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Gartner Outlines 10 Mobile Technologies to Watch in 2010 and 2011 March 24, 2010

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STAMFORD, Conn., March 24, 2010 —  

Gartner, Inc. has identified 10 mobile technologies that will evolve significantly through 2011 in ways that will impact short-term mobile strategies and policies. Investments in mobile applications and technologies will increase through 2011 as organizations emerge from the recession and ramp up both business-to-employee (B2E) and business-to-consumer (B2C) mobile spending.”We are highlighting these 10 mobile technologies that should be on every organization’s radar screen,” said Nick Jones, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. “These mobile technologies were selected because they will evolve in ways that affect corporate strategies, significant numbers of customers or employees will adopt or expect them, or they will address particular mobile challenges that organizations will face through 2011.”

The 10 mobile technologies to watch in 2010 and 2011 include:

(more…)

Social Medial World Forum and Mobile Social Media Europe, London | mobile zeitgeist January 7, 2010

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Social Media World Forum Europe –  15/16th March 2010

Venue – Olympia, Earls Court, London

Social Media World Forum is now firmly established as Europe’s leading social media event. With 5 supporting conference streams, over 300 speakers, free to attend workshops and exhibitions, the show is a must attend on the social media calendar.

The show covers the latest in brand engagement using social media, monitoring social media campaigns, brand building using social media, b2b social networks, social media & pr, virtual currencies, gaming, applications and many more.

The Social Media World Forum is part of the Social Media World Series and will also take place in North America in June and Asia in September 2010.

Agenda

Speakers

Online-Registration

Mobile Social Media Europe –  15th March 2010

Venue – Olympia, Earls Court, London

Mobile Social Media – examines the latest in social media apps for mobile, what leading mobile social networks are planning, and how marketers are gaining a voice in the conversations taking place on mobile social networks. It examines consumers interacting with brands on mobile social networks, defining mobile social network ad revenue, the latest in location aware applications, services and offers and defining the mobile social networking market.

Mobile Social Media is part of the Social Media World Forum.

Conference Programme

Speakers

Online-Registration

Early booking discount (25% off) for both events valid until 15th January 2010.

via Social Medial World Forum and Mobile Social Media Europe, London | mobile zeitgeist.

LiLi: Skype Wants to Make Your TV More Social January 6, 2010

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Skype will soon be available on your TV set, thanks to TVs from LG and Panasonic with an integrated Skype client that will be coming out later this year. While users will still have to purchase a separate video camera designed to work with the service (priced at around $100-$200), doing so will open up a whole new way for users to connect with friends and family from the comfort of their living room.

The plan to move video conferencing to the big screen makes sense, as anyone who’s ever used Skype for teleconferencing knows. While the ability to make free video calls is nice and convenient, speaking into a laptop or desktop web cam isn’t the greatest user experience, a fact that has been borne out in Skype’s own experience research.

As David Dinka, head of Skype’s experience research division, said in a video that accompanies the announcement, “For many people, if they want to make a video call, they want to speak to their friends and family from somewhere comfortable, and preferably on the big screen. Now, as we know, the TV is the center of many people’s homes, so Skype on the TV is the natural next step for us and our users.”

The move isn’t totally unexpected. Skype CEO Josh Silverman told Om last November that he saw “a future where Skype would be embedded in connected game consoles, televisions and video phones.” But the pace with which Skype, and services like it, are making their way onto broadband-connected TVs is pretty impressive.

It also points to the fact that TVs are no longer one-way content distribution devices, but two-way communication portals. We’ve long been saying that video wants to be social, but very few applications have harnessed a full feature set that will enable viewers to interact with each other while also viewing video content. This point was underlined in a NY Times article yesterday about cross-country friends that used Skype to talk about TV episodes while watching them.

Unfortunately, from that standpoint the upcoming Skype TV integration will have some limitations. Apparently the TVs don’t have enough processing power for users to video chat while also watching TV, according to the NY Times. So while Skype could make TV set a little more social, it won’t do anything to improve the actual experience of viewing television programming.

While not enabling “true social TV” (yet), the move by Skype could have severe consequences for the telecom industry, which has already seen voice revenues decline over the last several years. By cutting out the middle man and giving users a richer experience with which to interact with their friends and family, some could do away with landline voice services altogether.

via Skype Wants to Make Your TV More Social.

GoWalla Worth Nearly $30 Million After Financing. Time To Make Your Move, Facebook. December 14, 2009

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Austin, Texas based mobile social network GoWalla’s pre-money valuation in their recent financing was $20 million, we’ve confirmed from multiple sources. The company raised $8.4 million in that round, making their post-money valuation $28.4 million.

That’s not bad for a service that launched just months ago and has 50,000 users. Part of GoWalla’s valuation is based on their PackRat Facebook application that still brings in “single digit millions” in revenue. But it’s clear that Greylock, Shasta and the other investors in that round are focused on GoWalla’s mobile strategy.

Silicon Valley based competitor foursquare has just over 150,000 users, and has raised just $1.35 million in funding. Their products are similar – users “check in” to places they visit. Friends can see where they are, and vice versa.

This clearly seems to be a winning model. Mobile social networks have been evolving briskly over the last couple of years, and the location based check in model seems to be what people want. Both services are expanding quickly, and passionate users chirp constantly about the services.

Facebook and MySpace continue to sit on the sidelines and take a wait and see approach. That’s probably fine for Facebook (here’s why). But MySpace doesn’t have the luxury of waiting. One strong strategic move they could make immediately is to jump headfirst into this space, damn the privacy issues. MySpace may even want to do this under a separate brand. But whatever – getting their bands and artists to use the feature will lure in lots of others. This is a wide open space. The model that users want seems to be set. It’s time to move.

Here’s GoWalla in action:

via GoWalla Worth Nearly $30 Million After Financing. Time To Make Your Move, Facebook..

Boxee Beta Releases New Social Dashboard – ReadWriteStart December 9, 2009

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In a world where content is king, Boxee has found a way to give entertainment producers the royal treatment. After a successful App challenge and calculated rollouts of its Mac, Windows and Linux releases, internet television platform Boxee is launching into private beta with a new and improved look. ReadWriteWeb got an early look at the product and found out how the company plans to increase its growing user base.

Says Boxee’s VP of marketing Andrew Kippen, “We’re trying to change how people view television. It the past it’s been something people have associated with unhealthiness. Instead of force feeding programs to passive audiences, users are exploring and interacting with web and TV content and each other.”

Kippen hopes that the company’s new design will be more conducive to dialogue and exploration. Rather than appearing like the mobile app interface of an iPhone, the new Boxee offers an experience much like that of social dashboard Seesmic. In addition to OAuth integration, users will notice the following changes.

boxee_screen_dec09a.jpg

New Homepage

With Boxee Beta, users are greeted by a dashboard with three columns in the form of a newsfeed, featured content and a program queue. The newsfeed offers starred content and comments from Boxee, Twitter and Facebook friends. The center column is reserved for featured community content. In the future this area will be monetized through a pay-to-promote program. And finally, the program queue lets you to keep track of your Netflix queue and latest Boxee-related TV subscriptions.

TV and Video

In the past users were asked to differentiate between their local and web files. Boxee Beta mixes local and web content in recognition that users simply want to watch their favorite programs regardless of the formats or location of files. Instead of filtering by types of file or having to open an application, Boxee Beta has a new integrated search feature and allows us to pull up files by genre and price, rather than having to switch between file types. The company also organizes your favorite TV shows by episode and season.

Some New Applications

Social : While both Justin.tv and Hulu’s Watch Now Facebook application allow users to chat alongside their favorite entertainment programs, nothing beats the resolution of your home entertainment system. The Clipsync application lets viewers interact with others while watching content on Boxee. Some examples of activity include trivia games and chat.

Super Fandom: If you’ve ever wanted to have yourself a Kurt Russell movie marathon, then the Clicker Boxee application is your answer. ReadWriteWeb recently covered the web version of Clicker as a TV guide for web video and the Boxee application allows users to pull in all the relevant metadata on shows, channels and even actors.

Niche Content: Boxee Beta’s latest content partners include The Escapist gaming network with episodes like the ever-popular Zero Punctuation video game reviews as well as the Suicide Girls’ community programming. By changing Boxee’s default settings to allow for adult content, users will discover that a number of additional adult applications exist.

via Boxee Beta Releases New Social Dashboard – ReadWriteStart.

My Dad Doesn’t Want to Talk to Me Anymore November 11, 2009

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Yesterday I called my dad on my cell phone (neither of us have landlines) to tell him about something his granddaughter did, and a few minutes into the conversation he asked if I were near my computer. If I was, couldn’t we Skype instead? In my home Skype is both the P2P telephony program and a verb for video chat. My dad now prefers to Skype with me rather than talk on the phone, a tipping point of sorts in the way we communicate. He said he grew up watching cartoons where folks like the Jetsons talked via videophone, and since the possibility is here today he wants to use it.

In this multimodal communications world, the phone companies, which still rely on voice for both wired and about a quarter of their wireless revenue, should be worried. Voice revenue isn’t growing in the U.S., but that doesn’t mean that it couldn’t if carriers got a bit more creative. So far, data is helping phone companies that have wireless networks as well as those that are providing Ethernet backhaul for anticipated growth in data.

However, the real focus at carriers should be about getting beyond merely providing the pipe in this multimodal world. Check out what BT is doing with its Ribbit acquisition, as an example.

Skype CEO Josh Silverman would certainly be thrilled to hear about my dad’s preferred form of communication, as would the Telepresence folks at Cisco hoping to get the same thing happening in the business world. Silverman told Om in September:

“We are pretty big on video calling,” Silverman told me. The company is putting a lot of resources into building a better video conferencing experience, he said, because he believes that person-to-person video calling is going to be as big as video. That absolutely makes sense because today the definition of communication is constantly changing. In the past, the world was all about voice, then instant messages and now video calling. People are sending messages and status updates via Twitter and Facebook. The communications are now multimodal.

Perhaps in the not-too-distant future my phone calls with be less about voice and more about video, voice, link sharing, and even media sharing all within the context of a television or PC screen. I can turn parts of it on or off as needed. It’s like the vision for social TV that Liz outlined back on March (subscription required) rather than the Jetsons-style videophone that my dad is so excited about right now. The carriers are implementing on this social vision for television [LiLi), but they should be thinking about adding this to voice as well.

// Actually I have had quite a similar experience with my parents 😉

via My Dad Doesn’t Want to Talk to Me Anymore.

Vodafone 360 is a Major Strategic Play for Handsets & Mobile Internet October 26, 2009

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Vodafone has just launched a major new initiative called Vodafone 360 (release, with the new 360.com website to follow). Key points:

  • Integration with social networks for an online address book and content sharing.
  • Combination mobile handset + 360.com cloud service strategy.
  • Single sign-on for customers or non-Vodafone customers. 360.com website available to both.
  • Deep handset integration: two new Linux LIMO handsets with “full fat” experience (made by Samsung). Lesser version pre-loaded onto a number of Symbian Series 60 handsets, downloads and other versions available for around 100 handsets.
  • Also includes an App store, new mobile web portal, music service, and maps service.

Ian Fogg is working on a quicktake report. But this is such a major initiative with wide ranging scope, that he is extremely curious in what others think? Specifically:

  • How well positioned are operators to implement a social strategy with such deep handset integration, compared with handset makers, or the Internet social networks themselves?
  • Was Nokia’s OVI initiative a lightning rod that distracted many from other handset maker initiatives in this space? (Like Motorola’s Motoblur, HTC Sense, Google & Android, Microsoft Myphone, or Apple’s MobileMe?)
  • Is 360 a better umbrella name than “Vodafone Live!” ?
  • Thoughts on how well 360 fits with Vodafone’s new corporate tag line, “Power to you” ?

Comment below!

via The Forrester Blog For Consumer Product Strategy Professionals.t

How Local Businesses Can Benefit From Mobile Social Networks? October 26, 2009

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Local Businesses Can Benefit From Mobile Social Networks
The nearly mainstream social web is now evolving and graduating to mobile devices.  This emerging space of mobile-based social networks are empowering customers to find the best venues and prices, and offering savvy companies unique ways to cater to this new medium.  Yet, despite the emergence of applications like FourSquare, Yelp, and recently launched GoWalla, there are risks as customers talk directly to each other and opportunities for businesses who harness the tools.  Local businesses should approach the mobile social networking space by first listening to their customers, responding to commenters, provide special offers to advocates, and prepare for pricing to be impacted.

Mobile Social Network Offers Discounts Based On Location
Using FourSquare, a location based social network, I ‘checked in’ to the movie theatre indicator to my friends my location.  Immediately after the application identified my approximate location it offered a ’special nearby’ which I clicked.  The Savvy Cellar Wine Bar offered me 50% off a wine flight to a store 2 blocks away. […]

Catering To “Top” Customers Spur Word Of Mouth
The opportunities aren’t just focused on location based, but also provide opportunity for developing an unpaid army of advocates.  Take for example Foursquare’s point system, those who ‘check in’ the most to a location can become the ‘mayor’ of their particular store, indicating they’re the top customer.  Some savvy restaurants provide free drinks or other services to the mayor, who will continue to spread their affinity for a restaurant using social networks.   […]

Empowered Customers Check Prices In Real Time –Impacting Buying Behavior
Even if you don’t have a physical store, but offer a consumer good, consider RedLaser, which is a real-time bar code scanner that allows any phone to scan UPC codes and find them cheaper online.  […]

Innovative Market Dependent On Adoption
Despite the innovation, location based marketing and advertising has its limitations as it’s dependent on:

  • total number of consumers with mobile devices,
  • adoption of mobile social networks,
  • and their desire to find location-based offers.

Key Takeaways For Local Businesses:
Local businesses should approach these mobile social networks in a four part strategy –not simply reacting without a plan.  Companies should approach this space by:

  • Listening In For Free Research. Local businesses should immediatly montior their brands on mobile social networks like Yelp and FourSquare.  Use this information as free research: find out the perception of customers opinions both good –and bad to learn about their market.
  • Responding To Reviewers. Use negative information as a way to improve products and services and let your community know you’re listening to their feedback.  Although there are always two-sides to any complaint use these same tools to respond to customers in public, but be sure to abide by the terms of service.
  • Rewarding Top Customers.  Customers that frequently patron your store and tell others on these mobile social networks should be rewarded.  Build both in person and online relationships with them so they’ll continue to advertise and market on your behalf.  Free drinks anyone?
  • Preparing for pricing impacts and positioning.  With disruptive tools like RedLaser appearing, customers can quickly find pricing of products and find them at nearby retailers.  Retailers like CVS, Walmart, Target, BestBuy, Safeway should take heed as consumers continue to become empowered through instant information.  Companies will need to respond by:  making product pricing more competitive, or offering other deals such as bundling, speed, time, or other value-based offerings.

via How Local Businesses Can Benefit From Mobile Social Networks « Web Strategy by Jeremiah Owyang | Social Media, Web Marketing.

Why won’t location-based networks grow? October 25, 2009

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There is an interesting article about location-based networks and why they currently not have reached the critical mass at : Why won’t location-based networks grow? | VentureBeat.

Some parts could also found here:

[…] We decided to try out several of these apps ourselves and talk to the companies and several industry experts to find out. And what we found out is that there seem to be four factors holding these networks back: users are hesitant to join unless their friends are already on board, businesses won’t join up without a critical mass of users, many phones still can’t handle the necessary technology, and there are privacy and behavioral concerns.

Users are slow to join up

I installed Loopt on my iPhone when it was launced more than a year ago. I stopped using it soon after, since none of my Facebook friends or Gmail contacts were on it. Now it has more than a million users, so last week I installed it again — along with several other apps — but I didn’t have much luck this time either. The closest I came to a successful experience was with Foursquare, where I was able to find a few friends — most of whom haven’t yet responded to my invites. I’m inclined to think it’s not because they don’t like me but because they signed up for the service and never checked in again.[…]

I see three effective strategies in play to tackle the critical mass and chicken and egg problem:

Strategy 1: Build apps that can offer value on their own (stand alone) so that they don’t face chicken and egg problem in the first place. Aloqa, Geodelic, and Where are taking this tack. As Lacy said, social is secondary to location in their app. These applications should be able to draw in an audience purely on the basis of their location data. Once they get wider audience, they can focus more on the social element to make those apps more addictive.

Strategy 2: Introduce virality and game mechanics so that friends can multiply quicker. Though the idea of a stand alone app is appealing, it can also be severely limiting. Foursquare, Going, Gowalla are doing a good job of not only starting with a home page that provides value even without friends (so can act as a “stand alone” app), but also of using virality of social connections. Foursquare, in particular, goes even further by offering engaging gaming mechanics. I think they have a brilliant strategy, and are the company to watch in the space.whrrl1

Strategy 3: Provide apps on several platforms and carriers etc. to widen the reach and pull in more users. Foursquare and a few others lack platform access: they are available only on limited phones. If an app is available only on the iPhone, what is the likelihood that you’ll find your friends on that network? As I’ll explain in a moment, Loopt has a lead here because they invest significant time to make sure their solution is available on several platforms. In addition they already have partnerships with Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel, which puts them at a scale advantage. Further scale and network effects can be leveraged by partnering up with players such as Facebook, MySpace, or mobile operators, who have a huge existing base of users, each of whom already has a large address book that will get more location-aware with time. Google’s location-aware mobile app Google Latitude is the elephant in the room here. It has the advantage of Google’s large user base and brand name but doesn’t seem to be focusing so much on social aspects. Instead, it seems poised to commoditize on “Who is nearby” and location technology. And that brings us to the question of what business models are most likely to drive success. (more…)

LiLi: Chat through your TV with Cliqset, Boxee October 14, 2009

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Cliqset, a social content-sharing startup, has launched a partnership with Boxee to let users chat with friends on their TVs. The Gainesville, Fla.-based startup also launched a desktop client for its content sharing site, which resembles a cross between FriendFeed and Twitter. Cliqset pulls in data from about 70 social networks to let you know what your friends are doing across the web, but it doesn’t have the same strict 140-character limits that Twitter enforces.cliqset

“We want to show how flexible we’ve made our APIs, so you can add social features in traditional places where you wouldn’t expect to see them,” said Darren Bounds, a co-founder of Cliqset.

To use the service, you have to sign up for Boxee, then add Cliqset’s application from Boxee’s App Box. Once a person has loaded the app, they can talk to friends on TV, as long as they’re watching the same show. Boxee’s a streaming video startup that’s won an ardent fan base for letting people watch online video content on their TVs. It has attracted about a half million users, and raised $6 million in a second round of funding in August.

The company’s new desktop client is similar to Tweetdeck or Seesmic, but is compatible with Cliqset. Based on Adobe AIR, the client lets you send updates out to Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn among other social networks. You can also keep track of inbound data from all these sites so that you can comment and discuss them.

Cliqset has raised $2 million to date, all from a single investor named Derek Mercer, who founded Vurv Technology, a talent management startup that human resources company Taleo bought in 2008 for about $130 million.

via Chat through your TV with Cliqset, Boxee | VentureBeat.