Monthly Archives: January 2012

The 6 Facebook policies that will get your promotion banned

FacebookBrands are constantly told by marketers that Facebook is a ‘must have’ and that they should focus on increasing their fan base (aka getting users to click on the ‘Like’ button for their brand). The go-to tactic for increasing ‘Like’ activity is to introduce promotions — typically a discount offer. These promotions are typically served through the Facebook Tab and are powered by custom applications that developers build. Since brands are eager to create these apps, Facebook has posted a set of policies on acceptable application behaviors.

Below are the 6 policies most commonly violated that will result in your app getting banned:
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CES: Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer Keynote Speech

Steve Ballmer and Ryan SeacrestLast night, I sat down and watched Steve Ballmer’s final keynote at CES. Steve took the stage with Ryan Seacrest for a chat. Below are the notes from the speech but I’ve also highlighted the 3 things that you need to know if you don’t have time to go through it all:

  • Microsoft Windows 8 Public Beta will be ready in February 2012. This was announced in December but Microsoft is notorious for missing deadlines so it is nice to hear that they’re still on track.
  • Microsoft is going to disrupt television. They are looking to make shows two-way interactions via Xbox. In other words, television will no longer be just a lean-back technology
  • Kinect will be available for the PC in February 2012. In my mind, this is Microsoft’s admission that gaming can occur on any device, not just a specific console since NUI’s (natural user interfaces) are the wave of the future.
Finally, my favorite line by Ballmer came when he spoke about the Kinect and tried to explain to Ryan what is NUI. He said that a natural user interface is when technology disappears or melts away — in other words, we don’t think about the technology anymore. I myself struggle with communicating the concept of NUI’s to a business person so it was refreshing to get his perspective.

Full notes are below:

9:40 PM Ryan Seacrest taking the stage; explains partnership with MSFT Bing. Ballmer hugs him; Ryan makes fun of his height.

9:41 PM Ballmer to talk about innovations on phone, PC, Xbox, and TV’s. Cools to see Metro interface/ live tiles in the background.

9:43 PM Ballmer is showing it off on a Nokia device; says that Windows Phone is about putting people first and highlighting your relationships. Explains how easy it is bring information together.

9:45 PM Derek Snyder (Sr Product Manager, Windows Phone) comes onto stage. Shows off “People Hub” that brings information about favorite people together. Shows how he great it is to see information for a specific group. Talks about they’re using Facebook Chat and Window Messanger together. Can also dive into conversations across all communications with a specific user. Phone also has a voice recognition (app crash stirs audience!). Demo’s live tile that shows off critical data without forcing user to dive into an app. Showing off how apps share information.

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Predictive Analytics service by Amazon: reality or hype?

Crystal BallOne of my favorite quotes about life comes from Yogi Berra who said, “it’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” Yogi is absolutely right — it woud be nice to predict the future by simply analyzing our past behavior. If life was that straightforward, then every armchair quarterback of an investor would make millions off the stock market by simply looking at past stock performance. In reality, life is just more complicated and far less predictable.

I was excited to read an article in the New York Times by Quentin Hardy* about the potential analytics as a service offering from Amazon. While Mr. Hardy was somewhat unclear regarding what type of analytics service Amazon may provide, the article seemed to indicate that they are interested in developing a predictive analytics service. Predictive analytics is incredibly valuable to marketers as it allows brands to analyze volumes data, such as purchase history or social analytics chatter, to determine when will segments of consumers are most likely respond to a marketing tactic or to complete a purchase.

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