Talking Mobile Social Media with Chris Voss

Chris Voss, Social Media Expert

When Chris Voss speaks about social media, mobile technology and its relationship to both the corporate and consumer worlds, many people take note. Chris Voss is ranked #18 in Fortune magazine’s list of the most influential social media experts in the United States. The Chris Voss Blog and The Chris Voss Show (http://thechrisvossshow.com) are considered indispensable resources in the corporate world, and his insights are looked upon by product and service developers the world over.

Legacy Series Magazine spoke with Chris on October 29 about a number of social networking, social media and mobile technology issues. Here is a portion of that conversation. The rest will follow when Legacy Series Magazine’s print and online editions are released in December.

Q: First of all, Chris, we’ve seen wholesale changes in technology, publishing, communications and other industries thanks to he relationship between consumers and social media/networking. Why do you feel social media/networking not only took off the way it has, but also changed the playing field in customer relations so quickly and dramatically?
A: Part of it is driven by mobile and smartphones.  Part of it may have been the recession and people seeking more ways to network and integrate for business.

The large part of it is now this “demand society.”  Call it gen x, gen y  or whatever, people want stuff now and don’t want to wait for it.  They are more vocal and speak their minds.  Social Media is an incredible way to amplify your voice.

Q: How is the prevalence of smart phones and tablets further expanding the reach and influence of social media?
A: Incredibly huge and growing fast.  In 2010, it was predicted mobile would grow by 400% by 2015.  The mobile revolution of smartphones and tablets make it so more people can use social media more often.

Q: What major changes have businesses made to their budgets, hiring procedures and marketing strategies to accommodate social media requirements?
A: Some companies have massively adopted social media and now expend huge budgets for it in the Fortune 500 arena.  Many employers are still trying to understand it and how it translates to the bottom line.  The medium is still new and slowly being adopted.  But they are all slowly changing and adapting.

Q: What (if anything) surprised you about how quickly customers and businesses became so interconnected?
A: I think it’s been wanting to happen for a long time.  As a business owner, I’ve always dreamed of something like this.  There just wasn’t a vehicle created for it yet. Consumers want more input to what they buy, and business wants the input to better target their business to consumers.

Q: Where do you see the business — and personal — relationship with social media going in the next 3 to 5 years? Do you feel it will be more and more device-driven and less focused on desktop or laptop computers?
A: Mobile will be everything.  Demand will be everything.  All media, cable, news, music, TV, everything will be forced to submit to mobile demand.  People will want everything accessible by their mobile devices.  There will be HUGE disruption in these industries and serious revolutions of economy.  It will also happen in other sectors as they become more technologically driven.  As mobile devices get smarter, the apps and phones will know everything about us and help anticipate our wants and needs.

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INTERVIEW: A Few Words from the “i” Behind Apple Branding, Ken Segall

Ken Segall

Here are a few excerpts from our exclusive interview with Ken Segall, author of the bestselling book Insanely Simple and formerly part of Apple’s famous advertising and branding juggernaut. Before setting off for his successful writing and blogging career, Ken was the man who originated the “i” branding in Apple’s product names, beginning with the iMac computers in 1999. Today, the lower-case “i” is as ubiquitous to daily life as cereal.

Ken’s comments on Apple’s success, the late Steve Jobs and branding are fresh and insightful, as is his blog, “Ken Segall’s Observatory,” which many in the industry follow. You can read the full interview in Legacy Series Magazine, which will be on newsstands in November.

Q: First of all, Ken, why do you feel that Apple’s streamlined, simplified approach to product development made such a big splash at a time when the rest of the marketplace seemed more specialized and complex than ever?

A: You’ve actually answered part of the question already. The world is a very complicated place, so it’s only natural that simplicity stands out as it does. Apple puts major effort into distilling its products to the essence, so in most cases they have an intuitive nature — even though they are performing some very sophisticated functions. This same drive to achieve simplicity is present throughout all of Apple’s behaviors, including its advertising and retail operations. It’s in human nature to prefer a simpler approach, and Apple is mindful of this in everything it does.

Q: Could you review the 10 elements of simplicity that Steve Jobs espoused — and how what might seem obvious now was anything but when he first integrated them into Apple’s operations?

A: One of the interesting things about simplicity is that it seems so natural that you don’t always notice it. The point of my book, Insanely Simple, is that Steve had a way of looking at a wide range of things through this lens of simplicity. He’d make product design decisions this way, as well as advertising decisions, financial decisions, manufacturing decisions, and so on. There came a point when I realized that I was witnessing a pattern of sorts, that Steve was relentless about adhering to this notion of simplicity, and it guided his judgment in so many different ways. I felt it even more when I found myself working with companies that did not have a champion of simplicity like Steve. In those places, processes were far more complicated, projects took longer and cost significantly more — while achieving inferior results.

Q: You started the “i” naming series for Apple products. What did you have in mind when coming up with this naming concept? Did you ever imagine the branding goliath it would become?

A: Naming iMac was just another job on the table at the time. I thought it was a neat opportunity, but never in my wildest dreams did I think it would turn into what it did. Steve just wanted a cool name for the computer he was betting the company on. We did note that the “i” was a foundational element and could be used in future products. After iMac came iBook, iPhoto, iMovie, etc. Keep in mind that in those days, Apple didn’t make any consumer devices, it just made computers. So it was way outside the scope of our thinking to believe that the “i” would become such a critical part of Apple’s product naming framework.

Q: What were some of your most enjoyable experiences while putting together and writing Insanely Simple? What do you hear most from readers when you make appearances or give talks about the book?

A: To get all the material for the book together, I poured through tons of documents. though it wasn’t all that long ago, you know the way it works — you come upon things that you had completely forgotten about, and they bring back some terrific memories. (Maybe a few painful ones as well.) Those memories spurred me to get in touch with various people to help fill in the gaps. So what I thought would be a relatively straightforward exercise in solitary writing became a journey of rediscovery.

When I talk to various groups, I’m always struck by the degree to which people are interested in the story of Apple and Steve Jobs. What a lot of people don’t realize is that Apple is fascinating to people in virtually every industry — because so many people own Apple products, and have followed Steve’s story over the years. So even though I may be speaking to organizations in industries that have absolutely nothing to do with technology, people are always eager to find out more about how Apple works, and how they might be able to adopt some of Apple’s principles in their own organizations. And of course there are always people in the audience who just want to know: “What was it like to work with Steve?” It reminds me of how fortunate I am to actually know the answer to that question. Steve truly is a historic figure.

A Celebration of Technology, Innovation & Visionary Leadership

Many of the most dynamic and innovative business leaders in America are sharing their thoughts about the late Steve Jobs, as well as their insights on technology, innovation and visionary leadership in The Legacy Series: Celebrating Innovations and Technology. We will be available on newsstands nationwide November 10, combined with online, tablet and mobile versions.

More than 25 business leaders are being interviewed, among them CEO Space International founder Berny Dohrmann, who has created the largest member-based business exchange and entrepreneurial training network in the world, with a focus on training, education, innovation and development of stronger business tools. Dohrmann’s emphasis on cooperative capitalism and its role in future business exemplifies the editorial approach of The Legacy Series: Celebrating Innovations and Technology.

“I believe the next 25 years will be defined by two criteria,” Dohrmann said. First, we’re in an Age of Association. If you change your associations and upgrade them, you will become more affluent and more connected with the larger potential of your business and industry. This is where cooperative capitalism, collaboration and networking come in.

“Second, we’re in an Age of Superchange and Supercrisis. Both are coming faster than at any other time in history. Your business has to be flexible and adaptable. You need to constantly be in solution mode when these crises come up. If you use the old model, you’ll be the one whose ostrich feathers are being blown off your butt while your head is in the sand,” Dohrmann concluded.

The interviews cover all sectors of technology, communications, open innovation and other pressing issues in redefining the marketplace. They weave in and out of a full slate of more than 15 feature stories ranging from America’s top women in technology to new approaches in education and product design. Several interviewees also openly salute the vision and approach of Steve Jobs, whose emphasis on streamlined design and customer satisfaction made Apple the world’s most cash-rich company

“Steve was unrelentingly pursuing beauty, elegance and the wow factor, while constantly rejecting mediocrity, too fast acceptance of limitations and adapting to other’s second-rate technologies,” said Dr. Gustavo Rabin, CEO of The Skyline Group and author of Becoming A Great Leader. Rabin, also featured in The Legacy Series: Celebrating Innovations and Technology, served as an executive consultant to Apple during Jobs’ reign as CEO.

The Legacy Series: Celebrating Innovations and Technology marketing partners, advertisers and readers also hear from those creating new possibilities with the latest technology. Among them are Craig Perkins of the Genshi Media Group, who won the 2012 iPhone Film Fest with his short subject, The Haunting at Danford Cabin — filmed entirely with the iPhone 4S. In his interview, Perkins uses filmmaking to discuss the change in the way people can view creative and business possibilities with new technology.

“Many people, myself included initially, would have said that the iPhone can’t be used for serious filmmaking; it’s just for shooting family parties for YouTube,” Perkins said. “Yet, here I am with my third iPhone film screening at several film festivals (including traditional “film” festivals!). So it really does put filmmaking into the hands of anyone that wants to film digitally.

“So the fact that I can even make these movies and then immediately have people viewing and commenting on them and being able to know what I did wrong or what I could do differently is leaps and bounds ahead of the technology that previous generations of indie filmmakers had,” he added.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: iPhone Film Fest Grand Prize Winner Craig Anthony Perkins

Interview by Robert Yehling, Editor
Legacy Series Magazine

What do you do when you ply your trade in music and film for 20+ years, then suddenly, you’re an “overnight” sensation? That’s what Craig Perkins, founder/director of the Genshi Media Group ponders daily. Within the space of four months, Craig became the talk of the digital filmmaking community – for his films shot entirely on the iPhone 4S.

In January, Craig was a featured presenter at the 2012 MacWorld/iWorld Convention for his short film, Isobel and the Witch Queen. In May, he won the iPhone Film Festival Grand Prize for The Haunting at Danford Cabin. Both films featured tight shooting, good direction, excellent scripting and acting, and the winning combination that directors from Samuel Goldwyn to George Lucas used to make themselves: stretching the most out of available new technology with very limited resources.

Legacy Series Magazine contacted Craig to discuss both the creative and technical aspects of his winning films, as well as other aspects of the craft. In an aspect of independent filmmaking as revolutionary as The Blair Witch Project in the late 1990s, one that is quickly gaining technical and financial footing, his candid responses offer compelling insight into the future.

We present a portion of our interview here. We will present the full interview In Legacy Series Magazine, which will be available on newsstands nationwide in November.

Legacy Series Magazine (LSM): First of all, Craig, congratulations on winning the iPhone Film Festival award. While certainly, you go into competitions hoping to win, what do you think it was about your work that appealed to the judges?


The Haunting at Danford Cabin from Craig Anthony Perkins on Vimeo.
Winner of Best Animation and Grand Prize Winner for Best Overall Film at the 2012 iPhone Film Festival.
© 2012 Genshi Media Group

Craig Perkins (CP): Thank you! Well, I think the judges may have recognized the work that went into this film; from the sets that we did, the puppet and costume creations, to the fact that this was all done in stop-motion (on the iPhone no less!) and the original score and sound design… it was truly an indie production!

LSM: You screened two different movies at the iPhone events in 2012 – one in January for the panel discussion at MacWorld/iWorld, and again for the final judging in May. In both cases, you scripted and presented a full movie, with good production and direction value, as well as good storylines. What differences do you find in writing and blocking shots in the iPhone format from ordinary filmmaking?

CP:  Well, I start off trying to think of it as a regular film, at least when it comes to the story, then the casting, costumes and location. But when it comes to lighting everything, then I have to say “Oh yeah, I’m shooting this on the iPhone” and then I have to re-structure how I’m going to shoot certain things (due to the iPhone not liking low light situations.) At the same time, it also inspires new ideas because I can get the iPhone into situations you normally can’t with a regular camera. This was especially true with “The Haunting” as the small size of the iPhone allowed me to get into the miniature cabin set, and down low at ground level in the exterior scenes, making the viewer feel like it was a real life- size setting.

LSM: What are some of the aspects of shooting and producing in the iPhone medium that intrigue you most as a filmmaker?

CP: The immediacy of the format. If I get an idea, I can [usually] shoot it right away without a crew. It’s just a great way to try out ideas. Also, you can dream up new shots, such as, “can I get a camera in-between the walls here?” Well you can with the iPhone! Also, the ability to upload and have people view what I’ve done instantly is a huge plus.

LSM: Without divulging specific trade secrets, could you list out the combination of hardware, software and iPhone-specific devices and attachments you used to build each movie?

CP: For Isobel and the Witch Queen, I got an iPhone 4S and I had won a Steadicam Smoothee from the iPhone Film Festival for my first film (Remembrance). Also, my partner and producer, Debora Jo Myers, and I built our own dolly tracks for use with the Pico Dolly. In both cases of these two films, I used the Filmic Pro app.

For The Haunting at Danford Cabin, it was mostly the olloclip wide- angel lens attachment for the iPhone 4S, with the iPhone mounted on the Slik tripod, with a couple of scenes using the Pico Dolly (but shooting one frame at a time.) The app we used for that movie was the iMotion HD app, occasionally triggered by the iPad 2 using the iMotion Remote app. We had to shoot 24 still shots for every one second of footage you see onscreen, so overall about 4,000 still shots were used for the movie.

LSM: Where are we at in terms of technology development for filmmakers who see a viable future with iPhone formats? How do you foresee this development progressing in the next two to three years?

CP: That’s a tough question. Many people, myself included initially, would have said that the iPhone can’t be used for serious filmmaking; it’s just for shooting family parties for YouTube, and yet, here I am with my third iPhone film screening at several film festivals (including traditional “film” festivals)! So it really does put filmmaking into the hands of anyone that wants to tell a story but can’t afford traditional movie cameras. Particularly the iPhone 4S with it’s ability to now shoot 1080p was a nice upgrade because you can really get a nice look from your footage with the right post processing. In the next two to three years, Apple will need to work on the camera chip to give us higher bit rates, smoother frame rates and hopefully the ability to shoot 60fps. Still, as much as the iPhone has allowed me to make these films with no budget, I still wish I can have professional removable lenses with rack focusing (though you can do this with the Owle Bubo and a 35mm attachment, the quality/results are not the same.)

LSM; How did you celebrate your iPhone Film Festival Grand Prize win?

CP: Unfortunately, I didn’t. I’ve been too busy working on the next three projects!

See Isobel & The Witch Queen:


Isobel & The Witch Queen from Craig Anthony Perkins on Vimeo.
World premiered exclusively at the event as part of the iPhone Film Festival discussion panel.
© 2012 Genshi Media Group

The Road to Robust Business Innovation

In the past five years, we’ve heard, seen, read and experienced plenty of difficult news concerning business and economy. However, as the saying goes, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” Out of the rubble of the Great Recession has come tremendous focus on innovation and invention. Both will be featured and discussed at the INPEX convention outside Pittsburgh, which we’re attending to showcase The Legacy Series: Innovations and Technology.

“When you look at it, the amount of innovation in business the past 10 to 15 years has been astonishing,” says  The Legacy Series publisher Charles Warner. “Take one of Steve Jobs’ creations for example — the app. Who would’ve thought when he came up with the idea of a mobile app that apps would fuel billion-dollar companies?”

Creative minds throughout the business world are running on overtime to create solutions and enticing products to energize the economy. Innovation has been the subject of recent books, including Gary Shapiro’s Comeback: How Innovation will Restore the American Dream. It also is finding its way into the public at large, through direct advertising campaigns like Fujifilm’s “expect INNOVATION,” and Dodge’s newest slogan, “Get Into Innovation.”

“Innovation is one of the things America can hang its hat on and feel good about,” Warner says. “Our eyes are squarely on the ball when it comes to innovation, and what you see happening are new markets and niches opening up from new ideas and products.”

Innovation will be a major theme of The Legacy Series: Innovations and Technology, which publishes in Fall 2012. Leading business, technology and feature writers, along with visionary business executives, will spotlight the latest innovations in manufacturing, software, education, green business, computer technology, and industries that have reinvented themselves in the past ten years; the automotive, Internet-based and book publishing industries are three examples. Accompanying the case studies and in-depth articles will be specific pieces on how these innovations and inventions are transforming the economy into the viable, sustainable and abundant marketplace of the future.

“That’s why we’re coming to INPEX,” Warner says. “Let’s go to this show, get to know many of the top inventors working in and for the marketplace, and see what types of innovations are taking place among industry leaders.”

Welcome to our iWorld!

Welcome to our official blog for The Legacy Series: Innovations & Technology. During the course of this year, and beyond, we will be sharing news, perspectives, insights and reports from the field concerning the technologies, industries and people that are shaping the future world in a way that reflects the vision and innovation of Apple’s co-founder, Steve Jobs.

We’ll start off with a three-part series of blogs on the changes Apple is influencing in the education process, written by high school teacher and soon-to-be high school principal Kamran Tristan Matlock. Kamran, an exceptional young educator (and long-time Mac user) has seen the best and worst, as a public high school teacher in affluent, urban and impoverished districts.  Now, he prepares to launch into a senior teaching position and administration of a private high school that espouses whole-person development, individualized learning, inner character building, and the bringing together of deep insight and useful knowledge — all part and parcel of Jobs’ vision.

iPad

The fact that Kamran’s approach comes from a system, Education for Life, that was started 40 years ago by J. Donald Walters and Michael “Nitai” Deranja, adds to both the depth and importance of this undertaking.  In his blogs, which will debut later in March, Kamran will spell out the points of breakdown in the current educational system, and ways in which education can move forward to again make America’s youth the best and brightest in the world — and the most perceptive.

The timing of these special reports on education couldn’t be better. In February, two pieces of news came out that, combined, offer a roadmap to one of Jobs’ visions that is quickly becoming part of Apple’s marketing plan: the company reached $500 billion in market capitalization, a feat matched by only six other companies in U.S. history. Second, it was announced in late February that Apple would eclipse the 100 million mark in total iPad sales. With Apple holding approximately $100 billion in cash, talk throughout the recent MacWorld/iWorld Expo focused on combining iPads with education, and the recent release of iBook Author making the development of interactive textbooks far easier, you can bet there will be a strong push for schools, colleges and universities to focus future learning programs on the iPad.

Enjoy our blogs, and comment on them when you can. If you’d like to submit a guest blog, we’d love to hear your take and voice! Email to bob@legacyseriesmagazine.com.