Wednesday, October 06, 2010

The Experiential Web

The time has come to look at the 'next big thing' and its a big thing for PR.

Way back in 1999, I noted in the first edition and expanded in the second edition of 'Online Punlic Relations' that PR practitioners needed to watch the evolution of platforms  for communication. Then it was the PC, the laptop, mobile phones and games machines.

Today one would add smart phones, dongles and memory sticks, television sets and the  ever expanding internet of things.

This we all know about and can see evolving before out eyes.

But emerging in the background are the internet based experiences that are comming to the fore.

One example is Augmented Reality, another is location based smart phone apps and yet a third is intelligent smart cards that open doors and provide access to the underground. All useful and all primative.

While Skype may make it easy to make an international video conference call it is a long way off creating a virtaul office of sitting room experience.

As more optimies software and bandwidth comes available, will it be possible to be the person winning the 100 metres at the London Olympics from the comfort of your garden lounger? Will you be able to experience the trension, the agony and the thrill?

Well, we are, step by tiny step moving in that direction.

We already have High Definition 3D augmented reality (without glasses) and we have the ability to take a photograph of our surroundings and translate that into information about the object, street or store.

But what if the street or store was created using semantics intelligently combining our history of interets and the many realities that reflect the image we photograped with similar or related objects, sounds and even smells. Tuning into our physiological, neuropsychological and cognitive mechanisms is already part way there as our smart phones monitor our biorythms.

Now it seems that many of the building blocks are in place.

What are the implications for developing relationships, sharing values creating virtual community interactions and offering richer exoperiences through this new media?

Well,there is no doubt that this is a Public Relations issue. It is about media, it is about relationships, it is about personal and community values and it is about publics/stakeholders/social and user genertaed communities.

I wonder how far the universities with public relations or media academics to deploy on how to write a press release are begining to extend the idea to working with the experiential web?

The first such centre will be at the laeding edge of our profession.