Archive for August, 2010

Scott Pilgrim and Movie-Con III confiscated my mobile Internet

Posted on: August 30th, 2010 by Fransgaard No Comments

I’ve been online 24/7 since I got my first smart phone. Anywhere I go I can tell my friends and followers what I do and think on the spur of the moment.

Sure I’ve burned my wallet on roaming charges posting photos on Facebook as I took them in Tokyo… But did I regret it? No way! I could share my experiences there and then and I like it that way.

So when Movie-Con 3 came to town I, and probably lots of other people in the audience, was looking forward to sharing online the latest in movie news as we heard it from the directors, producers and actors themselves.

However, to our surprise there was small army of suited bodyguards who requested us to hand over our mobile phones before we could join the weekend of movie goodness.

I have read articles about people who tried to live without their mobile phones (some even voluntarily) and they all rave about how liberating it was. Having tried it myself now, I can honestly say my experience was completely the opposite; It was not a pleasant.

At any convention/conference there is always a lot of waiting around. Yes, you can talk to people around you, but I still feel that loosing the ability to check in with the wider online community was limiting me to a single stream of conversation.

If a tree falls in a forest and nobody tweets the crash, did it actually happen?

However, The biggest issue for me was loosing the ability to share the good stuff; not being able to tell people to check this and that trailer and not being able to share unexpected events such as the man proposing to his girlfriend on stage or John Landis gate-crashing the event just to see Scott Pilgrim vs The World (awesome movie, btw).

Somehow not being able to post these events as they unfolded left us questioning whether they actually happened, as we couldn’t share them.

And it isn’t just a question of whether we are able to share; it is also a question of when. I don’t think it is sufficient to share the experiences hours later when the men in black returned our phones.

By then the events have come and gone. Life has moved on, other events happening elsewhere are being tweeted by other people and they require instant reactions, as responding while the tweets are hot are as important as sharing the events as they happen.

It is a new world of collective experiences where we can all actively participate in each other’s adventures and enjoy events we would otherwise never get close to.

FourSquare, Farmville and being the Mayor of Bus 29

Posted on: August 10th, 2010 by Fransgaard 3 Comments

Photo by ErikK06

At the time writing this I am the mayor of Bus 29 in London.

I am not a heavy user of FourSquare as I do have my concerns about broadcasting my whereabouts to the Internet. I prefer other location-based networks such as FlookIt where you broadcast less frequently and possibly when you are back home.

But FourSquare is interesting from a professional point of view. It is a great tool turning the world into one big social game. And as such I am playing around with it which is part of the explanation behind my odd mayorship.

The other part of the explanation is that I find it interesting how FourSquare is limited to static places.

In fact, I find it strange that FourSquare is limited to real places and apparently I am not the only one judging by this article about:

…allowing users to check into a TV show or movie the same way they could check into a physical place.

Article via @markwschaefer.

But as a semi-active player of the online multiplayer game Final Fantasy XI I have been thinking about a different set of location-based networks. Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could check-in via FourSquare to virtual destinations?

If you have ever played any computer game you will appreciate the idea:

  • What if you helped out so much on your friend’s Farmville that you could claim to be the mayor? Are we potentially talking hostile takeover?
  • Can you claim ownership of the toughest neighbourhoods in GTA?
  • Or what about mayorship of a whole little big planet?

With social gaming set to take over the world maybe location-based social networks actually makes more sense in the safer environment of online gaming, where your house won’t get robbed while you are taking disco lessons *.

* Disclaimer:
That last link has nothing to do with location-based marketing… I just think it is funny :-)

My iPad – One month later

Posted on: August 7th, 2010 by Fransgaard 7 Comments

I thought it would be interesting to look back on my first month as iPad owner and how it has changed my surfing habits… which it certainly has.

My personal browsing habits have changed quite a bit over the years. Computers were my main surfing device for the first 10 years or so, but were replaced by the iPhone with it’s speed and mobility. However, the iPhone is still just a phone with all its limits so I was hoping for Google Chrome OS to give me a solution with a fast browsing device, but with a bigger screen.

While waiting for Google, Apple released the iPad, which I bought to keep up with the major shift it was going to create (already has created?) in user experience and users’ expectations of the Internet.

But as with the iPhone before, the iPad has snuck under me and not only become my prime browsing device but has also changed my online behaviour.

The machine

Purely as a machine I love the look and feel of it. I love the instant boot, the speed of a mobile, but with a much bigger screen and speaking of the screen I like the legibility of it (although a matt screen option would have been good). And I love the battery life. I do miss multi tasking and I hate the fact there isn’t a Danish keyboard (which, strangely enough, the iPhone has).

Presentations

I think it is great as a presentation tool using Keynote. I have yet to use it as a photo album, but got a feeling it will be great for that as well.

Magazine

I like all the experiments magazines/newspapers are doing to translate their content to the online environment embedding both rich media such as video as well as social sharing and commenting aspects.

I especially love the FlipBoard app and how it translates social content into a magazine format. FlipBoard has actually been the app I have used the most. I love it! I am looking forward to the next release as there are lots of tweaks that can be done. For example it would be good with an option to save or bookmark a given page as if you close the app to see something in Safari, you may loose that particular page forever.

And speaking of that, it is frustratingly difficult to put together good tweets or updates especially if they involved links or snippets from various sources such as Safari, Flipboard, Email or even worse: Links to YouTube videos.

YouTube

YouTube is the biggest shift in my browsing habits.

Where I before mainly used YouTube to see fun movies friends sent around or to look up old classics the iPad has now made me aware of the possibilities and great content YouTube has to offer. Where before YouTube movies where mainly coming to me from friends, I am now actively looking up and finding great content which the iPad is delivering successfully.

Only complaint is that it is very hard to share found YouTube films, the easiest way being coyping the films headline into Safari for then to find the very same film in the browser version of YouTube. Not great.

Books

The biggest surprise to me is that I find myself reading books on the iPad as a big book lover I did not expect that! I did buy a book to try it out as a reading device but I expected it to fail. It didn’t and I am now reading my third book on the iPad.

But while the iPad is a good reading device, I am strangely enough missing interactive features you wouldn’t associate with books. For example “The Young Lady’s Primeris full of spelling (scanning?!) mistakes, but no way of highlighting these to iTunes.

It also seems impossible to copy snippets of text, which I’ve tried a couple of times to tweet a quote. Very annoying.

…and wouldn’t it be cool if you could add your own notes to a book? So other people could read a book as well as other users comments. Especially for educational books it could be a great enriched source of information. Effectively each book would become a community in its own right.

Conclusion

The iPad and the apps have changed my browsing habits from being fast-paced and driven by short-lived desires to find information snippets to a more calm and laid back surfing style that is much more about enjoying and immersing myself in the content.

It is undoubtedly a new Internet experience and one I fully enjoy.