Archive for June, 2008
27 June

Outside Line win NMA Effectiveness Award for Sir Paul McCartney’s website

Last night was a great night for Outside Line as we picked up an award at the New Media Age Effectiveness Awards. We picked up the award in the Music category Sir Paul McCartney’s Memory Almost Full, which we designed and built. We were also shortlisted twice for Now Play It, in the Music and Best Use of Web categories.

Greg, our studio director and Nick, our account manager for the site, picked up the award at the ceremony last night in London:

More details of the night can be found over at – we’re delighted with the award and our congratulations go to all the other winners as well!

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26 June

Beck’s Live Studio

One of the most innovative and exciting things we’re working on right now is Beck’s Fusions, a unique art and music fusion project that runs throughout this summer, as part of Beck’s longstanding support of contemporary arts and music. We’re working on a digital venture called Live Studio, open to anyone willing and able to display their artistic talents and express their individuality.

The challenge is to create a work of art to a specific music track. Film yourself creating a work of art to the music and upload the video to the Beck’s channel page on MySpace. The competition goes live on July 7 but we thought we’d let you know now so any budding creative can get started now in preparation. All the entries will be judged by a panel comprising of Fabienne Nicholas of the Contemporary Arts Society, along with John Squire, Peter Saville and Francesca Gavin.

The winning artists will be picked at the Beck’s Fusions event in Manchester in September, and will take part in the main Live Studio event later that month. So get thinking now, and as the project progresses we’ll showcase some of the entries here as well!

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25 June

How best to deal with your community?

Yesterday, the owners of Faceparty, the clubbing & party-centric social networking site, decided it was the last straw. After promising to give away “cool tools” (the site’s paid services) for free in exchange for posting a picture of yourself in fancy dress, they found themselves inundated with requests. While they were still dealing with the backlog, users became impatient and abusive, and so the admins have decided enough is enough:

Sowwy dudes, but some of you have pissed us off so much today that we’ve shut the whole site down and fucked off to the zoo.

We’ve all had bad days dealing with running communities and dealing with objectionable members, so their course of action is understandable. They’re not the first social networking site to have such problems; an interesting contrast is Kevin Rose’s rallying cry to abide by the members of Digg’s wishes during last year’s HD-DVD key controversy; having initially deleted posts that might get them sued, after consideration he changed his mind, said sorry and promised to “go down fighting” if need be. A year on, Digg is still around, while HD-DVD is not.

So what’s best? Getting rid of troublesome users is a sensible business decision – they can waste a disproportionate amount of your time and land you in unnecessary hot water. But in social networks, the community is your business. Where does making life easier for yourself end, and a duty to your consumer base begin? Drawing a line is a very tricky business.

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24 June

Man v. Banner Advertising

We all know banner ads are largely ineffective – exactly as Scoble outlined two years ago. They are only trusted by barely a quarter of consumers, while those that click on them are the wrong demographic and don’t correspond to brand value. It means a waste of up to $1bn a year. No wonder Adblock for Firefox has been downloaded over 20 million times.

The less effective they are, the more jarring and interfering they have become to try and wring every last drop of attention out of their audience, so thanks to Scott Monty for highlighting this tongue-in-cheek look from at just how bad banner advertising has become:

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20 June

Berocca keeping Britain blogging

We’ve been working with Berocca and their agency i-level recently, working to help the Berocca brand get more engaged with the UK blogosphere. We have helped arrange their sponsorship of last month’s London bloggers’ meetup, which was really successful. Buoyed by this, we’re pleased to announce Berocca’s latest blogger venture, which is Blogger Relief. Anyone in the UK with a blog can take part – just fill in your details and you can get a special bloggers’ relief pack, including free pack of Berocca (naturally), a stress ball, bubble wrap keyring and penholder.

If you’re interested in getting your free bloggers’ relief pack then just head over to and sign up!

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13 June

What we like this week

This week I’ve been enjoying the Eco Zoo. Eco Zoo is a beautiful, playful and engaging site aimed to teach more about energy usage through characters such as Mrs. Angkor “Watt” (pictured above). The site uses 3D impressively – if you like, have a try clicking and dragging anywhere to see the world from any angle, and climbing up the tree into the ecosystem. You can also explore further by clicking on character and flicking through some slickly-rendered pop-up books. It’s brilliant in its combining of a intuitive interface with a worthy message. Go try it out!

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