Has a hashtag ever influenced a vote? Probably not. Did a Twitter meme ever sway a key voting demographic? We will have to ask #bathrobeguy, but I'll wager no. But when we talk about digital, we're talking about strategy far beyond these primitive social tactics. We're talking about a suite of tools that reinforce, strengthen and improve traditional and key campaign functions.
Summer in Canada is short. For four months of the year, the majority of Canadians are heading to patios, beaches and national parks -- anywhere they can soak in the sunshine and try to forget about the frigid winter that just passed. To truly win over consumers we need to provide timely value and relevance with every touch point.
Providing the resources and platforms for consumers to create has become an embedded part of how people consume. Organizations, no matter the industry, cannot ignore the importance of collaboration and co-creation. We are no longer the experts who can dictate what people want. We are now the apprentices to a very large population of mentors.
You may have noticed variations of the term "online trolling" creeping their way into the style guides of your favourite news outlets over the past year. What the Internet need not attempt is to expunge trolls. Instead, the digital class must work towards a renegotiation of its idioms. A key part of this process will be coaxing more nuance from terms like trolls and trolling, insisting on new ways of delineating the undesirable from the criminal: the process from the by-product. Resist the rush to concede the perch of the troll; it's all many of us have left.
The City of Vancouver has ignored how quickly digital moves in terms of technology, trends, opportunities for citizen empowerment and needs for infrastructure. For the digitally advanced, Vancouver will continue to be behind the times. For the average citizen, very little change will be seen or felt.
While technology like smartphones, tablets and such seem at first glance to be aimed at the young and hip, it's those in need of replacement hips who will be the biggest winners as technology continues to transform our daily lives bit by byte. When you can Skype with your grandchildren, email your children or keep in touch with old and new friends via Facebook, you don't feel as isolated. For chronic diseases that afflict the elderly, like diabetes and heart disease, there are now so many easy-to-use apps and gadgets to monitor blood-sugar levels, blood pressure and more. Maybe you can teach an old dog new tricks.
Education is undergoing a huge paradigm shift, not just a facelift. Kids choose the experiences they enjoy. They seek knowledge and education in subject areas they choose -- and that's only the start. Even the concept of the expert is changing, people are deciding who they want to learn from. More and more, the people and institutions and corporations who deliver education are understanding that students are demanding to be at the centre of the user and educational experience.
On Wednesday, a U.S. court ruled resoundingly for the universities, concluding that the practices fall squarely within U.S. fair use (good analysis from Grimmelman, Madison, Smith and Krews). The case is an important win for fair use and it points to a potential model for Canadian universities that have lagged behind in ensuring digital access to materials.
Given the speed and ubiquity of news and information in our supercharged digital landscape, digital natives appear to have developed consumption habits that match the tempo of this constant stream of content, switching from laptop screen to smartphone screen, from TV screen to Xbox console -- opening up hundreds of tabs in one sitting. But like binge eaters filling an emotional void, are digital natives merely gorging themselves on empty calories?
When my friend suggested I get an iPhone, I said that I didn't need one. Now that I've got one (and I love it) I can see he was right about it being a facilitator of convenience and creator of efficiency; boy, is it ever! What I didn't anticipate is that all of those other gadgets in my life would lose their purpose once I got an iPhone.
How would you feel if mall security cameras didn't simply monitoring you for stealing, but instead kept tabs on the specific brands, styles, colours and sizes of clothes you tried on, the magazines you leafed through at newsstands, what you ordered from the food court, and everything you actually bought during your visit?