Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Mobile genius - M&S kids' name tags by text

This example was mentioned at today's Yahoo APPetite event.

M&S offer this service to parents. Simply TAG, plus the child's name, your house number and post code to 65006, and they will send you 50 iron-on name tags in the post. The charge of £5 is added to your mobile bill.

So simple. Well done!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Marmite Election

Excellent new initiative ('campaign' seems the wrong word these days) for Marmite to mirror the imminent UK general election with a campaign to get people to support either The Love Party or The Hate Party, with Facebook groups, and more.

The whole 'Love it or Hate it' idea has been around for over ten years now - well done to them for adapting it to new communication techniques.

More background at The Guardian, here

Saturday, March 27, 2010

...& that's why music matters

Music Matters - Nick Cave (23-3-10) from Music Matters on Vimeo.

A new series of videos from the British Music Matters group, promoting legal downloads.

I like all of these. In addition to the embedded Nick Cave one (by Sarah Cox & Emma Lazenby), there are stories about Sugar Ros, Blind Willie Johnson, Kate Bush and others here

Music Matters are putting a new 'Music Matters' mark onto legal download and streaming sites.

Here's Kate Bush (by Elliot Dear):

Music Matters - Kate Bush (23-3-10) from Music Matters on Vimeo.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The rise of the $0.99 event

There's a great post on the excellent Reve News site discussing the implications of Facebook's deal with Eventbrite, to sell tickets for events.

Taken in conjunction with Facebook's recent deal with Paypal to sell credits to use on Facebook ('Facebook money', in effect) Reve News provides this interesting and insightful vision of the future of Facebook events:

"The idea is simple, just as the App Store allowed for the mass proliferation of $0.99 apps, the Eventbrite ticketing on Facebook with PayPal micropayments could usher in a new era of $0.99 events. Think about that for a moment. If an event was slightly worth it, would you pay $0.99 to go? Of course, most events will still be free, but suddenly the ability to charge $0.99 for an event changes the event scheduling and ticketing game.

Events could clean up their attendee lists since only paid attendees would be coming. Companies could offer incentives to paid attendees (every attendee gets a $5 coupon for some service, etc). Marketers could be developing a higher quality of list based on those who committed enough to pay $0.99. As with regularly ticketed events, the event organizers would earn their fees as well, and possibly provide a way to cover event costs and possibly more. As with any EventBrite event, you could charge more, but I’m using $0.99 to make my point."

& then:

"To put this into perspective, the reason that this could be a really big deal is according to Facebook, more than 3.5 million events are created each month. Are all of those events monetizeable? No, but for the sake of argument, let’s say that 1 percent are. That would be 35,000 events that could be generating revenue for Facebook, PayPal, Eventbrite, and the event organizer. Take a guess on how much money could be made for each event, multiply, and bam, you have a serious revenue stream."

I can see this happening. Pay $0.99, or £0.99 or whatever, and get a goodie bag or enter a raffle.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Fiverr - like Etsy, but for services

Fiverr is a new open marketplace for buyers and sellers of services.

Sellers offer a particular service that they will carry out for $5.

Examples include anything from proof-reading a CV, to creating a simple website, to creating an 'Avatar' style pic from a photo, to help in filling out immigration forms, to burning an effigy of your enemy.

I imagine that if you had a particular skill like photoshopping, and some creativity in selling a specific task you could make a reasonable amount of money. (Last night there were some 'nude photo' type offers, but they seem to have been removed now. The site owners need to police it to keep these sorts of listings off it. Although no doubt an Adult services version would be phenomenally popular)

It's effectively like Etsy, but for services. The idea that everything costs $5 is inspired, because it's a good way to get a taster of whether someone is genuine and does a good job. Once you're in touch with them after the first job, I'm sure more complex projects can be discussed.

It's also a bit like Mechanical Turk, Amazon's crowdsourcing platform, where you can recruit people to tasks like tagging huge numbers of photos, but more fun and interesting.

Update - and here's an 'Andy Warhol' version of a picture of me, made by Shirley for $5.

MGMT stream leaked album

It's one way of dealing with piracy... Since discovering that their new album, due for release in mid-April, was widely available on torrent sites, MGMT have posted it on their site for people to listen to, making it clear that the version for sale have a much higher sound quality.

Listen legally here.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Wrangler Blue Bell Collection

This site for Wrangler is amazingly good.

You get to drag the models around (try it, you'll see what I mean), and you can even download the music and pictures.

Play with it here.

Via AdHunt

Super-intrusive ad for Nissan Qashqai

This ran in France on Yahoo and MSN on 15th March. See it here

Via the excellent Adverblog

Philips Parallel Lines - one script, 5 very different films

This trailer, released yesterday, shows a really intriguing new initiative from Philips. As a follow up to last year's award winning Carousel, they have commissioned Ridley Scott Associates to make 5 very different films from the same script.

The films look very different! Really looking foward to seeing how this develops!

The Facebook page is here

Full disclosure - the company I work for works for Philips, but I have no involvement in this project

Friday, March 12, 2010

Indian Premier League on YouTube

The first game is streaming now on YouTube now, sponsored by HSBC. The world's local bank indeed.

The first match is Deccan Chargers vs. Kolkata Knight Riders.

The quality is about as good as you'd expect (i.e. not very) but you can see what's going on, and judging from the number of tweets using the #youtube_ipl hashtag (about 5-10 a minute) it's pretty popular.

Video ads are also playing between occasionally, as they would if you were watching on commercial TV, and there's an HSBC banner ad that hovers over the screen occasionally.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Google's Creative Canvas

A good set of examples showcasing what you can do with the different parts of Google, including YouTube, Maps, and Android:

Download it here

(You have to join Issuu first. Goodness knows how many of these things I'm a member of now)

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Fourwhere - Foursquare + Google Maps

Fourwhere (by Sysomos) is a mashup of Foursquare and Google Maps. It lets you see all the comments and checkins locally on a map, and in doing so it makes Foursquare about 100x more useful.


American Idol Behind the Scenes widget

I haven't seen this done with a TV show before... Well done American Idol & Coke!

Monday, March 08, 2010

Guerilla viral for Bostoen solar panels

Neat demo of how powerful Bostoen solar panels are - you can use them to power projectors, and take to the streets...

Filmed in Batibouw, Brussels

"We hand you over to pages from Google..."

Very funny - if YouTube closed down overnight, like the BBC used to...

Via Metafilter

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

'Come Back' by Chicane

Very good, and well done for getting 70,000 views in 2 days!

The internet loves you, even if she doesn't!

Fiesta Movement hits stage 2

The Ford Fiesta is about 60 days away from it's US launch. Ford has been pioneering lots of social media approaches in this launch, under the banner of Fiesta Movement.

The first stage involved letting bloggers drive the cars and record their experiences. Stage 2, just launched, uses teams of two people in different cities around the US to create events for others to take part in.

This is the Detroit team looking at their Fiesta for the first time. "She needs a British name..."

In doing this they're focussing on location, and local inititives

Local - lots more online activity is now local, or location based. By setting up teams in different areas, they can get more people involved in the team that's local to them.

For example here's the profile of Vanae and Francis, the San Francisco Team

Location - The next step from local is to location, by giving the teams missions to complete, around specific locations, putting things onto a virtual map.

For example the Boston Team are:

"highlighting 10 of these amazing locations in a colorful, vibrant, and creative graffiti mural to be unveiled at a massive live event and gathering... which will coincidently be held at their #1 location of their 10 favorites"

This all looks like it's going to be fun!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

OK Go - Embedded video thanks to State Farm

This is the new video from the band OK Go. It's pretty amazing - it takes the simple 'dominos' / 'Cog' idea, but pushes it pretty much as far as it can possibly go. Make sure you watch to the end!

What's also interesting is that it's got a sponsorship credit at the end, to the insurance company State Farm.

OK Go have recently complained that EMI, their record company, have disabled the embedding for their YouTube videos. Disabling the embedding means more money for EMI (YouTube pay royalties on views on YouTube, but not embedded videos), but has cut the number of video views by 90%, so means that OK Go get less exposure.

The deal with State Farm (& I'm amazed at how low-key it is) allows me to embed the video, and I think it's the first time someone's done this.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Secret London

One of the companies presenting at last week's Mashup Event was Secret London.

Secret London have got a great story. Starting as a Facebook group in January they now have over 200,000 members. A couple of weeks ago some volunteers recruited through Facebook built this site, for users to share their London tips (blog post on how they built the site here).

So far it's pretty good, if a little free for all (I know, that's the point), and with no search. It's also bound to get confused with this site which is the top search result for 'Secret London'.

So far Secret London looks very much like LondonByLondon, from a few years ago. They clearly have strong ambitions - look at all of the other cities that are in the pipeline. Let's see how it develops.

Buddi - personal GPS tracking

I was at last week's Mashup Event on 'Location', and while it was pretty good I think I probably learnt more from the people in the audience than on the panels.

One company that was mentioned by someone sitting next to me was Buddi, a personal GPS tracker that is aimed at people wanting to track kids, elderly relatives, even companies wanting to track lone workers for safety reasons. It seems like a great idea; they also do one for dogs.

Find out more about it here.
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