Monthly Archives: April 2008

Upoc Rocks On!

During my career I have been involved in literally hundreds of projects. It is the rare occurrence where the application of technology so perfectly matches a public cause and produces pride in furthering a movement that you, yourself are so committed. This is the case with Upoc’s involvement in “Rock the Vote”.  As stated on the RTV website:

Rock the Vote engages youth in the political process by incorporating the entertainment community and youth culture into its activities. From actors to musicians, comedians to athletes, Rock the Vote harnesses cutting-edge trends and pop culture to make political participation cool.
Upoc has been a tool of political organizers for the past two presidential elections. Regardless of political affiliation, Upoc has informed, organized, communicated and motivated supporters through cutting edge mobile applications.
Our affiliation this election cycle with Rock the Vote is truly special. Upoc will be utilizing our array of social networking capabilities to engage and energize youth voters. From SMS alerts, to polls, quizzes, celebrity debates and general topic chatting, Upoc will positively contribute to increased voter participation in the critical youth demographic.
Through its sophisticated data analysis, RTV has determined that a young voter who is engaged with a mobile community is more likely to actually vote. In the past election RTV registered over 1 million first time voters. In this election year, RTV has already registered over 500K new voters just in the primary season! When you couple the registration drive with increased voter turnout in the demographic, the youth voice in the election become undeniable.
Given the incredible closeness of the past 2 presidential elections, having this number of new motivated voters is not only significant, but could very well be deterministic.
To quote Abraham Lincoln,” Democracy is the government of the people, by the people, for the people.” The activation of a large segment of “the people” materially contributes to our democracy.
In short, I am personally proud to be able to utilize all the tools of my trade to apply to such a worthy cause as youth voter registration and voter turnout. I believe that this will impact the   selection of next President of the United States and therefore the future that we will all experience.
 What could be more important or satisfying?

Rock the Vote mobilizes young people to create positive social and political change in their lives and communities…”

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Filed under mobile, social networking, wireless

Social Networking, Vegas Style

Now that I have recovered from the whirlwind week at the CTIA show in Las Vegas, I can reflect on some of the events of the week.   I have to plead guilty to “stirring the pot” and creating some interesting debate in my panel session on social networking. 

  The topic of monetizing social networks on mobile networks was discussed, with the obvious conclusion that advertising will have to pay a key role in any sustainable business model. The debate ensued on the relative roles and economics of this model as it applies to the network operator and the social network owner. Network Operators have a tremendous database of potentially useful marketing data for third party application providers to utilize in maximizing the ad inventory of their products. In the past, and for good legal reasons, the privacy of this data has been honored and not exploited in a maximum economic manner. Now enter the social networks.


A social networking profile has more information than exists in a carrier marketing database. Profiles are volunteered, are deep with interests, preferences, activities, relationships, friends, etc. The data housed by the social network is a potential bonanza for advertisers. The inability of network carriers to fully exploit their consumer data could become a moot point as the mega social networks integrate their data with mobile ad networks.
The next issue that was debated was the relative power between a social network that may have over 100M members and a network operator that has 60-20M subscribers. Most business discussions with operators have a clear pecking order. In general the carrier is picking and choosing the best partners, from many, that will maximize their revenue and customer’s needs. 
  There are very few application providers who have this discussion with an operator as an equal or superior level of relative strength. One example that obviously leaps to mind is Apple. The Iphone introduction and partnership appears to be a relationship between “equals”.   The existing introduction of large social networking onto mobile devices seems like a partnership of equally motivated and powerful partners, each bringing significant assets to the table. In the future, will the large social networks try to cut similar revenue sharing arrangements as Apple? Will they be able to? And lastly, will it matter. 

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Filed under blog storming, CEO, CTIA, social networking, wireless