“Every night around the world, Google ruins countless dinner parties,” David Koretz observes in opening his MediaPost column titled, “I Has Seen the Future – And We Is Dumb.” He asks, in a world “where every argument is a Google search away from being finished,” “you can’t get lost,” “you don’t have to remember phone numbers” and “you don’t have to memorize anything,” are we “rendering ourselves irrelevant?” And, “What’s the value of human memory in a world where all information is available? His answer: “There is one place where humans will continue to add immense value: non-linear processing. We excel at analyzing information in unique and non-obvious ways to reach interesting conclusions.” He believes that leads to innovations and that publishing today is in sore need of innovation.
Perhaps Qwiki.com, a rich media platform available to the public now in alpha form, may facilitate some of that innovation. It pulls together voice, video, photos and text from across the web to provide a current report on specific topics, now numbering three million and growing. Laurie Sullivan, quotes Qwiki CEO Doug Imbruce in Online Media Daily: “When released later this year, Qwiki will provide people with the ability to ‘click a button’ and merge (their) Facebook and LinkedIn profiles on demand.” Along with other data gathered by its web crawlers, it will create a cohesive narrative as permitted by the subject. . . . Yet other tools to be exploited by innovators have been introduced by Tynt, the eighth largest Internet Data Collector, according to securities analyst Lou Kerner, quoted also in Online Media Daily by Joe Mandese. The new tools will allow Tynt’s customers, currently at 6,000 online publishers, to analyze what words are driving traffic to (and from) their site.
Some of the innovations may not prove popular, such as Facebook’s newly introduced Sponsored Stories ad unit. According to Catherine Taylor in Social Media Insider, it works like this: “when a consumer interacts with or mentions a brand on Facebook — via a check-in, a “Like,” a wall post or a brand-sponsored app — that interaction can become an ad shared with the user’s Facebook friends, taking in account each user’s privacy settings.” Advertisers pay at a cost-per-click or cost-per thousand rate and Facebook member becomes the ad medium, as Taylor notes. She argues that such exploitation is part of the price of getting Facebook free and that if members were compensated for such use, that would be incentive for members to “game” their Facebook reach and brand mentions. . . . Last, a study by a web TV station with 10 million unique viewers a month revealed that the number of its subscribers with TV connections to their computers had tripled in the last year to 60 percent. A good deal of that jump is attributable to NetFlix but it presages all our devices seamlessly intermarrying.