Takeaways: Digital Henley

RB-dH2

SQN’s Digital Marketing Executive Rob Horne (@rch_93) headed along to the second ever Digital Henley networking event and expert discussion – here are his “Takeaways” from the evening.

So what did I learn from last night’s Digital Henley: “Technology & Your Brain”, held at the Red Lion Hotel and hosted by our friends over at Redberry? Well, firstly that I need to create more blog content (not that I have needed any incentive to write this). An inspiration that stays with you is what you want after attending an event.

 

Incentivised Content

Chris Grant spoke about setting goals for blogging, comparing effectiveness of incentives in competition or money form. I was not surprised to find that competition was the key to productivity. We are very competitive, after all! Some of our clients fuel their whole engagement (not just blog posts) by competitions, so definitely an integral element when enticing your teams for content.

Personally, I would love a little cash bonus for writing blogs (hint hint!), but what I took from Chris’ talk was that competition increases output, and hopefully quality is a by-product of that! It doesn’t matter what the prize is – to win is everything, no matter what you get your hands on.

We can’t always win prizes for work we do but there is no better feeling than your content making waves for all the right reasons and the more we do this, the more we get noticed. Content is king – claim the throne and the spoils will come.

 

Happy Hippos in our Heads

This fascinating talk by Pete Trainor taught me that there is a hippo in my brain and that I should push myself in life and take the harder route even when it’s not appealing, to stimulate this hippo. If the hippo in my head is happy, so am I. Now, before you chalk me off as crazy, know that I am talking of the hippocampus – that being the ridged ventricles of the brain that influence our emotions.

Simply put, if I fail as a videographer and am for some reason presented with the career options of driving either a taxi or bus, I should go for the former due to the variety of his day in comparison to the bus driver’s pre-set route. This heightened potential for new and engaging situations is what tickles the hippocampus, making existence more rewarding.

Pete’s research into designing the best consumer paths through content led to his realisation that content should be created and consumed in a non-linear fashion, presenting a path to a goal of just the right difficulty, specifically sculpted to the right levels of challenge and reward. Consumers will feel smarter and subsequently happier, feelings that should be the focus of all content we put out.

We need to create content that stimulates end users, and is not necessarily so simple that they just go through the motions. The consistent development and remoulding of digital content is essential for people not to get bored. A website should be like the day of a taxi driver, with incremental deviations that are not big enough to shock but are small enough to incite intrigue.

 

Privacy on the Horizon

Mark Wing shared his view on privacy, mentioning the writing of Kryogenix Consulting’s Stuart Langridge in addressing the importance of privacy – namely the lack of it in the digital landscape and the readiness with which people give it up in bending to the will of the internet. He has a point – even if you champion privacy, you succumb to giving it up to fully access the online world.

It seems that nobody cares about privacy until someone takes advantage of it – then, it is the world’s most important issue. Our recent blog on vehicular automation touched on the Jeep Cherokee hacking conducted earlier this summer, which displays the potential dangers of lacking privacy in a world becoming ever more connected.

Langridge’s blog recognises that privacy is the next big thing, that the continued build-up of unsecured social networks and open spread of data will do so until its collapse. Then, Stuart promises, privacy will see resurgence. It was once of the utmost importance to internet users, but like so many things has seen a gradual decline. Soon the cycle will renew, trends turning as the world does, so make sure you keep your data secure.

 

VR Causing a Rift

As members of a digital community, we are all excited yet slightly scared by the potential of virtual reality (VR) and the possibilities it may offer. Google Glass may have all but failed, and Oculus Rift may be moving slower than expected or desired, but there is a buzz over the potential of Microsoft’s HoloLens.

Now, let’s not forget these are the same people who had us excited about Windows 10, but if the product does ever take off then the capabilities could start to become quite amazing. James Elderton led this talk, and he is certainly excited about it. I asked him about potential VR use in future theme park simulators, and the answer received was one of complication. I can’t see this being the next big thing until the process is made simple. Take it from me, having worked in the world’s largest theme park (based on annual attendance) – long wait times don’t keep anyone’s hippo happy, no matter how amazing the attraction.

 

We Are Not Alone

It is great to be reminded that Henley is full of other digital creatives, like those with whom I share an office. It can feel like there are not many of us in a town so traditional and quaint.

The talks were fascinating, some of which I had to try my hardest to follow (give a simple videographer a chance!). It’s always great to refresh SQN’s knowledge of the digital marketing scene, which moves at an incredible pace. I left feeling full of new information and contacts, and free Peroni – mmm!