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2008 vs. 2018: A Tech Odyssey - Louisville's Digital Crossroads



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Presented at Louisville Digital Association's Digital Crossroads 2018, it covers the past ten years of emerging technology, including images, video, audio, podcasts, mobile barcodes, QR codes, the future of work, artificial intelligence, and related subjects, while looking ahead to see what we can learn going forward.

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2008 vs. 2018: A Tech Odyssey - Louisville's Digital Crossroads

  1. 1. 2008 vs. 2018: A Tech Odyssey David Berkowitz Principal, Serial Marketer @dberkowitz Join the community:
  2. 2. This is an annotated version of my talk at Louisville Digital Association’s Digital Crossroads in October 2018. Please reach out if you want more information on anything here, or even the PowerPoint version of these slides.
  3. 3. Hi, Louisville. It’s time to shift perspective.
  4. 4. MEDIA AGENCY TECH Some of my affiliations. Most are companies where I worked; with Ad Age and MediaPost, I’ve contributed a combined 500 columns.
  5. 5. I publish a weekly newsletter – see I also run the Serial Marketers slack group – see My day job is consulting, applying my marketing and strategy background to working on projects around communications, content, innovation strategy, and related fields.
  6. 6. A few of my highest accolades
  7. 7. Remembering 2008
  8. 8. Yahoo Trends 2008
  9. 9. I loved these Information Architects maps via
  10. 10. 2008 was still a feature phone world.
  11. 11. Internet video was nothing in 2008.
  12. 12. Imagery
  13. 13. 16 Copyright 2007 360i, LLC.
  14. 14. 17 Copyright 2007 360i, LLC. 2008 was still the waning era of MySpace.
  15. 15. 6tykQHr304WlsBtlQF9P1-qhAmp0/edit#gid=0 Copyright 2007 360i, LLC. And now there’s Instagram. This character in a Dustinland comic was based on me. Wow.
  16. 16. Desktop apps
  17. 17. Copyright 2007 360i, LLC. Desktop apps were huge 10 years ago, and they’re now making a comeback.
  18. 18. 23 Copyright 2007 360i, LLC. Me using Mailchimp on my Desktop.
  19. 19. Video
  20. 20. 25 “Anyone remember me?... Those were fun times. There was no YouTube. It was UsTube, baby! America watched what we put on the air or lived with the consequences." – Jerry Seinfeld, NBC Upfronts, May 2007
  21. 21. Copyright 2007 360i, LLC. Remember when crowdsourcing was supposed to obviate the need for agencies for Super Bowl ads?
  22. 22. Remember Bud.TV? (Me neither) “The launch of is doubtless a milestone and a laudable innovation, the first time a mass marketer that spends hundreds of millions of dollars with other media channels every year has decided to make its own… It’s got a viable entertainment soapbox on the internet.” -Ad Age, February 2007
  23. 23. Copyright 2007 360i, LLC. This is what Bud.TV is now.
  24. 24. Amazon Video Reviews: 1 Star
  25. 25. Visual search
  26. 26. Video Search Horizons (2008) Facial recognition: Identifying key characters in video clips by their faces. Audio recognition: Transcribing audio into searchable text. Visual mapping: Looking at screen contrast to determine the location of scenes. Frame tagging: Marking individual frames in a video with descriptions of what's happening in that scene.
  27. 27. “Visual search… will enable millions of consumers in Japan alone to do online searches by taking pictures of everyday objects with their camera phone.” - KDDI press release, April 2008
  28. 28. Scan a product, get info or deals
  29. 29. Pinterest is the most interesting company to me in the visual search space.
  30. 30. Target licensed Pinterest’s tech. Expect this to be a bigger focus for companies like Pinterest, expanding use beyond their own apps.
  31. 31. B2B applications for visual search Creative optimization Media planning Influencer marketing Rights management Crisis management Partnership ideation Competitive intelligence Customer service R&D
  32. 32. Audio
  33. 33. Podcast Ad Spend Steadily Growing • Actual (IAB): $314 million in 2017 • 2020 projection: $659 million
  34. 34. Top Podcasts in iTunes were via Mainstream Media
  35. 35. Smart home assistants
  36. 36. This Chumby I had 10 years ago, a touchable smart-screen, wasn’t voice activated but resembles the Echo Show quite a bit.
  37. 37. Chumby vs. Show Showdown
  38. 38. And then there’s the Nabaztag voice-activated bunny. So weird and clunky, but I loved this thing.
  39. 39. Virtual reality
  40. 40. Morton Heilig Debuts VR… in 1957 55
  41. 41. In 1993, Angela Lansbury starred in a VR-themed episode of “Murder She Wrote.”
  42. 42. Second Life’s Second Coming "Second Life is not simply a 'closed' phenomenon. It is a real living environment that every day extends its frontiers and increases the number of residents. We cannot close our eyes to it." Father Antonio Spadaro July 2007
  43. 43. Brands in Second Life, mapped.
  44. 44. Ben Folds!
  45. 45. H&R Block in Second Life (2008)
  46. 46. Coke’s
  47. 47. Coke’s Virtual Thirst on MySpace
  48. 48. 360-degree tour ads from Expedia – this stuff has been around awhile.
  49. 49. 66 VR today… or recently enough
  50. 50. 67 McDonald’s shows off new restaurants using 360-degree video.
  51. 51. Augmented reality
  52. 52. It might not be the best AR device but it certainly has the most buzz. In 2008, the iPhone was highly sought after by game developers... The App Store, which amassed 10,000 apps in half a year, offers an instant distribution model for AR games. – Games Alfresco
  53. 53. This was a real AR campaign – circa 2010.
  54. 54. Yelp’s Monocle let you see restaurants all around you – but it was always harder to use than a 2D list.
  55. 55. And now we have Apple, Facebook, and others pushing AR. With this example from Apple, is anyone actually doing this? It’s still a work in progress.
  56. 56. A recent example for the Dallas Mavericks via the agency Groove Jones using a Facebook filter – it’s still hard to imagine people taking the time to activate the filter and use it.
  57. 57. Aggregation
  58. 58. The aggregator FriendFeed has been replaced in a way by services like Franz that bring all your communications tools together.
  59. 59. 3 Types of Widgets I have no clue what the types of widgets even are.
  60. 60. Google’s old social strategy
  61. 61. Privacy
  62. 62. 82 Copyright 2007 360i, LLC. Facebook was once respected as a leader for its privacy controls.
  63. 63. 83 Copyright 2007 360i, LLC.
  64. 64. The Brave browser, which has a blockchain connection not worth describing here, epitomizes the anti- ad, anti-corporate approach people now have as some seek to gain control over their data.
  65. 65. Online + Offline
  66. 66. Mobile barcodes on verge of going mainstream LOL.
  67. 67. The most scanned QR code ever? Calvin Klein bought a billboard with just this image in New York.
  68. 68. Lookin’ for barcodes in all the smelliest places This ad with a barcode really ran on NYC garbage trucks. No, really.
  69. 69. Lookin’ for barcodes in all the smelliest places
  70. 70. Old-school connection of online and offline.
  71. 71. I don’t get this either.
  72. 72. Public bathroom searches holding steady
  73. 73. Future of work
  74. 74. p m Amazon’s Mechanical Turk efficiently powered workforces-on-demand for easily repeatable tasks.
  75. 75. I really did post this task somtime around 2008.
  76. 76. Actual responses.
  77. 77. Actual response as well (but not an actual email I sent my boss).
  78. 78. While Mechanical Turk wasn’t AI-driven, it did make some wonder about what would happen with large-scale workforce disruption, especially given how cheap it was to get most projects done. Now, people could be circumvented entirely by AI.
  79. 79. Via NPR, you can find out if your job will likely be automated.
  80. 80. Bloomberg Businessweek ran covers designed by AI. Pretty good, right?
  81. 81. Missing from 2008
  82. 82. No, I wasn’t talking about blockchain in 2008. Bitcoin was created in 2009, and I wasn’t talking about it then either (sadly, I wasn’t buying it then either).
  83. 83. This is one of my favorite bitcoin marketing stunts. Fitting for a talk given in Kentucky too.
  84. 84. While Uber, Airbnb and the like gained traction not long after the period covered here, few anticipated such disruptive mobile-first business models.
  85. 85. Shown here are Saatva Mattresses and Allbirds, two of my favorite direct-to-consumer brands driven by scalable online channels driven heavily through social ads. In 2008, agencies typically told clients to avoid using social media for direct-response purposes.
  86. 86. We broke up some functional areas, but fortunately thus far there’s been no silo-ing of tech into mobile, social, and local – the dreaded MoSoLo or whatever version kept coming up awhile ago. Even in 2008, these three areas were infused into everything and not stand-alone entities.
  87. 87. While privacy was a concern in 2008, the Digital Detox idea of a backlash to our screens and addictive tech services (email, social, etc) hadn’t yet crystallized.
  88. 88. Takeaways for the next 10+ years
  89. 89. Expect a continued focus on direct-to-consumer brands that can get around the middleman, especially when that middleman is Amazon. How well will these continue to scale? Will the ad economics continue to hold up? In the near-term, this is a high-growth area. 6
  90. 90. Established brands matter too… see Kaepernick & Nike. Call it a stunt. Call it political. You can hate the guy and hate the shows and still acknowledge that this brand plays an outsized role in our culture.
  91. 91. Very little goes away entirely. Technologies and trends take a long time to mature and become ingrained as a habit.
  92. 92. Bet on what shifts the power to consumers and giving people control over what, when, and with whom we interact.
  93. 93. Newton’s 3rd Law constantly applies: for every action, there’s an equal & opposite reaction. Conflicting trends happen simultaneously. We consume more long and short form content. We’re more concerned about privacy but more people also want to share publicly and earn influencer status. We buy from individual brands but spend more on Amazon. Bet on opposite trends coinciding.
  94. 94. Most laughably dumb ideas now were laughably bad then. You can prevent these. Ask what are your goals, what problem are you trying to solve, and does this fit in with any way an actual human being behaves? There are Garbage Truck QR Code ideas all the time that we can prevent from happening.
  95. 95. Learn by doing. Try. Share with others. Use a platform you’d never thing matters. Spend a night in an Airbnb if you haven’t. Make yourself uncomfortable. Buy $1 worth of bitcoin just to see how it’s done. Try a stupid-looking brand filter on Instagram even if you don’t like taking pictures (delete it after!).
  96. 96. It’s been a lot of fun shifting perspectives with you.
  97. 97. THANK YOU! David Berkowitz Keep in touch: Read & subscribe: Join the community: Thanks for reading this. If you want the PPT version or further decks on topics like VR & AR, AI, and Blockchain, let me know. It’d also be great to have you joining the Slack group or reading the newsletter if you’re so inclined. And thanks to the Louisville Digital Association for having me at Digital Crossroads.