5 Cool Creativity Tools for Social Media Visuals (Conclusion)

Social_media_visuals_2In part two of this recent segment on the Jim Blasingame Show, we take a look at some of the amazing tools available to quickly and easily create visuals for social media posts.

In part one, we talk about solutions like Canva, and here we discuss a simple resource I wish I'd discovered years ago—PlaceIt.Net.

Along the way, Jim and I joke about how much harder it was to whip up creative assets back in the day. Check it out:

5 Cool Creativity Tools for Social Media Visuals (Conclusion)

Approx. 4 min, 20 sec

 


5 Cool Creativity Tools for Social Media Visuals (Part 1)

Social_media_visuals_1Okay, I'll admit it.

I work with incredibly talented designers who whip up great visuals for me anytime I like. Rarely do I ever need to develop something on my own.

But lately, I've been playing around with some popular design tools for social media posts and so far, I'm impressed with what I'm finding—including some options I wish I'd discovered years ago.

In this recent segment for Jim Blasingame's show, we discuss tools for developing social media visuals, quotes, memes, infographics and more.

5 Cool Creativity Tools for Social Media Visuals (Pt 1)
Approx. 5 min, 55 sec

 

 


To Bot, or Not? Rick Mathieson Talks Chatbots for Emerging Brands

BluebotTo bot, or not—it's suddenly an open question instead of a foregone conclusion.

Chatbots are increasingly an on-again-off-again hot topic among big brands these days—but is the timing right for startups and SMBs to get in on the action?

Once heralded as the new shiny object for marketers, Chatbot hype boomed with the launch of bots from the likes of Taco Bell, H&M, CNN and Unilever

These miniature, AI-enabled apps were instantly seen as transformational. Now, instead of closing Facebook Messenger or Slack and opening up your Lyft app, for instance, you can simply message Lyft and ask for a ride using conversational language.

Last Summer, Facebook had 11,000 chatbots within weeks of launching its bot developer kit. By fall, that figure had hit 30,000.

But now, some are wondering if the rise of the bots was a bit premature.

No, I'm not (just) talking about Microsoft's bot Tay, which famously started spewing racist messages on Twitter within 24 hours of launch. I'm not even talking about pro-Trump chatbots that overwhelmed social media with fake news in the days leading up to the 2016 election.

It's more prosaic than all that: In recent weeks, Facebook announced it would scale back its chatbot efforts after bots were shown to fail 70% of customers' questions and requests.

Instead, Facebook is refocusing its efforts on getting a limited set of questions right and shifting to a persistent menu function that's more akin to browsing a website (or "cards" in bot vernacular) and clicking options instead of trying to have a "conversation."

OrangebotBut while big brands may end up taking a small step back as the technology's underpinnings get worked out, it's not out of the question to ask if this is the time for startups and SMBs to start checking bots out.

So far, smaller companies have been decidedly "wait and see"—over 60% of SMBs have reported being only "somewhat" to "not at all" interested in chatbots or bot-based commerce.

Still, with new DIY chatbot tools for even the least techy among us, now might be a good time to emphasize the "see" part of that equation, if for nothing else than understanding where the technology might go next.

Indeed, that was the topic of a recent segment of the Jim Blasingame Show, where Jim and I talk chatbots. To be clear, Jim's show focuses on SMBs. As you'll hear, this whole chatbot thing may be new territory for this audience.

Check it out here:

Rise of the Bots

Radio Interview with Rick Mathieson: Rise of the Bots

Approx. 4 min, 39 sec


'Ghostbusters' Hyper-Reality Gameplay from THE VOID Looks Hyper-Cool (Video)

 

It's hard not to get amp'd over this trailer for the "Ghostbusters: Dimension" AR game.

I can't tell how much of this is just video or actual game play, but if it's anything like this promo fro THE VOID and Sony Pictures, this game looks hyper-righteous.

It's important to understand that THE VOID develops experiences at specific venues, versus video games for home.

This is a critical difference, since the experience can be controlled within a locked environment. As the New York Times reported a couple weeks ago, THE VOID has also developed a vest that provides smells and haptic feedback within game play.

It also makes up for the lack of interest consumers seem to have over buying AR & VR gaming equipment for home.

It is interesting how Wired ad the NYT call this VR; from this video at least, it appears to be AR-based, which helps explain how people move about without the disorientation that comes with VR goggles.

THE VOID, of course calls it "hyper reality."

We'll go with that, just so long as it's as fun as it looks.


'The Call' - Send Personalized Videos About The Dangers of Driving High (Video)


This is an excellent new personalized video campaign from Drug Free Kids Canada.

Parents can send personalized videos warning against driving while high to their kids. Just as the onscreen character is receiving text messages from their parents wondering where they are, kids receive similar texts from their parents.

It's a great conversation starter, and it joins a long list of brands using it for highly personalized video messages (see The On-Demand Brand for more). But here, it's put into service for a very good cause. Kudos to all involved.

Read more about "The Call That Comes After," here.

 


Headset Removal: Google Research Gives You Your Face Back in VR

Hungering for a little face time while in virtual reality?

Here are some fun, but currently impractical, ways to let others see what you're experiencing in virtual reality—and even see your face.

Think green screen and 3D scans. You won't bother to try this at home, folks. But someday...

Read more, here.

 


Meet AI-Powered, Voice-Interactive Barbie (Video)

 

She's 58-years-old, and she's already been a police officer, an astronaut, and the President of the United States, too.

But now, Barbie's a voice-interactive hologram. So that's fun.

From the looks of it, her mannerisms seem oddly modeled off of the sisters in "Frozen." She's also imprisoned in a box, so you just sort of look at her. She can change nationality with the snap of her fingers, though. So that's cool.

Still, all that voice interaction may come with some privacy concerns, however. But relax: Wired reports that the system uses 256-bit encryption and follows FTA guidelines.

So you can get back to talking to her as she prances around ... inside a box.

Maybe that's why Ken's nowhere to be found.


'Field Trip to Mars' Features Goggle-Free, VR-Enabled School Bus (Video)

 


After winning a Cannes Lion last summer, word's out that Lockheed Martin's 'Field Trip to Mars' is up for Creativity's A-List Awards. Well worth taking for a spin.


Top Digital Marketing Trends of Summer 2016 (Concl): Marketing & the Internet of Things

Iot_internet_of_things_marketingIn the conclusion of our Summer 2016 digital marketing wrap-up on the Jim Blasingame Show, Jim and I talk marketing and the IoT.

You know we're entering new territory when Amazon is rolling out a Dash button for Mentos.

Jim's show focuses on startups and SMBs, so the discussion speaks to trends through that lens.

As things turned out, Jim and I got so engrossed in our conversation, we never got a chance to talk about what is probably the #1 buzz-generating digital marketing news story of the summer: Pokémon GO.

In the end, we decided to save that for another show, and perhaps that's for the better.

Even as word spreads that the game may not have as much GO in it as some thought (and with even Target appropriating its most conspicuous icon these days) the game's larger lessons for marketing in the age of augmented reality may be better absorbed with a little more distance from Pikachu's big moment.

Besides, we don't want it to completely overshadow some of the other major trends from the summer that was. 

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN: Top Digital Marketing Trends of Summer 2016 (Conclusion)

(Approx. 4-min, 19-sec)

PLUS—don't miss the rest of this series:

Top Digital Marketing Trends of Summer 2016 (Pt 2) >>

Top Digital Marketing Trends of Summer 2016 (Pt 1) >>

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'Let's Be Evil' Trailer: Tech Gone Bad? (Video)

 

Another day, another dystopian vision for a future, this time from the POV of "Glassholes."

Get the inside scoop, here.

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