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DIGITAL MEDIA FROM THE INSIDE OUT: My focus is digital content -- production, distribution, collaboration, innovation, creativity. Some posts have appeared across the web (HuffPo, Tribeca's Future of Film, The Wrap, MIPblog, etc.). To receive these posts regularly via email, sign up for my newsletter here.

Entries in technology (6)

Wednesday
Apr302014

A New Way to See: Shawn Hardin on Glass & Rift

Shawn Hardin is the cofounder and CEO of Mind Pirate, a tech startup delivering an application and cloud platform for the development and distribution of wearable computing apps, called Callisto. The company is focused on making it as easy as possible for OEMs and developers to deploy great apps across, and take full advantage of, a range of wearable devices. You can follow Hardin on Twitter @shawnhardin. I serve on Mind Pirate's Board of Advisors. This post appeared in today's Venture Beat

 As a technology executive since the early ’90s, I’ve enjoyed a front-row seat to the digital revolution. I’ve observed the meteoric rise of the Internet, broadband, social media, and mobile and watched their consumer adoption soar from 9 percent to 90 percent. Today, we’re on the cusp of a similar inflection point for wearable technology and augmented reality.

We all love smartphones. But it’s not realistic to assume the phones we now carry around in our pockets represent the final form factor for mobile.

In fact, the phone is about to explode. It will evolve into many different pieces, with wearable devices for many different parts of the body, including your wrist, ears and eyes. A couple years ago, an episode ofFuturama joked that the “eyePhone” would replace the iPhone. As we know now, that transition is already underway, as devices such as Google Glass and Oculus Rift demonstrate.

Yes, the devices are different. But they’re also quite closely related. And if you view Glass and Rift as steps along the same continuum, you start to see a very clear picture of the wearable-computing future.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Dec302011

• Enough Year-end Predictions to Make Your Head Spin - #NGIF

My last weekly summary of interesting tweets, links and posts of 2011 is chockablock full of predictions and trends -- looks back and forward. Makes a person's head spin. For you, the year's last #NGIF (Nick's Great Information Friday).

QUO VIDEO?

A slew of video visionaries offered dispatches from their crystal balls, including:
  • "Five Predictions For Online Video in 2012" offers a tidy trip down the well-worn path of prognostication -- no aha moments, but well-written and reasoned. 
  • If five aren't enough, here are "50 TV Predictions for 2012" from a website called "TVPredictions" so I guess this is their thing!
  • "Twelve Things That Won't Happen in Online Video in 2012" is a terrific post by WatchMojo founder and professional opinionator Ashkan Karbasfrooshan. To hear him tell it, TV will not die; cord-cutters will not make a ripple; neither Google nor Apple will rule TV… you get the idea. 
  • He also asked "Is Video the New Software?" -- This guy is busy! 

NOW TRENDING

  • Mashable lists five tech trends to watch in 2012, and JWT lists 100 "Things" of all sorts to watch next year in a seemingly endless slideshow. Slog through it though, there are some hidden gems. 
  • Another post that got a lot of heat in the blogosphere was "End of an Era: The Golden Age of Tech Blogging is Over" by tech analyst Jeremiah Owyang. Indeed, 2011 saw acquisitions, mergers, and a lot of public mud-fighting (Arianna vs Arrington). But the END?

APP-IFICATION

  • "Apt Apps" is my own year-end review of favorite software of 2011, in which I note that almost all software is now seen as Apps, thanks certainly to Apple's effective store and branding. 
  • A lot of what I discuss are actually tools that make my digital life easier, which seems a good description of this post: "The  Best Productivity Apps of 2011" from The Next Web.
  • The "app-ification" debate is not settled, of course: Dominiek ter Heide writes intelligently about the debate over the "App Internet" and the "death of the web" on GigaOm.
  • Or, put another way, "Apps are Media," as Erick Schonfeld wrote in a thoughtful TechCrunch post
  • Farhad Manjoo's Slate post "2011 Was a Terrible Year for Tech" decries the trend of complexity 
  • Speaking of complexity, Ars Technica suggests that 2012 will prove to be Microsoft's turning point, as the rest of the world flees the era of the desktop.

FILM

  • Much hand-wringing in the trade press over the year-end box office tallies, which may be lower than any year in a long time. Roger Ebert opines why, proving once again why he is so influential on the web (calls a spade a spade: Hollywood makes too much bad stuff and distributes the good stuff poorly).
  • Louis C.K.'s audacious self-distribution scheme got a lot of people sitting up in the media world  -- only one of the trends that led Michael Wolf to declare that "2012 will be the year of the artist-entrepreneur."
  • Among the endless year-end best-of lists, I especially like the quirky ones like this one: IndieWire's favorite movies by their in-house editors and writers. Why? Because there is NOTHING too obscure or minor that one of these movie geeks won't elevate to their top-ten list. I immediately go to Netflix and add it to my queue, because without question most will never make it to theaters. Interestingly, some of these titles are already available on Netflix streaming. Try it!

ME

In addition to my apps post this week, there were two other blips in the blogsophere out there that I contributed to: 
  • Check out “A Year in Transmedia,” Simon Staffans’s free ebook colllection of posts, incl intvw w/me: download here. It includes an online interview Simon conducted with me, and more than 100 pages of other goodies for the transmedia addicts among you.
  • Tribeca's Future of Film's Top 10 Transmedia Posts (two are mine) was published on Huffington Post this week if you missed it earlier. 
Thursday
Dec012011

• To see the Future, Turn to the Past: #NGIF for December 2, 2011.

What was I into this week? Well I was into the Past, the Future, the Culture and the Stats, or at least that was a convenient way to group the best of the tweets and links I consumed this week. What were you into? Here’s my weekly post, Nick’s Great Information Friday (#NGIF) for Friday, December 2nd.

Into the Past

I’ve always found that the best way to look at the future is by understanding the past. This week’s posts were rich in backwards glances that offer some very useful insights:

LA Times columnist Michael Hilzik interviews early Internet millionaire David Bohnett, whose GeoCities was, in a way, the first social network back in the 90s. Bohnett is a prominent investor and philanthropist these days, working on GLBT issues and trying to amend California’s Prop. 13.  

In the article, Bohnett suggests that Wikipedia is a better analogy than Facebook, because of the emphasis upon content, not individuals. In this post, we see that Wikipedia can be useful, not only as a great historical source, but as a predictive one as well.

While you’re looking back at the Internet of the 90s, check out this infographic which compares 1996 to 2011. Amazing! 

GigaOm founder Om Malik looks back on a decade of blogging from his own personal statistical perspective. Guy didn’t sleep for ten years, it would seem. 

The Atlantic posted a remembrance of the pioneering 70s videoart/activist group Ant Farm, whose sensibility and modus operandi foreshadowed many features of today’s YouTube and video sharing culture. Well, sort of, having been there and known those guys pretty well. 

Into the Future

What a difference a name makes (and nearly a generation): Today all we hear about are “cloud” computing solutions. Back in the 90’s, the anti-Microsoft forces (mainly Sun and Oracle) rallied behind the slogan “the network is the computer.” Snappy, but not nearly so much as the concept of the “cloud.” Two articles this week helped me understand cloud more deeply: a Venture Beat piece about up and coming cloud companies.

NY Times Bits blog post about how cloud will challenge the old-school tech incumbants.

Steve Poland prognosticates on the prospects of a coming collapse of the tech market. Love the headline: “Will it End Badly? Probably not.”

Speaking of ending badly, rumblings from Redmond that Microsoft is eying an entry into scripted television. (When will they ever learn?)

LOTS of online chatter over the opening of online music service Spotify’s decision to open its platform for third-party development, like this self-referential coverage from The Guardian that shows how its online music reviews can now enable simultaneous playing. Many compare the move to the opening of Facebook’s API. Maybe!

Into the Culture

Thanksgiving is the start in earnest of Movies’ High Holy Days, as serious Oscar-contender movies crowd the theatres and the award announcements fall upon us like leaves in a Santa Ana wind. Since I saw HUGO on Turkey evening, I thought I’d highlight the best film article of the week, Fast Company’s profile of Martin Scorcese, with a killer graphic of the director’s amazingly diverse career. 

As an avid consumer of audiobooks (mostly in the car), in addition to print books and ebooks, I appreciated the Sunday NY Times Book Review’s appreciation of the form, still an object of snobbery from the printophiles.

“Free Ride” is a new book by Robert Levine, widely reviewed and cheered by the mainstream media whose banner he carries against the forces of “free” that are disrupting existing business models. I haven’t read the book yet, but have been surprised that it hasn’t seemed to spark a big old fashioned flame war online.

Into the Stats

E-Marketer provides numbers for the astounding growth of tablet and smartphones, amending the future growth patterns sharply upward.

TechCrunch reports the new monthly online video viewing record --- more than 46 billion. Ouch!

Friday
Nov252011

• Nick's Great Information Friday for 11/25/11

Pardon my turkey, but I guess I'll blame Thanksgiving for a tardy edition of my Friday summary of the best tweets, posts, and quotes from the past week.

THE FUTURE WAS YESTERDAY. This prescient piece in the NY Times looks at web-based predictive software: “The Web has come to reflect the world,” says Christopher Ahlberg, the co-founder and chief executive of Recorded Future. “We can use that to predict things.”

DIGITAL DARWIN: Brilliant biz strategist Brian Solis nails it in this Washington Post post: “Digital Darwinsim and why brands die.” Key quote: “ If organizations cannot recognize opportunities to further compete for attention and relevance, they cannot, by default, create meaningful connections, a desirable brand or drive shareable experiences. The brand, as a result, will lose preference in the face of consumer choice, which may one day lead to its succumbing to digital Darwinism.” 

E-TEXTS: Textbooks aren’t just any books, says Christopher Scheutze in the NY Times, and then explains why  “Textbooks Finally Take a Big Leap to Digital”

900 POUND APPLE: Fear of Apple iTV has manufacturers ‘scrambling’ says the LA Times. “Could any company other than Apple could be leaving its competitors in the dust in an industry it hasn't even entered yet?”

BUNDLE UP: Everyone knows that the cable bundle is a business model that is bound to collapse sooner or later – consumers hate It. Biz observers watch closely for signs of the chinks in cable’s armour, and this rundown on Starz’ options after it exits its Netflix deal may be one.

MPAA VS. TORRENT, AGAIN: The battle lines over piracy have been drawn for many years, with the studios on one side and “information wants to be free” team on the other. This post on TorrentFreak does something different: analyze the potential cost of copyrighted movies using Netflix as value. Not scientific, but interesting.

FUTURE OF TV: I summarized my opening remarks for a Future of Television Panel at Georgia Tech’s Future Media Fest.

WEB SERIES: Bill Robinson urges viewers to take a seat “in the Booth at the End” in a post on HuffPo about the much-loved made-for-broadband series.

DANISH MODERN: The Guardian reports that UK TV is getting more non-English series from other countries, due to the phenom success of Denmark’s THE KILLING, which returns for a second season. I watched season one, thanks to a secret friend, and am jonesing for season two of this most-brilliant police procedural, better than the American adaptation.

ONLINE REPUTATION – can’t live with it, can’t live without, evidently, given the heat and light around social reputation site Klout, like this scorcher from self-described geek Pam Moore, who tells why she has deleted her account. Check out this new reputation site with an even better name: Flout. How about Flaunt? Or Pander?

STATS: YouTube is now serving 3.5 billion videos per day, and that’s 1.5 million more per day than just a year ago. Jeez! A new study reports that one-third of online consumers will use a tablet by 2014.

SOFTWARE WARS: The headline says it all in this CNET post by Rafe Needleman further analyzing mobile content development in the post-Flash era: “HTML5 will kill mobile apps. No, it won’t!” 

SOFTWARE LOVE: You don’t see love-letters to software applications like this one every day, in which web designer Paul Boag sings the praises of Evernote. Since I happen to agree, I gave this tweet a star! Seriously, if you don’t know about Evernote, read this.

TWITTER LOVE: I learned much from this Business Insider post: “Twitter is Quietly Building a Huge Business” – fave quote: “Twitter is the new TV.”

TRANSMEDIA. My coverage of StoryWorld conference – What Transmedia Has to Teach (and to Learn) was published on The Wrap, an online showbiz trade, in case U missed it. Jen Begeal’s coverage of the same event has a decidedly feminist approach, due to the pronounced impact of females on stage and in the audience. Check out: “Where the Transmedia Girls Are”

Friday
Nov112011

• Introducing #NGIF: Nick's Great Information Friday

One of the first widespread uses of the #hashtag convention on Twitter was #FollowFriday, a goofy, but effective way to spread the love all over one's favorite fellow "tweeps." Kind of a #TGIF for the twitterati.

In tribute to this enduring social media meme, I'm starting #NGIF, or Nick's Great Information Friday, in which I shall review my favorite tweets of the previous week.

Why?

Well, mainly because it’s so easy to miss the good stuff. Services like Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and other social networks are "life streams” – you must be on the shore watching as the information flows by.

Twitter and the others offer filtering systems that help (Lists, Circles, etc.). Even better  third-party tools automate curation and discovery in useful ways (Summify and Zite are my current favorites. And of course, we all subscribe to newsletters to get information shoved into our crowded in-boxes.

Which brings me back to #NGIF, my humble attempt to call your attention to some interesting items to chew over after a busy week. 

Transmedia & Story Telling

It’s only natural that transmedia storytelling was on my mind this week, since I attended two events (#DIYDAYS and StoryWorld Conference), and posted my thoughts as “Stories and Worlds: What the Transmedia Movement has to Teach… (and to Learn)” which appeared here on my blog and was published today on Tribeca’s Future of Film

I also learned a lot from Dan Levy’s coverage of #swc: “Finding the Story: Five Lessons from StoryWorld 2011

Brian Clark, who was everywhere at #swc, began a series of posts this week on transmedia business models at Henry Jenkins’ blog to spark a debate among practitioners about how to use lessons from past movements to move beyond what he calls the “patronage” model. This post will become more valuable over time, so bookmark it. I have.

Along the way, as is often the case, I turned to Quora during the course of my writing, only to discover a really interesting thread called “Storytelling: How will the craft of storytelling change in the future? 

Social Media

I was preparing a presentation to a group of college film and television professors about the future of television this week and, like many pundits, used the phrase “the social graph,” which is how Facebook describes the extended grid of people and brands generated by your voluntary associations and behaviors. No wonder this post on the Pinboard blog by Maciej Ceglowski stood out: “The Social Graph is Neither."

Click to read more ...