Although just a hyperlink on a flash player, YouTube trials this first Interactive Riddle which let’s users choose answers at the end. For interactive marketers, this can lead to new forms of interactions such as quizzes, exploratory product demos, choose your own adventure, virtual world tours, and increased brand engagement. It’ll be interesting to see how video bloggers start to adopt this interactive narrations, or how perhaps how in the future dynamic links can be inserted right on the video to those that may want to add their own responses to existing videos.
I’m speaking to 370 (it was over 400) people at a virtual conference today hosted by Marketing Profs. Thanks to Bill Lee, Whitney and David and all the folks at Marketing profs to invite us. They’re using web-based software by Unisfair. It’s an interesting concept as it appears like you’re at a virtual conference. Of course, it takes some time to get used to the interface, but once you find a session you can put it on in the background and go about your work.
I think it’s possible to host your own conference by using slideshare to post your slides, then using ustream (a company I advise) , and camtwist for interaction details. Likely it’s not quite as robust as scalable, but I see this technology quickly becoming common.
It’s interesting how the web is intersecting different industries and conferences, you know about how we went crazy at the Web 2.0 expo with ustream, even in our panels. At some sessions there were more people watching us live on ustream then were actually in the live session.
The web brings conferences to you and connects people. Overall, I was impressed with the experience and put some screenshots below.
Last night at the Bay Chi Web event in Palo Alto (Walking distance from PodTech HQ), I was able to catch the excellent presentations from both Kelly Goto and then Dan Saffer.
Dan’s presentation drew parallels between the design of Las Vegas and the Web. There were some very interesting metaphors on how slot machines are designed so careful so that a row of slot machines can bring in a tremendous amount of money.
An interesting discussion occurred after his presentation how casinos are in many ways like websites. Web Designers try to get users to come and use their site, with explosion of sounds, pictures, a real experience.
When I think about the attraction of Social Media, in many ways, it is like ‘gambling’ you never know what’s going to happen next, who’s going to say what, and how others will respond. To many, the web is more than just a communication tool, it’s a source of entertainment and a social outlet.
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.