Monthly Archives: January 2010

okcupid2

We’ve all done it. We’ve worried about which profile pic to upload and show the world. So what makes us decide between the pic that shows off a little boob and the pic that features a furry friend?

Up until now, most of us have relied on instincts to decide what’s hot and what’s not. But can we trust our instincts? Are the profile pics we’re using working hardest for us?

According to OKcupid, the self-proclaimed world’s best dating site, “much of the conventional wisdom about profile pictures has been wrong.”

So what works? What will get potential mates, customers, etc. to not only check out our profiles, but to start a conversation with us?

If your profile is female:
- The ‘Myspace Shot’, “taken by holding a camera above your head and being just so darn coy” is the single most effective photo context, better than ‘straight up boobs’, ‘on the bed’ and definitely better than ‘posing with an animal’.
- ‘The Cleavage Shot’ is very successful, drawing 49% more contacts than average.
- Although ‘The Cleavage Shot’ will yield more contacts, a pic that shows you ‘Doing Something Interesting’ is more likely to lead to an actual conversation.

If your profile is male:
- The photo context ‘posing with an animal’ is just as effective as ‘showing off muscles’; surprisingly the aforementioned photo contexts are the most effective (much more potent than the ‘travel photo’ that I’ve been using on Facebook).
- It’s better to look away from the camera and not smile. As OKcupid points out, “maybe women want a little mystery. What is he looking at? Slashdot? Or Engadget?”
- ‘No shirt’ is much more effective than wearing clothes. However, if you’re shy about showing off the 6-pack, or you drink too many 6 packs to go shirtless, it’s better to wear normal clothes than fancy ones.

Now before you rush off to change any profile pics, take a moment and consider the larger brand lesson that Okcupid is offering. If you have some data, flaunt it. Because the data you reveal just might attract more eyeballs than the most carefully crafted image.

P.S. for more analysis on profile pics, visit OKcupid’s blog.

If it is not texting and looking and TV, it’s computer and listen to my iPod (…) If i know i’m gonna miss a show i record it.

I have facebook on my cellphone. I could research a word, do anything on my phone.

— Diamond, 14

The Kaiser Family Foundation released today a report on Generation M(2), a research on media habits of 8-18 year olds, with a sample of more than 2,000 young people across the US. Impressive how this 100% connected generation is using mobile as the main gateway to digital content. Not to mention the multitasking habits. But you knew that already, right?

Key findings of the report include:

  • Over the past five years, Young people have increased the daily consumption of media from 6:21 to 7:38

    kff-consumption

  • An explosion in mobile and online media has fueled
    the increase in media use among young people.

    kkf-ownership

  • Youth who spend more time with media report lower grades and lower levels of personal contentment.

For a short overview of what kids have to say, follow the video below:

Location Based Service

In the beginning of 2009 we placed our bet on Twitter as the up and coming new trend for the year. One year later and guess what – it’s still booming (actually it might be a little stagnant at the moment, but nonetheless, still showing impressive numbers). It’s time we do the same for this year – and I’ll put my money in Location Based Services using Augmented Reality.
First things first – what is a Location Based Service? LBS are services that use the mobile phone’s location via GPS to exactly pin point the users’ location. Through this information you can basically direct your communication in the most relevant way for the consumer.
The perfect example for recent LBS is the recently implemented upgrade for the Google Mobile Search Engine that allows users to give permission to Google to access the phone’s location and give them search results related to their coordinates. For example – you’re in Lisbon. If Google knows this and you start writing “museum”, you will get results related to Museums in Lisbon. This is genius while still being very simple.
The fact is that LBS aren’t new news – they’ve been around since 2001 but like almost every technology during the 2000 decade, it hasn’t been explored to its full potential. And with the advancements in Mobile Phone technology, practically ever phone comes with the necessary technology to further enhance the user of these services.
With Augmented Reality this has become a lot more interesting. Augmented Reality, as you might know, overcomes real image you obtain over your camera (like your mobile phone camera) and overlays it with a information layer that adds contents to what you are seeing. And using LBS only sweetens the experience.
Take two examples in consideration. The first one is Layar. Available for Android and App Stores, Layar adds a layer to you phone camera based on the service that is most relevant for you at the time. The service you can pick varies on the country you are in, as service providers vary. One example that is quite spread out in every country the app is available is Wikipedia.
Imagine you are walking around in Rome. You have no idea what to see or where things are. Sure, you can use a Map, but you are still confused on what is what. You simply grab your IPhone or Android Phone and access Layar. Layar will pinpoint your location via GPS and ask you what service to use. You pick Wikipedia. If you now aim your camera in 360º degrees, you’ll have an arrow pointing out to the monuments around you and with a small subtitle saying what it is and relating to an article on Wikipedia about it. Pretty useful, if you ask me.
Layar is already quite well known, but our next example isn’t – Google Goggles. While using the exact same mechanics of Layar (Pinpointing your location and giving you relevant content) the way it does is a lot less limited – as it doesn’t require you to use a service provider but Google itself.
So imagine you are walking around a supermarket. You get a phone call – “We need wine for dinner – and make it a good one!”. You go to the wine section and find one you think was well reviewed by a friend. With Google Goggles you simply open the application and take a picture of the wine. Using an image recognition technology via Augmented Reality, Google will match the picture with its own image database and give you back the results – be it wine reviews, the brand website, etc… This can be applied to buildings, clothes and even famous paintings. Sure, it’s still very beta, but its potential cannot be ignored.
So my bet for this year will rely on LBS using Augmented Reality. The potential for brands impacting their consumers where they need the most – outside where all the noise is – is huge. Imagine this – a brand places a product poster with an indication for the consumer to take a picture to know more about it. Depending on where the picture is taken, you can give feedback to the consumer and direct him to the nearest store to see the product while giving him a digital voucher for the purchase. You can also create scavenger hunt-like activations using a whole Mupi network. And these are just very basic off-the-head applications to it.
Some might say that it is still early to consider this technology as mainstream. And I agree. But consider mobile phone releases and the rotation associated with this type of product and we’ll all agree that phones with these capacities are quickly spreading. Now it’s up to the brand – will they be the pioneers or will they be the followers. It’s all up to their strategy, of course.

Globally there’s a startling trend in corporations. In 2009, companies blocking their employees from Facebook increased by 20% according to one global survey. At present, nearly 1 in 2 US and UK companies deny access. And the number appear to be rising.

Indeed it seems the fear of Facebook and Twitter is so great that companies, which restrict internet access, would rather their employees search for guns and booze than socialize, according to data from Scansafe:
FBblocking
Note: we’ve searched for cases of ‘Facebook violence’ in the workplace and have yet to find any; but we did uncover numerous stories of disgruntled employees wreaking havoc with guns (some under the influence of booze).

We’re partly joking here, but in all honesty, is blocking employees from social media a good trend or a bad one?

We doubt that guns and booze will ever impact the bottom line (unless you manufacture and sell them), but there is mounting evidence that social media, when managed properly, does create economic value.

And if Warren Buffett, the world’s greatest investor, has any merit on the topic, he estimates that any employee, who is a skilled communicator, is worth 50% more than his/her colleague who is not socially adept…


In the spirit of Buffett/bets, here’s some questions and predictions. With employee dissatisfaction on the rise, will more companies continue to block their employees in 2010? Will companies that promote access gain more of a competitive advantage? We predict yes to both. And we believe that, while short term the battle ‘to block or not to block’ may be a company decision, ultimately it will be the worker who will decide ‘to Facebook or not to Facebook’ wielding the power of their smartphones.

Note: Penetration of 3G is expected to reach 54% by the end of 2010 in Western Europe (up 13% from 2009), and 46% in North America (up 8% from 2009); it’s already a whopping 90+% in Japan. Source: Mobile Internet Report By the way, Happy New Year!