IBMblr

IBM SHARES SECRETS OF INNOVATION

IBM reinvented its social media persona with the launch of IBMblr. Instead of acting like a B2B brand on a sales call, each post became a new opportunity to reveal the tech giant's little-known culture of innovation and design. Through its eye-candy animations, irreverent tone, magazine-style themes and inventive hacks, IBMblr gained 100+ million impressions by remaking corporate social content into something that was designed to be shared.

I cofounded, named and led creative development for IBMblr over three years, 800+ posts and 16 awards.

Select Honors:
Cannes Lion, One Show, Webby

Best reads
Most popular →  


 
ibmblr.gif
 

"IBMblr is a definitive example of what happens when
a brand dares to think boldly."
TED

“This is freakin’ cool!” —David Karp, Tumblr, Founder
 

Read more about IBMblr on TED, Fast Company, The Verge, Adweek, HBR, digiday + Gizmodo.


 
 

IBMblr, a mini-compilation

It started out as a last-minute, small-budget assignment to mark IBM's 20-year patent record.
IBM liked the social media experiment so much, they've continued funding it ever since.  

Here's a sampling of popular themes, under my direction:

 

Go behind the lab doors. To celebrate 20 straight years of earning the most patents of any US company, IBMblr transformed archival footage, patent documents and interviews with engineers into a variety of inspirational quotes, inventor tips, short films and news-breaking patent announcements.

So long, silicon chip? This innovation for one-atom thick graphene transistors can transmit electrical pulses 1,000 times faster than silicon. That could give a jolt to the rate that our computers and electronics improve—and uphold Moore’s Law for decades to come.See the newly-awarded Patent No.8,344,358.


So long, silicon chip? This innovation for one-atom thick graphene transistors can transmit electrical pulses 1,000 times faster than silicon. That could give a jolt to the rate that our computers and electronics improve—and uphold Moore’s Law for decades to come.See the newly-awarded Patent No.8,344,358.


What the Fractal?  Known as ‘God’s thumbprint,’ fractals are the math formulas discovered by famed IBM Researcher Benoit Mandelbrot. His discovery revealed the hidden patterns of nature and inspired a generation of artists and innovators. To celebrate, IBMblr hosted a month-long Fractal Fest including dozens of fractal GIFs, a fractal cake and an application that hacked into Tumblr itself, transforming any blog into one-of-a-kind fractal art. IBM Fractal Fest project

“People want to see patterns in the world. It is how we evolved. We descended from those primates who were best at spotting the telltale pattern of a predator in the forest, or of food in the savannah. So important is this skill that we apply it everywhere, warranted or not.” Benoît Mandelbrot Fractal Inventor IBM Fellow Emeritus

“People want to see patterns in the world. It is how we evolved. We descended from those primates who were best at spotting the telltale pattern of a predator in the forest, or of food in the savannah. So important is this skill that we apply it everywhere, warranted or not.”

Benoît Mandelbrot
Fractal Inventor
IBM Fellow Emeritus


Rethinking patentsEvery year IBM earns more patents than any other company. While the innovations and achievement are spectacular, the patent documents themselves are utterly underwhelming. To honor IBM’s 20-year winning streak IBMblr set out to showcase the record in a manner worthy of the achievement, and in tribute to the enduring motto inspiring their researchers to THINK.  IBM THINK project

Patent No. 5424054. 1995. Carbon nanotubes. Carbon atoms can be arranged in hexagonal patterns to create a patented carbon nanotube that’s 50,000 times thinner than human hair. We’re reaching the limits of how small traditional silicon chips and the computers they power can be. Using carbon instead could allow for computer chips that are smaller than the “e” at the end of this sentence. Read patent | Download print

Patent No. 5424054. 1995.
Carbon nanotubes.

Carbon atoms can be arranged in hexagonal patterns to create a patented carbon nanotube that’s 50,000 times thinner than human hair. We’re reaching the limits of how small traditional silicon chips and the computers they power can be. Using carbon instead could allow for computer chips that are smaller than the “e” at the end of this sentence.

Read patent | Download print

Patent no. 8150611. 2012. Predictive traffic analysis.     By combining real-time traffic data with predictive route analysis, this patented GPS innovation can now steer you away from traffic trouble spots before they develop, as well as more accurately estimate your drive time. And that’s good, because who really likes coming home to a cold, lonely supper anyway? Read patent | Download print

Patent no. 8150611. 2012.
Predictive traffic analysis.    

By combining real-time traffic data with predictive route analysis, this patented GPS innovation can now steer you away from traffic trouble spots before they develop, as well as more accurately estimate your drive time. And that’s good, because who really likes coming home to a cold, lonely supper anyway?

Read patent | Download print

Patent no. 2431242, 2012. Electronic learning synapses. In fish and in humans, brains learn by trial and error. And now we can add a new species to Darwin’s list: the computer. This algorithm-and-circuit innovation efficiently mimics the way the mind functions, learns and evolves over time. And could help us understand the world in ways we can’t yet begin to comprehend.  Read patent | Download print

Patent no. 2431242, 2012.
Electronic learning synapses.

In fish and in humans, brains learn by trial and error. And now we can add a new species to Darwin’s list: the computer. This algorithm-and-circuit innovation efficiently mimics the way the mind functions, learns and evolves over time. And could help us understand the world in ways we can’t yet begin to comprehend. 

Read patent | Download print


Watson after Jeopardy!  Born in the research lab. Tested on Jeopardy! IBM Watson is now at work in the real world. And IBMblr was there to make sense of it all, giving people a first glimpse at the dawn of the cognitive computer age.

Watson, the decision whisperer At the rate you hear the words ‘big data’ and ‘analytics’ thrown around these days, you might think everyone was using them. And sadly you’d be wrong. In reality, most business folks leave insights out of their decisions because the tools to extract them are too complicated. Here’s a new name to drop. IBM Watson Analytics. Using natural language and a keyboard, anyone can go mining data for instant insights. Just ask your question and Watson can help guide you through answers. No fancy statistics degree required.

Watson, the decision whisperer

At the rate you hear the words ‘big data’ and ‘analytics’ thrown around these days, you might think everyone was using them. And sadly you’d be wrong. In reality, most business folks leave insights out of their decisions because the tools to extract them are too complicated. Here’s a new name to drop. IBM Watson Analytics. Using natural language and a keyboard, anyone can go mining data for instant insights. Just ask your question and Watson can help guide you through answers. No fancy statistics degree required.

“There are a lot of new areas to tackle in the technology space, and in the industries and types of problems we tackle. I really believe we are just scratching the surface, and I can’t wait to see what Watson will transform next.” INSIDE THE INVENTIVE MIND Leanne LeBlanc Product Manager IBM Watson Solutions

“There are a lot of new areas to tackle in the technology space, and in the industries and types of problems we tackle. I really believe we are just scratching the surface, and I can’t wait to see what Watson will transform next.”

INSIDE THE INVENTIVE MIND
Leanne LeBlanc
Product Manager
IBM Watson Solutions

Keeping up with the quirks, dialects and double meanings of English is a daunting task for any brain, let alone an electronic one. But with its uncanny ability to understand our tweets, comments and articles, IBM Watson can catch your drift and hit you back with the straight 411.

Keeping up with the quirks, dialects and double meanings of English is a daunting task for any brain, let alone an electronic one. But with its uncanny ability to understand our tweets, comments and articles, IBM Watson can catch your drift and hit you back with the straight 411.


Technologistas. They are the sirens of supercomputers. The princesses of patents. The empresses of invention. They are technologistas—leaders in innovation since IBM’s early days. To celebrate women in tech, IBMblr introduced a handful of IBM’s best and brightest to Tumblr by sharing their great insights and achievements.

tumblr_mntrvzrPWx1s141c3o1_r3_500.gif
“Keep an open mind and don’t go down a rabbit hole. Solve the things you can solve instead of beating your head against the wall about things you can’t control.” INSIDE THE INVENTIVE MIND: Clea Zolotow IBM Senior Technical Staff Member, 6 patents

“Keep an open mind and don’t go down a rabbit hole. Solve the things you can solve instead of beating your head against the wall about things you can’t control.”

INSIDE THE INVENTIVE MIND:
Clea Zolotow
IBM Senior Technical Staff Member, 6 patents


Innovation through PLAY!  From LASIK eye surgery to Watson's Jeopardy! championship, many innovations can be traced back to the playful sprit of its inventor. IBMblr held a monthlong "Play" romp, inspired by the productive antics of a lovable mad scientist, along with play-driven innovations, experiments, anecdotes and quotes. It all fed a Play Machine that reinterpreted IBMblr social data into the physical word with lasers, popcorn and hatchets. All live on camera, right in front of your eyes.

The PLAY Experiments | No. 1
Play gets your inventive juices flowing. Helping even old dogs learn new tricks. Like Mr. Pickle here. With the help of some Play and 130 volts of electricity, it just learned to act like a lamp. 


Opening the IBM vault.   It’s been over a century since IBM was a start-up, so IBMblr dusted off a trove of design and technology artifacts for public view. From a 50-year look back at the 1964 World’s Fair to examining Selectric typewriters, IBM’s perpetual state of reinvention is a fascinating exhibit of human progress.

Ooo La La IBM, circa 1957 More than a half century after introducing the IBM 704 to France, this vintage ad has a certain design joie de vivre.  

Ooo La La IBM, circa 1957
More than a half century after introducing the IBM 704 to France, this vintage ad has a certain design joie de vivre.  

Tik-tik-tikka-tik-tik-tik-tikka-tik-tik…fffffffffft…tik-tik-tik-tikka-tik-tik-tikka…fffffffffft…tik-tik-tik-tikka-tik—Ding!

Tik-tik-tikka-tik-tik-tik-tikka-tik-tik…fffffffffft…tik-tik-tik-tikka-tik-tik-tikka…fffffffffft…tik-tik-tik-tikka-tik—Ding!

💻 IBM Japan in 15 Seconds 📚  Here’s your crash course on IBM Japan. In 1925, a tableware manufacturer installed the first IBM tabulating machine. In 1973, Leo Esaki won the Nobel Prize in Physics for electron tunneling. In 1982, the Tokyo Research Lab opened. In 1992, the ThinkPad700C was released. And now, in 2015, IBM’s teaming up with Apple in Japan to create an elderly-friendly iPad. We’re out of time, but rest assured, the goods are still being churned out. Class dismissed. 

💻 IBM Japan in 15 Seconds 📚 
Here’s your crash course on IBM Japan. In 1925, a tableware manufacturer installed the first IBM tabulating machine. In 1973, Leo Esaki won the Nobel Prize in Physics for electron tunneling. In 1982, the Tokyo Research Lab opened. In 1992, the ThinkPad700C was released. And now, in 2015, IBM’s teaming up with Apple in Japan to create an elderly-friendly iPad. We’re out of time, but rest assured, the goods are still being churned out. Class dismissed. 


Solar Racing. When IBM technology helped the University of Michigan chase the sun in their quest to win the World Solar Challenge in Australia, IBMblr was there for all thrilling, zero-emission racing action.

Science of Solar Racing Cognitive On Board When it comes to solar racing in the Outback, the University of Michigan team can’t possibly recall every small atmospheric occurrence from recent history: which is a shame because that kind of information makes for 30% more accurate forecasts. That’s why they’re joining forces with IBM scientists to outthink the other drivers all the way to that glorious finish line. The cognitive system will make recommendations—to slow down, speed up, or stay still–derived not only from the current and future forecasts but also from previous weather. Makes perfect sense, really. Don’t all important decisions require careful consideration of the past? 

Science of Solar Racing
Cognitive On Board

When it comes to solar racing in the Outback, the University of Michigan team can’t possibly recall every small atmospheric occurrence from recent history: which is a shame because that kind of information makes for 30% more accurate forecasts. That’s why they’re joining forces with IBM scientists to outthink the other drivers all the way to that glorious finish line. The cognitive system will make recommendations—to slow down, speed up, or stay still–derived not only from the current and future forecasts but also from previous weather. Makes perfect sense, really. Don’t all important decisions require careful consideration of the past? 

Science of Solar Racing The World races. Earth wins! Why would one of the biggest innovation companies in the world spend its time and treasure to help a bunch of solar savvy students race across the Australian Outback? The reason is simple. By taking its solar forecasting and cognitive technologies out of the research lab and onto the World Solar Challenge raceway, IBM scientists and engineers will be able to start learning from these extreme experiences to better normalize solar power into a dependable part of our electrical energy grid. That could mean less fossil fuels, less carbon emissions and less money spent on your energy bill. It’s a win-win-win.

Science of Solar Racing
The World races. Earth wins!

Why would one of the biggest innovation companies in the world spend its time and treasure to help a bunch of solar savvy students race across the Australian Outback? The reason is simple. By taking its solar forecasting and cognitive technologies out of the research lab and onto the World Solar Challenge raceway, IBM scientists and engineers will be able to start learning from these extreme experiences to better normalize solar power into a dependable part of our electrical energy grid. That could mean less fossil fuels, less carbon emissions and less money spent on your energy bill. It’s a win-win-win.

“It’s important to push the limits of science because at a more basic level, it defines what makes us special. Every time a new feat, or discovery or invention is made, the realm of what used to be fantasy expands a little bit more.” INSIDE THE INVENTIVE MIND Arnold Kadiu University of Michigan Aurum Engineering Director, Crew Chief

“It’s important to push the limits of science because at a more basic level, it defines what makes us special. Every time a new feat, or discovery or invention is made, the realm of what used to be fantasy expands a little bit more.”

INSIDE THE INVENTIVE MIND
Arnold Kadiu
University of Michigan
Aurum Engineering Director, Crew Chief


A Boy And His Atom. The ability to move single atoms—the smallest particles of any element in the universe–is crucial to IBM’s research in the field of atomic memory. But even nanophysicists need to have a little fun. In that spirit, IBM researchers used a scanning tunnelling microscope to move thousands of atoms, all in pursuit of making a movie so small it can only be seen when you magnify it 100 million times. A movie made with atoms. 

13 of 242 frames from the world’s smallest movie. A Boy And His Atom .  Now Playing ➝

13 of 242 frames from the world’s smallest movie.

A Boy And His Atom .  Now Playing ➝

If good things come in small packages, then nothing compares to this valentine made by IBMers with just a handful of atoms. Happy Valentine’s Day!

If good things come in small packages, then nothing compares to this valentine made by IBMers with just a handful of atoms.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

tumblr_mnj94cjbTv1s141c3o1_500.gif

"A compelling mix of snippets that convey the company's passion
 for innovation in a dynamic and charming way."

Harvard Business Review

"Most Stalked Brand" —TrackMaven Top 20

"A Tumblr that does the impossible. It makes learning complex
subjects fun through animated visuals and GIFs."

Search Engine Journal


 
Blog -  Business

Blog -  Business

Best Writing

Best Writing

Interactive Ads & Media - Business

Interactive Ads & Media - Business