Technology changes as fast as we learn about it. It actually changed a little while we were writing that first sentence. The Inside Tech post is a monthly effort to update you on important changes within the technology space. It's going to get a bit geeky at times, but we (the technology team at AMP) will do our best to cover the practical implications of these shifts and what they mean for you. Second Screen Tech For Websites Second screen technology has been primarily used to provide supplemental information on your mobile device for video games and your TV. Check out some cool things people are doing with mobile devices to supplement and control websites. http://www.awwwards.com/6-examples-of-desktop-sites-synced-with-mobile-devices.html Real-Time Social Web Apps The W3C rolled out some standards that allow for real time connectivity between browsers. We can now create experiences where multiple people can interact in real time on a website without having to refresh a page. This creates an opportunity for some really cool social experiences that go beyond traditional social networks. http://www.websocket.org/demos.html Google Loses The Microdata Battle But The War Is Not Over Schema.org was made popular by Google and started gaining mass adoption when they announced you could control your website results in search engines in the form of 'Rich Snippets'?. Efforts to standardize a format for structured data on the Internet have been going on for awhile and as of November the W3C officially tossed out the microdata spec in favor of the similar, but more robust, RDFa format. Currently, data on the internet is formatted in a way that's ok for humans but not very useful to machines. This basically means we should embrace RDFa in favor of Schema.org's microdata so we can take advantage of future innovations around structured data on the Internet. There is no downside to switching as RDFa can still be used for Rich Snippets in Google. http://manu.sporny.org/2013/microdata-downward-spiral/ http://www.w3.org/TR/rdfa-lite/ One Click Actions & Google Now Integration In Gmail While we're on the topic of structured data, Gmail has been doing cool things with Microdata and JSON-LD (similar to Microdata). This allows us to create one click action buttons that display inline with the emails subject. These buttons can do things like register someone for an event, subscribe to a newsletter, write reviews, etc. For emails that contain the results of such actions we can use more structured data to tell Google Now to do something with the contents of an email. For example, if I register for an event, we can markup the response email so Google Now can display the event details. Future stuff. https://developers.google.com/gmail/actions/getting-started Websites Can Now Shake Things Up On Your Smartphone Did you know that modern browsers on mobile devices have access to some of that device's functionality? We can already do things like detect device orientation, location, access the camera and more. As of recently it is now also possible for a website to make your mobile device vibrate. This will be huge for user feedback in web apps. https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/Guide/API/Vibration Big WordPress Update WordPress 3.8 is out with some big changes to the admin panel and some security fixes. WordPress is the world's most popular content management system because of how easy it is to use and the strong community behind it. I cannot stress enough how important it is to be updating your WordPress installs. The easiest way to prevent a site from getting hacked is to upgrade. Take it seriously. http://wordpress.org/news/2013/12/parker/ Random Nerd Site of The Month And because we're nerds we would like to share something nerdy with the world. This month it's images of computer code appearing in TV and films and what they really are. http://moviecode.tumblr.com/
If you missed The Psychology of Social presentation at WordCamp Boston this past weekend, or if you are interested in learning more about why consumers use social media and how that usage can impact your content strategy, here are a few key takeaways from my presentation. Consumers choose to build social media profiles, connect and form attachments with people and brands to fulfill mental and emotional needs like creating a sense of belonging, gaining respect or esteem, and establishing their identity. Once a consumer determines a need to make a connection, they evaluate each connect to determine if that relationship is needed for survival and what value they can derive from the relationship. Consumers form relationships for 'feel good'? reasons like sharing common experiences or utilitarian reasons like getting access to coupons or discounts. Consumer types like emotional or rational decision makers and skeptics use different combinations of content to build relationships or inform purchases. By understanding your audiences' needs based on consumer types, you can develop targeted content that will ultimately be the key to making connections with your audience and creating attachment with your brand. Be mindful of how your audience interacts with social media and what technologies they may use to consume media. Leverage social web technologies, optimize content for mobile devices, and use social integration to help consumers find, read and share your content or purchase your product from anywhere. Q&A As part of the presentation, several questions were asked that introduced two crucial elements to building a content strategy and forming long-term attachments with consumers. 1) Before you create a page on every social network you can think of, take some time to evaluate where your audience is talking about your brand or industry and what networks your target audience uses most frequently to connect and share. Even doing informal research will help in building an audience map so you can prioritize your time and resource allocation. 2) Once you've created your social media profiles and start to grow your communities, don't get caught up in simply listening to conversations. To truly build attachments with your audience, your brand must work to create an authentic relationship by developing a genuine brand personality and by participating in conversations as much as you are listening to them. Now that you have some insight into the allure of social media for consumers, it's time to get to work doing research, developing a content strategy, and create content that will help you build strong relationships with your community. If you would like more detail on The Psychology of Social, view the presentation below. WordCamp Boston: The Psychology of Social Media from AMP Agency Download the complete white paper here.