Microsoft wowed the web in 2007 with the Surface. Its latest vision of the future, 2019, is equally powerful (for a shorter version click here). The video features hyper-productive professionals in perfect sync with technology. The beautiful special effects and hypnotic music distract the viewer from the fact that, given the roomy planes, empty airports and sparsely-populated cities we see, a superflu apparently has killed off all but a handful of architects and their children. Plague aside, imagining a world like this makes us smile - as do the comments left by YouTube viewers, who inject a healthy dose of Microsoft, circa 2009, into this utopian world.
Davis Brand Capital today released the 2012 Davis Brand Capital 25 ranking, which evaluates brand management and performance comprehensively. It is the only annual ranking of companies that demonstrate overall, balanced approaches to managing the full spectrum of brand and related intangible assets, providing an indicator of total business strength and effectiveness.
Web bots, the “internet of things”, machine learning and other converging technological advancements offer an early glimpse of our artificial intelligence future. And marketers need to start paying attention.
There is certainly humor to be had watching, sprawled out in the comfort of another century, the way previous generations handled – or didn’t – destabilizing changes that we now take for granted. We are now obligated to live in a culture of conversation with its simultaneous flattening of things like expert culture and its ever-expanding choice of content providers and options.
Last week, Santa Clara hosted the first global augmented reality event - gathering the developers, creative directors and engineers from around the world who are driving nascent “augmentation” technology into our immediate reality. If you said “Say what?” to that sentence, you will appreciate the following. In the first keynote of the conference, WIRED’s contributing editor Bruce Sterling defined a singular challenge for the assembled that had very little to do with technological wizardry and everything to do with communication: create and shape the language of this brave new world.
Last month a brouhaha emerged when US Supreme Court justices had a hard time differentiating between the technologies at the center of an important privacy case. Now, no one would reasonably expect a Chief Justice to know the nuances of Twitter as well as Lindsay Lohan, but Roberts allegedly inquired after the difference between email and pagers. Other justices needed a basic lesson in texting. This might seem amusing, except: how is it possible to responsibly adjudicate the issues of the 21st Century without a working knowledge of the platforms that pervade our social and working lives? Being conversant in these items, my dear sirs and ladies, is absolutely part of your job.
Davis Brand Capital, which published the 2009 Davis Brand Capital 25 ranking in December, today announced expanded rankings in five industries: automotive, finance, retail, technology, and telecom.
For wearables to really take off, we’ll need powerful and sophisticated devices that are light-weight, elegant and small enough to be worn as accessories—or embedded into the fabric of our clothes.
When it comes to mobile shopping, the gender gap is alive and well.
Some of the nation’s young brainiacs were honored today at the annual White House Science Fair.
Developers Seeks Sponsors by Touting Attraction's Technology, Social Media Potential
Technology often leads too much change, but with digital transformation the consumer, rather than the technology, is in the driver’s seat, and this matters.
Marc Costa, a New Jersey police officer, found himself dealing with an excess of paperwork on the job. Up to three quarters of a police officer's day can be spent filling out paperwork, and he wanted to find a way to make his workday more efficient.
These are ads that you can actually have a (limited) conversation with, potentially creating a much more interactive and fun advertising experience — which is particularly challenging for mobile advertisers who have to work with limited screen space.
3D printing is still in its infancy. But, to use an overused phrase, it is the future. From home use to enterprise use, 3D printing will continue to grow and break into new areas.
Aiming to create an "object of desire" rather than just another TV, Philips' designers have created a TV that looks like a seamless sheet of glass with a black gradient.
Repeat trips to the doctor could become a thing of the past thanks to a new technology that can monitor your health and wellbeing remotely – directly from the surface of your skin.
It enables marketers to deliver content via an embedded NFC chip that allows wireless communication when a user touches a smartphone or mobile device to a piece of marketing collateral or brings the device into close proximity with an NFC tag.
The future of technology is, ironically, all too human.
The idea that we could invent tools that change our cognitive abilities might sound outlandish, but it’s actually a defining feature of human evolution.
Fjord charts the major innovations of the past, and predicts a future of totally intuitive "micro gestures and expressions" that will control our devices.
What is it about tech that allows these corporate giants to enjoy so much love?
It's like harnessing the Force: A new armband uses the electrical activity in your muscles to let you wirelessly control digital devices.
Big data is quickly becoming a bigger buzzword in 2013, and it clearly cannot be ignored by today's marketer.
What if technology makes scientific discoveries that we can’t understand?
Frog Design asked designers to invent wearable tech concepts, with results ranging from interactive tree displays to a wristband that helps wearers navigate NY subways.
By the end 2013 tablets will account for 20 percent of Google’s paid search ad clicks in the U.S., up from 6 percent in January 2012. It’s not just the volume of the tablet clicks that is rising, it’s also the value.
Hoping to give visitors their own platform for curation, the Cleveland Museum of Art has launched its Artlens app, which can be used by patrons to create their own path through the collection.
With media consumption shifting to mobile platforms in an increasingly fragmented environment, media companies face the uncomfortable prospect of trading dollars for dimes, while marketers and agencies are challenged with greater complexity in reaching desired audiences. But what may appear as a dark cloud is actually full of silver linings, and those who get ahead of the curve in embracing this change can not only survive but thrive in the post-PC paradigm.
In the past year, I have been struck by how important measurement is to improving the human condition. You can achieve incredible progress if you set a clear goal and find a measure that will drive progress toward that goal.
NDN has grown because online publishers can’t get enough video content (and the ad dollars that come with it). The company's selling point is that it provides the platform and video content and sells the advertising at no cost to its partner publishers—while giving content creators wider distribution for their video content.
Many CMOs seem to be struggling to gain alignment and to build consensus across their lines of business and into the board room. As a result, the C-suite can be plagued with uncertainty and misunderstanding, and CMOs are starting to worry about losing relevance. What does it take to get us all on the same page, pulling together?
They’ve hit a market ‘reach’ of 180 million users a month across mobile and web platforms and re-vamped the site with the ‘Next’ version after testing out their open Beta for several months.
One factor is emerging as the essential difference between the Obama and Romney campaigns on November 6: the absolute failure of Romney’s get-out-the-vote effort, which underperformed even John McCain’s lackluster 2008 turnout.
For now, trending topics are a feature buried within a temporary feature at the corner of the Stitcher app. But the technology behind them reveals the potential for discovery to impact talk radio the way it has music, video, and written news.
8tracks is a streaming, not on-demand, music service. Its some 600,000 mixes are uploaded by a small portion (less than 1%) of the app’s users, known as DJs. There are no restrictions on the type of tracks these DJs can choose, beyond a couple of requirements that help keep 8tracks legal.
Shoppers at the new International Finance Center Mall in Seoul can find their way around the four-story complex by approaching one of 26 information kiosks. When they do, they also are being watched. Kiosks at a Seoul mall, above, would use facial recognition software to decide what ads to present shoppers. Just above each kiosk's LCD touch screen sit two cameras and a motion detector
The technology surrounding today’s retail landscape has changed, and with this change comes a myriad of innovative opportunities that extend beyond our conventional way of thinking. Viewing these opportunities as “distractions” rather than opportunities risks losing ground to the competition.
Author and interaction design researcher Richard Banks shares his thoughts on the interaction between storing memories digitally and physically. Richard is the Principal Interaction Designer at Microsoft Research‘s Socio-Digital Systems group, a team analyzing how families use digital and analog media and building technological objects in response.
The Seattle-based coffee giant’s year-and-a-half-old mobile payment program may be the largest of any retailer in North America. Even before its recent $25 million investment in San Francisco mobile payments startup Square, the company had been processing a million mobile-phone transactions per week.
Being relevant-at-scale helps marketers to truly benefit from a competitive advantage in the market. At the heart of being relevant-at-scale is an ongoing commitment to harnessing data and analytics. How can you be relevant to your consumers if you don’t know where to reach them and if you don’t know anything about them when you interact?
“What’s becoming clear is that in order to stay relevant and remain competitive in today’s uber-digital and social world, the CIO and the CMO must work together. Today and in the future you’ll see this connection grow tighter than ever before,” said Jeff Schick, VP, Social Software.
Co-design from business to product design solutions is seen as a potential new avenue for breakthrough innovation in design. Co-design is when firms and non-design users jointly design offerings. Examples range from surgical tools and sport equipment to Lego elements and software.
Texas Ranger outfielder Josh Hamilton got there because he deserves it. But please, three San Francisco Giants were voted onto the All Star team? In what election process is that fair? Buster Posey and Melky Cabrera maybe, but when you consider the perpetually injured Pablo Sandoval there is clearly something else at play when it comes to the All Star voting. For the Giants, and even the Rangers, it’s all about All Star tech savvy.
A monumental question for leaders in any organization to consider is: How much greatness are we willing to grant people? Because it makes all the difference at every level who it is we decide we are leading. The activity of leadership is not limited to conductors, presidents, and CEOs, of course — the player who energizes the orchestra by communicating his newfound appreciation for the tasks of the conductor, or a parent who fashions in her own mind that her children desire to contribute, is exercising leadership of the most profound kind.
CloudOn - yes, the company known best for bringing Microsoft Office to the iPad – has just closed a $16 million Series B round led by The Social+Capital Partnership with participation from Translink Capital as well as existing investors Foundation Capital and Rembrandt Venture Partners. Mamoon Hamid, General Partner at Social+Capital, will now join CloudOn’s Board of Directors as a part of the funding. The raise speaks to the demand for traditional productivity software on the iPad, but also hints at bigger plans for the startup, which has a vision that re-imagines how productivity should work in the new mobile age.
Ford has created an app that unlocks all of your internet passwords when your mobile device is close to your computer and locks them when you move away.
Android users are correct to complain that the iPhone often gets new features that are old for Android, but as loud as they may shout, they're the only ones listening. Apple truly flexes its muscles at the power of its brand.
There will be plenty of bits spilled over the next few days about whether Apple is going extinct, whether Jobs’ touch was integral to the Apple experience, and whether this was “The.Worst.Keynote.Ever.” I posit, however, that Apple still has a few good years left and this keynote – a precise and well-orchestrated experience dedicated mostly to software – is proof that the Apple vision runs far deeper than the efforts of a figurehead CEO.
Google+ rolled out on Wednesday a new ‘Local’ tool that allows users to share and find information about nearby places — from museums and spas to restaurants and hotels. In addition to tapping a user’s network or “Circles,” the new service also incorporates information from Zagat, which Google bought last year.
Technology has simplified communications for most businesses, but the increased use of conference calls, video conferencing, and instant messaging has created a new list of off-putting behaviors that could land your business in an awkward situation. Here is a list of some pet peeves and how to avoid them.
In the silence of connection, people are comforted by being in touch with a lot of people — carefully kept at bay. We can’t get enough of one another if we can use technology to keep one another at distances we can control: not too close, not too far, just right.
Adidas will embed its miCoach data tracker in uniforms worn by players competing in the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game on July 25. The “professional soccer team tracking system” riffs on the miCoach Speed Cell introduced last year, and Adidas says it will provide coaches with real-time data about player position and performance.
Every day it seems that we read about the launch of a new startup or technology application claiming to disrupt and reinvent the health care system. This flood of activity comes at a time when the health care industry is in dire need of entrepreneurial spirit, fresh perspectives and new skills. But to create products and services that have the potential to make a large impact, entrepreneurs and health care professionals need to work together.
The Internet isn’t really a technology. It’s a belief system, a philosophy about the effectiveness of decentralized, bottom-up innovation. And it’s a philosophy that has begun to change how we think about creativity itself.
The innovation game is changing. Delivering great products is no longer sufficient for success. And as the Fire's limited memory, ho-hum processor, and and lack of camera demonstrate, great products may not even be necessary. Rather, what matters is delivering great solutions.
The future of shopping means every garment--and shopping experience--can be customized to fit both your body and your thirst for discovery.
In January 2012, we sit again on the cusp of three grand technological transformations with the potential to rival that of the past century. All find their epicenters in America: big data, smart manufacturing and the wireless revolution. Information technology has entered a big-data era. Processing power and data storage are virtually free. A hand-held device, the iPhone, has computing power that shames the 1970s-era IBM mainframe. The Internet is evolving into the "cloud"—a network of thousands of data centers any one of which makes a 1990 supercomputer look antediluvian. From social media to medical revolutions anchored in metadata analyses, wherein astronomical feats of data crunching enable heretofore unimaginable services and businesses, we are on the cusp of unimaginable new markets.
The Internet is celebrated as a machine that runs by itself, but this is not quite accurate. The Web does have oversight, just not by any multinational organization, national government or regulator. It's run by a small, private, nonprofit institution that is rarely in the news. This week will be an exception. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, known by the acronym Icann, is accepting applications for an infinite number of new Web addresses, known as top-level domain names. In addition to the existing two dozen suffixes, such as .com, .org and .net, Icann will let people apply, for a fee of $185,000, to create whatever suffixes they like, which will be reviewed and go live next year. Expect .hitachi and .paris, for example. Icann is also adding local-language Web names in non-Latin characters such as Chinese and Cyrillic.
The corporate e-mail server is down, but work doesn't grind to a halt. Everybody just switches to Gmail, Skype, or BB Chat to get around the inconvenience. For the most part, they're using these consumer technologies at work already — often because they're better than anything the IT department can provide.
Thinking back, I've always considered news as a dialogue rather than a monologue. I've preferred conversations to speeches. That said, I don't often hang out on street corners or in neighborhood bars partaking in random conversations about the weather or the Mets. I like my conversations curated.
Cisco has created a technology news site called “The Network,” featuring stories on such topics as video, collaboration, core networks, data center, Cisco culture and social media.
How a tiny piece of software created by a few Google engineers is ushering in the mobile revolution and reshaping the fortunes of the world's biggest tech companies.
It sounds absurd, but you can't argue that in the marketing industry we're seeing very real progress toward removing humanity from the process of making and placing brand communication.
The one constant in the marketing industry is that it is ever-changing. Over time marketing has faced countless challenges, be it from disruptive new technologies, consumer empowerment or ongoing advertiser trust issues. As a result, the marketing community continuously adapts to achieve its goal to successfully connect with consumers. The following 10 examples show the marketing industry's strength in turning challenges into opportunities for growth.
We have entered a Golden Age of marketing technology. There are now thousands of software applications built for nearly every aspect of marketing. We have more choices, with more capabilities, at more attractive economics, than ever before. Yet most marketing organizations today lack the technical leadership to fully harness this power.
At TEDxBerlin, Fabian Hemmert demos one future of the mobile phone -- a shape-shifting and weight-shifting handset that "displays" information nonvisually, offering a delightfully intuitive way to communicate.
Following the first panel on sustainability in the fashion business at the PSFK Salon: Innovation In Fashion, the second panel touched on technology that is affecting marketing in retail spaces. The panelists shared some of their insights around mobile apps and their influence on purchase decisions.
Howard W. Buffett, director of agricultural development at the U.S. Department of Defense and grandson of businessman and philanthropist Warren Buffett, delivered a powerful speech at the Mashable & 92Y Social Good Summit. Buffett shared his reasons for why we need to redefine innovation and reintroduce humanity – taking a personal interest in, and action on behalf of the people and causes we care about.
The past few years have seen some spectacular changes in the technology that embeds itself in our daily lives. The perfect storm of social media, smart phones and location awareness is only beginning to take full effect. We’ve gazed into crystal ball and considered how we think these technologies will combine to become such an established fabric of our lives that in the next few years what we’ve written here won’t be considered amazing at all.
Samuel J. Palmisano, I.B.M.’s chief executive, doesn’t jet around the world to make an appearance every time the technology giant wins a services contract. But the announcement Friday morning in Nairobi is different, says I.B.M. I.B.M. will supply the computing technology and services for an upgraded cellphone network across 16 nations in sub-Saharan Africa. Its customer is India’s largest cellphone operator, Bharti Airtel, which paid $9 billion a few months ago for most of the African assets of Kuwait’s Mobile Telecommunications Company, or Zain.
If you pull out your smartphone and click the button that says “locate me” on your mapping application, you will see a small dot appear in the middle of your screen. That’s you. If you start walking down the street in any direction, the whole screen will move right along with you, no matter where you go. This is a dramatic change from the print-on-paper world, where maps and locations are based around places and landmarks, not on you or your location. In the print world people don’t go to the store and say, “Oh, excuse me, can I buy a map of me?” Instead, they ask for a map of New York, or Amsterdam, or the subway system. You and I aren’t anywhere to be seen on these maps. The maps are locations that we fit into.
It used to be that designers showed clothes at Fashion Week to court the influential few, mainly the buyers and fashion editors who determined what styles would be hot in retail stores a season away. But now they are starting to sidestep the middleman. Web technology, and a desire to entice luxury shoppers who are suddenly spending again, are spurring designers to fling open the tent flaps to their runway shows and appeal directly to shoppers. Call it public-access high fashion.
As I mentioned a few weeks back, I'm reading Nicholas Carr's book "The Shallows." His basic premise is that our current environment, with its deluge of available information typically broken into bite-sized pieces served up online, is "dumbing down" our brains. We no longer read, we scan. We forego the intellectual heavy lifting of prolonged reading for the more immediate gratification of information foraging. We're becoming a society of attention-deficit dolts. It's a grim picture, and Carr does a good job of backing up his premise. I've written about many of these issues in the past. And I don't dispute the trends that Carr chronicles (at length). But is Carr correct is saying that online is dulling our intellectual capabilities, or is it just creating a different type of intelligence?
A Japanese resort town has created real-world getaway packages for men and their virtual schoolgirl dates. It’s weird and creepy, for sure, but it also demonstrates the power of virtual experience to be, as Dr. Eldon Tyrell once boasted, "more human than human."
Over the last five years, social media has evolved from a handful of communities that existed solely in a web browser to a multi-billion dollar industry that’s quickly expanding to mobile devices, driving major changes in content consumption habits and providing users with an identity and social graph that follows them across the web. With that framework in place, the next five years are going to see even more dramatic change. Fueled by advancements in underlying technology – the wires, wireless networks and hardware that make social media possible – a world where everything is connected awaits us. The result will be both significant shifts in our everyday lives and a changing of the guard in several industries that are only now starting to feel the impact of social media
Flashback to early 2001 and you might recall that America was blissfully ignorant about our national security. Terrorism was something that happened elsewhere, never on our shores. It didn't enter our mind such an event could happen here until a few dozen suicidal extremists found a weak link in our system, commandeered our airspace with simple box cutters and murdered thousands of innocent people. They forced us to think the unthinkable. Today I have an similar uneasy feeling about social networking and, to some degree, cloud computing. I believe that a Privacy 9-11 looms. I don't have evidence to support it. All I have is a bad vibe that too many people are apathetic about securing their privacy and this creates lots of weak links waiting to be exploited with digital box cutters. The risk of a Privacy 9-11 is not rooted in technology. Rather, it's about sociology.
Last year, MIT professor Andrew McAfee published a landmark book on the business use and impact of social software platforms titled Enterprise 2.0: New Collaborative Tools for Your Organization’s Toughest Challenges. The book is a collection of McAfee's research since the spring of 2006 when he coined the phrase Enterprise 2.0. Shorthand for enterprise social software, Enterprise 2.0 is the strategic integration of Web 2.0 technologies into an organization's intranet, extranet, and business processes. Those technologies, including wikis, blogs, prediction markets, social networks, microblogging, and RSS, have in turn been adopted by government agencies, a phenomenon that falls under the mantle of Gov 2.0. As the use of such technology has grown, Congress is now considering the risks and rewards of Web 2.0 for federal agencies.
About an hour south of Seoul, bulldozers are demolishing the last vacant factories at Samsung Electronics Co.’s Suwon campus, erasing signs that South Korea’s most valuable public company once made its headquarters in a smoke-fuming industrial complex. In their place are ice cream and pizza parlors, research labs and open space that’s been groomed as parks. Engineers in T-shirts play basketball on this sunny June morning before heading to their choice of nine cafeterias for a free lunch featuring Korean, Indian and Western dishes prepared to please employees from 50 countries. Women, who until recently were forced to wear conservative business suits and were absent from top jobs, stroll through gardens in slacks and formerly banned open-toed shoes, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its October issue. The 28,000 engineers, designers and marketers who arrive by bicycle or one of 556 company-funded buses at this bustling center could be in Silicon Valley or a technology park in India except for a sign at the eight-lane entrance: Samsung Digital City. The campus, along with required English lessons for managers and research into everything from solar cells to humanoid robots, are part of Samsung Electronics’ mission to vault itself into the ranks of the world’s great innovators and become one of the top five brands.
It's Steven Spielberg's futuristic "Minority Report" come to life. Marketing companies are experimenting with a new wave of digital technologies to pitch to consumers while they shop: interactive dressing-room mirrors, kiosks with virtual customer-service representatives, and shopping carts and digital scanners that offer personalized discounts. These futuristic technologies are among the interactive tools on display at Interpublic Group of Cos.' new retail center at the advertising company's Media Lab in Los Angeles.
Facebook is now worth as much as $33.7bn based on secondary market transactions, giving the privately held company an implied valuation greater than the market capitalisations of publicly traded internet stalwarts such as Ebay and Yahoo. Common stock in Facebook is trading as high as $76 a share as investors scramble to get a piece of the company before it files for an initial public offering, which analysts say could be the biggest technology IPO since Google’s $1.67bn flotation in 2004.
Today Qualcomm is formally announcing the launch of Qualcomm Services Labs (QSL), an incubation program that is a wholly owned subsidiary of Qualcomm. QSL is meant to serve as a platform to fund, commercialize and launch innovative consumer-focused mobile services such as Neer, an application that cleverly interprets location-sharing for the more private types among us. Qilroy, Tapioca and Vive are three of the other mobile services and apps participating in the incubator program. Each has been selected for its potential to make an immediate impact on the market. As QSL services, each will also eventually become its own business entity or be integrated into an existing Qualcomm division.
The second move in about a year for a little-known data storage company highlights how big technology companies are scrambling to help their larger customers do more with the massive amounts of information they are collecting.
To some, Google has been looking a bit sallow lately. The stock is down. Where once everything seemed to go the company's way, along came Apple's iPhone, launching a new wave of Web growth on a platform that largely bypassed the browser and Google's search box. The "app" revolution was going to spell an end to Google's dominance of Web advertising. But that's all so six-months-ago. When a group of Journal editors sat down with Eric Schmidt on a recent Friday, Google's CEO sounded nothing like a man whose company was facing a midlife crisis, let alone intimations of mortality.
Advancing technologies and their swift adoption are upending traditional business models. Senior executives need to think strategically about how to prepare their organizations for the challenging new environment.
Today’s playlist is about toys that inspire learning, innovation — and of course fun! These are the toys of the technological age: they are alive, they think, they perform magic. What were your favorite toys as a kid (or an adult), and what did they inspire in you?
Americans are spending more on electronics like iPads and flat-screen televisions and less on durable goods like furniture, washing machines and lawn mowers, according to government data released Tuesday. The shift reflects a change in priorities for American consumers. After pouring money into all aspects of their homes during the previous decade, consumers are redirecting their purchases to eye-grabbing technology and socking away more of what's left over into savings. Apparel company executives are worried the lure of electronics will eat into their sales as the back-to-school season gets under way.
The first tenet of ANA's Marketer's Constitution is that "Marketing must become increasingly targeted, focused and personal." We all know that marketing works best when brands can have direct conversations with people. It works even better when those conversations are with audiences that want to hear specific product and service messaging. The simplicity and elegance of this objective is finally becoming reality.
More than an analog vs. digital debate (we doubt anyone will trade their smartphone for one of the earliest brick-sized mobile phones), it may simply be driven by a desire to recreate the feeling of a memory, vs. such a perfect, shiningly new image. Will that yearning replace the desire for the highest technical features? We doubt it.
If there was a single familiar refrain from digital shops over the past decade, it was that their older, traditional-agency brethren "didn't get it" when it came to digital. But lately, that widely acknowledged gap has begun to narrow to the point where "older" agencies can claim more success in some areas of digital marketing.
They see life as a game. They enjoy nothing more than outsmarting the system. They don’t trust politicians, medias, nor brands. They see corporations as inefficient and plagued by an outmoded hierarchy. Even if they harbor little hope of doing better than their parents, they don’t see themselves as unhappy. They belong to a group — several, actually — they trust and rely upon. “They”, are the Digital Natives.
Google has invested billions of dollars building dozens of different products across a wide swath of the technology industry, from productivity tools to mobile phones to e-commerce. As a result, many tech companies large and small have to think about a "Google plan" -- what to do if Google suddenly gets into their line of business? It's the same way companies used to worry about Microsoft during the last tech boom.
"Farmville now outpaces Twitter." "One in four people plays social games online." "More than $1.8 billion worth of virtual goods has been sold in virtual worlds." These are just some of the headlines we see today about the popularity of online gaming, but what does this all mean for Gen Y and for brands?
Those of you who are Star Trek fans would have felt right at home with me the other day. I went to check out the new Microsoft store which just opened at Fashion Valley mall here in San Diego because I wanted to do a compare/contrast to the Apple store in the same mall. My fellow fans would have felt at home in the Microsoft store not because it was a cool look at the future of culture and technology, but rather because it seemed to be the Mirror Universe.
Amazon.com Inc. said it reached a milestone, selling more e-books than hardbacks over the past three months. But publishers said it is still too early to gauge for the entire industry whether the growth of e-books is cannibalizing sales of paperback books, a huge and crucial market.
For every Intel that intentionally crafts its trajectory as a brand rather than as a mere product, there are dozens of brands such as LYCRA, KONI, and Dell that have developed a deep resonance with customers more by accident than strategic intent. To judge by their websites and communications, the owners of these brands are well aware of what their products do for customers, but unaware of what they mean to customers.
Get ready: Nielsen is once again trying to challenge one of the industry's oldest chestnuts -- that consumers over 50 aren't worth the expense to target. The measurement-and-data giant is out to prove that it is advertisers' continued focus on younger customers that's out of date, thanks to a massive and aging population of baby boomers as well as changes in consumers' lifestyle sparked by new technology.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs addressed these issues Friday from the company's Cupertino, Calif., headquarters. His take? There's a small problem, but one that was blown out of proportion by the press. For once, it may be hard to argue with Apple's best salesperson. What are the ramifications for a brand that rarely deals with a crisis on this level? Experts agree that Apple will be just fine.
Cisco Systems is enjoying prominent screen time within news programming on the business-news cable channel CNBC, which is using Cisco's TelePresence videoconferencing technology to snare a wider array of talking heads to discuss on the big stories of the day. Cisco is not paying CNBC to use TelePresence screens on air, according to CNBC and NBC Universal executives; CNBC is actually leasing the equipment for its editorial and technology operations teams.
It’d be an understatement to say that this has been a terrible week for Apple, and we haven’t even reached the halfway point. On Monday, Consumer Reports dealt a devastating blow to the iPhone 4 when it declined to recommend the device to consumers due to the antenna reception problem. Consumer Reports concluded from its tests that cell reception is indeed lost if you cover up the small gap between the two metal bands on the bottom right corner of the phone. The media quickly picked up the story.
Executives at the company formerly known as Lucky Goldstar were more familiar with the old ways of doing things, despite the manufacturer's transition to the more premium LG -- as in "Life's Good" -- branding in the U.S. in 2004. Those outside the marketing department frequently asked him how much new marketing ideas would cost. Instead of appeasing them with a price tag, Mr. Lee, VP-global brand marketing, LG Electronics home entertainment, offered insight. He told them to think about the strategy behind the marketing before worrying about cost.
Phenomenal phones are flooding the market. In the past few weeks the new iPhone 4, the HTC 4G EVO, Droid X and HTC HD2 debuted, all phones with fast processors and big screens. But these new phones come at a cost – a recurring monthly charge. So before you sign a contract for two years of payments, which phone is really the bargain?
Let's step back a moment and just admit it: Location is interesting when it's interesting ... but usually it's not. Sorry, Twitter, but the vast majority of people tweeting about the World Cup weren't actually in the stadium.
Burt’s presentation at Cannes elaborated on their experiences working with some of the world’s top agencies to change how they make and measure large scale, digital advertising – and how drastic improvements in ad effectiveness can be achieved using existing, proven technologies.
Marketing of any innovative technologies always encounters one big problem, they are being compared with an older generation of technology and although usually do better in many fronts such as performance and features, there are always those who wonder if the analog quality is better than digital.
After plenty of missteps in the retail world, Disney is finally generating positive buzz, unveiling its new prototype just outside Los Angeles. The new Disney Store lets kids build toy custom cars inside, conjure up princesses in magical mirrors, and follow trails of pixie dust; an additional 19 newly designed stores are scheduled to open throughout the rest of the year. "Disney is setting a new standard for the specialty retail category by integrating robust technology and creative store planning to make each visit customizable and that much more memorable," Jim Fielding, president of Disney Store Worldwide, says in a statement. "This is truly an immersive, one-of-a-kind retail experience for children and families that only Disney could deliver."
On Friday, Apple said it would fix the software of the iPhone 4 to address the so-called Death Grip problem. It was the first explanation the company has offered of why holding the phone a certain way may cause the bars displaying reception strength to drop in number, and calls to be lost. In a Web site post, Apple said the problem was not with the antenna, but rather with how the software calculated reception strength to display as bars on the phone.
Facebook is testing a new technology it says will save its members lots of time and effort: face detection for easy cataloging of people that appear in pictures. It sounds neat, but is this going to turn into Facebook's next privacy nightmare?
The more Apple customers pelt Steve Jobs' in-box, the more he seems to respond. But unlike the last flurry of e-mails that were made public on iPhone and iPad issues, this time Jobs is apparently expounding on why Blu-ray won't be coming to Macs. According to the MacRumors fan site, which posted an e-mail exchange, one of its readers e-mailed the Apple CEO to ask why a Blu-ray drive didn't make its way to the company's newly updated Mac Mini.
I've just gone through a very lengthy and painful technology transfer, and I think my takeaway is this: instead of making life easier for customers, maybe a viable brand loyalty strategy is to make it harder for them? I know it sounds counterintuitive but what if marketers chose to deliver brand "engagement" as habit, routine, and as something so extensively embedded in customers' lives that it wouldn't be worth it -- or even consciously imaginable -- to ever change?
In what may be one of the fastest launch-to-failure paths ever taken by a major marketer, Microsoft's Kin, the company's first phone product, is being discontinued just six weeks after its May 13 launch. As first reported by Gizmodo, the phone's marketing and product development teams are being shifted to work on the launch of the Windows Phone 7.
Travelers on American Airlines who come and go through Terminal 8 at John F. Kennedy International Airport are finding something different from the usual newsstands, duty-free shops and mall-like stores: a multimedia installation sponsored by I.B.M. The installation, which went live on Friday, is 12 feet long and 8 feet high. It is scheduled to remain in the terminal for the next three months.
When it comes to mobile, the ad industry has seemed stuck in its own version of Waiting for Godot. Each year for the past decade, the industry has hyped mobile’s great potential, only to face myriad technical and business obstacles. Now, thanks to advancements by Apple and innovations by Google, mobile has arrived as a truly effective platform for brands.
The first of Apple's iAds are expected to start popping up on iPhones later this week, but don't expect all the marketers that have committed to the platform to be there. A check-in with declared iAd advertisers found that many are still in the early stages of flushing out concepts and creative. Some are weeks -- perhaps months -- away from having an iAd in the system. What are the i-advertisers up to? Here's a look at some of those willing to share.
Despite the thick, stagnant heat cloaking Apple’s boxy flagship store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, hundreds of people were anxiously waiting in line in the hopes of being among the first to purchase a shiny new iPhone 4. The enthusiasm for Apple’s fourth-generation iPhone isn’t relegated to New York. Damon Darlin, the New York Times technology editor, said that by 6:30 a.m in a chilly and foggy San Francisco, two lines wrapped around the block at the store on Stockton St. Reuters is reporting that Apple stores in Japan are in selling briskly, with at least one store completely sold out of stock.
On Wednesday, May 26, 2010, just after 2:30 p.m., the unthinkable happened: Apple became the largest company in the tech universe, and, after ExxonMobil, the second largest in the nation. For months, its market capitalization had hovered just under that of Microsoft -- the giant that buried Apple and then saved it from almost certain demise with a $150 million investment in 1997. Now Microsoft gets in line with Google, Amazon, HTC, Nokia, and HP as companies that Apple seems bent on sidelining. The one-time underdog from Cupertino is the biggest music company in the world and soon may rule the market for e-books as well. What's next? Farming? Toothbrushes? Fixing the airline industry? Right now, it seems as if Apple could do all that and more. The company's surge over the past few years has resembled a space-shuttle launch -- a series of rapid, tightly choreographed explosions that leave everyone dumbfounded and smiling. The whole thing has happened so quickly, and seemed so natural, that there has been little opportunity to understand what we have been witnessing.
After accusing HTC of infringing on 20 of its iPhone patents in March, Apple has expanded its suit. This week Apple tacked on two more patents that it claims the Taiwanese handset manufacturer is in violation of using, according to a legal filing in U.S. District Court in Delaware. The newly added patents both concern the same type of technology, which Apple lists as a "system for real-time adaptation to changes in display configuration."
Tesla's Motors' prospects for becoming a 21st-century auto powerhouse have as much to do with its Silicon Valley culture as with its technology, CEO Elon Musk told investors. During a video recording prepared in advance of Tesla's initial public offering, which could come as early as next week, Musk touted the combination of the company's auto industry and Silicon Valley roots as a key competitive advantage.
I will try to demonstrate here the manner in which social acts and communication result in mediated social realities. And suggest that the relational connections and value-added associations which are the byproduct of social media use create a marketplace of content whose highest value, individually motivated subjective choices, we are only beginning to capture and mine.
Apple promotes developers behind apps for Disney, Pandora, games and other content on its just-released iPhone iOS 4 and still-hot iPad (3 million sold in 80 days) devices. With Conde Nast today announcing that its shuttered Gourmet magazine is being revived as a digital-only brand, Gourmet Live, optimized for the iPad, will other old-school media brands skip the Web to head straight to the iPad?
When the big push towards alternative power for vehicles first started, many enthusiasts feared that electric and green vehicles would mean the end of the performance car era. Thankfully, there are several carmakers who are intent on proving that green and performance can live on hand in hand.
My latest Apple-aholic's post. On Apple's relentless revitalisation with the iPhone 4. Video of it here. This will help them grown even further, and challenge RIM/Blackberry for Smartphone leadership. Latest data shows they now have a 28% of the US smartphone market. And in fact, they are already the leader brand in the US in terms of smartphone browser usage (how much time people spend web surfing on their phone).
UPCs, those bar codes featured on packaged goods, are turning into an unlikely new media opportunity as Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Kraft, Campbell Soup, Procter & Gamble and others link with mobile technology providers. Proponents of the technology say it provides a new stream of consumer communication, but critics say it will be of limited interest. At the moment, many major packaged-goods marketers are dipping their toes in the water with low-key pilot programs.
Steve Jobs denied that Apple is developing a search engine when he was asked on stage at the D8 conference recently - not that that tells us anything about what's really going on in Cupertino's labs. But the speculation persists not about if Apple will move into search, but when, how and why.
At the Center for Future Storytelling, researchers envision how technology can give people more control over TV programs they encounter and stories they follow.
John Ross, president of the research and development arm of Interpublic Group's Mediabrands, thinks retailers have a big problem. Their circulars, which worked in the offline world for decades, haven't caught up with consumer habits online.
What is the end of the world? For some, it would be dedicating your life to appear on a TV game show. For others, it would be creating a machine that can prove itself better than anyone who dedicates their life to appear on a TV game show. For myself, it seems clear that IBM has created something that will be the apogee of appointment television by honing a supercomputer to compete with the finest mailmen, insurance brokers, and nurses to prove that it can, well, find the question in the answer.
Jon Kolko is the associate creative director at Frog Design, a global innovation and design firm, and founder of the Austin Center for Design, a school devoted to using design as a means of social change. Kolko, 32, has worked with clients such as Ford, IBM and Bristol-Myers Squibb helping them work through business problems and technological constraints through design. "In specific, I solve problems for large companies," says Kolko, "in general, I slowly shift behavior in culture and society."
For many marketers, advertising in stores is an increasingly important way to influence shoppers at the so-called moment of truth, as they finally make up their minds about which brands of soup, soap or cereal to buy — or not buy. Now, a company is hoping to bring commercials to the retail point of purchase on screens that will be attached to shelves and above aisles.
People worldwide will be looking toward digital technology -- particularly that which uses the Internet -- to serve their entertainment and media needs, proving once again the future is indeed digital. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers' most recent "Global Entertainment and Media Outlook," expenditures in those categories are expected to increase to $1.7 trillion from by 2014 (from $1.3 trillion), with a compound annual growth rate of 5%. In the U.S., such expenditures will increase about 4% annually to $517 billion by 2014 (from $425 billion).
It's early days for advertising on Apple's iPad, but advertisers running campaigns on the device over the last four weeks say people are watching -- and a lot more than your typical rich-media web ad. Much of that can probably be explained by the fact that the iPad's early adopters find just about everything on the device -- including the ads -- a curiosity. The question is whether those rates will stay high once the novelty of the device wears off.
In Hollywood these days, the push to put out movies in 3D is on. In part, it's a way to get some additional marketing buzz about a film, but it's also a source of additional revenue because theaters charge a premium for showings in that format. At Pixar Animation Studios, those rationales are not lost on executives, and when "Toy Story 3" comes out on Friday it will be offered both in 3D and the traditional 2D format. Indeed, last year Pixar worked to build up interest in the new film by promoting a special double-feature of "Toy Story" and "Toy Story 2," both in 3D.
Years ago, business technology was driven by corporations that needed Excel spreadsheets to crunch sales numbers. Now it's also driven by consumers who want to find the nearest happy hour on an iPhone. As Microsoft starts pitching a new version of its Office software to consumers Tuesday, that consumer is riding a power trip in the tech world, driving workplace use of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, devices such as the iPad and iPhone, and free Web apps such as Google Docs.
If you’re reading this blog post on a computer, mobile phone or e-reader, please stop what you’re doing immediately. You could be making yourself stupid. And whatever you do, don’t click on the links in this post. They could distract you from the flow of my beautiful prose and narrative. This is the alarm currently being rung by some in the bell towers of technology.
Walt Disney Co.'s ESPN network has convinced three major advertisers to produce expensive 3-D commercials for its new sports channel debuting Friday with the 2010 World Cup broadcast. It is the first major test of marketers' appetite for 3-D pitches. Procter & Gamble Co., Sony Corp. and Disney's Pixar will all experiment with spots on the new 3-D sports channel. ESPN has previously aired several 3-D telecasts, including the Masters Tournament.
Some of the most familiar names in the restaurant world are moving into the grocer's freezer. P.F. Chang's, Burger King and Jamba Juice all have recently licensed their names for new products to be sold in supermarkets. They join other high-profile restaurant chains including Marie Callender's, Starbucks, T.G.I. Friday's and California Pizza Kitchen, which already have substantial presence at the grocery store.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs' unveiling Monday of the next-generation iPhone — it's thinner, has a higher-resolution display and comes with video chat — may have lacked a single "Wow!" moment. But coupled with the launch of a new operating system and mobile advertising service, the message to competitors was unambiguous: Catch us if you can.
CEO Steve Jobs also unveiled some new metrics. Among them: Apple expects to control 48% of the mobile display ad market in the second half of 2010; it already has $60 million in commitments for its mobile iAd format; and it has paid out more than $1 billion in revenue to app developers. Here are some takeaways from Mr. Jobs' presentation at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference today.
Many details of Apple Inc.'s new iPhone are already widely known, but expectations are high for the fourth-generation smartphone's official unveiling this week at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference. As he has in the past, Chief Executive Steve Jobs will be kicking off the annual event with a keynote talk on Monday. But unlike in previous years, attendees already know at least part of what to expect, thanks to a report in April by Gawker Media LLC's Gizmodo blog, which published photos and descriptions of a next-generation iPhone found in a Silicon Valley bar.
AT&T Inc.’s decision to scrap unlimited data plans for new customers has prompted a backlash from bloggers and consumers like Danette Collins. “As soon as I can get out of the AT&T plan, I’ll switch to Verizon,” said Collins, a finance and operations manager in Portland, Oregon, who has AT&T service for her iPhone. “They’ve just shot themselves in the foot.”
Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Steve Ballmer on Thursday sought to strongly counter the idea, echoed all week at the Wall Street Journal's All Things Digital technology conference, that the era of PCs is waning. "I think people are going to be using PCs in greater and greater numbers for many years to come," said the chief of the company with the most to lose.
Motorola has gone into high gear for National Safe Driving Month, and if you live in one of four U.S. cities you might even be seeing them on the roads. Earlier this week, Motorola launched a free mobile app to decipher the country's various laws about cell phone calling and texting while behind the wheel. This weekend it's kicking off its "Get Smarter" campaign on the streets in New York, Chicago, Minneapolis, and San Francisco where locals will be offered lifts in super-compact Smart ForTwo cars where they can get a product demo of Motorola hands-free gadgets like the H17txt, a headset that reads your text messages out to you in real time and lets you set an auto-response to let your contacts know that you're driving.
Sprint today unveiled an ad campaign for the HTC EVO, a mobile phone that uses 4G high-speed wireless technology. The effort kicks off with an ad dubbed "Firsts," which makes the claim that Sprint is the first national cellular carrier to offer a 4G phone. In 30- and 60-second TV spots, a voiceover takes viewers through a timeline of "firsts," like the first train, the first airplane, and the first space shuttle, among other inventions. The technologies advance until the HTC EVO is revealed. The voiceover concludes: "First isn't later, it's now. What will you do first with EVO, the first 4G phone?" Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, handles.
Market research firm Harris Interactive has launched Research Lifestreaming, a research platform that looks to give clients a full view of panel members’ online and offline lives by connecting participants’ social media activities — collected and categorized from sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn — with survey responses and behavioral data. The idea is to link traditional panelist profiles to panelist social networking updates.
It was with delight that I read these words on Thursday: "The proposed IndexedDB standard, which provides a local database store for Web applications, will be supported by Firefox 4." The statement appears on Mozilla's new Firefox 4 for developers site, boding well for those of us who use the Web a lot: the IndexedDB interface gives Web applications a way to work even without a network connection.
In the high-stakes race to catch Apple Inc.'s hit iPad, the Android operating system that Google Inc. popularized in cellphones is emerging as an early front-runner. Tablet-style computers—a moribund hardware category until the iPad started generating buzz earlier this year—are expected to be a big topic at next week's Computex trade show, a major forum for product announcements by manufacturers of personal computers.
"TV meets Web. Web meets TV." This is the tagline that Internet giant Google has given to its new software-based television platform called Google TV, described as the blending of the best of both TV and Web experiences. Realizing that TV still has the majority of the consumer eyeballs, Google is trying something new by extending its reach in cross-platform content--in this case, bringing Web, gaming, online video, and social media to the set top box and/or television set. According to Google, millions of "channels" of entertainment will now be easily maneuverable, seamless and searchable--in one device. Google has also challenged Web developers to start creating new apps using the Android open-source platform.
We’re still here at the first TechCrunch Disrupt conference in New York. Up on stage right now is an interesting group of people discussing how brands can best engage with digital audiences in this day and age. This is an overview of what Judy Hu, Global Executive Director of Advertising & Branding at GE, Brian Pokorny (CEO of dailybooth), Christopher ‘moot’ Poole of 4chan fame and Andrey Ternovskiy, who started Chatroulette, had to say about that.
In the massive new Barnes & Noble superstore on Manhattan's Upper East Side, generous display space is devoted to baby blankets, Art Deco flight clocks, stationery and adult games like Risk and Stratego. The eclectic merchandise, which has nothing to do with books, may be a glimpse into the future of Barnes & Noble Inc., the nation's largest book chain. Electronic books are still in their infancy, comprising an estimated 3% to 5% of the market today. But they are fast accelerating the decline of physical books, forcing retailers, publishers, authors and agents to reinvent their business models or be painfully crippled.
Google opened up an entirely new store of inventory for advertisers today with Google TV, an interactive platform that collapses the wall between TV and internet in the living room. The service, created with hardware partners Sony, Logitech and Intel, will launch this fall on TVs, set-top boxes and Blu-ray players.
Having already taken over the way consumers use the Internet to find things, and while currently making a run for how consumers use their mobile phones, Google is now taking aim at consumers' living rooms with the announcement of its Google TV, an application intended to bring Internet functionality and video to the television set. Announced at a developers' conference on Thursday, the new application has a broad array of partners enlisted by Google to bring it to market. Among them: Intel, Sony, Logitech, Best Buy and Dish Network.
One of the projections many folks had for this year was the growth of mobile applications that could use browsers, cameras, GPS and compass built into the current generation of phones to layer data on the view from a phone’s camera. The so-called augmented reality this produces is something that is amazing to witness and will become standard fare soon.
Google is a technology company. This doesn't mean it will abandon search. But after 20 years in technology and marketing, I know the signs and can say unequivocally that the company has crossed over. It reminds me a little of Microsoft's climb to the top, complete with regulatory issues and privacy concerns. The attention, this week anyway, turns toward applications, specifically those built on Android. And while those applications could integrate with search, the technology is the star of the show.
The internet changes over time. That the technology has evolved is obvious. But how we use the internet is also changing. So we have two conceptual distinctions — technology and people — that we frequently conflate into one idea of the internet. This post is about teasing apart the objective and subjective dimensions of social media, to examine what’s behind the relational economy we now live in, and its particular mode of production. All commerce and much personal and social utility implied by use of social media owes to the subjective value added to what was, previously, a mode of production of information (publishing).
Listen up, journalists — your cellphone is more than just a channel by which to reach sources, your editor and sustenance (you have the local Thai joint on speed dial, don’t front): It’s an essential tool for both local news-gathering and dissemination.
Sometime early next week when you walk into the electronics section of your local Wal-Mart, you're likely to notice some changes. More big name brands of TVs, Blu-ray players, smartphones, and other gadgets will begin to populate the store shelves as the retailing giant tries to expand its reach and customer base even further. The new products will include the latest in TV technology, meaning displays with LED backlighting and Internet connections, Web-connected Blu-ray players, and home networking equipment. There's also going to be more emphasis on getting the trendiest smartphones from carriers on the first day they're available elsewhere, and more accessible mobile broadband plans.
Global innovation firm Frog Design recently brought designers, futurists and journalists together to envision the future of computing in 2020. In 2020, the computer is not only incorporated into every aspect of our lives, but should become an integral part of ourselves. With this in mind, the workshop aimed to imagine how future technology would influence the key areas of Social, Travel, Commerce, Healthcare, and Media.
Verizon Wireless is working with Google Inc. on a tablet computer, the carrier's chief executive, Lowell McAdam, said Tuesday, as the company endeavors to catch up with iPad host AT&T Inc. in devices that connect to wireless networks. The work is part of a deepening relationship between the largest U.S. wireless carrier by subscribers and Google, which has carved out a space in mobile devices with its Android operating system. Verizon Wireless last year heavily promoted the Motorola Droid, which runs Google's software.
Yes, marketers have long acknowledged that teens wield plenty of buying power. And, yes, they have given plenty of thought to their technological prowess. But Marian Salzman, president of Euro RSCG Worldwide PR North America, tells Marketing Daily that most executives are missing the bigger picture -- that these teens wield far more influence than they are given credit for.
At its recent F8 developer conference, Facebook announced a raft of new developments which have been causing ripples in the worlds of technology and marketing ever since. The one that arguably has the biggest implications is the roll-out of social plug-ins and the Open Graph API (you can read my thoughts on that here if you’re interested.) However it’s another announcement – the ditching of the term “fans”, which could have a bigger impact on advertisers.
Starting today, Square aims to make credit card sales as easy for retailers with an iPhone as it is for some dude selling a couch on Craigslist. With Square, anyone can accept credit or debit card payments by downloading the app and plugging a little plastic cube into the headphone jack of an iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, or Android phone. After a quick swipe of the card through the reader, the merchant turns the device over to the customer to sign his or her name on the touchscreen using a finger instead of a pen. The customer can add a tip, either by percentage or a particular amount, and then enters their phone number or email address. In the best case, the receipt message will buzz in the customer's pocket as an email or SMS text message while walking away with their purchase.
Media marketing company Simulmedia, has raised $8 million in a Series B round of financing led by Time Warner Investments with existing investors Avalon Ventures and Union Square Ventures also participating in the round. This brings the company’s total funding up to $12 million. Simulmedia’s data-focused TV marketing system helps television companies improve ratings by lifting the effectiveness of their TV promotions. Launched in 2009, Simulmedia promises 50 to 350% more viewers per program promotion spot with its targeted marketing campaigns. The company was founded by Dave Morgan, who created ad networks Tacoda (which was acquired by AOL in 2007) and Real Media.
To truly capture the State and Future of Twitter and all that was revealed during its first official conference, requires additional time and space. In Part One, we examined the sociological impact of Twitter on society, the true size of the network, as well as equally exploring its challenges and opportunities. In Part Two, we’ll review and interpret streams, interest graphs, and Twitters new advertising platform.
Thanks to Internet-equipped smartphones, shoppers are increasingly using software applications to check prices at other stores without leaving the mall. Now retailers are trying to use technology to fight back.
Own an iPad? Downloaded the eBay app? You should. It is by far the best way to experience eBay. Watch Movies? Seen the IMDB App? It is so much better than the website. Use Twitter? 81,43% chance you are not using Twitter.com but an App. It seems that more and more Apps are replacing websites in a time when more and more applications are moving to the web. What exactly do we want? Email went from the Application to the Cloud with Gmail, and we love it. The same for Flickr for photos and Google Docs for documents. At the same time Twitter started out as a website but quickly moved to applications on multiple platforms. It is clear that just moving everything to the web isn’t the ultimate solution for everything. That eBay and IMDB app are clear examples.
Technology bloggers were riveted over the weekend as photos of what may be a yet unannounced next generation iPhone began circulating. Pictures of the device first appeared on the technology blog Engadget. And now the product itself has fallen into the hands of Gizmodo where it has been prodded and ripped apart as if it were little green aliens from another planet. Gizmodo editors are not saying how they acquired the device.
Those of us who've been in the interactive biz for a while have grown accustomed to all the grumbling about Google. You've heard all these grumbles and perhaps grumbled yourself that Google is too big, its ad systems are too opaque, it's just a one-trick pony, it's arrogant, monopolistic, bent on dominating the world, crushing Madison Avenue, sucking all the profit out of e-tailing, etc. (Did I miss anything? Feel free to add your grumble to the comment area below).
Ah, the cloud — these days, Silicon Valley can’t seem to get its head out of it. The idea, though typically expressed in ways larded with jargon, is actually rather simple. Cloud providers, large ones like Amazon, Microsoft, Google and AT&T, and smaller ones like Rackspace and Terremark, aim to convince other companies to give up building and managing their own data centers and to use their computer capacity instead.
With the aid of a US$1.8 million grant from the Department of Labor, they studied the way young people learn in a world of video games and smart phones. In collaboration with MIT; Virginia Tech; and the Institute of the Future, they build a high-tech, next-generation training facility called UPS Integrad. This facility offers 3-D simulations and webcasts along with traditional classroom instruction. Trainees are recorded to show them how they look in action. UPS teach them to drive in a replica outdoor city called Clarkville that has real streets, street signs, sidewalks, and simulated commercial and residential delivery and pickup sites.
Call him Google's brain. Officially, Hal Varian is the search titan's chief economist, but he is perhaps more accurately its high priest of big-think innovation. Academics, entrepreneurs, Googlers and the like have pored over Mr. Varian's numerous articles espousing the company's ambitions, from digitizing libraries to the nuances of copyright. Mr. Varian, who will discuss the online future of information and data as a speaker at Ad Age's Digital Conference today, recently wrote about the value of auction pricing and audience measurement, but don't let these seemingly simple topics fool you. He sees them as an obvious outgrowth of a larger idea: computer mediation.
The first time I noticed the word "Content" had changed, I was being ushered into the inner sanctum of Zappos by a woman answering phones in an Elvis Costume. Why is there a content department at Zappos? Don't they sell shoes and other nifty stuff? Well, it turns out, at Zappos the folks who make images, text and product information for the Web site are working with Zappos "Content." Makes sense, in a Zappos kind of way, I thought at the time. But in the eight months since that visit, the world has changed. All of us, it now appears, are in the Content business.
Nintendo Co., projecting the first drop in annual sales of its DS handheld player, said the forthcoming 3-D model will be the company’s biggest portable product introduction since 2004. “We have ideas of what we want to bring to the consumer that we can’t do with the current” DS model, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime said in an interview yesterday. “The Nintendo 3DS for us is our next handheld platform.”
Bill Gross, the serial entrepreneur who pioneered search advertising, is unveiling a venture on Monday that aims to make money by allowing people using Twitter to bid on key words to give their posts top ranking. Called TweetUp, the service will also organize the posts according to their popularity as measured by how often readers repost them and click on links they contain.
Advanced technology. Ideas that promise to revolutionize the way businesses are run. Out with the old, in with the new. Not sure how it'll make any money? Mere details. Get going or risk getting left behind. Great riches will come to those with the guts to throw caution and experience to the wind. CRM. Social media. We've seen the story before, and comparisons between the two phenomenon aren't new, either. But looking at things at the company level reveals a sobering possibility: we're about due for The Crash. The parallels are imprecise and sometimes the histories are outright apples and oranges. Get over it. If I'm even partially right, there's a reckoning a'coming.
Facebook's growth, which we already know is massive, is truly a global phenomenon, it turns out. And nations with the fastest membership growth rate are in South America, and Asia. Is Facebook becoming the global phone book? The data's surfaced at InsideFacebook.com, with detailed analysis of both the numerical growth rate of members per nation for the month of March 2010, and the penetration Facebook's achieving among each nation's population. Check out the table above--some of those figures should stagger you. Particularly the monthly growth rate for Indonesia, the Philippines, Mexico, Argentina, and Malaysia--each of which showed around a 10% jump in Facebook membership in a single month. That's frankly astonishing.
Renault, Nissan Motor and Daimler unveiled a strategic partnership Wednesday under which they will share small-car technology and power trains, an agreement they said would allow them to better compete in an environment where automakers are rapidly joining forces to cut costs.
Yelp has found a work-around for those wicked extortion rumors (and that pesky lawsuit). In a blog post with the no-nonsense headline "We're Increasing Transparency and Eliminating 'Favorite Review'," Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman explains its plans. The "transparency" part is met by allowing users to see reviews that would otherwise have been obscured by the review filtering system. Whereas the Favorite Review part sees this entire segment of the advertising package deleted from Yelp.
Enter iPad. The proponents call it a radical new dominant design for computing. Don't buy the hype, say the detractors: the iPad's just another land-grabbing walled garden. Both sides are right — and wrong. The iPad is a revolution waiting to happen. But the revolution's biggest roadblock is Apple itself.
Foursquare, the smartphone app that gives you points and badges for "checking in" at clubs and convenience stores, is about to reach the one-million-user mark. That's a big deal. But it's also a reminder that, try as we might to cover its every move, most of you haven't tried Foursquare yet. (Or you're using its scrappy archrival, Gowalla.) Here's what to expect when you do.
With a carrier-agnostic iPhone coming to market later this summer, the conventional wisdom is that AT&T will lose customers (its phone coverage and iPhone service haven't been stellar) and a lot of profits (some say the iPhone has been not only its brightest but biggest single source of earnings). I say it doesn't have to work out this way. There's a post-generification breakout strategy for AT&T, but it would require a massive rethinking of its brand and marketing communications. Here are the three core realizations the company's brain trust would have to reach.
Retailers have always been drawn to celebrities as vehicles for luring in teens and fashion minded consumers through their doors. This week Kmart announced a new line with Selena Gomez and Macy's release plans for a fashion line with Madonna and her teen daughter Lourdes. But most of the mass retailers have been slow to pick up and embrace the new breed of micro-celebrities and tech-savvy fashionistas. From teen fashion bloggers to YouTube "haul" stars to girls taking camera phone pics of outfits from the dressing rooms and sending to friends, technology is playing a huge role in fashion, and retailers need to start tuning in.
For the past week or so, I have been testing a sleek, light, silver-and-black tablet computer called an iPad. After spending hours and hours with it, I believe this beautiful new touch-screen device from Apple has the potential to change portable computing profoundly, and to challenge the primacy of the laptop. It could even help, eventually, to propel the finger-driven, multitouch user interface ahead of the mouse-driven interface that has prevailed for decades.
The next generation of Ford's Sync technology will turn its cars into rolling, talking, socially networked, cloud-connected supermachines. Introducing America's most surprising consumer-electronics company.
In 10 years of reviewing tech products for The New York Times, I’ve never seen a product as polarizing as Apple’s iPad, which arrives in stores on Saturday. “This device is laughably absurd,” goes a typical remark on a tech blog’s comments board. “How can they expect anyone to get serious computer work done without a mouse?” “This truly is a magical revolution,” goes another. “I can’t imagine why anyone will want to go back to using a mouse and keyboard once they’ve experienced Apple’s visionary user interface!” The haters tend to be techies; the fans tend to be regular people. Therefore, no single write-up can serve both readerships adequately. There’s but one solution: Write separate reviews for these two audiences.
Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that everyone is buzzing, blogging, tweeting, and talking about geolocation. Research firm Borrel forecasts that location-based mobile spending will hit $4 billion in 2015, an increase of nearly 12,000% from the $34 million spent in 2009. With highly anticipated location-centric announcements looming from both Facebook and Apple, the buzz over geolocation is not expected to diminish any time soon.
Given all the problems our world faces — in teaching, technology, health care, or finance — we need many more social entrepreneurs and change makers. Progress against these problems will be intolerably slow if only 3% to 5% of world's population thinks they can solve them. We need to teach our youth that they can help people; that they can lead; that they can make lasting and important change in their communities and across the globe. Society, employers, educators, and parents need to recognize that our kids' successful personal and social development must start with a mastery of several complex skills — empathy, teamwork, leadership, and change making.
Is it just me, or is social media getting a little creepy? This week I came across a couple of Web sites that, as well as being cute, funny, and a little bit different from the usual Facebook and Twitter offshoots. The first, SleepingTime, lets you find out when individual Twitterers sleep--and it's even compiled a list of the world's foremost tech experts' sleep/tweet times. So, if you want to know when you can rob Kara Swisher's house, or even shin up their drainpipe just to stand over her gently sibilating body, now you know when to do it.
Mark Rolston is Chief Creative Officer of Frog Design, creating Frog’s digital media group back in 1996. He’s fascinated by the intersection of technology with our perceived reality, and draws on examples from our own lives to illustrate how close we are to fully integrating the two. Big “whoa” factor.
As smartphones and handheld computers move into classrooms worldwide, we may be witnessing the start of an educational revolution. How technology could unleash childhood creativity -- and transform the role of the teacher.
Microsoft on Wednesday fired the latest salvo in its multiyear battle to crack the business telephony market. At the VoiceCon event in Orlando, Fla., Microsoft is demonstrating for the first time the next version of its Office Communications Server product. Code-named Office Communications Server "14," the new version is part of the Office 2010 wave of products and is due out before the end of the year.
Do you have friends or colleagues who prefer dealing with people rather than machines? My wife is like that. When she needs to know her bank balance or just get some cash, she will go out of her way to talk to a bank teller rather than fumble with an ATM; and she'll always push the button for a "live operator" on an automated telephone service menu. This doesn't mean that my wife is averse to technology — she uses email, iPods, cell phones, and the usual array of 21st century devices. But at the same time she is drawn to personal, human customer service and wants it to be part of her life.
This year will be a transitional year for marketing as we move toward an era that is "more immediate, more personal, more social, and more engaging," according to recently released survey data from marketing software developer Unica. Really what this means is that marketers have to be much more vigilant about managing their various presences, online and off, in order to stay on top of their brand. While there are more tools and channels for marketers than ever before, marketing budgets haven't risen dramatically. This means that marketers will need to use technology to leverage fast, cheap marketing channels.
Last Monday night in Austin, about 200 people were milling around the bar at the Driskill Hotel, an unofficial headquarters for the name-badge-infested horde attending the South by Southwest Music and Media Conference. And just after midnight, about 70 people in different parts of the gorgeous relic of a bar stood up and began moving quickly toward the exit. Where were we all going? To the CollegeHumor party around the corner. How did we know it was time to go there? Because our smartphones told us so.
Don't act too surprised if, some time in the next year, you meet someone who explains that their business card isn't just a card; it's an augmented reality business card. You can see a collection and, at visualcard.me, you can even design your own, by adding a special marker to your card, which, once put in front of a webcam linked to the internet, will show not only your contact details but also a video or sound clip. Or pretty much anything you want. It's not just business cards.
Recently Edelman Digital launched a brand new web site, which features rich insights from across the organization as well as interviews with different people inside and outside the firm. Definitely check it out. One of the cool things we're running are interviews. For one of the first installments, my colleague, Blagica, conducted an interview with me on some of the latest trends
Until the late 1980s, you could clearly see the difference between the business and public sectors. Business was fast-moving, productive, and focused exclusively on profits. The public sector (government, nonprofits, foundations) was slow and unresponsive but full of people who cared about the world and its people. With the emergence of the citizen sector, all that has changed.
Susan Docherty, who heads marketing for General Motors Co., plans to return to Cadillac's "art and science" brand positioning that she championed while marketing manager for the Escalade SUV in the late 1990s. The goal is to return to that concept with a new ad campaign set to launch in three weeks, she told Automotive News, that will "highlight what we talked about over a decade ago with the Cadillac renaissance and really push the envelope of art and science."
This year, a Chinese dissident and a Russian human rights advocate — recent nominees for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize — are joined by an unlikely, nonhuman contender: the internet. A campaign to nominate the web, first put forth by the editors of Wired Italy, proclaims that the internet has “laid the foundations for a new kind of society,” in which massive interpersonal contact fosters consensus and understanding. Predictably, the internet’s nomination was met with a wave of skepticism. After all, isn’t it ridiculous to give one of the world’s greatest honors to an inanimate technology? A friend of mine asked, “How about we give [the Nobel] to paper, since that’s what all peace agreements have been written on?”
Google and Intel have teamed with Sony to develop a platform called Google TV to bring the Web into the living room through a new generation of televisions and set-top boxes. The move is an effort by Google and Intel to extend their dominance of computing to television, an arena where they have little sway. For Sony, which has struggled to retain a pricing and technological advantage in the competitive TV hardware market, the partnership is an effort to get a leg up on competitors.
Check out the panels or exhibitors at this year's SXSW and you'll see how many longstanding social media and web app challenges now have compelling, or at least viable, solutions. Staying on top of the latest social media news? Check. Coordinating the 5 different computers to you need to manage your life online? Check and check. Finding your online friends onto the real world so that you can have a beer together? Check, check, and check. With so many solutions on display, the still-unsolved problems are all the more conspicuous. Here are five of the toughest problems that social media and web applications still haven't successfully addressed.
I was asked to give this talk to invite you to think deeply. For those who don’t know me… I'm an ethnographer. I study how social media has become a part of daily life. I'm also an activist, driven to making the world a better place through the production and dissemination of knowledge. And I'm also a geek and a blogger. I've been blogging for 13 years, determined to communicate to the world what I've had the privilege of witnessing. I love technology but I also love to be critical of technology. What keeps me up at night is trying to make sense of how social media transforms society and, more importantly, what it helps make visible about humanity. Technophobes love to talk about how technology is ruining everything and technophiles obsess over how everything is radically different. I like to wade through the extremes to see the subtle inflection points. Reality is always in the details. My goal today is to invite you to step back and ask: what hath we wrought?
A hot new social-networking service dubbed Bubbly, which is essentially a voice-based Twitter, is quickly gaining popularity among Indians. And thanks to Bollywood celebs being early adopters, Bubbly is growing virally and with virtually zero marketing spend.
Despite improvements in the global economy, chemicals, retail banking, consumer packaged goods, engineered products and services, oil and gas, and technology still need to transform.
Dell Computer's Enterprise Technology Center was never meant to be a marketing vehicle, so the staff was pleasantly surprised last year to learn that the community site had touched millions of dollars' worth of new business for Dell. “Customers have come into the briefing center and asked to meet DellServerGeek or SANPenguin,” said Administrator Scott Hanson, referring to Twitter handles used by two of the site's four full-time administrators. “The relationships we're building [with enterprise IT professionals] feel like they're going to last a lifetime.”
Facebook; Twitter; LinkedIn; YouTube; Wordpress: these companies, built from the ground-up, are mainstays in social media. None of them were created by a large tech company, and all but one remains independent. It’s an interesting phenomenon, when you think about it. Large tech companies have had limited to no success creating their own social media home runs. In an era where communication is increasingly taking place on these channels, the inability of these digital giants to build social networks is rather striking.
Don't look to Baby Boomers to lead the way in consumer spending in the months ahead. A new report from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and Retail Forward, owned by Kantar Retail, says that this recovery -- unlike those in last few decades -- will be shaped by the values of tech-loving Gen Y, and to a lesser degree, affluent members of Gen X.
TiVo, the Silicon Valley pioneer of digital video recorders, is once again trying to get consumers to pay for another set-top box that combines traditional television programming with a vast array of content from the Web.
All these examples tell the same story: that the world contains an unimaginably vast amount of digital information which is getting ever vaster ever more rapidly. This makes it possible to do many things that previously could not be done: spot business trends, prevent diseases, combat crime and so on. Managed well, the data can be used to unlock new sources of economic value, provide fresh insights into science and hold governments to account.
I hate the word "buzz," especially when it's being stoked by a calculated PR push, so I'm going to start using a new word, "puzz" (publicity + buzz) to describe that phenomenon. The last couple weeks have seen a lot of puzz about Foursquare, a very interesting, cutting-edge social media application that combines digital, mobile distribution of data with the real-world physical locations of its users. Basically, it's a social network site that tells your friends where you are. This is a very cool idea, bringing online social media -- previously restricted to the infinite, abstract Internet -- into the limited, concrete geography of the real world. The latest Foursquare puzz has it partnering with IGN Entertainment's AskMen.com site, for a deal that will distribute content about local travel and entertainment from the AskMen A. List newsletter to Foursquare users, complementing the highly targeted local social focus of the latter.
Sitting in a meeting room that looks out on a frozen Baltic bay, Nokia Oyj Chief Executive Officer Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo mentions a biography he’s reading. It’s about Mauno Koivisto, the president who butted heads with his own Social Democratic Party en route to opening Finland’s 1992 bid to join the European Union.
Vogue readers with iPhones are getting another toy to play with this month. The magazine is launching an application that looks like a fun shopping and styling tool but is actually a savvy way to connect the magazine and its advertisers directly with readers' wallets.
Executives at ICOM, a global network of independent ad agencies, were surveyed by Ad Age about the top digital trends and issues facing their markets in 2010. Among the findings: Facebook and Twitter rule the world (except in China and Spain), but digital budgets are still small and, in some countries, mostly reserved for the bravest of marketers. Oh, and don't insult the monarch in Malaysia.
Imagine walking up to an ATM — you insert your card and begin to check your balance before you put in the amount of cash you want to withdraw from the machine. As you do this, a small crowd of people begins to form around you peering over your shoulder. Some are friends, some family, some are casual acquaintances and some you don't even know. Uncomfortable situation? Absolutely. While ATMs are in public settings, they are meant to be private interactions. If someone — even someone you know began to involve themselves with your financial activity you would get annoyed.
Analysts estimate that fewer than 5 percent of the HDTVs sold in the United States last year can go online to pull in movies and television shows, bypassing traditional cable and satellite TV service. Now, however, the idea of an Internet-ready home entertainment setup has a powerful new backer: Wal-Mart.
Why go to the trouble of creating networks of passionate consumers? Well, partly because your consumer will insist you do. Engaging directly with them is the new normal. The ubiquity of social-networking tools has created an expectation of accessibility not just from friends and colleagues but from companies too. We're now in a culture that celebrates and enables constant contact and responsiveness from everyone, like it or not. But the real reason to go beyond conventional broadcast media, and even beyond constant engagement to the Holy Grail of community, is to create commitment in an environment that predisposes people to capriciousness.
Let us put aside for a moment the rah-rah, "Go Team USA" focus of the NBC coverage that often bugs viewers who would like a more global view of the Olympics. Let us also set aside sport-specific beefs, like the way Scott Hamilton's groaning has gotten completely out of hand when he's calling figure skating, or the way the curling announcers make it sound like only a three-year-old wouldn't know precisely how to win every single game with ease, because they certainly could. The mere structure of the NBC coverage has left a great deal to be desired this time around, and it came to a head last night when they shuffled the much-anticipated USA-Canada hockey game off to MSNBC, in part to use NBC as a showcase for probably the least anticipated of the figure skating events: ice dancing.
In this wide-ranging, thought-provoking talk from TEDxAmsterdam, Kevin Kelly muses on what technology means in our lives -- from its impact at the personal level to its place in the cosmos.
Even in these tough times, surprising and extraordinary efforts are under way in businesses across the globe. From politics to technology, energy, and transportation; from marketing to retail, health care, and design, each company on the following pages illustrates the power and potential of innovative ideas and creative execution.
As Director of Future Media and Technology, I'm responsible for future-proofing the BBC in many respects - delivering technologies to serve the public in a fragmented digital age and keeping our output online and on air. Today I gave a keynote address at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. This event brings together the mobile industry, and I shared our plans to make BBC Online even more accessible on mobiles, and what the industry can do collectively to further open up the huge potential of mobile for the benefit of the audience.
After reading that headline, I can see some (maybe lots) of you scratching your heads saying: "Wait a minute -- trust is a not a technology!" A decade ago that would have been true -- it is not now. Our digital lives were once confined to e-mail, some web surfing and an occasional online purchase (for the braver among us). A mere decade on and our lives are increasingly being lived online. Yet, while our dependence on the internet has grown exponentially, the technologies we use to navigate the sometimes dangerous, somewhat untrusted waters of the internet remain the same -- largely confined to incremental improvements in narrowly defined segments of security or access. The unfortunate result is that the trust gap is more "gaping" than ever.
The leader of Britain's Conservative Party says we're entering a new era -- where governments themselves have less power (and less money) and people empowered by technology have more. Tapping into new ideas on behavioral economics, he explores how these trends could be turned into smarter policy.
In a demo that drew gasps at TED2010, Blaise Aguera y Arcas demos new augmented-reality mapping technology from Microsoft.
User interfaces—the way we interact with our technologies—have evolved a lot over the years. From the original punch cards and printouts to monitors, mouses, and keyboards, all the way to the track pad, voice recognition, and interfaces designed to make it easier for the disabled to use computers, interfaces have progressed rapidly within the last few decades. But there’s still a long way to go and there are many possible directions that future interface designs could take. We’re already seeing some start to crop up and its exciting to think about how they’ll change our lives.
Americans, we the people, have become a distrustful lot of late, hardly surprising news given our Recessionary new world order that is rammed home daily in headlines detailing the failures, cover-ups, and worse, of corporate America and its leaders. Enter the 10th annual Edelman Trust Barometer 2010, not co-incidentally published (Jan. 26) during Davos, which found that, "Trust is now an essential line of business to be developed and delivered. Trust in business has improved, but the patient has a long road to go for a full recovery," according to Richard Edelman, president and CEO, Edelman Public Relations. "The increase in trust in business belies its fragility."
As the social networking train gathers momentum, some riders are getting off. Their reasons run the gamut from being besieged by online "friends" who aren't really friends to lingering concerns over where their messages and photos might materialize. If there's a common theme to their exodus, it's the nagging sense that a time-sucking habit was taking the "real" out of life.
Not long ago, brand owners could take comfort in the intrinsic barriers hampering black marketers. While most large cities have places known by its dwellers to be sources of cheap goods of dubious origin, consumers have to consciously decide to explore these markets in addition to or in lieu of conventional establishments. Canal Street in New York’s Chinatown is a well-known example. The street is lined with densely packed shops offering watches, purses, and other luxury items at prices that are corruptively low. Until relatively recently, these markets did not pose a significant threat to brand owners. The remote locations of these markets created a sufficient bulwark to market entry. As a result, brand owners knowingly conceded that a small percentage of its would-be buyers bought cheap knock-offs instead.
The technology we call innovative will seem pedestrian to our children. From touch screens to open source, our kids are being conditioned to interact with technology in ways we hardly expected even a decade ago, despite what "The Jetsons" foreshadowed back in the '60s. One thing seems increasingly clear: our children are not being conditioned to buy Microsoft. Not anymore.
It used to be that a basic $25-a-month phone bill was your main telecommunications expense. But by 2004, the average American spent $770.95 annually on services like cable television, Internet connectivity and video games, according to data from the Census Bureau. By 2008, that number rose to $903, outstripping inflation. By the end of this year, it is expected to have grown to $997.07. Add another $1,000 or more for cellphone service and the average family is spending as much on entertainment over devices as they are on dining out or buying gasoline.
Apple clearly recognizes the importance of the mobile web, but did they get trigger happy and launch the iPad too soon? The launch of the new Apple device has lit up the internet with all sorts of criticisms, praises, questions and opinions. A question remains for those of us in the search marketing and social media world—how will these tablets incorporate the use of social media?
Remember the Great Sling Spat? A year ago, Sling Media, a subsidiary of EchoStar, introduced a nifty application for the Apple iPhone that allowed users with a Slingbox at home to watch and control their home television signal from their handsets. The only problem: AT&T said that such a bandwidth-intensive video service would overwhelm its network, so it limited the application to work only over an iPhone’s Wi-Fi connection. TV lovers and techies worldwide cried out in anguish.
While the reviewers pick apart Apple's iPad, one unassailable argument remains: We are not just living in digital times, but on digital time. From getting news to reading the latest best-selling novel, to watching reruns of Gilligan's Island, most of the content, products, information and entertainment we enjoy is available with a click. Consumers are conditioned to get what they want when they want it. I'm not sure this "double-click mentality" is necessarily a healthy thing, but it's real, and the reality has huge implications for marketing and media executives. People want things that are immediate and convenient. Woe to marketers--even bricks-and-mortar retailers--that don't get this. Double-click gratification is a table stake.
If you're involved in social media efforts within your company, are trying to carve out a niche as a social media pro, or just want to understand what this new space is all about, personal web projects are crucial to honing your skills. Here are some tips for making your personal web efforts an effective part of your ongoing professional development.
It all began with a coffeepot. A coffeepot that was connected to the Internet (before it was even called the Internet) and which provided information about its status (long before there was Twitter). In 1991, researchers at Cambridge University shared a single coffeepot among several floors. The researchers were frustrated by the fact that they would often climb several flights of stairs, only to find the coffeepot empty. They set up a videocamera that broadcast a still image to their desktops about three times per minute — enough to determine the level of coffee in the glass pot. Several years later, that coffeepot had become one of the first Internet web cam sensations, with millions of hits worldwide. That coffeepot was a proof of concept for today’s networked objects and the Internet of Things.
You have to give it to Apple. The company has an uncanny knack for seizing the moment and whipping journalists and consumers into a frenzy. The latest wave comes from today's launch of the iPad tablet with iBookstore content store. As always, there's a lot to like about Apple's device. The user interface looks great, the bookstore seems intuitive, and Apple set a price point (at least for the entry level iPad) that positions the device well in the marketplace. The hype bar was set so high that inevitably some people were disappointed - Dan Frommer from Silicon Alley Insider called it a big "yawn" that won't define publishing the way many experts projected.
Put down that Nintendo DS and pick up your sneakers. That’s right -- your new Adidas sneakers. Log into adidas.com, hold your sneaker up to your webcam and a code implanted in the tongue of the shoe will enable a virtual 3-D world that can be navigated using the sneaker itself. Three games are being developed for an upcoming line of five men’s sneakers by xForm. One will be a skateboard game (the sneaker is the controller that navigates through virtual city alleys); the others are a Star Wars-like game, and a music-based game. The shoes with augmented reality codes will be priced between $65 and $95 and will be available in February.
Madison Avenue is going high and low for Valentine’s Day, as in low prices and high technology. Valentine’s Day is always among the most commercialized holidays on the marketing calendar, offering retailers and advertisers a chance to extract money from those consumers who have managed to refill bank accounts after depleting them for Christmas shopping. The National Retail Federation estimates that Americans spent $14.7 billion last year on Valentine’s Day purchases.
Steven P. Jobs has finally introduced Apple’s new tablet computer, called the iPad. The question now is whether regular consumers will buy the iPhone-like device, which starts at $500 and can cost as much as $829. Mr. Jobs, appearing energized but gaunt, a result of his ongoing health challenges, unveiled the iPad at a press event here on Wednesday morning. Its features and specifications, once the stuff of Internet myth, are now sharply in focus: The half-inch thick, 1.5 pound device will feature a 9.7-inch multi-touch screen and is powered by a customized Apple microchip, which it has dubbed A4. The iPad will have the same operating system as the iPhone and access to its 140,000 applications.
Literature has always relied on technology. We wouldn't have the Dead Sea Scrolls had the ancients failed to invent papyrus, just as we wouldn't have "The Da Vinci Code" if Gutenberg hadn't come out with movable type. Technology has also abetted literature by enabling the wealth and leisure that fueled the rise of the popular press — and allowed for such luxuries as a class of professional writers and a large campus establishment devoted to the literary arts. It is important to bear in mind that technology is not the sworn enemy of literature as Apple prepares (according to frantic rumor) to unveil its much-anticipated new tablet computer on Jan. 27. Still, the collision of technology and literature in this case may well prove explosive.
Oracle, having spent the last nine months fighting rivals and regulators in order to own Sun Microsystems, has pushed itself into the middle of the scrum of technology heavyweights all jostling for the same corporate customers. The $7.4 billion deal, which gives Oracle a vast hardware business for the first time, pits it against Hewlett-Packard, I.B.M., Dell and Cisco Systems, all of which have made a flurry of acquisitions and alliances. Many of these moves broadened the companies’ products and services from their traditional specialties, like databases, computers or networking equipment. Each company wants to be able to claim to prospective customers that it, and it alone, has more of the parts to be an end-to-end service provider.
General Motors is stepping decisively into the future with the announcement that it will design and build its own electric motors within two years. The automaker plans to invest $246 million in a factory that will start producing motors in 2013. GM says the move will ensure it keeps abreast of advancements in technology and delivers the highest quality at the lowest cost. With the Chevrolet Volt range-extended electric vehicle coming this year and its next-gen two-mode hybrid vehicles slated for 2013, GM says it must make batteries, motors and the related electronic systems “core technologies.”
We looked back at 2009 to see that, in many cases, companies struggled to keep up with customers using social technologies. With technologies changing every few months, senior marketers must have a plan for social marketing. But first, to understand what to do, they should consider what's going to happen in this space in 2010.
Though everybody believes next week Apple will be revealing an exciting tablet PC, complete with reputed e-reader powers, the event has clearly got Amazon running scared: It's just improved its deal for Kindle publishers, significantly. In a press release to announce the news, Amazon comes directly and efficiently to the point (a slightly unusual step for press releases!) with the words "Amazon.com [announces] a new program that will enable authors and publishers who use the Kindle Digital Text Platform (DTP) to earn a larger share of revenue from each Kindle book they sell." The company is preserving some of its existing DTP royalty share options, but is adding in a new 70% option--giving 70% of list price (net of delivery costs) to authors or publishers.
It took the telephone 45 years to penetrate half the homes in America; radio, less than 20; color TV, 15; computers, 10; cellphones, eight; and the internet, a mere six years. The speed of change is accelerating. Five years ago Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Hulu and the iPhone didn't exist. Today Facebook has 350 million members; Twitter boasts 30 million; and Hulu is the second biggest "channel" in America, having surpassed Time Warner Cable. Technology now has profound impact on consumer behavior. Take brand loyalty, for example. Smartphones enable consumers to comparison shop on the basis of price at the point of sale. The democratization of information may result in commoditization of brands as consumers make purchase decisions by searching for the lowest-priced product. Technology may also alter the purchase cycle and give rise to powerful third-party influencers, counterbalancing paid media's "management" of the purchase cycle. These are transformational shifts for brands.
Having a great product is no longer a guarantee of success. A Bain & Co. survey notes that 80 percent of CEOs believe that their product is differentiated, but only 8 percent of consumers agree. To truly stand out in the market, a product must embody the characteristics of its brand. But, with all the hoopla around branding, it’s no wonder that companies are continually lured into believing that their brand is their product and their product is their brand.
Your iPhone operates by the touch of your fingers. Why not your car? Auto makers are starting to roll out a new generation of dashboard technology that substitutes touch-sensitive pads and displays for knobs and switches and videogame-style graphics for drab two-dimensional displays. Technology created to power games, mobile phones and computer displays is now being adapted—and often significantly improved—for those two-ton hand-held devices that come with four tires and leather seats.
It happened last year, around the first of July. In my experience, the switch was just about that abrupt. All last spring, most senior business leaders I met shrugged off the business applicability of Web 2.0. Allowing access to social networks in the workplace was something they were willing to consider only if it was absolutely necessary to keep younger employees from complaining. Twitter? What was that? But by summer, the conversations I was having with senior executives about the use of these new technologies took on a very different tone. Recognition grew that 2.0 technologies could be used to change the way work gets done in fundamental ways. Interest in exploring these new ways of working, of sharing information, of collaborating to enhance productivity and meet business goals, was here.
Big screen LCDs and plasma TVs are so 2009. If TV manufacturers are to be believed, the hottest consumer electronics product of the next few years is likely to be a 3-D TV. Almost every major TV maker including Sony, LG, Panasonic and Mitsubishi showed big screen 3-D TVs at the Consumer Electronics Show this year. Even content providers such as ESPN, DirecTV and Discovery have promised 3-D channels that will begin broadcasting in 2011. But before you start saving to buy a 3-D TV, consider the downsides. It’s not for everyone and it may not be as much fun as you think. Here are four reasons that could keep 3-D TVs out of your living room.
I typically don’t jump on the annual prediction bandwagon since too many cycles are spent defending some of the crazy things I come up with. However, I will go out on a limb and predict that 2010 will be the year of global search marketing. I have been advocating the use of the internet to reach overseas markets since 1994 when professors and students laughed at me while defending my business school thesis on that topic. A year later, an international marketing journal published an updated version of that paper. This time I was even more out there advocating the pure craziness of using search engines as the mode of entry.
Apple on Monday ratcheted up the public relations buzz surrounding the launch of a new product, widely expected to be a tablet-sized computer, this month. It sent out a press invitation via email, inviting journalists to “come see our latest creation”. Whilst far from explicit, as is Apple’s wont, the invitation was the strongest confirmation yet of what has been the company’s most anticipated new product since the launch of the iPhone three years ago.
We’ve seen some major world events unfold on the social media stage this week, the biggest being Google’s threat to pull out of China and the Haiti earthquake. Google’s (Google) actions have brought attention back to the long-standing Internet censorship that blankets China, while the destruction in Haiti has mobilized hundreds of thousands to open their wallets and their hearts. Just like the Iran Election crisis, people are again assessing the impact of social media on the world. It’s clear that social media has the power to impact world politics and the lives of billions, but some have overstated what social media can actually do. We need to understand what social media really is in order to utilize it effectively for social good. Let me explain by highlighting a few examples of social media’s impact on the world stage, and then concluding with how I view social media’s impact in the larger context of mobilization and world discussion.
As a company, Hallmark may have just celebrated its 100th anniversary, but it's determined not to be accused of living in the past. The Kansas City, Mo. card maker, which was founded on Jan. 10, 1910, has introduced a new line of cards that is designed to work with a computer's Web camera to show off an animated 3-D message via the computer. The cards feature what Hallmark is calling "augmented reality."
Three-quarters of Japanese social network users access the sites only from their mobile phones. This observation comes from a survey conducted last year with almost 4,000 social network users in Japan by Mobile Marketing Data Labo. They found that 75.4% of respondents only accessed social networking sites from their mobile phone (and not from their PC). The number only accessing it from their PC (and not their mobile phone) was very low at just 2%.
When I learned that Mark Zuckerberg effectively argued that 'the age of privacy is over', I wanted to scream. Actually, I did. And still am. The logic goes something like this: * People I knew didn't used to like to be public. * Now "everyone" is being public. * Ergo, privacy is dead. This isn't new. This is the exact same logic that made me want to scream a decade ago when folks used David Brin to justify a transparent society. Privacy is dead, get over it. Right? Wrong!
Recently, my agency has been putting a lot of time and resources into the ad exchange space. For those of you paid search folks with SEM blinders on, let me elaborate because the opportunity here for those with paid search experience is about to open up tremendously in the next few years.
The end of last week was the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) which attracts more than 120,000 people from all parts of the technology industry together to Las Vegas to share their latest innovations and visions for the future. NBC was reporting live from the tradeshow floor, all the big tech publications were there and anyone who works in the technology industry spent the weekend either talking about all the things they were doing, or wishing they were in Vegas to be part of it. The hype this year was definitely around the promise of 3-D TV technology, with ebooks following as a close second. But what about if you are not in the technology industry at all?
Home Depot will make its biggest investment of 2010 in more than 10,000 portable devices to help U.S. employees stock shelves, make telephone calls and check out customers anywhere in the store. The Atlanta-based company said the handheld gadgets will cost about $60 million.
My, how the digital times are a-changin'. We're downsizing to small screens, friending the world, thinking in 140 characters and downloading -- dare I say -- "billions and billions" of apps designed to make everything we do simpler, faster and more convenient (well, we think). And so, only days into 2010, it seems fitting to take a big look over my shoulder (and even into the mirror) and affix labels and buzzwords to our curious stampede to the social media and mobile future. Here's my top 20.
There are moments in life that we have have experienced that put all the other moments to shame. These are moments when suddenly everything seems to come together at once. An idea is formed, a solution is realized, a problems is solved. At the pinnacle of these moments, there is a sub-moment. A sliver of time where everything just seems to click into place. LEGO recognizes that moment, and wants to help everyone who ever yells “eureka” to share that moment with the world and each other. So LEGO created a new portal to bring every inventor, artist, innovator, and creative person to one place. This place is called LEGO CLICK.
The technology industry is going retro — moving away from remote controls, mice and joysticks to something that arrives without batteries, wires or a user manual. It’s called a hand. In the coming months, the likes of Microsoft, Hitachi and major PC makers will begin selling devices that will allow people to flip channels on the TV or move documents on a computer monitor with simple hand gestures. The technology, one of the most significant changes to human-device interfaces since the mouse appeared next to computers in the early 1980s, was being shown in private sessions during the immense Consumer Electronics Show here last week.
Intel Corp. and Microsoft Corp. are promoting the idea of advanced digital signs in stores that aren't just for shoppers to look at. These look back. The two technology giants said Monday that they will collaborate to help companies create and use new forms of digital signs. By exploiting Intel chips and Microsoft software, the companies hope to bring more interactivity to such devices and help retailers customized marketing offers to consumers.
Sometimes it takes a million square feet of gizmos to understand where humanity is headed. After all the pageantry and pixels, here's what the world learned about tech in 2010.
In the early days of the Web, when I worked at HotWired, I thought mainly about the new. We were of the future, those of us in that San Francisco loft, champions of new media, new tools, new thinking. But lately, I've been thinking more about the old — about those aspects of human character and cognition that remain unchanged by time and technology. Over the past two decades, I've watched as the Internet changed the way we think and changed the way we live. But it hasn't changed us fundamentally. In fact, it may be returning us to the intensely social animals we evolved to be.
The world is changing like crazy these days. We've got new cell phone technologies, the Apple iTablet, 3D TV, pico projectors and whatever else comes out of CES this week. We'll continue to change our ability to connect with consumers every where they go. Of course, the more we create ways to reach the consumers, the more they find ways to disconnect from us. In the end, it's all about creating compelling, authentic and relevant brand experiences. No matter what changes take place; no matter what new technologies come down the pike, that need won't change.
So Google's got a new phone now. Internet coverage is predictably hyperbolic, though Scott Anthony smartly puts the phone's potential to make waves into the future tense, and the New York Times' typically giddy David Pogue was downright snarky in his review. Nevertheless, the tech industry is atwitter with a fresh new rivalry. Mac versus PC is so last decade. Now, it's "Hello I'm an iPhone." "And I'm a Nexus One." I vote for Rainn Wilson playing Google in the commercials.
Hollywood loves a format war. First VHS saw off Betamax in the great home video battle of the 1980s. More recently, Blu-ray won the right to succeed the DVD when it was preferred by film studios to rival HD-DVD technology. However, as Hollywood looks to the digital era, the industry is split on how to manage the distribution of movies to TVs, computers and hand-held devices, setting the stage for its next great technological tussle. In one corner is Walt Disney and its Keychest product, which it describes as "enabling technology" that allows consumers to buy or rent a film and then view it on any device they choose. In the opposing corner is Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem, a coalition of retailers, hardware makers and film companies, including Hewlett-Packard, Netflix and Sony.
What would your gut reaction be if someone asked you why domestic automaker market share has declined over 25% in the last 12 years? Lack of quality? Lack of innovation in green technology? Inferior manufacturing capabilities? Horrible gas milage? Those were my reactions too. But it turns out there’s a difference between my perception of whose cars have lasted longest of the people I know, hot environmental topics in the media and what car-buyers actually wanted in the vehicles they purchased over the last decade.
The first ten years of the new century may go down as the decade to forget. Terrorists attacks, devastating natural disasters, scary increases in CO2emissions, Wall Street scandals and two market crashes. The stock market is down 26% since 2000, median household income is also down, and unemployment is up. The price of oil has more than tripled, health care costs have spiraled out of control and there appears to be no end in sight to corporate bankruptcies and the mass exodus of loyal employees.
The netbook faces a challenge this year as the highest growth category in the personal computer market by a younger upstart – the smartbook. Smartbooks will make their full debut this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The chipmaker Freescale heralded their arrival with the launch of its reference design for the category.
How you use your mobile phone has long reflected where you live. But the spirit of the machines may be wiping away cultural differences.
It’s hard to believe that at the beginning of the last decade, there was no Facebook, iPhone, Wikipedia, or YouTube. Almost shocking, considering how those entities have shaped a culture around the Internet, disrupted business models and impacted how and what information was shared through the Web. So what big Web themes might we see emerging into the next few years? Based on reporting and informal chats with venture capitalists, here’s a quick guess at what might be big in 2010.
"Augmented reality" may sound like indecipherable technobabble, but the concept behind this technology is familiar to anyone who has seen any of the "Terminator" movies. In the sci-fi films, a cyborg is able to scan its surrounding area and superimpose data on what it sees, which allows it to get background information on humans. Now, after years of use in academic and industrial circles -- not to mention science fiction -- augmented reality is coming to consumers, who can expect to see it in their everyday lives in 2010.
A spate of new digital gadgets and the fulfilment of the internet’s promise as an interactive medium have dominated popular awareness of information technology in the past 10 years. But what could turn out to be a far more important and lasting transformation has been going on below the surface. It involves a step-change in computing that promises to bring fundamental and irreversible change to many aspects of everyday life – for good or ill.
Last year, most Americans felt as if they had been hit in the head by a 4-iron. Wall Street nearly collapsed. The economy plunged into its deepest recession in decades. As housing prices sank, many homeowners realized that they owed more on their mortgages than their homes were worth. Millions lost their jobs, and even those who didn’t hunkered down, burying their wallets in the backyard. This year — with more than a few bumps along the way — the situation brightened. With that, here’s a look back at five of the biggest business stories of this year — and what to look for in the next 12 months.
Today, technology is enabling new capabilities and I see three trends which are recreating customer service in a new, more responsive, and economically efficient manner: transparency, tribes, and talent. Transparency is best exemplified by Federal Express's efforts over the years. They were among the first companies to "expose" their internal systems so that not only could the customer schedule pick-ups, print labels, and manage his account, but he could also see the same level of detail the firm had about the location of his shipment. Many firms could benefit by letting customers see where their product or service truly is. BMW allows people who have configured and ordered a Mini Cooper to check the status of the order, and see it location on the high seas as it is shipped across the Atlantic. So what? Well, just think about how the dynamic with your cable company would change if you could actually see if the service truck was on its way to your house. It certainly would change the attitude between the customer and the company. Heck, even the government enables you to track tagged polar bears!
Last week I sent an email to Googlers about the meaning of "open" as it relates to the Internet, Google, and our users. In the spirit of openness, I thought it would be appropriate to share these thoughts with those outside of Google as well. At Google we believe that open systems win. They lead to more innovation, value, and freedom of choice for consumers, and a vibrant, profitable, and competitive ecosystem for businesses. Many companies will claim roughly the same thing since they know that declaring themselves to be open is both good for their brand and completely without risk. After all, in our industry there is no clear definition of what open really means. It is a Rashomon-like term: highly subjective and vitally important.
Oracle Corp.'s quarterly profit jumped 12% and sales exceeded its expectations, a sign that corporate technology spending may be poised to rebound from one of the sector's worst-ever slumps. The business software company also said it expects European antitrust regulators—after months of delays—to approve its $7.4 billion acquisition of Sun Microsystems in January without conditions. Oracle, based in Redwood Shores, Calif., is seen as an industry barometer because it sells a wide variety of software to a broad mix of businesses. It is also among the first tech companies to report results that include the month of November. Throughout the fall, a number of companies in the sector have released upbeat forecasts or earnings results, but most still posted year-on-year revenue declines.
IBM decided to close 2009 with a bang by acquiring Lombardi, a privately held provider of business process management (BPM) software. Big Blue racked up a number of acquisitions this year including: data discovery software firm Exeros, database security firm Guardium, security provider Ounce Labs, and analytics provider SPSS. Lombardi marks IBM's 90th acquisition since 2003. That's a lot of companies to digest. With Lombardi, IBM strengthens its presence in BPM by effectively capturing the customers it doesn't already have. IBM currently has more than 5,000 BPM customers in about 30 countries and growing.
Morgan Stanley's global technology and telecom analysts set out to do a deep dive into the rapidly changing mobile Internet market. We wanted to create a data-rich, theme-based framework for thinking about how the market may develop. We intend to expand and edit the framework as the market evolves. A lot has changed since we published “The Internet Report” in 1995 on the web. We decided to create The Mobile Internet Report largely in PowerPoint and publish it on the web, expecting that bits and pieces of it will be cut / pasted / redistributed and debated / dismissed / lauded. Our goal is to get our thoughts and data into the conversation about what may be the biggest technology trend ever, one that may help make us all more informed in ways that are unique to the web circa 2009, and beyond.
How Ashton Kutcher is pioneering a new kind of media business, bridging Hollywood, technology, and Madison Avenue. Really.
This time last year, I wrote about the 10 ways social media will change 2009, and while all predictions have materialized or are on their way, it has only become clear in recent months how significant of a change we've seen this year. 2009 will go down as the year in which the shroud of uncertainty was lifted off of social media and mainstream adoption began at the speed of light. Barack Obama's campaign proved that social media can mobilize millions into action, and Iran's election protests demonstrated its importance to the freedom of speech.
Weighed down by lackluster programming and declining ratings, NBC has been a problem for many different people: programming honchos Kevin Reilly and Ben Silverman; NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker; GE chief Jeff Immelt; and even one-time top-rated late-night comic Jay Leno. Now the hot potato is soon to be passed to Comcast -- which, oddly enough, doesn't see the broadcast network as a burden at all.
As web-based augmented-reality applications have exploded, it's more important than ever to remember AR is a technology based on utility and not gimmicks. Unfortunately, as with most new and emerging technologies, it's quickly becoming overhyped and abused. Usability and user experience have been thrown under in the stampede of agencies and brands saying "Hey, look -- me too!" Even more disturbing is that most marketers are overlooking the most unique aspect of AR itself: that it's a technology that can create innovative and sustained engagement between a brand and its target consumer through utility.
It's the year 2015. The compact device in my hand delivers me the world, one news story at a time. I flip through my favorite papers and magazines, the images as crisp as in print, without a maddening wait for each page to load. Even better, the device knows who I am, what I like, and what I have already read. So while I get all the news and comment, I also see stories tailored for my interests. I zip through a health story in The Wall Street Journal and a piece about Iraq from Egypt's Al Gomhuria, translated automatically from Arabic to English. I tap my finger on the screen, telling the computer brains underneath it got this suggestion right.
Online shopping sites offered deeper discounts and pushed new technology to connect with consumers on Cyber Monday, in what's shaping up to be a strong post-Thanksgiving sales period for online retailers. At GSI Commerce Inc., which runs about 100 Web sites for brands including Aeropostale and GNC, said that consumers began hitting Web sales aggressively early in the morning on Cyber Monday, thanks to aggressive promotions on Sunday. GSI also said that same-store sales on Thursday through Sunday increased 17% over the same period last year.
Apple Inc.'s iPhone on Saturday will finally go on sale in South Korea, a country that prides itself on creating and consuming cutting-edge technology but where the government raised trade barriers on smart phones to protect domestic manufacturers and carriers for several years.
When Sir Martin Sorrell, Executive Chairman of the WPP Group and for two decades arguably the most powerful individual in advertising, appeared on The Charlie Rose Show last May, the conversation was more remarkable for what he didn’t say than for what he did say.
It's always strange when a company that's become synonymous with its market—like Kleenex to tissues, or Xerox to copiers—starts fading. And that's exactly what happening to TiVo, whose subscriber level has dropped to where it was in 2004. This from TiVo's SEC filing for last quarter, which shows the company losing 314,000 subscribers in the period, capping more than year an a half of fairly steady decline. They lay claim to just 8% of the roughly 38m active DVRs in the US right now. This is not great.
A recent Economic Times story detailed IBM's new "spoken Web" technology, which will allow users to browse the Internet and access information by speaking in their local language without having to type or otherwise use the computer keyboard. An IBM India lab is currently developing the technology and performing real-world tests with rural dairy farmers in India. The idea is that if IBM can remove barriers to accessing its enterprise resource planning technology, Big Blue may be able to unlock a large market selling ERP software to companies that source dairy and other foodstuffs from rural Indian farmers.
Some 300 attendees gathered at the Saatchi Gallery last week for Ad Age sibling Creativity's technology conference, Creativity and Technology, were treated to musings on bleeding-edge digital communication from Europe's top talent in advertising, technology and design. Speakers ranged from agency creatives and technologists to writers such as Adam Greenfield, author of "Everyware" and head of design direction at Nokia. Here are a eight takeaways from the conference if you missed it.
Prior to keynoting the PACA conference in Miami, Maria Kessler, president of the PACA Association, asked me if I had read a recent post by Fred Wilson entitled “The Golden Triangle.” We were deep in conversation as I was seeking an alternate title for my next book that identifies the divide between brands, information, and consumers and how we can, as social architects and engineers, build the bridges between people, contextual relationships, and technology. While “The Golden Triangle” isn’t a contender for the name of the next book, it did get me thinking. In his brief, but thought-provoking article, Wilson identified the state of engagement, connectivity and interaction. And through a collaborative conversation in the comments thread, new opportunities for future innovation also surfaced.
Ask.com's newly appointed U.S president, Doug Leeds, says he intends to reinvent the "question and answer" engine, and has embarked on a project to take the company in a new direction. Part of the project, supported by technology built on search, aims to solve a completely different problem: not where to find relevant information on Web pages using link structure, but where to find relevant information based on someone's question. The technology relies on query signals that Leeds claims have not previously been built into search. To extract and rank existing answers, rather than ranking Web pages that contain information, Ask has developed a unique set of algorithms and technologies based on relevant signals geared toward questions and answers.
Microsoft Windows continues to dominate the PC market with a 90 percent market-share stronghold, but when it comes to smartphones, Microsoft is getting beat up worse than a mustachioed villain in a Jackie Chan movie. Windows Mobile has lost nearly a third of its smartphone market share since 2008, research firm Gartner reports. Windows Mobile had 11 percent of the global smartphone market in the third quarter of 2008, according to Gartner, and last quarter Windows Mobile’s market share plummeted to 7.9 percent. Meanwhile, Apple’s global market share grew from 12.9 percent to 17.1 percent, and RIM saw a rise from 16 percent to 20.8 percent, according to Gartner’s figures.
New start-up Factery Labs is launching its first service on Tuesday, a technology called FactRank that can tear through Web pages and collect what it calls "facts." These are bits of information from each source page that Factery Labs' algorithm then organizes into an order of importance. What this means for you is that developers will soon make use of the technology in third-party search engines or on Web pages to very quickly deliver reading summaries. This cuts out most (or all) of the parts you don't care about, while organizing the bits you might. It also manages to do all this in real time.
The origin of Google’s power and monopoly is to be traced to the invisible algorithm PageRank. The diagram of this technology is proposed here as the most fitting description of the value machine at the core of what is diversely called knowledge economy, attention economy or cognitive capitalism. This essay stresses the need of a political economy of the PageRank algorithm rather than expanding the dominant critique of Google’s monopoly based on the Panopticon model and similar ‘Big Brother’ issues (dataveillance, privacy, political censorship). First and foremost Google’s power is understood from the perspective of value production (in different forms: attention value, cognitive value, network value, etc.): the biopolitical consequences of its data monopoly come logically later.
From a holistic perspective, we talk about the need for organizations to become more socially calibrated—able to adapt and respond to changes both externally and internally. The three areas where emergent outcomes can manifest are, participation with your customers, collaboration between your employees and optimization in the interactions/transactions between your business and its partners. Digging into customer participation, it’s clear that in a networked economy customers demand engagement, information, support and ultimately, value and ecosystems such as Twitter are beginning to deliver here.
Microsoft Windows 7's launch video was a viral smash. And while some believed it was because people thought "HostingYourParty" was a riotously bad -- Microsoft is enjoying the last laugh. Still, despite the negative attention directed at the instructional video, which was intended for people hosting Windows 7 "house parties," the tech giant managed to reach a lot of consumers. In fact, from Oct. 22-29, more than 800,000 people attended more than 10,000 parties in 12 countries hosted by Windows 7.
Today our social rules seem to have been overloaded by our always on, always connected culture. Behaviours developed for the industrial age simply cannot cope with the new possibilities for information sharing.
You wouldn't immediately suspect that Yelp's iPhone app might be a gift bestowed upon us by a benevolent superhero from the future. Load it up and the program's in its Clark Kent garb -- a useful-enough guide to local restaurants, bars, and merchants. Then you notice a button labeled monocle in the right-hand corner. Hit it and the screen displays a live feed from the phone's camera, showing exactly what's in front of you -- with one big difference. Aim the camera at a local storefront and Yelp superimposes a star rating on the image. Use Monocle in a hot neighborhood, for instance, and point it at every restaurant for a quick appraisal of the best food in the area. Yelp's app is one of the first "augmented reality," or AR, programs to debut on the iPhone, and though it can be handy, it's most useful as a sign of what's to come.
Does Twitter have a T.M.I. problem? And, no, I don’t just mean the Twitter users who share too much information about their lives, social, medical or otherwise. Simply put, there is way too much information on Twitter — lately, it defies navigation. In January, there were 2.4 million tweets a day, according to Alessio Signorini, a researcher at the University of Iowa. By October, he reports, there were 26 million tweets a day. Why should we care about information overload at Twitter? Isn’t Twitter about the individual experiences — a Tweeter and her followers — not the totality of millions of Tweeters around the world?
Awareness is rising of the impact on business of networked employees—those workers who are continuously connected to their social circles and can tap into them at will. The discussion seems to be shifting, ever so slowly, to the characteristics of companies that, rather than inhibiting these traits, want to reap the benefits of a networked workforce. Recent posts by Olivier Blanchard and Valeria Maltoni have speculated on the nature of these companies. Olivier calls them P2P companies; Valeria refers to them as connected companies. They both see the recruiting process changing, for example, to one of inviting people already connected to the company through online and offline social networks to come work for them. The IT department becomes the ET department—Technology Enablement. P2P companies don’t outsource customer service. Collaboration is supported by the use of the best tools available.
For years, the premise has been widely accepted as some great truth handed down from the mountain of academia, etched on a silicon tablet: Our modern tools of technology are isolating us from one another. Think: the guy in his basement in boxer shorts hanging out online with other strangers passing in the cybernight. Now, a new study released Wednesday suggests that rather than push us apart, these tech tools may actually help pull us together. The millions of Americans who have embraced social-networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter might not be surprised by the new findings from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, showing that Web and cell-phone users tend to have larger and more diverse networks of close confidantes than those who do not use the Web or cell phones.
Touchscreen smartphones are the thing in the U.S. this year, with sales growing so rapidly it would give the Ares I-X a run for its money. And next year the pace of the change is going to be even faster. Welcome to the touchscreen era. Comscore's data looks at the three months ending August of this year versus the same period last year, and the numbers pretty much speak for themselves: Among U.S. smartphone subscribers aged 13 and over, some 33.8 million owned regular push-button smartphones, against 23.8 million owning touchscreen ones. While that data looks stacked in favor of regular push-button phones, check out the growth rate. Smartphone ownership grew a whopping 63% over last year, proving this is the smartphone age all right--dumbphone sales simply can't compete with that growth. And touchscreen smartphone sales exploded 159% at the same time, which is incredible.
What's a megatrend, you ask? It's something big. I'm talking really big. Think of a giant unstoppable tsunami of change transforming society as we know it. Think global warming scale -- then apply it to mass human behavior. Think glaciers carving the grand canyon of consumer sentiment. So what are the new megatrends that I believe will transform society in the coming years? What brands are taking advantage of them? And what can you learn from them?
A story last week about the Obama administration committing more than $3 billion to smart grid initiatives caught my eye. It wasn't really an unusual story. It seems like every day features a slew of stories where leaders commit billions to new geographies, technologies, or acquisitions to demonstrate how serious they are about innovation and growth. Here's the thing — these kinds of commitments paradoxically can make it harder for organizations to achieve their aim. In other words, the very act of making a serious financial commitment to solve a problem can make it harder to solve the problem. Why can large commitments hamstring innovation?
A few weeks ago, Marc Fitten, editor of the Chattahoochee Review, wrote an op-ed called "Our Cars, Ourselves" in The New York Times that said this: "GM left its Atlanta plant to rot. So I left my GM loyalty behind." GM is an example of how branding is changing in this post-economic era. The field of brand strategy needs to change as much as the derivative business because the market is changing, the climate is changing, technology is changing, and the customer is changing.
The future of news is entrepreneurial. There’s a lot in that statement. It says: The future of news is not institutional… The news of tomorrow has yet to be built…. The structure – the ecosystem – of news will not be dominated by a few corporations but likely will be made up of networks of many startups performing specialized functions based on the opportunities they see in the market…. Who does journalism, why and how will change…. The skills of journalists will change (to include business)…. We don’t yet know what the market will demand and support from journalism…. News will look disordered and messy…. There will be more failures than successes in the immediate future of news….
Forty years ago today, Leonard Kleinrock typed the “Lo” of “Login” into a Stanford computer, which promptly crashed before the command could be entered. But because Kleinrock was sending this message from a UCLA machine, he had just taken part in one of the great milestones in communication history. These computers were connected under the auspices of the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA). The agency was created by President Eisenhower as part of the Department of Defense in 1958 as a direct response the Soviet Union’s launch of the first satellite, Sputnik, in 1957. Its mission: to ensure that the United States never again be caught off guard by technological advances. Now known as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the agency continues to push the envelope in such diverse fields as advanced propulsion, medicine, and robotics, as well as information technology. But it was ARPA—specifically its Information Processing Techniques Office (IPTO)—that funded the 1960s research project called ARPANET that became the internet of today.
The Google Custom Search Blog announced the release of a mobile friendly Google Custom Search engine interface support for devices such as the iPhone, iPod Touch, Android and Palm Pre.
So what links are Twitterers actually clicking on? Based on a user sample released Friday by Chitika, an online ad network, Twitter users most frequently accessed links directing to information about current events and news (28.49 percent). The sample consisted of about 974,000 impressions collected from Sept. 1-7.
Verizon and Motorola finally lifted the curtain on their new Droid Android phone yesterday. Make no mistake, this is Android’s flagship product, and the first phone that will pose a significant threat to Apple’s iPhone. And it will be available very soon, possibly as early as the end of this month. MobileCrunch has been tracking the phone, which has also been called the Tao or Sholes, for some time. Just about anyone who has come in contact with the phone can’t stop talking about it. And from what we hear, they have good reason.
Another week, another blog post on the subject of “why creative advertising folk need to embrace ‘technologists and their geeky ways’” once again ignites vigorous debate. The post in question is by Joe Mele, VP Client Partner at Razorfish, and received a great many comments and a huge number of re-tweets of the @BBHLabs‘ tweet that contained a link to it. The citizens of Twitter seem to react with a combination of self-loathing and schadenfreudian glee to the disruption that social technologies are wreaking on advertising. It’s a little bit dull and frankly misses the point – and it wasn’t quite (I don’t think) what Joe was saying. Of course, how advertising responds to the digital challenge is a roasting hot topic.
Technologies and services that reduce natural resource consumption and emissions are the future of global growth, as well as the pathway to climate stabilization. In China alone, expectations are for a $1 trillion annual "cleantech" market by 2013. We are now entering a transition phase in cleantech, with focus shifting from technology to market commercialization. The winning technologies will win in large part because of marketing and communications. In the case of cleantech, it's not enough as a marketer to be a good practitioner of marketing. In a world of ever increasing sophistication and specialization, in-depth knowledge of key drivers is essential to success. That means a deep understanding of underlying technology, cultural perceptions, policy, and consumer and enterprise behavior.
Twitter is a phenomenon unto itself. Which is why, in the study of Social Media, Digital Anthropology and Sociology prevails. Technology indeed facilitates interaction while also introducing us to nuances that transcend the parameters governing natural conversations and asynchronous dialogue into new forms of conversational threads and networks. Twitter is among those networks actively studied by many (myself included) as it seemingly defies the laws of natural flow and engagement. The foundation that makes Twitter work is also the very essence that should prevent it from working at all. In Social Media, psychology and the study of the mind now also plays a role in understanding the context to those affecting and affected by online behavior.
Health care is a personal issue that has become wholly public--as the national debate over reforming our system makes painfully clear. But what's often lost in the gun-toting Town Hall debates about the issue is a clear vision about how medicine could work in the future. In this feature article, frog design uses its people-centered design discipline to show how elegant health and life science technology solutions will one day become a natural part of our behavior and lifestyle. What you see here is the result of frog's ongoing collaboration with health-care providers, insurers, employers, consumers, governments, and technology companies.
Radio and TV station Web sites may be growing, but keeping up with changes in digital technology remains a constant struggle. According to the results of a new survey released today from the Radio and Television News Directors Association and Hofstra University, only 38 percent of news directors responded that they’re comfortable that their stations are on top of new technology.
It is the size of a large fridge and looks like a cross between a portable heater and a computer server. However, this new domestic device is no kitchen appliance - as suggested by the familiar logo on the front: VW. More than 60 years after creating mobility for the masses with its Beetle, Volkswagen is now trying to bring power generation into private households by diversifying into the production of miniature thermal power stations. The move follows a tradition among German carmakers to use their technology and expertise to target different markets. Porsche, for example, has used its engineering, production and design skills for products such as coffee machines and bicycles. VW's move, however, stems largely from its wish to avoid having to make redundant 160 highly experienced employees at its engines plant in Salzgitter, in the east of Germany.
What happens to marketing if mobile phones replace credit cards as a form of payment? It's something marketers need to start figuring out now. Even as more and more tests roll out across the world, marketing strategy is lagging behind new technology. In Japan, mobile payments have been in use for about four years, and about 20% of consumers are using it. But merchants have only recently tied loyalty programs to mobile payment. McDonald's, for example, introduced a loyalty and payment program last year in Japan that lets customers choose their meals, redeem coupons and pay for purchases with their mobile phones.
Polo Ralph Lauren has long been out in front of its luxury and fashion peers when it comes to technology. The brand was among the first to embrace e-commerce, and, in more recent history, it has been aggressive in its use of mobile marketing. Last year alone, the company went live with a mobile commerce platform, began using QR Codes and launched its first iPhone app (this month it launched its second app around its Rugby brand). The "Make Your Own Rugby" iPhone app allows users to personalize rugby and polo shirts, as well as upload their photos to virtually try on the shirt.
Information overload dates back to Johannes Gutenberg. His invention of movable type led to a proliferation of printed matter that quickly exceeded what a single human mind could absorb in a lifetime. Later technologies – from carbon paper to the photocopier – made replicating existing information even easier. And once information was digitised, documents could be copied in limitless numbers at virtually no cost. Digitising content also removed barriers to another activity first made possible by the printing press: publishing new information. No longer restricted by centuries-old production and distribution costs, anyone can be a publisher today. In fact, a lot of new information – personalised recommendations from Amazon, for instance – is "published" and distributed without any active human input.
Innovation is no longer the product of a singular “a-ha” moment. It has evolved into a field that can be both studied and predicted, according to Judith Rodin, the President of the Rockefeller Foundation. At the Clinton Global Initiative yesterday, Rodin suggested three systematic innovation processes that can be applied to social sector issues like global warming and malnutrition.
PSFK recently covered what the internet is killing, and this video we came across shows through various statistics how the internet is changing our lives. For example, the average American teenager sends an average of 2,272 text messages every month and more video was uploaded to YouTube in the last 2 months than if ABC, NBC and CBS had been airing new content 24/7/365 since 1948, when ABC first starting broadcasting. The cleanly presented video runs through some shocking statistics about technology and the dramatic shift of our society.
A few months ago, I sat with John Sculley, the former CEO of Apple, who described Steve Jobs' primary design principle: "Not what you can add, but what you can remove." It reminded me of the first law I outlined in my book The Laws of Simplicity, that, "The simplest way to achieve simplicity is through thoughtful reduction." This philosophy runs counter to a typical tech company's approach, where the goal is always to upgrade and add as opposed to subtract. It's true, for the consumer to pay more and get less defies conventional wisdom and seems to contradict economic principles. But simplified technology doesn't necessarily mean less functionality. Apple products aren't simple technologies by any stretch, but there is a beautiful simplicity to them.
Google Inc. Friday announced a highly anticipated service that will make it a middleman for selling graphical ads over the Internet. The technology, called the DoubleClick Ad Exchange, resembles a stock exchange for display ads, ads with images and text that appear alongside content on a Web page. It allows companies that buy ads to bid for ad space across lots of different Web sites, from blogs to major entertainment properties, in real-time based on what publishers want to sell that second. Today display ads are often purchased ahead of time through negotiations with individual Web sites or networks of sites, a process which leaves publishers with lots of unsold space.
Google's much-anticipated desktop operating system, Chrome OS (debuting in late 2010), has one main selling point: It's free. The search company plans to give the software to computer makers in an attempt to amplify its rivalry against Microsoft. That's Google's way -- nearly everything it makes is free to users. In an earlier generation, we might have scoffed at this marketing strategy. What business gives away its products? But not anymore. Free is the new normal. Today, every business that deals in intellectual property -- from software to journalism to music -- feels the no-cost push. If you're not giving it away, the thinking goes, you must be doing something wrong. Though digital prophets champion our pay-nothing future, it's instructive to consider why free sometimes fails.
I hope this is one of those resources you print out pin to your desk, and share with others. This is the core theme of this blog, the balance needed for successful web endeavors in organizations. I originally posted this diagram in 2006, then updated it in 2007, and it’s time to revisit the core structure of the goals and challenges of a Web Strategist, especially as I reset as I change roles. Who’s a Web Strategist? In a company, they often are responsible for the long term vision of corporate web properties. At a web company where their product is on the web, they’re often the product manager or CTO. Regardless of role, the responsibilities are the same, they need to balance all three of these spheres, and make sure their efforts are in the middle of all three.
Some of the major causes of death in the 18th Century were consumption, dropsy, and ague. Thanks to stronger and more precise diagnostic technology, we can see that TB, heart diseases, and assorted bacterial infections were the detailed causes underlying these conditions. Scientists developed the theories to model the reams of new data revealed to them, which enabled doctors to focus on treating the diseases, not the symptoms (as their predecessors had done). I'm playing with how this might parallel today’s social media experience. I really don't know where, or how far it goes.
When thinking of any Social Business Design problem, it's important to realize that there are three areas which will define all of the challenges which will need to be resolves in order to move any business toward a more open, collaborative model which benefits all constituents (employees, customers, partners). These areas are: People Process Technology Right now the industry is focused on technology, which is understandable since advances in it have enabled us to do so much more with less. However, I wanted to focus this short post around a subset of people. It's a thing commonly referred to as "corporate culture".
Without any fanfare, Google has launched a new resource called "Google Internet Stats" which brings together industry facts and insights from across five different industries. Using a number of third party vendors as sources, the stats tool parses through online data to reveal Twitter-sized snippets and factoids like: "Over 90% of online merchants are planning to add rich media and social networking functions in 2009 -Internet Retailing" or "Runners have collectively logged over 93 million miles on nikeplus.com - BusinessWeek." While the stat center is an excellent new resource, there is one odd thing about it - it's hosted on the google.co.uk domain even though many of the sources used for stats have a global focus. The collection of statistics is broken down into five main areas of focus: Technology, Macro Economic Trends, Media Landscape, Media Consumption, and Consumer Trends.
Yesterday, Nokia released a well-produced video demonstrating what they apparently believe to be the future of augmented reality apps. If you haven't been keeping up with AR, it's just used to denote an information layer placed over what you see. And while AR will certainly be a part of all our realities in the next few years, Nokia has it all wrong.
In the last couple of days I've had reasons to reflect on this dichotomy. Although things can happen really fast online, the process by which they tip is usually quite slow. And for good reason. Trust is something you build over time. Also, many confuse grabbing what is easy to grab for building a relationship, thinking that a fait accompli would let them get away with less than transparent business practices. With technology as an accelerator, it is easier to put the cart before the horse - to try and get what you want before you established a relationship of trust. When in doubt, ask first. It's easy to get excited with the possibilities and lose sight of the fact that there are humans on the receiving end. Wasn't that the promise of the social Web? Or has that already been forgotten in the need for a fast buck?
The printed word has always had an Achilles heel: factual mistakes. Can the electronic reader help?
Skype's new owners — Silver Lake Partners, Marc Andreessen, and company — are getting a company valued at $2.75 billion (according to former owner eBay) with 405 million users. That's $6.79 per registered user, and a little over five times Skype's 2008 revenue of $511 million. Skype grew by 44% in 2008. So did the sale — in which eBay retains a 35% stake in the company — come cheap or dear? My guess is that the buyers got a good deal because the human voice is our most fundamental communication medium.
There's a revolution brewing. We're rethinking about the manufacture of consumer products and packaging. The first Industrial Revolution featured a burst of creativity, ingenuity and inventiveness, enabling goods to be mass-produced. The next Industrial Revolution will utilize those very assets, along with the latest technological advances. By becoming better stewards of our energy, natural resources and the environment, we can make products and packaging better than we have in the past.
For decades, the adoption and use of the latest technologies was limited to a subculture: Whether called “tech enthusiasts” or “gadget geeks,” the implication was that most of the world got along fine with older, established products and services, while a smaller group pursued the most leading-edge technology. But according to a study released Wednesday by Forrester Research, a marketing firm based in Cambridge, Mass., a shift has taken place. What used to be the pursuit of a few has become decidedly mainstream. We’re all gadget geeks now.
If you want to understand how ESPN went from a two-story building surrounded by satellites in 1979 to the world's largest sports-media brand, spend a day at the company's campus in Bristol, Conn. On the eve of ESPN's 30th anniversary, MediaWorks took a trip up north to the company's Media Workshop, where dozens of sports-media reporters and bloggers convened for a detailed tour of what makes the Walt Disney Co.'s top-grossing cable property tick. Here are some highlights from the day's sessions.
If you haven’t yet heard about Augmented Reality or Web Squared, allow me to make a quick introduction. This is the next iteration of the Web and also desktop and mobile applications and is indicative of the future hybrid Web and device experience. And no, it’s not called Web 3.0.
There are more than 300 million of us in the United States, and sometimes it seems like we're all friends on Facebook. But the sad truth is that Americans are lonelier than ever.
In 2001, Jonathan Kaplan and Ariel Braunstein noticed a quirk in the camera market. All the growth was in expensive digital cameras, but the best-selling units by far were still cheap, disposable film models. That year, a whopping 181 million disposables were sold in the US, compared with around 7 million digital cameras. Spotting an opportunity, Kaplan and Braunstein formed a company called Pure Digital Technologies and set out to see if they could mix the rich chocolate of digital imaging with the mass-market peanut butter of throwaway point-and-shoots. They called their brainchild the Single Use Digital Camera and cobranded it with retailers, mostly pharmacies like CVS.
Augmented Reality is a hot, hot topic at the moment (which is we we've written about it twice today), and promises to revolutionize how you seek local information from your smartphone. But in the years ahead, once it's gone mainstream, you'll begin to hear about the dangers of this augmented version of reality. Here are three obvious problems that we see on the horizon:
Starting with the book "Groundswell" and continuing now for three years running, we've analyzed consumers' participation in social technologies around the world with a tool called the Social Technographics Profile. The profile puts online people into overlapping groups based on their participation (at least once a month) in a ladder of behaviors, from Inactives, a group that doesn't participate in social technologies, to Creators, who pen blogs, publish web pages, upload video and photos and write and post stories.
Sending and receiving at breakneck speed can make life queasy; a manifesto for slow communication.
North of the Arctic Circle, a top priority for fishermen is to catch and dry enough char to last the winter. Fishermen near the equator race to market before insects and bacteria spoil their catch. Climate is the driving factor shaping these vastly different fishing practices. In many corporations, the same is true for marketing and IT departments.
You've heard a lot about Augmented Reality recently, but what is it--and why exactly should you care about the technology? We spoke with Maarten Lens-FitzGerald, one of the founders of Layar, an Amsterdam company that is leading the charge with their smartphone app, to gain insight.
Last week Google informally gave a heads-up that we should all be expecting a change in its main Web search results, based on a new update to search technology that mostly affects its indexing process. Dubbed Google Caffeine, it is a "secret project" considered to be next-generation architecture for Google Web search. And in addition to shaking up the results a bit, it may also pave new roads toward the goal of real-time search results.
Putting ads in digital games or broadcasting standard video spots about major console games is nothing new. But broadcasting an ad made from the fully-interactive code of a major console game is. And that practice, which reached new heights with the release of "Kill Zone 2" earlier this year, signals the rise of a new genre of advertising creativity. This nine-minute program spotlights Loni Peristere, the co-founder of Zoic, the special-effects studio that helped create the groundbreaking broadcast game-engine spot for "Kill Zone" entitled "Bullet Journey."
Twitter went down last week, and the world got very quiet. People didn't know what do with themselves; they wanted to tweet the news that Twitter was down, but that was out of the question. Entire overheard conversations went unremarked upon, and mini-reviews of recent episodes of True Blood withered on the vine. I saw a funny Onion video that I was sure my followers would have appreciated and an outrageous Rush Limbaugh quote that demanded my impassioned response, but what could I do? Twitter was down for just a few hours—the service's first major outage during its new era of ubiquity—and it felt strange.
How the brain hard-wires us to love Google, Twitter, and texting. And why that's dangerous.
One of the best parts of vacationing in a small town is visiting the local video store, where the proprietor--a scruffy guy who loves everything related to movies--will recommend films that he thinks you'll love. There's no scientific algorithm to his suggestions, no data analysis or statistical assessment. The owner makes his recommendations based on bits and pieces of casual conversation with customers. I was thinking about that video store as I read about the contest hosted by Netflix, which offered a $1 million prize to anyone who could significantly improve its recommendation system and ended in July. While digital technology has made our lives more convenient in many ways, especially in the way it helps people make buying decisions, smart companies realize that there are some things even the most sophisticated digital applications can't do. Above all, they can't replace the personal touch that often helps consumers distinguish one brand from another.
Karl and Dorsey Gude of East Lansing, Mich., can remember simpler mornings, not too long ago. They sat together and chatted as they ate breakfast. They read the newspaper and competed only with the television for the attention of their two teenage sons. That was so last century. Today, Mr. Gude wakes at around 6 a.m. to check his work e-mail and his Facebook and Twitter accounts. The two boys, Cole and Erik, start each morning with text messages, video games and Facebook.
"It seems like there is always another social network to join or another tool I'm supposed to learn. How can I keep up?" At every talk I give, somebody asks this question. Here's the answer: you can't.
Launched last month under their Puffin label, We Make Stories is the latest in a long line of digital publishing innovations masterminded by Jeremy Ettinghausen, Penguin’s Digital Publisher. This is the second piece we’ve done in recent months looking at the publishing industry as a whole. Back in May we wrote about the transformational change going on at TMG in the UK (also check out the ever brilliant Nieman Lab for a far deeper examination of journalism in this respect). Why are we so interested in what’s going on here? In short, we’re witnessing a radical re-shaping of an industry we believe we can learn a lot from. An industry which - aside from its sheer cultural importance in the first place - has been experimenting with new creative & organisational solutions for some time now.
Yahoo's long nightmare is over, having finally offloaded its search business to Microsoft after years of rumors, negotiations and reversals. Now all it has to do is figure out what comes next. A new era at Yahoo began the minute CEO Carol Bartz signed the paperwork turning over the right to conduct searches on Yahoo's huge network of Web sites to Microsoft in exchange for 88 percent of the revenue generated by Microsoft's Bing. Now Yahoo is first and foremost a media company, in the business of attracting as many people to its properties as possible in hopes of selling lucrative ad deals on those pages.
Open source technology and lead user innovation: two subjects very much in evidence across a diverse number of business sectors today. But how can they help companies grow, and what can we learn from the likes of open innovators ranging from small communities of windsurfers to digital giant Google?
General knowledge, from capital cities to key dates, has long been a marker of an educated mind. But what happens when facts can be Googled? Brian Cathcart confers with educationalists, quiz-show winners and Bamber Gascoigne ...
In the Web world, you know that a trend has major traction when IBM is all over it. Like any large Internet company, Big Blue is careful about which trends it latches onto. It was a good couple of years before they were spotted at the Web 2.0 conference, for example. However in the case of Internet of Things, IBM is proving itself to be an unusually early adopter.
The best way to innovate in design is by solving today’s problems…if you’re successful then you’ll soon be asked to solve tomorrow’s as well.
While speaking at the intimate and immensely valuable Zappos Insights event (Zappos Live), I shared thoughts of how the culture of any company or brand is as strong as the individual personification of it. Everything starts and fortifies with you. Your actions and words online are indeed extensions to how people interpret, perceive, and react to the brand your represent. Concurrently, you also represent your personal brand – the digital identity that’s established through the collection of digital shadows you cast across the social web.
When it comes to the future of consumer electronics, Best Buy says individual gadgets don't mean as much as marketers think they do. Instead, "we see tremendous opportunity around how those devices work with each other, and with content people already own," says Shari Ballard, EVP/retail channel management for the Minneapolis-based chain. "People are trying to do things with their technology products, not just acquire them."
We need to be careful when we talk about digital media, that we don't get the tools mixed up with the behaviors. Obsessing over the significance of one site over another, or arguing the importance of participating on a site while not even considering what you're going to do when you get there or if it's even the right place, is a waste of time.
For the last few years, I've been spoiled. I've been surrounded by people who, when asked a question, immediately bring out a digital device and look it up. The conferences that I've attended have backchannels as a given. Tweeting, blogging, Wikipedia-ing... these are all just what we do. It's not all there - it's still broken. My cohort is still always in search of a power plug and there's a lag between the time a question is asked and the point at which the iPhone's slow browser is loaded, the query is entered, and the answer is given. Still, we're getting there. Or so I thought.
l find many things remarkable about psychiatrist George Vaillant's longitudinal studies of 268 Harvard men, not least of which is their time span -- 72 years! To see someone transformed from a teenager to an old man is usually the stuff of fiction, not academic research. It turns out though that real lives are not that different from fiction, what with so many unpredictable twists and turns. What struck me most was the depth of personal transformations many of Vaillant's subjects' lives take.
It's been called micro-blogging, micro-sharing and a variety of other phrases including the word ambient. But there's a significant attribute that's been less discussed and is critical to both business and social implications regarding how we live and work. Technology allows us to signal our every movement, thought, action and status in real time. It's pretty powerful stuff and why millions of people are addicted to telling their own social systems what they are doing whether it be a status update on Facebook or a tweet.
Pandemics. Global warming. Food shortages. No more fossil fuels. What are humans to do? The same thing the species has done before: evolve to meet the challenge. But this time we don’t have to rely on natural evolution to make us smart enough to survive. We can do it ourselves, right now, by harnessing technology and pharmacology to boost our intelligence. Is Google actually making us smarter?
Avatar bank tellers, e-wallpaper for your home and an electronic Memory Shrine that keeps the sounds, images and memories that are important to you are among the devices that Ericsson believes we could be using in the next decade. Ericsson, the company that, with Sony, gave birth to Sony Ericsson in 2001, has unveiled its Life in 2020 project, which involved 450 experts from inside and outside the company coming together to predict how technology will be used in the future.
Rich Barton, a superstar of the Internet era, settles across from me in a coffee shop in Centreville, Virginia, looking like a 1950s sitcom dad—glasses, preppy haircut, V-neck sweater. He built Expedia in the 1990s, co-founded the real-estate site Zillow in 2005, and most recently launched Glassdoor.com, which lets employees grade their workplaces for the public to see. When I wonder what Barton might get into next, he leans forward to tell me his investment mantra: “If it can be rated, it will be rated,” he says.
How advances in mobile and gaming signal what's next for this virtual meets real world technology.
Living wirelessly has contributed to a branding mess. Notebooks, netbooks, smartphones and (coming soon) smartbooks are on a collision course as each adopts some of the others' design elements and features, becoming more homogeneous and harder to differentiate: Lighter, thinner notebooks are starting to look like larger-screen netbooks. And small netbooks running on mobile platforms are starting to feel a lot like large-screen app-driven smartphones.
Google handles roughly two-thirds of all Internet searches. It owns the largest online video site, YouTube, which is more than 10 times more popular than its nearest competitor. And last year, Google sold nearly $22 billion in advertising, more than any media company in the world.
In 1969, the Neiman Marcus catalog offered the first home PC, a stylish stand-up model called the Honeywell Kitchen Computer, priced at $10,600. The picture shows an aproned housewife caressing the machine, with this tag line: "If she can only cook as well as Honeywell can compute." That image should be on every cubicle in Silicon Valley; it's a testament both to what technologists get right and what they get badly wrong.
Intel and Nokia unveiled plans on Tuesday to work together to create a type of mobile computing device beyond today’s smartphones and netbooks. The move takes Intel a step further towards a breakthrough into the highly prized mobile phone market. Nokia typically works with potential suppliers on joint research for several years before deciding to adopt a particular technology.
Now that the refrains of "Twitter Revolution" and "the first uprising powered by social media" are fading into the distant memory that is 24 hours ago, we can start debating what impact, if any, it had (or is still having) on events in Iran. Social movements are, well, social, by their very definition; people have been agitating and acting together since the platform tools to do so were quill pens, inkwells, and whispering in one another's ears. Nothing new there. So the first question to ask is whether new media changed the conduct or outcomes of the social event itself (i.e. in Iran). I'm not sure it did.
With the rollout of an "augmented-reality" app for Android phones, IBM is bringing state-of-the-art technology to the U.K.'s most traditional sporting event, the Wimbledon Tennis Championships. As the tournament kicks off on June 22, the crowds at the All England Lawn Tennis Club will be able to use an Android smartphone application specially developed to enhance the event.
Is our increasing desire to stay in the loop distracting us from the people who should matter the most in our lives?
Twenty-five million births a year make India a fertile market for BabyCenter. But until recently the Johnson & Johnson-owned company reached fewer than 5% of Indian parents -- its scope limited by the country's low internet penetration. Its solution: the phone. India's mobile-subscriber base jumped almost 50% in the past year to reach 38% of the country's population. But it wasn't as simple as creating a mobile app or WAP site. Due to low mobile-web access and, in some areas, literacy, BabyCenter opted for an old-school approach: a "voice portal," whereby Indian moms call a local number to hear audio versions of the site's newsletters and other due-date-specific information. The undertaking is indicative of the challenges media companies and marketers face when trying to package a global mission into local experiences.
One of the more important features of the new iPhone may be the least-widely heralded by the tech punditry: it has a compass. This matters not because now you'll always know which way is North with the iPhone, or even because you can make a quick-and-dirty metal detector with it. It matters because it finally opens up the iPhone to real augmented reality.
Augmented reality is the latest tech trick brands are deploying on their sites. Until now, however, it has been employed mostly in the service of creating cool 3-D brand experiences. Enter the U.S. Postal Service. The USPS is using the technology not to immerse consumers in a brand experience, but for a more prosaic purpose: to help them determine if objects will fit in shipping boxes.
One-point-five seconds. If you believe neuroscientists, that's all the time we have to get someone's attention with our marketing messages. In little more than the blink of an eye, each of our targeted customers plays judge and jury to our marketing handiwork and decides whether to pay attention to us or banish us to the ash heap of misspent marketing dollars.
Sometimes, if not most times, the best solution is also the simplest one. Why develop a complex device to connect two irregularly sized shapes when a bit of sellotape will do? Why ask people a series of complex questions about improving your product when what you really want to know is “how could we do things better”? And why provide complex levels of interactivity and engagement on your website when all you want is to get a few conversations going?
Imagine getting hit with a food or drink craving while you're sitting in your seat at a sporting event. The seat cost you close to a left lung, so you don't want to waste a lot of time walking to the concession stand (and dealing with all of your fellow sports fanatics). So you text your order on your phone, and it appears before you a short time thereafter.
Here’s a question: how would Twitter change for you if you didn’t know how many followers you have? What if the designers at Twitter removed the number from all screens/APIs and forced you to rely on replies or retweets to let you know what was going on? Would that be OK with you? How would it change your behavior?
With new titles like “deputy chief technology officer” for former Google head of global public policy Andrew McLaughlin, "director of citizen participation” for ex-Google project manager Katie Stanton, and head of the new White House Office of Social Innovation for economist Sonal Shah, once head of Google's philanthropic arm Google.org, it seems pretty clear that the Obama administration is racking up insiders from the grand monopolist of internet advertising just because it can.
During the past decade, innovation has stumbled. And that may help explain America's economic woes.
Although consumers may be cutting back on their consumer electronics purchases, they may be more willing to pay a premium for devices with clear innovative benefits, according to online electronics resource Retrevo.
Social media is revolutionizing our lives as individuals and as marketers. In the last year, Facebook exploded globally and Twitter grew by a staggering 1382%. Last week Google launched the ‘Wave’, a new in-browser collaboration tool, ushering in the era of real time, aggregated communication.
As the economy declines and consumer spending habits undergo a vast reevaluation, there is nowhere left to hide. The media industry, in other words, must adapt or die.
The concept of branding is already undergoing dramatic changes. New technologies have allowed us to go beyond mass production to mass customize brands. Currently brand manufacturers own their brands. This is changing. In the future brands will increasingly be owned by the consumer. The first signs of this shift appeared in the late 1990s. I documented this phenomenon in my book BRANDchild and named it MSP -- Me Selling Proposition.
Oprah Winfrey may already be the Queen of All Media, but lately she’s been gunning for another title: Queen of All Tech. Thursday’s episode of the show (taped earlier this month) is entirely dedicated to Skype, eBay’s soon-to-be-spun-off Internet communications service.
Today's reality consists of multiple media channels, new technologies and consumers who have a short attention span. Traditional communications are no longer sufficient for creating loyal fans or bringing the brand to the forefront. This new reality demands a new approach to engaging consumers; this is where corporate social responsibility (CSR) as branded content comes in.
Glympse is just one of the companies presenting the latest in geo-aware technology at the O’Reilly Where 2.0 conference, which takes place this week in San Jose, California.
Over the last several years, the problem of attention has migrated right into the center of our cultural attention. We hunt it in neurology labs, lament its decline on op-ed pages, fetishize it in grassroots quality-of-life movements, diagnose its absence in more and more of our children every year, cultivate it in yoga class twice a week, harness it as the engine of self-help empires, and pump it up to superhuman levels with drugs originally intended to treat Alzheimer’s and narcolepsy. Everyone still pays some form of attention all the time, of course—it’s basically impossible for humans not to—but the currency in which we pay it, and the goods we get in exchange, have changed dramatically.
At a time when many companies’ investments in innovation are being cut, technology and media companies are showing that there can be advantages in harnessing the ideas of customers or even competitors.
As books make the leap from cellulose and ink to electronic pages, some editors worry that too much is being lost in translation. Typography, layout, illustrations and carefully thought-out covers are all being reduced to a uniform, black-on-gray template that looks the same whether you’re reading Pride and Prejudice, Twilight or the Federalist Papers.
For decades, the nation’s biggest antitrust cases have centered on technology companies. And they have all been efforts by the government to deal with powerful companies with far-reaching influence, like AT&T, the telephone monopoly; I.B.M., the mainframe computer giant; and Microsoft, the powerhouse of personal computer software. Last week, the Obama administration declared a sharp break with the Bush years, vowing to toughen antitrust enforcement, especially for dominant companies. The approach is closer to that of the European Union, where regulators last week fined Intel $1.45 billion for abusing its power in the chip market.
New research by IDC points to falling sales of the chip that drives the majority of netbook PCs--Intel's Atom CPU. One suggestion is that the first quarter 33% drop is a sign that the netbook's rise to fame is on a down trend. In truth, that's not quite right. But the situation is complex.
The lack of innovation in pop music suggests that we are experiencing an energy crisis in culture at large.
As recently as the last five years, a new form of marketing has begun to take shape, hoping to be the answer to accessing the 65 million Generation Yers who own a cell phone. This new approach is known as mobile marketing.
As the world goes Kindle and iPhone-mad, paperbacks and mixtapes become worthy of devotion. Llewellyn Hinkes sees his entire music collection disappear and wonders what it meant.
The virtual world Second Life ("SL") has been in the news recently, announcing some high-profile executive changes, and a new policy to help users filter out mature content. I think the thing might be dead already, only nobody knows it yet.
Listening is about being still. And patient. And generous. It’s a difficult trifecta to achieve. Think about the last time almost anyone you know gave their absolute attention to you or someone who was talking to them. You have to quiet your mind entirely, and be willing to be influenced by someone else’s thinking and thoughts. You need to put aside any desire to rebut or argue a point, and be completely open and non-judgmental. Very hard to do.
Considering the sophistication of humans as mammals, it is still interesting how we are doomed to repeat the same behavioral patterns as our primate ancestors, even when is comes to social media.
Marketers are taking a pragmatic view of the recession due to customer anxiety, reduced spending, slow complex selling cycles and more. However, research shows that online marketing is effective, so marketers increasingly need to find new ways to optimize their online and offline activities.
For the first time in its history, Microsoft saw a year-over-year quarterly revenue drop -- and it predicts a "long and gradual" recovery. Quarterly revenue fell 6% in its fiscal third quarter to $13.65 billion from the year-earlier quarter. Profit also took a hit, down 32% to $2.98 billion and 33 cents per share.
"Know your consumer" is a business commandment certain to be deeply ingrained at the heart of any successful company. Never, however, has that consumer morphed so quickly or become so elusive. It is important for marketers to grasp and understand the key drivers of this new empowered consumer, one who has grown up with brand new perspectives and redefined the interplay of communications, relationships, brands, technology and media. This is Consumer 2.0.
Much has been made of savvy marketers using "crowdsourcing" to connect their brands with customers, and plenty of pixels have been published on the success of crowdsourced programs like Dell's IdeaStorm, Starbucks' MyStarbucksIdea, The Netflix Prize and Lego's invite-only community. But quite recently a much different discussion has emerged, as crowdsourcing is starting to change the very way we think about creativity, both online and off.
The controversial, anti-Web 2.0, figure of Andrew Keen spoke at the Next Web in Amsterdam and outlined some of the themes that he is developing for his next book. Keen is most famous for deriding the ‘cult of the amateur’, as he calls it, or rather the explosion of social media which arose with the new platforms to emerge alongside what became known as Web 2.0. In a long speech - without notes - he talked about a new age of individualism. With the end of the industrial revolution, “we,” essentially are now “the product.”
The global publishing giants have declared war on the new technology generation of content distributors -- but they have lost sight of what consumers value and how they want to get to the value. It's time to separate content creators from distributors. It's time for a new business model which requires technology understanding and leadership to develop -- and one that new generation search applications like Google News and Digg for the consumer, or FirstRain for the professional investor, can sign up for to get the right news to the right people at the right price for them.
Art has always been a source of inspiration for the ad industry and continues to lead to new avenues for brand expression. If art imitates life, ads imitate art for good reason. Our talent is still about storytelling and words are still some of our most important tools, but technology continues to provide new canvases for bringing brand messages to life.
Ten brains are better than one, right? Crowdsourcing will always make projects go faster. That's why The Energy Crowd, a crowd-sourced based Web site for renewable energy technologies, is moving so quickly with its first project.
By thinking outside the parameters imposed by technology, executives and designers can build businesses by creating an experience that truly resonates.
Over the past few decades, we've gotten accustomed to "Mo'Better Tech" as the only way forward. As a culture, we are conditioned to consume and throw away good, functioning products in favor of the latest "gadget." (I hate the term "gadget" but that's a different story). As result, as we move through life, we leave an endless trail of discarded objects around the globe. But apart from the environmental issues surrounding technology disposal, what is the problem with Mo'Better Tech?
Today is Ada Lovelace Day, an "international day of blogging to draw attention to women excelling in technology," which I support 100%. I find the event particularly interesting for two reasons:
When "Monsters vs. Aliens," a DreamWorks Animation movie about an extra-terrestrial attack, hits theaters next weekend, it will set off another invasion: a new wave of big-budget 3-D films.
What happens when you can design your physical world as easily as you can reformat your blog?
While many entrenched in the media industry are trying to find ways to prop up the traditional model of print - micropayments, subscription models, media cartels - in the face of economic turmoil, some thinkers - Steven Berlin Johnson and Clay Shirky among them - believe that this attempt at life support is only delaying their inevitable demise or perhaps, reorder.
In the two decades since a small group of researchers adopted a hyperlink system to share data between institutions, scientific research — and the world — have changed profoundly.
Status updates on sites such as Facebook, Yammer, Twitter and Friendfeed are a new form of communication, the South by SouthWest Festival has heard.
When Peter Shipman, a franchise owner of the Qdoba casual Mexican restaurant chain, was launching his third outlet in the college town of Ann Arbor, Mich., he needed a way to draw students to the new location -- and he wanted to speak their technological parlance. So he bought ads in the campus newspaper and posted promotional posters, each with a code kids could scan with their phones to get a mobile coupon for a buy-one-get-one-free burrito.
The Blockbuster is dead, long live the blockbuster. At least that's what the technology omens are saying. The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that Blockbuster Video, whose shares are trading below $1, is seeking advice on how to file for bankruptcy. Blockbuster counters it's only trying to get help to restructure its debt.
Apple's iPhone has wowed most of the globe — but not Japan, where the handset is selling so poorly it's being offered for free.
The tagline for this year's Interactive Advertising Bureau annual meeting is "Brands Battle Back." But Tuesday morning's theme might have been "Revenge of the Tech Guys." After several days of debating the merits of art versus science in the online ad industry -- during which the ad network side of the business took a consistent pounding -- Google stood up in support of technologists.
Web 2.0 tools present a vast array of opportunities—for companies that know how to use them.
An electronic Rubik's Cube and an action figure modeled after President Barack Obama were among the crowd-pleasers on display on Sunday at the annual Toy Fair, where manufacturers said they had their fingers crossed for better fortunes in the new year.
It's early yet, but it seems that 2009 may very well be the year of the netbook. According to ABI Research, netbook shipments will reach 35 million this year, and expand to nearly 140 million by 2013. The explosion of a category only recently introduced to the public comes after a confluence of technology and acceptance, says ABI practice director Kevin Burden.
Piping Internet video into a television seems as if it should be simple — after all, a screen is a screen. But consumer electronics and media companies have been moving toward that combination with painstaking caution, both because of technical limitations and to protect their existing business models.
Who hasn't put a perfectly good fax machine on the curb? In those hasty moments of purging, you think, "I don't need this dinosaur. Who faxes anymore?" Hope it wasn't a really nice one you junked, because someday you'll wish you had it back. The facsimile isn't going anywhere.
With Amazon's new iPhone app. you can snap a photo in a store or on a friends' book shelf and Amazon will find you the item for sale on its site.
Everywhere we look, we see screens.These ever-present screens have created an audience for very short moving pictures, as brief as three minutes, while cheap digital creation tools have empowered a new generation of filmmakers, who are rapidly filling up those screens. We are headed toward screen ubiquity.
Snazzy new technology isn't enough to bring transparency to the White House.
Every year at the Web 2.0 Summit, Morgan Stanley Internet analyst Mary Meeker gives her view of the world, the Web, and the technology industry by quickly going through about 50 slides that illustrate the major trends she is tracking.