Nice res on the new iPhone 3GS which snapped well my shiny TK Society kix which pre-purchase I happily did a realtime search for the best price (which i found deeply embedded) via Supratalk.com forums : When it comes to etail purchases listed price is only the start - u need to determine whether coupons can be used to drive price down. So some forum digging which directed me to retailmenot.com coupon for karmaloop.com 20% off the $136USD retail - which compared very nice thankuverymuch to the $280AUD retail over at Laced (who I commend for getting kick in unlike most other slack Aussie retailers) Even with expensive UPS shipping when u buy from O/S (not that I complain about security of guaranteed delivery in under 10 days to Mornington Peninsula from Boston) I saved $100USD+/$130Aussie_Dollars thx2 some realtime search, find + transact.
Some Background on the Purchase + how Traditional PageRank Relevance Web Searching is being overtaken by Using the Real Time Web, and even though using Internet Word of Mouth, Twitter Search and Forums, it’s not like any One Player - whether it be Facebook or Twitter be close to Stitching up the Real Time Web: It was a late shift to the TK Society’s in Patent Grey by Supra : I’d been staking out the Italian Ferrari nephew and currently discounted by 35% due to end of season Common Projects Safaris + Tournament Mid Velcros, but then I was pinged that the TKs had hit the market : It wasn’t google or twitter that alert me but a word of mouth alert on these kix - thxU - via a Street Styling Sighting over on Imelda.com.au in Sydney….. and I immediately thought REPREZENT MELBOURNE IN THE HOuSE> W3LL MORNINGTON PENINSULA STYLINGZ - I HAD 2COP theZ3 KiX!) sorry I just genY shouted. It must be that twitter thing, turns u into a 140 character spambot. Or maybe as Krunch Mogul says it creates non-anonymous circling death squadz AKA “Shangri-La for mob justice enthusiasts”.
So.. as The TK’s (Terry Kennedy the skater himself above, not bad having such a fine kick named after u and bringing in the benjamins) were suddenly released after a year or so of teaser pics, tweets and blog posts by the Supra team (who r experts at social media marketing - they r killing nike with prob 1/100th of the sneaker marketing budget) over at Factory 413. I’m glad I had Timing + Patience thx2 having the inside info via Real Time Social Media Word of Mouth… as it would have been easier but ultimately not what I wanted if I’d picked up one of the first two releases of the TK Society was Purple Suede + Perforated Black with Red Sole.
So when the wear with everything Patent grey were the 3rd Colourway made public - after confirming they werent available downunder via a landline ringaround (again Google nor the Yellow Page were any use to me here) - I was quickly (G_blogsearch + .com) Googling to find the best in the know forum - which ended up being SupraTalk.com Forums - that then put me onto the best price conversion being via Karmaloop.com combined with retailmenot.com 20% off coupon.
Air Yeezy by Kanye which were meant to retail at $300USD-ish but quickly were resold at 2-3 times average that were an extreme example of not just Real Time Web technologies, but how that spills onto the street - Consumers camping out for a week for sneakers / angling people they know who work at stores to do them favours / high quality fakes being sold for hundreds of dollar on eBay - Forget about #Spooks and the Secret Service fighting Cold War 2.0 (unless u r new head of MI6 _ yer wife spills the beanz on facebook) : Just to keep aware of what is really going on in the street u need to be tracking thousands of topics, datapoints, product codes and feeds to stay close to the always on Younger Faster Cooler Generations that can wear and look good in skinnies. You might or might not be amazed at how many sneaker forums by brand (”Supra’ or “Common Projects”) and subforums for models (Supra/TK Society or Common Projects/Safari) there are : Combined with “real-time” twitter feeds by category of kicks - eg hightops / nike-kanye yeezys / high end chukkas / retro asics etc PLUS new research angels such as 2-4 minute Unboxing and profiling of kicks via YouTube vidz- Here’s the one I used to check the TK’s look good in real life as photos can be photoshop_exposure_light settings flickrd with bigtime - video seems to lie less - it is more likely to make a sneaker look average to bad if it is while pix can be opposite -The Sneaker Market : that footwear u once supposedly only wore for exercise. This is one fast + sophisticated market. And dont think other markets like FMCG won’t end up like this….
Next Real Time Web Case Study : Let’s take the above pictured seemingly innocent Adidas Superstars Kick - which is probably best remembered as the default 3 stripes for Run DMC. What they are is one of five-ish shoes per phase spread across 3 stages of released collaborations Adidas did with leading clicks + sometimes mortar retailers who have diversified into designing, without having to invest in pesty manufacturing plants + questionable third world labour issues. The pictured Superstar was a joint effort of the parties involved in the “Group 4″ - I’ll take the Off-White Cream with black laces and tongue.
Sneaker Freaker summarise the project thus : “The third and final drop of the 3Way Consortium project from adidas Originals sees the series heading East for a work-around between some of the most respected sneaker retailers and influencers of the region. With the choice of working on the five models together in whatever manner they chose, Acu, Crooked Tongues (London based but with strong ties to Thailand), D-Mop and VA decided to pair up on two shoes each and all collaborate together on the fifth. From the Espo-inspired Samba Shuttlecock to the hefty hunk of Forum Mid, it’s the vintage-dipped Nizza, Oriental porcelain-designed Stan Smith and nubuck Superstar that stand out of this illusive collection.”
God is in the Details as Product Managers paraphrase. What is extra kewl about this collab- Rather than having to buy 5 different pairs of kicks to get all the colour combos - the online ordered “package” dropping on July 18th - comes with 5 re/detachable laces tongues (the lead on the project was “Crooked Tongues” after all) Feel like all black or white - maybe even burgundy or green ?
Now economists have been talking about Mass Consumer Customisation for a long time. But just as Choose Your Own Adventure/Ending was never going to be the overriding format for Hollywood or the Television, one size fits all is far too common in too many markets for too many products; In the land of oligopolic Australia for example, switching your bank, internet connection or mobile phone plans is heavily weighted against via upfront cash overly onerous penalties, financial incentives to sign long contracts, cross-platform contract bundling on 24 month contracts, and generally making it really fn hard that why would u risk losing the internet for a month while the telco gets around to your “Fast Transfer”.
So, while changing the Tongue of your kicks isn’t much…. it may match your burgundy hoodie while popping down the street to buy your $20 mafia like government priced smokes, which is then redistributed under a Micro-Lotto like via $900 Economic Stimulus to the government voting white collar working classes… It’s still a little win in the game of they giveth and taketh away. From Crooked Tongues on designing the adidas 3Way ‘Asian Group’ Superstar 80s : “The Superstar 80s is, for us, the definitive cut of a legendary shoe. We’ve been keen to play with this model for years - for 3Way, the opportunity arose. The problem with getting a Superstar to rework is that we found ourselves confused as to what to do with something so close to all our hearts without damaging that legacy, both personal and further reaching, and after all the attention it’s had since it’s 35th anniversary in 2005, what new looks can we bring to the table. First things first - this is a shoe that needs to be kept clean - there’s no room for funny business.. Each team store was allocated its own embossed tongue - VA opted for a grey and yellow, D-Mop went for a snake-effect pattern that incorporates browns, ACU chose green and we opted for Burgundy as a trademark colour. A more impartial option comes in the shape of a black one that carries all the names. A collection of laces, including an off-white pair, greys, burgundies, greens and blacks means a perfect match, and for starters, 5 individual looks in 1 package without any compromises on quality. This model is limited to the team retailers involved, as well as O-Stores, and it’s set for release in the Crooked Store on Saturday 18th of July.”
So while Collaboration Created Sneakers may be a Posterchild for a Trending Towards Mass Customisation Economy, the Real Time Web - which happens to be the latest hot segment to invest in/startup around - is helping the Crooked Tongues, Sneaker Freaker, Huf, Undefeated, The Hundreds reach and breakthru 8 figure turnovers by selling lifestyle clothing and shoes to the same market that buy video games : Ageing GenX, some boomers and hip Gen_Y’s with big pocket money and part time jobs. But so far, like blog search - the horizontal nature of the term - with time as a filter or differentiating factor may be anything from cute to misleading. I’m sure Sand Hill Road is already getting the pitches that simply add “Real Time” onto an existing segment - or even triple derivative - “Real Time” may be added onto a Web 2.0 segment.
- “Retail” thx to Amaxon + Ebay successfully became “Etail” or “Shopping” became “E-Shopping”
- Web 2.0 added “2.0″ onto any category so “Retail” became “Retail/Etail/Shopping/eShopping 2.0″ but then “Social” replaced 2.0 - So it became “Social Shopping” ! Maybe even “Social Shopping 3.0″ if your VC or non tech sector Angel knew no better.
- Now it becomes “Real Time Social Shopping” where we aim to change the world with our real time inventory checking, purchase intention of crowd sourced structured user data ratings blah blah
The major segment of action so far is “Real Time Search” - With blog search pretty much RIP - the action went to Summize.com which became Twitter Search - which by definition didnt search outside Twitter. Further Twitter search happily didnt have the Search Engine Optimised Spam early on which protected the largly recency based search using basic keyword/phrase boolean AND/OR/NOT logic.
Which was fine till the spambots arrived on Twitter… remember the days when new followers were kewl human beings…
It made logical sense that the next round of Real Time startups would try to improve on what Summize achieved with their handy 8 figure exit : New startups like Scoopler (adds in Flickr as one added content type but is still twitter centric), Trendrr, Yauba, Topsy (focuses on building authority via twitter actions eg retweets) and many others I cant remember - focused on indexing user generated text skewed microbloggy content types other than Twitter.
I’ve tested most of these - however my test is to compare against a combination of Friendfeed Search, Twitter Search, Google Blog Search + the most important of all of them : Google.com Advanced Search that allows search by time - in the last hour/day/week/month/year : are parameters I use very regularly. If you can add these searches to Google Reader via atom/RSS I’d use all the time, but for whatever reason google is scared of offering advanced search results by feed. Maybe I should try BlastCasta which combines Google + Twitter Search.
I definitely think the Real Time for awhile now Friendfeed is going in the right direction…
But to go back to my Sneaker Researching/Obsessing behaviour, and also to think about what happens in the typical consumer internet research phase 1-3 months pre-purchase : There are lots of “Real Time” Sources beyond twitter, with probably the most important being Forums - that are based around an Industry, Manufacturer/Brand and it’s various Products (eg Sneaker Freaker for Sneakers / CaymanClub.net for Porsche Caymans / etc) You also then have a “real time” intersection into the product review space.. there must be a heck of alot of reviews already linked to or mentioned in Twitter and Friendfeed - The reality of meta-product review search on the Page Rank Web is it is too corrupted by SEO spam and links that are circular, Combining high authority / well moderated / segment and brand forums with twitter/friendfeed : would be really useful - It could tell u when there is are new links, reviews, tweets, videos, pictures for the car/watch/sneakers u r “following” / looking for / to buy etc.
If you flip around the consumer searching for a company’s product to buy : One solution I have been using extensively/offering to clients is the Premium Version - highly affordable but not free Filtrbox.com : They are focused on The Real Time Web that matters to enterprises and also Power Users. They are dedeuplicating double results. They allow the filtering between blogs, social networks and twitter. You can generate reports in html, .xls or html in under a minute and email thru to clients. You receive daily emails with new matches. And all the alerts I setup in Google Reader can be sync’d (son) with Filtrbox (and vice versa : alerts I generate in Filtrbox I can add to my Enterprise Google Reader Social Media Intelligence Dashboard (thats a mouthful i know;) so all the client mentions goes into one dashboard) In short it rox. If interested ping me.
The enterprise gaps I see in all the Search related products I’ve used beyond indexing more than twitter like Web Forums (not to mention key brand related spaces such as viral videos and advertising tracking within social media) is moving beyond boolean search. Clients need to be able to breakout :
- Parent Company vs Product Brand Level Mentions
- Identify who the Influential Social Media Commentators are talking about their Brand and contact them
- In near real time identify emerging trends and quantify them and group which of their business unit it affects, which consumer segments and marketing tactics. But in short : Trend Identification.
- Move beyond recency to popularity or real time Virality that is relevant to the company tracking it
With tools and related API’s such as Twinfluence, Filtrbox, Feedly and Postrank.com - there is the ability to score the popularity/viral’ness of entries (out of 10), triangulate the data, and aggregate up the scores of entries attributed to a source. Which starts to give an idea of who the influential social media commentators a client has talking about them.
The developers and startups in the Real Time Search space - while possibly not interested in the Brand Mentions space and breaking out differences between parent Company Mentions vs Brand level ones, will probably find the same recurring issues in so far as aiming to move beyond pure boolean recency to a more relevance based search result. Which ironically is where Google is already. Except google hasnt yet been able to fine tune the real time results well enough that the important links + tweets can be pulled out and displayed alongside a google search result in the same way it does now display a YouTube video when appropriate.
OK, before this post eats itself I’m going to jump in the Ferrari California first ferrari with a folding hardtop or maybe the extra fast loud yellow on black rims The Novitec Rosso Ferrari Scuderia Spider 16M. At least those cars have a Real Time to 100 metres of 3.7 seconds - give or take half a second depending on model. Then again, I havent sold my Real Time Search Company, so I may have to wait till July 18th for the Adidas Superstars by Crooked Tongues collaborators to come out for 100 quid or so. And they have the kewl changeable tongues after all. Hows them Mass Customisation Apples ?