On Wednesday, I officially finished my second year in college and I’m kind of glad that we finally got some time off. Our learning environment is highly competitive and filled with stress, especially in the final days, hours, minutes of a project. While I don’t have any problem coping with the stress and actually enjoy it, at times, it’s quite nice to not have to get up way too early and not have to prepare something.
The second year provided me with interesting insights, especially in regards of Flash ActionScript (still AS2 though), Processing (a powerful little IDE) as well as interaction design. We’ve conceptualized and built a great many things, some better than others. All in all however, it was a good year, not as great as it could have been, but definitely not sub par. The end of year 2 also marked the time where our groups split up to specialize in one of four areas of expertise:
For all those that are interested in creating the visual part of a CI, love to play with typography and create posters, media design is the way to go.
For those looking to create concepts for great ideas and better understand the psychology behind selling a product to customers, interaction strategy will be the profile of choice.
For those that are training to be interaction designers, with a deep understanding of user interface and user experience design, information and interaction will be the best solution.
And, finally, for the (rather small) group of people that wants to specialize in the development of Rich Internet Applications and web services in general, as well as interactive setups and discovering new trends, creative technology is going to be the name of the game.
Given my interest in technology, I opted for the creative technology set of classes. After talks with people who already work in the very field I plan on working in, I realized that a strong understanding of the technical side, paired with a sense for marketing is the best way to go.
We’ll see how good (or bad) a choice this will turn out to be…
Back at the The Next Web conference, I was first presented with a product called “Fleck“, basically a web 2.0 post-it service. Now, since this probably doesn’t make much sense to most people, I’d suggest clicking on this link and experiencing the goodness that is Fleck for yourself.
Fleck is a project by Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten, Patrick de Laive and Arjen Schat - if you don’t know those names, you don’t know your internet history very well, I guess. These three guys, like they’ve done so many times before, came up with the whole idea and coded it from the ground up and made sure it was ready to rock when they released it into the wild.
Being a privately funded company, means, to me at least, that there aren’t loads of resources for extensive marketing so the Fleck team came up with something unique, something perfectly suited for their service:
Total cost of this gig is probably around EUR 20, if not less. Total exposure is probably worth 20 times as much. Great job guys, that’s the way to do guerilla marketing!
If you know anything about marketing, you should be familiar with the term “multiplier”. No, I’m not talking about the factor that makes your marketing efforts more and more expensive based on the amount of users you want to reach but rather about a very special kind of evangelists - so called “multipliers”.
Every company has a different approach for this concept and the one that I liked the most recently was Nikon’s promotional campaign for the new D80.
If you decide to give your product to users and you go for the well-known crowd, like A-List bloggers or decision makers, you lose a lot of credibility, in my eyes. Nikon seems to agree - they gave their new digital SLR to a handful of the most active Flickr users and let them play around with it.
I really like the results. Good job Nikon!
Virtual hat tip to BlueAce.