Viewing entries tagged
Google Maps

Google Maps: Mobile, HTML5, "Desktop" Icons & In the River Promotions.

As Google continues to focus on HTML5 mobile experiences (and do it very well), they have to think about systematically driving usage... which, for mobile, requires 'desktop' real estate. And with core mobile applications, the app store's represent both distribution and the potential of screen real estate (ie icons / launch buttons). Google's strategy of focusing the mobile web experience is a good one... and it's shared by Facebook. But they both know that getting adoption relies on either deep OS integration or getting icons on the home screen.

So, when you visit Google Maps and their revamped web product (it too is done very well), they immediately and prominently prompt users to download the 'quick start' icon. Google has used this same tactic with YouTube (example here) - it's smart, effective and easy to integrate.

Yet another powerful example of "in the river" promotion / marketing.

Amidst Facebook Places, Dont Forget Google Places (Now with Coupons)

Lost among the hubbub surrounding the similarly named Facebook Places is Google's local product: Google Places. It might not include check-ins, but it is a product aimed at local businesses and search queries... and tied to Google's core competency and model. Google Places is: Yelp + AdWords + Google Analytics + Groupon. It's powerful.

Tied to Google's local search - which is integrated into core search, mobile and Google Maps - Google Places allows businesses to create profiles of themselves. These profiles supplement search results with content, pictures, etc.

For consumers or searchers, this means deeper and more actionable content. For business owners, this means that Google can provide analytics about searches / searchers... and of course get you to advertise against them. This includes:

A business dashboard (analytics) and advertising / coupon center:

A communications platform to broadcast content / events:

And a mobile / print couponing platform - of course tied to Google's mobile and maps platform:

And of course, Google is capable of promoting Places heavily through their content network (below is an example ad unit from this blog) and through Google's other popular products:

Dunkin' Donuts Aren't in California... Yet?

It's July 4th weekend and I'm in Cape Cod... which means that I've now enjoyed several Dunkin' Donuts iced coffees and wondered why the only DD coffee I can enjoy in California is brewed at home.

Every day, my blog gets a fair amount of traffic coming from Google for search terms like:

- Dunkin Donuts California - Dunkin Donuts in CA - No Dunkin Donuts in California

And so on. Those aren't short / intuitive queries ... and they occur thousands of times a week. I've even gone as far as to suggest a business model around natural search logs considering that Dunkin Donuts would likely find this information interesting. I've received offers to sponsor pages based specifically on the keywords it ranks well for. According to Compete, "Dunkin Donuts California" is the #1 affinity query to my site (I wouldn't go quite so far...):

Search Google Maps for Dunkin Donuts and the only result is in California... and it's a closed location that has a request to shut down this listing:

According to Quantcast, "Dunkin Donuts" is the 1,700th most common search query on the web... yet despite California's size, population and collection of Boston-transplants, there isn't a single Dunkin Donuts in California. Why?!

15 Websites / Services I'd Actually Pay For

One measure of a service’s utility and stickiness is its ability to charge for usage. Consequently, I regularly find myself asking, “Is this important enough to me that I’d pay for it?”

Here are some of the services / sites where that answer is yes… And what I’d be willing to pay: Gmail: I’d pay to keep my Gmail account more because the switching cost is high than because of the functionality. That switching cost is painful enough that I’d spend $75 to prevent it. I will likely end up paying for increased storage too.

Google Maps: Love Google Maps for my Blackberry. Telenav is $9.99 / mo and offers greater functionality – I’d likely pay $10 to download Google Maps or some nominal monthly fee. If Google Maps added navigational directions, I would pay $10 / month.

Wordpress.org: The benefit of blogging with WP is so significant (SEO, functionality, flexibility) that it’s well worth paying for. I’d probably pay a $200 for an installation… which makes me realize how much I rely on the product.

Google Analytics: If Google analytics weren’t free, I would unhappily pay a monthly fee to install it ($10) because, despite my disdain for the interface and lack of real-time metrics, it really is a necessity.

Google Analytics w/ Real Time Data: I would certainly pay extra for real-time Google Analytics.

Slimstat: Slimstat is a free Wordpress plugin that delivers real-time analytics. I would pay $40 to install it.

Slimstat “Premium”: … And I’d pay a lot more if Slimstat offered a model with unlimited data capturing / storage (the basic one shows the last ‘n’ records). I would pay $100 / domain.

Mint Analytics: I gladly paid $40 to install Mint on my domains. Great data and great interface.

Craigslist: I would pay for premium listings on Craigslist (if they introduced some sort of featured ads format) and I’ve paid the jobs listing fees before (many times).

Amazon Prime: I spend enough on Amazon that they gave me Amazon Prime for free when it first launched. Considering that I buy my groceries, toiletries, electronics, dog food, etc on it – I’d pay for Prime if Amazon forced me to.

iStockPhoto Premium: I love iStockPhoto – but it’s a pain to purchase credits. I’d pay for a premium account that enables power-usage.

MLB.tv: MLB is the only major sport that has truly adopted the web and their radio and video streaming is fantastic. I already pay for the service (estimates: $14.99 for radio broadcast of all games,$99-$179 for video)

Podcasts / On-demand Radio: There are certain podcasts and radio shows that I would pay to be able to download in entirety. For instance, I love The Thundering Herd on ESPN Radio but it streams too early on the west coast for me to catch it – and the Podcast only captures 30 minutes of the broadcast. I would pay $5-$10 a month to listen to it on-demand, in its entirety (price depends on whether or not ads are in the broadcast). The same can be said for Tony Bruno and JT the Brick.

eLance: I love eLance. Use it all the time. They choose to charge the service provider – but if they reversed it, I would pay on a per-listing basis. The price depends on the project, but a nominal amount ($5?).

ESPN360: It’s the only way that I can catch Duke games without leaving work at 3pm pst... I’d pay either per game or per month ($5-10) for the service. I’d pay a whole lot more if they could include MLB, NFL and NBA (would start to challenge my Comcast bill).