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Jim Thebeau Jim Thebeau wrote:November 3rd, 2010

4 Reasons Why Social Behaviors are Plateauing and Mobile Usage Rates are Rising

How many mobile phone apps do you use?Why Social Behaviors Are Plateauing (by Augie Ray of MediaPost)

Since 2007, Forrester has tracked the growth of social behaviors. For years we’ve seen increases in more complex communication techniques from “Creators”—those who generate social content such as YouTube® videos and blog posts.

But for the first time in three years, we’re seeing a change in social media marketing trends. The Forrester 2010 Global Update of Social Technographics demonstrates that many social behaviors have reached a plateau. Why, and what does this mean for marketers, their clients and their portfolios?

Trends in Mobile Barcode Usage by Marketers

Mobile bar code scanning is growing exponentially, according to reporting data collected by Scanbuy™. The company calls itself the world leader in mobile bar code scanning applications. It’s one of several technology innovators that lets you download a bar code reading application to your smart phone and use the camera function to capture the bar code image. The image then takes you to information on the Web–much like actually clicking on a Web link.

According to the company’s information, mobile scanning traffic increased 700% between January 2010 and October 2010. This technology is being rapidly adopted for marketing and advertising purposes. Various types of bar codes are showing up on printed materials and websites that can be photographed with a mobile scanning application to take the participant to additional information on the topic of interest.

Microsoft®, among other companies, also offers a free Tag Reader application that mobile Internet users can download to their phones. How many of you actually use such applications and what are your thoughts about the future of them?

iPad Leads Tablets Into Workplace (by Thomas Claburn of Information Week)

In a blog memo by Microsoft® Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie, marking his decision to step down from his position, Ozzie asks us to “close our eyes and form a realistic picture of what a post-PC world might actually look like, if it were to ever truly occur.” For some, the post-PC world is already here. As Forrester analyst Ted Schadler sees it, tablet computers, exemplified by Apple’s iPad®, are post-PC devices—and like it or not, they’re now being used by businesses.

In a report issued last Tuesday, Schadler observes that new tablets seem to appear every day. He cites Google® Chrome OS tablets, the Cisco® Cius, the Dell® Streak, the Samsung® Galaxy Tab, the RIM® PlayBook and the HP® WebOS-based PalmPad as examples. Even if it’s only Apple that’s currently selling the most tablets—4.19 million during its most recent quarter—Forrester is predicting 13 million tablets will have been sold by the end of 2010 and 59 million will be sold by the end of 2015.

Google Improving Local Search (by MediaPost)

According to Search Engine Land™, Google® this week debuted “Place Search,” which offers a new way to experience local search results. According to the company, “There appear to be some fairly major SEO implications.” Officially, Google says that its algorithm has been improved and refined for Place Search.

“Now, fully fleshed out Place Pages will assume much greater importance, as will being present and reviewed in the various sites featured in the ‘clustered’ links,” notes Search Engine Land’s Greg Sterling. As a result, he says, local directories like Yelp®, Citysearch® City Guides, Insider Pages® and Urbanspoon® will benefit greatly from the change. Visually, maps have been moved to the right column and “floats” or scrolls down the page as users move down results.

Selected third-party sites referencing a particular search topic are “clustered” with the listing. In cases of ambiguous queries, if Google isn’t sure whether users are seeking local information, there’s another type of result that will appear, which Google refers to as “Places Mode.”

What are your thoughts about such news? We’d love to hear your opinions in the comments section below.

Jim Thebeau
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