To the Thousands of Businesses That Applied for Google+

“To the thousands upon thousands of businesses that applied to be a part: THANK YOU! We won’t be able to accommodate everyone, but your interest has got us very focused on accelerating our development plans”

And then Christian Oestlien of Google+ follows with, we’re taking down the business application on Friday, July 15, and we’re still “actively” shutting down business profiles on the network. So basically, forget marketing your business on Google+.

Or not.

Yesterday, I got an invite from a mysterious soul (thank you kind sir) and I took my first steps into this wonderous new world. I spent a half hour poking around then threw up my hands and said, “huh?”

Majority of Working Folks Can’t Resist Sneaking a Peek

Think about the last time you were in a business meeting. Did you sneak a peek? Be honest? Did you hide your mobile phone under the table or go to the restroom for a quick look?

According to a recent Harris Poll, 63% of American’s surveyed believe that people sneak-a-peek at their cell phones during work meetings. The most popular methods of sneakery are:

  • 47% – Hiding their mobile device under the table
  • 42% – Excusing themselves to go to the restroom
  • 35% – Hiding their mobile device in their folders/notebooks/papers
  • 9% – Pretending to tie their shoes
  • 8% – Creating a distraction

Creating a distraction! What an image. “Look, Carmen Electra in a helicopter!”

StumbleUpon iPad Upgrade Could Put Them Back on the Marketing Map

Marketers have long had a love / hate relationship with StumbleUpon. The site is known for sending large quantities of traffic to your webpages and if you become a SU favorite, the numbers will go through the roof. The downside is that StumbleUpon traffic rarely stays more than a few seconds and doesn’t usually convert.

So, for those of you who like to keep your bounce rate in check, stop reading. For the rest of you, onward we go to StumbleUpon’s new iPad upgrade. The new interface makes it easy to swipe through page after page, leave your thumbs up or down vote and even comment. It’s also more social with easy share buttons and connections to your SU friends. They also upgraded the smartphone app with a friends bar that shows which of your friends also liked the site.

Deloitte Offers Insights on Killer Apps

So you built it, but they didn’t come. It’s not surprising. Mobile apps may be growing in popularity, but they’re also growing in number and the latter far outweighs the former.

According to Deloitte’s new strategy insights called Killer Apps, creating a popular mobile app can be harder than it looks.

Just take a look at this chart showing the number of available apps over the past few years.

In order to stand out in this crowd, you have to have two things; a killer app and a great marketing plan. Common sense, right? Maybe not. In Deloitte’s study, they found that people often develop an app when all they really need is a mobile version of their website. Rule number one, don’t make an app just for the sake of making an app. Same goes for mobile games. They are the number one selling category of app, but simply slapping your brand on a repetitive or knock-off game won’t do.

Syfy Gets Social With Shazam, Get Glue and Alphas

Last night, Syfy premiered their new super hero series Alphas, along with a set of super social apps.

In the week leading up to the series, GetGlue offered a Coming Soon badge which is now “out of print.’ As a reward for checking in weekly, gluers can now earn up to 14 additional badges including one for each character and one for each of their Alpha powers.

Syfy is running an even higher profile promotion with Shazam, the music identification app that now works for TV shows, too. During the show, viewers were prompted to point their iPhones at the TV screen, then activate the Shazam button. The app listens to make sure you’re really watching Alphas, then returns a lists of additional goodies. In this case, it was behind the scenes videos, wallpaper downloads and a sweepstakes link. It also returns an Alphas playlist that lists the songs from the episode along with iTunes download links so you can own them only seconds after exclaiming, “hey, I love that song.”

LivingSocial’s ‘Almost’ Free Lunch Comes to San Francisco

It’s time for another Dollar Lunch Day thanks to LivingSocial. This time, the daily deal site is taking on San Francisco. On July 13, LivingSocial Instant Deals will go live in the City by the Bay and more than 100 restaurants will offer lunch for $1 to celebrate.

This is the third time LivingSocial is running with this unique promotion so it must be working for them. They report 27,000 $1 lunch vouchers were sold in Washington, D.C. in March and in June 15,000 were sold in Manhattan. Think San Fran can top that?

Tim O’Shaughnessy, CEO and co-founder of LivingSocial thinks it’s the perfect city for the product.

YouTube Gets Sophisticated with Cosmic Panda

YouTube is testing a new site design called Cosmic Panda. I love the name. I love the logo, but I’m not completely sold on the design.

The overall concept is a more sophisticated look for YouTube. It’s cleaner, bolder and darker. The videos now show up on a dark gray background like Hulu, but smaller videos show up with a double background of black on dark gray which is annoying. Yes, I guess the contrast is easier on the eyes, but it doesn’t work for me.

On the other hand, the new channel design is excellent, which means a nice boost for marketers who run their own video brand pages. There are four layout options but they’re all based on the idea of horizontal strips below the main video instead of down the side.