Friday, November 28, 2008

Experience 2008 day 3

Petri Kokko from Google is talking about the 'Net, searches, services etc. Not per say anything new, but pretty good looking slides... must do something similar. And a good quote from Charles Leadbeater; if we during the last century were defined by what we have, in this century we'll be defined by what we SHARE. Something to think about!e

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Experience 2008

No, it's not a central European country in the mid-30s, it's people at Experience 2008 experiencing different views of the same thing.

I'm attending the Experience 2008 conference in Vaasa Wednesday to Friday (which I probably should, since I was presenting a paper before noon).

Some interesting stuff has been presented and discussed. Prof. Wim Veen from Holland was very much into what he called "Homo Zappiens", the online, multitasking (most often young) person that is the future of mankind. I agree to a certain degree, but I believe prof Veen falls into the same category as many other researchers and people in the industry... There are two kinds of views - the first is that Internet, games, LAN-parties, Twitter, DVB-H, whatever, is crap and unnecessary. The second thinks that all that once was will disappear since kids just interact online nowadays - and the people representing both these groups most often belong to generations before the first IT-generation (of which I am a member, like it or not).

The truth is, I think, somewhere in between. Of course everything will change. Everything always change, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. But just because kids of today watch YouTube clips and chat via MSN instead of watching television doesn't mean that the world will turn itself upside down. We will have kids playing football in the streets, we will have girls playing "home" in the yard, we will have boys running around with their guns playing at cowboys and indians.

And when they grow up, we will have youngsters that like nature. We will have youngsters that love to go swimming. We will have "the old stuff", side by side with the new stuff.

So, a bit more perspective, perhaps.

Right now listening to something pretty interesting from Dr. Kaj Storbacka of Vectia Ltd - experience is bullsh*t, brandbuilding and helping the customer to understand what is going on, that's the key.

Kaj Storbacka presenting stuff at Experience 2008.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Interactive YouTube adventure ahoy!

Well, this very interesting endeavour has been up for a couple of weeks already, and some 400.000 hits it has as well.. but that should not deter you, since this is one of the glimpses of what a part of the future will be like, if we're talking media, cross media, interactivity, great content and compelling stories.

Technically, this is easy as anything. Remember them books that were around ages ago? Fantasy or murder mystery books, which were divided into small parts, each ending with a "If you want to do THIS, go to page 74, but if you want to do THAT, go to page 112!". Then you did, and saw what happened. Mostly, you died, if I remember correctly.

Well, this is much the same, only on YouTube instead. Still, very nicely done. Hats of to you guys!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Interactive storytelling... in a slightly different way

Well, now there is a saviour for all the pople who can't make it home in time for their kids bedtime.

Microsoft and literary agents Chorion have teamed up to create "an online interactive storytelling application on Windows Live Messenger" as reported by C21 Media.

It's basically storybooks that the kids can play around with, touch the pictures etc, while their parents read the book to them over the Internet. There is also, naturally, a live cam feed so parent and child can see each other.

Dear me.

Next up, the virtual hug, and a easily programmed bot that tells your chidlren you really really love them. If it's not programmed in Vista of course, then it will get stuck and ask you for permission to continue.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mobile television - going anywhere?

We've had DVB-H, we've had DMB, we've had lots of stuff for mobile television. Some of the solutions have been fairly successful, like DMB in South Korea, or have had a strong backing, like DVB-H in many parts of the world. Still, it's not like there would be a consensus on what should be the all-conquering technology.

Now yet another player is emerging on the market - it's NXVisions product, coming out of Dunfermline in Scotland, that will try to enable smart phones to become mobile television sets. The project sounds fairly innovative; it focuses on the new generations of set top boxes and their added processing power, helping them to transcode programs to be streamed or loaded as files onto mobile devices. This then is a bit like Slingshot, but without the need to buy yet another box.

Time will tell if this venture works out, but I wouldn't mind testing one of these thingees... if anyone's got one spare somewhere :)

Monday, November 17, 2008

G-20 accomplishes.... not very much

So, this weekend saw the leaders of the "free" world get together for some nice snacks, a great dinner and some fabulous wine to go with all that.

At the same time the world was eagerly anticipating news from said gettogether, news that would right the wrongs of todays financial market, news that would point towards a better, more viable future for all mankind. Perhaps not news that would taste really good right now, but news that would show that the leaders understood what was happening, and furthermore cared about the hundreds of millions of people who had appointed them leaders.

Well, it was not to be. News? What bloody news? Everything is fine, stop complaining, instead be content - that was the message from the G-20 meeting. For a much better take on it than I can master, go to this blog.

So - looks like we're going down, all of us. And something tells me that the leaders leading us towards the abyss will jump off the bandwagon at some point, cheerily waving the rest of us goodbye.

Friday, November 14, 2008

George R R Martin as tv series on HBO? BRING IT ON!!

Just had to post this - looks like HBO are interested in producing a drama series based on one of the best fantasy novel series of the past 20-odd years, George R.R. Martins Game of Thrones series. This according to C21 media, who are reporting that HBO have ordered a pilot for the series, to be able to decide on possible production later on.

Now, as HBO really do pretty nice drama stuff - they're not exactly withholding necessary funding, at least not in project so far - such a series could (and should!) be very interesting.

They're also reporting that Anthony Kiedis (of RHCP fame) is making his childhood into a series for HBO - expect lots of drugs and sex, then :)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Workshopping cross media format

Me and a colleague are holding a workshop on cross media format development in Sweden at the moment.

As a quick reflection from watching the student digging into the depths of how to create a functioning cross media whole, some things do come to mind.

- to create a cross media concept is pretty easy. the hard part is to create a GOOD and COMPELLING cross media concept. Why should anyone bother? If they bother, what's in it for them? If there's something in it for them, are the instructions clear and easy to understand? If everything else is good and jolly, is the story engaging enough?

- it's really easy to get stuck in details, and the wrong details for the most part. These details WILL CHANGE. As long as the premise is sound, the details will come.

- never mind technology. the story is way more important.

- try to find out if anyone else has done something like what you are trying to do. Make yours better, or if that's impossible, do something else.

lots to think about... but that's the path of the format developer :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Formats and the economical collapse - what will survive?

I don't think anyone hasn't noticed we're heading for a bit of a bump in the road of free market capitalism. And, to be frank, it's not a bump, it's more like the bloody Himalayas and no one knows HOW we're going to get over them and WHAT will lay ahead on the other side of them.

For the television format business, of special interest to me, there should be interesting times ahead. On one hand, we have people saying that as viewers can't afford to travel or have expensive hobbies anymore, television offers a lot of bang for the buck and as such will gain from the economical strain. On the other hand, we have people saying that everyone will have to cut back on everything, and that tv channels will not want to go for anything without a proven track record anymore.

C21 Media has a good take on the situation, pointing out - amongst other things - that MIPCOM this year was more about library sales than production or format deals. At the same time many channels are pushing forward expensive drama to 2010, going for cheaper format-style or factual stuff.

Read it, and be prepared. I'll try to, at least :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Social media FTW!

Social media is the most hyped up thing since... well, since the last hyped up thing, which was probably User Generated Content (nowadays re-branded as Loser Generated Content) or mobile television or MHP or what have you.

Well, lots of people use social media, be it Facebook or Myspace or Flickr or Jaiku or Orkut or any other of the myriad of available social media out there. Now this, of course, has gotten the attention of a lot of people - how can we make money out of it??

If you're in that niche, you could do worse than familiarizing yourself with almost everything there is to know about social media, here, here and here.

Go ahead - perhaps YOU can make the next killer social media-utilizing app thingee!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Credit crunch biting the entertainment industry as well

I saw an interview by C21 Media from MIPCOM, which took place in Cannes in October (it's a large television industry fair, basically) where people were sitting saying that "in dire times people turn to television, as it's a lot of entertainment for little money". So everything should be looking nice and rosy for the tv-industry, right?

Well, not quite. Today Disney, for example, announced a drop in earning of 13% in the 3rd quarter of 2008. Not to worry, they're still making an obscene amount of money, but declining they are. The German broadcaster ProSieben Sat is planning to introduce cost-cutting measures, to counter faltering ad-sales and problems caused by the global economic decline.

If anyone has read what Karl Denninger says over at Ticker Forum, or what someone like Peter Schiff has been saying for quite some time, you know that this is not going to be just a bump in the road. The US debt is so massive, only a thorough cleansing action can be of any help whatsoever. An such an action will bring a lot of pain - that's just the way it is.

Bottom line is I don't think anyone or anything can avoid being influenced by the global economic situation. Best we can do is prepare and be ready. And eat lots.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Wow... the new MacBook.

Just got my first Mac, and I have to say I'm suitably impressed. As I've never had a Mac before, this felt like a pretty huge step for me. I was looking at moving away from stationary computers to a laptop, but I'd been mainly looking at HP:s dv5t model or perhaps one of the dv-series... but then I saw that a new MacBook was on it's way and.. well, I just had to have one.

So far (four hours and counting :) I've not been disappointed with anything. It's quite powerful, really nice looking, everything works a treat. Well, there are a lot of stuff I need to learn, of course, but well - it's worth it :)

Fancy a stay?

Why not at this fantastic hotel. What a location!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election time

Well, if the WORLD was to choose the new leader of the US, the answer would be pretty obvious. Check out how the voting goes and cast your own vote. Almost a million people have already voted, so... Seems like McCains support is strongest in Iraq, Colombia and Eastern Europe, while the rest of the world thinks Barack is the man.

Well, I wouldn't be surprised at all if McCain still won it - for all it's "we're the leader of the free world"-talk, the US is still pretty good att f*cking up elections with silly voting systems, discarded votes, provisional votes etc etc.

If Obama would win, he'd probably stay in power for less than a year before someone would pop a cap in his *ss. That's what happens to Democrat presidents, right? If they're not impeded, that is - an even worse fate.

If you're from the US, please vote. And PLEASE vote sensibly!