The Sydney office is moving

[Posted by Steven Noble]

This week, we move to our new digs near Darling Harbour.

Tower 2, Level 21, 201 Sussex St

Sydney, 2000, NSW, Australia

Tel: +61 (2) 9006 3325

Fax: +61 (2) 9006 1010

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Happy birthday to us

[Posted by Steven Noble]

On Friday, a bunch of us from the Sydney office shared a cake in honour of Forrester's 25th anniversary. Pictured from left to right we have: me, Tomoko Aihara, Ben Etherington, Sabannga Sanixay, Sarah McAllan and Jason Stokes.

APAC, it's time to start listening!

[Posted by Steven Noble]

Anyone who has read Groundswell will be familiar with the concepts of listening to, talking with, energising, supporting and embracing your customers and community.

Of these five ideas, four are easy to find in APAC. Here is an example of each from Australia:

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Facebook Connect - Simplifying Mobile Use Cases

Saw this Facebook Connect write up today in the NYTimes.

The single username and password option is one that I like a lot and should facilitate ease of use.

I've been using Loopt and Loopt with Facebook and Facebook with Loopt, I think. I can post from within Loopt on my iPhone to Facebook. There is an application or widget within Facebook that lets me see where my Facebook friends are on a map IF they are signed up for Loopt. I've used Facebook to invite some friends to sign up for Loopt, but I haven't had any conversions yet. I'm still hopeful for a chance encounter with a friend who happens to be nearby.

What I'd like is for a single map on Facebook to show me where my friends are regardless of what application or service or cellular provider or handset, etc. they are using. I can accept that there are competing location applications on my phone for now, but I still do wish there were one map with all of this stuff on it.

Simpler will help - working through getting these applications running has been challenging and required some calls to customer service.

Facebook Connect looks to be a step in the right direction.

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Some Friday musings about marketing imperfections

While reading a review of Mad Med, the AMC show that our industry is in love with, I noticed a Google ad for acne medication. There was a reference to a character's visit to the doctor (for anxiety, not acne), but otherwise, I can't tell where the ad was coming from. Today seems to be a day of weird marketing messages. A few others I noticed:
For cookies - "Now, better tasting!"
For cotton balls - "Ideal for many uses!"
And finally, a Social Ad on my Facebook page for the Dodge Challenger. Does my profile really scream Affordable American Muscle Car?
I think we can all do better.

So long Horiemon ... see you in 2010?

It seems like yesterday that Takafumi Horie (Horiemon) was Japan's Web 2.0 enfant terrible. But as I look at the timeline, I recall that he reached his peak in 2005 was when he tried to buy out Fuji Television. He was promising a revolution, shaking up old-school Japanese leaders, upsetting their cozy status quo...

He even stood for election to the Diet and announced his intention to launch a space tourism company within five years. Soon after that, his empire collapsed amid accusations of fraud...

Today he lost his appeal against his custodial sentence. He'll serve two and a half years.

Perhaps he deserves it, but I wish it wasn't such an "Icarus" story for aspiring web entrepreneurs.

I hope for a happy ending in which he re-emerges as a "reformed" character and successful business leader. We may well see him burst onto the scene again in 2010 with his enthusiasm for shaking things up undented. He's not one to fade away quietly...

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Puzzled by Mister Softee and Zuckerbook

Okay, re-upping with Facebook is good (certainly, Facebook itself is clueless about how to make money advertising), and adding search is extra spice. But Google's whining about its MySpace deal because it can't monetize search on a social network. The key to social network marketing is branding marketing, not direct marketing (i.e., search).

At the same time, Microsoft claims its online strategy is all about search. So remind me, Steve, why don't you still want Yahoo? You claim it's search that you're serious about, right? Search happens at search engines and at traditional portals, right? Not on social networks?

Somebody, please clear me up on the "strategy" here.

Microsoft To Sell Search Ads Through Facebook

Sharvanboskirk [Posted by Shar VanBoskirk]

This just in: Microsoft announced at its annual financial analyst meeting today that it has extended its existing relationship with Facebook.  Official MS release indicates "Microsoft will work with Facebook to bring its customers Live Search-powered web search and search ads by the end of the calendar year." 

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25 Years Old Today!

Not me, of course!

I'm talking about Forrester Research. We're celebrating our 25th anniversary today.

My sincere thanks to Forrester's clients and partners. We could not have made it this far without you.

I'll bet the Tokyo Office cake tastes better than the one in Cambridge (MA) ...


AdMob iPhone Ad Units

AdMob announced new ad units for the iPhone today that take advantage of unique features of the touch screen user interface. They've done some cool stuff such as letting users slide the units to get more information as well as obtain more information (embedded XHTML mobile page) without leaving their existing session (Custom Canvas). This should be very attractive to both media companies and advertisers. Media companies don't lose their audience while advertisers get more real estate and interactivity. One can also interact with the Canvas - fill out forms, play games, etc.

My favorite part of their announcement, however, is the "action icons" in the ad units. They can launch videos, maps, application store, web, etc.

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