RAAK is proud to announce our latest project. We helped conceive and then built a creative platform (Guided Collective) that we think might just be a major sign post on the road of change creative agencies are hurtling along.

Ever since Unilever’s crowdsourced Peperami campaign, debates have raged (Brand Republic) about the future of crowdsourcing and its potential to encroach on the domain of agencies. On the other side of the pond, people like Bud Cadell have even wondered if the future needs an agency at all (Whatconsumesme).

Guided Collective is a hybrid between a traditional agency and a crowdsourcing platform. It is driven by a collective of top freelance creatives from all kinds of disciplines that use an online collaboration platform to pitch and collaborate on creative briefs.

The platform is invite-only, so we can't show what really is under the hood of Guided. But included in this post are some screengrabs that we made with dummy briefs & content


Facebook’s recent changes have kicked up a hornet’s nest of privacy concerns.

This post is not about that in particular. It’s about how people with good ideas that read this zeitgeist well can use existing social media to create a ‘buzz’ or even launch a project.

Diaspora on Kickstarter

A group of 4 talented young programmers have read the public mood well and responded with an idea that has captured the imagination – Diaspora.

Their platform of choice: Kickstarter, a well designed new platform that is revolutionising the organisation and funding of projects.

Diaspora is a project that aims to create:

“the privacy aware, personally controlled, do-it-all distributed open source social network”

Importantly, Diapora used Kickstarter’s crowdfunding system.

Kickstarter works as follows: you post a project and ask for funding from the great and good of the internet, staggering the amounts that people can contribute. The money is only due once the full target amount is reached. If that doesn’t happen, the money doesn’t leave your account.

It’s a strong platform. An art project that we at RAAK helped founding reached its goal of $10,240 and is now going into production.

Originally Diaspora only asked for $10,000. But as of today, with 15 days to go, they already have $170,000 from nearly 5000 backers.

Now that is pretty impressive.

Three thoughts about Kickstarter.

Funding content instead of Advertising

If you’re a business, why not trawl Kickstarter for worthy projects to fund. We are moving back to a world where business does not buy media space for intrusive messaging, but become patrons of ‘content’. Now here is a platform to do that. Choose the right projects and you could get some PR mileage as well.

Curate and support talent

Perhaps creative agencies should bring deserving artists, designers and even events onto Kickstarter and back them with creative, advice, and promotion etc. That way they don’t just curate ‘content’ but can become part of the creative eco-system.

A while back in an article titled: who says the future needs an advertising agency? Bud Caddell wrote bout one possible future for agencies.

But we’ll also begin to see a new species of agency evolve, the platform builders, that reverse the power dynamic between brand and agency by creating remarkable, attention earning, systems for human interaction.

Now here is a platform to help the platform builders!


Thirdly. Why are there no crowd investing platforms of note? That’s because US and UK legislation makes it illegal to offer shares to the public outside of the official stock exchanges.

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Tweeting for your business? You have a personal Twitter account and you’re wondering ‘Should I use that?’

People that run Twitter accounts on behalf of brands often use their own usernames. Or a combination of both, like the pioneering RichardatDell, who was one of the first people worldwide to start using Twitter for his job.

Why do people take the personal approach? It is simply easier to engage with others as another person.

Also, there’s a deep psychological need in most of us to unite our different ‘selves’ if possible. To present to the world all we are. And if you are happy in your work, if your work is an expression of who you are as a person, you’re likely to be more inclined to combine your work and personal Tweets.

Being yourself on Twitter is easy (you don’t have to think too much) and has the added benefit of showing you as a more rounded, more real person.

But what if you move jobs?

Unlike many other online services (email, IM, etc), you can actually change your Twitter username and even your Twitter name. So you can use one account and adjust the name as you move between jobs.

What about the arguments that say you should have more than one Twitter account? One account for your professional and one for your personal life? Perhaps. We all have many different sides to our lives.

Twitter business

At one of our training courses, I met a marketing manager for a cosmetics brand who, in her spare time, ran a Twitter service dispensing sexual advice and tips. For her, having two separate accounts made absolute sense.

Luckily tools like Hootsuite now make it easy to manage many accounts (including Facebook & LinkedIn) at the same time. This is quite handy.

For me, Twitter is a firehose for all I have to say on media, South African politics and everything else. I’m on the wrong end of 30 and rarely do stupidly embarrassing stuff these days, so it’s ok. But still, Hootsuite allows me to direct more personal messages to Facebook, hard core business ones to LinkedIn.


The UK election landscape is in turmoil. The Lib Dem Nick Clegg’s showing in the first ever televised debates in the UK has boosted the third party, and thrown the cat amongst the pigeons (who says there’s no role for old media like TV 😉 .)

But the UK has a first past the post election system, which means it is entirely possible that a party can win a seat with a minority of support.

RAAK thinks a lot of Lib Dem and Labour supporters would vote for either party if they knew it would keep the Tories from having a seat.

Tactical voting by RAAK

Tactical voting by RAAK

Over the weekend the Observer published an article on how to vote tactically. And we thought it would be good if the information was easy to access online.

So here it is: Battle vote. See if your vote matters.

PS: Hint – The election debates are much more fun if you watch them while on Twitter. It’s the way forward.