Futures Lab Update #47: Personalization Ideas From the Washington Post and iStrategy Labs

    by Reuben Stern
    February 19, 2014
    Digital experts at the Washington Post are researching ways to let users personalize the news they consume through mobile devices and "smart watches."

    Reported by Reuben Stern and Olga Kyle.

    This week we will explore personalized experiences with news and advertising, as envisioned by leaders at the Washington Post and iStrategy Labs.

    “One of the fundamental reasons that we think people consume less content is because they don’t have the right context for it, or they don’t know a background behind a certain story … so we’re trying multiple ways to make the news more approachable to our audience.” -- Washington Post Director of Digital Products Rishit Shah


    PART 1: Personalization ideas from The Washington Post

    Digital leaders at the Washington Post say they want to give news consumers of the future a personalized information experience tailored to each individual’s unique interests and prior knowledge. We hear how the Post is experimenting in the digital space from Vice President of Technology and Chief Information Officer Shailesh Prakash and Director of Digital Products Rishit Shah.
    Reporting by Colin Hope, Reuben Stern and Olga Kyle.
    [To skip directly to this segment in YouTube, click here.]

    For more information:

    In this text Q&A, the Washington Post’s Shailesh Prakash discusses the newspaper’s potential as a video news provider and the likely influence of the Post’s new owner, Jeff Bezos.


    PART 2: Digital brand experiences from iStrategyLabs

    As consumer companies strive to engage customers in increasingly personalized ways, iStrategyLabs, based in Washington, D.C., is creating new kinds of brand experiences that take advantage of emerging digital and social technologies. We visit Chief Marketing Officer DJ Saul to see what they are doing.
    Reporting by Paige Hornor, Reuben Stern and Olga Kyle.
    [To skip directly to this segment in YouTube, click here.]

    Examples of iStrategyLabs campaigns:

    A few other examples:

    • Mind-reading beer machine – Digital marketing agency Hellocomputer built a kiosk that dispenses various amounts of beer depending on the brain waves measured by a headset hooked to the tap.
    • Pepsi Like Machine – A machine, created by TBWA Belgium, dispenses a free soda when someone hits the “Like” button on Pepsi’s Facebook page.
    • Live-tweeting honey badger – Thanks to a lot of sensors and wiring, a badger living in a zoo in Johannesburg, South Africa, is tweeting his doings to more than 10,000 Twitter followers.

    Reuben Stern is the deputy director of the Futures Lab at the Reynolds Journalism Institute and host and co-producer of the weekly Futures Lab video update.


    The Reynolds Journalism Institute’s Futures Lab video update features a roundup of fresh ideas, techniques and developments to help spark innovation and change in newsrooms across all media platforms. Visit the RJI website for the full archive of Futures Lab videos, or download the iPad app to watch the show wherever you go. You can also sign up to receive email notification of each new episode. 

    Tagged: digital marketing iStrategy Labs news personalization smart watches smartphone washington post

    One response to “Futures Lab Update #47: Personalization Ideas From the Washington Post and iStrategy Labs”

    1. Thank you for showcasing our work Reuben. If you’re in Dupont Circle in Washington DC sometime come drop by and see the lab!

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