Customer 2.0 : I own my privacy

Have you seen rapleaf ?
or upscoop
oh and there’s quechup as well – which has some of plaxo’s worst habits (which plaxo quickly shed),

It’s Spam 2.0 – the start of the social spam revolution.

I’ve seen conversations on 2 separate professional networks that are apalled by them & the loss of privacy that’s implicit – for example, I now know what’s on one of my client’s Amazon Wish Lists. Which I guess is OK if you actually know somebody… but not OK if you’ve scraped an email address & set out to learn anything you can about a person for who-knows-what purpose.

The only defence is to use separate public & personal email addresses – and even that would be defeated by viral tools in these services’ signup processes.

Oh, and Facebook just announced that it’s opening public profiles to search engines – so expect an outrage in 5-6 weeks time. And then folk will adjust and go back to their lives, on & offline.

But the cumulative effect will be for the ‘signal to noise’ ratio to drop – the proportion of genuine messages will reduce, amongst an increase of social spam.

All these rape our privacy.

Expect to see more folk using closed communities (like Phuser ), and the ‘private’ options on Facebook et al. Bit by bit we’ll learn to take control of our own privacy, and take responsibility for our privacy.

That’s the service that Rapleaf offer: to protect & control your privacy. I’m in two minds as to whether they’ll profit from exposing the problem (which they didn’t create…) Or if they’ll be a victim of their own success at exposing a genuine social problem.

Mashups crossing the chasm

BEA’s pan-european business survey includes this news (as reported by Silicon):
The survey also found that the demand for mashups,
where a website or application that combines content from more than one
source into an integrated experience, was set to treble from its
current level of 6% of organisations to 18% within 18 months.”

Have you got an adoption curve to hand? Then we’ll begin!
At 6%, mashups are playful fun for early innovators: at 18%, they’re heading rapidly for the mainstream, in 2009.

Trouble is, at the same time elsewhere in Silicon today, they’re reporting on IT skills shortages – with retail organisations and banks unable to fill 40%-50% of vacancies… Now, maybe the skilled workforce doesn’t exist in the right parts of the country. Or maybe companies aren’t paying enough – in spite of IT’s year on year pay inflation. Genuinely useful online features save business money by reducing cost while making it easier to perform a task: that’s just the sort of high-bang-for-the-buck customer content that mashups provide. Perhaps some of those cost-efficiency gains need to be diverted back to their source – IT teams’ pay packets?

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New York Times to halt online subscriptions?

“(Reuters) – The New York Times Co. plans to stop charging Internet users for access to its columnists and Op-Ed pieces on a section of its Web site known as TimesSelect, The New York Post reported on Tuesday.”

An interesting development. The New York Times has been at the leading edge of developing its web content – as you might well expect of one of the world’s great newspapers. It has in the past been reported as being among the first papers to profit from its online edition. Presumably now the online readership has grown – and the advertising rate card costs have risen – to the point where the additional free readership & ad revenue will more than compensate for lost subscription revenues.

And of course it’s a very strong competitive move.

Collaboration, customer, community

TomTom GO 520 satellite navigation toy allows customers to update maps while driving, correcting their device’s information with what’s actually on the road. And then, of course to upload that update to a community, in exchange for corrections from other users.

Potentially this lifts the huge burden of updates from mapmakers – when TomTom and other satellite navigation manufacturers achieve a critical mass of customers. Service providers’ role changes to ‘verification’ rather than sourcing the update information, which is always a delayed process. Presumably, over time, an agreed verification standard will establish how often a map error needs to be reported before it’s considered verified.And the next step is to have this information reported back live from the vehicle, rather than delayed, from the owner’s office. That would allow for routing around roadworks that might cause delay for a few hours.

/ edit

Yesterday in Berlin TomTom announced their updated range all of which include Map Share. The range includes TomTom GO 920T and a 3d generation TomTom One

Advertising’s target audience is digital and fragmented

A cracking – but no surprises – article in the FT: TV ad income is down, but within the figures, TV companies’ income is shifting to digital channels. Their audience is fragmenting.

In 2010 internet advertising will overtake TV; only press advertising will be larger:

“Advertising spending on the internet, which was 14.2 per cent of the
total last year, is forecast to be 26.9 per cent in 2012, overtaking
television as the second largest platform for advertisers in 2010.

“Press advertising is estimated to fall from its 46 per cent share to just over 38.3 per cent in six years.”

Which will give us *very* interesting times: we have hundreds of years culture in press advertising; 50+ years of commercial tv expertise. And a decade of online ad exposure, which has been a fairground ride, with folk clinging to the handrail to keep up with the pace of technical innovation and explosions in site traffic.

How much consensus is there, right now, on what makes a good online ad campaign? Site views?  Registrations? Viral infection rates? Awareness? Sales?
Put any three experts in a room & you’ll get 4 views.

Now, it was always the same in tv & press – but built on rather more firm foundations. Which means that the online industry had better get some consensus on what to measure, and what to return on investment to expect, pretty quickly.
In three years or less.

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future of eMail

It’s good to see mozilla pushing their Thunderbird mail client forwards over the horizon.
I’ve used Thunderbird on & off for several years – at the moment it’s ‘on’, just.

There’s not too many problems with Thunderbird – most of the issues are with email, not any specific mail programme. I’d prefer if it collaborated more with other services – by which I mean with open standards, so that I can plug any service into Thunderbird. And some more speed would be good when syncing IMAP accounts… as would much tighter integration with browsers (not just Firefox), so that the leap from email to other media content (web page, podcast, video, IPTV programme and so forth) was as small as possible. That speed issue alone makes it tough to see how Thunderbird in its present state could get close to delivering mobileemail services.

As a marketer, the easier that a programme is to use, the more I like it: if folk receiving email find it easier to get to engaging content, then that’s good for online marketers.

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alt. Microsoft Office

this post by made me think about my own experiences with alternatives to Microsoft Office (Office for Mac, in my case)… I used to use writely – now the word processing tool at Google Docs – and found it fantastic for instant collaboration, particularly amongst folks who had never collaborated on a document as a virtual team.

I recently tried the spreadsheet in Google’s docs – & it’s just too slow on my 2mb broadband connection, even for the simple stuff I try to get done on Excel. If I can think faster than a computer runs or software renders my typing, then something’s way wrong!

I’ve been using NeoOffice for a few months on my desktop – and it works very nicely – I’m not missing MSOffice. There’s an early look at NeoOffice 2.2 for download That said, my next book Customer 2.0 is coming along nicely, in Word: I’ve written books & dissertations in Word before, and feel more comfortable handling a (very) long document in Word.

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miskeying Google uk…

By accident, I added an ‘oo’ to get to , then for fun missed off the g, and found myself – not on – but on a Sky TV signup page

Full marks to the fella at Sky who thought of that one, and got around to putting it in place.
And to the web management team, who saw the point in doing so.


and in a more serious vein,  Blackle serves up Google in Black – which apparently saves hills of power normally needed to deliver Google in white.

It’s harder to read white text on black, but not that hard!  Since the idea of Google would be that you scan the results & move on, it’s not as intense as reading whole sentences – where comprehension would suffer.

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Customer research

For as long as it has mattered, Surveymonkey has been the benchmark web survey tool. Others, such as SurveyShack (which has excellent business research tools, including staff appraisals) and Zoomerang, work well for users, deliver good results, and have sustainable businesses.

The press for surveygizmo suggests that there might be a new benchmark challenger on the block.

And we’ll see more services like this: customer friendly sites that encourage feedback. Easy for the marketing/management team to setup & extract information from. And easy for customers to give feedback when they’ve something to say, rather than when the company chooses to ask.