IDC and Gartner: Lenovo leaps past Dell for second place, still trails HP for the gold originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 17 Oct 2011 07:37:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
The researchers behind this study used an algorithm to identify 250,000 tweets from 45,000 users discussing the 2010 midterm elections. They identified party affiliation and graphed both retweets and mentions from these Twitter users.
The plot of retweets on the left clearly shows that most people retweet along party lines, passing along information that meets their political leanings. Mentions, on the other hand, are evenly distributed with Twitter users communicating with colleagues as well as engaging opponents in highly-charged debates.
You can keep up with Kelly Hodgkins, the author of this post, on Twitter or Facebook.
So far, that’s not happening according to the chart below from Bank Of America Merrill Lynch.
When consumers want to research buying something, Google is still the primary option. Only 1% of 418 people surveyed say they ask friends on Facebook about the product.
It’s not in this chart, but BofA also says only 3% of Facebook users say they use Google less thanks to Facebook. (17% say they’re using it more thanks to Facebook.)
Of course, the real long term risk to Google is that Facebook has a trove of important data which it can not access. But, for these other concerns the data from BofA provides some relief for Google.
And for Facebook, this chart isn’t bad news, either. It’s still a place where users hang out and can be influenced by display advertising.
YouTube 100 sheepishly materialized this week. The feature itself is minor, a space in their music section listing the 100 most popular music vids. But for the future of the music video, the implications are HUGE. In the best possible way.
YouTube 100 not only lists the Top 100 vids, but lets you play them back to back automatically. (Roku and AppleTV need to get this on their boxes). YouTube 100 returns us to an era when finding and watching music videos isn’t an arbitrary, single-serve experience. It makes watching vids less about personal discovery and more about the shared experience. And it’s as populist as the MTV of yore: our clicks determine what hits the top of the list. It will make music videos relevant again, which they haven’t been for quite some time.
When MTV cancelled TRL and decided they only wanted to show every form of reality TV under the sun, the music video basically died. I mean, specimens still existed (YouTube was coming into its own), but the music video universe had turned into a wasteland of cheaply made abominations that depended on viral distribution for views.
Gone were the days of Diddy’s 10 minute, multi-million dollar epics, which featured big name actors and entire scenes that had little—if nothing—to do with the song. Gone was the video premiere as an event. Some artist (or if they were lucky, PR flak) would just upload a video to a YouTube unceremoniously. Gone was the focused, steady stream of music videos force-fed to us in 30 and 60 minute blocks. Instead, we watched what someone emailed to us, then went back to staring at animated GIFs. Also gone were the video countdowns—there’s something to be said for coming to your own conclusions, but filters and lists always make things more interesting, amiright?
But then something happened. Musicians and labels learned how to market music on the internet (even if they still have no idea how to make money off of said marketing). They learned that a music video gone viral could be a crucial turning point for an artist. They learned how to make the music video an event again (have you SEEN Kanye’s Runaway?!). And when this happened, videos started getting the time and money and care they needed to flourish on the internet. Many of the recent videos from the likes Beyonce, Lady Gaga and Kanye West have had TV-quality production values, but largely found their viewership online.
The problem has been that there’s been no single, communal space where these videos are curated and discussed. MTV has had its MTV Hive site for a while now, but they’ve kept it far too obscure and feature-lacking to really connect with the masses. Vimeo, despite having a treasure trove of amazing content, is too niche in its scope to find a mainstream audience. And YouTube on its own is too chaotic to facilitate a sense of community.
But now that they’ve added the YouTube 100, we have a starting place. Something to talk about. Something to disagree with. It’s a reason to care about music videos again. You know, just as long as VEVO doesn’t ruin it all with those crappy, borderline intrusive ads.
Comscore report finds widening Android lead in US smartphone market, largely at RIM’s expense originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 08 May 2011 18:14:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Last August, we broke the news that a new startup incubator was about to launch that was run by seven ex-Googlers, AngelPad. By November, the initial class of eight startups were ready to launch. Today, barely four months later, class number two is ready to be unveiled. And this time there are thirteen of them. At this rate, to quote the best line in Jaws, they’re “gonna need a bigger boat”.
The fact that the class was whittled down to even thirteen is impressive, as the AngelPad team had several hundred applications to go through this time, co-founder Thomas Korte tells us. And while many in the initial class also featured fellow ex-Googlers, this group is more diversified (though the Google blood still runs deep with a number of them).
Below, find a brief description of the 13:
Shopobot is all about leveraging your social graph to make better purchasing decisions. Say you want to buy a camera, but want advice you know will be unbiased, the best way is to ask your friends. Shopobot allows you to easily find that information on their site, alongside a timeline of a product’s price on Amazon (these are much more volatile than you may think). They’re also focusing on creating useful widgets for other sites that get around the “banner blindness” issue which most shopping widgets lead to.
Astrid makes mobile applications that allow you to easily share and collaborate on tasks. This is ideal for groups because everyone in the group can be assigned something to do, and make it known once it’s done. And unlike some other collaboration software, the interface is super simple. From a broader perspective, the idea is to inspire others to join you in doing certain things — ideas you get from reading a book or a blog post. They have a button to make this all easily shareable. The team already has 1.7 million downloads on Android and now they’re coming to iOS.
Hopscotch is a service built around the idea of extending the current abilities of QR codes. Right now, you scan a code and you’re often just taken to a website about a product. These guys want to create a web browser for the real world, meaning that all physical objects can have elements that show up when scanned. If you scan a QR code on a concert poster, your social graph should know that you’re into that band, and maybe one of your friends would like to go to that show with you. While the core idea is based around QR codes right now (both existing ones and new ones that they’ll help others create), eventually the plan is to get into NFC or image recognition as those technologies mature.
Cloudbot calls themselves the “cloud command line”. What that means is that their aim is to be one app (both mobile and web) that allows you to easily interact with many other apps and services. You might enter in “call XXXXX” and you’ll it will call the friend’s name you entered. Or you might enter “gram XXXXX” and it will show you the Instagram photos from that person. And it uses real world data. If you type “eat with XXXXX”, the app will look at your location and the location of the friend you entered and find a good place near both of you. Currently, they have 24 integration points with various apps/services and more are coming.
Kismet is a mobile dating site focused on real identity and real photos. The founders note that most dating sites are a sea of faces, but most are false advertising. And many mobile dating experiences right now skew towards the sleazy side of things. Kismet aims to be a more natural dating app with women in particular in mind. They look at locations you actually go to and pictures you actually take on other social networks to provide a real profile for yourself (naturally tide into your real Facebook identity as well). The idea is that where you spend a lot of your time and what you do already says a lot about you, Kismet just surfaces it for potential dates to see.
Splash is a new social plug-in for mobile games (first for the iPhone, then for Android). It’s essentially a social platform that developers can have include in their gaming apps as an always one-touch-away overlay. When touched, it shows you your friends also playing games online and allows you to interact with them. You can also send gifts (virtual goods) this way, get notifications, and make announcements. On the developer side of things, there is a dashboard to help you keep track of all of the data flowing in. Unlike Apple’s Game Center and OpenFeint which focus on leaderboards, they focus on the social layer in realtime.
Crittercism provides a way for developers to monitor bugs and crashes in their mobile apps. If you read over reviews in the App Store, you’ll see that many are actually bug reports — Crittercism has a way to hopefully stop that from happening as they monitor issues in realtime and provide a simple way for a user to provide feedback through their own channel. The service gets baked into the app by the developer before launch and resides in a place that a user can access and share issues (either anonymously or with a Crittercism profile). And problems are automatically tracked and emailed back to developers. The platform is already up and running on five hit apps and while it seems like something that Apple or Google could eventually offer, Crittercism’s view is a cross-platform one that very easy for developers to work with.
Stickery makes learning-based games for kids. But while that’s already a crowded market, their twist is that there games are actually data-driven. As in, after kids play the games, reports are sent back to parents to let them know what areas the children need help with and what they excel in. “We are focused on the post-game highlights,” is how they put it. And while this seems like it could be a platform play, the team is also committed to making their own fun games. Right now they have one with seven more planned.
LocBox looked at the crowded daily deal space and saw a big problem: customer retention rates. Because there are so many different deal services that people are trying out, everyone seems to be only partially committed to it. LocBox aims to simplify the experience by giving everyone an important cool to keep customers: an iPad. That is, they give merchants an iPad loaded with their CRM software to reduce the friction for trying out and sticking with their system — and also for customers using it.
The easiest way to think of CompanyLine is as a sort of Facebook Groups for business. But a key part of it is the nice integration they have with other services like WebEx and Dropbox. It works so well that AngelPad themselves apparently use it now internally over the old way of doing things: Google Groups (again, these are ex-Googlers we’re talking about). The name is drawn from the idea that the way companies collaborate today is sort of like phone line switchboards in the 1950s. They want to change that.
Feedgen is a sales lead platform that utilizes social elements. They note the disconnect between marketing and sales — the amount of leads brought in by marketing don’t end up meaning much. But leads can come from elsewhere: enter social networks. Another key is the UI. They use the familiar inbox style to manage leads. You can think of it as a “priority inbox” for leads, they note (referencing Google’s newish system for ranking email in Gmail).
Coverhound is simply online insurance shopping that works. “It’s a complete scam right now,” the founders say pointing to how much of what you see online is little more than bait. And that shows on the other end as something like 300 leads are needed to sign just one new person up for a policy. Coverhound changes the dynamic by being a filter for both sides. They take customers basic information (name, address, email) and pull up information about them from third parties that is then used to serve up accurate estimates from the insurance companies. It’s sort of like Kayak for car insurance.
SecondLeap is a search engine for people who want to change careers. It’s not about career advancement, it’s about people looking to make a true total change. The service show those people what the potential impact is in terms of years needed for a new career and what the financial impact will be. If it’s determined that the career change will be a good one, SecondLeap helps the user find the right school and loan to make the change happen.
Facebook use in the US will continue on a solid growth track over the next three years, as the site cements its place at the epicenter of internet activity. As more users of all ages flock to the popular social network, marketers will find new opportunities to tap into an engaged, demographically diverse audience.