» 3 Tools to Help Your Business

If you haven’t already, check out these tools for the Wedding Pro on-the-go.

1. TweetAlarm – get notified when someone mentions your brand or product. It’s easy and free to sign up and choose what you want to be notified about. The goal here is to save yourself the time of searching, instead you can just set it up once and receive and alert to stay on top of any mentions of your company.

2. Bump – this tool allows you to exchange contact information on your iPhone or Droid by actually physically bumping your phones together. Save time when meeting new people at conferences and events by quickly “bumping.”
3. GroupMe – if you are onsite at an event or anywhere you need to communicate with a group of coworkers, this tool allows you to set up a group text number to provide updates and information in a timely manner. Get your alerts and instructions to your entire team in one blast.

» Augmented Reality? Not Yet, But Just As Cool…

This post written by Tim Chi, CEO of WeddingWire. Follow him on Twitter @wwtim. Tim first developed the concept of WeddingWire shortly after getting married in 2005 (to his lovely wife Tracey). As an experienced entrepreneur, Tim sought out to assemble a team and build a technology that would help both engaged couples and vendors in the wedding industry.
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At WeddingWire, we spend a good deal of time following the latest trends in technology…not because we have to, more so because we love to.  Last year, we started to see the first batch of Augmented Reality applications deploy in the iPhone and Android marketplaces.  For those not familiar with AR, here’s a quick definition:

Augmented reality (AR) is a term for a live direct or an indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input, such as sound or graphics. It is related to a more general concept called mediated reality, in which a view of reality is modified (possibly even diminished rather than augmented) by a computer. As a result, the technology functions by enhancing one’s current perception of reality. By contrast, virtual reality replaces the real-world with a simulated one.

source: Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augmented_reality

Two examples of this are the Yelp App for iPhone and the Google Goggles application for iPhone and Android.  In a nutshell, here’s how it works:

1) You start up the application, which enables the camera on your phone
2) You hold your phone up to the street that you are on
3) Based on your geo-location and the internal compass, the application overlays customer reviews on top of the image that you are viewing, bringing together the real-world image AND the digital consumer reviews.
4) As you walk down the street, new data appears!

Pretty cool right?  And while it hasn’t taken off just quite yet (still in “technology enthusiast” mode as Geoffrey Moore would say), the concept behind meshing real world and computer generated data is powerful indeed.

So while we are all waiting for this to become mainstream, here is an app that recently got coverage that isn’t Augmented Reality, but I would argue, just as cool and immediately applicable.  It’s called Pixelate and here is the quick synopsis.

While its not magic, it’s close to it – Pixelate 2.0 landed in the iTunes store today. The app, which is yet another step towards the future, allows you to try out colors of paint on your walls, or clothes or what ever you’d like to change the color of by selecting an image, selecting a color and and gradually using the UI to paint one color over the other.

http://techcrunch.com/2011/03/17/pixelate-2-0/

Give it a shot!

» It’s Time for Your Business to Go Mobile

Whether from an inbound email or searching for information while on the go, it’s time to make sure your business is mobile ready. According to Mary Meeker of Morgan Stanley,  mobile users will outnumber desktop users within the next 5 years. It’s evident mobile use has already caught on and will only continue to grow in the coming years. Some major trends include location based services, e-commerce platforms  and mobile entertainment.

So how do you build a mobile version of your website or blog? You may want to get a professional involved if you aren’t familiar with the process. A good place to get started is watching past webinar given by WeddingWire’s CMO, Sonny Ganguly, called Time to Mobilize. Sonny discusses why it’s important for your business to go mobile and 10 tips to keep in mind, such as:

1. Set up a subdomain. WeddingWire uses m.weddingwire.com for our mobile site. For more information click here to read the press release.

2. Eliminate Flash. If you have any type of flash on your website, strip it down to the bare bones for your mobile version. Flash and other graphics can be difficult for mobile devices to read.

3. Keep it Consistent. Though you will be creating a different site, it should relate to your main website with the same overall look and feel.

Good news! Your business’ WeddingWire Storefront is already featured off the WeddingWire mobile site as well as from our Android and iPhone applications.