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Frank Patrick's Focused Performance Business Blog
This Focused Performance Weblog started life as a "business management blog" containing links and commentary related primarily to organizational effectiveness with a "Theory of Constraints" perspective, but is in the process of evolving towards primary content on interactive and mobile marketing. Think of it as about Focusing marketing messages for enhanced Performance. If you are on an archive page, current postings are found here.

Monday, February 23, 2009

again mobile - The Blog -- OK, our blog at again mobile has gotten past the "here we are and who we are and look at our new digs" stage and now has its first real live content-filled rant.

Yes, we're focused on mobile, but not exclusively, and not in a vacuum. Mobile is but one tool to include in the quiver of your complete marketing toolbox. Fortunately we know how to strategize and implement other complementary channels as well, so even though mobile might be an effective hammer, at again mobile, we know that not everything is a nail.

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Something For Those Who Hate Mondays -- A few thoughts to move you to get yourself off your hind quarters if you're not really into your day-to-day responsibilities.


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Friday, February 20, 2009

Mobile vs desktop at Sonic -- This is what I've been posting about this week...

Check out (from your cell phone, ideally), the difference between Sonic's mobile site, and their desktop web site, On the road, you don't need all the "engaging" flash frou-frou on the .com version. What you need is information, presented in a straightforward fashion. Where's a Sonic?, What are today's specials? The menu. Nice added touch is the nutritional content for menu items.

Maybe a little location awareness for phones with that capability could simply the location search process.

[via the Mobi Blog, where there's a few more ideas for Sonic's site.]

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Mobile Web 2009 = Desktop Web 1998 -- Laying out more technical usability detail than I did in yesterday's post, Jakob Neilson, usabilty guru, takes on the special case of the mobile web, distinct from the desktop web...
"Summary: Mobile phone users struggle mightily to use websites, even on high-end devices. To solve the problems, websites should provide special mobile versions."
Part of why where I'm working is called again mobile is just this issue of starting again, applying what's been learned in the last 5-10 years about interactive media on the web, but more importantly, translating it and transforming it (as well as trashing some of it) for the mobile world. One of the similarities/problems of both the web in 1998 and mobile in 2009 that Neilsen mentions is a fallback to old-media design.
"In the 1990s, many site designs mimicked good-looking print publications and offered weak interaction support. Today, sites are designed as, well, websites. More specifically, they're designed as desktop websites, and that's the wrong media form for mobile use; even on the best phones, driving the interaction is painful and simple designs are a must."
I guess it didn't take that long for the web to be considered "old media".

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Mobile Content Market Getting Huge - Are You Ready? - I think I made a timely move to the mobile industry at again mobile.

According to the Seeking Alpha investment blog, where they ask Is Mobile Apps Market Already Bigger than Online Advertising?...
"Many investors would likely be very surprised at the scale of the mobile content industry in comparison to online advertising. The mobile content market may even be larger than online advertising right now. Not only that, it is likely that the mobile content market will show sustained growth higher than the online advertising market over the next 5 years. As well, its sheer potential is probably over 10x greater due to the number of mobile subscriptions worldwide (based on stats from IDC)."
It makes sense. Despite the excitement over smartphone capabilities from Apple's iPhone and RIM's Blackberry, not to mention up-and-comers Google (G-Phone) and Palm (with their new Pre), there's still a huge number of basic cell phones out there just ripe for upgrading, and thereby becoming new potential users of mobile web and apps.

Even without relying on full-on smartphones, this week's big Mobile World Conference in Barcelona has news of new moves toward better mobile web browsing on basic phones as well. The trick, however, for publishers of web content will be to make sure that your sites are set up appropriately for the small screen (funny how that used to mean television). Check out your website from your cell phone. If it looks like most, you'll want to get someone mobile savvy involved to help develop the optimum site format for mobile screens. (Having been only a minimal cellphone user until joining again mobile, this bit has been a real eye-opener for me. Never too old to learn, I guess.)

And this isn't only about presentation. It's about content in the mobile context as well. People (potential customers, by the way) coming to your site from their phones probably have a different set of interests than those surfing from their desks or their couches (although the bulk of my own couch-surfing has moved from laptop to iPhone recently). If you throw your entire internet-based web offering at them, it will only complicate the navigation needed to get to the subset of info that your mobile prospect is looking for. Again, a bit of mobile-savvy strategy is called for.

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Bluetooth - Proximity Marketing -- Just took delivery of a Bluetooth broadcast box for development of proximity marketing programs here at again mobile. Neat technology and full of potential application, but interesting hurdles involved in actually reaching and talking to passerby phones. Got me wondering how many folks walk around with bluetooth on and enabled to be pinged.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

iPhone App Ideas? -- Just wondering, as I'm exploring the world of iPhone apps: If you're an iPhone user, what would you like to be able to do with it that you can't find an app for?

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

So Many Links - So Little Time -- It's link-a-palooza time...
  • What Would Google Do? - The PowerPoint - excerpts from the book.

  • Epiphany: Virtual Teams And Social Media Tribes Are The Same - Yup. That they are, but only if the tribes have some sort of goal that ties them together.

  • 2009 - The Year of SMS, Again - An underrated, under-appreciated, underused channel for communication with your customers.

  • again mobile - Where I'm at these days, working on SMS text campaigns, "mobilizing" web sites, and iPhone/smartphone apps.

  • Mobile Couponing - The Time Could Be Now... - From Mark Taylor, my previous boss' boss' boss.

  • Top 10 Dumb Project Management Questions - Questions from Hal Macomber.

  • Dumb Project Management Questions - Glen Alleman provides some answers to Hal's questions.

  • Why You Shouldn't Copy Us Or Anyone Else - A nice piece related to one of my favorite pet peeve subjects (no, not multi-tasking) - the lack of value in benchmarking and following others' "best practices".

  • Which Comes First? The Product or the Marketing? - From Seth Godin - "Marketing is not the same thing as advertising." True, very true. (My take on shooting sitting ducks from 2006.)

  • Rocks Into Gold - A parable for our time from long-time blog buddy Clarke Ching.

  • Sopranos, Uncensored - NSFW - A little diversion featuring very bit of foul language from every episode of HBO's classic series, but not including the curses coming from the audience at the end of the final episode, when they thought their cable had gone out at the most inopportune moment possible. Someone somewhere has too much time on their hands. Surprised, though, that it's only 27 minutes long.

  • The Human Feed - How Twitter and Networks Filter Signal from Noise

  • The New Work Ethic: Just Paying Attention - Your knew I couldn't finish a list like this one without an anti-multi-tasking link? Of course you did.
  • There's more in the queue, but that's enough for now.

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