Tag Archives | Google

Is NFC the final link in the chain

NFC of Near Field Communication seems to be the word of the moment. In essence its the technology that allows 2 devices to swap information – payment, data over a small physical distance. From ticketing with an Oyster card through to quick payment with your phone its pretty cool and simple technology. The phone play is where it starts to heat up. At present the new Google Nexus 2 phone has got the technology, but Apple are still holding back. A mistake I thought, but was corrected by someone recently with “Apple don’t make mistakes, Google do”.

Since the web really launched, it has been direct response clients that have really ruled the roost, they made Google famous, responsible for underwriting most of the technology that runs the web and drove the whole ability to pay and transact online. The FMCG market and small ticket retailers have been very much left behind and a little confused. Its tough to sell beer online.

Online DR has been the darling of the web for a long time. It wasn’t just a marketing tool for many, it was a full end to end business from initial touch to sale and service at the other end. Many of these businesses chuckled quite happily at retailers with shops, seeing the ball and chain of legacy.

But NFC seems to be the final link in the chain. We have seen the claiming back of technology by the people through the rise of social and now as smart phones continue to blur the edges of small computers and big phones, the good old fashioned outlet seems to be coming back into fashion. Not only location based services like Gowalla or Foursquare, but the ability now to really start to link into purchase and “on the move” behaviour.

For a long time brands haven’t really leveraged their non cash assets or realised them as a marketing tool. On pack, instore, at event all suddenly seem very exciting and very relevant, all we needed was to wire them up, which is where NFC will come into its own. Bricks and mortar coming back into fashion and if anything being the competitive edge (perhaps this is why the second word of the moment is the “Pop Up Shop”).

I suspect Google will make it work and Apple will inspire us with it. Exciting times ahead.


Job boards on the GO! Augmented Reality for Recruitment.

iPhone and Google’s Android have opened a whole heap of opportunities for organisations of all sizes. Many web applications now already exist on iPhone for instance Facebook and Twitter are leading the race in grabbing as many mobile Internet users as possible. The recruitment market is not far behind with job board apps on The iPhone like The IT Job Board, UK based IT job-board. Many recruiters are actively using email and now twitter as a way of communication with their customers. Although more and more so recruitment organisations are looking at innovative ways of serving their customers. One such opportunity is Augmented Reality.

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality refers to mixing real world environment with the virtual world in real time. So for instance if you were walking through a museum with a headphone and screen educating you about various artifacts, perhaps with some engaging audio/video, that would be an example of Augmented reality. Below is an example of how this can be used for London Underground:

Augmented reality has made it’s way into Android and iPhone 3Gs, which provide an easy way to navigate areas and get rich data associated with it. There are quiet a few examples of augmented reality applications, from house searching to information on monuments and buildings, to amenities around an area. In all the examples augmented reality apps, show multimedia information related to the area, so users can get a better understanding.

In fact augmented reality apps combine map functionality with compass and camera to understand user’s position and orientation. In the future we will see more applications, which will make better use of the augmented reality technology. Some apps to look at in the augmented reality space are Layar, Augmented Reality browser, which enriches data from other applications like Foursquare, Flickr etc.

Recruitment Industry

Recruitment industry has the added advantage of working with various verticals. Most sectors use recruitment professionals for hiring staff, many of whom place positions on job boards to advertise the vacancy. Job boards are great to get information to users, especially when looking for high value jobs. Although in the case of individuals looking for temporary or retail jobs, it often makes sense to just walk on the High Street looking for job availabilities on doors.

Augmented reality can make this process even easier by allowing users to find jobs on their screens as they walk around the High Street. This opportunity is not limited to retailers, other industries can also utilise this feature. For instance if a management consultant is looking for a job in the city, instead of going to a job board, where only some of the jobs are available, they can get access to all the jobs, based in a certain radius, each of which pointing to the company’s headquarter.


Augmented reality has the advantage of connecting real life with social media insight. Augmented reality is fast, convenient and natural to us. It provides us with the opportunity to connect physical space with relevant information. A bit like, how tourist get a handheld device with running commentary when touring a city.

The possibilities are endless. We just have to wait for a major player to now integrate this with their job board!


Buzz, an extension of Orkut, Google’s social network

Google Buzz which lauched yesterday on Google Mail (UK) or Gmail (other counties) has been in press on various sites Techcrunch, Mashable etc.

Many are calling it Facebook + Twitter = Friendfeed = Google Buzz. At first I agreed with general reaction of social media pundits, although on thinking further, it occured to me that Google has been used to doing it on their own social network, Orkut.

Google Buzz / Orkut

Above: (blurry) Screenshots of Google Buzz and Orkut respectively

Orkut is one of the biggest social networks in countries like India, Brazil etc. Orkut already offers social media aggregation to it’s users, mainly for Google owned services like Picasa (images), YouTube (video) etc. Time and again Google has attempted to integrate Google Fetures into Orkut, although on this occasion it has bought an Orkut feature to a major Google product. We will see more of this in the coming months/ Google Mail will become more social and users will consume social media without realising it.


Money in interaction

Digg announced back in June that it was going to try and prioritise its ads based on whether people liked them or not and it seems that Techcrunch seem to have unearthed one of the fist screen shots of the trial.

It must be said this is something Google nailed back in 2002 or so when it moved from a CPM (cost per thousand) sales model to a CPC (cost per click) model. Many people think Google sells clicks (albeit clicks that do stuff). The reality is that that is just the way the business trades. Google realised years ago it doesn’t have clicks to sell, it has searches. It just so happened that selling clicks was the best way to monetise the searches.

In blunt terms paid for rankings are based on the costs per click you are willing to pay x the average click through you get.

£1 CPC @ 1% click though would mean for every thousand searches you would generate Google £10, if however someone else was playing only £0.70 but got a 2% click though rate – that makes Google £14 for every thousand searches, lets call that a CPM. They get priority and are seen as more valuable advertiser. Genius really.

So – we now now know that:
1. Google sells on a click but values on a search
2. Ad interaction makes Google more money
3. Ad interaction creates efficiencies for an advertiser

This opens up all sorts of questions about what makes some click? A more favourable brand? Someone having a more favourable view of that brand at that moment in time? Could it be?!?!?

So Digg’s new model look good. As usual though, you get the top of the mountain and realise there are Google footprints up there already.