Apple’s WWDC 2011: A Watershed for Small Business Owners?

Saturday, June 11th, 2011

Why Apple's WWDC Announcement is Important for Small Business OwnersApple’s WWDC 2011: A Watershed for Small Business Owners?

Every June, Apple holds their World Wide Developers’ Conference in San Francisco. In years past the focus was entirely on their Macintosh personal computer line, the Mac operating system and software being developed for it.

In more recent years the focus has been almost entirely on the iPhone and the apps being developed for it. This year both platforms were featured, as was an interesting melding of the two.

As a long-time Apple customer (1985) and follower of all things related to online marketing and commerce for small business owners, I watched the video of the WWDC Keynote Address with great interest and came away much more impressed than many members of the tech press seem to be.

Unlike many other observers, I believe that this year’s WWDC represents a watershed moment in online interaction and marketing that will impact small business for many years to come.

The primary complaint most mainstream tech reporters have expressed regarding the varied announcements at this year’s WWDC is that none of the “innovations” represented anything new. They were all ideas that had been around for years. Ideas like cloud storage of data, syncing mobile phones over the air, an online PC software marketplace and so forth.

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Can Blippar Make QR Codes Redundant?

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

Can Blippar make QR codes redundant?

This article on the econsultancy.com blog introduces what may be a more advanced take than QR Codes on the intersection between offline and online marketing.

Blippar offers smart phone-equipped consumers with the opportunity to enjoy and enhanced advertising experience by pointing their phone at a Blippar-enhanced ad.

This video shows the different ways the Blippar experience can manifest itself.

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As outlined in the article / interview, Blippar faces the usual challenge of widespread adoption that any new technology must overcome. In their case, part of that challenge includes persuading large numbers of people to download the requisite app to their phone.

But there are a couple of other significant hurdles that I foresee. For example, while QR Codes are ugly, their presence on a print piece or elsewhere is immediately obvious. How does the consumer know they are seeing an ad that is Blippar-enhanced and is thus signaled that he/she should pull out their smart phone for an enhanced experience?

Also, the applications shown in the demo video will require large budgets and high talent levels to pull off. One thing I like about QR Codes is that they just present simple data or direct the viewer to a landing page which can be easily and/or inexpensively produced, making them more applicable to small and medium-sized businesses of the kind that I support.