Creative Business Wrap – March 2022

Wordle has charm, but will it bring in the dough? 

Of course, I’ve been playing Wordle, quizzing friends and colleagues about their 5 letter starter words, sharing my scores when I do well (and not when I don’t). It’s a quick once-a-day mental workout that gives me heartwarming feedback that I am “splendid” and, occasionally, “incredible”.  The daily puzzle started in Oct 2021 was bought by the New York Times from creator Josh Wardle and so far, it is ad-free and free to play. Cross-selling subscriptions is the business opportunity for the NYT according to Adir Shiffman in the Australian Financial Review. At a $US3 million purchase price, the cost of Wordle could be recovered within a year if fewer than 10 percent of daily players add an NYT subscription or a games package for $US40 a year. Will it last? The word list has 2,500 words at the moment so we could potentially play for 6.8 years.

“Tik Tok is the new film”

Self proclaimed Tik Tok curator, Silvi Vann-Wall writes on Screenhub article that “Tik Tok is the new film”. She showcases some intriguing creators that I wouldn’t have found in my feed and also gives some useful DYI tips. It’s more than the typical listicle; she’s chosen some engaging and innovative examples from short horror films to “comedy augmented reality animation”. My favourite is Tofu the dog who has found fame by appearing to make cups of matcha tea and pursuing other relaxing activities. She (Silvi, not Tofu) adds some practical tips on how to create and upload clips to Tik Tok and notes that the app now allows uploads up to 10 minutes in length (for those with longer attention spans than Tik Tok usually caters to). Checking out the #shortfilm tag sounds like a useful distraction from work and other important duties.

Nordic, not noir

The title “What the Nordics can teach us about having fun” hooked me into Clare Dowdy’s essay about playground design, then I had to read on to find out the meaning of “skrammellegeplasder”. That’s a junk playground, part of a movement to create playgrounds that allow children to construct, explore and interact with the natural environment that has spread across the Scandinavian countries since the 1940s.

In this philosophy, playground equipment doesn’t have to look like playground equipment and it is not so important that the children’s clothes stay clean and dry. It’s more important that they’re challenged and have fun. Urban kids benefit from the opportunity to play in natural areas, and adults are not excluded, playgrounds are seen as a way to bring generations and diverse communities together. The photos are inspiring too, and I’m now pondering how I can organize a study tour of Scandi playgrounds. I might even take the kids with me.

A place by the river

Lots of arts organisations are grappling with the impact of natural disasters at the moment, so it’s timely to note the opening of the new art museum at Bundanon, on the banks of the Shoalhaven River.  Much of the publicity for it has focused on the disaster-proof design as much as the $46 million collection of art by Arthur Boyd and others. Designed by Kerstin Thompson Architects, the art museum is built into the ground to keep the artworks safe and thermally stable and the new buildings include a trestle bridge, which will allow floodwater to flow away from the property towards the Shoalhaven River. The impetus was the 2019 bushfires which came within one kilometre of the site. Katrina Lobley in The Australian has a enticing write up here.

Quick Links

  • Speaking of disaster recovery, two of Sharpe Advisory’s clients, Arts Northern Rivers and NORPA, were terribly impacted by the recent floods in Lismore. Both have fundraising campaigns to help them rebuild and to help local creatives. ANR’s is here and NORPA’s is here. I’ve donated to both and I hope you can throw them a few dollars as well.
  • New .au domains are now available for your website. Our friendly neighbourhood web developers Six Heads recommended that we snatch up as soon as possible, to avoid someone else grabbing and squatting on it. Talk to your IT gurus if you want to do the same.
  • If you’re in NSW, don’t forget the range of vouchers still on offer, to encourage you to dine out, experience live events, get your kids to swim, play sport or do something creative and, if you were a home schooling parent last year, go on a weekender somewhere. And if you’re a potential supplier of these services, make sure your registration is set up. You’re missing a trick if not.

2022: the year of the understudy 

Live performances are back (hooray) but I’m hearing that COVID and isolation requirements are causing some quick changes to allow the show to go on. I love this story of Australian Soprano Nicole Carr who rushed across Paris in a taxi to sing in the second act of Cosi Fan Tutti when the star became ill. With no rehearsal (think about that for a moment – no rehearsal!) she sang from the wings and saved the show much to the delight of the audience. On Instagram she thanked the crew and wished the star a speedy recovery with a cute #didthatreallyhappen. Which could turn out to be the hashtag of the year.

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