Internet trends: marketing research & predictions

What’s the Plus? Giving Google Plus a second fair chance

March 29th, 2012 by

what the plus guy kawasaki
I’m used to the idea that most of the people I personally know aren’t interacting in new platforms. That has never stopped me from being among the first to try.
When Google launched Google+ I was there anticipating that Google must have done it right this time . It was more than three years ago when I suggested that Google will “pagerank” and “map” peoples influence.
The feature that attracted my attention at that time was the ability to select the people who I want to share my ideas with.
As a very private person, I keep Facebook and Twitter as professional networks only, giving up the opportunity to have any personal interactions.
Only, that never happened in Google+: My personal friends are yet to come. They are too busy networking in Facebook.
Looking at my professional connections, most of them gave Google+ a chance and kept updating for two months (most of them survived until August), while the more devoted ones continued interacting until the beginning of this year.
I can’t say that I wasn’t impressed with the success of some of my influencer contacts as +Guy Kawasaki and +Robert Scoble (1.6; 1.1 million circles respectively). They have succeeded to scale their interactions in a way that no platform enabled them so far.
Guy Kawasaki has just published a new instructional book; What the Plus! Google+ for the Rest of Us.
As I’ve always trusted Guy’s insights, and realizing that his large number of circles enables him to see what the rest of us can’t, I’ve decided to start from the beginning, learn his recommendations, and share some practical suggestions.

8 ideas and suggestions taken from “What the Plus!” by Guy Kawasaki

1. Guy has emailed me his first advise saying-

“you should make the pictures in your Scrapbook better. They are pixelated–and I think it should be pictures, not text.”

So I did.
I’ve chosen images of mobile innovations that I’m currently researching.

2. Focus of attention

“Twitter for perspectives, Facebook for people, and Google+ for passions”.

3. Searching for people by interests:

A. “You can enter keywords that describe your interests and passions. For example, try words such as “knitting,” “photography,” “adoption,” “Notre Dame,” “Macintosh,” and “football.” A word like “adoption” is used in many contexts such as babies, pets, and new products, so the more “niche” the term, the better”.
B. “Shared-circle search. You can search for every kind of shared circle by typing in “shared a circle with you” including the quotation marks in the Google+ search bar. (Hat-tip to Mike Elgan for this idea.) This will display all the circles that people have recently shared”.

4. Searching for interesting content

A. “What’s hot.”Google compiles content that is “exemplary, interesting, and appropriate” to show you “serendipitous and diverse information.” You get to it by clicking on “What’s hot” in the left sidebar”.
B. Search with hashtags: “Search for “#” followed by the keywords that describe topics that interest you. You’ll see that Google+ autocompletes hashtags to help you discover which tags to use. When you create a hashtag search (or any other search) that you like, click on “Save this search,” and it will be saved in the left sidebar for you to access in the future”.

5. Sharing statistics:

“Google provides eye candy called Ripples to show how people have shared public posts. Click on the arrow in the upper-right corner of a post and select “View Ripples.” You’ll see a cool graphic depicting the recent and public shares of your post, including the people who did the sharing. Google+ displays the amount of sharing plotted against time underneath the circles, some stats on the people who shared it and the language they used. To use the information from Ripples- you can circle someone who shared your posts with a large number of people. You can study the Ripples of other people to see who effectively shares their posts. Then you can circle these über-sharers and try to engage them, too”.

6. Photo editing:

“The Creative Kit enables you to enhance your photo using basic techniques such as cropping, ex- posure adjustment, and color correction, as well as adding text. Google also provides thematic special effects such as hats, spiders, and ornaments during holidays such as Halloween or Christmas”.

7. Running a poll on Google+:
Guy presents a poll creation procedure:

A: Write your question, and then include text along the lines of “+1 your choice in the comments below.”
B: Share the post.
C: Add comments on the posts that are choices. Do this quickly. You don’t want anyone else to comment before you.
D: Disable comments on the post.

8. Posting on multiple services:

“If cross-posting appeals to you (it’s what I do), then you have to add functionality to your browser via Chrome extensions”. Guy uses SGPlus extention:
“Enables you to share on Google+ and have your post appear on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. It will also display your Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn streams inside your Google+ stream.”

(Note that there isn’t a way to share from Facebook or Twitter to Google+.)

My Conclusions:

1. “Whats the Plus” is a great practical resource for first time users: it helps you increase your circles of people and interests. It meets users once again as it helps them manage their network and gain more meaningful interactions.

2. Was I persuaded?
I have decided to give Google+ another try.
Reading Guy’s book and further researching its potential, I’ve found myself writing to the social media manager of a leading tech university whom I conduct research for and advise on social media strategy – that we should re-discuss the potential of Google+ and create a stage to engage with their research professors (who we currently miss completely in other platforms). Private oriented professionals seem to find in Google plus some peace.

So maybe Google+ does hold a future as an updated social version of “Google groups” for those who share similar passions?

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“Trends and Innovations in Mobile Accessories” Research Report

February 1st, 2012 by

We are happy to announce the release of a new TrendsSpotting research report  uncovering  major  trends  in  Mobile  Accessories.
Based  on  exploration  of  over  2000  new  accessories  released  since  2011  +   CES  2012  and  a  market  analysis  of  major  market  trends  characterizing  this   growing  market, TrendsSpotting  has  identified  about  150  recently  released   products  that  reflect  new  emerging  trends  in  mobile  accessories.
The  innovations  analyzed  in  this  report  are  profiled  according  to  Product   Categories  (Protection,  Power,  Entertainment,  Smart  Solutions),  User   Experience  Categories,  Marketing  and  Consumer  Trends.

Major findings:

1. The  largest  shift  in  the  mobile  accessories  market  identified  by   TrendsSpotting   is   no   doubtfully   marked   by   intelligent   capabilities  made  available  with  mobile  apps.

The  mobile  accessories  market  has  changed  dramatically  during  the  last  12   months,  since  consumers  have  largely  adopted  smartphones,  and  apps  download  has  become  a  popular  behavior.  It  is  no  longer  a  market  of  cases   and  skins  but  of  smart  devices  supported  by  intelligent  apps.     With  the  increased  use  of  mobile  apps , new  opportunities  lie  for   hardware  accessories  that  complement  the  mobile  device.  Mobile  accessories   can  now  provide  smart  solutions  that  were  not  available  before:  location   tracking,  sensors  and  monitoring  devices  are  put  together  to  allow  smarter   management  systems  for  homes,  transportation,  fitness  and  health  care.

2. Protection:  The  high  value  of  the  smartphone  device  (compared  to  feature   phones)  makes  it  rational  for  consumers  to  invest  in  its  protection.   As  competition  in  this  market  strengthens,  case  makers  understand  they  need   to  provide  more  advanced  solutions  (such  as  charging  capabilities  and   storage),  as  part  of  the  case.

3. Charging:  With  phones  following  the  consumer  everywhere,  we  see  a  large   variety  of  charging  solutions:  from  simultaneous  charging  and  battery  boosts  to  wireless  charging  and  alternative  power  sources, consumers  can  now  make  sure  they  will  never  be  disconnected.

4. Entertainment:  In the last year we have witnessed  a  growing  trend  of  mobile   accessories  that  enhances  the  capabilities  of  smartphones: its  visual  and   audio  features  are  upgraded  to  provide  a  more  developed  entertainment   device,  used  mostly  for  games  and  music.  With  upgrading  such  capabilities, the  smartphone  becomes  the  center  of  entertainment  in  homes  and  on  the  go.

The report “Trends  and  Innovations  in  Mobile  Accessories” can assist mobile  companies  in  their  search  for  emerging  trends,  competitive advantages, market opportunities, inspirations for new  product  development,  partnerships,  design  requirements,   and  can  provide  updated  comprehensive  market  knowledge.

The  report  is  presented  in  100-­designed  PPT   slides,  which  include  product   images,  names  of  brands  and  companies,  and  current  consumer  prices. At  the  end  of  the  report  you  can  find  the  latest  market  trends  analysis.  This   includes:

Market  Trends  Review -­  solutions  and  major  players

Mobile  Accessories -­  market  statistics

Mobile  Market  Statistics -­  smartphone  handsets,  wireless  charging,   application  download,  mobile  health.

Major trends analyzed  in this report:

Consumer and design trends
: Traditionalism, Hands free, Wearable devices, Storage, Soft and stiff materials, Fashion, Universal solutions, “On the go”, Wireless, multifunctional, daily tasks and activities monitoring, and more.

User experience trends: Upgrade, Self expression, Effortlessness, Optimization, Lifestyle.

Products and Markets
: Batteries, Cables, Cases, Games and toys, Stands, Mobile Apps, Mobile health and fitness, Monitoring devices, Music,  Photography and cameras.

Some of the companies / brands reviewed: AppToyz, AstroGaming, Asus, Bling my Thing, Blue Lounge, Braven, CaseInity, Case-Mate, Cobra, Dolce & Gabbana, Energizer, Gotality, Griffin Technology, Hasbro, HTC, ID America, Idapt, Incase, Incipio, Innergie, Innovez, Iwave, Jawbone, Just Mobile, Kensington, Kingston, Logitech, Louis Vuitton , Martin Margiela, Miniwiz, Mizco, Mophie, Motorola, myFC, Nokia, Onlive, Orbotix, Oregon Scientific, Otterbox, Parrot, Panasonic, Philips ,Polar, Powermat, PowerSkin, Quirky, Sanyo, Skunk Juice, Sol, Sony, Speck, Technocel, Third Rail Mobility, Twelve South, Uncommon, WowWee, Zagg.

Click here for more information on the report + purchase details.

Enjoy this sample slides report:

Trends and Innovations in Mobile Accessories by TrendsSpotting from Taly Weiss


View more presentations from TrendsSpotting

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January 11th, 2012 by

For the last five years TrendsSpotting trends research company has published prediction reports covering trends in tech, mobile and social media, suggested by leading technology and business experts.

TrendsSpotting’s Influencers Prediction Reports 2011201020092008 are read by thousands of readers and are used by leading companies to plan their future (viewership at Slideshare/TrendsSpotting).

As TrendsSpotting is involved in re-placing the role of women in the digital world (see us at Microsoft’s Women Think Next and WIFT), we have decided that this year we will dedicate this unique stage to the trends predicted by leading digital women.

Trends Covered in this report: Clouds, Mobile, E-commerce, Devices, Internet of Things, Apps, Games, Social Media and Women in tech.

You have probably noticed that among the many predictions that digital experts suggest for 2012 – only few women voices are heard.

We hope that this report will encourage women to take part in shaping the future of technology.

Wishing you a great 2012,

The TrendsSpotting team.

Leading Digital Women Predict 2012 by TrendsSpotting from Taly Weiss

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Emerging market for mobile health products

November 9th, 2011 by


In the past year, products using mobile devices to monitor health conditions are becoming more popular with the first ones now getting accepted by the Food and Drug Administration.

Among health care apps entering the market are blood pressure monitoring cuffs, CT-scan viewers, and pocket ultrasound machines. The market is still at its first steps but rapid growth is expected: according to mobile market consultancy research2guidance, by 2015 30 percent of the world’s smartphone users will be using mobile health products, up from 5 percent today.

The big promise for consumers are accessibility and price: Mobisante’s ultrasound mobile imaging device, for example, costs $7,495. Compare that to the $100,000  price of a leading ultrasound machine! Images are still far to be at the same quality, but we can surely understand the potential presented by mobile health startups and their moves into the 273 billion dollar market of medical devices.

In August 2011 Pew Internet Research found that 29% of people who download apps to their cell phones or tablet computers have downloaded a health app (see PDF) to “help them track or manage their health”. Looking at the overall share of adult cell phone owners who have downloaded an app to their phone (currently  -38%) we can learn that phone users who are engaging with apps find health related solutions as one of their top interests.


This can certainly be the starting point for health related data consumption, later to be connected in a larger context of “the internet of things”.

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2020 Predictions -Model for Future Innovations

October 14th, 2011 by

Based on the concept of “The Internet of Things” TrendsSpotting has developed  a working model for NPD.  “The ANA Model” was developed  and implemented while working with tech companies, and allows us to predict future products and services.

The “ANA Model” identifies the process where data is collected from reported “Actions”, then delivered to predefined monitor systems or professionals by “Notifications”. The outcomes can “Alert” people through a visualized system.

Few daily activities are presented to reflect the process.

The ANA model can not only predict potential products and services (shopping, health, transportation, advertising etc) but can suggest new professions to rise.

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How crowdsourcing games help solve scientific problems: Review of current projects

October 6th, 2011 by

crowdsourcing games science

It has been shown that the human capacity has still important advantages over computers.
Scientists have learned to use crowd sourcing tools to improve their research. To achieve cooperation, they present models of the problems in a game like display and challenge the participants to find solutions.

Scientists in Carnegie Mellon University (look up Luis von Ahn) were the first to use human brains to help them solve problems associated with searching for images on the web (computers are not very good at distinguishing images from each other using visual cues). This lead to the development of the ESP Game (to determine objects) and Peekaboom (word association games). They were the first to demonstrate how humans, as they play, can solve problems that computers can’t yet solve. (Google bought a licence to create its own version of the game in 2006 in order to return better search results for its online images).

Universities and academic institutions as well as private companies (look up Mental Matrix by iAppFusion) are now using crowdourcing games to enrich their discoveries. Interestingly, most of the crowd sourcing games are contributing to the study of enzyms and microorganisms:

A. Foldit was founded by the University of Washington Center for Game Science in collaboration with the Baker lab.
In the last decade, scientists repeatedly failed to find a solution to the structure of a protein-cutting enzyme from an AIDS-like virus.
The scientists have decided to collect a group of gamers and challenged them to produce an accurate model of the enzyme: users are tasked with folding known proteins and are scored on how well they manage to accomplish this task while taking into consideration the physical properties of the molecule. In less then ten days, the gamers came up with the desired solution.

B. EteRNA is an online game which resembles Tetris or Dr. Mario was developed by Carnegie Mellon University and Stanford University researchers to uncover principles for designing molecules of RNA, which biologists believe may be the key regulator for all cellular activity.

C. The Biotic Games project (Stanford University) enables players to interact directly with microorganisms. The game’s “hardware” is a simple console which is hooked up to a lab slide. When players push buttons on the console the microorganisms on the slide react. These reactions are displayed onscreen in real-time via a microscopic camera.


Update: Crowdsourcing games for innovation processes:

By 2015, more than 50 percent of organizations that manage innovation processes will gamify those processes, according to Gartner, Inc. By 2014, a gamified service for consumer goods marketing and customer retention will become as important as Facebook, eBay or Amazon, and more than 70 percent of Global 2000 organizations will have at least one gamified application.

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Critical mass – can it get lower than 10 percent?

July 28th, 2011 by

Cognitive scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have reported that according to their recent studies simulating social networks, 10 percent is the critical mass for spreading ideas to the mass. If that proportion of the population emphatically embraces an idea, then there is a good chance for a mass follow.

“When the number of committed opinion holders is below 10 percent, there is no visible progress in the spread of ideas,” said researcher Boleslaw Szymanski, director of the Social Cognitive Networks Academic Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. “Once that number grows above 10 percent, the idea spreads like flame.”

The tipping point (see gladwell, 2000) or the ‘critical mass’ in innovation research refers to the point at which enough individuals have adopted an innovation so that the innovation’s further rate of adoption becomes self-sustaining (Anghern 2005).

Looking back few decades at consumer technologies, critical mass was considered to occur with about 15 percent of users.

With the evolution of social networks as a vehicle to spread ideas (Facebook itself has definitely crossed critical mass) – we do expect that the ratio will be smaller.

The notion of critical mass is becoming more interesting when political ideas (Egypt is a great example) addressed by social network users leverage the network effect (immediate response+ large scale) and spread beliefs and calls for action.

Can critical mass get lower? I believe so! Once people get an illusionary image of the mass (and social networks interactions can generate such effect)- they will address it accordingly.

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Docs are heavy tech users – early adopters for healthcare technology

June 21st, 2011 by

Healthcare technology is one of the most developing markets ought to change our life in the coming years. With a new focus on consumers, remote systems can manage instant alerts and direct communication with health care providers. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Health Research Institute, the annual consumer market for remote/mobile monitoring devices and services to be $7.7 billion to $43 billion.

Luckily, physicians are embracing new technologies and are heavy tech users themselves: when we explore the “internet of things”, we find this specific target group to be most cooperative with technology innovations.

Here are some research indications we’ve gathered to support this claim:

1. Physicians are smartphones lovers – in 2010 72% have already used smartphones (compare that to 37% of mobile users in the US that own a smart phone today). At that time, 20% of US physicians were planning to buy an iPad, even before its launch (Epocrates survey 2010).

According to Spyglass Consulting Group, 94 percent of physicians are using everyday smartphones and consulting apps like Epocrates or Johnson and Johnson’s BlackBag while on-the-job.

2. At the point of care

  • 40%  use a digital device.
  • More than two in five physicians go online during patient consultations, with the majority of this time being spent on a handheld device.
  • Most popular content consumed:  drug reference databases, online journals, disease associations, and support groups for patients.

3. Internet behavior:

Almost all physicians  are online (99%). The average physician spends about 8 hours online each week for professional purposes (Manhattan Research 2010).

4. Social media engagement:

Manhattan Research 2010 shows that:

  • two-thirds of doctors are using social media for professional purposes
  • Nearly half of physicians say they are influenced by user-generated content.
  • Physicians prefer open forums (e.g., blog) over a physician-only online community!

According to another research conducted by Kantar Media (Februrary 2011), 37% of U.S.-based physicians are using online social networks for professional purposes, and log on to such sites an average of nearly 230 times per year. Furthermore  – 41% of physicians who access social networks for professional purposes are active on two or more networks.

4. Future innovations: using technology to monitor patients health (PricewaterhouseCoopers research, September 2010)

  • Nearly two-thirds (63%) of physicians are using personal devices for mobile health solutions that aren’t connected to their practice.
  • Of those physicians who are using mobile devices in their practice, 56 percent said the devices expedite decision making and nearly 40 percent said the use of mobile devices decreases time spent on administration.
  • 57% of physicians are ready to use remote devices to monitor the patients outside of the hospital (and they want it filtered by relevancy).

According to TrendsSpotting’s research analysis, here are the major challenges:

1. Medical data should be transformed by mobile devices (one of the major obstacles)

2. Filtered information and accuracy: Physicians should receive only relevant alerts and are not to be overloaded with data, while consumers should trust the accuracy of these systems in order to pay for their benefits.

2. Time saving and friendly applications

3. Medical data should be fully electronic (as for today – only half of physicians surveyed currently access electronic medical records while visiting and treating their patients).

4. Social alerts – immediate communication with those who are near (geo-location) should be integrated with real time medical information!

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Social Media for higher education – TrendsSpotting’s Research Report

March 15th, 2011 by

Following TrendsSpotting’s research work  on youths media behavior (traditional and new media) in 16 countries, we bring you some of the insights we’ve collected on international marketing in higher education together with some relevant case studies.

TrendsSpotting is working with leading Universities on social media strategy designed to capture youths in Asia, Europe and the US.

You are welcome to contact us for research reports on youths in the following countries:

Asia: India, China, Indonesia, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Singapore.

Europe: UK, France, Germany, Belgium, Poland, Turkey, Greece.

Central America: Mexico

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Heres why Guy Kawasaki’s new book Enchantment is a must read

March 8th, 2011 by

Enchantment-Book Cover Best Seller

Enchantment, The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions, is Guy Kawasaki’s tenth book.

Coming from the one who is practicing enchantment with any move he makes (from Apple’s early days marketing, through best selling books, Garage Technology Ventures, and the popular online directory – Alltop) we should all listen carefully to his personal insights and the experiences he has collected.
The book helps you exercise the one thing needed to succeed – making those you aim to influence – believe in you.
Guy is not only reviewing different psychological mechanisms that are necessary in any persuasive process, he gives you a set of practical tools (personal, social and technological ones) with vivid examples, in an easy to digest, easy to implement layout.

Personal note: I was fortunate to take part as a contributing reviewer of this handy and practical book. I found myself taking it with me while preparing to workshops and business meetings.

Enchantment is available starting today on, and in bookstores everywhere.

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