5 Things I’m Thinking About Right Now

Dan Hon and Duncan Gough did it; here are the 5 things I’m thinking about right now (better late than never):

1. The evolution of crowdsourcing: I started a wiki to document the many examples of crowdsourcing when the phenomenon was at its peak over a year ago, but I think it’s time for crowdsourcing to evolve and become something bigger. The criticism of the latest Peperami ad, the creation of which was thrown open to the public on the Idea Bounty crowdsourcing site a while ago, is an indication that it has seen its heyday. Crowdsourcing per se isn’t bad – but it needs to make sense in context. I think initiatives like FrogMob by Frog Design and Open Ideo by IDEO are part of this evolution: sponsorship of ideas (vs. products) is a big part of getting things made, and Frog Design and IDEO are leading the movement by providing this platform. It isn’t about brands like Peperami or Walkers crowdsourcing ads or flavours for their own benefit anymore, it’s about a body of people trying to create something good for the larger public. Therein lies the difference. That’s where I think crowdsourcing is rightly headed.

2. Transmedia experiences will be a regular part of our overall entertainment experience: I have a few thoughts on this bubbling away in my head, on which more at a later date, but I think the days of TV watching as a solitary activity are over. Whether it is LOST or Alice in Wonderland, fans want more than just the uni-dimensional TV or film experience. They want to suggest a twist to the tale and actually see it play it out on screen so they can share it with their friends and family, they want to cut an episode into scenes and tag their friends on Facebook saying that they thought of them when a particular dialogue was exchanged on screen. (No, those possibilities don’t exist – yet!). We will begin to expect our entertainment to be where we want it to be, as opposed to us being where they want us to be – namely the traditional venues of the cinema theatre or our drawing room.

3. The battle for supremacy amongst location-based services: Once upon a time (3 months ago to be precise), it was between Foursquare and Gowalla, but this week onwards the giant of social networking entered the fray and boy is there going to be blood. Whose, it’s too early to say – reports say that Foursquare membership actually shot up as a result of Facebook Places, but with 500 million ‘citizens’ versus Foursquare’s 2.8 million, will it be just too easy for the big guy to trump the little guy, or does the little guy have a secret weapon they’ve been labouring away at in their New York headquarters? Only time will tell.

4. Whether Apple truly believe the iPad and iPhone 4 will keep them going for the next few years as Google plays catch-up.

5. When data roaming charges will be low enough to allow me to check in to places on Foursquare with a clear conscience, when I travel abroad.

So that’s that.

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