• Lovie Awards for Downton and Sherlock

    Our work for Downton Abbey and Sherlock win Lovie Awards

  • 1Xtra Live - a Wall to Wall Strategy

    A Wall to Wall Strategy for 1Xtra Live

  • Selfie Portrait

    What would you look like in a Da Vinci?

  • Swap my Vote on the radio

    Swap my Vote hit global headlines in the General Election - here are the radio interviews

  • Digital Britain Unconferences: The Report

    The findings of a rapid response set of unconferences organised via Twitter to debate the UK Government's Digital Britain Bill

  • That Fuzzy Feeling EP cover

    An EP of Christmas songs

  • Tweeting History

    Bringing four stories from history to life, real time

Posts by: "Tom"

I’m terribly sad to have heard yesterday that my primary school headteacher, and friend, Brian Thompson, has passed away.

Brian was an exceptional person, inspiring and helping equip hundreds of people to lead creative lives. He had a natural curiosity and wonder at the world, a wry and cultured sense of humour, and the school he created reflected and amplified these values in its students and in the community.

It was often noted that Brian could easily have been promoted through the education system, but that he chose to stay a headteacher, because he loved teaching and making that difference to people. Brian always had creative projects on the go, whether the children’s  books he published with Quentin Blake (update: and many more – see the Guardian’s obituary below), the annual school plays he would research and write himself, the silk screening, the sculpture..

I remember fondly going with him and my mother, who had forged a friendship through working together (she was his right hand woman as secretary of the school), to some of the plays and musicals he watched as research for his own work – these outings were a bit of light in what was a darker time for me around my parents’ divorce. We would also help out and water his plants when he and his partner were away and I was always struck by what wonderfully green fingers he must have had – the countless plants in that sunlit room that overflowed with such an extraordinary vitality.

I’m so glad to have seen them both as recently as a month ago – Minko and I were passing nearby, knocked on the window, and with great friendliness and cordiality were invited in for tea. We saw the house, some of the inventive beach sculptures he had made, their lifelong collection of art made by good friends adorning the walls throughout. I’ve since learnt that they had just heard that he was very ill and hadn’t long to live. Brian’s grace and humanity shone through, even more so now in the knowledge that they were dealing with such very difficult news.

I will always remember a good, kind and wonderfully creative man. RIP Brian.

Other lives: Teacher who sought to give children control over their education and their lives

Brian Thompson obituary | Education | The Guardian

[I posted this tribute To Brian a few weeks ago, and thought that now would be a good time to post it here.]

This spring our vote swapping platform took off by way of some networking and influencer work, a few choice retweets, some nifty web design work, and a groundswell of people getting behind the idea, and as a result I ended up doing quite a few interviews about the phenomenon for press and radio, even a bit of TV.

Here are the radio interviews gathered together. Meeting John Humphys at New Broadcasting House before dawn was probably my high point – as captured here for posterity.

It’s strange revisiting this now in the light of what we now know about the eventual result – how wrong the polls were puts everything into a different context.

But socially-enabled vote swapping is an innovation which may yet prove to have an important effect in a future election.. Watch this space.

selfieportrait.co.uk Frank

Devised and produced new work for Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year 2014, with The Project Factory and Syndicut, and resulting in over twenty thousand selfie portraits posted.

How would you look in a Da Vinci?

More music out today from the ever inventive songstress-producer, Minko.

Following her two recent EPs, this time it’s a double A-side digital single, to which I’m the proud contributor of cover photography (embedded below).

Which do you prefer; the lazy pop bossa of ‘I Miss You Tomorrow’ – or the pastoral waltz feel of the mythical ‘Mrs Magpie’?

Very chuffed to hear our team has won three four Lovie Awards 2014: two for Downton Abbey‘s social media, one for our Sherlock: The Network app, produced with Hartswood Films, and one for Unreported World Shorts with Channel 4.

2014_Winner_Black

Downton Abbey – Bronze Lovie Award Winner 2014

2014_Winner_White

Sherlock: The Network and Unreported World | Shorts – Silver Lovie Award Winners 2014

Downton Abbey won the Bronze Lovie Awards in two categories: Social: Overall Social Presence and Social: Entertainment.

Sherlock: The Network won the Silver Lovie Award in the Mobile Handheld: News & Entertainment category.

Unreported World won the Silver Lovie Award in the Internet Video: Documentary category.

Well played Rebecca Winch, Lauren Fenner, Sarah Howell, Rob Barnes, Sandra Lehner, Chike NewmanAz Newman, and the whole team at The Project Factory, not to mention our wonderful partners, in all the dedicated work bringing these top notch storytelling projects to life.

When the time came to let the world know about The Project Factory’s official Sherlock app, we knew we had a winner.

We’d shot exclusive content for the app with two of the moment’s biggest names in TV and film,  Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, and wanted to reward the shows’ fans with sneak peaks – and let them share their excitement and enthusiasm to spread the word about the game far and wide.

The app is named after Sherlock’s network which players join to help him solve cases. We built a dedicated social site with a hashtag counter where fans could get a sneak peek of exclusive images from the app – and tweet to unlock content, calling others to do the same and help the network reach the next milestone. So, of course, the campaign hashtag had to be #jointhenetwork.

Join the Network viral site

Join the Network viral site

We wanted to allow the social conversation around the television show to run its course, but with only a few days between the show airing on BBC One and the release into the App Store,  we had just two days to build the buzz before launch. In those two days, 16,000 people used the #jointhenetwork hashtag in tweets and 12,000 people followed the dedicated Twitter account. We had hoped we might see 10,000 tweets; at the time of writing, the counter is about to tick over 30,000.

In the fortnight after launch, Sherlock: The Network became number 1 Entertainment app in in 34 countries, topping the overall charts for over a week in the UK. The game so far has 279 ratings with 233 of them being 5 stars. On Twitter, #jointhenetwork tweets are reaching an average of a million people a week, and have been seen by 24 million.

Find out what the fuss is about: download the app and join the network

Cross posted with kind permission of The Project Factory.

This autumn, Telegraph Hill were asked by BBC Radio 1Xtra to build a social campaign for a centre piece of its year, the 1Xtra Live events in four cities; Bournemouth, London, Liverpool and Leeds.

The station wanted to find new ways to publicise and build buzz around the events so, amongst other things, we asked some of the finest street artists in the UK to create pieces around the hashtags, designed to get a conversation going to celebrate local pride in the cities: #BigUpBournemouth (and of course #BigUpLondon, #BigUpLiverpool, #BigUp Leeds).

Included in the art were the handles of key local influencers, to whom we sent video and stills of their names sprayed on the walls. Many of them posted about the walls – completing the circle of our Wall to Wall strategy.

Check out the four fifteen second videos we produced for the channel’s Instagram – which is your favourite?

Liverpool: Betarok

London: 2Rise

Leeds: Replete

Bournemouth: Slam

For a digital producer working recently primarily in television, it was great to get out on the streets, taking me back to my event promoting in Brighton and making music around the country. Even a month before, I hadn’t foreseen I would be producing walls.

Hat tips to Matt Pitts for fab camera and editing, being great on the road; Global Street Art for finding the artists and much, much more.

Some of my favourite moments producing Downton Abbey’s social media were the live Q&As we did with the cast. I particularly enjoyed interviewing Allen Leech (aka Tom Branson), the results of which are below.

What would you most like to ask a cast member?


This autumn I put together the content for four ‘Tweeting History’ stories, for Sky’s programme The British. It was my first work with The Project Factory who produced the multiplatform elements for the programme, in conjunction with Nutopia who put together a lovely web interface. I sourced all the photos and wrote copy, to bring to life the four stories in ‘real time’ on Twitter.

The Project Factory’s latest project is now live, The British on Sky. Produced with Nutopia for Sky Atlantic, the project has multiple features to engage the audience of the 7-part TV series including: Additional interviews with celebrities about Britishness such as Frank Lampard, Jessie J, Helen Mirren and Russell Brand.

Quiz on British History with 4,000 questions over 3,000 years of events. Players can share their results on Facebook and post their best scores to the leader board. A timeline with hot6spots and short form video from 54 BC to 1943. There is extra historian commentary on selected stories.

Then there was Tweeting History – where you can follow history in real time and then watch archive on the Sky website hour by hour. Events covered include the Great Fire of London, the Battle of Trafalgar, Amy Johnson’s First Flight to Australia and the Worst Night of the London Blitz.

To experience the Tweeting Histories .

Tweeting History website

Tweeting History website