Mobilize 2010: 5 Apps to Watch

It’s all about the apps here at the Mobilize Conference in San Francisco this week. Everywhere you turn app developers are hobnobbing with venture capitalist and the press. After all, this is their opportunity to show off their apps and generate interest in their company and build media buzz.

After soaking up a day full of pitches and demos, we picked a few promising mobile apps that stood out.

Tango for iPhone and Android

Tango, which launched today in both the Apple App Store and the Android Market, is a peer-to-peer video-chatting app that utilizes both your phone’s front-facing and back-facing cameras. So what makes Tango different from other video chat applications out there like Apple’s Facetime or Qik?

First, Tango lets you make video calls from an iPhone to an Android phone over 4G, Wi-Fi and 3G. You can also turn video on and off during a call or pick between a large screen or small screen view of your contact. Tango also automatically detects which of your friends has the app on their phone and creates a specialized list of those contacts within the app. You don’t need to make a profile either; you just install Tango, start it up and you’re ready to make video calls.

We had some hands-on time with Tango and were impressed with its video quality and ease-of-use. We’ll take a closer look at Tango and write up a review in the next few days for our Android App Guide.

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At GigaOm’s 2010 Mobilize Conference in San Francisco, we got a first look at some intriguing new apps.

Mark Sullivan and Ginny Mies, PCWorld

It’s all about the apps here at the Mobilize Conference in San Francisco this week. Everywhere you turn app developers are hobnobbing with venture capitalist and the press. After all, this is their opportunity to show off their apps and generate interest in their company and build media buzz.

After soaking up a day full of pitches and demos, we picked a few promising mobile apps that stood out.

Tango for iPhone and Android

Tango, which launched today in both the Apple App Store and the Android Market, is a peer-to-peer video-chatting app that utilizes both your phone’s front-facing and back-facing cameras. So what makes Tango different from other video chat applications out there like Apple’s Facetime or Qik?

First, Tango lets you make video calls from an iPhone to an Android phone over 4G, Wi-Fi and 3G. You can also turn video on and off during a call or pick between a large screen or small screen view of your contact. Tango also automatically detects which of your friends has the app on their phone and creates a specialized list of those contacts within the app. You don’t need to make a profile either; you just install Tango, start it up and you’re ready to make video calls.

We had some hands-on time with Tango and were impressed with its video quality and ease-of-use. We’ll take a closer look at Tango and write up a review in the next few days for our Android App Guide.

Leer más “Mobilize 2010: 5 Apps to Watch”

Can we do content like Apple does hardware?

Apple’s example

Apple sells gear that almost everyone wants. Every laptop, phone and other gadget they design has… something that just make folks happy when put their hands on it. No one can say exactly why, but I suspect a lot of it is the fact that their devices are designed and built with a very specific user in mind. They cater to that user, tailor the entire design around her, and then launch the product.

The iPad is a perfect example. I own one, but I usually skip it in favor of my Kindle – I’m more of a hardcore reader. But I’m not the user Apple was thinking about when they designed the iPad. They were thinking about folks who don’t need a full-fledged laptop, want an easier form factor and touchscreen simplicity.

They designed it carefully, released it, and now it sells in quantities that would make Bill Gates jealous.

So, can we do the same thing for content? If we could, it’d be a lot easier to gain rankings, get attention and maybe even get compensated for the stuff we produce.


Internet Marketing with Ian Lurie

by ian

A thought that’s been germinating in my head for some time: People want content that does the same thing. If you can produce online content – text, ebooks, video, whatever – that makes folks want to read it the instant they glance at it, you can get a major internet marketing win.

Apple’s example

Apple sells gear that almost everyone wants. Every laptop, phone and other gadget they design has… something that just make folks happy when put their hands on it. No one can say exactly why, but I suspect a lot of it is the fact that their devices are designed and built with a very specific user in mind. They cater to that user, tailor the entire design around her, and then launch the product.

The iPad is a perfect example. I own one, but I usually skip it in favor of my Kindle – I’m more of a hardcore reader. But I’m not the user Apple was thinking about when they designed the iPad. They were thinking about folks who don’t need a full-fledged laptop, want an easier form factor and touchscreen simplicity.

They designed it carefully, released it, and now it sells in quantities that would make Bill Gates jealous.

So, can we do the same thing for content? If we could, it’d be a lot easier to gain rankings, get attention and maybe even get compensated for the stuff we produce. Leer más “Can we do content like Apple does hardware?”

Is Microsoft Ceding the Tablet Market to Apple?

Someone should let Microsoft know that waiting to join the multitouch tablet game, a year and a half after Apple revolutionized it, just isn’t going to work this time.

This news isn’t coming from Microsoft itself, so a healthy dose of salt should be applied. The source is Jeffries analyst Katherine Egbert. She has been speaking to Microsoft’s General Manager of Investor Relations, so the estimate is pretty close to the horse’s mouth (and may, if anything, be a little optimistic).

The problem is Windows 7, which is absolutely not optimized for a tablet’s touchscreen interface–particularly in a world of multitouch gestural interfaces. To see proof of this, look no further than Steve Ballmer’s fumbling demonstration of HP’s slate PC prototype from January of 2010. Ballmer’s fingers repeatedly skitter past the tiny finger-unfriendly icons on windows.


BY Kit Eaton
http://www.fastcompany.com/1692351/microsoft-surrendering-the-tablet-pc-race-to-apple-no-windows-tablets-til-mid-2011

Microsoft tablet

Someone should let Microsoft know that waiting to join the multitouch tablet game, a year and a half after Apple revolutionized it, just isn’t going to work this time.

This news isn’t coming from Microsoft itself, so a healthy dose of salt should be applied. The source is Jeffries analyst Katherine Egbert. She has been speaking to Microsoft’s General Manager of Investor Relations, so the estimate is pretty close to the horse’s mouth (and may, if anything, be a little optimistic).

The problem is Windows 7, which is absolutely not optimized for a tablet’s touchscreen interface–particularly in a world of multitouch gestural interfaces. To see proof of this, look no further than Steve Ballmer‘s fumbling demonstration of HP‘s slate PC prototype from January of 2010. Ballmer’s fingers repeatedly skitter past the tiny finger-unfriendly icons on windows. Leer más “Is Microsoft Ceding the Tablet Market to Apple?”

Ballmer’s bonus slashed due to Kin failure

Ballmer saw his nice, fat bonus slashed in the wake of the failure of the Kin and the Microsoft tablet efforts. The bonus was cut despite the fact that Microsoft had its biggest year ever. Reuters report that the bonus Ballmer received was $670,000, equal to his salary.


By Shane McGlaun | http://www.slashgear.com/ballmers-bonus-slashed-due-to-kin-failure-01105548/

The failure of the Microsoft Kin phone was swift and epic. I haven’t seen a phone fail that fast before. You can bet the failure was felt around Microsoft and CEO Steve Ballmer may have felt the failure in his heart, but it hit is wallet too according to Reuters.ballmer sg

Ballmer saw his nice, fat bonus slashed in the wake of the failure of the Kin and the Microsoft tablet efforts. The bonus was cut despite the fact that Microsoft had its biggest year ever. Reuters report that the bonus Ballmer received was $670,000, equal to his salary. Leer más “Ballmer’s bonus slashed due to Kin failure”

Online Testing and Optimization Solutions: Quick guide to Google Website Optimizer

Key benefits

* Combine with Google Analytics for ecommerce product SKU tracking
* Robust tracking with Google Analytics and Adwords
* Testing a landing page setup is simple – just add a couple lines of JavaScript code and setup the test in Google Website Optimizer ’s interface (you will need the page URLs as well as the conversion page)
* Overall reliability of Google’s servers (we’ve never heard of an outage of Google Website Optimizer servers)
* Open application programming interface (API) – you can draw data from the tool into your own environment without having to log into Google Analytics or Google Website Optimizer
* Large base of marketers have had exposure to the tool and, at a minimum, have some sort of expertise on the tool
* Google name brings credibility – May help get buy-in from others that might be unfamiliar with the tool but recognize the Google name
* With multivariate testing, once the JavaScript switching code is in place, you can add and rotate in elements without IT needing to alter the code for each test
* Active product development (constantly rolling out updates and bug fixes) [Más…]

But keep in mind…

* Google does not deal directly with clients for support – while Google does not offer support, they do have an exclusive group of Certified Partners that are screened by Google and qualified to offer support with any Google Website Optimizer question or issue you may encounter
* Security of data is a concern – Google has access to all data
* Google Website Optimizer only provides aggregated data – you need to add Google Analytics to get reports on daily data
* If you only use Google Website Optimizer, tracking is limited – Google Analytics needs to be added to get tracking beyond visits and conversion metric
* For both Google Website Optimizer and Google Analytics, data is not real time – it can take a few hours (this can elongate quality assurance, or QA, time)
* Have to get creative when working with secondary conversions – i.e. use other tools like Google Analytics to measure secondary conversions/clicks like newsletter sign-up in a sales process
* Cannot add additional metrics collections points within the tool – for example, segmentation of conversion rates, elements that users interact with other than the conversion point (you will need to leverage Google Analytics for this additional tracking)

What types of elements can you test?

* A/B and multivariate testing

How does it validate?

* Reports – chance to beat original, chance to beat all
* Method – Google Website Optimizer uses statistical significance of the difference in sample means among the treatments based upon a Gaussian distribution presumption

Cost

* FREE

Support

* This is important enough to mention again – Google does not deal directly with clients for support, although there are Certified Partners that may be able to help you
* Step-by-step instructions and FAQ’s
* Google Website Optimizer blog
* No contact person (unless you have one through AdWords)
* Forums – lots of great questions answered
* Instructional info available on Google Website Optimizer site

Technology / Development

* For Google Website Optimizer implementation, will need to add JavaScript code – or have Apache Subversion (SVN) access to add JavaScript code
* Google Analytics /Google Website Optimizer moved to AJAX calls – speeds up loading to end user
* A/B testing – has to be hosted on your server (you only have to add hosted page URLs to tool)
* Multivariate testing – has to be hosted on Google’s server

Reporting

* Alone Google Website Optimizer only reports aggregate data
* With Google Analytics it can track daily

We’d love to hear some customer reviews as well. Use the comments to share your experience with Google Website Optimizer. And stay tuned to this blog as we provide quick guides for more online testing solutions to help you choose a platform that is best for your individual situation.


Gina Townsend

Gina Townsend
http://www.marketingexperiments.com/blog/

I just flew back from the Googleplex and boy is my brain tired. It’s exciting to see the growth of Google Website Optimizer and the online testing and optimization community in general.

Tasked with writing a blog post about my trip, at first, I just wanted to focus on the Googleplex itself (yes, it’s that cool). Then I thought, a fawning post about Google Website Optimizer might be apropos.

But given the number of questions we receive about online testing and optimization tools, I’m going to take a third, more aspirational path. Today I’ll give you some info about Google Website Optimizer, but this will just be the first in a series of posts aimed at helping you answer that “Which testing tool?” question we often receive.

Of course, I can’t answer that question for you per se (the real answer is, “It depends”), but hopefully I can provide enough info over this series of posts to help you make an informed decision.

And here’s my promise to the vendors out there, even if you didn’t invite me to your “-plex” and ply me with delicious locally grown organic food, I still may write about your tool (and if the FTC is reading, Google did, in fact, serve up quite a bounty).

Now all full disclosures aside, here’s a quick look at Google Website Optimizer…

The biggest benefits for Google Website Optimizer are the obvious, it’s free and it’s Google.

But beyond the cost, Google is committed to making quality products and is continuously working on enhancements. Keep in mind that Google doesn’t offer much support, if any, so you’ll need to put in some time researching if you come across any obstacles. Here’s a quick overview…

Key benefits

  • Combine with Google Analytics for ecommerce product SKU tracking
  • Robust tracking with Google Analytics and Adwords
  • Testing a landing page setup is simple – just add a couple lines of JavaScript code and setup the test in Google Website Optimizer ’s  interface (you will need the page URLs as well as the conversion page)
  • Overall reliability of Google’s servers (we’ve never heard of an outage of Google Website Optimizer servers)
  • Open application programming interface (API) – you can draw data from the tool into your own environment without having to log into Google Analytics or Google Website Optimizer
  • Large base of marketers have had exposure to the tool and, at a minimum, have some sort of expertise on the tool
  • Google name brings credibility – May help get buy-in from others that might be unfamiliar with the tool but recognize the Google name
  • With multivariate testing, once the JavaScript switching code is in place, you can add and rotate in elements without IT needing to alter the code for each test
  • Active product development (constantly rolling out updates and bug fixes) Leer más “Online Testing and Optimization Solutions: Quick guide to Google Website Optimizer”

Google Keyword Tool

Google Adwords is an advertising program which allows you to create ads and have them run alongside searches at http://www.google.com. Google thankfully allows free use of the tool that advertisers use to determine their best keywords. That tool is what we will be talking about today. It is very powerful and can give you more than enough information to determine which keywords to target for your website or blog.

Supplies Needed:

* Computer with Internet Connection
* List of Keyword Phrases you want to research


Google Keyword Tool

Google Adwords is an advertising program which allows you to create ads and have them run alongside searches at http://www.google.com. Google thankfully allows free use of the tool that advertisers use to determine their best keywords. That tool is what we will be talking about today. It is very powerful and can give you more than enough information to determine which keywords to target for your website or blog.

Supplies Needed:

  • Computer with Internet Connection
  • List of Keyword Phrases you want to research

Leer más “Google Keyword Tool”

Does Anybody Listen To Your Tweets Or Retweets?

This interesting survey landed in our inbox a couple of days ago from sysomosos where they have analyzed 1.2 billion tweets to see if any particular patterns emerge around @ replies and Retweets. This Twitter survery is interesting because it shows that nearly 3 quarters of tweets go pretty much unanswered and I personally didn’t think that number would be so high. Given the large amount of inane conversation on Twitter it is also not surprising to see that a tiny 6% of tweets get retweeted. Some really nice data here and really well presented as well…
retweets replies v2 Does Anybody Listen To Your Tweets Or Retweets?
Most Retweets Happen in the First Hour

They discovered that 92.4% of all retweets happen within the first hour of the original tweet being published, while an additional 1.63% of retweets happen in the second hour, and 0.94% take place in the third hour. This means that if a tweet is not retweeted in the first hour, it is very likely that it will not be retweeted. The graph below shows the fraction of tweets from the second hour onwards – the x-axis shows the time in hours since the original tweet, while the vertical axis shows the fraction of retweets within a particular hour. The 92.4% of all retweets, which happen within the first hour, are not displayed in the chart. 1.63% of retweets happen in the second hour, and 0.94% take place in the third hour.


This interesting survey landed in our inbox a couple of days ago from sysomosos where they have analyzed 1.2 billion tweets to see if any particular patterns emerge around @ replies and Retweets. This Twitter survery is interesting because it shows that nearly 3 quarters of tweets go pretty much unanswered and I personally didn’t think that number would be so high. Given the large amount of inane conversation on Twitter it is also not surprising to see that a tiny 6% of tweets get retweeted. Some really nice data here and really well presented as well…
retweets replies v2 Does Anybody Listen To Your Tweets Or Retweets?

Most Retweets Happen in the First Hour

They discovered that 92.4% of all retweets happen within the first hour of the original tweet being published, while an additional 1.63% of retweets happen in the second hour, and 0.94% take place in the third hour. This means that if a tweet is not retweeted in the first hour, it is very likely that it will not be retweeted. The graph below shows the fraction of tweets from the second hour onwards – the x-axis shows the time in hours since the original tweet, while the vertical axis shows the fraction of retweets within a particular hour. The 92.4% of all retweets, which happen within the first hour, are not displayed in the chart. 1.63% of retweets happen in the second hour, and 0.94% take place in the third hour.

Leer más “Does Anybody Listen To Your Tweets Or Retweets?”