Friday, September 24, 2010

1 in 10 persons in the United States has a hearing loss #Walk4Hearing

The goal of the Walk4Hearing is to increase awareness about the causes and consequences of hearing loss and to raise funds to provide information and support for people with hearing loss.

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Caitlyn & Conor's Walk4Hearing Page

As many of you may know, both Caitlyn and Conor have hearing loss. Caitlyn (4.5yrs old) was diagnoised with bilateral Sensorineural Hearing Loss in the mild/moderate range and has been aided since 3 months old. Thankfully this was caught early and she is on target with her hearing peers. 

Conor was also diagnoised in August 09 with bilateral Sensorineural Hearing Loss in the mild/moderate range.  He has had his hearing aids since he was 4 months old.

We are fortunate that both kids received an early diagnoisis and will be on track for typical speech development.  I wish I could say that I was surprised when we found out about Conor's hearing loss but I almost expected it. Our next step is to start genetic testing and see where that takes our family.  If your kid is delayed in speech or you think he/she may not hear you - please don't take the wait and see approach. Be proactive. As parents we are the kids only true advocate.

My family will be participating in the Walk4Hearing to support all those with hearing loss. I need your support to make this event a success. Please take a moment to sponsor my efforts. Thanks!


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Encyclopedia Britannica goes mobile to educate kids

This is so very true. As a mom of 2 small children I am amazed every day with their knowledge of technology. My 4 yo daughter has been using a computer in her "school" since she was 2! At the ripe age of 4.5 yrs old she has her own netbook and desktop. She doesn't need any assistance booting up and accessing her games and the websites she has bookmarked. Even my personal iPhone she successfully can make calls, go to her favorite apps and even watch video's on her youtube channel that has been set-up for her.

My son at 14 months loves to swipe through the pictures on the phone and even he has his favorite apps...

Wonder what technology will be like in a few years when they really start attending classes.

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Britannica goes mobile to

Encyclopedia Britannica goes mobile to educate kids

Why mobile
Kids have grown up in an increasingly mobile world, and using mobile, handheld devices is second nature to them. 


Very Smart: Chrysler car owner’s manual evolves into smartphone app

This is great, certainly hope all the other manufacturers follow suit.

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Chrysler car owner’s manual evolves into smartphone app

Chrysler Group LLC is offering what it claims is the industry's first vehicle-information application for smartphones, eliminating the need for bulky owner’s manuals.

Information that used to be stuffed into the glove box is now at drivers’ fingertips. In addition to general vehicle information including operation, maintenance and warranty, this new application offers product-feature video demonstrations, connections with fellow owners via the company's brands on social media sites and access to customer care and 24-hour roadside assistance.

Chrysler car owner’s manual evolves into smartphon

“Our new apps are for current owners and potential customers,” he said. “For those in the market for one of our new vehicles, customers may simply download our apps and learn about the vehicle." 

Mobile manual
Chrysler currently offers applications for the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2011 Ram Truck lineup. It will offer applications on select vehicles as it moves forward with product launches this year.

The vehicle-information application was developed by Tweddle Group. It is designed to support vehicles in the United States market.

The application will first be available for iPhone and later for BlackBerry and Android devices on major mobile carriers.

“As far as consumer challenges that our apps address, customers no longer have to thumb through a thick book in order to learn about a new feature or address an issue,” Mr. Zvileman said. “The information is always with them at their fingertips wherever they go.”

The application is free to the consumer. It will eventually phase into select future Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep and Ram Truck vehicles in the U.S.

Application features
New Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep and Ram Truck smartphone vehicle-information applications will complement existing user guides and DVDs that are currently provided with each vehicle.

Each vehicle-information application allows the consumer to browse functional categories and view detailed topics of interest relative to their specific vehicle.

Key feature categories include product information, vehicle operating instructions, vehicle maintenance schedules, service contract details, warning lights and controls, warranty information and customer assistance.

Other features and benefits include links to Mopar parts and accessories, product brand gear and merchandise and the company's brands on social media sites.

The application will also contain high-resolution product-information images and videos.

“We want to create a new channel of communication with our customers,” Mr. Zvibleman said. “We are moving vehicle information from the glove box to the smartphone.

“We were the first in the industry to eliminate traditional owner manuals, saving 20,000 trees annually,” he said. “For our other vehicles without apps, we offer brief user guides and DVDs. 

“However, for those who still want the traditional owner manual, we will mail them upon request.”


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

AOL taps QR codes in Metro Herald print advertising

At least AOL isn't sending out those CD's anymore... or at least I hope not. QR codes are the way to go now, a hell of alot better for the environment. It seems as though adoption rate has been pretty slow but that should pick up. Glad Ireland is on top of the game here!

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AOL taps QR codes in Metro Herald print advertising

Brands such as Jameson Whiskey and AOL have incorporated QR codes into their print advertising in Ireland’s Metro Herald newspaper.

Metro Herald is working with Digital Reach Group to enable advertisers in Ireland to incorporate an interactive digital response into their print campaigns through the use of Scanlife QR codes. The paper’s readership comprises 70,000 people.

QR Code

“QR codes provide the ability to directly engage with customers in a unique and interactive way whether they are out and about, at home or in the office,” said Colm Grealy, CEO of Digital Reach Group, Dublin.

“They provide the opportunity to create a valuable opt-in database of users through mobile data collection forms and immediate mobile response allows them to increase campaign response rates and capture more opt-in data from customers,” he said.

Here is a screen grab of the AOL ad:

Metro Herald claims that advertisers are seeing 5-15 percent of the overall readership responding to ads.

For competitions, the conversion rate was as high as 97 percent. That is 97 percent of those who responded to the ad by scanning the code, went on to enter their contact details and sign up for a competition.

“Via the use of QR codes, advertisers are able to deliver additional information, offers or services to their customers directly on their mobile phone via their print marketing campaigns,” Mr. Grealy said.

“QR codes drive downloads and traffic to advertisers’ digital content and sites,” he said. “They can fully measure and compare the effectiveness and response levels of marketing spend in all media, and compare the effectiveness of one publication to another.”


Friday, September 3, 2010

Facebook Tests Stalker-Friendly "Subscribe to" Feature

Well this will make some people really happy. Guess it would be similar to lists on Twitter... easy to get their feed. If a person is really desperate to stalk you, I am sure this is already being done and I would like to look at this in more of a positive light. On the iPhone app you currently have your "favorite" friends easy to get to and this would just be another avenue.

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Facebook Tests Stalker-Friendly "Subscribe to" Feature

Facebook SubscribeFacebook is testing a new feature that allows any user to "subscribe to" another user. What with having hundreds of friends, multiple news feeds and only so many hours in the day, you might miss out on what your ex-girlfriend is doing these days--and that will not stand!

The "subscribe to" feature gives you notifications whenever someone to whom you've subscribed takes action on Facebook, from status updates to photo uploads to wall comments. The new feature doesn't seem to extend as far as Facebook Places check-ins--Facebook says it only applies to updated statuses and new content. Here's their statement:

Yes, this feature is being tested with a small percent of users. It
lets people subscribe to friends and pages to receive notifications
whenever the person they’ve subscribed to updates their status or posts
new content (photos, videos, links, or notes).

AllFacebook notes that while this is sort of creepy for individuals, it could be used to great (and less weird) effect with public pages (eds. note: Please stalk Fast Company on Facebook at Imagine following a band, and never missing when that band sends out a Facebook message with new tour dates. You could see how business and other groups would find the feature pretty useful, especially since it distills the true fans from the casual ones who join every page.

In the wake of pretty much continuous privacy scandals, it's unclear how Facebook will make this feature seem palatable. It doesn't exactly allow anything that wasn't possible before, but it makes obsession much easier. Perhaps Facebook would implement a way for users to approve subscribers?

In any case, the feature is merely being tested now, and may or may not ever be implemented for the general public. How do you all feel? Is this a valuable new tool, or a step over the line into creepiness?


Half of ESPN Mobile users do not use PC products: keynote at Mobile Marketing Summit

This is where the future is headed and I am trying to stay on top of the wave. Yes, some things that are coming out now and highly popular won't be around for the years to come but that is a bonus to keep us all thinking.

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Half of ESPN Mobile users do not use PC products: keynote at Mobile Marketing Summit

NEW YORK – An ESPN executive said that half of the users of the sports network’s SMS alerts, mobile Web site and applications are unique to the mobile medium, during a keynote address at the first-annual Mobile Marketing Summit.

The nation's most popular sports cable network is also one of the most visited properties across mobile channels. ESPN expects huge surges of mobile traffic during this holiday season, which coincides with NCAA football and the NFL season.

ESPN exec reveals mobile monetization tactics

“About half of people who use our mobile products don’t use our PC products—the mobile device could be their only Internet connection or their primary Internet-connected device,” said John Zehr, senior vice president and general manager of ESPN Mobile, Bristol, CT. “Mobile is not cannibalistic—it’s an amplifier.

“Fans migrate toward best available screen, and while we’re still seeing the majority of consumption on TV, our mobile audience is growing at an astounding rate,” he said. “In 2008 for the first time, and again last year, our mobile traffic actually exceeded our PC traffic on weekends.

“On college football Saturday and NFL Sunday we get more traffic on our mobile Web site than our wired Web site, and now there’s no going back—if you deliver a good experience, people will consume the content on their mobile device when they’re out and about.”