Thursday, January 28, 2010

Social Media Global Trends -Impact of Time Spent on Social Media Campaigns

Nielsen recently published some interesting statistics on the growth of different social media sites across the globe.You can see the main chart above.

They show the unstoppable rise and rise of Facebook, to over 100m monthly visitors, though Twitter's rate of growth is now higher than Facebook's. Twitter saw growth of 579% year-on-year, from 2.7 million unique visitors in December 2008 to 18.1 million in December 2009.MySpace's decline also continues unabated.

Interestingly, the time per person dedicated to visiting social media sites shows the US, UK and Australia leading the way (Canada is not included in the data, but presumably would be amongst the leading group too). You can see this in the table below from the Nielsen study.

Any social media campaign would do well to take the time per person factor into account, as this will impact the degree of penetration of the campaign. Social media users in countries with higher time spent per user can be enagaged at a deeper level with both the social media campaign and its message. Conversely, if a country has a lower time spent per user (like Switzerland), this would indicate that campaign 'bursts' with shorter engagement times would be more effective.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Mobile World Congress 2010 –Rumours and Expectations

It’s that time of the year again when mobilists around the world prick their ears to detect the crescendo of rumours concerning the 2010 edition of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Changing times

Globally, mobile is growing at a steady pace, with emerging economies taking the slack from mature ones, smarter phones encouraging greater use of data connections over the 3G and 4G networks and new services (like mobile money) coming on stream to create more captivating services on mobile.

So, why the gloomy faces on the mobile operators’ executives? Because times are a changin'. What began as an easily shrugged-off trend, ‘openness’, has seriously destabilised the comfortable world mobile operators were operating in. Threats of ‘dumb pipes’ loom large on the horizon. What I’ve referred to as ‘Open Playgrounds’ back in 2008 are now becoming the norm. Increasingly, operators find themselves at a loss to come up with a compelling consumer proposition that they can control (control being the key to monetisation). Meantime, that much loved measure, ARPU, continues on its gradual downward decline. Not the best situation to be in if you need to upgrade creaking 3G infrastructure to ‘gold standard’ 4G or LTE architecture by investing billions of euros.

Much more than hardware

Where exactly is the light at the end of the tunnel? No-one is sure, but increasingly operators think they can see an Apple silhouette against that light. Because no-one has been able to engage consumers in a controlled or closed environment quite the way Apple has done with the iPhone. Hence the launch of the GSMA App Planet (it’s all about the apps) during the Congress –which is great in a kind of ‘let’s jump on the bandwagon’ sort of way, but not so great when you notice that Apple isn’t in the GSMA’s App Planet (presumably Apple’s planet orbits within a different galaxy). Still, Google will be there to let everyone know that they are serious about mobile.

Google’s presence will loom large

In fact, Google will have the biggest profile ever at the Mobile World Congress, following its NexusOne launch and also with the much anticipated Key Note by CEO Eric Schmidt. Without a doubt, Google will shake up the industry and create (as well as destroy) new market segments –what I’m not sure about, is how much they will tread on the toes of operators in doing so.

Nokia and LG absent

Even for market leaders, this is a dangerous strategy –despite agreeing with Nokia’s strategy to re-invent itself into a de-facto software provider, their manner of doing so has also meant they have eroded their market leadership in the hardware/handset market. Partly so, by annoying operators with an attempt to create their own controlled system (remember, this is what operators consider part of their territory). It should come as no surprise therefore, that Nokia will be absent from the show,as is the case with LG. They too plan to create their own controlled App store and ecosystem.

Let Innovation Take Centre Stage

When the going gets tough, the tough start innovating! Now is a great moment for new services and companies to test out new concepts and shake up the industry at the grass-roots. We already saw at the CES Show last month some great innovations in the area of 3D technology. I expect Augmented Reality to be one of the key innovations buzzed about at the MWC (if it isn’t, something will be amiss!). If you are visiting the show, I recommend you check out the Innovation Zone and see where the services of tomorrow will be born.

Friday, January 15, 2010 Adding semantics to Task Management

I was introduced to Moscow-based at the LeWeb09 Techcrunch Start-up Contest in Paris in December last year when I met co-founder Dmitry Gorshkov.

Dmitry is an experienced UI and UX developer, and while the 'engine' of is still under wraps (though you can get hold of a private beta invite) expectations are high.

If you stopped loving Outlook a while back, get frustrated with trying to manage your tasks effectively across multiple platforms, and are looking for the ultimate collaboration tool, could be a godsend for you.

You can get a short preview of what's to come in the presentation here:

Monday, January 11, 2010

Nexus One vs iPhone 3GS Challenge-A Video Comparison has created a great video illustrating the differences between the iPhone 3GS and the Google NexusOne phone in terms of design spec, speed and functionality (click here to see it).

In terms of browsing, one of the differences iPhone users will notice is the absence of 'pinch and zoom' on the Nexus. Other features are more in line -the hasidic keyboard is in portrait and landscape on both devices but the bigger screen on the Nexus certainly helps with typing.

Users will also appreciate the higher degree of customisation possible on the Nexus, from wallpapers to shortcuts as well as the multi-tasking capability and greater speed.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The world in 2020: Mobile Predictions

URBANIA, 2020:

Woken up by my mobile phone alarm clock at 7am, thinking it was about time to change the tune of my music hologram wake up call. 'Quiet!' I shout at the mobile phone, turning the alarm off via the voice-activated command.

Time for a power breakfast, where I can pore over my favourite digital newspaper on my iKindle (it was only a matter of time before Apple and Amazon merged-think of the synergies!). Mmm...I need to re-program the coffee machine from my mobile, need more foamy milk on that cappuccino!

And while I'm at it, let me program the housebot (house robot) from my mobile so it feeds the cat at 5pm-can't think how we lived without those things before!

Out on the streets, I have some time for some early morning shopping before heading to my 'collaboration pod' at the office...I point my mobile's 50 MP camera at the supermarket and see through the Augmented Reality layer (can't believe this was so hyped only 10 years ago!) that there are some 2 for 1 offers at the Deli Counter..nice!

'And, Mr.Ferraro, may we suggest you try our Tuna-flavoured pizza topping today', says the Wal-Mart Digital Mobile Assistant, knowing that I tried the Tuna-flavoured pasta 3 times in a row last week.Maybe, I think..damn shame all we have today is tuna-flavour, and no real tunas anymore....

Shopping finished, time to head to work. 'Your body temperature is 0.3 degrees below optimal' says my mobile, having detected my body heat through its sensors. 'Long sleeves are recommended', it continues.Damn! I need to turn that auto-sensor off, it drives me crazy.Plus, now all my friends will have received the auto-chirp from it in real time, and will think I am a cissy!

Anyway, I checked the YaGoogle Weather Forecast this morning, and it said the day will warm up later.Just as well, the kids will be going to school this afternoon, after their remote-learning video classroom from home.

After a full day of holo-video conference calls, I'll be ready for a good gym work-out! My Mobile Personal Trainer (that speaks to me with a realistic Arnold Schwarzenegger voice) has me on a tough, fat-burning regime. Just as well that at my age, all my bio-data is wired in real-time to my virtual doctor, who is always there to send me a pop-up alert should things get too extreme.

As I enter the gates to my office and approach the main door where my retina will be scanned once more and cross-checked to my Personal Digital Identity (PDI) Key on my mobile , I have one of those thoughts we sometimes get: boy, how technology has moved on in the last decade!