Saturday, January 17, 2009

When Adopting Convenience Becomes Inconvenient

As I was standing in line in front of the movie theatre to watch a movie the other night, I noticed that the lines to buy tickets at the door were rather short. I then noticed that the majority of people were actually lining up to use one of two machines allowing customers to pick up tickets that are pre-purchased online.

Sounds convenient to quickly enter a confirmation number into a kiosk to obtain an admission pass, but in the end it's anything but. And I’m not talking about any design or experience issues with this type of machine either (using one is pretty straight forward).

In this case, opting to use such a service is inconvenient - not as the result of the service itself, but as a result of our own behavior to adopt the service.

When services provide value, their utility causes us to experience convenience. The resulting consequence however, is that when enough people find such a service useful, our herd-like behavior causes inconvenience as the result of adopting convenience.
Don't get me wrong. Adopting services with value has its benefits, and not all services may encounter this problem. But one day, we might find ourselves adopting convenience, only to realize that our own behavior to adopt it creates inconvenience.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

2009: A New Year in Digital

This year will bring some rather exciting changes to the digital media landscape. In truth, all years have something new as the boundaries of technologies are being pushed, and as the result of the changing-behavior among users who are continue to embrace new services and what they have to offer. 2009 however, will be different in that consumption and the Internet usage is shifting as the result of the economic situation (at least here in North America).

This presentation hopes to shed light on some of what has happened in 2008, and what we can expect more of over the next 11 1/2 months.

Note: A special thanks to Helge Tenno of Screenplay, who was the inspiration for the visual design and layout of the presentation.

Update: Slide 10 was updated to reference proper credit (Thanks Helge :o). An additional slide was include to provide another example on storytelling through unexpected platforms, with an explanation now provide for the Mini example under Augmented Reality.

Download the revised version here (megaupload link).
2009: A New Year In Digital
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: digital media)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Hard Times

I took the liberty of creating a slideshow of Ben Mason's and Nicholas Felton's version of the Charles Dickens classic. Nothing deeply insightful, but it is visually appealing, and it does note some stats on youth and their internet behavior, the innovation of ideas, social networking, and on today's culture growing out of love with old ideas.
Hard Times
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: culture ideas)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Brands and The Meaning of Mutual Exchange

While the majority of society can generally describe advertising as a paid commercial message transmitted within a mass medium, there is no single definition that describes it today. Historians, sociologists, marketers, and the common citizen all view advertising differently – as an art form, a science, or marketing tool of within our capitalist world. James Laver, a British historian, broadly described advertising during the 19th century—a time when companies made outrageous claims which could not be proved, and with practically no regulation—as follows:

“Advertising is as old as Humanity: indeed, much older; for what are the flaunting colours of the flowers but so many invitations to the bees to come and “buy our product.” Advertising might be defined as any device which first arrests the attention of the passer-by and then induces him to accept a mutually advantageous exchange.”

In other words, advertising may be described as a mechanism for 1) getting the attention of an individual and then, 2) persuading that individual to engage in some kind of action—ultimately, to use some type of service or buy product.

The truth, however, is that this definition is practically outdated in today’s society, and not necessarily as a result of advertising clutter, the increasing ineffectiveness of awareness campaign, technology, or even the Internet itself. Before the first screen (theatre), radio, the second screen (TV), the third screen (Web), or even the fourth screen (mobile), advertising and marketing still existed. But it wasn’t just word of mouth, the printing press, or a placard on the street. Before that, what got people to act and take interest in something, to believe in what someone else said, was the result of social connections.

I think what Laver meant to say that still applies even today is that 1) the product is the marketing, and 2) Advertising, even in today’s technological, digital, and connected world should work to create mutually, or rather exchanges resulting in the connection between brands and participants.

“Mutually” being the keyword here. In 2009, Mutual brands will join with people, as well as allow them to join with others. Mutual brands will engage with people in cooperative ways, will have common thread, will share goals with society, and unite with those within social environments, for a specific cause, and ultimately become a part of an evolution of exchanges to come.

In 2009, marketers will collectively begin to understand that mutual exchanges, that giving rather than taking, and that providing value to people who are no longer interested in consuming as much as they are interested in participating, will be the new brand currency. Looking forward, audiences will no longer be known as consumers, but as participants, joiners and socialists, each with their own brand currencies to trade on their terms.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Twitter and Geo-Tagging as Platforms for Academic Participation

Recently, one of my past university professors reached out and asked how he could get students in his advertising class to adopt new media as part of his classroom instruction. “Give them assignment using Twitter,” was my reply. He couldn’t have been more stoked, and I couldn’t have been quicker to answer without really thinking about what I just said.

As I later wondered how interesting a concept this was, I further began to think about how the use of micro-blogging to communicate in an academic environment was really something that students could get excited about, even if it is just an experiment. I then thought of how other forms of technology could be applied to other subjects such as my geology class. I loved to study the subject, and I would have loved to have used a mobile phone with the ability to geo-tag photos of the field trips we took every week and upload them to Flickr, and to later be able to go back and look at all the beauty we surveyed, from the desert sands to caves to the tops of mountains, all categorized and stored by location, along with annotations of other things that were observed today. Take that one step further to provide geo-utility with mobile devices also acting as SPIMES or using augmented reality to layer the same data from past trips onto mobile devices as they are used to view natural objects on trips from future classes. All of this providing a completely new and immersive experience, all just to learn about rocks, or anything else for that matter.

Friday, January 2, 2009

INQ1: The World's First Social Mobile Device

Mobile service provider 3 Network has recently launched INQ1, a mobile device that fully integrated social features such as Facebook, Skype, and IM as part of its operating system.
Some of the more interesting features include facebook status updates from your friends that are integrated into your contact list, including eBay and custom widget funtionality. The best part? The phone's ability to act as a plug and play 3G modem. The only feature that wasn't highlighted is whether or not the phone has GPS capabilities.
The emergence of a mobile device catering to the social crowd beyond text messaging allows for social networking portability that will become part of the future of social media.

More details on the INQ1 website.