Motorola Droid Bionic w/ exclusive Tablet Keyboard and Display

By Lauren |

See a demo of the Motorola Droid Bionic in action from the CES Press Preview Stage. You can use the smart phone as a phone, a computer or a tablet dock exclusive from Motorola for AT&T.


Motorola Xoom Tablet

By Lauren |

Motorola and Google teamed up for the Xoom tablet, which features Android’s Honeycomb 3.0 technology, HD video capture and much more. It’s previewed here in the Motorola press announcement of their 2011 product innovations, exclusively at CES (Consumer Electronics Show) 2011.


Vator.tv – CES Trends to Watch in 2011

By Lauren |

http://vator.tv/n/15dc

Our CEO Lauren Perkins just came back from CES 2011. She’s posted a couple videos from CES to our YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/perksconsulting as well as articles for Vator.tv and an interview with CES/CEA president and CEO Gary Shapiro coming out on America 1.


CES 2011 Trend Rundown

By Lauren |

Perks Consulting recently went to CES and we garnered a ton of insight from it. Here’s a high level overview of what we learned:

Forecasts from CES for 2011 see the global and north american/US market growth in the double digits. The FCC made an announcement and commitment statement for spectrum.

Biggest product innovations:
1. Ford fully embraces a digital and integrated lifestyle with the announcement of electrification.
2. Motorola makes a big come back with Atrix, Motoblur Cliq2, Xoom and Droid Bionic.
3. Samsung has innovation across the board w/ big contributions via tablet PC and thin bezel super flat screen 3D TV.

Key Consumer Electronics Trends to Watch
1. Tablet Market
2. Smart phone mass adoption
3. 3D TV growth and consumer video cams

More on this to come in a detailed blog post soon.


Google – Coming To Theatres Near You

By Perks |

In the battle for Internet glory, Google and Facebook have been neck-and-neck throughout 2010. And the rivalry to outdo each other has branched off from new product and service offerings to…..movies.

In October, The Social Network, the story of Facebook and founder Mark Zuckerberg, will hit theatres. Just two months before Facebook’s big movie launch, Groundswell Productions and producer Michael London announced they have bought the film rights for the 2009 book Googled: The End of the Internet As We Know It, by Ken Auletta. The book is to be used as a blueprint for the feature film, which, according to a Deadline interview with London is about “two young guys [Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin] who created a company that changed the world, and how the world in turn changed them.” Sound familiar?

Reading the Deadline interview is like reading the exact story behind The Social Network. Just change a few details here and there, and voila! There you have a brand new movie.

Much of the current talk about the movie is questioning how a movie about a company with the tagline “Do No Evil” can amount to a blockbuster. You can at least admit that part of The Social Network’s allure (although I have to say that it still hasn’t made my list of movies to see in 2010) is that it has a very boundary-pushing story behind it. I’m not sure that Google’s story has that same sexiness about it.

Overall, it seems that the main aim of seeing the Do No Evil story in neon lights is simply an effort to keep up with the Johnsons. I’m not sure that a movie with motives like this could ever become a raging success.


The Jersey Shore Phenomenon

By Perks |

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, there is no question that you’ve seen, heard about or become enthralled with the phenomenon that is ‘Jersey Shore.’ The season two premiere episode raked in 5.3 MILLION viewers – nearly a 300% increase from the premiere of season one, and 10% more viewers than the first season’s grand finale. Ranked MTV’s best season premiere rating in more than seven years, you can’t deny that ‘Jersey Shore’ has become some sort of a national obsession. What is it about this TV show that helps it score stellar ratings every week?

There’s no doubt that ‘Jersey Shore’ has rounded up a cast of characters who have such distinctive and all-encompassing personalities that it rivals any crew ‘The Real World’ has ever produced. There is Snooki, the five-foot tall, bouffant-boasting guidette; “The Situation,” a self-absorbed, unrealistically tan macho-man; Pauly-D, an aspiring DJ who spends more time on his hair than getting a good night’s sleep. Each of these individuals is such a stretch on the normal people we interact with every day, that it’s a thrill just to see how such a personality operates. Separately, they are all complete train wrecks. And when they come together as a whole, it is an explosion of catastrophes that no one could ever predict.

Part of the reason we love reality-TV so much is, in part, because it is so FAR from reality for 95% of America. How many people do you know who live in a world in which gym-tan-laundry is a daily activity? Watching the outrageousness of the events in these people’s lives and asking ourselves, “are these real, living human beings?” is what keeps us coming back for more. It’s like a jigsaw puzzle in which there are a handful of missing pieces but you keep coming back to try and figure out how to complete it, anyway. No matter how hard you try, it is impossible to find a way for everything to logically come together. And unlike the traditional reality television show, which is primarily drama-based, ‘Jersey Shore’ has turned out to be more of a comedy. The encounters, interactions and relationships are truly more hysterical than they are realistic.

This real-life look into the lives of eight ridiculously blinged-out young adults has turned into a media phenomenon, regardless of whether you watch the show for a laugh, a self-esteem boost, or just to keep up on lunch-time gossip.


Optimizing Your Twitter Presence

By Perks |

As the world continues its transition to the digital space, the majority of companies have realized that social media is an essential piece of the marketing puzzle, Twitter being a key player. The site has experienced exponential growth over the past couple years, with 23.5 million unique visitors per month being reported in February 2010. While Twitter still has a long way to go to catch up to Facebook, it has proven itself as a powerful force in the world of real-time communications.

In order to take advantage of all it has to offer, we’ve come up with a key list of tools below:

Personalizing Your Presence

  • In addition to maintaining a wide database of pre-made Twitter wallpapers that you can simply select to install on your account, Twitbacks also allows you to customize a background of your own. This website specializes in helping you create backgrounds featuring a left-hand column that may include your social networks, links, photos, an extended bio, phone number and more.
  • MyTweetSpace is a user-friendly site that offers badges, fancy graphics and themes to help you personalize your Twitter presence. The standard backgrounds with badges are available for $5. In addition, the site offers backgrounds specifically customized for your business for a $79 fee.

Growing Your Account

  • Known as the “Twitter Yellow Pages,” Twellow allows you to search for people on Twitter in specific categories, such as: Real Estate, Green, Football, Teachers, Fashion Design, etc. You can also register yourself on the site and select the category, or categories, that you fit in best.
  • Nearby Tweets is a fun application that enables you to plug in your city, and see who is tweeting in your geographical area. While the standard public Twitter stream is bombarded with up to 12 million tweets per minute, Nearby Tweets gives you a microscopic view of who is saying what in your own community.

Platforms

Tweetdeck for desktop

  • Tweetdeck is a popular Twitter publishing application that is available in both desktop and mobile versions. Having just topped 15 million downloads as of July 2010, theservice sends out approximately 4 million tweets and status updates every day. The value in Tweetdeck comes in the ability to customize your personal Twitter experience by creating different columns, groups, scheduled tweets and searches.
  • Formerly Tweetlater.com, Social Oomph is a desktop-based application that is preferred by many due to the extensive number of features that it offers. The free version includes: scheduled tweets, keyword tracking, direct message inbox purging, extended Twitter profiles and the ability to save and reuse message drafts.

Analytics

  • Twitalyzer is a free service that provides a high-level overview of where you fall in the Twitter-scape and how you are making an impact. When you sign in using your Twitter account information, the site generates a report that shows you your impact, engagement, clout, retweet ratio, follower statistics, personality and more. Twitalyzer also provides a section with recommendations for you to create a bigger impact on the site.
  • TweetStats is a tool that allows you to take a broad look at how many tweets you are sending out monthly, daily and hourly, going back to the first tweet you sent during your first month on Twitter. Once you plug in your username, you will be provided with graphs and tweet clouds that offer an inside look into how you are using Twitter.

Things To Do Before Re-designing Your Website!

By Perks |

Re-designing your website can be a good idea if it has looked the same for years. It can also be an excellent way to reach new markets and attract new customers. We have listed the key factors to consider before starting the process of modernizing your site that will help you increase your chances of getting more leads, increase conversation and overall revenue.

  • Don’t skip the strategy.

Strategy is the foundation and holds all of the pieces of the puzzle together. Ask yourself; What do you want to achieve with the website? What do you want the user to do when visiting the site? No matter if the website is for a company, product, or service, a solid strategy must be implemented prior to design. When outsourcing the website project to an agency, having a deep understanding of the business structure and ability to differentiate the business’ value is essential. By uncovering how the primary objective of both your business relates to the new website, the designers will be able to visually translate the business’ mission, vision and philosophy.

  • Something Old, Something New.

Research the latest technology and the potential challenges and obstacles of selecting specific programs and platforms. For example, part of your team may be intrigued by a Flash website. However, what they may not know is that most mobile devices do not support Flash, making your site not easily viewable from anything other than a computer. Luckily, there are alternative solutions that are functional, visually pleasing, and that don’t involve loosing any potential new customers.

  • Check out the current state of your website.

What pages are getting most visits and how long are visitors staying? Do most users leave your homepage after 3 seconds? How can you change this? This is all important information that will be a decisive factor for the success of the website and the business. Look at the analytics of your site. Setting up certain accounts will aid you in tracking analytics, stats and set future goals for the website.

  • Content audit.

If the site has not been updated recently, there will most likely be some outdated and irrelevant content. See if there are better ways to present your content like video, sliders, and/or in pdf format. Analytics will be beneficial here to understand the user and how you can reach them more effectively.

Make sure you’re asking yourself and your employees the right questions so that your site ends up serving your best interests and contributes to the growth of your company.


The Pepsi #Promise

By Perks |

Last week was New York’s Internet Week, a seven-day span of events, panels, sessions and meetups held to celebrate the city’s thriving internet community. The Perks team attended a number of activities during the week to learn more about how the industry is inspiring and leading business. One of these included a panel with Bonin Bough of PepsiCo, hosted by DigitalFlashNYC.

During the DigitalFlashNYC panel, Bough outlined the details of the “Promise of Pepsi” and the brand’s dedication to social and environmental change. In early 2010, Pepsi announced a series of commitments focused on health, nutrition and the environment. For many consumers, one of the most noticeable changes has been “the world’s first compostable chip bag” for the brand’s SunChips product. In addition, The Pepsi Refresh Project is giving back to the public by providing grant money to individuals, businesses and non-profits with ideas that provide a positive impact on our community.

According to Salman Amin, the EVP Sales and Marketing at PepsiCo, “The Promise of PepsiCo is based on two ideas: that we can achieve our business goals while making the world a better place and that our impact is only made bigger and better through collaboration with other companies, organizations and individuals.”

We look forward to see what other initiatives PepsiCo introduces to continue realizing its Promise and thank DigitalFlashNYC for sponsoring and organizing this event.


Leveraging Your LinkedIn Profile

By Perks |

Did you know that a new member joins LinkedIn approximately every second?

LinkedIn is a popular social networking site for those seeking to learn about new job opportunities, to connect with co-workers, to research companies in their industry and to find the right people who can help advance their business goals. A LinkedIn profile is based around your resume and the platform of the network is concentrated on the magnitude of professional relationships. LinkedIn offers an advanced view of how your network is laid out and the breadth it carries, making it easy to find people who are connected to you by only two or three degrees of separation.

There are many tools that LinkedIn offers far beyond simply signing up and adding your job title. If you haven’t recently taken the time to explore LinkedIn, below are some additional ways that you can leverage your presence on this growing social network:

  • Take time to thoroughly fill out your profile

A LinkedIn profile that is 100% complete will vastly improve your personal SEO. For many people, a LinkedIn profile is the first result that pops up when you Google their name, leading this to be the first impression that anyone researching you will see. A complete profile includes a photo, professional summary, education, three of your most recent positions and three recommendations from your contacts.

  • Join relevant Groups

There are hundreds of Groups on LinkedIn for every interest, industry, hobby and expertise. Some Groups are open to the public, while others require an administrator to approve you to be a member. Explore the options on the Groups Directory to find those that are relevant to you. If you can’t find a Group that is just the right fit, you can even start your own and invite other contacts to join.

  • Participate in Group discussions to stay engaged

LinkedIn Groups feature a discussion tab in which you are invited to pose questions to fellow members, advise fellow professionals and even learn about new business opportunities. This is also an outlet for you to ask questions of your own, interact with others in your industry and expand your network. If you come across someone in a Group who could be an asset to your work or your business, don’t be afraid to reach out and add them as a connection. Send a personal message with your invitation and pat yourself on the back for being proactive in expanding your network.

  • Don’t automatically delete the weekly update emails

All profile and status updates are automatically aggregated into a weekly update email that’s sent to all your connections. These emails provide an inside look into what your network is doing, what groups they’re joining, who they’ve added as contacts and what new positions they may have taken on. Gain valuable face-time in front of your LinkedIn contacts by updating your profile on a regular basis and answering questions posed by connections or Groups.

  • Share content and news

We often look to our connections on Twitter, Facebook and Google Reader for news and updates. LinkedIn should be considered among these as a resource for business news and highlights from people in your network. Share blog posts, industry news articles, job queries, and upcoming events you’re planning to attend. You can also link your Twitter or Facebook updates to automatically update LinkedIn, but be wary of oversharing information that may be seen as spam on this professional network.