I got this idea from the Servant of Chaos a while ago. Its a summary of interesting blog posts and articles I’ve come across recently. I’ll try to keep this on the regular. It’ll be a mix of digital, social, economics, business models, travel, music and things that I like. I think it also shows a bit of who I am as well!
Archive for the ‘twitter’
We’re back into the swing of things for 2010, and I’d like to write about a couple of things I’ve seen in the last 12 months in the digital world. I don’t like to do predictions because the web moves so fast and technology is changing at such a fast pace. But I’d like to tell you about services I am using and what I want to use more of. I’m going to start with Foursquare in 2010.
The reason that I am writing this post is because I went to a presentation on the future of digital in 2008 and one of the speakers was Michael Kordahi, Microsoft Evangelist for Microsoft Surface which I have previously blogged about. One thing that stood out was how he said he had to bring his clients along with him for the journey, as he’s often so far ahead and in a different space. He does that with his blog and that’s what I am trying to do too!
An app that I’ve been using quite a lot in the last few months is Foursquare. I’ve actually been wanting to write about this for a while but I wanted to evaluate the service for a few months first.
I had signed up about 6 months before it was available in Australia and there were only a few Aussies on the network. I must admit that I sign up to a lot of services that I hear about on tech blogs. I’m one of those people that like to experiment. I noticed a lot of them were tweeting about it on one day and some had added me – that’s when I realised it was available in Aus. There were a flurry of blog posts from local tech / internet peers in the few days after it was released in Australia.
I could see that there was a lot of potential. Foursquare is a location based social networks where you could update your location using your mobile. I was already using my mobile a lot to update my status using facebook and twitter. I also noticed that a lot of my friends were updating with location based tweets/fb updates saying which restaurant they were at, which country they were travelling to, etc….. Everywhere I was going, particularly on the trains, out in the clubs/bars, people were accessing the internet on their smart phones and logging into facebook/twitter with location based information. It just made sense. I was already experimenting with Google Latitude, BrightKite, and then GoWalla so I could see the space was hotting up.
Where are your friends and what are they doing?
The thing I like about foursquare is that you can see where your friends are and what they are doing. Often when you are out, you might just miss them. The next time you see them you’re like “I can’t believe you were there! I was there too!” or “You just missed me!” or you call them and ask “Where are you tonight?”. With foursquare, I know exactly where they are (if they choose to disclose this information). I can find out new venues which my friends are checking out, and it encourages me to go there too.
There are also some other interesting outcomes. An example from last Friday, I was at the Arthouse for my high school reunion. One of my colleagues was meeting up with another friend at Arthouse. He saw on foursquare that I was there! So he walked around looking for me, and I found him!
You choose to follow people in your network and I try to find similar minded people and see where they hang out. I also like seeing who else has checked-in to a venue. So social networking is an important element in Foursquare.
You can also get tips at venues ala eatability. I love going to a restaurant, check-in to a venue and reading the tips other people have left. One of my favourite restaurants at the moment is Chat Thai, in Sydney’s chinatown. I read a tip on Foursquare to try out the strawberry blend. I did and it was awesome! If I eat something which I like, or have a tip on my favourite dish on a venue or even a bad experience, I will write about it on foursquare. I also leave tips which other people may find helpful. For example, at Museum station, I left a note saying that some of the entrances close at 8pm (it might be earlier), but thats useful for people to know.
Gameplay addiction – The checkins
Another element that is quite addictive and in my opinion makes it standout is the gameplay. When you enter a venue, you can checkin. You find the location using your phone – it will pull up a list of nearby locations or you can enter your own. After that, you choose to check-in to show you are there and it will notify your network. You get points for checking in. If you have 3 or more checkins, you can become Mayor of the venue. That is, if no one else is already Mayor. If someone else has more checkins, you have to have more than them to take over as Mayor.
In fact, I’ve been battling for control of Museum station for some time now! Another user had 10+ checkins at Musuem, so I decided to check-in twice a day (when I arrived in the morning and left at night). I became Mayor and then someone else overtook me. Now I have to get back on top again!! That keeps me coming back to Foursquare.
I’m currently holding down two mayor-ships (is that a word?). I’ve the mayor of Equilibrium (World Square Pub) and Bikaner Namkeen. I’ve actually reached super-user level 1, so I have the authority to edit and merge venues, which I intend to do with World Square Pub.
You also get points for checkins, but I don’t really care too much about the points. What I do care about is the badges. There are different badges for various purposes. Your first checkin gets you the “newbie” badge. Then there are badges for 10 checkins, 25, and 50 (they must be unique venues). The interesting ones are “local” (3 x in one week), “crunked” (4+ checkins in one night), and my favourite “player please” (checkin with 3 members of the opposite sex).
If you want a good post about the check-ins which foursquare pioneered, read this from the Scobelizer, someone I respect who blogs about the social networking space and the web in general. He talks about how the other social networking services are going to start adopting checkins as well, including Facebook, Twitter and Yelp.
Opportunities for business
There are some exciting opportunities for business. Potentially they can send out location sensitive offers. If you happen to walk past a venue, they could push out a notification with an offer to entice you in e.g. free entree with every meal. Alternatively, offer discounts to people that checkin. I’ve seen examples in the US of offering discounts to people that are Mayors of venues.
I must admit I’ve become a bit of a mini-evangelist for foursquare. I have convinced several people from work to sign up as well as some of my friends and associates. Now that I’ve got a fair amount of people on the service, its becoming a lot more useful. So don’t delay, signup!
I’m out like threesquare,
On Wednesday, I had the opportunity to attend Wiki Wednesday at Google HQ. When I was RSVP’ing, I noticed that the format was short round robin talks of 5 – 15mins. One of the suggested topics was “How wiki’s integrate with Enterprise 2.0 tools such as Yammer and Blogs”. I thought to myself, if I am going to be there, I might as well do a short presentation on Yammer.
I had originally planned to talk about all 3 and how they work together. Given the time restriction, Peter (@HubertusB) suggested that it would be best to focus on one topic. So I decided to focus on Yammer, the concept of microblogging and presented a short case study on how Next Digital was piloting its use.
Check out my presentation below:
I enjoyed all the presentations and I particulary liked the interactive exercise we did for “sharepoint v wiki”, and the insights we gained from that. I had fun presenting and I hope it was of interest to everyone on the night. The presentation has been uploaded onto slideshare for others to view it. As I actually have to do another training presentation on Friday to show everyone how to use Yammer, it was killing two birds with one stone =)
I also got to check out Google HQ, and it looks like a pretty cool place. Also, thanks to Jamie, Vincent, Walter and Aaron for coming as well and providing some moral support!
Here are some various twitter feedback and comments on the night.
I’m out like Wiki Wednesday,
Came across this story via techcrunch. Facebook now has open stream API’s, similar to how Twitter has developed their API’s and let it loose into the developer community. I’ve seen two instances of cool facebook API integrations today. I’m using Seesmic desktop and got the email update this morning and it was one of the top trending topics on twitter. Check out the facebook API using microsoft silverlight – its very cool!
With Seesmic, the facebook integration is something that I’ve always wanted. A way for facebook to dynamically update using Adobe AIR. In the past, i’ve often found myself refreshing the page to find out there’s new updates. Now, I can just use facebook via Seesmic desktop. I’ve been using it for the past couple of hours since it was announced. Although they say that there is “full integration with the feed”, you can’t respond to status updates (i.e. comment). All u can do at the moment is check the ”like” box. if you want to comment, it opens up a new window in your browser and may need to login again. Which is annoying.
I’m out like the old facebook,
Just signed up to blellow today. I saw it on techcrunch a few months ago, but I’ve been procrastinating hard all day and decided to do this instead of what I was meant to do!
blellow looks interesting – like twitter meets yammer. users are organised into groups like for joomla, ruby on rails, accounting & finance, entrepreneurs, etc…
So people with common interests or need help with a certain topic can speak to each other. I’ve joined a couple of groups, so will let you know how that progresses. In the meantime, check out the video below:
btw i couldn’t find anyone from Australia on it. if you are us, holla!
I’m out like blellow,
I can understand that legal authorities did not not want the details for the suspected arsonist’s for the Victorian bushfire to be published. You can tell traditional media like print, tv, radio not to say anything because there are regulations and perfectly legitimate reasons. You don’t want to prejudice the trial if people see the name and face and make decisions based on prior information.
How do you expect to control what people put on facebook? It’s idiotic to think so. To control the public en masse as to what they publish on facebook is not only difficult but impossible. People will talk about anything online and anywhere. People will update via facebook, tweet it, blog, etc…. As Laura Papworth suggests to shut down one network is to only force the conversation to move elsewhere. I must say in defence of the lawyer (defending a criminal defense lawyer!), he is right about some aspects re child pornography. If someone makes a child pornography page then it should be shut down by facebook. But I’m sure this is part of the terms of service, that you won’t do anything illegal on facebook. Of course publishing the details of the arsonists is also illegal, but I don’t see how you can put the responsibility on the ISP’s or social networks.
I’m out like controlling social media,
I came across the article today – its pretty funny.
Twitter impersonations are a problem on Twitter, but at least this one was obvious and very witty. It’s a fake twitter account of Stephen Conroy, Communications Minister.
Fake Stephen Conroy = Leslie Nassar
I’m out like the fake Stephen Conroy,
I visited ad:tech sydney again on day 2 (Wednesday, 11 March 2009). This time I arrived later in the afternoon at 2.30pm.
I was there to help out with the exhibit. I was at the Next Digital stand from 2.30 – 4.30pm. I also took a bunch of pics and posted them on Flickr and below as well.
It’s interesting being an exhibitor as opposed to a visitor walking around on Day 1. Some people walk up to you just to chat and find out what it is about, others have an interest or something they want to pitch at us. I think the most important thing is to be nice and have a casual chat. Not everyone is interested in hearing the marketing spiel and you have to be ready for all types of questions.
There’s a lot of people at ad:tech that are very tech savvy, and you have others there for the 1st time who looked like they just walked off the street. Overall though, it seemed pretty quite and there was not a lot of people walking around. It look like ad:tech was winding down on Wednesday afternoon.
Next year, I’d like to go to some more of the seminars, possibly even the paid ones. I hear the chatter on twitter from following the hashtags (#atsyd, #atsyd1, etc…) and there seems to be a lot going on.
When I look back, I realise that I have progressed in this industry and it is a humbling experience that a year ago, I wasn’t even working in digital. Now, I had the priviliege and the opportunity to talk to people at ad:tech as an exhibitor about online marketing regarding email marketing, analytics, etc… They say that 1 year in online is equivalent to 7 dog years. I believe that’s so true. Online just moves so fast, new things are emerging all the time. As I’ve heard people say, it may be changing but the fundamentals haven’t changed.
Overall, ad:tech was very good for checking out some new things. One of the most important things I was exposed to was affiliate marketing and traffic marketing, and different companies in this area. These aspects about online marketing I would never had learnt about sitting at my desk at work.
I’m out like ad:tech,
Ad:Tech Sydney – First Day Impressions: talking to myspace.com, netpartners, post click, girls.com.au
Ad:tech started in Sydney today. It’s a 2 day expo, with similar events held in San Francisco, Paris, London, Chicago, New York, Singapore. It’s basically for online marketing companies, for those involved in advertising technology. The official line is:
“ad:tech is an interactive advertising and technology conference and exhibition. Worldwide shows blend keynote speakers, topic driven panels and workshops to provide attendees with the tools and techniques they need to compete in a changing world”
I arrived there around lunch time. I had my express check in pass (thanks ad:tech!), so got buzzed in pretty quick. The first stand lo and behold was Next Digital/Commquest! Which is my company – more on this later.
I was in a rush because I was supposed to go to the Yahoo search masterclass. In the corner of my eye, I saw a guy from my media buying class who’s a dedicated search guy. However, when I got there, the seminar was over. Disappointed, I trudged back and went to the Yahoo search stand and asked them what it was about. I also asked them for notes of the presentation and hopefully they can email it to me. Hit me up if you would like a copy of the notes.
Overall, ad:tech didn’t actually look that full. Maybe its because I expected it be at full capacity. Or perhaps, there were seminars going on. There’s paid seminars, with 3 different tracks but to go to them you need to have a conference pass which costs $1k. I’m just going to the free stuff =) You can check out the different stands, talk to people, and listen to the free seminars. It reminds me of a big careers fair!
Next Digital has got prime position, near the front door and we’ve decked it out in a hospital theme with hospital bed, flasks of weird liquids, IV drip, and doctors walking around with stethoscopes. The theme its “Digital Health Check”, and we’re offering free audits of digital marketing strategy, websites, etc.. We are taking appointments and doing followups. Kate Kendall, editor of marketing mag called it best stand at expo. Have a look here:
Next Digital was giving a talk after the Yahoo one, so I briefly saw my director Mark Edwards, speaking about digital strategy. Its a small seated area with about 30 seats and people were standing in the back, 3 rows deep! He had some really good content, however the sound quality was quite poor.The mic and the speakers weren’t loud enough. For the guys standing in the back like me, you couldn’t hear him clearly. As the stands are right next to auditorium area, there’s so much background noise. It’s a shame and it something the organiser’s will have to look at for next year. Perhaps move the speaking stage a little bit further into a quieter area and turn up the mics!!!!!!!!
I spoke to a couple of interesting people /companies at the stands. Vincent and I walked around and spoke to the following stands. I’ve provided a short commentary on each one:
We were talking to Sharon May-Tanous, Group Sales Manager, and she showed us a new feature on myspace.com. There’s this function called “Myspace recharge” where u can recharge your phone by buying credits / topups. Very cool. I’ve always advocated that social networks should do more in the transactional & ecommerce space, given that we spend so much time on there. According to Nielsen research, time spent on social networking has overtaken personal email. Myspace are also releasing a new visa credit card as well, targeted towards younger people. Its going to work like a prepaid debit card. It will be an interesting move for them.
They had a very cool stand with lots of monitors. If you look at the above sites I’ve listed in the heading and click through, you’ll realise that their are Australian versions with localised content. That’s something that they are trying to push, localisation. Rottentomatoes.com is mostly made up of American movies and reviews, so its good a move to have some Aussie content in there too.
I told her I didn’t use Myspace anymore and she got a bit grouchy LOL. I’ll stick with Facebook, but I’ll check Myspace.com for music related stuff. FYI, I’m name dropping here, but I met Brett Brewer, one of the co-founders of Myspace at the Digital Tipping Point a few weeks ago. He’s sold off myspace to Rupert Murdoch and is now CEO of a social networking advertising company called AdKnowledge. He’s a very cool guy, down to earth, and I guess I’ll have to hit him up on myspace?
Netpartners – Content network advertising / traffic broking
This area is new to me. I’m still new to search marketing and online advertising, but I understand the basics like clicks, CPM, CPA, conversions and al that jargon. But there’s this whole new area regarding content network / affiliate marketing, etc.. It’s to do with advertising on 3rd party sites, publishers, etc… I spoke to Alan Wan, Affiliate Manager, he explained to me what it was about and I think I got the gist of it. Netpartners is a Hong Kong outfit, mainly targetting US and UK markets. I have to do a bit more research in to this area regarding affiliate marketing. At ad:tech, there were a number of stands, I would say 1/3 selling these services. It was pretty funny, because he was talking English to us and as we were winding down our conversation he asked if we spoke Chinese! Vincent and him started talking, and then I joined in, but I don’t think he understood me very well since my Cantonese is pretty bad and heavily accented.
Post Click - affiliate marketing
We spoke to the BD manager there. I’ve actually heard of them. Post click specialises in niche affiliate marketing. I’m still getting the hang of this term – its advertising on a network of sites. e.g. you would like to advertise to websites in Indonesia targeting students coming to Australia. They would go represent you and negotiate, and source sites for you to advertise on. They must have relationships with traffic brokers (a new term I learnt) and work out how much you have to pay for CPA, cost per action which is for lead or conversion generation if someone clicks on an ad. Post Click most likely takes a set up fee and a slice of the action e.g. CPC of 1 cent (cost per click of $0.01).
I’m not sure why but we wondered over to this stand. We were just curious, and it was right next to ours. They’ve got 2 websites which are online magazines targeted towards females. Girls.com.au has a demo of 18 – 35, skewed towards younger females. Femail.com.au has a demo of 25+. These mags have been running for about 10 years online and has similar content to Vogue, Cleo, etc.. The opportunities are for advertising towards a very specific demographic.
They also own female.com.au and redirect all the traffic to femail.com.au. however, they are not going to switch over to female.com.au because of the search engine rankings – its already been optimised (SEO baby!!).
CABO Networks – Pay for performance marketing
I spoke to Jurgen Cautreels, who’s over here from Miami. These guys have offices in Miami and Sydney, that’s TWO awesome beach places. They do stuff related to traffic marketing, lists, and email marketing.
iAD & Pureprofile
I’ve lumped them together even though they are two very distinct companies. Only because they have both presented at our offices. I like iAD, but I feel that their technology is way ahead of its time. When they came into our office and explained their product, they left a lot of us dumbfounded, including me. If you can’t explain to a bunch of people that are pretty technology savvy, your going to struggle with other people as well. Even their blurb in ad:tech is hard to understand – something about a multi-function device, etc…
Ad:Tech on Twitter & Blog
If you are keen to follow with the latest adtech updates, check out twitter. People are twittering using the following hashtags:
For the 3 different seminar tracks, there’s also:
There’s heaps of ad:tech tweeting going on, and I’ve been following the conversations via twitter and tweetdeck (i’ve got my search groups on for each hashtag!).
You can also check out ad:tech brain blog, I’ve been reading and commenting on it over the past month or so.
See you there
If you are going to be there, look for me at the Next Digital /Commquest stand in the late afternoon. I’m going to be there in a white coat, and also checking some of the other stands and seminars.
I’m out like day 1 of ad:tech,
Matthew Ho aka inspiredworlds
Quick post on yammer:
Yammer released some new updates on highly requested features.
I found out about this update via the Yammer fanpage on facebook. Some of these are no brainers such as private DM ala Twitter. I really like the import RSS feed as well. I’ve already posted the link to the new features in our work yammer group and will discuss them during the week. I like to discuss features on yammer one a day – as it gives people a chance to try them out.
Yammer CEO interview on social networking watch
This is a pretty good interview and gives you an insight to how Yammer works and where it is positioned against Twitter. I also left the following comment on the page: