links for 2010-05-19

  • Audio podcast. Intriguing energy-related resource, map-based:

    "Andre Parris is the global manager for energy and commodity trading at Bloomberg, the financial news publishing conglomerate. Parris is responsible for developing the BMAP application, a business and location intelligence dashboard that displays a plethora of location-based information related to energy commodities. In this interview with Directions Media's editor in chief, Joe Francica, Parris explains how the application was developed and the types of analyses that can be performed by commodity traders to get the latest, real-time information about various factors that might impact commodity prices from around the world."

  • Jive recently acquired Filtrbox. It's the kind of service that can help you monitor social media conversations and extract metrics that related directly to business goals or other actions that you specify. it's not free, but a range of pricing options.
  • Key findings of the MocoSpace Mobile Social Graph:

    • Android phone traffic increased 39.9% in Q1
    • 30% of traditional feature phone users plan to purchase a smartphone in 2010
    • iPhone is 2 times more attractive than Android for potential smartphone buyers
    • Traditional feature phone usage decreased by 22%
    • iPhone/Android sessions are 27.8% longer than feature phone sessions
    • Mobile users log-in almost twice as often as PC users
    • iPhone/Android users are 72% more likely to buy virtual currency than feature phone users

    “Our Mobile Social Graph report demonstrates the rise of Android and iPhone as central social-networking devices,” says Justin Siegel, MocoSpace CEO. “Our data confirms that smartphones encourage longer sessions and also increased purchasing of virtual currency.”

  • This has potential applications beyond gaming.

    “Taking advantage of the passion consumers have for these games (or apps) requires that developers allow them to tap into game play, even when they’re not in a browser,” Ms. McMullen said. “The obvious solution is the mobile phone.

    “Apps are the hot trend of the moment, but only 17 percent of phones are smartphones,” she said. “How do you reach the other 83 percent of cell-phone owning, passionate game players?

    “You can reach everybody through SMS.”

  • Presentation by Beth Kanter.
  • "Gilt and Groupon have built that inefficiency, and it’s serving them beautifully. They won’t be the last Google has made other product and service segments incredibly efficient, and there’s opportunities to re-obfuscate other portions of their index."
  • "Online, good search engine optimization is a priority for many businesses. Except for those that don’t want search engines to find them. And when it comes to e-commerce, there are plenty of companies that are working against Google’s efforts to make online shopping an efficient experience.

    "For companies that trade in deeply discounted merchandise — like Gilt, Groupon and Living Social — avoiding the crawl of search engines is part of the business model. Their discount deals don't last long enough for effective SEO. Furthermore, smart marketers are training consumers to be on the lookout for deals, often outside of search."

  • Discussing the topic of how "information inefficiency" is necessary for anyone to get enough profit from sales to run a business, and how this relates to private sales and group buying. I don't quite understand all this, but it feels important and I'll try to puzzle it out. Might media have a role to play here?
  • tutorial on how to use Google Analytics to do A/B web page testing.
  • "Last week I talked to Kolja Reiss, managing director of Mopay U.S. Mopay has been in this business, so to speak, since 2000, but mobile payments were tiny until 2007, Reiss said. He said the next big thing in mobile payments will be a major reduction in carrier fees. Right now mobile carriers take an exorbitant 40-50 percent portion of transactions. That’s the convenience fee for tacking on a receipt to a customer’s phone bill, payable at the end of the month (and that delay can be a problem on its own). But carriers are coming to their senses, Reiss claimed. They realize that growing the market for mobile payments will help them more than wiping it out with huge fees. Reiss said to expect major reductions in carrier fees around the world within the next 18 months."
  • Hmmmm… this podcast makes me wonder if a mobile phone-based transaction system in US could help subvert usurious check-cashing outlets…

    "The idea of a bustling mobile phone based economy is nothing new if you’ve paid attention to how day to day transactions are handled in Africa. In several developing nations there, people who don’t have access to checks or credit cards have evolved a robust and versatile economy built around simple cell phones."

    Interview with Ethan Zuckerman of Berkman Center

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