[Outside the venue, 6pm: John St., Toronto, 22nd October, 2008.]
Just got back from a brief, 2-night stay in Toronto. I was there for Mesh, where I gave the keynote. Here are some notes:
1. I talked a lot abut social objects, and the fact that I think “Passion Is Social”. It was a good crowd, with lot of corporate PR and advertising types. When dealing with corporate types, I always run up against the same question at least once or twice: “I work in a corporate environment, I get paid to pull levers on behalf of my client. Please show me where the lever is in the Web 2.0 space”. To which I always answer, “I can’t tell you where the lever is, because it doesn’t exist.” Then I tell them, “You don’t create social objects by pulling levers; you create social objects by creating social gestures.” Then I tell them, “Virals don’t start life out as virals, they start life out as gifts. And gifts are always in conflict with their own value.” Then I tell them, it’s a brand’s job to be interesting. And what makes a brand interesting is the human interaction around the brand, not the inherent qualities of the brand itself. Some people get it, some people don’t, some people kinda get it, even if they’d rather not.
I said a lot more than that, of course, but this is what I came away with. All in all, it was a lovely little conference, and I REALLY appreciate being invited.
3. I really like Toronto. Hard to believe a city that big, diverse and culturally vibrant could be that laid back.
4. On Friday I had breakfast in Toronto, lunch in Manhattan, dinner in DFW airport, and a nightcap in my hotel in El Paso, Texas. A long day, to say the least. I had to pop in to my printer’s in New York quickly to sign the Portfolio Number Two prints, which will be starting to ship out next week. Manhattan added an extra half-day to my travels, but it saved a lot of time and hassle in the long run.
5. October has been a very busy month for me for traveling. Drove back and forth from the airport three times this month already (a 440 mile round trip from Alpine, Texas). Now that’s the current traveling phase is pretty much over, I’m hunkering down to get on with the Cube Grenade project. That, and the second book to get finished. No rest for the wicked etc.
[Bonus Link:] A WONDERFUL slideshow re. The Internet & The Advertising Business from Toronto’s David Gillespie:
[Backstory: About Hugh. E-mail Hugh. Work with Hugh. Twitter. Cartoon Archive. Newsletter. Book.. Interview One. Interview Two. EVIL PLANS. Limited Edition Prints. Essential Reading: “Everything You Always Wanted To Know About ‘Cube Grenades’ But Were Afraid To Ask.”]