Just a quick note for Portuguese readers who might be interested on learning a bit more about new media:
Next November i’ll be teaching a module on Marketing and Strategy, as part of the curriculum at the New Media course available at Restart this year (Nov 10 -Jul 11). Registration is still open, so you still have a chance to learn from strategy to creation, transmedia to emerging technologies by a group of seasoned digital professionals.
It’s hard to get up to date education on such dynamic subjects, but the industry depends on these brave new media schools to improve the quality of interactive professionals, and as consequence, the work produced. The course materials won’t be available here, but i’ll post any interesting thoughts worth discussing.
Quoting Seth Godin seems appropriate right now:
Â“The world just gave you control over the means of production. Not to master them is a sinÂ”
The beginning of this decade witnessed the Mass Customization trend, of which are prime examples TV shows like Pimp My Ride or marketing campaigns such as Zune Originals, thus trying to embed personal beliefs into mass consumption goods and services.
On the web, this trend was assimilated by popular websites like MySpace or Yahoo allowing customized homepages where registered users could setup their own layouts and snack-sized information blocks. On MySpace, this feature reflected a desire for self expression, even if the features and technology were rather limited. The liberal customization eventually caused the downfall of MySpaceÂ’s popularity, a rococo of visual design and high signal/noise ratio not very friendly to ensure loyalty amongst visitors and seduce newcomers to the service.
Personal aggregators become popular around 2005 with the launch of Netvibes, later followed by iGoogle, structured around the key concepts of data syndication and widgets. Similar models emerged such as PopURLs, which led do Guy KawasakiÂ’s internet newstand AllTop.com, that act more as filters than customizable services.
From 2008 on, with the growth of lifestreaming services (Friendfeed, Twitter and Facebook), social profiles become themselves information filters, both personal (social recommendation) and public (e.g. CNNÂ’s @breakingnews), with users shifting their media consumption habits to where their friends were. Personal aggregators at the time had almost no social features, targeted for a tech savvy audience, who used them as a start page but choosing to read information on Google Reader or dedicated apps and services (caveat: this is mostly anedoctal evidence gathered from my circle of friends and some web analytics data, being my blog one of the default subscriptions on Netvibes for portuguese users).
Referrals from Netvibes to this blog
Google trends for Netvibes, PageFlakes and PopURLs
With the launch of OpenSocial and skins, iGoogle tried to innovate, but this space reached maturity, and as with most technologies, weÂ’re now witnessing the decay. Users started to choose a different kind of aggregation and knowledge management services, based on different platforms such as Tweetdeck (desktop) or Instapaper (mobile). Social filtering also kicks in with web services like Digg, Reddit or the more recent Paper.li.
If things look harsh for personal aggregators, it doesnÂ’t help that RSS subscription isnÂ’t in a good shape either, not being understood/used by the early and late majority. It should suffice as evidence the shutdown of one of the most popular subscription services, Bloglines. Information consumption shifted from push to pull, and weÂ’re in the real time age.
The biggest challenge facing personal aggregators is to limit themselves to a classic customization and not a true, valuable personalization: focusing on the superficial (colors, layout, widgets) and not the essntial (information filtering, personal recommendation). While customization is easy to achieve with current technology (cookies, personal settings), personalization is a whole different game. Some notable exceptions come from Google: Priority Inbox on Gmail or Â“More blogs like thisÂ” on Google Reader are only possible thanks to network effects, by aggregating behaviors of millions of consumers and learning from daily habits. Photo by Jinho Jung, under a CC license
The way i see it, for personal aggregators to survive, they need to evolve from classic Lego to Mindstorms.
Spanish streetwear brand Desigual launched their new campaign at DesigualHappyHunters.com, based around the concept of digital happiness flashmob. And instead of jumping on the Facebook-Twitter bandwagon, it’s all about blogs and comments, sharing a happy reply on a participant blog to win your chosen item.
You can get the picture on the how-to video below:
Only residents of Spain, France, Uk, Germany and Netherlands can apply, so no chance of getting my share of happy comments :/
Yes! it’s Blog Action Day, the right time to get your Age Of Conversation 3 book and help charity:water.
Blog Action Day joins bloggers to support a common cause, with water being the selected theme in 2010. Help me, Gavin, Drew and all the Age Of Conversation bloggers to support this non-profit organization by purchasing this collaborative book:
charity: water is a non-profit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations. 100% of public donations directly fund water projects.
Did you know that just $20 can give one person clean water for 20 years? The simple act of buying a book, written by some of the most influential marketing authors, can indeed make a difference!
P.S. Do let me know of what you think of my chapter.
Behavioral economics is really getting into UK ad blokes, who must be reading Nudge for breakfast. Or so it seems, with this work by TribalDBB for Volkswagen, on a lifetime journey through our expenses.
From the miniature set to the aural experience, it’s not your regular car website. Personally, i believe these personal informatics experiences are here to stay, on a ever clearer Quantified Self.