Tag Archives: Trends

Screen time: 16h a day diet

screen time

screen time increased 2 times for the last 3 years

Bye summertime, hi screentime.
It seems everybody is back to work.
We practice hundreds of screen-time activities on a daily basis. For example digital branding and web design doesn’t mean “Lorem ipsum” and CSS coding. It means daily communication with clients, project and contract management, market research and analytics, solid information architecture, creative design and fresh content, usability/ conversion/ search engine optimization, client expectations and experience management, brand’s reputation/ business metrics monitoring, etc.

Leisure time? Screen time is getting close to 72% of the pie. According to few research studies released this month, on average we spend:

  • 3.2 hours a day on social networking, microblogging and video sites such as Facebook and Twitter
  • 2.5 in front of traditional TV, timeshifted DVRs and online video
  • 4.6 with PCs and mobile devices at the office and home
which leaves around 3 hours for … iPhones, iPads, GPSs, Wii fits, PlayStation games and other screens.
What about relaxing, creative arts, socializing and sports?
Have you got your 16 hours screen-time daily dose?
Lucky grandpas, poor grandsons…
What the doctor says: Screen time caused increased likelihood of metabolic syndrome, obesity, obsessive–compulsive disorder, independent of physical activity. The risk of having metabolic syndrome increased with screen time, such that individuals with the highest amount of screen time (> 5hrs/day) had 3 times higher risk of those with less than 1 hr/day”. That’s a wealth of evidence.

I would say balance is the only way, get rid of all your TVs and let the force be with you. Switch OFF the screen and go out. It’s a great Indian summer out there.

What you say?

2010: year of the tablet? Maybe.

Tablet + PCTablet PCs have been a huge trend in the last decade and especially at CES 2010. As noted by Deloitte: computer manufacturers are predicted to sell millions of “NetTabs” worldwide, a market of 612 million GBP. By 2015, shipments are forecast to reach about 57 million units annually.
Microsoft announced the Tablet PC concept 10 years ago and once I got my first Acer C300 (convertible Tablet PC) in 2003, I never moved back to “laptops”.

I decided on a TabletPC because I didn’t want to be chained to my desk at the office/home when you can design and sketch digitally everywhere – on the plane, on the beach, in the mountains, in the café –  sketching your ideas, stories and the life that surrounds you….only a TabletPC can give you that freedom and experience. This devices are the perfect match for creative professionals – a digital sketchbook where you can do everything we used to do in our studio + much more – getting notes and digitizing content, sketching logos and websites, painting with thousands of brushes and canvas types, sculpting and rendering 3D models with endless choice of materials and lights, designing business presentations, CNC toolpath, SWOT/ web analytics/ SEO reports for customers  and of course the casuals – web surfing, video conferences and Skype calls,  music, emails, eBook reading, office apps  - all of this on the move, out of the office, on the flywherever you want to go. Once I grabbed a tablet PC, I never looked back (currently spending less than 3 hours per week at the office). Designers love to use simple things like stylus (pen one end, eraser on the other) or fingertips in 90% of the cases, using a PC as natural as possible.

The first major UMPC improvement came last year with Dell Latitude XT2 and HP TouchSmart tx2, packing a 1.4GHz Core 2 Duo behind a 12.1” multitouch screen, 4GB of DDR3 memory, a 320GB disk, secured with a fingerprint scanner, which I enjoy every day. The only drawback is that the 256 pressure-sensitivity works only in a couple of applications, while  Wacom Intuos4 has 2048 pixel-level pressure sensitivity, with several different brushes  and even detects at which angle you hold the stylus to the surface.

After Apple joined the “tablet” party with it’s iPad this month (a pen coming soon), the slate PC market will grow exponentially, but the creative professionals are (almost) forgotten. The NetTabs are only larger media-focused readers/ phones, so I have to use my old convertible C300. After Acer discontinued all their tablet PC recently, I’m still searching for the ultimate tool for creative professionals:

  • Large Screen – 12.1” SXGA  is my favorite and it really does matter. The larger the device, the more useful it is, as far as you can carry it in a standard office bag.
  • Wi-Fi, 3G/UMTS – I can leave with a Wi-Fi + Bluetooth connectivity , a tablet is not a second phone plus you can always speak in speakerphone mode. Data plans will come down when 4G is spread in 2013
  • Rigid design and Battery Life – you can choose from 2 to 10 hours. Just cut in half what the vendor says or get a second battery to secure your new customer while making your great presentation.
  • eBook Reading – while electronic paper is still the best display type for reading if you read a lot, but  we need a devices that work well for both books and multimedia, artists don’t think in black and white.
  • Win 7/ i7 applications – content is critical, applications are critical. We need a working tool to make us $$$ per hour, not a plastic toy. Multitasking? Intel does, iPad doesn’t. Games, TV and videos are different story for other devices.
  • Pens, Brushes, Rugged, Waterproof… – sometimes a feature makes the device. If you want to use it outdoors, in the rain or charge it in the car?  Get a Motion computing tablet
  • Price? $500 to $5000. My first generation Acer was very expensive, this year we’ll have a convertible for less than $500!

Toshiba Portégé M750 and Fujitsu Lifebook T4310 are nice office tablets,  Motion J3400 and Duros 8404 are great rugged tablets with the best outdoor display on the market, iPad and Pegatron are nice entertainment media tablets, but I can’t see the ultimate device for creative professionals. Rather than buying a dust-collector, I will wait until the end of the year, hoping to see the best tablet PC. Lenovo U1 Hybrid is really close to the perfect one!

What’s your tablet PC experience?

Tablet PCs have been a huge trend in the last decade and especially at CES 2010. As noted by Deloitte: computer manufacturers are predicted to sell tens of millions of “NetTabs”worldwide, a market of 612 million GBP. By 2015, shipments are forecast to reach about 57 million annually. Microsoft announced the Tablet PC concept 10 years ago and once I got my first Acer C300 (convertible Tablet PC) in 2003, I never moved back to “laptops”.

I decided on a TabletPC because I didn’t want to be chained to my desk at the office/home when you can design and sketch digitally everywhere – on the plane, on the beach, in the mountains, in the café sketching your ideas, stories and the life that surrounds you.only a TabletPC can give you that freedom and experience. This devices are the perfect match for creative professionals – a digital sketchbook where you can do everything we used to do in our artist studio + much more – getting notes and digitizing content, sketching logos and websites, painting with thousands of brushes and canvas types, sculpting and rendering 3D models with endless choice of materials and lights, designing business presentations, CNC toolpath, SWOT/ web analytics/ SEO reports for customers and of course the casuals – web surfing, video conferences and Skype calls, music, emails, eBook reading, office apps - all of this on the move, out of the office, on the flywherever you want to go. Once I grabbed a tablet PC, I never looked back. Designers love to use simple things like stylus (pen one end, eraser on the other) or fingertips in 90% of the cases, using a PC as natural as possible.

The only major UMPC improvement came last year with the HP tx2 tablet, packing a 1.3GHz Core 2 Duo behind a 12.2” multitouch screen, 4GB of DDR3 memory, a 320GB disk, secured with a fingerprint scanner, which I enjoy every day. The only drawback is that the 256 pressure-sensitivity works only in a couple of applications, while a Wacom Intuos4 has 2048 pixel-level pressure sensitivity, with several different brushes and even detects at which angle you hold the stylus to the surface.

After Apple joined the “tablet” party with it’s iPad this month (a pen coming soon), the slate PC market will grow exponentially, but the creative professionals are (almost) forgotten. The NetTabs are only larger media-focused readers/ phones, so I have to use my old convertible C300. After Acer discontinued all their tablet PC recently, I’m still searching for the ultimate tool for creative professionals:

· Large Screen – 12.1” SXGA is my favorite and it really does matter. The larger the device, the more useful it is, as far as you can carry it in a standard office bag.

· Wi-Fi, 3G/UMTS – I can leave with a Wi-Fi + Bluetooth connectivity , a tablet is not a second phone plus you can always speak in speakerphone mode. Data plans will come down when 4G is spread in 2013 ;-)

· Rigid design and Battery Life – you can choose from 2 to 10 hours. Just cut in half what the vendor says or get a second battery to secure your new customer while making your great presentation.

· eBook Reading – while electronic paper is still the best display type for reading if you read a lot, but we need a devices that work well for both books and multimedia, artists don’t think in black and white.

· Win 7/ i7 applications - content is critical, applications are critical. We need a working tool to make us $$$ per hour, not a plastic toy. Multitasking? Intel does, iPad doesn’t. Games, TV and videos are different story for other devices.

· Pens, Brushes, Rigid, Waterproof? – sometimes a feature makes the device.
If you want to use it outdoors, in the rain or charge it in the car? Get a Motion computing tablet

· Price – $500 – $5000?. My first generation Acer was very expensive, this year we’ll have a convertible for less than $500!

Toshiba Portégé M750 and Fujitsu Lifebook T4310 are nice office tablets, Motion J3400 and Duros are rugged tablets with the best outdoor display on the market, iPad and Pegatron are nice entertainment media tablets, but I can’t see the ultimate device for creative professionals. Rather than buying a dust-collector, I will wait until the end of the year, hoping to see the best tablet PC in 2010.
Lenovo U1 Hybrid is really close to the perfect one!

Any good tablet PC experience?

Late start to tell you a story?

Himalayan Spring in the SlideShare Tell A Story Contest
I will tell you a story about the highest, poorest and most beautiful land of our Planet. A story in colors, fresh images, high-definition video and original music, which I brought from my last month’s visit to Nepal and the Himalayas. Is it created for the SlideShare’s Tell A Story Contest ? Yes and no, but you can still vote for it, if you like it. Once upon a time on the long way to the top of the world…

View more presentations from Vellyslav Petrov.

Brand name & Google ranking

Corn Brand wars (1340) proof

Corn Brand wars (1340) proof

Choosing a name for your business, domain and brand is often the single, most critical decision you will ever make. Today it’s very easy to asses a solid, long-lasting, and highly profitable name. Can your brand name hook the brains in your niche? Yes, we all know that it should be intuitive, suggestive, benefit based, semantically short, easy spelled, memorable, sweet sounding, scalable and search-engine-friendly, so you will have a chance to hook them on mnemonics. Now what?

Before and after the launch of Google’s Chrome browser, more and more people love to skip irrelevant search engine results and attempt to reach websites directly by:
- Guessing and typing presumable URL domains
- Typing common brand names
- Using the search phrase suggestion tools in their browser
- Using search trends and social media “hot trends” tools
- Following links on web 2.0 status updates, social and RSS feeds

Sure, over 80% of the traffic still comes from the search engines (presuming the website is search-engine-friendly and optimized) and the first 3 SERP results still get 86% of the traffic for any given phrase, but this trend will change and we do see dozens of exceptions to this rule in our web reports already.

Google’s latest search engine ranking algorithm places Heavy emphasis on Branding, an enormous weight on branded search results. The top in most of our customer’s web analytics reports start with brand names, good brand names, burned, branded and tattooed into the customer’s mind, even in the marketplace.

SEO is not simple as the Florida update anymore. We notice more then 5 changes in Google ranking algorithm every single week. Smart brand’s CEOs and SEOs should incorporate the BRAND as the highest “trustful-content” factor and there are increasingly important signals from Google CEO Eric Schmidt in his recent talk:

“Brands are the solution, not the problem, brands are how you sort out the cesspool, brands are not getting away, it must have a genetic component” he said.

If you love researching and reverse engineering (as I do) you can track the recent changes with hot phrases to see Google’s changes. In most of the cases brands have 7 to 9 of the first page search results for some of the most valuable keywords.

The trend is clear:  Google is promoting brands for big money core keyphrases. Further more Google’s Chrome tracks your behavior and content interaction through Google Accounts/Friends, Google Analytics, Google AdSense, Google DoubleClick/  AdWords, Google Reader, iGoogle, Feedburner, Youtube and other Giant’s channels.

Lately I see hundreds of URLs and company names, which are even hard to spell. If a customer doesn’t  agree on a name/ domain/ identity change, we reject branding or SEO services, due to poor results. It’s not necessary to start your name with a strong-sounding consonants (like the sounds of “D” and “T” in DECART), or set a song-singing rhyme in a combination of suggestive words like in “BrandBuild”, but it helps to emphasis, remember, get huge market and web authority.

The web is a vast wilderness in which your brand message can run in obscurity, so don’t work IN your business every day, work ON your brand equity and awareness and we will see us each other on the top.

Caviar globalists? No more

Caviar days are over at WEF

Caviar days are over

Every year in late January, like today, heads of the leading companies worldwide go to the Swiss resort of Davos.

Around 2,500 participants from over 90 countries – politicians, artists, leaders and NGO campaigners jet off for a week of networking events and workshops “for a better world”.


Fighting the crisis or having some fun in the snow?
Economic times have become harder. Paying members are about 1,000 companies, non-business participants attend meetings for free. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are not attending this year, Bono and Peter Gabriel are.

US president Obama has told several of his biggest people to stay at home.
The key players of the world economy China and Russia are side by side.
The event is just a very high-powered talking shop. Some launch global initiatives to fight poverty and epidemics, other get an opportunity to make their case and meet people who have the money to help them.

Caviar, lobster and Dom Perignon are out. Ham, cheese and wine are in. Caviar parties by top Wall Street bankers used to be the top buzz for the annual Davos forum, but the belt is tightening today. Leading banks like Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Lehman Brothers, JP Morgan, are not holding parties anymore.

Aren’t these people who want to solve the world’s problems the same who caused them?

Bad news for our Caviar SEO campaign today.
I should stick to tiger shrimps for dinner.

See you at the top!

Success vs Failure

Success vs Failure

Success vs Failure

While it still works to inspire a  weekend Google Bomb and make the government #1 failure, we can’t change the optimistic human mindset and drive for Success.

The search volume for Success (успех in Bulgarian) is over 12 times higher than the search for Failure (провал).

Millions of creative optimists out there…
See you at the top!

Where next? Travel 2.0 with Dopplr and Tripit

At the top

At the top

Spending your time away from home for 1/3 of the year definitely broadens your horizon and presents lots of opportunities to meet great people, exploring new cultures and outdoor activities in the real world (it’s getting too virtual lately, isn’t it?).

While in 2007 I spent less than 100 days on the road, 2008 was pretty active with 120+ days abroad (Austria, Germany, Slovakia, Switzerland, Ireland, Italy, Greece and the USA, to mention some of the destinations.) I will try to keep the trend for 2009 with more business and exploration trips – mostly between February and July – from SES to Northern Ireland to Everest base camp.

All of this could be easily tracked with Travel 2.0 web services like Dopplr and TripIt. You can forward your booking confirmations to p...@tripit.com and automatically sync your iCal with a feed, that has useful info. You get notifications when you will be in the same city as your friends, controling who can see your trips and collaborate on them.

The Dopplr annual report is real fun and almost real picture of your trips, especially if they are linked with flickr.

Dopplr report

Dopplr report

” You took 15 trips in 2008, which added up to 14,134 km or 3% of the distance to the moon. Everyone on Dopplr travelled a total of 1331.4 million km in 2008: the approximate distance to Saturn from the Earth as of January 2009. Your personal velocity for 2008 was 1.61 km/h, which is about the same as NASA’s crawler. The 5 most popular cities in your network are Stockholm, Lisbon, Zürich, Cairns and Brussels. We couldn’t calculate the carbon footprint of your travels for 2008 because at the moment, you’re not using that feature. In 2008, the average carbon of those who are tracking the impact of their travels on Dopplr was 6,413 kg CO2.”

So, where you gonna go next in 2009?

Sales automation for more free time

Yesterday I’ve got another “better ranking” request. Strange that most of the companies I know strive for “more traffic and better ranking“.
And they stop there, sticking to couple of web pages, which no one visits, when they should look for more leads, more sales and happy, loyal customer.

Many businesses owners talk like internet victims:

“ Network marketing is broken and it’s hard to fix it. We had a strong desire, but it doesn’t work.It can’t help my business, because it’s complicated, expensive and takes years.”…
…“With all these 470 million active websites, prospects are overlooking our website for someone else…Making our site stand out is as realistic as winning the lottery”.

…unless you have the knowledge of how to make your website work for you.

What about if they used the wrong technique?
What about if we start doing the predictable and simple action in the right way – automatically. Manual business software just don’t work! You must get a better system and put your business processes on autopilot. Technology can turn the nightmare into a simple, predictable and working process.

Yes, they are so wrong, especially within the current recession.

Today the average adult spends up to 3 hours a day more on the Internet than they spend watching TV. About 70% of the EU and US populations regularly use the Internet. Over 1.3 billion people in the world are online,
ready to make a purchase if they find something worthwhile. Online shopping has increased by as much as 50 % over the last year. Geography can no longer limit the number of sales.
The reach of customers is absolutely amazing! There has never been a more accessible market in any other decade. Using the web correctly can popularize your brand and produce more customers than was ever possible before.  Only 4% of small businesses are currently selling online! Where are you, where is your competition? Are you using the web to your maximum to grow your business? If you don’t get on it, you’ll be left sitting on the porch with your product. Sure, everyone is not a prospect and chasing all of them goes nowhere. But getting them come to you first, finding you, instead of you finding them is the real thing.

Let’s take a real-world example

Sales Automation

Sales Automation

With 14000 searches daily for a specific business niche, they get around 1000 visitors (organic / referral /ads), from which some 25 make orders the same day. What happens with the other 975?98% of their prospects, marketing opportunities and even BUDGET is thrown away!

975 opportunities, some of which they have paid to have, but they lost, because they didn’t follow-up them.

They just tune, educate and send the potential customers to their competitors?! If we don’t grab at least their emails today and follow-up later, we are in a huge, money-eating hole.

Not maximizing your web presence can have devastating consequences.

No matter how great your product is, some people are simply not ready for it. Customers buy when they are ready to buy, not when we are ready to sell. They act according to their own, incalculable reasoning. That doesn’t mean, that they won’t buy, most of them will. If you do follow consistently and automatically, there is where exponential growth happens. You need to be there when your prospects decide to give your product a try. But, you also need to be there when your customers make a second or third purchase. You should be there to promote up-sells and cross-sells, building RELATIONSHIPS. It’s our responsibility to create moments of interaction with our prospects, to maximize those moments, close more sales and grow our business.

Have you ever felt like walking zombie?

We all (small and big) have the “overwhelmed workaholic” pain and there are days when we even can’t get a decent sleep. We forget to live our life, to devote time to favorite activities… this reflects in our family, budgets, dreams, happiness and every other personal area. The Cure?

Automating and doubling our sales. It’s not only possible, it’s measurable. Plus it removes the lack of time and energy, the inability to break free!

Today there are thousands of CRM, salesforce automation and business process management solutions. Millions of people use them every day to follow up, educate their prospects and customers, cultivate lasting relationships and maximize the value of their database and businesses. Assign ALL your leads the value they deserve. Treat each prospect as if they were already your customer, and remember that a vast number of them will be. You’re never going to be able to give your customers the best deal. But, by treating your customers the way they deserve, they will be creating customers for life. Reselling (cross-selling and up-selling) is much more profitable. One who spends significant amounts of money in your business, loves you, and brings in dozens of referrals.

There are just 4 key actions, which produce 80 percent of our sales:

  1. Increase your rankings with the art and a science of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
  2. Update your content-rich and effective website, capturing as many leads as possible.
  3. Use a full featured web-based CRM system to follow-up and support all your contacts.
  4. Track, measure and optimize the results with usability, performance and split testing.

When you test and measure, you’re bringing marketing to a scientific level.
You don’t have to rely on instinct or hope anymore.

Define, Empower, Liberate and Enjoy more free time in 2009!

Incorporating automated Internet systems to your present business structure often results in an exponential gain in productivity, it adds impact and consistency to your sales process.
I can do the same for your company. I’ve spent the last several years working with many types of traditional offline and online businesses, helping them do more and most of them have benefited from using these strategies.

Even this post is an initial conversation, a chance to begin a relationship.

You’re important to me, so please let me know what you think.

2009. Trends?

It’s good time to get our business plan up to date, to recap 2008 and get a strategy for 2009. Last year we learned and achieved a lot. The main strategy components for 2009 will be the same, but still we need and update and it will be finished soon.
Any questions or suggestions are welcomed.
All the best for you, your family and your business!