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Win For Small Business: Google Calendar Becomes Mobile

Typically I’m the first one to criticize Google about any number of things, but I also love to see new mobile apps. So I was excited to just read in PC World that Google has launched an interface for the Google Calendar for the mobile phone.

I don’t personally use Google Calendar, but I do understand, as a small business owner, how Google Calendar is an incredibly cost-effective way to have team members share calendar info. The alternative, of course, is using the Microsoft Outlook Calendar. To share calendars via Outlook, however, you must use Microsoft Exchange Server. In addition to calendar sharing, Exchange Server provides synching capability to your mobile phone. The downside for most small businesses is that Microsoft Exchange Server can be costly to setup and support.

Mobile Marketing: A How To

Although MarketingSherpa reports that nearly half of consumer marketers (49.2%) are interested in using mobile marketing, and 13.8% plan to use it this year, there’s still a lot of unknowns when it comes to executing a mobile marketing campaign.

MarketingSherpa has the solution: an interview with one of the pioneers of mobile marketing, John Hadl. How long do you have to be in the business to be a pioneer? He’s been doing mobile advertising and branding for Fortune 500s since 2001. (Unfortunately, the article is only free access until tomorrow.)

Hadl gives 10 tactics for mobile marketing, but many of them would be well applied to any campaign. (The tactics here are his, the comments are mine.)

Rumor Mill – Google to Launch UK Mobile Network?

How can you not trust any rumor that starts with: “We’ve heard from a good source…”?

TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington is “Mr. Reputation”, when it comes to technology, so you know he’s confident about rumors that Google will enter the UK wireless industry, if he puts them on his blog.

…Google may be preparing to launch its own branded mobile network in the UK in the next few weeks. If our source is accurate, Google will become a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) via a deal with UK mobile phone company O2.

We’re hearing that there will be no physical stores for the service, and that signups and customer service will be provided exclusively via a website. A number of Nokia handsets will be offered, all pre-loaded with Google mobile software.

Could GPS Phones Increase the Growth of Mobile Internet Use?

Ask.com’s recent launch of Ask Mobile GPS could be a sign of things to come. While wireless networks and phone manufacturers race to figure out how to get us all to stare at our 2″ screens more often, the golden egg could be something that is already gaining traction – GPS enabled phones.

“One of the more compelling things that we might use every day is the integration of that information into knowing where my friends are,” he told the Reuters Global Technology, Media and Telecoms Summit in Paris this week.

Research suggests that 25% of mobile phones will have GPS by 2010 and this new feature could lead to the growth of mobile social networks – a concept we explored back in March.

Yahoo Maps Adds 34 European Countries

Reading Reuters coverage of Yahoo Map’s addition of 34 new European countries, you’d think that Americans couldn’t drive in Europe without bumping into a cow or driving off a pier.

Besides guiding U.S. motorists around Europe for the first time, Yahoo said it also will feature more landmarks and other visual cues to help people find their way around neighborhoods.

How dare they, I know exactly how to drive around Europe.

  1. Get in car.
  2. Point car west.
  3. Keep driving until you find German beer.
  4. Stop.

If you need something more complex, then check out the new Yahoo Maps.

AOL Buys Mobile Ad Network

Monitoring 200 RSS feeds, you’d think we would have caught earlier news that AOL has acquired Third Screen Media, a mobile advertising network – let’s just say it was one of those “did we cover this already” moments.

Anyway, lots of others picked up on the story and Mashable has the best summary of the deal…

Third Screen Media will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of AOL’s Advertising.com division. The acquisition of course lends to better positioning of AOL for the mobile market, and allows them to offer this ad distribution channel to their advertisers as well. Third Screen Media acts as a broker for advertisers, publishers and mobile phone carriers, connecting them on a common platform to enable ad-management and delivery via WAP, downloadable applications, SMS, MMS, and mobile video, putting forth a wide array of options for all parties involved.

Ask Launches Ask Mobile GPS for Sprint

If you own a GPS-enabled Sprint phone, you’re among the first to be able to test out Ask’s new Ask Mobile GPS mobile service.

With Ask Mobile GPS, you can:

  • Share your current location with anyone in your address book.
  • Get turn-by-turn driving or walking directions.
  • Tap into IAC’s comprehensive CitySearch database of local businesses, restaurants and services.
  • Send out, and respond to, Evite invitations.

The service is available on seven Sprint phones and will cost $9.99 per month. Ask is hoping that it can gain traction by offering a solid search platform with GPS, before others can.

“Up to 30 to 40 percent of what is done on the Web could move to mobile,” Ask’s CEO Jim Lanzone told Reuters. “At the end of the day, everyone needs to go mobile. But being early in the game can help lock people in for the long term.”