Social Media

The Future of Cell Phones in Africa

This week due to popular demand, we are returning to our discussion on Cell Phones in Africa. Or more specifically, the future of them.

Okay, Africans do use cell phones for phone calls- we’ve established that. But they use them way less then Canadians.  Why? Because calls cost a lot money.  Remember, there are very are few unlimited phone and text packages here,  and they are generally too expensive for the average Burkinabe.  So they text alot!

But what I found fascinating here – and blame it on the fact that I left Canada about five and a half years ago and I am totally disconnected – is the other use for cell phones.

Many locals use the phone as payment system.

Banking in Burkina

The penetration of the banking system in Burkina Faso is marginal compared Canada . The average Burkinabe does not have a bank account as the average Burkinabe does not work in the formal economic sector. Instead of banks, the cell phone is used to transfer money..  Burkinabe send money to their loves one while in the country – or while working abroad by using their cell phone.

Airtel is the most common used telephone company for transferring money.  Each small village I have been to, and I mean small, has an Airtel kiosk where the person who receives the money can go and get it.  All they need is the verification code and their National Identity card if they have one… but in villages, like small towns, everyone knows everyone so there is not a big problem with stolen identity!

The impact of this service on the population is, you can imagine, tremendous.  There is no longer a need to go to a Western Union, which are usually not found in the small villages and which requires identification documents that many people in these villages don’t have.

Another important benefit to paying with the cell phone is the ability to pay bills at distance, including school fees.  In Côte d’Ivoire, and in Burkina, parents are now able to pay their kids’ school fees by phone.  This means that the mother (normally…) does not have to walk to the school, wait in line for hours and then be subject to the administration for bribery… because of course, parents have to pay the administrator who register their children a little something to make sure that the kids gets registered to the school.

 

So there are many little ways in which the cell phones have changed the lives and culture of their users here.

Burkina Uprising

Like other places in the world, cell phones have also had geopolitical ramifications here as well.

On October 30 and 31st, 2014 the Burkina uprising happened.

Cell phones were instrumental in keeping the population abreast of what was going on and for the opposition to communicate with its members to tell them where the march was going and what to do – or not. The cell phones allowed people to post to social media –   and in spite of the government’s efforts to block internet, thanks for the use of cell phones, we all were apprised of what was going on.

In the end the internet, such as it is, was restored quickly!

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Death of the Salesman

Welcome to a new edition of the P4Digital rotating round tables.

Our special guest this week is an expert in sales, and how new technologies are changing how they are being conducted in both corporate and retail locations.

Curious about the future of sales? Well, stay tuned and enjoy.

Stay tuned and enjoy

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Job Revolution: Recruiting in the Digital Age

Welcome to a new edition of the P4Digital Round Tables!

This week we have a special guest star – Nadine Lamothe, one of the officers here at Planet4IT. She will be joining us today, along with Jim Carlson and Andrew Carlson, to discuss Job Hunting and Recruiting in the Digital Age.

Stay tuned and enjoy

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Rise of the Digital Space

Welcome to a new edition of the P4Digital Round Tables!

Who among you would love to work from home. With Digital technologies it’s becoming easier to do. This week the P4Digital executive team examines the rise of the digital space.

Stay tuned and enjoy

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The Internet of Things – Yes you are using it everyday!

 

The Internet of Things in Lynnetalk means less wires.  You probably don’t even realize how many things in your home right now are part of the “IoT” family.  Do you have a wireless printer or one that is connected through your modem so that all your computers and tablets can access it.  How about a smart TV.  Yes – it is part of the IoT.  Basically anything in your home that is connected through wi-fi to the internet is part of the IoT.  My smart meter is one of my favourites – not only can I control it from my phone but so can the Hydro company.  In the summer during a heat wave, they will turn my air conditioning down to help control possible black/brown outs.  (I just thought I was having a hot flash every day at 5 pm).  

Every day the IoT is adding new features and items faster than we can keep up.  The main conduit for the IoT for the everyday person seems to be your phone or tablet.  Some of them we don’t even realize are happening.

 

Hyper-Targeting – A catchy phrase that basically means everything you do on the internet is being tracked and analyzed.  

Do you have a mobile phone or tablet?  Your phone is basically being tracked every time you move.  Yes – every time you move.  A signal is being sent out as you walk through the mall, as you drive your car.  What is this data being used for?  

  1. Retailers will use that data to transmit “Sale of the Day flyers” to your phone as you walk through the mall. 
  2. Restaurants will target customers in walking or driving in a 5 mile area letting them know about specials being served between 5 and 8 pm.  
  3. Advertisers will be able to track your likes and dislikes as your phone travels around the city/world.  They will know where you shop, what you buy, your favourite coffee and then you will be targeted with advertising for your specific likes.  I guess it is better than receiving paper flyers from every box store in your region :).

This is Big Data at its biggest.  Just think every step you take is being recorded.  Every coffee you order, every trip you take, every book you read.  Tick Tick Tick, they are all being counted and a multitude of companies are analyzing this data and selling it to advertisers.  Google and Facebook are the gods of Big Data.
Digital Payments 

We’ve all seen that commercial by CIBC – take a picture of your cheque and deposit it automatically.  Wish I had it today, last thing I want to do is head to the bank when it is -20 outside. 

Apple Pay is coming to Canada, maybe as early as March 2015.  Get rid of your wallets, now you only need your iPhone6 when you go shopping.  Google Wallet is the android equivalent app.  But don’t leave your credit card at home quite yet, even though more retailers are offering this service it is still quite limited.  

Pixie

How often do you lose your car keys?  Your purse? My eyeglasses at least twice a day.  Well let me introduce Pixie – the Location of Things.  All you have to do is attach “Pixie Points” to things, anything.  Then your mobile phone (yes your mobile phone knows more about you then your mother) can find anything you have pixied.  The other great thing about this app is you can categorize items together – i.e.  do you travel a lot – then pixie your passport, your medications, your travel documents, chargers, etc.  Before you leave check the app to make sure they are all in your bag.  No more “Mom where is my knapsack” just PIXIE it.  

What will the Future bring?

Are you excited about any new innovations?  Do you have an iFit watch?  I would love to hear from you about your favourite IoT or what you think the future will bring.   

 

happyfacehanddrawn Good Luck job huntingguestpostintroductionLynne Carlson started her career off in administration, moved to Cobol Programming and for the last 14 years worked in all things recruitment.  Absolutely loves social media and excited about all the new innovations appearing every day!

 

YouTube Celebrities

I’m sure that you’ve heard of YouTube by now.

But for those of you who haven’t, here’s a quick recap that we talked about on our blog last year.


 

youtube

This is where the Viral Video really got its start. Forget images and text; Youtube is all about sharing videos.

YouTube-is-aFrom family videos to vlogs to feature length movies, Youtube brings interaction to a whole new level. Registered users are allowed to upload whatever they like (within Copywrite laws, of course), and you don’t have to be a registered user to watch them.

Today, the Youtube video search is the second largest search engine in the world, coming in just behind Google.

Like most social media sites, YouTube allows you to build followings, follow people, favourite and like the videos they have uploaded.


 

More Popular than You

All caught up? Awesome.

Here’s something maybe you don’t know about YouTube: some of its stars are making more money and are more popular than the biggest Hollywood celebrities out there. Don’t believe me?

In July 2014 Variety magazine conducted a survey of teens all over North America.

1,500 respondents were asked a range of questions about their feelings towards 20 top celebrities. 10 were Hollywood, while 10 were YouTube stars.  The result?

The top five most influential figures were online stars.

  • Smosh
  • TheFineBros
  • PewDiePie
  • KSI
  • Ryan Higa.

Take a look at the graphic below to see the results.  Jennifer Lawrence, who is one of the hottest movie stars right now thanks to The Hunger Games, is all the way down at number 7.  Katy Perry is at number 9 and Daniel Radcliffe – the Harry Potter –  is all the way down at 11!

The survey also found that YouTube stars “scored significantly higher than traditional celebrities across a range of characteristics considered to have the highest correlation to influencing purchases among teens.”

 

WHY?

It’s all about the Digital Revolution!

YouTube stars are experts on the Internet. They know all about online audience building and engagement, and they use those skills to build up their following one person at a time. They have a strong branding, are consistent in their posting and videos, and remain conversational with active social media presences.

You have a comment – they will answer it.

They seem real, while Hollywood is about telling lies to tell stories.

Let’s put this into perspective. By Googling the first season of Game of Thrones, I can estimate that it had an average of 2.5 million viewers for its season premier screenings, and an average audience of 9.3 million viewers per episode including all repeats and on-demand viewings.

Now compare that to Felix Kjellberg. Better known as PewDiePie, he is a video game commentator with roughly 33.5 million subscribers on YouTube. One of his latest online videos got over 3.5 million views. And it has recently been revealed that he received more than 4.1 billion views of his videos in 2014.

Kind of leaves The Mother of Dragons in the dust, huh?

A One on One with the President

It isn’t just celebrities that YouTube is conquering either – the video sharing services has its eyes set on politics as well. Case in point – President Barack Obama was interviewed in the East Room of the White House in a livestream broadcast by three YouTube “stars” last week.

 

The president sat down with GloZell Green, Hank Green (no relation), and Bethany Mota.

 

Don’t forget to be Awesome

Who are these infamous YouTubers who sat down with the President?

Hank Green: Hank Green by Gage Skidmore.jpg

One of the co-founders of the VlogBrothers (Don’t forget to be awesome is their slogan) he is known for his YouTube channel VlogBrothers where he and his brother, John Green, regularly upload videos.

Personally, I love this channel. It’s smart, informative and funny. Hank is also the co-creator of VidCon the world’s largest online video conference/convention.

Bethany Mota:

Bethany Mota by Gage Skidmore.jpg

Mota began her YouTube series in 2009 with make-up and fashion advice aimed at teenage girls. Since then, she has become one of the most popular channels on YouTube, and in January 2014 Business Insider estimated she makes $40,000 a month on her videos.

Glozell Green

Easily recognizable with her green lipstick, Glozell is the most unusual of the bunch. She has dubbed herself the “Queen of YouTube” and her slogan is a little less articulate than Hanks with  “Is you OK? Is you good? ‘Cuz I wanted to know.” She shot to stardom by trying and failing the Cinnamon challenge a few years ago.

The Interviews were surprisingly well done

Don’t assume that these interviews were all Memes and LOL Cats. There was real talk on policing, and several hard issues were addressed. 

 

  1. Real issues were discussed such as the North Korean Regime, and the fallout from the Mike Brown shooting last summer.
  2. State of the Union Address: Hank discussed this, asking the question that many were thinking: is any of what you said feasible?
  3. The interviewers were refreshingly honest. Mota had a confession: she admitted before her interview that, “I never really followed politics that much.”
  4.  The questions personalized policy. While the sit-downs touched on news events, the questioners did a nice job of making complex policy issues accessible and personal.
  5.  The moment that wasn’t. During Glozell’s interview with the president, there was a jar of cinnamon, a ladle and a glass of water on a table behind them. Unfortunately – or perhaps luckily Obama did NOT do the cinnamon challenge.

More YouTube Celebrities

There are hundreds of famous personalities just a click away. We all have our favourites. Some of mine are:

  • Michael Santaro
  • Just Kidding News (a little crude but great social media news)
  • The Game Theorists
  • VSauce

Who are yours? Add them to our list in the comments below!

 

How are jobs and careers changing in the Digital Age?

Welcome to a new edition of the P4Digital Round Tables!

Digital marketing is changing the face and infrastructure of the world. The job of recruiting is not exempt from this. This week, the P4Digital executive team examines how their jobs are changing in this new age.

Stay tuned and enjoy

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