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Archive for May, 2013
24 May

My Google Glass app ideas for different news orgs



Google Glass is clearly in its early stages, but it is emerging as a platform that merits our attention as news and information distributors.

The NYTimes has an app, but I think it really falls short of understanding and using this new platform.

Inspired by Thomas Baekdal‘s Google Glass for news post, here are my Glass app ideas for other news orgs… to help spark ideas and conversation.

These app ideas are practical and based on reality… not hypothetical futuristic dream apps.

// LATimes (or any regional/local news org)
Offer the Glass user an app card with trending/editor selected keywords/topics. The Los Angeles Times already does the keyword selection with their sub-navigation called “trending now.” Today’s (5/23) included: L.A. Mayor’s race, U.S. drones, Boy Scouts, London Attack, Helen Mirren, Lebron James.

Via Glass, the user could say, “Okay LATimes, tell me about [TOPIC]” and it will load the headline and nutgraph… it will of course offer a longer version of the story, perhaps in audio form.

Newspapers and print media also have an opportunity with Glass to embed and launch multimedia elements like videos or photo galleries from their print pages. ​That QR code may finally have value!

 

// NPR
This one, for now, is the most traditional app to do. The app is a card that plays, when a user opts in, the latest Hourly News Summary that is traditionally read on the air.

These apps are fairly simple tapping into the existing technology and framework. These do not are not “futuristic” apps. Naturally, if we tap into the GPS, we can create an app that brings you the latest news from “around you.”

 

// @BreakingNews (or other breaking news Twitter accounts)
The obvious option for this essential Twitter account is just to notify the Glass user with every breaking news tweet… but that can be overwhelming.

I’d suggest creating an app where the tweets that get the most retweets at a faster rate get a category of “important,” and those items notify the Glass user. Think of the classic breaking news interruption.

 

// Circa news app
This new news platform is actually a great fit for Glass. They have broken down a story into bullet points, and they add points to the story as it develops. It knows what you’ve read about the story when you return.

What they should offer is a list of headlines, and, as you do know, you can follow the story for updates. Their app would notify you when a story has been updated. Since the information is a bullet point, it wouldn’t be overwhelming.

 

// Newsbound
This visual-storytelling platform presents information like a PowerPoint presentation, but it’s compelling. What’s also powerful about this format is that these slides add up to tell a long form piece.

Yes, long form storytelling for Glass.

 

// SoundGecko
If a visual version of long form doesn’t work, check out SoundGecko, which converts text — any text — into audio.

Yes, at this stage it’s like Siri trying to read you a story, but when you are on the go and you actually want to consume a long form piece, this new technology may be good enough.

 

Well, since I am pitching Glass app ideas, here are some more “future” and obvious ones:

  • Eventually be apps that are ​GPS aware to give information/news feeds.
  • Based on video’s audio as a timeline, tie bonus material content to the broadcast news story. (This already happens with DVDs/movies and will eventually become available to us.)
  • In terms of TV production, have Glass replace the TV new anchor’s Teletrompter and ear piece.

Two extremely obvious and simple ones:

  • ​Live stream a press conference, but audio quality is not ideal. You can at least do a live POV shot of a scene.
  • Using Glass as your second screen as you watch a live event either on TV on in person… like we do with tweets via hashtag.

I hope news organizations take advantage of this new type of platform and I look forward to what we will produce.

Personally, as a Google Glass Explorer (which gives me the “privilege” to buy and experiment with Glass early), I can’t wait to try these things out to see what works and what doesn’t.

23 May

Four requirements for successful development

At this stage, this is more a hypothesis… I want your reactions to this concept.

It’s based on my past successes and failures in projects/development. I, like all of us, have strengths and weaknesses in different categories, but for successful product developments, you need each… equally… at different times, perhaps, but constantly evolving and influencing the project.

ThinkListenBuildSell-fourneeds

Again, these requirements are in constant flux through different stages of the project, actively influencing each other.

Think: You have to have a creative, useful idea.

Listen: You have to truly listen/hear and adapt to wants/needs. From your community to stakeholders.

Build: You can talk. You can listen. But to have traction, you have to build something. A mockup, a demo or a working beta. Very much from the “show your work” model.

Sell: For journos, this is a new phase. But you have to promo your project… sell it to people. From your supervisor to actual investors.

I’ll try to write/explain more about this later… but I wanted to post this before I forget it… and I also want to collect reactions.

Categories: Personal, Projects Tags:
13 May

Google Glass in context

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I want you to take a moment and recognize something: Google Glass looks as technologically cutting-edge as the first Motorola Razr did in 2004.

This incredibly thin phone, which was a leap from its predecessor Motorola StarTAC, was fashionable and functional, making it the best-selling clamshell phone in the world to date and causing a dent into Nokia’s indestructible brick phones.

Everyone had to have one and no one could believe how small it was.

For some tech context, in 2004 Google was still a private company.

iTunes was finally was made compatible with Windows machines, which made the iPod have its largest year since its launch in 2001.

AOL was still known as America Online.

The New York Times, and many other sites, looked like this: http://web.archive.org/web/20040306074613/http://www.nytimes.com/

We thought we knew tech. I thought we were in the future because I could text a question to GOOGLE and get an answer back.

(For more context, know that Facebook in 2011 was as big as the entire Internet was in 2004.)

Now, I want you to realize that Google Glass is at an earlier stage than that. Much earlier.

Think Zack Morris phone.

Think back when mobile phones were just for yuppies.

Who would ever want to carry a phone around with them?

Only those elitist businesses people who can afford that ridiculous technology… like Gordon Gekko

Check out this report on cellphones and yuppies:



Anyway you look at it, Glass is in its early stages. And it will soon look so outdated. It’ll look like the first iPod.

Embarrassingly dated.

Zack_Morris_Glass

(Don’t get me started on the short-lived pagers.)

08 May

Primus’ The Pressman (lyrics)

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“The Pressman”


By the light of lamp I’ll sit to type
My notes on tab at my side
I don’t see the sun much these days
Fluorescent tan covers my hide

How much impact shall I have this time?
My goal today is to reach the deadline
I write between the lines, I deal with fantasy, I report the facts
Give them to me, please

Ham and egg salad on white bread gives me company on nights like this
Pack of mentholated cigarettes keeps my air nice and thick
When I write, words flow like coins from a candy box
Get out of my way, I’ve got something to say

The pulse is beating louder now, the pulse is beating louder now
The cramps in my hands grow more intense with each
Tik, tik, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap on the keys
My social life is at an end, so it seems to be

Why don’t I just trample on your lawn today?
I’ll take the skies of blue and turn ’em … skies of gray
I write between the lines, I deal with fantasy, I am the pressman
Acknowledge me

Mother always told, “Never stay too far from home”
The little lady said, “Boy, you’ll never have to be alone
‘Cause you build with fountain pen
You create the memory stain, you are the pressman
Stand up straight, boy”

– 30 –

Categories: Journalism, Music, Personal Tags:
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