Thursday, 14 July 2011

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “Incubus Takes on Music Pirates With New Game”

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “Incubus Takes on Music Pirates With New Game”


Incubus Takes on Music Pirates With New Game

Posted: 14 Jul 2011 05:00 AM PDT


Music pirates: They’re the scourge of many a band, especially when it comes to a new album release. They’re also the villains in Incubus’s new retrostyle game, Incubattle.

Incubattle, recalling cartridge games of old, launches Thursday to promote the band‘s new album, If Not Now, When?.

The plot is simple: Stop a bunch of thuggish pirates from stealing your new album by engaging in good old-fashioned fisticuffs. Just choose a band member avatar to get started on your mission, which is scored with tracks from Incubus’s new album (in chiptunes style).

Any fans of retro gaming will certainly enjoy this diversion. It’s similar in style to Das Racist’s 8-byte music video for “Who’s That Brown?”

The game is just another piece of Incubus’s social media-flavored album release campaign, which included an interactive live stream, a partnership with video-sharing app Viddy and a stint on Formspring, among another initiatives.

More About: 8-byte, game, incubattle, incubus

For more Media coverage:


New Device Uses GPS & Crowdsourcing to Identify World’s Water Problems

Posted: 14 Jul 2011 04:32 AM PDT


More than 3.5 million people die each year as the result of water-related disease according to the World Health Organization. Water Canary, a new device unveiled this week at TED Global in Edinburgh, Scotland, hopes to put a dent in this number by providing real-time information on potential outbreaks of disease- infected water.

The device lets anyone test water with the push of the button and then submits the results along with location data wirelessly. In turn, the company hopes it can identify problems much more quickly than chemical-based testing and prevent communities from drinking contaminated water.

Water Canary analyzes water samples by using light and measuring what wavelengths to draw conclusions. A red light flashes to alert the user to a potential water problem. However, the company's founder, Sonaar Luthra, told Mashable that the goal isn't to tell you instantly whether or not you can drink a given sample of water.

"It's not ever going to replace a lab but maybe we don't need that to make better decisions. We're not trying to compete with water testing companies. What will hopefully happen is if you get enough red readings in an area you'll take a more extensive kit there to do a more extensive reading of the area," he said.

To get the scale needed for such a solution to work, Luthra wants to make the devices free, with the costs being subsidized by selling the full firehose of data. He also wants to open source the technology, allowing others to build their own versions of the Water Canary. "[We want to] let the open source community test and improve it … [that's something] we've never done with a scientific instrument before," he said.

That said, the company is looking to raise capital so that it can invest further in developing the device and bringing costs down, as each Water Canary is currently made by hand and costs between $100-200 to produce.

Image courtesy of James Duncan Davidson / TED

More About: social entrepreneurship, TED, ted global, water

For more Startups coverage:


Apple Now Third Largest PC Vendor in the U.S.

Posted: 14 Jul 2011 02:44 AM PDT


Apple has surged past Acer and Toshiba to become the third largest PC vendor in the U.S. with a 10.7% market share, the latest data from Gartner suggests.

In Q2 2011, Apple has experienced a solid 8.5% year-over-year growth in the U.S. market; Toshiba grew 3.3%, and Acer fell 22.6% in that same period.

The top of the chart is still dominated by Dell with a 22.6% market share and HP, which holds 26.9% of the PC market.

IDC’s data also places Apple in the third place in the U.S., but suggests an even bigger growth for the company: 14.7% in Q2 2011 year-over-year.

Worldwide, according to both IDC and Gartner, the top five PC vendors are HP, Dell, Lenovo, Acer and Asus, and Apple is still not in the picture. It’s important to note, however, that the worldwide market grew only 2.3% (according to Gartner; IDC suggests a 2.6% growth) year-over-year which means Apple has been growing considerably faster than most PC vendors.

One exception to that rule was Lenovo, whose channel expansion to markets other than Asia/Pacific propelled it to third place globally with an amazing 22.5% growth (22.9% according to IDC).

[via Gartner, IDC]

More About: apple, dell, Hewlett-Packard, HP, lenovo, pc, sales, trending, U.S.

For more Business & Marketing coverage:


Children’s Book Uses iPad Interactivity to Teach Open Mindedness

Posted: 14 Jul 2011 01:34 AM PDT


When artist Raghava KK had two children, he decided it was time for a new approach to children's books. That approach manifests itself in Pop It, a new children's book for iPad that looks to teach open mindedness to toddlers.

The book, which is about things that little children do with their parents like take a bath, play or change clothes, is notable for its use of a homosexual couple as parents. However, its message comes in that those characters can be changed to a lesbian couple or a heterosexual couple upon shaking the iPad.

"It's a metaphor for shaking from one perspective to another," said Raghava in an interview with Mashable. "The relationship between parent and child does not change if they have two moms, two dads. I'm challenging the concept of family."

In creating the book, Raghava did testing with children, analyzing how much time they spent with each page and ultimately using that data to determine which pages to put in the book. "Children are the hardhest critics and the most honest creatures," he said.

Raghava hopes to apply the concept to additional books that address issues of bias, such as those surrounding Indian independence. Applying the same "shaking" metaphor and technology, such a book could change between the Indian, Pakistani and British perspectives when shook.

Ultimately, Raghava would like to make the project open source, allowing others to easily create apps that address issues of bias around the world. "I want to democratize this … open source it and let different animators plug in their biases based on where they're from," he said.

Pop It [iTunes link], which was demonstrated at TED Global in Edinburgh, Scotland earlier this week, is now available in the app store for $1.99. Raghava talks about the book in the video below:

Image courtesy of James Duncan Davidson / TED

More About: education, ipad, parenting, TED, ted global

For more Mobile coverage:


Flipping the Script on the FBI With 45,000+ Pieces of Digital Art

Posted: 14 Jul 2011 12:39 AM PDT


"How do I not end up getting sent to Gitmo?" That was the question on the mind of Hasan Elahi, a Bangladesh-born artist and professor that was erroneously detained by the FBI after 9/11 and subsequently routinely monitored by the bureau.

The answer became an online art project and lifecast of sorts that started years before services to make such a thing relatively easy were readily available. Elahi shared his story earlier this week at TED Global in Edinburgh, Scotland and then sat down with Mashable to talk about the life he's been living completely in the open since 2003.

"I was erroneously reported … it wasn't a case of mistaken identity … it was a case of ignorance. But when your own country takes it on as a basis for national policy it's a little bit scary," says Elahi of his 2002 arrest at an airport in Detroit.

After months of regular phone calls and visits to an FBI office in Tampa Bay, Elahi started the site TrackingTransience, where in the years since he has broadcast and visually organized more than 45,000 images from his everyday life, most of which are uploaded in real-time using a smartphone camera. The site also includes a map pinpointing his current location. On the rationale for the site, Elahi told us, "It would be incredibly difficult to accuse me of something because I have this long paper trail."

Eventually, the calls and meetings stopped, but Elahi did see continual visits from the FBI, DHS, NSA and even the Executive Office of the President showing up in his website's referral logs.

Now, Elahi thinks more about the impact that sharing vast amounts of data is having on our society (he's also become Director of the Digital Cultures and Creativty Program at the University of Maryland). "I love the fact there are hundreds of millions of people doing the same thing I'm doing … That's when art becomes daily life," he said.

Elahi also ponders the meaning of the indefinite archive we're all creating. "We're in a situation where we no longer need to delete … data is so cheap that we have no reason to delete," he said. "As we're slowly externalizing our memory to these devices … it also means we never forget. So what does it mean to a society that no longer has a need to delete and everything is indexed?"

Had today's social media ecosystem existed back in 2002, Elahi does think things may have unfolded a bit differently. Back then, he says, he'd call close friends before going in for an FBI meeting so people would know where to look for him if they didn't hear from him. "Now I'd post 'walking into FBI office' [on Twitter] and it'd sort itself out," he joked.

Image courtesy of James Duncan Davidson / TED

More About: security, TED, ted global

For more Social Media coverage:


34% of iPhone Users Think They Have 4G [STUDY]

Posted: 13 Jul 2011 10:24 PM PDT



“How many bloody Gs are there?,” asked a bewildered Ozzy Osbourne in one of the funniest Super Bowl commercials this year. You laugh, but he’s not the only one who’s confused about 4G technology.

In fact, as you can see in the graphic above, when consumer electronics shopping site Retrevo conducted a “Gadgetology” study of the state of 4G in the United States, 34% of iPhone owners thought they already owned a 4G smartphone. Of course, there is no such thing. Yet.

Okay all you Android and BlackBerry users, before you get too smug, notice that owners of your phone didn’t do much better, with 29% and 24% mistakenly thinking they already owned a 4G phone, too. Well, at least it’s possible to possess a 4G Android or 4G BlackBerry smartphone.

Retrievo’s conclusion? Adoption of 4G is not going to happen quickly. Take a look at the gallery for even more surprising facts about the reluctance of consumers to jump to the next level of faster smartphone connectivity.

Then read the full study on Retrievo.com, conducted in June, 2011 with a sample size of more than 1000 online users in the U.S., which Retrevo says was “distributed across gender, age, income and location.”

Are smartphone makers and service providers deliberately trying to confuse the 4G issue? Let us know in the comments.


Buy a 4G-less iPhone?





Is 4G Worth It?




Graphics courtesy Retrevo

More About: 3g, adoption, android, blackberry, iphone, Mobile 2.0, Ozzy Osbourne, retrievo, study, trending

For more Mobile coverage:


Now You Can Screen Calls On Your Cellphone

Posted: 13 Jul 2011 09:08 PM PDT


That landline you never use probably has caller ID showing the caller’s name, but what about that mobile device you always tote around with you? Not so much.

Wednesday, T-Mobile USA is rolling out a pay-per-month service that allows its customers to start screening calls from their cellphones.

The service, called Name ID and built by Cequint, will display an incoming caller’s name, phone number, and city and state, should the phoning party not already be in the user’s address book.

T-Mobile, soon to be the property of AT&T, says it’s the first major wireless carrier in the U.S. to support a Caller ID service that can show a caller’s name.

“Before Name ID for mobile phones, deciding whether or not to answer an unfamiliar call often left customers guessing. Now Name ID allows T-Mobile customers to more easily determine which calls to answer, and whether they want to immediately add the new caller’s information to their list of contacts,” said Brad Duea, senior vice president, T-Mobile USA. “Providing the names of previously unknown callers simply gives our customers more control over incoming calls.”

Well, it’s about time a cellphone provider offered this service. What took them so long? As the popular Spiderwebs song — released in 1996 by No Doubt long before the ubiquity of the cellphone — reminds us, sometimes “No matter who calls. I gotta screen my phone calls.”

Name ID costs $3.99 per month and is available now for T-Mobile customers using Samsung Exhibit 4G handsets. Additional handsets, including the myTouch 4G Slide, will support Name ID later this month.

[via Electronista]

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, Joas

More About: Caller ID, Mobile 2.0, mobile phones, Name ID, T-Mobile

For more Mobile coverage:


iPhone App Helps You Remember Complex Passwords

Posted: 13 Jul 2011 08:03 PM PDT


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

Name: PasswordGear

Quick Pitch: PasswordGear turns passwords into stories.

Genius Idea: Making complex passwords easy to remember.


Using complex passwords for social networking sites, email accounts and computer logins has a become a necessary task for internet users who wish to avoid being hacked. Tools such as 1Password and LastPass exist to make the process a bit more manageable, but they’re not exactly fun or approachable for low-tech types.

“There are about two billion internet users out there,” Christopher Miller, creator of PasswordGear, a story-driven password memory aide for iPhone, says, “but about 99.9% of them have problems with passwords. They either forget them or have passwords that aren’t as strong as they should be.”

“And, there’s still so many people who don’t care about passwords,” he adds.

Released three weeks ago, PasswordGear for iPhone is meant to appeal to those of us with password-phobia. Consider yourself in this bunch if you use your dog’s name, mother’s maiden name or favorite ice cream flavor as your master password of choice.

Fire up the application and use it to generate a password between six and 20 characters that includes any combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, and numbers.

After generating an elaborate password, PasswordGear helps you memorize it with a few fun exercises. The primary exercise asks you to create a story that strings together letters and numbers. You can do so with your own imagination or use the cutesy in-app wizard to help you fill in the plot. As you go, PasswordGear will then present you with pictures as prompts for your story.

If you pass the final memory test, the app will instruct you to save your password elsewhere.

The $0.99 application is not designed to be a password manager — it’s more like a memorization tool for those looking to make their master passwords more obscure and less personal. Miller says he uses the application in conjunction with LastPass; he sees PasswordGear as perfect for creating and remembering strong passwords for the sites, programs or systems you access most frequently.

PasswordGear is both fun and clever, but does it work? You’ll have to try it for yourself to know for sure, but Miller argues that this associative approach is the most viable way to get regular people to stop using common words as their most important passwords.

“Password tools out there are tools made by geeks, and marketed through … the geek press to geeks, whereas it is real people who need this stuff even more than geeks,” he says. “I’m trying to humanize the interface and help the people who are most resistant to using strong passwords.”

App users can expect a PasswordGear browser version in the months ahead. The web tool will be capable of integrating with corporate systems and will include even more memory tools.


Series Supported by Microsoft BizSpark


Microsoft BizSpark

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

More About: bizspark, iphone app, PasswordGear, passwords, secure passwords, spark-of-genius

For more Startups coverage:


Google+ Lampooned On Late Night With Jimmy Fallon [VIDEO]

Posted: 13 Jul 2011 07:38 PM PDT


Already using Google+? Follow Mashable News for the latest about the platform’s new features, tips and tricks as well as our top social media and technology updates.

Has Google’s Circle-driven social network Google+ grown so fast that it’s ready for television viewing audiences? Maybe so.

Tuesday night on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, technophile talk show host Jimmy Fallon and celebrity guest Seth Green, who was promoting Robot Chicken, talked up the latest techie obsession.

“Speaking of nerdy stuff, are you on Google+?,” Fallon asked Green. Green is, indeed, on Google+, though he’s merely “reserved his name.”

Fallon then polled the studio audience, asking if they were familiar with Google+. The crowd responded with tempered enthusiasm and confusion, and Green jokingly chastised them by saying, “Then, you’re clearly not a part of the new technological mafia.”

Google+ remained the topic of conversation for another minute or so, with Green adding that, “The best way to overthrow the Facebook giant is to offer something that’s invitation-only.”

Does the funny back-and-forth between Fallon and Green mean that Google+ is on its way to topic of mainstream conversation?

Image courtesy of Flickr, oaklandEarthGirl

More About: Google Plus, jimmy fallon, late night with jimmy fallon, Seth Green

For more Social Media coverage:


Mobile Hacking: How Safe Is Your Smartphone?

Posted: 13 Jul 2011 06:48 PM PDT


New instances of phone hacking seem to emerge from Rupert Murdoch's empire on a daily basis. But are the reports of interest beyond Murdoch and his detractors? Should you, as a consumer, fear that your phone will be hacked?

Not yet. Experts say that it's still fairly easy to hack into your phone, but unless you're a celebrity, you're unlikely to be a target. Don't get too comfortable, though. The era of safe mobile computing may be coming to an end as smartphones and other mobile devices become more popular than PCs.

For the moment, however, phone hacking is the farm team version of big league PC hacking. Methods — particularly in the case of the Murdoch charges which stretch back a decade in some cases — are pretty old school. Robert Siciliano, a McAfee consultant and identity theft expert, says probably the most prevalent way people hack phones is via "social engineering," a.k.a. lying. For instance, a would-be hacker might call you and pose as the phone company saying they need to update your account and need your password. Or the hacker might get enough of your information to call the phone company and pose as you.

Steve Santorelli, director of global outreach at the Internet security research group Team Cymru, and former Scotland Yard police officer, says that the Murdoch phone hacks probably didn't even take that much effort. It's likely, he says, that the victims left a default password provided by the carrier on their phone and the hackers merely guessed correctly. Santorelli says that some carriers still use default passwords. Lesson: Change your passwords often.

There are, of course, more technologically savvy ways to hack your phone as well. A would-be hacker, for instance, might get a bit of information about your account and send a phishing email purportedly from your carrier asking you to log in. At that point they will have your password and other sensitive information. Smartphones also provide an opportunity to install monitoring software. iPhone owners are probably the safest in that regard, unless they jailbreak their phones, Siciliano says. Android users are less secure since publishers can upload their apps directly to Android Market. In March, hackers added malicious code to 58 Android apps, infecting 250,000 phones. "Android is more vulnerable because it's a more open system," says Siciliano. "While Google does vet its apps, some do slip by that are malicious."

Once an app is installed, it can record all your calls and texts and, depending on what kind of apps you have and what you do with your phone, possibly get personal data related to banking and credit cards. There are other possibilities as well. A hacker could commandeer your phone into sending thousands of texts or making calls beyond your monthly minutes, causing you to rack up huge bills.

Such attacks are still pretty rare."The low hanging fruit is still the PC," says Siciliano. "If you are a criminal hacker, Microsoft's OS is the most hacked software on the planet." Yet that could be changing quickly. A recent survey by Flurry showed that consumers are now spending more time on mobile apps than on the web. Another by Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers estimated that combined tablet and smartphone shipments eclipsed those of desktops and laptops this year for the first time.

Security firms have taken notice. Market research firm Infonetics predicts sales of mobile security software will grow 50% each year through 2014, when it will hit $2 billion. AT&T also plans to start selling a security offering to customers next year.

In short, sometime soon phone hacks may not just be Hugh Grant's problem. Says Santorelli: "If I had money right now, I'd bet on the Russian mafia. Mobile hacking is going to be huge."

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, oonal

More About: android, Google, iphone, privacy, rupert murdoch, security

For more Tech & Gadgets coverage:


What Features Do You Want Google to Add to Google+? [OPEN THREAD]

Posted: 13 Jul 2011 06:06 PM PDT


Already using Google+? Follow Mashable News for the latest about the platform’s new features, tips and tricks as well as our top social media and technology updates.

Google+ has dominated the digital headlines. Interest in Google+ has been incredibly high and Google’s social network is reportedly nearing 10 million users after just two weeks.

Still, Google’s answer to Facebook is still young. There is still no Google+ iPhone app and Google is still figuring out how to optimize Google+ for businesses.

SEE ALSO: REVIEW | PHOTOS | VIDEOS | POLL | PROS & CONS

Google’s project is still in its infancy, so it’s no surprise that we’ve heard a lot of Google+ feature requests from our readers. The most common one is Google+ for Google Apps accounts, but everything from privacy to collapsible comments has been brought up as missing features in Google’s social network. Google is even working on some feature requests, including the ability to set your gender as private.

For today’s open thread, we'd like to open this question to our readers: what features do you think Google should add to Google+ next? Let us know in the comments. We’ll make sure to let Google know about your requests.

More About: Google, Google Plus, open thread, social networking

For more Social Media coverage:


Netflix Expands NBC Deal as Customer Anger Mounts

Posted: 13 Jul 2011 05:18 PM PDT


Netflix and NBC Universal have renewed and expanded their live video streaming deal, bringing more content to Netflix. The agreement comes as customer anger mounts over a major price increase for Netflix DVD and streaming services.

The renewed deal not only assures that content from shows such as Saturday Night Live and The Office will remain on Netflix, but it also expands the deal to include shows such as Leave it to Beaver, Psych and Law and Order: SVU. The deal also covers a selection of NBC Universal’s film library.

One major change to the deal: Saturday Night Live will no longer be on Netflix the day after it airs. Instead, the entire season will be available after it ends. Hulu, which is partially owned by NBC Universal, will still have episodes of SNL the day after each episode airs.

Terms of the NBC-Netflix deal were not disclosed. However, The Hollywood Reporter reports the deal could be worth as much as $300 million per year, up from just $25 million.

With the price of content skyrocketing for the DVD rental and video streaming service, it’s no wonder why the company is jacking up its prices. Netflix has split up its video streaming and DVD plans, making each worth $7.99. To have access to both plans, users will have to pay $15.98 per month, a 60% rate hike over the previous $9.99 combined plan.

The result has been a revolt by its customers. The announcement of the new plan generated more than 45,000 mostly negative comments on the Netflix Facebook Page. The company’s blog has received thousands of negative comments. And in our non-scientific poll of Netflix customers, more than 37% of respondents claimed they will be cancelling Netflix altogether. We’ve seen other polls with similar results.

Will 37% of Netflix customers actually cancel their subscriptions? We doubt it, but it definitely has caused a backlash from its usually loyal customers. At the same time, Netflix’s costs are rising and it needs to make its streaming operation profitable. Some even suspect that Netflix is trying to kill the DVD with the new pricing plans.

Before the price hike, Netflix was doing well. Its earnings rose by 88% in the last year, and its stock price has risen from less than $50 to nearly $300.

What do you think of Netflix’s NBC deal and its new price plan? Is it justified given its increasing costs, or did Netflix go too far? Let us know in the comments.

More About: dvd, nbc, netflix, trending

For more Business & Marketing coverage:


Twitter for Android Gets Push Notifications & Multiple Accounts

Posted: 13 Jul 2011 04:41 PM PDT


Twitter for Android just got an important update: It now features push notifications and, better still, support for multiple accounts.

So if you use more than one Twitter handle, now you can toggle between accounts on your Android app without having to log out and log in again.

This is a feature the Twitter iPhone app has had since before it was acquired by Twitter, back when it was still just Tweetie. But support for multiple accounts is a feature that had yet to appear on the Twitter.com web app — much to the chagrin of power users and Twitter marketers — and much to the relief of third-party clients that have based their businesses on multi-account support features.

Push notifications, on the other hand, might seem redundant given the fact that Twitter notifications also appear in the Android notifications bar. (For iPhone users, push notifications have been around since last fall.) Still, if you’re the kind of Twitter fanatic who wants — nay, needs to be interrupted every time to get a new @reply, you’ll appreciate the new feature.

You can download the new Twitter for Android app now from the Android Market. As always, it’s free of charge.

More About: android, mobile apps, twitter

For more Mobile coverage:


It’s Here! Spotify Is Coming to the U.S.

Posted: 13 Jul 2011 03:39 PM PDT


After months of speculation and rumors, much-lauded European music service Spotify is coming to the U.S. with all four major labels on board.

Starting Thursday morning, folks in the U.S. will be able to sign up for both paid tiers of Spotify’s service: $4.99 per month for its unlimited, ad-free service, and $9.99 per month for the premium, mobile service.

Its free service, which limits listening somewhat, will roll out to users via invites over the next few weeks, as we heard earlier this week.

“We want to see how it goes,” says Ken Parks, chief content officer at Spotify. “It’s not unusual for services to do so. We want to test it, let users play with it.”

The service will be available on all the platforms that currently feature it in Europe — iPhone, Android, Symbian, Windows Phone and Palm — as well as consumer electronics devices like Sonos.

Upon launch, Spotify will be the only free, on-demand service available in the U.S. on mobile and desktop (Slacker Radio does have a free tier, but not for on-demand listening), which will definitely make it enticing to users.

“Spotify is simply a better experience,” Parks says when asked how Spotify feels going into a market already crowded with music subscription services. “It’s lightning fast. It’s dead simple to use. We’ve made it very easy to share music. And we’ve made it extremely easy to share your collection with friends. Free is also pretty great value.”

Parks says that Spotify aims to capitalize on buzz around the product at launch in order to drive awareness. Recently, All Things Digital unearthed marketing documents that indicate that Spotify is extremely optimistic about projected membership numbers, aiming to garner 50 million U.S. users in one year.

Currently, Spotify has one million paying subscribers across the U.K., Finland, France, Netherlands, Sweden, Norway and Spain, so the 50 million number seems a little inflated. Still, the service’s integration with Facebook will help drive awareness to its existence, as shared music begins to show up across users’ social streams.

Parks was mum when it came to rumors that Spotify and Facebook are teaming up to launch a streaming music service. “It’s not secret that we have worked together in the past and have a great relationship,” he says. “We continue to work together and have a great relationship.”

More About: android, iphone, music, record labels, sonos, spotify

For more Media coverage:


Are We In A Tech Bubble? Here’s The History [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted: 13 Jul 2011 03:07 PM PDT


We’ve spent the past year wondering whether we’re currently in a tech bubble akin to the last decade’s dotcom boom.

Mashable has offered facts and opinions on both sides of the question. We’ve heard that the current boom is much different from the heyday of the late 1990s and that we have cause for confidence.

But we’ve also heard (from the likes of legendary investor Warren Buffet, no less) that the newest crop of tech darlings are highly overvalued at worst and unpredictable at best.

And we’ve even asked you, our readers, what you thought about current startup valuations and funding amounts. (Most of you responded that you were not optimistic about the future of the tech startup ecosystem.)

Now here are a few straightforward graphs and charts (created by KISSmetrics and FeeFighters) to help you get some better perspective on the issue. Clearly, the dotcom era was a different beast. But looking back on that insanity should help temper our excitement about new technologies with realistic revenue expectations.

Click image to see full-size version.

Top image courtesy of iStockphoto, patrickheagney

More About: bubble, investment, startups, tech bubble, technology

For more Tech & Gadgets coverage:


The Love Equation: How Match.com Calculates Your Ideal Mate

Posted: 13 Jul 2011 02:49 PM PDT


Nearly all of us have spent time pondering what makes two people a compatible couple, but few have put as much time, money and Ph.D.s behind this question as Match.com.

When the site started in 1995, online dating was an obscure (and somewhat dubious) practice. Now one in every five new relationships starts with online dating, according to a study it commissioned.

Matchmaking has never been a simple business, but when you add 16 years of data from a site that Compete.com estimates has about 14 million unique visitors per month, there’s endless opportunity for complexity. About three years ago, the company decided to delve into that data to help improve its matches.

It brought on current VP of strategy analytics Amarnath Thombre to head up the charge. Since then, he and a team of 12 have been hard at work developing an equation (well, hundreds of equations) for successful match recommendations. It’s a uniquely challenging pursuit.

“It’s easy to predict who likes The Godfather, but in this case, the Godfather has to like you back,” Thombre says.

The team’s efforts, despite the challenge, seems to be working — the first changes alone resulted in a doubling of “yes” matches on the site.

We sat down with Thombre and Match.com President Mandy Ginsberg to learn more about the math behind improving matches. These are the four main components of the equation.


1. What You Say


When you sign up for Match.com or pretty much any other dating site, you fill out a survey about yourself, your preferences and what you’re looking for in a partner. The most basic part of Match’s suggestions result from simply matching people with characteristics that they both said they liked.


2. What You Do


What people say and what they do don’t always match up. Of the women who say that a partner’s desire to have kids is a “must have” criteria on Match.com, for instance, 57% still have emailed men on the site who don’t want to have kids. 51% who say the same about a partner’s income have ended up breaking their criteria.

Because of this dissonance, Match.com’s recommendation engine considers what “must have” criteria you will compromise on and when you make those compromises. Maybe you say that you don’t want to date someone who has been married before, but you consistently email divorced men as long as they want to have children. Match.com’s algorithms might begin to include some men who fit into that category in your recommendations.

“Instead of trying to create the perfect algorithm, we try to create the perfect algorithm for you,” Thombre says.


3. What People Like You Do


In addition to tuning into your behavior to decide who you might like, Match.com also tunes into the behavior of people who are like you. The site looks for other users whose behavior mirrors your own (i.e. they have communicated with the same people who you have). It considers people who your behavior twins have interacted with to be more likely matches for you.

It’s another way of determining what you like even if you can’t articulate it.

“We don’t know exactly what it is,” explains Thombre. “It could be their sense of humor, it could be the way they smile, the way that their facial structure is — all of these abstract patterns … we just try to identify the pattern and find more people like that for you.”


4. A Bit of History


In 16 years of business, Match.com has collected a mass of data that any human behavior researcher would envy (competitor eHarmony has been at it for 14 years). It uses that data to make some guesses about who you like before you even rate your first match.

The site’s math team has documented hundreds of correlations. Here are just a sampling:

  • Republicans are more likely to reach across party lines to contact a Democrat than vice versa.
  • A woman who smokes daily is less likely to email a man who doesn’t smoke.
  • Women of “other” religion show positive propensity to email a Jewish man.

Match.com’s mathematical matchmaker poses some interesting questions about human nature. Can an algorithm figure out what we really want in a partner better than we can articulate ourselves? If our likelihood for compatibility is so betrayed by our patterns, where’s the magic? And what is it that really makes people click?

Neither the matchmaking company nor its algorithms claim to have the answer to any of these questions.

“We don’t pretend to know who is right for you, but we use mathematics to quickly learn how your complexity shows itself on the site,” Thombre says. “We are like a bartender who is always observing particularly which types of people are talking to each other and hitting it off.”

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, adventtr

More About: algorithms, dating, love, Match.com, online dating

For more Social Media coverage:


Amazon To Launch Tablet By October [REPORT]

Posted: 13 Jul 2011 02:26 PM PDT


Amazon's rumored tablet computer will be introduced before October, according to a report.

The tablet, which would vie with Apple's iPad 2, among other products, will be one of three new hardware products from Amazon coming in the third quarter, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The other devices are a touch-screen version of the Kindle and an "improved and cheaper adaptation" of the current Kindle, which sells for $139. (Amazon on Wednesday also cut the price of its Kindle 3G, which works off AT&T's wireless network, from $189 to $139.) Though the report states that the tablet won’t have a camera, no further details were provided.

Rumors of an Amazon tablet have circulated since May. In particular, Peter Rojas of Gdgt speculated that an Android-based tablet made from Samsung was on the way.

Such a device might make sense since the market for ereaders seems to be splitting between single-function devices like the Kindle and the iPad. Amazon rival Barnes & Noble is attempting to address both segments of the market with its Nook Color — whose latest iteration includes support for Android 2.2 (Froyo) and Adobe Flash along with an app store with hundreds of apps — and Simple Touch, a $139 device that competes head-to-head with Kindle.

Amazon reps could not be reached for comment on the report.

More About: amazon, apple, barnes & noble, iPad 2, Kindle, nook, nook color, tablet pcs

For more Tech & Gadgets coverage:


Teens-Only Incubator Announces First Startup Class

Posted: 13 Jul 2011 02:06 PM PDT


Teens in Tech and Appcelerator have announced the first crop of startups accepted into the Teens in Tech Incubator.

The incubator was announced at the beginning of 2011 as a way for aspiring teen entrepreneurs to get hands-on instruction and mentorship to bring their ideas to life.

Each team includes up to three members, all of whom are 18 or younger. The teams began their work with Teens in Tech and Appcelerator June 22. The incubator program will run for six weeks at Appcelerator’s Mountain View headquarters. The young hackers and entrepreneurs have been given advice and tutelage from an all-star lineup of mentors and advisors during “office hours” events and workshops.

The teams have been schooled in design by Jesse Thomas of JESS3 fame and designer Joey Primiani. They have received coaching from investors such as Silicon Beach scion Paige Craig. And they’ve received coding and marketing tips from the makers of Seesmic, Twilio, PBWorks, Disqus, Posterous, Eventbrite, Paypal, Salesforce and more.

In a few weeks, the budding startups will present at a Demo Day during the annual Teens in Tech Conference at Palo Alto Research Center.

The startups we can expect to see demoing then are as follows:

  • Codulous: (Santa Cruz, CA) An online code editor that works in the cloud and syncs with your desktop and many other services
  • BuyNomial: (Oakland, CA) A tool for smarter, faster personal budgeting
  • MySchoolHelp: (White Plains, NY) An easy way for high school students to find and share their classmates' notes
  • Bubbls: (Palo Alto, CA) A geo-social mobile app that lets your friends know when you can hang out
  • CM Studios: (Atherton, CA) A zombie game for the iPhone, and soon, Android
  • Workcrib (Walnut Creek, CA) A social sharing site for your workplace

Lest you doubt the power of encouraging younger would-be entrepreneurs at an early stage, Jeff Haynie, co-founder and CEO of Appcelerator, said in a statement: “I started my first company when I was 14, and there were a lot of people who generously helped mentor and provide me with valuable guidance along the way. Having benefited from that support network, I think it's important for seasoned entrepreneurs to pay it forward and proactively lend a guiding hand to our next generation of aspiring tech entrepreneurs and contribute to them hopefully building the next Google or Apple."

Teens in Tech founder Daniel Brusilovsky also said, “Our new incubator program will encourage today's youth to start early, think big, take risks, learn from failures and gain from successes.”

“The support ecosystem inherent throughout Silicon Valley gives evidence to why the region is one of the most innovative in the world,” he said. “However, it also lays a solid blueprint for others to adopt and benefit from as well.”

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, monkeybusinessimages

More About: daniel brusilovsky, entrepreneurship, incubator, startups, Teenagers, teens, teens in tech

For more Startups coverage:


China Shut Down 1.3M Websites in 2010 [STUDY]

Posted: 13 Jul 2011 01:39 PM PDT

Chinese internet shutdown

China shut down more than 40% of websites based in the country between 2010 and 2009, according to a study by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a state-sponsored think tank.

Despite the 1.3 million Chinese sites that were shut down, the study insists there is a high level of Internet freedom in China.

“This means our content is getting stronger, while our supervision is getting more strict and more regulated,” Liu Ruisheng, a Chinese researcher told the BBC.

The Chinese government has tightened regulations on websites and the content they post. Even though China’s constitution guarantees freedom of speech, the government is able to shut down websites under a “subversion of state power” clause and if their content is deemed unfit. Human rights groups have dubbed this effort the Great Firewall of China. In June, the UN declared disconnecting people from the Internet a violation of human rights.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, Bo1982

More About: china, great wrirewall of china, internet, Internet freedom, Internet shutdown, social good

For more Social Good coverage:


6 Successful Foursquare Marketing Campaigns to Learn From

Posted: 13 Jul 2011 01:22 PM PDT


The Social Marketing Series is supported by Campaigner®. Campaigner email marketing enables small, medium and large businesses to strengthen customer relationships and drive sales by connecting to their customers quickly, simply and affordably. Visit www.campaigner.com to learn more.

There are now more than 500,000 businesses on Foursquare. We’ve already shared with you how to start marketing on Foursquare and how to set up a special — now we’re giving you a handful of campaigns that can inspire your own marketing initiatives.

Read on and take a tip from The History Channel, Starwood Hotels, Pepsi Max, a Florida eye doctor, a New York steakhouse and a German billboard.


1. Be On-Brand — History Channel


The History Channel Foursquare page launched in April 2010. A History channel rep says the network was already very active on Facebook and Twitter, so the marketing team wanted to open the brand up to a new platform — Foursquare — in order to “deepen [the] social engagement with the network’s viewers.”

Since The History Channel is not a physical location, it has a brand page that can be “followed.” When users check in to sites like the Highline in NYC or the Tower of London, a tip from The History Channel pops up, explaining some tidbit or fun fact about the background of the site. The tips are informative conversation starters — fun little nuggets to consume. And while it may not get people watching The History Channel, it makes history — its bread and butter — accessible and fun. This is a win, since many brands are on social media in order to be more accessible to consumers.

Success Metrics: The History Channel Foursquare page has 202,450 followers. While The History Channel doesn’t share numbers regarding how many people have unlocked the badge, here are some numbers derived from various History Channel tips:

Lesson: While The History Channel can’t directly tie the success of the Foursquare campaign to a spike in ratings, the brand has been successful in getting people excited about history and fun facts.


2. Reward Loyalty With Loyalty Points — Starwood Preferred Guest


In May, Starwood Hotels teamed up with Foursquare for its SPG — Starwood Preferred Guest — loyalty program. Once a guest links his SPG and Foursquare accounts, he can earn 250 Starpoints when he checks in to a Starwood hotel with a confirmed reservation.

“There’s a strong loyalty connection for our guests, so we’re using social media and tools in an interesting way and bringing value to the guests and deepening our relationships with them,” says Alyssa Waxenberg, senior director of emerging platforms at Starwood Hotels, which comprises nine hotel brands, including W Hotels, Sheraton, Westin and the St. Regis.

So far, hotel guests are happy with the promotion. “250 Starpoints is quite high for reward points,” says Abbey Reider, associate director for global search marketing and social media strategy at Starwood. “It’s great because rather than trying to reward with a discount or something related to our food and beverage outlets, we give back something that is truly meaningful and that the guests care about.” To put it in perspective, a night at a Starwood hotel can “cost” 3,000 or more Starpoints.

The other benefit is that the rewards have the same value all over the world and everything is taken care of on the back end, so there’s no staff training necessary. The same campaign runs at all 1,051 Starwood hotels, and there’s no need to worry about currency value, since a point is a point, no matter the country.

Reider says that though Foursquare is perceived as a very American phenomenon, that SPG has seen high levels of engagement in China — second in checkin volume only to the United States. “We’ve been pleasantly surprised to see that global Foursquare usage is very strong,” she says.

Plus, through July 31, each mobile checkin enters a user into a contest for a resort getaway, including five free resort nights and airfare. Since Starpoints already have such a high perceived value to guests, the potential to earn more points and to win a vacation means people are happy to go through the steps of linking their Foursquare and SPG accounts.

“Foursquare makes it very easy for our hotels to try things and put campaigns into market,” says Waxenberg. “We don’t need to think about operational things.”

Success Metrics: Since the campaign’s launch in May, SPG has “given away” nearly 10 million points.

Lesson: Your loyal customers are probably excited about earning loyalty points with your brand. Consider using Foursquare to offer more loyalty points — the business doesn’t lose any actual money, but they do gain an excited consumer who will likely come back again and again.


3. Target Influencers — Pepsi Max


Each March, digital natives descend upon Austin, Texas for SXSW Interactive. Naturally, they check in to bars, restaurants, events and food trucks. This year, if users followed Big Boi on Foursquare and checked in throughout Austin, they could unlock the Golden Ticket badge, which pops up after checking in, just like any other badge. The Golden Ticket earned users a spot at a Big Boi concert during SXSW.

For those not in Austin or unlock the badge, the concert was livestreamed on UStream and a Facebook tab on the Pepsi Max page. Pepsi Max then posted a photo collage filled with pics that were posted on Instagram and Foursquare during the concert.

Success Metrics: The Golden Ticket was unlocked by 2,400 SXSW-goers, who filled the concert venue to capacity. There were more than 2,000 Foursquare checkins at the Big Boi concert, and Pepsi Max had more buzz than any other brand sponsor of SXSW.

Lesson: While not every brand has pockets deep enough to finance a partnership with Foursquare itself, it’s wise to target digital influencers, who are likely to share unique experiences — like winning a Golden Ticket — to their social networks.


4. Offer Specials on the Unexpected — Bright Eyes Family Vision Care


Typically, you see Foursquare promotions at bars, restaurants and other venues. But one Florida eye doctor makes use of the platform to benefit his medical practice. Nathan Bonilla-Warford says he’s been a fan of Foursquare since before it even launched in Tampa — he even founded Foursquare Day. He decided to make use of Foursquare both as a consumer and as a merchant, even though his business is somewhat nontraditional for the location-based service.

“I think the fact that we’re not a bar or a restaurant is part of what’s so compelling, because people think it’s interesting,” says Bonilla-Warford. “It’s different, it’s surprising.” What’s especially surprising is what he offers as a reward for checkins: a locally-made hot sauce. He says he likes to keep things interesting.

“It’s such a left-field kind of reward that it catches people’s eyes — they smile and think its funny,” says Bonilla-Warford. “Then they go home and talk about it — I went to the eye doctor, and I got this hot sauce!’”

While hot sauce is the current reward, Bonilla-Warford has dabbled in more, well, relevant offerings. For Foursquare Day, he has offered 50% off a pair of glasses and a buy-one, get-one-free deal. For special occasions, he says, it’s a fun promotion, but Warford-Bonilla couldn’t afford to offer those promos all the time. He promotes the Foursquare campaigns in blog posts and emails, and there’s a door cling.

Success Metrics: While Foursquare users are “definitely not a giant percentage of the people who we see in the office,” Bonilla-Warford says it gives his practice another way to interact with that community, and the tech-oriented people appreciate the gesture. He keeps the promotion going because he loves Foursquare, and the few customers who are Foursquare users appreciate it. Plus, it has made Bonilla-Warford somewhat of a celebrity.

Lesson: Most people associate Foursquare specials with retail and restaurants, but businesses of any type can reap the benefits of the platform. Since many people push their Foursquare checkins to Twitter and Facebook, having a presence on Foursquare makes for great word-of-mouth buzz.


5. Give Away Something Small — Angelo & Maxie’s


Last fall, New York steakhouse Angelo and Maxie’s wanted to do a giveaway and increase revenue while running the campaign. The restaurant brought Florida-based social media firm Socially Buzz on board to implement the campaign. For 45 days from October to November, the business ran a Foursquare special — buy an entree and get a free dessert.

“We did some research and found that pretty much every customer who orders a meal usually orders dessert,” says Andre Kay, founder of Socially Buzz.

While Angelo and Maxie’s ran campaigns on Foursquare and Facebook Places and also had a coupon landing page on the web, Kay says Foursquare comprised 90% of the campaign, and thus contributes most of the success to Foursquare.

Success Metrics: During the 45-day long campaign in October and November, there were 400 Foursquare checkins, meaning there were 400 entrees purchased. Of those, 60% of the Foursquare users were checking in to Angelo and Maxie’s for the first time. The campaign boosted revenues by 18% during the 45-day period, and it was then extended for another 30 days.

Lesson: You don’t have to give away a meal — a free dessert just may be the cherry on top that will lure customers back time and again. Plus, once customers come to the restaurant, they may splurge and order appetizers and wine since dessert is free, which will boost revenues even more.


6. Utilize the API — GranataPet


A small German pet food company got clever in March, using the Foursquare API and the principle of Pavlov’s conditioning. GranataPet installed 10 billboards in Munich and Berlin, and when a user checked in to the billboard on Foursquare, it “dispensed” dog food into a dog bowl on the ground for four-legged friends. How does it work? Checkins are noted on a distant server that is connected to a black box within the billboard that controls the dispenser — when the server registers a checkin, it dispenses a sample of food. Sounds tricky, but each billboard costs just 350 Euro to install, says Dominik Heinrich, innovation director at Die Zietspringer, a division of Agenta that created the campaign.

Thanks to classic conditioning, the dogs became the target consumer and would pull their owners back to the billboard day after day in order to get the free food. The campaign was inexpensive and clever, and it empowered the dogs to have a say in what they eat.

Success Metrics: The 10 billboards averaged 118 checkins each on the first day, and Heinrich says Munich pet stores sold 28% more GranataPet during and 10 days after the campaign than prior to it. Because of the campaign’s success, GranataPet will install 100 billboards by the end of the year, with five in each of 20 cities. Sales of GranataPet are 14% higher than they were last year, and pet store requests to carry the product are 38% higher.

Lesson: A little innovation goes a long way. Plus, a quirky campaign like this has a tendency to go viral, which spreads awareness of your brand even farther.


Series Supported by Campaigner®


The Social Marketing Series is supported by Campaigner®. Campaigner®'s Smart Email Builder makes it easier than ever to create professional looking email marketing campaigns and affords multiple ways to grow and manage lists, integrate with CRM, and utilize campaign metrics and reports to increase results. For more information, please visit www.campaigner.com or watch a product demo today.


More Twitter Marketing Resources From Mashable


- 9 Lessons From Successful Brands on Twitter
- 16 Food Trucks Serving Up Tweetable Eats
- 7 Tips for Better Twitter Chats
- 5 Proven Twitter Marketing Strategies
- The Voice: How a TV Show Became a 24/7 Social Media Conversation

More About: foursquare, location-based social network, MARKETING, Social Marketing Series, social media, starwood hotels, sxsw

For more Business & Marketing coverage:


PayPal on Android To Start Hassle-Free NFC Payments

Posted: 13 Jul 2011 01:11 PM PDT


PayPal is preparing to release an update to its PayPal Mobile app that will allow Android users to make peer-to-peer payments using near field communication (NFC).

The technology will allow Android users with a NFC-enabled phone (right now that means the Samsung Nexus S) to initiate payments with one another by tapping their devices together. PayPal demoed the new feature Wednesday at MobileBeat 2011.

PayPal Mobile has supported bump-style mobile peer-to-peer payments in its iPhone and Android apps for quite some time, but what makes the NFC implementation different is in its ease and speed of use.

As Shimone Samuel, product experience manager for PayPal Mobile explained to Mashable, the process for initiating and confirming payments using the NFC feature is just two taps per user, rather than the multi-stepped process required in the bump-powered implementation.

This is how it works:

  • The PayPal Mobile app will now feature an NFC payments widget that can be displayed on an Android phone screen.
  • The user who wants to request money hits the request-for-payment button and enters the amount.
  • The user who is sending money needs to have his or her phone screen on and tap or wave the phone near the other user. Wait for the buzz sound.
  • The requesting user receives a notification and enters in his or her PIN to confirm the transfer.

For the person-to-person payment space, this is a big deal. It cuts down on the hassle involved in doing mobile or online payments.

Because Android is the only major smartphone platform to support NFC, it is the first beneficiary of this new feature. In the past, the iPhone has led over Android when it comes to getting new features in the PayPal Mobile app. This time, as Samuel told us, “the iPhone users are the ones that get to ask ‘when is it coming for us?’”

Future Android devices that support NFC should also support the new widget because PayPal is building it to Google’s API specifications. When non-Android platforms get around to supporting NFC, PayPal will look at adding the feature to those apps too.

PayPal’s use of NFC for peer-to-peer payments differs from the way Google Wallet wants to use the technology. In the case of Google Wallet, Google’s goal is to work with traditional retailers and credit card companies and payment terminals.

PayPal is planning to release the new NFC payments feature in late summer.

More About: android, google wallet, mobile payments, nfc, paypal

For more Mobile coverage:


Lip-Dubbing Senior Citizens Make Retirement Home Fun [VIDEO]

Posted: 13 Jul 2011 12:55 PM PDT


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

Lip-dubbing isn’t just for high school students anymore. A video recently hit the web featuring the residents of the Clark Retirement Community in Michigan doing a swank cover of “Feeling Good.”

The video, which was created by Grand Valley University students and alumni, certainly makes retirement communities look fun: gambling, drinking, making out. Only T-minus 40 years until I, too, can shake my bones.

Grand Rapids, Michigan, made this popular lip dub video last month too.

More About: lip-dub, music, viral-video-of-day, youtube

For more Video coverage:


Find a Job in Social Media, Communications or Design

Posted: 13 Jul 2011 12:30 PM PDT


If you’re seeking a job in social media, we’d like to help out. For starters, Mashable‘s Job Lists section gathers together all of our resource lists, how-tos and expert guides to help you get hired. In particular, you might want to see our articles on How to Leverage Social Media for Career Success and How to Find a Job on Twitter.

But we’d like to help in a more direct way, too. Mashable‘s job boards are a place for socially savvy companies to find people like you. This week and every week, Mashable features its coveted job board listings for a variety of positions in the web, social media space and beyond. Have a look at what's good and new on our job boards:


Mashable Job Postings


Business Development Coordinator at Mashable in New York, NY.


Community Director at Mashable in New York, NY.


Community Intern at Mashable in New York, NY.


Editorial Intern at Mashable in New York, NY.


Tech Reporter at Mashable in San Francisco, CA.


Communications Coordinator at Mashable in New York, NY.


Campaign Specialist at Mashable in New York, NY.


Mashable Job Board Listings


Director of Technical Operations at Synacor in Buffalo, NY.


NIKE Expert IT Architect at Nike in Beaverton, OR.


Expert Business Consultant Nike CRM at Nike in Beaverton, OR.


Lead Database Administrator at Synacor in Buffalo, NY.


VP, Digital Media at NBC Universal in New York, NY.


Marketing Manager at Nology Media in Seattle, WA.


Web Engineer at Evri in Seattle, WA.


Team Manager at Morpheus Media in New York, NY.


Nike Director Technology – Commerce Portfolio Delivery Mgmt at Nike in Beaverton, OR.


Nike Director of Front End Development at Nike in Beaverton, OR.


Nike Expert IT Architect – Consumer Data at Nike in Beaverton, OR.


Digitial Group Account Director at OMD in Los Angeles, CA.


Social Media Manager at The Monday Campaigns in New York, NY.


Business Intelligence Developer /COGNOS at Everyday Health in New York, NY.


MTV K Writer at MTV World – MTV K in New York, NY.


Web Developer at Computer Sciences Corporation/DCITA in MD.


Strategy Manager at iCrossing in San Francisco, CA.


Media Planning Analyst at DigiSynd in Burbank, CA.


Sr. Manager, Social Strategy at DigiSynd in Burbank, CA.


Assistant Director, Internal and Alumni Communications at Brandman University in Irvine, CA.


Lead Drupal Developer at OnGreen in Los Angeles, CA.


Sales Planner at Glam Media, Inc. in New York, NY.


Digital Creative Director at Relevent in New York, NY.


Account Director at Relevent in New York, NY.


VP/Director, Account Planning at Digitas in Boston, MA.


Key Account Manager at Whispr Group in New York, NY.


Social Media Analyst at Whispr Group in New York, NY.


Content Operations Coordinator at Dailymotion in New York, NY.


Social Media Strategist at Contently Inc. in New York, NY.


Associate Editor at Sulia.com in New York, New York.


Web Designer at San Jose State University in San Jose, CA.


Internet Marketing & Sales Project Manager at BowTie, Inc. in Irvine, CA.


Internet Marketing Specialist at BowTie, Inc. in Irvine, CA.


Front End Software Engineer at Google Inc. in New York, NY.


Senior Network Administrator at ShopAtHome.com in Englewood, CO.


Director of Digital Media Technologies at University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.


Customer Support Engineer at Couchbase Inc. in Mountain View, CA.


Interactive/Engagement Web Editor at The World Bank in Washington, D.C.


Senior Online Communications Strategist at Laughlin Constable in Chicago, IL.


Product Marketing Manager at AOL in Sterling, VA.


Principal Web Analyst at AOL in Sterling, VA.


Digital Producer at Ogilvy PR Worldwide in Washington, D.C.


Associate, Respondent Acquisition at Ipsos in Toronto, Canada.


Social Media and Marketing Manager at UC Santa Cruz in Santa Cruz, CA.


Product Manager at Total Beauty Media in Santa Monica, CA.


PPC Specialist at DentalPlans.com in Fort Lauderdale, FL.


Web Coordinator at National TV Talk Show in Burbank, CA.


Social Community Manager at San Francisco Creative Agency in San Francisco, CA.


Junior Web Developer at Adbay in Casper, WY.


Social Media/Community Manager (Sports Nutrition and Fitness) at Affinitive in New York, NY.


Product Manager, Syfy Games at NBC Universal in New York, NY.


Digital Strategist at Wake Forest University in Winston Salem, NC.


Interactive Marketing Manager at EMI Christian Music Group in Brentwood, TN.


Agile Scrum Team Wanted – LAMP Developers at Beatport, LLC in San Francisco, CA.


Special Assistant to the CEO / Office Manager at HealthTap in Palo Alto, CA.


Associate Social Media Content Producer (Zune) at roundhouse agency in Seattle, WA.


Manager, Social Media at Current TV in New York, NY.


iOS Developer at kikin Inc in New York, NY.


Test Engineerat Group Commerce in New York, NY.


Software Engineer at Group Commerce in New York, NY.


Front End Engineer at Group Commerce in New York, NY.


HR Generalist at GMF in Washington, D.C.


Digital Producer at ALLDAYEVERYDAY in New York, NY.


Research Manager at NM Incite in Covington, KY.


Junior Marketing Manager at Justin Alexander Bridal in Valley Cottage, NY.


Public Information Officer at United Nations World Food Programme in Bangkok, Thailand.


Social Media Marketing Manager at Pan Pacific Hotel Group in Singapore.


Online Multi Media Communications Specialist at Hitachi Data Systems in Santa Clara, CA.


Senior Lead Developer/Software Engineer at The Cimarron Group / Cimarron Digital in Los Angeles, CA.


Social Media Manager at The Cimarron Group / Cimarron Digital in Los Angeles, CA.


Photo Editor at MTV World in New York, NY.


Mashable‘s Job Board has a variety of web 2.0, application development, business development and social networking job opportunities available. Check them out here.

Find a Web 2.0 Job with Mashable

Got a job posting to share with our readers? Post a job to Mashable today ($99 for a 30 day listing) and get it highlighted every week on Mashable.com (in addition to exposure all day every day in the Mashable marketplace).

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, YinYang

More About: COMMUNICATIONS, design, jobs, jobs listings, Lists, social media

For more Social Media coverage:


5 Trends Shaping the Mobile Gaming Industry

Posted: 13 Jul 2011 12:10 PM PDT


The Consumer Trends Series is supported by GameSpot, giving brands the next level of engagement with gamers through exclusive news, clips, trailers and more. To connect your brands with true enthusiasm, visit CBSInteractive.com/ideal.

Mobile gaming has really taken off in the past few years, and the continued growth of the underlying forces — smartphone sales, tablet sales, mobile Internet subscribers and app downloads — all point to a bright future for the industry.

Market research firm Mintel recently published a report on the U.S. mobile gaming industry — we took a look to glean insight into the consumption of and current attitudes toward mobile gaming.

First off, the numbers are impressive. Mobile phone and tablet gaming sales in the U.S. reached $898 million in 2010, more than doubling since 2005, and Mintel forecasts that revenues will reach $1.6 billion by 2015. This prediction is in line with eMarketer’s report that mobile gaming revenues are expected to reach $1.5 billion by 2014. With increasing smartphone sales, a growing tablet market and increasing advances in mobile device and game development, this industry is sure to get more interesting in the coming years.

Here are five key takeaways from Mintel’s report. Let us know your thoughts on the future of the mobile gaming industry in the comments below.


1. The Freemium Model Has Potential


One of the biggest tasks in marketing a mobile game is to figure out which revenue model to use: free (ad-supported), freemium (free download with in-app purchase options) or paid (one-time fee for a full-featured app).

The report points out that, on average, potential revenue for freemium apps outweighs paid apps. Mintel Senior Analyst Billy Hulkower writes:

“Apple enabled in-app purchases from its app store in the fall of 2009, allowing many developers to utilize the "freemium" model, in which the app is free to the user and the game can be enjoyed as is, or enhanced with additional virtual goods. In-app purchases include additional characters, enhancements, powers, and game play levels. Where a paid game may generate revenue from the sale price of the game from $0.99 to about $2.99 or more, a freemium game can actually earn greater revenues in the long run due to its potential ongoing stream of revenue from in-app purchases. Games tracked across 21 iPhone game makers in June 2010 by market research firm Flurry earned on average $14.66 per user per year. GigaOm estimated in November 2010 that 34% of the top 100 grossing apps (all types) on the iPhone used the freemium model.”

While the freemium model seems great in theory, paid games currently rule the industry, having brought in a whopping 92.5% of U.S. mobile gaming revenue in 2010, according to eMarketer. On the other hand, eMarketer predicts that revenue from free, ad-supported games will only amount to a measly 12.3% by 2014, not a significant growth. With ad-supported games lacking umph in coming years and freemium apps providing a higher potential revenue for publishers, it seems natural that publishers will continue to innovate into the freemium space in hopes of increasing profits. As a result, we may see a balancing out of revenue between paid and freemium apps in coming years.


2. Tablet Gamers Download & Play More


Mintel found that 38% of tablet gamers play five or more hours per week, while only 20% of mobile phone gamers play that much. Tablet gamers even download more paid and free games.

Only 7% of those surveyed reported owning a tablet, but the findings make sense. Tablet devices have larger screen sizes and more computing power, while still being portable, potentially making them a better fit for gaming than mobile devices.

Forrester expects tablet sales will grow from 10.3 million units in 2010 to 44 million units in 2015 — growth that should further drive the mobile gaming market.

For now, console gaming still rules, having captured 75% of gaming revenue in 2011, followed by online, PC and mobile gaming.


3. Users Crave Multiplayer & Social Features


“It is almost a cliché to discuss the importance of integrating social networking components into gaming, but consumers have not lost interest,” writes Hulkower. “They also enjoy multiplayer games for their competitive and social aspects. Despite their digital medium, ‘social’ and ‘multiplayer’ signify human interaction. Young adults, in particular, have grown up with computers, Internet, instant messaging/texting, and Facebook, and want to connect while gaming.”

There have been a few developments in the industry that foretell advances in social features. Apple’s social network gaming platform Game Center, launched in September 2010, enables gamers compete with each other and follow leader boards. Likewise, another platform, OpenFeint, enables iOS and Android gamers to play across platforms.

The success of multiplayer-only games, such as Words With Friends, also points towards consumer interest in mobile gaming with others.


4. Word of Mouth Is the Key Driver for Game Downloads


Mintel’s report highlights a number of stats that tell the story of how users hear about new mobile games. Whether in the physical or digital worlds, word of mouth is the glue that holds it all together. Here are the top ways that gamers hear about new mobile games:

  • From Friends: More than 50% of mobile game-playing adults learn about new mobile games from friends and family.
  • In App Stores: About 40% of adults learn about new games within app stores, where hot lists, rankings and user reviews are highlighted.
  • On Social Sites: 25% of adults hear about new mobile games via social media sites.

Besides these methods, there are also a number of well-trafficked mobile gaming sites that highlight and review games, chronicle new releases and publish cheat codes and tips.

Mobile game firms and publishers should take note and focus on obtaining visible app store distribution, having a social media presence and gaining coverage on mobile gaming sites.


5. Hit Games Can Come From Anywhere


While EA Mobile, GameLoft and Glu Mobile rank highest in mobile game publisher revenue, hundreds of independent game developers have released smash hits. For example, Rovio’s Angry Birds was the most downloaded game in Apple’s App Store in 2010 — in June, the game hit 1 million downloads per day.

While larger publishers, like EA Mobile and GameLoft, leverage high-profile licensing deals and partnerships, upstart developers — such as Popcap Games and Zynga — have built a name for themselves from the ground up, proving that innovative ideas can take smaller development firms far.


Series Supported by GameSpot

The Consumer Trends Series is supported by GameSpot, where brands can go to the next level of engagement with gamers at the #1 gaming info site. To see how GameSpot’s exclusive news, clips, trailers, mobile and more can connect your brands with true enthusiasm — and an audience of up to 230 million — visit CBSInteractive.com/ideal.

Images courtesy of iStockphoto, sjlocke; Flickr, leondel

More About: Consumer Trends Series, gaming, Mobile 2.0, mobile gaming

For more Mobile coverage:


Evernote Raises $50 Million, Aims To Become a “100-Year Company”

Posted: 13 Jul 2011 11:37 AM PDT


Evernote has raised $50 million in funding in a round led by repeat investor Sequoia Capital, with participation by Morgenthaler Ventures.

Cash from the round will be used for acquisitions. It will also be taken off the table and go to long-term investors and shareholders, CEO and founder Phil Libin says.

The substantial round comes just nine months after the now 3-year-old social note-taking startup secured $20 million in a Series C round. Altogether, Evernote has raised nearly $100 million in financing. It’s shooting to become “a hundred year company,” Libin says.

Libin also says the startup has nearly all of the cash it raised in its past two rounds still on hand. “We don't need to raise more money, but we're always happy to take more if it opens up strategic options for us and helps us grow even faster,” says Libin. “You know the saying that the best time to raise money is when you don't really need it? Think of this as a test.”

“We want Evernote to be the trusted second brain for all your lifetime memories,” he says, “and the best way to do that is to build a big, strong, independent company.”

Evernote is also announcing Wednesday that it has added an additional million users to its platform in the past month, which brings the grand total to more than 11 million users.

Images courtesy of Flickr, technovore and velo_city

More About: evernote, funding, Morgenthaler Ventures, sequoia capital

For more Startups coverage:


Campaign Protests Hershey’s With QR Codes

Posted: 13 Jul 2011 11:28 AM PDT

sad chocolate image

Consumers upset about alleged labor violations surrounding Hershey’s chocolate are using QR codes to raise awareness of the company’s practices.

The campaign, called Raise the Bar, Hershey!, has asked supporters to print out a consumer alert card and leave it around Hershey’s products. Each card has a QR code that informs shoppers and directs them to take action.

The cards are just part of a larger campaign that includes online petitions, a profile on Change.org and screenings of a movie detailing the darker side of the chocolate industry.

Cocoa production has long been plagued by unfair trade and labor conditions. Raise the Bar, Hershey! is a joint campaign from non-profit groups Green America, International Labor Rights Forum and Global exchange. The groups allege that Hershey’s uses child labor and other unsavory business practices in its overseas factories.

The campaign is specifically targeted at Hershey’s new “S’Mores” product and the upcoming National S’Mores Day on August 10. The groups are asking Hershey’s to start using Fair Trade chocolate and to improve its business practices. So far, more than 42,000 consumers have taken action by sending emails, postcards and petitions, and making phone calls to the company asking it to end child labor.

Image courtesy of Flickr, Helga Weber

More About: change.org, chcocolate, hershey, hershey's, non-profit, qr code, social good, social media

For more Social Good coverage:


Google+ Users’ Genders Are Set To Become Private

Posted: 13 Jul 2011 11:20 AM PDT


Already using Google+? Follow Mashable News for the latest about the platform’s new features, tips and tricks as well as our top social media and technology updates.

"On the Internet, no one knows you're a dog," says a famous New Yorker cartoon. On Google+, at least, no one will know your gender.

Starting this week, Google will no longer require users to state whether they are male or female. The change, explained by product manager Frances Haugen in the video above, came after users requested it. “Gender can be a sensitive topic, especially on the Internet,” Haugen says.

Users will be able to adjust the privacy setting on their Google+ profile, as they can with other personal information, like date of birth.

One benefit to the change is that it paves the way for business accounts. As Christian Oestlien, Google's group project manager, noted in a blog entry last week on Google+, "It was kind of an awkward moment for us when we asked Ford for his (or was it her?) gender!"

What do you think? Is Google right in making gender information private or is this political correctness gone wild?

More About: facebook, Google, Google Plus

For more Social Media coverage:


HOW TO: Turn Fans Into Brand Ambassadors

Posted: 13 Jul 2011 11:02 AM PDT


The Behind the Social Media Campaign Series is supported by Oneupweb, an award-winning agency specializing in search marketing, social media and design for mid-to-enterprise level brands. Download Oneupweb's free whitepaper, "Measuring Social Media's Contribution to the Bottom Line: 5 Tactics."


The introduction of Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point in 2000 was a tipping point in its own right. Ever since that book was published, marketers have been obsessed with cultivating influencers — those members of the public whose messages go further than most.

The Tipping Point preceded social media as we know it today, but Gladwell's model of “connectors + mavens = marketing success” fits well in the age of Twitter and Facebook. For a marketer, the mission is pretty simple: Find a bunch of influencers, get them charged up and then sit back and reap the rewards.

Of course, it's not that simple. Just look at the range of brands in the market. On the one hand, there’s Apple which has a cult-like following that is so pervasive and dedicated that it doesn't even need to be on Twitter or Facebook. But if you're marketing something less buzz-worthy, like paper towels or frozen pizza, you might find that cultivating brand ambassadors is a bit more tricky.

Nevertheless, experts on social media marketing have a few tips that any brand in any category can use to create a devoted following. Here are a few.


Rate Your Fans


Dave Balter, the CEO of BzzAgent, a word-of-mouth marketing agency, says the first thing you should do is take stock of your existing fan base. "Understand who is a fan and who is already an advocate," he says. Of course, there are tools on the market, like Klout, that let you do this. Audi USA is one of the first brands to integrate Klout scores on its Facebook Page, letting you earn a desktop or a ring tone based on your score.

Klout uses an algorithm based on various factors to create its rankings, but it's tempting to try to short-circuit the process by looking at which fans have the most followers. Balter says a better metric is sharing: "It's important you place value on elements like how often they share and how often others engage with what's shared. Another, simpler way of identifying potential brand advocates is to simply ask them how likely they are to recommend the brand to a friend. When rated on a 1 to 10-point scale, that is known as the “Net Promoter Score.”


Give Them Something to Do


Getting people to "like" your brand on Facebook is great, but you still have to generate discussion and activity. That can be fairly easy to achieve. Last year, for instance, Oreo got its fans to weigh in on a Pandora playlist, and Philadelphia cream cheese spurred conversation by soliciting ideas for recipes and offering how-to videos.

Another, simpler, way to create engagement is by asking fans questions. “You have to create a compelling dialogue,” says Paul Longo, vice president and group digital director at MediaVest, a media-buying firm. Such give-and-take should fit in with a brand’s image and make the fans feel like insiders who “get” the brand. Here are a couple of recent status updates from the Skittles candy brand’s Facebook Page. Both got tens of thousands of “likes” and thousands of comments: “If you drop Skittles on the floor, you should abide by the 3 million-second rule,” and “I need to stop adopting every octopus that follows me home.”


Use Exclusivity


Give your fans exclusive opportunities to make them feel special. For example, Walmart has been known to court mommy bloggers by flying them to its Bentonville, Arkansas headquarters and letting them test new products. On the other side of the marketing universe, Howard Stern lets his self-proclaimed “Superfans” host a call-in show on Sirius XM’s channel 101 once a week. "One quick way to turn someone into an advocate is to 'bring them into the fold' and to help them feel part of the deeper community," Balter says.


Pamper Your Advocates


Walmart doesn't just give its Walmart Moms exclusive products and experiences. The company also hosts a blog and YouTube channel for them, using its huge media reach to reward its most loyal brand advocates. Similarly, Oracle has a program called Oracle ACE that spotlights various IT pros as Oracle experts. SAP’s equivalent is the SAP Mentor Initiative, which recognizes SAP experts and gives them a forum (an SAP site plus a YouTube channel.)


Go Up a Lifestyle Level


So if you don't market new computers and smartphones, how do you get people to care about your brand? Jeremiah Owyang, a partner at Altimeter Group, calls this practice "going up to the lifestyle level." For instance, it may be hard to get people excited about a tile cleanser that gets rid of soap scum, but keeping a house clean and germ-free is something people can feel passionate about. That's exactly what Lysol, the disinfectant spray, is doing. The brand has more than 460,000 fans on Facebook, whom it engages with live chats and tips on how to keep your house clean.

Beyond those basic tips, MediaVest’s Longo suggests something counterintuitive: Doing nothing. At least for a while, he says, let your fan base breathe a little bit and avoid heavy-handed interactions. “In general, brands are so caught up in the technology because it’s so cool right now,” he says. “But don’t rush into anything.”


Series Supported by Oneupweb

The Behind the Social Media Campaign Series is supported by Oneupweb, an award-winning agency specializing in search marketing, social media and design for mid-to-enterprise level brands. Download the Oneupweb sponsored Marketing Sherpa free study, "Measuring Social Media's Contribution to the Bottom Line: 5 Tactics" to learn how to cut through the clutter and be sure to catch up with them on Facebook and Twitter.

Images courtesy of Flickr, bnilsen, navets, Daehyun Park and iStockphoto, terraexplorer, Yuri_Arcurs

More About: 360i, altimeter group, Behind the Social Media Campaign Series, facebook, Malcolm Gladwell, MARKETING, twitter

For more Business & Marketing coverage:


Ra Ra Riot’s Mathieu Santos Premieres His Solo Album on Turntable.fm

Posted: 13 Jul 2011 10:31 AM PDT


Bands have been increasingly taking to hot startup Turntable.fm to mingle with fans and test out new jams. Wednesday, New York-based chamber-pop band Ra Ra Riot will host its own room, where bassist Mathieu Santos will premiere his upcoming solo album, Massachusetts 2010.

Santos’s disc (which started developing while Ra Ra Riot was recording its most recent album, The Orchard) drops on August 2, but interested Turntable.fm users can check it out today in an interactive, avatar-packed environment (click there for access).

“It seems like a cool thing and my friends have been talking about it a lot,” says Santos of Turntable.fm. “It’s an important thing, you know? To be open to discovering and enjoying new music as an activity with both friends and other people whose taste you appreciate and trust. This is basically the same thing, except it’s not limited to you and your friends’ record collections, and you guys don’t have to be in the same physical room.”

For those of you who may have not had access to the Internet for the past couple of weeks: Turntable.fm is a series of web-based chatrooms in which “DJs” take turns spinning tunes, which other users rank as “awesome” or “lame.” “Awesome” votes garner DJs points, which net them more elaborate avatars (like the coveted Daft Punk helmet). Right now, the service is still in beta and can only be accessed if you have a Facebook friend who is currently using it (and if you live in the U.S.) Users create DJ queues from the MediaNet library or by uploading their own MP3s.

Santos plans to upload his most recent disc and spin it for the room, but the band will play other tracks as well.

Last week, we suggested that bands hold listening parties on Turntable.fm in order to pump new releases — artists like Diplo and Paper Diamond have already tested out unreleased songs in the venue. Seems like this could become a popular practice as the site becomes more and more ubiquitous.

Check out and download Santos’s first single, “I Can Hear The Trains Coming,” below. He samples dial-up. Rad.

Image courtesy of Doron Gild

More About: MARKETING, Mathieu Santos, music, ra-ra-riot, turntable.fm

For more Media coverage:


Google Docs Spreadsheet Offers Help in Wake of Mumbai Blasts

Posted: 13 Jul 2011 10:01 AM PDT

Mumbai Blasts Map

Update, 5:10 p.m. ET: The document is no longer public. See below for how you can still access it.

A Google Docs spreadsheet is being widely circulated on the Internet, following three bomb blasts in Mumbai, India. The document, simply titled “Mumbai Help,” provides contact information for Mumbai residents, along with information on the type of aid they can provide.

In addition to listing phone numbers for official help locations, such as blood banks and the police control room, the spreadsheet includes individual offers to help with food and shelter. Other Mumbai residents have offered to donate blood, while some have said that they can make calls, send text messages and emails, or tweet on behalf of others. Additional tabs within the document provide opportunities for people to add the names of those who are missing or injured as a result of the blasts.

The document, which appears to have been started by Nitin Sagar (who lists his location as New Delhi on Twitter), has been making the rounds on Twitter. A few hours after it was posted, the document was updated to say: “The document has been protected from public view due to privacy concerns. I am inclined to believe the spreadsheet served its purpose.” The updated spreadsheet does provide viewers with an email address to contact in case people are still seeking help or information posted to the document earlier in the day.

An interactive map of the blasts can be viewed at WSJ.com, while a map of #MumbaiBlasts tweets can now be viewed on Google Maps.

Nitin Sagar's Follow-Up Tweet

The three explosions took place at rush hour Wednesday in Mumbai, the financial capital of India, located in the state of Maharashtra. As The Times of India reports at the time of this post’s latest update, the attacks killed at least 21 people and injured 141.

The attacks took place almost simultaneously: One attack hit Dadar in central Mumbai, while the other two were at Zaveri Bazaar — a famed jewelry market — and the busy Opera House business district. Zaveri Bazaar and the Opera House district are both in southern Mumbai. The Times of India reports that the close timing of the explosions has led India’s Home Minister P. Chidambaram to say that they are being considered a “coordinated attack by terrorists.”

Mumbai was last under attack in November 2008, when 10 gunmen coordinated a series of blasts and shootings in which 166 people were killed. Terrorism seems to be a topic on the minds of many Indian citizens at the moment. Twitter user @ShreyGoyal says, “Simultaneous bomb blasts at rush hour, business as usual… We seem to be at-home with terror incidents. Is that a good thing?” And Bollywood actor Anupam Kher has tweeted: “Anger, frustration and helplessness is NOT the answer. Hanging the terrorists already convicted is. Prayers for all.”

Additional tweets under the #MumbaiBlasts hashtag include offers of help, links to blast crowdmaps, links to photos depicting the aftermath of the blasts, as well as vows not to publish those very images.

More About: Google, google docs, Google Maps, mumbai, mumbai 2011 attacks, social media, social networking, trending, twitter

For more Social Media coverage:



Back to the top