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September 03, 2007

The establishing shot

In an age of omnipresent media, the age old skill of storytelling becomes the critical success factor; it's the motor of the present experience economy. In order for media to reach an audience, the stories they 'travel in' have to be good. And one place where an audience engages with a story is on a website; especially but not exclusively the homepage.

A story 'feels' good when you can immerse yourself in it, therefore a key element is creating a strong sense of place. The homepage should create a strong sense of place by showing an elaborate 'establishing shot', which goes well beyond creating a mere atmosphere through look&feel (and the regular 'window dressing' imagery).

The following picture already tells you a lot of things.

Establishing shot

It triggers resembling memories and therefore emotions – even though you don't know when and where it is – just by looking at it. If the appropriate introduction is made on the starting page, with the appropriate imagery, browsing a website will feel like following and being part of a story.

Posted by Almar at 05:14 PM | Comments (0)

September 01, 2007

Creating a respectable online identity

The fact that most of us now join and use social networks (e.g. Facebook), metaverses (e.g. SecondLife), and a realm of communication (e.g. Twitter) and sharing (e.g. Youtube and Flickr) tools means we are establishing an online identity; largely unintended. And how much this identity is congruent with our real identity is even another question.

Nevertheless you would want that identity to be respectable. To what degree and by whom is open for discussion, but it's at least handy to have an overview of your 'identifiers' and be aware of the current online values. An example of the first is the 'Universe of rapper 50cent', where it is also evident that creating an (online) identity can be a business in itself. One of his 'identifiers' is his avatar in a metaverse called Faketown:

50 Cent avatar

An example of the current online values is harder to find, but the existence of companies like 'Reputationdefender' and 'Defendmyname' that 'cleanup' your online reputation says enough (see also the privacy marketplace discussion I joined on Freedomlab).

Another way to visualize your online identity is creating a so-called 'Lifestream' (with tools like Tumblr), which aggregates all your online expressions. If it can be enhanced to include archives of e.g. your various backgrounds and icons over time on Twitter it could be like a continuous 'time vault'.

Posted by Almar at 04:52 PM | Comments (0)