Why Is Twitters Logo Named After Larry Bird?
Mar. 05, 2012

twiiter birdYou know that blue Twitter bird that’s always popping up these days? Well, the little guy’s got a name. It’s Larry. Larry the Bird. As in, Larry Bird, the Hall of Fame basketball player.

This tidbit most recently came to light earlier this week, thanks to a tweet from Ryan Sarver, a platform and API manager at Twitter. He posted a photo of Twitter’s creative director, Doug Bowman, explaining how the company’s logo has developed over the years. Sarver’s tweet mentioned the “evolution of the Larry the Bird logo.”

The connection actually makes quite a bit of sense, if you do a little Internet stalking and connect the dots.

Twitter’s co-founder is Biz Stone. A 2009 interview from The Boston Globe tells us that Stone graduated from Wellesley High School, just outside Boston. And Wikipedia tells us Stone was born in 1974.

This means Stone likely was a wide-eyed, prepubescent youth at the same time Larry Bird was leading the Boston Celtics to two NBA championships, winning three consecutive league MVP titles from 1984 to 1986.

The Beantown hoops backstory has gained a fair amount of media coverage since Sarver’s tweet earlier this week. But Peter Stringer, the Celtics’ director of interactive media, was aware of the connection back in August, when he had this Twitter exchange with Stone:

Read entire article at Mashable.com
The U.S. Army Uses Pinterest? Sir, Yes Sir!
Feb. 20, 2012

The U.S. Army Uses Pinterest? Sir, Yes Sir!Pinterest, the social image-sharing site that has exploded in popularity over the past few months, has found itself with a strange bedfellow: the U.S. Army.

The Army’s Pinterest boards include topics such as “Goodwill,” “Humanitarian Relief,” and “HOOAH!.” Each board is designed to show some aspect of Army life and the Army’s mission or to connect with Army families (“DIY & Decor,” for instance, might be a favorite among Army moms).

It may seem strange for the Army to have a presence alongside the companies that dominate Pinterest, such as fashion, do-it-yourself (DIY) advice and retail brands. But Juanita Chang, director of the U.S. Army’s online and social media division, says that it’s important for the Army to be on different platforms so it can reach people it can’t find anywhere else.

“We recognize that each social media platform has a different audience,” says Chang. “With the growing popularity of Pinterest, we determined that there was a unique audience that we may not have been reaching through other social media platforms.”

Read article at Mashable.com

Facebook Sees Its First Live Theater Performance
Jan. 16, 2012

Facebook Sees Its First Live Theater PerformanceFacebook Sees Its First Live Theater PerformanceIf Facebook can host presidential debates and Twitter can host live concerts, why can’t theater appear on social media?

Berlin’s Maxim Gorki Theater proved Facebook can be home to a live theater experience Monday, in what it calls Facebook’s first performance. Twitter saw its first performance last year with the Royal Shakespeare Company’s rendition of Romeo and Juliet.

The German theater’s performance of Theodor Fontane’s Effi Briest premiered on the social network in a special adaptation for the “online Facebook stage,” Reuters reports.

“We were really pleased to try something new and innovative, and have learned a lot about how we can use the internet for our productions,” a spokesperson for the theater told Reuters, adding that the theater would consider using Facebook for future performances. “Facebook can’t replace the stage, but it offers some really interesting opportunities to perform theatre online.”

Status updates, shared photos and wall posts between characters were part of the interactive experience. Audience members voted for their favorite wedding dress option and contributed to a love letter exchanged between characters. Of course, there were periods during the show where Facebook chatter was discouraged. The performance narrator sent “silence in the theater, please,” messages, sort of like a virtual dimming of the lights.

Read the entire article on Mashable.com

5 Predictions for Online Data in 2012
Jan. 09, 2012

5 Predictions for Online Data in 20121. Personal data management matures into an industry. I’ll admit the prediction was largely a fail. Ambitious startups like Singly + The Locker Project got off the ground, but did not pick up steam. Many new, related startups are in the works, but none have even come close to the goal of managing one’s data the way he manages his health or wealth, for instance. An end-to-end platform may emerge, but it will take time.

2. The flood gates of corporate data open widely. This prediction has come close to being true. It certainly has become important to mine, parse and manifest corporate data for internal and external uses alike. The predominant question has indeed shifted from “Should I make my data open and available?” to “How can I do it best?” But at the same time, a lot of people are still sitting on the sidelines, waiting to see how things develop.

3. Big data gets regulated. Facebook agreed to submit to independent privacy audits as part of its long-gestating FTC settlement. I’d argue that we’ll see more regulation in 2012. Congress has taken an active role, and the big Internet companies have only further increased their lobbying spend. Controversies surrounding Carrier IQ, Apple and SOPA have accelerated public interest.

Of course there’s good regulation and bad regulation. Anyone doing business in or with data is going to have to understand how government works, and play an active role.

4. The trend itself gets old and tired. Another outright fail. It is certainly true that everything is becoming, or has already become, data-driven, but we haven’t yet had the hangover I predicted. If anything, we’re full-steam ahead, and as ebullient and ambitious as ever.

This is good and bad — escalating investment of both human and real capital will spur innovation and speed up the inevitable. But the pace also makes us more vulnerable. Data for data’s sake, or data for self-justification is an ongoing risk.

5. Data scientists become the new community managers. I think it’s fair to say that this happened, by a large margin. Check out this chart from Indeed that chronicles the explosion of data scientist jobs. CMSWire explores the particulars in more detail.

Source: Mashable.com

Twitters Top 10 Remarkable Tweet Stories
Dec. 02, 2011

As search engines such as Bing and Yahoo reveal their top-searched lists of 2011, Twitter is looking back on the most “remarkable” stories that surfaced this year involving a single Tweet and how it affected the lives of its users.

The December edition of Stories.twitter.com – which debuted in November and is updated once a month – features a collection of the company’s top ten favorite Twitter stories of the year.

From a NBA player inviting his Twitter followers to play flag football to the man who live-tweeted the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound, here is a look at the site’s “Year in Stories” tribute.

Read the entire article on Mashable.com

Timing Facbook Posts
Oct. 31, 2011

timing facebook postsJeff Widman co-founded PageLever to provide better Facebook analytics for marketers. PageLever measures more than 650 million Facebook fans across customers like YouTube and MTV. Jeff has been cited as an expert in Facebook analytics by Mashable, AdAge, the Wall Street Journal, Wired, InsideFacebook, AllFacebook, etc.

I get asked all the time, “How frequently should I post on my Facebook page? When is the best time to post?”

Answer: Post whenever the most recent status update for your page stops showing up in your fans’ News Feeds.

If you post often, you will see an immediate spike in News Feed impressions, but it’s generally not worth the cost in lost fans. When your fans see two status updates from you in their News Feeds, they’ll likely get annoyed, and will consequently unsubscribe or un-fan. There are few exceptions to this rule.

If you post too infrequently, you’re missing out on opportunities to reach your fans. Over the course of a year, a page with 10,000 fans that posts only half as often as they could misses more than 1 million chances to get their content in front of a hyper-targeted Facebook audience. The larger your fan page, the more often you should be posting — without annoying your fans.

The kicker: Each post performs differently. Some posts last ten hours, and some posts last thirty hours.

Calculate the average post lifetime by using the method below, but remember it’s just that — an average. To get really in-depth, figure the average post lifetime for photos vs. articles, or the average lifetime when you post Thursdays at 3 p.m. vs. Saturdays at 10 a.m. However, it’s still just an average; each post is unique, so you can never exactly predict how it will perform.

Read Entire Article at Mashable.com
YouTube Gets a Mini Makeover
Oct. 24, 2011

you tube gets a makeoverYouTube announced four important additions to its popular video service designed to improve the way users manage and discover new content.

The mini-makeover includes a new video end screen, which appears after a video plays. It’s a full-screen mosaic with additional viewing recommendations.

The playlist bar has also been improved with larger video images and clearer “back” and “forward” buttons. YouTube’s playlists have been hugely popular for users looking to curate or collect content. The redesign should be a huge improvement over the previous design, which tended to have glitches.

Users looking to curate content will be happy to know the YouTube charts page has been updated. YouTube always kept track of top videos, but these lists were either buried in sub-menus or lost on the landing page. The redesign promises more chances for content discovery with smart search filters and niche categories like “How To & Style” and “Pets & Animals.”

Video editing is one of YouTube’s best-kept secrets. YouTube announced that WeVideo Now will be a big update to its current video editing tools, offering users even more options for editing and touching up their uploaded videos. WeVideo is a cloud-based video editing service, meaning all those tools will be available from any computer.

More details on the changes are available on the YouTube blog.

Source: Mashable.com

Facebook and USA Today Super Bowl App
Oct. 03, 2011

Facebook and USA Today have teamed up to build an application that will rate the commercials broadcast during Super Bowl XLVI, Mashable has learned.

The app, called the “USA Today-Facebook Super Bowl Ad Meter,” will reside on Facebook and USA Today’s online properties, and be accessible on mobile platforms. It will allow users to view, rate and share Super Bowl ads.

This marks the first time that online consumers will have a say in the winner of USA Today’s long-running Ad Meter.

The Facebook app rankings will become the main measure of ad performance, USA Today tells Mashable. The regular USA Today Ad Meter live focus group will supplement results of the application.

“The USA Today-Facebook Super Bowl Ad Meter is going to give millions of people the ability to not only interact with the various Super Bowl commercials, but to rate the ads and share with their friends on Facebook,” says Mike Hoefflinger, director of global business marketing at Facebook. “Making the Ad Meter social brings it to an entirely new level and we’re proud to be a part of it.”

The companies are planning to shop around Super Bowl XLVI ad packages and sponsorship opportunities for the app at next week’s Advertising Week event in New York, according to sources familiar with the matter. A USA Today spokesperson confirmed that the companies will be selling joint packages for advertisers who are interested in both platforms. Both companies see the potential for big-name sponsorships to an app based around the biggest advertising event of the year.

USA Today, a Gannett property, is motivated by the desire to make its Super Bowl Ad Meter, now in its 24th year, more relevant. Each year, USA Today assembles volunteers and electronically charts their second-by-second reactions to ads shown during the Super Bowl to determine overall rankings.

“Social media is changing the face of consumer engagement and this partnership more than ever, puts the consumer at the center of the conversation around advertising’s biggest annual event,” says David Payne, senior vice president and chief digital officer of Gannett.

Facebook attempted to capture the attention of would-be ad viewers in 2011, but it was late to the line of scrimmage and did not appear to secure rights to all of the Super Bowl advertisements.

It seems the social network is anxious to get in on the game early, partner with a seasoned veteran and become the definitive social network — better than Hulu or YouTube, that is — for ranking and sharing Super Bowl ads.

Source: Mashable.com

5 Ways QR Codes Could Shake Up 2012 Election
Sep. 24, 2011

ways qr codes could shake up electionThe only question hotter right now than which Republican candidate will face President Obama in the 2012 election is: What new technology will define the race?

Next year’s candidates will be expected to increase their digital presences beyond major platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and the president’s social network, My.BarackObama.com (MyBO). So, what channels are politico tech geeks watching?

With millions of potential voters using mobile devices, strategists would be remiss to write off QR codes as a risky early-adopter consumer trend untranslatable to the political space.

“What we notice in the political space is that it’s three to five years behind your normal corporate brand area,” says George Alafoginis, a digital strategist for Washington D.C.-based New Media Strategies and former deputy director of new media for the Republican National Committee. “One of the exciting things about 2012 is that we have the opportunity to close the loop between online activities and real-world events,” he adds. “We’re seeing individuals rely on their phones, and QR codes present an optimal framework for that. There’s an opportunity for campaigns to reach out to mobile-savvy individuals and transmit a message that will lead to an activation.”

There is great potential in branding candidates, fundraising and collecting supporters’ data using QR technology. Consider how its campaign implementation could yield results.

Read Entire Article at Mashable.com

Digital Tech to Tell the Story of 9/11
Sep. 11, 2011

tech to talk about 911As the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks approaches, news websites throughout the world have been organizing social and digital media projects that commemorate the day that changed lives forever.

The event is unlike any other. It touches every community in the country and many across the globe, prompting discussion, emotion and remembrance. For news organizations, it’s an opportunity to inform, engage and, with social media, listen to readers.

Much like the American people did on 9/11, media sites are leaning on each other for support and inspiration. Together they’re developing interactive and informative web projects that tell the story of 9/11 as it’s remembered today.

Here are some of the most notable digital media collaborations commemorating the anniversary.

Read the entire article on Mashable.com

Why QR Codes Are Here to Stay
Aug. 29, 2011

why qr codes are here to stayIf you raise the subject of QR codes among tech early adopters, you are likely to elicit a passionate response. Some people think QR codes, those scanable black and white squares on everything from billboards to product packaging, are on an unstoppable growth trajectory, while skeptics are quick to dismiss them as a fad.

This reaction is common whenever new technology formats or standards are being decided upon. Pundits want to exhibit their knack for predicting the future and stakeholders (of which I am undeniably one) want to make sure their format wins out. The general public, meanwhile, tends to lay in wait for a particular format to show dominance.

QR codes, in particular, make great fodder for debate because the codes are inherently big and ugly. So far, they have not experienced the same popularity in North America as they have enjoyed abroad, in part because many consumers are still getting used to seeing these codes and figuring out what to do with them.

In my opinion, there is little question that these real-world hyperlinks are increasingly going to be part of our reality and everyday life. Although QR codes won’t be the only technological option for hyperlinking in the real world, I believe they’ll soon be recognized as one of the best-suited options to connect items in the physical world to the Internet.

Read entire article on Mashable.com

Google Optimizes Search Page for Tablets
Aug. 01, 2011

Google Optimizes Search Page for TabletsGoogle has optimized its search experience to better serve iPad and Android tablet users.

The new interface refinements align with some of the other changes Google has been making to its products like Gmail and Google+.

The redesign is minimal, but the focus is clearly on making content more accessible for touch-based users. The search button is larger, and content has more white space as well as a more visual look and feel.

On the Google Mobile blog, Google says the rollout will be headed to the iPad and Android 3.1+ tablets in 36 languages. On our iPad 2 running iOS 5 beta 4, we didn’t see the update initially, but it appeared on our device a few minutes into testing.

To access to the new look, just access Google.com in your web browser.

What do you think of the new tablet look for Google search?

Source Mashable.com

Twitters Explosive Growth
Jul. 18, 2011

twitters growthThe 200 millionth Tweep signed up for a Twitter account, and to commemorate the occasion we bring you this infographic tracing the history of the platform that led up to that mind-boggling number.

If that 200 millionth Twitterer figure impresses you, get a load of the biggest number on this infographic: 350 billion tweets delivered each day.

Even though Twitter started out with users feeling cramped within its 140-character confines and talking about what they had for breakfast, today it’s turned into an explosive dynamo that instantly brings you news from all over the world. In fact, some have even blamed/credited it with overthrowing governments.

The service has enjoyed spectacular growth over the past five years — its official fifth birthday was in March, but it first became available to the general public in July, 2006.

And now that Jerry Seinfeld has jumped on the Twitter bandwagon, it reminds us that the little tweeting platform that was once about nothing, well, now it’s about something. Something big. One thing’s for sure: It’s changed the world.

Read entire article

Two Thirds Of Moms Shop With Their Smartphones
May. 16, 2011

Two Thirds Of Moms Shop With Their SmartphonesMost smartphone-wielding mothers put their phones to work while they shop, according to a survey by mobile ad network Greystripe.

In a survey of 239 mothers, whom Greystripe recruited using mobile banner ads in its network, 66% acknowledged that their smartphones play a role in their shopping trips.

Around 45% said they use their phones to locate the nearest store. The next most common use of smartphones was to compare prices. Only 15% of the women surveyed said they actually made purchases using their phones.

Since Greystripe has an interest in portraying mobile phones as an excellent place to target mothers while shopping (women make the majority of household purchase decisions, and this makes them a favorite target of the advertisers Greystripe courts), it’s not the most reliable source of research on the topic.

Other research about mobile phone marketing and women has shown more varied results. Last year, a company conducted mobile shopping survey of 1,600 women that found 94% of them were interested in more mobile shopping and mobile marketing.

In the same month, social network SheSpeaks conducted an online survey of similar size that found only 10% of women have downloaded any shopping-related applications to their mobile devices, and 62% are not even interested in doing so.

For now, whether mobile phones are indeed the key to reaching women depends largely on which indicator — shopping app adoption, interest in mobile, reference during shopping trips — you believe proves it.

Source: Mashable

Highlight, Annotate & Save Web Pages With Scrible
May. 08, 2011

A new tool to annotate the web is as original as another social network, and yet history has shown us that a late entrant can outshine incumbents if the product is stellar — just look at Facebook.

Scrible, a startup that makes a browser-based bookmarklet for annotating and marking up web pages, believes its technology put its more senior competitors to shame. The team also thinks there’s still market share for the taking, suggesting that most researchers still resort to copying and pasting text into documents and printing out web pages to mark them by hand.

“We’re bringing web-based research into the internet era by empowering people to markup web pages in the browser and manage and collaborate on them online,” Scrible co-founder Victor Karkar explains.

Scrible is designed for researchers, students, bloggers, investors and anyone else who regularly digests information online. “We’re operating in the middle space between the end of a Google search and the creation of a deliverable,” says Karkar.

Once added to the user’s browser, the Scrible bookmarklet calls up the Scrible toolbar — it’s like a document text editor but designed for the web — on click. The user can then use the toolbar to add notes, highlight snippets, bold, underline, italicize or strikethrough text, and select different colors for different purposes.

The toolbar houses a few additional selections including an annotation legend, an envelope button for sharing a marked up page with contacts via email and a save option that saves a copy of the annotated web page to the user’s “Personal Library.”

The Personal Library is essentially an online inbox for saved annotated web pages. It follows the same tagging principles as Gmail, so users can categorize and sort through saved pages. Because Scrible indexes the text of saved pages, users can also perform full content search across notes, annotations and web page text.

The original inspiration for Scrible dates back to 2001 and Karkar’s frustrations around online research. He first started on an early version of the idea in 2004, but his progress was often stalled. By 2007, Karkar managed to team up with co-founder Andrew Delpha and the pair worked part-time on an early stage version of Scrible, which was then intended to be an Internet Explorer add-on targeted at the enterprise.

After a private alpha release last year, Scrible’s co-founders were met with positive feedback, but only as it pertained to the tool’s technology. The fact that Scrible was solely tied to Internet Explorer was a nonstarter, early users said. Karkar and Delpha quickly realized that they needed to remake the system to be compatible with all browsers. Wednesday, Scrible finally unveiled its reworked beta web annotation tool to the public, a launch four years in the making.

Scrible was recently awarded with a phase two $500,000 research grant from the National Science Foundation, which had previously rewarded the startup with a phase one $100,000 grant.

Source: Mashable

5 Tips for Closing a Sale on Facebook
May. 01, 2011

5 tips for closing a sale on facebook1. Make it Unique

Your Facebook store should be different from your main website. The key is offering fans an engaging experience that makes sense within the environment. You can’t just put a shopping cart in Facebook and expect people to use it. Give your consumers a reason to become fans and give your fans a reason to purchase on Facebook. Consider offering exclusive merchandise available only on Facebook or making products available before you can find them in stores.

2. Encourage Collaboration

Facebook is the perfect environment to create a compelling and collaborative buying experience. People love sharing on Facebook — it’s what the space is built for. Letting people share this information is a great example of how retailers can join the conversation in a relevant way.

Retailers who harness the potential of comments, likes and shares will empower messages to go viral. Facebook makes it easy for your fans to share deals and purchases. Offering incentives, loyalty programs, checkin capabilities and other word-of-mouth generators will not only spread your reach further but give your fans a reason to purchase on your Facebook Page. The retailers who offer wish lists, collaborative shopping experiences and incentivized sharing on Facebook will likely see a surge in traffic and sales.

3. Create an Exclusive VIP Experience

We know from the success of companies like Gilt Groupe that people like to be “in the know” and they like to invite others to join the club. Let your Facebook fans be first in line to access new merchandise, limited edition pieces and products that are only available to them through Facebook. Your fans are more apt to share their limited-access purchase with other fans. This builds buzz for hard-to-get products and prompts Facebook users to become fans to get involved.

4. Privacy and Security are Paramount

Facebook stores that immediately ask permission to access personal data are a major deterrent for all consumers, especially those who are simply looking to browse. Offer an experience that doesn’t require fans and consumers to install an application. Consumers are wary of their personal data being tracked, so if you do require an application installation, specify what information you are going to access and what you’re going to do with it.

People like familiarity, especially when it comes to their financial data. Offering familiar alternative payment methods like PayPal or Amazon checkout will extend greater buying confidence. Make sure that consumers know you maintain the highest security during the checkout process. Make sure you only use technology partners that maintain PCI Level 1 compliance — it’s the right thing to do.

5. Make it Easy to Navigate and Work

Don’t want to lose your customer? Make sure your Facebook store is easy and intuitive to navigate. Consumers shouldn’t endure more than two to three clicks to find the product they’re looking for. Facebook recently introduced customizable navigation links on the left side of the page. Retailers can use these links to provide their customers with quick links to their top product categories. It’s also crucial to offer search capability within your Facebook store. Implementing a search bar that also offers predictive text allows a customer to get directly to the item they’re searching for.

Your website is not the community, and Facebook is not your company site. Don’t just copy and paste between the two. There is a reason why Facebook is unique — it is a community for sharing, collaborating, being the first to know, and much more. Give your fans something of value and make it fun, and they’ll reward you by telling everyone they know.

Source: Mashable
LinkedIn Gets into the Business of News
Mar. 14, 2011

LinkedIn Gets into the Business of NewsLaunched in beta this week, LinkedIn Today is a new social news service that strives to deliver the most-shared business headlines and stories across multiple industries to members of the professional network.

The new product is designed to provide LinkedIn users with access to the most relevant news based on the information in their professional profiles. Members can get news by following what their LinkedIn connections are reading, access a digest of what users in their specific industry are reading or see what headlines are trending across multiple industries throughout the entire network.

Users can also customize their LinkedIn Today accounts and follow up to 22 industries such as Internet, real estate, non-profit and more. They can follow specific news sources from a wide range of outlets to see the most shared headlines by source in addition to industry.

LinkedIn has also deepened its relationship with Twitter to allow users to bind their accounts and share updates on both. Members can tweet trending news to their Twitter accounts as well as post it to a LinkedIn group and email it directly to their existing LinkedIn connections.

The service is the latest in a flurry of new products from LinkedIn, which recently filed for its initial public offering. One of the primary goals behind many of the new features is to make the network more social by getting users to visit the site more often. A personalized news aggregation service is certainly one way to address that.

Source: Web Site Magazine

Amazon Ready to Launch Appstore
Mar. 07, 2011

Amazon Ready to Launch Appstore Amazon is all set to launch an app store – a move that will put it in direct competition with Google's Android Marketplace.

Anya Waring, an Amazon spokesperson said, "We're starting with Android apps since it's an open ecosystem. Amazon officially hasn't made an announcement as to when our app store will launch, but all I can say right now is soon – it's coming soon."

The interesting part of this is Amazon's recommendation technology, a system consumers have become accustomed to – make a purchase and you get several related, relevant recommendations of other products.

"It will really raise apps to the surface," said Waring. "Apps right now don't get much exposure and it can be tough to find things in a lot of app stores. But we're changing that. If you buy a set of knives on Amazon.com, then you'll see maybe a cooking app show up as a recommended item alongside a cookbook or whatever else appears now."

Another interesting bit is Amazon's willingness to sell apps regardless of the operating system. "If the customer demand is there, and if it's the right move for us, then we'd be open to selling apps for other ecosystems in the future," said Waring.

The Amazon Appstore is a logical move for Amazon and could be an excellent non-partisan marketplace for app consumers. Amazon will take its customary 30% cut from every app sold.

Source: Web site Magazine

So Long Twitter, Hello Facebook
Feb. 28, 2011

So Long Twitter, Hello Facebook New estimates by eMarketer indicate that while growth continues to rise at Twitter, just 16.4 million US adults, or 9% of the adult Internet population used Twitter at least monthly in 2010.

“Twitter has continued to gain traction but at more moderate levels than we had expected,” Verna said. “Our updated figures put Twitter usage in a clearer perspective than published data showing hundreds of millions of Twitter accounts, or site traffic stats that include visitors who browse public tweets on Twitter.com but don’t actually use the microblogging service.”

I believe it important to note that eMarketer’s forecast represents a downward revision of its prediction made in April 2010.

When compared to Facebook, Twitter looks increasingly like a non-threat. eMarketer foreceasts that 132.5 million US web users will use the site monthly. According to the announcement, “That increase of 13.4% in the number of users means Facebook will reach almost nine in 10 social network users and 57.1% of internet users. By 2013, 62% of web users and almost half (47.6%) of the overall US population will be on Facebook.”

Source: Web Site Magazine
Vimeo Releases New Features
Feb. 14, 2011

vimeo adds new featuresVimeo, long playing second fiddle to YouTube, has released some new features that should be very attractive to video producers.

First, Plus members ($59.95 per year or $9.95 per month) can now upload files as large as 5 GB - meaning full-feature HD film uploads, or up to 2.5 hours of HD per week. With a Plus membership, Vimeo users can also upload unlimited HD videos per week, within the weekly limit (non-Plus members are limited to one new HD video per week).

Also when it comes to HD videos, Plus members can automatically embed the HD version of their videos so that users need not choose the HD viewing option. However, be careful with this option, particularly when embedding video outside of your own site, where page elements out of your control can slow load times.

An attractive option for marketers and brand curators, Vimeo now offers custom URLs for videos. This is great for branding and recall purposes (and very useful for tweeting and Facebook updates) but will not influence SEO, as the root URL will continue to be a numbered sequence. The Vimeo blog states, however, that this is only a redirect "for now."

Finally, Vimeo now allows users to hide their activity on their profile page. This feature has been requested often from Vimeo users as a way to increase privacy.

Source: Web Site Magazine

Is Facebook Testing Voice Chat?
Jan. 26, 2011

Is Facebook Testing Voice Chat?Facebook appears to be in the midst of testing voice chat with a number of its users, a feature that has been a rumored addition to the social networking site for some time. Multiple Mashable readers have sent in pictures of what appears to be a “call” button that shows up when viewing other people’s profiles, though it’s not yet clear what exactly the button enables (one tipster said it initiated a voice call but didn’t connect to anyone).

Late last year, Facebook code was uncovered that included references to Skype and Skype user IDs. Facebook and Skype already have a partnership that tightly integrates Facebook within the VoIP client, but not the other way around. Rumors of Facebook voice chat date back to 2009, however, when the company was said to be working with startup Vivox on video chat capabilities.

Facebook is also in the midst of rolling out its Messages product, a service that integrates e-mail, IM and texting under the Facebook umbrella and an @facebook.com address. One would assume then that VoIP calling would be a logical addition to what CEO Mark Zuckerberg calls a “modern messaging system.”

Such a move would yet again bring Facebook into close competition with Google, which has integrated voice calling in Gmail and made it free to make phone calls (beyond the already free user-to-user calling) in the U.S. and Canada through 2011.

Source: Mashable

9 Ways to Connect With Santa on the Web
Dec. 20, 2010

9 Ways to Connect With Santa on the WebYou don’t have to head to the North Pole to hook up with Santa this year. There’s a sackful of online options that will let your little ones connect with the Claus from the comfort of your own home.

Whether you want to write to Santa online, receive personalized video messages and calls or prove the man in red is real, we’ve found nine sites and services to help you out.

So if you’ve got kids, or you’re just a big kid yourself, get in the Christmas spirit and have a read below to find the sites that will sort your online Santa needs this festive season.

Read the entire article

More Health Experts Are Embracing the Social Web
Dec. 13, 2010

Social Wellness TrendsIs your doctor easily accessible online, or does he or she believe that the Internet isn’t a resource for accessing health information?

If it’s the latter, it may be time to find another doctor. With nearly 90% of online Americans searching the Internet for health resources, it’s likely you and your friends and family already use the Internet to research health issues. It’s true that the web has a jumble of health information, and engaging online takes time, which most health experts don’t have. The good news, however, is that the increasing number of health professionals now embracing the Internet as an important and useful tool for health and wellness is beginning to change your options as a consumer.

An exciting new social media trend is emerging that disrupts the standard view of health care delivery and will have a profound impact on us all. Thousands of doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, and health advocates are publicly engaging with people online. In fact, nearly 40% of Americans turn to social media for health information.

Patients (and a few early adopter health pros) moved online years ago to share health guidance, give support and find answers. But until recently, many health professionals have avoided using the Internet and social media as a way to help patients. This reluctance is changing, as savvy physicians, nurses, dentists and other health pros are realizing that if their patients are online, then perhaps they should be too. Health practitioners who were once too busy, inexperienced or afraid to share their expertise online, now actively share links on Twitter and Facebook, blog, write for online medical journals, engage on Q&A sites, or contribute to online health sites and forums.

Read the entire article on Mashable

Amazon Opens First Facebook Store
Oct. 04, 2010

Amazon Opens First Facebook Store The world’s largest Internet retailer has just started selling product directly through the world’s most popular website – meaning that now, thanks to Amazon, we will get our first real read on the potential that Facebook possesses as an e-commerce platform.

Amazon launched its first e-commerce storefront Friday on Facebook, which consists of a simple “Shop Now” tab on the Pampers Facebook page. Users can buy Pampers and other Procter & Gamble products directly through Amazon by going to the page and signing in with their Amazon accounts.

Thousands of retailers sell product on Facebook, but this is a first for Amazon and it could be very valuable in determining the viability and validity of social commerce as a platform. The iconic e-retailer has shown an increasing interest in Facebook in recent months (but who hasn’t), striking its first relationship in July in which it allowed users to connect their Amazon and Facebook accounts to generate product recommendations for their friends on the social network.

This latest partnership, however, encompasses direct selling through Facebook. E-commerce merchants are finally coming to accept the marketing potential that Facebook, its half a billion users and other social media present, but the widespread adoption of actually selling products on social networking sites is going to require some hard evidence to support it.

Perhaps that development took a step forward today, thanks to Amazon and, of all things, diapers.

Source : Web Site Magazine

Superscout Takes Your Job Search Social
Sep. 07, 2010

super scoutSuperscout is a recruitment and career networking community inspired by social network innovations. The site calls itself a social network for jobs, designed to “connect great job candidates to great employers and keep them connected.” It caters to employers, recruitment agencies and candidates, with all users able to create content-rich profiles and build networks displaying their public Superscout activity and messages/news from those within their networks.

Exploring and tracking is anonymous, until either an employer or candidate reaches out for a meaningful connection. While remaining anonymous, candidates can add companies to their career network to receive news and job updates. Conversely, their anonymous profile can be searched for by any company, even if not logged in, and those that are logged in can nudge candidates to view a particular job. Only when candidates apply to a job do they reveal their full profile to the employer.

Source: SocialTimes.com
Granny Gets a Facebook Page
Aug. 30, 2010

Granny Gets a Facebook Page Social media use has grown dramatically across all age groups, but older users have been adopting networking tools particularly fast. New research today released by Pew Internet indicates that social networking use among Internet users age 50 and older nearly doubled in the past year - from 22% in April 2009 to 42% in May 2010.

Some key findings include:

+ Between April 2009 and May 2010, social networking use among internet users ages 50-64 grew by 88%–from 25% to 47%.
+ During the same period, use among those ages 65 and older grew 100%–from 13% to 26%.
+ By comparison, social networking use among users ages 18-29 grew by 13%—from 76% to 86%.
+ One in five (20%) online adults ages 50-64 say they use social networking sites on a typical day, up from 10% one year ago.
+ Among adults ages 65 and older, 13% log on to social networking sites on a typical day, compared with just 4% who did so in 2009.

“Young adults continue to be the heaviest users of social media, but their growth pales in comparison with recent gains made by older users,” explains Mary Madden, Senior Research Specialist and author of the report. “Email is still the primary way that older users maintain contact with friends, families and colleagues, but many older users now rely on social network platforms to help manage their daily communications.”

Source: Web Site Magazine
7 Great Social Media Optimization Tips
Aug. 02, 2010

7 Great Social Media Optimization TipsThese days, as more and more consumers are logging onto sites like Facebook and Twitter, it has become increasingly important to incorporate social media into your website and marketing plan.  However, not many companies and brands are aware of how to use social media tools correctly.  The following tips are designed not only to provide you with ideas about how to bring social media to your website, but also to optimize the effectiveness of your site’s social features.

At the #140conf in Tel Aviv last month, Dror Ceder of Wibiya, the web’s most popular social toolbar, spoke about how to bring social media and the real time web to your website.  In his talk, Dror emphasized the importance of incorporating social media and the real time web into your website.  By bringing social media to your website you not only provide your visitors with more ways to engage with and share your content, but you also keep your visitors on your site for more time.  Based on Dror’s talk, and some research of our own, we’ve put together a list of 7 ways that you can optimize your website with social media, making the experience better not only for your visitors, but for the future and wellbeing of your company.

Source: Social Times
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