Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “Pocket-Sized Bluetooth Speaker Delivers Astonishing Sound”

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “Pocket-Sized Bluetooth Speaker Delivers Astonishing Sound”


Pocket-Sized Bluetooth Speaker Delivers Astonishing Sound

Posted: 08 Jun 2011 08:04 AM PDT


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

Product: Soundmatters foxL v2.2 Bluetooth Speaker

Price: $199

What It’s Good For: Taking high fidelity along with you in a palm-sized package.

Who It’s Good For: Frequent travelers who own Bluetooth devices and like to listen to music; well-heeled audiophiles who appreciate great sound in a small form factor.

Limitations: No auto-off function, pricey.

Bottom Line: Hold this hotshot in your hand and feel its incredible power. Such sound has never shoehorned itself into such tiny speakers and been worthy of such praise. Even though you get a lot of original technology for your money, it’s pretty expensive at $199.


A Close-Up Look At The Soundmatters foxL v2.2 Bluetooth Speaker


There are plenty of Bluetooth speakers in the world, but none are like the foxL v2.2. Even though it’s a mere 5.6 inches wide, this 9.5-oz speaker rocks some downright amazing sound.

Although it feels like metal, Soundmatters has constructed the speaker out of something it calls “glass-filled composite,” otherwise known as fiberglass, the same thing surfboards are made of. That makes it lighter than it would be if it were built entirely of metal. That light weight and its small size practically beg you to take it with you on your next trip.

We can thank ex-NASA engineer and actual rocket scientist Dr. Godehard Guenther for the clever ideas that went into this product. Revered in the audio industry, he’s figured out unique ways to get maximum sound out of the smallest amount of space.

The speaker’s two 25mm drivers are powered by four digital amplifiers, pumping out a total of 8 watts of power, which is a lot for a speaker of this size. Dr. Guenther has freed up space inside the speaker by moving the “BassBattery” toward the outside, where it’s also utilized as a moving part that he calls a “moving wall radiator” that generates a surprising amount of bass.

Let’s put it through its paces. After four hours of charging a battery that’ll run for about five hours on a charge, the foxL was ready to go, its Bluetooth radio pairing up almost immediately with a laptop, iPhone and iPad 2. If you don’t want to use Bluetooth, you can plug any audio device with a standard headphone jack into the foxL’s auxiliary port.

So what is the overall effect of all this serious engineering? Astonishing sound, that’s what. It’s a kick to turn this thing on and hold it in your hand, feeling it rocking your arm from fingertips to elbow with its vigorous sound.

But it’s when you put it on a solid surface that its true nature is revealed. There’s actually enough bass pumping out of its little drivers to make you feel like moving your feet. Even though its optimal listening distance is about three feet away, it sounds good from further out, too. Plug it into an AC outlet or USB port, and suddenly it’s running on twice the wattage than the battery, giving it a noticeable increase in oomph. It’s remarkable.

It also performs admirably as a speakerphone, and if you have it linked to a smartphone via Bluetooth, when a call comes in it immediately turns into speakerphone mode, letting you answer the call with a slightly awkward routine of pressing and holding a Bluetooth button. And its built-in mic faithfully reproduces your voice, sounding better than most speakerphones I’ve used.

Summing up, if you can afford it, you’ll want to take this whippersnapper along with you on your next adventure. It’s beautifully designed, pumps out plenty of clean sound even at low volume and plays loud enough to entertain a rowdy crowd.

Come along on a tour of the foxL Bluetooth speaker in this gallery:


Palm-Sized




The white button just above the Soundmatters logo is the one you push to answer the phone.


Back




Behind that grille is the battery that doubles as a mini subwoofer, and it does a great job of enhancing the bass in this tiny unit. On the right are the two volume controls.


Left Side




The 3.5mm mini jack on the top is for an external subwoofer. Below that is a LED charge indicator, and at the bottom, a mini USB port.


Kickstand In Use




The speaker stands up perfectly well on its own without using the kickstand, but it's welcome nonetheless.


Right Side




The top port is an auxiliary port where you can connect any audio device with a 3.5mm plug. The bottom port is for power from the AC adapter.


Bulging Drivers




The two 25mm dome speakers are pushed out toward the front, to give the inside of the speaker more room for bass to resonate.


foxL Diagram




Here are the details of the foxL Bluetooth Speaker. This graphic is courtesy of Soundmatters.


Series Supported by Energizer®


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

More About: audio, foxL bluetooth speaker, Gadget of the Day Series, ipad, iphone, ipod, review, speakerphone

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Find Out When Your Favorite Bands Are Playing While On The Go

Posted: 08 Jun 2011 08:00 AM PDT


Songkick, a service that informs you when your favorite bands are playing, is out with a new mobile app that makes it easy to track concerts and plan music-filled nights out.

A kind of concert-going social network, Songkick, lets you track bands from Last.fm, Pandora and iTunes, get email alerts when your top acts are playing near you, buy tickets to shows and create show calendars that you can export to Google Calendar, Outlook or iCal.

The iPhone/iPod touch app [iTunes link], available for free from the iTunes store, takes that functionality and puts it in your pocket, a much more natural fit for the avid concert-goer. Yes, email alerts are awesome when it comes to planning a show-heavy weekend, but what about when you’re out and about and want to hit up a show? The app seems much more intuitive.

After installing the app, preexisting users can sign in and access all their saved artists, shows, etc. The app will scan your iTunes, and from that data — taking location into account — compile a list of shows you might be interested in attending.

You can also scroll through a list of your favorite artists and see which ones are touring. You can then create a personalized concert calendar, and be alerted via push notifications when your favorite bands are playing. You can also look up ticket info, venue location, show time, lineup, etc., and tell friends about shows via Twitter, Facebook and email. Shows are tracked in more than 70 countries, and you can change the location setting when you travel.

Granted, this app isn’t exactly revolutionary. SuperGlued‘s iPhone and Android apps do something very similar (like scanning your iTunes), as do specialized apps like Festival Explorer Austin Edition, which was designed for SXSW. There’s also GigKick, which connects to your Songkick profile to display upcoming shows.

Still, Songkick’s app is pretty slick and offered me some accurate show recommendations for the upcoming weekend, so it’s likely to become a standby app on my iPhone, at least. Although I do wish the app included song previews, like some of its competitors.

Image courtesy of Flickr, Stephan Geyer

More About: App, concert, iOS, iphone, iPod Touch, mobile app, music, songkick, startup

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Wimbledon Finals To Be the First 3D Broadcast on the BBC

Posted: 08 Jun 2011 07:35 AM PDT


Like it or not, 3D is coming. The BBC has succumbed to the latest trend, announcing its first 3D broadcast: this year’s Wimbledon finals.

The broadcast will include both men’s and women’s singles finals, which are taking place over the first weekend in July, and will only be shown on the BBC HD channel — free to cable or satellite subscribers, as well as customers with Freeview HD boxes.

Of course, users will need a 3D-enabled TV, as well as 3D glasses to be able to watch the finals in their full glory.

This is just a trial for the BBC, but the company has high hopes for 3D. "This is a hugely important experiment for us and I'm pleased that we have the opportunity to show some of our stunning sports coverage to our audiences, in 3D for free," said BBC’s George Entwistle in a statement.

It’s becoming more common to air 3D TV broadcasts in the UK; Sky 3D has been showing live sporting events as well as movies and entertainment in 3D for some time now.

Image courtesy of Flickr, Marc Di Luzio

More About: 3D, 3D broadcast, bbc, television, tv, wimbledon

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Paramount Offers Twitter Users Advanced Tickets to Super 8

Posted: 08 Jun 2011 07:19 AM PDT


Paramount Pictures’s Super 8 is ramping up its social media marketing efforts before it hits U.S. and Canadian theaters Friday, first by premiering the first full-length trailer on Twitter, and now with promotions on Foursquare and Twitter.

Paramount is offering the latter’s users advanced showings through the hashtag #Super8Secret, which the company is also pushing as a Promoted Trend. There is, of course, nothing secret about the promotion, and that’s the point; Paramount has essentially guaranteed that the movie will be trending on opening day, thanks to all of the advanced reviews on Twitter.

As we’ve seen before, however, the film will still have to stand on its own merits; Twitter can just as persuasively keep moviegoers out of theaters as it can bring them in.

More About: advertising, Film, MARKETING, paramount pictures, social media, Super 8, twitter

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Steve Jobs Proposes Spaceship-Shaped Cupertino Campus [VIDEO]

Posted: 08 Jun 2011 06:32 AM PDT

Steve Jobs presented his plans for a giant, spaceship-shaped campus to the Cupertino City Council Tuesday.

“Apple is growing like a weed,” he said. “And as you know, we’ve always been in Cupertino.”

The company has staff scattered in rented buildings throughout the city. The plan for the future campus puts 12,000 to 13,000 employees inside a single four-story oval building.

Jobs, fresh off of WWDC, made a convincing case for what he calls “a shot at building the best office building in the world.”

By moving parking underground, 80% of the 150-acre property will be landscaped. Apple has hired the lead arborist from Stanford to fill it with 6,000 trees, and the company will build its own “energy center” power source.

Apple also pays more taxes than any other company in Cupertino, Jobs reminded the somewhat starstruck council.

“We’d like to continue to stay here and pay taxes,” he said. “Because if we can’t, we have to go someplace like Mountain View.”

More About: apple, cupertino, office

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Foursquare Checkin Could Land You a Trip to Space

Posted: 08 Jun 2011 06:21 AM PDT


Foursquare has partnered with 7-Eleven and the team behind Paramount Pictures’ forthcoming film Super 8 to send users on a mission to space.

From now until June 30, Foursquare users ages 14 and up can check in to a U.S. 7-Eleven location for a chance to win tickets to Super 8 (every 88th checkin), a Zero-G experience, which enables participants to float and move about as if they were in space on a modified Boeing 727 (every 88,888th checkin), and even a trip to space via Space Adventures’ Suborbital Spaceflight program if 888,888 checkins are made.

(Maybe you’ll be the second person to check in to space.)

Entering is as simple as checking in at a 7-Eleven using Foursquare’s apps for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Windows 7, Palm or Ovi, and clicking through the “Unlocked Special” to the registration form.

In terms of prizes, it’s one of the more creative Foursquare promotions we’ve seen to date.

More About: 7-Eleven, foursquare, Super 8

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Facebook’s Automated Photo Tagging Prompts EU Probe

Posted: 08 Jun 2011 06:06 AM PDT


European Union data-protection regulators will probe Facebook after it started a global rollout of its new face-recognition photo-tagging system.

The new feature “recognizes” faces in photos, shortening the often tedious tagging process, which enables users to connect a face in a photo with an actual friend on Facebook. The process is now semi-automated: Facebook provides suggestions for individuals in photos, and the user chooses to accept or reject them.

The feature is enabled by default, but it can be disabled by customizing your privacy settings.

However, European Union regulators think that this feature is a potential privacy risk. "Tags of people on pictures should only happen based on people's prior consent and it can't be activated by default," said Gerard Lommel, a Luxembourg member of the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party.

In the past, EU regulators have scrutinized companies such as Microsoft (for bundling Internet Explorer with Windows) as well as Google and Yahoo for storing data search queries for too long. Facebook, too, was criticized for not doing enough to protect the privacy of its users.

What do you think? Is this feature a privacy risk? Should it be enabled by default?

[via Bloomberg Businessweek]

More About: face recognition, facebook, photo tagging, privacy

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Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Now Available for Pre-Order at Best Buy

Posted: 08 Jun 2011 05:20 AM PDT


The revised, ultra-thin version of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 is now available for pre-order at Best Buy.

Some New York City shoppers will also be able to actually buy the device, which is coming (in limited quantities) to the Union Square Best Buy store.

The dual-core powered, Android 3.1 Wi-Fi device comes in two colors: white and metallic gray (Best Buy also mentions a “metallic gray black” variant but we’re not sure if that differs from the regular metallic gray one). The 10.1-inch screen boasts 1280×800 pixels, and the tablet also has a 3-megapixel back camera and a 2-megapixel front-facing camera for video chats.

The pride of owning the thinnest Android tablet on the market will cost you $599 if you choose the 32 GB version, while the 16 GB version of the device costs $499.

More About: galaxy tab, Galaxy Tab 10.1, Samsung Galaxy Tab

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Facebook Privacy Probe, Verizon Blocks Tethering, iOS 5 Jailbroken: This Morning’s Top Stories

Posted: 08 Jun 2011 05:20 AM PDT

Social Media News

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

Facebook Turns On Facial Recognition For Tagging By Default

As Facebook rolls out its Tag Suggestions feature, which uses facial recognition to suggest tags for friends in users’ photos, the social networking site is simultaneously enabling facial recognition as a default privacy setting, provoking an EU probe in the process.

Verizon Blocks 4G Tethering

The FCC has received a complaint arguing that Verizon Wireless shouldn’t be allowed to block tethering apps, which enable consumers to connect to the Internet on their computers and mobile devices through their phones’ 4G wireless data network.

iOS 5 Successfully Jailbroken

iPhone owners have already begun jailbreaking the mobile software Apple released at WWDC Monday, iOS 5.

Google Releases Stable Version of Chrome 12

Google Chrome 12 is now the stable release of Google's web browser, bringing several improvements in security, privacy and graphics capabilities.

Further News

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, DNY59

More About: first to know series

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Google Releases Stable Version of Chrome 12

Posted: 08 Jun 2011 02:50 AM PDT


Google Chrome 12 is now the stable release of Google’s web browser, bringing several improvements in security, privacy and graphics capabilities.

Chrome now checks downloaded files for malware, and Google claims it has designed the feature in such a way that it doesn’t have to know which URLs you visited or which files you downloaded to be able to detect malicious files.

You can now also fine tune the data that websites store on your computer, including Flash Player's Local Shared Objects (also known as Flash cookies), directly from Chrome.

On the graphics front, Chrome 12 includes support for hardware-accelerated 3D CSS, which enables some nifty effects such as rotating and scaling videos. Try this Chrome Experiment to see some of the new features in action.

Finally, Chrome 12 brings several minor improvements such as an improved interface for setting a homepage and searching for Chrome Apps directly from the address bar.

Google Chrome 12 is available at www.google.com/chrome. Existing users will be automatically updated to the new version in the next couple of days.

More About: browser, chrome, Chrome 12, Google, google chrome, web browser

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Why Augmented Reality Is Poised To Change Marketing

Posted: 07 Jun 2011 11:25 PM PDT


Sam Travis Ewen is the CEO and founder of Interference Incorporated, a non-traditional marketing agency, and is co-founder of Supertou.ch an immersive technology company focused on bringing human computer interaction (HCI) to real-world environments.

If you’ve read Daniel Suarez's techno thriller Daemon or William Gibson's Spook Country, then you’ve encountered a world where there is no dividing line between physical and virtual realities. This vision is also advanced in the films Blade Runner, Minority Report or Children of Men which feature floating screens and active surfaces that come alive at a gesture or command. While this may seem like fantasy, those in business and marketing need to start paying attention to how real this all becoming.

The fields of augmented reality, projection mapping and Kinect hacking are where some of the most exciting work is happening. The changes are occurring so rapidly and in such variety that it is hard to keep up. But what many startups, hackers, corporations and tech artists are creating — a hybrid between computer interactivity, data, social media and how those relate to our physical world — is not only mind-blowing, but it is also a teaser for what media and communication experiences will look like in the near future.

Here is a taste of what’s going on.


Augmented Reality


Remember when AR was all about little black-and-white codes that made pretty little animations play on your webcam? It seemed like a fun trick back then, and a few brands (Lego, best of all, and maybe Ray-Ban for an honorable mention) used it to create new ways to digest their products or play simple games.

Actually, there was very little 'reality' being augmented with those. But now that the concept has matured, we’re starting to see a very different AR come to life. With your phone's camera becoming the input device, apps are popping up that let you view a building in your city and find out if there is available office space for rent in it, make newspapers, magazines and outdoor imagery come to life, get translation on the fly or see a person's social profile as they pass you on the street.

As our desire to check in and share location-related media grows, we’re going to see the ability to overlay those actions on real space through these tools and new ones coming.

Where to start:


Projection Mapping


Projection mapping has been around for a few years now, but it is starting to come into its own with some high profile stunts. Projection mapping software looks at the shape of an object and creates a 3D map of it, allowing an artist to overlay imagery — usually on a large surface or structure.

Why is this interesting? Because it provides the ability to change the experience of a physical object creatively, so at one point the object was one thing, and then right in front of your eyes it appears to be another. Ralph Lauren made a recent splash with this tech at a high profile event, projecting a 3D spectacle on the facades of flagship stores in New York and London.

Infiniti and Toyota have used the technique effectively to make their cars defy the laws of nature at private events. Others have used it to augment architecture and living spaces in such dramatic ways that you would have to touch them to see if the change was real or simply a visual trick. If all the structures around us were a canvas, imagine what we could do with them.

Where to start:


Kinect Hacking


On November 4, 2010, Microsoft took a major step toward reasserting itself as a leader in future tech. The release of the Kinect for its Xbox system, — and how the Kinect was adopted by the creative/hacker community — has ushered in a new era for augmented reality.

Why is the Kinect so innovative? It’s not really breaking new ground, technology-wise. But it’s the way in which it combines existing tech — a multi-array microphone, an RGB camera, an infrared depth sensor — that makes it smarter and cheaper than preceding attempts. Perhaps more importantly, it’s hackable. And recognizing the innovation that could come of this, Microsoft is due to release an SDK that will allow the curious and the research-minded alike to tinker with ease.

In just a few short months, developers have used the Kinect to create everything from optical camouflage to body-controlled light shows. Beyond the novelty, the practical implications of tying gestures to computer control are abundant.

Here are a few impressive examples of Kinect hacks in action:


These technologies (and a variety of others) are radically changing the way the physical and digital worlds interface. Because media and marketing are moving ever closer to the technologies that feature (and often reward) user engagement and user creation, these innovative types of input/output mechanisms will directly lead us into a new era of active and reactive brand communication and experience.


Image courtesy of Flickr, Jason McDermott.

More About: 3D projection mapping, Augmented Reality, business, kinect, Kinect hacking, MARKETING, Sam Ewen, tech, technology

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The UN Takes a Bite Out of Social Innovation

Posted: 07 Jun 2011 10:36 PM PDT

un image

The UN Social Innovation Summit took place in New York on June 6, and it had its fair share of controversy.

The summit was partly about how to improve corporate social responsibility (i.e., big business making philanthropy a part of its operation) and partly on how emerging technologies can revolutionize social good.

Of course, with so much on the line, the many speakers took impassioned and sometimes opposing views on how to tackle those two topics. Mashable attended the summit and took some notes while we were at it. Here are some brief highlights from the UN’s Social Innovation Summit.

The afternoon kicked off with a panel on healthcare innovation. From the start, the main problems were questions of efficiency, efficacy and how to scale.

Kathy Pickus, the VP of the Abbott Fund, summed up the panel’s main point: Corporations can make “a long-term sustainable difference by overlaying business practices with causes.” Non-profits cannot operate solely on good will; they also need business strategies that don’t rely on fundraising and donations. Pickus went on to say that because of their charitable actions, “businesses are now finding themselves at tables they weren’t previously invited to,” including government task forces both nationally and internationally.

The second panel was about creating a socially responsible technology enterprise. Here, the real barn-burner was Nicholas Negroponte, the founder and chairman of One Laptop Per Child. In his comments, Negroponte lambasted the idea of applying business models to philanthropy, saying: “Sustainability is a bad word because it’s a sign of small thinking, of an economic model that runs all by itself.”

Negroponte said that social good campaigns aiming for modest returns — improving literacy by 10%, for example — were also small-minded, and he asked the audience to think bigger. “If you have to measure the result, it’s not worth doing.” He also pointed out that the U.S. spends approximately $2 billion each day on war. Negroponte said the cost of three and half days of war could give a computer to every single child in Afghanistan.

Contrapuntally, Jonathan Teplitz, J.P. Morgan’s COO of Global IT, announced a web portal called Match.com (not that match.com). The site would match up specialists and experts, including J.P. Morgan’s own staff, with international non-profits and causes that need but can’t afford top-notch digital support.

Most of the panels were largely on-message — brands need to cooperate, adopt new technologies, make causes a key part of their identity — with some sparks flying out of a panel on media activism. In that panel, Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post called for an app to let us users know when they were ethically and mentally veering off course.

Nancy Lublin, the CEO of DoSomething.org, lauded mobile as the next big tool while comparing her signing Katy Perry in the shower to corporations funding celebrity charity projects like Madonna opening schools in Africa. In other words, Lublin feels corporations should put money behind experts with deep knowledge of their core issues as opposed to stars that view it more as a hobby or part-time job.

Alec Ross, the Senior Advisor for Innovation at the U.S. Department of State, said that in the wake of social media’s role in the Arab spring, “The 21st century is a lousy time to have control.” He said the age of one white guy in a red tie talking to another white guy in a red tie about what to do was effectively over as social tools empowered everyday people across the globe.

What do you think of these claims and ideas? What is business’ role in social good? What’s next for social innovation? Let us know in the comments.

You can watch a recap of the summit here.

More About: charity, corporate social responsibility, csr, non-profit, social innovation, social media, UN, un social innovation summit

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Investor Relations Tool Helps Fortune 500 Companies Get Social

Posted: 07 Jun 2011 09:02 PM PDT


StockTwits, the Twitter app-turned-social network for investors, is targeting investor relations professionals at Fortune 500 companies with the release of StockTwits IR Suite.

The suite is intended to help corporations better monitor, distribute and measure news through social media.

Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Ford are among 50 public companies that have already added social media to the workflow of IR departments by way of the StockTwits IR Suite.

StockTwits IR Suite is comprised of three components. The Verified Ticker Page lets corporations assume control of their ticker symbol on StockTwits and put their best faces forward with links to their blogs, YouTube channels or SlideShare presentations.

The Social Dashboard is where IR professionals manage their corporate social messaging and track how their messages are spreading.

The final piece, “Social Distribution” as StockTwits calls it, offers users a simple way to push each message out to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, along with financial portals such as CNNMoney, Reuters and Yahoo Finance.

“It’s a disruptive tool to help public companies disseminate news in real-time,” StockTwits co-founder and CEO Howard Lindzon explains.

Investor relations professionals — the internal corporate staffers tasked with communicating with shareholders and investors — have not readily embraced social media for communication purposes, Lindzon says. This is partly due to law compliance concerns as well as a general lack of understanding of how social media impacts their companies, he explains.

“We have to think about IR as corporate communications,” Lindzon asserts. “There’s power in finding out what users who follow company tickers want.”

“This is like training wheels,” he adds, indicating that the tool will give web-wary IR folks a way to dip their feet in to the social pool. “It’s the smartest way to listen in to a group of investors,” says Lindzon.

The suite also includes a Social Compliance upgrade costing $99 per month. This feature appends the necessary legal disclaimers in all of the messages shared via StockTwits. The add-on is meant to monetize the otherwise free offering by providing public corporations with peace of mind.

Prior to Wednesday’s release, StockTwits has been testing these IR services in private beta with 50 public companies.

StockTwits has raised $8.6 million in funding over the course of its three-year history. It hopes to become the Facebook of finance and has roughly 100,000 users.

Image courtesy of Flickr, Michael Menard

More About: finance, financial services, fortune 500, investor relations, social media, StockTwits

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Facebook Turns On Facial Recognition For Tagging By Default

Posted: 07 Jun 2011 07:31 PM PDT


If you have a bunch of tag-happy Facebook friends, you may want to read this. Facebook has been rolling out a facial recognition feature that makes it easier to tag friends in snaps, and it has introduced this feature as a default setting.

We first heard about Tag Suggestions back in December.

The feature basically means that whenever you're offered the chance to tag groups of your friends in an album, Facebook will use its facial recognition technology to group similar faces together and automatically suggest the friend you should tag them with.

The option has been rolling out to international users over the past few months, and according to a report from Sophos, the social networking site has been making the facial recognition feature a default setting. Facebook explained the rollout in a post on Tuesday.

If you don’t want Facebook to suggest you when your friends go to tag everyone in that picture from last week’s naked mud-wrestling pool party, here’s how you disable the feature:

  1. Go to your privacy settings.
  2. Click “Customize settings.”
  3. Scroll down to “Things others share.”
  4. Find “Suggest photos of me to friends.”
  5. Edit accordingly.

Although this is an easy fix, we can see some privacy-focused users getting peeved about the option being turned on without their knowledge. And this wouldn’t be the first time Facebook has turned on a feature without users’ consent (heck, we even wrote an entire guide to Facebook’s privacy features).

What do you think of this latest change?

UPDATE: European Union data-protection regulators will be investigating the new feature and its privacy implications.

More About: facebook, Photos, privacy, social media, tag-suggestion, trending

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WordPress.com Comments Gain Support for Facebook & Twitter Logins

Posted: 07 Jun 2011 06:27 PM PDT

wordpress image

Visitors to WordPress.com blogs can now leave comments with their Twitter or Facebook accounts.

It’s a small new feature on the surface, but it opens up a lot more commenting opportunities for WordPress.com blogs. Third-party commenting systems such as Disqus and Echo have allowed users to authenticate with their Twitter or Facebook accounts for quite some time, but this is a big move for the hosted blogging platform.

In the blog entry announcing the new feature, WordPress.com’s Scott Berkun points out a nice feature of the new login system: Users can stay logged in to multiple services at the same time. This is especially handy for users that might want to comment using Twitter or Facebook on some sites but want to use their WordPress.com account for others.

Comments from Twitter or Facebook accounts aren’t pumped back into those social services, though. Instead, the logins simply act as a way to authenticate users. In the future, WordPress.com might work toward also giving users the option to publish or share comments back on Facebook or Twitter.

For self-hosted WordPress.org users, comments suggest that Facebook and Twitter comment authentication might be coming via a future update to the JetPack plugin developed by Automattic.

More About: comment systems, facebook, twitter, WordPress, WordPress.com

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Twitter Automates Link Shortening for Its Web App

Posted: 07 Jun 2011 05:31 PM PDT


Twitter has announced that links shared on Twitter.com will be automatically shortened using the service’s t.co URL shortener.

Links of any length will be cut down to a tidy number of characters — 19, to be precise — and an ellipsis when the sender clicks the Tweet button.

Although each link is assigned a unique t.co link ID, the links will appear on Twitter as abbreviated versions of their originals so users always have some idea of where their next click will take them — a smart move on Twitter’s part given the number of URL-shortened spam or scam links that have made the rounds on the microblogging platform over the past year or so.

Still, you can expect to see plenty of other URL shorteners floating around Twitter — especially ones like Hootsuite that give their users a full analytics rundown for each link. Twitter said users can still use any third-party link-shortening services on Twitter.com.

Here’s what the automated URL shortening will look like on the web app:


More About: link shortener, twitter, url shortener, URL shortening

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Spirit Airlines Cashes in on Weinergate

Posted: 07 Jun 2011 03:58 PM PDT


Most marketers are steering clear of the Anthony Weiner lewd photo scandal. Spirit Airlines isn’t one of them.

The brand sent an email to its customers Tuesday afternoon with the following message: “Check out our Weiner Sale boasting fares just too hard to resist! This scandalous sale is no secret so get socially connected … book now before this sale gets hacked!”

Spirit’s homepage offers more Weiner puns. If you’re curious, here’s the link.

Spirit, which doesn’t do much in the way of traditional advertising, has leveraged news topics before for maximum social media buzz. In 2009, the airline ran an “Eye of the Tiger Sale” to cash in on the Tiger Woods scandal. Spirit’s homepage featured a tiger driving an SUV into a fire hydrant to promote its $9 fare sale.

The airline has also had some fun with acronyms. In February 2010, it ran a promo called MUFF to diving destinations. MUFF, of course, stood for Many Unbelievable Fantastic Fares. That was preceded by a MILF promo (“Many Islands, Low Fares.”)

Image courtesy of Flickr, David Boyle

More About: Anthony Weiner, Spirit Airlines

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Why Apps, Not Apple, Are Killing BlackBerry

Posted: 07 Jun 2011 03:38 PM PDT


Apple just announced free cloud storage and a slew of cool new features for iOS 5. Google announced a tap and pay system for Android phones earlier this week. And what has RIM, the third major smartphone player, done for us lately?

Well, there’s BlackBerry Messenger (BBM). The company has focused its commercials, display advertising and legal efforts on the feature that provides limitless instant chat between its customers.

This feature lost some of its residual glitz, however, after group messaging apps emerged, enabling BBM-like capabilities between different platforms. When Apple announced that it would be including iMessage — BBM for Apple products, essentially — in its iOS 5, any residual glitz BBM may have retained was washed away.

The fact that BBM has some competition only adds to RIM’s woes. According to data from Nielsen, the BlackBerry OS market share has been in steady decline compared to iOS and Android since June 2010, before the first notable group messaging app launched (GroupMe in August 2010).

How to explain BlackBerry’s decline? Part of it has to do with how far behind the OS is falling in the app game. About a year ago, Apple had up to 20 times the number of app downloads as RIM. At that point, RIM still had more market share than either Apple or Android.

BlackBerry apps are typically the last version that companies like Shazam, Instapaper or Pandora develop. They’re often also more expensive than their counterparts on other platforms. If you’re a BlackBerry owner, you get to pay $4.99 to play Angry Farm while your friends are playing Angry Birds for $0.99 on iOS and Android. When everyone else is raving about their free Netflix app that streams movies to their phones, you have to settle for Movela Netflix Queue Manager, which costs $4.99 and doesn’t stream anything.

Most app developers consider coding for BlackBerry OS to be a pain. “[With] BlackBerry, the API changes a lot between the major versions [of the OS]…The code needs to optimized for each version,” explains Narayan Babu, the CEO and CTO of app developer Dextera. “Another major problem with BlackBerry is that the devices have very diverse specs, right from the form factor and screen resolution, to components like Wi-Fi, GPS and the touchscreen.”

Even though RIM CEO Jim Balsillie claimed BlackBerry’s relatively skeletal app selection was a strategy last November (“You don’t need an app for the web”), it seems to be becoming a problem. Apps may once have been viewed as tricks for showing off a new smartphone. Now they are so indispensable that Apple is starting to borrow their best features for iOS 5. In other words, there’s a feedback loop. More apps makes the OS itself stronger.

Back when other phones lacked security, a solid calendar and reliable email capabilities, RIM’s phones thrived based on solid basic features. Now, as other smartphones have nearly matched RIM’s security and practical business functions, that foothold may be weakening. A 2010 survey found that although RIM still provides the majority of corporate cellphones, Apple OS and Android are fast gaining market share in the enterprise space.

In short, BlackBerry phones need something — other than solid basic functions — worth talking about. RIM announced Tuesday that it had acquired social gaming company Scoreloop, a departure from its calendar- and communication-enhancing previous acquisitions. That’s a start.

More About: android, apple, blackberry, icloud, iOS 5, RIM

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Can a Gmail Tool Make Us More Considerate Email Senders?

Posted: 07 Jun 2011 02:54 PM PDT


If our friends, family members and contacts knew that we were drowning in unread emails, would they wait until the madness died down to send us email? Courteous.ly, a new service for Gmail users, hopes that the answer is yes.

Courteous.ly is the product of a new research project at Georgia Tech’s School of Interactive Computing. It was developed to make email inboxes more socially considerate spaces.

Give Courteous.ly access to your Gmail account and it will analyze your email patterns, the state of your inbox, your unread message count, total messages and your sent mail volume to determine your current level of email traffic.

The service provides you with a link to share with friends or include in your email signature. That link will direct contacts to a page that indicates whether your email load is low, normal or high.

You can specify what Courteous.ly measures, and you can have the app instruct senders to put [whenever] in the subject line to reach you at a more opportune time, once your email load has gone down. You can also tick a box so an email that contains nothing but a one-sentence question in the subject line jumps right to the top of your inbox.

The upshot is that email senders will respect your time with brief, one-sentence emails or messages sent at your convenience. You will, in theory, then reward the sender with your complete attention and a response.

“I think we're really good at the etiquette part when we have the cues that allow us to be polite," Georgia Tech Assistant Professor and Courteous.ly developer Eric Gilbert says. "Courteous.ly helps manage expectations and lets people choose to send mail when it's best for you.”

Could this simple solution to a very common problem actually make us more considerate email senders? Gilbert will be monitoring users' accounts over the next several months to measure the tool’s actual impact on email loads.

Image courtesy of Flickr, Tim Morgan

More About: Courteous.ly, email, Georgia Tech, gmail

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Louis Vuitton Takes Checkins to China

Posted: 07 Jun 2011 02:26 PM PDT


Louis Vuitton, which has already utilized Foursquare for location-based marketing efforts in the U.S. and UK, is launching a similar experiment in Beijing.

The luxury manufacturer has partnered with Chinese checkin service Jiepang for its travel exhibition at the National Museum of China. Those who check in to the exhibition using Jiepang’s mobile app between June 9 and August 30 will receive a branded virtual badge, and can also peruse Louis Vuitton’s profile page for tips and information about the brand and conceptual design.

It’s an experimental move for the fashion brand, given that location-based services are have only just sprung up in China, about two years after similar services became popular in the West, as research from IHS iSuppli indicates.

Now about 50 location-based apps are vying for a lead in the market. Jiepang is one of the largest, with 1 million registered users to date.

More About: china, location-based marketing, louis vuitton, MARKETING

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NBC’s The Voice Treats iTunes Sales As Viewer Votes

Posted: 07 Jun 2011 02:01 PM PDT


Traditionally, talent shows like American Idol have relied on text-based audience votes to decide on the winning crooner. NBC’s The Voice plans to marry democracy to commerce — by taking votes via sales on iTunes.

After Tuesday night’s live show, fans can vote one of four ways: 1). Via phone. 2). Via the NBC Live app. 3). Online at NBC.com. 4). By buying the songs that the artists perform on the show from iTunes (all available from Universal Republic Records). Of course, that means anyone buying the tunes is participating in the vote, whether they know it or not.

“This new voting opportunity reflects the reality of music lovers who vote every day for their favorite artists by downloading and purchasing their music,” said Paul Telegdy, executive vice president, alternative programming, NBC and Universal Media Studios in a statement.

The whole deal reflects the Billboard charts model, at least in part (Billboard has tons of charts reflecting different metrics), equating sales with popularity. Although we would have liked to see other digital players (such as Amazon) factored in, this is an interesting idea all the same.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, shulz

More About: itunes, MARKETING, music, television, the-voice

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LinkedIn App Lets You Play Tetris With Your Network Profiles

Posted: 07 Jun 2011 01:16 PM PDT


LinkedIn has shown its whimsical side once again with a new app that lets you play Tetris with pictures of people in your network.

Called DropIn, the game mimics Tetris, but uses head shots instead of blocks. Writing in LinkedIn’s blog, Matthew Shoup, the site’s technical marketing manager, said he created the app to celebrate Tetris’ 27th birthday, which was on Monday. He said he also wanted to showcase how easy it is to implement the LinkedIn Platform Javascript API.

The app also integrates your contacts’ latest updates. “DropIn takes the classic Tetris experience to a professional level,” Shoup writes. “Rotate and stack your LinkedIn connections' faces, while discovering the fresh content they're sharing online. There's never been a more relevant and productive time to play games at work.” You can try the app here.

Known as a networking site for businesspeople, LinkedIn has displayed a less buttoned-down image of late with a series of satiric training videos sponsored by FedEx and, most recently, a Connection Timeline that visualizes your connections over the years.

LinkedIn isn’t alone in seeing the social networking potential in Tetris. The game was recently celebrated in an app for backpack maker Eastpak that did the same thing DropIn does, only with your Facebook friends.

More About: apps, eastpak, facebook, linkedin, Tetris

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Join Us for Mashable’s Social Media Day Celebration in NYC

Posted: 07 Jun 2011 12:57 PM PDT


Social Media Day is Mashable‘s global celebration of the technological advancements that enable everyone to connect with real-time information and communicate from miles apart. It’s a global event that will be recognized by Mashable readers throughout the world with local Meetups on June 30.

Here in NYC, we’re ringing in our second-annual Social Media Day with a huge event at Brooklyn Bowl. There will be free bowling from 6 to 7 p.m. and networking all night. We hope to fill the 600-capacity venue, so come join us for a night of socializing with your online community offline!

West Coasters, stay tuned for an announcement about our San Francisco Social Media Day event later this week.


NYC Social Media Day Details


Date: Thursday, June 30, 2011
Time: 6 to 9 p.m.
Location: Brooklyn Bowl, 61 Wythe Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11211
RSVP: Meetup, Facebook Event, Plancast
Hashtag: #smday


View Larger Map

As a bonus, all Social Media Day attendees are invited to stay for DJ Questlove‘s Bowl Train show. He’ll play at 11 p.m., helping Social Media Day 2011 to go out with a bang.

We can’t wait to celebrate our biggest and best Social Media Day yet. Hope to see you there!

Interested in Social Media Day NYC event sponsorship opportunities? Email us at sponsorships@mashable.com.



Not in NYC? Attend a Social Media Day Meetup Near You »


More About: community, mashable meetup, questlove, smday, social media day

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Twitter-Based iPhone Photo App Puts Emphasis On Who You’re With

Posted: 07 Jun 2011 12:43 PM PDT


Path, maker of the “personal network” app for iPhone, just launched a new app that provides another alternative to the traditional social network — the “interaction network.”

With [iTunes link] for iPhone, released Tuesday, encourages you to share who you are with — that is, physically next to — by providing a stylized photo. The app serves up photos of the people you follow, and their interactions, in a visual timeline.

The application is built on top of Twitter, making it an extension of your Twitter social graph.

On With, the friends you are with the most will rise to the top of your profile. The closer the friendship — based on your posted interactions — the more benefits.

“At Path, above all we believe in empowering simple design, quality craftsmanship, and creative freedom,” the startup explains in a post announcing the new application. “At a recent hackathon, we discussed an idea that we thought to be fairly powerful: A fun, simple way to share who you are with. The idea seemed to have legs.”

Indeed it does. Here’s why: Big or small, the moments that make up our days are often more poignant when they’re shared with other people.

We share these moments publicly through photos on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, and some of us share them privately via Path. But that means the visual of the moment itself overshadows the people making the moment happen. With, on the other hand, tips the scale toward the relationships formed by those moments. That’s why the startup likes to call the app “authentic”.

With is also quite nice to look at. The app could be a bit more intuitive, but once you figure out that you’re meant to post who you’re with by tagging your Twitter friends, snap a photo and apply a lens, you’ll get it.

Or perhaps you’ll get it just by seeing the interactions of your Twitter friends, which are already waiting for you after you log in. The Twitter social graph and the single sign-on feature are two of With’s strongest qualities — the moment you log in with your Twitter account, you have something stunning to look at.

Path insists that it remains dedicated to its primary iPhone application, but With has the all right ingredients to be a more commercial and social success.

More About: iphone app, Mobile 2.0, Path, With

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6 New & Innovative Social Media Campaigns to Learn From

Posted: 07 Jun 2011 12:17 PM PDT


The Social Media for Business Leaders Series is supported by The Awareness Social Marketing Hub, the leading social media marketing software for marketers to publish, manage, measure and engage across the social web. Request a demo here.

We’re always on the lookout for innovative social media campaigns at Mashable. This week we scoured the web and our Twitter feeds to find some of the most interesting campaigns out there.

From utilizing online video in an inventive way to creating a unique presence on Facebook, these six social media campaigns are some of the most original pieces of work as of late. Let us know about your favorite recent social media campaigns in the comments below.


1. Intel: Targeting a Digitally Savvy Audience


Ad agency Amsterdam Worldwide unveiled the first in a series of blogger films, called "Visual Life," for technology brand Intel back in January 2011. The series showcases top bloggers discussing how they use technology and how it has transformed their work.

The first video of the series documented the work of fashion blogger and photographer Scott Schumann, The Sartorialist. The video garnered nearly a quarter of a million views in its first two weeks and has been viewed more than 850,000 times on YouTube and the Intel site, helping increase Intel's YouTube channel views by 200%.

The video went viral when it was embedded on The Sartorialist blog, but also gained a lot of views from Facebook, The Cool Hunter and mobile devices. This campaign has done quite well, as it targets a digital savvy audience that is interested in learning about how top bloggers are utilizing photo and video technologies. Such viewers are more likely to share the videos with their social graphs, increasing the virality of the series.

This week, the campaign launched its most recent video (embedded above), which documents the role technology plays for two young Chinese wedding photographers, Kitty and Lala.

Overall, the series takes on a lifestyle approach that is uncommon for tech brands, focusing on the effects that technology has had on each video’s featured subject, both personally and professionally.


2. The Century Council: Using YouTube Ads for a Good Cause


In April, The Century Council, a national non-profit organization dedicated to fighting drunk driving and underage drinking, teamed up with a bipartisan group of 23 attorneys general from around the country to release a creative public service announcement (PSA) in conjunction with Alcohol Awareness Month. The attorneys general each taped an animated or radio version of the PSA that encouraged kids to say “yes” to a healthy lifestyle and “no” to underage drinking. The animated version of the PSA leads attorneys general through many scenes depicting the type of behavior that the council is promoting.

The campaign, called “Ask, Listen, Learn,” has proven to be an amazing success, garnering millions of views via The Century Council’s YouTube Channel. Much of this success was due to smart ad placements on YouTube.

“Utilizing YouTube’s TrueView ad format, we worked with Google’s specialists to buy keywords likely to rack up traffic fast within our core demographic,” says Ralph Blackman, president & CEO of The Century Council. “For example, two of our top five Ad Group Themes were ‘first dance Justin Bieber youtube’ and ‘Baby lyrics Justin Bieber YouTube.’ Utilizing YouTube’s TrueView format, we were less concerned with ad waste and more concerned with impact, as disinterested users were more likely to skip through the ads, resulting in no cost to us.”

“Our main goals were to get our message across to kids nationwide and to put the participating attorneys general in front of their youngest constituents,” says Blackman. “In that regard, we considered our ad buy an enormous success. We racked up more than 2.5 million views over the campaign, had all of our videos frequently embedded, and had website traffic at 11 times its normal levels. Our view-through rate hovered at around 25%, with daily views anywhere from 60,000 to 125,000. Many attorneys general afterward said they were surprised at the reach it delivered as well — constituents frequently mentioned seeing their PSAs.”


3. Johnson’s Baby Canada: Offering Low-Value Prizes for High Return


Johnson’s Baby Canada tripled its Facebook fan count in just three weeks with a baby photo contest that offered users the chance to have their little ones featured on the Johnson’s site.

For Johnson’s Canada, offering a low-value prize (placing a baby’s photo on its website) yielded high returns in fans and engagement. Besides tripling its fan base, it also garnered more than 1 million visits to the Facebook application, more than 3.5 million photo views, and more than half a million votes. The brand benefited from entrants who shared through their social graphs to rally votes; there was an average of 10 clicks per shared link.

The campaign was developed by Edelman Digital on the Strutta contest platform and was available in English and French, as it was targeted towards a Canadian audience.


4. Ford Fiesta: Behind-the-Scenes Product Placement


Car manufacturer Ford, product placement company Stone Management and online marketing agency Wpromote, recently teamed up to launch a behind-the-scenes social media campaign in conjunction with the forthcoming Tom Hanks film Larry Crowne.

The campaign promotes the Ford Fiesta via product placement and features Hanks’ assistant Bo Stevenson, also known as “FiestaBo.” During the filming of “Larry Crowne,” Stevenson and Stone Management took videos and pictures of behind-the-scenes action, which would later be used as engaging content for both the movie and the new Ford Fiesta. The content was then posted to YouTube and Facebook. The YouTube channel has received more than 70,000 video views, and the Facebook Page has garnered nearly 16,000 Likes.

In the embedded via above, Stevenson explains the campaign as a “social media experiment” that attempts to give fans a true behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like to work in Hollywood. As Stevenson assists Tom Hanks, viewers get to see what it’s like to drive Hanks to work every morning, fetch a typewriter for Hanks to make old-school script changes and chat with the other actors on set.

While the success of the campaign is mediocre, we’re more impressed with the innovative approach to product placement. As the film wasn’t car-centric, Wpromote and Stone Management needed to launch a creative way to showcase that the Ford Fiesta was key to the movie’s filming. Highlighting the daily life of Tom Hanks’ assistant as he drove around in the lime green Fiesta was an inventive way to do just that.


5. Samsung: Driving Engagement and Sharing


Created by social media agency Ignite Social Media, Samsung TV’s “Like It, Reveal It, Win It” campaign features a weekly product giveaway on Facebook that incentivizes users to participate regularly and invite friends to join them.

After “liking” Samsung TV’s Facebook Page, users are able to enter to win Samsung products by unlocking pixels, which can be done by recommending the contest to friends. The more pixels a user unlocks, the more chances he or she has to win the hidden weekly prize, a Samsung TV-related product. The contest also dynamically incorporates hidden Easter-egg prizes that can be unlocked instantly.

Unlike a standard contest, where users enter once and then leave the page, this campaign actively engages fans on a weekly basis and gives them a reason to invite more of their network to the page.

Facebook fan acquisition is Samsung’s key goal with this campaign. The company saw an increase of more than 12,000 new fans within the first week and a half, and reports that growth seems to be accelerating as the contest continues and entrants reach out to their networks.


6. Mello Yello: Relaunching with an Existing Fan Base


Remember that citrusy soda from your childhood called Mello Yello? Well, it still exists, and it’s doing what it can to make a comeback.

Mello Yello recently relaunched its brand under the campaign “They Call Me Mello Yello,” which circles around retro kitsch and a remake of Donovan’s 1966 hit song. The brand is utilizing social media, especially Facebook, to spread its message.

After discovering a consumer-created Facebook Page for Mello Yello, marketing agency BFG Communications identified the owner of the page, contacted him and worked with him to transition it to an official brand page. At that point, BFG worked with Mello Yello to develop a brand voice by creating a character sketch that would become the framework for the tone, language and topics the brand would use on Facebook. This distinct voice officially came to life as the brand took on management of the Facebook Page in August 2010, focusing on posting fun content, answering fan questions and responding to comments.

The Facebook Page features a Retro Smooth Photo Generator, which enables users to transform a photo of themselves (by uploading or using their webcam) from “not so smooth” to “smooth,” using a hipster-feeling photo filter. The Page also features a Smooth Quiz, where users can find out just how suave they really are. For a limited time, users can also download the free “Mellow Yellow” remix.

“The goal was to reach 10,000 fans by the end of 2010,” a brand representative told Mashable. “Without any gimmicks or ads, we surpassed that goal within one month of content and community management. The Page continues to grow, and currently has around 78,000 fans. It is also notable that about 80% of the Page’s fans are 24 or younger, showing that the brand is reaching a new generation of fans, not just the consumers who remember Mello Yello from the early ’80s. Many brands focus on bells and whistles to attract a social media audience. The Mello Yello experience shows that personality, content and responsiveness, while simpler, can go a long way and lead to long term engagement.”


Your Picks


The Internet is a massive abyss that’s not easily traversed — consequently, it’s inevitable that we’ve overlooked some amazing campaigns. Feel free to school us by sharing the details of your favorite social media campaigns in the comments below.

Disclosure: Ford is a Mashable sponsor.


Series supported by The Awareness Social Marketing Hub


The Social Media for Business Leaders Series is supported by The Awareness Social Marketing Hub, the leading social media marketing software for marketers to publish, manage, measure and engage across all their social channels. The Awareness Social Marketing Hub is leveraged by companies of all sizes including Sony, MLB, American Cancer Society, and Starwood Hotels. Request a demo here.

Download a complimentary ebook from Awareness: A Marketer’s Guide to Social Media: Developing and Implementing a Social Media Marketing Strategy.


More Business Resources from Mashable:


- Social Media Marketing: 5 Lessons From Business Leaders Who Get It
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- 7 Unique Eco-Friendly Company Transportation Alternatives
- HOW TO: Write a Standout Job Description
- How JetBlue's Social Media Strategy Took Flight

More About: digital marketing, facebook, intel, MARKETING, online marketing, samsung, social media, social media for business leaders series, social media marketing, youtube

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10 Eco-Friendly Accessories for a Greener Office [PICS]

Posted: 07 Jun 2011 11:49 AM PDT


You maintain green habits at home, but are you as conscientious in the office? We’ve found 10 great accessories that will help you stay eco-friendly even when you hit your workplace.

From clever trash bins to reusable cutlery to designer paper clips, these objects will add some environmentally-friendly credentials to your office, and hopefully inspire your colleagues to go a little green as well.

Take a look through the photo gallery of planet-loving choices and let us know in the comments below which ones you would like to take to work.


1. BASKETBIN




A great, green solution to stick under your desk, the BASKETBIN has a small, dishwasher-safe cup clipped inside for your messy food waste, leaving the body of the bin free for your paper to be recycled.

Cost: Approx $65


2. Foldable Battery Box




Stick this handy box in a prominent position and it will help everyone remember to recycle their dead batteries.

Cost: $2


3. Staple-less Stapler




Saving staples from ending up in the landfill might seem like a small thing, but every little thing helps. These staple-less staplers also mean you'll never run out of supplies again.

Cost: $16 for a set of two


4. Tapi




Tapi converts your faucet into a mini drinking fountain. Putting one in your office will mean a lot less plastic in the world.

Cost: $9.95 for a set of two


5. Perpetual Calendar




This perpetual calendar saves money and paper. Plus, it looks pretty swish.

Cost: $40


6. Dine-Ink Pen Utensil Set




It's bad to use disposable cutlery. This re-usable set is perfect for your office drawer and will fit onto most pens for desktop dining.

Cost: $9.99


7. Hu2 Eco Reminders




Described as "sustainable habit reminders," Hu2 offers a range of wall decals to place around light switches and power sockets to help you remember to turn them off.

Cost: Varies, from approx $16


8. Desktop Bamboo Dry Erase Board




How much paper do you use writing notes, to-do lists and phone messages? This dry erase board is the eco option for your desktop.

Cost: $13


9. Porcelain Travel Mugs




These gorgeous double-insulated travel mugs should give you the incentive to ditch your cardboard cup habit forever.

Cost: $21


10. Rock Paper Scissors Clips




These rock-paper-scissors-themed clips are a great alternative to paper clips and are a lot less likely to get chucked.

Cost: $13 for 30


More About: design, eco, gadgets, gallery, green, List, Lists, office, office accessories, tech

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HOW TO: Have the Cancer Talk

Posted: 07 Jun 2011 11:16 AM PDT

cancer image

No one likes to have the sex talk with their kids, but it can be equally hard for kids to have “The Cancer Talk” with their parents. F–k Cancer, an organization that promotes awareness around early detection, launched a campaign to get kids talking to their parents.

Kids can log on to the website, which lets users send personalized celebrity voicemails that set up a time to talk about cancer in person. It’s a simple tool, but it’s one that takes a lot of pressure off children. Users can choose voicemails from Fran Drescher or Michael Winslow and fill in personalized details about the parent such as age, whether they smoke or drink, and body weight. The questions are appropriately light with fun multiple choice options like measuring your parent’s weight as “super-scrawnsville (tiny)” or “A little on the chubby side. Kind of like a Doughboy.”

The organization won’t send kids in alone, providing cheat sheets, information and tips on specific cancers and how to speak to their parents about a potentially tricky topic. To break the ice, F-Cancer has posted a slew of celebrity videos talking about their own awkward sex-talk conversations with their parents. There are videos from Adrian Grenier, Terrell Owens, Perez Hilton, Deepak Chopra and more. The general message is that even though awkward conversations are tough, they come from a good place and have a huge impact.

In fact, F-Cancer claims that parents are more willing to take the advice of their children over their partners, friends and even medical professionals. If found early, 90% of cancers can be treated. The charity is hoping that “The Cancer Talk” helps make Generation Y the first generation to end late stage cancer diagnoses by accomplishing three goals. Families can have frank discussions about their cancer history, identify personal risks and early warning signs, and encourage relatives to stay on top of their regular cancer screenings every year.

It can be tough for kids to give their parents advice, especially around difficult topics like cancer. F-Cancer is using humor and a light touch to empower children to make a difference, but is it the right approach? Let us know what you think of the project and the role kids can play in making a difference.

More About: cancer, cancer talk, charity, f cancer, fuck cancer, health, let's f cancer, non-profit, sex talk, social good, social media

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Woman Gets Facebook Friend Sleeve Tattoo [VIDEO]

Posted: 07 Jun 2011 10:58 AM PDT


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

Friends are a many splendored thing — and it’s natural to carry them in one’s heart throughout one’s ever-storied life. It seems a little extreme, however, to tattoo them on one’s arm.

Apparently, this woman (from what we can tell from the video), saw fit to tattoo her 152 Facebook friends on her arm. Granted, this could all be some kind of publicity stunt — remember that guy who got Ray-Bans tattooed on his face? Then again, T-Pain got a Facebook “Like” button on his arm, and who are we to question trends set by T? (Except auto-tune. That was just bad.)

Say what you will about the prudence of this tat-enthusiast’s decision, at least she adhered to Dunbar’s Number.

SEE ALSO: 10 Great Geeky Tattoos [PICS]

More About: facebook, t-pain, tattoo, trending, video, viral video, viral-video-of-day, youtube

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9 Beautiful One-Page Websites for Design Inspiration

Posted: 07 Jun 2011 10:37 AM PDT

Single-page websites have been commonplace on the web for a few years now. First made popular by designers seeking a clean, simple way to showcase portfolios, the one-page website now has a number of uses, including advertising software and promoting events. It’s a great way to have a large impact with a small amount of content.

Below, we’ll take a look at 9 great one-page websites, explore how they’re used and what makes them so awesome. Get ready to be inspired!


1. Blacktie





The designers over at Blacktie have put together a slick portfolio showcasing some of their best works. What we love most about Blacktie is its bold color palette and smooth navigation. Browsing the portfolio feels responsive and snappy. Changing the background color to white (via the links at the top right) dramatically changes the feel of the portfolio. It's also a nice touch to feature screenshots on the devices for which they were created.


2. Corpus




Corpus is a content management system that's a little more "cerebral." Type, color and illustrations combine to set a mood that feels more suited to academia than web development. However, that's just the feeling that Corpus is aiming for. Its web app is focused on inspiring creativity and freedom of expression without the limitations of a content management system. The site offers just enough information to pique one's interest: There's just a brief introduction, a short list of features, logos of existing clients, and a large, centrally located email for further inquiries.


3. Think Green Meeting




Think Green Meeting is a conferencing service for the environmentally conscious. It's a unique and accurate look at the benefits of digitizing your workplace. The site has some great interactive components like the grid of automobiles and airplanes that vanish when moused-over. It's a cool metaphor for the reduction in cost and emissions which the company stands for. Other great elements include the earthy, natural color palette and large, tightly-spaced headings juxtaposed by spacious body copy to give the site a very clean, modern and sophisticated feel.


4. Owl Concept




Owl Concept is an example of a one-page site that takes advantage of the screen real estate afforded it. Upon visiting the site you see a large photographic backgorund in cool colors with a subtle grid overlay in bold colors. It's visually impressive. Click on the portfolio link to the far right, however, and distractions slide away and you are presented with two carousels of featured works on a white background (hover effects complement the rollover effect on the navigation menu), with the header, navigation and footer remaining in place for consistency.


5. Captain Wallace




Here's an idea - how about designing your website to directly mirror the UI and illustrative style of the application it's promoting? That's exactly what the designers of the Captain Wallance iPhone/iPad application have done. The site is fun and immediately draws you in with its soft color palette, large, friendly type and cheery illustrations. It's almost impossible to look at this site without wanting to at least try out the touch app for preschoolers. You get an immediate feel for the application, its straightforward interface, and the lovely illustrations of animals you'll encounter while adventuring with the Captain.


6. Head 2 Heart




Single-page sites aren't just for iOS apps and portfolios. A number of non-profit organizations are starting to utilize these high-impact, user-friendly sites as brochures for a number of causes and programs. Head 2 Heart is a fundraising campaign by newly-forned NGO Collyde, which aims to raise money for programs dedicated to providing clean water, medical care, and promoting a safe environment for young girls in developing countries. Head 2 Heart takes you on a cleverly illustrated journey as you step through the side-scrolling website via the bottom navigation. It presents factoids and talking points along the way, explaining the goals of the organization and eventually bringing you to a donation page and list of additional ways you can support the cause.


7. Kickoff App




Kickoff App is collaboration software for Macs. The site developers do a great job capturing that Apple feel in everything from the typography, the icons, the arrangement of the screenshots and the grid that makes up the underlying structure. Sometimes innovation in design isn't necessary. Sometimes what you really need is a just a solid layout that's easily recognizable for what it is. This gives users a sense of familiarity and clearly promotes your product with minimal distraction. Kickoff App's website does a great job doing just that.


8. Garbageman




Garbageman is an iPhone/iPad app from Doubleleft. The goal is simple: Clean the city and earn money. We like the fun illustrations that tie in with the look and feel of the app along with the large slideshow. The layout is simple and the content minimal, giving you just enough information to get a good impression of the game and how it works without overloading you with too many details. Finding the balance on just the right amount of content is an important consideration when choosing whether to build a single-page site or something more complex. Doubleleft's Garbageman page is an example of single-page content done well.


9. Enzo Li Volti




Until recently, doing sophisticated typography on the web was over-complicated at best. But as web font technogies and delivery services improve, more and more designers are getting creative with text. Italian designer Enzo Li Volti lets layout and typography do all of the talking on his personal website. Breaking from the traditional thumbnail and screenshot portfolio with just a series of links, Li Volti creates his work of art with letters and font faces. We love the bold simplicity of this site, which would look just as great as a poster on the wall.


More About: case study, landing page, one page site, social media, web

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Mashable Teams With PepsiCo To Find Europe’s Most Promising Startups

Posted: 07 Jun 2011 10:14 AM PDT


Mashable has once again teamed up with PepsiCo to help find promising new startups with a new twist: We're looking for emerging tech companies based in Europe.

Much like last year's PepsiCo10, Mashable will be participating as a media partner, meaning we'll be reaching out to our community to help find the best ideas.

We'll also be participating in the process of helping PepsiCo select the companies that will ultimately present for a chance to become one of the startups that pilots a project with a brand like Pepsi, Gatorade, Tropicana or Quaker (below, several of last year's winners talk about their projects with me at a panel at SXSW).

Last year's PepsiCo10 featured startups looking to change everything from how you pay at restaurants to how you wait in line at amusement parks to how you wake up in the morning. This year, PepsiCo is looking specifically for companies within the areas of social media, mobile marketing, place based technology, digital video, gaming and learning technologies.

Other partners of the program include Highland Capital Partners, Omnicom Media Group and Weber Shandwick. You can learn more in the video below and on the PepsiCo10 website. Stay tuned to Mashable in the coming weeks for more news about the program.


About PepsiCo10



Last Year’s Winners Speak at SXSW


More About: mashable, pepsico

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