Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “Stunning 360-Degree Wembley Stadium Panorama Gets Thousands of Facebook Tags”

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “Stunning 360-Degree Wembley Stadium Panorama Gets Thousands of Facebook Tags”

Stunning 360-Degree Wembley Stadium Panorama Gets Thousands of Facebook Tags

Posted: 17 May 2011 02:52 AM PDT

Photographer Jeffrey Martin has created an impressive 360-degree, 10-gigapixel panorama of the Wembley stadium.

The photo, taken at the the FA Cup Final between Manchester City and Stoke City on May 14, was created from almost 1,000 individual high resolution photos, which makes it the largest 360-degree sports panorama ever created.

The Wembley 360 project is now attempting to stitch and fine tune the entire panorama in just 24 hours, inviting football fans that were at the game (or know someone that was at the game) to tag the individuals in the audience through Facebook. At the time of this writing, the panorama is tagged with over 17,300 individual tags.

To create the photo, Martin used a digital SLR and a zoom lens mounted on a robotic tripod head which turned and snapped the photos continuously until it captured the entire space inside the Wembley stadium.

Martin, who was commissioned by the Wembley Stadium to create the photo, is known for his 80-gigapixel London panorama and the 40-gigapixel Strahov monastery library panorama, the largest indoors photo ever created. In a similar project last year, a photo from the Glastonbury music festival in England received over 9,000 Facebook tags.

[Wembley 360 via Engadget]

More About: 360 degrees, panorama, photo, Wembley, Wembley Stadium

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San Francisco Bay Bridge Becomes iPad Game

Posted: 17 May 2011 01:17 AM PDT

For years, the mighty bridge that spans San Francisco Bay — one of the busiest bridges in the world — has been undergoing an increasingly expensive earthquake retrofit. As workers fix, replace and nudge it around piece by piece, motorists have struggled with untold hours of delay, one partial collapse, and a bridge that seems to be forever changing shape. The process won’t be complete until 2013. But as of Tuesday, transit authorities have a new way to explain what’s going on: a free iPad app that lets you drive over a constantly updated virtual version of the Bay Bridge.

The app, called Bay Bridge Explorer, is built on the solid foundations of a 3D videogame world. The developers used the Unreal Development Kit from Epic Games, the basis of dozens of bestselling games such as Unreal Tournament, BioShock and Deus Ex. Bay Bridge engineers contributed precise design specs, and the whole thing was knitted together by 3D design industry leader Autodesk — a company already intimately involved with the iPad.

Why release it now? Because the bridge is about to shape-shift again. In the wee hours of Memorial Day, traffic on the Oakland side will find itself going off in a slightly different direction. The state entity behind the bridge, Caltrans, knows from years of traffic data who tends to be crossing at that time. It’s hip, tech-savvy youngsters who like to go clubbing and tend not to own a TV.

Telling these drivers about the changes via traditional media, now and in the future, is a non-starter. But a free iPad app? That should do the trick.

Bay Bridge Explorer is an eerily accurate recreation of the bridge on a sunny San Francisco day. You can drive the world-famous bridge in either direction, tilting to steer and tapping to accelerate. The app lets you go 10 mph over the official bridge speed limit, dodging traffic at a breakneck 60 mph. And the designers have built in a few Easter eggs, too. “Many people want to crash just to see what it does,” says Doug Eberhard, Senior Director at Autodesk. “It’s fun to go off and see what else is there.”

We’ve heard a lot about gamification in recent years, but it usually refers to the act of adding points and rewards to real world activities, a la Foursquare. Here we have a whole different kind of gamification — a government body communicating up-to-the-minute changes in infrastructure, wordlessly, in a 3D virtual realm. The app will be updated right up until the completion of the project two years hence; indeed, the home screen lets you test out different versions of the bridge and bears a couple of mysterious “coming soon” slots.

Here’s hoping it won’t be long before the app lets us drive over the mysterious new eastern span springing up alongside the current bridge — something every Bay Area motorist has seen, but none have yet driven.

More About: Autodesk, bay bridge, gamification, San Francisco-San Jose

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Lady Gaga Hits 10 Million Twitter Followers

Posted: 17 May 2011 12:21 AM PDT

Lady Gaga is the first Twitter user with more than 10 million followers.

Lady Gaga celebrated this milestone with a tweet saying: “10MillionMonsters! I’m speechless, we did it! Its an illness how I love you. Leaving London smiling.”

The mega-popular music celebrity is a huge social media star, having been the most popular user on Twitter for quite some time now. She was also the first person to hit 10 million fans on Facebook, as well as 1 billion views on YouTube.

Lady Gaga recently partnered up with social gaming company Zynga to launch GagaVille, a Gaga-themed offshoot of Zynga’s hit game, FarmVille.

More About: 10 million, Lady Gaga, social media, social networking, twitter

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Winklevoss Twins Take Facebook Case to the Supreme Court

Posted: 17 May 2011 12:17 AM PDT

Despite recent legal defeats, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss have decided to take their feud with Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg all the way to the Supreme Court.

The twins, made into household names thanks to The Social Network, have been trying hard to rescind the settlement from their lawsuit against Mark Zuckerberg in 2004. The two sides settled in 2008 in a deal worth approximately $200 million today, but have since had a change of heart. In dispute is the market value of Facebook’s stock when the two sides settled, an issue that could quadruple the amount of the settlement.

In December 2010 though, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the settlement would stand. “For whatever reason, they [the Winklevosses] now want to back out. Like the district court, we see no basis for allowing them to do so," Chief Justice Alex Kozinski wrote at the time. "At some point, litigation must come to an end. That point has now been reached."

Apparently the Winklevoss twins don’t agree. On Monday, their law firm released a statement announcing that they would appeal the Ninth Circuit’s ruling. “The law firm of Howard Rice announced that its clients, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss and Divya Narendra, intend to file a Petition for Certiorari with the United States Supreme Court in the ongoing dispute with Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg,” law firm Howard Rice announced.

Howard Rice contends that the Winklevii were defrauded by Facebook and Zuckerberg and that Facebook committed securities fraud during the mediation that resulted in the 2008 settlement. Neither the district court nor the Ninth Circuit have sympathized with the twins, making it unlikely that the Supreme Court will even hear the case. The Supreme Court takes less than five percent of cases and generally only takes cases where constitutional issues are at stake.

More About: Cameron Winklevoss, facebook, mark zuckerberg, Tyler Winklevoss, Winklevoss, Winklevoss twins

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Simple Music Discovery App Gives You Suggestions Without All the Bells & Whistles

Posted: 16 May 2011 10:18 PM PDT

Yes, music discovery apps that employ game mechanics or replicate galaxies are awesome, but sometimes you just need an app that will tell you what to listen to if you’re in the mood for something that sounds like Django Reinhardt without being Django Reinhardt.

Enter SuperSonic [iTunes link], a new iPhone app from Hunted Media, powered by music recommendation platform The Echo Nest. (Both of which were also behind Pocket Hipster.)

This free app is really not about thrills — fire it up and you’ll be presented with a list of every artist in your iTunes collection. Click on an artist to find similar acts, listen to samples (via 7Digital), star favorites and buy those you really dig via iTunes. The app also lets you adjust settings to find musicians along a sliding scale of obscurity, danceability and tempo.

And that’s basically it.

Still, The Echo Nest does music recommendation extremely well. Director of Developer Platform Paul Lamere recently wrote a blog post comparing The Echo Nest’s playlisting abilities to that of iTunes Genius and Google Music’s Instant Mix. Obviously he’s a bit biased, but the results are worth checking out. We can definitely see a music lover scrolling through to find new acts.

For instance, I had a period during where all I wanted to do was listen to The Unicorns and bands formed by former members of The Unicorns — SuperSonic provided me with some pretty intriguing options. It could very well be the cure for my listen-to-on-repeat-itis.

Photo courtesy of Flickr, William Brawley

More About: iphone, music, music discovery, supersonic

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Use Your Phone To Lock & Unlock Doors From Anywhere in the World

Posted: 16 May 2011 09:20 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: Lockitron

Quick Pitch: Lockitron is a door lock you can control from your phone.

Genius Idea: Replacing keys with phones.

Paul Gerhardt and Cameron Robertson met at the University of Colorado. They quickly became friends and decided to start a company shortly before graduation. Two years later, the entrepreneurial pair have launched a hardware and software product combo called Lockitron that’s meant to help individuals and small businesses replace keys with their mobile phones.

Lockitron, a product of Gerhardt and Roberton’s Apigy Inc., works with most doors. Once configured, users can electronically unlock doors using any type of phone from anywhere in the world. The process takes less than half a second on average.

“The idea is to replace keys entirely,” says Gerhardt, “so [Lockitron would work] everywhere from your home to your car to your gym locker.”

Customers pay a flat fee of $295 and receive a Lockitron Deadbolt kit that includes a wireless deadbolt, a base station with USB remote control, installation instructions and accompanying cables.

To lock and unlock configured doors, a Lockitron user need only fire-up Lockitron on his or her mobile device (it works on the web too), select the door in the question and hit the unlock or lock icon. Administrative users can manage privileges and grant permanent or temporary access to whomever they’d like. Text message access can be setup through Lockitron’s premium service.

The startup’s remote door unlock feature literally works anywhere in the world, so long as you have an internet connection. On many occasions, I’ve unlocked the door to Mashable’s San Francisco office from hundreds of miles away. “You could be in outer Mongolia,” says Robertson.

The product is still considered beta, but Gerhardt and Robertson have piloted an early version of the system with select customers, including Mashable, for more than nine months now. The lengthy private beta period gave the team time to develop support for most doors and make the system accessible to anyone on any device.

“Where we were nine to 12 months ago was really like a project you’d see on Hack a Day, a one-off, really cool thing for someone really techie to set up in their house,” says Robertson. “If we want to start shipping this out beyond purely early adopters, we have to build the infrastructure that we have now … We really had to get everything up to speed for it to work. We finally reached that point.”

The team will soon release an upgrade to the system that includes support for NFC-enabled devices. With the release, users will be able to add Lockitron tags to their doors and then simply wave an NFC-enabled device to gain entry, so long as they have been granted access.

Also coming soon is a native iPhone application that will allow administrators to issue keys, something they currently have to do on the web. The app will also work in the background, which means it’ll make locking and unlocking doors a bit faster via iPhone.

Apigy Inc. is a graduate of the Y Combinator accelerator program. The startup has raised no additional funding and remains a bootstrapped endeavor.

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: apigy, bizspark, Lockitron, locks, Mobile 2.0, spark-of-genius, startup, technology, y combinator

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Tagged Opens Its Own Social Game Studio

Posted: 16 May 2011 09:09 PM PDT

Social network Tagged will announce Wednesday that it is launching its own in-house social game studio and that it has hired a former VP of Electronic Arts to run it.

Tagged, which has more than 100 million users, is already in the business of making social games, so the move isn’t a big surprise. Its most popular game, Pets, has 375,000 unique daily active users and conducts five million trades per day.

Tagged also revealed to Mashable that its social games generate more than $1 million per month in revenue for the company. That’s a huge number for a company that generated $32 million in revenue in 2010. It’s easy to see why Tagged is making a big investment in its social games platform, especially if it can create another smash hit like Pets.

To get the new game studio running, Tagged has hired Andrew Pedersen, the former VP and General Manager for EA’s Pogo, where he led the development of more than 100 games. He’s also spent time at BlueNoodle, Mattel, The Learning Company and Broderbund Software and helped create well-known franchises like Carmen Sandiego and Prince of Persia. Pedersen’s new title is vice president & general manager of social games.

Tagged is one of the few social networks that has somehow found a way to prosper despite Facebook’s dominance in the space. It has amassed more than 100 million users (for comparison, Facebook has 600+ million) by focusing on being a place to meet new people based on shared interests. It recently acquired instant messaging client Digsby in an attempt to add more social communication options to its platform.

The company says that it already has three titles in development and plans to double it game design team in the next few months.

More About: facebook, gaming, social games, tagged, Zynga

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15 Mesmerizing iPhone Photos of Cloudscapes

Posted: 16 May 2011 07:48 PM PDT

Come join us on cloud nine as we look skyward in our latest iPhotography gallery.

Whether cirriform, cumuliform or convective, we’ve got a wide variety of clouds for your viewing pleasure, as snapped by iPhotographers from all over the globe.

If you enjoy a picturesque water particle formation, take a look through the photo gallery and let us know which slides you like best in the comments below.

1. Autumn Clouds by Shahadat Akbar

Snapped on an iPhone 4 and modified with the Camera Plus app, this photo offers some great contrasts, such as the lovely autumnal colors of the trees topped by a brilliant blue sky.

2. Evening Sky Via iPhone by Paul Gowder

Paul Gowder tells Mashable how this ace shot came about.

"The photo was taken while my daughter and I were swimming in the neighborhood pool. I saw the clouds forming and kept thinking this would be a great photo. So I got out of the pool and got my iPhone to call my wife. I asked her to bring down my SLR. While I was waiting I was able to get this shot with the iPhone. By the time she arrived with my SLR it was gone," says Gowder.

"The best camera is always the one you have with you!"

3. Cloud Deck by James Anok

Almost abstract, this gorgeous image was captured by James Anok on an iPhone 3G somewhere over Lake Ontario flying between Toronto and Boston.

4. Breakthrough by Kristen M. Williams

Kristen M. Williams took this picture as the clouds broke apart after a thunderstorm. The cool effects come courtesy of Hipstamatic.

5. Clouds passing above Autumn Colors by Robert-Paul Jansen

Lomora is the app Robert-Paul Jansen used to make this fab snapshot into a beautiful, almost painterly, image.

6. I'm Looking Through You by Mike Noble

The Pinnacle Building in downtown Nashville is the subject of this fun snap.

"The way the reflections of clouds showed on the building, we thought it looked like we were looking right through the building," explains Mike Noble.

"I was just at the right place at the right time and the light was hitting that building just right."

7. 7:52 Sunset by Barry Cullum

This surreal shot was captured in an unlikely location -- a Target car park. Barry Cullum explains how the image came about:

"I was waiting at Target parking lot in Lemont, Illinois for my daughter and ex-wife. I looked up and saw the clouds. I pulled out my iPhone 3GS and quickly snapped this picture. Two minutes later the sun had set and the scene was gone."

8. More HDR Bike Porn by Daniel MacDonald

Taken along the American River near Fair Oaks, California, Daniel MacDonald calls this shot "bike porn." We'd say it's cloud porn too.

9. Clouds by Stefano Ferri

Big, white and fluffy, this cloud formation looks like a child's drawing. It's so perfectly ... cloud-esque.

10. Clouds 01 by Ben Bunch

Ben Bunch's heavenly photo was taken on a first generation iPhone and processed with the Plastic Bullet app. It's truly stunning.

11. Untitled by Francisco Valdés

Pro HDR on the iPhone 4 is the tech setup behind this breathtaking photo, and the vision is that of Chilean Francisco Valdes.

12. iPhonic Clouds by Evan Kok

Evan Kok has documented two types of cloud in this lovely shot of a big sky. A little exposure tweaking in Photoshop Express and a border from the Camera Plus app help create the final effect.

13. Red Clouds by Sergey Poberezhny

Have you ever seen clouds like this before? Sergey Poberezhny's amazing photo looks like something from another world.

14. Evening Sky by Mehul Antani

The rays of light coming from behind the clouds and the dark trees in the foreground combine to make this a striking image, beautifully framed.

15. Walking on Clouds by Keturah Davis

We're bringing you back down to Earth for the final photo in this gallery. Keturah Davis captured this fab shot on a rainy day in Logan Square, Chicago.

Thumbnail illustration courtesy of Flickr, Stefano Ferri.

More About: galleries, gallery, iphone, iphonography, iphotography, List, Lists, mobile photography, photography, Photos, Weather

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An Overview of Bing’s Newest Facebook Features

Posted: 16 May 2011 06:45 PM PDT

In its attempt to beat Google on its home turf, Microsoft has doubled down on Facebook to make its Bing search engine more relevant.

The changes are an expansion of last year’s Facebook integration. In the past, Bing delivered modules within search results depicting when your friends liked certain content. It also surfaced Facebook user profiles if you searched a person’s name.

Starting tomorrow though, Bing will display a lot more data from the Facebook Like button and from Facebook profiles. Here’s an overview of Bing’s new integration with Facebook:

Search result annotations: Bing now displays which search results your friends have liked. This is shown with annotations and small thumbnails under any link that your friends has liked.

Surfacing content from Likes: Let’s say Mashable or comes up in one of your searches, and your friends have liked specific articles or recipes from those websites. With Bing’s new Facebook integration, that content will surface right under the or search result. Bing says that this makes it easier to find the “good stuff” within core search.

Changes in search rankings: Facebook Likes now affect search rankings. An article that might have normally surfaced on the second or third page of search results may appear on the first page if friends have liked it.

Facebook Page integration: If a search result doesn’t have any likes from your friends, but that result has a presence on Facebook, its Facebook status updates may appear in search results.

Improvements to people search: Bing has prominently surfaced Facebook accounts in search results for individuals since October, but now Facebook accounts can appear in related searches. For example, if you search for Paris, Bing will show which of your friends actually lives there. While you may already know this information, it’s not something you think about every day, and it makes it easier to make the connect to actually message your friend about your France-related question.

More Facebook sharing options: Bing has added Facebook sharing options to its shopping, flights and travel search sections. You can now create and share shopping lists with your friends or post potential vacations to your wall. Bing says that 90% of people consult their friends or family before making a decision, so Bing wanted to make that process easier to accomplish.

Bing toolbar + Facebook: Bing has a new version of its toolbar starting tomorrow, and it will include a universal Facebook Like button. It gives you the ability to like any website or web page, regardless of whether or not it has added the Facebook Like button.

More About: bing, facebook, Facebook Like, facebook page, Google, microsoft

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Kraft Courts Mommy Blogger Readers With Online Talk Show

Posted: 16 May 2011 05:42 PM PDT

Kraft is launching an online talk show hosted by former Punky Brewster star Soleil Moon Frye, a prominent mommy blogger.

Thirteen Kraft brands, including Jell-O, Mac and Cheese and Chips Ahoy!, will be featured in the series, HerSay, which will tap content and themes discussed by mommy bloggers. Frye, whose blog can be found here, is part of the draw.

The series, which goes live on May 17, will run weekly. Episodes will range from two to four minutes in length. Forty of the 72 episodes will feature Kraft bands. Mark Stewart, vice president of global media services for Kraft, says the show will be promoted across MSN properties and via search ads. The idea was “to be a part of conversations” that moms are having.

Kraft has tried its hand at online talk shows, a format that has yet to catch on with the mainstream. A program called MindBodyBalance featured actress Faith Ford and promoted the company’s Philadelphia cream cheese brand. Another, called You Gotta LOL, which was presented as “a comedy series for and about women,” was sponsored by Miracle Whip.

More About: advertising, Kraft, MARKETING, mommy bloggers, msn, Soleil Moon Frye

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Foursquare’s Dennis Crowley Delivers Graduation Speech at Syracuse [VIDEO]

Posted: 16 May 2011 04:22 PM PDT

Foursquare co-founder Dennis Crowley addressed the 2011 Syracuse School of Information Studies (iSchool) graduating class during a convocation speech this past weekend.

This was Crowley’s first convocation speech. “I was really nervous,” he said.

Crowley, a class of 1998 Syracuse alumnus, used his own story to encourage students to do what they love. He concluded with four key pieces of advice: “You can be anything you want to be when you grow up,” “You can always pivot,” “Do what you love and the rest will come,” and “Everything happens for a reason.”

While seemingly cliche in nature, the message was heartfelt and well-received — a few hundred graduates either pitched Crowley on their own startups or disclosed that they were planning to apply to work at Foursquare, he says. Crowley also offered anecdotes from his life, including a recounting of how he went from making $100,000 a year before the dot com bust to working as a snowboard instructor for $6 an hour.

Syracuse first approached Crowley at the beginning of the year, Crowley told Mashable. He initially balked at the idea of speaking at the convocation and declined the invitation. “I didn’t think we [Foursquare] were ready for it — like we didn’t earn that spot yet,” he says.

“But then around Syracuse basketball season, I started meeting all these Syracuse kids who were using Foursquare, and realized how big it was on campus … After I realized it was getting big, I decided to do it,” Crowley says.

At one point during the speech, Crowley mentioned that Foursquare has 10 million users. The startup has yet to officially hit that milestone, but Crowley does report that the number is somewhere between nine and 10 million. “We’ll make noise when we hit 10 [million users],” he says.

More About: foursquare, Graduation, Syracuse

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Will Microsoft Buy Nokia’s Phone Business? [RUMOR]

Posted: 16 May 2011 03:41 PM PDT

A report by a Russian blogger with good sources inside Nokia has prompted rumors that Microsoft is looking to buy the Finnish giant‘s phone business.

The blogger, Edlar Murtazin, has a good track record: he predicted the Microsoft-Nokia partnership as long ago as December. Now he says that next week, Nokia will begin talks about the sales of the unit to Microsoft. The deal could close before the end of 2011. “Both companies are in a big hurry,” he writes (in Russian).

Microsoft and Nokia entered an alliance in February that makes Windows Phone 7 Nokia’s primary smartphone platform. That deal also includes crossovers for Microsoft products like Xbox Live, Office and Bing. A few days previously, a leaked memo from Nokia CEO Stephen Elop was made public. The memo referred to Nokia as “standing on a burning platform” amid competition from Google and Apple.

So does the Russian blogger’s rumor have a ring of truth to it? Here’s why it might make business sense for Microsoft to pick up Nokia’s phone business:

  • Microsoft has the cash. The company currently has about $32.6 billion in tangible assets. Nokia’s entire market cap is $32 billion.
  • It would make sense in light of the Skype acquisition — allowing Microsoft to sell a complete mobile Skype handset solution. Analyst Rob Enderle of the Enderle Group believes a Microsoft/Nokia combo could provide an alternative to standard telecoms, especially around the world. Even in the U.S., where Nokia isn’t as strong, Enderle says there is room for competition to the country’s vanishingly small number of telecom carriers. But offering a Skype mobile solution in the U.S. would probably require Microsoft to buy or work out some kind of deal with an existing carrier.
  • It would immediately make Microsoft a major player in mobile manufacturing and distribution. Enderle notes that Nokia’s ecosystem is “second to none in terms of global coverage.”

Here’s why such a deal wouldn’t make sense.

  • It would wipe out Nokia. Roger Entner, an analyst with Recon says it would be akin to ending the company. Nokia’s most recent filings peg the share of its Devices & Services unit at 68.2%. The rest of the revenues come from Navteq and Nokia Siemens Networks, meaning Nokia’s entire business would be reduced to digital mapping software and a joint venture with Siemens on telecom services. (Nokia bought Navteq only four years ago).
  • Microsoft’s track record with handsets is poor. The company already tried its hand at cellphone manufacturing with the $500 million purchase of Danger in 2008. Danger, which made the then-popular Sidekick phone, failed to reverse Microsoft’s fortunes in the mobile segment.
  • It would go against Microsoft’s philosophy. Competing hardware manufacturers would likely have less interest in using the Windows 7 platform. That might turn it into a closed system, like Apple’s. Microsoft has made its fortune using a different model, where it provides software and lets its partners worry about the hardware.

In a situation where Microsoft is failing to get a piece of a growing segment like mobile phones, does it make sense to double down? Entner thinks such a move would be crazy. “Microsoft is a very good software company,” says Entner. “But ultimately, they’re not a phone company.” True enough — but before Xbox, Microsoft wasn’t a gaming console company, either.

What do you think? Would this make sense for either Microsoft or Nokia?

More About: apple, Google, microsoft, Nokia, Skype, telecom

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6 Reasons Why Tablets Are Ready for the Classroom

Posted: 16 May 2011 03:27 PM PDT

education image

Vineet Madan is Vice President of McGraw-Hill Higher Education eLabs, which works with colleges and universities, professors and students along with technology partners to develop innovative, cutting-edge digital educational tools to improve the way instructors teach and students learn.

Since the debut of the iPad, tablets have captured the imagination of consumers. In just one year, the iPad surpassed even the most optimistic of projections to define a brand new product category and become the best-selling gadget of all time, and Forrester analysts project that in 2011, tablet sales will more than double.

But are tablets ready for the classroom? Though tablets have caught on with consumers, the higher education market has been slower to adopt, and understandably so. From grades to degrees to job placement after graduation, the devices that are used in classrooms are tied to important outcomes.

As a result, colleges and universities must proceed carefully when considering whether to adopt a new technology on a large scale. However, reports from recent iPad pilot programs at schools across the country have been positive, and some colleges have even begun distributing tablets to all of their students. As we wrap up the first post-iPad school year, do we know enough to make the "fad, fail, magical" call? I think so.

By looking at all that tablets offer in the context of student behavior and some of the recent trends in education, it’s clear that tablets are ready for the classroom. Here's a look at the top reasons why.

1. Tablets Are the Best Way to Show Textbooks

ipad edu image

Tablets are cable of offering enhanced ebooks featuring images, video and audio. These elements are impossible to include in print or in a standard ebook. Read about music? No thanks, I’ll follow my auto-advancing sheet music as the audio plays. See a picture of Martin Luther King, Jr. as I read his “I Have a Dream” speech? I guess that’s fine, but with one tap of my finger, I’m watching it. The result is a more integrated learning experience, which is more engaging for students. This isn’t the future — this is today.

By allowing students to highlight text, take notes in the margin and access a dictionary directly within the book itself, tablets are matching (and in some cases, surpassing) everything that a traditional book — print or digital — can offer.

2. Classrooms Are Ready for Tablets

Though tablets are a recent phenomenon, many students in high school and college have been using smartphones for years, and are already well-acquainted with touchscreen technology. Because they've become so accustomed to using these devices, students are increasingly expecting to use them in the classroom setting. When classrooms don’t implement what has now become “everyday” technology, we're doing students a disservice.

Additionally, students — and consumers in general — are becoming more comfortable using tablets for advanced tasks. According to a new Nielsen survey, 35% of tablet owners said they used their desktop computers less often or not at all now, and 32% of laptop users said the same. Most tellingly, more than 75% of tablet owners said they used their tablet for tasks they once used their desktop or laptop for. While tablets can't totally match laptops in terms of functionally (yet), they can get today's students most of the way there.

3. Tablets Fit Students’ Lifestyles

The appeal of tablets to a college student is obvious: They're thin, lightweight, and spring to life without delay, making them much easier to take to (and use in) class than a laptop or netbook. Longer battery life means that students don't have to worry about carrying a charger with them. Forgot what the professor said at the end of class about the mid-term? Launch Tegrity, tap the lecture and replay it in just seconds. That’s faster than texting a half-dozen classmates and waiting for what might be an inaccurate response.

4. Tablets Have the Software to Be Competitive

blackboard image

Some of the most innovative software around is being developed specifically for tablets. In addition to the thousands of exciting educational apps available, tablets are fully compatible with online teaching and learning platforms, such as Blackboard, which are becoming the norm at colleges and universities. In fact, tablets' current shortcoming — limited multitasking — could be their greatest asset in education, as it forces students to focus on one task at a time.

5. Tablets Integrate With Education IT Trends

Cloud-based solutions have become ever more popular with colleges and universities, which are looking to deliver synchronized experiences that are device agnostic. Tablets align well with this trend, given their portability and options for constant connectivity. With tablets and cloud-based systems, students can work anywhere on campus and make sure that their work is saved in a central location and accessible from all of their devices. They also don't have to pay for computing power that they no longer need.

6. Tablets Are Becoming More Available

One of the primary reasons that tablets have been slow to penetrate the higher education market was their limited availability. Apple's supply chain issues and the difficulty that some Android tablet manufacturers have faced in getting their products to market have made it difficult for schools to get serious about adopting. As these issues are resolved over the coming year, expect to see more and more tablets popping up on campuses.

Lower price points will make tablets even more appealing to colleges and universities. For close to a year, Apple went virtually unchallenged in the tablet market. Increased competition should drive down prices. The wave of tablets introduced at CES in January is just the tip of the iceberg. With dozens to hundreds of offerings, many based on Google’s open source Android OS, expect price points to fall quickly just as they have for laptops, smartphones and HDTV sets. Heck, Apple’s original iPad can be had for as little as $349 if you get the timing right and don’t mind a refurb.

How close are we today to tablets displacing computers on campuses? Closer than you might think. I wrote this article on a tablet with a touchscreen keyboard.

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

More About: App, education, Gadget, ipad, Tablet, tech, technology

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Facebook Launches Non-Profit Resource Center

Posted: 16 May 2011 03:07 PM PDT

facebook non-profit image

Facebook is launching a resource center to help non-profits use the social network. The site will include educational materials, tutorials and a downloadable non-profit guide geared toward raising awareness and funds for causes specifically through the social network.

A “Get Started” section offers quick tips on how to create a Facebook Page and explains how to set up events and use discussion boards to connect with an audience. The Guide has more general advice like “Be Personal and Educational” or “Use Tools to Increase Relevance” along with mini-spotlights on Facebook features such as targeted ads and Like boxes.

facebook guide image

The Resource Center will also include a spotlight section for successful non-profits and a success stories app where Facebook will showcase best practices and try to build a community around shared stories and advice. The main news feed features regular non-profit news and announcements, and the Resource Center has already tapped companies like (RED), UNICEF-USA and to share their success stories and experience with the community.

facebook wall image

The resource center is clearly meant to provide non-profits tools, but it’s also a sign that Facebook is taking social good seriously. Facebook has been a home to online philanthropy for some time, but it is not the only game in town. It would be nice to see Facebook expand its resource center the same way that Google did with its non-profit page. It’s important from a business perspective to establish Facebook as a hub for non-profits online, but ultimately the cause — and social good — should come first.

The page has already raked in more than 410,000 Likes and only seems to be growing. Has social good hit the mainstream? Should more companies create resource centers? Let us know in the comments.

More About: charity, facebook, non-profit, non-profits on facebook, social good, social media

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Trump Folds on Presidential Bid, Internet Reacts [POLL]

Posted: 16 May 2011 02:57 PM PDT

Donald Trump has chosen not to run in the 2012 presidential elections, and so far, the Internet seems rather jubilant about the news.

The New York Times‘s Social Media Editor Liz Heron tweeted that the newspaper’s Facebook post on Trump dropping out “was ‘Liked’ almost 400 times on Facebook in [the] first five minutes. Way higher than normal.”

So far, that story has been Liked more than 1,550 times on Facebook and is spreading around the web like wildfire.

CNN’s breaking news Twitter feed saw hundreds of retweets on its first two posts about the story. Trendistic says the term “Trump” peaked at 0.8% of all tweets earlier Monday morning. According to Trendsmap, many of these updates seem to be popping up from the New York and Los Angeles areas.

The one thing we can’t get from all this data is sentiment analysis. So take a moment to weigh in via this poll. How does Trump’s announcement sit with you?

image courtesy of Flickr, gageskidmore

More About: Donald Trump, politics, poll, trump

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NASA Launches Endeavour & Social Media Initiative

Posted: 16 May 2011 02:37 PM PDT

On the same day NASA’s Endeavour Shuttle blasted off for the last time, the agency also launched a new way for us to find out about its many missions.

NASA’s new Slideshare Network, dubbed “The NASA Universe,” kicks off with a video that explains the history of the Endeavour Space Shuttle. Interviews with Endeavour’s crew, a timeline of shuttle launches and other interesting NASA documents are also available.

“Think of it as NASA curating some of the best content from,” explains Stephanie Schierholz, NASA’s social media manager.

Schierholz says that the channel is just one part of NASA’s expanding commitment to social media — which it has been ramping up during the past few years, as many of the journalists who traditionally covered the space (pun intended) have been laid off or given new assignments.

Since 2009, the agency has started more than 100 Twitter feeds, while maintaining multiple accounts on YouTube, Facebook and Flickr.

“Our strategy is to share what we’re doing as widely and broadly as possible,” Schierholz says.

Slideshare might not be the first platform that people think of when they think of social media reach, but the site does claim to have more than 50 million monthly unique visitors. Companies like IBM and Dell have also signed on to share their multi-format content on the site with the platform’s new branded network option.

Photo (Endeavour’s sixth launch on July 15, 2009) courtesy of Flickr, NASA

More About: endeavour, launch, NASA, slideshare, space

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5 Best Practices for Fashion Retailers on Facebook

Posted: 16 May 2011 02:28 PM PDT

The Facebook Marketing Series is supported by Buddy Media. Eight of the world’s top ten brands use the Buddy Media Platform to power their social marketing on Facebook. Find out why here.

As U.S. consumers continue to spend increasing amounts of time on Facebook, and as brands amass larger followings than major women’s magazines, fashion retailers are investing greater resources into the world’s largest social network.

But how can retailers optimize their Facebook presence? Should they focus on entertainment and product, or is it best utilized as a customer service channel? How far should they engage? Is it too early to think of Facebook as a sales tool?

We’ve taken these questions to some of the best and brightest minds in the business and gathered their thoughts for you below.

1. Focus on Engagement, Not Sales

Although some retailers, such as Express and ASOS, are opening up stores on Facebook, the time is not yet ripe for F-commerce, most fashion retailers agree.

While iframes is certainly making ecommerce integration on Facebook easier and more cost-effective, Facebook is still best employed as a customer relationship management (CRM) tool, says Maureen Mullen, chief researcher at luxury think tank L2.

“In the same way that portals MSN and Yahoo and then search became the most powerful shopping engines in the world, social media will be the next big wave,” Mullen believes. “But we’re not there yet. Right now [retailers] need to focus on engagement and content strategy,” she advises.

2. Develop a Product-Centric Content Strategy

Mullen recommends retailers provide information and access to products beyond what fans would find on their ecommerce sites or in their stores. She suggests retailers develop visually attractive, entertaining content that enables fans to learn more about the design and development of a product, the designer who created it and others behind-the-scenes snapshots.

“Fans really want to hear more about product and want to interact with the brand itself,” Mullen says. “Provide users with content they never would have had access to without the advent of social media, share different perspectives and allow fans to share what they think in real-time,” she adds.

Ralph Lauren-owned retailer Club Monaco’s Facebook Page is designed to give fans an inside look at the company’s brand and culture while simultaneously becoming a part of it — what Ann Watson, Club Monaco’s VP of marketing and communications, calls the “inside out” approach.

“Our goal is to use Facebook as a portal to share additional content that’s not available anywhere else,” she says, noting that Facebook is the place where news, content and lookbooks (often modeled by Club Monaco employees) are shared first. Club Monaco also offers exclusive giveaways, such as concert tickets and original art.

Facebook, Watson believes, isn’t just a channel for sales, branding, entertainment or engagement — it’s a place for all of these things. “The messaging is what differentiates it. We drive sales by humanizing the message around it — literally!” she explains. “We promote our product in a way that we hope fans feel is authentic, because we display it via real people on our team and the real way they wear our collections, offering genuine styling tips,” she says.

We also admire the Facebook Page of New York-based luxury retailer Bergdorf Goodman, which creates a range of content around a certain theme or trend based on what’s happening at its store, a spokesperson tells us. Last week’s theme centered around its Jean Sequence event, which is extended across content and imagery on the retailer’s Facebook Page, blog, website, Polyvore tab and more.

“Like the store itself, we want our page to be a destination where people enjoy spending their time and looking around,” the spokesperson says. “It’s about providing interesting and compelling information as a fashion leader… [and] having a conversation with people; sales is just a by-product,” she adds.

“The primary focus for us is engaging and entertaining our fans — if in turn this results in sales, this is a bonus.”

3. Allow for Two-Way Dialogue

Whilst many of the above brands have done commendable jobs developing content around product, several have just as commendably opened up opportunities for engagement — something, L2′s Mullen says, most fashion brands are too afraid to do.

Fashion and especially luxury brands are “very protective of their brands and images, traditionally maintaining an armed distance from their consumers and creating a sense of scarcity around their product,” says Mullen. Yet many brands aren’t allowing their Facebook Pages to be truly social; “users are being allowed to opt into a relationship with [brands], but [brands] are telling them they don’t really care what they have to say,” says Mullen.

Brands and retailers need to open up opportunities for two-way discussion as much as possible, Mullen insists. She encourages marketers to employ polls, respond to fans’ comments and develop content based on their feedback.

These tools are well-utilized by brands and retailers Tory Burch, Diane von Furstenberg and Bergdorf Goodman, which allow fans to post not only in the comments, but directly on the Page. Whilst this does create some moderation work, it also underlines the value each company places on its customers.

Last year DKNY briefly turned off the ability for fans to post directly on its Page (a certain PETA protest might have had something to do with that decision). But now, with fans able to post freely on the Page, it is certainly one of the most responsive among fashion brands and retailers. The company’s communications team keeps a close tab on fan comments, furnishing timely responses to questions wherever necessary — a practice rarely carried out by companies of its size.

Flash sales site Gilt practices two-way engagement on its Facebook Page via a sophisticated “Support,” tab where fans can ask questions and deposit feedback. The tab is closely monitored by Gilt’s customer service team, so users can expect to see timely and accurate responses to their queries. (We also love that Gilt gives an early preview of its flash sales, which begin every day at noon, via the “Preview” tab — a great way to drive sales and reward fans.)

4. Build Your Fan Base

While a strong content and engagement strategy can help a Page grow organically, retailers are also bolstering fan numbers by advertising on Facebook and developing multi-channel campaigns.

According to research firm Efficient Frontier, the cost of Facebook ads jumped 40% in 2010, a number that is likely to continue to increase dramatically over the next several years. In her research, Mullen has found that Facebook advertising is the easiest way to build up a fan base, particularly when paid ads are coupled with campaigns that extends across several online and offline channels.

She cites a Covergirl promotion of a new “natural luxe” line of makeup in January. The makeup company ran TV ads prompting viewers not to head to or their nearest Walgreens, but to log in at, where fans could sign up to be part of the “Covergirl movement,” get free samples and upload videos of themselves sampling makeup. The commercials, which garnered 8,000 Likes on the first day of airing alone, were accompanied by Facebook ads featuring spokesmodels Taylor Swift and Queen Latifah, catapulting Covergirl into the number-two spot (in terms of Facebook Likes) among beauty brands on Facebook.

Oscar de la Renta also employed a cross-channel strategy to build buzz around its first fragrance launch in 10 years. The company leveraged its existing PR assets as well as Facebook ads to drive consumers to sign up for free samples on its Facebook Page. The brand ran through its initial 5,000 sample allotment within 24 hours, and because it was generating so many Likes, the brand decided to give away 25,000 samples, which it ran through in three days, Erika Bearman, Oscar de la Renta’s director of communications, tells us.

Not only was the giveaway successful in terms of press mentions and Facebook Likes — the initiative increased total Page Likes by 40% — it also turned out to be a valuable feedback tool for the company. Approximately 5,000 people took the time to answer questions on the scent in a followup survey, a testament to the two-way nature of Facebook, Bearman notes. “Sampling as a concept is old school, but with a traditional sampling you don’t get to hear what people think,” she says. “I think that the ability to collect feedback on your product is an important advantage to Facebook as a marketing platform,” she adds.

5. Let Your Strategy Evolve

As the case studies above illustrate, a well-developed, engaging content strategy, coupled with on-site advertising and multi-channel campaigns to drive Likes, is the best way to ensure that retailers are prepared for the advent of social media-driven commerce.

It’s also important to keep content fresh, and to evolve one’s Facebook strategy over time. “Be open to evolving your tactics within your strategy to avoid getting too formulaic,” Club Monaco’s Watson reminds retailers.

Jason John, senior direct of marketing at Gilt Groupe, agrees. “Keep experimenting to find the right strategy… [and] alter your communication style on Facebook [whilst] staying true to your brand. You don't need to be quirky or funny to be successful in social media, just stick with your brand values and create an honest and open conversation with your fans. They will tell you what you need to be successful.”

Series Supported by Buddy Media

The Facebook Marketing Series is supported by Buddy Media. Eight of the world’s top ten brands use the Buddy Media Platform to power their social marketing on Facebook. Find out why here.

More Facebook Marketing Resources from Mashable:

- 4 Ways to Set Up a Storefront on Facebook
- HOW TO: Create a Facebook Engagement Policy
- HOW TO: Engage and Mobilize Facebook Fans Beyond the “Like”
- 5 Creative Facebook Places Marketing Campaigns

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, zoomstudio

More About: bergdorf goodman, dkny, e-commerce, facebook, facebook marketing, Facebook Marketing Series, fashion, MARKETING, social media

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Can’t Afford A Stand-Up Desk? Try Standing Clock App [PICS]

Posted: 16 May 2011 02:16 PM PDT

Because sitting is apparently killing you slowly, here’s a web app that will help you remember to give your bottom a break every now and then.

The Standing Clock lets you keep a log of how much time you spend standing. It’s as simple as a single click of a button in your web browser, and it even tracks your standing hours and minutes over time in a handy graph form.

The Standing Clock is a web app, so there’s no software to install. And since you log into the app from your Google account, you can track your standing time from work or home without any painfully complicated transitions.

We’ve been keeping track of the stand-up desk trend for a little while now. Spending the majority of your day sitting down has been shown to present some pretty drastic health risks. As a result, lots of Mashable readers are willing to give stand-up desks a shot in the workplace or home office.

And while lots of other things you do every day can kill you, too — driving, smoking, drinking and walking in an urban area come to mind — it certainly can’t hurt to stand every so often during your workday.

Will you be giving this Standing Clock a try?

Click the Button to Start Standing...

Click Again to Stop.

The Standing Clock Tracks Your Activity

image courtesy of Flickr, qmnonic

More About: sitting, stand up desk, standing, standing clock

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AP Stylebook Adds More Social Media Terms

Posted: 16 May 2011 01:29 PM PDT

The AP Stylebook released new social media guidelines, which included such changes as turning “Web site” into “website,” last summer. And now the language-dedicated tome just released a few more social media-oriented changes.

The 2011 AP Stylebook will now include such terms as end user, geolocation, geotagging, link shortener, stream and unfollow, according to a tweet. Finally, an end to the eternal question when it comes to “geolocation:” to hyphenate or not to hyphenate?

What do you think of these additions? Less or more exciting than the time when the AP changed “e-mail” to “email”?

Image courtesy of Flickr, Mike Licht

More About: ap stylebook, end user, geolocation, geotagging, link shortener, stream, unfollow

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AnyClip Boosts Online Movie Library With Vivendi Deal

Posted: 16 May 2011 01:14 PM PDT

AnyClip, a startup that lets users find and watch their favorite movie clips online, has signed a new content agreement with Vivendi Entertainment. This means that users and consumers will be able to find and discover clips from movies such as The Reader, Grindhouse, Zack and Miri Make a Porno, The Basketball Diaries and other content from Vivendi’s catalog.

AnyClip launched in 2009. The service lets you search for specific movie scenes you can then share with friends. The AnyClip team analyzes films, tags clips and scenes with relevant information like actor, lines of dialogue, and content and visual cues within the clip itself. This content is indexable, searchable and embeddable across the web.

At first, AnyClip’s focus was similar to that of another startup, When we spoke to AnyClip CEO Oren Nauman about the new Vivendi licensing deal, he explained how the company’s vision has shifted over the last two years. Though is still designed as a destination for consumers to find and share content, especially scenes from their favorite films, the broader goal is to use its growing database to work with other businesses.

Nauman offered scenarios where a service like AnyClip could be useful for other businesses or web apps. A travel site could integrate movie clips of various destinations when users create a trip profile. A dating site could allow users to embed their favorite movie clips into their profiles.

In essence, AnyClip is shifting its focus away from just being a clip portal to being a licensing clearinghouse for movie clips. The company is also working on an API that will make plugging into this content much more seamless.

Meanwhile, content partners like Vivendi see AnyClips as a great way to enhance the discoverability of their catalog titles. Users who browse the AnyClip site can be connected with other related clips, get links to purchase films and embed clips on their own sites to help spread awareness.

The Vivendi announcement follows a similar partnership the service signed in March with Universal.

Movie studios generally realize the importance of indexing content. They also lack the resources to do the indexing themselves. By partnering with a startup like AnyClip, they can make their content more accessible to consumers and business partners. Meanwhile, AnyClip gets to grow its catalog of films, which makes the service more desirable both as a consumer destination and a business to business service.

More About: anyclip,, Film,, Movies, vivendi

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Space Shuttle Twitpic Launches Woman to Tweeting Fame

Posted: 16 May 2011 12:55 PM PDT

When Stefanie Gordon boarded her plane in New York City to visit her parents in Palm Beach, the captain noted there was a chance passengers would witness the space shuttle Endeavour’s last launch during the flight. But she never expected to play a role in documenting it.

As the plane descended toward Palm Beach and the Endeavour’s launch became visible, Gordon pulled out her iPhone and snapped a few photos and a short video. On the ground, she posted one of the photos to her then 1,800 Twitter followers.

In a few hours, she was fielding phone calls from ABC, the BBC and CNBC. She had accumulated about 1,000 new Twitter followers, and she had to turn the @mention push notifications off on her phone so they wouldn’t drain the battery.

“I don’t have that many Twitter followers, and I basically tweet about sports,” Gordon tells Mashable. “I really didn’t expect it to go as viral as it did.”

Although other people on the plane also took photos, the 33-year-old event planner says it seems that she’s the only one who posted them to Twitter.

“To be able to see the last shuttle launch of the Endeavour was awe inspiring, and to have a different view of it was just amazing,” she says.

The new Twitter friends aren’t bad either. Gordon, who is looking for a job, recently tweeted her LinkedIn resume — just in case chance continues to work in her favor.

More About: endeavour, launch, space, trending, twitpic, twitter

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Austin Brown Carries on the Jackson Family Legacy [VIDEO]

Posted: 16 May 2011 12:41 PM PDT

Each Monday, Mashable highlights an exclusive new video or song. Check out all our Music Monday picks.

Michael Jackson passed away in 2009, but his family seems to be a bottomless well of musical talent. The latest evidence of this? His nephew, Austin Brown, who recently premiered a music video and trailer for his upcoming debut album, 85.

The video and Brown‘s performance definitely echo the oeuvre of the King of Pop. “Austin plays himself in the video,” says director Tom Desanto (creator and producer of Transformers and the X-Men films). “The key was trying to put the audience in Austin's shoes and to try to feel the pressure and potential of his family's legacy. The Jacksons are entertainment royalty and the tremendous pressure of his family's name would take down most people.”

But the video makes use of pressures from the industry. “Tom not only listened to my music, but understood my path, where I came from, the struggles I had, the battles I fought –- getting swallowed up and spit out by a business that I loved so much,” Brown says. “He put that all into [the visuals].”

The result is a cinematic video that melds a variety of genres, taking Brown from an amorphous dream world into a throwback dance scene and an animated realm.

“I have always been a fan of Walt Disney, Stan Lee and Steven Spielberg, and my uncle. They understood the art of fantasy, while incorporating a meaningful message within their films,” Brown says. “Having those elements to tell my story was important for me because I wanted the audience to escape while watching this video, but at the end, know who I am.”

More About: austin-brown, michael jackson, music, Tom Desanto, video

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Expenses Made Fun: Expensify Adds Automatic Receipt Scanning [PICS]

Posted: 16 May 2011 12:24 PM PDT

Expensify, maker of expense reporting software, has updated its service with automatic receipt scanning. The update offers users an even more efficient away to account for their expenses and attach them to reports.

With the new feature, users can upload photos of receipts via iPhone, Android and BlackBerry apps or via the web to have Expensify scan the receipts’ contents and automatically identify merchant info, date and amount.

Scanned receipt data is appended to the entry for each expense, and matched to transaction data imported from the user’s credit card or bank account. Scans take about 10 minutes and are stored in the “Receipts” portion of the mobile and web apps. Users can then edit receipt data and add the scanned receipts to their expense reports.

We put the new automatic receipt scanning features to work and found that Expensify delivers exactly what it promises: a simple and (dare we say) fun way to upload, scan and attach receipts to expense reports.

Below is our walk through the process of scanning photo receipts. Will this make you use Expensify? Let us know in the comments.

Add Receipt

To scan a photo receipt, navigate to the "Receipts" tab in the mobile apps (iPhone app pictured) and select to "Take New Photo" or grab a "Library Photo."

The process is the same via the web, and you can drag and drop photos to upload them.

Scan Receipt

Snap a photo of your receipt and preview the image before it's uploaded and scanned. Once you hit "Use," the photo will be uploaded and stored in the "Unattached Receipts" section of the app.

Expensify will either automatically scan the receipt or ask you if you'd like to have the receipt scanned, depending on your receipt scanning settings.


Receipts are marked "Scan queued" and stored here. A typical scan takes about 10 minutes

If applicable, credit card transactions will be queued for a few days so that Expensify can match them against the transaction data it grabs from your credit card or bank account.

Scan Credits

Navigate to "Account" to customize your receipt scanning settings and view your scan credits.

Every user is gifted with 200 free credits (good for 10 scans). Additional credits can be purchased on the web.

Edit Receipt

Pictured is a scanned receipt. As you can see, Expensify has identified that the photo depicts a cash expense and has auto-filled the amount, the merchant and the date.

You can then go in and edit the receipt to categorize the expense and add it to an expense report.

Settings: Receipt Scanning

Just as in the mobile apps, you can view your receipt scanning settings on the web. Here, you'll have a few more options such as purchasing additional scan credits.

Purchase Credits

Additional scan credits can be purchased on the web; $20 is good for 2,000 credits, which equates to 100 scans.

More About: Android App, expenses, Expensify, iphone app, scan receipts

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Skype’s Rollercoaster History [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted: 16 May 2011 11:55 AM PDT

Skype has been an interesting company to follow over the past few years.

The company lost almost a billion dollars in 2007, the same year it was devalued by around $500 million by then-owner eBay. eBay sold Skype in 2009; the following year Skype filed for an IPO.

Then, earlier this month, we began hearing rumors that Skype would be acquired for $4 billion by Google or Facebook. In reality, Skype was just acquired by Microsoft for $8.5 billion, which means the software giant values Skype at around $1,000 per user — a price some still think was far too high.

But whether or not the price was right, we do know that Microsoft will change Skype. We’ll just have to wait and see how much it will alter an already much-used service.

This infographic from business network Focus shows Skype’s company history — including its rollercoaster valuations to year-over-year revenues.

Click image to see larger version.

[source: Focus and The Credit Score Blog]

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50+ Upcoming Social Media & Tech Events

Posted: 16 May 2011 11:39 AM PDT


Every week, Mashable puts together a calendar of upcoming social media and web events, parties and conferences.

Here are some tips on how to network, share your information and promote your event using social media:

Mashable’s Weekly Social Media and Marketing Event Guide is proudly supported by Eventbrite, the Web’s Event Marketplace.

May 16-19, 2011, Prague, Czech Republic: The TERENA Networking Conference (TNC) is the largest and most prestigious European research networking conference – over 500 participants, including decision makers, networking specialists and managers from all major European networking and research organisations, universities, worldwide sister institutions and industry representatives attend. Through keynote speeches by renowned specialists and many parallel sessions, TNC presents an overview of the latest developments in research networking, both in the technical field and in the areas of application and management. For more information, click here.

May 16-18, 2011, London, UK: The Future of Web Design (FOWD) hits London again this May! Following on from the success of last year, we’re bringing you 3 full days of essential web learning: a day of in-depth workshops, followed up by a two day conference, covering all of the hottest topics across two stages. Big names, rising stars, great networking opportunities and some fabulous catering thrown in for good measure. Hope you can join us!

May 16-17, 2011, Atlanta, GA: Digital Summit 2011 will feature over 100 speakers and an audience of over 1,000 internet execs, entrepreneurs and senior marketers. Join dozens of industry leaders and innovators in the conversation on topics such as Social Media, Mobile, Cloud Computing, Online Advertising, Analytics, Search, Video, Ecommerce and more. Top brands and thought leaders converge on one of America’s Most Wired Cities. Register and use the promo code MASH for 20% off.

May 17-19, 2011, Boston, MA: In the ever changing world of social media and mobile marketing organizations are finding it difficult to navigate the complicated legal waters. At the 2011 Social Media Legal Risks and Strategies Summit, attendee's will have the opportunity to learn practical strategies for staying compliant with regulations and safeguarding against legal risks. During this 3 day summit attendee's will learn, first hand, from top legal minds from such brands as, The Walt Disney Company, General Mills, General Electric and The Better Business Bureau. Register and use the promo code MikeSM to receive a discount.

May 17-19, 2011, London, UK: The World E-Reading Congress brings together digital and print publishers with e-reading platforms and device manufacturers to discuss the business models and opportunities provided by the growth of the e-reading industry. Publishers must be prepared for this dramatic industry upheaval. They must learn how to embrace this disruptive technology and the World E-Reading Congress will enable them to discover how they can profit from the E-Reading revolution. Visit our website for more information and register before January to save 10%!

May 17-18, 2011, Sydney, Australia: With an estimated 200,000 loyalty programs currently operating in Australia, it is vital for businesses to understand how to make their brand stand out from the crowd. More than ever, your success hinges on your ability to gain a greater understanding of your customers’ wants and needs.Traditional modes of marketing have evolved and it is necessary to embrace more personalised communications across numerous channels. The Customer Loyalty 2011 Conference is a case-study driven program that will explore different strategies to add the value that your customers want from your loyalty initiative. It will discuss evolving definitions of best practice in loyalty marketing and help you make your mark in this evolving multichannel landscape. Register with the promo code CC*MASHABLE and save 10%!

May 18-19, 2011, Boston, MA: Text analytics has grown from an interesting but little known software application into an invaluable commercial tool being used by businesses worldwide. Forward thinking executives across a myriad of industries are using text analytics solutions to increase efficiency and unlock essential information that they never had access to before. Whether you are a software developer, an experienced analytics user, or new to the text analytics industry, the Text Analytics Summit is the only place to get the information that you need to stay ahead of the competition and profit from text mining. Register and use the promo code mashable to save 10%.

May 18, 2011, London, UK: The International Search Summit is partnering with SMX to run its global search and social media program at SMX Advanced in London. Focusing specifically on international and multilingual topics, the summit will run on 18th May and give delegates the opportunity to attend both events in just one trip and on one pass. Topics at the Summit will include international link building, managing global content, international SEO case studies and emerging markers. The agenda will be regularly updated with confirmed speakers. Combo or Summit only tickets are available. Early Bird rates apply and Mashable readers can get a 15% discount on the booking price with the discount code MASHABLE011. For more information and to register, please click here.

May 19-20, 2011, Miami, FL: Following the success of the 2010 edition, LBS LATAM returns in 2011 to continue the discussions and thought provoking market topics of interest. Responding to industry demands, the conference will be held for two days in Miami, Florida. For more information, please click here.

May 20-22, 2011, Ft. Lauderdale, FL: SheCon’s 2011 New Media Expo is the industry’s first free, three-day social media event that is bringing together some of the industry’s most renowned experts to condense a four-year journalism school experience into three days of new media sessions, with sessions and panels ranging from general to specific, niche market discussions. Combined with the educational sessions, the expo will bring together a diverse group of exhibitors that will be focusing on a brand integration, rather than forced brand interaction, concept for engaging and building relationships with attendees.

May 23-24, 2011, San Francisco, CA: Produced by Mediabistro and SocialTimes, Social Media Optimization Conference (SMOC) is a two-day event dedicated to social media optimization and social advertising. Boost search engine visibility, increase linkability, and fuel your readers' desire to share your content. Industry leaders will also show you how to get results whenadvertising on the social web in terms of strategy, targeting, privacy, and metrics. Our experts include Brian Solis (author, Engage), Rohit Bhargava (SVP, Digital, Strategy & Planning Group), Gary Ware (Covario), and many more. Register and use the promo code MASH to save 15%.

May 23, 2011, San Francisco, CA: Hosted by Our Social Times, Social Media Marketing & Monitoring 2011 will bring together leading marketing and PR experts, brands, agencies and journalists for an intensive one-day conference. Following this sell-out event last year, join us for an update on the latest strategies, tools and techniques in social media marketing. Topics include: community management; blogger outreach; influencer analysis and engagement; Twitter marketing; geo-location marketing; social gaming; social media monitoring and Social CRM. Register and use the promo code Mash1 to save 10%.

May 24-26, 2011, New York, NY: BlogWorld & New Media Expo is the first and only industry-wide conference, tradeshow and media event dedicated to blogging, podcasting, social media, social networking, online video, music, Internet TV and radio. BlogWorld conference attendees enjoy more than 120 cutting-edge educational sessions presented by industry leaders, while New Media Expo provides the only industry-wide new media marketplace for networking, online business and marketing resources. Social Media Business Summit, exclusive to BlogWorld, is the world's largest social media business conference where business owners, marketing executives and global brands learn strategies, tools and technologies to grow their businesses with social media. Register at with the promo code MASH20 to save 20% off the ticket price!

May 24-26, 2011, San Francisco, CA: All About the Cloud — Save $100 with the promo code PRMMASH to attend the software industry's leading ISV conference on Cloud Computing. (Note: discount valid off the individual non-member rate only and does apply to current attendees.) You'll join an anticipated audience of more than 500 senior executives from ISVs, resellers, and platform / technology providers, as well as the industry's leading analysts, bankers, venture capitalists and the media. Key networking events include: a Golf Tournament, a Speed Networking Event, a Mardi Gras-themed Welcome Reception and an offsite Networking Reception featuring the Microsoft Rock Band Challenge. For details, including registration information, please visit

May 24-26 2011, Gateshead, UK: Thinking Digital is an annual conference where the world’s greatest thinkers and innovators discuss the latest ideas, innovations and technologies. The conference provides an experience like no other, stimulating new thinking and new ideas. It's about what you'll learn, and who you'll meet. Our eclectic schedule means you'll listen to world-class authorities, meet amazing people, be entertained and outrageously inspired! When you leave Thinking Digital you'll know about things that you previously didn't even realise existed and have become part of our unique community. Register with the promo code TDCMASH and save 10%.

May 25-27, 2011, Portland, OR: WebVisions explores the future of web design, technology, user experience and business strategy in a punchy, new format! The all-star lineup of speakers includes author Douglas Rushkoff, design strategist David Armano, mobile researcher Rachel Hinman, usability expert Jared Spool, design ethnographer Kelly Goto and many more. Take advantage of package deals for workshops and conference passes, discounts on hotels, and networking events and after hour parties. Register here and save up to 30% off the Standard Admission rates! rates.

May 25, 2011, London, UK: The Guardian Sustainable Business Awards aim to showcase genuine innovation in corporate sustainability and reward those who take sustainability to the very heart of their business. Enter the awards today at to get the recognition you deserve. Winners will be invited to a ceremony held in London in May and will feature in a supplement published on All entries meeting the criteria will be added to the new Guardian Sustainable Business best practice exchange – an online database allowing sustainability professionals to share their learning. Enter before February 7th at

May 29-30, 2011, Dubai, UAE: Social Media Marketing – The Way Forward – It is undeniable that social media has fundamentally transformed and evolved the architecture of business, communications, and the dissemination of information and influence. In July 2010, Facebook announced it had over 500 million users worldwide,of which at least 15 million were in Middle East.Survey findings also indicated that one out of five Facebook users is from Asia or Middle East. Participants at this two-day conference will be exposed to the intricacies of corporate social media strategies tailored for your industry. Participants would gain insights to maximizing the usage of social and establishing and maintaining a good relationship with consumers, thus effectively introducing their brands online and engaging long-term relationship with the audience. For more information, please click here.

June 3-4, 2011, Victoria, BC, Canada: Last year’s event was the largest social media event in the Pacific Northwest and Western Canada. This year’s Social Media Camp will feature more time, more sessions, more speakers, more exhibitors and more sunshine! This year’s keynote speakers are the critically acclaimed authors of “The Now Revolution”, Jay Baer and Amber Naslund. Whether you are an avid Facebook user, interested in learning about Twitter, or you're trying to grow your business by leveraging social media tools – there is something for everyone at this event! Register and use the promo code MASHABLE to save $50!

June 5-9, 2011, San Francisco, CA: The 2011 Semantic Technology Conference (SemTech) is the world's largest educational conference for the community of executives, technologists, researchers, investors and customers who are involved with semantic technologies. The SemTech conference draws together more than 1,000 forward-thinking technology and business leaders from around the world, representing the entire marketplace of vendors, developers, researchers, start-ups, investors and customers. SemTech 2011 features five days of presentations, panels, tutorials, announcements, new company/product launches, and conversations. It’s a place for new learning, professional networking, and business development. For details and registration, visit the site. Register and use the promo code MASH to save 15%.!

June 6-8, 2011, Boston, MA: The Art & Science of Integrating Traditional & Social Media Marketing – Measure Up, is the world's most comprehensive cross-dimensional view of marketing measurement best practices. With a focus on return on investment (ROI) as it relates to the integration of traditional, online and mobile activities; specifically, social media, this event explores analytics across the entire marketing mix and incorporates those results into marketing strategies and tactics to drive higher revenue, profit and brand share. Register and use the promo code XU2308MASH and save 10%!

June 6, 2011, New York, NY: It’s time to make plans for Realtime NY 11, a full-day immersion entirely about business on the mobile, social and realtime web. Learn how innovative executives from brands like McDonald’s, PepsiCo, Delta, Citibank, IBM, and the NHL are using realtime tools to listen and respond to customers, create new opportunities and build bottom-line value. Realtime, mobile and social technologies fundamentally change how consumers and businesses interact. At The Realtime Conference you’ll see real case studies about real brands and meet the social media business pioneers who are driving real value. 10 hours of hardcore learning and networking. Plus wi-fi, power, breakfast, lunch and cocktails. Register with the promo code MASHABLE to save 20%

June 6-7,2011, New York, NY: Federated Media presents The Conversational Marketing Summit: Leading agencies, marketers, platforms and entrepreneurs come together for our industry’s most rigorous and thought-provoking annual 2-day gathering, the Conversational Marketing Summit, to benefit from a discussion about what we've learned so far and get a jump on what the future has to offer. We aim to bridge the innovations of the internet with the practice of marketing.  Please join us More information and registration details at – Register with promo code CmMash to save 15%!

June 7-8, 2011, Munich, Germany: a4uexpo Europe is the largest pan European Affiliate and Performance Marketing Conference. With over 1000 delegates, a diverse conference programme, a focus on quality, knowledge transfer and unparalleled networking opportunities with delegates and key industry figures from around the world, a4uexpo Europe is a must attend educational and networking event. Whether a new or established affiliate, agency, entrepreneur, search specialist, merchant or network – a4uexpo is the conference for those serious about making an impact in Affiliate and Performance Marketing. Register with the promo code MASHABLE25 and save €25 on a full conference pass for a4uexpo Europe.

June 7-8, 2011, Seattle, WA: Join the most accomplished search marketers in the world – Search Marketing Expo – SMX Advanced Seattle. Check out the full agenda, featuring two days of experts-only sessions, keynotes and the highest-level networking anywhere. Don't wait – SMX Advanced has sold out 4 years running. Register with partner code smx100mashable and you'll save $100 and secure your spot.

June 8, 2011, Singapore: With the phenomenal growth of apps worldwide, Asia is the next big market to watch out for. Planet of the Apps Asia is the leading event dedicated to mobile applications in Asia. The two day conference plus a dedicated masterclass day brings together the mobile application ecosystem in one location. The event will shine on a light on the latest innovations and showcase the latest solutions in the world of mobile applications. Be part of this definitive event and network with professionals from all around the globe.

June 14, 2011, London, UK: 20 social media experts will be speaking at the Social Media Results Conference – From Engagement To ROI. Procter & Gamble, Barclaycard, Nokia, Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd, MTV Networks UK & Ireland, Mothercare, Lonely Planet, American Airlines, Kodak Ltd, Comic Relief, Vue Entertainment, Cisco Europe, Phones 4u Limited and many more will be discussing their real-world, actionable social media insights on how to drive the customer journey with consistently genuine interaction and fully integrated, targeted social media campaigns. Click here to download/view the conference program.

June 15-18, 2011, Nairobi, Kenya: The spotlight in AfriTech Kenya 2011 will be on "Brand building using a digital platform". It’s projected to be the largest gathering of digital media gurus and industry shapers in the African continent. The conference will be held at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) on June 15-18, 2011. Outstanding business luminaries, philanthropists, government decision-makers and investors will be participating during this four day historic summit. For more information and to register, please visit

June 15-16, 2011, New York, NY: “Exploring the State of NOW” – The 140 Characters Conference: New York City (#140conf) will be taking place June 15-16, 2011 at the 92nd Street Y, where we will continue to explore the effects of the real-time web on both business and on people. This event is expected to be the largest worldwide gathering of people interested in the effects of the real-time Internet on both business and "we" the people. #140conf exposes you to the power the Internet has to disrupt businesses, change lives and create serendipity. You will leave with a fresh outlook on how the real time web can be used in your business or personal life to actually do something meaningful. Register TODAY and take advantage of the "Early Bird" prices.

June 16, 2011, London, UK: The Augmented Reality Summit is designed to explore this new dynamic reality and provide delegates with the perfect opportunity to uncover Augmented Reality in full and explore the opportunity's AR brings any brand or company. The AR Summit is positioned at the forefront of this exciting continually developing new industry. Whether you are a Brand, Advertiser or Agency, Technology provider or Developer looking to meet key industry figures, keep up with the latest developments, technology's & tools or simply to network with other from the world of AR – Register and use the promo code ARMASH to save 25%!

June 20-21, New York, NY: At the new ALL FOR ONE Marketing Show presented by DM Days, you'll learn how Domino's, FreshDirect, Grey New York and other top companies maximize ROI by leveraging customer insight and data to successfully integrate marketing channels. You'll walk away with concrete examples of successful campaigns from marketing experts and thought leaders. Register with the promo code DM730 and save $200!

June 20, 2011, New York, NY: Games for Change is the leading global advocate for supporting and making games for social impact. The Games for Change Festival is the largest gaming event in New York City and the only international event uniting "games for change" creators, the public, civil society, academia, the gaming industry and media. Register before April 15th and save 30%!

June 21-22, 2011, New York, NY: The Second Annual Corporate Social Media Summit is 'the' event for big business using social media. This year we have speakers from Dell, Best Buy, Kodak, Coca-Cola, Southwest Airlines and many more. They will share best practice to help your company leverage the power of social media for better marketing, customer engagement and enhance profitability. The conference is designed for corporates like you – and our agenda is based on three months of research with your peers. Download a brochure here for all the info you need. Register and use the promo code MASH11 to save 10%.

June 21-22, 2011, Los Angeles, CA: Digital Content Monitization West 2011 is a unique opportunity to find out how to drive revenue and profitability from different content and formats across a wide variety of channels. 60+ senior level speakers from will help you sort out the best short and medium term strategies for delivering revenue through digital content. With its focus on west coast industries, you’ll dig deep into how the film, music and games sectors are driving new sources of revenue. Plus the publishing, sports, TV and news sectors will provide detailed information about how to monetize rich media content. Register online at and use the promo code DCM MASH for early booking discounts.

June 23 - 24, 2011, Chicago, IL:  SOCIAL CUSTOMER 2011 is a high-level executive summit that focuses on using smart social CRM programs to improve customer loyalty, enhance brand experience and increase revenue. Hear from game-changing organizations such as Chicago Bulls, Verizon, PepsiCo, Dell, Bloomberg, Rosetta Stone, H&R Block, Godiva, Dominos Pizza and more! Also hear our keynote presentation by Becky Carroll, Social Media Correspondent, NBC 7 / SAN DIEGO, Author, THE HIDDEN POWER OF YOUR CUSTOMERS. Organizations must embrace today's empowered customers, so if you are a business leader who is looking to deliver world-class experience via social networks, this event is the #1 place to be. Join the conversation and register today (Save $200 with the promo code SYX243).

June 27-29, 2011, Las Vegas, NV: The Future of Web Apps (FOWA) is coming to Vegas. After successfully running shows in Miami and London, the conference hits Vegas for the first time in June. A conference for web developers and entrepreneurs, there are 3 days of jam packed web fun including a day of workshops and 2 conference days of two tracks. As well as App Clinics and Expo Area, you can learn and network with people who have passion for the web! Register with the code FOWA_MASHABLE and receive 10% off our 2 day conference passes.

June 28-29, 2011, San Francisco, CA: Produced by AllFacebook, AF Expo is your how-to guide for Facebook marketing and development. This two-day event is your inside look at Facebook innovations and technology issues jointly impacting marketers and social developers. Packed with case studies and real-world perspectives, AF Expo offers attendees a sneak peek at the latest Facebook data, demographics and design issues. Our experts include Tamara Mendelsohn (Director of Marketing, Eventbrite), Joseph Adolf (Manager, Digital Marketing, JetBlue Airways), Mark Rose (VP Product, Visa), Clara Shih (author, The Facebook Era), and many more. Register with promo code MASH to save 15

July 14-16, 2011, Dallas, TX: The Big Design Conference is an intense day of learning within the scope of Strategy, Social Media, User Experience, Gaming, Mobile, Usability, Design, and Code Development. Experts from across the country will gather to present theories, research, experiences, and best practices to students, professionals, and executives looking to stay on the bleeding edge. Experts include Beverly Robertson (President, National Civil Rights Museum), Russ Unger (Director of UX, Happy Cog), Jeremy Johnson (Director of UX, Game Stop), Brian Sullivan (Usability Principal, Sabre), Joshua Clark (author of Tapworthy), Jared Spool (Founder, User Interface Engineering), and many more. Mashable readers receive 20% off conference registration by using the code MASHABLE during the checkout process.

July 27-29, 2011, San Francisco, CA: Join us at the premiere of ePharma Summit West, the sister event to The ePharma Summit, the largest, longest running and most respected digital marketing event for the Life Sciences Industry. Network and join the conversation with hundreds of fellow thought leaders from top Pharma, Biotech, Device and Health Science companies. Register as a Mashable reader with the promo code XP1656MASH and save 10%.

August 1-3, 2011, San Antonio, TX: The eduWeb Conference is the event for you to meet, share, explore, and learn from your higher education peers on topics including mobile apps, branding, web site analytics, social media strategic planning, and web development. eduWeb offers four tracks: marketing communications; design and development; social media; and information architecture. Register with the promo code 11Mash and save $50!

September 6-8, 2011, Cleveland, OH: At Content Marketing World, you'll learn how to transform your marketing department into a storytelling factory, engaging your prospects and customers in all the right channels with the right messages– including social, mobile, email, online and even print and in-person strategies. Through 24+ breakout sessions and amazing keynotes led by worldwide experts, you'll get the tools you need to be a successful content marketer. Plus, you'll experience the best of what Cleveland has to offer, starting with our opening night reception at the infamous Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Register and use the promo code mash to receive $100 off the current price of a ticket.

September 11-14, 2011, Denver, CO: Come join the best and brightest of the iOS development community at 360|iDev, the first iOS developer event to be held by the developer community! Speakers include many leading community members, and app store success stories. With over 40 sessions, including hands-on training the sunday before the conference, 360|iDev offers more content than any other iOS developer event in the world. Register and use the promo code iosmash to save 20% of the ticket price.

September 12-13, 2011, Renaissance Glendale, Phoenix, AZ: The third Social Media Optimization Summit event, presented by Multifamilypro, brings together small to mid-sized business owners with an interest in putting social media to work successfully within their organizations in ways that are proven to generate results. The event offers two full days of intensive, hands-on workshops from the intermediate to advanced level, led by top social media experts. The unique "See it. Hear it. Do it." approach allows attendees to learn by doing, and begin immediately applying newly-acquired skills and knowledge while the event is underway. See what others are saying about the event and register now at and use discount code Mashable to save $100!

September 20, 2011, Chicago, IL: Federated Media presents Signal Chicago: The Marketing in Real Time Conversation. We will be focusing on the theme of “Marketing in Real Time.” From “real time bidding” on new demand-side and exchange platforms to “real time messaging” of location-based services, marketing has time-shifted into the present tense. A new suite of tools and services have evolved which enable the marketer to have conversations with customers in real time, creating both challenges and opportunities.Please join us More information and registration details at – Register with promo code SIGMash to save 15%

Sept 21-22, 2011, London, UK: ad:tech London is the UK’s essential free to attend event for professionals seeking to stay ahead of the latest interactive media, advertising and marketing trends. The event unites advertisers, media owners and agencies to harness the power of digital and deliver real marketing ROI. Alongside the exhibition, there is also a conference featuring 100+ international speakers for serious digital innovators and marketers. Mashable readers can take 20% off their conference ticket price. Register online now with the promo code MASH11 at

September 26-29, 2011, Kaua’i, HI: Search and Social Hawaii is an elite conference unlike any other that will provide you with the strategies and complete know how to thrive in this ever changing environment. Each day begins with morning sessions around the hottest topics. With Keynote Bruce Clay of Bruce Clay, Inc. and speakers from corporations such as Real Networks, Network Solutions, AT&T, Microsoft Bing and Logitech. Afternoons are spent in a relaxed environment including planned activities in which individual attendees can get to know speakers and each other on a more personal level continuing the discussion and building long lasting relationships. Register and use the promo code SSWootMash to save 10%.

September 29-October 1, 2011, Atlanta, GA: As pet owners, bloggers, consumer brands and those connected to the industry – including veterinarians – continue to build upon social media & marketing, pet social media education & networking is an extremely important aspect to mobilizing efforts and to address the challenges faced by pet owners. Whether you use YouTube, Twitter, Dog/Catbook or online forums to gather & share information about pets, it's increasingly important for this community to have a face-to-face forum. Established in 2009, the BarkWorld Conference & Expo is the only pet social media conference covering ALL facets of social media & pet education. Our 2011 annual conference will focus on many topics, including: how to take great photos your pet & use it online, how to build/design a blog & monetize, mobile applications, metrics/SEO, pet food demonstrations, promoting your pet/business via social media and using online forums. Join us for this 2 ½ day conference. You'll be amazed with the information you'll walk away with and the new connections you'll make; your well-trained, leashed, pet is welcome. Register with the promo code MASH2011 to receive a 25% discount.

October 1-6, Boston, MA: At DMA2011, you – and 10,000 marketing peers from around the world – will find everything you need to develop and execute the real-time integrated marketing campaigns that drive measurable bottomline results for your brand. Listen to 300+ marketing experts and gurus talk about social, mobile, mail, search, data, attribution, and more. Plus, you'll find hundreds of technologies in the Exhibit Hall, the only one of its kind in the world! Register now with the promo code AN504 and SAVE $250!

October 5-6, 2011, Seattle, WA: The first annual Seattle Interactive Conference is a two-day event celebrating the convergence of online technology, creativity, and emerging trends in one of the world’s most innovative cities. SIC brings together entrepreneurs, developers and online business professionals from throughout the U.S. and beyond for a powerful combination of in-depth presentations, networking opportunities, and uniquely Seattle social events. Attendees have the rare opportunity to explore disruptive technologies and business models with visionary thinkers and peers in areas ranging from online commerce and social media to gaming, interactive advertising, entertainment, and much more.

October 9-11, 2011, Scottsdale, AZ: Join 200 of your advertising and PR agency friends at BOLO 2011. This event champions the marketing stalwarts, showing you how to leverage today’s digital marketing trends and technologies for economic advantage. Hear from industry thought leaders such as Scott Stratton, President of UnMarketing, and Jay Baer, author of The Now Revolution. From analytics and targeting to social media and agency management, the topics are cutting-edge and chosen to help your agency stay ahead of the curve in digital. Register now with the promo code MASHABLE for 10% off.

October 17-18, 2011, New York, NY: Pivot is the only conference focused purely on how major brands, agencies, marketers and content creators can succeed by understanding, accessing and influencing the emerging Social Consumer. Hosted by Brian Solis, a noted social marketing consultant to major brands worldwide and author of Engage, the self-help handbook for winning the new marketing game, Pivot delivers two full days of unique content and experiences that illuminate the altered marketing landscape, delivered by transformational thinkers, technologists, entrepreneurs and entertainers. Register with the promo code MASH20 and save 20%!

October 26-27, 2011, Sofia, Bulgaria: The only digital industry event for Central and Eastern Europe and one of industry’s premier events in Europe. At the Webit Expo & Conference, more than 6000 people from the CE Europe’ digital ecosystem gather together. Amazing line up of world renowned international and local speakers in the conference programme and some of the top service and technology providers among the exhibitors. Webit Conference programme includes The Main Stage (inspiring keynotes from the leading digital companies in the world), Webit Dev Camp (where platform owners meet the developers of CEE), eGov Summit (regional government officials and world CEOs in discussion on e-gov, e-health, etc), The Creative Lounge (the world’s creative minds gathered together). Register with the promo code WEBMASH and save 10%!

November 3-5, 2011, Los Angeles, CA: BlogWorld & New Media is the first and only industry-wide conference, tradeshow and media event dedicated to blogging, podcasting, social media, social networking, online video, music, Internet TV and radio. BlogWorld conference attendees enjoy more than 120 cutting-edge educational sessions presented by industry leaders, while New Media Expo provides the only industry-wide new media marketplace for networking, online business and marketing resources. Social Media Business Summit, exclusive to BlogWorld, is the world's largest social media business conference where business owners, marketing executives and global brands learn strategies, tools and technologies to grow their businesses with social media. Register at with the promo code MASH20 to save 20% off the ticket price!

November 16-18, 2011, Las Vegas, NV: The WOMMA Summit is the only word of mouth marketing conference where research and measurement integrate with online social media and offline conversations. The Summit is a year-end review of BEST and NEXT practices in word or mouth and social media marketing in addition to future trends. WOMMA Summit showcases through leadership from some of the innovative and forward thinking. Go to to learn more about the event and use code WOMMASummitMASH when registering for the event.

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Puppets Tell The Story of Love Gone Wrong in Henry Wolfe Tune [VIDEO]

Posted: 16 May 2011 11:20 AM PDT

Each Monday, Mashable highlights an exclusive new video or song. Check out all our Music Monday picks.

When Henry Wolfe penned the songs on his first full-length disc, Linda Vista, he tried to create a tracklist that everyone could relate to. Now, the singer is premiering his new video on Mashable, featuring a cast of puppets acting out an infinitely relatable story about love.

“With that song I started out with just the line, ‘Open the door and let me in,’ and I kind of built it from there,” says Wolfe of the song featured in today’s Music Monday video. “It’s an appeal, and the character who’s singing it is attempting to be forgiven or get accepted by someone. He’s on the outside — she’s on the outside.”

For the video, Wolfe let director Yelena Zhelezov have free reign over the storyline.

“It’s a love triangle,” Zhelezov says. “There’s this couple and then the man sees this other woman and they possibly have an affair — they may imagine it — but there’s futility in the affair and then everything erupts and they all have to leave L.A.”

Wolfe acts as a kind of narrator in the video; Zhelezov says that he could even be seen as playing the role of love itself. At first glance, however, he’s a famous musician who pops up on TV screens as the story plays out. (Fun fact: Wolfe is also Meryl Streep’s son.) The role he plays coincides with the tonal quality of the album [iTunes link], which has a very ’70s troubadour feel.

The video’s use of puppets — which Zhelezov says capture how humanity is simultaneously silly and tragic — adds a darker, more surreal quality to the crooning, swoony song.

“It’s nice to have a kind of contrast,” says Zhelezov. “It’s like in life — you see a couple and think they’re great, and then you open the door and see what’s behind it.”

More About: henry-wolfe, linda-vista, meryl streep, music, music monday, puppets, video, Yelena Zhelezov

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The Facebook Like Inspires Baby Name

Posted: 16 May 2011 10:51 AM PDT

First there was baby “Facebook” and now this: an Israeli couple has named their kid “Like.” Let the Valley Girl jokes ensue.

The Israeli news source Galgalatz reports that Lior and Vardit Adler are the proud parents of a bouncing baby girl named after the Facebook Like button, which recently celebrated its first birthday.

Apparently, the parents were looking to call their daughter something unique. The moniker is not meant to be a gimmick, and they say that they’re not shilling for Facebook. They just like (pun intended) the meaning behind the name.

The Adlers are hardly the first people to saddle their kid with a suspect name. One man offered to name his son Batman if he could get 500,000 people to become fans of his Facebook Page, and another couple named their child Facebook in honor of the role the social network played in the revolution in Egypt.

Granted, naming your child something unusual is not relegated to the realm of social media — apparently “Brooklyn” is an extremely popular name — but the name choice certainly is out there.

What do you think? Would you “Like” the name Like?

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, ivanastar

More About: baby, facebook, like, pop culture

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Lady Gaga + Lykke Li = iamamiwhoami’s Latest Video

Posted: 16 May 2011 10:36 AM PDT

Each day, Mashable highlights one noteworthy YouTube video. Check out all our viral video picks.

If you’re looking for a way to emerge from the maze of Monday’s mundanity, we’ve got the video for you — once-mysterious musical project iamamiwhoami is out with its latest video and song, and it definitely requires a couple of viewings to fully take in.

iamamiwhoami started off as an anonymous YouTube entity in December 2009, sending music bloggers links to baffling, Julie Taymor-esque videos.

Now, however, more than a year later, we know that iamamiwhoami is, in fact, a project headed by Swedish singer-songwriter Jonna Lee. The project even garnered Lee and Co. an MTV OMA nomination for Most Innovative Artist. However, it lost out to Lady Gaga, which is a shame, considering “; john” pretty much blows “Judas” out of the holy water.

NSFW: If your workplace frowns on people in their underwear.

h/t @kevvieguy

More About: iamamiwhoami, music, video, viral video, viral-video-of-day, youtube

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Is the Evan Longoria Barehanded Catch a Gillette Ad? [VIDEO]

Posted: 16 May 2011 10:15 AM PDT

A video of a crazy barehanded catch from Tampa Bay Ray Evan Longoria has gone viral with more than 1 million views, and it’s left some wondering about its origins and authenticity.

The clip, posted on YouTube May 6, shows Longoria being interviewed near first base by a reporter, and a line drive appears to be heading straight for the woman’s head. But Longoria, showing amazingly fast reflexes, fields the ball with his bare hand and tells his teammates to “keep it on the field.”

Although the video appears not to be staged, some bloggers have speculated that it’s actually a Gillette ad.

The evidence: Longoria has appeared in ads for the brand as a “Gillette Young Gun,” a Gillette logo is prominent in the video, and another seemingly off-the-cuff video, the famous “Roger Federer Trickshot,” also seemed to be partially staged (and was published by Gillette).

A Gillette rep, however, says the clip is definitely not an ad: “Evan Longoria is a Golden Glove third baseman and this catch speaks for itself.”

What do you think? Does this look staged to you or real?

More About: advertising, gillette, MARKETING, viral videos, youtube

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Recipe Search Engine Gives Any Recipe a Nutrition Label

Posted: 16 May 2011 10:00 AM PDT

Let’s say you want to compare the nutritional value of two recipes you have in mind for dinner.

You could plug each ingredient into the USDA’s national nutrient database, do some conversion equations to reflect the amount of each ingredient called for, add up the sugar, fat and other health factors, and then compare the results.

But startup recipe search engine Foodily is now offering to do this for you — automatically.

The social search engine, which launched in February, pulls in recipes from sites ranging from small food blogs to dominant online recipe publishers like the Food Network. Users can search by ingredients, by excluding specific ingredients, or even by vague terms like "vegan dinner."

Starting on Monday, they’ll also be able to search via terms like “low fat,” “low carb” and “high fiber,” and able to compare the calories per gram of each recipe (the “per gram” measurement solves the problem ambiguous serving sizes).

All of the data used to make such declarations comes from an ingredient-by-ingredient analysis that uses the USDA’s information. The company worked with a professor from the Stanford Prevention Research Center to work out tricky problems like how to exclude ingredients used in preparation but not in the final result.

What this means for dieters, foodies with dietary restrictions and those who cook for them is that it’s easy to filter a good chunk of the Internet’s recipe box — including crowdsourced sites like and — without visiting a niche cooking site or relying solely on unreliable labels like “healthy.”

Foodily’s founders said back in February that they were aiming to create the Google of food, and it looks like they just got another step closer.

More About: Food, Foodily, nutrition, recipes, startups

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