Making the NSA’s Life a Bit Easier…

-------------------- UPDATE: Almost 3 years later from the original post below (July, 2008) and AT&T took the lead on location-based shopping alerts in partnership with Placecast.  It took 3 years and AT&T to make this happen?!!?  Really.  Really!  I'm either way off base on the power of location-based marketing or the revenue model just isn't there yet.


Security and privacy implications aside (see the NSA reference in the title of this post), July 11th is set to be a day that brings a renewed focus to mobile marketing.  What am I talking about?

  • July 11th is the launch date for the new 3G iPhone.
  • July 11th is also the launch date for the App store in iTunes.

From an internet marketing perspective, you should care about this date even if you do not own an iPhone (only a few million of us do at this point).  You should care because the launch date of this new phone is likely to place a renewed emphasis on the GPS chip that is already in many smart phones today.  I’m not giving Apple credit for putting a GPS chip in a cell phone……hardly……but I am giving them credit for putting the tools required to take true advantage of this functionality in the hands of developers.

Keep your eye on the ball.  Here are a few trends to watch:

Geoblogging: location-aware blogging adds a new layer to one’s posts and comments on the internet.

Location-based Advertising (Are we calling this something else yet?): You are in a new city…….say, Seattle…..and you really want a cup ‘o joe.  Power up the GPS enabled cellphone with Google Maps loaded on it and off you go.  Oh yeah….and Google Adsense will be adopted to provide coupons/discounts to those stores closest to you.  Location based advertising will be HUGE.

Are You a "Straight"?

During a recent recording of This Week In Google, Jeff Jarvis (@jeffjarvis) pontificated about people that get it vs. the people that don't.  People that get it, he argues, understand how to use the internet and the change it has brought about to propel themselves, their businesses and their industries to new levels of success.  Those that don't get it (the "Straights") watch as the industrialized world crumbles around them as they simultaneously try to recreate their world online.  Recreating a traditional business model online is typically not how the structural or societal nature of the internet works.  Those that know how to leverage this shift have the ability to create massive opportunities and subsequently monetize.

You can reference the death of the newspaper as a classic example or the heavy-handedlegal tactics that the RIAA has resorted to in an attempt to salvage what is left of their pre-internet revenue streams.

Continuing, Jeff Jarvis draws the battle lines between these two camps based on John Perry Barlow's "A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace".  As was described during the recording, this declaration is nothing short of prophetic when considering that it was written in 1996. 

A brief quote from this piece:

Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather.

Interesting and bordering on immoderate but poignant nonetheless.  The stepping stone for this entire conversation was the Italian government's recent conviction of three Google executives for failing to remove content from YouTube. 

Who knew that Ferris Bueller was such a visionary?  "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

Pros and Cons of Google Chrome...

UPDATE: Since posting this article Google has updated their terms of service for the Google Chrome product. Still not entirely consumer friendly it is *much* better than the original and even carries a Google apology along with the terms of service amendment.

Is it just me or does that new model car on the road make the model only 1 year older look like it has aged decades? You know the feeling. You put down a massive amount of money on a new car and 1 year later the new model comes out. Your car looks completely outdated at that point. I suppose we can chalk the sensation up to good design.

Speaking of which.....I hopped on the Google Chrome bandwagon as soon as it was released. Switching back to Firefox 3.0 gave me that old car sensation. Is Google onto something? I wouldn't say that they have completely changed the landscape but they have created something very useful.

Pros --

  1. Javascript heavy web apps load a heck of a lot faster. Noticeably faster. I mean *really* fast.
  2. The minimalist design is worth mentioning. The amount of screen real estate available for websites is increased without sacrificing necessary browser features.
  3. Desktop shortcuts for your favorite web applications: Similar to Mozilla's Prism offering you are able to create desktop shortcuts for any web app that you frequent. Handy.
  4. The name....Google Chrome. While I may not have tricked out my car, I have tricked out my internet experience.

Cons --

  1. Third party cookie support...ugh. This is the biggest con for me and something that everyone should be paying attention to. Google Chrome allows for third party cookie support out of the box. You are then required to turn this feature off in the options menu if you so desire. My opinion: By default, all browsers should disable third party cookies thereby creating an opt-in solution vs. an opt-out solution. <sarcasm> I wonder if this has anything to do with DoubleClick? </sarcasm>
  2. Privacy. Google Chrome has the potential to leak massive amounts of information about you....the internet user. While nothing catastrophic in the way of an overflow or other attack has been discovered, the potential is there.
  3. As per usual, the Google terms of service is not very consumer friendly.