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Created by Jonathan23 on Jan 7, 2009
Last updated: 03/10/10 at 08:35 PM
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How would you feel if you scored a world record, only to have it absolutely demolished a mere 10 days later? Probably a lot like the Orlando Magicâs Dwight Howard, who set the Guinness World Record for sinking the longest basketball shot while sitting down. Today, Magic teammate Vince Carter made an 85-foot shot, officially stealing Howardâs thunder. The video of the award-winning shot, which is sure to go viral soon enough (it went up today and has already hit 8,202 views), shows a feat of reclining athleticism to rival all feats of reclining athleticism â which basically means itâs cooler than bobsledding. If sitting-down basketball were an option in high school, I would have totally participated.This rapid turn-around when it comes to a Guinness World Record hints at future face-offs in the wake of the organizationâs acquisition of Bragster. If challenges continue to manifest at this rate, we could be looking at real-time record-offs almost akin to true-blue sporting events.Check out the record-making and record-breaking videos below:Thereâs also this video of a fan named Dustin Leach who says he beat Dwightâs record one day after the b-b sunk the the long shot. If he did, indeed, best the pro itâs all null anyway. Carter still killed them both.ViTags: guinness world records, sports, video
Social media measurement platform Trendrr has just released a new real-time dashboard â targeted toward TV networks and brands â that tracks online conversations by gender, location, sentiment, influence, reach and volume.The Trendrr real-time dashboard â now available to all Trendrr Pro users â may sound like yet another social media monitoring product, but this is all about presentation, and on that front it delivers. You can get a better idea of data presentation from the screenshot of the Winter Olympics dashboard below.The dashboard is configured to look at Twitter conversations in compartmental buckets that provide a comprehensive picture of all the online chatter pertaining to a brand or entertainment entity. So Trendrr Pro users now have an alternative way to view their data; itâs less about charts and graphs, although those are included, and more about providing a lens to better consume the data powering the reports.At the top of the dashboard you get a real-time glimpse at keywords (which you can select to further filter the dashboard view) that are trending around the topic of interest, a count of real-time results since you started, and a number that projects total reach.Below thereâs two line graphs that chart mentions per hour and minute, a section that segments conversations by top location, a chart that looks at positive, neutral and negative sentiment, and a section that breaks down mentions by gender. If you continue to scroll down you can look at top hashtags, top links shared (with counts), real-time tweets, and Twitter users who are top influencers on the topic.Whatâs more interesting than the dashboard itself is the audience: the entertainment industry. The dashboard was developed with networks, studios and their agencies in mind. The tool points to the growing trend of social mediaâs impact on the entertainment industry, and the industryâs emerging need to better understand the online conversations happening around their entertainment properties in real-time.Now that social media factors into the success and ratings of movies, award shows, and major television events (think the Tiger Woods press conference), tools like Trendrrâs real-time dashboard will become paramount when identifying the actual impact of these online conversations.Reviews: TwitterTags: entertainment industry, Film, MARKETING, media, social media, social media monitoring, Trendrr, tv, twitter
iPhone users, weâve got a free gift for you! Mashableâs new iPhone app [iTunes link] is live in the App Store, offering an entirely new interface and a bunch of new features. These include:1. Browse by channel, category, tag or author2. Share stories via email, Twitter and Facebook3. Read later: save stories to read offline4. Drag to refresh: tap and pull down to refresh story listings5. In-App Browser : Visit external links without leaving the app6. Price: FREE!We hope youâll download the app in the App Store and give us your feedback!Note that this is an entirely new app â if youâre using previous versions, please download this new one.Tags: iphone, iphone app, mashable
Googleâs real-time search results, which include data from Twitter, Yahoo Answers, and other sources, has just added MySpace updates to the mix.That means that publicly available status updates, blog posts, and other MySpace data will now be included in the âlatest resultsâ area that now often pops up in Google search results when looking for information about a current event.It will also be included when you go to âUpdatesâ under the âShow Optionsâ link in search results. Hereâs what it looks like, with âOlympicsâ and âValentineâs Dayâ as examples:Googleâs real-time search features launched back in December, with Twitter, Facebook and MySpace announced as partners. Twitterâs integration has been live since then, though publicly available Facebook updates â like those from Fan Pages â are not yet a part of the fold.Getting the integration live can certainly be seen as a win for MySpace, who last week saw its CEO leave after less than one year in office. Having its name side-by-side as a source for real-time updates alongside Twitter (and maybe at some point Facebook) in Google results is a good reminder that the service still has considerable influence.Reviews: Facebook, Google, MySpace, TwitterTags: Google, myspace, real-time search
Itâs almost impossible to overstate the impact that the Internet, digital video and online distribution has had on the world of film. Filmmakers today have so many more opportunities to get their films seen and to connect with film lovers than they have in the past, even when compared to six or seven years ago.One company that is really looking to leverage the web, social media and established players, all in a bid to help filmmakers and film fans discover and share great content, is Openfilm.com. We had a chance to talk with the team behind Openfilm to see what makes this community sharing site unique in both its message and its approach. Like YouTube But For Filmmakers and Film LoversThere are tons and tons of sites that let users submit their own video content â the biggest being YouTube. What sets Openfilm apart from the YouTubes and Vimeos of the world?Talking with Openfilm co-founder Dmitry Kozko, there are a few things that separate Openfilm from other user-generated services. Focus â Openfilm was created for filmmakers and people who love the craft of filmmaking and independent film. This is a niche audience, to be sure, but it is also one that has been underrepresented in the user-generated space. Film students, aspiring directors and film lovers who want to see really innovative shorts are the people that use and submit video to the site.Selection Standards â Every video uploaded to Openfilm is hand-screened for quality. If something is poorly shot or violates copyright or has nothing to say, it wonât be accepted onto the site. Thatâs not to say that beginners canât submit their films and shorts to get feedback â but this isnât YouTube where anything goes, and it isnât trying to be.Community Outreach â Openfilm isnât just about having an avenue to upload your film, itâs also a community designed to help aspiring filmmakers succeed. To that end, Openfilm has an Advisory Board with some pretty impressive members. The Chairman of the Advisory Board is none other than Oscar-nominated actor James Caan (The Godfather). Caan is joined by fellow Godfather alum and Oscar-winner Robert Duvall, director Mark Rydell, and actor Scott Caan.The purpose of the Advisory Board is to provide members of the community with access to people who have already made a name for themselves and can provide feedback.High Quality Viewing Experience â If you peruse the Openfilm site, youâll notice that the video player is really, really solid. The standard definition video is easily as good as some sitesâ so-called high definition content and the HQ option looks fantastic even when expanded to 2560Ă1440. The video player can display content from 640Ă360 to 1280Ă720 and the encoding process is sharp.Users can submit Internet uploads up to 2GB or mail-in DVDs for other content and there are no limitations on content duration â although the focus of the site is mainly on shorts, animation and music videos.Helping Filmmakers Get Seen and Get PaidMore than just having a place to upload content, one of the most difficult things for new filmmakers is to make money off their content. To that end, if you choose to offer advertisements on your content (a la YouTube), Openfilm will split the revenue 50/50.Users can also collect donations for their projects â something particularly cool for filmmakers who might be documenting an overall experience.Users can also sell mobile versions of their content, at a price they set. Openfilm Free accounts can make money off their videos, but if you want to sell mobile versions or accept donations, youâll need an Openfilm Plus or Openfilm Pro account. Those run $2.95 and $9.95 a month, respectively, but give users priority uploading, the ability to turn off ads, the option to decide what kind of embed options you want, and the ability to follow different film festivals.Openfilm also runs periodic contests, like the current Openfilm Slogan Contest, that give members a way to stretch their creativity and maybe win some cash.Partnerships and Film FestivalsOpenfilm is a pretty new site (it launched in mid-2008), but it has some interesting partnerships that further drive the goal of being a community resource for film fans and filmmakers.Film festivals offer both a continual source of great content for film fans and an avenue of exposure for filmmakers. I spoke with Brenda Nieborsky, the Film Festival Services Director for Openfilm, and she expressed the siteâs dedication to helping festivals get exposure, have branded channels that show off content, and offer an opportunity to promote the festivals throughout the year.Check out this promo for a short that will be screening at the FirstGlance Film Festival in Hollywood this April: Furthermore, filmmakers can find deadlines for entries and festival information via Openfilm, and they can also view content from past festivals.Openfilm has also partnered with TiVo and Sony Music to provide users with music videos from Sony and to syndicate a few films each week to TiVo users.Itâs All About Love of FilmAfter speaking with members of the Openfilm team and using and interacting with the site, it is abundantly clear that everyone involved in the project loves film and wants to help aspiring filmmakers succeed. I went to film school myself, and while my cinematic aspirations might be on hold for a bit, my passion for the craft of filmmaking has never waned. This is absolutely true of the Openfilm community.What impresses us about what Openfilm is doing is that they are working hard to help filmmakers get exposure, help film festivals get promotion, and help film lovers discover new content.Weâve Got Free Pro AccountsOpenfilm was nice enough to give us 25 coupon codes that are good for one month of Openfilm Pro. Want in? Just follow @Openfilm and Retweet this post! The Openfilm team will choose 25 RTs at random to give out promo codes!What are your favorite video sites for viewing and sharing artistic content? Let us know!Tags: film festivals, filmmaking, openfilm, video, video creation, youtube
GMAIL USERS: We hope youâll join the discussion over on Mashableâs Google Buzz account.Some think Google Buzz could be the next huge social platform. Others think itâs one big privacy nightmare. With its launch week drawing to an end, we pinged our friends at Crimson Hexagon for analysis of Twitter userâs opinions. The results, not surprisingly, are incredibly mixed. 16 percent of the tweets analyzed were characterized as positive, while 14 percent simply express curiosity. The much talked about privacy issues that Google has already moved to address garnered 15 percent of the tweet activity, though a full 50 percent either donât like Buzz or are already claiming to be done with it. Somewhat surprisingly, 6 percent expressed loyalty to Twitter in their comments â a sign that some view Buzz as a competitive threat.The overall buzz, one way or another, has been plentiful. According to another analytics firm â Trendrr â Buzz garnered more tweet volume than Googleâs Nexus One launch, with a peak of nearly a quarter of a million tweets on Tuesday.Reviews: Google, Google Buzz, TwitterTags: Google, google buzz, twitter
The BBC reports that Warner Music Group will no longer offer its songs to free music-streaming services like Last.fm or Spotify.Warner Music CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr. said, âFree streaming services are clearly not net positive for the industryâ and the model âis not the kind of approach to business that we will be supporting in the future.âWarnerâs shift could be a big blow to some music-streaming services. Warnerâs catalog includes artists REM, Death Cab for Cutie, Fall Out Boy, Sean âDiddyâ Combs, Aretha Franklin, Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, The Grateful Dead, Jay-Z, The Doobie Brothers, Freezepop, Garbage, Jimi Hendrix, Jet, Green Day, Goo Goo Dolls, Metallica, Morrissey, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Frank Sinatra and numerous others.Back in 2007, a DRM-free music e-tailer called AnywhereCD closed its doors mostly because it lost Warner Music Group content and couldnât entice its users to keep coming back for more without those important artists.Now, the timing is poor for streaming site Spotify. The U.S. launch of European site is probably on the horizon, but without these artists the service could look less attractive to new American users. And the whole situation is a bit confusing; we recently saw reports that Spotify is paying out well to record labelsThe BBCâs article isnât clear on some important details, like which regions are affected. We also donât know whether existing deals with Internet radio stations and services will be immediately affected, or if Warner simply plans not to sign any new ones. Weâll update this post if Warner Bros. comments to clarify.Tags: internet radio, Last.FM, spotify, warner music group
Thereâs some good news and some bad news. First, the good news: sources tell Engadget that multitouch browsing will be added to the Motorola Droid in its next software update. Multitouch was one of the most requested features on Android, at least until the Nexus One gained multitouch browsing last week.The bad news: the update wonât add the ability to install live wallpapers, a coveted feature of Android 2.1 seen in the Nexus One.The point of live wallpaper is essentially to let your homescreen behave like an application, making it animated and interactive. Live wallpapers have the same access to the platform functionality that apps do, giving your homescreen the ability to change dynamically and to bring relevant information to the background of your phone. Thereâs no word on when or even if the Droid might support live wallpaper, but it looks like it wonât be included in this upcoming update.Other tidbits from the new build â based on Android 2.1 version 1 â include pre-installed Google Goggles experimental visual search, and versions of the news and weather widgets first included with the Nexus One.The official word on the street from Motorola is that the new update will roll out this week, so it wonât be long now before Droid users finally get to enjoy the multitouch browsing experience their Nexus One counterparts have been privy to since last week.Reviews: AndroidTags: android, android 2.1, droid, live wallpaper, Motorola, multitouch, verizon
According to market research firm IDC, vendors shipped 54.5 million smartphone devices in the fourth quarter of 2009, an increase of 39% compared to the same period in 2008.A lot of this growth can be attributed to Apple and its iPhone, which has grown from 9.1% market share in 2008 to 14.4% in 2009, shipping 8.7 million units in the fourth quarter of 2009. Although some reports claim Appleâs smartphone market share has dropped compared to the third quarter of 2009, Apple can still be satisfied with its impressive overall growth.BlackBerry manufacturer RIM lately hasnât been getting as much press as some other manufacturers, but itâs also doing very well, with its market share rising from 15.6% to 19.8% in 2009. Besides RIM, Apple and Nokia (which still holds the first spot in the smartphone market, slightly dropping from 40.0% in 2008 to 38.9% in 2009), the other two names in the top five list are HTC and Samsung with 4.6% and 3.3% market share, respectively. However, this list might get rearranged soon, as Motorola has had significant success with its Droid, shipping 2.5 million smartphones in the fourth quarter of 2009, compared to just 1.6 million in the same period in 2008.[img credit: IDC]Tags: idc, Mobile 2.0, smartphones
Tim Trefren is one of the founders of Mixpanel, Inc. a real-time analytics service that helps companies understand how users behave with web applications.When most people think of web analytics, they think about pageview tracking; basically, measuring which pages on a website are being viewed. Pageview tracking is a well-established technology, but itâs no longer meeting the needs of many of the most well-known companies in social media. Companies like Facebook, Zynga, Slide, and RockYou are spending tons of resources building their own internal analytics tools.Thereâs a reason for this: Social media is highly competitive, and the biggest advantage you can have is data. To improve and grow, these companies need to gather as much information as they can, and they need more than simple pageview tracking.In the following sections I will cover three of the most important things to measure for social applications.1. Funnel Analysis: Measuring Conversion RatesOne critical kind of analysis that social apps require is called Funnel Analysis. This is a way of measuring conversion rates, which is the lifeblood of all applications. The term âconversion rateâ refers to the total number of visitors who came to a site, compared to the number of visitors who did a desired action (such as creating an account or purchasing an item).What Funnel Analysis gives you is a more granular way of analyzing conversion rates. Instead of simply looking at signups divided by total visitors, you figure out the steps that have to be taken to get a user to sign up and measure the individual conversion rates between steps. As you can see from the image above, thereâs often a pretty steep dropoff between each step, giving you the namesake funnel shape. (Note: the image uses made up stats and is for illustration purposes only.)This more granular look at conversion rates can have surprising results. Letâs take a look at Twitterâs signup funnel:1. Hit homepage 2. Go to signup page, fill out registration form 3. Browse suggested topics 4. Add e-mail friends 5. Search for someoneAs you can see, the signup process is pretty complicated, and will benefit from detailed analysis. We might find, for example, that thereâs a huge dropoff rate (a âdropoffâ occurs when many of the people who made it to one step donât make it to the next) at the âAdd e-mail friendsâ step. Once weâve discovered a dropoff rate like this, we have to figure out the root cause. The dropoff rate at the âAdd e-mail friendsâ step could mean that users are unsure how to continue, causing them to leave, or they might not want to add their e-mail information. We would have to test to make sure.Ultimately, Funnel Analysis is about finding and improving trouble spots in a website. With continual analysis, changes can be measured and ideas can be tested over time.2. Engagement Tracking: Measuring What People DoAs I mentioned earlier, pageview tracking is becoming less and less relevant for many web companies. Instead of the basic unit of measurement being the pageview, they are starting to track more directly relevant things, like the actions people are taking. Twitter, for example, may want to know how many tweets the average person sends and what they are searching for, not how many pages they viewed. Pageviews are just a way of approximating the information we really want, and as the web grows more interactive, they become less and less relevant.Think about this: Sites exist today on which you never actually change the page. These are highly interactive sites, but they are impossible to track with pageviews, so traditional analytics tools are useless.This will only become more common as time goes on and more companies develop highly interactive applications and adopt AJAX loading techniques.3. Visitor Retention: How Many People Come Back?This next technique measures a fairly complex but extremely valuable metric for successful web applications.You can think of Visitor Retention as a measure of how âstickyâ your site is. What weâre really measuring is the percentage of people who come back again and again. The most common way of approaching this is to look at a group of users from a single time period (a week, for example) and track their behavior over time.Hereâs an example of a retention table that should help clarify things:Each row shows the weekly retention rates for a single group of users (sometimes known as a âcohortâ). The first row, for example, is the cohort seen between December 7 and December 13, 2009. We can see that 15.15% of the users in that group came back after 1 week, 13.4% after 2 weeks, and so on.This is crucial information, particularly for social applications, because most of the value lies in the size of the community. An application with low retention is like an empty shell â many installs but few active users â and you donât want to build an empty shell. You want a thriving, vibrant community.Retention is a huge factor in building a strong community for a few reasons: You donât have much of a community if everyone is a newcomer (so more old users is a good thing), and the nature of retention is such that you get disproportionate returns on any increases you make. Without going into too much detail, an example would be that increasing retention by 33% might give you 50% more users in the long run.Twitter is again a good example for us, as the network has been plagued by low retention rates. Twitter may seem successful now, but their low retention rate is troubling. In the past, companies that seemed to be extremely successful (think early Facebook apps) ultimately lost their edge because they couldnât retain their users.Itâs entirely possible that Twitter itself could be a fad. With such low retention, I wouldnât necessarily be surprised â but it is still too early to tell.ConclusionThereâs a lot to learn about analytics from the frontrunners in social media. The intense competition has resulted in many new and innovative ways to track and analyze visitor data.We covered three such concepts in detail today: Funnel analysis, which lets you track conversion rates across whole parts of your site, engagement tracking, which is becoming more relevant than pageviews, and visitor retention analysis, which helps you understand and optimize the number of repeat visitors you get.More business resources from Mashable:- How Data Will Impact the Way We Do Business - Marketing in 2010: Itâs All About the Data - Mashableâs Social Media Guide for Small Businesses - HOW TO: Use Social Media to Retain Customers - 5 Advanced Social Media Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses - 4 Ways Social Media is Changing Business - 5 Easy Social Media Wins for Your Small BusinessImages courtesy of iStockphoto, cyrop, ElfstromReviews: Facebook, Twitter, iStockphotoTags: analytics, business, data, metrics, small business, social media, social networks, web apps, Web Development
You know that old adage about not saying âbombâ on an airplane? It turns out that it extends to Twitter as well. The Telegraph reports that a South Yorkshire man was arrested last week after joking on Twitter that he would blow an airport âsky highâ if his flight was delayed. When the Robin Hood airport closed due to snow on January 6, Paul Chambers tweeted: âRobin Hood airport is closed. Youâve got a week and a bit to get your shit together, otherwise Iâm blowing the airport sky high!!âWhile perhaps in poor taste, the comment was intended (and was interpreted by friends) as a joke. However, when police arrived at Chambersâs doorstep on January 13, the laughing stopped.From the Telegraph: ââMy first thought upon hearing it was the police was that perhaps a member of my family had been in an accident,â 26-year-old Mr Chambers told The Independent.ââThen they said I was being arrested under the Terrorism Act and produced a piece of paper. It was a print-out of my Twitter page. That was when it dawned on me.ââWhile being questioned on suspicion of conspiring to create a bomb hoax at the police station, Chambers had to explain to the police department what Twitter was and how it worked.While Chambers has been released on bail pending further inquiries on February 11, his laptop, iPhone and home computer have been seized. The Twitter post was also deleted.The question of when speech becomes akin to yelling âfire in a crowded theaterâ is becoming less clear in this new age of anti-terrorism law. Twitter and other social networks only make the situation that much more murkier, as both privacy and free speech issues become part of the equation.While we think that the police overreacted in this case, this is a good reminder to be aware of what you tweet. What might seem innocuous in one context might be interpreted as threatening in another.[img credit:SoulRider.222]Tags: freedom of speech, law, twitter
Brett Favre chose a strange post-game celebration song after the Vikings beat the Cowboys today: the viral video hit âPants on the Ground.âThe song, which originated on American Idol and became a web sensation this week, also received a tribute from Jimmy Fallon in the form of a Neil Young parody version.Far exceeding Idolâs age limit of 28, 62-year-old Larry Platt missed out on a recording contract, but might still have a one-hit wonder if the song is ever released.Brett Favre: Pants on the GroundLarry Platt: Pants on the Ground â American IdolTags: brett favre, pants on the ground
Nokia isnât the only company that has a legal beef with Apple; Eastman Kodak announced that it has filed lawsuits against both the iPhone maker and Research In Motion (RIM). Kodak has filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) alleging that both the iPhone and camera-enabled BlackBerry devices infringe on a patent that Kodak holds covering a method for previewing images. Kodak also filed two additional suits against Apple in U.S. District Court claiming infringement of patents related to digital cameras and certain computer processes.Kodak has licensing deals with LG, Motorola, Samsung, Sony Ericson and Nokia. The Nokia bit is interesting, if only because of the additional claims that Nokia has filed against Apple. Patents are a complicated and murky area, itâs just fascinating that both companies are alleging imaging violations.From Kodakâs announcement: ââKodak has a long history of digital imaging innovation and we have invested hundreds of millions of dollars creating our industry-leading patent portfolio,â said Laura G. Quatela, Chief Intellectual Property Officer, and Vice President, Eastman Kodak Company. âIn the case of Apple and RIM, weâve had discussions for years with both companies in an attempt to resolve this issue amicably, and we have not been able to reach a satisfactory agreement. In light of that, we are taking this action to ensure that we protect the interests of our shareholders and the existing licensees of our technology.âOur primary interest is not to disrupt the availability of any product but to obtain fair compensation for the use of our technology,â Quatela said. âThereâs a basic issue of fairness that needs to be addressed. Those devices use Kodak technology, and we are merely seeking compensation for the use of our technology in their products.ââOf course, Kodak is seeking a limited exclusion order from the ITC preventing the importation of infringing devices (which would mean the iPhone and virtually all BlackBerry models), so even if the companyâs goal isnât to disrupt availability, it certainly wants the courts to do just that.In the District Court cases, Kodak wants to permanently enjoin Apple from further infringement, as well as receiving unspecified damages.More details on the two Apple District Court lawsuits from the announcement: âIn the first suit against Apple in U.S. District Court, Kodak alleges infringement of two patents generally covering image preview and the processing of images of different resolutions. In the second suit, Kodak alleges infringement of patents that describe a method by which a computer program can âask for helpâ from another application to carry out certain computer-oriented functions. The allegations in the second suit apply to any Apple product that uses the processing method described above. The patents at issue in the second suit were previously the subject of litigation between Kodak and Sun Microsystems Inc., and in that case, a federal jury determined in a 2004 trial that Sunâs Java programming technology had infringed the patents. Kodak later settled the suit by agreeing to a payment from Sun in return for a license for the patents at issue.âKodak has had some recent luck in the patent lawsuit game. On December 17, an ITC Administrative Law Judge ruled that Kodakâs patent on color image preview was valid and enforceable and that Samsung (the defendant) was infringing on Kodakâs patent with its camera-enabled mobile devices.(img credit: Thomas Roche)Reviews: iPhoneTags: apple, Kodak, lawsuits, rip
Mobile analytics firm Flurry just raised $7 million in a Series B funding round. Mobile analytics firms are a hot commodity right now, with both AdMob and Quattro getting acquired by Google and Apple respectively in the last 60 days. Flurry, whose stats weâve covered in the past, actively tracks the iPhone and Android platforms, looking at usage patterns and trends.As the App Store surpasses 3 billion downloads and Android continues to gain steam, mobile usage information will become increasingly valuable to both developers and advertisers.Reviews: Android, iPhoneTags: android, flurry, iphone, mobile analytics, money, money-finance
Twitterâs growth has stalled for yet another month, according to new numbers from Compete and Quantcast. In fact, Twitter.comâs traffic peaked in July 2009 and hasnât reached that level since. According to web analytics firm Compete, Twitterâs U.S. traffic grew by 1.45%, from 22.48 million in November to 22.81 million unique visitors in December, hardly numbers to brag about. Itâs even worse when you consider that these are worse numbers than June 2008. We started to notice this trend all the way back in May, but could never have guessed then it would continue into the new year.Quantcastâs numbers tell the same story. Since its peak at 29.2 million users in July, Twitter has dropped down to 23.6 million U.S. uniques, a loss of nearly 24%. The six month graph from Quantcast tells the story: Twitter Looked Rosy Just a Few Months AgoJust a few months ago, Twitter seemed unstoppable. We argued all the way back in August 2008 that Twitterâs growth could not be stopped. And for a long time, the numbers agreed with us. Twitter grew 752% in 2008, but that was nothing compared to the 1,300%+ year-over-year growth in February and March.Shaq, Oprah, Ashton, and CNN all helped lead Twitter to the attention of the mainstream media and countless businesses. The social media companyâs growth threatened Facebook and even affected world politics.In fact, Twitter still commands the worldâs attention, but part of the reason so many people have turned to it is because itâs perceived to be a rapidly growing platform. Unfortunately, the numbers say otherwise.What will happen to the Twitterverse when more people are aware of these numbers?Potential Reasons for Twitterâs Flatline Figuring out why Twitter wonât grow is the billion dollar question. If the company canât find a solution, and soon, it will be forced to try more dramatic moves or even allow itself to be acquired.Weâve heard many potential reasons for the growth ceiling. Here are the ones that make the most sense to us: - Twitterâs growth isnât stalling. Rather, these stats arenât capturing Twitter users utilizing apps, a growing chunk of the Twitterverse.- Twitter itself has a limited appeal. Only a small amount of people âhave something to sayâ on a consistent basis.- Twitterâs user retention rate is famously weak. The issue became public in April 2009, but has yet to be solved.- For many, Twitter hasnât hit critical mass. Part of why people are on Facebook is because everybody else is on it. We may still be far away from that inflection point for the common Internet user.What Twitter Needs to AddressWe think the true answer behind the Twitter flatline phenomenon lies somewhere within these four reasons. Twitter apps have grown and have become a larger percentage of Twitterâs user base, but even with that factored in, Twitter still has the other three problems.Twitter has find a way to expand its appeal, either by adjusting its image in the eyes of the public or by helping change the public into more rabid content creators. It also needs to work on more effective ways to get those who sign up to tweet long after they sign up.The company has to address these issues before it can attain an undeniable critical mass that will propel its growth again. Without it, Twitter risks marginalization rather than ascension.Reviews: Facebook, TwitterTags: compete, Quantcast, social media, twitter
One of the most-loved toy brands in the world is embracing social media in a big way. Today, LEGO is launching its Lego Click community.Lego Click is a collaborative environment designed for inventors, artists and creative enthusiasts to share their vision about new products and toys. LEGO has also released a free iPhone app, LEGO Photo (iTunes link) that can Lego-fy your pictures.LEGO created this excellent short film to show off the new community:The iPhone app is pretty cool in its own right â its effectiveness will depend on what type of shot you are using (more contrast is better), but itâs neat to see your own images as LEGO blocks.The Lego Click community itself will be closely tied with Facebook and Twitter. Selected posts with the #legoclick hashtag will appear on the website and users can offer feedback or submit their ideas using those links.The idea is to get creatives talking and innovating online, and that strikes us as pretty cool.Reviews: Facebook, Twitter, iPhoneTags: Lego, lego click
Comcast has been hampering the peer-to-peer downloading protocol BitTorrent, and a federal appeals court will likely reject the Federal Communications Commissionâs attempt to sanction the company for it. The FCC moved against Comcast as part of an overall strategy to defend and promote Net Neutrality.Proponents of Net Neutrality â which include most Internet search and content companies, along with several officials in the current administration â believe that regulators should prevent Internet service providers like Comcast from prioritizing customersâ access to some network services over others. Comcast placed restrictions on the BitTorrent Internet protocol because it claims that the customers who download things via BitTorrent are placing too much strain on the network and slowing down service for other users.The FCC demonstrated its support for the Net Neutrality cause by launching a website called OpenInternet.gov, but the appeals court judges Comcast turned to said during the debate that they will probably reject the FCCâs authority to regulate Comcast in this way. If you believe strongly in Net Neutrality like we do, youâll unfortunately have to count this as a significant setback when it happens.Tags: bandwidth, bittorrent, comcast, fcc, ISP, net neutrality, Political
Earlier this week the much-anticipated Foursquare everywhere release came to fruition, making the location-based mobile game available to all regardless of their physical location. Details behind the everywhere launch and how it affected the overall game experience, however, were sparse. Until now.Foursquare everywhere changes the check-in game as we know it. So take what you know and throw it out the window. This just got more interesting. The City Shake UpThe whole Foursquare experience used to be centered around your city, so badges and check-ins were city-specific, and anytime youâd find yourself in another city youâd essentially need to start over from scratch. Foursquare everywhere turns that model upside down, so now you can place yourself anywhere in the world (instead of Foursquare locking you down in the nearest city).Youâll also notice that adding new venues is now address-optional. Instead, Foursquare finally got smart: If you opt to skip the physical address entry step when you check in at a new venue, theyâll automatically attach your GPS location â as pinpointed by your mobile device âÂ to define the venueâs location. Given how tedious it is to manually enter the address of a new place, especially with the knowledge that your GPS-enabled phone knows where you are, we find this to be the most welcome development of all.Badges of HonorDuplicate badges are donzo, which means gone are the days when you could earn the Newbie badge for each new city you traveled to. When it comes to badges, think of them as no longer constrained to a particular city, but worldwide badges of honor you carry with you. In fact, you can earn badges anywhere in the world and take them with you as travel. So, if youâve unlocked the School Night badge in San Diego, thereâs no need to try to stay out all night in New York (on a week night) to repeat your previous coup.For those of you who love a challenge, Foursquare everywhere now includes a whole new set of badges for you to try to unlock. There are a total of 10 new ones (three pictured above), but we also know that even more are on the way. Since there is such an allure around unlocking mystery badges, we wonât spoil the fun, but we know that some of you at CES have managed to unlock a few of these new treasures.Whoâs on Top?I personally play the Foursquare check-in game for the mayorships, badges and tips from friends, but some of you take rising to the top of your cityâs leaderboard very seriously. If thatâs you, pay close attention, because the rules have changed slightly.With the city-lockdown lifted, Foursquare now organizes local leaderboards by your proximity to other Foursquare users. Now youâll be ranked against everyone who has accrued points within 25 miles (40 km) of your current location. You probably wonât notice the change too much, but we think itâs a smart play and opens up the competition elements to Foursquare users on the fringe of larger playing fields.Coming SoonWith money in the bank, Foursquare is pushing out improvements at lightning speed. In the coming weeks you can expect a spiffy new version of the iPhone app âÂ version 1.5 âÂ to be released in the App Store. While there wonât be tons of cosmetic changes to this update, you can expect 1.5 to be more sophisticated when it comes to locating and serving up more accurate places nearby. Eventually the iPhone app will also support more âTrending Nearbyâ functionality to call out hot places. We also know that the team is working on drastic UX improvements to the iPhone app, so you can expect a major redesign in the coming months.When it comes to other mobile devices, the beta BlackBerry app is being tested by 5,000 users and Foursquare plans to push this to the public in about a week. And of course, Palm Pre users can already get their hands on that app now.[img credit: MariShelbley]Reviews: App Store, Foursquare, iPhoneTags: foursquare, Mobile 2.0, social media, trending
The Simulcam and Fusion 3D camera inventions were not the only technologies that made James Cameronâs Sci-Fi epic Avatar a massive box office success. While smaller films have used social media to spread the word guerrilla-style, no other major blockbuster has employed a full-on social web marketing assault quite like Avatar.The results in its case were a $232 million opening weekend, a total of one billion dollars in revenue by yearâs end, and the rank of #2 highest grossing film of all time. Cameronâs $500 million act of hubris has paid off. Hereâs an outline of the social media moves Avatarâs team made to achieve success.The Basics: Facebook, Twitter, MySpaceAvatar has its own Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter pages. Thatâs getting to be standard these days. The 18,000-follower Twitter account has tellingly not been updated since a few days after the filmâs theatrical release; once the word was out, the job was done. While it was active, though, its followers would retweet updates to their followers, who (if interested) would do the same, spreading the word all over the web. The Facebook Page is even more impressive, with over 700,000 fans.Facebookâs updated Page features make it the place to be for brands seeking exposure. The site allows brands to push updates to fans. Those fans see the updates in their personal news feeds, and they can then share them with others, just like on Twitter. Avatarâs Facebook Page is also where the MTV-hosted live webcast was hosted â more on that later.Reinventing the Movie Trailer Online Granted, Avatar wasnât the first film to take its trailer in a new direction for the web. It actually wasnât first at any of these things, but an expansive strategy combining many of the best existing ideas was what made the filmâs social media campaign a success.It started out with something a lot of movies do now: an Apple trailer debut, announced on Twitter. Anticipation was high enough that the servers struggled to get the video out to everyone who wanted it. A second trailer rolled out a month later. The web trailers gained additional buzz when fans remixed them and mashed them up with other movies, something that the folks behind the Avatar marketing machine smartly didnât interfere with.It was yet another trailer that impressed us the most, though. An interactive trailer was presented as an Adobe Air application. It required a download, but it was worth it for Avatar fans. They could see featured content and they could read the latest social media updates about the movie from within the trailer. The stunt got press coverage and word-of-mouth buzz.The Facebook and MTV Webcast On December 3, MTV.com put together an Facebook-hosted, LG-sponsored webcast called âAvatar Live.â Director James Cameron, producer Jon Landau, and stars Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana were interviewed by MTV Newsâ Josh Horowitz, but the questions were submitted by fans in the days leading up to the event.The 30-minute interview might have been the most glamorous webcast to date; you just donât see that many huge Hollywood names sit down to take questions from Internet fans all at once. Though community engagement from a director at that level is quite rare, we were reminded of Peter Jacksonâs almost-daily video updates from the sets of The Lord of the Rings.In both cases, people who didnât know much about the films tuned in and were sold on them. Existing fans became more passionate about spreading the word and showing up on opening night.Broadcasting the Premiere Live On UstreamThe red carpet premiere of Avatar was broadcast live to web audiences on video streaming web site Ustream. Apart from the tech media coverage this got, weâre not sure how much this helped put bums in the seats, and the Twilight sagaâs New Moon had already done the same thing, but it was neat. Any way you can expose audiences to your film certainly helps.The broadcastâs sponsor was MySpace, so it reached an audience that might have been missed on Facebook. Fans could watch the video on the filmâs MySpace page in addition to the Ustream website. The red carpet premiere came a week before the film hit theaters, so this was just one more way to generate buzz and get press in the final days leading up to the movieâs release. Do you have any insights about promoting films and other media on the web? What are the best practices? Let us know in the comments.Reviews: Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, adobe AIR, twilight, ustreamTags: 3D, Adobe Air, avatar, facebook, Film, films, james cameron, MARKETING, mtv, myspace, social media, trailer, trending, twitter, ustream
Social software company Jive Software has acquired the social media monitoring company Filtrbox.
Jiveâs mission is to create what it calls Social Business Software by combining collaboration and social monitoring software in one platform. Jive plans to integrate Filtrboxâs technology into its Jive SBS platform, while also keeping Filtrbox available as a separate product.
Jive and Filtrbox are just two examples of companies focused on making social media monitoring and engagement easier for brands and businesses to manage. The social web is so vast that more automated solutions and aggregation solutions are not only helpful, but often necessary to actually get a clear look at what data is out there.
We expect enterprise- and business-focused social media tools to really take off in 2010. Now that businesses have finally embraced social media and social marketing, tools that can help in the process are going to continue to emerge and compete for marketshare.
Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.
Tags: filtrbox, jive software, ROI, social media roi, social media software, social monitoring tools, web apps
Geeks can usually be divided into two categories: those who are perfectly happy with merely using their gadgets, and the more radical type, who simply have to tear them down to see whatâs inside.
If you lean towards the latter, you might want to check the first Nexus One teardown, courtesy of iFixit. According to the folks that disassembled the phone, part by part, itâs ânicely put together,â so donât worry about being ashamed if youâre ever forced to show the innards of your Nexus One to friends.
The teardown guide from iFixit is precise and detailed, as usual, but beware: If you try this yourself, youâll almost certainly void your warranty.
[img credit: iFixit]
Tags: Google, nexus one, smartphone, trending
Put on a few extra pounds this holiday season? Donât expect a welcome mat from BeautifulPeople.com, a dating site who recently made like a high school bully: belittling and booting members for weight gain.
According to the Guardian, the site has just expelled 5,000 members for packing on the pounds. To add insult to injury, the siteâs founder, Robert Hintze, stated, âLetting fatties roam the site is a direct threat to our business model and the very concept for which BeautifulPeople.com was founded.â
Apparently decisions were made based on photos posted to the dating site. Those holding the reins blame membersâ holiday overindulgences for their harsh actions and have been notifying former members via e-mail of their expulsion. Of course, all is not lost; should those same members get fit again, they can reapply for membership.
The report details:
âThe siteâs managing director, Greg Hodge, pointed out that the fate of the exiled âchubby membersâ had been democratically decided. âTheir re-applications were reviewed by existing members and only a few hundred were voted back in,â he said. âOver 5,000 were rejected.â
According to the site, however, managers have been kind in breaking the news to former members. Each is said to have received an email encouraging them to re-apply when they are back to looking their best. They have also been sent details of recommended boot camps.â
If youâre keeping count, the United States was the most overindulgent group of the bunch, with 1,520 members getting the boot. The United Kingdom was a distant second with 832 members ousted, and Canada took home the bronze medal.
The disturbing news is no doubt a big publicity stunt, but one of the worst variety. Iâd hate to be one of those members waking up to an e-mail informing me that Iâm too fat for a social network. Thatâs rejection of the worst kind.
[img credit: Cimmerian, iStockphoto]
Tags: Food, social media, weight
Get ready for one of those rare celestial phenomenons you wonât want to miss. Not only will the earth be blessed with a full moon to accompany tonightâs New Yearâs Eve celebrations, but it will be a Blue Moon â the second full moon in a single month. The first full moon of this month occurred on December 2, and the second will fall tonight on the cusp of the new year.
According to NASA, the last time a Blue Moon fell on New Yearâs Eve was almost 20 years ago, in December 1990. And although a Blue Moon occurs on average every two and a half years, the next time one will fall on New Yearâs Eve wonât be until 2028.
In other words: Look up tonight if you can, and enjoy the extra moonlight! Will your New Yearâs Eve celebrations have a Blue Moon 2009 theme? Let us know in the comments.
[Image courtesy of Ed Yourdon]
Tags: blue moon, blue moon 2009, new years eve, social media
Nintendo opened the door to a lot of creative possibilities with the Wiiâs motion-sensing control scheme, and all manner of plastic peripherals and attachments have been devised to make use of it (and rake in some extra bucks for manufacturers). Hereâs a softer, gentler peripheral being put to good use: a plush doll.
A reportedly forthcoming title from Zoink Games, WiiWaa is a game whose cute animal-like protagonist will accompany the title character in doll form as its control scheme. The doll âeatsâ the WiiMote and the player actually plays with the toy itself to control the characterâs likeness on screen.
We can imagine kids going gaga over this, and parents are likely to see it as a safe and fun way for the younger-than-average gamer to enjoy an already pretty kid-friendly console. Check out the WiiWaa trailer below and let us know what you think. Would you get something like this for your child? Are there any adults brave enough to admit theyâd want to try it too?
Tags: Nintendo, nintendo wii, video games, Wii, wiimote, wiiwaa, zoink games
Owners of T-Mobileâs G1 phone might be getting the latest version of Googleâs Android operating system, if rumors are to be believed.
The rumor, credited to an âanonymous sourceâ, says that G1 owners will get an over-the-air update to the Eclair build â either Android 2.0 or perhaps even the latest Android 2.1 build on the Nexus One (aka Google Phone).
If true, it would be welcome news for G1 owners, who increasingly feel left behind with the release of the Droid and imminent launch of the Nexus One. Nonetheless, the sourcing is weak on this one: a single anonymous source on an unofficial Android blog doesnât instill 100% confidence.
Tags: android, G1, Google
Foursquare, the location-based game and social networking app, has been quietly testing its BlackBerry application with handful of users for the past month or so.
This afternoon, the company sent out an invite to about one thousand additional people so they can download and try the app too.
Word is spreading fast, and the download link quickly found its way into our inbox, so I decided to try it out. In all, the app certainly marks a big advance for BlackBerry users (who thus far have been relegated to using the Foursquare mobile site â m.foursquare.com) and includes most of the features users of Foursquare on iPhone and Android are already familiar with.
Upon logging in, youâll immediately see where your friends are at, and have the options to either checkin or shout. Like the Android and iPhone apps, Foursquare will show you nearby venues too based on either GPS or nearby cell towers (though Iâm currently out of range of any listed venues, so canât verify the accuracy). Youâll be able to see each venue on a map, who the mayor is, and who has checked in recently.
When viewing your friendâs profiles, you can quickly call, text, email them, or jump to their Twitter profile. You can also opt to have Foursquare show pop-up alerts when your friends check-in. Foursquareâs recent addition of Facebook support is also included, so you can broadcast any of your check-ins to your friends on there too.
In all, as a relative newcomer to Foursquare with both a BlackBerry and a Droid, the app seems fairly complete â especially for a beta â and quite good for a BlackBerry app in general. Weâll humor Foursquare and not post the download link (per their email), but if youâre one of the folks who has checked it out, let us know what you think in the comments.
Reviews: Android, Foursquare, Twitter
Tags: blackberry, foursquare, Mobile 2.0
With the news industry struggling to find new revenue streams that can reshape their broken business model, 2010 will be defined by experiments in news media monetization. This will also include content that is guided more than ever by the audience and ad revenue.
This coming year we will also see the results of news organizations putting pay walls up, as well as new experimental models like accepting Web donations from readers â some of which may prove to be successful. Below are eight emerging news media business trends to look for in 2010.
1. Social Media Monetization
The coming year will see emerging business models, including social media monetization. And as advertisers become more comfortable with advertising in social media, news companies will look to capture those dollars.
âTwitter display ads,â said Matt Thompson, interim online community manager for the Knight Foundation. âI donât understand why this hasnât happened yet.â
Thompson pictures a half-page ad that is actually a Twitter widget from a retailerâs corporate account. In fact, some news organizations have already experimented with social ads. Robert Quigley, social media editor at the Austin American-Statesman, said they gave Twitter ads a try and have gotten some mixed reactions from followers, but did not lose any of them. The Huffington Post is also going to sell tweets to advertisers.
2. Revenue Beyond Advertising
But maybe news organizations arenât cut out to dive into social capital. Paul Bradshaw, course director of the MA Online Journalism program at Birmingham City University, said in 2010 news organizations need to at least adapt to the âmeasurability, customizability and personalization of advertising.â
âAd sales departments are even more behind than journalists, so Iâd be surprised to see them monetizing social capital,â Bradshaw said.
Some news organizations are already beginning to reshape their structures in a way that erases the line between advertising and editorial division. And online advertising is not predicted to overtake the market share of newspapers until 2015. Perhaps rethinking advertising altogether and looking for additional services, value, or products to sell may be a new approach going into 2010.
Steve Buttry, C3 coach at Gazette Communications, outlines a revenue strategy that calls on news organizations to move beyond just ads and look for revenue in direct transactions, local search and lead generation. âI think the advertising model is breaking down and our future is not in finding new ways to sell eyeballs, but in finding ways to facilitate the local marketplace,â Buttry said.
3. As Publications Fold, Others Become Lean and Mean
A tweet from Patrick Thornton best summarized how some felt when they learned last Thursday that the very publication that covers the print industry, Editor & Publisher, was closing: âDoes anything better symbolize the state of print media right now than the closure of E&P? Yes things are very bad.â It was a shock similar to the announcement of Gourmet Magazineâs folding.
Though advertising is going to stabilize in 2010 and with it some budgets of print publications, the year will see more print publications close shop or go online-only. However, with publications closing others will come to fill some of the gap. In 2009, there were 428 magazines that stopped publishing, while 275 new ones launched. Those that make it through this downturn will be poised to rebuild leaner and meaner â- investing in the future of digital news rather than simply hoping it fades away like a bad trend.
4. Growth in Hyperlocal and Community Models
With many traditional and regional news organizationâs facing cutbacks in staff and in some cases closures, local and community-based models and startups will look to fill the gap in content. In fact, some hyperlocal publication models have done pretty well in comparison to most. This year we have seen the launch of many hyperlocal online news start-ups from the big Texas Tribune to the smaller Oakland Local, often relying on grants or funding from wealthy donors.
Michele McLellan, a news consultant who blogs at the Knight Digital Media Center, said the sites that will succeed going forward are sites that are highly entrepreneurial and community-driven with a tech expertise. The best example sheâs seen is that of Oakland Local, which is a blend of building community and a focus on using technology to gather and report news.
David Cohn, founder of community-funded reporting startup Spot.Us, said there is a huge opportunity in hyperlocal news âthat if missed is like giving away a golden goose.â However, the problem he said is that traditional news organizations still need to let go of the idea of âbig journalism.â
âWhether traditional media companies or small media companies pioneer it â there is a future,â Cohn said.
5. Local Advertising Grows
Cohn is right. There is a future in hyperlocal, and advertising is a big part of it. According to eMarketer senior analyst David Hallerman, âthe economic cycle has reached bottom â- at least for the online ad industry.â Hallerman authored a report on 2010 ad spending, projecting a 5.5 percent growth. The highest growth is expected to come in online video with a 34 to 45 percent growth between 2009 and 2014.
And Borrell Associates predict that local online ad growth will continue, and project a 5% growth for 2010. Itâs clear why large news organizations like CNN are investing money into local aggregator content sites like Outside.in.
6. Local Advertising Models Emerge
Some companies are looking to take advantage of the growth in local ad dollars. PaperG is launching a new product called Place Local. Place Local is currently in stealth, but Victor Wong was able to demonstrate the new ad-generating application for us.
The basic idea behind the application is that it automates the ad creation, sales, and management, Wong said. If a local advertiser agrees to place an ad on a site, all you have to do is type in their address and name into Place Local and the application generates an ad to be placed on a site based on content pulled off the web, which can include the logo, picture and even a web review. âIn 2010, I think what youâll see is that everybody is an advertiser,â Wong said.
Fwix, a local news aggregator site available in five different countries, is launching Adwire widgets, which let people embed a content widget that includes text ads within the stream of news headlines (identified as ads) from a specific location.
The ads are also locally targeted. Darian Shirazi, CEO of Fwix, said the the company is sharing Adwire revenue with those who place widgets on their site. Shirazi said they are also releasing a video version too, which will play pre-roll ads.
7. To Charge or Not To Charge?
Some news organizations that have been tip-toeing around the idea of putting up pay walls will finally take the dive in 2010, and most will see a decrease in traffic, similar to the early results Newsday has seen. The readers that do end up paying for content online will be loyal and few.
However, Cohn from Spot.Us points out that if any pay walls do work, it would be for national brand news organizations. âI am actually cheering [Murdoch] on. Somebody needs to try it so we can stop having the conversation,â he said. âBut I donât think it will be successful for News Corp and I am very confident it would be a disaster for most news organizations.â
Gina Chen, a Ph. D. communications student at Syracuse and blogger on the news industry, said news organizations that put up pay walls may die and flounder and those that donât will be forced to innovate new ways to make money. Chen said the future for news organizations will have less to do with news than it will be about filtering information and âmaking life easier for readers.â
âNews organizationsâ product isnât news, itâs making sense of a community for readers,â Chen said.
8. The Freemium Model
Mathew Ingram, communities editor at The Globe and Mail said that if the likes of Rupert Murdoch are able to make a pay wall work and get some money from Bing for indexing content, he would be losing far more potential value if he were to go with a more open model instead.
Ingram said that a âfreemiumâ model that has free content and value-added content or services that require payment make much more sense.
What other business models are you seeing emerge for news media in 2010? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
More journalism resources from Mashable:
- 8 Must-Have Traits of Tomorrowâs Journalist
- 10 Ways Journalism Schools Are Teaching Social Media
- The Journalistâs Guide to Twitter
- Why NPR is the Future of Mainstream Media
- Social Journalism: Past, Present, and Future
- Everything I Need to Know About Twitter I learned in J School
- 10 Must-Haves for Your Social Media Policy
Image courtesy of iStockphoto, Devonyu
Reviews: Bing, Twitter, iStockphoto
Tags: business, journalism, Lists, new media
Oh Ballmer, just pull out the checkbook already! The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has just upheld a lower courtâs decision that would ban the current version of Microsoft Word and Microsoft Office from sale as of January 11, 2010.
As you may recall, Canadian company i4i Inc. sued Microsoft over the use of some of its XML patents in current versions of Microsoft Word. A Texas court ruled in i4iâs favor in August, in effect barring Microsoft from selling Microsoft Word or Microsoft Office (which contains Word). An extension and then stay on that injunction were granted through the end of the appeals process, but Microsoft has now lost the appeal.
Does this mean Microsoft Word and Microsoft Office will actually disappear from store shelves? No. The company has already issued a statement regarding the ruling, stating in part:
âWith respect to Microsoft Word 2007 and Microsoft Office 2007, we have been preparing for this possibility since the District Court issued its injunction in August 2009 and have put the wheels in motion to remove this little-used feature from these products. Therefore, we expect to have copies of Microsoft Word 2007 and Office 2007, with this feature removed, available for U.S. sale and distribution by the injunction date. In addition, the beta versions of Microsoft Word 2010 and Microsoft Office 2010, which are available now for downloading, do not contain the technology covered by the injunction.â
Microsoft also says it is assessing its legal options and is considering requesting a rehearing by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, or taking the case to the next level, the U.S. Supreme Court.
Frankly, we think that this would all be a lot easier and move a lot faster if Microsoft would just write i4i a check.
In the event that an injunction on the current (and not newly prepared i4i-free version) version of Microsoft Word does became official, it only affects copies sold as of January 11, 2010. All previously sold versions remain unaffected.
Tags: i4i, microsoft, microsoft office, microsoft word
Since running the Summer of Social Good, Iâve been approached numerous times by individuals looking for jobs in the non-profit space. In the spirit of the holidays, Mashable is giving away free 30 day job postings on our Mashable Job Board to any non-profit looking to hire.
All you need to do is fill out the application form and Iâll get back to you shortly.
More non-profit and social media for social good resources from Mashable:
If youâre looking for additional resources to build your non-profitâs social media strategy, weâre here to help as well. Mashable has written a number of essential articles about promoting your organization using social tools. Here are a few we hope you find helpful:
- 5 Essential Tips for Promoting Your Charity Using Social Media
- Videos of Presentations from our Social Good Conference
- Inspiring Tales of Social Media for Social Good #Stories4Good
- 4 Ways Social Media is Changing the Non-Profit World
- How LIVESTRONG Uses Social Media for Good #FindingTheGood
- 26 Charities and Non-Profits on Twitter
Tags: job board, jobs, social good
Beyond talking about how fast it was growing, one of the hottest topics surrounding Twitter in 2009 was âhow does it make money?â Perhaps that was the wrong question to be asking, though, because as it turns out, Twitter already makes money.
According to Bloomberg, the microblogging service will make a small profit this year off of $25 million in revenue, thanks to the search deals it completed with Google and Microsoft, which were reportedly worth $15 and $10 million, respectively. Those deals pay Twitter for access to tweets that are in turn included in real-time search results on each property.
However, itâs still unclear whether those deals will provide Twitter with an ongoing revenue stream (or were mostly upfront payments), and thus, while we can say âTwitter is profitableâ for 2009, the long-term âHow does it make money?â question still seems to be valid.
Along those lines, Twitter recently started experimenting with features for big businesses, which we took an early look at last week. Much like Twitter search was born out of the startup Summize, it appears that many of Twitterâs business features are born out of looking at what some other third-party apps (like CoTweet) have been able to do successfully.
In 2010, weâll see whether or not those, combined with rumored advertising features, will move Twitter from hot startup to sustainable business.
Reviews: Google, Twitter
Tags: Google, microsoft, twitter
If your friends post YouTube videos to Facebook, youâll now see those clips in your timeline on the YouTube homepage. Itâs another social mashup thatâs blurring the lines between the various social sites.
The new feature isnât yet live on all accounts, but you can enable it by visiting your account settings page and enabling âConnect to Facebookâ (if this is already enabled, you may need to disconnect and reconnect Facebook to see the new feature). Also note that by enabling this youâll syndicate your YouTube ratings, favorites and uploads to Facebook â if you donât want that to happen, select âDisable AutoShareâ.
YouTubeâs social strategy is shaping up: in recent months theyâve added cross-posting of your videos to Facebook and Twitter, a friend import feature for your email accounts, and of course the âactivity moduleâ (pictured) that creates a real-time feed of all your friendsâ activities on the site.
Reviews: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube
Tags: facebook, youtube
This post is part of Mashableâs Fab Five series with Jalen Rose, which highlights trends in the social media space. Jalen Rose is a former 13-year NBA star and current ESPN basketball analyst but may be best known for being a member of the famous University of Michigan Fab Five.
Social media has exploded over the past couple of years and created some of the most memorable moments in history. From politics to entertainment, almost every important moment was captured and disseminated through the use of a social media network. As we venture into a new decade, here is what I think we can expect from athletes in terms of social media.
What 2010 Holds for Athletes on Social Media
1. Athletes will embrace new and creative outlets and platforms to connect with fans. Ustream, in particular, has been a great way to connect, and more and more athletes are using this platform to communicate directly with their fans. For athletes, the one-to-many live video platform serves as a personalized press conference. Fans are also using these networks to reach out to their favorite athletes and celebrities. Further, more and more advertisers are looking at the number of followers and fans that are online and are now focusing more money on the web as a direct result, which many times can give the athletes the chance for another revenue stream.
2. Social media numbers may become a part of contract negotiations. Itâs possible this wonât happen in the next year, but the numbers will definitely play a major role in the future. Some athletes have over a million plus followers on Twitter and tens or hundreds of thousands on Facebook. These numbers can be used by agents, lawyers, and business managers to leverage higher contract dollars for their clients. The fans are buying into a brand and if an athlete delivers consistently, then he or she should be rewarded for it.
3. Teams and management will increase content restrictions for athletes. Weâve already seen some players who spoke without thinking, some have even been fired. Teams and management will be vigilant at making sure that information is not released without consent. âBig Brotherâ will be watching very carefully to determine what is permissible and what is not. Personal views and comments will be taken seriously if it jeopardizes the integrity of a team or sponsor.
4. Social media will become an integral part in the philanthropic endeavors of athletes. As they get more and more involved and more and more comfortable with social media, athletes will realize the great opportunities it can bring for their philanthropic efforts. They have direct access to people who care about them, and can reach out for contributions and support. We already see this possibility with corporate America reaching out to fans directly.
5. More involvement from retired athletes. As athletes like myself retire and move on to the next chapter of their lives, social media will help them stay connected to their fans once they are out of the spotlight. By keeping them connected with the public, social media has the potential to create additional sources of revenue, and fans can follow their favorite athletes through the next phase of their careers using social media.
Overall, I think the marriage of social media and sports is here to stay. This is a global media nation that allows the athlete to connect with their fans, not just locally, but throughout the world. 2010 will hold the key to bigger, better, and more improved social networks, and I look forward to whatâs in store.
More sports resources from Mashable:
- 5 Most Memorable Sports Tweets of 2009
- 5 Best YouTube Sports Moments of 2009
- 5 Social Media Athletes to be Thankful For
- 5 Athletes Who Would Have Been Social Media Mavens
- How the NBA is Using Social Media
Reviews: Facebook, Twitter, ustream
Tags: athletes, fab five, jalen rose, List, Lists, predictions, social media, sports
If youâre planning on seeing Avatar in theaters this weekend, you are not alone. Both Fandango and MovieTickets.com are reporting that a huge percentage of tickets purchased online have been for the James Cameron-directed sci-fi epic.
How huge is huge? Try 70 percent for MovieTickes.com and 87 percent for Fandango. Furthermore, Fandango says that pre-order sales are eclipsing those of Star Trek â which is impressive, considering Trek had a built-in following based on its previous incarnations.
More interesting Avatar pre-order stats:
75 percent â 89 percent of all ticket sales are for the 3D or IMAX 3D screenings
Hundreds of screenings are sold-out across the U.S., according to both Fandango and MovieTickets.com
68 percent â 78 percent of the ticket buyers are male
37 percent of men surveyed said they will be bringing a date
In November, The Twilight Saga: New Moon dominated online ticket sales and actually broke Fandangoâs all-time record. The positive buzz, heavy male audience and increased price of 3D tickets might push Avatar above even that mark.
As a studio, Fox has engaged in various social media campaigns to promote Avatar â including creating an augmented reality trailer, hosting a Facebook live chat with the cast and crew and showing the red carpet premiere via Ustream.
Weâll have to wait for the weekend box office numbers to roll in to see how well that campaign paid off.
Are you planning on seeing Avatar this weekend? Let us know!
Tags: avatar, fandango, movietickets.com, online tickets
A development team claims to have ported an iPhone game to the Zune HD in 12 hours, and posted a YouTube video of the ported app this week.
Developer Foundation42 proclaimed in a tweet: âFrom #iPhone game to #ZuneHD game in 12 hours using #MonoTouch and #XNAâ. The game, WordMonger, is a word puzzle thatâs yet to be released.
The developers write of the achievement:
This is our game WordMonger that we are making for iPhone and Zune HD. We built it over the last few weeks using the new MonoTouch toolkit on the Mac. Yesterday we ported it to the Zune HD in 12 hours! We are really hoping that Microsoft can provide a way to publish third party games on the Zune app store soon.
With a bit of luck we should have the iPhone version out by thanksgiving!
You read that right: the iPhone app isnât ready for release yet and they canât get it into the Zune app store. Still, the feat deserves some geek cred, does it not?
Tags: iphone, zune
Remember that Facebook username you rushed to get back in June? Over 50 million users have them, and now all of those people on Facebook can use their username rather than their email to log on to Facebook.com.
The new feature, announced by Facebook today, allows you to skip typing the extra characters that comprise your email and instead utilize your shorter username to access your Facebook account.
The move makes sense â usernames are just easier to type. Itâs a common practice for many websites to allow users to log in with either an email or a username.
So go ahead, log out of Facebook and try logging back in with your username. You know you want to. We wonât stop you.
You know those boxes with funky looking letters that are becoming increasingly common on website registration forms, or on Facebook Pages when you want to post an update? Theyâre called captchas and theyâre used primarily to deter spammers and bots.
One of the biggest providers of the technology is a company called reCAPTCHA, and now, Google owns them. The search giant just announced on their blog that theyâre buying reCAPTCHA, which is used on more than 100,000 websites worldwide.
Why exactly does Google want to own this technology? For starters, reCAPTCHA has a unique solution. As Google describes:
âBut thereâs a twist â the words in many of the CAPTCHAs provided by reCAPTCHA come from scanned archival newspapers and old books. Computers find it hard to recognize these words because the ink and paper have degraded over time, but by typing them in as a CAPTCHA, crowds teach computers to read the scanned text.â
And where does that fit within the Google portfolio of products? Google Books. The company continues:
âThis technology also powers large scale text scanning projects like Google Books and Google News Archive Search. Having the text version of documents is important because plain text can be searched, easily rendered on mobile devices and displayed to visually impaired users. So weâll be applying the technology within Google not only to increase fraud and spam protection for Google products but also to improve our books and newspaper scanning process.â
In other words, those 100,000+ captcha forms are now Google-powered, with the data being used to improve Googleâs ability to digitize old books and newspapers to make them Web searchable. It makes a lot of sense, and gives Google yet another strategic advantage over would-be competitors.
On the other hand, is this yet another example of Google having too much power on the Web? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Tags: Google, recaptcha
How much buzz is one inappropriate publicity stunt during the VMAâs worth in the Twitter age? In the case of Kanye West interrupting Taylor Swiftâs acceptance speech, almost 300,000 tweets in one hour.
According to Trendrr, which tracks buzz on Twitter, there were a total of 293,024 tweets in the hour immediately following Westâs outburst.
While the spike was short-lived, discussion surrounding the event continues this morning, as the participants are still trending topics on Twitter, and as you can see in the graph, there are still tens of thousands of tweets pouring in about Kanyeâs antics.
Meanwhile, in case you missed it, the VMAâs culminated with Beyonce taking âVideo of the Yearâ and then inviting Swift on stage to finish the acceptance speech that Kanye interrupted earlier in the night:
And as a bonus, the Kanye West âfish sticksâ episode of South Park:
Have you been contemplating purchasing an Apple TV? Well, your decision might be a little bit easier now that the price of the 160GB model has dropped by $100 to $229.
Apple didnât just lower the price of the largest capacity Apple TV, they also quietly removed the 40GB Apple TV option from the site completely.
So what does this mean? Are new Apple TV units on the way? Other than changing the price and capacity, the hardware on the Apple TV has remained the same since the product launched in 2007. Apple introduced significant software updates last year, giving users more access to YouTube and Flickr content and the ability to watch iTunes movie and TV shows in HD.
AppleInsider dissected the new iTunes LP interactive content that premiered with iTunes 9 and found many indications that the content was formatted with the AppleTV in mind. Perhaps a new software update is around the corner.
Meanwhile, I highly encourage new Apple TV users to give Boxee a try, as it adds the ability to not only access web content from the Apple TV, but also play back files that arenât in one of Appleâs specified formats. Apple TV is great on its own, but with Boxee, itâs just completely awesome.
Do you have an Apple TV? What features would you like to see in a new hardware or software update?
Reviews: Boxee, Flickr, YouTube
Tags: Apple TV
Earlier today, we reported that Apple has dropped the price on the outgoing line of iPod and iPod touch models, presumably in preparation for todayâs event.
Now CNET Australia has uncovered what are believed to be leaked photographs of the new devices, care of third-party case manufacturer Cygnett.
As rumored, it appears that both the iPod touch G3 and the iPod nano G5 will include cameras, though no word on quality or features like auto-focus and flash.
The price and the capacity specifications arenât available either, but thanks to Cygnett, we do know what these little beauties probably look like.
The iPod touch G3 looks more similar to the iPod 3G S, though it is presumably still much thinner.
The iPod nano G5 has a longer screen, which seems apt for widescreen viewing.
Weâll have more details as Apple officially announces its new lineup later today, but what do you think about the purportedly new iPod nano and iPod touch designs?
(Photo Courtesy of Cygnett)
Tags: apple, ipod nano, iPod Touch
Is the dictionary becoming obsolete? In a column today, the Wall Street Journalâs Julia Angwin says yes, and Google is to blame.
The basic premise of her argument is this: when you want to know how to spell something, you can simply enter it into Google and use the âdid you meanâ function to correct your spelling. I find this works first time in most instances, except in situations where my initial guess at the spelling is wildly wrong: in those cases, a few further guesses tend to achieve the desired result.
Angwin adds that itâs not just spelling corrections: searching for any word will typically result in a definition of that word within the first few results (also note that you can use âdefine:â before the word to achieve even more precise definitions). Beyond spellings and definitions, she notes, you can hop over to Google News to see the word in context â while dictionaries typically only include one use case per word, Google provides hundreds.
Iâll admit that I havenât used a printed dictionary in years, and would rather Google a word than spend those extra seconds entering the URL of an online dictionary.
How about you: do you mainly use printed dictionaries, online dictionaries, Google, or some other way to look up words? Let us know using the poll below.
Do You Still Use a Dictionary?(opinion)
Of course, itâs not that simple; but if you believe Dr Tracy Alloway from the University of Stirling in Scotland, Twitter and Facebook are very different beasts when it comes to improve your âworking memoryâ, which relates to âthe structures and processes used for temporarily storing and manipulating information in short-term memory.â
Dr. Alloway has developed a working memory training programme for slow-learning children aged 11 to 14 at a school in Durham, and she found out that Facebook did wonders for working memory, improving the kidsâ IQ scores, while YouTube and Twitterâs steady stream of information was not healthy for working memory. Also, playing video games, especially those that involve planning and strategy, can also be beneficial.
As with any such study, one needs to take the results with a grain of salt. Without going into the benefits of training working memory for improving your IQ results, itâs obvious that Facebook and Twitter are hard to compare. Facebook is extremely versatile: you can play games there, chat with your friends, view photos and videos; you can even take IQ tests.
Twitter is a much simpler, more streamlined service. Does that fact alone makes it detrimental to your working memory? Dr. Alloway claims: âOn Twitter you receive an endless stream of information, but itâs also very succinct. You donât have to process that information. Your attention span is being reduced and youâre not engaging your brain and improving nerve connections.â That may be true, and while looking at Twitter like a zombie for the better part of the day is probably bad for you, if you mix it up with other online activities â such as Facebook â I doubt youâll see any negative effects.
Image courtesy of iStockphoto, mpabild
Reviews: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, iStockphoto
Tags: facebook, IQ, memory, twitter
Yesterday, on August 28th 2009, DJ AM was found dead in his apartment in Manhattan. The 36 year old, whose real name was Adam Goldstein, was one of the best-known DJs in the world, helping found the Crazy Town rock band and working with everyone from Will Smith to Madonna.
His tragic and early death has resulted in an outpouring of love and support from fans, celebrities, and friends alike. But a social media element has drawn attention, as a cryptic Twitter update reciting a Grandmaster Flash lyric may have have been DJ AMâs last message to the outside world.
While the circumstances of his death are not fully known, there is already a lot of information out in the public. According to the New York Times, he was found dead with a crack pipe and prescription drugs several days after his last communication with friends â emergency workers broke down the door after friends tried to reach him for days. DJ AM was apparently still haunted by a serious plane crash as well.
So now speculation revolves around his Twitter account, which has now been verified and is steadily growing in followers despite likely to never be updated again. His last tweet, though, is what is really giving people pause:
Could his death be related to cryptic last tweet? It seems very possible. Twitterâs become the broadcasting tool of choice for most celebrities, for both good and bad, though thereâs little precedent for this sort of thing. Whether it was just him tweeting out lyrics, conveying a last cryptic message to the world, or maybe even a cry for help, weâll probably never know.
Our condolences to his friends and family.
Thereâs no doubt about it: TV is getting way more social. A recent patent filed by IBM reveals that Big Blue wants to help it get even more social, by developing a remote control that will automatically blog and/or microblog what youâre watching.
The patent talks about a networkable remote controller that can âsend a blog posting to a blog,â which can be set up to send posts automatically. It includes the ability to comment on the shows youâre watching, either by selecting from a pre-populated list or authoring your own. It also mentions posting automatically to microblogging services, which to most of us means Twitter.
The patent was filed April 14 of this year, and the approval process can take some time so it may be a while before this thing comes to market. Nevertheless, itâs another stepping stone on the road to socially-enabled television.
Check out the original patent diagram below. Let us know if youâre excited about the idea of social TV. Do you use applications like Boxee already? Do you watch Hulu with your Facebook friends? Do you have a TV that already supports social widgets? Let us know in the comments.
Reviews: Boxee, Twitter
Tags: blogging, IBM, remote control, social tv, television, tv, twitter
Those of you stateside have really come to appreciate Hulu for watching shows from NBC, FOX, and ABC online. Many of you outside of the US, however, have been anxiously awaiting the date when you too could reap the benefits of the free online video site.
Unfortunately, we have bad news for you. According to The Daily Telegraph, the Hulu UK roll-out was originally slated for September of this year, but has now been pushed backed to early 2010. This is likely a direct result of the fact that Hulu has yet to ink any deals with UK content providers.
The article suggests that Hulu is most likely to sign a non-exclusive deal with ITV in exchange for equity in the company in the near future, but, âit has yet to get any other content partners on board, despite nearly six months of discussions with BBC Worldwide, ITV and Channel 4.â
A source at Hulu is optimistic about a January launch, but is quoted as saying that the UK site would need at least two solid deals to seed it with enough content. The source iterated that, âIt will probably go after a deal with BBC Worldwide âŠ this will give it enough material to launch and probably take three to four months after its first deal with ITV âŠ So youâre hopefully looking at a January 2010 launch.â
Bottom line is that if youâre outside the US, youâre out of luck for the immediate future.
Tags: bbc, hulu, hulu uk
Itâs a brand new week, which means itâs time for Mashableâs guide to upcoming social media and web events, parties, and conferences. For more upcoming event listings, check out Mashableâs Events section.
Is your event not on this list? Contact us and letâs establish a media partnership.
Mashableâs Weekly Social Media and Marketing Event Guide is proudly supported by Eventbrite, the Webâs Event Marketplace.
August 24, 2009, Charlotte, NC: Social Fresh is a 1 day Social Media Conference in the Southeast. Speakers range the spectrum of Fortune 500, e-commerce, advertising/marketing, major media and more. Social Fresh content is focused on two things, the future of social media technology and tangible social media examples of how businesses are using the social web successfully. Get 15% off by using code Mashable.
August 28, 2009, New York City: Mashableâs Summer of Social Good will conclude with our first ever Social Good Conference, a one day educational event at New Yorkâs historic 92nd Street Y. The conference features keynotes from Facebookâs Randi Zuckerberg and All For Goodâs Jonathan Greenblatt, and presentations from well known and respected organizations and professionals within the space focused on the theme of âSocial Media for Social Goodâ.
Weâre offering $50 General Admission for the first 50 people (max 2 tickets per purchase) to use the discount code: Mash50Good. You can get your tickets here. If you canât make the event in person, you can watch it for free (with chat) at Livestream.com/mashable
August 29, 2009, Washington DC: TechAdventure DC is loading up a charter bus and taking the DC Social Media/Tech community out of the bubble and into the lush Shenandoah Valley, home of family-run Rappahannock Cellars. Best of all, you will be taking the best DC has to offer â which is you, your friends and colleagues â and leaving the Beltway for an adventure. The Rappahanock Cellers will offer 10% off all wine purchases, and 15% off for a dozen (case) for anyone that mentions the âMashable dealâ.
August 29, 2009, Seattle, WA: Create Live will be in Seattle, Washington and will be featuring pop artist Natasha Wescoat and illustrator artist David Hoang who will be creating original work live in person and live streaming video. Through the use of live streaming on the web, Create Live brings together designers and artists as well as those in the web industry to co-work or be a part of the audience. Founded by Brent Spore of iBoughtamac.com & StarvingDesigner.com and Natasha Wescoat (NatashaWescoat.com & NatashasArtCandy.com) to bring together the creative & tech communities, and to promote and explore the amazing talent in our world.
August 31, 2009, Cambridge, MA: Gravity Summit at the Harvard Faculty Center covers Twitter and Social Media and the Impact on Culture and Business. This full day event is designed to help bridge the gap between the new social media marketing tools and the business community. Keynote is MC Hammer and Gary Vaynerchuk. Learn how brands like Southwest Air, American Red Cross, EMC, Dunkinâ Donuts, Dominoâs, SHIFT Communications, Arnold Worldwide and Visible Technologies use twitter and other social web tools to increase brand awareness and improve the bottom line. Networking, lunch, learning. Limited seating. Click here for a Mashable-exclusive discount! Also, thereâs a free after party after Gravity Summit for everyone. Just sign up!
September 8, 2009, Washington DC: Gov 2.0 Expo Showcase is the one-day event previewing the larger Gov 2.0 Expo scheduled for May 2010. The practical, cutting-edge efforts it highlights, married with a profound shift in thinking across the government, underscore the growing power of âgovernment as a platform.â Be there as 24 innovators show how this is really happening, concretely, right now, inside (and outside) government in an exciting format of 5-minute, rapid-fire presentations. Register today and save 15% using code gxp09bd8.
September 9, 2009, Houston, TX: Houston Interactive Marketing Association presents the 3rd Annual Interactive Strategies Conference. This full-day conference at the historic Anjelika Film Center features 32 speakers ranging in topics like Social Media, Search Engine Optimization and Marketing Strategy. Mashable readers can use promo code: mashable for a 15% discount.
September 10, 2009, Boston, MA: Cool Twitter Conferences provides an environment for developers, people in business, and enthusiasts from multiple disciplines, who seek to understand and maximize the power of Twitter, the chance to contribute to the discussion and tap into this real-time use of the web. This forum is ideal for advertising, marketing professionals and business owners looking to increase visibility and improve customer experience. Use the code: mashable to save 25% on registration.
September 12, 2009, Los Angeles, CA: WordCamp is a conference type of event that focuses squarely on everything WordPress. Everyone from casual end users all the way up to core developers show up. This event is highlighted by speeches and keynotes by various people in the WordPress community. For more info visit http://wordcamp.la.
September 13-14, 2009, Toronto, Canada: FITC Mobile brings together the leaders in mobile design and development for two full days of presentations and an optional workshop day. Sessions cover a variety of topics related to mobile platforms (Android, Flash Lite, OpenGL, Windows CE), applications (SMS, QR codes, video) and devices (BlackBerry, Palm, iPhone). Prices are very low at $209 (CDN) and $89 (CDN) for students. Mashable readers get an extra 10% discount. Use code: MASHABLE when purchasing at http://fitcmobile.eventbrite.com/.
September 14-17, 2009, Chicago, IL: Attend the Advanced Learning Instituteâs 11th Forum on Social Media for Government: How To Engage Your Employees And Citizens By Using The Latest Web 2.0 Technologies To Drive Communication Results to learn how to capture the power of social media in your organization, along with helpful tools, tips and techniques to get started. Hear from leading experts at Transportation Security Administration; Salt Lake Valley Health Department; U.S. Department of State; Los Angeles County Department of Public Health; Court Services & Offender Supervision Agency; University of Wisconsin â Madison; Houston Public Library; San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, and more, on how to engage your employees and citizens by using social media. Mention Mashable when registering to save $200.
September 15, 2009, Austin, TX: PlaySpan hosts Monetization 2.0 Forum. Senior-level executives will present on a wide range of topics including success stories about monetization within casual games, virtual worlds, and social networks, and what pitfalls to avoid. The forum will also address several key issues such as the move from subscriptions to a free-to-play business model and how to protect customers from fraud. Attendees will take away critical insights needed to make games into money makers. Registration is free for GDC registered attendees.
September 15â16, Atlanta, GA: At LIFT: The B2B Social Commerce Summit business-to-business (B2B) marketing and advertising professionals will share real-world examples of social commerce strategies and tactics that have driven sales lift, increased customer loyalty, and produced actionable metrics and measurable ROI. The LIFT Summit will address the very specific online marketing and communications needs of B2B companies and deliver the tools necessary to launch, manage and evaluate a B2B social marketing campaign. Mashable readers save $200 with discount code MASH ($499 with discount before August 15, and $599 thereafter).
September 16-17, 2009, Chicago, IL: Cusp isnât a conference about graphic design, architecture, interior design or industrial design. Itâs a conference about âthe design of everything,â bringing together thinkers, innovators, skeptics, believers, visionaries and explorers from the arts, sciences, technology, business, design and media. Itâs two days of creativity, imagination, passion and energy from 20+ presenters whoâll share their thoughts, passions and stories and help you create new ones â a concentrated blast of ideas, creativity and optimism that connects unexpected dots and lights unknown fires. We may be living in a challenging present and face an uncertain future, but Cusp Conference is rocket fuel for anyone who believes that the best way to predict the future is to design it. Are you up for it? Use discount code mash09 when you register to receive a 10% reduction on your conference fee.
September 17, 2009, New York City: Swagapalooza is an experiment in viral media. On September 17th, the worldâs most-followed bloggers, twitters, and digital influencers will gather to judge five-minute auditions from the creators of the latest, greatest, and most unexpected new products. Are you one of the worldâs top bloggers or twitters? If so you deserve to be begged for your attention and your following. Your taste and discernment make you the perfect judge of these marketers who will come to cajole, beg, and bribe you with more free stuff than you can imagineâŠ Tickets are free for those who qualify.
September 17, 2009, Appleton, WI: Bring your laptops to SOHO naked biz growth Social Media Workshop-Appleton, Wisconsin, and leave with an understanding of how implementing a social media strategy can enhance your brand, sales and service. Develop a 16 page, 90-day âThe Draft,â A Social Media Strategy for your business, or to share with your marketing, PR, or social media consultant. Use discount code Mashable to receive 20% off the ticket price as well as 1/2 off a Sohobiztube.com professional account at the door.
September 18, 2009, Virginia Beach, VA: New Media Conventions is an exciting day that brings together professionals from many industries to discuss and learn about social media networking and new media tactics. Come learn the right way to achieve success with your business from many of the experts that live in social media today at this how-to event. Agenda: Social Media Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow by Keith Parnell, CEO, JASE Group Marketing & Advertising; Role of Public Relations in Social Media by Michelle Rogerson, Owner, Reina Communications; Successfully Monetizing Your Blog by Julie Maloney, Owner, Momspective; How to Benefit from the Power of Google by Kurt Noer, Owner, Customer Magnetism; Successful Social Media Marketing Campaign, 140 Characters at a Time by Renee Alexander Hamilton, Social Media Strategist, Operation Smile.
September 19, 2009, Atlanta, GA: Atlanta Linux Fest is a grassroots conference for the open source community to gather and share information about fun and exciting open source software. The most popular Linux distributions will be showing off upcoming releases. Businesses based on open source software will discuss their experiences. Cutting edge applications will be demoed. Speakers with in-depth knowledge about issues like licensing and promoting will be presenting. Ubuntu community members will also be running a mini Ubuntu conference within Atlanta Linux Fest, to come together and share knowledge and excitement for forwarding the Ubuntu project. Registration is free.
September 21, 2009, New York City: This comprehensive, dynamic event will explore the inherent challenges of social media and will arm you with the specific tools necessary to protect your company, your intellectual property and your reputation in todayâs virtual world. Challenges from Social Media are only one inappropriate âtweetâ away. Register for this timely program today and ensure you understand the inherent perils of the market and construct the proper policies to protect your company and ensure future growth. Mention code MASH and save $100!
September 21-23, 2009, Portland, OR: LinuxCon is a technical conference providing an unmatched collaboration and education space covering all matters Linux. The best and brightest in the community will come together for top notch speaking talent, innovative content, and an array of networking opportunities. Speakers include: Linux creator, Linus Torvalds, Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth, Bob Sutor of IBM, Joe Brockmeier of OpenSuse and many more industry experts and top technical talent. Get 20% off if you register with code LCOR20.
September 21-23, 2009, San Diego: Come to DEMOfall 09 and view the most comprehensive portfolio of credible emerging technologies, vetted by VentureBeat Founder Matt Marshall, a longtime member of the VC community, and by Chris Shipley, a leading technology analyst who has brought more than 1,250 new products to market since 1996. DEMO is the launchpad for emerging technology and a true market performer for visionary investors, entrepreneurs and industry influencers. Mashable visitors, register now at www.demo.com/df9partner for $1996 and save $500 off the standard registration fee (rate increases after 8/15).
September 22-23, 2009, Singapore: The Social Networking World Forum Asia is a two day conference dedicated to social networking and social media, featuring key speakers from social networking publishers, advertising agencies, industry analysts, software developers and equipment manufacturers, pay-TV and network service providers, mobile operators, plus many more. There will be a joint exhibition combining social networking and mobile social networking formats and an evening networking reception. Mention you are a Mashable reader to receive 15% discount.
September 23, Santa Monica, CA: Join the Digital Family for an evening of exploration on the topic of âManaging Online Communities. Jason Calacanis, CEO of Mahalo, will broadcast âThis Week In Start-Upsâ live from the event and his guests will be community experts Peter Hirshberg, chairman of The Conversation Group and Michael Jones, COO of MySpace. Results of the first-ever Managing Online Communities survey will be presented by Karen North, Director, USC Annenberg Program on Online Communities and Gerry Philpott, CEO of E-Poll. Mashable followers SAVE $20 when you register with code DFR39.
September 23-24, 2009, San Jose, CA: Engage! Expo is the leading event for companies seeking to understand and leverage the power of user engagement. Engage! Expo features three distinct conference areas: Digital Law Conference, Virtual Goods Conference and 3D-Training, Learning and Collaboration. The conference features industry leaders discussing proven methods to extend marketing reach, strengthen customer relationships, improve monetization strategies, protect your company online and enjoy significant cost savings. Use the discount code mashvip to save 15% when you register.
September 23-25, 2009, Amsterdam, Netherlands: PICNIC (www.picnicnetwork.org) is a cross-discipline platform for creative conversation and collaboration. Itâs a unique festival featuring a strategic conference, complimented by hands-on workshops and matchmaking sessions.
Join us at PICNIC â09 to discuss how to embrace the enormous changes impacting our economy, businesses and daily lives. Learn how to create new value in media, entertainment and design to reach a sustainable society. Breathe, Listen and See the possibilities at PICNIC â09. Use promo-code NMashable001 for 15% discount (applies also on top of Early Bird offer valid until September 1st).
September 24, 2009, online: With customers and professionals around the world rushing into online communities and social networks, companies are trying to follow their customers and join the conversation. This summit will feature social media marketing experts who will present live and interactive webcasts throughout the day to debate the value of social media in the marketing mix. They will discuss the best methods for companies to create a social media presence and uncover the paths to leverage social media for a strong ROI. Mashable readers can view the full program and sign up for free at: brighttalk.com/summit/socialmediamarketing2
September 24, 2009, San Francisco, CA: Cool Twitter Conferences provides an environment for developers, people in business, and enthusiasts from multiple disciplines, who seek to understand and maximize the power of Twitter, the chance to contribute to the discussion and tap into this real-time use of the web. This forum is ideal for advertising, marketing professionals and business owners looking to increase visibility and improve customer experience. Use the code: mashable to save 25% on registration.
September 26, 2009, Seattle, WA: StartupDay 2009 is the conference for pre-entrepreneurs, those who have yet to join or found a tech startup. If you have an idea but are unsure of the steps it takes to succeed, this is the conference for you. StartupDay will include a full-day of talks from successful and respected entrepreneurs from Seattle talking about how to validate your idea, find a co-founder, build and market your product, and how to make money. Beyond the speakers, the conference will offer the Advisory Room, a place where attendees can book one-on-one 15-minutes meetings with professionals, entrepreneurs and investors. Early-bird price ends on August 21st. Use the code Mashable to get 5% discount.
September 28-29, 2009, London: At the Social TV Forum, learn from broadcasters, content providers, social networks, brands, advertisers and analysts. Understand the key trends driving social TV, the challenges being faced and what the future outlook is for social television. Take advantage of the Evening Networking Reception and Network immediately with our first-class pre-show online meeting planner. Mention you are a Mashable reader to receive 15% discount.
September 29-October 2, 2009: Attend the Advanced Learning Instituteâs 12th Forum on Social Media for Government: How To Engage Your Employees And Citizens By Using The Latest Web 2.0 Technologies To Drive Communication Results. Hear from leading government agencies and organizations on how you can capture the power of social media in your organization, along with helpful tools, tips and techniques to get started.
September 29-October 2, 2009, Miami, FL: Join us at #SMLatam for 3 days of networking and learning in sunny Miami. Bring your laptops and smart phones and get ready to learn from and interact with a hugely diverse group of speakers who do business through social media. 20 speakers, from both Latin America and the US, will share their experiences, visions, and case studies of how they have expanded and generated business through social media. Mashable readers save $300 on general admission with promo code smlc300 and $500 on VIP packages with promo code smlc500.
October 1-2, 2009, New York City: The Bootstrapper Summit is the only Venture Capital conference in NYC sponsored by the City of New York and connects the most promising companies with the top investors. We connect the top companies with the top investors and have some great speakers lined up including Robin Kent, former CEO of Universal McCann, a $16BN Media Agency, and Nate Brochin, who has built $4BN worth of companies in the last decade. Past speakers include Jim Robinson III, former CEO of American Express and Kevin Ryan, CEO of AlleyCorp. We are still accepting submissions of companies looking to present to our investors and still have a few investor tickets available as well. Mashable readers get a discount.
October 5, 2009, Minneapolis, MN: The MIMA Summit is the top interactive marketing event in the Midwest, attracting professionals from design, media, content development, product development, publishing, marketing, usability, and experience design. If interactive marketing is part of your job, this is the place to be. Featuring keynote presenters Seth Godin and Jackie Huba. Mashable readers may use the code MIMASummit09 to register at the member rate of $395 through Labor Day. After Labor Day, member registration price is $440.
October 5-8, 2009, Ottawa, Canada: For 16 years, GTEC is recognized as Canadaâs most significant forum on the use of technology to improve government services and operations. The event features an annual Distinction Awards program and gala, a comprehensive Professional Development Forum, and the GTEC Exhibition. The conference program and trade show are attended annually by an estimated 7,000 professionals. $100 off for Mashable readers can be had using discount code MASHUP09.
October 7-8, 2009, Boston, MA: The Inbound Marketing Summit is where the online marketing community gathers to solve todayâs marketing and business communications challenges. This fast-paced and information-packed event is your check-up on your existing business communications strategies, and your prescription for the coming months. The Inbound Marketing Summit is organized by thought-leaders Chris Brogan and Justin Levy of New Marketing Labs. This event brings together experts in the field of new media marketing to share the latest strategies, tools, and best practices to utilize new marketing methods to grow your business. Speakers include: Gary Vaynerchuk, Chris Brogan, Jason Falls, Brian Solis, Tim Street and many more. Use the code MASH200 to get $200 off!
October 9-11, 2009, Atlanta, GA: In its inaugural year, BLOGALICIOUS 2009 will provide women bloggers of color an amazing opportunity to come together to celebrate their diversity and their love for blogging. If youâre interested in meeting, learning about, and interacting with women bloggers of color, this conference is for you. In addition to igniting a sense of unity within our community, BLOGALICIOUS 2009 will educate marketers on the importance of our demographic in todayâs marketplace, all while allowing bloggers to network and achieve the ultimate success for their blogs. Itâs an event not to be missed!
October 13-14, 2009, London, UK: a4uexpo London is Europeâs largest Affiliate Marketing Conference and Exhibition. The two-day event will feature top industry experts from across the UK & international Online Marketing sector, as well as a range of specific Workshop sessions, which together provide delegates with a professional environment in which to hear about & debate the key issues currently facing the ÂŁ3bn channel. The accompanying Exhibition will feature a specially-selected group of UK & European exhibitors, whilst there will also be Networking Parties after each dayâs formal program. Mashable users can save 10% by using code Mash09.
October 13-14, 2009, Johannesburg, South Africa: Mobile Web Africa is an event designed to significantly contribute to the next stage of development of the Africa mobile ecosystem. Topics include operator strategies, monetizing mobile web and apps, creating the next generation of entrepreneurs as well as the mobile web and applications for development. Contact All Amber (email@example.com) for information on the SUBSIDISED TICKETS available for Developers and Start-Ups or to receive your ZAR1000 DISCOUNT (please mention MASHABLE in the title of your email!).
October 15-16, 2009, New York City: The Social Media Seminars will explore innovative strategies of Fortune 500 companies and other early adopters and provide practical guidance on tools and technologies to help you develop, implement, refine and measure outcomes of social media strategies. Day one will be in a roundtable format where youâll hear from market leaders including: American Express OPEN Forum, IBM Corporation and Symantec. Clara Shih, author of The Facebook Era (Prentice Hall 2009) will share insights from her book which is used as a text at The Harvard Business School. Day two will provide a hands on working session, where experiential learning will help you figure out the best social media strategies and tactics for your own business. Use Code CL1 for $300 off.
October 15-17, 2009, Las Vegas, NV: Blog World Expo is the first and only industry-wide tradeshow, conference, and media event dedicated to promoting the dynamic industry of new media including: Blogging, Podcasting, Social Media, Online Video, Music, TV, Radio, Gaming, Entertainment and Communities. In addition to the only industry-wide new media industry exhibition, BlogWorld & New Media Expo features the largest new media conference in the world including more than 50 seminars, panel discussions and keynotes from iconic personalities on the leading-edge of online technology and internet-savvy business. Get 20% off by using code MASH20.
October 20-21, 2009, New York City: Following the success of mediabistroâs UGCX in San Jose last February, the fall 2009 conference will uncover the best places to target and maximize content, optimize customer data, and generate revenue as the big shift in media continues to take shape. Learn the best ways to incorporate the customer into your business plan to positively affect bottom line revenue. Discover how to aggregate, analyze, and organize data to provide a better brand experience to customers and partners. And learn how businesses and individuals can harness and take advantage of the powerful voice of the customer. Register with promo code UGCMASH and save 20%!
October 20-22, 2009, London, England: For the fourth year running, Mobile Web and Apps, incorporating an exclusive focus day on Mobile Social Networking, will provide you with all that you need to understand, improve and profit from this seismic shift in our industry. Featuring senior representatives with a combined user base of over half a billion and a combined turnover running into $billions, our speakers really are those that profit from and drive forward the mobile web industry. For your exclusive 10% discount off the registration fee, please quote VIP code I087N/MASH.
October 21, 2009, Madrid: Social Media in Healthcare & Wellness will address how online conversations are changing the way those in the healthcare markets communicate. Brands positioned in this sector need to be open and willing to listen to stakeholders (healthcare professionals, patients, caregivers), and join in the discussion. Those stakeholders are no longer passive; they want to share and express their opinions about brands and have been empowered by social media tools, such as blogs, social networks, video & audio sharing, and microblogging. Attendees will also discuss how to tap into the âwisdom of crowdsâ to solve problems. The conference is exclusively targeted to senior marketing professionals in the healthcare sector: pharmaceutical , nutraceutical, health appliances, etc., and registration is free.
October 21, 2009, Trenton, NJ: Have you been playing around with social media tools to promote your business without much success? Are you responsible for building a comprehensive, customized social media action plan for your business, but canât hire your own PR firm to tackle the task? You need a PLAN! Attend this fast-paced, hands-on training seminar tar
Last night, Facebook launched an application that allows users to simultaneously update both a Facebook Page and a Twitter account. This is intriguing for a few reasons beyond the simple utility of it, as it could be a sign of things to come in terms of integration between the two social sites.
As we noted last night, the move didnât come as a total surprise, as a Twitter message âvia Facebookâ popped up on a Facebook engineerâs Twitter account last month. Also, just a couple weeks ago Facebook added Update Pages functionality to its API, providing developers with the ability to launch apps that could update both Facebook Pages and Twitter simultaneously if they so choose to build them.
But how far will Facebookâs Twitter app go? Thatâs an interesting question, as both companies increasingly see each other as rivals, and the direction of the app could dictate a number of important trends.
There are a couple different ways to look at this development and what might come next:
1. With a huge lead in social networking, Facebook is serious about opening up, and theyâll add the Twitter sync ability to user profiles too. Effectively, Facebook would likely become the biggest Twitter client, at the cost of possibly facilitating the further growth of Twitter.
2. This is simply a competitive move and Facebook wonât go much further with the feature. By adding the ability to update Twitter via Facebook Pages, theyâre hoping big brands and public figures will spend the bulk of their time using Facebook and its additional features like photo and video publishing. This was my initial impression, but âŠ
Ultimately, I think this is much more than a short-term competitive move. Facebook continues to position itself as the place for sharing, and by making Twitter a distribution point for user content, they further solidify that role and bring even more traffic into Facebook. At that point, Facebook would actually be more of a threat to third-party Twitter tools like TwitPic than to Twitter itself.
Twitterâs Impending Facebook Invasion
On the flip side, whatâs going on with Twitterâs Facebook Connect integration? Twitter was announced as an initial partner more than a year ago, but at the moment, there are no signs of being able to login to Twitter with your Facebook username and password.
Launching Connect could help eliminate the âblank canvasâ problem that new Twitter users often face, since they could instantly follow their Facebook friends that are already on Twitter. It also could give the company significantly more reach on Facebook than its currently flaky Twitter app. Twitter will almost certainly launch this at some point, but for now, the timing remains unclear.
Can Facebook and Twitter Co-Exist?
Facebook and Twitter have clearly established themselves as the two top platforms in the social media space, not including YouTube who is more of a compliment to both. But a number of commenters on yesterdayâs post argued that Facebook and Twitter are also complimentary, not competitive.
And, I can sort of see that: If Facebook does open up its Twitter app to user profiles and not just fan pages, and Twitter implements Facebook Connect, you have a scenario where Facebook is a compliment to Twitter (itâs essentially a client) and Twitter is a compliment to Facebook (feeding it status updates to help power real-time search).
At that point, there might not be a whole lot of differentiation between the products, but users essentially have their choice of tools with which to reach two separate audiences (their Facebook friends/fans and their Twitter followers). Sounds a bit like the modern day battle between search engines, doesnât it?
Reviews: Facebook, Twitpic, Twitter, YouTube
Tags: facebook, twitter
While there are many unofficial Wikipedia iPhone apps on the market (some of which work really well), thereâs never been an official one from Wikipedia itself. That changed today as the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit that runs Wikipedia, has launched an official iPhone application: Wikipedia Mobile [iTunes Link].
The free app does exactly what youâd expect it to do: access Wikipedia. The focus, according to the Foundation, is âon being very simple and very fast.â The entire thing is community-built and open-source, and in the nature of Wikipedia, theyâre looking for more people to contribute.
The app itself is nothing to rave over; it is indeed simple, but unfortunately not particularly fast-loading. Still, it gets you the information youâre looking for, it loads images, and it is easy to read. What you canât do is save favorite pages, edit pages, or even browse tables of contents â things other apps like Wikipanion [iTunes Link] can do too.
For now, itâs a more convenient mobile version of Wikipedia, but with community power, it should gain new features rather quickly. Itâs worth the download, although you may want to keep using third-party Wikipedia apps for the time being.
Tags: iphone, iphone app, wikipedia
Today marks the 40th anniversary of one of the most celebrated album covers of all time: The Beatlesâ Abbey Road cover, taken on August 8th 1969.
Hundreds of Beatles fans descended on the pedestrian crossing outside the Abbey Road recording studios today, many attempting to recreate the iconic album cover.
If you canât make it to Abbey Road today, however, thereâs a live stream of the crossing available on the Abbey Road websiteâŠthrough which you can vicariously watch tourists and fans re-enacting the cover while avoiding being run over by the traffic.
Tags: abbey road, Beatles