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Notes: Amy Webbʼs 10 Tech Trends Talk

These are notes from Amy Webbʼs 10 Tech Trends presentation at the Online
News Association conference, held Oct. 28-30, 2010 in Washington, DC.

INTRODUCTIONS
Amy Webb is @webbmedia on Twitter and webbmedia on most other social networks.
Email: amy@webbmediagroup.com (would-be spammers, be warned!)
Tel: 267-342-4300

Amy Webb is the CEO of Webbmedia Group, an international consulting firm that
advises various organizations (media, government, foundation, retail and hospitality,
luxury goods, universities, startups) on emerging technology. http://
www.webbmediagroup.com/team-amy.html.

TREND #1: MOBILE SCANNING


Amy explained the reason for the Ultimate QR game at ONA and how 2d barcodes can
be used for a variety of purposes.

Impact & Opportunities


She highlighted some work being done at the Sun Sentinel. She then showed the
following tools:
• Abbyy http://finereader.abbyy.com/
• Nuance http://www.nuance.com/imaging/omnipage/omnipage-csdk.asp

Real World Application


Amy showed USA TODAY how to make anything printed in its newspaper linkable.

TREND #2: GEOFENCING


Right now, users volunteer to participate in networks such as Foursquare and Yelp. In
order to check-in and get new information delivered, users have to open applications
and interact with them manually. Current apps are limited by the constraints of
operating systems. Some phones offer push notifications, while others donʼt.
Notifications donʼt always move with the user, which means s/he must check for
updates.

Notes for Amy Webbʼs 10 Tech Trends Presentation at ONA, Oct. 28-30, 2010
© 2010 Webbmedia Group, LLC http://www.webbmediagroup.com
Geofencing offers more advanced, pinpointed, dynamic location services. To be sure,
geofencing isnʼt new. Itʼs been used by transportation dispatch centers and others for
many years. The difference now is how itʼs being applied to mobile, social networks and
content.

Geofencing offers:
• Static locations, while time windows are dynamic (live events, traffic accidents)
• Place-based geofences use static, continuously-pushed location
• Dynamic geofences deliver real-time info that moves with the user (Acela train)
• Expiring assets can be pushed to people inside the fence (sports tickets, meal
discounts)
• P2P geofences detect the probable nearness of two dynamic points

Amy discussed Pee-Weeʼs Foursquare parade and promo, and how it would have been
different if Foursquare used geofencing features.

You can experiment with geofencing yourself. The GeoFences iPhone app is a simple,
rudimentary DIY geofencing system where you can set your own parameters and
messaging: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/geofences/id378561917?mt=8.

Amy showed several advanced check-in applications, including:


• Miso http://www.gomiso.com
• Tunerfish http://www.tunerfish.com -- this is actually a Comcast property
• Fanvibe http://www.fanvibe.com
• Superglued http://www.superglued.com
• iSwig http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/iswig/id376479686?mt=8
• TabbedOut http://www.tabbedout.com
• Plerts http://www.plerts.com

Impact & Opportunities


• Shopping: Set preferences to let you know thereʼs a sale nearby; retailer can more
easily use location inside of stores.
• Social: Figure out the next bar people are headed to, get notified when people or
brands are nearby, celebrity sightings.
• Tracking: Easy way to track kids, others...

Real World Application


Amy showed the LA Times how to make a local check-in service for readers.

Notes for Amy Webbʼs 10 Tech Trends Presentation at ONA, Oct. 28-30, 2010
© 2010 Webbmedia Group, LLC http://www.webbmediagroup.com
TREND #3: PREDICTIVE ANALYSIS
In short, predictive analysis is about watching user behavior online and in social
networks, collecting data, and determining what s/he may want to watch/ read/ buy/ etc.
in the future. New stores in Facebook have access to predictive analysis tools. The
“French Fry Algorithm.”

Impact & Opportunities


Amazon Webstore powering social commerce inside of Facebook. Kembrel is a store
geared towards college kids. http://webstore.amazon.com Kembrel on Facebook:
apps.facebook.com/kembrel. How can news orgs best take advantage of this
information?

Real World Application


Amy showed ESPN.com how to take advantage of predictive analysis tools.

TREND #4: HYPERLOCAL HYPE CYCLE WANES

(HT to Gartner, which first produced a similar graph to explain the hype cycle of new tech)

Notes for Amy Webbʼs 10 Tech Trends Presentation at ONA, Oct. 28-30, 2010
© 2010 Webbmedia Group, LLC http://www.webbmediagroup.com
Amy started with some background on hyperlocal content and the origins of AOL Patch
and explained why, according to various research and real-world case studies, current
hyperlocal projects arenʼt sustainable.

Impact & Opportunities + Real World Application


Instead, Amy explained how to make it work: Hyper-personal.
1. Content must be niche. Hyperlocal isnʼt niche, itʼs just geographically specific.
2. Local is where I am right now. Not necessarily where I live or work.
3. Content must be credible, and it has to be real-time.
4. Itʼs not just about maps and citizen journalism.
5. Content must be social and must involve social networks to succeed.

TREND #5: DYNAMIC CURATION


People want to architect their own content experience, to interact with it, to manipulate
the story, to alter the course of their futures. We talked about new dynamic content
offerings.

Amy talked about Paper.li and some of the other tools available now to create real-time
social “newspapers.” She then reviewed Flipboard (http://www.flipboard.com), which
launched in July. Flipboard is a dynamic, personalized magazine concept and itʼs being
received very well. Works for the iPad. It pulls in content from your social streams and
allows you to add in channels from other sources. News content comes via the tweets
of media organizations. She also talked about Pulse v2.0 which recently launched.

Wavii is a very similar project, but it will use Natural Language Processing to also
include content from websites. Apollo for iPad has also launched, aggregating mainly
RSS feeds. Apolloʼs content display is very slick, and in some cases much better than
many of the magazine applications produced by the major publishers (Conde, Time).

Amy then demonstrated two very exciting new tools which are still in private beta/alpha.
Storify (http://www.storify.com - in private beta) is a content management system for
social media streams. Qwiki (http://www.qwiki.com - in private alpha) is a curated,
multimedia experience that works in real time. We are very, very excited about both of
these new tools, as they stand to make a big impact in how users interact with digital
content.

Impact & Opportunities


Journalists should look at Flipboard and the other tools showcased as ideal models for
publishing news content to tablets and mobile phones. News organizations should work
towards curation. Can you imagine how powerful these tools would be with predictive
analysis included?

Notes for Amy Webbʼs 10 Tech Trends Presentation at ONA, Oct. 28-30, 2010
© 2010 Webbmedia Group, LLC http://www.webbmediagroup.com
Real World Application
Amy showed how sheʼs using Storify to curate and cover the ONA conference.

TREND #6: SEARCH GETS PERSONAL


There are a number of new search tools that harness social networks to dig deep for
information. They can be incredibly helpful for reporters...and also terrifying if you
become the subject of someoneʼs investigation.

Amy demonstrated Greplin (http://www.greplin.com) which is still in private beta. It


allows you to search through all of your social networks, as well as the regular web,
email and in other places, all at once. She also explained Googleʼs acquisition of
Angstro and how it will be used to power Google Me. Next, Amy showed how
combining Spokeo (http://www.spokeo.com) with Knowem (http://www.knowem.com)
can now be used to track down hidden usernames...and much, much more.

Impact & Opportunities


Social networks, Facebook especially, are moving into search. And why wouldnʼt they?
As a result, this is a Golden Age of reporting. Journalists should be using these tools on
a regular basis.

Real World Application


ONA journalists can start using Greplin soon, and Spokeo/ Knowem today. Be on the
lookout for Google Me and its new search capabilities. Be aware that youʼre being
searched, too, though.

TREND #7: AUGMENTED REALITY


Amy quickly reviewed work by The Astonishing Tribe and prototypes that now allow
anyone to view your social networks in real-time by simply scanning your face. She then
explained the next iteration of AR: DR, or “diminished reality.” She demonstrated new
technology that literally removes objects from view in real time. The process works
similarly to the smudge function in Photoshop, except that it happens in every frame of
a live video, over and over again in rapid succession. The result is literal invisibility.

Impact & Opportunities and Real World Application


AR/ DR are becoming more mainstream. Content producers should start tagging their
content and making sure that correct geotags are used. There are numerous “virtual
notetaking” AR applications now available. Can you imaging how DR could be used in
the not-too-distant future?

Notes for Amy Webbʼs 10 Tech Trends Presentation at ONA, Oct. 28-30, 2010
© 2010 Webbmedia Group, LLC http://www.webbmediagroup.com
TREND #8: TABLETS
Amy gave an overview of the 2011 tablets and looked at the specs of several models.
Please see the Q4 Tablet Matrix booklet we prepared for ONA. If you did not get a hard
copy, you can download one here: http://www.webbmediagroup.com/
WMG_TabletsQ4.pdf.

Impact & Opportunities


Operating systems, form factors, screen sizes, etc. are different. News organizations
must do ample research to determine exactly who an audience is and which tablet they
are most likely to use.

Real World Application


Focus on one application for all devices, but create different versions of apps so that
they take advantage of tech specs and form factor.

TREND #9: INTERACTIVE TV


Amy talked at length about Interactive TV. We looked at the new Google TV and
discussed the differences between Interactive TV today and PPV/ WebTV from 10 years
ago.

Think in terms of:


• Operating systems: Google, iOS (Apple)
• TVs: Samsung, Toshiba, Vizio, Sony
• Boxes: Roku, Wii
• ISP: Comcast, Verizon
• Intermediary: Yahoo! Connected TV

Amy discussed various alliances. Please see handout for detail.

Amy also discussed the differences between the operating systems. We looked at the
MyGeneration iPad app.

Impact & Opportunities


As you are discussing partnerships, what are you getting out of it? How many of the
terms can you dictate? Apple TV is niche. We think that Android is more promising for
most news organizations. Also look at hardware, ISP and intermediaries as possible
partners.

Notes for Amy Webbʼs 10 Tech Trends Presentation at ONA, Oct. 28-30, 2010
© 2010 Webbmedia Group, LLC http://www.webbmediagroup.com
Real World Application
We recommend against giving away content for purposes of marketing. Right now,
Interactive TV is content-poor and needs news organizations more than you need these
outlets.

We think an app similar to MyGeneration could work for numerous news organizations
and discussed possibilities.

TREND #10: PERSONAL METRICS


Amy explained how in Contra Costa county, kids are now tagged so that parents,
teachers and others can track them during their school day. Wal-Mart is also using
RFID tags in clothing to track inventory.

Amy demonstrated a BodyMedia prototype, which tracks, in detail, your daily health
habits (sleeping, exercise, body temperature, caloric intake) automatically. It syncs
automatically to an iPhone or Android, and data can be reviewed and shared. Audience
members got to see her real-time body metrics. The BodyMedia armband will start
shipping Nov. 15th.

Notes for Amy Webbʼs 10 Tech Trends Presentation at ONA, Oct. 28-30, 2010
© 2010 Webbmedia Group, LLC http://www.webbmediagroup.com
Impact & Opportunities
Apple is suddenly filing a lot of near-field communication patents that will track personal
data and more. People love tracking their own personal metrics. Lately, they are starting
to share that information on social networks. This could be an entirely new, slightly eerie
path to citizen journalism.

Real World Application


News organizations can start harnessing sense networks for real-time reporting. These
include Waze (http://www.waze.com), among others.

FAQ:
Q: Where do these trends come from?
A: Webbmedia Group is constantly trend-spotting using a combination of traditional
research, personal observation, focus groups, social outreach and networking. We use
a methodology to track trends, and we do this daily so that we can advise our clients.

Q: Like Amyʼs parents, I have absolutely no idea what the heck you do at Webbmedia
Group. Explain yourself!
A: Simply put, we do two things. (1) We advise all kinds of organizations on whatʼs
happening next in emerging technology/ digital media, and we help get them ready for
changes in the market. That might mean prototyping a new iPad application, or
producing research on mobile social networks, or recommending a vendor. Most of our
clients are on retainer, and we do similar tech trends talks with them monthly but in a
much more customized way...and usually for 3-4 hours. Throughout the month, we
answer questions, advise on executive-level decisions, send research, make
connections to vendors, brainstorm and so on. (2) In addition, Webbmedia Group also
offers hands-on training in a variety of areas. We have more than a dozen trainers who
are gifted teachers, practitioners and entertainers. Our training sessions are as
invigorating as they are enlightening! More here: http://www.webbmediagroup.com.

Q: I hear Amy has a black belt...? Is she dangerous?


A: Yes! Amy does have a black belt in Aikido, and a long time ago she was indeed
quite dangerous. These days, sheʼs too busy for AIkido. Amy serves on the Board of
Directors for the Online News Association (and is running for re-election!), the SXSW
Accelerator Advisory Board, Knight-Batten Advisory Board, the Advisory Board for
Temple Universityʼs Journalism Program and the Advisory Board for the International
Center for Journalists. She is one of the Knight News Challenge judges. Amy is also a
member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (Interactive Media Peer Group)
and serves as a judge for the Emmy® awards. She has been on the adjunct journalism
faculty at University of Maryland, Temple University, Tokyo University and University of
the Arts.

Notes for Amy Webbʼs 10 Tech Trends Presentation at ONA, Oct. 28-30, 2010
© 2010 Webbmedia Group, LLC http://www.webbmediagroup.com
ADDITIONAL RESEARCH

Download a bunch more stuff here, for free!

Webbmedia Groupʼs paper on Flipboard, sent to clients just before its official release:
http://www.webbmediagroup.com/WMG_TechProfile_Flipboard.pdf

Webbmedia Groupʼs 2007 QR Code Primer. An oldie but goodie!


http://www.webbmediagroup.com/WMG_QR_Tipsheet.pdf

Webbmedia Groupʼs Research Note on Baby Boomers and Mobile:


http://www.webbmediagroup.com/WMG_RschNote_BoomerMobile.pdf

For more information, please contact our office:

Webbmedia Group
Baltimore, MD 21212
Tel: 267-342-4300
Email: info@webbmediagroup.com
http://www.webbmediagroup.com

Notes for Amy Webbʼs 10 Tech Trends Presentation at ONA, Oct. 28-30, 2010
© 2010 Webbmedia Group, LLC http://www.webbmediagroup.com