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The edge of Flash

by Rob Ford

I was recently lucky enough to have a book launch party at the swanky Taschen store off the famous Kings Road in London for my latest book, The Internet Case Study Book. As a workaholic, I don't get out that much to industry events, conferences etc. so this was the first chance I had had for many a year to meet some people whom I have talked to via e-mail for many years. Putting names to faces in this industry isn't necessary for your own growth but it does make a huge difference. I finally got to talk to some people, face to face, whom I've conversed with by e-mail for over 10 years! What was interesting is how a lot of people feel the web is back where it was in 2000, the year I founded FWA. I don't mean that web design has gone back to those days but more that people feel a renewed energy and that something big is about to happen. In 2000 Flash created a storm and now, 10 years later, a new storm is brewing!

I hope you'll be blown away by this latest selection of amazing web productions.

BMW Cinetique

BMW Cinetique

BMW Cinetique

Site by Chewing Com

This site introduces the new BMW 5 Series, using the art of kinetic sculpture — that's art and movement combined — to create a silhouette of the car. This site allows you to become a 3D artist and create your very own sculpture. It's quite incredible that an application of this complexity has been woven into a website. You can pretty much create any design of car here so why not turn your hand to vehicle design? You never know, you could have a natural talent!

See the video reel demonstration of this site.

Toyota Racing's Sponsafier

Toyota Racing's Sponsafier

Toyota Racing's Sponsafier

Site by Saatchi & Saatchi LA & Resn

How would you like to create and design your own custom cup car in 3D for NASCAR Team Toyota? Well, that is the prize this site offers to the most original and creative creation. This very slick 3D environment makes design a car very easy. Even though this follows on directly from the car site above, the two examples are totally different. You can even upload your own images, add custom text and then use social networking tools to garner votes. If you win, your design will be on the track at the 2010 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race!

See the video reel demonstration of this site.

Inside the Fox

Inside the Fox

Inside the Fox

Site by Almap BBDO, Vetor Zero, On Interactive, & Combustion

I've just realized that I have three car sites back to back in this column but they are all so incredible I have no qualms in doing so. This site is 100% unique, I can assure you of that. Have you ever wondered what a car looks like inside out? Me neither! With this site the focus is on the interior of VW's new Fox. Apparently it is so amazing that they decided to show it in a different way. So they turned the car inside out! You can use your mouse to drag the car around and eventually turn it the opposite of inside out... whatever the correct term is for that! A clever and unforgettable approach, that's for sure.

See the video reel demonstration of this site.

Erky Perky

Erky Perky

Erky Perky

Site by Oktobor & Ambience Entertainment

The premise of this site is simple: join the hunt for crumbs in the online world of Erky Perky. Delightful animations and characters will charm you through this impressive explorative website. Kids and adults, like me, who have never grown up, will appreciate this site, not forgetting the "games" section which boats some simple, yet addictive games.

See the video reel demonstration of this site.

Bank Run Game

Bank Run Game

Bank Run Game

Site by SilkTricky

This is a very smart interactive movie, where it's kill or be killed. What takes this to the next level is the fact that the interactive movie continues onto the iPhone as an app. The movie starts with "Run for it" as you take on the role of the main character as he is being chased through a multi-story car park. Part 1 of the adventure is online, with Part 2 being completed on the iPhone. I'm sure we will see many more of these multi-platform experiences very soon.

See the video reel demonstration of this site.

Jean Malek Montreal Photographer

Jean Malek Montreal Photographer

Jean Malek Montreal Photographer

Site by Akufen

If you are a regular reader of my column you will know that I do love a creative photography website. This is no exception. A portfolio site that has a simple, yet creative, transition throughout which unwraps on each click to reveal some very inspiring photography. The creators of this site, Akufen, call the site a photographic visual experience... I think they truly deserve to call it just that.

See the video reel demonstration of this site.

DJECO

DJECO

DJECO

Site by grouek

DJECO is a children's toymaker. You can imagine how a sharp, clean WordPress site would do nothing for such a company. Thankfully, the creators of this site, grouek, managed to hit the target audience perfectly with a personality packed, interactive and fun-filled site. The site is dotted with surprises and "toys" to play with and is loaded with wonderful animations throughout. I can image the client was very happy with the finished result.

See the video reel demonstration of this site.

Epilogue

Do you see work as a four-letter word? If you do, then you need to change direction. I have been working online since 1997 and still feel the buzz each day when I find something new or original. In fact, every time I hit send/receive I get that feeling you get when the post pops through your letter box. It's like a kid on Christmas day, but the difference is you can create that feeling every time you check your e-mail. Running a site like FWA gives me that feeling on a daily basis again, as every site that gets submitted has me thinking, "is this the next big thing?"

I retired 13 years ago and now follow my passion. My advice to everyone out there is to follow your heart in your career. As I said at the start of this column, a storm cloud is brewing... the web is on another tipping point. If you want to be in the thick of it and get the most out of the next 10-year web wave, remember this quote from Albert Schweitzer: "Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful."

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Rob Ford founded The FWA Network in May 2000 and since then the network has received over 150 million visits. The FWA Network showcases projects that use cutting edge technology for desktop, mobile and offline, together with showcases for photography as well as video. Rob is also the author of three bestselling books of web and mobile. Check out The FWA Network.