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Archive for September 13th, 2007

Contents is King…

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Based on a recent data presented by the Online Publishers Association and Nielsen / NetRatings, the percentage of people engaging in content reading is now more than ever before. Based on a four year long Internet Activity Index (IAI), which measures the use of e-commerce, communications, content and search services over time, it was concluded that activities like e-commerce and communications still remain popular, reading and viewing content has skyrocketed between 2003 and today.

According to the data, about 34 percent of Internet users’ time was spent reading content in back in 2003, while content came in second to ‘communications’, which measured a 46 percent of Internet users’ time. Surprisingly, as of May 2007, OPA reports that those numbers have dramatically reversed! Content now came in at 47 percent of Internet users’ time while ‘communications’ came in only 33 percent.

For many businesses out there, this is very important shift of strategy and emphasis on their online media. Not only is the importance placed on good design web site but more than anything else, a good quality content site will bring in consistent readers over time. The figures itself only confirms the shift in the behavior of Internet users from communications to content and some of the activities engaging users are like news reading, browsing listings, checking out information on certain products or services…

Adding onto the trend are social networking sites that pushes the content readership to new heights. Under OPA’s metric, social networking are counted as content site and only email are classified as ‘communication’.

However, it seems that e-mail’s popularity isn’t actually going down, but rather the availability of content to consume is going up. Within the company I work for, we consume more and more of our everyday lives online than ever before, by researching client information or reading up on the latest technology / design to help our clients stay on the leading edge (AJAX, Silverlight…)

Many a times, when we meet with clients on web development needs, client would always place a lot of importance on the Branding / Design of the site, but rarely see the importance of putting in a good quality content to substantiate the overall package. We keep emphasizing to the client that getting
a good content management system and well design site is not enough, but the support from top management to see the importance of getting a good writer (both internal or external) to write up the content for the site. Some have heeded the advice and are seeing the results of their site readership gone up over time.

With Singapore launching its island wide Internet coverage this December, we will likely continue to see this pattern in the years ahead as people continue to shift their offline activities online and the importance of quality content on online medium is not to be ignored.

Written by gooddealz

September 13, 2007 at 5:15 am

Posted in Watch Out

Online Advertising… The Shift is here.

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With Google’s USD$3.1 billion buyout of online advertisement company DoubleClick and Microsoft’s recent USD$6 billion acquisition of digital
marketing company aQuantive, the world of online advertising is dramatically
shifting into high gear.

Both companies are moving rapidly into each others’ turf. Google, being a leader in the online search engine and advertising industry has in recent years, develop and acquire applications to bundle with its services (Google Maps, Picasa…) Microsoft, on the other hand has been a leader in building the entire computer industry around its Windows ecosystem and in recent years, moved a great amount of resources and acquisition to the online search and advertising market dominated by Google and Yahoo. Prior to aQuantive, Microsoft bought a company called Massive Inc for its expertise to insert advertisement into video games. Disruptive forces is happening in the software industry – where a shift away from desktop applications and toward applications / services delivered over the internet.

Ray Ozzie, Chief Software Architect of Microsoft has made it clear the importance of Microsoft focus on ‘Software Plus Service’ paradigm in the recent press conference held. And more recently, they announced that Microsoft Works, a trimmed down version of their office application suite will be provided for free, with ads supported.

From a personal point of view, Microsoft has not been the most innovative company in recent years to be the first to come out with applications / services but if you look at their history of acquisition and focus, you have to be very afraid when they do expand into a different industry all together. Microsoft has the tenacity and flexibility to adjust and align itself to new markets dominated by others and through play safe approach (letting others test and try out the market), and seeing the potential growth of the new market, Microsoft with its billions in cash reserves will make the second / third move. (remember Netscape in the 90s)

Google’s dominance has come primarily from its prowess at making money from ads placed next to Web search results. Google snagged nearly half of all Web searches performed in the United States in June while Yahoo grabbed about 25 percent and 13 percent were on Microsoft’s search sites, according to audience-measurement company comScore.

Some analysts see the search-ads market starting to stagnate and believe Microsoft’s bid for aQuantive, indicates a looming shift in online advertising.

The early online search-ads have really propelled Google’s growth for the past four years and is starting to slow down… according to Gartner Inc. The next wave of growth is going to be big brands shifting their advertising budgets, still largely invested in newspapers and TV, into the Internet.

The shift is here…

Written by gooddealz

September 13, 2007 at 5:05 am

Posted in Watch Out

Mobile Applications… more hit than ever…

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Stick the word, ‘Google’ to anything and you will see a crowd of hungry developers jumping onto its trail… and following behind those developers are VCs (venture capitalist) and following behind them are all the marketers and advertisers…

That is the power of Google… and it is coming to a mobile phone near you (it already has with all the Google Map integration and YouTube) and this time round, it is the whole piece together.

Check out this article from Business Week.

Written by gooddealz

September 13, 2007 at 4:45 am

Posted in Watch Out

Nice Web Sites Design…

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Here are some nice web site design that I came across… (no thorough review on what it does, but simply design impression)

Teknision – Consultancy My DREAM – Social
Get On Board – Eco Friendly Blast Radius – Agency
IdeaStorm – Dell, Drupal DBB – Interior Designer
Singapore Film Commission – Film Allen & York – Recruitment

More discovery coming…

Written by gooddealz

September 13, 2007 at 4:30 am

Posted in Designs Only

Courage to execute…

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I came across this interesting article that gives a glimpse of what Microsoft could be if they follow through with the execution of their design prototypes… Corporate focus at the end of the day determines what kind of products to ship.

Apple has creative focus. Microsoft has business focus.

Below are some excerpts from Design is Beautiful:

So is it really that Microsoft doesn’t have the design talent that Apple has? NO.

what is missing, is the key missing ingredient in most companies which is the right tops down corporate culture that takes creative risks and has the ability the leverage the in house talent to connect to the hearts and minds of the customer. The requires Leadership both within the discipline and outside of it. When has any Microsoft executive ever connected with a consumer audience (from body language, to clothing choice, to spoken word)? Then look at Jobs – his whole person is cool. he has style in dress, body language, and what he says. Microsoft doesn’t need a Steve Jobs and i’m not advocating that they try to become apple, just that if they want to keep the design talent they have, if they want to connect to the hearts and minds of their customers, there are some lessons to be learned from that fruit in Cupertino.

Microsoft has hints of this – witness xbox and mediacenter… but it never really has the follow through. If they aren’t careful they will start to lose the design talent (which is world class) it has to the more fertile grounds of companies that have the courage to execute on the vision.

Written by gooddealz

September 13, 2007 at 4:19 am

Posted in Opinions

Branded Applications…

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Brand managers and advertisers / marketers know that the Internet space is growing at a tremendous pace with regards to online advertisement. What is interesting is a new waves of branded applications that extend the brand experience to a whole new level of interactivity. Applications designed and crafted with Branding as a core focus / consistency…

Here is an excerpt from Teknision, a Canadian based consultancy with many big clients focusing on Branded Software. Here is an excerpt from their Branded Applications section of their site:

“The new role of marketing is to influence the experience. Providing a meaningful experience transforms your customer’s perception of your brand.

Branded Applications add a layer of utility to brands that typical online campaigns cannot.

Traditional campaigns focus on entertainment to deliver a message, while Branded Applications provide a valuable service in order to deliver an emotional connection with a brand.

Branded Applications become part of consumer’s lives. By providing useful services that are memorable and entertaining, applications can instill brand attributes that are tangible and more deeply felt.”

It will be interesting to see how this branded space eventually becomes…

Another great startup, from some former Microsoft Design Team members, Jackson Fish Market is another company to watch out for in this space. One of the member is Jenny Lam, the super designer that spear headed some of the Vista design details, from the Start orb to the icons and more… Check her out at Channel 9

Written by gooddealz

September 13, 2007 at 1:00 am

Posted in Watch Out

Another iPhone news… I know…

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An interesting article from the Harvard Business Online on the reaction to iPhone customers…

Have a good read.

Your thoughts?

Written by gooddealz

September 13, 2007 at 12:50 am

Posted in Opinions