TXdynamic's Blog

This is the blog for Toby Richards at TX Dynamic.

One Million Giraffes

In case you haven’t stumbled across this latest intriguing net adventure this is the story:

Ola Helland, a Norwegian web developer (and some might now say marketing genius) was allegedly bet by his friend Jorgen last year (2009) that the web was now so pervading that he could get 1 million unique images of Giraffes sent to him by 2011. But not any old Giraffes; they must be hand drawn or created out of everyday objects and then photographed or scanned in.

1million giraffes site



To help achieve his  ambitious goal Ola set up www.onemilliongiraffes.com and is amazingly only around 80,000 short of his target as I write this.

Here are the stats:

  • On average he receives 2,300 Giraffes a day
  • The daily submission record is currently 30,485
  • He has received nearly 10,000 emails wishing him luck
  • The website has had about 5.5 million visits
  • The average age of the contributors is 24.6
  • The oldest contributor was 104 (and blind!)
  • Contributions have been sent from 101 different countries.

Will he do it? It certainly looks that way. So is he right that it would “be easy” using the power of the internet to crowd-source one million giraffes? The answer to this is, I feel, still a little fuzzy. Since starting his challenge Ola has received a fair amount of publicity, albeit mostly not in the UK.  If you or I were to now attempt the same challenge one feels that the task would undoubtedly be a lot harder if not impossible. Much like the 1 million sponsored pixel project a few years ago, the first to get there will almost certainly clean up. In both these cases it was the media in the end, not the internet, that will probably have provided the winning numbers of visitors and contributors.

Some of the submissions on 1milliongiraffes.com

Some of the giraffes submitted.

Although to dismiss Ola’s claim outright would be wrong, the interesting facts here are not about the net itself but the increasing influence it carries within the media. What the net does do well is facilitate this project. It provides a communal focus point. It allows easy submission and  it provides  archiving, monitoring and logging, it provides the means and, more importantly, the impetus to do this project at all including 24 hr PR .  And the site itself has some fun features that allow you to see how many contributions have come from your location in the world etc and a nice Flash Forward style mosaic feature displaying the entries so far. What the net does not do is come up with a news worthy story like this one.

That still takes imagination.

Sources: .net magazine (i205) / wykop.pl / onemilliongiraffes.com


Filed under: Creative Web, , , , , , ,

The Webby Awards

Webby Awards

The Webbys 14th Annual Outing

In case it passed you by the 14th Webby Awards happened in June. This has become a fairly major affair but like so many big industry promoting awards seems perhaps a little too concerned with not leaving someone out, with around 70 categories and 2 or more winners in each category. That’s not to say they are not a good thing but maybe in danger of losing their worth if they just award everyone? Just a thought.

Winning highlights were BBDO (www.bbdo.com) winning the Agency of the year, NYTimes.com (www.nytimes.com) for copywriting, hboimagine.com (www.hboimagine.com)  for navigation/structure and the BBC for news (www.bbc.co.uk) which is probably well deserved. I was a Sky fan for a long time but have been won back over recently by Auntie’s consistently fine content and delivery over many forms of media.

More at www.webbyawards.com

Filed under: Creative Web, , , , , ,

Your 10 Favourite Chocolate Bars and How to Eat Them!

Someone who knows how much I like chocolate (Spoiler Alert – it’s a lot) asked me today to list my 10 favourite types of chocolate bar. 10!! Are there 10 I hear you ask? Well, that’s exactly what I said. Worryingly I could list 10 quite quickly. It occurs to me that this might be a great way to test how addicted to the sweet stuff you are. We could just rank everybody on how many types of bar they can name…

So here are my 10:

  1. Aero
  2. Twirl
  3. Wispa
  4. Ripple
  5. Dairy Milk
  6. Lindt Exra Creamy
  7. Galaxy
  8. Chunky KitKat
  9. Mars
  10. Toblerone

Of course I have been hungry all day since listing my 10 so watch out. I am also worried about how much easier it was than I thought it would be.

Cadburys Homepage

Cadbury's Chocolate Homepage. Well designed site and full of stuff about...well, chocolate actually.

Interestingly when I was thinking (who said obsessing?)  about my selection I visited the Cadbury’s web site in case I had omitted anything important – yes I take my chocolate research that seriously. On their website, which is very well designed and good fun by the way (see, I can work and play!) they intriguingly have the following chocolate tasting advice:

Start with a clean palate: if you eat something very sweet before eating chocolate, your taste buds won’t be able to pick up the sugary flavours of the chocolate and the result is that the chocolate will taste bitter.  Similarly, if you have something very bitter, like coffee, before eating chocolate the chocolate may taste overly sweet or weak in flavour.  Drink some water, in particular,  hot water, before eating chocolate to clean the palate.

Limit the number of chocolates you’re tasting to 6-8 different varieties: if you’re hosting a chocolate tasting party allow 2 small cubes of each chocolate for each person. If you’re tasting a range of chocolates with different cocoa percentage content start with the lowest percentage and work your way up to the more intense flavours – white chocolate, milk chocolate and then the darker varieties.

Slowly does it:
take your time and allow the chocolate to melt in your mouth – that way you’ll maximise the flavour and allow the texture of the chocolate to come out.

Take off the chill:
chocolate is best enjoyed at room temperature or slightly above – it’s only when the chocolate warms up and begins to melt in the mouth that you can appreciate its flavours.  Drinking hot water before tasting each different chocolate variety not only helps to clean the palate but also warms the mouth, delivering more instant results and tantalising pleasure to your taste buds!

You can see for yourself at www.cadbury.co.uk or more specifically; www.cadbury.co.uk/cadburyandchocolate/lovechocolate/tasting/Pages/tipsontasting.aspx

Right then, I’m off to put all of the above to the test.

Filed under: Abstract/Fun, , , , , , ,

A Revolution in Print Design

I had a birthday recently that I am still a little distressed about if I am honest, but only because of the number of years involved!  But a few friends and family (now I sound like a British Telecom advert) had asked me what I wanted.  Sad as it might seem I love my Xbox 360 and a couple of the games in particular that get a caning when time allows are Halo 3 and Gears of War.

Mirrors Edge & Halo Hell Jumper Graphic Novels

Some glossy print examples of game spin offs.

Besides enjoying the actual games themselves (as in the gameplay) you cannot help but be impressed (or even gob smacked in the case of Gears Of War 2) by the creative work that has gone into every aspect of the characters, equipment and settings.  Last year I bought a friend of mine Mass Effect and having heard how stunning the visuals were I got him the “Art Of” book as well (equally stunning).  So with this in mind I figured there might be something similar for these other titles. 

In fact I knew Halo did as I had been tempted by some of the titles many times.  So I did a quick (make that 2 to 3 hours ;o) search on Amazon, one of my favourite places in the virtual capitalist world,  and discovered a veritable treat of choices. And not just art books but some intriguing graphic spin offs as well. 

Halo - Creating a Virtual Masterpiece

The Art of Halo - a fine example of progressive print design.

So having been fortunate enough to receive some of these fine items, and to get to the point of my post, it occurred to me how much print design had evolved. Now there is no doubt that this is a pixel driven revolution. Publishers and authors alike must be acutely aware that bigger, brighter, glossier, in fact the closer to your computer screen the page looks, the better. And not only that, but the creativity and range of page design that you can now find is amazing.  From a creative point of view the inspiration I get from some of these books is priceless. 

Of course the real irony is that whilst these titles do everything they can to compete with my Xbox and laptop, and a superb job on the whole they do to,  they simply would not exist without them.  

Gears of War Graphic Novel 1

The sumptuously printed Gears Of War Graphic Novel (1)

So the moral of this tale is this – keep playing and browsing, you are keeping a time-honored, if potentially endangered format, on its toes.

Filed under: Creative Print, , , , , , , , , , ,

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As a creative company that raves to its clients, and anyone else who will listen, about the wonders of the Internet; the creative and commercial opportunities it brings and the power of social networks to deliver an idea, message or, dare I say it, call to action, it might seem strange that we have been very slow to actually utilise many of these avenues ourselves.
I would like to think it is because we are all too busy being creative! Whatever the reason this blog is part of my attempt to correct this glaring contradiction.

I apologise now if it is not as regularly updated as perhaps it should be but we are all very busy espousing the wonders of the Internet to anyone who will listen ;)