Archive for the ‘date’ tag
Google Docs, now Drive, have always had an option to create forms that would drop data right into a spreadsheet. This is super handy until you tried to do something like…collect date and time information.
For whatever reason, those structured fields were never an option with Forms, but the team has finally added both as an option today. The product has always been “there,” but not heavily promoted by Google. Mostly because of these types of limitations.
Asking a simple question like when someone’s birthday was a nightmare, as you couldn’t normalize and structure being dropped into the spreadsheet, making the form pretty useless. It’s good to see the option when creating a form now:
For dates, people filling out your form will now get a proper calendar picker:
The folks in your office who have to actually use the data that you collect with a survey can now breathe a sigh of release with properly formatted dates and times. It’s the little things that matter. Or in this case, the big things that made the product pretty useless until now.
[Photo credit: Flickr]
Four billion people across the globe are expected to watch the Olympics this year. As a brand marketer, this is a massive opportunity. But the Olympics only last for little more than two weeks. How do marketers capture the Olympics spirit, go for the gold (so to speak), and stretch this unique opportunity as far as they can?
P&G seems to have found a formula for success. The CPG giant started its Olympic campaign, “Proud Sponsor of Moms” early, launching it in January of this year, more than seven months before the games began. Since then, it’s added multiple new creatives and has surged with the opening ceremonies in London. The result is a massive campaign that’s driven more than 37 million views to date, with more than 5.1 million views in July alone — enough to give P&G its debut on the Top Brands in Video chart.
Start with your audience
Like any good campaign, P&G started with its core audience: moms. “Proud Sponsor of Moms” is a celebration of mothers across the globe. It shows the love and support they pour into their kids’ dreams, whether their dream is to become the next Michael Phelps, Gabby Douglas, or simply enjoy competing and playing with other kids.
All of the content centers on this simple idea of celebrating moms. The main creative for the campaign, called “Best Job,” is a relatively straightforward yet poignant execution. It shows moms across the world waking their kids up at the crack of dawn, giving them breakfast, waiting for the bus in the rain, all to make sure they get to practice. It subtly highlights the everyday sacrifices moms make to ensure their kids reach their potential.
Is “Best Job” traditional viral content? No. But it’s solid content that resonates with P&G’s core audience. More than 14.4 million views to date for “Best Job” — that number speaks for itself.
Other creative executions for “Proud Sponsor of Moms” include “Raising an Olympian,” which features interviews with moms of Olympians, a “Momifesto” in which Olympians thank their moms for all they do, and more.
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A hack for searching for tweets by date, with help from Google Spreadsheets @ NixonMcInnes: Social media goodness. Translated. Created. Delivered.
Very clever hack by Steven Winton of NixonMcInnes to get around dropped search functionality in Twitter search, using Google Spreadsheets.
Welcome to the future, PlayBook.
Over a year after its announcement, RIM has finally dropped the release date for the 4G LTE version of its PlayBook tablet. Available in Canada August 9th, the device will be offered by Bell, Rogers, and Telus.
As expected, the device is almost identical to the non-4G PlayBook: It features a 7-inch display, HDMI out, a pair of cameras, and runs the latest version of the PlayBook operating system. RIM, however did upgrade the processor to 1.5 GHz, which edges out the 1GHz processor found in current models.
Notably, RIM isn’t going all-out on storage options: The 4G LTE PlayBook will only come with 32GB of storage, a move that echoes RIM’s decision to discontinue the 16GB version of the Wi-Fi PlayBook earlier this year.
For RIM, releasing a 4G LTE PlayBook is a clear sign that the company is still invested in the tablet space, something that investors and journalists have been skeptical off for a while.
Naturally, the biggest question on consumers minds (those of you that care, anyway) is this: When will the new PlayBook make an appearance elsewhere? RIM is mum on the details, but we can expect announcements from the likes of AT&T and Verizon soon enough.
Filed under: mobile
Microsoft’s new Outlook.com mail service may finally drive some much-needed innovation in email. (Disclosure: I have Microsoft stock from my time as an employee there.)
I agree. This is definitely one of the more innovative products from Microsoft. It’s clean, it’s simple, and it’s easy to use.
The last fundamental innovation in email was in 2004 when Gmail launched. I’ve been a Gmail user ever since.
But despite huge increases in the volume of email we deal with in the last eight years, little has been done to improve the core experience. Yes, Google launched Priority Inbox. It’s supposed to help you figure out the important mail; for me, it’s been largely useless. Scanning through my inbox, very little of what Google has marked important really is.
Google’s other major moves with Gmail have largely been about trying to exploit its huge number of mail users into whatever lame social product Google is trying to bootstrap. (Remember Buzz?)
But better email tools could improve productivity for everyone. In the current version of Outlook mail, there isn’t enough innovation to get me to switch. But the existence of a new and credible player who wants to win may drive much-needed innovation in email. Here are some core things that would get me to switch by delivering value, not by tricking people like Facebook tried to do:
Outlook’s “Quick views” feature offers a quick view of how that could happen: automatic classification of mail. The system automatically scans email for certain attributes that people look for. Oh, hey, this email looks like a shipping confirmation. And this one has a photo. And these have attachments.
That’s pretty rudimentary. But imagine that your email tool could do this:
- Separate receipts from marketing emails. I have eight years’ worth of emails from Amazon, Buy.com, Groupon, etc. Sometimes I want to look up what I purchased, or I need warranty service. Finding those receipts can be a challenge.
- Pluck out bills. Emails from American Express could be scanned for payment due date, and the date could automatically be added to my Google Calendar.
- Keep my travel top of mind. Itineraries, hotel confirmations, and rental car reservations that are upcoming would be available in a dashboard view.
- Identify emails with expiring content. Nordstrom’s anniversary sale ends August 5th. This could be put into a Quick view that becomes more prominent when the date approaches and drops out when the sale ends. Expired emails would also be downweighted in search results.
Some of the above can be done with search. For example, I can search “Buy.com receipt”. But look what happens when I do that:
I get a bunch of unrelated junk. What you can’t see is that the list isn’t complete. I’ve purchased much more from Buy.com. In order to get all of my Buy.com receipts, I have to search for “buy.com thanks for your order”.
Another way to tackle the problem is filters. I have set up numerous filters that file things like receipts, daily deal emails and the like. (You can see some of my filters in the screenshot above.) But that’s a real pain to set up and only geeks will do it.
There are vertical players that are focused on solving pieces of the problem. TripIt and Kayak will parse travel-related emails. I forward my confirmation emails to TripIt, it picks out the relevant details and creates a more consistent itinerary. It can even generate a feed of events that I plug into Google Calendar. That’s a really roundabout way of doing things. OneReceipt and Slice do this for shopping emails.
But the separate apps have little traction. It should be built into the email platform. And once it’s in a large scale system like Gmail or Outlook, emailers will have an incentive to markup the information they send to make it even more actionable.
Google has built a very lucrative business on organizing the world’s information. It should do a much better job of organizing my information.
It’s somewhat mind boggling that this far into email adoption, unsecure email is standard operating practice. Yes, there have been some improvements. Gmail uses SSL for your mailbox. That wasn’t always the case.
But if you actually send something, that email is sent unencrypted to the recipient.
Securing email has had three historical challenges: it needs to be easy for the user, it needs to be universal, and it needs to have a business model.
Early experiments like PGP, which put a lot of work on both the sender and recipient, have failed in the consumer market. But for person-to-person messaging, we’re down to a small handful of providers that matter. (Yahoo, Google and Microsoft.) Among them, they should be able to solve this problem, at least for email sent among their networks.
Secure email is also something that would help with financial transactions and could potentially cut the flood of bills that are sent via paper mail. That the post office is running ads touting that paper mail is more secure than email is ridiculous. Not because they’re wrong, but because it’s true.
Even among my more tech savvy friends, many receive paper bills because the process of getting their bill or statement from each credit card company is difficult. If you have multiple accounts, it’s even more complicated because each financial institution has its own system. There is no interface as consistent as ripping open an envelope. They also have different rules about how long they keep old statements online. All of this stuff should show up in my email box as effortlessly and more securely than it does in my regular mailbox.
Because email recipients are concentrated on a few networks, it would be possible to have direct secure transmission of these statements and account notices. Doing that would also reduce the scourge of phishing, because the mail provider could authenticate that an email came from American Express or Bank of America.
This is a service that banks should be willing to pay for, both because it reduces their operational costs (mailing and printing statements) and because it reduces fraud liabilities (phishing.) Even at 5 cents per secure communication, it’d be a bargain.
Not only does this increase productivity, it’s better for the environment. The people who lose out are postal workers, especially the guy who’s job it is to convince banks that they should use paper statements instead of email. (I’m not making that up. Talk about a Sisyphean task.)
Will any of this happen? A guy can hope. And there’s nothing like real competition to help drive it.
If someone is willing to add these features, I will jump ship from Gmail. I would even go back to my Yahoo mail account.
Filed under: VentureBeat
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You won’t be surprised to learn that the Bad Pitch blog was the last thing on our minds during the horrific shootings in Aurora, Colorado. Like the rest of the nation, we took pause and our thoughts went to the families of the victims.
In the aftermath we assumed, naively, that the nation’s collective shock would stop anyone in their right mind from trying to tie their pitch into this tragedy. Unfortunately, someone forwarded us a pitch this afternoon with the following subject line and introduction.
>> Subject: Dark Knight Survey Reveals Relationship Between Income And Chivalry
Hi, In the event of a tragedy like the Dark Knight Massacre, who would you want by your side on a first date? <<
And just to be clear about how tasteless and offensive this pitch really is? Here’s the news release headline and subheadline.
>>First Date Survey Reveals Relationship Between Income and Chivalry
Would you take a bullet on a first date? Dark Knight survey conducted by dating website, WhatsYourPrice.com, reveals the true identity of a gentleman on a first date. Proving that generosity is
not necessarily determined by the size of your wallet, Founder & CEO, Brandon Wade, found that dating someone generous, but not necessarily wealthy, could be the difference between life and death.<<
I’m going to stop there and note this is easily the most tasteless pitch we’ve ever received. As you’ll see below, we’ve called out several bad pitches in the past for trying to capitalize on death.
Visibli Bites The Bad Pitch Apple
Why Did We Even Post This?
At the risk of stating the obvious, tying a pitch to someone’s death needs to become an extinct practice. I have to believe that, as an extension of basic common sense, this is something the public relations industry, media relations professionals and even publicists can stop doing. If they can’t? We will continue to out them to make sure it’s clear that the vast majority of our industry does NOT stand by this practice.
Archiving Dispics: Domokun STFU n00b! uploaded by peatbogyeri
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Apple Stocks Up on Components for September iPhone Launch (AllThingsD)
Apple hasn’t yet officially announced the fall event at which it is expected to debut the next iteration of the iPhone, but it’s definitely planning one. The blog iMore was first to report that the company has scheduled a special event for Sept. 12, with the release date to follow nine days later on Sept. 21. iMore The iPad mini will be announced at the same event, as will the new iPod nano. iMore hasn’t heard a release date for the iPad mini yet, but it could be the same as the iPhone 5. ZDNet More photos and video of parts believed to be part of the yet unannounced iPhone 5 have leaked online. Japanese smartphone repair company iLab Factory has posted an extensive array of photos of parts it claims belong to the iPhone 5, including what it claims is a fully assembled body for the handset. Bloomberg Businessweek All of the changes rumored to be heading to the next iPhone have been included: a longer screen, redesigned speakers, a smaller dock connector and differently located headphone jack, top mic and front camera. Besides iLab’s pictures, a video has emerged supposedly showing the next iPhone and some of its parts. Gizmodo Let’s clear up one thing right now: there is no iPhone 5. Don’t worry! There’s still a new iPhone coming very soon. But it’s just going to be called that: the new iPhone. continued…
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