Posted by Laura Fitch on February 18, 2010 05:05 PM
What happens when the producers of knock-off products become so adept at manufacturing that they become, well, legitimate?
The Financial Times reports this is exactly what is happening in the knock-off cell phone industry – in China, unsurprisingly. In fact, “bandit” phone makers are becoming increasingly worried about customer satisfaction, quality, and how their imitation brands are perceived.
“We are legitimate handset makers now. We are building our own brand,” explains Jin Hongxiang, president of SOP, the parent company of “bandit” electronics brand Xinghuabao. “Chinese handsets have a very bad reputation in export markets. We are expanding upstream to have more control over the quality of our components.”Continue reading...
Posted by Ben Berkon on February 17, 2010 03:30 PM
Verizon is handing its users something they’d never expect from a phone company – free telephone service. No, it’s not just one of those catch-filled ploys to get people to switch over or buy a phone – though it might help – but instead, they’ve partnered with Skype, the notoriously free computer phone service.
Skype, the formerly Swedish-based company that was founded in 2003, is a computer software application that enables users to make phone calls over the Internet. The application is free just as long as users call computer-to-computer – however, if one were to call a cell phone or landline, there would be varying, yet still reasonable, fees. eBay purchased the booming startup in 2005 for $2.6 billion, and has propelled its user-ship to over 520 million worldwide.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on February 16, 2010 11:37 AM
Hey, have you heard of this Twitter thing? If Southwest Airlines hadn't before Sunday, they certainly have now.
Kevin Smith, director and actor, is known both for his oversized personality and his oversized physique. He's a big guy, and admits as much. On a recent flight on Southwest, Smith was removed from the plane for being, well, too fat. Smith immediately took to Twitter, railing against the airline in a litany of tweets. Soon, the blogging media was onto Smith's experience and started promoting the rants. The snowball was rolling downhill.
Of course Southwest knows about Twitter. As every good brand should, they maintain their own Twitter feed. The brand immediately responded to Smith's tweets, apologizing. Smith was unappeased. His rants continued and are still going on. Southwest tweeted replies. Finally, Larry King got in on the action, tweeting that Smith would be on his show to... complain further.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 12, 2010 04:10 PM
According to recent research at Penn State University, one in five (20 percent) tweets posted on Twitter includes an inquiry or information about a specific brand-related product or service.
The study focused on micro-communicating and the value of this word-of-mouth medium. It included observation of more than half a million tweets that used brand names, and found out that brand-tweeters are tweeting to connect with products.
“Businesses use micro-communication for brand awareness, brand knowledge, and customer relationship,” said Jim Jansen, associate professor of information science and technology in the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) at Penn State. “Personal use is all over the board. It may be right up there with e-mail in terms of its communication impact."Continue reading...
Posted by Ben Berkon on February 12, 2010 03:55 PM
There is no doubt that Google’s new “Buzz” is their best impression of Facebook and Twitter, but will it actually become the new Facebook and Twitter? Google certainly hopes so, but it may prove more difficult than Google thinks.
Even though other former social networking giants like Friendster and even MySpace have fallen by the wayside, there is no reason to believe that Facebook and Twitter will join their former competitors in the social networking underworld just because Google has joined the fray.
Remember, Facebook has a growing base of more than 400 million users, and Twitter reportedly had their most successful month in January, boasting 1.2 billion Tweets. Do those numbers suggest users will whimsically depart? It doesn’t seem likely – even in light of Google’s impressive reach and considerable power.Continue reading...
Posted by Ben Berkon on February 11, 2010 06:46 PM
What the f***? Well, that’s precisely how Google feels about much of YouTube users’ video and written content.
Both Google and YouTube account members can now use a new “safety mode” to censor content that YouTube’s Community Guidelines deems as inappropriate – in regard to both searches for content and user comments.
The “safety mode” is easy to apply. Users simply navigate to the bottom of any YouTube page, click the “safety mode” link on the bottom left, and select “yes” or “no.” The new mode will filter searches – such as “naked” – and eliminate comments from all videos.Continue reading...
Posted by Deborah Dunham on February 11, 2010 02:35 PM
Amidst the land of email, tweets, status updates, text messages, and IM’s comes yet another social networking tool – this time from Google.
In a quest to capture more of the social web market share, the Internet search leader has launched Google Buzz – a new networking service for their Gmail customers which gives users an opportunity to network and share updates, photos, and videos with their current email contacts through their computer, hand-held device and mobile phone.
And even though Buzz was just announced yesterday, it already has fellow industry techies buzzing about the potential for customers to get stung with this service.
With no separate set-up or establishment of a new friend list required, Google Buzz allows consumers to automatically share updates with the people they already email and chat with the most. Similar to Facebook, users can communicate with one person or their entire network at a time.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on February 11, 2010 02:11 PM
Now that the histrionics surrounding the debut of Apple's iPad have fizzled into a rational, and often uninspired, discussion of the device’s actual merits and shortcomings, Apple is left with the iReality of the iPad. Reviews are mixed, but the brand is being proactive about taking the lead regarding the public conversation.
In what may be construed as an attempt to reignite buzz about the iPad – which will be available in April – Apple is planning to sell US television shows for $1 on its newest device. That is half of the current iTunes price, according to Financial Times. Not all of the television networks – some of which continue to remain steeped the paradigms of yesteryear – are happy about the move; however, at this point it remains unclear how many shows will actually be available.Continue reading...