October 2007

BBC & TheCloud’s free wifi deal

This is massive.

It’s a breakthrough: free wifi & useful, entertaining content… I wonder if the BBC’s streaming tv will be included?

“The BBC has signed a deal with wireless network operator The Cloud to offer its customers online services over WiFi free of charge.

Customers with any WiFi enabled device will be able to surf the BBC’s web site in all 7,500 of The Cloud’s hotspots without paying a log-in or subscription fee.”
from VNUNet

Sadly news coverage of this innovative deal will get lost in coverage of the BBC’s budget & staffing plans. But I believe that it’s this kind of deal that defines public service broadcasting in a digital, networked society.

Online shopping update

Two pieces of retail research news today: no mention of social networks, just shops selling goods to customers.

The Times has:

Online sales of groceries are predicted to double over next five years  Sarah Butler

“The amount of groceries sold over the internet is expected to double in the next five years, according to new research that suggests that one in ten shoppers will no longer visit a supermarket by 2012.

“IGD, the grocery market research organisation, predicts that sales of groceries online will reach £5 billion in five years’ time, although this will still be a small fraction of the £156 billion expected value of the total grocery market. At present only 2 per cent of groceries are sold online and that would rise to just over 3 per cent by 2012, according to the IGD’s figures.

“Grocery retailers said that they believed IGD’s predictions were conservative and that online grocery sales, which are increasing by about 30 per cent a year, could double within the next three years.  […]

“Tesco, by far the biggest online grocer in the UK, sells £1.23 billion of groceries online – about 3½ times the level achieved five years ago. Last year its online grocery sales rose by about 30 per cent.
Those sales make up nearly 5 per cent of Tesco’s UK business”

while the FT has:

Affluent flock to online stores  By Tom Braithwaite

“London’s affluent commuter belt boasts the UK’s largest number of home shopping devotees as cash-rich, time-poor consumers flock to the internet. Two-thirds of home shopping hotspots are now in the home counties, while the north and Scotland lag behind, on a list compiled by Experian.

“The data research company found Sunningdale in Berkshire had vaulted to the top of this year’s list, overtaking Barnes in south-west London, with an average spend of £137 a head in the 12 months to June. Two-thirds of the top 100 towns were within commuting distance of London, while 77 per cent were in the south.

“Overall home shopping spend increased by 15 per cent in 2006-07 as more retailers launched transactional websites, broadband penetration increased and consumers became more web savvy.”

social networking & business roundup article

A nice piece by David Bowen that captures ‘where we’re up to’ on social networking

…and includes this gem
“The price is that it is important to give away really valuable
information, because only this will be picked up. “The first thing you
have to do is relinquish control,””

Nailed it.
There’s no point in sharing information that everybody knows.
If you’re an expert, share stuff that only you know, that everybody else (who is interested) will find useful.

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the Radiohead download

um, for all the hype, aren’t Radiohead just doing with inrainbows what music folk on myspace do?
They’re a band that’s out of contract, and they’re offering their work for whatever price the buyer chooses – even if that’s £0.00?

OK, as a known group they get more hype & momentum behind their work, but it’s the same principle.

And if the music is good, they’ll sell a lot: if it isn’t, they won’t.

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BT networks home wifi

The FT reports that “BT Group
is attempting to create the world’s largest wi-fi network by persuading
millions of UK customers to turn their home wireless “hubs” into public

What a smart idea – and it goes back to the idea that networked nodes’ power & value grows with the number of nodes on the network. If they can pull this off, BT’s share price will rocket (if the market understands what they’ve achieved).

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brands, internet, advertising, budgets

The FT reports the IAB’s study that shows car manufacturers advertising online more often, encouraged by the higher share of 50+ and female users.

Financial services are the next largest spenders: search advertising takes up the lions’ share of spend, with paid search accounting for much of that, and growing at 40% year on year, with online advertising being worth 14.7% of all UK ad spend.

Meanwhile BT Broadband picks different bones out of the same IAB report, highlighting how brands can be built more effectively online

They’re quite right to pick up on how Innocent Drinks deliver thier brand online. It’s beautiful, accessible, real. In an online world where business’ reputations are judged by personal and social network’s experience of a company, it’s important to keep the brand on a human scale.

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