This infographic from a Nielsen Cross Platform report shows how easily some breaking stats, such as some people streaming a lot of content and watching very little TV, can be taken for a general truth just because the over-all feeling of a digital tsunami is over us. I’m referring to the TV is dead claims, often taken for a truth. But yet again, statistics show us that that isn’t the case. Americans watch more TV than before.
However, there are consumption changes to keep an eye on (well, if it interests you…). The heaviest consumers used to be so across all platforms, but a subset amongst 18-34 indicates that (some) top consumers of streaming content under index in TV viewing. Fairly expected though as internet content catches up in quality and supply. See report.
I keep wondering how damn much content and watching we can take and have time for.
-Android App Indexes Your Life & Augments Your Memory
That’s a headline in a Mashable post this morning. I think it sounds interesting and have a read. But I can’t help but think about how this would sound to someone not having gone through the evolution we’ve seen over the last 10 or so years. It would scare the shit out of someone in 1980. Not only a couple of seldom used words, but they will also mess with not only my life but my memory!
“We are helping people remember their lives,” Dexetra co-founder Binil Antony explains.
I wonder though. Isn’t living life three things really? Doing it now, remembering past-living and thinking a bit about possible future living? That’s how I see it. If you plan too much ahead or keep thinking about how good it was before, someone will tell you you have to live now, here and now or live in the moment. So an app that helps me remember life, you could argue, is taking away a part of life. Or actually, perhaps it is just augmenting it.
I think we’re quite a few who have experienced a variation of blockages, often invisible, that occur when trying to move an idea of some sort into action. Or even getting a seed of an idea to more of a full fledged idea. Procrastination kicks in. A coffee sounds perfect even though it was 30 minutes ago since the last cup. The situations are many and the reasons for the blockage as well.
This is a group of people starting to draw a ‘rich picture’ about where the internet is at, and where it’s headed. The twitter-parrot-dragon is the evil forces trying to control it. The freedom fighters to the right, joined or even led by The Pirate Bay have just declared war and are moving in to the rescue.
JWT Intelligence has a post about new models for supporting long-form content that I liked and which coincided with a dialogue I heard the other day about whether or not person 1; 40+ and an avid reader with too much to do, was going to get the Kindle or an iPad to read books on. Person 2 was a bit confused by the question, as the iPad has so much more to offer than the “stupid” kindle. Sure, the screen is better for reading outdoors but that’s about it.
I beg to differ. New models of long-format is longer than articles but shorter than books and this has a lot to do with increasingly bite sized reading habits. That deals with that change by adapting itself to it. Shorter. Quicker. For new times and new devices.
The iPad is problematic for this bite sized world it you are, as person 1 says, an avid reader who wants to use the iPad for reading. Because it offers so much more.
Some technologies allows us (actually, it directs or guides us) to be really “productive” within the technology by which I mean (and it might not be the best wording) you can do a lot of things and be productive across the range. I’ll let “productive” mean more than useful productiveness, as that distinction is sometimes made. Other technologies allows us to be productive with. It’s more focused and specialized. But of course it’s about how people decide to use it?! Therein lies the rub. Because we can’t, can we?
So, the Kindle is the best device if you want to read books. Because there’s nothing else you can happen to start doing with it (more or less). And an egg timer is better than the iPhone if you want to boil perfect eggs. I’ve ended up with close to green eggs and 5 answered emails. Everything is mashing up which is cool and interesting but perhaps not helping us in every aspect.
I heard about this one guy in rural Japan who answered his axe-phone in a hurry and died.
“The cost of failure is really high when you’re contributing as yourself,” said Poole. “To fail in an environment where you’re contributing with your real name is costly.”
– Chris Poole, 4chan
“REAL change comes from people putting their necks on the line. I couldn’t remember a time when an anonymous person really enacted change in, well, anything. It’s why I sign my name to everything, even stuff that could get me fired,”
Both arguments are true. And we’ve seen more than enough evidence to verify that so is the case. It’s not either/or. When given the option, people will chose that which fits. Sometimes speaking up in public is what we need. Sometimes we need to be anonymous. Away from internet, the anonymous would hold his/her breath. Online that’s not the case. That’s quite groundbreaking, is it not?
Sometimes an anonymous person can start a revolution. Other times, many anonymous discontent people might need one public person to ignite them all. Going from reluctantly quiet and anonymous, to supporting an explosion of support. Confidence in numbers.
I came across “Who you are and what you do is your brand“, over at Seth Hosko’s blog, about how Gap does things the wrong way, and that they should learn from H&M and Uniqlo. He’s not alone. If the crowd sourced logo re-design was a hurried and panicked decision or a plan, I don’t know, but what they’re doing doesn’t strike me as strategically sound (and it’s a badly executed one too, but that’s more subjective). The statement is definitely right in the H&M case; that who you are and what you do is your brand, as they’re about affordable fashion for everybody and they really connect with everybody. Affordable fashion yes, but still they have a key to the finer fashion world through collaborations with well known fashion designers. They’re quite remarkable in vision, strategic decisions and in how that is carried out.
Here’s a project we did for our client H&M (full disclosure; I work for Gyro and H&M is a client), and pretty much all about connecting people to brands. The Lanvin for H&M launch, for the first time via digital/social media only and not as they usually do; with big outdoor campaigns, TV and that package.
So really simplified; how do we launch the designer collaboration through social media only, and sustain interest, and engagement, over a significant period of time?
H&M launched lots of cryptic films, if you will, about design and what it is, where it comes from and its importance to many. Framed in a way that it generated heaps of commenting and guesses.
Films kept coming, and so did comments and guesses.
Fast forward. The designer is out; it’s Alber Elbaz of Lanvin. Fashion world exclaim woohoooo!! Trending topics on twitter and all that. The films have talked about his view on design, influences and inspiration and consequently his way of transferring this to fashion. Successful fashion to boot. Fashion that is loved.
At the same time, 4m+ H&M fans on facebook, many of which are fashion interested bloggers, are spending time and energy on expressing what they like and perhaps even live for. It’s about their inspiration, their taste and their influences. They too transfer this into something appreciated by others and hopefully even commercially successful.
We facilitated a collaboration with these people, in order to spread the word about Lanvin even further, while giving them something back; traffic and attention. Hard currency in a blogger’s world. A widget helped gauge the love for their blog, and give them a chance to win the exclusive trailer to the big Lanvin for H&M show. Only to feature on the winning blog, with H&M directing traffic their way. So people joined, got the widget and gauged their blog love.
This little widget had value for fashion bloggers, and relevance in where and who it came from. The strategy was to connect. And the small execution was the connection, reaching millions of people, engaging tens of thousands and finally promoting only one. It generated heaps of traffic and attention to the winning blog (strangely enough, the clip wasn’t ripped as we had thought, given we didn’t have an embed code. After all, views should happen on the winning blog). One lucky winner enjoyed a wave of interested fashion peeps. Here’s the case film.
I read an article today about politics, design, symbols and the parallels to product brands and the fact that (says the author, Kim Salomon, professor of International History at the university in Lund, Sweden) the differences are minimal. Hitler was inspired by brands from the business world in general, and the German company AEG in particular.
The notion that a product alone isn’t enough, but that it has to have an identity and stand for something more, hold aspirational values, and even feel like it fits in a life style, was something Hitler understood. He also saw the importance of style and design. Regardless of how one feels about Hitler and his philosophy, he did manage to find a very strong symbol (and typeface, architecture and illustrations etc). An nice looking brand book really. Hugo Boss, apparently, had a monopoly on the black SS uniforms because there were very strong restrictions when it came to licensing the “products”…
Nazis, communist China, Fascist Italy and the soviet union were very good at brand strategies and selling their political ideas. The leaders were used on posters, houses, newspapers etc – and I have to say that Hitler, Musolini, Mao and Lenin do look strong (well, Mao doesn’t always look so strong perhaps). The mustache, the smile and the shaved head. Old Nazi posters do look powerful with the stylish, well designed and thought through (not to mention the typography). Of course, now they connote very negative feelings first and foremost.
Design does evoke feelings. In the Apple case – even people with no estethical interest can be attracted by the slick package the beautiful iPod comes in. Slick, minimalistic and high quality. In the Nazi case, I can’t help but marvel over the communication pieces, which of course was exactly the aim back then too. In that case the beautiful branding sold a crap philosophy.
Apple (oh, the never ending case study) – they understand it. Then again, they’re one of the relatively few companies, for the masses, that understand that (and act like it) a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. After the return of Jobs, and the last try (focusing on the iMac only) I think this has become really clear to them. Product quality, package, design, augmented product, marketing and services – it’s all product in the minds of the consumers and my God they understand it. And my God it works. That’s how you get and maintain a price premium, a loyal fan base and people who tattoo the brand logo on themselves
Maybe you’re familiar with linguistic relativity, or maybe not. Anyways, it’s about how language actually affects and even limits our way of thinking, our cognition. Plato said the opposite, that no matter what language you spoke, thoughts were not affected. The Whorf-Sapir hypothesis talks more about this if anyone’s interesting (even though wikipedia says it’s Sapir-Whorf, not Whorf-Sapir).
Yesterday I read an article about Zimbabwe and how Tsvangirai and Mugabe are hooking up again to try and find a way out of the mess. Good luck. Apparently Zimbabwe has a 2.2 million percent inflation!! Goddamn!
How does that relate to linguistic relativism? Not at all, but to the concept of context/culture affecting our thoughts and perception of everything. If you’re from a country with 2.2 million percent inflation – how does that affect your view on percentage? Or value of money? When someone tells me something went up or down 100%, generally that’s a lot. Would a Zimbabwian get the same first reaction? I doubt it. 2.2 million percent – come on! The central bank just printed a new hundred billion bill. It would say 100 000 000 000 on that, rather large, piece of paper. The paper industry is doing well I presume…