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White Paper…Query Suggestions for Mobile Search: Understanding Usage Patterns

Bill Slawski wrote up a nice review of the Google paper on mobile search…definitely good analysis to a nice research piece on the most perplexing bottleneck – mobile data input.

It’s my expectation that interest in innovation in the text input, voice input or even new forms of shortcuts will accelerate in the near future as it’s a critical area to create an optimal user experience while increasing frequency of usage and monetization potential.

Are you aware of companies doing interesting work in this arena?

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Yahoo! Launches Go 3.0 Beta, New Open Mobile Widget Platform, and Mobile Homepage

Yahoo! Go has several exciting announcements that are launching today:

· Yahoo! Go 3.0 beta:
o New features include:
§ Enhanced user interface, optimized for the mobile phone
§ Improved performance
§ For the first time, consumers will have access to third-party widgets from leading publishers through Yahoo! Go.
o Yahoo! Go 3.0 also includes display advertising from Yahoo!’s major global advertisers. Consumers will be able to interact with these ads by clicking to call the advertiser directly or to learn more about the offer.

· New Open Mobile Widget Platform:
o The platform is an open environment for deverlopers to create mobile Widgets for instant access by millions of consumers.
o Widgets created on the Mobile Widget Platform will be available to consumers from various starting points, including Yahoo! Go 3.0 and Yahoo!’s new mobile homepage.
o The platform will enable developers to write code once and publish their content across Yahoo!’s mobile network, allowing accelerated delivery of a feature-rich mobile experience.
o The platform will enable consumers more control over their experience, as well, by providing the functionality to add and delete Widgets at any time.
o Full-featured SDK for developers to be introduced over the coming weeks.
o Third-party Widget launch partners include, eBay, MySpace, and MTV.

· Redesigned Mobile Homepage
o New features:
§ Completely redesigned and engineered mobile interface from the ground up.
§ Homepage centers around intuitive navigational structure where consumers can tailor content according to needs, interests and location.
§ Available to consumers in the United States on high-end mobile browsers, which are included in devices such as the Apple iPhone, sever Nokia Seies 60 devices, including the N95, and select Windows Mobile devices. Availability across additional devices and countries to come in the near future.
o Key features:
§ Personal Vitality and Status Updates: Provides an at-a-glance update of what’s new since the last visit – including recent emails, Flickr photos from your friends, upcoming calendar appointments and status of Messenger contacts – without moving away from the home screen or logging into a separate application.
§ Customizable Content: Offers a collection of mobile content modules – or Snippets – that provide previews of the user’s favorite content – news headlines, weather conditions, etc – whatever the user wants. In many cases, Snippets are extensions of mobile widgets and can be used to launch a full-featured widget built on Yahoo!’s Mobile Widget Platform.
§ Quick Links: Customizable links at the bottom of the page, providing fast access to the Yahoo! features or sites across the Internet that consumers use the most. Consumers can easily add and remove Quick Links as they desire.

That’s alot to digest! Will 2008 be the year mobile breaks through?

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Medio Systems Expands Mobile Search Marketing to Europe

I received this form Medio Systems late last night:

Medio Systems, Inc., the leading provider of mobile search and advertising solutions, today announced the availability of its performance-based Medio MobileNow™ Ad Network to advertisers and mobile publishers in the UK and beyond. A component of Medio’s complete mobile search ecosystem, the ad network maximises the latent potential of the mobile phone by targeting mobile consumers with relevant, pay-per-click ads. With the incorporation of search-based advertising in 2008, Medio MobileNow will create additional revenue streams for mobile operators, publishers and other off-deck mobile properties while offering advertisers even more targeting precision through highly relevant ad messages based on consumers’ search queries.

The Medio MobileNow Ad network has been live in the United States since its launch in March this year. The expanded network has already begun to serve ads for advertisers in the UK , Germany , France , Spain , Australia and South Africa , achieving conversion rates of up to 15% with access to over 100 million page impressions per month across an international network of publishers.

Notice that last reference, it talks about potential. This Business Week article questions the growth rates of the mobile advertising industry not reaching projections, likely due to carrier friction rather than the lack of actual potential. This is why my recent endeavors have focused on local, traditional Internet and other spaces, it appears the will to bring in the needed financial services backgrounds to take mobile search and advertising to the next level just isn’t there right now. Not because they don’t need it to go to the next level, but more likely that they can’t afford the eventual differentiation luxury under current burn rates.

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Microsoft Launches Mobile Advertising on MSN Mobile

Microsoft just announced the launch of mobile advertising on MSN Mobile.

I wish they would have given more details about the release instead of pointing us back to overly dated speeches on the mobile advertising subject. I would have expected to see more examples than just movie tickets.

Microsoft has the potential to lead this market with it’s array of assets if they are integrated in the right manner – see my post on Web 2.0 was NEVER a business strategy for business strategy ideas.

Maybe they will start a larger conversation on this subject once they see this post? We’ll see.

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New York Times Article Andy Rubin Google Gadget Guru

I rarely see things like this anymore, but oh my what an amazingly well researched story by John Markoff about Andy Rubin at Google.

The article talks about the changing face of the smart phone market and you really get a feel for the history of Mr. Rubin. While the parts about Mr. Rubin’s doorbells and girlfriend dismissal methods are certainly interesting, I found the article to be lacking in one major area – his history of successfully monetizing any of the projects he has worked on in the past.

It is great reading about him as a person though and hope to see people expand on the overlooked area as time goes by.

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FCF07 – The Role of Mobile Search in Social Computing

Presenter: Charles Golvin, Principal Analyst, Forrester Research

I didn’t get around to posting this last week, these are some high points of Charles’ all too short talk:

Mobile data adoption is growing, but skews young. Many people still have not been exposed to mobile ads.

They don’t trust SMS ads. They also don’t want to pay for something in lieu of advertising. In the current state this creates contradictions.

The most interesting thing he said in his talk was when he showed Google mobile search and then stated, “I think Google imitated Yahoo! in this regard”.

Offline visual codes are powerful mechanisms for simplifying mobile call-to-action. (I’d expand this to state that it will become powerful for creating an effective multi-channel strategy as many people are too focused on mobile alone.)

Mobile should eventually be abbreviated, transactional, measurable and integrated with physical world.