Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “Mashable Connect 2011: Full Conference Highlights [PICS & VIDEO]”

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “Mashable Connect 2011: Full Conference Highlights [PICS & VIDEO]”

Mashable Connect 2011: Full Conference Highlights [PICS & VIDEO]

Posted: 11 Jun 2011 12:16 AM PDT

Mashable Connect 2011, Mashable's inaugural three-day conference in May, united leaders from the digital world to connect with each other offline in a unique setting, away from the distractions of everyday life.

Surrounded by the magic of Disney World, new ideas and breaking news were shared on stage. Connections were formed during fun networking activities such as the Mashable Connect Race through the Magic Kingdom, and conversations were constantly flowing throughout in person and on Twitter via the #MashCon tag. There was never a dull moment at Mashable Connect.

From the incredible enthusiasm and feedback from the attendees to the memorable speeches and moments shared together on stage, we're thrilled that Mashable Connect was a success. We heard from esteemed industry leaders such as David Jones, global CEO of Havas and Euro RSCG, who spoke about the new world of marketing; Christy Tanner, general manager and executive vice president of TV Guide Digital, who captivated the audience with her presentation on social TV; and Scott Heiferman, co-founder and CEO of Meetup, who announced Meetup's new tab for Facebook fan pages. We're thankful to all the speakers who helped make Mashable Connect 2011 an unforgettable experience.

Videos of Full Content Sessions

Mashable Connect Highlights

Here's a look at the most memorable moments from Mashable Connect in May.

David Jones, Havas and Euro RSCG

David Jones, global CEO of Havas and Euro RSCG, talks about the five key shifts in the world of marketing because of the social and digital revolutions.

Greg Clayman, The Daily

Greg Clayman, publisher of The Daily, talks about the iPad-only publication's first few months and its goals for the future.

Scott Belsky, Behance

Scott Belsky, founder and CEO of Behance, talks about organizing and empowering the creative industries.

Christy Tanner, TV Guide

Christy Tanner, general manager and executive vice president of TV Guide Digital talks about how social media is (and is not) transforming the entertainment business.

KC Estenson,

KC Estenson, senior vice president and general manager of, offers a live demo and talks about the digital future of CNN.

Rohit Bhargava, Ogilvy

Rohit Bhargava, Senior Vice President of Global Strategy and Marketing at Ogilvy, talks about his upcoming book Likeonomics at Mashable Connect 2011.

Raymie Stata, Yahoo!

Raymie Stata, chief technology officer and senior vice president of Yahoo!, talks about the foundation of digital media.

Josh Koppel, ScrollMotion

Josh Koppel, founder of ScrollMotion, talks about the future of mobile publishing.

David Karp, Tumblr

David Karp, the founder of Tumblr, talks about the history of social blogs, making blogs more social and online identity.

Michael Lazerow, Buddy Media

Michael Lazerow, CEO of Buddy Media, talks about social commerce and the breakthrough ideas that work today.

Adam Rich, Thrillist

Adam Rich, co-founder and editor-in-chief of Thrillist, talks about how e-mail is the fundamental social medium.

Cameron Death & Nick Turner, NBC Universal & Relativity Media/Rogue

Cameron Death, senior vice president and general manager at NBC Universal Digital Studio, and Nick Turner, senior vice president of digital media at Relativity Media/Rogue, chat with Mashable Editor-in-Chief Adam Ostrow about how digital media is transforming the way content is created, marketed and distributed.

Steve Rubel, Edelman

Internet users are now looking to find validated sources within the mix of information overload that we all experience, said Steve Rubel, executive vice president of global strategy and insights at Edelman, during his presentation. This shift is changing the nature of authority.

Josh Williams, Gowalla

Josh Williams, CEO of Gowalla, discusses what brands and consumers can expect for the future of location. He says these apps should be used for crafting the narrative of your life, as defined by the places you go, the people you meet and the photos you capture.

Craig Engler, Syfy Digital

Craig Engler, senior vice president and general manager at Syfy Digital, talks about the future of social TV.

Dave Knox, Rockfish

Dave Knox, chief marketing officer at Rockfish, talks about how brand marketers and startups create mutually beneficial, yet innovative partnerships.

Ian Schafer, Deep Focus

Ian Schafer, CEO of digital agency Deep Focus, discusses how connections are becoming the new impressions.

Chris Hercik, Sports Illustrated Group

Chris Hercik, creative director of the Sports Illustrated Group, unveils a prototype of the next version of Sports Illustrated's app for the iPad.

Aaron Sherinian, United Nations Foundation

Aaron Sherinian, executive director of communications and public affairs for the United Nations Foundation, addresses crowdpushing and why non-profits want your help.

Sabrina Caluori & Lisa Hsia, HBO & Bravo

Sabrina Caluori, director of social media and marketing at HBO, and Lisa Hsia, executive vice president at Bravo Digital Media, talk with Mashable reporter Christina Warren about the future of television and social TV.

Photo Highlights

1. Mashable Connect Race Powered by Gowalla

Team members check in to a race location at Magic Kingdom during the Mashable Connect Race powered by Gowalla.

2. Keynote Speech

Pete Cashmore, founder and CEO of Mashable, delivers his keynote speech at Mashable Connect at Disney World.

3. Mickey Mouse

A team poses at a checkin spot for the Mashable Connect Race.

4. Social TV Panel with HBO and Bravo

Sabrina Caluori (left), director of social media and marketing at HBO, and Lisa Hsia (right), executive vice president at Bravo Digital Media, talk with Mashable reporter Christina Warren about the future of television and social TV.

5. Mashable Connect Dinner

Attendees connect over delicious food.

6. Jump!

Attendees show their excitement at Epcot.

7. Conversation on Stage

Mashable's associate editor for marketing and media, Lauren Indvik, talks with Greg Clayman, publisher of The Daily. Clayman discussed the iPad-only publication's first few months and its goals for the future.

8. Karaoke

The Mashable editorial team shows its true talent on stage during karaoke with a live band.

9. Speed Networking

Attendees making lots of connections in a short period of time during Speed Connections.

10. "The War Room"

This is where the stories about Mashable Connect were created.

11. David Karp

Founder and CEO of Tumblr talks about the power of identity on the web.

12. Adam Hirsch

Adam Hirsch, Mashable's COO, makes an announcment.

13. Adam Rich

Adam Rich, founder and editor-in-chief of Thrillist, presents talks about how e-mail is the fundamental social medium.

14. Christy Tanner

Christy Tanner, general manager and executive vice president of TV Guide Digital talks about how social media is (and is not) transforming the entertainment business.

15. Josh Williams

Josh Williams, CEO of Gowalla, discusses what brands and consumers can expect for the future of location. He says these apps should be used for crafting the narrative of your life, as defined by the places you go, the people you meet and the photos you capture.

16. Zach Sniderman

Zach Sniderman, Mashable's assistant features editor, introduces speaker Aaron Sherinian, executive director of communications and public affairs for the United Nations Foundation.

17. Aaron Sherinian

Aaron Sherinian, executive director of communications and public affairs for the United Nations Foundation, addresses crowdpushing and why non-profits want your help.

18. Steve Rubel

Steve Rubel, executive vice president of global strategy and insights at Edelman, delivers his presentation, "Authority in the Age of Overload."

19. Sharon Feder

Sharon Feder, Mashable's managing editor, gives a speech.

20. David Jones, Sharon Feder & Adam Ostrow

Keynote speaker David Jones, global CEO of Havas and Euro RSCG, hangs out with Mashable's Sharon Feder and Adam Ostrow.

To see more photos from Mashable Connect, visit our Facebook album and Flickr set. You can read our coverage of Mashable Connect 2011 and related articles on Mashable Follow’s topic page for Mashable Connect.

Here is a look at some key stats and online coverage about the conference:

Event Attendance

  • Heads of Operations or Departments: 41%
  • President /Founder/CEO: 25%
  • Digital and Social Media Strategists: 14%
  • Managers: 11%

Social Media Stats

  • 18,383: Total tweets for related Mashable posts
  • 11,487: Total #mashcon tweets
  • 23,983: Total Facebook likes
  • 8,510: Total LinkedIn shares

  • Online Coverage

    • New York Times: Likeanomics: the importance of likability to a company's success
    • BizBash: Mashable Connect Conference Ends With Gowalla Check-In Race at Magic Kingdom
    • SBS Studios: Mashable Connect 2011: 4 Takeaways from the "Happiest Conference on Earth"
    • PR Newswire : Shock and Awesome. One Exec's Twitter Journey
    • Treffpunkt : Mashable 2011 Recap
    • SocialFlop : Distracting Tweets
    • TV Genius: Mashable Connect: 3 Key TV Trends Show Content Curation is King
    • FWD Thinking on M Booth: Mashcon
    • Syncapse: Mashable Connects
    • The Community Manager: Mashable Connect – A Different Kind of Conference
    • Technorati : Mashcon11: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. (It Will be Tweeted.)

    • Sponsors

      Finally, a big thanks to our sponsors .idea, ExactTarget, AmericanAirlines, TAGGED, iContact and Hiscox!

      At Idea Digital, a full-service digital agency within Idea, we don't create art for art's sake. We don't implement technology to simply prove how adept we are. We solve business challenges. We provide solutions that drive conversations. And since 1994, we have done just that for some of the world's largest and most respected brands. Our success as an agency is founded on our clients' success in achieving marketing and business objectives through digital solutions including: Brand Experience Design, Market Analysis, Customer Insights, Product Launches, Promotions, Content & Search Strategy, Visual, Video & Motion Design, Social & Mobile.

      ExactTarget is a leading global provider of email and interactive marketing solutions. The company's software as a service technology provides organizations a single platform to connect with customers via triggered and transactional email, text messaging, landing pages and social media. CoTweet by ExactTarget helps organizations engage, track and analyze conversations about their brands across the most popular and influential social communities. Built for the unique needs of businesses, CoTweet helps marketers and customer support professionals manage real-time social media conversations on Facebook and Twitter. CoTweet has earned the trust and admiration of top brands such as McDonalds, Microsoft, Sprint, Ford, and Whole Foods.

      American Airlines is looking for their next connection. We connect people in business, families and communities that open up new experiences and opportunities. We also connect our customers online, be that at, in the air with wifi inflight, and with our social media communities across the world. American is proud to be Airline Sponsor of Mashable Connect 2011.

      Tagged is the leading social network for meeting new people. While other offerings focus on existing relationships, Tagged has established the category of social discovery. With over 100 million members in 220 countries Tagged enables anyone to meet and socialize with new people through social games, customized profiles, virtual gifts, advanced browsing features and more. Founded in 2004 and profitable since 2008, Tagged is and INC 500 company based in San Francisco. More information is available at

      iContact is a purpose-driven company based in Raleigh, NC, working to make email marketing and social marketing easy so that small and midsized companies and causes can grow and succeed. Founded in 2003, iContact has more than 300 employees and more than 700,000 users of its leading email marketing software. iContact also provides the event marketing platform Ettend. As a B Corporation, iContact utilizes the 4-1s Corporate Social Responsibility Model, donating 1% of payroll, 1% of employee time to community volunteering, 1% of equity, and 1% of product to its local and global community as part of its social mission.

      Hiscox specializes in small business insurance. We are the first company in the U.S. to offer small businesses insurance coverage direct and online in real-time. We provide professional liability and general liability insurance specifically designed for IT/technology, marketing, business consulting and other small, professional service businesses. Learn more and get a fast, free quote at Hiscox is excited to present Leap Year, a new web series, debuting at Mashable Connect, about 5 coworkers turned entrepreneurs who experience the highs and lows of building their own small businesses.

      More About: mashable, mashable connect, pics, videos

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Google’s Musical Doodle Lives On — On Its Own Web Page [VIDEO]

Posted: 10 Jun 2011 11:17 PM PDT

For fans of the Les Paul Google Doodle, we have some excellent news: The musical logo will live on at its own web page.

This rendition of the Google logo was created to celebrate the 96th anniversary of the birth of Les Paul, one of the greatest names in guitar history.

The doodle was both playable and recordable, which led to quite a few Google Doodle-inspired songs.

Usually, Google Doodles have a brief 24-hour lifespan. However, this doodle was popular enough that Google tweeted it would be leaving the doodle online for an extra day.

But apparently, an extra day just want’s enough, so Google has decided the Les Paul-themed logo should exist in perpetuity.

To celebrate, here’s a Les Paul Doodle-inspired track, which extols all things Google, from Gmail to Maps and beyond, while casually dissing Bing, MSN, et al., courtesy of Mashable reader @ProducerBenFord.

More About: Google, google doodle, les paul, music, video

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How Online Education Is Changing the Way We Learn [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted: 10 Jun 2011 10:47 PM PDT

Over the past decade or so, the Internet has become a huge source of information and education, especially for those who might be short on time, money or other resources.

And it’s not just crowdsourced data collections like Wikipedia or single-topic blogs that encourage individual learning; huge corporations and nonprofits are making online education and virtual classrooms a very formal affair these days.

From the first online classes (which were conducted by the University of Phoenix in 1989) to the present day, when online education is a $34 billion industry, more and more students are finding new life and career education opportunities online.

Check out this infographic from about how the world of online learning has changed and grown over the years.

Click image to see larger version.

[source: Online Education]

Top image based on a photograph from iStockphoto user flyingdouglas.

More About: education, infographic, online education

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The Top 5 Sony Announcements at E3 [PHOTOS]

Posted: 10 Jun 2011 10:19 PM PDT

Sony may have announced a few games and addressed the PlayStation Network hack, but the company’s E3/a> was defined by the PlayStation Vita.

Sure, Sony pushed upcoming titles such as Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception and launched a new 3D monitor for gamers, but Sony the majority of its focus on the launch of the Vita, its next-generation portable gaming system. With a 5-inch OLED touchscreen, a touch-responsive back, and a reasonable starting price of $249, it was E3′s second-biggest announcement (the Wii U was the clear winner).

We’ve combed through all of Sony’s E3 announcements and boiled them down to the five most important ones. So without further ado, here are the top five Sony announcements at E3:

Gallery: Sony’s Top Announcements

See below for the quick list of announcements.

1) Sony Addresses the PlayStation Network Hacking

Sony Computer Entertainment of America CEO took the stage this week to address the controversy surrounding the PlayStation Network hacking and outage.

More on the Sony PlayStation Network Hacking

"You are the lifeblood of the company," Tretton told customers at the press conference. "Without you, there is no PlayStation. I want to apologize both personally and on behalf of the company."

2) Sony Doubles Down on 3D

Sony's love affair with 3D continued at E3.

More on Sony's 3D Announcements

Sony's big announcement was the Sony CECH-ZED1, a 24-inch flat-panel 3D monitor that will retail for $499. It comes with the ability to split the screen for two-player gameplay.

3) The PlayStation Move Bundle

Sony kept pushing the PlayStation Move motion controller at E3. Its big news was a Resistance 3 bundle that includes the Move controllers, a PlayStation Eye Camera and a gun accessory for $150.

4) Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception

Sony showed off a lot of games (LittleBIG Planet, Resistance 3, etc.), but the best demo was for Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception. While announced late last year, we got an extended look at the game.

More on Uncharted 3

The demo showed Drake trying to escape a sinking ship, while at the same time taking down the bad guys with familiar stealth moves.

More on Uncharted 3

The Uncharted is also coming to the PlayStation Vita through Uncharted: Golden Abyss.

5) PlayStation Vita

Sony's big announcement was the official unveiling of the PlayStation Vita, the company's new handheld device.

More on the PlayStation Vita

The Vita sports two analog sticks and a gorgeous, 5-inch OLED touchscreen.

More on the PlayStation Vita

The PlayStation Vita comes in two flavors: Wi-Fi or 3G. The Wi-Fi model costs $249, while the 3G version costs $299.

More on the PlayStation Vita

AT&T will be the exclusive 3G provider for the PlayStation Vita

More on the PlayStation Vita

A look at Uncharted: Golden Abyss on the PlayStation Vita

More on the PlayStation Vita

LittleBIG Planet is coming to the Vita.


More on the PlayStation Vita

Check out our first impressions of the Vita if you want to learn more about the device.

Bonus: Kobe Bryant Visits E3

Los Angeles Laker and five-time champion Kobe Bryant paid a surprise visit to E3 to try out the PlayStation move controls for NBA 2K12

Bonus: Kobe Bryant Visits E3

He wasn't very good, though.

Sony’s Top 5 E3 Announcements

1) Sony Addresses the PlayStation Network Hacking
2) Sony Doubles Down on 3D
3) The PlayStation Move Bundle
4) Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception
5) PlayStation Vita

More About: e3, gaming, playstation, playstation 3, PlayStation Vita, sony

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Startup Helps You Scope Out The Scene By Putting Cameras In Bars

Posted: 10 Jun 2011 08:32 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: SceneTap

Quick Pitch: SceneTap tells you how crowded a bar is and what its gender ratio is in real time.

Genius Idea: Relying on cameras instead of a checkin service to collect anonymous real-time data about a bar.

Whether you’re looking for a bar where conversation is possible or the loudest, most crowded bar in the city, it’s hard to tell where to find it. SceneTap wants to simplify this process by incorporating a live count of how many people are in a bar, the range of their ages, and their gender ratio into an iPhone app.

Instead of relying on a checkin service that might give clues as to how crowded a bar is, what SceneTap CEO Cole Harper has in mind is an accurate tally of patrons — whether or not they use a particular service. He says about 50 bars have already agreed to install cameras at their doors that can identify the gender and approximate age of patrons as they enter.

When the cameras go live sometime next month, SceneTap users will be able to get a glimpse of what the current scene at those bars is like based on that data. They’ll also be able to chat with the bar and other SceneTap users (i.e. “Are there any tables available?”), see specials and purchase Groupon-like deals using the apps.

Harper hopes bars will pay to participate in exchange for detailed analytic information about their customer bases and a social, location-based marketing tool.

But there are two obvious and somewhat opposing risks in opting in: that the technology will creep people out and that it won’t be accurate enough to attract consumers.

“It’s less intrusive than scanning IDs,” Harper says about the former concern. “No personal data is obtained and nothing is recorded.”

The technology only notes a person’s gender and approximate age, he says. Some display advertising already uses a similar technology to record impressions, and you could argue that more data is collected about you during a Google search.

In order to understand what kind of person is entering a bar, SceneTap’s technology matches a person’s image with a database of faces to determine relative age. If the person matches a photo of someone in the database who is 27, for instance, that’s the age the camera will assign him or her.

To what degree of accuracy this method can label people — is a 23-year-old’s face shape much different than a 37-year-old’s face shape? — is something we’ll be able to test when the service actually goes live. For now, it’s just an interesting idea to consider as you start planning your Friday night.

Would you find a service like this useful for making plans? Are you bothered by the idea of a camera tallying your anonymous entrance to a bar? Let us know in the comments below.

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: bar scene, bizspark, mobile apps, scenetap

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CafePress Files for $80M IPO

Posted: 10 Jun 2011 07:29 PM PDT

Custom fashion and gifts site CafePress has just filed with the SEC for its initial public offering.

The site allows users to customize and create all kinds of goods such as T-shirts, drinkware, stationery and more.

The company, which was founded in 1999, hopes to raise $80 million in the IPO.

In its filing, CafePress stated it has seen more than 325 million unique products sold through its site since its inception. The company also reported $128 million in revenue and $2.7 million in profit for last year.

CafePress would be the latest ins a string of high-profile tech IPOs. Last month, LinkedIn’s IPO dominated headlines, as well as raising the personal worth of its founders and leaving the company valued at around $9 billion.

Last week, daily deals coupon app maker Groupon filed for a $750 million IPO. And web-based radio startup Pandora filed with the SEC back in February.

Other rumored IPOs include Yelp, Zynga, and Facebook, which company “expects to start filing public financial reports no later than April 30, 2012,” according to a statement made in January.

More About: CafePress, ipo

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Why Mobile Payments Are the Safest Solution for Online Transactions

Posted: 10 Jun 2011 07:04 PM PDT

phone image

Kolja Reiss is Managing Director for mopay Inc., one of the world leaders in mobile payments technology reaching more than 3.3 billion consumers in 80 countries.

In the past, the urge to anonymously surf the web has always had a somewhat negative connotation. Now, with new data and identity theft issues being revealed on an almost daily basis — Sony’s PSN outages being the latest — the idea of purchasing and paying online anonymously without providing any sensitive data is having an unsoiled renaissance.

Ecommerce has made its way into everyday life and established itself as a multibillion dollar industry. The comfort of shopping online while staying at home is unparalleled. But, of course, there is a downside. When purchasing something online, you have to provide data to complete the transaction. Normally this would be your name, address and credit card or bank account details. That’s fine and good so long as this data is only available to the respective merchant. But the Internet has taught one important lesson: Whenever there is data exchanged or stored, there is a chance for third parties to compromise it.

In order to prevent this from happening, consumers need to start employing payment solutions that enable them to quickly and easily make online purchases without requiring them to share copious amounts of confidential, identifying and financial data. The less personal information a consumer supplies, the less risk there is for the consumer to be affected by identity theft or fraudulent charges.

Removing data linked to a person's name, bank account, SSN, etc., eliminates the risk of identity theft, making it virtually impossible for hackers to exploit it. But since cash payments — by far the most anonymous form of paying in terms of data required — do not work in ecommerce, and credit card and bank transfer payments require an awful lot of data, other payment methods need to be taken into account.

Convenience & Security

Mobile payments require buyers to provide the minimum amount of data. Mobile payments rely on consumers providing a phone number to complete a transaction — there’s no need to provide a name, address or other sensitive data. Hence they remove the majority of risks associated with identity theft. Transactions are carried out via text message and appear on the consumer's phone bill.

In fact, mobile payments are an even more effective method when it comes to microtransactions (small charges, generally under $10). Why should consumers risk compromising personal data for a small transaction if there's a more convenient way to pay that doesn't require identifying info and credit card numbers? Mobile payments enable consumers to safely purchase even on websites where security might be of concern.

Mobile Data Isn’t Attractive to Hackers

Due to the absence of exploitable data, mobile payment providers and systems are rarely targeted by hacker attacks. Hackers would not bother trying to crack open databases that only provide mobile phone numbers. Phone numbers are essentially considered anonymous data since it is much more difficult to connect a number to a name, address or even bank account.

Even if a hacker decides to try his or her luck on such a database, he or she will realize that they are as well-guarded as any other database. If a hacker was to gain access, the risk of identity theft remains marginal. Mobile payments providers simply do not request that much data from their consumers. And the little data they have is forwarded to the respective carriers for further processing. Thus mobile payments pose the lowest security risk for all parties.

Consumers pay much closer attention to security features these days. By removing the majority of risk associated with a devastating security breach, consumers feel more confident in purchasing goods online via mobile. This ultimately results in superior sales figures for merchants. Most people know their phone numbers by heart as opposed to their credit card or bank account numbers, which have to be looked up every time and entered in a lengthy purchasing process.


Finally, mobile payments help reduce risk by requiring authorization for each and every transaction. Anytime you make a mobile payment, you must provide authorization — access to the phone itself to confirm the purchase. Making purchases via credit cards can easily be done by hackers even if they do not actually possess the physical card.

As the call for more secure payment methods grows louder, the ecommerce industry finds itself with a working solution right at hand. Mobile payments are least prone to data and identity theft compared to any other online payment method simply because they do not require linking consumers to bank accounts. They present a safer alternative for online retailers and providers while affording consumers peace of mind against identity theft.

Image courtesy of Flickr, snapawayoungman

More About: ecommerce, hackers, Mobile 2.0, mobile commerce, payments, security, transactions

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New State Law Makes Posting Distressing Images a Crime

Posted: 10 Jun 2011 05:53 PM PDT

Tennessee residents: Come July 1, 2011, the state may punish you with jail time or fines should you “transmit or display an image” online — social networks such as Facebook and Twitter included — that has the possibility to “frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress” to anyone who sees it.

The state of Tennessee amended Tennessee Code Title 39, Chapter 17, Part 3 of its harassment law, which was previously focused on malicious person-to-person communication, to apply to anyone transmitting potentially offensive images on the web.

The exact language of the law now reads:

(a) A person commits an offense who intentionally:

(4) Communicates with another person or transmits or displays an image in a manner in which there is a reasonable expectation that the image will be viewed by the victim by [by telephone, in writing or by electronic communication] without legitimate purpose:

(A) (i) With the malicious intent to frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress; or

(ii) In a manner the defendant knows, or reasonably should know, would frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress to a similarly situated person of reasonable sensibilities; and

(B) As the result of the communication, the person is frightened, intimidated or emotionally distressed.

No electronic communication is safe under the new law, as subsections have been added to included images shared via social networks where the victim could possibly see it. The bill now includes language that requires social networking sites to hand over the offending materials to the government if there’s a warrant or court order or if the person who posted the images provides consent.

The vague nature of Tennessee’s amended harassment law has many calling it unconstitutional, including UCLA School of Law professor Eugene Volokh.

Volokh describes several behaviors that will soon be illegal:

  • “If you're posting a picture of someone in an embarrassing situation — not at all limited to, say, sexually themed pictures or illegally taken pictures — you're likely a criminal unless the prosecutor, judge, or jury concludes that you had a ‘legitimate purpose.’
  • “Likewise, if you post an image intended to distress some religious, political, ethnic, racial, etc. group, you too can be sent to jail if governments decisionmaker thinks your purpose wasn't ‘legitimate.’ Nothing in the law requires that the picture be of the ‘victim,’ only that it be distressing to the ‘victim.’
  • “The same is true even if you didn't intend to distress those people, but reasonably should have known that the material — say, pictures of Mohammed, or blasphemous jokes about Jesus Christ, or harsh cartoon insults of some political group — would ’cause emotional distress to a similarly situated person of reasonable sensibilities.’
  • “And of course the same would apply if a newspaper or TV station posts embarrassing pictures or blasphemous images on its site.”

The amendment was passed May 18, signed into law May 30 by Governor Bill Haslam and will go into effect July 1.

This is not Tennessee’s first foray into controversial digital legislation. The digitally-conscious-but-not-exactly-savvy state previously made it illegal to share passwords to sites such as Netfix.

[via Ars Technica]

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, jonathanparry

More About: harassment, law, tennessee

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Glamour Gains a Digital Chief, Freshens Up Online Strategy

Posted: 10 Jun 2011 04:48 PM PDT

Glamour magazine announced the appointment of Mike Hoffman, the former editor of, as its new Digital Managing Director Thursday. The announcement came on the heels of less than stellar newsstand sales, down 17% in the first quarter, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations Rapid Report.

So how will the new appointment try to turn things around for the embattled fashion title?

For the next few months, Hoffman will concentrate his efforts on the redesign of, which is expected to launch before the end of the year. The Glamour team is still in the early stages of thinking about the redesign: “We’re still looking at the user experience and how to refine and improve that, both for readers and advertisers,” Hoffman says. But they are intent on enhancing the site’s best-performing sections, fashion and beauty, as well as launching a new entertainment channel. Hoffman expects the frequency of posts will increase. He’ll also dedicate much of his time to building out the brand’s presence on social networking sites.

Unlike news dailies and weeklies such as The New York Times and Sports Illustrated, which are enabling subscribers to access roughly the same content across a variety of devices for a single subscription fee, Glamour will continue tailoring its content for different platforms — namely print, the web, the iPad, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.

As Glamour editor Cindi Leive said in an interview with Mashable last month, "What's successful on is not always the same content that's successful in print.” Short, blog-style and humorous posts tend to perform better on the web, she noted.

For Facebook, Hoffman plans to develop a more interactive experience with quizzes, polls and “fireside chats” with celebrity contributors. The magazine will also begin “Like-gating” features to build up its fanbase and reward its existing fans.

Under a newly appointed web style editor, Twitter and Tumblr will take a more street style-focused approach to reach audiences on those platforms, Hoffman says.

Hoffman certainly has his work cut out for him. Among other things, we’re looking forward to faster slideshows and more streamlined sharing buttons.

What would you like to see? Do you agree that publications should create different kinds of content for different platforms, or make the same content available on as many platforms and devices as possible?

More About: conde nast, glamour, media

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BeeTV HD is a Social TV Companion for the iPad

Posted: 10 Jun 2011 03:24 PM PDT

TV recommendation engine BeeTV has just released a new iPad app designed to let users get personalized show recommendations and share what they are watching with their friends.

The app, BeeTV HD [iTunes link] is designed to bring the full BeeTV website experience to the iPad.

Users who opt to sign in using Facebook or Twitter can find out what their friends are watching. Users can also share what shows they are watching or planning to watch across their social networks.

The main BeeTV page shows users what shows are currently trending — as well as what shows their friends are currently discussing or watching. The trending area is based on activity on Facebook and Twitter and is a good way to grasp what content is popular at a given time.

Tapping on a show or movie page gives the user an overview of what others are saying about a particular program or movie as well as any comments that friends have made.

In a lot of ways, BeeTV is similar to checkin services like GetGlue or Miso, but the difference is BeeTV’s approach is more focused on helping people find new things to watch — or share what they are currently watching — rather than necessarily being about checking into a program.

Users can enter their zip code and select a television provider to get customized updates and recommendations for content to watch now or at a future time. Using Facebook likes and ratings within the BeeTV ecosystem, the recommendations are tailored to the user.

Users can indicate that they plan to watch a future program by tapping a timer icon. They will then receive notification alerts before the program airs. BeeTV HD also lets users check out TV listings for their area, using a convenient link to Zap2it’s TV guide.

The iPad app looks very much like the BeeTV home page. It’s easy on the eyes and arranges data in a flexible grid format. We did have some issues with the app crashing but overall found the interface to be quite good.

Our favorite feature of BeeTV HD is the “upcoming favorites” section. I recently moved to a new city and still don’t have the cable lineup memorized; I also don’t know the syndication schedule very well. Being able to see that The Simpsons is on a local affiliate at 7:00PM is a nice touch. I also like that I can see a list of upcoming movies on the various premium stations.

For those looking for a TV guide with a social twist, BeeTV HD is a great couch companion.

More About: beeTV, ipad appss, recommendation engine, social tv, television, tv

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Spotify Signs Deal With Universal Music [REPORT]

Posted: 10 Jun 2011 03:04 PM PDT

Back in February, Spotify was “a few weeks away” from signing a deal with Universal Music. Apparently, those “few weeks” were actually months.

All Things Digital is reporting that the European streaming music service has inked a deal with UMG. That means Spotify now has deals with three of the four major labels: UMG, EMI and Sony. Warner Music Group has yet to get out a pen, but All Things D says it’s close, which means that the service could finally be coming to the U.S.

What's the holdup? The U.S. record companies are reportedly not overly enthusiastic about Spotify's "freemium" business model, where the company gives away ad-supported music in hopes of signing paying subscribers to its ad-free version. That premium service lets users choose and replay their music.

Still, Spotify started cutting back on free music in May, requiring users to pay for deeper access, so the company is clearly open to compromise.

It seems rumors have been swirling about Spotify nonstop lately, with folks speculating that it would partner with Google for a cloud-based music service (it didn’t) and that Facebook is interested in teaming up (it’s probably not).

This recent deal can’t be confirmed with Spotify as the company never comments on such deals, but it doesn’t seem out of the question. All four major labels recently signed licensing deals with Apple for its iTunes to the Cloud and iTunes Match services, which seems to indicate that the majors are opening up to the ways of the digital age (iTunes in the Cloud is free, and iTunes Match costs around $25 per year). Still, Apple has a lot more clout than Spotify — to say the least.

It’s been slow going when it comes to bringing Spotify to the U.S., and with plenty of longstanding competitors already in the ring, we’ll just have to wait and see what kind of impact it makes if/when it arrives.

More About: apple, EMI, mobile apps, music, sony, spotify, universal music, Warner

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Our Favorite YouTube Videos This Week: The Graduation Edition

Posted: 10 Jun 2011 02:47 PM PDT

It’s a time of endings and a time of beginnings. The end of pencils, bags and books, the beginning of sunshine, swimming and abject laziness. Behold this week’s YouTube roundup theme: Graduation.

Whether you’re tossing your cap in the air this month (or last) with the rest of the soon-to-be alumni/alumnae, or looking back through rosy-tinted glasses at your youthful follies, check out our collection of commencement-themed vids below.

And then it’s time to start thinking about your future.

Donna Martin Graduates

Brian Dresher: An iconic moment for those of us who watched the original 90210 in its early years..."Donna Martin graduates! Donna Martin graduates!"

"Graduation (Friends Forever)," Vitamin C

Zachary Sniderman: We laughed, we cried, we ripped off Pachelbel.

The Graduate

Todd Wasserman: These days, the one word of advice would be: "Facebook."

Quincy Jones Receives Honorary Doctorate Degree From UW

Meghan Peters: I had one of the most awesome commencement speakers the University of Washington has ever had: Quincy Jones. The marching band even played the Austin Powers theme song (which he composed) when he walked out. Here he is receiving his honorary doctorate that day.

"Tonight Tonight," The Smashing Pumpkins

Brian Hernandez: My graduation song is better than yours. Behold Scottsbluff (Nebraska) High School's badass class song for its 2004 graduates, including me: "Tonight, Tonight" by Smashing Pumpkins.

"Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)," Baz Luhrmann

Amy-Mae Elliott: This is pure cheese, but it made me smile back in '99. "Do one thing every day that scares you..."

Seth MacFarlane's Harvard Class Day Speech

Ada Ospina: Definitely one of the best speeches I've seen. I still believe the sun is magic!

Will Ferrell Harvard Commencement Speech

Erica Swallow: Will Ferrell's Harvard Class of 2003 commencement speech is a classic.

Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure

Brenna Ehrlich: This is exactly what finals were like at my school.

Image courtesy of Flickr, jameskm03

More About: favorite-youtube-videos, Graduation, video, viral video, youtube

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Sarah Palin’s Email Dump, By the Numbers

Posted: 10 Jun 2011 02:26 PM PDT

Say what you will about Sarah Palin, but she was a prolific email writer during her tenure as governor.

While the total number of emails Palin produced during that time is unknown at this point, when printed out, the correspondence — released by the state of Alaska on Friday — came to 24,199 pages, weighing 250 pounds.

Taking into account that the emails are from December 2006 (when Palin began her tenure) until September 2008 (shortly after she was chosen as John McCain’s vice presidential running mate), it means Palin produced emails at an average of 38 pages per day during that time — and that’s only on her official account. (Palin is known to have used a number of personal email accounts for official business while in office.)

The Alaska governor's office plans to release emails from Palin's last 10 months in office at a later date. An additional 2,275 pages have been withheld, while another 140 pages were deemed to be non-records.

Other stats related to Friday's email dump:

Should Free Over-The-Air HDTV Broadcasts Go Away? [POLL]

Posted: 10 Jun 2011 02:14 PM PDT

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) has released a study showing the number of people watching digital TV broadcasts over-the-air is dropping every year. The question is: Could those frequencies be used for something more practical?

According to a CEA-sponsored survey conducted in December, 2010, 8% (about 9 million) of U.S. households are receiving those digital TV signals, a number that has been “steadily declining since 2005.”

“Congress should pass legislation to allow for incentive auctions so free market dynamics can find the best purposes for underused broadcast spectrum, such as wireless broadband,” says CEA President and CEO Gary Shapiro.

Those auctions would sell off the frequencies to wireless companies, which will pay TV broadcasters billions of dollars to give them up. The frequencies are considered “public airwaves,” which broadcasters never had to pay for in the first place.

You might be thinking there must be more than 9 million households using the broadcast signals. What about those millions of TV viewers who are “cutting the cable,” abandoning cable TV altogether? They’re shifting their viewing to the Internet, not to broadcast TV, according to the CEA study.

On the other hand, there are still diehard HDTV users who swear by the pristine quality of a digital HDTV broadcast signal, which is noticeably better than either cable- or satellite-delivered HDTV. Numbering among those videophiles is Michael Trei of NBC site DVICE, who makes a good point about the importance of broadcast TV, calling it “one of the greatest free things we have left in this country.” I agree with Michael.

Before you write off broadcast TV as an anachronism, try it. Take a look at how clean an HDTV broadcast signal looks compared with cable or satellite HDTV, especially if you’re in an area with good reception (check that at Here at Mashable‘s Midwest Test Facility, a combination of Internet TV viewing and HDTV via a cheap antenna has turned out to be a splendid and cost-effective way to get high-quality visual entertainment.

However, when there are millions more gadget users hungry for bandwidth, and well-heeled consumer electronics companies (backed by the powerful CEA) clamoring for that bandwidth to be used for wireless devices, holding onto a large amount of spectrum for a relatively small percentage of users is going to be a tough sell.

Update: Here’s another recent survey done by Knowledge Networks reporting an increase in households relying on over-the-air broadcasts, rising from 14% of U.S. households over the previous three years to 15% of households as of June, 2011.

While the CEA-sponsored survey reports a decline and the KN survey showed an increase, and the CEA says 8% while KN says 15%, both still represent a small percentage of the population, one that might be vulnerable depending on the political approach taken to decide who gets to use this spectrum.

What do you think, readers? Answer our unscientific poll and let us know in the comments.

More About: broadcast spectrum, broadcast TV, CEA, congress, DTV, HDTV

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5 Ways To Raise Funds for Your Startup

Posted: 10 Jun 2011 02:00 PM PDT

money image

Bill Clark is the CEO of Microventures, a securities broker/dealer that uses crowdfunding to allow investors to invest between $1,000 to $10,000 in startups online. You can follow him on twitter @austinbillc.

Raising capital can be the hardest step in launching a startup. You can be passionate about your idea and convince a lot of people that it will be the next big thing, but it takes the right person to ask for money and close the deal. Here are five options to explore.

1. Friends and Family

People like to invest not only in the idea but in the person. You are turning to the people who know you the best, and because of that they will be more inclined to invest in you. Most often, money from friends and family is the first round of financing. It will give you the funds you need to get your startup off the ground and create a value for the next round.

There are some negative sides of having your family or friends invest in your company. A high percentage of startups fail, and there is a risk of losing both your friend's money and the friendship itself. Family reunions can become more about what the startup is doing than it is about catching up with people you care about. I recommend that you only take money from people that you know can afford to lose it. Be clear about the risk upfront.

2. Incubator Funding

If you can get your startup into an incubator program like Y Combinator, TechStars or 500 Startups, you will get more than just money. While the amount of money that you get might be small, say around $20,000, the mentorship and guidance is worth much more. Over the course of a few months, you will have access to some of the smartest people in the startup world, and they will give you advice on how to take your company to the next level. You will also be a part of a huge network that can help you get in front of potential customers and partners. At the end, you will have the opportunity to present in front of angel investors and venture capitalists to start working on your next round of funding.

3. Preferred Stock

Startups generally offer preferred shares when they raise money. Common stock is typically given to founders and reserved for options. The reason to offer preferred shares is that they often come with provisions like rights and liquidation preference. They are also senior to the common stock. This will make the investment more attractive and assure the investor he or she will be paid out first. After all, they are some of the first people to put up money to help your startup succeed.

4. Convertible Debt

Convertible debt has gained popularity in the last few years thanks to its success with Y Combinator startups and the fact that SV Angel and Yuri Miller have offered every Y Combinator startup $150,000 in convertible debt. When an investor offers a convertible note, the debt is converted to equity sometime in the future. This conversion is at a discount to the next funding round that you raise and typically has a cap, which means that if you raise a huge round, the debt investors have protected themselves from getting diluted.

Convertible debt is popular because you don't have to set a valuation. It is handled in the next round of financing. Also, convertible debt often requires less paperwork, which means you can keep your costs lower. A lot of investors don't like convertible debt as much because the valuation of the company is an unknown at the time of investment.

5. Venture Funding

A startup venture fund pools investments from many limited partners and then manages that money by investing in startups that meet the objective of the fund. When you are looking to raise money from a venture fund, you often already have a working prototype and measurable traction in your business. The amount of money that these funds invest is typically a lot more than angel investments.

Since these investment could be more than $1 million, the venture capitalist is often looking for a board seat to gain some control over their investment. Venture capitalists usually like investments in earlier stage companies to be in the 20% equity range. If you decide to try and get venture funding, it’s important to keep in mind that venture capitalists only offer terms to 1 or 2% of the deals they see. Be ready to do a lot of pitching.

There are many other ways that you can fund your startup, which include your own credit card, vendor financing, crowdfunding, grants or business loans, but the five listed here are the most popular funding options. You will need to look at all the options to see what is available for your business and then figure out the right fit for your company.

Image courtesy of Flickr, lalunablanca

More About: business, Business Lists, funding, List, Lists, startup, startup funding

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Angry Twitter Birds Topple Arab Dictator in French TV Ad [VIDEO]

Posted: 10 Jun 2011 01:42 PM PDT

Twitter‘s power to dislodge dictators is dramatized in a TV ad promoting French international news channel France 24.

The two-minute ad shows the animated, Gadaffi-like ruler and his underlings attacked by righteously angry birds representing freedom. The scene, of course, is an allegory for the Arab Spring, in which Twitter, Facebook and other forms of social media contributed to the ousting of rulers in Egypt and Tunisia, along with civil uprisings in Bahrain, Syria and Yemen — not to mention a civil war in Libya.

Creativity Online notes that France 24 has grown its Twitter followers five-fold during its Arab Spring coverage. Ironically, France has forbidden its TV and radio personalities from saying the words "Twitter" and "Facebook" on air, unless it’s during a news story about those specific companies. It's unclear whether this spot, which explicitly directs viewers to follow France 24 on Twitter, runs afoul of that decree.

More About: advertising, Arab Spring, facebook, twitter

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Gowalla Goes to Digital Farmer’s Market

Posted: 10 Jun 2011 01:24 PM PDT

food image

Gowalla is asking users to share their favorite farmer’s markets to help raise money and awareness for healthier, local eating.

The campaign, Make Time for Change, in partnership with Frigidaire and Jennifer Garner, a long-time food advocate, is supporting Save the Children as part of Frigidaire Kids’ Cooking Academy Summer Session.

Users are encouraged to share their favorite local market, and to post stories, photos and video to their online communities. For each checkin to a local market, Frigidaire will also make a $1 donation to Save the Children’s CHANGE program, which gives nutritious snacks to children living in poverty in rural Africa. Frigidaire’s donations are part of its $500,000 commitment to the cause.

map image

The site’s resources include a national map of markets, suggested recipes using in-season ingredients and information about the causes. There’s also a Cooking Academy aimed at getting kids and their families interested in making healthy meals.

It’s a smart partnership for Gowalla and Frigidaire. Gowalla, positioning itself as an active alternative to Foursquare, is branding itself as a platform built around action — hence Gowalla. The call for stories and images helps drive community.

Frigidaire, meanwhile, is promoting a new line of refrigerators that help keep food fresher longer. The company has connected its technology to an engaged community that may want to eat fresh but lack the means to keep all of their organic food fresh.

Gowalla hopes that social good partnerships like this inspire its community members to set up their own projects, whether it be a common interest or an important cause.

More About: cooking academy, farmer's markets, Food, frigidaire, gowalla, jennifer garner, non-profit, social good

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20 Years Later, Madonna-Imitating 9-Year-Old Steals Heart of Internet [VIDEO]

Posted: 10 Jun 2011 01:11 PM PDT

Summer is all about dancing and good times by the beach, which is why we’re so happy that the above video has emerged from the mists of time: A talented child voguing to Madonna in 1991.

In the video’s description, Robert Jeffrey explains: “I performed to Madonna’s ‘Vogue’ in the Summer of 1991 when my parents took me to Hampton Beach Casino in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire. A business in the casino at the time gave tourists the chance to lip-synch to their favorite pop songs in front of a blue screen background, and I was lucky enough to partake that summer.”

Now the video has gone viral, with 144,000 views on Friday alone. Can we get a revival tour, Jeffrey?

More About: humor, madonna, music, pop culture, Vimeo

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It Was All Just a Huge Misunderstanding [COMIC]

Posted: 10 Jun 2011 12:58 PM PDT

Mashable Comics are illustrated every week by Kiersten Essenpreis, a New York-based artist who draws and blogs at

How’s your mobile coverage these days?

More Mashable Comics:

- HOW TO: Parent a Digital Native
- Internet Drama
- The Earliest Social Network Ever Discovered
- The 19th Annual Internet Meme Convention
- Stand-Up Web Developers

More About: comics, Film, humor, mashable comics, Mobile 2.0

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World’s Fastest Toy Car Goes 161.76 MPH [VIDEO]

Posted: 10 Jun 2011 12:40 PM PDT

You’re looking at the fastest radio-controlled model car in the world: a Schumacher Mi3 that currently holds the world record of 161.76 mph.

It’s not easy getting an electric vehicle that small to go that fast. According to Generation Concept, this $4,000 mini road rocket is a marvel of technology, consisting of an ultra-light carbon fiber chassis zipping along at blistering speeds thanks to an 11 hp electric motor powered by a 12-cell battery pack.

Shaped like those full-sized rocket cars that break land speed records, the Mi3′s insides resemble a skateboard packed with batteries and electronics.

You think 161.76 mph is fast? So does its owner, Nick Case. But his need for speed is great, and he’s currently working on the “Streamliner,” another electric radio-controlled car that he says will break the 200 MPH barrier. Don’t forget to shoot some video for us, Nick.

What would it take to break the land speed record for a full-sized car? The little car would have to travel at a speed of 763 mph to beat Royal Air Force fighter pilot Andy Green’s jet-powered “Thrust SSC” (supersonic car), which set the world land speed record way back in October 1997.

[via Technabob]

More About: R/C car, radio-controlled car, Schumacher Mi3, world record

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Sarah Palin Email Archive Going Online — Here’s How To Find It

Posted: 10 Jun 2011 12:16 PM PDT

On Friday, the state of Alaska released 24,199 pages of email correspondence from former Gov. Sarah Palin’s time in office. The partially redacted printouts, which were first requested nearly three years ago, are now being digitized and will be available online in a indexed and searchable database.

Research company Crivella West is working in conjunction with, Mother Jones and ProPublica to get the paper documents scanned and put online.

Mother Jones made the first request, in September 2008, for emails sent and received by Sarah Palin during her role as governor of Alaska in September 2011. The final online database will be available soon, but meanwhile, news agencies are working on placing them online.

For users that want to follow the emails as they get released, a number of organizations are taking a live blog approach to the process.

Be sure to check out:

Because the state of Alaska decided to present digital files printed on pieces of paper, the process of scanning the documents and then processing them so that they can be tagged and indexed in a database is becoming a bit of a community research project. The hashtag #palinemail is a good place to find insights and findings from other document readers.

More About: email, email archive, politics, sarah palin

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The Case Against Having a Social Media Department [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted: 10 Jun 2011 11:50 AM PDT

If you're a marketer looking to make more inroads into social media — and who isn't? — you might want to take a look at the infographic below.

SimpliFlying examined the social media practices of big players in the airline industry and found that integrated is better than dedicated. What's the difference? An integrated staff means multiple people working together without a “social media department.” Dedicated means there is such a department.

As the infographic shows, airlines with an integrated model tend to perform better than those with a dedicated staff. In this case, social media prowess was calculated by taking into account Twitter followers, Facebook fans and Klout scores. While these results are particular to the airline industry, it's worth taking them into account no matter what you're marketing. After all, what flies for one industry could very well fly for another.

Click here for a video narration of this infographic.

Image courtesy of Flickr, davipt

More About: Airlines, delta, KLM, social media marketing, Southwest Airlines, virgin america

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35% of Americans, Particularly iPhone Users, Have Online Regrets

Posted: 10 Jun 2011 11:32 AM PDT

Ever posted a not-so-flattering picture to Instagram during a drunken evening on the town? Or fired off a passive aggressive tweet directed at a former lover? Or maybe accidentally typed a crush’s name into what you thought was Facebook’s search bar and alerted the world that “Larry Finkelstein” is on your mind? Well, you’re not alone.

According to a new study from Retrevo, 35% of Americans have posted something online that they later regretted. This particular study, inspired by the misdoings of Rep. Anthony Weiner, is part of an ongoing survey from the consumer electronics shopping and review site It was administered in June 2011 to a group of 1,000 people from all age and income brackets across the U.S.

Younger folks were more likely to mourn past posts, with 54% of respondents under 25 saying that they regretted something they shared online — as compared to 32% of those over age 25.

Still the consequences appear to be less than dire. Of those that have regrets, 11% say that the posts caused no issues, and 15% say they were able to remove the regretful posting. Three percent said a post ruined a relationship or a marriage, and 6% reported problems at home or work.

Not surprisingly, the study found that smartphone users are more than twice as likely to mispost, with iPhone users coming in as the biggest offenders: 51% of those surveyed with iPhones have posted something they wish they hadn’t (Android and Blackberry nearly tied at 43% and 45%, respectively).

At this juncture — especially going into the weekend — we’re going to take the opportunity to remind you of a service that could be useful when it comes to avoiding poster’s remorse: "The Social Media Sobriety Test." Do with that what you will.

Photo courtesy of Flickr, Egan Snow

More About: android, blackberry, facebook, iphone, retrevo, social media, trending, twitter

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Twitter Clarifies App Permissions Regarding Direct Messages

Posted: 10 Jun 2011 11:14 AM PDT

Twitter has responded to concerns from a developer about the actual authorization level that third-party Twitter apps have over user data.

On Friday, a Dutch developer publicized what he saw as an authorization access hole in Twitter’s API. Developers that create an app using Twitter’s OAuth authentication process that does not request access to the direct messages from users, could still access those direct messages anyway.

As we continued to research the story and speak with developers about the issue, it became clear to us that it isn’t so much that there is a hole in the authentication or access process, but that the screen that users see when granting apps access wasn’t accurate.

In a statement, Twitter tells us:

As we announced in May, Twitter is transitioning our authentication model to give users more control over the information they share with third-party applications. We recently extended this transition until the end of June to give developers more time to reconfigure their applications to fit the new model. We are updating the text in the current permissions screens to clarify what information applications will or will not have access to during the transition period.

For a summary of the third party applications you’ve approved or to make changes to this list, visit the “Applications” page in your Twitter account.

Until Twitter announced more granular changes to account access, all third-party apps could access your direct messages. That will change as of June 30, 2011 — however, until then, all apps will have access to DMs, even if the app creator says they don’t need that access right now.

The disconnect is with the app authorization screen and the actual access the app possesses. In about two weeks, apps that aren’t supposed to have access to your direct messages won’t.

The problem, in this case, was not one of security, but of perception. Twitter’s new app authorization screen will hopefully align those perceptions accurately.

For users, all this means is that until June 30, expect every app to have access to your direct messages — same as always. As of June 30, 2011, apps can request more basic information.

Special thanks to Kevin Marks for helping me understand this situation.

More About: OAuth, twitter

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Future NYT Editor Jill Abramson Finally Joins Twitter

Posted: 10 Jun 2011 11:05 AM PDT

Pundits applauded when The New York Times announced last week that managing editor Jill Abramson will succeed Bill Keller as executive editor of the paper this September, not only because of her sold investigative background and the fact that she will become the paper’s first female editor, but also because she is seen as a competent leader in the digital space.

This is a bit ironic, given that Abramson was not active on Twitter at the time of her appointment. We can now report that her first tweet appeared Thursday, and she’s sent five tweets since then — including an amusing correction to Felix Salmon of Reuters.

Welcome to the party, Ms. Abramson.

[via Mediabistro]

More About: jill abramson, media, new york times, twitter

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Top 3 Gaming Trends From E3 2011

Posted: 10 Jun 2011 10:26 AM PDT

Technology expert Scott Steinberg is the CEO of high-tech consulting firm TechSavvy Global and a frequent tech analyst and gaming expert for ABC, CBS and CNN. He’s covered the field for more than 400 outlets from NPR to Rolling Stone, is the founder of GameExec Magazine and hosts the video series Game Theory, hailed as "the smartest take on the video game industry."

Electronic Entertainment Expo, the annual video game convention better known as E3, isn't just the top place to go to watch scantily-clad nymphs, armored stormtroopers and bespectacled businessmen awkwardly mingle. The industry-only event, which drew more than 46,800 rabid enthusiasts to the Los Angeles Convention Center this past week, also offers experts and everyday fans alike the clearest snapshot of where the future of gaming is headed.

This year's event played host to the introduction of Nintendo's new Wii U system (featuring 6.2-inch touchscreen controllers), Sony's supercharged PlayStation Vita portable handheld and the arrival of YouTube and Bing on the Xbox 360. For better or worse, it also cemented what the coming years hold for gaming fans and pros — a roller coaster ride of unprecedented proportions.

Setting all the flashing lights, booming speakers and catchy ad libs by gaming execs aside, here are the event's main attractions and the revelations they portend.

1. Traditional Gaming and Retail Aren't Going Away

Despite all the hype surrounding the growth of mobile, social, online, digital, massively multiplayer and free-to-play games, blockbuster disc-based retail releases continue to enjoy a massive fan following. Garnering big interest from both the press and public, potential smashes in the making (and packaged goods) such as Battlefield 3, Mass Effect 3, Uncharted 3, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and BioShock Infinite aren't a dying breed. Rather, the focus at retail — a distribution channel which, while dwindling, isn't going away overnight, and should enjoy a considerable presence for the coming decade — is switching to ultra-premium.

Translation: With review scores, competition and overall quality levels climbing, what we're seeing is a shift to bigger, higher production value games with more expansive solo adventures or multiplayer components. In order to keep pace and justify the $60 price of entry, average and nondescript games are quickly falling by the wayside and being replaced by best-in-class hits. That's generally good for all parties involved, especially players. It means better titles across the board, including those that begin — not end — at what's in the box and offer more for your gaming dollar.

2. Motion Control Accessories Are Maturing

Both Sony with its PlayStation Move and Microsoft with the Kinect are doing everything in their power to illustrate why these accessories, thus far confined to largely casual and social applications, are worth the time of “hardcore” gamers. That means incorporating voice commands into Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier so you can simply say "optimize for range" to instantly generate a custom weapon, or making it possible to cast spells with a wave of your hand in the fantasy role-player Fable: The Journey.

But more telling than actual gaming applications (e.g. playing air guitar or lopping off goblins' heads with a simulated sword swipe) are the vistas these control methods open up for home entertainment. We're as happy as the next geek that you can chat with aliens by reading off voice prompts in Mass Effect 3. But options to pull up Rebecca Black videos or search for new game demos just by saying "Bing Gears of War 3" feel very promising. It’s the kind of functionality that reaches far beyond standard gaming circles and into general interest digital media consumption.

3. Innovation Is Dead — Unless You Know Where to Look

Most game companies are currently pooping a joystick, as it's nearly impossible to forecast future sales or predict how to make hits in an era where everything from play habits to the platforms and devices themselves are changing at a breakneck pace. Slow to adapt to the innovations of social, online and free-to-play games, most publishers are reacting the only way they know how: by doubling down on proven brands, franchises, sequels and spin-offs, or spending to acquire well-known Hollywood, TV and comic book licenses.

As such, two outcomes are inevitable. One: Expect to see more familiar franchises returning, receiving reboots or being resurrected in fresh forms year after year (hello Halo 4 and Tomb Raider). In the hopes of mitigating risk, everything old truly becomes new again. And two: Publishers will need to become leaner in more agile in the face of mounting and diverse competition. Staff will be cut, more versatile developers will be hired, and past business strategies will be shuttered as game houses struggle to turn around sinking battleships in the era of light watercraft. That's not to say doom and gloom is in the air — rather, that insiders have been slow to adapt to innovations they've long known were coming, and there's still some pain to go through before we fully reach the next level.

We'll close with the biggest gaming trend of all — one that no one seems to want to talk about at a very blockbuster-focused conference like E3. As Internet connectivity continues to proliferate, bandwidth increases, mobile devices boom and the quality, sophistication and availability of on-demand gaming improves, the humble web browser — increasingly available on smartphones, tablets, PCs, TVs, consoles and other devices — may soon become the most popular, and ubiquitous, video game system of all.

More About: e3, gaming, kinect, microsoft, Nintendo, playstation, PlayStation Vita, sony, video games, Wii U

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Gmail Add-On Lets You Follow, Reply & Retweet Inside Email Messages

Posted: 10 Jun 2011 10:00 AM PDT

Rapportive, makers of a Gmail add-on for inbox social intelligence, stood up to Google last week by integrating with Gmail’s people widget — said by some to be a Rapportive-killer. Now the startup is adding yet another layer of social utility to the inbox by pumping up the volume on its Twitter integration.

Rapportive’s overhauled Twitter widget lets you follow your email contacts, send them replies, and retweet or quote them from inside email messages. You can also take a quick glance at whether your email contacts are following you on Twitter.

Perhaps best of all, Rapportive’s turbo-charged Twitter features will work on the Twitter notification emails you get for follows, mentions and direct messages. Now when you receive a notification email from Twitter that so-and-so is following you, you can follow the person back inside the message itself.

Previously, Rapportive’s Twitter widget highlighted recent tweets from email contacts — a useful feature in its own right — but now the add-on will help you interact with your contacts on Twitter without ever needing to leave your inbox.

You can choose to wait for Rapportive’s Twitter widget rollout to hit your inbox, or you can get access right now at

More About: email, gmail, inbox, rapportive, trending, twitter

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Are Verizon iPad 2s Being Recalled Due to 3G Connectivity Issues?

Posted: 10 Jun 2011 09:26 AM PDT

There are widespread reports that Apple suddenly began recalling Verizon iPad 2 32GB and 64GB units, with some of the tablets called back to Apple mid-shipment. Numerous forum comments are pointing to a hardware problem involving the Verizon iPad 2′s 3G cellular connection.

We’ve contacted Apple to find out why these iPad 2s have been recalled, but in the meantime, there are multiple reports of halted shipments and FedEx packages marked “return to sender” at Apple’s request. From customers on Apple’s discussion forum, the gist of the comments go like this: “iPad2 makes it all the way from CHINA to within 40 miles of our house and they are returning it to the sender!!”

Another tipster, apparently an Apple Store employee, told 9-to-5 Mac:

“Apple has given all the stores a list of serial numbers to scan, if it's a match we were told to set aside and ship back to Apple, these are only for Verizon iPads. This was to be done on Monday and continue to scan all shipments thru June 11. I had over one hundred to send back.”

Another tip to 9-to-5 Mac offered the following explanation: “If someone activates a cellular connection on the device, then wants to view or edit account information, they can't. They receive a message that it is activated, and that's it. I saw someone open at least 6 looking for one that didn't do it. It's device specific, not software.”

What has us perplexed is the notion that the secretive Apple recalled a large number of its products without making any comment about the reasons why.

So far, our call to Apple has not been returned. We’ll keep you posted on this story as it develops.

More About: 3g, apple, connectivity problems, iPad two, recall, verizon

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Twitter OAuth Bug Leaves Direct Messages at Risk [UPDATED]

Posted: 10 Jun 2011 09:10 AM PDT

A flaw in Twitter’s OAuth procedure could mean that direct messages are accessible by third-party apps without user authorization.

UPDATE: Twitter has responded to our inquiry with a statement. Twitter is fixing the error, though it turns out to have been more of a short-term foresight than a hole.

Dutch developer Simon Colijn (@simoncolijn) contacted Mashable with some disturbing information about the actual access level third-party Twitter applications might have to users’ information, including direct messages.

Unless explicitly requested and granted, third-party apps aren’t supposed to be able to do things like post tweets or access direct messages. What Colijn has found, however, is that direct message — both to messages sent and to messages received — can be accessible to those third party apps.

Colijn whipped up a third-party app to show the vulnerability in action and we tested it with a newly created Twitter account. Sure enough, Colijn’s app was able to show us direct messages we sent to other users and that we had received. Scary stuff.

TechCrunch has done some additional research and hypothesizes that this authorization leak might be the result of some planned changes regarding the ways that Twitter devs can request access to account information and what information users can give those apps.

We’re still trying to understand the technical issues surrounding the API and and OAuth, but that theory appears to be true. In this case, what happened is that Twitter has pushed back its DM enforcement date — a date that will shut off DM access from all apps that don’t need it — but the company hasn’t pushed back the rollout of its authorization screens. So what users see isn’t exactly what they get.

TechCrunch also points out that developer Mike Robinson has created his own test app that re-creates the same authorization hole.

We’ve reached out to Twitter comment and clarification and will continue to research and investigate this story. In the mean time, the most cautious users might not want to grant third-part apps access to their Twitter account unless they feel comfortable with the app having access to their direct messages.

More About: OAuth, privacy, security, twitter

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AT&T Donated Cash to Groups That Supported T-Mobile Merger

Posted: 10 Jun 2011 08:51 AM PDT

A handful of liberal non-profits voiced support to the FCC for AT&T’s T-mobile acquisition, after receiving financial donations from AT&T, according to a report.

Politico says that the NAACP, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the National Education Association — all organizations with no direct interest in a telecom takeover — have voiced support of the deal in recent weeks. The groups deny that the support came as a result of donations from AT&T, and the company also denies using cash to influence the organizations.

In the NAACP's case, the group received a $1 million contribution from AT&T in 2009. The NAACP wrote the FCC to support the deal. GLAAD, which got $50,000 from AT&T, also backed the deal, even though it had criticized Comcast's merger with NBC.

The Columbia Urban League also received a $25,000 grant from the AT&T foundation in 2009. That group's president and CEO, James McLawhorn, wrote the FCC urging it to OK the deal.

Liberal groups aren’t the only ones supporting the deal. Facebook and Oracle, among others, have also written the FCC asking it to approve the acquisition.

More About: att, facebook, T-Mobile

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