Silicon Valley trip with plugMedia

20 11 2008

Last week I was in San Francisco with colleagues visiting a few high tech companies in Silicon Valley, in order to prepare a trip next year during the Easter holidays.
Among them Sun, Cisco, Apple which did not reveal a lot in preparing our trip, so more on that later.

Adobe was very open and we can have practically a whole day  for our students from Multimedia and communication technology departement. There will be demos on the flash platform, thermo and more, but also the students will get their moment as well, show their coolest work developed and designed in Adobe software, to show to the different product managers of Adobe. What more can you dream of! This is so cool for them!!!

A separate session will be provided for the companies who will join the Easter trip in 2009.

Another company we discovered while there, was Emotiv. Emotiv develops headsets which are controlling the human neurologic system, to send functionalities towards the computer, and to handle activities to other devices. Needless to say this is an enormous work of developing intelligence in the machine. More info on Emotiv.

emotiv headsets

emotiv headsets

Persuasive technology by BJ Fogg

BJ fogg, directs research and design at Stanford University’s Persuasive Technology Lab. The purpose is to create insight into how computing products–from websites to mobile phone software–can be designed to change people’s beliefs and behaviors. BJ Fogg started investigating computers and persuasion in 1993 and later realized this topic had no name, so he gave it one: captology.

His lab’s major projects include mobile persuasion, the psychology of Facebook, and peace innovation.  A new focus is using online video to persuade people. Other projects include online credibility, ethics of persuasion, and operant conditioning via computing systems.

You find more on these topics on his blog.

During our meeting we had an interesting discussion on the social networks, focussed marketing. The use of online video. The more info we get based on profiling, the more focused info it will be. On the other hand, we will miss info, which is maybe not in our profile, but in our interest anyway. See how this will evolves. And will we still read off line news and marketing, or will we narrow our mind, instead of broaden it.

A very interesting person to listen to and to talk with on the subject! To be followed!

Last but not least we visited Expression college, this college specializes in Digital Art and entertainment. A complete private initiative, with support from the industry. They mainly work on animation 2D and 3D, film and audio. They have huge studios, very professional equipped, really worthwhile a visit!


This Silicon Valley trip is always an eye opener. The industry there is so much bigger then in our little Belgium. They also have a huge market to deliver to, and it is really the mekka for new creative innovation, which we can bring to our local market.

The US pioneers are more risk taker then we are, I think, well that’s my opnion. I guess we are to attached to our money. Or don’t see the potental that they do. Either way, much to learn in a very inspiring area.


dConstruct08 – Designing the social web

8 09 2008

A one day conference, payable and very interesting! dConstruct speakers were carefully selected, mainly from the US, who gave some insides on the evolution on the social web. It is clear that we are only at the beginning of the social web.

Recently I posted here some thoughts why this sudden explosion and why companies start to care about it. It is all not so new, as in the real world we all have social networks, different people in our network. All though I must say that my social network on line is quite different then my real one.

This day kicks off with ( Steven Johnson) a history on social networks, starting in the 18 th century when cholera was every where…, and how this was mapped and located in different areas of a city (London). This talk leaded to the Geoweb. Indeed the social web is now more a global happening (if you look at facebook and a likes), but we will see soon the added value of local social networks, blogs which discuss local issues and so forth. technology is there (also because of the local aware devices) to push that information to you, that is important for you, and at a certain extend concerns you. Your neighborhood etc… The Urban web is created.

Playing the web: how games can make the internet (and the world) a better place, Aleks Krotoski a passionate speaker, gives us insights on how games and web can come together, to make it more an engaging experience. The importance of human interaction and interface design seems somehow not to apply for gaming. How can we open this billion dollar industry towards a social web, and how maybe we can adapt the playfulness to social media.

Designing for the colar reef, brought by the Dopplr guys was really entertaining, the dopplr site is a site where you can talk and post all your travel plans. In addition you link with friends and get reviews and recommendations on the place where you go, from restaurants to hotels, to flickr photos and so forth. A model to be followed!

The closing by Jeremy Keith – The system of the world, an interesting view the system of networks, how they work, a philosophical short lecture which brought a lot of silence, soon on podcast!

This was really worthwhile visiting! Cu next year!

Social Networks – BEBO

11 04 2008

BEBO is even more succesfull then mySpace, lead by Joanna Shields, former managing director at google for EMEA partnerships and syndication.

BEBO also enters the short webisodes, one of them is Kate Modern. Kate modern is typical drama for teens and 20+, the audience of bebo. Bebo also teamed up with Endemol to launch an interactive drama serie called The Gap Year, the series will follow six Bebo users on a globe-trotting journey that will be documented on the site through video diaries, blogs and photos.

Bebo and myspacetv will become full blown media platforms, and bring tv series or webisodes to a next generation. Just as with mySpace, Bebo its target audience is teens and 20+.

Bebo has 40 million members mainly in the UK. Bebo was sold for 850 million dollars in CASH! to AOL a Time Warner company. Bebo is already profitable more then a year now, and in good shape! Branded content will become more and more important.

At Bebo they see less user generated content, and professional conent is taking over. The video content is from broadcasters and is completly owend, the social network is used as a distribution platform.

Content is still very important, and needs to be quality! The storyelling and so forth is very important. Spicing this with all the community features we all know, this will become a powerfull medium!

Conversional Marketing and the power of Social Networks – Nike +

8 04 2008

You don’t just take iPod nano on your run. You let it take you. Music is your motivation. But what if you want to go further? Thanks to a unique partnership between NIKE and Apple, your iPod nano becomes your coach. Your personal trainer. Your favorite workout companion. Introducing Nike + iPod.

Nike got together with Apple for this unique concept. In this concept the Ipod tracks your km, calories you burn and the time you run. This data you can then synchronize with Nike+ website, Trough this concept, Nike+ gathers all the information of the runners using nike + gear, and is building a runner community. They organize runners events worldwide, resulting in a huge community. This is an ideal concept using the physical world and the virtual world to bring people together.

Conversional Marketing-Power of Social networks – Dove

8 04 2008

Both unilever and nike are illustrating this session with two showcases.

The Dove selfesteem fund campaign, using bilboards, you tube movies and a branding website to bring the message. The self esteem campaign exists also at a series of workshops to get closer to the consumer. This campaign came to live because most women losing self esteem on how they are used in the media. They feel that they can never achief the beauty that is so much shown trough commercials, therefor the Dove Self Esteem Fund.

Unilever feels that we are in a media mulitasking era. We watch tv, during we also work on our laptop or we play with our mobile devise. There is clearly also a timeshift the way we handle all these paltforms. Everything is available everywhere anytime.