Tag Archives: social media

My Favourite Gadget, Book and App in 2016

Every year I list my favourite gadget, book and app from the last twelve months, so here they are for 2016:

Favourite gadget

A smartwatch. I never expected them to be this useful.

During the summer I ran my first marathon and bought a running watch to track my runs. The watch, a Garmin Forerunner 235, has a number of smartwatch features, including alerts that show on my phone, such as text messages, calls, Facebook alerts and so on, also show on my watch.

The watch also has a step and sleep counter, which I’d never as useful beforehand, but the step counter is moderately addictive. I can tell how well I sleep – I don’t need a watch to tell me.

Although the user interface on the watch is terribly over complicated, I still love the watch. Friends who have an Apple Watch still need to charge them daily, and the Forerunner can last at least a week.

Favourite book

The book that stopped me tweeting before boarding flights

I haven’t read as many books this year, but my favourite was ‘So you’ve been publicly shamed’ by Jon Ronson. I like Ronson’s style of writing, and I’m constantly worried (and telling the kids) of the dangers of a simple social media update upsetting others.

If you are interested in social networks, I thoroughly recommend the book. Since reading the book I try not to tweet when I’m boarding a plane, just in case autocorrect strikes.

Favourite app

I have a few friends who have started producing podcasts, and they use Podbean. I’ve been using the Podbean app for a while, but I still don’t find it very intuitive. It could be much simpler.

My favourite app for 2016 was Google Maps. Google have released a number of new, really good features. As a family we travel all over the UK. Google Maps has excellent voice recognition and smart route navigation, taking real-time traffic into account. But the 2016 killer feature is being able to search for something en-route, such as a petrol station or a specific restaurant. This is also voice controlled, and results are shown along the route.

 

This leaves me to wish everyone who reads this site, and your family, a wonderful holiday period, together with a healthy, happy and prosperous new year.

Five trends from The Future of General Insurance event

Describing key insurance trends at The Future of General Insurance event
Describing key insurance trends at The Future of General Insurance event

This week I spoke at The Future of General Insurance event about our latest Insurance Industry Technology Trends report at Endava. Here’s a brief summary of the presentation.

Endava works in many industries, and we can see what companies outside of insurance do really well, that insurers can learn from. We have found 20 ‘trends’, of which we covered five most relevant ones to general insurers at the conference:

  • IoT (Internet of Things) are slowly redefining how consumers perceive ‘insurance’
  • Moving to mobile first interfaces
  • Using social media
  • The use of digital marketing in the insurance industry
  • Building self-service into systems

Continue reading Five trends from The Future of General Insurance event

Are printed newspapers dead?

Printed newspapers: "It ain't over yet" - if you stick your head in the sand much longer it will be
Printed newspapers: “It ain’t over yet” – if you stick your head in the sand much longer it will be

Last night I went with some colleagues to a Media Society event called “Newsprint – It’s Ain’t Over Yet?” After listening to the panel and some of the questions, I think the end of printed newspapers could be nearer than previously thought.

The panel consisted of two academics, Professor Roy Greenslade and Professor Jane Singer both from the City University London; Sarah Baxter the Deputy Editor of The Sunday Times; Christian Broughton, Editor of The Independent; and Alison Phillips, the Editor of The New Day. Professor Greenslade was the chair, and Alison sent him a text half way through the event to say she couldn’t make it. Continue reading Are printed newspapers dead?

Book review: So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed

The original WhatsApp conversation with Ben Innes' "selfie"
The original WhatsApp conversation with Ben Innes’ “selfie”

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed is a fast paced, easy-to-read book that highlights the power of group behaviour on social media.

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed is the latest book from Jon Ronson, the journalist from the Guardian. Jon Ronson is the English equivalent of America’s Malcolm Gladwell, combined with Louis Theroux’s modus operandi. Jon Ronson’s books cover those sections of society that are either taboo or push us slightly outside of our comfort zone, and it’s here that Ronson often defends those people the most.

The book is about the public shaming that some people have been subjected to on social media. He provides some case studies of people whose lives have been significantly changed by a single post on Facebook or Twitter. These individuals aren’t always celebrities – some had just a couple of hundred followers. These case studies set the context of the post right up to modern day consequences for the user. Continue reading Book review: So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed

Friends Reunited: 5 reasons why it went so wrong

Friends Reunited - 5 things that went wrong
Friends Reunited – 5 things that went wrong. One of which was this poor design

Friends Reunited, one of the UK’s Internet stars, announced yesterday that it will be closing in a month’s time.

In the UK, Friends Reunited was the Internet version of Woolworths – it’s a site which we all had some affinity to, but didn’t use, and are sad to see depart. How could this household name fail to succeed?

There are five reasons why the site couldn’t compete with later social networks. Continue reading Friends Reunited: 5 reasons why it went so wrong

2016 digital predictions

This is the sixth year of my digital predictions for the forthcoming twelve months (see here for 2015).

Many more industry commentators and research analysts are now releasing their predictions, but they don’t mark their work at the end of the year (last year I scored a woeful D) and their ‘predictions’ are actually trends.

So here goes for what lies ahead in 2016:

1. The eyewear war

An unflattering photo wearing Google Glass
An unflattering photo wearing Google Glass

In 2016 we’ll see a new three companies go eye to eye on their product offerings: Microsoft’s Hololens versus Facebook’s Oculus Rift versus Google’s Glass and Cardboard products.

In 2016 the new version of Google Glass will be released, specifically focussed on enterprises. Microsoft will be releasing Hololens to developers from Q1 2016. And Facebook will also be releasing Oculus Rift in Q1 2016.

The ultimate winner of these multi-billion dollar investments will be customers. Devices will still be well into four figures, and we’ll see some incredible implementations from gaming to enterprise. Continue reading 2016 digital predictions

Contact me (20 different ways)

This is how I feel when I get into the office (minus the Blackberry) - Source: OU.
This is how I feel when I get into the office (minus the Blackberry) – Credit: OU on Flickr

This post coincides with some thoughts that I’d been collecting about communication methods and was finally provoked with an article in the FT about Coca Cola and JP Morgan removing voicemail from employees’ phones.

I seem to have too many communication methods, spilling over between my work and personal life. Each morning I get into work and go through a process of attempting to keep up with all these methods via a myriad of smartphone apps, PC applications and web browser tabs.

And it’s getting worse. Last week Mrs H went on a holiday abroad while I led a Scout camp in the New Forest. (Mrs H likes camping, but is strictly a good-weather camper, and we had the worst weather during the camp that I can remember). Before departing for a flight to a sunny destination she asked me to install WhatsApp.

I’ve always abstained from WhatsApp because my kids all use it and I don’t want a zillion more notifications from them while I’m at work. And besides, I have enough alternative communication methods for people, including my kids, to reach me. Continue reading Contact me (20 different ways)

20 Internet Trends in 2015

One of my favourite annual Internet reports is out. It’s the KPCB report, from the Venture Capital company based in the US.

It’s 196 pages of fact-packed charts, and here are my favourites.

The US makes up ‘only’ 10% of the 2.8bn online users. 73% of the World has a phone, of which 40% are smartphones. So there are 2 billion smartphones.

The top 15 Internet companies (by capitalisation) consist only of American and Chinese companies.

The only company featuring in the top 15 companies in 1995 and 2015 is Apple, which has increased its capitalisation by over 190 times! The combined capitalisation of the top 15 has increased by 141 times.

ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) on Facebook is $9.36, based on advertising alone. Continue reading 20 Internet Trends in 2015

Deloitte Media Consumer 2015

Sobering PewDiePie vs Corrie viewing stats. Source: Deloitte 2015
Sobering PewDiePie vs Corrie viewing stats.
Source: Deloitte 2015

I went to the Deloitte Media Consumer 2015 survey presentation presented by Matt Guest, their Head of Digital Strategy EMEA. The survey focusses on media consumption habits in the UK, and was an informal, highly interactive presentation. So interactive, that I apologise to the rest of the audience for asking so many questions.

The invite pulled out some key stats:

  • A third of us watch the same TV shows every day
  • 61% watch on average one short form video a day
  • The younger generation prefers sharing social media content with a limited amount of followers
  • 36% of adults feel they don’t need to go and see big releases in the cinema as they are available on demand so quickly
  • For up-to-date news content, 70% of users turn to Twitter

Continue reading Deloitte Media Consumer 2015