sexta-feira, outubro 21, 2016

The interactive media professional and a world only populated by one person

Image source:

Are all the world's best inventions and creations only made by one person? And this person is immortal? Our world is no longer populated by 7 billion people, but only this one single person living beside Lake Ontario, lonely watching as times goes by?
Well, that scenario would only be possible in some movie director's mind, as part of one of those apocalyptic movies. In the real world, this are not like that. We've seen human beings of any gender, sex, age accomplish some of the world's most amazing inventions, creations, market-changing theories and all else we could imagine. Now, please carry this scenario to your workplace. Consider yourself as as interactive media professional. You have just arrived for your first day at the new job in that great digital agency you've been dreaming to be hired to. You want to help redesign the website for your favourite burger chain. But there's only one problem. You are an alien. You are not from this world. The world is only populated by one person. The name of that person is Unequell.
Unequell, or Une, as he auto-nicknamed himself, is the only existing human being ever in this planet. He built that agency alone, and he built the whole city alone. He built TTC. He built Tim Horton's. He built the CN Tower. And he was the founder of Toronto Maple Leafs. He's everywhere in the hockey rink. He has founded the Pittsburg Penguins and all other hockey teams as well. He shoots and defends. He passes and he intercepts. He's the referee.
You see? That would simply be impossible to work in a digital agency founded, directed and employing only this Unequell guy to do all the stuff. So, if that digital agency wants to continue being the reference to you and to many others, what does it need to do? It needs to know that the world is not only populated by Unequell, a 35-year old, white Catholic swedish guy who was claiming that the whole world was...himself. And consequence, the agency was himself. That agency need to know that it's gotta hire catholics and muslims, man and women, young professionals, and experienced ones, to be able to manage egos and lack of experience. It needs to welcome that great blind musician who will be able to create some amazing original soundtracks to the company's portfolio of clients who demand original music to its media experiences on apps, websites, events, crossmedia storytelling efforts and it goes on and on.
We call it equity in the workplace. And Unequell will need it. Your great digital agency will need it to sustain all its status as a great place to work. If it wants to be part someday of Forbes list of Best Places to Work, it needs to provide an outstanding work environment and company culture for its employees.
Image source:

Air BNB, not satisfied in topping Forbes' ranking, also topped the Glassdoor ranking. And for those of you who still haven't heard from Glassdoor, its ranking reflects itself as a business: it's based entirely on employee's feedback.
Image source:

The interactive media professional who arrives in that great digital agency where Unequell is struggling to adequate himself, will have to understand the we're watching a media revolution. All audiences these days, and it doesn't matter which target audiences they're part of, are claiming for equality, for honesty when creating or transmitting information, for sincere and human pieces of communication. So, it doesn't matter if you are a designer or a copywrighter. You must be able to fit in that workplace. You will need to be able to work with a fellow swedish guy, a pregnant woman who's leaving her job to give birth in 15 days and will stay out for one year, and that buddhist guy who need to meditate every friday afternoon for 3 hours longer than the usual days.

Unequell's world only populated by himself does not exist, but the world dominated by ethical leadership exists. The world, in which he will only be able to create an award-winning campaign for that burger chain, will have the company of yourself (there you go!) and that 22 year-old single mom that just arrived in the agency last month, for Unequell's initial despair. And for Unequell's best of lucks in the future, as that single mom just happened to be the most amazing talent in UX design in the whole agency since day one.
Unequell will have to read the book "7 Lenses: Learning the Principles and Practices of Ethic Leadership", by author Linda Fisher Thornton.
That will be an journey for ethic in the workplace that you will all benefit from. Not only because the laws are telling you to do so. But because you are a leader and you need to be ahead. You need to be part of this ever-changing world that we are facing now. And as an interactive media professional, you and Unequell will need that even more. As all our decisions are in the publics eye to be judged, every day.

quinta-feira, outubro 20, 2016

How can 360 degree videos impact your life

Tiny Toronto is a Toronto based company, specialized in design fabrication of attainable housing. As a solution to reach their target audience more comprehensively, the idea of using 360 degree videos seems adequate. As it's a new solution for creating additional housing space and reducing stress and cost of comute, 360 degree videos can help them immensely in their goals of establishing themselves as a successful startup.
One of the advantages they will have using a 360 degree video as a tool will be to help their potential clients to visualize what use they could do of their free space. If a traditional video would be used, it wouldn't be able to scale precisely the area available to put a "tiny house" on site.
Here are 4 companies making a good use of 360 degree videos for different reasons:

1) REI

The outdoor gear company REI created a 360 degree video campaign to help "multicultural millennials" to expand their view of where the outdoor starts and stops. With that initiative, they were able not only to reach this specific goal, but also to reach 1.5 million Facebook users. Such numbers are definitely powered up by using this type of videos, instead of the traditional ones.

Image source: REI's website screen shot

2) IC Real Tech

Another company using 360 degree videos but as a way to promote sales of its gear is IC Real Tech. They have partnered with Google to integrate YouTube 360 livestreaming capabilities into its ALLie camera. They also avoided being limited to YouTube users, as they also allow users to post 360 videos of their cameras through Facebook's 360 video platform. The other side of their business which also must be considered is the virtual reality headsets. Their cameras supports all available head sets, including Google Cardboard and Facebook's Oculus Rift.

Image source: Fortune website

3) Nescafé

After seeing "millenials" sharing clips using only cups as instruments, Nestlé launched a 360 degree video campaign as part of their REDvolution identity, ensuring a global look and feel across all their products sold in the 180 countries where they are located. They have released two 360 degree videos, as they had launched a previous video on their south american coffee plantations.

4) North Korea

Photographer Aram Pan went to the spotlight after releasing a 360 degree video on how's life in Pyongyang, capital of North Korea. That's a subject that attracts curiosity of many people around the world, and he had the help of this tool to draw attention to his work and to his YouTube channel.

As any other tool, there are pros and cons of using it in your strategy. Here are some of them:


- You can definitely say that it's more engaging than traditional videos. As it's quite a new tool, everybody wants to check how is it. And brands can take advantage from that.
- As it's such a new technology, you can establish yourself as an innovator, using 360 degree videos to do live sessions of your events, for example.
- even though it's something that's only available now to the masses, anyone can assess this technology.
- before the adoption of 360 degree videos, the only way to discover if that college course you want to go next year had a good and modern building that fits your expectations would be through photos viewing, videos, and content available in apps and websites. With the option of using 360 degree videos now available, a college can provide its future students a full and rich experience of what it is to be on a day-to-day basis in that environment

Image source:


- you will not find the best quality in 360 degree videos, when talking about "image quality". So, for those brands and professionals that give "quality" an enormous importance and not that much importance to "being a pioneer", this tool may not be the ideal one.
- it's still too expensive to buy the best camera to record 360 degree videos. Which means it's not universally popular as an option to record videos. And well, high price doesn't mean good quality. yet.
- even though brands can use their financial power to create great 360 degree videos, for users creating 360 degree videos through apps that's not an easy task, as it's incompatible to some social media tools, such as the most popular one: Facebook. Which means that it's still not a too attractive option to users interested in using this tool.

After considering these pros and cons, we must also consider the 360 degree videos as its importance for global advancement.

- brand universe immersion: Star Wars fans can now experience speeding across Jakku's desert on Rey's Speeder. Which means other brands can also make use of it to position their clients even more deeply inside their brand's universe.
- surgery advancements: now it's possible to stream surgeries on 360 degree videos, which means that medicine professional can use it to improve many aspects in their professional tecnhiques. Also on medicine, it started being used to help treat depression.
- natural disasters most compreehensive perspectives: NGO's have already used 360 degree videos to document landscapes for free and public use, in ordet to understand and help the humanity to be more aware on how to deal with natural disasters.

360 degree videos are a reality. We're probably witnessing only the beginning of what promises to bring us so many different uses and possibilities. Hope that's good news. We don't need another tool to be used and cause depression on its inventors, such as Santos Dumont's depression for the airplane use on the First World War.

Links and sources


terça-feira, outubro 18, 2016

O que esperar de Thiago Monteiro?

Nossa esperança na ATP, o cearense Thiago Monteiro jogou muitas partidas este ano e deu um salto gigantesco no nível dos jogadores que enfrenta.
Aos 22/23 anos, 2017 será a temporada onde saberemos para onde ele vai. Se vai para as cabeças ou se será um jogador de Top 100 como o Bellucci. Que é o que de melhor temos hoje em dia e desde que o Guga parou.
Pro Monteiro ir para as cabeças, precisará começar a surpreender nos ATPs 250 e 500 e chegar ao Top 50 em 2017.
E aí, com mais experiência, ele tem chance de ganhar seu primeiro grande torneio em 2018: um ATP 250 pra começar.
Tenista não tem 2 carreiras. E o tempo é cruel contra ou a favor.
Ao final deste ciclo que citei, ele fará 25 anos (Maio de 2019).
Ou seja, ao final da temporada de 2018, se ele tiver ganho ao menos um ATP 250, beliscado uma semi ou final de 500, estará num top 30 ou bem próximo.
Aí sim podemos sonhar com um Top 10 pro Monteiro, que eu acredito ser possível. Tudo dependerá mesmo da confiança que ele conseguirá em seu tênis. Porque tênis ele tem.
Agora...só vale um registro: galera, o Thiago Monteiro não é um mito como Guga. Não cobrem um Top 5 dele, muito menos um número 1.
Os grandes campeões do tênis surgem aleatoriamente de um país ou outro.
O raio caiu na Suíça com o Federer? Sinto, Wawrinka, não vai cair em você. Foi um raio único na Suíça.
O mesmo na Sérvia. Não vai se ter um novo número 1 na Sérvia tão cedo. 
Mesmo a Meca do tênis, os EUA...vejam há quantos anos sem um número 1.
O Taylor Fritz é a esperança deles. E olha que lá são 17 milhões de tenistas...
Talvez vocês se perguntem: este cara tem bola de cristal? Não, é o tênis que é assim mesmo.A afirmação do raio não cair no mesmo lugar de fato pode parecer meio pretensiosa, mas eu pensei nela mais dentro do contexto desta postagem de expectativa sobre o Thiago Monteiro.
 A quantidade de jogadores de um determinado país no Top 100, aí sim, pode mudar com o investimento de sua confederação. Porém, e ao menos historicamente, o número 1 da ATP, depois da profissionalização do tênis em 1973, quase nunca veio na sequência de um só país. A única exceção vem dos EUA em três ocasiões: com um revezamento entre McEnroe e Connors em 1981-1983, com Courier-Sampras-Agassi em 1992-1996, e Sampras e Agassi, em 1999-2000.
A China tem atualmente 15 milhões de tenistas em seu país. E não deve nutrir expectativas de um número 1 tão cedo, visto que não tem nenhum tenista no masculino no Top 150, e nenhuma tenista no feminino entre o Top 20. E a única tenista mais nova, Saisai Zheng, não deve chegar ao topo, visto que já tem 22 anos e ainda não chegou ao Top 50.

Enfim, concluindo, Monteiro é nossa esperança de Top.10. E as duas próximas temporadas, 2017 e 2018, nos dirão se esta esperança se concluirá.

* Imagem: UOL Esporte

terça-feira, setembro 27, 2016

How can an international student find a health insurance plan online in Canada?

When you arrive in Canada as a student, one of the first actions you must take is to provide a health insurance for your family. I already have mine. It's called University Health Insurance Plan, or UHIP.
You should be able to decide if you want the Health Insurance Plan offered by your college, or if you want to find one yourself.
In this blog post, my mission will be to describe all the steps I'll take, in the next minutes (or hours?), in the UHIP website,  to find all about a health insurance plan for my 3 dependants: my wife and two kids. I still have not decided yet if I'll want a 3 month, 6 month, or a 1 year plan. So I'll need to decide it, based on the prices I'll have to pay, and the options as listed in the Settlement.Org website.

That's the mission of this blog post.

With this information in hand, I'll decide if I want the plan offered by my college, or if I'll find another one by myself which would more financially interesting for me.

I don't have this information yet, so I'll search for it.

STEP 1: go to the UHIP website.

Here we are for the first decision of this user experience: do I want the website in English or French?
Let's choose English. My French is not that fantastic, even though the Duolingo app has helped me a lot to improve my French language skills.

STEP 2: where next?

So, I must decide where to go now. There are 14 options for me to choose. As I want a plan for my dependants, I can tell you that my experience in here was a fine one: there was a "dependants" button to click. Starting to have a feeling that it won't take me long to find what I need.

STEP 3: how much does it cost?

So the next information I need to know is how much does it cost to have a health insurance plan designed for my family's needs. I decide to avoid the first link I read through: even though it's an useful information, I just must believe what the website says: that dependants get the same health insurance coverage as me. Anyway, that's good to know.
Next decision in the page was to search for the cost to have the plan. So, I went straight to the link "How much does UHIP cost". When I clicked on it, there were 2 options ok links to be clicked. I chose "annual premium costs".

STEP 4: choosing the best option for my family

Ok, now we're dealing with this UHIP Premium Table. I want to decide which plan to choose. I know that I'm a UHIP member, and that I have 3 dependants. Ok, I will choose "Two or more dependants", for 12 months, at the price of CA$1224. Just found the first barrier: there are no links in the option I chose, so I can a) move forward and pay for it or b) go to my college's page and pay through them.
So, I decide to roll down the page a little bit more. And, more information or options for me to go through and pay. But there's one link that takes me to "How do I apply for UHIP". I click on it, and it takes me to some options. I read it and decide that I should click on "For more information about your enrollment as an employee or as a dependant, please contact your UHIP Plan Administrator  at your university. "


Well, the end of this user experience is not a "happy" one. That first wasn't that obvious, and it took me to all this process here, with the hope that colleges also were part of this "UHIP thing". But they're not. So, my last step was to go back to that page,, just to find that "For more information on how to enroll, contact the International Student Services or Registrar's Office at your university or college."

  So, anyway, clicking on "college", it took me to Ontario's colleges page, and there it was my college. And that's it. Mission unsuccessful, as I thought I'd have more options to choose. And what happened in the end is that I should only have gone to the college to ask for their health plan option. To find different options, I must now go search in another place. If there will be a possibility of having other options...if the college option is not the only one I have. And for that, none of those websites explained me about it. I'll have to ask Google for help again! User experience? A bad one!

sexta-feira, setembro 23, 2016

6 Great Reasons To Launch a Career in Interactive Media

Does your father always buzz in your head that you should learn coding and become the next Bill Gates? Or is it a great passion for videogames that moves you when thinking of a career?
There are many reasons why you should think on launching a career in interactive media.

Here are 6 reasons that we consider great ones for you to become a interactive media professional:

1. You're probably going to work with what you love to do.

If you're into Minecraft for the last 3 years and thought it would be a nightmare to stop dedicating your life to videogames, a career in interactive media can be the one for you. One of the professions you can choose in this industry is "video game designer". Or "video game programmer", which pays even better.

2. There are jobs in the market for you

Via Reed

When you think that there are so many different professions in this industry, such as UX Designer, social media manager, programmer, graphic designer, and that those jobs are full of opportunities for you to grab, it's a good thing to hear. Success will rely on many other reasons, but that's some good news, eh?

3. Your creativity must be good for something!

Via GGVogue

You were always the creative guy in the house, right? And even though your parents may have told you that you should stop writing those crazy song that would not take you anywhere ( I hope they didn't say that, but just in case...), writing a video game soundtrack writer can be your career in the future. And well, you may want to listen what this video game audio freelancer has to say.

4. You'll be able to do whatever goes in your mind!

There are so many problems out there you would like to solve. Or maybe so many thing you'd like to accomplish. Well, whatever you may think of, if you decide to launch a programmer career, you can use your skills to create some new app. Or solve a huge global problem. Or just write a book, combined with programming, that will result in an interactive book. Exciting, don't you think? The world is yours to create.

5. You don't want to stop learning

Can you throw back your memories and remember how things were designed when you were born? Probably you have gone past some photos of the past and sneaked into very old school logos and designs that you twist the nose for, right? If you launch a career as a graphic designer, there will always be something new and exciting to learn, so you can always deliver modern logos, and be engaged in new trends to be a great professional.

6. Stop the train, I wanna change the world!

Ok, you love design, but you also want to change the world. If sustainability and environment is not for you and you still want to be a designer, you can be a UX designer and help the change the world. Well, you can help transform the real life of so many people. You can change how people take their daily train back home. Or how they get in touch with their relatives abroad. You can actually change the world. Or someone's world.

Why don't you take a look now on how emerging trends are impacting those interactive media professional's careers?

quinta-feira, setembro 15, 2016

Emerging tech and its impact on interactive media management professionals

As the digital scenario evolves and also its audiences, a Sillicon Valley company must do the right moves to keep influencing interactive media management professionals. It's them who will use those emerging techs for the companies they work with, so a wrong move in there can make it fall in obsolescence.
Linkedin, Twitter and Pinterest have invested in solid new emerging tech that's allowing them to keep and reach new audiences. And also keep its influence among professionals trying to find best business practices to them.
The machine learning models used by Pinterest under the name Pinnability have an important role on the maintainance of its relevance, as it delivers much better content than before, as you can see in the figure below, explained by Pinterest's website itself.
As an interactive media management professional, one thing was to put Pinterest among the tools that would help your company's influence by believing that a newer pin from a same source of something you pinned before could be of much help. With the new tools that accurately predicts the relevance score based on visual and textual features, the comprehension of what your target audience would like to get from you in terms of content went to a completely new level.
Linkedin has bought and with that acquisition it has gained a new relevance among marketing professionals, entrepreneurs, programmers or anyone wanting to improve its skills with the  numerous online courses they offer. And with that, many Canadian public libraries are now offering free access to its courses to libraries cardholders.
While Twitter has lost some ground to Facebook in certain aspects such as time spent on its website/app, they gained it back after they released Periscope, the company has attracted new companies to its portfolio, with the live video stream tool that Periscope offers to them. NBA, NFL, Bloomberg and Cheddar, the financial news website for millenials, have all signed deals with Twitter and have helped broaden its audience.

In order to take full advantage of these new tools and enhancements, here are 4 recommendations that will help you take the best of it:

1- First of all, you will need to be prepared for the competition you'll increasingly face. So must be your first stop among those new tools. You can choose one of their courses or they also lent a hand with that list of 5 suggestions made through a member survey, for Creative, Technical and Business courses in there.

2- A good tool can be the worst tool if you don't know how to tell a story. Or "interactive storytelling" as it must be from now on. If you work in a bakery, for an example, you will not simply turn the webcam on and start saying hello to everyone that stops by online. You will schedule a live session on Periscope to teach your clients/audience how to bake the best blueberry cheesecake ever! Tell a story! Engage!

3-  After a "streamingly" succesfull live Periscope session, the participants will start to ask you about a recipe for the best blueberry cheesecake ever. That's the moment that you will show them your blog, with a beautiful photo of that cake, and an invitation for your Pinterest, where those machine learning models will help enhance your clients experience within that subject.

4- You will not simply use all of these tools and believe you will be the best interactive media management professional of the year. You must understand which tools are better suited for your business, or for the company you work for. Should you be in al social networks ever? Would you allocate your money on Pinterest if the teens are the ones you're searching for (hello, Snapchat!). We have seen so many stories of bad social media strategy, resulting in empty social spaces, waste of time and money or even worse: criticism.

So, be careful to choose wisely, and don't forget the Canadian's own Hootsuite to schedule it all for you and specially analise and monitor if your strategy has been the best one.

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The list of links in this blog post:

quinta-feira, janeiro 07, 2016

500 postagens!

Existem blogueiros que devem postar 500 vezes em 6 meses. Ou em até 3 meses. No meu caso eu fiz 500 postagens em praticamente 10 anos (o blog completa uma década no dia 12 de Fevereiro agora).
Escrevo aqui sempre que tenho algo a compartilhar com vocês. Não tenho frequência definida, mas nunca abandonei este espaço. Gosto de escrever. E gosto de ler o que os outros falam também.

Quero, acima de tudo, agradecer:

- A todos que me prestigiaram aqui, neste cantinho meu, visitando, comentando ou compartilhando o que escrevo.
- A todos os que proporcionaram as 82.375 visualizações do blog, ao menos as que tenho registradas.
- Ao povo (provavelmente leitores de língua portuguesa) do Brasil, Estados Unidos, Suécia, Alemanha, Polônia, Rússia, Irã, França, Ucrânia e China, que por alguma razão foram os que mais visitaram este espaço!
- Ao meu pai, à minha mãe e à toda minha família! :<)

 Fico feliz especialmente por aqueles em que minhas postagens tenham afetado de forma positiva, de alguma maneira!

E que venham as próximas 500 postagens!

Te vejo aqui, ali ou acolá!

Um abraço,

Fred Neumann