Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Blyk - free phone service in Europe, but there is a catch!

Now here is an absolutely insane concept. It's so insane, it will absolutely work!

To get free text and minutes in some European locations -

You must be between the ages of 16 and 24. As stated in a recent interview, if you're 15, then you have hope. If you are 25, they are so sorry. If however you are lucky enough to be old enough and young enough, you can sign-up with Blyk and they don't kick you off at the ripe old age of 25...

Oh yea, and it is by invitation only, but that isn't the catch.

The catch is the interactive advertisement which supports the free offerings.
What is interactive advertisement you ask?

The young person's phone will receive ads which pay for the 217 text messages and 43 minutes of talk time per month, no contract. There's more... said young person answers a few questions at sign-up about their interests and then is presented with several types of advertisements during the month.

First type of ad is the simple text or picture ad. More importantly the second type of ad is a dialogue ad, a commercial with a response opportunity which helps Blyk learn more about their interests and finally the ad which is targeted precisely from the response. They believe that this interactive exchange is what this age group is comfortable with and expects.

From the About Blyk:

For both young people and advertisers, Blyk represents a totally new proposition.

Blyk has built a service around what young people want and need – free communication, ease of use and relevant messages from brands. Blyk has developed its offer by finding out what its members consider most valuable – this will evolve over time as their needs do.

Blyk allows advertisers to reach young people using the only channel that they carry with them everywhere. They can engage them in a dialogue, one that they are uniquely ready for, because they’ve opted in.

Blyk’s advertising products are based on the most dominant pattern of mobile behaviour among 16-24 year old consumers: getting a message and responding to it. Its offerings create awareness, build relationships and drive sales.

went public at the end of 2007 and has recently expanded into the UK market.

For more info about the pan-European offering and the company, refer to the links below:

- Press
- Blog

Opinion: Could the Blyk method work elsewhere in the world? Time will tell. This concept targets one of the mysterious demographic groups. If it catches on in Europe, why not elsewhere. Hmmm, open networks, open mobile platform, targeted advertisements; does this sound familiar to anyone?

Jott - call, speak, get more done.

So what is Jott? Bottom line is that it takes speak and translates it to text.
But wait there's more...

How are people using Jott?

I signed up for the Jott beta when it was first announced (next week, Jott turns one year old). However, up until recently I had only used it for the occassional reminder text message. Today, they announced the ability to connect with Google Calendar. Since I use Google Calendar for tracking everything, this is the killer option that makes Jott extremely useful for me.

For others the usefulness lies in the ability to:

- post a blog
- delegate tasks to an individual or a group
- record business expenses and mileage
- create travel and vacation notes
- search for items on
- and much more...

The application works well in its translation and the usage is straight forward with little to remember. The video below is a quick demonstration of how one person uses Jott.

Another online demo of Jott in action is available on the site.

What other bloggers are saying about Jott

Opinion: Jott is yet another link in the chain that is being forged by the various mobile phone application developers. With Google and Microsoft developing more app's for mobile platforms; the Android standard adoption; and the carriers hopping on the open network bandwagon, it is possible we may finally have what is needed for the big shift to always connected, ultra-mobile devices. Look for huge news in Q3 of 2008 for this market.