Bubble Motion’s dream launch – new mobile service for India

26 04 2010

A product manger’s dream is being enjoyed by the person behind India’s latest mobile phone service, Bubbly. Bubbly, from Sequoia Capital backed start-up, Bubble Motion, is a service that allows users to send voice messages to multiple followers and has gained 500,000 users in India in the first four weeks of launch!

Bubbly is a mobile phone service that aims to bring social media to the masses. It builds on the foundation set by Bubble Talk, which has 100 million users who use the service to send voice messages to on other individuals. With Bubbly, messages go to a bigger audience — followers.

Users can easily follow friends, family, celebrities, religious leaders, and for example, BBC News by typing in the person’s number or access code. They’re notified when there’s an update –- a friend inviting a group of classmates to a bar, a short news update from BBC News, or a message for fans from a Bollywood star.

Followers get notified when someone sends out a new voice message – normally just 30 seconds long – and Bubble Motion earns money by taking a cut of the airtime used to listen to the message. It’s free to send a message, though in the case of celebrities, it could be thousands of fans who dial in.

It’s been reported that most of the 500,000 new users are teens and even tweens. The average Bubbly message gets listened to by about half of the senders’ followers. The company has launched the service in three of India’s 23 phone service areas, and plans to expand to the rest of India, Japan, Europe the Middle East and later, Brazil.

Bubble Motion also hopes to offer video Bubbly messages, where followers could easily dial into watch homemade videos, or even give users the option of including text – making it a true mobile Twitter.

There’s just one issue the company needs to consider to that idea – Bubble Motion wouldn’t make money off texting, because users in India don’t pay to receive text messages.

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40th Earth Day celebrations include launch of Second Early Learning Reading E-Book in Support of Orang Utan Charity.

22 04 2010

To mark the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, along with 30 million other people who are supporting green activities today, I have launched the second e-book in my series of free environmentally themed children’s books. This new story, Radio Ron’s Rainforest Adventure – Crocodile Attack, is one of the first “early reader” e-books, with narration, sound effects and original music to be placed on YouTube. The HD feature in YouTube, makes an ideal reading experience on computer, TV or mobile phone screen. With a more technology savvy generation of youngsters, it is an approach that should appeal.

In the US, their annual National Environmental Education Week inspires environmental learning, understanding and stewardship among students. It is this new and important commitment to environmental issues by young people that is helping to drive support of many important “green issues”.

I have written the ‘Radio Ron’s postcards from Borneo series’ to raise awareness on the plight of orangutans who face extinction in the Borneo and Sumatra rainforests. Since launching the first of this series back in November 2009, I’ve been encouraged by the very positive feedback and interest that I have received from all around the world. After reading this e-book people have been motivated to donate funds to orang utan charities, which is a wonderful bonus.

Learning to read is one of the biggest milestones young children face. By offering a fun approach to early reading practice, these new e-books are designed to stimulate interest in nature and environmental issues.

The Radio Ron “YouTube” e-book calls for readers to support the Orangutan Appeal UK – who are celebrating their 10th year charity status. Dedicated to rehabilitation and preservation of Orangutans and conservation of their habitat, The Orangutan Appeal strives to protect remaining wild populations by supporting and funding projects across Borneo. The Appeal works on behalf of the famous Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, Sabah, Malaysia.

The e-book also highlights the expat rock band, The Benchmarx, made up from 5 teachers from the international school of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The band have been “rockin’ for the environment”, an event that was launched during Earth Week, 4 years ago, raising vital funds and awareness for conservation in Malaysia. Via their music and performances the band has been helping raise funds for endangered animals such as the turtle, tiger and orangutans. The band has donated their song “Mission for the Orangutans” which is available for download from Amazon or iTunes.

Schools, teachers and groups from around the world have used Sandra Arthur’s material because it complements the current rainforest projects in many educational curricula.

“Radio Ron” has been a true family effort and my grateful thanks are sent to my twin 7 year old boys who helped with illustration and voice over contributions, whilst voice over, music composition “Save the Orang utans” and performance and video creation have been contributed by my husband, Richard Arthur.

A longer “Radio Ron’s” adventure for older children (8 years +) is currently available as a free pdf file. This document includes “Facts and Stats” on the Borneo rainforest and other educational guidance including teacher notes.

It is hoped that parents and educators will use the material to assist young child to read and at the same time consider sharing this important environmental message. The education sector together with parents and child carers have a vital role to play in presenting environmentally themed education.

It is essential that all of us, including today’s children, understand that our actions, such as power usage, travel, consumption, and waste management can destroy forests and play a role in climate change.

In the same way as we must care for a tree after it was been planted, it is essential that we all work to preserve the precious animals and plants that exist in our fragile world.

___________________________________________________________________________________________
“We must learn to respect our planet – support conservation and intelligently use resources.”
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The Orangutan Appeal UK
Funds are needed for a variety of projects, not least improvement to facilities at Sepilok.
Orangutan Appeal UK
E: info@orangutan-appeal.org.uk
Registered Charity No. 1092640

The famous Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre in the Malaysian Sabah District of North Borneo was founded in 1964, to rehabilitate orphan orang utans. The site is 43 sq km of protected land at the edge of Kabili Sepilok Forest Reserve. Today around 80 orang utans are living free in the reserve.

The facility provides medical care for orphaned and confiscated orang utans as well as dozens of other wildlife species. Some of the other animals which end up being treated at the centre include; Sun Bears, Gibbons Sumatran Rhinos and the occasional injured Elephant.





Palm Oil shake-up

18 04 2010

Wow, what a past few days. Since the outbreak of the Nestlé faux pas via their FaceBook Fan page, publicity that rainforest/orang utan charities could only dream of has taken place.

Nestlé ‘s share price dropped. Nestlé issued a variety of statements including their commitment to use sustainable palm oil by 2015. The producers of palm oil have threatened to stop supplies to US /Europe (would they seriously risk losing 20% of their income?) and thousands of consumers have become informed about deforestation, loss of orang utan habitat and most important palm oil.

With social media users now nudging 500 billion with expected growth , it is a serious force to challenge.

Watch this space as the story unfolds further.