Cisco Digital Lifescapes
Cisco Digital Lifescapes | by David H. Deans
Concept Proposal | GeoActive Group, Austin Texas
Objective: The focus of an "Experience Provider" should be centered upon the human interface, not technology platforms. Enabling network, computing and presentation technologies must be transparent -- in order to design the ultimate online interactive news and entertainment service.
Background: Industry analysts say that mass-media marketers may be out of sync with shifting customer expectations about product selection and packaging. A case in point, the traditional producers and distributors of news and entertainment content seem to have a fixation on forced product bundling.
Record companies want to sell CD collections -- yet some consumers want to buy single songs for their MP3 player. Cable, Satellite and now Telco TV providers want to sell television subscription tiers -- yet some consumers just want to buy individual channels a-la-carte and thereby create their own lineup. Clearly, the simplicity of bundling has its consumer fans, but it isn't a panacea, nor is it an appealing offer for everyone.
In fact, there's a discerning segment within the consumer market landscape that has a strong desire for greater choice and flexible customization. This is an apparent opportunity for increased on-demand product selection modalities, such as video on demand (VoD). Using the language of an economist, one might describe this evolving digital media marketplace as the matching of open flexible supply with eclectic demand.
However, from a mainstream customer's perspective, this is the domain of Personalized Media Preference -- content combined and packaged my unique way, delivered to or retrieved from my desired place with my selected device, and then ultimately experienced at a time of my own choosing.
The following description is a forward-looking view of the solution to this challenge.
The adaptive multimedia Experience: the fundamental concept of a Digital Lifescape is about combining text, images, audio and video artifacts that represent a cohesive backdrop of my own evolving lifestyle- and interest-related persona. Like the world in which we live, it's subject to change over time.
Eclectic personalized Interests: the notion of a passive mass-market is an illusion from a bygone era. My personalized view of the growing digital media cornucopia is centered upon my niche interests. Traditional demographic and psychographic segmentation methods will fail to identify my eclectic mix of topical preferences. If you want to accurately profile me, then you will need to observe attentively -- and learn the characteristics of my market segment.
- Interactive: my solution is receptive; it wants and values my feedback, and is predisposed to act upon my input in a relevant and substantive way.
- Intelligent: my solution is semantic-savvy; it understands my descriptive content tags, and is aware of alternative labels that have similar meanings.
- Insightful: my solution is responsive; it follows my lead, and offers data-driven suggestions of new targeted content – based upon the trends that it detects from my prior selections.
Total Immersion: the assumption that beta versions of service delivery platforms can be brought to market with half-baked user interfaces is misguided. If your tool is not intuitive, then I can't focus on my needs. If your tool is proprietary and not open, then I don't want your artificial constraints. I prefer to be totally immersed in my unfettered experience, not in learning your controlled walled-garden environment.
- Easy to Configure: my solution doesn't include a user manual, but it may include a guide.
- Simple to Use: my solution is simplicity, by design -- It's built-in, not an afterthought.
- Available, Anytime-Anywhere: my solution respects my freedom of choice – it's movable, it's mobile, and it's under my control.
All-in-One Channel: in the prior model, utilizing the web-centered internet experience often meant starting with a search engine request. I want to turn that model upside-down – where "finding" is the focal point. I'm not seeking an offering that competes based upon an ever increasing array of new highly-inflexible linear channels. I only need one dynamically aggregated channel – mine.
The Digital Lifescape Experience: a technology-centered multi-play bundle is obviously focused on Broadband Service Provider product aggregation. In contrast, a consumer-centered solution should focus on user appeal – it's my "connected life" and my "human network" of friends and family that enrich my Digital Lifescape by contributing their recommendations to my lifestream channel.