As it searches for ways to further monetize, Foursquare is setting its sights on small NYC businesses -- according to an AdAge report. The social networking service, which turns the process of gathering user location data into a game of check-in, is allowing just a "handful" of merchants to promote from within the app itself. Previously, only big name chains like RadioShack were capable of paying for sponsored Foursquare listings, but the company's clearly branching out in search of new revenue streams. Foursquare only stands to gain around $0.50 to $3 "per action," however, which means users will have to first find one of these promos (e.g., a rave review, image of a store item / meal or plain promoted listing) from the Explore Nearby section or in recommendations and then actually tap on it. Don't worry, though, these promos won't come at random. Rather, they'll be hyper-targeted based on prior check-in history, user proximity and personal preferences -- all information you've gladly given over to Foursquare to give over to its clients. So you see, it's the circle of our modern day socially networked life. Your habits made into dollar signs, all so you can be Mayor of (insert place here).
Ooma's expanding its VoIP offerings to the world of business, introducing "Ooma Office" today at CES 2013. Ooma Office takes the already existing VoIP functionality built into Ooma's Telo device (made for residential use) and adapts it for small business purposes -- conference bridges, an automated, programmable receptionist, and line extensions are all part of Ooma Office. You can even set your own on-hold music, should that be your kinda thing. The biggest difference from Ooma's home offering is the price; at $19.99 a line, Ooma Office is much more expensive than the residential version (which only charges for the initial base, and not for service), but much cheaper than competitive services (see: Vonage, Access Line, etc.).
Rather than pretend this is a solution for large business, however, Ooma's targeting businesses of 1 - 10 employees. "Sound like a big business at a small business price," is the device's slogan, which is highly appropriate considering the device's functionality. The Ooma Office launches this month for $249.99 at US and Canadian retailers, and it works with standard land line phones, cell phones, and "most" fax machines and credit card readers.
Follow all the latest CES 2013 news at our event hub.
Skype has made itself present in many different areas around the globe, but the Microsoft-owned service is now looking to enter (and hopefully be a part of) a more business-oriented field. With the launch of its newfangled, adequately-named In the Workspace platform, Skype says it's hoping to keep small businesses connected and help them grow by giving them a free platform where they can easily communicate with potential customers, partners and even suppliers. According to Skype, this novel service has been tested in beta form for nearly six months now, and today it's officially opening its virtual doors to all business owners that are interested in giving it a go -- the link to sign up can be found down below.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
Lower Manhattan, Pearl Street, the Financial District. A Starbucks with broad windows, great for people watching. Sipping my $5 flavored coffee, I watched a homeless man sit on the sidewalk. I liked him immediately: his sharp gaze and thoughtful expression. When I left, I squatted down next to him and put five bucks in his jar, contributing the cost of my first-world coffee to the man's case for survival.
We talked. He knew his tech, this man of no possessions, describing his favorite productivity gadgets of the past decade, scorning Apple for form over function. He had been living on the street day and night for two years. My five dollars was "huge," he said. I knew that was true only microcosmically. He liked cigars. That's where the cash would go.
Meanwhile, Starbucks had recently cut a deal with Square, one of the hottest startup stories of the season, so that people with five dollars to spend on coffee needn't pull out a wallet and ponder their privilege.Permalink | | Email this | Comments