Matt Armitage - Impactful Engagement


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Matt Armitage of MN8 spoke about Impactful Engagement at The New Media Asia 2011 conference

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Matt Armitage - Impactful Engagement

  1. 1. mn8
  2. 2. impactful engagement•i had no idea what this meant•banged my head against it for days while i tried to work out a reasonabley intelligent outline for this talk.•PAUSE•so, in the context of my own work, which is in trends and journalism, i figured it probably meant those holy grailsof our age:•PAUSE•how to attract and retain people’s attention,•and how to make an impact on them that means something•PAUSE•but as, people who have heard me on the radio know, i tend to go off on tangents.•there’s not much point me speaking about the kind of impacts we have today - you can just google them.•i thought it would be more fun to talk about the impact of these activities in the future
  3. 3. what is tomorrow?•so i wanted to look at the question: what is tomorrow?•I’m a culture guy. the technology interests me, but i’m really interested in what the impacts of those technologies will be•what is tomorrow?•PAUSE• there’s a whole army of trend monitors, me among them, that makes its living telling other people and companies where their markets are likely to shift to in the shortand medium term.•PAUSE•But. let’s be honest, most of us are struggling to keep up with the present, let alone gazing into a crystal ball with any degree of certainty.•PAUSE•so, as the scientists keep telling us, the journey is just as important as the answer.•so today, i want to show how we look at the world beyond the technology industry,•and have a look at some of the factors that influence the trends and technologies we adopt in the future
  4. 4. mn8 &•The question for some of you - of not all of you - is who is this guy?•PAUSE•My name is Matt Armitage. I’m a writer and broadcaster - some of you may have heard me on BFM Radio’s Tech Talk where i have a weekly slot.•i run what i like to call the world’s best pop culture blog - - which i don;t get enough time to update so it probably falls well short of that boast.•PAUSE•In addition, i have a proper day job, which is running mn8,•MN8 is a consulting company that helps companies to bridge the digital divide and build platforms and create content that make pop culture - arts, music, tech, fashion, design - work for them.•PAUSE•and as an extension of that we also work with a lot of creative start-ups,•to help them create the marketing and business back-end that will help them turn their great ideas and energy into profits.
  5. 5. tomorrow’s world•before clip:•i want to show you a clip from tv show called tomorrows world, which ran on the bbc for nearly 40 years from 1965 onwards.•PAUSE•a little background to this:•i grew up in quite an isolated little town in the country, and the ideas and concepts on this show were a revelation.•at school we would talk about little else except top of the pops and tomorrows world,•both of them seemed to typify this exciting, glamourous and innovative world that was going on somewhere beyond our village•PAUSE•this is a clip from 1967. and i think you may recognize the world it illustrates.•PLAY CLIP•After Clip: sometimes the pundits really do get it right. how many of us sit in bed with the internet now instead of a book.•the idea of networked terminals and central brains is something that was a legacy from the early days of computing and is something we’re returning to today in our cloud connected world.•although i’m sure young nicholas would have preferred to be able to play splinter cell or even space invaders.
  6. 6. yesterday’s world•Before Clip: And of course, as often as the pundits get their predictions right, they get them just as wildly and widely wrong•PAUSE•heres another clip from tomorrow’s world with a tip for the future that didnt quite take off. 1985 Edit Video.•PLAY CLIP• the idea of having to buy a tv broadcast camera to turn your film photos into digital snaps wasn’t one that caught on, oddly enough•PAUSE•and in 1985 they were just coming to terms with briefcase sized mobile phones.•the idea that 25 years later a mobile phone and a digital camera could be squeezed into the same tiny box would have been incredible.
  7. 7. today’s world•here we have images of a naked man fleeing from police in China•these pictures were taken by a schoolboy on his cameraphone•PAUSE•the point is, we’ve reached a point where high quality phone cam imagescan be used by global news organizations.
  8. 8. •It also means that we can watch natural disasters like the recent japaneseearthquake and tsunami in real time, like this amazing footage taken byworkers at sendai airport.•PLAY CLIP•thanks to the robustness of the cellphone and internet networks in japanwe were also able to follow live tweets of the unfolding disaster.•And survivors were quickly able to use services like Google’s People Finderand set up facebook pages to try and track down friends and family•as well as giving them a localized online meeting space to tradeinformation on aid and relief efforts.
  9. 9. •but a month later, thousands of people in one of the richest nations onearth are are still living in makeshift refugee centres.•political infighting, bureaucracy and unreliable supply lines of fuel, foodand and medical supplies have created a bottleneck that all of ourtechnology seems unable to fix.•PAUSE•What does impactful engagement mean to these people?•it means homes, it means jobs and it means repairing a way of life.•PAUSE•And as the waters fade, and the rubble is cleared so does our attention.
  10. 10. and our attention moves to places like this.•interestingly when you search for ‘japan tsunami aid stations’ on google image, this is one of the top results•I have to say, i love searching the image banks and seeing what comes up. it’s often very sad and frequentlydisturbing.•PAUSE•Thanks to some clever or just lucky SEO, Lady Gaga gets to be part of the Tsunami story.•PAUSE•This is a clear indication of how we also have to manage the negative impacts of engaging with people.•this image and shots of people being pulled out of collapsed houses don’t really belong together.
  11. 11. Digital Toolkit•Sorry if this is starting to sound a bit negative. It isn’t meant to be:•PAUSE•what new media has given us is an incredible digital toolkit•it contains amazing ways for us to interact with each other and to share our thoughtsand information.•PAUSE•as the tomorrow’s world clips showed, we now have phones and computers and appsthat can do things we couldn’t imagine a few years ago.•and the most incredible thing is that these things we could barely explain back thenare now second nature, things we use thoughout our daily lives.•
  12. 12. •there are thousands of potential examples, but i’m going to choose Layar, eventhough it’s not really one of my favourite apps.•PAUSE•Layar is an app that superimposes detailed geographical data on top of the cam phoneimage on your mobile phone screen•PLaces, especially cities, often have too much information.•Apps like Layar let you filters out the noise and buzz of a city to give you the kind ofspecific information you’re looking for.•PAUSE•It could be the way to the nearest Starbucks or historical info like the Beatles pictureabove.just the kind of results and information that you’re interested in.
  13. 13. •Even the idea of wikipedia is almost inconceivable to someone brought up in the age of information inencyclopedia.•PAUSE•When we first got a computer at home, my mum was astonished at the idea of the encyclopedia britannicaon a CD Rom.•Now, with wikipedia and Qora and dozens of other wiki and information sites, we’re probably terabytes ofinformation past the level of an encyclopedia•PAUSE•in fact, it’s already kind of hard to remember how we found information about things before the Net.•the idea that it could take several days just to find out a simple fact.•PAUSE•But, at the same time, this digital toolkit is only providing answers to the kind of questions that people havealways asked.
  14. 14. •So we have this digital toolkit, which is basically like electronic lego, building blocks for us to work with.•PAUSE• Some people are using it for social change•some people are using it to sell goods and product•and most of us are just seamlessly integrating it into our daily lives.•PAUSE•But are we over-stating the impact of these tools on our world?•PAUSE•Go back to that picture of Lady Gaga and the Japan tsunami• A lot of Movie and Pop stars sent out prayers for Japan on twitter.•but what does that do?• tweets aren’t food, tweets didn’t pull ppl out of the rubble or the water. tweets aren’t rebuilding cities, and businesses and homes.•PAUSE•Facebook didn’t cause the Arab spring or eject the old rulers in Tunisia and Egypt.•PAUSE•People did all of these things.•they launch themselves in the unknown and they act.
  15. 15. *copyright zephyrance *copyright zephyrance•The Unknown is something we face every day.•The unknown is why colossal brains like Einstein try to find the answers to some really big questions.•PAUSE•But for those of us with normal size brains, the unknown is something we often fear.•It’s certainly something that a lot of companies fear.•PAUSE•And that’s why people like me get to stand here and talk to all of you.•Because everyone wants to know what’s coming next•In fact, we need to know what’s coming next.•PAUSE•No one in this room - certainly not me - could have predicted 3 weeks ago that Osama bin Laden would be deadtoday or that Microsoft would have bought Skype for three times its market value.•there is simply too much that we can’t predict
  16. 16. chasing the zeitgeist•so, if we can’t accurately predict, what can we do?•PAUSE•what we do is try to chase the zeitgeist•PAUSE•trends move in ways that we can try and harness but not necessarily control•look at facebook. who could have predicted its growth?•In the wired world, for some people it’s a more important communication tool than email, text message, perhaps even phone calls.•PAUSE•But from a technical standpoint, it’s nothing new.•some people are even calling it the AOL of the new millennium. a closed world within the web.•Similarly, Twitter is nothing new, it’s just text messaging with an audience.•PAUSE•so why have these services captured our imagination while services like Friendster and MySpace wither on the vine?
  17. 17. •the questions that nobody likes to ask themelves?•PAUSE•Are we really as important as we think we are?•And does our world really matter to popular culture?•PAUSE•To most of us in this room the story of Steve Jobs health is enormous news.•We’re wondering...Will Apple be able to keep innovating?•Will it continue to grow and continue its rise to become the world’s largest corporation?•PAUSE•It’s created dozens of headlines and a minor wobble in Apple’s share price.•But the simple fact of the matter is...
  18. 18. •But the simple fact of the matter most people in the wired world, its less important than Brangelina andcelebrity breast implants.•PAUSE•A few years ago my father was sick, so i went home for a longer visit than normal which meant i had to work while iwas there.•My brother said i could work from his offices - he runs a successful real estate chain in UK.•the first day i walked into his office with my macbook all the staff, with their beige Dell desktop PCs wereastonished that anyone would make a white laptop•And when they saw it didn’t run on Windows, they were even more confused.•they didn’t really know about Apple and its operating systems, even the ones with iPods.•but they could speak with all the insight of an expert on plastic surgery technologies. breasts, butts, noses, chinsand who had had them.
  19. 19. 500000000 6500000000 Facebook Users Non Facebook Users•It’s the way those worlds come together that will determine the kind of impacts we have in the future.•PAUSE•I wanted this graphic to look more like our planet but i didn’t have the design skills•PAUSE•Facebook is probably the new media success story of the last ten years.•It has more than 500m users.•PAUSE•But the population of the world now stands at nearly 7bn•So, if you look at those numbers another way:•6.5bn do not use facebook•6.9bn do not use twitter.•6.9bn people will never be interested in your linked in profile.•4bn do not use, or do not have access to the Internet.•
  20. 20. •So, often, when we talk about impactful engagement, we’re talking aboutthe world we can see.•the world that is online and wants to engage with us.•Its effectively a ready made market or audience•PAUSE•but in order to grow that impact and really engage we have to focus ourattention on the parts of the world we can’t see and can’t see us.
  21. 21. game changers•which brings us to game changers•the purpose of this talk, when it still had a purpose, was to talk about the future.•PAUSE•and when we talk about the impacts of the future, we’re really looking for the game changing ideas of today.•ideas that may be in their infancy,•ideas that may be growing very slowly,•ideas that may or may not be about new media.•and may not have anything to do with technology.•PAUSE•These are the ideas and events that take the world we’re used to and turn everything upside down•PAUSE•Because, as the tsunami in Japan showed, take the electricity away and we become stone age people again veryquickly
  22. 22. •Right now, the game changer i have on my horizon is 3D printing.•PAUSE•There is still a lot of development to do, but 3D printing has the potential to completely change industrial production and the way we buy and sell goods.•possibly even see the end of the mass production model that was the basis for the economic model of the 20th century.•PAUSE•These machines can already print in metals and fabrics as well as a huge range of composites and plastics•They can print medical implants with no machined edges and less risk that the body will reject them.•and cost wise they already compare to machine runs of up to 10,000 pieces.•PAUSE•So, if even some of the potential of 3D printing comes about it could completely change the nature of many of the world’s largest corporations•the idea that you can send a computer file of a shoe, a t-shirt or a bike, like the one pictured, to a machine that will print it, fully fuctioning, for you layer by layer - forget assembling andmachining individual parts - is astonishing.•PAUSE•It’s a game changer. it’s like something out of star trek with its replicators.•PAUSE•3d printing is already widely used in the aerospace industries, medical components, industrial design, car manufacture and is now the dominant technology in the production of designerlampshades.
  23. 23. •and it can be fun, too.•this is an art installation that was done in barcelona last month.•the machines are fast enough to print out miniature statues of passersbyin just a few minutes.•PLAY CLIP•but the big question is...•what has this got to do with new media?•
  24. 24. •but the big question is...•what has this got to do with new media?•PAUSE•at the moment, 3D printers are housed within normal factories•let’s try and leap ahead a couple of stages.•imagine a chain of neighbourhood print stores - like kinko’s or fed ex supply stores - that will print anything for you if you send them the file.•PAUSE•fd•Now, we’re already used to software companies being Intellectual Property owners and sell things that only exist digitally.•what if all the big manufacturers become IP companies.•Imagine Apple as a huge R&D factory that sells you the digital blueprints its products.•PAUSE•It may sound far-fetched but it’s worth considering•for a lot of people here, those companies are your clients.•as the nature of their business alters forever, the way they communicate and engage with their costumers will change too.•PAUSE•We could be looking at a future where consumer goods really are about the consumer.•They can be customized, hacked, tweaked and personalized to an enormous degree. and then emailed to a print store or even printed off at home•this is a future where there is no need for traditional retail outlets, whether bricks and mortar or online•and this is a future where stories and interactions are going to be critical to selling anything.•because you won’t be selling a product, you’ll be selling an idea•and to me that’s a really interesting future to be looking at.