Ring-a-ding-ding Stay connected to your online contacts with the Fring mobile app

Posted by tom klein November 6, 2008 at 9:20 am

It’s becoming more and more common to use instant messaging and social media, like Facebook and Twitter, to connect with clients and customers. Problem is, if you rely on less-than-traditional methods of communication, what happens to business when you go offline?

Stay connected to all your buddies with Fring. Fring is an all-in-one mobile application that combines your contact lists from your phone, email, chat, and social networking platforms. With Fring, you can make phone calls, engage in live chat, transfer files, or just see who is online. Bonus -if you have a Skype or any other VoIP account, you can use Fring to make phone calls to both cell and landline numbers, without using any of your phone minutes.

Fring is a free – and simple – download for most major phone brands, and iPhone users can download Fring from the App Store. The Fring application is not computer dependent and doesn’t require any additional hardware to run. You do, however, need an internet-supported mobile phone with a data package and WiFi access.

Check out the Fring team (an interesting bunch) as they play with the application on the iPhone:

Fring supports Skype, MSN Messenger, Google Talk, ICQ, SIP, Twitter, Yahoo and AIM chat, Facebook, and the Orkut social network platform, thanks to an open API where developers can create Fring add-ons.

No VoIP? No problem. Fring offers a MiniFring version for users who want the same functionality, such as chat and online indicators, but don't have phones that support voice over IP calling.


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  Follow your nose Convert your RSS feed into an iPhone application with AppLoop

Posted by tom klein October 29, 2008 at 9:24 am

UPDATE ON 2.1.09



As we discussed in Moe’s Tavern, if you’ve got an RSS feed, you can create a mobile version of a web site or blog. But why stop with a mere site?

AppLoop is a web-based tool that takes that same RSS feed and converts it into a brandable iPhone application . . . for free! Why an application? Well, for one, applications store data locally, so content is easily accessible, regardless of your internet connection. More importantly, mobile apps are a hot commodity – your application could generate revenue. Most iPhone users gladly pay $1-$5 for their applications. While you have the option of putting a price tag on your content, the ability to distribute your application through iTunes or the iPhone web app store elevates your blog or web site to whole new level.

Currently, AppLoop requires publishers to submit their site for approval before you can generate your application – a minor formality. But once you are approved, it takes only a couple of minutes to setup your iPhone application. The system will ask for your URL and email, as well as icons, logos, and color schemes to customize your application. When finished, AppLoop submits your application to Apple for final approval. Check out this demo to see how easy the process is:

iPhone Application Generator Demo from AppLoop on Vimeo.

Bottom line, if you’re less than technically inclined but want to make it easy for your iPhone-using customers to stay connected with you, here’s an easy way to create and distribute an iPhone app. Or, if you think your customers will pay for your information, here’s a great process and platform for generating some incremental revenue.

If you have an idea for an iPhone application, we have an in house iPhone application developer to work with you! Contact us to get started on your iPhone app!

AppLoop also comes with a full analytics suite, so you can track real-time usage of your application across multiple platforms (Android, see I am C 3PO, anyone?).

Not everyone's content lends to an iPhone app, but it may be perfect for piggyback advertising opportunities. AppLoop offers publishers and advertisers the ability to advertise on the webpages throughout the AppLoop network, as well as the iTunes store, the Google Maps iPhone application, and more.



  Argentine two step Send mass voicemail and text messages with Tatango

Posted by tom klein October 16, 2008 at 6:40 am

If you’ve ever been roped into coordinating an event or a business meeting, then you know that even the smallest change can lead to a logistical nightmare. Locations change, times get pushed back, and unless you plan on calling everyone on your list (or have a small minion at your disposal), you need a way to kill 1000 birds with one stone.

Let Tatango do the gruntwork for you. Tatango is a text and voicemail service that lets you send mass messages to members of a designated group (i.e. it’s the text message / voicemail equivalent of an email blast). Tatango is an easy service to use and free for both the message sender and recipients. Check out this short demo:

To send a Tatango mass message, you will need to register with the service and provide your cell phone number and an email address (for account purposes). Once your account is confirmed, you can start creating groups, adding members by hand or sending them invites through the Tatango platform. There’s no limit on the number of groups or the number of people within the group, so you can create highly targeted lists of individuals. When you’re ready to create a message, prompt Tatango to “record message” and the service will actually call you and guide you through the process. Group members receive a text message alert that tells them you have sent them a voice message. It’s up to them when they listen, so unlike the annoying pre-recorded phone spammer, recipients simply text “CALL” back to the service and voila!, your message awaits.

Recipients can reply to your message and responses are sent directly to your phone or to your Tatango account.

Tatango just beta released a tool that will help you pipe an RSS feed info to your Tatango groups.

Tatango is a free service and supports its effort by injecting short ad spots in their messages. Voice message recipients hear a 7-second interactive advertisement at the beginning of the call. For a small monthly fee, you can get a premium ad-free version of Tatango.


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  Jumbo Shrimp Place content-relevant, widget ads with Tiny Massive

Posted by tom klein September 29, 2008 at 12:11 pm

It seems everyone’s a blogger these days. And in between the rants of any random blogger lies your little text ad, served up by an automated network and maybe not converting too well.

Try joining Tiny Massive instead, a widget-based shopping network, designed for merchants by merchants. Tiny Massive places revolving product ads based on content relevancy. Their widgets scan the publisher pages they live on and only serve up products that match the content displayed. Tiny Massive is designed to engage users and support better buying habits too. By nature, widgets are more interactive than text or display ads, and these widgets feature ratings and user reviews directly inside the widget box.

Traditional text or display ads don’t always work for sellers and, of course, provide precious little behavioral data on prospects or customers. Tiny Massive boasts free clicks for fledgling merchants who need to grow into the PPC model – a partnership where you provide test data and gain improvement suggestions. The system is designed to learn as it goes, measuring trends and customer data and placing your ads accordingly. Not only are your product ads highly targeted, but you can also learn more about what works with the system’s reporting tools and information.

Bottom line, if your ad network isn’t converting customers, then it’s not working. This widget ad network might be a good Plan B.

Tiny Massive was built using AJAX and XML by an all-female development team (so, take that, any remnant of a stereotype - cool web apps are a very equal opportunity).

From a publisher's perspective, Tiny Massive is a good deal too. If you're looking to legitimately monetize your site (content relevancy is no issue), you can specify certain hot-ticket items or opt to display only the most popular products on the internet. Some Tiny Massive publishers earn $6 CPM.


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  Chain Gang Target business decision makers with LinkedIn DirectAds

Posted by tom klein September 18, 2008 at 10:37 am

Getting into the C-suite usually requires an invitation. Or maybe buying an expensive ad in a business magazine.

Now you can target decision makers by company size, job function, industry, and more by using LinkedIn DirectAds. If you don’t know, LinkedIn is the premier professional social network, with over 25 million users, who use the network daily to build business contacts and industry presence. LinkedIn has opened its doors to advertisers, provided they are a member of the LinkedIn community. While anyone can join (and it’s free), potential advertisers must have a legitimate profile and a minimum number of connections (the equivalent of friends). LinkedIn does this to protect the integrity of the network and keep spammers at bay.

At this time, LinkedIn only offers text display advertising, but the price is right and the location is unbeatable. Typically, ads go for $25 for a 30-day run, with minimal upcharges for increased impressions or audience targeting. Ads are placed on a CPM basis (no cost per click at this time). So if you want to specifically reach senior marketing executives or salespeople in a specific geography, you can for a few extra bucks. Ads appear above the fold on the member’s profile page or the LinkedIn homepage, displaying your text content, url, and a link to the advertiser’s LinkedIn profile.

LinkedIn is willing to work with large budget advertisers ($25K+) if they want to explore rich advertising solutions on the professional social network. Hey, everyone has a price....

What's really special here is the ability to zero in on a specific audience or potential customer and put your advertisement right in front of their face. While most social networks struggle to figure out the right ad formula, LinkedIn is sticking with their core competency and providing a no-fuss service for professionals.


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