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Showing posts from October, 2010

Steri Stumpie hops on the engagement bandwagon...

I'm not sure how to feel about brands jumping into the social space and actively seeking out customer conversations. There's so much good that can come from it, so much a company can learn from its customers, so much fun that can be had... But the realist in me knows that the sooner we learn to measure all this "good stuff" and link it back to practical business benefit, the better. Because some mid level Exec in Company X isn't going to look at "fun", he's going to see spend and cut it.

My other caveat, is that diving into conversations based on keyword scanning can appear amazing insightful or amazingly intrusive and brands need to get their kicks now, because when there are 100 fun brands in South Africa doing keyword scanning and diving into conversations on 100 broad product lines. Well, either they're going to run out of product or people like me are going to get swamped in free stuff.

That aside (I like to tone any social media commentary…

Restaurants, push notifications and Foursquare

Had a slightly odd experience the other day. Woke up at baby time (5:45am) and saw a push notification come through on Foursquare from a coffee shop / deli across the road next to Montecasino (Deli Su Casa). It said "We're open!". Ordinarily, that's where I hop across to the profile and turn PINGS OFF!

But this one got me thinking.

Let's pretend Deli Su Casa was my local joint (hell, I live within spitting distance). I wouldn't actually mind that little push notification. It felt kinda personal.

Let's riff off the idea for a moment. Imagine other messages:

Morning Deli Su Casa patrons, first cup on us for the first 5 check ins.
Hello! Sleep well? Donuts fresh out the over, R10 for the Foursquare community.
Morning! All hail our current mayor, Mayor X. Got a breakfast special today for the family, R35 pp

I'd leave those push notifications (Foursquare calls them "pings") on.

It got a bit weird later when "my" coffee shop checked into Vi…

FutureWorld go freemium...

Update -- FutureWorld seem to be having some problems. Don't let that dissuade you. Bugs are bastards. Content is king at the end of the day.

For any self-professed or budding strategic thinkers out there, there's a big piece of news you may have missed.

Heard of FutureWorld? They're a collection of "futurists" (probably don't like to be called that, so go with "clever thinkers"). The whole thing started many years ago off the back of Wolfgang Grulke's book "10 Lessons from the Future" (which makes a hell of a corporate presentation, chat to me). The group does a bunch of premium corporate consulting, but more importantly, publishes a fascinating series of news articles, written from the future. These articles, aptly named MindBullets have now gone open (think of the keynotes and consulting as the "mium" part of the "free"), complete with discussion forums and all the source data behind the thinking.


It's a powe…

Office for Mac 2011 is here!

I am so excited about this, because Office for Mac 2008 was so unbelievable, achingly bad - and 2011 version shows so much promise - that I'm just dumping the press release here. Can't wait to try it!

Johannesburg, South Africa – 15 October 2010 – Microsoft has launched its Office for Mac 2011 desktop suite in South Africa, with a strong focus on collaboration and social networking tools that it says will allow users to work with colleagues and friends anywhere, anytime, and across platforms. After more than two years of hard work, Mac users will be happy to hear that Office for Mac 2011, the latest version of the productivity suite, will be in stores in 100 countries including South Africa by the end of October 2010.

The new version of Mac Office - the first major revision for the suite since 2008 - also includes Outlook as its e-mail client for the first time, replacing Entourage.

Over 1 billion PCs and Macs run Microsoft Office and Office for Mac - making the Office franchis…

A regular consumer's experience of the Nokia Ovi Music Store...

Nokia was kind enough to send me some rad bluetooth headphones, and more importantly, a R200 gift voucher for the Nokia Ovi Store (the artist formerly known as The Nokia Music Store). I did a quick interview with Jake Larsen when the store launched a couple of years ago, so I was keen to take a look at how the store had matured. This really is our only local digital music store choice with full device integration. Yeah, you can use a US street address to get an iTunes account, but that's too much of a las.

I gave the voucher to my wife, a perfect middle of the road digital citizen. Thought it would give a more balanced view. She's easily frustrated, won't "hack it" to fix bugs and is easily sold if she can see cool value. I think that's a representative view. Here we go, the intimate interview, for your reading pleasure...


Andy: Hello hon!
Chantal: Hey sweetie!

Andy: So, with your funky R200 gift voucher (you owe me btw!) - how did you go about getting connected…

Google Adwords. MTN vs Vodacom and the rules...

Mmmm. Now I know that Google Adwords recently changed their rules to allow keyword bidding on competitor brands. Turning the big money dial in the cloud up a notch I reckon... But here's an ad I spotted while browsing around the web. It was on a 3rd party site, so through Google's Display Network.


Now that kind of behaviour results in these kind of ads. And I'm not sure this is at all good for the industry. MTN data bundles is the proposition, Vodacom.co.za is the call to action site. With Vodacom bidding on a competitor brand name, they didn't even have the respect to get the capitalisation right.

Any Adwords guru's want to comment on this?