Thursday, September 25, 2008

Are you going to Twestival tonight?


Well I am. And it's looking like it's going to be a lot of fun.

Admittedly, I'm a bit of a social butterfly at times and would go to the opening of an envelope if there were enough interesting people there. But this one really does look like an interesting concept.

If you haven't heard of it, then it's probably because you're not on Twitter. (And you're no-one if you're not on Twitter, according to The Twitter Song.) Because the concept of the the Harvest Twestival is to bring together 200 or so twitterati so we can see the real person behind the avatar and the 140 character musings at Doon on Trafalgar Square. (If you're interested in mobile twitterers, then Emily Freeman recently outed a few of us on her blog as 'ones to follow' - thanks Emily!)

The music on the night will be provided by the Madhouse Collective who will be integrating requests from internet channels that have been set up. Kai Fish from the Mystery Jets will also be DJing an exclusive set on the night. (I'm liking the sound of this I have to say.)

All profits from the night will be donated to The Connection at St Martin-in-the-Fields, a community centre based in Trafalgar Square that works with homeless people. Raffle prizes have been donated by the lovely people at Twitter,, Thomson Reuters, ITV and Harper Collins. And the event is made possible by the generosity of its sponsors - UnLtd World, Huddle, Diffusion PR, Tactile CRM, Winston & Strawn LLP and Just Giving.

All in all, it's shaping up to be a good night. And I'm guessing that there'll be a lot of twittering about it later.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Spam doesn't pay.

Oh dear. It seems that Timberland is paying a very high price for spamming it's US-based customers. Timberland has agreed to reimburse people $150 who received unauthorized text messages advertising its products between 2003 and 2008 in one of the first nationwide settlements of its kind, according to a law firm involved in the case. 

I knew we had stringent rules on spamming here in the UK. But I guess we don't have the 'class action' culture that exists in the USA. $150 compensation seems rather high when you may only have received one or two text messages.

One of the key differences in the US is that you have to pay to receive SMS still so this will have played its part. I'm also curious as to where Timberland got the mobile numbers from. Were they on a dodgy database or did they just make them up?

So the lesson today is to make sure that you're database is fully opted-in and you make it really easy to opt-out at any time. This is a very expensive lesson to learn.

Timberland pays out to settle text spam lawsuit | InfoWorld | News | 2008-09-22 | By Nancy Gohring, IDG News Service

Americans text more than they talk, so are just like us apparently

Yes, it's true. Our friends across the pond are catching up with us Europeans.

"For the second quarter of 2008, U.S. mobile subscribers sent and received on average 357 text messages per month, compared with making and receiving 204 phone calls a month, according to Nielsen. The new statistic is a clear indication that Americans have jumped onto the SMS text bandwagon."

Ok, so they're not at UK levels but still, it's an impressive rate of growth at 450%. Read more about it here : Americans text more than they talk | News - Wireless - CNET News

Monday, September 22, 2008

Follow the money on BBC Radio 4

Follow the money on BBC Radio 4

I got an email today from radio producer friend, Ian Willox. He's just produced a show for BBC Radio 4 on peer to peer global money flows.

He says, that in the UK, money transfer shops are doing a roaring trade. Alkarim Jivani investigates the economics and the human stories behind the global money flows.

Money transfer is big business, and speaks volumes about migration, inner city culture and the ebb and flow of cash across continents. We find out why people send money home, how the system operators, and why business is booming. We also discover how crucial these remittances are to the lives of people back home and how mobile technology is revolutionising the money transfer business.

Well worth a listen I'm guessing.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Air Pollution SMS Alerts

I wish we didn't need to have pollution alerts in London, but sending them straight to your mobile via text message seems like a very sensible solution. And what's more, this isn't a premium rate service, it's just a service, and it's free.

The website is pretty thorough too - worth a look.

Air Pollution Alerts

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Monday, September 01, 2008

The weird and wonderful world of T-Mobile's pricing strategies

Oh dear. T-Mobile seems to think that charging lots of money for SMS is a good thing. I must admit, I'm a T-Mobile customer, and have been for years, and generally they represent good value for money for UK-based services. But as soon as you step of this small island I call home, then the charges soon rack up. I particularly baulk at the thought of paying 40p per SMS yet it's only 20p to send a MMS. The trouble is, the carrier you roam on doesn't necessarily support MMS and you'd never know one way or the other if they did so you have absolutely no idea if your MMS would get through.

And then I pick up on this snippet from Martin Geddes. Not only do T-Mobile want to charge over the odds for SMS when you're roaming. They also want to charge you for all the failed messages you send too. And not just a little bit of a charge, a whopping 30p a go.

Sheesh. And this is a good idea because???

I do hope Ofcom and\or Otelo have something to say about this and not let this one slip through the net. OUTRAGEOUS!! 

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Telepocalypse by Martin Geddes: We hate our customers

Carnival of the Mobilists #139 is at mobscure :: obscure trends of mobile

200808311539.jpgI'm thrilled to be included in this week's Carnival of the Mobilists which is being hosted this week by Canada's Mobscure.  I'm in good company, as ever, including Tomi Ahonen, Andrew Grill, mjelly and Judy Breck. Go check it out and have a read of this week's best blog writing in mobile.

[Great choice of Carnival pictures too, Igor!]

Next week's Carnival will be hosted at Judy Breck's Golden Swamp. For more information on the Carnival of the Mobilists, then check out the FAQs on the website. It's easy to submit your blog post and the more voices we have to choose from, the better.

Carnival of the Mobilists #139 | mobscure :: obscure trends of mobile