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The RAAKonteur #35 – Google's +1, Amazon's Cloud player & more Social Media stories

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4 April 2011

Color – I'll show you mine, if you show me yours

An iPhone app with $41 million in venture funding has caused a storm. Its interface is obtuse to the extreme and it has inspired one of the best App Site reviews ever.

And it only does one thing, really. Take a picture, and it will be added to a photo album with any other photos taken by anybody in about 150 meters from yours. No friending required. Besides the fact that it's a boon for voyeurs and exhibitionists everywhere, we're a bit unsure whether it deserves 41 million in funding, although some on Quora beg to differ.


We Like +1

Google has announced +1 – a way for users to 'Like' (sorry Google) ads and links in Google search. Soon you will be be able +1 pages and other stuff as well. So what happens if you Like, oops +1 something? Techcrunch explains:

"While a big aspect of +1 is sharing results with your social graph (which is still sort of confusing given that Google isn’t an actual social network, so it’s Gmail chat contacts, Reader and Buzz friends, etc) , it is also about using that data in aggregate to highlight better results for everyone. For example, on a result that has been +1′d, you’ll see if any of your friends have +1′d it (in a similar way to the current Social Search look with people’s tiny profile icons under the result itself). But you’ll also see that X number of other people that aren’t in your social circle +1′d it as well."

There's been a lot of cynical comments about +1 online already. We think it's too early to tell, but clearly it is only the first building block in a whole system that Google will roll out.

Interested in trying out +1? Go switch it on here, and remember it's Google.com only.


Little fluffy clouds

A few years ago utopian dreams of a life in cyberspace were replaced by the less prosaic but more practical concept of computing in the cloud. But it's been more talk than do. Until now.

Amazon has just launched Cloud Drive, making it affordable to store your digital life in the Cloud. Nothing new, we hear you early adopters say, we've been using Dropbox for ages. But Cloud Drive has a sexy sibling, called Cloud Player. CNET explains:

"Aside from Amazon's handy cross-platform uploader and downloader utilities and its browser-based tools for viewing, downloading, and streaming your stuff, Amazon is also throwing in a Cloud Player feature within the Amazon MP3 application for Android. Using the free app, you can stream all the music you have stored in the cloud, or download your tracks on the fly for offline playback."

The significance of all this?

"…the introduction of Cloud Drive and its ties into the Amazon MP3 store amount to a big competitive advantage over other music download stores, most notably Apple's iTunes store. Amazon is effectively guaranteeing a backup of your MP3 purchases at no cost, which is a big incentive to go with Amazon over Apple."

If, like us, making stuff gets you even more excited than consuming stuff, then check out this little music revolution in the cloud.

Check In! Snack Out!

Here's a clever campaign that will make it into lots of presentations about location and interactivity.

German dog food brand GranataPet created a simple, but innovative campaign, making the most of the act of checking-in. They set up a billboard advertising their product as a Foursquare venue and when people checked into the ad, it dispensed a bowl of dog food. We like.


Intention Economy

Here at RAAK we regularly quote or link to Tweets. But neither quotes nor links can be favourited, retweeted or followed. So Twitter has launched Web Intents, which will allow you to directly interact with tweets in the context from your webpage. Wouldn't it be even better if you could embed a tweet?

Since email clients can't read Javascript we can't show its full power in our lovely newsletter. But if you step over here, all will become clear.


Etail Economy

If Gail Rebuck, chair and chief executive of The Random House Group in the UK, had tweeted the following qoute, we could have used Twitter Intents for you to favourite it right now. What did she say?

"Ebook sales continue apace – far out-stripping even the most ambitious industry predictions."

Futurebook.net goes on to note that:

"Meanwhile, Markus Dohle, chief executive of the worldwide group, has reported triple-digit-percentage growth in digital-publishing sales, up 250% on the previous year. According to the company, some US fiction titles now have as much as half of their first-weeks sales in the e-book format."

From a Facebook Profile to a Fanpage 

One of the basics of using Facebook for Marketing is setting up a Fanpage rather than a Group or an individual profile. Facebook haven't always been clear about the difference, but have recently made efforts to point businesses into the direction of a Page.

As part of that move, they're now allowing businesses who mistakenly set up an individual page to convert their personal profile to business pages.

But beware: migrating doesn't bring across any of your content and seems to come with quite a few pitfalls.

Drop The Beat

We love brands that don't just advertise their product but use them to do cool stuff. This week Adidas launched Megalizer, a breakdancing version of tapdancing.

The shoe brand has developed trainers fitted with sensors that transmit sounds, each of which can then be controlled through an interface.

If you're interested in the tech part of it, here's  a good article.


It's getting tech hot in here

It's now official: London is becoming a force to be reckoned with when it comes to tech & digital. Exhibit A & B: both Gowalla and Foursquare announced they'll be opening offices here this year.

Exhibit C: in an unparalleled move, ad agency BBH has teamed up with investment group Spark Ventures to create The Black Sheep Fund, a venture capital fund that's looking to invest in mainly UK businesses "that intersect consumers, technology and content".

And last -but quite possibly least- the government launched their StartUp Britain website. Although that last one had a little start-up problem when it suggested budding entrepreneurs create a new logo with US-based crowdsourcing site 99Designs. Ouch!

Twitter is tiny

There could be as little as 20 million active users. But they are super active. And it's growing rapidly. This is the main take away from a very good and facinating study (PDF) on Twitter. These numbers don't surprise us. Twitter is not for everybody. Twitter is where the thought leaders hang out.

On that note: this week we heard about Tweriod, a tool that measures when your Twitter followers are online and tells you when is the best time to tweet.


Creatives of the week – Guardian Staff

This week Radiohead released the physicial copy of their latest album and to promote that, they published a newspaper called The Universal Sigh.

Which got a few smart people at the Guardian thinking. If they get on our turf, we'll get on theirs. So they recorded their version of the band's classic anthem 'Creep' with the editor-in-chief on keyboards. Very Web 2.0.


Tech insight of the Week – jQuery Mobile and the Fall of the Native App

Ever since Apple's hugely unpopular announcement that they're going to claim 30 percent of all developers' in-app revenue, alternative platform talk has been more rife than ever before. jQuery Mobile might just provide the right means to and end for such a platform. Read More »

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