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If Content Is a Performance, Is It Ever Authentic?

Producing more effective content that helps you build an audience of interested prospects is a common theme in my articles. In the past few months, I’ve written about ways to show how likable you are and how to make your writing personal, but not self-indulgent. And I realized that neither of those posts mentioned authenticity,
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AI, Chatbots and Designing the Next Generation of Automated Customer Engagement

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No matter how much sweetness or spin you add to it, early incarnations of AI-powered chatbots are the call centers of this generation. They’re cool. They’re scalable. They’re relatively inexpensive compared to human agents.

Yes, chatbots scale engagement through new, popular messaging channels and introduce conversational commerce capabilities that carry the potential to deliver incredible experiences. But here’s the thing…most of the interactions are basic, seeking to replicate existing transactions and experiences that only seem to wow those designing not experiencing them.

On the other side of code and algorithms however, are discerning, sophisticated, self-interested human beings. Transactions and capacity aside, engagement and experiences need to be designed to ever-shifting and heightened human standards and expectations. They don’t care that you have the ability to automate engagement. They care about engagement, experiences and outcomes. They care about themselves.

To design incredible experiences, conversational commerce engineers need to embrace human-centered design. Doing so combines the ability of messaging platforms, machine learning, AI as well as empathy, emotion and user experience (UX) interface design (UI).

IQ (Intelligence Quotient) + EQ (Emotional Quotient) + HQ (Human Quotient) = AI-Powered Experiences That Matter to People

I said as much at the 2016 DES (Digital Enterprise Show) in Madrid.

Before my plenary, I was asked to share my thoughts on next-gen conversational commerce design. I wrote about it for Forbes. But I also wanted to share my slides with you here.  Between the two, I hoping we can spark some great conversations and creativity to upgrade the future of artificial intelligence and human engagement.

Imagine the possibilities for customer service, support, e-commerce, search, CRM, loyalty programs, proactive engagement and all forms of CX 2.0! And, it’s not just about customers…it’s also about EX and employee engagement and experiences!

Brian Solis

Brian Solis is principal analyst and futurist at Altimeter, the digital analyst group at Prophet, Brian is world renowned keynote speaker and 7x best-selling author. His latest book, X: Where Business Meets Designexplores the future of brand and customer engagement through experience design. Invite him to speak at your event or bring him in to inspire and change executive mindsets.

Connect with Brian!

Twitter: @briansolis
Facebook: TheBrianSolis
LinkedIn: BrianSolis
Instagram: BrianSolis
Youtube: BrianSolisTV
Snapchat: BrianSolis

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Brian Solis

Join Us for a Free, In-Depth Workshop to Improve Your Sales Skills

At Copyblogger, we love to teach! We really have a great time teaching copywriting, content strategy, search engine optimization, social media strategy … The one thing we don’t teach? Selling. Because it’s not what we’re fantastic at. Fortunately, we found someone who is fantastic at it, without being … a creepy weirdo. (There, I said
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Weekend Favs June 23

Weekend Favs June 23 written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

My weekend blog post routine includes posting links to a handful of tools or great content I ran across during the week.

I don’t go into depth about the finds, but encourage you to check them out if they sound interesting. The photo in the post is a favorite for the week from an online source or one that I took out there on the road.

  • Cinamaker – Portable multi-camera live stream studio. Shoot, record, and edit in real-time with smartphones, digital cameras, and your tablet.
  • Really Good Chatbots – Helping others building chatbots find inspiration.
  • Brizy – The effortless way to build WordPress websites visually.

These are my weekend favs, I would love to hear about some of yours – Tweet me @ducttape


Duct Tape Marketing

Silicon Valley Uncovered: The evolution of tech, media and its impact on society

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In 2010, my dear friend Hermione Way invited me as the first-ever guest on her then new show, “Silicon Valley Uncovered” for TheNextWeb. It aired on January 18th, 2011. I share this with you because the conversation, while several years old now, is strangely better suited for today and the modern times in which we live and work.

I’m not even sure how I stumbled across this interview. To be honest, I’m taken aback by how prescient and philosophical this conversation was in explaining what’s happening now. I found myself reacting in disbelief, “Wow. Did I really say that!?”

At the time of this interview, I was in the 11th year (of 12) running a digital lab I had founded in 1999. Shortly thereafter, I would join Altimeter in 2012, which was then acquired by Prophet in 2015.

It’s not a short interview. But if you can spare 30 minutes whether via audio or video, I promise, it explains so much of what’s happening today.

To help, I break down each episode below.

Please watch and share and let me know what you think!

Part One

The evolution of media

Impact of media on our lives

Personal brand

The power of perception and mindsets

The definition of “new media”

The evolution of business: from social business to an adaptive business

The power of online relationships: the social graph vs. the interest graph

Part Two

Adding “People” to the 4Ps of Marketing

Social media and the democratization of influence

How shared experiences change relationship dynamics and influence impressions and expressions

The attention economy and the importance of relevance, context, engagement and reciprocity

Brands becoming people and people becoming brands

The human network and the new model for information distribution and influence

How social media will affect politics, social movements and global culture (WOW!)

Intention counts for everything

Part Three

The renaissance of tech and the importance of Silicon Valley

The allure of Silicon Valley for entrepreneurs and innovators

The importance of the HP garage, the birthplace of Silicon Valley (thank you Robert Scoble!)

The culture of Silicon Valley

Social media douchebags

Brian Solis

Brian Solis is principal analyst and futurist at Altimeter, the digital analyst group at Prophet, Brian is world renowned keynote speaker and 7x best-selling author. His latest book, X: Where Business Meets Designexplores the future of brand and customer engagement through experience design. Invite him to speak at your event or bring him in to inspire and change executive mindsets.

Connect with Brian!

Twitter: @briansolis
Facebook: TheBrianSolis
LinkedIn: BrianSolis
Instagram: BrianSolis
Youtube: BrianSolisTV
Snapchat: BrianSolis

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Brian Solis

Presentation: Turn specs into high quality apps

A while ago, I shared the Dutch version of my presentation called “Turn specs into high quality apps”. Last November, I was invited to do this presentation over at the DevDayBE-conference in English. Today, I want to share the recording of that presentation. I’ve written already several articles here about ATDD/BDD with Specflow and Xamarin.

During the presentation we’ll discuss the Three Amigo’s, how specifications are written using Gherkin and being automated with Specflow and Xamarin.UITest. We even managed to introduce a new buzzword: Acceptance Driven Presentation (ADP).

The sample code can be found on Github. Enjoy!

Slides

I hope you liked the presentation and managed to get inspired. Look around on this blog to learn more about testing or Xamarin. Tell me what you think through Twitter or leave a comment below!

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Marcofolio.net

The Importance of Experience Design and the Future of Brand

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Customers today are accidental narcissists.

Tomorrow is an entirely new game brands, CX strategists and marketers.

Disruption is a gift either given to you or by you.

Knowing this, we are still making mistakes in creating meanignful experiences to a new generation of connected, impatient and demanding customers. We get stuck in legacy thinking, playbooks and metrics rather than innovate and disrupt to fully capitalize on new digital opportunities.

Following my presentation at Adobe Summit, I had the opportunity to join my dear friend Giselle Abramovich of CMO.com for an extensive conversation about the importance of experience design and the future of brand in a digital economy.

Giselle has a way of bringing out the best in someone. In our discussion, I share my latest research, work and ideas about how every company should re-imagine brand for an era of digital Darwinism.

The questions and answers cover a broad range and will get your mind running and hopefully inspire you to blaze new trails for others to follow.

Questions covered in the video:

  1. How does digital transformation and experiential marketing intersect?
  2. What does it take to be an experience-driven business?
  3. What is the role of data in crafting these experiences for consumers?
  4. Every brand claims they are experience-led. How do you get everyone on board?
  5. Which consumer trends should marketers pay close attention to?
  6. How should brands think about experience?
  7. What else are marketers prioritizing?
  8. How did you become a digital anthropologist?

Related Links:

The State of Digital Transformation

The Six Stages of Digital Transformation

The O.P.P.O.S.I.T.E. Approach to Digital CX

The Digital Change Agent’s Manifesto

Brian Solis

Brian Solis is principal analyst and futurist at Altimeter, the digital analyst group at Prophet, Brian is world renowned keynote speaker and 7x best-selling author. His latest book, X: Where Business Meets Design, explores the future of brand and customer engagement through experience design. Invite him to speak at your event or bring him in to inspire and change executive mindsets.

Connect with Brian!

Twitter: @briansolis
Facebook: TheBrianSolis
LinkedIn: BrianSolis
Instagram: BrianSolis
Youtube: BrianSolisTV
Snapchat: BrianSolis

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Brian Solis

Ecclesiastical vestments in the V&A collections

The Victoria and Albert Museum holds an exceptional collection of ecclesiastical vestments dating from the early Middle Ages to the late 19th or even 20th centuries. In Interwoven I study those with a Spanish provenance; also I have worked with other researchers, Francisco García García and Jitske Jasperse, on different aspects of these vestments. Because of this collaboration, the next two blog entries are written by them and explore some aspects of ecclesiastical vestments such as the connections between the textiles and Gregorian reform in the late 11th and early 12th centuries and the links between textiles from a Spanish Royal Treasury and the V&A collections.

Fig. 1: Dalmatic, brocaded silk velvet, with embroidered apparels. Italian (velvet) and Spain (embroideries), about 1520 (T.372-1976)

First, let´s talk about the liturgical textiles in the V&A collection. The collection includes all those pieces worn by priests during the celebration of Mass, such as chasubles, dalmatics (fig. 1), copes and other accessories, such as stoles, maniples, and hoods. It also preserves textiles that furnished and decorated the Church, from altar frontals to book covers, hangings, chalice veils, etc. These types of vestments and textiles were known from the early Middle Ages onwards by the Latin words of vestimenta (vestments) and adormenta (textiles to furnish the Church). Sometimes vestments in museum collections have been recut or updated. The Clare Chasuble (673-1864) is a good example of reshaping (fig. 2). This vestment has been drastically cut down from its original voluminous shape to suit changing fashions in church ritual.

Fig. 2: The Clare Chasuble (back), English embroidery or Opus Anglicanum, 1272-1294. The chasuble was cut down from a bigger garment and re-shaped at a later date

On other occasions, the embroidered decoration on vestments (orphreys and apparels) has been replaced or removed from them (fig. 3). Finally, these pieces were sometimes modified when they came on the art market. All these different circumstances surrounding alterations to the textiles speak of heavy use, as well as of the importance and value these vestments and textiles hold in the History of Art and history of textiles.

Fig. 3: Orphrey from a cope embroidered with saints and martyrs, possibly Spain, mid-16th century (V&A 669-1896)

Ecclesiastical vestments were made in sets: a chasuble that the priest wears during Mass may be  complemented by a matching dalmatic. The dalmatic is as an outer vestment worn, especially,  by the deacons, the priest assistants. Finally, a cope is worn by the priest. Smaller vestments include the stole that is worn around the neck on top of the chasuble or dalmatic  and the maniple which is worn over the left arm.  Mitres and gloves are wore by the highest ranking priests, such as popes, archbishops, bishops, and abbots.

During the study of some of the ecclesiastical vestments, Francisco de Asís García García, V&A visiting scholar through the Erasmus + Fellow scheme, and I were able to trace the provenance of some of the vestments or connect them with other pieces from the same set now in other museums. This detective work involved surveying late 19th and early 20th-century publications and photographic archives in Spain (Fig. 4). For instance, the V&A has a remarkable embroidered altar frontal in silk velvet with gilt metal threads (fig. 5) and a dalmatic from the Monastery of Casbas in Huesca (near the Pyrenees in Aragon). This piece was acquired in 1976, though in past publications it was believed to have been lost. The V&A has one of a pair of dalmatics whose counterpart is at the Royal Museums of Brussels (see the previous blog entry).

Fig 4: Photo of an altar frontal from Casbas monastery (Huesca, Spain), around 1920 (CSIC, Instituto de Historia, Archivo Gómez-Moreno, CGD97 F13-14)

Fig. 5: Altar frontal, silk brocaded velvet, with embroidered apparels. Italian (velvet) and Spain (embroideries), c. 1520 (T.371-1976)

The V&A also has imposing examples of textile church furnishings, in term of both the range of typologies and their different uses. For example, the Spanish carpet that was possibly used during Holy Week or funerals (V&A 250-1906 and displayed at the Medieval and Renaissance galleries), or altar frontals from early medieval Catalonia (see next blog entry) and another one possibly from the embroidery workshop of the Covarrubias family (King, 2004, pp. 163-165) at Toledo (V&A T.141-1969).

One of the questions that I would like to explore is the reasons behind the V&A’s interest in these pieces, which are mostly from the Catholic Church. Many of them, especially the embroidered bands or orphreys and apparels, offer a rich decoration typical of the Gothic and Renaissance periods (fig. 2). Some are expressions of the English art known as Opus Anglicanum (fig. 1) and others were woven on historical looms, such as the tablet woven stoles (fig. 6). These pieces offer a unique insight into raw materials (from silk to metal threads), textile and embroidery techniques and rich and varied decoration. As such, these textiles fitted perfectly the aims of this Museum established from its foundation.

Fig. 6: Tablet woven stole or maniple, silk and gilt metal threads, tablet woven. Germany, 1250-1300 (V&A 8588-1863).

Fig. 6: Detail of the tablet woven (V&A 8588-1863), with the gilt metal thread wefts.

Fig. 6: Detail of the tablet woven (V&A 8588-1863), with the characteristic re-twisted of warps threads, in green and blue silk.

This early collecting was strongly connected to the interest in the Middle Ages that flourished in the 19th century. The study of early textiles influenced some textiles designed by A. Pugin (http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O367915/vestments-a-w-pugin /) (fig. 9 E.1162-2012 and T.303-1989) and William Morris (https://www.vam.ac.uk/articles/william-morris-and-historical-design). The latter wrote several reports for the V&A on the importance of acquiring early example of textiles from the Medieval period, including ecclesiastical vestments (W. Morris, June 14, 1893, about this acquisition see: https://www.vam.ac.uk/blog/network/collecting-textiles-at-the-victoria-and-albert-museum-first-insights-iii):

“They are all of high excellence as works of art; the designs being very inventive, and of great beauty and thoroughly adapted to the material in which they are executed”

Bibliography:

Browne, C., Davies, G. and Michael, A.C., 2016: English Medieval Embroidery. Opus Anglicanum, 2016, New Haven and London.

Errera, I., 1907: Catalogue d’étoffes anciennes et modernes décrites par madame Isabelle Errera, Brussels.

King, D., 2004: “Medieval and Renaissance Embroidery from Spain” in Collected textile studies. Donald King, edition by A. Muthesius and M. King, London , pp. 157-178.

Macalister, R. A. S., 1986: Ecclesiastical Vestments: Their Development and History, London.

Monnas, L., 2012: Renaissance Velvets, London: V&A Publising.

Spies, N., 2000: Ecclesiastical Pomp & Aristocratic Circumstance: A Thousand Years of Brocaded Tabletwoven Bands, Jarrettsville, 2000.

Acknowledgments: Dr Francisco de Asís García García, V&A Visiting Scholar under the Erasmus + programme.

Dr Jitske Jasperse, Humboldt University (Berlin).

 

 

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