2010 Technology Summary

January 17, 2011 – 12:00 am

First, lets take a look back at my post from January 4, 2010: Trends, Predictions & Thoughts for 2010.

While I predicted a pretty aggressive growth trend for location-based services (Foursquare, Gowalla, etc), I think the adoption rate has followed my expectations. I was surprised that Facebook decided to build their own vs. acquire someone, but I’m sure they figured that since they have such a large user base that is growing so fast, they didn’t have to go down the acquisition path. While Foursquare has five million users, Facebook is approaching 600 million.

Not everyone is sold on location based services yet. According to
Who Uses Location-Based Services, only 4% of US online adults have ever used location-based social networks on their mobile phones, with only 1% using them more than once a week, according to Forrester. A typical location-based app user, it says, is:

  • Influential, with 38% more likely than the average US online adult to say that friends and family ask their opinions before making a purchase decision.
  • Part of an interesting target group, as they are typically young adult males with college degrees.
  • A heavy mobile researcher, as they are also far more likely to search for information about businesses and products, as well as read customer ratings/reviews of products and services.

The biggest miss I had was branded virtual goods. Virtual goods have their places in games such as MyTown and Gaia Online but haven’t taken off on Facebook. Virtual goods are an important part of games like Farmville. Facebook currency could be big, but it’s still in the early stage. Based on my conversations with social gaming companies, the ability to offer credits for taking an action, such as viewing an advertisement and get five credits in return, could be a way for brands to provide incentives and reward engagement.

I would say that Apple pretty much dominated the consumer tech space in 2010. Much more than I had predicted. iPad, iPhone 4, Apple TV. Oh, and the millions of iPods sold every year, but that doesn’t get much press anymore. Yes, I understand that companies like Dell sell millions of computers every year, but you don’t see people waiting in line to pick up the latest release.

As of today, Apple stock is currently trading at 340. Not bad since it started 2010 at $210/share.

The iPad came out in April. While it doesn’t have Adobe Flash support, that definitely hasn’t slowed it down. The iPad helped move Apple into the middle ground from a pricing standpoint between iPods, which it seems every household owns at least one these days, towards a higher priced laptop computer. While the iPad doesn’t have the full features of a laptop computer, it covers the majority of where consumers are spending their time: email, Facebook & media consumption. While not all content is available on the iPad, Netflix, Hulu & most major sites are moving towards better support with HTML 5. 15.7 million tablets sold worldwide in 2010, and the iPad represents roughly 85% of that and tablet sales are expected to quadruple by 2012. YouTube had more than 700 billion video views in 2010 and part of the success has been their multiple device and format support.

Amazon’s Kindle will surpass 8 million units in 2010 and at $140, that’s a pretty hefty chunk of revenue for Amazon, not to mention book & content sales. Amazon has launched new features that enable their content to be read on multiple devices, including the iPad, mobile phones and online, so that will be a big boom to their content distribution model.

PC World published a list of their best tech products from 2010, which had the iPad listed as runner up.

ZDNet listed the iPad as the top technology surprises of 2010.

And, just like everyone else, VentureBeat listed the iPad as one of the biggest stories of 2010.

The latest generation of the iPhone was met with much anticipation and was in the hands of consumers in June. Descriptions of the phone were leaked after one was found “lost” in a bar in California.

While there was controversy around the device, including some reception problems, after using an iPhone 4 since they launched, I can say the device definitely brings the power of a computer into your hands. HTC EVO 4G & Samsung Epic 4G were launched by Sprint and powered Android. Verizon and other carries launched powerful Android phones like DROID from Motorola and Verizon is launching with the iPhone in Q1 2011.

According to Wikipedia, as of October 2010, there are at least 300,000 third-party applications officially available on the App Store, with over 7 billion total downloads.

On October 25, 2010 the official AndroidDev twitter account announced that the Android market had surpassed the 100,000 app milestone and as of late December 2010, over 200,000. You can check out the latest Android stats at Wikipedia & AndroLib. Several reports have been published that show Android & Apple as pretty much even at the end of 2010.

There are application stores for Nokia, BlackBerry & Windows devices, but none of them are as popular as Android market & the Apple App store.

HP bought Palm in April, as they try to gain some ground in the mobile connected space, including smartphones and tablets. I’m not sure how that is going to net out, since the Palm share of the market is so small.

Ping, a music-focused social network created by Apple topped the list of bad ideas from NPR Music.

Based on the install base of iTunes, I’m sure the usage will grow over time, but I wasn’t wowed by it and I haven’t used it either.

The one exception I see to Apple’s dominance of consumer technology was been the successful launch of Microsoft Kinect, with 8 million sold in the first few months of the release.

Angry Birds, which was created by a small Finnish company, has taken the mobile gaming world by storm, racking up 200 million minutes of game play each day.

New York Times:Although Rovio has released two dozen other mobile games, none have come close to the success of Angry Birds, which cost about $100,000 to make and has been downloaded 50 million times in the last year. The paid version for the iPhone, which costs 99 cents in the United States, has brought in more than $8 million in revenue; Apple said last week that it was the best-selling iPhone app of 2010. The free version for phones running Google’s Android software should produce $1 million a month in advertising revenue by the end of the year, Rovio says.

Data makes the world go round. And those in control of the data are in the position of both power and responsibility. Gawker Media was one of the sites that got hacked.

The email addresses and passwords of hundreds of thousands of users were compromised. Some of the basic passwords were decrypted and I’m sure eventually the whole file will be decrypted to expose all 1+ million user accounts.

With a large user base, Facebook is a huge target for attacks. And as more sites allow authentication via Facebook and Twitter and sharing content back out to social networks, they will continue to be targets.

One of the challenges with many of the startups is that for the ones that are successful, the growth curve can be difficult to support and sometimes the focus is shifted to reliability and scalability vs. security. Twitter was unavailable so much when they were getting off the ground that it got to be expected and accepted.

Between WikiLeaks, hacked celebrity accounts and the rise of an online Do Not Track list, online privacy and security will hopefully get more attention in the next two years than they have in the past. The amount of data available at the individual level is staggering – social data, purchase data, demo data, etc can all be connected. Semantic targeting has been discussed as one way to get around some of the privacy concerns, but it’s not ready for prime time yet, so in the short term we’ll see a growth in branded incentives for viewing branded content. The government will step in and try and get more involved, but it will be several years before anything gets passed or standards are created.

Applications, like Firesheep, a Firefox extension that makes it relatively easy to hack into social sites if consumers aren’t careful when using open WiFi hotsposts, were big news and then gone. I thought it would shake people up, but it seems everyone has just been ignoring how easy it is. It’s almost like people expect their accounts to get hacked at some point.

Net Neutrality has been in the press and will continue, but the FCC doesn’t have the regulatory control to really push it through and enforce and the regulations are going to be challenged in court and by Congress, so I don’t plan on seeing it for a while. And, since wireless is left out and is the biggest area for growth, I’m not sure how big of an impact it’s going to have, as everyone involved is going to find ways around the regulations.

I enjoyed The Social Network movie and with multiple awards and nominations, including 6 Golden Globe nominations, I’m sure we’ll see movies around other high-growth companies. Twitter? Google? Who will be next…

That’s a lengthy list of topics, but if nothing else, I’ll look back 10 years from now and laugh at how antiquated everything on this last has become.





The Evolution of Advertising Continues

November 26, 2010 – 11:20 am

There have been many discussions around the evolution of advertising lately.

You could argue the way consumers are engaged and products are sold is continually evolving, but I don’t think we’ve seen such a dramatic shift as the last ten years. The internet, mobile, online video and most recently, social media are just a few of the many things that have contributed to the change in the advertising model.

Some people are saying that the future of advertising isn’t advertising at all. I would argue that advertising will always exist. The model is shifting to be more participatory with consumers, but someone still has to create the platforms and tools to engage consumers. The growth of search marketing has grown to address the demand for consumers initiating the dialog, such as “I have a need for a product to do X.”

Fast Company had a good article that circulated around agency circles recently called The Future of Advertising. The question that everyone is asking, is how do we get there and still make money for the big ideas we bring to the table?

There is one line in particular that struck me as interesting:
They’re all well aware that coding is now prized over copywriting and that a résumé that includes Xbox and Google is more desirable than one featuring stints at BBDO or Grey.

For those outside the ad agency world, BBDO & Grey are a few of the many well respected and award winning advertising agencies. Xbox, or Microsoft for that matter, didn’t create all the ads themselves (McCann Erickson created some really great ads for Xbox).

I agree that “At agencies, the new norm is doing exponentially complex work” (The Future of Ad Agencies and Social Media) but traditional media skills still have a place. And really, in the near future, there won’t be “traditional” or “digital” – as digital is really becoming a key component of all campaigns.

The key is having award-winning brands in your portfolio and successful campaigns, from the client or agency side. Working at an innovative organization doesn’t mean all the individuals that work there are necessarily innovative. Most innovative campaigns aren’t successful, for a variety of reasons. Not every brand wants, or can afford, a cutting edge campaign and many times emerging media campaigns aren’t a good fit for a brand.

Speaking of the Xbox, there was an interesting article around how everyone, including Microsoft, is looking for ways to monetize their products in a different way: Kinect could be Microsoft’s ticket to addressable advertising on your TV. This approach raises all kinds of questions around privacy, but that’s for a different post.

I’m a big advocate of investing in emerging technology. Advertising agencies need to be on the cutting edge to continue to draw attention – “the most successful, game-changing campaigns are generally a bit ahead of the curve” (The Future of Ad Agencies and Social Media), but emerging media campaigns don’t have the reach and scale needed all by themselves. Sure, TV and how video content is consumed is changing as products like the iPad and Apple TV go mainstream, but TV isn’t dead (yet).

In summary, advertising (and agencies) will continue to evolve, but will always have a place, with opportunities for new leaders to emerge as platforms, channels and technologies continue to change.

Technorati Tags: advertising, agency, model, trends





Is Facebook Places the AOL of location-based services?

August 26, 2010 – 11:02 am

With the announcement of Facebook Places, I wanted to share my thoughts. Facebook Places, for those that aren’t familiar with it yet, is the latest feature from Facebook that allows you to “check in” at locations using an application on smartphone.

So here’s the summary: In my opinion, Facebook Places is the AOL of location-based services. I’m a big fan of Foursquare and they aren’t going anywhere, for now at least. They don’t have the scale (yet), but they have the cool factor and brands on board.

Let me explain a bit more.

Facebook has a huge number of users. Over 500 million, currently. But, Facebook Places is limited to an iPhone app and a mobile website that somewhat works on newer smartphones like the Andorid platform (although it’s pretty clunky, from what my Android friends have said). While everyone is touting the 500 million user level, it’s actually quite smaller than that when it comes to Facebook Places users. So, when it comes to location, they have some of the same challenges as other services until smarthphones take the majority.

Everyone keeps telling me that because Facebook has so many users, they will for sure dominate location-based services (see visual below from jess3), but I disagree. Everyone knew it was only a matter of time before Facebook launched a location-based check-in program. I’m sure Twitter will do the same in the near future.

Check out what we are calling "The Geosocial Universe&qu... on Twitpic

Brands will inevitably get on board and claim their locations in mass and Facebook will start to monetize all the data they are collecting. I’m just surprised they didn’t launch with more strategic partners like they did with the Facebook social plugins.

But for now, there just aren’t many reasons to use Facebook Places.

Meanwhile, companies like Whrrl are announcing significant rewards for sharing check-ins. Click here to read about their latest Vegas campaign.

Foursquare was part of the Facebook Places launch, along with several other location-based companies, which was a bit awkward for everyone.

In an interview with The Telegraph, Crowley says: “I have now had a chance to play around with Facebook Places and it’s not that great or interesting. It’s a pretty boring service, with barely any incentives for users to keep coming back and telling their friends where they are.” To boot, “The only interesting thing about Places is that it has a potential audience of over 500 million people around the world… but that can only be a good thing for location-based services, like Foursquare, as Facebook will educate the masses about check-ins,” Crowley adds. Crowley believes that Foursquare’s gaming mechanics will keep people far more enticed into using his service over the likes of Places. “I always knew Facebook would launch a check-in tool,” he tells The Telegraph. “I knew that on the day we started creating Foursquare. But I also knew that people needed incentives to keep checking-in and sharing their location. Facebook could copy our games ideas, but we are working on a raft of new mechanics which we hope will keep Foursquare fresh and ‘check-in fatigue’ away.” source

Compared to other location-based services like Yelp, claiming a location on Facebook is downright painful (see below). Who’s going to upload their articles of incorporation? And how will Facebook store this data? I understand that Facebook wants to verify that someone has the ability to claim the location. But they don’t do that with Facebook pages or URL’s, which I can pretty much say that I’m anyone and wait for a major brand to complain, in the meanwhile, creating consumer confusion.

Facebook Places claim

The poll below was from Mashable: Location Faceoff: Facebook Places vs. Foursquare. The results would lead me to believe that the influencers on the cutting edge are sticking with Foursquare. At some point, when a technology or service reaches mainstream, it loses the cool factor for emerging technologist. If everyone is using it, it isn’t emerging anymore. That doesn’t mean that consumers and businesses are using it correctly, just that the usage has grown.

The feature to allow other users to check you in on your behalf, in my mind, is just a bad idea all around and has huge privacy implications. Sure, you can create customized lists of individuals you would like to share your location with (see video) but most people won’t go to the trouble and just share check-ins with everyone.

Facebook newsfeeds are being clogged up with meaningless Facebook Places check-ins. I’ve heard a variety of different stats in regards to percentages of Foursquare checkins that are also posted to Facebook & Twitter. Some people have their Twitter accounts automatically post to Facebook, so that number may be larger. I’ve heard that around 20% of people share their Foursquare check-ins to Facebook. The results tend to be higher at locations that have a positive cool factor like Starbucks vs. a random gas station.

I’ll occasionally share check-ins, but usually only when I have a comment to add in addition to the check-in – more than just “I’m here.” Foursquare suffered from this same problem when it started, but most users have figured out the balance so that they don’t drop a bunch of friends in the process of over-sharing every time they took a step.

Greg Sterling takes an interesting perspective in a post about the real target of Facebook Places

…if you want to argue that Facebook is going after anyone in particular, the same thing must equally be said about a range of companies that includes yellow pages publishers, newspapers, cityguides, local verticals and many others that offer local information online and/or sell ads to small businesses.

So, what do you think of Facebook Places? Little by little, several of my 2010 predictions are taking shape. While I’m not on board with Facebook Places at the moment, I’m sure they’ll make improvements over the next 6 months to make it a very solid product, including brand partnerships, multimedia integration and rewards programs. The launch is definitely good for the location-based services market as a whole and will help educate the masses. I think Facebook will start to compete more directly with Yelp & yellow page/directory services and turn their web search into a map based local search service, including recommendations from friends. In essence – competing directly with Google and others for world domination of the technology world.

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Sustaining Innovation – Achieving Near-Term and Long-Term Objectives

August 16, 2010 – 1:15 pm

There was a great article in the July 26th edition of Computerworld – IT Innovation: How to avoid being a one-hit wonder.

There is also a related article – “Innovation: Trendy Topic, Hard to Do” that I had to mention, because the headline really hits home. I think the challenges that smaller businesses have is that they want to be innovative, but lack the ongoing support and sustain it.

While the article focuses on innovation in IT, the approach applies to innovation in general.

Many people also believe that innovation just “happens” – but it doesn’t. It takes a very systematic approach to maintain innovation over the long-term.

Katrina Lane, Chief technology Officer at Harrah’s Entertainment asserts that it’s crucial to manage the innovation process; it’s not something that will happen on its own. “There have to be strong metrics, timelines and processes, such as how you get to rollout. It’s not all research and dreamy,” she says. “Innovation is a systematic process. It’s like research and development. You have to manage your pipeline.”

In particular, there was a section that I wanted to share, listed below. The one sentence summary:
“The keys to making innovation a sustainable process, they say, include understanding the business inside and out, setting up a team dedicated to trying new ideas, and not being afraid to fail.”

The Building Blocks of Innovation
Consultants say the following elements are key to building an environment that can sustain innovation:

  • Give employees the right to fail
  • Spread responsibility for innovation throughout the organization, top to bottom
  • Develop partnerships with other departments
  • Create a central repository for ideas and experiments
  • Establish processes and ownership

There has to be a good blend of providing enough time and resources for employees to innovate, but not in a vacuum so that they understand the real challenges of the business. The article also references the importance of shorter term innovations, which may be implemented with the shifting of existing resources, to future technologies that, while not applicable at the moment for a wide scale deployment, may help shape the future of the organization.

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MobileBeat 2010 Summary: The Future of Advertising & Location

July 22, 2010 – 11:53 am

MobileBeat 2010

Last week I was fortunate to be invited to speak on a panel about the future of advertising and location-based services at MobileBeat 2010.

Location is a hot topic in the industry, with venture capital flowing into this area (Andreessen Horowitz Leads $20 Million Investment in Foursquare)

VentureBeat put together a good recap of each session: Here’s what happened at MobileBeat 2010 including my panel, Location and advertising: A new recipe for monetizing content?

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MobileBeat 2010: Geolocation & the Future of Mobile Advertising

July 1, 2010 – 3:17 pm

MobileBeat 2010

I’m excited to announce that I’ll be presenting along with some of the best minds in the industry about geolocation and the future of mobile advertising at MobileBeat 2010.

Overview:
The third annual MobileBeat conference is proud to introduce a new two-day format that offers expanded content and networking. Come join mobile industry leaders on July 12-13 at The Palace Hotel in San Francisco, as we explore the year of the superphone, who will profit from it, and how.

The Age of the Superphone has begun, and three camps—carriers, device makers, and software developers—are all vying for dominion over consumers’ pocketbooks. The powers are redrawing their boundaries, rewriting the treaties, and preparing to wage battle onstage and in backroom dealmaking this July 12-13 at MobileBeat 2010.

MobileBeat 2010 is all about who among these players will make money, how and why.

Monday, July 12
11:00am – 11:50am [Breakout Session] Where’s the Moolah in Mobile Content? As mobile ad networks mature, new geolocation technologies and mobile content offerings from big publishers present fresh monetization opportunities. What is the future of mobile advertising?

Panelists:

  • Elad Gil, Twitter, Director of Geo
  • Alistair Goodman, Placecast, CEO
  • Dustin Jacobsen, Barkley, VP of Social Media & Technology
  • Dinesh Moorjani, IAC, SVP of Mobile
  • Cyriac Roedinger, Shopkick, Co-Founder & CEO

Moderator: JP Manninen, VentureBeat

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Location-Based Marketing: Strategy & Insight for Brands & Agencies

June 29, 2010 – 9:29 am

Foursquare mayorship

There’s been several great articles recently on location-based marketing that I’d like to share.

The first is a blog post from Soical Fresh: 21 Unique Location Examples from Foursquare, Gowalla, Whrrl and MyTown

In the article above are some great examples of how brands, large and small, are utilizing the various location-based services out there. While not fully exhaustive, as new campaigns are launching all the time, I think it provides the best compilation of projects to date.

There are a few other projects I’d add to the list, including the Tasti D-Lite loyalty program, Red Bull (Whrrl) and Intercontinental Hotel Group that integrated Gowalla into their loyalty program.

There are some companies that didn’t make the list either that I’d add, like Loopt Star and Brightkite.

There are plenty of active projects by all location-based companies, and in some cases, you’d be better off working with a smaller player to have more influence over the end product. Keep in mind that several of the companies are growing so fast that they’ve had some growing pains along the way, including downtime, but don’t let that turn you away.

Yelp is another organization that I think needs more attention. They’ve got the scale, both on mobile devices and the web that puts them towards the top of the list for restaurants and retail, at least.

  • 32 million unique website visitors in May 2010 (top 100 website)
  • 1.4 million unique iPhone users
    • 27% of all Yelp searches come from the iPhone app
    • 500,000 phone calls
    • 1 million point-to-point directions

Pepsi, which ran one of the first branded campaigns on Foursquare and the exclusive non-alcoholic beverage partner, has launched their own location-based checkin service called Pepsi Loot, which allows users to find locations where Pepsi can be purchased and rewarding users for checking in.

Launching a private location-based network is not a small undertaking, but for Pepsi, I can see it as a viable project, especially considering the value of the consumer data they will collect.

One thing I’ll point out is that there has been low recall (but high response) for location-based services (eMarketer), but it’s still an emerging area, so I think that will evolve with time.

There was also an article from eMarketer (Privacy Concerns Fail to Slow Social Activity) that shows while privacy is still a concern, it hasn’t slowed down users from being active in social media.

There are rumors of a significant venture capital investment in Foursquare (with a $100 million valuation by some), but there have also been rumors about buyouts as well.

Mashable had another great article with tips on location-based marketing:

  • learn the platforms
  • determine goals
  • establish your presence
  • customize & implement compelling promotions
  • engage, track & adapt

Lastly, there was a great article from ReadWriteWeb Why We Check In: The Reasons People Use Location-Based Social Networks – another must read for those trying to understand location-based marketing.

They grouped the venues into food, travel, parks, education & nightlife.

The reasons for checkins were serendipity & connection, to win some kind of prize or reward (mayorship, sweepstakes, etc) and for maintaining a personal history (a “lazy diary”).

I’m excited about where this space is headed – so claim your venue, check in and start learning and sharing with your peers.

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Mobile Marketing Presentations for Social Media Club Kansas City

June 22, 2010 – 11:06 pm

On the evening of June 22, 2010, the Social Media Club of Kansas City organized and Barkley hosted a speaker lineup on the topic of mobile marketing.

An introduction to mobile development and the landscape was presented by Mike Craig from Ruxter Mobile.

Barbara Ballard, from Little Springs Design, spoke about discoverablily of mobile apps & web sites as well as designing for a mobile devices.

The last presentation was by me (Dustin Jacobsen, the Director of Social Media & Technology at Barkley) and focused on mobile social networking and sites such as Foursquare, Gowalla, Yelp & others.

All three presentations have been uploaded by the speakers and are available below.

Updated 7/23: Videos now available.

The first two presentations were given by Mike Craig from Ruxter Mobile and Barbara Ballard, from Little Springs Design: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/7832804

The third presentation was given by Dustin Jacobsen, the Director of Social Media & Technology at Barkley: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/7834234

Thanks to @duckmanvideo for streaming and making the videos available.

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Online Privacy, Facebook, Google TV, iPhone, HTC EVO – June 2010 KCUR Up To Date Tech Show Summary

June 10, 2010 – 12:02 pm

KCUR Up To Date with Steve Kraske

We live our lives in public – at least online. With every move made online indexed and aggregated into individual customer profiles, there is nowhere to hide on the World Wide Web.

Google indexes everything, collecting information from our computers, mobile devices, e-mail and now even through television. Google searches still account for the majority of Google revenue, but that will change over time.

Although commonly known as a leading collector of personal data, Facebook trails behind Google with approximately 25 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc.) posted on the site each month.

With so much information floating in cyberspace, there are even emerging services that aggregate information specifically from social media platforms like Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, Pandora and LinkedIn. Collecting the personal information of others has become a business, making everything you put on the web public domain.

Today, Steve Kraske sits down with “Tech-sperts” Dustin Jacobsen, director of Social Media and Technology at Barkley, and Justin Parlette, support systems administrator at University of Missouri – Kansas City. We’ll review the issue of online privacy.

Jacobsen and Parlette will also discuss the latest technology gadgets and trends, including Google TV, the Sprint HTC EVO, the soundproof stadium built for the World Cup and more.

A few highlights:

  • What information exists online? What information is shared and why?
  • Is all information online public? If it’s online, it’s public.
  • It’s not just information we share, but information others share about us
  • The power of aggregations – Netflix and Facebook mashups
  • Balancing privacy and costs – ad-based social networks
  • Employers are looking at your public information
  • Public is the new private – Zuckerberg, Facebook
  • Where do we draw the line with information we share?
  • Where do people find the time? It’s a shift of communication methods – the new water cooler
  • The growth of mobile has enabled engagement on the go
  • Google TV sounds interesting, but we won’t learn much more until it’s released this fall
  • Will Facebook, Hulu & others offer paid versions that are ad-free?
  • Facebook & others offer several advertising options, including the ability to target by demographics
  • iPhone 4 vs. Sprint HTC EVO – do we need 4G?
  • Battery life for mobile devices still needs to improve

Download the full audio from the broadcast

One of the articles that I wanted to call out was that with all of the complaints about Facebook, they continue to grow: Privacy, Schmivacy: Facebook Is Attracting Near-Record Numbers Of New Visitors

Reclaim Privacy was a site that was referenced by Justin that can help you understand privacy settings and concerns.

If you haven’t already, be sure to follow KCUR Up to Date on Twitter and check out the KCUR site for a list of upcoming shows and links to subscribe to the podcast.

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TechCrunch Disrupt Startup Battlefield Day 1

May 25, 2010 – 10:46 am

I’m in New York City at TechCrunch Disrupt

TechCrunch and other technology outlets have provided detailed updates, including a live stream and video updates.

My selections from TechCrunch Disrupt Startup Battlefield session are:

ujam
UJAM: A web-based toolset for generating music based on a theme, highly customizable by the user. They certainly got the audience choice award, and even persuaded one of the judges to sing a little ditty. They’re planning on doing a freemium model in which the basic tools are free but a more robust version will be for sale.

soluto
Soluto: This very fluid and pretty presentation showed off a utility these guys have created that monitors your PC, analyzes when you are “frustrated,” and offers solutions. The cool bit is that the solutions are created by monitoring expert users’ PCs, and when a similar problem comes up, their response is added to a database — kill process, change startup settings, lower process priority, that kind of thing. The UI is very impressive, the best I’ve seen in a while. They’d have the “manual” version free and the “automatic” version (in development) for money (or get fees for pre-installs with vendors).

Appbistro
There are 3 from the second session that I think have great potential as well
Appbistro- think Facebook apps for small businesses.

LiveIntent
LiveIntent – social graph on steroids (I recommended a partnership with Buddy Media)

publish2
publish2 – launching a new product called Publish2 News Exchange, with the ambitious goal of disrupting the entire reason for being of The Associated Press.

I’m going to miss sessions three & four today (six sessions in total), but I think we’re going to see a solid group of startups that get some attention of investors this week.