"Worldwide mobile telephone subscriptions has reached 3.3 billion -- equivalent to half the global population -- on Thursday, 26 years after the first cellular network was launched.
- 59 countries have mobile penetration of over 100 percent -- where some owners have more than one phone.
- world pop = 6,634,294,193 on Thursday. 2,571,563,279 people were using the most widely used mobile technology, GSM (Global System for Mobile communications)
- 421.4 million people used CDMA at the end September."
[via textually org, orginally Reuters]
Posted a shot of W+K's pitch team, joyously enjoyificating the bounties of D.C., when it got all UGC'ed to hell.
A powerful still from Woody Allen's "Mr Scrappers goes to Washington":
and when noted critic Dominic Miami (or is that Tampa? or...ah heck):
"Maybe I’m way off base but I think it would be cool if they had shotguns and rocket launchers strapped to their backs. LTA needs some grenades and maybe a knife. Maybe Luker could be chewing on a shotgun shell? Also...that building in the background? Whatever it is...it should be on fire."
And lo, Frusciante looked upon this request and said, "it is good":
Army General David Petraeus (yes, that one) and Marine Lt. General Nagl co-authored our military's most recent Counter-Insurgency Field Manual. Insert "marketer" for "counterinsurgent" and see the scary results.
"I-80: Cultural knowledge is essential in waging a successful counterinsurgency...American ideas of what is "normal" or "rational" are not universal. To the contrary, members of other societies often have different notions of rationality, appropriate behaviour, level of religious devotion, and norms concerning gender, thus, what may appear abnormal to an external observer may appear as self-evidently normal to a group member. For this reason, counterinsurgents... should strive to avoid imposing their ideals of normalcy on a foreign cultural problem."
Aren't we just a marriage of relatively consistent internal architectures (hardware)/need-state motivations (pre-installed programming, call it Maslow OS) and widely differing mental/cultural constructs (software packages and plug-ins)? If so, understanding where the similarities and differences break - hacking the code - is key to influencing behaviors for better and for worse.
This particular manual works hard to shine light on this grey area. Blew me away, frankly, to see a manual like this, put out by the military, that defines 'culture', 'social structure' and understandings of the impact of 'storytelling' and 'narrative' on a culture so elegantly - "culture", for instance, is defined as a "web of meaning". I mean c'mon - Wittgenstein loved westerns, but when did he become a leatherneck?
My personal favorite:
3-50 (p.93) "The most important cultural form for counterinsurgents to understand is the narrative. A cultural narrative is a story recounted in the form of a causally linked set of events that explains an event in the group's history and expresses the values, characters, or self-identity of the group. Narratives are the means through which ideologies are expressed and absorbed by members of a society. Narratives may not conform to historical facts, or they may drastically simplify facts to more clearly express basic cultural values...by listening to narratives, counterinsurgents can identify a society's core values. Commanders should pay particular attention to cultural narratives pertaining to outlaws, revolutionary heroes and historical resistance figures. Insurgents may use these narratives to mobilize the population."
To understand a culture, one must understand its narratives. Makes sense, right? If culture is an organism, its narratives are its RNA, transmitting information, splicing togteher the approriate mechanisms to maintain itself against all comers. And understanding that sequencing is necessary to influence it.
Which sometimes get lost in the aplhabet soup of technology - digital, interactive, web 2.0, 3.0, 3G, 4G, wifi, GSM, TD-SCDMA, P2P, SQL, Linux, Social networking, social media...bleeeaaaahhh. 'Superpoke' yourself awake, and tell me a story.
Give my world context. Inspire me. Strike me dumb with awe. Help grab hold of this crazy squirrelly bloody poetry we call life. Search helps you find, and it's beautiful for that: type "dreams" into Google and you'll get 174 million results in 0.10 second. But we have to be vigilant to ensure this global interactive transformation doesn't take away our mysteries. My mysteries are my hopes, dreams, fears and desires...they are why I wake up. Why I get out of bed. Butterflies in your stomach? we LIKE those. If your friend has seen the movie you plan to watch later, how often do you say "I'm seeing it tonight - can you tell me how it ends?"
"One describes a tale best by telling the tale. You see? The way one describes a story, to oneself or to the world, is by telling the story. It is a balancing act and it is a dream. The more accurate the map, the more it resembles the territory, the most accurate map possible would be the territory, and thus would be perfectly accurate and perfectly useless."
- p. 545, American Gods, by Neil Gaiman
Maudlin? Sappy? Maybe. It's late here in D.C., after all.
Tell me a damn story.
Brunton's SolarRoll is available in three sizes and can power a variety of things including laptops, GPS devices, cell phones, video camera, digital cameras... . They even claim that the SolarRoll can charge your car battery as well.
London shoppers will soon be able to leave their cash at home and use their mobile phones to get on the bus and tube, pay for coffee and put big-ticket items on credit. The mobiles will contain the same security as chip and Pin cards, combined with the contactless communication system used in Transport for London's Oyster travel card. The Sunday Observer reports.
"Early next year Barclaycard will run a trial of the technology on the back of its new 'OnePulse' contactless card, which was launched in September. OnePulse cards are combined credit cards and Oyster cards, and also allow small purchases (under £10) to be made without entering a Pin.
About 1,000 retailers in the capital are already equipped with the contactless terminals for OnePulse, so putting the technology into mobile phones will not require them to install yet more expensive kit. Several hundred Barclaycard customers will be issued with compatible phones supplied by Nokia, which has been pushing the technology for several years.
...is potentially huge for handset manufacturers. Nokia, for one, was not a big provider of phones to Verizon Wireless customers - if VzW opens up their platform for ANY CDMA handset, the North American market may have just blown wide open for the Finns.
...and foots well into an emerging "social networking" phenomenon - machine to machine:
'Verizon hopes that electronics manufacturers will create a variety of devices for its open network, such as notebook computers with wireless broadband, personal music devices, digital cameras, electronic book readers and portable gaming systems. Mr. Stratton said he envisions even kitchen appliances being linked to the company's network one day. "It's subject to imagination," he told reporters in a conference call on Monday. "It encourages anyone who wants to get in the game to get in the game."
times, they are a-changing.
Lot of buzz about the Verizon announcement. Google generates 1.9MM results against "Verizon to open cell network". But what does it mean?
Can you use any device on Verizon Wireless? With all the hype, you'd think you could. The reality is, Verizon WIreless runs on CDMA, so you are limited to using devices configured to that spec. But can you run cross-platform apps? No, not yet. So is it "open"? well, put it this way - after they implement open-ality, they'll be...open-er than before. Yep. Open-er.
But c'mon. With the Google initiated spectrum auction stipulation requiring the 700MhZ winner(s) to open their networks to any device, with Apple redefining the relationship of device manufacturers and carriers, Verizon's efforts are embryonic but exciting - and indicative of the direction this space is moving.
But not everyone is on board.
Read Engadget's interview with AT&T's new CEO of Mobility, Ralph de la Vega. Be amazed to learn black is white, up is down, and that open isn't . Ralph, on Google's Android OS, says stirringly "I think it has some attractiveness". "We're still open to looking at that", he continues. Not to parse, but that's a long ways off of "we are looking at it". AT&T just paid quite a bit for Cingular. They justified that value to their finance team and shareholders based on a variety of factors, but more likely than not a big one was customer lifetime values. Opening their platform for easier portability/flexibility doesn't help that model work. So they'll bullshit us about being customer-centric while they desperately try to navigate the pressure to go open. Read Vega and bust me if I'm wrong.
The US mobile market just took two quick jukes - iPhone and Open Source. The crock's been broken. Eggs have been cracked. Let's make the omelette.
Google is apparently experimenting with allowing users to vote up/down their search results, digg-style. By rating the results you get, you determine whether you vote up a result or "bury" it. Adds a sweet human component to Google's automated relevancy algorithms...though at present the service is only for an individual user, don't be surprised if the results of your vote are ultimately used to incrementally inform all search results (on an aggregated basis) - or if the results somehow get used to better target ads to you through the Google Network.
A nice post by PDX's own Marshall Kirkpatrick over at Read/Write Web on "hyped new platforms", compares the spate of recent announcements re: Social Networking platforms. It's worth a read. Below is a nice little chart he built:
According to Stephen Shankland at news.com, your camera may be able to recognize you and your friends - and what they are really thinking.
With 'autotagging' and facial recogniotion software, your camera will be able to embed useful, searchable data that helps you pinpoint friends.
Eric Zarakov, vice president of marketing for Fotonation, maker of one set of facial recognition tech, said in an interview "A camera could be "trained" to recognize just those particular people." According to Shankland:
"Face recognition is an area of active research and some commercialization. Start-up Riya is working on technology to search through online photo albums to try to identify individuals. Polar Rose is trying to improve recognition by generating 3D models of faces. And 3VR wants to apply face recognition to what's become a highly lucrative market, security.
Marian Stewart Bartlett showed results of her research into expression detection...when comparing a video of a man's face as he experienced actual pain from immersing his hand in cold water to another in which he faked the pain, people had about an even chance guessing which showed the authentic pain. The computer, though, had 72 percent accuracy, she said...given that Sony already has introduced a camera with smile detection, it's not hard to imagine a day when your photos could also some day be tagged "delighted" or "disgusted," too."
You smiled next to me in the picture...but you didn't mean it...
This gets really interesting because combine this with social networking tools, Facebook's new social media targeting, Google's Neven Vision, ad sense and DoubleClick's DART...
I can target you not just based on geography, daypart, zip, age, etc. - I can algorithmically determine your mental state by the images your friends capture..."hey debbie downer, how bout some prozac?"
Many have complained about the lowest common denominator of UGC/CGC/DIY/WTF online content creation. My standard line is "just because you can ride a bike doesn't make you greg lemond". But lately I've been thinking about this writer's strike thingy.
If this standoff is about getting compensated for use of writer's products down all these new pipelines where there are no restrictions, wouldn't now be a great time for all that top level writing talent with time ont heir hands to explore these new mediums themselves, get a measure of the possibility, the tools and the landscape, test out a few new business models of there own?
Heck - Farrell's got "funny or die", black20 is cranking, and didn't 'quarterlife' just get picked up?
Potato Chips, Slinky's, Sticky notes, Penicillin, and Crazy glue were mistakes. The first risen bread was caused by a sleeping egyptian slave in 2600 BC. While everyone's eye is on the strike, couldn't some of the most creative minds in the world invent something unexpected?
Lot of talking during the Social Media Mashup on the "death of advertising", on agencies and clients that "don't get it". Sweeeeeeeet.
For starters, could we please stop calling people "Consumers"? It's inhuman. distancing. And no-one can afford to be distanced anymore.
Second, what the hell do we mean when we say "advertising"? Most folks think of "advertising" as the bulk of interruptive, irritating, mediocre and/or forgettable brand messages served like a tepid gruel through your eyeballs and ears. And we aren't helping folks with '360 marketing'...when you get an average of between 3-5,000 brand impressions daily, finding another way to pelt people during their "me" time ain't the best idea. it's like seeing someone drowning and tossing them a cinder block when they finally come up for air. Unwise.
But good advertising, great advertising, isn't crap. It's persuasion. And it's pervasive. It's...ah..."pervuasive". As a species we advertise all the time. For jobs, sex, attention. The clothes you wear, the friends you hang with, the ring(s) on your finger, the tats and the hairstyle - everything is a chosen element of brand 'you'. Yep, 'you', the original, one-to-many, mobile, social media unit
All the hand wringing about mobile advertising, e.g., "is it intrusive? will people accept ads in their mobile experiences? blah blah blah blah", misses the point. Those questions start from the assumption that mobile 'advertising' will be just like advertising units we already know, but in your pocket. And if it is, let me tell you, it WILL SUCK. SUCK. SUCK. BIG time.
Mobile is a new socio/cultural/technical phenomenon. Why the hell does anyone assume display ads (read: banners) are the right way to go to convey a message in a medium we don't understand yet? Couple reasons - (a) existing structures don't scale well to new processes - they are scaled to handle old ones; (b)too often old school ad revenue is used to justify new tech startups to VC's because we have great models using old numbers to generate profit forecasts and valuations. And "if we can just get a percentage of current traditional ad spend", we'll all be richer than Midas, right? But how do you generate revenue models for a disruptive technology, when by definition, it changes the rules of the game?
Why do we use CPM's online? CPM's are a MAGAZINE METRIC. Mommy, please make the badman stop.
We saw a bunch of presentations at the Mashup. You know what created the emotional connection? The Optimus Whale cameraphone spot, and 'a few good advertising men'. Ads. Made by agencies. That aren't dead. Because emotional connection matters. TV doesn't solve everything, but a great piece of video/film can be a solid way to deliver an emotionally connecting/provocative brand experience. In the meantime, we are all still working our butts off to create the genre-defining interactive heart stoppers.
The real challenge we have is not to create "ads" in "social media", but to create real value for the people who interact with our brands regardless of medium.
We don't reflect culture - we create it. Henry Ford once said: "if I asked people what they wanted, they would have asked for a faster horse".
Fail Forward Harder.
Here we started to explore mobility. Broadly, the landscape is summarized in three buckets by the moderator:
3G optimus commercial (claims to be a true story) and here as we sound the death knell of mass media, isn't it a little ironic that the thing that brings a tear to your eye is a piece of film - again. The panelists begin:
- "let's take a Creative Commons approach"...150K employees between 18-24, most part time, 45% in college. Stores are open most of the day and located in communities. Most have a T line going into the stores. Starbuck's is rolling out store level caches, can push almost anything over wifi, and are looking to push music and experiences. Customers fall into two primary buckets: 'grab and go' in the am, and afternoon's 'longer stay'.
- How do you help Starbuck's generate value without spending money? "What do you do with all that?"
- Audience response: Starbuck's needs consumer advocacy/loyalty - two modes in store - pre-POS then nothing. you wait for drink to be made, and nothing is happening...Russell jumps in "loves engagement with barristas". Can he do anything with his mobile as he approaches? can he text in an order? (would put mobile order and payment at the top of the list of interactive priorities). Stan of P+G - "could it be an environment of learning?" Kevin - "are you capturing presence from all the log-ins via WiFi?" Chris - "no we are not." Starbuck's challenges: they focus on quality of coffee and store locations, but don't know anything about you...our store partners do, but they turn over. and they have no alumni program. Can a Starbuck's truly be local?
CB - reality is coffee business is under intense pressure and competition - it created the category, but faces competition from top and bottom - DD and MCD from the bottom, independent shops making wifi free and quality from the top...its about increasing the starbuck's experience...the only technologist a Starbuck's - lots of IT, not much technology...12% of Starbuck's transactions are made using Starbuck's cards
Deb Schultz - "I want you to be my partner, not my pusher".
Nirvana or hell. [this blurry picture for Kevin]
David tokheim (6 apart - not pictured), matt ackley (ebay), rachel masters (ning), keith robbins (slide), brian dennehy (intuit)
Quotes/observations: - Not a fan of pre-testing creative - put it out and let darwin decide (brian)
- i don't agree 'marketers don't get it' - marketers are like little lizards that will send dollars wherever they get ROI (brian) - 'there's no easy button on social media' (david) - tiffany vs. Ebay tipped off today - what happens when your brand 'vgift' becomes the virtual equivalent of a burning bag of poop (pepsi)
Softball Q.1 - Where does social media fit in the mix? - building from scratch doesn't work - but wait it does (bodog) - if it works (or in this case, provides perceived value)
- 2 uses - awareness/utility, ignition. Fail faster.