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As both a student of how humans use digital and social tools AND as a parent, this TED opinion piece by Alexandra Samuel about the different ways in which parents handle their kids’ use of technology is fascinating.

I’m an almost-40 digital native, thanks to my parents investing thousands of dollars they didn’t have on computers, dial-up service, new modems and classes for me. But how I enable my children isn’t the same, and nor is it the same for every parent and child across the globe.

My kids have grown up with their own personal iPads, a VR lab at dad’s office they can use anytime they want, and all three have YouTube channels. Meanwhile, they have many friends whose parents limit screen time. And other friends whose parents don’t let them access a single computer or video game device. We’re all over the place as a society, and this is creating new classes of kids that defy the “digital native” label that worked for Millennials.

In fact, Samuel says parents today are creating three new types of tech users: orphans, exiles and heirs…

Digital orphans have grown up with a great deal of tech access — but very little guidance. They’ve been raised by parents who’ve given them near-unlimited access to technology, yet their mothers and fathers have had few conversations with them about what they’re learning, seeing and experiencing and why it matters. So orphans might end up prioritizing online networks over face-to-face interactions, leading to shaky interpersonal skills. While they’ll probably grow into adults who feel at home on the Internet — they’ll suggest organizing cleaning duties with their roommates via a scheduling app, for example, rather than hashing it out over coffee — they might not think a lot about what kind of home they want it to be. And without reflecting on the consequences of technology, they could end up bringing some of the worst of the Internet into offline society (think: trolling, flaming), instead of actively working to elevate on- and offline life.

Digital exiles are at the opposite extreme — they’ve been raised with minimal technology. Their parents’ goal has been to limit their children’s access in order to delay their entry into the digital world until their teens, if possible — the age when kids are least likely to listen to their parents’ advice. Many exiles will throw themselves into their online lives with a vengeance, and they may struggle with finding a balanced approach to technology. They’ll become intense social networking users, as well the ones likely to get into various forms of online trouble. Other exiles, however, could continue following their parents’ lead and mature into neo-Luddites. This might lead to conflict — while society is willing to smile upon the grandparents who’ve yet to embrace texting, it’s unclear if this tolerance will extend to the young people who explicitly reject technology. Will governments and corporations be willing to offer face-to-face service options for citizens who reject digital channels ideologically? That’s the kind of question these exiles will force us to answer.

Digital heirs have impressive tech skills, thanks largely to their parents and teachers. Their adult mentors have encouraged and directed their tech education, enrolling them in classes and having conversations with them about being a responsible Internet user. By the time they go to college, they know how to build websites, and film and edit video. I believe they’ll bring this tech-savvy “maker” orientation into their consumer, social and political encounters, demanding digital and programmable products and services, like online publications that let you choose what content you’ll see (and where and when you’ll see it); products that go beyond customization into co-creation; and communities that enable citizens to create services by providing data, open online platforms and hack spaces. Due to their higher levels of tech understanding, heirs could face challenges in dealing with their less knowledgeable peers so they’ll need a little charm and flexibility to get along.

Samuel goes on to say that because how we use the Internet — what we pay attention to, what we ignore — determines the content and experience of the Internet itself, we are toward a clash of digital knowledge we haven’t yet seen.

How do you approach screen time, privacy, safety and emerging technology for your kids? Do you project those same values and assumptions on other kids? Good questions we should all be asking…

Source: Forget “digital natives.” Here’s how kids are really using the Internet – ideas.ted.com

When the architect of the world wide web speaks out about how his creation could end us all, I usually stop to listen.

On the 28th anniversary of the world wide web’s birth, Sir Tim Berners-Lee published this letter detailing what he views as the three main challenges for the web: loss of control over personal data, the spread of misinformation across the web and the need for transparency with online political advertising.

1)   We’ve lost control of our personal data

The current business model for many websites offers free content in exchange for personal data. Many of us agree to this – albeit often by accepting long and confusing terms and conditions documents – but fundamentally we do not mind some information being collected in exchange for free services. But, we’re missing a trick. As our data is then held in proprietary silos, out of sight to us, we lose out on the benefits we could realise if we had direct control over this data, and chose when and with whom to share it. What’s more, we often do not have any way of feeding back to companies what data we’d rather not share – especially with third parties – the T&Cs are all or nothing.

This widespread data collection by companies also has other impacts. Through collaboration with – or coercion of – companies, governments are also increasingly watching our every move online, and passing extreme laws that trample on our rights to privacy. In repressive regimes, it’s easy to see the harm that can be caused – bloggers can be arrested or killed, and political opponents can be monitored. But even in countries where we believe governments have citizens’ best interests at heart, watching everyone, all the time is simply going too far. It creates a chilling effect on free speech and stops the web from being used as a space to explore important topics, like sensitive health issues, sexuality or religion.

2)   It’s too easy for misinformation to spread on the web

Today, most people find news and information on the web through just a handful of social media sites and search engines. These sites make more money when we click on the links they show us. And, they choose what to show us based on algorithms which learn from our personal data that they are constantly harvesting. The net result is that these sites show us content they think we’ll click on – meaning that misinformation, or ‘fake news’, which is surprising, shocking, or designed to appeal to our biases can spread like wildfire. And through the use of data science and armies of bots, those with bad intentions can game the system to spread misinformation for financial or political gain.

3)   Political advertising online needs transparency and understanding

Political advertising online has rapidly become a sophisticated industry. The fact that most people get their information from just a few platforms and the increasing sophistication of algorithms drawing upon rich pools of personal data, means that political campaigns are now building individual adverts targeted directly at users. One source suggests that in the 2016 US election, as many as 50,000 variations of adverts were being served every single day on Facebook, a near-impossible situation to monitor. And there are suggestions that some political adverts – in the US and around the world – are being used in unethical ways – to point voters to fake news sites, for instance, or to keep others away from the polls. Targeted advertising allows a campaign to say completely different, possibly conflicting things to different groups. Is that democratic?

Later in the letter, Berners-Lee says “I may have invented the web, but all of you have helped to create what it is today.” I think that’s extremely poignant.

Much like The Manhattan Project, we don’t always understand the full implication of our pioneering technology as they occur. Artificial intelligence (A.I.) is emerging as that next leap forward we truly don’t understand today. Rather than resist technology’s rise into our personal lives, I advocate we embrace its persistence and help guide it to the best possible outcome.

Dave Egger’s The Circle is coming out as a movie in two weeks. When I read the book in 2013 I called it the Atlas Shrugged of our digital generation. Eggers had his pulse on a very real and emergent trend related to connectivity, interaction and the subjective slippery slope of using connectivity tools for good and evil.

It will be fascinating to study how the general public reacts to the film, and in turn, how their behavior impacts awareness and outcry around the use of the topics above: 1) abuse of our personal data, 2) fake news, and 3) transparency.

Berners-Lee is a pragmatist, and a realist. But the general public is rarely either. It often takes fictionalized fantasy to help us escape our own fictionalized fantasy.

It’s been especially enjoyable to witness young people reading The Circle start to question aspects of their digital lifestyle in news ways. Like this op-ed from a student at the University of Washington:

Right now, most people have strongly opinionated answers to these questions, but after reading “The Circle,” readers are sure to have a more nuanced response. While it’s unlikely to completely change your mind, the book does an excellent job of complicating these familiar questions with new technology and perspectives.

As the influence of the internet in our lives grows, and companies and the government automatically have more access to our thoughts and lives, we have to ask ourselves where to draw the line. We need to be aware of how far people and companies are allowed to go and if we, as humans, are truly using these technologies for good; what is progress and what is too much?

I’m excited for the film, but I’m also a pragmatist and realist about how deep its impact could be.

As for me, when the architect of the world wide web speaks out about how his creation could end us all, I usually stop to listen.

 

 

Sources:
Sir Tim Berners-Lee lays out nightmare scenario where AI runs world economy | Social Media | Techworld

Three challenges for the web, according to its inventor – World Wide Web Foundation

Beyond the Page: ‘The Circle,’ by Dave Eggers — Privacy in the modern age | The Daily

Brands had 6 years to understand how to tell chronological stories in social, thanks to Snapchat. “Stories” are now a mainstream social content vehicle, just like photos, videos and prose.

Facebook hasn’t yet said when this will launch for brands, but we should anticipate it will.

So ignore the Snapchat clone discussion. It’s time to apply that learning on Facebook!

The Instagram community has shown us that it can be fun to share things that disappear after a day, so in the main Facebook app we’re also introducing Facebook Stories, which lets you share multiple photos and videos as part of a visual collection atop News Feed. Your friends can view photos or videos your story for 24 hours, and stories won’t appear on your Timeline or in News Feed unless you post them there, too.

To add to your story, tap on the “Your Story” icon in the Stories bar at the top of News Feed.

 

Source: More Ways to Share with the Facebook Camera | Facebook Newsroom

Good reminder from Dave Knox

While the largest companies were trying to figure out how to use digital as a new advertising tool, a new generation of companies and brands was being started by entrepreneurs that viewed digital as a business model that would give them an advantage versus the scale and budgets of their much larger competitors.

In the old world, brands competed with each other head-on, whether that was trying to win at the First Moment of Truth with the largest share of shelf or creating the television ad with the most buzz during the Super Bowl. In this new high-stakes game of business, startups have decided to throw out the old rules. They are not attacking their competitors head-on.  Instead, they are disregarding the conventional wisdom of industries and in many cases, redefining markets along the way.

In the same way that the majority of today’s Fortune 500 were born in the era of mass media and mass retail, these new rivals have started with digital at the core of their business model.

It is no longer a battle of Goliath vs. Goliath where everyone is playing with the same cards and the same set of rules. Instead, brand leaders need to evolve to thrive in a game of business where the competition is fluid and new players can emerge seemingly overnight.

Source: The New Ways Established Brands Do Battle With Startups – Adweek

mn-wild-and-spectacles

(cross-posted from the space150 blog)

Snap, Inc. debuted their new Spectacles in November 2016 and space150, a full-service digital agency with offices across the country, was one of the first agencies to snag a pair.

While we shared our thoughts with the industry (Adweek, Digiday, Adweek), we saw an opportunity to bring their unique perspective to partners and clients — by sharing the first-ever Spectacles story in professional sports.

About Spectacles

Spectacles give Snapchat users an easy, real-time way to record videos that get sent right back into the app. They benefit the user by allowing you to capture video without having to take your phone out of your pocket, open Snapchat, etc.

Spectacles also let you capture video without removing you from what you’re doing. Their first-person perspective also makes these videos unique, especially compared to other videos on social networks today.

Here’s a video we shot at our Venice office: 

Snap Spectacles are hands free 🙌 Follow us for the full experience on Snap @space150

A post shared by space150 (@space150) on

Capturing video on Spectacles is fairly easy: press a button above the top of the left frame and the camera captures a 10 second clip, tap it again and another 10 seconds is recorded – up to 30 seconds per clip. Lights illuminate to show those around you that you’re recording. The Spectacles wirelessly pair to either Android or iPhone through your Snapchat account.

The video can be either standard definition or high definition, though you have to convert the file to HD within the app. Also, an interesting part of the new Spectacles is that they are shot square at 1080×1080, but when displayed they’re circular (see diagram below). This means that users can rotate their phone and see more of the image.

Here’s a GIF that illustrates how this works: 

//giphy.com/embed/l2JhBBlgs3BfQDfEI

Though they’re filled with electronics, the frames are one-size-fits-all and made from plastic. The case they come in – a yellow, foam-padded triangular prism – doubles as a charging dock. The case will hold an additional four charges.

The glasses can (conservatively) do about 40-50 10-second videos before they need another charge, and with light use they would last all day. Also, keep in mind, as the glasses are drawing on Bluetooth, phone battery will also be an issue – and something to keep an eye on.

Spectacles In The (MN) Wild

wild_spectacles_portrait_2
space150 approached the Minnesota Wild to be the first organization in professional sports to use the innovative new first-person camera glasses.

Our challenge was to bring this new tech to life within the bounds of an established social media voice and content strategy, while doing something worthy of the first-person perspective. While GoPro and others have made first-person video approachable, the glasses structure and technicalities of capturing the shot made it difficult to plan and deliver the best story.

To navigate both the organization’s social strategy and the limitations of the glasses, we storyboarded the Wild’s first Spectacles story within three segments: 1) Pre-game, 2) Game, and 3) Post-Game.

//giphy.com/embed/3oriNVAJ1asydoH87C

Within each segment, we had many shots that we wanted to capture, knowing that many may not come to life or may not fit the team’s social strategy or the limitations of showing game play, owned by the NHL. This structure allowed us to have a cohesive story while being flexible.

We brought a production/videographer, social strategist and design director to film and capture the story, which was a healthy mix of technical and design expertise. A full day of shooting with the camera provided a 2:56 minute story. In the future, this kind of storytelling could be accomplished by one person — assuming they’ve been fully trained and are experienced in POV video production.

Here are the highlights from the first-ever pro sports team Snap Story we helped bring to life: 

Results

This effort was a massive success — from the Snap Story completion metrics to the earned and social media buzz to the overall lessons learned.

  • The full day’s Snap Story saw a 65% completion rate, a 7.1x increase over the previous day’s Snap Story.
  • The first portion of the snap story was the practice story and saw a 88% completion rate prior to the game starting.
  • The spectacles-only story saw 7.5x more completed views over the previous day.
    • Day Before Full Day story: 1,300 / 16,200 = 8%
    • Morning Completion Rate: 14,900/ 16,900 = 88%
    • Game Completion Rate: 11,000 / 13,100 = 83%
    • Full Day Story: 11,000 / 16,900 = 65%

Sports Illustrated wrote a feature story about the activation, Minnesota Wild become first pro sports team to use Snapchat Spectacles:

“In the midst of the Snapchat Spectacles craze, the Minnesota Wild became the first NHL team to debut Snap Inc.’s $129 mustard-colored sunglasses and give fans a behind-the-scenes view through a unique lens. The Wild partnered with advertising agency space150 to bring first-person social sharing to life…

Expect the Spectacles to be the trendiest technology product being utilized by sports teams during the first few months of the New Year.”

Added Greg Swan, VP of brand innovation at space150, in a statement: “We were thrilled to partner with the Minnesota Wild to bring the Spectacles perspective to hockey fans tonight—what appears to be the first time a pro sports team has tested these out.”

CBS Morning News picked up this story, sharing it with 97 local TV markets…

And there was also positive coverage from MashableSt. Paul Pioneer Press, Geekwire, SportTechie, Go.MN, some global sports outlets, and more.

Key Learnings and Insights

FIVE BEST PRACTICES:

  1. Show Your Hands: but first, ensure it’s a first-person POV story worth telling
  2. Shoot Order is Post Order: plan ahead with your shot list
  3. Have Patience: files take time to download – especially in HD
  4. Charge Charge Charge: they average 70-80 snaps vs the stated 100, so keep the glasses and case charged
  5. Watch Your Mouth: the mic picks up everything you say, and most things around you

Use your hands! The best selling part of Spectacles is the hands-free, first-person POV. And your viewers want to see your hands doing things.

The files take time to download, especially saving to HD, and social teams should be sure to save files as they go within the Snapchat app. As stated above, the stated battery life is 100 10-second videos. However, we found that this number is closer to half that, so be sure to keep the Spectacles on their charging case when they’re not in use.

In terms of actually shooting video, be aware of your head movements and things like hair that could get in the way of your shot. In addition, the microphone is very sensitive, so things like chuckling, breathing and laughing will all be picked up. Be intentional about your head movement, but note that is very obvious when the recorder slows movements down. And the shot angle is wider than you would expect, so be sure to clear anything you don’t want in the shot from your periphery.

One of the most important take-aways is that once the button is clicked, Spectacles are recording and those stories cannot be edited. We recommend taking 2-4 prep shots before starting your story.

Remember: shoot order is the same as post order – you cannot change the order of snaps in your story. Determine the best shots and their order before starting. We used a simple word document to track and optimize the best shots as we went through the shoot.

WHEN ARE SPECTACLES A GOOD IDEA? 

As we wrote about last week, first-person point-of-view content is some of the most compelling content for three reasons: subject, location, and experience.

  • Subject: The old saying, “You can’t really understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes,” is now possible. Whether it’s your best friend, a celebrity, athlete or someone with an amazing job, we can now easily see what it’s like to be them. Marketers should rethink their spokesperson strategy immediately and get POV video options into their contracts.
  • Location: Advertising often uses jaw-dropping locations to inspire, and now anyone can be transported there as if we are actually there. Marketers who are just now getting used to 360º perspective need to be thinking POV now, too.
  • Experience: POV experience is the golden ticket here. The opportunity to share a POV perspective when skydiving, firefighting, skateboarding, or baking a pizza is now just $130 away. Marketers should rethink storyboards to bring viewers the experience of not just being there, but being that person.

Looking Ahead

Although Spectacles are intended for Snapchat-only, marketers should pay close attention to Snap’s overall impact on video production and consumption trends. There are leading indicators here worth noting. Snapchat popularized the vertical video format, which caught many by surprise. Yet just this September brands began prioritizing vertical content for Facebook.

Vertical video has always been preferable on mobile phones, but never before did a social network — including YouTube — prioritize vertical video. But Snapchat made is the gold standard. Now Snap is introducing first-person point-of-view through vertical social video — with no head-mounts or Go-Pros required.

If this popularizes as fast as vertical video, we could expect to see spectacle-eye-view video permeating not just Snapchat, but starting to come into other social channels and marketing channels in the coming year.

Will we all be wearing Snap-branded glasses in the future? Probably not. However, we’re excited about the continued innovation in wearable technology and how it impacts social engagement.

 

But considering that Snapchat is responsible for popularizing the vertical video format experts said that Spectacles were likely to catch on. Vertical video has always been preferable on mobile phones, but never before did a social network prioritize it, said Greg Swan, vp of brand innovation at space150. It was Snapchat that made it the gold standard.

“If this popularizes as fast as vertical video, we could expect to see my-eye-view video permeating not just Snapchat, but starting to come into other social channels and even TV production in the coming year,” he said.

Plus, it also has a cool and hip vibe, and is at a much lower price point than Google Glass in the past.

“While Glass was call-and-response, like ‘open maps’ or ‘take a photo,’ Spectacles are social — they are additive to the user’s social presence and not dependent on it,” said Swan.

Source: Marketers like what they see in Snapchat Spectacles – Digiday

(cross-posted from the space150 blog)

This week Snap launched the much-hyped Spectacles with a single, subtle vending machine in Venice, CA.

We immediately ran over and grabbed a couple pair. And Adweek wrote not one, but two articles about it…

We got 🕶 today! Follow us on Snap to see what we'll do with them.

A post shared by space150 (@space150) on

 

As we said in Adweek, these glasses are poised to reset expectations and expand the boundaries of how we share social video today. More simply put, everyday consumers can now see what it’s like to look through their best friend’s eyes — and maybe DJ Khaled or Kim Kardashian’s soon.

GLASS VS SPECTACLES

Snap learned three key lessons in the three years since the launch of Google Glass: 1) Focus on fashion. 2) Factor in privacy. 3) And leverage scarcity.

Google Glass prioritized utility over looks. Spectacles’ color palette pulls from the hottest colors of 2016.

People wearing Glass were dubbed “glassholes,” in part because the general public never knew when they were recording. Spectacles has an unmistakable recording light.

Glass cost $1500 and launched through one-on-one tech demos in frosted glass offices targeting technology nerds, like myself. Spectacles launched through a whisper campaign launch of a vending machine in Venice Beach and cost $130.

Spectacles have really one use, and Google’s Glass Explorer program was designed to expand the boundaries of the technology. They are simply different, in a very simple way.

ned-lampert-snapchat-space150

WHAT’S NEXT

Although Spectacles are intended for Snapchat-only, marketers should pay close attention to Snap’s overall impact on video production and consumption trends. There are leading indicators here worth noting.

Snapchat popularized the vertical video format, which caught many by surprise. Yet just this September brands began prioritizing vertical content for Facebook.

Vertical video has always been preferable on mobile phones, but never before did a social network — including YouTube — prioritize vertical video. But Snapchat made is the gold standard.

Now Snap is introducing first-person point-of-view through vertical social video — with no head-mounts or Go-Pros required.

If this popularizes as fast as vertical video, we could expect to see __{blank]____-eye-view video permeating not just Snapchat, but starting to come into other social channels and even TV production in the coming year.

SOCIAL POV CONTENT BREAKDOWN

First-person point-of-view content is some of the most compelling content for three reason: subject, location, and experience.

SUBJECT:
The old saying, “You can’t really understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes,” is now possible. Whether it’s your best friend, a celebrity, athlete or someone with an amazing job, we can now easily see what it’s like to be them. Marketers should rethink their spokesperson strategy immediately and get POV video options into their contracts.

LOCATION:
Advertising often uses jaw-dropping locations to inspire, and now anyone can be transported there as if we are actually there. Marketers who are just now getting used to 360º perspective need to be thinking POV now, too.

EXPERIENCE:
POV experience is the golden ticket here. The opportunity to share a POV perspective when skydiving, firefighting, skateboarding, or baking a pizza is now just $130 away. Marketers should rethink story boards to bring viewers the experience of not just being there, but being that person.

 

For more than a year I’ve been downloading my Snapchat stories each day, then uploading them to Facebook (with Privacy settings at “Just Me”).

While I love the concept of disposable media and data impermanence, I also wanted to save a lot of those memories to relive later. Especially of my small kids.

Source: Snapchat introduces Memories: a searchable, shareable archive of your snaps | The Verge

“The massive decline in personal sharing is a sign that large numbers of people have started to figure out that the value they get out of Facebook is a lot less than the value they put in.”

Source: The Worst Thing That Could Happen to Facebook Is Already Happening | Inc.com

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a darkened auditorium with 264 silent people in the seats. on the stage, me, sitting on a stool, lit by a spotlight, the only light in the theatre. i hold up a photo of my cat, 10 people applaud, two or three hold up photocopies of the same photo, the rest do nothing, watching, waiting.

Source: The Secret Lives of Tumblr Teens | New Republic