Module 1: A Connected World

Further down the digital rabbit hole I go as a never-ending vortex of similarities passes me by, a dial-up modem bleeps and clambers it’s way past desperately trying to maintain a connection throughout this modern paradigm shift in communication. It transpires that we have evolved from prehistoric twitter-esque smoke signals via a complex and completely bewildering array of chemically enhanced electronic advancements (possibly involving cat videos) to have now arrived at the humble mobile phone. I have officially begun my journey on this quasi-google black-box that is Squared Online.

“part of your first assignment this blog is… and video you must make”,  No My Tutor is not Yoda (I wish!)

Create a blog hmm well that should be easy enough; most people I work with class as colleagues not friends say that I sound like a ‘speak ‘n’ spell’ machine so I suppose it’s just a matter of installing  a speech to text system a la ‘Cloudy with a chance of meatballs.


‘ Wait did you say make a video?….It’s a Trap!

So out comes the Terrabytes of external hard drives (with some clicks of death)damm you Maxtor! to find some footage of how I can aptly introduce myself to the world in moving images.  I was sorely tempted to just knock back some dutch courage on a Saturday night (cherry coke and Jack Daniels if you’re interested BTW) and just wax lyrical into the camera, hit upload and be done with it… Yeah, about that. So it would have consisted of me sounding like a terrorist, talking faster than Colin Murray and covering such a diverse and head numbing collection of topics it would be like a form of kaleidoscope influenced SEO on Speed, but not the movie that Keanu used, to make buses cool or was that bombs? although this guy may think otherwise… but only if it’s the VHS version.

Yes my topics of choice alone would be conspiracy tinged tangents heavily fortified with New and Improved ADHD symptons! this combined with some Blair Witch-esque attempts at trying to ‘selfie cam’ that a thing yet? go trending tag #selifecam!  What actually transpired was a great opportunity to showcase everything that I was and could become, so out came the reams of blank paper and a box of pens NOT sharpies? (why would you use something to sketch with that sounds like a toddler or hipster-millennial referring to a sharp object?) and so once that was cleared up…which took a bit longer than expected  the scripting began.


So I began with wanting to show where I was from (Northern Ireland) who I was (erm.. Me) what I do in my spare time (legally), and a brief overview of everything else in between (nothing to see here NSA, move along) Inevitably what started as a simple project turned into a ridiculous amount of research calling in favours; bribing, stalking and blackmailing for footage and pics. In the end I got let down by quite a few friends and family who didn’t believe I was actually on a ‘Google Squared Course’, and thought of it as being more akin to a virtual version of ‘The Internship’ without the dangling job offer, real-world campus access and canteen politics with bonus inside jokes about inane geek chatter or dark matter (whatevs….).

So final scripting had to be put together with a new focus on who was not on my Christmas card list this year what I could piece together myself with Windows Movie Maker, yes I know Apple things are better at creative stuff but I have yet to cross to the dark side and have used both systems before and don’t really see a difference in Adobe processes and workflow. So my laptop could be heard visibly groaning under the new weight of all this new audio and visual editing being done in earnest stopping only to visit the cinema to watch The Lego Movie which has the catchiest, most catchy wee  Awesome song ever..

did I mention the song is catchy?

After watching this I was SUPER-amped up to get my video finished off and well I did and here it is.

So now that the video was sorted out I could really dive into the content of the course, meet the tutors (kind of) and try and network on G+ with my fellow squares and try to get a feel for how this experience was going to be. First up it was time to meet the tutors who would be imparting their wisdom to us a bit like Gandalf…

First up was Nick Watt who has a music related background (possible shares in a Song thing cloud app?) and had something to do with NME, Mike Berry was then in line and was more of a Director type (who looked like a deep undercover double agent for the empire posing as an Ewok) was brilliant at being able to explain things from senior management point of view and how this would relate to interpreting digital disruption and the like, Aiden Carroll was next and I remembered him from the tech test class not only because of his Norn Iron accent which strangely enough I seemed to pay more attention to, who knew..? but also because his background was very much Asian driven and with an emphasis on all things Korean and was way ahead of the curve of digital developments. (like an emo-styled early Perez hilton but focused on a different sort of silicon superficiality)  Last but not least is Chris Perks who was the business workings of the group and brought the sanity checking reality of management highlighting the diagrams and delivering the business models to the table. (I secretly think he’s a comic-book superhero and was actually broadcasting from his lair hence the ‘delays in transmission’)

Module 1: Viewing Schedule


anthony damianos_cropped

6.30: Being Squared  Anthony Damianos, the Lead Designer of the In-Person Squared Programme, talks to you from a fabulous padded cell (with more than a just a silver lining) about being Squared whilst wearing a fantastic 34DDDD Jumper and getting the most from your experience with the course all whilst being T-Shaped.

3:25: Only Fish That Are Not Alive: This guy knows his proverbial digital onions and is the author of one of the most popular and authoritative marketing blogs in the UK. (something to do with fish?) With five industry awards, (yeah count em 5!) Neil Perkin isn’t joking when he says he has an unhealthy obsession to a molecular level and specialises in digital content strategy, digital marketing innovation, digital commercial strategy and social technologies or something like that.


7:30: My So-Called Digital Life: Vox Pops day-in-the-life show highlighting our reliance on technology and how we honestly do not engage as humanly as we once did.  Also is our tittle-tattle technology and demanding devices simply setting the stage for more solitary confinement and real-time  social shrinkage or can the tide be turned?

9:30: FILM: SkyNet ‘Activation’: Starring Andy Sandoz & Nick Cave. In 1998 Andy Sandoz wrote a post-grad essay on the social and ethical impact of uploading your brain to a computer network and how robots disguised as cats will take over the world.


7:30: It’s a Mash-up! 2.0: This hilarious jaunt around the blogging platforms is tinged with some trepidation this week. Will the blue team get the views they need to make the grade? or take a tumbl in the blogosphere? M1C3

7:30: The Eternal Conversation: Popular debate show with special guests this week facebook, twitter and YouTube Featuring music from Bodyform. Topics covered include: Does Size matter when it comes to social? LOL. Is it really dominated by Women? DUH! OMFG Don’t even… How can you harness user behaviour to develop a usable mind control strategy with cat videos? How to Deny everything and ‘Sunset’ the entire project. M1C4 (repeat)

7:30: It’s Not You, It’s Me (but it’s mostly you): Interactive Panel show featuring top social campaigns from big brands that get it right and gain legendary social status, to embarrassingly out of touch dinosaurs who make a bull in a china shop look like a toddler having a tantrum in the sweet aisle at the supermarket. (contains scenes of horrific PR blunders which some viewers may find disturbing) M1C5

4.30: Richard Eyre’s Successful Countdown of the Top 10 Successful Tips to being Successful with Richard Eyre. Richard Eyre won the Mackintosh Medal for Outstanding Personal and Public Service to Advertising in 2013.  In this fast–paced dotcom era review show, Richard Eyre poses the question: What does opening a Cheese Shop, Annoying Prime Ministers and needing to fail more often have to do with success?

6.30: Hot & Bothered  Fly-on-the-wall documentary featuring husband and wife team, Malcolm and Dessi Bell better known globally as Zaggora with their famed Hot Pants. This week Malcolm is wrestling with the HSBC, getting to grips with stalking twitter and finding fans on facebook; meanwhile Dessi is preparing for her wedding.

7.30: I’m a Quadratic Get ME Out of Here! Round 1 Your chance to catch up on all the latest happenings with the Blue Team and their digital lives with a sneak-peek of their next challenge ahead. The question on everyone’s lips is who will enter the Dragons Den to pitch in module 2?