Welcome to this week’s pick of some of the Brasscals’ favourite digital stories, including Game of Thrones, UEFA, mind-controlled robotics, photographing daily life and privacy in social media. Have a read and share your thoughts in the comments bit at the bottom as always!
Ben Brearley, Senior Account Manager
With the Champions League final anticipated to attract one of the highest grossing global audiences of the year, UEFA has ramped up digital activity to make sure this is an event that is shared on a truly global scale. In the four days leading up to the final (19th May), UEFA has been running a Champions’ festival at Munich’s Olympiapark, sharing unique content with football fans through key digital platforms such as Google+, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Foursquare as well as a free Android smartphone application.
The main attraction of the festival is the Ultimate Champions match, which includes legends from the game such as Cafu, Fabio Cannavaro, Patrick Vieira and Samuel Eto’o, streamed live in a world first from UEFA on its website, Google + and YouTube. UEFA has also teamed up with Foursquare and Google+ to run a global ‘check in’ campaign to engage with fans. The campaign encourages fans who are watching the final to check in with the phrase ‘UEFA Champions League’ to access exclusive content. And through using Google+ hangout, it hopes to bring the finals to life for those fans who can’t attend the event by allowing them to interact with it and share experiences online.
Ally Manock, Head of Digital Strategy, Planning and Insight
A project by the Swedish non-profit foundation, Expressions of Humankind, to photograph daily life took place on Tuesday this week.
I was looking forward to this but had a bit of a camera #FAIL after the first photo when my battery died. I soldiered on though, using my iPhone. You can check out my photos here. My day included make-up, passion fruit, woods filled with bluebells, global mobile usage research, one of my cats and a lovebird.
The project has published some of the first photos from around the world, including images from Japan, Sweden and Iran.
All images will be then displayed online at www.aday.org at the end of May. Some of the photos taken will be selected for a book, “A Day In the World”, to be published in October 2012, others shown in exhibitions, either printed or digital.
I’m really looking forward to looking at all the images online and seeing how different everyone’s days are.
I love Game of Thrones. Okay, I do struggle keeping up with who’s who and my initial strategy of keeping track of the male characters by their facial hair as proved to be flawed.
We don’t have Sky at home (we’re a Virgin household). We watched season one on DVD so when season two started airing we went on a mission to work out how to watch it as it aired.
Now, on Virgin Tivo you have loads of Sky Channels, but not Sky Atlantic on which Game of Thrones is shown. You also have pre-recorded catch up shows from Sky, but no Game of Thrones.
I then remembered that on my Xbox you have Sky Player, but a quick look at the app told me I could go no further without a Sky Subscription…boo.
So I Googled Sky on my Android tablet and discovered that Sky now does a pay-per-month subscription option. Yay! But the website wouldn’t work on Android. Boo again. So I looked up the site on my wife’s iPad and it worked. Yay! One fully functioning month-long Sky subscription.
Logging in with my new Sky account number unlocked the Xbox app and hey presto, a nice shiny list of G.O.T season two episodes.
So Tivo – Xbox – Android – iPad – Xbox again just to watch a TV show?? I imagine most people would have given up at the Tivo stage. Technology is supposed to make things easy, but the heavyweight deals of big media corporations are making the user experience painful beyond belief. Surely it’s time to get this sorted, which would result in the media corps actually earning more money by making access to content simple.
Now back to my beard monitoring.
Sally Barr, Online PR and Social Media Manager
This week the issue of privacy in social media has been following me around a bit like a bad smell, or a retargeted ad for that matter.
Twitter has been publicising its help centre which is providing advice on how to protect your tweets from Google, so they don’t show-up in search results. Mashable has also given tips on keeping your Twitter profile hidden, by changing your username for example. Surely you want people to be able to find you, to follow you. No?
While these options give users a more comprehensive choice of privacy options, by opting in to using social channels you’re actively choosing to participate and share stories online with others.
I also watched the ‘Inside Facebook’ documentary on BBC2 earlier this week. The presenter was talking about how Facebook ad targeting works; by using your information. The programme warned against providing too much personal information to Facebook if you don’t want it to potentially be used to serve you particular ads or information.
I can’t help but wonder whether all this privacy scaremongering is ruining people’s online experiences, and even undermining the whole point of social media. After all, isn’t it better to be served advertisements that are relevant or of interest to you than those which aren’t?
Simon Marshall, Digital Account Director
As a child growing up in the 1980’s, I along with many others was/am a huge fan of the Star Wars movies and the power of the ‘force’! So when I read about the recent breakthrough in mind-controlled robotics, my first thought was we are getting a step closer to the phenomenon!
The breakthrough has come thanks to some clever scientists at Brown University (USA), who successfully managed to implant electrodes into ‘S3’ (no relation to ‘R2’!) to ‘read’ her thoughts and send them through to a robotic limb to control it. The ‘BrainGate’ system that was used is based on 96 electrodes packed onto a chip the size of an aspirin and implanted into the brain section that controls voluntary movement.
The test subject known only as ‘S3’, is a woman whose limbs were paralysed 15 years ago after a severe stroke. This breakthrough in thought-control could be the start of something extraordinary in terms of restoring some level of everyday function to her and others with limb paralysis,with the end goal to reconnect the brain directly to paralysed limbs rather than a robotic arm.