Wednesday 25 August 2010

UCAS Clearing 2010

Clearing 2010 is well underway at the University and we're seeing some great figures so far. I have put in place more tracking than ever before and the biggest issue we will have once Clearing shuts is how best to present it all! We have Clearing campaign tracking on all our online ads that filter into Google Analytics, including our trial run with Spotify advertising, telephone tracking, site tracking, unique phone numbers on print adverts and short URL tracking for radio. All in all it's going to be far easier for us to work out which mediums offer us the best ROI!

Hopefully everyone else is having as successful a time as we are and once Clearing has closed i'll look at publishing some of the reports on the blog, could make interesting reading!

Tuesday 17 August 2010

Facebook Location launching next week?

A rumour seems to be going round that Facebook is about to launch their long awaited location service. Initially slated for earlier in the year and delayed due to the on-going saga of privacy settings it now looks as though we may be ready to try out this new service.

Details are pretty shady at the moment about what exactly Facebook's new location service will be like, but it's likely the main way you'd share your location would be through your mobile device. This would obviously put it in direct (if not commercially competitive) competition with Google Latitude, Foursquare and Gowalla.

The real question people will be asking is how the service will be used to display advertising? Will the location service allow us to deliver adverts in a more targeted way by geo-location? Could be rather interesting if it can...

Friday 6 August 2010

Google Wave has hit the rocks...

So, Google Wave is being withdrawn... not a huge surprise to people who have used it!

Announced in May 2009 Google Wave was expected to revolutionise the way we communication online, allowing for sharing of content and collaboration on projects it was described as  "how e-mail would look if it were invented today" the closure has been blamed on poor take up.

I had an early invitation to Google Wave and quickly worked out that the new tool was not for me and apparently others have felt the same way... one to mark down for experience at Google!

Thursday 5 August 2010

Digital signage monitoring

We currently have 24 live digital signage screens across our five campuses at the University and they are a very valuable resources for us to push information out to all students very quickly. However, with another 12 coming online within the next few months what we don't know is, does anyone actually ever look at them?

So, we have now invested in some digital signage monitoring software that will allow us to measure if people are looking at the screens and for how long. A quick glance or a longer stare! The software works by using facial recognition to judge when a person is looking directly at the screen and tracks how long they look for. It also includes metrics on the gender of the person which is worked out with some clever judgement on face shape, hair style, height, etc and proves to be around 90% acurate.

In order to have the software running it needs to be installed on a small stand alone PC such as an EeePC and requires a webcam to be attached to the top of the screen you want to monitor. This then sends the information it gathers back to a hosted server that then displays the results via a dashboard display.

We looked at a couple of different solutions, Quividi, Wututu and CognoVision appeared to be the three leading companies and we eventually chose Wututu as our preferred supplier. As they all do very similar things it did become a costing exercise and Wututu was significantly cheaper!

It'll be an easy installation for us and when we start to receive some stats i'll make sure I post up the initial findings!

A video of how the software tracking looks can be seen below.