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Everybody’s An Auctioneer

February 22, 2010

The users, who are now a combination of bidders and auctioneers, run online actions.  E-bay allows every person with Internet access the opportunity to sell or collect books, clothing, luggage, cosmetics, electronics, cars, antiques, art, real estate, you name it, you can bid on it online.   In some respects, the auctioneer can set their own price because unlike a regular auction, they can reject bids if they don’t reach a certain dollar amount.  They can also set up a “buy now” tag, which allows the bidder to beat all other possible bidders and purchase the desired object.

The elements of interactivity benefit online auctions because it allows the user to participate as much as a traditional auction.  In terms of purchasing, the user can watch items that they are interested in, see if a higher bid was made and allows them to counter it with more money.  Browsing doesn’t have enough interactivity associated with it, in my opinion.  You type in what you are looking for and E-bay or other online auction houses, spit back possible items of interest.  You can try different keywords or search words but other than that, the searching interactivity is limited.

The whole point of bumping up the level of interactivity is to engage the user.  Make it fun and people will use it.  Personally, E-bay has nothing on the excitement level of a traditional auction.  Being face-to-face with your competitors is a thrill that online auctions have not yet beat.  Creating video auctioning could be the future of online bidding, exhilaration from the comfort of your screen.

Please Feed the Animals

November 9, 2009

Please Feed the Animals is a a blog site for recently unemployed advertising professionals.  It is specifically targeting people with a background in marketing, branding, advertising, art and production.  The creator of the site, Erik Proulx, felt that just because of the economic downturn/recession or whatever you want to call it, shouldn’t stop advertising professionals from sharing their work.

The site started as a blog, but it can play host to an alternative place to post your resume, biography and profile to share with other professionals and potential employers.  After your information has been submitted, it will be placed into one of the fifteen categories that Please Feed the Animals has for their Ad Talent section of the site.  The fifteen categories are:

1)Account Service

2) Administration

3) Art Buying

4) Brand Planning/Reserach

5) Braodcast Production

6) Branded Entertainamnet

7) Creative

8) Event Management/Promotions

9) IT

10) Management

11) Media

12) Print Production

13) New Business Development/Sales

14) Traffic

15) Web Development

The author also mediates live chats with its members.  The members can submit topics, Proulx chooses a topic and sets up a time where people can exchange ideas.  There is also a feature that if you can’t make the live chat, they post the transcripts on the site for you to peruse at your leaser.  The site holds up to a years worth of Chat Transcripts.

Another feature and reason for PFTA creation, was to “shelter” unemployed advertising professionals work.  It creates one place for people to showcase all of their work and make available for other professionals and potential employers to look at.

The last major feature of the site is a “trading post” if you will.  Just because your unemployed, doesn’t mean you can’t continue to expand your skills.  The trading post allows these unemployed advertising professionals to exchange skills with one another, making yourself  more desirable to potential employers.  I guess the down side of this would be that you are increasing the competition as you yourself become more desirable.

Here is a video on the site that discusses Account Service Portfolio.

Overarching Concepts

November 2, 2009

Lets take this opportunity to organize Audience and Theory Notes for the assignment due Friday.

Our group played with a few ways to best represent the information collected from the class.  The ideas we expanded on were:

1. Choice and Control

2.  Design and Function

3.  How Time Applies to these concept

4.  Audience Feedback

Our group decided to really look further into design and function.  One of the reasons that I was sceptic/anticipated doing this topic was my personal lack of knowledge on the subject.   In the end, the group exploring this topic should/can be very helpful to not only our group, but the classes.  Unless people came into the interactive media program with a basic understanding of design, I doubt most of us really understand what and why certain elements are important for design and function.

Looking at design alone, our group really liked the way iTunes Music Store was laid out.  The site had a lot of white space, small graphics with featured areas.  There is a strong focal point with the main areas of interest at the top of the page.

Design is extremely important in reaching your audience.  Design incorporates a lot of different aspects of interactivity.  Design is the central element of the list of overarching concepts that the class discussed.  This is because design incorporates choice, control, usability, aesthetics, etc.

In terms of function, our group liked the layout of websites such as Craigslist.  This site is very easy to use, has a clear purpose and functionality.  It may not be the most beautiful, or artistic looking website but in terms of usability it satisfies all requirements.  Ease of navigation is key when your taking about usability.

Some of the basic artisitic elements that need to be applied to design and function include:

1. Text- bold, italicized for emphasis

2. Color- complementary colors are more appealing

3. Position- People’s eyes move from top to bottom.  The top of the page should contain the most prominent information and as the audience reads down the page the less attention the information needs.

Our goal is to break down these elements and create a visual where design is the center or core with the next level being tools/elements that are the most relevant and the next level begin less important as the first etc.

Hopefully, in the end, we will come up with a great new way to discuss the importance of design and function.

Bloggerosphereio –> The Ultimate Blogger

October 21, 2009

Who are the Bloggeroshpereios?  It’s the term I have officially coined for people who blog for 40 hours a week, and actually think that people read it and care! HA!

Blogging 40 hours a week?  I wonder how these hobbyists or professionals’ eyesight will be after 10 years.  Are they actually writing for 40 hours or are they reading, writing, researching, e-mailing, searching etc.  I would think the former but there probably are some people out there could write that many hours a week.  How can any one person have that much to say?  Do they have normal social skills or are they more comfortable with relating to people only online?

Professionals’ blog because they like the attention enjoy interacting with my audience, enjoy interacting with other bloggers and valuable for promoting business.  That makes sense right?  If you don’t enjoy something then it’s unlikely that you can participate fully as true bloggers. Good bloggers connect to their audience and like any relationship; the partner can tell if you’re giving them bullshit.

40% of bloggers have worked with traditional media.  Less then 1% of the US labor force was employed as a journalist in 2006.  Uhh ohh Steve and Alex.  Hope ya’ll make it!

60% believe that people will get their news and info from blogs in the next 5 years.   Lord I hope not.  I’m a newspaper supporter, go watch the “Newsies” and subscribe to the News & Observer.  Then, sing “I’m the king of New York” while you dance down the driveway to pick up your daily paper.

73% of bloggers use twitter to promote their blog.  Not too much surprise there, Twitter and blogs tend to go hand-in-hand these days.  I wonder if the number of people who read the hobbiest blogs would alter if Twitter exploded tomorrow. (cross your fingers!).

Hobbyists blogs the most at 72% .  Next are self-employed people at 9%.  Well, big fat duh.  People who have few daily responsibilities like spouses, children, jobs, pets etc. have more time to spend oodles of time chatting online for a hobby.  It’s fine, I just don’t get it.  Get a dog, you’ll live longer.

Viral Videos

October 12, 2009

Viral videos have really exploded in the past few years.  It is no longer enough for people to exchange thoughts about a video clip, we have to share the actually clip, make renditions and send it to everyone we know.

What qualities, concepts, attributes are the most important to tackle/include in any attempt at building a successful interactive communication?

Sean, David K, Brook, Meg and myself believe that humor/entertainment is the number one quality that is most important in building successful interactive communication.  Music was also a important component that we discussed.  All of the videos that we watched in class had a musical component that added value to video.

Mash-ups or repurposing videos to alter what was the reality creates more entertaining content.  Such as babies that have men’s voices, spin offs of original videos.  Anything that become a parody of the original has the ability to go viral.

Our group believes that all viral videos are for entertainment, but they we debated on the fact that videos in general are entertainment no matter their content.  A viral video needs to shock, be unique, be original and surprise the audience.  Not all viral videos do this, but DK mentioned that all viral videos tell a story, even if its predictable like the guy trying to grab onto the balcony.

The content needs to be relatable and have some emotional connection to a massive amount of people.  If people don’t identify with it, then they have no compulsion to share with friends/ co-workers/ family etc.

Length was brought up by DK, do viral videos have a time length?  Our group thinks so because it has to keep our attention which is a ever growing commodity.  It also has to be simplistic enough for a massive amount of people to understand, it can’t be too specific that the general view doesn’t gain value.

The video that I chose to share with the class was the Christian the Lion story.  SURPRISE! ITS ABOUT ANIMALS!

I receive a lot of viral videos, via Facebook, e-mail, Twitter and blogs.  I watch most of them, but very few do I make the effort to then send to someone else.  However, this story was heartfelt and really connected with animal lovers everywhere.  I passed this to EVERYONE I know and still pull it up randomly today.  The power of viral videos is amazing, after this video emerged there was a book and now there are plans for a movie.  The audience told “the business” what they were interested and what they wanted more of.  And the marketing, media and business people delivered.

Pee Power

October 9, 2009

Welcome to the 21st century.  Please drop your pants, take a pee and create your own energy.

Well, we’re not quite there yet but you better believe, it’s coming.

Scientist at the University of Ohio have been developing a way to turn urine into a clean, green, energy source.This new discovery has been nicknamed, pee power.  Catchy right?

Pee Power is created by using a nickel-based electrode to create large amounts of cheap hydrogen from urine.  Energy experts have long known the possibility of turning waste into energy but the technology to make it a reality did not occur until a few months ago.   The issue that has prevented this development from occurring earlier was that hydrogen gas required high pressure and low temperature to store which is expensive to accommodate.  With cost effective storage, scientist can really explore the endless benefits of harnessing this unusual source of clean energy.

Some of the possibilities for this technology include urine powered cars, homes and personal electronic devices.  A urine powered car can travel 90 MPG and it releases a cleaner emissions then gasoline powered vehicles.  One cow- lets call her Betsy- can provide 19 homes with hot water!  Could this lead to community farms with animals that provide food as well as energy?

Waste produced on cattle, chicken and pig farms could potentially produce enough energy to run the farm.  This can take some pressure off of small farms in rural areas where energy tends to be more expensive. Another opportunity that arises from this technology is for the military, soldiers in the filed could carry their own fuel for their electronic devices.

This technology is expected to be fully usable within 6 months.  This is possible because by law, farmers have to pool animal wasted together anyway, making it easy to turn a large scale prototypes into power within 6 months.

It will probably be a while before this technology is available in a small scale.  However, the benefits of turning a potential global warming stimulant into a green energy source is an awesome opportunity to reverse pollution damage already inflicted on the planet.  Could global warming be stopped with this technology??  Wouldn’t that be sweet?

SAVE THE POLAR BEARS, VOTE FOR PEE POWER!

P.S.  Paul recommendation- Clay Shirky.  Look it up 🙂

Storming of the Brain

October 5, 2009

My big mega research project is about non-profits and interactivity so I had planned on doing a data visualization on something related to that field.  Part of my research is using information visualizations to make non-profits more interactive, along with reality worlds and social networks.

I started looking up statistics and found data on people’s carbon footprint, trends in animal shelters and global deforestation.  I also looked at topics really unrelated to my research project such as obesity trends, hurricane patters and sleep cycles related to graduate students.

While I know that I should probably delve further into my research topic but I really want to take a break from that and explore something different.  I’m leaning toward hurricane patterns or increased non-profits related to child obesity.

People in class were having difficulty in using Google’s version of information visualization.  It seemed that the data would not be recognized or consistent.  I chose to work on another project that I’m behind on during class time so I have yet to work with the program.  I wonder if there is a more user-friendly data organizer because if iMedia students can’t figure out something on Google, there probably isn’t much hope for the average user (not to tute our own horn 🙂

I like the look of 3D maps, like Time Magazine’s population density for the United States and maps/graphs that show or tell a story like Symphony #5.

Just searching through Google I found an alternative for Google’s motion charts and data visualizations.  It is called Ferret, it is an interactive computer visualizations and analysis environment designed to meed the needs of oceanographers and meteorologist analyzing large and complex gridded data stets. It’s specific but some of the work completed using it is really interesting.

So basically, I still don’t know what type of information I want to analyze.  I will probably go back to someting about my rearch topic in the end, but it was fun to consider looking at somehting completley different.

Signing off…