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Wednesday, 25 March 2009

The Future of Blogging: Barclays Bank, Piccadilly Circus?


Most people will probably agree that outside of work, not everyone we come in to contact with will have knowledge of the markets, technology, attitudes or ideas we take for granted each day amongst our colleagues. For us at Mippin this is definitely the case, as a fair amount of the media and entertainment content we work with are blogs, and neither blogging or the ability to read blogs on mobile phones are witnessing massive market demand just yet. We’re all fans at Mippin but to be honest our Friends and Family Beta launches tended to see registrations from just friends, and those were the ones working in the same industry…

However we appreciate that blogging has been around for a long time, and see its role in reflecting the values of society as undisputed. Though the format of blogging is changing to encompass personal news streams, more traditional blogs still play a huge role in provoking discussion, building awareness and forming opinion about most things, just as they are equally important in evolving to provide a wide range of channels of communication and self expression for bloggers themselves. However it’s also fair to say that blogs still aren't consumed by the mass market, which means the Mippin team still need to happily explain what we do and why to some outside the blog or mobile world's.

That is unless we’re in Piccadilly Circus using the services at Barclays Bank.

At Barclays new branch in the centre of Piccadilly Circus they’ve installed a state-of-the-art new interactive video installation that shows live on a big screen the amount of blogs being published across London at any one time, what the blogs are about and the different content categories they sit within. The content categories appear to be searchable and the latest posts are surfaced surreptitiously, introducing customers and no doubt tourists to localised long and short tail blog content, not dissimilar to the thinking behind Mippin. In fact the biggest difference between the new Barclays installation and Mippin is probably the screen size – it would be difficult to get theirs in a jacket pocket…



In reality though it’s great news that Barclays have installed this blog installation, not just because it brings Piccadilly Circus’s neon advertising boards in to the web enabled 21st Century, but because it continues to confirm what millions already know – that blogs and personalised streams will be a major part of everyone’s future. The next question then is how to connect users with the blogged and published content they're interested in when they’re not in Barclays Bank, or at a PC, and it’s that which Mippin does very well. So from now on if we want to explain what we do, Barclays Piccadilly branch is where we’ll be heading. Ignore the world famous icons of Eros and Trocadero next time you’re there too - a British bank might have done something cool with their cash for a change, helping to build awareness and ultimately mass market demand for blogs, and making our jobs here a little bit easier...

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