November 20, 2010
On the Future of Location-Based ServicesO'Reilly Media's Brady Forrest leads a panel on location-based services at this year's Web 2.0 Summit. On the panel includes: SimpleGeo's Matt Galligan, Shopkick's Cyriac Roeding and Yelp's Jeremy Stoppelman.
October 10, 2010
Join the Land of Bubbalonians: Say What You Want, When You WantBubbalon demoed at the latest VatorSplash in San Francisco. More than just a rating site, you can give a 'score' in real time about people, places and things, as you experience them, including the ability to rate a venue, store, cafe or restaurant as you check into Foursquare.
You can even write a review about something. Bubbalon asks people to share their feelings, and gives them the ability assign an emotion in addition to a 1-100 point score. Bubbalon's “SMART CONNECT” feature is built to recommend "Bubbalonian connections", based upon similarities in ratings and feelings. Listen to the video below and Todd Hamilton and Alex Galkin from Bubbalon will tell you more.
October 07, 2010
Meet Blufr, Answers.com's Multi-Platform Social Trivia Game
The app is currently available for free and is downloadable from the Apple iTunes Store.
blufr has been designed to include social and location-based features. By offering registration through a Facebook or Twitter ID, blufr adds a competitive social dimension to the experience: players are ranked among their friends from those services, with the ability to earn awards or badges in their own social circles.
The game offers thousands of edgy, bizarre facts in categories including pop culture, sports, history and more, and challenges players to guess whether the trivia is true or false.
Trivia, or ‘blufs’, include:
- Lady GaGa's real name is Sarafina Angelica Giamonti.
- Actor Jake Gyllenhaal's bar-mitzvah was held in a homeless shelter.
- Boxing champion Mike Tyson has a tattoo of tennis star Arthur Ashe.
Players can rank on the leader board by location, among friends, or within categories. A real-time challenge component is planned for future iterations. blufr is currently available on the web and iPhone, with a Facebook app in development.
October 02, 2010
The Faces of Mobilize 2010
Joyent's Director of Marketing Nima Bradley
Intuit Dazzled Crowd with Cupcakes
Oliver Starr and Bubbalon's Todd Hamilton and Alex Galkin
The VC Panel
Sweden-based Rebtel comes over for the event
September 28, 2010
Bubbalon Provides Value to Ratings & Check-InsBubbalon is demonstrating their latest at the TechCrunch Disrupt Event this week in San Francisco. Touted as a location-based sentiment sharing application, Bubbalon allows people to express their opinions about people, places or things. Their sentiment can be distributed out to their own communities and the world at large, directly from their PC or through a mobile device.
Using Bubbalon, not only can you share and vote on your experiences in-the-moment as they happen, but you can also get trusted opinions from your friends and experts on a wide range of places, people, interests and things, including restaurants, hotels or a politician.
Users can share online, from their mobile device through their browser, or via Foursquare. The Foursquare connection allows users to add sentiment value to places at the same time they’re checking into a venue, making that check-in more valuable to friends in your Foursquare community as well as to the venue owner you're rating.
You can sign up for free at www.bubbalon.com and follow them on Twitter to learn what they're up, including trends on how people rate specific things, including products. Below is a short video clip that simplifies "why do this" and where it adds value, on top of being fun and incredibly addictive.
September 28, 2010 in America The Free, Client Announcements, Conference Highlights, Events, On Branding, On Geo-Location, On Technology, Social Media, Videos, Web 2.0 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
September 14, 2010
Mobile Apps Launching at DEMO Today
MediaSpectrum is dealing with the newspapers is dead trend, allowing publishers a way to make their content exciting and alive on the iPad.
Their new product, announced today at DEMO, is called Adrenaline to help newspapers and other large publishers through the transition.
“For any digital news organization, they have to deal with three issues: content, advertising and subscriptions, says Jay Cody, MediaSpectrum's head of marketing on the DEMO stage. He shows the crowd the Adrenalin reader, which offers publishers the ability to deliver an engaging app where the content can be updated 24 hours a day.
Publishers can add additional photos, videos, and video ads to enhance the reader experience. Publishers can claim Replica+ readers as part of their print circulation, increasing this crucial metric and the advertising rates that accompany it.
Replica+ is a second offering: publishers can claim Replica+ readers as part of their print circulation, increasing this crucial metric and the advertising rates that accompany it. They also offer the ability to view offline on their iPad; the apps can store some of of the articles to be read even when you're not connected if the publisher chooses that options for its readers.
Also in the mobile technologies session at DEMO today, Fox Mobile Group launched Bitbop, an on-demand mobile-entertainment subscription service, for smartphones powered by the Android OS. Users will have unlimited streaming and temporary download of commercial-free TV shows for $10 a month. They'll be offering full-length movies later this year.
Next up on stage is ExpertMaker, which is announcing a tool that gives anyone access to artificial intelligence through a 'search'. Their AI publishing tool can handle all kinds of complex problems, such as human-like recommendations, smart advice and diagnosis.
All of this leads to opportunities for things as diverse as personalized product advice, recommending holiday destinations, discovering a new app or even diagnosing an illness. Their tools do not require any programming skills, so they enable anyone to build their own micro-search engine. They also support 'mobile search' as well.
Addicted to 'checking in?' It may not apply to anyone outside the Bay Area, but for those with digital addictions (all of Silicon Valley), FootFeed could be your new best friend. Footfeed which I first learned about at the GeoLoco, a new but already leading geo-location conference.
Their service is for all checkinaholics and in the front row of DEMO, I look around me to see how many press, bloggers and vendors are checking in during their presentation. Built from the ground up as a stand alone check-in service, Footfeed integrates APIs from Brightkite, Foursquare, Gowalla, Facebook (and soon Twitter, Google Latitude and Whrrl).
Footfeed features an advanced location matching algorithm that matches locations across different services so that users can check-in to multiple services with one click. Using the Footfeed mobile check-in app, users can have their location matched across the different networks connected to their account and check-in to all networks simultaneously.
September 14, 2010 in America The Free, Conference Highlights, Events, On Geo-Location, On Mobile & Wireless, On Technology, PR & Marketing, Social Media, Web 2.0 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
August 22, 2010
Room for Foursquares?
A few weeks ago, Shane Richmond published a post on The Telegraph's blog questioning the point of Foursquare. Having previously been searching for similar answers, I had suggested to him a presentation by US agency JESS3, on where location-based tools might change for the better. Shane very kindly credited us with the suggestion in his post as he searched for his answers (thanks, Shane!).
I have been playing around with location-based networks to further understand them and their relevance in business (if you stop by Omobono HQ, check in on both Foursquare and Gowalla!). There is a clear application for consumer facing brands but is it the same for business-to-business?
So, I put this question to you: what is the point of Foursquare, etc. and is there space for location-based networks in B2B's growing portfolio of digital tools?
August 02, 2010
Who's Crafting New Marketplaces in Social Commerce?The TechCrunch Social Currency event addressed a number of interesting topics including e-commerce/social commerce, mobile advertising, social gaming, geo-location services and online payments. In the panel on Social Commerce, moderated by TechCrunch's Jason Kincaid, we hear from some of the leaders in this space.
Aaron Batalion, CTO and Co-Founder, LivingSocial
Gurbaksh Chahal, CEO, gWallet
Kevin Hartz, CEO and Co-Founder, Eventbrite
David Marcus, CEO and Founder, Zong
Christian Taylor, CEO and Founder, Payvment
Below: David Marcus of Zong
"We do mobile payments and have partnerships with 200 carriers in 41+ countries. We allow people to buy things on their cell phone. We try to really get targeted so we can remove all the friction of a transaction. You have to integrate into carriers and build infrastructure. You have to build a payment structure with the proper back-end activity – it took us nearly 10 years to build it. With regard to social commerce, if you consider that there are several layers in social commerce (group buying), couponing and the local stuff like FourSquare, none of those apps have everything. When you walk into a place that offers coupons, you can be told, i.e., oh your friend bought this and you can also get it for half price.”
Below: Christian Taylor of Payvment
"There's stuff out there, 'if I become a fan, you get a discount' – we’re excited about where credits is going. It works great for digital goods, which is exactly what Facebook is focusing on. We hope it eventually gets into our space. We hope to provide the defacto payment platform.”
Below: Gurbaksh Chanal of gWallet
On Facebook versus gWallet, he says, “Facebook does a good job with credits, but if you look at the offers approach, they’re not doing it right. They’re not an ‘offer’ company, they’re a platform. It’s different than going to a landing page of a brand, which is the demand we create and provide. Over the past ten months, we have brought 120 major brands into the category – they love the space and love social gaming – every premium publisher would make more money through us and if they don't, we’ll write them a check for $20,000. We’re trying to take advantage of curiosity."
Below: Aaron Batalion of LivingSocial
"Our key consumer incentive is if you can get 3 of your friends to buy, yours is for free – what’s built into that is trust from people you know. Because we focus on hyperlocal, more trust is inherently built in…..people recognize something if its local.”
Below: Kevin Hartz of Eventbrite
“We’ve been doing a lot of experiementation with Facebook; we have various integration points with Facebook. Events are naturally social – you find about events in a social environment, i.e., what your friends are attending and doing. When Connect came out, and we saw the organic growth. We see this as a vector for fast growth, so we have integrated into Facebook and also Twitter with great success. Events and ticketing is very transactional – Facebook does some things very well but they’re not a transactional business.”
July 25, 2010
Madison Wisconsin: Land of Cows, Cheese, Beer, Fairs & Whoaah Start-UpsThere's a cool post over on TechCrunch about the growth of technology start-ups in Madison Wisconsin, soon to be the Silicon Valley of the Midwest? Madison-based GeoHuddle Steve Faulkner wrote a guest post sharing the latest and greatest from some of the start-ups in the area, including his own, which is a start-up that develops community geothermal heating and cooling systems.
When I visited Madison (only once in my life), I was taken to a county fair and given a ton of cheese, although I couldn't find a nice glass of wine anywhere to go with that fabulous mid-west cheese. Beer baby beer, along with cows, farms and sports. Now, entrepreneurs are emerging, and start-ups are launching. I learn from their overview that "Madison was recently ranked as the 7th most innovative city in the country by Forbes magazine – just above perennial powerhouse Boston, MA."
As for technology specifically, below is a summary of the companies Faulkner lists that are worth knowing about:
Entrustet: It's about security baby.....get it from the fact they have 'trust' baked into its name? With Entrustet, you can store your digital assets -- online accounts and files on your PC -- and either have them transferred or deleted when you pass away. Kind of cool - they pitch it as Will for your digital life. Sounds really useful.
Virent: The Virent team is commercializing a proprietary sugar to hydrocarbon conversion process developed at the University of Wisconsin. This means they can take biomass and directly convert it to gasoline, which has attracted a lot of interest from the oil industry. Most recently, they received a $46 million dollar investment from Shell.
PerBlue: Ahhhh, blue. I tried hard to get 'blue' into a company name once. Perblue is all about social gaming in a mobile world, mostly known for their game Parallel Kingdom, which currently has over 150,000 players worldwide and was the first location based RPG for the iOS and Android platforms. What's very cool is that PerBlue was founded by University of Wisconsin students with their own limited cash, and continues to grow organically without traditional funding.
Alice: This service allows you to purchase home essentials directly from the manufacturer and have them shipped, for free, to your door. Based on your user profile, it will also remind you when it is time to restock on common items. (egads, now a service that knows how wquickly I use things but hopefully not how as well. Useful for busy people who want things automated but at some point, it will all hit us how much personal information we're giving away to vendors - this isn't about Alice, it's about the growing trend that all services are creeping into our personal data and lives).
Metworked Insights: They do social media analytics, largely for big brands such as Kraft, Omnicom, PG&G and others in its league. Their tool listens to conversations, analyzes them and then gives you data based on that analysis, narrowing down what is most useful for the brand.
Original post here.
July 23, 2010
The Futures & Trends of Location-Based Services (LBS)Below are some insights from this week's Geo Loco Conference panelists. Di-Ann Eisnor from Waze, Michael Liebhold of Institute for the Future, Lior Ron of google, Robert Scoble from Rackspace and Liz Gannes from GigaOm discuss hte future of location-based services on a panel moderated by Dr. Phil Hendrix from IMMR.
Some of the things the panelists responded to were the geo-loco issues below:
While location is an integral feature of mobile apps, consumers will be reluctant to pay for any location-based services - they expect location to be a "free" value-added feature. However, where location is relevant, consumers will strongly prefer apps and content that are location-aware over those that are unaware. True or not?
Mobile devices capable of scanning or codes and barcodes will revolutionaize the way in which individuals obtain information, shop and generally experience places. As businesses rapidly embrace and deply the technology, scanning and retrieving information will be important.
Location-based servcies will be integrated with social networks, enabling users to share their real-time location with the appropriate people. For example, family members (spouse, kids, parents) will be able to view my loaton at any time, co-workers will know my location during work hours, friends in my inner network I connect with the most, will be alerted if I travel to their city.
Location will enable and foster better communications, stronger ties and interactions among individuals and their communities, i.e., neighborhoods (citizens, news sources, government, etc), local merchants, cities, hyperlocal news, etc. The equivalent of a 'local' world wide web will emerge.
RESPONSES from the Group:
"We'll navigate more on time than place. Time will become more and more important."
"Static information that doesn't change will move away."
"Having people engage in a physical world, such as Twitter, allows me to have a peer-to-peer transaction, i.e., my bamboo for your lettuce, this kind of sharing of goods, and it's that kind of thing you'll see more and more as we're aware of who's around us."
"We need to make sure people know that they're sharing and when and where they share it."
"The problem is not the amount of information that is geo-location, its what is most relevant. It could be where I'm going but its going to be more interesting to look at the patterns that we follow."
"We need a search engine in a location. If we look at what is happening today, now we try to index what we see: photos, tweets, etc. There's too much information out there and there's an explosion of apps on the Android and the iPhone - how do I find those apps and use them? We need a search engine inside location."
"Let's look at objects nearby without any intervention of the business - this is much more scalable in nature. You need to combine object and image recognition together."
"How will we make money with geo-loco? We don't have a scalable model yet...to flow money into the market. If we look at what happened with the mashups, there was no scalable model. New companies who try to make a business out of map APIs were not really that successful."
"By 2014, we're going to see a lot of the silos we have today start to stitch together in a way that will be useful in the real-world."
"All the value is in the tips. Friendfeed let you stream things out, that's one of the reasons I was so excited about it."
"Luckily our world is so siloed right now, that we have to go in the opposite direction. At one site you can see houses for sale and at another services, but none of them talk to each other and we can't integrate them -- a huge thing is missing."
"I'm excited about real-world gaming. The badge mentality is dumb but there's a lot more that can be done there."
Re: location to be used to enable and foster better communication, stronger ties and interactions among individuals and their communities, "incentives here are aligned, there's no stalking involved. This is the best thing that can happen using geo-location services, rather than sharing your social networks, there's value here."
"There needs to be a reason to contribute your location; we need incentives in order to contribute something as consumers."
"Resolution and alignment are not good enough yet, but it might be good enough by 2020."
"Bar codes are spam. The Big Yellow Arrow project didn't work - we don't want to flood the environment with bar codes; visual search is more promising and revolutionary."
"I'm willing to make a prediction: there's going to be some stalking and violence using geo-location services and the politicians are going to legislate something we can't imagine yet. Image and facial recognition is one of the most dangerous of these technologies, because you can't opt out of these services."
"I got filled up to here with people checking in - it's noise that isn't of value. It's the mafia wars of Farmville and the number one reason I unfollow friends & family."
"As augmented reality proliferates, video games are going to jump out of the console and into the real world."