Archive for the ‘General Observations’ Category

Insights from Google’s 216-page analysis of Social Media

Here we are, in low foothills of the second century of electronic media, and already the slogan “All media will be social media” has evolved from a rallying cry into a humdrum truism. But social media remains elusive and rather hard to define, primarily because human social interaction is so complex, varying by context and by situation, and also because of the rapid evolution of social software. Even though it is fairly obvious that two-way conversations will become an embedded feature of every media object, many media companies have struggled to find the best path towards integrating social features into their content offerings.No company’s travails have been more widely publicized and studied than Continue Reading

Major Breakthrough: Will HP’s “memristor” innovation lead to an artificial brain?

This week HP announced a significant breakthrough:   devices that use a new chip design called the “memristor” that supplants the transistor-based designs of current semiconductors.

This 3D chip could be a major breakthrough, introducing a new era of radically smaller, faster and more energy-efficient microprocessors.   In fact, this design would Continue Reading

Android TV! Google, Intel and Sony join forces in web-to-TV battle to bring Android to the living room

Lately, speculation about the future of television has been dominated by news of 3D TV sets. But another aspect of television has been quietly evolving with less fanfare: TV sets that connect directly to the Internet. This trend is potentially much more disruptive than the introduction of 3D displays.Now a secret joint effort by Google, Intel and Sony to enter this field in partnership has been revealed. It will bring Google’s Android operating system and Chrome browser to TVs and set top boxes. Continue Reading

Prediction: Hard Bound Books will be Finished by 2016

The big debate this weekend in my home had nothing to do with movies or directors even though it’s Oscar season. Instead, we speculated about the future of the book.Specifically, i bet my dinner companions an unreasonable amount on the following proposition: within five years, publishers would be unable to afford to print hard bound editions of most new books. And so, they would choose not to publish them at all in the traditional form. Hundreds of years of print history will come to an end. Continue Reading

Separating fact and fiction on Adobe Flash, HTML5 and plug-in-free video

Will HTML5 make Adobe Flash irrelevant? Maybe someday but not soon.
There’s been a lot of speculative chatter lately about HTML5 as a replacement for Adobe Flash, fueled by Steve Jobs’ dark pronouncements during the splashy launch of the iPad. And recent reports about HTML5 video experiments by YouTube and Vimeo added to the brouhaha. Continue Reading

Conan O’Brien and the end of television as we know it. With music and dancing! (sort of)

Mashable’s Ben Parr on the Web of Tomorrow

Worthwhile reading for those who seek insight into the big trends that will shape the world of media, communications and audience behavior. No surprises here but nevertheless a really useful concise roundup of the big changes in consumer electronics, ubiquitous web access, media consumption and participation. There has been a flurry of news since the big CES show, but most of it consists of snippets and fragments. Ben has a knack for surveying lots of little evolutionary steps and distilling them into a recognizable pattern.

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Check out INKPOP collaborative fiction site for teens

The use of the Internet to tell stories pre-dates the World Wide Web, but most major publishing houses have been slow to grasp the power of collaborative creativity. Now Harper Collins launches, a well-executed online storytelling tool for teenagers. Post your original story, chapter by chapter, get feedback from readers, make edits and revisions in public. Readers can participate by making lists of favorites and by promoting the works that they favor. It’s worth paying attention to Inkpop. I have no doubt that the publisher will find talented writers who assemble their very own online audience of fans and convert them into book readers.

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Video: Kara Swisher interviews Jason Hirschhorn, David Eun, me and her mom at Sundance!

On Friday, Kara Swisher of AllThingsDigital hosted a panel discussion about Social Media at the Sundance Film Festival. I was excited to join the discussion with smart people from MySpace, Facebook, Google, Participant. It was especially cool to meet filmmaker Ondi Timoner, the two-time winner of the the Sundance Grand Jury award. She added a very pragmatic perspective. It was a lively discussion that covered the evolving role of the audience in storytelling, the economics of online media versus traditional media, the part played by big distribution sites like YouTube, FB and MySpace, and many ways filmmakers can connect directly with their audiences. Here’s the interview that Kara did with Jason Hirschhorn, David Eun, me and her mom (no kidding!):

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Read Futurist David Houle on the “Transformation Decade”

A worthy missive, considering the massive cultural, economic and political shifts that are taking place around the world now. I found the comment from one reader apt: “I know that all you said is true. Why do I feel so alone in this knowledge, though?” As William Gibson said, the future is already here, it just isn’t even distributed.

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