An idea for iPlayer mobile

(or TED, or any video-based mobile app)

When I open the application, I want the app to gauge my time and serve me content accordingly. It could ask me ‘How much time do you have?’ but that’s boring. My thinking is you could get quite cheeky with the measurement –

First question: location. Based upon your answer to this, the app takes an educated guess as to the length of video you want to consume at this time.

Like so –


“Hi, where are you? In bed, on the train or on the toilet?”

In bed, you get everything; on the train, you get everything up to say…  30mins? – and on the toilet, well, you get content up to ten minutes. Obviously there’d be other (probably more user-defined) options available, but you get my point

I’ve mentioned this before (to the Beeb itself at one point) and I don’t know why this hasn’t been done or why content isn’t browse-able by length at all* in fact. I’ve got a 15 minute journey ahead of me so therefore I’d like to see all content that is 15mins or under in length. Simple.


What is the behaviour of your mobile user?


*if it has, I haven’t seen it and well, I fully expect to get told about it within minutes of hitting publish….

Six months of travel

Not me. A chap named Jonathan.

James, Jonathan and Ben

[that’s Jonathan, over my left shoulder – don’t ask about the hats]

I met Jonathan first in Russia on my first night in Moscow back in April. He was halfway through a six month trip and had big plans. We ran into each other again in Mongolia and (along with a few others in our group) we discovered we pretty much had the same schedule ahead of us for the seven days or so [taking in camping out in the desert, catching the train to China and then hanging out in Beijing].

Anyway, I got back from my trip in May, Jonathan got back yesterday.
This post, entitled ‘HOME’ (and reposted with his permission) is what he’s just published and I actually love it.


“Just finished unpacking my backpack for the last f***ing time because I am finally home in good old London. If ever there was a moment for a cliché/gay/philosophical/Disney/boring (whichever) shout, surely now is the one time I can get away with one. So here goes (and then I promise I will shut up about all this and go back to drinking K and listening to s*** music).

A lot of people have asked me recently what I’ve learnt or found in the last 6 months living like a gypsy ‘on the road’. Well, I haven’t discovered the meaning of life, I haven’t realised that the world is a beautiful place, I still don’t understand religion and I still don’t get the appeal of a tan. What I have found is a restored faith in the human race, pieced together by every individual that has gone out of their way to help me get so far. The couch-surfers around the world who put me up for a night or few, the drivers who gave me a ride when I was stood with my thumb up on the side of the road in the rain, the families that invited me to live with them and those that fed me despite being too poor to get a solid roof above their heads. The people that turned my map the right way round, the people who patiently tried to teach me a part of their language and culture, those that put up with my constant complaining everywhere I went, and everyone else who smiled at the pasty tourist far too far from home. Sure, there are a lot of dickheads in the world, but they are greatly outnumbered by amazing people.

The Cambodians have a saying ‘when glass floats’ which means when evil prevails over good. Glass will never float. That’s what I’ve learnt.



Peace out yo, have a great Monday.



Moleskine entry: January 5th, 2011

I have a new Moleskine.
This makes me happy.

It was a gift from those lovely folk @ Mint Digital (more than likely, orchestrated by my dear friend Utku), to mark the start of 2011*
Thanks Utterz. I like it.

So. Plans for the year then? I have two. Travel and dance. Doing more of both. The former I’m working on, the latter also.

I guess if I’m completely honest with myself, one underlying goal for the year ahead would be not to share as much. For the last two years (more so than before at least) I’ve lived my life openly, on the internet – and decorated it accordingly. In the same way that one would in his own house, I shared my happiness, my joy and my deepest loves on the walls around me.

If it made me smile, or if I thought it would do the same for someone, else then I shared it. But now…?

Now the largest piece of that puzzle has disappeared and, whenever I visit this place I once called home, it is not long before I wander into a memory of times gone past. It’s not like I can even show people around; an image here, a link there, an oblique reference off to the right – it happens.

This year, whatever comes my way, I’ll be keeping a fair amount of it back (more than I did before at least anyway).

For now, that’s how things have to be.

James Whatley

Minty Moleskines...


Moleskine entry: June 22nd, 2010

Three months must be a new record and, although admittedly I’ve been less protective over this Molekskine this time ’round, it’s still quite impressive.

Perhaps there’s something in scouring back through and seeing what (if anything) has resulted in real world change. Perhaps. Words are real after all.

Incidentally. This tube is packed. My handwriting is suffering. It’s too early…

Paddington 2225

Spinny lights :)

Moleskine entry: March 30th, 2010

Two stops from home.

Six months in. Am I allowed to click again? I don’t know. I think I have though – clicked, that is.

A combination of a rather intimate chat with my peers and maybe also a mixture of the achievements of late. A PR Week nod and my recent Marketing Academy nomination… It kind of makes you think.

Reassures maybe?

I think so.

Step up James. Step up.

Notes on a Notebook

Moleskine entry: January 12th, 2010

I’m a bit miffed; I keep using this Moleskine for work. We’re not far from the end of this first book now and well, soon it will be time to buy another one… or two. I’m thinking maybe one for work purposes and another for personal, i.e.: sketches, notes, journal entries etc.

Admittedly, this in itself opens me up to a whole new world of potential pitfalls. It will not take long to tire of carrying two book instead of one, and I can imagine quite clearly just about to present somewhere and finding that I have the wrong notebook with me. The more I think about it however, the more I realise that this is really the only true path forward.

Hellboy 2 flashes before my eyes. I don’t know why.

Two Moleskines it is then, for 2010. Let’s see how we get on with that one then, this time next year…

Some thoughts on Nokia World

Nokia World 2010

Here we are nearly a full week on from all the fun of the fair that was Nokia World 2010 and there is still so much kicking around in my head.

Many internet peeps have already written up their thoughts so far (some were there, some weren’t), all giving their opinions on what was and was not a success for the Finnish giants this time ’round. On top of this, a couple of them have even called me out asking for what I thought about this year’s Nokia World. Well, I’ll tell you…

Before I go on, this post is here – on my personal blog – for a reason. The following thoughts and opinions are my own and do not reflect those of my employer, clients or blogging pals – past, present or future.

First and foremost I think the event as a whole was broadly positive and I’ll get to the main thinking behind this shortly but first, some background.

Believe it or not, this was in fact my first Nokia World and I really, thoroughly enjoyed it. On the first day I sat through the first set of keynotes and was thoroughly impressed by both Niklas Savander AND the departing Anssi Vanjoki. The former proving to be both witty and charming while the latter gave a barnstorming presentation worthy of any outgoing EVP.

After that, I was working.

My agency, 1000heads, runs Nokia’s global community programme WOMWorld/Nokia and as such (amongst other things at least) facilitates a large part of Nokia’s blogger engagements all around the world. The WW/N team were on the ground making sure our guys were happy while I kept an eye on the overall feeling within (and without) the group. All in all, the outlook was positive.

Later on in the day, when Nokia decided to give away nearly 1000 brand new Nokia N8s to the assembled developer community, all of us shared an equal level of surprise but also happiness. Of course we were gutted we didn’t ALL get one (not all of us made the first developer keynote where the gifting took place), but knowing that the ones that did get given away went to developers? None of us complained.

“Nokia did a Google – at last” they said. They were right too.

But 1000 free phones does not a successful conference make. Onwards then, to the true source of my positivity –

The following day, when I sat down to record some thoughts with Dan McGrath from Nokia Conversations, I was honest – “Let’s face it,” I said “it could’ve been a LOT worse.” and I meant it. The CEO gone, the EVP of Mobile Solutions on his way out, no MeeGo announcements… Nokia World really could have been a mess.

But it wasn’t.

Being there, on the floor, meeting the workforce, feeling the vibe in the air… There were no crappy devices announced, no shoddy services, no great white hopes… They didn’t deliver their [insert name of device and add the word ‘killer’ to the end] sure, but they never said they would. What they did was make a very clear and very firm step forward. It may’ve been a small (near-baby) step forward, but nevertheless, a step in the RIGHT direction.

I didn’t see Stephen Elop make his special guest star appearance at the end of day two nor did I see any of the hoo-hah about the whole HTC v Nokia debacle. Nokia held an all agency briefing day on the afternoon of day two which I left feeling not only super fired up about the future of my favourite Finnish phone manufacturer but also just so INSPIRED. OPK and Anssi V aren’t the only changes Nokia have made internally, there’s been a lot of restructuring below too and amongst the newcomers there is a real sense of change AND – more importantly – determination.

I have a different view to most, this I know. I have the privilege of working close with those that matter and also get to see that little bit further down the road (albeit under strict NDA – so don’t even think about asking), so trust me when I say; there really are great things ahead.

James Whatley – Sept 20th, 2010

Appendix –

  1. Twitter won’t hold them for long but, while you have the chance, go read Jonathan MacDonald’s tweets from September 15th. He gave a fantastic talk at one point during day two’s all agency session and managed to live-tweet the rest of the day’s presentations.
  2. This is the podcast I gave with the Nokia Conversations guys. It’s only seven minutes long and well worth a listen for Rafe Blandford’s and Matt Miller’s contributions alone.

Finally, if you’ve made it this far, please do leave a comment. Even if to say hi.
It’s not often I unload like this and any and all thoughts are appreciated.