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The Mobile App Trends Series is supported by Sourcebits, a leading product developer for mobile platforms. Sourcebits offers design and developmentservices for iOS, Android, Mobile and Web platforms. Follow Sourcebits onTwitter for recent news and updates.

A widely discussed article in Wired last summer posited the idea that the web is dead. The argument, which, on closer inspection appeared based on semantics, predicted that consumers would experience the web via peer-to-peer networks like Facebook and, increasingly, apps, in the future.

If that proves to be the case, a dead web may be good for advertising.

The reason? Aside from search, advertising on the web has been tricky. Consumers generally don’t click on banner ads — especially not on Facebook — and tend to view ads as an intrusion on their web-browsing experience. In contrast, a recent report by Appssavvy (admittedly not a disinterested observer) found that in-app ads perform 11.4 times better than standard banner ads, which means they are almost as effective as search.

That said, app publishers have been working on tweaking the “appvertising” model to make it more effective. Below is an overview of what seems to be working.

1. Become Part of the Game

 

Advertising in games is nothing new, but the the old model revolved mostly around product placement. But, as is the case with the TV and movie version of product placement, advertisers learned that having a Coke can in the background of a scene isn’t likely to sell many Cokes, but having a character drink it in a key moment — especially when the character is really thirsty and that Coke looks so good — is another story. When it comes to in-app games, the thirst-quenching Coke’s equivalent is having a brand pop up in a way that enhances the game experience.

For instance, last year, Microsoft ran a program with Appssavvy for Windows 7 in nqmoco’sGodFinger All-Stars. In that game, players control their own planet. The aim is to expand the planet and earn money, among other things, to get to the next level. So, Appssavvy, working with Universal McCann, brought a Windows Cloud into the game. Players could visit the Cloud the same way they’d visit their friends’ planets and earn in-game currency for doing so. If they wanted to, they could also click through a mobile landing page and learn more about Windows 7. “It leveraged activity [users] were already doing,” says Michael Burke, co-founder of Appssavvy. “They don’t mind the advertising.” Well, at least an impressively large minority didn’t — during the six-week promotion, 10% of the game’s players visited the Windows Cloud for a total of 6.1 million visits.

2. Bribery

Another approach is to forget about blending into the game and instead ask players to sit through an ad in exchange for virtual game currency. That’s the premise behind SocialVibe. In a recent campaign, for instance, SocialVibe gave away currency for Zynga’s various games if users visited The Big Game Tournament,  which pitted characters from FarmVille, YoVille, FrontierVilleand others in a football game sponsored by Kia. The effort had the highest time-spent-per-user of any SocialVibe game to date — 170 seconds.

Does bribing consumers to watch a commercial really work though? Clearly, some investors think so — SocialVibe just got a $20 million infusion of cash from Norwest Venture Partners last month. And a new company, Kiip, has a twist on this idea. Instead of virtual currency, they get real prizes. For example, if a player reaches a new height record in Doodle Jump, a Kiip notification will let the player know they’ve won a prize. Then a user can enter his email address to redeem the prize. Kiip has a roster of brand partners including Dr Pepper, Carl’s Jr., Popchips and GNC.

3. Make Better Ads

 

Not everyone thinks you have to twist consumers’ arms to get them to look at ads. Many believe that the rise of apps — especially among mobile users — will usher in a new era of more engaging advertising. Chief among the proponents of this belief is Apple’s Steve Jobs, who introduced Apple’s iAd platform in April 2010 as “mobile ads with emotion.” For Apple, though, the platform hasn’t been entirely successful. The company recently cut the entry price for an iAd in half to $500,000 and has reportedly had trouble selling the ads.

But Garrick Schmitt, managing director of experience and platform at Razorfish, says that rich media ads within apps perform much better than standard display ads — though he declines to get specific. Apple, he says, is just reacting to competition. Ads that Razorfish creates on behalf of clients like Best Buy and Westin Hotels are meant to offer more utility — you might say they’re more app-like — than the typical banner ad.

A rich media ad for Westin for instance, invites users to “tap here to warm up.” After that, virtual frost covers the iPhone screen and can be wiped away to reveal pictures of eight Westin Hotels & Resorts in warm climates. (See image above.) A Best Buy ad during the holidays made a game of buying gifts for family members. In another example, Razorfish created an iPhone-based ad for Dockers in 2009 that featured a man who would dance when the phone was shook. “Some ads are very game-like,” says Schmitt. “It’s a playful experience.”

Time to Learn

As these examples show, there are a few different schools of thought as to what app-vertising should look like. But the industry has some time to figure things out — right now it isn’t a completely mass medium. Noah Elkin, principal analyst with eMarketer, says that if you’re releasing a mobile app designed to be used on a smartphone, you’re effectively writing off 70% of the market. Though some predict that the user base for smartphones will hit 50% of consumers by the end of this year, Elkin says that figure is too optimistic. It’s also worth noting that early adopters to smartphones may be more engageable than those who buy them a year or so from now.

On the other hand, the mindset of someone who downloads an app may turn out to be more hospitable to advertising than old forms of media –- including the web. “App users are a self-selecting group,” says Elkin. “They tend to be more engaged.”

Series Supported by Sourcebits

The Mobile App Trends Series is supported by Sourcebits, a leading developer of applications and games for all major mobile platforms. Sourcebits has engineered over 200 apps to date, with plenty more to come. Sourcebits offers design and development services for iPhoneAndroidand more. Please feel free to get in touch with us to find out how we can help your app stand apart in a crowded marketplace. Follow Sourcebits on Twitter and Facebook for recent news and updates.

 http://mashable.com/2011/04/19/effective-appvertising/

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advertising opportunity in mobile phones

Currently we can see mobile phones whenever and wherever.

Mobile Marketing Services

There are various benefits of engaging mobile marketing services. This is a marketing service that is hired by companies for different purposes including: increasing sales, creating brand recognition, increasing sales among others.

The main reason why companies engage mobile marketing services is to have personalized communication with consumers. The service enables companies to engage customers on a one-on-one basis thus creating the feeling in customers that they are worthy and special because there is individual treatment.

Another advantage of the service is that it shortens the time for marketing a product. The service is able to have a wide reach for different groups of people who may be interested with the products offered by companies. The service is able to tailor messages that reach clients instantly and they can also receive instant feedback.

The service also has the advantage of allowing transmission of information that is time sensitive. Companies can reach their clients at certain junctures such as just before they have lunch, when they leave their offices, when they go to office etc. the timing will be such that the customer can get the message before they undertake an action so that they may engage their minds towards a better option on what they were about to undertake. This enables companies to advertise on certain daily specials such as free meals with certain purchases, buy one get one free offers etc.

The mobile marketing services include a platform for message customization. The service allows companies to change messages, deliver the messages instantly, schedule for future deliveries of messages at certain times etc. this service enables companies to reach out to their clients directly on their mobile phones.

The service also ensures that messages are delivered to the people who have been targeted. Companies that send out their information to clients can sit easy knowing that once the messages are sent, the service ensures that the information is delivered to the intended audience. The service is built upon the fact that the technology does not allow any mishaps in delivery.

Companies that use mobile marketing services are assured that they are not forcing their campaign on unwilling participants. The information sent out to customers is always welcome because the customers are the ones who opt-in on their own accord. The service only sends out information to clients who have signed up for the service and have requested it. Research proves that cell phone users are willing to accept text messages that they have opted in on. This is a great foundation for a successful marketing campaign.

Another reason why companies go for mobile marketing services is that it enables them to target actual and potential customers. The target is on both new customers and those who already exist. The former would get the service by opting-in while the latter will welcome the opportunity to be a part of a campaign that will engage them in a more personalized level. This increases customer loyalty.

The mobile marketing services maximize the effectiveness of cost and ensure returns. The service enables companies to increase sales of their existing products. It also allows for the introduction of new products.

the influence of mobile phones

The influence of mobile phones

What is my most important element in people’s lives? The first thing came into my mind is mobile phone, other than water, air or food. I cannot live without my phone, and I think other people have the similar situations with me.  We can see mobile phones whenever and wherever. People play their phones when they are on the ways, in the trains, buses, rooms, and even the toilets.  We are now in a world dominated by mobile phones.

Why people spend so much time on that? What kind of influence does mobile phone has one people? To get the answers, we have to discover and understand mobile phone and its characteristics.

A mobile phone is well known as a cellular phone or simply cellphone. It is a wireless handheld device that allows users to make calls and send text messages, among other features such as Web browsers, games, cameras, video players and even navigational systems.

These features make mobile phone characterized with entertainment, immediacy, interactivity, economy, and integration.

l  Entertainment. There are many entertainment apps in fields such like music, book movie, and game.

l  Immediacy. Mobile phone is a 7/24 must-have to people, people can use their phones at any time, any place.

l  Interactivity. Mobile phone provides many platforms based on mobile web service where allow people to share their opinions, feedbacks whenever.

l  Economy. The mobile phone services like phone call, sms, and mobile web are at low prices which meet people’s budget plan.

l  Integration. Mobile phone is integrated with many other services in fields such like business, design, and education.

It is these characteristics that make people addicted to their mobile phones. But such addictions are equal to illness which is bad for people’s health and lives.

The video named “I forgot my phone” describes the illness vividly. The video records a day of a girl without mobile phone. And on the day, the girl clearly notices and acknowledges the mobile phone illness.

Everyone she met with on the day was playing phones no matter when they are sleeping, eating, hanging out with friends, on a party, asking for marriage or at a concert.

When I finished watching the video, I felt quite anxious and scaring. It seems we have lost our true happiness and love in our lives. Before the completed interruption of mobile phone, we can enjoy any moment when we are with our friends, families, or listen music, or watch movie. But now, we have lost them all. I am sad to such addictions to mobile phones.
We should not have been so offish to our friends, families and ourselves. Mobile phones are just convenient tools, and it cannot take the places of our friends and families. Only are friends and families our most important fortune, so if we ignore them so much due to the mobile phones, we will totally lose them, and we will be alone and lonely forever.

So it is important to pay attention on the issue caused by mobile phones, and take actions to stop and prevent it.

Now in Australia, US and England, there are some activities called “http://stopphubbing.com/” to call on people to stop playing phones when they are with friends and families members. It is aimed to remind people to show respect to themselves, other people, and the whole society

Also I heard of that there are some restaurants in New York setting up rules for customers that they must hand in their phones when they are dinning here, which makes customers enjoy their meal times without any interruption from the phones.

There must be someone disagreed my opinion by arguing that mobile phones are our good friends which enhance our communication.

But with the increasing functions of mobile phones, people are more addicted to these functions and contribute themselves more to the phones than to their friends or families.

I admit that mobile phones are necessary to people, but actually, I hope we can recall the past years without phones: we felt happy from our heart when we received letters from our friends or families, and when we met them again.

This Thursday is mid-autumn festival, and I will leave my phone alone and spend my time on celebrating the festival with my friends and families, what about you?

Creative Commons in China

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Creative Commons in China

Creative Commons is a non-for-profit organization affiliated both of Harvard University and Stanford University that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal and technical tools. It is well-known in the world including China because it not only protect users’ copyrights, but also promote the sharing and use of their creative works worldwide.  But on the other side, Creative Commons encounters some barriers in the Chinese market. Now let’s first look at the benefits of Creative Commons in the aspects of copyright protection and creative works sharing.

Creative Commons provides a simple and standardized way for people to apply for its free and easy-to-use copyright licenses, and the CC licenses allow users to use its combined tools to change their copyright terms optionally according to their wants. The combination of its tools is a vast and growing digital commons, a pool of content that can be copied, distributed, edited, remixed, and built upon, all within the boundaries of copyright law. When they apply for the CC license, they will be advised to answer several questions step by step to check the restrictions they want to set up for the public. Let’s take some examples of the questions—Do I want to allow attribution (BY) or not? Do I want to allow commercial use or not (Non-commercial, NC)? Do I want to allow derivative works or not (No Derivative works, ND)? Do I want to share alike (SA) or not? These questions are established for people to choose their own license types. The types including Attribution CC BY, Attribution-NoDerivs CC BY-ND, Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike CC BY-NC-SA, Attribution-ShareAlike CC BY-SA, Attribution-NonCommercial CC BY-NC, Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND.

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More amazing is Creative Commons can create fantastic effects by its remixing tool. People can allow their works to be remixed and changed into some fresh or even miraculous works. So Creative commons provides the universal access to research and education, full participation in culture — to drive a new era of development, growth, and productivity, via the Internet.

In china, there are many social media platforms using the Creative Commons, such like Tudou, Qi Ji Wen Ku and Xin She Ying. Many creative works are protected, promoted and shared universally on these websites. The first creative work authorised by Creative Commons in China was the music album of Yuexin Zhu , the Lord’s Prayer. And on March 29, 2006, when the license agreement of Creative Commons was officially released in Renmin University of China in Beijing,  iMagine Pty Ltd apply the CC-NC-ND 2.5 CHINA License to “PatPet”,  the first digital CD record in china. And the msn emotions of the Onion created by Taiwan Cartoonist Ethan also have the Creative Common License and now for commercial use.

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Even though Creative Commons has these benefits, it encounters some barriers in China like personal factor, culture factor and IT factor.

Personal factor:

Under the huge stress of increasingly fierce competition in the current society in China, many people don’t want to share their own knowledge because they consider their knowledge as the guarantee of their personal values and statuses in the competition, and they are afraid that if they share the knowledge, they will lose competition advantages and personal benefits.

Culture factor

The most important criterion for Chinese company to assess their employees is their different, special or unique skills, and everyone should keep at least one of that skills, which is the traditional Chinese culture. So many Chinese people will not like to share their key knowledge or skills to anybody even the closest one. On the other hand, many people don’t believe in that their copyrights can be protected during sharing process.

IT factor

The information technology in China is not very developed because there are only information management systems in most Chinese companies not the information sharing systems. Due the misunderstanding of sharing and the limitation of information technology, Creative Commons cannot be correctly applied.

These barriers not only limit the development of Creative Commons, but also affect the development of the Chinese companies, and in further the Chinese economy. So China should pay more attention on the dissemination and application of Creative Commons in China.

DIY NEWS

DIY_Logo

DIY NEWS

I know we can DIY many things such as bags, books and food, but never heard that we can DIY news. When I read the book of Graham Meikle, “Interpreting News”, the phase of “DIY news” first came into my eyes. In the book, the author states there is a DIY spirit including indymedia which allow users to set up their own media networks, and these independent media networks allow them to DIY their own identities and news.

It means everyone can use the indymedia to produce news by themselves. I think this kind of press freedom has some advantages and disadvantages.

People can post the news instantly whenever or wherever, with less control from third party. But it will bring risks to the basic requirements of news such like privacy, account safety, newsworthy and healthy content, as well as truthful information. So if people post news, they have to obey the ethical rules for journalists even they are not journalists.

Here are some ethical standards for journalists:

  1. Report  honestly about accuracy, fairness and disclosure of all necessory facts.
  2. Do not place unnecessary emphasis on race, ethnicity, nationality, age, sexual orientation, family relationships, religious belief, or physical or intellectual disability.
  3. Report facts excluding personal interest, or any belief, commitment, payment, gift or benefit.
  4. Do not allow advertising or other business use.
  5.  Do your utmost to ensure disclosure of any direct or indirect payment made for interviews, pictures, information or stories.
  6.  Present pictures, sound and videos which are true and accurate.
  7. Do not plagiarize.
  8. Respect private grief and personal privacy.

People may argue that they should not obey these standards because they are not the journalists who work at news agencies. But I think the point is the news not journalist. If they want to post and disseminate information as news, they should consider the qualifications of news which are similar to the requirements of journalists.

People should take the responsibilities of what they post, because they may influence or shape the viewers’ opinions on the issues. If the information they post is fake or unethical, the viewers will receive and form wrong and bad attitudes towards the issue or the world.

For example,  there was a news said that Lovenstein Institute of Scranton found that President George. W. Bush’s IQ level was at 91 which was the lowest one among presidents of last 50 years. But  linkydinky.com a reliable and reputable news source doubted the  truth of the finding of Dr. Lovenstein because they found that Dr. Lovenstein lived in a mobile home in Scranton where mismatched the status of being the Dr. Lovenstein.

such fake news warped the fair and right attitudes of people towards President George. W. Bush, some people lost faith to President Bush, and even fighted against the government, which caused bad influenced on President Bush, the government, and even the whole society.

Secondly, the unqualified news will force the public lose faith to news media and other platforms. They may never believe in the news they see on online no matter who post.

As for me, it is hard to believe in the online news. I did believe these news at the first, but after a few days there was another news said the previous one was fake . I didn’t know which one I should believe in, so I preferred to disbelieving any one.  And now, I never read news online.

Thirdly, it may  hurt people involved in the news by causing bad reputation, mental or physical harm, and property damages. 

There was a terrible fake news in china in the mid 2010. A female teacher called Feiyan Kong  inHefei No. 42 Middle School in Anhui was reported that she had seduced 900 boy students in last 8 years. But after a few days, the truth came out. there was no Feiyan Kong in the school, and the photo of the teacher in the previous news was a model’s. Even though the truth arose, the previous fake news had already caused a bad reputation for Hefei No. 42 Middle School, because of the bad impressions of the school on the public caused by the fake news. 

Finally, the unqualified news may cause social disruption.

So people are encouraged to DIY news, but at the same time, they are suggested to obey the standards of journalists.

http://www.alliance.org.au/code-of-ethics.html

http://www.cracked.com/article_17318_7-clearly-fake-news-stories-that-fooled-mainstream-media.html

http://blog.163.com/dian_zizheng/blog/static/16457381820105751424530/

Influences of social media on business

Influences of social media on business 

After I read the article of Boyd.D and Ellison. N, my attention and interest was drawn on the influence of social media on business. The way organizations communicate with customers has been fast transformed by social media. As a cost-effective way to engage online, social media enable companies to broader reach and cover its customers than email. With a simple post or tweet, businesses can promote products and services, provide instant feedback or support, and create an online community of rand enthusiasts. So if companies want to keep its competitive advantages and succeed in today’s business world, consistent social media strategy is necessary.

There are many articles providing tips for social media strategy such like finding the right social media platforms, understanding the features and functions of the chose social media platforms, fully engagement and utilization,  create own contents, personalize own sites and make them social to viewers, and make links to emails, corporate websites and other social media platforms.

All these tips are important suggestions to businessman when they want to promote their businesses by social media, but I think one of the most important tips about the social media strategy is acknowledging and utilizing the characteristics and functions of social media.

Social media have the following characteristics.

  • Immediacy. The online dialogue technologies provided by social media enable companies to seize and manage the potential opportunities or issues more actively and positively.
  • Universal influence: There were 121 billion minutes in July 2012 spent on social media only in US, 56 % of people in world using the social media. So the potential market for business is huge.

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  • low-cost: now most of the social media are free of charge, and which would be a great method to save costs.
  • It is convenient for companies to improve customer services by collecting customers’ feedback from the social media because customers will share their opinions or experiences about the products or services on social media.
  • Brand loyalty. There are at least 50% of users on Twitter and Facebook preferring to discuss, recommend or purchase the products form the companies they follow on social media.

Apart from these characteristics, social media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Worldpress have many functions to support business. Let’s take Facebook as the example.

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  • Scheduling Posts. I think it is a useful function for time management on marketing. Companies can preplan and schedule all the posts so that they can save certain time and human resources on the posts.

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  • Role Allocation.  Page managers can now choose to allocate different levels of access to a page. The roles include Manager, Content Creator, Moderator, Advertiser and Insights Analyst. It is a good way to protect companies’ privacy and manage tasks for the media marketing.

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  • Post promotion. Facebook develop the function to extend the reach of companies’ posts within the normal newsfeed. They can choose the budget from $5.00 to $20.00 to put towards it and then receive a rough idea from Facebook about the coverage of the posts from 1,800 to 3,500 people based on this budget. It can then last up to three days in the newsfeed. I think it is a cheap but effective method for marketing.

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After acknowledging these characteristics and functions, the next step for business is the utilization. But what I want to remind here is to keep an eye on the fake information and protect privacy on social media.

But overall, social media has had and is continuing to have a huge influence on business, marketing and on how businesses engage with their target market. The use of social media to share and engage with others continues to grow at an astounding rate, so it would be wise for any business to develop and implement a sustainable social media strategy in order to successfully take advantage of this rapidly changing environment.

http://www.salesforcemarketingcloud.com/blog/2013/08/social-media-strategy-tips/

http://blogs.salesforce.com/company/2013/06/6-powerful-marketing-tips-for-your-social-media-strategy.html

http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/newswire/2012/social-media-report-2012-social-media-comes-of-age.html

http://www.ignitesocialmedia.com/facebook-marketing/facebook-page-functions/