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Physical Space as Brand Innovation

"Prior to Starbucks, coffee shops in the U.S. were designed to be purely transactional. The most frequently analyzed metric was sales per square feet, and the concept of a store dedicating valuable space just for customers to hang out after they had bought something was unheard of. We all know how it panned out. Starbucks is globally known and a second home for many.

Barnes & Noble adopted the trend. They added lounge chairs and then Starbucks itself to their locations. The bookstore café became a place to visit consistently and to explore, hang out, and to be alone together.

Last week, I spent two hours online at a Peet's Coffee & Tea in Santa Clara, California. Something important has changed: People now work independently online. Before the days of free wifi, people used to mingle with friends over coffee. At Peet's, I spent most of my time in my "fourth places"––my online communities, including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and OpenSky. Looking around, everyone was doing the same. We came for the wifi and bought the coffee."

(John Caplan, 16 September 2013,

Fig.1 Nick Kenrick []



alone togetherBarnes and Noble • bookstore cafe • brand innovation • cafe officecafe society • coffee shops • effective brand spaceenvironment that adds value • fourth place • free wifi • hanging out • • lounge chairs • mingleonline communities • OpenSky • Peets Coffee and Tea • physical consumer spacephysical environmentphysical retail spacephysical space • place to visit • retail space • sales per square feet • Santa Clara • shop conceptsshopping behavioursocial appssocial fragmentationspatial environmentsStarbuckstransactionWiFi • work independently online • working practices


Simon Perkins
17 FEBRUARY 2012

Network: our identities revealed through our network traffic

"Information technology has become a ubiquitous presence. By visualizing the processes that underlie our interactions with this technology we can trace what happens to the information we feed into the network."

(Michael Rigley)

Fig.1 "Network" by Michael Rigley.



animated presentationdata • data preservation • data retention • design situations • digital identitydigital representationinformation aesthetics • information feed • information sector • information technologyInternet trafficISP • location data • metadata • Michael Rigley • MMSnetwork informationnetwork traffic • our information • retention period • service provider • surveillancetechnology infrastructuretracetraffic analysistransactiontransaction data • ubiquitous presence • visualisation


Simon Perkins
07 MAY 2011

Oracle database server: transaction management

"A transaction is a logical unit of work that contains one or more SQL statements. A transaction is an atomic unit. The effects of all the SQL statements in a transaction can be either all committed (applied to the database) or all rolled back (undone from the database).

A transaction begins with the first executable SQL statement. A transaction ends when it is committed or rolled back, either explicitly with a COMMIT or ROLLBACK statement or implicitly when a DDL statement is issued.

To illustrate the concept of a transaction, consider a banking database. When a bank customer transfers money from a savings account to a chequing account, the transaction can consist of three separate operations: decrement the savings account; increment the chequing account; record the transaction in the transaction journal.

Oracle must allow for two situations. If all three SQL statements can be performed to maintain the accounts in proper balance, the effects of the transaction can be applied to the database. However, if a problem such as insufficient funds, invalid account number, or a hardware failure prevents one or two of the statements in the transaction from completing, the entire transaction must be rolled back so that the balance of all accounts is correct."

(Richard Strohm, 2011)

Fig.1 a banking transaction example

2) .Richard Strohm (January 2011). 'Oracle Database Concepts'



databasedocumentation • hardware failure • ICT • logical unit of work • operations • Oracle Database • Oracle database server • process • rollback • rolled back • SQL • SQL statements • technologytransaction • transaction management • undone


Simon Perkins
08 APRIL 2011

Jean-Luc Godard: figures posing in order to be admired

"Godard is right at home here, especially following his 80s fare like Passion and First Name: Carmen. In this decade more than ever before, Godard was preoccupied with the fusing of image and sound, in the vein of Renaissance art and music. This means that he's obsessed with the human form, male and female bodies. Historically, this creates something curiously hybrid. While classical opera may have to do with bodies, Godard's style is decidedly closer to that of pre–Classical painting, with uncovered figures posing still in order to be admired or, better, worshiped. Godard's use of male bodies juxtaposing the females here fits nicely into his standard approach to bodies along with everything else: exchange of commodities. The transaction doesn't take place in the segment; the problem is an imbalance of supply with demand, a Marxist cliché that Godard is only too glad to inject into a series of films supposedly just about art and love."

(Zach 'Andrews idea', 29/08/2010)



1987 • Aria (1987) • Armide • art and love • body • bodybuilder • classical opera • commodityEuropean Renaissancefemale bodygender performance culturegymgymnasiumhomoeroticism • human form • ideal form • Jean-Baptiste Lully • Jean-Luc GodardjuxtapositionKarl Marx • male body • MarxismmasculinitynarcissismoperaovercodingParisphysiologyphysiqueposeposing • pre-classical • pre-classical painting • Prenom Carmen • sexualityspectaclestylisedtableautransactionvisual depiction • worship


Simon Perkins
04 JULY 2009

Application Economics (will interactive agencies please make themselves useful)

"many advertisers aren't focused on building the digital applications that people want to use; they're focused on somehow cramming marketing into them. Some kid comes up with the next YouTube, Facebook or mobile platform, and most advertisers want to figure out how to market on it. Instead of designing and developing useful applications that could give brands the opportunity to insert themselves meaningfully into our lives, we get cutesy but useless 'Sprite Sips' on Facebook, ubiquitous banners in all shapes and sizes and microsites that you won't likely return to. And I'm talking about digital advertising –– never mind traditional.

As agencies and our clients strive to add value to the lives of the average consumer, user and active participant, it's helpful to think about how we can do this in a framework I like to call the 'Three U's of Advertising in the Application Economy.' They are:

1) Usefulness. Any experience is useful when it's meaningful and serves a purpose. Currently, much of marketing still breaks down into self–serving gimmicks and interruptions that offer little value. Much of what's offered in digital is no exception. While the majority of criticism is of traditional advertising, the fact of the matter is that interruptive traditional digital advertising is not much better. These are the digital gimmicks that work to get your attention but are usually done so poorly that they offer no value whatsoever. Usefulness is the exact opposite.

2) Utility. Utility is interaction that delights us in some way. But hold the iPhone. The industry has hijacked the word delight and brainwashed us to think that only companies like Apple and Disney are capable of serving it up. Let me tell you a recent story about the 'no–frills' Craigslist. My wife took pictures of a large play set we wanted to sell. She uploaded them at 10 a.m., by noon she had several people interested, and she sold the set in time for a late lunch. We had the set dismantled, picked up and were [US] $100 richer that evening. That's delight in the application economy.

3) Ubiquity. We are living in a fragmented world with what seems like infinite touch points available to us. Brands and businesses that can distribute value across these endless touch points in effective ways will tap into new markets and solidify existing ones. Because some of us are interacting through multiple social channels, we can now find people just like ourselves who we trust and see what they like and dislike. This influences our decisions, from the stuff we buy to the things we recommend to each other. The best marketing in the world tries to simulate this, but usually ends up coming off as contrived. Meaningful interactions through multiple networks and channels lead to authentic word–of–mouth references and, ultimately, affinity.

One of the reasons I took my role with digital shop Critical Mass was its strong foundation in transactional digital design. When you think about the application economy, I have a hunch it will be fueled by organizations and individuals who have figured out how to retool Web design into something more engaging, rewarding, useful and valuable. Call it 'brand utility' or call it a good experience. Whatever you want to call it, it's not a one–trick dog and pony show."
(David Armano, 5 May 2008)



adadsadvertising • application economics • branded applicationCraigsListdigital designICTinteractioninteraction designinteractiveonline advertisingpizzapromotiontransaction • transactional digital design • ubiquityusabilityusefulness • utility • web application


Simon Perkins

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