Saturday, 30 July 2011

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “Private Site Connects Fashion Designers & Editors for Shoots”

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “Private Site Connects Fashion Designers & Editors for Shoots”

Private Site Connects Fashion Designers & Editors for Shoots

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 08:58 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: TheRunthrough

Quick Pitch: A B2B service that connects fashion editors with samples from leading design houses.

Genius Idea: As anyone who has worked in the fashion or accessories department of a publication knows, assembling samples for a story or spread can be a major headache, involving a combination of heavy lookbooks, unindexed jpegs and hundreds of back-and-forth emails between editors, designers and their assistants.

It was one such headache in 2009 that inspired Meggan Crum, then the accessories director at InStyle, to reach out to former W magazine colleague Mandy Tang, then a MBA student at Columbia University, to design a solution. The two spent the greater part of 2010 putting together a business plan and running focus groups with former colleagues, friends and PR professionals.

On Monday, TheRunthrough was born, a portal (still in beta) that allows editors to search, browse and initiate requests for hundreds of different items, almost as if they were shopping. Editors add items to their carts and, when they’re finished, send in a request with details about the shoot, run-through and return dates, as well as the editors and stylists involved.

Everything on the site is conducted privately; only those who are registered for the service can browse the site, and brands have complete control over who can access samples.

Seventeen brands have signed on for the launch, including Cartier, Bulgari, Donna Karan, Tory Burch and Rebecca Minkoff.

Interestingly, it’s not editors who pay for the service, but design houses. Inclusion into the program begins at $6,000 per season, based on a company’s needs and the rate at which its inventory changes. In return, they’ll enjoy greater exposure before editors (should the site take off, that is, and we can’t imagine it won’t) and a streamlined request process.

Image courtesy of Flickr, stevendepolo

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, fashion, spark-of-genius, therunthrough

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HOW TO: Become a Google+ Beta Tester

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 08:35 PM PDT

Want to test new Google+ features before they become available to the public? Now you can, thanks to a newly launched Google+ program.

To sign up to be a beta tester, head over to the Google+ Platform Preview page and enter your email address. Any address will work, so long as you’re signed in to your associated Google+ account.

You’ll need to click on a link in a subsequent confirmation email to confirm your entry into the program. After that, Google will email you every time new features are available for you to test out.

If you’re looking for additional Google+ resources, be sure to check out our roundup of 15 guides and services for Google+ power users.

More About: Google

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iPhone App Simplifies Business Card Exchanges

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 08:15 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: uME

Quick Pitch: Use uME digital business cards to exchange contact information, add contacts to your social networks and remember them later.

Genius Idea: Create and exchange digital business cards for your multiple personalities.

The business card has been repeatedly reinvented in digital and mobile form, but the fact that many of us — even digital influencers — still whip out and exchange paper cards implies that there’s still room for innovation.

uME, an iPhone app launched two weeks ago from startup ID2, attempts to innovate by making its product accessible to a more mainstream, low-tech audience.

“uME is about simplifying card exchange and rapidly getting connected,” ID2 CEO Jeff Axup says of his self-funded startup, which is run by a five-person team based in San Diego.

“We are about replacing paper cards and making connection info digital and automatically updated. Our service works 100% of the time and doesn’t require both parties to install the app or be a techie,” he adds.

uME [iTunes link] in its current state offers iPhone users a fast and easy way to create custom digital business cards for multiple identities or occasions. (An Android application is still a few months away.)

It’s not wholly original in purpose, but Axup sees the application as best-suited for technophobes looking to abandon paper cards.

As a uME user, you can send along the digital business card replica of your choice to new contacts — with an accompanying note and attached geo-location tag — via Twitter or email, view your sent and received card history, electronically scan the cards of other uME users, add uME card codes to your printed business cards and eventually design your cards to your liking (as is, you can choose from a few stock designs).

The application has merit and a few features even us technophiles and social media mavens can appreciate. Still, we think uME needs a bit more oomph if it’s going to successfully go up against successful veteran startups already working to solve physical-to-digital contact exchange.

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, business cards, iphone app, spark-of-genius, uME

For more Startups coverage:

Our Favorite YouTube Videos This Week: The Birthday Edition

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 07:09 PM PDT

Mashable turned six this week, and like any other six-year-old, we want to celebrate all week long, which is why this week’s YouTube roundup theme is birthdays.

This is our gift to you, folks. Gifts to us can be sent to various and sundry Mashable HQs.

"Happy Birthday," Altered Images

Lauren Rubin: '80s. New Wave. Awesome.

The Birds Birthday Party Scene

Amy-Mae Elliott: No one does a birthday party quite like Hitchcock. Jelly and ice cream, anyone?

"S Club Party," S Club 7

Zachary Sniderman: It had "party" in the name.

"Birthday Sex," Jeremih

Erica Swallow: Wow. If you type "birthday" in YouTube search, the first suggestion is "birthday sex." Oh, Internet.

Ernie Sings "Happy Birthday to U"

Chelsea Stark: Happy birthday to U!

"Hurt Feelings," Flight of the Conchords

Todd Wasserman: "The day after my birthday is not my birthday, mum."

The Birthday Party at Pizza Hut

Christina Warren: This was on The Land Before Time VHS tape (a movie, I incidentally saw in the theater on my 6th birthday) that I must have watched hundreds of times as a kid. Best. Birthday. Ever.

"Happy Birthday," Ramones

Brian Dresher: An awesome clip of The Ramones singing happy birthday at Mr. Burns's party on The Simpsons.

"Donald Duck: Donalds Happy Birthday 1949"

Asa Ospina: Never buy someone cigars as a birthday gift!

Cat Singing "Happy Birthday"

Ben Parr: This cat wants to sing you "Happy Birthday."

Diane Sawyer's Surprise Birthday Gift

Brian Hernandez: She's popular ... and adorable!

16 Candles

Zoe Fox: This is the worst birthday ever!

"Never Let Me Down," David Bowie

Brenna Ehrlich: I had a David Bowie birthday cake when I was six. So... yeah.

Image courtesy of Flickr, Tammra McCauley

More About: birthday, favorite-youtube-videos, mashable, video, viral videos, youtube

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How the Web Is Responding to the Horn of Africa Famine

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 06:31 PM PDT

africa famine

Following two rough years of drought in the Horn of Africa, the United Nations has declared famine in two regions of southern Somalia.

According to the UN, a famine means more than 30% of children in an area are malnourished, at least 20% of households face extreme food shortages and more than two people per 10,000 die each day.

Neighboring Kenya and Ethiopia are badly hurting as well. More than 12 million people are at risk of starvation as the region faces its worst drought in 60 years.

The situation in Somalia is particularly dire, as Al-Shabaab warlords (an Al-Qaeda affiliate organization) have until recently blocked foreign aid workers from the region. Somalis seeking food come to Kenya’s Dadaab Refugee Camp, the largest U.N. refugee settlement in the world, by the thousands each day.

The U.N.’s World Food Programme (WFP) began airlifting food to Mogadishu, Somalia, Dolo, Ethiopia and Wajir, Kenya on Tuesday. The U.N. has raised $1 billion for the region since November 2010 but says it will need another $1 billion before the year’s end to prevent widespread starvation in the region.

While overcoming this humanitarian disaster — which the WFP calls the highest global humanitarian priority — will not be easy, thankfully creative attempts to help are sprouting up across the web.

Here are four ways the web is responding:

Bono Brings Blogger Moms to Kenya

U2 frontman Bono and ONE brought 10 American mommy bloggers to Africa to connect with Kenyan mothers from July 23 to 30. The American moms shadowed community healthcare workers, met female farmers and visited one of Africa’s largest slums in Nairobi. The moms are sharing their experiences on their respective blogs, as well as on the organization’s blog, It Only Takes ONE Mom.

The bloggers and their readers are also discussing the trip on Twitter using the hashtag #ONEMoms.

Africans Mobilize on Twitter

Like most major international crises today, Twitter is the go-to forum for Africans to discuss the situation on the ground. Users are asking for the international community to send aid to the starving region of the world’s poorest continent. The International Business Times reported twenty tweets per minute relate to the famine in East Africa, using the hashtags #HornOfAfrica, #Famine, #Drought, #Somalia, #Kenya and #Ethiopia.

Groups such as Kenyans4Kenya, a campaign of Kenyans helping other Kenyans, have started to respond to calls.

The WFP also has a social media initiative, WeFeedback, for sharing food with the world’s neediest.

Online Fundraising

Legendary reggae group The Wailers and artists Duane Stephenson and Bishop Lamont recorded “A Step for Mankind” to benefit the WFP’s work to combat drought in the Horn of Africa. While the YouTube video was recorded in September 2010, the escalation of the disaster from drought to famine has led to a resurgence of the single’s sales online.

George Harrison’s The Concert for Bangladesh

In honor of the 40th anniversary of George Harrison’s The Concert for Bangladesh, a digital edition of the album will be released exclusively on iTunes on August 1. The two-part concert, organized by Harrison and Ravi Shankar in Madison Square Garden on August 1, 1971, was the first benefit of its magnitude in history.

All proceeds from the reissue sales will go to the George Harrison fund for UNICEF, benefiting the children affected by drought and famine in the Horn of Africa.

To wit, UNICEF declared August a “Month for Giving,” with artists such as Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Leon Russell, Brian Wilson, Selena Gomez, Enrique Iglesias, Arcade Fire and Nas committing to spread word of the campaign to their followers on Facebook and Twitter.

How You Can Help

If you would like to donate to the famine victims, here are some of the many sites collecting money:

Did we miss any Internet mobilizations for the Horn of Africa? Can technology stop a famine? Let us know in the comments.

More About: africa, drought, famine, foreign aid, george harrison, horn of africa, non-profit, social good

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House Passes Boehner Debt Plan: Republicans Tweet Reactions

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 05:45 PM PDT

President Obama’s staff was busy using the Head of State’s Twitter handle Friday to encourage Twitter users to demand compromise — using the #compromise Twitter hashtag and drawing criticism — from GOP lawmakers. Meanwhile, Republicans in the House were busy passing the revised Budget Control Act of 2011.

“About 24 hours after the first Republican proposal backed by Speaker John A. Boehner stalled, the House voted 218 to 210 to approve a plan that would increase the federal debt ceiling in two stages, with the second installment of $1.6 trillion contingent on Congressional approval of a Constitutional amendment requiring a balanced federal budget,” the New York Times is reporting. The proposal has since been tabled by the Senate.

Now, Republicans are taking to Twitter en masse to lobby back a similar social media compromise directive at the commander-in-chief, who’s now short more than 36,000 followers following his marathon of #compromise-related tweets.

The following is a sampling of their tweets:

House Speaker John Boehner

Rep. Cynthia Lummis

Congress Member Jason Chaffetz

Sen. Orrin Hatch

Rep. Pete Sessions

Sen. John Barrasso

Rep. Reid Ribble

Congress Member Cathy McMorris Rodgers

Majority Leader Eric Cantor

Sen. Rand Paul

More About: social media, twitter

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“Cowboys & Aliens” Saddles Up With Social Media

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 05:19 PM PDT

The Summer Blockbuster Series analyzes the social media campaigns behind major summer movie releases and runs each Friday.

One of the big releases hitting theaters Friday is Cowboys & Aliens. Based on the 2006 graphic novel, the film was adapted for the screen by Universal Pictures and DreamWorks Studios.

Starring Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford, it’s a science fiction Western film about a loner who wakes up in a strange city with no memory from his past, only to find that he is a wanted criminal. After the area is invaded by aliens, friends and foes have to work together to save the city — and the earth — from extraterrestrial enemies.

Iron Man and Iron Man 2 director Jon Favreau directed the film and played a large role in helping to develop the social media and digital campaign for this unique title.

Let’s take a look at some of the digital and social parts of the campaign.


The official Facebook Page for Cowboys & Aliens has more than 200,000 Likes thus far. Universal Pictures has employed a tactic we’ve seen with Captain America and Harry Potter (and most other major films) in creating a widget that functions as a cross-channel hub, linking to the film’s other social and digital channels in a single box.

In this way, the Facebook Page acts as a mini version of the official homepage for the film.

Online Games

In addition to a Facebook Page, Universal and DreamWorks have also launched two online games for the film:

Cowboys & Aliens Arcade is a Facebook game that includes scenes from the film along with puzzle and trivia challenges. Players can also enter to win official prizes.

Cowboys & Aliens Absolution Training Grounds is a more complex (both in terms of visuals and intensity) shoot-em-up-style game that can be enhanced with Facebook Connect, but doesn’t require it.


Although the studios have set up an official @cowboysaliens Twitter account, it isn’t the primary driver of Twitter activity for the film. Instead, the marketing teams have leveraged the personal account of the film’s director, Jon Favreau, who already has a Twitter following of more than a million.

In the buildup to the film’s release, Favreau has tweeted links to articles, interviews, behind-the-scenes insights and more. The official Cowboys & Aliens account frequently retweets Favreau’s updates and, in turn, Favreau re-shares the best bits from the official account.

Even in official press statements, Universal points fans to Jon Favreau’s account in addition to its own — a smart move. After all, if you have a director with an engaged and active fanbase, why not use that person as the primary driver for your film?

Hipstamatic Lens Kit

One of our favorite iPhone apps, Hipstamatic, launched its own FreePak tie-in for Cowboys & Aliens.

Until August 8, Hipstamatic users can download the Cowboys & Aliens HipstaPak, which includes two new lenses and a camera case, for free. In typical Hipstamatic style, extreme detail went into the design of the lenses.

On its Facebook Page, Hipstamatic says that both the film’s cinematographer Matthew Libatique and director Jon Favreau contributed to its development.

“Cowboys & Aliens” Coca-Cola Round Up for iPhone, iPad and Android

We have to give the marketing team at Cowboys & Aliens credit because the Cowboys & Aliens Coca-Cola Round Up app for iOS and Android is one of the more intricate tie-in apps we’ve seen.

This is an augmented reality game in which Coca-Cola triggers are captured on specially marked cups and popcorn bags at AMC and Regal theaters in the U.S. Users can also download a print trigger to play the game. After that, it’s a bottle collection game.

This is an interesting use of augmented reality and QR-like functionality that encourage play while simultaneously cross-promoting two different properties: the film and Coca-Cola.

The Results

Cowboys & Aliens has been a trending topic on Twitter in the days leading up to the film, suggesting that the film already has strong awareness among targeted audiences.

We’ll have to wait for the weekend box office figures to see how the film performed against the competition.

What do you think of the mobile-centric approach Universal took when promoting Cowboys & Aliens? Let us know in the comments section below.

More About: Cowboys & Aliens, Film, jon favreau, Movies, Summer Blockbuster Series

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Startup Crisis Control: 6 Painful Lessons from Airbnb

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 04:24 PM PDT

No organization — other than perhaps the U.S. government — has been on more of an emotional rollercoaster this week than Airbnb.

It was just four days ago when the popular “marketplace for spaces” announced that it had raised $112 million in funding from Andreessen Horowitz, DST Global, General Catalyst and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. The infusion of cash valued the once-struggling company at an impressive $1.3 billion.

Just two days later however, Airbnb’s world came crashing down. The gut-wrenching story of an Airbnb user whose place was robbed, ransacked and destroyed began making headlines, resulting in a surge of negative attention that questioned the company’s viability as a business.

The user, a San Francisco resident known as “EJ,” wrote about the incident in late June. Here’s an excerpt from her post:

“They smashed a hole through a locked closet door, and found the passport, cash, credit card and grandmother’s jewelry I had hidden inside. They took my camera, my iPod, an old laptop, and my external backup drive filled with photos, journals… my entire life. They found my birth certificate and social security card, which I believe they photocopied – using the printer/copier I kindly left out for my guests' use. They rifled through all my drawers, wore my shoes and clothes, and left my clothing crumpled up in a pile of wet, mildewing towels on the closet floor. They found my coupons for Bed Bath & Beyond and used the discount, along with my Mastercard, to shop online. Despite the heat wave, they used my fireplace and multiple Duraflame logs to reduce mounds of stuff (my stuff??) to ash – including, I believe, the missing set of guest sheets I left carefully folded for their comfort. Yet they were stupid and careless enough to leave the flue closed; dirty gray ash now covered every surface inside.”

Airbnb Responds

That same night Airbnb responded, saying that it was in close contact with the host. In addition, Airbnb CEO Brian Cheskey outlined the steps his company has historically taken to protect the safety and security of its users, along with a series of changes it is implementing to improve safety. These changes include doubling the size of the company’s customer support staff, offering new insurance options to hosts and creating a new Trust & Safety Department. (Twitter has a T&S Department, led by Del Harvey.)

Here’s what Chesky said on Wednesday:

“As soon as we learned what had taken place, our first concern was to make sure our host was safe. We have been in close contact with her ever since, and have worked with the authorities to help find a resolution. Because Airbnb facilitates the reservation details and payment information, we were in a unique position to assist with the investigation. While we are not at liberty to discuss the details during the investigation, we understand that with our help, a suspect is now in custody, and our information will now become important evidence.”

“EJ” Responds

This is when things took a turn for the worse for Airbnb. After the company’s blog post, EJ responded, complaining that Airbnb had twisted the truth and was attempting to silence her story.

Here are some of the most damning parts of her response:

“On June 29 I posted my story, and June 30 thus marks the last day I heard from the customer service team regarding my situation. In fact, my appointed ‘liaison’ from Airbnb stopped contacting me altogether just three days after I reported the crime, on June 25, for reasons that are unknown to me. I have heard nothing from her since.”

“And since June 30? On this same day, I received a personal call from one of the co-founders of Airbnb. We had a lengthy conversation, in which he indicated having knowledge of the (previously mentioned) person who had been apprehended by the police, but that he could not discuss the details or these previous cases with me, as the investigation was ongoing. He then addressed his concerns about my blog post, and the potentially negative impact it could have on his company's growth and current round of funding. During this call and in messages thereafter, he requested that I shut down the blog altogether or limit its access, and a few weeks later, suggested that I update the blog with a ‘twist’ of good news so as to ‘complete[s] the story.’”

“I am not clear here if Chesky is trying to convey the message that Airbnb was involved in securing my safety, but the company was not. My safety was secured by my own efforts.”

“The positive contribution mentioned in this statement might very well refer to the criminal investigation and communication with police; I can't know for sure. But the staff at Airbnb has not made a positive contribution to me personally or my situation in any way, particularly since June 30.”

“And for those who have so generously suggested a donation fund be set up to help me recover, I thank you from the bottom of my heart, and suggest that instead, you keep the money and use it to book yourself into a nice, safe hotel room the next time you travel. You'll be glad you did.”


Paul Graham Chimes In

The story doesn’t end there, though. One of Airbnb’s earliest investors, Y Combinator partner Paul Graham, has chimed in, claiming that Airbnb has indeed offered to compensate her for damages, despite previous reports:

“I’ve just learned more about this situation, and it turns out Airbnb has been offering to fix it, from the very beginning. From the beginning they offered to pay to get her a new place and new stuff, and do whatever else she wanted.

The story [TechCrunch founder Mike] Arrington wrote yesterday about Airbnb not offering to help was bullshit. He asked a company spokesman what Airbnb was doing to help her. The spokesman, who’d been told by their lawyers that he couldn’t go into detail about that because of the precedent said ‘I can’t comment on that.’ So Arrington, in typical Arrington fashion said, ‘Well, unless you tell me I’m going to write that you’re not willing to do anything for her.’ And he did. Really not cool.

I’ve talked to the Airbnb guys and they are already doing everything they could be doing to help this woman.

Even if you don’t believe they are nice guys (which they are, among the nicest of all the people we’ve funded), do you really think they are so dumb that they don’t realize it’s not worth the bad PR to save money and effort in this situation?” he wrote.

Here’s the big question: If Airbnb is doing everything in its power to help the victim of this incident, why is she still complaining? We don’t know the answer. There are still a lot of unanswered questions that are making this situation murkier.

Startup Damage Control: 5 Painful Lessons

While we believe this incident will continue to play out over the next week (or longer), there are several lessons all entrepreneurs should learn from Airbnb’s mistakes. This is not just a painful learning moment for Airbnb, but for all entrepreneurs that will experience a crisis of this magnitude at some point in their startup careers.

  • 1) Don’t let the past come to haunt you. The incident happened at the end of June. Had Airbnb gone public with the incident and used it as an opportunity to teach its users better ways to keep themselves safe, the company wouldn’t be in the position it is in today.
  • 2) Don’t make claims you can’t back up with certainty. CEO Brian Chesky said Airbnb “has been in close contact” with EJ since the incident, but according to EJ, he’s simply not telling the truth. If it’s true that Airbnb cut off contact after she put up her blog post, it’s a damning portrait of Airbnb’s values. Chesky should never have talked about the incident without verifying every detail of Airbnb’s interaction with the victim. Better yet, the company should have talked with the victim before issuing a statement that utterly backfired.
  • 3) Treat the customer as sacred, even when you’re angry with the customer. Cutting off contact was clearly the wrong move (if true). While we don’t know what kind of overtures Airbnb made to the victim, it seems clear it needed to do more to appease her. A blog post where EJ wrote about meeting with the Airbnb team and getting financial and moral support from them would have changed everything.
  • 4) Serve the customer, not your own interests. The greatest mistake Airbnb made in this incident was reportedly asking EJ to change her blog post or take it down. That approach is certain to backfire, as it did with Airbnb. Focus entirely on the customer’s concerns during a crisis and disregard self-interest. The first thing on Airbnb’s mind should have been helping the customer, not containing the potential damage. If you go above and beyond the call of duty, the customer will reward you. If you don’t, the customer will punish you 10 times harder.
  • 5) Be in constant communication with the customer. EJ emphasized how “wonderful” the customer service team was to her in her original blog post. In her second post, she accused the company of delivering a veiled threat to her. You can’t predict how customers will react at any stage of a crisis, so have a plan for multiple contingencies and stay in constant communication with affected customers so they aren’t surprised by any public statements you make.
  • 6) Set the record straight. Customers lie. Companies lie. Victims lie. Reporters lie. There are so many conflicting points of view in a crisis that the truth can be hard to discern. Provide every detail you can to your customers, and come clean about all of your mistakes (an FAQ is a great format). Nothing short of this will clear the air.

Image courtesy of Flickr, phatcontroller

More About: AirBNB, damage control, social media, startup

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Obama Loses 36,000+ Twitter Followers in #Compromise Campaign [STATS]

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 03:43 PM PDT

President Obama created a barrage of activity on Twitter on Friday afternoon when he began urging his more than 9 million followers to tweet at their Republican Congressmen to "ask them to support a bipartisan solution to the deficit crisis."

The @BarackObama account then proceeded to tweet out the Twitter handles of Republican Congressmen state-by-state. The account has also been making use of the hashtag #compromise in an effort to drive home the message of bipartisanship.

The results so far have been mixed. According to NM Incite, the #compromise hashtag had been used more than 22,000 times and reached 36 million users (followers of accounts using the hashtag) as of around 5 p.m. ET on Friday, and people had mentioned the President some 28,000 times in tweets. NM Incite says 40% of the @BarackObama mentions and 28% of the #compromise tweets expressed positive sentiment, with only 13% and 12% of them expressing negative sentiment, respectively.

As we noted in our earlier coverage, however, some users felt the state-by-state tweets were creating way too much noise — the President has lost nearly 37,000 followers so far today. You can see the drop as the day progressed in this chart from Simply Measured:

Obama’s losses appear to have been Republican’s gains, at least when it comes to followers. The National Journal notes that Republican congressmen on Twitter picked up a total of about 6,500 new followers Friday thanks to the exposure on the President’s widely followed account.

Meanwhile, certain states seemed more supportive of the President’s campaign than others. According to data from 140 Elect LLC, Twitter users in California, Georgia and Alabama retweeted the President’s call to action the most — more than 300 times in each state — while voters in South Carolina, Mississippi and North Dakota showed the least engagement with less than 100 retweets of their state-specific message.

Meanwhile, Simply Measured took a look at the states that made the most use of the #compromise hashtag:

Members of Congress also used the opportunity to fire back at the President (or echo his sentiments) with their own tweets, as you can see in the gallery below:

Rep. Steve Womack, R-AR

Rep. Dennis Ross, R-FL

Rep. John Shimkus, R-IL

Rep. Todd Young, R-IN

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-FL

Rep. Trent Franks, R-AZ

Sen. Rand Paul, R-KY

Rep. Tom Rooney, R-FL

Rep Patrick McHenry, R-NC

Rep. Jim Renacci, R-OH

What did you think of the #compromise campaign? Let us know in the comments.

More About: barack obama, Debt Ceiling, politics, twitter

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Google+ Update Makes Managing Circles Easier

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 03:04 PM PDT

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

Power Google+ users — those with lots of Circles — are intimately aware of how frustrating it can be to manage them. Your most-used Circles can get hidden at the bottom of a long list. But Google+ engineer Brett van Zuiden now comes to the rescue with some welcome Friday afternoon news: You can now reorder your circles.

“We've been hearing that you want a way to reorder your circles — so when you add people, view your stream, or share, that list of circles is in the order that works for you,” van Zuiden writes on Google’s thriving social network. “We thought it was a great idea, and today, we're launching this on Google+.”

In the Circles tab, simply drag-and-drop your Circles to reorder them. Your Circles will now appear elsewhere in the social network in the order you’ve determined.

And that’s not all. “When in the circles tab, you can drag a circle up into the space where all your people are to view all the people for that circle,” van Zuiden adds. “For those in-the-know, it’s called ‘Circle in Tab.’”

The feature release is a relatively minor addition — it probably should have made the first private beta build. Still, it’s an update that could ease a little pain for Google+’s most Circle-happy users.

More About: Google, Google Plus, social media, technology

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Social Games Winning, 3D Games Failing, says EA

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 02:12 PM PDT

One of the world’s largest games companies says 3D games are not catching on, and that it is focusing on social gaming for big profits.

In a shareholder meeting, Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello expressed his disappointment in 3D gaming sales. “Frankly, we have not seen a big uptake for 3D gaming. We haven’t seen a big uptake for 3D televisions in the home, at least not yet. And we’re not here trying to drive the market, we’re here to react to what customers are looking for.”

Instead, Riccitiello is getting the biggest bang for his buck by directing his developers to create 3D games on a 2D display, which he says “provide the greatest entertainment experience.” Beyond that, he said he’s “seen really high returns” with online and social games, with more on the way, such as The Sims Social on Facebook.

“Right now we’re seeing better growth focusing on a different technology innovation — online and social,” Riccitiello said. “So our allocation of resources have been toward the new innovations that are growing more rapidly.”

This is not good news for the 3D gaming world, which is reeling from poor sales of the Nintendo 3DS, a glasses-free 3D handheld gaming device on which the industry pinned high hopes. In fact, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata announced he’s cutting his paycheck in half, taking responsibility for slow sales of the 3DS that resulted in Nintendo’s first-ever quarterly loss. At the same time, Nintendo slashed the price of the 3DS, from $249 to $169.

The picture isn’t much better for 3D in the movie world. As a large number of theaters have upgraded to digital projectors capable of displaying 3D movies, audiences don’t seem as interested in paying more for 3D, according to analyst Richard Greenfield of Wall Street’s BTIG. There are complaints of dim screens displaying both 3D and 2D movies. And on the home front, we just reviewed a Sony 3D HDTV. Notwithstanding the paucity of 3D content available, it gave us headaches and seemed a lame gimmick.

It’s starting to look like the entire 3D craze was designed to benefit those who sell electronics and movie tickets a lot more than those who would view movies and play games using the technology.

Is 3D doomed? Let us know what you think in the comments.

[Via Gamasutra and DVICE]

More About: 3D, EA, electronic arts, gaming, Nintendo, the Sims social

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President Obama’s #Compromise Twitter Campaign Draws Criticism

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 01:56 PM PDT


As negotiations over the U.S. debt ceiling continued Friday, President Obama called for citizens to contact their Republican representatives via Twitter to try and drum up support for a solution. Obama’s staff has been tweeting the Twitter handles of Republicans in all 50 states, so that his followers can easily contact them.

In a little more than four hours, the @BarackObama account has tweeted more than 100 times, as the president’s staff shares handles of lawmakers in each state. “Tweet your Republican representative and ask them to support a bipartisan solution to the deficit crisis,” the president’s account tweeted.

This strategy may have backfired for the president, however. Since his staff began the campaign, his follower count, which sits north of 9 million, has decreased by 14,000. While this number seems insignifiant in comparison to how many followers he has, it is important to note that according to, this is the first time Obama's follower count has trended significantly downward in six months. Users have also turned to Twitter to express frustration with the barrage of tweets.

The hashtag for the campaign, #compromise, has yet to catch on as a trending topic, although it was mentioned more than 6,500 times in the first hour.

Tweets that mention @BarackObama since the Twitter campaign began are mostly negative. You can view an assortment of reactions on Twitter in the gallery below.














More About: Debt Ceiling, obama, tea party, twitter

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Can Your Startup Change the World? Enter the Startups for Good Challenge

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 01:31 PM PDT

Startups for Good Challenge

We are excited to announce the inaugural Startups for Good Challenge as part of the Social Good Summit. The Startups for Good Challenge is a special event showcasing startups that are striving for real change.

Startups that are building or using technology to make a positive impact on the world will compete for a chance to present their solutions at the Social Good Summit and win a $10,000 cash prize for their company.

To enter the Startups for Good Challenge, apply online and tell us how your startup is changing the world. Applications are open until 1:00 p.m. ET on August 9, 2011.

Submit your application for Startups for Good Challenge

Eight finalists will be selected to pitch their idea to a panel of judges during the Startups for Good Challenge on stage on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at the Social Good Summit in New York City. The panel of judges will include representatives from Mashable, the UN Foundation, 92Y and industry experts. The event will also be livestreamed.

Application criteria include:

  • Company headquarters must be based in the U.S. or UK
  • Company is using technology and/or social media to provide an innovative solution
  • Company has been in operation for at least a year with a product/technology/site that is public facing at the time of application

Complete rules can be found here.

A travel stipend and hotel accommodations for two nights in New York City will be provided to the eight finalists that will present at The Social Good Summit.

Is your startup changing the world for good? Apply today!

Event Details

Date: Monday, September 19, 2011, through Thursday, September 22, 2011
Time: 1:00-5:00 p.m. ET
Location: 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave., New York, NY
Tickets: $30 per day or $100 for 4-day pass.

Register for Social Good Summit 2011 - Presented by Mashable, 92Y and UN Foundation - September 19 - 22, 2011 in New York, NY  on Eventbrite

Livestream: Unable to join us in person? RSVP for the Livestream to join us online.

Register for RSVP for Social Good Summit 2011 LIVESTREAM - Presented by Mashable, 92Y and UN Foundation - September 19-22, 2011 in New York, NY  on Eventbrite

Sponsored by Ericsson

For over a century, Ericsson has seen communications as a fundamental human right. Today, we are the leading provider of technology and services to network operators – our networks connect 2 billion people and almost half of the world’s 5.5 billion mobile subscriptions. Now, we intend to do for broadband what we did for the telephone; make it mobile, available and affordable for all.

Ericsson's vision is to be the prime driver of an all-communicating world, where Information and Communications technologies (ICT) come together to create a Networked Society.

A Networked Society will bring many opportunities and challenges. As Ericsson works in the world, we aim to use our expertise and apply innovative solutions together with partners to make a real difference to peoples' lives, to business and to the economy, enabling change towards a more sustainable world. We call this Technology for Good.

About the UN Foundation

The UN Foundation connects people, ideas and resources to help the United Nations solve global problems. The Foundation was created in 1998 as a public charity with entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner's historic $1 billion gift to support UN causes and activities. We are an advocate for the UN and its lifesaving work around the globe. We help the UN take its best work and ideas to scale through advocacy, partnerships, constituency building and fundraising:

  • Partnerships because we have learned what can be achieved when the public and private sectors work together through the United Nations;
  • Advocacy because we know the leverage and impact that sound policy can have on the kind of social, economic and environmental change the UN seeks;
  • Community-building because the UN was created for and by the people of the world and all of us can give back and contribute to a better tomorrow;
  • We need new and additional resources to power solutions to global challenges.

About 92nd Street Y

92nd Street Y is a world-class non-profit community and cultural center that connects people at every stage of life to the worlds of education, the arts, health and wellness, and Jewish life. A community of communities, 92Y is a home for candid, thoughtful discussions on the most pressing issues of our time. We offer an outstanding range of experiences in the performing, literary and visual arts for both audiences and practitioners; unparalleled access to celebrated artists, teachers and thinkers; and a place to pursue personal journeys – spiritual, physical or intellectual. Through the breadth and depth of 92Y’s extraordinary programs, we enrich lives, create community and elevate humanity. More than 300,000 people visit 92Y’s New York City venues, and millions more join us through the Internet, satellite broadcasts and other digital media. A proudly Jewish organization since its founding in 1874, 92Y embraces its heritage and enthusiastically welcomes people of all backgrounds and perspectives. 92Y is an open door to extraordinary worlds.

For more social good coverage, follow Mashable Social Good
on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.

More About: Events, mashable events, social good, social good summit, startups for good challenge

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Iceland Unveils Crowdsourced Constitution

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 01:05 PM PDT

Icelanders on Friday delivered what may set the template for other governments: a crowdsourced constitution.

A group of 25 citizens presented a draft of the constitution to Iceland’s parliament. The group, which is made up of ordinary residents, compiled the document online with the help of hundreds of others. The constitution council posted the first draft in April on its website and then let citizens comment via a Facebook Page. The council members are also active on Twitter, post videos of themselves on YouTube and put pictures on Flickr.

Iceland’s original constitution was created in 1944 when the country gained independence from Denmark. The country’s economic collapse in 2008 prompted calls for a rewrite with checks and balances to prevent a repeat of the financial crisis. The draft was due before the end of July. It may be put to a referendum without the input of parliament.

Iceland may be ahead of the curve on using social media to inform its new government, but it is not alone: Earlier this month, volunteers at a series of hackathons at Stanford University created a site where Egyptians could discuss their proposed constitution.

Image courtesy of Flickr, WorldIslandInfo

More About: crowdsourcing, facebook, flickr, Iceland, twitter, youtube

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Mashable’s Room Hosts Bing Ji Ling, Turner Cody & Tim “Love” Lee

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 12:32 PM PDT

Hey U.S. residents, take a break from worrying about the debt ceiling and raise the roof in Mashable‘s room.

If you're unfamiliar with, get ready for bouncing avatars to start haunting your dreams. The startup, which is still in beta, comes from the Stickybits team and is basically like (musical) AOL chatrooms of old — a series of user-created, browser-based chatroom/listening rooms where "DJs" (a.k.a. you and others) can play songs, vote on how "lame" or "awesome" those songs are, score points for picking good tunes, and chat with others. You can choose songs from a MediaNet-powered library or upload your own. Sadly, the site is no longer open to anyone outside the U.S. because of Turntable’s efforts to stay DMCA compliant.

We’ve had a few Friday jam sessions thus far — courtesy of the MuseBox and their bands, and today we continue that tradition with a celebration of Tummy Touch Records’ 17th birthday. On the decks today, we’ve got Bing Ji Ling (a.k.a. Quinn Luke of the Phenomenal Handclap Band), Turner Cody, Tim "Love" Lee (A&R and label head for Tummy Touch) as well as some Mashable staff.

Queue up, everyone! You can join us here.

More About: Bing Ji Ling, musebox, music, Tim "Love" Lee, Tummy Touch Records, Turner Cody,

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15 Google+ Sites & Services for Power Users

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 11:37 AM PDT

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

Although it’s only been in existence for a month, we’ve seen a number of Google+-related websites and services spring up across the web.

From directories where you can find new Plussers, to sites that will show you the hottest posts and even resources that will help you get more out of the service, we’ve rounded up 15 fab online destinations. As you might expect from such a fledgling service, some of the sites are a work-in-progress, but we’re bookmarking them in the hope they will develop into useful resources.


Have a read of our suggestions for third-party Google+ sites below and please share in the comments any other services you’ve seen that you’d recommend to your fellow Plussers.

1. has stocked over 100 categories with Google+ users that cater to specific topics -- everything from "Master Ninjas" to "Geocaching" via "Knitting." In addition to browsing, you can add Plussers to the lists.

2. Women of Google+

If Google+ is still a little too testosteroney for you, here you can look up some female Plussers to circle. It's the creation of Lynette Young, who says she finds it "stimulating and refreshing to have a list of highly intelligent women on G+ to read every morning over coffee."

3. The Unofficial Google+ Wiki

This site offer some Google+ basics in the familiar Wiki format.

4. Pixiq

Plusser Damien Franco has compiled a list of photographers and photography-lovers who are on Google+. Franco also links to other shutterbug-themed lists, such as the one created by Google staffer Mike Wiacek.

5. FindPeopleOnPlus

This service does just what you'd imagine it might! With 4,412,227 Google+ users indexed at the time of writing, you can search by name, as well as other categories such as occupation and country.

6. G+ Search

Rich Knight's rather nifty tool does what Google+ doesn't yet -- search all Plus content by keyword.

7. Google+ Known Issues

Granted this is the type of sensible site your mom might add to this list (if your mom was on G+ and clued in, of course) but it is definitely handy for those moments when Plus goes a bit wonky and you're left wondering if you're doing something wrong.

8. GPHangouts

Giving you the down-low on where to "Hangout" at Google+, this site gives you an at-a-glance overview of public Hangouts, as well as the option to add yours.

9. Unofficial Google+ "Recommended Users"

At the moment, this service functions as a kind of "who's who" of Google+, offering recommendations for the most famous folk in categories such as "Tech Entrepreneurs" and "Bloggers." This makes it good for newbies, although we're looking forward to seeing the lists expanded over time.

10. Share This Circle

Another recommendation site, Share This Circle, provides spreadsheets and links to influential users by category. For example, the "Artists Spreadsheet" lists 150 Plussers. At the moment, it's time-consuming to add each individual separately, since Google hasn't yet allowed Circle sharing, but we think this good-looking service has a future if/when Google does enable it. We'd also be keen to see them develop the "Circle Sunday" concept which works like Twitter's "Follow Friday" idea.

11. +me

This fun site lets you quickly and easily create a Google+-themed profile pic.


This is the Google+ vanity URL generator that seems to be gaining the most traction. Have you got your name yet?

13. HangoutParty

HangoutParty offers a way to expand Google+ Hangouts beyond the 10 people limit by live-streaming the event to a broader audience than could view it ordinarily.

14. Social Statistics

Social Statistics not only tracks the top 100 Google+ users, but its "Hottest Google+ Posts" section updates every 24 hours.

15. Like vs. Plus

We're ending our gallery on a fun one. Like vs. Plus pits Facebook's social recommendation system against Google's with the option to add your vote. We do know that it's not a straight up "versus" situation between the two services, but we love a good fight!

Additional research by Stephanie Buck

More About: gallery, Google, Google Plus, Google Plus Lists, List, Lists, websites

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Deadmau5 Avatar Removed From

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 10:50 AM PDT

Today, aspiring DJs everywhere cried a tiny tear when they noticed that the Deadmau5 avatar (reserved for high-ranking DJs who have scored 1000 to 9999 points) had gone missing.

In its place is the message: “Deadmau5 avatar has been reserved for the actual deadmau5. So instead, may we present our awesome monkey couple.”

For those unaware of how still-in-beta service works, it’s 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 now-defunct Deadmau5 head).

Deadmau5, for those not in the know, is Joel Zimmerman, an electronica musician who regularly wears a giant mouse head on stage during performances.

The removal has Turntable users buzzing, questioning whether either Deadmau5 or his camp asked for that image to be restricted from public use. We’re reaching out to Zimmerman and Co. for comment.

For those TT.fmers in mourning, take heart, the Daft Punk Helmet is still up for grabs — provided you’re a Super User.

More About: deadmau5, legal, music,

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Google Optimizes Search Page for Tablets

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 10:32 AM PDT

Google has optimized its search experience to better serve iPad and Android tablet users.

The new interface refinements align with some of the other changes Google has been making to its products like Gmail and Google+.

The redesign is minimal, but the focus is clearly on making content more accessible for touch-based users. The search button is larger, and content has more white space as well as a more visual look and feel.

On the Google Mobile blog, Google says the rollout will be headed to the iPad and Android 3.1+ tablets in 36 languages. On our iPad 2 running iOS 5 beta 4, we didn’t see the update initially, but it appeared on our device a few minutes into testing.

To access to the new look, just access in your web browser.

What do you think of the new tablet look for Google search? Let us know.

More About: android, android tablet, Google, ipad, Search

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Ibiza Hotel Offers RFID Facebook Sharing [VIDEO]

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 10:12 AM PDT

A hotel in Ibiza is exploiting the fact that you don’t need to have a computer or even a smartphone to check in on Facebook and express your Likes.

As the video above explains, Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel is outfitted with pillars that read RFID-enabled bracelets. Guests can check in, take pictures or post a status update, depending on where they’re positioned at the hotel and what pillar is offered. Such pillars are at the beach, the pool and on the dancefloor. The object: “Make all your Facebook friends jealous.”

Mixing RFID and Facebook seems to be a phenomenon that’s happening outside of the U.S. A Coca-Cola amusement park in Israel offered a program in summer 2010 that let attendees Like certain attractions using RFID bracelets, and Renault offered similar technology at the Amsterdam Auto Show in April.

More About: facebook, MARKETING, rfid

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Obama Encourages Twitter Users To Ask GOP for #Compromise

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 09:44 AM PDT

As negotiations over raising the U.S. debt ceiling continue, President Barack Obama took to Twitter to express his desire for a compromise between parties. Now, his staff is posting the Twitter handles of the GOP lawmakers in each state, so that Twitter users may voice their opinions to the people in charge.

Earlier Friday, the president tweeted: “The time for putting party first is over. If you want to see a bipartisan #compromise, let Congress know. Call. Email. Tweet. —BO.”

SEE ALSO: Obama Loses 36,000+ Twitter Followers in #Compromise Campaign [STATS]

Now, his staff has begun tweeting the handles of lawmakers in each state, asking users: “Tweet your Republican representative and ask them to support a bipartisan solution to the deficit crisis.”

Earlier this week, Obama also urged citizens to contact their representatives. The results of that request took down capitol websites.

We’ll be watching Twitter to see how this story unfolds.

More About: Debt Ceiling, obama, tea party, trending, twitter

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Sony Brings TV & Movie Rentals to Xperia Android Devices

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 09:28 AM PDT

Sony is bringing its Qriocity Video on Demand service to the 2011 Xperia line of Android phones beginning August 1.

Using Qriocity video, Xperia owners can rent or purchase movies and TV shows from NBC, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Warner Bros. Digital Distribution, Universal International Television Distribution and content from local studios. New releases and back catalog content will be available.

According to the Sony Ericsson, the service will initially launch in nine markets, including the U.S., Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Australia. Japan will get access to the service by the end of August. All content will be localized, which is a nice touch.

Unlike the Music Unlimited app for Android, the new video service is exclusive to Xperia devices, at least for now.

The Xperia mini and the Xperia mini pro are the first devices that will gain support for the new service. The Xperia arc, Xperia neo, Xperia PLAY and other 2011 devices will gain access through a software update later this year. Future Xperia devices will also have access to the content.

Qriocity Video is one of the few international offerings for commercial video on-demand content and this is the first Android competitor to iTunes that we have seen on a global (or, at least more global) level.

More About: android, Qriocity, qriocity video, sony, Xperia

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Plot Device Is a Viral Masterpiece [VIDEO]

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 09:05 AM PDT

Creating a viral video is hard, but the wizards at Red Giant Software have nailed it. With less than $10,000 in their pockets but armed with a great idea and serious filmmaking skills, the company enlisted the help of indie filmmaker Seth Worley to create “Plot Device,” a viral video that topped 540,000 views on Vimeo and YouTube in its first two weeks.

What are they promoting? It’s not immediately evident, but Red Giant Software is a small company that develops visual effects plug-ins, and with each activation of this “Plot Device,” you see a different visual effect included in its Magic Bullet Suite 11 software.

Because they’re marketing to filmmakers, not only did the Red Giant crew need a compelling idea — they needed to execute the effects well enough to impress those who create special effects for a living. So they gambled, rounding up friends, volunteers and a lot of donated equipment to make this mini masterpiece.

More About: Plot device, Red Giant Software, seth worley, Viral videeo

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The Future of Social Customer Relationship Management

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 08:44 AM PDT

Killian Schaffer is VP/Strategy Director, CRM for Cramer-Krasselt/Chicago. You can follow him on Twitter @kschaffs.

Currently there's a lot of buzz around social customer relationship management (CRM). Social media platforms and technologies like Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare are transforming how companies market their products and engage audiences. But when you're also concerned about delivering results to your clients, you'll do well to study the evolution from traditional CRM to sCRM.

Like different forms of intelligence – abstract, practical, emotional – customer data reveals different value traits that help to assess each individual. Then we can develop programs to extract revenue from that data.

While "transactional" value has been a mainstay for decades, the web and its social media platforms have introduced new "relationship" and "influence" measures. The more comprehensive data complements CRM's traditional indicators:

  • Transactional: Determines a consumer's monetary value based on purchase recency, frequency and dollar amount. Database marketers have relied on these attributes for decades.
  • Relationship: Predicated on information sharing activity, the type and depth of information shared by consumers is directly related to their value to the brand.
  • Influence: Evaluates the consumer's social potential as an "earned media partner" based on their publishing frequency and social graph responsiveness.

The seamless integration of what we call the "Value TRInity" — transaction, relationship and influence — will be the future of CRM.

Some marketers are already combining aspects of the Value Trinity. Quirky outdoor outfitter Moosejaw not only encourages its customers and fans to interact with the company via Facebook and Twitter, but they've also created communications programs and established a rewards program that ties an individual's transactional activity to his social web activity.

Some travel and hospitality players are ahead of the curve as well. Several hotels have been inviting guests or offering upgrades on rooms based on their high Klout scores, and therefore their increased ability to influence others. Similarly, PR agencies have been forging relationships with key influencers via blogger outreach programs.

These programs can no longer be practiced in silos — firms need to integrate social media, PR, customer service and loyalty programs in order to benefit from the Value TRInity.

Earlier this year, American Airlines launched a Facebook page and quickly grew its audience from 2,600 likes to over 200,000 in fewer than three days. Moreover, the AA Mystery Miles promotion secured visitors' AAdvantage numbers, enabling it to evaluate participants' transaction, relationship and influence measures.

As the practice of CRM evolves alongside the social web, it's critical that we not only think in terms of measurable data, but also about the integration of social behavior to provide a true and accurate reflection of valuable customers. Success will be defined not by chasing influencers, high-volume buyers or friends-of-friends, but by leveraging the Value TRInity to forge enduring, mutually beneficial relationships with your brand's true friends.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, turkkol

More About: crm, custmer relations, customer lifetime value, data, facebook, klout, Revenue, social media, twitter

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Thanks to Mashable’s Socially Savvy Supporters

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 08:14 AM PDT

Thanks to this week's advertisers and partners for enabling us to bring you the latest social media news and resources. Mashable’s sponsors are as social media savvy as our readers!

Advertise with us and get noticed.

Mashable is seeking site sponsors for our large, diverse audience — social media users, venture capitalists, early adopters, developers, bloggers and many more. You’ll receive hundreds of thousands of views per day in addition to weekly recognition as part of our “thank you” to our premium sponsors. Are you interested? Contact us for more information and to receive our media kit and rate card.

This week, our valued sponsors are: Cisco, CBS Interactive, Lenovo, Campaigner®, CITGO and the Fueling Good Campaign, The Ben and Jerry’s Scoop Truck, The Awareness Social Marketing Hub, AceProject, 7MainStreet, LoopFuse, BMW i, Discover Digital Group, Global Strategic Management Institute, Ford,, Sprout Social, Site24x7, IDG, CUNY School of Professional Studies, Oneupweb, SoftLayer, SRDS, Buddy Media, Clickatell, Microsoft BizSpark, MaxCDN and Eventbrite.

The Network, Cisco’s technology news site. The Network features technology news, trends and information on video, collaboration, core networks, mobility, security, data, Cisco culture and social media. To subscribe to The Network, click here. You can also submit your story ideas here.

Cisco supports Mashable’s Buzzword Breakdown Series. Follow Cisco on Twitter and Facebook.

CBS Interactive, which helps brands find the perfect audience with a network of #1 sites like, CBS Sports and GameSpot. To see how our exclusive content, video and mobile can help you engage with your ideal target, visit

CBSInteractive supports Mashable’s Consumer Trends Series. Follow CBSInteractive on Twitter and Facebook.

Lenovo. Lenovo does not just manufacture technology. They make Do machines — super-powered creation engines designed to help the people who do, do more, do better, do in brand new ways.

Lenovo supports Mashable’s Tech Innovators Series. Follow Lenovo on Twitter and Facebook.

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 to learn more.

Campaigner® supports Mashable’s Social Marketing Series. Follow Campaigner® on Twitter and Facebook.

CITGO and the Fueling Good Campaign, helping to change the world one mile at a time through contributions to local charities.

CITGO and the Fueling Good Campaign support Mashable’s Stars of Social Good Series. Follow the Fueling Good Campaign on Twitter and Facebook.

In New York City or San Francisco and want a free scoop? Try the Ben and Jerry’s Scoop Truck.

The Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Truck supports Mashable’s Social-Savvy Food Truck Series. Follow the Ben and Jerry’s Scoop Truck on Twitter at @BenJerrysTruck and @BenJerrysWest.

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

Awareness supports Mashable’s Social Media For Business Leaders Series. Follow Awareness on Twitter and Facebook.

AceProject is a collaboration-oriented project management web application that empowers you to manage projects, tasks and time sheets. Create your free AceProject account here.

AceProject supports Mashable’s Digital Collaboration Series. Follow AceProject on Twitter.

7MainStreet is the first company to combine social networking, e-commerce, and comprehensive business reviews and listings. 7MainStreet helps organizations of all sizes.

Follow 7MainStreet on Twitter and Facebook.

LoopFuse provides forever-free marketing automation software that closes the loop between sales and marketing with smarter lead capture, scoring, and nurturing — plus integration. LoopFuse helps marketers build better pipelines, run more efficient marketing operations, and enable more effective sales teams leading to increased revenue and reduced costs. Learn more about lead nurturing with LoopFuse.

LoopFuse supports Mashable’s Social Ad Series. Follow Loopfuse on Twitter and Facebook.

BMW i is a new concept dedicated to providing mobility solutions for the urban environment. It delivers more than purpose-built electric vehicles — it delivers smart mobility services. Visit

BMW i supports Mashable’s Global Innovation Series. Follow BMW i on Twitter and Facebook.

Discover Digital Group is a unique consultancy that focuses on identifying new e-revenue opportunities for both Fortune 1000 and startup clients alike. From developing new digital products to generating new audiences and revenue for existing online products, it creates smarter, more effective solutions for your business challenges. Follow DDG on Facebook to get a taste of the insights that are offered.

DDG supports Mashable’s Social CMO Series. Follow DDG on Twitter and Facebook.

Global Strategic Management Institute is a leading source of knowledge for today's leaders. Its Social Media Strategies Series are the leading educational events for organizations looking to advance their online capabilities. Learn more at

GSMI supports Mashable’s Social Media 101 Series. Follow GSMI on Twitter and Facebook.

Ford supports Mashable Explore. The Content Exploration Series is presented by Mashable Explore, a new way to discover resources and information on your favorite Mashable topics. Mashable Explore is brought to you by the all-new, 100% reinvented 2011 Ford Explorer. Drive One.

Check out Mashable Explore here and follow Ford on Twitter and Facebook.

Site24x7, an online website monitoring service which allows users to monitor their website, web application and online web transactions. Users can get instant alerts when their website goes down. Site24x7 allows monitoring from across 25+ global locations. Site24x7 pricing starts from $1/Month/URL. Sign up for a 15-day Free Trial!

Follow Site24x7 on Twitter and Facebook.

With the explosion of mobile devices, advertising dollars will begin to shift to mobile for tech marketers this year. IDG Global Solutions President Matt Yorke talks about the rise of social and how IDG helps marketers create social campaigns. The line is fading between social media and traditional media. Earned media or sharing of information within social networks is becoming mainstream whether on a PC or mobile device. Learn more.

IDG supports Mashable’s Modern Media Agency Series.

Oneupweb is an agency specializing in search marketing, social media and design for mid-to-enterprise level brands. Keep up with Oneupweb through its blog and monthly newsletter.

Oneupweb supports Mashable’s Behind the Social Media Campaign Series. Follow Oneupweb on Twitter and Facebook.

SoftLayer provides global, on-demand data center and hosting services from facilities across the U.S. it leverages best-in-class connectivity and technology to innovate industry leading, fully automated solutions that empower enterprises with complete access, control, security, and scalability.

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SRDS connects agencies, brands and media through its online database of media planning data. SRDS is committed to making it easier to buy online ad space and build integrated marketing campaigns. Sign up for a free 14-day trial of the SRDS consumer and business database here.

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Buddy Media is Power Tools for Facebook. Have something new to tell 500 million people? Learn the best way to manage multiple brands on Facebook with this webinar.

Buddy Media supports Mashable’s Facebook Marketing Series, which is about how brands can advertise on Facebook. Follow Buddy Media on Twitter and Facebook.

Clickatell was the first provider of Online SMS Gateway connectivity, and after 10 years, is still the leading provider. Clickatell can deliver your SMS text messages to over 818 mobile networks in more than 222 countries and territories.

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BizSpark is a program which offers new software businesses and entrepreneurs access to Microsoft design, development and production tools with no upfront costs for up to three years. Learn more or connect with a Microsoft BizSpark advisor here.

BizSpark supports Mashable’s weekly Spark of Genius Series, which showcases promising startups. Follow Microsoft BizSpark on Twitter and Facebook.

Mashable uses MaxCDN – Content Delivery Network to deliver its static content such as pictures, helping Mashable load much faster. Try it on your site now, and get a 25% discount with this coupon code: mashable.

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Microsoft Rips Google With Gmail Man [VIDEO]

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 07:37 AM PDT

In a nice break from Google‘s slick-but-cute explanatory videos and ads, someone at Microsoft has unleashed a rather vicious attack video targeting Gmail.

The video shows Gmail Man, a delivery guy who has the creepy habit of scanning your mail for keywords and then showing you a related ad. You may be fine with that when you’re online, but when dramatized in real life, it might make you question the practice. If nothing else, the attack video makes a compelling case for going with Office 365 instead.

Creatively, Gmail Man falls into a burgeoning category of videos that dramatize Internet activity IRL, like a recent ad for English National Operas showing a man trying to friend and follow people on the street and another from T-Mobile dramatizing Angry Birds played out in a park somewhere.

Maybe Google had it coming, particularly after its own recent snarky video offering a Gmail Intervention.

More About: gmail, Google, microsoft, viral videos

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Top 3 Stories This Morning: Google+, Twitter, Foursquare

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 07:22 AM PDT

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

Google Releases “What’s New in Google+” Hub

Google celebrated the one-month anniversary of Google+ with the release of a “What’s New in Google+” section, which will update users on new features and changes to existing ones.

Twitter Will Soon Flag NSFW Tweets

A forthcoming Twitter feature will warn people when a tweet contains a link to “possibly sensitive” media such as not-safe-for-work videos or photos.

Groupon Deals Will Now Appear on Foursquare

Starting today, Foursquare’s Explore tab will house Groupon’s daily deals for users in the U.S. and Canada. Groupon is Foursquare’s sixth daily deals partner, following LivingSocial, Gilt City, AT&T Interactive, BuyWithMe and Zozi.

Further News

  • Users of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer have lower IQ scores than Firefox, Chrome, Opera and Camino users, according to a new study.
  • A San Francisco man claims to have seen another man holding the iPhone 5 while riding on a train.
  • Apple’s cash reserves are now bigger than the U.S. government's balance, according to a new report.
  • Politico has unveiled this year’s “50 Politicos to Watch” list, which highlights the people to keep an eye on during the 2012 election season. The lists includes bloggers, Twitter users, candidates, fundraisers, consultants and media standouts.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, DNY59

More About: apple, foursquare, Google Plus, groupon, internet explorer, iphone, smartphones, twitter

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Delta Air Lines Customers Get LivingSocial Deals

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 07:06 AM PDT

Delta Air Lines customers will now get destination-specific Living Social deals related to their trips thanks to a new deal between the two companies.

The arrangement, announced Friday, means that customers who book a flight and visit My Trips on will be offered deals specific to their itineraries. For instance, if a customer booked a four-day visit to Los Angeles, she would likely receive offers for hotel and travel deals in that city.

The deal helps underpin Delta’s image as a social media innovator in the industry. Delta began selling flights directly on Facebook last August.

Other airlines are also trying to embrace the digital revolution as well. In May, Alaska Airlines replaced its pilots’ 25-pound paper flight manuals with iPads, while American Airlines began giving first class passengers Samsung Galaxy Tab tablets on some flights. Virgin America has also made Google’s Chromebooks available on some flights, has given a plane a Twitter hashtag name and has offered free flights to consumers with high Klout scores.

More About: Alaska Airlines, american airlines, Chromebooks, delta, ipad, LivingSocial, virgin america

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IE Users Have Lower IQ Than Users of Other Web Browsers [STUDY]

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 06:56 AM PDT

A recent study links intelligence test results with browser usage — and the results don’t look good for users of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, especially its older versions.

The study, titled “Intelligence Quotient (IQ) and Browser Usage” by Canadian company AptiQuant, compiled IQ test scores of 101,326 individuals older than the age of 16 and divided them into groups according to the browser they use.

The results are fascinating. Users of Internet Explorer 6 have an average IQ score barely more than 80; Firefox and Chrome users fare much better, with average IQ scores of around 110, while Opera and Camino users have an average IQ score more than 120.

It’s also interesting to note that average IQ scores of IE6 users were significantly higher in 2006, and that the IQ scores get better with newer versions of IE.

Internet Explorer 6 has long been a thorn in the side of developers who hated it for its non-compliance with web standards, while users struggled with its many security flaws. This new study will probably induce more mockery of the ancient (but still sometimes found on older computers) browser and its users, but it’s probably not telling us that much about the browser itself — it’s about unwillingness to upgrade to a new version of any software.

The study concludes that “individuals on the lower side of the IQ scale tend to resist a change/upgrade of their browsers.” It’s only logical that users with a higher IQ are more likely to experiment, choose a different software version or variant (notice that users of IE with Chrome frame score very high on IQ tests) or listen to upgrade suggestions and security advice.

In March, Microsoft started a campaign to get users to stop using Internet Explorer 6. But did it take into account the fact that many IE6 users tend to have lower than average IQ scores? Maybe that’s the key to finally getting rid of the world’s most hated web browser.

“Individuals on the lower side of the IQ scale tend to resist a change/upgrade of their browsers. … Now that we have a statistical pattern on the continuous usage of incompatible browsers, better steps can be taken to eradicate this nuisance,” the study concludes.

More About: browser, chrome, Firefox, IE, intelligence quotient, IQ, iq score

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Old Friends [COMIC]

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 06:31 AM PDT

Foursquare & Groupon Hook Up for Real-Time Deals [EXCLUSIVE]

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 05:41 AM PDT

Foursquare users in the U.S. and Canada will start to see Groupon’s daily deals in the Explore tab of the application and on beginning Friday, Mashable has learned.

Groupon has become Foursquare’s sixth and latest daily deals partner. The IPO-primed market leader in its growing industry was notably absent when Foursquare first rolled out daily deals from LivingSocial, Gilt City, AT&T Interactive, BuyWithMe and Zozi earlier this month.

Groupon’s regular daily deals and its newest real-time, location-based Groupon Now offers have gone live for users in the Chicago area. All Foursquare users in the U.S. and Canada can expect to see Groupon deals alongside the deals of Foursquare’s five other partners by Sunday.

Mashable first discovered the active Groupon deals Friday morning. We’ve since confirmed with Foursquare that a partnership with Groupon is in place. Groupon will share revenues with Foursquare, just like the startup’s other deals partners, splitting an undisclosed amount for each deal sold.

The mutually beneficial relationship will help Foursquare replenish its deals stock and net it access to offers from the current mayor in the deals space. Groupon, in turn, will gain added exposure and reach audiences not already subscribed to its email list.

“Foursquare’s goal is to help people connect in the real world, discover new places, and save money through Specials and Deals. We’re excited that Groupon’s daily deals and real-time deals will now be included in our Deals platform,” a company spokesperson told Mashable.

Friday’s release confirms what has long been rumored: Groupon and Foursquare have been in talks for some time. Reports have also previously speculated that Groupon is attempting to acquire Foursquare.

Image courtesy of Flickr, seanaes

More About: advertising, daily deals, foursquare, groupon, Groupon Now, MARKETING

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