The world in 2054… Targeted Advertising and Location-based Ads

“Originally, the whole idea, from a script point of view, was that the advertisements would recognize you – not only recognize you, but recognize your state of mind,” says Jeff Boortz, the creative director and creative lead on the “Minority Report” ads. Once upon a time there were only five media types: TV, radio, billboards, magazines and newspapers.

 

That’s the scene in “Minority Report“, the 2002 futuristic thriller in which Tom Cruise’s character, John Anderson is walking through a shopping mall. With the help of contemporary advertisers like Guinness, Bulgari, Lexus, Reebok, Nokia, Pepsi-Cola’s Aquafina and a “think tank” of MIT futurists, director Steven Spielberg and production designer Alex McDowell painted a fascinating picture of what advertising might look like in 2054. Iris-recognition targets the advertisements directly to John Anderson’s personal preferences… just like Facebook, Google and Yahoo. The future is here now.

“Targeted advertising today is based entirely on keywords, but in the future it will be based on a deeper understanding of the specific personality, desires, and needs of each consumer,” says Ray Kurzweil.

Yahoo calls them “Interest-based Ads” – and now they give you the option of opting out of the behavioral targeting and categories that they have already opted you into.

On March 13, 2010 Facebook overtook Google as the world’s number one Web site… and with an average user time of more than 55 minutes.

“If the 2000s was the Google decade, then the 2010s will be the Facebook decade,says Steve Rubel, Director of Insights for Edelman Digital, a division of Edelman – the world’s largest independent PR firm. “As with the last 10 years, this era will unleash an avalanche of change for media companies and advertisers. You can see the writing on the wall, pun intended.”

Facebook already knows an incredible amount of each user’s highly specific demographic details, because users are continuously telling each other who they are. With more than 500 million users it has the audience and  the knowledge to sell targeted advertising that can pinpoint viewers by age, gender, special interests and a number of other selectable measures.

And… over 100 million of those FB users are accessing via handheld devices, Facebook will soon follow Twitter by adding location-based technologies to the mix.

“Location is Everything,” was once a maxim reserved exclusively for the real estate market;  now it’s about the Internet.

I predict that within a year SEO experts will rephrase British real estate developer Harold Samuel‘s famous quote about property to say, “There are three things you need in regard to Search Engine Optimization, these are: location, location, and location.”

Advertising is undergoing a rapid and dramatic shift toward location-based targeting. Social networking services like BrightKite, Loopt, Foursquare and Gowalla provide users with GPS-aware devices, to check-in, rate and add tips that other users can reference when in unfamiliar territory.

“There’s a lot of attention being focused on location-based services and mobile social networks right now, and for good reason,” Sam Altman, Co-Founder and CEO of Loopt. “These applications represent the future of social media. They’re expanding our circle of friends online and offline. They’re changing how we meet people. They’re affecting where we go and why. They’re forging important connections between our online networks and real life.”

Altman tells the Wall Street Journal that he calls the set of all places that you go (and information about when you go, for how long, who with, etc.) your Life Graph. The rise in popularity of location-based social networking goes hand-in-hand with the ubiquity of hand-held devices like the Android, iPhone and Blackberry – smart phones that have the ability to determine a user’s current location by employing GPS or cellular tower triangulation.

Steve Rubel says, “Websites will become less important over time. They will be primarily transactional and/or utilitarian. Brands will shift more of their dollars and resources to creating a robust presence where people already are and figure out how to use them to build relationships.”

Here at DesignWise Studios we are continuing to shift with the times as evidenced by our own CMS-driven Web site… not to mention our focus on social media, video production and now, location-based technology. Here’s one last provocative question: Have you seen your own spectacular Web site as displayed on a hand held device? The experience might be chilling. Our design team is also tech-savy in that regard… Contact us if you are ready to enter the 21st century.

“Life is change. How it differs from the rocks.” – Jefferson Airplane

The Social Graph API in Google Labs Asks you to Explain Your Relationships rel=?

Links now carry much more data than just a URL, in case you have not yet noticed.

I was just working out various ways to add some of my missing Website feeds to Google Buzz when I came across this link… http://code.google.com/apis/socialgraph/. Google says, “We currently index the public Web for XHTML Friends Network (XFN), Friend of a Friend (FOAF) markup and other publicly declared connections. By supporting open Web standards for describing connections between people, web sites can add to the social infrastructure of the web.”

If you haven’t noticed the additional new XFN Link Relationship tagging provided within WordPress Links… here’s what to start paying attention to:

WordPress XFN

XFN explains that they now help users put a human face on linking. “As more people have come online and begun to form social networks, services such as Technorati and Feedster have arisen in an attempt to show how the various nodes are connected. Such services are useful for discovering the mechanical connections between nodes, but they do not uncover the human relationships between the people responsible for the nodes.”

XFN’s new rel= attributes, now found within URL hyperlinks, helps to define a small set of values that describe personal relationships.

“XFN allows authors to indicate which of the weblogs they read belong to friends, whom they’ve physically met, and other personal relationships,” say the XFN developers. “Using XFN values, which can be listed in any order, people can humanize their blogrolls and links pages, both of which have become a common feature of weblogs.”

The new Google API will let developers do even more with these relationships so, it’s time to start filling in the blanks. Are you using the new Social Graph API yet? If so, please comment on how you find value in it.

Droid vs iPhone, Google’s Open Door Policy Challenges Apple’s Control Model

Once again open-source populism takes on a proprietary system where Apple is King.

Refer to the Android Developers blog for full information.Learn more about ADC 2.

Meanwhile, developers are becoming enraged at Apple’s recent wave of lockdowns and shutdowns… “Truly, this ‘draconion’ license agreement is just an extension of Apple’s control issues, exemplified by its closed system,” says Gavin Dunaway. “And having a closed system will eventually hobble it. There’s a reason why most people and businesses use PCs and not Macs — the former have far more flexibility because they’re open sourced. You can do a lot of neato personalization with OS X, but the limits on customization pale in comparison to a PC in terms of both software and hardware.”

“You may be able to do a lot with an iPhone, but due to Apple’s unwillingness to give some power to developers, you’ll eventually be able to do far more on its competitors.”

Android Dev Phones

Run and debug your Android applications directly on one of these devices. Modify and rebuild the Android operating system, and flash it onto the phone. The Android Dev Phones are carrier independent, and available for purchase by any developer registered with Android Market.

Learn more about the Android Dev Phones »

Maps API Key

If you’re writing an Android application that uses Google Maps (with MapView), you must register your application to obtain a Maps API Key. Without the key, your maps application will not work on Android devices. Obtaining a key requires just a couple of steps.

Learn more »

Download

The Android SDK has the tools, sample code, and docs you need to create great apps.

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Publish

Android Market is an open service that lets you distribute your apps to handsets.

Learn more »

Contribute

Android Open Source Project gives you access to the entire platform source.

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Target Devices

The Device Dashboard provides information about deployed Android devices to help you target suitable device configurations as you build and update your apps.

Learn more »

Some Current Android Widgets:

Ringdroid for Android 2.2 is a free ringtone app that lets you create tones, alarms, and notifications from MP3, WAV,AAC/MP4, 3GPP/AMR files you load onto your phone through the SD card or that you purchase through the Amazon MP3 store. Unlike many Android apps that use the Menu keys to store some software functions, most of Ringdroid’s controls are out on the interface and all respond to touch.

Introducing home screen widgets and the AppWidget framework

“You can easily add widgets into your existing app, and in this article I’ll walk through a quick example: writing a widget to show the Wiktionary “Word of the day.”

Is Your Marketing Campaign Still Blowin’ in the Wind? Perhaps, You Might Consider the Art of Gardening

“For the the Times they are a changin’…” The collapse of daily print journalism and traditional broadcast media spells catastrophe to some, opportunity to others.

Today, I had an opportunity to sit in on a marketing pitch being delivered to one of my clients by a local radio station’s advertising executive. I happened to be there for an eventual meeting about the development of a DesignWise plan for an “integrated” advertising campaign – one that would include earned media in the form of traditional press releases, coupled with a strong emphasis on the diverse forms of social network media.

Later, I provided my client with the following quote from Sut Jhally, Professor of Communications at the University of Massachusetts and founder of the Media Education Foundation:

Advertisers have to go to where the audience is… if they want to sell products. They have no option but to go where the audience has gone. If the audience has gone online, gone to iPods, gone to Facebook – wherever the audience has gone – that is where advertisers must go.”

As I listened to the “old-school” radio pitchman trying to encourage my client to buy a package of “spots,” I envisioned the sharp changes that are sweeping over the worlds of journalism and marketing, as we transit from traditional broadcast to online media. I saw those paid radio spots simply floating away in the breeze much like the dry seeds of a dandelion blossom…

Blowin' in the wind...

Maybe they would land somewhere on favorable ground and sprout forth as a new plant. Most of them would simply blow away like dust in the wind.

It is time that universities, online or otherwise, update their curricula…

I realized that I had come to help my client plant and grow a garden. That’s the profound difference between traditional broadcast media (radio, TV and newspaper advertising) and networked social media… In the old school, we continually threw out spots, hoping someone would eventually see or hear one. In the new school we intentionally plant and cultivate a growing presence in new media resources that remains there and grows larger in in outreach as time passes.

The online gardener’s new tools include:

  • a blog-based Web site with an ongoing stream of fresh content,
  • a well-crafted Business Page on Facebook (with more than a billion members),
  • a YouTube channel (which in itself is also the 2nd most popular search engine) with origiinal videos,
  • micro-blogging your message and joining in the conversation taking place on Twitter,
  • learning about “local” with Google Map Pages and sites like Yelp, Angie’s List among the rapidly expanding dimension of location-based technology
  • ask fans to write reviews in Google and Facebook and public forums like TripAdvisor and, Yelp,
  • take advantage of the free and ever-evolving set of Google’s gardener tools.

It’s no longer if. It’s when…

… the question is no longer “if you decide to employ new media. As newspapers shrink and disappear right before your eyes and radio audiences now listen to what they want on iPods and smart phones, it’s now a matter  of “when” you decide to plant that garden.

How does your garden grow?

Contact, Stephen Kastner at DesignWise Studios to discuss the most effective ways to plant and grow your social media garden.

Online News Eclipses Print in Popularity Says Latest Pew Survey on the Media

A new report from the Pew Internet and American Life project says the Internet has surpassed newspapers and radio in popularity as a news platform on a typical day and now ranks just behind TV.

Even more interesting, Pew says news is becoming social, “For instance, more than 8 in 10 online news consumers get or share links in emails.”

The report states, “To a great extent, people’s experience of news, especially on the internet, is becoming a shared social experience as people swap links in emails, post news stories on their social networking site feeds, highlight news stories in their Tweets, and haggle over the meaning of events in discussion threads.”

The report discusses two significant technological trends that have influenced news consumption behavior:

  • First, the advent of social media like social networking sites and blogs has helped the news become a social experience in fresh ways for consumers. People use their social networks and social networking technology to filter, assess, and react to news.
  • Second, the ascent of mobile connectivity via smart phones has turned news gathering and news awareness into an anytime, anywhere affair for a segment of avid news watchers.

“The process Americans use to get news is based on foraging and opportunism. They seem to access news when the spirit moves them or they have a chance to check up on headlines,” says the report. “At the same time, gathering the news is not entirely an open-ended exploration for consumers, even online where there are limitless possibilities for exploring news.”

Most people say they use between two and five news sources when online, and two thirds say they don’t have a single favorite. Only 21 percent say they routinely rely on just one site for their news and information. Moreover, many do not have strong loyalty to particular online sources. When asked whether they have a favorite online news source, the majority of online news users (65%) say they do not.

The most popular topics are the weather, national events and health. Nearly half said they’s like to see more coverage of scientific news and discoveries and 41 percent wanted more news on religion and spirituality.

The report explains that 80% of American adults have cell phones today, and 37% of them go online from their phones. The impact of this new mobile technology on news gathering is unmistakable.  One quarter (26%) of all Americans say they get some form of news via cell phone today–that amounts to 33% of cell phone owners.

Despite the fact that it’s easier to keep up with the news today, the Pew Report says Americans still feel overwhelmed. Fully 70% agreed with that statement: “The amount of news and information available from different sources today is overwhelming.” Some 25% “completely agreed” with that statement and 45% “mostly agreed.”