I want a new mobile phone!

I’m struggling with my mobile these days. After using a combination of Nokia mobiles with Palm PDA’s for quite some years I’ve ended up with a no-good mobile from Sharp. And basically, part of it is my own mistake. I’ve had a smartphone (Windows Mobile) for a few months, but as it was one of the early Qtek’s it was just no good. The only thing smart about this smartphone was the fact MSN Messenger was on it… and what a brand: Qtek! So I got rid of it and swapped to the Sharp GX30 again.

Qtek 9100But now! Have you seen the Qtek 9100 yet? As a brand it still doesn’t sound right, but I couldn’t care less this time. I want this phone, so if you didn’t know yet what to give me for the New Year… don’t hesitate. (Reminds me I definitely need to show ‘Cross The Breeze to my wife this week)

Top 10 Web Predictions for 2006 (2)

More and more web predictions for 2006 popup these days. I think they’re all fun to read, some of them more realistic than others. Make sure you read John Battelle’s predictions, it’s been up there for a few days now but a must read I think. Wondering how good/bad he was the years before, take a look at his review on both the 2004 and the 2005 predictions.

Another great top 10 is to be found on Dave’s WordPress Blog. He actually only gets to 8, but feel free to fill the gap with some of the nice ideas in the comments that could easily feature in his top 10. I especially like the Skype-Ebay module that scans everything in your house and puts it on auction :-)

Another way to do this is by using Matt McAlister’s Dotcom Prediction Generator, certainly if you need to get your own predictions out before the New Year but don’t know what to say.

And now we’re at it, some more of the serious predictions can be found over here:

Personally I would say that we will see the first stumble of Google, the first glitch on their way up. We will also see a boost of video in online advertising, blogging and certainly video search. Telephony over the web will finally breakthrough, now all the ‘classic’ IM services are gearing up their voice solution in respect to what Skype is offering. There will be better measurement on RSS, going hand in hand with more advertising on RSS too. I also feel there’s an opportunity for more dynamic feeds than what’s mainly offered for the moment, but 2006 might as well be the year to change this. And ofcourse user generated content is still so hot that we will be seeing a lot more in this space too. Finally we will get more and more convergence between the desktop and the internet (think also Vista and Windows Live) and especially mobile.

Goliath

Interesting times on Google these days. They’ve been taking some decisions lately that some tend to see as the big win over Microsoft, where other people say it’s about Google making their first crucial mistakes. Is the AOL deal really good for Google or do they give too much away of their pure, powerful search results? And what’s the story on charging for access to its API? Time will tell what it really is, but here are some interesting articles on the subject:

Search THIS: Google in 2006. iMedia Connection’s search editor takes you on an inside tour of the Google mind: fasten your seatbelts!
Official Google blog about the AOL announcement proving that not all of us are on the same level on the AOL – Google announcement.
Google clarifies. John Batelle on his searchblog with his thoughts on clarification of Google.
Google set to flank rivals with AOL deal. “The rumored deal would disappoint Microsoft,” Rob Helm, director of research for Directions on Microsoft in Kirkland, Wash., told the E-Commerce Times. “Working with AOL gives Google ad revenues that will be difficult for Microsoft to compete for.”
Google, Time Warner strike $1 billion deal on AOL. Google will invest $1 billion for a 5 percent stake in Time Warner’s America Online unit as part of a partnership that expands their existing search engine deal to include collaboration on advertising, instant messaging and video.
Microsoft looks beyond AOL. Time Warner has chosen Google as the most suitable partner for its America Online Internet unit–but the game isn’t over for jilted suitor Microsoft.
Op-Ed: Has Goliath (Google) Stumbled? Mediasmith’s chief search officer Bob Heyman looks at the implications of Google’s decision to charge for access to its API.

2.0 (2)

I went to a Web 2.0 seminar yesterday, organised by I-Merge. It was an interesting afternoon, with presentations from I-Merge & McKinsey, talking about how the evolution of the web. And whereas everything around the naming of this evolution – web 2.0 – just sounds as the next best buzz talk, I do like the actual wave or phase in the internet evolution.

And that said, I feel like the evolution going on today is no different than past evolutions we’ve seen the last 10 years. What is clear though is that the popularity of the internet is getting bigger and bigger and so is the attention for those new evolutions. Naming it 2.0 and as such also defining what has been web 1.0 is like comparing the internet to classical software, where typically you need to wait months or years between new releases of new versions. And ain’t that the main difference between software and the web?

Apart from the fact that people start noticing and enjoying everything around social networking, networked applications and networks of intelligence/information it’s maybe not so new as one might think. It reminds me of Moviecritic.com where you could rate movies you had seen and likeminds recommended movies you would probably like. That’s typically a web 2.0 project although we’re talking 1997 here! And how do you think the Smartscreen solution (Hotmail‘s anti-spam) works? Hotmails users flag spam when they get it in their inbox and this community as such creates a dynamic anti-spam solution (supported by software techniques).

The internet has always been in constant evolution. One day it was “content is king” and the next it was “content is king, but distribution is queen”. Smallband vs. broadband, static vs. dynamic, standalone vs. convergence, content management, peer to peer, … exciting business, exciting times for sure.

Best of 2005: Ideas

The people at BusinessWeek have put up a nice slideshow about this. I’ve taken out the most compelling ones to me personally but you can find about 20 statements on the site.

  • Geography is so 20th century
  • What business really craves: simplicity
  • The way to succeed in the creative economy: innovate
  • DNA is not necessarily destiny after all
  • Shop ’til you feel it’s a full-blown experience
  • Google wants all your business
  • How the net can find markets for the obscure
  • Reaching the simultaneous media multitasking consumers
  • Fab fakes and cheap chic have created mass class
  • Where your kid is hanging out online
  • Tuning in to the channel of me
  • Radio dreams come alive in the podcast
  • Blogging the brand

Again it’s most amazing – although not a surprise – how much of the topics are of some sort related to the internet.

The Time to Act Is Now

RSS icon“If you do a marketing site and you don’t have an RSS feed today you should be fired. I’ll say it again. You should be fired if you do a marketing site without an RSS feed. Saying that RSS is only for geeks today is like saying in 1998 that the Web was only for geeks. No one knows how long this ‘honeymoon’ will last. But ride the wave – and get into search engines quickly, inexpensively – by submitting your RSS feeds to them.”
– Robert Scoble, Microsoft

Out of the presentation of Steve Olechowski (Feedburner) on the Emerce Update Traffic Metrics Event. Or read the Emerce interview with Steve here (NL).

Best of Advertising

And yes, it is that period of the year were top 10 lists popup everywhere about any subject you can image. I’m trying to pick out the most interesting and today it’s all about Advertising.

Find the  top 10 ads of 2005 and even the top 10 viral videos of 2005 on BoreMe. On Adage we find the ten 2005 ads America won’t see and other lists in the Book of Tens. On the MM website we can see which Belgian agencies scored best on a creative scale in 2005, with 2 of the main networks (McCann & Publicis) right at the bottom of the list.

More to come later.

[Marketingfacts]

Top 10 Web Predictions for 2006

Happy 2006 for all in the online industry (and all the others too ofcourse). There was a great top 10 on Conversion Rater, let’s not forget to look back in 12 months and see if it was any good. I feel there’s certainly something to it:

  1. RSS will become two-way with the help of Simple Sharing Extensions from Microsoft
  2. Social news site Digg will expand into other content areas and media types and then will be acquired
  3. Web 2.0 will be looked down upon as a buzzword, and it’s usage will drop off dramatically
  4. Face-recognition photo application Riya will be acquired by a major player
  5. Some ecommerce shopping applications using the more recent advancements in social web technologies will be developed and will succeed
  6. Google Analytics will again drop the hammer on the web analytics industry
  7. A forward thinking company will build technology to support transparency, efficiency, and relationships in the online advertising business
  8. Microsoft will launch a contextual advertising network that will either be huge, or fail miserably
  9. Two to three new startups will be so cool and successful they will make the heroes of 2005 like Flickr and del.icio.us seem small and insignificant
  10. The venture capital investments and acquisition bubble will heat up even more, then deflate in the 2nd half of 2006 after a number of companies fail

Read more at Conversion Rater.

2.0

Web 2.0, Life 2.0, Brands 2.0, … it doesn’t stop these last couple of weeks. Every day you read posts on the internet about this next generation everything, like the change that’s hapening today is bigger than any change ever happened before. When we check out Wikipedia on the subject we can find that we’re at the second phase of Development of the internet. Basically it’s through this web 2.0 that we also learn about what should have been web 1.0 and even web 1.5!

There are clearly 2 opinions about all this next gen internet, and I belong to those who think all this web 2.0 is nothing more than a slogan, a buzzword to try to capture an ongoing evolution on the internet. There’s a good post of Russell Shaw on the Zdnet blog. Marketing did the trick, try a websearch on web 2.0 and you’ll be amazed on all you can find. The web always has been about a logical evolution, about ups & downs, about great new innovators & high user engagement.

Let’s call it a day and just keep on working on this evolution… to be able to look back after a couple of years when somebody comes up with web 3.0 to start all over again.

[Richard McManus on Read/Write Web]