The online video game World of Warcraft is in the news again, this time for its potential to help boost certain cognitive skills--specifically spatial ability and focused attention--in older adults.
Researchers at North Carolina State University's Gains Through Gaming Lab tested the cognitive functions of 39 60- to 77-year-olds and then broke the study's participants into an experimental group, which played the MMORPG for 14 hours over a two-week period, and a control group, which did not play WoW at all.
It turns out that the adults who played WoW for two weeks improved their baseline scores, with … Read more
While my iPad has become a second screen in many ways--as an e-reader, social-networking pane, video viewer, and more--a new series of apps from Disney is ready to take that into a whole new direction. Disney's Second Screen is a series of apps that take over your iPad and offer up a second screen of information during movie viewings, acting as a disembodied set of bonus features.
Second Screen is a feature that's currently offered on Disney's "Tron" and "Bambi" Blu-ray discs. Each movie has its own app in Apple's App Store. These apps are free, and hefty, too--the "Tron: Legacy" app clocked in at over 800MB, the "Bambi" app comes in at 498MB. However, you can't do anything with the app without activating a "Magic Code" found inside the Blu-ray disc's box. I made the mistake of downloading the app and leaving the Blu-ray box in the office, taking home the disc in a plastic sleeve. Unfortunately, the disc itself can't unlock the app, so I had to wait till the next day to Second Screen my home "Tron: Legacy"-viewing experience. Bottom line: don't lose that code.
The cleverest part of the whole Second Screen idea isn't its content: it's the app's ability to synchronize with the movie and play its related content alongside a time code of sorts that counts down in the upper part of the screen.… Read more
Twitter’s “suggested users” list is a Who’s Who of Twitter celebrities, featuring the likes of Al Gore, Lance Armstrong, Ashton Kutcher, John McCain, Martha Stewart, and others with millions of followers. The New York Times claimed that a spot on the list would guarantee 500,000 additional followers and reported that social media guru Jason Calacanis had offered $250,000 to be listed.
Last Friday, Twitter did something remarkable. It added a number of well-known social entrepreneurs and innovators to this list, among them Social Edge, Skoll Foundation, Kiva, Matt Flannery (Kiva co-founder), Acumen Fund, Jacqueline Novogratz (Acumen … Read more
There seem to be three (non-mutually exclusive) models for marketers tasked with building brand equity: marketing scarcity, marketing artificial scarcity, or marketing relevance.
Scarcity seems to be at the core of all marketing: an exclusive, unique value that can be reproduced; an original idea replicated for many. That's how markets work, how marketing works. Branding is effective when it keeps the aura of an original idea intact despite its mechanical reproduction. Apple's original idea, for instance, could be described as "technology must be fun and human," and it has not lost an inch of its integrity. … Read more
I saw an interesting article in the New York Times this weekend titled "Put Ad on Web. Count Clicks. Revise." The premise of the article goes something like this: because the web provides functionality to test every variation of a banner ad for effectiveness, the next big thing is tailoring advertising in the moment, and leveraging findings from click-thru rates to construct more relevant offerings for consumers. If I had to construct a tag-line for the so-called "data practice" services cited in this article it would be "downstream solutions to … Read more
I'm still processing the many great insights from the next09 conference in Hamburg, Germany, one of Europe's leading digital-creative-marketing forums. This year's theme was "Share Economy," and the 1,300 attendees consisted of European VCs and angel investors, Web 2.0 entrepreneurs, media, creative agencies, and executives from German corporations (from BMW and Deutsche Bank to Deutsche Telekom).
Jeff Jarvis: "The Great Restructuring"
Nice clip from the German ad agency Scholz & Friends. Nothing new but good ammunition for convincing the few who have yet to see the light...
Via Federated Media
It's a few weeks old but still worth pointing out as another recent example of "Disruptive Realism" - a clever twist on the slogan of the New York Times: 'All the news we hope to print:'
From the press release (linked to the Prankster group The Yes Men):
"Early this morning, commuters nationwide were delighted to find out that while they were sleeping, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan had come to an end. If, that is, they happened to read a "special edition" of today's … Read more
The organizers have synthesized the research, interviews, and lectures of the two-day symposium into a manifesto that is worth reading:
The paper argues that today's "attention economy" will … Read more