And the winners of the 2012 ad:tech Digital Young Guns are….

March 15, 2012


Nikki & Meghan

We are all so proud of you. Congratulations!!!!!!!!!

 

The girls in action!

 


Is Pinterest the Next Social Commerce Game Changer?

February 15, 2012

Social and search continue to be essential inbound marketing channels. And while Google’s generating a lot of discussion around its new social network, Google+, another website is actually driving more inbound traffic: Pinterest.

Read full article and view infographic…

@danKrause


Razorfish Outlook Report 11 (vol 10)

November 11, 2011

Our new global Razorfish Outlook Report 2011 (vol 10) is out people.

If you’re not familiar with the report it is compiled by Razorfish in the U.S. and provides an in-depth analysis of emerging trends in media, technology and creativity.

A major theme from  this year is collaboration, content and relationships defining a new approach in media.

The year in digital media is reviewed here and other hot topics include:

Game Mechanics

How the Social Cloud can Accelerate Brand Interactions

Forget Mobile, Think Multiscreen

The Importance of Agency Collaboration

The Report is also available in presentation format here and you can follow the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #orv10.

Happy reading.


The 360 Ball Camera

October 19, 2011

Love this idea. Throw the ball in the air and it takes a 360 shot when it reaches the highest point. Wouldn’t it be great to see this technology inside a football as a live stream during the game.

http://bldgblog.blogspot.com/2011/10/film-grenade.html

360 Ball Camera

Google Continues To Go Under The Knife

June 29, 2011

I am sure many of you might have already seen this today, but Google has launched a new looking home page, it is not another Google test. The new look home page which now includes a fancy grey stripe at the top, a smaller logo and the links moved to the bottom of the browser was introduced to streamline the experience across multiple devices such as the tablet and the mobile. It continues to focus on three core design principles: Focus, Elasticity and effortlessness.

They are continuing to make changes over the coming months with a noticeable change to the search engine results page (SERP). See below. Display URLs will be moved up under the headline, whilst it seems they are changing the colour on the left navigational menu (grey and red) and introducing a slight grey box across the search bar. I also noticed that the tiny blue line on the top navigational bar has changed to a tiny red line, could this mean Google is moving towards a dominate red and grey themed page, instead of the blue?

I personally like the new look, however, not everyone will be a fan.

Updated Google Home Page

Google SERP


Ecotab

May 29, 2011

This is the tablet of the future as it recharges just by touching it! No more running out of battery, looking for the power cable or charger everywhere! this new tablet is also very ecologic as doesn’t need electricity! You just need to press your fingers or hand on the touch screen and it transform the finger interaction into energy!
Can’t wait to have this in market!

20110529-094614.jpg


Underwater Sydney and 52 Suburbs meets Creative Social

April 13, 2011

Creative Social is the monthly gathering of Australian Creative Directors working in digital. Tim Buesing Digital CD for Mojos put his post on his blog http://between0and1.org/ – go check it out or read on…

Creative Social at MOJO / Amnesia Razorfish

We interviewed our speakers Louise and Richard before Tuesday’s get togetherat MOJO / Amnesia Razorfish and here’s the video of the night, a bit rough around the edges.

Both speakers are keen to take their projects further, so if you are intrigued by their work, identify with their projects and feel like you could contribute, please do get in touch via their respective sites:

Louise Hawson’s 52 Suburbs
Louise is planning to get ’52 Cities’ underway soon, and you would guess she is not talking about 52 cities within Australia. So as per Ben Cooper‘s suggestion, you might see her project gain traction on Kickstarter soon.

Richard Vevers Underwater Sydney
Richard’s project is getting major digital support from BMF through our Creative Social member Aaron Michie. But BMF building a new site won’t be enough, so if you are an agency willing to donate time and expertise in whatever field of communication, please get in touch. The underwater sea life literally needs more visibility.

The next Creative Social takes place at The Hallway, hosted by Jules Hall andJamie Corker, speaker still to be announced.

 


Ultimate list of Cool Touch and Gesture Based Video Walls

February 17, 2011

So who has the best interactive walls? Here’s some of our picks below. As we move into a world which is transitioning to devices using the NUI (Natural User Interface) there’s a lot to keep an eye on. If you know any more please post them in the comments.

1.University of Groningen:
Pros: Looks awesome, very responsive. Multi-user capable.
Cons: You can’t go out and buy one off the shelf. Touch based only?


2. Microsoft Xbox 360 Kinect AND Windows Phone 7, working together!
Pros: Kinect SDK on the way for PC (fingers crossed) so a very affordable way to develop. Multi user. Facial recognition. Supports second screen in this video.
Cons: None. Seriously! SDK pending, this will be the easiest entry point to start building your first video wall.


3. Toyota Vision Multi Touch Wall:
Pros: Massive 82 inch screens at high res. Very responsive.
Cons: Expensive setup.

image


4. HD 18 Screen 20 ft Paint Wall with iPad integration.
Pros: Very cool. Huge. HD. Responsive. Works with a second screen (iPad)
Cons: Looks a bit like a one off application for now. Can’t go out and buy one.

image

image

5.Yahoo’s Gesture based Video Wall. http://vimeo.com/19177169
Pros: Looks good, hi-resolution and seems responsive.
Cons: Tiled screens. Looks like only one user at a time?

image

6. Microsoft LightSpace
Pros: It’s a true 3D interface for an entire toom. It projects working interfaces onto your arm/ hand.
Cons: Early days. Long way to go here (but still very cool).

7. Hard Rock Cafe Vegas:
Pros: Multi user. Smooth and responsive. Great content.
Cons: Looks expensive?

8. Ring Wall http://vimeo.com/6648869
Pros
: It’s a massive 425 square metres in size. Enough room for everyone to play.
Cons: With 15 HD projectors we’re betting the ongoing running costs might stack up? 
image

9. The Schematic TouchWall with RFID
Pros: It recognises RFID cards allowing you access to personal info. Social integration.
Cons: Nothing obvious. This wall is pretty cool.
image

10. The BendDesk.
Pros: It’s horizontal AND vertical.
Cons: Not quite wall sized! It’s a prototype so a little rough round the edges.

 

11. Canon’s big wall – Expo 2010
Pros: It’s looks big and multi user.
Cons: We can’t quite tell if this is a ‘smoke and mirrors’ job. This video is more about the camera than the wall itself.

image

12. HP’s video wall of touch (link):
Pros: Nice tight looking tiled screens. Cons Already looking a bit dated compered to the others. Touch only. Touch looks a little laggy.
image 

13. The Giant iPhone – Table Connect
Pros: Pretty simple concept. Just plug in your iphone and mount it on a wall!
Cons: Do they make a wall sized one yet?

We’re pretty sure we’ll be seeing a lot more of these soon. Please send us any good ones we might have missed! 🙂


Well done Becki (thanks News Digital Media)

November 30, 2010

becki winner

News Digital Media recently ran a promotion where you could win lots of prizes including the chance to be an Agency Hero. So guess who won an Agency Hero Award and $5000 for our Christmas party? Becki Luxton! @bexlux

In her own words..

‘Every week I correctly answered the quiz and it turns out I’m the hero! We have a giant cheque (I’ve always wanted one of those) and a week to plan our ultimate Christmas party. Thanks News Digital!’

You were already a hero in our eyes Becki, but here’s to News Digital for spotting it too!


Web Vigilantes being banned from social media sites.

November 17, 2010

Cyber crime and Twitter scams make good headlines but somewhere underground there are a few concerned citizens that take a vigilante approach to dealing with these scammers and fraudsters. For instance http://www.419eater.com/ bait scammers using highly creative methods to engage Nigerian conmen, waste their time and then attempt expose them. There’s also the Salty droid who names and shames would-be conmen who utilize Twitter and other channels to exploit consumers. But it turns out that life of a digital freedom fighter is not easy.

imageHere’s the problem : Many scams consist of intelligent, organised individuals and groups. They syndicate and they collaborate, and they actively wage a reverse war on the people trying to expose them. Ironically scammers are using the same processes created to report spammers to shut down the people trying to expose them.

Sadly YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo accounts etc belonging to web vigilantes trying to alert people to scams are being shut down faster than than those belonging to the scammers. How do I know this?  Read on:

The Sad Story of the SaltyDroid

imageI’m not sure how I first came across the Droid on Twitter but I became interested in the Droid’s outspoken ‘attacks’ on certain individuals. Some of the people it was targeting had HUGE followings on Twitter, some with high profiles and. SaltyDroid had no qualms in confronting them directly in public view and alerting other users. I have no reason to doubt that SaltyDroid’s only purpose was to expose people it believed were engaged in unethical practices (such as this one which was exposed). 

I noticed a few months ago that SaltyDroid (which had a few thousand Twitter followers) just ‘vanished’. The blog was still alive and kicking so I wrote an email to find out what the story.

Me: “What happened? Where did your accounts go?”

Salty Droid: “I lost. I’m basically banned from the Internet.  Twitter, Facebook, Vimeo, Bluehost, Youtube, etc. Everywhere I go the scammers file false complaints and horrific lies about me.  The web companies all default to caving in and banning you rather than risking "trouble".  Most of them, and especially Twitter, do it with zero notice, process, or chance to respond. It says sad things about the state of free speech on the all important fringes … IMO.

I don’t have time to fight the web companies and the scammers … so I just gave up on the web companies.  I’m on a special free speech server where some really great people take special care of me … and otherwise I’m silenced.

And the Twitter bannings are not as bad as the death threats, the private investigators, the plots against my personal life, etc.”

image 

The Droid also let me know that although he began his pursuit anonymously it wasn’t long before a syndicate of scammers found him at which point the he decided it would be safer to unmask the droid. Revealing himself as a lawyer it  gives the whole saga an even bigger sense of irony.

In summary, it’s easier for a scammer to have a web vigilante shut down than vice versa. The Droid is now absent from all social networks and yet the people being named in his blog continue to tweet freely etc. In an age where consumers are able to interact so easily with anyone from close friends to complete strangers there is no easy and quick way of distributing warning messages to others in the case of genuine scams. That’s a service SaltyDroid was attempting to provide before being shut down in social media circles. The internet at present sometimes appears lawless and wide open territory for the scammers, and the presence of government and local authority is limited, and at best slow moving. I’m not condoning Salty droids methods or even agreeing with all his posts but freedom of speech is important so I certainly don’t want to see people prepared to take on these issues disappear especially with the bad guys roaming free so easily.

Beware wolves in birds clothing: Currently I know of one major Twitter account belonging to a convicted spammer in Australia with close to 100,000 followers. This person appears free to be able to act on Twitter regardless of their history. Sadly the only way you are likely to hear the name of this person is via someone like SaltyDroid.

What can you do?
1. Send this link on to people in the industry.

2. Copy and paste this story – reproduce it in your own blog.

3. Help Re-activate or read the Saltydroid: If you know someone who works in Twitter or Facebook etc ask them to reinstate the banned SaltyDroid accounts eg:  http://twitter.com/saltydroid

4. Support freedom of speech but don’t be a web vigilante. Salty Droid is a lawyer in real life and is better equipped to deal with bad people on the internet. Report web crime here:
http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx – USA
https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/content/index.phtml/tag/reportascam/ – Australia
http://www.met.police.uk/fraudalert/ – UK

image

Above: Clearly Charles Bronson wouldn’t have lasted long in Facebook or Twitter.

Cheers,

@eunmac

Disclaimer to be quite clear: The opinion above is that of the author only and does not represent the views of Amnesia Razorfish etc.


Google’s Place Search to squeeze returns

November 5, 2010

In the search engine marketing and optimisation sector, it really does seem that change is the only constant.

In June, I wrote about the launch of Google Caffeine and the impact of social search in the marketing mix. Just four months later and Google has added another game-changing feature to their search engine results pages (SERPs), called Place Search.

As its name suggests, Place Search prioritises search results based on proximity of the website to the user’s current location, in an effort to make consumers “feel like a local everywhere [they] go”. It is very similar in concept to Yellow Pages but doesn’t require users to leave the Google homepage.

This is good news for consumers seeking local restaurants, shops, entertainment and the like, but for companies there are new challenges that come with it.

In addition to having its own dedicated category, Place Search also appears in natural results on the main SERP (in the form of business listings with reviews and a map showing result locations) when Google predicts that the user is looking for local information. But it is what that new content is replacing that is of concern.

Companies currently paying for Google AdWords to gain higher visibility on more generic search queries may find that their click-through rates suddenly take a tumble thanks to the new Places map, which is positioned in what was previously a lucrative AdWords position: the top right-hand corner.

Not only does it take a prime position, it maintains that position as the user scrolls down the page, which means significantly less visibility of company-sponsored AdWords.

It would not be far-fetched to expect AdWord costs to increase (due to the increased competition and importance of gaining the top three spots), despite a greater risk of fewer click-throughs and thus a decline in return on investment for those not appearing in the top spots.

In every challenge, there is an opportunity. In Place Search, the opportunity for companies is to raise the visibility of bricks-and-mortar stores to among 60 per cent of Australians who research online with an intent to purchase offline.

To do that, I asked one of our search experts here at Amnesia Razorfish to provide their top five tips on optimising for Place Search:

1. Get listed and be consistent: claim your free listing by providing your company details at www.google.com/places, ensuring that multiple locations each have their own profile containing the location/suburb in the Places title. Choose your categories carefully, and ensure your description is consistent across other directory listings.

2. Enrich the experience: take the opportunity to add additional information such as opening hours and rich media content (photos, YouTube videos, and so on) to your Places page; you want consumers to get a good feel for who you are and what you do.

3. Reviews: customer reviews play an important role in Place Search ranks. Ensure you have the process in place to monitor and respond to user reviews about your business.

4. Sponsored map icons: make your business stand out by investing in a personalised map icon that displays your logo.

5. AdWords ad extensions: link your Google Places listing with AdWords to enable users to see your location from the sponsored ad.

And my recommendation? Make the most of this opportunity while it is still free, as you have to assume Google is not out to destroy its own commercial model.

To that end, I would expect to see related new forms of paid advertising being launched by Google in the weeks and months to come. Given its current focus on location, my guess is that mobile advertising is next on the hit list. Watch this space.

Jennie Bewes, Director of Social Media & New Business, Amnesia Razorfish
As published in The Australian Financial Review, 3 Nov 2010

We’re now a record label!

October 18, 2010

We’ve seen how digital and social media, and specifically earned platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, can propel an unsigned artist into the mainstream of music success.

People like Lily Allen (famous after being discovered on MySpace), Justin Bieber (discovered on YouTube in what is debatably the worst example of YouTube’s possibilities), and even Lady Gaga who was discovered on YouTube and MySpace Music, represent a fundamental shift in how we are selecting popular artists and musicians.

Rather than the traditional push method where ‘Record Labels’ would pick and choose artists based on ‘marketability’ and their own industry agendas, we’re seeing a transition to a pull method. We’re self-selecting as an audience, and determining who will fill our iPods and PCs.

When you consider that social media is underpinned by two pillars: content curation and collaboration, it seems a natural platform for music and ‘stars’ to snowball into popular culture. As Andy Warhol once so famously said “”In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.”      …Perhaps the new paradigm of this is “in social media, everyone could be world-famous”

The role of social media and music

We are publishers by our very nature, collaborating with one another as peers to appeal to our inherent need for fame and recognition. With social media, though, we have gained the tools that have the potential to scale our peer-level communications to a truly mass-market. And music is by its nature a social experience, binding people together with common emotions and values.

In what is perhaps the natural iteration of this, Razorfish in the US has stepped into the role of quasi-record label by forming a strategic partnership with an unsigned artist, AM.

David Deal, Vice President of Marketing at Razorfish, explained:

“How does an emerging indie artist in the dysfunctional music industry find an audience anymore?

My employer Razorfish is tackling that challenge through an unusual co-branding relationship with indie musician AM, which sees Razorfish playing the role of quasi-record label, concert promoter, and DJ. And so far we are having a lot of fun while building our brand with a creative and smart musician.

“We’re intrigued by the challenge of helping a promising artist find a national audience given how the traditional recording industry distribution model is broken,” said David Deal, vice president of marketing for Razorfish and the would-be A&R man guiding the agency’s partnership with AM. And if Razorfish or any of its clients can earn cachet through association with an up-and-coming artist, so much the better.”

What interests me is the idea that the traditional recording industry distribution model is broken.

Razorfish US have demonstrated that digital, and specifically social media, can play a critical role in bringing music to a mass audience. But for me, it’s a question of what comes first: the lagging of traditional record labels in their push model, or the growing prominence of the push model by the socially-connected. And further, how do you monetize this?

YouTube and music

Earlier this year, Lady Gaga’s manager, Troy Carter, stated that Lady Gaga “create (s) music videos for YouTube.”

When you look at some of the statistics with video views on YouTube (Bieber’s catalyst video achieved 55 millions views), it does make sense for artists to create their content specifically for social media.

Even Susan Boyle, the unlikely hit sensation of 2009, has demonstrated the value of YouTube in achieving success. Yes, she used the reality TV platform to position herself in-front of a National audience, but it was the ‘cloud’ that really propelled her into success. Her audition video saw more than 100 million views in two weeks. A social movement grew, seeing her favoured to take out the title of ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ winner (she came runner-up).

Yet despite the massive amount of exposure, and social currency, Susan is purportedly still ‘poor’, with sales figures of her records disappointing.

Indeed, the question of revenue remains; how do you leverage the social popularity of a ‘digital artist’ and generate offline record sales. iTunes, and indeed other music-sharing platforms, are surely the key?

A digital advertising agency and sustainable music: the future?

But what if the revenue aspect of music wasn’t up to ‘traditional record sales’ and was instead based on another traditional revenue stream: advertising?

When we’re talking about artists achieving video views in excess of 50 – 100 million views, the opportunity for advertising revenue is very real. We know YouTube and Google have demonstrated the ad potential for high-view videos, and indeed Sony is purported to be a revenue-sharing partner with YouTube.

So, perhaps that’s where digital agencies such as Razorfish can really create a new paradigm in music. No longer do we need to pay for the right to access content (in this case the actual songs of artists such as AM), to achieve success and sustainability for an artist or the industry.

The value Razorfish, and indeed this model, presents to the industry is in its roots – creating content that resonates with a social audience, and generating revenue for their client, which in this case is a musician.

This model could allow artists from around the world to build social networks of fans who share their enthusiasm for independent artists with others through platforms such as Last.fm. But instead of relying on a dwindling group of large music publishers and radio stations building markets for a handful of artists around the world and attempting to generate ‘record sales’ in what is surely a digital world of music consumption, we actually turn it upside down.

This is essentially what the Spotify model could and should be. The Freemium version (a live online streaming platform for music) enables you to listen to playlists of your favourite artists, with advertising in-between songs. The gap in Spotify, however, is that the advertising revenue doesn’t go to the artist.

So, what if we marry this platform, the popularity of peer-based music sharing platforms like Last.fm, with advertising-generating platforms such as YouTube and even Google, to create a new wave of accessible music?

I believe this is what MySpace Music was seeking to do, yet by perhaps failure of its own brand, hasn’t really seen success in its advertising subsidized streaming platform.

And this is, in my opinion, a key opportunity for a digital agency such as Razorfish; it’s our job to always remember that we must focus on content and sharing. Facilitating brands, ideas and messaging – or in this case, music – into digital environments where the community and artist can form a true symbiotic relationship, based on accessibility, sustained by partners and advertising revenue-sharing.

And as a side note, I for one (as a Razorfish employee) am excited about the opportunity to work with up and coming Australian artists based on the pioneering by our US partner. If you’re keen, you can email me 😉

So, what do you think?


The Death of Social Media?

October 8, 2010

Most morbid social media campaign yet? The gist: Take a photo of yourself DEAD and you could end up in next year’s horror movie Redd Inc. According to the company there have been a few ‘inadmissable photos’ so far.

image
Above: User generated death.
http://www.reddincthemovie.com/Submissions/Art/Fake-your-own-death/Page2/Art225

 

 image
The website: http://www.reddincthemovie.com

image
It’s making the news… Article about it in the Daily Tele.


Official iPad Apple video showcases broken NY Times Site

April 8, 2010

I spotted a few Twitter users talking about this: The official Apple iPad video actually shows the NY Times site with a broken area of the page (apparently a flash video) which is caused by the lack of iPad support for Adobe Flash.

Why is this an issue? Well according to HP (here) 85% of the top 100 sites on the internet use Flash and that 75% of all video on the web is flash based. That’s a lot of missing content for a device that is supposed to be the ultimate content aggregator.

image
Freezeframe at 1m17s
http://www.apple.com/ipad/#video

image

 

This space looks set to hot up. Here’s HP’s own version of the iPad out this year demonstrating how Flash should work in a tablet PC:


Digital Traffic Update: AdNews Vs Mumbrella Vs B&T Vs Campaign Brief

March 25, 2010

Updated Mon March 24 2.31pm (Data now includes latest webstats as supplied by Mumbrella, Adnews, B&T, Campaign Brief, Inspiration Room).

Please note: This article is intended to provide a basic snapshot of trending traffic volume as supplied by publically available sources, it is not an in depth analysis of publisher content, audience, engagement etc.

There’s always a sense of irony about reporting on the people who report on you daily …but every now and then we’ll check up on  the trends for local ad industry publishers in the digital space. This is not an attempt to compare apples with oranges on who’s reading what (eg: clients vs industry readership) but 2010 is shaping up to be a more interesting statistical battle traffic-wise with AdNews changing their model last month posting substantial gains in February (reasons listed below).

2009 was definitely a big year for Mumbrella coming out of the blue and scoring a lot of digital traffic with its blog format site. In contrast AdNews 2009 website numbers were destined to be limited because of their online model which only allowed access to stories for paid subscribers (although it saw gains to the end of the year when it discreetly opened up stories to email subscribers). B&T saw good digital growth in 2009 opening up for comments in posts and interestingly they appeared to somehow ride the coattails of Mumbrella’s traffic with notably similar peaks and troughs appearing in the traffic data below.

Campaign Brief and The Inspiration Room were kind enough to send in their latest data following, again showing solid growth online in the last calendar year.

image

Above: Alexa data for Adnews, Mumbrella, B&T

Read the rest of this entry »



Brain controlled pinball machine

March 10, 2010

Brain controlled pinball machine. NUI 2.0?

@handypearce


@Westpac Twitter Account is “So Over it Today”

February 18, 2010

Maybe one of the best brand tweets ever by @westpac, but sadly it appears to have been deleted. Some are calling it social media marketing genius whilst others suspect that Westpac may not have stocked the kitchen cupboard with enough TimTams today.

Here it is, preserved in screenshot glory:

image

Substantiated by a Google Search below:

image

Anyone know the real story – let us know in the comments 🙂


AdNews running competition to find in house social media expert.

January 8, 2010

A subtle but very interesting social media career opportunity appeared on the AdNews newsletter yesterday. In a bid to find the perfect person to run social media at AdNews (or as the ad says “The AdNews Online Ninja”) AdNews has asked for “an original idea that achieves spectacular results” brought to life using digital means along with the plain old CV. There’s not a lot of time to get busy – applications close on Jan 27.

Details here:
http://www.yaffa.com.au/adnews/OnlineNinjaAD.pdf

image

Below: Pop Digital culture – Ninja beats Pirate.

image


How fast does Google Real Time Search index Twitter? A quick Test.

December 10, 2009

Here’s a real world test on Google’s latest functionality – real time search results. There’s been a lot of hype over Google’s announcement that it now has ‘real time’ functionality. You can read the announcement (here). Below is Google’s promo video on how it works in case you missed it:

The real world test:

How well does it work? In the video below I’m using my Twitter account (@eunmac) to enter a tweet which contain the words GOOGLE, REAL, TIME, SEARCH. I already have a ‘real time search’ window open looking for these words and the theory is that the moment Google has indexed my tweet, it should show on-screen (no need for a refresh). The video is shot using Camtasia, and recorded/plays for as long as it took for the results to show.

Result:
It took Google 52.3 seconds to display my tweet in this instance. Not exactly “real time” but pretty good. Of course this is a one off test and the result should be taken with a pinch of salt. We’ll be evaluating speed in a more quant manner over the next few weeks.

How do I do a real time search in Google?
A couple of people have asked me how you get to the real time search results. Here’s how:
Step 1: Search for something from Google main page.
Step 2: In the Blue bar click [Show Options]
Step 3: Under the LHS menu that appears, click “Latest” under the “Any time” section.

(Alternatively – here’s one I made earlier. Just change the search term to the one you want).

Post by @eunmac