Dave is a Principal Technical Evangelist for Microsoft focused on Windows, Windows Phone, Windows Azure and the Web. Based out of the Greater Philadelphia Area.
The Silverlight enabled Olympics site unveiled at Mix last year has now gone live. In this age of online community how do you take a well defined brand, like the Olympics, and make it relevant to that audience? After all, most of us spend twice as much time online today than we do even turning on a TV. This is what a nextgen web experience is all about – 2,200 hours of ondemand hd video, social networking aspects, and a great user experience that doesn’t let the technology get in the way. It enables you to view the experience the Olympics in ways you never have before and on your own terms.
Let’s start by going to the NBCOlympics.com site itself:
To launch the Silverlight experience click on any of the event links on the page. For now I am going to click on one of the “Watch Now” links at the top.
You will see a new window open up that looks like your typical media player right? This is where it gets interesting. Click on the “Enhanced Player” link in the bottom right.
You will now be taken to a full screen application that will allow you to share the current video clips with friends, find out what other people are watching the most, see professional commentary and even watch videos with picture-in-picture.
Looks like track is pretty popular right now…
I can also explore some of the other events going on based on category. Looks like there is a football (soccer for us crazy Americans) going on that I want to remember. Let me share that clip to myself.
And here it comes in my inbox – a direct link to the video itself! No need to dig through an entire site looking for the clip inside the player. No need to go through a registration (LiveID *cough* *cough*) process. It takes me right to the clip and even gets me the ability to search for similar clips. This hits home with the way people ingest a lot of their content today – through sharing. Whether its an email, a tweet, or an IM – it is the “hey – you got to check this out” that usually sparks the first visit to a site.
How about finding what kind of sport you are interested in? Let’s check out Fencing…
In fact I will chose Picture-in-Picture with the current football game I am watching and swap the Fencing video to the center. Look at that full screen HD video?
Check it out for yourself today at NBCOlympics.com.
New music... I've been needing some for a while now. I am tired of rehashing the same stuff over and over while traveling. But how can I find music from bands I've never heard of without first being told of those bands?
Enter the Music genome Project. The project, started 8 years ago, analyzes music that you are currently listening to and then picks recommendations based on that. So far it has been spot on!
Sites like Pandora.com utilizes these algorithms to give you a "one stop shop" of music you can listen to for free. Think of it as a radio station that plays songs you really enjoy nonstop. Not only that Pandora also has a free client that runs on mobile smartphones.
In fact it knew more about my musical tastes than I did. It would seem this is the kind of music I really enjoy listening to:
I have discovered so many bands I have never heard of before too...
The net effect? I just dropped about $75 on iTunes and Zune Marketplace in new music! And I am loving every minute of it.
Unfortunately, not all people are getting this. The dinosaurs of old are still roaming through the jungle. Can they be stopped?
There is hope. Sometimes you can teach an old dog new tricks. As NBC recently found out with the 2008 Olympics the Internet and all its New Media actually drives growth towards Old Media. Make an interactive site that gets people interest? Watch how your TV Ratings go up! Make a service that exposes people to new music? Watch how your record sales go up. Will the RIAA learn these lessons too?
Music is food for the soul. Some of the best ideas I have ever come up with happened while I sat in my basement, alone, a glass of wine and music I could FEEL.
Feed yourself before it goes away.
Check out this ABC News video on how the Democratic National Convention is using Silverlight to enable viewing on the web. Similar to what you saw with the NBC Olympic coverage.
There is also as a Microsoft Surface application at the convention to explore the history of the convention.
You can view lots of video clips in HD from the Convention on the Silverlight enabled site here.
Not registered to vote yet for this years presidential election? How about doing it through your XBOX 360...
Marketing 101 - if you can influence people's perception of something enough, it will become the reality of the situation for them regardless of the truth.
Enter the Mojave Experiment.
What happens when you take 140 people, 22 hidden cameras and show them a demo of a new Operating System from Microsoft called "Mojave". Oh, and there is a catch too. Mojave is actually Windows Vista.
The site is built using Silverlight and allows you to "fly through" the video clips with your mouse wheel. Hard to describe but a stunning visual when you actually see it.
Check out the site here.