The Digital Revolution

Are you part of the digital revolution? I am, but I admit to being a holdout until recently. I, like many others, thought there was no substitute for the quaintness of paper in your hands. How could you fully immerse yourself in a story without a book between your hands? Aren’t articles more powerful on glossy pages? Doesn’t the news hit harder on the grayish pages of a newspaper? I couldn’t imagine what would be lost if everything went digital.

Then I got the shock treatment. When my job was transferred to a new department in 2010, I had to move forty two boxes of files covering over thirty-five years of the history of my programs. The new department digitizes files, so I spent the first eight months at my new location scanning those files into their database system. As a result of that experience, I’m cured. There’s no quaintness to paper. It’s heavy, it cuts your fingers and tears up your hands, it takes up a tremendous amount of space, and a recent trip to an antique store reminded me of how quickly it deteriorates.

Yes, digital is the way of the twenty first century. I switched to E-books. I get my news online. I create, scan, and store documents on my laptop. All I use paper for now is cleaning bird cages, and I get that newspaper from other paper hold-outs. If they decide to go digital, I suppose I’ll find another way to clean bird cages when that time comes.

Plus, I love trees. Maybe it’s living in the woods for most of my life, but being surrounded by green makes me happy. It seems a shame to chop it down when you can download and browse so much easier, faster, and more efficiently than flipping through reams of paper.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t believe that hardbacks and paperbacks will go the way of the wind ever. There are too many of them out there, and that’s alright. It’s good to stay in touch with the past; but it’s also important to embrace the future. I still enjoy an occasional paperback, but admit to trading these frequently at secondhand bookstores. The books that stay are usually digital.

So yes, I’ve traded my bookshelves and filing cabinets for hard drives and mobile devices, and I’m proud of it. After all, improvements to the printing press helped fuel a little thing called The Protestant Revolution. Who knows where the digital revolution will lead? I don’t know but I’m there, fully armed with Wi-Fi and ready to go!

Developing for TV – Crossing the Gap Between Screens

TV is a widely different from mobile apps

There is a subtle difference in meaning of the word “app” on TV. While in some cases, a TV app helps provide an entry point for a set of contents that could be used to watch media, in other cases, an app relate to functionality like any social media. One can also have apps on TV. However, it is necessary to recognize the TV experience, which could be:

· TV means shared experience whereas mobile phones are personal.

· TV is lean back. Different efforts for interacting consumers with TV have fallen away.

· Consumers dislike using complex remote controls.

These nuances are not being considered by many developers who have started developing for TV. This could result in apps that fail to see the light of the day. Who will want to allow personal information on a shared screen? How will be the people like the sharing of the TV screen along with you scrolling through your message site?

Three Ways to Develop Apps for TV

The developments for TV app are roughly categorized into three types:

1. TV-only apps

Your favorite web services are the apps for the TV screen or set-top box which are extended to the TV screen. There is a need to modify of these apps to make them work with a TV remote also and having limited text input. However achieving this is not an easy affair as many of these apps are better suitable to cross over to TV compared to others.

2. Mobile-only apps

A good number of mobile or tablet apps complement with the TV but fails to interact with it. The thrust areas of these apps are to offer a concurrent experience of watching experience, helping you to interact on your personal device and at the same time watch the TV. This category could include apps that offer listings content and others. Surveys made on consumer choice show both tablets and TV is natural companion.

3. Closed loop apps

These apps act as a closing loop between TV and mobile experience. There are many examples that let the choice and control of streamed content to the TV screen. For example, closed loop apps help in streaming contents to the TV screen from a device. However, it is hard to find apps that provide an interaction between the broadcast TV functions in contrast to using the monitor of the TV, which could be like setting recordings on your STB using your Smartphone. However, it is difficult to find channels or content on one device and making use of the content of the device on TV due to the need to integrate with TV or STB. It is here where innovation fails to perform.

Managing and Repurposing Your Company’s Digital Assets

As adults, we’ve all been around computers long enough to know what the term “digital” means. We’ve also been handling money for enough time to comprehend the nature of an asset. Yet put those two terms together into “digital assets” and most people’s eyes start to glaze over. Ask them to define “digital assets” and you’ll most likely get a blank stare.
Yet, whether we know it or not, most of us are in possession of myriad digital assets. In most cases, those digital assets were acquired for some long-forgotten task and now sit dormant on the hard-drives, CD’s and servers of our companies… effectively collecting digital dust. Little do we know that in those dark warehouses of the computer world sits a treasure trove of value just waiting to be made useful once more.

Before we get into the how of repurposing those assets, it may be worthwhile to more clearly define the nature of a digital asset. In essence, digital assets are assets your company has in a digital form. How’s that for stating the obvious? Seriously, though, it need not be any more complicated than that. In their truest form, digital assets are files and collections of raw data that your company possesses, and for which it holds the legal right to use internally or to sell or rent to a third party. This includes database information, intellectual property, transactional data, multimedia content, and any other digital information of value.

Notice I said, “… of value.” Not all hunks of digital “stuff” qualify as assets. As a matter of fact, much of what may initially be considered a digital asset is, upon further inspection, actually a digital liability.

So the first step in repurposing your digital assets is the unenviable task of separating the wheat from the chaff, the good from the bad, the useful from the useless and the valuable from the valueless. In effect, finding and cataloging the potential assets and trashing the rest. Doing this is nothing less than arduous and mind-numbing, but unless somebody had the wisdom to effectively catalogue your company’s data stores from the start, you’ll have little choice but to do it the hard way. Depending on the size of your company, this could be accomplished in a day by the Office Manger or be a year-long project for several members of your I.T. staff.

Thankfully, there are scores of software packages designed to assist you in retrieving, cataloging and accessing this data. A little online research will yield a variety of products that will suit just about any digital asset management need.

As this data is reviewed and catalogued, it’s probably wise to keep asking this one key question: Is this of any potential value to us or anybody else? If the answer is yes, keep it and catalogue it. Otherwise, dump it.

Once this task is complete, you should have a fairly clear idea of what digital assets your company holds. The next step is to put them to good use in strengthening the bottom line. As mentioned earlier, these assets will be useful in one of three ways: To sell, to rent or to use internally.

Once again, review the data you’ve cataloged and categorize it by sell, rent or use internally. For those you can sell or rent, like customer data, research and approach companies who may have an interest in your data. If they don’t want it, there’s a good chance they’ll know somebody who does. With a little luck, and a little effort, you could potentially turn that old, dusty data into a strong bottom-line contribution.

For those items that have internal value, like graphic and photo files, your task becomes one of communication, awareness and ease of access. In other words, you need to make the people in your company aware of what digital assets exist, where they can be found and how to easily retrieve them. There is no easy answer for how to do this, but it’s essential that it happens. Otherwise, you’re hard-won assets will once again retreat to the dark warehouses of the computer world from whence they came.

This brings us to the final key step in repurposing your company’s digital assets: Upkeep and maintenance. Now that you have a comprehensive library and catalogue of the assets you have on hand, it would be ludicrous to not continue adding new assets to the collection as they become available. It would also be wise to cull those assets that no longer possess value to the company. The idea is to keep your asset library clean, relevant and easy to access.

The obvious, yet often overlooked positive attribute of digital assets vs. tangible assets is their timeless durability. If handled properly, the digital photo you catalogue today will look no different on this year’s Annual Report than it will hanging on the wall of your company’s lunar-based corporate office 50 years from now.

So take the time now to collect, categorize and catalogue those assets today. Years from now, you and many others will be very glad you did.

Author & small business owner Marc Stevens has written a variety of articles on how to effectively use video in the sales and marketing mix as well as managing the large volumes of data that accumulate during the media production process. He has been the owner of Spot Productions [] in Green Bay, Wisconsin for over 9 years.