Yearly Archives: 2010Blog

Q: Are Web Apps the Future of Websites? (A: Yes)

As we become a more mobile society, in the sense of the devices we use, everything becomes smaller. “Smaller” includes the time expected to complete tasks (or to be unavailable), the keyboards and screens we use, and the applications necessary to do our work. The Age of Apps is here. Due to the success of the iPhone, we can expect to see AppStores everywhere: the “MacApp Store,” “the ChromeApp Store,” “the AdroidApp Store,” and app stores from probably every telecom, computer platform, and device maker known to humankind.

Why have Apps become all the rage? People want to do things on the go, and Apps provide functionality in portable form with wonderful simplicity. Most apps do a single function very well. They’re easy to install and use and, in general, exemplify what people have always wanted from computers. With this in mind, businesses should start thinking of how they can offer their content and functionality as simple apps that people can use on the go.

In the mid-2000s, many of us still had to “go online” – meaning if we wanted to use Internet services like e-mail or read the content published in a blog, we needed to get to a computer connected to a network.

That doesn’t happen anymore. Or, at least, it’s happening less and less. We now travel about our real-world surrounded by a bubble of data and functionality that is always available to us. And, since we have ditched the spending-time model in favor of the doing-tasks model, we should expect that the organization of functionality and content should change as well.

No one had to persuade people to start using apps (unlike the unrelenting “education” of consumers regarding 3D TV). The demand has always been there. Now there’s a way to deliver the goods via portable devices. People like having their data and functionality with them. Smart businesses will take note and begin finding ways to provide customers with the information and capabilities they want when on the go.

Read full article

Seventy-five Percent Of Online Americans Look For News On the Web

This is not surprising, especially as mobile devices of all kinds proliferate (smartphones, tablets, netbooks). What will be interesting is how news-gathering organizations (formerly known as newspapers) adapt and accommodate advertisers.

Newspaper delivery workers might want to start job hunting. A new study from the Pew Internet and American Life Project indicates that getting news online is one of the leading – and quickly rising – activities among online Americans.

Pew’s Generations Online in 2010 report surveyed Americans from 12 to over 74 years old to find out which activities dominate their time online. Email and search marketers may be glad to learn that checking inboxes and using search engines are the two leading online activities.

Read full article

SEO and the Article Myth

There’s a myth out there that says spreading keyword-rich articles about your company and products around the web will enhance your search results. SEO specialist Jill Whalen reminds us that writing articles that provide people with pertinent information that helps them make intelligent decisions is the only effective way to “optimize” your website.

When your goal is to “create SEO articles,” you’ll almost always make bad decisions when choosing what to write about or how to write it. You’ll be thinking about search engines rather than your target audience. Anything and everything you write for your website should have a good reason for being there. And that reason is not SEO.

Read full article: (ARTICLE REMOVED BY AUTHOR.)

What’s Up Asia

Asia is often touted to be an up-and-coming economic power. But we haven’t heard much about how Asians see themselves in the world economy. Mark Hurst, who writes the Creative Good newsletter and recently returned from a lengthy trip to Southeast Asia, offers some very interesting observations that should make us ask: if it’s true that market leaders generally stop innovating and become stagnant, can the same also be true for nations. Says Mark,

It’s hard to overestimate the feeling of energy, expansion, investment, and activity that pervades the region. As the US economy stagnates, money has flooded into southeast Asia trying to find better investment yield – and the aggressive work ethic of the region (long hours, highly competitive, focus on results) has been happy to make use of that investment.

Multiple times people told me, in effect, that they just don’t pay much attention to what’s happening in the US – or Europe, for that matter. Asia is taking the lead in the world economy, and while the US has some good ideas worth studying (and perhaps borrowing and improving upon), it is not considered the leader to be followed.

It makes one wonder, can Americans imagine what the world’s economic landscape will look like in 20 years? In 10 years? And are such seismic shifts simply inevitable?

In case you’re not familiar with Creative Good and their work in the area of customer experience, you can learn more and subscribe to Mark’s newsletter here:

Why Smartphones Matter

Since the launch of the iPhone, smartphones have become a mass media platform. The reason? Smartphones bring all the information gathering and communications tools a person needs in a tiny device. With a smartphone, a shopper can compare prices and get product reviews while in a store’s aisles. News, traffic, weather, entertainment — it’s all there. And the ability to instantly be in touch (or not) with others, inbound or outbound, through numerous media (voice, email, text, social media) is astounding. Conceivably, one day we’ll be able to dock a smartphone to a desktop terminal that is driven by the OS, apps, and data we’re carrying with us.

Because of the utility and portability of smartphones, we can easily imagine that one day they’ll be carried by almost everyone. As the link below shows, those who carry smartphones already lead the mobile world in browser use — just one more category in which smartphones lead. Considering that a smartphone is the only computer people own in many parts of the world, this is a platform that businesses will want to engage. Check out the short article below that talks about how people use smartphones today, and then think about what value you can bring to your market through this portable platform.

Read: Smartphones Now Dominate Mobile Browser and App Use in U.S.

Streaming TV, not 3D, is the ‘Next Big Thing’

Tempted to buy a 3-D telly? Didn’t think so. If HD was a study in hype, the 3DTV pitch is beyond belief. Who, other than a floundering content delivery industry, would believe that wearing glasses and watching objects fly into your face would sell? At least HDTV was a big step up in the quality of the viewing experience. 3D is still, and always will be, just a “special effect” (and not a very good one at that).

When I visited the Panasonic booth at a recent trade show, what did the model on the 3D set do when I looked into the monitor? She picked up a glass and reached toward the camera. Like wow! The glass looked like it came off the screen and was actually coming toward me. I shrugged, and then moved on and spent a half-hour talking to a rep about the AF-100, micro four-thirds camera. Now there’s something to write home about (in another post perhaps). The moral: 3DTV is just a sideshow act. There are better ways to spend your money. For example, on streaming.

Despite what television manufacturers want to believe … the Next Big Thing in TV is where the content comes from, not how it is displayed.

Wouldn’t it be nice to access music and video content on any device? That’s the promise of streaming. Subscribe to your favorite shows. Rent movies. Access a music library online. Streaming frees us from managing bits, storing plastic, and conflicting formats. Apple has proven that coupling good content, superior technology, and a sound business model can generate mass appeal. It will be interesting to see if the new Apple TV fulfills streaming’s promise and cracks the mass market for digital content. (No glasses required.)

Full article:

Update: 22-Oct. Panasonic announced specs and availably this week for the new AF-100 camera. It sounds like a dream come true for video shooters. Except for one big problem: the micro four-thirds sensor has a crop factor of 2X, meaning that your 50mm normal lens becomes, in effect, a 100mm telephoto. For many, this may be a deal-breaker. I’m looking forward to the reviews as people start using this camera after its late December release. In the meantime, however, I lament.

Engaging Customers

The Web offers so many ways to engage people, as long as you’re putting the right content in front of the right people. Yet, the sheer diversity and quantity of engagement opportunities are far greater on Websites than anywhere else. Why does this matter for marketers?

Today, marketers must focus not just on reach but on engagement — high-value brand interactions — and of course, actual leads and sales. Think of it this way: there are banner impressions and then there are lasting impressions. Engagement helps brands make lasting impressions with target audiences.

Web marketers, do you have an Engagement plan? Here are 10 good ideas to help you engage customers:

Time for Businesses to Broaden Social Media Efforts

Social media continues to grow in use, usefulness, and buzz. But the real importance of social media is that it’s becoming a part of everyday communications for a massive number of people. As the saying goes, businesses need to position themselves where their customers are.

Even more noteworthy: social media is now used regularly by over 50% of people over age 50, which tells us that social media is now mainstream. And this presents an opportunity. Adapting quickly to innovations that catch on is essential for businesses to succeed online.

For more information see the full article: