Spinning on viral videos and viral TV News

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 8:03 pm  

So I guess all of us remember the Balloon Boy story. Right around that time our band of ICMers was discussing the disgusting viral video manipulation described in The Secret Strategies Behind Many “Viral” Videos. Something has been bothering me about those two seemingly unrelated stories and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. I kept losing sleep over this issue till just a couple of nights ago a suddden realization finally came to me – viral video practices described in the article mentioned above have been practiced by our major TV networks for years! A prime example of this was the Baloon Boy story.

After first twenty minutes of the breaking news coverage on Baloon Boy I’ve seen and heard enough. I changed the channel from CNN to MSNBC only to find the same coverage, then to abc, same story. Without a doubt other news worthy, perhaps more important events were taking place at that very moment, but for nearly two hours all major TV networks put them all on a back burner and pumped the story that some news director decided was good TV.

A conscious and delibarate decision to dim lights on other stories and issues and to put a spotlight on this story by broadcasting it on all major TV networks and their affiliates was an example of viral TV news; differentiating from viral web videos only in terms of technologies employed and mode of delivery. The final effect is the same – viewers made believe that what they’re watching matters most because thousands of others are watching it too!

I’m not very found of the term gatekeepers when it pertains to TV news, but for th (more…)


User Hunting Season

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 12:48 pm  


With the onset of today’s digital gadgets and technologies that enable us to reshape the way we interact with each other, the hunt for user is inevitable. It not enough for a product to be functional and user friendly, it has to be user-centered, meaning it has to evolve around a need or a want that a user. Some products are designed to center around practical needs of a user in a given surrounding, such as irrigation tool featured in David Kelly’s TED presentation, some reflect and communicate our self image, as described in Norman’s keynote speech. I agree with both points, but I would also argue that a user-centered design is in a way a new form of hunting for clientele by appealing to its needs and wants, whether they are real or made belief.


beer hat


I’m sure I’m not the only one who noticed, but perhaps the only one who wondered about it?….Does it work better or is it faster because of its slick maroon/ gradient top? Of course not. Does it communicate something about its user. I’m sure it does, but that’s not the point. What matters is that we, as user, have a choice to surround ourselves with products that are pleasing to us at some level of satisfaction. Question, however, looms whether we knew that before hand and were consciously searching for that product, or did we realize that once faced with a product that grabbed our attention with its visceral design. If the latter is more true, then the hunt for a new user/client has been effective – we’ve been hooked, pulled by product and reached for our wallet!


It’s probably save to assume that everyone of us has experienced that at some point. We go to the mall to purchase one thing, we walk out with several, sometimes forgetting the original item we set out for. Why? Short attention span or an overwhelming display of things we did not know existed and more importantly we did not know we needed? Perhaps both in some cases, but irrelevant when it comes to the end result – generated profit. Products are made to appeal to our individual needs and likes even when we are not completely aware that we do have those needs and likes. I was aware that a slide out keyboard existed till I laid my hands on a LG Rumor phone. As soon as I did, I wanted it. Design was slick and I could text with two hands! Wow. My only question was – does it come in blue? It does.




Life will go one without iPhones and PDAs. We don’t need to wear PRADA or drive BMWs to go about our day. But some us will, not because of a necessity, but because we are conditioned to think that those products communicate something about us and they reflect our idea of self image. At this moment there are products being designed and made that we don’t know yet we want or need. Once we encounter them, the trickery begins.


The Genealogy Tree aka G Tree – Benchmarking

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 8:45 pm  

For my final project (website proposal) I am planning to design and create a family genealogy tree website. This would be a highly interactive and extremely family oriented site. The website would enable family members to backtrack their genealogical roots, but also to record their current history. Family members/registered users would be able to post and update their stories, images and videos and preserve that compilation for future generations.

Currently, there are three main competitors on a web providing a similar service. They are ancestry.com, familysearch.org and myheritage.com. The first two offer a service of finding the family roots by searching census data and other public records, the latter one provides users with capability of uploading images and family information. G-Tree website would distinquish itself from competitors by providing an interactive approach in a way of posting stories – in writing, video or audio form.
There also would be a blog section enabling all family members to interact on daily basis. There is also a possiblity of implementing online family reunions via webcasting. I’m exlporing the practicality and user’s adaptibility of that idea.

My targeted audience would consist of family members that are curious about their family’s genealogy, but also interested in recording and preserving their current history. An additional characteristic of the targeted audienced might be families of immigrants and/or families divided by georaphical location. For example – some of the family lives in the United States, some in another (European or Asian) country.

I feel that a strong emphasis on interactivity and providing a service for families to meet and socialize online will be the G-Tree’s main advantage. Aside from daily blog, this will be a place where grandparents’ and great grandparents’ personal lifestories will be recorded and preserved – something that could never be accomplished by searching through purely informational and statistical data gathered from public records.

Funny thing happened on the way to…urinal

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 8:02 pm  

Some of you might recall one of my first posts – Writing on the wall….who cares!? link

In that post I was proposing that Interpersonal Communication is always interactive, but Interactive Communication is not always interpersonal. I was also referring to that infamous writing on a wall activity and how I often find myself filled with an urge to respond with rude and crude Who Cares. Well, there is someone out there who feels the same way! Yesterday I stopped by Mad Murphy’s Cafe in Middletown, CT to catch the second half of Dallas game and… funny thing happen to the way urinal! Someone expressed what I’ve always was tempted to “post”. Check it out!

I can’t help but to ask myself a couple of rethorical questions. First, do I take reflections of interactive communications a little too serious? Secondly, could the above form of communication be considered a blog?