Evolving the social language of the web

February 4, 2013

Blogs allowed anyone with an internet connection to be a publisher.

MySpace/Facebook allowed anyone to connect with anyone else.

YouTube allowed anyone with a video camera to connect their videos with an audience.

Foursquare allowed anyone with a phone to connect with places, and eventually people.

Twitter allowed anyone with writer’s block to share their thoughts.

Instagram allowed anyone with a phone to seem like an accomplished and sophisticated photographer.

GetGlue allowed anyone to connect with their favourite programming.

airbnb allows anyone online to connect with spare bedrooms.

Pinterest allowed anyone with desire to connect with those things they coveted.

Now, Vine allows anyone with a phone to connect with their inner film student: https://vine.co/v/bnu5Q9YtaY3

Technology and the internet have combined to connect us with information, with people, with objects and now our desires and emotions.



Footbonaut: Technology Can Improve On Anything

November 14, 2012

Especially football training. Introducing the Footbonaut:

via The Footy Blog

Internet Trends 2011 from Mary Meeker

October 20, 2011

Every year Mary Meeker, a former ibanker turned VC, presents her Internet trends at the Web 2 conference. It’s something I look forward to every year – for the insights as much as the sport of seeing just how much data she can cram into her ever expanding number of slides – and something I believe should be required reading for everyone working in and around digital and/or social media.

Here is this year’s edition:

View this document on Scribd

And her key trends are:

  1. Globality: we aren’t in Kansas anymore
  2. Mobile: early innings growth, still
  3. User interface: text -> graphical -> touch/sound/move
  4. Commerce: Fast/Easy/Fun/Savings = more important than ever…
  5. Advertising: lookin’ good (phew!)
  6. Content creation: changed forever
  7. Technology/Mobile leadership – Americans should be proud
  8. Mega-trend of 21st Century = empowerment of people via connected mobile devices
  9. Authentic identity: The good/bad/ugly. But mostly good?
  10. Economy: lots of uncertainty
  11. USA inc: pay attention!

Gartner’s 2010 Hype Cycle

October 10, 2010

The 2010 Hype Cycle from Gartner is out and there are no real surprises. Lots of interesting new technologies are working their way up the Peak of Inflated Expectations while considerably fewer are moving through the trough of disillusionment and onto mainstream adoption.

Gartner Hype Cycle - 2010

Gartner’s 2010 Hype Cycle Special Report Evaluates Maturity of 1,800 Technologies. (click for full size).

Key themes from this more macro analysis include:

New styles of user interaction which will drive new usage patterns are emerging, giving organizations opportunities to innovate how information and transactions are delivered to customers and employees. This includes devices such as media tablets and 3D flat-panel TVs and displays, and interaction styles such as gesture recognition and tangible user interfaces.

We are the web; and the web is everywhere. The migration of the Web phenomenon — and technology in general — beyond the desktop and into the context of people’s everyday lives is creating new opportunities for personalized and contextually aware information access. Augmented reality is a hot topic in the mobile space, with platforms and services on iPhone and Android platforms, and it represents the next generation as location-aware applications move toward the plateau. Other elements such as 4G standard, sensor networks and context delivery architecture are evolving more slowly, but will play a key role in expanding the impact of IT in the physical world.

Data is king. The quantity and variety of digital data continue to explode, along with the opportunities to analyze and gain insight from new sources such as location information and social media. The techniques themselves, such as predictive analytics, are relatively well established in many cases; the value resides in applying them in new applications such as social analytics and sentiment analysis.

The Cloud continues to grow. In Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, cloud computing overall appears just topping the peak, and private cloud computing is still rising. Cloud/Web platforms are featured, along with mobile application stores, to acknowledge the growing interest in platforms for application development and delivery.

Value can be extracted from the periphery of the cycle. A number of technologies, such as mobile robots and 3D printing (see below), are not yet widely used, but they can already provide significant value when used appropriately.

Full release on Gartner.com

See who’s talking about it on Twitter.

Psychological Insights from Social Gaming and Their Real-World Applications

February 27, 2010

Some guiding principles that could be applied to the design of collaboration, communication and attention game mechanics in the future, based off the success of Farmville, Mafia Wars and all the other annoying updates you get spammed by on Facebook from your middle aged and female friends*!

Based on Jesse Schell’s, of Carnegie Mellon and Schell Games, talk at DICE:

1. Psychological Design drives user behavior

Use of free-to-play, virtual currency, lead generation and “velvet-rope” models shape and channel user behavior to ultimately spend real money in-game to create new revenue streams.

i.e. – the freemium model, where the heavy users subsidize the majority of users, works.

2. Break through to Reality

The most successful games break through from a virtual experience to include real-life interaction.

i.e. what we’ve known in the communications business for ages continues to be true. Offline events drive online coverage and community.

3.  Technology Diverges. Gaming will too

As technology advances it wants to diverge not converge. It grows and spreads. You might call this the Law of Technical Divergence. Mobile devices are an exception.

i.e. don’t get enamored by the technology, focus on the behaviours it elicits and draws out of your user group.

4. Sensors will enable new gaming mechanics in everyday life

As activity, location, biometric and attention sensors emerge and are embedded in everything from our toothbrush, to clothing, to food and of course devices, we will see an explosion of game mechanics used to drive and change our behavior.

i.e. get your tin foil hats out – privacy is shrinking.

5. Persistent history of our actions could drive improved behavior

In the near future, when we are all being tracked, watched and measured by all kinds of sensors; and our children’s children will know what we read, ate, did and thought, will it inspire us to improve our personal behaviors.

i.e. technology improves your experience the more you use it. If it can be used to improve and change your behaviours, see below, then that’s even better.

Also of interest:

Jesse Fox at Stanford finds that experiences with avatars, including personalized images of ourselves, can change our view of reality and the way we act in the real world. From PhysOrg.com

via Bruce MacVarish Notes: Avatars & Game Psychology Reshape Real Life & Behavior.

* According to this eMarketer study on social gamers. More than one-half of players are female, and the average US player is 48 years old. Relatively few US weekly gamers are under 30, while nearly one-half are over 50.

Razorfish: Five Technologies That Will Change Your Business

February 11, 2010

Interesting report from Razorfish predicting that…

Cloud services will be everywhere:

  • Amazon will implement Facebook Connect on their site. See our message to Amazon about this.
  • Facebook Connect becomes more powerful than Facebook.com. Fewer people will go to Facebook.com because it’ll already be on your site.
  • Industry leading companies will leverage cloud services en masse in 2010.
  • Brand managers will use the language of cloud services and APIs pushing their IT departments to help them take their brands real time.

The cloud will be a crucial business tool:

  • Application partitioning (anyone remember Forte?) will make its return to technology architectures. Application partitioning and hybrid traditional/cloud solutions will enable more cloud adoption.
  • More business will be conducted through the cloud. Perhaps even stock trading will go through Facebook and Twitter.

Multi-touch will transform retail:

  • A nationwide retailer will have new multi-touch experiences in every store.
  • Multi-touch experiences and seamless cross-channel integration are the future of retail.
  • Windows 7 will enable more multi-touch rollouts in public spaces.
  • Multi-touch experiences will be more fun, lift brand, engage customers and drive sales.

Mobile will continue its revolution:

  • Geo-triggered SMS platforms will enable delivery of messages based on the user’s time and location, significantly increasing the relevance of message
  • Cloud computing and augmented reality APIs will exponentially increase the amount and types of information that can be delivered through mobile devices.

Agile will boost innovation

  • Agile will push businesses to think of software development as a solution to innovation.
  • There will be greater Agile adoption by offshore development shops, enabling global distributive development.

It’s hard to argue the point against many of these predictions but, in my mind, the hardest one to achieve will be agile. With the sheer volume of information available to anyone in business today, the ability to find, analyse, approve and action communications in “real time” is almost impossible.

Unless people on the front lines of communications are empowered to communicate on behalf of a brand or organization, agile will be almost impossible to achieve. Which begs the question: do you want the people on the front lines empowered to communicate on your behalf? We hear cases every day where a consumer has been wowed by instant feedback from a brand but there are many more cases we never hear about where an employee has been reprimanded for acting above their pay-scale and for an inappropriate response. Just because we don’t hear about it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. Trust me on that one.

A fascinating report which is definitely worth a few hours of your time, my synopsis not withstanding.

Razorfish 5 Report Five Technologies That Will Change Your Business.

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