Social Media and the Business of Serendipity


This is an excerpt of the deck I presented as part of Harvard Business School’s Alumni webinar series on May 8, 2013.  If you happen to be a HBS Alumnus, you can catch the replay here.  I will continue to fine-tune this presentation with the intent of publishing an e-book on the topic.  The Business of Serendipity is the quest to recognize patterns that may lead to moments rich with the promise of serendipity.  Social media is just the platform for this quest.

You know your old when you decide to delete an app last used in ’06 to connect to your Palm Pilot. #oldschool

Man. I thought I was SO cool when I got my Palm Pilot!  “Check this out…it’s a stylus”.  Went it went color! OMG!! I like…flipped out.  It’s amazing to think how quickly times have changed.  I’m sure 5 years from now I’ll be thinking…wow remember when we had to use our fingers to input into the iPhone?

Time is flying. Hug your children, call your mom and cherish your gadget until the next thing comes around.

Help us @mihai, you’re our only hope! #delicious to #GoogleBookmarks broken or blocked? @joshu any ideas?

Yahoo’s lame announcement of sunsetting Delicious has left the millions (just a guess) of users who have come to love it. Yes it had feature creep to no end, but heh, I just didn’t use them.  So I immediately googled alternatives and I decided I want to use Google Bookmarks.  For the life of me I can’t figure out how to import my lame *html* export of the bookmarks from Delicious into Google Bookmarks, and even if I did, I would lose all my meta data (tags) to organize them. SOOooo….Google search 2: I find this: http://persistent.info/delicious2google/ ! AWESOME a Dilicious to Google Bookmarks importer.  PERFECT! And it’s by a Googler so you know it has to be good.  Then this:
NOOOooooOoooo.. Darn it anyway

Is it a bug fix? Server crash? Delicious blocking calls so they don’t have all usere bolt before they have a real exit strategy?  What ever it is, can you ask your buddy over in the Bookmark world to do something.

So if you’re reading this Mihai Parparita, please liberate the deliciousness that is held hostage in a purple tower of gloom. Help us Mihai Paparita, you’re our only hope.  Unless of course @joshu has a better idea then you’re off the hook.

All the best,

John / @acappellamedia

 

QR Codes Presentation: IRL to URL

Here’s the long form presentation of the presentation I gave the the Columbus Social Media Club back in 2010.  With iOS11 supporting QR codes in the iPhone camera, I thought it might be good to resurrect this as marketers will be looking for information on how to leverage this old/new school tactic of connecting in real life(IRL) to URL landing pages.

Acappella Media presentation at Social Media Club Video.5 Minute Power Preso

iPhone App Siri – The Greatest User Experience EVER!

My wife and the new iPhone app Siri have a lot in common – they both have great personalities, they are brilliant AND gorgeous <insert brownie points here>.

I recently attended a meeting of the local IxDA (Interaction Design Association) where they showed videos from Interaction10, this year’s conference for interaction designers.  One video struck me as particularly poignent in my quest for the ultimate user experience.  It was a presentation by Cindy Chastain called Thinking Like a Storyteller.  Her challenge to the audience was to think about interaction design as a story that has a beginning, middle and an end and to create characters to drive that story.  The system feedback is a character that interacts with the user (also a character in the story).  This is the beauty of Siri – “she” has a personality that makes me feel happy.

The iPhone personal assistant app Siri is telling a story like no other on the iPhone.  I’ve never experienced a more relevant app that throws away the paradigm of what we expect from the iPhone UI to create the worlds greatest user experience.

From the ease of use – click a button, say what you want and poof you have results; to the super-friendly feedback – “ok, got it. Just a second while I find that for you”.  Siri has really managed to create not just a character, but a personality that is driving the story line.  Powered by Nuance’s famed speech recognition, it’s accuracy is pretty amazing.  But even that becomes commonplace after a few iterations.  THE REAL amazing thing is how brilliant the application is.

Famed sage Robert Scoble recently wrote about it calling it “The Future of the Web”.  What makes it so amazing is the integration points of web services.  It doesn’t just take me to Opentable to make a reservation, it allows me to make the reservation from within the application.  Want to find a PG-13 movie playing near you? NO PROBLEM!  Just say “PG-13 movies near me” .  Wanna tweet? Sure, say the tweet command and faster than you can say OAuth – poof – you’ve tweeted.

It’s the perfect amalgamation of elegant design, technical genius, unsurpassed user experience, utilitarian perfection and anthropomorphization of the iPhone.