Ambient and astounding. Real time LAPD radio stream set to a soundscape. (via@GeneralLee) by Tim Putnam

This ambient site plays a real time LAPD radio feed on top of a bed of ambient music. It's a mashup of Soundcloud songs and

and the result is eerie, melancholy, dreamy and chaotic. 


I did an electronic record with Lee Gilmore last decade under the name Kildare. The song Nashville reminds me a lot of this...where Lee didn't answer his phone for two weeks and made a song with the voicemail recordings left for him during that time. We did the Kildare record when Lee lived in LA and I was between Missouri and Nashville. This was early 2000's so we would email or physically mail cds to get each other the tracks. He would put his ideas down then I would do the same, or vice versa. It's a young sounding record, but there are some really great moments and some of the best lyrics I've written on a few tunes. Experimental for sure. 

You can listen and check out the Kildare record


. Let me know what you think about it and if you'd like to hear a new Kildare project. 


The first time you do anything is probably the hardest. by Tim Putnam

Not always, but most of the time I bet the first time you do anything it's the hardest it will ever be.

submitting your art
entering a contest
asking someone out
cooking a new recipe
playing an instrument
using a new app or piece of software

The adoption phase of anything is tough. You struggle, physically or mentally. You have to learn the lay of the land, the layout on the screen. You slowly figure out what that button does, what that swipe does, what the correct technique is. Or having the courage to cold-call a movie director to pitch music (I was shaking the first time I did this), asking that certain someone out is terrifying because of the fear of rejection.  It's the same for putting your art out there...something that is uniquely you. 

But when you do it again it gets easier. 

Keep doing things.

On Twitter, @beckenstein asked what I think social media will look like in the next few years. by Tim Putnam

First off, thanks for reaching out and even caring what I think. I was asked a similar question at the 2009 IEBA convention (What is the next "Facebook") and I copped out a little by saying there are smarter people who can figure that out. As it turns out, so far Facebook is the next Facebook.

Since then I have thought a lot about the future of social media. My marketing and strategy work is heavily immersed in the use of these tools every day, and a few things are happening right now that aren't really a secret:

Geo-location is being adopted en masse (Foursquare, Gowalla, etc.)
The rise of the iPad and other tablet devices
The race to monetize social networks by embedding stores on Facebook and other sites (Moontoast, Topspin...even my company - Music City Networks - has a Facebook App to embed our stores on a Facebook page)
People use apps on their mobile devices more than they listen to music.

These trends show how social media is moving to integrate with transactions, closing the gap between getting a lot of referrals (retweets, likes) to closing the deal itself. 

In other words, it will be easier for a friend to tell you they endorse a product and for you to make a purchase right then and there, no matter where you are. 

Social media is liquid. With new startups developing amazing apps that treat our experiences in new and exciting ways, there are more ways than ever to creatively exploit the use of these apps to deliver mind-bending campaigns.

What I love about my job is creating the unexpected. When Tony Hawk (@tonyhawk) started hiding skateboards across the country and leaving clues on Twitter...I felt it. When Shaq (@the_real_shaq) tweeted his location for some local Phoenix guys to join him at a diner...I felt it. When Barcelona created a video response to the overwhelming reaction to the most amazing aquarium video you will ever see...I felt it. 

Then Google's Experiments in Digital Creativity blew my mind. Here are tools that we all have access to, being used in ways I never would have imagined. It's about seeing differently. It's about using what you have to engage the world.

The engagement is the key, not the platform. The platform is a tool.

Marketing 101 doesn't really change just because we have new tools. The internet and the glory of social media means that we once again live in a small-town economy where relationships matter more than ever. If my product sucks and I treat my customers poorly, I'm about to receive a thunderstorm of reviews, tweets, and other forms of badmouthing. But if I go out of my way to deliver a spectacular customer experience, I will be successful. Social media just lets us move that philosophy online and facilitates our ability to deepen relationships with our customers.

The groundwork has been laid for the next several years in social media. Location-based apps will bring people together in the real world, smartphones will pay for stuff, and sites like Facebook will become more deeply involved in checking you out...which, let's face it, is really an extension of what it already does.  I'm excited to exploit these and other tools to make people stop and ask questions, ponder life, or just click a button.

There is also a small part of me that believes Facebook is just a data collection system to monitor human behavior and will one day be used to develop artificial intelligence on a Terminator level. But that's just silly, right?

Google Art Project. Go to a museum without, well, going to one. by Tim Putnam

Browse through the world's greatest museums and view artwork in stunning detail (zoom in to see cracks in the paint!).  I love seeing Google's map technology used in amazing ways, and I'm pretty sure this is build on that platform.  

Google partnered with museums around the world to feature over 1,000 great works. Select a museum or a piece of art and then click, drag, and zoom to view the pieces. 

There's something amazing about viewing a van Gogh with enough clarity to see the stroke of the artist's hand and trailing bristles of his brush. 

This is a fantastic way to share art with those who can't get to a museum in person.

London as a Game Board: A new layer of engagement in advertising. by Tim Putnam

When Nike wanted to get young people excited about running, their ad agency, Wieden + Kennedy (of whom I'm a huge fan), approached the challenge by blurring the lines between real and virtual worlds.  By adding a game component on top of simply running, and pitting two teams who have been at odds since the beginning of time (boys vs. girls), they created an experience lived out in the real world and tracked online at (URL is no longer valid - full article here)


The city of London was broken up into 48 sectors by postal code, each with specific traditional phone boxes.  The game consists of running a to one of these phones and calling a specific number, then entering a unique ID code so your data can be tracked.  Players then receive instructions on where to run next, and the cycle continues.  The game currently has 2,971 players on 334 teams.


As data is entered, Nike displays it at so users can track their performance and see who's winning.  In the spirit of competition, each daily video ends with a notice to the team in second place: "Get running girls!" is the message in the video below.


"GRID is part of a growing category of ideas that sits within, as Tom Coates of Yahoo! describes, the 'real world web,'" Graeme Douglas of Wieden + Kennedy writes, "connected things that blur the physical and virtual spaces--things that thrive primarily because they excite us as humans, rather than being a vehicle for demonstrating technical capability."


I believe that is where the next evolution of the web will take us - from social commerce, which is gaining a ton of speed right now, to more engaging forms of more of these campaigns are introduced and succeed, intelligent brands will look for authentic ways to introduce an engagement layer on top of mere advertising.  I fully expect there to be some misfires and some poorly matched attempts at this, but I'm excited to see more of these campaigns done well.