The internet of things

There is lots of talk about the internet of things but I get the feeling that a lot of people don’t get the simplicity of what it means so I thought I would write a post about it to try and explain it in simple terms. Hopefully I can answer some questions as well.

2 weeks ago Google announced the purchase of a company called Nest for a sum of $3.2Billion. If you read the headline only in a story like this you would be worried that this is another bubble and that a company you’ve never heard of couldn’t be worth that kind of cash. But what you might not know is that despite the pure simplicity of their products – a smoke alarm & a thermostat that in fact the simplicity of their products and who is behind them is what has generated the value.

The Products are genius, one saves your life and protects your home better and the other saves you money and makes you more comfortable, both without you having to do anything. Simplicity!

Check out the videos below.

Nest Thermostat

Nest Protect

Not only are the really obviously beneficial, the guy behind best designed the first iPod and the first iPhone for Apple and recently at the websummit.Net he said that when asked the question why a smoke alarm and a thermostat? What’s sexy about that? You must be mad, he laughs because that’s what people said to him with the first iPod and then again when Nokia owned the phone world and Apple launched the iPhone.

Tony Faddel and Matt Rogers, see things before we see them.

So that’s all well and good but what else is going to happen?

www.belkin.com have designed wifi enabled light switches and wifi enabled plugs that are controlled by an app on your phone.

There is a sunbeam casserole dish which is wifi controlled.

Linksys have mobile phone controlled security cameras from €59 (I’ve had them for 3 years)

Apple TV, ChromeCast, Xbox, all of these things are the internet of things.

2014 is going to be special because we are now in a position to embrace these sorts of technologies like never before with mobile technology rushing ahead and with 4G on its way, it’s the perfect time for a bit of hype.

Imagine turning the heating and the lights on or starting the over on route home or based on where you are travelling to and in what direction your going? Imagine your kettle boiling as soon as a motion sensor in your room sees you’ve sat up in the bed?

Life is about to get more organised and time will be handed back to us that we thought we would never see again.

So everything will become connected.

Blackberry will be an amazing App

It’s like a an incoming recession, the lights are off but the party is still going. Blackberry are going to give it one more roll of the dice.

It’s time to call an app an app. Blackberry’s USP is it’s trust around email, which it could easily deliver as an app across all platforms and devices and absolutely nail the Business users market.

What it can’t do is innovate beyond its existing consumer competitors with the money it has left.

It’s an App. It will be a damn good app and incredibly appealing to the hundreds of thousands of businesses around the world that had blackberry at the core of their IT security policies when they were drawn up.

Web usage on blackberry is less than 1% from what I can tell meaning that like me, any remaining users of the dreaded phone also use another phone at the same time. Crazy to think that in 2013 we are carrying around 2 devices that do the same thing all because of email security.

So please blackberry – give it up and make a killer app. Don’t waste your last hand on trying to reinvent something your not very good at.

2014 – What’s next in Digital

The biggest things for Digital Marketing in 2014 are:

1. Twitter ReMarketing
2. The rise of Google Plus
3. Mobile a traffic will hit 40%+
4. Payment simplification – stripe etc
5. Attribution of engaging Users
6. The death of at least one global deals site
7. Privacy
8. Brand Value will become much much more important online
9. Digital ad spend will hit
10. Production values will drop but spend will increase leading to more content

 

The Real Value of Twitter

If you don’t already know, Twitter IPO’d this week and so far it looks pretty good for them with their share price doubling after day 1.

What you may also know is that twitter have been losing money, and quite a lot of it, over the last few years. A few months ago, before they announced their intention to IPO, I was concerned for them as a business. Lots of businesses make money from something that doesn’t seem obvious. Online retailers can compete with others at non profit making prices and make money from financing the purchase of their products.

Other companies look at the life time value of their customers and lose money or at least don’t make money for the first few orders or even years, knowing that they will make money in the future.

But twitter, have very few customers and those they have can only make money from sponsored tweets and promoted accounts. It is tricky to make money from this sort of activity, and most companies try to use it as a Direct Response channel which is simply isn’t, unless your giving something away or your willing to lose money.

So how will they make money?

The answer is genius if you think about it.

TV.

Twitter have closed several massive deals with Ad and media houses over the last few months. But why?

It might not be totally obvious at first but Twitter are potentially after uncovering what is the holy grail in advertising, well at least some of it anyway.

So what am I talking about?

For years advertising agencies have been selling ads on the back of what can only be described as assumed data and value attributed to it. Unless your spending mega bucks it’s nearly impossible to see the value of advertising, you need to research it before and after and see how sales go and if they go up, the ad campaign was a success, if they go down, it was because of something else.

Digital ads, avoid that in their purest form. They can be tracked, attributed and run through algorithms to assign clicks to sales, well in theory at least. It’s not that easy and most activity is difficult to link back, but I think I could write a book about that.

So back to the point – Imagine you could link TV with Digital?

Well – twitter will allow you to do this through hashtags amongst other things.
If you consider for a moment the idea of second screen or multiscreening, twitter owns it at the moment. If you are watching a show you are engaged with, and your on another device, your probably tweeting about it.

Imagine that’s international rugby match sponsored by Guinness. Well now that advertiser know your saw their branding and their ads between the the brakes.

So in its simplest form, they can deliver sponsored tweets or promoted their account to try to get you to follow them.

But what their missing is ReMarketing. My guess is that’s the big kicker for them and I would guess that when they announce it, you will see their share price spike a lot! Imagine could ReMarket to people who watched your TV ad and only those people ? That’s gold dust in advertising, something Mad Men with all the drugs, booze and ladies, simply couldn’t imagine the possibilities of how it could change the game completely.

Watch this space, Twitter has chosen its path and is about to become a serious player in the ad game.

Watch Google Plus and Facebook use Lean methodologies to try and catch up!

In fairness to google, they have the best shot at it.

IPV6 is now live

So the Internet ran out of addresses a few months ago so IPV6 went live to add trillions more numbers to the system to allow more websites into the system.

To try and explain. Every website has a unique number identifying it’s location on the net. Without these numbers there is no trust, no location, no traceability and so on.

The numbers are called. iP addresses. Each website can be traced to an IP.

IPV6 basically means that we have more numbers because we have more sites and devices on the web .

The Truth about SEO is…

The Truth about SEO is that it is not a black art or a magic science.

It’s about hard work, basic logic and thinking about the user. If you make it more complicated than that, you will end up making a mess of it.

In recent months we were steering away from this concept due to the fact that competitors of some of our clients were using underhand techniques to generate better search results. Did they work for them? Yes they did, but with recent penguin and panda updates we have seen work we did 2 years ago begin to be rewarded now.

It’s good to see Google do eventually catch up on those who seem to try and cheat the system.

 

Top 3 pieces of SEO advice

Don’t try and copy what someone else is doing – Stay true to your own content, style

Page Speed Page Speed Page Speed – That is what google want to see.

Keep the User in your mind. If the site works for the user, you are half way there.

 

If you are unsure as to where to start why not get in touch. We love talking SEO and we would be happy to point you in the right direction, give you any advice you need or tell you who you should be talking to depending on the project you are about to undertake.

 

Penguin 1.1

Google have taken another step towards search quality with their recent update of Penguin – an algorithm that will tackle webspam, or in their own words, “sites that we believe are violating Google’s quality guidelines.”

The goal is to ensure that the most accurate results appear at the top of the search for the user. The algorithm will target “black hat” SEO techniques, techniques that many are currently spending a lot of time and money on in order to cheat Google’s systems to force their client’s page to the top of Google’s search results.

These techniques include keyword stuffing, paid backlink schemes, deliberate content duplication and cloaking. If websites with these techniques manage to make it to the top of a Google search, users will not find the relevant information they are seeking, thus lowering the quality of searches.

This could give way to Bing or Yahoo to provide a higher quality search, leaving Google to simply lose business.

Any site picked up by the Penguin algorithm will incur a ranking penalty. The problem for webmasters is that genuine sites could be penalised due to internal linking resembling spam.

Google suggests that your site linking should be logical and functional and not to stuff an area with SEO links that link to similar.

  • Keep your pages different and don’t duplicate content to capitalise on key phrases
  • Do not carry site wide links that are not relevant to your site.
  • Avoid using services that send submit your site to dozens of directories. Submit your site to relevant areas.

 

Instagram’s end is nigh

What a rollercoaster ride it’s been for Instragram over the last few weeks. It’s a big pity but unfortunately I think the end is nigh. Facebook have just released a new “Instramesque” App. Some people tend to think that this is better than Instragram, but to be honest, from a personal point of view, I hope we get to keep Instragram.

Why? Because I use it in a more personal way. I share personal photos with people who I know. I don’t share all my images through Facebook and nor will I want too.

It’s what I log into more than any other platform at the moment, as I like to tune out for 5 minutes every day and get an insight into what my close personal friends around the world are up to.

Will Facebook just drag it in, chop it up and integrate it like a status feature? The honest answer is probably.

It’s amazing really why they bought it in the first place and why they paid so much for it. I think there is a lot more substance to the whys that have more to do with valuations of Facebook rather than Mr Z ever thinking it was really worth so much.

Fingers crossed it stays as it is – simplicity is perfection.

“Let’s talk iPhone” event: 4th October

With all the rummors about iPhone launching the 5th Gen version of the touch screen device a lot of people are wondering what can they possibly add to this one that will make it worth spending more money upgrading from one of the earlier versions. Truth is no one knows yet, other than the designers and developers and probably a handful of testers, execs, marketing people and so on. Actually the list of people who do know is quite big. But with their careers on the line if something were to be leaked before schedule its safe to say they will be on edge till the release.

Luckily Apple has announced a media event set for today the 4th of October 2011, a day like may before, the event has even been given a slogan Lets talk iPhone. I have a feeling it might be about the new iPhone.

What follows is a list of the potential new features that most likely will be apart of the new iPhone 5.

New Features:

  • New Design
    • Most likely the new design will increase the size of the viewable screen while slimming the unusable edge area of the phone. Also rummors have it that because of the gestures control upgrade the home button might become a thing of the past. This could free up more room for the larger screen.
  • More Power
    • Hopefully they will be adding the A5 processor that runs the iPad 2 or if were lucky some kind of new advanced super processor that will never need upgrading.
  • iOS 5
    • iOS 5 is the new operating system deveoped by apple for the iPad and iPhone
    • Offers notifications pushed to your devices, all located in a single notifications center
    • iMessage will allow users to text any other user on an iOS 5 device, Free.
    • Newsstand is basically a apple book store for your news and magizines subscriptions.
    • Reminders have a new look and a lot of new features.
    • Complete twitter integration, you can tweet from all native apps within the device.
    • PC Free – now when you buy an iPhone or iPad you dont need a PC or mac to activate it. All updates and sync will be done using wi-fi or 3G. (I like this)
    • more info available here: http://www.apple.com/ios/ios5/features.html
  • iCloud
    • This in my opinion is the greatest leap forward for mobile technology. Mobile technology was designed to allow users to stay connected and work from anywhere at anytime. iCloud offers users exactly that with out the effort of saving files to USB or Emailing docuements. In the words of Apple   Its the effortless way to access just about everything on all your devices. iCloud stores your content so its always accessible from your iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Mac, or PC.* It gives you instant access to your music, apps, latest photos, and more. And it keeps your email, contacts, and calendars up to date across all your devices. No syncing required. No management required.
    • More info available here: http://www.apple.com/icloud

Upgraded Features:

  • New Camera
    • An 8 MP camera with dual flash on the rear means higher resolution pictures, greater quality and most notably, greater quality in low-light pictures where the red-eye occurs
  • Voice Recognition
    • Apple recently acquired a voiced-based virtual assistant platform that integrates a better voice recognition system than previously available. Never really used the voice recognition so dont have much to say about that.
  • Gesture Controls
    • With iOS 5 the gesture controls have been upgraded for accessibility and easy of use. Hopefully there will be a few interesting changes.

So some nice possibilities there but we wont know for sure until later today. Keep an eye out here as I update the situation as news is released.

Page 1 of 512345