Archive for August, 2010

Why I Will Be Killing My Land Line

August 25th, 2010

Facebook ‘Places’ launches…

August 18th, 2010

Anyone see the irony in this image?  If I were Google, I’d be a ‘little’ bit upset with the name of the service (for the uninformed, see: Google Places).  The supposed ‘Foursquare killer‘ has launched – another great example of Facebook letting others pioneer technology and then implementing a ‘copy exact’ model to a significantly larger user base.  One difference?  Your friends can ‘check you in’ if you allow it. That could have some interesting implications and you better really trust your ‘friends’ on Facebook to be considerate when showing you at a venue you might not be comfortable with.

Looking at the social graph tonight, I’m not sure this is quite out of beta.  Only available in the United States (Foursquare – International), and many users are getting the ‘Fail Whale’ of Places – meaning… ‘This service will be available in your region soon’ note when they try to check in.

Their advantage – adoption.  As ReadWriteWeb says on it’s Twitter feed:

once I see Places, probably all my friends are on FB, only a few use 4sq. for visibility, it’s an obvious choice

Sadly, I think they’re right.  Personally, I’m still a believer in Foursquare – but I’ll probably use Places as well.

Facebook, Google, Location Based Marketing , , ,

Tagging The World

August 17th, 2010

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the connection between my digital world and the physical world.  I spend a lot of time in both (with my job being the forcing function for the former) and have often wondered how much cross over there really is in terms of the activities that are being done.  What has risen to the surface for me lately is the notion of ‘tagging’.  Think of it in terms of Facebook.  I take thousands of photos every year – of places, people, events, objects, animals, and simple moments in time that I want to capture.  When I post those photos – either to my Facebook account or my Flickr account, I am usually pretty diligent about ‘tagging’ the important objects (human or non human) that are present in each photo.  That creates a digital, track-able, trail that can be shared with those that I feel would like to participate in the experience.  Our social networking personas are full of ‘tagged’ content. From a simple statement on Twitter to a photo on Facebook to a mention in a blog post.

The thing that I am finding fascinating lately is the rise in the tendency to tag our physical world.  Take the application Stickybits for example.  The proclamation on their website is as follows:

A fun and social way to attach digital content to real world objects

How does it work?  You simply use your smart phone with the Stickybits app on it to scan a bar code on any physical object that might have one (soda can, magazine, packaging of your favorite DVD – you get the point – they’re everywhere and anywhere) and then attach whatever ‘tag’ you would like to that bar code.  The tag could contain a link to a document, sound file, photo, video, or just be simply a comment on the product containing the bar code itself.  Why do this you ask?  To enhance and expand upon the tangible offering of any physical object in your everyday world.  For example, rather than simply handing over your business card with your standard information on it – why not affix a scan-able bar code to it that provides your business acquaintance the ability to download your resume or any other file you want to share – simply by scanning your business card?  A brilliant way to make an impression beyond a 1″x3″ piece of card stock.

This new wave of real world ‘tagging’ is essentially a digital form of graffiti on physical objects. Let’s see how it might work.  Today I scanned the bar code on the back of my badge for work. Having done that and uploaded it to my Stickybits account, any friend that I have associated with that account will be able to see what I’ve scanned and add their own tag or comment to that object.  So this picture could easily be modified with a comment, additional photo, or incriminating video….if I’ve made it public to my friends.  I’ll be careful with whom I allow to see my scans.  🙂

Stickybits is not the only game in town. Tales of Things is doing something similar and there is a cadre of others hunting down the same path.  Is this new?  Actually, no – Wired published a story 6 years ago on the possibilities of linking your world to the Web – but the activity did not gain full momentum until the adoption of Smart Phones over the last 18 months.   Per Wired

Technologists have long dreamed of a clickable world, where machine-readable tags link physical objects to the universe of information on the Web“.

It’s taken a long time for this activity to gain significant momentum with the natural correlation between Mobile and Social Media, I expect this to ramp exponentially moving forward.

Mobile Marketing , ,

Weekly Wrap Up – 8.13.10

August 13th, 2010

My top 10 reads for the week.   This is a SMALL sampling of what I come across in my weekly media consumption addiction.  If you’d like to be on my email list, please email me and I will add you.

Facebook Readying Its Mobile-Social Move – Adotas

Heavy Twitter Users Bring Social Activity to New Heights – eMarketer

How Starbucks Plans to Capitalize on Free Wi-Fi – Mashable

The Science of Sharing: Platforms inject data into the art of going viral – AdWeek

How Nike’s CEO Shook Up the Shoe Industry (off topic, but GREAT read) – FastCompany

Is Facebook Foursquare’s Enemy? It’s Complicated – Mashable

Facebook’s Foursquare competitor is imminent – CNET

Social Media Strategy Lessons From Pepsi – Business Insider

D.I.Y. Tool for Apps Needs Work – NYTimes

The Best and Worst Campaign Deals on Foursquare’s Turf –  ClickZ

Digital Marketing, Marketing, Mobile Marketing, Social Media

Social Vehicles Get Vintage Advertising

August 12th, 2010

Weekly Wrap Up – 8.6.10

August 6th, 2010

My top 10 reads for the week.   This is a SMALL sampling of what I come across in my weekly media consumption addiction.  If you’d like to be on my email list, please email me and I will add you.

Say goodbye to the era of new stand-alone social networks – Guardian UK

Why Facebook Questions Could Be Zuckerberg’s Dream Come True – ReadWriteWeb

Google, undisputed heavyweight champion of mobile search – Pingdom

More Than 60% of Phones Web Capable by 2015 – ReadWriteWeb

Vice, a Media Company, Shows Big Brands How to Reach the Hip Crowd – NYTimes

Digital Media Director 2.0: Jack-of-all-Trades, Master of Many – FastCompany

A Look Back at the Last 5 Years in Blogging – Mashable

Check-In On Foursquare Without Taking Your Phone Out Of Your Pocket – TechCrunch

BlackBerry’s New Torch Makes a Leap From Drab – WSJ

Apple and the war for the mobile market – arstechnica

How Starbucks Reached 10M Fans: 6 Tips From A Social Media Superstar – Critical Mass

Marketing, Mobile Marketing, Social Media

Any Doubt Apple Owns The Mobile Web?

August 5th, 2010

With 56% share of consumer consumption between the iPhone and the iPod Touch – it’s very clear that Apple has a stranglehold on the mobile web with their devices.  Android has clearly made a big splash in terms of share of devices sold – however Apple is still dominant in consumption of content via handhelds.  Data chart – courtesy Quantcast.

Mobile Marketing , ,

Are You Tired Of ‘Checking In’?

August 2nd, 2010

Foursquare, Gowalla, MyTown, Loopt, Yelp… these location based, social media services have varying degrees of participation and collaboration – both with with your immediate social network and those on the perimeter that are able to see your opinion on services, restaurants, stores, etc.  Location has been in the news a lot over the last week or so.  First, Forrester came out with a report that urged most marketers to ‘forgo’ Foursquare as the adoption rate and penetration was not prevalent enough to make a major impact for a brand marketer outside (their report states that only 4% of U.S. online adults have used location based mobile applications) of a small subset of early adopters.

Soon after, an opposing opinion made the case for the use of such location based services – not specifically for reach and depth of penetration, but for the impact made by the influencers that are participating on a regular basis.  These influencers have the ability to amplify their small sample size greatly by distributing through their larger than average social presence. For example – a Foursquare user that connects his or her ‘check-in’ with their Twitter Feed or Facebook account has the ability to distribute a potential brand message much wider than if they did not tie into those services.  From my vantage point, I think you’ll see brands leverage services like Foursquare in a way that mimics what Old Spice did with YouTube and Twitter – targeting those celebrity and  power users with a large social presence and tailoring specific message to them in an effort to extend the Old Spice brand through affiliation with their famous personas.  Very clever, very viral, and exceedingly simple to do – the first time.

But will we get tired of sharing our information and whereabouts with our social graph?  Is there also a limit to ‘what’ people are actually willing to check-in to?  Many of us understand the benefit of checking into a restaurant, an airport, or an activity like a concert – as humans, we are social by nature and have a penchant for sharing the fun things we are doing with our friends.  We are seeing more and more, however, that brands are building activities and campaigns that have people checking in to ‘static’ mediums like print advertisements, movie posters, billboards, etc.  Where is the limit of our threshold for this type of activity?  How much is too much?  Is there such a thing as check in ‘fatigue’?  Yes – and I’ll quote a nice summary pulled from a recent Ad Age article:

If we don’t tie check-ins to real-world rewards, then we will miss out on a great opportunity to affect consumer behavior by avoiding “check-in fatigue” that will inevitably be brought about by a lack of value attributed to the action. Stickers and badges (even while scarce) will eventually become devalued as they become less scarce and hold less perceived value, and will not be a strong enough incentive to keep people engaged.

The moral is that don’t build a campaign where you are forcing people to take an action that will not result in a real world, tangible value.  It’s one thing to be exposed to an advertisement – it’s an action consumers are exposed to thousands of times a day.  The majority of those exposures are passive.  If we’re asking our loyal brand advocates to take an action, as marketers, we’d better provide them with an incentive to do so.  A perceived reward for their loyalty and their advocacy of our brand to their personal network.  Regardless of their location.

Location Based Marketing, Uncategorized , ,