I suppose that’s not a terribly original title. I’m sure a Google search will yield a dozen articles with this title. Oh well whatever. It still means something to me. Starting in 2012 and beyond, my mantra is to create and own content.
I started this year with this mantra in mind. I started a series of interactive math digital books and apps with the belief that this would be a rich area for content. The theory is good, the execution was not as good. Still, I am proud to have completed that project and learned something from that effort and failure.
Today, I continue to push forward in other content areas. As a lifelong programmer, my specific area of content is software. As technology evolves towards mobile devices, my content focus as a software developer should naturally be mobile apps. Of course, the skills to create apps is far distant from having good ideas for mobile apps. The best compromise is to stay focused on apps that are content-driven, which is perfectly acceptable to me. I intend to stay close to the digital publishing sector and any digital publishing tools that I create in this area will have educational and/or technological value to me.
Earlier this afternoon, I re-read an article that I have always found fascinating. It is the story of Byron Reese of Demand Media, who has made a career out of creating content based on audience interests.
In my current side project, I am working on a content production engine that delivers topical content to mobile devices. By “topical content”, I mean content within a specific interest area; content that has an audience. Perhaps it’s the equivalent of Flipboard for X, where X is something that people are interested in. The content can be a mix of curated news and videos, as well as reference guides. A good example would be content focused on a specific video game where the audience is very passionate about the content and wants a custom experience with social integration.
That’s where things stand right now. I plan to post more on this blog mainly for my own mental benefit. To get focused and stay sharp…
Last week, I found myself on one of the Nokia websites and heard about a contest they were sponsoring. It’s called the Ideas Project .
Yes, OMG. The SXSW conference. Even if you could find a flight, it’s unlikely you would find a hotel room close to the event. And suddenly, I wanted to go real bad. Especially if the flight and hotel were covered. So I spent some time thinking about some winning ideas for mobile apps. I came up with two and here they are:
CLASS READS –
The ClassReads app finds and displays classroom materials that would ordinarily be printed and distributed on paper. Class members can also suggest additional reading material by submitting them to the instructor or teaching assistant. If approved, the shared content would be published to students in the class direct to their ClassReads app. Of course, students can also access the shared content through the ClassReads website or receive content via e-mail if they wish. Alternately, I imagine the website could also be something as simple as Google Groups which has a built-in tools for managing membership and discussions.
With ClassReads, learning becomes a collaborative and social experience. It also allows knowledge and discussion to extend beyond the walls of the classroom and deliver helpful and timely content to students in real-time.
SHARE BANK –
The Share Bank app is like a mobile karma bank that facilitates sharing with those in need. Many of the essential things that the homeless and poor need on a daily basis (i.e., food, shelter, supplies) are often available, yet they have no way of knowing when and where. The critical piece here is to provide them with basic cell phones with prepaid phone plans so they can request help or receive broadcast messages with details on what is available and where. Simply having a phone can dramatically improve the lives of the impoverished and homeless, and I believe that mobile carriers and phone manufacturers have a surplus of phones that they can donate.
The Share Bank app would allow anyone to easily share food and other supplies by posting the information through the app. The Share Bank app also provides a way for donors to contribute money for prepaid minutes to help those who need them. Those who contribute regularly can also earn a karma balance, which is a nice way of recognizing them for their contributions.