It’s that time again – the Brass Agency weekly roundup of interesting, unusual and topical goings on in the wonderful world of digital! Join the conversation and have your say with the comments box at the bottom.
Paul Mallett, Managing Partner
Professor Hans Rosling, darling of TED and world leader in statistical analysis of populations, published some telling insights this week. He lives in Sweden and was obviously shocked and moved by the events in Norway. As a reaction to some of the more right-wing ‘we told you this would happen’ media coverage, he tweeted a table of Norway’s immigrant population:
‘Most immigrants in Norway are from Sweden, #2 Denmark & #3 US! Iraq and Pakistan are only # 4 and #5 in immigrants’
Telling statistics which only confirm how easy it is for racist views to obscure the real facts.
George Hurrell, Digital Designer
A few months after Microsoft’s ground breaking ‘Kinect’ gaming system came out, the techies have been playing with, breaking and reworking the core code that it runs on to create some really remarkable stuff. Because of the camera and motion tracker it uses, there are some fantastic applications of this. Like scanning a room and then recreating it in real-time on the TV screen for you to look around in 3D.
I came across a music video for BELL that has embraced this technology and used it to really nice effect. It uses ‘Facetracker’ code created by Jason Saragih to track the face and its movements in real-time and then using a laptop and projector, projects graphics and visuals back onto the face that reacts to both movement and the music that is playing.
Some bits don’t work as well as others but it just shows the power of what can be achieved with a bit of imagination, technical know-how and a relatively cheap piece of equipment.
http://vimeo.com/26649425: check out around 2min 30sec for where it’s at its best.
Simon Marshall, Digital Account Director
Most of the early HTML5 Chrome browser experiments I’ve seen are a little dull to say the least, but we’re now starting to see some really innovative and creative ideas using the latest HTML5 technology.
The band OK Go released their new video this week, it’s interactive, it’s experimental and it’s built in HTML5. The video for ‘All is not lost’ allows you to embed a message in it at the end and has all the moving browser windows you could possibly wish for. It’s fun, a little quirky and you can see it for yourself (if you have Google’s Chrome browser) here: http://www.allisnotlo.st
If you’re not familiar with their penchant for well considered, innovative music videos, you really should pop over to OK Go’s YouTube Channel and, whilst you’re at it, have a look at some other Chrome experiments.
Mark Kelly, Digital Solutions Director
I got offered a free book this week, via email. It got my attention because of the words Free and Book but also because of (a) the flattery involved (what can I say) and (b) what that could mean for all of us as Influence scores are applied to a growing number of people (50 Million and rising in Peer Index’s case).
Firstly the flattery bit: – the offer was based on the fact that I have a relatively healthy Peer Index score. The implication is that I’m judged by algorithms (good name for a band?) that I know what I’m talking about, that what I say has some value to others who retweet it, (for example) and that I’m actively engaged in my industry.
So in the case of the book, the thinking is that I’ll read it and have an insightful view and will share that with my influence set / social graph. There’s no coercion to do so and I could of course have a negative view: the use of complimentary copies of stuff to gain reviews and spread the word is not new but the use of Influence scores to seed those complimentary products is I think, certainly in the UK.
So to the second point- it raises some interesting thoughts about social capital and digital influence for all of us – good and bad, depending on which side of an Index bar you’re on. The measurement systems are still developing and you can argue they’re flawed in differing ways but their importance or possible impact is just being figured out, as discussed in The New York Times recently.
Claire Robinson, Digital Development Director
The question on the tech community’s lips: With Google+, has Google finally worked out how to beat Facebook in the social media stakes?
The latest battle, to win small businesses, is well and truly on….
Although Google+ is apparently testing business pages already with a small number of businesses, they’re managing to lose friends and alienate people by purging their existing 10m accounts of business accounts (so far Sesame Street and Mashable have been victims) – accounts are removed without warning as they’re not private individuals’ names, and pages are replaced with a 404 error.
Google+ is dangling the data carrot, with businesses tantalised by the possibility of true social integration with traditional databases and CRM activity. Is this enough for them to hang around through initial teething problems? Will Google be able to innovate (and code) fast enough to reach critical mass while keeping businesses on-side, without annoying users too much in the process?
Aha! Here’s the Facebook charge, with the launch of www.Facebook.com/business, aimed at small businesses using the platform to promote products and services. The area includes advice on business page creation, optimising advertising spend on the platform, incorporating plugins and custom apps to business websites to integrate seamlessly with the social behemoth. Facebook is already way beyond critical mass as a platform (700m users and still growing fast)… but will businesses ever own their Facebook data?
….my advice to small businesses?
Keep your eyes on Google+ while keeping this year’s marketing budget on tried-and-tested Facebook, but stay flexible – you never know what either company may launch next.