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Have a Million SIM cards, Will Travel

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The last few weeks have seen me bouncing around Europe as I cover various bits and pieces for the Eurovision Song Contest. Running a regular podcast on that subject means that I had lots of content to post, and with the events, lots of news and social media to interact with.

Which is why my first job on landing at an airport has been to find a local SIM card for my smartphone.

Yes there are some cute options for roaming data, but let’s take Armenia as example. Using my Orange UK SIM card while in the capital city of Yerevan I could roam at £5.50 per megabyte. In the local currency that’s just shy of 4000 dram a megabyte. Or I could walk into the high street store, show my passport, and walk out with a local SIM that would charge just 5 dram a megabyte.

One of these options is going to be for “a real emergency” while another will allow me to stay connected, to reply to Twitter messages, to keep up to data on Facebook, post to my blog, moderate comments…

…and let me upload my podcasts.

Yes, there’s every chance that I can find some wi-fi or use a hotel lobby, but that’s never guaranteed, and in any case it’s still cheaper to go with a local mobile number and the data charge than it is to pay for twenty four hours of hotel wi-fi. The rise of international SIM services can help, but these are still mostly geared to voice, and not data. Those that are can rarely compete with local prices.

If all goes to plan, I’ll be bouncing round Europe for the next three months, and in my bag will be a little collection of SIM cards, each with enough credit for a weekend of “unlimited” browsing on my mobile phone (which doubles as a hotspot). It’s all well and good being able to get stories, but it’s even more important to know you can get them onto the web without relying on anyone else or breaking the bank. Because if you have a great post about a tree falling in the woods that you can’t get online, then did the tree even fall?

Tim Hayden Says BlogWorld is The Place to see Communication & Tech are Changing

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Session: QR Codes, SMS & NFC: How Offline Touchpoints & Payments May Rule “The Decision Moment”
Speaker: Tim Hayden

Tim Hayden will be speaking about how mobile is the bridge between offline and online. This is second time attending BlogWorld and he’s fired up to lead the Mobile track!

Hear what else Tim has to say:

Watch more videos and see why other speakers are attending BlogWorld LA. See all Speakers here.

Learn more about BlogWorld LA and register Here!

Android or iPhone – Which State Do You Live In?

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Do you think you live in an Android state or iPhone state? I was guessing Android for my state of Texas and I was right. Jumptap put out a report this morning with a map showing which mobile activity each state in the U.S. has more of.

As you can see from the map above, the Southern and Western states (Texas, Florida, California) are over-index towards Android, while the Midwest and New England states are Apple dominated. (And as this TechCrunch writer pointed out, New York is embarrassingly Blackberry dominated. Why is that?)

Last month, a report was released which showed the Android operating system had the largest share with 39%, followed by Apple with 28%. There are obviously more Android phones out there, but how well are the mobile ads performing? This graph shows that Apple products like the iPod, iPad and iPhone do better with click-through rates.

Despite who is doing better, overall these click through rates are poor. “Forget Android versus Apple for a moment. What that data says is that mobile ads are failing across the board.”

So tell us – do you live in an Android or Apple state…or Blackberry?

Source

5 Tips for Elevating Brand Preference via New Media

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… by Matt Gentile, Director of PR and Social Media, Century 21 Real Estate LLC

If consumers are already aware of your brand, how do you take it to the next level?  What is necessary to develop a relationship where the consumer chooses your company as their preferred source for valuable information, research and knowledge to help them make an informed purchasing decision? At CENTURY 21, we’re leveraging new media to engage our target audience. Through sponsorships of events like BlogWorld & New Media Expo, Inman Real Estate Connect, and Agent Reboot, the CENTURY 21 Brand is reaching the next generation of home buyers, sellers, agents and entrepreneurs.

Business is about building and maintaining a mutually beneficial relationship. It involves the same types of decisions that we make every single day: WIFM – What’s In It for Me?  Whether consciously or sub-consciously, we are always evaluating what is best for ourselves. Today’s consumers, who often check location based services and rating sites like Yelp.com before reading the ‘About Us’ section of a company’s website, want to know more about the products and services they are using. It is important for consumers to know where a company stands on philanthropy and what type of value-add they are going to receive by establishing a relationship with a particular brand or product. Delivering valuable content via mobile and social channels enables the relationship between the brand and the consumer to grow over time.

For some products and services the value-added is easy to identify. For example, I know if I purchase and use an iPad I will be given entrée to an entire culture of like-minded users who are producing leading-edge applications that do everything from destroying building blocks on Angry Birds to informing me of traffic flow on Interstate 80. To ensure we are making the most of our opportunities to engage with the consumer about real estate, the CENTURY 21 System is engaging in a proactive mobile social media strategy through multiple platforms including century21.com, @C21 – Home Matters blog, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and mobile apps. In order to keep our brand value relevant, we follow these key tenants:

1) Listen – Use new media to listen to your target audience’s wants and needs. Respond where you can with timely, relevant resources and plan to share content via your corporate channels that address this feedback.

2) Keep it fresh – Share content each day that is new and topical. Consumers will come to regard your company as the sources for breaking news in your industry.

3) Make it local – If you live in New York, you don’t want to hear about what’s going on Boulder. Have local representatives and experts offer advice to their own, local communities through your channels.

4) Embrace the new – Did you ever think your company would have a mobile app? Or put QR codes on signs? Whether you planned for it or not, these are the technologies of the future and it’s critical to become educated on how best to offer these convenient upgrades to consumers.

5) Build relationships – Use new media to engage with consumers. Really get to know your audience and the individuals reaching out to you via these new types of media. Your best brand advocate might be a tweet away!

To learn more about how CENTURY 21 is using new media to reach the next generation of home buyers, sellers, agents and entrepreneurs, visit our website, blog, Facebook page or follow our tweets.

Matt Gentile directs public relations and social media content strategy for Century 21 Real Estate LLC, the world’s largest residential real estate sales organization.  In this role, he promotes approximately 7,900 independently owned and operated franchised brokerage offices and 119,000 sales associates in 68 countries and territories worldwide.

 

 

Read Nursery Rhymes to Your Kids From Anywhere With New App and Wi-Fi!

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Having just spent the majority of yesterday at the hospital with my preschooler, I have to say that this app went straight to my heart. Even non-parents can appreciate the beautiful drawings of the classic stories.

The Nursery Rhymes with StoryTime app is available on the iPad, iPhone 4 or 3GS. You can read these stories aloud to your child from any Wi-Fi accessible app.

Available for $4, the app contains popular nursery rhymes like Humpty Dumpty, Jack & Jill, and Three Blind Mice. Not only does the child hear your voice, they can interact with the stories as well. According to their site, Nursery Rhymers merges the illustrations of Denslow, created over a century ago, with the very latest in physics simulations. The app appears to have been built out of a torn-up and rearranged copy of Denslow’s original Mother Goose. Click here to download.

Cartoon: “Besides, isn’t all video ‘mobile’? I mean, the pictures move.”

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The day ended with a session on video, chaired by Susan Bratton of Personal Life Media, and featuring Dermot McCormack, Executive Vice President of MTV Music Group Digital; Dick Glover, CEO of Funny or Die; and Jim Louderback, CEO of Revision3.

There were some great moments, including the revelation that the budget of a typical Funny or Die video is… drumroll please… what’s that? We can’t afford a drumroll? That must be because the figure is only $2,000.

But the moment that grabbed me early on was the emphatic statement by one of the panelists that one huge factor affecting the future of video right now is the rise of mobile. And given how many conversations I’ve had with people who are still trying to get their minds around just how huge a platform mobile is, well, that spurred this cartoon.

One person covers eyes in despair as the other points to a huge TV camera and says 'See? Wheels.' Caption: Unclear on the whole 'mobile video' thing.

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