The video below with a short presentation by Gary Small is in my view interesting in many ways. It is original and shows how Digital Natives differ in their minds relative to Digital Immigrants. It is one of the first neuroscience and fMRI studies related to searching the web and it shows that the web has both positive and negative impact on our minds and learned skills. If you like this video, I strongly recommend reading the extensive discussion related to the August post in Edge.org by Nicholas Carr called Is Google Making Us Stupid? This post raises in my view some important issues related to multi-tasking, continuous partial attention (CPA), focus, critical and structured thinking, concentration and reading long, deep articles and/or books.
Chris Anderson recently wrote a thought-provoking piece in Wired and Edge called The End of Theory in which he focuses on the rise of massive datasets, computational algorithms and correlations (instead of causation) for the next step in scientific evolution. Highly recommended reading.
In my view, correlation might boost useful science in the sense of working or realistic correlations. Nonetheless, in most disciplines intuition, creativity, asking good questions (perspectives/frames !), understanding, models and theory still have a clear value add, albeit for social / sharing reasons on top of a deeper understanding of the why of natural or social phenomena. Additionally, the reasoning of Chris Anderson is relevant for the rise of the mobile internet and its ubiquitous computing role in the near future. All these real-time mobile sensors might boost correlations and predictive capabilities to a certain degree while still acknowledging the power of Black Swans. Furthermore, Andersons' view seems to resonate with the Internet Scenario and Digital Gaia Scenario within the Singularity according to Vernor Vinge in which the continuing profileration and advancement of the internet will give rise to posthuman sense of consciousness as its too complex to contemplate. Finally, the role of the Semantic Web/Web 3.0 is interesting in the light of Andersons' reasoning. He seems to disagree with the benefits of the meaning and top-down structures of the Semantic Web. It would be great to see the responses of Tim Berners Lee and Nova Spivack to the Anderson piece.
"All models are wrong, but some are useful. So proclaimed statistician George Box 30 years ago, and he was right. But what choice did we have? Only models, from cosmological equations to theories of human behavior, seemed to be able to consistently, if imperfectly, explain the world around us. Until now. Today companies like Google, which have grown up in an era of massively abundant data, don't have to settle for wrong models. Indeed, they don't have to settle for models at all.
Sixty years ago, digital computers made information readable. Twenty years ago, the Internet made it reachable. Ten years ago, the first search engine crawlers made it a single database. Now Google and like-minded companies are sifting through the most measured age in history, treating this massive corpus as a laboratory of the human condition. They are the children of the Petabyte Age.
Chris Anderson seems to think computers will reduce science to pure induction, predicting the future based on the past. This method of course can't predict black swans, anomalous, truly novel events. Theory-laden human experts can't foresee black swans either, but for the foreseeable future, human experts will know how to handle black swans more adeptly when they appear.
Just because we remove the limits and biases of human narrativity from science, does not mean other biases don't rush in to fill the vacuum.
It is clear to me that while numerical simulation and computation are welcome tools, they are helpful only when they are used by good scientists to enhance their powers of creative reasoning. One rarely succeeds by “throwing a problem onto a computer”, instead it takes years and even decades of careful development and tuning of a simulation to get it to the point where it yields useful output, and in every case where it has done so it was because of sustained, creative theoretical work of the kind that has been traditionally at the heart of scientific progress."
Great overview, recommended viewing. Watch the part on China and mobile. I was recently in China for one week with 40 Dutch entrepreneurs and innovators in digital media. It was my highlight of this year so far. Impressive stats on the Chinese mobile market like 550 million mobile phone users, 56 million mobile internet users (while 3G services are just one month active in this huge market) and China Mobile is 4 times the market value of Vodafone and thus the largest mobile operator (MNO) in the whole world. Clearly, in a few years most mobile innovation will come from China due to their incredible ambition, growth (potential), economies of scale and availability of hundreds of thousands of highly educated and eager mobile/IT graduates across the whole mobile ecosystem. Yearly, that is ;-) Think about the implications of these numbers for a few minutes...
I have posted on Augmented Reality as a key trend since February 2005 when I started blogging. It still one of the topics I really enjoy. Below you can watch a short demonstration video on how our mobile phones (already using an old Nokia N95 !) will be the most important (and seventh) mass medium around from now on.
In my view Augmented Reality is the logical evolutionary endpoint of normal barcodes, shot codes, QR codes, RFID and SkuAir latest (branded) barcode. Mobile Augmented Reality seems to be the most intuitive technology. However, all mentioned technologies will co-exist. Mobile Augmented Reality is in my view relevant for more classic, static, long term, social, historical and nonprofit information on large object/subjects from large distances, the different (bar)code technologies are relevant for commercial, ecological, short-distance, timely, dynamic and ad hoc purposes while RFID has a very broad range of possible applications (medical, logistical, short range).
Some questions I have are:
- What will be the impact on the classic (mobile) search engines in terms of reach, usage and relevancy when Mobile Augmented Reality really starts taking off ? Search engines are indirect, take a few clicks and centralized. In my view, the decentralized, direct search capabilities of Mobile Augmented Reality apps are more consumer centric and will lower the impact of search engines over time. How will Google respond to Nokia in this respect ? Interestingly, yesterday Google announced a a new precision image search technology based on content analysis of the image at hand (a PageRank technology for images !)
- When we consider the four segmentation levels of our digital and physical world (me, my social network, my peers and the market/the public as a whole), how will Mobile Augmented Reality apps and information be structured and presented to the end user while he is coping with information overload, physical targets, spam, irrelevancy and shorter time spans/concentration bursts ? In my view the augmented digital information layer will be primarily be fed with tags/information/alerts from my own past (personal) usage (me -> emomapping for example based on GPS data combined with the AR layer) and my social network (e.g., TripIt, Dopplr, Twitter, Hyves LBS, Jaiku, Facebook etc.). In some cases a digital AR layer with tags, comments, ratings and recommendeded flags from my peer group or even the market as whole will still be useful but its impact will be lower relative to the current situation. Its emotional distance is larger relative to me and my social network with all its lifestreams/lifelogging boosting the notion of living parallel lives. This is an intensified way to explore the physical world.
- Will the usage of mobile augmented reality apps boost serendipity on the local, physical level or will it boost planned behaviour in advance with people optimizing/maximizing their lives (e.g., planning all highlights of best rated objects on my peer- and market/public at large-levels while consuming the bottom-up my social network and personal information on objects while physically near). I believe it will be the former scenario: more ad hoc, bottom up, exploratory search behavior using mobile AR. Go with the flow, spontaneity, Power of Now flocking and exploration. Smart Mobs realized.
"In addition to being able to search for objects, residents can now look
for information--about hobbies, for example--in each other's profiles.
Dzwigalski says she expects that being able to search profile
information will improve Second Life's social features.
Before Linden Lab announced its new tool, third-party companies, such as Electric Sheep,
were working on their own to improve search in Second Life and other
virtual worlds. "The search capability in the worlds has been
historically quite basic," says Giff Constable, who leads the Electric
Sheep's software business unit. Constable says that his company was
sending bots into Second Life to pick up virtual objects and extract
data from them in order to compile search results. "The analogy would
be to Alta Vista in the early days of the Web, before Google came
around and became able to rank things for popularity," Constable says.
He adds that his company hopes to take advantage of the new search tool
from Linden Lab and will focus on providing additional tools for social
networking and e-commerce."
Here is my presentation on different trends, digital media, web 2.0, web 3.0, marketing, digital marketing and communication/branding. Dutch only as yet, English one will follow soon. Focus is on different technological, environmental, economic and political views (macro perspective) as well as psychological, social and cultural views (micro perspective) and how they intersect, converge and reinforce in many different ways on different levels of analysis.
Key take away: Identity (knowing your intrinsic motivation, purpose and talents), Authenticity (being) and Creativity (doing) as reinforcing themes and values in the emerging and increasingly open space of the next web(s), biotech and ubiquitous computing where the all-encompassing and increasing availability of more granular and personal data of all sorts make the invisible visible and explicit to the benefit of ourselves, our social network, our peers and the market/global brain/humanity as a whole. The essential used to be invisible to the eye....until now and it will bring about massive transformations for the benefit of us all.
To me Bruce Sterling is one of the most inspiring speakers around. In September, 2007 his latest book will be released called Ascendancies - The Best of Bruce Sterling. I pre-ordered it. Here you can watch his presentation and powerful vision during the LIFT Conference on different important emergent trends like GeoWeb, RFID, Augmented Reality, mobile search, mobile social networks, Internet of Things and sustainability.
Highly recommended as this is in my view one of his best presentations I have seen so far.
Peter Norvig - Director of Google Research - is interviewed in this post on Technology Review focusing on some key future features of the Google search engine. Machine translation and voice recognition seem to be pivotal according to Norvig. Below we can see some business rationale behind the Google-YouTube deal. For marketers these developments seem to be important as multimedia content on the (mobile) web will be indexed more accurately over time.
"TR: And speech recognition can also be important for video search, isn't it? Blinkx and Everyzing are two examples of startups that are using the technology to search inside video. Is Google working on something similar?
PN: Right now, people aren't searching for video
much. If they are, they have a very specific thing in mind like "Coke"
and "Mentos." People don't search for things like "Show me the speech
where so-and-so talks about this aspect of Middle East history." But
all of that information is there, and with speech recognition, we can
access it. We wanted speech technology that could serve as an interface for
phones and also index audio text.
Currently, we are up to state-of-the-art with what we built on
our own, and we have the computational infrastructure to improve
further. As we get more data from more interaction with users and from
uploaded videos, our systems will improve because the data trains the
algorithms over time."
I like the idea of personalizing ads with ad variants, this clearly is one of the ways digital marketing will move forward as this will boost online ad ROI. As I wrote on my analysis of the Google-Doubleclick merger, I believe we will soon witness automated integration of clickstream data of users in different digital marketing tools like banners and e-mails.
I wonder how Publicis can integratie advertisers' consumer data in their solution
If you have the pull (not push) data from consumers, you are in the driver seat in the evolving digital marketing space. Clickstream data on search engines - my take-away from the outstanding book The Search by John Battelle - (albeit PC-based, mobile, iTV, Augmented Reality apps, 3D Web or gaming) are key in this respect in my view. So the question looms how Publicis will compete on this level with Google, Yahoo and Microsoft. In my view, Google clearly is in the lead on most fields at this point in time
Publicis assumes there will be a separation between online media and online ad agencies. In my view Google, Yahoo and Microsoft see this differently. Search engines are a key connector of consumer purchase intentions and online media, connecting content and commerce.
Unfortunately, the vision of Publicis doesn't seem to take the impact of social networks and social networking on the digital marketing space into account (this is pull advertising as well like buzz marketing and open source marketing). Same applies for user generated online ads (and its variants). Their vision doesn't resonate enough in my view with the Wikinomics principles: openness, peering and sharing. They do dig the Global Operations part though
What is the impact of open source ad networks and what is the role of Publicis in this respect ?
Looking forward to seeing your views on this topic. Thanks.
"Digitas uses data from companies like Google and Yahoo and customer
data from each advertiser to develop proprietary models about which ads
should be shown the first time someone sees an ad, the second time,
after a purchase is made, and so on. The ads vary, depending on a
customer’s age, location and past exposure to the ads.
Digitas executives say that consumers end up with a better
experience — even a service — if the ads they are shown are relevant
and new. “We now know how many times they’ve seen this ad, so stop annoying
them,” said Mark Beeching, executive vice president and worldwide chief
creative officer of Digitas. “The more you can standardize and automate
in terms of making different versions, hallelujah. That money should be
spent creating more content.” Along with automation, low-cost workers abroad will help create more versions of ads."