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Steve Jobs Last Legacy, Siri

As the world’s most influential icon in business and technology, Steve Jobs leaves behind decades of personal trademarks. Steve Jobs had a vision to change the world and he lived that vision right up to his final days.  Steve Jobs transformed our lives further and faster than many of us were able to keep up with.

Steve Jobs’ legacy isn’t how he changed Apple Computers into Apple. It isn’t how he revived Apple Computers with iMac and iBook,  Mac OS X and iOS, or how he revolutionized the music industry with iTunes and the App store. Although those are all amazing achievements, Steve Jobs should be remembered for fundamentally and forever changing the role of mobile devices.  Jobs altered how we humans interact with mobile technology, information, and content, on the go. Mobile in many ways is, Steve Jobs.

Before the iPhone, mobile technology was limited to certain gaming devices, RIM’s Blackberry and the Palm. Jobs took his own vision of touch-screen interaction, ignoring the “nay sayers”, and launched the iPod in 2001, followed by the iPhone in 2007, and iPad in 2010. In one decade, Apple forever changed how we interact with content and information through a touch screen interface.

From music to videos, the way we interact, capture, watch, and listen to content has forever changed culture, society, and individual lives. Some may argue or see it differently, but to the masses, the world is a better place because of Steve Jobs. Today’s startups such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Foursquare all have Steve Jobs to thank for reinventing the way people interact or connect with mobile devices.

In 2010, Jobs again made a daring move, acquiring Siri for $20 million.  Consumers may knock the iPhone 4S as a minor upgrade, but 20 years from now, I believe we’ll look back at Siri as teve Jobs last, but most important innovation. Siri is potentially a game changing app that enables us to interact with our phones in more human and intelligent ways.


Yes, you can now talk into your phone and get an intelligent answer.

Need a reminder when you get home? It does that too.

We’ve heard that companies have been testing artificial intelligence in technology from fridges to consumer electronics, but Apple is one of the first to hit the mainstream market with such capabilities.

Next up? Most likely the TV with integrated voice commands. For example,

“Please turn on TV and change channel to CBS for Two and a Half Men”

Or what about a voice command PVR?

“Pause TV.”
“Rewind and show in slow replay.”

Goodbye remote.

You get the point. Once again, consumer electronics is about to change – and change the way we live in a busy mobile world. Business is going to need to change, too. Processes will need to be put in place that allow employees to respond to voice review boards instead of online review boards that require typing (think  TripAdvisor and Google Places). Siri is strictly seen as an “Assistant” to the user right now. In the near future, a Siri API will likely be released allowing developers to build Siri enabled apps. At that point, business will need to adapt again to an evolution in the intimacy and speed of communication that allows customers to voice their opinions, good or bad, to companies and other consumers.

As Wayne Gretzky famously put, “Skate to where the puck is going, not to where it is.” Steve Jobs skated ahead throughout his career and in so doing changed the world.

Photo credit: Jonathan Mak

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The Big Idea of Technology Driven Advertising

Remember the days when you’re on vacation driving down the highway with billboards flashing in your face? Or ads interrupting your musical paradise as you drive away in your convertible? Some made you laugh, others you didn’t even notice.



For the most part those days are gone. The future of advertising has changed forever. It was only ten years ago when advertising was driven by media placements and campaigns. Then the dotcom era started along with YouTube, and it slowly became about creating a complimentary online campaign to a brand’s TV campaign. Now, it’s about experimenting with an abundance of apps and networks that a customer pulls out of their pocket.

The acceleration of innovative change since the smartphone has led to onslaught of new apps. Combine that with powerful social communication tools and our society has forever changed the way we communicate. Today, advertising is not just about creative; it’s become a creative tool for business operations. We believe advertising has become a technology driven creative service that provides brands the opportunity to increase the effectiveness and impact of creativity.

Technology is the vehicle that drives the creative and key message, but in most cases it doesn’t determine what app or network the brand should be on. Nor does it determine what the creative and key message is. For example, we focus on the client’s objectives to develop the big idea based on the insights produced in our research. The big idea always has to drive your creative, not the technology.

One company particularly, is demonstrating how the combination of social and mobile can be a very effective combination to enhance the delivery of a big idea.
American Express has been one of the most active businesses in 2011 partnering with both Foursquare and Facebook to offer integrated seamless deals. Realizing that Groupon could be a major threat to their business, American Express started with a big idea: “American Express takes what you ‘Like’ and gives what you love.”

With this idea in mind, American Express launched two integrated social and mobile initiatives. The most recent one is a new Facebook “Link, Like, Love” app that allows Amex cardholders to sync their card to their social graph. This provides customers with personalized deals based on brands they’ve liked on Facebook. What’s the best thing? The customer does not have to purchase the deal. It’s automatically synched to the cardholders account.


On Foursquare, American Express is doing something similar. Instead of personalized social deals, the customer receives mobile check-in credits applied to their accounts within a few days after they tap “load to card”. The point is, every channel and every medium offers different benefits, but successful campaigns are always designed with one thing in mind, a big idea.


Even the food trucks are finding success by focusing on key messages. For instance, several food trucks in this recent Mashable article have been successful in either:

  • Celebrating major milestones
  • Crowdsourcing recipes on Facebook
  • Building awareness and excitement during dead times
  • Offering deals
  • Promoting relevant holidays with timely advertising via mobile

Mobile is here now. It’s the future. But it’s only a tool; it’s not an idea. Let us help you establish that big idea.

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The Effects Google+ Could Have On Business

After months of rumours Google jumped into the social network game with a big splash last week, announcing its new social network Google+ as the competition for Facebook. Currently, users are only able to sign up through invites but It’s expected that by the end of July, Google+ will be open to the public, possibly with new Google+ Brand Pages, too.

Yes, Google+ is yet another “sandbox” to play in and learn about but it comes with some big enticements including the prospect of easy integration of services. As we discussed last week, Google+ has many features that compete with several web and mobile apps and it appears that Google+ may be looking at using one of their latest features, Google Hangouts, in their upcoming Google+ Brand Pages. The big advantage that both Facebook and Google have over their competitors is scaleable size. But will an all-in-one solution win out? Too early to call but here are some early indicators.

It seems Google couldn’t be happier with the launch of Google+ and its social sharing button “Google +1.” Stats show that websites are quickly adopting the Google button, and that social sharing continues to grow across the web with Facebook, Twitter, and StumbleUpon. The big difference between Google+ and Facebook is the search engine. Google dominates here although it’s possible Facebook could make advances with Bing in the future.

With “+1” and Google+, Google has the ability to tie all of its products together to create the ultimate search friendly business platform. From content curation to user reviews, most businesses will be in a position to benefit from Google+ — possibly even more than Facebook. Despite current pervasiveness, it’s even conceivable that Facebook could transition into a MySpace 2.0 evolved social entertainment network with its large audience of gamers, and now rumoured music service. We’re not suggesting a mass exodus but with the prospect of a shift as significant as this one, we are saying that it’s more important than ever to have a meaningful digital strategy.

In June, it was reported that people are spending more time on mobile apps than the web itself. Time spent surfing the Internet shifted to 81 minutes/day on a mobile app compared to 74 minutes/day on the web itself. Was Chris Anderson’s article on “The Web Is Dead. Long Live the Internet” an accurate reading of the future? The trends halfway through 2011 would say so – and there’s more to come. Google has already reported that native apps for Google+ are coming soon.

The question is no longer whether a business has an audience on the Internet — only where? Is it on the web, on a mobile app, or both? With an integrated strategy, a brand can better identify its top priorities and its best channels for engagement. Community and context are everything, but if a brand is not active on the same channel as its target audience then despite good intentions, it’s operating in different universe.

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Facebook Allows Users to Tag Pages In Photos

Facebook announced today that users uploading photos to their individual profiles would now be able to tag Facebook Pages (ie: Brands, Businesses, Personalities, etc) in their photos. Tagged Page photos will only appear if a user’s setting is set to be visible to everyone. The new functionality of this feature is available to all Pages at this time.

This new tagging feature creates a link between users’ photos and brands, but most importantly, may present new discoveries of brands and people. This would be very beneficial to companies looking to increase its Page’s fan base.

But here is the big difference in how this photo tagging is unlike what we’re used to: Unlike personal profiles, tagged photos will appear in the Photos tab of a Page, instead of a Page’s Wall. The other difference is that a user doesn’t have to be a fan or have “Liked” a Page to be able to tag Pages in photos. If a Page owner doesn’t want users to tag his/her Page in a photo, then he/she can disable this feature by going into Edit Page > Posting Options > and unchecking “Users can add photos.”

This could be a fantastically free advertising opportunity or endorsement opportunity. Then again, it could instead open the door to misuse, abuse, and ridicule. Time will tell.

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Change Your Facebook Password

New information has come to light this morning by security specialists at Symantec that there has been an inadvertent security flaw with Facebook and its developers. Gillian Shaw in the Vancouver Sun says, “The leak, discovered by Symantec, is triggered by Facebook applications and dates back to the 2007. Symantec found it gives third parties, advertisers in particular, the ability to see everything in Facebook users’ accounts, including chats, messages, photos and other personal information. As well the third parties can post to the Facebook user’s wall.”

Symantec has notified Facebook about this issue and have taken steps to correct it. They estimate that close to a 100,000 applications were enabling the leakage, however, Symantec does say, “these third-parties may not have realized their ability to access this information.”

Granting Facebook Permissions To Your ProfileThe problem appears to be that over the years applications have asked you to grant them access to your account for third party “token keys”. When a Facebook user installs an application on their profile, they grant certain permissions to the third party (ie: developers) behind the application. As Symantec’s Nishant Doshi writes, “applications can use these tokens or keys to perform certain actions on behalf of the user or to access the user’s profile,” as mentioned above, but “by default, most access tokens expire after a short time. However, the application can request offline access tokens, which allow them to use these tokens until you change your password, even when you aren’t logged in.”

You will now need to reauthorize permission to all the apps that you have installed on your profile, via mobile or elsewhere, with your new password. Yes, depending on the amount of social usage, it can be a nuisance, but it might well be worth it in the end. So we advise changing your Facebook password immediately if you have not already done so.

For more information, check out Gillian Shaw’s article in The Vancouver Sun or the Symantec blog post.


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