July 31, 2015

The Weekly Wins: Tech breakups, the love of vinyl, and Sportsbots.

WRITTEN BY: Barry Corden

Put up your feet, kick off your shoes, and settle in for our digital marketing news in this week’s edition of The Weekly Wins. We cover the breakup between Google+ and Youtube. Why the love of vinyl has everyone in a spin. Pixar’s 22 rules for storytelling adapted for UX. How Lego is getting kids in touch with their bionic awesomeness. And remarkably, that robotic sports could be destined for the Olympics.

1. IT’S NOT YOU, IT’S ME

When Google stopped forcing new users to also create a Google+ account last year, it was a sign that things had become complicated. The new ‘No Thanks’ button was a red flag that signalled things were going to change. And they have.

Google is now officially splitting Google+ profiles from its other, more popular services. The first to breakup with Google+ is YouTube. So now all you’ll need to create a YouTube channel, communicate with contacts, and share content now is a Google account. The big win about the split-up is in the comments on videos. The comments you make on YouTube videos will now only be on YouTube, they won’t also appear on Google+ and vice versa.

Google+ and YouTube breakup.

2. HAS THE VINYL MOVEMENT REACHED ITS PEAK?

‘What comes around goes around,’ they say. And the resurged interest in vinyl has been around for about a decade. It just seems to keep going around and hasn’t faded away.Indie record labels and musicians are asking if we’ve reached maximum vinyl capacity? It’s a valid question that turns up the volume on some very interesting statistics and details.

The 7” version of this story is that the vinyl production industry just can’t keep up anymore. Indie labels are paying in-full for orders that are being delivered late. Prices keep climbing, pulling more people in to make money from a growing middle-class audience. How much bigger can the bubble go? In 2005, vinyl sales were less than 1 million albums. In 2014, sales of new vinyl albums soared to 9.2 million.

2005 vinyl sales less than 1 million. 2014 new vinyl sales 9.2 million.

If the bubble pops, indie labels, stores, and artists involved in vinyl’s rebound momentum could be collateral damage. Our own Sandy Fleischer is open about his vinyl fetishism and shared some collector insights. For the record, (Barry: yes, that just happened. Editor: Really? ) Sandy specialises in collecting particular Reggae presses and has an extensive knowledge of the style.

Sandy’s Top 5 Vinyl Stores

  • Honest Jon’s Records – Portobello Road, London
  • Groove Merchant – Lower Haight, San Francisco
  • Deadly Dragon Sound – China Town, New York
  • Dusty Grove – near Wicker Park, Chicago
  • Cosmos Records – Toronto, Canada (It’s spitting distance from Pound & Grain’s Toronto office. Coincidence?)

 

3. BIONIC KIDS

Danish brick company and adult foot injurer, Lego, is not just building blocks anymore. They’ve partnered with a prize winning Columbian designer to build self-confidence and self-esteem in kids with prosthetics.

Carlos Arturo Torres is the designer that came up with the creative prosthetic system. He teamed up with CIREC, a Columbian physical rehab foundation, and Lego’s Future Lab to develop the familiar modular system allowing children with prosthetics to transform the practical into the fantastical. Kids can now explore their creativity and replace a missing hand with a spaceship or laser. What makes this even cooler is that the prosthetics are compatible with the robotics line, Lego Mindstorms, so kids can program their new robotic arms to do tasks.

The new system is flexible enough for kids to use, hack, and create by themselves and with friends. Say goodbye to traditional prosthetics, it’s time to get bionic and hook-up that Millennium Falcon for a Star Wars party.

“What if kids could use their imagination to create their own tools.” - Carlos Arturo Torres

4. RULES ARE MADE TO BE BROKEN. EXCEPT THESE RULES.

Storytelling is part of us. It’s an element of our human condition. And is literally built into our brains. The art of storytelling is about creating an experience. It’s about crafting something that resonates emotionally and sparks imagination. In 2011, Emma Coats, a former storyboard artist at Pixar, tweeted the ‘22 rules of storytelling’. It was a collection of points that outlined the craft of telling a great story. The twenty-two rules have now been adapted to outline the new 22 rules of creating a great experience in UX.

5. ROBOTIC SPORTS IN THE OLYMPICS, WHAAAAT?

There’s something primal and exciting about supporting your team and watching as they go into battle. The spectacle and rivalry looks amazing when captured on camera and broadcast. And it’s this fix that has had millions of people tuned in to sports events for years. It’s that experience of feeling your adrenalin pumping as you cheer your sports heroes on to victory. And the thrill when ‘your’ team walk off as the champions. This has been reserved for traditional sports like football, baseball, hockey, and boxing to name a few, but are things changing?

Is it only a matter of time before new age sports and generations that appreciate a different kind of sporting entertainment take over to become bigger than the NFL or perhaps even make it into the Olympics?

If you’re not familiar with some of the new sports such as FPV Racing or the rising popularity of e-sports, then you’re about to have your mind blown. FPV drone racing has got a lot of attention over the last few years with prize money for wins reaching five digit figures. There are even top colleges that have created scholarships for e-sports stars. Top players in the League of Legends battles sit at their computers while viewerships exceeding 30 million fans tune in to watch their heroes. So is it only a matter of time before we see robotic sports take over as the choice of entertainment?

A week of rules, robots, and breakups for your long weekend. Have fun out there.