Category Archives: mobile

Google Plays Most Valuable Real Estate

Most Valued Placement

To support the new Android smartphone, the Nexus S, Google is deploying a number of winning tactics from its release of NexusOne. Most evident is the homepage placement below the Google one-bar–what many call the most valuable real estate online due to its reach, frequency and scarcity in use. Other support includes a new marketing campaign and in-store push at Best Buy (where I’ll probably be picking up mine) and bundling it with a new OS code-named “Gingerbread.” We can assume the new push comes with a robust push on Search and YouTube. For low cost-recruitment over owned media, it’s good to be Google.

Gowalla Embraces Buy/Build/Borrow for Greater Utility

In the check-ins space trade media casts Foursquare and Gowall as archrivals, in spite of principals from each service downplaying the competition. Both will compete for marketing dollars to be sure, but each consider their platform a departure from the others in focus, with Foursquare focusing on rewards and game mechanics and Gowalla emphasizing the discovery/touring experience. Gowalla further punctuated this point by integrating Foursquare into its latest release. This is a great move and should be directional advice for anyone in the space. By building great APIs Foursquare has advanced its role and value in the ecosystem as a platform. With Gowalla they get greater distribution and metadata passed back to its services on what consumers want. Gowalla also has APIs and it was only a matter of time before a third party integrated the two services into a mash-up app. Already, forward-thinking services like Geotoko are providing one-stop anaylitics and services for Foursquare and Gowalla. In the web2.0 space it’s smart to move quickly on the buy/build/borrow decision towards the goal of offering greatest utility.

Here’s a quick video with Andy Ellwood from Gowalla when he dropped into Real Branding back in July during the GeoLoco conference sharing their focus on utility, user experience and the social benefits of sharing those with friends and your networks:

We believe the geo-location space and services are nascent and that it is very early days. It’s great that we’ve got so many smart & dedicated resources working on winning solutions for consumers and ultimately marketers. That’s why I believe there’s a bigger story here than simply one versus another slugging it out for a single-winner scenario. Stay tuned.


Laws of Check-Ins & Facebook Places doesn’t have to be Spammy

There’s an inverse corollary I’m proposing regarding Geo-Location: the fewer friends that you have, the greater the value of a Geo-location notice from a friend and in your socialgraph. The more friends that you have, the less value your check-ins are to that larger group. There are a lot of dynamics to support this hypothesis including why people follow/friend, what more centralized networks suggest, etc.

Here’s another part to my axiom-in-the-works:  The larger your network, the greater metadata value your check-in may have and the smaller your network, the less metadata value your check-in may offer (unless millions of small-node networks are at work with the same behaviors, etc.). So if a celebrity checks into a place, it may bode well for that place’s popularity and relevance. If one of my friends checks into the taco truck down the road, maybe not so much value unless a hundred people like him do the same.

With these thoughts in mind, I needed to quiet down my check-ins on Facebook, Foursquare and Gowalla so that my socialgraph, twitter stream and other networks aren’t overwhelmed with irrelevant data. In Foursquare and Gowalla I rarely “shout” my location out to my followers in that network and even less often will allow that check-in to leak out to Twitter or Facebook. Both services have done a good job of making that behavior opt-in versus default to protect users from unintentional location announcements.

FB Places ExampleIn Facebook, you can also quiet down your Places activity. On your home or profile page, access the “Account” pull-down in the upper right corner (see image). Go into Facebook “Account” Privacy Settings (linked here). Check “Custom Settings” and edit “Places” to “only me” and whatever other person/group/etc you want to share with. It’s that complicated and easy at the same time. 🙂 Now you’ll be able to enjoy all the benefits of Facebook check-ins of discovering nearby deals, people, events and places without having it show up in your stream as you see in the image here.

Any other tips for maximizing Geo-Location’s utility and value while minimizing its noise-potential?

Weekly Round-Up 11/15/10

The big news from last week: We’re joining forces with Schawk!’s Anthem strategic brand services to lead the charge for digital in North America for this global, public independent company.

Other Things Digital




Weekly Round-Up 11/01/10




Google news – Expedia, Travelocity say Google has crossed the “creepy line”


Weekly Round-Up 10/18/10


Social Media


Social Gaming



Quotable–tweet of the week:

“Old Spice campaign has jumped the horse. (vid)” via @danielstein

Weekly Round-Up 9/20/10

appnationApps/Mobile: Perhaps in honor of Drew Ianni’s successfully launching the AppNation Conference/Empire September 13-14 in San Francisco, it seems like most of the round-up is flavored with Mobile/Apps news, even in those that relate to Acquisitions, Apple and Facebook. Here are some App-related news inspired by the event:

Faux FB Phoney Facebook:


Social Media

Killer Apps: