Industry commentary: Just what the world needs. Another smart phone!

Following on from the success of their Hudl tablet, Tesco has announced that they are launching an android phone by end of year. It's a bold move into a highly competitive and almost completely saturated market. However if it is anything like the Hudl - we can expect it to offer powerful hardware at a great price point. It'll also come supported by an ecosystem of banking and shopping applications and services - as well as a ready made distribution network of supermarkets. I guess it is a good thing that these powerful devices are becoming more and more affordable. Without question, they change what we're able to accomplish. But I can't help but worry about the drive for ever-increasing consumption of media and services - and the changing character of how we spend our precious 'me-time'. For me, the question is whether they empower us or turn us into slack-jaw zombies!

Other news

Taking on the pirates with educational letters

Did you know that a quarter of the content we consume is pirated? Yikes! That is a lot... and really, UK people, you should be ashamed of yourselves. It looks as though you can soon expect to receive 'educational letters' if you get caught downloading illegal content so just... err... watch out, ok? Hm... even my 3 year old son knows that you can't take on pirates with words!

Privacy news

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Google Glass has been raising a bunch of questions about privacy, with many establishments in San Francisco having now banned them. I have sympathies with the view that these concerns are an inevitable part of any game-changing new technology. And ultimately, if you're worried about the possibility of being recorded without your knowledge/permission then we'll have to ban a lot more devices. At least Google aren't breaking any promises with Glass. As a wearer of the device, you are at an advantage over non-wearers. This is clear for all to see. In contrast, Snapchat recently got into trouble for misleading its users (failing to let people know that messages could be saved). This week they issued a statement on the Snapchat blog which acknowledges that that they took their eye off this important question - without actually ever apologising. The problem was they were concentrating too hard on being amazing. Hm... Of course, failing to safeguard privacy is not always a matter of breaking explicit promises. Sometimes it is about breaking trust. Dropbox users might reasonably trust that their private documents won't end up in the hands of others (even though no explicit promises have been made with regard to privacy). Sadly, Dropbox had to issue a statement recently about a 'web vulnerability' which affects its 'shared links' feature. They didn't exactly say sorry either, but at least they explained the source of the problems and the measures they've taken.

A couple of great examples of content marketing

Yes 'Content marketing' is still on the rise as a buzz word! However in our increasingly distracted times, making an impact with your content is getting to be really hard. The best examples are those that make you stop in your tracks and force you to think! I loved this recent press release from Brewdog. It is brilliantly funny and angry. It does a great job to re-enforce their rebellious and maverick brand message. Sometimes marketing campaigns can really knock your socks off. I stumbled across this campaign Surrogaid from the charity War Child, that beautifully presents you with the terrifying idea of robot mothers, before slapping you across the face with the fact that 'you can't donate motherhood...' Hard not to have a response to that message.

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