Head on over to Twitter for the latest ;)
Head on over to Twitter for the latest ;)
I have been thinking a lot about the role of online video lately. Having worked in the area of web communication for more than a decade I have seen a fair share of video projects and for some strange reason I have always been reluctant to accept the fact that journalistically themed online video is a differentiator when it comes to boosting business sales.
Yup... I do know that YouTube is one of the most succesfull online services in existence. Duh! But most of the content shown on YouTube is pure entertainment akin to "boy trips over dog and stumbles into cake." There will always be a market for short superficious entertaining segments. The problem with the genre of online video used by many businesses is that they have embraced a journalistic video format without asking whether it is really right for their purpose.
No skimming allowed
Video communication is demanding a lot more attention of the user than written communcation. In a text it is easy to skim and skip forward to points of interest. In a world with an anbundance of information this is how people actually use the web - bouncing back and forth between nuggets of interest. Few sit down and immerse themselves for an extended period of time. This is nevertheless what online video demands of the user. Here you cannot easily skip forward to what interests you and often you also have to sit through commercial segments, buffering time and so forth.
If I am interested in the future of the American car industry I would much rather skim an article on the subject than having to sit through a 7 minute video interview. Wouldn't you?
Live from aisle 7
So why do organizations keep on hiring online video specialists, and invest in video capabilities? In my opinion this all hinges on the relative newness of the online channel as a communication platform. Anything is possible on the web; radio, video, chat... your name it. And there are few real facts on the effectiveness of each of these means of communcation. So why not try them all. This way the workers union winds up with an online podcast that no one downloads and the grocery store chain winds up with broadcast facilities that would make most modern tv station envious - but with no interested viewers.
Is video then totally useless when it comes to online communication. I think not. I am sure that a web site like asos.com gains a lot of business from their Catwalk Feature where customers can see the clothes in action. In my mind there are certain areas where video is even more powerful than the written word. Whenever you need to explain how something is done or demonstrate a product there is actually a good case to be made for video. IKEA could for instance offer video turtorials on how to assemble their furniture. L'oreal could demonstrate how their make-up is applied and Bank of America might present a tutorial on how to proctect your credit card pincode from scammers. Such things make perfectly good sense - also seen from a business case perspective. But introduing journalistic video on business web sites is not the way to go.
You have a long flight coming up and don’t want to get stuck sitting next to someone you have absolutely nothing in common with.
In the future it may be possible to book a seat mate based on suggestions from your social networks - so that you have common interest with the person next to you. Air France KLM is planning this feature in their booking engine for next year and Techcrunch has the details.
Seduction may not be the first thing you think about when you hear the term "interaction design." However, there may be both rhyme and reason to look at your interaction design as a way of seducing the user.
Insight for all communicators: Don't let the technical platform cramp your style. The movie Olive is the first feature length film shot entirely on a mobile phone using a Nokia N8 and a A 35 mm lens adapter fabricated to fit the smart phone in order to achieve a shallow depth of field.
The film stars two time Academy Award nominated actress Gena Rowlands (the Notebook, A Woman Under the Influence, Gloria) and will be shown in 2000+ movie theaters across on 2,000+ across the United States .
Want to see the future for banks and financial providers?
Take a look at Personal Capital.
The site is sort of a Mint.com with real banking services aimed at the mass affluent segment. They do a darned good job at vizualising the abstract world of spending, savings and investments for their customers.
Personal Capital is an American example. Please chime in (in the comments below) if you have a European one?
Have a sweet Black Friday ;)
So, should we be gearing up for a March release of iPad 3 and iPhone 5? Yup, according to all things Apple web site iLounge this is indeed the case.
The iPad three is rumored to be 0,7 mm thicker due to a better screen while the next iPhone will be 8.0 mm longer sporting a 4 inch display.
I love rumors :)
So, I have been holding on to my Google Plus (G+) account for almost three weeks now. Waiting for people I know to join me in Google heaven. But guess what... I'm still waiting.
I have of course already connected with the ususal tech crowd in there, but family and friends haven't joined the new Google service? And I doubt if they ever will.
I am aware that it's still a beta version we are looking at. Still, I have a hard time seeing this new service take off even out of beta. It is slightly better designed than facebook, has some neat features that are a little spunkier than Twitter and seems to be ideal for the same sort of professional networking that Linkedin was designed for. Still I question whether G+ will become a smash hit with the general internet crowd for the simple reason that G+ is not introducing radically new functionality that people cannot do without. There is no built-in killer App so to speak! So, why would users move their communicational activities to an entirely new turf, like G+, where on top of it all, they will also have to get acquainted with a new UI?
As I see it G+'s main attraction point is that it integrates your social network with your mail and other Google services. But for people who don't use Gmail, Docs or similar services this is not really a selling point. Another feature that has been touted as a G+ forte is the possibillity to establish numerous networks within G+, a.k.a. the circle system. This feature is admittedly elegantly implemented in G+, but I am sure that facebook is already hard at work to come out with a similar feature (In fact Facebook already has a sifting functionality, it is just not that usable).
Don't get me wrong. This post is not intended to put down G+. I am all for competition and efforts to compete with the Facebooks and Twitters of this world. And it may very well be that I am totally not seeing where this is going. After all, the battle has just begun and the contestants may change strategy many times down the road. If I am off in my prediction, I promise I will be the first to post it on G+ :-)
Do you want to do ten different things today, but only have time to do eight? Well, why not employ the service of a personal assistant. You can even do it virtually via a service like Fancy Hands which provides personal assistants in the cloud for a low monthly fee.
Whether you need to book a table at a restaurant or do research on web site optimization, Fancy Hands claim they can do it. The service has more than 100 people employed in the US and England who can perform almost any quick task for you. Deadline can be within minutes, at any hour of the day. You can send them 15 emails with task requests per month for $30. An algorithm sorts the tasks and routes each one to the most appropriate employee.
Ed Zitron of Forbes has tried out the service and describes the experience like this:
"I had them do research for me – actual things that I’d usually do myself that were neither time-sensitive nor crucial to me breathing on a minute-to-minute basis.What came back were several well-written, surprisingly-detailed reports that were far beyond a base-level Googling. In essence, they became an extra pair of hands – what one would expect, but not usually get, from a service such as this."
Supposedly Fancy Hands is quite simple to use. You sign in via a Google account to register. From then on you email requests to a generic FancyHands email box. All your tasks are organized on a dashboard behind login at the Fancy hand web site.
Take a walk. Take a picture. Get paid.
Gigwalk is an iPhone app that seems to suggest peer-to-peer is not a thing of the past. Gathering tiny parts of information from many users into a whole detailed view that a company can act on is basically the business model of Gigwalk.
Gigwalk's first customer has been TomTom maker of navigational equipment. The company knows that there will always be errors in its navigation that even a workforce of a 100.000 people would not be able to detect. The mistakes are annoying to customers, but not nearly fatal enough for the company to invest millions in fact checking every inch of every street in the world. But what if TomTom could pay someone on a street for taking a few pictures and emailing them in. That would be a game changer. And Gigwalk is counting on that.
All iPhone owners can download the app and sign up for little Gigwalk assignments. But don't expect to get rich quick. According to CEO Ariel Seidman a high earner will get 50-100 dollars a month.
There is so much location based hype going on the tech world these days. I actually think Gigwalk is one of the more promising launches and look forward to following this peer-to-peer-location-based-picture-taking service in the time to come.