Ready to Get Mobile ?

Eight million people in the UK access the Internet from their smartphone every day. There are 23 million smartphones in the UK – almost 50% of all mobile phones. Does your business have a mobile friendly site? If not – or if you’re not sure – you’ve come to the right place to get started. This is what Google has just announced some days ago. The service is free during 12 month. After than, monthly mobile fee is 9 usd/per month which will cost 108 usd per year. It is not expensive when we consider its total impact in terms on reaching mobile consumers. Would you like to test your site on :

The Netherlands Leads Europe in Online Banking

Online banking popular in the Netherlands, but trails France and the UK in total number of users

Despite the financial turmoil in Europe, bank websites remain popular among internet users on the continent. According to comScore, 38.7% of web users in Europe accessed a bank’s website in December 2011. Northern Europe was strongly represented, as the Netherlands had the highest percentage of internet users accessing banking sites, at 66.3%, followed by(59.9%), Sweden (55.9%) the UK (53.2%) and Finland (53.1%).

When comScore measured total number of visitors to online banking sites in December 2011, France and the UK came out ahead of the smaller Northern European countries, with 25.8 million and 19.9 million visitors, respectively.

How to Shape Your Facebook Profile to Help You Land a Job

According to a recently published study, Facebook profiles are good indicators of job performance. A 10-minute review of a Facebook profile can give a hiring manager clues about your personality type and insights as to how you’ll fit into the company’s work (or not) and succeed on the job (or not). It’s no surprise, then, that more employers are reviewing Facebook profiles when screening potential new hires. The trick for job seekers is to make sure they’re presenting their best, most employable self on Facebook.

In January, U.K. business psychology firm OPP reported that 56% of employers now review the Facebook profiles of job applicants. Employers see Facebook as a place where they can weed out candidates from their pool of thousands of resumes. Lets take a look at some tips :

1. Sign up and be active

Having a Facebook account is standard nowadays. If you don’t have an account, then you won’t appear relevant to employers in many industries. Especially in fields such as PR and marketing, it’s essential to become proficient in using social media because this is how people are communicating, networking and doing business these days. People are already in the habit of searching on Facebook for the names of people they meet at events, bars, and weddings, and yes, they’ll also look on Facebook for the person they’ll be sitting down with in an upcoming job interview. If you don’t have an account, or if the profile is half-complete or barely used, the searcher may wonder whether you have something to hide or you’re completely behind the times.


2. Shape your profile according to the top five personality traits. 

 The Journal of Applied Social Psychology, which is publishing the study mentioned at the top of this story, lists the top five personality traits that a Facebook profile reveals: conscientiousness, emotional stability, agreeableness, extraversion, and openness to experience. Ideally, your profile will paint you in a positive light for all of these traits. To be viewed favorably in terms of conscientiousness, you need to be organized, thoughtful and disciplined about what you post. Sharing a link to a news story and commenting on it thoughtfully? Yes. Sharing a link to a racist organization? No. For emotional stability, try to refrain from frequent posts that could demonstrate mood swings—complaining about your significant other one moment, then praising them as your soul mate the next. As for agreeableness, avoid rants and nasty comments bashing the opinions and tastes of others. To exhibit extraversion, push yourself to comment on friends’ wall posts and meet as many new friends as you can. For openness to experience, add Facebook applications that display the books you’re reading, the charities you’re donating to, the songs you’re listening to, and anything else that shows that you’ve engaged in new activities over time.

3. Add professional networking applications to your Facebook profile

 Many services allow users to tap into their Facebook networks to reveal job opportunities. One is BeKnown, an application developed by Monster (disclosure: a client of mine), which leverages your social graph to connect you to Monster’s massive database of job postings. You can keep your profile public, while asking for introductions and building up your network. Another is BranchOut, which works similarly to BeKnown, and has over 3 million jobs and 20,000 internship postings. Finally, (disclosure: a business partner of mine), known for its salary and employer reviews, has a section called “Insider Connections,” which uses your Facebook information to introduce you to people who can refer you to a job. All three of these tools will help you maximize a strong network of family, friends and acquaintances on Facebook. While many of the job openings posted on these applications can be found elsewhere on the web, the advantage of incorporating Facebook is that you can learn about individuals in your network who can refer you to jobs you really want. It’s much easier to leverage your current relationships than to have to find and build new ones.

4. Review your privacy settings and limit old status updates.

 Just about everyone has the new Facebook “Timeline” profile now. With Timeline, all of your old status updates, photos and videos are now searchable by your friends and possibly the public at large. Since employers are judging you based on your picture and updates, it’s imperative that you take necessary precautions. First, select the option in the privacy settings page that says “limit the audience for past posts.” By doing this, the content on your Timeline will be available to only your friends. Second, limit the posts by others on your timeline by turning on the “Timeline Review” and “Tag Review” options. Then, whenever your friends tag you on Facebook, you have the ability to approve them before they are posted on your wall. You can also restrict specific people or groups of people from viewing what others post on your wall by going to “How You Connect” under the privacy settings and choosing “Custom.” Finally, you can block each post manually by searching your Timeline by year and limiting who can see them.

5. Promote yourself and share professional-related content.

One of the benefits of the new Timeline profiles is that you can choose a background image. You can use it to promote your interests, a major accomplishment, or a life experience you’ve had. You can also install Facebook applications such as the “Washington Post Social Reader” (showing that you keep up on current events) and “Where I’ve Been” (showing that you’re well-traveled). It’s also a good idea to share professional related content found on blogs and traditional media outlets, inspirational quotes from business leaders, and surprising facts. By doing so, you’ll appear more knowledgeable, relevant and interesting to employers.

Why Turkey is hot

Robin from Techcrunch wrote that “If there’s one thing I keep hearing over and over when it comes to the European startup scene, it’s that investors who are not seriously looking at the Turkish market may be missing out on some of the continent’s biggest digital companies in the next 10 years.”

This is only one example. There are many like this. Turkey has changed, massively. And with the changes in Turkey, the Turkish internet environment changed.

So lets start with some facts about Turkey online market:

Turkey has 35 M internet users – according to IWS. A figure which is also confirmed by Comscore and Turkish Telekom. This makes Turkey to the fifth biggest internet population in Europe (after Germany, Russia, UK and France) and number 13 in the world.

According to the Interbank Card Center (in Turkish: BKM), the Turkish eCommerce had a volume of 24.4 B TL (16.3 B USD) in 2010. The growth from 2006 to 2010 was 325% and the first half year of 2011 generated a volume of 15.9 B TL (10.6 B USD). Huge numbers and huge growth rates even if taken into account that the Interbank Card Center includes also some mail order revenues into the total number.

The number of those users who spent money on the internet is estimated with 6-9 M users. There is no official number for this but it could be perceived as the consensus range of all estimates. If you assume the higher end of this range, the eCommerce penetration rate is 25% (of all internet users) which still leaves a great potential for the future. In countries like Germany or UK, the eCommerce penetration rate is around 60%. Exactly this number is creating an enormous push on the Turkish eCommerce market. What would happen if Turkey reaches the 60% eCommerce penetration rate? In two years from now… Just make the math, and you will understand why eCommerce is hot in Turkey (for founders and for investors)

Turkish internet users have the third highest engagement in Europe – measured in online spent hours. The average Turkish internet user spent 29.4 hours in March 2011 online.

Turkey is Facebook country No. 5 (Facebook users) and very close behind the UK. I would guess in a few weeks from now, UK will be No. 5 and Turkey No. 4 in Facebook. But not only on Facebook, the Turks are also very active on other services. Turkey is Friendfeed country No. 1 and the No. 8 country for Twitter.

The Turkish online user is young: 70% of all online users are younger than 34 years (i.e. only 39% of all internet users in the UK are younger than 34 years).

Another reason for the eCommerce friendly environment is the high credit card penetration. Turkey has 46 M credit cards (2010) and a credit card penetration rate around 60%. Compared to Europe where the credit card penetration rate is lower than 50% (the UK leading the credit card penetration rate with 67%), Turkey is an El Dorado for eCommerce companies as they do not have the problems of Russia and some other Central and Eastern European countries with “cash on delivery” (which triples your return rates).

The B2C logistic infrastructure is also extremely well developed. Turkey has many competing delivery companies. Just to give an example: Markafoni is able to deliver any order after shipping to the customer in 24 h if the customer lives not more than 600 km from Istanbul away. For all other distances it takes the delivery companies 48 h. Even to a small village at the Iraqi border.

And this year, Turkey experienced two big transactions (eBay acquiring GittiGidiyor and Naspers / MIH acquiring Markafoni) which delivered new valuation benchmarks and showed that Turkey has an internet market delivering three digit M USD valuations. Beside this mega deals, the companies are announcing every week the closing of another A-Series, B-Series etc. Kleiner Perkins, Intel Capital and many others started to participate at the growth of the Turkish online market

Beside all the facts and figures, there are so many observations which are so difficult to capture in statistics. Like the story from a Turkish company called Socialwire where the founders decided to open a second HQ in the valley (just to be closer to the investors in the valley). Or the story of eTohum, a seedcamp like incubator, which is receiving hundreds of business plans each year and has managed to present every year 2-3 start-ups which have been very successful later. There is the story of Limk, a Turkish start-up which gets his power from North and Latin America (especially Chile). So many stories to tell but if I had to reduce the Turkish internet market to two headlines, I would say COMPETİTİON and SPEED.

Let’s start with competition. Turkey’s first group buying company was Groupon – launched April 2010. Today we have almost 200 group buying companies in Turkey. Groupon lost the market leadership to Grupfoni and the top 3 players control approx. 80% of the market but there are still 200 other players here. How many group buying players are active in Germany or in France? Two dozens? The only two countries with a similar level of competition are Brasil (400 group buying companies) and China (4000 group buying companies). The competition in the Turkish market is not limited to group buying. There are almost 20 flash sales companies or almost 10 local video sites etc. The competition shapes everybody and is creating highly efficient markets.

Speed is another key word for Turkey. The entire country is on speed but the internet sector especially. The decision making processes are fast (everybody who has ever done business in Turkey will confirm this), the end consumers expectation levels are high (almost all eTailers deliver within 48 h) – speed counts on many levels. I have never seen a market which is so focused on speed.

The main bottleneck of Turkey is still a lack of capital but after the deals of GittiGidiyor and Markafoni, I am sure that this obstacle will disappear soon. Every time I meet a Turkish start-up they tell me how many (non Turkish) investors they have met. And the bigger companies started to develop and execute a global vision. Like yemeksepeti opening up in Russia, Dubai and Cyprus. Or like Markafoni which aims to launch after Australia, Greece and Ukraine other businesses in- and outside of Turkey.

Turkey is hot: A big domestic market with many young users who love to spend time online. Facebook, Twitter, Friendfeed are heavily used. The Turks spent significant amounts of money online and we all know that this is just the beginning. The second biggest credit card penetration rate in Europe and the very well developed logistics network provide a great infrastructure for the further development of eCommerce. The lack of capital disappears day by day.

If we turn back in five years from now, we might say “2010 and 2011 have been the golden times for investment in Turkey”.