Google Helps Audi Drivers Get Around

Google has teamed with Audi using Google Maps and Google Earth to help drivers find what they need and to more safely get from Point A to Point B.

In the process they are catering to a high end crowd that likely make corporate decisions as well. Hey, I bet the “if it’s good enough for Audi it’s good enough for us” strategy has more impact than one might think.

Here is a video from the Google Lat Long blog showing the service in a perfect world.

Notice that the language used to describe the program stays in line with the ‘beautiful’ motif that Google is using everywhere. Here it is ‘elegant’. That’s a far cry from the ‘engineered by engineers for engineers’ motto that seemed to define Google since the beginning.

Google Image Search Gets Faster, ‘More Beautiful’

google-logoGoogle is all about being beautiful these days. In the earnings call talk that Larry Page gave to analysts and investors on Tuesday he said the following:

We’ve talked a lot about excellence and velocity over the last year. While many claim it’s my nature never to be satisfied, we’ve actually made real progress creating more beautiful and more intuitive products.

Well it looks like that message is now a Google mantra. Here is how Associate Product Manager, Hongy Li, describes the new Google image search in a post at the Webmaster Central blog.

People looking for images on Google often want to browse through many images, looking both at the images and their metadata (detailed information about the images). Based on feedback from both users and webmasters, we redesigned Google Images to provide a better search experience. In the next few days, you’ll see image results displayed in an inline panel so it’s faster, more beautiful, and more reliable.

Study Shows Many Facebook Visitors Come Away Feeling Frustrated, Envious and Unloved

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Think about the last time you were on Facebook. Maybe you skimmed through photos of your sister’s vacation in Hawaii and your best friend’s new baby. Marvin posted that he got a new job and he’s so excited. Susan has a new boyfriend and a publisher just bought her first book. It’s wonderful. It’s inspiring. It’s enough to make you want to jump off a tall building into a small, damp sponge.

If you came away from Facebook feeling anything less than joyful, you are not alone.

Social scientists at Humboldt University in Berlin and Darmstadt’s Technical University asked students to describe how they felt after paying a visit to the world’s most popular online hang out. The results surprised me, but only because I thought I was the only “glass half empty” person on the planet who felt this way.

Facebook Mobile App #1 in US, Beating Google Maps

Well, if Apple was looking to take a bite out of Google with its own native Maps app it appears that it has worked, at least in the short term.

According to comScore, Facebook has replaced Google Maps as the top mobile app in the US in 2012.

Google_Maps_App_vs._Facebook_App_Image_1

That is certainly interesting but Google need not fret based on the following data also from comScore

Top_US_Mobile_Apps_Ranked_by_Unique_Visitors

What should be of most interest is that Google Play number. No matter what statistics or reports or whatever come out, it is obvious that Android’s position in the mobile world is growing and marketers will ignore this at their own risk.

Are you surprised by these results?

Blockbuster Closings Latest Result of Move to Online Video

blockbuster-store-closingNot all that long ago it was not uncommon to get up out your chair, leave the house and visit Blockbuster to get the latest videos or games.

Now Blockbuster is becoming a real live look into the death of a segment of the video rental industry. We’ve been watching newspapers on the decline for years now (in their print form that is) and according to reports things are simply not getting any better for Blockbuster even after they were bought by the Dish Network (I missed that one) in 2010 in a bankruptcy auction. Now it’s possibly that more jobs going away as a result of store closings. Reuters reports

34 Percent of UK 9 to 12-Year Olds Have a Facebook Profile: Is That a Problem?

987182_whizzkidFacebook’s Terms of Service prohibit anyone under the age of 13 from signing up for an account. Kids do it anyway. It’s easy enough. When they get to the box that asks for their birth year, they lie. Facebook doesn’t have anyway to verify the response, so there’s nothing to it.

Speaking at the Oxford Media Convention this week, professor of social psychology Sonia Livingstone stated that 34% of UK 9 to 12-year-olds have a Facebook profile. She says it’s likely that there are even kids under the age of 9 logging on the social media site.

Facebook is a powerful draw for young teens who want to emulate their older siblings or kids who simply want to play the well-publicized games on the site. In many cases, parents even help younger children set up an account as a way of keeping in touch with family members.

Marketers Say Content Marketing Works, So Why Don’t They Want to Pay For It?

Warning: I’m about to get on my soapbox on behalf of freelance writers everywhere.

Get a load of this:

According to a survey by BusinessBolts, 74% of marketers use content marketing to increase traffic and promote their brand.

Marketers reported seeing massive benefits from content marketing, the biggest benefits coming in the form of increasing their traffic.

Great news for freelancers, until you get to this:

content creation cost

Seriously? The overwhelming majority of companies, companies who say that content is king when it comes to marketing, aren’t willing to pay more than $100 a month to make it happen!?!

That makes me mad and sad.