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The RAAKonteur #34 – Facebook Targeted Ads, Augmented Reality for Social TV & more

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28 March 2011

Facebook Targeted Ads

Apparently Facebook is testing targeted ads based on the content of your status updates and wall posts. This has sparked mixed feelings in the user community. On one side, marketers are drooling over the possibilities, on the opposite side, users feel their privacy is being compromised.

We don't get the privacy issues. When it works on GMail, which operates in a way more private space, surely it shouldn't be a problem on a public timeline, should it?

There is, however, a third issue that's more important. Status sentiment is very difficult to analyse. This means that if a user complains a lot about Tesco's range of wines, they're quite likely to be served up ads for Tesco's range of wines.

And that would be a bit crap, wouldn't it?

Comeback kings

This week we saw an interesting quote through our friends at Rabbit. A study showed that prompt replies to customer complaints online makes a significant and measurable difference.

"a Harris survey showed that 18% of those who posted a negative review of the merchant and got a reply ended up becoming loyal customers and buying more."

Talking of the value of Social Media, in 2010 Coca Cola cut their ad spend by 6.6% and started investing more in Social Media.

What's the role of Augmented Reality in Social TV?

That's one of the subjects that came up in a conversation we had with some tv execs this week. And boom, here's an interesting case-study.

As part of a re-launch, NBC Univeral have created The Witness, an interactive film that integrates Augmented Reality. For Social Media points, we don't think it can compete with the immediacy of Twitter (one pitfall – you'd have to be in that location), but as far as exploring new formats goes (and the PR value that comes with it), it's definitely an interesting example.


The in-crowd

Unlike Google, Facebook has not made many false starts with products, Facebook Questions being the notable exception. It launched last year to much fanfare but never took off to compete with the likes of Yahoo Answers and the fast growing Quora.

But as always they have gone back to the drawing board to refine their product. The result is different reports RWW. The new version is not so much about finding the experts, but more about tapping into the knowledge of your crowd. Why can this be good? Says RWW:

"While everyone on Quora may agree on the best restaurant in my neighborhood, the service suffers from the same issue as something like Yelp – maybe I don't agree with the masses."


My utopia & your dystopia

We've written about all the weird and wonderful hacks people are doing to the Xbox Kinect. Officially now the fastest selling consumer electronics of all time, Mashable speculated this week that it  the next place where marketeers need to boldly go to boost their brands. The technology can tell players apart, recognise movement in 3D, do voice recognition – in short it's the next great leap in user interfaces.

Microsoft's Avatar Connect allows you to control your Avatar through movement. Mashable conjures up customers test driving cars or trying out interior decoration using Kinect. That's a little too obvious. We think Kinect could drive major innovations in products themselves through new ways of interaction. And then there is the nightmare scenario of Minority Report-like ads, jumping up at you at every turn. It's Back to the Future stuff.


Pimp your WordPress

Did you ever think your WordPress blog needs some gloss and perhaps some sexy motion, languid but snappy transitions? You're lucky, because soon iPad-glamour will be available to ordinary WordPress publications thanks to Onswipe. It includes features such as loading screens, Flipboard-like image effects and more. Nice one. Our hint? By all means go for it – after you have made sure your content is actually good. Just ask Wired magazine.

In other tablet news, the first music video shot on the iPad 2 has just been released.

Twitter by numbers

In case you haven't heard, Twitter was 5 years old this week. In the last year, the amount of Tweets per day has shot up from 50 million per day to 150 million. More interesting stats behind this link.

In related news: LinkedIn has (finally) reached the benchmark of 100 million users.


Groupon is going hammer & tongs

Or is it? Techcrunch reports a massive dip in sales in February. In an interesting post they also reveal that Groupon has not yet cornered half of the US group buying market. There is still a lot to play for.

Creatives of the week – Breakfast

Breakfast is an interactive design agency from New York. Apart from the usual stuff for their clients, it's their self-initiated projects that are getting us excited. And more specifically their attempt to be creative with Instagram.

Based on the API, they've developed a location-based photobooth called Instaprint. For example: as an event organiser or pub owner you can program the device with a certain location and a hashtag and the box will start printing all your lovely Instagrams taken at that location.


Tech insight of the Week – Node.js: The death of PHP

Our tech insight of the week looks at a punchy newcomer on the web server stack, Node.js. Node enables you to run Javascript on the server and even to build the very server itself in Javascript.

Could this be such a handy AJAX counterpart to browser-side Javascript that it will eventually kill off PHP? Read More »

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