Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for July 19th, 2012

Bada Bada Bing

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How can Microsoft get more bang out of Bing?

By hiring Burson-Marsteller PR firm CEO and former Hilary Clinton campaign loyalist, Mark Penn, the well-known strategist and political pollster.

According to the Wall Street Journal “Digits” blog, Penn is being brought in to help ignite “more consumer use of Bing,” Microsoft’s search engine, which lags well behind Google in terms of search market share.

When examining the earnings results from both Microsoft *and* Google this afternoon, it seems that Microsoft needs all the help it can muster in this particular battle.

Microsoft posted a $492 million loss for fiscal 4Q 2012, largely due to a $6.19 billion writedown of its failed acquisition of advertising-service engine aQuantive.

Google, on the other hand, seems to continue to act second only to the Federal Reserve when it comes to printing money, bringing in $1.25 billion in revenue for the quarter, and realizing a 42% rise in paid clicks year-over-year.

However, it seems Microsoft isn’t the only one out looking for some PR help.  Penn’s firm, Burson-Marsteller just released a study of how Global Fortune 100 companies are using social media (conducted in partnership with Visible Technologies) to create more influence.

First, the top most-often mentioned companies on social media in that group: HP, Ford, Sony, AT&T, Samsung, Toyota, Honda, Walmart, BP, and Verizon.

The study examined some key social media vehicles, including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+, and Pinterest.

CNET broke down the five key findings of the study:

  1. The Fortune Global 100 were mentioned a totla of 10,400,132 times online in a single month. Gone are the days that companies and brands could tally and sort through all of their media mentions each morning.
  2. Video content creation is on the rise, and there was a 39 percent jump in the percentage of companies with a branded YouTube channel in the last year (and excluding ALL skateboarding bulldogs!).
  3. Engagement is becoming second nature to companies. Seventy-nine percent of corporate accounts on Twitter attempt to engage with other users by retweeting and using @mentions.
  4. Multiple accounts on social media platforms allow companies to target audiences by geography, topic, or service.
  5. Companies are rapidly adapting to new platforms. Google Plus pages for businesses were launched last November, and by February 2012, nearly half (48%) of Fortune Global 100 companies already had a presence on the platform.

The study also highlighted that 93 percent of the Global Fortune 100 companies’ Facebook pages are updated weekly, up from 84 percent and 59 percent each of the past two years.

I’ll add my own two cents, considering IBM is a member of that Fortune Global 100.  In our own Facebook research, for example, we, too, have found video to be an increasingly impactful online resource.

We’re also seeing that the more data we share, the more interest we garner in terms of reshares (infographics are also impactful, but need to be used smartly and selectively).

That is to say, the more useful and insightful data an organization can share through its social media activities, the more they’re able to rise above the information overload fray and present prospects with “news they can use.”

No matter which famous political PR flack they hire.

Written by turbotodd

July 19, 2012 at 9:55 pm

Smarter Soccer

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The Euro 2012 National soccer championship may now be history, with Spain putting another significant win under its belt, but that doesn’t mean the sport of soccer doesn’t continue to make some significant advances.

In fact, the U.S. Major League Soccer organization, along with sports manufacturer Adidas, have announced what could prove to be a game-changing breakthrough in how sports organizations around the world use big, real-time data to help optimize player and team performance.

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The above screen shot taken from adidas’ Webcast earlier today announcing details of its ‘”miCoach” data tracking and analysis system for soccer demonstrates the type of data coaches using the system will be able to generate in near real-time. This particular graph demonstrates the total distance run by each of the players on a team. This type of information will help inform the coaching staff on everything from player position to conditioning.

Next Wednesday, the Major League Soccer All-Star team will take on the English Premier League’s Chelsea in what will be the world’s first “smart” soccer match.

In that game, Adidas has partnered with the MLS to have its new “miCoach” data tracker embedded in player uniforms, part of an overall integrated wireless system that, using iPads, will provide coaches with real-time data about player position and performance.

This new technology builds on the existing MiCoach Speed Cell, a small device that snaps into the bottom of the Adizero F50 soccer shoe. That device tracks pace and distance, average and maximum speed, distance covered at high intensity and acceleration.

But the miCoach technology will go a step further, so to speak, and provide coaches with a variety of real-time data: player position, power output, speed, distance, intensity of play, acceleration, heart rate…you get the picture.

And so will the coaches of both teams.

Through their ability to monitor player’s movements, heart rate, and the other key data, and be able to relay that to coaches in milliseconds, this new technology will help all involved to develop a better understanding of the physical and physiological impact on both teams and individuals in both games and practice.

Further analysis of the cumulative data will help coaches in preventing overtraining and risk of injury, and hence maintain optimum player performance throughout the season, not to mention to help shape and adjust their coaching strategies.

As both this game, and future trial runs, bear out, one can only imagine the potential of such types of new “datatainment,” enabling fan access to such data via wireless tablet devices, smartphones, interactive TV, and the like.

But with 3.5 billion and counting soccer fans around the globe, Adidas and MLS had better invest in lots of servers.

Adidas and Major League Soccer announced plans today have the MLS integrating the adidas micoach Elite System league-wide in 2013, marking the world’s first “smart league.”

Beginning in the 2013 season, all 19 MLS clubs will use the data-tracking technology from adidas, providing coaches, trainers and players with real-time performance metrics including heart rate, speed, acceleration, distance, field position and, for the first time, power.

The adidas micoach Elite System has been in development since 2010, and is the product of extensive research, science and cutting-edge technology development by adidas to create the most advanced system for elite teams across the globe.

The micoach Elite System was developed in close consultation and collaboration with many of the leading soccer coaches and clubs including Major League Soccer teams New York Red Bulls, Philadelphia Union and Seattle Sounders FC, as well as Real Madrid, AC Milan, Ajax and Bayern Munich.

In the U.S. you can watch the MLS All-Star Game against Chelsea on ESPN2 at 8:30 EST, Wednesday, July 25th.

Written by turbotodd

July 19, 2012 at 4:54 pm

The Open Championship

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The Open Championship is off and underway at Royal Lytham and St. Anne’s golf course in the U.K., and there were some low scores already coming in about the time I was up and about this A.M.

Apparently, the wind died out overnight, so as long as one kept the ball in the fairway and out of the lethal pot bunkers, there were lots of scoring opportunities in this first round.

For example, Adam Scott, who came very close to carding an Open record (that would have been a 62), but found trouble on 18 and had to settle for six under.

1999 Open winner and Scotsman Paul Lawrie was tied at press time with last week’s John Deere victor, Zach Johnson, at five under, and Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell was four under with one hole to play.

Tiger Woods had a respectable round, and was three under through sixteen holes.

But there were plenty of great golfers yet to tee off, including Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Steve Stricker, and a host of others.

FYI, if you visit TheOpen.Com, IBM is sponsoring the live video coverage being brought to you via ESPN3.

Written by turbotodd

July 19, 2012 at 1:32 pm

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