We’re taking a break from our usual public relations and social media talk to look at one of my other passions in the world- Technology! In this case, it’s the ever-growing tablet market, and if it’s ready for prime time, at least for what I need in a business computing device. It started a couple of months back, when my laptop started going out and starting my work here more and more I needed something more reliable.
Telling the Future, Back in “The Day”
Just stumbled across this on YouTube. It was one of my favorite ad campaigns back in the mid-90s. It’s from AT&T and it looks at what “You Will” be able to do for business, pleasure and the merging of the two in the future. It appealed to the cyberpunk in me, looking at how business was expected to change. And most of it has come true, but not quite in the way shown in the commercials. (It WAS the 90’s after all) I particularly like the idea of consulting from the beach…
Final Cut Pro X – Is This Finally Adobe’s Moment?
Recently, and to much early acclaim, Apple released the newest edition of their professional video editing market standard Final Cut Pro editing suite, Final Cut Pro X. A long needed update to the Final Cut product line, it was eagerly anticipated by video editors for what it might provide for the next generation of projects.
What editors got was, apparently, a steroid-ramped version of iMovie. Don’t get me wrong, iMovie is a nice little video program, and well worth the money you don’t have to spend to get it (when you get a Mac). To state that video geeks were upset is putting it mildly, with so many people complaining about the new product, and doing something really out of character for rabid Mac fans, rating the product one star on the Apple App Store. (a large number of ratings for this product are currently one star). And no less a video blogging master, and Apple fan, than Robert Scoble has come out stating that heads need to roll for leaving out basics from Final Cut Pro X, such as removing the ability for multi-camera projects. (and the discussion on his blog has been lively, to say the least)
(As I’ve pointed out in the past, there are programs on the PC end that do what iMovie does – some take a little more work to get there, but you have a better editing experience (aka – they are a couple of steps above grandmaware). Primarily Sony’s Vegas Studio suite, and maybe Avid. But Vegas is only available on the Windows platform)
So where does Adobe fit into this?
Adobe’s Premiere Pro CS 5.5 is fairly comparable to Final Cut Pro, and has the added benefit of working on Mac and PC systems. As part of Adobe’s Production Premium Creative Suite, it comes bundled with After Effects, Adobe’s visual effects graphics program, Photoshop, a newly-revamped Adobe Audition audio editing software and many other programs.
Could Adobe fill in the gap now left open by Apple, who’s response to the Final Cut Pro X outcry has been, in typical Apple fashion, to state that
How dare you question the glowing Apple? You’ll take your Final Cut Pro X and like it, or you can stick with Final Cut Pro 7 for your old projects. For your questioning, you must purchase two Macbook Pros, an iPad and an Apple TV (for the hell of it). Now go forth and sin no more…
If Adobe’s smart, they’ll leap at the chance to point out how Premiere Pro will allow you to continue multi-camera projects and other details that Apple left out of Final Cut Pro X. Apple has left some wondering if they are willing to slow their support for the professional market, which they have done in the past, and if another company will step up to the plate and take advantage of this opening.
Switch This! Adobe looks for Final Cut’s Castaways
It turns out that Apple isn’t the only company who knows how to run a switcher campaign.
In the continuing aftermath of “Final-Gate,” Adobe is offering a 50% off deal for people looking to switch to their Premiere Pro CS 5.5 software or the entire Creative Suite 5.5 Production Premium package (with After Effects, Photoshop, Audition and other programs), hoping to land some of those Final Cut 7 users who are upset with the newly released version of Final Cut Pro X. Adobe keeps stating that their video editing products can work with Final Cut Pro files, and are showcasing Premiere users who have already switched from Final Cut. It’ll be interesting to see if Adobe reports an increase in Premiere Pro or Production Premium in six months time.
For those interested in getting that 50% deal, go to Adobe’s Website and enter the Promo Code “SWITCH” when you order your products.
Will the Smartphone Finally Replace the Flip camera?
(Update: Engadget is reporting that iPhone 4 will include Facebook Integration, and that includes direct video uploads to your Facebook account from your iPhone.)
This post started off as a Twitter conversation between me and my friend Ashley Gephart, the day that Apple announced their new iPhone 4. I had sent out a tweet asking what the impact of the iPhone would be on products like the Flip camera for PR types and non-profit communicators and she responded that most non-profits wouldn’t pay for something like this, and that a lot of non-profits still don’t get social media. While true, I think we were talking past each other, I was looking at how it would impact the Flip camera, while she was looking at the impact from non-profits, although I think more non-profits will get behind this when they hear about the benefits. (so point all of your non-profit peeps here for info and consulting 😉 )
The Flip camera has been the darling of many a PR person creating content for social media (especially if you read Ragan.com), and it’s a nice little basic video camera (which has, IMHO, been replaced by the Kodak Zi8 for better audio and the Sony Bloggie CM5’s superior optical zoom).
But with the introduction of the newest iPhone, Steve Jobs announced that the camera will be able to record 720p high definition video, in addition to taking pictures with the 5MP lens on the camera that you can upload to your company’s Web site, or Flickr account. In addition to this, the iPhone’s app store will finally carry an iPhone friendly version of iMovie – Apple’s grandma-ware version of video editing software.
Technology is Nice, but You Have To Walk the Walk
Tonight, political junkies like me kept tabs on the Coakley-Brown special election to replace the deceased Ted Kennedy as Massachusetts’ U.S. Senator. Attorney General Martha Coakley – as the Democratic candidate who had the backing of the DNC, White House, Kennedy family, your old crazy uncle, my dog, etc – was expected to be the runaway victor, as the Democratic candidate running for the seat of one of the Democrats most honored members. So she didn’t really campaign after the primary election, instead she was content to go on vacation and relax, waiting for her due reward.
Her opponent, Republican Scott Brown, on the other hand treated this campaign like any other race. Getting online with greater urgency than his opponent was a definite benefit (see “Obama, Barack” for another example of great technology use in politics) but another thing Brown did was act like an old-fashioned candidate. Holding events, meeting people, walking from house to house (in the snow, with no shoes, uphill both ways…), and introducing himself to his potential constituents. In other words, he engaged in community relations to an extent that Coakley didn’t even attempt. (there are other elements as well, this is just a quick take)
Her expectations of a coronation blinded her and her team to a surging Brown campaign that ran a good show. Why mention this now, when pundits all over the country (with more skin in the game – no pun to Mr. Brown’s … “special pictorial” mentioned in the campaign) are talking about this far more in depth than I?
Because there is an important lesson here for businesses CEOs and organizational leaders.
All of the technology in the world sometimes can’t make up for a lack of wanting to get involved with people on a personal level. It’s about community relations and personal interaction. “Boots on the ground,” and listening to people’s concerns over a cup of coffee before you act, whether in politics or business, can never be understated.
Remember, people want to be able to look you in the eye, or ask you a question and feel they are being heard and their problems taken to heart. There are a lot of strengths from social media communications that you can benefit from as well – open discussion, ability to take criticism well, being up front and honest with your stakeholders, promises to do the best that you can and try to live up to them.
But really, aren’t these virtues that you should have anyway? “Mad social media skills” or no “mad social media skills?”