Logo

Here's a realtime view of Tweets coming out of Libya, provided by TrendsMap. Great way to follow the conversation.

Screen shot 2011 02 22 at 10 58 56 AM

TrendsMap Libya

Screen shot 2011 02 20 at 5 19 37 PM

Virender Ajmani, who has a talent for Google maps mashups, has created a new one that lets you see Tweets in realtime from several countries in the Middle east that are experiencing popular unrest.

From the developer's blog:

Here’s a look at Middle East “Protests” on Twitter which are mapped out on Google Maps. This Google Maps Mashup shows the latest tweets from around Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, Iran tagged with the respective country names. The map animates thru the latest protest tweets from the region. The tweets are displayed at geotagged location on the map at an interval of 5 seconds.

Mibazaar TweetMap page

Developer's blog

via BoingBoing

OReilly's Facebook page (here) has this snippet from a Twitter chat, part of the run-up to their Tools of Change conference:

In a twitterchat hosted by Tools of Change last week, Atwood reiterated the food chain concept. She wrote:

  • author's role in publishing ecosystem: writers are the primary source for the foodchain. :) -2:08 PM
  • Have heard authors referred to as "content," as if transmission medium were primary. -2:09 PM
  • But w'out anything to transmit, transmission tools & networks would be dead. -2:10 PM

Conference starts Monday - would that I could go, but duty calls...

Screen shot 2011 02 02 at 8 36 32 PM

I had an interesting conversation with an old friend the other day about why a brand would write a mobile app, when there are such dynamic possibilities available for Facebook apps.

Aside from the desire to get your brand out of the Facebook sandbox, I thought of a few things you could do with an app that might be a little harder when working through Facebook, even Facebook mobile - geo-tagging and phone calls among them.

Fortuitously, here's a roundup of 6 mobile apps that stand well on their own, both for usability and branding.

Here are six companies that use the mobile web smartly, creating an altogether different experience than traditional online by using the strengths that the mobile device has to offer. They have been separated into two categories, one for advocating user purchases and the other for overall content and efficiency.

Starbucks card mobileDominoesJunaio ebay web 4

Category 1: Purchase intensive

These web pages make the buying experience extremely straightforward.

Starbucks Coffee. The Seattle-based company has been one of the industry leaders in using mobile to spread its messages and promote its brand. While using geolocation sites like Foursquare and Facebook Places to reward customers who buy Starbucks products, the company' recently expanded the value of its app by allowing customers to pay for their drinks by waving their mobile phones over an in-store reader. By providing added convenience and utility to its mobile experience, Starbucks' mobile efforts are leading the pack, while making the case for a wallet-less future.

Dominoes Pizza. Of course ordering a pizza through a mobile phone should be a no-brainer. But Dominoes has gone beyond the simple store locator feature to simplify the ordering process to a few finger taps. Not only can customers save all their credit card information and track the progress of their pizza through their mobile app, but they can also receive personal SMS texts that offer special deals and promotions based on previous orders.

eBay. The popular online auction website is trying its hand at augmented reality, a term that will likely become part of the digital vernacular in the next few years. While its mobile web page is more or less an abbreviated version of its traditional website, eBay has relied heavily on apps to help optimize its presence within the mobile realm. By downloading the Junaio app along with the eBay app, customers can monitor their favorite eBay auctions in real time through their mobile phones. If you don't think that's cool, you might need to get your cool meter fixed.

For the other three, see the
iMedia Connection post.

3858745755_e7dbb71206.jpg

Here's an extreme example of how no-one - not even a fairly heavy-handed government - can keep people from talking about what matters to them.

As you probably know, the Mubarak administration have shut off internet access for the whole country, in response to widespread protests and civil disobedience in Cairo and other cities.

Now, a team of developers have cooked up a way for callers using ordinary phones to get messages out to Twitter.

Granted the messages all go via one account, and are thus pretty much anonymized, but the point is - you can't silence people forever, no matter how much control you think you have.

We worked with a small team of engineers from Twitter, Google and SayNow, a company we acquired last week, to make this idea a reality. It’s already live and anyone can tweet by simply leaving a voicemail on one of these international phone numbers (+16504194196 or +390662207294 or +97316199855) and the service will instantly tweet the message using the hashtag #egypt. No Internet connection is required. People can listen to the messages by dialing the same phone numbers or going to twitter.com/speak2tweet.

Boing-Boing post

Google Blog

(Image: Egyptian pay phone, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from s_w_ellis's photostream)

TargetMarketing.jpg

The good folks at Target Marketing Magazine have asked me to present on the topic of how (and why!) to use online document customization and management strategies to solve marketing problems.

I'll be focusing on how retail, franchisee and sales agent systems can benefit from the ability to customize ads, sales support materials, point-of-purchase, direct mail, etc.

If there's time, we'll look at setting up localized cross-media campaigns, and may even get into personalized URLs.

The webinar's free, but you do have to register:
Registration Page

While I've long been convinced that the modern corporation is designed to prevent productivity, it's always nice to find tools that help prove one's point.

Here's a clock that figures out how much of our clients' money we just burned through, nattering on about synergy and ROI:
meeting_cost_calculator_bring_tim_angle.png

Introducing Bring TIM!® (Time Is Money) - a fun yet useful office clock that tallies the dollars spent in long meetings. Simply enter the number of people in the room, ballpark an average hourly wage, and press the illuminated start button. Everyone will be amazed as the dollars pile up with every second that ticks by.


Product Page

Pair this up with Bullshit Bingo and you've got a cure for the common drone.

On the lighter side...

Maniacal Rage has some pretty funny crash reports allegedly submitted to Adobe for Photoshop CS4.
Sample here:

tumblr_l0in3jyj3X1qz74k8o1_500.png

Article at Maniacal Rage

Thanks to BoingBoing for the tip!

Screen shot 2010-05-17 at 1.45.13 PM.png
The Huffington Post has this timely video on how to take back some control of your privacy settings on Facebook.

To exert full control over your privacy on Facebook, you have to navigate through 50 settings with more than 170 options.

All of the settings can be mind-boggling, unless you know where to go for the most important fixes.

Here's everything you need to know to go back to the old days when you could control your privacy on Facebook with just a few clicks.

Full article at HuffPo

Wall Street Journal
Seems like getting the hell out of Facebook has become a meme-to-watch:

Over the past 24 hours, searches related to deleting Facebook accounts have been some of the top trending items on Google (GOOG)–indicating that the tech-world furor about the social-networking site’s privacy policies may have become more mainstream.

More here at WSJ's Digits blog.

All Things Digital

Over at All Things Digital, Peter Kafka thinks Apple's iAd scheme is headed for total (or near-total) domination of the ad space on the platform:

I’ve talked to some mobile ad companies that are more hopeful. They think Apple will let them compete with its iAd platform in a fair fight.

Maybe they’re saying that because they have to appear optimistic. Maybe they really believe it. But I think they’re wrong. I think Apple intends to own the ad market for its app ecosystem.

Full Article at All Things Digital

hhcc_logo.pngFor those who need a refresher, here are some first-look observations and some interesting strategic thoughts from Hill Holliday. Sample:

The big thing that iAd really does is it brings new thinking into the capabilities of mobile display advertising and it wasn’t brought to you by Google. Google has been badly lagging in all aspects of mobile and Apple probably saw the lack of innovation in the mobile advertising market and decided to put their stake in the ground. Let’s also be clear here that mobile display advertising isn’t yet a billion dollar business, this isn’t about the money for Apple but reshaping the industry as they saw fit.

The bottom line for Apple is the continuing creation of new and free apps for the App Store while everything else, like being the innovator in mobile advertising, sticking it to Google, pre-emptively blocking Adobe are just bonuses.

Full post at Hill Holliday

adlab-logo.pngAnd thanks to MIT Advertising Lab and Ilya Vedrashko.