Small is beautiful

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With a busy summer at an end we’re running a series of posts looking at everything we’re hoping to get our teeth into in the year ahead. First up, DATA…

You don’t have to look very long or hard to find mind-boggling factoids describing the amount of data we as a species are creating every day. This is what some refer to as ‘big data’, a term oft misappropriated by people like myself to describe anything more elaborate than a shopping list.

This is not the subject of this post. This is a short post, about small data. Small, beautiful data.

All data tells a story. We believe that an industry that specialises in telling stories has something to gain from looking more closely at the data behind them. From our work on UNIVERSES OF FRINGE and CLOUD ATLAS to the eminently more frivolous ‘NYMPHOGRAPHIC‘, we’ve shown that we can capture and hold an audience’s attention by finding new ways to structure and visualise the data behind a story, augmented by the clouds of social metadata that now envelope the biggest movies and TV shows of our time.

These are just baby steps. Consider the potential of handing more control of this kind of data to the audience, of offering them tactile tools with which to digest and reorganise it. Take the example of UNIVERSES OF FRINGE, which saw an average visit duration of 19 minutes on the day of launch, settling down to an even 5 minutes across the year since.

Now imagine it with every scene of every episode included, watchable – and, crucially, rewatchable – via a data-driven interactive menu system. Dynamic playlists and super-cuts exploring individual characters and story arcs, augmented with social content aggregated from the wider web, allowing you to create non-linear paths through your favourite shows and movie franchises, meeting others along the way. Content as experience, a format that’s piracy-proof, value added by the audience itself.

Then think about the insights available to the content owner or distributor, as our social graphs extend into our favourite fictions. And realise that we’re back to talking about big data. Which, as I’ve already explained, is another story.

If you’re interested in working with Glass Eye to explore any of the ideas addressed in this post, or have some ideas of your own we could be helping you develop, go ahead and get in touch.

» Blog » Small is beautiful
On September 25, 2013

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