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The New Media Experience

Last week I visited the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and there were by my count 25,000 tablets being displayed (that number might be slight hyperbole). To be honest, I really only checked out a few of them ' one or two Androids and this Windows tablet being featured by Intel. The hardware wasn't really what caught my attention with the 2012 tablets, especially since tablets at this point aren't really differentiating themselves all that much. What caught my attention was how people were using them, talking about them, the overall capabilities that tablets offer and how they're shaping our media experience. So that led to this interesting question for you tablet owners out there. What's your favorite experience on your tablet? Is it reading, playing apps, or watching movies? What if I said that some day in the not too distant future, you'll have a hard time differentiating those experiences because you'll be doing all three at the same time? And this isn't a post about some new tablet that allows for multitasking. I'm talking about tablets redefining our media experience and storytelling as a whole. Take a look at the 'CIA: Operation Ajax'? application that's available for the iPad. It tells the story of a real-life CIA operation in Iran that took place in the 50's. It is currently classified as an 'app'? in the iTunes App Store, but is that REALLY what it is? To me, that seems to be much more than an app. On the surface, it's a graphic novel ' not exactly something that you would expect to find in the App Store. But once you look deeper into how you interact with it, it becomes something that is almost indefinable. It takes the passive pieces of literature and cinema and mixes them with the active experience of an application. You become fully-immersed in the story because you're not only reading it, but touching it, listening to a full score and pulling up interactive content that a traditional media experience doesn't allow. If you think about it, the concept isn't even that new. Many book publishers have had cross-device experiences where you can get additional information on a website, and DVD extra features have been around for years. Being able to have the entire experience on one device is just so much more immersive. And while Marvel Comics has an app that has minor animations and the iBookstore has enhanced books, this is the most in-depth experience I've seen to date. So what does this mean? In a nutshell, the opportunity for enhanced content exists. Think about reading a novel with its own soundtrack, with character back-story and short movie clips. Imagine watching a movie on your tablet and instead of playing the 'where have I seen this guy before'? game, a simple tap of the screen on the actor's face will bring up an actor bio with IMDB integration. Just think about what this will do for the textbook industry where you'll someday be able to not only read about dissecting a frog, but also dissect one on your tablet without having to smell the formaldehyde. Kermit rejoice! The capabilities are there to one day ditch the passive media experience and embrace a much richer, fully-immersive media experience. At this point, the only question that remains is whether or not content providers are going to make the investment into this enhanced content. So what do you think? Would you pay a premium price for the enhanced media experience?

How Many Scans to the Center of a Tootsie Pop?

After the holidays it's easy to feel as if there is nothing to look forward to, but luckily for me I'm taking a trip to London in a couple of weeks! To prepare for my trip I need to find my passport, start waking up early to prepare for jet lag, choose an umbrella that will keep my hair dry and frizz-free, and print out a copy of my e- ticket before I leave for the airport... or do I? Now with mobile ticketing I can skip that step and check-in to the flight with my smartphone and even go through security without a paper ticket. All I need to do is flash the barcode on my screen as I remove my shoes and swallow my pride to pose for the full body scanner. Mobile ticketing services are not only useful for impatient travelers, but also impatient event attendees, shoppers, and concert-goers. Marketers have been using websites such as mogotix.com and eventbrite.com to make pre-event activity and post-event recaps a breeze. These sites let promoters advertise events on social media outlets such as Facebook, keep track of ticket sales and attendance, and text mobile reminders. Consumers can easily purchase tickets for events online and then get in to the event by displaying a confirmation barcode on their screen. Beyond mobile ticketing, the digitization of our daily lives has been continuing to grow over the last year, and some analysts believe it will continue to develop until social media, mobile ticketing, video games, and mobile marketing all converge- think FourSquare Extreme. CEO of Schell Games, Jesse Schell, envisions a future where our world is basically a video game, and certain behavior earns you points, and those points earn you rewards. For example, an average day would look like this: You get up in the morning, and you brush your teeth. Your tooth brush senses that you're brushing your teeth and score! 10 points. You're supposed to brush your teeth for at least 3 minutes and you do, bonus! You've brushed your teeth three times a day, every day this week, so guess what? Another bonus! So who cares? The tooth brush company and the tooth paste company care. The more you brush your teeth, the more tooth paste you use, and that means they have a vested financial interest. With all of your toothbrushing points comes a coupon for $1.00 off a tube of toothpaste, which can be easily scanned next time you're using the self checkout at your local drugstore. Schell sees the use of shopping apps to determine where and when to shop and take advantage of the most points available, points for watching ads on television, and even tax incentives from the government for certain positive behaviors such as riding the bus and exercise. Technology is seeping into nearly every part of our lives, and the question for companies is: will all of this positive reinforcement change consumers' behavior? Sources: http://www.eventmarketer.com/article/digital-passport 'Digital Passport'? http://www.onthemedia.org/ 'The Future of Gaming'?

Mobile Browser vs. the App and Me ' A Love Triangle

v:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);} o:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);} w:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);} .shape {behavior:url(#default#VML);} --> A recent Adweek article, 'Do Mobile Users Prefer Browsers Over Apps?'? piqued my interest about the pros and cons of viewing different media on mobile browsers vs. viewing the same media on specific apps on their mobile phones. I began evaluating my own mobile phone behavior - do I prefer a mobile browser to an app? When do I decide to download an app instead of view the website on a mobile browser? Are there sites that I view on both my mobile browser and in an app format? My personal app library includes only a handful of my most trusted and useful applications: Gmail, Facebook, Weather, Pandora & Skype Mobile ' The newest music, connecting with family & friends, and knowing if I should pack an umbrella for my morning commute are important to me, thus I downloaded the apps. Some tech savvy people have a wider array of apps for variety of different mobile needs ' social media, games, and local apps. However, it's clear that the quantity and specific type of application downloaded varies by each individual person's needs and interests.  There are many websites and services that consumers find more useful in mobile app format, versus a mobile browser ' for example social media sites, music & games. This is illustrated by the Adobe Mobile Experience survey. However, today's mobile browsers (whether you have an Android, Blackberry or iPhone) are often better suited for consumers' needs. While I commonly use the Facebook application, I sometimes switch to my mobile browser when the app leaves something to be desired. For example, when using the Android Facebook app, users can't see who 'likes'? their status (only how many people 'like'? them), notifications are downloaded only every 30 minutes, and users must go to the mobile site to read/respond to a notification. Although these are minor drawbacks, they are reasons that an Android user such as myself would have to switch to their mobile browser to view their Facebook page, in addition to using the app. Although the Android Facebook app is not perfect ' I always view my Facebook profile through the app first, and if I crave something more, I move on to my mobile browser. This proves that the mobile application provides more advantages than disadvantages for me. However, I prefer to use my mobile browser for the majority of my online web surfing needs, such as shopping and the news. With the various advantages & disadvantages of every unique app, brands should evaluate their target market's mobile phone behavior before investing in app development, since it is easy and sometimes more convenient for consumers to view content via their mobile browser. Title: Mobile Browser vs. the App and Me ' A Love Triangle   A recent Adweek article, 'Do Mobile Users Prefer Browsers Over Apps?'? piqued my interest about the pros and cons of viewing different media on mobile browsers vs. viewing the same media on specific apps on their mobile phones.I began evaluating my own mobile phone behavior-do I prefer a mobile browser to an app?When do I decide to download an app instead of view the website on a mobile browser? Are there sites that I view on both my mobile browser and in an app format? My personal app library includes only a handful of my most trusted and useful applications: Gmail, Facebook, Weather, Pandora & Skype Mobile ' The newest music, connecting with family & friends, and knowing if I should pack an umbrella for my morning commute are important to me, thus I downloaded the apps.Some tech savvy people have a wide array of apps for variety of different mobile needs' social media, games, and local apps. However, it's clear that the quantity and specific type of application downloaded varies by each individual person's needs and interests.There are many websites and services that consumers find more useful in mobile app format, versus a mobile browser ' for example social media sites, music & games. This is illustrated by the Adobe Mobile Experience survey. However, today's mobile browsers (whether you have an Android, Blackberry or iPhone) are often better suited for the consumers' needs.While I commonly use the Facebook application, I sometimes switch to my mobile browser when the app leaves something to be desired. For example, when using the Android Facebook app, users can't see who 'likes'? their status (only how many people 'like'? them), notifications are downloaded onlyevery 30 minutes, and users must go to the mobile site to read/respond to a notification.Although these are minor drawbacks, they are reasons that an Android user such as myself would have to switch to their mobile browser to view their Facebook page, in addition to using the app. Although the Android Facebook app is not perfect ' I always view my Facebook profile through the app first, and if I crave something more, I move on to my mobile browser. This proves that the mobile application provides more advantages than disadvantages for me. However, I prefer to use my mobile browser for the majority of my online web surfing needs, such as shopping and the news. With the various advantages & disadvantages of every unique app, brands should evaluate their target market's mobile phone behavior before investing in app development, since it is easy and sometimes more convenient for consumers to view content via their mobile browser. Tag: http://www.adweek.com/aw/content_display/news/digital/e3i5094e406e415c280a20521b39297a826

Let Me Tell You What I Think

Sharing personal opinions is the basis for many conversations in my life. From who should be voted off [insert reality TV show of choice] to where we should go to dinner, my friends and I are rarely reluctant to voice an opinion. Sometimes, like when debating a political candidate, that opinion matters, but most of the time we're ranting about an awful movie or debating the top 5 all-time Celtics players not because that opinion "matters", but because we believe that opinion is right... and that everyone else should agree with it. Should I go to that new restaurant in the South End? Let me ask around. Does Avatar really have a shot at best picture? Let's debate. Best pizza in Boston? I'll fight you if you don't think it's Santarpio's. Recently though, a funny thing has happened in terms of where these conversations have started taking place. Now as I look to make decisions, my go to source of information isn't anyone who I've ever met before, but the vast community of the internet. Online opinions, or user reviews, started innocently with a few folks documenting their experiences and sharing them online. Now, it's a multi-million dollar business. I don't know about you, but with pretty much any decision I make these days, I consult the web. Whether I turn to Yelp or Rotten Tomatoes or simply do a Google search, I know that someone else had bought/done/seen/gone/tried whatever it is I'm about to do. So why go in blind? And now, it's easier than ever with a recent explosion of innovative new spins on the user review. Here are a few of the biggest new kids on the block: Four Square and Gowalla Two location-based 'games'? that reward real-life check-ins with virtual rewards. Wherever you go, check-in using one of these mobile apps and accrue points/badges/stamps to either become mayor of that location (Four Square) or work your way up the top ten list (Gowalla). Find out where your friends are, and what they think of the place they're at. Four Square ('Check-in. Find your friends. Unlock your city'?) has recently partnered with Harvard University, Zagat, Conde Nast and Bravo among others for content integration. Gowalla ("Go out. Go discover. Go share. Gowalla.'?) recently received $8.4MM in a second round of venture fundraising Yelp recently responded to the growing popularity of these apps (and other newcomers like myTown) by adding location based check-ins to their application. Looks like the battle for GPS fueled reviews/gaming is on. Aardvark 'The first Social Search engine: a way to find people, not web pages, that have specific information.'? How it works? Send in a question, Aardvark finds the 'perfect person'? to answer it and in minutes you'll get a personal response sent directly to you. A user's question, 'where's a good happy hour in Austin, TX'? is served up to a network of individuals who may be able to respond ' i.e., someone who lives in Austin, someone who likes $2 well drinks, or someone who went to UT back in the day. Just purchased by Google for $50MM. Dorthy.com 'Your search is over'?¦ it's time to get **it done.'? How it works? Users create Dreampages by entering a question, statement or phrase such as 'complete my first triathlon'?. This creates a 'Living Search'? query that searches the web 24/7 to seek out the most relevant content, and based on the user's activity, it continues to customize results with each interaction.

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