March 31, 2011 Leave a comment
Insights from people in the know
March 30, 2011 Leave a comment
Not surprisingly, our closest neighbour is dominated by Apple currently, however looking at a more established market like the United States shows that while Apple is still the largest it really is a three-horse race between Apple, Blackberry and Android.
March 30, 2011 Leave a comment
Our easy read newspaper aims to educate food advertisers about the power of newspapers to create big consumer appetites. Food newspaper is full of interesting tidbits about how food brands can connect powerfully with consumers in newspapers.
March 29, 2011 Leave a comment
An interesting new app as featured on ReadWriteWeb which covers multiple news outlets and Twitter discussions to give a complete look at particular news topics.
Russian startup News360 released a feature-rich iPad app this morning that makes it easier to learn a lot about current events than does any single news source. The interface isn’t as responsive or as attractive as it could be, but the app has a whole lot of potential. At the price of free, it’s worth taking a look at (iTunes link).The service aggregates coverage from multiple outlets about each story, like Google News does, and includes Twitter discussions about the topics. News360 users can scroll through images about a story, dive down into definitions of terms on a page, sign up for a personalized feed of stories from select sources or by topic and more. News360 will unveil its new app today at the Demo conference; ReadWriteWeb will have ongoing coverage of other launches from that event today.
like the idea behind News360 but I’m not sure yet about the execution. Aggregating coverage from multiple sources can work well and is certainly scalable when it’s as automated as this service seems to be, but I’m left with the feeling that a human editorial touch could make a big difference. The different write-ups on each story are too often very similar, they don’t add anything unique.The human-powered Newsy (our coverage) does something very similar but is heavily human-edited and results in short videos. That’s a great app. It also doesn’t produce nearly as much content as News360.
Humans are good at writing news stories and machines are good at recommending individual links on a topic, but so far I’m not seeing a machine that’s good enough at weaving together multiple sources on a single topic without some human intervention.
That said, News360 is doing some very interesting things and is worth a look. I really like the way the app highlights keywords, lets you look up their definitions and other news stories about those words. I wish I could highlight any word in an article, ala Apture, but this is a move in a good direction.
March 29, 2011 Leave a comment
The Cincinnati Enquirer plans to beat Foursquare at its own game.
The paper is rolling out a location-based services (LBS) app, Porkappolis, that will understand the city in a way national competitors like Foursquare, Gowalla or Yelp can’t, according to Cincinnati.com’s Brian Butts.
The app, named in honor of the city’s former “Pig City” fame as a hog packing center, will offer the usual LBS features: check-ins at local businesses and other landmarks, digital badges and leaderboards for loyal users, plus a secret ingredient: bacon.
“Bacon” is the local factor that helps differentiate the homegrown Cincinnati effort from its national competitors. In Porkappolis “Bacon” is literally a tab within the app that provides relevant geo-targeted information to the user. Information, the paper believes, that is most effectively gathered and served by a trusted local source like the Enquirer
It is an interesting concept using the local and hyperlocal knowledge that a local media company has to create a point of differientiation from the large scale worldwide apps like FourSquare. It could be a useful tool for both daily newspapers and the smaller community newspaper groups.
A great mapping tool created by New York Times looks at demographic estimates from the US Census down to meshblock level across the United States looking at various variables such as ethnicity, household income, housing costs and education.
It is interesting seeing the various distribution including the abrupt change in ethnicity/income at 96th street in New York at the northern end of Central Park (the empty rectangle in the middle, from one of the richest areas of NYC to one of the poorest in a few short blocks.
It would be interesting to see the same thing done with New Zealand data once the new census information comes out.
To explore the tool, click here
The January 2011 report from research company Distimo looks at the comparisons between the various application marketplaces.
The report found:
• Two app stores are clearly ahead of the other app stores in terms of growth rates
in January 2011: Windows Phone 7 Marketplace (30%) and Google Android Market
(18%). However, the evolution of both stores is very different, and will be examined
in more detail in this report.
• The overlap of applications between countries is over 97% for all countries in both
the Google Android Market and Windows Phone 7 Marketplace. However, if we look
at the 100 most popular applications only, the overlap between countries is much
lower in Microsoft’s store than in Android Market, indicating that it is much easier
for consumers to find locally popular content in the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace
than in the Google Android Market.
• Google Android Market is the only store that has more free than paid applications,
and the proportion of free applications increased again in January.
• Windows Phone 7 Marketplace has already attracted some of the largest cross-store
publishers, but it still has a long way to go to attract the same number of cross-store
publishers as the Google Android Market or the Apple App Store.
Also interesting was what the top 10 app downloads are for each store.
Full report can be downloaded here by selecting the January 2011 report on the right hand menu.
Orli Yakuel spells out the 5 most annoying and frustrating things about Facebook that they should look at changing immediately.
Of the 5, I must say that #2, Photo Viewer, annoyed the hell out of me and still continues to do so today.
One day I saw this update on my Facebook feed: “If one more person adds me to a group, I’m sending you to the unfriended land.” I easily related to this, can’t you? I don’t know what Facebook was thinking by letting anyone add you to a group, and start sending messages as a default setting. That’s like saying: Hello spam, come visit me more often. And yes, your Facebook friends are the biggest spammers in the world, they just might not know it…
…How did this design replace the previous one? The user experience is so completely wrong here. The light box annoys the eye and basically it is just a bad visual that doesn’t fit the overall design of the site. A photo viewer is for viewing pictures, but the pictures are now displayed in a smaller format so you get a poorer experience than before. Why did you fix something that wasn’t broken, Facebook?…
… But when it comes to choosing one service, Facebook is my last choice. Why? You can’t connect it to Twitter. Perhaps Facebook thinks all my friends are on Facebook, but even so, if I want them to know where I am, I’d like to extend this ability to make sure they’ll be able to see my statuses from other platforms as well. I still don’t get why Facebook is so closed. If people want privacy they can set their own personal choices. What if other people want to share more? I think Facebook should allow it. After all, it’s a “social” network, right?…
I can honestly say that I haven’t switched from the old messaging platform to the new one…
Now, I don’t want to say Facebook is evil, but I don’t really understand how they could dismiss the customized tabs so easily after people worked so hard on them, and many companies were built specifically around this creation space. Yes, I know you can still see tabs, but not as prominently as before. Again, this was to me at least the part of Facebook that was fun and now has been marginalized. With the latest changes from FBML to Iframe, many users who could create customized tabs on their own have been left with obsolete skills. Seriously, if a company asked me if it’s worth it to create something from the Facebook API, I’d say it’s a risky situation since Facebook so easily changes things solely for their own benefit. Tabs are one great example of that. I would never expect them to change such a great feature. One that really gave users and brands the feeling of ownership but, alas they did…
Barcelona, Spain – February 14, 2011 – GSMA today announced new results from the January 2011 smartphone study by Zokem, shedding some light around the usage of mobile apps and web browsing. The study, which is based on Zokem’s smartphone panels, profiled more than 2 200 smartphone users in the UK and US in January 2011, concluding that messaging related services, including email, text, multimedia, and instant messaging, are still the top smartphone usage category with 671 monthly minutes of usage (active on-the-screen time).
Apps, combining together maps, gaming, entertainment, productivity, and social networking, are close with 667 total monthly usage minutes. Voice (531 minutes) and web browsing (422 minutes) are clearly behind apps and messaging in terms of monthly usage activity.
New research from MerchantCircle reveals local merchants flocking to simple, free marketing methods such as social media sites, are slow to adopt mobile marketing and group buying.
A number of conclusions were reached from the survey.
1. Local businesses have little time or budget to devote to marketing.
2. Social media are now the top marketing strategy for local businesses.
3. Tried-and-true online methods trump new, unproven approaches.
4. Use of traditional offline marketing methods continues to decline.
5. Online marketing services companies are aggressively targeting local businesses.
Again this could have an effect for community newspaper groups, directories and other forms of media who generally target the local business market.