Faster Than A

January 27, 2011

I think this Google commercial is genius. It forces engagement because it taps into an arcane piece of our brains. We understand the message of the ad because we live it out in the process of consuming it. We tie together the strands of information it displays and synthesize it into a greater point before the tagline even appears. We do this because this is how our brains work.

As humans, everything we create mimics organic processes. Computers and mobile devices are ready examples of this and so is Google search for that matter. Amber Case hosted a TED Talks lecture fantastically titled We Are All Cyborgs Now where she outlines the argument that we use mobile technology as external pieces of ourselves. She posits, "technology doesn't get adopted because it works; it gets adopted because people use it and it's made for humans."

I was reminded of this by a recent article in the New York Times, which recounts the early morning routine of DC staffers - young politicos who comb the internet looking for the juicy news bits that could give their bosses the extra edge to get ahead. No doubt, these committed staffers are quick and efficient at what they do.

At Newsy, we use cutting edge technology to find unique perspectives on a news topic and then synthesize the information into easily understandable video nuggets. People love this format because it's the most logical extension of our natural human tendency to understand information in the most efficient way possible. Industry moves toward these trends because people move toward these trends. As the NYT article points out, news information is by far the most important type of information we consume. It is an essential component of industry and government.

We are at a point in human history where our access to information has outpaced our ability to consume it. This has created two phenomena: 1) We compress information 2) We create devices that serve as surrogate memories by which we can reference this compressed information. You can get the day's headlines by tapping on your Newsy app; if you forget a detail of a video you've watched while explaining it to a friend, you can reference the transcript in real time. You don't have to remember anymore, your phone/tablet/computer does it for you.

Think about it, when was the last time you memorized a friend's phone number?