Brolly Charger, Buy My Data, Bionic i-Limb, JC Penny Apology, Predicting Your Learning Success

Best of Me – Newsletter

 

It’s been one of those weeks where I’ve had my nose stuck into content creation for a number of tailored education sessions I’m running for clients. I’ve barely noticed it’s been a fortnight since I blew out my birthday candles. Over the next 5 days I’m embarking on being 50% consumer and 50% marketer as I test a range of Moccona coffee in a “Me Time” campaign. I’m interested how this word of mouth campaign is being managed, but more importantly, I’m engaging with this as a consumer who actually enjoys Moccona coffee.  Watch out for the blog!

BabyTime gives access in Intensive Care

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If you’ve ever been separated from a child following birth, you’ll know the hollow feeling you’re left with. I soon found that out after both my children were born early and both spent some time in the nursery away from me. When technology is put into the right hands, the outcomes can bring tears of joy, like BabyTime. This sensitive scheme is enabling hospitalised mums to check on and interact with their newborns in intensive care. An iPad is set up next to the baby and parents can see their child and interact with doctors present, asking questions and getting updates.

Sun-Shade Brolly to Charge Your Tech

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Clever stuff really gets me going, and I’m surprised that this super cool gadget wasn’t created long ago. Take your regular table brolly to protect you from the sun, add in a USB port and a solar energy panel and my friend, you have instant chargebility. It’s not really just a solar panel, this beauty features several panels sewn into the actual fabric. Pretty inexpensive at USD$500 to impress the pants off your customers if you’re a bar, restaurant, cafe or festival organiser!

Online Learning Predicts Your Success

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Oh I bet that caught your attention. We’ve been hearing about the rise of online learning for some time now, evidenced by the plethora of education products and opportunities available to us today. So what’s the next progression beyond a course recommendation tool?  How about course success predictability? Desire2Learn has a new analytics engine which gives you the ability to predict how successful you’d be in a particular course based on what you’ve already studied and previous performance. From a teacher’s perspective, you can identify at-risk students and monitor their progress. This is a great tool to help me ascertain if my students are on their way to passing or failing, and operating at 90% accuracy gives me something to look forward to as a tutor.

Would you buy my data?

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I’m a pretty savvy, switched on digital being – my whole world is online, giving companies I interact with a barrage of information to target me in a variety of ways with messages of some relevance. What would happen if we all simply took away that privilege? What if everyone turned around and made marketers pay for customer track-ability? Well, Federico Zannier has done just that, using Kickstarter, he’s selling his tracked data for $2 per day. As Federico points out, “It might sound crazy, but so is giving all our data away for free.” Definitely a project to keep your eyes on.

JC Penney Apologises to Customers

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As one of the major retailers in the US (1,100 stores and $17.2 billion in total revenue in 2012), there are many eyeballs on JC Penney and what they do. In 2010, the attention was for all the wrong reasons, when they breached Google’s search guidelines and got busted for it. After a difficult start to the year, they’re at it again – apologising to their customers for the changes they’ve made to the business. It’s not so much an apology as opposed to begging for customers to return. They’ve added a human touch by learning from their mistakes, but I wonder if that’s enough to turn this retailer’s bottom line around.

iPad replaces cash register

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This heading may have sounded like old news, but in actual fact, whilst you may have seen it for real at the Apple store, have you seen it anywhere else in your everyday shopping adventures? Square Stand is a nifty invention, it’s a stand that holds an iPad as a complete point-of sale terminal with all the bells and whistles such as connecting to a receipt printer, cash drawer and barcode scanner. It’s a $299 investment that could make any business look very state of the art and switched on.

Smartphone controlled Bionic Limb

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Forget how cool your app-controlled helicopter is, this is the bomb. We’re talking the i-Limb Ultra Revolution bionic hand, complete with iOS operating system featuring a powered rotating thumb and 24 grip options. This is where technology’s rubber really hits the road for me, in practical and useful applications that will help the world evolve.

Bits & Pieces

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  • Interesting email stat with a matching report:  More than half of businesses achieve 10% of sales through email marketing.
  • Still confused about how a banner works? Cookies being collected, impressions being served, retargeting and auctions going on in the background? Be confused no longer with this pretty cool visualisation of the whole process from Behind the Banner.
  • The real story of how the Harlem Shake became what it is, thanks to professional organisations.
  • Magazines giving away free wifi access, that’s one way to stay relevant to your audience I guess.
  • Google Analytics have made some changes and introduced the ability to track users across sessions and devices. It’s called Cross Device Management and it’s going to revolutionise your tracking capabilities. Spend 40 mins getting the low-down directly from the horse’s mouth.
  • Tired of making the tough decision of what to eat for lunch or dinner? Take the hard work out of the best part of the day (eating) with the cool Food Friendzie Restaurant Finder app – which has a fancy spinning wheel (and includes take away as well).
  • How BMW uses Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+. Why is this any good? Well consider that on Facebook alone they average around 50,000 ‘likes’ and it’s not uncommon for posts to exceed 100k – that’s far more than even Red Bull and Starbucks.
  • Nice read from Harvard Business Review on mobile devices and apps, and how we’re using them. Interesting stat to get you in the mood – users spend, on average, 82% of their mobile minutes with apps and just 18% with web browsers.
  • Great banner ad from VH1 on their new video player – but really, are consumers going to do this? Perhaps the super conscientious?

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