Wednesday, 14 May 2008

The optimal mobile experience

Here is a brochure from the .mobi crew around designing for an optimal mobile experience. It is a good beginners guide. All of it is common sense aside from the suggestion to use a .mobi domain which I think is a sub-optimal approach to marketing - but I have been there before: you just do not need it - route your servers automatically by recognising the incoming device and save yourself the trouble of trying to promote two domains......

Even with that qualification this is a really helpful starter for advertising agencies and larger publisher brands.

PR Meltdown - Part III

Great post at Mobhappy about what appears to be a company's bungled attempt to leverage Twitter and the social community around a competitor brand.

Friday, 9 May 2008

Mobile Advertising: A humbling perspective

Thanks to Bena Roberts at GoMoNews for noting down this quote:

Coca Cola summed it up really well. It said companies come to us with results that they are so proud of - “you got 30K click through rates with our campaign”.

Coca Cola says “that is terrible - we have billions of Coke consumers”

It is hard to know how to try and deal with that kind of perspective. With that type of mentality one thing is for sure, there will be massive consolidation in the mobile advertising space.

.mobi and mowser... there might be something to it

Interesting news this morning with .mobi buying mowser. I tweeted my immediate reaction: a Roman Catholic reaching out to buy the local synagogue?

The religious analogy is deliberate. .mobi is an initiative to improve the quality of the available internet on mobile devices. It provides guidelines on site design and structure and proposes exclusive use of a .mobi domain to let users know that it is mobile compliant. Other forms of URL or site structure are actively discouraged (and often disparaged by a zealot-like following).

Mowser is a transcoder. A site designed to take any internet page and re-render it to a mobile device irrespective of domain URL. Transcoders are – and I hope I am forgiven for this – a quick and dirty way of viewing the internet. To the original thinking in the .mobi organisation they are either the devil or a necessary evil before true conversion to the .mobi mantra catches hold in the masses.

That .mobi would buy mowser signals a clear change in strategy. Yes, bringing on board Russell Beattie and Mike Rowehl into any organisation will help increase the drive, energy and mobile knowledge within it but to buy the software too means one of the following, both of which are profound:

- .mobi accepts that not everyone wishes to use its tools or that still after much simplication (and they are excellent) it is not simple enough for the mass market. At least – it figures – if someone uses a transcoder that it controls it can try and ensure that all output adheres to its .mobi guidelines as closely as possible. One should note here therefore that it is extremely likely that .mobi continues aggressively with the mowser publisher acquisition programme where publishers advertise a mowser specific mobile link

- The owners of .mobi – largely the operators – have exerted some influence. Perhaps wanting a little more acceleration of creating a mobile standard and seeing .mobi growing but not quickly enough, the operators are interested in accelerating things through a quickier, dirtier approach. More likely perhaps, with widespread criticism of transcoder deployment from Novarra and Openwave, the operators might figure that to bring on a transcoder into the .mobi fold will allow it to develop a solution with widespread mobile industry support and then deploy something potentially more effective and less contentious at a later stage. It will have been an inexpensive hedging strategy, particularly as it is split several ways.

There are probably other angles to be considered but these are top of mind.

Thursday, 8 May 2008

PR Meltdown - Part II

Also witnessed yesterday a new company being put down before it really ever got out of the stalls.

A few lessons here for World Biz Online. First, if you launch, launch! - at time of writing that link goes to a holding page saying that the site is coming soon. Second, prepare really well in advance. Find someone you trust and potentially someone who knows the press to give you a judgement on whether you are ready for primetime or not. You were not. Your reputation was pulled apart yesterday and you might not have noticed. Twitter was alive with derision. Third lesson, watch all back channels and try and find a constructive way to respond.

I really hope you regroup and make it happen but you have some ground to make up.

Here is an idea of the (amusing) chitter chatter around the presentation. It only got worse from here.

PR Meltdown - Part I

There is a story that continues to run, though to most it is extremely boring - and worse- it would be very easy to make it go away. I attended a Mobile Monday event last October when Novarra had a wonderful opportunity to turn a lot of bad vibes into a good story by saying something close to "I'm sorry". I wrote about it here.

Well, it seems that the COO of Novarra has stirred the hornets nest again with a pointlessly arrogant interview which the twitter-sphere picked up yesterday.

You see the problem is - it was all forgotten - but now it is alive and well again and worse. Why? Because people have had time to dig out other information which is related but not really relevant and at which point it gets a little nastier.

Novarra has over-exposure to early adopters in their space and their repeated own goals only cement a black reputation in the space which eventually will begin to influence the operator mindset. It is never harmful to build bridges and make friends but for Novarra I think it might be too late to do so.

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Mary Meeker Presentation

A number of very interesting observations from the latest Mary Meeker presentation. Mobile begins to hit the radar a little more, though its strength and potential is a little disguised by the chart showing that China and India are the leading countries for connected PCs. One really needs to view these numbers as a % of the population to really see that the mobile is becoming the de facto entry point to the internet in developing markets.