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

links for 2010-05-18

links for 2010-05-17

links for 2010-05-16

  • Ushahidi-based crowdsource reporting systems for the Gulf oil spill

    "Reports can be made and viewed at Mobile phone users can text or call in reports to (504) 27 27 OIL. Reports can also be sent to and through Twitter with the hashtag #BPspillmap. Eyewitness reports for the map require a description, and location information such as address, city and state, zip-code or coordinates. Citizen reporters can remain anonymous or disclose their contact information. Photos and video can be uploaded via the web."

  • "When I went to Hopedale, a fishing community in St. Bernard Parish, as I spoke with fishermen and shrimpers, I repeatedly heard comments such as “What am I going to do? I have no education, I have no way to support my family,” or “I’ve been fishing for 70 years, this is all I know, and all I can do now is sit and wait.” It is critical that there is a platform that engages people and provides a place where they can share their experiences and stories.

    "We are using the visual reports generated on the Oil Spill Crisis Map to document and create public transparency to the way that the Gulf Coast is being affected by the oil spill. This map also facilitates accountability of the response as this must be watched and documented in any man-made disaster. As the oil continues to spill and we find that there is limited access to the official clean-up efforts, we also use this map as a way for the public to give visible testimony to how they are being affected and what they are seeing."

  • "Google (NSDQ: GOOG) clarified today that it wasn’t the phone that people didn’t like, it was the way they were trying to sell them direct to consumers from In a blog post today, Google’s Andy Rubin, wrote: “While the global adoption of the Android platform has exceeded our expectations, the web store has not…it’s clear that many customers like a hands-on experience before buying a phone, and they also want a wide range of service plans to chose from.” Google will try and sell the Nexus One through various stores, and once it does, they’ll stop selling handsets via the web store, and will instead use it as an online store window to showcase a variety of Android phones available globally."
  • I dunno — sounds kinds of clunky and inefficient, but I'd have to see a video to really understand.

    "what I have found to be even more accurate is touch typing with one hand (usually my right hand) and then pecking out one letter at a time with the other. It takes a bit of getting used to but in most cases it ends up being a pretty efficient way to type."

links for 2010-05-15

links for 2010-05-14

  • If you ever worry that your best clips may end up disappearing from the web, you can create instant PDFs to save atIf you ever worry that your best clips may end up disappearing from the web, you can create instant PDFs to save
    (tags: Tools)
  • "Chinese pianist Lang Lang has performed Flight of the Bumblebee using just the iPad. There’s speculation that he used the app Magic Piano, but that’s still speculation. Regardless of the app he used, his performance is incredible, as you’ll see in this video."
  • I MUST SEE THIS!!!! "Pulp Fiction producers Michael Chamberg and Stacey Sher reportedly bought the rights to Alan Goldsher’s novel Paul Is Undead: The British Zombie Invasion to develop a film adaptation. In the book, Paul, George, Ringo and John transform into brain-hungry zombies who use their subliminal-message-laced tunes to lure fans back stage where the flesh-eating can commence. All the while, the undead rock stars must escape from Britain’s number one zombie hunter: Mick Jagger. Oh, and Yoko Ono makes an appearance as an Eighth Level Ninja Lord."
  • "The fact that people disclose so much information about themselves on Facebook shows the online disinhibition effect in action. What this research reveals is that young people and those looking for connections online are likely to disclose the most information.

    "Despite these debates often being couched in terms of fear of others and transgressions of privacy, what's often forgotten is the simple fact that self-disclosure is the first step towards intimacy, something we all need. Still, it's a potential vulnerability that relationship seekers might bear in mind."

  • "American consumers who don’t qualify for a traditional post-paid cell phone plan are driving the growth of the pre-paid wireless marketplace. This segment of the wireless market has grown at higher rates than the post-paid market, in part due to the recent recession.

    "However, even in today’s tough economy, this segment of low-credit prospects represents a discrete subset of the overall wireless market. Acknowledging this, pre-paid wireless marketers have expanded their horizons searching for other reasons people choose a pre-paid plan"

  • "The news media cannot survive only on the well-salaried, college-educated demographic that so far has flocked to iPhones, Blackberries and Droids. But if a timeclock-puncher can choose to pay for Web service just a few times a month to access a newspaper’s food section or just turn on the data plan during the World Series, we have an foot in the door to their information world.

    "Consider the possibilities: Offer top-up data minutes in circulation contests. Slap a logo decal on a pre-paid phone and giving it away with a print subscription. Post a daily, quick download news summary that costs the user just a couple of cents."

  • MUST LISTEN! HILARIOUS! Lewis Lapham recounts his days as a cub reporter in the Oakland bureau of the SF Examiner in the 1950s. Great podcast from The Moth storytelling series
  • audio podcasts of sessions about mobile development for iphone & windows

links for 2010-05-13

links for 2010-05-12

links for 2010-05-11

  • Here's one I'd like to see. Dave Taylor gave this dark suspense film a glowing review. I love dark 🙂
  • Really interesting idea. I'm not sure if it's really good or really bad, but I'd definitely like to see it in action to figure that out.

    "Our goal with LA GANG TOURS is to use the profits from the tours to create jobs and provide opportunities for the residents of South Central, Los Angeles. We believe that educating people from around the world about the Los Angeles inner city lifestyle, gang involvement and solutions is a vital step towards a peaceful existence. This project will create opportunities to contribute to the economic health of South Central and the tools needed to access the American market."

links for 2010-05-10