The e-Paper Revolution

E-paper tablets aren’t just for reading books anymore…

Museums can exit the stone age and enter the modern era with Visionect’s V-Platform and V-Tablets. Using these tools Visionect already transformed one museum into an interactive learning environment, and anyone with basic web coding skills can use them to create anything they can imagine.

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Rather than the standard, static information plaques used in most museums to accompany exhibits, Visionect implemented its web-connected V-Tablets as interactive wall-mounted digital displays. Not only do they make the experience more fun and engaging for museum goers, but they also provide museum operators with detailed and real-time analytic feedback on visitors’ activity. The V-Tablet’s long battery life, high screen visibility and excellent durability makes it perfect for such a heavy-use scenario, and the V-Platform lets developers program apps for these devices as they would any web apps, using common coding languages. Apps are sent to the V-tablets over wi-fi, and developers have full, live control over each individual user’s experience.

Digital displays provide much more information than standard printed tags or wall plaques.

Digital displays provide much more information than standard printed tags or wall plaques.

But it’s not just museums that can benefit from this e-paper revolution. The same properties that make the V-Tablet and V-Platform perfect for digital signage also make it ideal for applications ranging from tabletop ordering and production line optimization to booking systems with calendar integration and even digital door lock keypads. If developers can think it, they can do it, thanks to Visionect.

For more info on digital signage and other use cases visit Visionect.com/blog.

About the V-Tablet: Visionect’s connected e-readers are thin clients that hold no data natively. They come in multiple sizes and are rugged enough to go anywhere with users, including underwater. Visionect is so confident in its tech that these devices feature no physical buttons — not even an on/off switch. There’s nothing in between users and their e-paper apps.

 About the V-Platform: The V-Platform lets developers build, manage and maintain e-paper apps as easily as they would any web apps, using common, cross-platform languages like HTML5, JavaScript and CSS3. These apps are pushed seamlessly from a local server or from the cloud to Visionect’s V-Tablets, and developers can manage their apps and analytics remotely through Visionect’s server software. This software also lets developers monitor their customers in real time, including live views of all connected devices.

THE 4 PILLARS OF GOOGLE PLUS: Why you can’t ignore it

The 4 Pillars of Google+

I admit I ignored it at the beginning; feeling overwhelmed with all the social media networks out there. I decided to hide from Google Plus, until it proved itself to be a great way to connect. Let’s face it Google is a giant and Google Plus has grown so much and so fast that it’s hard to ignore it. With over 300 million active users Google+ is now the second largest social network in terms of active users. (According to Global Web Index)

Why you can’t ignore Google+:

  1. Google Plus is Google’s Baby: Google algorithm recognizes content originating from Google+ and indexes it within its’ search results. All Google+ pages are immediately accessed through Google Search. So it’s not hard to understand that it’s a healthy ingredient within your Digital Marketing efforts. With being active on Google+ you will hit two birds with one stone; get higher reach within Google+ sphere and higher visibility on Google as a Search Engine.
  2. Circles Community: the circle communities within Google+ offers user an open network, you do not need permission to connect with anyone, you can add people to your circles and establish connection immediately. This makes networking faster, and for businesses it’s easier to build real relations with target customers and engage with them. The feature doesn’t stop here; it enables you to organize your circles so you can create the circles according to your marketing segments and easily target them with messages.
  3.  The Hangouts: a feature not very much explored, allowing user to conduct VOIP, Chat, Video conferences with several Googlers.  If you think of it when did you ever get a chance in business to hang out with your customers or potential customers and influence their decisions? A simple example you are doing a sales presentation in XYZ place to XYZ audience, you later can invite them for Q&A hangout session scheduled on Google+ Hangout where you will have an after presentation experience focused on those who have a genuine intention to buy product or service.
  4. Content Reach: Google+ is totally FREE, at least for now Google+ is not asking users to pay for promoting their content, it enables you to easily feed content into all communities and circles including those with moderators.  With the recent decline in Facebook organic reach; going from average of 12.05% in October, 2013 to 6.15% in February, 2014; this puts Google+ as a leader in organic content reach. The whole point of social media is reach; by offering a free and seamless content reach Google+ can’t be ignored.

I strongly advise you to consider Google+ within your Digital Communication Strategy; and listen to Google’s co-founder and CEO Larry Page who said, “If you ignore GooglePlus, Google Search will ignore you”.

To learn how to use this fantastic network visit Google+ Help Center.

THE DIGITAL ADVERTISEMENT REVOLUTION: Native Advertisement is on the rise

Written By: Dawser Al Hadidi
Shift

With an over flood of information, brands are consistently fighting for attention. As a result content marketing (Native Advertisement) have taken the throne. With that in mind brands are more likely to invest in engaging dynamic and interactive ads, rather than the usual ad display units.

Moving from standard ad units to dynamic engaging ads is inevitable as data-driven, digital ecosystem expands. Brands are looking into being noticed widely via story telling approach. The responsibility now falls on the publisher to provide the brands with the latest advertisement trends, such as sponsored content, native adverstiment and dynamic ads.

The key secret in these forms of new advertisement trends is the power of attracting consumer’s attention among all distractions, creating a story, experience and resonating in consumer mind; mostly generating leads, sales and loyalty.

Having said all that, display banner ads are still in the game, however, a significant shift took over these forms of ads, by simply creating an interactive experience within display ads changing them to what is known now as the “Rising Stars” recently introduced by IAB, providing unlimited high definition content*. (Definition Below)

According to latest eMarketer Report (eMarketer estimates that this year, US spending on digital display ads will grow faster than any other format as companies in the digital display advertising ecosystem seek to further prove display a compelling storytelling medium for brands. Investments will hit $21.18 billion to claim 44.0% of all digital advertising—the second-largest share. Display will surpass search in 2015 to claim the largest portion of the digital ad spending pie. – See more)

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No prediction for our region yet, but I expect a rise too as brands becoming more aware to use higher level of engagement with the consumer, the change will be slower than the US numbers though. It all depends on Media Agencies and Publishers to provide opportunities and options for advertisers and create awareness to jump onto the new era.  The responsibility also falls on brand marketing experts to catch on the new trends and demand these innovative ways to reach the consumer.

Definition:

*The IAB Rising Stars: are brand-friendly ad units that tap into the breadth of cutting-edge technology available today, providing new tools that resonate with consumers and serve as powerful vehicles for advertisers.

YOUR PERSONAL BRAND: 5 key elements that will make you a credible thought leader

WRITTEN BY: DAWSER AL HADIDI

YOUR PERSONAL BRAND: 5 key elements that will make you a creditable thought leader

Every time you tweet, post on instagram or any other social media channel you are expressing your opinion, eventually without knowing it you are becoming a thought leader for your industry. How can  you make your personal brand a credible source for your industry.

Here are some helpful tips.

  1. Bio: you can’t go without it. You must justify your content subject matter. Why are you talking about the environment,  travel or anything you need to lay down the facts about whom do you represent? Basically tell your fans who you are and what you do, give them a reason why they should believe you. Your bio must reflect your success, knowledge and opinion – For example Award winning author.
  2. Content: you must show off what you know. Whether you write yourself or share a link about a particular subject you must voice out your opinion. Don’t just blast content and become a newspaper. Add value, a personal opinion, and  use a conversational tone to establish dialogue. The more you interact with others the more you influence.
  3. Time: yes, we are all busy, especially that you might be a CEO of some huge organization, a doctor, a teacher or a chef, still remember becoming a “thought leader” will amplify your authority not only within your internal fan base “which is your staff” but it will reach out to the world. Therefore, make sure you post content on daily basis, not necessarily an article. You can make use of visual posts I.E Instagram, twitter 140 characters can say a lot, as long as you are there frequently. Avoid going into a Coma!
  4. Focus: your content must align with your goals and reflect your industry. Of course there is no harm in sharing others’ views, maybe some personal achievements or ideas you believe in, but the majority of your content must be focused on your industry and serving your personal brand’s goals.
  5. Be You: don’t forget to be yourself, don’t be fake, or get carried away by being too serious. People on Social Media are only people. And they are there to talk to humans. The days where you needed to go through several doors to talk to the CEO are over, so make yourself available and be you!

According to Forbes Definition a Thought Leader is:

“A thought leader is an individual or firm that prospects, clients, referral sources, intermediaries and even competitors recognize as one of the foremost authorities in selected areas of specialization, resulting in its being the go-to individual or organization for said expertise.”

So if you are in an authoritative position or planning to be in one; you’ve got to establish a strong personal brand.

5 Elements of Personal Branding in an Infograph:

Infograph: 5 Elements of Personal Branding

Share with me ideas or questions on Twitter.

Top 5 Social Media Confusions!

WRITTEN BY: DAWSER AL HADIDI

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It’s no longer a trial and error, things are settled! At the beginning of the social media boom few years back, things were vague, brands where not sure how to use it to their benefit.  Today we have an established Social Media rules and best practices here are some (With a focus on Twitter and Instagram):

Don’t be a loner: the big names on social media that have zero following are not big as they think! Anyone who follows zero is missing out on a lot!  It’s not an achievement to have million followers and following none; the only achievement on social media is when you have a highly engaged audience!  You always must keep a healthy ratio between the two to ensure you are listening to your audience and getting the chance to engage with them.

Don’t get Retweet Happy: Yes! I know the retweet button got bigger on Twitterand it looks very tempting! Your timeline must show that you are here to add value, share your knowledge, and give your opinion. You can retweet from others for sure; but be careful not to exceed the logical number, which is 2 retweets in a row! Otherwise it will be a retweet overdose and your timeline will look like it belongs to someone else. This rule applies to instagram as well; it’s very likely to lose followers and get less “likes” if you get retweet happy!

Don’t think of yourself: don’t use your social media channels as your official PR; publishing only fancy news about your brand. You have to think of your audience, speak to them, appeal to them and add value to their timeline. Remember they are bombarded with polished brand messages on all other mediums. They are following you to engage with your brand on a deeper level. So get on with it, use the social media lingo and expressions and be spontaneous, you are not at a press conference!

Don’t be a chicken: Don’t just follow others be original, lead by example, it’s ok to look at others and see what they are doing! But do it differently. Try out new things, you have all the space to be creative.

Don’t be confused! Favor VS Retweet: What do you do? Add to favorite or retweet! First they are not the same; when you favor a tweet this means you are in direct contact with the poster he will be notified that you have favored his tweet, and it will bookmark that tweet on your favorite tab. This action is mainly for yourself, keeping a reference for some tweets you like. Retweet, is re-posting a tweet to your followers which result in a viral action in which they may themselves retweet it. If you want to acknowledge a certain person you can choose to favor it will also indicate that you like what he said, which acts similar to the “like” action on Instagram and Facebook; and if you want to share the content from specific tweet or insta-post then use the retweet or repost features.

Turn off the digital noise!

WRITTEN BY: DAWSER AL HADIDI

noise-pollution-loud-commercials-turn-off-the-tv

The revolution of advertisement which was presented to me by Jeff Rosenblum in his film “The Naked Brand”: is an introduction to a bright new future where companies tell the truth and work hard to create better products and a better planet. Since I saw the film I can’t stop thinking of the new comers, the bloggers who have joined the advertisement realm by sharing their personal experiences on brands; without generalizing many have sold their souls to ‘brands’! The film addresses brands and urges them that they must tell the truth, and stay away from the polished messages and the fancy advertisement and try to get to the heart of the consumer by offering him/her a really good product if not great.

In this article I am addressing bloggers, the new kids on the block, hey kids, you were good at the beginning, we believed you and followed you, now the freebees ruined you! Blogging is all about saying the “truth” a real opinion on a product or service the blogger has genuinely tried to the public, delivering a real experience from people to people, eliminating the brand influence! We liked that! We considered blogs are our source of truth! Up until brands hijacked the bloggers’ real personality, showered them with gifts and controlled their opinion! Now there is no difference between brand advertisement and blogs; bloggers are now owned by brands and speak in their language! I am not against the collaboration between brands and bloggers. However, brands must give bloggers the freedom to express their views from their own personal experience, and treat bloggers as first line of customers to offer them great products so they will speak the truth about them! The conclusion is brands must deliver quality products and bloggers must detach from the brands and say the truth!

Bloggers next generation; Please be: Transparent, Truthful, Real & Stop the digital noise

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Definitions

Blogging: is using blog technology which is a simple content management tool allowing users to publish content according to chronological order.

Digital Noise: blogging getting out of hand and publishing content about brands, mainly this content is influenced by brands and not the real bloggers’ personal opinion which dilute the blogging concept.

My Dream Came True!

WRITTEN BY: DAWSER AL HADIDI

My dream finally came true, organizing my social media life, I even tried social media diet, up until CHNL was introduced to me, suddenly a life with out social content clutter, phew!!!

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CHNL allows you to choose which social media channels is most dear to you and brings you the feeds in such an elegant manner, you simply create an account or log in using your Twitter or Facebook, and immediately start browsing social media content.

I am sharing with you the press release issued on CHNL crowd sourcing experience with Berghs School Students, I really adore brands who understand what “Social Media” is about.

CHNL, Berghs School of Communication Collaborate on Social UX Design Challenge

 

Students from prestigious media school in Sweden present CHNL with ideas for presenting outstanding service experience over next five years

 

March 5, 2013 – Los Angeles, CA – CHNL (http://chnl.it), the social content discovery browser, today announced that design students from the prestigious, Sweden-based Berghs School of Communication are working with the Santa Monica-based social commerce startup on a design challenge. As part of the challenge, the students envisioned what kind of content and user experience will appeal to CHNL’s socially savvy users in three to five years.

Berghs School of Communication is centrally located in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, and for more than 60 years has been consistently developing a program of study that mixes the strategic, creative and production aspects of design and communication into a cohesive unity. Berghs students were enlisted to design an outstanding service experience around users’ social media content. About 50 students worked on the project to help CHNL imagine what future services they could offer in three to five years, with the purpose of improving life through making social content more meaningful.

“Integration between disciplines and working with real clients has been a key to Berghs’ success over the years.” said William Easton, the program leader (formerly head of the school). “And for this project students in graphic design and interactive communication worked together. Each group started out by doing some research about people’s experiences with social media, before developing new services that would have the potential to exist in three to five years.”

Prior clients that have worked with Berghs on the design challenge include multinational players like Mercedes, Siemens, Microsoft, Nokia and IKEA. The students were excited to discover they would be working with a California-based start-up like CHNL, and as part of the challenge, have been divided into seven different “mini-agencies” who could pull different communicatron skills.

John Wander, CEO of CHNL, added, “It is fantastic to be given the opportunity to work with such creative and energetic minds. It was amazing to see the solutions they came up with and figure out how we can implement some of these service design ideas. The winning team was comprised seven individuals (Diego Fria, August Larsson Hernmarck, Carl Platon, Nils Bohman Strom, Eva Klingstedt, Karin Rapp, Marc Ostlund). It was extremely difficult to pick a winner as all the teams demonstrated out of the box innovative ideas for new features, technology, and new market segments”.

“CHNL gave Berghs an ambitious and challenging brief with few limitations and a commitment to work with the students to implement the best solutions into real services to engage users globally. It was great brief and I think the quality of the responses shows that perhaps one of the only truly renewable resources we have is imagination. When this is directed at a challenging problem really exciting things can happen!”

Since the announcing the addition of Groupon and Living Social, CHNL is set to become the brand of choice and trust when it comes to helping people improve their life through access, control and convergence of social content.  To set up your “CHNL,” visit http://chnl.it.

 

About CHNL
CHNL is the ultimate social content browser, bringing your online DNA — videos, photos, music, news, and deals — into one clean, simple and intuitive “channel.” CHNL allows users to discover new, interesting, and personally curated content while never missing what’s trending across networks. See what’s being said about a piece of content, engage in the conversation, and share your social feed content across all your networks, all together in one place, on any device — your channel. Located in Santa Monica, CA, CHNL is led by veterans of such companies as INgrooves, FiltrBox (acquired by Jive Software), and Topspin Media, with backing from the Giantstep Angel Network. To set up your “CHNL,” please visit http://chnl.it.

Twitter Arrived to MENA

 

 

 

WRITTEN BY: DAWSER AL HADIDI

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Twitter recently announced launching their advertisement products in the MENA region, focusing on GCC, Egypt, and Pakistan. The company partnered with Digital Ad Agency “Connect Ads” a pioneer in the region; the decision of sales representative selection was tough as they are introducing a whole new concept of Ad products. The interesting thing is that the Twitter Ad products since launched in 2010 have been well received and embraced by many popular brands internationally, among their first advertisers were Starbucks, Virgin America and Best Buy, their Advertisement sales formula followed the footsteps of Google and facebook, they have experimented with cost per thousand impressions and the Google keyword bidding module.

Twitter sells three products:

  • Promoted Tweets: Promoted Tweets can be targeted to search results or to user timelines. Twitter’s geographic targeting increases the relevance of your message based on location.
  • Promoted Accounts: The Promoted Account is featured in search results and within the “Who To Follow section”. Who To Follow is Twitter’s account recommendation engine and identifies similar accounts and followers to help users discover new businesses, content, and people on Twitter
  • Promoted Trends: this product is connected to the viral conversations that reflect some of the hottest topics of the moment. These trends are featured prominently next to a user’s timeline. Now advertiser can buy a Trending Topic and promote it on this section.

 

Twitter is not selling coconut; they are selling a much sophisticated product that will take the brands to the future of advertising. They are capitalizing on engagement; to Twitter marketing is no longer fancy polished clichés, to them marketing is a form of conversation with engaging messages that feels more authentic and natural. The logic is simple if you think of it; twitter matches the “Promoted Tweets” which is a popular product to the relevant conversations. They have developed it to a very intelligent level that this “Promoted Tweet” catches on real time conversations. This is really fancy and it’s all just simple “TEXT”!

While you are still sleeping!

WRITTEN BY: DAWSER AL HADIDI

Sleeping-Baby-600x375

Organizations today are being challenged to quickly catch up with ever changing “interactive media”, inventions and new trends are moving faster than organization can ever cope with. The only choice they have is to run faster and find solutions that can push them to catch up.

We all know that change is not easy but we also know that “Change is good”, these days change is inevitable, therefore, organizations need to approach interactive marketing with an open mind and optimism. They must seriously consider integrating interactive marketing efforts with the overall marketing process, ensuring cross-organization decisions are facilitated through creating coherent planning programs; allowing the interactive marketing to be injected in the main stream of marketing activities.

One important point I must make clear here, that “interactive marketing” is different from “Online marketing”, both may face very similar challenges the latter is less difficult to implement into organization than the first one.

“Online Marketing” is marketing online using the channels to advertise for your business, such as display ads, ad google, social media, email marketing, content marketing, affiliate marketing etc…this type is controlled by the business, the consumer can respond, by clicking on the ad or establishing social media dialogue. With Interactive Marketing customers are more involved in the building of a brand, using methods such as crowd-sourcing, experiential marketing, community marketing, customized interactive tools.

The key issues causing organizations to lag on the interactive marketing fast lane:

  1. Organizations heads are “interactive marketing” resistant.
  2. Lack of specialized staff in the interactive marketing domain.
  3. Fear of uncontrolled exposure
  4. No efforts to revamp and re-engineering the existing processes  to embrace interactive marketing methods
  5. No Interactive Labs available within the organization and no efforts to establish those.

In a paper I read about the “Future of Interactive Marketing” prepared by “Forrester, it indicated that 30% of large firms still have fewer than 15 interactive staff members, and big brand advertisers like consumer goods or media firms dedicate just 2% of media spend to interactive channels, eventhough consumers log 34% of their media hours online.

Interesting figures from the paper:

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Solutions are clear:

  1. Hire specialized Staff
  2. Embrace “interactive marketing”
  3. Customize the process of marketing to incorporate interactive marketing
  4. Educate and transfer knowledge between those with interactive marketing skills and those with traditional marketing skills.
  5. Empower interactive marketing staff
  6. Establish specialized labs for experimenting

Point number (6) is important, the whole nature of interactive marketing is experimental, since this technology is growing and new things are coming up quickly demanding from us to be fast, creative and courageous we need an experimental field to allow us to proof the new concepts.

Organizations must join the future, it maybe burdening them with expenses now but it will turn to be cost effective for the future, as it will help them to know more about their client and tailor their marketing efforts on/off line for their needs.

It’s a Misunderstanding!

WRITTEN BY: DAWSER AL HADIDI

Bloggers_Free

The major misunderstanding about media and blogger will be resolved once you read this article carefully:

Brands Treating Bloggers as Media

Brands think that blogs are media too! Well, the time has come to slap you with the reality! Bloggers are not media people they are not authorized to publish content and they own no publishing license! They are free spirits and true personal voices using their own vision and perception to speak their minds about you!

Media agencies on the other hand, are established entities responsible for content publishing in a systematic and legalizes approach; content may be delivered via any medium such as the internet, television, print, and audio CDs… Publishing in definition is the process of production and dissemination of literature or information — the activity of making information available to the general public. Blogs however, is a form of publishing but is defined as a personal journal published on the World Wide Web. Blogs are usually the work of a single individual, occasionally of a small group, and often are themed on a single subject, the web self-empowered publishing tools such as “wordpress” has enabled individuals to get into publishing their journals. As a blogger you are not required to be a writer or a certified journalist, you are just someone with good writing skills writing in your own daily diary! (Definition by Wikipedia)

Now the first major misunderstanding is that brands think bloggers are Media! First and foremost if the media sends press release to blogger and the blogger published them this means end of “Blogging”! It’s no longer the personal voice reader is thriving to hear, it’s the media influence! This unfortunately leads to the dilution of “Blogging” as a concept! And not only that it also endangers media content to be misused, putting your content in the hands of an individual who may misuse it in any sense is your responsibility, the blogger in that case is not liable!

Bloggers are confused

Second misunderstanding is the blogger themselves acting as media, I personally do not blame them as they are young enthusiasts who got the attention of the brands and extremely thrilled about it! Brands themselves have confused blogger, brands must be responsible in directing bloggers and empowering them with tools and inspirations to blog naturally about them.

I personally am a blogger as you can see, and I appreciate everyone who voices out his thoughts and opinions in a blog format! However, the concept here is not being deployed properly. Brands must understand how to employ bloggers to their benefit, and differentiate between mediums as mentioned in my previous article.

Blogger Evaluation Criteria

The most important thing is that brands must know the criteria of evaluating a serious blogger who can be of benefit to their brands, there are too many of them and differentiating the influential bloggers is a task on its own. Remember that the number of “site hits” doesn’t say much about the blog performance, simply because in Web Analytics a“hit” is not a measurement value a “Hit” on your website is the retrieval of any file, like a page or graphic and other resources such as scripts like .js and .css files etc…from the web server (“Read my article about “hits definitions – HIT OF MISS”). The real measurement is to understand about the visitor page views; meaning the single impression made by a site visitor, which is something usually not announced by the blogger, also you need to look at the bounce back rate (the rate of site visitors dropouts).

Evaluation can be through looking at the quality of blog’s content, number of engagement, number followers, comments, and what type of comments is important, ask them for analysis of their blog visitors look further into the bounce back rate and page views, and most important google their names and see what is their reputation in the blogshpere. I would add to that interview the blogger getting closer to him/her before you decide to hand him/her your brand reputation.

Conclusion

Media must understand that bloggers are supportive channels to other major medias, there are smart ways to use them. Blogs influence the mass in the sense that its people talking to people, so communities can relate to their content in a much personal level than official media. Simple ways of using them is to call on them to speak about your brands in their own voice give them the freedom, don’t expect them to write about you leave it to them! All you need to do is to make them like you. Remember very well if the blogger starts writing about you only to show off then it’s no longer valid it’s fake and no one like that! This message is for bloggers too, if you are true to your blog then embrace the freedom of your opinion and be courageous!