Wolf man and Biomimicry

I caught a fantastic documentary on Discovery today, which related to the book I’m reading at the moment, Biomimicry.

The doco was about a guy named Shaun Ellis, who left his family and life in society to raise a pack of wolves in captivity. It’s a long story, one that is better capturedhere by ABC news.

Shaun Ellis - Wolfman
The interesting part to me, was the amount that Ellis had learnt from the wolves, and how he was applying this to life in civilisation. One such example – for years we have been shooting wolves for encroaching on the land of farmers. This has always been understandable – given they often kill young livestock, which costs the farmer financially. In Poland, where a law was recently passed preventing the shooting of wolves, farmers have become financially ruined by the constant presence of the animals. Ellis, convinced there was a better way to prevent the wolves journeying to the farms than just shooting them, put his knowledge to work and came up with an innovative solution.

He went to a farmer who had approached him for help, inspected the property and investigated the wolf pack which dominated the territory. Once done, we created a CD of wolves howling in a ‘defensive/territorial’ way. He got the farmer to play this – once daily at dusk over his farm using a normal CD player and an amplifier. End story – the wolves have not attacked in months.

It raises a great many questions. But the theory behind listening to the problem and then solving it as nature would is immensely powerful. The very reason the wolves have a defensive/territorial call in the first place is to ware off other packs. Makes perfect sense. The scientists (boffins) applaud the idea in theory, but require more specific research to be convinced. Sigh.

Dopplr = Interesting concept, but not for hobbits

So, Ross very kindly invited me to Dopplr the other day, which allowed me to have a little looksey at what the concept was for the new venture. I quickly came to the conclusion that I like the concept, and think it has the potential to further let people gain access to an organizations staff and brand. Basically, it allows you to log where you are going to be in the world, and at what times. If you have other friends who travel quite a bit, it allows you to compare schedules and hook up with them in foreign places.

Very cool…but not for hobbits such as myself.

It looks like they have opened up the API, so hopefully we’ll begin to see some orgs use it to map their travelers and possibly give people the chance to further interact with the people normally ‘behind the curtain.’ Or, Imagine being able to follow your new pair of shoes or T-Shirt around the world as it was made…

Early thoughts. Any more? If you want an invite, leave me a comment or fling me an email and I’ll hook you up with the good stuff 😉

Dopplr – is anyone part of the top 100?


Check out this post this morning from the folks at Dopplr. I’m not cool enough to be invited to anything like this, and to be honest, I am no global traveler (would like to be, but still working on it). I am more interested in seeing what the marketing/PR potential is for a Web 2.0 product like Dopplr, especially to better connect supporters of different brands and companies together when they are out and about around the world. It’s the Twitter principal, only global.

Not really sure what’s going on with the product, other than it is yet another, more niche, social network – aimed this time at Global Trekkers and their friends. I would love to have a looksy – is anyone employed by the list of 100 companies and if so can you sign up and give me a blow-by-blow of what the bloody thing is!!!

I got this screen shot from flickr…can anyone do better?

Micro Sites – some thoughts on new media and blogging

Not to long ago, I had the priveledge to hear Nick Cummins from the Sputnick Advertsing Agency about social media and the new ways they are generating word of mouth excitment around people’s brands. (eg, like this) It came to mind today as I was in a meeting earlier in the morning about how we could create a user-generated-content site for World Visions Field experts, allowing them to share info and the like.

Anyways, Nick had some brilliant insights about the way he thought the whole user generated content thing was going. He talked about Micro-sites, and how many companies that are leading in the web space were now creating micro sites for each different brnad. Duh, I hear you say – but think about it. I’m not talking different pags…but different sites…whole new sites and brands for each niche. Nike do it very well (like this and this). In relevance to the whole social media thing, he thought that most companies and orgs will soon be blogging (if they are not already), and each blog and facet of social media life will make up another micro-site. Stir, the World Vision youth site, is a great example of a user-generated, microsite completely branded and seperate from the World Vision machine.

This will/is happening personally too. Hands up if you have any of the following accounts…Facebook, del.icio.us, Flickr, Twitter, MySpace.


Each one is a micro site, totally dedicated to your ‘brand.’ I love the concept, and reckon it will be quite an influential kernal as time goes on.

How can you micro-site yourself? Any other examples of microsites/brands and where does this lead us as a society? Check out the Sputnik website, it is an ace example of how to match and engage with your audience…a topic for another day.