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Filtering by Category: Trends

We've Reached "Peak Messaging"

John Federico

As the quintessential early adopter and a propoent of creative disruption, I never thought I’d find myself saying this: when it comes to messaging, I’m old school.

Sure, email has it’s problems, but it works. The same goes for SMS. Both are ubiquitous - it doesn’t matter what mail client you have or what phone you use, it just works. For everyone.

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WANT: iPad Mini. NEED: iPhone 5.

John Federico

I really want an iPad mini.

The only reason I upgraded from an iPad 2 to the iPad 3 (or whatever it's called now) is because I could get LTE tethering from Verizon, which has been a gift from the universe on the few occassions that I've needed it.

However, ever since I got the first iPad and gave my wife my first generation Kindle, I've missed the smaller form factor of the Kindle eReaders.

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QR Codes Provide Quick and Easy Access to Facebook Likes On-The-Go

John Federico

Recently, Optify shared some research inferring that social signals (Facebook "Likes") correlate with search engine results. Given this fact, it's a no wonder that so many web sites and businesses are asking you to hit the Like button.

I advised a client that he could use a number of incentives to get people to Like his Facebook page, including using a Like as an entry in a drawing. He took the advice and decided to giveaway an iPad to people who like his page.

What he didn't tell me was that he wanted people to Like his page and perform the giveaway at a professional conference made up of less-than-tech-savvy attendees.

This was a bit of challenge. Access to social networks are, by design, very personal. Most people engage with them on their computers or smartphones - neither of which would be on-hand by many folks at this event.

The fallback method I suggested for acquiring Likes and entering people into the drawing was SMS. Simply send a text to

32665

with the text 

like yourpagenamehere

The only problem with this approach was the name of the page. Instead of being something quick and easy to type like facebook.com/YPN he had chosen a long, search engine-friendly version such as facebook.com/thisismyreallygreatsuperduperpage

It's enough of a challenge to get someone to opt-in so the last thing you want is for him to feel foolish when he can't type the long name on his flip phone or his touchscreen smartphone.

The solution - which I didn't deduce until after the fact - is a QR code. Yes, there still aren't too many people who have QR code scanners installed on their phones either, but it does solve the text-entry challenge.

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Satarii Star: Like having a camera operator in your pocket

John Federico

So, you're one of those people who likes to shoot video of yourself and post it to YouTube or maybe your blog. Or, you might be producing video interviews with clients of your company. Or, maybe you're a journalist without a camera man. Or, maybe you want to use FaceTime on your iPhone 4 while you're moving about the kitchen.

Ok. Maybe you don't fit into any of these profiles but like many of us, you've probably grown tired of having a camera with a fixed location and the confinement it requires in order to get a good shot on your pocket video camera.

If you own an iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, Flip, Kodak Zi8, Android phone or (insert video recording gadget here) then you'll love this product from startup Satarii. (Keep reading to see it in action)

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Aggregated Media Beats One-Off Titles in the iPad App Store

John Federico

In thinking about content for the iPad (books, magazines, movies, etc.) my instincts and experience tell me that having a unique product in the App Store should drive more sales than an app that aggregates premium content. That's because I believe the value of keyword search is greater than the value of aggregation  - it becomes difficult to effectively list all the aggregated content on the app's sales page and harder for consumers to find that content.

Apparently, I was wrong.

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Another Flaw in the eBook Agency Model

John Federico

Some major book publishers (HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster) have opted for Amazon's "Agency Model" to sell their eBooks. Simply put, this means that the publisher sets the price and Amazon sells then delivers it at that price.

However, it also means that Amazon is not the seller anymore, and they've gone through the trouble to let you know that they have no control over the pricing of a particular title.

This also has tax implications. 

Amazon is very careful about where it keeps distribution centers and any other physical presences in the United States. That's partly because once the company has a physical presence in a state, they have to collect state sales tax.

However, since Amazon is not the seller of the eBook I recently purchased and HarperCollins has a physical presence in the state where I live, Amazon must collect tax on their behalf.

 

So even though I may no longer be paying for shipping on a physical book, I now have to pay sales tax on it, depending on the publisher.

Thanks, HarperCollins.

Adobe is Running Scared from Evolving Standards

John Federico

Buy this from SpreadshirtLike the iPhone and iPod Touch that came before it, the iPad runs the same slimmed-down version of Mac OS X complete with it's multi-touch controls, icons and menu bar.

The iPad also shares with its forebears a lack of support for Adobe's Flash. Flash is an application runtime environment (a nerdy way of saying "software that lets other software work") that competes with the native applications on the iPhone, so it would make business sense that Apple might exclude it from the native capabilities of the "iPlatform".

More likely however, is the fact that Flash is buggy, crashes often and can suck up CPU cycles like crazy.

Case in point: now that I'm running Google Chrome on my MacBook, I can see how often Flash crashes as the browser will remain functioning but indicate that the plug-in has crashed. These are crashes I used to blame on my browser - Safari, Firefox, Opera, Camino - all of them. Shame on me.

Given how maniacal Apple is about the user experience and stability of the iPlatform, it's a no-brainer for them to exclude Flash - competitive issues aside.

And now, with the triumvirate of the iPhone, iPod Touch and soon iPad, Adobe is getting a little uncomfortable. If there's one company that can utilize its momentum and marketing prowess to shift an industry from de facto standards to web standards, it's Apple - and in this case, that web standard is HTML5.

Apple did this for the Webkit rendering engine that now powers Safari and Mobile Safari, but also Google Chrome, Android and soon a variety of other Webkit-based browsers for mobile devices like BlackBerry. They did it for video with H.264 and soon, they'll do it for HTML5.

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[Review] Vook: Books and Videos come together - but is that a good thing?

John Federico

I've been following Vook (the company) for awhile and was excited to see that they've wasted no time releasing their first Vook (the product). For a customer and reviewer, the nomenclature and lack of distinction between the company and the product can be a real PITA.

As for the product, here's a description from Vook.com:

A vook is a new innovation in reading that blends a well-written book, high-quality video and the power of the Internet into a single, complete story.

Given current trends - the challenges of the book publishing industry, the adoption of ebooks, the use of the iPhone and other portable devices becoming more pervasive, near ubiquitous wireless broadband - I found the concept of Vook (the product) intriguing. This review is based on a thriller entitled The Embassy by Robert Doetsch.

There are two types of Vooks:

  1. Those that are sold as iPhone apps
  2. Those that are browser based

Each share the same basic premise - mixing text with complementary video - but with slightly different approaches. Here I review both types.

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Event: Using Social Media to Promote Your Blog or Web Site, September 22

John Federico

I've been invited to participate in an upcoming event produced by Professionals in Media. If you can join us in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey please come! Information is below.

If you're unable to attend, fear not - I'll be streaming the event live. You'll be able to listen at the URL below beginning at (or around) 7 PM:

http://go.gadgetboy.org/kicn

Here's the official announcement from PIM:

You are planning on building a web site or blog. Maybe, you already have one. Either way, drawing traffic equals good business. Tuesday, September 22, at 7 p.m., Professionals In Media (PIM) presents a seminar Using Social Media to Promote Your Blog or Web Site. This event will be held at Summit Medical Group, 1 Diamond Hill Road, Berkeley Heights, Room C-100 in the Education Center of Lawrence Pavilion.

Allan Hoffman, Michael Shapiro, and John Federico are the panelists for an informative evening on using social media sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook to promote your blog or web site.

Allan Hoffman is the CEO and founder of Web100.com. Hoffman is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in Newsday, P.O.V., Rutgers Magazine, The MotherHood, Wired News, Worth, Yahoo Internet Life, and many other newspapers, magazines, and literary publications. He is the personal technology columnist for the Star-Ledger. Hoffman has been interviewed about technology topics on various television and radio programs, including NBC’s "Early Today," C-SPAN’s "Washington Journal," CNNfn, and NPR’s "All Things Considered."

Michael M. Shapiro, chief executive officer and editor of TheAlternativePress.com, the State of New Jersey’s all-online hyperlocal daily newspaper, is an attorney with degrees from Stanford Law School and Rutgers College, Rutgers University. He first made headlines as one of the youngest people to run for public office in New Jersey when at age 21, he ran for Mayor of New Brunswick.

John Federico is an accomplished marketing, communications and business development executive and founder of the web site newrules.com. He offers 15 years of experience in marketing communications and business development with passionate expertise in digital media.

Admission is a $10 donation per person. Light refreshments will be served. Seating is limited; reservations are strongly suggested. Contact Jacqueline Herships at 973-763-7555 or Jacqueline@jacquelineherships.com or Michele C. Hollow at michelechollow@pipeline.com. For directions, please visit www.summitmedicalgroup.com.