My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Geo-Location Rise and Google News - Vybz Kartel's News Minority Report Color-ing Book

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Geo-Location Rise and Google News - Vybz Kartel's News Minority Report Color-ing Book

All the water in the ocean
Can never turn the swan’s black legs to white
Although she lave them hourly in the flood

Shakespeare Titus Andronicus, IV, 2

People who knew me, as in personally know me, not in the Facebook or Blogger sense, know of my pet theory I have had since Glenmuir High School days: Jamaicans take at least two (2) years to adopt to any technology trend in the US of A.

Social Networking was no exception.

Facebook and Twitter are micro-blogging websites or Social Networks that are post-2004AD babies. Their phenomenal growth, even rivaling mainstream Media in much the same way that bloggers we doing pre-2004AD is neatly reflected up in the article Does posting things to Twitter make you a Journalist?”, published May 5, 2011, 4:04pm PT by Mathew Ingram, GigaOM.

People who post on these Social Networks, for want of a better word, are in effect Social Journalists. Their News is more relevant, as people are more trusting of News from friends as opposed to the mainstream Media.

In effect, Facebook, Twitter and the Social Networks, which I have largely ignored in my writings, are symbolic of a new Media that is text, Video, Photos and Audio based powered by your mobile smartphone. Without realizing it, if you have a Blackberry or other smartphone, you are in effect, a Community Beat Reporter.

Especially as the trend of Geo-Location is now picking up in the USA, with twelve millions seven hundred thousand (12,700,000) smartphone users or 17.6% of  smartphone user base as stated in the article “Nearly 1 in 5 smartphone owners use check-in services”, published MAY 13, 2011 10:47 AM PDT by Lance Whitney, Digital Media - CNET News.

So you can, via FourSquare, Gowalla or Facebook Places, post news according to where you are located.

Also Facebook, Microsoft’s Bing Search Engine and Skype are now becoming so closely integrated as pointed in my blog article entitled “Microsoft aquires Skype for US$8.5 billion - Miley Cyrus's Fly on the Wall Drops it Like its Hot”, making your smartphone a camcorder, Voice Recorder, News Editor and Publisher all rolled into one!

Which of course makes me an “odd duck”, as my girlfriend Audia Granston, while alive, used to “style” me [Jamaican Colloquial] about my habit of trusting ONLY Newspapers and online sources, citing that it was “sanitized News”.

Local gossip, whether via her Cosmetology Network as I used to joke or via the traditional Social Networks, as far as she was concerned, had the News relevant to you long before the Newspapers caught wind of what was going down.

Audia was a gossip hound, but she was pre-Facebook, relying on her cellphone and her group of friend who came regularly to her Hair Salon TJ Beauty Salon in Toll Gate, Clarendon to have their hair and nails done, hair washed and pedicures done.

She liked smartphones, especially the Apple iPhone but never realized how futuristic minded her thinking was geared.   

Her customers were her Newspaper; they kept her abreast of the local gossip in May Pen among the High Society and Drugs People crowd that lived in the Gated Communities in and around May Pen, Clarendon.

So when I saw this story about Google News, it instantly reminded me of her. Not to mention the reason why I even began writing this blog.

This as she often complained bitterly about my giving away my ideas without at least documenting them on a website or blog or something online, since, according to her, I love “deh pon Facebook so much a chat to people ‘bout me business [past ideas]”.

So what is this Google News of which I speak?

The article entitled “Google unveils location-based News feature for smartphones”, published May 13, 2011 by Trevor Mogg, DigitalTrends speaks of what basically is a simple a website tweak of the Google Search Website.

The article entitled “On the Fly? Google is Bringing the News to You”, published May 14, 2011 9:45 AM By Ed Oswald, PCWorld assesses how well it works. Which is not too good, considering it just launched yesterday and the Google Engineers may still be populating their Databases with News from around the world based on Geo-Location info.

Also they would have to find an easy and cost-effective way of getting Reporters from the Traditional Media hip with the idea of their Reporters sharing the location of where the News happened as this is not currently the case or proactive among Reporters as stated in the article “Google Adds News near you - Newspapers Still Nowhere”, published May 13, 2011, 4:04pm PT by Mathew Ingram, GigaOM.

Most likely via offering advertising sharing partnerships with the Newspapers, who are always on the hunt for additional sources of advertising revenue

This Google News tweak was announced on the blog Google News as stated in the article “Introducing "News near you" on Google News for Mobile”, published Friday, May 13, 2011 10:15 AM by Navneet Singh, Product Manager - Google News in which the announcement was made on Friday May 13th 2011AD.

To summarize, Google News is really the website extension with Geo-Location thrown in. Enter the website on your smartphone and it requests your permission to share your location. Once you answer the pop-up in the affirmative, it basically gives you a new tab labeled “News Near You” that allows you to peruse News in you local area.

Google News usefulness is on the same level that should make my SDA Princess Audia Granston, were she alive, smirk with glee as she tried to challenge Google News grasp for local News. Google News basically serves up News based on the location where you are standing.

As an example, if you are standing beside a shop that recently had been robbed and the owner shot (Drugs Don affiliate, Audia would chirp!!) and it was published in the Newspaper, Google News can return all stories relating to the robbery once you hit the “News Near You” button on the webpage in your smartphone.

But what would make this tweak even cleverer is if aside from the Geo-Location bit, it could also incorporate Social Networking elements. Audia Granston, a NVTVET certified Cosmetologist and “normal person” and not a Telecoms Technicians like myself, would go bananas [American colloquial] over such a feature.

Simply put, once she got the “News Near You”, she could annotate it with her own information (I call that gossip!!) and send it on to her friends in her Contact List who had the app installed.

But it is the future potential of this tweak to Google’s Search Engine that has me VERY excited.

Google News could be the staging ground for a Social Network for Google based around Mobile smartphones, a so-called Social Mobile Network as suggested in my blog article entitledAmazon Kindle and Advertising - AT&T and ShopAlerts Shows me the Money”.

Probably even better than a Social Network based around a Search Engine, as Google +1 appeared to be attempting as prognosticated in my blog article entitled “Google +1 and their Social Networks Machinations - If Tomorrow Comes”.

Or even my own idea for Google Me based on paying people to advertise while posting as described in my blog article entitled “Google and Google Me - How the West Was Won”.

Here’s how it could work:

Using Audia Grasnton as my muse, an additional feature could later be added where she could, on spotting something that she thought was News-worthy, make a report and post it to the Google News Community Blog. In effect, a Community Beat Reporter, which I often chided, she already was, being as her Cosmetology emporium TJ’s Beauty Salon, was already a News Center…of sorts.

This Google News would make sharing News more Social with people using Google News as soon as it takes off with the smartphone horde, now 50% of the American populace as stated in the “Verizon iPhone helps U.S become a smartphone Majority”, published April 28, 2011, 6:55am PT by Darrell Etherington, GigaOM, based on the numbers from analyst NPD.

Google News could also crib from the new photo sharing app named Color, which technically is a flavour of a Mobile Social Network.

Color, as described in my blog article entitled “Color Social Network & Valpak Virtual Coupons - Augmented View's True Colours”, which I like to call a Proximity Geo-Location Augmented Reality Photo Sharing Social Network, utilizes Augmented Reality to pin pictures you have just taken with your smartphone at the specific location you had take them.

Thus, a smartphone user running the Color app within one hundred and fifty foot (150 ft) radius Sharing Zone can view your pictures, permission free and mimicking the natural sharing habits of people on a Train, Bus Stop, Beach Party or other Social Gathering .

In a similar manner, any News that Audia Granston commented on or created, along with Video, Audio and Photos she could leave pinned in mid-air for someone to discover once they were within a Sharing Radius (Google News, I recommend 100m!!), also in a non-password or login protected manner as the Color app.

After all, News sharing or gossip in the real world has no persimmons or friendships or password.

Audia and other gossipers would love this as they could literally “spread the word” by just leaving it around the place, much in the same way as humans we like to leave graffiti with political slogans on walls.

I just hope that this does not result in the service being used for Augmented Reality Propaganda, much as the Color app, once its usage picks up, can be used for Augmented Reality Graffiti.

The advertising potential of including Augmented Reality would be more than temptation for Google News to take my suggestion and copy the Color apps features.

Augmented Reality Advertising? Stay tuned!!

This above suggestion of mine for Google News allows people with smartphones to be a part of the action as it happens and be able to not only post the News, but leave the News as “low hanging fruit” for others to run into. Literally peruse and enjoy!

More interestingly, from a Social Point of view, it would turn you the first-hand viewer of the News as it happens into a Community Reporter, with your smartphone as your Camcorder, Voice Recorder, News Editor and Publisher all rolled into one.

Newspapers and Television could become extinct, which for many Millenials [aged 13 to 28], it effectively is, as Social Networking is already their chief way of getting News and avoiding the FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) as stated in the article For Millennials, Social Media is Not all Fun and Games”, published April 29, 2011, 2:30pm PT by Colleen Taylor, GigaOM. 

I personally like this, as it would be a great way for me to get bragging rights for spotting News and events or saying “I was there when this happened”.

The Phenomenon of Social News Reporting and Augmented Reality Advertising may have just had its full genesis on Friday May 13th 2011AD, Minority Report (2002) and Vybz Kartel Colouring Book Tatoo Time Style!

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