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My Uncle Short ' s Cell Phone

Uncle Short

That's my uncle Short. He lives on a farm near Colo, IA. His cell phone from Emporia is shown in the picture just below.  Font size on the phone must be a 36. It is monochrome.

Emporia Cell Phone

I had my iPhone with me. We compared what his phone does with what my phone does. I asked him how he uses his cell phone. In our categorization, he would fall on the low end of our "Talker" segment. This translates to little opportunity for consumer products and services to reach him on his cell phone. Unlike my grandmother who wears a "lifeline" from the local telephone company (great service), he carries around a cell phone that he doesn't use. For those of you out there who wonder who these "Talkers" are, here's an interview with my uncle Short that provides a description.
Julie: "So, do you make a lot of calls on your cell phone."
Short: "Nah, I just carry it around. Sometimes I call my daughter in Hawai'i at night when it's free."
Julie: "Don't you pay for minutes each month?"
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Napster Changes the Subscription Game

Faced with competition from the growing ranks of free on-demand music streaming services and upcoming all you can eat services such as Nokia’s Comes With Music, Napster has wisely changed the value proposition of its core offering of unlimited music streaming to a browser. Napster has dropped the price from $12.95 a month to $5 and now allows you to keep 5 songs as MP3 downloads at the end of the month. If you download all your allotted 5 songs each month then the unlimited streaming is essentially free.  Needless to say, that for a consumer this a very compelling offer. Median annual spending on music in the

U.S. is $80. So at $60 annually, this fits nicely into an average consumer’s music budget.  


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Just What Should Be Done With Online Piracy?

Why US Newspapers Are In Worse Trouble Than The European Press

The latest US newspaper to find its own trouble making the headlines is The Boston Globe. It joins a growing list of titles faced with an uncertain future, with both print sales and ad revenues declining. Web revenues will not compensate for these shortfalls (who said they should?) so current models are unsustainable.

Old hands complain that it's all the web's fault. Of course the internet has been hugely disruptive to models based on controlling scarcity, but it's also created whole new audiences for content, with news still the most popular category among users. Editors who argue that feckless online readers don't value their content enough should perhaps look closer to home for the reasons for their current woes before they reach for a paywall.

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Why Building An iPhone Application Isn ' t a Mobile Strategy

Too many brands and companies start their discussions about mobile strategy with, "Let's build an iPhone application" or "Should we build an iPhone application?"  This is the most popular WRONG place to be starting a discussion around mobile strategy.  Companies must first understand how their target audience uses their cell phones (we've done a lot of research on this at Forrester - contact me at if you'd like to know more) and then work their way through a process that leads to Technology decisions.

Saw this post today in moconews on Papa John's. My guess is they followed the iPhone hype and let someone talk them into building an application without a more robust strategy creation process to support the investment decision.

- Do a lot of Papa John's customers have iPhones or iPod Touches? How many?
- How frequently does one look for the nearest location vs phone order?
- What the goal branding? What the objective to drive sales?
- Is the service more convenient than Google's SMS service? Does it product better results? (Maybe since it isn't purely driven on zip code)

Here is the post from moconews:

Papa John's Not Impressed With iPhone App As Marketing Tool

By Dianne See Morrison - Fri 01 May 2009 10:42 AM PST


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Predictions for Summer Movie Season

Bobby Tulsiani [Posted by Bobby Tulsiani]

Well you wouldn't know it from the weather in New York today, but Summer movie season officially starts today.  Fittingly, a superhero movie, "X-Men Origins: Wolverine", kicks off the season and has already felt the effects of technology and piracy.

I don't think the piracy effect will impact the box office too much, but Fox studios may want to about the 37% rating on rotten tomatoes. With that, here are my official top 5 for summer 2009 (with thanks to some friends who helped debate the list last week):

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