The latest People Project is up online and free to view. So if you want an unrepentantly unrepresentative view of what the world thinks about stuff, here's what we asked this time on the streets around our office...
We've just signed up a fashion PR company we work with, who are going to do some on-the-street stills photography stuff.
But the more the merrier.
So if there's anyone out there (different places in the UK, countries, whatever), who wants to join in the fun (hey, open source vox popping!), get in contact. It would simply mean asking the same questions, filming the answers (natch!), sending them over to us, and we'll edit, up-load and credit you. And share our footage in return, if you wanted it.
On green issues, I'm very much in the camp that says we need to reduce our impact on the environment...or it's off to hell in a handcart for the lot of us. At the same time though, there IS good news to be found at a micro/local level, particularly when it comes to wildlife conversation.
We live in the Chiltern Hills. Go back a dozen years, and the only time you saw a buzzard just flying around was if you'd got in a car and driven down to Devon. And Red Kites? Never heard of them.
How times change. Now you get to see what are Britain's 2 biggest birds of prey outside the Scottish Highlands with a frequency verging on the blasé.
Out cycling last weekend we saw 3 buzzards, 2 at the same time (rare as they are solitary birds).
And a pic-nic without 20-odd Red Kites circling over head (this time giving the distinct impression they fancied a bite to eat as well) is a disappointment, as they have to be one of the most beautiful birds in the UK. You now even get them in the back garden like some giant, fiercer pigeon!
So that's big birds in Buckinghamshire sorted. Now it's just the rest of the world.
(and thanks to Kevin Du Rose for use of his photos. I hope he doesn't mind)
I wrote a while ago about the power of coincidences, and the danger of the conclusions we draw from them. Just a bit of fun really. But I was reminded of it when reading this article that Jason turned up, which has far more significant things to say about the way we do things.
It looks at the idea of cumulative advantage: the idea that small and often quite random initial occurrences can, over time, be multiplied and turbo-charged by our tendency to like things that other people like, propelling one product, brand, song or whatever to dominance (all a bit like chaos theory really). And that under only slightly different initial conditions something else might end up in pole position.
It features a a rather neat piece of research to demonstrate this effect, based around music downloads. All of which does start to explain some of the more unexpected, and maybe unwarranted (to our minds) success stories we see around us. And, as the article suggests, to undermine the idea that, if we only mirrored what 'they' did, we could enjoy similar success.
Does make you think about the role of marketing. Maybe it should maybe be less about communicating benefits (given how marginal differences can be) and more about communicating/implying popularity...in good Mark Earls fashion.