The problem with Sony is that the equipment worthwhile happening is aimed at professional audiences and quite hard to get hold of. Their consumer-orientated products generally feel cheap: whilst the electronics and components are top notch, case materials and mechanical engineering usually feel shoddy in comparison to the likes of Denon, Pioneer or TEAC.
The Sony PCM-D1 digital recorder shows however that Sony has the expertise and the capability to make something very special. You can read about the technical specifications on the Sony website: needless to say the device is very impressive and podcasters would sell their first-born to get their hands on it.
The recorder body is made of pressed titanium, it has two sensitive electret condenser microphones that sit safely inside an elegant metal frame that has the beauty of an air-cooled twin cylinder motorcycle engine. One of the easiest to use button layouts on a professional recording machine that I have seen since the Sony Pro-Walkman WM-D6C which used to be the weapon of choice with concert bootleggers and radio news interviews.
The analogue VDU meters add legibility, character and a touch of class to the design. It would have been just as easy for the engineers to have put in a digital display instead, but they chose not to.
Oystercard culturejammed, originally uploaded by renaissancechambara.
The Oystercard system keeps a record of journeys providing an electronic track, at least in theory.
During the 1980s with the rise of the video cassette recorder (VCR), the reduction in costs of the devices due to the VHS vs. Beta war and an uncertain economic climate consumers started to stay at home in what was later called cocooning. The internet extended this as a trend as community interaction increasingly happens online. Local is wherever you meet your friends and community are those fellow travelers that share the same interests as you be it in the real-world, particularly at work, or online through various social software services.
I have noticed on the tube how the isolation of cocooning has been extended through smartphones and personal media players like an iPod or iPhone to previously public places. My colleagues use the iconic earphones to screen themselves off from each other, even in the most open plan of office environments. During my commute to work the flow of people around me going through the turnstiles is disrupted as earphone equipped wander through as in a trance with disregard to the crowd around them. It’s not because they’ve all turned into type-A personalities, but that they are unaware of their immediate surroundings. This is about building a private world in even the smallest of personal spaces, what I think of as ‘micro-cocooning’.
Music players that can keep going for a whole working day, inner ear headphones and overear noise reduction headsets that don’t ‘fizz’, have helped facilitate this boom.
From a media and marketing point-of-view this is also a great opportunity to get content in front of these consumers at a time when they can immerse themselves in it. Applications on your phone don’t require real-time internet connectivity, if you have all the content that you want to provide pre-cached on the device making it ideal for rail commutes with dodgy phone signals.
How would you target the micro-cocooners?
I thought I would share with you the gist of a Facebook wall conversation that I had with Gi Fernando because he articulates in a few sentences what I would write in a few paragraphs.
I had posted that I was thinking about social media monitoring for a client. Working agencyside makes this more complicated as I have to think of ways of selling measurement to them. My friend Gi put out the following post on my wall.
Of course, the real challenge is getting campaigns that work, getting clients to pay for them and getting clients to pay for measurement.
Not that much to think about (and I know you know this!). Key metrics could include:
- How many of a person’s friends did the thing get passed along to in what time.
- What is that in aggregate i.e. what is the aggregate percentage of friends of an initial audience that engaged.
- What was the punchline per friend i.e. how much, how long, how often.
- Did they pass it on.
- Who are the people that influenced others to do something the most.
I think the real question is do marketers want to understand or would they just like to see a big idea which matches their brand guidelines?
If I could develop a silver bullet on that solves the ‘getting clients to pay for them and getting clients to pay for measurement’ challenge, I would be typing this from my new villa in Ibiza. Not surprisingly, I currently don’t have a villa in Ibiza and don’t have a silver bullet… yet.
Thanks to PSFK. Continuous partial attention is the term used by Linda Stone to explain our modern always-on behaviour and how it differs from multi-tasking.
Continuous partial attention describes how many of us use our attention today. It is different from multi-tasking. The two are differentiated by the impulse that motivates them. When we multi-task, we are motivated by a desire to be more productive and more efficient. We’re often doing things that are automatic, that require very little cognitive processing. We give the same priority to much of what we do when we multi-task — we file and copy papers, talk on the phone, eat lunch — we get as many things done at one time as we possibly can in order to make more time for ourselves and in order to be more efficient and more productive.
To pay continuous partial attention is to pay partial attention — CONTINUOUSLY. It is motivated by a desire to be a LIVE node on the network. Another way of saying this is that we want to connect and be connected. We want to effectively scan for opportunity and optimize for the best opportunities, activities, and contacts, in any given moment. To be busy, to be connected, is to be alive, to be recognized, and to matter.
We pay continuous partial attention in an effort NOT TO MISS ANYTHING. It is an always-on, anywhere, anytime, any place behavior that involves an artificial sense of constant crisis.
The sense of constant crisis amps up stress levels – if you like matrix angst.
I haven’t noticed this before but Red Bull ring-pulls now have their iconic bull logo stamped out of the ring-pull.
Packaging companies are always looking to lighten their cans, less aluminum allows them to reduce the cost per item. Since they would be turning out millions of items per given year, they can use expensive tooling and still come out ahead. The ring-pull is stamped out of one piece of aluminium, the round recess adds strength.
Normally the circle would be stamped out whole with the edges rounded back in on themselves so no one gets hurt. Red Bull had the good sense to forgo the imcremental saving on the price of the can and turn it into a branding opportunity.
This alteration to the top of the can helps consumers find the real thing in a fridge or shelf full of own-brand Red Bull-alikes that all the supermarkets seem to have.
Supermarkets make a much better margin on own-brand products and consumer are often confused by rows of own brand and Red Bull cans mixed up on the shelf. The consumer probably won’t know the difference until they get home, drink it anyway and depending how brand loyal they are to Red Bull, they may permanently migrate to the cheaper own-brand alternative. Looking at things from this perspective; Red Bull’s distinctive ring-pull looks like money well spent, I’d say.
The future is launching in the UK!, originally uploaded by renaissancechambara.
- Will there be enough to write about from a European perspective?
- Will the UK team meet the US edition’s standards in graphic design and increasingly rare moments of typographic brilliance?
- Will we see neon ink?
- Will we have to suffer politicians showing that they understand how online fits into their vision for creative Britain and trying resuscitate and channel Harold Wilson’s ‘white heat of technology’ speech from four decades ago?
- Will they avoid the temptation to interview Sir Alan Sugar and Sir Clive Sinclair as part of tribute to the golden age of the British PC?
SMEBS – Social Media Expert Burnout Syndrome. It was a while since I wrote about RSS fatigue, now with FriendFeed, Twitter, Plurk etc there are even more social media services to keep on top of. A nice tongue-in-cheek video clip about it.
Kudos to Kris Hoet for this gem.
The Conquest of Cool looks at the 60’s counterculture revolution from the perspective of the advertising and consumer goods industry. Thomas Franks manages to square the circle, showing how the hippies that hated The Man influenced modern society. Frank draws on the parallels of how Bill Bernbach started to think differently about advertising and the new youth obsession reflected in the Pepsi Generation idea which started the famous cola wars. He charted how advertising creatives brought psychadelia into radio, print and television advertising and how the fashion industry lost out when it got on the ‘peacock parade’ train.
Rather than being a rebellion against the consumer culture, the counterculture rejuvenated the consumer experience. The plenty of America in the 1950s was no longer enough, consumers wanted authentic differentiated items that declared their self-identity. In this respect there is a clear parallel between the desires of the 1960s consumer and his modern-day counterpart – otherwise there would not be a market for Amazon’s variety of books, blogging platforms, eBay, Moo and etsy.