Make your own pizza, make your own app..

If you could develop your own app, what would you make? Would you make it all about your likes and interests or would you use the technology to introduce the world to the next best thing?

To most people, the thought of creating their own app is impossible; it is something only “techy” and “nerdy” people can produce. The most average Joe can offer is his opinion on what makes it great: ease of use, entertainment, privacy, speed, and beneficial to him. Luckily for the average Joe this is no longer the case! We, as average Joes now have the ability to make any app we want that contain the contents of our desires and it is all possible with the help of companies like Bizness Apps and iSites. These providers do require a fee for their services, but this is because they do all of the behind the scenes work and even upload the app to itunes or the android marketplace.

The apps can be made for smart phones and tablets, which enables people, brands, small businesses, and basically anyone to create an “app solution” for any need. So the question that is really left is, what kind of app will you make?

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um.. We don’t pretend play outside. We SECONDLIFE.

Yes, that is Dwight.

Second Life is becoming ever popular with its’ ability to allow users to live and interact in a world that is all their own; not familiar with it? Check out this video:

This is a great way for brands and companies to create worlds for their fans to immerse themselves in. It takes advergaming, banner advertisements, and online marketing to a new extreme. Imagine the ability to create a world all about your brand or product and have your consumers flock to it and interact with it; that is exactly what Second Life can do.  Harry Potter, Gossip Girl, and other popular shows can all be found on Second Life.

Second Life shares the following on the benefits of advertising through their site:

  • Measure and optimize your campaigns through our tools to manage inventory and maximize revenue.
  • Easily create, publish and manage inventory listings
  • Set up your own targeted display ad campaigns on multiple web properties
  • Measure and optimize your campaigns across all media platforms
What do you think? Is Second Life worth advertising on?

I want things to be public, but not too public. Does that make sense???

The world of social media allows users to share any piece of information they want with one click, but the biggest problem with that is that once that information is shared, it is shared with anyone online and potentially the entire world. So how much is too much to share? Do people really care or think about the ramifications of the information they are sharing? Will those pictures from last weekend come back to haunt you at work or when your mom sees them? Does it even matter, if everyone else is doing it? These are all questions that lead to the privacy concerns many people have concerning social media; however to most these are just concerns and do not really make a difference in the end.

People share every type of information imaginable online: cell phone numbers, addresses, pictures, up to the minute activity, relationship statuses, personal thoughts, political/religious views, locations, and personal opinions. Is this information really worth sharing to the world? When you look at it bluntly people are really just making stalking extremely easy. It is also easily forgotten that once this information is shared it is no longer the property of users on certain sites. Facebook is a prime example of this as it owns all content and photos posted to the site.

Now this is a great from a marketing standpoint as marketers are able to gain valuable information about consumers they want to target more accurately, but from a personal standpoint- basically it just sucks. I suggest that people use these sites for more conventional reasons: to create a political movement, encourage others to do something, receive promotional offers from brands, or to tell companies/celebrities what they are doing right and wrong. Social media is too great of tool to not utilize correctly- personally or professionally. .

I’ll take QR codes for $200, please.

Mobile marketing is taking the world by storm with the help of smart phones, tablets, and other mobile devices. We have already started the direction this is taking marketing and advertising with banner ads, advergaming, in game branding, and the infancy stages of blue tooth marketing; however there are bugs that still need to be worked out for all of these methods, which means we can except to see only bigger and better things in the near future.

Another new form of marketing that is quickly gaining popularity among marketers and companies who favor mobile marketing, is QR codes. Here is an example of what they look like:

For those unfamiliar with the definition and purpose of a QR code, it is  2D code that is enabled on posters, flyers, and basically any form of print media that allows anyone with a smart phone to scan the code. Once the code is scanned, users are taken to a source of information the supporting company finds relevant. For instance, a clothing company would place QR codes on their ads in a particular magazine and then a loyalist to the brand would scan the QR code and be taken directly to their website or to a landing page about a specific promotion. Here are two great links that provide a more in depth explanation (just click on the pictures of the campfire and QR code):

     QR codes are great for marketing purposes because of their ability to get consumers interacted with a brand. Anyone with a smart phone has the ability to snap a scan real fast then be wisped away to any relevant information a company wants to share. QR can be linked to any piece of information a company wishes: discount offers, news about a promotion, a website, and so forth.

The additional beauty that also comes from QR codes is their sleek design and ability make ads more about the artwork rather than the text. A beautiful shot or painting with an incorporated QR code can make an entire ad, drawing consumers in and gaining attention simply through their sense of curiosity.

Does your company use QR codes? Do you think they will have much success in the future? Have you used QR codes?

To the FUTURE and BEYOND..

Web 1.0 was the infancy stages of the internet: creating websites, figuring out what works, linking webpages to hyperlinks, etc.

Web 2.0 was more advanced, allowing internet users to interact with each other on a digital platform. Things became more stylish, more interesting, and had better content. Most people will agree that it is the advancement in content that defines Web 2.0; things like social media, flashy websites, etc. Here are two videos that explain Web 2.0:

So what does that make and where does that leave Web 3.0? Some people will argue that we are in the transformation stages from Web 2.0 to Web 3.0, while others will argue that Web 2.0 is not completely over. Overall a clear explanation is still needed of what exactly Web 3.0 is suppose to be. Here is a good example from my school lesson this week, it states “Here’s how Web 3.0 works. You may already be seeing this in your daily life – especially if you have a smart phone. Let’s say you want to find a good Chinese restaurant nearby for lunch. You type this into your Web browser. The browser analyzes your recent hits and likes and dislikes on social media sites like Facebook and Yelp. Then, it organizes the search results based on your previous responses. The more you use the Web, the more data is collected about you, and the more specifically the browser can respond to your requests. Some experts believe that Web 3.0 will eventually act like a virtual personal assistant of sorts. It’s still a bit early to tell, but we’re already starting to see inklings of Web 3.0.” From this example, it is easy to see that we are at least beginning to experience the early stages of Web 3.0 and can see what it may look like in the future; however the question that remains is: what will Web 3.0 really be like and what will be it capable of?

It is too early to tell, but dreaming of what Web 3.0 will be capable of leads to a number of other questions and predictions. Will Web 3.0 be mostly mobile? Will it be like a personal assistant? What are the privacy and ethical issues that come from the potential machine to machine communication that will make up Web 3.0? What constraints will advertisers see on their ads and communication efforts? Will internet users be able to stand together to band online advertising, if it gets out of control?

This writer personally believes that Web 3.0 will have a great number of benefits and will have a time life just as long as Web 2.0 if not longer. I believe we are in the transformation stage between 2.0 and 3.0, but have no real knowledge of what 3.0 will be like. With the endless emerging technology and tech nerds trying to develop something better than Google, Facebook, and Twitter, one can really only guess at what the future holds.

From a marketing stand point, marketers have to be jumping for joy over and over again at the new toys and tools they keep getting. Every couple of months there is a new way to reach your target audience in almost real-time, allowing communication efforts to skyrocket. Will Web 3.0 take marketing to a higher level, as well? Definitely. Only question is, is how?

My prediction-stores are going to start implementing computers into their window fronts that can communicate with smart phones via location based services. This will enable companies to send automatic news updates, sales reminders, or incentives straight to a person’s phone causing them to walk into the store, instead of past it.

What’s your prediction?

Hello my Name is:

Most consumers today are under the assumption that if a company does not have a website, they simply do not exist. The task of developing a successful impressive website can seem like a task in a half, though, for small businesses who have yet to join the online world or develop a site that is attractive enough to gain attention. This feeling comes from people’s inability and fear to be creative and their lack of ability to express their business’ message.

E-commerce and the further development of m-commerce proves how important having an effective online presence really is; this is how people are communicating and where consumers are found. If a business wants to grow and promote their brand, they need to have a strong website on their side, so the question that remains is how do you make an effective website? The answer to this is creativity and the ability to keep things simple, while getting your message across clearly. This may sound easy enough, but further questions begin to unravel after more thought is given to the answer. How can I be creative? How do I know if my content makes sense to consumers? How will people find my site? The trick to answering these questions is to stay calm and think then add in good old fashion research. This research needs to be focused on you client, determining what their basic needs, wants and likes are, and looking for accredited advice on design and text content, more specifically how to communicate with consumers online.

Here are a couple of great links for advice on websites, being creative, content, apps and the web, etc. (just click on the cute pictures). They  are worth exploring and are a great place to start research for the design part of the website; the part about your audience is up to you. 🙂

The WHO.

Emerging media would be nothing without the tools behind it. The new gadgets being invented and released are the starting point for people who want to consistently be online or be engulfed in the world of social media. We are all familiar with the launch and success of media tools like smart phones, tablets, e-readers, and personal gaming systems, but have you have really wondered who is using them the most?

According to a report by Nielson Wire, 31% of mobile users own some type of smart phone that is either “app-based” or “web-enabled.” When that percentage was broken down again, Nielson Wire found that minorities were the top percentage of people using smart phones. Take a look a the graph below for the numbers and minorities utilizing smart phone technology the most.

It can be argued that the once large gap that made up the digital divide is closing because of the decrease in pricing of smart phone technology; lower prices give more opportunities for lower-income minority groups to access this technology. The questions that remain, though, are: how soon will the prices lower for tablets and e-readers, giving more minorities access to them? Is it too soon for this to happen, though, since the introduction of these devices was not so long ago; or are we at stopping point, causing prices to stay high, while we wait for the newest media tool to come out?

These tools are too valuable to not share with every class and ethnicity. I guess only time will tell.