Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Wishing you a Merry Christmas

From all of us at Rocktime we would like to thank you for your valued business during 2010.

Our Christmas and New Year Shut down times are listed over at our Contact Us page.

We are looking forward to blogging some more into 2011 and sharing with you more tips, insights and fun on topics relating to our Team, Web Development, Ecommerce, Social Media, Mobile Marketing, Web Analytics, Web Consultancy, iOS applications, Mobile apps, Search Marketing, Campaign Objectives, Conversions and not forgetting all things Geek.

Don’t forget if you ever want to find out more about our experience with the above feel free to call in to speak to one of our sales managers or visit one of our regularly updated pages:

Rocktime News
What we do
What we’ve done (Case Studies)

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas & successful New Year

Author: Alice Cheetham

Monday, December 13, 2010

Demo 2010 and the power of Social Media

As a fresh post-graduate from University into the big wide world, with several friends still in academia, I've been watching the tuition fee debate with more then a passing interest. Whilst the student protests in London may have been a huge part of raising awareness of the debate, a protest of 20,000 people isn't a simple case of asking your mates to put together some witty placards and gather up in central London.

Looking behind the scenes of these student protests highlights how much of a big player Social Media can be in raising awareness. The BBC recently wrote up an article on 'How Social Media changed protest', demonstrating how Social Media has changed the nature of modern protest.

I made an attempt at reading the #demo2010 tag on twitter, the prefered hashtag for protest updates. I'm not kidding when I say it was impossible. I have no idea of any official statistics (yet), but I can tell you it updated faster then I could hope to keep up with it.

If you were keeping up with the news, you might have heard of the UCL Occupation, as you might be able to guess from their name, they were students occupying the Unversity College of London in protest of the raise in tuition fees. They did do a fantastic job of raising awareness and even lending a helping hand with the protest groups, all through the power of networking.

What was the key to their success?

The BBC article mentioned above, called the UCL Occupation "a different kind of radicalism, armed with a laptop", as they were able to get their voice out there through as many means as possible. Not just an active Blog and Twitter account, but a Flickr stream, Google Calender detailing all their meetings and debates and a whole ream of videos to do with all aspects of the debate - constantly being uploaded to their Youtube account, and then plugged in their blog where relevant.

What started as a Blog and Twitter account attracted the attention of the media, with a live stream to news channels as well as local radio interviews, giving further publicity.

During the last day of protesting, @UCLoccupied turned their twitter-networking into protest-coordinating. Using Google maps and information from tweets by protesters across London, they were able to construct a near enough real-time updating map of London, detailing Police blocks, road closures and even cases of public disorder and trouble spots.

You can't help but admire how one small group of individuals armed with laptops, wifi and internet know how manged to contribute so much.

I'm not saying you should be trying to rally 10,000 students to your cause with the power of a hashtag, but this whole scenario does help highlight how powerful a tool Social Media can be.

I am pleased to say that the Flashlight Team here at Rocktime have bags of experience in rallying up the troops and conducting Social Media in a safe and social manner.
If you would like to talk to them some more more about social media management please don't hesitate to give them a call.

Author: Alice Cheetham

Thursday, December 09, 2010

The Future of Search: "Mobile will be big"

Thought to share with you this video from this time last year, when Matt Cutts (Google's Head of Webspam team) answered questions about the future of search in the next few years.

He ends the video with a few words about mobile search, saying that he sees a lot of potential growth in that area of search. "You're going to see all kind of changes, but mobile going to be a big part of it".

We are currently building sitemaps in Google Webmaster Tools to assist our clients ranking in the Google Mobile Index. Videos seem to appear quite often, wondering (as early days) if we should create a YouTube video to link to our own mobile site..,Hmm now that's a thought.

We have heard from our friends in search that the Google Mobile spiders takes about 2 weeks to find your site (after submission of sitemap) we will be keeping an eye on him and will feed back our learnings.

During Google Searchmasters Conference 2009 one of the presentations we saved: was 'Building mobile friendly websites' you can view this here on Google Docs and then save as PDF.

If you want to talk further about the future of mobile for your business, feel free to give our sales team a call. We are going slightly mobile crazy here at Rocktime right now, so we will share new mobile web statistics shortly.

Author: Sarah Griffiths

Monday, December 06, 2010

Geek Video of the month

Motion sensing is probably one of the big modern fads of the moment in console gaming. First off the starting line we had the Nintendo Wii in 2006, a few months ago saw the release of the Playstation Move - a similiar concept to the Wii as an addition to the Playstation 3 console. Most recently last month we had the release of the Kinect for the Xbox 360. Possibly one of the most interesting of the three;

So what can the Kinect really do? Aside from having us dance and flail around in front of our TVs like maniacs that is. Well around the time of it's release, The Open Kinect Project was set up, offering a $3,000 reward for an open source driver for the Kinect on PC.

Within hours of going on sale, software engineer Hector Martin had cracked it, opening the doors for all kinds of playing around with Kinect's ability to calculate depth as well as movement. From drawing and recording in 3D space to gesture recognition... or maybe just playing some Mario on your PC.

Author: Alice Cheetham

Monday, December 06, 2010

YouTube Subscription Widget

A big well done to the little yellow YouTube subscriber button which made its debut back in 2006: It was reported by YouTube (28th Oct 2010), that fifteen YouTube Channels have now crossed the one million subscribers mark. Pretty impressive !!

If all this talk of subscriptions is new to you, then YouTube suggest you check out the above video, in which dear Cuddles tells you all you need to know about subscriptions.

We have a channel at YouTube, which we use to store videos we like (Geek, Gaming, Viral, Fun) and subscribe to those we want to hear from again. In 2011 we have (medium) plans to upload work related videos relating to Web Development, eCommerce, Mobile Web, Hosting and Search Marketing and will surely let you all know about them when live. We say medium plans, as our faces will be on the video, so don't want to hype it up, with the words 'big plans' just yet ;)

If you have a YouTube Channel and you want to encourage subscription sign up, all you need to do is embed a piece of code into the source code of your blog or website in the exactly same way that you would embed a YouTube Video (really easy).

Find the code here over at YouTube Blog.

Author: Sarah Griffiths

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Best dressed Snowman in Poole

In a change from the Dorset norm we all woke up this morning to flurries of white and a whopping 8 inches of snow in some places. Possibly making a few trips to work this morning a little more exciting then we'd ever want!

This masterpiece appeared outside our office courtesy of Andy, Dan and Dave from our Tech team sporting a jaunty hat and Fiona's fluffy scarf.

We hope nobody had any snow based traveling mishaps this morning, and hopefully everyone had a better morning then this guy!

And whilst putting our artistic license towards creating snowmen is ok for some of us, it seems that Kieron, our Technical Director, prefers a slightly faster paced snow adventure.

Author: Alice Cheetham

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Marketing Mobile Apps

More companies are noting in their web analytics that an increased number of people are using their mobiles to access their site, along side this there are increasing news reports highlighting that more and more people are using their mobiles to perform extensive research before making a purchase. Following these trends it isn’t surprising that Rocktime are receiving an increased number of calls for the development of mobile apps and mobile websites. Talk to the sales team to find out more.

Theses mobile stats help explain the trend further:

- In October 2010, the UK’s Internet Advertising Bureau (IABUK) reported that 26.6 million people (59% of mobile phone owners in the country) had used mobile media such as apps or downloaded data to their handsets.

- Mobile web use is up sharply in the UK. About 31% of internet users said they went online via mobile phone in 2010, compared to 23% in 2009, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported

- We also heard today (via: @ITworld) that end users under the age of 35 prefer to use mobile applications, rather than a web browser, to use specific functions on smartphones and other mobile devices. Read more here: http://www.itworld.com/internet/129261/mobile-users-ditch-browsers-use-apps-instead

In following this trend, the Flashlight Team at Rocktime have been putting together a marketing document to help clients greatly improve the public’s interest, engagement and attention for their app / mobile website once it finally launches. They are working closely with the Sales team and Technical team to integrate marketing thoughts into the site build.

They share some quick tips below, and are happy to talk to you to discuss your mobile app / site marketing needs further.


During build of your mobile app / mobile site

1. Consider your customers online needs in building the app / site review your web analytics

For example: a hungry for Pizza customer may be interested in:
• Order a pizza online
• Pick up the pizza
• Find a pizza takeaway shop
• Pizza offers
• Call for pizza
• Access favourite pizzas

2. Explain the benefits:

For example a news website could push: “This new mobile site will allow you to browse through news and lifestyle headlines or articles on your mobile phone without having to load the full website” “With push notifications, the app will enable you to keep up to date with the latest news in your area”

3. Consider a mobile phones current functionality in the design of the app:

Click to call
Geo location
Payment Devise
Social network sharing

Tips in promoting mobile apps

• Get early attention and grow interest.

• Discuss in your news pages about your work in progress (where possible invite your customers to contribute to the final development).

• Show a teaser video on how the app will work > and how it seeks to make their life better (see above video)

• Possibly create a landing page for the App and if it is very exciting ie: not just a mobile version of the website, then promote it to the App fans out there, see what they think – and let them talk about you some more.

Keep learning

As a final tip, we recommend you read this article here from Marketing Week 'Are you making the most out of mobile?' which looks at how four retailers have brought their brands onto our handsets: http://www.marketingweek.co.uk/disciplines/digital/digital-strategy-supplement/are-you-making-the-most-from-mobile?/3020898.article

The Flashlight team are pretty excited about mobile developments and if you are a current client then I am sure you will hear from them soon, as they determine how mobile can fit with your overall digital strategy.

Author: Sarah Griffiths