Monthly Archives: June 2009

Facebook Fan Page Tips

Every Facebook Page is a unique experience where users can become more deeply connected with your business or brand as they would a friend or family member.

Facebook is a platform for communication. Although many users have joined brand pages advocating various messages, the average Facebook user doesn’t want content pushed to them, particularly contests or other promotional programs that don’t speak to their overall enthusiasm for a brand. These types of promotions can be supported on the Facebook Fan Page, but should not be the primary focus and should be housed in other digital arenas.

Successful communities on Facebook offer an attitude of openness, transparency and enthusiasm – not a technology platform for advertising.

The following outlines 3 fan types  who participate in Facebook’s “Fan Pages”.

#1 The Enthusiast: Representing the greatest number (85-90%) of participants, the Brand Enthusiast is simply a person who wants the Facebook equivalent of a “bumper sticker” on their profile. Since they make up the bulk of the community, attracting them to join is a very important objective. They are enthusiasts of a brand and they want the world to know it.  It’s wise to encourage this consumer to participate more in the group, but be careful not to over “spam” them because it’s just as easy to leave a page as it is to join. A bulky enthusiast population promotes community vitality.

#2 The Advocate: The next largest group (5-10%) of participants represents the people who will continually update content on the page by simple “acknowledgements”. These people consume the content and post messages on the wall, provide feedback on message boards and comment on content. It’s important that you give as many places for the Advocate to participate as possible. The reason this is so important is twofold:

  • The more participation you initiate from a Brand Advocate, the more vibrant the community becomes. They feed the “ego” of the person who provided the original content (Brand Influencer), and often encourages them to produce more content.
  • Every time a person participates in any way on the Page, their personal “news feed” broadcasts their action, thereby promoting the brand to their entire network.

#3 The Influencer: Representing the smallest group is the Brand Influencer at about 1%. This active community member provides all the advocacy and enthusiasm of the other group members, but is also active in original content creation. These “uploaders” are very important in the long-term health of the community.

Many companies make the mistake of assuming the primary role of Brand Influencer in their community over the long term. It’s important to assume this role to establish momentum, but over time, if no brand influencers self-identify and no user-generated content is contributed, the community will begin to suffer credibility issues and lose its vibrancy.

IPhone Upgrade from 3G to 3GS?

Planning on upgrading from an iPhone 3G to the new 3G S? You’d better have deep pockets, as AT&T and Apple may charge you $499 to upgrade.  That’s for the 32GB model; if you want to save a few bucks and go for the cheaper 16GB model, it will cost $399. These figures come from Apple’s own site, where you can now pre-order an iPhone 3G S ready for delivery on the 19th of June. Although Apple mentioned a $199 and $299 price for the new iPhone, the cost for upgraders is significantly higher; when we applied for an upgrade from a iPhone 3G purchased in 2008, the system quoted us a price of $399 for the 16GB version or $499 for the 32GB, plus an $18 upgrade fee.

The more expensive upgrade is because the account I tried this with had the 2-year term of the contract renewed when I upgraded to an iPhone 3G in 2008; AT&T does not offer reduced upgrade pricing until the initial 2 years are up. The only people who qualify for the advertised $199/$299 pricing are new customers, or those who have not upgraded their phone for more than 2 years.So, those who upgraded when the iPhone 3G was released last year will either have to wait until 2010, or pay through the nose to be on the cutting edge.

UPDATE: it seems that there may be some leniancy in the 2-year rule: when applied for the upgrade with a 1st Generation iPhone where the contract had a couple of months still to run, Apple offered the $199/$299 price. So, it looks like 1st Gen iPhones may get a break, but 3G users will have to pay the full cost.

iPhone 3GS News, Updated MacBook Pros

Apple announces its third generation iPhone and some MacBook Pro updates

There has been tremendous buzz surrounding the follow-up to Apple’s hugely successful iPhone 3G. While the original iPhone put Apple on the map in the world of smartphones, it was the iPhone 3G’s lower price of entry and enhanced features/speed which put the smartphone over the top (and brought AT&T a wealth of new wireless subscribers). Together, there have been over 40 million iPhones and iPod touches sold around the world according to Apple.

Today at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco, Apple introduced its third generation iPhone: the iPhone 3GS (the “S” stands for Speed). The latest iPhone confirms most of the rumors that have been swirling around for the past few months.

The iPhone 3GS is available in capacities of 16GB and 32GB – both will be available in black and white. The phone also features a new 3MP webcam (now capable of recording 30 fps video) on the back of the device. The iPhone 3GS also has the ability to edit videos directly on the device.

In addition, the new iPhone 3GS promises better battery life (see image to the right) despite the increased processing power. Speaking of processing power, Apple brags about 2x to 3.6x speed performance improvements over a wide range of apps.

Another new addition to the iPhone 3GS is the increase in data transfer speeds from 3.6Mbps to 7.2Mbps HSDPA. AG&T already announced plans to beef up its data networks to handle the faster transfer speeds.

Voice dialing is also coming to the iPhone 3GS – something that most other phones have already had for years. However, the voice commands also extend to other aspects of the iPhone 3GS like “previous track”, “play album” or “play songs by The Killers” within the Music app.

Other new hardware features include a built-in digital compass, Nike+ support, and hardware encryption.

As you may have already surmised, the iPhone 3GS is sporting OS 3.0 which was announced way back in March. IPhone OS 3.0 brings a wealth of new features including long-requested support for copy and paste, MMS, turn-by-turn directions, voice memo recording, Spotlight search, landscape email/notes/messaging, 3G tethering (via Bluetooth or USB), stereo Bluetooth (A2DP), peer-to-peer Bluetooth connectivity, and more. IPhone OS 3.0 will be available to download on June 17 (free for iPhone users, $9.95 for iPod touch users).

As expected, pricing for the new 16GB and 32GB iPhone 3GS will mirror the prices of the current 8GB and 16GB iPhone 3Gs: $199 and $299 respectively. To make things even more interesting, Apple is also discounting the price of the iPhone 3G (8GB model) to $99 to further expand its user base — the new price is effective today. The iPhone 3GS will be available June 17.

Apple also announced updates to its MacBook Pro lineup. The new 15” MacBook Pro is available with up to 3.06GHz dual core processor, 8GB of RAM, and up to a 500GB HDD (or 256GB SSD). It features a 7-hour runtime with its built-in battery. Interestingly, Apple has finally stepped into modern times by equipping the 15″ MacBook Pro with a Secure Digital (SD) slot.

The base system will retail for $1,699 with a 2.53GHz processor and integrated NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics, and ramp up quickly from there (with higher-tier models getting discrete NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT graphics).

The 13″ aluminum MacBook was also updated to include an integrated battery, SD slot, and Firewire 800 — it is also now called a MacBook Pro. The base $1,199 system comes with 2GB of memory, a 2.26GHz processor, GeForce 9400M graphics, and a 160GB HDD. Stepping up to a 2.53GHz processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 250GB HDD will set you back $1,499. The new 13″ MacBook Pro also has battery life of up to 7 hours.

The other big addition is with the updated MacBook Air. The machine now retails for $1,499 in its base configuration (1.86GHz Core 2 Duo, 2GB, 9400M, 120GB HDD) and $1,799 with a 2.13GHz Core 2 Duo processor, 9400M, and a 128GB SSD.

All of the new MacBooks are available to purchase today.

I’ll post more info to Twitter, as it becomes available – twitter.com/stevenRobert

Midwest Technology Leaders Symposium

The 2009 #MTL is June 3rd, at the MGM Grand Detroit from 7:30am to 6:30 pm, with an MTL awards cocktail reception (open to the public) from 5:30 to 9pm. More information can be found at the MTL website: http://www.midwesttechnologyleaders.com/ and an agenda for the event here: http://www.midwesttechnologyleaders.com/agenda.html – I’m planning to attend the event in full tomorrow, and will try to post some updates throughout the day via Twitter with a blog recap to follow.

I was fortunate enough to be accepted into the 2009 Midwest Technology Leadership mentorship program earlier this year, and have been paired with Mike Thibideau, CIO of Webasto Roof Systems, Inc.  Special thanks to Barry Demp, Danielle DeLonge, Michelle Pallas and Tracy-Ann Palmer for all their hard work making the program such a success!

About Midwest Technology Leaders (MTL)

Midwest Technology Leaders (MTL) 2009 is an exclusive gathering of the Great Lakes Region’s top Information Executives who are committed to innovation, excellence and results. Unrivaled in its quality content and strategic focus, MTL 2009 will provide all delegates the opportunity to challenge conventional wisdom through engaging in highly-interactive executive sessions with their senior peers. Through a compilation of keynote presentations, panel discussions, roundtables and executive networking assemblages, the delegation will address the critical issues impacting the local/regional IT industry, including economic policies and business developments, in addition to an in-depth analysis of the future outlook of the national/international IT industry.

MTL is comprised exclusively of the information leaders driving the Great Lakes economies. It is a non-political, cross-industry sponsored, annual event providing a platform to celebrate the achievements of this technology community.

Together, this group will discover innovative approaches for surmounting considerable IT challenges.