If you’ve been followingY&R New York’s Kickstarter Program, you know there has been a focus on the real, the tangible, as opposed to the fully digital. This week’s entry is no exception. MAP (Manual of Architectural Possibilities) is the brainchild of architect David A. Garcia, who runs David Garcia Studio with base in Copenhagen and New York . Find out more about MAP here.
So many of the educational challenges in this country can be solved through design. MAP is a great example of this. As described on the project’s Kickstarter page:
MAP (Manual of Architectural Possibilities) is a non profit publication aiming to merge the fields of science and research on one hand, and architectural design on the other, to encourage discussion through design. The publication exemplifies this approach via its format. MAP presents itself as an A1, folded in the shape of traditional maps. Research and data are shown in one page, and architectural projects on the back.
MAP - Floods
Culturally, we are moving in the direction of visuals as a means of communication. Data Viz, Infographics, video, these are the language of the New Aesthetic.
Print is dead. You’ve all heard this, you may have even read the in-no-way-ironic book. But I don’t buy it. Here’s what I think is dead: Bad writing, poor design and crappy business models. Not coincidentally, most books, magazines and newspapers suffer from at least one, and usually two or three, of these things.
Proposed cover for theNewerYork - Numa Amun Citadelle des sens (Vert) 2007–9 Courtesy Illingworth Kerr Gallery
There are no traditionally print outlets that I didn’t read, that I now read because they are available online or on a mobile device. Pubs like Rolling Stone or Sports Illustrated stopped being relevant to me long ago, not because I’m not in their target demo, but because the quality of their product is meh. Why would being able to read them on my phone change that?
Similarly, many newspapers suffer from poor design – they’re not visually appealing or informative. When you add the price, or the fact that they’re publishing the wrong type of content based on their distribution model (weekly, just once a day…), you begin to realize that it’s not the tangible quality (or at least not just the tangible quality) that is the problem.
I prefer to read great content like The Economist, Monocle, The Watchmen, The New York Times, The Atlantic, Fast Company and others in hard copy form.
So I was intrigued by theNewerYork Lit Mag, which is clearly trying to bring a different sensibility to the print periodical. Here’s how they describe themselves:
This is our experiment. We publish lists, fictional glossaries, internet forums, classified ads, post-cards, love letters, aphorisms, fragments, punctuationless stories, upside down stories, and other absurdities.
Our first issue, which was funded on Kickstarter, turned out wonderful, our second issue will be exponentially better. Having established a strong distribution base in independent bookstores and boutiques in New York City, Los Angeles, and Paris (see our website for details) as well as a good relationship with writers and printers, this next issue will have higher quality writing, higher quality art, and twice the amount of narratives.
For submissions we place ads in newspapers, online, in cafes, with stickers, over Twitter and also search through short fiction blogs. Our writers and artists come from all over the world.
Here’s their Kickstarter video:
This is where creativity is fostered. Outlets like NewerYork are what let people take risks and be rewarded for those risks. It’s important for things like this to exist, because with them, we end up with a world of not just crappy newspapers and magazines, but crappy content regardless of format. Please swing over and consider giving them some of your hard earned shekels.
The fantastic thing about kickstarter is the amazing breadth of creative ideas out there. Yes, there are plenty of people looking for funding for an album or movie, but you also find projects like this that engage people and their surroundings in an interesting way. Reassessment of environmental spaces is a theme we’ll continue to see more of, both at a govenmental level, but also from the private sector. Art also plays a role in this discussion and this project, along with Sherks’ work from the 1970s is a great example.
Every day I receive emails telling me that someone is “following me” or wants to “be my friend” on some social network. I don’t even remember signing up for half of them, and the reason is they didn’t do anything to really capture my attention or provide value. Some were initially intriguing, but never evolved into something more interesting. That got me to thinking about Empire Avenue and what it could do to remain fresh.
I think the platform is pretty robust, but I’m betting a lot of people who are trying it out now will find another way to spend their time unless Empire Avenue continues to provide innovative experiences. To that end, here are four ways EA can extend the brand experience, both online and beyond:
As the authority on all things social, a tie-in with Mashable would make a lot of sense. This might be something as small as a Google Chrome extension that allows you to roll over names of people or brands mentioned in Mashable stories and seeing their share price; or something larger like including EA share prices in the Topics To Follow information at the end articles. What would be the benefit to Mashable? Perhaps they would get a ‘commission’ of eaves to their Empire Avenue account for all transactions that come from a Mashable-tagged click-through.
I would have the greatest share price in the history of the world.
While a tie-in with Mashable makes sense and would probably be easy enough to do, product integration with a prime time television show would be ambitious. But a show like Celebrity Apprentice seems perfect. First, Donald Trump keeps score by measuring a person’s net worth, I bet he’d love the very idea of Empire Avenue. For the show, at the beginning of the season, every participant would get a new account. The Empire Avenue community would then buy and sell shares as normal, and share price would be figured into the decision on who gets fired. I can just see The Donald telling a contestant: “You were a terrible project manager, none of your teammates trust you and your share price is in the tank. You’re fired!”
This conference is the premier destination for people and brands involved in social media. Social tools like Twitter and Foursquare exploded onto the scene at SXSW and every year people place bets to see which hot new start up is going to garner buzz. Sounds like a perfect place for EA. I’d love to see a Empire Avenue SXSW Index on a huge, digital, real-time board at the Austin Convention Center. Brands and speakers participating in the conference would be listed and the attendees, plus those following from home would get a true sense of who is really making an impact and generating buzz.
Kickstarter is a great way for creative types to fund their artistic projects. But wouldn’t it be great if you could get an understanding of the social capital your funders had? That five dollar investment was nice, but knowing that the person had a Empire Avenue share price of 89.80 could be even more valuable. By knowing the share price of all their investors, the project creator might reach out to certain individuals for helping spreading the word via Social Media. In fact, real world value in the form of project benefits could be given based on an investor’s social media support of a project. Of course project creators could also list their idea on Empire Avenue as a way to build increased awareness as well.
One of the great things about Social Media is the collaborative and supportive nature of the industry. Kickstarter taps into this beautifully by providing a platform for people to raise funds for worthy projects. I’d like to share two of those projects and encourage you to support both in any way you can.
First up is Massive.tv, a project created by some Northwestern University students. I was really impressed with the quality and ambition evident in their efforts and it’s great to see a new generation of inspiring people starting to create the future rather than just try to tread the well-worn path. Take a look at what they are creating:
The other project I’m supporting is Voyurl (great name). This one is from Adam Leibsohn, an Anomaly dude. Voyurl allows you to share your clickstream and find out who is looking at what, where and when. You can connect to friends, find new sites, or just see what others are looking at in real-time.
I really hope you’ll take a moment to consider these projects, and when you go to kickstarter, check out other great projects that are worthy of your monetary support.
Hi, I'm Rick Liebling, the Creative Culturalist at Y&R New York. I use this blog to share my thoughts on branding, marketing, advertising, PR, social media and how they all create, react to and reflect our culture.
Click on over to the "Speaking / Events / Writing" page to see a listing of content I've contributed to other sites and events where I've spoken.
Don't have a Creative Culturalist at your agency/company?
This is normally where you might find one of those disclaimers that says the content of this blog is solely my own, and does not represent the thoughts or opinions of my employer or client. But aren't my thoughts the very reason my current employer chose to hire me? Don't they in fact want me to express my thoughts? And does any reasonable person believe that when I'm discussing ABC's Fall lineup or the cultural relevance of Bioshock that I am, in fact, speaking on behalf of one of my clients?
So yeah, I'll go ahead and own this.