>Mobile data doubles


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From Evernote:

Mobile data doubles

In case you hadn’t heard, we’re using more and more mobile data these days. With apps becoming ever more connected, the need to use our wireless data connections has also increased–and we’re increasingly going mobile instead of sitting in front of the computer screen.

Research firm Nielsen has numbers out today that show an 89 percent increase in data usage from the first quarter of last year to the same period this year. Where we were using about 230MB on average a year ago, that has jumped to about 435MB now.

This puts into question the need by mobile carriers to rethink their bargain data offerings. While a lot cap those cheap plans at around 250MB, it’s now evident that a large majority of us need more data than that.

Want some even crazier statistics?

Look at this chart, and especially focus at the right — which is the 99th percentile, or top 1 percent of data users. Their usage has skyrocketed, averaging about 1.8GB last year, but an astonishing 4.6GB now. Can you see why the wireless carriers are so eager about throttling and caps?

I don’t know how you can even use that much data, although I frequently use about 2.5-3GB of data a month. According to this chart, that puts me in the top 2 or 3 percent of all data users.i

Knock on wood, I haven’t gotten throttled or capped yet, but I guess from the looks of this I shouldn’t get too comfortable.

One thing might be good about more data usage, and that’s the fact that we’re getting more bang for our buck. While data costs have not changed, the effective cost per MB has been all but halved. Today’s data user is paying about 8 cents per megabyte, versus 14 cents a year ago.

How much data are you using? Where do you fall in this chart? Let us know in the comments.



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>eBay Takes Local Shopping Mobile.


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From Evernote:

eBay Takes Local Shopping Mobile.

eBay is beefing up its mobile arsenal with an updated Android app and its first local shopping app.

The latter app is from the local shopping search engine that eBay acquired in June, Milo. Through partnerships with more than 140 retailers, Milo has access to real-time information from the inventory management systems of about 50,000 stores. The mobile app uses this information to show whether a nearby store actually has a product on its shelves, and if so, how its price compares to other local stores.

In-store, you can scan an item’s barcode to compare its price with the price at other stores in the area. Like competitor Wishpond, Milo’s app will also tell you how far away each of those stores is from your current location.

eBay has also updated its Android app to include seller functions like a barcode scanner that provides details for listings. Most of the new features are similar to those in eBay’s iPhone app.

Combined, eBay’s mobile apps have been downloaded more than 45 million times.

And, as many new peer-to-peer markets launch on location-based mobile apps, eBay has also been making investments in both mobile and local technologies. The company bought barcode-scanning app Redlaser last year and announced in April it would buy location media company WHERE Inc..

“We’re in a new retail environment, where the lines between offline and online commerce are converging through mobile and local experiences,” an eBay spokesperson said.

>Omnicom Media Group and July Systems partner for mobile marketing.


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From Evernote:

Omnicom Media Group and July Systems partner for mobile marketing.

Published on Monday, May 23rd by Bena Roberts

Dubai, May 23, 2011 – Omnicom Media Group MENA and July Systems yesterday announced a partnership that will enable media owners to create and monetize content on mobile internet platforms.

Mobile internet is set to become the primary access globally with the GCC showing a 93% mobile penetration, amongst the highest in the world. Widely seen as one of the world’s fastest emerging mobile and internet markets, it is estimated that the region’s mobile investments will be worth $35 million by 2015.

With this in mind, Omnicom Media Group MENA, the region’s largest investor in digital media, and July Systems, the world’s leading mobile media company, have joined forces to roll-out out a world class mobile media platform in MENA. This will enable print, broadcast and digital media owners, as well as advertisers, to create, reach and engage with consumers.

Monthly regional mobile ad impressions are projected to reach one billion in 2011 with mobile growth rates set to outstrip those seen in the overall digital market in the next five years. Marketing and media investments are expected to follow suit.

The partnership was announced at 4Mobility, a forum on the mobile opportunity, staged in Dubai Media City. Attended by advertisers and media owners, its key message was that mobile marketing is no longer about ‘whether’ but ‘how’ brands will deploy it. The digital media heads of CBS, ESPN and Viacom spoke at the event sharing their experiences on content monetization and mobile advertising success.

“We always felt that the mobile opportunity was just waiting to happen. We therefore decided to act and create the platform through which content, brands and consumers can mobilize in the mobile space,” said Elie Khouri, CEO of Omnicom Media Group MENA. “Partnering with July Systems will ensure the offering is world class. On the one hand, media owners will be able to deploy bespoke mobile strategies and create, manage and monetize content efficiently. On the other, we will have access to mobile content that audiences will seek and engage with, giving brands access to a new and highly effective channel though which they will be able to communicate with their target consumers.”

Prem Bhatia, president of July Systems, added: “We are fortunate to count the world’s largest media brands as our partners, having helped them build large and scalable mobile businesses over the last decade. In Omnicom Media Group MENA, we have found the perfect partner for this region and together we will take media owners, brands, enterprises and consumers to a new level, through the next generation of rich mobile services.”

July Systems’ Mi™ Platform is a cloud based solution empowering media owners with tools and pre-built modules to launch interactive and rich mobile services. It is the industry’s first next-generation publishing platform delivering flexibility in design and time-to-market advantages in delivery. Offering innovative features such as HTML5 web apps, session based advertising, Freemium monetization models and personalized push based customer relationship management, the platform enables media owners to focus on growth in their core areas and build a sustainable mobile internet presence.

>How Southwest Airlines is connecting with customers via Social Media


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From Evernote:

In this video I interview Christi McNeil, emerging media specialist and spokespe

In this video I interview Christi McNeil, emerging media specialist and spokesperson for Southwest Airlines. She handles the online media relations and is the voice behind the Southwest Airlines Twitter account.

Christi talks about how to use social media to connect with customers by sharing behind-the-scenes stories, covering breaking news and seizing opportunities to connect with customers on a deeper level.

Be sure to check out the takeaways below after you watch the video.

Here are some of the things you’ll learn in this video:

  • How the Nuts About Southwest blog was created as a platform to share behind-the-scenes stories
  • Why their blog is manned with one main blog editor and a team of 30 bloggers throughout the organization
  • What type of content the bloggers share to engage customers
  • How social media has helped Southwest Airlines differentiate itself from the competition
  • How to use Twitter to build one-on-one interaction with your audience
  • How to use Facebook to build community conversation with live streaming content and by featuring fare offers and promotions

Christi’s biggest tip: Allow your employees to have a voice and establish this early on in the social space.

Connect with Christi on Twitter at @southwestair and also at @christimcneill.

How does your company connect with customers on social media? What tips do you have to share about creating community conversations online? Please share them below.

About the Author, Michael Stelzner

Michael Stelzner is the founder of Social Media Examiner and author of the books Launch and Writing White Papers. Other posts by Michael Stelzner

>T-Mobile, WildTangent To Bring 25 Cent App Rentals To Android.


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From Evernote:

T-Mobile, WildTangent To Bring 25 Cent App Rentals To Android.

One of the worst things about app shopping is the uncertainty. A few screen grabs and a four-line description is hardly enough to make an informed decision. When apps are free, it’s less of an issue, but when I’m coughing up a couple bucks, I want to know what I’m getting. A few app stores have tried to quell this issue: Amazon‘s Appstore for Android has a test-drive feature, the Android Market has a 15-minute return policy, and Apple launched a “Try Before You Buy” system last summer. But T-Mobile has taken a pretty innovative approach to app shopping: rentals.

>5 Reasons Why Deleting Your Blog Posts Is Stupid.


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From Evernote:

5 Reasons Why Deleting Your Blog Posts Is Stupid.

Steve Rubel is a pretty well known dude. As a popular blogger and PR firm Edelman’s EVP of digital strategy, if Steve does something radical on the web, people will take notice. And that’s exactly what happened when he decided to trade the two blogs he’d maintained over several years for a new Tumblr blog, deleting the hundreds of his blog posts he’d created along the way.

That’s right — he deleted all of the content he’d created and started with a clean slate. Um…what?

Discussing his reasoning for his use of the scorched earth policy in a recent blog post, Steve said he moved his digital presence to Tumblr because, with Google’s increasing focus on social signals, it was the best social platform available. So why delete his old posts, too? Steve says it’s because he wanted to centralize his web presence, and he didn’t want to confuse Google with multiple sources of content and a scattered web presence.

Only time will tell whether this was the right move for Steve, but he still admits that while the move to Tumblr and adoption of the scorched earth policy might make sense for thought leaders’ personal brands, it might not be the best strategy for businesses. Here’s why…

Why Deleting Blog Posts Is Stupid for Businesses

1. You’ll lose all that coveted SEO juice you built. If you’re a regular blogger, you like understand and value the SEO benefits of blogging frequently. You know that every new blog post you create is more real estate for your business to rank in search engines, and that each new piece of content affords you some extra SEO juice for the keywords you want to get found for. And if you’ve been blogging for a while, chances are you are actually experiencing those benefits and generating more traffic to your website. Chances are, you also remember all of the time and hard work you put in to get your blog where it is now. If the thought of losing all of that previous SEO authority you’ve generated and starting from scratch scares the bejesus out of you, congratulations — you’re a sane human being.

2. You’ll sacrifice a whole lot of inbound link love. While blogging is a great way to boost your on-page SEO, off-page SEO and inbound links to the content you create are even more powerful influencers for your website’s authority and its ability to rank in search engines. By deleting your blog posts, any inbound links you’ve generated will disappear. If someone linked to an article on your blog in their own blog post, that link will essentially be worthless (it won’t work!), and it will ultimately affect referral traffic to your website.

3. You’ll miss out on valuable lead generation opportunities. Steve argues that being in a social platform like Tumblr is more important than having old blog posts, but this is definitely not a best practice for businesses. Old content, or “evergreen content” as we like to call it at HubSpot, can be a valuable lead generation tool. In fact, HubSpot still generates leads today from blog posts we published three years ago. Some of these posts have risen to the top of search engine results and are found via searches every day. Each article includes a call-to-action that leads visitors to a landing page with a lead generation form, and we still collect leads from those pages. Just because content is evergreen, doesn’t mean it’s still not useful or that it can’t continue to generate leads for your business.

4. You’ll be retroactively wasting a lot of time (and burning a library of resources!). Particularly in the world of inbound marketing, time and brainpower is money. While blogging may not cost anything besides the platform or tools you’ve built your blog on, creating, nurturing, and maintaining a successful blog still takes a lot of valuable time and effort. Think about all the time you spent creating the content that has built your blog up to what it is today. Throwing away all that content would be like throwing away money and burning a library of resources. What a waste! 

5. You’ll limit social media mentions and content sharing. Ironically, Steve made his move to Tumblr in an effort to be more social, but let’s face it, the content people share in social media isn’t always brand new. Just like businesses can still generate leads from evergreen content, they can also generate traffic and get found in social media through the sharing of that content, too. Eliminating old content altogether will severely limit social sharing and negatively affect social media referral traffic to your website.

In Steve’s case, his dramatic change is only affecting his personal brand, not a business. And because he is already so well known, he can afford to take the risk. That said, for small businesses that are trying to make a name for themselves and beat out their competitors on the web, such a radical move would be ridiculous.


>Betalen bij Starbucks via smartphones


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From Evernote:

Auteur: Loek Essers

Auteur: Loek Essers

Klanten van Starbucks kunnen in de VS hun koffie van tevoren uitzoeken en betalen via hun telefoon. Bij de balie hoeft de aankoop alleen nog te worden ingescand.

Dat was al een tijd mogelijk met BlackBerry en iPhone apps maar kan sinds deze week ook met Android. Starbucks Card Mobile stelt koffiedrinkers in staat hun saldo te checken en aan te vullen. Daarnaast kan ook de dichtstbijzijnde Starbucks opgezocht worden en worden er aanbiedingen in de applicatie aangeprijsd.

Streepjescode voor de scanner

De koffie wordt afgerekend door een streepjescode voor een scanner te houden bij een van de duizenden locaties in de VS. Na de aankoop toont de app het overgebleven saldo. In de eerste negen weken dat het systeem is gebruikt zijn er volgens Starbucks meer dan 3 miljoen aankopen gedaan via dit systeem.

In de toekomst wil de koffietent gebruik gaan maken van near field communication (NFC), een techniek die door velen als de volgende stap in mobiel betalen wordt gezien. Daarvoor moeten telefoons eerst wel uitgerust worden met NFC-chips, iets dat moeilijker te bewerkstelligen is dan de winkels voorzien van NFC-systemen.

>Tumblr is the next great thing on Internet


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From Evernote:

Tumblr is the next great thing on Internet

Brent Simmons sees a natural evolution for blogs…

“New blogging systems like Posterous and Tumblr seem to be pretty popular, and they fill a nice middle ground: short content, easy sharing, social stuff. They’re cool.

But try to imagine replacing Daring Fireball, Scripting News, Apple Outsider, Shawn Blanc, or any of a number of great blogs with something like Twitter. You can’t. You’d have to invent blogs so that these writers have somewhere to write.”

Brent is right. Blogging, once again, is evolving. But he’s a bit off in portraying Tumblr this way.

Tumblr, to me at least, isn’t a blog platform but something new entirely – a social network for both original and curated content that is longer than a tweet and often more visual in nature. It’s a hybrid.

This nuance is lost in the news that Tumblr now has more blogs than WordPress.com.

Consider this: over breakfast last week Mark Coatney from Tumblr shared with me that most of the platform’s billions of page views take place inside the dashboard rather than on the individual domains. That means that Tumblr is less like WordPress and more like Twitter or Facebook – a social network for content rather than a blogging platform.

A huge part of Tumblr’s appeal is its community. Like Twitter and Facebook you don’t have to attract an audience, you just need to get them to subscribe. And while RSS is baked in, subscriptions are disguised simply as follows on Tumblr, making it all the more simple.

The more people start using Tumblr Dashboard as an aggregator, the more they create, share, comment and reblog. The network effect takes over and the platform grows.

When you add in the fact that the media is increasingly using Tumblr, you have an engine in place that can drive additional growth.

All the forces are in place, to me at least, to propel Tumblr as the next big hub. However, it’s not blogging that will do it but – like Twitter and Facebook before it – the community that’s driving the network effect and its meteoric growth.

>7 Ways to Build Your Network Without Using People


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From Evernote:

7 Ways to Build Your Network Without Using People

If you spend any time trying the usual networking strategies, then you’ll probably notice that most of them seem insincere at best. It always feels like you’re fighting between your own agenda and the best interests of your new “friends.”

That said, networking is perhaps the single best way to achieve success.

So how do you achieve the goal of advancing your career and expanding your professional network without using people? Here are 7 tips that should help.

1. Choose the best channel for you.

Too often, we spread ourselves too thin by setting up accounts on social media sites, going to networking mixers, cold-calling potential clients, asking interesting people out to lunch and so on. For most of us, this all-out pursuit leads to burnout instead of results. Rather than trying to be everywhere at once, decide which area should receive your attention first. Choosing to focus on one mode of communication makes it easier to give your new contacts your full attention … which is exactly what they deserve.

2. It’s about listening to what people say, not saying the right things.

Take a bit of the pressure off of yourself. You don’t need to say the exact right words at the exact right time. Networking is more about taking the time to listen to people’s stories and looking for the places that you can provide something of value to them. it is crucial to understand where people are coming from and what’s important to them. That way, you’ll be able to help them out in the future.

3. You don’t need to know the most people, just the right people.

Stop firing your business cards to everyone you meet and blasting emails out to anyone that looks interesting. It’s much more beneficial to have 10 people that would help you at any time than it is to have 100 that recognize your name. Spend some time finding people that are relevant to you and then pursue the relationships that seem to have a genuine connection.

4. The other side doesn’t “owe” you anything.

Just because you reached out and said hello doesn’t mean that the other person is required to help you. Instead of approaching networking with the hope of gaining favors, try reaching out with curiosity. Contact interesting and relevant people and see what happens. Figure out what makes them unique. See if there is a way you can help them. And if you do help them, don’t expect anything in return.

5. Every person matters.

Please don’t make the mistake of categorizing networking opportunities by status, position, or other superficial metrics. People advance in their careers. People change jobs and industries. Furthermore, you literally have no idea who knows who. That fast food worker could have a cousin that works on Capitol Hill. Treat everyone with respect and don’t dismiss anyone as irrelevant.

6. Offer praise when you reach out over email.

Unless you have a mutual contact that is putting you in touch for a specific reason, it’s best to avoid asking for anything when you make that first contact. Did they win an award or did their company do well last quarter? Send a quick note of congratulations. Over email it’s especially important that you offer a little praise before delving deeper. If they reply to your first email, then you can move on to asking for advice or setting up a date for lunch.

7. Show your current network some love.

Networking isn’t just about reaching out to new people. A huge part of it is nurturing your current network of friends, co-workers, and peers. You can start helping these people today because you already know what they are interested in. Network with the people that are already close by sending helpful information and connecting them with other interesting people you already know.

These steps aren’t difficult, but the do require you to take action.

There aren’t any secret sayings that will turn you into a world-class networker. Simply, begin reaching out and helping others however you can. If you’re looking for more, then I’ve put together an even longer list of networking tips.

James Clear is the founder of Passive Panda.com, a site for people that want to earn more money. Join Passive Panda’s Free Newsletter on Earning More for proven tips and strategies.

>Why you need a mobile strategy!


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From Evernote:

Why you need a mobile strategy!

Let’s face it. Mobile devices have drastically shifted the online landscape to the point that in 2010 more than 50 percent of all Internet access was being done via handhelds of some sort. About 45 percent of mobile owners are using their devices to download social networking apps. In fact, 35 percent of Android and iPhone owners in the U.S. use apps such as Facebook before getting out of bed, according to a recent survey conducted by telecommunications equipment vendor Ericsson.

Several companies have a subdomain set up specifically for mobile phones. So, for example, when users type www.ESPN.com into a smartphone, the ESPN site actually figures out that they are visiting the site from a mobile device and redirects them to a subdomain. The user experience from the phone is different than the user experience at a computer. Diane Irvine, CEO of Seattle-based jewelry site Blue Nile, realized the importance of mobile delivery when her site made a $40,000 diamond sale via a mobile device in 2009. She soon learned that she needed to make her site more mobile-friendly for iPhone users. Last year, she introduced a mobile version of the Blue Nile site. Since the launch, Irvine says, “More than 20 percent of our shoppers are using the mobile site.” The reason being is that it gives people the flexibility to shop wherever they are. “This will become the future of shopping,” she adds.

There are now numerous mobile apps serving up informative tips, educational bits, or pure entertainment or gaming. Many companies are using mobile apps to boost brand awareness and affinity. Your business can, too. But you must have a thorough understanding of your audience. The best way to use apps is to create something that is both useful and valuable. More importantly, it should be functional. GateGuru is an app that is centered on location awareness, which airport retailers advertise on to drive users into stores, while Nestlé Purina’s app provide a database of pet-friendly places around the country. Other apps make it easy to make purchases with a few clicks. For example, the ShopRite app allows customers to view and add weekly sales items to their shopping lists. And Starbucks’ mobile app lets people make transactions directly with the wave of their smartphones, helping to drive sales.

Consider offering a free version of your app and then let users decide whether or not they are willing invest in a premium version with more features and content. Take for example the widely popular Angry Birds iPhone game. Its ongoing promotion was to offer a free version, while paid subscribers were given access to more challenging levels and other free add-ons.

A growing number of companies deliver coupons via mobile devices in an effort to appeal to consumers, many of whom would never think of clipping or carrying coupons. Sign up for Target’s mobile coupons and you’ll get money-saving offers on items delivered via text message to your Web-enabled phone with a link to a barcode and discount offers. To redeem, simply show your coupon bar codes to the cashier, who will scan them like a regular coupon. Bath and Body Works, Sephora, JCPenney, Kohl’s, and Olive Garden also offer mobile coupons.

Location-based shopping coupons using mobile devices are gaining popularity. As mobile users become more acclimated to sharing their whereabouts via mobile devices, they’re also are becoming more open to receiving ads and mobile coupons relevant to where they are at the moment, according to findings from JiWire’s Mobile Audience Insights Report. In fact, more than 50 percent of respondents indicated that they wanted to receive location-specific advertising, with mobile coupons a more appealing incentive than check-ins. GPS and applications such as Google Maps ranked highest followed by Yelp, Facebook and Foursquare.

Mobile marketing presents a distinct and unique way to create interactive dialogues with customers. Mobile marketing requires matching the creative to the device’s smaller screen size; designing messages that are short, instantly understood, and effective; and creating a call for action with minimal steps. Research indicates that mobile ads perform about five times better than Internet ads. The most common mobile ads are simple text links and display adds that are sold based on cost per clicks, cost per acquisition and cost per thousand. These ads are much like the paid search campaigns on Google, Bing or Yahoo! Use mobile marketing solutions to drive participation at exhibitions or to drive traffic to retail environments. If you have two seats left for a workshop or an event, you can send a message offering a discount. Make offers that are in tuned with the buying habits of the recipient.

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