Digital Media Consumption is Inevitable

Being born in the early nineties, I am part of the last generation to grow up with heavy exposure to tangible media. I grew up with a fax machine, a cassette player, and a print newspaper delivered to my house daily. Now, I email, listen to music digitally, and subscribe to a newspaper on my iPad. I just purchased a laptop without an optical drive. Almost all content I consume is digital. It is a great time to be at an digital marketing company like Ingenex while the digital world is evolving rapidly.

Despite the amount of digital consumption of media, I am still and will always be a huge fan of print media. I love the feel of good quality paper stock. The vibrancy of ink printed on paper. However, the transition to digital media is inevitable.  Consuming content digitally is eco friendly (something we love to be here at Ingenex!) The amount of paper I saved this year alone by purchasing textbooks on my iPad is huge. There is no shipping either when content is purchased digitally – just one click and done. Digital consumption is just more convenient. I don’t have to waste resources driving over Barnes & Noble to get a book, wait for a textbook to be delivered from Amazon, or worry that my monthly issue of Vogue is not going to make it to my doorstep. Besides being eco friendly, digital content is inherently social. It is super easy to share an interesting article read on a tablet. Humans are naturally social beings, and digital media makes it that much easier.

I am eager to learn about all things digital since digital and social media are taking over our lives. During my internship at Ingenex, I hope to grow and strengthen my knowledge of digital marketing. I am looking forward to applying skills learned to a my future career!

HOW TO: Watch the 2012 Summer Olympics Online

New this time around for the Olympics is online streaming–where anyone with a computer can log on and watch the Olympics right from their laptop or home computer! This may seem like a minor change, but in fact, it just adds to the increase in communication that the world has experienced since the last summer Olympics in 2008. The entire way the game’s highlight events and key moments have been shared is changed, and much faster at that! The combination of online streaming, twitter, facebook, and youtube has made the Olympics seem much closer to home than they actually are–halfway across the the world in London!

Now that the Olympics have all-around become a more digital and global experience, it seems only appropriate to put together a guide to streaming the Olympics, so that you too can be in the loop with the eventful (no pun intended) Olympic games!

Here are some guidelines to (legally) streaming the games live online or on your phone or tablet!

You need to have Cable!

Most online content in the US is only accessible if you have subscribed to cable or satellite. NBC streaming of the olympics is no exception. The good news? NBC has managed to work with almost all cable and satellite providers out there, so there should be no hitch in getting access!

If you don’t have cable, have no fear! You can always access the highlights on the NBC Olympics YouTube page.

If you’re in the US

In the US, NBC is the official broadcast partner of the Olympics. Therefore, NBC will air the Games on NBC and NBC-owned cable stations as well as stream more content online in real-time than they ever have before. But as usual, there’s a catch. You not only need to be a cable subscriber, but also you need to get MSNBC and CNBC. If you meet this criteria, then all you need to doo is head to NBCOlympics.com/LiveExtra and click on “Click here to get ready”. Then, follow the instructions, and you’ll be set to go!

If you can’t get to a computer, there’s always the option to watch the live streams from your iOS or Android device with the mobile NBC Live Extra app for iOS and Android. The great thing about this app is that you can use a four hour “guest pass” to the Games in case you don’t know the username or password for your cable provider.

If you’re in London

BBC is providing livestreams of the Games via the BBC Sport website and mobile apps. If you’re in the UK, you have access to every sport for up to 24 live HD streams!

BBC also has apps for iOS and Android to watch these livestreams. In addition to the livestreams, BBC will also feature results, news stories, and daily highlights for users to look over when in a hurry.

If you’re in another part of the world

Freecast.com has a streaming and TV guide for olympic coverage in over 150 countries! Also, the IOC has an official Olympic channel on YouTube that will be broadcasting the games live in territories in Asia and Africa that lack broadcast partners. This channel will also offer clips, replays, and highlights of the events.

Turns out that no matter where you are in the world, you too can be a part of this year’s “digital games”!

 

 

 

 

 

Chirpify to Expand Twitter

As Twitter quickly grows everyday, more and more opportunities slowly arise for Twitter to expand its domain. That is exactly what the latest startup, Chirpify, is doing by teaming up with PayPal. Chirpify will allow users to purchase anything from companies that also use Chirpify from their Twitter-enabled smartphones. In addition to shopping, users can transfer money to other users in a peer-to-peer transaction as long as both are using Chirpify. Beyond what is already done, Chirpify and future applications will only expand and demand more from social media marketing agencies as a necessity, not just an afterthought.

There are high hopes for Chirpify given the combination of a majority of cell phone sales being smartphones and people becoming more comfortable shopping through the internet. If Chirpify takes off, it would become the first major add-on to Twitter to expand it’s reaches as a social networking tool. With social networking sites quickly trying to expand their reaches by diversifying, it’s plausible they will eventually morph into near-identical entities. Seeing as how for example Facebook has its marketplace, which seems on par with Chirpify. If that were to happen, what would happen to social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook? Would they possibly merge into one giant site? All we can do is wait and see.

Google and Facebook the Better, Faster, Stronger

In the digital world, companies challenge each other to be the better, faster, stronger.  The competition is escalating and Google and Facebook are advancing. How do they maintain this success? Because they cater to the public by constantly improving their applications and making them even more simple and user-friendly.
Just in time for the school year, Google updated some of its major applications like Google Docs, Calendar, and Sites by improving accessibility, for example the addition of short cut keys. Also in Google Docs there used to be only one way to share a document and people could edit right on the page. Well now there is a comment only access to Docs, so now you can have friends look at your document without ever having to worry about them editing your original.
How many times have you gone on your Facebook account and you are dazed by the new design and format of the social networking site. Facebook is incessantly changing and the newest latest and greatest is the introduction of Timeline, it is a new type of profile that highlights the greatest moments of you that has been recorded on Facebook.  You have full control on what is on your Timeline profile and even old friends can easily catch up on your life. Stay tuned this application is available in a few weeks from now, possibly the same time as the release of the iPhone 5!

Smartphone’s: Can you live without it?

Mobile phones capable of face-time video chatting, Internet browsing, social network status updating and sharing are arguable the years hottest accessory. Smartphone’s allow us to stay updated and in-touch with our friends, family and business engagements in a content rich fast-pace environment that is our World. Location based mobile search changes the way we seek information, making it easier to find the things we need, when we want, from wherever we are. A Mashable article describes the relationship between human and Smartphone as addictive, reporting that, “37% of adults and 60% of teens admit they are addicted.”

CrackBerry.com

The Smartphone has integrated itself into every aspect of our lives, evolving the way we conduct business and socialize with others. The development of sleek applications that support and maybe even encourage questionable social media habits make web browsing easier. There are mobile applications for just about everything, and we can get information about anything from just about anywhere. Technology is evolving and we are evolving with it, adapting our communication, research and sharing habits. Is it really that big of an issue? Only time will tell, but until then mobile phones will continue to improve and influence our daily habits and lifestyle.

Mashable: Are Smartphone’s Taking Over Our Lives? [Study]

Facebook and Twitter Additction OK

In high school and early years of college my Facebook addiction appeared to distract me from what many others thought I “should” be focusing on. As I got older my Facebook addiction led to a fascination with Twitter and other forms of social media. Suddenly I was studying social media and digital public relations strategies in school. Within three years my degree in public relations went from cool to awesome. I was taking innovative journalism classes tailored to social media strategies and search engine optimization and all things digital. Was this too good to be true? Can I really make a career out of this?

Photo: DirJournal.com

It turns out you can. And there is quite the demand for digital agencies and social media strategist as the digital revolution continues to grow according to The Detroit News article, Aging Nation, Technology Give Rise to Five Hot Jobs. There is real value in social and digital and more and more people are recognizing that. The job market is fierce and there is good news for college students. According to The Detroit News Article. “By 2018 a million new jobs expected to be created.”  I don’t know if fate or luck or destiny brought me to my current internship in the digital marketing field, but the future is looking nice for me and for the digital agency.

The Detroit News: Aging Nation, Technology Give Rise to Five Hot Jobs

Kidney Exchanged for Apple iPad 2

The phrase, “that’s going to cost me an arm and a leg,” typically means something is going to cost a large sum of money. For 17-year-old Zheng, a high school freshman in China, that expression took on a more literal meaning…only a Kidney.

Zheng really wanted an iPad 2, but didn’t have enough money so he did the unthinkable and sold his kidney. I’ll repeat that. He sold his his kidney. The majority of student’s would save up for this kind of purchase but Zheng couldn’t wait. After coming in contact with a kidney-selling agent on the internet he decided that risking his life for 20,000 yen ($3K USD) was a pretty great deal. Zheng had the operation, received his money and returned home with more than one new Apple gadget.

Photo: MyChinaViews.com

His mother became very suspicious and reported her son to authorities, ultimately exposing Zheng’s secret kidney transplant.The hospital Zheng claims to have had his surgery at is denying any connection to the 17-year-old and authorities haven’t been able to contact any one involved in the organ transplant fiasco.

It seems Zheng is getting the last laugh here as he enjoys his new toys. After reading this article I wondered how many illegal organ transplants go unreported? Who are the recipients of these organs? Are the iphone mobile applications worth it? How far would you go to get what you wanted? I just hope Zheng doesn’t find another organ-selling agent online and another part of his body to sell in a year when his Apple gadgets are out of date.

The Next Web: Chinese student reportedly sells his kidney to buy an iPad 2

Starbucks Card Mobile Reaches 3 Million Hits

“Starbucks now offers the nation’s largest mobile payment network,” said vice president of Starbucks, Brady Brewer. In January, Starbucks launched a new iPhone and Blackberry app called Starbucks Card Mobile that revolutionizes the way we buy coffee. Customers are now able to pay for their order via mobile phone by holding up the app’s barcode to the register’s scanner. This application was tested in September and was discovered to be the fastest and most efficient way for customers to pay, understandably. The past financial quarter was the best performing in the 40-year history of the company, according to Howard Schultz, Starbucks CEO. The Starbucks Card app accounts for 22% of all transactions, says Schultz. Schultz also noted that Schultz the Starbucks brand is number one on Facebook, over 20 million fans, and is also a top brand on Twitter and Foursquare.

Many other businesses will most likely follow in Starbucks’ footsteps and create mobile applications for their stores. The app allows for more efficient work on the employees part and allows for a better time efficiency for customers. By allowing customers to use the app, they place their order, scan their phone and receive their coffee. No more rummaging for credit cards or bill and coins, which is a godsend for many. This application will take the business world by storm and be implemented in many businesses

If you would have asked me when I was 10 years old, I would never have dreamed that we would be where we are today regarding technology. It is amazing everything that we have experienced. the iPad, iPhone, wireless computers and applications that do pretty much everything. I remember getting a Gameboy and thinking it was the smallest/coolest thing I had ever seen. Now, we can play games on phones, keep in mind, the phones are half the size of a Gameboy. I am eager to see what kind of technology we will have as I grow up.

Coming Soon: The Netflix Channel?

Yeah, you read that right. It was announced today that Netflix is in talks to exclusively distribute a new show from David Fincher and Kevin Spacey. The show, a remake of the classic U.K. drama “House of Cards”, would be owned by Netflix and would be shown exclusively through them. It hasn’t been confirmed as to how much Netflix would have to pay to get this show, but they have offered to guarantee 26 episodes, or two full seasons, whereas most networks must see a pilot before even one season is greenlighted. This flexibility might be what gets the show for them. This would make Netflix it’s own network, and a potential competitor to some of the pricier cable networks like HBO and Showtime.

This has very exciting implications for the average consumer such as myself. I predicate this all with the assumption that they don’t raise their prices too much, but if Netflix expanded to having their own shows, as well as their already enormous library of past stuff, I might never need to pay for cable again. Also, for those of us who use Xboxes or Playstations to watch Netflix, when Hulu is added to the Xbox online marketplace there will be no need to pay the obscene prices for cable. Wouldn’t that be great?

This news will definitely affect the ever changing consumer entertainment industry. With the announcement of Facebook offering movies, and now this bombshell, it will be interesting to see what else will come up: maybe individual networks separate and become Netflix-esque online networks, or maybe Hulu modifies their site to show episodes the night they air. I don’t know, but it should be good for us.

The iPad 2 is out… and I think I want one.

So I don’t know if you’ve heard or not, it’s been surprisingly quite for an Apple event, but the iPad2 was released today. I was hearing mixed “pre-release” reviews, which, in hindsight, were stupid to even read, since Apple is always able to keep at least some of their new under wraps, and I was in the state of mind that this new iPad was just a basic software update and some new cameras. I guess that’s all it was really, but it is much cooler than they lead me to believe. Anyway, here are all the new features that make this iPad something I’d be interested in paying $500 for.

1. Smaller and Lighter

This is pretty self explanatory. They cut the thickness of the iPad by 30%, and made it a little bit lighter. Not a big deal. What they did do that makes it better is that changed the shape. It no longer has that uncomfortable square edge that the first iPad had. It’s not shaped more like the iPod Touch.

2. Hardware update

They did update all of the “guts” to make it 9x faster and capable of better graphics and higher resolutions. They say it’s supposed to make movies, and games much more enjoyable to play/watch.

3. Dual Facing cameras with Facetime

So this was the main thing people were complaining about with the first iPad, and it was also the thing everyone knew was going to be fixed for this round. They installed two cameras, one on the front and one on the back, which shoots HD video, and paired them with FaceTime, their new video chat program. It looks to be pretty cool, and fairly fluid. Your are also able to use iMovie with this iPad, which is cool. This definitely, in my opinion, takes the iPad from giant iPhone that doesn’t make calls to a small Macbook.

4. Video Mirroring

This is a cool new feature that allows you to plug your iPad into your TV and use it on the larger screen. This is great for watching movies, or TV shows, or playing games from your iPad on your TV, and you can do it all in full 1080p HD.

4. New Smart Covers

This might be my favorite thing about the new iPad. What this is is a cover that magnetically attaches to your iPad to keep the screen safe without adding considerable size and weight to it. It seems kind of ridiculous that this is my favorite, but it is the little extra thing that solves so many of our problems. First, it is magnetic, so it can be removed and attached with little to no effort. Second, it’s lined with microfiber cloth, so it keeps your screen scratch free, and cleans it at the same time. Third, it is segmented so it can fold up and be used as an iPad stand for watching movies or typing. Finally, in a truly Apple touch, it comes in 10 colors! See, I told you it was awesome. This one little thing solves so many problems.

Oh, did I mention that they added all of this stuff without lowering it’s battery life? It still gets 10 hours per charge. Oh and you can get it in white.

I never wanted an iPad before; it was expensive, and didn’t do anything that my iPhone or Macbook Pro couldn’t do better. Now it does things as good, or better than the other two but without the size of the Macbook, and with a much larger screen than my little iPhone. Now I just have to convince my fiancé to let me get one…

Now we wait for the iPhone 5.