The royalty-free image site shutterstock has done something really clever by combing through their site data and seeing what photos, videos and music visitors from around the world have been digging up on their site. The insights are depicted here There are some macro highlights: We are moving forward with everyday futurism, getting familiar with VR, AR, wearable tech. We are bringing retro to the future: neon and 80’s are fashionable again. Though global differences are most intriguing: Brazilians are into romantic images, Argentineans into fish, Turks into geometry.
Inclusive will be the defining word of 2019. Inclusive therapies, inclusive work places, and finally inclusive design. The word acknowledges diversity and encapsulates acceptance. The way our world should be and the way technologies should help bring us together. Call it a rise of mindfulness, call it a reaction to the reappearance of social fissures we all thought were long gone and sealed. It’s good. Here’s a clip of Microsoft’s Satya Nadella explaining how inclusion should be a preliminary step of product design as opposed to an after thought or add on. Right on!
(Video credit: LinkedIn)
Word of mouth marketing expert Renan Tan Tavukcuoglu started an amazing campaign to introduce a strong female figure to young girls, starting from Turkey spreading globally. This is the story of Puduhepa, a Hittite queen who lived in Anatolia 3,000 plus years ago. The project not only weaves a beautiful story, but the sales of the Puduhepa dolls and story book contribute towards young girls’ education.
Here’s Baris Ozcan’s great video with subtitles in English.
As underscored in Axios’s Login newsletter today, Microsoft is gearing up for a series of AI initiatives. One of them is the acquisition of Lobe that enables organizations to build AI apps and interfaces without needing to know how to code. Imagine how many departments’ ideas can now come to life more easily — from employee training, customer service communication to patient monitoring. Watch this trend as AI becomes the underlying technology in b-to-c and b-to-b service.
If people can get emotional about content, why should we be surprised about emotional connections with robots that have life like features and voices? Hasbro’s robotic cat that keeps Alzheimer patients company is a micro example of how AI can be social and part of everyday life.
Here’s my SIL’s robot cat– whom she claims calms her down, doesn’t come with vet bills and has a lifetime renewable by batteries. And here’s another NYT journalist who agrees with her on the soothing qualities of robocats.
As we step into the post-real era, there are a growing number of industry reports on how artificial intelligence (AI) is poised to replace human labor. The Obama Administration’s report on the topic noted a broad range (nine to 47 percent) of the US labor force can be threatened by AI — especially if new jobs are not created at similar or higher rates than lost jobs. Spreading news of his latest AI-based initiative, Neuralink, Elon Musk even professes that digital super intelligence will surpass that of humans and take over.
Ultimately institutions look for efficiency – AI will take over in cases where it’s cheaper than the real life alternative.
Cravebox is a new marketing service from the smart folks behind SheSpeaks, the word of mouth marketing company. The opt-in service sends a mix of products in a box to subscribers at $10/month. It’s like ‘an omnibus for new-to-market products’ that get bundled when being presented to customers.
Who picks the products? Consumer Curators who sign up to scour for products. Currently, they are looking for products in these categories:
- Health & Wellness
- Cooking, Baking & Grilling
- Beauty & Skincare
- Hobbies, Crafts & Recreation
- Kids, Babies & Parenting
- Home Organization & Home Cleaning Solutions
Why is all this so smart?
1- Influencers get to pick products and spread word of mouth through Cravebox subscribers — brands that participate circumvent the challenges of finding their influencers and creating communities
2- Subscribers are paying to get a valuable package, but also covering some of the business costs
3- The opt-in trial process gets people more vested in using and talking about the products than your typical sampling program. The subscribers are so enthusiastic to receive this mix of new things, they don’t hesitate to try, talk and post about them. Here are 4min+ videos of those who’re going through their box.
Intrigued? To sign up for Cravebox, click here.
As Fast Company’s Ariel Schwartz recently wrote, Nike partnered with the likes of Yahoo, Best Buy, IDEO, Mountain Equipment Co-op and salesforce.com (among others) and launched a collaborative workspace called GreenXchange. Schwartz reports that the idea behind this initiative to join intellectual powers to create sustainable solutions came from Wikinomics author Don Tapscott and Nike’s Sustainable Business and Innovation Lab.
Upon visiting GreenXchange, you will notice that it is still a work in progress. But a noble one, indeed. The site states that “transformational change happens when individuals are willing to share ideas, work together, and seek solutions that create more efficient, more profitable and more meaningful business opportunities and models.” Visitors can look up abstracts and licenses under various sustainability topics. They can connect to a discussion on a 2degrees network to continue the conversation or go onto the nGenera platform to collaborate.
The brands that participate in this initiative are clearly showing their commitment to innovation and green product development. But they are not just doing this for earning public approval. They are also enhancing their business. Smarter solutions can mean efficient production, shortened time to market, higher consumer demand. It can also mean cross-branding (remember Cole Haan’s Nike Air heels?) and broadening target consumer groups.
This is a smart initiative whichever way you look at it. And it stands as a great example of how companies can use social networks in the b-to-b space.