Preparing for Glass

Screen Shot 2014-12-13 at 8.24.50 AMRadical futurist Ray Kurzweil says the pace of innovation will only continue to accelerate because exponential evolution is built into the very nature of technology. He says that technological progress, from the discovery of fire through today’s headlines, follows a steady exponential curve which originates from the fact that we use the last generation of technology to build the next.Screen Shot 2014-12-13 at 8.29.23 AM

So what’s next on this exponential evolution of emerging media? Here is one very clear and present trend: Heads Up Display

Google Glass:
Google Glass, or Heads Up Display, is going to rock. Although it’s extremely early, and apps and capabilities are still very limited (i.e. web browsing sucks and no directions are available on the iPhone), the potential is crazy enormous. We should stop debating about whether wearable computing will be better for your head or wrist — it will be both. We will use them in conjunction. Wrist technology will be for biometrics, and glasses or lenses will be for activities where you need content/data in your field of view — think helping you get a yoga pose just right or where to aim the ball to go into the basket (Fox, 2013).

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How to prepare for it:
In the very near future, Glass could bring to life a Minority Report-style commerce experience, in which a nearby shop could send a customized advert or promotion based on the user’s past shopping purchases. Peer reviews and influencer awards, combining apps such as Klout and Foursquare, might be commonplace.

Glass will only intensify the need for all businesses to be their own media centers. Content that delivers on business goals and truly resonates with the target audience will need to become far more nuanced and specific, with lower volume but higher-quality (hopefully) triumphing (Lawlor, 2014).

Advice: Google+

While Facebook and Twitter are top priorities for digital marketers and content writers, it might be time to reconsider Google+, as this is heavily integrated into Glass. If Glass does become a hit, there could easily be a social media revolution (Ogden, 2014)

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Now is the time to invest long-term in Google+. Keep your Google+ profiles robust and active. One obvious trend that will impact all things search related is Google+, along with authorship and Author Rank (Ashbrige, 2014). A sales professional armed with Google Glass will now be able to walk into a sales meeting, look at the client, and retrieve information on his or her industry, job title, and more. Google Glass could instantly display information on the last order placed, past reviews, and the date of the client’s last meeting, all in the eyes of the wearer (Leung, 2014).
Cristo (2014) writes, “It seems like every year since 2007 has been “The Year of Mobile.” But the truth is major tech trends like mobile or human wearable computers like Glass don’t become mainstream over the course of a year, but rather over the course of a decade. Marketers that watch the technology trends today can better anticipate the search trends of tomorrow, and start preparing for them now.”


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Emerging media fatigue

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 8.14.20 AMEmerging media fatigue refers to media users’ tendency to pull back from media when they become overwhelmed with too many sites, too many friends and followers and too much time spent online maintaining these connections. Boredom and concerns about online privacy are also linked to social media fatigue.

According to a survey conducted by Gartner in December 2010 and January 2011, the earliest adopters of emerging media reported fatigue and the amount of time they spent on these sites had declined. This decline may cause a negative chain reaction in social media. When users reduce the amount of time they spend online, this leaves existing users with fewer people to chat and interact with, which may lead them to spend less time on social media as well.

Disruptive technologies follow an adoption life cycle that must overcome fatigue to succeed:

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The five phases of the disruptive technology life cycle:
Phase 1: Eager early adopters. Users eagerly experimented in the newness of the medium. Early adopters attempt to apply the medium to everything.

Phase 2: Ubiquitous usage. Rapid adoption put the medium in the hands of the masses. Adoption exceeds 50 million users.

Phase 3: Relevant rationalization. Brands and enterprises apply the medium to the right business use cases and processes.

Phase 4: Fatal fatigue. Inundated with marketing, bombarded with irrelevant content, and tired of the newness of the medium, customers begin tuning out.

Phase 5: Revival and Rejuvenation. Maturation of the medium ushers an improved era of engagement.

Between phase 3 and 4, Facebook changed its algorithms to protect its customers (and its business model) from fatal fatigue. Facebook explains its reasoning as such:

Everyday people see content from millions of Pages on Facebook in their News Feeds. Our goal is to show the right content to the right people at the right time, so they don’t miss the stories that are important to them. As part of that we want to make sure that the best quality content is being produced, surfaced and shared. Our latest update to the News Feed ranking algorithm helps ensure that the organic content people see from Pages they are connected to is the most interesting to them.

Travis Huff (2014) of SocialMediaToday offers his advice for treatment of the fatigue:
Before you return to your social sites, think about where your personal burnout landmines are and what you can do about them. For some, it may mean taking a day away from social media each week. For others, it might mean committing to no social media after 6pm on weekdays.


Further Resources:

Dealing with emerging media distractions

Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 1.21.12 AMDo you ever wind up at a website and then, looking left and right in confusion, ask yourself, “What am I doing here?”  Yes, you’re brain has crashed.  Thank you emerging media.

On and on it goes: Whatsapp ding-ding-ding! I messaged you on LinkedIn, did you see it? You have 6 new messages, 12 new likes, 8 new emails, 3 shares, 12 hearts — and that was since you last checked 2 minutes ago!

Please! I don’t need a vacation. I just want to be able to step off the non-stop electronic treadmill for just a few hours a day! Look, it’s not rocket science that as a civilization, our electronic media consumption is rising dangerously:Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 11.54.40 PM

Here’s the quick fix: when you come home, turn off your phone, put it on the top shelf of your closet, and close the closet. Proceed to sleep soundly. You’re welcome. (I seriously started doing this a while back, and it’s awesome!)

It’s up to you to decide whether this huge amount of time spent online is benefitting you are not. I’m not here to preach; I’m suffering as much mental fragmentation as anyone. It’s not that there’s “no benefit” whatsoever, I mean this article itself uses emerging media. Undoubtedly there is benefit.

But it’s when we start with good intentions, doing something productive, that we get sucked into the bottomless pit of electronic mindlessness.

If you’re with me and you want to increase your weight over the digital media see-saw, here are some solutions:

3 snap-hacks to enjoy media in moderation:

1. Put your smartphone in a different room (or same-room closet) for a set period. It’s much too hard to pull it out and get sucked in when its stored away.

2. Use a countdown timer to focus. Commit yourself to work solidly for 25 minutes, and then give yourself an email or social media break for a few minutes.

3. Before you start media, use a notepad to jot down what you are doing online and what you need to do. The notepad will keep you mentally anchored so that when your fingers start floating in a zombie-like click-click progression, you can use your notepad as a time machine telling you what your brain was thinking 45 minutes ago.

Now it’s your turn. What techniques do you actively use to save yourself from electronic media distractions?

Are YOU still person of the year?

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In 2006, Time magazine named YOU as the person of the year! And by YOU they meant you, and I and everyone else in the world. Here’s why they chose YOU:

…(it’s) a story about community and collaboration on a scale never seen before. It’s about the cosmic compendium of knowledge Wikipedia and the million-channel people’s network YouTube and the online metropolis MySpace. It’s about the many wresting power from the few and helping one another for nothing and how that will not only change the world, but also change the way the world change (Grossman, 2006).

The question I pose now is, are we still center stage in all this emerging media, or have the corporations caught on and scored one for the elitist home team? Consider the following “universe” of the Internet:

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In this outstanding work, Ruslan Enikeev (2012) created an interactive map of 350,000 websites from 196 countries. The Internet map! He analyzed more than 2 million links between the sites, looked at their traffic sizes, and plotted them as galaxies in a universe.

It is no surprise that he biggest “galaxies” belong to Google and Facebook. Are YOU still person of the year? It depends who you ask.

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Takis Fotopoulos (2014) argues that YOU no longer are. “One cannot assess the real significance of the Internet without taking into account its built-in deficiencies. First, it is well known that, even today, only a minority of the world population (less than 40%) are considered internet users. Most of them (77%) are concentrated in the “developed world,” where the minority of the world population lives. And that even fewer of them (less than 10%) have a fixed broadband connection.”

Another argument against the supposed democratization of the media brought about by the Internet, is that the blogs have abolished the distinction between producers and consumers of information, so that today we can all be producers. Fotopoulos (2014) argues, “Designing and especially the constant renewing of a blog or a website, is an indispensable element of attracting many visitors. However, this calls for not just some significant expenditure but, above all, plenty of time, which, of course, in today’s society is also translated into cash. A sophisticated and constantly renewable blog or website requires teams of full-time administrators to run them, or bloggers who can spare the extra time (or the necessary hard cash) to do so. In other words, the producers of information are a very small minority, who, tend to be better off, better educated and, more importantly, employed. Hence, more than half of the Internet users on the continent are passive and do not contribute to the web at all, while a further 23% only respond when prompted.”

What’s your opinion? In 2014, are YOU still person of the year?

Resource links:

The fading hopes of social media ROI?


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After the initial craze of jumping on the emerging media/social media bandwagon, many companies are now sobering up and increasingly becoming disillusioned by social media return-on-investment.

“Social media are not the powerful and persuasive marketing force many companies hoped they would be,” concludes Gallup Inc., (2012). Gallup says the majority (62%) of the more than 18,000 U.S. consumers it polled said social media had no influence on their buying decisions (Gallup survey, 2013).

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faGallup’s survey illustrates how brands assumed incorrectly that consumers would welcome them into their social lives. Those brands then delivered a hard sell that turned off many people. Now, with Facebook’s new algorithm, brands are reaching only 6.5% of their fans with Facebook posts in March 2012, down from 16% in February 2012 (EdgeRank Checker, 2012).

Between 2010 and 2013, the percentage of marketers using a revenue-per-customer metric on social media went from 17% to 9%, according to the February 2013 CMO survey. It seems the longer brands spend on social media, the more they realize that the revenue-per-customer model just doesn’t work.

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The metrics to watch, at the moment, are audience reach, engagement, and sentiment. Facebook shares are particularly valuable. Normal users’ posts are seen in a relatively high percentage of friends’ news feeds (compared to posts by brand pages); between 29 and 35% according to one study (Heggestuen, 2013).

Want to read more about this? Here’s a great read on why Buffer stopped focusing on direct social media ROI

Resource links:

Web 3.0 – who will be the players?


Those who own the future are going to be the ones who create it. It’s all up for grabs. Web monopolies are not as sticky as the monopolies of old (Jackson, 2012).

In the tech Internet world, we’ve had three generations:

* Web 1.0 (companies founded from 1994 – 2001, including Netscape, Yahoo!, AOL, Google, Amazon and eBay),

* Web 2.0 or Social (companies founded from 2002 – 2009, including Facebook, LinkedIn, and Groupon),

* and now Semantic Web 3.0 (from 2010 – present).
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Web 1.0 companies never seemed to be able to grasp the importance of building a social community and tapping into the backgrounds of those users.

Ask yourself, why hasn’t Amazon and Google thrived in Social media? Even though they’ve poured billions at the problem, their primary business model which made them successful in the first place seems to override their expansion into some new way of thinking.

Web 2.0 companies have dragged their feet as well. Consider how long it has taken Facebook to get up to speed with mobile. Certainly as long as Google took to get up to speed with social (Jackson, 2012).

There’s a name for this business cycle of life: creative destruction. Creative destruction is what happens when innovative companies or breakthrough technologies revolutionize and dominate industries — and then have exactly the same thing done to them. A classic example: Think of what happened when cassette tapes replaced 8-track recorders, then CDs replaced cassettes and then MP3 players replaced cassettes.

How does the Semantic Web 3.0 fit into the creative destruction cycle? In fact, what is the Semantic Web? Put very simply, the Semantic Web focuses on finding the meaning in data, not just finding data. Unlike today’s computers, which still need to know what you want to know, the future’s semantic-trained super-computers will anticipate and find the answers to questions you haven’t even thought to ask yet (Silver, 2014).

The bottom line is that the next 5 – 8 years could be incredibly dynamic. It’s possible that both Google and Facebook could be shells of their current selves – or gone entirely. Not bankrupt gone, but MySpace gone.


What happens when the spiral of silence meets the Internet surveillance state?

Posted by Mohamed Elsherief. Saturday Nov. 1, 2014.
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What is the spiral of silence theory? Originally proposed by German political scientist Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann in 1974, Spiral of silence is the term meant to refer to the tendency of people to remain silent when they feel that their views are in opposition to the majority view on a subject. The theory, as explained by Mass communication theories (n.d.), assumes that they remain silent for a few reasons:

1. Fear of isolation when the group or public realizes that the individual has a divergent opinion from the status quo.

2. Fear of reprisal or more extreme isolation, in the sense that voicing said opinion might lead to a negative consequence beyond that of mere isolation (loss of a job, status, etc.)

Now, what happens when we combine this with the opinion of Bruce Schneier, that the Internet is a surveillance state. He said, “Whether we admit it to ourselves or not, and whether we like it or not, we’re being tracked all the time. Google tracks us, both on its pages and on other pages it has access to. Facebook does the same; it even tracks non-Facebook users. Apple tracks us on our iPhones and iPads. One reporter used a tool called Collusion to track who was tracking him; 105 companies tracked his Internet use during one 36-hour period (Schneier, 2013).

When you combine the two, the spiral of silence with an Internet surveillance state, is the result a spooked public too frightened to speak their opinions aloud?

Some emerging media supporters hoped that social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter might produce different enough discussion venues that those with minority views might feel freer to express their opinions. The hope was that emerging media would broaden public discourse and add new perspectives to everyday discussion of political issues. So PewResearch Internet project did a survey of 1,801 adults to test this. In its survey, PewResearch focused on one important public issue: Edward Snowden’s 2013 revelations of widespread government surveillance of Americans’ phone and email records.

PewResearch findings produced several major insights:

** People were less willing to discuss the Snowden-NSA story in social media than they were in person. 86% of Americans were willing to have an in-person conversation about the surveillance program, but just 42% of Facebook and Twitter users were willing to post about it on those platforms.

** Social media did not provide an alternative discussion platform for those who were not willing to discuss the Snowden-NSA story. Of the 14% of Americans unwilling to discuss the Snowden-NSA story in person with others, only 0.3% were willing to post about it on social media.

Resource links:
Spiral of silence explained ~

The Internet is a surveillance state ~

I’m being followed ~

Social Media and the ‘Spiral of Silence’ ~