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under-construction-templateHackers Map Out Who Uses The Internet The Most - PSFK


Do We Need to Differentiate “Influencer” Marketing…To be Good Influence Marketers?


Influencers can all too easily be identified, and socially dismissed, as paid shills. At the very least they’re seen as offering sponsored content, with a clear motivation to sell or at least promote. The trouble is, for most people though, as soon as we smell a pitch, kickback, or a sales commission, our trust plummets!

Advocates on the other hand, offer us messages from an entirely different place.

So if social marketing is going to evolve past the current state of using paid influencers to try and sway us with poorly veiled endorsements, do we really need to draw lines between this and genuine Advocate marketing?  Do we need to see and share these crucial differences, in order to avoid confusion or unflattering comparisons?

The easy answer is…We don’t!

Because good Advocates are already doing this for us.

Let’s see how well this natural process already works…

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Goodbye Influencers, Hello Advocates!

Influencer Marketing vs Advocacy Marketing

It’s almost unconscious knowledge, that the best forms of marketing involve a ‘word-of-mouth’ approach, that comes from trusted and recognized sources. But a popular trend among marketers, to use “Influencers” is now wearing the shine off an entire field of marketing. Mostly because the public is showing an increasing disdain for the types of not-so-cleverly embedded advertising that some so-called Influencers are pedalling.

While ‘Influence Marketing’ is a very sophisticated and effective strategy, it’s the current (and unfortunately self-named) tactic that is actually the growing problem. So rather than worry that an entire class of marketing will get dragged down by just a few bad and artificial scores, we can trust in a more natural process, where such environmental stressors are actually good for spurring new evolution. Ultimately, offering us all a much more responsive, authentic and even participative form of marketing than these lofty Influencers ever could.

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ISIS — The Payments Consortium, not the Jihadists Group — Rebrands its mobile wallet as Softcard

ISIS WalletSo what’s in a name? The only time that anyone should use an acronym to describe a name is if it’s already well-accepted (FBI, CIA, IRS, etc), or if they are speaking to people who already understand their jargon (The DOD states that the NCO was abducted by UFOs and is now MIA). Or there’s always those obscure names that are so horribly long and complex that anything is better than trying to remember what it is, let alone trying to explain what it means so that others can adopt it. ISIS was one of those acronyms that almost nobody knew the meaning of to begin with.

We knew that it was a competitor to Google’s wallet, and everyone who liked NFC solutions was hoping that it would finally put mobile payments on the map of Consumer consciousness. But then along come ISIS, the infamous Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, and suddenly ISIS becomes a dirty word, that only the Ancient Egyptian goddess of fertility would find sexy. So now we have something called SoftCard. Same idea, same obscurity in the public consciousness, just a different name.

To be clear, Softcard (née ISIS) still represents a joint venture between AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon in the mobile payment space, that was announced back on November 16, 2010. The system is based on near field communication (NFC) and allows users to pay by tapping their mobile device to a payment terminal. 4 years later, we’re all still waiting for NFC to finally take off as a boon to online payments systems…Despite the lingering public public fears, confusion and even ongoing paranoia about anything that relates to RFID.

Hopefully a much better name, that doesn’t sound like a cabal of Big Bankers and Telco companies, will do better than ISIS has. Because we’re all still waiting for the future to arrive, and it’s already been quite awhile…


The Isis mobile wallet just got a new name: Softcard. For those of you that haven’t been keeping up with global affairs, another organization called ISIS — English shorthand for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria — has been dominating the headlines, known for its acts of terror rather than smartphone payments.

Given the horrible coincidence, Isis announced in July it would rebrand. Today we’re getting a preview of that strategy.

Isis Softcard

The consortium, which is made up of carriers Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile, will excise the Isis name from its app, service and all marketing (technically Isis operates under the name JVL Ventures), and in a few weeks it will replace its existing mobile wallet app in the iTunes and Google Play stores with a new Softcard-branded versions. As existing Isis customers update their wallets the Isis name will disappear from their phones.

Isis is also getting…

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CASL – Are Canadian Feds Creating Lasting Legacies? Or Just More Legislation?

keep-calm-dont-spamThis year’s Canada Day may have seemed like any other, but it also marked a significant shift in how Canadians communicate and do business online.  All law-abiding Canadians will change the way they use email thanks to Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL).  Aside from creating a sudden flurry of confirmation messages sent to us from the most compliant businesses and organizations, one might ask how this new regulation has really changed anything, when it comes to reducing spam. Because everyone knows that it’s not the people who follow the rules who were the problem in the first place. In fact, CASL puts some pretty onerous requirements on legitimate businesses, without even scratching the underlying sources of spam.

What CASL does do though, is force people to establish legitimate relationships in order to send out commercial messages via email. So perhaps we could turn this regulation inside out as the recipeints of all this commercial electronic messaging (CEM), and see this as an opportunity to become more engaged as Consumers. Perhaps even spurring on some new innovations as a result of any market demands we can generate.

So the key question is, just how can Consumers drive innovation in the market anyhow?

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Where’s Our ‘Data’ Coming From Anyways?

You know…The ‘Data’ that we’ve been generating here, there and everywhere.
Mostly from our mobile devices. Which generate a lot more data than we might realize

It’s the stuff that we might presume is ‘private’ or ‘personal’ data, but actually isn’t.
It’s being stored and cross-indexed, and aggregated, all within the bounds of the terms of service that we all agree to…

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Consumers Creed

How can we start defining a Consumer’s Creed?
Let’s start by saying…

The Consumer will be securely identified, and served beyond expectations. Assured their privacy, and free to exist, transact, and grow online without harm to others. The Consumer is free to roam in perfectly safe harmony with all inalienable rights of their physical lives. With liberty and justice for all…etc…etc

IT’s a self-consolidating game. You need to have this much capital to play, and only bigger players are allowed to sit at the table. So either you play by the rules of the amalgamated power-brokers of the publishing world…Or hope that an open adn free standard can be developed that will enable smaller publishers and producers to sell directly to the markets…and cut out all of these gigantic middlemen and brokers.

Maybe this DRM ploy isn’t such a bad thing after all…
From an evolutionary POV.

Wondering what the future of the BB TimeShift camera will hold – since Nokia actually holds this technology that was simply licensed to RIM ?

Inside BlackBerry


Whether you already own a BlackBerry 10 device or are still waiting for the platform to become available in your region, I want to make sure you have a solid understanding of the BlackBerry Story Maker experience. Check out this video for a quick overview of the Time-Shift camera in BlackBerry 10 and how you can use Story Maker to bring your photos together.

[ YouTube link for mobile viewing ]

Story Maker is new software that was rolled out with BlackBerry 10. It enables BlackBerry users to create seemingly professional movies in just a few simple steps. Before you get started with Story Maker, I wanted to share few key pieces of information about the software:

  1. It’s designed for mobile. That means you can create stories on the go. You don’t have to connect to a computer or tablet to create stories; you can do it right on…

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RIM’s BB10 Launches…But does it get into a stable orbit?

BB10 BlackBerry LaunchCongrats to RIM (erm, Blackberry) on pulling off a much anticipated launch of their new BB10 line.
A few minor technical glitches in the online presentation, and a somewhat stiff attempt at warmth and enthusiasm for the momentous occasion didn’t take anything away from this enormous occasion.

What did distract from a clear vision of the future though (IMO) is this:

  • (TBA)

What’s in a name?

So RIM will henceforth be known as “BlackBerry”
I think this subject (like so many others) deserves its own blogpost…

People say that RIM is nothing without BlackBerry…
Will that reasoning also apply if “BlackBerry” (inc.) becomes more than a smartphone manufacturer….Extending itself into a larger ecosystem for communications, networked devices, and proffessional/enterprise services…as I beleive is the blue-sky projection?

How does the term “BlackBerry” suitably represent the varied business and research activities of say…QNX?

Finally…Am I the only one who felt like this appointment of Alecia Keys to the role of Creative Director seemed almsot like a symbolic gesture to try adn bring more (street?) credibility, rather than just securing a long-term celebrity endorsement contract. I’m going to have to find out what demographic Alecia Keys represents, before I say anything else about ‘street cred’ though.

Here’s a thought…

Kinda wish that they’d hooked up with Neil Young, and leveraged his work to raise the bar on mobile music with his new “Pono” format that he’s promising to unleash on the music industry. Now THAT would be a great and innovative story for RIM to get aligned and identified with!

Oh well…Neil will make his own way anyhow.
Wishing as much longevity and success to BB10 as well.

Inside BlackBerry

BlackBerry 10 launch event keynote

Today was a truly amazing day for us here at BlackBerry. We officially launched our new platform, BlackBerry 10, and some of you will be able to get your hands on a BlackBerry Z10 as soon as tomorrow. Check out the recap below to stay on top of the day’s news.

Research In Motion is now BlackBerry

On stage, Thorsten announced that from now on the company will be called BlackBerry – one brand, one promise. Check out the full blog post, and don’t the miss the interview with Frank Boulben, CMO of BlackBerry.

BlackBerry Z10

The BlackBerry Z10 is a stunning device with a gorgeous touchscreen that uses the latest technology for fast, accurate typing and a crystal clear display. Running on the new BlackBerry 10 platform, this device has elegant features that bring the BlackBerry experience to the next level. Read more about the BlackBerry Z10…

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