The Internet is a medium that is evolving at breakneck speed. It’s a wild organism of sweeping cultural change It’s transformative: it has transformed the vast globe into a ‘global village’ and it has drawn human communication away from print-based media and into a digital era.

So what’s the next step in its evolution, and what’s the big picture? What does the Internet mean as an extension of human communication, of the human mind? And forget tomorrow — where will the web be in fifty years, or a hundred? Will the Internet help make the world look like something out of Blade Runner or Minority Report?

Technology is EVERGROWING today.  Is this an understatement?

Many people think technology has risen to its peak and can no longer get any higher…Really?

The internet we’ll have in 2020 will look almost nothing like the one we have in 2011, from the information we access to the devices we use to connect. Can we predict exactly what it’s going to look like?

Almost certainly not, but we can see the seeds of it even now, and work out a few of the directions the industry will have to travel down to make it happen.

There are many companies today that are planning for the FUTURE… big firms have already taken the first steps…There are few predictions to how future internet would look like…

Google introduces the Google TV


Google states that 4 billion people across the world watch TV – but many of us are not getting the modern experience we expect of media in the Internet Age. With Google TV, Google plans to combine the familiarity of “old TV” with the freedom and power of the internet.

The goal of Google TV is to turn television and web into a seamless experience, giving you access to online content and videos from the comfort of your living room.

Google puts it this way: the traditional way to watch a television show is to wait for it to air on a network, meaning you change your schedule to match that of the show you want to watch.  The internet breaks that barrier, allowing you to watch shows whenever you feel like through outlets like Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube.

With Google TV, you can watch online content out of the confined space of your computer’s monitor and instead play it on your TV together with standard TV content.

Google April-fool G-mail motion..but could this possibly be the future?


From traditional typewriters and keyboard, technology like g-mail motion has made life easier to communicate. Ergonomics have been improved using motions like human body language on a computer camera to reply and forward emails.

Gmail Motion uses your computer’s built-in webcam and Google’s patented spatial tracking technology to detect your movements and translate them into meaningful characters and commands.

Nokia introduces the thin ruler like Nokia 888…


Another ground breaking technology is from the mobile phone industry that has played significant role in improving the future of internet. Nokia 888 a thin ruler like structure shaped used for interacting in a form of phone, a satnav, daily routine guide planner or an organiser.

You dont have to carry it in your pocket or on your wrist. You can carry it anywhere, in anyform. You can roll it, bend it, put on your clothes like a clip. It also makes some form changes that makes it more ergonomical: i.e. when you want to talk on the phone, the body form turns into the form of the good old telephone.

It uses liquid battery, speech recognition, flexible touch screen, touch sensitive body cover which lets it understand and adjust to the environment. It has a simple programmable body mechanism so that it changes forms in different situations.

Electric cars…

Internet age has modernized the shape of gas-guzzling cars to eco-friendly that emits zero carbon pollutants in the air.  Using electricity to charge the car in a fraction of hour and moreover carbon emissions have led to enormous change in the climatic condition. Therefore continuous technology improvement have been developed to reduce emissions and collaborating internet interface in the cars as a medium to surf the net like google, social network, and satellite navigation.

Audio web surfing


Building the web with standards and accessibility in mind brings the internet to wide audience as possible. Using the text to speech technology allows the users to read the latest articles from the latest websites. Rather than reading and clicking, the audience can tell the browser where they want to go with spoken commands.

Technology has made every little thing possible to the use of mankind without sacrificing their time. Improving web interface has made the world come closer to another step of communication on virtual grounds.

Corning introduces the glass technology…


Imagine waking up in the morning where every object is interfaced with glass material and all we do is play around with the tips of our fingers from raising the bedroom curtains to functioning multipurpose appliance veneer glass to get things around for convenience in the years to come with the existence of future internet invasion.

Multipurpose Web device

Any electronic gadget in the near future would have access to the internet. Gadgets like refrigerator, microwave, bread toaster, and even electric-stoves would soon be seen accessing to the social network sites like facebook, twitter and myspace. This has been the mission of every electronic industrialist to have people access to their products with functionality and compatibility. This will be the biggest change in human evolutions to have their daily products compatible to internet on the go.

AND

So it seems…the internet never sleeps, it is awaken with every possibility to make its experience meaningful from surfing the net to being compatible to all household products. The future is uncertain, however the internet guarantee certainties.. it is the solution to all our problems.  Our lifestyles will completely change with the technology of gadget free devices.

Let’s hear what the CEO’s have to say…

I think that the best technologies are the ones that we don’t really even have to think about. Over time, as the Internet matures, it will become something that is completely inter-woven [into] the fabric of our lives and not even something that we specifically tap into, but is just always presenting information to us.

Jeremy Stoppleman, CEO of Yelp

Right now the Internet has been very computer oriented. There’s been this association, like you need  a computer to be connected, and I think that’s rapidly, of course, going away. You need a handheld device, and in the future you need a home entertainment system, TV, all connected to the Internet. So I think the Internet is going to be the invisible present power supply, and the boundary between some things that have boundaries today, like telephones, will go away. Television will go away. It will be the Internet, and there will be different display devices and different user interface or interaction devices, but that’s kind of how I see it…

Barry Glick, Founder of MapQuest

Sources:

http://mashable.com/2011/01/12/future-of-the-internet/

http://sixrevisions.com/web-technology/6-predictions-for-the-future-of-the-internet/

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With technological revolution journalism will not just be in the usual forms of media broadcast or newspaper publications. Instead, given the rapidly developing world of on-line technology, media and the internet now gives ordinary people the opportunity to be empowered with the power of utilising internet and its applications such as online forums, blogs, podcasts, videocasts to share their opinions and viewpoints regarding topics that interest them.

This form of online journalism gives rise to the term “citizen journalism” – which is when private individuals do essentially what professional reporters do – report information. That information can take many forms, from a podcast editorial to a report about a city council meeting on a blog. It can include text, pictures, audio and video. But it’s basically all about communicating information of some kind.

The other main feature of citizen journalism is that it’s usually found online. In fact, the emergence of the Internet – with blogs, podcasts, streaming video and other Web-related innovations – is what has made citizen journalism possible.

The Internet gave average people the ability to transmit information globally and to voice their opinions. That was a power once reserved for only the very largest media corporations and news agencies.

BUT THE ULTIMATE QUESTION IS….IS THIS SORT OF JOUNAMILISM CREDIBLE & RELIABLE?

While many of the blogs and citizen journalism sites have done very interesting and positive things, they are not even close to providing the level of coverage that even financially stressed news organizations do today,” said Margaret Duffy, associate professor at the Missouri School of Journalism. “Not only do these blogs and websites lack the staff to adequately cover stories, but most citizen journalism managers do not have the financial resources and business experience to make their websites viable over time.

Let’s hear what the Singaporeans have to say…

Citizen journalism is more evident these days, especially with several forums for Singaporeans to express their views.

One platform is Channel NewsAsia’s “I Journalist” programme – now into its second season – which has received positive feedback from viewers.

They are issues you confront, trends you notice and questions you do not seem to get an answer to. Rather than complain to friends and family, citizen journalists get involved.

The latest episode of “I Journalist” discussed construction noise in residential areas – an issue many are all too familiar with – and something film-maker Tan Pin Pin tolerated as a condominium was being built opposite her home.

Her issue resonated with many people Channel NewsAsia spoke to after receiving feedback about it.

One person said: “That is a problem because most of the time, I will be working night shift. I sleep in the day so I can’t get enough sleep…

Pin Pin got residents in her block to sign a petition asking for a ban on construction on Sundays and public holidays.

Some polytechnic students featured in the programme’s first episode did the same – as they rallied for lower public transport fares with a petition.

The students have achieved some success, at least with the recent announcement of fare cuts.

Tiffany Ang, producer, “I Journalist”, MediaCorp News, said: “‘I Journalist’ stems from the idea of citizen journalism, where the ideas come from the citizens themselves. And we take these ideas that are from the people and delve a little bit more into it to find out what issues there are, and see it in the larger Singapore context.”

One person said: “I suppose it is a good thing, because it brings up certain issues that you may not necessarily be focusing on but which affect people in general.”

So what can we conclude?

As the old song says, “Video Killed The Radio Star,” and the Internet is killing journalists, or at least news organizations like newspapers and television news shows that no longer provide the same value to their customers.

The Internet has slowly, but surely taken over the role of “see it here first” journalism. Even 24-hour news stations like CNN, MSNBC and FOX News do not have the ability to show news as it happens anywhere in the world. The Internet does.

Journalism is changing to meet both the demands of a changing world, but also to meet the changes in technology that are allowing anyone with a cell phone or a laptop to create journalism. Journalists used to need a massive organization behind them to produce news stories, photos or video. But inexpensive technology has changed that.

First person accounts within moments of an event are becoming invaluable pieces of journalism. Photos and videos, usually taken by cell phone, of events as they occur are only possible if the community participates in journalism. Professional journalists must change their thinking to see the value in this kind of journalism.

Professional journalists are people who can write well, edit, shoot photos or video; they will always be needed. A few national and international news organizations will continue to exist in order to cover national and international governments and business.

The Internet is not killing journalism; it is just killing an old model of providing news to people who want information. The new model is as different as printing on a printing press was to hand copying books. Journalism is transforming into something more interactive, where the consumer is also a producer. That is not a bad thing, but it will cause a lot of stress and disruption as the older model fails and the newer model finds ways to succeed.

Source:

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/410625/1/.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizen_journalism

The Internet and other high-tech communications gadgets have become increasingly important in political campaigns around the world. But the question that nobody is asking is this: Has modern technology really enhanced the way we choose our leaders?

A Political campaign defined…

A political campaign is an organized effort which seeks to influence the decision making process within a specific group. The message of the campaign contains the ideas that the candidate wants to share with the voters. The message often consists of several talking points about policy issues. The points summarize the main ideas of the campaign and are repeated frequently in order to create a lasting impression with the voters.

The Power of Internet on political campaign…

The internet is now a core element of modern political campaigns. Communication technologies such as e-mail, web sites, and podcasts enable faster communications by citizen movements and deliver a message to a large audience. These Internet technologies are used for cause-related fundraising, lobbying, volunteering, community building, and organizing. Individual political candidates are also using the internet to promote their election campaign. Campaigns are now studying popular Internet social networks, like Facebook, as ways to reaching groups of potential supporters with similar political views or cultural interests.

Such revolution has allowed a low cost, yet an efficient method of mobilizing voters and increasing participation among various voter populations. This new media was incredibly successful at reaching the younger population while helping all populations organize and promote action.

Analysts say the campaign television advertisement, already diminishing in influence with the proliferation of cable stations, faces new challenges as campaigns experiment with technology that allows direct messaging to more specific audiences, and through unconventional means.

Those include Podcasts featuring a daily downloaded message from a candidate and so-called viral attack videos, designed to trigger peer-to-peer distribution by e-mail chains, without being associated with any candidate or campaign.

Obama’s PRESIDENTIAL Campaign 2008…

Signifying the importance of internet political campaigning, Barack Obama’s presidential campaign relied heavily on social media (including Facebook, YouTube and a custom generated social engine), and new media channels to engage voters, recruit campaign volunteers, raise campaign funds and to reach new target segments.

“The tools changed between 2004 and 2008. Barack Obama won every single caucus state that matters, and he did it because of those tools, because he was able to move thousands of people to organize.”

Mr. Obama’s campaign took advantage of YouTube for free advertising. Mr. Trippi argued that those videos were more effective than television ads because viewers chose to watch them or received them from a friend instead of having their television shows interrupted.

“The campaign’s official stuff they created for YouTube was watched for 14.5 million hours,” Mr. Trippi said. “To buy 14.5 million hours on broadcast TV is $47 million.”

The Internet also let people repeatedly listen to the candidates’ own words in the face of attacks, Mr. Huffington said. As Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s incendiary words kept surfacing, people could re-watch Mr. Obama’s speech on race. To date, 6.7 million people have watched the 37-minute speech on YouTube.

For all the attention being paid to Internet technology, there remain definite limitations to its reach…

However, as modern technology continues to adapt to changes in society, Internet campaigning will never be able to serve as a complete replacement for traditional political campaigning without reducing the significant barriers to entry.

Internet political campaigning leaves out entire portions of each population because it only is accessible to a certain portion of the population, leaving those without this access disconnected.

For example, during Obama’s recent presidential campaign, Internet political campaigning was effective at reaching the younger population, as they remain engaged with social websites and new media. Because of the limits of technology, Obama’s Internet campaign failed to reach older generations (Americans over 65) who tend to be the nation’s most reliable voters and didn’t use this new media, as well as significant amounts of the population who didn’t have access.

Moreover while the Internet is efficient at reaching supporters, who tend to visit and linger at political sites, it has proved to be much less effective at swaying voters who are not interested in politics.

In this age of multitasking, voters are not as captive to a Web site as they might be to a 30-second television advertisement, or a campaign mailing. That was a critical lesson of the collapse of Mr. Dean’s presidential campaign, after he initially enjoyed great Internet success in raising money and drawing crowds.

Therefore the internet is a “double edged sword”, with speed, efficiency and success in penetrating the various target segments, a party must also be very careful and pay close attention to details it includes in the campaign, and to make sure there is no mistakes in the campaigns, because once the word is out in the public there is no turning back, and the party’s reputation will be smeared.

SOURCES

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/11/07/how-obamas-internet-campaign-changed-politics/

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/02/washington/02campaign.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1

Virtual Worlds, Enhanced Learning

Diffusion of Multimedia in Education…

Virtual worlds represent a powerful new media for instruction and education that are engaging, stimulating spaces where students can meet online for normal class activities, including lectures, discussions, case studies, projects, papers, exams, and labs. Classes are a mix of synchronous and asynchronous activity. It allows users to be able to carry out tasks that could be difficult in the real world due to constraints and restrictions, such as cost, scheduling or location.  A virtual world class differs from a traditional course management system, such as Blackboard or Moodle, due to the three-dimensional (3D) graphical setting, the use of avatars to represent the class participants, and the sense of presence that puts the learner within the scene.

“Whyville”…

In April 1999, Numedeon Incorporated launched Whyville as the first virtual world explicitly designed to engage young students in a wide range of educational activities.

Children in Whyville earn “clams” through activities and games, and use that virtual money to buy face decorations for their otherwise plain avatars. Then, they typically socialize with peers via chat, bulletin boards and the city’s mail system.

“When Whypox first hits, they start saying ‘Achoo,’ and it interferes with their chat, which is obviously very important. So they are interested in finding out what it is and what they can do about it,” in Whyville’s Center for Disease Control, said Cathleen Galas, a teacher who helped a class of sixth graders through a bout of the pox last year by instructing them about epidemiology, the study of infectious diseases.

In educational circles, Whyville’s private universe is known as a multiuser virtual environment, or MUVE, a genre of software games created to inspire children to learn about math and science, among other subjects. Unlike most game software and social networks, which elicit negative associations for some parents and teachers, MUVEs are structured environments with rules for behavior, yet no pat formula for action. Designed to provide problems to solve that don’t involve slaying monsters, MUVEs compel kids to figure out the issues to succeed in the environments or have time to socialize.

The Shifting of roles…

In virtual worlds, the instructor’s role shifts from being the “sage on the stage” to being the domain expert—the authority who stimulates and supervises exploration while providing structure, guidance, feedback, and assessment.  For virtual worlds to be accepted, then it is vital that teachers and students alike adapt to new ideas and technologies and use them to their full potential and become a useful tool in education.

Great virtual world learning experiences blend the following features in a mix that is appropriate for the course content and for the achievement of the desired course competencies. Not all classes include projects or creation of 3D content, and this list favors activity-based learning and social networks:

  • Self: Customizing the avatar
  • Exploration: Moving around the world
  • Communication: Sharing information with others
  • Navigation: Looking at 3D content
  • Interaction: Using 3D objects
  • Creation: Designing a class project
  • Delivery: Giving the projects to the instructor
  • Assessment: Evaluating Second Life projects
  • Feedback: Compiling progress and performance reports

Wider adoption of MUVEs raises the question: Are virtual worlds the future of learning for the wired generation?

Research has shown that kids engage deeply in virtual environments, gaining a conceptual and ethical understanding of school subjects, according to education experts. And many kids are already comfortable socializing online, so educationally oriented virtual worlds can offer that same sort of stimulus and use that potential to aid learning. There’s one big caveat, however: Virtual worlds must have knowledgeable and motivated teachers driving the train.

With respect to older students, a growing number of universities and other educational institutions are exploring existing general purpose virtual world platforms as a means to extend and enhance their offerings to students. Typically, educators create an online presence where students can interact, using their avatars to learn about new assignments or create projects that are viewable within the virtual world. For example, students taking a computer manufacturing class can log into a virtual world in which they are the inhabitants of a burgeoning village that needs their expertise for the construction of houses, furniture, machines, and other goods.

Virtual worlds support these different learning styles and give students opportunities to explore, discover, and express their understanding of the subject. Naturally, the tool’s capabilities do not guarantee a great learning experience. The success of a course depends on effective course design, delivery, and assessment. Course designers, instructors, and IT professionals are challenged to create stimulating content, deliver it reliably, and ensure a stable virtual world learning environment.

Downside of Virtual Worlds…

Although virtual worlds are a good way of communicating and interacting between students and teachers, this is not a substitute for actual face-to-face meetings. When using virtual worlds, there are the downsides in that you lose the body language and other more personal aspects.

Campus-based classes offer rich interaction, expression, and other forms of communication and real-world experiences that are not possible given today’s virtual world technology. For classes that center on formal papers and research reports, campus-based and online classes excel. Even though slides and text-based information can be used in the virtual world, its strengths center on 3D visualization and sensory experiences that are harder to simulate in the campus-based and online classrooms.

The use of virtual worlds expands on the campus-based and online classrooms, enhancing learning experiences. Classes in virtual worlds offer opportunities for visualization, simulation, enhanced social networks, and shared learning experiences. Some people learn best by listening to the course content, others by seeing and visualizing the content in context, and the rest by using a hands-on approach to demonstrate course competencies. In virtual worlds, we can leverage a mix of content and activity to support all learners: auditory, visual, and kinesthetic.

The best idea for a more complete and wider variety in learning techniques is to integrate both paper based and technology based methods.

Parents concerns…

Still, proponents have an uphill battle when it comes to dispelling negative preconceptions of video games and socially oriented computing environments. They say many people automatically fear that games can’t teach kids anything valuable, or worse, that they’re a waste of time. With the rise of MySpace, many parents are also worried that kids aren’t safe against predators in digital communities.

Sources:

http://news.cnet.com/2009-1041_3-6081870.html

http://www.educause.edu/EDUCAUSE+Review/EDUCAUSEReviewMagazineVolume43/EducationalFrontiersLearningin/163163

This is my first movie using Windows Movie Maker, what an accomplishment! hope you enjoy it..:)

 

THE  POWER  OF  GOOGLE  ALERT

Google Alerts is a content monitoring service, offered by the search engine company Google, that automatically notifies users when new content from news, web, blogs, video and/or discussion groups matches a set of search terms selected by the user and stored by the Google Alerts service. Notifications can be sent by email, as a web feed or displayed on the users iGoogle page. Google lets you set up as many Alerts as you’d like on as many different topics as you’d like.  Google Alerts only provides content from Google’s own search engine.

People use Google Alerts to:

  • find out what is being said about their company or product.
  • monitor a developing news story.
  • keep up to date on a competitor or industry.
  • get the latest news on a celebrity or sports team.
  • find out what’s being said about themselves.

How it works?

  1. You enter a query that you’re interested in.
  2. Google Alerts checks regularly to see if there are new results for your query.
  3. If there are new results, Google Alerts sends them to you in an email.

Currently there are six types of alerts sent when new content matches the search terms of the alert:

  • Everything – (default setting) aggregates News, Web and Blogs
  • News – sent when matching content makes it into the top ten results of a Google News search
  • Web – sent when new web pages appear in the top twenty results for a Google web search
  • Blogs- sent when matching content appears in the top ten results of a Google Blog Search
  • Video – sent when matching content appears in the top ten results of a Google video search
  • Groups – sent when matching content appears in the top fifty results of a Google Groups search

Users determine the frequency of checks for new results. Three options are available: “once a day”, “once a week”, or “as it happens”. These options set the maximum frequency of alerts and do not necessarily control how often they will receive alerts. Alerts are sent only if new content matches the user-selected search terms.

Source:  http://smallbiztrends.com/2010/02/how-to-use-google-alerts.html

THE PAST: class room 30 desks, 30 chairs, a white board at the front….

A TRANSOFRMATION

The Future: Furniture, technology, diversity, flexibility, productivity…

Introduction

In our fast-paced world with technology continuously progressing beyond the realms of science fiction, it is not surprising that some of this advanced technology is being utilised in our education sector.

Each passing year sees the creation of new and improved learning material. Providing quality, accessible education that stimulates and intrigues young minds is the key to further development.

What is a Smart classroom?


Smart classroom, in a general sense, is a new constitution which integrates electronic areas and human interface as well as technology and traditional teaching methods to form an innovative, advanced, flexible learning environment. Smart Classrooms are technology enhanced classrooms that foster opportunities for teaching and learning by integrating learning technology, such as computers, specialized software, audience response technology, networking, and audio/visual capabilities.

Smart classroom gives great opportunity to share learning environment in the information age in which basic learning skills become much more important than the former training systems. Furthermore, it is the best configuration which makes distance points near and makes learning wide. In this configuration, it is seen that human computer interaction occurs at a high level

The objective in the Smart Classroom is to make computer use in the classroom as simple, friendly and non-intimidating as possible.

Smart Classroom Features

In general, Smart classrooms are equipped with the following:

  • Ceiling mounted LCD projector and projection screen
  • Laptop connectivity for both Macintosh & PC laptops
  • DVD
  • VCR
  • Sound system
  • Touchscreen Control system
  • Telephone
  • AUX-video Input

Some classrooms have additional resources, which may include:

  • Resident Dual-OS Computer with Mac OS X & Windows Vista w/DVD-RW (over 30 software titles available)
  • Dual-OS Mac with Windows Vista
  • Microphone (wireless hand-held and/or lavaliere)
  • Document Camera
  • Stereo Sound
  • Wireless Presenter/Mouse
  • USB extension cable for Flash drives
  • LCD projector
  • Tabletop screen
  • Cables for laptop projector hookup and network connectivity
  • Mobile carrying case

Conclusion

In recent years, the uses of distance education systems in all kinds of education have been increasing. One of the tools for distance education system is probably smart classrooms, simultaneous classroom environments. It is, therefore, important to increase the effectiveness of smart classroom to enhance the learning environment in distance education.

Source:

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2002/09/new-learning-spaces-smart-learners-not-smart-classrooms.aspx

Company profile

A small Utah-based manufacturer that makes high performing, durable blenders for commercial use and a newer line for home appliances.

Problem

Started off as a small company, had a good product, but consumers had low brand awareness and knowledge.  As Dickson said, even though we had the best blender in the world, people didn’t know who we were. We wanted to demonstrate the power and durability of the Blendtec blender. Blogs and reviews from online forums and discussions suggested that consumers were reluctant and hesitant to buy products from Blendtec merely because of low brand awareness (no advertisements, limited distribution, and lack of information) and hence were not confident to make purchases.

Reviews also suggested that consumers were more comfortable buying products from its main competitor Vita-mix.

Rivals

Goal

With a small budget ($50) the company was desperate to revitalise its brand and create top of mind awareness for its consumers- knowing the company sells one of the most uninteresting and over saturated commodities in any department store-blenders are largely all the same, many times the odds are consumers will not be able to recall a specific brand let alone being convinced to buy a particular model.    Blendtec, therefore needed to differentiate its product (durability/powerful) /marketing strategy to increase brand awareness and thus market share.

What did the company do?

The company decided to use online video (viral marketing) – low in cost, as a form of marketing for the company’s product to increase sales.

Summary of the Case Study

1. George Wright, Blendtecs vice president of marketing and sales created a YouTube and marketing campaign called “Will it Blend”?

George Wright happened to witness CEO, Tom Dickson feeding a 2×2 inch wooden board into a commercial blender as part of his destructive test and found it fascinating, hence thought others might get a kick out of watching the process, and the idea for creating a video was born.

2.  Immediately Wright gathered together his webmaster and his video producer, who usually made instructional and maintenance videos. They spent $50 on a domain, a lab coat, pair of safety glasses, a bag of marbles, a 12-pack of Diet Coke, a McDonald’s  meal, a rotisserie chicken, and a garden rake. Then they went to the CEO, Tom Dickson, and asked him to to blend each of the items they had purchased – on camera

Tom Dickson, sticks it in the blender and says “Will it blend? That is the question”. While the item is blending he smiles and waits for the process to end. When it does, he empties the contents and the subtitle “Yes! it blends” appears.

3. Wright had stumbled upon one of the hottest marketing forces of the Internet age: viral video ads. They began making a series of online videos entitled ‘Will it blend?’. The videos consisted of a number of infomercials that demonstrated their product range of blenders and what they were able to blend. More than half of Internet users have watched a video ad online, according to research by the Kelsey Group. Nearly half of those viewers went on to visit the company website, and 15% of those made a purchase.

4.  Blendtec’s first “Will It Blend?” videos became the 33rd-most-viewed series ever on YouTube, and helped drive sales of the company’s $399 high-end consumer blender up to 500% in 2008.

Dickson went on to film 62 other “Will It Blend?” videos, blending everything even a video camera, and then filmed an attempt to return the blended camera to the store.

Some of the best videos Blendtec has done to date are in the playlist in its YouTube channel, includes, “Will It Blend?-iPhone”, which has more than 7 million views.

In fact, so popular is this worldwide phenomenon that 210,000 people logged on to eBay to view the leftovers of a blended iPod and iPhone. The dust of each of these products fetched $800 and $901 respectively. The company quadrupled the value and donated it to a sick children’s hospital in Utah

LETS TAKE A LOOK…

WOULD U PAY $800 for the dust of an iPOD and $901 for the dust of an iPhone?

So after destroying a number of Apple’s products doesn’t Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, have a  few choice words for Dickson?

—When I threw the iPhone into the blender, it was still playing a video even when it was halfway destroyed, so I think Steve Jobs was pleased that it lasted that long. This is the ultimate test and it did very well

The 61-year-old engineer believes Will It Blend? has the capacity to run for a long time as new products are released onto the market.

There’s no limit to what will blend. We have hundreds of thousands of requests of things to blend. When we walk into a store I am always looking for things to blend and we never know what’s going to happen

Blended items to date include; golf balls, iphones, digital cameras, action figures, marbles, skis, matches, thanksgiving dinners and more.

A success story…

1. Drive sales of the company up to 500% in 2008, and up to 700% in 2009.

2. Traffic to the company’s website has increased by 650% since the introduction of the videos, while Blendtec’s online sales have increased five-fold

4. To date, some videos have received over 28 million views by unique users and Blendtec is positioned to make above and beyond 50 million US dollars in sales for the coming financial year (2010).

5. The first videos went on the company’s website on Nov 2, and after only 1 day the site had received 23,000 hits. After being released on YouTube the videos exploded, with their version of a ‘golf ball smoothie’ receiving over 1.7 million views.  Nearly half of those viewers went on to visit the company website, and 15% of those made a purchase.

Sources:

http://www.wordtracker.com/academy/case-study-willitblend

http://www.lbhat.com/brands/blendtec-the-power-of-viral-marketing/

http://money.cnn.com/2008/04/10/smbusiness/puree_rake.fsb/index.htm

“An examination of the various Social Medias’ and its impact on market research”

1. Social networking sites

Social networking site is a website that allows people to share information about them, and to search for others for the purpose of giving information, receiving information, or forming beneficial relationships.  With profiles as the primary structure, social networking sites enable participants to connect with others who are part of a vast web of relationships. Moreover it also allows people with a common interest or concern to come together to meet people with similar interests, express themselves, and vent. The three most popular sites are MySpace, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Marketing Research implications for Social Networking sites


Ø  For instances, companies are getting their brands in front of audiences through fun applications that work with social networks. SuperPoke is an application that lets Facebook friends give each other, a little online poke (or some other animated action). Estee Lauder recently sponsored a SuperPoke that squirted virtual perfume at the recipient. It didn’t have or need a big marketing messenger, what it did have was a fun association with the brand.  More and more companies are creating business presence using Facebook Pages, interacting and communicating with current and potential users, and allow users to become fans and connect with that brand.

Ø  As of Aug. 2009, 40% of Fortune 100 companies are using LinkedIn Talent Advantage recruiting solutions to source and hire candidates. Companies such as Kraft (consumer products), Intuit (software), and ConAgra (food & beverage) are sourcing passive talent directly using LinkedIn Recruiter.

Ø  Michael Homes, owner of rm3mnant.com, sells rock-and-roll inspired clothing through online retail store. He admits he owes a lot of his success to his marketing efforts on MySpace. During the planning stages for his business, he quickly identified MySpace as a critical form for promotion because it included such a large amount of his demographic.

2. Photo Sharing

An image hosting and video hosting website and online community. In addition to being a popular website for users to share and embed personal photographs, the service is widely used by bloggers to host images that they embed in blogs and social media. The more popular photo-sharing sites include Flickr and Snapfish

Marketing Research implications for Social Networking sites

The integration of Flickr photos in conjunction with Yahoo and Google Image search gives companies a powerful tool for promoting their product content. All of these sources direct visitors to individual photo pages and each of them can be funnelled to the company’s website thus creating brand awareness.

Ø  By forming a group on Flickr, companies encourage customers to participate and socialize with the company and other customers by uploading and sharing their own images of the company’s products and comment on images already posted.  Many amateur and professional photographers use Flickr to showcase their work in return for constructive criticisms from others. Being able to interact with each other will give customers a method for sharing experiences with the companies’ products and connecting with the company on a new level.

3. Sharing ideas through blogs

Blogger.com is perhaps the most commonly known blog. It is simply an individual’s online journal that he makes public for all to see, inviting responsive comments from his readers (critiques, feedbacks, praises etc.) The primary purpose of a blog is for the blogger to share his or her views, post images, and links to other web pages or sites, it also allows for everyone to publish and to participate in multithreaded conversations online.

Marketing Research implication for Blogs

Large organizations also use blogs to communicate to their customers, establishing a point of view and shaping the brand they desire (external use).

Ø  Blogs are also commonly used inside the organization, an opportunity to reach employees with a more personal touch. A blog carries a much more collegial tone than an e-mail blast addressed to the masses. Inside organizations blogs are useful for sharing views of executive leaders, project leaders, key influences, experts, or group representatives. A blog can also be an effective learning tool: training participants can blog their analyses of a strategic problem.

Ø  When Edelman public relations (Edelman bloggers-and business survey) asked “When looking for product information, which do you trust more?” almost 63 percent of the blogger respondents cited “other bloggers” (Webber, 2009). These results confirm the assumption that bloggers are a community bound together by trust. This affinity creates an environment in which one blogger is able to influence many others, leading to vigorous discussion and other occasional swarm.

4.     Micro-blogging

With micro-blogging sites like Twitter, users can join in on the ongoing conversation by posting updates about new products, industry news, company awards and other things of note. The micro blogging site Twitter, where user posts “tweets” of 140 characters at a time, which answers the question “What are you doing”. This message goes to the cell phones or computers of those who choose to receive your updates.

Marketing Research implication for Micro-blogging

Ø  Lenovo’s web-marketing vice president says

I use Twitter to monitor tweets about our brand-looking for people having a tough time with our products. I also see a lot of opportunity to sell through Twitter, and I expect we’ll open a ‘deal’ channel there soon (Webber, 2009).

Twitter enables users to keep in touch with their friends or with others whom they find interested. Users can search for particular people and choose to “follow them” by receiving their tweets either on their cell phones or at their computers.  The power of microblogging also lies in its ubiquitousness.

Ø  The CEO and employees of Zappos, an online clothing retailer, regularly post tweets about what they are doing and use Twitter to answer customer inquiries. Simiarly United Airlines found a new way to use Twitter to reward customers and fill empty seats. In May, the Chicago-based airline began offering a limited number of Twitter-exclusive fare deals, or “twares,” to domestic and international destinations. The last-minute specials are sent out once or twice a week and typically expire within one or two hours. Most sell out in seconds, a United spokeswoman says,

We want to give our followers something special that no one else can get,” she says, while allowing the airline to fill seats that might otherwise go unoccupied (Kumar, 2010).

5.      Social Bookmarking

Bookmark links provide use the ease to go back and review sites when we need to revisit information in an article or video. Instead of saving bookmarks to a computer, social bookmarking services like Delicious and Digg allow people to save bookmarks to the web so that they can be accessed from any computer or smart phone. Since bookmarks are posted on the web they can be either public or private. When bookmarks are public on the web, they can be social. Social bookmarking sites allow you to browse through the items based popularity, recently added, or belonging to a certain category like shopping, technology etc. Many blogposts, podcasts, YouTube videos, and other online media outlets, you can see “Digg This” at the end of the posting.

Marketing Research implication for Social Bookmarking

For marketers, social bookmarking is more than just a way for users to store, classify, share and search their sites – if used correctly it’s a way to drive traffic and fuel a viral campaign.

Ø  For example HP and IBM are ahead of the game and have already adopted Social Bookmarking in their marketing programs. HP has even created their own widget to encourage users to bookmark their sites. IBM is also using Social Bookmarking links as a way to encourage users to ‘tag’ them. These bookmarks hold great value to the companies because it provides some indication of its value, and popularity amongst customers.  Moreover it also gives the company a chance to see how it is fairing with its competitors, and then take a look at their site and see what links people are saving.  Social bookmarking sites also track the links each user accesses, hence companies can use this information to understand the demographics of those who visit their site.  This data will show if they are reaching their target market.  This in turn means additional promotional opportunities the companies brand by being able to better target people who will be interested in your product/service.

6.     Video Sharing

Similar to photo sharing, users upload video content to a site for sharing either privately or public. One of the most popular websites on the Internet, YouTube is the go-to source for millions of users for videos of everything. YouTube provides a forum for people to connect, inform, and inspire others across the globe.  Youtube also have features that allow viewers to browse videos based on channel and popularity and rate videos by giving them from one to five stars

Market Research implication for video sharing

According to Jeremy Allaire, the CEO of Brightcove, a software service company,

Marketers are trying to increase the quality of the experiences visitors have on their marketing sites, and video is becoming a really important part of that-video is a great way to express a brand. They can provide a deep exploration of the product and can have a lot of educational content. Video is format that consumers understand and like; so many marketers are investing in more and more video as a way to increase the odds that a consumer takes an interest in their product” (Weber, 2009).

Moreover marketers can also have a better understanding and insight to how customers think about their videos, competitor’s videos by seeing popularity, ratings, and comments on various videos.  All these are essential feedbacks that marketers can use to their advantage to launch a better product, improve their advertisement strategy, and further increase brand awareness.

Sources:

http://www.slideshare.net/stevelatham/business-case-for-social-media-steve-latham-20080725nc

http://www.slideshare.net/helloviking/marketing-social-media

Weber, L. (2009). Marketing to the social web: How digital customer communities build your business. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

According to Richard Dennison, senior manager of social media at British Telecom:

Social media is about participation. That participation can take the form of simply viewing relevant information that was previously hidden from view. But most often it takes the form of communication, collaborating, and connecting with anyone, anywhere, anytime.  It is about the interactions between people-individuals and groups-and the great potential to share more, learn more, and accomplish more.

Unlike traditional forms of media, which have limited pages or time on the airwaves, social media is “infinite” in its potential. Social media is represented in various forms and functions including: social networks, discussion forms, blogs, wikis and podcasts, and may include the use of videos and pictures, and so forth.

The use of social media to conduct qualitative research-  “OLD SPICE” case study

Summary

In 2009, Old Spice an American brand of male grooming products manufactured by Procter & Gamble, which acquired the brand in 1990 from the Shulton Company introduced Ever Clear, a stick formula deodorant that eliminates streaks, flakes and clumps based on insights gathered from qualitative research namely focus group and shop -a longs to observe consumers purchase decisions and behavior. From qualitative research the company was able to put together a new formula -with less white powders and waxes and contains small particles that blend right into the skin, creating a consistent and clear layer of long-lasting scented protection, according to P&G. With a target market of males 12 to 34 years old, Old Spice has–like the competing deodorant and body spray brand Axe--relied heavily on over-the-top humor and promises of having an aphrodisiacal effect on women.

Social media defines a problem

It was apparent from online forums and blogs that male consumers did not appreciate current deodorants because many left waxy residue which was uncomfortable and left white streaks, or “bar codes”, on their clothing.  According to one blogger, he unfavourably compared his antiperspirant’s texture to “the sugar coating on a glazed donut”. Moreover it was also apparent that many consumers had positive comments and were loyal users of Unilever’s Axe brand, Ever Clears main competitor.

Use of social media to further conduct qualitative research

Old Spice still leads in men’s deodorant sales -with about 25% market share.  Under the watch of Alex Keith, Procter & Gamble’s global deodorants general manager, Old Spice’s U.S. sales have increased by a full third since 2004, even though it has been in a pitched battle with Unilever’s Axe brand. By combining her scientists’ innovation with a fresh spin on the legendary marketing techniques of the $80 billion consumer-products giant, Keith’s goal is to fend off her rival and push Old Spice to be P&G blockbusters.

Some scientists spend the better part of each day talking to men of average attractiveness about how they sweat and smell. Others pore over grainy black-and-white video of underarms, magnified to 200 times normal size, and watch sweat glands up close as they spew out the fluids that grow odor-causing bacteria.  While Keith herself, wrinkles her nose at the thought of professional smell testers sniffing men’s underarms. But she makes no attempt to glamorize what she does: Her work, she says, essentially involves “getting more share of armpits.”

It’s partly the product of Keith’s relentless focus on getting guys to share their feelings about deodorant- She sends her marketing team out to tag along with guys on deodorant-shopping trips. Senior scientist Tim Nolan recently asked a focus group to explain what they didn’t like about their current deodorants by composing “good-bye letters” to them. He discovered that while most guys wanted the wetness protection that dry, solid antiperspirant sticks offered, many didn’t use them because the waxy residue was uncomfortable and left white streaks, on their clothing- mirroring the findings and comments made by bloggers online.

Armed with this insight, P&G chemist and research fellow David Swaile discovered a means of imbedding liquid molecules of the kind found in “invisible solid” deodorants into the waxy material found in typical antiperspirants. The breakthrough, as Swaile puts it, is akin to “making water not feel wet.”

Nolan ran the promising new formula through some product demos, which included rubbing it onto black cloth and then studying it under black light, as well as subjecting himself to more armpit porn, scrutinizing tight-focus photos to see how it looked when applied to men’s hairy armpits. When Nolan asked his focus group to write “love letters” to the new product, one aspiring poet asked, “Can it really be true, that such a product exists as you? If you’re willing to give it a shot, I’ll tell my friends to use you a lot.”

In the same way that Tide can make a bedsheet appear whiter on TV, P&G will now try to convince young guys that Old Spice deodorant isn’t just cool, it’s better.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/17/business/media/17adco.html?_r=1

My take

The social web will be the most critical marketing environment around.  Marketing therefore has to wrap around the social web, because what is truly changing in the social web is media, and marketing has always had to shape itself around media. “Individuals and companies are becoming media. As you produce content, you become a medium. Now user-generated content- a key aspect of the social web-is bridging media”.

The control of information continues to shift from marketers to consumers. Today, the computer and mobile phones allow consumers to find what they want when they want it. Hence marketers are not in control any more.

Besides the obvious point of increasing sales, Social Media like Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, etc.  provide a means for companies to ‘problem-solve’ for their clients, get useful feedback and ultimately get personal with customers. Moreover companies are always looking for information they can leverage to improve their reach in the Market and what better way to do this than getting on social media networks and listening to what people are saying.

Source: http://www.coneinc.com/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/2092/view_type/950060/tagid/148

The INTERNET is very much alive and kicking, developing faster than the speed of light! The first generation of internet sites primarily gave information, but with the rise of sites like facebook, amazon, myspace the web has become increasingly interactive. On this web 2.0, its mainly the user that produces the content, users has become the creators of content.

Web 2.0 came to describe almost any site, service, or technology that promoted sharing and collaboration right down to the Net’s grass roots.

Think about it, without contributors there would be no existence of facebook (how scary?), and without people who post information on Wikipedia (oh my god, life can be painful, no shortcuts!), and imagine a world without you-tube clips? Gosh this sends shivers down my spine; life would be in complete darkness. Therefore Web 2.0 has made it possible to interact on these sites.

Web 2.0 has gain popularity and familiarity via social networking sites, blogging, tagging, book marking, but have also paved the way to the next step in the development of the web.   The step to the intelligent and omnipresent web 3.0!

Web 3.0, is simply a continuation of the existing techniques of Web 2.0, which of course many of us are already familiar with, hence not a drastic transition.

To many, Web 3.0 is something called the Semantic Web, a term coined by Tim Berners-Lee, the man who invented the (first) World Wide Web. In essence, the Semantic Web is a place where machines can read Web pages much as we humans read them, a place where search engines and software agents can better troll the Net and find what we’re looking for. “It’s a set of standards that turns the Web into one big database,” says Nova Spivack, CEO of Radar Networks, one of the leading voices of this new-age Internet.

Web 3.0 online networks allow people to see through the community or market and facilitate collective matching, learning and consumption in hours (not months).

For example Amazon already incorporates and use the system of Web 3.0 which makes personal approach by website possible hence having a competitive advantage over its competitors.  Amazon is able to offer its clients products that other people with the same interest bought before them.

Moreover on Last FM, users are able to listen to music online that caters to your personal wishes by using smart systems these sites are in a continuous learning process and they anticipate what their users like or dislike.  I think this technology is truly amazing…its learning just like how we do, it seems like it has a life of its own, that’s creepy! Or one can say the internet is now customized!

However important for sites like Last FM or Amazon, is that if a song or a book gets extra information added by the user no sudden change of the internet, it changes gradually.  What does changes quickly is the look at the feel of the web!

Last but not least….Web 4.0, already?  “Technology and humans become one”?

Web 4.0 achieves a critical mass of participation in online networks that deliver global transparency, governance, distribution, participation, collaboration in key industry, political, social and other community endeavours. Web 4.0 delivers community sovereignty to channels and information.

source: http://www.marcuscake.com/key-concepts/internet-evolution

Web 4.0 transforms the world with a critical mass of social, industry and political networks

SO, what’s next?

WEB 5.0?

 How do you guys think this will transform our lives? 

Additional source: http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/the_web/article2726190.ece