Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Stuff I’m looking at

It’s the usual scenario. I have too many tabs open so I’m sharing some links with you all so that I can close the tabs and get on with real work! They’re a bit random but, hey, I thought they were worth a look, so hopefully you will too.

The digital world makes us unhappy.

This post from is well worth a read… 7 Reasons why 21st Century Living is Making you Miserable. I tweeted it a few days ago and it got a fair few retweets so I’m guessing it resonated with more people than just me. Hat tip to Tom Hume for sharing the link in the first place.

BA launches new mobile apps

I was lucky enough to be invited to the BA launch event for their new mobile apps and I got vox-popped. You can see the video clip here where I talk about their Android app. It was really interesting to spend some time with their developer and management team at the event to find out how and why they made the decisions they did regarding their new iPhone, Android and BlackBerry apps. Mobile web has been very important to them and the vast majority of their traffic comes from iPhone and BlackBerry. They will be developing that site, ba2go,  further (and incidentally, the mobile site works on a laptop too for use in flaky wifi conditions. Hurrah!). They also still run a SMS service so they really are thinking of their whole customer base. However, they feel there is currently more functionality with apps and they’re keen to give a great customer experience whatever the device or platform or real life situation. The iPhone app is currently the most advanced and includes a mobile boarding pass. The Android app will be brought up to the same functionality level as the iPhone app in a few weeks. And the BlackBerry app is a ‘SuperApp’ as it incorporates core BlackBerry handset functionality – in this case, the calendar function. All in all, I was really pleased to see how core mobile was to their overall customer service strategy and I thought their in-house mobile development team were great. Well done BA and thanks to Nuria for the invitation. and Pearson talk mobile at Techhub

I also spent some time last week at Techhub at a roundtable that Pearson organised to discuss the latest mobile thinking with their mobile team. I’ve known Steve for some time now and it has been really interesting to see the FT’s journey from Java apps and a wap site 5 years ago to the dominance of iPhone and iPad today. The iPhone has far overtaken BlackBerry for mobile traffic – and this is the business community we’re talking about – it seems they can live without their qwerty keypad. And currently there is a good conversion rate too with iPhone customers to convert them to paid subscriptions.

There have been 370,000 downloads of the FT’s app for the iPhone since the app was launched last year, and “we see very active users, with lengthy uses per visit” Steve tells us. The FT’s app for the iPad, the only news app to win an Apple Design Award, has seen an average use of 23.3 minutes per visitor, and both the FT’s iPhone app and the new iPad app have been very effective in driving subscriptions to

There’s no doubt that the FT is fairly unique in the media world having niche, valuable, time-sensitive, high quality content but it’s still pleasing to see how well they’re adapting to the new digital media landscape and exploiting the mobile opportunities. It was also good to catch up with the Elizabeth and Mike from Techhub. I have to say, it’s a great facility and the wifi is super fast and the coffee is great. Try it out if you’re after some co-working space in London. Oh, and Pearson is one of the sponsors of Techhub. Find out more about their involvement here.

Exploit your IP – a free event from DCKTN

dcktn logo And if you’re interested in IP and how to extract the value from your IP, then you may be interested in an upcoming *free* event from DCKTN. They have a one-day seminar coming up on 14 September. This event is focused on “unlocking” your intellectual property and other intangibles, and using them to create value through collaboration, licensing and fundraising. The programme is led by participants from key organizations in the community of innovation, including the Intellectual Property Office, UK Innovation Research Centre and IP Federation, and will use a combination of thought-provoking research, case studies and practical exercises to help you understand the potential, and the possible pitfalls, of an “open” approach for your IP. You can get more information in PDF format here.

That’s all folks.