If you wanna keep up to date with stuff, keep up with someone whose up to date. That's what I say.
With that in mind, it's always worth reading Russell Davies' columns in Campaign - and today he mentioned two very tasty data tidbits in his "Totally Made-up and Spurious Awards for Excellence in the Fields of Media and Digitally Type Stuff." One of them, a way of getting your plant to twitter you if it needs watering, I'd heard of before. The other, which won Russell's award for "Delighting with Data", was a new one on me. And that's why my word of the day is "Dopplr".
Dopplr is a social network for regular travellers. You sign up, you tell it what trips you have planned and it gives you handy information about the place you're going and tells you if anyone you know is goingto be nearby (once they're signed up too). I signed up today and it's already given me some interesting info about where to go and where to stay in Paris, for my trip there next week.
Dopplr is a great example of a brand mashing up your personal data with other data out there in the world to provide a useful and interesting service. As I've said before, the future is about brands using data to their customer's advantage, rather than their own. It's also another example of how brands can stoke our interest in analysing ourselves - as proven by Dopplr's annual reports, where you're given an awesome infographic breaking down your yearly travels. Brandon Schauer, of US experiential agency Adaptive Path, describes receiving his report as a "long wow" moment, that's made him more loyal to the brand as a result. Check out the report that Dopplr made for Barrack Obama for an example:
Makes your bank statement, telephone bill and Tesco Clubcard report look kinda dull, doesn't it?! Yep, what all this tells us is that established brands have much to learn about Delighting with Data. At the moment it's the new brands, like Dopplr, who are doing most of the innovating - but surely lastminute.com or BA could have gotten there first, if only they were quicker off the mark? This, of course, is where we come in. If we can make the leap from keeping up with the latest to getting our clients excited about it, then hopefully we won't be stuck reading about the future when we could be out there making it.