Help John Grant Edit His New Book

Help John Grant Edit His New Book “Co-Opportunity”
My old planning-pal John Grant’s new book Co-opportunity is contracted for publication with John Wiley & Sons, scheduled for January 2010.

john grant co-opportunity

Says John:

My new book, Co-opportunity is based on the growing realization that sustainability is going to require nothing less than a wholesale shift to more co-operative social systems. It’s not just about shaving off energy, waste or carbon emissions – nor about ‘band aid’ approaches to poverty. It’s about a new way of organizing society for the common good. Many people have described this shift. Prince Charles in a recent speech described it as a move to a joined up society. Bill Drayton describes it as a shift to an equitable model of parallel co-operation. These ideas will be as familiar to those working with web 2.0 and social production as in the ‘eco’ field. And numerous examples in the book are using social media for social good. Some but not all – there are just as many grounded in local community… My publisher, Wiley, has been quite broad-minded in allowing me to share the near completed draft in this public way, for free. I’d ask you to please be respectful of that and for instance don’t circulate all or part of the manuscript. Also by Wiley’s request only one section of the book with be available for download at any one time. If you or a colleague has missed an earlier section, you can always email me at

You can read John Grant’s blog here, and download the introduction [pdf] here.

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Important Stats: 51% of Americans Don’t Use Twitter, Myspace, Facebook. Four In Five Are “Attached To Old T-Shirt”

Glad to see MarketingCharts is focussing on the important stuff … Evidently nearly 80% of Americans in all demographic groups say they feel a sense of attachment to at least one of their old t-shirts, and that shirt is most likely to be one that was acquired on vacation, according to research from BlueCotton and conducted by Synovate. The nationwide study, which was undertaken to learn the fate of all the t-shirts created for sports leagues, fraternity parties, church camps, fundraising events and innumerable other groups and activities, found that 79% of survey respondents still have an old shirt, and that the average number of shirts per person is 2.5.
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Atlantis Discovered on Google Maps?

‘Atlantis’ spotted on ocean floor off Africa on Googlemaps: Google spoilsports deny it.
Google today claimed the criss-crossing lines visible in the Google map sof the Atlantic were – not as some claim, the fabled lost city of Atlantis – but sonar data collected as boats mapped the ocean floor. But the internet giant said “blank spots” within the lines could not be explained. A spokeswoman said: “Bathymetric (or sea floor terrain) data is often collected from boats using sonar to take measurements of the sea floor. “The lines reflect the path of the boat as it gathers the data. The fact that there are blank spots between each of these lines is a sign of how little we really know about the world’s oceans.” Undeterred, Aeronautical Engineer Bernie Bamford, 38, of Chester, said: “It looks like an aerial map of Milton Keynes. It must be man-made.”


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Sick: Benylin, Web 2.0

An ad for cold remedy Benylin that encourages calling in sick to work or taking “a Benylin day” when feeling ill has resulted in a formal complaint to the ASA by the Federation of Small Businesses. The Benylin TV spot advises sick workers to take a day off while a website forming part of the wider campaign offers tips on calling in sick. A spokesperson for the FSB, said the ad makes light of the seriousness of not turning up to work, claiming that work absences costs the UK economy £13bn every year. The ad shows a woman waking up in the morning feeling sick and struggling to get out of bed. A voiceover asks: “What if today you just worked at feeling better? Benylin can handle your cold and flu symptoms. The rest is up to you. Take a Benylin day.” The Benylin website also offers tips on calling in sick to work, with different scripts for formal, friendly and casual bosses. The website also offers DVD reviews, TV timetables, games and homemade remedies.
Marketing executives are going back to basics this year, putting renewed focus on satisfying and retaining customers and investing in research and insights, but they are “sick” of hearing about Web 2.0, according to a survey from Anderson Analytics conducted for the Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG). The second annual Top Marketing Trends survey of MENG members examined for 2009 the top marketing concepts, buzz words, global areas of opportunity and targeted customer demographics, as well as the books and thought leaders that marketers look to for inspiration and growth opportunity. The economy played a significant role in this year’s survey as more marketers expressed concern on how a recession would impact priorities moving forward. Half of executives believe their marketing budgets will decrease in 2009, but 56% indicated their staffing plans will either stay the same or increase.
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Snippets: Cheap Cigs, Web 2.d’Oh, Robotgalaxy, How ’bout dem Apple Apples?

Financial Crisis Spurs Smoking Increase and Switch to Cheaper Brands
More than three-quarters (77%) of current smokers in the US report that they have increased stress levels because of the economic crisis, and two-thirds of those smokers say this stress has had an effect on their smoking behavior, according to a survey from the American Legacy Foundation, conducted by Harris Interactive. The data indicates that stress over the economy is causing some smokers to delay attempts to quit, increase the number of cigarettes they are smoking, and/or switch to a less-expensive brand instead of quitting. In addition, the survey found that seven percent of stressed-out smokers who had quit are now smoking again, while nine percent of former smokers said the financial situation had tempted them to start smoking again.


Sprint’s out with a new site to promote their mobile broadband product. They attempt to show users how awesome the web is by doing their best to shoehorn every time-sucking thing on the web into one page.
Brothers who have endured endless hours waiting while their sisters shop happily at the American Girl Store will soon have their revenge: with the launch of ROBOTGALAXY’s personalized robots, boys will also get to engage in the interactive shopping experience.
A Japanese super-fan has grown Apple-branded Fuji apples by adhering stickers to the still-ripening fruits a month before picking. Apple has yet to comment about the unofficially-logo’d Fuji’s, but we doubt they will. That is, unless they don’t taste good. (Or constantly crash.)
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Social Media: Dido, Elf Yourself

Flogging a dead horse? Well I guess that means its working … now with bigger logo! (It works for Macs now, which is nice …) I assume this is the annual seasonal offering from Anne Bologna’s and Ari Merkin‘s Toy New York.
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Automotive: Fiat, Fiesta

This Fiat Is Very Unreliable
This Fiat van spotted in London by Ben over at Noisy Decent Graphics demonstrates the power an irritated conumer can wield. Says Ben: “I bet Fiat hate it if he turns up at the local dealership. And it’s highly visible on the road, and now thanks to me, on search engines”.

Ford Flickrizes Fiesta
Ford’s European division chose to launch an all-images consumer generated thing that lets people contribute to and change a Fiesta covered with a collage of images. People can rate the images they like, dislike or add their own. I would like to think that this is innovative comms planning rather than a generic Yahoo offering…

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Metaverse: Life 2.0, Linden Economy

n his documentary film “Life 2.0,” Jason Spingarn-Koff ’96 examines what he calls “the world’s first virtual world” – Second Life. Launched in June 2003 by Linden Lab, Second Life allows users to create simulated avatars that inhabit a vast virtual environment he says is “sophisticated enough that people feel it is real.”In his documentary set to come out next year, Spingarn-Koff says he has filmed a small cross-section of users over a period of two years so that viewers can see the dramatic transformations users experience through Second Life.
In contrast with the turmoil rattling global financial markets, it’s all smooth sailing in the virtual economy of Second Life, the California-based creators of the Internet-based universe said Wednesday. ‘Despite the chaos in the world’s economies, lead indicators for the Second Life economy remain strong’ said John Zdanowski, financial director of Linden Lab, which set up Second Life in 2003. ‘Second Life as a whole has been so far unaffected by the recent turmoil in real world markets,’ he added in a written response to AFP. The exchange rate of the Linden dollar to the US dollar had remained stable, he said, as had trading on the LindeX exchange.
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Internet: Web Beats Instore, Internet Memes, Maghound

For the first time, the web has surpassed the store as the preferred way for multi-channel shoppers to purchase holiday gifts, according to the e-tailing group’s third annual “Mindset of the Multi-Channel Shopper Holiday Survey,” sponsored by ATG, Retailer Daily reports. Nearly half (49%) of those shoppers say they intend to do their holiday gift buying online, compared with 44% who plan to do so in-store, found the online survey of over 1,000 adults who shop online four or more times per year, spending at least $500 annually.

From the Dancing Baby to Ninja Cat. A humorous look at how far we’ve come in the last 10 years.
This service from Time Inc. is for people who still enjoy reading magazines, but who don’t want to make a commitment each month (or shell out $12.95 for a full year’s subscription); after all, the editorial staff and/or focus of major magazines has been known to change direction on a dime- so why can’t readers do the same? Visitors to the site can choose from a selection of 200 magazine titles from which to place an introductory order for either three, five, or seven titles a month (additional a la carte titles can be added for $1 each), any of which they can switch out and replace with a different title at any given time. Want to cancel the service altogether? Not a problem: members are not held to an annual contract and can opt out whenever they choose.
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Mashups … Old Skool v New Skool

Once a nerd always a nerd I always say. (And I don’t use that term pejoratively!) Two examples of user-generated mashups … one for good old Doctor Who (recreating the lost episodes) and one from Playstation (build your own game level).

Fans Reconstruct Doctor Who’s Trashed Past

‘Though the archives destroyed the videotapes of the lost shows, the audio tracks remain. The “Beeb” offers narrated audio productions of the lost stories. In addition, the section of BBC’s website covering classic Doctor Who offers free photo novels using the old programs’ original scripts and still photographs taken during production. So, some industrious fans took it upon themselves to fill in the gaps. Borrowing the audio tracks, they merge their own visuals to reconstruct the missing story — sharing the videos freely on services such as YouTube.’

LittleBigPlanet Transforms Players Into DIY Gods
LBP, out in October for PlayStation 3 allows players to design and build their own game levels, with unique objects and challenges. Unlike the abstruse 3-D design and physics programming that most game development requires, this experience is meant to be as simple, intuitive, and addictive as the gameplay. “We’re all really into music,” says Alex Evans, cofounder of the game’s developer, Media Molecule, “and we see this as a form of jamming.” People have used the tools to create musical instruments, as well as tanks, slingshots, and gigantic monsters that make my crude effort look pathetic. (Sony used the game in lieu of Power Point at a recent press conference.) Best of all, LittleBigPlanet lets anyone upload and share their works as easily as YouTube clips.