AgendaAn idea of what SXSW really is and what the buzz is aboutTrends that emerged from this yearTalk about some sessions I went to in the hopes of sparking interest in someone’s mind to follow up with on their own
five days of compelling presentations from the brightest minds in emerging technology9-5 work week15 venuesCouple square miles of austin26,000 digital creatives400 people from GermanyThemes – Something for everybodyGovernment & Global Issues, Health & EducationStartups - EntrepreneurshipJournalism & Online ContentSocial NetworksBranding and marketingDesign & DevelopmentEmerging TechnologyBetter TomorrowNeedless to say, never saw CC
Responsive / Rich Web DesignResponsive - Create once / digest anywhere, any deviceRich - Having richer experiencer previously seen in apps (desktop/mobile) now in web browserImmersive App ExperiencesiPad / mobile AppsThere is still a place for the app, even though the rich web is picking up steamExamples – eMagazines like Esquire, immersive books like Harry PotterCrowdsourcingGoing beyond soliciting people to comment on an articleEngaging them to create something together or set directionThe idea, pulling the best or most accurate thing from a crowdExample – crowdsourced, news website. Slickdeals.netUser-centric designFocusing design around the user and what you can do for them in that momentWhere are theyWhat device you are onWhat you are trying to doWhat do you know about themTom’s Shoes
Spent about half my time at development workshopsWhere my interests and job requirements areOther half of my time at a diverse topics across the other themes to keep up with what is going onTalk about a few of these in more detail here because I think other’s might find them interesting and a jumping off point for future researchFinally, went to a few keynotes that were nothing short of mind-blowing. One in particular, by Ray Kurzweil, who Inc. magazine ranked #8 among entrepreneurs in the United States, calling him the "rightful heir to Thomas Edison,“. His talk about the technology available in the not so distant future will have you shaking your head.
One of the topics I thought most interesting to the folks here was on Increasing EngagementSaw two presentations, “Gamification” & “Behavior Design” that I thought were informative and would give people a place to start.GamificationA hot buzz word. Everyone is looking for ways to apply this to their businessWhat is it? Idea – encourage people to do something they might not normally do.Give money, call to action, etc..The first thing I learned was the difference between creating a game and applying game like strategyYou don’t have to build the next Farmville to achieve your goalYou use techniques like membership levels, badges, other incentivesSimplest example to illustrate this is the idea of a fund-raising thermometerSecond thing I learned and thought worthy of calling out – Whatever you do has to be sustainable and worthwhileYou can't just rely on game mechanics to keep people… that would take too many resources.. You need to offer something worthwhile and engaging on its own.Don’t lose sight that at the end of the day it’s all about your business propositionOther topic I found enlightening - Behaviorial DesignSimilar to gamification – it’s the idea of how our web presence can influence people’s behavior and ultimately a desired call to actionA couple things I thought were worth talking aboutTechnology brings our behavior online – meaning liking, sharing, interacting – once offline activities are now common onlineMobile device – lowers the barrier to action. A call to action can be anywhere at any time – Micro donation exampleWe have tons of data and analytics to measure how people respondTakeaway – our website needs to evolve with people’s behavior, encouraging people to take action, and that we should be using analytics to guide that process
Another topic I thought might be useful to folks is the concept of a rich, user-centric experience.Specifically was a panel discussion with reps from different eMagazines available on the iPad – Esquire, Time, Sports Illustrated.They talked about the techniques they found to encourage readership and engagementMy thought was that we could use all of these same techniques – whether it’s for the Babson Magazine or one of our subsitesThings likeUser-centric content – Sports Illustrated had a great example where last year when the Dallas Mavericks and the Boston Bruins one championships within their respective sports in the SAME WEEK – a user could choose what “covers” they wantedInteractivity – you can do cool things on an iPad but don’t do it just to do it, give the user some value – SI example againRelated content – if someone is reading an article on gardening, maybe you give them a related link to a celebrity’s garden. We can do the same with our stories, providing related links to famous alums.Exclusivity – maybe readers get access to an exclusive online slideshow.The point of all this is to provide interesting, related content to encourage engagement. And this is something we can do whether it’s for the magazine or one of our subsites.
SXSW INTERACTIVE IN A NUTSHELL• 5-days of Inspiration• Ginormous• How was CC?
TRENDS• Mobile Payments• Responsive / Rich Web Design• Immersive App Experiences• Crowdsourcing• User-Centered Design• Tom’s Shoes
INCREASING ENGAGEMENTBoosting Engagement with “Gamification” - podcast • Encouraging people to do something • Games vs. Applying game-like strategy • Offer something worthwhile and sustainableApplying Behavior Design - podcast • Technology brings our behavior online • Technology lowers the barrier to action • Data and analytics Photo credit: http://technorati.com/business/advertising/article/has-your-site-been-gamified/
A RICH, USER-CENTRIC EXPERIENCEFrom Print to Digital – The Magazine– podcast• Successful Tactics • User-centric • Interactivity where it makes sense • Related content • Exclusivity• Not just for magazines!
DATA VISUALIZATIONData Visualization – podcast • Not about the numbers • Make it visually interesting • Augment the story • Tell a story Image credit: http://eagereyes.org/criticism/fascinating-world-of-good- infographics