Dear Microsoft, I fixed your social marketing campaign for you

Last week JJ & I stumbled across the Hamburg leg of the Kinect Tour – a Roadshow to promote the new Xbox motion control games system “Kinect” (formerly Project Natal). We impressed by the tech, but less impressed by Microsoft’s attempt to add social media to the experience.

It actually works


Firstly the bit you probably want to know: it’s a cool toy, and it works really well. We played a Mario Kart style cartoon racer, some weird activity adventure thing and JJ put her Poker Face on to dance to meat wearing mentalist Lady Ga Ga. The system responded well, the avatars mapped to what we were doing pretty instantly… it worked. However, I couldn’t help but feel that everything was a demo still, a proof of concept. The release games are still at the “what does thing do?” stage and nothing we saw or talked about seemed overly immersive. But it is a really, really cool toy.


But the marketing is broken 


The second bit, and the bit that really got to me was that Microsoft dropped the ball on the marketing. All that expense, travelling the world in a special trailer made up like someone’s living room, and right at the end they fluffed it. Here’s why:

I’ve been away. I have people to take my photos for me.


Thanks to AnaDubber and JJ, I didn’t have to lift a finger to document my week in Hamburg.

Here’s a week in other peoples’ pictures:

Hamburg, Ecrea 2010 – by Ana, and by Dubber and by Jennifer.

Thanks you guys for amping my shit and building my frand 😉 
I owe you all a pain au chocolate.

The laptop is the new suitcase


I’m sat with JJ waiting to fly home after a successful week’s conferencing. All week she’s been hunting for a sticker that sums up her trip. She just pointed out “laptops are the new suitcases” – the image of a suitcase covered in labels from far flung places has been replaced for a lot of travelling tech types by the laptop lid covered in stickers.

Incidentally, in a beautiful moment for postmodernism, we got authentic St Pauli stickers not on the street outside our hotel, but in an airport boutique. We’ve spent all week in a wonderful shabby chic district, only to find that the symbols and badges of ownership are available to the corporate traveller who hasn’t stepped outside of the Radisson Blue.

I resisted the offer of a Sankt Pauli FC baby grow for my son – yours for €15.00 – and have contented myself with nicking a spare sticker from JJ.

My paper to ECREA conference – further reading

The following are papers, chapters, and web pages I touch on today in my paper What’s the hash tag? Folksonomy, brand, and control: organising and owning conversations on Twitter at ECREA’s 2010 conference in Hamburg.

Continue reading My paper to ECREA conference — further reading