Saturday, December 24, 2005

Carnival of the Mobilists - Best of 2005

Although only a recent contributor to the Carnival of the Mobilists, one of my postings about Coca Cola's recent mobile marketing campaign and 'how not to do mobile marketing' has been included in this year's 'best of' alongside such luminaries as Smartmob's author, Howard Rheingold, Business 2.0 writer, Om Malik and Carnival of the Mobilist regulars such as Mobile Jones, The Pondering Primate, Darla Mack, Textually and m-trends. It's quite a long list but if you're interested in things mobile, then it's well worth a read.

Merry Christmas everybody!

tags: & & & & & & &

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Mblox has been fined for Jamba's Crazy Frog misdeeds

I just spotted this over at 160 Characters... It seems that ICSTIS has fined mBlox £40k as service provider to Jamba! (owned by VeriSign and includes the Jamster brand) for misleading ‘Crazy Frog’ ads and ordered it to pay refunds to all those who complained to the regulator.

It seems there were 338 complaints and a very lengthy investigation.

There is no doubt in my mind that Jamba! was indeed running misleading advertisements. They suggested that ringtones were only 30p when in fact, it was a subscription service, which, if you took full advantage of it, then each ringtone would work out at 30p each. So why has mBlox been fined and not Jamba?!

It seems to me that the rules are all a bit cock-eyed though. And the ruling has come about as an interpretation of the legalese. Yes, of course, customers should not be misled and of course they should be refunded. And of course dodgy dealings should be dealt with by fines or whatever suitable remedy.

But, logically speaking, if responsibility lies with Jamba's service providers, then this also includes the production company who made the TV, radio and print adverts. And probably should also include the TV stations and publications (including Emap's Heat magazine) who ran the Jamba! advertisements and have a duty of care, one would have thought, not to run anything misleading. So maybe they should be fined too? Although they won't be as they're not classed as 'service providers' in the latest ICSTIS guidelines.

It could also be argued that mBlox should take more care when policing its customers but how realistic is that? If you have 100s, if not 1000s of customers using your short codes, it's nigh on impossible to police every single text message, let alone try and vet all their advertising copy. That said, this was such a prolific series of advertising that someone senior at mBlox must have seen it on the telly and realised that it was their shortcode. 88888 is fairly memorable I'd say and the adverts were misleading (it doesn't take a degree in advertising psychology to work that out!).

mBlox is expected to appeal (don't blame them under the circumstances). And the only outcome of this that I can see is that aggregators will have to take out insurance against this stuff and pass on the premiums to its clients who will then want to recoup that money from its Joe Public customers.

IMHO, Jamba! should have been fined, and fined a lot more than £40k. They knew exactly what they were doing I expect. And maybe mBlox should have been fined too, but a lesser amount, as it was such a high profile campaign that it should have come under their radar.

I wonder if the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) is going to fine Jamba! separately for running misleading advertising?

You can download the mBlox ICSTIS hearing PDF here.

Oh the irony, today, we also heard the news that the Crazy Frog is the 2nd most memorable piece of 'sonic-branding' this year, according to a new survey [via Brand Republic].

Oh, and I got spammed by Jamster US today too. Picture above.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

MusicBites Podcast: Industry Roundtable - The Year in Digital Music

I was very pleased to be invited by Mike Butcher (pictured), over at MusicBites, to take part in his podcast this morning discussing the year in digital music.

Participating were:

Paul Sanders, Co-founder of Playlouder MSP, the ground-breaking subscription music ISP.

Nick Watt, Director with New Media Knowledge and In The City, the annual music conference.

Helen Keegan, Founder and Managing Director of Beep Marketing, the mobile marketing agency and a specialist in mobile music (err, that's me).

The discussion was chaired by Mike Butcher, Editor and Publisher of

We talked about lots of things - the impact of the ipod and Sony PSP, digital rights management, cost to download (especially on mobile music), how listeners are consuming music these days and lots more besides.

It's quite long for a podcast at 50 minutes but we enjoyed doing it so hopefully you'll enjoy listening to it. Wander over to MusicBites to download and listen.

'Text and win' or 'text and lose'?

I've had a really good response to my previous posting on 'Top Twenty Mobile Marketing Applications' so I'm going to go into each one in a little more detail as and when I have the time to do it. So first off, it's text to win, or is that text to lose?

For those of you who don't know, a text 'n win promotion is one which is usually advertised on a pack of something or other like crisps or a drink and the customer is invited to text in to a shortcode for a chance to win a prize.

This is a very convenient way to manage a competition or prize draw and popular with consumers. The recent on-pack promotion by Walkers to text to win an i-pod offered a prize draw every five minutes and claims to be the biggest ever text and win promotion to date. Not only that, thought went into the reply (or lose) messages to encourage repeat entry - these messages varied from music trivia to free content to details of the previous day's winners. This avoided the campaign becoming a 'text and lose' campaign. This succesful campaign was run by Big Kick and Sponge.

'Text and win' has been embraced by sales promotion agencies in particular as it means not only do you not have to deal with sackloads of post, you also don't have the post-campaign data entry issues. Customers, by entering the competition, are giving you some of their data - i.e. their mobile number. It's up to you to collect any more data from the consumer if you need it.

It's also up to you as the marketer to make the lose messages engaging too, otherwise your campaign will end up being 'text and lose' rather than 'text and win'. This might be by offering mobile content for lower tier prizes or varying the replies, so each time you enter, you get something slightly different (as shown in the Walker's case study). This makes it feel more personal and about you. Personal being key to all things mobile. BeepMarketing has done this in the past for the likes of Foster's lager, Butt Ugly Martians and Tropicana ice lollies.

As a marketer, I think it's also fascinating to work out repeat entries to competitions, peak times, and down times to help you work out more about your customers and plan your next campaign. And not only that, you can then use the data (subject to keeping within the EU Data Privacy regulations) to communicate with willing customers - something we (at BeepMarketing) do for brands like Tabasco. The data is collected via on-pack promotions, we keep it clean against the TPS (Telephone Preference Service) and then use text messaging to promote future campaigns to drive sales. We offer an opt-out as part of every campaign.

Now, that has to be better than delving into a sackload of mail to pick a winner doesn't it?

Copyright Helen Keegan 2005. All rights reserved.

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Thursday, December 08, 2005

What is mobile marketing?

Whenever I meet someone new and I tell them what I do for a living, they usually assume one or both of the following:
  1. That mobile marketing is sending junk text messages to get people to subscribe, unwittingly, to a mobile content subscription service. Ergo, mobile marketing is bad.
  2. Mobile marketing = marketing using SMS (text messaging)
Neither assumption is true so this is my lowdown on what mobile marketing includes. This is a long post so bear with me.

Applications of mobile marketing

Of course text messaging is still an important element of mobile marketing, but not the only one. The following is adapted from the course module on mobile marketing I wrote this year for the IDM (Institute of Direct Marketing).

1. Text and win. This is a very convenient way to manage a competition or prize draw and popular with consumers. The recent on-pack promotion by Walkers to win an i-pod offered a prize draw every five minutes and claims to be the biggest ever text and win promotion to date.

2. Voting and participation TV. Text voting for reality TV programmes such as Big Brother and The X Factor are incredibly popular and are an additional revenue stream for the broadcaster and/or the production company. Data Association published these figures to demonstrate how big TV voting in the UK actually is.
  • Big Brother 5 - 10m+
  • I'm a Celeberity Get Me Out of Here - 10m+
  • X-Factor - 5.4m
  • Big Brother 3 - 5.3m
  • Big Brother 4 - 3.1m
  • Fame Academy 2 - 1.6m
  • Eurosong 2002 - 700k
3. Quizzes. Quizzes are ever popular as a mechanic used by marketers to engage their customers. And they can work very well on mobile phones. This could be a simple text message based quiz or a fancier java application (this is the technology behind mobile games) which offers a deeper level of interactivity using graphics, sound and animation, score keeping and the like. The typical way to start a quiz is to text in a key word to a shortcode and a question is sent to you by return.

It's fair to say I have a vested interest in this area as I'm working on mobile product development for the World Quizzing Championships 2006. Any potential sponsors out there? Please get in touch ;-)

4. Mobile content/mobile media (pictures, ringtones, video). Thanks to the unexpected popularity of ringtones the mobile content industry is already huge and has rapidly increased over the last few years. We know that young people spend 8 times as much on their mobile phones as they do on music and 12% of their income on their mobile phones (source Mobile Youth /w2forum)

The recent Mintel report on mobile content showed that the UK mobile content market is worth $1bn. Ringtones are still top of the list at 33% (although I think the actual figure is probably much higher) closely followed by games at 26%. And this is an industry that was only born at the turn of the 21st Century.

Brands are now starting to capitale on the popularity of mobile content r mobile media and are using it as part of their marketing effort. A picture or ringtone can be a 2nd-or 3rd- tier prize in a free prize draw or other competition which doesn’t involve physically sending out many prizes. We’ve used this approach at BeepMarketing in the past for Foster’s, Vivendi Universal and Digital Jesters. And I expect to see more of this activity in the coming months and years now that the phone technology is becoming more ubiquitous.

One of the key success factors for this industry is ease of payment. Firstly this was done via IVR (Interactive Voice Response where you dial a premium rate number and are billed per minute or as a one-off fee) and then premium rate SMS was introduced. It made it so easy to buy the content. No need for credit or debit card registration which meant that kids could buy it without asking their Mums and Dads.

5. Mobile games. Mobile gaming is very popular and a growing industry in its own right. We already have devices on the market such as the Nokia N-Gage which, although it is a mobile phone, it was actually designed with gaming in mind. And now we have the Sony PSP which isn’t a mobile phone but does have Wi-fi, therefore allowing full internet access.

Coca Cola has signed a deal this year to create and produce Coca Cola-branded games which customers will buy rather than download for free. Licensing deals like this will become more commonplace over the coming months and years too as brands try to get their heads round where revenues may or may not be made on mobile.

6. Mobile Applications. It might be software to help you plan your day, it might be an instant messenger service, it could be a system for working out your daily horoscope. If you think of the PDA (personal digital assistant) that’s been around for some years now and the range of software available for that, then you’ll be getting somewhere close to where we’re going with this on mobile phones.

Of course, the development of this market depends on the types of handsets out there that would need to have Symbian or Windows CE operating system – sometimes these are called Smartphones. Usually this is the higher end phones, but prices for technology soon drops and just as the ipod is available to one and all, or so it seems, so will ‘Smartphones’.

7. CRM – customer relationship management (or should that be CMR – customer managed relationship?). Let’s not forget that the mobile phone is a communications tool. And to that end is a 2-way device. It’s not just about pushing content or a message one-way, customers can call or text you back. This means it’s one of the channels to use when building relationships with consumers. It’s also a very neat way of handling customer service issues like notifying someone to confirm their groceries have been delivered, or that they’re overdrawn at the bank.

8. Interactive Voice Response (IVR). IVR is a much maligned technology. It’s an old technology, for sure as it’s based on landlines and is the engine behind those pesky ‘press 1 for yes and 2 for no’ systems. It’s also used for paying for stuff – mobile content, phone voting. But it also has potential for some great creativity.

Back in 2002, BeepMarketing worked on a campaign for the Butt Ugly Martians. It was aimed at children (7 to 10 year old boys to be precise) and was promoted in relevant comics and magazines. We had a simple text game, but more interestingly, we ran an IVR game. You dialled a standard rate number and instantly you’re transported into the world of the Butt Ugly Martians as you hear the music and voice-over. You were then guided into a game of choice – press the number that relates to your choice to get to the next level. We have 3 levels and if you got 1 of 3 winning combinations, we instantly sent you a ringtone or logo. If you'd like to listen to this yourself, please contact me for the telephone number.

And it’s not just us who’s used this technique.. McDonald’s, Walker’s Crisps, Wella and more have incorporated IVR into their mobile marketing efforts.

9. Multi-media messaging (MMS). This technique is increasing in potential as it becomes more readily available on handsets. MMS can be pushed to the phone at higher costs than simple text messages (several times higher), or there is the cheaper option of ‘virtual MMS’ or WAP push which can be just as effective and where you send a link to the customer to download to view or save the message. Wap push is also the technique used to deliver mobile content. True MMS is still limited by cost and technical limitations of handsets.

10. Direct ad-response/Red Button Mobile. Red Button Mobile describes direct response campaigns using the mobile phone as opposed to using the red button on interactive television (or potentially outdoor or print advertising unlike true Red button advertising). The mobile ‘red button’ is based on a shortcode available, optionally coupled with different keywords relevant keywords dependent on the reponse mechanism. This allows interactivity with statci media as well such as print and outdoor. Options include:
  • Text to screen – With TV, comments texted in can be automatically populated on-screen, as used by reality TV programmes (text to screen).
  • Text to email – where you text in your email address to a shortcode and an automatic HTML email is generated and sent to the respondent
  • Text to post – this works in a similar way where you text your address or postcode and street number
  • Text to WAP – here the respondent is directed to an advertiser’s WAP site through a link where they can access content, or opt-in.
  • Text to mobile content – Content such as a ringtone or a coupon is received through texting a shortcode
As an example of the effectiveness of these campaigns, BeepMarketing ran a direct response campaign for Axa PPP. This involved press advertising in the Evening Standard (a London daily newspaper) for its personal health insurance provider. Customers were asked to respond to the advertisement either by freephone (0800 number) or a text message. 50% of all the replies came via text message, even though they could have phoned for free and the texts would cost them 10p or so. All texts were routed direct to a call centre to manage outbound calls.

11. Barcodes. Barcodes can be sent to a mobile phone and then redeemed in store using the usual Epos systems. For example, Ann Summers used this technique earlier in the year to drive traffic to their stores. And many years before that, in my ZagMe days, we used a simple code in a text message that acted in a similar way to a barcode – you could track the codes but couldn’t scan them in.

Technically, it is relatively straightforward (if anything *can* be straightforward in mobile that is) to get a barcode to a mobile phone, however, not all barcode readers will be able to read it due to the different screen sizes and formats and intensity (or not) of the screen’s backlight.

A new take on barcodes is ‘camera codes’ whereby a consumer takes a picture of the barcode from a TV screen, poster, newspaper, magazine or website etc. This then initiates the response mechanism or can be used for couponing. There are several companies working on this but it still works best on Symbian or Smartphones.

12. Location-based services (LBS). This technique has prominently been used by companies offering services to parents whose children’s whereabouts can be tracked via their phones. With, parents pay a fee to access the service. This allows them to ‘ping’ their child’s phone/s to find out where they are.

‘Find me’ services are available which are useful for evenings out and there are mobile search companies coming up with ways of linking location to search and maps.

Of course the ultimate for marketers would be something like ZagMe where we sent text messages to shoppers at Lakeside and Bluewater shopping malls, while they were out shopping, way back in 2000 and 2001. There’s a piece on my website about what happened here but suffice to say, we were ahead of our time and the technology is currently prohibitively expensive. However, as prices come down and we find other ways of doing this, this concept will return.

13. WAP portal or wap site (aka mobile internet). WAP sites are the mobile versions of websites such as The BBC or Channel 4. Often after television programmes you’ll be asked to text in to access further content from your mobile (red button mobile). The link then takes you to the wap site where you can access videos, pictures, ringtones, and information about the programme you’ve just watched. It’s also an opportunity to buy mobile content and to get customers to opt-in for further information.

14. Java magazine or java portal. This is an application that you download to your mobile phone and is like an electronic magazine. You have the basic structure and with the first download, you get sent the first range of content. Then when you want the latest news, you click on update, and it updates all your pages over the air with new content. The benefit of this is that the user experience is better than WAP (although WAP is improving) and you can view content underground – really important if you live in London! You don’t have to be ‘online’ to access your stuff.

15. Mobile search. All the main search providers have mobile (WAP) specific versions of their search engines. These are now becoming more sophisticated. Google Mobile Search ( offers Local Search to find a local business and will then display a map (Google Maps is integrated) or phone number with the option of click-to-call on the appropriately-enabled handset. Google Local uses listings from Yell combined with a bespoke database of wapsites (these sites are checked that they are mobile phone compatible before adding).

Overture is working on something similar.

There are limitations with this as usability is an issue. Do you really want to be returned 500 wap sites when you have a tiny screen and slow data speeds?

16. Mobile music. Beyond ringtones, we are seeing that many handsets are now designed to play and store MP3 music files, potentially rivaling the iPod. As access speeds increase with 3G, tracks could be offered in promotions. Currently buying music from your mobile phone is expensive and it’s much cheaper to buy on itunes and then use Bluetooth to send it to your phone.

17. Podcasting. Podcasting involves streamed delivery of a home-made or professional audio programme, tune, speech or even video (these are called vlogs – check out the vlogs on Perfect Path). They can be accessed on any device with the appropriate MP3 capabilities and can be managed using an RSS feed so that whenever you plug your player into your pc (and over the air will come), your new podcasts are automatically uploaded. If you'd like to hear a podcast that I did earlier this year about mobile marketing then you'll find it here on Perfect Path.

18. Blogging and RSS. Ok, you’re reading a blog so I won’t go into this in detail. Suffice to say, reading blogs on the move is growing with mobile RSS feeds. You’ll find out much more about this mobile blogging/RSS thing over at Mobhappy.

19 Moblogging. Moblogging, or blogging from your mobile phone is popular and, although it can be text-based, makes best use of the device when images or video-clips are submitted by MMS or WAP. We now have citizen journalists who report breaking news before the main networks as shown in the London bombings earlier this year when within 30 minutes, a video clip from the underground spread across the internet like wildfire. This was all aided by sites like moblog (which can handle video) and flickr (which can’t).

Sony Ericsson has used the technique (with BeepMarketing’s help) of posting images to a blog to promote its K300i phone, by encouraging users to upload their images to And if you join W2Forum, you'll find a big debate as to the good, the bad and the ugly side of moblogging for marketing.

20. Bluetooth/infra-red. These techniques enable data to be sent from one electronic device to another. And of course marketers have got on the bandwagon. The Coldplay example is a case in point. I’ve talked about it here before and although I love the concept, I just don’t see how they get round the Data Protection Act. It seems that finally the Mobile Marketing Association finally agrees with me. Let me know what you think.

Companies like Hypertag also use Bluetooth to allow customers to receive information to their phones – pictures, coupons, music, whatever. I saw this in action at the Electric Picnic this summer where the Vodafone girls were wearing Hypertags and you had to make a Bluetooth connection with them to see if you’d won a prize. The benefit is that there’s no cost to the consumer and it doesn’t matter if you don’t have a mobile signal (like when you’re in a field in the middle of Ireland). However, it’s clunky, the girl actually had to take my phone off me to get it to connect, by which time, I was bored. As a gimmick it worked, but until we have better Bluetooth systems, it will be a while before this becomes mass market.

So that's my slightly long-winded top 20 applications for mobile marketing. I'm sure there are more than that so if you think of some that I've missed, then please do add your comments. And I'll do a separate piece on moble media and its place in advertising another time.

Copyright Helen Keegan 2005. All rights reserved.

tags: & & & &

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Women in Mobile Series

Well I'm very pleased to say that I'm woman number 4 in Rudy de Waele's 'Women in Mobile' series of interviews over at his m-trends blog. I'm very happy to be sharing the limelight with Sabine Allaeys, Darla Mack, Julia Palatovska and Debi Jones. And yes, that means I should be number 5 except that Rudy started with zero. Happy reading.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Another string to the mobile marketer's bow?

My article is now up on's Technology newsletter regarding adding the Sony PSP to the mobile marketer's toolset. It's an extension of the posting I made before about Sony PSP and FHM offering free content for it. Hopefully it all makes sense! I do firmly believe that wi-fi enabled entertainment devices such as the Sony PSP will be an important part of the mobile marketing mix going forward, and potentially will be the way to go for 'mobile TV' - not least because the screen quality is so much better and you're not paying ludicrously high rates for data downloading.

A Lump in the Road

I went to a West End Film Premiere on Saturday night with Lloyd Davis (yes he of naked vlog fame over at Perfect Path). It was at the Curzon Soho and the film in question was 'A Lump in the Road' produced by my friend Stuart Reid - civil servant by day, film producer by night.

OK, so it wasn't quite a red-carpet celebrity fest but it was just as enjoyable I'm sure. A Lump in the Road is a short film (less than 7 minutes) and shows a mother and daughter taking an imaginary car journey to far away places and in doing so, brings them closer together. It has been accepted for the Mid-Ulster Film Festival 2006. And if you do get chance to see it, then do - you'll enjoy it!

The evening kicked off with Jim Holland's Barenzirkus which is an 8 minute reworking of a 1960s super8 film of a Russian bear circus. It was disturbing to see these beautiful animals dressed up in silly costumes performing complex and skilled circus feats - suitably enhanced by the music soundtrack. One wonders what it took to train the animals.

Also showing was Curl up and Dye which is a celebration of the wit and humour of the UK's hairdressers and barbers which you can see online at Supershorts. My favourite is The Godbarber.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Are you a texty thing lecture about mobile marketing

Well, against all the odds (burst water mains, fire alert, security alert, terrible weather), I finally arrived at the University of Hertfordshire where I lectured on mobile marketing to the Business Studies undergraduates. I was delighted to see that the lecture hall was full of students (so much so that they were sitting in the aisles) and a few lecturers too. They seemed to lap it all up - after all, this is the mobile generation.

I really feel for them though. The marketing landscape is getting ever more complicated. And as new technologies emerge and existing technologies evolve, their job, as the marketers of the future is going to get harder and harder. Then what happens when we add location based tracking into the mix? That's going to throw a cat amongst the pigeons when it comes to targeting and will make postal-based direct mail look like a walk in the park to manage. It will no longer be about who you are and where you're at in your head, where you're at in your lifestage, but also where you're at physically (work, school, gym, pub, nightclub, shopping mall, wherever). Gender, age and postcode just won't cut it for very much longer.

Still, by spreading the word now about mobile marketing and getting the topic on the agenda, I'm quite sure some bright spark will come up with a solution at some point. Here's hoping anyway.

I'm off to run a workshop next week too at the University of Westminster as part of the Masters Course in Integrated Marketing. Guess what, I'll be talking about mobile marketing! And I've been booked in to run more courses for the IDM next year too.

It feels like, at long last, marketing folks are beginning to take thismobile channel seriously. Who knows, maybe even James Eadie, marketing manager at Coca-Cola, will get it at last. He was recently reported at the Mobile Marketing Conference this week as saying that the mobile channel showed great potential but

"Until such time as the digital platform [ie mobile] can help us connect emotionally with consumers, in the way we can with a 30-second TV commercial, we are always going to struggle."

Ho hum. He really doesn't get it yet. He seems to think that there's nothing emotional about a text message, let alone other mobile content. Well I guess he's never been dumped by SMS or maybe his partner never says 'I love you' via text as Russell Buckley points out over at Mobhappy. He also was not running campaigns at ZagMe (where we sent texts to shoppers at Lakeside and Bluewater) 5 years ago where our customers out at Lakeside and Bluewater loved us so much, one of them even dedicated a record to us at Capital FM. Other feedback included things like:

"Hello ZagMe How R U today"
"ZagMe iz cool Text me back d:->"
"ThanQ ZagMe team 4 my lovely b’day txt, I had 1 sweet day X"
"Thank you for the £10 voucher"

No emotion indeed! Everything's possible. It's not about the technology, it's about how you use it. Let's hope tomorrow's marketers start learning this lesson now before they hit the marketplace.

btw, if anyone is interested in learning about Mobile Marketing - what it is, how and when to use it, what not to do it etc. Then I'm your woman. Please contact me for details of mobile marketing training course outlines.

Women in Mobile Data Lunch at The Sloane Club

was very good today so well done to Lisa Modisette who heads up the Women in Mobile Data Association for organising it. Annette Stimpson from Logica CMG was our guest speaker today and she gave a talk on the recent market study they did around content services and making money. There are some interesting key facts to note...
  • 20% of mobile phone subscribers worldwide have already downloaded content to their mobiles
  • User key concerns are [unsurprisingly IMHO]: Price, value for money, security and fraud
  • User key requirements are: Ease of use, ease of payments, ability to share information and the speed of the download
Annette also went on to talk about how necessary a targeted approach was and that there were many missed opportunities due to customers not being aware of services that are relevant for them. Most mobile content services being made by men for young men has skewed the mobile content industry and that has to change for the market to grow.

LogicaCMG also predicts that the content download market will be worth 7.6bn Euros globally next year and that within a year, the number of customers having experience content services is set to triple.

Europeans have the largest wallets and are most willing to pay for services but are the most conservative. The Asian market shows the most enthusiasm for new types of content with one in ten expected to be downloading full feature films to their handsets in 12 months time.

We'll be holding our next event in Barcelona (sponsor permitting) to coincide with 3GSM in February. And then I expect we'll be running a UK based event a month or two after that. So if you're a woman and work in mobile data then you might be interested in joining us. Details of how to get in touch are on the WIMD website.

A very exciting morning

My tickets for the Electric Picnic 2006 arrived this morning. I'll be going with my festipals Sarah and Deirdre, oh and Lozzer's bought his own ticket so he'll be travelling with us across the water to the ol country where we shall set up camp and enjoy the shenanigans that is the Electric Picnic [check out Eyebrowy's new picnic animation here].

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Air freshener for mobile phones

No really, you can get air freshener mobile charms from Pixen for your mobile phone including Hello Kitty (see picture on left) and Disney smells (I wonder what those smell like?!). The idea is that each time your phone rings or you receive a text message (or email in Japan's case), you get a faint smell of something lovely. It uses an electronically stimulated micro scent generator in the charm itself. In Japan they're called "Keitai-kun-kun" which translates as mobile sniff sniff.

I guess this goes on the back of mobile phone jewellery and mobile charms which are incredibly popular in Asia and growing in popularity over here now. And they don't come cheap either. Each charm pictured on the right, from Hannah Zakari, is £15. I don't know how much the air fresheners are but I can't imagine they'll be cheap either.

I wonder if it will catch on?

Starsight Project coverage in the Financial Times

I was very excited to see coverage in the FT for the award-winning Starsight Project. Mike Butcher interviewed Steve Flaherty a few weeks ago and this is the result: Lamp posts are leap from dark. I expect we'll be seeing more press coverage in the coming weeks and months as the pilot projects progress in Africa. And as Mike says, who knows, we might even see Starsight lamp posts in the Scottish Highlands!

Wanna know about students and how to market to them?

Well try Luke Mitchell's book "Targeting Students: A Marketing Guide". You'll find out all about it on his website and have a chance to sign up to his very interesting email newsletter (I'm guessing RSS is next on his 'to-do' list). And of course, if you'd like to add mobile to the student marketing mix, then talk to me as well!

As it happens, I'm off to the University of Westminster in two weeks to run a workshop on interactive marketing for the Masters students there and next week, I'm off to the University of Hertfordshire to do my annual undergraduate lecture on mobile marketing.

I always find it fascinating talking to students about mobile. What I usually find is that they're all pretty heavy users of their mobile phones but, even though they're marketing students in the main, they haven't quite made the connection between marketing and mobile. I expect I'll confuse them even more when I start talking about Sony PSPs and video ipods! But I guess it's my job to help them create the link.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Calling all Kate Bush fans

Don't know about you, but I can still remember seeing Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights on Top of the Pops with my big sister and being wowed by it (guess I'm showing my age here). I'm eagerly awaiting my copy of the new album (just ordered it) but in the meantime, I stumbled across this lovely site of early Kate Bush demos 'n stuff. If you're a fan, you'll love it!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Why isn't MTV selling truetones?

I thought I'd take a look at MTV today as one of my clients is interested in advertising there next year. Of course, I couldn't resist but take a look at their mobile ringtone offering and was surprised to see that they're *not* selling truetones (with the exception of 'pimp my ride'). The Music Solution seems to do all their ringtones and I just wondered why they hadn't got round to doing the real music? Seems a bit backward to me - especially when they're already playing around with mobile content with Motorola and made-for- mobile video which is much more complex than ringtones. Anyone know the answer? Is it a DRM issue?

Friday, November 11, 2005

Wahey - The Starsight Project wins MDA Award

I got a MMS message last night from Steve Flaherty announcing that The Kolam Partnership won the Best Short Range Data Application Award for its Starsight Project in the MDA Awards at Painters’ Hall in the City of London last night. I'm very proud of the team - they really did deserve to win this award as it's a fantastic proposition. Pictured is Steve with his award.

The Starsight Project has a multi service architecture delivering solar powered WiFi within solar powered street lighting units, and providing light and broadband internet access with the future potential for voice.

The WiFi implementation within StarSight is primarily used to provide control of solar powered street lights, enabling its users to control battery life, on/off mechanisms and maintenance. It also provides security monitoring. As excess WiFi bandwidth is rolled out into the local community, it allows different types of business, Government and the local community to access standard ICT capabilities.

StarSight has other niche applications in security with WiFi enabled CCTV and also as a tsunami early warning system, with solar powered WiFi and sirens connected to local seismology centres. It has been designed to enable emerging nations and those undergoing transitional change, to roll out street lighting and ICT infrastructure via one economically and environmentally sustainable unit.

Other winners include Spinvox (I'm a big fan of Spinvox - I find it *really* useful), O2 (for best network!?) and Fastap. Find out more at the Mobile Data Association website. And congratulations again to Steve and the team for their award.

tags: & & & & & &

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Spooks go mobile at the BBC

The Observer reported on Sunday that the BBC is offering a mobile game to complement the popular TV programme, Spooks. It mentioned in the article that the game had cost £100,000 to produce and that it was £2 to download. Hmm, that doesn't smell right to me. So I went and checked it out.

OK, I can't check how much it really cost to develop the game, so I have to take that as read. But I did go to the BBC Spooks website and found that there are 4 games to play and it's compatible with pretty much all Java capable handsets - no mean feat. So probably the development costs are no way out. It also includes some neat location elements and mobile interactivity which all adds up in development terms.

So, next the question about cost to download. Well, actually, the BBC doesn't charge anything for this at all. So it's free. Great. Or is it?

The game is free to download/play except for your usual SMS and data costs. And due to the interactive element of the fourth game in the series, the BBC predicts that your GPRS costs will be up to £1.90 so it's down to those pesky network operators again and their high data charges. I wonder when they will bring those data charges down so that us mere mortals don't panic when we're doing more than sending or receiving a text message, especially on Pay as You Go phones which are still 70% of the market?

If you want to check it out yourself, just text 'SPOOKS' to 81010. I'm going to try it out myself and I'll let you know if it's any good.

Mobile marketing is evolving to include Sony PSP

Well we've had news stories about advertising on video ipods and now PSP is joining the fray. is launching a Sony PSP channel with a free content promotion (via Brand Republic). It will be launched at the end of the month and users will be offered 10 free content packs to view on their Sony PSP's. The content will be the usual FHM type of thing - images and videos of girls (in their underwear I expect), behind the scenes stuff, interviews with the girls and viral teasers of what's coming up in forthcoming issues of the offline and online magazine.

The channel will be used to promote and its related mobile phone offering which is currently via network operator portals (Vodafone Live and O2 Activel). And also plans to make use of PSP's wireless browsing capabilities to create a browsable version of their site in the near future.

So what do I think of this. Well, I think it's great that Emap has had the presence of mind to pursue the PSP channel - with anticipated sales of 1m PSPs by Christmas, of which I guess the majority will be in the hands of young men, this is a great thing to do. Spot on in terms of targeting, a good demonstration of the scope of the Sony PSP (and I saw one in action at the Electric Picnic in the summer, and it was a rather fabulous piece of kit).

It does beg the question of how to define mobile marketing though. When I first started out, it was easy as it was all text messaging based (ok, so that was over 5 years ago and you had to explain what a text message was), and then it moved to 'stuff you do on a phone like SMS, ringtones and pictures' and then more recently we moved on to include games, applications and wap and now it's 'stuff you do on a phone, a PDA, an ipod,a mp3 player, a Sony PSP and, and.' I wonder what's next. And what the impact of wi-fi might be too.

Don't get me wrong, I love all the technology, and the potential it will bring, but by fragmenting the means of access, and the means of delivery, it could make it confusing for the customer, more difficult for the developer (how many platforms do you support exactly - over 200 mobile phones already + psp + pda + ipod + Gizmondo?) and more to the point to the brand. How does the client decide which channel to invest their money in ? If you're not into technology, how on earth are you supposed to work it all out?! (Clue, you get me in to help you.) It took TV 50 years or more to become fragmented to the state we're in today with 100s of TV stations. The mobile media world has already become fragmented in less than 5 years with multiple devices and multiple technologies, and mobile media is barely off the ground! The technology seems to be making a lot of things more complicated not less so. But it's fascinating to watch.

tags: & & & & &

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Swedish Beers - advance warning - 29 November 2005

For all of you who have a passing interest in things mobile, enjoy a drink or two at a central London hostelry and enjoy good company, then Swedish Beers is back after a few months absence.

Our next event is on 29 November 2005 at The Nordic Bar, Newman Street, London W1. We'll be there from about 6pm and usually inhabit the area at the back of the bar.

If you haven't been before, it's usually a really good laugh and you get to meet all kinds of people from network operators to developers, marketers and consultants to mobile content producers, PR folks, brands and publishers and everything in between. We usually get a few drinks in courtesy of our sponsor (November's sponsor tbc) too which helps get the evening off to a good start. If you can't make it straight after work, don't worry, there are usually some of us hanging around well into the evening and then some! And if you've been before, you know all this already.

Hopefully see some of you there.


Perfect Path up for top business blogging award

Wow! The lovely Lloyd Davis is the man behind the Perfect Path blog and is up for the "Best Implementation of a Business Blog" award at this year's International Information Industry Awards The shortlist is:

Ask Jack/The Guardian
English Cut
Panlibus (the Talis blog for librarians)
Perfect Path
UK FOIA blog

The III 2005 Ceremony will be held on 30 November 2005 at The Royal Lancaster Hotel in London. I have everything crossed for you Lloyd! Good luck.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Alternative guide to the Electric Picnic 2005

Just stumbled on this alternative guide to the wonderful Electric Picnic 2005 on t'internet from the folks at Eyebrowy. Very funny. Well, I thought so but I guess that has something to do with the fact that I was there. There are 4 clips. Enjoy!

Motofrwd college competition - US only

Shame this competition from Motorola is only open to US residents. They're challenging students to come up with concepts around "seamless mobility" and you can win some nice prizes too. So if you're a US student with a great idea for a mobile application and/or device then this competition might be for you. You don't have to come up with the mobile application or mobile device itself but you can story board it or write about it. Closing date is 15th November 2005 so best be quick.


Not sure how interesting this actually is but thought it worth posting about. It seems that protest ringtones are beginning to happen - first in the Philippines and now in the US too. These ringtones seem to be DIY jobs and there are a several bits of software and sites out there that can help you create, store and distribute your own tones including xingtone and ringranger as well as software you can pick up in the supermarket for a tenner. A new open source system similar to Xingtone, called Riot Tones, is in the works though; created by programmer and activist Evan Henshaw Plath, Riot Tones will help users create their own ringtones and share them via the web. As the technology to create and share these protest ring tones becomes more widely available, he expects them to become a popular choice for spreading messages among politically aware young people.

As you'll see from the various wiki pages, the site's not live yet. But as far as I can tell, the clever thing about this is that you create one ringtone file and the system sorts out the right format for all the different phones out there.

I wonder if it will achieve Evan's vision of ringtones as protest songs or if it will just help proliferate annoying tones like the Crazy Frog?

I want one of these please

Anyone care to sponsor me by sending me one of these lovely beauties? A Video Seven LTV20E 20" LCD TV in silver. It would go down a treat in my currently being sorted out bedroom. I've just put together my new big white bed (it's lovely and is very clever because you don't need to turn the mattress) and there's a space on top of the chest of drawers at the foot of the bed that will accommodate a dvd player + flatscreen LCD TV. If you'd like to buy me one of these, you can pick one up at Amazon for a bargain £249.99 including delivery.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Mobile news round up

I've been a bit quiet this last week due to having guests over the half-term holiday. But I thought I'd start the new week with a round-up of some interesting bits and pieces happening in mobile from my in-box in the last few days. So, in no particular order of importance...
  • 89 million SMS per day and rising in the UK which is a 25% increase on 2004. This is just peer to peer messaging and doesn't include any commercial text messaging.
  • The StarSight project has been nominated for “Best Short Range Data Application” in this year’s Mobile Data Awards. I'm particularly pleased about this as not only is this a brilliant idea, but I helped to put the team together and have done a bit of work on this project myself. Fingers crossed they win.
  • If you're interested in mobile internet best practice, then this is for you. W3C's MWI Best Practices Working Group has released the first public draft. It is not yet complete and the group will be working hard on this document before it will become an official recommendation. The group is willing to hear the opinions of the community of mobile developers to see what's the opinion. As you will see there are some chapters where it clearly states that the group would like to receive comments, but I would like to point out that I would be happy to hear comments on ANY part of the document so that we'll be able to discuss it and find a solution. You can download the document here.
  • Women have overtaken men in their interest in VAS (value-added services) with 53% of women interested compared to 47% of men - a reversal in the numbers from 2004. This is according to a recent round table discussion held by Buongiorno (via 160 characters).
  • Nokia has introduced the Nokia Local Content Channel Solution, CoolZone, that is a Bluetooth based end-to-end solution for distributing digital content to consumers' phones in retail locations (via 160 characters).

Monday, October 24, 2005

upgrading to 3G

I'm a few months overdue a phone upgrade with T-Mobile UK. I've grown to love my K700i but I feel it's time to upgrade to 3G now that T-Mobile's 3G service in the UK has gone live at long last.

I'm in a conundrum though - which phone do I choose? At the moment, I have a few to choose from -

1. Sony Ericsson K608i
2. Samsung ZM60 (although I'd have to be persuaded to change to a clamshell, I do like my candybar phones)
3. Nokia N70 (not keen on Nokia's menus and filing system as I've been using Sony Ericsson phones for the last 4 years.
There is a LG phone as well, but I had such a poor experience with my Three LG phone, that I've given up on them so I'm not even going to consider it.

What do you think? I must admit, I'm veering towards the N70 because of its smartphone functionality and memory card slot. But the Samsung has longer standby and talktime. And the Sony Ericsson is very familiar. The SE will be a free upgrade but I'll have to pay a bit for the N70 (probably £100 ish). Should I wait for another phone that's about to hit the market that isn't on this list yet?

Friday, October 21, 2005

Campaign Awards - What, no women? Update

I emailed Claire Beale, editor of Campaign magazine about the lack of female judges for the recent Campaign Awards in Digital and Outdoor. She replied to me very quickly as follows:

"At a rough count we asked the following women to judge the poster awards:
Stevie Spring, Julie France, Kate Stanners, Annie Rickard, Helen Alexander and Tiger Savage...all couldn't make it...our aim is to have high calibre judges so -- given the lower number of senior women in the business -- we are limited; far from ideal, but definitely not for want of trying (or worrying) about it."

Not sure what you can say about that really. How frustrating it is that the advertising industry is still so male-dominated in an increasingly female world (if the gurus like Tom Peters are to be believed, in the USA, women are responsible for 80%+ of buying decisions). No wonder the ad industry is in trouble. If women are doing all the buying and men doing all the selling there are going to be lots of mismatches in communication, due not least to the fact that men and women *are* different and often don't understand each other terribly well. A balance of both is needed. Time for change.

A few thank yous:
to Claire at Campaign for replying to me so quickly.
to all those who commented publicly or emailed me privately on this topic.
to all the Devas, Busygirls and Mobloggers who also debated this with me. It's been fun ;-)

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Women's blood is boiling - Neil French is a sexist

Ok, lots of folks already know that Neil French holds sexist views. But did he really have to go this far? Over on Brand Republic, they've just reported that he's offered his resignation after giving a speech in Toronto this month in which he was asked why women were under-represented among the top ranks of creative directors. He replied: "Because they're crap".

Nancy Vonk, co-chief creative officer at WPP's Ogilvy agency in Toronto, wrote an angry column denouncing his comments over at the website. She continues that he described that women will inevitably wimp out and 'go suckle something' after their short stint in advertising, and that in his honest opinion he was voicing the inner thoughts of legions of men in the senior ranks of our business. There's also a legion of comments that are also worth a read.

I posted the news to a couple of newsgroups I belong too, and there's been plenty of feedback I can tell you. If Neil French was a nobody, he and his comments could be laughed off as insignificant and stupid. However, this is a man who is WPP Group worldwide creative director and influences a staff of 72,000 as well as clients, peers, the media and so on. There are many in the advertising industry who hang on his every word.

Continuining on the sexism in advertising theme, I've emailed the editor of Campaign Magazine to see what she has to say about the lack of female judges at their recent poster and digital awards. I'm very interested to see what response (if any) I get.

Update 21.10.05: Link to Guardian article [subscription required]. Neil French talks back - WPP executive claims bloggers sealed his fate

MoMoLondon inaugural event 7th November

I've just been tipped off that the first London Mobile Monday (or, MomoLondon) will take place on the 7th November at Vodafone's offices on the Strand in central London from 6pm. The theme is tentatively set as "Connecting the physical and digital world" - with topics such as location-based services, optical code reading and some others to be agreed.

You can join the [yahoo] group here. And you can read about it at Blackbelt Jones' blog.

Sounds like it could be interesting and I expect will cover off aspects of mobile marketing too and not just the geeky bits. Not sure who's moderating the group or who's a member but I guess all will be revealed in time.

Hopefully see some of you on the 7th.

Geek Dinner 24th November 05 with Molly Holzschlag

The next geek dinner has been announced via Sarah Blow's blog. Molly Holzschlag will be speaking, and it seems she is THE web design guru and is also considered as one of the most influential women on the web. So this is a must go and meet opportunity if you're into that kinda thing.

WHEN: Thursday 24th November 2005.
WHERE: Hogs Head, 11 Dering Street, Westminster, London W1
TIME: 19:00 - 23:00
COST: £1 finger buffet payable on the door.

To sign up go to or just turn up.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Teens and wireless technologies at FreqOUT

I was lucky enough to be invited by the lovely ladies at Vital Regeneration (no website currently) to the FreqOUT launch night at the ICA last night. The idea behind it was to give young people access to various bits and pieces of wireless technology and use them for creativity and learning. They worked with artists and techies to realise and hone their ideas:

1. CCTV is watching me... - this was a film shot using a wireless digital CCTV camera by kids from the Churchill Gardens Estate in collaboration with artist Melissa Bliss and film maker Jake Nowak. This one's definitely worth a watch if you get chance to. If it gets posted to the internet ever, I'll put a link here.

2. Geo Graffiti - this was my favourite. Led by artists Jeremy Wood and programmer Hugh Pryor, kids went around with mobile GPS (global positioning systems) devices and traced their path on earth to create drawings. Back at base the 'drawings' were translated into a manageable size so that the likes of you and I can see them and make some sense of them. They started with creating simple shapes and then graduated to creating their signatures up to 400m wide at Battersea Park. Another project in this installation was to map the local area and mark the places most significant to them. In doing this, they created a map of the Churchill Gardens Estate including the best chip shop in the area. All good stuff.

3. Victoria Voices - young people from the Cardinal Hume Centre interviewd people they found in their local area from office workers, job seekers, armed policement, passers-by, market traders etc to record various attitudes to homelessness, race, and life on the streets in Westminster. A fascinating insight into the local area.

4. Shadow Transfer - Using infrared lights and a video mixer, this installation was about communication through body movement. Participants play, talk and argue with others by projecting their shadows to meet with shadows of others without the hindrance of the usual visual signs by which we usually judge fellow humans (such as skin colour, accent and clothing choice).

All in all, a really exciting range of projects and hopefully a sign of things to come. Watch this space as they say.

Oh, and if you're wondering why I didn't take any pictures, it was because it was too dark and my cameraphone doesn't have a decent flash.

Friday, October 14, 2005

What, no women?

I've just been raking through my magazine pile from the last week or two and came across Campaign from the last two weeks. With each issue, there's a supplement showcasing two awards they've recently held - Digital and Poster. "Ah, this looks interesting", I say to myself and take a look. I turn the page to see the panel of judges beaming at me from each supplement. In the Digital Awards judging panel, there are 15 judges and 1 woman (she's not pictured). In the Poster Awards judging panel, there are 16 judges and not a single woman.

Putting aside any gender discrimination issues or sexist practices, in the interests of fairness alone, wouldn't a woman's point of view be useful and/or necessary? Half of all poster viewings must be viewed by women (unless those posters are in men's urinals that is) mustn't they? Ditto digital campaigns?

What's going on here? Does Haymarket not believe in getting women involved in these things? Are women not interested in taking part (which I find hard to believe but it *may* be true)? Is our voice not relevant?

How would men in the industry feel about an all-female judging panel? I see that would be equally inappropriate. But maybe a panel that more or less represents the proportion of women in the industry. Or is the female workforce in poster and digital marketing only 3.23%? Or am I getting frustrated over nothing and that it's perfectly ok to have an all-male panel and assume that of course they'd be the best for the job?

I foolishly hoped that in the 21st Century things would be different. I'm not expecting a 50:50 ratio, but 2 or 3 women on each panel wouldn't be unreasonable, would it? There are many talented women in the marketing industry generally, let alone poster/outdoor and digital (well I met a few of them at the Geek Dinner this week). Why aren't they here? Do women just have better things to do?

Comments please! This debate is also in action over on moblog UK.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Fashion Through a Digital Lens

Jemima Gibbons of Cass Creatives and NMK have teamed up to create another event on new media and fashion. Unfortunately I can't make it this time but I was on the panel for the first event, Looking for the New Black, a year or so ago and it was great so it comes highly recommended. The event is next Thursday 13th October at 01zero-one, Peter Street, London W1 6pm to 8pm and costs £20 (which includes drinks and nibbles). On the panel you'll find
  • Carie Bolsover, Interactive Commercial Manager, Channel 4
  • Ally Capellino, Designer
  • Eva Pascoe, Founder, Zoom (representing Top Shop & Orange)
  • Paul Toeman, Commercial Director, Panlogic (representing Ann Summers)
  • Amanda Zuydervelt, Editor, Style Bible
And they'll be discussing how fashion designers and SMEs can use digital media to promote their wares as well as reviewing the opportunities and threats posed by new media – what are the latest marketing and distribution technologies? What are the newest ways in which the High Street is being re-invented online? And how is increased personalisation changing the customer-retailer relationship?

To find out more and to book your ticket, click here.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Next London Girl Geek Dinner - Tues 11 October 2005

If you're interested, there's another London Girl Geek Dinner being held on Tuesday 11th October at the Texas Embassy near Trafalgar Square, London. It's the usual format - very informal, chatting over drinks and Mexican food. No fixed agenda, just a chance to meet other women with an interest in technology. And it costs just £20 (not including drinks).

You don't have to be a geek to attend, bloggers and marketers also very welcome. And if you're man, you can come too as long as you're accompanied by a woman! So either bring one with you or ask someone who's already going, very nicely, if they'll invite you.

It's dead easy to sign up. Just go to the wiki page and add your name to the list. You'll also find out a bit more info there on the event and links to blogs and podcasts of previous events.

No Need to Click Here - I'm just claiming my feed at Feedster

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Gizmondo up to no good

Russell Buckley, over at Mobhappy, has been doing some detective work on Gizmondo, a company producing and selling handheld gaming device with some internet/mobile functionality, and its management team. His findings beggar belief - you have to read it to believe it.

Well, not only is the product not much cop, they've also managed to lose squillions of cash in setting up and launching in one market. They've also spent several million dollars in paying themselves and their spouses and treating one another to fancy schmancy cars.

Picture taken from MPOGD (Multiplayer Online Games Directory).

tags: & & & & & & &

Mobile Mondays - 3rd October 2005

If you're interested in meeting up with other folks interested in mobile marketing and/or mobile content then there's a monthly meetup on Monday. Turn up at All Bar One on Dean St, London W1 from 6pm. You'll see the Mobile Marketing Association logo at the raised area at the back of the bar and that's where we'll be. Free drinks between 6pm and 7pm.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Stormhoek Wine

Ah, there are some bonuses to being a blogger! I've just received my free bottle of Stormhoek wine to sample. It's a Sauvignon Blanc and I'm sure that will go down very well. You can read about the Stormhoek marketing campaign here:"wine blogging as marketing disruption" or here or on the wiki. So thank you Hugh McLeod of GapingVoid and your lovely clients at Stormhoek. Watch this space for a wine review shortly.

Tabasco Bloody Mary Mix

Hooray - one of my clients has just given me a sample of one of their new products. It's the Tabasco Bloody Mary mix and I'm looking forward to giving it a whirl. Bloody Mary anyone?

Matt Lucas is an Arsenal fan

Well so my mate Sheila tells me - pictured here with the wonderful Matt Lucas (of Little Britain fame) at the football last night. And apparently he's a lovely chap to boot! Apparently he's a regular. I have met him myself but it was way back in Vic Reeves Big Night Out days and he was at a party I went to in Greenwich. Ahh, those were the days when I went to house parties with interesting people!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Electric Picnic was fab

except I've come back from Ireland with a horrible chest infection and now on antibiotics. Hence radio silence!
Hard to single out the best bits but certainly the best bands were Kraftwerk, Mercury Rev, James Blunt, Dublin Gospel Choir, Roykssop and De La Soul - probably in that order. Other best bits were the silent disco (Fatboy Slim was dj-ing at 4am Sunday morning), Lost Vagueness (see left for the Laundrettas and the peg contest) and the food - my favourite food stall from Cornbury was there. The tent held out compared with all the shonky tents we saw around us. We didn't have a drop of rain the whole time we were in Ireland although I did wear my wellies a bit. And I met some err Scottish men (there's some quip there but I can't think of it). I'll be back next year definitely when it's rumoured to be a 3-day festival. If you see me ask me about my lucky penny. Highly recommend.

I even took in a bit of mobile marketing whilst I was there. Hypertag was doing its thing for Vodafone. The idea was that you bluetooth the promotion person for a chance to win a big prize (can't remember what it was). But she actually had to take my phone from my hand and place it on her console to get it to work. Took about 5 minutes. Way too long when you're at a festival and have better things to do. Needless to say, I didn't win. All I got was a money-off voucher (pic on the right).

Check out the photos on flickr or moblog. The picture sets are the same but there are additional video clips of Kraftwerk and the Dublin Gospel Choir on moblog.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Hamster powered mobiles

You gotta love this! Elvis the hamster powers a mobile phone charger as noted on Ananova via 160 Characters. Peter, aged 16, has invented the environmentally friendly mobile phone charger as part of a GCSE project after his sister complained that the hamster kept her awake all night by playing for hours on its exercise wheel.


Today is Blog Day 2005

Today is Blog Day 2005 so Happy Blog Day to you :-)
I've just read about it on Russell Buckley's Mobhappy blog and it's a day to celebrate blogs, bloggers and blogging. So right up my street then. It's the brainchild of Nir Amir who writes Spark Armada. And the idea seems to be taking off. So for all you bloggers out there, one thing you can do today is promote 5 blogs that aren't already heavily read or widely promoted. You'll see that Mobhappy recommended this blog as required reading for mobile marketing enthusiasts - thanks for the plug Russell! So now I have to decide on my 5 recommendations and they are, in no particular order:

1. Public Service Conversations. Watch this space for interesting interviews with top British public servants. It's been a bit quiet over the summer, but then that's UK Government for you!

2. Alfie's Blog. Ok, so he's a mate so it's slightly against teh rules but he also runs the fabulous moblog UK, Orgasmatones and We're Not Afraid so worth a mention. And I enjoy reading his blog so I don't see why you shouldn't too.

3. Diary of a London Cokehead. Nothing to do with technology or mobile. Just the day to day life of a music biz coke addict - sex, drugs and rock 'n roll and lots of profanity. So if you don't like profanity, then this one is definitely not for you.

4. Tom Hume. Tom works in mobile application development and writes about that, but also interesting bits and pieces about digital life.

5. Shakespeare Didn't Write Life by Kiss-Me-Kate. This is the diary of a luvvie and her various theatrical activities. She's also experimenting with using blogging to promote theatre productions including Holy Ghost.

So enjoy Blog Day 2005 and spread the word.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Kasabian Rocks

Or rather, Deirdre Molloy (pictured here with her free Kasabian t-shirt) and I rock as we went to the free Kasabian gig last night. I'm on the T-Mobile Street Gigs text list and I got a text message yesterday saying to reply if I wanted to see Kasabian that night. And of course I texted back straight away and got my SMS invite. All we had to do was show up at 93 Feet East at 6pm and show the message and we were in.
There were a couple of hundred people there I reckon, maybe more. And because I'm short, I didn't get any decent pictures of the band (hence all the head shots on my technokitten flickr and moblog pages). But it was a good gig anyway although the bass sound wasn't great, and I didn't know many of the tracks (well I recognised one track so maybe I'm hipper than I thought). And Deirdre and I managed to grab a couple of free Kasabian t-shirts at the end of the gig. And then our pal Sarah turned up and we had beers and a curry as is obligatory in Brick Lane.

In terms of marketing, there was t-mobile branding around, and we had lanyards where there's a special offer to get a free bluetooth headset when you get a D750i on an 18 month contract. And there was a kodak print machine where it looked like you could take a picture and get it printed straight away. However, I didn't get close enough to see it or how it worked.

I did see Bjork on my way there but couldn't get my camera switched on quickly enough to capture it so my nieces will never believe me!

All in all pretty good preparation for the Electric Picnic and a good example of mobile marketing and marketing mobile. Oh, and a bit of celebrity spotting too.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

My new wellingtons

have just arrived via ebay (how I love ebay!). I'll be taking these to the Electric Picnic and judging by the rain today, I'll probably need them too!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Geek Girl Dinner Podcasts now available

on Lloyd's blog over at Perfect Path. So if you were there and want to hear the sound of your own voice, or catch up on conversations that you missed or just want to find out what we were up to that night, then feel free to download the podcasts from Perfect Path and listen at your leisure.

The evening was a great success so well done to Sarah for organising it and to Hugh of Gaping Void fame for lending us his wiki. I caught up with some old friends (Lloyd, Deirdre, Jemima) and made some new ones (Maria, Emma, Keni, Suzanne, Sarah and flatmate). I did end up talking about mobile mind you courtesy of Keni who is a Microsoft/SPV enthusiast (understatement) and Suzanne (who works for Nokia). But that's ok and to be expected when you end up on a table crammed with mobilistas. Wine was provided courtesy of Stormhoek and the pinot grigio didn't taste half bad.

Keni, was blogcast the word you were looking for to replace podcast?

Electric Picnic countdown

Hurrah! I'm going to the Electric Picnic in Stradbally, Ireland on 3/4 September with my festipal Sarah. And we're camping but this time, with a bigger tent than we had at Cornbury Festival. I can't believe I'm choosing to go camping twice in one year! Anyway, the line-up is fantastic including Kraftwerk, Fatboy Slim, Mercury Rev, Nouvelle Vague, Goldfrapp, Human League and lots more besides. There's a comedy tent, Lost Vagueness are doing their burlesque thang too and the crew from Fairylove (who were at Cornbury too) will be creating a fairy heaven. There's a large mind/body/spirit element too so we can get our worries massaged away and chill out to our hearts content.

Wellies have been ordered (from my beloved ebay) and will be arriving in the next day or two. Now I'm hoping that because I have wellies, I won't actually need them. The weather last year was brilliant apparently. And my Dad tells me that Laois is the dryest county in Ireland but Ireland isn't green for nothing. Still, it's only a weekend and we can clean up on our slow 3 day amble back to England via Glendalough, the Wicklow Hills and my relatives just outside Dublin.

Monday, August 22, 2005

VENUS RISING: Where is mobile technology taking us in the 21st century?

The guys over at Cybersalon have put together an event next month on 20th September in conjunction with Venus Rising to discuss where mobile technology is taking us this century. With over 75% of the UK population owning a mobile phone, women are a crucial sector of the mobile market. However, most technology is developed by men, so is the feminine perspective being taken into account?

Dr Lizbeth Goodman, Director SMARTLab, Central St Martins will chair the event and Lev Manovich will look at where mobile technologies are taking society from the feminine perspective. Hmm, I wonder how a man will be able to do that then? The whole panel hasn't been announced yet, so let's hope there are some women on there.

This sounds like it should be an interesting evening and a chance to discuss mobile technology for women. It's free (but you need to email or call for a ticket) and will be held at The Dana Centre. I've been to events here before and I highly recommend.

Friday, August 12, 2005

And again. Same spam from DirtyHippo

It's getting err *slightly* tedious I have to say, but I have yet another spam email from Dirty Hippo (Buongiorno) this morning. And it's exactly the same as the last ones I've had. So it looks like I'm going to get this email at least twice a week for the foreseeable future. Does spamming people like this really work?!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Dirty Hippo spams yet again

Yep, Dirty Hippo spammed me again yesterday with the very same email to the very same non-existent email account. Yay - way to go Buongiorno!

NESTA report: Mobile Technologies and Learning

There's a link to an interesting free report here on mobile technologies and learning produced by NESTA's Futurelab. I haven't read the whole thing yet, but it's pleasingly not too long and the bits I skim-read looked good.
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