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Do not send a corporate Christmas card, and other tips for the festive season

This is my last column before the festive season, so here is a handy Future Of Media Christmas Gift Guide. You might like to imagine it as a magazine supplement with lots of cut-out items against a white background, divided into those annoying lifestyle categories such as "dads" and "foodies" and "neighbours with attitude".

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To "understand the Internet of Things": get yourself a set of Philips Hue connected light bulbs. They’re a bit pricey, but they’re an easy way to understand the appeal of connecting the internet to physical stuff.

You get three light bulbs and a base station they connect to wirelessly, which then connects to the internet. That means you can change the colour of the bulbs with an app, which is fun; but, more importantly, Philips has linked the bulbs to a service called IFTTT, which means you can connect them to all sorts of online services. So, if, for instance, you’re tagged on Facebook, it will blink your lights to let you know. Which is, of course, important.

To "play one up with the smartwatchers": get yourself a "shivering bracelet" called Durr from some designers called Skrekstore. It’s like a brightly coloured watch, except it has no face and doesn’t actually tell the time. You strap it on and, every five minutes, it gently vibrates. So it marks the passage of time, but in a way that lets you think about time slightly differently. It’s a sort of dumb watch or, if you like, a much smarter one.

A subscription to Stack will bring home to you what a post-internet physical media world looks like

To "get intimate with a florid media ecology": get yourself a subscription to Stack – a different independent magazine delivered to you every month. This eclectic selection will bring home to you what a post-internet physical media world looks like – a world of magazines, each one a work of passion, each a personal expression, each pursuing a tiny niche, none of which will ever make anyone rich, about which no-one seems to care.

To "understand how advertising really hasn’t changed, pretty much, ever": get yourself a copy of Murder Must Advertise by Dorothy L Sayers. It’s a classic "golden age" detective story set in an advertising agency in the 30s – there’s a murder, lots of drugs and class warfare. The perfect gift for the advertising executive in your life.

And that’s it for me. Have a splendid festive period. Don’t do an agency Christmas card and try not to spam your customers with pointless festive e-mails and Tweets. No-one wants a Christmas wish from a corporation. See you in the new year, when the future of media will be, once again, just around the corner.

Russell Davies is a creative director at Government Digital Service
@undermanager

This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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