Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Step out and indulge in a Qwiki

Continuing the theme of my last rant about dealing with change, I have once again been surprised by a 'brand extension'. The latest version is a complete overhaul of my understanding of a Qwiki.

What's Qwiki? It's the latest plaything of Facebook founder, Eduardo Saverin, who's chipped in his share of US$8 million seed money with his YouTube counterpart, Jawed Karim, to change the face of internet search. Type in a subject and Qwiki hauls together all the videos and images it can find on the subject. Then it couples a visual palette of these items with scrolling text.

So how's this different, or better than, Google you ask? Well, Qwiki is like an audiovisual version of Wikipedia, featuring a button to "improve this qwiki". So you can add to the visual library. If you're familiar with another online toy, Tumblr, where you essentially construct a personal library of audiovisual images and texts that inspire you, you'll also see parallels with Qwiki.

Qwiki has announced plans to create links with Facebook and LinkedIn to enable you to write Qwiki profiles on yourself. It's much more preferable to build your own image online than put yourself at the mercy of Google that will dredge up every mention of you on the 'net - positive or otherwise!

The founders claim this hybrid of Google, Wikipedia, Tumblr, YouTube and social networking sites will be almost impossible to duplicate.

The opportunity for brand managers is that there is potential to 'improve this qwiki' by linking to audiovisual URLs of your own. As some readers may know, my daytime job is in superannuation so, inevitably, I entered this term into the Qwiki search last night. Believe me, based on that outcome, it's a green field opportunity for superannuation brands right now.

Qwiki may take a while to gain traction, but it's an interesting idea. And at this stage, it doesn't take much to give your brand the qwiki it deserves.

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