Choosenick. Notes and observations on service design, as well as other interesting things/thinking. By Nick Marsh.

Posts tagged with “hyperlocalism”...

Multi-channel brand experience not working

Writing about Hyperlocalism made me think of Somewhere Else.

Somewhere Else was part of my final year design project exploring collaboration between communities at my university, Goldsmiths. I built the site as web2.0 was really starting to build up steam - before Facebook and stuff, when was the hottest thing around. It was actually quite a success at the time, and I really enjoyed working with the small community of people that got involved.

Browsing through my old articles (a.k.a navel gazing) I found this gem, Priorities not Working, which prophisised my eventual drift into multi-channel touchpoint (a.k.a service) design. I've copied the article below.

To give a bit of important context, at the time my university, Goldsmiths, was going through a quite expensive 're-branding' exercise (a.k.a getting a new logo and homepage design.)

Priorities not working

I don’t know quite how long this sign has been attached to the battered old front door of the college, but I think its about a year. This bit of A4 paper, stuck up with sun-faded crinkly sticky tape, provides an elegantly tragic metaphor for the College's approach to it’s PR, and indeed everything else. Ok, so we don’t have to have a working front door to our University, and sure, there are probably numerous other things that are more broken and about to fall apart around the place, but come on - This is the one place that every single person who comes to visit the college, prospective students, visiting lecturers, proud parents etc, will experience as their first impression of the institution. They won’t experience the college’s shiny new (expensive) logo first, they will experiance its entrance. What I really love about it is that not only did they 1) not mend the door when it broke ages ago, and 2) use a crappy printed bit of paper to say that they weren’t going to fix it, but 3) when the next door broke, they just scribbled in a felt tip pen “s” to remind us all!!

That “s” is a metaphor for the college. When you are trying to re-think a brand, be it a burger bar or a higher educational institution, the number one priority is to think about what are the actual customer/consumer/user experiences of that brand. So when the primary ‘touchpoint’ of your brand’s head-quarters are broken, firstly, fix it ASAP, and secondly, if it breaks even more, don’t fix the lack of a fix with an even worse secondary fix in felt tip pen.

So the flet tip “s” is a metaphor. But the fact that the door hasn’t actually been fixed for a year is not a metaphor, it’s just ridiculous. I will remove this article if the college fixes the front door by the time I graduate in September.

P.S - They did fix the door, but not by September. Rory Allen wrote the best comment in response: "Perhaps someone should put another bit of paper next to that one, reading “Goldsmiths Univerity not working. Please use other university”, and see how long it is before anyone notices. Maybe it would even shame the administration into doing something about the door(s)." Brilliant bit of hyperlocal complaining.

November 6th, 2008 / Tags: hyperlocalism / Trackback / Comments

You know when you find something incredibly interesting, but its just so interesting you don't even know where to start?

Well, digital hyperlocalism is just that. I found this through Andrew Brown's blog, that I found because he'd commented on a post that I was commenting on the Brockley Central blog about kids letting off fireworks outside my house all night. God, I'm old before my time. Anyway, as a happy result of my hyperlocal interest, I saw that he had this slideshow from William Perrin embedded in his blog, which I thought was brilliant too:

Firstly, I completely agree with the points in this slideshow about Kings Cross - My parents have a flat on Judd Street near St Pancras Station and I've seen first hand in the sixish years I've been living in London (and visiting their flat), the transformation that has taken place in that area.

Now, I'm not putting this down to Perrin exclusively (I think the multi million pound regeneration plans might have something to do with it too), but I'm sure that his hyperlocal approach to news and community information has been a big help.

The whole concept of hyperlocalism through 2.0 media is absolutely fascinating, and something that was completely missed (or certainly misunderstood) during the first internet boom - and it has enormous significance for the design and maintenance of public services, communities and spaces going forward.

This is a fascinating, important topic, and I intend to return to it - mainly because I'm already part of it.

UPDATE: I just noticed that Steve has posted an article on a similar track. Weird. He lives just round the corner from me too, so we were hyperlocally writing about hyperlocalism. Check out his other posts too.

November 6th, 2008 / Tags: website, hyperlocalism / Trackback / Comments