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The future of social media

How do I see the future of social media?

Well, I am an optimist so I would like to think that social media will only continue to progress in connecting us with one another faster than the speed of light in so many ways and on multiple platforms, but I also will not deny the negligent and powerful effects that addictive social media use can have on individuals who are prone reclusion and anti-social behaviors.

In one of the blogs I wrote last semester in my Media Transformation class, I take a look at the negative effects of the social media and virtual worlds of the such.

MIT Professor Sherry Turkle interviews some people who are long time users of virtual worlds and reports about the negative effects these second identities have on our self image, self esteem and confidence in interacting with people socially in real life.

SPLIT IDENTITIES

And it is no different for Facebook or Twitter, more for Facebook I guess, cause Twitter doesn’t really tell your life story like Facebook does. Everyone has two identities these days: their real identity, the raw, flawed person other people know them for, and their Facebook identity, the edited, cleaned up version of them people see but most never experience.

And yeah sure people want to look their best on Facebook since the everyone might see it, but when people spend more time on their Facebook identity than on their real identity, people can start to lose touch with their real imperfect self and it eventually makes it harder for them to accept flaws and live harmoniously with themselves.

Social media is great for connecting people and I use it so I’m not bashing it, I’m just stating my opinion derived from what I have experienced and studied about social media and that is that you cannot let social media take over your real life.

FACEBOOK FALL

On a different note, I think we will eventually see a decline in Facebook usage, and it might be in a year or five years, maybe ten, but at some point something new will come along that finally takes Facebook’s crown as the king of social media.

But Facebook won’t go down without a fight. We will see Facebook continue to develop new apps and create richer user interfaces to attract more users. Facebook is at times annoying with its pesky banner ads and but it really is a great way to connect with people, especially for students.

Not to mention that as time moves on and a larger percentage of the elder becomes active on the internet and social media, Facebook will still be new to them and will continue to gain older users who have never experienced it.

It’s like as soon as the older generations learn Facebook, the younger generations have already moved onto a new social media platform.

I think Twitter will continue going strong and might eventually surpass Facebook because it is still relatively new and not as many people know of it compared to Facebook.

However, Twitter has its limitations when it comes to really storytelling and sharing parts of your life, so I think there will always be something like Facebook and Twitter will function as more of a news source.

SOCIAL MARKETING

When it comes to how social media sites function, you have to think about ads and selective marketing. If Facebook, for example, already knows everything about us and can advertise to every niche market, what will it be like in the future.

Will our computers be able to read our minds? Social media sites will immediately advertise something related to what you are thinking about. Now that would be crazy but it is possible.

Social Media in the future will be whatever the users wants it to be; the experience will be highly customizable and easily sharable as it is now but even more advanced and precisely detailed.

The way we connect and exchange information has been forever changed with the introduction of social media and the ways we connect with each other with forever expand in direct correlation with the advancement of technology.

Social Media in Spain

With so many different social networking sites out there, how do  you choose which one to use? In America we use Facebook, Twitter and Youtube primarily, but what do other countries use? Well, in this blog post I will examine one country’s social media usage and one of their most popular sites in depth. I have decided to do this international social media project on the country of Spain and will focus on the social networking site, Tuenti, which is predominantly used by Spaniards and is based in Spain as well.

CULTURE OF SPAIN    

I will start with a little background about the country of Spain and it’s digital landscape before I delve into Tuenti. In 2011 the population of Spain was about 47 million, according to the municipal register found on Google. To put that in perspective, the U.S. had a population of about 300 million in 2011, so Spain is about 1/6 of our size.

The median age in Spain is 40 years old versus 37 in the U.S. and over 90 percent of the country is Roman Catholic. Just to give you an idea about what is produced in Spain, here is a list of the top Industries in Spain: Machinery &Metals, Textiles (clothing and shoes), and Food and Drink.

DIGITAL BACKGROUND

Percent of Spain on the Internet

The total online population in Spain as of 2012 is 30,654,678 users and of those users, the median age is between 25 and 34. Similar to the U.S., internet usage is much more popular among the younger generations who have grown up with it, but the numbers continue to grow rapidly; about a million new users a year for Spain. By 2015, Newmediatrend.com predicts that Spain’s internet users will total over 33 million.

Here’s a little fun fact. Over 3 billion videos were viewed online in Spain in March of 2011, according to ComScore.com. That’s all in one month, so apparently the Spaniards love their online videos.

 SOCIAL MEDIA BACKGROUND

Social Media is very popular in Spain with Facebook leading the way. Of the 30 million people on the Internet in Spain, 69% of them use Facebook, followed by Youtube at 10% and Tuenti at 10% as well. Twitter is still behind at 5% but is gaining popularity. As of June 2012 the Facebook users of Spain totaled over 16, million and the users of Tuenti totaled 13 million, which shows that Tuenti is rapidly gaining popularity in Spain (newmediatrend.com).

Another popular Spanish site worth mentioning is Meneame, which is a social news website where users can share stories, post links and leave comments. Meneame is very similar to the English site Digg, in that it allows users to vote web content up or down, so the most popular stories show up at the top.

TUENTI vs FACEBOOK

Tuenti is a Madrid, Spain-based social networking site that values privacy and simple communication. It is very popular among students age 18-24; especially graduate students, in Spain, according to Alexa.com. Tuenti prides itself on its clean interface and tight security. According to their corporate blog Tuenti is “the easiest way to communicate with everyone and share experiences with the people who matter most at all times.”

Tuenti is very similar to Facebook in its design, down to the blue color scheme and features of the site. It has even been called the “Spanish Facebook.” The Tuenti profile allows you to do almost everything that a Facebook profile allows you to do. You have your profile picture, friends, photos, notifications, a wall or timeline to make posts and a chat feature. You can also create events and link videos.

DIFFERENCES

As I mentioned, Tuenti has a cleaner user interface, which users of Facebook might think is too minimalistic. One of the main space-savers is the decision by Tuenti not to allow banner ads or sidebar ads on profiles like Facebook does. This gives the site a more spacious feel and makes it less cluttered.

Tuenti has tighter security features than Facebook. Tuenti is an invitation-only social networking site and each user only gets 10 invites to send out. One of the other security features I found appealing and interesting was the ability on Tuenti to designate real friends from people who are merely contacts or acquaintances. When you share photos or links you can choose to just share among your friends or with everyone. All users have their default settings at maximum privacy and protection level for their personal information, being only visible to people identified as “your friends.

Tuenti’s group chat feature allows users to share private photos with their group or invite friends who were not connected to the realtime chat to read the conversation later.

Tuenti wasn’t always available on mobile phones, but with their recent global expansion they now are. I know what you’re thinking; “Facebook has been on mobile smartphones for years.” Well Tuenti does something that Facebook does not. Tuenti offers its users data and phone service plans. They offer 1GB of data or 3GB for smartphones and tablets and calls cost 3 cents a minute.

 TUENTI FOR BUSINESS AND JOURNALISTS

Tuenti is a great way to develop relationships between companies and user because of a couple different reasons. 1. Hypersegmentation is the targeting of specific audiences (sex, age, location) 2. Broad coverage of platform - With 14 million users and the majority between the ages of 14-35 years old there is a huge potential audience for companies. 3. New ad formats:

A. Social Advertising – visual material is especially highlighted, and links to external pages are allowed. B. Stronger engagement – New pages, games and apps have been designed to give users the best experience C. Branded Content – Tuenti provides content advertisers with exclusives, uping the value to the customer. D. Co-marketing campaigns – Tuenti offers development campaigns in which companies work to gether as partners to better promote and growth their business faster.

Just like on facebook, Businesses can create their own pages in which users can follow and receive updates when the business promotes a product.

I didn’t find much about how journalists in Spain use Tuenti but I would assume they use it the same way journalists use Facebook: as a way to promote their stories or their blogs either on their wall or on their business page. They probably also use it as source of information.

 CONCLUSION

Tuenti continues to gain popularity in Spain and other countries, due to its recent global expansion. Tuenti is available in over 10 languages, including French, German, Italian and English. Privacy is Tuenti’s number one concern for its users, which can actually make sharing certain things a little difficult, but overall is a plus and is one of the main reasons it is popular. Tuenti continues to make innovations in order to be true to their philosophy of being the simplest way to communicate with the people who matter most all of the time.

Social Media at Suzuki of Wichita

Of all the companies in Wichita using social media effectively, there is one in particular that stands out to me: Suzuki of Wichita. Scott Pitman, operating partner at Suzuki of Wichita, has a philosophy about car buying that holds true in their social media presence as well. It is a philosophy based on the idea of not bugging the customer, which is why their sales team is all non-commission.

Pitman says, “Our number one goal is to make you feel comfortable and even thrilled about the car shopping experience you’ll find at Suzuki of Wichita (even if you don’t buy a car).” It is this attitude that makes Suzuki of Wichita the #1 Suzuki dealership in the country, and this is the way they approach social media as well.

ORGANIC BUZZ

Suzuki of Wichita doesn’t even air television commercials like almost every other car dealership. They are so confident in the car buying experience they provide that there is no need to make annoying TV ads. Instead they spend their money promoting the business organically through social media.

But they don’t just post videos and links saying, “hey look at us; look what we can offer”. Suzuki of Wichita posts videos, photos, and stories that showcase how much fun they have, and people naturally gravitate towards this fun, low-pressure environment.

This idea of gaining followers organically is what social media is all about; and its more than just social media, this is a concept that relates to life as well.

When a person is doing their own thing, on their own path and then including others, it’s completely different than when they’re trying to fit in or be with people on their paths. The person that stands out naturally draws a crowd and that is Suzuki of Wichita.

As David Meerman Scott points out in his book, The New Rules of Marketing and PR, social media is not so much about all of the different technologies and tools but, rather, how those technologies and tools allow you to communicate directly with your buyers in places they are congregating right now.

This is exactly what Suzuki of Wichita does; they go to where their customers already are and use the social buzz to promote organically. Suzuki of Wichita has a social media presence on almost every popular platform including Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Pinterest, as well as their own blog that documents events and various happenings at Suzuki.

Social Media Manager, Aaron Wirtz, who seems to have the most fun of anyone at Suzuki, runs all of this. He has the enjoyable job of creating content for their various social networks.

CONTENT & THE CREATORS

Drawing from what I learned at the Labor Party in Wichita, KS, Brandi, head of Diets in Review, talked about making the change from freelance writers of content to an in-house staff, which is exactly what Pitman has done at Suzuki hiring Aaron as the head of social media. Brandi also referred to their analytics department which found that the best time for them to post to Facebook is on Wednesday at 7 pm, so that is the only time they post. This is a strategy that Suzuki uses as well when posting content.

At Suzuki, they employ what is referred to as the Mullet Concept, which means business in the front, party in the back, or in Suzuki’s case the opposite. Suzuki promotes their fun environment up front, but on the backside, there is also a serious car dealership that is all about getting you the car that is right for you.

Aaron Wirtz posts pictures and videos to Suzuki’s social media platforms about everything from corky Suzuki raps to thank you videos. Recently there was an employee, from one of the lenders Suzuki works closely with, who made lunch for the entire team at Suzuki of Witchita.

So Aaron made a short video of the team thanking her for preparing the food. Now this type of video probably won’t go viral or anything but it is the type of social media that impacts people on a much deeper level. The people that do see this video will think, “Wow, that person likes Suzuki of Wichita so much that she made lunch for the entire office”, and that says so much about the environment and people at Suzuki.

One specific thing Suzuki does that is a huge boost in terms of social media exposure is taking pictures of customers and their new cars with the sales rep that sold it to them. When people see photos of customers and sales reps jumping for joy at their new car purchase they automatically think, “Wow, I want to have that much fun when I buy a car.”

 

 

Another social media strategy that Suzuki utilizes is getting involved in the community. They have a cook out every weekend and whether or not you plan on buying a car, you are welcome to come out and enjoy a free meal and have a look around the showroom. It is this kind of community involvement that gives Suzuki a great name and stirs social buzz by reiterating their goal of building a relationship with their customers.

TRANSPARENCY

I am hearing more and more about this word transparency when it comes to social media. The idea that your customers can see what’s going on behind the scenes of your company as well as upfront establishes trust and credibility and makes them feel more a part of the buying process.

At Suzuki this is exactly what their blog does for them; promotes transparency. Suzuki is not shy about sharing exactly what is happening in the showroom through their blog posts. Also, Scott Pitman points out that even all of the offices at Suzuki are transparent, literally. The offices are all glass cubicles, allowing customers to see exactly what is going on in the back.

CONSISTENCY

Suzuki of Wichita’s social media is very consistent which is another key part of their social media success. Keeping your customers excited about your business through a constant stream of social media is a must in a country where almost everyone has attention problems because of all the content out their. Being consistent keeps your company on the top of people’s mind and Suzuki does an excellent job of this.

Overall Suzuki makes the stressful process of buying a car fun and for the most part stress free, and they do a great job of showcasing this throughout their social media.

When all Media is Social

In a day and age where social media is constantly buzzing around us, one cannot help but ask the question, “What is social media exactly?” Well, in this blog post I will attempt to define social media and it’s future by drawing from various sources on the web.

In an article called Defining Social MediaBrian Solis, a principal analyst at Altimeter Group, says that social media is the democratization of information, transforming people from content readers into publishers.

It is the shift from a broadcast mechanism, one-to-many, to a many-to-many model, rooted in conversations between authors, people, and peers. Basically, social media is any tool or service that uses the Internet to facilitate conversations.

TWO-WAY COMMUNICATION

The exchange of information is no longer a one-way street like it used to be. We, as the audience, are now engaged with the information we receive these days, and love to share stories and produce our own content.

Newspapers that used to rule to world of breaking news are now competing with blogs and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Radio stations are competing with Internet radio shows and internet based radio channels such as Pandora and Spotify.

Television companies are up against Youtube and Vimeo channels that draw niche audiences to their pages and away from traditional TV.

 “We graduate from wanting media when we want it, to wanting it without the filler, to wanting media to be way better than it is, to publishing and broadcasting ourselves when it meets a need or sounds like fun”, says Jay Rosen in his article The People Formerly Known as the Audience.

We as the audience are no longer waiting for the six o’clock news. We go straight to social media sites or our favorite mobile app to find information we want to know about or to find new music and videos. We don’t wait for what “big media” corporations decide to dish out. We seek out the information that is important to us on sites or sources that we deem credible.

It’s both a beautiful thing, for obvious reasons, and at the same time, not so beautiful. Due to the ridiculous amount of information on the Internet , it is not uncommon to find incorrect information on or content that is out of date. But not to worry, there are thousands of other news sources to cross reference the information we find.

MEDIA TRANSFORMATION

This is not to say that traditional forms of media are completely extinct. On the contrary, traditional forms of media and related organizations can grow stronger through the use of social media if they are open to the idea of using blogs and social networking sites to build their following. Charlene Li talks more in depth about this in her book Open Leadership.

The idea behind divulging information about what your company is doing all the time through social media is something called transparency, which builds trust between companies and their customers. It is no longer like the Wizard of Oz, where the audience is left wondering what is going on behind the curtain.

They can find out what’s happening, through social media, if the company is open to that. This also lends credibility to the company and encourages buzz amongst social media. The more open you are as a company the more likely you are to be talked about on Facebook or other forms of social media.

Where is the first place people go when they open their Internet browser? For most, it’s Facebook or Twitter. Real news, as in coming from a newspaper site or publication, is the last thing on most peoples’ mind. They are more interested in seeing what their friends are talking about, which usually involves news from professional sites, but it’s filtered through the Facebook feed, which makes it more appealing to most.

SOCIAL NETWORKS AND PRIVACY

This brings me to another point about Facebook or any other site that collects personal data. We, as users, are given the illusion of privacy on these sites, through privacy settings and other devices, but we do not think about the fact that the site itself is collecting data from our “likes” and what we post and is creating a portrait of us. This portrait is something that cannot be erased.

Danah Boyd, a Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research touches on this in her article, Networked Privacy. She says, “Everything that everyone else does that concerns you, implicates you, or might influence you will go down on your permanent record. It’s a networked world.  And the people that are watching may be well intended or they may want to manipulate us into buying their goods, voting for their candidate, or believing their message.”

LEVERAGING FOLLOWERS

This is why Facebook is such a great social media tool for people who know how to use it. Anyone can create a fan page on Facebook and once they’ve gained followers, they have access to their followers likes and interests, which they can use to leverage their followers into buying a specific product of supporting some candidate or whatever.

Facebook has done this time and time again to advertise to all of its users. It collects data about you then places ads and links on your feed that are relative to your specific interests. Some may find this invasive while others feel it is helpful.

Either way Facebook is building a relationship with each of its followers and as Charlene Li mentions, it is not always about mastering the latest technology, but more about having a clear idea of the relationship you want to form with your audience.

For Facebook, this is an extremely personal relationship which draws people in, and encourages them to share more and more of their personal information. Quick story about privacy and the issues that it can cause.

Back in high school, in the early days of Facebook there were some photos uploaded from a high school party where people were drinking alcohol. Long story short, some parents saw the pictures on facebook and immediately send emails to all the other parents of students in my class and everyone suffered the consequences. Moral of the story is to be careful what you upload to Facebook. It is not as private as you think.

Employers are now using social media sites to find out more information about potential employees they want to hire so it is a good idea to check your Facebook page for any inappropriate content you wouldn’t want potential employers to see.

FUTURE OF SOCIAL MEDIA

“Social Media will eventually become ‘media’, representative of an important chapter in its advancement and transformation”, says Brian Solis. Companies and corporations in the near future will not be able to function if they do not bow down to the social media gods and join the buzz. As media becomes more streamlined it is crucial for any company to have a social media presence, because as I stated before, it is where most people find their news first. Social media will turn into just ‘media’ because it will all be social and there is no stopping it.

Using Social Media to Communicate with Customers

With technology advancing faster than the speed of light, the way we consume, produce, distribute and monetize content has changed drastically. Drawing references from Richard Edelman’s speech at the 2012 Edelman Academic Summit, I take a look at the future of communications, and the integration of technology in this field.

MAKE IT FUN

Edelman starts his presentation with a video clip, produced by George Mason University professor of economics, Russ Roberts. The video points out differences between the economic theories of Keynes and Hayek, and right away I’m thinking, “This is going to be boring.” Then I click on the video and all of the sudden I’m watching a corky rap battle between two guys with awesome mustaches (haha). One cannot help but be amused by this, and I continued watching until the end.

This video is a great example of how a seemingly boring topic, to most people, can be presented in a way that intrigues almost everyone. These rap battles or battles between various people and characters are very popular on Youtube right now, so to leverage that top of mind consciousness by creating a rap battle mixed with more important information is genius.

In this way, the content of the video reaches far more people and is much more likely to be shared. Some may just be amused by the video and share it, while others will actually be intrigued by the information and will want to find out more, along with sharing it. Either way it’s creating a social buzz, which is the name of the game these days.

MAKE IT RELEVANT

But it’s not enough to target an audience and advertise specific products to them based on their interests in order to create a following or a buzz. These days, companies must meet the consumer where they are. They have to learn about their consumers’ immediate interests, that are always changing, and then present digestible content related to those current likes and interests.

The way to do this, as Edelman points out using examples of Instagram and Twitter, is to create visually appealing content that naturally draws consumers to your product or service instead of blasting them with advertisements. By creating content based on what is most popular in the social-sphere, it is much easy to reach an audience.

MAXIMIZING SOCIAL EXPOSURE

According to Edelman, paid amplification of organic content is the new way to gain interest versus trying to advertise to potential customers. Edelman uses the example of Facebook’s new platform called Sponsored Stories, in which any company with a Facebook fan page can look at what their fans are talking about, and promote the most popular story or feed to the rest of their following with click of a button.

This is a way to meet consumers where they are, instead of trying to draw them in. People are turned off by pop-up ads on their smartphone apps, but love to be engaged with their Facebook or Twitter newsfeeds. Twitter also has a similar feature now where companies can highlight certain Tweets.

Its not enough anymore to write a press release to attract an audience to your product or event, and expect that they will stay interested. The idea behind creating visual, short-form content versus written, long-form content is that it is much easier to digest and it evokes emotion, which makes people want to share it, according to Edelman.

SHORT AND LONG FORM

This is not to say that long form content is extinct. In fact, the combination of short-form content and long-form content is the ultimate social dynamic. Buzzfeed CEO, Jonah Peretti calls it “The Mullet Strategy”: A mix of serious news upfront, and a party in the back.

“You need short-form visual content on lean-forward devices such as computers and smartphones, and longer form content on lean-back devices such as tablets and TVs.” – Richard Edelman

To produce short easily accessible content that can be seen immediately through smartphones and computers is to stay on the top of your audiences’ mind. Timely, short form content keeps your product fresh in consumers mind, and creates instant buzz and interest in easily digestible ways, like Facebook sponsored stories. Then for the consumers who are interested in true research and connection with your product or service, there should be long form content on your website.

As shown in the video, you can take a completely serious topic that may bore most people, and you can package it in a video that is fun, whimsical, and easily digestible. All of the sudden people want to share this video with their friends because it is enjoyable to watch. It doesn’t have to be a video either. This can be done through slideshows, photos, or anything that is visually appealing to your audience, anything to get the content in front of your audience.

This short form, fun content will catch audiences attention initially, but then to have a website where they can find out more about your product or service through more serious, long form content, which they are now prepped to read, is gold.

Through the utilization of new technologies, companies have the ability to keep up with the social buzz and can leverage the hype by directing audiences to their products or services through easily digestible, visually appealing content. Companies now produce content with the consumer’s interests in mind instead of the interest of the company, which leads to a greater distribution through social media.

The Future of the Internet

What started with harmless LOL cats has turned into an overcrowded arena of content sharing that leaves many users of the Internet feeling overwhelmed. Between pesky pop-ups, commercial clutter, and potential viruses many people have turned their backs on the World Wide Web and opened their eyes the world of Apps.

But what is so appealing about an Application you pay for that gives you the same information as the free open web. Could it be the sense of security you get when you have to login with a username and password or is it the clean, friendly user-interfaces of the apps that draw people in. Well it’s a little of both and then some.

According to Virginia Heffernan of the New York Times, “Apps sparkle like sapphires and emeralds for people bored by the junky nondesign of monster sites like Yahoo, Google, Craigslist, eBay, YouTube and PayPal. That sparkle is worth money.” But it’s not just about the sparkle either. The ease of access to specific or time-sensitive information, while on the go, is something that is priceless for many consumers.

CONNECT WITHOUT YOUR COMPUTER

Barry Glick, the founder of MapQuest points out, “There’s been this association, like you need a computer to be connected, and I think that’s rapidly, of course, going away.”

As the Internet continues to expand, so do the devices that facilitate it. In the near future, the majority of Internet surfers will be riding on the wave of a wireless device as opposed to a traditional computer.

In fact, according to Larry Greenemeier of Scientific American, “Traffic from wireless devices will for the first time exceed traffic from wired devices by 2015, when wired devices will account for 46 percent of IP traffic, while WiFi and mobile devices—including smart phones, laptops, tablets and other portable gadgets—will account for 54 percent of IP traffic.”

This change is not just because people are always on the go but also because the traditional open web has been flooded with information and devices allow user to be much more selective in the information they receive. Apps are developed specifically for certain types of users and the information they seek, which reduces the amount of clutter and disheveled information users have to sift through. With the explosion of Apple’s Store, there is literally an app for everything and as technology permits, the capabilities of these wireless devices will only continue to become more advanced and complex.

GREATER CONNECTIVITY EQUALS GREATER CONTROL

Stated by John Villasenor of UCLA “For the first time ever, it will become technologically and financially feasible for authoritarian governments to record nearly everything that is said or done within their borders–every phone conversation, electronic message, social media interaction, the movements of nearly every person and vehicle, and video from every street corner.”

As the reach of the Internet grows, so to does the reach of government control. With smart phones and other internet-enabled devices, we are connected to networks that are constantly being monitored by certain government personnel in order to “keep us safe.”

Safe from what I ask? Bomb threats via text message? Pssh! I mean come on; the whole monitoring of phone calls and text messages is just a way to keep us in control, by making us monitor ourselves in fear that government goons in masks might abduct us, because of a text message we sent. It’s just another fear tactic.

Make us panic as a nation with so-called terrorist attacks such as 9/11, then come to our rescue by passing laws that strip us of our civil liberties like the Patriot Act, but oh its ok because “we are safe now.” Thanks Government!

All of this monitoring in the name of security for our people is a load of crap, for lack of better words. Now I know what your thinking, “Why in the heck would the government be interested the text conversation I’m having with my friend about Bagels?”

John Villasenor, of UCLA gives us the answer in his research for the Brookings Institute. “The ability to record everything will tilt the playing field back in favor of repressive governments by laying the foundation for a plethora of new approaches to targeting dissent.”

He further explains that this type of control would allow authoritarian governments the ability to perform “retrospective surveillance.” So if someone is convicted of a crime, police or authorities will be able to look back in time at the offenders phone conversations, travels, contacts, and any other information available on their phone or computer that might lead to further conviction.

CONCLUSION

Personally, I use the internet/iPhone as my second brain, and why not? The Internet is like the brainpower of everyone combined. But not all of the information on the Internet is good. It is still at a point where you have to sift through a host of crap to find what you’re looking for. As mentioned before, the App Store has solved that to a certain degree, giving people their own clean little niche interface that makes them feel comfortable and only presents the information they want in that App.

This is a great advancement in terms of filtering and organizing data into neat little platforms of information, but I think that eventually the Internet will function just as intuitively as our brain does, literally becoming part of us. Kind of scary right?

This is still a ways off in the future but I see it like this. All of our devices from phones and iPods to computers and TVs will be linked between the Internet and our brains, so that if we think about how to bake a cake, for example, multiple results for baking a cake will present themselves on whichever device is physically closest to us at the time.

Or maybe there will be a sensor developed in laptop track pads for the future that can pickup the electrical pulses send from our brains. We will simple think about what we want to see or hear while touching the pad and BAM! There it is.

As stated by Barry Glick, “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.”

 

Adapting to Changes in Television

Due to advancements in technology, mainly the Internet, the future of traditional broadcast television has been called into question. In this post I will put myself in the shoes of a TV Network CEO as I try and understand how to adapt to the changes we have seen in television and the way we watch videos.

  The way people watch TV and the reach of television has changed dramatically over the course of a decade, and continues to change. As a Television Network CEO I am now competing with companies such as Netflix and Hulu that have capitalized on the ability to stream video on the Internet. This explosion in Internet video watching has slowly been stealing away my viewers. Nielsen.com estimates that almost 145 million people watch video online in the U.S., compared to about 290 million who watch traditional TV.

In order to maintain my viewers I am going to invest in high quality shows that make money because they are specialized for certain loyal niche audiences.

This is a transition we have seen in television with many stations, because television can no longer survive on advertising alone. In the old days, according to Rob Levine, “Since networks only made money on advertising, they chose shows that would reach as large an audience as possible, whether or not individual viewers felt strongly about them.”

Now we have seen a transformation in the quality of show being produced. Hit shows like Mad Men shown on AMC or Modern Family on ABC are making money because they appeal to a loyal niche audience that will practically pay anything to see their favorite show.

I will invest in high quality TV shows that appeal to a loyal niche audience, because they are going to be willing to pay the high cost of a cable subscription to my networks shows if they are quality. As technology becomes more individualized and personalized toward the consumer, it is crucial to appeal to individual interests as opposed to mass appeal.

The idea is to capture audiences with narrowly defined interest areas and the advertisers who covet them.

I will also invest in technology that allows me to directly measure which channels my viewers are watching and at what times, so that I can better advertise to them. According to Dave Morgan, “For system operators, their ownerships of directly measured data and access to smart digital set-top boxes could transform their heretofore limited advertising businesses.”

Dave Morgan is CEO and founder of New York-based Simulmedia, a TV ad targeting company. I can use technology like Simulmedia to help improve the relevance of the ads I run on my Network. My customers will be more inclined to watch my station if they enjoy the TV shows, but also the ads in between because they are actually relevant.

In an article by Marco R. della Cava of USA Today, we learn that Youtube has invested millions of dollars in order to start producing their own line of web only TV shows.

“For now, YouTube isn’t likely to serve up the next Modern Family. Instead, it aims to provide short niche content for an increasingly fractured audience, says Shishir Mehrotra, vice president of product management.”

So as long as I continue producing quality shows, like Modern Family, my viewers will continue to pay their high cable subscription to keep my networks channels.

I will continue producing quality TV shows and using the data I have collected with data collection services, I will be able to measure which one of my shows is the most popular.

As we have seen with the introduction of Smartphones, every form of media is going mobile. This is the next big concern for a Network CEO like myself. How do I make the transition to mobile TV?

 

How the Internet has changed our lives.

Beginning with the standardization of the Internet Protocol Suite in 1982, the Internet has grown into a vast computing resource that has profoundly changed the lives of individuals worldwide. Most of these changes brought about by the Internet have been beneficial for humanity but some have affected the lives of individuals negatively.

CONNECTING AND SHARING

One of the biggest and most influential changes brought about by the Internet is the transition from individuals as consumer to individuals as producers. With the Internet every individual has the opportunity to have a voice and to contribute his or her ideas to the world. NYU Professor, Clay Shirky expounds upon this change.

”What we’re seeing is that people weren’t couch potatoes because they liked to be, we were couch potatoes because that was the only opportunity given to us.“

According to Shirky, young people with access to fast, interactive media such as the Internet, are shifting their attention away from media solely for consumption, such as TV, and using this time instead, to produce and share content.

The Internet has also changed the way people connect with each other and has enabled new forms of human interactions. Through Facebook and other Internet-based platforms people have the ability to interact with other individuals from around the world. Whether through instant messaging, video chatting, or blogging, the Internet allows for instant connection.

DEHUMANIZING

Though, the Internet can bring individuals together, it can also pull them apart. The Internet, along with all of its components, directly affects how individuals view themselves. MIT Professor, Sherry Turkle, delves into this topic in her latest book, Alone Together. She discovers that mass immersion in virtual worlds like Second Life, MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games) and social networks begins to dehumanize individuals.

Virtual reality pioneer, Jaron Lanier also expresses his concern with the Internet in his book, You are not a Gadget, and helps to point out some of the less opportune changes caused by the internet in the lives of individuals. He explains how because people are constantly connected to the Internet, they are less connected to each other. Instead of talking to a person face to face, most interactions occur online, and people begin to lose the natural connection. Some people spend more time blogging, tweeting, or facebooking about what they did yesterday than they do focusing on what they are doing today.

The Internet is not perfect, but through revolutionizing the way individuals connect and receive information, the Internet has provided much more flexibility and freedom in the lives of individuals. For example, with the Internet, instead of waiting tirelessly for the weather segment to show up on the local new station, individuals can quickly access the weather or any other information on the internet, and for most, directly from their phones. However, this change has also affected the lives of individuals who work in journalism and who rely on viewers to watch their program or read their newspaper.

IMPACT ON JOURNALISTS

With most news transitioning to an online format, many journalists and news staff have lost their jobs, or their job description has changed entirely. According to Kim Hynes, former Anchor and now Digital Content Manager at KWCH Broadcasting, every reporter and most employees they hire are now required to know multiple skills other than just journalism, such as how to edit video.

“In order to survive in the ever-changing world of Internet journalism, you have to know how to do it all and how to learn on the fly”, she says.

One editor of the Wichita Eagle Newspaper, John Boogert, also expresses his thoughts. “I am not longer just competing with the local newspapers to get the latest story out. I am competing with the entire world, so it is a never ending process.” Boogert also expressed his struggle to create an interesting news story that people want to read after they have already heard about it all day on Facebook and Twitter. John Boogert is referring to the boom in amateur journalism brought about by the fast accessibility of the Internet and the introduction of Internet-enabled mobile devices. This ties into Shirky’s idea of consumers becoming producers. Individuals no longer just receive news; they create the news as well.

OTHER CHANGES

The Internet has also brought cloud-based software, which has given individuals the power and freedom to work from anywhere. No longer being tethered to one computer where the software is stored allows for greater flexibility. Individuals never have to waste time storing data or saving content to their computer when everything is self contained and stored on the internet.

The Internet has literally made the possibilities in the lives of individuals endless. Businessmen have the ability to collaborate on global projects with people from across the world. It has changed how individuals meet each other, providing a neutral meeting ground, where individuals can more or less shop for the traits they want in a partner. This gives individual even more selection and possibilities. With access to so much information on the Internet, people are much smarter, and more self-reliant. More people search the Internet for how to change their oil now, before going to a mechanic. These days, most people even shop online, which saves them time and money.

With the collaborative power of the Internet, individuals are building a better, more cooperative world, a world in which everyone is informed and connected. This connection has changed the lives of individuals in so many ways, and despite some of the downfalls, has been an extremely beneficial contribution to mankind. Overall, the Internet has given every individual a chance to produce, share, and most importantly connect with the rest of the world.

Information at the Cost of Advertising

These days, in order to find information on the web, we must navigate through pesky pop-up windows and sidebars full of advertising. But is the extra time spent waiting on advertisements really such an inconvenience considering the Facebook and Youtube ads we despise actually keep the information we consume free?

Ezra Klein - Columnist

It all started with politically financed newspapers of the nineteenth Century, according to Ezra Klein of the Washington Post. The politicians would finance a newspaper and in return that party of politicians had total control of over the news.

This control changed by the end of the 20th Century when advertisers took the place of politicians as financers. The use of advertising to support the news created competition between advertisers, which allowed for more deviation in types of financial backers, thus keeping the news unbiased.

This use of advertising to support the news gave many independent newspapers a chance to make a profit, while also keeping each news station in check.

“If the profitability of advertising is high, then it is costly for media outlets to distort their news coverage in the direction desired by a subsidizing group,” Petrova writes. “Any deviation from the coverage that maximizes audience means the loss of audience and the loss of corresponding advertising revenues.”

As I continue reading Klein’s article, he transitions by saying that “The news is not the only form of mass information that appears free while actually supporting itself through advertising.” He lists various other forms of media from television to radio to Google and so on.

The point is that almost every form of information is supported or financed by advertising. I think Klein’s observation best points out the reasoning for this support, and makes me laugh at the indifference stated.

They didn’t do it because they are philanthropists, and they didn’t do it because they love information. But they did it nevertheless.

Exactly! It is not certain why, over time, this huge stream of information has been collected, but what is certain now is that advertisers continue to compete to be the top providers of information because of the money. Advertising, specifically on the Internet, and more specifically on Social Networking sites has proved to be most profitable for advertisers. Furthermore, The ability by large companies such as Google, Youtube, or Facebook to pinpoint niche interests using complex algorithms has revolutionized the way we are advertised to as consumers.

Some people don’t like the thought of their personal interests and “likes” being processed by a computer, as data to better serve advertisers, while others say that it is actually helpful to be shown ads on Facebook, for example, which are related to their interests.

Personally, I really don’t mind the Facebook sidebar advertisements, and have actually clicked on a couple of them, but the ads on Youtube are what really bug me. With Facebook, at least the ads are optional to look at on the side like this. Youtube has taken it a step further and placed the advertisements directly between you and the content you want to watch, forcing you to watch the advertisement first, before playing your video.

Can advertising really be labeled as good or bad? Sure they are in it for the money, but look at the masses of information that have been generated in the process of earning said money. Without the support of sponsors, most websites would go under, and the information that we cherish might cease to be free. Which brings me back to my original point. Is the amount of time we spend sorting through advertisements worth the amount of information we gain access to? I tend to think so.