My primary camera is my mobile phone. I create a ton of media and want a great, free solution for backup, sharing and nagivation. But I can't seem to find any one platform that can do it all for me.
Moving Into The Cloud I have relied on Picasa for manual photo and video storage for the past three years. Their auto-tagging features are a breeze, making navigation and discovery a pleasure. However, Picasa can get resource intensive, and in today's day and age, I'm looking for an automated cloud solution.
And here's the kicker that no platform offers - auto-tagging my kids faces. My kids are too young to be onFacebook or Google+. Apparently we only take pictures of adults, not our kids, right?
The Competitive Landscape
Facebook + automated backup + unlimited storage
- doesn't auto sort images. Navigating these photos can be tricky. - down-scales my images, lowering their quality
Google+ + automated backups + auto-sorts my images for me + unlimited photo uploads at a higher quality than Facebook + video backups can run up to 15 minutes at 1080p, which should cover me
- auto-tagging in Google+ is not linked to, or as robust as auto-tagging in Picasa - down-scales larger images. (full fidelity backup is available, but is limited to 15 gb) - my parents, in-laws and many of my friends are not on Google+, so sharing is a hassle
Box.net + 50 gb of free storage
- no auto-backup option - navigation is folder-based
Carbonite (free with desktop subscription) + automated backup all of the photos and videos
- no sharing or social capabilities - weak sorting, navigation and discovery capabilities
Flickr + 1 terabyte of free backup. That should be enough space to not worry about space. + automated uploads + basic image enhancement features
- no automated solutions for sorting or navigating photos - video backups are limited to 3 minutes. This will surely annoy me from time to time.
Conclusion No single solution meets my needs. First and foremost, no solution will recognize my kids faces. This isn't the hardest fix, and it is a very real annoyance.
For now, I will continue to automatically backup to Facebook, Google+, Carbonite and Flickr - just because it's free and why not? I will use Box.net or Dropbox to share to my parents and in-laws, though this to is a pain.
However, with a few tweaks Flickr, Facebook or Google+ could easily offer a truly robust solution. Google+ could offer a non-signed in photo experience with unique passwords to each invitee. However, given their unlimited storage I would really love to see Flickr up their automated game. I was a long time Flickr user, and with their new design and new leadership, I could see myself learning to love their platform once again.
The team at Eidos is really on to something here. Augmenting our reality, focusing our reality and enhancing our human experience rather than distracting from it. Art, science, health, culture, life... this is the future of computing.
A Ford is a great car and it's fine for the general public. But there is also a large, premium/luxury market for the discerning enthusiast and people of means. Where is our luxury phone market?
Firstly, there is a real market need. Every device on the market has it's trade-offs. The HTC One has the nicest feel in the hand and a stunning screen, but the camera and polish of the Android skin leave something to be desired. The iPhone and the Lumia have stunning cameras but each have their own tradeoffs. The Galaxy S4 has a nice camera, but a horrible plasticy feel in your hand. And virtually all phones sold today demand a case.
If you want the best phone on the market, not only will you need to compromise, but you will be just one of millions of other people sporting the exact same handset. The non-conformists, Apple and Samsung, have gone mainstream. And there is no better time than today than to start a hardware startup.
This limited run, premium handset would be sold at a serious premium - think double the cost on a carrier contract of $200-300 higher than the standard off-contract pricing. It would have the best specs on the market, stock Android, differentiated design and a stunning build quality. Not only would it look great, but it would be solid enough not to need a case. If Blackberry could figure out how to make a phone that didn't need a case in 2006, I think we can work in out in 2013.
Our innovative mobile world has gone mainstream. Someone, somewhere is going to think different. The market demands it.
By the third day after the Boston attacks, we all knew that the breaking news rumors in social media and on 24 hour networks were likely less than accurate. Yet, despite the inaccuracy of this information and with our skepticism meters running high, we found ourselves glued to Twitter and the 24 hour networks.
Here's the sad truth: in a time of crises, we thirst for information to quench our frenzied minds. We want this information so badly that we will lower our standards and tune in to real-time and social sourced quasi-journalism.
Is this good for the news industry? Does it hurt the network's credibility?
That really depends on what the goals of the individual media outlet. I believe we will see a spectrum of responses to our new real-time and social-sourced dynamic.
Real-Time Outlets in search of large audiences (and the cash that come with them) will lower their journalistic integrity and will report on many inaccurate rumors, feeding the information beast. During breaking news, the mainstream masses will likely tune in as long as there is a modicum of integrity behind this reporting. But I don't know that these audiences will come back for the post-action analysis. This will
Accuracy Oriented Outlets with sacrifice the "breaking news" ratings for higher journalistic standards. But when the dust settles, I truly believe that the masses will look to those with high integrity for the after-action reporting. While Accuracy Oriented Outlets will have the gravitas and integrity to guide us back to normalcy, they may struggle to gain the mass appeal they lost during the breaking news. That said, these outlets may be able to court a premium audience and premium revenues to match. At the end of the day, I don't believe too many media outlets will want to wait for the dust to settle before reporting. This space will likely be reserved for slower media, such as print media. Some savvy accuracy-oriented outlets however, will turn to hard evidence such as live-video feeds of breaking news to augment their stories.
Hybrid Outlets will seek to maintain a real-time presence without sacraficing much of their their journalistic integrity. This is where most mainstream media outlets will find themselves situated. Hybrid Outlets will take the gamble that most people will tune in for just the right mix of timely reporting and accuracy, and will stay tuned in for the post-action reporting as the outlet did not seriously damage their integrity. These outlets will make heavy use of social media, but with a level of healthy journalism-turned filtering. They will heavily feature and repost verified news such as live-video in the interest of keeping their audiences glued to their feeds.
I don't know which model will prove the most successful. But in an era with truly democratized digital reach, we cannot expect all media outlets to maintain high journalistic standards. The market demands a breaking news, low-to-mid fidelity solution. And someone is going to rise/lower themselves to the occasion.