Infinity and beyond

August 10th, 2013 Comment 0

Have you seen this?

Very elegant. But still. It is literally impossible to hear, read or watch any general commentary on digital stuff that doesn’t start off with a statistic in the centuries-worth-of-Youtube-videos-uploaded-per-second category. It was equally impossible five years ago (probably ten years ago as well, but those were my hipster ad school days so they’re a bit of a blur. Leg warmers and Terry Richardson were very now, that I remember). How come this culture is so obsessed with the sheer volume of information created?

Yes Youtube is an infinite space (time? time-space?), related to human lifespans. The universe is infinite. It doesn’t change my movements this Autumn: back and forth across central Stockholm to for me meaningful places such as the Bonnier House, the gym and the newly launched Prada boutique. Visiting my parents. Possibly NYC, if I and The Boyfriend get our act together and actually buy a couple of plane tickets. I don’t feel stressed out, saddened or bewildered about not being able to visit every planet in every planetary system in the entire Universe.

Likewise with data. 50 years of teenagers performing their favourite songs on acoustic guitar uploaded on Youtube today, or 500 years? Well.

is it a generational thing, a symbol for people feeling digital culture moving them from static(-ish) to fluent, from order to chaos, from hierarchical structure to (sorry!) rhizome? Do children find these statistics as pointless as the number of grains of sand on a beach?*


* On the other hand, that sounds just like something a child could be interested in. Weird little creatures.


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Possibly brilliant thought

June 15th, 2013 Comment 0

Found in my Evernote notebook ‘Blog posts’:

Theory: digital = user = less technology. Or the other way around.

It has all the characteristics of a digital equivalent to a scribbled-on napkin found in my handbag after a late night. But there is a possibility, albeit slight, that this cryptic message is actually deeply profound. Does it hold the key to saving the media industry in a single stroke? Is it the soon-to-be-iconic sound bite that will launch my Chris Anderson-style $1.000 000-per-appearance speaking career? (Although perhaps in later iterations I will drop the cautious ‘Or the other way around’  to add some punch.) All suggestions as to what I actually meant are welcome, at

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The decline of the media industry captured in cocktail party conversation

May 14th, 2013 Comment 6

May 2011
Random Person at Party: So, what do you do?
Ylva: I work in media.
RPaP: Oh, that must be fun.

May 2012
Random Person at Party: So, what do you do?
Ylva: I work in media.
RPaP: Oh, that must be challenging. You know, [insert one or more of the following, albeit in much longer version: I will never pay for any kind of media again (+ apologetic smile). | My children won't pay for any kind of media, but I do like the smell of print on paper (+ equally apologetic smile, illogically). | Other people's children won't pay for any kind of media, and should be put down.]
Ylva, trying to break through rant: …. digital… exciting… opportunities… business models… consumer-centred… etc…
RPaP: So to sum up, challenging, very challenging, Armageddon basically.
Ylva: Actually, I was going to get a glass of wine, so…
RPaP: Well, you do need it.

May 2013
Random Person at Party: So, what do you do?
Ylva: I work in media.
RPaP: That must be…
Ylva, trying to avoid the unavoidable: YES! IT IS REWARDING, INTERESTING AND HIGHLY ENJOYABLE to be in media at the moment, really perfect for someone who likes doing business creatively, the internet and people making magic in equal measures.
RPaP: No, no, I meant to say challenging. You see, I will never pay for any kind of media again, my children won’t pay for any kind of media, and I hear that other people’s children now expect to be paid for being arsed to consume media.
Ylva, trying to break through rant: …. innovate… mobile… new… thrilling… disruptive, in a good way… etc…
RPaP: So to sum up, you will be out of work any day now. Perhaps tonight even, check your phone for messages.
Ylva: Actually, I was going to get a glass of wine, so…
RPaP: Can you afford that? Under the circumstances.

May 2014
Random Person at Party: So, what do you do?
Ylva: I’m on temporary release actually, just for the weekend. Normally I’m doing time at Hinseberg, Sweden’s largest women’s prison. 25 to life.
RPaP: Aha. What, if you don’t mind me asking…?
Ylva: It’s no secret. I had a nervous breakdown and killed a Random Person at a party, after s/he had pestered me with anecdotal evidence of the decline of legacy media and some misguided pity. You see, I used to work in media, and I loved it but this endless monologue repeated from various RPaP:s just made me lose it. So, I bludgeoned him/her to death with a triple magnum bottle of wine I had just ordered to make a point. And here I am, now.
RPaP: Oh. Well, at least it got you out of the media industry.
Because that must have been really challenging.

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Meanwhile in Sweden: Digital is finally simply Culture

April 14th, 2013 Comment 0

The Swedish Social Democrats have a new pin for 1st of May.
It’s a QR code.
It would be too predictable to write something ironic about this, so I refrain. However, here’s the fun part: The Swedish Social Democratic Youth League, in a brave act of resistance, made their own instead.

“It’s fine for them“, the Youth League’s communication strategist, Juan-Pablo Roa, sneered to media industry magazine Dagens Media. “But our target group is trend sensitive.” (To be fair, I added the sneering and italics to entertain you. Unbiased quotations is for journalists, I feel. I’m an account director, I have no conscience.)

Which is why, quite brilliantly, their 1st of May mark instead treats the idea of Social Democracy like it was thought out by a fashion editor on Instagram speed. “It feels, you know, really NOW with this whole vintage Solidarity/Olof Palme/Nude make-up/Holding meetings under bad fluorescent lighting/Being a young parent without being regarded as white trash/8 mm aesthetics thing. Can we do something with that?”

Yes indeed: a symbol inspired by a 1960 election poster according to the Art Director Simon Röder – who apparently is confident (and rightly so, I say) that in a culture of Constant Now, it’s not ironic that a blatantly retro sign bears the message “Politics in Motion”. “The Right stands still, but a society in transition needs politics that move forward constantly”, he says.

Now look at that. Instead of an uncomfortable symbol of reverence to the deity IT with a faint smell of “I should really learn how to tweet”, a sign created right from inside mediated, aestheticized, fragmented (digital) 2010′s culture. Aha!

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From the mouths of…

March 26th, 2013 Comment 0

Something made me recall this scene:

May 2012. Editorial meeting. Discussion about our commercial strategy for 2012–2015.

Business journalist: ‘There’s one industry one should really look at, they’ve gone through the same challenges as we do, really. There’s a lot to learn from…’

Everyone else in the room, slightly bored, filling in mentally: ‘The MUSIC INDUSTRY.

Business journalist:ACCOUNTING.’

Everyone else in the room: ‘ACCOUNTING?’

Business journalist: ‘Yes. It is the most boring profession in the entire world. It’s a death-trap. But you know how those big firms have fooled an entire generation of business students – passing themselves off as fancy management consultants, luring them in with student competitions and marketing campaigns and what not? Graduates actually seek out work at Ernst & Young. A mass psychosis.’

Everyone else in the room: ‘And…’

Business journalist: ‘And, that’s what we should do. Trick those students.’

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