20th Apr2012

Which Draw Something Player are you?

by Dorothy

Its been some time since I played DrawSomething though I can’t deny I was utterly hooked when it came out. Because that’s what happens when you have a huge phone that comes with a stylus. But then it became less intriguing when I started to guess the answers even before the drawings were completed, like how a single orange line could symoblize TheLorax, for example. There are also so many Furbies, Pegasuses and Lady Gagas one can draw before it all becomes rather cliche… well you get the drift.

So, I was pretty happy to see some new features being added, even with the FB acquisition of Instagram kind of overshadowing the original news of “Omgpop being swallowed up for a cool reported 210 billion(!!!)” but the rest of us mere mortals are still trying to keep up being drawsome and earning enough tokens for yet another colour palette.

 

So here goes…the various types of DrawSomething players and their psyche.

The Psychic – can guess what you are drawing with two strokes.

Clueless– The opposite of the psychic. “I have no idea what you just drew dude, and it looks like you’re done with your drawing. Great” or ” How is what you drew even remotely resembling a (insert phrase to be guessed here)??”. Amusement usually ensues, after you have to resort to playing the game like Anagrams because then it’s either give up (but that word doesn’t exist in your vocabulary, does it?) or make wild guesses with the letters.

Cautious Guesser – Wont try to guess without (near) perfect information, i.e The One That Doesn’t Guess Till You Finish Drawing, even though after 3 strokes it was pretty apparent that what you were drawing was totally BritneySpears. Either really patient, or totally risk averse.

The Cheater– unabashedly writes out the phrase to be guessed.

Anyhow Whack – Guessing by wildly filling in letter tiles, and completely missing the point. Your drawing doesn’t matter because they’re just looking at the alphabets anyway. These are the people who should be playing Scrabble, Anagrams or Hangman, really.

MMOminus-the-RPG – Just Involved In Too Many Games At Once. You might have to wait till 2014 before they click on your game again.

The Messenger– (well at this time of observation, DrawSomething was still sans chat function) So there were the people who wrote you a message first on their blank canvas before flipping the digital page to start a drawing proper.

The Crowdsourcer – Posting SOS images on their Facebook when they can’t figure out what on earth the drawing is about.

Crab – Has phone orientaion on crab mode or something. Some people’s pictures just come out sideways. Seems to be something to do with the iPhone, I could be mistaken.

ColourCrazy – Absolutely intent on earning as much coins as possible to get all the available hues possible; ends up not using half of them anyway.

Intensely overkill & spoil market – Drawing a Monet with your phome while the majority of mere mortals stickman away. This tumblr shows it all. Some are pretty good.

The Chronic Mis-speller – Always places that one tile wrong. That one misplaced tile away from perfect spelling.

Spread Spelling – For some reason, fills up the tiles from the middle, instead of spelling the word from left to right. I’m not sure why but it’s interesting to note.

I Don’t Have a Phone That Supports The Game – I feel for you. I’ve had App Envy pre-iPhone/Smartphone days too.

The Late Adopter – Drawn into the game (pun totally intended) only because everyone at brunch seems to be playing it.

I suppose there could be a whole lot more profiles, so leave a note if you have anything to add!

21st Feb2010

Social Media Sticky Behaviors – Google & Facebook

by Dorothy

One of the great things about digital is that it really helps to crystallize certain behaviors. This means visible, predictive intelligence online. One of the most sticky platforms still remains the ubiquitous Facebook, while Google is practically synonymous with search. While they both started off as very distinct entities, it seems that FB has evolved enough to actually start moving into the Search space.

Games

Ever contemplate disabling or deactivating your Facebook account? You know what is top of mind of users when they worry aloud in the FAQ section of FB about losing their data from Farmville (or any other FB game, really!). This, instead of losing all their friends and contacts. This was a few months ago, when Farmville concerns were right at the top of the discussion topics.

It will be interesting when the games and virtual goods segment in FB grows. The question then is how this will translate in markets like South Korea, where there is an entire virtual economy flourishing. It is also a market where other global players such as Myspace, Youtube and even Google have either had to bow out or simply be content with a smaller pie of the market share. Will FB finally have enough clout to go against the likes of Cyworld?

Another question is what happens when (and if?) app revenues surpass that of Facebook?

Zynga (creator of Farmville, Mafia Wars and etc) which has 230 million monthly active users was reported to have revenues of $200 million in 2009. The WSJ says Facebook revenues could hit $710 million in 2010, so there’s still some distance between the two figures. Still, if a fair percentage of return visits are due to the addictive FB games, it remains to be seen if the gap will narrow.

Facebook: Your One stop Internet Destination

You’ve seen the stats. Early 2009, Zuckerberg quipped the most overused quotable line about how “If Facebook were a country, it would be the eighth most populated in the world, just ahead of Japan, Russia and Nigeria.”

Then, he was talking about 150 million people. It is now 2010. Techcrunch reports that Facebook now has something along the lines of about 350 million registered users, with over 175 million of them logging in daily.

That’s a whole lot of visits, a whole lot of eyeballs, a whole lot of power.

Enough power to simply change the FB layout AGAIN without word or warning. I hated it, but have since gotten used to it, since there wasn’t anything much I could really do about it (deja vu?). Everyone seems to have gotten used to the fact that we are all experimental guinea pigs, sigh and get on with our lives. And we  still keep going back to the site.

And now, FB has its sights on Google, who apparently has 800 million visitors.

“According to Web measurement firm Compete Inc., Facebook has passed search-engine giant Google to become the top source for traffic to major portals like Yahoo and MSN, and is among the leaders for other types of sites.” – Source: SF Gate

You can also read more about how FB could kill Google here. The gist is that FB and Google are complementary for now (since FB is leading all those eyeballs to Google), at least, until unique visits for FB surpass that of Google. Microsoft last cut a (non exclusive)deal with FB in the last quarter of 2009 to include real time search results from status updates, but it remains unclear where FB may run with the search pie.

What are these sites to you?

Interestingly, at least for now, Google seems to resonate more with users in terms of the serious stuff – maps, translators, finance info, useful software like chrome/earth.. versus more of a slant towards entertainment and games on Facebook.

Many people still use the Google search bar as a place to type in URLs like Facebook.com (for reasons I can never fathom.. why they can’t type it directly into the actual URL bar is beyond me).

These results below do feature a bit on the importance of mobile as well – with the mobile related and FB lite mentions.

I’m still curious as to how all this will play out and how people will respond to all/any of these changes online… What will keep people coming back for repeat visits?  Also,  with all the talk on privacy and merging of identities on various platforms,  something to explore in future posts!

25th Oct2009

Edelman partnered with Brandtology Digital Brand Index (APAC) finally launched!

by Dorothy

Apologies for the radio silence here the past period, it has been absolutely insane the last few weeks but I have a good excuse. 🙂

So one of the projects I’ve been working on….the APAC Digital Brand Index!
Edelman, together with Brandtology (where I work) have just released a APAC Digital Brand Index spanning across the major markets in the region. To quote John, “8 markets, 800,000 posts, 233 tech brands…” and then some <!>

Please show the team some love if you can because while this may come under the umbrella project of the DBI, multi-market projects really could be mini projects on their own (as is often the case). A full story can be found on the Edelman & Brandtology main sites. (This is where you get the media goodies like fact sheets & media releases, so I suggest you check it out!) and more on John’s site here.

There’s been some nice coverage so far, from online sites in Malaysia, India, China (post in chinese), more India, Australia, to publications like Marketing-interactive.com. I’ve heard the team from China had some great respones from the media session too!
And of course, there are scribd documents, youtube videos all over ( you don’t have to look too hard.)

It is pretty interesting to watch how the news grows. The Google bots are clearly doing their job. Early Friday morning, a Google search returned some 3-4 relevant hits top of page, but that has changed significantly now for any of the major search terms one might use to hunt this down. Search also turns up hits from Facebook pages pretty well too.

Across other spaces, the word is alive on Twitter…. it’s nice to see the multi lingual comments coming in.



I think some of the main findings are already nicely summarized in the various fact sheets on the Edelman site, but of course there are a whole lot more that the data set could provide. Off the top of my head:

  • Online behavioural patterns of APAC netizens… ( 8 countries so far, 2 more coming out). This is for the psychology buff inside me somewhere. I’d really like to see if there are patterns of posting. Weekends are generally less buzzy (people apparently don’t post when they’re not at work?), with conversations happening mostly during weekdays. I can see all those questions about productivity popping up already!
  • Behavioural patterns in different channels – Twitter, unsurprisingly ranks pretty highly in terms of activity and mentions of Brands in the DBI. Part of me thinks that this is largely due to the ease and low effort needed to do an update (aka people are lazy. Easier to post on Twitter than write a full blog post).
    If you’re holding a smartphone, armed with the great Twitter applications and a mobile data plan, it’s easy to make a habit out of Twitter. Instead of calling up our best friend to rant about the lousy brand experience you’d just had, the whole world is now your audience. Clearly, we are seeing signs of that happening, given the number of rants that seem to originate from Twitter.
  • Virality of a Brand – is a certain brand name confined within a select few channels? and why? What’s the difference between a brand that enjoys a lot of buzz within a limited number of channels, as compared to one that is widely disscussed across multiple platforms, but in less depth.
    As a brand, which would you rather be and why? Is this what people call “reach”?
    Does mere reach ( my brand is discussed by 100000 people but each of them only talks about me once ) mean more than longevity in conversation ( my brand is discussed continually by 100 people, across a period of months )?
  • Between a brand and an iconic product – The Singapore data shows Singtel topping the list of mentions. This is probably correlated somewhat with the fact that they still (at this moment in time anyway) have a monopoly on the iphone market. It’s interesting that probably Apple is not mentioned as a brand itself much, but it’s hugely successful line of products – the iPhone, iMac, Macbook, MBPs, MacOS etc would probably generate a huge amount of conversations. Maybe Apple is an aspirational brand, but i personally hate the iPhone because I can’t type on it (yes, seriously). How does brand loyalty feature then, and does it even matter anymore? Would you place product function over the brand, or do you like to convince yourself that this is so?
  • Influencers – What is the difference between an online influencer who owns a blog, and say, someone who’s really active on Twitter? In a forum? In which forum? And how would you qualify this? Microblogging and forums clearly win hands down in terms of activity, as compared to blogs (Again, back to the fact that blogging is hard work!).

Endless questions of why, how, etc and I could really go on and on…

But really, if you’re a slice and dice data wizard, it would be cool to find out what else I could have missed! Any major angles?

If you’re a practioner in Communications/PR/Marketing, it would be great to hear what matters in your daily projects, what are the kinds of metrics and measurements that are important to you and why? How would any of these feature in your social media/digital strategies?
PM me or drop a comment here! I’m decidedly curious. 🙂

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13th Jun2009

Ad:Tech Singapore Thoughts: #2 Engage the Youth Keynote session

by Dorothy

Just got back from a pretty cool experience speaking at this year’s Ad:tech… the keynote panel on Engage the Youth – a direct dialogue…Starting off with some snapshots of the session!

 

keynote1
It was a pretty lively session, from the responses on Twitter and conversations. Here’s the gang panel in discussion with Graham.

IMAGE_527

Amidst the blinding lights, waiting for the delegates to come back from coffee….

 

So a couple of highlights from the discussion:

Q: What do you like about digital marketing? What do you not like?

I remember saying that the one thing that I really felt didn’t quite “work” was corporate accounts following me on Twitter. I’d probably follow back if I like the brand, but if not…it just feels like going back to the old days of intrusive advertising. If I like the brand, I’d hunt them out.  This point apparently resonated with Jeremy Snyder, in his great summary of what transpired on Day 1.

 

The concept of Friends

… To me, it’s really not about the numbers game. The people who are in the numbers game are SEO/digital marketers on Twitter who follow 10000 random people who vaguely mention a keyword once, and have about 100 followers back (maybe other spammers“digital marketers”  who can help you “get rich quick”).

Someone asked if Gen Y measures success by how many friends you have. I sure don’t. The only people who do are the said people above…and probably the likes of Ashton Kutcher when he was in the CNN Twitter challenge.

 

Digital Identity

The question was whether or not digital identities were an accurate portrayal of ourselves, since marketers were probably using social profiles to try and get a sense of who you are as a person.

My answer : I (and partial mountains of psychology research that I had to trawl through for a past paper) believe that digital identities are not accurate on their own, but they could either be an extension of who we are or an aspect that may not be seen in our offline selves. True, social profiles are completely malleable online, so that people can choose to “create” their own digital identities, but the same can be said of how we pick how we speak, what we wear, how we behave, and where we choose to hang out. Impression management works the same way in real life and the digital channel.

I wish I had a photo taken with Devin and his hot pink glasses. Cool stuff. 😉

 

Advertising

I think that advertising will move towards being invisible in the future, it will become content. Ideally content that people are searching for. If I’m looking online for the best hotel to stay while in a particular country, it says a lot if your brand is mentioned in the top post that search engines return. And no, I’m not talking about the text based ads (which I never really pay attention to anyway because they are not what I’m looking for).

 

Media consumption from different perspectives

Great to have fellow panelist, Devin, from Uni of Texas on the panel, with his statement that no one really reads the newspapers in the States anymore (“You’re throwing your money down the drain advertising there”, to quote him) . He also mentioned how magazines were probably 85% of advertising ( I reiterate the importance of my point about advertising as content in future). TV – no one’s watching. Malik watches TV ..but online. Did that count? he pondered aloud, to the chuckles amongst the audience.


keynote2

 

The very tired argument about traditional v.s new/social media

Daryl & I have recorded some live Ad:tech thoughts on our newest installment of the GennY Podcast. , where we address:

  • the traditional v.s new media issue as mentioned (must there really be a distinction? I’d vote for a wholistic campaign. Just because everyone is increasingly on digital doesn’t mean you stop talking in all other channels altogether.
  • Influencers – do they need to be friends/family? (not really)
  • Reaching out to youth…
  • and finally questioning if youth are really that different?

Thoughts
All in all, it was a fun session. Always too short – its hard to really gleam insights when you’re pressed for time, so I do wish there had been more responses to Graham’s call for questions, both on radio and on the official Ad:tech blog. We’ve got forever now online to really respond. 🙂 Would love to hear in the comments if you have any opinions!

True, we’re mostly alpha users of the tools online and exploring the social media space, but a panel session is not much different from a focus group. Qualitative research has never been about the numbers, but more on insights and trying to find out the reasons why, how people do what they do. We all fall somewhere along the technology adoption curve anyhow, so once you have a clearer picture of that path, you can pretty much predict some possible trends for the population at large.

More Link Love:

Graham’s Pre Ad:tech interview : 28th May : on 93.8 Live on ‘How to Market to Youths’

Some good insights here! Loving the research insight on how the folks at Apple visited a sweet factory before successfully deciding to name their products in yummilicious flavours.

Part 1: Play here: [audio:http://www.dorothypoon.com/audio/938Live%20The%20Living%20Room-1010am%20to11am-28May-How%20To%20Market%20To%20Youth-p1.MP3]
Download Part 1

Part 2:

Play here: [audio:http://www.dorothypoon.com/audio/938Live%20The%20Living%20Room-1010am%20to11am-28May-How%20To%20Market%20To%20Youth-p2.MP3]
Download Part 2

Ritsa’s post has a pretty detailed commentary about the main gist of what transpired, so do check it out. She seems to have a great sense of humour and I am digging the BYT (bright young things) description. But I’ll have to say that Graham is anything but a dinosaur!

Speaker page

My other Ad:tech posts:

Pre Ad:tech thoughts: Web 2.0 & Gen Y: The Other Side of the Story
Ad:Tech Singapore Thoughts: #1 Live event Tweeting…

Next up…a post on Scott Goodstein. You can stay tuned through this blog’s RSS here!

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22nd Mar2009

Avatars: Virtual environments & Liquid Identities

by Dorothy

For a psychology module I am doing, I have spent the last couple of weeks trawling through an insane number of academic journals and research on computer mediated communication (CMC), in particular, focusing on Avatars. Lots of very interesting and recent research on the topic!

For a brief introduction, CMC can be both fully text-based (MIRC or Internet Relay Chat), graphic avatar-based, or a mixture of both.

Avatars can be both static (photographs/still images in chat programs like MSN) or dynamic (2D/3D virtual characters like in games or Second Life).

The general trend of thought during the early days of the Internet was that it allowed for a certain amount of anonymity so that people could become “someone else”. Interestingly, the research shows that people are likely to pick or modify Avatars to be “like” themselves, in terms of gender and type (aka human), which might extend to picking avatars that have other characteristics that are closely matched to their own, e.g hobbies, hair colour, race, personality and dressing.

In a nutshell, avatars allow one to maintain a sense of privacy (without divulging your true identity), and yet let you have complete control over the expression of your online identity. This expression is almost complete when you think about the level of control over your physique, features like eye colour, hair, lips and nose, right down to the length and size of your limbs in virtual worlds like Second Life.

Some cool Avatar facts!

  • The selection of Avatars is context dependent. Males have been known to select a female avatar to represent themselves in online gaming spaces because they find that they receive more help and hints from other players. They also receive more attention as a “girl”.
  • This probably means that the same person could choose very different kinds of avatars in different online spaces to represent themselves. e.g on dating sites, work related sites, gaming sites and so on.
  • Anthropomorphic (human-like) avatars were perceived to be more credible.
  • Participants strongly preferred avatars that were both human and of the same gender as themselves. Only a small percentage of subjects preferred androgynous avatars.
  • Choices choices choices (in terms of character design): Some studies report that given entirely pre-created avatars, and allowing people to mix and match their avatars, people were more likely to take the time to customize their own avatars. They hardly opted to pick the lazy way out and just select the “default” characters. (Cheng, Farnham, & Stone, 2002; Taylor, 2002)
  • There is even a Declaration of the Rights of Avatar, by Raph Koster. ‘‘Foremost among these rights is the right
    to be treated as people and not as disembodied, meaningless, soulless puppets. Inherent in this right are therefore the natural and inalienable rights of man. These rights are liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression’’. Far out!

On that note, I’m missing Google’s Lively as it is. Walk through my exploration of that here!

Everyone has their days… when they have no idea how to control their avatars, and you drive yourself up the wall, literally.

And this goes for default sitting positions too… (why they programed it as such, I can never fanthom)

Pimp my Lively home! Before v.s After

I guess this comic pretty much sums up Avatars on the Internet! On the Internet, no one knows you're a dog

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03rd Jan2009

The Marshmellow Test

by Summerisque

What is your marshmellow? I was first exposed to this phrase during a talk in the last quarter of 2008.

Some excerpts from the above linked article:The character traits highlighted by The Marshmallow Test persist in adult life. They effect our performance in every area. Once you start looking for them, it’s easy to spot the “marshmallows” in our professional — and personal — lives. They are the activities which give us immediate gratification — but undermine longer-range benefits.

The desire to please everyone is a “marshmallow” for the manager who let’s herself be “interrupt-driven” . To get those immediate smiles or words of praise, she spends the better part of each day responding to random requests to do this or that, help this person or that one — and never gets around to pursuing her own projects. She needs to occasionally shut the door, have the calls screened, and focus on the greater gratification of achieving long-range goals.

The current “cash cow” may be a “marshmallow” for the CEO who just wants to continue milking profits from “what’s always worked and is still working for us.” In failing to push his people to explore new products and services, he may undermine the organization’s capacity to keep its edge in the future.

Successful people have developed habits which overcome the marshmallow temptation: Self-Restraint, Focus, Prioritizing, the Long-Range View. The marshmallow test is a telling way to catch people’s attention for a presentation on these strategies, which are so essential to success.

Suffice to say, ever since then, or rather, ever since then I have been aware of how I have been administering my own variation of the Marshmallow Test, and of course taking it in some form of another in different situations. I’ve watched as we’ve failed, I’ve watched as we’ve stumbled, I’ve watched as we’ve passed the test. It’s funny, but I probably scored higher on this test as a child and a teenager.

Conspicuously absent from this site will be the resolution list for 2009, either the to-do list, or the stop-doing list. Let’s just say that it always helps to know exactly what you want (or what you don’t want)…because how else would you be able to recognize it if it were right in front of you?

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness; it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair; we had everything before us, we had nothing before us; we were all going directly to Heaven, we were all going the other way.”

—  Charles Dickens. A Tale of Two Cities.

p1071410My favourite quote of the moment – Only when we are no longer afraid; do we begin to live

Here’s to 2009.

26th Sep2008

The future of …Search

by Dorothy

Some logistics first!

I have to apologize for the dearth of posts lately. I have been getting down to a lot of back-end tweaking on this site, couple that with a cloud confusion over the transfer of my domain name and the likes… equates to a lot of mental hair pulling and bug fixing. I love technology, but it doesn’t work all the time.

Still, thank you for being patient and of course, for reading!

I’d like to invite you to update your bookmarks to point to http://www.dorothypoon.com
and your RSS feeds to http://www.dorothypoon.com/feed/

because all the old links are now defunct. Hopefully that will iron out any of the remaining kinks!

…on to the post! 🙂
_________________________________________________________________

Everything is searchable nowadays.

Maybe it’s how Google perpetually surfaces in the news, maybe it is how search permanently ingrained into my browsing habits. I thought it would be cool to dig into the search world, since we basically can’t quite escape this function when we’re on the internet. If we’re not accessing search engines on the web, we probably have some form of search built right into our web browsers.

What then, does this mean for the content that ‘s out there?

Blogs v.s Discussion Forums

In the pre-social networking site days, community used to be largely confined to a discussion forum, where typically one has to log in (first barrier of entry) to read or comment, and more often than not, forget their log in details once the discussion is over (a second negative point). It doesn’t help that search engines do index content from some forum threads, but it is highly annoying for visitors to click on a link from a serach page, only to find that the main forum content is private and sign up is required. The behaviour that this outcome is likely to elicit is to hit that close window/close tab function and find content that is more easily accessible.

Public blogs on the other hand are indexed on search engines like Google – even if you have forgotten some of your old posts, Google doesn’t forget. Blogs are easily searchable, and and typically require no log-ins, just your minimum details if you wish to leave a comment.

Of course, going by the saying that there are markets in everything as postulated from the guys over at Marginal Revolution (which I will plug because they constantly talk about interesting topics), I was curious as to what the situation was like with discussion forums right now. Are discussion forums more searchable now, and what is their current relationship with the search engines?


Sure enough, we currently have Twing.com – “a powerful new search engine dedicated to finding information within forums and communities“. It’s a promising idea, but the site frequently lags for me, and does not always turn in useful results. Ironically, clicking on the “How to use Twing” section brings up…a blank page. Apparently, they have tools for brand managers to generate graphs and monitor online brand conversations, but…I can’t seem to find it easily. So the verdict is.. cool concept, but not that great (yet). Well. Sometimes you’re just part of something that starts a revolution (like how Netscape revolutionalized internet browsing…well where are they now?). But even that might be stretching it a little in this case.


Micro Blogging Search

Some good stuff for Twitter at http://search.twitter.com/
and http://www.tweetscan.com/ ,which has the added functionality of allowing you to search by Twitter username.


Google
Look, with a name that is synonymous with search, it is impossible not to mention these guys (and as you’ve noticed by now their name has been liberally sprinkled all over this post!). Lets not talk about their basic search engine or search bar, Google Insights has been used from anything to compare the changing trends in political inclinations to brand management, to gaining more understanding about users.. which makes it a pretty powerful tool in itself, and no less than what we’ve come to expect from the Googlers. Good stuff!

Random Search

http://downforeveryoneorjustme.com/

The title sums it up! Sometimes, certain sites are down and I notice an influx of questions on the various community sites. “Is (site name here) down??”

I really like this one, but I have to admit, while it is cool, I have not developed the habit of running to this site when sites are not working.
I am (and I believe many others too) still more likely to whine about site downtime either on Facebook, MSN status messages, Twitter, or Plurk.

Search and Habit
Which brings me to another point. I believe search is intrinsically tied in to habit.

We return to our favourite search engine out of sheer habit and familiarity, and once that habit is formed, we are not inclined to switch easily.

Same goes for our habits to obtain information. An increasingly large number of people are getting “too lazy to even Google” and would rather post a question to their online communities and get responses from “familiar” faces (or even random strangers) that they have interacted with in the past. We are, after all, inherently social in nature.

It is interesting of course, that people are so willing to trust in the opinion of these “experts”, instead of an official site from a more trustworthy source. It is also interesting that they are willing to wait for a response, when a quick search on Google would have been much faster (and also more likely to turn up a more relevant and accurate result).

There are several issues in this. Search engines have to constantly monitor the behavioural habits of users and update their search algorithums to most accurately predict what people are looking for. Those in the search industry have to figure out how their product can become a part of people’s habits. Content providers have to deal with the issue of making themselves as searchable as possible. For the rest of us who use the search function, discernment about the reliability about our sources of information is a growing concern. How do you know who (or what site) to trust?

The Future of Search

I guess people are obsessed with finding out where trends are going, what the future entails. If I could throw in some keywords, I would say that search is going to become increasingly digital, accessible anywhere, mobile, multi-platform, intuitive, user friendly, and most importantly, a ubiquitous feature in our lives.

I thought it would be apt then, to highlight these wonderfully executed pieces that contemplate the future of what search could be.

http://petitinvention.wordpress.com/2008/02/10/future-of-internet-search-mobile-version/
Mobile Search Functions


Locational search.


A cool dictionary concept!

http://petitinvention.wordpress.com/2008/03/01/future-of-mobile-internet-search-applications/
Applications


Directions to your destination.

http://petitinvention.wordpress.com/2008/07/09/future-of-mobile-search-search-beyond-time/
Search beyond Time.


Weather forecasting!

http://petitinvention.wordpress.com/2008/07/26/looking-glass-for-iphone/


Data transfer to the iphone!

While they are only figments of a very innovative mind of the author at petitinvention, it seems to me that he has a keen understanding of the typical user’s needs. Couple that with some mad technical skills and you get pictures of prototypes such as these – flawlessly executed, amazing conceptual pieces that you have to see in their entirety to truly appreciate. These works come in a seven part series, eight, if you count in the Iphone concept.

Hope you enjoy them!

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13th Sep2008

Creativity + Censorship

by Dorothy

With a controversial title like “Daydreaming is important business“, this post combines two seemingly paradoxical worlds.

Almost every other day, I am surrounded by a lot of bland personalities in school. It’s startling, to say the least. I am grateful for the friends who still have an active mind around me. I am shocked by how much can change in a few years, in just half a year. I sense a perceptible shift in the student composition, something that I can’t quite put my finger on, but is most definitely there.

I am a dreamer; and always have been. I am also blatantly using this as an explanation for the times that I seem to be, “staring haplessly into space”, as this other article so aptly describes. Daydreaming, combined with a certain kind of control, I say it’s a powerful force.

“If your mind didn’t wander, then you’d be largely shackled to whatever you are doing right now,” says Jonathan Schooler, a psychologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara. “But instead you can engage in mental time travel and other kinds of simulation. During a daydream, your thoughts are really unbounded.”


Creativity
Just the other day, I was musing over what a friend had mentioned about creativity. She’d gotten horrendous grades for anything “art” related all her life, and this label stuck. She thought she was absolutely uncreative- that is, until she went overseas, and discovered she was not. That she was, in fact, rather good with craft and making things with her hands. Who gave our elementary school teachers so much liberty to shape a child that way?

Back to the article on daydreaming:

What these studies all demonstrate is that proper daydreaming – the kind of thinking that occurs when the mind is thinking to itself – is a crucial feature of the healthy human brain. It might seem as though our mind is empty, but the mind is never empty: it’s always bubbling over with ideas and connections.

One of the simplest ways to foster creativity, then, may be to take daydreams more seriously. Even the mundane daydreams that occur hundreds of times a day are helping us plan for the future, interact with others, and solidify our own sense of self. And when we are stuck on a particularly difficult problem, a good daydream isn’t just an escape – it may be the most productive thing we can do.

What benefits have exploring unorthodox interests conferred?
Observation, attention to detail, being able to create and visualize links between seemingly unrelated concepts, alternative ways of thinking, a fuller appreciation of the world, and what it means to be human.

The article was interesting if only because most people associate daydreaming with a very idealistic frame of mind, and at the other end of the spectrum where practicality is concerned.

Cencorship
Which brings me to another issue. On the other hand, I am tired of people complaining about censorship. Rants from these people could be anything ranging from complaints that “My movie experience is ruined”, ” My government doesn’t allow this and that”, to ” Why did they have to edit (this) out”. Every single guest speaker that we have who comes from the art or film industry can expect students to question if they are ‘hindered’ by censorship issues.

Come on. Let’s be realistic. How difficult is it to get your hands on the original, unedited version? No one wants to admit it, but the chances are, you know it is relatively effortless. The point also is that our society is just not ready for certain issues either.

Liberation
We could take another viewpoint. Censorship exists partially to hone your creativity. How best can you achieve what you want, and how can you find a way around the tape that has been designed to “keep you in”? If everything were legal, where would the fun be?

That is why some people have quipped that life is over after 21, because most of the things that were “illegal” because of your age… suddenly becomes mundane. The rules only constrain those that mean to break them. Some day, you’ll wake up realizing there are no boundaries except those that you set for youself. It will be a strange, exhilarating, exuberant moment. You’ll feel scared, you may choose to retreat back into the (now open) cage, or you can choose to venture out. It is an interesting benchmark, to use physical age as a criteria of maturity. It used to work, but with the new complexities of our cultural landscape, I’m not so sure.

At any rate, it’s interesting that songs are censored on radio, certain words are edited out of television shows and movies, whereas absolutely foul language in books seemingly goes undetected. The icing on the cake? I’m also quite taken aback at all the morally dubious themes running on the serials on TV Mobile, just because that is about the only television I will allow myself to be subject to-mostly to due the fact that I can’t quite escape it. So, it is alright to show families broken up, family members screaming hysterically at each other, domestic violence, infidelity, divorce, teenagers on drugs?

Don’t give me all that jazz about how art reflects society. We know it is reflexive as well. You are only perpetuating certain themes in the minds of the very impressionable public that you purport to draw up rules to protect.

In which case, since all this (acceptable but morally dubious) material is so easily accessible already, does censorship really matter then?

As for the general public, I question what you really are asking for then, since you wish to be ‘liberated’ like some of our foreign counterparts. What does true liberation entail to you?

If you are going to fight for the rights to view pieces in their full entirety, what are you going to do with it when you get it? Are you going to take it a step further and engage in debate with others? If you are just going to watch it and take nothing away from the experience, does censorship really matter to you in the end?

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