The State of Internet Usage

March 21, 2010

Where does your website fall into the mix?

It’s huge.  It’s popular.  It’s in style .  It’s the current global catalyst of communication and information.  It’s the Internet.  And there’s a lot of people using it.  But what for, you ask?

In January the BBC charted the use of internet by measuring unique visitors and created treemaps charting the top 100 most visited websites as well as breakdowns by site categories. The result is a series of interesting and digestible visualizations of the madness that is the online world — at least from a traffic perspective. You’ll find some surprises, and some things you might expect. See for yourself, and keep on surfing.


Entertainment and the Brain (waves)

February 2, 2010

Now we can know how you really felt about this scene.

Move aside focus groups, there’s a new way to measure how entertained we are!  And surprise surprise, it involves looking at our brains. Looking at them real close.  That’s right, the future of the movie industry (at least the editing and directing aspects of it) may soon involve regular MRI brain-scanning of sample audiences to help directors to tweak their films based on our emotional responses measured by brain activity. Check out the video below or article from Wired Magazine about MindSign Neuromarketing, a San Diego based company exploring this area.   

It’s a cool concept that’ll raise questions about the weight we put on physiological measures versus subjective self-reporting.  “I don’t care what you thought you felt — you brain was on fire during the opening scene. Lit up like a fire-cracker. You were scared straight!”  That fine line that many of us like to draw between body and mind continues to blur.

Sleep and our Emotional IQ

June 17, 2009
More theories on the mysterious powers of sleep.

More theories emerge on the mysterious powers of dreaming.

A new study suggests that sleeping is critical for our ability to process emotions and that the less we dream the more apt we are to notice the negative stimuli in our environment over the positive stimuli. The authors of the study (from where else but the University of California at Berkeley) suggest some viable evolutionary explanations for the phenomenon. Great read if you’re into how the other side of our waking life affects us… and certainly full of interesting implications for designing high-stress or emotionally intense systems and experiences for sleep-deprived users.