Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Social Media - Wayne MacPhail

On February 20, I had an opportunity to hear Wayne MacPhail in my class at Sheridan. This was one of the best presentations in my life, very nicely presented, and very informative.

Wayne is a cutting-edge content producer for print media and the web and has been a magazine editor, a photographer and a newspaper writer/editor.

Mr. MacPhail’s topic was “Mashing Up Social Media”. He started with the introduction of Web 2.0 and discussed the following four concepts:

Social Bookmarking
RSS Feeds
Embeded Codes

So, what is Social Media? It is media of the people, for the people, and by the people. The typical media is TV and radio where people are passive viewers, but online Social media is open information sharing in an online community where ordinary people become an active participant by collaborating and becoming part of it by contributing in its creation, e.g. Facebook, YouTube, etc.

The top social networks are MySpace and Facebook, to name a few. The way you can use social networks for your own benefits is to setup a profile and reach out to your customers. Once you have built a good solid network of friends you can then post comments on people’s pages to increase your earnest or become friend for their friends. You can then also post bulletins or you can communicate through your profile image; any sort of contest or something like that going on. You can market yourself and can further increase the awareness for your company.

Social Media as a marketing platform: As a marketing platform televisions and radio have been used for over decades, where as social media has been gaining recognition only from the past few years, but a very strong recognition. Social Networks like Facebook, MySpace, YouTube are not just network of people, but actually marketing platforms, where people or companies are doing business, said Mr. MacPhail.

In order to be successful in social media market, Wayne used the following terms:

“You don’t use a social network, you become part of it“
“Contribution is participation”
“Social media encourages engagement & evangelism”
“Social media: is local first; is viral; is granular; is a conversation, not a broadcast; is mobile; wants to be free”

Following are the social media Related Websites Mr. Wayne MacPhail showed:

Jaiku: Social networking and micro-blogging service, purchased by Google, that lets you continually broadcast (lifecast) yourself by sending personal updates via phone or computer, similar to Twitter.

Mogulus: Broadcast online, live, from a web connection.

Sprout: Create sophisticated, dynamic and interactive multimedia content online.

Twitter: Social networking and micro-blogging service that allows you to send updates to Twitter website via a SMS from a mobile phone. Like, what you are doing and what other’s are doing.

TwitterVision: For a graphic sense of the implications of Twitter, there’s TwitterVision, which combines Twitter and Google Maps.

Utterz: Social networking and micro-blogging that lets you post in voice, video, pictures and text from your mobile phone to your blog or social network page.

Qik: Stream videos directly from your mobile phone to the Web.

Digg: Community-based news article popularity website. Readers can view all of the stories that have been submitted by fellow users. Once a story has received enough "diggs", it appears on Digg's front page.

GoogleReader: RSS Feeds reader. Social bookmarking web service for storing, sharing, and discovering web bookmarks.

Note: Jaiku, Twitter, and Utterz are similar.

Relevant Links:

Social Media – Web 2.0
Content, Life & Everything
Did You Know?
Social Bookmarking in Plain English

Monday, February 25, 2008

Adding Inspiration to Innovation

On Friday, February 8, we made a field trip to Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and later we got an opportunity to see Steve Mann’s Hydraulophones, which were quite interesting. I’ll talk about the two in this write-up.

In the first part of the trip Mr. Brian Porter, Senior Director of New Media Resources, showed us the digital gallery at ROM. As soon as we got seated we started exploring the touch screen display in front of us. On the screen we had the option to explore either the Ancient Egyptian or the Canadian Heritage. In terms of technology it did not appear very pioneering, but at the same time it was a great thought of having digitizing the ancient pieces at the ROM into 2D and 3D imaging etc. Brian talked for a while and gave us a brief introduction of himself and his work at ROM. Later he showed us an education film based on Canadian Heritage on a three projector – widescreen which was made entirely by the new media team at the ROM.

Next, we moved on to the new Dinosaur Exhibit at ROM. Well, the purpose was not to see the skeletons of the Dinos, but to see the interactive displays (touch screen, gesture technology, etc) which let people explore more about those extinct species. The touch screens were not multi-touch, but had the interface design kind of like Apple's iTouch.

Then we moved to a sound studio and met a multimedia guy named Zack. He showed us the audio mixing and 3d video editing/production stuff he does. He had a nice little office full of computers, wires, an audio mixer etc, where he was utilizing his artistic and technical skills. That job is perfect for him and he loves it, Zack said.

In the second part of the field trip we visited inventor, pioneer, professor Steve Mann, known as world’s first cyborg. He was having a wearable multimedia computer with video processing capability and wireless Internet connection on top of his head that, he says, allows him to view the world differently than the ordinary people. You can watch a video here where Steve talks about his work in more detail.

Another thing Steve showed is called Hydraulophone, a water pipe organ flute. It was very inspiring to see that water piano being played. The very first moment I could not believe that it was water that produced the sound. I have never seen any thing like that.

Overall, I it was fun and very inspiring to visit those places and it was actually the best field trip for the course Multimedia Pioneering. Like it’s said: Inspiration = Innovation; hopefully this inspiration may result in some innovation.