AT&T takes its Aio prepaid service nationwide

After testing out its new prepaid mobile brand in several states, AT&T is making Aio Wireless available online to the whole country. The service targets T-Mobile customers, setting off a hissing match between the two carriers.

Terry Heaton agrees brands need to look and feel like people, online

William James said, ‘You can judge a man’s intelligence by how well he agrees with you.’ In that regard, I think Terry Heaton is a wise man indeed. He thought that this observation about brands online was profound:

Stowe Boyd, We’re at the customer support stage of social business

I believe that brands will try to look and feel as much like people as possible, online. For example, brands have their own Facebook pages and Tumblr accounts. A winning strategy of the near future might be to get Tumblrers to follow your brand’s Tumblr blog, and to make the posts look and feel as much as possible the way your prospective customers’ posts do. This is what is going to replace ads: following.

And he added these thoughts:

Terry Heaton, Brands need to emulate people

Those of you helming media companies, for example, need to begin having blue sky sessions to define your company’s personal brand, and then you need to execute that brand across all forms of social media. Local media companies need to become experts at this, so that they can then lead businesses in the community in doing likewise.

At WLEX-TV in Lexington, KY, news director Bruce Carter handles Facebook duties throughout the day. It is experienced newsguy Bruce and his personality that speaks on behalf of his station and his newsroom on LEX18’s most important social media venue. I’ve long thought that this was a terribly smart tactic, because who knows the station’s wants and needs AND the news better than the news director? (Bruce was a client of mine when I worked with AR&D).

I’ve long said that all any business is in the network is a single node, just like everybody else. The network doesn’t “see” any company as bigger than any other node, for all are equal according to the Web. People follow people, or as Stowe is suggesting, people follow brands that appear as people.

Absolutely. Go read Terry’s post, if you have time.

Making T-Mo’s MyTouch is just step 1 of Huawei’s master plan

It was perhaps a very badly kept secret, but Huawei has officially confirmed it will be the latest vendor to build T-Mobile USA’s MyTouch smartphones. These phones aren’t bottom-of-the-portfolio placeholders, and Huawei hopes to use them to propel it into U.S. prominence.

Today in Connected Consumer

The debate touched off last week by a story in The Guardian (a GigaOM investor) about the apparently paltry earnings Google has reaped so far from the Android OS continues into week 2. GigaOM’s Tom Krazit makes the important point on Mobilize that Android is essentially a defensive play by Google, meant to keep the entire mobile world from being taken over by Apple, rather than core profit center, so direct earnings from the OS, whatever the real number, are not a useful measure of its success. Blogger Charlie Kindel, on the other hand, thinks that Android as a brand (as opposed to a technology platform) has become a liability for Google and will be cut loose from the mother ship. Instead, he argues, Google will adopt the Google Play brand for its own end-t0-end ecosystem, which will leverage the Android platform but will be more controlled and consistent than the current Android anarchy. That could increase tensions between Google and Android hardware makers and app developers, however, who, as my GigaOM Pro colleague David Card notes in his latest Weekly Update already chafe lack of support and propensity for competing with former partners. If nothing else, though, Google can take credit for spawning a cottage industry in speculating about the future of Android.

Today in Cloud

Apple’s iCloud became available to Mac and iOS device customers today. With the explicit name-association to “cloud,” and the marketing push that Apple is giving this, we will no doubt very quickly begin to see consumer impressions of what the cloud is for begin to reflect Apple’s message. What — if anything — does this mean for all the other cloud solutions out there, most of which serve very different purposes?