Learning as I go.

A Lost Art.

Posted on | December 17, 2014 | No Comments

We spend a lot of time thinking and talking about technology and development.

What we seem to spend less and less time thinking about is the medium itself becoming fixated on the ease of creating the message.

We also seem to think that technology has an electronic component, but if we think back to 1455 there was a huge change in process/technology and it had nothing to do with electronics.

Process and the creation of a user experience is something we sometimes lose sight of when we think about technology and technological developments today.

As Google says, technology is the application of knowledge for practical purposes.

Here is a great look at making books from the era of the 1500s that I think puts technology and user experience into perspective.

United Arab Emirates Memories

Posted on | December 3, 2014 | No Comments

Hosting a radio talk-show in the United Arab Emirates makes me a very fortunate person.

This year on National Day I simply asked people to text and call into the studio to share their stories.

Of course broadcasting during a holiday can be a very difficult task as the usual listener is nowhere near the radio.

My 1st caller, a UAE National, as he said had many great stories to share.

What we learn is the fantastic change that has happened in the UAE over 43 years.

As Jamal says, it is almost overwhelming to think of how the nation has developed.

Jamal comes back to the fact that he didn’t understand the significance of his father taking him to the flag raising of the UAE 43 years ago but today it is a defining moment of his life!

The UAE National Archives has partnered with Google to celebrate the birth of the UAE.

A very nice article on the partnership with Google was written in the National.

According to the National, Dr. Abdulla El Reyes, director-general of the National Archives, said he hopes that the resources help both Emiratis and expatriates understand the country’s history ahead of National Day on December 2.

As we were talking about National Day Dr. Abdulla called the program!

Dr. Abdulla had some great stories and great memories to share.

I particularly love how he learned English and his favorite food to this day!

A great night and great guests talking about the UAE.

Here is the entire podcast.


Creativity or?

Posted on | November 27, 2014 | No Comments

A little creative advertising can go a long way to grabbing attention.

The gang at Poo-Pourri seem to have their finger on the pulse of humour and advertising.

Check this out.

So, what do you think?


Motivation 35 years on from Terry Fox

Posted on | November 21, 2014 | No Comments

I am a pretty lucky person in that I get to spend 6 hours a week talking to people on the radio in Dubai.

You can find my program in iTunes, Nightline, or go and have a listen via podomatic.com.

This week I had an opportunity to speak to Fred Fox, the older brother of Terry Fox about the Terry Fox Foundation and motivating today’s youth.

It is simply incredible how the story of Terry Fox still manages to grab the attention of the young and old.

Fred Fox spoke about his brother with passion and was able to cut the message of Terry down to the core.

Here is what I took away from the 45 minutes I spent with Fred Fox.

1. You have to trust yourself even when others don’t and there will always be people judging you.

2. Goals need to be small and attainable to work even if that means what will you do in the next 30 minutes.

3. Start something even if people say it is impossible.

4. Keep going.

5. People will join you when your story is authentic.

6. It isn’t always about how good you are at something it is about how committed you are.

7. Work at it.

8. Be thankful.

And I am sure there is much more but that is what I took from our chat.

Here is the podcast of our conversation, share this widely it is worth it.

More Journalism Re-imagined.

Posted on | November 16, 2014 | No Comments

I am always interested in how we take the idea of storytelling and marry it to technology.

And here is another experiment, Latterly.

The idea of returning to the roots of journalism, narrating the world, is compelling.

And every good idea has a manifesto.

what we do

Narrative journalism combines the standards and goals of journalistic reporting with the devices of literature. That’s a powerful thing. Narrative journalism peers deeply, like a good novel, into what it is to be human. Like beautiful music, it can put a chill in your spine or tears in your eyes. And while there are truths in all art, narrative journalism is, by definition, true.

Starting Nov. 18, Latterly will begin publishing this kind of storytelling, with four pieces each month from all over the world. You won’t find sensationalism. No ads, either. Just really compelling stories.

Latterly is different from other digital magazines. We never refer to our stories and photographs as “content,” and they are not our “product” — terms that commoditize the life stories of our subjects. Journalism isn’t our “passion project”; it is our raison d’être. And while other digital journalism startups depend on free labor, we are paying our journalists from Day One.

Most importantly, we don’t care about clicks. We won’t monitor our traffic. Because of our unique ad-free, community-based model, we only care about two things: the stories, and our community of journalists and readers. That’s you.

how it works

Our model is simple. Anyone can read one story for free. Subscribers pay just $3 per month or $8 every three months. In return, they’ll receive complete access to the stories they’ve funded.

Narrative journalism is expensive, and so are the striking photographs we’ll deliver in each issue. Even straightforward stories can cost thousands of dollars to produce. Traditional media, which depend heavily on advertising, are withering under their failing revenue models. And most digital publications aren’t paying their journalists fairly. Unless something changes soon, journalists will stop telling important stories.

This is Latterly’s mission — to keep this work alive.

During the first several months, Latterly is investing 100 percent of its revenue back into the journalism. We are not a nonprofit, but for-profit doesn’t seem to fit, either. We don’t have investors; we have subscribers and donors. And periodically, as other publications have done, we will publish our finances so that anyone can see where each dollar goes.

who we are

The Latterly family, in order of importance:

1. The subjects of our stories, who accept great personal risks in boldly sharing their inner lives with the public

2. Our subscribers, who care about making a better future and without whom this journalism would not be possible

3. Journalists and photojournalists whose talents illuminate the hidden corners of our world

Latterly was created by freelance journalist Ben Wolford and Christina Asencio, a human rights lawyer. Ben grew up in Ohio and has contributed to The New York Times andNewsweek. Christina, whose advocacy helps refugees and immigrants, grew up in Miami. They now live in Bangkok.


What is even more interesting is who the creators of Latterly are, old school journalists.

So what we have is a new journalism outlet.

But what we also have are a group of realists who understand that traditional funding of journalism just doesn’t work.

Traditional revenue models where metrics such as impressions or page views are valued cannot support this type of narrative journalism, he added, because it would not generate enough traffic to make an investment pay off.

“So I think a reader-funded model is more suited for this type of journalism.”

Latterly was inspired by the style of stories published in Epic Magazine, and its funding model is one publications such as Compass Cultura are working with “in smaller niches”, he said.

I look forward to reading what Latterly publishes.

CreativeMornings comes to Dubai

Posted on | November 11, 2014 | No Comments

I have been off my usual game and rather silent here at JamesEd.

One of the reasons for the silence is CreativeMornings!

Along with Paul and Haifa at Digital Ape Media we have launched CreativeMornings Dubai.

CreativeMornings is a breakfast lecture series that happens once a month.

In the case of Dubai we meet the 3rd Thursday of the month for an hour, 8-9am, and enjoy a great breakfast/friends and a lecture.

This month the theme is CHANCE and we have a very cool gentleman joining us.

November 20th is the next event why not take a look and be your own judge if CreativeMornings is worth getting out of bed for?

eL Seed on not second guessing yourself and taking chances

November 20, 8:00am – 9:00am GST. Dubai Media City, CNN Building, DMC Offices Lobby.

Part of a series on Chance


eL Seed is a French-Tunisian street artist whose works incorporate traditional Arabic calligraphy, a style he calls ‘calligraffiti.’ His art was born on the streets of Paris, and now adorns walls across every continent.

A week in review.

Posted on | October 10, 2014 | No Comments

Every week I am responsible for 6 hours of content on DubaiEye 103.8 FM.

Here are the podcasts.

From cars to very cool music this is my week in review.

If you want to grab all the show notes check out the show blog.






Call-In on Courtesy

The Indie JukeBox

Creatives This a MUST Read.

Posted on | October 6, 2014 | No Comments

Nils Leonard is the chief creative officer of Grey London and I found this great piece in ADWEEK.

Read and pass on!

The perfect modern creative is a woman.
Because we have enough men, and men like it the way it is right now.


She will seek change.
And her finest qualities will be frustration and discontent.


The perfect creative presumes that the people around her are talented and want to contribute. And accepts that without meaning to, the company, the process and even she is stifling the work and its ability to be brilliant in some way.


She won’t have come from a school that teaches advertising, and she certainly won’t understand why we structure companies like we do.


When producing a piece of work, she won’t ask herself, “Who can I get to do this?” but will instead ask, “How can we make this happen ourselves?” Because she will have grown tired of agencies making themselves dependent.


This girl gets that none of us are as smart as all of us. She won’t believe that her own insight, emotional intelligence and passion are enough to make greatness happen and will draw excellent minds to her. But although she will create her best work through collaboration, she will understand the violent, urgent need to disappear on her own, the pressure all hers, at the critical moment to crack the brief. And she won’t allow history, pay grade, job title or age to stop the candid conversations that will ultimately make the work special.


She will not only accept change, but understand that there might be someone new at the table next to her every day, and will use lunch in beautiful places to make these new disciplines powerful in the mix.


She is a thief of new technologies.
A murderer of trade unions and waiting lines.
A radiator of energy and believer in the genius of 3 a.m. tequila, when it all matters a little too much.


Her best friend might be a planner.
Her lover might be a producer.


She won’t be ashamed to create things that sell stuff to people because she will have found a way to do it that people enjoy.


She and her workplace will not be invisible. She is no shadowy wizard.
She will work in a place that people in the real world are happy exists.
And her name will be known to people’s mums, readers of Adweek and subscribers of Wired alike.


She will never be 100 percent sure, and she’ll be OK with that, because she’ll have the energy to convince others to take the risks that great work demands.


She will spend her time focusing less on the kerning in a poster and more on how to get the right people to collide powerfully, because agencies are filled with reasons not to say the right things to each other.


A great creative won’t work in a department. She will have a crew.
An understanding that goes beyond the culture of an agency.
And she will maintain and create the rarest entity in our game—trust.


She won’t just set the agenda on the work, but give the agency a true north. And will not only give other creatives a purpose, but make everyone who brings great things to bear a chance to shine.


A great creative won’t support politics.


A great creative will give her people defining moments.
Then push them to move past them.


And like all star players, she will always be on loan. Never yours.
One day, the perfect modern creative will have enough of us.
Because ultimately she will want to create something sacred for herself.
And she will go and do it.
And we will love her for it.



2 Guys I have all the time for.

Posted on | October 5, 2014 | No Comments

Jian Ghomeshi and Jamie Oliver are 2 guys I have nothing but time for.

Ghomeshi is simply one of the most compelling talk show hosts I have had the pleasure of listening to.

Oliver is a non nonsense food guru!

Here is a great chat about food and our kids.

Share this.

The real question is are we listening?

What is LinkedIn?

Posted on | October 4, 2014 | No Comments

Do you ever watch the Vooza videos?

I love the way these guys make us think about the things that are pretty common place in our lives.

Are you on LinkedIn?

Ever had to describe a social media?

This is great food for thought!

keep looking »