New from Microsoft: Tafiti

Today Microsoft launched Tafiti, a new demo/experiment showing in a cool way what you can do combining Live Search with Silverlight. I hear you thinking: not another search, or Microsoft, huh!, … but I think you should take a look at it.

Tafiti, which means ‘do research’ in Swahili apparently, allows you to search the web like any other engine when it comes to the results themselves. But the way these results get presented and the way you can drag into ‘shelves’ where you can collect them is quite interesting.

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I did a search on ‘silverlight’ and the view on top is where you see the news results of it, nicely presented in ‘newspaper’ style. In the carrousel on the left you can choose other verticals (web, images, …) and on the right you have the ‘shelves’ I mentioned earlier with some results stored on the first ‘shelve’. You can actually open up the results on a ‘shelve’ which shows all of them in one view and which has a blog it & email it buttons so you can send them through right away.

I’m going to play around with this a bit more myself, but make sure you do as well. I think it’s an interesting exercise. You can see a video of Tafiti in action at On10.

For a better presentation

Powerpoint, Keynote, … as I said before I don’t think of these at the reason for a good or bad presentation. This was also the reason why I didn’t see the purpose of Slideshare’s World’s Best Presentation Contest. This week I found something that is valuable information for creating better presentations.

“According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.” – Jerry Seinfeld

Brett Tabke at the PubCon conference blog posts a long list of tips on giving better presentations and it’s quite a long but good list. How to start the presentation, how to work around one theme, how to be prepared, … definitely something you should check out. Whether you think about internal 5 people presentations, a presentation for your board or clients, a conference presentation, … these are all good tips.

At the last line they say everyone should take all speaking opportunities they can and that’s exactly what I do. Here’s my next ‘gig’ by the way: The Social Media Forum for Communicators Europe. Don’t judge me too hard ok ;)

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Modern data visualization

I don’t remember how I came across this post of ‘Data visualisation: modern approaches‘ on Smashing Magazine, but it describes some pretty cool stuff. It gives an overview of some utterly fascinating ways to visualize data, something you definitely have to go see for yourself. Some of them could be art.

One of my favorites is amaztype ‘a typographic book search’ where each amazon query gets visualized in a very interesting way. Here’s my search for ‘travel’:

travel

You got a see for yourself how cool it is, not quite useful but pretty. Make sure you check out the original post for a lot more interesting examples. And I’ll tell you in a few days why that query on amaztype had to be travel ;)

Sharkrunners

When I met up again with Kevin Slavin in NYC last week, he told me about a new game they were creating for Discovery Channel which sounded very interesting. The game is part of Shark Week and I had a chance to play it for a few days and I must say it’s quite original.

Kevin got me interested in it when he told me that in the online game, you would have to navigate your own boat on a map whereas the sharks you need to find & research are not controlled by artificial intelligence or whatsoever, they are real sharks. The game is using live data from real sharks with GPS tracking (for research purposes) that are swimming in that area. I liked that approach.

sharkrunners_inrange

When you set your boat’s waypoints the game continues while youre away as you can easily set up a trip for several hours. Whenever there’s a shark within range (like in the image above) you will get an email to warn you about that. That gives you 3 hours to log in and react.

sharkrunners_melissa

You can request some information about the sharks you encounter, especially to see what data you have already collected and what not (see image above). If you need more research you get your crew ready to collect that.

sharkrunners_crew

There are several ways to collect data (some of which you have to buy) but the most effective in the beginning seems to be the 1-person dive. It says that comes with very high danger, but only one crew member has been injured so far ;)

Last but not least, when you collect data on each shark, for instance on habitat, you get a short info on what it is that you actually learned together with a short video of that. No long learning pieces in between, but easy to digest ‘clips’ that you do watch. That makes the game complete for me. It’s not just a fun game just to promote a tv show, it incorporates some content into it already.

Good stuff from the area/code crew!

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The emotion of customer experience

At MIX07 in Vegas (in April) there were few presentations that didn’t have a sort of web-technical angle on things. There were a few, but one was quite outstanding and in on my list to write about since then. The presentation I’m talking about is ‘The emotion of customer experience‘ by Lou Carbone.

Lou talks about customer experience management, logic versus emotion, the brandcanyon, etc…

“Understand how successful businesses find and manage experience “clues” and differentiate between brand management and experience management. Learn how to make the dynamic shift from making-and-selling to sensing-and-responding.”

It’s very interesting to hear about how to create emotion, that creates an attude which will make people behave a certain way. And as Lou also quotes, you cannot NOT have an experience. He also points out to the interesting fact that we (companies) to a lot of research to see how people feel about our brands, whereas we should think of researching how people feel about themselves… and how we can affect that.

The video is an hour long, but it’s definitely worth it. Take a look at the examples he gives of NWA, Harley Davidson, Starbucks, Blockbuster and others, good stuff. This is one for my bringtheloveback series.

Bonus link: There’s also a video of an interview with Lou Carbone at MIX07 about this experience engineering.

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Infoporn

This information is not really new: social media usage is still very small but growing fast and there are far less content creators than there are visitors. Why do I bring it up then? Because I liked the way it was presented visually, looks indeed like infoporn Dominique, good one.

infoporn1

infoporn2

[Via BoonBloggle]

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