Wednesday, December 31, 2008

E-mail from Google about "Important Information about Android Market"

Google Android has in recent days send out an e-mail to all registered as Android developers. The e-mail confirms that it now will be possible to charge for applications on the market. In other words, the android market has taken one step closer to how the Itunes market works. See the full e-mail below:

Hello,

Thank you for your participation in Android Market!

Since we launched a couple months ago, the team has been working on
several significant updates to Android Market. I'd like to let you know
about these upcoming changes and what they will mean to you and other
members of our developer community.

Many of you have asked about international expansion plans. I'm happy to
inform you that Android Market will become available to users to download
apps in additional European countries starting early Q1 2009. Some of the
countries we will initially support are Germany, Austria, Czech Republic
and the Netherlands. As we add support for additional countries in Europe
and Asia, we will send out subsequent notifications to you. In
mid-January, we will update the Android Market publisher website to enable
country targeting. Please start thinking about which countries you want to
target and begin preparing your products accordingly (e.g.,
localization). Note that your apps will not become available in these new
countries unless you specifically select them in the publisher website,
after we update it.

Additionally, I would like to confirm that Android Market will support
priced applications starting early Q1 2009, as we'd originally stated last
fall. Given the country-by-country work required to set up payment support
for developers in different countries, we will enable priced app support
in Q1 for developers operating in these countries in the following order:
(1) United States and UK; (2) Germany, Austria and Netherlands; (3)
France, Italy and Spain. By the end of Q1 2009, we will announce support
for developers operating in additional countries. Developers operating in
the above listed countries should begin finalizing their priced
applications, including determining the appropriate pricing strategy.

Finally, please note that our team may need to occasionally contact you
via email or the publisher website to collect necessary product
information (such as screenshots and descriptions). This information would
be used for the Android Market website, found at
http://market.android.com, which gives applications a second channel of
exposure via the web in addition to the normal on-device access.

We will send out additional details on all these items in the coming
weeks. Thanks for your support, and we look forward to continue working
with you on Android Market.

Eric Chu,
Android Market

Google, Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Link share on Google's evil and The future of social media

Two articles this sunday.

First Daily news from egypt and their article "Big Brother Google?"
http://dailystaregypt.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=18685

Second is from Social media and "Predicting the future of social
media". http://www.google.com/m?source=gp&hl=en&page=2#notebook

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Test

Monday, December 22, 2008

Link share on Barcodes in mobile phones

Barcode scanning in mobile phones is a application with a lot of potentials. Two tips this sunday concerning Barcode scanning.

The first Eric Hermansen blog post on "Push vs Pull: Two Approaches for Cell Phone Barcode Scanning".

The second is a You Tube video for some Android engineers on how barcode works on Android - "Android - Apps without borders"

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Link share on SEO myths and Twitter as a tool

Two blog post this sunday 14/12-08.


The first tip is "5 Most Annoying SEO Myths".


The second tip is from Guy Kawasaki and "How to Use Twitter as a Twool.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Comic Sans Font in Advertising

Comic Sans is a font which has been very criticize and at the same been very popular to use in different context. The font is very popular in advertising. See the video about the font and how it has been used.


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Link share on an interesting marketing approach and the problematic relationship between social media and advertising

Two tips this Sunday 7/12.

This first tip is INTERACTIVE CASE STUDY from Business Week "Issue: AXA's Soft Sell on Retirement". With MyRetirementShop.com, AXA chose to offer retirees and pre-retirees a portal focused on their lifestyle needs rather than product



The second tip is from Frank Rose on Wired with "Is Social Advertising an Oxymoron?". So, what if social media and advertising just don’t mix? According to the article "There’s mounting evidence to suggest just that — only this time the backlash isn’t from users, it’s from advertisers themselves".

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

An example of a good marketing message presentation: "Strategy of Giving"

What is good marketing? Well that is a classical question.

I think that the slides show "Strategy of Giving" - see below - which Miika published on Slideshare.com is a good example of a part of the answer.

The presentation characterizes of these important things:
It has a human message which we all are somewhat familiar with and can embrace.
It is paradoxical which creates interest.
It is very pedagogically presented.
It is humours.
It is postmodern in that it does what it says you should do.

All these things characterizes good marketing I think.



Strategy of Giving
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: ocean blue)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Link share on entrepreneurship learning through failure and how to become an expert

Two tip this Sunday 30/11.

This first tip is from the blog Unstructured Thoughts and the post "How to Fail: 25 Secrets Learned through Failure".


The second tip is from PluginID and the post "How I Went from Nobody to Industry Expert".

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Marketing is more about the problem than about the solution

Marketing is about creating conncetion between problems and solutions. However, many times the fokus is to much on solutions and how to communicate those solutions to a customer. But when we disconnect the solution from the problem, it is then the real problem starts for us. Our presented solutions are precived as complex and incompehensible by the customer.

I think that Louis Gray explain this succinctly in his article "It's Not About the Technology, Stupid"

"What we need to do is help translate these honestly geeky tools into something that makes sense to the mainstream. Instead of talking about how many people you're following, APIs and how you use TweetDeck to follow specific terms in Twitter, start by explaining that the service is essentially text messaging that gets recorded and can be sent to many people at once. As for FriendFeed, I always explain it by breaking up the service into its two pieces. The Feed captures all your activity online. The Friend lets you see what your friends are doing, find new ones and interact with each other's content. Don't talk about 40+ supported services and how you can redirect to Twitter or Facebook. Start with the basics."

When we try to chisel out a basic problem and express it in a direct and simplistic way, we suddently can get help for many sources when it comes to the solution. I think that Mark 'Rizzn' Hopkins gives a valuable hint to this in his article "Online Video Publishers Should Look to Monetize Audience, Not Video"

"Folks like Louis Gray and Robert Scoble have been able to launch entire Web 2.0 niches just by describing a problem, and then subsequently promoting a company or set of developers that work to solve those issues. Those are just two names I’m intimately familiar with within the hundreds of Twitter users that have several thousand or more subscribers. Twitter should be striking deals with these users and splitting the cash with them."

Sound marketing should be about focus on problems and value analysis around such problems. The key thing and the hard part are to come up with and formulate the problem. The possible solutions are in many ways already included in how you define the problem. And there are many people who can help you develop and communicate that solution.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Link share on the finacial crisis: owning houses, cash crunch, and JP Morgan

Three articles as link share this Sunday 23/11. There are all connected to the financial crisis.

1 The first tip is Mark Morford from San Francisco Chronicle and "Buy a house?
Behold, one of the biggest myths of the American Dream
". Some refelective thoughts on ownning houses as part of the America dream.


2 The second tip is from Wall Street Journal "Lehman's Demise Triggered Cash Crunch Around Globe".

3 The third tips is from also from Wall Street Journal on "Calling J.P. Morgan
He was more effective than Paulson and Bernanke combined.
".

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Interesting discussion in relation to Chris Brogan's blog post "Communications in a post media world"

Where is internet going and how will we use it in the future? These are examples of important questions to dwell up on.

Chris Brogan wrote a thoughtfull piece on "Communications in a Post Media World".

Many interesting comments where made to the post. For instance, Darryl Parker from Parker Web Marketing contributed with this:

"...we are building the largest [internet] machine ever built by mankind... We [all] are the builders. We are the visionaries. We are the ones whom generations forward will look back and marvel at what we did, what we all did individually and in our organic molecules. We - this generation - may be the most qualified to offer guidance as to its use. Are we the ancients?
I am not vaulted up by this observation. It burdens me. I believe it burdens you and many of the achievers in this space. Post media needs its beacons, but are the beacons simply warnings of crashing against the rocks or are they guidepost to navigate the channels?
Present is action. Future is direction. One must be considered in light of the other. If the beacons emerge, actions will follow."

Todd Lucier from Internet Marketing for Tourism added this information:

"The more people realize that the web isn’t a collection of articles, videos, stories but really a web of people, then true communities will bloom.
The key is to connect with your tribe, the people you have an affinity with and participate in sharing the big ideas on topics that matter.
Page views don’t matter, thought bursts do. Links don’t matter, connections do (is. Twitter friends and feeds).
One thing google has right, one thing the NY Times has right is the quality of the source. The fingers that point toward quality. To rise above the muck of the masses, share great ideas! You’ll earn your place as a trusted source. Even CNN had to prove it’s worth in the beginning.
These are early days my friends.".

I think that these examples gives vital information to what is important. The important relation between direction and action - instead of just action. Communication between humans instead of only links between different materials.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Link share on new theory about universe and Greenspan's legacy

Two article this sunday of 16 November. They are somewhat out of the topic of the blog.


The first is from Scientific American on "Big Bang or Big Bounce?: New Theory on the Universe's Birth".

The second is from New York Times and "Taking Hard New Look at a Greenspan Legacy".

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Google Analytics in 60 Seconds: Find the Best Keywords

Learn how to use Google Analytics to find your best performing keywords in Google AdWords and adjust your campaigns to increase the return on your advertising investment.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Link share on search marketing and Google innovation

An article about "Local Search Marketing Tips for B2B Marketers"

An article from NewsWeek about Google's strive to "Making Social Networks Profitable"

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Women behind the Google logo and search changes our behaviour

An article about "The Israeli woman behind the Google logo".

An article abouth how search changes our behaviour - "The Secret Influence of Search Behavior"

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Link Share on the Workings of Storytelling and the Google Enigma

Two articles as link share this Sunday 24/10.

1 The first tip Jeremy Hsu on Scientific American and his article ”The Secrets of Storytelling: Why We Love a Good Yarn. Our love for telling tales reveals the workings of the mind”. Storytelling is important in marketing. And this article gives some insights into why they are effective.

2 The second tip is Nicholas Carr on Strategy+Business and is article “The Google Enigma”. Even though the article is from 2007 it is relevant.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

It is strange how things can change. Now Apple can buy Dell with their "pocket change"

In the business world, everything changes all the time. And the changes can be dramatic. This below is a good example of that.

"Here’s an interesting corporate milestone: When the markets closed on Wednesday, Dell (DELL) was trading at $11.98 share, with 1.96 billion shares outstanding. That puts Dell’s market capitalization at $23.5 billion.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, Steve Jobs reported that Apple (AAPL) ended fiscal year 2008 with $24.5 billion in the bank.

In other words, Apple could buy Dell with the cash it has on hand and still have more than $1 billion left over.

Hard to believe that it’s been only 11 years since Michael Dell, asked what he would do if he were Apple’s CEO, answered:' What would I do? I’d shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.'"


Source:CNN.com

Update: See also Microsoft closes the quarter with less cash than Apple

Sunday, October 19, 2008

nestinginformation


Social Media Strategy

From: geoliv, 2 days ago


Social Media Strategy
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: 15 step)






SlideShare Link

nestinginformation


Reputation Management

From: geoliv, 2 days ago


Reputation Management
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: reputation online)






SlideShare Link

nestinginformation


PRSA-NCC Blogger Relations

From: geoliv, 2 days ago








SlideShare Link

nestinginformation


PRSA-NCC General Primer

From: geoliv, 2 days ago


PRSA-NCC General Primer
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: media social)






SlideShare Link

Link Share on why presents is no fun when you grow old and new rules of working

Two articles as link share this Sunday 17/10. Articles which maybe are somewhat out of the ordinary topic on this blog.

1 The first tip Steve Connor from The Independent Science and the article “Why Presents becomes less exciting as you get older”. Again discussion about brains and neurosciences.

2 The second tip is from ZenHabits and its article “12 New Rules of Working You Should Embrace Today”. Internet changes our work habits and how you should go along with these changes.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Examples of the Same Old Routine from Marketers

There seems to be consensus that marketing has to changes. But it is one thing to know and another to change ones action. Many marketers do not still get it.

Adam Singer on the Future Buzz writes in the article “Just How Large Is The Business World’s Digital Divide?” about some ways marketers and PR People are lagging behind:

”• Still using E-newsletters and not blogs to present content (Why not both, if you can’t give up the e-newsletter? It is no addition work to give huge added value for your content)
• Still designing websites in all flash/video, not considering usability, SEO or building sustainable traffic
• Still presenting complex PowerPoints with slides that look like reading tests and end up communicating nothing instead of simplifying their messages (I will touch more on this in a future post)
• Still blasting out press releases designed for traditional media to bloggers
• Still trying to apply mass-marketing techniques to the social web
• Still thinking the TV-to-consumer model is not forever broken
• Still thinking that banner ads are a good way to spend a huge sum of money online
• Still using push marketing online instead of pull
• Still using trite, cliched adver-games that are a massive waste of resources to develop
• Still not thinking through what a website’s function should be, and just throwing something together
• Still not taking advantage of incredibly flexible tools, like RSS
• Still not jumping into global the conversation in a way that makes sense while competitors continue to broaden their presence there (and have been for years)”

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Link Share on the importance of skills in programming and useful tools from lifehack

Two articles as link share this Sunday 11/10.

1 The first tip is Mark Prenscy from Edutopia and his article “Programming: The New Literacy. Power will soon belong to those who can master a variety of expressive human-machine interactions.”. This I think is very important and it will change the future society in radical ways. An important article indeed.


2 The second tip is from Lifehacker and the “Best of the Best: The Hive Five Winners.”Here you have a superb compilation of the best tools to use on internet.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

An Old Truth Which Is Still Relevant

An old truth has always been that power comes foremost not from obtaining knowledge but from know how to use it. That is indeed also relevant today and in the future.

Adam Singer on the Future Buzz writes in the article “Just How Large Is The Business World’s Digital Divide?”:

“In the pre-Google era, those people and organizations that possessed book-like memories and vaults of information were highly valued.
Since anyone can now access any piece of information for free, whenever they want, merely being an information holder has zero value. Those that can organize and present that information in meaningful, innovative and useful ways are emerging as those with power. This is just one major way the world has changed.
Creativity in how you find, manage and then process infinite information is the important skill of today. So is being agile and having the ability to manipulate the global network for your needs.”.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Link Share on how Chrome was created and to live in the Cloud

Two articles as link share this Sunday 4/10.

1 The first tip is from Wired and Steven Levy’s article “Inside Chrome: The Secret Project to Crush IE and Remake the Web”. This is an informative description of the events onto the launch of The Google Chrome browser.


2 The second tip is from Paul Stamatiou and his article “How To Live the Cloud Life”.
Here you find important services and tools to use if you want to connect to the Cloud.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A Trend? A blog about what you will blog about in your other blog

So this is what it has come down to in our post and share frenzy on Internet?

What is a blog post? It can be everything most of us would say. But it seems that some of us stretch this notion in a very funny and interesting way.

The reason for my reflection is that I found that the writer Clive Thompson has a Tumblr with the remarkable title of:

A bunch of stuff. Things I haven’t got time to blog, but need to remember” [to blog about later!].

The funny thing for me here is that now we can blog about our ideas which we plan to write blog posts about. By Thompson publish his notes on Tumblr about possible future blog posts (or a Tumblrlog if you like); he has effectively created a blog post. Conclusion - you do not any longer need to write a blog post in itself. It is enough that you write that you are going too that - then you automatically have written a blog post.

What is next in this development I ask? Is it that we first publish a post about our notes on ideas which we should remember? Second we then publish a post were we explain that we are pondering about whether or not we are going to write a blog post in later time about some of the earlier published notes. Third we publish a post that we now have decided to write a blog post about a note or that we now have decided not to write a blog post about a note. Fourth we post a blog post to inform the readers that we now have started to write a blog post about a note and that it is soon ready to be posted. Fifth we publish our blog post about our published notes. Sixth and finally we post a following up blog what the published blog post was about and make notes on how it gives ideas to new blog posts which we should remember. The circle is closed. In alla these steps, it is possible to get feedback and input from the readers. All which can influence the writing process and the final product.

Must of us do only the fifth step today. But as you have seen, much can be elaborated when it comes to blogging - this especially in relation the concept of life streaming. The concept is only in its infancy and much can be developed it seems.

Ps: And yes - writing this blog post is about writing blog posts.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Link Share on how to train the husbands and on the Ghost Towns in US

Two articles as link share this Sunday 28/9.

This Sunday reading is somewhat outside the ordinary topic of this blog.

1 The first tip is from New York Times and Amy Sutherland’s article “What Shamu Taught Me About a Happy Marriage”. Here you get the suggestion that you can think of your husband as an animal - and then treat him accordingly. This is probably provoking for some, funny for others, and instructive for most.

2 The second tip is from Wall Street Journal and Alex Roth’s article “After the Bubble, Ghost Towns Across America”. The financial crisis in US is brutal in its force. Left behind, is Ghost Towns.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What is the Swedish Mobile Phone Operator Tele2 Up To?

We have learnt that it is always important for a company to have a product and price strategy which is designed in such a way that you do not run the risk of losing customers to your competitors. Instead is should be designed in such a way that it attracts customers away from your competitors. To achieve this it is it important to put forward attractive offerings with competitive prices in the market. To be able to do that you need to have good business intelligence which helps you to understand what the trends in the market are.

I do not know if I have missed something here, but the Swedish mobile phone operator Tele2 seems to be an interesting case on how you should not go about concerning these matters. I suspect that something has gone terrible wrong here.

Tele2’s services and pricing seems to be out of phase with the trends in the market and with their competitors’ strategies. Competitors such as e.g. the mobile phone operator "Tre" seems to understand that the development on the market goes towards offering subscriptions which includes possibilities to surf on the web with the mobile phone and to sell discounted phones in relation to selling subscriptions. Here where the trend in consumer mobile behaviour is that surfing becomes more and more important relative to talk.

What has Tele2 done? Besides a fixed price subscription, they have only two subscriptions too chose between when it comes to talk in the mobile phone. In addition, earlier they offered the customer the possibility to add the service of surfing on the web with the mobile phone to the subscription. The possible maximal surfing speed for that service was 7.2 Mbit/second. The prices were very modest - 39 SEK/ month for 1Gbite and 99 SEK/month for free surfing.

Now they have abolished this offering. Instead they only offer the customer a surfing service for mobile phones with a speed of 0.384 Kbit/second. At the same time they have raised the prices radically. In addition to this, their allowance to customers who wants to buy a mobile phone in relation to a subscription is very low. This compared with a competitor such as "Tre".

So what is Tele2 up to? Well, I have to admit that I’m a bit clueless? This because the strategy seems to be plain wrong. The consequences seem only to be that Tele2 will give away their customers to competitors such as "Tre" and TeliaSonera.

I may be wrong here, but Tele2’s current strategy seems to be very dangerous. They do not seem to have grasped the current trends in the market. When the desires of the customers in the market changes, they changes very fast. If you then are not well positioned, your will lose customers to your competitors. And right now, I do not think that Tele2 has understood what a good future position on the market should look like.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Link Share on business platforms and tools for personal development

Two articles as link share this Sunday 21/10.

1 The first tip is from Harvard Business Publishing and Umair Hague’s article “What Apple knows that Facebook Doesn’t”. This is short but interesting reflection upon business platforms.

2 The second tip is from Flowing Data on “23 Personal Tools to Learn More About Yourself”. Here you get many tips on how to take care of yourself in an effective manner on the net.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The tragedy of commons and uncommons

The question about ownership and incitement for innovation has turned out to be very difficult and tricky questions in recent times. I think it is important here to not lock oneself into a corner in the discussion. Instead one should try to discuss the matter out of many different angles and perspectives.

Here is a one hour excellent lecture from the author of the book Gridlock economy – Prof. M. Heller. I think that he states the problems quiet clear.

When too many people own the same ting nobody can use it.
Private ownership creates wealth.
Too much ownership has the opposite effect, creates less wealth. This is the Gridlock paradox.

See also Paul Kedrosky's piece on this. He also presents good links for further reading.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Link Share on Windows mobile and The New World of Digital Intimacy

Two articles as link share this Sunday 14/9.

1 The first tip is from Microsoft Watch and the article “Android Dresses Up In Chrome”. Windows mobile is not a service up to date. Microsoft have not sorted out their priorities on this one it seem.

2 The second tip is from New York Times and Clive Thompson on “Brave New World of Digital Intimacy”. This is an interesting article on how lifestream changes everything and on how conversation on Twitter changes relations. An important article indeed.

3 Clive Thompson answers all the comments on his Digital intimacy article here.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Some reflections about the service Rejaw.com

I have started to use Rejaw.com. It is another variant of already existing micro blogging services such as Twitter. What is my thought of the service so far?

When I added new friends on the service, my first reflection was how small the internet world really is. This at the same times as it is vast also of course. I recognized many people on Rejaw from other sites. That says something I think about how many similar services there are now out there and how quite few people there are who actively use these micro blogging services.

However, I like Rejaw. It allows me much freedom when writing a message – a shout as it is called – and I can very easily follow the flow of shouts. Overall I am pleased with the service.

But there are some things which I find irritating and unnecessary.

The first is that you can not follow the replies on a shout direct on the flow of shouts on the screen. Instead you have to click on the shout in question and then you can see all the replies. This is not so good I think. This because it is not often I bother to click on the shout. Thereby an opportunity to contribute to the dialog on the site is gone by. I think that FriendFeed has a much better solution here. On that site you very easy can see the comments under the question – without having to click on something. Such design function as a drive to contribute to the discussion I think.

The second thing is that if you want to go back in time of the shouts stream, you have to click for each page – i.e. first page two, three etc. It would have been much easier if you could go to e.g. page 10 immediately - if that was what you wanted to do.

The third thing is that it is not possible to mark some shouts or discussion as e.g. interesting. That makes it difficult to find and go back to a specific discussion later on. Again, compare this with FriendFeed's favourite button.

This was my immediate reflections about the service. But I think that it is as with all these types of services – Rejaw will develop and hopefully become even better than today.

Update 1: The fourth thing with the service is that the conversation around a Shout is closed after three days. The reason for this is that the Rejaw wants to have an active participation among the shouters. However, I think that this is a too short time frame. Not everybody can follow things in such a fast pace. The risk is that the opportunity of interesting inputs never becomes realized becomes the shout was read after three days.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Link Share on how to read and a blog as a magazine

Two articles as link share this Sunday 7/9.

1 The first tip is from Copyblogger and Brian Clark’s article on “how to read”. I see this as a following of an earlier link share concerning the article “Is Google making us stupid?”

2 The second tip is from Smashing Magazine’s Steven Snell and his article “When to use Magazine-Style Themes For Blogs?”

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

On Product Development, Technology Trajectory, and The Phenomenon of Tunnel Vision

It seems to be tough times for Sony-Ericsson (where they even begin to doubt one another), Motorola, and to some degree also for Nokia.

The mobile phone industry is not the only industry where the product development is a battle though. That goes for most high tech industries. The battle is between one hand trying to understand and satisfy the consumers’ needs and on the other hand – and at the same time – work within those parameters which the current technological advancement enforces upon you. With that I mean that we for sure would like to transport ourselves as they do in the TV-series Star Trek. However, our current technological advancement does not allow us to do that.

An additional problem to the matter is that decisions made in the product development are made under uncertainty of the future market. Product decisions which are made today may be perfectly sensible in today’s situation but when they are a realised in a future situation, they can turn out to be very unpractical.

The challenge for the product development department is to handle the balance between develop products which the customer demands in the unknown future and at the same time focus on what kind of products you are able to develop with the technology you have at your disposal.

When the pressure is high on the product development department to continuously launch new innovative offering and to do this under a long time, the department run the risk of not being able to “keep their gaze upon the horizon” so to speak. Slowly under the pressure they “lower the gaze” and the phenomenon of tunnel vision becomes apparent. You become trapped in a technology trajectory.

The product development funnels into a technological trajectory where it becomes more and more about refinement of a specific technology and less and less about innovating out of that technology. When you get stuck in such technology trajectory, you become product focused instead of market focused. You refine and refine the same type of products.

This is the case with Sony Ericsson, Motorola, and Nokia I think. They have now launched many new models of mobile phones which more are variation of each other than major product advancement. They have reached a dead end in their product development.

Often the dominant players have big difficulties too break out of this trajectory of tunnel vision by themselves. Instead it is new players which enter the playing field. They find new ways of taking care of the customers' needs. In the mobile industry it seems to be Apple and Android, to mention a few, who gives the industry a reality check.

However, many firms have got stucked in trajectories before – e.g. IBM, GM, and Swedish FACIT. The “old” mobile phone producers seem to be in good company.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Link Share on feeding Frenzy and Mobile surveillance

Two articles as link share this Sunday 31/8.

1 The first tip is from Gina Pace and her article “FEEDING FRENZY”. It is an easy but interesting read about the contemporary trend of life streaming.

2 The second tip is from Daniel Sour and his article “Short Cuts”. Even if we all by now are aware of the risk of surveillance in relation to mobile phones, it is good to continuously remind our self of this problem.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

What is the right timing when it comes to informing the market? The case of the Mobile Phone Industry

When do you as a seller communicate too much or too little with the market? That is a question which not always is easy to give a direct answer too.

The reason for my question is that many consumers seem to be upset with the players in the mobile phone industry. This when it comes too the fact that many of the players have a habit of announcing new phone models a long way in advance. One example is Sony Ericsson and their launch of the mobile phone Xperia. They announced the launch of the phone one year ahead. At the time, potential consumers were excited and had great expectations. Now – just some months before it will be launch – there seem to be many consumers who feel that the phone already is old and outdated. This even before it has entered the market. During this ten months a lot of things have happen which have taken a way little of the lustre of the Xperia. New and even more desirable phones have been announced to be launched. Potential consumers are a little in despair and fed-up waiting for the Xperia.

This seems to be a general problem. When you read chat sites, many consumers seems to be very frustrated of being promised new phones and then having to wait a very long time for the phone to be available to buy on the market.

Why does the mobile industry do this? The obvious reason is of course that they want to capture potential customers and try to avoid that they buy a product from a competitor. What is the alternative to this behaviour in the industry? Only a month or a few weeks notice of a new model? No, I do not think that is in the best interest of the consumer.

Consumption is a lot about here and now. Not many people will wait days, weeks, months, or years to satisfy their instant needs. They want instants gratification. But many times, the in the spur of the moment consumption is not based on what we could call rational decisions. And this is not good when we talk about a mobile phone product. After all, mobile phones are expensive and their lifespan are rather short. Often this is due to fast technological advancements. So we as consumers have to make sure that we get as much value out of our money spent as possible.

Even if it is frustrating for us as consumers, it is good for the consumer to get information about different options well in advance. When the industry communicates with us well in advance, they help us too increase the likelihood of us making the right choice – i.e. a rational choice.

The point and answer in this case is therefore that it is better that companies communicate too much and too often than too little and too seldom. This as long as the information is relevant and correct.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Link Share on Andorid and if Google is making us Stupid

Two articles as link share this Sunday 24/8.

1 The first tip is an article in Wired, titled “Google’s Open Source Android OS Will Free the Wireless Web”. This is an interesting article about the history of Android and its future objectives.

2 The second tip is from TheAtlantic.com – “Is Google Making Us Stupid?”. Reading on the web is not the same thing as reading paper journals or books. The article discusses the way we read on the web and what consequences that may have on our brain development.

Update 1: Damon Darlin (New York Times) opposes the second tip above in the article "Technology Doesn’t Dumb Us Down. It Frees Our Minds". Very sound comments I think.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

TV-series on DVD is somewhat of a mystery to me

Marketing should be about offering products which satisfy the customer’s needs. Then it becomes important to understand the customer’s behaviour and to know the needs of the customer. However, this is often not so easy - quite the opposite, it is very hard. Many times a successful marketing campaign is more based on a hunch and luck than anything else. The times have been many when the marketers have been sure of a marketing success. This only to discover it too be a failure. What I what to say here is that despite all the refined research tools, marketing is a lot about chance. This is not something many within the marketing industry would admit though. The point is that what tick and not tick in the market is difficult to know beforehand.

Take the selling of TV-series on DVD as an example. If you look on the DVD section e.g. Amazon.com or similar it is literary littered with offerings to buy last season of e.g. Office, House, Sex and The City, or the complete box of Seinfeld. TV-series on DVD seems to have turned out to be a huge success.

For me this is somewhat of a mystery. I am puzzle over consumer’s behaviour here. Why do we buy TV-series on DVD when we can see them on TV? What need is satisfied with DVD which is not satisfied by TV? Here are some arguments for why DVD is better than TV which I can think of.

1 We can see the series on DVD when we have time. We do not have to adapt to the TV tableau. Yes, but usually there are many reruns so most of us should be able to find a suitable time to look at it on TV.
2 We want to watch an episode several times. Okay, but how fun is that and do you have so much time on you hand, really?
3 We think the series are so good so we want to collect them. Okay, yes that can be true for some but hardly for the majority of the mainstream market.
4 The price is low so we can afford it. Yes, that is a strong argument I think. But still, for many it is quite pricey to by a DVD box.
5 We want to look at all episodes in a consequently order – here an now. We do not want to wait one week to see next episode. This I think is the strongest argument so far. We as consumers seek instant gratification. We do not want to wait and that is why we are prepared to pay the extra cost of buying the TV-series on DVD instead of see it on the Telly.

To sell TV-series on DVD has been very profitable for the TV producing companies. I’m glad that I where not in charge of this selling because I may have made a flounder on this one. I still do not see exactly what the advantages are and what needs really are satisfied in this. Luckily, marketers do not work alone. There is always fellow markerters how can put you on the right track if you stray way on an unsuccessful path.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Link Share on 50 essays business models and 16 personal finance blog

Two link share this Sunday 17/8.

1 The first tip Andrew Chen’s article “50+ essays on viral marketing, social network monetization, product design and more”. This is a very impressive compilation of his articles concerning topics on marketing on internet.

2 The second tip is from Lifehack’s “16 Great Personal Finance Resources & Blogs”. This is a compilation of important personal finance blogs.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The right balance between freedom of choice and filtering among those choices creates value for consumers on internet

How to satisfy real needs and thereby create real value on internet is a topic in demand – both among sellers as marketers and entrepreneurs and among consumers. This is an important question when many new services on internet only seem to be variations of earlier ones.

To understand real needs, new services have to understand what relevant problems is for the user on internet. One important problem for the user is the lack of time and attention. These are scarce resources. Sellers who can help save time or extend time, creates real value for users on internet. This is though not so easy as it may seem. Many times services which promise value out of this perspective, only turn out to consume more of the consumer’s time than they promise to save - in other words, they where not able to satisfy the consumer’s real needs.

One way to help the user to save time is by filtering. This is important when information overload increases on internet. The challenge is here then about finding a balance between freedoms of choice and filtering among those choices. By finding the right balance; you as a seller can create a lot of value for the consumer.

If the consumer has too much freedom of choice; they have to consume too much time to decide among the choices. This is not an ideal situation. However, filtering should primarily not be about reducing the variations of possible alternatives to choose between per se. Instead it should more be about making the possible choices clearly visible and comparable for the user. By finding this balance in your business model, the consumer can make rational decisions in a time efficient way.

The Iphone is maybe a good example here. Apple has found a way to empower the customers’ use of time. They have done this by creating a product which on one hand solves a variation of relevant problems (surfing on the net, talking etc) and on the other is easy and simple to use. The product makes the user efficient.

The “price” for this usability is that the consumer has to stick to and like a somewhat closed concept. Apple has filtered by deciding and simplifying a lot of things for the consumer. However, even if one can argue that there are a lot of things which the consumers can not do with an Iphone, the grades of freedom is still large.

Filtering in the Apple case is a balance between giving the consumer freedom of doing a lot of things and to do this with a simple and user friendly product. This value creation is one part in the explanation to the Iphone's success I think.

Ps. If you want a deeper understanding into the complexity of the Ipone's simplicity concept - watch the lecture of Peter Merholz: "Experience is the product".

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Link Share on benevolent dictatorship and whisky grotto

Two link share this Sunday 10/8.

1 The first tip is Rebecca MacKinnon's article "Silicon Valley's benevolent dictatorship". For me, it is a refreshing reminder of always be aware of the “Not invented here syndrome”.

2 The second tip is from The Whisky grotto, “This is how you shoot a bottle of single malt whisky”. Excellent video on how you go about to make a Arran bottle desirable out of marketing purposes.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

My misuse of the Like button on FriendFeed

The use of the Like and Unlike button is good on FriendFeed. But the problem is that I have to use this function in a way which can cause misunderstanding. My use can send the wrong signal to readers. In present circumstances I have to use the Like button more as a bookmarker than a Like button. This because I have a need to find and go back to post I have read earlier on FriendFeed.

This problem is due to the fact that two important functions are missing in Friend Feed’s tool repertoire. First, FriendFeed needs to help me sort or filter among the people I follow. Second, FriendFeed needs to help me sort or filter among the post I read. Concerning the first, Thomas Hawk suggests that FriendFeed should have a favourite scale button on the people you follow – e.g. a scale from 1-10. Something like that could take care of this first issue. Concerning the second issue, I need a bookmaking or favourite button. That would make it possible for me to find and go back to a post which I read earlier.

In a situation of information overload there is always a need among the customers to get help with the filtering. A service which wants to create real value for its users can do this best by inventing easy to use tools for filtering when such information overload increases.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Avoid writing long blog posts is easier said than done


It feels like I write to long blog posts in general. I try to writer shorter. But that is not an easy task. Why write shorter? To write long is a problem when becoming a blogger. This I have learnt by reading those advices which more experienced blogger gives concerning this matter. To summarize my readings one can say that there are first and most two important reasons for why you should avoid writing to long posts. Both have to do with survival tactics on Internet. One reason has to do with the author and the other with the reader.

1 The first is that you as an author have no time to write long texts. It is unmanageable. It messes up your social life. It will make it impossible to keep on blogging. You run out of steam after a while.
2 The second reason is that the readers have no time or interest to read long posts. They want the essence of the story fast – called “the point”. It is said that the readers on internet nowadays do not really “read” any material any longer, they only browse. These are the reasons for making the posts short.

So in sake of taking care of my self and my reader, I have to learn to produce short texts. To be shorter can function as a motivator. To write short has to do with the whole writing process – from choosing a topic, choice of perspective, writing execution and to what should be called a succinctly wrap up. An additional factor for me as a non native English speaking person is of course the language. To write short is about master the language.

On the opposite side of this is the space you need to say what you want to convey in your post. This objective can contradict the objective of being short out of survival tactics. Conclusion? The value of a post is not solely created in the convenience of being short but also in the conveying of an insightful content - i.e. interesting material. There must be a trade of where you always try to find strategies to combine these two objectives. This is the real challenge for me as a blogger.

How have it worked so far? Well concerning this post it became much longer then I intended. But I think I needed this space to say what I wanted to say.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Link share on slideshare concerning Mashups and Star Wars

Two Power points from Slideshare as link share this Sunday 3/8.

1 The first tip is about innovation, ideas and Mashups. Short but informative.

2 The second tip is about turning design into reality out of the case of Star Wars. Long but interesting.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The fast pace of change on Internet even makes Google Reader stale

I’m a bit shocked, really. I did not see this coming. Well, at least not so soon. In May I wrote a post about how Google Reader changed my way of consuming information on internet. I praised Google Reader and the good things it created.

Now, in July, the Google Reader starts to feel cumbersome and stale. I still though like the fact that I can read the material on my own terms - when I want and wherever I want.

What has happen? The first obvious reason is that I have added to many feeds into my reader. I can not cope reading all the interesting material. I therefore can not add anything any more to the reader. That is annoying because I find all the time new interesting material which I would like to cover. Okay, I’m behind in my reader and I have not yet learnt to prioritise among different feed sources. But that is not the whole explanation.

The second reason is that Social Media seem to be a more effective way to satisfy my need for information. I’m now thinking of FriendFeed (FF). By following FF I can be much more effective in covering a big base of what is happening. I can do this without running the risk of getting bogged down as with the case of the reader. I can more easily and directly pick what interest me in the stream. This compared with the reader case where I have to go through so much material to find what for me can be called gems.

Okay, for me Google Reader is tumbling and FF seems to be an alternative solution for the future. Yes I will still use the reader but it will not be my main source of information. As always a combination of the two is maybe the best.
Will I have to write a post in the somewhat near future and complain about FF feeling stale? Most probably. The scale and pace of the change on Internet make a lot of things redundant rather fast it seems.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Readings on Sunday 27/7

Two articles as link share this Sunday. They are somewhat outside of the normal blog topic as usual.

1 The first reading tip is from Lifehack on how you e.g. as an entrepreneur should confront your assumptions.

2 The second tip is an post is from Social Times. It is about the test of a good product idea.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Tumblr.com is swell and refined

I have started to use Tumbler. It is an interesting life streaming concept. Even if it is an aggregator of your feeds it is very different from e.g. FriendFeed. The founders of Tumblr are from New York and not Silicon Valley, and the headquarters is in New York. I believe this creates a little different atmosphere on the blog (or maybe this is imaginary from my part).

The idea seems to be that it should be something between micro blogging and blogging. The simplicity of creating Tumblelogs is stressed as a big advantage. This compared with normal blogs.

The positive is that you get material from all your feeds presented on your page. It is very clearly presented and you have a god overview of your activities. The quality of the published material on the site is high. It is funny, inspiring and easy to digest. It is as much mp3, pictures, and video as text on Tumblr. The model seems also to foster very active Tumblogers.

There are several things which I miss in the service. To mention some negative things is that the feed do not handle duplicates from two of my feeds. Comments are in form of so called Rebloggs. It is not so good for communication I think. But it is easy to install Disqus on Tumblr. Unfortunately, not everybody has done that and that can hamper the communication. It is also difficult to mark favourite’s tumblogs. This I miss, when you want to go back to earlier log. It is also difficult to search on the material and among the tumblogers.

Gives Tumblr some great insights in technology or marketing? Not really. But it is fun and gives you some laughs and thoughts about life and being a human. Tumblr seems today be very popular and I am sure it will keep on developing and prosper in the coming future.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Success factors in executing business models – some tentative reflections about the case of FriendFeed and Twitter.

I read a post from Rebkin where she – among other things - reflects upon how the founders of FriendFeed (FF) and Twitter can afford working with their business without seemingly making any money?

That is an interesting question! I think it is even more interesting to connect that question with the question of success factor to successfully execute business models on internet. A hypothesis is that the chances to a successful execution of a business idea increases when you as a founder have a lot of different forms of resources (Financial, knowledge, connection, social captial, vision etc). Yes, not a particular controversial statement but indeed relevant – especially if we compare the cases of FF and Twitter.

We are now talking about success factors behind executing business ideas on internet - not about the actually business ideas, which have already been proven as very successful. This is a big topic which demands several blog posts. But here is my first tentative reflection of it. The information for my sketchy discussion about FF and Twitter is mainly build on what I have read on Techcrunch.

The important founders of FF are former employees of Google. That explains a lot I think to the FF success. I suspect they got well of from their stay at Google. This gives them leverage and freedom to do new risky things. The stains from the Google brand also help when you as a new entrepreneur want to attract investors. Another factor is the obtained work experience from Google. The design of FF and way of working seems be very much coloured by Google. This has created a service with high quality I think.

Twitter has a great idea but do not seem to have the resources of FF or the work experience in how to execute the idea (even if there also here are former Google employees involved). The execution of the idea was very much dependent on one person – and he dropped of (or whatever) some months ago. Lack of resources can explain why they had too few computer resources to run twitter on – and such circumstances do not help when your service becomes in demand. The lack of experience is well described in Michael Arrington’s post where he imply amateurism. I believe you can see all these factors in the now pending quality of the service. This compared to the FF case.

Tentative conclusions? Resources are crucial in execution on markets where speed to attract a lot of users and monetizing them is everything. If you as an entrepreneur do not posses them yourselves, you can not wait to slowly build them up within your emerging organisation. Instead, you have rapidly to create a network around your business idea where you can access all needed resources.

Finally, FriendFeed or Twitter seems to be the question on everybody’s lips? If I have to choose one of them, it would of course easily be FF. It has much more going for it than Twitter. However, in my world there is not about black and white. Twitter it is fun, sexy, and carless and that is always in demand. On FF it is a little more serious because it is about topics, discussion, and comments - whereas on twitter it is simple more about “what do you do now”. Therefore right now, I think FF and Twitter fills different needs and thereby complement each other. My answer is therefore neither or - it is both!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Readings on Sunday 20/7

Two articles as link share this Sunday. They are somewhat outside of the normal blog topic as usual.

1 The first reading tip is from Lifehack. It is about what personality you are and connected to setting prioritise right.
2 The second tip is an article from Court's. It is about not hesitate to change path in life when you notice that the present one is wrong.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Swurl.com is crude but not without potentials


Swurl is a new aggregation service which I have connected my feeds to. It is a type of service which definitely has potentials Right now though, mostly in the concept of aggregation in itself. However, it gives to me value both as an author and a reader. I like that the service cleverly avoids duplication when aggregate many different feeds. I like the overview it gives over all my activities on the Internet. For me as a reader of others’ activities, I can very easily and fast apprehend and follow what they do.

But in its present state, I think the positive stops there. One has to say that Swurl in its present state is rather crude and raw. If you want to find other "Swurls" and communicate with those, it gets a little more complicated than or at least not as refined as on other services.

The aggregation of everything takes place in a crude form. It published whole of the feed text – you can not chose any usurps or similar. To have all published in it’s entirely form is not so good if you want your readers come to your blog for instance. It also aggregates your friend and their material but because of its scale that that implies, it is not so easy to follow.

All this said, I have good hopes for this service. I think that it is on to something which fits the future.

Photo source

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The schedule service of Blogger makes my life manageable but also out of sync

Bloggers has introduced a relative new schedule service. The service is an excellent addition to the service of blogger. Now I can plan my blogging in a much more efficient way. It keeps my life in balance.

However, blogger writing is very much an “in the moment” thing. It is the spontaneous and unpretentious which is fun about blogging I think. You read something, you get an idea and you want to write about it – here and now! You write one post and then you rush fast on to write the next one. Often in my case, the impulse is to publish the post right the moment it is done. But I know I have to pace myself. Blogging it is not a 100 meter race, it is a marathon. I try to concentrate my writing moments. With the schedule service I get a steady flow of publishing. But schedule also means that there becomes a separation between my writing and when its shows up on the blog. Publishing becomes stretch it out in time. Sometimes I’m maybe three weeks ahead.

Many would argue that this is a good thing - both for the author and the readers. One avoids publishing things in a rush which maybe is not so well though out. The schedule service calms everybody down on Internet and reduces the risk of eco chamber effect. It creates a possibility that the quality of my writing will be improved. More time for reflection of what I have written. When it is writing in a spur of the moment, the line of arguments is clear in my mind but they do not necessary come out that way on text. If you have some time to reflect before the text is published, you often detect these jumps in logic. Okay, this was only positive words of the new schedule service of Blogger.

But a strange feeling has appeared. The risk is that the arguments in the blog post feels awkward at the date of publishing – not wrong in content but wrong in time. Well you could argue that this should not be a problem because I should strive to write timeless posts. Yes, but that is not what I’m after here. It is that scheduling separated the three parts of my present thinking, the discussion on Twitter, Friend feed etc, and what is published on my blogger. It is a feeling of my blogging being out of sync to the stream of “collective consciousness” on internet. I publish something whereas my mind is already occupied with something else and the debate has also change since I wrote the post.

The post is detached from here and now. This is of course imaginary on my part. But still, for me it is a real and unsettling one. The spontaneous and “spur of the moment” of blogging fades somewhat.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Readings on Sunday 13/7

Two articles as link share this Sunday. They are somewhat outside of the normal blog topic as usual.

1 The first reading tip is NYT and about the importance to eat continually to keep the diabetes in check. The research is now making progress around this important area.

2 The second tip is an article in WSJ about the future of US workforce. It stresses that most of the work force are going to be self employed. These ideas are a little bit to far even for me. I though think it is interesting to take in such ideas.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The concept of free arouses strong feelings

Dan Moren, in his article, seems to long for earlier times when it comes to the question on how the producers should be paid on internet for their efforts. It also seems that many of the commentators agree with him. I also would like to agree with Dan Moren, but I have some problems with that.

Models of pricing in the old physical world are not the same as models of pricing in the new digital world. These two worlds are in many ways working under different logics and they are therefore not the same. To try to apply the model of pricing in the physical world on the digital world is a losers game in many situations for producers. It is a model which satisfies neither the needs of the producer or the consumer.

However, nothing is really free. The present solution of pricing in the digital world is not satisfactory. It hampers the development of the Internet. We need more alternative pricing models. But here are we very much in a limbo state still. We do not yet know the new solutions and how they should be materialized. However, we can be pretty sure that the solution of old pricing model in the physical world will only be one among many models in the future digital world

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Customer to Customer (C2C) is what is on the marketing plate in the Internet environment

What is changed with marketing when it comes to Internet? The answer is usually the phenomenon of Word of Mouth.

When we deal with marketing in physical markets, we mainly talk about Business to Consumer (B2C) and Business to Business (B2B). But also when we deal with after sales and customer satisfaction we talk about Customer to Business (C2B). But there have always also been a fourth communication component in marketing and that is Costumer to Customer (C2C). The best example on C2C is Word of Mouth. However, this C2C, and also C2B, has always been difficult in the physical markets. But now on Internet, it is all about C2C and C2B. We talk e.g. about viral marketing and Buzz marketing. However, on internet one has to be sensitive with how one design B2C activities. One should try to find ways to influence in an unobtrusive manner – not to disturbed or anger the ongoing conversation (C2C).

In a Forrester blog post, Josh Bernoff discusses the problem with finding profitable business models on internet. Most of the innovative business ideas have problem to generate profit. He argues that there are four types of business ideas which have proven to be successful. All of these four is mostly about business markets. A producer asks a company to investigate some aspects of their consumer market:

1 The first example is companies which listen to the consumers’ conversation.
2 The second is companies which talk to the consumers in the market. This is tricky but valuable if the player can find the right tone.
3 The third is companies which tries to energize the consumers to act. This is about doing reviews and ratings.
4 And fourth and final is companies which try to embracing ideas in the market and try to make something out of them - i.e. new business ideas.


The reason for these four models’ profit success is that they add real value. I see all these successful business models to have an important focus on facilitate and tap into the Consumer to consumer communication (C2C). It is C2C which are the driving force on internet. This is an important lesson for the marketing industry. C2B, B2B, C2B has to adapt to C2C. Marketing has to rethink the approach and try to blend in the former three into C2C. We maybe have to come up with some new labels. We could talk about BC2C, B2BC or something similar along that line. Another, and more constructive, suggestion is that we give upp the concept of Business and customer and instead talk about different forms of co-producers and value creaters.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Readings on Sunday 6/7

Two articles are presented this Sunday. They are somewhat outside of the normal blog topic.


1 The first reading tip is from Toxel.com. They present pictures of 24 clever advertisements. And amazing they are in its blending of design and creative ideas.

2 The second tip is Divice.com. They write about the stuff of the future – which is a fascinating and useless reading at the same time. It is though a rich source of inspiration and amazement. You can e.g. Read about 10 high-tech barbecues or cutting edge bathroom design.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Google Adsense will tell you the topic of your blog

I m not so used to write blog posts. I have therefore read somewhat on several blogs about what kind of mistakes many beginners do according to the more experienced.

One problem for beginners seems to be what topic they should write about. This is not any minor or silly problem, which you should just wink away. It is a strategic choice which may have long term effects for your blog. So it is important to put in some thinking into this choice.

But it is difficult to decide a topic or discern a topic. It is questions about what a topic is, when is it to narrow, and when is it too wide? This creates a lot of uncertainty. Many start to write without knowing exactly what their topics should be about. For some it becomes clearer after a while. Maybe one gets some input from the readers and that can help to create a clear picture of what your topic you write about is.

But all are not so lucky or have that patient. After long time they are still uncertain about what their topic is. You are maybe one of them? In that case here is a somewhat unorthodox suggestion to solution to the problem. Many of us let Google decide everything else in our lives (smile), so why not also this?

We have learnt that we always can trust Google algorithmically search. It is not build on any subjective methods. It is a machine which unbiased tells us e.g. which articles, books, blogs, and search word is most popular. The principle behind it is the beauty contest – the one who receive most votes are the most “beautiful”.

Okay, my point. Why not let Google Adsense (or similar) decide what your topic is? Go to Google Adsense and fetch as many ads you can to your blog. Then follow what kind of commercials turns up on your page. Do this for a week, maybe two. Voila! These will tell you what topic you write about.

On my page, I received commercials about market analysis, trend tools, and market analytics. They seems to be pointed towards readers in form of producers and B2B markets. Not so sexy if you ask me. But this is how Google perceived my blog I guess.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Google’s dominance is always under pressure and siege

Google has created tremendous value added for users on the Internet. They have also been well rewarded for it. But many are afraid of the dominance of Google. That this force of good should turn into a force of evil - the reference is often here Microsoft. I do not think this is a danger. Even though Google has a strong position in search and will have that for a long time, the Cyberspace is vast and there is a lot of space for other competitive players.

Google is under pressure from many directions. As always it begins with the smaller things and changes in life -peripheral to the centrifugal search force in the centre.

New small players have to tread lightly. There is no use to try to play a hostile game when you are a new player in a big guy's playing field. Both from a market and a competitor perspective, it is better to build on the existing business ideas and innovate out of that.

I do not want to say that Google have spread themselves to thin. I think Google have to master many functions of the Internet market. That is one of the reasons to their success. But it is always difficult to defend the many angles of a fortress. It is even harder to innovate and develop all those angles. Here are four examples of angles of Google where new players innovate.

1 OneSpot and Feedly build and innovate on Google Reader.
2 Wordpress seems to innovate much more than Blogger is, and thereby attract the influential part of the blogger market.
3 Twitter and FriendFeed seem to have the upper hand of Google’s Jaiku.
4 Powerset and Cognition technologies try to be a part of the innovation of future search on the Internet, which Google now dominates.

I do not think that we should see these examples as just only scrap from the dominant's dinner table. Many important changes begin in the small. Why is it so difficult to defend all angles for the dominant player? Many players know intellectually the direction of the trends and what is needed in the market. But it is one thing to know and it is another to see how the next new thing should be played out in action. It is first when you act, you become aware of how it can be materialized.

Members of a big organisation have a lot of mental and physical restriction of their actions. Usually we call this history and tradition. This influence in form of “how we do things around here”, it tends to limit and funnel the members’ action into already known paths. This even if they are mentally capable to see these new paths. This situation creates possibilities for new small and innovative players. Paradoxical, this can also be good for Google itself, where it helps them to stay sharp. But most valuable is this situation for the consumer on Internet. Many new innovations will come out of this pressure on the market.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Readings on Sunday 29/6

Some fun Bric a brac outside of the normal topic


1 Wired is inspired of the Wiki idea and they urge people to turn in their “How-to”. Marketing on internet should be about engaging the consumer in different activities. Wiki "How-to target this well I think. There is something for everybody. Everybody is an expert on something. Why not just chose a topic which interests you and start to write?

2 If you want something more creative, and e.g. include the whole family in your actitives - why not create creators in the game Spore.

3 If you want something more advanced such as building social applications, the page of Zembly could be something for you.

4 Another article form Wired, but with a different theme to the above. This air machine Blackswift is awesome in every way - burn rate of money, speed etc.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Think out of your customer’s point of view! That is often continuously hard work

The need of walking in the customers shoes so to speak and see things out of the customer’s perspective is something we marketers often empathize.

But in our everyday practice, how easy is it not to forget this? We become preoccupied with other technical and tactical marketing stuff and lose sigh of how the customer think and what their real needs are.

A small example of this came about when I read the blog post of Willy Franzen. He argues that if you have the word "subscribe" over your RSS feed on your blog, you may scare away many potential consumers. My first reaction to this was that this is way overboard – “Of course everyone understands what subscribe to a feed means”! It does not mean that you have to pay for anything or something like that. However, after a while I saw the saneness in the argument. Yes, wrong of me to assume that the consumer necessary knows what subscribe means. I thereafter adapted my text of my RRS in an attempt to better meet the potential customer’s need and understanding. Now when I have changed it, I think it is much more clear and informative.

This is one small example on how easy it is to take things for granted and assume that everybody think as yourselves. Marketing is about checking continuously our activities so that they always are focused on the customers needs.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

“Content is king” arguments on Internet - Knowledge about machines wins over knowledge about humans

Those who have knowledge have power. That is a statement many of us holds to be true. It does not matter within which area. It applies in most of them. Take the business markets as an example. Those who truly understand the logics of a particular market - how it works and tics – they have a competitive advantage over those who do not. On internet markets, it seems to be very important to have deep knowledge about the search machines – much so than about humans.

Bloggers and social media
The reason of my reflection about knowledge is that I have read a lot of blogs about how to be successful as a blogger. Nowadays blogging is a very important marketing tool so it is important to cover that ground if you want to be successful in marketing on internet. In my reading everybody acknowledge the importance of SEO. But many seem to be very focused on, what I call the human side of internet marketing. Much recommendation is e.g. about how you should market and promote yourself in social medias. The argument is that you can not just sit and wait for somebody (search engine) to find you. You have to “go out there” and make yourself visible – connect and mingle with other bloggers! To me this feels intuitive right – spot on. This is something which I'm familiar with. It fits my experience. But I have learnt that when I easily tend to take things for granted, I should be aware.

A contrarian view
The alert came when I read Court's excellent post about avoiding the search enging pipe dream by focusing on social media sites. Most of the many commentators seem to agree with the author. However, one of the commentators, Vic, seems to have a different take on this than the rest. He emphasis that “Content is king – Period!” Google’s algorithm is what rules on internet. He goes on and explains his doubtfulness on the focus on the social media. The problem is express in this quote.

“Court I do agree that social sites are great but the problem is the older the content is in a social sites the less people come from it, hence you have to constantly keep writing new stuff, with Google is the opposite the more older content you have the more keyword combinations you site have.”

What matters is to add rich content. That suits the algorithm of Google. According to the commentator this means that it is important to choose a topic which is wide enough – in meaning of being interesting to a large population. Then will the Google algorithm help you to make a lot of money. This much more than interacts on social sites.

The "problems" of human thinking
I interpret this as a focus on the machine side of internet marketing. A lot to the success lies in the design of your communication, compared to its execution. To create a good design you need to have a deep understanding of how the machines “think”. The machines will like you if you chose a topic which is wide enough. To add content on internet is like food for the crawler machines. You feed them and they will like and reward you for it.

It is though not easy to think like the machines. I’m not a programmer who has a lot of knowledge about these things. I think the way human thinks. I have a keen understanding in how important it is to get notice by other humans and network with them. However, the risk with this non understanding (i.e. being human), is that I tend to deemphasize such things which I do not understand – i.e. machine thinking – and emphasize such things which I understand – i.e. human thinking. But that can be a loser game. It can reduce the changes of a successful marketing strategy on internet.

The importance of a well thought out design
For me as a blogger, it is important too avoid a too narrow topic – and of course a too broad. When I surf among successful blogger I have to remember that this is still a small market with very specialized interests. Yes, even if we are talking about millions. In these markets can social media sites be important. But in larger markets the customer is not necessary interested in blogging strategies and business networking. They want to find good keywords so they find information, friends, offerings as quickly and accurate as possible – and this is the job of the machines. Internet marketing as blogging is then about making sure that the machines work for you and place you really close to our potential customers. To achieve this, the blogger has to learn how to think more as machines than as humans when designing the business idea. Then can we obtain a competitive advantage on the internet market.

This can be odd, because we humans are humans. But the two guys who were able to think like the machines created the profitable business idea which now rules what we know as internet – the Google search. This business idea is hard to comprehend for many people who think like humans. That is why we use colorful metaphors such as beauty contest when we want to explain Google’s business idea. As for the machines, they have no clue what beauty contest means. What make sense for them is cold and hard numerical signs.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Readings on Sunday 22/6

Here are three posts on this hot topic of life streaming. Right now, it is a clear trend that we move from Twitter to Friend feed.

1 The first is an article from Gina Pace about Life streaming. We have heard the components in this before. But she does a very good summon of where we are up to now – with Friend Feed and others.

2 The second is about Steve Rubel, who suggests that Friend Feed may have a lot of potentials in the future.

3 The third post is some suggestions from Dave Slusher on how to go about when changing from Twitter to Friend Feed.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Google Web accelerator gives me extra "free" time

Yes, two extra "free" days!

Google web accelerator is a tool which makes your browser work more efficient. Now the accelerator tells me that it has saved me two whole working days since I started to use it.

Hmm, wonder what I should do with these? Probably, I will do the usual thing - surfing on the Web. An additional bonus with that is also that I will receive even more "free" working days from Google web accelerator *smile*. It is all about learning new things.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

FRA skiten!

Sorry for the swedish, but this has to be said.

Faan, det här glömmer jag inte, Fredrik Reinfeldt.

Att under kuppartade former ha underhuggare att klubba igenom FRA i Sverige samtidigt som du försöker framstå som go och glad nere i Innsbruck – allt detta smakar illa.

Synd, det här trodde jag faktiskt inte om dig.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Shame foster change in consumer behaviour. Is this an idea to base effective internet marketing on?

We all have heard of benchmarking which is so popular in the world of business. One organization compares them with the best organisation in an industry. Out of such comparison they try to improve themselves to become at least as good as the organisation compared with.

Transparent is a key word when we talk about comparison. It is about making everybody’s actions visible to everybody else. By this one can foster competition and change. When everybody can see what everybody else does, you can easily and naturally validate your own efforts and hopefully get better motivated to perform even better.

The “network effect” on Internet seems to be building on these ideas. In a blog post Katie Fehrenbacher writes about how to reduce carbon footprints with help of the network effect. On Facebook you can chose to use the tool “carbon minder” which display how much carbon you have created. You do this in front of your friends. The point is that if your consumption has created more carbon then compared with your friends – you should feel ashamed. We know from history that some of the most powerful motivation factors for human behaviour are greed, vanity, and shame. So it is reasonable to assume that shame will create motivation for you to reduce your carbon production - if the eyes are on you, as in the Facebook case.

What can marketing on internet learn for this? I think that the idea of network effect have much going for it! Here are some tentative thoughts about it.

In marketing we have learnt that you should be cautious with blame and fright tactics. Marketing messages which make the consumer guilty or shameful due to their current behaviour run the risk of only creating hostile customers.

However, to learn from the above we should have an approach which focus on the human social aspect where the consumers wants to compare and compete with each other. It is something more than the well known Viral marketing where a message is spread through word of mouth on Internet. This marketing should aim at encourage consumers to transparency and benchmarking - an opportunity for the consumer to show of in a playful and fun way. Competition can e.g. be about collecting, usage, and/or challenging. Such marketing should have a self development as well a shame component. The outcome should be a positive change in behaviour. With positive, I mean a feeling of fulfilment and meaning for the consumer.

Well, I stop my tentative thinking here. More thoughts have to go into this in later blogs. Right now I’m looking into John Cow blog and those exiting experiments with games and challenges which go on there. From what I can understand, these activities seem to be very successful.

 
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