Friday, 28 August 2009

Mobile - it's in the blood!!!

Another action-packed month over at Mippin Towers, building and distributing numerous publisher apps across Nokia Ovi Store, working on some monetization solutions for Mippin portal, plus enjoying the moment we reached the first 10 apps in Top Free section of iPhone App Store’s News category.

And that’s just me! The rest of the team launched a revised version of Mippin’s collaborative algorithm (powering Mippin content portal recommendations,) developed some new Buzz Widgets (coming soon), and were picked as finalists in the Nokia Calling All Innovators Competition, winning a minimum $10,000 prize and a trip to Stuttgart next week (don’t blow it guys – I mean the cheque..) They're also finalising some new contracts and oh, by the way, developed a completely brand new type of mobile content application which may single handedly redefine the way web content is accessed and consumed on mobile phones forever.

The new app, which has been submitted to the Android Developer Challenge before it goes live in the Android Market in a few weeks, features a super slick UI, intuitive navigation and great content. All hallmarks of the Mippin development team of course. Except this new app brings something new to the party, though exactly what can’t be revealed until the app goes live for Android mobile users in September. Needless to say it’s the mobile evolutionary equivalent of the Model-T Ford – everyone will be able to get around a lot faster!

So it seems like a busy month over here at Mippin HQ, developing, innovating etc. Except that in all honesty, with a team that are genetically programmed to programme, September is going to be the evolution, when the Buzzy new product goes live in Android Market. Who’s to say what the team’s capable of then!

Meet the Mipps: Part 8

Name: Conor Owens

Official title: Head of Operations

Phone of Choice:
Black G1 (a popular one 'round these parts)

Non-geek interests:
Sailing -- or, as Conor puts it, "messing about with boats"

Known around the office for:
Working from home in Ireland.

Favorite Fulham lunch spot (when he's in town):
The park in the summer! (We're big fans of Walham Green, which is just around the corner.)

How many Twitter followers @glasshalffull has at this very second?
"No idea." (It's actually 8, but with absolutely no tweets!)

Three blogs he can't go a day (err, hour?) without checking?
XKCD,, Messing About In Sailboats

When did he cross over from average citizen to geek extraordinaire and what cinched it for him?
It started when he began working at T-Mobile in 2003 -- a true mobile geek at heart.

What sort of advancements he expects in mobile tech in the next few years?
Three expectations:
1.) a real convergence between the capabilities of PC's and phones
2.) high-speed network access everywhere
3.) data accessed easily (by phone or PC) from anywhere, no hard drive necessary

Why he thinks Mippin is absolutely AWESOME?
It's a great range of information that is speedily accessible, and "it serves both informative purposes and entertainment purposes".

And that concludes our 'Meet the Mipps' blog series! It's not all of us, but hopefully we gave you a little peak into the inner-workings of the coolest start-up on the planet. Because without all of our devoted employees (and of course our devoted users!), where would we be?

Friday, 21 August 2009

Meet the Mipps: Part 7

Name: Ben

Official title: Back End Architect

Phone of choice: Black G1

Non-geek interests:
all things music (including playing the guitar), walking through mountains, skiing

Known around the office for:
Not actually being in the office! Ben works from home in Poland, but flies over once a month to feed us all Polish snacks.

Favorite Fulham lunch spot:
The Slug@Fulham

How many twitter followers @kornmaniak
has at this very second?
"7 or 8" (He was just being modest -- it's 11!)

Three blogs he can't go a day (err, hour?) without checking?
All he needs are Mippin's Buzz Widgets, particularly Mobile News and Tech. (And it's worth mentioning again that our Tech Buzz Widget is so unbelievably awesome that it's been shortlisted as one of three finalists in Nokia's 'Calling All Innovators' contest. If you love it too, why not do us a solid and send a vote our way?)

When did he first cross over from average citizen to geek extraordinaire and what cinched it for him?
Ben's had a bit of a tumultuous relationship with geekdom. When he was five he got his first computer and switched over to the dark side. Then, he opted out of tech when doing his studies in an attempt to deny his geek status... But have no fear -- he
eventually succumbed and is now a full-fledged member of The Geek Society (just like the rest of us).

What sort of advancements does he want in mobile tech over the next few years?
Basically he wants everything even more simplified than it is now -- he hooks up his phone to his computer and the computer becomes just a larger version of the phone. Then, when he leaves the house he can disconnect them and take the phone, which becomes just a smaller version of the computer. Essentially, it's a single entity -- just running on multiple devices.

Why he thinks Mippin is absolutely AWESOME?
When he's bored, it keeps him entertained. Plain and simple.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Nokia Calling All Innovators Award Selects Mippin

Mippin is excited to announce this morning its inclusion in the shortlist for Nokia’s prestigious “Calling All Innovators” Award. As reported here last month, Mippin launched a number of new Buzz Widgets designed for the Nokia platform and available from the new application store at Nokia Ovi Store. Once downloaded, the widgets power quick and easy content discovery on the phone’s home screen, with users able to access a comprehensive range of content channels without having to navigate through the phone’s menu or web browser.

The five Buzz Widgets Mippin launched in July cover the latest tech, gossip, gaming, national and international news, with publisher branded versions also on the horizon. Nokia’s shortlisting of the Mippin technology version, called Tech Buzz Widget, means the company’s earlier decision to look at the phone's home screen for potential development and mobile innovation was a sensible one. It’s great to announce that the Tech Buzz Widget has come out as a finalist for the award alongside two other companies, with the winner to be announced at Nokia World in September. The team is obviously keen to win - there’s a large cash prize on offer which is always needed at a start up - plus there’s the benefit of Tech Buzz Widget promotion on the Ovi Store. More important, however, is the recognition this award brings the team itself, confirming that our time and thought in developing these applications was worth it; after all, it’s always great to be recognized for what you do and for Nokia to shortlist Tech Buzz Widget in a hotly contested competition is a major achievement. Having won the Nokia Developer of the Year Award in 2007, Mippin really appreciates just how important this sort of milestone can be and, of course, what it can lead to!

Robin Jewsbury -- who led the work on the Nokia Buzz Widgets -- said, “If you’re in to mobile and heading over to Stuttgart in September, let us know and we will use some of our prize money to buy you a drink! We’ll definitely be celebrating and will be more than happy to demo Tech Buzz Widget, so say hello.” Good luck Robin, Richard and Flashy!

For the full press release from Nokia, click here.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Meet the Mipps: Part 5

Name: Teri

Official Title: Head of Content

Phone of choice:
White iPhone 3GS (32 gig) -- "with an ugly yellow case"

Non-geek interests:
Fashion, Tennis, Food, TV junky

Known around the office for:
Being called Pocahontas or Smurf. As well as being seriously addicted to Diet Coke

Favourite Fulham lunch spot:
The Slug (as long as it doesn't smell like vomit as it sometimes does on a Friday. Thursday night's is party night at the slug)

How many twitter followers she has at this very second?
Just 97 but growing quickly @teritechno

Three blogs she can’t go a day (err, hour?) without checking?
Savage Love Blog, Go Fug Yourself, Pretty Much Amazing

When did she cross over from average citizen to geekette extraordinaire and what cinched it for her?
As soon as we told her what an Atom and RSS feed was

What sort of advancements she expects in mobile tech in the next few years?
Teri thinks that phones will be able to detect our moods. So if she is sad the phone will try to cheer her up with funny personalized content

Why she thinks Mippin is absolutely AWESOME?
Fast and simple way to find stuff you are interested in - and things you never knew you are interested in.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Swimming in a Sea of Blogs

As content editor here at Mippin, I look at a lot of blogs.

A lot of blogs.

We have a lot of good times, me and blogs. It’s sort of a love/hate relationship. Sometimes they stop speaking or change their address without telling me, but ultimately my love knows no bounds. After all, blogs are my rocket fuel – and the rocket fuel of Mippin. Without content, where would we be?

Sometimes my task is to find new blogs, because we here at Mippin like to keep up with the Jones’ – we need cricket blogs for The Ashes, festival blogs around Glastonbury time,
costume blogs for Halloween, etc. And it’s not always an easy endeavor.

So how do you do it, Teri?

Great question, hypothetical inquisitors. Here are my top 5 content-sourcing options: – I cannot even tell you the love that bubbles up inside at the mere mention of the name. Basically, the gist of the site is to recount some of the top stories circulating the web, but from various bloggers’ perspective. It links you all over the place to different blogs, mainly with one thing in common – the one story they all decided to write a post on. For example (beware, this is only a dramatization): ‘Twitter decided to rename itself Fwitter today. Blogger #1 says, “it’s preposterous!” and “a serious threat to the growing trend of all things with the ‘tw’ prefix.” Meanwhile, Blogger #2 says, “I hope Fwitter stays. I want my grandchildren to grow up in a world of Fweets.”’ (Also worth noting -- their top ten lists on anything and everything, which are updated almost daily, are a godsend for finding good niche blogs.)

Blogrolls – I suppose this one is a bit obvious to many, but I find blogrolls to be a constant source of good material, all essentially centered around one blog. So, I’m looking at the blogroll of a nifty fashion blog – not only will I get that blogger’s favorite fashion blogs, but often her favorite foodie or pop culture blogs as well. Good content leads to more good content.

Technorati – amazing. The site pays a lot of attention to blogs by authority, which leads to legitimate, popular (or on-the-rise) content. The front page simply tells you ‘what’s percolating in blogs now’, or you could siphon by category to figure out what’s percolating in boating blogs right now (no joke) or whatever else you might fancy. And extra kudos for using the word ‘percolating’, Technorati.

Blog Networks – Many blogs are part of a larger blog network – therefore one good blog can often lead to a veritable cornucopia of good content. A great example is the popular Cheezburger network – both I Can Has Cheezburger and Failblog have caught on so much that their language is now incorporated into a geek’s everyday vocabulary. (And, not surprisingly, the rest of the content put out by the network is similarly up to par.) Blog network WIN! Srsly.

Mippin – Obviously! Even though I control most of the content, I find myself constantly surprised by what Mippin -- and our users -- come up with. Browsing the categories shows me the most popular content, ordered by my country. I can also check out the 20 most popular sites in my country at any time using the ‘Entertain me now’ feature, which I need to check often so I can stay in the loop. Also, just looking at the latest stories streams in a category (Celebrities and Food Blogs are favorites of mine) can lead you to interesting stories from sites you’ve maybe never heard of. It’s content discovery as it should be – simple, relevant and enlightening.

Friday, 7 August 2009

Meet the Mipps: Part 5

Name: Justin Baker

Official Title: Senior Marketing & Account Manager

Phone of choice: iPhone 3G (16 gig) -- "all roads lead to the iPhone..."

Non-geek interests: music and sports that he's not very good at (marathon running, mountain climbing, surfing, swimming, etc.)

Known around the office for: office DJ (a shared task with Robin), having good but often very convoluted ideas, coming in late, drawing matchstick men

Favourite Fulham lunch spot: One Stop Fresh

How many twitter followers he has at this very second? Well, that answer depends. Answer a: 836 (but that's for the @mippin account he manages, which is a bit of a deceiving answer.) Answer b: none.

Three blogs he can’t go a day (err, hour?) without checking? Mobile Marketing Magazine, FAIL blog, and

When did he cross over from average citizen to geek extraordinaire and what cinched it for him? "I never crossed over...until I came"

What sort of advancements he expects in mobile tech in the next few years? Justin expects (and presumably wants as well) more interactive advertising, from the idle screen to advertiser-funded mobile programming.(...don't we all?)

Why he thinks Mippin is absolutely AWESOME? Threefold. 1.) It's the "fastest way to get content onto your mobile. Lightning fast." 2.) Design -- Justin goes on to claim it is the "best-designed mobile site in the world" (kudos to Flashy for that) 3. Choice