STATE OF AMERICA
The Flight From Conversation –
In the technological universe Americans live in today, people have shifted from conversation to connection. Sherry Turkle, a Psychologist and Professor at M.I.T., believes that the public has shifted from having face to face conversations to ‘talking’ through the devices and digital platforms like Twitter, Facebook and instant messaging. The devices people carry around, she points out, are so powerful they are literally changing what people do and in this case how they talk. As a society, people are moving away from ‘big gulps’ of real conversation to connecting through ‘sips’ of online connection. The daily use of social media has helped form a new behavior through continually asking people, “What’s on your mind?” People used to think, “I have a feeling; I want to make a call.” Now the impulse is, “I have a feeling right now; I need to send a text.”
BRAVE NEW CONSUMER
E-readers Bring Out True Colors Of Readers – They used to say that you can tell a lot about a person by the titles on their bookshelves, but now it seems you can tell even more about a person by what they downloaded on their e-reader. Kindles and Nooks are affordable for nearly everyone now. There’s enough literature to keep people busy reading for years. Because coverless e-readers offer discreetness, demand is growing in specific genres in the e-book market. Genre fiction is reinvigorating parts of the publishing industry, as consumers choose romance, crime, supernatural and even erotic e-books (Fifty Shades of Grey, anyone?) without worrying that their lurid covers might give them away as less-than-intellectual readers. Mills & Boon has done well in the e-book market. It publishes in excess of 100 digital titles every month, and only 55 physical ones. Tim Cooper, its digital marketing director, says it is helped by its “habit-forming books.” Fresh subgenres are continually emerging like Christian romance and racy paranormal tales.
Presenting IKEA’s New Furniture Entertainment System UPPLEVA: TV Included – As our TVs have become bigger and more powerful, their setup and maintenance have become increasingly demanding. Between set-top box, game console, DVD and Blu-ray players, USB ports and spare cables for camcorders and the like, it’s a maze of cables, connectors, menus and remotes. IKEA is hoping to capitalize on this confusion with a new line of electronics including the UPPLEVA, which they are billing as an all-in-one solution to this home media turmoil. It’s a TV that has speakers built into its base, a wireless subwoofer, integrated cable storage, a Blu-ray player and more, all controlled with, get this, one remote.
Nike’s Twitter RSVP Release System – Missing work and sleep to wait in line for a brand to release their new [enter hot new product launch here]? This may be a thing of the past for Nike fans. While Nike product releases generate lots of hype, they also tend to cause a lot of headaches for store managers and shoppers alike. Nike’s new Twitter RSVP system provides a solution for both involved. On designated “RSVP dates,” individual U.S. Nike stores will send out a tweet at a random time with a product specific hashtag (i.e., #electrolime). Followers have exactly one hour to direct message the store account with the hashtag and the last four digits of their I.D. After a reservation has been confirmed, the customer will be given a time frame to pick up the shoe from a Nike store on launch day. While it is still a first come, first serve process – waiting in the comfort of one’s own home for Nike to tweet the product specific hashtag sure beats toughing it out for hours outside in line at a store.
ON THE RADAR
Read This: If you’re looking for ways to boost your creativity, Allison Arden’s The Book of Doing offers 94 easy activities that can bring a much needed dose of fun and joy back into your daily routine. From playing in the rain to making a silly home movie, Arden believes that the things we loved doing as children can still bring delight and wonder to the grown-up version of ourselves.
Read This: Advertising agency DDB New York has created an embeddable ‘I Care’ button that offers a new way to show support on Facebook. Sometimes, when reading a tragic story or article, it doesn’t feel right to “Like” an update. With the ‘I Care’ button, websites and blogs can append a clickable red heart to their content that allows readers to easily share the topics they care about with their Facebook friends.
Try This: ParkatmyHouse is an online service that taps into the growing peer-to-peer marketplace and allows home owners near airports, sports stadiums and movie theaters to rent out parking spots in their driveways. Drivers can book a parking spot online and have the comfort of knowing they won’t waste time circling for a place to park. Property owners with unused driveways can add a listing for free, and drivers can rent affordable spaces up to 70% cheaper than meters or garages.