Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category
Not all of us can make it to South by Southwest (SXSW), one of the hippest conferences of the year and a top convergence for original music and independent films, as well as a premier destination for innovation and emerging technologies.
For those of us who want to follow along virtually, we put together the following guide. First, Screen Geek has compiled a list of must-follow folks on Twitter, and a great SXSW Vine list and Spotify Playlist. If you can’t join them, you can certainly listen to mood music while scanning through the photos and videos. Check out Mashable’s “8 Vines to Follow During SXSW” for a sampling. SXSW’s Pinterest page is also full of fun visuals.
I had the good fortune to attend unConference 2012 today. It was good fun. I ran into a lot of people I know from the Boston tech community. Many that I hadn’t seen in a while. I was able able to sit in on three sessions during the course of the day. Here are thoughts and notes from two of them.
Bring Your Own Mobile Device
This was a small and intimate gathering with a lot of give-and-take. At the outset, everyone agreed that the devices to be discussed would be limited to smartphones and tablets rather than desktops or laptops. Personally, as someone who brings a laptop into the office every day, I think they should have been included . . . but that’s just me.
We’ve all seen and likely created a sepia-tinted, vintage-style digital photo using the photo-sharing service, Instagram on our phones. It makes our photos look much cooler than they are, which is probably why usage is exploding – growing from 15 million users in early 2012 to 80 million users in July. That’s an increase of 400% in seven months! And, as they did with the growing usage of Twitter and Facebook, big brands have taken notice. A recent study by Simply Measured found that 40 percent of Interbrand’s top 100 have an Instagram presence. Brands such as MTV, Starbucks, Burberry, Tiffany & Co. and Nike have a huge following with numbers topping or near half a million followers.
Has everyone been into the Olympics? Or, rather, is everyone pretending to be excited because social media has been spoiling all the results? It’s no surprise that social media has been bombarding us with conversations about the Games, since according to a recent study, social media users are extremely knowledgeable (and opinionated) when it comes to this year’s competition. Whether it’s discussing how Usain Bolt is a shoe-in for the gold (#Usain) or, my personal favorite, a whole blog dedicated to the awesome McKayla Maroney and her no nonsense, silvered expression, social networkers love all things Olympics. Check out the stats in this infographic and read more on how hastags and “likes” have shaped the 2012 Olympics.
It’s no secret that we live in a world of oversharing. From pinning our next bedroom set on Pinterest to declaring our devotion to Obama on Twitter, it seems that almost everyone is ready and willing to share their desires and opinions through various social media outlets. Facebook, with 900+ million monthly users, is already the largest outlet for people to share their lives by posting photos, writing statuses and sharing news articles. Soon, Facebook users may be able to also share a wealth of desires with a new “Want” button.
The much anticipated day has finally arrived: the Wall Street bell rang today, kicking off the social network’s entry into the Nasdaq Stock Market. In honor of the IPO, Facebook channeled its hacker roots with a pre-IPO hackathon at its Menlo Park headquarters. What exactly took place at this all-night gathering? Sleepy techies writing code, brainstorming new product ideas and lots of hoodie wearing. Read more and check out photos here. And now that the company has gone public ($38 per share), what exactly does this mean for brands? Perhaps more ad revenue and fewer changes.
With all of this recent attention, Facebook CEO and Co-founder Mark Zuckerberg seems to be feeling the need to confess to a few things. Among these admittances? The Instagram acquisition might be delayed and he may have gleaned some Facebook inspiration from a popular social networking site at the time, Friendster.
This week’s news was dominated by the announcement that Facebook has acquired photo sharing app giant Instagram. And it cost a pretty penny too—roughly $1 billion in a combination of cash and stock. CEO Mark Zuckerberg assures that Facebook plans on allowing photos to be published on other social networks and that Instagram users will not be limited to following only Facebook friends. Many Instagram users, however, admit that they are less than thrilled with the deal and plan on heading for greener, non-Facebook pastures. Read more about the backlash here. With only nine people on staff, how did Instagram become so hugely successful? Their co-founder offers a guide for start-ups.
On Wednesday, Google researchers launched a Google+ page for Project Glass, its augmented reality glasses project. The page shared a YouTube video teaser showing just what these sci-fi glasses are capable of: interacting with what you’re seeing and acting as a smartphone, day planner, navigation system, camera and more. People are excited for the new technology, which Google is hoping to unveil next year—even Google’s Co-founder was caught modeling a pair. Now, I can neither confirm nor deny that I have jumped on the trendy non-prescription glasses bandwagon in years past, but eyewear for the sake of technology? That might just be a little too Jetsons for me. What do you think—will you be a four-eyed innovator?