Monday, February 20, 2012

Can Social Image Curation Mean The Demise of Written Language?

It was an action-packed week for those following the social curation space. Pearltrees raised $6.6 MM in funding, while Pinterest colonies continued to bubble up. GigaOm's Bobbie Johnson correctly reminded people that content curation is not just about Pinterest, it also includes players such as Delicious, Mlkshk, Paperli, and shoppers' delight Svpply. I'll add FFFFound to that list.

It's hard to say who will be a winner among these services in three years. It may depend on:

a- Number of dedicated return visitors, who do not stop clipping and curating after the 'in-thing' fades out

b- Whoever manages to make the best sense of aggregated consumer data collected on these sites

Nonetheless, the rush to these content curation sites underscores online populations' preference for image-based communications, supported with few words -- if at all. Visuals help communicate fundamental concepts at a basic level. There may be deep thoughts and long dialogues with rich vocabulary behind them, but the more we clip and click, the fewer words we need to get the idea across. As Lawrence Baines, the author of the Futurist article: "A Future of Fewer Words?" indicates, we're losing precision and eloquence as we use fewer polysyllabic words. 

The sharp increase in social curation site users confirms the universal language of the Web as 'the image.' 

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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Wearable Technology

Following my post on the Like Belt, one of my readers emailed me about the Wearable Technology Conference that takes place in Munich. In addition to the conference and a professional community, the site features neat gadgets such as thermal socks that heat up with batteries (well-suited for 30 Fahrenheit evenings in NY). But my favorite is the UP app that works with a wristband and not only tracks your activities, but also your sleep pattern. It eggs you on to get healthier by showing you how you're doing at a moment's notice, with fancy charts and an activity timeline.

For those of us sitting at a desk all day long and going around with 6 hours of sleep thanks to Real Housewives series re-re-re-runs, this may just be the necessary wake up call: to see your lack of activity charted...

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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Geek Accessory Alert - The Like Belt!

Do you wear what you like? If running out of wardrobe options, you may give the 'Like Belt' a chance. The device from the creative technology shop Deep Local will let you check-in, tap and register things or people you like. This could be an ice breaker at events.

<p>LikeBelt from deeplocal on Vimeo.</p>

Joking aside, I could see how this sort of technology can be used as:

1- A research tool - keeping a diary of tastes and preferences by consumer groups

2- A game - getting users to move around in a scavenger hunt to uncover branded prizes

3- A mobile app - giving users the flexibility to use their phones like a scanner in a gift registry

What do you think? Any other thoughts?

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