Hey Presto! Ponoko!

I’ve always been impressed the make-on-demand website, Ponoko.com.


But now they’ve added a new feature to their site which, quite simply, is like magic. Check out their new Photomake service. Here’s a demo:



With Photomake anyone can make a product without using design software. All you do is hand draw your design using good old fashioned pen and paper – and a digital camera or scanner to upload. Ponoko then create that product using a laser cutter, and the material of your choice.


It’s been a long time since I’ve been completely blown away by a website. Ponoko now makes it easy for anyone to create and sell their own products. I like it.

Back in the saddle

So here I am, blogging again. Although I’m far from finding the rythym just yet – I used to have a list of potential blog posts as long as my arm; right now I can’t think of anything all that insightful to write about. I’m sure it’ll come back to me.

Besides, I find bloggers like Hugh Macleod sometimes just write to reflect, rather than offering nuggets of insight in every post. So I might experiement a little. Let down my guard. And just write.

It has been almost 3 years since I began this little blog. Since then, social media arena grew up. Now we have Facebook. We have Twitter. We have i Phones. We have 1.4 billion people online.

Blogging itself never really hit the mainstream. But that doesn’t matter. Because the fundamental ideas that blogging represents are alive and well. Mass amateurisation. Mass connection is happening.

But while some things have changed, a lot has stayed the same.

Sadly, even now that I’m working in the online industry, I still find so many people who don’t “Get” what the internet is about. They keep pumping out banner ads and building microsites. Sadly there still isn’t that many great examples of brands that have suceeded in social media. Yes, there are plenty of companies that have done a fantastic job. but I still believe we have a long, long way to go.

Lately I’m finding myself more interested in the effects of the web on our culture that I am about it’s effect on marketing. Either way, I’m as passionate about the internet as I’ve ever been. And If you haven’t seen Kevin Kelly’s TED presentation on “the next 5,000 days of the web”, take a look below. There’s a lot to look forward to.

8 ridiculously cool things to link to

It’s been a while since I’ve linked to anything, let alone posted on this blog. So here’s a list of 8 cool websites that I’m dying to share with you:


Maopost.com – Where you can send in your own photo and they’ll turn it into an awesome Chinese progoganda photo.


Please Dress Me – A great new t-shirt search engine that demonstrates the delightfulness of niches on the interwebs.


NetGranny – This is a darling of the boutique generation … a website that you can order knitted socks from a granny of your choice.


Foodzie – Currently in Beta, this is the Etsy model but for homemade food. Anything from pickles to popcorn. Brilliant idea. 


The Milk Crate Digest – A blog about … milkcrates.


I vote for art – A great new site to buy and vote for art / illustration prints.

Ahh, sorry – I couldn’t help it. It’s my new online art store. I’ll tell you some more about it soon


Questionable Content – My new favourite web comic.


IKEA Hacker – Perhaps 
the best example yet that proves that no mark
eter can control their own brand. The community does.

Where’ve you been then, benrowesblog?

Tonight, 11:39 on September 19th 2008, it’s come as a minor epiphany to me that I need to get back into ‘blogging thing’.

The thing is, I’ve been busy with other stuff. In the last 12 months I’ve been working for a digital agency, so my web career has been heading in the direction I’ve wanted it to. In actual fact I’ve moved away from the marketing sphere, and into more of a strategy / business analysis / usability direction (if in fact that is a direction).

And I’ve also been keeping myself out of mischief with a little global microbrand that I’ve launched, by the name of i vote for art. I’m sure that I’ll tell you more about that later.

But I need to get back into blogging. So, while not making any outlandish promises about posting frequency or quality, I’m going to spend a bit more time with the good people of wordpress.com and start blogging again.

Enough of the confessionals and on with the show.

Dear Blog

Dear Blog,

What can I say? I’m sorry.

I’m sorry that I’ve only given you thirteen posts over the last year. 

I’m sorry that your web stats page have fallen like Leslie Nielsen’s comedic credibility.

I’ve been bad. I’ve let you down.

But you know what? Things are gonna change.

I love blogging. Have since I started in 2005.

So it’s time to pull up my socks and start posting again.

(And this time I mean it)

And Blog, you and me are going to be OK.

I’ll prove it to you – I’ll do another blog post IMMEDIATELY after this one. Just to prove my love for you.