Archive for the ‘Trends’ Category

Letting Google Become Your Wallet

Friday, May 27th, 2011

Yesterday Google Wallet, a mobile payment system was announced, putting us one step closer to the trend of “everything mobile.” People in Japan have been using their phones as an all-in-one credit card, boarding pass and more for years now and we’ve been long anticipating when this would become the norm in the U.S. We see Google Wallet as a movement that will disrupt the way we interact, not only with payments, but in physical and digital touchpoints, making the two more seamlessly connected.

Many brands are already on board with Google Wallet including Macys, Subway and The Container Store. We’re most excited about how brands can use Google Wallet and the popularity of mobile deals and real time check-ins. Making a morning coffee run could become so much easier and personalized if upon checking in your regular drink gets automatically added to a queue, brewed and paid for with the push or touch of a button. It’s already happened with cameras, video cameras and handheld gaming devices, but we can’t wait to ditch our cash, cards and maybe even ID’s and keys to access everything by carrying just one thing.

Journalist as Curator

Monday, March 21st, 2011

journalist asa curator

Social media has taken the power of citizen journalism to another level with real-time posts, conversations, photos and video. As print news sources take on digital form, we are observing how the role of a journalist is evolving from being an on-site reporter; capturing news from the second it happens, to more of a curator. The everyday person with a smartphone is already out there recording or announcing news as it happens. Instead of rendering journalists obsolete, we see their value evolving into a trusted source that can put together the best, most credible news and filter out the junk that is constantly added to real-time feed.

Part of the value in social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and even Quora is that an individual’s experience is curated personally by the user. People don’t want to or have the time to read all the news. They want to read news that matters to them, which usually happens to be news from people they know, people in their industry and people with similar interests. Success lies in an engine that can deliver that information most effectively, but still give a window of opportunity to suggest new topics or people that could be of interest given the trends of a user’s actions on a platform.

We see news reporting heading in the direction of curated reporting. There are sites out there that are already beginning to curate content such as CROWS NEST, Sign Off and recently LinkedIn’s new feature, LinkedIn Today. CROWS NEST is a Twitter aggregator that uses a mix of Twitter, Topsy, Typekit, and jQuery to pull the top 10 URLs shared by ad/tech/design Twitter users. Sign Off is a site and email newsletter that delivers relevant news based on your city. LinkedIn Today curates news most relevant to your industry, pulling from the career information each user provides in a LinkedIn profile. While browsing through articles, a user is able to see who shared the article, where they are located, and what they said about it even if the person is not a connection or contact. LinkedIn Today demonstrates the beginning of new journalism where news is delivered based on the industry a person is in and the person’s interests. Due to this growing need of trusted curators, we see the trend of journalism headed for better standards as more advanced tools are built to filter good content. Instead of a team of reporters, we might see teams of curators being formed as the way news is delivered continues to grow more and more personalized. We see this trend as a beneficial mechanism in building audience platforms for our clients. As we continue developing social media strategies for branded initiatives, we’ll be looking into incorporating curated content as we build experiences to engage targeted audiences.

Coupons or Check-ins

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011


With the Google + Groupon deal off the table, it’s just been announced that Google’s releasing its own coupon competitor, Google Offers. Groupon has been rapidly growing and making headlines this past year so it was only a matter of time before Google joined the group-buying fray and appealed to local business advertisers.

However, group buying and location-based services are still in the beginnings of development and are definitely not deemed mainstream yet. By throwing in a bit of game mechanics like reaching a target number of votes to score a deal, or being awarded for the number of check-ins, a wider audience is targeted outside the tech geek circle, including moms. However, the real value lies in, well, value. Sites like Groupon and Living Social are valuable as coupons, but more so as experiences. People might not go bungee jumping or macaroon making until the experience is set before them with a decent price tag.

We’re expecting to see group buying sites and check-ins become much more personalized with applications like Geoloqi, where automatic check-ins and functions like your grocery list popping up as you enter the market are set in place. If group buying and location-based services become staple tools for the everyday person running errands, retailers can tap into a real-time database where sharing your location and what you buy becomes mainstream. If it becomes useful enough, people will adopt it, influencing long-term mainstream consumer behavior.

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