Five Reasons Why The Mobile Web Sucks - Publishing 2.0 Scott Kark (aka Mr Negative) is at it again, and he is in very good form: I've had it with all the hype about mobile being the next big thing — more to the point, I've had it with the mobile web. Here are five reasons why the web on the go still has a long way to go ...
This is the coolest thing I've seen all week, mainly because it works so well at this early stage.
There are tons of opportunities, especially local … Think about how easy it will be to find a cinema, restaurant, pub, petrol station, or bank. Or, if you mash it up with a social network, you’d be able to geo-locate your friends on a map. As someone said, “Then, you could poke them for real!”
The latest version of Google Maps for mobile phones has a new feature called "my location". Instead of having to enter your location, Google Maps is able to find it. If your phone has GPS support the location detection should be very good, but even if there's no GPS, Google Maps can approximate your location. "The My Location feature takes information broadcast from mobile towers near you to approximate your current location on the map - it's not GPS, but it comes pretty close (approximately 1000m close, on average)." To find your location on the map, just press 0 and look for a blue dot.
To get the new version (2.0), go to http://google.com/gmm on your mobile device. Despite being in beta, I thought it works very well.
Dove Viral Draws Heat From Critics - Advertising Age Dove's viral video attack on beauty advertising has produced a surprisingly strong and enduring blowback against Unilever from activists, newspaper op-ed writers, bloggers and videographers who see it as hypocritical coming from the same company that ...
Welcome to EveryScape EveryScape isn't an online world, it's the world online. EveryScape takes you from the streets to the sidewalks and through the doors of the world's cities and tours. Letting businesses organizations and consumers build and share their world the way they ...
Top 60 Japanese buzzwords of 2007 ::: Pink Tentacle Publisher Jiyu Kokuminsha has announced this year's crop of nominees for Japanese buzzword of the year. The wide-ranging selection of 60 words and expressions — many of which come from the worlds of politics, sports and entertainment — were selected ...
Phil J pointed me to this story - one where all the buzzwords are out in force. There are quite a few opinions out there discussing Glam.com's business model. Is it a network? Is it a platform? Is it 2.0 vs 1.0? Is it rubbish?
Well, I haven't read Jarvis for a while, and having read through his opinion on it I think I need to drop by more often:
The yellow circle on the right represents iVillage, which had been the largest women’s site in the U.S. After only a year and a half, Glam has overtaken it as the new No. 1 with 23 million uniques (vs 18m for iVillage) and 600 million monthly pageviews.
Glam, represented by the larger circle on the left, is a network. You’ll see clusters made up of smaller circles, representing their content areas: fashion, beauty, fashion, lifestyle, celebrity, teen. Inside each of those clusters, if you squint, you’ll see a small yellow circle. Those are Glam’s O&O (owned and operated) sites. All the many purple circles around those in each cluster represent outside, independent blogs and sites in Glam’s network. That is the secret to Glam’s quick growth without the cost and risk of doing everything itself.
Glam finds the good blogs and creates a relationship. It features good content from them on Glam and also sells ads on the blogs, sharing revenue with and supporting those bloggers. It now has about 400 publishers creating about 600 sites and Arora said that some make multiple six figures a year.
"30-40% of Glam’s revenue is O&O, and 20-30% of Glam’s impressions are O&O . . . . 30-35% of Google’s Impressions are on Google.com, 60-50% of Revenue is Google.com vs its network."
So Glam is a content network. But they don’t create all the content. They curate it. So we should curate more as we create less. That’s another way to say what I’ve said other ways: Do what we do best and link to the rest. Also: We need to gather more and produce less, so we also need to encourage others to produce more so we can gather it. That’s a festival of PowerPoint lines there.
Glam is also and advertising network that supports the creation of content. That’s how you encourage others to produce more.So in the end, Glam is really a platform. That’s the key.
A VC: Techmeme: A Cautionary Tale A fab post by Fred: I write this because I think there is something important going on at techmeme that we need to think about as we look forward to emergence of the "curated web".
Apple Secretly Tracking iPhone IMEI and Usage (with proof) "As I sit here applying a new layer of Reynolds tin foil to my international hat of conspiracy, its been proven that Apple tracks iPhone usage and tracks IEMI numbers of all their iPhones worldwide. Hidden in the code of the "Stocks" and "Weather" ..."
Whenever I need a reminder of why I love this business ... or just feel like wasting time doing something else other than Facebook (ha!) ... I often spend a few minutes on Iain Tait's blog, crackunit.com.
We've never met (crossed paths at a conference or two), but we seem to have mind-meld moments ... Here's a recent example:
This morning I’m not going to cry. I’m going to shout.
CAMPAIGN MAGAZINE PARTS THE SEA OF ONES AND ZEROS AND LEADS THE ADLANDERS INTO THE NEW LAND OF OPPORTUNITY. WHERE THERE’S OBVIOUSLY A NEED FOR REAL GROWN-UP-BIG-BOY TALENT TO TRANSFORM A SHITTY BACKWARD COTTAGE INDUSTRY THAT’S FULL OF PURILE PONY ADVERTISING MADE BY PIXEL-PUSHING PROLES.
HOLD ON TO YOUR HATS PEOPLE, THE ‘PROPER’ INTERNET’S COMING, JUST AS SOON AS THAT GUY WHO MADE THE AWESOME TWIX AD IN 1986 CAN FIGURE OUT HOW TO LOG-ON TO ONE OF THOSE WORLD WIDE WEBS.
I should stop reading industry rags. Actually I don’t read them. But sometimes I see the cover in reception, and that’s enough to raise the temperature of my urine.
I felt exactly the same way when I read the article in Campaign. I tore out the page and was infuriated! I was going to post something very similar, but then I read Crackunit ... A mind-meld, I tell ya.
In case you were wondering, Iain runs Poke, a nice agency in London. Of course, I'm more of a fan of iris, myself, but Poke is a nice place, too.
Chairlifts Are for Sissies - New York Times I resolve to heliski either this season or next. You can quote me on that. Been a long time coming, and with all the new companies and terrain out there, I can't see why not. Plus, with the US and CA both dollar in the basement, a trip to Banff is not out of the question.
The User-Generated Content Myth - Publishing 2.0 A whole mythology is emerging around the idea of "users" — consumers, fans, regular average folk — creating content that media companies and brands can leverage. It's a compelling idea — but it's a myth.
Facebook Poised to Take Over The World - Portfolio.com There are these small bands of people who are trying to take over the world. This is so much more fun than working at a hedge fund or an investment bank. -- Gideon Yu, having a Dr. Evil moment in describing his startup career as CFO at YouTube and then Facebook
"Nothing influences a person more than a recommendation from a trusted friend," Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said yesterday.
"The next hundred years will be different for advertising, and it starts today," he continued. And with those humble words, Zuckerberg revealed Facebook’s much-anticipated plans for "Project Beacon" a product the company describes as "social advertising."
In a sense, they're taking a page from the MySpace playbook: Facebook is allowing products and companies to create their own "Facebook Pages." There is, however, one major twist: In addition to Facebook Pages, "the ads will display people’s profile photos next to commercial messages that are shown to their friends about items they purchased or registered an opinion about." (Quote from NYT.)
We've launched Facebook Pages, which are distinct, customized profiles designed for businesses, bands, celebrities and more to represent themselves on Facebook.
Clearly, Facebook understands that they needed to provide a way to link together all the people within their vast and expanding network and the products, brands and companies (who seem very happy about it) that want to connect with them.
Engaging with businesses and buying things are part of your everyday life. Advertising doesn't have to be about interrupting what you're doing, but getting the right information about the purchases you make when you want it. We believe we've created a system where ads are more relevant and actually enhance Facebook. You now have a way to connect with things you are passionate about.
Fred Stutzman, my favourite Facebook blogger, sums it up as follows:
SocialAds = deep targeting using your profile and network data, Project Beacon = your friends (and Facebook) know when you buy stuff on other websites.
Facebook has fulfilled its destiny: it is now Adbook. The data you share in Facebook is incredibly rich. Marketers can target based on your interests (You like Dylan? Buy the box set.) or your friends interests (Seven of your friends love Crocs, buy some Crocs.). Take the internal data, and mash it with the external data collected from Beacon - and you've got some seriously powerful targeting information.
Here's my favourite quote from his post:
In Facebook's dream world, I'll know about every pair of Crocs you buy, in essence constantly barraging me with social purchasing opportunities. But that's not what it's about - just because ads are socially targeted, it doesn't make me want more ads. Rather, Facebook should leverage this extremely powerful social information in my times of need - when I want to purchase something, give me my network's opinion. As Doc describes it, this is "demand finding supply" rather than supply finding demand. Spamminess is the death of a network, socially targeted or not.
For example, going forward, a Facebook user who rents a movie on Blockbuster.com will be asked if he would like to have his movie choice broadcast out to all his friends on Facebook. And those friends would have no choice but to receive that movie message, along with an ad from Blockbuster.
That example makes a good case for what still needs to be worked out with Facebook's social ads:
1. Wouldn't it be better that if I was going to rent a movie on Blockbuster.com, I could ask my network of friends for recommendations? The ads work in the wrong direction. They assume, in this case, that I want to rent a video from Blockbuster just because you did.
2. Brands like Blockbuster.com that are destined for the dustbin are going to fill Facebook with crap communications because they've got nothing to lose. As Umair puts it: From an economic point of view, it is a consumer's worst nightmare - ads that are even dumber, less interesting, and far more irritating than ads are already.
3. The other, more subtle reason why this isn't quite right is the fact that it exposes what you've purchased and/or interacted with on Facebook and potentially in other places. Vallywag writes:
With Beacon, Facebook will install cookies onto users' computers to track their activities when they visit partner websites such as eBay, Travelocity, and Fandango. When these users bid on an item, book a trip or buy a movie ticket, Facebook will let the user's friends know in their Facebook news feeds, the stream of friends' activities that greets users when they log in.
To illustrate, Stuzman found a blog from Facebook user and skeptic Matt Monihan, "who is not clearly not a citizen-marketing Fan-Sumer"
So, facebook is now taking a bold step towards pissing me off. Now, I have to think twice before I buy something stupid online. Will my friends be notified that I bought seasons 1 & 2 of project runway? What will they think? Although, part of me wants to buy a bunch of weird items just to mess with people. Coming soon to a feed near you: “Matt just bought a teddy bear, a gallon of play-doh and a fire extinguisher on eBay.
I'm a member of the Victoria's Secret Pink group on Facebook, and I visited that group often. I neither endorse their products nor would I really want people to know that I spend so much time looking (er, better make that researching) things on that network. No, honest, it was research. I swear it! ... Anyway, social ads want to promote my involvement with Pink, and I'm sure they'll be in my face as often as possible to get me to share informaiton and recommendations with my network. I'll be upset by this and my propensity to endorse/recommend will certainly decrease as a result. That's not good for me, for the advertiser, or my network.
GigaOM has a nice summary of the privacy issues posed by this new service as well as a good recap of Esther Dyson's idea of letting people become AdFriends. That's got to be one of the worst-ever marketing buzzwords I've ever heard. That said, Forrester is doing its best to compete: Jeremiah Owyang has coined the phrase Fan-Sumer.
Nick Carr, always on the dark side, highlights Sprite's involvement with Facebook's new social ads in The Social Graft:
The Fortune 500 is, natch, lining up. Coke's in, big-time: Facebook, which distinguished itself by being the anti-MySpace, is now determined to out-MySpace MySpace. It's a nifty system: First you get your users to entrust their personal data to you, and then you not only sell that data to advertisers but you get the users to be the vector for the ads. And what do the users get in return? An animated Sprite Sips character to interact with.
Got that? Beacons, for Coke, means, basically, Sprite Zombies flooding your social feed. Uhh...this sounds kind of like, from an economic point of view, a consumer's worst nightmare - ads that are even dumber, less interesting, and far more irritating than ads are already. In fact, I like Nick's take on these dynamics much better: the medium is the message from our sponsor. The irony is so deep it's subterranean. But he leaves out the essential last bit: and most of your so-called friends are carpet-bombing you with it.
One thing is for sure: It was inevitable that an advertising program like this would come from Facebook or one of the other networks. The fact that they accumulate all this data and are all free services made it impossible to avoid.
If you use Photoshop for basic photo editing, you'll love 'em. They're simple, free, web applications that do the job very well.
I love the Flickr/Facebook/Picasa/Photobucket/Webshots integration. In addition to being fully integrated into Facebook, both apps lets you pull in your Flickr photos, edit them, and then save them back to Flickr. Sah-weet! Wish there was a simple way to FTP images from the apps to a specific directory. Anyone know how to do that?
As our Actionscript guru Tristian points out, it is worth noting that they're developed in Flex. Picnik gets high marks from those in the know ... Flickr plans to add their editing tools directly, and the WSJ's Walt Mossberg writes, "Fast and impressive... beautiful and responsive ... If you want to see how good a web application can be, take Picnik for a spin."