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The RAAKonteur #2 – From Old Spice to the killer iPad app

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31 July 2010
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Old Spice did become New Spice

First things first: the numbers. Last week The RAAKonteur suggested that Old Spice’s approach to incorporate Social Media into their ad campaign would result in sales. Figures just in: according to PR Week it’s increased the monthly sales of their Body Wash by 107%. Case closed.

Finally a killer app for the iPad

Just over a week ago Robert Scoble Tweeted that he was to write a blog post about a revolutionary app he had seen for the iPad platform. Knowing Scoble, that was high praise indeed. The ex Microsoft tech evangelist, knows his stuff and is renowned for his honest assessments. That evening Scoble broke the story of the Flipbook.

Flipbook turns out to be an app that wraps your social media feeds – like Facebook & Twitter – into a slick magazine-type presentation. Scoble calls it a social magazine. If your Facebook updates contain a link to let’s say the Guardian, Flipbook sucks in the underlying information, complete with pictures – but in an oh-so-stylish way.

What we RAAKonteurs find interesting is this. Newspaper and magazine owners have been hailing the iPad as the saviour of magazines and publications. But the Flipbook points to the inherent weakness of most single publications.

Individual titles might have one or two articles that are bang on target. But no editor can match the personalised content curation of the web, done by the reader’s friends and contacts on sites like Twitter.

Jeff Jarvis wrote an article two years ago for the Guardian called Do we still need editors? Controversial stuff, but so far he has only been proven right.

Is this the best Foursquare special so far?

Last week we highlighted Domino’s Pizza’s success on Foursquare. This week we’re wondering whether reserved parking at a mall is the best Foursquare special yet?

A bar code isn’t just for scanning

We’ve always been fans of the QR code, that weird matrix-type square barcode that you scan with your phone and then opens up a bit of web content. It’s a versatile way of linking your surroundings to online (museums anyone?).

Despite some creative applications like The Living Book, the code has never shaken off its geek association. But this Mashable article reckons it’s getting close to becoming more popular.

One reason is a new service called StickyBits. They’re bringing the barcode into the social realm by allowing people to add their files and comments to the code. To any barcode. So you can upload a picture of what exactly you did with that pot of Dulux paint. Great twist, so we’ll be following that closely.

From Facebook cash…

A few days ago Facebook announced the launch of Facebook credits. Leaving many to muse if this will become the world’s first truly global currency, surpassing Paypal’s achievements.

…to Facebook Free.

Facebook has also announced Facebook Zero, free mobile services offered with more than 50 operators around the world, mostly in developing countries, particularly Africa.

And how Google is just as social as Facebook

Facebook is now the biggest referrer of traffic to many news websites, beating even Google. It is even urging journalists to set up their own Facebook Pages and embed their content into Facebook.

But webmasters, PRs, journalists, ignore Google search at their own peril. In fact, if you’re interested in how the web works, you need to understand at the least the basics of how Google’s page ranking system works. It is that fundamental.

On this blogpost RAAKonteur Wessel explains Google’s PageRank in a 3 minute video. And guess what? At its core Google search is social too.

Grow, internet, grow

In the US ZenithOptimedia expects spending on mobile advertising to grow an average of 43.2% a year from 2009 to 2012, while ‘ad spend’ on social media would grow at 30.2% a year.

The way things are going, by 2012 the Internet will account for $82.7 billion of global ad sales, 17.1% of all spending on major media – and poised to pass newspapers which then will account for 19.2% of spending. That’s a big change from 1987 when 40.6% of all major media ad sales went to newspapers.

In the UK ad spend on the web surpassed newspapers in March 2007 already.

Creative of the week

Only edition 2 of The RAAKonteur and there’s already a new item. Each week we will point out a creative worth knowing, following or admiring.

This week it’s director Tom Haines, who’s made fabulous music videos for the likes of White Denim and Tunng as well as documentaries for London art institutions like the Tate, the Barbican and the V&A. Particularly check out his profile on legendary set designer Ken Adam.

Tom is now using the Kickstarter website -a favourite here at RAAK- to get funding for a lovely short film idea called Bow & Arrow. We’ve pledged and so should you.

Tech insight of the week

Last week we wrote about the upside of Facebook’s revised extended permissions model. All is not rosy coloured in Facebook’s security departement though, and this week we explore one of the more obscure security issues lurking within the new permissions model.

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