November 2016

Social Media is starting to feel more like broadcast media every day, albeit often from the perspective of an unknown individual with unsubstantiated credentials. As people, businesses and organisations pump out an endless stream of thoughts, ideas and news – recently in the form of elaborately ‘organised fakery‘ – the interaction can be lacking, if not non-existent.

What if I ask a question on Facebook or Twitter and no one answers? Maybe it’s a positive comment on someone’s tweet or a retweet that’s never acknowledged?

If that’s happened to you, well then brave soul, you’ve likely been socially snubbed – at least in the 2D, second-life realm sense. It’s the 3D equivalent of walking into a room, telling someone they look nice, and having that person turn and walk away in front of everyone else without responding – awkward!

And so we type, we like, we add our cosily – dare I suggest – often distantly conceited, even facetious, comments – all designed to highlight our expertise, showcase our knowledge, all the while entertaining with our wit and human intelligence.

This, after furious clicking on endless headlines which promise quick fixes with titles like: “7 Ways To Tie Your Shoelaces So They Don’t Come Undone” or maybe: “8 Tricks Smart People Use To Get A Raise Without Ever Going to Work” – okay, so those headlines may not be real, but you get the idea.

And while we’re busy measuring stats, looking for impressions, likes, reach – and ‘the precious‘ aka page visits – an algorithm sits behind it all. The ‘AI’ curator of our ‘contented’ online lives is busy finding and defining what we like. Who knows if our friends, followers, disciples ever saw our question in their feed anyway…

So what is this blog all about you ask? A general rant perhaps? What does it have to do with that picture and those words in a language other than English? (Norwegian, in fact).

When a community organisation in Oslo, Norway put the call out for a logo design via Twitter, we said yes to Golia Vel. They bravely asked if anyone would like to design their new logo in exchange for some publicity in the northern hemisphere. It was a great opportunity, and so we created a look to reflect their inclusive community values.

It doesn’t take much to be social, just a genuine interaction that reveals something about you and a willingness to get to know someone else. If we remembered some of those 3D ‘social niceties’ it might be a better experience online. For example, tweeting or posting something every hour is the same as talking non-stop in a room. It’s just not that much fun for the other people.

And so the next time you’re socialising online, why not take the chance to start a conversation by asking a question. And check the number of posts you’re putting out there. With full credit to Ludwig Mies van der Rohe‘s original quote: “less really is the new more”. Stranger things have happened…



We’ve recently been working with Rickard Vikström on his new venture THETRAY.SHOP, writing and editing web copy, blogs and finessing graphic design elements.

The first collection from THETRAY.SHOP will be on show at The Big Design Market in Sydney 25-27 November.

Working with his family, as well as several Swedish businesses and designers, Rickard is bringing bespoke, hand-made Scandinavian trays to Australia, all the way from The Artic Circle.