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Category: Sonia Carreno

Shazam, Hippopost and Paying the Taxman – Sonia Carreno's 2008 Favourite Things

2008 was such a great year for adoption and innovation.  Here are three things that made me either smile or think hard about being online this year.

Favourite Application
Shazam ScreenshotPicking a favourite application is not easy.  I’m sure that there are applications that are more useful and some that may even end world hunger but I just can’t resist mentioning Shazam.

Think of all the times you’ve heard a song playing but didn’t know what it was. Whether on the car radio, a shopping mall, at a friend's house, or a bar, the Shazam application "listens" to the song for about 30 seconds, quickly scans it against its database of around 5 million songs and then sends a text message to your phone telling you the name of the artist and song title.  The iPhone application is hooked up to iTunes so the song is yours in under a minute. 

Shazam not only serves a cool purpose, it also speaks volumes about the progression of sophisticated search technology. Brilliant.

Notable Industry Realizations
While a big theme this year was about “letting go” and having marketers accept the uncontrollable nature of social media (there were some great talks from Unilever and General Motors on this topic in 2008), I found a more constructive theme warranted deeper reflection.

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Interactive Local Media – Discussions at ILM ‘08

As usual, there were some very insightful presentations from the Kelsey Group’s Interactive Local Media Conference (ILM) in Santa Clara last week.  The event attracted over 450 local media professionals to a series of compelling discussions on the rapid changes occurring in the local media landscape.

Here three trends worth noting in the local digital space:

Ubiquitous Solutions

It seemed there were a lot of slides that started with “360˚…”.  I thought one of the most riveting presentations on this subject was from Mike Liebhold, Senior Researcher at the Institute for the Future.  Liebhold described new modes of interaction that consumers will have with local data based on the capabilities that will be made available through handheld devices. 

His view was that maps would be replaced with much richer experiences that might be tied into the real-time location and user profile of the consumer.  Liebhold had the crowd visualize a world that had media wrappers around physical objects and stories attached to merchandise bringing a whole new type of experience.

Users would be able to by-pass manufacturer’s messages and skip straight to the messages that are relevant to the individual (ingredients that are unacceptable, unethical production, community user reviews etc.) instantaneously.

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