#ONA11 Top Ten Tech Trends, part 1 (1-5)

For more on this session look for links hashtagged #techtrends #ona11 on Twitter

People who’ve been to ONA before recommended the “Top Ten Tech Trends” talk by Amy Webb (@webbmedia on Twitter), and they were right.  She’s an excellent presenter who managed to cram an amazing collection of ideas and information into just over an hour.

(Note: There’s a ton of links to apps, sites and stories in this post, but I haven’t checked to see if everything discussed works/is available in Canada.)

#1 – Refined Search  All that is Google is not gold…especially when your Google+s personalize and skew your search results.

Reporters: start refining your searches. Always use the right search engine for the job.

Managers and developers: Search on many news organizations’ websites is terrible and therefore doesn’t get used.  Make improvements! A great search tool will keep people on your site longer.

#2: Topics We’re now seeing topic focused dynamic curations. Links and apps to look at:

Twylah takes a Twitter handle and treats it as a brand – does the analysis of your tweets and turns  you into a publication with topics – even the headers are dynamic.

scoop.it (currently by invite only)– lets you curate more.  You can retire stories not useful, change your lead –

Facebook (you don’t need a link for that!) is gettinginto natural language processing. For example, if you’re talking about Harry Potter – it’s linking to your posts and taking you out to other pages.

Reporters: grouping people and companies together is a great way to keep/sort your information on organizations and contacts.

Managers and developers: news organizations should consider fluid dyamic topic pages that continually update – see Twylah, scoop.it and others in this space.

#3: Inner Circles  As in, Google+ Circles… Google’s third attempt at social uses circles to help create conversations among small groups of people focused around a single topic of activity.

Other things to look for in this category:  Group.me  (just bought by skype); Beluga ; and Kik.  One of her favourites is HeyTell

Reporters:  use one of these networks for targeted reporting – if you cover a beat you can set up a circle for yourself and sources (note – a few people mumbled that this isn’t that likely on many beats, espy police, eg).

Managers and developers: use inner circles to build buzz around new features/products, harness influencers,  etc.

#4 Social Proximity Networks  This is where it gets a little creepy – Webb showed a number of examples of apps that use the GPS  and others bits (eg Facebook) in your smartphone to link you to people nearby.

Then there are Blu ;   Sonar; the unnerving Streetspark and Nerd Nearby

Reporters: use social proximity networks to look for sources, espy at conferences like this one.  These networks can narrow down areas of interest.

Managers & developers: use them to look for leads, product testers, to evangelize, etc.

#5 Face and Iris Recognition  Again, the potential reach of this stuff is creepy.  If you have a Mac with iPhoto, you know how it learns to recognize faces in pics from tags in other pics.

Webb said a hacker conference used face recognition software (don’t remember which)  to find an individual’s Social Security number (the American version of a SIN) in no time. At the World Cup 2014 in Brazil, police will have iris-scanning glasses (that, yes, make them look a bit like Borg, or RoboCop).

Facial recognition software works through combinations of technologies

-data mining allows sophisticated inferences from your public data (e.g., a pic uploaded to Facebook)

-cloud computing allows millions of face comparisons in real time

-mobile devices allow augmented reality and easy image capture

Webb says: the most important API this year is face.com.  See it in action at http://theemotionalbreakdown.com/

Other examples:  Viewdle ; Polar Rose (acquired by Apple: see demo);  Android’s Social Camera; and the PittPatt face recognizer  (developed at Carnegie Mellon and acquired by Google).

Scared? Try CV Dazzle to fool the software (for now)

Notes for everyone: As Webb put it – the key takeaway is that it’s scary. You need to start monitoring your digital photos.

Trends 6 through 10 to come – probably while I’m sitting in Newark airport later today…

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