Social Networking

Buck Serves Up Datagrams for the US Open.

I love this. What a great use of white hot visual social media goliath Instagram, beautiful design, and animation, plus data provided by IBM. At the US Open this year, Buck in conjunction with IBM and Ogilvy & Mather created live video animations that were uploaded to Instagram. A custom toolkit and workflow was designed and built to accommodate the live data that was being entered and shifted with the on court action. The result was responsive data-based animations, rendered and uploaded in minutes. The video below shows the end result highlighting the clean design work and simple animations.

The Conversation Prism, How Social Networks are Used.

The infographic below is part of an ongoing study in the digital ethnography of social media. The information comes from Brian Solis, and was brought to visualization by JESS3. This is the fourth rendition of the chart and it will continue to evolve as social media and the web change. What’s great about this is it shows the dominant and emerging social networks and organizes them by daily use. If you are the lest bit curious about how and why your social networks are being used, this is worth a look.

Conversation-Prism-XLarge

Social Selling, the Problem with Foap.

About a year ago I downloaded and installed Foap on my iPhone. I liked the idea of selling my photos to a stock service with little effort. Like many apps, I tried it, put it back on the shelf and stopped using it until I saw a couple of weeks back that Foap had snagged another round of funding and was expanding the service globally. So after seeing the news about funding, I opened Foap to see if things had changed with the app,, and the service.

I’ve been using Foap for the last two weeks and have uploaded 50 or so photos to the service. If you are unfamiliar with the way Foap works it’s pretty simple. You upload a photo, then you rate 5 photos on the service and your photo gets placed in line to be voted on. All photos go through a Foap user review process. You get enough votes, your photo goes live and is up for sale. The higher the rating, the better your chances, thanks to ranking and exposure.

Here’s the rub though. Because everyone is voting, and wants their photo to be ranked high, people tend to give everyone a 3 stars or higher rating. Even if the photo is completely awful. Consequently, a large portion of the Foap catalog is for lack of a better term useless. Now before anyone starts typing up a flaming hate comment, I am not slamming all the photos on Foap. There are a ton of absolutely amazing images out there. The problem is using a peer based ranking system, in an environment where everyone wants to be popular and sell there images.

The lack of objective curation of the app effectively neutralizes all of the content housed on the Foap servers. As a person that purchases stock photography on a regular basis I have browsed thousands and thousands of image on Veer, Getty, iStock etc. The images that are on those sites, have been curated and edited by professionals that know what is going to sell, and what is going to make their catalog superior to the competition. Foap might be a peer driven social network of stock imagery, but in the end Foap and it’s users are competing with every stock library in the world. Because of that, I think Foap needs to have some level of professional curation and editing. Why? Because its all about quality.

All of the images below are within 1 point of each other in ranking. They all average about a 3.8 of the Foap scale of what is good. I know the subject matter is different across the images that are shown, but you have to admit the quality of some photos is much greater than others with the same ranking. And this is why Foap needs some form of editing, or enforceable guidlines for how a photo gets rated.

Just to let you know, I am no a disgruntled Foap user. I’ve been lucky enough to sell 2 images out of the 700,000 that Foap has in it’s ever growing catalog, and I actually think that Foap could work. It’s a great idea, but it needs some form of policing if it wants to be successful long term.

20130818-152718.jpg

20130818-152734.jpg

Foap, Selling Your Smartphone Pics to the World.

If you are unfamiliar with Foap, you should maybe think about getting acquainted. Especially if you are one of the millions of photo snapping smartphone users around the world. The company allows users to earn money from their photos by uploading them to the Foap platform. The platform like any other stock image house pays royalties on all images purchased through their site. The Foap iOS app is available here if you want to sell your images via Foap to the world.

foap

The swedish mobile stock photography startup secured another round of funding to the tune of 1.5 million dollars earlier this week. The company is also dipping it’s toes in the American market for the first time, extending it’s user base beyond Europe. In addition to new funding, Foap has launched Foap Missions, a similar service, but for brands who want to build an image gallery for marketing. Foap Missions already has heavy hitter brands like Puma, and Lavazza signed on. Missions works by setting their communities “photo missions”, getting users to upload specific images competing against each other for the best photo. The chosen winner receives a cash reward and their image will then be used in future marketing campaigns for that brand. Additional images from the contest can be bought for $10.

 

 

Lexus and Instagram Make a Video.

With Instagram one of the white hot darlings of social media 2.0 it’s no surprise that Lexus turned to it to create one of their latest ads.

The video below was uploaded a couple of days ago to YouTube, and features images taken by 212 instagramers over the course of a day highlighting the new 2014 Lexus IS.  Using hundreds of their shots the images were uploaded to Instagram, with a specific hashtag for the car. At the same time images were captured onsite and edited with what looked like Adobe Premier. (you get a brief glimpse of the edit suite in the YouTube video below). For a full list of participants click through to YouTube to see their names.

Fliike it With Facebook.

Lets say you are a business and you want to let everyone walking by your space know just how popular you are on Facebook. What would you do? You could spend a boatload of money on a realtime projection system and some fancy software to display each like that you get, or you could drop $390.00 on Fliike.

Developed by Smiirl, Fliike is the first physical realtime Facebook like counter. It is connected and designed for businesses to show off the growing number of likes they receive. The preorder cost is $390.00. Smiirl is working to get a limited edition of 500 numbered Fliikes ready for the first group of preorders. The cost doesn’t include shipping or tax, so you are probably looking spending closer to 450 bucks by the time its all said and done. It’s still cheaper than hiring a coder and building a projection system for your store front window though. According to the Smiirl website, the first batch of Fliikes will ship in November, just in time for Christmas.

Fliike by Smiirl from Smiirl on Vimeo.

The Growing Mobile Video Explosion

Yesterday Facebook, owner of Instagram announced they were adding video to the popular image sharing software. This is probably to counter act Vine from Twitter. Both services now offer users the option to upload 15 or 6 second video clips respectively. The addition of video to Instagram helps to solidify the ever growing presence of video on the internet and mobile devices.

Mobile Internet specialist Skyfire has produced a new infographic that details the various challenges facing mobile operators looking to make mobile video work efficiently and effectively.

“Who’s in Charge of Managing the Mobile Video Deluge?” by Skyfire looks at the different ways in which mobile operators and content publishers view video traffic. At the same time it also casts an eye over the potential ways by which current trends could meander in the not too distant future.

Skyfire_Infographic_-_Mobile_Video_and_Operators