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Archive for the ‘Mobile News’ Category


Shibuya Station, with over 65,000 checkins, is the top Foursquare location.

It’s sometimes easy to forget or discount how social media is being adopted so rapidly in other countries.

In Japan, the early adoption of iMode as a standardized mobile web experience was largely due to the control that the national carrier NTT DoCoMo had over Japanese mobile handset design. What was a uniquely Japanese experience didn’t translate to other markets but today DoCoMo’s influence is coming under multiple threats – not least because the Japanese consumer is attracted to either an Apple iPhone or Google Android flavor of the mobile web.

The impact isn’t just that consumers in Japan are starting to adopt a western mobile experience, its also that they are being exposed to and rapidly embracing what could now be regarded as a global mobile experience.

The globalization of the mobile experience is continuing with the recent announcement by Facebook that it is bringing Facebook Places to Japan, the second market after USA.

And another clue this is really taking hold: When I was in Tokyo earlier this summer, I displayed a LocaModa Foursquare screen showing activity in Shibuya Station. I was surprised to see that Shibuya had over 65,000 checkins. (Grand Central Station has 58,000 checkins – and that’s much closer to the epicenter of Foursuare’s home turf!) Tristan Walker, biz dev honcho at Foursquare tells me Shibuya has the most checkins of all Foursquare locations. Amazing.

One takeaway is that companies leveraging social media now have a platform to connect globally.

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A few months ago I wrote about the importance of location based services to digital out of home networks. Here’s a link to that post.

Yesterday, Facebook announced their platform approach to location based services, called Places. In the very near future Google will also announce their location based services product rumored also to be called Places.

Places allows users to “check-in” to locations, like they can with the Yelp, Gowalla and Foursquare, and then leave notes for their friends – or see which of their friends are near by. Chris Cox, Facebook’s VP product management, gave an example that “stories could be pinned to a physical location, so that maybe in 20 years our children will be able to say this is where our parents had their first kiss.”

But so far there has been little or no mention of how Places can benefit places!

If any of us in the DOOH industry has software running in a “place”, this is the moment we’ve been waiting for. “Places” is mainstream.

Er, so what does DOOH do with Places? Here are just a few ideas. You know where to go to find more where these come from….

Display a Place’s activity (number of checkins, who’s checkin in, who’s the major etc). Display curated user tips (or stories as per Chris Cox’s discription above) and offers/info from the location.

Connect the place’s jukebox to a Place’s social stream/fan page/website – what music is playing, what’s the most played music, who played it?

By displaying this data in the Place and beyond, we can search for a place that plays music we like, where our friends hang out etc. We can literally put a place on our own map – not in a static sense, but much more dynamically – showing activity in real time at or close to the location.

Places is going mainstream. So this is a chance for DOOH to take a bigger role in the development in the exciting social media explosion. DOOH is a perfect distribution model for place based media. Location based service platforms from Facebook, Google, Foursquare et al are great at connecting users to location based data. We can connect these two exciting (but otherwise disconnected markets).

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Texting is on the rise. We’ve embraced that fact. We know texting is here to stay. It’s shaping the way we communicate, pay bills, reach target audiences, and, well, simply live. The speed at which it entered our lives is pretty fascinating.

Just this week, we read headlines about the 13 year old who racked up 14,528 text messages in one month (that’s 484 messages a day!), and now it seems that LG’s US National Texting Championships may be the next national spelling bee!

KateMoore The championship finals were held this week in New York and the winning prize was $50,000. 15 year Kate Moore walked away with the trophy and the prize money this year, after competing against 20 other finalists in New York these last few days. The competition required them to text a modified chorus from Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah while doing crazy tasks like jumping obstacles on a treadmill and while blindfolded. The championship started out as a PR campaign for LG in 2007, and this is its third year in action.

It would’ve been spectacular to have the contestants text Wiffiti and have a screen that displayed the results in the studio. That way everybody would get to see how fast and accurate the contestants really were. Maybe next year. :)

(via WSJ)

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In an election climate that drew much of its early vigor from the infamous 3am text message heard ’round the nation, it’s only fitting that as the day grows closer we gear up in suitable fashion…
Yep… It’s time to get your cell phone outfitted for election day data overload.

As a first step, check out two of the best mobile sites I’ve found: Google Election News Tracker and CNN’s America Votes mobile site. I have the Goog app bookmarked on my iPhone (see my strangely red hand holding up said app below), and it’s a great quick resource pulling in the latest election-related rss feeds. It’s really nothing fancier than a simple pre-loaded search query, but helpful on the go.

Slate.com also released a sweet little iPhone app called Vote Tracker 08 (99 cents at the app store) that’s been getting positive reviews.

Moving beyond the mobile web, I urge you to follow Paul Notzold’s Txtual Healing 10 Nights, 10 Cities, 4 States, 1 Obama Road Trip ’08!

And, of course, don’t forget to send your Wiffiti support to the Obama Minute Billboard in Times Square!

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I came across this amazing excerpt this morning on Smart Mobs, which quite elegantly sums up the integrated, convergent vision of LocaModa and The New Media Triad.

The passage, taken from a longer work by Teemu Arina, explores How Mobile is Changing Our Society:

I have a feeling that the question we pose today is wrong. It’s not about mobile anymore. For some people, mobile means the devices that we carry around as we move, usually hooked up to a cellular network. The truth is, the activities we go through online with computers and what we do with our “mobiles” cannot be seen as separate anymore. This convergence means our language needs to change or our culture will never understand its future. . .

The mobile is like the horse wagon. If Henry Ford had asked people what they wanted, they would have said “faster horses.” It’s the language and our experience of the past that limits our understanding of the future of “mobile.”

Arina’s Mobile Monday Amsterdam event sold out its 400-seat capacity in 2 hours.

I’m not surprised.

[flickr cred]

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