Recent Endorsements

You've left us really enthused about the whole digital dimension and we're looking forward to developing our plan with your support.
Simon Beardow - Deputy Director, British Council, Vietnam

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Waze And Means

Tired of getting stuck in traffic?

Join the crowd, the crowd that is contributing to Waze, "a social mobile application providing free turn-by-turn navigation based on the live conditions of the road. 100% powered by users".

According to their promotional literature, "The more you drive, the better it gets".

I tried it for Singapore and got a live traffic report for Rome scrolling on the left hand side.  However these are teething challenges as the platform has not yet been widely adopted in the country.

The GPS powered Waze map provides plenty of advertising opportunities.  It is an excellent social service; to be more precise it is a driver generated service for drivers.
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Thursday, 1 July 2010

Four Square And Ten

Foursquare is something of a phenomenon in the States.  It is based on the idea of getting people to sign up, explore their own neighbourhoods and then reward them for their efforts.

Activity is recorded in real time on the Four Square site. The explanatory video is below and the beauty of the the idea is that marries the increasing use of mobile devices to customer loyalty.

Businesses are encouraged to produce 'specials'. These range from special deals for the 'Mayor', your single most loyal customer, to check in, frequency and what they term 'wild card specials'. Point of sale decals are provided for download.

So does this work?  A survey conducted in May amongst 127 non-chain businesses in the USA suggests that most businesses didn't get to learn about Four Square from customers; they heard about it from friends and colleagues.

Source: MattSiltala, DreamSystemsMedia

The crunch is that only 10% of those surveyed would be prepared to pay for the Four Square service which makes it doubtful that the site's business model is sustainable?

Certainly as this chart demonstrates the sites reach is growing rapidly.

Screen shot example - Singapore
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Sunday, 27 June 2010

The Next Bing Thing

Image representing Bing as depicted in CrunchBase
Traditionalists amongst us tend to stick with Google search and I am one of these folks.  However Bing is most definitely on the up;  it already powers Facebook's search and will shortly do the same for Yahoo search.

Secondly Bing has had a spring renewal of interface design which is a lot more appealing and easier to navigate with the Quick Tabs feature.

Brian MacDonald, the Corporate Vice President of Bing  indicated that they had decided to invest in the entertainment area, based on the findings of user research.

Music, gaming TV and movies have extensive offerings and a new portal for those who want to go direct.  There are currently  5 million free plays in the music offering.

The Art of SEO: Mastering Search Engine Optimization (Theory in Practice)Yusuf Mehdi, Bing's Senior Vice President explains: "As the content on the web has exploded, it has become difficult to navigate and find what you are looking for. In the field of entertainment, 76 percent of people use search to help find and navigate their entertainment options online, but only 10 percent say they have a trusted place to go.

So we see a great opportunity to help customers make important entertainment decisions -- from deciding what movie to buy or see, which TV shows to watch online or on your TV, what music to listen to, how to find and safely play your favorite casual games – Bing is making a first step today to help make entertainment on the web easy and fun, so you spend less time searching for entertainment and more time doing the stuff you love."

The business application of Bing is of greater interest and they have beefed up  investment profiling.  The much vaunted finance portal which is meant to be at this URL is currently redirecting to the search engine front page which suggests that all is not well?

Bing General Manager Derrick Connell discusses the latest changes made to Bing's design and experience in this video.

I gave Bing  a try when it was first launched and stopped using it shortly after.  On the strength of these improvements I am willing to give it a second chance.
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