HTML5 vs. Flash? How About Both?

Apple's HTML5 showcase was passed around and discussed a bit in the studio today. It spurred a lively conversation and reanimated our long-running conversation about the recent tiff between Apple and Adobe.

On one hand, we are expert Flash gurus with a long history of creating immersive experiences. But, as iPhone (and increasingly iPad) and Mac users, we also want to create beautiful and compatible experiences, as well.

Our current thinking is that Flash isn't going away anytime soon. There will continue to be lots of great opportunities where using Flash is the best choice. We often combine video, animation, 360 degree interactivity and custom type into a single experience. The Sony Bravia Showcase is a recent example of a seamless combination of lots of creative elements. For these situations, Flash is a sophisticated, mature tool that will continue to improve and that we know a lot about.

At the same time, we can already see many great opportunities to use HTML5 and other modern Web technologies -- CSS3 and Javascript -- to present Web sites that are more compatible, more beautiful and more refined. For example, we are currently developing a new Web site for one of our clients that will feature custom typography and animations all without using on Flash. This approach simplifies search engine optimization (SEO) and mobile compatibility.

In most cases, HTML5 will add to what we can do, rather than replace what Flash does. In the right situations, we can definitely see custom fonts, simple transitions and animations and video being delivered without needing to use Flash. From there, it doesn't seem too far off to say we're probably going to move away from sIFR -- hello, @font-face! -- and stop building simple application components (such as navigation) with Flash.

However, we know it's not always going to be a simple decision. There will be times where each approach offers distinct benefits and we only have time to do one. How will we and our clients compare the trade-offs and choose the best course?

With so much attention being paid to the relative merits of HTML5 and Flash, it's really pushing us to rethink what is possible and how we deliver things. In the end, it's really about great experiences. We don't have a betting interest in this debate. No matter how this fight shakes out, it's exciting to have more and more sophisticated tools to make those experiences real. Either way, we'll be watching closely and experimenting a lot and, if we do our jobs well, it's the users that win.

Some links:
Apple puts HTML5 where its Mouth Is
http://www.apple.com/html5 (for Safari users)
http://developer.apple.com/safaridemos (for Chrome and other WebKit browsers)

What do you think?

Odopod Welcomes Technical Director, Jason Muscat

We're pleased to announce the newest member of our leadership team, Jason Muscat who joins Odopod as a Technical Director, focused on projects and initiatives for the UFC account.

Before coming to Odopod, Jason was V.P., Director of Technology at Freestyle Interactive as part of the company's leadership team. He was responsible for collaborating across disciplines on client strategy and creative concepting while managing the technology group of Flash and .Net developers as well as the QA team. He has worked with some notable brands including Electronic Arts, Boost Mobile, Adidas, Alberto Culver, Luna Bar, and Burton.

Throughout his fourteen year career in the digital marketing industry, Jason has contributed his expertise to Zendo Studios, Red Sky Interactive, and CKS|Interactive working on numerous award-winning projects, garnering Clios, Pencils, Lions, and more.

Jason is passionate about the creative application of technology and the collaborative approach to development that thrives in great digital agencies such as Odopod. Jason's other passions are film, comic books, dogs, and food. He has eaten 85% of the items on the 7x7 Top 100 Things to Eat in San Francisco Before You Die list and plans to be at 100% by the end of the year.

We're thrilled to have him on board.

The UFC on Roku Launches with Odopod Design

The UFC Roku channel just launched marking the first of many initiatives that Odopod and The UFC are currently working together to design and develop. The first UFC live streaming pay-per-view event coming to the Roku Player will be Rampage vs. Evans on May 29th. The channel also includes access to previous fights as well as pre-fight and post-fight content.

As The UFC's digital agency of record, Odopod is fully engaged on a series of projects that include digital strategy, mobile and web development.

For more on the Roku launch check out:
Engadget »
Mashable »
VentureBeat »
Roku »

New World of Facebook

We like Facebook, and we’re not alone. It is currently the most visited site in the U.S. and boasts 400-plus million worldwide users. This week, Facebook took a big step towards becoming even more ubiquitous. The changes are a little tricky to understand, so here's an attempt to summarize.

First a quick explanation of the impact: With these changes, any website is now able to display content and products informed by a user’s Facebook profile – information like current city, likes, interests, etc. To clarify, this all happens without requiring the user to sign in on that website or provide it with any personal information. It’s simply a matter of the user being logged into Facebook, which is the first thing many users do when they go online.

Continue reading the full article »

iPad’s Tablet Rivals Still Lack Essential Stuff

Ever since Apple's iPad was publicly announced, media and geeks have been looking to and fro for alternate tablets that can counter its buzz. None have matched the well-honed PR machine from Cupertino, but few tech companies could resist either announcing their own tablet devices or floating the idea of creating a tablet device (We're looking at you GOOG!).

Does this round of tablet fever bode differently than the last round of Windows Tablet PCs? Everyone involved sure hopes so.

Read the full article »

Fresh Launch! Sony PIIQ Headphones

We just launched another site with our clients at Sony Style introducing their new brand of headphones, PIIQ. The PIIQ brand is colorful, expressive and surprising - qualities we aimed to evoke with this immersive, web experience.

We created a big, bold way for users to explore the PIIQ products and features with full screen video details and a fun, compelling menu for fast, engaging product browsing. We love the result and hope you do too. Check it out and let us know what you think.

If you want a Job at Odopod, go to RIT

I just returned from a recruiting event at the Rochester Institute of Technology. It was a forum for students in their third and fourth years of the school's new media program to meet with prospective employers.

I was super impressed. It was clear that RIT is producing the best new media talent in the world, rivaling Hyper Island.

The program offers two degrees. Students can pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in New Media Interactive Development through the Interactive Games and Media department or a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in New Media Design and Imaging through the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences. As a result they graduate with a focus on design or development. However, almost all the students were remarkably well rounded.

I don’t pretend to know exactly what they’re doing at RIT but a few things are evident.

The students I met had a real appreciation and understanding of all the roles required to make great new media productions. This appears to be a byproduct of the school’s collaborative, team-based approach to learning. It also maps closely to what these students will find in the real world upon graduating.

In addition to a broad understanding of how new media is made, many of the students have a nice mix of talent, experience and confidence that I wish was more common in new graduates from other schools. The confidence is especially important. Having worked with a couple recent graduates, I've noticed that these students have the confidence to assume that they can figure out the problems they encounter in a project - and they have a solid enough foundation to make that true.

I'm always excited to hire and work with RIT grads. I only wish there were more schools in the US producing students as well equipped, but I'm hopeful of emerging programs and students from other places like Boulder Digital Works. We're keeping a close eye on the future of digital education.

DonQ Wins Big at the WSWA Convention

We're thrilled to learn from our partners at Undercurrent that DonQ Rum has won big at the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) Convention this week in Las Vegas.

DonQ has been honored with the "Rising Star" award that is based solely on growth from year to year. They've also picked up the Gold medal for DonQ Gold, Silver medals for both Cristal and Gran Anejo, and a Bronze medal for Anejo.

We are proud and excited to be a part of the digital team with Undercurrent, bringing the DonQ brand to life on the web. Congrats to all!

Nostalgia and Gratitude

It is with no shortage of nostalgia, warm feelings and gratitude that we announce our good friend and long-time business partner Jay Wolff is leaving his role as President of Odopod.

The move comes at the right time for both Jay and Odopod.

When we asked Jay to serve as an advisor in 2003, we had already known him for many years as a business partner and friend. At the time, Odopod was little more than raw potential. We had enthusiasm and talent. Jay guided us on the fundamentals of how to build and run a successful, well-organized agency.

It didn’t take long for Jay’s role as advisor to expand into that of President. His natural charm, entrepreneurial drive and deep well of experience helped to fuel Odopod’s growth from seven to forty-five. Along the way, he never lost sight of what makes Odopod unique — a culture of thoughtfulness, inventive energy and craft. He knew that this would always be our source of strength.

For the past two years, Jay has worked closely with us to lay the foundation for Odopod’s next chapter. He recruited Guthrie Dolin to lead and formalize our strategy practice. He enlisted Johnathan Tann to deepen our client relationships. He led Odopod to become a charter member of the Society of Digital Agencies. In doing so, he formed invaluable cooperative bonds between Odopod and its most respected peers.

Together, we reshaped Odopod from a design studio into a digital agency – positioning us for our current success.

Last year, as Jay’s plans for Odopod took shape, Johnathan began to assume Jay’s day-to-day duties. That transition was complete this year. As you might imagine, Jay’s entrepreneurial bug kicked in and he began to consider his next adventure.

After some time off, Jay will return to his role as advisor to Odopod.

Although we’ll miss him here in the office, he will continue as a tireless promoter of Odopod — seeking out strategic partnerships and continuing to be an ambassador for the agency he helped to build.

On behalf of everyone at Odopod, we wish Jay even more sunny days and big ideas and will watch with excitement and anticipation for his next project.

Tim, Dave & Jacquie

Sony Bravia 2010 - FWA Site of the Day!

Thanks FWA, we're honored. Visit the site »

Same Team, New Name

It's been thirteen years since we started Odopod.

We've always wanted one thing: to do the best work of our lives. Along the way, we have been joined by an eclectic and exceptionally talented bunch of people who wanted the same thing. Together, we've built a company we love.

Two years ago, Odopod was acquired by Nurun.

The acquisition was a validation of everything we had built. It was also a catalyst for some big changes we wanted to make. We began to tackle bigger, thornier problems and to work all over the world. With Nurun, we've had a series of huge wins and have been producing our best work yet.

That's why we recently decided to retire the Odopod brand, formally adopt Nurun as our name, and take the reins of Nurun's US operations.

We're all still here—same team with the same appetite for great work, only now with different e-mail addresses and more frequent flyer miles. And we're growing, so send your talented friends our way.

Keep an eye out for new work from Nurun. It will be our best yet.

Tim, Dave, Jacquie, JT & Guthrie


The best way to reach us

For new business, contact Stacy Stevenson
stacy.stevenson@nurun.com

For general inquiries, contact us at
sf@nurun.com

For more about Nurun, visit
www.nurun.com