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Posts tagged technology

April Digital Updates

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We’re all about keeping up with the digital world at The Wilbert Group and leveraging the newest technologies to help our clients tell their stories. Here’s the latest:

#1 Instagram takes on yet another rival network: Pinterest.

Instagram is already encroaching on Snapchat’s territory with its popular Stories feature – which succeeded in stealing Snapchat users – so it makes sense that the photo-sharing giant is now going after Pinterest with its latest update. To the joy of its users, Instagram introduced the ability to save posts earlier this year. Now, you can sort those posts into “collections” that are eerily reminiscent of Pinterest’s boards. This update makes it more important than ever for content creators to create truly valuable, save-worthy content to allow it to live a second life for a user, whether it’s a recipe, design inspiration or a secret menu dish at a restaurant. As Engadget sums up the opportunity for businesses: “If you can create your ideal outfit by saving posts into collections, you might be more likely to buy that outfit.”

#2 LinkedIn continues to undergo a complete makeover.

LinkedIn’s facelift is in full swing. While there isn’t one noteworthy update to include here on the blog, I wanted to touch on this because, as social media managers, we’re constantly learning and relearning how to keep our client’s content fresh as LinkedIn shifts seemingly every day. Important changes for content creators include: The ability to use video, new photo sizes and filters and a new algorithm for the feed. LinkedIn also plans to revisit its publishing tools, including the ability to save articles for later and improved tagging, ultimately making the blog posts look much cleaner and full of dynamic content like photos, block quotes and graphics.

#3 Snapchat is reaching an increasingly older demographic.

Snapchat isn’t just for millennials anymore. The app – which recently made its IPO – is experiencing increased usage in those ages 25 to 44, far from its typical younger audience. Forty-one percent of users ages 25 to 34 used the app more often today than during Jefferies’ first survey last June. Forty-four percent of the 34 to 44 demographic use Snapchat more now, the firm said.

It’s not atypical for older users to follow typically young early adopters to new platforms – just look at Facebook and Twitter. However, that migration sometimes drives the younger users away because the platform isn’t cool anymore, or because grandma and grandpa are now able to view their content. This shift may be a ways off for Snapchat, but something the app should consider moving forward. Hopefully, they can continue to provide content – from news stories to fun face-altering filters – to keep their original base happy while expanding to new audiences.

Media Moves: Let’s Tech About It

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We love getting – and sharing —  the latest newsroom scoop. In Media Moves, we highlight changes in journalism and the media both locally and nationally.

With virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and the Amazon Echo, technology is advancing so rapidly these days it seems like flying time-traveling DeLorean’s soon might be a real possibility. 2016 was the first billion-dollar year for VR and it makes us wonder, how will the media use these new advances in technology to their benefit?

Virtual reality is expected to have more of an impact than TV and 3D ever did. It can be incorporated with your smartphone and has the power to transport you to another place.  It’s more natural because you’re literally in the middle of the experience.media-virtual-reality

Sanjay Macwan, chief technology officer of the NBCUniversal media labs, believes VR offers an “I felt like I was there” experience, and media will be able to use that to their advantage.

“At the basic level, virtual reality is a new thing and you always want to give something new to your consumers,” Macwan said. “This will provide a more intimate experience for the consumer in relation to the media’s content.”

Media companies believe in creating a media ecosystem – a community that exists across multiple channels from websites to social media and beyond. By including VR in their platforms, media outlets can tell stories like never before by literally inserting the consumer into the story.

When a new form of technology can revolutionize the way we communicate with the media, we should explore it. For centuries, the media has been technology-driven, moving from handwritten to hot and cold type printed media to digital and now virtual. VR is the next step in media storytelling. With it, the media will be able to guide readers through the story with interactive imagery aligned with the written word.

We look forward to embracing this new way of storytelling, do you?

Digital Updates: What’s Going On in Social Media

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by M.C. Rhodes

At The Wilbert Group, we’re always trying to stay in the know about what’s happening in the digital space.

Here’s the scoop on what’s up in social media. Don’t forget to like/tweet/post on June 30 in celebration of Social Media Day!

#1 Facebook goes after small businesses. Dan Levy, director of small business at Facebook, said the website now has 30 million small businesses with active pages.

#2 It isn’t dead yet. We’ve heard for a long time now that younger people are moving away from Facebook. However, a new report by Forrester Research shows kids age 12 to 17 are using Facebook more than they did a year ago.

But according to research by Mashable, a lot of people could live without it.

#3 Promoted pins. Pinterest has rolled out “do-it-yourself” promoted pins. Businesses of any size can promote their pins on a cost-per-click basis.

#4 Slingshot goes live. Slingshot, Facebook’s photo messaging app that happens to be very similar to Snapchat, is now available worldwide.

#5 New look for LinkedIn. If you’re a LinkedIn premium user, you’ll notice a new look to your profile. The network is trying to woo users to pay for a premium account with bigger pictures, additional features to make contacting you easier and more information on your page views.

Five Insights on Atlanta Startup Scene

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by Josh Guterman

As part of its “Catalysts for Growth: a Game Changing Conversation” speaker series, Hines Atlanta focused Oct. 30 on venture capital. We were pleased that Hines, one of the country’s leading real estate firms, invited The Wilbert Group to the event. Relatively new to Atlanta, I enjoyed the opportunity to learn about the local startup scene and to make connections in my new community. The session underscored Atlanta’s growing national reputation as a nexus for startups and highlighted the need for more local venture capital.

John Heagy of Hines Atlanta moderated the panel, which included Alan Taetle, general partner, Noro-Moseley Partners; Bernice P. Dixon, president and chairman, Atlanta Technology Angels; and John C. Yates, partner-in-charge of technology practice, Morris, Manning and Martin LLP.

Panelists discuss capital investment in Atlanta technology startups. From left: Moderator John Heagy; Andrew Taetle; Bernice P. Dixon; John C. Yates.

Here are the top five points from the panel:

#1 Atlanta is undercapitalized. Compared to other regions with booming technology sectors, Atlanta is underserved by venture capitalists. “There is a lot of competition in Silicon Valley, and a lot of competition in Boston, Northern Virginia and New York,” Yates said. “If they (investors) can go to this region—particularly the southeast where Atlanta is the capital—and find very exciting companies, they have much greater opportunity to invest in these businesses at valuations they find more attractive.”

#2 Atlanta has great talent. Thanks to reasonable real estate prices and a proximity to top-tier universities, Atlanta has a highly educated, tech-savvy workforce. Investors also like the culture of loyalty versus the job-hopping culture of Silicon Valley. “We tend to have people who stay in an industry and get deep in a company and that is very attractive to investors and entrepreneurs,” Dixon said. “People will stick with you over the years, help develop (your organization) and capital gets expanded into the ecosystem. It also contributes to higher valuation.”

#3 An overwhelming majority of investment comes from outside of Atlanta. Ninety percent of capital that funds Atlanta’s small companies is from outside the region. Of the 65 venture capital firms that participated in the Venture Atlanta Conference 2013 on Oct. 22, 51 were from outside of Georgia. Panelists agreed that external investment is essential for growth, but desired more investment from the Atlanta community. “It sure would be nice to have a bit more local capital, because it tends to be earlier and know the people a little bit better,” said Taetle. “It would be great for it (outside investment) to be less than 90 percent. It doesn’t have to be at 50 either, but somewhere in between.”

#4 Atlanta needs more mid-sized public companies. After the burst of the dot-com bubble in the late 1990s, few local technology companies have gone through the public offering process. Many who consider an IPO also run a secondary campaign to shop the company for sale. “Most of our companies have been acquired in the tech space,” said Taetle. “We need to build a real nice cadre of public companies that can be acquisition vehicles again.”

#5 There is tremendous opportunity for Atlanta’s small businesses in the E-commerce and health care sectors. Between the CDC, Athena Health and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, there is a large—relatively untapped—market for businesses in the research and technology sectors. “Those kinds of (organizations) tend to spawn research, tend to spawn technology, and other companies,” said Dixon. “So we’re intensely watching health care and think Atlanta will prosper from that.”

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is also a remarkable asset for companies as retailers shift their business model to same-day delivery logistics. “You’ll want to be located near transportation hubs,” Dixon said. “It changes a lot and it really puts Atlanta in a great position as a transportation hub and as a logistics center.”

This Year’s Media Game Changers

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by M.C. Rhodes

It’s no secret technology has been a game changer for the media industry. With constant innovation moving us forward, the industry has had to reevaluate what constitutes news as well as the best way to get it to people. We’re taking a look at five important events in media from 2012 that demonstrate just how fundamentally and quickly the media landscape is shifting.

#1 Instagram Use Soars During Hurricane Sandy The massive “Frankenstorm” that pounded the east coast during October impacted the country’s biggest media hub—New York City—and underscored the importance of citizen journalism.

Those deep in the storm’s path reported exactly what was happening where they lived, without the help of fancy news cameras and professional reporters. Everyday people used Instagram, a photo-sharing service created in 2010, to spread pictures of the destruction.

Hurricane Sandy was called the biggest event in Instagram history, with 10 pictures per second posted with the hashtag #sandy during the storm.

#2 Social Media Changes Election Coverage The 2012 presidential election was a breakthrough in terms of how news outlets use social media to report news.

Twitter was barely a presence in the 2008 presidential election, yet played a huge role in this year’s election. Some of Twitter’s biggest nights in its history were around the televised debates.

The gap between what the media thought people are talking about and what they were actually talking about narrowed. Social media let journalists see exactly what topics, what quotes and what gaffes people found most interesting, driving (for better or worse) professional coverage of the election.

#3 Newsweek Goes Digital Only More publications are pulling their print editions and going only digital. But it was still a shock when Newsweek, in print for almost 80 years and one of the most popular news magazines in the world, announced it would be moving to a completely digital format.

As advertisers look beyond print to place their ads, we may see more publications following suit.

#4 Murdoch’s The Daily Fails The explosion in tablet use in recent years has driven most publications to at least consider a mobile presence. Rupert Murdoch took that idea to a new level, launching The Daily, the world’s first newspaper offered exclusively on the iPad.

The Daily was launched as an alternative to traditional journalism to lead us in the digital age, with some of the country’s top journalists on staff. The $40-per-year app was graphic-oriented and interactive in nature.

However, The Daily went under in 2012. The cheap subscription price could not support a staff of 120 producing all original content, because not enough people were willing to pay even $40.

In order to make money behind a paywall, publications must create exciting content that cannot be found elsewhere. It wasn’t enough for The Daily to use the hottest technology; it needed to have the hottest product as well.

#5 Twitter Needs Spoiler Alert for Olympics One of the frustrating parts of watching the 2012 Summer Olympics for many in the western hemisphere was that viewers knew outcomes before they saw the event. NBC chose to air many events in primetime in the United States, but in a world where information travels so quickly, the medal winners weren’t much of a surprise hours later.

Because of this, NBC’s live-streaming service was immensely popular, both online and through mobile apps. NBC’s Olympic app had 7.1 million downloads, the most downloads for any single television event. Twitter lit up during the opening ceremony, the most-watched Summer Olympics opening ceremony in history. Again the media industry saw the importance of social media and the Internet in modern-day coverage.