It might seem passé, but I think the hot topic of 2012 has been mobile Internet. The ITU disclosed in June Continue reading
(This post also appeared in The Irish Times on 4 October 2012.)
LAST FRIDAY, at The Workman’s Club on Wellington Quay in Dublin, an Irish technology start-up company called GetBulb was announced as the overall winner of The Irish Times Digital Challenge.
GetBulb has produced a system that can rapidly create data visualisations suitable for both high-resolution print and for online interactive graphics in seconds. This start-up could, quite literally, change how media organisations across the globe approach design. Continue reading
The Irish Times, 24 September 2012: “3D printers to manufacture a revolution”. (This is a condensed version of a longer piece - read full piece here)
THE THREE trends toward cheaper 3D printing, consumer co-creation, and digital distribution should be understood as part of a great adjustment.
The current stage of 3D printing is analogous to the early 1990s when the music industry failed to foresee the disruptive impact that ongoing improvements in audio compression and increasing internet connectivity would have on its business several years later. The “crowd manufacturing cycle” is almost upon us. Businesses that sell physical products need to urgently consider how to adapt to and mitigate the coming disruption. Continue reading
I PREVIOUSLY POSTED THIS ON THE HUFFINGTON POST. RE POSTED HERE. Some months ago I set up The Irish Times Digital Challenge to invite digital entrepreneurs to propose ways to work with The Irish Times. Almost 81 early stage digital companies applied, of which 14 were invited to pitch in person. From this a final five of startups were selected to enter the building for eight weeks. I will blog here each week with video updates of the startups progress. Continue reading
The Irish Times is a media company with a long history. To get a sense of this reflect on the fact that it was already half a century old when one of its printing presses was burnt down during the 1916 Rising, when the rebels used its massive rolls of newsprint as barricades. In 1994, the same year that the Mosaic/Netscape browser first began to bring PC users to the Web, The Irish Times launched a digital edition in 1994. It was among the very first papers to do so. And like many media organisations, The Irish Times participated in and suffered from the dot com bubble. The Irish Times’ Facebook Timeline shows these milestones back to 1859.
The Irish Times is taking the next steps in its development as a media organisation. As small signs of this advance see the announcement today by the online editor of a new uniform commenting system, last’s week debut of a new morning brief using Tumblr, and the gradual enrichment of stories on Irishtimes.com with new embedded content, as this example shows. Tomorrow The Irish Times will announce something novel: The Irish Times Digital Challenge. Continue reading
Video of a talk I gave in Oslo at the Norwegian Annual Communications/PR Forum “5 rules for PR in the digital era”.
Long after his death Isaac Newton’s unpublished papers finally revealed a hidden obsession with alchemy. Newton was interested in particular with the Philosopher’s Stone, a proto-scientific cum mystical experiment reputed to transmutate one material into another. The Crown feared that the alchemists would devalue the coinage if they did one day manage to make gold coins out of lead. Newton, as Warden and Master of the Royal Mint, kept his alchemist musings to himself. Those who did not risked imprisonment and the hangman’s noose. The Crown knew then what many businesses are about to learn: even gold looses its value if it can be easily reproduced. This is precisely what is about to happen as a result of 3D printing.
A “crowd manufacturing cycle” is emerging that will disrupt the conventional chain of design, production, and distribution. 3D printing will do to many categories of products what MP3 did to music – but it will also do to the design and distribution of objects what Web 2.0 did to information. The emerging consumer and on-demand use of 3D printers will dramatically and irrevocably disrupt retail, design and distribution. But – crucially – some types of product will be immune to disruption.