Boing Boing reports that a chap called Sean submitted this to the BBC in their 'alternative logo' competition, and it got up on the site. Absolutely genius. They pulled it after they started getting loads of traffic from Boing Boing. Presumably someone in the IT department had to have a very delicate conversation with one of the journos.
"Here is my design for the Olympic logo. It is
very simple and so memorable. The hands represent Britain pulling
together to reveal the Olympics."
If you don't know what goatse is, you probably don't want to know.
With apologies to everyone who works at Dare, as this came round on email on Friday, here is Penguin getting with the program, and that program is web 2.0. From the Penguin blog:
Over the next six weeks we want to see whether a community can really
get together, put creative differences aside (or sort them out through
discussion) and produce a novel.
Their motive, as perhaps you have guessed, is not entirely based on a pure social experiment in 'crowdsourcing'. The terms and conditions can't be modified in the wiki:
By posting your submission on the Wiki Novel and the Site, you grant us
a non-exclusive, perpetual, royalty-free, world-wide licence to use,
reproduce, modify, adapt, translate, publish, distribute and display
any content you submit to us in any format now known or later
developed. If you do not want to grant us these rights, please do not
submit your content to us.
I guess apart from the slightly distasteful money grubbing of the ts n cs, there is one major problem with the concept. Creating a large and coherent whole out of small individual submissions does work, as wikipedia attests, however, I will be you that no-one has read every page wikipedia has on its site. Its genius emerges, like the intelligence of ants.
Unfortunately a controlling mind what is required from a task like writing a novel. At least someone has to know what happens to each character, and what the arc of the story is. And considering what the opening paragraphs currently read like and the fact that there are so far 44 characters and counting, this doesn't seem to be happening. Wikipedia also has a panel of committed moderators/contributors built up over time who fulfil the governance side of their site.
Somehow I don't think that anyone is going to be prepared to do that for Penguin, and put coins in the pocket of the man.
That said, who knows, if an eyeball can evolve from the primordial soup, maybe we could get the Pickwick Papers out of a couple of hundred tortured 18 year olds.
Is anyone else thinking that maybe this Thresher thing is a bit of a scam? Not an actual scam mind you, just in the sense that it's a very clever marketing campaign.
No marketing person in their right mind is going to release a three week long voucher in PDF to the internet without at some point going - "hang on a minute, maybe people are going to email this to each other". In my experience it's the ONLY thing marketers are worried about with vouchers online.
Given that Hugh MacLeod advises Stormhoek, where it first became big news publicly, maybe the whole thing isn't as accidental as it looks. I'm sure Threshers is a big account for Stormhoek, and they wouldn't promote it as gleefully as they seem to on their website, if they were worried about pissing them off.
When you consider that Threshers are giving 33% off a number of lines anyway, maybe they're not too bummed about the extra 7% for all the free publicity they have had.
Remember the Chevy Tahoe 'make us a TV ad' campaign that went balls-up? This Youtube link may refresh your memory. As perhaps will this:
Well, now get this for a post-rationalisation from Wired:
The thinking went something like this: Chevrolet is all about being
revolutionary, right? (That's debatable, but since Chevy's tagline is
"An American Revolution!" this is where all discussion starts at its ad
agency.) And if Chevrolet is revolutionary, then its advertising ought
to be, too. Ergo, the Chevy message needed to escape the tightly
controlled, painstakingly monitored, woefully predictable confines of
the 30-second TV spot and roam the online jungle. But everybody's doing
that now. So, Chevy marketers thought, let's take this thing a notch
further – let's have an online contest to see who can create the best
TV ad for the new Tahoe. The wikification of the 30-second spot – what
could be more revolutionary than that?
Sales went up, and maybe they were the fortunate victims of serendipity but to claim they planned it is a bit too much to swallow.