Friday, December 31, 2004

It Took A Tsunami, To Alert A Tsunami Of A Tech

From N.Y. Times Text messaging pushed for use as disaster warning systems.

When the tsunami hit Sri Lanka, Sanjaya Senanayake found he could not make calls on his cellphone or regular land line at first - but he could send and receive text messages from his cellphone.

Experts say that thousands of deaths might have been avoided if warning systems had been in place to alert the people around the rim of the Indian Ocean of the tsunami. No such system exists there now, although the United States has such a system in place for countries of the Pacific basin.

Those who design and use the wireless technology known as Short Message Service, currently used for chatter and advertisements, say it could be used to jumpstart governments' warning networks.

The technology, though used most avidly in the United States by teenagers, is wildly popular worldwide and has accompanied the international boom in cellphone use.

"The cool thing about mobile messaging is you're not tethered in front of your PC, you don't have to be in front of your television,"

The sad thing is where we (U.S.) are still trying to implement SMS, the rest of the world has found a way to use SMS as a way of relief to those affected. Many service providers are donating x amount per SMS sent, as a donation.

Sometimes the rest of the World provides a great way to predict the future.

I C U, U C Me?

From CXO IITians develop Linux-based cell phone tracking software.

Did you ever wish that you could track the location of a mobile user? Well, this could very well be a reality largely thanks to the efforts of three young Mumbai-based IITians, who have developed a Linux-based software application that tracks the location of mobile phones.

Speaking to CXOtoday Nitin Seth, director of Mobiance Technologies, said, "This software is an enhanced version of cell display info.

A customer can track a user by sending an SMS.

The service provider will then ask the tracked user permission via SMS. If the tracked user consents, the customer is then flashed with the location details of the tracked user. The accuracy can be within 10 to 100 metres"

SMS Growth

From C/Net Gettin teens beyond textin'.

U.S. teenagers are among the most prodigious cell phone text message users. But will they ever do anything more sophisticated with their cell phones?

Teenagers and corporations will do so much more...just wait.

Revenue from short message services overall in the United States will reach $1 billion this year, according to various industry estimates.

In a sign that texting has gone mass market, this June there were 2.8 billion messages sent from U.S. cell phones, compared with 2.8 million sent in June 2003.

CNBC To Get OutFoxed

From BizWeek Magazine Can Murdoch OutFox CNBC?.

With a Fox business channel likely to launch, a cable brawl is ready to begin

On Dec. 15, the Time Warner (TWX ) cable channel CNNfn aired its final programs after years of languishing behind CNBC's business news fare. Not that CNBC (GE ) doesn't have problems of its own. Its ratings have plummeted since the Internet boom went bust. And CNBC's ever-changing prime-time schedule never seems to click with viewers. Bringing financial news to TV is no sure bet

Fox execs aren't talking, but industry insiders bet Murdoch and Ailes will differentiate Fox from CNBC by gearing Fox's financial fare less to high-end Wall Streeters and more to average folks. They're also apt to jazz up programs and generate buzz. That could include using the business pages of Murdoch's own New York Post as a prototype.

Finally an upbeat,fast paced business show. Say goodbye to grumpy Mark Haynes, the always pessimistic Jesse Einsenberg, Steve "the world is coming to an end financially" Liesman and "im better than you" Liz Clayman.

Theres a big difference between being serious and being negative.

Such negativity is a horrible way to start your day.

Just like Investor's Business Daily took on the WSJ, Fox will be the up and coming player for biz tv.

Word of advice Rupert, hire David Faber, hes the only gem at CNBC and needs a real venue to be exposed.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Officer Barbrady Goes High Tech

From IndUSBusiness Journal Infokall helps police access license info,issue driving citations- all at car's side.

The New Orleans Police Department has purchased a product from Infokall Inc., a Santa Ana, Calif.-based company founded by Vishnu Choudhary, which will allow its officers to become among the first in the country who can issue citations from hand-held devices without leaving a car's side

At a cost of $500,000, the New Orleans installed hand-held devices on its 55 police motorcycles. The second phase of the project will install the devices in the city's 840 patrol cars.

Infokall's wireless application connects to these databases allowing the officer to take a license, swipe it through a hand-held computer and initiate a check on that person.

The hand-held device includes a bar code reader, which also enables the officer to scan the vehicle identification number of the car to check if the vehicle or the license plate were stolen.

What A Great Idea...How Come We Dont Do That Here?..Oh Yeah I Forgot, We Can't.

This is so great to see.

From Yahoo News. European text messangers raise millions for Asian tsunami victims.

ROME (AFP) - Italian mobile phone users have donated more than 11 million euros (15 million dollars) for the victims of the Asian tsunamis through a text messaging arrangement that seemed to set a trend, it was reported.

The Rome daily Corriere della Sera said Italians could contribute one euro to tsunami disaster relief every time they sent a text message, thanks to an agreement between the country's four mobile phone companies and its main television channels.

Portugal's biggest mobile phone company, TMN, urged its five million subscribers to do likewise, saying it would charge one euro per text message throughout January and donate the money to the Red Cross or other charities serving the Asian victims.

State-run France Telecom said it would launch a similar service on Monday for the benefit of the Red Cross and French charities and keep it going until the end of January.

In Helsinki, the world's largest mobile phone maker, Nokia (news - web sites), said it had contributed to emergency relief in the tsunami-stricken areas, but would not confirm a report by the Red Cross that it had given 300,000 euros from its operations in Finland.

We are so advanced with technology here, but yet so far behind.

When It Absolutely, Positively, Has To Be Tracked

From Business Wire Real time container tracking solution.

Coruscant Tec, India's leading Mobile Solutions Company has been appointed by the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) to develop and support the port's container tracking system using SMS. Coruscant Tec has developed an SMS (Short Messaging Service) alert system, which integrates with the JNPT customer database. The solution works on the 'Pull' SMS application allowing customers via a short code to learn the status of their consignments on a real time basis.

The system developed specially for JNPT allows its customers to punch in from their mobile handsets a predefined unique number that enables them to know where the container is presently. The alert is then is triggered to the JNPT database which is then sent back to the customers via the application built by Coruscant Tec.

The application will pick up the container status from the JNPT database on a real time basis on receiving a request from a Customer for container status. Each container will have a unique container number known to the customer for tracking purposes

The system helps the customers to locate the containers at any time during its transit through the port. This information will be available once the container enters the port and up to 8 days of its exit from the port.”

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Think The Baby Bells Saw This Coming?

From Mobile Pipeline Sprint. Time Warner in cable-cell phone deal.

By The Associated Press Mobile Pipeline

Time Warner Cable is reportedly working with Sprint Corp. on a deal that would allow the cable provider to offer cellphone service on a trial basis next year.

The deal would put the unit of Time Warner Inc. in a class all its own as the only major cable company to offer cellular service, and would give the two companies stakes in television, high-speed Internet access and wired and wireless phone service, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

Representatives from both companies confirmed that talks are underway but would not say if a deal was imminent, as the newspaper reported.

The service would be limited to Kansas City, Mo., in the first quarter of 2005, but could expand.

Time Warner is the country's second-largest cable operator with nearly 11 million subscribers.

So Far, So Good...And Getting Good"er"

The ARPU's are coming..

From 3GNewsroom So far, so good for wireless data in 2004.

The Yankee Group 2004 Mobile User Survey shows that awareness of wireless data services skyrocketed during the past year

By the end of the second quarter of 2004, wireless data users totaled almost 47 million (or more than one-quarter of the total wireless subscriber base), up more than 58% from 29 million in mid-2003.

47 million mobile PC's, able to be reached anywhere, anytime.

Wireless data revenue in the second quarter of 2004 approached $1 billion, up 160% from roughly $367 million for the second quarter of 2003.

By year-end 2004, we anticipate almost one-third of wireless users will be using wireless data and annual revenue will top $4 billion.

Wireless data constitutes nearly 4% of total service revenue and is still virtually a rounding error for most carriers.

Oh how that will change soon.

In September, the Yankee Group completed its U.S. wireless consumer applications forecast. By 2008, we expect consumer data ARPU as a contribution of total ARPU will grow more than threefold to 12% and the annual consumer data services market will reach nearly $14 billion.

Messaging will decrease as a proportion of the total, with real growth coming from information and entertainment services.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Speaking For Sale Signs...Almost

From Inman News Homes speak in text messages.

Prospective buyers can dial in for real estate information
Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Inman News

A new service available in Florida allows home shoppers with cell phones to get information on for-sale homes in the form of a text message.

ClearSky Mobile Media Inc., a wireless marketing company, announced today that it has rolled out iCODE, which enables prospective home buyers to dial in a code to receive information about a home. The service launched in Windermere, Fla.

Next you'll be able to click or type a code to get the MLS listing.

Buyers who spot a home using the iCODE (short for information code) system send a text message to iCODE with a four-character code listed on the for-sale sign. The iCODE service then responds with a text-message describing the house. So far, iCODE works with AT&T/Cingular, T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon cell phone services.

"Flyers attached to yard signs have been nothing but problems for us, yet people want instant information about a house they are driving by," said Judy Black, owner-broker of Main Street Realtors.

Howabout making the phone number on the flyer the code to text to?

"We are tremendously excited in reaching the Realtor market with our newest extension of our iCODE service," said Dean Fresonke, CEO of ClearSky Mobile Media.

ClearSky Mobile Media Inc., based in Orlando, Fla., specializes in wireless marketing and mobile entertainment services, and has customers in North America, South America, Europe and Asia.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Find Those Eyes

From ClickZ Are media buyers facing extinction?.

What struck me at the show was how all the students take the network for granted. It's a service to be tapped into, a conduit for information, not a "place" or a "thing." They don't necessarily consider the Internet as "cyberspace," but as a common carrier for data to flow back and forth between devices or people. To them, the Internet is more like electricity or water: ubiquitous, and there to tap into and use

Are "Internet marketers" becoming dinosaurs in a new age of networked media?

Those of us who got on early and spent our formative online years surfing, sending e-mail, and occasionally chatting tend to think of the Web as a "place" we visit. We cut our teeth in a dial-up world. "Going online" was an activity. It required a conscious decision. We've made the transition to broadband's always-on world, but it's still tempting to think of the Internet as something somehow separate from the rest of the world.

When the physical world gets connected, the two worlds (electronic and physical) merge.

That's dangerous thinking for marketers.

Is it a separate medium? Or has the Internet become ubiquitous enough that talking about "online marketing" is about as myopic (and silly) as talking about "electricity marketing?" And if we're not there yet, will we be?

Between always-on broadband and ubiquitous wireless connectivity, consumers will be (and are) able to tap into an ever-growing cloud of content. It can be experienced on any one of a growing inventory of networked devices.

Once you really think about it, the problem of reaching all these people with advertising becomes overwhelming.

Not really, what is the one device EVERYONE, EVERY AGE carries with them, everywhere?

It is the cell phone.

Where is he? What's he watching? How do you get your message in front of him?

It will require permission marketing..and it will be the most powerful form of advertising yet.

Thursday, December 23, 2004


It allows permission, it's instant, and it allows interactivity...The Next Big Thing.

From BizWeek Mag Cell Phones Ring for Marketers.

At a hip singles bar in Las Vegas earlier this year, attractive urbanites were busy typing messages into their cell phones. But messages like, "Who's the hottie at the end of the bar?" weren't just going to friends -- they were being posted on a giant video screen as part of a promotion at several events organized by Anheuser-Busch (BUD ) and Maxim magazine

Mobile advertising is rushing to find its way into handsets everywhere.

While the effort is still in its infancy, the audience is too big to ignore

It may seem like just a gimmick for restless audience members and barflies. But it's the beginnings of the much-hyped, much-anticipated rush to mobile advertising, in which marketers connect to consumers in a variety of ways via their cell phones.

And industry watchers say 2005 is set to be the year a lot of big brands finally give it a shot

I wonder what the best to give it a shot would be?

Despite the difficulties that still loom. At this early stage, it's still hard to predict a how much will be spent on mobile advertising since the cost of these campaigns can range from thousands to millions.

These aren't your typical Madison Avenue campaigns, but mobile phones aren't your typical medium.

It will take creative thinking and new methods to tap this enormous market.

Even though most Americans' wireless handsets can't yet support media-heavy games and video, some 170 million of them in the U.S. are capable of receiving text messages

170 million captive eyeballs...that's an enormous market.

Mobile devices also carry the promise of a new era in advertising -- one where a marketer is not only virtually guaranteed that its message will be read but one where it can usually control when the message will be read.

A Hollywood studio can send a message pumping up a big release around the time most people are making their Friday-night plans.

A restaurant can send a discount offer just before lunchtime. Or the corner bar can send happy-hour coupons as urbanites are getting off work.

Still, even though advertisers dub mobile marketing The Next Big Thing in interactive marketing, they also admit that lots of unanswered questions surround it. Like the simple Web-site banner ad was in 1999, mobile marketing is now just at the beginning of its evolution. And advertisers will need years to figure it all out.

The Next Big Thing in interactive marketing is this.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

I Know Where I Want To Go, Can You Just Take Me There?

It's the difference between search and navigation. Search is looking for sites pertaining to books, navigation is knowing Amazon has books and wanting to go there.

The numbers clearly show users want to to navigate, not search.

What if there was a way that if a user typed in Ebay, they would be taken directly to EBay's site? Would this be valuable to Ebay? Would search engines like this?

From MediaPost's Daily News Hitwise: EBay Leads Search Terms.

New Hitwise data reveals that 86.7 percent of the top 500 unique search terms for the week ending Dec. 4 were related to corporate brands such as eBay and Wal-Mart.

That tells me there is a LOT of wasted money in search right now.

Nearly 11 percent of the top search terms related to generic products, such as sporting goods and furniture, followed by 2.5 percent for branded products like "Nintendo DS" and "PlayStation 2."

The top 10 corporate brand search terms during that week were "ebay," best buy," "walmart," "," "target," "sears," "," circuit city," "home depot," and "amazon," according to Hitwise.

"The leading search engines vary in their strength to refer traffic to certain categories versus others," said Bill Tancer, Hitwise vice president of research. "Marketers should carefully consider the nuances of each engine."

Marketers should also consider ways to direct their own traffic.

It's obvious the search concept is broken if the majority of searches are for specific brands and they cant be directed. So instead of letting me find a book in Harvard's library that may be looked at maybe 5 times this year, just get me to a site where I really want to go.

When you have mastered the high volume, easy brand name searches, then tackle the obscure ones.

A platform is coming that will allow this.

Just Send Jessica Simpson Pics....

From NewMediaAge Motorola mobile media center allows cross-selling of music.

Consumers listening to music on mobile phones will receive automatic updates on related content following the launch next year of phones featuring Motorola's Connected Media Centre concept.

The concept is designed to enable mobile operators to capitalise on cross-selling opportunities, by analysing the music that's playing on consumers' phones.

"The Connected Media Centre analyses content on handsets and tells mobile operator stores when you're playing a certain artist," said Motorola director of content and applications Paul Baird.

"So you can send them pictures or tell them about the artist's new album using metadata."

Baird said the company already had documents written on how to move the metadata between the phone and the operator's music store.

Goin Mobile..

From The Media owners in the UK foresee a bright future.

It’s not just the recent flurry of 3G launches that are behind this expectation, as video over GPRS looks equally attractive. The past year saw MMS appear to emerge as the mobile medium holding the most potential for content providers, however, it’s starting to seem like mobile video could steal a march in grabbing their attention.

One of the most exciting capabilities mobile has opened up for media companies, beyond the obvious revenue opportunities, has been the ability to create true, instant interactivity with its audiences.

Endemol sees mobile video as the ultimate expression of this, letting viewers “video conference with the presenters”, as Cowley puts it, and is hoping to launch the capability as early as January for the newest installation of Celebrity Big Brother.

Of course, the other side to the coin is the supply of mobile video content, at a premium, to consumers.

One of the most interesting developments here recently has been the launch of video short codes.

Credit has to go to MX Telecom for convincing the operators of the concept, which could open up some very exciting opportunities. A number of major content providers have signed up go live with the service, which enables consumers to dial a 5-digit number as a video call to have video content streamed to their phone. The actual experience makes for superb viewing and the discovery mechanic is attractively simple for content owners to market to consumers.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Now If My Phone Could Just Print $20's...

Frmo Revolution Magazine. Lloyds unveils text service to help customers keep track.

LONDON - Lloyds TSB internet Banking has launched a free mobile phone text alert service allowing personal and business banking customers to keep track of their finances.

Customers can access their current account balance and a list of the last six transactions direct to their mobile phone.

Lloyds TSB is also offering a text service to business customers.

Customers can sign up for the text service after registering with Lloyds TSB's internet banking service.

Theres your permission marketing.

Matthew Timms, Lloyds TSB internet director said: "Forty million people in the UK own a mobile phone and well over 2bn text messages are sent every month in the UK." He added: "This new free text alert service will allow customers to get hold of the information they need, wherever and whenever they want it."

Ambulance Chasing On The Internet

Still think last weeks Geico/Google decision was fair?

From CBS MArketwatch Attorneys bid up keyword Celebrex.

Last weeks court ruling in favor of Google over Geico was a mistake in my opinion.

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS.MW) - Keywords can be like momentum stocks.

They can triple in day or two, especially when personal-injury lawyers get involved.

How much of those revenues are going to the trademark owner?

The argument for the Google/Geico case was that users wouldn't be confused between Geico and other insurance companies. So explain how a personal injury lawyer and an arthritis drug are related.

This would be a great way to implement tort reform on the Net.

That's the case with the keyword Celebrex, the name of Pfizer's (PFE: news, chart, profile) best-selling arthritis drug. Last Friday, the Food and Drug Administration said it was considering regulatory measures that could require Pfizer to put warnings on the label or withdraw the drug in the U.S.

That day, the keyword Celebrex was worth 95 cents to advertisers on Yahoo's (YHOO: news, chart, profile) Overture.

As this column noted on Friday, this keyword might become one of the hottest keywords to bid on.

Not to worry, trademark owners will be able to take back their words soon enough, stay tuned.

The Advertising Shift

From The future of wireless? Advertising, of course!.

Wireless looks like a great way of getting news to people—not in a few weeks' time but immediately. And of course, if you can hook into the Internet, costs are very low.

What is at first a simple "cut the costs" equation suddenly becomes a rather different story once you realize that mobile devices aren't anonymous. If I'm selling you a widget and you look at my advertising on TV or on paper, I know almost nothing about you personally other than what group of purchasers you most probably belong to.

But if you look into my Web advert from your mobile device, I know a lot about you. I can, potentially, know exactly who you are, where you are and what retail outlets are within 500 yards of you.

This will be done when all the world has physical world hyperlinks.

A physical world hyperlink is this.

And this info is like gold to an advertiser.

Increasingly, I can link through mobile payments schemes and learn how much you have available to spend. And I can look at your browsing habits and e-mail (yes, I can!) and discover what you're interested in, right now, this minute.

The advertiser will now have your email address AND your cellphone number to market with.

Advertising with wireless ceases to be a case of: "In this socioeconomic group, there is a 3 percent chance that one of these readers will be in the market for a replacement vehicle in the next month, so let's run a car commercial."

It starts to be: "Emergency! Billy Joe is on the corner of Roosevelt and Jackson, and he's looking into a Ford dealership! Tell him about the new Chrysler!"

As wireless becomes more and more pervasive, the information you need to carry with you becomes less and less.

This creates an enormous shift in advertising.

Monday, December 20, 2004


From Total Soccer Network Signs On With SmartSMS.

SAN DIEGO --(Business Wire)-- Dec. 20, 2004 -- International Sports and Media Group, Inc. (OTCBB:ISME) announces Total Soccer Network (TSN), its Soccer Internet Media Division, has signed an agreement with SmartSMS to develop, host and deliver real time soccer, news, scores, stats, trivia, video clips and other content to Total Soccer Network (TSN) subscribers.

Mobile subscription services will play a key role in maximizing the use and profitability of our content. This agreement will not only help us sell more to our existing subscribers, but it will also make our content available to over 180 million potential mobile phone subscribers in the US alone."

Access to 180 million people, anytime, anywhere, with their permission..An advertisers dream.

Maden continued, "Part of our overall vision is to generate revenue by creating direct one-to-one links with soccer fans both on and off line by using the latest in mobile technology to deliver premium content to subscribers, both in the US and abroad.

Direct one-to-one link, or permission marketing.

Premium SMS in Europe has grown into a billion dollar a year industry and has been used by soccer clubs across Europe to engage soccer fans in ways never experienced before. Here in the US, we are witnessing a tremendous growth in the use of mobile data services such as text messaging and we're preparing to make the most of this trend by repackaging our content for use in this new age of mobile content delivery."

The Next Google?...No, Much Much Bigger...

I know it sounds like a cliché, “the next Microsoft” now “the next Google”, but I think when you combine the mobile PC (cell phone), with commerce and advertising, the “next Google” will come out of this combo, and it will be much, much bigger.

Go back 15 years and try to explain what the World Wide Web is and what it would encompass to an average Joe. In trying to explain this, envision trying to explain what the World Wide Web is or would be in15 yrs. Huh? Computers connected through the phone line to look at digital images (websites)? What am I going to do w/ that?

The pattern that emerged, porn, chatting , email and then commerce.
The WWW seemed so foreign back then and now we can’t imagine how we would ever live without it.

Take the TV remote control. Years ago, we had to get up every time we wanted to change the channel. TV advertisers hated the remote, because we were no longer a captive audience to the 30 second ad.

Think about the cell phone, NOBODY can imagine living without the cell phone now.

With each one of these inventions it seems that information retrieval keeps getting faster and faster… and,now its going mobile.

Here’s the big opportunity.

How do you retrieve information when you’re not at your desk using Google? How will you buy items on Amazon when you aren’t at your desk?

Find the protocol that makes the cell phone as functional, if not more than the PC.

Find the platform that allows mobile purchasing and interactivity with the physical world.

There’s your next Google.

The next Google will be “that” platform that allows me to do the same things as my PC, only with my mobile phone.

What makes Ebay, Amazon, Yahoo and Google so successful? They are all portals catering to specific task on the web. What makes Google so successful? They are the best at enabling a user to search for anything and advertisers know that this is where the traffic is going. There are millions of different search queries performed everyday. This means there are millions of different websites advertisers can use.
Google is a portal that leads to endless sites for endless advertising. Every search request is different, and contains different keywords, which allows all advertisers to be able to advertise.

Advertisers can advertise w/ any of the smaller SE, but they choose to advertise where the traffic is. With TV it was an organized model. It’s a 30 second ad that’s placed in a slot of the half hour show. But now with millions of TV channels (the Internet), the model where to place advertising has become quite complex.

I bet the concept of advertising on a 13” screen when the previous norm was 30” plus for years would seemed far-fetched too. And now you want to take it down to 4 square inches?

With the Net, the eyes are on the Google channel now. There are two components to search . First, the user wants to find something. Second, the advertiser wants to get the users attention and direct traffic to their site. Search engines have tried to “match” the users info search with relevant ads that pertain to that query.

The search engine is the equivalent to the TV channel and search queries are the requested shows. That is how Internet advertising can be summed up now.

What I find baffling is that more attention is paid to building the website than how to get traffic to it. This is a fundamental flaw with Internet advertising. The model should be reversed.

It’s all about traffic. Brands get more traffic everyday than ANY search engine could ever produce. Think next time you go to Circuit City, or any supermarket. Every DVD, TV , can of soup or box of Tide is a website. Every product in every store is a website. Everyday people walk past your site and you’ve never been able to grab their eyes, until now. The traffic is there everyday, the difference is converting physical traffic to website traffic. The brands have presence in both the electronic and physical worlds.

Ask your self.

What is the one CHANNEL you turn on EVERYDAY?

A day doesn’t go by that you look at it several times? FOX News? CNN? Yahoo? Google?….Naaah, it’s your service provider channel.

Every time you look at your cell phone, you’re basically watching the Sprint, Verizon, Vodafone etc channel.

Think about that.

It doesn’t matter if you’re surfing, texting, chatting, you’re on the Sprint channel. Your 2x2 inch screen is always on, always with you and ALWAYS gets your attention when it lights up. THERE’S THE NEXT SPACE ADVERTISING WILL TAP. IT IS WAY TOO VALUABLE NOT TO.

But advertising on the cell phone will be much different than the PC. The PC is viewed at work and at home in 2 different environments. The cell is with us in the car, at lunch, at the ballgame. Advertisers have a captive audience. They only need to get “permission” and give us a reason.

It will have to be “permissioned”. You will not want spam when you’re chatting, surfing, or texting. You also won’t allow endless spam to eat into your minutes and battery life.

Yes, mobile advertising will be very different.

Take an object , the cell phone, that everybody has with them at all times, and make it truly functional. The platform/OS will make a smartphone really smart. In 5-10 yrs we will be saying, do you remember when all we did was talk and text on these?

Revenues from voice are being commoditized and Service Providers are seeing their ARPU (avg revenue per user) decline. How do Service Providers increase their ARPU?

How about making the device they service interactive.

Maybe the Sprints should wake up and turn the phone into an interactive device. An interactive device extracts data, and allows the purchase of goods. How will Service Providers make their phones interactive?

I betcha never thought a camera would be put on a cell phone 5 yrs ago. That cute app is a huge revenue opportunity for the SP but they don’t see it yet. The huge revenue opportunity is not taking fuzzy pictures and sending to your friends. The camera is an appliance that “turns on” any machine readable identifier. The camera along with a physical world hyperlink will allow a direct connection to any website with any physical item in the world.

The physical world hyperlink allows any cell phone to do a one click purchase, one click coupon, one click download, one click customer service. The PWH (physical world hyperlink) gives a website physical presence. A PWH is a barcode, a 2-dimension created code, a registered Word, a fingerprint. Don’t think of a barcode as a barcode, imagine it’s a web address and your cell phone’s browser works just by clicking on it. No need to type the web address in, just click on it.

And the reverse is true. Any website can create a 2-d code/word and be applied to anything in the physical world to direct the user to his site.

Brands have the opportunity with millions/billions of physical items to get people to their website. With a PWH, every physical item in the world can be linked to a website. A barcode and 2-d code are as foreign looking as a web address. The value lies in deciphering it with a browser. Access to a website can now be anywhere in the physical world that a code can be applied.

Think of it this way, the cell phone is the mouse of the physical world. By clicking on items (with a PWH) the phone will take you somewhere or do something. A cell phone is a portable mouse and barcodes/2d codes are web addresses . The “next Google” is the browser that connects these.

This platform/ browser will truly make the phone smart.

The mouse enabled us to eliminate a lot of the keyword work associated with the PC. Will the camera and speech recognition do the same for the cell phone? The mouse simplified the functions on the PC. Instead of typing commands, you will now click on those physical world links.

Now carry this over to the cell phone. Will you be typing long confusing web addresses into the browser bar? I don’t think so. Or will the camera function as the mouse for the cell phone in the physical world?

It won’t matter if you have a Nokia, Samsung, or Treo. It won’t make a difference if you’re a Sprint or a Cingular subscriber. This protocol will be universal. You wont need to go to a website to use it. It will be a platform, built into the cell phone, an operating system for your mobile phone.

You, through your cell phone, will be directly communicating with the website owner through the PWH. Instead of leaving a cookie with your browser on your PC, the cell phone will give the cell phone number (cookie) and allow SMS (text messaging). This is much more personal interaction than an email address and its REAL TIME.

This is like getting customer feedback cards everyday. It’s the equivalent to telemarketers getting call-in business. It’s being able to interact with EVERY person that walks into your store.

People no longer wait for email, they text/instant message. Same thing will be applied with advertising. Because it’s instant an SMS is faster than email, more personal and MUST BE “PERMISSIONED”.

A company sending an SMS is “permission marketing” or a “very qualified” lead.

The cell phone and the physical world hyperlink will be the permission interactive advertising model of the future.

This will be a highly sought after application that Service Providers, brands and cell phone users are all going to want. Each party will gain something from the PWH (physical world hyperlink). The Service Provider gets increased ARPU. The brand gets millions of qualified leads and direct interaction. The cell phone user can click on a Elton John CD and download one song or buy tickets to his next concert.

Yes this will be “the next Google”, but much, much bigger.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Thinking Like A FOX

From the Wireless Weblog Fox to create Mobisodes for cell phones.

Twentieth Century Fox is creating an exclusive series of one-minute dramas based on its ”24” show for a new high-speed wireless service being offered by Vodafone. The “mobisodes” will begin appearing in January in the U.K. to coincide with the start of the fourth season of the show on a satellite TV service. They then will be come available in the U.S. through the company’s Verizon Wireless joint venture.

After reading this again in BizWeek mag, it sunk in. FOX is once again being innovative and catering to want people want. They are trying to tap into this next medium.

As I posted here, Think back to the early days of TV with ABC, CBS, NBC. Then ask yourself, how did Fox get so powerful? Fox was innovative and catered to what people wanted.

FOX is doing it again. They are reaching viewers AWAY from their TV, on a device EVERYONE has.

The advertising shift is starting.

Down Under Seems To Be On Top

From The Age Sensis confident of online advertising success.

The internet search engine titans, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo!, are locked in a desperate struggle for mastery of what is expected to be a trillion-dollar online advertising market.

"The winner in this market will be the organisation that can collect and organise the content most efficiently and be able to publish it in many forms - voice, wireless (for handheld wireless computers and mobile phones), PC internet and print," said Greg Ellis, general manager of Sensis Search.

Sensis knows where every Australian lives, through its Yellow and White Pages databases and also operates Whereis, CitySearch and Trading Post covering media from print to mobile wireless.

They have combined the physical address and the mobile address. The user can be reached anywhere at anytime.

"My competitors today - Yahoo!, Google and ninemsn are the top three - cannot do all that. They do not own the information the public seeks," he said.

Wireless is the waking giant in communications. Mobile phones already outnumber fixed lines in Australia and the carriers are straining to expand their networks.

So wake up advertisers, this is your next growth opportunity.

Growth today is in mobile broadband, called 3G (third generation) networks.

"Google in Australia has about 6 million unique users, but they are mainly looking for library-style information - Britney Spears, Napoleon's diary or who played the Wookie in Star Wars," he said.

Library-style information versus real world information.. How will Google do that?

A True Visionary

Howard saw this a long time ago..kudos...again.

From Guardian Unlimited Now it's not what you know, but how connected you are.

When I first read Howard Rheingold's Smart Mobs, I wanted to find all companies associated w/ his forward thinking.

He has proven himself w/ forecats in prior books, but this book represented a way to find the next great winners for Phase 2 of the Internet.

Anyone in the tech universe, pick up a copy. If youre reading my blog and want truly open your mind, this is the book that will do it.

Friday, December 17, 2004

The SearchYear In Review

Lots of good stuff in here.

From C/Net The Year In review.

Google-like technologies could revolutionize TV, other media.

The same joke has been around the ad industry for decades: "Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. The problem is, I don't know which half."

Permission and targeted marketing changes all of that.

After years of failed promises for ads that can pinpoint targeted consumers, traditional media are finally taking interactive advertising seriously, on the Web and beyond. Companies that have advertised for years on platforms ranging from television to billboards are rethinking their marketing strategies, as Internet advertisers work through the technology glitches and privacy issues that have challenged the first wave of the technology.

To see where Phase 2 (or in this case the 2nd wave) will be , click here.

"The creative community is still fixated with 30-second commercials, and the clock is ticking," said Chuck Fruit, senior vice president of integrated marketing at Coca-Cola, adding that brands like Coke spend roughly three-fourths of their ad budgets on television. "That percentage will go down steadily for the next decade to well under half."

TV advertisers let me know if you're interested in how to get your 30 second ad back.

Advertisers say the Web will be the biggest beneficiary of the shift, followed by new forms of interactive television and video-on-demand ads, according to Forrester. That migration will spur greater demand for new tracking technologies that can measure the effectiveness of ad campaigns--hence, the accountability--in online and offline media.

Driving the trend is a larger transition by traditional media to deliver content through Internet Protocol networks, the byways of the Web. An array of home and mobile devices--and even billboards--will be connected to IP networks, bringing access to any content, anywhere, on demand.

What about a device everyone has in their hand all day long? Don't advertisers/brands see the little screen people are looking at all day long, and always have with them?

Maybe if society was carrying their PC monitor with them everywhere they went, advertisers would see it. Just because the screen is small, it doesn't mean you cant reach people with it.

"The whole accountability landscape for advertisers is evolving to outcomes like sales, changes in brand awareness, changes in attitude and behavior," said Fruit of Coca-Cola. "And technology is giving us the wherewithal to make that evolution."

"People will begin to take notice of the paid-search business and what it means--which is a shift from impression to performance advertising," said Geoff Yang, a partner at investment firm Redpoint Ventures.

I think the terms are, the shift is going from interrupted to permission marketing.

Brand advertising, which is generally based on exposure and not on click-through rates, is beginning to surge online with new video commercials and larger display ads.

Wait till the brands use their actual product to determine the click-through rate.

Brand advertisers increasingly want to form relationships with their consumers digitally, even if they're not selling directly to them--and they want the chance to see if those relationships are progressing.

What is a better way than the CD, Coke can, book they have in their hand becoming an interactive relationship?

"We're going to see a transformation in the industry to what we envisioned five years ago to be a much more accountable medium, where advertisers get fair value and see results, and publishers get fair value for their content, and users get a much more meaningful, relevant experience," said Scott Howe, general manager at Drive.

The transformation is called Phase 2 of the Internet and it will revolutionize advertising.

Wanna see what Phase 2 looks like? Click here.

Where's The Next Platform?

From BizWeek Mag. Desktop Search: It's Getting Serious.

If you ever want to get Microsoft's (MSFT ) dander up, just challenge the software giant on its home turf, the Windows operating system. Microsoft thinks of Windows as a "platform," the foundation on which the personal-computing industry is built.

Theres that platform term again.

MERE CONDUIT. These days, the folks in Redmond see few companies as more threatening than Google (GOOG ). It's the way Web surfers find information, relegating Windows to a mere conduit to connecting to Google. That's why Microsoft has been ginning up new bits of software to rival Google at every turn.

SMARTER SIFTING. Why are so many companies diving into the business? After all, consumers pay nothing for the desktop technology. But the search companies are betting that once consumers get comfortable with one service, they're likely to turn to it for Web searches as well, where advertising dollars continue to grow.

There are only so many Windows you can open, or files you can search to advertise on.

What's more, search technology is increasingly becoming a core computing function, much like e-mail and Web surfing.

The winner of the search wars will likely find itself in a better position to offer other key software and services, each of which could diminish the importance of Windows.

What will those key software/services be?
Will the winner recognize that the hand that feeds them is the advertiser?

The advertiser is struggling with this new medium (Web), losing the battle with TV and will soon have another medium to grasp.

The search guys are stuck in the electronic world, and advertisers/brands are in the physical world.

Isn't there a way the search guys and advertisers/brands can work hand in hand?

Ancient Chinese Secret, Not So Secret

From FXStreet.Com China's cell phone users sent 176b SMS in first 10 months of this yr.

BEIJING (AFX) - China's cellular phone users sent 176 bln short text messages in the first 10 months of this year, according to figures released by the Ministry of Information Industry

By the end of the year the number of text messages will exceed 220 bln, an increase of about 50 bln year-on-year, the official Xinhua news agency quoted the ministry as saying

Calculated at a rate of 0.1 yuan per text message, the business generated a total of 17.6 bln yuan by the end of October, a ministry official said

"Mobile phone short messages have been the pillar for value-added transactions in the mobile industry," said the official, who declined to be named.

"And various new businesses and applications are emerging in succession."

Platforms like WAP (Wireless Application Protocol), JAVA and BREW (binary runtime environment for wireless) enable Internet-connected phone users to customize their cell phones by downloading applications, email, music and mobile games

China had 315.1 mln cell phone users as of end-August

The Advertising Shift Is Starting

The advertising shift is coming.

From DMBulletin Interflora in mail and SMS drive for first DM push.

LONDON – Interflora has diverted spend from its above-the-line advertising to run its first ever direct marketing campaign.

The campaign, comprising direct mail and SMS activity, has been created by WWAV Rapp Collins Leeds.

The agency has already segmented Interflora's customer database into key customer groups based on recency, frequency, gender, season and/or reason for giving. The database contains around 300,000 customers.

300,000 current customers Interflora can interact with in a dynamic way.
Not only do they have permission, but they can reach them anywhere, anytime.

Very Powerful.

Lyn Davies, head of brand at Interflora, said: "We are really excited about this opportunity to talk to our customers in a new way. Interflora is a well known brand and our customers are mass market. We are now concentrating more on our existing customers."

The campaign includes elements such as an advent calendar, which stresses the fact that Interflora takes orders up to 11am on Christmas Eve for delivery the same day.

In addition, men who frequently give flowers to their partners will be specifically targeted.

As well as a phone and internet retailer, Interflora is a trade association and delivery network for its member florists. It has included activity in this campaign targeting member florists' own customers with a data strategy and personalisation approach specific to each retail outlet.

WWAV Leeds is working closely with sister company Identex to build a full customer relationship marketing database, which should be operational by spring next year.

Interflora will study the results of a test campaign to judge the relative merits of direct mail and SMS.

Oh I think you'll be quite happy with the results Interflora.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

The Next Frontier...

From Reuters. Mobile Phone Users Double Since 2000.

The next space advertising hasn't touched....Yet.

GENEVA (Reuters) - Mobile phone subscribers around the globe totaled nearly 1.5 billion by the middle of this year, about one quarter of the world's population, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) said on Thursday.

1.5 Billion eyes (well 3B really) advertisers now need to capture. 1.5 billion TV's to advertise on, 1.5 billions PC's.

The figure reflected a sharp surge in the mobile telephony business, especially in developing countries, over the first half of the decade, with subscribers doubling since 2000, according to the United Nations agency's annual report

The ITU said the growth in mobile phone subscribers had outpaced that for fixed lines, who totaled some 1.185 billion today against 1 billion at the start of the century, and was also outstripping the rate of increase in Internet users.

The growth in mobile phones is now faster than Internet users. So the lil 2x2 screen traffic is winning.

And by the middle of the year developing countries as a whole had overtaken rich nations to account for 56 percent of all mobile subscribers, while accounting for 79 percent of growth in the market since 2000.

The value of global mobile business reached $414 billion in revenues in 2003, a tenfold increase in the decade since 1993, while over the same period the overall telecommunications sector grew by an average of 8.8 per cent to reach $1.1 trillion.

By the end of this year, the report said, global revenues from mobile networks were likely to exceed those from fixed-line networks for the first time.

I guess you really can't call them Baby Bells anymore, more like the Broken Down Bells.

The ITU said the number of Internet users -- around 400 million in the year 2000 -- had grown to nearly 700 million by the middle of this year, slowing down after the rapid surge in the second half of the 1990s.

U.S.Online Ad spending is expected to reach $10 billion this yr.

How big will it be when advertisers realize the shift.

Google and search engines are the concept advertisers are placing their bets on for the Internet, but what/who will be the platform for advertising in the mobile space?

Lottery By Mobile Phone

Now this is a great idea.

From National Lottery promos mobile games.

Camelot has selected TradeDoubler to provide an affiliate marketing program to drive online registrations for the new ‘Play by Text’ lottery service.
Play by Text allows players to purchase tickets by text message through their mobile phone for Lotto, EuroMillions and Daily Play.

The cost is cheap, it can be spontaneous and the element of greed is there.

The affiliate program aims to drive online registrations to the National Lottery site. where users can register and choose to play via the Internet, Sky Active or their mobile phone.

“So far, we have more than 1,000 publishers participating in the program,” said Will Cooper, chief marketing officer at TradeDoubler. “The team at Camelot clearly understands the benefits of online marketing and has embraced the affiliate programme as an integral part of their online strategy.”

The deal extends the relationship between web marketing firm TradeDoubler and Camelot, which now covers four products advertised online through TradeDoubler’s publisher network, including draw-based games Lotto, Euromillions, Daily Play and the new Play by Text service.

Camelot launched Lotto, Daily Play and Instant Win Games on the Internet last year. Registrations to open a National Lottery account via the internet now number in excess of 10,000 per week, according to the firm.

You want to get text messaging a common practice in the States? This would be the perfect way to do it.

Only problem, how would State laws affect this?

Google, Maybe Not Being Evil, But Certainly Greedy

From USA Judge rules for Google on key word ad spots.

SAN FRANCISCO — Internet search giant Google won a victory Wednesday when a federal judge ruled that its key word advertising practices were legal.
The ruling in an ongoing trademark-infringement case has huge implications for how advertisers and competitors can sell their wares in Web-based search marketing.

Insurance company Geico —upset that competitors' ads popped up when Google users searched for the Berkshire Hathaway unit — sued Google.

District Court Judge Leonie Brinkema in Alexandria, Va., granted Google's motion to dismiss the complaint, saying there wasn't enough evidence of a trademark violation.

Maybe im missing something here, doesn't Google generate revenues from the use of the word Geico insurance? I just think that both parties should share in these revenues. It seems like the right thing to do. There IS/WILL be plenty of money from this going forward.

Google's wildly popular AdWords program sells "key words" to advertisers that trigger sponsored advertising links. They're priced on a sliding scale, depending on demand.

Advertisers only pay if users decide to click the ads.

Advertisers pay $1.53 per click, for instance, for the words "Geico Insurance." American Blinds and Wallpaper, a company also suing Google, sells for $2.37.

Google generated $806 million in revenue in its third quarter, up from $393 million at the same time last year, most of it from search advertising.

Chris Winfield, whose New York-based 10e20 Internet marketing firm buys key words for advertisers, says the Google win "takes a lot of worrying away for my clients. They were afraid of having the Geicos of the world come directly after them."

There's a new paradigm coming for advertisers, and they wont be bidding for keywords, they will be BUYING keywords. A keyword will really have a destination, not just a daily value.

He believes competitive key word advertising isn't any different from comparing a company to a rival in a TV ad.

Big difference, people dont turn on the TV looking for a Pepsi ad. Google isnt knocking the competition by using Geico's name, they are leveraging it.

Lawyer David Rammelt, who represents American Blinds, couldn't disagree more.

"My client spent 75 years and hundreds of millions of dollars trying to build up its brand name and reputation," he says. "After all that time, Google steps in and sells our trademark to our competitors, for their profit? That's not right."

I agree 100%. If thats the case, why does Geico command a higher daily value than Joes Insurance co.

Rammelt says the Geico decision will have no effect on his case. Several other companies are also suing Google for trademark violations, including handbag maker Vuitton.

Washington trademark attorney Sheldon Klein says the Google victory Wednesday "removes some uncertainty, but it's not a final victory. This is a trial court decision, and different courts may disagree."

Geico also sued Google competitor Overture, a unit of Yahoo, which sells key word advertising that appears on Yahoo and Microsoft's MSN. Overture settled with Geico this month for an undisclosed fee.

Google general counsel David Drummond called the court victory "a clear signal to other litigants that our key word policy is lawful."

Lawful ,and NOT BEING EVIL are two different things.

However, Brinkema said the case would continue to move forward on one remaining issue: whether ads that pop up and actually use "Geico" in their text violate trademark law.

Google contends its policies expressly forbid advertisers from using trademark names in the text of ads. The search engine says it does its best to prevent ads that violate the policy from sneaking in, and that the advertisers would be liable for any trademark violation, not Google.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Time For A Field Trip

OK Kids, lets leave our desk(tops) and go out into the real world.
From Tech Review magazine What's next for Google.

For Eric Schmidt, Google’s CEO, 2004 was a very good year. His firm led the search industry, the fastest-growing major sector in technology; it went public, raising $1.67 billion; its stock price soared; and its revenues more than doubled, to $3 billion. But as the search market ripens into something worthy of Microsoft’s attention, those familiar with the software business have been wondering whether Google, apparently triumphant, is in fact headed off the cliff or the proverbial runway .

Google’s site is still the best Web search service, and Gmail, its new Web-based e-mail service, Google Desktop, its desktop search tool, and Google Deskbar, its toolbar, are very cool. But that’s all they are. As yet, nothing prevents the world from switching (painlessly, instantly) to Microsoft search services and software, particularly if they are integrated with the Microsoft products that people already use.

Is Google going to turn the PC into a Times Square with all of the advertising it intends to do?

Google’s founders understand the scale of the opportunity. Larry Page recently said, “Only a fraction of the world’s information is indexed on our computers. We are continually working on new ways to index more.... Thirty percent [of our engineers] are devoted to emerging businesses.

Until now, competition in the search industry has been limited to the Web and has been conducted algorithm by algorithm, feature by feature, and site by site. This competition has resulted in a Google and Yahoo duopoly. If nothing were to change, the growth of Microsoft’s search business would only create a broader oligopoly, similar, perhaps, to those in other media markets. But the search industry will soon serve more than just a Web-based consumer market. It will also include an industrial market for enterprise software products and services, a mass market for personal productivity and communications software, and software and services for a sea of new consumer devices...howabout the physical world too?

But what specifically should Google do? How is Microsoft likely to attack, what will the contest look like, and what will decide its outcome? Let’s begin with the current state of search.

Google derives nearly all of its revenues from advertising, of two distinct kinds.

First, it places advertisements on pages of search results returned by its own site. Those advertisements are selected according to the words used in the search. Advertisers bid in highly complex auctions for the right to place ads on results pages for searches that use specific terms like “used cars,” “SUVs,” and so forth. Second, Google manages advertising for a wide network of external websites for which it provides ad placement services. It has combined its search engine with sophisticated text-matching and auction systems to target, price, sell, and evaluate its advertisements, both those placed on its own site and those on its affiliates’.

It has taken the Ebay approach to keywords, valued them as mere commodities.

If it acts logically, Microsoft would also perform a “cashectomy” on Google—just as it did in the browser wars when it gave away Internet Explorer.

Cashectomy, that just sounds painful.

What is the one big thing Microsoft has that Google doesnt, they are used to run every microprocessor. They are a platform, a base under which Google resides. Google is a nice house, but Microsoft is the land. Houses will come and go over time on the land, but the land will always be there.

Even with nearly $2 billion in cash, Google is vulnerable to this tactic. For instance, Microsoft could offer free wholesale access to its search engine.

So what should Google do? Given Microsoft’s ferocity in the past, panic might be a productive first step. Google should understand that it faces an architecture war and act accordingly. Its most urgent task must be to turn its website into a major platform, as some other firms have already done.

Panic and Google in the same sentence? Wow. If I was Google, first thing I would do is go back to the site of my most talked about interviews , and realize the only way I stand to pose a real threat to Microsoft is to get on a platform.

Find some land where the settlers will be coming , and establish foothold there.

It has been said that the 2"x2" screen will be the most coveted real estate for advertising ever...that might be a good place to start.

There are more Web enabled devices now than PC's and its just a matter of time till the traffic metrics shift. I would find a real estate agent and start making offers.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

The VC's Are Coming, The VC's Are Coming!

From Silicon Beat.

Where's venture capital headed in 2005? Spam, for starters.

Here's a noteworthy summary of where venture capitalists predict their money will be going in the coming year, published today by the National Venture Capital Association. There are many VC views represented, but we'll just pick on one: the revolution in advertising.

There's been a lot of hype about this, and some VCs see the revolution continuing next year -- notably that "brands" will follow us wherever we go.

Big company brands should forget advertising in newspapers or on TV, they say; instead, they should bombard people with messages directly on their cellphones and other devices.

Here's the insight from Heidi Roizen, a well-known venture capitalist at Mobius Venture Capital in Palo Alto.

Advertising as we have known it is over. Brand owners need to go where you are, and that isn’t on network television or the newspaper. In order to promote their brands and attract and maintain relationships with consumers, .
brand owners will have to come to you, on your wireless device, with your media stream, on your pc.

In addition, they’ll have to follow you wherever you go -- into the retailer, the entertainment venue, or your place of business. As this revolution occurs, it will create huge opportunities for those companies who have created compelling in-venue experiences that can incorporate brand messages in a seamless manner. Also to benefit will be those companies who have created new and interesting ways to make brand advertising fun, unobtrusive, personalized, relevant, and continuing for the consumer.

A Picture Worth A Million "Words"

Sometimes a picture can convey a concept much better than text. In this case, a picture is truly worth millions of words.

See what Phase 2 is all about.

This is when the Internet gets exciting.

The Lizard Went To Court

From USA Today Geico claims Geoogle ad policy violates trademark law.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A federal judge heard arguments Monday in a trademark dispute that could threaten millions in advertising revenue for search engine Google.

Attorneys for auto insurance giant Geico told U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema that Google should not be allowed to sell ads to rival insurance companies that are triggered whenever Geico's name is typed into the Google search box.

Geico claims that Google's AdWords program, which displays the rival ads under a "Sponsored Links" heading next to a user's search results, causes confusion for consumers and illegally exploits Geico's investment of hundreds of millions of dollars in its brand.

When a consumer enters 'Geico' ... and goes to the sponsored link believing there's a connection, that is where the confusion arises," said Geico attorney Charles Ossola.

What if the consumer typed in Geico and was taken directly to where Geico wanted them to go? No more typing the messy http:/www./com/2004/html stuff, but straight navigation or direct connection.

What if the word Geico was now machine readable identfier and could be accessed from every internet enabled device?

But Google attorney Michael Page said the ad policy is no different than a supermarket giving out coupons for one product in the checkout line when a customer buys the same product from a different company.

I don't know when that has ever happened to me.

Geico filed the lawsuit against Mountain View, Calif.-based Google in May, seeking $8.65 million in lost profits and a court order preventing Google from using its name in the advertising program.

That's $8.65 million dollars for one trademarked word in one search engine.

Under the program, for example, a competing insurance company could bid to have its ad appear every time Google users search for the word "Geico." When a user clicks on an ad, the advertiser pays Google a predetermined fee.

There is a fine line between search and navigation. Search is looking for insurance companies. Navigation is looking for Geico's homepage. Search engine versus a navigation engine.

Google is facing similar lawsuits from other companies, including American Blind and Wallpaper Factory Inc., and AXA, the world's No. 3 insurer. Last year, Google asked a court to rule on whether its pay-for-placement ad policy is legal.

I betcha the Geico case has the floodgate doors bursting.

John McCutcheon, Geico's assistant vice president of marketing, testified Monday that most consumers visit just one Web site when shopping for auto insurance. If a consumer trying to find Geico is unknowingly steered to a competitor's site, "We've lost one opportunity."

Geico has spent millions of building that brand, at least share in the revenues you generate from it Google.

Geico's lawsuit had also named Web site company Overture Services, a Yahoo! subsidiary, but the two companies reached an undisclosed settlement in November, after Brinkema denied a motion to dismiss the trademark claims.

Now why did Overture settle? Maybe they realize that generating revenues off of someone elses reputation is just wrong.

Not to worry though, soon a registry will come along that will allow a direct connection that bypasses search engines altogether.

Monday, December 13, 2004

We Interrupt This Broadcast........................

As I wondered what it would take to make search engines realize the shift that is coming with the mobile phone it dawned on me that it’s the not the search engines and operating systems guys that are behind, its the advertisers.

All this time I thought it was the search engines or operating systems that didn’t get it.

With each medium there has been a cause/effect or chicken/ egg relationship for the advertiser.

The billboard was created solely for advertising.

The newspaper had news but the advertiser provided the funding for it.

The radio had shows, music, news, talk and they all had a sponsors (advertising).

The telephone was probably the first medium that its sole purpose was for communication and it took advertisers years to figure out how to advertise (cold calling).

The TV had programs sponsored by ads.

The Internet..advertisers found that SE would be good (but certainly not the best) vehicle.

Advertisers have found a way to advertise on everything..tshirts ,taxis, stadiums, golf holes, Nascar cars and even roads!

With each medium advertisers have found a way to capture eyeballs and ears. They have adapted to selling advertising through every medium , until now, the cell phone. The cell phone is starting to replace the landline too.

The cell phone will be the most exciting and powerful medium since the television.

There are more cell phones than PC’s in the world and advertisers haven’t figured out a way to get into this space. One PC in a house but chances are there are two plus cell phones.

What other medium has:
- a screen (visual)
- a connection to the Internet
- is mobile
- carried everywhere/anytime
- can be interactive
- allows an immediate purchase?
This is an advertisers dream.

Advertisers learned that spam/popups worked for only so long on the Internet. People found them intruding so the ad dollars shifted to the SE. The popup/spams are” interrupted marketing” and people hate it. The pay per click model is somewhat “permission marketing” because the user is using a SE to find something relevant. Not quite permission marketing but certainly not interrupted marketing. So far the SE pay-per-click model is working but it is still very primitive.

You can’t blame the SE for not being more efficient for advertisers. It’s the only method right now to advertise with. Internet advertising is the equivalent of the TV having 50 million channels. That’s a hard thing to get your hands around and evaluate.

The mind boggling thing to consider,is, there are now more cell phones “TV screens” and websites “TV channels” for the mobile advertising industry to manage. The huge jump in these two variables will be a major disruption in advertising.

The SE advertising model is too random as it allows the SE to determine your marketing.
So how do advertisers tap into the cell phone? Hopefully they will learn their lesson from the Internet and won’t be spamming our cell phones. They will have to get our permission to market to us. How will advertisers get access to those screens, or make us want to connect with them? Why will you(we) allow an advertiser to advertise to you (us)on our cell phones. What is the gimmick/promotion that will makes us give permission? What creates the initial contact?

They are asking permission for your minutes, your time (if you’re surfing or chatting) and your battery life.
Permission must be granted. That will require advertisers using good marketing AND their existing products to do this.

Think of the disruption occurring in the advertising world now. Radio advertisers are losing to satellite radio (commercial free radio). The introduction of hundreds of TV channels already put a hurt on the TV industry. Tivo and DVR’s are literally killing (or Tivo’ing) the 30 second ad.

(Advertising execs in TV world, if you are reading this, email me I have a way to get your 30 second ad back).

Advertisers are now placing the product within the TV show.
The eyeballs are already shifting from the TV to the PC. The shift from PC to the mobile is coming and it will be faster and have a much greater impact.

Advertisers are treating the Internet like TV..WRONG. Yahoo, Google, MSN and AOL are the four top “TV’ channels. There’s only so much space on those pages and time in a day to advertise on them. Think back to the early days of TV with ABC, CBS, NBC. Then ask yourself, how did Fox get so powerful? Fox was innovative and catered to what people wanted.
Companies have to recognize their website is their own “TV channel” and with millions of “channels” to choose from, you have to be even more innovative. Think like a FOX.

ABC, CBS, and NBC generated (and generate) so much money because they were the only advertising vehicles for TV. As soon as FOX came along, and cable, that all changed.


Imagine the TV was just invented and you had a chance to participate with the first advertiser. This is like being the first advertising company for TV, only bigger. The mobile market is much bigger. It provides the ability for instant purchase.

This is bigger than venture capital money in Google. Google, as great as it is, is still a commodity. Right now Google is so attractive because it represents the only advertising portal (vehicle) for the Internet. Maybe Google doesn’t call it a portal, but it is, it’s a starting point for search.

What happens to the search engine business when advertisers realize there’s a bigger medium to advertise on. This new medium is mobile.

What will be the advertising vehicle for the cell phone? Will there be a SE for the physical world? Probably not. Every item in physical world will have its own specific destination with a physical world identifier. You will not be searching, you will be connecting. This vehicle will be a “Connection Engine” and it will use physical world hyperlinks.

There will be a device/OS that deciphers these links. A physical world browser. An OS that gives these PWH a dial tone and connects them to the Internet. The difference?… There will be NO NEED TO “SEARCH”.

Who will let Campbell turn on every can of soup? What does Campbell do with them when they are turned on?
Think of the curiosity a hyperlink creates on a website, now imagine it on a soup can. What and where do you want me to go Campbell? What will I get when I get there?

Also, what about Frito-Lay, Coke, Viagra, Nike, Gatorade, Advil, Robitussin…etc.

The cell phones original purpose was for mobile communication. Once that 2”x2” screen was added, a new advertising medium was created. The cell phone represents a new medium that doesn’t have any “sponsors” for now. The questions are, what’s taking so long and what will the vehicle be, for advertisers?

It’s coming soon at a cell phone near you. It’s the physical world hyperlink and the SMS. It will combine advertising and commerce for the mobile phone.

It’s Advertising + Ecommerce + Mobility all in one. It’s GOING to be one powerful industry and will disrupt a few others.

The physical world hyperlink will be the first time an advertiser, with their own product, can directly interact, with any consumer, anywhere, through a mobile medium.

Think about that for a minute. It’s powerful stuff. This is how advertisers get permission to advertise on your cell phone.

The physical world hyperlink will now allow website owners to direct traffic to their site with a physical object rather than a search engine. That’s what I call disruptive.

Think of all the physical items a company has that can now represent a direct connection to their website, maybe even a customer service agent. A pizza box, business card, menu, newspaper ad, TV ad, Coke can, Happy Meal box, storefront logo, For Sale sign.

A PWH can be:
-a barcode,
-2d code
- word,
- number
-rfid tag
- vin number

Soon every Nike swoosh logo will be recognizable as a physical world hyperlink.


It’s one “TV channel” (website) but millions of ways to get there. See the shift? There will still be millions of websites out there, but instead of using a SE (limiting), there will now be many paths (cell phones) to the site. The power shift is going BACK to the brands.

The pay-per-click model is “Get users to click to my site”. That’s the concept and why it’s flawed. Why are companies risking or relying on a company that doesn’t know anything about tomato soup to get you traffic?

Cambells is the one that created the “Umm Umm Good” campaign, so let your creative marketing guys get users to your site. The only way a search engine understands your business is through keyword algorithms? Huh? Math has nothing to do with how effective Campbell’s Soup has built their brand. That’s why search engine advertising is primitive, and also explains why SE are looking to buy advertising agencies.

Are keywords replacing test marketing? Will physical world hyperlinks then replace keywords?

The keyword and the physical world hyperlink are on a collision course. I’ll place my bet on the physical world hyperlinks.

Every can of soup, or physical item with a PWH now becomes a Google “sponsored link”. It’s a way for brands to generate more traffic to their website keeping their costs minimal and fixed. Think of all the cans of Campbell’s Tomato soup, they represent millions of sponsored links when they get a PWH.

Instead of delegating the choice to Google to get users to my site, I (the brand) can now be responsible for that with my advertising on ALL mediums. The brands will also eliminate one variable, the cost I pay Google. I know what I am spending on my advertising campaign and can see the immediate traffic.

With the PWH, there will be two (with speech, 3) devices to get to a website. Now that the website has another dimension (physical) what does this do to the pay-per-click model? You’re not going to a website anymore with a mouse via a SE, but by a cell phone.

Google, how will you sponsor those links?

Right now I see millions of little “ portable TV screens +PC’s +credit cards” just waiting for a company/advertiser to come along and turn on programming.

Who will be the company that starts this mobile advertising industry, and how will it be done?

This won’t be a new company or new technology, but new industries. You can use the “pre-internet” analogy. The computer provided many functions on the desk. The phone provided a means for people to communicate. When the browser was created, PC’s could speak to other machines, get access to info anywhere in the world, advertisers could reach you at your desk, and commerce had no boundaries.

Internet advertising (spam, popups, search engines) industry was created.
Ecommerce was created when people could buy items over the phone line through a PC.
Two multi-billion dollar industries were created when the browser was introduced. The browser created these industries when each company/product had its own domain and was Internet accessible.

There is another “browser” being introduced and it will create at least two very large industries.

It will create mobile advertising and mobile commerce.

This connection engine will be the browser for the mobile Internet. It will allow a cell phone to connect any physical object with a physical world hyperlink to the Internet. A click of camera, typed text, speech will replace the click of a mouse.

These new industries will be huge. They will affect every other medium (TV, newspaper, radio, magazine, Internet). The “physical world browser” is emerging and will allow Phase 2 of the Internet to be truly rewarding for many.

Gee, the cell phone appears to be the most exciting medium since television.

Who will see it first?

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Mobile Advertising..The Physical World Hyperlink

Billboards, posters, newspaper, radio, TV, Internet…and soon the mobile phone. Think of the transformation advertising has had to endure.

Newspaper has print ads, radio has sound commercials, TV has commercials and Internet has seen the change from popups, banners to PPC(pay per click) search. But TV advertising (largest dollar) has 3 troubling issues, more channels, fewer viewers (broadband), and Tivo like devices.

Broadband has taken more eyeballs from the TV to the Internet. TV has now taken to placing products within the show to get eyeballs. Advertisers are trying to adapt to the change in TV...Advertisers have found a way to tap into each form until now, the cell phone.

The search engine/ppc model is been the advertisement of choice for the Internet. But it’s primitive and passive. It is the equivalent of paying for a 30 second prime time TV ad, but not knowing when it will air, or on what channel and the cable company keeps changing the listing lineup.

When mobile traffic exceeds PC traffic, how as an advertiser, do you reach those eyeballs on the 2”x2” screen?

What happens when the shift goes even broader and goes mobile? Right now there is no outlet for advertisers on the cell phone. It wont be a search engine. People wont be using their cell phone to type in words to search, let alone have the SE “sponsored links” on their cell phone screen.

After a couple years, advertisers/cos are realizing the pay-per-click model is right now the golden goose for Internet advertising. It took a specific tool/app/portal (search), for brands to have a direct outlet for advertising.

What is the tool/platform/portal for the mobile that gets advertisers to spend their dollars?

What happens when advertisers have to find another tool/platform for the mobile Internet?

Advertising will be different when the medium is mobile, it has to take into account the environment the user is in and what information he has access to.
TV is stationary; the Internet is slowly becoming mobile. Cell phones are mobile, so the environment and the database are constantly changing.

Seth Godin, Internet marketer extraordinaire, in his Free Prize Inside!, talks about companies having to find the “soft innovations that turn a product or service into something truly remarkable. A soft innovation is a clever, insightful, small idea that makes a product worth talking about. A soft innovation that succeeds is a Free Prize, because the revenue it brings in is far greater than the cost of implementing it.

Great thought goes into the packaging of a product, but one thing is put on every package that brands have never been able to use before, until now. The barcode. Its universal, can be scanned/typed, doesn’t take up any more room on the product to market, and can now provide a direct connection w/ the Internet…a Physical World Hyperlink.

Brands have the opportunity to create their own “soft innovation” by turning on their barcodes. By turning on the barcode, you have created a physical world hyperlink. A hyperlink offers a direct connection to the wherever the brand owner wants you to go. Leverage the existing product package and turn it into a portable website.

Brand manager creates the ad that makes a consumer click/type a barcode (already existing) and creates an innovative marketing tool.
What brands or brand manager will be the first to start marketing this tool? Do brands even know they have this tool?

The killer app for Mobile Advertising will be a portal/platform that “turns on” those physical world hyperlinks.

Search engines will lose initially when this transformation takes place. But eventually they will realize that brands will be directing traffic through this portal and will want a piece of this.

Hey Google and Microsoft are you paying attention?

Brands and advertisers can have their own pay per click. Physical world hyperlinks will be the ppc model for the mobile advertising space. The owners won’t have to pay a SE for traffic and their own marketing will generate the “click”.

Nokia’s CEO Jorma Ollila states his goal is “to put the internet into every pocket”. Think bigger, how about making every physical object Internet accessible. Give every physical object in the world a physical world hyperlink.

There is a portal/platform that “turns on” those physical world hyperlinks.

So who will offer this app/platform that advertisers choose to use for the mobile phone?

Barcoding The Planet

It's coming. Nice to see people getting it.

From Netimperative. Barcoding the planet.

ANALYSIS: Software which turns mobile phones into barcode readers has the potential to change not just the mobile industry but the way we shop and consume information, writes Russell Buckley
The winner of Ericsson's 2004 Best Mobile Enterprise Application this week, was Lavasphere by Germany's Gavitec AG. Lavasphere is a mobile ticketing and barcode reader application, which essentially turns a camera phone into a bar code reader.

You simply take a photograph of a bar code and your phone interprets for you the information contained in the bar code itself.

The potential applications could be myriad. For instance, you could scan the badges of exhibition attendees or validate people's tickets at a football match.

But the ordinary user can also do things like scan barcodes for information, price and product comparison or look at geo-specific data - information relating to the physical area that they are in.

It's this latter area where potentially the most exciting applications are and the ones that could even change our lives in a fundamental way.

The World Wide Web, that we take so much for granted these days, is based primarily on our ability to link bits of information to each other by the creation and use of hypertexting. Users click on a hyperlink to see information on another part of the web and are quickly taken there.

While there are plenty of bells and whistles overlaying hypertexting that enhance the web user's experience, they would be nothing without this core concept. Hypertexting is the rock on which the web is built and which won Sir Tim Burners-Lee his fame as the web's inventor.

Until now, hypertexting has remained in the online, virtual world. But Lavasphere's invention has the potential to turn bar codes into the real world equivalent of a hyperlink. Click on a bar code and you'll be rewarded with the online information relating to it, delivered virtually, on your phone.

Theres a better description for them.

I call them physical world hyperlinks.

Let's look at how that might actually work. As you're passing a shop, you take a photo on your phone of a small, discrete bar code displayed in the window. This is translated into a message delivered on your phone. The shop has special deals on jackets inside, if you present your phone as a virtual coupon.

You go inside the shop, find a jacket you like and scan the bar code printed on the jacket's label. This shows you that they have other colours available in a shop nearby, but that they do have it in your size in blue here. It might even suggest trousers that would go very nicely with the jacket, if you decide to purchase it.

Wearing your new jacket, you scan an advertising poster for a new snack product. The barcode also gives you a money-off coupon to try it, but also tells you the nearest place you can buy it from.

But this form of hypertexting isn't just for blatant commercial uses. It can enhance the whole environment. We wrote recently about the Yellow Arrow project in New York, where people can text the number they find on a Yellow Arrow to get information about the area or object the Yellow Arrow is stuck on. A variation is Art Mobs, announced this week, where visitors to an art gallery can leave virtual comments about pieces they see via SMS. Subsequent visitors can view the last five comments, by SMS too.

In reality, while these experiments might point the way to the future, they are a little clumsy to use and anyway, we can't go round polluting the environment with big yellow arrows everywhere.

It wont be big yellows arrows, it will be small 2d codes or words that can be read by a OCR.

But if we think in terms of bar codes instead of Yellow Arrows, this could deliver a vision on an information-rich environment available to all on the click of a camera button.

There are already billions of bar codes in circulation, all containing information. New ones can be created that can be discretely affixed to, or printed on practically anything. This would allow you to hypertext your way around the virtual world, greatly enhancing the physical world in which we all live.

And after bar codes, RFID (Radio Frequency Identification tags), with their ability to store far more and richer data may well become the hyperlinks of the future.

There's no doubt that the real and virtual worlds are moving together. But the ability to hyperlink in this way will create a seamless environment where we can enjoy the best each world has to offer.

I have some thoughts on this and what companies/industries will be disrupted.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Would You Like Some Saki WIth That?

From Smart Mobs.

In the Kanto region, Japanese convenience store chain Sunkus are attaching 2D barcodes on Bento takeout meal packages.

If a consumer scans a 2D barcode with his camphone, it asks him marketing survey questions about a Bento. He may then be rewarded with a coupon.

Other sales items like rice products, bread, desserts may soon bear similar 2D barcodes to collect more data about consumers.

The start of Permission Marketing.

Via RFID in Japan.

Friday, December 10, 2004

It All Boils Down To This

Mobile marketing, M-Commerce, mobile content, increasing service provider ARPU.. It all comes down to this.

Qualcom "gets it"..

From Internet News Qualcomm sings Opera for M-Commerce.

The San Diego-based firm has sought the help of alternative Web browser maker Opera Software to offer contextual shopping on BREW-enabled handsets.

Contextual paid listings are the bread and butter for the search industry. Applications like Google's AdSense and use enhanced targeting capabilities and powerful new bidding and analysis tools to raise the value of search as a promotional channel.

Opera, whose free browser offers up advertisements on the desktop, is looking to bring the lucrative contextual advertising market to the handset.

There will be an infrastructure for a brand new industry that combines 2 others (advertising and commerce).

Advertising and commerce are merging into one, on the cell phone.

To give you an analogy, imagine youre the first TV channel and everyone already has a TV. Combine it with the fact you have the first credit card processing device....but now its mobile, ubiquitous...EVERYWHERE.

Advertisers use the screen, along with any interaction on their products and the cell phone use the purchasing mechanism.

Who will implement this first?