Archive for January, 2012

Twitter helps Cabbie

Chicago taxi driver Rashid Temuri has built his business by using Twitter to let people know his whereabouts, receive discounts and book a ride. Temuri, who also broadcasts his location on Google Latitude and Find My Friends, says he gets up to 95% repeat business via his Twitter account, giving him an advantage over less plugged-in cabbies. “It’s been working out way better then I ever expected,” he says.

(via SocialMedia Smartbrief)

January 9th, 2012

Are you listening? Twitter users want complaints read, addressed

Following study was conducted by Maritz Research in 2011.

It’s no secret that social media has revolutionized how consumers communicate with businesses. Instead of complaint letters exchanged over weeks, a quick 140-character tweet can garner a direct response within minutes. A recent poll conducted by Maritz Research and its social intelligence arm, evolve24, found that frequent Twitter users who have used the social media tool to complain about their customer experience with a company overwhelmingly want those companies to be listening to their comments. And, these tweeple want their public complaints addressed.

According to the September study, while only 1/3 of these respondents actually received some type of follow-up after they tweeted their complaint, 83 percent of survey participants who received a follow up to their tweet said they liked or loved hearing from the company they complained about. And just under 75 percent of those people who received a response were very or somewhat satisfied with the response they received. A little more than 15 percent said they were either very or somewhat dissatisfied with the company’s response.

For the two-thirds of respondents who didn’t receive an answer to their complaint, a similar number, 86 percent, also would have liked or loved to hear from the company. However, a striking 63 percent said they would hate or not like it if the company contacted them about something other than their complaint.

“In today’s business environment, social media is having a profound impact on the level of service customers expect,” says Anthony Sardella, senior vice president and managing director at evolve24. “Businesses cannot effectively compete without being tuned in to social media to improve the customer experience. But they must get the messaging right. The best brand marketing provides responsive customer service, and does not use a customer experience event as an opportunity to sell something.”

While the study reinforced the trend of using Twitter as a way of getting a company’s attention, Sardella says all methods of customer service and support should be treated with the same consideration.

“It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. Consumers expect companies to understand their individual wants and needs. If that’s responding to a complaint via Twitter, YouTube or the old-fashioned phone call, businesses need to have the right tools ready to listen, understand and respond,” says Sardella.

In September 2010, Maritz Research acquired evolve24, a business analytics and research firm that uses traditional and social media to measure perception, reputation and risk. Through their combined capabilities, both companies offer business clients customer experience research that is more relevant and actionable, helping companies improve their businesses and their bottom lines.

Maritz Research conducted its Twitter study between September 9 and 12, 2011, during which it surveyed an online panel of 1,298 US consumers, who had pre-identified themselves as Twitter users who frequently tweet, had complained via Twitter about a company with whom they do business, and who were at least 18 years of age. The survey had a maximum sampling error of 2.7 percentage points at a 95% confidence level.

January 7th, 2012

New online learning platform Gooru aims to make learning ‘social’

Gooru is a free platform for students and teachers to access standards-based online resources in organized “playlists” for learning. Created by a Google employee, it’s run by a nonprofit group called Ednovo. Students can access “ClassBooks”—collections of textbooks, videos, and assessments—on any topic, and they can interact with their peers and teachers while studying. Teachers can search for standards-aligned web resources organized into “ClassPlans,” which they can customize and share with the larger community. In short, educators can use the site to search and teach, while students can use it to search and study; the website’s tagline is “learning is social.”

(via eschoolnews)

January 5th, 2012

10 predictions for mobile in 2012

Make no mistake, the coming year will bring much change to the fast-paced mobile tech landscape. Companies will continue to battle for consumer dollars as both computing and mobile broadband advances put even more power in the devices we carry around with us and even the ones we wear.

  • We’ll remotely connect to our smart homes. Some tech savvy people in India are early adopters in this category, having in 2010 enabled a home automation system that they can tap via my smartphone. 2012 year, more will do so and the idea of a “smart home” will be a term that most consumers are familiar with, with increasing number of real estate developers now providing these facilities in new properties. Trying to tap the growing number of smartphone users, companies will aggressively compete for the business of installing sensors in the home and offering software and services to monitor them.
  • A jump in wireless home adoption. With increasing high speed data cards being sold by telecom carriers, more people even in villages have started adopting fast speed internet access in their households. I am myself  pleased to have been able to configure wifi without router or data card and be able to do video calls and connect 5-7 devices simultaboeously without spending anything extra beyond my laptop internet.
  • Windows Phone usage grows, but slower than expected. Microsoft will make headway in smartphone platform market share in 2012, but still won’t see double-digit share in 2012. It will, however, surpass BlackBerry market share for phones sold in 2012. Windows 8 will actually help create demand for Windows Phone in the second half of the year as desktop upgraders will want the Metro user interface on their phones for a unified experience.
  • Windows tablets in 2012 will sell like Android tablets did in 2011. Windows fans will trumpet the success of Windows on a consumer tablet this coming year, but the total sales of such devices will be less than 10 million units from all hardware makers combined. The iPad was the king of tablets in 2011 due to a strong ecosystem and intuitive interface and won’t be dethroned in 2012. Tablet choice for consumers in India in 2012 will be iPad first, Android second and Windows third.
  • Research In Motion will no longer exist as we know it today. I’d like to be wrong on this, as competition is good for all, but RIM’s missteps and late reactions to competition finally exact a toll: By year-end, I suspect the company will be purchased, mainly for its patents, or will refocus as a services-oriented entity.
  • The patent wars worsen. The situation won’t get better in 2012; it will worsen as platforms are now less disruptive and show more parity. With fewer ways to differentiate from the competition, lawsuits will multiply. However, I do expect that of all the companies involved in such suits, Samsung and Apple, will come to terms in 2012.
  • There will be an iPad Pro available in 2012. The iPad 2 will continue on as a current model in 2012, but see a price reduction, while a double-resolution iPad Pro will launch this coming year. The new Pro model will be priced the same as the current iPad 2. There’s the off-chance that Apple retires the iPod touch so as not to compete on price with the reduced-cost iPad and because iPhone sales will continue to siphon off potential iPod touch buyers.
  • Android’s momentum will continue thanks to Android 4.0. The new platform will be seen by many as more comparable to iOS, which will keep selling phones and begin to finally build a large following for Android tablets. Even so, developers will continue to generally make apps for iOS first and will make far more money as a collective group. However, the adoption of Android 4.0 will be the impetus for noticeable improvements in the quality and availability of Android apps.
  • Hybrid apps with HTML5 will be the norm. The standards for HTML5 are still in motion so native apps will continue to be stronger than web-based apps. But as in 2011, many of the native apps on smartphones will use HTML5 as a base with a native wrapper around them. With the number of HTML5 compatible handsets expected by 2013, we’ll see momentum grow for true web apps on low-end phones.
  • We’ll see a smaller Kinect in 2012, with expectations that such technology fits in a mobile device the following year. The promise of gesture-based mainstream interfaces began in late 2010 as Microsoft debuted Kinect. A smaller version for the Xbox will arrive before the 2012 holiday season and Microsoft will demonstrate an integrated prototype that works with Windows Phone or a Windows 8 tablet.

(Via Gigaom)

January 3rd, 2012

2012 will see the surge of M2M

2011 saw a lot of excitement over M2M (machine to machine communications) and the Internet of things. That it might also be looked back upon as the year when mobile telcos came to terms with the fact that they wouldn’t and couldn‘t control (monetize) the smartphone and its apps may not be coincidental. M2M is seen as a long-term revenue earner for mobile telcos and a natural fit. They are not going to let this one slip away without a fight.

Why now? Mostly because the cost curves for the necessary embedded modules are going in the right direction and there’s a rising realisation of the scope and value of large scale M2M deployments. That in turn is leading to more optimistic forecasts from market watchers and more excitement in the telco camp over the number of potentially connected devices out there to be joined up and the revenue to be made. According to the wireless analyst firm Berg Insight, the number of cellular network connections worldwide used for M2M communication was 47.7 million in 2008. The company forecasts that the number of M2M connections will grow to 187 million by 2014.

New findings from ABI Research show that operators are offering incentive deals to application developers to stimulate the uptake of the M2M market.
US mobile operators AT&T and Sprint have recently struck deals with wireless embedded module vendors to provide modules for M2M application developer partners at discounted rates.

Small but useful concepts are being developed by both small and big players in India and some that I came across included mobile devices that are connected to tablets through wifi or otherwise over a long distance and being used for monitoring temperature in pharmaceutical manufacturing units in Uttrakhand region of India; similar such devices are being tested to keep a watch on patients/ old age people in hospitals/ old age homes; same devices with little tweaking can be effectively used in defense storage and research too; systems have been developed to control lighting in various parts of buildings or complexes with controlling capabilities through android and iPhone apps over tablets etc.

I believe 2012 is going to be the starting year for increased usage and developments of M2M based systems.

(Ref: Excerpt from telecomtv)

January 2nd, 2012