Go to Infinity and Beyond with Your Content Marketing, Thanks to Pixar
Jun26

Go to Infinity and Beyond with Your Content Marketing, Thanks to Pixar

Pixar has been a big part of my life for a long time. I never got hung up on Disney princesses or My Little Pony, instead I was always waiting for the next Disney/Pixar movie to come out. As I grew older, my love for animation and creativity never faded. I am proud to say that I have seen every Pixar film including “Inside Out,” Pixar’s newest film, that was released last Friday. When I was younger, I was in complete awe with each movie that was debuted.  The raw imagination and creativity they bestowed was astounding. As I grew older, I realized that they kept getting better. I’m an emotional person, but the stories and characters Pixar creates leaves me an emotional train wreck (don’t tell me you didn’t cry when Woody and the gang almost burned to death in the incinerator). Being 21, I am still in complete awe with Pixar, specifically how they have marketed themselves as the best storytellers of all time. Being a content marketer myself, I think we can all learn a thing or two from Pixar’s marketing and storytelling. Never forget where you started. Pixar is famous for the Easter eggs that they drop in their films. There are even theories that say all of the films take place in one universe, especially when the luxo ball and Pizza Planet truck show up in every film. More importantly, the combination of A113, which is actually the number of the animation classroom at the California Institute of the Arts where many Pixar employees start their animation career. They drop these clues to entertain the audience, but more importantly to remind themselves where they came from. Be proud of your brand’s history, and remind yourself that you’re lucky to be there. Furthermore, it assures your readers that you take pride in being apart of your company’s culture. You may not be able to hide rubber balls and codes in your writing, but you can tip your hat to the past with a few sentences. Keep it simple for the viewer, or reader. Emma Coats, a former storyboard artist at Pixar, tweeted some knowledge that she picked up at Pixar: “Once upon a time there was _. Every day, _. One day _. Because of that, _. Because of that, _. Until finally _.” This is Pixar’s guideline for each film. The movie may be elaborate, but at the end of the day it can be summarized in a couple of sentences. Use this model for “Up”. Once upon a time there was a couple in love. Every day, they promised they would go on an adventure. One day, the wife died. Because of that, the...

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College World Series from a Life Long Fan’s View
Jun18

College World Series from a Life Long Fan’s View

In Omaha, NE one of the best times of the summer is when the best of the best college baseball teams are in town for the College World Series. Fans flock from all over the country to TD Ameritrade Park. Heck even the worldwide leader in sports ESPN joins the party. Which is why Christine Boggy is here to give us an insight behind the scenes of the College World Series from a producing perspective. She is part of ESPN’s SEC Network production team who cover the College World Series year in and year out. Today we sat down with her to discuss baseball, her career, amongst other topics as well. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and why you decided to get into sports? Well, I am originally from Fremont, NE. I grew up going to the College World Series thanks to my dad who loves baseball, and it just turned out to be one of those things that is a tradition for me. I also worked as a ballgirl at Rosenblatt for a number of years. After I decided to retire from being a ballgirl, I went on to become a reporter/anchor for local TV. Next I was able to get onto ESPN as a runner and work my way up. Currently I work in production, I help out with the creative process and get some player stories out there. Right now, at the College World Series I do “features” – basically whatever you see that is not the game is what I work on. For example, the player from Yutan, NE who plays for CSU Fullerton fulfilled his dream of coming back to Omaha. I try to find stories that inspire and looking back over the years it is unique getting to work on this side of things rather than the grounds crew like when I was younger. Will you tell me what it is like for a day in your shoes at the College World Series? From sunrise to sunset. To start with, when we first got here we did interviews with players from of each team. Throughout the week we have been putting those into little soundbytes and packages. I have been working with ENG also, which stands for Electronic News Gathering but that’s not important. What is important is that ENG is responsible for shooting the game, fans standing in line, those crazy fans who love a camera in their face basically catching the whole atmosphere. Then, today I will be editing some video. But I really love how everyday it’s something different. What about for days like earlier this week? These brutal...

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In-App Dating? GetReal
Apr29

In-App Dating? GetReal

Smartphone dating applications have become the new norm when it comes to meeting new people. While you can still walk up to strangers at a coffee shop or bar and get to know them in person, that particular form of spontaneity has gone by the wayside thanks to apps like Tinder and Grindr. I mean, why should you actually talk to someone when you can left- or right-swipe their profiles to see if they’re interested? Being rejected via social media applications is so much less traumatizing than in person, right? I’m not sold either way, but a new app wants you to get real about meeting new people. GetReal is a recently launched iOS app that wants users to spend less time messaging through apps and more time in each others’ company. Similar to Tinder, it’s a location-based networking app that connects you to the people in your vicinity. However, there is no in-app interaction and pre-meeting conversation other than the request to meet. Here’s how it works: When you open the app, it shows you everyone on GetReal in your surrounding area. After checking out the various user profiles consisting of one photo and a short status, you can send a meeting request through a pin-drop map feature to pinpoint the location and have the option of adding a short message. The requested person has half an hour to accept, decline, or defer your invite. Then you meet them in person and start a conversation that way. All communication on the app is limited to the meet up requests; there is no chat or messaging function. If you’re a little iffy about meeting a stranger, GetReal allows users to link their Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn profiles to the app so you can see if you have any mutual connections. The app also keeps track of how many people you’ve invited to meet, how many people are available in your location, and any people you have muted, which we’re assuming is a way to block people. GetReal isn’t limited to screening potential dates; the main goal is just to help people meet in person. Whether you’re networking, in a new city, want to meet people in your neighborhood or while traveling, want to expand your circle of friends, etc., GetReal wants to help users meet up in person. A group of 200 beta testers in San Francisco and New York tech industries found the app can be used for anything; they have been using the app for everything from recruiting to tech talks to growing their networks. The app creator, Arnaud Meunier thinks the recent inflation of apps and...

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Google’s Parlor Walls
Apr24

Google’s Parlor Walls

Have you grown tired of that pedestrian, 80-inch screen sitting atop your home entertainment center? I mean, come on; you can still see the wall behind it. The good news for you is that it looks like Google is prepared to add some spice to the world of home entertainment, with a patent for a product Quartz compared to technology in Back to the Future II. Personally, I prefer a comparison to Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, in which citizens are constantly transfixed and stupefied by gigantic television screens, but I suppose that’s not quite as fun. PSA: If you haven’t read Fahrenheit 451, you should. On Monday, Google filed a patent for walls that are also TVs. Well… pretty close, anyway. It definitely has the potential. Really, the patent is for “a method and apparatus for enabling themes using photo-active surface paint.” Explanation: What Google calls “photo-active paint” would work much like the digital ink in e-readers, changing the colors and images on a given surface to display, presumably, whatever the user desires. This would happen when a projection system hits the surface (in this case, a wall) with a new image. The emphasis of the patent seems to be on themes, like the desktop on your computer. Google suggests the image could change to correspond with holidays, seasons, city skylines and monuments (in case your view sucks), or just whatever the weather looks like – you know, so we can cut out the whole “going outside” wherever possible. “Ew, nature? Gross.” While the focus of the patent is on these themes, some of the language in the patent seems to indicate Google’s digital paint and projection system would be capable of displaying videos, too. So, if and when the technology reaches that point, it sounds like your walls can function as gigantic televisions. No need for the real world to encroach on your fantasy at all! Ditch that 80” HDTV, grab some photo-active paint, and prepare to binge watch your life away. Don’t get too excited about this dystopian vision of the future and quit your day job, though. When asked for a comment by Quartz, Google said: “Prospective announcements should not necessarily be inferred from our patents.” …Right. We have a healthy dose of skepticism in regards to that comment, but until an official announcement is made, please keep reading,...

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A Hykoo For You
Apr21

A Hykoo For You

“Twelve second story Showing your world in motion Do not call me bro” -Daiva Jarasius, AC writer Poetry wasn’t my strong suit in seventh grade and it still isn’t today so Always Current writer Daiva Jarasius wrote a haiku about Hykoo for today’s post. For those of you who aren’t familiar with haikus, this isn’t the most informational post but if you want to learn about Hykoo, read on. If you’ve ever wanted to make short videos from your phone, there’s another new app for that! Hykoo is an app that allows users to create 12 second videos on their phones through a combination of video clips and text with a variety of filters to complement the video. Now, with all the other video creating and sharing platforms out there today, why is something like Hykoo a novelty? We found a couple possible answers to that question. What sets Hykoo apart from the rest of the video creation mobile apps out there today, including Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, and more, is how the video is shot. Hykoo, pronounced like and influenced by the poetry style “haiku,” is very structured in it’s format. Similar to the poetry, there are three clips that are three seconds, three seconds, and six seconds long (though technically, it should be five, seven, five, or at least three, six, three, but we aren’t filing a complaint just yet). The video has to be shot in those segments; you can’t shoot all 12 seconds in one sitting because the idea behind Hykoo is you’re sharing a story, and stories often have more than one part. Each clip has some text on it to give the video context. Gary Krieg, one of the founders of the app, explained, “So much of the context of why someone is making and sharing a piece of content lives outside of the image itself, so our format allows that information to travel together.” Unlike Instagram, Vine and Snapchat videos, you can save drafts of these videos until they’re completed and ready to share. Hykoos are shareable on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and through email or text so the rest of the world can see your story. Hykoo is an independent startup created by Krieg, the former head of production for ad agency Wieden + Kennedy, Yoni Bloch, founder of interactive video service Interlude, and Jane Rosenthal, a co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival. The app will officially launch with this years Tribeca Film Festival. As of right now, Hykoo is only available on iOS devices, but the founders are planning to launch a version for Android devices as well. Other changes they’re looking...

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Hairware: The Everyday Bond Gadget
Apr16

Hairware: The Everyday Bond Gadget

Anyone who’s ever seen any of the James Bond movies knows that the man has the coolest gadgets, from the Aston Martin DB5 to the Rebreather all the way to the classic grapple gun. James Bond’s suaveness and skill make us want to be him – or at least have the gadgets he has. Well my friends, we are one step closer. Beauty Technology, a company that works to develop beauty technology, wearable computers, virtual worlds, and groupware, recently developed a gadget that is raising hairs in the technology world (pun intended). Designer Katia Vega has developed Hairware, an attachable hair clip that lets you communicate with and use your smartphone. I know right? Like, mind blown. So how does this work? The hair extension is woven with wires that “act as a remote touch sensor” to interact with the smartphone. A Bluetooth module and Arduino microcontroller allow the hair to communicate with the phone and tell it what to do. A built-in learning algorithm is then used to detect different touches and strokes, eventually learning to understand and recognize the user’s intentions. Besides Hairware being a super cool James Bond–esque gadget, it could be very beneficial to women everywhere. If they are in a dangerous situation and using a phone is impossible, notifying someone by inconspicuously touching their hair can help save them – for example, by sending a text or turning on a voice recorder. Vega wrote on her website that, “normally, while someone touches her own hair, unconsciously she is bringing comfort to herself and at the same time is emitting a non-verbal message…we add new functionalities to hair extensions, turning them into a seamless device that recognizes auto-contact behaviors concealed to outside observers.” Women aren’t the only ones Beauty Technology is looking out for. Their next step is to use the technology to turn beards into smartphone communicators as well. This is a huge innovation that could definitely make a big impact on the world. Now we just have to sit back and wait until we can get our own Hairware so that we can walk around saying, “The name’s Bond. James...

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