Mashable: Latest 28 News Updates - including “Loopt Integrates Groupon Now Deals Into App”

Mashable: Latest 28 News Updates - including “Loopt Integrates Groupon Now Deals Into App”

Loopt Integrates Groupon Now Deals Into App

Posted: 20 May 2011 11:32 PM PDT

Location-based social network Loopt has partnered with deal-of-the-day juggernaut Groupon to integrate the new Groupon Now deals into Loopt’s mobile app.

Groupon Now launched Friday in Chicago, offering denizens of the Windy City tons of local $1 deals. The idea behind Groupon Now is to offer users real-time offers based on their location.

Businesses can use Groupon Now deals to target customers in their immediate area and can craft deals tailored to specific conditions — getting more customers on a slow day, selling some food before it spoils — rather than just making a typical, one-time offer.

That strategy is perfectly suited for Loopt, which launched its Loopt Reward Alerts at SXSW 2011. Loopt Rewards Alerts are designed to give users a real-time notification of deals taking place in their area.

Staring Friday, Loopt users in Chicago can also be alerted to Groupon Now deals taking place nearby. Deals will be added to the place pages in Loopt and will be visible when browsing through nearby locations. If Reward Alerts are enabled within Loopt (under the settings menu), users will get daily, location-specific Groupon Now deal alerts.

Groupon has alerts and deal markets built into its official Groupon apps for Android, iOS and the web, but the integration with Loopt is a nice touch. For Loopt, it adds a sense of utility to the program and makes it more of a one-stop shop for deals, location-based networking and finding places close by.

As Groupon Now launches in more cities, it will be interesting to see if Loopt or other location-based networks can leverage these deals to add more value to the checkin.

More About: groupon, location, loopt, loopt rewards

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Twitter Discusses The Rapture

Posted: 20 May 2011 10:37 PM PDT

No matter what your religious tendencies, the possible beginning of the end of the world is nothing to ignore (heck, AOL even started a live blog).

So we weren’t surprised to see tons of Twitter conversation surrounding the Rapture, the “Judgment Day” that some believe is set for Saturday.

As of this writing, #iftheworldendsonsaturday is third on Twitter’s list of worldwide trending topics. The hashtag #raptureregrets seems to have also gained some steam, and Tweeters in timezones that have already crossed into Saturday have used the platform to update the rest of us (so far, so good).

Here are some Tweets that stood out.

More About: Rapture, twitter

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Want An Honest Opinion? Ask Opinionaided

Posted: 20 May 2011 08:51 PM PDT

The Spark of Genius Series highlights a unique feature of startups and is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark. If you would like to have your startup considered for inclusion, please see the details here.

Name: Opinionaided

Quick Pitch: Opinionaided polls a crowd to answer your questions.

Genius Idea: Making Q&A real time, social, opinion-based and addictive.

At some point after Quora launched in 2009, the Q&A concept moved from the realm of stodgy forums to burgeoning tech trend.

Approaches to dominating the advice space include Facebook’s latest feature for polling your friends, location-based Q&A apps like Ditto and Localmind, anonymous Q&A app Formspring, and niche advice platforms for categories like fashion.

iPhone app Opinionaided’s approach is visual, opinion-based and social. But its killer quality is that it’s also highly addictive.

Users post photos, attach a yes-or-no question, decide whether to make it public, and tag it with a category. While they’re waiting for responses, users can vote on other questions with a thumbs down or thumbs up (think Hot or Not). They also have the option to add a comment or share the question with friends, and they can respond to anyone who comments.

The most valuable characteristic of the app is its ready and assembled army of responders. Within two minutes, I had about 20 responses to both of the test questions I asked. CEO Dan Kurani says he believes the average number of responses to be between 30 and 100. Some of the people who commented on my question had answered more than 21,000 inquiries — even though so far the only incentive to do so outside of killing time is a gold star given to top advisers.

An engaged userbase is quite an accomplishment for a startup that launched its current product less than a year ago. But once again, we arrive at the (literal) million-dollar question: “Can Opinionaided make money?”

Kurani, who raised a $1.2 million round earlier this year, says he hasn’t nailed that part of the business down yet, despite exploring options involving professionals who want to use Opinionaided to showcase their expertise. So we posed the question to Opinionaided’s users.

Only 10 people took me up on my question this time. But they weren’t optimistic: Almost three quarters of respondents said no, Opinionaided would not be a money maker.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, mattjeacock

Series Supported by Microsoft BizSpark

Microsoft BizSpark

The Spark of Genius Series highlights a unique feature of startups and is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark, a startup program that gives you three-year access to the latest Microsoft development tools, as well as connecting you to a nationwide network of investors and incubators. There are no upfront costs, so if your business is privately owned, less than three years old, and generates less than U.S.$1 million in annual revenue, you can sign up today.

More About: bizspark, mobile app, Opinionaider, q&a, quora

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Google’s Drug Problem: Ads Continued in Spite of Warnings [REPORT]

Posted: 20 May 2011 07:09 PM PDT

Google may have continued to serve ads for illegal drug companies even after being warned by several groups that the ads and the online pharmacies they promoted violated the law.

If the company did knowingly allow illegally operating companies to use its advertising platform, it could have to pay the Department of Justice up to $500 million, one of the largest sums ever paid to the government in a corporate dispute.

In the DOJ's investigation, officials are trying to determine whether Google worked with advertisers who were promoting illegal activities, such as selling controlled pharmaceuticals to U.S. citizens from pharmacies operating in Canada and other countries.

Now, according to evidence that has been reviewed by the Wall Street Journal, “state regulators and industry watchdogs” may have repeatedly alerted Google to the illegal activity. These warnings had been coming to Google since at least 2003 and intensified in 2008, when ads from illegal online pharmacies appeared in Google ads even after the company started using a third-party verification system.

Just a few months ago, Google announced it was suing online pharmacy advertisers for breaking the search engine’s terms of service and violating U.S. federal laws by using the Google ad network to sell prescription medication without a prescription. However, given the timing, this announcement may have simply been a face-saving reaction to DOJ probes.

We’ll continue to follow this case. Do you think Google was innocent in these matters, the victim of illegal advertisers who were intent on gaming the system? Or could the web giant have been complicit, collecting fees and turning a blind eye to its advertisers’ activities?

More About: ads, advertising, DOJ, drugs, Google, google ads, online pharmacies, pharma

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BankSimple Issues First Cards, Looks to Change Banking Industry

Posted: 20 May 2011 06:04 PM PDT

BankSimple, an ambitious startup looking to reinvent banking online, is opening its online branch to employees and issuing its first bank cards for testing in New York, Portland and San Francisco.

The newly issued cards, which double as ATM and credit cards, represent an important milestone in BankSimple’s cautious maturation process.

BankSimple is not a bank. Rather, FDIC-insured banks manage the money. But BankSimple is a hybrid provider of online and social banking services and a distributer of physical bank cards for purchases and ATM withdrawals.

Founded in 2009, the startup has remained relatively stealthy. Mashable got an inside look at the startup’s plans in July 2010. Co-founder Alex Payne, an early Twitter employee, told us at the time that the startup’s focus was on “worry-free” money management and unrivaled customer service.

When it opens to bankers, likely sometime later this year, BankSimple’s draw will be fee-free ATM withdrawals, predictive money management, Zappos-style customer support and simplified money transfers between you and your social network friends.

“While we are thrilled to have our cards in-hand, we will be taking the necessary time to ensure that our systems are rock-solid and that our card fulfillment operations can handle the demand,” BankSimple VP of product marketing Adam Erlebacher says. “It is critical that we get this right from the very beginning.”

Some 50,000 people have already requested to join BankSimple’s bank of the future. They’ll have to wait a bit longer, as friends and family will get priority access after the employee-testing phase is completed.

“The last many months have taught us greater patience,” Erlebacher says. “It is difficult to change an industry. But we're leaning into it and can't wait to show you what we're building.”

More About: alex payne, banksimple, online banking, startup

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Do-It-Yourself: Flipboard Adds Mags for Hacking & Crafting

Posted: 20 May 2011 04:21 PM PDT

Attention do-it-yourselfers: Flipboard, in its continued mission to weave premium content into its social magazine for iPad, has added a perfectly optimized version of MAKE Magazine to its digital magazine rack.

The update comes just one day before the start of Maker Faire in the Bay Area. Maker Faire, created by MAKE Magazine, is a celebration of arts, crafts, engineering, and DIY projects; and Flipboard users will now be able to follow the festival via their iPads.

In addition to MAKE, Flipboard users who fire up the application and click on the “Featured” tab will discover a handful of titles tailored toward their inventing, crafting, hacking, making, breaking, painting, molding and building interests.

Included in the DIY line-up are Craft, Instructables, Hack a Day and ReadyMade.

The content is an interesting departure from the more newsy fare Flipboard has been known to feature and highlights the diversity and potential of the application.

Check it out and let us know what you think in the comments.

More About: diy, Flipboard, ipad app, make magazine, maker faire

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After LimeWire, the RIAA Cracks Down on Box.Net Infringers

Posted: 20 May 2011 03:23 PM PDT

The Recording Industry Association of America, having just come out victorious in a $105 million settlement money with file-sharing service LimeWire, has set its sights on a new target: cloud-computing service Box.Net.

UPDATE: We’ve just heard back from Apparently, the entire issue boils down to a fairly standard Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notice and doesn’t spell impending doom and/or larger lawsuits.

A company rep wrote to Mashable in an email, “The RIAA is not threatening with legal action. This is a standard DMCA takedown request that was filed in response to an isolated incident involving a single alleged copyright violation. We are working with the RIAA in accordance with DMCA policy and expect this issue to be resolved swiftly.

“As you know, Box is focused on powering business collaboration and sharing, and we discourage any activity on the service that infringes on anyone’s copyrights.”

However, The Hollywood Reporter says that the RIAA has filed legal action against Box.Net. Its subpoena request would allow the group to investigate whether a couple of the service’s customers are using it to steal and share sound recordings.

Box.Net was founded in 2005 by 20-something Aaron Levie, and boasted Mark Cuban — the owner of the Dallas Mavericks — as an angel investor.

“The big idea behind Box is that sharing data in the enterprise is very, very difficult today,” Levie said in an interview with Fast Company. “If you can think of all the people you work and collaborate with on a regular basis, and all the data you create, the software didn’t make that very easy.” Read: It’s a legit company, not some nefarious tool for piracy. In January, Fast Company reported that the product was used in 10,000 companies.

Box.Net, for its part, is complying with the proceedings. “We take the confidentiality of our customers’ information very seriously, but just like all other businesses, we are legally required to comply with court orders,” said the company said in a statement. “Our compliance will be limited to the information the court requires we produce. At Box, we’re primarily focused on powering collaboration and information sharing within businesses, and it’s rare that we run into copyright infringement issues in those instances.”

We’ll be keeping a close eye on the proceedings in the coming months, but in the meantime: What do you think of this latest move on the part of the RIAA? Reactionary, or warranted?

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, shulz

More About:, legal, limewire, riaa

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How Digital Tech Can Help You Become a More Socially Responsible Consumer

Posted: 20 May 2011 02:39 PM PDT

money plant image

Simon Mainwaring is the founder of We First, a social branding consultancy that helps companies, non-profits and consumer groups build a better world through social technology. He is the author of a new book, We First: How Brands and Consumers Use Social Media to Build a Better World.

Are you committed to building a better world? Would you like to see corporations take greater responsibility to implement sustainable business practices, protect the environment and contribute to a more just and equitable society?

If your answer is yes, chances are you’re already taking action to create change as best as you can. But aside from altering your shopping habits or investing in socially responsible funds, you may feel limited in what else you can do.

The following is a "framework" or guide for social activism designed to cut through the confusion and indecision that so many socially conscious shoppers experience.

Rather than thinking about activism as a sequence of unrelated, one-at-a-time actions, this framework lays out a progression of seven stages to becoming a media-savvy and responsible consumer. It's "evolutionary" because each stage engenders a higher level of behavior than the previous one. Each step up moves you toward greater commitment, responsibility and even leadership in the movement.

1. Individual Commitment

You start by changing your mindset to consider how your consumption habits impact the world. You begin doing more mindful and socially responsible shopping, preferring eco-friendly and sustainable products from responsible companies. You may use the Internet and perhaps smartphone apps (such as Good Guide) to check into company backgrounds before purchasing products from them. You transfer your personal wealth into social investing funds.

2. Community Engagement

You begin engaging in social media to explore communities and causes to get involved with. You work to formally identify those brands that reflect your values and consciously purchase them over all others. You read online magazines, blogs and tweets to connect with and get advice from like-minded consumers.

3. Promote Values

You engage in dialogue with others about values and begin to formulate a values statement for yourself that you commit to living up to. You push back on corporations for breaches of integrity when they fail to live up to your values, but you also celebrate those companies that demonstrate authentic commitments. You regularly use social media to post product reviews online to inform others; you even write or contribute to blogs or tweet about your admiration or frustration with a brand.

4. Drive Awareness as Producer/Distributor/Curator

You decide to participate at a higher level as a driver of information and issues. You film and post videos or write articles for websites. You distribute articles written by others using your Twitter or Facebook account. You "Like" or "Recommend" articles you read on websites, trying to alert your friends to them. You are a vocal proponent for a cause.

5. Commitment to Thought Leadership

In this phase, you assume the role of a thought leader who provides analysis and opinion to educate others. You begin sharing your ideas in many formats: books, articles, interviews, videos, webinars, blogs and tweets. You are driven not by ego but by your conviction that your ideas and values can help shape an issue and play a role in advancing social change.

6. Build a Community

At this level, you seek to organize other people together into a community that shares your thinking and values. This work is both online and offline to ensure that it does not remain a virtual community with little impact in the real world.

7. Connect Communities to Start a Movement

In this last stage, you aim to coalesce and synchronize the work of other thought leaders and related communities to help form them all into a bona fide movement with clear objectives and goals. Your objective is to build a larger organization with a unified message and a single strategic plan to effect change on a large scale.

Where Do You Fit In?

Not every consumer will go all the way up this evolutionary ladder. As in any movement, it's up to each individual to determine how far he or she wants to participate and how much time he or she can give. Each person must work within his or her own comfort zone in accordance with his or her specific skills, time and interest.

However, every individual effort counts. We need millions of shoppers with all sorts of skills if we are to achieve widespread, progressive social transformation. This framework reminds us that we can no longer accept the "slactivism" that social technology might enable but instead use our connected lifestyles for a more concerted social good effort.

For more lists, how-tos and other resources on this topic, check out Mashable Explore!

Image courtesy of Flickr, AaronPatterson

More About: charity, consumer, List, Lists, non-profit, social good, social media, social responsibility

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5 Strategies for Maximizing Your Website’s Conversion Rate

Posted: 20 May 2011 01:55 PM PDT

David Brussin is the Founder and CEO of Monetate, the leading provider of testing, targeting, and content optimization for websites.

As companies turn to social media giants like Facebook and Twitter to drive traffic and gain new customers, there is a growing risk that the website — one of the most powerful sales and marketing tools — will be overlooked.

It is important for every consumer-facing enterprise to seek out new prospects and drive additional traffic via all available social media channels. Yet too many companies still neglect some basic strategies that could maximize conversion rates for the traffic they already have. The following strategies — when implemented correctly — will not only lead to an increase in conversion rates and revenue from mobile and social media channels but will also help drive companies toward an important cultural transformation, one that can elevate them above competitors and help them stay there.

Some Perspective

Commerce is becoming less about channels and more about touch points. Marketing is moving beyond multichannel to become “multipoint,” and coping with this shift is a serious challenge for businesses of all kinds.

Fortunately, the website remains a place where many customer conversations are initiated, and a growing percentage of transactions are completed, even if they begin elsewhere. A strong yet nimble website — one that can efficiently leverage customer data — will put brands in a better position to effectively respond to the emerging demands of multipoint marketing. Without such a site, they will continue to lose out on potential revenue and lose ground to more agile competitors.

1. Understand Your Customer

By tracking anonymous consumer behavior on the website, companies can display campaigns, content, offers and experiences tailored to an individual's browsing habits. Watch what they search for and what they look at, not just what they buy.

For example, you might display the latest Air Jordans to consumers who have a history of browsing Nike sneakers. In my experience, retailers who target promotions based on brand preferences see a double digit increase in average order value.

2. Make Webpages Relevant

Websites should adjust marketing content in real time to reflect current events or other sales-related factors, such as customer location. Content that is tailored to different key segments (for example, notifying overseas consumers of discounted international shipping or letting customers from Florida know there’s no sales tax) can help persuade them to purchase.

Relevance includes adjusting site content to reflect where a consumer comes from. For example, were they directed from Facebook or an email newsletter? Make sure the messaging that brought them to the site is reflected in the site experience and inform that site experience with what analytics show about that traffic segment. For example, data may indicate that the buying habits of customers from Facebook are different from those who land on your site via email.

3. Use Offline Learning to Inform Online Action

Many multichannel retailers have accumulated a lot of knowledge about their customers. For example, managers of brick and mortar stores know that there are local brand preferences. Headquarters may track brand preference by region or state. So use that data to geo-target online traffic.

If Texas shoppers prefer Wranglers to Levis, highlight Wranglers to online traffic from Texas. The results will be improved conversion rates and higher average order values.

4. Consistency Is Key

Traffic that comes from outside channels like social media will convert better if consistent messaging is maintained throughout the sales cycle. A promotion that initially drives traffic to a website (such as "Twitter followers receive 20% off") should be reflected not just on the landing page but also on each page that the visitor sees until they check out.

This doesn’t mean a site makeover. Instead, the message simply needs to echo the messaging that caught the consumer’s attention in the first place.

5. Test, Test, Test

To know if a site is truly compelling, brands must constantly test it to ensure that content is presented in a manner that resonates with consumers to produce optimum results. Businesses should test for sticking points and optimize the choice of messaging, design of buttons, layout of forms and display of positive reinforcements like trust seals and privacy assurances. Even a small improvement at each stage of the process will pay big dividends.

Smart marketers will establish a culture of testing. By making the use of A/B and multivariate testing tools, brands can increase creativity, experimentation and revenue. A culture of testing in which decisions are data-driven is the best posture from which to meet marketing challenges.

Looking Forward

I would love to be able to wrap up by saying “do the above and you’re done.” But that’s not how commerce works today. The rapidly evolving world of multipoint marketing means that brands must constantly tweak the experience that their website delivers to each visitor segment based on everything they know about that segment. That knowledge includes data drawn from all channels — something a website can provide if the proper technology is in place to tap it.

For more lists, how-tos and other resources on this topic, check out Mashable Explore!

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, Jirsak

More About: business, MARKETING, social media, web, web design, Web Development, web traffic

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Fans Crack Twitter Code for Sneak Peek at New Batman Film

Posted: 20 May 2011 01:32 PM PDT

Hardcore fans of Warner Bros.’s Batman trilogy undertook code cracking of epic proportions Friday after the site for the next film, The Dark Knight Rises, hit the web.

When you first visit the site for the film — now in production for a July 20, 2012 release — you’ll land upon a black screen accompanied by a track featuring eerie chanting. Fans were originally baffled by the site, but one intrepid SuperHeroHype Forums member named “Riskproduction” used an audio program to discover that the spectrum in the audio spells out “#thefirerises.”

That hashtag led the fan to the Twitter account @TheFireRises, which features several tweets linking to another site, featuring an image of actor Tom Hardy as super villain Bane.

It’s not a run-of-the-mill snap; it’s composed of Twitter or Facebook profile photos of folks who chose to share the site on those social networks by clicking “Add Me” in the upper-left-hand corner.

Overall, this is a brilliant campaign: Baffle your diehard fans enough that they’ll devote time and energy to cracking the code, setting off a viral avalanche of interest as people share their discovery across social networks.

[via Slashfilm]

More About: batman, Film, MARKETING, The Dark Knight Rises, viral marketing

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Mashable Talks With “Bridesmaids” Director Paul Feig [LIVE VIDEO]

Posted: 20 May 2011 01:06 PM PDT

Paul Feig, the director of Bridesmaids, The Office, Freaks and Geeks and countless other films and TV shows will sit down with Mashable‘s Christina Warren Friday afternoon. Tune in to hear them discuss Bridesmaids and social media.

More About: Bridesmaids, Paul Feig

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This Week’s Top Startup Funding & Investment News

Posted: 20 May 2011 12:45 PM PDT

Welcome to the post-Mashable Connect edition of "Top Funding Stories," a weekly series where we summarize the big startup funding and investment stories of the week.

Here’s what we found interesting this time around:

Eventbrite Banks $50 Million in Funding

Popular event ticketing startup Eventbrite raised $50 million in a Series E round led by Tiger Global Management. Eventbrite intends to use the money to expand its operation and take on industry behemoths like Ticketmaster. Later this summer, it will power its biggest event to date: a Black Eyed Peas show in Central Park.

Khosla Ventures Raising $1 Billion to Fund More Startups

Khosla Ventures, the VC firm started by Sun Microsystems co-founder Vinod Khosla, is raising $1 billion to finance new investments. The firm’s portfolio includes GroupMe, Slide, Meebo, Square, Xobni, BOKU, Jawbone and Storify.

Other News

  • Job recruiting platform Jobvite has secured $15 million in funding in a round led by Trident Capital.
  • Stackmob, a platform for developing mobile applications, raised a $7.5 million series A round this week. Trinity Ventures and existing investors Harrison Metal and Baseline Ventures led the round.
  • Mobile data management startup Onavo announced that it secured $3 million in a Series A round funded by Sequoia Capital and Magma Venture Partners.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, kizilkayaphotos

More About: fundings, tartup, top funding stories

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A Remote Control for Your Shower [VIDEO]

Posted: 20 May 2011 12:28 PM PDT

Kohler‘s been busy gadgetizing the bathroom for a few years with its DTV system. Now it’s added the DTV Prompt, a digital showering controller that mounts on the wall and lets users precisely select water temperature with its touch controls.

In essence, it’s a wall-mounted electronic shower remote with a one-button pause control. DTV Prompt works with up to two shower heads or faucets, letting users toggle between one or the other with a button push.

Before getting into the shower, the system’s “warm-up and pause” feature lets a user select the desired temperature. As soon as the water heats up to that level, it pauses the flow, awaiting a touch to begin showering, saving water in the meantime.

Further water and energy savings are possible with a countdown timer that can be set from four to 12 minutes, warning the user with a beep when there are two minutes and one minute left.

The controller, available in four different finishes, can be installed up to 20 feet away from the valves that control the water flow and temperature.

The DTV Prompt, priced at $187 for the controller and $455 for the thermostatic valve (plus installation), is a lower-cost addition to the Kohler DTV (Digital Thermostatic Valve) system. It was first introduced in 2006 with a $2,000 touchscreen shower controller that seemed modern at the time.

DTV Prompt Diagram

Four Finishes

The controllers are available in satin nickel, white, black and chrome.

Kohler DTV Prompt

Here's how it looks installed.


The valve can be installed up to 20 feet away from the DTV Prompt controller.

More About: Kohler DTV Prompt, Luxury bath, Plumbing, Shower, Touch controller

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LinkedIn, Facebook Send & Tumblr: 3 New Ways To Share on Mashable

Posted: 20 May 2011 12:11 PM PDT

As part of our quest to make Mashable a more social experience, we've quietly rolled out some new sharing options over the past few weeks.

Our readers are connecting on a variety of platforms across the Web. Whether you create a profile for every site or like to stick to a couple of favorites, we want you to be able to share Mashable stories in whichever way works best for you.

Here’s a look at how we’ve integrated new sharing options for LinkedIn, Facebook and Tumblr.

LinkedIn From Follow’s M Share

As LinkedIn takes off as a way to share news, we're excited to further integrate it into Mashable Follow, our social sharing and content curation platform. You’ve been able to add LinkedIn to your Follow profile from day one, but now you can also share a post to LinkedIn directly from the M Share button.

Earlier this year, LinkedIn relaunched its developer platform complete with an open set of APIs and an eye on usability for developers. Specifically, LinkedIn's adoption of OAuth made it possible to do this integration. "We are able to authenticate users using our existing OAuth support framework," says Chris Heald, Follow’s lead developer. "Once users are authenticated, we can use their authorization tokens to make calls to the LinkedIn API to easily conduct the shares."

Adding third-party functions to a site can sometimes affect load times — so we've made several performance optimizations to ensure that these new sharing tools won’t slow you down.

Facebook Send

We've also integrated the new Facebook Send button into article pages across the site. It has a similar look and feel to the "Like" button, but functions more like email. The idea is to make sharing Mashable stories with a small group of friends easier.

The Send button appears next to the Like button, which is above the article and below the byline on Mashable story pages. Click on Send and a pop-up appears, allowing you to send that article to Facebook friends and Groups — or to any email address. You can then add a message and send the page to friends' inboxes or post it to a Group wall.

Tumblr Button

You’ll also notice the new Tumblr share button as a sharing option on all Mashable stories. We can attest to how easy this is. As this post shows, we’ve been using the button ourselves to post to our Mashable HQ Tumblr.

Because Tumblr's API doesn't provide share data, this can't be integrated into Follow, so you'll have to be signed out of our service to use this function. However, we can hope that Tumblr will see how popular this is and make the same kind of revision to their platform that LinkedIn did.

What’s your favorite network to share Mashable articles on? Will you take advantage of our new sharing options? Let us know in the comments. Happy sharing!

More About: api, facebook send, follow, LinkedIn Developer PLatform, mashable follow, OAuth, sharing, tumblr, tumblr button

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10 Creative Social Media Resumes To Learn From

Posted: 20 May 2011 11:58 AM PDT

Like flowers in early spring, new social media job openings are sprouting across industries as companies of all sizes look to create or expand their social squads.

The undeniable success and innovation of high-profile social media campaigns — from such brands as Old Spice, Google Chrome and Starbucks — have inspired this ongoing push for companies to hire people with social media skills.

If you’re seeking a gig as a community manager, public relations representative, marketing person or any other social media position, check out these resumes for inspiration on how to stand out from the crowd. Also, let us know in the comments about any creative tactics you use to promote yourself and your skills.

1. Put Your Best (QR) Face Forward

At first glance, Victor Petit's resume looks similar to any other text-based CV. But flip the document over and you'll find a full-page image of his face as well as a QR code where his mouth would be.

Once a recruiter scans the QR code and places his or her phone on top of it, a video pops up revealing Petit's mouth, ultimately completing the full-page image and allowing the recruiter to hear Petit's voice.

QR codes are easy to make and can help you get noticed, especially if you ditch the standard black-and-white QR code and opt to add some pizazz to your design.

2. Sell Yourself ... Literally

Shopify, an ecommerce platform, says the best resume it has ever received is this one from Mike Freeman, who wanted to work at Shopify's marketing department.

"He built an online store using Shopify where you can read about his background, experience, etc. and the ecommerce part is you can 'buy' an interview with him for '$0.00,' " said Mark Hayes, Shopify's manager of marketing and media. "We get an infinite amount of resumes here. Yes, he got the job."

3. Leverage Facebook Pages

Henry O'Loughlin took to Facebook to showcase his "Social Resume," including a video in which he describes how to navigate his resume on Facebook.

"I work with mostly small businesses doing social media, so I am demonstrating through this resume all of the tools out there that can be utilized without an ad budget."

Using Facebook's Page feature, O'Loughlin was able to showcase his skills as well as show potential clients what he can offer them.

4. Video Killed the Resume Star?

Video resumes can be a clever complement to your existing job-search materials (i.e. print resume, cover letter and website).

Graeme Anthony ditched his print resume altogether and created a fun, interactive video where viewers can click on words (see 0:34) linked to an "about me" section, portfolio, skill page, timeline and contact information.

If you decide to make a video, be sure not to just rehash what's on your print resume. Have fun with it and show your personality. Anthony sure did.

5. Gather Online Networks in One Place

Alisha Miranda used as an online hub for all of her social media networks. Her profile, which essentially acts as an abridged online resume, caught the eye of her eventual employer.

"Before approaching Alisha, I monitored her social profile for about three weeks and saw what she was doing on Tumblr, Twitter, etc. to evaluate her marketing effectiveness and if her style matched what I wanted," said Tracy Brisson, CEO of The Opportunities Project. "Once I saw that she had all the goods, only then did I contact her to talk. As a career coach and recruiter, I can't emphasize the importance of creating something clients and employers want, which is results and evidence."

You can employ sites like or to showcase all of the social media websites you use. Your existing website or blog are also good spots to place your social media icons.

6. Add Personality to Your Print Resume

HAMSTER? Hired! It's hard to take your eyes away from Katie Briggs's visually pleasing resume, which pimps her "fancy hamster," Belafonte.

"I wanted the first thing that people notice about my resume to be that it's a little fun, but still pretty much all-business," Briggs said. "In any creative field, at least, I think it's important to make your resume a testament to your work ethic. It shouldn't look forced but it should give the impression that the work you put into constructing your resume is an indicator of the kind of dedication and hard work you'll bring to the job."

Takeaways: Make sure your resume shows your personality and represents who you really are. Also, don't bore job recruiters.

"I can say that I haven't been turned down for anything I've applied for with this resume," Briggs added.

7. Think Outside the Box ... or On It

In 2D form, Omondi Abudho's resume goes beyond the standard text-driven resume. It even adds extra "creative juice" with a nutrition label-inspired skills column.

However, the resume can be folded into an actual three-dimensional box. It brings a whole new meaning to the phrase, "Think Outside the Box."

Using a resume design or structure that strays away from the typical printer paper size is a surefire way to get noticed.

8. Pitch Electronically

Beyond Credentials believes that "finding talent based solely on a resume is fundamentally flawed." Its service allows users to build "personalized pitch pages."

For example, Nadia Kouri's pitch page lists everything she would have on a print resume as well as her story, an enlarged quote, accomplishments, personality, a Q&A and writing samples. The page also includes icons linking to her LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter profiles.

9. Highlight Recommendations

While Jenn Pedde was revamping her full, multi-page resume, she used this one-page resume "teaser" on her blog. The resume puts major emphasis on the recommendations people left on her LinkedIn profile.

"The one page got so many compliments and it was so right to the point and social," Pedde said.

It's an effective way to translate your online presence to an offline print form.

Pedde's recommendation-focused resume led to her current job at 2tor where she works as community manager for the Master of Social Work program at USC.

10. Let Them Read Your Back

Even as a social media person, you'll have to interact with the offline world.

For those instances — if you are job hunting — you may want to make a resume T-shirt, which would have your resume on the back and something silly or informative on the front. The T-shirt pictured is from Blackbird Tees.

Social Media Job Listings

Inspired yet? Feel free to visit Mashable‘s jobs board where every week we put out a list of social media and web job opportunities. Take a peek!

More Job Search Resources from Mashable:

- 9 Dynamic Digital Resumes That Stand Out From the Crowd
- Top 5 Tips for Creating Impressive Video Resumes
- Are Cover Letters Still Relevant For Social Media and Tech Jobs?
- HOW TO: Land a Job at 9 Hot Startups
- Top 5 Online Communities for Starting Your Career

For more lists, how-tos and other resources on this topic, check out Mashable Explore!

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, SchulteProductions

More About: business, employment, job search, Lists, resumes, social media, video resumes

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Our Favorite YouTube Videos This Week: The A Cappella Edition

Posted: 20 May 2011 11:34 AM PDT

A cappella! It’s not just for overly earnest college kids anymore. A cappella is becoming a bonafide trend on the web, which is why we’ve chosen it as the theme for this week’s YouTube Roundup.

And to curate the below selection of vids, we brought in a cappella artist, Peter Hollens. Check out his work in the first video in the gallery below, as well as picks from the Mashable staff. Apparently, we really struck a (vocal) chord with this thematic selection, as our staffers turned out a rather impressive list.

"Poor Wayfaring Stranger," Peter Hollens, Feat. Swingle Singers

Peter Hollens: The Swingle Singers are legendary among a cappella artists; as five-time Grammy winners, they fully deserve their reputation as one of the best acts in the business! So when I heard that they would be performing in my hometown of Eugene, Oregon, I knew that I had to try to get them to record with me. Thankfully, we were able to come together with my friend and arranger Tom Anderson to record a beautiful version of "Poor Wayfaring Stranger" -- fitting, in that the classic folk tune is well-known in both America and the Swingles's home of England.

"Candlelight," The Maccabeats

Tamar Weinberg: Well, Chanukah was a few months ago, but I still love this one.

"Bed Intruder Song," Purple Haze

Ben Parr: Purple Haze was my favorite a cappella group when I was at Northwestern. Here's an awesome video of them covering the "Bed Intruder Song." Hide yo kids!

"Magic," Voices In Your Head

Christina Warren: University of Chicago's Voices in Your Head is one of the better new groups of the last few years and their take on Ben Folds's "Magic" is spectacular. Even more spectacular is that they did it this well LIVE.

"Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?" Rockapella

Radhika Marya: Here's Rockapella performing the theme song to Carmen Sandiego live in concert. I totally have this track in my iTunes library. No shame.

"What Goes Around Comes Around," Off The Beat

Lauren Drell: Glad to see I wasn't the one dropping $30 bucks a semester to hit up college a cappella shows. Here's my favorite group from Penn (Off The Beat) performing JT's "What Goes Around Comes Around." Bonus points for the skinny tie and sweatband.

Folgers Coffee Commercial, Rockapella

Meghan Peters: My favorite YouTube roundup topic yet! Rockapella's Folgers Coffee commercial.

"Down," Mass Transit NYU

Erica Swallow: Mass Transit is NYU's top-notch awesome possum all-male a cappella group. Here they are performing Jay Sean's "Down" in a church. I just realized "hot ties" is "hotties" in hashtag form. Confusing. Oh well. #hotties

"Use Somebody"

Brian Hernandez: Chills. Goose bumps. Goose pimples. Whatever. Courtesy of NBC's a cappella show, The Sing-Off.

"Only You," Flying Pickets

Amy-Mae Elliott: I'm kicking it '80s with my chosen video. The Flying Pickets were a one-hit-wonder in the UK with an a cappella cover of Yazoo's "Only You," which was the Christmas number one in 1983. Check out those outrageous sidies!

"Afternoon Delight"

Lauren Rubin: My motto's always been, when it's right, it's right.

"Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger," Dan-Elias Brevig

Stan Schroeder: This owns (;

"Acappella Medley," Boyz II Men

Josh Catone: They're just a trio these days, but man can these boyz still sing.

"Dynamite," Mike Tompkins

Ada Ospina: Play it over and over!

"F**k You," Awaken A Cappella

Brenna Ehrlich: Even dropping an "F" bomb sounds sweet when done a cappella.

More About: a-cappella, favorite-youtube-videos, music, viral video, youtube

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Anti-Watch Shrouds Your Wrist In Mystery [VIDEO & PICS]

Posted: 20 May 2011 11:13 AM PDT

Just when it seems like watches have faded into the technological sunset, along comes Mutewatch, a minimalist time management device with a touchscreen that specializes in subtle reminders.

If you tap the screen or flick your wrist, its numerals light up, inviting you to swipe through its timer, alarm and clock functions. Its specialty is vibrating reminders, and with the help of its motion sensor, it perceives when you’re active or sleeping, adjusting the intensity of its vibrations accordingly.

Sure, your smartphone can provide vibrating timers and alarms, but can it do that with such mysterious style? Mutewatch first appeared as a design concept last summer, but now its maker says the real thing will be shipping in July for $259, available in Charcoal Gray, Poppy Red or Pure White.

Charcoal Gray

Poppy Red

Pure White

This is a watch?

[via Engadget]

More About: Anti-watch, Mutewatch, touchscreen, watches

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HOW TO: Get the Most Out of Google Reader

Posted: 20 May 2011 10:50 AM PDT

The real-time web is becoming an increasingly important source of news, but many users still prefer to receive their content the old-fashioned way: Through a steady diet of RSS feeds. One of the best news readers out there is the web-based Google Reader. Although simple in appearance, it has some features under the hood that can help you greatly improve your news reading experience.

If you’re a new user, you might want to fill up your Reader with interesting feeds. If that’s the case, make sure you don’t overlook feed bundles, which you can add by clicking on “Browse for stuff” in the upper left-hand menu. Here you can browse through featured feed bundles, bundles from your friends or recommended feeds from users with similar interests as you.

Once you’ve populated the Reader with enough feeds that interest you, it’s time to start organizing them.


The simplest ways to organize feeds is by creating folders. Click on the gear icon in the upper right-hand corner and choose Settings — Folders and Tags. Create as many folders as you’d like; for example, you might want to create a special folder for very important feeds, or create a folder for each subcategory of news you’re following, such as “tech,” “business,” and so forth.

Now, instead of always clicking on “All items,” you can read the feeds from each individual subcategory separately.

To move a feed from folder to folder, select it and click on the Feed settings drop-down menu, then click on the name of an individual folder to move the feed there.


A lot of users just fire up Google Reader, add some feeds and then stop tweaking and optimizing. However, if you subscribe to a lot of feeds, Google Reader can actually help you get rid of the ones you’re not interested in and focus on those which are important to you.

The best way to do this is to use Trends, located in the upper-left corner of the Google Reader screen. Click on it and you’ll see a lot of statistics on how you use your feeds. For example, you can see which feeds you click on and read often, as well as which ones you share and email the most. You can also check out which feeds are frequently updated and which are almost completely inactive.

If you find that you don’t use certain feeds at all, or that they’ve become inactive, you can get rid of them by clicking on the trash can icon next to the feeds in Trends. You can also erase active feeds that you rarely read or share.

If you frequently add new feeds to your Google Reader, you can repeat this process every few months.


Did you know that Google Reader supports keyboard shortcuts? The mouse can only take you so far; power users will definitely want to remember some of these as they can make the process of skimming through hundreds of feeds much more efficient.

Here’s a list of some of the most useful shortcuts supported in Google Reader.

j/k – selects the next/previous item in the list
space/shift-space – moves the page down/up
n/p – in list view, selects the next item without opening it
o – in list view, expands or collapses the selected item
enter – in list view, expands or collapses the selected item
s – stars the selected item
shift-s – shares the selected item
m – switches the read state of the selected item
t – opens the tagging field for the selected item
v – opens the original source for this article in a new window
shift-a – marks all items in the current view as read
1 – displays the subscription as expanded items
2 – displays the subscription as a list of headlines
r – refreshes the unread counts in the navigation
shift-n/p – selects the next/previous subscription or folder in the navigation
shift-x – expand or collapse a folder selected in the navigation
shift-o – opens the item currently selected in the navigation
gh – goes to the Google Reader homepage
ga – goes to the "All items" view
gs – goes to the "Starred items" view
gt – allows you to navigate to a tag by entering the tag name
gu – allows you to navigate to a subscription by entering the subscription name
u – hides and shows the list of subscriptions
? – displays a quick guide to all of Reader's shortcuts

Other Tweaks

Over the years, Google has been adding little tweaks and improvements to Google Reader, and it’s hard even for power users to remember all the options it offers. Here are a few lesser known options you might want to check out.

Sorting by magic: Click a feed, and select “Sort by magic” from the “Feed settings” drop-down menu. Instead of giving you the newest items first, this feature reorders the items in your unread feed based on your own past reading history and overall activity inside the Reader.

Next bookmarklet: For a really quick and easy way to browse through your feeds, Google has included the “Next bookmarklet” in its Settings page (under the “Goodies” tab). Just drag it to your bookmarks bar, and each time you click on it, it will take you to the next unread item, marking it as read in the process.

Note in reader: Similarly to the “Next” bookmarklet, Google provides a “Note in reader” bookmarklet on the same page, which lets you share items from a webpage with your followers in Google Reader with one click.

For more lists, how-tos and other resources on this topic, check out Mashable Explore!

More About: feed, Google, google reader, how to, News, rss, social media

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Explosion Rocks Apple’s iPad 2 Production Plant [VIDEO]

Posted: 20 May 2011 10:26 AM PDT

On Friday, an explosion ripped through the Foxconn Chengdu plant in China, the factory where the Apple iPad 2 is made.

The amount of damage caused by the explosion isn’t clear yet, but there were reports that two people were killed and 16 injured. Shortly after the explosion, 10 fire engines, numerous ambulances and 10 police cars reportedly arrived at the scene.

The explosion occurred around 7 p.m. local time (7 a.m. ET), when hundreds of people were working inside the building, according to CNN. Early reports say the explosion originated in a building that contains part of the iPad 2 assembly line.

More About: Chengdu plant, explosion, Foxconn, iPad 2, trending

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Unabomber’s Personal Effects Are Up for Auction

Posted: 20 May 2011 10:10 AM PDT

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and the U.S. Marshals Service are holding an online auction, selling off the seized personal effects of Ted Kaczynski, otherwise known as “The Unabomber.”

As the GSA website makes clear, the proceeds of this auction will go directly to Kaczynski’s victims and their families. The official notice says:

Sale of Theodore John Kaczynski aka “The Unabomber” items — Per a Court Order in the criminal case United States V. Theodore J. Kaczynski (96-cr-259-GEB, E D. Cal.; 06-10514, 9th Circuit), the government has been ordered to conduct a “well-publicized” Internet sale of Kaczynski’s seized property to be sold to the general public in the effort to pay off a $15 million restitution order to the victims and their families. Unlike other sales, neither the U.S. Marshals Service nor GSA will receive any revenue from this sale.

The items themselves serve as an interesting collection of history. The Harvard graduate-turned-domestic terrorist is perhaps best known for the famous FBI sketch depicting a man in a gray hooded sweatshirt and aviator sunglasses. Bids for both these items start at $20,000.

Also for sale:

  • Smith Corona portable typewriter used by Kaczynski to type most of his document including “The Unabomber Manifesto.”
  • Kaczynski’s mental health records.
  • His diploma from the University of Michigan and from Harvard University.
  • A silvertone watch, Sony portable radio and pair of sunglasses.
  • Various components from Kaczynski’s homemade and handmade explosive devices.

The GSA has a Flickr gallery dedicated to some of the items for those that want to take a closer look. The auction closes June 2.

Would you ever bid on something like this? Let us know in the comments.

[via Thrillist]

More About: auctions, bizarre, online auctions, unabomber

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Skip Flash, Build Animations in HTML5 With Hype

Posted: 20 May 2011 10:00 AM PDT

Jonathan Deutsch and Ryan Nielsen left Apple late last year to join Y Combinator’s accelerator program and help designers build animations in HTML5 as opposed to Flash. Friday, the two-man team is releasing Hype, the first product of their startup Tumult, on the Mac App Store.

Hype, which sells for $29.99, uses WebKit to render pages and has been crafted so that anyone comfortable with using Keynote or PowerPoint can start building animations in HTML5, no code required.

“It’s pretty clear that HTML5 is the future of the web,” says Deutsch. “It will, of course, run not only on desktop machines but also runs really well on any modern smartphone or tablet like the iPad. The problem is that there are no good designer apps for creating animated HTML5 like there are for Flash.”

Hype presents the user with a blank canvas with a timeline at the bottom. The user can then drag in images, video and text, arrange those elements and use keyframe-based animations to define where those pieces of content go.

“This is a very designer-friendly process,” Deutsch explains. “We we even made an intuitive recording interface, so you don’t have laboriously layout each individual keyframe. You can just hit record, move your objects and go. It’s really easy to make some powerful, beautiful animations.”

The animations, at least based on these samples, are impressive and present web designers with a viable Flash alternative for carrying their creative work over onto mobile devices. The tool is also intended to be developer-friendly and allows the user to edit raw HTML or Javascript.

As a bonus, Deutsch and Nielsen have built Dropbox integration into Hype, meaning users can publish their animations to Dropbox, as opposed to an FTP site, to solicit feedback from co-workers or clients.

Hype is targeting three primary markets: designers looking to add animations to their websites, Flash developers who need to deploy their content on the iPhone or iPad, and existing users of HTML5.

“There’s a huge wide opportunity with HTML5,” says Nielsen. “We can be the tool that everyone turns to to produce awesome and animated interactive content using the latest standards.”

Both Deutsch and Nielsen speak of a desire to push the HTML5 standard forward and will continue to iterate on the Hype product with more interactive and animation features. The pair is looking at how to weave WebGL, a technology for creating 3D content on the web, into the Hype experience.

Tumult has so far only taken Y Combinator and Start Fund financing. Deutsch and Nielsen hope to finance operations through Mac application sales.

More About: animations, design, HTML5, hype, mac apps, Tumult, y combinator

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HOW TO: Get Your Music on iTunes

Posted: 20 May 2011 09:25 AM PDT

itunes image

Back in the day, it used to be every musician’s dream to see his CD on the racks of the local record store (raise your hand if you’ve ever sold your own disc to a shop in order to see it in the “Used” bin). Now iTunes is the place to be when it comes to hocking music.

If we’re talking about the paid digital download market, iTunes easily outpaces its competitors. And while Amazon just dropped its download prices and launched a cloud-based locker, iTunes still reigns supreme for now. That’s why we’ve taken a look at how to get your music up there as easily as possible — and it’s pretty damn easy.

1. Do You Qualify To Work With Apple Directly?

First, check iTunes’s application and see if you can work with the company directly. It’s likely that you can’t because the requirements are pretty hard for the average unsigned indie artist to meet. Here’s a sampling:

Content Requirements:

  • At least 20 albums in your catalog.
  • UPCs/EANs/JANs for all products you intend to distribute.
  • ISRCs for all tracks you intend to distribute.

2. Pick an Aggregator

Don’t meet those requirements? No problem. You don’t have to deal directly with Apple. Instead, you can go through an Apple-approved aggregator. Apple has a handy list of aggregators (check out the application page for that) you can use for countries around the world, but for brevity’s sake, we’re going to give you a little more info on two of the most popular: TuneCore and CDBaby.

Recently, TuneCore raised its rates and added a bunch of new features, prompting CDBaby to offer a price cut to artists who switch over to its service. We’ll give you the rundown on each below so that you can make an informed decision based on what’s best for your band.



  • $9.99/year per single.
  • $9.99/year per ringtone.
  • $49.99/year per album (regardless of how many songs are on the album).

Do You Retain Rights?: Yes

Payment: You keep 100% of royalties (after the store takes its cut). You can receive the money via PayPal, EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer to U.S. and U.S. territory banks only) or check. Note: iTunes does take around 30% of sales, so you’ll be making $0.70 per song and $7.00 per album.

Other Stores You Can Sell On: Amazon MP3, Spotify, MySpace Music, MediaNet, eMusic, Zune, Rhapsody, Nokia, Napster, Thumbplay, Amazon On Demand. There’s no extra charge per store.

How Long Does It Take?:

TuneCore’s estimates:

  • 24 to 72 hours for iTunes.
  • About three to seven business days for AmazonMP3.
  • About six to eight weeks for Amazon on Demand, Spotify and MediaNet.
  • About one to three weeks for all other stores.

Fees: If you decide to take an album down early (before six months), you’ll have to shell out $20.

Some Extras:

  • Apple Artist Ping pages: We all know how hard it was to figure out how to get on Ping at the onset. TuneCore works with artists and iTunes to expedite that process.
  • Daily iTunes trending reports (coming soon).
  • Mobile app that displays iTunes trending data (coming soon).

    • CDBaby

      As you recall, CDBaby is now offering 50% off of its album submission fee to artists who switch over. Make sure to compare and contrast features before taking the plunge.


      • $59 per album — this is a one-time cost (the listed cost is $39, but you have to shell out $20 for a UPC barcode).
      • $14.95 per single — this is a one-time cost (same deal, it’s listed as $9.95 but a UPC barcode costs $5).

      Do You Retain Rights?: Yes

      Payment: Users keep 91% of net earnings through iTunes (after the store takes its cut). That’s $0.60 cents per song and $6.50 per album. You can be paid via check, ACH deposit to U.S. account, or PayPal.

      Other Stores You Can Sell On: Physical distribution of CDs, DVDs, and vinyl, as well as iTunes, Rhapsody, eMusic, Amazon MP3, Napster, MySpace Music, Spotify, Liquid Digital, Verizon V-Cast, Nokia,, Zune, MediaNet, Tradebit, GreatIndieMusic and Thumbplay. You only have to pay once to put an album on one physical format and all digital formats.

      How Long Does It Take?: Two business days for iTunes, one to four weeks for other digital distributors.

      Fees: No fees if you decide to cancel.

      3. Get Your Music and Cover Art Ready For Upload

      Once you’ve chosen your aggregator, the process is pretty simple. Just upload your art work to your chosen service and it will lay out how to match it up with your music.

      If you’re uploading music, it’s best to convert your audio files to WAV and set them at a 44.1 kHz sample rate, 16 bit sample size with the channel set to stereo. You can do that in the iTunes software:

      • Find your song on iTunes and highlight it.
      • Go to preferences. Under “General,” go to “Import Settings.”
      • Change “Import Using” to WAV encoder and change setting to “Custom.”
      • A new window will pop up, where you can change the sample rate to 44.1 kHz and sample size to 16 bit. Change “Channels” to Stereo and Stereo Mode to Normal.
      • Go back to the library, right-click on your highlighted song and select “create WAV.”
      • Drag file to your desktop.

      As for artwork, you should also upload high quality, original images. They should probably be square, at least 1,000 by 1,000 pixels and rendered as a JPG.

      For more lists, how-tos and other resources on this topic, check out Mashable Explore!

      Image courtesy of Flickr, Carnoodles

      More About: business, CDBaby, itunes, MARKETING, music, trending, tunecore

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Stephen Colbert Thinks Facebook Brand Tags Are Creepy [VIDEO]

Posted: 20 May 2011 08:50 AM PDT

If you’re a little uncomfortable with the idea of tagging products in your Facebook photos, you’re not alone.

In a segment aired earlier this week, Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert observed that the new ability to tag Pages in photos could transform Facebook into the world’s largest agency for product placement advertising.

“Now Americans can whore themselves out on Facebook, instead of just whoring themselves out on Craigslist,” he suggests. “Photo taggers could charge companies based on their number of friends and demand top dollar for tags in their most-viewed photos. Think of all the windfall you could reap from dropping products into your most precious life moments, like weddings, births and funerals.”

While Colbert is kidding — kind of — this is the premise of‘s business model, as Peter Kafka of AllThingsD points out.

More About: advertising, facebook, MARKETING, stephen colbert

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Google Halts Newspaper Scanning Project

Posted: 20 May 2011 08:21 AM PDT

Google has shut down its Google News Archives digitization program, which aimed to make the world’s newspaper archives accessible and searchable online.

The archives of several hundred newspapers will continue to be available at, but Google is “no longer accepting new microfilm or digital files for processing,” a Google spokesperson confirmed in an email to Mashable.

According to the Boston Phoenix, Google emailed its contributing partners Thursday to notify them that the initiative was coming to a close so that the company could redirect resources to "newer projects that help the industry, such as Google One Pass, a platform that enables publishers to sell content and subscriptions directly from their own sites.”

Although Google will no longer process any more papers, publishers can continue to add material to their individual archives via sitemaps. They are also welcome to pursue alternative partnerships to get the content Google has scanned for them online elsewhere.

[via Search Engine Land]

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, narvikk

More About: Google, google news archives

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Apple Signs Deal With Sony for Cloud-Based Music Service [REPORT]

Posted: 20 May 2011 08:09 AM PDT

Apple’s rumored cloud-based music service could be just around the corner, as we’re hearing reports that the company has now inked deals with three major record labels.

Thursday we heard Apple had signed a deal with EMI and was very close to bringing Sony and Universal into the fold. Now, Bloomberg is reporting that Sony and Warner Music Group have come on as well. Universal has yet to sign but will likely do so soon, according to reports.

The alleged launch of this new product will come on the heels of two similar product unveilings: Amazon’s Cloud Player and Google Music Beta.

Still, with labels in tow, Apple’s service — perhaps called iCloud — would be a much more robust, slick offering.

Amazon and Google’s services are basically lockers that allow users to upload all of their music into the cloud for access on phones and other devices. Apple’s service would let users keep content on Apple’s servers and access it from the cloud — sans uploading.

We could see this new service unveiled at the Apple’s developers conference, which kicks off on June 6.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, billoxford

More About: amazon, apple, business, cloud, EMI, Google, itunes, music, sony, universal, Warner

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Will the Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse Click With New Users?

Posted: 20 May 2011 08:00 AM PDT

The Gadget of the Day Series is supported by the Energizer® Inductive Charger, which brings you the next generation of charging with Qi technology. Qi is the new universal standard for wireless charging … now that's positivenergy™.

Product: Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse

Price: $69.95, but can be found online for $42.65

What It’s Good For: It’s good looking, travel-friendly and benefits from Microsoft‘s BlueTrack tech.

Who It's Good For: Anyone stepping up from a boring old mouse, and digital nomads who want the best looking kit.

Limitations: It’s not a fully-fledged touch offering, and it takes a little getting used to.

Bottom Line: As a precursor to the forthcoming Microsoft Touch Mouse, the Arc Touch is tasty.

A Look at the Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse

Microsoft has always enjoyed a good reputation for its hardware, but was perceived as lagging behind Apple when it took a whole year to offer an alternative the Magic Mouse. The Arc Touch, released late last year, is Microsoft’s flagship designer mouse. It bridges the gap between the previous Arc mouse and the forthcoming launch of the Touch Mouse, due this summer.

The Arc’s functionality comes from a touch strip, the silver bar on the front. It allows you to flick and scroll, tap to page up and down, and double tap to middle click. The touch strip takes a little getting used to, but does provide fast scrolling once you do. It’s great for navigating around websites or within documents. There’s also haptic feedback and associated sound that emulates an old scroll wheel. Some may find this comforting, but we found the sound an annoyance.

The buttons are nice and stiff, and Microsoft’s BlueTrack technology is fantastic for anyone who finds himself working on a variety of different surfaces — desktop, arm of the sofa, wooden floor, kitchen counter, duvet, etc. The mouse will track on virtually any surface.

As far as the design goes, the Arc Touch looks good. It’s the kind of aesthetic that gets a second glance in a coffee shop, and to give Microsoft its due, the cool design has not come at the price of comfort. The mouse feels good in your hand and is comfortable for day-long use. Thanks to its ability to fold flat, it’s also very travel friendly, with a slimline design that will easily slip into a pocket of your laptop case or bag. The wireless transmitter is so teeny-tiny you literally pop it into a USB port and forget about it. If you do need to transport it, it attaches (via the magic of magnetics) to the underside of the mouse.

Anyone looking for a gentle introduction to the wide world of touch-based mice will find the Arc Touch a pleasure to use and own, and only mildly challenging to get used to. Anyone who is already convinced touch is the future will do well to hold on for Microsoft’s forthcoming option.

The Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse

Here, the mouse is shown with its wireless nano transmitter.

The curved design feels comfortable in the hand -- the silver bar is the touch strip which offers scrolling at the flick of a finger.

The design is pretty striking. The back end of the mouse boasts a soft-touch finish.

Folded Flat

The Arc Touch folds flat for storage and when on the go.

Side View

The Arc Touch has a slim, travel-friendly profile.

Bottom View

The Arc Touch boasts Microsoft's "BlueTrack" tech which means it will work on any surface apart from glass.

Here you can see the ridges that make up the mouse's flexible design.

Wireless Transmitter

The 2.4GHz wireless transmitter is tiny.

Series Supported by Energizer®

The Gadget of the Day Series is supported by the Energizer® Inductive Charger, which brings you the next generation of charging with Qi technology. Qi is the new universal standard for wireless charging. Energizer® has always been designed with performance and responsibility in mind … now that's positivenergy™.

More About: accessories, Gadget of the Day Series, laptop accessories, mice, microsoft, microsoft arc touch mouse, peripherals, review, reviews

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Google Doodle Depicts One Child’s Dream To Walk in Space

Posted: 20 May 2011 07:37 AM PDT

The results are in for the Doodle 4 Google U.S. competition. Matteo Lopez, an aspiring space explorer, has come out on top.

The second-grader from California won a $15,000 college scholarship and a $25,000 technology grant for his school for his doodle, which played on the theme “What I’d like to do someday.” More than 107,000 U.S. school kids grades K-12 entered the competition, the fourth of its kind in the U.S.

“I want to wear a space suit, fly in space, walk on the moon and make friends with aliens (on) other planets,” he wrote by way of describing his entry.

How would you render the iconic logo if given the chance?

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The Top 4 Stories in Tech, Business & Social Media This Morning

Posted: 20 May 2011 07:17 AM PDT

Social Media News

Welcome to this morning’s edition of "First To Know," a series in which we keep you in the know on what's happening in the digital world. We're keeping our eyes on four particular stories of interest today.

Liberty Media Makes $1 Billion Bid to Acquire B&N

Liberty Media, the conglomerate that owns Starz, Encore and the Atlanta Braves, has made a billion dollar bid to acquire Barnes & Noble.

Google Chat & AIM Now Fully Interoperable

AOL and Google have taken their instant messaging partnership to a new level with complete interoperability among AIM, Gmail and Google Talk.

HTC’s First Tablet Available May 22

HTC’s first Android tablet, the Flyer, will become available for purchase from Best Buy on May 22.

LinkedIn Valued at $8.9 Billion After IPO

LinkedIn ended its first day as a publicly traded company with shares above $94 apiece, 108% higher than the $45 at which each share was initially priced.

Further News

  • In an attempt to break into the personal finance market, Google has launched a new tool for finding and comparing financial products called Google Advisor.
  • Despite major blowback from a Facebook-funded smear campaign against Google meant to raise questions about Google's privacy settings, the perception of neither company has been significantly damaged, sentiment data shows.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, DNY59

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Thanks to Mashable’s Socially Savvy Supporters

Posted: 20 May 2011 06:23 AM PDT

Thanks to this week's advertisers and partners for enabling us to bring you the latest social media news and resources. Mashable’s sponsors are as social media savvy as our readers!

Advertise with us and get noticed.

Mashable is seeking site sponsors for our large, diverse audience — social media users, venture capitalists, early adopters, developers, bloggers and many more. You’ll receive hundreds of thousands of views per day in addition to weekly recognition as part of our “thank you” to our premium sponsors. Are you interested? Contact us for more information and to receive our media kit and rate card.

This week, our valued sponsors are: 7MainStreet, LoopFuse, Mygazines, BMW i, Elance, Discover Digital Group, Global Strategic Management Institute, Mynewsdesk, Ford, Spigit, Sprout Social, Site24x7, IDG, Elsevier, Vocus, Hubspot, Level 3 Communications, Qualcomm's Snapdragon, CUNY School of Professional Studies, Sourcebits, Oneupweb, SoftLayer, SRDS, Buddy Media, Gillette, Clickatell, Microsoft BizSpark, MaxCDN and Eventbrite.

7MainStreet is the first company to combine social networking, e-commerce, and comprehensive business reviews and listings. 7MainStreet helps organizations of all sizes.

Follow 7MainStreet on Twitter and Facebook.

LoopFuse provides forever-free marketing automation software that closes the loop between sales and marketing with smarter lead capture, scoring, and nurturing — plus integration. LoopFuse helps marketers build better pipelines, run more efficient marketing operations, and enable more effective sales teams leading to increased revenue and reduced costs. Learn more about lead nurturing with LoopFuse.

LoopFuse supports Mashable’s Social Ad Series. Follow Loopfuse on Twitter and Facebook.

Mygazines is an interactive marketing solution that lets you enhance, distribute and track your content on any web enabled device, including desktop, iPad, iPhone, Blackberry and Android phones. Looks like an app, works on any browser. Learn more.

Mygazines supports Mashable’s Mobile Content Series. Follow Mygazines on Twitter and Facebook.

BMW i is a new concept dedicated to providing mobility solutions for the urban environment. It delivers more than purpose-built electric vehicles — it delivers smart mobility services. Visit

BMW i supports Mashable’s Global Innovation Series. Follow BMW i on Twitter and Facebook.

Elance is where where businesses tap into the human cloud for immediate access to the talent they need, when they need it. Elance offers the flexibility to staff up or down, and is faster and less expensive than traditional staffing and outsourcing. Check out Startup Cloud to learn how to hire and manage in the human cloud.

Elance supports Mashable’s Digital Careers Series. Follow Elance on Twitter and Facebook.

Discover Digital Group is a unique consultancy that focuses on identifying new e-revenue opportunities for both Fortune 1000 and startup clients alike. From developing new digital products to generating new audiences and revenue for existing online products, it creates smarter, more effective solutions for your business challenges. Follow DDG on Facebook to get a taste of the insights that are offered.

DDG supports Mashable’s Social CMO Series. Follow DDG on Twitter and Facebook.

Global Strategic Management Institute is a leading source of knowledge for today's leaders. Its Social Media Strategies Series are the leading educational events for organizations looking to advance their online capabilities. Learn more at

GSMI supports Mashable’s Social Media 101 Series. Follow GSMI on Twitter and Facebook.

Mynewsdesk's social media newsrooms makes it easier to exchange news and multimedia content with key influencers, reach the top of search engines and automatically update your social media outlets and homepage. Learn more.

Mynewsdesk supports Mashable’s Social PR Guide Series. Follow Mynewsdesk on Twitter and Facebook.

Ford supports Mashable Explore. The Content Exploration Series is presented by Mashable Explore, a new way to discover resources and information on your favorite Mashable topics. Mashable Explore is brought to you by the all-new, 100% reinvented 2011 Ford Explorer. Drive One.

Check out Mashable Explore here and follow Ford on Twitter and Facebook.

Site24x7, an online website monitoring service which allows users to monitor their website, web application and online web transactions. Users can get instant alerts when their website goes down. Site24x7 allows monitoring from across 25+ global locations. Site24x7 pricing starts from $1/Month/URL. Sign up for a 15-day Free Trial!

Follow Site24x7 on Twitter and Facebook.

With the explosion of mobile devices, advertising dollars will begin to shift to mobile for tech marketers this year. IDG Global Solutions President Matt Yorke talks about the rise of social and how IDG helps marketers create social campaigns. The line is fading between social media and traditional media. Earned media or sharing of information within social networks is becoming mainstream whether on a PC or mobile device. Learn more.

IDG supports Mashable’s Modern Media Agency Series.

Elsevier‘s SciVerse Application Marketplace and Developer Network enables developers to build apps based on trusted scientific content. In 2008, the prominent science publisher Elsevier launched SciVerse to provide developers with access to ample research data. SciVerse also sponsors "Apps for Science," a $35,000 developer challenge to accelerate science. Learn more.

SciVerse supports Mashable’s Future Web Series. Follow SciVerse on Twitter and Facebook.

HubSpot offers inbound marketing software that helps small and medium sized businesses get found on the Internet by the right prospects and converts more of them into leads and customers. HubSpot's software platform includes tools that allow professional marketers and small business owners to manage SEO, blogging, social media, landing pages, e-mail, lead intelligence and marketing analytics. Learn more.

Hubspot supports Mashable’s Digital Marketing Series, and follow HubSpot on Twitter and Facebook.

Vocus helps businesses get heard and talked about on social media and beyond. It brings you all the conversations that matter, without information overload, and lets you find influencers fast. Take a quick online demo and see what it can do.

Vocus supports Mashable's Social PR Series, and follow Vocus on Twitter and Facebook.

Level 3 Communications is an international provider of fiber-based communications services. Level 3 is committed to carrying digital media from anywhere to anywhere, in whatever format needed.

Level 3 supports Mashable’s Social Gaming Development Series.

Qualcomm's Snapdragon chipset platform is redefining mobility by offering an optimal combination of mobile processing performance, powerful multimedia, wireless connectivity and power efficiency. Inside your smartphone beats the heart of a dragon.

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon supports Mashable’s Mobile World Congress Series. Check it out here, and follow Qualcomm on Twitter and Facebook.

Sourcebits, a leading product developer for mobile platforms. Sourcebits offers design and development services for iOS, Android, Mobile and Web platforms.

Sourcebits supports Mashable’s Mobile App Trends Series. Follow Sourcebits on Twitter and Facebook for recent news and updates.

Oneupweb is an agency specializing in search marketing, social media and design for mid-to-enterprise level brands. Keep up with Oneupweb through its blog and monthly newsletter.

Oneupweb supports Mashable’s Behind the Social Media Campaign Series. Follow Oneupweb on Twitter and Facebook.

SoftLayer provides global, on-demand data center and hosting services from facilities across the U.S. it leverages best-in-class connectivity and technology to innovate industry leading, fully automated solutions that empower enterprises with complete access, control, security, and scalability.

Follow SoftLayer on Twitter and Facebook.

SRDS connects agencies, brands and media through its online database of media planning data. SRDS is committed to making it easier to buy online ad space and build integrated marketing campaigns. Sign up for a free 14-day trial of the SRDS consumer and business database here.

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Buddy Media is Power Tools for Facebook. Have something new to tell 500 million people? Learn the best way to manage multiple brands on Facebook with this webinar.

Buddy Media supports Mashable’s Facebook Marketing Series, which is about how brands can advertise on Facebook. Follow Buddy Media on Twitter and Facebook.

Clickatell was the first provider of Online SMS Gateway connectivity, and after 10 years, is still the leading provider. Clickatell can deliver your SMS text messages to over 818 mobile networks in more than 222 countries and territories.

Follow Clickatell on Twitter and Facebook.

BizSpark is a program which offers new software businesses and entrepreneurs access to Microsoft design, development and production tools with no upfront costs for up to three years. Learn more or connect with a Microsoft BizSpark advisor here.

BizSpark supports Mashable’s weekly Spark of Genius Series, which showcases promising startups. Follow Microsoft BizSpark on Twitter and Facebook.

Mashable uses MaxCDN – Content Delivery Network to deliver its static content such as pictures, helping Mashable load much faster. Try it on your site now, and get a 25% discount with this coupon code: mashable.

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Eventbrite is an online events marketplace where tens of thousands of individuals, businesses and organizations of all sizes manage, promote and sell tickets to their events. Make your event a success on Eventbrite.

Eventbrite sponsors Mashable’s weekly social media and marketing event guide. Follow Eventbrite on Twitter and Facebook.

Additionally, thanks to the following partners for making Mashable happen:

Intridea is an application development consultancy specializing in Ruby on Rails and mobile development, and has worked with many Fortune 500 companies and funded startups. Visit or call 1-888-968-IDEA (4332).

Intridea has created the official Mashable apps for platforms including Android, iPad, and the Mac App Store. Follow Intridea on Twitter and Facebook.

Webtrends founded the web analytics industry in 1993. Today, its leadership extends much further to social media measurement, paid-search optimization and connecting the online and offline data silos scattered throughout organizations. Webtrends helps you analyze the data generated by your web site, blogs, online campaigns and enterprise systems to understand your customers and, ultimately, business opportunities.

Follow Webtrends on Twitter and Facebook.

Since 2007 W3 EDGE has assisted with creative, web development, and search and social media marketing for and its other web properties and projects. Day-to-day maintenance and support is handled by Frederick Townes and his W3 EDGE team.

Follow W3 EDGE on Twitter.

Rackspace Hosting is the world’s leader in the hosting and cloud computing industry. The San Antonio-based company provides Fanatical Support® to its customers across a portfolio of IT services. For more information, visit is hosted on Rackspace, and Rackspace sponsors Mashable’s Web Development Series. Check it out here, and follow Rackspace on Twitter.

iStockphoto offers easy, affordable inspiration with millions of safe, royalty-free photos, illustrations, video, audio and Flash® files. Browse the best stock library of royalty free content at prices anyone can afford. Mashable readers save 10%.

Mashable sources many of its photos from iStockphoto. Follow iStockphoto on Twitter and Facebook.

Dyn Inc. is a world leader in managed DNS, powering the best brands on the web including Gowalla, Mashable, Twitter, Wikia and more. For more information about Dyn Inc., visit, e-mail or call +1-603-668-4998.

Mashable provides exclusive content on Check it out here, and follow Dyn on Twitter and Facebook.

ConcentricSky offers web and mobile development with a focus on emerging technologies. With partners ranging from National Geographic and Encyclopedia Britannica to NASA and The World Bank, Concentric Sky is known for delivering innovative, world-class software solutions.

Concentric Sky is the only App Developer officially endorsed by Mashable. Learn more here, and follow ConcentricSky on Twitter.

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