Aging Population, Say What?

I'm just gonna snap this ditty down.Post from Canadian Marketing Blog...

"Recruitment experts predicted that health care positions - home health care, registered nurses, personal aides, physiotherapists, occupational therapists - are all in great demand because of the aging population.....As we move into the new year, the advice for students is for them to enroll in courses catering to the aging population - there will be plenty of jobs associated with taking care of the old and senile waiting for these young people to graduate from proper training in this sector."

Full read here.What the writer DOES NOT seem to get is that health care is exactly the industry where Canada and other developed nations; are gonna have a very proactive immigration policy.  A happy brain gain you can say. Rest assured there will be enough nurses, personal aides, therapists and the like  to go around.  Health care workers will be the blue collar auto factory workers of the future.

Around the Interwebs: Digital News

Just catching up on major inter-web related news: 1. Very excited about the Skype / Facebook integration. I heard about it a while ago but didn't realize that the 'integrated' version is available for download.  (The full release details are available here.) I actually thought thought that the integration would be available seamlessly on FB (i.e. no upgrades download required - just sign in with you skype login on FB). Once I get it fired up (hopefully I will if my work computer is not totally locked down) I'll post screen captures.

2. Bing incorporates Facebook 'your friends like this'. Interesting news. I guess it's still up in the air about who is going to own the 'social webs' but I think Facebook is winning. Seems like all of Googles initiatives in this area have not been super successful (i.e. Buzz, Wave, FriendConnect).  I wish I could buy some Facebook stock.

3. Looks like more and more Brands are getting into the location game. Actually, I'm really annoyed because of course being in Pakistan mean I have not really been able to try the whole 'Facebook Places' 'Gowalla' 'Foursquares' check-in thing. I wonder how successful this will be (in the future) in our local market. I know that some forward thinking business in Pakistan have actually been using Google Lattitude for business purposes - i.e. tracking the location of on the road salespeople / delivery people etc.  I think if would be interesting to use check-ins to monitor for field visits and collect real-time data.Two side notes though:

- I gotta get data on 'data package' penetration on mobile phones. I think providers like Telenor have recently pushed for it on the mid-level market (i.e. People who don't have smart phones)

- I really gotta get rid of my BlackBerry. Almost of all my data communication is still locked down (Ok if SOMEONE can logically explain to me why is it locked down for blackberries and not other handsets I will bake them a cake). This mean no Facebook, no Twitter, no 'on the go Wordpress updates', no google maps (which I really miss most of all), no Google mobile search (which is actually very useful and pretty accurate - even in Karachi).  So basically this device is totally useless for me.  I will probably go for an Android phone although sometimes I still get tempted by the iPhone.

Wordpress In Little Devices

Trying the WordPress application for the BlackBerry. Other than having my terrible spelling and random rants available uncensored by the time delay in actual posts I'm very excited!!I wonder if this blurs the link between tweet / buzz / status update. I will need to link into hellotxt some more and see what else can be integrated.Feeling love for the BB type pad and signing out!

If you haven't heard: We are facing tough economic time(z)

For most of my 5+ years of working career I’ve been on the media side, first on the classifieds end (BuySell.com) and then on the classifieds + content end (Autonet.ca ).On the media end your energy is divided between building interesting content (so that the people come), figuring out how to sell the advertising around that content (what do the advertisers want? how do we efficiently use all out inventory?).In between there is lots of planning, building and tracking metrics, internal politics and fighting for resources – much like anywhere else.Now I’m working on the agency side the experience has been very different and eye opening. I’m generally lucky to be working at a digital agency where we do both planning, buying, strategy, web applications, social media et al. so the work is interesting and varied for the most part.Things I wish I knew back that that I know now: (I dare you to say this 10x)The benefits developing a close relationship with the buying agency (And umn… no I don’t mean in the kick-back kind of way…)It always surprises me how little interaction the local media sites (for the most part) have with us despite the fact that we probably account for a large portion of the overall online buys.I guess it’s because generally the online industry is so small here, it’s not enough revenue to really matter. But if you are spending significant money to build an online platform – you should be spending at least a decent amount of time trying to figure out how to effectively monetize it!My non rocket science advice:1.    Please don’t place ad spots at the bottom of the page as studies has shown that fewer eye balls see them2.    Please try to make your ad placement in BigBox (or LREC as they call it here) because it offers the most design options.3.    I would also love to see some interesting creative size like the half page ad; I tried it on Autonet.ca where the ad spaces could support both a BigBox or a Double Big Box (for the same CPM rate!) but for whatever reason it did not become popular.  I guess you have to be a site like the NY times for an advertiser to want to make special creative for you. I know from out end; we would be happy to include it in the plan to see what the response was like.I do have some junior level rocket science advice (develop a network by partnering with other sites; find ways to track users and serve them ads! take over the world! no wait... scratch the last one) but that's for another post.On the other hand I’m glad I’m NOT on the media side right now. As a digital agency we focus a MOST of our attention on strategies for developing engagement directly with the customer through both Facebook and web applications and connecting directly via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, WAP sites, SMS contest, developing blogs or even content portals.Once media was such an important component; now it’s increasingly irrelevant.Tough economic times for my favorite sites like NYTimes and TorontoStar.Although I haven't been to either site in at least two weeks; but I did spend most of my 'downtime' today getting to level 21 on Mafia Wars and streaming the new episodes from The Daily Show...

4 Indispensible Tools for any Marketer

1. Google ReaderIf you don’t know what an RSS feed is, learn about it now and start using them! For the rest of us, we all know the number one challenge (in any industry) is keeping up to date with what is happening in your field.RSS feeds make life 1000% easier since you can easily track the blogs/websites/people that you find most interesting.Google Reader is in my opinion the best way to manage and keep track of your RSS feeds especially you’ve got a built-in network of colleagues who are also using it to share items of interest. 2) Screen Capture ToolsBelieve it or not, I have three (3!) screen capture tools installed in my browser.Although anyone in the online field (online media, marketing, web development, product management) would I have more uses for these tools; I find it hard to imagine a job where there is no need to ever capture an area of the screen.

  • Notable App: I recently discovered NotableApp and have started using it. The best things about NotableApp is that it allows you to quickly and easily highlight certain areas of your screen capture and add notes. You can also email the link to the screen capture with your notes; though I generally end up saving and sending a pdf. The personal version is free to use, allows for up to 3 users and 3GB of storage. Noteable has a firefox plugin which makes it very handy. The big drawback is that it doesn’t let you grab an image outsize of your browser screen – and sometimes you need to include info on browser setting (i.e. for reporting bugs) or the date and time the screenshot was captured.
  • Aviary is a mind-bogglingly cool company. This have a full suite of tools online applications for editing including an image editor (Phoenix) a vector editor (Raven) and a newly launched audio editor called Myna. Given our internet speed; full-fledged image editing online is a little too slow; but this company is definitely going to be a game changer for things like Photoshop and Illustrator in the future. (Are they watching and creating their own competitive products? Hello… anyone out there?) Anyways, I mostly use their screen capture tool called Talon. Again it has a Firefox extension so image capture is an easy one-click away. Talon let’s you capture an area of the screen or the full screen and you can edit the image using Falcon which is an image mark-up tool, if needed. Again there is no way to capture info outside of the browser scree

  • Screencast is by TechSmith makers of SnagIt. In my previous job as product manager SnagIt was probably the most used tool. But since there is not free version of the tool I’ve had to go greener (cheaper?) pastures. Screencast needs to be downloaded and installed onto your computer. You can capture a whole page, visible page only or a portion of the page but the best part of Screencast is that you can capture videos. This is really handy if you want to explain an interaction to a developer, or need to capture an interaction. You also get space to store your videos on Screencast which is great as you can easily add links to things in presentations without blowing up the size of your presentation.

3) Delicious Using delicious is probably nothing new for most marketers, I add this to the list because it’s probably one of the tools I use every day. I’ve become a religious bookmarker and I save anything I find remotely interesting – creating presentations becomes so much faster when you don’t have to hunt for the right references and examples. Searching for your bookmarked items in delicious is usually pretty good as you can search based on title, tags or comments. Probably one of the under-used items in delicious is where you can explore other people public tags of things; it’s a good way to hunt out relevant pages/sites/things/ideas. 4) Brand Monitoring ToolsThere are tons of tools that help you monitor your brand online; totally indispensible if you are a brand / marketing / product manager. Although there are many, Viral Heat, PeopleBrowsr and more, the only one I’ve used is Social Seek because again its free.It takes less than 5 mins to download, install and setup SocialSeek. You enter your brand name and it will monitor it on a range of websites including Blogs, Twitter, YouTube and Images on Flickr.This is just my list; what would you add to it?This post was also published on PakMediaBlog @ http://pakmediablog.net/otherstuff/4-indispensible-tools-for-any-marketer/