Archive for the ‘TECHNOLOGY’ Category

PSFK – “Future of Mobile Tagging” Report

February 1, 2011 Leave a comment

DISCLOSURE: This was originally posted Jan. 24th, 2011 on the Casanova Pendrill blog.

PSFK recently released their “Future of Mobile Tagging” Report.

What’s Mobile Tagging?

“Mobile tags offer a unique opportunity for brands and their agencies to interact with potential and existing customers. These two dimensional barcodes can be applied to almost any surface and the information contained within them can be leveraged to create incentives and drivers that lead consumers along the purchase path. By bridging the online-offline divide with a click of a mobile phone button, mobile tags can drive a brand or product’s awareness.”


Here’s a real-life example of how mobile tagging can be done:

It can be attached to virtually any product you can think of: a wine bottle, a pair of jeans, a newspaper, etc. Using your mobile phone, this code will import data into your phone and give you more information about the product.

What’s this mean for Hispanic marketers?

Study after study has shown the increasing number of Latinos using cell phones. A recent report from Terra said that 40% of Latinos currently use mobile phones to get coupons/special offers online. Mobile tagging lets brands provide non-intrusive data that can help influence purchase decisions and it ends up being win-win for both parties

Access the full report on SlideShare:

Categories: TECHNOLOGY

Nine Inch Nails Builds Brand with New iPhone App

Nine Inch Nails has released an iPhone app that does a great job of showing brands how they’ve created an integrated and carefully structured brand experience. This is also a great plug for the iPhone and its myriad of capabilities.

It does a very good job of mobilizing the web experience and allowing users to access all the content, but it also has a pretty cool messaging feature that allows fans to discover the location of fellow messengers. In addition, the application also allows for fans to participate and engage in conversations around the band. For example, when a concert is happening, outsiders can get a glimpse of what’s going on by accessing messages and photos in real time.”

via Influx Insights

UPDATE (April 9th, 2009)

In other music/iPhone news, Coachella has released a really cool iPhone app. From the PSFK site:

The massive Coachella festival is coming up next week, featuring an extensive line-up of musicians playing over the course of three days. For attendees daunted by the task of trying to figure out who’s playing where – and when, the Coachella organization has developed an iPhone application that will tell you the exact times and locations of all performances. Interactive maps of the festival will show the best possible routes to pack in as much as possible, and live updates can keep you informed of any delays or changes.”

Categories: TECHNOLOGY Tags: ,

The Death of Voicemail

cell-phone-boothImage via PSFK

Interesting post from PSFK this week about the demise of phone messages. I started to drastically cut down on voicemails – both listening to and leaving them – over a year ago. It just doesn’t really make sense anymore with its inherent lack of efficiency.

Whoever I’ve just called can see the missed call, and if I do leave a message, I always end up re-capping it anyway. I’ve changed my voicemail message to say that the fastest way to reach me is via email or text (I’m tempted to add a 3rd option – Twitter).

One of the biggest problems with any audio format is that is takes considerably longer to hear the information than it does to read it – this is one of the reasons I don’t like audio books.

Another issue I have is that companies like Jott will provide you with audio recordings of all your RSS feeds as one of their features. So, for example, let’s say it is going to “read me” a recent post from Initially, I thought this feature sounded great (pun not intended), but I’m not able to:

1) share the with anyone if I like it

2) take notes

3) comment

4) bookmark it to Delicious (or Read It Later on Firefox) if I want it as a reference

5) check the links in the post

A service that I was testing out last year, YouMail, offered transcribed voicemails, which help me navigate and scan through my messages more quickly, but unfortunately, the quality of the transcrptions was very poor and I wasn’t willing to pay for better transcriptions.

My biggest problem today isn’t getting messages (I have everything practically synced up to go through my email and/or my phone), it’s knowing WHERE to contact people.

Seriously, it used to be not that long ago that if you wanted to get a hold of someone you would just call them (and leave a voicemail) or email them. Now, I don’t always know whether I should call the cell, Skype call, Skype video chat, IM (AOL, GChat, Facebook, Skype), text, Blackberry Messenger, email, email through Facebook, Tweet, etc.

The future of communication isn’t have enough opportunities to connect with people, it’s knowing WHERE to connect with them. As some point, I suspect we’ll have a centralized source (like Google Voice), but for now, this also poses the obvious challenge for marketers to understand their targets’ communications habits.

Further info: Death of Voicemail You’ve Got Voicemail, but Do You Care?

Categories: TECHNOLOGY Tags: ,

The Rise of Netbooks

April 3, 2009 2 comments

I was reading a article this morning, “Light and Cheap, Netbooks Are Poised to Reshape PC Industry,” and I think netbooks have a huge opportunity to strike a largely untapped market. They’re still in the early stages, but I can’t help but think this is a perfect product for people like my parents, who primarily use the Internet and don’t have any need for the bells and whistles most laptops provide.

Aside from the low cost (under $100), the article says that, “By the end of the year, consumers are likely to see laptops the size of thin paperback books that can run all day on a single charge and are equipped with touch screens or slide-out keyboards.”

Furthermore, sales are “…predicted to double this year, even as overall PC sales fall 12 percent, according to the research firm Gartner. By the end of 2009, netbooks could account for close to 10 percent of the PC market, an astonishing rise in a short span.”

I think that the potential for netbooks is especially interesting if you consider the fact that mobile phones (with internet access) are outselling computers in many parts of the world, such as Africa and China.

Categories: TECHNOLOGY Tags:

Scarcity Creates Impact

March 27, 2009 Leave a comment

watersurchargevia rick

I’ve been toying with an idea for the past few weeks, but up until now it’s really just been the headline of this post. Then I read the excellent SAMBA blog and found they put into words what I had been struggling to say.

When something is scarce, it increases in value. If it’s not easily accessible, then it will be flooded with interest once it is available – basic supply and demand.

And so is the case with the internet – it completely throws the concept of supply and demand into a state of disequilibrium.

The internet is always in HIGH supply, regardless of demand. The SAMBA team goes on to point out that:

“Sometimes you get to decide how scarce something is. By creating scarcity you can increase the value.”

What can brands learn from this?

In a world where accessibility is so widespread, the answer isn’t always to make yourself available 24/7 – it’s to make yourself scarce. As Erin recently pointed out, brands should create enough engaging content to make consumers seek them out. It’s the Push vs. Pull idea.

Digging a little deeper

This talk of scarcity got me thinking about the last MAS assignment I worked on for the This post on The Grand Unified Theory On The Economics of Free had a great analogy of the recording industry using the concept of infinite vs. scarce.

I’m going to trying to use the same idea for the (my focus is on the website – not the newspaper).

1. Redefine the market: The benefit is high-quality journalism.

2. Break the benefits down: Vetted news sources, bestseller lists, visualization charts, videos, etc.

3. Set the infinite components free: Post the news on social networks, open up the archives completely, stop asking people to register on the site, make the news as accessible as possible while promoting the journalists (not the brand) who create this content.

4. Charge for the scare components: Access to journalists, access to the newsroom, access to the creation of the content, merchandise, charge other news sources for access to these journalists.

“The end result really is a much bigger market with much greater benefit by expanding the market by using infinite goods to make the scarce goods more valuableIt’s very much about showing the key trends that are impacting all infinite goods — and pointing out a clear path to benefiting from it (while making life more difficult on those who refuse to give up their old business models).”

Not sure if I’m onto something here, or way off. The newspaper industry is a special case – it faces numerous challenges and there’s no easy answer. Even so, maybe this approach is a step in the right direction.


Categories: TECHNOLOGY Tags:

What Is An RSS Feed?

February 28, 2009 2 comments


The most recent information that I’ve been able to find says that about 30% of American internet users read blogs. Although many Planners are tech savvy and write blogs themselves, I think there’s still lots of Planners out there who don’t know how to use certain tools on the web.

What is an RSS feed?

I’m going to skip the technical definition and explain it as simply as I can. RSS feeds are a faster, more simpler way of getting the information you want from websites and blogs. Instead of going to your favorite sites to check when they update, you can just use a simple tool called an RSS feed so that THEY send the info to YOU. Awesome, right?

rssdiagram via SearchEngineLand

Let’s say you have 10 websites you check every day, like Talent Imitates, Genius Steals. Now, instead of checking TIGS every day to see if Faris has updated his blog, you can just “subscribe” to his blog, so that whenever he posts something new, you’ll know through your RSS Reader. Think of it like a magazine subscription.

Why would you subscribe to someone’s blog instead of just going to the site and checking it every day? Quite simply, it saves tons  of time. I read about 50 different blogs on a consistent basis, so by using an RSS Reader I get my “feeds” sent to me in a central location. It’s super convenient and especially for a Planner who needs to scan through lots of information every day it’s a huge help.

How To Subscribe

There’s a bunch of different RSS Readers out there – I use Google Reader. GReader is great because it’s simple to use and you can scan the headlines of all your feeds quickly.

There’s basically two main ways to subscribe to a site’s feeds.

1) If you look at the TIGS blog you’ll see a little orange icon (like the one at the top of this blog post) where it says “Subscribe to my feed.” If you click on the link it’ll take you to this page, where it gives you the option of which RSS Reader you want to use. If you choose Google, just select “Subscribe Now.”

You will now be taken to another page that lets you add this feed to your Google Reader with one click. That’s it.

2) The other way to subscribe is to copy the site’s link: and entering it where it says “Add A Subscription” in Google Reader.

So that’s it. Depending on whether you use a Mac or PC, Firefox, Internet Explorer (or some other browser) you may want to use a different RSS Reader, but GReader is a great place to start. The video below from Common Craft also has an explanation for RSS feeds.

To subscribe to MY blog, just follow the steps above.

Categories: TECHNOLOGY Tags:

Random Thoughts on Increasing Voter Participation

November 1, 2008 Leave a comment

                                   Image courtesy of joebeone

I went online the other day to verify that I was registered to vote. A couple things I didn’t realize:

  1. You need to re-register if you’ve moved
  2. You can’t register online. Sure, you can do the preliminary stuff, but you still need to print out a form and mail it. Yeah, the old school way. 
This doesn’t make any sense. We can do everything else online so why can’t we vote online too? I can’t imagine it would be very complicated. The technology is definitely there. 

We could fill out an online form with our name, address, social security number, driver’s license number and whatever else is needed. We could probably do this in about five minutes. I’m sure the geniuses at Google could set it up. We could probably even watch the voting in real time, and they could come up with all sorts of cool visualization maps that show us when and where people were voting. 

Let’s go a step further: How many years will it be until we can vote via cell phone? We already know that cell phones with Internet capability are outselling computers. 

Obama’s camp already revolutionized politics this year when they announced his VP pick via text message. I’m looking forward to the day when Internet voting in a major election becomes a reality. Has anyone written about this topic already? I haven’t seen any mention anywhere of digitizing voting. 

Just imagine the voter turnout. 
Categories: TECHNOLOGY Tags:
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