Author Archive

10 May

Twitter vs Facebook

In a world where you’re either an iPhone or an Android, a Beatle or a Rolling Stone, a breast or a thigh (*ahem*), it’s increasingly important to pick your side… and fast. As such, we’ve asked some of the Outside Line team which side they take in the ultimate social media showdown: Twitter vs Facebook?

Kelly Wheeler, Editorial Content

Our bank of desks in the Outside Line office is known for its heated debates (and chocolate). One of the more interesting questions raised recently was along the lines of “if you could only ever visit one website again, which site would it be?”

My first thought was Facebook. Obviously. In this day and age you can’t survive without knowing exactly what that guy who used to sit next to you in biology class had for breakfast, can you? But then when it came down to the (proverbial) wire and I was about to (hypothetically) choose Facebook and banish Twitter from my life forever, I (realistically) just couldn’t do it.

So what does that mean? I was being sneaky and trying to circumvent the ‘one website only’ rule by choosing an interface rife with links? Well, yes, but that was soon vetoed. Rather, for me Twitter has become one of the main ways that I stay up to date with what other people, like me, think is worth knowing.

I like seeing someone’s opinion on a breaking news story and then clicking through to formulate my own. I feel better knowing that other people also believe that something as trivial as a good cup of tea makes their day and is worth a tweet. I revel in being able to find a corny joke whenever I need one. And most of all, I love that my mom is not on Twitter.

After all, if you have to tell me about your breakfast, at least it’ll only bore me for 140 characters or less.

Round 1… goes to Twitter

Chris Welton, Social Media

It’s a doozy of a question.

From a purely selfish point of view, without Twitter I may not be in the job I’m in right now (thanks again for the recommendation @EddHannay). But without Facebook my role probably wouldn’t exist!

While that leaves no real clear ‘winner’, I’m genuinely convinced Twitter has improved my knowledge, expanded my profile socially and professionally, while also acting as one of my key sources for news and information.

Plus, did you hear Biz Stone’s recent interview with Howard Stern? What a genuinely friendly, honest and clever man…

Round 2… close but think Twitter has it

Nicola Lentin, Accounts

I’ve been a Facebook fan for a number of years and it’s a brilliant innovation (if only I had thought of it!) Recently, however, it has suffered a fall from grace, having, inadvertently, garnered a public image usually reserved for soap operas – lots of viewers and long time fans but few who would be proud to admit it. Despite this, it is, undoubtedly, one of the most useful tools of the modern age; not only does it enable us to stay in touch with friends on the other side of the planet, but we can share (or enviously stalk through) holiday photos, keep note of birthdays, stay up to date with the latest events and of course, parade your latest ’relationship status’ with the world, all with a minimal amount of effort.

All that said, over the last year I have been converted into a Twitterite. I love it. The great thing about Twitter is the lightning quick pace and the amount of information you can consume in a short amount of time; you can find out what’s going on in your favourite blogs, catch up with the latest news and (how could we forget?!) follow the trials and tribulations of your favourite (or least favourite) celebrities, all without spending your lunch hour at your desk. I think Twitter has also brought down a lot of barriers; bringing together different internet communities and allowing people to connect with others that would have, previously, been out of reach.

So with all that said, I can conclude that you will mainly find me tweeting (@nicola_lentin) tonight as the new Apprentice is aired!

Round 3… too close to call

Mike Mackay, Development

For me, it’s all about Twitter.

While Facebook is where the majority of users are, I prefer the minimal intrusion that Twitter offers. Facebook has become increasingly commercialised – while things are starting to move in that direction with Twitter too, you can’t go anywhere on Facebook without being targetted – unfortunately (depending on how you look at it), it does, however, yield the results companies and individuals are looking for. Twitter, for me, is also more about convenience – there are a plethora of apps that enable me to interact with the platform however I choose.

…and the best bit? Not a single Farmville request in sight.

Round 4… another one for Twitter.

So it looks like an, almost, unanimous victory for Twitter.

We prefer the unrestricted, individualistic nature of Twitter as opposed to Facebook’s rigid, overly commercialised regime. However, as Mike states, Facebook does achieve results and still has the bigger user base (almost five times that of Twitter). Is it that we actually prefer Twitter and find it more useful or is it, as Nicola suggests, that Facebook has more of a PR problem?

The big problem is that the question we posed is flawed (sorry guys!); it’s not the same as being a PC or a Mac, it’s not a decision you have to, or indeed should, make… you can be both Twitter and Facebook. They serve different purposes, particularly in terms of their role in advertising. Just as print and TV ads are effective in different ways, Twitter and Facebook reach different audiences, provide a different experience and engage with consumers differently. So, whether you’re a Zuckerbergite or a Biz Stoner, we all need to get on board with both and understand the real benefits of each.

Check this out
posted by Rob at 13:48   _comments (0)
28 April


BBCify via Kelly

“BBCify mashes up TV and radio listings from the BBC with Spotify to create playlists of shows.

As well as new playlists for each broadcast, BBCify also creates magic playlists; a single playlist that gets updated every day with the latest tracks. Add a magic playlist to your phone, set it to sync offline and each morning you’ll awake to great playlists lovingly crafted by the awesome BBC people.”

Kelly swears by The Huey (of Fun Loving Criminal’s fame) Show… this will give you a playlist with Velvet Underground, James Blake and Al Green. Score.

Life in a Day via Tony

Another video that we’ve been waiting a long time to see, Ridley Scott’s ‘Life in a Day’ project.

“On July 24, 2010, thousands of people around the world uploaded videos of their lives to YouTube to take part in Life in a Day, a historic cinematic experiment to create a documentary film about a single day on earth.”

This film will attempt to navigate the cliff edge between being heartfelt and being cheesy – from this trailer we’re not so sure that it’s going to do it successfully but it’s still a great idea.

Cinemagraphs via Rob

Ok, so we’re not the only ones shouting about these this week. We love the re-cycling of a simple technology (ie GIFs) to make something new and great. This one seems to be the most popular in the office, but check out the full collection at From Me To You’s Tumblr.

NYC Photographer Jamie Beck

Royal Wedding Cereal

The obligatory Royal Wedding entry. Purely for the genius copy on each pack…”Put a monarch in your morning!”

‘Special Kate’s’ and ‘Wills’ Royal O’s’ gets our vote for best Royal Wedding merchandise.

Check this out
posted by Rob at 16:47   _comments (0)
21 April



We love designer toys, but once you have one, it sits on your desk and does very little – maybe you’ll get another one to keep it company, but then the two of them just sit there. Dentsu have come up with a concept that will change this. Suwappu is a range of toys that you can interact with using augmented reality. Finally, a decent excuse to actually play with our toys again.


Last weekend, Coachella threw down the gauntlet for festival coverage. Using YouTube’s new live streaming service, viewers from all over the world could watch one of three channels showing a selection of the artists playing the festival without heading to the desert. Can Bestival’s 3D coverage top it?

Wiley – Numbers in Action

When he’s not off advertising jam on Youtube, offering hundreds of free downloads via Twitter or talking to fans and making beats live on U Stream, Wiley more traditionally makes music for record label release.

We love his smart new video for ‘Numbers In Action’, the lead single from the forthcoming Big Dada album ’100% Publishing’ which sees multiple Wileys walk, jump and dance in time with the music. It’s the best video he’s done and hints at a return to his more traditional, less pop-synth-heavy production.


Pervasive games are all the rage at the moment from Secret Wars’ water pistol assassination game to Go Game’s interactive treasure hunts. This weekend, Fire Hazard are teaming up with The London International Festival of Science Fiction and Fantastic Film (wow, they need to come up with a shorter name) to create a huge real-world game on the Southbank.

“Guided by the Citizen Education Officer’s voice in your ear (and perhaps the odd message from the resistance), you’ll evade agents, crack codes, pass on secret messages, spot clues and demonstrate superhuman powers of reasoning to win the challenge and become one of the RECOGNISED.

However you approach the challenge, as one of the SUSPECTED you’re in for an intense half hour.

Geeky fun!

Beastie Boys ”Make Some Noise” (Fight For Your Right Revisited)

In January, we heard that the Beastie’s film, starring (amongst others) Seth Rogan, Elijah Wood and Will Ferrell, would be showing at Sundance and we have been desperate to see it ever since. Today, the film leaked online, so you can watch the trailer below and watch the rest on Audio Perv. Enjoy!

Check this out
posted by Rob at 17:14   _comments (0)
15 April

What Makes a Great Idea?

A few weeks ago, D&AD held one of their Sharp’ner events on What Makes A Great Idea? (apologies for the cliched lightbulb pic) and the answer was a resounding shoulder shrug and a muttered “I dunno but it kinda looks like one of these ideas…” Feeling deeply unsatisfied with this answer we asked five members of the Outside Line team, all from different disciplines, what they thought made a great idea…

David Hamilton, Development

I always thought ideas are like greatness. Some ideas are just great (internet porn), some ideas achieve greatness (Facebook) and some ideas have greatness thrust upon them (Twitter).

Ideas often depend on your point of view and great ideas come from being able to see something in a way no one else has, or even seeing a use in something that other people have dismissed as ridiculous.

For instance, washing fruit and vegetables in your washing machine sounds dumb, right? But check this out, a washing machine manufacturer in China went round to a guy’s house to fix his washing machine and when they got there they found it was clogged up with lettuce and other veg and they were like “wtf man?” (or something to that effect). He replied ”yeah I wash my food in here”. Instead of laughing at him as they probably should, they went back to their R&D team and they designed a washing machine that cleans food as well as clothes. That may not have been the greatest idea but that kind of thinking can result in winning ideas.

Dan Rutherford, Creative Planning

For any idea to be successful it needs to offer a fun, entertaining or useful experience for consumers. If it doesn’t, then don’t bother.

It’s not just about delivering the brand message in a certain way, it’s about creating something that adds to the consumers day.  In my opinion, brands that offer a continual flow of experiences for consumers are the ones that create better connections with existing and new fans of the brand.  The energy that’s created by fans who interact with your idea is what makes the idea great.

Gemma Bardsley, Social Media

Great ideas come from insights into culture; knowledge of the way people behave and using this information to create a relevant ‘solution’. The solution and ‘idea’ may not have been a problem anyone knew needed to be fixed. Way before Facebook existed we were all happy with the way we interacted with people, the creation of Facebook wasn’t essential to our day-to-day life. However, insight into human behaviour suggested that there was another way to facilitate communication, which harnessed the web’s ability to connect people and our inherent desire to share information. This led to the creation of the biggest social networking tool.

In the way that luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunities; a great idea is what happens when cultural insight meets inspiration.

The below video is a great example of cultural insights resulting in a great idea; providing a city with 20,000 bikes so they can move from a to b and kickstart their own economy.

Kelly Wisker, Accounts

“I wish I’d thought of that first”… if people say that about your idea… you’re onto a winner.

A great idea is something that fills a void that people never even knew existed – a new product that you didn’t need, but now you can’t live without it… an app that solves a problem or makes your life easier… a tool that brings you together with friends or reunites you with family.

Ben Stapleton, Video

A great idea is something you shouldn’t have to think about, it should come to you.

Whether it’s the perfect sandwich filling or a great idea for a video, it’s something you should want to put into action straight away, regardless of any hurdles.

It’s often so easy to get bogged down by obstacles and the thought that “someone else has probably already done it”. This can be the death of an idea before it’s even begun, it’s important that once you have an idea that you have confidence in it and block out your inner naysayer.

Check this out
posted by Rob at 12:11   _comments (0)
1 April


Pica Pic

This website is actually the reason this blog is a little late, I was stuck on Donkey Kong Jnr. Great site of digitalised versions of hand held electronic games.

Beats Per Mile

Gemma, one of our Social Media Managers, is running the Marathon this month. Being a self-proclaimed, digital geek she was eager to explore what she could do with all the data collected on each of her runs (using Runkeeper Elite) and the result is Beats Per Mile, a site that creates a visualition on a map as she runs. The site will also pull in instagram photos and tweets as she goes around.

Hackney Hear

Looks like this app (iPhone and Android) will launch in January 2012. With quite a few Outside Liners living in nearby Hackney, we’re pretty excited about this app which uses your location to trigger audio lips tailored to your journey.

Ashley Boo Facebook

I feel a little bad mentioning this one as you will most likely never get to experience it since Facebook seems to have taken it down. Of course, as with all missed opportunities, this one was amazing and you should be sad that you missed it.

A facebook takeover meets the hunter shoots a bear interactive YouTube clip. Ashley Boo looked exactly like a Facebook profile except it comes to life. Allowing  you to issue commands to Ashley and her friends via the Facebook status bar…  really nice. We hope they find a way to comprimise with Facebook to get it reinstated.

120 Hours

“120 Hours (of digital display) centres around an exhibition that is an experiential celebration of the digital creative industry and its work. At this one-off, exclusive event we will walk you through the best digital ads from online and mobile.”

Held at IAB’s Covent Garden office.

Check this out
posted by Rob at 16:52   _comments (0)
11 March


NASA (via Welton)

You’ve gotta give NASA credit, they always know how to make sure they have our attention. With the Discovery coming in for its final descent into our atmosphere, Twitter went wild for the brilliant and really well executed live shots provided on uStream.

Koalas To The Max – (via Dave)

Without ruining the surprise too much if you love koalas (who doesn’t love koalas?) and cool sites then this is for you. Pop all the blobs into their smallest form to be in with a nice surprise….

MS Paint (via Welton)

Sometimes things come along that are just so awesome but you are at odds to explain them. Without disturbing a developer for the intricacies of this, let’s just say this is what happens when you take the code of a programme like Paint and see what it sounds like as digital audio. Daft Punk’s secret has been rumbled?!

Firefox 4 Demos (via Rob)

The end of days is coming… where only the fastest, brightest and coolest will survive. I’m, of course, talking about the ultimate HTML5 browser showdown. IE9 displayed their, admittedly, pretty cool frame rate test. But, due to my admittedly geeky nostalgia for a programme called QuickTime VR, the 360 degree video on the Firefox 4 demo site has won my vote (although if I’m honest, I accessed both through Chrome).

Kinect Hacking (via Gem)

In a recent blog article, Tony talked about the importance of being useful as opposed to just interesting. Kinect hacks have been numerous but have suffered hugely from being really cool but not that useful. We’re finally getting to the point where people are really thinking about how useful the technology is and with 1million users and counting we have high hopes for this trend to continue.

Check this out
posted by Rob at 17:59   _comments (0)
4 March


JR’s TED Wish (via Gem)

Towards the end of last year, JR became the first street artist to win the TED Prize. The award for which is a nice chunk of cash ($100k) and the much coveted “One Wish to Change the World.” JR’s wish was this: “I wish for you to stand up for what you care about by participating in a global art project, and together we’ll turn the world…INSIDE OUT.”

Check out the Inside Out Project and watch JR’s TED Talk below (hard to remain anonymous while doing a TED Talk though)

PlaceKitten (via George)

We’ve gone cat crazy this week, from disguising our milk to fool the cats with thumbs (jog on, kitties) to this amazing kitten placeholder generator. Just add your dimensions to the url and you’ll get a perfect kitty placeholder.

This is what we got for (530 x 360)

Charlie Sheen (via Welton)

For a man who’s potentially off his rocker, Charlie Sheen has taken the world by storm this week. ‘Tigerblood’, ‘Winning’ and a whole host of phrases are now ensconced in the language of the internets. Throw in a dubstep remix and the Outside Line office is on board.

I Wish This Was (via Nicola)

When I was 10, I wanted to get the council to convert a disused building into a giant den for me and my friends, to keep us from committing fictional mischief on our imaginary motorcycles. So I set about sending letters to the council outlining the plans, but not one got a reply. It would have been so much easier if we had these stickers, I could have spent more time creating actual mischief and less time writing letters!

Seriously though, this is a great project from installation artist, Candy Chang. The project, based in New Orleans, allows residents to have their say on the state of their city.

MINI World Record Campaign (via Rob)

How many elephants can you get into a MINI?

Four: Two in the front, two in the back.

How many giraffes can you get into a MINI?

None. It’s full of elephants.

Ok, so they didn’t try to get elephants into a MINI (unfortunately), but they did create a MINI world record by digitally cramming as many people as they could inside the MINI Countryman. Great Execution.

Check this out
posted by Rob at 17:49   _comments (0)
25 February


Muppets x LCD Soundsystem

Anyone remember the U2 video The Streets Have No Name? There were two major problems with that video, the first of course being U2 and the second the lack of muppets. Both of these problems have been rectified in this unofficial video for the LCD Soundsystem track Dance Yrself Clean.

Michael Moore’s High School Newspaper

“In high schools all across America, students have great ideas to make things better or to question what is going on—and often these thoughts and opinions are ignored or silenced. How often in school is the will of the student body ignored? How many students today will try to speak out, to stand up for something important, to simply try to right a wrong—and will be swiftly shut down by those in authority, or by other students themselves?”

Mike’s High School Newspaper will give students an uncensored voice. While it’s a great project, you have to wonder how much ownership they can have on something called Mike’s High School Newspaper.

Spotify RFID Player (via Wired)

Although currently only a concept, this cool little device, from student Jordi Parra, allows users to take their digital playlists and make them physical again.

“Each RFID tag has a unique ID [and] there’s no music in the tag itself. The prototype checks what music the current tag is pointing to on a database and starts playing it.” – Jordi Parra

Continuum by Mary Huang

“The future of fashion, and the future of consumer products in general, lies not only in more advanced technologies and materials, but also in reevaluating the very infrastructure of design, manufacture, and retail. By blending rapid fabrication, interactive software, and the accessibility of the web, we can let individuals participate directly in the design and production process.”

Watch the video to see what it’s all about. Try it online at

“We Are The Future”

For better or worse, this was by far the most talked about thing in the office this week. From the look of the comments, we weren’t the only ones talking, but we’ll let you make up your own minds.

and here’s a parody…

Check this out
posted by Rob at 17:57   _comments (0)
18 February


Red Bull Street Art View

There’s few brands in the world that can boast their own F1 team and air race. Their latest offering uses Google Street View to create a catalogue of street art around the world. As long as you can find it on Street View you can tag it. Needs a little more playing around with but the Flickr feature, which links images to the street view, could be interesting to provide a history of particular graffiti spots.

New Radiohead Album

They tried to sneak it out, but within minutes of it being released it hit our office stereo. Great new video too, Thom Yorke’s gone a bit David Byrne on us (see Talking Heads – Once in A Lifetime).


A jukebox consisting of 22 playlists of different genres, each playlist filled with 22 tracks, selected by specialized DJs from Amsterdam. 22tracks provides a quick overview of the latest music, promotes new artists and lets you discover new genres. Slick interface and the music is genuinely really good.


The first step on their journey to world domination is winning the quiz show, Jeopardy! (apparently).  Everyone seems to be hailing this computer’s win on Jeopardy! as the beginning of the end for humankind. We’re not worried… ask it the answer to life, the universe and everything and we bet you’ll still get the answer 42.


We’ve always been big fans of the online fashion stalking site,, and we love Uniqlo’s take on the theme with their new site, Uniqlooks, where customers show off their on-brand style skills.

Check this out
posted by Rob at 17:56   _comments (0)
11 February


FWD is our new weekly feature of the five best things circulating round the Outside Line office this week.

The Streets’ Interactive Film
Like Create Your Own Adventure books of the past, this YouTube experience lets users choose their own journey through the story while enjoying Mike Skinner’s new single.

The Urban Ministries of Durham got the office talking with this simple and informative online game to show the challenges facing those who find themselves homeless and the constant struggles to try and get off the streets.

*Toy* Division
We’re trying to ignore what Ian Curtis would actually think of this by concentrating on how cool it is… Joy Division as Play Mobil

Infographic CVs
The need to stand out is ever present in the job market. Surely an innovative Infographic CV can catch a potential employer’s gaze?!

The Foursquare Film Noir
A film noir for the geo-location generation. Using social media, will our detective be able to solve a murder?

Check this out
posted by Rob at 18:21   _comments (0)