Here on the other coast, it’s no great mystery why we work in Vancouver—we’re founded and rooted in the Northwest. Like many Vancouverites, Domain7 “grew up” in the Fraser Valley and then branched out into the city. We transitioned to our first Gastown office space in 2009, moved to a loft in Yaletown in 2010, and have now staked our claim in Hootsuite’s former Railtown HQ with neighbours like Herschel, Aritzia and Indochino.
Vancouver is home. But we’d choose to work here anyway.
Here are just a few of the reasons we love running a digital agency in Vancouver
1/ It’s a big small town
This city has a congenial atmosphere—everyone is socially...
We keep hearing that data is this century’s greatest natural resource, but way more effort goes into talking about it than into figuring out how to mine it and what to actually DO with it.
Domain7 recently hosted the 2014 Open Data Day Hackathon at our Railtown office. Local developers gathered to discuss ways we can use open data sets, and to hack some new tools using some of the City of Vancouver’s data.
Data like this is at our disposal, and now our job is to figure out how to use it to better humanity. That day we heard about some great projects that are using open data for human-friendly results:
- Bike lanes: Vancouver’s bike lanes have been directly influenced by a developer who used ICBC data to show where frequent collisions have historically taken place.
- Vancouver budget: Though the City always releases their budget in PDF format, few residents will actually take the time to review it. That data has been turned into a handy tool—...
Your business value is a myth. Or at least it ought to be.
I’m getting ahead of myself here though.
Because the majority of Domain7’s offices are on the West Coast, I’m frequently asked by clients and friends why we have a team in Washington, DC. The District is known primarily for the massive influence of the federal government, so usually the assumption is that we see an opportunity in federal contracting. Not quite.
More than most cities, DC seems to attract businesses and non-profits that are driven by a sense of shared purpose with their customers and constituents. They’re not just “cultivating donors,” but building communities of empowered advocates. They’re not merely “nurturing leads,” but connecting with customers who are eager to support disruption to the status quo. To paraphrase Simon Sinek’s lecture on inspiring action, these are “Why?”-driven organizations. And we love working with them.
Specifically, we love crafting the stories that cast vision for the better future these organizations want to create. It’s...
A couple weeks ago my colleague Ryan James asked a great question: How is the trajectory of ubiquitous computing going to affect the Web and browsers? Kevan Gilbert followed up with some of the ways ubiquitous computing will mesh with storytelling, including a mention of Wilson Miner's talk When We Build.
In Miner's talk—already 3 years old—he describes how so much of computers as we know them (screens, network cables, keyboards, etc) has disappeared.
With the loss of visible computers, is the Web in danger?
In short, no. It’s thriving in new ways as the Internet fundamentally transforms the way we work.
Here are some examples:
- Networking: Whether it's your phone, watch, thermostat, oven, garage-door, TV, stereo, or car, anything with a decent chip in it can connect to the internet. And you can bet that if it's connecting to the Internet, it can talk with servers you can...
A couple weeks ago I decoded some of them terms you’ll inevitably hear when working with a web designer. Once design moves into development, however, it’s a completely new dialect. Fortunately I’ve been rolling with those foreigners for three years now, and I’ve picked up a bit of developer patois.
In the lay-est of laymen’s terms, here’s what they mean.
Agile Development: 99% of the time, what clients and developers initially set out to build looks very little like the actual end product. A traditional planning approach—with a detailed and rigid set of launch requirements—can be counterproductive. It’s like installing a state of the art chef’s kitchen when all you ever eat is takeout; or conversely, like building a one-bedroom bungalow when your wife is pregnant with twins. It’s why many digital products take so long to launch, and often flop once they do. Instead, agile (or iterative) software development focuses on the very basic requirements for your application (see “MVP” below).
Whether it’s an event registration system,...
What does tomorrow hold? Are ‘the machines’ taking over the world? Will human and artificial intelligence become one—achieving singularity? Are test-tube burgers coming to a McDonald's near you? Probably.
It feels like our future is being defined by technologists and venture capitalists. While their hearts are usually in the right place, there will be some shortcomings and ill-effects along the way. I sense a palpable restlessness among the complicit majority—the rest of us who blindly snap up iPhones and open Facebook accounts. Marshall McLuhan warned us way back in the Sixties: "innumerable confusions and a profound feeling of despair invariably emerge in periods of great technological and cultural transitions.” Can I get an ‘amen’!?
No wonder Spike Jonze's science-fiction drama, Her has many a technologist and futurist buzzing. His vision of the near-future depicts the human emotional experience enmeshed with ubiquitous computing, artificial intelligence and user-experience design. Crazy, right? Not really.
In the film, the shock of a man falling in love with his personalized operating-system is matched only by the plausibility and...
This Christmas, my wife gave me a Nike+ FuelBand. It’s a stylish watch-like gizmo that tracks your steps, your calories burned, and even gives you the time of day. It connects to my phone, giving me stats on how active I’m being, and rewards me for doing well—it’s my always-on health cheerleader.
But it’s also a great conversation starter. So discreet at first glance, it quickly dazzles new friends as I explain its deep magic. I’ve essentially sold, like, ten units to people I’ve met, and I don’t even get commission.
This is the first form of “wearable computing” to worm its way into my life. These new bits of computer-like objects will soon be making themselves at home in our own homes, cars and offices.
As a storyteller, I’ve been wondering how that art form will adapt or stay the same at the dawn of this new technological era. I have a few thoughts on how storytelling play can well with these new digital objects.
We can match digital storytelling with ubiquitous computing to...
1/ Create amazing narrative experiences
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