Obama launches Web App to Raise Awareness about Climate Change

innovation, Marketing, Teaching, Technology

It’s increasingly recognized that while large parts of the of populations of the US (and other Western countries) are aware of climate change and accept that human action contributes to it only little behavioural change can be observed. People continue with their lives as usual although knowing their actions contribute to climate change.

“Although a poll by the Pew Research Center last October found that 67 percent of Americans believe that global warming is happening, a Pew poll in January showed that Americans ranked global warming as 19th on a list of 20 issues for Congress and the president.” (NYT-19 March 2014)

President Obama now has launched the development of a website that is designed to make visible to people the impact of climate change locally, in their citie  and neighborhoods. The New York Times reported on this development in its Science Section “Obama Turns to Web to Illustrate the Effects of a Changing Climate” and cites the motivation behind the campaign as “building a political case for the climate rules, both by defusing the opposition and by trying to create an urgent sense among Americans that they are necessary”.

Gail Markle’s recent article “Accounting for the Performance of Environmentally Significant Behavior: The Symbolic Significance of Recycling” published in Symbolic Interaction addresses this very same issue. Markle investigates why people consider recycling as a sufficient action to help the environment although being aware of the impact their consumption habits and life-style have on the environment.

A related campaign to use the Internet to raise awareness for ethics and ethical action has recently been launched by Andrea Prothero, Associate Professor at University College Dublin. The Facebook Group Talk About Ethics was launched a couple of weeks ago and encourages its members to take pictures of themselves stating why ‘talking about ethics’ is important.

Marketing, Interaction and Technology – Syllabus 2014

interaction, Marketing, Syllabus, Teaching

Syllabus – Topics and Readings

 

Week 1 (13 January 2014) Introduction to the Course

The first lecture introduces the course content, rationale and requirements of the course.

Relevant Book

Kotler, P. & G. Armstrong (2013). Principles of Marketing. Harlow: Pearsons.

Core Readings

Humphreys, L. (2005). “Cellphones in Public: Social Interactions in a Wireless Era.” New Media & Society 7 (6): 810–833.

Additional Readings

Kujovich, Mary Yeager. 1970. “The Refrigerator Car and the Growth of the American Dressed Beef Industry.The Business History Review 44 (4): 460–482.

Wei, Ran, and Louis Leung. 1999. “Blurring Public and Private Behaviors in Public Space: Policy Challenges in the Use and Improper Use of the Cell Phone.Telematics and Informatics 16 (1): 11–26.

Related Reading

Selinger, E. (2013). How not to be a jerk with your stupid smartphone. The Atlantic (November).

 

Week 2 (20 January 2014) Marketing and Technology

Public debates about technological innovation often talk about the ‘revolutionary’ impact of new technology. There are myriad examples for this phenomenon: “the internet revolution”, the “social media revolution” or the “Twitter revolution” to name but a few. These discussions principally argue that technological developments are shaping how we conduct our affairs, including how we organise our daily interactions as well as how we conduct marketing activities. At the same time, these discussions often ignore the political shaping and relevance of these technologies. This lecture explores the textbook premises of the relationship between marketing and technology. It sheds light on different perspectives on how technology is interwoven with marketing theory and practice.

Core Readings

Constantinides, E. (2006). “The Marketing Mix Revisited: Towards the 21st Century Marketing.” Journal of Marketing Management 22 (3-4): pp. 407–438.

Additional Readings

Bartels, R. (1986). Marketing: Management Technology or Social Process at the Twenty-First Century? In Marketing Management Technology as a Social Process. Edited by George Fisk. New York et al.: Praeger, pp.30-42.

Marx, L. (2010). Technology: The Emergence of a Hazardous Concept. Technology & Culture, 51(3), 561-577.

Möller, K. (2006). “The Marketing Mix Revisited: Towards the 21st Century Marketing by E. Constantinides.” Journal of Marketing Management 22 (3-4): pp. 439–450.

Related Readings

Friedman, T. (2009). Tweeting the Dialectic of Technological Determinism. FlowTV http://flowtv.org/2009/06/tweeting-the-dialectic-of-technological-determinism  ted-friedman  georgia-state-university-atlanta  /

 

Related Books

Robertson, D., and B. Breen. 2013. Brick by Brick: How LEGO Rewrote the Rules of Innovation and Conquered the Global Toy Industry. Random House Business.

Stone, Brad. 2013. The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon. Bantam Press.

Week 3 (27 January 2014) Technology, Interaction and Networks

Over the past few years, social relationships are increasingly being described as networks. We find public discourse about networks, social networks, the network economy, network society and others. This lecture begins with a discussion of social interaction before moving on to concepts of market relationships and networks. It will form the basis for subsequent lectures concerned with online communities

Core Readings

Kaplan, Andreas M., and Michael Haenlein. 2010. “Users of the World, Unite! The Challenges and Opportunities of Social Media.” Business Horizons 53 (1): 59–68.

Additional Readings

Bernoff, J., & Li, C. (2008). Harnessing The Power of The Oh-So-Social Web, MIT Sloan Management Review, 2008, 49, pp. 335-342.

boyd, d. (2010). “Social Network Sites as Networked Publics : Affordances, Dynamics, and Implications.” In Networked Self: Identity, Community, and Culture on Social Networking Sites, ed. Zizi Papacharissi, pp.39–58. Abingdon: Routledge.

Ferguson, R., (2008). Word of mouth and viral marketing: taking the temperature of the hottest trends in marketing. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 25(3), pp. 179 – 182.

Watts, Duncan J, and Steve Hasker. 2006. “Marketing in an Unpredictable World.” Harvard Business Review.

Watts, D.J., 1999. Networks, Dynamics, and the Small-World Phenomenon. American Journal of Sociology, 105(2), p.493-527.

 

Related Books

Papacharissi, Zizi (2008). Networked Self: Identity, Community, and Culture on Social Networking Sites. Abingdon: Routledge.

Rainie, L., & Wellman, B. (2012). Networked: The New Social Operating System. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Week 4 (3 February 2014) Wessel van Rensburg (RAAK) Inequality in Networks (working title)

@wildebees 

 Week 5 (10 February 2014) Social Networks and Reputation Management

At the same tome as social media and social networking has risen in importance for marketing practitioners new challenges have emerged that for example impact the ways in which companies’ reputation can be impacted by the use of these new media. This lecture draws on a few recent examples to explore some of these challenges to companies’ reputation and discusses ways in which companies might manage their reputation when using social media and social networking sites for their marketing communications.

Core Readings

Hennig-Thurau, Thorsten, Caroline Wiertz, and Fabian Feldhaus. (2013) “Does Twitter Matter? An Investigation of the Impact of Micro Blogging Word of Mouth on Consumers’ Adoption of New Products.” http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2016548

Additional Readings

Gruzd, A., B. Wellman, and Y. Takhteyev. 2011. “Imagining Twitter as an Imagined Community.” American Behavioral Scientist 55 (10): 1294–1318.

Hamilton, K. & P. Hewer. (2010). Tribal mattering spaces: Social-networking sites, celebrity affiliations, and tribal innovations. Journal of Marketing Management, 26(3), p.271-289.

Hennig-Thurau, T., E. C. Malthouse, C. Friege, S. Gensler, L. Lobschat, a. Rangaswamy, and B. Skiera. 2010. “The Impact of New Media on Customer Relationships.” Journal of Service Research 13 (3): 311–330.

Phelps, J. E., Lewis, R., Mobilio, L., Perry, D., & Raman, N. (2004). Viral Marketing or Electronic Word-of-Mouth Advertising: Examining Consumer Responses and Motivations to Pass Along Email. Journal of Advertising Research, 44(4), 333-348.

Rainie, L., & Wellman, B. (2012). Networked: The New Social Operating System. MIT Press.

Sarstedt, M. (2009). Reputation Management in Times of Crisis. Journal of Brand Management. Vol.16, 499-503.

Week 6 (24 February 2013) Rob Wilmot (BCS Agency Start-ups and Valuations

 @robwilmot

Week 7 (3 March 2013) Jadis Tillery Content Marketing (working title)

@jadistillery

Related Books

Jenkins, Henry. 2008. Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. New York University Press.

Week 8 (10 March) – Search and Social Media Marketing

Over the past decade or so two important developments have emerged in the context of Internet Marketing: Search Marketing and Social Media Marketing. The growing economic weight of companies like Google suggest that Search will be one of the important marketing activities over the coming years. It is being used to obtain an understanding of the market as well as for the building of relationships and networks (Marsden and Kirby 2005; Moran and Hunt 2008). The lecture will discuss some of the practices involved in Search Marketing and assess possible problems these practices might raise for the relationship between companies and their customers. It then will turn to Social Media Marketing and explore how social networks like Facebook, Myspace or Jumo are used for marketing purposes, including the design, promotion and distribution of products and services (Penenberg 2009; Scott 2008). The discussion will touch on current debates concerned with viral marketing and online gaming as well as trust and reputation.   

 

Core Readings

Rijnsoever, Frank J. van, Castaldi, Carolina, Dijst, Martin J. (2012). In what sequence are information sources consulted by involved consumers? The case of automobile pre-purchase search, Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 19(3), pp.343-352.

 

Related Books

Marsden, P., & Kirby, J. (2005). Connected Marketing: The Viral, Buzz and Word of Mouth Revolution. Butterworth-Heinemann.

Moran, M., & Hunt, B. (2008). Search Engine Marketing, Inc.: Driving Search Traffic to Your Companys Web Site. IBM Press.

Pariser, E., 2011. The Filter Bubble: What The Internet Is Hiding From You, Viking.

Week 10 (17 March 2013) – Social and Sustainability Marketing and Technology

The arrival of new technology has also been picked up by market and consumer researchers. For example, over recent years video recording of consumers in shopping and leisure environments has been used to track people’s navigation through isles and gain an understanding of their shopping behaviour. With the arrival of the internet it has been recognised that people’s every ‘click’ can be tracked and followed and the information be used to personalise offers. This lecture critically assesses how technology is used to improve companies’ profits as well as offers for customers and considers some of the practical and ethical implications of these developments.

 

Core Readings

Brennan, Ross, Stephan Dahl, and Lynne Eagle. 2010. “Persuading Young Consumers to Make Healthy Nutritional Decisions.” Journal of Marketing Management 26 (7-8) (July 9): 635–655.

Related Books

Aaker, J., & A. Smith. (2010). The Dragonfly Effect: Quick, Effective, and Powerful Ways to Use Social Media to Drive Social Change. Jossey Bass.

Peattie, K., & Belz, F. F.-M. (2009). Sustainability Marketing: A Global Perspective (p. 306). John Wiley & Sons.

Striphas, T. (2009). The Late Age of Print: Everyday Book Culture from Consumerism to Control. Columbia University Press.

Vaidhynathan, S., 2011. The Googlization of Everything: (And Why We Should Worry), Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

 

Week 10  (24 March 2013) Marketing, Interaction & Technology

Museums and Technology

exhibitions, experience, interaction, interactivity, museums, Technology

This week Roger Highfield, Director of External Affairs at the Science Museum in London, made a strong case for the use of technology to enhance visitors’ experience of museums. In his article published in London’s Evening Standard Highfield writes

“When used wisely, computers and interactives have a role in showing our visitors that science is more than just a collection of cold, hard facts, arcane theorems and grey metal boxes. With a little digital magic, all these facets can now all sparkle. This is important for all museums, for London and for the nation’s high-tech industry. We never seem to have enough scientists, mathematicians and engineers. The same goes for designers and the creative industry and, yes, classicists too. Museums need to use all the tools at their disposal to inspire the next generation.”

I could not agree more. Luckily, these days there are plenty of excellent examples of technology in museums that intrigues visitors, allows them to see science, art and design in novel ways, and maybe not at last, attracts people to look at museum objects who without technology would find them boring, uninteresting and maybe also inaccessible. In these cases, technology is an invaluable tool that facilitates and enhances access. Moreover, as Highfield points out in his article technology can make visible aspects of science, art and design that otherwise could not be shown. Examples for such phenomena are miniscule molecular processes processes or the ways in which old objects like the famous washstand by William Burges in the Victoria & Albert Museum would have been used by its owners.

The effectiveness of these technologies in museums has variously been shown. A Special Issue of  Curator: the Museum Journal (2004) elaborated some of the opportunities offered by technology and interactivity in museums, highlighting that technology can facilitate new forms of engagement and learning occurring in museums. Robert West however also pointed at the potential costs of interactivity in museums. Aside from momentary costs West also points to the danger that technology when broken or difficult to use can spoil the museum experience for visitors and that some people for various reasons are intimidated by technology in exhibitions.

This latter point is echoed in a recent research paper by Susie Scott and colleagues that has recently been published in the journal Symbolic Interaction. In their paper “Goffman in the Gallery” the authors elaborate on the emergence of situational shyness at interactive exhibits and explicate ways in which visitors cope with their uncertainty of using an exhibit or hesitation to approach it because they fear they might find themselves in an embarrassing situation unable to use the technology. Amongst other points that Scott and colleagues’ paper makes it suggests that one solution that people find to overcome “situational shyness” is to learn from others. People observe others and use their actions as “replacement scripts”.

The importance of mutual observability in museums for people’s exploration and sense making in museums has been a topic since the inception of the modern museum. Tony Bennett in his well-known “The Birth of the Museum” as well as Norman Trondsen in a paper from the 1970s “Social Control in the Art Museum” have highlighted how the design and layout of museums facilitates mutual observation that allows people to learn @proper conduct@ from observing others, and in turn people behave ‘properly’ because they are aware that they might be observed in their actions in museums.

Robin Meisner has taken this argument one step further by explicating how visitors embellish their actions at exhibits. Their interaction with exhibits becomes a performance that invites others to become an audience. The result are shared experiences at exhibits, that on occasion surprise even those who have designed the exhibits. Meisner’s research has a range of other papers that have been published over the past decade or so highlight the importance of social interaction in museums. People enjoy museums as places for sociality and sociability. They visit them with friends and family and meet other people who are there at the same time.

When social interaction is so important for museum visiting it is rather surprising that we still find so much technology in museums that encourages individuals’ engagement whilst not supporting and sometimes undermining social interaction. Examples for studies highlighting the difficulties that visitors find in interweaving the interaction with technology and the interaction with other people. The trouble is as we have shown in our research that design of misconceives interactivity as facilitating interaction. Examples for technologies that often create interactional difficulties between visitors of museums are conventional touch-screen exhibits and interactive guides like PDAs and mobile phones that prioritise the interaction of an individual with the technology over the collaboration between visitors.

Highfield suggests in his article to use technology “wisely” when deploying systems and devices in museums. So far we know relatively little about what “wise” technology design for museums looks like. However, it is clear that it needs to take into account that museum visiting is a social occasion. Designers of systems and novel exhibitions therefore might need to rethink interactivity and develop assemblies and configurations of objects and artefacts that allow people to embed (some of their) their features within their social interaction. Collaborations between museum experts and technology companies, like the one that led to the recent exhibition of Chromeweblab at the Science Museum, have proven quite successful.

It however might be worthwhile thinking about the inclusion of social scientists in such developments who might help to focus on social and interactional configurations emerging at and around technology on the exhibition floor. Moreover, natural laboratories on the exhibition floor, similar to those the Exploratorium in San Francisco uses, might be a worthwhile investment for museums to enable experiments with new configurations of technology and people in exhibitions.

CFP: ‘Researching audiences in digital mediated and interactive experiences’

interaction, interactivity, museums, Museums, Technology, visitors

Participations: Journal of Audience and Reception Studies

 

Special Issue: ‘Researching audiences in digital mediated and interactive experiences’

Part of the AHRC Funded Project http://affectiveexperiences.com/

Co-editors:

Irida Ntalla (Schools of Arts, Cultural Policy and Management, City University)

& Dirk vom Lehn (Department of Management, King’s College London)

Participations is the online Journal devoted to the broad field of audience and reception studies, and has been running for ten years now, to be found at www.participations.org.  It aims to bring into dialogue work and debate across all fields involved in examining all areas of media and culture.  Participations has pioneered a system of open refereeing for all contributions, designed to encourage open, critical debate among researchers.  This has been widely welcomed by contributors to the Journal.

Call for Papers

New media technologies and digital mediated environments bring histories and events close to audiences by offering a wide range of resources that provide them with opportunities for social, cognitive and emotional participation and engagement. At the heart of the development of new media technologies is “interactivity”, a characteristic ascribed to objects and systems that engage people in ways that go beyond traditional feedback procedures. These technologies facilitate sustained engagement and participation, allow for the communication of information and multimedia content, and often encourage people to produce and curate digital content.

Such interactive technologies and environments have become a familiar feature of many cultural institutions, such as in museums, galleries and science centers. Interactive exhibits, immersive installations, digital interactives, virtual games and online platforms engage cultural audiences in new ways and at the same time challenge the concept of the audience per se and their experiences; for example, they invite visitors not only to view and examine curated content but increasingly involve visitors in the production and curation of it to create personal museum collections, user generated content, etc.

These technological developments therefore challenge the relationship of audiences with artists, curators, museums and heritage sites’ professionals, educationalists as well as exhibition and interactive designers. Their effectiveness as tool for interpreting and representing exhibits and as educational technology is often argued for but also ever so often challenged and criticized. Evaluations of new media technologies in cultural institutions arrive at contradictory findings, some arguing for their ability to increase people’s engagement and participation with content and exhibits whilst others warn that they distract from the original objects and disturb the sacred relationship between visitor and object, user and content. Indeed, research suggests that at times these technologies become the reason for people’s frustration and disorientation in online and physical environments.

This Special Issue will contribute to these discussions about the increasingly complex technological mediation of the relationship between social practices, cultural institutions, their cultural offerings and their audiences. The issue aims to add to debates in a range of disciplines such as audience and visitor studies, marketing, digital humanities, interactive design as well as museum studies and practices. The co-editors invite submissions of papers that investigate the relationships between audience, cultural institutions and content and the ways in which these relationships are being influenced by the increasing pervasiveness of new media technologies. We particularly welcome critical considerations of the concept of the audience and the user as well as of interactivity in cultural institutions and encourage the submission of short articles and reports that reflect professional and practical experience of technology deployed and used in exhibitions.

Amongst others, we hope the contributions will address questions like:

  • what are the issues of interactivity in relation to participation and engagement for online and offline audiences?
  • how does interactivity and interactive technologies in these settings influence the experience of visitors, audiences or users?
  • which are the elements that constitute and influence these experiences?
  • how are interactive technologies used to represent and interpret information, histories and narratives in cultural institutions?
  • what is the relationship of academic research on audiences, interactive media and professional practices?
  • how does a researcher capture interactive audience experiences? Which are the research methods used in the various disciplines?
  • what does “effectiveness” mean for different stakeholders in cultural institutions, and what are suitable research methods to evaluate, assess or measure the “effectiveness” of technology deployed to interpret cultural objects and enhance people’s experience and learning from these objects?
  • how different users such as specialised audience utilise online material, information and personalised collections?

The Special Issue will be constituted of research papers, theoretical and methodological investigations as well as of relevant reviews, short articles and reports by cultural institutions’ professionals, designers and consultants.

 

Deadlines

Paper Submission: 1st November 2013

Acceptance Notice: 19th December 2013

Final Submission: 21st March 2014

Final Publication: End of May 2014

Submission Guidelines

http://www.participations.org/submission_guidelines.htm

Please submit your papers to:

Dirk.vom_lehn@kcl.ac.uk

Irida.Ntalla.1@city.ac.uk

Technology and Social Interaction

interaction, interactivity, Marketing, public places, Technology

Over the past few weeks an article by Nick Bilton in the New York Times has raised not only eyebrows but also concerns that the journalist may have gone a little far with his argument to abandon commonly accepted and taken for granted ‘rules of conduct’ and courtesy rituals when using technology. Bilton’s article has received more than 500 comments to some of which he has curteously responded and various journalists, writers and academics, including Nick Carr and Evan Selinger, have written pieces addressing some of the issues raised in his piece. Many of the comments and associated pieces call into question Bilton’s main argument that common forms of etiquette are inefficient and a waste of our time.

The debate reflects a growing uneasiness and uncertainty on the “proper” or “acceptable” use of technology in social occasions. In her film Connected Tiffany Shlain recalls a situation with a friend she had not seen for a long time when the urge to check her phone for new messages was so overwhelming that she apologized herself to the toilet just to update herself on the going-ons elsewhere in the world.

The situation Shlain describes is symptomatic for the uneasiness in the use of technology when in social situations. Whilst in some situations it is acceptable to occasionally glance at the phone in others it is not or it is not clear whether or not it is acceptable. A solution to deal with the situation then is to use techniques or methods like ‘an apology from the table’ and temporarily leave the situation. Thus, the sociability and intimacy of the situation is left intact whilst it becomes possible to use the phone away from the table. The deployment of these techniques also reveals that the leave taking from the table is an accountable action and that not all accounts will do as a satisfying explanation for leaving the table. For example, going to the toilet is acceptable whilst saying you want to check your Facebook Wall for updates in press less so.

In other situations, people unproblematically use their phones while with another person. For example, it is quite common for people sitting at a coffee table to pick up the phone and receive or make calls. Over time methods have been developed that allow people to use a cell phone in these situations. For example, when a cell phone rings at a coffee table where two friends converse the call-taker apologies her/himself while picking up the phone and taking the call. The friend then becomes a third-party to the phone conversation and often provides the call-taker privacy by excusing her/himself (e.g. to the toilet) or by engaging in other activities, such as checking her/his own phone, picking up a newspaper or book, or by looking in the distance  (Humphreys 2005). This does not mean, of course that the friend might not feel undermined or undervalued in the situation, in particular when the phone keeps on ringing and interrupting the face-to-face interaction. Hence, in such situations we sometimes decide to switch the phone off and eliminate this influence from the face encounter.

By and large, people nowadays are familiar with the ubiquitiousness of technology. They employ methods that allow them to use technology and at the same time to limit or sanction its use, depending on situational circumstances. They also create situations that are marked by new rules, such as the  “no phones at the dinner table” rule or the “techno shabbath” that ban technology from situations for longer periods. Arguments about the use of  technologies in situations arise relatively rarely and mostly with those who are not familiar with or not adhering to these rules and social conventions.1 For example, children like Evan Selinger’s daughter are being socialized into the use of technology and its fitting within different social contexts.

With regard to email that has been around for considerable time now and that features particularly prominently in Bilton’s NYT piece social conventions have been developed and are deployed on a day-to-day basis. As with the use of other technologies, such as cell phones, mobile game consoles etc., these conventions and rules are not fixed and followed but contingently drawn on and referred to when the acceptability of their use is questioned or challenged. I would presume that Bilton’s efficiency rule with regard to courtesy conduct in email has long been deployed, in certain situations when time was tight. Such conduct that uses efficiency as an account for the withholding of an act of courtesy however also can be detrimental to the very purpose of its accomplishment, e.g. the withholding of a “thank you” in receipt of an email. Most of us probably have encountered situations when the withholding of a simple “thank you” note in response to an email has occasioned an exchange by email or over the phone to confirm the receipt of an email; a “thank you” note in response to the original email would have been much more efficient than its withholding.

How we conduct ourselves and how we refer to and draw on social conventions or etiquettes comes down to the specifics of the situation in which we find ourselves when using technology and to our competencies to conduct ourselves in specific circumstances. The artificial general abandoning of courtesy action by virtue of some kind of rule set by the Biltons of this world would be non-sensical; and Nick Bilton would probably agree with this. Instead, we all gradually adapt our acquired social competencies to the pervasiveness of technology in situations, thereby embedding technology within our lives and those we live with. And as parents we are responsible for providing our children with the knowledge and skills that allow them to act and be seen as acting, competently in technology-rich situations.

——-

Footnotes

1 With regard to social conventions in “Technolosocial Situations” see also Mizuko Ito‘s research and Tricia Wang‘s work.

Off Grasshoppers and other Types

exhibitions, interaction, interaction, Marketing, museums, public places, visitors

The design of systems to support people’s navigation of exhibitions often draws on concepts and theories about visitors’ movement through exhibitions. In reference to relevant literature it makes inferences about people’s interests in exhibits by the ways in which they navigate galleries and at which exhibits they stop and for how long. Thereby, designers and museum managers often talk about “visiting styles” and refer to a French paper by Veron and Levasseur (1991). Therein, the authors apparently, I haven’t read the paper, use an analogy from the animal world to describe four types of visiting style: ants, fishes, butterflys and grasshoppers. These types are seen as ideal types and it is argued that mixed styles of navigation are common. In fact, as Opperman and Specht (2000) suggest in reference to Bianchi and Zancanaro’s (1999) conference paper “the classification of a visitor is no longer made stereotypically by describing a visitor uniquely as one of the four animals, but as an estimation of the ‘degree of compatibility between the user’s movement pattern and the four stereotypes’ at a given point in time” (Bianchi and Zancanaro (1999) in Opperman and Specht 2000: p.132). From this typology probabilities are derived regarding people’s navigation pattern. This allows for the fact that visitors might change their visiting style ‘mid-fly’, i.e. as they navigate and exhibition. For example, a fish who has spent relatively little or no time with exhibits in one gallery, may encounter a gallery with objects s/he is more interested in and therefore spends more time with, thus turning into an ant.

This concept of visiting style links the  way and speed in which people navigate exhibitions to their level of engagement with exhibits. Underlying this concept of museum visiting are conventional measures of visitor research, i.e. the stopping and holder power of exhibits, coupled with theories of learning, such as the late Chan Screven’s (1976) goal-referenced approach that link assumptions about ‘learning from exhibits’ to the time people spend with exhibits. Using this approach it is possible to argue for technologies that promise to extend the time of people’s engagement with exhibits because according to theory, it leads to cognitive development.

A different but related kind of typology has been developed by John Falk (2009) in his book “Identity and the Museum Visitor Experience”. Here, Falk proposes to link visitor behaviour to people’s motivations  grounded in the identity. His argument is more complex than the typology discussed above. It can be seen as an expansion of earlier work by the same author where he together with colleagues investigated visitors’ agenda for museum visiting.

As Veron and Levasseur’s (1991) typology Falks differentiation of visitors in types represents a classification scheme that in reality cannot be found in this way. It is an attempt to bring order to a messy social world and seems very useful for museum managers and marketing managers because of this lack of messiness. They can use such typologies to make decisions about exhibition programmes or technologies to be deployed in their galleries.

Such theories about museum visiting however largely ignore the reality of visitors’ experience of museums. They neglect what people actually do in museums, how they approach, examine and depart from exhibits, and how they make experiences of exhibits and generate experiences for others. This neglect is grounded on related research that is primarily interested in the individual visitor or in groups and families that are considered as social entities rather than as dynamic social processes. Researchers see the origin of actions, such as the approach to an exhibit or the departure from an exhibit, in either the visitor’s motivation or in the design of the exhibit. Yet, save for very few exceptions these researchers rarely look at how people draw each other to examine exhibits, how they encourage each other to inspect objects in particular ways, how they generate experiences for each other and how they occasion each other to move on.

By investigating the details of people’s action at the “point of experience” where the action is and where the action can be observed, researchers see how people produce experiences of exhibits in interaction with others. Whilst on the surface these details appear to ‘messy’ a closer look reveals that they are systematically produced and intelligibly orderly. Visitors in galleries behave in intelligible ways and their action becomes observable and reportable as museum visiting, without them requiring theoretical typologies to make sense of each other’s action.

It would seem that basing decisions on detailed knowledge about what people are actually doing in museums would provide decision makers in museums with a safer footing than theories about visitors’ actions. Are there any museum managers or designers out there who use detailed observational or video-based research to inform their decision making?

 

For related research go here

 

References

Bianchi, A. and M. Zancanaro, Tracking Users’ Movements in an Artistic Physical Space, in Proceedings of the i3 Annual Conference: Community of the Future, Octo- ber 20 – 22, 1999 in Siena, M. Caenepeel, D. Benyon, and D. Smith, Editors. 1999, The Human Communication Research Centre, The University of Edinburgh: Edin- burgh. p. 103 – 106.

Falk, J. H. (2009). Identity and the Museum Visitor Experience. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press Inc. Retrieved from http://www.amazon.co.uk/Museums-Identity-John-H-Falk/dp/1598741632

Heath, C., & Vom Lehn, D. (2004). Configuring Reception: (Dis-)Regarding the “Spectator” in Museums and Galleries. Theory, Culture & Society, 21(6), 43–65. doi:10.1177/0263276404047415

Oppermann, R., & Specht, M. (2000). A Context-Sensitive Nomadic Exhibition Guide, 127–142.

Screven, C. G. (1976). Exhibit Evaluation: A goal-referenced approach. Curator, 52(9), 271–290.

Véron, E. and M. Levasseur, Ethnographie de l’exposition: L’espace, le corps et le sens. 1991, Paris: Centre Georges Pompidou Bibliothèque Publique d’Information.

vom Lehn, D. (2006). Embodying experience: A video-based examination of visitors’ conduct and interaction in museums. European Journal of Marketing, 40(11/12), 1340–1359. doi:10.1108/03090560610702849

vom Lehn, D. (2012). Configuring standpoints: Aligning perspectives in art exhibitions. Bulletin suisse de linguistique appliquée, 96, 69–90.

vom Lehn, D. (2013). Withdrawing from Exhibits: the interactional organisation of museum visits. In P. Haddington, L. Mondada, & M. Nevile (Eds.), Interaction and Mobility: Language and the Body in Motion. Berlin: de Gryter.

Pricing and Amazon.com

analysis, innovation, Marketing, Technology

When I tweeted a review of Andreas Glaeser’s book yesterday that I had read on orgtheory.net a friend retweeted the post and added that “it’s only $8.55 on kindle”. Since I new the book was priced at £18.17 on amazon.co.uk I looked up the amazon.com site with my iPhone and noticed that it showed me a price of $29.10.

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When arriving home I checked the book on my laptop and found a difference in price when I looked into the amazon.com site from when I was not logged in.

When logged into Amazon.com the price was $29.10.

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When I log out of my account and search for the book again, the price goes down to $8.55.

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This observation points wither to personalized pricing or to big differences in geographical pricing of books and probably other items. In any case it reminds me of the advice that Eli Pariser gives in his book an on his website The Filter Bubble, clean your cookies.

Marketing & New Technologies (course outline (2011/12))

Technology

Topics and Readings

 

Week 1 (20 January 2012) – Introduction to the Course

In recent years, there has been a lot of discussion about the “internet revolution” or the “social media revolution”. These discussions principally argue that technological developments are shaping how we conduct our affairs, including how we organise our daily interactions as well as how we conduct marketing activities. This introductory lecture questions this premise that pervades also many marketing textbooks and sheds light on different perspectives on the relationship between marketing and technology.

The lecture also offers information on the practical issues involved in successfully participating in the module, such as the use of online resources, attendance and participation in lectures and tutorials and the modes of assessment operating in the course.

Readings

Bartels, R. (1986). Marketing: Management Technology or Social Process at the Twenty-First Century? In Marketing Management Technology as a Social Process. Edited by George Fisk. New York et al.: Praeger, pp.30-42.

Brassington, D. F., & Pettitt, D. S. (2007). Essentials of Marketing. Harlow/UK: Financial Times/ Prentice Hall.

Liebowirz, S.J. & Margolis, S.E. (1996). The standard typewriter keyboard is exhibit A in the hottest new case against markets. But the evidence has been cooked. http://reason.com/archives/1996/06/01/typing-errors

Marcuse, H., 1989. Some Social Implications of Technology. In A. Arate & E. Gebhardt, eds. The Essential Frankfurt School Reader. London & New York: Continuum International, pp. 138-162.

Gerardi, S., 2006. Some implications of modern technology: Revisited. The Social Science Journal, 43(2), p.293-295.

*Marx, L. (2010). Technology: The Emergence of a Hazardous ConceptTechnology & Culture51(3), 561-577.

*Matthewman, S. (2011). Technology and Social Theory. London: Sage. (Chapt. 1)

Rust, R. & Espinoza, F., 2006. How technology advances influence business research and marketing strategy. Journal of Business Research, 59(10-11), 1072-1078.

Week 2 (27 January 2012) – Marketing Technologies

Over the course of its history marketing has developed powerful technologies that nowadays are central to the knowledge disseminated in marketing textbooks like Kotler and colleagues Principles of Marketing. This lecture uses theories and concepts of technology to examine and critically discuss some of the foundations underlying the marketing concepts and related marketing technologies.

Readings

Bowker, G. & Star, S.L., 1999. Sorting Things Out. Classification and its Consequences, Cambridge, MA/London: MIT.

Joerges, B., 1994. Do Politics have Artefacts? Social Studies of Science, 23(1), p.1-20.

Martin, A. & Lynch, M., 2009. Counting Things and People: The Practices and Politics of Counting. Social Problems, 56(2), p.243-266.

*Matthewman, S. (2011). Technology and Social Theory. London: Sage.

*Suchman, L., 1993. Do Categories have Politics? Journal of Computer Supported Collaborative Work (JCSCW), 2, p.177-190.

Tadajewski, M., 2006. The ordering of marketing theory: the influence of McCarthyism and the Cold War. Marketing Theory, 6(2), p.163-199.

*Rust, R. & Espinoza, F., 2006. How technology advances influence business research and marketing strategy. Journal of Business Research, 59(10-11), 1072-1078.

*Winner, L., 1986. Do Artifacts have Politics ? In The whale and the reactor: a search for limits in an age of high technology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, pp. 19-39.

 

Week 3 (3 February 2012) – Exchange, Markets and Networks

Exchange” is largely seen as a “core concept of marketing” (Kotler, Armstrong et al. 2008). Whilst textbooks describe it as a social relationship between two or more participants few studies examine how these relationships are organised to achieve cooperation. Instead, cooperation in exchange relationships is often ascribed to rational decision making; participants exchanging goods and services when they both “have something of value to offer the other” (Kotler, Armstrong et al. 2008: 12). In this view, the properties of money support the emergence of exchange and therefore are key to the development of modern, capitalist economies. Markets

Underlying this concept of money and exchange is the distinction between rational action and other types of social action. In recent years, this distinction has been criticised and the social uses of money have been elaborated on. This lecture examines the relationship between different types of social action, explores the discussion of the social uses of money and the different ways in which exchange may be organised.

Readings

Bartels, R. (1986). Marketing: Management Technology or Social Process at the Twenty-First Century? In Marketing Management Technology as a Social Process. Edited by George Fisk. New York et al.: Praeger, pp.30-42.

*Beckert, J. (2009). The social order of marketsTheory and Society. Vol.28(3), pp.245-269.

Fligstein, N., & Dauter, L. (2007). The Sociology of Markets.Annual Review of Sociology33(1), pp.105-128.

*Granovetter, M., 1973. The Strength of Weak Ties. American Journal of Sociology, 78(6), p.1360-1380.

Portes, A., 1998. Social Capital: Its Origins and Applications in Modern Sociology. Annual Review of Sociology, 24(1), p.1-24.

Spillman, L., 1999. Enriching Exchange : Cultural Dimensions of Markets. Journal of Economics, 58(4), p.1047-1071.

*Watts, D.J., 1999. Networks, Dynamics, and the Small-World Phenomenon. American Journal of Sociology, 105(2), p.493-527.

Zelizer, V.A., 2011. The Social Meaning of Money : “Special Monies”’. Culture, 95(2), pp.342-377.

Week 4 (10 February 2012) – Social Media (Guest Lecture – Rob Wilmot, BCS)

Rob Wilmot is one of the co-founders of the Internet Service Provider (ISP) Freeserve. Since 1998, the company facilitated mass access to the internet in the UK. After the company was sold for £1.6bn to Wannado in 2001 Rob has been investing in various ventures. He sits on a number of corporate and public sector boards. He also is Chairman at Doncaster College.

One of his current interests are developments in social media and social networking. In his lecture Rob will talk about these developments and their relationship to marketing.

Readings

Baym, N., 2010. Personal Connections in the Digital Age, Cambridge, UK: Polity Press

*Benkler, Y., 2007. The Wealth of Networks, Yale University Press. – Chapter 1, p.1-34

Bernoff, J. & Li, C., 2008. Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies, Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

Brogan, C. & Smith, J., 2010. Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.

*Cova, B. & Dalli, D., 2009. Working consumers: the next step in marketing theory? Marketing Theory, 9(3), p.315-339.

Hamilton, K. & Hewer, P., 2010. Tribal mattering spaces: Social-networking sites, celebrity affiliations, and tribal innovations.Journal of Marketing Management, 26(3), p.271-289.

Katona, Z., Zubcsek, P.P.A.L. & Sarvary, M., 2011. Network Effects and Personal Influences : The Diffusion of an Online Social Network. Journal of Marketing Research, XLVIII(June), p.425-443.

Kirkpatrick, D., 2010. The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company that is Connecting the World, Virgin Books.

 

Reading Week 5 (17 February 2012)

 

Week 5 (24 February 2012) – Reputation Management

Social networking sites are often used to communicate about brands, products and service. They therefore have become sites where brand image and brand vale are created or co-created with people contributing to the communication. This communication can involve talk about people’s experience with products and services and often also includes communication in which people vent their dissatisfaction with companies. And in some cases, employees submit information to social networking sites that potentially influence the company’s brand image or reputation. This lecture discusses some aspect of reputation management and social networking.

Readings

Bernoff, J., Li, C., 2008. Harnessing The Power of The Oh-So-Social Web, MIT Sloan Management Review, 2008; 49; 3; pp.35-42

Brogan, C. & Smith, J., 2010. Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.

Burt, R., S., 1999. “The Social Capital of Opinion Leaders”, The ANNALS of The American Academy of Political and Social Science, 1999; 566; pp.37-54

Hutton, J., G., Goodman, M., B., Alexander, J., B., Genest, C., M., 2001. “Reputation Management: The New Face of Corporate Public Relations?” Public Relations Review, 2001; 27; pp.247-261

*Ferguson, R., 2008. Word of mouth and viral marketing: taking the temperature of the hottest trends in marketing. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 25(3), p.179 – 182.

Holloman, C., 2012. The Social Media MBA: Your Competitive Edge in Social Media Strategy Development and Delivery, Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.

Katona, Z., Zubcsek, P.P.A.L. & Sarvary, M., 2011. Network Effects and Personal Influences : The Diffusion of an Online Social Network. Journal of Marketing Research, XLVIII(June), p.425 -443.

Miller, D., 2011. Tales from Facebook, Cambridge: Polity Press.

*Rao, H., 1994. “The Social Construction of Reputation: Certification Contests, Legitimation, and The Survival of Organisations in The American Automobile Industry: 1895-1912”, Strategic Management Journal, 1994; 15; pp.29-44

Wartick, S., L., 1992. “The Relationship Between Intense Media Exposure and Change in Corporate Reputation”, Business Society, 1992; 31; pp.33-49

Yu, B., Singh, M., P., 2000. “A Social Mechanism of Reputation Management in Electronic Communities”, Proceedings of the 4th International Workshop on Cooperative Information Agents, 2000, pp.154-165

 

Week 6 (2 March 2012) – Innovation in Consumer Research (Siamack Salari)

Siamack Salari is founder of Everyday Lives a market and consumer research company that is well known for its innovative use of technology to conduct its studies. The projects of Everyday Lives include video-based research of shopping behaviour as well as detailed ethnographies of how people use products in their day-to-day lives.

Readings

*Belk, R. W. (1995). Studies in the New Consumer Behavior. In D. Miller (ed.) Acknowledging Consumption. London: Routledge, 58-95.

*Belk, R. W., & Kozinets, R. V. (2005). Videography in marketing and consumer research. Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal8(2), 128-141.

 

Week 7 (9 March 2012) – Search Marketing

Over the past decade or so two important developments have emerged in the context of Internet Marketing: Search Marketingand Social Media Marketing. The growing economic weight of companies like Google suggest that Search will be one of the important marketing activities over the coming years. It is being used to obtain an understanding of the market as well as for the building of relationships and networks (Marsden and Kirby 2005; Moran and Hunt 2008). The lecture will discuss some of the practices involved in Search Marketing and assess possible problems these practices might raise for the relationship between companies and their customers. It then will turn to Social Media Marketing and explore how social networks like Facebook, Myspace or Jumo are used for marketing purposes, including the design, promotion and distribution of products and services (Penenberg 2009; Scott 2008). The discussion will touch on current debates concerned with viral marketing and online gaming as well as trust and reputation.

Readings

Marsden, P., & Kirby, J. (2005). Connected Marketing: The Viral, Buzz and Word of Mouth Revolution. A Butterworth-Heinemann Title.

Moran, M., & Hunt, B. (2008). Search Engine Marketing, Inc.: Driving Search Traffic to Your Company’s Web Site. IBM Press.

Pariser, E., 2011. The Filter Bubble: What The Internet Is Hiding From You, Viking.

Penenberg, A. (2009). Viral Loop: The Power of Pass-it-on. Sceptre.

*Phelps, J. E., Lewis, R., Mobilio, L., Perry, D., & Raman, N. (2004). Viral Marketing or Electronic Word-of-Mouth Advertising: Examining Consumer Responses and Motivations to Pass Along Email. Journal of Advertising Research44(04), 333-348.

Scott, D. M. (2011). The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use News Releases, Blogs, Podcasting, Viral Marketing and Online Media to Reach Buyers Directly. (3rd Edition). Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.

*Sweeney, J. C., Soutar, G. N., & Mazzarol, T. (2008). Factors influencing word of mouth effectiveness: receiver perspectives.European Journal of Marketing42(3/4), 344-364.

Vaidhynathan, S., 2011. The Googlization of Everything: (And Why We Should Worry), Berkely, CA: University of California Press.

 

Week 8 (16 March 2012) – Service-Marketing and Service Technology

Service-Marketing has emerged as an alternative to the managerial approach to marketing that dominated developments in the discipline for the past four or five decades. This chapter briefly introduces the key concepts of service- and relationship marketing and then turns to the recent deployment of service technology into service- and retail-settings. It will briefly discuss the research on these developments and then examine some aspects of the relationship between service technology and customers by examining video-recordings collected in museums and galleries.

Readings

Armstrong, G., Kotler, P., Harker, M., & Brennan, R. (2009).Marketing an Introduction. Financial Times/ Prentice Hall.

Bitner, M. J. (2001). Service and technology: opportunities and paradoxes. Managing Service Quality11(6), 375 – 379.

Bitner, M., Brown, S., & Meuter, M. (2000). Technology infusion in service encounters. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science28(1), 138-149.

Curran, J. M., & Meuter, M. L. (2005). Self-service technology adoption: comparing three technologies. Journal of Services Marketing19(2), 103-113.

*Heath, C. & Lehn, D. vom, 2008. Configuring “Interactivity”: Enhancing Engagement in Science Centres and Museums. Social Studies of Science, 38(1), p.63-91.

Holloway, B. B., & Beatty, S. E. (2003). Service Failure in Online Retailing: A Recovery Opportunity. Journal of Service Research,6(1), 92-105.

Parasuraman, A., & Grewal, D. (2000). The impact of technology on the quality-value-loyalty chain: A research agenda. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science28(1), 168-174.

Week 9 (23 March 2012) Working in Social Media (Guest Lectures: Jadis Tillery)

Jadis Tillery is Head of Social Media for dot.talent a digital publisher for celebrity talent and top tier brands. In this role Jadis develops strategic WOM campaigns to harness the power of the social web through content creation and authentically engaging online communities.

Readings

Baym, N., 2010. Personal Connections in the Digital Age, Cambridge, UK: Polity Press

Benkler, Y., 2007. The Wealth of Networks, Yale University Press.

Bernoff, J. & Li, C., 2008. Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies, Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

*Hamilton, K. & Hewer, P., 2010. Tribal mattering spaces: Social-networking sites, celebrity affiliations, and tribal innovations.Journal of Marketing Management, 26(3), p.271-289.

Katona, Z., Zubcsek, P.P.A.L. & Sarvary, M., 2011. Network Effects and Personal Influences : The Diffusion of an Online Social Network. Journal of Marketing Research, XLVIII(June), p.425 -443.

Kirkpatrick, D., 2010. The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company that is Connecting the World, Virgin Books.

Shih, C., 2010. The Facebook Era: Tapping Online Social Networks to Market, Sell, and Innovate, Prentice Hall.

 

Week 10 (30 March 2012) – Marketing, Technology and Society

The growing deployment of new technologies in all parts of society is often likened to the emergence of a new form of society and coupled with that a new form of economy, namely the network economy. This lecture reflects on the content of the course and debates in sociology and related disciplines to explore how marketing theory and methods may be developed to capture current changes in marketing practice.

References

Achrol, R. S. and Kotler, P. (2010). Marketing in the Network EconomyNetwork63(1999), 146-163.

Anderson, C. (2009). The Long TailBusiness. London: Random House.

Baym, N., 2010. Personal Connections in the Digital Age, Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.

Bennett, S., Maton, K. & Kervin, L., 2008. The “digital natives” debate: A critical review of the evidence. British Journal of Educational Technology, 39(5), p.775-786.

Brogan, C. & Smith, J., 2010. Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust, John Wiley & Sons.

Benkler, Y., 2007. The Wealth of Networks, New Haven & London: Yale University Press.

Castells, M. (1996). The Rise of the Network Society. Vol. I: The Information Age. Economy, Society and Culture. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

Castells, M. (2002). The Internet Galaxy. Reflections on the Internet, Business, and Society. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Chaffey, D., Ellis-Chadwick, F., Mayer, R., & Johnston, M. K. (2008). Internet Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice (4th ed.). Harlow/UK: Financial Times/Prentice Hall.

Cova, B., & Dalli, D. (2009). Working consumers: the next step in marketing theory?. Marketing Theory9(3), 315-339.

Ito, M. et al., 2009. Out, Hanging. Around, Messing Out. Geeking Out. Kids Living and Learning with New Media,

Palfrey, J., 2010. Born Digital. New York: Basic Books.

Qualman, E., 2010. Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business, Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.

Rust, R. & Espinoza, F., 2006. How technology advances influence business research and marketing strategy. Journal of Business Research, 59(10-11), 1072-1078.

Shirky, C., 2009. Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations, London: Penguin.

Tapscott, D., 2008. Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing Your World. McGraw-Hill Professional.

Tapscott, D., & Williams, A. (2008). Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything. London: Atlantic Books.

Human-robot interaction at the Computer Lab in Cambridge – visiting Laurel Riek

interaction, Robots, Technology

In Star Trek Next Generation the android Data is on the constant search for techniques that make him more human. His creator, Dr Soong, has made him look human, if a little pale, but what the particular techniques and what the particular rationale of actions are that would make him human, he has to explore and find out by living with human beings.

Yesterday, I spend some time at the Computer Laboratory in Cambridge where a group of scientists conducts research with human-looking robots. I was invited by Dr Laurel Riek – congratulations, Laurel, on passing the viva early in the week! –  to give a short talk and then have a look at the humanoid robots she has been working with over the past few years.

The robots are realistic looking busts that are equipped with a complex system of motors underneath their skulls. They have been created by a US-American company called Hanson Robotics.

Laurel used Charles and other robots of a similar kind for her research on natural human-robot interaction. Drawing on the growing body of studies concerned with social interaction, including gesture studies, the study of emotion and such like, she strives to improve the communication techniques of robots in order to enable their use in interaction with humans, in particular people in need of help, such as the elderly and disabled people.

Whilst in Star Trek Data discovers the human world by interacting within it, I found in my short encounter with Charles that human-robot interaction may provide us with resources to learn about ourselves and our actions. I think this is something Laurel is working towards when confronting people in healthcare settings with humanoid robots. Thereby, Laurel addresses current debates about how to improve the lives of those living alone or in care homes by deploying robots as companions or at least as other beings they can talk to and interact with.

Publications by Laurel Riek can be found here:

http://www.laurelriek.org/

I found her paper “Cooperative Gestures: Effective Signaling for Humanoid Robots” very interesting but the papers on emotional displays in human-android interaction, I suppose, are where Laurel’s interest lies these days.

Ilicco Elia (Reuters Media) – Mobile Technology: Opportunities and Challenges for News Organisations

interactivity, Marketing, Mobile, mobility, public places, Social Media, Technology

Ilicco Elia, Head of Consumer Mobile, Reuters Media, gave a lecture as part of my module “Marketing and New Technologies” (MSc International Marketing) at King’s College London. Ilicco who has been working at Reuters since 1993 and at Reuters Mobile for the past 6 years, highlighted the increasing difficulty for media companies to retain their integrity whilst reporting news as they emerge.

Reuters are a news agency that over the decades has built up an image and a brand that stands for trust and integrity in news reporting. It now is confronted with the pressure that their customers Reuters to deliver up-to-date accurate information about events as and when they happen. Therefore, Reuters use about 2500 journalists to gather, edit and disseminate news to a global audience. These journalists use mobile technology, including networked high-end cameras, camera phones, mobile phones, laptops, etc, to gather information (pictures, videos, text, …) and immediately send it to the editor in the London office who produces news items that are disseminated across the various Reuters distribution channels. Illico illustrated the process by referring to the Football World Cup 2010 when pictures taken by journalists in South Africa appeared on Reuters mobile seconds after they had been taken. On the next day, the same pictures were published in newspapers around the world.

The immediacy that people increasingly demand from news organisations is driven by the growing pervasiveness of consumer mobile technology, such as mobile telephones, laptops and tablet computers. It is not sufficient anymore that Reuters disseminate news via its website but they have to develop applications, ‘apps’, that run on a range of different mobile devices and systems. Based on the opportunities offered by the iPhone and Blackberry phones Reuters created applications that deliver news through different kinds of mobile device. For example, Reuters New Pro, Reuters Mobile Website and Reuters RSS deliver global news to customers who are on the move; and Reuters Galleries exhibit the best photographs taken by Reuters correspondents around the word.

Ilicco highlighted the profound changes to journalism that have been initated by the wide distribution of mobile technology to consumers. It not only influences the consumption of news, everywhere and at any time but also the organisation of news production, editing and disemination. The scope of these changes is just becoming visible in the editorial offices but little is known of the emerging practices of news consumption.

The new technologies also facilitate new forms of journalism. In recent years, citizen journalism and the contribution of news by consumers in others ways has become more and more popular with many news organisations. This seems to be a dangerous path for organisations like Reuters that have built their brand on the integrity and authenticity of their news. News and information delivered by people other than Reuter’s journalists are difficult to assess in their truthfulness and authenticity. Similar, it can sometimes be difficult for news organisations to hold on and evaluate information before disseminating it, as competitors may push forward with the distribution of an item. Examples of the speedy dissemination of wrongful news are manifold. The Guardian for example pressed forward with repeatedly reporting that Nokia Smartphones would soon be running Google’s Android operating system. As we now know Nokia have entered a close collaboration with Microsoft, rather than Google.

The ease of diseminating news is a tempting for news organisations as for mobile users. By clicking on a few buttons a news item with (maybe incorrect) information, can be shared with friends and followers on social networks. The sharing of wrong news by mobile users can badly reflect on their image in the ‘twitterverse’. As Rob Wilmot highlighted in an earlier guest lecture in the same module in January, ‘trust’ is difficult to gain but easily lost in social media. And this valid for businesses and organisation as well as for individuals.

Ilicco Elia in the News

Media Guardia 100

NMA Portrait (£)

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