Posts Tagged ‘future’

And the Gold Medal Goes-to the Olympic Spoiler

February 22, 2010

Let me say right at the start, this is not an essay that will complain about tape delays and channel selection on NBC’s coverage of the Olympics.  I won’t be that guy.  I work in the industry and I get the decisions that are made and why.  I would also say that columnists and commentators who work in or comment on the media industry should know and understand the reasons–and to feign they don’t is more than slightly disingenuous.

This is about all the folks who do all they can to avoid Olympic results during the day because they want to watch the biathlon, or the Nordic combined or the half-pipe, and how difficult it is to do that if you are even slightly connected to your social networks (and realistically who is not?)

I was on some PTO last week, home with the girls-and kind of dipping into things at work etc.  But I was never too far from clicking into Facebook on my iPhone or checking out the latest on Twitter on my BlackBerry.

And right there-out in the public with no tape delay were the results.  I knew in real-time that Lindsey Vonn not only overcame her ankle injury-but went on to win.  No waiting until 7pm on NBC Shopping to find out that Johnny Spillane is just a fraction of a second off the lead in the Nordic combined.  No waiting for Curling After Dark (and that is just plain weird) to get my fill of what seems like bocce on ice.

And you know what, it’s a good thing.  I don’t feel cheated.

It’s the argument/discussion I have from time to time at CBS News about the quaint old philosophy of holding a story for broadcast.  For those my age or older call it, “Film at 11” syndrome.  When the local newscaster (I can remember Chuck Scarborough and Ernie Anastos in NYC) promised to have the day’s story in film (although I tend to think it was video) at 11.

The world does not work on a broadcast schedule anymore.  For me, these spoiler updates let me set my TiVo, or check the listings to see which channel it’s on, or if I need an immediate fix go check one of the Olympics video sites or apps.

The spoiler here is the chatter about tape delays–who cares.  This is an on-demand world and its all there.  So keep the updates coming.  Helps me avoid ice dancing and pairs figure skating.

Can you see me now?

January 8, 2010

While Twitter and Facebook were grabbing all kinds of headlines for much of 2009 a bit of a phenomenon was developing as an off-shoot of both: location based social networking.  Now, I have written about this a little in assorted contexts–I am talking about products like Foursquare, Gowalla and others like Loopt and CauseWorld.  Each is slightly different-CauseWorld being the most distinct- but all have some basic core functionality.

Each of those listed (and a bunch of others I have not listed) leverage social networks and location–and give users a chance to do real time meetings.  This location based social networking has become an early buzz for 2010–but the technology is nothing new and its kind of a natural extension of all those Twitter or Facebook updates.

Foursquare (NYC based) is kind of game where users check in and become mayors etc.  It has a business opportunity to allow game players to get discounts etc at local stores and more.  Over at Gowalla you don’t become the mayor of any place, but you accumulate and trade assorted items like avocados, coffee makers and slices of pizza (all virtually) that you can leave and trade at each location.

The others are somewhere in between–with the over-riding concept being that its more than sharing status; it’s about sharing location.

I was a little amazed a couple of weeks ago when I updated my FourSquare that I was at a Starbucks not far from my office.  Low and behold, a friend was in the area and stopped in for an impromptu cup of coffee.  It’s where my status (and at the time I was the mayor of the Starbucks, although I don’t think the barrister knew it based on the service provided) meets the real world.

So here’s to seeing many of you in 2010 now that I not only know what you are up to, but where.

Can you see me now?

When a Plane Crashes, Twitter Seems to Know First

June 1, 2009

Admittedly by most standards my Twitter network is on the small side–I follow 1240 people and just more than 1000 follow me.  There is a lot of cross over on the list so its not 2200+.  And the reality is that is fine for me–I struggle to keep up already.

But on days like today, even my relatively small network had me out in front of breaking news (really two stories the GM Bankruptcy filing and the Air France Airbus crash).  Since the GM story was mostly out on Sunday night though, I want to focus on the Air France story.

As I was coming home from the gym this morning (around 545) I saw an email on my BB that an Air France Airbus from Brazil to France had “dropped off radar.”  Now this was an internal email within CBS News. I made note of it, and went to take a shower.  When I finished, and fired up my laptop and opened up TweetDeck and saw a litany of posts from news sources, re-tweets and people on the ground at Charles De Gaulle Airport painting the scene of the search, the reactions in France and some very accurate reporting.  

As far as I can tell, BNO News on Twitter was the first to report that Air France thought there were no survivors.  I have to admit I was skeptical of this, seemed too early.  And I was not alone in my skepticism.  One of the people I follow on Twitter, whom I have never met posted a Tweet voicing that same sentiment.  @CheapSuits was quick to admit (as was I) that the initial reporting was correct.

So, one of the really cool things about twitter is that I don’t actually know any of these people.  They are people who I think have good things to say and are worth the time to scroll through and read 140 characters at a time.

Its part of the empowerment that Twitter offers-its a chance to be selective in what I read, how I read it, and how I process that information.  Beyond that, it is also a chance to get different voices on stories and issues–and in a lot of ways be out in front of the news (which in my case is part of my job).

As I warn in other posts here and in other places where I comment-its vital to be skeptical and do the “J”ournalism.  But in a Twitter world, the speed of the reporting goes much quicker–the pressure is on the journalists though.  We have to make sure we are right.

The 140 Paradigm

May 11, 2009

So, one of the more interesting aspects of Twitter is the 140 character limit that the service has in place.  The roots of that decision go back to extending Tweets to text messages–and making sure even the most rudamentary device could support a text message from Twitter.

But now with Twittering becoming almost common place and so many people coming up with so many uses–the 140 character limit kind of acts as a safety blanket of sorts.  It keeps messages focused, cuts down on spam (although there are plenty trying to spam 140 characters at a time) and its still supported on the lowest end SMS programs.

Recently during a job review, I had a boss comment on my Twittering, and perhaps I had let my 140 limitations spill over to email–and I was not answering questions fully, instead trying to cut down the message.  Its an interesting hypothesis, and one I would love to figure out a way to test.  I think my email style is direct–the goal being short because its easier to read and the action items are not lost.  But perhaps that is in fact the case.

Just yesterday @SarenaP and I were debating communication skills and styles–and we carried on a good chunk of that debate via Twitter DM-140 characters at a time.  Its no wonder we had a tough time finding a way to reach a conclusion-the conversation was kind of choppy and in some cases delayed by internet delivery.

There is a cottage industry springing up in Twitter Marketing springing up where people actually charge to tell other people how to Twitter (I need to get in on that game).  Then there is the case of a friend in real estate. She and a bunch of her fellow sales folks created the #twitterqueens tag. And when that grew popular it became a Ning group.

All launched 140 characters  at a time.  

Sure it can be a challenge to make it work in 140, but as  a standard its not so bad.

Tools of the Socialization Trade

February 18, 2009

I was talking with a friend who carries a BlackBerry about upgrade options the other day. She is adamant about wanting an iPhone.  When I asked her why, I am pretty sure the answer came down to the apps (hell, Apple has an app for woman to track their menstruation).  So, being the semi-geek that I am, I started talking about the other options in the market–from the BlackBerry Bold or Storm, to the Android to the soon to be release Palm Pre.

Fast forward to this week–as the Mobile World Congress convenes in Barcelona, there is some exciting product news about Android, Pre, Nokia and more — that will make being in touch easier, and should make the social media experience (from Twitter, to Facebook, to My Space to new platforms) easier.  Already these devices have LBS/GPS and plenty of location based apps.

Check out the latest from Palm on the Pre:

Not to be outdone, Google announced new handsets for its open source Android:

And Nokia will enter the app business. Check out this live blog of the announcement.

So now the question is, what will Apple do to keep the place its cut out by being first in market:

Coming of Age in a Social Media World

February 10, 2009

Sometimes its funny how disparate events can get you thinking.

In this case a couple of things made me think about what is the right age to introduce social media to kids.

Case Study 1:

My niece is about to be 12 and she and her friends all have Facebook pages.  After taking a look at them, I realized that she combined with her friends were not being internet smart. When I spoke with her parents, they pleaded Facebook illiteracy.

Case Study 2:

At the birthday party of a friends daughter I had decent conversations about Facebook, Twitter and text messaging with kids older than mine (in the 9-15) age range. Also saw the devices some of the older kids were carrying (impressive). Now I am waiting for my kids to point this out to me.

Case Study 3:

(and this is a verifiable true story) While sitting in a Starbucks with someone in the industry discussing mobile and social media the actress Renee Zellweger who wanted to know more about what we were talking about.

So, three very disparate interactions, but all based around the concepts of social media and how we can and can’t interact with one another.

I am trying to think about this from the perspective of my kids or my niece–coming of age with all of this–and the conversation I had with my sister-in law who is Facebook illiterate.  She was telling me how my niece will text over talking on the phone (I will too) and how she really did not understand how the interactions between friends on Facebook played out.

Now I admit to being pushed into this stuff professionally–and enjoying the crap out of it.  But for someone who is coming of age with all of this–Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Social Median, Stumbled Upon etc all out there– in the You Tube generation–its a different perspective.

Suddenly there are no boundaries, and the world is a smaller place. My friend from sleep-away camp who lived in Texas and was in a different time zone and needed coordination to call is now just a simple text away. It makes a difference.

But that instant contact capabaility also changes the dynamic–and lets face it, when I was 12 the “long distance bill” was something to think about as I chatted with a friend in Montreal. Today, there is no such thing.

So, while the world is now readily available as we come of age in this social media world, we have to think about the consequences–when is there too much information out there.  A good friend of mine had her world’s collide recently when her professional life collided with her private lifestyle.  My conversation with my niece was about what she and her friends collectively post about themselves on Facebook.

As a parent its one of my greatest fears and hopes–that my children are able to harness this power and safely have these great experiences that for me was about a pen, paper and stamp.

An interesting take on the future of News-iPhone

January 12, 2009

Marianne Paskowski from TV Week has an interesting take on how iPhone and other high-end devices may actually save local news.

There is a reason I am working so hard to get apps out.

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