what you should be reading:

'Social TV' is responsive content (not 2nd screen)

Truly Social TV isn't a second screen with a social media feed and algorithmically relevant content pushed to you from the Web.

Neither is it 'what your friends are watching.'

Truly Social TV is audience responsive content -- and I don't mean algorithmically.

It's content made on demand, based on audience response, that converses and proceeds in the direction that they want it to go. It's cultivated, curated, informative community.

I'm going to talk you through three excellent examples of TV on the Social Web done well. These examples are the kind of thing that will help broadcasters move into the era of digital TV, and help brands thinking about setting up channels on Web-based social TV platforms (i.e. YouTube) understand social dynamics.

Click to read more ...


Kill the hero. Live the journey.

I'm sick to death of Story Telling and Story Arcs. And if one more person asks me, "who's the hero?" I may well get up and walk out.

I've had enough of agencies that purport to be about 'Story'.

Trust me, anybody trying to sell you a definitive hero and a story with an arc isn't really getting it. Sure they'll connect with some part of all of us that wants to be a hero but it's what's foregone, how much stronger the connection could be.

When I set out to define my startup last year, what a 'story' is and what it means to us as individuals was at the heart of it.

It's not just that we all have 'a Story'.

Click to read more ...


Open letter to ASB Bank: please put Experience ASB back online

Dear ASB,

Experience ASB was a brilliant little bit of how to do interactive film well.

It was also a brilliant example of why brands should be doing interactive film.

I understand that it's no longer your current campaign and that you now have new marketing and digital relationships, but I'd like you to consider putting it back online.

What was brilliant about it as an interactive film:

  • It was timed well: short clips of about 30 seconds kept the story moving and didn't let the user get bored.
  • The end of the clip presented the user with a question or a decision to make -- regular actions keep the user engaged.
  • It was a great example of effective and affective uses of both digital video and game dynamics for interactive film

Why was a glittering example of why brands should be doing interactive film:

Click to read more ...


Is Apple making a habit of banning interactive documentary?

It was a huge mistake that Apple recently banned two 'games' from its app store: SweatshopHD and Syria Endgame.

Two words: interactive documentary

This is future documentary and digital journalism. And Apple doesn't get it.

Gamifying the news is a sub-genre of interactive documentary. Apple banned the games by ridiculously applying a long standing ban-- which is great as a guideline and overall a good policy-- on excluding defamation against culture/race/religion etc. But it needs to take a closer look.

A journalists' job is to put the public inside a story, to make the public understand the dynamics facing those involved. What better way to do that than introducing first person decision making? Games do this.

Click to read more ...


The key to 'social media' is physical space

Or: how to put a face on a brand and cultivate community

What most people don't get about 'social' and 'digital' content is that the key to digital interactivity is bridging the digital and physical space.

How many social apps and websites have launched and failed because someone thought, 'there are loads of people interested in this area, people will visit if I have good content'.

Yes, content is important but only after you've got the community to support it.

It's not enough to have good digital content and digital interactivity -- truly successful and (cringes) 'viral' 'social media' bridges the physical and digital at some point.

Click to read more ...


Service Design Jam as Learning Environment



I'm looking for some camera people to shoot and edit for an interactive film as learning environment project the weekend of 1March (5pm) until 3March (5pm).

I'm turning the Global Service (Design) Jam London into an interactive learning environment (it's like a hackweekend but for designers and creatives). (also see GSJ HQ)


For a mockup of the intended outcome, I've used some footage from last year to give you an idea of how interactive film can be broken up and used as an interactive learning experience.  http://zeega.com/87370/view 


Location: LBi, London


For your trouble you get:

  • Jam snacks
  • A credit for your CV -- to say you've worked on an interactive film project (you can even spin it as interactive education or online learning)
  • Awesome networking (it's at LBi, I've benefitted as I've shot the Jam the last two years)
  • And probably the grateful thanks of the service design community


I know that beggers can't be choosers but I'm hoping that you:

  • have your own HD video and audio equipment
  • experience and software to edit your own footage


I need 7 or 8 cameras with audio (audio is crucial because it's an open-plan venue) -- ideally you've got a boom mic and pole and even more ideally, someone to hold it for you-- though you're welcome to hold your own (I do). 

Each camera will be assigned a Jam team and it's your responsibility to edit your rushes, some on the day and also into seven final sequences within two weeks after the Jam.

The idea is to capture the process the teams go through, the crucial questions they ask themselves.

The 7 sequences follow the way the Jam is broken up:


  1. Friday night: teams meet and are given a theme. They use post-its and get their first ideas out.
  2. Saturday AM: Refine final idea and prototype. Prepare for 11am check-in
  3. Saturday lunchtime: User research
  4. Saturday PM: 4pm check-in; refine prototype and discard ideas based on user research.  Possibly do some more user research after taking advice from Mentors.
  5. What do the Mentors have to say about the team? Should they panic?
  6. Saturday PM: the run up to the 7pm check-in and the aftermath
  7. Sunday AM: final prototypes and preparing the presentation


Each sequence should capture what the teams are thinking and why they are thinking it. 

Zeega doesn't take uploaded media itself, all media must be uploaded to public services like YouTube (for video), Flickr, or Soundcloud (Zeega works with a limited amount of social media sites).

The final presentations and awards will be filmed likely by me. I would appreciate the opportunity for a second camera to provide me with audience shots and second angles.

The Zeega project will link to not only Jam materials but also service design materials like the Service Innovation Canvas and Design Thinking and Game Storming and any other methodologies the teams tell us they are working with. As the weekend progresses I will interview Mentors and Jam organisers (all service designers themselves) about service design and whether "Design Thinking Is A Failed Experiment".


Please forward this to anyone you know who might be interested. 


If you've read this and would like to sponsor us (we'd be grateful) for the filming and post, feel free to send me something via PayPal (it's ann [dot] danylkiw @ gmail [dot] com) Cheers!




Nonlinear Storytelling in the Visual to Emotive Web

I'm trying to raise my profile so that I can find more freelance projects to work on, so I've made a film of me talking about the value opportunity of nonlinear storytelling and how we are moving from the Visual to the Emotive Web.


Click to read more ...


Visual Literacy is Digital Literacy

Visual literacy isn't something that should just be pursued by academics in order that they can express complex ideas (i.e. the value of their research) to regular people -- Visual Literacy is Digital Literacy.

With respect to new initiatives to make a new generation of digitally-turned on, 'Web-Makers',

Digital Literacy doesn't start at making the web. It starts at participating (digitally). (digitally) is in parenthesis because you can't participate in society without being digital. You just can't. We're past that.

Digital Literacy doesn't actually start with participating, it starts with growing your own self-awareness around your own voice and how your 'self' is represented and manifests digitally.

I spend a lot of time in my research (I'm writing this post without quoting or diving down academic holes, for those, see my PhD blog) looking at how the brain structures memory and communication, and why and how we think the way we do and process information.*

It's curious that the Web, a medium fundamentally about people communicating started with text, a medium we have to re-wire our brains to understand. 

What's even more interesting is that we are now seeing the birth of the visual Web -- as fundamentally people existing in a digital medium, we are now coming to re (?) - integrate, re-learn, re-comprehend the need for affective means of communication.

Very quickly and simplistically we 'trust' visual communication more because of the way our brains evolved. We have emotive responses to visual messages that we don't have with text. It's just different. That's why a website or a document can have a lot of relevant information on it but if it's not structured well or is done with garish colours or funky text no one will comprehend a word of it.

We respond to visual and also (importantly, let's not leave out) auditory signals fundamentally differently than we respond to text.

Over the course of history (much glossying over and generalisations occuring here) we have come to believe --very broadly -- as a society that emotion is bad. Being emotional and relating emotionally -- visually--  are weak positions. Relating through reason -- text-- is right and true and sensible.

And now we are re-integrating(?) visual, emotive communication into our interactions. Not that it was ever gone, but there are glaring differences between interfaces from the 1990's, the 2000's, and the 2010's.

And that is very very interesting.

Technology shapes behaviour and visaversa, digital behaviour bleeds offline.  The early Web limited communication to text for varied reasons. A more visual Web emerges because technology (and code) have caught up with our technical capability and our needs as a society to fundamentally change the way we relate to each other.

What am I talking about? Shifts not only in communication and infrastructure but economic systems, too.

The point is this: Visual Literacy, the ability to communicate emotively, at a very basic human level, and do so both effectively and affectively is Digital Literacy.*

I disagree that coding constitutes Digital Literacy. Digital Literacy starts at self-expression.

Yes, there are and will be people who will jump right in to coding with no pathway in between. But to say simply that code is Digital Literacy I fear will drive people away.

But I don't think the path to learning to code is direct. I think for most people it will come through interacting and making media as a (now almost mandatory) means to interact. 

The way a society becomes Digitally Literate is through expression -- communicating online (instagram, YouTube, Viddy, Tumblr, Pintrest), self-discovery that what we as individuals have to say matters and how what we say as individuals fits with(in) others.

This is one of the most important promises of digital 'social media'-- it allows us the opportunity to re-examine our own thoughts and interactions in a way that perhaps we haven't had before, especially as we watch our thoughts (tweets, posts) and emotions (audio, video, images) travel around the Web and interact with others' interactions. 

The more we interact, the more we learn how to craft those interactions, those 'messages' via media through which behaviourally we have learned that we must use to be socially acceptable, the more I believe we will want to 'make' things that fit ourselves and our own expression. 

There is something to be said for enabling people to make digital media. Coding will follow. 

'To Code' therefore is perhaps not the best starting point for Digital Literacy. It's more complex than that.

Visual Literacy is a very basic form of self-awareness. Visual Literacy isn't just necessary for academics or large companies or entrepreneurs. Visual Literacy is Digital Literacy.


I think what necessarily follows from Visual Literacy as Digital Literacy is non-linear storytelling. But that is for my next post. 


* I've spent the last eight months working on a startup of my own that deals with emotive communication, focusing on the transfer of Visual Literacy as Digital Literacy, looking at how we internalise 'story' and how we feed that back to others and then again into ourselves -- story as reflexive process. The startup concept and design is based on my PhD research

(We are seeking investment, if you're interested and have £250k-£500k to throw around please do use that contact link at the top of the page!)