September 29, 2022

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SxSW 3: Tech Gets As Personal As the Stories

SxSW 3: Tech Gets As Personal As the Stories

The beauty of the SxSW Conference is not only are you exposed to emerging trends in how content will be shared, used and interacted with, but it’s with the people who will make it happen. This place is rocking with new ways to use location based services (LBS), Augmented Reality, emerging web standards of HTML5 which make video and other media easier to share, new announcements, including by thought leadership non-profit TED and a refrigerator that uses Twitter.

A growing discussion is (finally) getting to content and how we manage it.

“[Content] curation is important,” according to Jeremiah Owyang, a Partner focused on customer strategy at Altimeter Group. “We began with this idea that there was something called mass media,” according to Steve Rosenbaum, CEO of and author of Curation Nation. “Can we build something so big that it reaches everybody … and what’s I’m seeing is the answer is simply ‘no.’ In fact, it doesn’t scale…

works because its niche.” [More information on this conversation from the Samsung Blogger Lounge web site.]

Mobile is perhaps the hottest single area of interest, and not just because of the possibilities, but because how people have already started to use mobile. The sense is if Facebook can bring the same user experience to the mobile phone, a clear stated goal already, then ecommerce through Facebook (fCommerce) will be an amazing force. Integration with company web sites – or the current lack thereof – is still a hot topic of discussion.

LBS or location based services, the ability to offer you additional services, content, or information based on where you are right now (or even for planning purposes) is now at the “show me the money” moment. Foursquare seems to be holding its edge, based on how many people are using the service, which at a conference like SxSW is a great way to see where your friends/the influencers you want to reach are at a given moment. Honestly, we all use our LBS applications differently when we’re at home because we want anonymity.

LBS applications, in my opinion, need to replace the Sunday newspaper coupons to grow – or – companies need to offer deeper discounts than the other channels. There must be a tiered reward system for the most loyal customers while showing “the love” to all customers, and especially new customers.

AR, or Augmented Reality is developing in two ways: mobile and, well, everything else. [Additional Info on AR]. Using a mobile device, you point your camera at something, and the AR application adds a layer of information to the screen. For Google Goggles, it could be translating a sign from between languages on your phone’s screen. When viewing a piece of art, it could present content about the artist and the history of the piece.

AR use for shopping lets you “try on” clothes without actually trying them on. How’s the fit? How’s the color?

June Cohen

The possibilities in education are endless. Using larger screens, students can interact with items that aren’t physically there to learn about them. Bring them closer to you and they zoom in. It could be a never ending set of flash cards that are animated, virtual and engaging with audio and video. It is, for all purposes, the Star Trek “Holodeck” in your home.

New web technologies, especially HTML5, the new emerging web standard to add more rich media (video, audio, scalable graphics) in your browser are getting a lot of play. The takeaway here if you need to start thinking about developing content that IS text, audio and video – and video that is formatted for the viewer. In some cases, that means developing video for a 2-inch screen as more people, and soon most people will be viewing video content that way.

Finally, the non-profit that shares “ideas worth spreading,” TED, has announced that it will open its programming API to developers (for free). According to June Cohen, executive producer of TED media, this means that developers will have access to the more than 900 TED talks of groundbreaking ideas, which have already been viewed more than 400,000,000 times. Once a “dinner party” for great thinkers, TED has exploded in popularity with people who share the idea of making the world a better place. According to June Cohen of TED, “We don’t have the staff … and we don’t have all the good ideas.”

And perhaps that’s why this was announced at SxSW: A lot of great ideas start here.

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