Do digital cameras damage or enhance memory?

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Click on the image to read Matthews thoughts.

This is something I’ve been thinking about recently too. We don’t print out images on our camera any more. When I was back home recently for a weekend, dad took me through a load of old family photo albums from when my brother and I were younger. It was nostalgic, it captured the memories perfectly. I think it’s a shame now with the way things have gone digitally with cameras we lose memories because of the more throwaway nature of it all. If you don’t take the photos off your camera they are in a way lost forever. Then there’s the case of taking all your photos off the camera, putting them on to your computer and your hard drive dying. With the HD dying, those memories do too.

I like it how Polaroid seems to be reinventing themselves, getting Lady Gaga on board etc because I like the concept. Instantly printed photos. But the photo quality isn’t as good as say your conventional 8MP+ digital camera. If Polaroid teamed up with Carl Zeiss and did some super sweet instantly printable photo camera I’d be there like a shot.

How will we manage? Global stats and facts.

Watch this. Amazing stuff. You’ll be fascinated by some of the facts.

Did you know?

  • Of the 6.1 billion people in the world, 3.1 billion of those are in work
  • 77% of the US workforce have a Facebook account and 26% speak a second langauge
  • Fortune 500 companies receive about 2000 CVs a day
  • In 2007, 1 out of every 3 hires was made online
  • There are more Blackberries and iPhones in the world than there are people in the UK
  • More than 1m people signed up to Google Latitude in the first week
  • US workers collectively take 917 million sick days per year
  • Employees who surf the web are said to be 9% more productive

Blurring the on and offline worlds further

From humble beginnings back in 2002, ASOS, formerly known as As Seen On Screen have become quite the powerhouse in the online fashion world. One person I spoke to about this remarked that it was like the Heat magazine of fashion, always on the pulse of celebrity culture and reasonably inexpensive. I thought ASOS was a bit bigger than Heat as an entity but it was a good analogy. They are, I believe, the largest independent online fashion and beauty retailer. It fits though with the similar type of target, aimed primarily at fashion forward 16-34 year olds, the site attracts approx 5.3 million unique visitors a month with over 2 million registered users.

Here’s a perhaps unknown fact for you, the company was started by the great-grandson of the founder of the one time major UK high street tailor chain Austin Reed. An early indication even, that it was going to be sticking around!

What got me thinking about all this was the eye catching advert in the London Paper tonight (6th July) and the transition from being strictly online only to now doing a few things offline too. The bright colours and really stand out typography meant that you literally couldn’t miss it. I wondered whether ASOS had done something like this before in print or whether it was a first? Apart from their own magazine, I don’t think I’ve seen many other offline print initiatives, granted I may have missed them!

photo

Why now? Well, it would seem that heavy high street discounting and unemployment among younger shoppers is likely to slow the meteoric growth of ASOS according to a recent Retail Week article. “Job insecurity has to be a worry and I suspect that people are holding back.” said the Chief Executive, Nick Robertson.

“Clearly much tougher comparables are being faced and there is now some evidence to suggest that the rate of growth in online sales has begun to moderate.” he continued. Is that the honey moon period over then? Looks like that dreaded R word is only now starting to bite with ASOS, impressive going.

One thing I didn’t know was that they recently secured brands such as Mango and Gap to sell online, rapidly diversifying further along with adding maternity clothes, childrenswear and limited run collections. When the chief exec said back in 2007 that he wanted ASOS to be the Amazon of the fashion world, he looks to be getting his wish and predicting the future with a consummate skill that only Mystic Meg could be proud of.

I wonder, if they ramped up their print productions and went on an assault against your weekly/monthly celeb fashion titles, would things turn full circle and start to cannibalise the Heat’s of the world? Would it even be viable? Not sure they could keep up with the changing of trends if they were to produce the magazine any more frequently.

Will be interesting to see whether this is the start of a prolonged offline campaign to try and pique waning customer spending and if it has the required impact.

Glastonbury goes social.

The BBC have implemented some pretty cool stuff on site along with providing the usual brilliant Glastonbury coverage. It’s almost as if I’m there! Without getting muddy or wet. Last year they got 600,000 visitors in the week of Glastonbury to their page and I firmly believe with the harnessing of the social web they can double that.

Picture 36

Along with using wireless video cameras which overlook different parts of the festival site to give us, the people who aren’t there, a taste of the atmosphere, the site also includes an aggregation of Twitter feeds from various BBC presenters and journalists and will also be experimenting with Audioboo, the audio blogging service.

It looks to have everything you could possibly need to know about Glastonbury, all in one place and all integrated very nicely. You’ve got the weather forecast, BBC blogs, radio and TV listings, some stunning photography, videos of performances, webcams, a dedicated page for each artist and the ability for fans to comment on their performances on site. All relevant, useful and social.

They have a presence also on Flickr allowing you to comment on each individual image and share further. It will be interesting to see if it’s updated with the best of this years imagery as currently the images shown are from 2008.

Flickr

What I probably found most interesting was almost an active encouragement to share the site content on your site, blog or social networking profile so you can embed the content with ease by simply copying the embed code and adding it to a post. They have a page on site listing all the embeddable content available here. I only chose not embed in this instance because it’s fairly image heavy already.

Similarly you can add a widget to see some live webcam footage, the weather etc. The red button plays a much more prominent role this year also, providing the user the opportunity to watch exactly what they want to, personalised TV.

Another nice little feature I thought was seeing who were the most popular artist pages on site. In a sense this could be seen as a barometer of how successful their performances have been in the real world, at Glastonbury. I’ve watched some of the footage from Lady Gaga’s performance and am not surprised it’s the most viewed, such an eccentric and entertaining performer.

Artist Pages

Mobile also seems to be something that’s not been forgotten with the site being optimised to work on your iPhone’s and N97’s with a more limited service also on basic web enabled mobiles.

“We’re seeing a big difference in the number of people web browsing on phones this year. Call it the ‘iPhone effect’ or just cheap data tariffs, but there was no way we could let people have a poor experience on our festival sites,” Tim Clarke, a senior content producer for BBC Audio and Music online said.

To conclude, here are just a few ways the BBC have fully embraced old and new methods to reach out to a greater audience on a much more interactive level.

BBC Glastonbury

This is an example of how you can best capture the essence of what is typically a very real world physical event, online.

Two worlds colliding: Tweeting and Graffiti

I’m not going even going to attempt to call it Twaffiti.. but how much more mainstream is it going to get? Maybe mentioned on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross next? Oh.. wait.. Coincidentally, I’m from Nottingham but it wasn’t me, honest.

So it looks as if they’ve perhaps not won over everyone just yet judging by the followup..  Such a polite way though to voice their disdain!

via Nick Burcher and QuestionMarc

Twitter Graffiti in Nottingham

Twitter Graffiti in Nottingham