Sunday, April 25, 2010

iPhone Applications on the move

Expect over the next six months to start to see a major growth in development of iPhone applications.

The stats to support this include:

607.5 million people globally accessing social networks by 2013, which is 43% of all mobile internet users (eMarketer)

50% of mobile phone users will access the mobile internet at least monthly by 2013 (eMarketer)

Also recent studies (from America) shows the % of people accessing websites via mobile phones are increasing: in January 2010, 25.1 million mobile users accessed Facebook via their mobile browser, up 112% from 11.8 million mobile users in January 2009. Twitter also experienced high growth attracting 4.7 million mobile user in Jan 10, up by 347% versus previous year. (Source: ComScore, Feb 2010, Facebook and Twitter Access via Mobile Browser Grows by Triple-Digits in the Past Year).

Content on the go

If your consumers/clients would benefit from content on the go being pushed to their phone (via 3GS) then talk to Rocktime Sales about Mobile Application development. We can create mobile applications for the iPhone, Android, Windows mobile and more. A benefit of working with us is that as we develop everything in house you will also be able to have complete control of the look and the feel of the application. The main design considerations we review to in creating your application with you, is to make sure it is easy to read, easy to navigate, fun or/and extremely useful to target market.

Recent iPhone development

Rocktime recently developed an iPhone application for Local Food Advisor linking into their site database, to share 4000 award winning producers, suppliers and farmers markets in the UK & Ireland read more about the iPhone app integration here>

How to get your app noticed?

There are over 100K 3rd party applications available to download, so the big question is how to get your application noticed? As part of social media optimisation we would advise you to network with your communities on social networks before launch and during launch. If the application development was based on feedback from your community then thank them and make them feel involved, they too will then share the love of your new application. If you have employees on Twitter talk to them about the new app let them know test dates, let them spread the word too around their own networks. Join in with application developer forums, get their feedback and continue to spread awareness of your application once launched.

Location based apps growing

Tech journalists and bloggers anticipate an increasing number of iPhone applications will become location based: so as tweets, blog posts, site content are based on a specific area the content will then be delivered to the iPhone application when required. On upload of the application it will ask “would you like to use your current location”, you may have already seen this already on sites such as and (see above blog post image).

Via 3GS and interaction with the location targeted apps, local businesses are benefiting as they are able to serve up adverts that are specific to the application users location ie: a coffee shop may tweet out to Four Square members, “Why not pop in to our branch on the High Street around 3pm and have Coffee for half price”. Pretty amazing yes, indication that web technology is continuing to empower the consumer even further, as they not only check for real time offers whilst on the move but receive them automatically too (Push & Pull notifications).

Be inspired

It is worth your while exploring iPhone applications even if you don’t have an iPhone, what works well on a phone could work for your site. The application store is also a great place to help create or build on new ideas, especially if you read the feedback pages.

If you are totally new to mobile phone applications and would like a little insight into how they function. look and the benefits to the user, we would recommend you go visit this post at Mashable, who in celebration of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, shared their top 10 free iPhone applications that promote continued environmental awareness, hopefully they will be of interest to you. For extra advise and guidance in this growing market of mobile phone applications pick up the phone to talk to Rocktime Sales.

Author: Sarah Griffiths

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Astronomy Picture of the Year

We ususally have the GEEK Video of the month, but as we can't find a winner this month. thought to share with you what we believe to be the "Astronomy Picture of the Year" which shows "Ash and Lightning Above an Icelandic Volcano" Credit & Copyright goes to Marco Fulle (Stromboli Online).

Pretty impressive shot !

For the geeky explanation on why the recent volcanic eruption in Iceland created so much ash? Go visit the Astronomy Picture of the Day website where we sourced the image from here.

Author: Paul Watmore

Monday, April 19, 2010

Google Docs Just Got Better !

On Monday last week Google introduced and previewed the Google Documents with a number of clients with regards to collaborating on content related to their website, this addition is really helpful, thanks Google we are loving your work.

If you have a Google account, go to your Google Documents page and visit the settings tab, then document settings, then the editing tab to preview the new features it is quite clear just choose “Create new text documents using the latest version of the document editor” . Alternatively watch the video above for more information.

Have fun.

Author: Sarah Griffiths

Sunday, April 18, 2010

3 Tech companies on a Ski Trip / Holiday

Kieron Matthews (our Technical Director) has recently got back from a Skiing/Snowboarding trip with friends in the French Ski Resort Les Arcs (Paradiski), taking on Mike Ypes from The3rdRoom and Sean Matthews (his brother) from BlueChip Data Systems.

So the question is did they all stick to the blue runs or attempt to ski down the black runs, tackle mogels or did they simply enjoy off piste? Who was the best skier, snowboarder, did anyone attempt a 360 degree jump?

Kieron tells all (or a little as pretty pushed at the mo):

"I can’t crown anyone as a champion cook as this holiday chalet was fully catered. I can crown Mike as the best skier on the trip and Scott as the best boarder (Mike was the only skier). And I would like to crown myself as the person most likely to get lost. No comment on the 360 degree jump, I will let you decide on that. Overall the trip was a great break away, lots of activities, laughing and relaxing. Overall score 9/10, I would recommend this resort for families and groups of friends and will visit again. Find out more about Les Arcs (Paradiski) here"

Back to work:

The Technical team are steaming their way through with the upgrades to the new version 7 modules (within Rocktime CMS) and Core (the backbone to our Rocktime CMS) which are all geared to SEO and feature several developments using Web 2 controls. The version is due for release in beginning of October 2010.

It’s a very exciting time for all of us.

To find out more about our latest developments to our content management system, or to understand more about logic cms talk to Sales.

Author: Kieron Matthews

Thursday, April 15, 2010

YouTube bring back the Bulletins

I have just logged into YouTube and noticed (appearing top of YouTube channel on login) that they have started to advertise the Channel Bulletins feature, it makes alot more sense than what I read back in Jan 2010 here over at the YouTube Blog.

This is excellent news for brands out there who which to increase their communication with the YouTube audience. The new tabbing structure makes the process very clear and easy to use.

Using the "Post a Bullettin" feature means you can write a message to all your subscribers and even link them to a video. You can then view the message you have written in your Recent Activity Module, so any passers by will see that activity too and possibly want to subscribe to you if the messages/bullettins are enticing enough. It also mentions that it will appear on the subscribers recent activity module too, there is however a time delay as I just ran the test from my personal channel here - note top line (Testing the new feature) and over 10hrs later the recent activity on Rocktimesocial hasn't updated yet (so sceptical - as YouTube comments are a gamble at the best of times).

Find out more about this feature by visiting this link over at Google on Channel Bulletins.

It is all very exciting indeed...

Author: Sarah Griffiths

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Twitter Simplifies it's Business Model - #not

Twitter ranks as one of the most popular sites on the Internet. So we all have waited with baited breath of news on when they were going to start putting together a business model. The news broke yesterday.

They have launched what they call a simple service titled “Promoted tweets” and this morning I have been trying to get my head round what this means to the Twitter Eco System and how our clients will benefit from this service.

Twitter are classing this as the first stage and already have a number of advertising partners onboard to trial the service which include: Starbucks, Virgin America (not surprised), Red Bull, Best Buy and Sony Pictures. The premise being is that promoted tweets are just like ordinary tweets that brands may wish to use should they want to highlight their Tweet to a wider community.

We are going to begin to see promoted tweets appear at the top of some of Twitter Search result pages (see image above). Twitter will be measuring whether people like the tweets via their interaction with the message ie: marking as favourite, Re-tweeting or @replying. If no body/tweeter appears to like the promoted Tweet then it will disappear. I believe there will be a connection to the Twitter user and the promoted tweet, a little bit like “You may be interested in feature” on Amazon, ie: the more you RT tweet a tweet from a sports brand the more promoted tweets from sport brands you will see.

Also as the Tweet is promoted and Twitter seek to make money then the promoted tweets will be purchased on a CPM model and quite excitedly (for Flashlight) it will be a mix of earned versus paid media – as you need to make your Tweets work.

Having a combination or organic and paid ads will suit Rocktime’s Flashlight Team well as we have the mix of SEO expertise, Paid search expertise and Social Media Savvyness.

I am sure there is more in this development, so I went and visited Web Strategist Blog by Jeremiah Owyang to see what he has to say, quite alot as it happens.

Jeremiah has provided a summary of the promoted, explaining as I have above on how it will work, he has also developed a matrix on what Twitter’s promoted tweets business model will mean to the Eco-system. Go and view his blog post here and follow him (blog & twitter) as he regularly talks a lot of sense:

Twitter’s founder Biz Stone has let us all know that there will be more announcements soon as the project matures, they are currently finding their feet too in understanding how to measure Twitter user interaction on the Tweets. Once they have a footing this will be rolled out to other advertisers. So watch this space, as I am sure we have some very interesting times ahead.

Reputation and respect has never been more key. Power to the people ! and good luck to the brands in finding the 140 characters that resonate with their audiences.

Author: Sarah Griffiths

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Google prefer sites that load quickly

Following on from the above video on June 2009 (note: final line - about their quest to "raise the quality of life"), last Friday, April the 9th 2010 Google officially announced its plan to promote faster loading sites.

This new rule reviews the speed in which the pages show up when a user clicks on an address, the objective being to show their customer (Google users) with sites with advanced usability.

Amit Singhal and Matt Cutts explained over at the Google Webmaster Central Blog

“Faster sites don't just improve user experience; recent data shows that improving site speed also reduce operating costs. Like us, our users place a lot of value in speed — that's why we've decided to take site speed into account in our search rankings. We use a variety of sources to determine the speed of a site relative to other sites”

Read the full blog post here:

Those familiar with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) know that Google’s ranking of results has mainly been based on the relevance of the website content to search query and providing points to those who have many other sites refer to it as a good source of information.

There are over 200 ranking factors in Google’s rule book, the good news, especially for smaller sites who can’t afford to maintain fast servers, is that they have stated that the most important criteria for ranking results would remain the relevance for a particular query and that the speed rule is only expected to play a minor role. It is believed that only 1% of search queries will be affected by the change to include load speed, as it will mainly involve penalising pages with excessive loading times of around 20 seconds or longer.

Google have helpfully provided a list of some free tools you can use to evaluate the speed of your site, please view these below. If you need any further guidance on site speed or SEO feel free to get in touch. We have used the Google's Site Performance feature found Google Webmaster Tools for some time now, Google blogged about their Site Performance feature back in Dec 09 here.

Handy Tools to evaluate the speed of your website

Page Speed, an open source Firefox/Firebug add-on that evaluates the performance of web pages and gives suggestions for improvement.
YSlow, a free tool from Yahoo! that suggests ways to improve website speed.
WebPagetest shows a waterfall view of your pages' load performance plus an optimization checklist.
In Google Webmaster Tools, Labs > Site Performance shows the speed of your website as experienced by users around the world

There are also many other tools at

We encourage our clients and our readers without an SEO contract with us to start looking at your site speed using the above tools, and as Google say this is to “not only to improve your ranking in search engines, but also to improve everyone's experience on the Internet”

Maybe they really are good guys after all !

Author: Sarah Griffiths