February 15, 2010

Map of the future

While everyone is buzzing about social media the world of online maps has not been snoozing. As we can see from this TED video filmed last week, Blaise Aguera y Arcas (an architect at Microsoft Live Labs, architect of Seadragon, and the co-creator of Photosynth) shows how far they are taking Bing maps. I love the integration of geo-tagged Flickr photos and live video (surprised the demo worked – Microsoft don’t have the greatest demo track record). Meanwhile, over at Google, their Labs division continues to innovate with features such as Drag ‘n’ Zoom, Aerial Imagery and Rotatable Maps. Read all about it here on Mashable >

Here’s one last little treat. Google Buzz Mobile is integrated into Google Maps so you can see who is saying what where. Take a look at New York – you’ll soon realise that A: People are not very interesting…. and B: Neither are you if all you do it check what people near you are buzzing about. Go to a museum instead. I hear there are a few in NY 🙂

August 11, 2009

Welcome to the Code War

google-qr-code1Bing vs. Google, Facebook vs. Twitter, Microsoft vs. Apple… the tension is increasing on a daily basis these days. It feels awfully similar to the Cold War of the 50s, 60s and 70s.

Wikipedia describes it this way. “The Cold War (1945-91) was the continuing state of political conflict, military tension, and economic competition existing after World War II (1939-45), between the USSR and its satellite states, and the powers of the Western world, led by the United States. Although the primary participants’ military forces never officially clashed directly, they expressed the conflict through military coalitions, strategic conventional force deployments, a nuclear arms race, espionage, proxy wars, propaganda, and technological competition, e.g. the space race”.

The Code War involves search engine algorithms, copycat functionalities, tit for tat increases in storage space for webmail and big guns swallowing up the little guys. So we’re seeing Facebook buying Friendfeed since they couldn’t get Twitter. Microsoft couldn’t nab Yahoo! so they wait their time then screw them with what will no doubt turn into a shitty deal (it already has made Carol Bartz look dumb). Apple blocks Google Voice from the iPhone. Retaliation? Their CEO steps down from the Apple board and they put Voice on the Palm Pre.

But what does this all mean for the advertising industry. Well they seem to applaud the deal between Microsoft and Yahoo! All this innovation is creating great opportunities for clever marketing. As soon as a new technology is announced the advertising and marketing folk seek new ways to exploit it. Social networks, HD online video, apps… these may all be weapons of mass consumption to attract the internet public – but for agency strategists, creatives and technologists they are shiny new toys for them to play with. Keep them coming!