Matt Pilgrim - Talking 'Soft

views on digital marketing, emerging technology and creative genius

Matt Pilgrim - Talking 'Soft

views on digital marketing, emerging technology and creative genius
  • Matt Pilgrim - Talking 'Soft

    Social Networking whilst Socially Networking


    I attended a friends barbeque at the weekend and during the beer and food fuelled festivities found myself in the company of three people that i did not know so i started to make conversation...


    Me: “So, how do you know Niccy?” (the birthday girl J)

    Response number 1: “Well, Niccy and i grew up together in South Africa. We hadn’t seen or spoken to each other for near on 15 years. I saw her profile on Friends re-united  and got in touch. Found out we both now live about 2 miles apart!!” – cool

    Response number 2: “Nic and I worked together but lost touch a couple of years ago. We connected a few weeks back on  facebook – cooler

    Response number 3: “yeh, facebook too but we actually got back in touch through  myspace ” – very cool


    The invites for the Party were also distributed through facebook !!


    My learnings...... Social Networking is a huge contributor to globalisation, these people were scattered across the demographic, Niccy spends far too much time on the internet, South Africans do a mean braai !!

  • Matt Pilgrim - Talking 'Soft

    Voices for Innovation briefing



    VFI Banner Yesterday morning my team held a Voices for Innovation Partner briefing at the Apex City of London hotel in Seething Lane. The event was invite only and brought a mix of Partner execs, Industry analysts, Microsoft sponsors and some key Microsoft executives including Gordon Frazer (Microsoft UK MD) and Jean Philippe Courtois (President of Micro soft International). Some of the attendees were fresh of the train from Brussels after attending a Partner innovation event, these included Q-Go and Skinkers so a special line of thanks is owed to these guys for making the effort to attend (and present). 

    The Event ran extremely well, with a attendee list just under 60. The agenda was well balanced and the presentations were informative, interesting and at times inspiring.

    The morning began with a warm welcome from Microsoft UK MD Gordon Frazer. Gordon outlined the importance of a collective voice and gave an insight into what the agenda contained.

    First up was Martin Hingley, Chief Research Officer for IDC EMEA. Martin gave an update on the UK IT Market and an insight into an Economic Impact study carried out by IDC on behalf of Microsoft. Martin gave some interesting observations on the UK Market including reasons as to why the UK is an attractive place to start a business and some interesting statistics, such as 2007 has seen 3.4% IT spending/GDP compared to 2.5% worldwide and that in 2007 there were just under 1.4 million people in IT employment with just over half a million of those in Microsoft-related IT employment! Martin also gave some predictions around the amount of data being created (a stupidly large number that i am not going to try and quote!) and when we might see an end to Moores law regarding transistors eventually reaching a density of the Atomic scale.

    Next to the lectern was Chris Parker, LCA Director, Microsoft. Chris' presentation was on policy and politics. Chris was able to give some examples of on-going debates and the importance of a unified voice within various areas of the economy. There were quite a few references to open XML and how this debate can potentially impact the lives of many different people. Chris finished up by introducing Skinkers, a Microsoft Partner with a solution that was born from a spinout from Microsoft's Cambridge labs, and a deal that was brokered by IP Ventures.

    The Skinkers Demo was great, previewing the latest release of Livestation, live peer to peer video streaming technology. Matteo Berlucchi was on top form as always, making sure the demonstration was light and quirky but also very impressive!

    banner2As i mentioned earlier, we were lucky enough to be joined by Jean Philippe Courtois, President of Microsoft International. Jean Philippe was questioned by Martin Hingley who pressed him on some very pertinent points such as why VFI is so close to his heart, Microsoft's strategy, how markets vary across Europe and Microsoft's spend in R&D. I found Jean Philippe to be incredibly open and a truly engaging speaker, which was reflected in comments at the networking lunch afterwards. Jean Philippe rounded of his time on stage with some open questions from the floor, which he again answered very openly and honestly.

    Finally our day was concluded with Daniel Doll-Steinberg, CEO ofTribeka and also a VFI founding member. Daniel gave his perspective on VFI and how it has helped him both personally and professionally. We learned what you can get from involvement and more importantly what you need to invest to see a return (mainly time). It was fascinating to learn how he got involved and even more fascinating to hear of his experiences of sitting in meetings with representatives from Brussels and being able to actually affect change that has helped his business grow.

    One of the debates we discussed is the OpenXML campaign. Open XML is a platform neutral, open file format, so that information and documents created by applications on one platform can be used by applications on other platforms. Novell's OpenOffice already supports Open XML, and Corel announced support for it in WordPerfect. You can support this campaign at

    Verification of the success of this event came at the networking lunch, where i was approached by a number of people not only wanting to sign up but looking to take an active roll! keep an eye out for the next event and take some time to browse the website and enroll! -


  • Matt Pilgrim - Talking 'Soft

    UK Agency event


    On Tuesday the 11th November the Microsoft UK agency team held an event in London for the design community. This was the first UK Web Agency event of the FY, organised by Microsoft and hosted at the Adam Street members club just off the strand in London.

    DSC01189 The event was a huge success with over 70 attendees from a range of agencies including some of the NMA top 10, full service digital agencies and highly influential boutique agencies. The UK team were fortunate enough to be supported throughout this event by the leadership team from Microsoft Corp in Redmond; who were over to meet with some of the more active agencies and gain some notes from the field.


    DSC01186 Michael McClary  from the UK team opened the session with some basic introductions before handing over to Darren McCormick who is the  WW lead for User Experience Evangelism.

    Darren spoke about the importance of User Experience and how Microsoft is making a shift to really embrace the whole Design channel and make it easy for digital agencies to work with the rest of Microsoft platform to deliver truly innovative solutions to their customers.

    Darren went on to explain the Microsoft Proposition in this space, correcting the common misconception that its all about Silverlight and eroding some of adobe's stronghold on the Rich Internet Application Marketplace. There is a much bigger story here and Silverlight plays just a small part, with other announcements that Microsoft have made regarding the web platform (Azure, Mesh, Live Services, Photosynth, etc) there is a huge opportunity for digital agencies to create incredibly compelling experiences for users that drive brand advocacy and consumer reach that extends far beyond the browser.

    DSC01191 There was a big focus on the role that digital agencies have to play as things progress over the coming months and we explained how we see the agency value proposition and how this might be articulated to clients. Microsoft help drive customer advocacy by providing the fundamental basics of the platform and tools combined with the talented based craft from the agency space.Michael McClary then showed some of the live platform products and specifically the opportunity for agencies being able to plug into this platform. There are some amazing developments such as Live mesh and some of the more traditional live services that not only open up amazing innovation opportunities but also allow you to open your solution up to the 460 million Live users.

    DSC01209 This event also showcased some of the incredible work that UK agencies are doing on the Microsoft platform already. Bob Thompson from StormID showed us the Colaab application that he has written using Silverlight. This app allows you to collaborate in a rich environment; share content and change documents all in real time and from within a browser on any device! Tim Hustler from Creative jar showed off some cool Silverlight web parts that they recently built for a sharepoint project for Navteq.

    DSC01219 Paul Dawson from full service design agency Conchango gave an insight into how agencies can effectively partner with Microsoft and also gave a sneak peak at a proof of concept that they have been working on for Tesco in conjunction with Microsoft. This was a look at how people may interact with the Tesco online stores through their daily routine and showed off new features of Windows 7, live Mesh and Silverlight this was also demo'd at PDC earlier this year. Creative agency AllofUs then stepped up and showed some of the amazing forward thinking projects they have been working on including DoodleEarth - an innovative collaboration and note taking tool that is over-layed on Virtual earth. Monochrome showed us an amazing tool that they have written to convert Flash media to Silverlight ready .wmv files. all on the fly! this means you can run your old flash videos through a slick Silverlight player without having to convert the library in advance.

    Darren McCormick closed out the event with some additional insights into the web platform strategy and most of the attendees managed to stay for a few drinks and networking afterwards. We all know this is where the real magic happens!

    DSC01238 DSC01241

  • Matt Pilgrim - Talking 'Soft

    Google in dramatic redesign of search engine!


    So, Google have re-vamped their search engine. Is this really news? just made me laugh as I was expecting something beautiful and a visual appeal to lure me away from Bing.

    I’ll forgive you if you haven’t noticed this upgrade.

    Any one fancy a game of spot the difference??


    Credit where credit is due, they are making some really nice tweaks to the functionality within search results….

  • Matt Pilgrim - Talking 'Soft

    Friday Funny…


    Courtesy of Mickey Boswell from bluesource…


    Once upon a time, a Prince asked a beautiful Princess... “Will you marry me?”
    The Princess said “NO!”    

    And the Prince lived happily ever after and rode motorcycles 
    and went fishing and hunting and played golf 
    and dated women half his age and drank beer and scotch 
    and had tons of money in the bank and left the toilet seat up 
    and farted whenever he wanted.

    The End

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