The REport

In smartphone news, Verizon announced today that the unlimited data plan is going the way of free airline baggage checking (read: say goodbye).  With mobile data usage increasing 89 percent in the last year, Verizon joins AT&T in the pay-for-what-you-use strategy.  Will this impact the way you do business?

Pretty soon, you will be able to conduct Google searches by speaking.  Already available on mobile devices like the iPhone, the Web giant is now rolling out a voice-recognition search tool for desktop computer users.  Although it is still yielding mixed results, I bet the company will continue to tweak and enhance the service. The company does not stop at voice, though, and has also released image recognition technology, which will identify the location and search for relevant websites related to a picture.  Is a smell search next?

Do social networks help with one’s social well-being? According to a Pew Research Center survey, Facebook users are more trusting, have more close friends, are more politically-engaged and get more social support from friends. I “like” this!

Social media may be the next millionaires club. A new survey found that 85% of millionaire respondents use text-messaging, smartphone applications and social media, putting to rest long-standing beliefs that this group is particularly private.

Looking to promote a new cocoa-flavored beer, Portuguese brewery Sagres skipped traditional advertising and enlisted the help of a chocolatier who developed a website out of chocolate. The edible masterpiece was then photographed and used to make the website. Interesting — and tasty– way to promote a product!  How can you step outside of the box with your own promotions?

How many people does it take to build an online community?  Twenty, according to the Ning Point of View (POV) Report released this week.  Among other findings, there is a new online community “born” every 10 minutes.  Among the top 10 categories for social communities, education ranks first, followed by “business and brands” with “politics” coming in tenth.  What do you talk about in your social communities?

Finally, with summer vacation season in full swing comes a sensible reminder from KY3 TV in Springfield, Missouri not to post vacation plans on social media for risk of robbery.  Do you find yourself using social media to broadcast your vacation plans?

Happy first day of summer everyone!

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