Design in the Wild awards tonight!

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Hey there Thinglinkers! Our Design in the Wild photo contest award ceremony will take place at the new Eero Aarnio showroom at Erottajankatu 19 in Helsinki, Finland this evening (Wednesday, 5 August). You can RSVP on Facebook now.

If you are local, be there at 7 pm to see the winning photos, meet design legend Eero Aarnio, mingle with friends, photographers, other designers and design enthusiasts, and of course find out which one of the top 10 voted photos the jury awards with the grand prize, a 1960s design Pastil Chair.

picture-4Thanks to Laitilan Wirvoitusjuomatehdas for sponsoring the beverages, including samples of their new ‘design drink’ Laitilan Brandy Long Drink.

For those who can’t attend, we’ll post the results of the contest on our Thinglink profile and here on the blog soon after they’ve been announced.

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Become a featured expert on Thinglink

Thinglink has an amazingly diverse user base of design experts: collectors, entrepreneurs, consultants, marketing specialists, web designers, curators, researchers… the list goes on. What they all share is that they – we – are excited by the idea of communities around design.

So we decided we should pay more attention to enabling communities to happen on Thinglink.

The first thing we want to do is to simply give more visibility to people who are knowledgeable in a specific area. For example, our users include experts in new Chinese architecture, Scandinavian modernism, vintage audiogear, bikes, graffiti art, Russian lighting design, American contemporary artists, Africa, Japan… the list goes on. Other Thinglink users should be able to find these experts and start following their updates.

So we’ll start gathering a group of Thinglink users who are interested in introducing new things and gardening discussion in their own area of expertise. Are you interested in becoming a featured expert? Here are three things we ask for:

– You have a good knowledge base in your area of expertise that you have acquired through your profession, collecting or blogging
– You are interested in conversing with people in your field and sharing posts weekly
– You are willing to contribute to improving the Thinglink catalog in your interest area

Bloggers, collectors, and curators: this is your chance to easily share and increase your expertise in the design community! Sign up or ask more, info (at) thinglink.com

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Portable Thinglink!

The people demanded a way to add easily add products while browsing your favorite design/antique/architecture/collector/technology sites. And you know what the people are getting? Exactly that. We are proud to introduce v0.5 of the Thinglink Bookmarklet.  Special shouts out to Thinglinkers Jonas Forth and Sacha Chua for urging us into action.

What can it do?
The Thinglink Bookmarklet allows you to add new products from any site that you regularly visit on the web. Here’s an example of how I used it earlier today:

Bookmarklet v0.5 Introduction from Thinglink on Vimeo.
Music: I still don’t hate you by Junior Major.

Will it work flawlessly?
Not quite yet. But it will work decently, and it will work hard. And it will just keep getting better and better, automatically updating every time we enhance it. Plus, if you do your part and report feedback we’ll get to v1.0 in no time.

How do I install it?

Simple. You can go straight to http://thinglink.com/bookmarklet and follow the instructions. At the moment, we are supporting FF3+, Safari, Chrome, and IE8, so you’ve got some options. You’ll also see a promo on the right column of your home page the next time you log in, with a link to the install page.

I wish you all happy hunting!

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Design in the Wild Photo Contest Deadline Extended until July 1st

Photo contest entries

We have some good news for all the new-comers and late-bloomers: we have extended the deadline of Design in the Wild Photo Contest 2009 until July 1st!

“Design in the Wild, eh? What’s in it for me?”

PRIZES! The Grand Prize is an original Eero Aarnio Pastil Chair (retail value $1500).  And, each Sponsor can grant one honorary mention to any photo submitted to the contest within the limits of the rules, and reward the photographer with a surprise prize! FYI, those gracious sponsors are: Arabia, Eero Aarnio, Iittala, Martela, Tapiovaara Design, and Woodnotes.

“Okay okay. That’s a pretty serious bounty. What do I have to do?”

The Jury is looking for inspiring images of design in real life settings. The photos should illustrate design at home, in the office, in public, or in nature. They can include people although that is not required. We’ve attached some of examples of what’s been submitted so far.  The picture may be taken by the contestant at any point in time anywhere in the world – or even the International Space Station. The jury will select the grand prize winner from among the ten most voted photos.

“Easy peasy – nobody stands a chance against my genius photography. How do I enter?”

Click this invitation link to create your Thinglink account, if you don’t already have one. Once you’ve logged in, click “Upload photos” and upload your favorite shots. When they are finished, you will be able to find a “Submit this photo” link on each photo’s detail page. Last, but not least, invite your friends to vote for your photo! I mean, that’s what friends are for, right?

For more details, don’t hesitate to contact us Thinglink at info@thinglink.com.

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Video preview of the beta

Here’s a short video preview of the Thinglink beta. It gives an idea of what it’s like to browse conversations, products, designer profiles, and photos on the site.

We’re updating the site almost daily, so expect the features and look & feel to keep evolving.

Thanks to everyone who’s sent back feedback on the beta so far. If you’d like to participate, request an invitation here.

(Thanks to The Good News for permission to use their track ‘Backstage Underage’!)

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Design in the Wild photo contest launched in Milan

designinthewild1Greetings from Milan, where thousands of designers, design enthusiasts, journalists and bloggers gather this week for Milan Furniture Fair, the main design event of the year.

I’m doing two things here: officially launching our private beta with 10 design brands; and announcing Design in the Wild, a photo contest for all Thinglink beta users.

Upload your most fabulous photos to Thinglink and submit them to the contest by June 1st. The judges are looking for fun, surprising & striking images of design objects in real life settings.

The grand prize of the contest is a true design classic: an authentic Pastil chair conceived in 1968 by Finnish designer Eero Aarnio. I ran into Eero at the fair today, and he told me he’s uploading selected photos from his archives dating back to the 60s to Thinglink — something to look for if you’re browsing the site.

We’re pushing new updates to the site daily while whittling away at a backlog of 1000+ invite requests. Check out the feedback on Twitter and if you haven’t signed up for the beta yet, request an invitation here.

The fair’s bursting with new launches. To pick two, FastCompany’s Cliff Kuang has a piece on Shigeru Ban’s new collaboration with Artek; and David Nicholls writes about Tom Dixon’s new line in the Telegraph. Find & follow both designers on Thinglink.

If you’re at the fair and want to get in touch, come see the Thinglink demo stand at Martela Black Swan exhibition, Via Tortona 31. I’ll be there to demo the site and meet with journalists and bloggers on April 24th from 10 am to 1 pm 11am.

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Introducing thinglink.com, a new social media for design lovers

Pastilli ChairExciting news! Thinglink has entered a new private beta today.

The invitation-only beta will officially launch on April 22nd at the Milan Furniture Fair with 10 design brands including Arabia Finland, Design Eero Aarnio, Fokus Fabrik, Helsinki Design Week, Iittala, Harri Koskinen, Martela, Selki Station, Ilmari Tapiovaara Design and Woodnotes.

We’ve been quietly working on an update to the Web site for a few months now. As part of this update, the address of the site has changed from thinglink.org to thinglink.com.

The upgrade that will launch in Milan adds a new dimension to Thinglink product codes. Thinglink.com is a global catalog for design that enables designers, brands, and design enthusiasts to connect and converse on the web.

Designers and brands who upload their catalogs to thinglink.com can build a community of fans around their products. Design enthusiasts who join the conversation on thinglink.com can post messages about their latest discoveries, ask and answer questions about new and vintage products, and share photos of their favorite design objects in real life settings.

The Thinglink catalog includes products from classic and contemporary designers and manufacturers. It contains many kinds of products, ranging from serially produced ones to limited edition items and unique one-of-a-kind objects.

Users can register the products they own and create unique identifiers for their privately owned items. Each product can become the center of a conversation and be photographed and discussed by its fans and owners.

If you’d like to participate in the beta and influence Thinglink’s future direction, please submit a request to join the beta. If you are a returning thinglink.org user, you can log in with your existing username and password.

Go get yourself an invitation and get started!

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We’re changing servers

Thinglink is temporarily down because we’re changing our server from Europe to the U.S. this weekend. Looking forward to be up (and faster) soon!

Update: …and we’re back! North American Thinglinkers will be happy to note a decrease in latency.

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Greetings from DOTT07!

We put up a Green Touch installation at DOTT07 in Newcastle together with the Norwegian Touch project. The local newspaper Evening Chronicle wrote about a magic phone that reveals stories behind objects on a touch!

Dott_chronicle_4

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Photo editing tutorial for crafters

Lisa Lam has written a useful tutorial on how to take professional-looking photos of your craft products.

“I personally think that craft product shots look more professional when all of the shots have something in common with each other e.g. same model/s wearing the products, same backgound/s same size shots, same shape shots, same style, same frames etc. etc. etc. Of course how you choose to present your shots is a personal thing and will also be very dependent on the flavour of the craft that you sell. I want my shop to be reasonably modern, simple to use, and clean to look at. To that end, my product shots are all the same size, and they all have a pure white coloured backgound. The benefit of having a plain coloured or white background for your shots is that the product is in full focus and there is nothing in the background to distract the onlooker. So I am going to show you how I take product shots with a pure white background…”

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