Category Archives: Digital Society

INFLUENCERS

How trends and creativity become contagious today.

influencers-Film-zgenesis

INFLUENCERS is a short documentary that explores what it means to be an influencer and how trends and creativity become contagious today in music, fashion and entertainment.

The film attempts to understand the essence of influence, what makes a person influential without taking a statistical or metric approach.

Written and Directed by Paul Rojanathara and Davis Johnson, the film is a Polaroid snapshot of New York influential creatives (advertising, design, fashion and entertainment) who are shaping today’s pop culture.
“Influencers” belongs to the new generation of short films, webdocs, which combine the documentary style and the online experience.

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DIRECTORS’ NOTE

INFLUENCERS focuses on what is commonly referred to as “Lifestyle Culture or Influential Young Adults Market” in the areas of music, fashion, and entertainment.
The documentary does not pretend to offer an analysis of what is influence under all its forms (economic, political, environmental…).

What prompted us to put together this crossover project (film + online experience) was to understand the essence of influence, what makes a person influential without taking a statistical or metric approach.
Obviously, trends are never the product of one individual but rather the result of factors that involve various people…

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We therefore set out to meet some of these industry insiders and pioneers
who, despite working in the background, literally define mainstream culture.

We asked them to share their views on:
How to define influence? What makes someone influent? What is the link between trends and influence? Are there places/events conducive to creative pollination?
They spontaneously shared their professional and personal experiences.

In the background, the documentary also explores an entire ecosystem of DIY (Do It Yourself) minded individuals whose passion is transforming Pop Culture.
Their creations have produced powerful independent media that became the main news source for many readers and creatives entrepreneurs around the world.

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Picasso-influencers-zgenesis

WHY NYC?

Influence is not specific to NYC, but if you had to pick one single city in the world to illustrate how trends propagate, New York is definitely the city that first comes to mind so it was an obvious choice for us.
In addition, it is the most cosmopolitan city in the world and it is the one that has best integrated the various cultures and talents coming from all over the globe.

We hope this short doc will resonate with the D.I.Y generation to which we belong.

EMOTION-LADEN SOUNDTRACK

We opted for a group of new artists whose immersive & soulful music seemed to translate how we felt emotionally vis-à-vis this project.
Influence being an abstract notion, we were able to translate it artistically using British sculptor Anthony Gromley’s statues as inspiration.

- Paul Rojanathara & Davis Johnson

Watch the full documentary.

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Interactive documentary & education: a field to explore (I)

1. Viewing (observer) 2. Learning (student) 3. Playing (player) 4. Sharing (interactor)

Interactive documentary and education a field to explore-zgenesis

One of the essential premises of the traditional documentary is the desire to organise a story that is both informative and entertaining. And, in this sense, the interactive format should continue with the tradition to try to offer similar experiences that mix a recreational (entertainment) proposal with an educational one (knowledge), in the most efficient, original and attractive possible way. And this is mainly possible thanks to the combination of different navigational and interactive modalities, which enable a multiple exchange between the work and the interactor.

Firstly, navigating and visiting different proposals and structuring the content (information and knowledge) means the use of strategies and resources of the games. This way, from the structure of the interactive, and through the navigation modalities, the user, in a certain sense, “plays” with the possibilities offered by the work and can satisfy their first necessity: amusement and entertainment.

Secondly, this strategy close to the game experience usually gives the user a sensation of deep immersion and stops their learning from being boring and that their need of being informed or need or learning ends up fading. Therefore, the didactic proposal offered is attractive and dynamic, beyond that present in most classical hypertexts.

Already at this stage, the interactor “learns through playing” and once they have “learnt the lesson” in a fun, original and light-hearted way, they can share it with other interactors, in real time or whenever they deem it appropriate.

Read more…

Part II – Interactive documentary & education: a field to explore (II)
Part III – Interactive documentary & education: a field to explore (III)

via idocs

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The Computer Moves In

computer moves in -zgenesis

In 1982, Time picked not a man, but a machine: the computer.
In its story about the pick, the magazine quoted an ad that attempted to answer the question:

- “Will someone please tell me what a personal computer can do?

- “A personal computer, it says, can send letters at the speed of light, diagnose a sick poodle, custom-tailor an insurance program in minutes, test recipes for beer.

We wonder what will come next!
What about you?

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PaperTab a thin line between computers and paper

“Creators of PaperTab claim ultra-slim, flexible invention will change the face of personal computing forever”

PaperTab_21

A flexible, paper-thin tablet which looks and feels like a sheet of paper is being touted as a revolutionary advance in computing.

The PaperTab, a high-resolution plastic display PC prototype, was unveiled on Monday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

A new concept device developed by Intel, Queen’s University from Canada and the British firm Plastic Logic, it caused a stir on the first day of the week-long conference with an interactive, 10.7in plastic display that its makers called revolutionary. The team behind the PaperTab said their goal was to emulate the feel of paper with a robust, lightweight product that could bend and be dropped on a desk.

“If the idea catches on, expect paper to never be the same again,” said the news site pocket-lint.com.

Read more…

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81iiGWdsJgg?rel=0&w=560&h=315]

Via The guardian

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100,000 Stars

Ready for a mind-blowing trip? Google’s got you covered with its “100,000 Stars” Chrome experiment, visualizing our stellar neighborhood in a way you’ve never seen.

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Using either your mouse or a trackpad, “100,000 Stars” lets you fly around in a sophisticated 3D graphic of our galaxy, taking a close look at the stars that are relatively close to Earth. Try zooming way out, where you can peer at the edge of the Milky Way, and see if it makes you feel like we did, finding ourselves wishing we could zoom out even farther.

Or you can click the “take a tour” button on the upper left to be swept away to the most interesting stars in our galaxy, or click on a star to get more info. And don’t miss the variety of views you can get, showing you the actual density of the stars in our galaxy. It’s spectacular.

Beyond its value as a fascinating toy, “100,000 Stars” is a demo of current web technology. It shows you 3D graphics and plays music by Mass Effect composer Sam Hulick. It accomplishes this magic using an alphabet soup of cool browser tech, including WebGL, CSS3D and Web Audio. And, you don’t need to be using the Chrome browser either. We noticed it works just as well in Firefox.

Read more…

Via Mashable

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The Future of Learning…

Students are the future, but what’s the future for students?

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qC_T9ePzANg?rel=0&w=560&h=315]

To arm them with the relevant, timeless skills for our rapidly changing world, we need to revolutionize what it means to learn. Education innovators like Dr. Sugata Mitra, visiting professor at MIT; Sal Khan, founder of Khan Academy; and Dr. Catherine Lucey, Vice Dean of Education at UCSF, are redefining how we engage young minds for a creatively and technologically-advanced future. Which of these eduvators holds the key for unlocking the learning potential inside every student?

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What’s On?

Content Discovery in the Age of TV

What’s On?

We’re living in the golden age of television. The days of one hundred channels and nothing to watch appears to be largely a thing of the past. Today, TV is about choice, and for most viewers, there are more choices than ever before.

We are watching more TV in more places – according to a recent Nielsen report among the 289 million U.S. TV owners, 119 million own four or more television sets, indicating the TV is more than ever the device of choice for consuming video content. Not only are devices better – both big and small screen – but inexorable changes have occurred in the way TV is watched. Through innovations in time shifted TV and TV everywhere, changing viewing behavior make it impossible to think about watching TV in the “old way” any more.

These figures only begin to tell the story. The real story is that thanks to the power of choice, the one-size-fits-all content profile no longer describes any individual very well.

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With a higher volume of studio content more available than ever before, consumers as well as service providers are having a hard time keeping up. Most consumers subscribe to a television service provider – 52% have cable, 33% have satellite subscriptions and only 9% viewing broadcast TV over the air. This includes most users who watch video from alternate sources, including streaming video from providers like Netflix, and from up and comers like Amazon, Google and Apple. Broadcast video, together with on-demand content, comprises a dizzying array of choices – so many in fact that content a viewer might want to watch is easy to overlook due to information overload.

The next big challenge for service providers is being able to offer customers more context around their choices, and therefore, better methods for content discovery. With the average American now spending 144 hours a month watching television in the home, almost 6 hours of time watching online video and about 5 hours watching video on mobile devices, improvements in content search, recommendations, and personalization, can drastically unify and improve the subscriber experience. Better methods of content discovery enable every subscriber to tailor their cable experience, and to consume content and interact with their service provider in a way that makes the most sense within the context of their lifestyle.

Read more…

via Wired

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5 Future Technology Innovations from IBM

Sight – Hearing – Smell – Touch – Taste

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXkfrBJqVcQ?rel=0&w=560&h=315]

In 5 years, computers will hear what matters. Hearing systems of the future will be trained by ‘listening’ to sounds and will use this input to start detecting patterns and building models to decompose sounds. Machines will be used to predict when a tree might fall or to translate “baby talk” so parents understand if a baby’s fussing indicates hunger, tiredness or pain.

- Sight
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwfJVwknvRo?rel=0&w=560&h=315]

- Hearing
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oKfWIgDTFs?rel=0&w=560&h=315]

- Smell
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYkSvNKdyBM?rel=0&w=560&h=315]

- Touch
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gg3tmZrwbDs?rel=0&w=560&h=315]

- Taste
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNz23XXLa1E?rel=0&w=560&h=315]

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Google Zeitgeist 2012: Year In Review

As you look back on 2012, let’s look forward to 2013.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xY_MUB8adEQ?rel=0&w=560&h=315]

Research shows those who write down their resolutions are more likely to stick with them, so the folks at Google are offering a little help. The search engine giant has rolled out a new interactive way to share goals online and keep tabs on what everyone else is aiming for in 2013.

The Google Zeitgeist Resolutions page allows you to add and browse New Year’s resolutions posted from across the globe. The resolutions are run through Google Translate, so they can be read in your native language and are filtered by category, from love and career to health and finances.

Zeitgeist 2012-zgenesis

Although many focus on exercising and spending more time with family, others include “get a puppy” (California), “work less, earn more” (South Africa) and “quit smoking” (Russia). We spotted a “grow a mustache” resolution in there too.

To add to the 2013 resolution map, a prompt on the page asks for your resolution, postal code and country name. The submission should be added to the digital map in 24 to 48 hours.

What’s your New Year’s resolution? Let us know in the comments below.

via Mashable

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Chasing sustainability on the net

An analysis of 69 journalism startups in 10 countries finds no Holy Grail, but a lot of revenue ideas in action.

Chasing sustainability on the net-zgenesis

Many journalists invest their future hopes in the idea of the paywall — the notion of readers paying directly for access to online content sounds tempting for an industry struggling to find revenue. But finding journalistic startups who make a profit by selling original content directly to an audience is a challenge.

Our international research project, Sustainable Business Models for Journalism (submojour.net), built case studies of 69 startups in 10 countries and found only a handful startups where charging for content was a significant part of their business model.

So if it’s not paywalls, how are the world’s journalistic startups making money online? Our research project looked for answers from three continents. We found that revenue sources differed quite remarkably from country to country — an indication that there are lessons to be learned across boundaries.

Read more…

Download the PDF…

Via Nieman Journalism Lab

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