Let me tell you, it’s more than just the excellent doge.

Last year I started writing for the Econsultancy blog and it’s allowed me to go to a lot of cool conferences and learn about some new things, from Google Glass to big automated email and CRM systems.

Here are some of the things that stuck in my mind from last year and perhaps a few things you might not know about digital and the interweb.

For regular followers of our interweb anti-format post (crazy stuff from across the web), don’t worry, it will return next week.

Google Glass is a long way from ready

I tried Glass last Easter. It was great fun but mainly because the prototype was definitely that, a prototype.

My colleagues and I decided that directions were the most useful part of using Glass. The gestures and voice recognition however were both over-sensitive.

Maybe it’s a good thing that Glass isn’t ready yet. After all, it could change society for the worse.

Swiss banks take personalised marketing to a whole new level

UBS created an F1 app for 30 or so billionaires in the ultra high net worth category (over $50m spending money).

Each app was personalised to its user (they were handed an iPad at the race) and the UBS mobile dev team were on site to manage the experience, adding features such as a personal photo library as the day went on.

The regulation around naming customers is so tight, they effectively had a war room with numbered pictures of customers, compiling photo albums without referring to anyone by name

The internet of things is amazing and closer than we think

I collected ten things consumers should expect from the internet of things last year. Everything from coffee machines you can turn on from your phone to home security alerts on the move.

Part of the allure of internet enabled devices is the potential for marketers to interact with customers throughout a products life cycle.

Chinese messaging clients have been heavily monitored and censored

Not that that’s different from the West. But some of the topics that serve as red flags are very interesting indeed.

It is relaxing a little now as China opens up, but the detail makes for fascinating reading. Check the censored keywords out here.

The future of search is implicit, explicit, contextual and from your mouth

See Will Critchlow’s presentation from the Future of Digital Marketing in June. Contextual search, Google Now, voice search, they’re all spreading and you’ll undoubtedly be familiar by now with Google cards on your mobile search.

In terms of understanding language, it’s pretty amazing that searching for ‘that film with Ben Affleck that’s terrible’ brings up the search result for ‘Gigli’.

Frazzing (multi-tasking for the frazzled)

Frazzing explains why we are always looking at our phones, or perhaps it’s a product of looking at our phones. Who knows?

I learnt this word from Harry Davies of Google. He explained to me the extent of Google’s impact on the smartphone customer journey. Google is involved at many different levels, devices, OS, ad networks, search, maps and wallets.

Check it out here.

Some companies email on a grand scale

I heard about RS Components at a Responsys event.

They send 27 versions of emails daily, in 20 different languages to over 1m active email contacts.

Email automation is vital to ensuring sales and smooth running campaigns. Read about how they do it here.

India is really joining the party

From the Aakash tablet, subsidised by advertisers, to internet via SMS, some great innovation is bringing the internet and better education to India.

Read more from Aakash and Innoz and their talks at Wired conference last year.

Responsive websites can be really really beautiful

Colston Hall was my favourite of last year. See the review here.


Big Data does exist!

Here are 10 uses of it. From healthcare to entertainment.

Augmented reality was overhyped

It’s useful, don’t get me wrong. It’s also not too expensive. I just think the use cases need to be thought about more carefully.

Three uses I found worked well this year included Asda’s activities for kids in store at Halloween, the British Museum’s new Parthenon gallery app and the newly augmented Pedigree childrens’ annuals.

Interactive is overrated

60% of people prefer a print-like experience on a tablet instead of audio or video.

Social customer service has not come to all sectors

I learnt lots about social customer service at Social CRM 2013, which you can read here.

Mainly that generation Y and its demand for transparency is changing customer service.

But it’s not changing particularly quickly. Some sectors perhaps require it more than others. Here’s a rundown of response rates from industry sectors on Facebook.