When technology gets boring, things get interesting…

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Robot toy that makes technology interesting

The writer Clay Shirky wrote “Communications tools don’t get socially interesting until they get technologically boring”.  Well, here are five technologies we think will become boring in 2017 so we can all  get on with the job of making them socially interesting.

1. Live Social

You can’t have missed it. Facebook have run a massive advertising campaign about it in the last few months. They want us to broadcast live via our mobile phones.  We’ve been experimenting with it for some of our clients in recent months and will incorporate it into future campaigns in the coming months. We think its great for post show talks, workshops as well as behind the scene opportunities that can grab attention on peoples news feeds.

Tip: Read our guest post about an affordable device to make multi-camera style streaming to Facebook Live managed from an iPhone.

2. Lots of Bots

We touched on them in our post on  Artificial Intelligence last October and have seen many predictions for 2017 about how Chat Bots are on the rise. We’ve already helped clients install live chat features on their websites to help ticket buyers in recent years but will we now start to see automated chat bots being used to help ticket buyers with their queries? Could we see further reductions in box office staff following the advent of online ticketing 15 years ago? On a lighter note, much fun was had this week trying to work out if one of the customer service bots we were using was a real person or a cleverly programmed bot. We were convinced it was a bot. The spelling mistakes were deliberate to throw us of the scent we think. “Are you a real person?”. “Yes!” (Well they would say that, wouldn’t they).

Tip: use the chat bots on your phone and any other opportunities to familiarise yourself with the scope of what they can do and watch how they learn and improve as the big players gather more data from us.

3. Data Visualisation

We’ll always need to work on reports for funders, boards, angels. According to IBM, 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone, at 2.5 quintillion bytes of data a day. In the digital world, there’s more data available to make a business case than ever before. However, most of us find it difficult to quickly grasp the meaning from a set of statistics when it’s a table of numbers. Yet, we regularly ask report readers to grasp an understanding from a mountain of statistics overload.

Tip: As well as asking HdK to design beautiful infographics for you, use some of the online tools such as Canvadatawrapperinfogr.am. If using charts and graphs, keep them simple and use the familiar ones that are instantly recognisable rather than 3D style graphs or anything weird.

4. Speed

It goes without saying that page speed affects the experience of your website visitor. For many years, it has also affected how high up you may appear on Google. Sites that are slow to download are likely to be downgraded on search results too. Well, some months back Google started to take into account the speed of your mobile site too. Theis wrote a post about Accelerated Mobile Pages back in September to help improve the speed of your mobile site. We’ve developed a number of techniques to optimise websites for speed.

Tip: Ask us to run speed tests on your site and make suggestions on what strategies can be implemented to improve download speeds in order to attract more visitors to your website.

5. Images and Videos

We’ve watched as the use of videos and images on social media has risen over the last couple of years to a frenzy. Finding ways to stand out on people’s newsfeed becomes more important.

Tip: In 2017 don’t just use standard photos or videos on your feeds but explore how you can use the latest technology to hold viewers attention for a few extra seconds with tools like 360 degree cameras, animated gifs, tilt-shift, cameras on drones, fast frame, slow frame, video and any technique that gives a fresh view.

Hans - Director