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February 09, 2008 | Greg Ness: iPhone’s Growth: It’s An Amazing Story

imageI can’t think of any other product story quite like this. Can you? In just six short months, Apple has grown from a non-player in mobile to 2nd in the marketplace for smartphones. And that’s with limited availability.

I don’t have an iPhone (they are not available in our area), but I have its almost identical non-phone cousin, the iPod Touch. I can tell you that device delivers a brand experience that is refreshing in its form, simplicity, usability and usefulness. The difference between the iPhone and iPod Touch is a matter of feature/benefits. To me, what Apple is really selling here is a wonderful new interface to harness a crossroads of technologies, wants, and needs. The iPhone is like having a remote control for your digital life, and I am sure that is where Apple and the consumer will continue to prosper from this interface in the future.

February 09, 2008 | Greg Ness: Logo Evolution

imageHere’s an interesting post from Neatorama on the evolution of logos at several tech giants. The Microsoft logo pictured at right was from around 1975.

Also, check out the original logo from Apple on this link. Yikes! The tragic part of this post is the story of the guy who designed the original Apple logo. He was a founding partner in the company, and shortly after designing the first logo, he decided to leave Apple because he thought the business venture was too risky. He sold his 10 percent stake in the company for $800. Bad move.

Thanks to Drawn! for the point.

February 06, 2008 | Paul Bourdeaux: Amazon Pulls the 19-0 Book But Not Before Pats Haters Abuse the Tag Function

Stephanie Stradley, from Fanhouse.com reports on an interesting effect of tagging in Web 2.0.  Amazon.com had begun pre-selling a book entitled “19-0: The Historic Championship Season of the Unbeatable Patriots

” before the game was even played (Note, Amazon has taken the page down as of 2/6/08, but you can still see the cached page on Google...).  Of course, it has been pulled now in the aftermath of the New York Giants improbably victory, but not before Giants fans and other Patriot haters used the tagging function to express their views on the team that came oh-so-close to perfection.

February 05, 2008 | Greg Ness: Watch Super Tuesday Events Unfold on GNN

That's no typo. GNN is the Google News Network, and although they don't call themselves that, it is certainly part of what they are. From a news perspective, Google is a network that grew out of a web-based business model. CNN, Fox and other major news networks certainly have major web components to their efforts, but their business model grew out of the television era.

For Super Tuesday coverage, Google's approach to today's events represents that web heritage. YouTube (a Google company) is offering a unique perspective to Super Tuesday coverage with an interesting mashup. It's an interactive map, and as they explain it:

Upload your political opinions, analysis, interviews, or campaign trail footage to YouTube and submit it here. Then zoom in on the map to watch Super Tuesday political videos from voters, candidates, and news outlets in your state.

February 05, 2008 | Greg Ness: How Advertising People Watch the Super Bowl

Via AdRants.

February 03, 2008 | Darin Livdahl: Version Targeting: the Answer to Web Site Compatibility?

Version Targeting is a mechanism conceived by Microsoft to ensure greater compatibility among it’s future Internet Explorer 8 browser. The issue came about shortly after the release of IE7 when Web developers and Web site owners found their IE6 sites broken in IE7. The Internet Explorer team, with their mantra “don’t break the web,” decided that something must be done.

February 01, 2008 | Greg Ness: Super Bowl Advertising Past & Present

Gawker provides videos of the 25 most memorable TV commercials in past Super Bowls, and AdRants supplies a nice preview of the commercials we will be seeing this Sunday in Super Bowl XLII. The famous Apple 1984 commercial (below) was number two on the Gawker list, but I've seen it on several other lists in the number one position. The story behind how the ad survived to air in the game—over disapproval by the Apple Board of Directors— is an interesting read.

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January 31, 2008 | Ron Lee: Mobile Payments: Online Goldrush or Security Nightmare?

Reports this week illustrate the yin and yang of the exploding arena of mobile payments: one study suggests that mobile payments will grow to $22 billion by 2011, thanks to technology which will turn your mobile device into a virtual ATM in your pocket; yet other reports cite significant security issues as banks scurry to protect data and dollars as more customers use mobile devices to make payments.

January 31, 2008 | Jon Gilbertson: Reviving A Brand

“We will focus on what is most important; we are committed to customer experience” was the battle cry of Howard Schultz as he addressed investors on a conference call earlier this month as he once again took the reigns of mega coffee giant Starbucks. Starbucks has long been the poster child for great customer experiences and has in fact inspired a book written by Joseph A. Michelli titled The Starbucks Experience, in which he discusses 5 key principles for turning ordinary into extraordinary.

January 31, 2008 | Greg Ness: Branding And The Rise of I-to-I

Marketers and marketing firms are accustomed to categorizing the world of commerce into business-to-consumer (B-to-C or B2C) or business-to-business (B-to-B or B2B). All of this neatly assumes that the marketer is the sender of the brand message to a specific audience. It also assumes you can classify individuals into a giant segment of spenders called consumers.

This is old world, mass-media, marketer-in-control thinking. Today, a good portion of brand communication goes on at the individual-to-individual (I-to-I) level. Smart companies know this, but there still remains a substantial amount of marketing rooted in the antiquated command-and-control style.

January 31, 2008 | Dean Froslie: NFL Begins to Embrace Online News Coverage

The National Football League is known for its extreme restrictions on press access and video footage, but its Super Bowl media approach seems encouraging for online news organizations.

January 30, 2008 | Greg Ness: Trend: Why Buy Servers and Software?

It appears more companies are asking whether they should be hosting their own software and server solutions, and are instead looking at pay-as-you-use, web-based solutions. According to this article at TechCrunch, half of all IT spending is allocated to software and hardware purchases. That kind of money buys a lot of software services that can be accessed via the Web. It also eliminates some of the considerable costs and headaches that are associated with maintaining on-premise solutions. With many businesses concerned with the effects of a looming U.S. recession, there will be additional pressure for IT departments to find ways to provide essential services with less outlay. As a result, web-based solutions may be on the table.