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The RAAKonteur #6 – Hyperlocality, the pen of the future and Big Society

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27 August 2010

Here’s the latest edition of the RAAKonteur, a round-up of the digital and social media stories that mattered this week.
Oh, and if you’re a fan of our RAAK logo, or better the 12,000+ logos that we crowdsourced in 4 hours, you better look at it a few times more. Because soon our new website (with a new, mad logo experiment) will be up.

Facebook is going Ad Places

Along with Facebook Places, Facebook’s new location service, comes a new way of advertising. Unsurprisingly it’s aimed at local retailers and requires businesses to claim their location Pages. You can’t target ads at people that haven’t checked into your Place yet. Read more about it here.

Emarketer has more on the importance of this new form of advertising and how it will make the most of mobile as a platform.

The Groupon power for small businesses

Another example of the increasing focus on hyperlocality is Groupon, the discount group buying service we mentioned last week. This US article charts a few success stories of small businesses, which often don’t have the clout to build a strong e-commerce presence. Rob Solomon of Groupon says:

“Traditionally, the cupcake bakery, or the Pilates studio, or the Brazilian steakhouse wasn’t able to sell on the Internet. Maybe they promoted themselves on the Internet a little, but nothing really moved the needle until this thing came along.”

In the US the service is now also starting to work with big retailers like Gap. Their first Groupon offer got 500,000 buyers.

And thanks to @annimetti for pointing out that Groupon is indeed available in the UK. It was just sitting on its own URL.

Facebook Like button, for real

One of our pet subjects at RAAK is the convergence between digital and real life. And this is a beautiful example of blending the two.

This Coca Cola Village gave the visitors ID bracelets, which allowed them to like events at the Village by waving it in front of a Facebook Like logo. Those Likes were then visible on the teenagers’ Facebook Page.

Coca Cola Village - Facebook 2

The Big Society – When a Poke becomes a Nudge

Tom Chatfield recently said in response to Data.gov, a repository for all kinds of government data that can be used by creative programmers for the good of society.

…a world where mashers inherit the earth is also an oddly appropriate example of Cameron’s “big society.” For once, this is an area where those irritating buzzwords—“the wisdom of crowds,” “the long tail,” “nudge,” and the rest —actually work, and where the ideas they enshrine mean citizens taking decisions for themselves rather than relying on the state.

We agree. Read more in Wessel’s post about the world where social media and big society meet.

The Daily Mail really gets its audience

Never thought we would say this, but hats off to the Daily Mail for being creative and understanding.

The tabloid was looking for a new SEO manager and rather than post the usual job ad in the usual publications, they planted it in their site’s robots.txt file. This file is important for SEO and the automated search bots are the only things that read this stuff. Well, apart from the super-geeky SEO experts that go and explore that data. Target audience reached.

A perfect example of understanding user behaviour. And of creativity, a feature that’s becoming more and more important in a world where at some point soon everyone and everything will have a basic social/digital media presence.

Simply WOW! The pen of the future

You know the RAAKonteur likes to annotate what we read. But on this one we don’t get any further than ‘Holy Feck. How did they do that’?

Mister finger-on-the-tech-pulse Robert Scoble introduced us to Livescribe, a pen that doesn’t just write, but acts like a small computer. Example 1: it works as an audio recorder, which lets you play back parts of the conversations that are linked to your notes.

The amazing thing is that it’s an open platform, so developers can build other applications for it. Example 2: if you ‘launch’ the Spanish app, it will translate what you write in English into Spanish.

The video is quite extensive, but this is where it gets interesting.

Creatives of the week – Phil Clandillon & Steve Milbourne

Some of the RAAKonteurs have dabbled in music videos and it’s always surprised us how the industry doesn’t make much use of online technologies.

Not so Phil Clandillon and Steve Milbourne, 2 creatives that actually work for the major Sony label. A rarity. They’ve just come up with this interactive video for an artist called Lissie that plays different scenarios depending on the weather. Very cool, very smart, very PR-able.

It’s not their first successful project: it was them who created a human synthesizer for Calvin Harris, hacked Google Street View for Editors and did something fun with footballers, Guiter Hero and a Kasabian track.

Tech insight of the week – 3rd party debugging for APIs

This week we stumbled upon a service we almost ended up building ourselves. Read Adriaan’s post on APIgee, the service that proxies your API calls and adds debugging, stats and custom rate limiting to it.

By the way, the Lipton Temper Test project Adriaan built a while ago for Cow Africa, has just been nominated for a Loerie Award.

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