Timehop Takes You Back To The Future at SXSW 2012

Any company that shows up to SXSW with a spot-on Delorean replica from Back To The Future to promote their product gets my full respect and attention.  Timehop’s Delorean had its Flux Capicitor pumping, a hoverboard in the passenger seat, and it’s modified blender ready for plutonium fueling.  The only thing they could have done to take the stunt further was to hire Christopher Lloyd or Michael J. Fox to show up in costume.

Timehop’s product allows you to go back in time and see what you did exactly one year ago across several social media platforms—Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and Instagram.  Users receive a daily email delivering “the ultimate personal history experience.” Based in New York City, Timehop was created by Jonathan Wegener & Benny Wong at Foursquare’s first ever Hackathon in February 2011.  Visit http://timehop.com/ for more info.


Five most promising location based campaigns

Propelled by location based technology, mobile advertising is taking leaps forward right now. Projections from Juniper Research anticipate location based mobile marketing will jump to a whopping $12 billion dollars by 2014. Meanwhile, in the past four months the number of location based campaigns pushing the bounds of mobile advertising has grown exponentially. With Facebook’s anticipated release of a place-based functionality and the near hysteria surrounding Foursquare, opportunities continue to grow. Scale is the primary qualifier when it comes to mobile, but it’s not an excuse to avoid experimenting with the channel. Now is the time to gain learnings–from relevant ways to reach a highly targeted audience, to gathering insights and data on your customers.

Here are five promising executions:

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The hidden dangers of “life gaming”

I recently spoke to a class at USC, and in the Q&A afterward was asked a very interesting question: “Do you think everything will be a game?” It’s a question I’ve been pondering for a while, but actually being asked by someone forced me into an answer. Before sharing why I don’t think everything will be a game, let me point out a video from DICE2010 that makes a strong case for “Life Gaming.” The 30-minute clip is well worth watching and makes a number of great points.

Foursquare motivated people to check in at their locations by making it into a game, while the founder’s game-less predecessor (Dodgeball) failed. “FarmVille” is the fastest growing media property to 50 million users, reaching that benchmark four and a half months since it’s release. Virtual goods ( buying “nothing”) was a billion dollar industry in 2009. Despite these points and the ones brought up in the video, there’s a serious danger to the prospect of life as a game.

The issue at hand is one of motivation. Gamers don’t wake up with a strong desire to tap a button several hundred times — it’s the framework around those button-presses that gets people engaged. The problem with “life as a game” is that we are motivated to do many things in life simply for their own sake. Making a game out of those actions endangers our very willingness to do them.  Read full article on Mediapost.