Tag Archives: internet

Is it a bird? erm nope.

The next era of connectivity is on the horizon, or rather more accurately hovering above it, as tech giants launch their test projects to provide internet coverage for the harder to reach parts of the world.

Google have test piloted Project Loon a few times since June 2013 near places such as New Zealand’s South Island and Sri Lanka, a series of high- altitude balloons equipped with LTE (more commonly known as 4G LTE) that rides the wind currents in the stratosphere.

Facebook have also developed a fleet of solar-powered drones called Aquila now ready to hover at altitudes of 60,000 to 90,000 feet. These can be steered and controlled more directly, constantly circling a two mile radius to stay aloft.

Both the balloons and the drones can be air born for around three months.

Combined with lower priced smartphones coming to market we are seeing the next evolution of connectivity looking set to be pretty rapid.

There’s still a way to go to stabilise the launch and flight of both, plus the clean up exercise once they come back down but the effort to connect the whole world with the internet is accelerating.

Next we’ll be in orbit, talking to the moon, connecting galaxies… well, maybe.

 

clangers

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Is the web dead? I didn’t know it was poorly!

I was reading Wired the other day and about two-thirds of the way through (page 125 to be exact) Chris Anderson, Editor in Chief, announced that the web is dead! Once I’d got over feeling bad about not realising the web was feeling under the weather in the first place, I had a dig around to see what everyone else thought, turns out it’s sparked quite a debate.

Anderson states thatWithin five years… the number of users accessing the Net from mobile devices will surpass the number who access it from PCs.’ Perhaps not impossible but a bold statement I feel.

Whilst I agree that one of the most noticeable shifts in the world of pixels has been the move from the ‘open web’ to platforms that only use the internet for transport, but not the browser for display, it’s worth remembering that these trends tend to happen in phases.

Remember how ‘the browser’ took over everything, then developers demanded more options therefore moved to apps… but the browser will again overcome the apps distinguishing features and the technicalities they present and so the browser will keep coming back to provide the support. What most internet surfers don’t grasp is that it is in fact made up of several separate components of which the World Wide Web is just one application.

So is it really all moving to a post-HTML environment?

(I won’t mention the irony of how Wired actually published this on the website before I received my subscription… oops!)

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‘eee pet – t’interweb’ll never catch on’… uh huh yeah sure, where do I start!

When I first started my foray into the online world over 10 years ago, when I first started designing websites 7 years ago, even when I switched to the dark side and started to manage accounts 5 years ago I was fully prepared to battle proudly against all the negativity that surrounded online marketing. If I had £1 for every time I heard someone utter the words ‘It’ll never catch on’,  I’d have set up my own business and called it ‘I told you it would’,  3 years ago.

Honestly though, I was amazed when a client (a new one just to clarify) uttered those words just the other day, I really thought that even the most remote Neanderthals had realised that ‘t’interweb’ is here to stay. It would appear not however, so here’s some statistics for you, hot off the press from the latest Econsultancy Internet Statistics Compendium:

  1. 18.3m households in the UK (70%) had internet access in 2009, an increase of 11% from the previous year. (source: Office for National Statistics)
  2. At last count (May 2009) there are 36,820,000 unique UK internet users (source: comScore)
  3. The UK has the highest active online population in Europe, with the highest number of daily visitors (21.8m), the highest usage days per month (21 per user), and the highest average time spent per month per user (34.4 hours). (source: comScore)
  4. 63% of all UK households had a broadband connection in 2009, up from 58% in 2008. (source: Office for National Statistics) – just to clarify this point; yes that does mean that people aren’t just using the internet to ‘skive off work’.
  5. Out of those with access to mobile broadband, 75% use it at home, 18% use it at work and 27% use it whilst travelling. (source: IAB UK)
  6. The online population now reflects the demographic make-up of the UK as a whole, with a 52%/48% male/ female split. 21% are 25-34 years old and the over 50’s represent 30% of the total time spent online. (source: IAB UK)

I think that proves my point.

And if you are reading this and you’re still a sceptic, can I politely point out that you’re online at the moment…

<rant over>

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the value of digital to brands today

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve had clients try to dictate how a product is sold to a consumer, what the consumer needs to feel and how they need to react to something.

And as I patiently sit there and explain that they no longer make the rules you see a mixture of fear, a dawning of realisation that today in our connected world channels come together on behalf of consumers. As a brand or product they now to need to align themselves around the consumers.

We’ve always said that the customer knows best and therefore they are in control, the difference is that now, they have to mean it. The consumer really is in control. Not only that but it all happens in real-time, seasonality is becoming less relevant, clients need to focus on micro targeting to different consumer needs rather than enforcing a message dictated by them en mass.

With the internet bringing together consumers in so many ways, when will they realise the conversation is happening anyway?

The question I put back to them is do you want to be a part of it?

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are we Google pawns?

It’s pretty difficult to fully get your head around the epic scale of the ongoing battle between Microsoft, Google and Apple. Ridiculous sums of money at stake, entire business strategies hanging in the air and umpteen routes to a delicate balance between success or failure hang in the balance.

It’s not so much the size of these businesses, in the 90’s monopolisation was defined in the dictionary as ‘Microsoft’. Where there was a computer there was Microsoft.

And then along came Apple, they conquered music, revolutionised mobile phones (sorry to all the blackberry/ HTC/ Android phone lovers), I might be so bold as to say they made the computer industry sexy (gasp). However Apple only really dominate (controversial I know) closed information appliances with lots of third-party apps.

And then there’s Google, all roads lead to the internet, and the internet is pretty much Google.

So are we all just pawns in Google’s worldwide game of chess? Discuss…

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