Artists have always been curators.
Look at Andy Warhol. He took pictures of existing famous people and icons. He created a collection of people and things that he liked and wrapped them into a platform of his own creating. He loosely re-skinned them as his own, by painting them in bright pop colors and selling them for money.
His Factory, or any artists’ studio is essentially Pinterest. Or Tumblr. Modern, digital pop art is now giving the masses 15 megabytes of fame, by allowing them to pick people and things that they like and hang them in virtual galleries of their own.
This is pop art. This is the evolution of what great artists have done. It is more automated now and takes less determination than physically creating (or paying people to create) work in tribute of those things. But it is art nonetheless. These modern curators will develop their own styles, and invariably some will rise above the masses for elucidating their point of view in the clearest possible way.
The next Warhol is on Pinterest or Tumblr.Tweet
In the end, no winner was selected this year, but thank you to everyone who supported me with a nomination.
I promise to try and take my Pinterest account to new levels in 2013.
This is only the beginning.
The Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted. By Oyl Miller.
Facebook reached fame, scale and profitability before Pinterest. And that is a worthy accomplishment in the digital realm. Facebook is run by razor sharp individuals across a variety of fields. They are doing very well for themselves.
However, Pinterest offers a superior user experience. Pinterest gives you a blank canvas that you can shape and mold to your personality. Facebook gives you a very strictly designed box and has you fill in all the blanks. Facebook is good for people who want their online lives to be automated and auto filled. But for people who want to infuse their digital life with their own will and personality and taste, Pinterest is unsurpassed.
On Pinterest you can differentiate yourself from other users. You can shape peoples’ encounters with you by what you choose to feature. Facebook reads more like a social resume. It has reduced us all to the same set of data. Which it is mining for advertising.
Pinterest could well be mined too. It’s an entire ecosystem built around what people love. Facebook is centered around today, with a timeline that stretches out to our near past. Pinterest is a forward looking service. It’s a crystal ball that we can inform. It lets users plant the seeds of their own future. It deals in inspiration. There is a value in stalking someone on Pinterest. Stalking someone on Facebook only fuels idle gossip.
Pinterest has the potential to move us all forward. It has the potential to own the visual web. It has the potential to show us where we can go next. You can see Pinterest’s power by how many imitators have sprung up in the past year and a half. How many websites are imitating Facebook?
Facebook built the foundation of the social web. Pinterest is poised to leapfrog with inspiration and innovation.
Not all of the time. But most of the time.
The Internet can be our time machine. It can help propel us in the direction we want to go next. It can amplify our intentions. It can connect us with who we need to know next.
Or we can tread water. We can simply say what we are doing right now. We can over-connect and over-share. We can make the internet about cats and lunches and all of the other topics that represent us at our lowest common denominator.
When you find yourself staring at an update box, type something that will get you closer to where you want to be. Someone who might be able to help you will see it. Post things that you make, not only the things you observe. If you put effort into what you pour into the internet, the outcome might surprise you. I’ve been surprised enough times to feel the potential of the internet. And I want to feel it more.
I want us all to achieve our potential instead of merely hanging out.Tweet
The last few days have been an absolute whirlwind surrounding my Pinterest account.
Four days ago, I was a standard Pinterest user, with a meager 250 followers. Then, I was discovered, and the follower notifications flooded my inbox. Currently I have 26,718 followers, which makes me the 267th most followed person or brand on Pinterest in the world. I now have more followers than Oprah, Martha Stewart or Etsy. Those are three entities that have supposedly mastered Pinterest.
In the past three days I have been contacted by global marketing directors, a chief innovation officer and dozens of interested digitally savvy folks. They all ask the same basic question: How did I do it?
While I don’t believe a perfect blueprint for overnight viral success can be mapped out, this has been a targeted goal of mine for the past three months. In that time, I have slowly, and daily, been charting out a roadmap for viral success on Pinterest.
Quite simply, I’ve been pinning my passions. All of them.
Right now, it is my Sports pins that have reached the all important digital Tipping Point. Every day, for the past two months, I have been spending 10 minutes each morning, surfing Tumblr and my favorite sports blogs, specifically for images to add to my Pinterest boards. Some days I added just one photo, other days I added ten. The only rule I had was to make sure I pinned something about sports every day. I knew that the discipline and focus of a mission like that wouldn’t hurt my chances of achieving viral success.
I have 24 boards, and I’m working to create a depth and taste with them all. I am very selective in what I pin. And I never think about if a certain image will be popular or not. My only filter is ‘does this image get me excited personally?’ If I am inspired by something about an image, I will pin it to the corresponding board on my Pinterest. You can’t force it. You just have to develop your instinct to know when you find something inspiring. It’s not about pinning the things you think you should like, but rather, pinning ONLY the things you actually love.
As the Sports images I have been curating are raking in hundreds of repins an hour, I feel certain that other boards of mine like Film or Hoop Dreams, will eventually also be discovered. It is the excitement that one day someone will stumble upon them that keeps me moving forward and trying to make each board as surprising as possible. There are a ton of bad Pinterest accounts out there. I am very selective in who I follow. If you actually take your time to curate only the best content, and not SPAM people with just any old images, people will be excited to see what you have to offer.
I see a lot of brands who really misuse Pinterest (and Facebook for that matter.) If you pin or post desperately, that vibe will come across to users. If you are indiscriminate about what you share, people will sense your sloppiness of thought and be turned away. However, if you commit to only showing the most fascinating things that make you personally excited, users and fans will be attracted to that authenticity, and the social recognition will follow.
Essentially, the more selfish you are about sharing only the things you like, the more chance you will have of deeply connecting and engaging with your audience. It doesn’t happen overnight, even though it seemed to have happened that way for me. The truth is that it took me three months of planning, consistency and discipline to put myself in a position to go viral. Now that I have gone viral, the depth of my content is serving me well, as posts from all different time periods are reaping the benefits of my new found exposure. I have taken the time and effort to ensure that every single pin on my boards is something that I am excited about. And now I am excited to share those visual findings with my new followers and beyond.
All 26,783 of them ;)
(I literally gained 65 new Pinterest followers in the time it took me to write this post.)Tweet
I am now being followed by over 23,000 people on Pinterest. I guess my new routine of taking 15 minutes every morning to devote to pinning has started to pay off. I look forward to more people discovering my boards, and hope to keep giving them inspiring images. You can check out and follow my Pinterest profile here: http://pinterest.com/oylmiller/
Written by Oyl Miller
Soundtrack by Oyl Miller
Starring Bryan Bernart
Directed, Shot, and Chopped by Joe Aimonetti
Thanks for the quote @sneakerboxClyde!
When I first started in advertising, the industry was at the tail end of a very classical period. Projects would often take over a year, and the deliverables were primarily magazine ads and television commercials.
Anything on the Internet was considered a geeky experiment and not to be trusted. I joined Twitter during its first year, and I remember suggesting using it for a campaign. I was roundly laughed out of the room for my naivety. The same thing happened with proposing a campaign that would work entirely on Facebook.
Refresh your browser to today, when Twitter and Facebook have become a core consideration on every single advertising brief. Gone are the year-long concepting grinds. Replaced by a new kind of fluid client-agency partnership that takes incredible collaboration to meet the ever quickening deadlines. The process is often chaotic during the making of these things, but when the dust settles, we have projects that everyone takes pride in.
I think the model for advertising used to model the process cycle of filmmaking and the fine arts. But as technology has tipped into mainstream ubiquity, the advertising model I find myself operating in is closer to developing, programming and hacking. It’s our job to bring as much taste and aesthetics to this process, but you need to shift your mind into a perpetual beta state to keep up. The rules of the digital landscape are being written on a daily basis, so there can be seismic shifts mid-production, or even after launch. If you don’t find a way to cope with that new reality, you’ll go mad, and your projects will never be realized.
I find myself creating ‘theories’ more than concepts these days. While I always start from a core idea, I try to keep my mind loose, to be receptive to a range of executional options. I also try to use as many digital platforms and tools as possible, so that I constantly know where the edges of the playing field are.
It’s impossible to predict where tomorrow’s innovation will take us. All we can do is stay fluid and adapt. All we can do is be water, my friend. We can’t predict the future, but we can be smart about building a mobile foundation that will be able to react and take advantage of this constantly evolving digital landscape.Tweet
NIKE RUN Like ME Intro movie - Meet Joseph, the man who will run 100 meters for every Facebook Like!!
It’s time to retire the word Internet.
In its place we can simply say nothing, or we can say Life.
Listen, it’s not 1991 anymore. That year is finally over. Hamsters spinning on wheels are no longer a part of the ‘going online’ process. Our connection to the so-called Internet is more than 24/7. It’s not just a connection to a bunch of bits and bots. It’s a connection to each other. All of the fancy offerings and gadgets these days have been created to be more intuitive to provide a more fluid experience. All this means is that the technology is being rendered more and more invisible. Technology is just a time-erasing tool that has the power to stitch two sides of the globe together instantly.
Lags are minimal. The humanity is becoming maximal. Baby pictures, half eaten sandwiches, graduations, birthdays, favorite songs, you name it. These can all no be easily embedded into the conversations of our life. The great river or connectedness rolls on. You can contribute to the stream, or you can stay in your wi-fi-less cabin and pine for the Neanderthal days of geocities and Prodigy.
This is the new reality that everyone who wants to ‘connect’ needs to consider. Everything y build to launch into our new stream must be optimized for human consumption. If it looks, feels and works like it was made by robots, then it will probably only resonate with robots. And sadly, robots haven’t evolved to the point where their development can push the world forward. So until we arrive in some sort of dystopian world of ubiquitous AI, build things for humans.
Before you shove off in your technological raft to deliver your breakthrough product, take a long consideration about how humans work. Will your offering make our constant connection easier, more meaningful more human? Or are you adding more buttons because you think you should. Answer the central question of ‘why should I care?’ If you can craft compelling reasons for people to care deeply, your raft of technology is headed for the right current. If you can’t answer the ‘why’ part, then you may be in for a costly ride straight for a whirlpool of anti-progress.
The most powerful thing humans can do, have been the most powerful things they’ve always been able to do. The ability to make people feel. Make me laugh, make me cry, make me nostalgic, make me feel something. When I feel, I talk about it. I press buttons. I clap my hands like a circus monkey. If you can visualize your audience reacting like cymbal banging circus monkeys to your latest launch, launch it now. If not, hold back, and reengineer a bunch of humanity into the core, and release when it’s ready.Tweet
It started off as a dorm room joke. Then it evolved into a campus experiment before eventually tipping into a multi-billion dollar advertising juggernaut.
Does Facebook represent a new way of doing business, or are we caught up in the interactive glare of a new Fool’s Gold?
I believe Facebook as it currently exists is not sustainable. It’s meteoric rise has been impressive and inspiring, but is that due more to the fact that they were the first ones to bet heavily (and with great ambition) in the social networking space.
Google is learning from Facebook’s learnings and has been chasing them with a passion. With Google’s recently refreshed mobile app, you could even argue that Google ‘gets’ mobile better than Facebook. That’s concerning considering the present and future of digital will be predominantly mobile.
Facebook is a phenomenal personal networking tool. It’s a great way to keep up with friends. But other than automating the ease with which you can connect, what additional value are they providing customers? I can see how they are offering advertisers tremendous value. ‘Pay us and you can talk to our 900 million citizens.’ But what is the value for those 900 million? Is Facebook sustainable as an advertising sales company?
What happens when people ignore the ads? Get fed up with the intrusions? Or another social network rises to prominence by promising to be ad free?
I think Facebook will chase its tail a little bit here. From one point of view, you could claim that Facebook has become the digital equivalent of a television broadcast network. They are making broadcast space available to advertisers for a fee. Yes, there is the omnipresent ‘Like’ button to make it technically ‘two-way’ conversation. But are people begging for these ads? Do people wake up and say ‘Man, I really want to engage with some brands online today.’
If they do, then Facebook has cracked the code. If not, perhaps they are a traditional broadcast media platform in social media clothing (coding).
I think Facebook is in a great position to radically change what they do. I’m not sure if the investors will allow that to happen. But if they built some new, surprising arms to their operation, they could take their business to another level. They could leverage their massive user base to create products around the types of things that people love sharing. Music, video, and hell, even something like GIFs. But those theories are fodder for another post, or a coffee talk with the Chief Hoodied Officer himself.
Time and dollars will tell.
All I know, is when it comes to Facebook’s stock:
‘Like’ low, ‘Unlike’ high.Tweet
My business card says ‘Andrew Miller. Copywriter.’
I’ve never been satisfied with that title. I respect it, but don’t feel like it defines me well. ‘Copywriter’ to me sounds like something that is hanging on from the days of Madmen. I know it’s a strong calling card in the world of advertising, but as the world of advertising is stretching on a daily basis into ‘the world of creativity,’ I struggle to understand how the term can keep up.
Traditionally a copywriter wrote the words that would appear in advertising. They would write scripts for television commercials, and headlines and body copy for print ads. I do all of those things, but I feel like that is only 10% of my job description.
I also design websites, create mobile apps, build interactive experiences, create ways to visualize data, figure out the best way to use Facebook, develop campaigns that live on Twitter, have meetings not just with directors and photographers, but also event planners, software engineers, coders and hackers.
I know I’m not alone. I know these duties are the new standard for advertising creatives. Maybe that’s why a much broader cross section of industries are now interested in having conversations. Being a copywriter in 2012 feels like a tremendous education in modern creativity. The experiments and the failures feel more valuable than ever as we are all hacking our way to figure out which way leads up.
So, what title do we put on our business cards? (err… LinkedIn profiles?)
Writing TV spots and snappy headlines is the foundation. It’s the kind of thing we’re called on to do in a jam these days. There’s a time and a place for it. But more and more so, in a world gone fully digital, there is an open-source, beta-mindset of trial and error that we are expected to engage with, create ideas around and give advice about without blinking an eye.