24th March 2017

‘It’s difficult to overstate how big a deal this is. More than 20 years after it first caught mainstream attention and began to destroy everything about how we finance culture, the digital economy is finally beginning to coalesce around a sustainable way of supporting content. It could also make for a profound shift in the way we find and support new cultural talent.’ From NYT – How the Internet is saving culture, not killing it.

Last week I visited the very lovely Austin,Texas for SxSW Interactive. Here is a summary of the main sessions I attended, published on the econsultancy blog. 

Also last week, was a very interesting Google Firestarters session, on the subject of ‘ The Future Strategist Planner’. I really liked the definition of the planning process as – Big behavioural data sets (increasingly interrogated using AI) + ‘Small Data’ (behavioural observations) + Empathy, Intuition and Imagination.

The Google-Facebook digital advertising duopoly seems like a fait accompli at this point as is the less-than-favourable revenue that publishers get from them. A number of major companies are teaming up to challenge the status quo, including Condé Nast which has joined Vox and NBCUniversal in their year-old effort, Concert ; and Fox Network Group, Turner and Viacom who have created a new consortium called OpenAP. They have a lot of money to go for – Google will account for 40.7% of U.S. digital ad revenues in 2017, and will likely seize 78% of all U.S. search ad revenues. Facebook will grow, to control 39.1% of the U.S. display market.

Tap to advance: the rise and rise of the horizontal story. ‘The shift from a vertical, scrolling mode of navigation to an increasingly horizontal, tapping/swiping mode of navigation adds a new consideration. Those of us who are text-oriented will increasingly need to think not just in terms of how we edit our words, but in how we employ ‘cuts’ between parts of our story…equally, we will need to think in episodic terms too.

I recently opted to get Estonian residency via their simple online process, along with 15,000 others. ‘E-residency is the latest and hottest Estonian e-government initiative, allowing people from all around the globe to apply for a virtual residency in Estonia. This gives them access to Estonian e-services without ever needing to visit the country.

From NYT – Snap Makes a Bet on the Cultural Supremacy of the Camera. ‘Snapchat uncovered something deeper about the camera. Not only could we use pictures to document the world, but we could also use them to communicate. Snapchat has two defining features: pictures and ephemerality. When you talk to others on the service, you usually send them a photo, often of your face. The photo lasts for a few seconds before disappearing. Paradoxically..these features make Snapchat much more like talking than writing.

From the FT – Instagram passes the milestone of 1,000,000 advertisers. ‘The Photo app saw a fivefold increase during the past year in businesses promoting themselves. …The service had focused on making it easier for even small businesses to make creative videos, with tools such as boomerang, which creates mini-loops, and Hyperlapse, which speeds up footage. About 80 per cent of Instagram’s 600m monthly active users now choose to follow a business on the platform, and 120m have interacted with a business this month.

A good conversation might be the most efficient way to tell a story. This video piece looks at flirting, bickering, threatening and subtext-filled bantering. From Cinefix – The Top 10 picks for the best film dialogue of all time.

This is rather simply wonderful. A visualisation of inertia, using leaves and a trampoline.