Mobile Content * Old Hat New Hat

July 27, 2007

With the iPhone buzz, rippling into business as usual mode, what I am stoked about is the idea of rich mobile connection. It just makes sense to have in-flight access to the world. Why be chained to a clunky monitor, flat or otherwise.

With the convergence of social (web 2.0) media and Apple’s lead on accessible mobile devices, we can live life, and stay connected with old and new important things in our lives. Maybe the MIT $100 laptop for every child, should actually be in the form of a mobile device. As speech recognition and touch screen technology evolves, we can finally get ride of the keyboard + mouse hardware band aids and stop hurting our posture unnecessarily.

What I am equally excited about is how mobile devices will continue to shape the design of content. With the optimization of sound, movement, size, color and emphasis, as always old ideas will be taking shape in new form. What we can expect is stunning and concise visual information.

old-new


National Geographic * Global Warming Effects

July 17, 2007

This Global Warming Effects interaction is a an effective use of information design and interactivity. – someone dugg this AM.

National Geographic continuously delivers effective informal learning content by incorporating effective design elements.

They utilize grid, color and emphasis, which engages the user and raises their information to the top.

nat_geo_green

They also deliver amazing podcasts, videos and games to target different learning styles. They even incorporate personalization in some of their games to help with engagement. The graphics, animation and video editing are quite spectacular. Check them out.

Arthur holding a bowling ballnat_geo_treetop


Convergence of the Jedi * Gnarls Barkley, Star Wars and Sesame Street

July 16, 2007

Have you seen the Gnarls Barkley (stellar) performance of “Crazy” on Mtv awards, with the band decked out in Star Wars gear, which included Chewbacca on the drums. It made me reflect on Henry Jenkins‘ book, Convergence Culture, which included the phenomena of George Lucas and the fandome embrace of the Star Wars mythology.

“The widespread circulation of Star Wars-related commodities has placed resources into the hands of a generation of emerging filmmakers in their teens…and now they are determined to remake it on their own terms.

The mass marketing of Star Wars inadvertently provided many of the resources needed to support these productions. Star Wars is, in many ways, the prime example of media convergence at work. Lucas’s decision to defer salary for the first Star Wars film in favor of maintaining a share of ancillary profits has been widely cited as a turning point in the emergence of this new strategy of media production and distribution.” – Jenkins, Henry. Convergence Culture: New York University, 2006.

The video (see below) also inspired me to create my own version (see below), which includes a sock puppet, Star Wars figures and Sesame Street characters. I am not sure why I chose Sesame Street…probably because my son is currently really into Elmo. I used my wife’s sock and it only took me one take to capture the lead character…very professional I thought. Also, please look out for the cameo appearance of the Yoda Pez dispenser. See both below and enjoy!

Gnarls Barkley – Crazy (Star Wars style)

Mark Chrisman channeling Socco the Sock Puppet


The Flaming Lips * Telepathic Surgery

July 7, 2007

/// I want to give a shout out to a musical inspiration.

Why should we care about The Flaming Lips?

The Flaming LipsWeird and Hardworking

They are one of the hardest (weirdest) working bands in show business. These boys have been at this biz since the early eighties and have come along way from their working class upbringing in Oklahoma City to continuously deliver psychedelic rock music, which has been known to be quite groovy at times.

High Concept w/Lo-fi Spirit and Multimedia

They combine high concept with low-fi spirit and put on killer multimedia shows, which have been know to include puppets, fake big hands, balloons, video projections, and audience participation. They are a cultural extension of what the Beach Boys, David Bowie, Frank Zappa, Pink Floyd and others have initiated. Roger (Syd) Barrett would have been proud. If you don’t believe me check out the Fearless Freaks documentary.

Their musical adventures have included releasing a four-part disc album that required listening to each disc at the same time in four different CD players – Zaireeka, the album check it out. I saw them pull this gig off at the Black Cat in DC and it was spectacular.

Not ashamed of success

After making sounds since the early eighties and being introduced to MTV in the early nineties, they appeared on the hit TV series Beverly Hills 90210, as well as a recent on the TV series Charmed. Being familiar with Wayne C’s humor, I think it is just all part of the act. Either way, they continue to be as weird and accessible as they want all the way the bank.

Good show Wayne!!! Keep the strange sounds with profound lyrics coming.


PodTech:iPhone: One Week Later

July 6, 2007

Check out this Podtech interview, in which Dave \”KirinDave\” Fayram gives a reinforcing one week later retrospective on using the iPhone. He mentions the ease of incorporating convenient web apps like Google Maps and Twitter.

I do not have an iPhone yet, but having just officially gone Mac after the death of my Dell, I can see myself talking myself into buying one very, very soon.

[podtech content=http://media1.podtech.net/media/2007/07/PID_011819/Podtech_iphone_one_week_later.flv&postURL=http://www.podtech.net/home/3522/iphone-one-week-later&totalTime=1187000&breadcrumb=4e332e8d49484958803270c9bd81a189]


Digital Aristotle * Semantic Web = Smarter Web

July 1, 2007

“What we’re trying to do with the Semantic Web is build a digital Aristotle.” – Mark Greaves, former IEO of DARPA, now Sr. Research Program Manager of Vulcan – taken from A Smarter Web, Technology Review March/April 2007

I was reading a Technology Review article on Web 3.0, which discusses the evolution of [web] applications to utilize semantic web technologies to enable “…software to process information more intelligently.”

This inevitable form of [web] intelligence is a logical step toward [global] system integration and I wanted to flag this article as a must read. As the article suggests, we will likely see a gradual adoption, so small steps to come.

Here is a scenario from the article-
“Say you’d had some lingering back pain: a program might determine a specialist’s availability, check an insurance site’s database for in-plan status, consult your calendar, and schedule an appointment. Another program might look up restaurant reviews, check a map database, cross-reference open table times with your calendar, and make a dinner reservation.”

Here is a scenario (I made up) that applies to eLearning-
Let’s say a new hire sits down at their computer on day one. A program has already determined by their job, role and/or competencies, what mandatory and recommended training is needed. The program has already cross-referenced the employee’s calendar and sent (via email) invitations with instructions on how to access their training. As new mandatory or recommended courses roll out, invitations are automatically sent to employees.