Friday, February 29, 2008

Coffee, viral marketing and social media

Earlier this week I was involved in a Jaiku thread on free coffee.

And yesterday this campaign caught my attention. Perhaps it doesn't solve Annika's need for "instant" coffee, but anyway.
I guess I fit the target audience. And as social media, viral marketing and free coffee sounds like an interesting combination I of course signed up for the beta. And got accepted into the test. Hooray.

And now I am blogging about it, probably together with some of the other bloggers that signed up. Obviously the campaign works ;-)

Looking around a bit it seems like the initial seed was placed the 26th. In three places, including a Java forum, of course...

I am a bit surprised that they didn't use other Social Networks. But looking at this site which appears to be run by the seeder you find:
  1. The seeder runs one of the seed sites.

  2. He doesn't like MySpace or Facebook.

And it seems like this PR agency is behind the campaign.

Now I have two questions while waiting for my coffee:

  • When was the alpha test?

  • Will they ship to Sweden? I looked hard, but couldn't find any limitation. But perhaps they understimated the global reach of todays media?

I'll be back with an update and review of the coffee eventually. Until then I'll continue with the free coffee served at my workspace...


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Facebook statistics - an update

It has been a while since I last posted a updated statistics about Facebook usage, growth and penetration. But now it's time again.

If you have missed my earlier posts please have a look here for all posts on Facebook stats (including this post).

Please note - all tables and graphs might be missing if you are reading the feed of this blog. Please go to to ensure you see everything.

This time I post a number of "top ten" lists to highlight some aspects. In the end I enclose a complete table, all countries, all statistics.

Recently there has been a number of posts around declining usage of Facebook in the US and UK, based on figures from eg. comScore and Nielsen Online. It might be partially because of a saturation among the users for Social Networking activities. Read the update in this post though, where Facebook states they are measuring active users, not unique visitors.

Also recently, Facebook launched a Spanish translation in the beginning of February. Will non-english versions help continue to drive the growth? Read on for an indication.

And finally, Facebook just added a few countries to the SocialAd utility. Brazil, Croatia, Hong Kong, Nigeria, Poland, Serbia and Taiwan was added. When I looked at the numbers last week these countries where represented, but did not have any data yet.

What do we measure?
But first, some thoughts on what numbers we are following.

I have been looking into the numbers provided by Facebook through the SocialAd utility. As the target group for these figures are potential advertisers I believe Facebook are keen to keep the numbers as accurate as big as possible but also as accurate as possible.

As indicated both in the post from ReadWriteWeb I mentioned above, and in Robert Scoble's interview with Marc Zuckerberg, Facebook seems to define a "active user" as someone who has signed in over the last 30 days. Thus I do believe the SocialAd numbers reflects "active users".

But then, in this post Michael Arrington quotes Matt Cohler (VP Facebook), stating that there's 600 000 active users in Germany. The number in SocialAd is 480 000 currently. Oh well...

I have also used the member count in some country networks. Not for all countries, see overall tabel at the end to find out which countries.

The "networks" are something each user selects to join or not. Thus not all users based in a country is expected to be part of the country network. Also, a user can join a different network than the home country.

On the other hand, I do believe the country as stated in the SocialAd utility is based on the country the user selects when signing up for Facebook.

We should also note that the "network" figure probably are not taking into account which users are considered active or not.

If you look at the growth week per week, and compare the growth in SocialAd's numbers and the networks, you see this:

The networks I have looked at (yellow bars) shows a growth every week. The SocialAds data (blue - all countries, red - only countries with "network" data) are more bumpy. Every second week or so you see a growth, in between you only see minor changes.

And last, when calculating benchmark figures I have used population data from the CIA factbook and data on internet usage from Internet World Stats.

Enough introduction, on to the stats.

Countries with highest usage
So, which country is "most Facebooked"?

Depends on how you define it, of course. We'll use the data from the Social Ad utility.
If you look at number of user you get this top ten list:

US in the top, no surprise.

If you on the other hand look at Facebook penetration per country population you get this top ten list:

US falls down to #8. Note that several Nordic countries are among the top ten.

If you however use the penetration among the internet users ina country as benchmark you see a few countries which might be unexpected:

Canada ranks high whatever metrics you use though.

Where's the growth?
It is always interesting to see where the growth is. Let's see the top ten list of growth rate since beginning of the year, using Social Ad data.

So there is still growth according to the numbers. But of course the highest growth potential is where the penetration is lower.

What if you look at the growth in absolute numbers?

Well, US and UK in the top. So this is where most users are added, according to SocialAds. Not the same message as in the articles referenced in the beginning of this blog post.

Translation matters?
Before we look at all countries in one table, what about the Spanish translation? Did it have any effect?

To give an answer I turn to the "networks" data. As seen in the graph above no significant changes in the SocialAds data can be seen the last few weeks, so we will probably not see the potential effect here. Let's have a look at the top ten networks with regards to growth rate. (Note that I have not looked at all networks, but it is an indication.)

Hm, what's the language in the countries on the top half of the list?
It will be interesting to follow how this evolves. For Spanish, and for other translations as they are introduced. Stay tuned for next update.

The big picture
And for you who would like to see all countries. Here is a table to look into.

(As the tables will not get indexed I add this: Facebook statistics, usage, penetration for Turkey Israel France Malaysia Singapore China Switzerland Colombia Italy Germany India Spain Ireland Netherlands Australia Saudi Arabia New Zealand Mexico Egypt Lebanon United Arab Emirates Pakistan Dominican Republic Japan Sweden South Korea, Republic of Korea United Kingdom Norway United States (US) South Africa Canada Philippines Indonesia Russian Federation (Russia) Greece Denmark Finland Chile Belgium Argentina Venezuela Austria Jordan Peru Kuwait Thailand Panama Brazil Croatia Hong Kong Nigeria Poland Serbia Taiwan )

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Monday, February 18, 2008

SIME Innovation Day

I had the opportunity to take part in the SIME Innovation Day on the 7th of February.

A day when around 100 innovative companies met with each other and Ericsson, Google and Telenor to present and get new contacts.

The format of the day was quite hectic. Surprisingly enough it all went rather smooth. During the day close to 200 individuals circulated in one room filled with tables.

The agenda was a mixture of:

  • Short, on stage, presentatons by a few of the attending companies.
  • On stage presentatons by the co-hosts (Ericsson, Google and Telenor)
  • One hour sessions of "table talks" where the participating startups sat together (around seven at each table) with one representative from a co-host and a moderator to meet, present and discuss.

  • One-to-one meetings between a startup and a co-host representative, scheduled in parallel with the table talks.
Innovators on stage
A number of the startups had the opportunity to present themself from the stage. The presentations where limited to 6 minutes, so they had to make their point very concise. And I would say they all did, altough some slides used had quite a lot of text and bullets.

Below is a summary of the companies that made a "6 minutes elevator pitch" from stage. Many more where at the SIME Innovation Day, but I will not mention all of the around 100 companies. Simply to many, but they where all interesting!

The first company on stage was - a Finnish company providing you with the maps that matters to you. Not only the common Google Maps type of maps, but all the site specific maps that might be relevant for you at the moment. They seem to distribute each map as a small Java app. to the phone, interesting approach.

Floobs provides the means for you to set up your own video channel on the internet and on the mobile. Stream video live from your mobile or use pre-recorded material. A crowded arena where eg. Qik, Bambuser and others are active.

"A computer game without a game" - Moviestorm creates a virtual world where you can create movies. Think machinima. If the process is smooth enough it might appeal as a way to create content.

Zyb is a social address book, focused on the mobile scenario. Partly similiar to Plaxo, but more focused on the mobile user. As I am a great fan of "social address books" I of course have a Zyb profile, connect if you are there!

Mobile Sorcery
Development of mobile applications for the multitude of phones out there is a burden. Will the application work on every phone model? On every revieion of a specific phone? What phone models will be launched next week? How to keep up? Mobile Sorcery claim to have the answer with a number of tools. MoSync is one.

A way to use your mobile phone to pay. Connected to your credit cards. Apparently SkyCash is their new brand name, see so far as does not seem to be live. The feature that you get a bar code on your mobile phone, only valid for a few minutes, that should be scanned at the cashier in the shop was interesting.

"The worlds smallest mobile email", Momail is an email service for mobile phones. It utilizes the email capabilities in the phone, and makes it really easy to configure. You can direct all your email accounts to your Momail account. Momail also optimizes the data traffic usage by adapting the content. Especially media attachments like pictures are scaled down to a fraction of the original size, which both saves data traffic and download times.

Nexos from Summit Tech is an IMS based gaming platform. The Nexos platform makes it easy to develop games that takes advantage of the IMS architecure.

Zkout from Wichro is a social network with location information. I am still waiting for my beta invite to have a closer look.

Wuzzon is a Dutch service where individuals can open their own shop. In the shop users can create and sell mobile content such as ringtones and wallpapers. User Generated Content on the mobile, and a way to make money on what you create. "Fight the ringtone maffia", and take the content back to the users was their message.

Polar Rose
Polar Rose has a way to tag people in public photos on the Internet. In this way they are building a database with people and their photos. Create an account and start tagging people! I joined a while ago (my profile is here), but as the plugin only is available for Firefox (which I don't use that much) I haven't been very active.

RTGI is a French company that have a solution for mapping out the social web. See who is blogging about your company and who is referencing to who.

ippi from InView is a device that you connect to your TV. ippi is actually a phone, and receives MMS, SMS and email. The messages are dispayed on the TV set, and you can reply to the messages. Here is a demonstration video.

TownKings, and the sister site TownQueens, is another social network site with a local touch. Also inculding location information of some kind. I signed up for an account, go ahead and find me and connect. As they are from Germany that's where they currently have the majority of users

Adimo is active in the field of mobile media. They view the mobiel as a natural extension of old (or current) media channels used by companies.

Mobiento works with marketing through the mobile channel. They have also a mobile ad network called Adiento.

WunderLOOP has a solution for harvesting user behaviour across multiple sites and of course do data mining based on that.

Zoomorama is a way to present photos and videos. You create an album page, just as you would do in a traditional photo album, and the visitor can pan and zoom around. Useful for many things.

Yubico has perhaps the smallest USB based keyboard - only one key. It is used for security certification. A press on the button generates a security token. The idea is that all computers have support for USB keyboards, and thus no extra drivers are needed.

The co-hosts
The three co-hosts, including Ericsson, also had a stage presentation to outline both what they are looking for and how they work in this area.

First out was Google. Anil Hansjee presented Google's view of how to work with innovation. He also discussed how working with partnerships and acquisitions drives and extends Google's core business.
Anil had this slide with three books that somewhat defines the whole area of this "new internet".
You have read these three books, haven't you? Otherwise you should. The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More, The Wisdom of Crowds and Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything. (I must admit I have not read all three yet. Working on it...)

Michael Bergman from Telenor taked about Telenor's service Mobilstart. An easy way to get started with new mobile services, and to target the whole customer base in eg Sweden, not only Telenor's subscribers.

Kurt Sillén talked about how Ericsson puts focus on consumers, and how Ericson works with partners. The changing business enviroment and the more and more complex value chains is a part of this. Kurt also gave a number of examples where Ericsson have worked with partners to create new services and applications.

The awards
At the end of the day three prizes where handed out. A jury had selected three out of the hundred companies. The winners, all mentioned as "number 1" (all the others where "close second"), where Zyb, Polar Rose and Jaycut.

Here is a video from the award cermony. As Jaycut did not present themself from stage earlier they got the opportunity to do so. Watch the video:

Other coverage
The blog covered the event by liveblogging from the room. See all posts from disruptive here (in Swedish though). It is worth mentioning that I first got to hear about the Sime Innovation Day from a blog post at

Björn Falkevik from captured the event on video. I have not seen the films uploaded yet, but will add a link later.

If you covered the event in your blog, please add a link in the comments.

And what could be more suitable than to upload the rest of the pictures I took to Jaycut? Now you can tag the people using Polar Rose and make sure they are in your Zyb address book...

All in all - a very interesting day. I hope all participants felt the same. My general comment is that "There's no killer app, only a killer attitude" is a very valid quote. All of the applications presented was fun, nice and interesting. Maybe also potential "killer apps".
But having a useful application is not all. Being able to tweak the scope, find new niches and in general adapt to the ever changing playground is crucial.

(Double-D; Disclosure and Disclaimer: I attended SIME Innovation Day on behalf of Ericsson. However I do not blog on behalf of Ericsson; all opinions expressed here are my personal views)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Ahlgrens bilar: Volvo and more

Some time ago I wrote about Ahlgrens bilar. The highlight was how they made three products out of one by simply packing each colour in separate bags.

I also listed some other related candy that was manufactured under the same brand.

Volvo + Ahlgrens = TRUE
The main reason I write this update is the news that Volvo and Ahlgrens are launching a joint campaign. Candy cars in the format of the Volvo model V70 are launched as "Sweden's most environmental car".

I like this type of cross-brand campaigns. And what can be more natural than a joint effort between two of the biggest car brands in Sweden? And at the same time surfing the environmental wave.

But why did they mix all colours in the bag? Shouldn't all cars be of the green flavour?

One size doesn not fit all
Also, as a follow up to my earlier post. I failed to notice that the main product (Ahlgrens bilar) is available in multiple sizes. At least five different bags (30, 55, 70, 125 and 160 g).

Now also "sweat and sour"
And finally. Yet another sub-brand of Ahlgrens bilar is spotted. The "sursockrade" version.

Hm, some candy anyone? I'll probably stick to the mainstream version myself, but will at least try the new alternatives. What about you?

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