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TMC Dallas Video Interviews 2011

July 25, 2011

Recently I spent some time in Dallas doing video interviews with companies in the Dallas, Texas area and during the course of the discussions I was able to get a sense of where the markets have been and are going. The vast range of different opinions really comes together into a few themes.

They are simply that wages and turnover rates in India are skyrocketing meaning some jobs may be headed back to the US. This is offset by an interview with  King White of the Site Selection Group - an organization which helps companies decide which countries and states they should locate in. He tells us that states with higher taxes are less attractive and subsequently deter companies from opening there.

Metaswitch Thrutu iPhone App Lets Carriers Become Social Hubs

July 20, 2011

Earlier this year I came across Thrutu from Metaswitch newtorks - an application development platform allowing carriers to leverage rich social features and provide them as services to customers. In short, this is the exact sort of solution wireless phone companies need to try to keep their customers engaged and more importantly paying them.

Of even greater importance for service providers is being able to ensure that the contact database doesn't continue to get moved from the carrier cloud to the social cloud. By that I mean, consumers are relying more and more on Facebook and Twitter as their contact database making the carrier and the phones they sell less important.

Thrutu brings social features such as location, contact and photo sharing as well as prodding via a remote vibration (like Facebook's poke) and more via an API which developers can use to do much more.

I saw a demo of it working on Android phones and was impressed and as of this moment the company has released an iPhone version as well. As you may have guessed, you will be better off using such a service on a network voice and data can be shared such as GSM or in an area where there is WiFi and 3G/cellular.

Of course the question you have to ask is whether it is too late for carriers to basically reinvent social networks which are already dominated by the web giants we all know (and many love).







Nosh from Google a P2P Foursquare Meets Zagats

July 19, 2011

I just met with Craig Walker the Founder & CEO of Firespotter Labs and he went over where his Google-backed companies will be innovating in the future. As you may recall, Walker founded Dialpad and Grandcentral which eventually got acquired by and became the foundation of Google Voice. Walker explained his new company will be looking to disrupt markets where there is an opportunity to disrupt.

We can for example expect more disruption in telephony and the hospitality market was referenced by him as a space worth $600 billion/year and yet there has been little innovation beyond the buzzing pagers they give you when there is a line to get a seat.

His company's new app, Nosh available on iOS and Android aims to merge the best of Foursquare and Zagat with the p2p elements of having reviews done by users who could be your friends. You can rate food at the restaurant where you eat and you can share the rating with others - the scale is 1 to 5 stars.



Time for Carol Bartz to Leave Yahoo!?

July 19, 2011

When Yahoo! announced Carol Bartz as the new CEO I expressed my concern that she had zero media experience. I really thought in this ever-changing world of media and what has turned into a rapidly evolving world of social, Yahoo! needed someone with different experience.

Google+ Targets Facebook not Twitter

July 15, 2011

There have been numerous discussions lately regarding how Google+ could be a Twitter killer and while anything is possible, my research shows that Facebook is in the most trouble. Perhaps the most compelling argument for Google as a Twitter killer comes from Rolfe Winkler at the Wall Street Journal who suggests Google can pay celebrities to switch from Twitter to Google+ and they can even afford to share advertising revenue with the celebs making it worth their while.

This reminds me of the bidding wars Sirius and XM satellite radio went through years back – it got to the point where the companies had to merge because costs got so out of hand that they were having trouble making money.

Justin Timberlake recently invested in MySpace with the hopes of revitalizing it by bringing fans together with artists and if successful, it is possible celebs everywhere will be getting pressure to join, invest and run new and existing social networks.

Dragon Go! Shows Speech Tech is Alive and Well

July 14, 2011

One of the most interesting mini-reviews I have done was with Dragon Go! from Nuance - an iPhone app which I found to be deadly accurate in my testing. Not only did it recognize my voice with a moderately loud air conditioning unit in the background, there were occasional interruptions courtesy of gadgets and fax machines all around TMC headquarters as I tested.

Here are examples of the tests I did - you can see, I couldn't trip it up. See for yourself how it went and how this app compares to similar ones from Bing and Google.

Since Chipotle Mexican Grill opened literally next-door to TMC's HQ, I had to try a search for nearby Chipotle restaurants.The first three results were dead on.



SEO Webinar: Last Minute Butterflies

July 12, 2011

No matter how many webinars and speaking engagements you do - there always seem to be the last minute butterflies which encourage you to nail your subject matter before presenting. I am going through the slides for my presentation on the webinar titled Practicing Smarter SEO Techniques Through Online Communities which takes place today, July 12th at 2:00 pm EST. Hope to see you then. You can still register here.

This will be the third webinar TMC has done in its online community building series and thank you to the thousands of people who have signed up to learn more about how online community building can generate thought-leadership, improved branding and increased leads and sales.

Also - one final reminder - you don't want to miss Jonathan Allen from Search Engine Watch -  he will add major value to the experience as he is sharp and knowledgeable.



Want Google+? Check Your Gmail

July 11, 2011

You Have No Business Being on Google+

July 11, 2011

In case you missed it, Google is asking you to hold off listing your business on Google+ for the moment. The company is working on integrated Google+ business listings which will tie into Adwords and other Google features and until it gets its ducks in a row it suggests you wait patiently on the sidelines.

For Facebook, the thing that has to scare you more than Google+ for personal use is Google+ for business because that's where the money for ads and sponsorships comes from. Also, think about the hundreds of millions of dollars of free promotion Facebook receives from companies advertising their Facebook pages on television, magazine ads and billboards. Imagine if some of this revenue started to head over to Google+.

Tech Bubble Talk from Eric Schmidt

July 11, 2011

Are we in a bubble or not? Google's Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt thinks the idea is worth paying attention to. He isn't declaring we are in one but he says either the revenue growth of these new tech companies is so large that the valuations are justified or that there is a liquidity squeeze where a large amount of capital is chasing a small amount of shares.

Bottom line is we don't know if we are in a bubble - but we will likely learn if we are in 2012 when much of the share lock up periods expire.

Interestingly, he mentioned that although many people said Google was overvalued when it went public, it never dropped below its offering price.



Gary Kim at IP Carrier has more.







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