September 08, 2011
SOcial, LOcal, MObile, the Power Behind LeWeb's 2011 Start-Up Competition
SOcial, LOcal, MObile is the new black for startups this fall say the Guidewire Group who are powering this year's LeWeb'11 Startup Competition, centered on the SoLoMo theme (that's social, local, mobile, for the non-geeks who haven't memorized yet another acronym).
The annual showcase of emerging companies will honor the Top 3 startups creating state-of-the-art apps for the SoLoMo consumer or business markets. They are looking for the most exciting and innovative ideas that exploit the power of social engagement and location awareness of tablet and mobile phone devices. To be eligible, startups need to have less than €1M of investment.
Applicants will use Guidewire Group's forthcoming G/SCORE Analytics platform to profile and take a G/SCORE assessments. Those assessments, along with Guidewire Group analyst and community input, will be select 16 finalists to pitch for a spot among the Top 3 at the december conference in Paris.
To learn more about the competition, visit LeWeb's start-up competition page.
September 8, 2011 in America The Free, Conference Highlights, Europe, Events, On Geo-Location, On Innovation, On Mobile & Wireless, On Search, On Social CRM, On Technology, Social Media, WBTW, Web 2.0 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
September 07, 2011
Nominations Open For Tech4Africa Innovation Award Till Sept 12
Tech4Africa is calling for entries to their inaugural Tech4Africa Innovation Award. Designed to recognize homegrown innovation and further inspire the industry to develop global solutions to uniquely African challenges, the award is open to both individuals and companies.
The process has been broken down to its bare bones in a bid to make applying as simple and cost-effective as possible. Individuals or companies need to send a single-page synopsis of their product or service, what the innovation is and the level of success or traction that it has attained.
The only qualifying criteria are that the innovation must have been in the market for at least one and a half years and have been created by Africans to solve uniquely African challenges. Participants are welcome to nominate themselves or suggest a deserving recipient.
Entries for the Tech4Africa Innovation Award close on September 12, 2011, following which a list of 10 finalists will be drawn up. The winner will be announced at an award ceremony to be held the night of October 26, 2011, as a curtain raiser for the two-day conference that starts the following day.
Some of the industry’s leading minds gathered for two days to participate in presentations by and discussions with international speakers on the state of web and emerging technology on the continent.
The 2011 edition of Tech4Africa will be hosted at The Forum in Bryanston, Johannesburg from October 27 to 28, 2011. Registration for the conference is open, with full details on the website.
* Photo by whiteafrican (Creative Commons)
April 16, 2011
AdTech San Francisco Keynotes, Takeaways & Notes to Self: #adtech
John Bax says their focus is on "local" and that local ads obviously do the best locally since there's more of an understanding of what their brand is about when you have regional sales guys. "Intimacy works," he says.
Mobile is also an important strategy for them according to Bax. He gives a few examples including a local merchant in Virginia who has a B&B. Within 15 days, they sold all the rooms the vendors wanted to book in advance, focusing on a different strategy for how they promoted weeknights versus weekends.
He also noted that people signed up for things they weren't necessarily searching for. For example, those who signed up for a sky diving promo they did were not proactively looking to go sky diving. Their strategy works if you look at their stats and results - they apparently also sold 2 million movie tickets with Fandango.
Manny Anekal from Zynga came at his presentation primarily from the angle of giving back, i.e., "here's what Zynga is doing to give back to the world." In addition to listing all the things they are doing for social good, he ended with a leave behind for brands wanting to do a campaign with them: "We can get you up and running quickly. We were able to get a major brand up and running within six weeks," he says. He also shared stats and insights into their Frito campaign, which grew their fan base to over a million.
He started with the Pepsico pitch of products and services under their umbrella, reminding people that they operate in more countries than the UN. Then he proceeded to go primal on us and show a slide of dinosaurs and early man's progression.
"Why we are all dinosaurs?" he shouts out to the audience. His key takeaway was about adapatability in a world that is changing so fast with exponential technologies hitting us year after year making it harder to keep up.
"Adaptability is key to survival and success moving forward," he notes. “If you cease to adapt, then you cease to survive.”
While I missed Guy Kawasaki's keynote, I did not miss his book signing of new book: Enchantment, which was proof that he nailed it on stage. The line was so long for both purchases and signing that they ran out of books.
ESPN's VP Carol Cruz introduced this year's Achievement Awards right before Arianna's keynote. This year's award went to Mars' Carol Walker, who shared the award with Kathy Reardon in a 'classy moment.'
My tweets during the presentation below including AdTech's Brad Berens' share of where advertising numbers have gone up this year. Kudos to Brad and his dynamic team for pulling off yet another incredible AdTech this year.
- Carol Walker in touching classy moment shares #achievement award with Kathy Reardon on #adtech stage this AM:http://ow.ly/i/ajSA9:22 AM Apr 13th via HootSuite
- ESPN's VP Carol Cruz gives Carol Walker industry #achievementaward at #adtech -- http://ow.ly/i/ajRS9:15 AM Apr 13th via HootSuite
- Brad Berens on the #adtech stage sharing advertising numbers & stats all going up inc attendance: http://ow.ly/i/ajRf
I covered Arianna's keynote in depth here including a two part video. Below she powerfully nailed her talk, which primarily focused on humanity, sleep deprivation, hyper local and hyper connected and balance.
April 16, 2011 in America The Free, Conference Highlights, Events, On Blogging, On Branding, On Journalism, On Mobile & Wireless, On Technology, PR & Marketing, San Francisco, Social Media, WBTW, Web 2.0 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
April 11, 2011
Call Advertising Market Acquisition: Marchex Buys Jingle Networks (the FREE411 Guys)
Marchex, Inc. (NASDAQ: MCHX) announced the acquisition of Jingle Networks, adding a growing source of mobile distribution to its call advertising network.
The deal is that Marchex plans to pay up to $62.5 million in cash and stock for Jingle Networks, which is a leading providers of mobile voice search performance advertising and technology solutions. Some may know them through their service: 1-800-FREE411.
Jingle Networks’ core business is providing performance advertising solutions to mobile carriers and mobile network operators so that advertising agencies and businesses can leverage in-call advertising, including pay-for-call, to gain new customers over the phone or through the use of mobile applications. Over the last twelve months, Jingle Networks has added numerous mobile distribution partners and grown its mobile partner call volume by more than 200%.
Combining energies, the Marchex Call Advertising Network will now have an annualized reach of more than 500 million phone calls across digital media, including mobile. This new call advertising network empowers both large and small businesses to reach customers when they are ready to buy. As the digital advertising market shifts to incorporate phone calls in a more significant way, the Marchex Call Advertising Network is best positioned to provide solutions to advertising agencies and businesses due to its open platform approach using all digital media platforms and supporting all partner types.
Driven by the rapid adoption of mobile and smart phones, mobile carriers and network operators are seeing a significant rise in the number of consumers leveraging voice search to find businesses. Voice search, however, can be costly for mobile carriers and network operators given the technology and other items necessary to operate the service.
Call advertising helps businesses acquire and up-sell new customers through phone calls, by reaching customers when they are ready to buy. Marchex provides unique phone numbers and analytics tools that are used by advertisers to place, measure and optimize campaigns across all digital media channels, which helps these businesses increase their sales. Call advertising and analytics technologies are more important than ever to track and measure the success of call advertising campaigns in order to help advertisers better optimize their call advertising strategies to increase impact, maximize spend and deliver better sales results for their business.
March 25, 2011
Jensen Grand Prix Insider New Mobile App for What's Hot in the Car Racing World
While I was in Austin for SXSW, I ran across the Jensen Motorsport guys who just happened to have this incredible race car parked on the sidewalk. God bless Texas.
They were part of a promotion for Maple Leaf Digital Lounge and in conjunction with Dynamite Network, they announced the launch of the mobile application Jensen Grand Prix Insider.
Jensen Grand Prix Insider features up to the minute content of what' shot and happening in the car racing world as well as exciting contests and promotions offered by their race team partners.
They handed me a flyer about their promo and the announcement, but it lacked the most important details about the app or the promo. After reading the flyer four times, I finally saw a website link in small font but when I went there, it only gave me a form to enter the contest. I kinda need a reason to guys.
I did manage to find their Facebook page but after several searches, still didn't find much about their new mobile app.
That said, I thought the car was cool and they wooed me into sitting in it and learning more about motorsports in general. And, sitting in the car got me to write this blog post too, but while I'm not the target audience for the mobile app, it would have been great if they included more data up front to make it easy for people who did care about motorsports, to get hooked.
March 21, 2011
Interactivity and You: Which TRIBE do you BELONG to?
The showcase combines documentary storytelling with digital technology. It begs the question: What Tribe Do You Belong to?
Through the eyes of eight style-conscious music fans from My Tribe Is My Life, an interactive web-doc examines their distinctive worlds in a way that allows you the viewer to see the impact of the Internet’s impact on their interpersonal relationships and how they construct their personal identity.
As a player in this interactive experience, you can choose an avatar and find out about the Internet’s impact on you, allowing you to engage in an analysis of virtual networks and to question attitudes about these new social realities.
You will encounter eight diverse characters and have the opportunity to observe them as they go about their day-to-day activities. Through a series of questions, you will be invited to think about the role of the Internet in your own life. When you create an avatar, you can personalize its style, characteristics, accessories, etc., as well as comment on the film and chat with other participants.
The 8 Characters include: Patrick, a Goth loner who lives in his parents’ basement, and has built up a network on a forum dedicated to “vampire” style; Heythem, who organizes reggae parties, and views Facebook as the post-modern address book; Jimmy, a rapper in Abitibi, and a member of Quebec’s hip hop community; Janis (a.k.a. DJ Monochrome), an insurance broker by day and a passionate player in Quebec’s electro music scene by night; Laurianne from Sayabec in the Gaspé, who refines her Goth ethos in daily forum discussions; Sébastien, a Goth dandy/loli and a great admirer of the Japanese Harajuku culture, who regularly uploads photos of himself in his exquisitely constructed clothing ensembles; Pierre-Luc from St-Félicien, a provocateur through his “public private diary,” which has become his Facebook profile; and Shana, an emo teenager from Maliotenam on the North Shore, who derives her sense of identity through her friends, live chat rooms and a penchant for lip-synching videos.
To each his “tribe:” Goth, emo, reggae, rap, vampire. . . . Music is often more than a simple cultural product; it can be a means of constructing identity. Online social networks allow Web users to share music, information, images and feelings; in seeking out their own “kind,” they can discover a tribe that speaks to them. And, in exchange for expressing themselves through sharing and posting, they hope to receive comments, opinions and gestures of approval, all of which serves to validate their identity.
The film trailer can be found here.
March 21, 2011 in America The Free, Arts & Creative Stuff, Conference Highlights, Entertainment/Media, Events, On Mobile & Wireless, On Technology, On the Future, Social Media, WBTW, Web 2.0 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
March 11, 2011
A Sad But Historical Day: Migrating from my Blackberry to the iPhone
The Apple fan boys get to you - you know, that nagging effect that makes you 'feel' inferior. The innovators snarl at you as if you don't 'get it.'
The early adopters call you a dinosaur and keep asking you when you're going to move into the next century. Your blogger friends make fun of you because you have no cool mobile apps. Your media pals have more than one mobile device and they wonder why you don't too. Your clients keep developing apps that you need to test even if you're not their target market.
It took me long enough to move from a simple phone to a smart phone, one that did what it was supposed to do well - MAKE calls, text and store an insane amount of contacts, a priority for me. The Blackberry was a smart phone compared to my LG, Samsung, Palm and Motorola experiments, yet no one in the industry will likely agree.
It did what I NEEDED it to do really well - text, contacts, email and phone calls, ones that didn't drop several times during a conference call. That said, the Blackberry did NOT have an easy user interface for apps I would likely use abroad, like Skype and Google Maps or ones that I'd use here, such as Yelp, movie sites and local sites like SF Gate when I had a need to look up a restaurant or cafe.
You could look at this blog post as a nostalgic parting of ways post more than anything else. While it hasn't been quite two weeks, everytime I look down at my cool new bright iPhone screen with its purple cover, I can't help but long for my Blackberry. Everytime I have to type a text message or an email (OFTEN), it takes me three times as long. Yes, three, not two.
Apple fan boys and iPhone addicts will say that its only a matter of time and I'll be whizzing along on my new slick device with the mega memory and boat load of apps, yet what I'm realizing is that I simply don't need a boat load of apps.
Sure, I spent a few hours within the first 24 hours downloading cool apps that would make me more productive, such as Errands and 2Do, the latter I even paid for though I can't seem to see the benefit yet even after tinkering with it for a few hours.
I downloaded cool photo apps, the Wifi-Finder which has yet to work for me in 3 different cities, and all the social apps I might possibly use: Bump, Twitter, Plancast, YouTube, Facebook, Tungle, LinkedIn, Seesmic, My6Sense, and Hootsuite. Then again, I used the important ones on that list on my Blackberry with great ease anyway.
I have folders now with tech blogs, media sites, cool travel and resource references, 6 travel maps, and apps that revolve around music, spirituality and finance. I have icons for my favorite conferences and the sure, the DEMO and TED apps were useful recently and no doubt, the SXSW Go app will be useful this week in Austin.
YET....I used to fly through emails and text messages on my Blackberry. While I was sitting on the runway waiting for the plane to take off, I might send 50 emails that saved me time later on. I could check into Foursquare in a heartbeat while somehow on the iPhone, it seems like I need to go through an extra step. As for tweeting, don't get me started.
While on the DEMO floor, I snapped a photo using the very cool Instagram app everyone has been raving about (which I like a lot btw, but after four days of it, the novelty is already wearing off), and it took me 8 minutes to get the tweet out. No, I'm not exaggerating.
I realize the new 'toy' is just that - new. And, I have no doubt that my iPhone and Apple fan boy friends and early adopters who may no longer glare at me, may be right on the learning curve. In a few weeks time, I may very well be fixated with the beauty and zillion apps my Verizon iPhone gives me, but it doesn't mean I'll be any faster at churning out data.
Let's face it, I'm not a gamer or a mobile web surfer. Deep down, I'm a productivity whore. Seriously, I love things that reduce the time I'm tethered to my PC or to a radiation-ridden cell phone, whether its floating through data one screen at a time, listening to music or watching a video on a 5 inch screen. It's just not for me.
While there's no doubt, mobile is exploding and as barriers come down, and bandwidth and battery life improves, we'll be using our devices for more things, more often and in more places.
That said, right now, I need my phone to do 3 things really well: have a strong signal in as many markets as possible so calls aren't dropped and I can get online, churn out messages as text or email as quickly as possible, and have an interface and keyboard that allows me to spit out tweets in seconds, so I can focus on the content before me rather than trying to get the accuracy right using a keyboard that isn't a real keyboard. God help those with large hands and fingers.
Note the consistent need throughout: as quickly as possible. Productivity whores love efficiency and when they don't get it, they get cranky.
Here's the other thing that my Verizon iPhone won't give me that my Verizon Blackberry did. In December, when I went off to Paris, I turned on an unlimited data plan that allowed me to surf, text and do email as often as I wanted in Europe for a mere $3.00 a day. No can do with the blocked iPhone. Pals on that same trip ended up paying $300+ by the time they got back for what cost me just under $30.
Toys might be fun, but productive and inexpensive they are not. For fun, why not get an iPad and forget a phone that simply doesn't work well as a phone? Sorry geeks, early adopters, design freaks and Apple fan boys alike, I just don't get it. I'll report back in a couple of months so we can see how little or much I've evolved on this new slick toy you all love.
March 01, 2011
Bump's Co-Founder Jake Mintz Talks Vision & Takes Questions on #DemoCon StageVentureBeat's Anthony Ha interviews Bump's Co-founder Jake Mintz on the DEMO Spring stage. He talks about early days, their vision and what they're now going to focus on with their $20 million in funding.
JetStreamHD Brings All Digital Content to Your iPad: Taking Orders Starting TodayNuvyyo's CEO Grant Hall and VP of Marketing Bob McCallum on the DEMO Spring stage showing off JetStreamHD, announced yesterday. Today, they're starting to take orders for their new product which streams all of your digital media stored anywhere on a home computer network to the iPad....other mobile devices to be supported soon.
Note: I consult to the company.
Note: I consult to the company.
February 24, 2011
Swerve Connects People to Great Things To Do
At the LAUNCH Conference in San Francisco this past week, I interviewed Swerve's John Magdziarz about their iPhone app. Swerve connects people to great things to do. Serving up thousands of events in cities across the U.S., Swerve is for anyone who wants to get out and do something – a couple planning a date night, a group of friends looking for a club party, or a businessperson attending a conference or networking event.
Swerve offers listings for Music & Nightlife; Food & Drink; Speakers & Networking; Art & Museums; Get-togethers; Deals; and Facebook public events. Swerve also makes it easy to share event details and gather friends through social networking services such as Facebook and Twitter, all while on-the-go from your mobile device. John explains in the video below and shows us a demo on an iPad.
February 24, 2011 in America The Free, Arts & Creative Stuff, Entertainment/Media, Europe, Events, On Mobile & Wireless, Social Media, Travel, Videos, WBTW, Web 2.0 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack