02 June

Experimental ideas – The Future of Film industry

As featured on connector360, our little sister website, we will now bring you a collection of innovations from film industry.

1. What about keeping your smartphone switched on at cinema? That is the challenge of Cinime that developed an interactive app to “use your little screen to get more from the big screen”. Read More

2. Civil drone and helicopter use in cinema is offering new ways to shoot action and provide a significant change in film visuals. Here is an amazing example of what can be done:

3. Have you always dreamt of living in a movie? Thanks to virtual reality in cinema the gap between real and movie world will become so close that you will feel like being part of the film. Read more

4. This behind the scene video reveals the secrets of 7 Oscars winner film Gravity and the remarkable technological innovation created to shoot the movie.

5. A new concept inspired by the trend of Slow Food just shows up on TV and proposes a different and fun way to watch TV.

For more stories like this, follow us on Twitter @connector360

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26 May

Experimental ideas – The future of Retail

As featured on connector360, our little sister website, we will now bring you a collection of innovative ideas from retail industry.

To receive our full list of retail case studies, please email team@socialmedia.ie

1.  Avenue Imperial created a digital retail experience which makes you feel like you are shopping in a store while you are browsing on your computer.

2. Technology helps to improve customer service in many ways – the interaction between iBeacon and Google Glass could be the future of retail and may change customer shopping experience forever.

3. Thanks to this Pizza Hut digital table you will be able to create your personal pizza like a real chef!  You will never be bored while waiting for your meal again.

4. Are you confused when buying clothes as there is so much choice? C&A helps solve this problem with its Facebook “Likes” campaign.

For more stories like this, please follow us on Twitter @socialmedia_ie

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01 April

Crowdfunding: Peer to Peer lending continues to take business off banks

Have you ever thought about starting your own business? In the current economic climate, it may be difficult to find funding via traditional ways (such as bank loans). Even angel investors are an highly solicited, sometimes leaving aside a lot of people with brilliant ideas and ultimately missing some great opportunities.

However another solution could offer you a new way to finance your project, whatever it may be. That solution is called crowdfunding. Crowdfunding isn’t a new idea, as the practice has been used since the 18th century. However with the emergence and growth of the Internet, its field of applicants and supporters has broadened greatly.

The goal is for entrepreneurs to ask the public to financially contribute to their projects in exchange for a reward or out of sheer generosity. Why limit yourself to one business angel when you can have hundreds?

Today, Kickstarter is one of the biggest crowdfunding websites on the web. Since its creation in 2009, it has contributed to the successful funding of almost 55,000 projects, with a total of over a billion dollars being contributed. 5.5 million people helped those projects getting funded with nearly 14 million pledges.

One of the biggest success stories thus far is the Pebble smartwatch. The project was so successful it raised 100 times its initial goal by the end of the funding period. Eoin from the connector360 team even has one!

Ireland also has its own crowdfunding websites. Fund It has enabled projects to raise more than two million euro from the ‘power of the crowd’. Fund It works similarly to Kickstarter, allowing entrepreneurs to assign different rewards to different pledge levels. However, Linked Finance - another Irish crowdfunding website – allows the crowd to propose loans at a fixed interest rate. If the loans are accepted by the entrepreneurs, funders will get back the amount loaned, plus interest, usually starting one month after the funding.

All these success stories might make it seem like crowdfunding is the obvious solution to all funding problems, but this is not always the case. A rewarding campaign is hard work, comparable to a marathon that can last from 30 to 60 days. No matter how amazing your idea, artwork or music may be, nobody is sitting around flipping through platforms, waiting to donate to you. It is up to you to create a hook that entices your contributors to make them believe in your vision. It is up to you to use the power of social media wisely and strategically.

Do you want to try crowdfunding for your next project? Here are connector360’s top 5 tips for making your crowdfunding campaign a fantastic success, and not a fallacious flop.

1. Choose your platforms wisely

As stated above, driving your campaign is a grueling process and you don’t want to spread yourself too thin. It may not be necessary to push your message on every online platform. To have any form of success, it is likely you will need to be active on Facebook and Twitter, where there is the largest volume of audience. After that it all depends on where your audience is. For example, if your project has strong audio/visual impact well then YouTube or Vimeo may enable you to reach your greatest audience.

2. Blog

Starting a blog will be useful no matter what your project may be. It offers you a platform to drive traffic to your site should the donor want more detailed information. It will also allow you to keep them informed on your progress once the campaign is over.

3. Be realistic

Do not overestimate what you can achieve. Aim to under promise and over deliver. Project director of Fund It, Andrew Hetherington, has stated that campaigns of less than €10,000 have the greatest success rate. If it is a project that requires a larger amount, break up the campaign into more digestible chunks. For example if you were making a film, crowd source for production and marketing/distribution at separate intervals.

4. Crowdfunding starts well in advance of campaign launch

If you are not already active on social media, it is important to build your audience BEFORE you start a campaign. It is simply too overwhelming to do both at once. Don’t focus on your campaign or content ‘going viral’. Instead, focus on making it as vibrant, consistent and relevant to your audience as possible.

5. Say ‘Thank You’

Do not take the money and run! Once you have achieved your goals – and even if not – be sure to follow through on any rewards you promised in return for donations, and be grateful to those who helped make your ideas reality. You can, for example, send personal rewards with perhaps a handwritten card or message. It is also important to keep funders up to date with your progress with continued updates to social media/blog etc. Even if things are delayed or not going to plan, it is important to let the crowd know. The last thing you want is for them to feel like they have been fooled!

While crowdfunding may not be a walk in the park, a successful result will not only give you financial support, but will also give you a strong social base that will encourage you and show that others believe in you and your project! Most people on completion of this journey will recall it as a positive and fulfilling experience. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to bring your best ideas to life!

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29 March

3d printing – a creative dreamland or a counterfeiting nightmare?

The 2010s have seen the spread of a revolutionary concept: 3D printing. However the idea itself is not so new, as the invention of 3D printing dates back to the 1980s, but has only become available to the general public over the last few years ago.

3D printing (also known as additive manufacturing) is based on a really simple idea. Once you are in possession of 3D blueprints of an object, you can use a 3D printer in order to build said object. You can even design an object’s blueprints yourself with the help of CAD software. The printer will then break up the digital file into layers of data, which will be printed on top of one another until the final object is formed.

The field of applications is endless. 3D printers can use a wide range of materials, and 3D printer owners and designers are continuously finding more creative and useful ways to exploit the true potential of this tool.

A few months ago Mark Ebeling, founder of Californian non-profit organization Not Impossible Labs, came up with a life-changing idea after hearing about the story of a Sudanese boy who had lost his arms in a bombing. Ebeling was so moved by the story – which is sadly only one among so many others – that he decided to bring 3D printing equipment to Sudan and print inexpensive prosthetic limbs for people who were left handicapped by the war, starting with the boy. Even though the limbs were cheap and only restored a small amount of motor functions for the patients, it changed the lives of those deeply wounded by the war and finally gave them a chance to lead a more normal life.

However, while 3D printing brings a lot of wonderful ideas to life, it also comes with a few drawbacks. 3D models are easily accessible via the Internet and an increase in counterfeit goods could quickly become a big problem. Potentially nothing could prevent someone from setting up a large-scale counterfeit production unit equipped with 3D printers, and the proliferation of such goods could lead to a dramatic fall in the market success of the genuine original items. Even with the best intentions in mind, the use of such tools may negatively impact the lives of those in the manufacturing industry and create financial difficulties for the industry as a whole.

3D printing has its advantages and drawbacks, but that can be said about almost anything. One of the most interesting emerging ideas within this sector is bioprinting. What if we were able to print replacement organs for those who urgently needed them? That’s what some companies are starting to think about, and if successful, could lead to a bigger revolution than 3D printing itself.

What do you think about 3D printing? Please let us know by commenting or getting in touch with us.

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26 March

connector360 invites you to join the 25th Connector Meetup

Connector brings the Facebook generation ‘Face to Face’ at social networking social events. Join up to 100 of your peers on 16th April for our 25th Connector Meetup over the last 5 years.

Since 2008, we have organised 25 events with industry leading guest speakers from organisations including Facebook, Today FM, Daft, Microsoft, Boards.ie, Electric Picnic, Muzu.tv, Bebo & many more!

Come along and meet other passionate people from across the digital world and connect with them both online & offline! We promise a mix of business, technology and culture from around the world. Connector is inviting you to rub shoulders with some of the movers and shakers from the digital world.

There will also be a few surprises thrown into our little cultural melting pot!

You can join the event on Facebook for further updates.

We look forward to seeing you on 16th April 8-)

 

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