerbation of a natural catastrophe.

A handful more:

There's a power in images that manages to bring a tragedy home, but these also take on a personal significance: my parents left that place. They had trouble doing it, and still more trouble carving a new life out of strange soil.

Still, they succeeded, and succeeded so well that I managed to avoid absorbing their experience. Now I'm elsewhere in the world, feeling all down-and-dumpy because I failed to hold up my end of grocery store conversation today.

Perspective: Priceless™! And brought to you by your social network of choice.

Help the victims of Typhoon Ondoy at the Philippine National Red Cross site. You can also follow the goings-on in real-time via #typhoonondoy.

'Poor Little Girl, Alone in Paris.'

The Man™ likes to say that when he wants to give me angst. But if I'm alone in Paris, it's more my fault than the city's.

It's the wee hours of the morning on a Saturday night. Still recovering from London. And instead of going to a birthday party for a good friend, I stayed in eating chocolate cake and abusing the internet.

My footprints:
  • The Greatest Star Trek Directors - This list makes me mad because I bet the majority of people that boosted JJ Abrams have never watched another Star Trek movie. You should see at least three before you ethically permit yourself to vote. Just sayin'.
  • Star Trek XXX: The io9 Review [NSFW] - The lower you scroll, the curiouser it gets. But if you're wondering about the genre itself, it can be summed up in three generalities (provided by the above link):
  • It's always about the original series crew for some reason
  • it's always kind of silly, since the porn producers are relying on a "parody" loophole to make Trek porn without getting sued
  • It always features a Spock who's skeevy and/or unsexy.

  • Gorillapod. I want one of these more than I want painless childbirth.
  • Chuck Norris Facts - in French! "Chuck Norris ne se mouille pas, c'est l'eau qui se Chuck Norris." They're not all funny though. I found it while Googling for the Chuck Norris Wikipedia page, which is a whoppin' 3 results down. Chuck Norris Facts come first. And that on its own merits a bullet-point.
  • Wrong Hole, which is really only exciting to me because Scott Baio is in it. You gotta love the sight of that wholesome face (barefoot! and in a sweater!) in such a sensational context:

I mean, right?!

  • My Little Memory. It's the Concentration game you remember from childhood, Frenched-up and brought to you by Clinique. I saw it in a Facebook ad and played once for a chance to win a year's worth of this stuff I'll never use. But after all that Star Trek porn, I was so charmed by the tame oh la la! graphics that I played 500 more times. Apparently I suck at Concentration though.
And that, my friends, is how I've blown away the last six hours.

23 September 2009

ad:tech London: Hashtags for Today's Auditorium Sessions

Hallo, folks. Rough start today; the party at the Kensington Roof Gardens last night was chill, long-lasting and laced with vodka. As a result, attendance this morning is thin and slightly haggard.

But for the valiant, some good news: wifi is now available in the main auditorium. That means more people can participate in the Twitter orgy. (*does a little dance*)

I'll be livetweeting a few sessions today: Trends & Predictions 2.0, What Makes Young People Tick Online?, and The Shifting Rules of Engagement in Digital.

Here are the hashtags for auditorium-based events this morning and afternoon, in the event you want to either join the conversation or start one.

o Keynote Presentation: A trip to the future... #at09future

o TRENDS AND PREDICTIONS 2.0: Interpreting global market trends to forecast the future for your business & community. #at09trends

o WHAT MAKES YOUNG PEOPLE TICK ONLINE? Engage youth audiences with meaningful dialogue, relevant content and targeted incentives. #at09youth

o JARGON-FREE APPROACH TO TARGETING: Right person, time, message, place. Sounds simple – so how’s it achieved? #at09target

o KEYNOTE: Loyalty, transparency, conversations and giving a damn! #at09loyalty

o CREATIVITY IN DIGITAL: Featuring and Playboy. How remains the brand of choice for people looking for love. #at09matchplay

o THE ROLE OF SOCIAL MEDIA IN CONSUMER DIALOGUE: Blogs, UGC and communities – how are they changing the way people engage online? #at09engage

If you just want to lurk, visit and run a search for the hashtags you want. Also be sure to check out #adtechlondon, an ongoing stream of what everybody's seeing, doing and selling.

22 September 2009

ad:tech London: Wedding Organization to Engagement, and Vice-Versa

This week I'm in the city of Big Ben for ad:tech London, which kicked off this morning with a keynote by Managing Partner Thomas Gensemer of Blue State Digital, who explained -- as much as he could in a 30 minute space -- what keys to success characterized the Obama campaign.

This particular ad:tech is unique because we're trying something new and scary: livetweeting a number of the presentations. A feature called Picture on Picture enables us to broadcast three projections at once: a video projection of the session, the presentation (if panelists have any PowerPoints) and a dedicated window for the Twitter feed.

Each presentation has its own hashtag, which you can find in the ad:tech programme and which enables us to separate panel-specific tweets from general #adtechlondon tweets. For example, here's the material from the Obama keynote.

The cool thing about this experiment:

o It's new territory for ad:tech, an attempt to reap practical real-time application from a tool that's captured the imagination of both brand folks and citizen users.

o You can see commentary while the speaker is presenting, enabling you to catch things you missed and also input feedback if you think a given point is exceptional or total crap. (Seriously. The ad:tech folks were like, "This is part of the new environment. We should all welcome that kind of feedback.")

o People that get overlooked in the QA can air their views right over the speaker's head -- which certainly contributes to a session's entertainment value.


o There isn't any wifi in the auditorium, which means livetweet feedback is limited to users with 3G phones.

o Attendance is thin -- about 200 pre-reg -- which means that while the crowd's a little more intimate, there isn't a great deal of participation.

Still trying to work out the perfect formula. At the very least, I'm glad it's something we're trying and not just talking about. In the meantime, follow conference-related tweets at @adtech_london. Feedback that isn't batshit-insane* will receive a warm fuzzy reception.


* When I started tweeting as @adtech_london early this morning, somebody on Twitter ran off-field with the Obama conversation and tried converting my religion. Come on, there's a place and time for that: college on the quad.

Riverside Romance: Paris vs. Tokyo

Chelsi wraps up her three-month sojourn in Japan this weekend, so I'm hoarding all the cultural comparisons I can while the gettin's gewd. Here's a shot she took of a couple in the Japanese countryside Tokyo:

And here's a shot I took of a pair by the Seine, fortified by a now-empty bottle of wine:

Love love love. Same language, different dressings...

19 September 2009

The Wishboat Project

It's Jewish new year. In the spirit of the holiday, my Ad Land soul-sistar -- who happens to be Jewish -- hit me up from Australia and asked me to pray for her.

I am not a dedicated praying person, so I jokingly offered to set wish-infused paper boats afloat on the Seine. It turns out she dug this idea -- which meant I was committed.

I bought good tough paper this week, 'specially for the cause, and studied this video on how to make boats that actually float. Then I wrote out my wishes for her, and carefully -- carefully! -- began to fold.

When the boat, chock-full of hopes and dreams, was ready, it hit me: The Seine may not be prime. I don't want to send wishes out on the same river the Mob uses to dispose of malcontents. (I also don't want to mistakenly touch the water and grow a finger out of my finger.)

Where to go, where to go? The Jardin du Luxembourg -- whose miniature sea* has borne vessels of all crests for well over a century -- was the logical choice. I also needed a cameraman, so I called a fellow American expat, who turned me down but asked me to send a wishboat for her too. (I made one toute de suite.) Then I called my enduring amigo Klaus, who happens to live nearby and was totally happy to play gofer.

Here is the footage.

The inside of a wishboat:

The Jardin du Luxembourg in late afternoon:

Prepping dreams for liftoff:

Off they goooo!

The boats up-close, floating marvelously. I like this shot because you can see the names of their recipients:

One poke for luck:

...and into the sunset with ye:

Satisfied by a day's work (that is, playing documentarian and keeping an eye out for the cops), Klaus sat back and consumed a sandwich.

Then we went to see the love of his life, Sainte Geneviève.

She is the patron saint of Paris, so I stood before Her Awesomeness™ and paid tribute. It was fitting, given that, at least for me, Paris is where good wishes go to be born.

PS. @lenkendall just reminded me that today is Pirate Day. Score for timely boat-building!


*Okay, it's a fountain.

17 September 2009

The Thing About Gender Parity

There are plenty of women that are happy to argue their faces blue about gender parity, but here's the thing about that:

We've won our civil rights battle. There are no laws left to stop us from pursuing what we define to be success; and for many women, that definition may be different from those of many men.

Talking parity, instead of actively pursuing what you really want, is a way of asking permission from The World of Men* to do things men simply don't ask permission to do. I don't know why this is; blame conditioning, or even the biological differences between XX and XY, but the glass ceiling is bloody well cracked** and the only thing keeping you from rocketing past it is you.

If you're still bitching about parity, consider that what you're looking for is not parity but the opportunity to be successful.

Success is not parity.

Success is exceptional. So shut the fuck up and go do exceptional things.***


*It will continue to be The World of Men as long as we treat it like it has the power to grant us something.

**Ask Mary Wells Lawrence, who had REAL issues with parity during that period romanticized by Mad Men.

13 September 2009

One Heist Worth an Emmy

Congrats to Psyop and Wieden + Kennedy/Portland for "Heist," their Outstanding Commercial coup:

The brand Coca-Cola was born in 1887, and it's done a stunning job of maintaining fidelity to its good, clean Happy! worldview -- even as the world changes dramatically around it. Check out this piece from 1889:

Worth noting: technology -- and all its advancements -- is your tool. Staying relevant doesn't mean peddling who you are in exchange for every Hype Choo-Choo that comes rambling 'round the hill.

He Just Wants Your Blessing

"Sinead's Hand" -- MarriagEquality Ireland's gentle nudge in the direction of decency:

More thinkfood: a manifesto on legalizing gay marriage.

11 September 2009

Rishad Tobaccowala Talks Brand-Building, Damage Control and the Art of Seduction


At ad:tech Chicago last week, and prior to his opening talk, I approached Denuo CEO Rishad Tobaccowala in hopes of scoring an interview later on. He was in a hurry and answered in a way I found brusque and upsetting -- which ended up colouring my feelings about the keynote.

He emailed to apologize immediately after reading the article I wrote, and was also good enough to give me almost three hours of his time in an interview -- more of a conversation, really -- later that week.

We never did get around to a formal Q/A. But he taught me so much about branding and relationships that most of the gems would be lost if I didn't whip out the cam and start recording.

Four Things Your Brand Shares with Your Soulmate:

Second Chances at First Impressions, and Thinking Fast When Your Brand Gets Sullied:

This is the longest of the videos. At the start, Rishad gives advice on what leaders should do when traveling abroad to impart wisdom: Google yourself in the country to find out "who" you are to the inhabitants.

He also details how he approached remedying our first impression -- and why he plans to turn it into a case study for brands. For him, it was a colourful example of how marketers and clients need to resolve issues now: in real-time.

And I realized that there's an intuitive "ethic" associated with being a persuader (like a blogger). After he took action to ramify our awkward exchange, he consulted with his social media team to gauge how I might react. They gave him three possibilities; I did them all within 24 hours.

Rishad's Exercise for Building Your Personal Brand:

It sounds simple, but it's hard; I've spent two weeks trying to nail the first part. He also reveals his own results.

And that was that. Once we wrapped up, I crept around his house touching porcelain, glass and stone things that I probably shouldn't be touching. He was cool about it, and wrapped up our afternoon by showing me an amazing view of Chicago from his terrace.

It's incredible what kind of power comes with taking a bit of time to bandage a bruised user experience. Because today, whenever somebody says something about Rishad Tobaccowala, sunbeams and rainbows come shooting out of my face.

Sharing is Caring also pays crazy bank, if what you happen to be sharing is a vice.

Still feening? Me too. See more pictures of America's Favourite Drug Lord™!


10 September 2009

Traductions: Abusive Showers.

So me and The Man™ were sitting in a government lobby today, talking about my advancement in French. Comme d'habitude, dude raised hell* about how we should speak more French together and how I need to get over this being-shy thing.**

"Oui, je SAIS" -- yes, I know! -- I snapped.

He gave me this look -- the kind of look you give a wounded puppy on a hot deserted street -- and said, "Tu veux que je t'accable?" You want me to [ ] you?

I had this dumb-ho expression on my face, and he was all, "You don't know this word, accabler?"

I shook my head "no," so he busted out with this beat-up pocket FRENCH-ENGLISH dictionary that's probably older than me. Fortified with fresh anglais, he raised his head and said, "Would you like me to overwhelm you?"

Aww. That's cute. "I don't think that's the definition you're looking for," I said.

He nodded and dutifully turned back to the dictionary. Then, more earnestly this time: "Would you like me to shower abuse on you?"

At this I laughed so hard that the Gatekeeper at the accueil turned to us and hissed, "S'IL VOUS PLAIT!" So after that we STFO'ed, but not before I choked on my own spit and died.

Image credit: Armor Photo. I was actually looking for pictures of screaming military sergeants, but none were very good and this one was just...... could you not?


*Okay, it was more like furtive purgatory.
**I take classes now to help with this.

09 September 2009


Thanks, Real Simple, for reminding me yet again how complicated modern womanhood can be.

Scribe: Life as Blank Canvas

SCRIBE MUNDO DE PAPEL from ladies on Vimeo.

Writers, and maybe creative people in general, have a special relationship with paper and ink, which is at least one reason I find this Mexican Scribe spot so magnifico.

Beeg said in private discussion that it would have been funner as a Sharpie ad, and I agree. But that's probably because nobody our age buys these kinds of notebooks; we've all graduated to costly (but buttery soft!) Moleskines.

05 September 2009

100-Year-Old Russian Technicolor

This is a photo from the body of work produced by Russian photog Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii, now archived by the Library of Congress. The texture and scene is so stark that the colour seems gratuitously lush. And interestingly, the process that imbued this image with living pigment is as dated as the picture itself: about a hundred years old.

From Mike Davidson:
The process used to create and develop the photos is revolutionary yet simple. Essentially, three separate shots are taken, each with a different color filter over the lens: one red, one blue, and one green. The shots are then composited to form incredibly lifelike color portraits. It’s actually quite similar to color compositing in modern applications like Photoshop, but to see it applied to photos taken 100 years ago is mindblowing.
This is why Twitter's cool: because you find awesome things like this. And then it occurs to you that if Photoshop-style colour compositing could've been used a century ago, long before we deign to believe it was possible, then we too can dream things up a century ahead. It's a matter of refusing to let our times, and our view of what's possible, forbid us.