Notes from the New Normal – 14th April

Transmedia storytelling makes money, the mainstream is getting in on the smart home action, and coffee shops are banning laptops. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the #newnormal

First up, if you haven’t already read Martin’s post from last week, revealing the full schedule for NEXT 14 – now is the time to do so. It’s going to be a fascinating couple of days.

Here’s some more reading from the New Normal:

Digital storytelling goes transmedia

What’s the newest form of media emerging? Transmedia storytelling, where the narrative weaves between different forms of media – and different sites. And you know what? Transmedia storytelling is profitable.

The mainstream Smart Home play

For all the fuss about Google-acquired Nest, could a traditional electronics brand be the leader in the smart home? Phillips has been steadily rolling out a range of connected products, as it gently guides the consumer into a connected age. There are some principles behind Phillips’ smart devices. For example:

Do what needs to be done, not what can be done. The challenge is to do what makes sense for consumers, not throw popular (or unpopular) technology at a product. This may be a reason Philips doesn’t have a connected toothbrush, despite the innovations Philips made with its Sonicare line: So far a connected toothbrush doesn’t seem to offer much additive value.

The price of being an IT laggard

How much is the UK government’s failure to properly plan for the end of Windows XP costing it? £5.5m in support costs – operating systems aren’t one-off purchases, they’re something that will keep changing over time. We need to adapt our corporate systems to deal with this.

The key to CloudFlare’s challenge

One of the most interesting things to come out of Heartbleed has been the interplay between companies as they explore the potential damage. For example, the node.js team took on CloudFlare’s challenge to actually grab keys from a demo server – and succeeded. This is the co-operative web at its best. Let’s see more of this.

Fear the Wifi-less future

Lastly, something to chill the heart of every coffee-loving laptop warrior out there: there’s a discussion going on about the sales advantage of banning laptops in coffee shops:

“We saw a lot of customers come in, look for a table, not be able to find one and leave,” Whalen says. “It was money flowing out the door for us.”

That’s why Whalen decided there’d be no more screens. It was a gradual move. She started by shutting down the Wi-Fi two years ago. Then, the cafe banned screens during lunch.

“A lot of people were disappointed,” Whalen says. “But we actually saw our sales increase.”

It’s a tale to chill the bones. I need another coffee…


Image by Nicola Sapiens De Mitri and used under a Creative Commons licence