Real Time Web Emerging Trends

Real-time web has been garnering a lot of hype lately.  So how do you cut through all the pointless noise, and concentrate on the actual potential of real time web?  Check out’s 4 emerging real time web trends they believe you should pay attention to:

1. Real Time Collaboration – With the new Google Wave platform, live Facebook and Twitter feeds, companies are able to become more efficient in knowing what their customers want and being able to make real-time changes.  A business prototype of Google Wave, SAP’s Gravity, will only enhance the way businesses reach out to and address consumer needs.

2. Real Time Analytics – Although there is not enough critical mass of real-time data available in most areas yet, there will come a time when shopping information, individual health information, movie and show reviews and other data will be available to everyone at any time.  Waze is a new crowdsourced mobile map and traffic information service that had some success in Israel and is now trying to make its mark on the US.  This real-time information app has the ability to analyze the data it receives in real-time, exposing traffic patterns, accidents and speed traps.

3. Real Time Search – The possibilities for real time search are endless.  With Microsoft and Google working hard to constantly update and create what is available to the public via real time streams, there  is no end in sight to what people will be able to find online.  It is also a golden opportunity for advertisers to capitalize on more event-driven ad dollars, i.e. the World Cup and Superbowl, because of all the live Tweets, Facebook updates and messages going back and forth about the event.

4. Real Time Ecommerce – Real Time Ecommerce is not here yet, but it is coming.  A German company, Apnoti, indexes real time pricing for consumers in the US and Germany, helping consumers find the best deals by pointing out the dramatic price fluctuations.  Though elementary to what is possible, the ability for consumers to have real time pricing will be a competitive advantage for the grocer and perishible foods industry.

For more on these emerging real time trends, go to:

Google Wave

Google Wave



Real Time Social Search

Real Time Social Search

Apnoti - Emerging Real Time Ecommerce

Apnoti - Emerging Real Time Ecommerce

Google Launches Music Search Service

Google has partnered with web services Lala and MySpace’s iLike to provide users with an easier way to find, sample and buy songs on the Internet.  Users will now be able to sample a song via a pop-up box that will play at least 30 seconds of the song, with some songs played in their entirety, which will then offer links to buy the song.  The MySpace iLike player will also include links to watch the music video and obtain concert details if the artist is or is going on tour.

Google is also partnering with Pandora, iMeem and Rhapsody to incorporate links to help users discover music related to their searches (similar to how Pandora operates).  Users will navigate away from the Google results directly onto the artists’ page on the corresponding service, allowing them to buy songs directly from each site.

Google’s licensing Gracenotes’ lyrics database will also allow users to search songs by their lyrics.  Prior to the service’s launch yesterday (October 28th), searching song lyrics would result in links to other lyrics services, but now the first result in the search will be the song with all the new features, including streaming and purchasing.

Google did not partner directly with any record labels for the Lala and iLike programs.  Google’s YouTube entity is separately partnering with Vivendi’s Universal Music Group and Sony Music to create a music video service call Vevo.

The music industry is ecstatic with this move by Google and I think music lovers will be equally thrilled with the new features that the Google music service provides.  For more information, go to:

Dropbox – Free Online Storage Service

Dropbox is a new and simple to use online storage service that allows you to access your files from any Web-connected computer.  Dropbox automatically syncs your files between several PCs and it offers two free gigabytes of storage to all users.

The application can be downloaded from  Once installed, a Dropbox folder will appear where you can save any files you want to sync and share.  Dropbox is compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux and there is also a new iPhone app that allows you to access files from your phone, as well as a web interface that lets you pull your files up from any device with Internet access.

Dropbox is great because is makes shifting from PC to PC a seamless experience by allowing you to sync passwords between your devices (KeePass), start BitTorrent downloads on one PC from another one, and even run portable versions of apps, like VLC or Firefox.


Internet Users Take a Break With ‘Freedom’

We have become a culture where the Internet is at the tips of our fingers at most times during the day.  Between work computers, home laptops and smartphones, it is not uncommon for people to become fearful of going “offline.”  A new application called Freedom, blocks users access to the Internet for up to eight hours at a time.  The only way users are allowed to bypass the system, once you have plugged in the number of minutes of freedom you want, is to reboot your computer, which most of the time is annoying and quite the process.

The program is currently only available for Macs but it downloaded more than 4,000 times a month.  The creator of Freedom believes the application helps free people from the distractions of the Internet so they can concentrate of coding, writing or creating.

For more information on this application, go to: or


Microsoft Tries Out Retail Store

Microsoft is trying its hand in the retail arena by opening its first store in Scottsdale, Arizona, with its 2nd store opening Oct. 29th in Mission Viejo, CA. Microsoft believes retail is an opportunity to connect with customers and elevate the brand.  It is also a way to keep up with the success Apple is having with their retail stores.

The Microsoft stores will feature interactive technology and a sleek, modern design.  There will be massive LCD screens lining the walls displaying scenic panoramas with PCs set up below featuring Zunes, Xbox consoles and headphones all available for consumers to try out.  Microsoft is emphasizing that these stores will offer personalization and customization of hardware with external “skins” and will also create an original ring tone for their Windows mobile phone.  If customers purchase a computer, they will have a 15-minute session with an employee to set up their applications, passwords and personal preferences.  And just like their Apple Store competitors, Microsoft will include a Microsoft Answers Suite, featuring Technical Advisors to offer assistance to those with technical issues.

Although most experts acknowledge that this move by Microsoft is just another way Microsoft is copying Apple, it is a much needed move.  For more information about the Scottsdale and Mission Viejo stores, go to:

Big Brands, Big Launches via Social Networks

Launching or relaunching a brand via social networks is not only for the mom-and-pop shops.  Three big companies that are heavily relying on social networks to make a statement for their brands are CNN, Volkswagen and Honda. will unveil a major overhaul on their site, come Monday, which will feature a more visual, socially oriented and content rich site.  The new homepage will have more of a focus on video, allowing users to expand and contract video snippets as they read stories.  The site will also have more outlets for users to participate in the news stories, with every page providing opportunities to add comments.  Finally, is going to attempt to recreate the success the Presidential Election had with social network, Facebook, and on Nov. 9th, as they will be hosting a Webcast featuring Oprah and her latest book club recommendation.  For more information about’s relaunch, go to:

Volkswagen of America has decided to forego the traditional way of launching a new vehicle and has instead opted to launch the newest-generation GTI exclusively via an iPhone app.  Not only is VW saving a lot of cash by launching the GTI this way, but they are also able to target their key demographic.  They believe their target demo will download the app based on good PR, viral pass-along and some paid search for consumers looking for iPhone apps and GTI information.  It is a first for the industry and it could be a great way for struggling car companies to hit their numbers without emptying their pockets upfront. For more on the launch, go to:

Honda also conducted a little social experiment of its own themed, “Everybody Knows Somebody Who Loves a Honda.”  The company quietly launched an official Facebook page and encouraged owners to join as overall Honda fans, as well as specific vehicle fans.  This page gave Honda owners and enthusiasts a way to connect with friends, family and people all over the world.  Honda supported the campaign with a sprinkling of ads and a one-day targeted homepage takeover of, and  The campaign had topped 2 million fans by October 22nd.  The brand has since launched a new online hub for the brand campaign at  For more information about how Honda made this social network campaign a success, go to:



Southwest Debuts Green Plane

Southwest may not have in-flight entertainment systems or wi-fi like some of their competitors, but they are going after a different consumer, those that are eco-friendly.  Southwest debuted its “Green Plane” yesterday, which is a concept that combines, efficiency, environmentally responsible products, consumer comfort, while reducing waste and weight.

The plane’s new interior will save about five pounds per seat, thus saving fuel and reducing emissions.  The cabin interior will also have some recyclable elements which reduces waste.  Beginning Nov. 1 Southwest will ramp up its in-cabin recycling  program on all of their flights, and you can bet the green plane will be recycling-driven as well.

Some of the eco-friendly products being tested on this plane include:

  • InterfaceFLOR Carpet – this carpet is 100% recyclable and when it ends its life on the plane it will be re-manufactured into new carpet, with a process that is completely carbon neutral.  It also reduces labor and material costs because it is installed in sections.
  • Seat Covers – the two new seat cover products being tested offer twice the durability than the current leather seats and a weight savings of almost 2 lbs. per seat.
  • Life Vest Pouch – this product is now more environmentally friendly because it is smaller, does not have the current metal container and offers a weight savings of 1 lb. per customer.
  • Foam Fill – a lighter weight fill in the back of the seats reduces weight but increases comfort.
  • Passenger Seat Rub Strips – switching from plastic to aluminum helps with durability, thus reducing waste.

With the amount of flights Southwest has per day, this is definitely a step in the right direction for the company and the environment.  Hopefully they will see the cost savings from using these recyclable and environmentally friendly items and Boeing will continue to produce more green planes for Southwest and even some of their rival airlines.

To read more about Southwest’s eco-friendly plane, go to: or

Southwest Green Plane

New Website – Best Practices For A More Green California

Green Cities California is a collaboration of 10 cities and counties in California that are acknowledged as sustainability leaders, including Berkeley, Los Angeles, Marin County, Pasadena, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Barbara and Santa Monica.  The group launched their new website,, today which is designed to serve as a resource for other communities who are looking to become more green.  The website was designed and funded by The Full Circle Fund, 11th Hour Project and Blackstone Ranch Institute.

The site addresses the seven key areas of sustainability (as identified by the United Nations Urban Environmental Accord) as: energy, waste reduction, urban design, urban nature, transportation, environmental health and water.  The site then provides template documents from previous policymakers who have already made progress with the specific green issue, as well as links to different sites that can serve as models.  Access to the site and downloads of the material are all free.

For more information about the Green Cities California group, as well as some of their past initiatives, go to:

“Going Google” Overseas and in the Sky With VA

“Going Google”  Google’s new advertising campaign for their app division, recently launched in the US but the company is now taking their campaign overseas.  Google claims that there are currently more than 2 million businesses and 20 million users that use Google Apps for their workplaces.  Google will be running their new ads globally in train stations and airports, as well as in print and online, in countries such as the UK, France, Canada, Japan, Australia and Singapore.

This new global launch is a compliment to the US launch, from August, which had billboards describing why information technology managers switched to Google Apps from Microsoft and IBM.   There will also be full-page Going Google ads in the New York Times, The Economist, Business Week, Forbes and Fortune.  Google will also run online ads in the Wall Street Journal, CNN Money, Bloomberg and Fortune.

For more information on Going Google, go to:

Virgin America was the first airline to offer Gogo Inflight Internet service on every flight, which began in May 2009.  As an early holiday present, Google has partnered with Virgin America to offer free Wi-Fi on all flights during the holiday season, from November 10th – January 15th.   This new Google sponsored offer saves fliers up to $12.95, depending on the length of your flight.  Virgin America estimate that currently 12-15% of their guests are purchasing this Gogo service, but I am sure that once people test the system out for free, there will be a large increase in users come February 2010.

Economy’s Impact on Grocery Shoppers

With the economic climate the way it is, there is no doubt that consumer’s shopping habits have changed in every aspect of their lives and the grocery store is no exception.  Here are a few consequences of the grocery store market, based on polling data and expert opinion:

In Search of Cheapness – A Synovate report, based on July polling, states that:

  • 65% of US consumers believe that grocery items are “overpriced and should be cheaper.”
  • 78% “will switch food brands in I find a cheaper alternative.”

Cooking is no Alternative – A new research study by The NPD Group (“Eating Patterns in America”) has thrown out the notion that people have been spending more time cooking at home due to the economy.  Instead, people have been microwaving, not cooking their way through the recession.

Healthy Eating as Casualty – The NPD Group also found that healthier eating was “one of the big casualties” of the recession.  Since heathly eating comes at a higher price it is not a total shock that this is one of the areas that has been the most negatively affected.

Price is Not the Only Factor – Synovate has found that consumers are buying in bulk, using more of their pantry items and “trading down” to lower priced products, in lieu of their old luxury items, in order to save money.  Synovate also found that price is not the only factor and advertisers still need to forge an emotional connection with consumers, as well as helping the consumers to understand the perceived value of their brand.

For more from this article, go to:

For more information on the Synovate report, go to:

For The NPD Group’s research findings, including learning about the Eating Patterns in America report that comes out later this year, go to: