Online experiences for Toys not new
Lego (one of my preferred toy) has an online Club, where those who sign up receive additional information. GIJoe has online games, and has cleverly disguised it’s advertisements as online experiences.
Children’s Physical toys to have cross online experience
A while ago I covered how Fisher Price is starting kids listening to Podcasts and taking digital pictures at an early age. Now, toy companies are seeing the benefit of having a dual experience with their toys as the Internet continues to mainstream at home, and especially with the younger generation.
According to the Associated Press this cross medium experience will continue to heat up:
“…’Toy companies are looking at where kids are playing and targeting product against it. Younger and younger kids are becoming more comfortable with the Internet,’ said New York-based toy consultant Chris Byrne…”
The article links to Bandai, which has an interesting interactive experience where kids can enter in secret codes for additional experience.
Could tie to Social Networking for Kids
A while back I covered Club Penguin, (before it got big) and it’s continuing to take off and be the MySpace of children. Club Penguin is in a real position of power, I know several parents who tell me their kids do chores to earn money so they can spend it in Club Penguin to ‘improve their igloo’ and do other events. There’s tremendous cross-marketing opportunities for Club Penguin and other toy manufactures.
The Future: Toys will be connected to the Internet, Children to continue to network amongst themselves
I would expect future toys to have a USB connector, and then WiFi, so a website can make the experience interactive. Imagine, those kids toys will come to life and start teaching children their ABCs or other dynamic content that a website and parents can control. There’s already some very basic toys with USB connections such as this Hello Kitty toy. Why not extend the mimicking of this laptop with supplemental information that can get your kid ahead in school?
Of course, protective parents (that’s repetitive isn’t it?) will raise concerns with privacy, and demand that websites don’t harvest information or expose children to dangers, and of course, I agree. OnGuard provides these ethical guidelines and watchgroups that review online spaces for parents. Microsoft created this guideline as a resource for parents.
Generation Next: Digital Native
For many companies this all makes sense, why should a company limit the experience of their toys to only the physical world, with the internet, and maybe (and carefully) connect with other kids. They’re going to be online from an early age, and will be very comfortable interacting with each other online.
My Technorati rank has plummeted (the lower the number is the more desirable). I’ll be breaking into the 2k range next week, and before this mess started I was somewhere in the 5k range.
I don’t deserve it though, as there’s this silly ‘2000 pictures and links collage‘ of bloggers that’s being spread all over the network.
If you’re new to blogging, a Technorati rank is just ONE way of determining authority, although it gives some interesting information. Anyone who registers to Technorati receives a ranking, as of yesterday it started at 2.5 million. It’s based upon who’s linking to you, how many times, and the authority of that person linking to you. Like Alexa, it’s overhyped, but still the only tool that’s been widely adopted.
For those lucky enough to be on the 2000 bloggers collage, it’s artificially driving down your incoming links from unique blogs. For those that are NOT on that list, you’re Technorati rank will artificially be damaged while I go by you.
The 2000 bloggers viral collage is artificially inflating the economic authority in our ecosystem
Links are currency, and this collage is a counterfeit factory. I hope that Technorati folks, Dave Sifry, Tantek and the other good folks over there negate this mess. I want to earn every link because of the stupid/brilliant (more stupid than brilliant) things I write, not just from mass pyramid linking structure.
I don’t want any part of this, you may take my picture off the collage.
Update Feb 5th AM: I’m not alone, Zoli agrees with me.
Update Feb 5th PM: Technorati is listening to me.
Update Feb 6th:
This is an important update, please read.
I just called Tino in Canada, he’s a good guy. I told him that my post was nothing personal towards him and I think that what he did was a good thing. It’s just that the network went crazy with it.
I encourage him to put the 2000 bloggers page back up, and then bloggers could link to that page, without having to spawn it and replicate it all over the blogosphere. I left several comments on others blogs saying the same thing.
I want to personally promote Tino as an innocent here, I hope that no one thinks ill of him, nor he or his website is penalized by Technorati or Google.
Again, Let me repeat it (esp for those who left somewhat annoyed comments on this post) I like Tino, I think what he did was done innocently and I think what he did was a great example of community. Let’s put this non-issue to bed.
Update Feb 6th PM:
Sigh, I’m hesitant to post this, as I want this to be over, but a little bird sent this to me.
(Left: I took this picture of Shel Israel using my color selector feature my Canon SD600)
Last night during coffee after dinner, Blogging Jedi Master Shel expressed to us of his concerns with some situations of bloggers taking advantage of their power, or organizations fearing bloggers. When he talks, there’s usually great wisdom or a lesson to be learned, this was no exception.
These four instances of abuse of power by bloggers and those that were watching bloggers. I suspect this trend will continue, just as it does for politicians, journalists, and anyone who obtains power.
Blogger ethics call for being 1) Honest and fair, 2) Minimize Harm, and to 3) Be Accountable.
I would add that any blogger should try to add to the community, and give credit when appropriate. And yes, that means that A-list bloggers need to start linking out, interesting thoughts from Chris.
As we gain more power by having a louder voice, we need to maintain credibility, I remember last Monday at the Frost and Sullivan conference where one attendee told me “Blogs are just a bitch session”.
Today over lunch, I told my friends I’m careful not to blog about folks that might not already be on the web. What I say about them can quickly find it’s way up search results, impacting their personal brand. The same goes to companies that do wrong, a blogger with incredible page rank can quickly destroy a search marketing program. I blogged about him using his first and last name a while ago, and it’s the top search result in Google. Since employers are known for doing Google searches for new employees, this is power I must yield carefully.
I just created a new category called ‘ethics’, and this is my first post tagged to it, probably something I should have done a long time ago.