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The Game of Life Live Wallpaper, an interactive and customizable Live Wallpaper, is based on Conway’s Game of Life
March 30, 2012 (Ann Arbor, MI): Tabus Nine Computing (www.tabusnine.com), a mobile application developer for the Android operating system, has announced a new Live Wallpaper for Android devices. The Live Wallpaper, Game of Life Live Wallpaper, is based on Conway’s Game of Life, and its aesthetics will appeal even to users who may not be familiar with the cellular automaton.
In Conway’s Game of Life, “cells” exist in a grid, which live and die depending on how many neighbors they have. The rules that govern the cells can produce mesmerizing patterns over time. Game of Life Live Wallpaper renders the cells fading in an out as they live and die, with many options for coloring the cells.
“Game of Life Live Wallpaper was distributed with a free and paid version” said Austin Mueller and Ben Oztalay, co-owners of Tabus Nine. “The full version features five different display modes, which each allow the user to customize how the cells are colored and displayed.”
The first, and simplest, display mode colors the living cells a solid color of the user’s choosing. The second colors the cells differently depending on how long they’ve been alive, picking colors from a palette. Users can select, edit, and create their own palettes.
The Time of Day display mode uses a special palette of colors associated with times of the day to change the color of the cells as the day progresses. Another display mode turns your wallpaper into a battery indicator, coloring the cells from green to red depending on the phone’s battery level. Lastly, the By Touch display mode changes the color of the cells whenever the screen is touched.
Android was listed as the best-selling smartphone platform worldwide in Q4 2010 with over 300 million Android devices in use by February 2012.According to Google’s Andy Rubin, as of February 2012 there are over 850,000 Android devices activated every day. Google Android Mobile Applications can be downloaded from third-party sites or through online stores such as Google Play, the app store run by Google.
Tabus Nine Computing is currently developing other features to add to the Game of Life Live Wallpaper, including other display modes, and an in-app store where users can purchase palettes and other display modes.
About Tabus Nine
Tabus Nine Computing was founded in 2011 to create Android applications, as well as perform artificial intelligence research by Austin Mueller and Ben Oztalay. Both company founders are Computer Science and Engineering majors at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. You can connect with them through various social communities at:
Each week, Dear Gracie answers questions from ProfNet Connect readers with advice from our network of more than 44,000 ProfNet experts. Has there been a question burning in your mind lately, something you’ve been wondering that none of your friends can answer? Please send it to email@example.com
I’m interested in tips for branders/advertisers/marketers on how social media is different from traditional media. Are there any tactics we should use specifically for social media vs. traditional media? How do brands become memorable through social media? What makes a brand successful on social media?
For example, social media allows consumers to have access to the ratings and reviews of fellow shoppers, says Melih Oztalay, CEO of SmartFinds Internet Marketing. A study by the e-tailing group and PowerReviews (found on MarketCharts.com) in September showed 6 out of 10 consumers base shopping decisions on the ratings and reviews of others, through social media sites and user-generated content.
Social media allows consumers to receive individual attention from a brand, says Oztalay.
Read more details of How Social Media Changed Branding at:
I think it is fair to say that Google Plus Project, otherwise known as G+, has exploded onto the web marketing scene in a very short time. Statistics around the web indicate that in the first week, 35% of all new links shared on Twitter were related to the G+ Project.
At first glance everyone seemed to be declaring that the Google G+ Project would be the end of Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Skype. I cannot imagine that G+ would have the ability to knock these behemoths down. Certainly not in the short term and long term the other communities fulfill other needs that G+ will not be able to. What I do believe the critics are missing is the effect on web marketing. Perhaps these critics are not web marketers, but more likely either seeking attention through competitive propaganda or have an inability to adopt and adapt to new changes within the Internet industry.
Certainly Google’s G+ Project will eventually change the web marketing world. Since this is Google’s own product, they will prefer social tick marks through the +1 Button over those coming from Twitter, Facebook and social bookmarking. You cannot help but see that this will impact organic search results. Web pages that generate many +1′s will probably populate earlier on Google search results than those websites that do not.
I will avoid detailed discussions related to the features offered through the Google G+ Project in this discussion, which include sharing Photos, Chatting, Hangout, Spark, Huddles, and Instant Uploads. As a web marketer, all of these other features are social community add-ons that mimic the likes of GoToMeeting, Skype, Flickr and others. None of these will necessarily affect web marketing in terms of search results; only make more features available for Google to allow for Adwords advertising on Google web properties versus on the Google Ad Network.
What Is The Need for Google Plus Project?
First and foremost, if we go back many years when Google got it’s start, part of their objective was to be the world’s information source. To that end, any information including communications, are fair game to be pooled under one roof for better accessing, interpretation and availability based on content relevancy. Information from social communities certainly falls into the process of aggregating information and in line with Google’s objectives.
Secondly, a few years ago if you logged into your Google account, you had the option of commenting on web pages in search results. I think it took one comment to realize that nothing we did would have an effect on website rankings, because the comments were only relative for our own account. Now why would I comment on web pages if my comments are not shared with anyone? Exactly! So, the comment we had on our own website is no longer there and the Google Plus Project seems to have replaced this feature more effectively. Now, all comments, ticks, etc. are shared with people in our community. Certainly seems to be more effective for web marketing.
Perhaps not the last reason, but certainly another important reason, would be related to anti-spam. Google has always sought out ways to reduce spam in the search results. So much so, that it has made it more difficult and complicated for businesses to rank legitimate information and websites (this is also known as job security for web marketers!).
Spammers have infiltrated social communities and found ways to get their information indexed through these communities and/or impacted search engine results for their websites. Since most popular social communities are not as good as Google in terms of anti-spam, one would expect Google to take a pro-active role. Content in the project can be better monitored (aka controlled) to minimize spam, fraud and less reputable websites.
G+ and Web Marketing
The +1 button is available through web search results now and also through other social communities, blogs, etc. A Google +1 button plugin is available for WordPress blogs and eventually, this will be as wide spread as other sharing tools for Twitter, Facebook, Delicious, etc.
Since these “social activities” are taking place on Google, it is hard to imagine that the number of +1 button clicks a given page gets would not have an effect on the organic rankings! Not only is the +1 button included on every post within Google Plus and on content publishers’ websites, but it’s literally sitting next to every single search result that Google returns. Does anyone doubt that this will affect search engine ranking position (SERP) results?!
It would be similar to doubting that star ratings on local business listings won’t affect search engine results that come through the local business listings. Let’s get realistic. As of November 2010, Google was able to marry a website with a local business listing and display average star ratings for a website based on the results in the local business listing. Star ratings are quantitative and therefore mathematical! Still don’t believe this will affect SERP?
If we believe that the number of +1 clicks will affect SERP and also display accordingly to content relevancy to my G+ community, then the more people in my community, the more people I can effect with +1 clicks.
Yes, I realize if we were to hire a bunch of people from a third world nation for 50 cents per hour clicking away at our client or our own websites, we could affect SERP, but let’s move away from that thought for a moment because that loop hole could get closed very quickly based on geographic IP addressing.
However, it does mean that the more people you have in your G+ community, the more people you can impact. Rather than thinking about third world nations clicking away, think about indiscriminately creating the largest community you can possibly think of using– every community you already belong to, every email address you have, every connection you can get your hands on. Now that may have a much bigger impact for anything you +1!
Early Adoption and Adapting To Change
Once again, the Internet shows how quickly a technology can enter the market and how rapidly people will migrate to it. Early adoption is the name of the game in the world of Internet technologies. Adapting to the changes in the industry is a must and everyone else will be left behind. If the past 20 years has not shown us that businesses need to jump on board sooner rather than later, then you will undoubtedly be left behind.
The G+ user population will grow extremely fast, given the interest, Google’s reach and resources, and the need businesses have for their website’s SERP. Perhaps this will become the “Facebook for Business”!
It will be interesting to learn how well businesses will be able to keep up with all of the changes, given the growing “to do” list. G+ on the short term will add a host of additional “to do’s” and the number of marketing outlets to manage. G+ will also be too important to ignore.
Melih Oztalay, CEO
Smartfinds Internet Marketing
Direct: (248) 568.2241
330 East Maple Road #503, Birmingham, MI 48009
Michigan-based trade association for the state’s mobile technology industry launches new website as part of its inaugural campaign for state-wide membership
Detroit, Michigan – March 7, 2011 (MTAM) – Though it has remained under the radar, Michigan’s mobile technology industry has slowly but steadily been achieving growth over the last several years, in spite of the state’s recent economic challenges.
According to WirelessAdvisor.com, as of June 2010, over 4600 were employed within Michigan by the carriers providing wireless service in the state. Thousands more are employed in such areas as: mobile app and website development, mobile marketing, cell tower installation, and mobile technology management. Additionally, thousands more are responsible for implementing mobile technology programs within a wide variety of industries including ad agencies, health care, manufacturing, retail, consumer services, automotive, travel, education, state services, tourism and more. And the need for staff in the mobile industry continues to grow.
A local mobile expert, Keith Bourne of Appervasive states, “I recently spoke with a number of companies across southeast Michigan about their most urgent need for their businesses, the unanimous response was people to fill mobile-related positions in their companies. And these positions were not just in mobile development as you might expect, but instead they crossed the entire hiring spectrum including sales, marketing, accounting, and so on, in addition to development.” Sevan Kulwicki, a representative from Southfield-based tier one technology staffing supplier Epitec Group, indicates that their clients have an ever-growing need for staff with mobile technology knowledge. She states, “Our clients depend on us to be in the forefront with regard to our ability to provide staff with mobile capabilities; for project management, development, and many other areas. We’re always seeking ways to connect with members of the mobile technology industry.”
As the industry grows, so too does the need for a Michigan-based trade association focused on synergy and collaboration to insure continued growth of the industry and the career opportunities it provides – particularly within the State of Michigan – and to provide resources that enable that continued growth. To meet those needs, the Mobile Technology Association of Michigan (MTAM) has been formed as a non-profit trade association for Michigan’s mobile technology industry. Those interested in joining MTAM may register on the organization’s new website at http://www.GoMobileMichigan.org ; this URL will direct visitors to the organization’s PC website or mobile-optimized website depending on the device being used to access it.
MTAM’s stated mission is “To grow the mobile industry within the State of Michigan, thereby generating increased entrepreneurial and enterprise-level opportunities within the mobile technology space and creating sustainable jobs”. The plan is to achieve this mission thru such vehicles as:
1) training / re-training
2) jobs development
3) creating industry awareness among Michigan’s consumers and businesses
4) creating entrepreneurial opportunities and resources
6) collaboration with statewide, national and international organizations and corporations
To facilitate its efforts to achieve the continued growth of the mobile technology industry, MTAM is now accepting applications for the following types of memberships:
3) Small Business
Each membership level receives all the General Membership Benefits, as well as those designated for their selected membership level; additional benefits to those listed are being negotiated with regional and national firms, and will be added on an on-going basis. Membership is open to students, individuals and firms working in, or interested in learning about or using, mobile/wireless technologies. If you want to learn how these technologies can be beneficial to your business, MTAM will be an essential factor to that education; if you’re in the industry, MTAM will provide a wide variety of valuable tools and resources to help you achieve growth.
Founded by Linda Daichendt, CEO of Southfield-based Strategic Growth Concepts and Co-founder of Mobile Monday Michigan, the MTAM Board of Directors also includes: Cynthia Grubbs, Small Business Liaison with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (Detroit/Lansing); Paul Czarnik, Chief Technology Officer at Compuware (Detroit); Keith Bourne, Founder of Appervasive and Co-founder of Mobile Monday Michigan (Ann Arbor); Jonathan Engelsma, Professor at Grand Valley State University and Director of GVSU’s Mobile Applications Lab (Grand Rapids); and Jason Joseph, Director Technology and Information Solutions, Spectrum Health (Grand Rapids). Several additional Board members are pending. The group’s General Counsel is Mike Watza of Kitch Drutchas et al (Detroit).
The organization is currently operating out of Southfield, but seeking permanent offices in downtown Detroit from which it will work to facilitate industry growth throughout Michigan.
MTAM’s new website was provided by High-Level Marketing of Farmington Hills, and the mobile-optimized version was provided by Keego Harbor-based, Fourstream USA.
About The Mobile Technology Association of Michigan (MTAM)
The Mobile Technology Association of Michigan (MTAM) is a Michigan-based trade association for the mobile industry. Our mission is to grow the industry within the state, thereby generating increased entrepreneurial and enterprise-level opportunities within the mobile technology industry.
Our primary function: to foster cooperation between the various factions of the mobile industry and its professional associations globally, the State of Michigan, the investment community, the education community, and technology users to facilitate in-state growth of the industry.
MTAM sponsors Michigan-based growth of the Mobile Monday organization; performs research for members and other interested parties; facilitates idea sharing, entrepreneurial programs, training programs and jobs creation; acts as a liaison with the mobile community inside/outside of Michigan; and serves as a resource for all things related to the Mobile / Wireless industry. The group’s website can be found at http://www.GoMobileMichigan.org .
Organization: Mobile Technology Association of Michigan
Address: 21908 Evergreen Road, Southfield, MI 48075
Metro: Detroit, Michigan
Contact: Linda Daichendt
Tel: (248) 470-3257
Fax: (248) 350-9465
The Internet has catapulted to the marketing scene fast and furiously. Once considered a budgetary “optional extra,” the Internet has since moved to the high priority list for serious marketers. As newspapers reduce publication or worse, close down – and as broadcasting audiences change, the Internet has grown in importance for marketing your business.
When it comes to the Internet as a new business marketing medium, it’s worthwhile to review the history. Most importantly, how history has affected marketing budgets. Changes in marketing were evolutionary from the 1920s until the mid-1990s. Print, like newspapers and magazines, were the primary mediums for advertising. Then, radio began to capture a share of the marketing budget. Television expanded from the three networks of the 1950s to cable with hundreds of choices. This expansion was steady but slow. Although budgets were adjusted to include the new mediums as each one arrived to the market, there was resistance by many to each of these media outlets.
Have you ever looked up the meaning of paradigm? It is used to describe a way of thinking or a body of evidence, and we use the words “paradigm shift” to describe a significant change of thought or strategy or a new reality.
When things are uncertain, some may think it is premature to consider tackling new realities. This thought may resonate with the attitude, “Why try something new? I can use the same methods that have always worked in the past, especially since these are methods I understand.” This conviction may feel comfortable for some period of time, but many people wait until they are forced to try something new and in many cases, it is too late.
The Internet is a good example of a medium one shouldn’t postpone using, as well as a medium that is not waiting for businesses to catch up. With changes occurring on the Web every month, by the time some companies finish a Request for Proposal (RFP) process, there are new strategies or processes for consideration. These new strategies and processes then change budgets that were not part of the considerations for the RFP or the responses.
The Internet changes and grows because input and ideas come from everyone. There are no limits as to who submits their knowledge and in part this is due to the barrier to entry is almost zero. Unlike traditional marketing mediums that required significant infrastructure, the Internet only requires a computer and a connection.
Some examples of these new strategies and processes would include social media, PowerPoints, and video. In 2006 Social Media was limited to forums and blogs; however, by the time we got to 2008, we had MySpace, Facebook and Twitter to name a few. Video on the Web had been steadily been growing for a number of years, but became more popular with YouTube. PowerPoint communities which allow you to get your message out to the Web community have not totally caught on, however, they are increasingly growing as a good resource to get your message out.
We have to consider that the Internet basically has all of the three traditional marketing mediums within. Print, Radio and Video are all a part of the Internet, thus adding to the complication of budget considerations. The digital world also is supported through a variety of external hardware which includes mobile devices like laptops and iPhones. These mobile devices allow marketers to stay in touch with consumers no matter where they go.
Traditional media has always had an issue in giving clients adequate measurements to show a return on investment. Advertising was better than Public Relations, but neither gave concrete results. The Internet gives clients the ability of measuring everything from a news release to social media marketing. This includes not only traffic and sales to your Web site, but the viral nature of any content that is distributed (news, articles, banners, etc.).
As we budget considerations continue transitioning for some businesses, the Internet continues to grow rapidly. Those that embrace the change and engage the medium will get the benefits sooner. They will also be able to build upon their investments into the Internet medium, while others will have to catch-up at higher prices. Are you still considering how much of your budget should be for the Internet?
Facebook tends to be a problem for many people when they start to mix their personal and their business contacts. For the personal contacts they are less interested in seeing communications about your business. For the business contacts they may find your personal life quite interesting and for you a bit of a problem letting your business into your personal life.
Separating these two segments of your life can be accomplished at Facebook by simply splitting them into different lists. This will allow you to continue benefit from you personal life, while separating your business contacts. The below steps are written with the assumption that you understand how to navigate through Facebook. The instructions are also based on August 2009 Facebook features, links and navigation.
– Click on the “Friends” link at the top
– Click the “+Create” on the left sidebar under Lists
- A new window will open and you can type in the list name for your business contacts (e.g. professional or business) then click “Create List” button, lower right.
– Click on “All Connections”
- You can now go through your list and click on “Add To List” down the right column for each business contact and place them into your new list.
- You now have to change your privacy settings for your wall by clicking on “Profile” at the top.
- Click on “Options” under the “Share” button.
- Click on “Settings”
- Under “Who can see posts made by friends?” click on “Customize”
- In the pop-up window under “Except These People” select the business contact list you created, then press “Okay”.
What we just accomplished is for your Facebook wall. You can now customize all other aspects of your Facebook account by hovering over “Settings” then clicking on “Privacy Settings”, and finally clicking on “Profile”.
You can now perform the same steps as above for all aspects of various Facebook features. We invite you to add your experience about Facebook privacy settings to augment the writings in this post.
We learned recently that information submitted to the micro-blog, Twitter.com, does not continually remain on Twitter.com. Since postings on Twitter are eliminated over time, then Twitter may not be considered an effective long- term content marketing tool for your Internet marketing strategy. Instead, it might better fall into the category of short-term Internet advertising.
The general concept of Content Marketing is to post information throughout the Web in such a way that the work being performed will have a shelf life of years. Information posted on the Internet, for the most part, requires labor. Nothing is very automated about this posting process; yet, the significant benefit is the ability to garner traffic from these postings through a variety of sources over the long term. Content Marketing tasks can be reduced after time and even after these efforts are reduced or ceased, you should still continue to see viral benefits.
If we compare this to Internet advertising, the general routine is that as long as you have money for your an ad, the ad will help drive traffic to your Web site. If the money stops, then the ad disappears and the traffic from the ad stops.. For this reason, Internet advertising does not have a shelf life and is generally a short term response. Internet advertising is not very labor intensive.
Twitter, on the other hand, appears to be a labor intensive social media marketing tool which requires ongoing labor to maintain a presence with your posts. For something considered to be a “blog” of sorts, we have to wonder if this process really benefits a content marketing strategy.
As an example, in our Twitter account we saved two different searches. One for our company name “smartfinds” and the other for a very popular article we wrote about the “court of the people”. Both had postings indexed by Google and we could see the number of interested Twitter members grow. Unaware that this information may come down from Twitter, we did not pay close attention, onlyto occasionally check our saved Twitter searches.
Recently, we checked these saved Twitter searches and found they all had zero response. This was quite a surprise for a labor intensive process. The Google indexed pages are still intact; however, they link to a blank Twitter page without the content. This would not benefit us with Google searches and eventually Google will remove the listings as well.
Our recommendation is for Twitter to re-consider its policies and keep postings for content marketing purposes. Twitter currently acts as a short term response Web site for current activity. This and relationship building can be accomplished from a variety of other sources on the Web where the content continues to stay. Without any long term benefits of the posted information, why would one want to Twitter as part of a viral content marketing strategy?
Reflecting over the first quarter of 2009, I’ve spoken with small business owners, medium business owners, large global business leaders, brand managers, entrepreneurs, agency VPs, PR experts, client marketing executives, adverting executives, social media gurus, writers/bloggers and of course – IT and technical wizards – who all are energized and thirsty to move the needle forward.
Now that the second quarter is underway, are you maneuvering towards your goals and effectively moving the needle forward or just idling on fumes? With a sour economy still looming, budget cut hangovers are still pounding in everyone’s heads and resources are “busting-at-the-seams.” Yet, many savvy businesses are staying ahead of the competition by learning from and embracing the maturing “new media” technologies – cultivating well planned digital marketing, digital advertising and social strategies.
A well-executed digital strategy can drive businesses forward. Advertising can help you with the ability to connect with your target audience across multiple digital touch-points. Content marketing helps you become an authority on topics that will allow you to have “a shelf-life of years” out on the web. Social strategies can build one-to-one relationships that help your enterprise grow credibility and relevance over time. In addition, if done correctly a well-executed digital strategy can aide in building brand champions and hand raisers that facilitate your message – genuinely.
Traditional or poorly executed digital methods that lack effective measurability to track an accurate ROI can be painful. In addition, many times they can even fall short of providing valuable baseline data benchmarks and reliable consumer insights for future use.
Is New Media New?
So, when it comes to “new media”, is the media new or is it how the technology is maturing that is – in fact – new? It has matured – nicely – sort of, since I graduated from college nine years ago.
So Today, What Is New Media…?
For the later part of the 20th century, we can simply define new media as the emergence of networked information and digital communication technologies. When I was in college in the late nineties, I used every aspect of the web that was available at that time from early social communities (e.g. CollegeClub.com) to search engine research. (An MSU professor first told me of Google in 1999.)
Swingers (1996): "Our Little Baby's All Growns Up!"
New media today is “all growns up” Or is it? We continually see the maturation process happening on a daily basis. Content relevancy is rising and digital communication is flowing “over capacity” at times.
Twitter Over Capacity - Source: Twitter
Is digital a realistic approach for our brand?
We have a saying at SmartFinds, “We take a rational approach to an irrational medium,” which was coined by our colleague, Gene Brady, in the Fall of 2008. As is the case in any good creative, marketing, social or advertising strategy, the first step is developing a strategy based on solid business objectives and intense research – or “listening.”
Recently, I was talking with a friend about a social strategy and as I was speaking on this “listening” business he stated, “yeah, but you’re not actually “listening,” you or your marketing team is reading stuff on the Internet.” I said to him… “Shhh… listen…, with the expertise of our analysis software and technology tools, can’t you hear the sweet music of ones and zeroes playing 24-7?” Is your brand in harmony, out of tune or not even audible on the web?
Finally, don’t just throw your time or budget away!
Don’t think that you need to do everything at once. Develop your plan with solid business objectives. The new media flow begins with a review of the business objectives followed by – Research, Strategy and Planning to derive trustworthy marketing, advertising and/or social objectives.
For example, at a high level, approaching an effective digital marketing program requires:
Industry Research – In developing your strategy, we need to understand your business, your products and services to provide solid gap analysis to guide you to get the results you need and catapult you ahead of your competitors.
Market Research – We must answer all questions that will allow us to reach your target market. This includes analyzing items such as, key phrases searched, the volume of those searches and competition that is out there. We will also find websites, forums, blogs, communities, micro communities, et al. – to learn (“listen”) how your target audience uses the Internet.
Competition Research – We generate Internet metrics about your site with the public information such Page Rank, Traffic Rank, Link Popularity and Keyword Density. These metrics not only allow us to perform technical marketing (including SEO) but also give us guidelines and goals to reach for a content marketing campaign for sustained presence within the Internet community.
Competitor Research – You need to distinguish between Competitors and Competition online. Competitors are companies that provide the same products and services with the potential of acquiring business away from you. Competition – Any web page that happens to have the same keywords or phrases that are part of your content marketing campaign. Competition research gives us information why a certain web page is ranked, while Competitor research will help us identify how well the competitors are actually performing on the Internet.
Strategy Development – Analysis of the research data helps determine the type of content marketing needed. It helps to guide the changes needed on your website for visible text or the effectiveness of the campaign as your brand is marinating on the Internet.
Business Plan Development – Does the strategy have potential to increase revenues? How much revenue can it potentially increase short term and long term? Based the campaign objectives and your profit margins we can provide you with an estimate for the return on your investment into your own company.
Are you already embracing new media to help drive business forward? Need help getting started? What are some of the pain points in your business world today? Let us know what’s working for you or what questions you may have. Remember, at SmartFinds Internet Marketing, “We take a rational approach to an irrational medium; and we are dedicated to one thing: helping you drive business through Internet marketing.”
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