Monday, October 31, 2005

Sprint Launches On Demand, And More

Most read this story and just saw the music downloading application Sprint is introducing. If you read closer, with Sprint's On Demand service, they are now getting into the mobile marketing space.

From BusinessWire Sprint Launches Information Services

On Demand is a new service that allows customers to set and then receive customized, up-to-date information based on zip code such as news, sports, weather, money and movies, on demand the way they want it.

In a sense, Sprint is THE TV channel for your phone and can control what ads you see when you get these updates.

Permission has been granted and Sprint should generate revenues from two sources. The user pays for this upgraded data package, and the advertiser pays Sprint to place their ad in these spots.

Thoughts, comments?

Gates Sees A New World

I always love to see what visions Bill Gates has, but in the last few years his visions seem to be cloudy and antiquated.

From Marketing VoxThe New World according to Gates

During a London speech at the Internet Advertising Bureau's Engage conference, Bill Gates predicted the eventual demise of paper at the hands of silicon.

He said that by the time he's 60 we'll all be connected to the internet all the time, carrying paper-thin devices that will allow us to access entertainment, education and information - and they will render newspapers and magazines obsolete.

Microsoft is investing billions in software for TV and mobile devices.

"You'll be able to use the camera to take a picture of a sign in a foreign country and software will send it up to a server and bring it back to your phone fully translated," he is quoted as saying.

Hey Bill, there are a lot more uses for image recognition using a camera phone than sign translation.

Pssst here's a little secret, you have a mobile OS and Google doesn't.

You might want to take advantage of that leverage before Google beats you to the mobile world too

Google Way On Base

A couple weeks ago I asked Where does Google go next?

The answer to the quiz was CLASSIFIEDS.

To see how Google could do this overnight, click HERE

Now there's another way they could implement this, and they would already have the major newspapers on board, as well as the top 3 industry advertisers.

Remember, Google wants to CREATE and IMPORT as much recurring data, and provide advertising on it.

Anyone want to guess how?

Add Meg Whitman to the list of people that hate Google now.

What SMS Marketing Needs

A successful SMS mobile marketing campaign will include a reason/incentive to send a text BUT ALSO a reason to KEEP texting. A free ringtone, screensaver, cruise may be enticing to START a campaign, but what will brands offer to KEEP the contact with the consumer.

From Brand Republic Advertisers turn to SMS

The majority of small- and medium-sized companies using text messaging as a marketing tool increased their turnover by 10% or more, according to UK and US research.

Tim Hatton, Textalert spokesman, said: "Businesses are finding that SMS can give them a significant competitive advantage for very little outlay. Compared to other forms of direct marketing, text messaging is cheap, very effective and enjoys the highest recall rate of any advertising channel."

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Wilma Taught Me A Couple Things

What a week. Personally, I will be glad when October is over. This is one month I want to forget.

Living in South Florida, one gets used to hurricanes and the problems THEY cause, but this week I experienced firsthand how inept FEMA and Governor Jeb Bush are.

Hurricane Wilma, (with over a weeks warning) was supposed to hit Palm Beach County as a Cat 1, maybe Cat 2 storm (up to 110 mph). Any Floridian knows you stock up on water, batteries and peanut butter and jelly.

It is accepted you WILL LOSE power. Don't you think it would make sense to have a generator in place for our major fuel distribution center? Port Everglades (Ft Laud) is where the tankers come in to unload fuel. There was no power to transfer the fuel to trucks.

As Senator Ron Klein pointed out in yesterday's Palm Beach Post, "they can drop 100 generators in Iraq, but they can't get a dozen in Palm Beach County".

This isn't rocket science, generators are the first thing that gets sold out at Home Depot/

Mobile service stunk. We are a LONG WAY off from relying on our cell phone as a primary means of communication (or anything else). I would ask ALL service providers to DROP roaming charges during disasters. The last thing you want to think about when you're in a crisis is $1.00 per minute call.

It was impossible trying to make a call, let alone check email.

My car, which I couldn't get gas for and sat in the garage for 6 days, was used as one big cell phone charger. There's efficiency for ya huh?

Thanks for all of the emails asking where I was. Lots of pondering this past week and plenty of goodies to share.

OK enough bitching, back to work.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Mobile Search Is Really Mobile Info

For starters, everytime we hear the phrase "mobile search" let's replace it with "mobile info".

From Wireless Asia In search of mobile revenue

Mobile versions of search engines like Google, Yahoo! and MSN are proving to be nowhere near as popular as their online counterparts, according to JupiterResearch.

Although 81% of online users use search engines, few mobile users do.

I bet if you ask the up-and-coming SMS players if they are seeing increased traffic you would get a different story.

The tipping point comes when advertisers realize they MUST provide some valuable service/information FOR THE MOBILE, in order to get permission to advertise on the phone.

"As such, content and information providers must be patient, invest pragmatically and continue to offer free trials while educating consumers and marketers alike about these services," said Julie Ask, research director at JupiterResearch.

More importantly, the Googles, Yahoos and AOLs need to think like a mobile user. Just because you made your search site WAP(wireless access protocol) enabled, doesn't mean people will use it in the same way.

For 6 months I carried a notepad and I wrote down every info request I would like answered using my mobile. I asked people on the street "what info would you want from your mobile phone?". The answers are invaluable to the right people.

Want to know what I found out?

Coca Cola And Neven Vision Connect Physical World

Coca Cola creates new mobile marketing idea The story is in German, to read in english Click here

At first sight the new marketing idea seems complicated: On an announcement in ' Yam ' Coca Cola requests the readers to then send the Logo of Coke Fridge by Foto-mobile phone to knipsen and the picture by SMS to a service number.

In response the participants receive a play for mobile phone and a program, with which they can avail themselves from a virtual refrigerator.

Image recognition player Neven Vision, a physical world connection company, is producing the mobile marketing campaign.

Gut gemacht DonBalon!

The Carnival Of The Mobilists- V2

The second edition of The Carnival of the Mobilists was released on Oliver Starr's Mobile Technology blog.

Welcome to the second-ever volume of Carnival of the Mobilists. It is my pleasure to be able to present to you some of the best writing, best writers and some of the leading thinkers in the mobile and mobile technology arena.

Kicking off this week's Carnival is Rudy De Waele who reminds us that while there aren't that many "she-geeks" doing mobile work there are a few and they're great, his post introduces us to a few we may not have met before: Says Rudy "How come? Have to investigate on this further later but as for now I just wanted to introduce you to one of those rare woman in mobile business today: Sabine Allaeys from Minifizz (and she's Belgian ;-)"

Moving along we've got a post that makes you laugh, makes you think, and makes you wonder how dumb the cop had to be to steal the mobile phone of a U.S. Ambassador. If ever you've had a mobile phone go missing and not of its own volition, you can relate to Russell's post on the stupidity of stealing someone's mobile phone says Russell "If you're going to steal a mobile phone, I guess it would be a good idea to make sure that it didn't belong to a high level US diplomat and that it wasn't GPS enabled and thus couldn't be tracked back to you.

But that's precisely what happened to two Bulgarian policemen, according to CNN. U.S. ambassador, John Beyrle, left the mobile by the x-ray machine in Varna Airport. The policemen pocketed it and denied finding it when the ambassador phoned to ask. When the phone was tracked, it was found still in the policeman's pocket. You'll have to click the link to read more.

For those of you interested in the development of independent music for the fourth screen, another post by Rudy De Waele introduces us to MuLiMob which he describes as The MuLiMob Networking Event tries to stimulate discussion between Independent Music Labels and the Mobile Industry in order to support the music and artists you cannot find on commercial radio stations, thereby enhancing multilingual and multicultural diversity You can read more about MuLiMob and Rudy's work in general by paying a visit to the blog.

As Russell said in his introduction to the Carnival of the Mobilists, one of the goals of this exercise is to help expose more readers to the hidden gems of mobile technology blogging. For various reasons, the age of the blog, the prior popularity of the blogger, luck, or dating someone really famous, some bloggers get a lot more attention and thus have a larger following than others. Even those of us that focus on mobile technology with some intensity, there are still many bloggers that we haven't discovered yet.

C. Enrique Oriz is one such blogger whom through accident I hadn't seen before. I'm glad he submitted. His post on Rim's new strategy is an excellent example of thoughtful analysis and reminds me once again how easy it is to miss a big developing trend that has been well documented by press releases but not overtly stated by the usual pundits. You can read this excellent post here: Enrique Ortiz on Rim's New Direction

A blog that should require no introduction is VanGorilla's Pondering Primate Blog. His discussions on mobile marketing and how it should be done could fill a text book. Today he is addressing the squeeze that time-shifting, pop-up blockers, spam killers and the do not call list are putting on advertisers. He suggests yet another way that advertisers might EARN our permission to send us highly relevant, highly targeted messages. He likes the idea that companies can "sponsor" content and that in exchange for getting that content for free consumers will be favorably inclined towards the advertiser that supplied it (providing it is somehow related - I don't think a panty-hose company sponsoring the big game report would be well received and he probably doesn't either) You can read Vangorilla's MMM Mobile Marketing I'm Loving it and see exactly what he means for yourself.

A new blogger, standing in for the under-the-weather Om Malik, Jackson West tackles WiFi, Politics and San Francisco with a skill that makes it clear that while he may be new to us, he's no stranger to the keyboard. This excellent post gives us new insight into the complicated world of Wireless, San Francisco and the undercurrents that determine public policy decisions

I love it when people disagree with me. In fact, a recent post of mine dealing with the future of Mobile Technology yielded far too much agreement! Thankfully Walter Adamson of iMode Strategy disagrees with my belief that Linux will eventually own the mobile OS crown.

Says Walter Reading Oliver Starr's summary of predictions from the Mobile Business Expo 2005, and of "linux cleaning up in the mobile battle" prompts me to submit our post Microsoft's sweet spot in i-mode Microsoft's Sweet Spot where perhaps we beg to differ that Linux will clean up. We have also been very hot on an idea that escaped the Mobile Business Expo, and certainly escapes many European-based observers because of their current advanced position in mobile - that the US will lead the pack in business applications. In fact this links to Oliver's idea that it is about the developer community and 3G in the US. The power of the US developers will lead them to dominate business applications on mobile iMode weekly Newsletter - whatever the operating system

Troy Norcross the blogger that REALLY HATES SPAM reminds us (and the carriers) that it doesn't need to cost a fortune to prevent mobile spam, you just have to build the right relationships and not take the seemingly easy but expensive route to do it

And last but not least, the post of the week, AJ Solon (who needs to learn to put a bio (or at least his NAME) on his blog) has written Positional Alarms a very clever web to world idea about personal relevance tagging based on location. Not that I really want another gonging reminder that adds stress to my already stress filled life, but the concept of very clever and the ideas and understanding of the value of a truly interesting location based service earn him my choice as the most novel post for this week's Carnival.

I want to thank all the bloggers for this submissions we had excellent ideas and posts as well as to thank all the readers, without whom all our blogs would be like trees falling in a forest with no one around...

Oh...two last notes, of my own work, the post I thought was most interesting relates to mobile marketing and a contest I'm having. Read it HERE, and by all means, enter if you have some ideas - secondly, Blog Carnival has created a page announcing the Carnival of the Mobilists. You can see that, and look for an array of other blog carnivals HERE. Thanks for reading.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Where Does Google Go Next?

Google reports monster numbers and the Street likes it.

James Cramer from Real Money posts a story on How Google trumps all other media (sub req'd). He makes some great statements.

Listening to the Google conference call I came away with two very big markets Google should tap next.

The first one is easy and if you've been reading PP for any length of time I have offered numerous ways Google can tackle the mobile marketing space.

The second is something that may not be apparent to most. I have been waiting for this space to be addressed for a while and Google could become the dominant player overnight with the right technology.

It involves an older medium that is losing revenue steadily. There is a recurring theme to it. It involves three MAJOR industries. It will generate revenues not only by advertising, but transactional volume.

Know what this is?

Another Problem For eBay And Skype

Add this as another reason why I think eBay's acquisition of Skype was a mistake.

The analogy that comes to mind is Napster and iTunes. The difference is in this case is the object in question is large bandwidth usage.

From WSJ Phone, cable firms rein in consumers' Internet use

Several large telephone and cable companies are starting to make it harder for consumers to use the Internet for phone calls or swapping video files.

Wireless phone companies like Verizon Wireless and Vodafone Group PLC stipulate in their subscription contracts that customers can't use the company's high-speed Web-access networks for Internet calling -- or may prohibit usage in the future.

Do you think customers read that stipulation in their contract? Will other providers start to implement these new restrictions when they offer VOIP?

Critics say the big operators are using their concerns about heavy network traffic to fight competition from smaller rivals that are using the phone and cable companies' networks, like Internet calling companies Skype Technologies SA or Vonage Holdings Corp.

My bet is on telcos and cable companies being the final winners for VOIP.

Thoughts comments?

Creative Advertising Using Mother Nature

A little off-topic but I think the technology used could open up a bunch of other advertising ideas

Playboy has an ad in Dusseldorf Germany that asks male readers to "Pray for rain".

The billboard changes when water hits the image. A harmless image but I thought it would be best to have readers click on the image to see the before and after.

If you can't figure out what Playboy and water could do with advertising, click here

After you do, tell me if I should put the image on the post.

Bango Controls Mobile Content Delivery

Playboy Donna D'Errico Bango offers mobile web analytic application.

From TelephonyWorld Bango Target conrols mobile content

The new Bango Target package enables brands to flex their product offering for individual markets and restrict access of some products to specific countries.

Bango Target is particularly well suited for record labels, film studios, TV stations and media players who sell their content to different countries around the world, where rights control and price variation are important factors in global distribution

The Bango Service enables access to commercial mobile content through website "triggers", mobile search, direct links from SMS short-codes and other discovery methods. The content provider controls the pricing and promotion of their content on-line and keeps track of traffic and revenues in real time through the same web service

Get MLS With SMS

This is a such a great idea for consumers and realtors. How many times have you seen a For Sale sign and wanted more information but didn't call the realtors number.

From RISMedia House4Cell launches text messaging solution

House4Cell ™ is an innovative service that delivers real estate property information to prospective home buyers’ cell phones instantly via text messages. Now, House4Cell is even simpler for agents to manage, seamlessly integrating with MLS and eliminating data entry.

Real estate agents hang House4Cell riders from the signs of their listings, informing homebuyers of the availability of instant information. Prospective home buyers see these signs and simply text message a short, custom code to a special House4Cell phone number.

Within seconds, all of the essential property information—including price, square footage and amenities—are immediately sent back to the buyer's phone. The agent then immediately receives the lead's phone number for follow-up.

It's a win, win win application and a great advertising tool for realtors, home improvement, local schools and even the small contractor (lawn service, pool maintenance etc)

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Google Mobile Shop

This is the same scenario John Battelle described on 60 Minutes TV show when he was asked what Google could do with mobile search.

From Intent-based marketing

In The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture (Penguin, 2005) John Batelle presents a hi-tech scenario of Saturday morning shopping at the wine store

Making a few changes to add local flavour: 'you've got Google Mobile Shop installed on your phone... you wand it over the R500 bottle of 2001 Columella now lovingly cradled in your arm.

In less than a second, a set of options is presented on the phone's screen. It reads '2001 Columella, Swartland appellation, South Africa. Average retail price R380 (click here for more); click here for a list of prices at nearby stores; click here for stores selling similar items; click here for reviews of 2001 Columella; click here for more on this vendor [ecological impact, vendor labour policies]...'

Three things need to happen before this nerdy daydream becomes a reality: the UPC barcode system must be made available as a web service; merchants must make their inventories available to internet browsers and finally barcode readers need to be installed on cell phones.

As the Financial Times notes, 'the foundation of the $100 billion marketing industry is shifting to a new search-engine based model.' With 1.7 billion mobiles in use by next year, most with internet capability, the market is enormous.

Yes, I agree. I think the Next Google is an application that allows access to ALL OF GOOGLE'S search/information functions on the mobile phone.

ScanZoom Offers Barcode Price Comparison

How timely this story is.

At one of the top venture capital conferences, scanning a barcode was discussed as one the Next Big Things in Tech

Scan a barcode with your mobile phone and get the best prices using

From (Washington) New way to comparison shop

What's in a barcode? When it's read by a camera phone equipped with ScanZoom, software from a company called ScanBuy, it can mean a lot of information, according to Olivier Attia, CEO of ScanBuy.

After taking a picture of the barcode, the software uses the phone's data service to go out to ScanBuy's computers to comparison shop for you. The company currently uses and to pull down those prices. "What do we provide to the user? The top 5 best prices for the item you just scanned," says Attia.

I don't think price comparison will be the catalyst that launches this type of application. I do see brands using their barcodes as a way to interact with the consumers.

4INFO Offers Text Contest

SMS search company 4INF0 and LifeHacker
are giving a way a Nokia 6682 phone in a SMS contest.

Simply send a text to 4INFO (44636) with subject "lifehacker" to enter the contest.

A great service and a chance to win a great phone.

Let me know if you are a winner.

Physical World Connection, The Next Big Thing In Tech?

Will scanning a barcode with your mobile phone be the next big thing in tech?

next big thing
From Reuters Venture capitalists seek next big thing in tech

Luxemburg-based Internet telephony firm Skype has shown that Europeans can build a $4 billion company in just over two years, but venture capitalists are wondering if it was a fluke or the start of a trend.

Talent scouts gathered at the high-profile ETRE technology conference in Athens expressed optimism that European technology firms could be on the up again.

At ETRE many young companies touted innovations ranging from SMS advertising methods to identity-theft protection software to investors.

This caught my eye.

Scanbuy from Spain offers software that allows camera phones to function as bar-code scanners

Hey Microsoft, here's how you own the next big thing in tech and one-up Google.

Google Medical?

It's all about recurring digital content.

Google is in talks with commercial's largest data provider for map/real estate listing service.

And then I see another industry that is under pressure to digitize its database.

From USA TODAY Tech executives push for digital medical records

Executives lobbied lawmakers and released a report saying health care quality suffers and costs are rising because the medical industry has lagged behind in electronic record keeping.

So will Google create Google Medical? With the onslaught of baby boomers hitting their prime 'medical data creating content years', wouldn't this make sense?

Every medical file gets a URL that can be accessed by a Dr or hospital from anywhere through a secure location. Google would love to sell advertising with this, and this would benefit drug companies too.

What does this do to medical term keywords (HDL, blood pressure)

Want to know what area Google tackles next? Think of any huge database(in terms of items of datasize) that grows daily and can have advertising tied to it.

Thoughts comments?

Cost By Radius Mobile Marketing

I highlighted this company a few days ago with their *TAXI and *TOW mobile service and said to keep an eye on them.

They have just added a patent pending proximity based advertising model to its location based service offerings.

Ringo's new advertising model, a form of Location Based Advertising, is designed to maximize the effectiveness of advertising budgets by marketing directly to individual consumers located within a specific proximity of a business.

According to Edward DeFeudis, President and CEO of Ringo, Inc. "Ringo's Patent Pending Advertising Model has been compared to a 'street-level' Google. Ringo has coined the new term 'Cost by Radius' or 'CBR' advertising, which makes great use of even the smallest advertising budget."

Ringo's technology will issue coupons and advertisements, in either printed or electronic format, to consumers in taxicabs that are located within as little as 10 feet of an advertiser's place of business.

Does this only work in cabs? Does the ad get delivered to the cab or your phone?

I have emailed and called this company for more info and still have yet to get a response.

Is eBay Buying Hype Or Skype

I still don't understand the eBay buying Skype or hype story. If I have this correct, eBay is buying a company that provides free long distance calls(COMMODITY) through VOIP in a space that has no barriers to entry.

Did I miss that day in Business School that said this was a good business model?

From Reuters Voice phone calls to be free within years

"The percentage of users that you can actually charge for (phone services) will actually go down, so I actually agree with that and we understood that when we looked at Skype," CEO Meg Whitman said in responding to the analyst's question of eBay's $4 billion purchase of Skype Technologies.

With so many analysts questioning this decision, I think this will mark a key point in eBay's future.

I can see buying the 57m registered users, but I can't see paying that price per user.

No. I don't use ANY VOIP service yet. My cell service plan has a truckload of minutes for so little and if I call overseas I use a calling card. I have programmed the phone to dial the codes before the call so it's easy and I never lose a signal. (Yes I know a calling card uses VOIP).

I will subscribe to VOIP through my cable company when they offer it.

Why would I pay for it? If it breaks I call the cable company. I don't have to install or wire anything.

Am I missing something with this Skype acquisition?

Physical World Connection For Charities

This is a great idea and should be implemented for all charities. If QR codes can't be utilized, certainly short codes (SMS) could be an effective way of charitable donations.

Mobile phone using Red Feather campaign launched

A mobile phone-using fundraising system made its debut in the annual "Red Feather" campaign which began on Oct. 1, enabling those who are hesitant to stop in front of people holding collection boxes and make contributions to easily donate money.

The organization has distributed 400,000 copies of a poster with the "QR code" printed in Japan to enable users of camera-equipped mobile phones to read them. If users read a poster and take in such a code, they can be linked to fundraising sites and make a contribution of more than 100 yen anytime, anywhere

Das Ist Gutes Musik

Service providers are adding music downloading to their storefronts.

From Heise Online O2 opens mobile music shop

The mobile network operator O2 is opening its new Music Shop, in which customers of O2 Germany can buy tracks both via mobile phone and the Internet, today.

Accounts are settled via the monthly mobile phone bill.

The sales platform was developed jointly by O2 Nokia and Loudeye Corp. Loudeye, which calls itself a worldwide leader in digital media solutions, lists among its reference customers the Virgin Megastores and the music channel MTV.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Express Your Love With SMS

I don't know how to create a mobile marketing campaign from this, but you sure could have fun trying.

From Bluetooth vibrator works with SMS

The Toy is a vibrating bullet that connects to a mobile phone with Bluetooth

The Toy is worn internally, linked to a mobile phone and controlled by SMS text messages sent to the phone. Once read, the message is transported automatically to The Toy, which turns it into vibrations - with a huge range of movements, depending on what you have written.

Just say what you feel, The Toy will do the rest.

Permission marketing takes on a new twist.

MMM Mobile Marketing I'm Loving It

This is an exciting time for advertisers. What?

Tivo and PVRs are killing the 30 second TV ad, the Do Not Call List put a major hurting in the telemarketing industry and pop-up/spam blockers are throttling Internet advertising.

Yes, I know, advertisers are happy with Google and the methods they offer for Internet advertising, but there is a much better way than hoping the right keywords get entered.

Why should I be excited as an advertiser. Because if you’re creative and provide a desired service to a consumer, you will be able to reach them directly anytime and anywhere, on the mobile phone. There won’t be a spam filter, or a secretary screening the call, your message will be received immediately.

The Do Not Call List for telemarketing took away the “permission” that was given to all solicitors. Permission is gone and you won't get it back. As more and more people sign up for this list, the number of potential advertising targets decreases and advertisers LOSE PERMISSION.

On the other hand, there’s an enormous database that will be tapped by an advertiser but they will need to GET PERMISSION.

How do advertisers get permission to advertise on the most valuable 4 square inches of real estate? That’s a problem most brands and mobile marketing companies are working, but it’s not that hard.

In order to get on my phone, you need to give me something.

I watch TV programs for free (well kind of) and in return you advertise your products every few minutes. I read many online newspapers/magazines for free, and in return you display ads. We both get something from this.

With the mobile phone, you will have to give me something if you ever have a chance of advertising to me on it. The brands/advertisers that know what consumers want on their mobile, should be the ones that get permission quickly.

It will have to evolve from just contests and ringtones too. That method of mobile marketing is great for initiation, but that isn't building a relationship with your customer.

One of the best examples I have seen is from People Magazine. I signed up for their free celebrity text alerts and they provide advertising on my phone when they send them.

Here’s what I see as other examples that should get implemented.

FOXNEWS offers breaking alerts and advertiser could pay for the ability to sponsor.
Charles Schwab offers free real time stock quotes/ news.
Advertisers pay for traffic alerts sent to your mobile phone.

The key point with mobile marketing is that in order to get permission to market to me, an advertiser must provide something that I will find of use on my phone.

The End Of SMS Marketing?

Tell me what upsets you most about this story.

From C/Net Will more courts frown on SMS ads?

SMS messaging has grown in popularity as a marketing tool, but a recent court ruling could mark the beginning of its end.

In the case of Joffe v. Acacia Mortgage, the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled last month that cellular SMS (short message service) messages fall under the purview of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991

In early 2001, Rodney Joffe received two uninvited text message solicitations on his cell phone from Acacia Mortgage. These messages were part of a marketing campaign to advertise low-interest home mortgages. Acacia had programmed its computers to send the solicitations as e-mails to consumer e-mail addresses

Two text messages caused that much pain and suffering?

When the e-mails reached Joffe's cellular carrier's domain, they automatically were converted into a format that could be transmitted to his cell phone number. Acacia was able to utilize the SMS service provided to Joffe by his cellular carrier

I don't what upsets me more, the fact that this person wastes court time/money over something so frivolous, or the fact that Rodney Joffe is so busy and encountered SO MUCH inconvienence that he threatens the mobile marketing industry.

Motorola Thinks Pink With RAZR

From Motorola unveils PINK RAZR

Continuing on the momentum of Breast Cancer Awareness month, Rogers Wireless and Motorola Canada together announce the upcoming launch of the PINK RAZR, for which the two companies will donate $25 on each sale to Rethink Breast Cancer

On November 14th, 5,000 PINK RAZR wireless phones will be available for Canadian customers exclusively through, where customers can join a
waiting list for the product now.

As well, Rogers Wireless customers can make a $2 personal donation to the cause by sending the text message "PINK" to
the short code "PINK".

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Ringo, A New Mobile Marketing Player

Can you see what this can to for mobile marketing campaigns?

From RCR News Ringo launches LBS service for taxi, towing

Ringo, Inc. launched its location-based services beginning with a network of paid transportation companies that will be linked through wireless technologies to provide consumers with location-based taxi and towing services over wireless phones.

Ringo said 190 million on-the-go wireless consumers nationwide will have instant access to taxi and towing companies by dialing *TAXI or *TOW on their mobile phones, and the appropriate company will be dispatched to the proper location. There is a $1.99 charge for each call.

Just dial *TAXI or *TOW.

I'm trying to find out what cities they offer this in and what other applications they look to introduce.

Heads up mobile marketing companies, looks like there's a new player in the space with a great application.

12Snap And Adidas Offer Word Of "Mouth" Marketing

Word of mouth mobile marketing takes on a new meaning with the "Yella" campaign from 12Snap and Adidas.

"Ever had an entire football stadium applaud you?

With adidas: Impossible is nothing.

Just press a button during your next phone call, and thousands will cheer on demand to support your wise comment

A completely new software for mobile phones was developed, with which the customer can guide a virtual football crowd while on a phone call. Once the software is downloaded to the phone by sending 1 simple SMS message, then with a touch of one of the phone buttons during the call, he could let them applaud, scream “boo!”, sing etc..

Didn´t you always want to let ten thousands boo out a friend if she doesn´t want to go out with you? . The sound crowd was integrated so smoothly into the call that the recipient could tell the difference. That´s real “talk-about value.

Think of the other background noises or individualized recordings that you could create mobile marketing campaigns around. A sultry voice saying your name, a stranger giving you a compliment, a celebrity asking if that's you.

Another Way To Scan With Camera Phone

Add this technology as a way to scan using your camera phone.

From BusinessWeek How to scan without a scanner

Ever find yourself paging through a book or magazine at a friend's house and wishing you could just scan it and save it for later? NEC has a way to soup up a cell phone to do this, using 3D imaging software integrated with a digital camera.

The phone works by taking dozens of tiny snapshots when you wave it across a page in a zigzag pattern. Within seconds, optical character-recognition software in the phone uses the edge of the page as a frame and knits together the overlapping snapshots into a seamless whole.

It can even detect when the page isn't lying flat and straighten a distorted image

Monday, October 17, 2005

McDonald's McFlurry Mobile Marketing Push

McDonald's and mobilestr33t introduce a mobile marketing campaign using mobile coupons to get a free McFlurry.

At MobileStr33t visitors can send free ringtones and wallpaper to their handsets and request a mobile coupon for a free McFlurry.

To get a free McFlurry coupon send to your mobile phone click here

Depending on your carrier and your phone’s capabilities the coupon will either be sent out as a SMS, a WAP page or a J2ME app. The WAP and J2ME are powered by their patent-pending mCoup technology.

This mCoup patent could be quite enticing for brands and retailers. Stay tuned.

qtags And RipCurl Surf The Physical World

qtags today announced that global surfing company Rip Curl is showcasing its new “My Search” brand campaign for 2006 on a digital video billboard in New York City’s Time Square and the campaign features a qtags-powered promotion.

The giant 38 x 32 foot video screen features the call to action “Rip Curl, Follow Your Search,” with instructions to text “ripcurl” to the qtags short code: 78247. The participant is given access to a secret Rip Curl website video vault video where he or she can view an exciting teaser to Rip Curl’s upcoming film about #3 world-rated surfer Mick Fanning.

I'm happy to have qtags as a sponsor on the Primate. What I like about their service is the electronic "post-it" idea. See a great article or product, just send a text to QTAGS (78247) with the associated keyword and receive info on your mobile AND your PC

I have a couple mobile marketing ideas for qtags, stuff that will give the 4INFOs and other text messagers to think about.

Stay tuned for a new ad and plenty of great mobile marketing campaigns from these guys.

First Carnival Of The Mobilists

A couple weeks ago, Russell Buckley of MobHappy, invited several mobile bloggers to contribute to a weekly mobile summary.

He and Carlo Longino are some of the best mobile guys I read, but included in this first piece you will find others.

Here is the First Carnival of the Mobilists

The Pondering Primate will be a regular contributor.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Google + Virgin+ Sprint =?

Ruscoe has a list of Google subdomains found between 30 Sep 2005 and 3 Oct 2005.

A couple caught my mobile marketing eye.

They both link back to Google.

Will Google be the search engine for Sprint and Virgin?

Are Mobile keywords becoming a possibility?

Something to ponder.

Your comments?

Top 10 Things Google WON'T Announce Anytime Soon

In my best David Leterman impression.

The top ten things Google WON'T announce anytime soon. (but could)

10. They will replace Brin and Page with Robert Scoble of Microsoft

9. Announce they are taking the company private.

8. Issues first dividend.

7. Says original name of the company was "Doodle"

6. States the "page rank" algorithm was based on the "Hot or Not" site

5.Has no idea how many sites are in their database but picks a really big number every month

4.Admits the search timing click is off by .001 seconds

3.Funds a sweat shop in the Philipines where 7 yr olds get paid to click on sponsored sites.

2.The Dutch auction was used to remind people of the Tulip Bubble

1.Changes motto to "Fooled ya! We are evil"

Have any others?

AOL Allows IM Through Blog With AIM Presence

From MarketingVOX AOL launches messenger for bloggers

AOL Thursday announced AIM Presence, a service that lets bloggers, podcasters, consumers and small businesses add to their websites one-click access via AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) - the idea being to let visitors to a site or blog see whether the proprietor or editor is available for immediate messaging - reports InternetNews.

When the proprietor is online, the AOL "running man" icon is bright; when he or she is offline, the icon is dull. In order to message the site's proprietor, the visitor also will need to be a registered AIM user.

The program includes a free distribution license; publishers can add AIM Presence by cutting and pasting a line of HTML code onto their webpage code.

Will this get traction?

Is Daimler Chrysler Connecting The Physical World?

There's one sentence in this story that caught my eye.

What if there was a physical world search engine?

Can you find the sentence?

From BlueOval News DCX Connecting with PaperClick

There's a new marketing weapon on the horizon - and unlike, the internet, most Americans will have immediate access to reap the benefits. Moreover, it could save automakers millions of dollars each year.

Think of the mobile marketing opportunities.

It all starts with a camera cell phone that is web enabled. Before a meeting the DaimlerChrysler, NeoMedia's Chairman, Chas Fritz spoke with about the endless possibilities that PaperClick can bring to DCX, and the auto industry

Imagine shopping for a car at a Chrysler, Dodge or Jeep dealer's lot with your cell phone. You come across a beautiful new 300c, snap a photo of a bar code with your cell phone's camera or enter the vehicle's VIN, and presto - the price, options, financing rates and rebates appear in the cell phone's window - all at the critical point of decision

Let's suppose that you've spotted a used Jeep Liberty and want to know more about it. Once again you can either take a photo of a bar code or type the vehicle's VIN into your cell phone. The purchase price, miles on the vehicle, remaining warranty and the vehicle's factory options appear. Need a CarFax report? Click a button and it will also appear.

Have a desire to compare the Liberty with a Ford Escape? No problem. Want to know the cost of an extended warranty or cross shop for the best insurance rate? A few clicks on your cell phone is all it takes.

As auto manufacturer's look for more inventive ways to move products at a lower cost than traditional print, NeoMedia's technologies is to cell phones what Google is to the internet.

Unlike the internet though, PaperClick is a personal sales assistant for both the consumer and retailer

Not only can DCX take more direct control of the pre-purchase process, they could also make profits in the lucrative post-purchase after-market. Rather than lose business to after-market companies like Pep Boys, DCX could send maintenance reminders, coupons for oil changes and other maintenance items.

Moreover, DCX could even keep track of your last service and send you a reminder - all without a computer - and at a far less cost to DCX than current methods

I'm thinking that this could be "the" mobile marketing application for the automotive idustry.

The Full story

Hypertag Chosen By New Look For Mobile Marketing

From BrandRepublic New Look chooses Hypertag for mobile campaign

High street fashion retailer New Look has launched an extensive interactive outdoor advertising campaign that lets shoppers download money-off vouchers to their phones.

The campaign, part of New Look's first brand campaign, "New Look, The New Now", uses Hypertag's short-range wireless devices mounted in outdoor posters which send information via infra-red or Bluetooth.

It runs across 96 Adshel bus shelters nationwide. New Look will give away thousands of money-off vouchers, as well as gift vouchers for up to £250.

BlogLines Makes It So Easy

In the last few weeks I've had some emails asking me what that Bloglines icon on my site does. After seeing their reaction I thought it would be a good idea to describe how this fantastic free service works.

If you are constantly watching news feeds, blogs or any updating site this is a time saver. Instead of having to go to that specific site, just include the site in your Bloglines account and it will alert you when the site has a new post.

By opening up ONE PAGE (your personalized Bloglines account) you can scan hundreds of sites to see new listings.
Here's an image of what it looks like.

It's simple, free and believe me you will thank me after you start using it. A Bloglines page is the equivalent to all your favorites on one page with notifications when new posts have occurred.

Search for any topic, person, blog etc. Then look at the search results, click the box to subscribe. It's that easy.

On their webpage look for the tool that allows you to include subscribe to any site you're on just by one click this is the link

Next time you see a site you want to watch, either look for the Bloglines icon or click it yourself.

Get yours today There's no spam, you won't be nailed with popups or annoying emails.

When you have set up your Bloglines account, click on my lil Bloglines icon on The Pondering Primate to subscribe.


Tell me how much you love it when you do.

Lexus Offers Mobile Marketing

From MarketingNext Lexus launches mobile marketing campaign

Lexus and its advertising agency Team One have partnered with mFoundry, a leading mobile publisher and platform provider, to create the Lexus Mobile Phone Application for the all-new 2006 IS.

Created using mWorks(TM), mFoundry's mobile application platform, the Lexus Mobile Phone Application is an integral part of the IS launch strategy. "We wanted to give enthusiasts access to IS information as it becomes available. Sending up-to-date information to cell phones was the perfect solution," said Al Reid, Team One's Interactive Group Director. "
In line with their history of innovation, Lexus and Team One are using mobile marketing as part of the IS launch campaign.

The full story

VeriSign Could Be A Splog Killer

From Netcraft VeriSign acquires, declares war on splogs

This is great. Splogs are spam posted as comments on blogs. The key to a successful blog is interaction with the readers, splogs makes managing a blog much harder.

VeriSign has acquired, the primary weblog "ping" service tracking how often weblogs are updated.

VeriSign's purchase of from founder Dave Winer is all about infrastructure. "For a long time, ping servers could be stood up as a single box running on a fast business DSL connection," noted VeriSign's Mike Graves on the company's Infrablog.

When most blogs are updated, they send a ping via XML-RPC to, which generates a list of the latest blog posts. This data is monitored by search engines like Google, as well as blog and RSS search tools like Feedster and Bloglines, which then can spider the updated sites to keep their listings current.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

SMS Mobile Patents

James at MocoNews has an interesting story on SMS patents.

AllisBlue has won a European patent which allows “anybody to send AllisBlue a request for digital content by a simple phone call, SMS or WAP session and to automatically receive the requested information by e-mail and/or on their mobile phone”.

Allisblue proposed its method of sending information to handsets via SMS back in 1999 but carriers were unimpressed, saying SMS is very old…which wasn’t a big problem since mobile content wasn’t really ready to be used by consumers at that time.

The intention of Allisblue is to make the mobile handset a “remote control” for the web. The company applied for the patent in 2000, so prior art claims and so on have to date from before then.

Mobile Ads Get Boost From Motorola Technology

Does this jump start mobile marketing?

From New technology by Motorola for mobile ads

Motorola Inc. plans to release its new dynamic idle-screen technology-dubbed Screen3-to U.S. wireless users in time for this year's holiday season.

Motorola's Screen3 technology essentially pushes Internet information to a mobile phone's main screen. Thus, users can get news updates or the latest weather forecasts with just a glance at their phones, without having to open sluggish WAP browsers or other applications

Carriers can use it to promote new services and features without bombarding user with text or multimedia messages. The service also could link to video clips or applications instead of just WAP pages

Motorola is already looking for advertisers interested in sponsoring the content provided through Screen3.

I wonder how this will affect the easy-to-use SMS space.

Semapedia Tagged Photos

Semapedia, is the combination of Wikipedia (the Internet dictionary contributed by users) and Semacode (the 2d code physical world hyperlink company).

Look at a Fedex or UPS package (and now USPS stamps) and you'll see those 2d codes playing a bigger role in information retrieval.

The idea is that users "tag" physical locations with a Semacode and "attach" a Wikipedia article that pertains/describes the physical world item/location.

Slowly, but surely, all physical items will have a physical world hyperlink and cell phones will be able to click on them for more information thru the Internet. A Physical world hyperlink could be one that is placed on the object (a Semacode) or one that is already there (barcode, RFID tag, symbol, logo).

Any image or identifier that a mobile phone can resolve, can be a direct connection to the Internet for more info.

I thought Pondering Primate readers would like to see how the Semapedia project is going.

You can check out the "tagging" process with this flickr site

RFID And VIN Stop Hit-And-Run

Here's a patent that pertains to pervasive computing. A great idea and I'm sure insurance companies would love this. At least Lindsay Lohan's insurance company would.

From Engadget Patent proposes RFID tags with VIN info

Well a patent application slithering its way through the patent office approval maze proposes a unique solution for catching automotive scofflaws: install RFID chips that contain VIN information in every new car.

The company that is responsible for this is RFID2VIN

The proposed system incorporates chips with a maximum range of eight inches, to allay privacy concerns, and are only activated during an accident. So even if a hit-and-run driver speeds away, their VIN number will have been recorded by the victim’s RFID tag reader, which can then be read by police.

ZigBee And The Mobile Phone

A different way to look at a cell phone being used as a remote control.

From BusinessWire SK Telecom rolls out Zigbee services

SK Telecom, South Korea's largest cellular provider, will enable customers to monitor and control their homes remotely using cell phones, and the Internet, through SK Telecom's service offerings.

A key enabler of SK Telecom's new Intelligent Home Network Service is a ZigBee wireless networking technology from Ember Corporation.

Keep an eye on Zigbee technology, this technology will allow seamless low power wireless networks that can provide many applications for the mobile phone.

HDTV Keyword Advertising Ideas

HD Beat has a great find in the latest "My name is Earl" TV Show. Apparently only viewers with HDTV prgramming could read a sign in the show.
I wonder, could this be an incentive for cable operators to get viewers to sign up for High Definition service? Could cable operators entice advertisers to shoot episodes with this in mind?

Think of the advertising campaigns that could be created where only HDTV users could participate. Keywords could be placed within the show for short code mobile marketing campaigns.

Find the hidden keyword and send text message to NBCTV to win a trip.

Here's what High Def users saw.

Or will this just tick off non HDTV users?


Wednesday, October 05, 2005

What Will The Saudis Do Next To Us?

Maybe Google lowered the pay per click on all Saudi oil company ads.

Stephen Baker at BusinessWeek reports that the Saudi Arabian government has blocked access to site, Google-owned blog service.

Looks like the pictures on Flickr have been blocked as well.

What do they block next?

Fingerprint Scanning, Pay By Touch Soutions Gets Financing

This sounds like a great idea. Skip the cell phone and just use your fingerprint to pay. I have a couple questions.

From Yahoo News Start-up getting financing for fingerprint technology

A San Francisco start-up, Pay By Touch Solutions, is expected to announce today $130 million in fresh financing for a novel way of paying for groceries and other goods and services: a machine that reads your fingerprint.

The capital raised -- $55 million of it in convertible notes and $75 million in loans -- will help the company build out its finger-reading payment systems at several nationwide retailers, including in California in the first quarter of next year.

Customers sign up once, by registering a checking account or a credit card, and showing government identification such as a driver's license. The Pay by Touch technology records the lines and ridges of their fingerprints, and translates the data into a numerical algorithm that is stored in a secure database.

Is the secure database accessed via an intranet or the Internet?

The customers thereafter never have to carry a wallet or purse back to the store, and can use their finger to pay for goods across the Pay By Touch network, which now includes stores in 10 states.

I hope Och-Ziff Capital, Farallon Capital and PLainfield Asset Management did their intellectual property (IP)homework before they committed that type of money to this.

Their site says "All information is encrypted and stored at secure IBM data centers".

I' ll be interested in seeing how this one turns out.

A fingerprint is machine readable and a universal identifier.

Can eBay And Skype Connect The Physical World?

This is a great angle on the eBay Skype acquisition.

From Snipe vs Skype

"It's not too outrageous to envisage a near-future where a consumer walks into a local store with a Skype-enabled mobile, keys in the barcode for a fancied product (or painlessly captures the RFID code), finds a match amongst eBay sellers, haggles via Skype-phone for a better price, reaches agreement, pays instantly via PayPal and walks out the door again. He's bought the product, alright, but not from that unfortunate retailer - and it'll be delivered before he gets home"

Take a worldwide service provider (Skype) and a barcode reading phone and the world becomes one big eBay site. Interesting.

UF Students Get Mobile Marketing

I see credit card companies playing a big role in this mobile marketing campaign.

From Text messages help get the word out to UF students

University of Florida students can now receive free text messages on their cell phones from student leaders, professors, campus organizations and local businesses.

Mobile Campus, a Gainesville-based start-up company that has partnered with UF, launched the text-messaging communications service in mid-September.

Members can receive coupons on their phones that offer items such as free food, an iPod Shuffle or the chance to win a vacation for Spring Break

The 700 or so organizations on campus can send messages directly to their members at no charge while businesses pay to send out promotional messages

Could Terrorists Use SMS Text Messaging For Attack?

From NY Text hackers could jam cellphones.

Malicious hackers could take down cellular networks in large cities by inundating their popular text-messaging services with the equivalent of spam, said computer security researchers, who will announce the findings of their research today.

Such an attack is possible, the researchers say, because cellphone companies provide the text-messaging service to their networks in a way that could allow an attacker who jams the message system to disable the voice network as well.

And because the message services are accessible through the Internet, cellular networks are open to the denial-of-service attacks that occur regularly online, in which computers send so many messages or commands to a target that the rogue data blocks other machines from connecting.

Would this affect VOIP calls too?

2D Code Stamps

I got a letter the other day with a stamp that had a picture and a 2d code right next to it. I did a double take. must use these 2d codes to verify their printed stamps. This was kind of interesting until I noticed the United States Postage was using a 1"x1" red 2d code for verification too.

Is this new? Fedex, AirBorne, DHL use their own 2d codes to track their packages, but I wonder if the US Postal service is using these for tracking, verification or both.

What's next, an RFID tag in a stamp?

Has anyone else noticed this?