Category Archives: digital technology

Digital Gifting Culture

Giving gifts to acquaintances and people we don’t see often is  a pain in the ass. Am I spending too little/too much? Are they going to hate it? Do I care?

As with everything these days, there is a digital solution to the problem. Which is exactly what Fast Company has written about…

Fast Company

‘Present Perfect: Why Gift-Giving Sites Are Having Their Groupon Moment’

Content

The article talks about a new startup called ‘Giftiki‘ that allows everyone to chip in for a present (digitally of course) and the total amount is then given to the recipient who can then buy what they want themselves.

The angle the article takes is that the buying experience has changed profoundly online and that consumers are open to new ways of thinking when it comes to online spending. In a way sites like Giftiki provide a unifying experience for the users who know that their contribution will make a difference to the final result.

So basically Giftiki is capitalising on the digital trend for collaboration. Collaboration online has exploded alongside social networking, social gaming and the phenomenon of sharing…everything.

Layout

I’ve already written extensively on the layout used by Fast Company. I like it. It’s not too heavy on hyperlinks yet they support the content just enough. Visually its also very comprehensive. There are two images embedded in the article, both of which are relevant (one is a visual of gift boxes as the intro image) while the other is a snapshot if the Giftiki site.  I do like their invitation to “chat about this news” with the reporter who wrote it and with Fast Company. Two hyperlinks take you to the twitter page of the publication and the reporter.

Very convenient.

I leave you with a little video of the Giftiki team…in case you were wondering what intelligent and fascinating people made it happen.

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Filed under digital technology, digital thoughts, entrepreneurship

Commemorating Steve Jobs

Before Steve Jobs passed away I had only a vague understanding of his contribution to the way we consume technology today. Of course I knew that Apple = Steve Jobs but I hadn’t much insight into what he created or how he relied on his intuition and refused to conduct consumer research.

Which is why I really enjoyed reading Techland’s article ‘Apple: Steve Jobs Has Died’ . It provided a lot of external information through hyperlinks that helped to paint a very clear picture of Steve Jobs as a man, an entrepreneur and a business visionary.

Techland

‘Apple: Steve Jobs Has Died’

The article began with an large image of Job and a social media toolbar right underneath (which is a layout I haven’t seen before). The toolbar was especially bold and clear (maybe they wanted to uber promote the sharing of this article?).

The article contained a brief summary of the announcement of Jobs’ death as well as statements issued by influential people in the industry and public figures which included Barack Obama, Mark Zuckerburg, Founders of Yahoo, Pixar, Twitter, Dell and Google.

I really enjoyed reading what different people had to say about Jobs because it gave me a better idea of what kind of person he was and what it was that made him special and successful. As well as providing different perspectives the article did an awesome job of compiling relevant and interesting info about Jobs and his work. There was a total of eighteen links which included images, videos, old Time articles from 10-15 years ago, predictions for the future of Apple, the products that defined Jobs, feature articles, opinion pieces and even analysis of tweets about Jobs’ death.

I particularly liked the ’10 Products that Defined Steve Jobs’ Career’ link. I found it the most useful because it was image heavy and accurately summarized the progress of Apple computers. This article also had a hyperlink to related info on each of the ten pages of representing the 10 products.

Overall I really like the style and the content of Techland. Its quite simple but well structured and very informative. Each article serves as a gateway to a number of other articles which may or may not link back to it. Like a spiderweb.

And thanks Techland for helping me learn about Steve Jobs! 🙂

 

I leave you with this lovely video tribute.

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Filed under digital technology

Google Wallet

I have two words for you. Google Wallet.

We’ve already entered the age where technology is the new It girl/thing so its not surprising that radically innovating services pop up more and more frequently.

Google wallet is the thing on every techaholic’s lips. It allows you to pay for goods by swiping your phone past what looks much like an EFTPOS machine.

Techcrunch

Techcrunch Review: Google Wallet

Techcrunch provided a lovely and detailed overview. The article totally owned its online location by utilizing the features characteristic of the medium.

It includes pictures of the software on the android phone and how the wallet works as well as two videos-“Google Wallet Walkthrough” and “Paying with Google Wallet”

The first video resembles a Youtube user review of a new gadget they had just received (I love those) and the second is actually an amateur video done by the writer of the article as he embarks on his Google Wallet trial i.e. buying fries from Maccas.

The comment section is also really cool. You can choose which social media you want to comment from. For example you can choose to comment using Facebook, Hotmail, AOL or Yahoo. Nice! The downside is you HAVE  TO  comment using one of those four options. You can’t, just, comment. Which I find a bit constricting and prejudiced against those of us who actually aren’t on any social networks at all.

Eweek

Google wallet won’t dominate mobile payment scene: 10 reasons why

Eweek has valid and clear criticisms of Google wallet, however the layout of the page makes me cringe. I’m sorry but….its really really UGLY! *tear.

And its filled with ads which adds (haha pun) to the visual unpleasantness.

The content is good and simply organised however. Basically the article describes ten criticisms of the google wallet

Apparently Eweek is “published twice monthly, eWEEK covers a wide variety of industry topics and is a top resource for IT professionals who are responsible for researching, purchasing and implementing IT solutions for their companies.” But how can it be so…ugly and unsophisticated if its for IT professionals, how??

 

 

 

 

I leave you with this awesome promo:

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Facebook Launches Check In Deals in Australia

In its ever growing hunger for advertising dough, Facebook has finally scored with Australian businesses. KFC, 7-Eleven and the Commonwealth Bank have signed up to give people deals for checking in. Here is some Fb propaganda explaining (promoting) how it works:

And here are some of the businesses doing this in Aus:

Start Up Smart and Sydney Morning Herald covered the story.

Start Up Smart

Content

‘Facebook launches check in deals in Australia’

Start Up Smart caters to small businesses, sole traders and entrepreneurs. That’s important to note because it changes the way the story is reported. Have a look at the people interviewed for the article:

1. Paul Borrud, head of Facebook for Australia and New Zealand,

2. James Griffin, of social media intelligence firm SR7

3. Facebook

Interestingly the last third of the article consists of advice Facebook gives to businesses who use the check in function to promote their services. Since Start Up Smart comes from the business point of view it seems the check in deals as an profit opportunity and does not cover the consumer point of view, making the article highly tailored and slightly biased towards supporting the initiative.

Layout

Start Up Smart is pretty self contained in that it doesn’t hyperlink often and when it does the links tend to lead to websites of start up businesses. This article had a random link to commonwealth bank though, which is ….random.

Sydney Morning Herald

Content

‘Check in before checkout to save’

The audience is broader for SMH so there is a more general all encompassing angle to reporting this story. A range of people was interviewed including a research company that is meant to represent the users. But funnily enough no users (a.k.a. general public) were interviewed. That’s one criticism I have. Vox pops would have been sooo appropriate to include in this story. After all, it is about the user experience.

People interviewed:

1. George Patterson Y&R social media strategist Tiphereth Gloria

2. Westfield’s general manager of marketing, John Batistich,

3. James Griffin, partner with social media intelligence firm SR7

4. user experience firm Stamford Interactive director Lisa Wade

As with many tech stories, the hyperlinks are the funnest thing because they make references to other techie stuff. I got a bit over excited about the hyperlink about virtual dressing rooms. Anyway it was fun because I got to go on a complete tangent and see what this online dressing room concept is all about (I actually tried it out here!).

Important Realisation!: Even news stories are becoming a tool of social media because through hyperlinks they connect us to other people, news, places and stories. And the thing is, the author of the story gets to determine where we end up (if we chose to click on the hyperlink). Hmmm one more way to influence opinion and perspective?

Layout

The comment functionality tells the truth…that is all. As I mentioned, SMH didn’t interview the common person but in the end they didn’t have to. I read the comments on the article and they mostly consisted of irritated and bitter grouchiness. People were very cynical about the deals which they thought pretty much sucked.

 

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Filed under digital media, digital technology, facebook, social media

goCatch app controversy

Andrew Campbell and Ned Moorfield

GoCatch is a smartphone app that allows passengers and taxi drivers see each other’s current location on an GPS map. Passengers can request the closest cab by making a booking via the app. The app’s goal is to make the taxi system more efficient by providing passengers with a faster service and taxi drivers with more jobs.

Its developers received funding from the government and have since launched goCatch across several states including Victoria, Queensland and NSW.
Not everyone is happy about that though. NSW Taxi Council is not happy, as reported by the media sources listed above.

Sydney Morning Herald

Digital Media

The article has a well rounded collection of opinions from both sides.

I felt the article was slightly biased against the app, but I didn’t know why. After squinting at individual sentences and picking them apart I came to the conclusion that quotes taken from app developer Mr. Campbell are a good device used to emphasize the angle. Here they are:

“So if someone is not a taxi driver, downloads it and drives around in their old beat-up Commodore or something then when they actually arrive to pick you up as a passenger you’ll see that they’re not a driver and you can immediately report them or whatever.”

and

“So when a taxi arrives, you need to sort of use your own common sense and make sure it is a taxi before you get in it. Don’t get into a taxi if it’s not a taxi I suppose.”

The quotes make the developer appear slightly dismissive of the issue, which I’m sure he’s not, but its a good choice of language to manipulate the reader’s opinion.

Layout:

Hyper-linking: present! SMH hyper-linked the words ‘NSW Taxi Council’, ‘goCatch’ and ‘Collaborative Solutions’ (which is the name of the govt. initiative that supported goCatch)

Reporter’s Twitter link: present!

Comment functionality: absent! How, how, how can the DIGITAL life section of  SMH lack the comment functionality? Ironic, huh

The Telegraph.com.au

This article took an angle that was more sympathetic towards the goCatch app. These quotes from Andrew Campbell highlight a different side of the story to the one told by SMH and Brisbane Times.

“The taxi industry is dominated and some people say monopolised by powerful industry stakeholders.”

“Because it is a largely monopolised, self-regulated industry, there is simply no incentive for improvements in efficiency, customer service, driver conditions, safety and standards in general.”

Layout:

My favourite functionality of the page was the Related Coverage box embedded in the article.

Why? Because it actually contained related coverage.  Stories concerning the taxi industry, taxi drivers and passengers.

On the bottom, a tool bar listing such social media widgets as MySpace, Yahoo and Digg presented itself to readers.

Very useful.

I think covering goCatch is newsworthy because the news is timely (it comes after the Taxi Council’s comments), it has proximity (the app is australian), it is relevant (we all use taxis from time to time), it has conflict (the clash between the new and the old systems of taxi booking) and it has currency (because there are other similar apps and lots of issues both legal and social to explore)

 

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Filed under digital technology, new media, news, social media

Two Ways Twitter has Changed the Way We Consume Information

The way Osama Bin Laden’s Death broke on Twitter gave rise to new questions about its role  as an informational hub and the role of the audience in generating news. In my opinion,

  1. Twitter has changed the way in which people search for information
  2. It has also provided certain individuals with the power to influence and generate news

The truly innovative aspect of Twitter is that people are able to search for and find news that have not yet been broadcast, written about or published.This was the case with the news about Osama Bin Laden’s death.

According to Fast Company the interest of the public was sparked when the White House announced an urgent presidential address. Amongst this demand for information  Keith Urbahn’s news breaking tweet about Osama Bin Laden’s death was spread freakishly quickly.

Urbahn’s power to create  news came because his information responded to the public demand.

It was only because his tweet coincided with the most talked about topic and the time at which it was delivered that it had such prevalence. This demonstrates is that unlike traditional media that used to ‘push’ news towards the consumer, Twitter provides a place where people can ‘pull’ the right information from their network.

Just want to show you a Twitter visualisation that demonstrates how information networks are created on Twitter. I know the topic has nothing to do with what I’m talking about but I thought it was a good visual example!

It seems that information is trusted when it either comes from a variety of unrelated, unbiased sources or if it is provided by influential and credible individuals.

This guy’s quote, published by Arnnet perfectly describes how info trust is built:

“After first seeing one or two tweets on the subject, I quickly did a hashtag search to verify that what I was reading was being referenced by a large number of people and linked to a reputable news source. After that little process, I felt as though I could trust what I was reading and that I had been informed of the news from many different vantage points, each with independent motivations, backgrounds, national histories. I find that process much more trustworthy than listening to a single TV station.”

The way the news broke also makes it possible to suggest a profile of the twitterer who can successfully act as an influential citizen journalist. The key individuals in the OBL case were Keith Urbahn, the former Chief of Staff in Donald Rumsfeld’s office and Brian Stelter, a digital media reporter for the New York Times, who re-tweeted Urbahn’s tweet.

Both were professionals in their respective fields and both were active on Twitter during the crucial time. Although Urbahn had a relatively small following of 1016 people, according to Social Flow he “had the right combination of influential people reading his tweet and confidence in the accuracy of the information.” This of course included Brian Stelter who was not only a reliable source but also had a huge Twitter following of 57 535 people. When he re-tweeted Urbahn’s tweet it was spread by his following, making the news viral.

Based on this information I am suggesting that the successful citizen journalist on Twitter must be credible and reliable, he or she must be timely in providing information and they must have the right twitter following. This can either be a very large following but most importantly it must contain the right people.In other words the twitterer must have influence.

Here is a list of most influential twitter users.

You can use Twitter Grader to find out how influential a particular twitter user is.

I found this tool really cool too. It lets you search for influential people who are interested in the same things you are.

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Filed under citizen journalism, communication, digital media, digital technology, information, journalism, new media, news, Uncategorized

Build a Digital Resume You Can Be Proud Of

I knew it! I knew it all along. Resumes are going digital.

To be more exact I’ll just pretend I knew it all along since I’ve already blogged about digital/interactive internship applications. But that was kinda going on a whim. Making my application interactive was something I did instinctively. Now I’ve actually stumbled across heaps of advice about making social media resumes.

I will thoroughly enjoy writing my own digital resume because resumes are my sore point. I HATE WRITING THEM.

Why? because I’ve had to re-write my resume so so so so many times.

Why? Because I decided I want to head down different career paths so SO So sO soooo many times.

I’m done. I just want a place to rest my resume on and a digital space will do nicely. I want my resume to be my toy not the bane of my existence. I want to make my resume exactly as I want it to be.
So I’ve decided to sign up to Visual CV where you can create your online resume. I’ve chosen this site because
a) I found it through a link on Mashable
b) I was too lazy/busy to look for others
c) It was easy and free to sign up

My point in saying the above is, you have to try it out first. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just get the ball rolling and switch to a better/more professional site once you’ve aced the crappy version.

Here are social media resumes of two random people:

Random person #1

Random person #2

Sorry but I actually think they are pretty crap. They might be online but they’re far from being interactive. My advice to anyone planning to make a smooth transition into the 21st century job hunting world is to at least include a Youtube video (a visual cover letter) of yourself.

I love this video cover letter for Google:

I think a Youtube video is a reasonable ask for anyone who is not especially techno minded or in touch with the gazillions of new techy tools popping up on the net.

Attaching links inside the resume makes it heaps more visual too. For example if you’re describing a project you worked on you can insert a hyperlink that leads to the website or a video promo of that project. That way any potential employer can see your work straight away and they won’t die of boredom reading through the Nth bland job application.

You can also share your resume on a social bookmarking site like del.icio.us. or use Share This, Add to Any or Add This to make your resume truly viral.

Here are some other tips (which I stole from here)

– A video or MP3 of you answering basic interview questions.
– Video of a talk or seminar you recently conducted.
– Photos of you meeting industry celebrities or business people.
– Audio testimonials from previous clients and coworkers.
– A podcast you’ve started.

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Filed under career tools, digital media, digital resume, digital technology, resume writing, social media, strategy