Nov 7

I wanted to give a quick update as to how QR codes can be used with Clickboards.net Feed.  As many of you already know, QR codes are the thing of the future.  You simply take a snap shot with your mobile phone and are then directed to the website.

My idea is that if you ever see a print ad: magazine, newspaper, billboard, direct mail; you can then snap a photo of it.  Then instead of being directed to a website, the coupon will be automatically added to your coupon feed at Clickboards.net for you to redeem at any time, when you are ready to make the purchase.

For example, see how this QR code takes you to my explanation of incorporating print into digital couponing:

9soSao.qrcode

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Aug 18

Actually it was a pretty productive meeting.  Starting out he liked the Clickboard.  He thinks its a great new media and has more applications than just coupons.  I see his point and we both agreed that it could be copied by anyone.  That was not a qualm.

We also talked about the difference between SMS and MMS.  It seemed common that this idea worked better through MMS and that most phones are capable of receiving MMS.  We did argue about the potential plagiarism rights an SMS creates.  He was saying that people can simply send themselves coupons, thereby creating cause for theft.  He was saying that waiters can simply send themselves a bunch of messages, or even in the first place not tell that the SMS was used and pocket the money.  This led me to the validation step.  Currently his process does not have a validation system.  I suggested that once the coupons have been sent to the user, that they would be required to validate the coupon in front of the waitstaff thereby expiring the coupon from use by that user.  The total validated coupons received for that client could then by submitted at the end of the week or month for their records, eliminating theft from waitstaff.  But he saw that people would not pay the extra money to send one more message to validate their coupons.  This led me back to the fact that I wanted to change his model to be free to the user.

Regardless each message is locked in to costing RMB1 under his model so this would not work or change.  However he said I could have my own number to use for RMB3000 a month.  So the Clickboards on his site or others around the Internet could be accessed through my number.

He kept explaining that the mobile coupon market is still very young and has not taken off.  He has seen little success with this type of business model.  Something that can not support itself.  And charging the client for giving away the coupons is very difficult.  Alvin sees the light that the Clickboard has but not necessarily through coupons and believes charging clients RMB12 per acquisition of coupon will be difficult.  Getting any money out of them would be hard.  So he sees value in the Clickboard but not for this.  This is a conundrum.

He followed up his argument with a colleague he helped try to take print coupons to the mobile media for use.  He said there was little success.  However I am going to follow up with this person Andrew Collins of MailMan.com to see if he sees the light in what I’m doing.

We concluded by saying that I need to do my own stand alone website that would act as the hub for Clickboards and that I could on a trial basis use his website as an extended portal.  And again use my free number in which these discounts would be accesses through MMS.   This he said he would do on the basis of a friend.  However to build this standalone website with full Java applications could take three months with ten people working solely on the project for a grand total of RMB300,000.  This is currently what his mGuanxi.com website is worth.

I then asked what he is doing with mGuanxi.com and he said it was simple the social tool of his service.  I began to understand that not too many people are that involved with this site as their choice for a social media.  We then went into behavioral advertising and that kind of tailspinned as he did not see people interacting heavily enough with the site to truly allow it to work for the clients.  I see that and asked why there was no advertising on the site now and he said he did not want it to be overbearing to the user at this point but that is in the plans.

Currently Alvin is working more in Search Mobile Advertising which I agree is where most people see the potential for the mobile devices in the future.  He is working with some big names and I think that is where his aim is.  Maybe he will apply the Clickboard to this service in the future.  He liked the idea and I’m sure he is thinking of ways to utilize it.  One day I hope I still get credit.

He left me feeling encouraged that the idea has potential but told me the more you do the more pitfalls you will discover.  He is reluctant to change, that is one of the number one pitfalls that occurred during this meeting.  However if I was to start he would go with the flow and help me out.  So as he said keep talking to investors and get their advice.  So keep talking about it!

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Jul 13

Alvin wrote me, “Quickly scanned your materials, but didn’t have time to fully dig in and digest all the materials. Would be helpful if you just sent me 5 slides telling me what you are proposing, how we could help each other and the benefits/cists to each side.”

The last part got me thinking, ‘the benefits to each side.’  My current thinking has been very one sided.  I wanted him to hire me and support me as I developed and integrated Clickboards into his platform.  But what do I get out of it? A salary and advertising shares?  Well that is not exactly a trade.  I mean I have to do business with the guy and show there is a future with my involvement and provide some measure of growth for his products.

So it struck me.  I can approach Alvin saying that I want to add a Clickboard portal to your website.  I could explain the benefits to him and how this will help spur his current business.  But here is where the real opportunity comes in.  The Clickboard portal can be added to any community site whether it be local, national, or global.  People can manage their Clickboards at any and everyone of these portals no matter which website they are on.  Granted each Clickboard portal will be tailored to the site that it is on and the management of the coupons will be more in line with the site they are on, but the access to all their coupons from Clickboards across the Internet is universal.  And this will be key to Alvin.

Any and all Clickbaords can be redeemed using Alvin’s mGuanxi mobile media application.  So now I am not stuck to supporting one website but able to grow the Clickboard portal across the web while it is hosted by other people’s websites, now all of them will be integrated for the use of one easy to use phone application, produced and manned by Alvin.

Now I just have to come up with those five slides.

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Jul 9

I found a really cool feature on Google Analytics.  I can actually follow someone as they travel through my site going from page to page.  It shows me the percent of people who clicked on different links on a particular page.  So as Alvin and his company from Shanghai traversed my site on Tuesday I could actually follow them as the went from home screen to Clickcard, to Clickboards, to the About page and then the the Clickcard category and so forth.  I couldn’t tell which exact button was clicked by who because there was more than one person searching my site that day, but I could see two or three distinct paths.

The problem however is when they visited the Clickboard page.  The Clickboards are supposed to be ads.  Now Google Analytics will track ads but they have to be registered.  My Clickboards are not registered, so I was unable to see if they clicked on them and how many times and how far they went through the Clickboards.  Very upsetting because that was kind of the point of their visit.  Tomorrow I will have to find out how to register my Clickboards with the Google Analytics.  My first assumption is to add the tag to the Flash coding and then repost them.  And another way is somehow with this WordPress site.  It has an ad tracker too but haven’t explored this in detail yet.  Both options seem viable but I like the new Google Analytics tool so I am going to explore that first.

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