Archive for June 2009
The new iPhone with video - coupled with GPS, compass and future iPhone applications - ushers in the Brave New World of augmented reality. And mobile marketing, which until now has been a relative afterthought for brand marketers outside of Japan, is about to go gangbusters.
I have been a reluctant Twitterer for a while now (though, for the record, I am trying to be better about it). I do check my Twitter feed each day and am amazed by how much (and as often, how little) people can say in 140 characters. Certainly, we live in a culture of sound bites, but Twitter takes this to a whole new level. Amidst the thousands and thousands of grammatical crime scene tweets, shoot-from-the-hip happenings tweets, re-tweets, twitpic tweets and glorified email forward tweets are some real creative gems. It is these gems that keep me tuned in to the incessant stream of information and make the sifting through worth it.
Recently I re-connected with a friend on Facebook and got distracted by her photo albums. As I looked through the images I discovered something thought-provoking. Dorka Kheen collaborated with well-known artist Brian Goggin to create an art installation in San Francisco's historic literary district of North Beach. It is the first permanent solar-powered public art piece in the United States, and it’s an interesting take on the role and form of literature and language in our digital culture.
According to the dictionary, “confluence” describes the flowing together of two or more rivers -- for example, where the smaller Missouri joins the roaring Mississippi. There is a similar confluence of strategy forming between the for-profit and non-profit sectors. And considering the reputational challenges damming many for-profit revenue streams, the non-profit sector may prove its contributions to the union to be more Mississippi than Missouri.
Steven Brill’s TSA “fast pass” company and creator of the Clear card has imploded. Verified Identity Pass takes with it more than $100 million in investor cash, the registration fees of approximately 200,000 travelers, and a dumpster-load of sensitive biometric data. The company provides only a message that it has ceased operations as of June 22, 2009 due to creditor problems, and posts a link to its privacy policies. The one message that seems to be coming out clearly in media is that Brill stepped aside from daily management some time ago. Got it: you are not responsible. Unfortunately, Brill isn’t done with us yet. He has one more bad idea that, like Clear, involves gathering up data, segregating worthy information from unworthy, and charging for it: Journalism Online.
Noam Cohen wrote in the New York Times this weekend -- Twitter on the Barricades -- analyzing the impact of Twitter on the events of the last several days in Iran. There is no question that Twitter has been influential in transmitting and spreading what is happening on the ground there. But focusing solely on the Twitter-effect misses the larger and more consequential communication story. Any one communication tool in a web of such tools does not act alone in producing tremendous social network effects. What is especially noteworthy in the information transfer that is occurring around the dramatic events in Iran is how utterly dispersed yet interwoven and mutually reinforcing the various expression and transmission outlets are -- both analog and digital.
The mouse may be dead to many netbook users, but if Disney has anything to do with it, The Mouse will remain alive and well for young technophiles. This week, Walt’s little company announced that it has collaborated with the unfortunately-named ASUS to launch the Disney Netpal.
The TED conference began in 1984 with the simple goal of bringing the top minds of the Technology, Entertainment and Design industries together for short, thought-provoking talks with their peers. The for-profit, invitation-only gathering was largely unknown in its early years outside of the small community of innovators who spoke at and attended the annual conference. Twenty-five years later, a very different TED announces TEDx, independently organized local events designed to share recorded TED talks with and capture new inspiration from a global network of community leaders. The brand’s evolution is a case study for what our institutions of higher learning should be doing: leveraging digital strategies and new technologies to create global resonance for content traditionally constrained by bricks and mortar.
In the wake of recent legislation allowing the FDA to regulate the tobacco industry, a variety of smokeless tobacco products are hitting the market. A few e-varieties promise a comparable experience without the stink and stigma of the earlier models. But will smokers find any of these alternatives up to snuff?
It’s not easy to buck entrenched conventional wisdom. Ask Galileo. When he advanced heliocentrism publicly, all hell broke loose. None of which had anything to do with the fact that the central notion was true. The earth really did revolve around the sun.