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The RAAKonteur #26 – Quora, social Facebook ads & chips, chips, chips

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31 January 2011

What can you do with Quora

Many were launched, but in 2010 there were only a few new tools that really mattered. Kickstarter was one. Quora is another. Here we explain what it has done for us and how you can use it.

Facebook Ads are becoming more Social

You may remember we talked about a Nielsen report saying that Facebook ads that showed friends' interactions were up to 4 times more effective. Either Facebook reads the RAAKonteur or they may know someone at Nielsen, but they're now looking to enhance the Social element of their display ads.

They're calling it 'Sponsored Stories'. According to AdWeek, it's basically the same brand interactions that appear in your News Feed. This will allow brands to display that activity on the right side of the page.

Put an RFID tag in your shoe…

Here's a nice project that links digital to real life, created by Swedish interaction design student Hampus Lemhag. He developed a system for shoe brand WeSC where you put RFID tags into shoes. The user then connects that tag (i.e. the shoe) to some of their social networks and you can start programming all kinds of crazy stuff.

Example: you walk onto a reader-enabled surface, it triggers a camera that takes your picture, which gets posted straight to your Flickr account. More madness in Hampus' demo video.


…and an NFC chip in your phone

According to Business Insider, Apple is planning to integrate NFC chips in the next generation of iPhones and iPads. Which means that it may become possible to start making payments with your iPhone by simply touching the device onto a reader.

Collective action is easier

Whether it's reacting to rude Tube workers or getting rid of despots, social media has made collective action ever easier. In a very good article by Alex Howard an interesting bit of research is mentioned:

A survey released this week by the Pew Research Center's Internet and Life Project shed light on the social side of the Internet. The results offered insight into the differences between the connected and the disconnected, revealing that Internet users are more likely to be active participants, with some 80 percent of Internet users participating in groups, compared with 56 percent of non-Internet users.

The future of DIY digital publishing

Jeff Jarvis tweeted this week that Paulo Coelho didn't do any interviews to promote his new book, but instead only used Facebook and Twitter. With great success.

Going one step further is journalist and sci-fi author Cory Doctorow. In this talk at the Picnic conference in Amsterdam, he explains how he's published his new collection of short stories independently.

A nice teaser quote: As hard as it is to monetize fame, it's harder to monetize obscurity. 


Kinect – virtual identity not as a login

Our favourite games guy, Tom Chatfield, has unwrapped a Kinect. What struck him is the impact on digital identity and how the Kinect gives us a glimpse of our virtual selfs in quite a new sense.

It’s impossible not to experience an intense and rapid identification with that outline of your own body moving in synch on screen. And you can add to this the minor miracle of facial and bodily recognition. You step in front of the camera and wave, and a machine is no longer simply being controlled by “a user”; it’s being controlled by you, and specifically by you as defined by the same things that make you “you” in other most people’s eyes: your body and face and movements.

Creative of the week – The glitch-art of stAllio!

Forget Photoshop. Be creative with technology. stAllio! creates art by manipulating the data structure of photos to create some intriguing imagery. Read More >>


And not to be ignored

  • If you can't beat them, buy them – Google launches a competitor to Groupon.
  • An article in the NYT about how sending texts actually improves kids' spelling skills.
  • Facebook is concentrating on mobile in 2011 and specifically HTML 5.
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