Technology on a Deserted Island

Technology on a Deserted Island

“You’re stranded on a deserted island, and you can only take three books/songs/movies with you off the boat. Which ones do you choose?”

We’ve all heard and answered some variation of that question, but how has it changed with the ubiquity of tablets and smartphones?

In this Sunday Comic by Maria Scrivan, we see that you can bring a lot more books, music and movies off the boat with you. Unfortunately, you might run into a few other problems.

After seeing this comic I thought to myself how hard it would be to answer this question. With smartphones and tablets we have so much entertainment at our fingertips that we never really have to make a choice like this. I’m addicted to Netflix and there are so many movie options that answering a question like this would really take some time. However there are a few follow up questions I would need to ask before answering this question such as:

“Can I bring a solar powered charger?” and “Can the coconut tree serve as a Wi-Fi hotspot?”

As you can see I wouldn’t last two days on Survivor.

So how you would you answer this question? Has our access to entertainment through providers such as Netflix, inhibited our ability to easily respond this question?

-Britney

MedRef for Glass

Wow. This new demo app for Google Glass is incredible. The app called MedRef for Glass was designed for hospital employees. Using facial recognition technology, staffers wearing Google’s high-tech specs can pull up patient folders with photo, voice, and text notes. For example, a doctor might want to record that a certain patient likes to be rolled over on one side of their body as well as their medication allergies. The data is shareable using Google Glass, so other nurses and physicians can have immediate access to this information.

These glasses could really impact the business world in general. It’s perfect for networking and business meetings because personalization is important for maintaining relationships. Essential business information will be at the user’s fingertips enhancing their engagement with clients.

Do you think this app can revolutionize technology across fields? What other uses can you see for this technology?

I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

-Britney

Is Trusting Technology Trumping Our Natural Instincts?

Is There a Problem Trusting Technology?

Whatever happened to spontaneity? Do you remember when you used to wake up and say, “What do I want to do today?” Nowadays we wake up and look to our phone to dictate our day. We check the weather app to see what to wear and check our email to tell us what to do.

According to designer James Victore, “We have become so trusting of technology that we have lost faith in ourselves and our born instincts. There are still parts of life that we do not need to “better” with technology. It’s important to understand that you are still smarter than your smartphone.”

Reading this article really stuck out to me because I’m ashamed to tell you how many apps I check before even getting out of bed. My smartphone is the first thing I check when I wake up and the last thing I check before I go to sleep. My phone isn’t even on my nightstand; it’s in bed with me every night. There have been plenty of times where I have second guessed my own judgment based on something I saw on my smartphone. Have you ever been lost and still followed your GPS even though your first instinct is to go the opposite direction from where it’s leading you? As a society have we become so dependent on technology that instead of pulling up a map and figuring out something ourselves we trust a computer over our own common sense.

The author goes on to point out that there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your Google. Mistakes are a part of life and often the path to profound new insights. Think about it… how many awesome places are left undiscovered just because you are so used to following your GPS? When navigating to a destination, a computer can’t take into account extraneous factors such as a hungry child or a change in the group’s vibe.

To “know thyself” is hard work. Harder still is to believe that you, with all your flaws are enough, without checking in, tweeting an update, or sharing a photo as proof of your existence for the approval of your 719 followers. A healthy relationship with technology is taking ownership of your time and making an investment in your life.

So do you think you’re smarter than a smartphone? Or are you letting your device dictate your daily life?

-Britney

Clutch: The New Shopping App

Clutch: The New Shopping App

When it comes to shopping, many of us head to our smartphones first. Ordering items on mobile, however, isn’t exactly a seamless process. Many people research extensively for the best price, buy the item from one place, and then pay for it using an app or a physical card, which is a lot of work for one item. Clutch wants to eliminate the need for multiple shopping apps, and provide users with a single app that takes care of everything you need to complete a purchase. Already available on iPhone, the app launched for Android on Thursday.

Clutch works much like any other online retailer. The app has a Shopping Feed where users can “window shop” for items on sale, and its recommendation engine highlights items it thinks they will particularly enjoy. Users can create a collection of items they’re interested in, as well as follow the collections of others. For instance, if your friend Sarah has a shirt in her collection that you like, you can view it, comment on the image to let her know how you feel, and then add the item to your own collection. This is the part I like most about the app because I send pictures of clothing items to my friends all the time and this would make sharing fashion tips so much easier. Also it will prevent us from purchasing the same items so we never have a twin outfit problem when we go out together.

Then, once users come across an item that they’re interested in, Clutch has a built-in price comparer to help them find the best price. The app also takes into account users’ current location, so that they can find their desired item for a low price at a nearby retailer, as opposed to online. Clutch also lets users pay for their purchases with store credit or a gift card in the app’s mobile wallet. Clutch will notify users when they’re near a retailer that accepts gift cards from their mobile wallet. What’s more, users can earn rewards in the form of gift cards.

YouTube Launching Paid Subscriptions

YouTube Launching Paid Subscriptions

YouTube is set to launch a paid subscription model for its specialist video channels as early as this week. This strategic move has been in development for months, and aims to help channels finance a wider range of content such as television shows and films, and will serve as another source of revenue. The service will included up to 50 YouTube channels and subscriptions to each channel will start as low as $1.99. A YouTube spokesperson told Mashable, “We’re looking into creating a subscription platform that could bring even more great content to YouTube for our users to enjoy and provide our creators with another vehicle to generate revenue from their content, beyond the rental and ad-supported models we offer. There are a lot of content creators that think they would benefit from subscriptions, so we’re looking at that.”

As a consumer and marketer, I think YouTube offering paid subscriptions is a big deal. YouTube is known for its free content and paid subscriptions can benefit content creators but I don’t know if the platform will succeed as a paid model. I could see backlash similar to what Netflix received when they raised their prices. Consumers are used to the video content being free even though content creators want more revenue from the videos they post. This model would have to be right to compete with the likes of Netflix and Hulu. They have to carve out a niche market with paid content that users will actually subscribe to. I could actually see this working for instructional videos such as workout videos.

So this makes me wonder how marketers could use this paid content model to their benefit. This offers a new avenue for creating brand channels on YouTube. The only problem would be creating content that people would want to pay for. This is going to make breaking through the clutter on YouTube even more difficult. Another problem with this model could be viral videos. With the new model it might be harder to create buzz and videos won’t have the natural tendency to spread through WOM marketing. If users are turned off by the cost model and don’t frequent YouTube like they did in the past, it will be harder to take advantage of the viral aspect of the site.

What effect do you think the paid subscription model will have on consumers and marketers?

I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

-Britney

Eventstagr.am: A new way for your brand to optimize Instagram

Eventstagr.am: A new way for your brand to optimize Instagram

After exploring All Instagram (Instagram’s unofficial blog) this week, I came across this website that was too awesome not to share. Eventstagr.am allows anyone to show live pictures being uploaded to Instagram via a specific hash tag in slide show form. All the person has to do is assign a hash tag for people to use when posting photos and the website collects all the pictures and shows them in slide show format. The site literally feeds a crowd of photos as they are taken and uploaded. People will be able to see the photos they posted the second they publish them. This could be used anywhere from a wedding to a large music festival where organizers want to engage crowds and promote their brand. It creates a whole new level of engagement between marketers and consumers because they will be able to part of the brand experience. Can you imagine being at a concert and snapping a photo of you and your friends enjoying the show, and it popping up on a huge screen next to your favorite band? You would feel like part of the show and if a company such as Bacardi sponsored the slide show they would be able to integrate their brand into making you feel like you were part of the concert. I would really recommend checking out this link below to see how this website can help engage your customers.

http://allinstagram.com/2013/04/09/new-web-app-eventstagram-helps-event-organisers-display-live-instagram-feeds/

Tumblr Introduces New Mobile Ads

Tumblr Introduces New Mobile Ads

On Monday, Tumblr announced that is now serving ads in its iPhone and Android apps. The ads are native, taking the form not of banner ads but of posts marked by an animated dollar sign, which viewers can “like” and “reblog.” Users will see no more than four sponsored posts per day, the company said in an e-mailed statement.

The move allows Tumblr to take advantage of the rapidly growing mobile advertising market, forecast to increase by 65% to $2.1 billion in the U.S. alone this year. Tumblr’s mobile viewership is growing even more quickly, quadrupling in the last six months, according to the company. In a February interview with Mashable, Tumblr founder and CEO David Karp said he expects mobile traffic will overtake desktop traffic by early 2014 at the latest.

In the February interview, Karp said he didn’t think Tumblr would have a harder time monetizing its mobile traffic because the company builds its advertising on top of the same “atomic elements” as Tumblr itself. “On Tumblr there are no special brand pages, there are no Sponsored Stories,” Karp said. “There are blogs and there are posts. So as long as there are those elements and our mobile apps are getting better and better at displaying those atomic elements… We should be able to inject advertisements there in a way that’s really not disruptive and not interruptive.”

Six partners have signed on for the mobile ad launch, including ABC Entertainment and ABC Family, GE, Pepsi and Warner Bros. Warner Bros will be using the spots to promote their upcoming summer films The Great Gatsby and The Hangover Part III. GE will feature cinemagraphs of their jet engines and locomotives in their mobile sponsored posts.

In an interview with Bloomberg last month, Lee Brown, global head of sales at Tumblr, said the 6 year-old company expects to turn a profit for the first time this year — something these new mobile ad units should go some way towards achieving.

Do you think this move to introduce mobile ads will take away from the Tumblr experience? I understand that the company is trying to turn a profit but I wonder if the popularity of the site is directly linked to their lack sponsored content. As Facebook is finding out, users become turned off to a social media website when too much branding is involved so do you think that this is something that Tumblr should take into consideration? Maybe that is why they are limiting the number of sponsored posts a day so people still feel their privacy is protected. I would love to hear your thoughts on the topic.

-Britney