The snow today is making me really look forward to SXSW Interactive in Austin. 2010 will be my 3rd time attending so I wanted to write up all of the mobile services that I will be leaning on to schedule, network and keep my battery going all week…and I do mean *all* week.
SXSW is a game. It’s about doing everything you want but not wasting your time planning and confirming, getting everything done, meeting up with everyone you wanted to see. Potentially you won’t remember any of it, but you’ll have lots of new connections and warm feelings for people who are showing up in your stream all year as a result.
Austin is your playground. It’s where all the new mobile services that help us accomplish our SXSW plans.
There are 3 areas which you must master if you are to fully free yourself of your laptop @ SXSWi:
Advance Scheduling: It is imperative to look at the schedules and try to comprehend everything that is going on so you don’t feel the dread of missing out on anything. This plan will fail miserably, but these tools will make the experience better for you and better for those who follow your example.
1) Tungle Tungle lets you schedule with people without a lot of back and forth. It looks at your outlook or ical powered calendar and lets you paint your availability, or even shake to schedule from it’s iPhone app. This is for real meetings with people that you cannot miss.
Here is the tungle demo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VOQ9O4Rycc
SXSW calendar [No], Social Features [Some], Requires Download [Yes], Mobile Website/App [Yes] Mobile Speed [Fast]
2) Plancast http://plancast.com/toms I’ve been told I use this too much already, but I’ve been very excited about it’s potential for spreading the word about your particular panel or workshop at SXSW. They have useful profiles on there already like Badgeless SXSW which tells you all the events you can attend without a SXSW Badge. BTW @Leahculver please skip the Owen van Natta party and finish up the iPhone app b4 SXSWi, kthxbai.
SXSW calendar [No], Social Features [Yes], Requires Download [No] Mobile Website/App [No?] Mobile Speed [Slow]
3) My.SXSW iPhone Application This official app loads all of the event schedules at once (which takes a good amt of time the 1st time) and is integrated with the my.sxsw.com schedules and your official SXSW profile, which on the iPhone app is easier to set up than on the desktop. You can upload your photo and add social networks. However, this app is not connected for sharing panel links on social networks or even via email.
SXSW calendar [Yes], Social Features [No], Requires Download [No] Mobile Website/App [No?] Mobile Speed [Fast]
SXSW calendar [Yes], Social Features [No], Requires Download [No], Mobile Website/App [Yes] Mobile Speed [Medium]
5) Sitby.us http://sitby.us This may replace Sched.org for me this year. A quick loading mobile website with really easy navigation for the full SXSWi calendar and ability to check-in and share on twitter WHERE YOU ARE SITTING in a particular panel! How’s that for real-time? Really well done.
SXSW calendar [Yes], Social Features [Yes], Mobile Website/App [Yes], Requires Download [No]
Contingency Planning: Planning The panels, movies, drinkups and music in Austin start out like spores and grow based on community distribution of event details and checkins from attendees. The battlefield of SXSW will look nothing like your pretty calendar. So SXSW has already tested Twitter and Foursquare in this capacity, but there is a new entrant to the fray and it is specifically designed to facilitate conversation at an event without junking up the feeds of people who are not attending, and it’s called HotPotato. All panels at SXSWi 2010 should start by pointing their audiences to the associated HotPotato event.
1) Twitter and Twitter Connect Sites/Apps Status updates and hashtags still rule the day, it will be interesting to see if that changes in 2010. Tweetie 2 is my choice of app, and its seamless ability to manage more than one account is quite helpful when on the go. Sitby.us like many other apps lets you Tweet
Reach [High], Immediacy [High], Local relevance [Low], Event features [Hashtags], Noise [High]
2) Facebook and Facebook Connect Sites/Apps Facebook events are underlying a lot of the Plancast links and is currently the glue behind HotPotato
Reach [Medium], Immediacy [Low], Local relevance [Low], Event features [Full Service], Noise [High]
3) Foursquare Foursquare has picked up where Twitter left off, as now people find out which party to go to based on the stream of Foursquare check-ins. Badges specifically designed for SXSW were a hit last year, e.g. the Porky badge for checking in at Stubbs. Too crazy for you?... Check-in off the grid like tiger w. be
Reach [Low], Immediacy [High], Local relevance [High], Event features [People Tab], Noise [Medium]
4) HotPotato HotPotato lets you attend, watch or follow events based on your proximity and makes the chatter in each event relevant by 1) defining the event 2) offering more than just commenting e.g. posting photos and links for making references and analogies to the event 3) giving you a view to whom within your network (currently powered by Facebook Connect) is commenting on what events 4) tuning your feed based on location
Reach [Medium], Immediacy [High], Local relevance [High], Event features [Full Service], Noise [Low]
What I will bring to stay connected 24/7 from Thurs-Wed.
1) Just Mobile | Gum Pro: this little power grenade from Just Mobile is supposed to carry 2-5x iPhone charges and power up fast, 90% in an hour, and it uses both a 5-pin camera cord power up and and the iPhone cord to charge the iPhone, with a switch to turn off the juice if it is not being used.
How people will make fun of you: “Why do you have an iPhone cord coming out of your pocket? Are you plugged in right now?”
2) Griffin Tune Juice: the un-green little AAA battery pack that takes 4 batteries and charges without requiring a wall socket. Which means you don’t have to stand under the stage at Stubbs or hit on hostesses to have them charge your phone if you forgot to charge your extra battery pack.
How people will make fun of you: “batteries? srsly?”
3) Kensington Mini: This bottom feeder is good for a small charge at the end of the day, light, small, no extra cords while carrying. Charges with a 5-pin camera cord into USB. The fact that it plugs into the bottom could be a problem if you put it in your front pocket and sit down. L
How people will make fun of you: “gee you have a really long phone.”
4) The Mophie Pack: Mophie gets a colbertian wag of the finger. Once my battery pack of choice, until the weird jack that plugs in a weird non 5-pin cord broken into the device and has rendered the Mophie pack useless.
How people will make fun of you: “is that really an iPhone, it looks so big and bulky.”
It will be a showdown for sure, but at least I’ll be prepared.
What I’ll be doing:
http://plancast.com/a/if1 Moderating UX of Mobile Panel, Friday March 12th @ 11am with Kyle Outlaw (Razorfish), Scott Jenson (Google) and Barbara Ballard (Little Springs Design)
http://plancast.com/a/if3 Organizing the Mobile Advertising Workshop, Tuesday March 16th @ 3:30pm with Dennis Crowley (Foursquare) and Justin Siegel (MocoSpace)
http://plancast.com/a/11r0 Organizing HTML5 vs. Flash Discussion, Monday March 15th @ 11:00am with Richard Ting (R/GA)
http://plancast.com/a/if4 Organizing the Mobile Social Workshop, Tuesday March 16th @ 2:00pm with Michael Sharon (Facebook) and Justin Shaffer (HotPotato)
http://plancast.com/a/if5 Organizing the Mobile Commerce Workshop, Tuesday March 16th @ 5:00pm with Francesco Rovetta (PayPal)
Is anyone writing up a guide for Android?
Ping me @ SXSWi on your service of choice.
This blog was recently posted as an article on Mobile Marketer and is being reposted here to continue the dialogue.
I’m really excited for Omar, Jason, Tony and the rest of the AdMob team on their acquisition by Google. The Google AdMob deal is a natural fit for mobile performance advertising to address the long-tail, but there is a long cycle left before all types of advertisers are addressed on mobile and the process of getting them excited and then engaged with mobile consumers has only just begun.
The Google AdMob deal is a victory for consumers, in that more emphasis will be placed on mobile, and as such the consumer experience should improve as a result. It is a step forward for advertisers, such that performance and local advertisers will receive better targeting and reporting on mobile. What this deal does not address are premium publishers.
AdMob is not the DoubleClick for Mobile
BusinessWeek used a Desktop analogy to describe the Google AdMob deal that is beginning to stick – stating that AdMob is the DoubleClick for mobile. It’s an easy comparison in terms of the current size of the mobile advertising market, but it’s very misleading in terms of what AdMob is, and what Google is buying. There are also many people who worry that the FCC will step in and review this deal and potentially restrict it, and here’s where the DoubleClick analogy really breaks down.
Google bought a performance ad network in AdMob. Today, a WSJ blog ran the year-old video from Robert Scoble interviewing Omar Hamoui, CEO of AdMob, in which Omar explained that his differentiator from all other mobile ad networks was that AdMob’s model is completely self-service. Google is the best self-service advertising technology on the web and AdMob is the best self-service advertising technology for mobile.
What is Google Getting?
When Google acquired DoubleClick, it was a way for Google to gain publisher relationships. However, AdMob does not own the premium publisher segment in the mobile market. AdMob has worked with some premium brands, but a large portion of its impressions and publishers come from a whole new breed of advertisers – mobile app developers that utilized AdMob to promote and monetize their apps. . In mobile, many publishers aren’t yet selling advertising directly, and as a result, AdMob can be the biggest display network without having a premium model.
But in the end, Google is not buying publisher relationships or even the default publisher ad serving solution for mobile. Google is buying engineering talent, vision in mobile, great iPhone interaction data (see Ian Schafer’s post) and a self-service ad serving platform for mobile, with a particular focus on iPhone for webkit and iPhone for in-app advertising. Google’s focus will likely be to bring Google’s desktop advertisers more relevance on mobile by enabling better features for the segments that haven’t really hit yet, e.g. travel, finance and direct response advertisers.
Where Does this Leave Premium Publishers?
The premium publisher hasn’t won on mobile yet. In fact, Google is losing credibility in its attempts to remain a partner or even a friend to publishers. On the Day of Mobile we also heard that Rupert Murdoch, threatened again to take his ball and go home, close off Google News access to WSJ.com content and forgo the 25% of traffic that Google brings to the site on a monthly basis. In addition, many publishers who have yet to make money on mobile have decided to flee the mobile web and only deliver native applications. Conde Nast and Hachette Filipacchi shut down their sites and now only run apps, and may end up charging for all mobile content. What we are seeing is that there is no DoubleClick for mobile yet, and there is no solution out there making enough money for publishers on mobile to make them happy participants in the industry. Publishers have to a large extent at least mobilized their content via mobile web or apps already, but they are not selling mobile to the level that they could be. Weather.com who stated at last night’s Mobile Monday Silicon Valley that they have 6 people selling mobile and are dying to hire more, may be, with the exception of Yahoo!, the largest publisher sales force exclusively selling mobile on the planet.
The DoubleClick of mobile will need to be a provider that is not mainly an ad network; it needs to be a technology platform that enables publishers to comfortably serve ads to mobile in such a way that they can differentiate direct sales from ad network–sold inventory. In fact, DoubleClick Mobile is Google’s attempt to solve this problem for publishers. Unfortunately, it has not delivered the type of performance publishers need to successfully sell mobile to their advertisers.
If Google had really bought the DoubleClick for mobile that serves premium publishers’ interests, then we’d really only would have one Day of Mobile. Instead, I think it’s time to spend the next 364 days figuring out how to let premium publishers become a part of the game.
I recently saw a great presentation by Leland Rechis (@Leland, worked with Twitter in Japan and Google on Android) at Huge in a UPA series event called "Put your iPhone down: Discussion About the State of Mobile Services.”
This talk did even more to convince me that developers, media companies, and brands need to be looking beyond the iPhone and applications moving into 2010. We all know there will be a lot of new android devices in market on Sprint, T-mobile and Verizon, but what this talk drove home was the flexibility of the Android platform over the iPhone.
The Dark Side of the iPhone
We’ve all heard the accolades on the iPhone user experience but we don’t realize that the architecture behind it economizes energy and data usage by putting activities into app silos and pre-sets the activities you can initiate for their apps. For example, when you take a picture you can either 1) email, 2) assign to a contact, or 3) use as wallpaper. But if you think about it, the best mobile experience would enable you to take a photo and pull up whichever service has the capability to post. Android can generically say 'share' and pull up any application on the phone that has sharing capabilities (email, MMS, Twitter app, Facebook, Tumblr, Flckr, etc.)
That really makes the picture of the three suggested options of what to do with a photo on iPhone look pretty silly. Android uses a flexible, generic system called ‘Intents’ to have one application call another and perform a specific activity (e.g. message posting, photo sharing or link shortening) without fully loading the app. I believe that once users are enlightened with Android’s flexibility, they will start to use activities like posting to Twitter in utilities like the camera, video player and the mobile browser, and therefore will not need to open separate apps to perform most of the social networking functions that we feel require leaving the camera or browser to perform today.
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