Monday, January 23, 2012

Mobile Monday - What is Mobile Good For?

On Friday I presented the Un-Mobile Edition discussing the limitations of mobile now that I have had to use it for work while I sit like a rotting egg on a hot summer pavement for Square Trade to even update me on my warranty (I don't think I am going with them next time I get a computer and will gladly pay a premium for quicker support).

Now that I got that dig in....

What do I use Mobile for?

I read a ton of news and there is some great APPs from many news sources that are free:

Huffington Post, McClatchy, NY Daily News (for my NY Sports coverage), Bloomberg (but that black background and white text can be painful), Washington Post, BBC News, ESPN Score Center (also has great sports news), and New Scientist all are great.

As a dig to all the Social media wonks Bloomberg and BBC do not have social sharing functions which is something I find interesting because these media outlets are not making money on ads for the most part. I mean they serve them but they are never relevant (will discuss next post). You would think they would want you linking stories on their website so that it will drive traffic there where ads are more premium (though still mostly unrelevent!).

I use Soundcloud and Double Twist for music and now this has replaced my IPod. Soundcloud excels for Electronica and quite a few bands allow you to stream their music. If you prefer underground music like I do there is tons of stuff including a lot you can download for free. Even the Foo Fighters jumped on board releasing their last album on the platform.

I don't really shop. When my laptop went down I decided to use Amazon to look for a replacement. Web shopping sucks. It is very time consuming because you have to shop page by agonizing page, vs say going to a store and seeing everything at once. Mobile is even more painful. So while I am totally bullish on Amazon's Price Checker App for when I am in a store, shopping is not going Mobile for me in it's current format.

Research/Resources. Movie Times/Listings. Trivia needs (ever get into a dumb argument over something with a friend?) IMDB and Wikipedia. Finding a restaurant and calling them (Yelp! is pretty good). Sports Scores.

Social Media I use Hootsuite for my @SkyPulseMedia and running a client's Twitter program. And I use the Google Plus App which is pretty slick.

I take a lot of photos and often email them to friends or upload to Twitter or G+ depending on the content. Personal stuff I share via email (and text) more general stuff I will share with my networks. I never used Facebook mobile in fear they will know my cell number and sell it to marketers.

I don't do much web surfing because the screen is too small and I hate zooming in and out. But I have been reading some blogs and even used Livefyre when it is working on them for commenting. I do not watch much video. But find myself doing more of this. Ironically the YouTube App is struggling on my Android. If anything that should never occur considering they are Google Products. But although more and more video is watched on Mobile devices, we all know we prefer big screens to small for this.

Other APPs I use:

Google Goggles for QR Codes, Flash Light (indispensable), Evernote for Tasks and Reminders, the Calendar which is connected with my Gmail account, Gmail, GPS (Google Navigation is awesome), Google Earth/Sky, and Voice Search (Google get's it right 90% of the time), Calculator, and lastly Cardio Trainer which is an awesome program for running, hiking, biking.

Lastly yes I make phone calls and SMS Text. In fact most of my mobile communication is private vs public/social. I am sure the same is for you as well.

As you can see I use my Android Phone for a lot of tasks and uses. This does not mean it is easy for a Brand or Marketer to reach me. But they can and next post will discuss some ways  to do so.

How do you use your Mobile Device?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Mobile Friday - the Un-Mobile Edition

Sorry about the black out here. No this was not SOPA related even though we are against SOPA and PIPA.

This was computer related. The laptop died. It was warrantied through Square Trade. Which btw if you can go 2-3 weeks without your computer they are a good deal, but I have buyers remorse since using my computer for business it is critical to my livelihood. Sometimes those expensive repair shops can be worth it!

Secondly been using Mac's from my partner and family. And I am not a convert. I long for Windows everyday and I am not a Microsoft guy. I don't even use any of their software besides Windows!

So since I have a mobile marketing focus here, but not mobile technology I decided to see how much I can do on my phone for work. And guess what? Not much.

Screen is too small for web work. My Droid 2 has a nice sized screen but most web sites are not mobile formatted. And that Apple commercial showing the easy zoom in zoom out? Biggest crock of shit ever. I DON'T WANT TO ZOOM IN OR OUT! 

What about productivity APPs? I have some but I am not a tech whiz who has integrated my work with my mobile. Really don't want too. I like a big screen and happy with my Laptop for work. 

I do use a Calendar for appointments and meetings. I use Evernote for notes and my To Do list.

Skype Mobile kind of sucks. I tried adding a third party to a call and it failed.

Facebook was a big failure. I run a client's page and couldn't through the Mobile Web nor the Facebook APP.

I don't have my work email on my Droid. Already pay way too much for phone, sms, and data. Adding another $20 for that with Verizon and I am approaching a car payment per month.

Blog reading and Livefyre commenting worked pretty well. I participate in many communities and was able to keep up.

I use Opera Web Browser. Pretty happy with it overall. But some websites with lots of bells and whistles appeared messed up. Though very easy to share links.

Hootsuite for my professional and client tweeting is excellent.

Biggest failure? I wanted to blog. I like to add photos or other content. Very hard on a phone to surf the web for a media item then add it to a blog post. Never mind how unwieldy it is on the mobile web.

Verdict? Mobile will never replace a Laptop for work. Tablet's have potential though I like a keyboard. If voice recognition allows me to speak vs type then maybe I can make the switch. And that could be the solution for mobile one day as well.

Monday I will post what I think mobile is great for and the areas of shortcomings with a consumer use focus.

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Limited Super Powers of Social Media

Social Media is so powerful it can leap buildings in a single bound. It can topple Governments, start revolutions, cook you dinner. Uhm yeah right.

I like the real world. You know that world that Klout doesn't measure. In the past I have tried using my extensive Twitter network (professional network that now has people I call real friends) and Facebook network (real friends pre-Facebook....ones I am close with off line) to help with everything from choosing cell phones to recipes. In my network I will get maybe a response or two.

My client Chunk-n-Chip has given me free reign to try everything I want for their marketing. It is from running their Facebook page and seeing 80% of Fans with 100% private profiles that I investigated just how much of Facebook is private thus negating the 'Privacy is Dead' mantra from idiots like Pete Cashmore.

Well my client makes one of the best gourmet ice cream sandwiches on Earth. They are based in Los Angeles/Orange County. Most of my friends are in Los Angeles. Do you know how many out of 300 are Fans on Facebook? 8. Do you know how many I have contacted to give away free BOO-Yahs!! who then don't take me up on it? A lot. My client has a rabid customer base. People drive 30 mins or more through Los Angeles Traffic to find them. Yet on Twitter I rarely get more than 3 or 4 out 4700 Followers playing a game to give them away.

Now comes this Eat St contest. We created this video hoping to win a segment on the Food Network Show. The requirement to vote is to register. People can vote once per day. We have about 18 employees. I told them all to register, to tell their friends and family, to post on Facebook to help us win! Vote everyday! We have 23 votes since January 5th! If you click the link and see votes vs views for all the submissions you will be amazed. If you don't think every one of these businesses hasn't told friends and family to help vote. To all share with their networks, why such a poor vote turn out?

Power of social media? KLOUT? People will do easy things. But make them take effort is hard. Social Media does nopt fix the need for a carrot. A BIG CARROT! Unless they are pissed they are passive users when it comes to Brands. Chat someone up about football people jump in. Mention a Brand and echos. I see this on major Brand Facebook pages when on average less than 0.01% of Fans participate. 

And thus is the big lie. The Power of Social Media happens only when people are pissed or bribed. Rarely does it just work because 'People want and love to share or participate'. You need to give them a reason and often this is a bribe. And bribes aren't always the best way to incentivize customers. In fact it could erode your Brand Image or your Pricing Power and Margins. But you need to give Fans a reason to take Action. This is the hardest part of Social Media. Things don't happen by magic and they aren't easy.

BTW prove me wrong. Register on Eat St and help my client win by voting. I bet you won't. Your lazy and are thinking 'What is in it for me?' just like everyone else.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Google Plus is a Conversational Game Changer

For anyone who has been playing on Google Plus the one thing everyone including myself has said is that it allows better conversations than Facebook or Twitter. Lengthy ones too. The format for this is almost as good as Livefyre for blogs. The difference is Livefyre allows you to bring in people from Twitter very easily.

So why do I say this is a game changer? For anyone who watches the Daily Show like I do and laughs as Jon Stewart slaughters Fox News almost every night for fibbing, being hypocritical, and sometimes blatant lies you feel Jon is responding for you. We can not respond directly to Fox News. Yes we can tweet. But who will see. Yes they have a Facebook page but it is all short form.

But on Google Plus even though they have the Mastheads of their Talking Heads. Their posts are very...well...Newsy. They don't really talk opinionated Politics. Why? Because people are talking back. When they first started their Google Plus page they had hundreds of people commenting when they went political. Mostly negative. And guess what? You can't turn it off like you can on Facebook!

So they are actually the News Organization they claim to be on TV but generally aren't in my opinion. There is no crazy Hannity attacks or weird hypocrisy from Fox and Friends. It is just News. And that is because for the first time...people can talk back to them vs just Jon Stewart. And they can not stop this.

So warning to Brands who venture into the Google Plus space. Maybe being a good citizen, or giving good customer service should be a focus for you. Because if you have a Google Plus Brand page, while people can't wall post, they sure can comment and you can not stop them.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

First Post of 2012

Well here is to a great year for everyone. Alien's are an optimistic bunch so let's focus on a good year with lot's of growth for business, personally and having fun while at it. Now that the Space Daiquiri hangover is gone let's get down to business.

First off we will be blogging more often again and most likely moving the blog to a different platform in the next 3 months. Being bullish on Google as possibly taking over the net if they can integrate everything, who is to say Blogger can't be something beyond a simple blog one day? The G+ integration with other Google properties has slowly begun.

If you have not visited our Brand Page on Google Plus please do. We will be sharing our posts from here, news articles of note, and other stellar blog posts relative to advertising, marketing, business, mobile and social.

Next there was this great article written by Henry Blodget of Business Insider that discusses the misleading view that Facebook is beating Google. What Henry uses so incredibly is the data that us Alien's you always see crunching over and over to prove our points. The fact is currently Facebook in bringing in about $5 in GROSS REVENUE if that per user per year. That comes out to less than $0.50 per month. I don't know if Google has 800 million users like Facebook does. But say they did. They make over $10 in NET PROFITS per user per year and $50 per user in GROSS REVENUE.

The one thing Henry Blodget as all the Media refuse to cover is the fact that on a per person basis use of Facebook has been falling quite rapidly. It is unknown if the new timeline etc will change that. Back in April 2010 I wrote this analysis of the numbers taken directly from the Facebook Statistics Page. Since then all those stats have disappeared from the page. Why? Obviously they look unflattering. The last one to leave was time spent. It used to say 55 mins per person per day. Then 700 Billion minutes per month. Now it is gone. Because usage has dropped to below 30 mins per day per person. And that doesn't help support the IPO.

One thing Henry might agree on is my view that Facebook is really a massive pump and dump scheme by some big investors hoping to leave main street with the wreckage. Remember the Web is littered with companies that ruled the Web and were called invincible: Netscape. Yahoo. AOL. AOL Time Warner. Myspace. EBay. Priceline. Etc Etc. And Facebook will be one too.

Facebook has a nice business. But who says a better communication platform won't have people leaving in droves. They did this to Myspace. They will do it to Facebook if the offer is good enough. And technically facebook has had nothing but massive failures outside of photo sharing. Open Graph, Places, Commerce, Brand Pages. Nothing has been a huge success for participation. Because as Henry points out, we want to be social on Facebook vs hang with Brands.