Can you digitise summertime? We’re now at the stage where, if the sunshine pays us a visit, tennis racquets are being pulled out from the wardrobe, theatre companies make for the great outdoors, and the rest of us head to the beer garden for a well earned drink after work. And anybody with an interest in digital media can get involved with all three
As digital creeps into every aspect of our lives, this week’s All you need is… focuses on technology in our social lives – and our private ones too. Plus an obligatory mention of Justin Bieber, as we take a look at on Instagram’s new offering.
It’s that time of year again when Britain doses up on strawberries and cream and prepares to cheers Andy Murray, Laura Robson, Heather Watson et al onto victory at Wimbledon.
But if the All England Club occasionally has a reputation as a very traditional enterprise, this year the courts of SW17 are well and truly embracing technology – and other brands are also looking to make a racquet about the Championships.
Wimbledon’s iPad app is allowing users to get closer to the action than ever before with photographic maps and updates on chosen players. There’s also a slam tracker which tracks data surrounding match outcomes to indicate who has the upper hand. There’s also a social media sentiment tracker.
Of course, Wimbledon’s sponsors are also serving up their own social offerings – Evian have launched the Wimbledon Wiggle, inviting users to submit their pre-return stances to win tickets, while Slazenger are asking fans to guess the number of tennis balls in their glass case, via Twitter, to win tickets to the final.
Both campaigns sit somewhere between more traditional competitions and an effort to utilise social media, but it’s the Championship’s official app that really smashes previous efforts out of court. Expect to see plenty of iPads on display around SW17 as second screening becomes second courting for the next fortnight.
Let us know if you’ll be glued to your second screen for the tournament or even if you’re attending and using the social offerings.
Photo sharing app Instagram has opened up the battle for shortform smartphone and tablet clips by launching a 15-second video option. The Facebook-owned app, which has 130 million active users, launched the features in response to Twitter’s Vine app, which allows users a to shoot a six second video.
You can see how the new Instagram video – which includes the now obligatory filters – works at the video below, while Techcrunch have a handy compare-and-contrast guide between the features on Instagram and Vine.[flash http://vimeo.com/68765934#]
Many brands have already been experimenting with Vine (you can see examples at the Brands On Vine site) and no doubt those already on Instagram will be putting together a few experiments as they aim to boost engagement. The battle for video clips has only just begun, it seems.
And fittingly, given the number of “selfies” that populate the app, the first video to reach a million likes on Instagram features a shirtless Justin Bieber. We’d expect future popular videos to perhaps set the bar a little higher, creatively.
Following the disclosures from US whistleblower Edward Snowden on the extent of the National Security Agency’s extent of data monitoring online, many experts have predicted a huge rise in private searching away from Google in an effort to make it harder for people to track your internet history.
The leading “private” search engine is widely acknowledged to be Duck Duck Go, which posted a 50% traffic increase in eight days following the PRISM news.
However, Search Engine Land have looked behind this growth, and while the rise is quite dramatic, they point out that very few people are using the more private search engine. Duck Duck Go is on course for 90 million searches per month. In comparison, Google has 13,317 million searches per month.
That said, the rise is still significant and while the articles notes that privacy has never worked as a selling point for search in the past, it’s worth keeping an eye on these numbers. You can be sure Google is.
It’s probably no surprise that Hackney is the first place in the UK where you can pay for your pint with Bitcoins. The Pembury Tavern is now accepting the virtual currency, with transactions done via QR codes.
The Pembury isn’t the first offline business to start accepting virtual payments, but it does mark a further shift into cashless transactions.
But while the Hackney boozer, for now, retains novelty value, their decision to allow Bitcoins ties into a wider issue for shops and businesses, with The Drum reporting that smartphones are predicted to be more disruptive to retail than the internet.
The Deloitte Consumer Review noted that 72% of the UK now owns a smartphone, while one in three had already used some form of online wallet and another 12 per cent used contactless technology.
But it’s the prevalence of using apps amongst the 16-to-24 age group that should have retailers nervous. We’ve already seen some big high street names collapse after failing to adapt quick enough to the online model and it’s clear that the companies that can adapt best to increasing disruptions stand the best chance of thriving in the years to come.
All the world’s a stage, said the melancholy Jacques in As You Like It, and now so is the internet, as the Royal Shakespeare Company turned to Google+ for their 40th rendition of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Last week, during the longest day of the year, the RSC played out Shakespeare’s famous comedy in real time across Google+, as if the play was an unfolding current event.
Curated through their Midsummer Night’s Dreaming website, audience members became part of the production and were able to interact with the characters, while tying the play into pop-up performances, as well as hosting Google Hangouts around the play (below).[flash http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDQSi2F4aoA]
It seems no matter what era the Bard is performed in, companies can still find new ways to make the playwright relevant.
Remember, let us know your thoughts on any of the above in the comments, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
Until next week… Gary (@garyandrews)