Friday, February 26, 2010

The Evolution of Content: Analytics, Location and Video

The PRSA Georgia Technology SIG recently invited Renu Kulkarni, executive director of FutureMedia at Georgia Tech, to explain how Georgia Tech is helping businesses prepare for the future explosion of digital media and communications with its FutureMedia initiative. FutureMedia partners with universities, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and industry to create a robust “open innovation ecosystem” that builds upon the existing the efforts at Georgia Tech and the state of Georgia.

In her presentation, Renu explored new paradigms of how content is created, distributed and consumed. We all know that social and digital media is revolutionizing the media landscape. This surge of user-generated content in a Web 3.0 world (yes, 3.0) is changing the way companies reach target audiences.

For the time in history, Pepsi did not run television spots during this year’s Super Bowl. Instead, Pepsi diverted millions of advertising dollars to social media. Companies like Pepsi are moving from exposure to engagement. Granted, Pepsi also has the brand recognition worldwide to evolve past marketing exposure. This evolution requires changing one’s mindset and success metrics from a traditional audience exposure model—demographics, impressions and segmentations—to an emerging consumer insight focused model—behaviors, interests and actions.

FutureMedia predicts that the evolution of content will involve immersive consumption—distributed through the cloud and created by collaborators. Today, we are in a state of mobility, but the future involves analytics, location and video. At present, more than 1 billion videos are uploaded to YouTube per day.

Following the FutureMedia presentation, PRSA Georgia Technology SIG participants were invited to go “behind the scenes” at Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) and view demonstrations of university research on digital, social and mobile technologies. This was fascinating to view the research in action.

At GTRI, I viewed the “Foundations for the Future” demonstration of how Georgia Tech researchers and working with government to improve K-12 technology in our school systems. Foundations for the Future uses the latest telecommunications technology to interconnect K-12 schools for collaborative learning; educational facilities (zoos, museums, libraries, etc.); and Internet-based resources.

In our demonstration, we saw how Georgia students could remotely access the Philadelphia Philharmonic to get French horn lessons or converse with an underwater research diver to complete their biology requirement. Foundations for the Future also explores virtual worlds (think: Second Life) for K-12 educational applications, and I witnessed how the presenter’s avatar could explore a virtual plant cell—a training game to captivate a classroom that was raised on the Wii.

I was joined by Kirk Englehardt (GTRI), Lois Rossi (Manheim), Jillian Depuma (Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta) and Steve Burns (CNN iReporter), among others.

For more information on GTRI, visit http://www.gtri.gatech.edu/, and for more information on PRSA Georgia, visit http://www.prsageorgia.org/.

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