I was perusing USA Today on my iPhone last night and I read two headlines and subsequent articles that peaked my interest –
Google Street View available on all continents and Serialized novel delivered by an app. These two titles got me thinking about how technology has brought some things back and how it sometimes brings something we never dreamed of before.

Photo from telegraph.co.uk

Let’s start with bringing the old back to new, or at least now. Some may think releasing a chapter of a book a week at a time is new, but according to the USA Today article, Charles Dickens and Leo Tolstoy used to do this regularly. The author actually states the model of a serialized novel is over 175 years old. Although this model is old hat, the next is something I do not think the Jetsons ever dreamed about in their wildest dreams.

The past couple of years, Google has added Street View to their online map database. If you haven’t seen it yet – because you live under a rock – you can now see the building on the street you are looking at – including your rock. While looking on the street view, you can move up & down the street and turn around. (Google “street view fun” to see the more humorous pictures Google’s cameras have captured.) Google recently announced they have now captured “streets” on all 7 continents. They admit to not having everything done. Brazil is their only country complete for South America and a small island in Antarctica is the lone representative there. Actually, my street in the suburbs of New Orleans is not listed. (Weird, I know.)

Google captured images of narrow roadways and hard to reach areas using tricycles, snowmobiles, and other small vehicles.

I do not think I could have ever imagined a company driving up & down every street in the world taking pictures. This was a mind boggling thought just 5 years ago and only a company like Google would dream up something so far fetched and then foot the bill for it.

Now, how does this work in the world of design, websites, & brand marketing? I know these articles may seem off-topic for our blog, but technology does go hand and hand with our professional and personal worlds nowadays. Also, there is a sense of marketing in here. The serialized novel builds a community of followers all waiting in anticipation for the next piece of the story. This is a much stronger community than the more traditional book release where after the initial rush, every reader is on their own pace. For the Google street view, this shows you how if you build a tool that people need or want, you can sell advertising to be profitable. Also, the past Olympics in Vancouver utilized this technology well. They worked with Google to survey the ski mountains and other event venues so fans could experience the slopes and other attractions like never before from their computers. Many times advertising and cost-effective marketing requires out of the box thinking and using technology for a different purpose.

How do you use technology to market your brand, build your brand community, or reach out to potential customers?