Monday, 10 October 2011

Mashable: Latest 15 News Updates - including “T-Mobile Announces Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 & Springboard”

Mashable: Latest 15 News Updates - including “T-Mobile Announces Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 & Springboard”

T-Mobile Announces Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 & Springboard

Posted: 10 Oct 2011 02:11 AM PDT

T-Mobile expanded its tablet offering with two Android 3.2 devices: T-Mobile Springboard and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.

The Springboard is a 7-inch tablet with a 1.2 GHz dual-core CPU, 32 GB of expandable memory and a 5-megapixel rear camera, as well as a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera for video chats.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 needs no introduction, as it’s already available at Best Buy and Verizon. It sports a 10.1-inch screen, a 1 GHz dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 CPU, and a duo of 2 and 3-megapixel cameras for your video and photo-taking needs.

Both the Springboard and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 will support T-Mobile’s HSPA+ fast data transfer standard.

T-Mobile hasn’t announced the price for either device, but both should be available “in time for holidays” in T-Mobile retail stores and over at

The fate of Samsung’s tablet, however, is slightly more uncertain, as Apple plans to seek a preliminary injunction to prevent sales of the device in the US in just a couple of days.

More About: android, galaxy tab, samsung, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, Springboard, T-Mobile, Tablet

Mashable Weekend Recap: 30 Stories You May Have Missed

Posted: 09 Oct 2011 10:52 PM PDT

Apple and its innovative late CEO dominated our thoughts this weekend, with the death of Steve Jobs and the upcoming iPhone 4S both trending high in the news.

While we grieved, we found a plethora of stories of interest to Mashable readers, including clever designs for the new Facebook Timeline, stunning time-lapse videos, and an upcoming FarmVille movie we were hoping might not ever be produced.

There was plenty of additional compelling news on a variety of topics, and as we always do, we saved it all in one place for you, right here:

News & Opinion Essentials

Which Carrier's iPhone 4S Will Be the Fastest? [MAP]

Man Assaults Wife for Not "Liking" His Facebook Update

Inside the Most Successful Digital Music Licensing Service You've Never Heard Of

How the 10 Most Popular Facebook Brands Rank by Engagement [Chart]

Please Lord, Save Us from the FarmVille Movie

Will There Ever Be Another Steve Jobs?

Top Ten Tech Tales This Week [PICS]

Steve Jobs: May He Rest in Peace [PIC]

iPhone 4S: Pre-Order Stock For Launch Day Sold Out

Steve Jobs' Secret Formula: How He Won Over Critics, Scored 317 Patents & Changed the World

Toys Take On Consoles: Spyro the Dragon Returns in Social Videogame [PREVIEW]

Will the New Facebook Lead to Information Overload?

Steve Jobs the Movie? Author Sells Rights for $1 Million Or More [REPORT]

Dalai Lama Joins Google+, Plans Hangout With Desmond Tutu

Occupy Wall Street Newspaper Raises $54,000 on Kickstarter

Helpful Resources

20+ Essential Resources for Improving Your SEO Skills

A Twitter Client for Budget Shoppers

7 Reasons Why Recruiters Like Facebook More Than LinkedIn

7 Disruptive Innovations That Turned Their Markets Upside Down [INFOGRAPHIC]

5 Ways Tech Can Make New Hires Feel Like Part of the Team

The History of Digital Storage [INFOGRAPHIC]

67 New Digital Media Resources You May Have Missed

Meet Pinterest: A Private Social Pinboard That Collects Your Online Memories

Weekend Leisure

5 Most Popular Musicians to Subscribe to on Facebook

YouTube Cover Song Face-Off: Adele's "Someone Like You"

Facebook Timeline: 10 Stunning Designs [PICS]

The Force is Strong in Bones Mello, the Star Wars AT-AT Dog [PICS]

5 Amazing Eco-Friendly Office Buildings of the Future

Majestic Time-lapse Landscapes Will Blow You Away [VIDEO]

3 New Mobile Apps For Video-Sharers, Fitness Phobics & Creatives

More About: Weekend recap

For more Social Media coverage:

5 Most Popular Musicians to Subscribe to on Facebook

Posted: 09 Oct 2011 06:27 PM PDT

Facebook has for many years been a portal for musicians to share their music, photos and thoughts as well as interact with fans. Now, the world’s largest social network offers them another way to let fans into their lives: the Subscribe button.

While almost every big-name artist and band has a brand Page for fans to “Like,” a handful of popular musicians have also enabled and embraced the Subscribe feature, which allows any Facebook user to subscribe to those musicians’ personal profiles and see anything shared publicly.

But why? The feature has several benefits for musicians: Without the Subscribe button, a musician is limited to 5,000 friends, but with the feature, the musician can attract an unlimited number of subscribers. The tool also is especially useful for band members who would rather connect with their fans more intimately through their own profiles rather than their band’s Page.

Ultimately, Subscribe gives band members and solo artists alike a way to engage with friends and fans all in one central location (no need to shuffle from personal profile to fan Page), while allowing the musicians the option to share anything privately with just friends and not subscribers if desired.

SEE ALSO: Facebook Relaunches Music Page | Sync Your Band's Myspace Page With Your FB

In the gallery, you’ll discover five musicians who have amassed significant amounts of subscribers.

Jared Leto of 30 Seconds to Mars

Subscribe launched in September, but Jared Leto's profile already has more than 1.2 million subscribers. In comparison, his band 30 Seconds to Mars has 6.6 million "Likes."

Leto's latest post thanks Steve Jobs, who died Oct. 5, "for reminding all of us to dream bigger, reach further, push harder, break rules, never give up, be our best, stop at nothing, and for showing us how to live this life the way it is supposed to be lived."

In general, Leto's public stream is filled with photos, which is a stark contrast from when his Facebook stream was filled with just tweets before he enabled Subscribe.

Click here to view this gallery.

More About: celebrities, Facebook, features, Music, Subscribe

For more Entertainment coverage:

A Twitter Client for Budget Shoppers

Posted: 09 Oct 2011 06:04 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: Tweetalicious

Quick Pitch: A shopping discovery engine built on the Twitter platform

Genius Idea: Although many retailers, brands and consumers share information about discounts and other offers on Twitter, it’s not easy for shoppers to browse these deals in aggregate.

Tweetalicious, a six-person startup out of Pennsylvania, is aiming to address that very problem. The team has released a Twitter client for the web and iPhone devices [iTunes link] that surfaces deals shared on Twitter based on a users’ preferences by category, such as apparel or home, and designer.

Users can give offers a thumbs up to help Tweetalicious better understand what they like, as well as save deals to a wishlist for later perusal. Deals are refreshed every few days to make sure they are up to date and relevant, says CMO Harrison Lee.

The client isn’t robust enough for a heavy Twitter user, but it will serve the needs of casual users primarily interested in shopping, particularly as its algorithms are further refined. The company currently scrapes deals from Twitter and a handful of online retail partners, but is working with mall operators to facilitate offline shopping at the local level as well.

“We don’t just want [Tweetalicious] to be a community of online shoppers,” Lee says. “We also want to reach people who primarily shop within [their own] general vicinity.”

Tweetalicious, which has not yet raised any funding to date, is currently focused on improving its existing product and growing its userbase. Soon, the startup hopes to incorporate deals pulled in from other social networks, including Facebook and LinkedIn, and to add verticals for users with interests outside of shopping.

An Android app is in the pipeline but no launch date has yet been set.

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, shopping, spark-of-genius, tweetalicious, Twitter

For more Business coverage:

20+ Essential Resources for Improving Your SEO Skills

Posted: 09 Oct 2011 05:45 PM PDT

Mollie Vandor is the Associate Product Manager at Prior to that, she helped launch, where she served as the Product Manager, amongst many other roles. You can reach her @mollierosev, on her blog, or on her latest addiction – Words With Friends, where she plays under the username “Mollierosev.”

Search engine optimization isn't exactly something you can major in — at least, not yet. In fact, many professional search engine optimizers are self-taught. They've supplemented backgrounds in marketing, computer science and the like with self-education via online courses, videos and blog posts.

Whether you’re looking to build your knowledge of the basics, master more intermediate material or get to the head of the advanced class, a wealth of online resources can help you graduate your SEO skills to the next level.

The Basics

Click here to view this gallery.

More About: contributor, education, features, resources, SEO, web

For more Dev & Design coverage:

Man Assaults Wife for Not “Liking” His Facebook Update

Posted: 09 Oct 2011 05:22 PM PDT

A 36-year-old Texas man has pleaded not guilty to battery charges after allegedly attacking his estranged wife for failing to “Like” a status update he posted to Facebook.

Benito Apolinar had posted an update to his Facebook page about the anniversary of his mother’s death. Angry that the post had elicited no response from his wife of 15 years, he confronted her after dropping off their children at her home in Carlsbad, New Mexico, on Tuesday.

“That’s amazing everyone ‘Likes’ my status but you, you’re my wife. You should be the first one to ‘Like’ my status,” he allegedly told her before punching her in the cheek and pulling her hair. He was reportedly under the influence of alcohol at the time.

Apolinar was arrested the same evening of the incident. He is scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 22.

[via MSN News]

More About: Facebook, trending

YouTube Cover Song Face-Off: Adele’s “Someone Like You”

Posted: 09 Oct 2011 03:46 PM PDT

Each week, Mashable picks a popular song, finds 10 covers of it and asks you to vote for your favorite.

Adele’s “Someone Like You” returns to the top of Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart this week thanks to the Sept. 29 release of her touching black and white music video filmed in Paris.

The piano ballad about coming to terms with a breakup has spawned hundreds of covers on YouTube. We’ve chosen 10 heartfelt covers — including a duet and trio, as well as renditions on guitar, piano and ukulele — for your listening pleasure. Vote for your favorite version in the poll.

And if you know any YouTube cover artists who should be on our radar, please let us know in the comments.

Youcef Preston

Click here to view this gallery.

To listen to more covers used in past YouTube Cover Song Face-Offs, click here.

**The winner of this poll will be selected Oct. 14 at 9 a.m. ET.

Last Week’s Face-Off Winner

The cover of Maroon 5's "Moves Like Jagger" from Stephen Carmichael snagged 40% of the votes in last week's face-off. Carmichael’s cover samples The Cure’s “Lullaby.”

Coincidentally, Carmichael has also put his own spin on Adele’s “Someone Like You.” (See video number three.) Carmichael is writing more songs for a forthcoming album, which will include the bass-induced dance track “Love Defeat.”

"I want to push the boundaries with what I can do with sound and music and art," says Carmichael, who adds that he’d like to perform duets with fellow YouTube cover artist Jake Coco, as well as Lady Gaga, Cyndi Lauper and David Bowie. “I feel that I’m very much at the beginning of discovering who I am as an artist and I want to continue to explore and to create."

Here’s a collection of Carmichael’s covers. To hear an original song, click to video number two.

"Moves Like Jagger" Cover

Click here to view this gallery.

What popular song should we pick next week for the YouTube Cover Song Face-Off?

More About: Entertainment, Music, music videos, viral videos, YouTube, YouTube Cover Song Face-Off

For more Entertainment coverage:

How the 10 Most Popular Facebook Brands Rank by Engagement [Chart]

Posted: 09 Oct 2011 02:44 PM PDT


Last week, Facebook unveiled a new public metric to gauge the success of a Facebook Page beyond its Like count. The feature, called “People Talking About,” calculates user-initiated activities on a Page, including posts, comments, Likes, mentions, shares, poll votes, photo tags and checkins.

Not surprisingly, those brands with the greatest number of Likes don’t necessarily rank as highly against the new metric, according to data from Famecount.

Here are the top ten consumer brand pages by Likes:

1. Coca-Cola: 34,511,504
2. Starbucks: 25,446,846
3. Oreo: 23,092,391
4. Red Bull: 22,427,254
5. Converse All Star: 20,780,055
6. Converse: 20,141,021
7. Skittles: 19,348,317
8. Playstation: 17,420,065
9. Pringles: 13,602,128
10. Victoria’s Secret: 15,343,727

And here are the top ten consumer brand pages re-ranked by Talking About:

1. Starbucks: 508,526
2. Coca-Cola: 220,867
3. Victoria’s Secret: 145,125
4. Skittles: 137,558
5. Oreo: 114,454
6. Red Bull: 112,051
7. Playstation: 104,837
8. Converse: 52,866
9. Pringles: 50,488
10. Converse All Star: 40,858

Although not featured in this list, perhaps the biggest success in this case is McDonalds, which is ranked 18th by number of Likes, and second in engagement (“Talking About”).

[via Big Spaceship]

More About: Facebook, Marketing

For more Business coverage:

7 Reasons Why Recruiters Like Facebook More Than LinkedIn

Posted: 09 Oct 2011 02:04 PM PDT

Despite the challenges social media presents for human resources professionals, it plays a growing role in talent recruitment. The big question, though, is where to find talent.

While employers continue to use professional networking site LinkedIn for recruiting, especially when hand-picking for executive positions, they prefer interacting with students and graduates via Facebook rather than LinkedIn, according to a study by online recruiting research lab Potentialpark.

For the study, Potentialpark surveyed more than 30,000 students and graduates worldwide and analyzed the online career presence of more than 500 companies in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Since the data has not yet been published online, Mashable spoke with Potentialpark about its findings.

Within the European survey respondents, 48% said they prefer to connect with recruiters via LinkedIn, while only 25% said they prefer connecting via Facebook. When asked to explain their reservations about Facebook, the majority of respondents said Facebook is “not the right place” to interact with employers or that they are “uncomfortable sharing private information.”

These findings aren’t shocking, as privacy seems to be a common theme when it comes to employment and Facebook. But these reservations aren’t keeping employers from getting active on Facebook. Potentialpark found that more than one-third of the top 100 employers in Europe have a Facebook Page for recruitment purposes, many of them with more than 1,000 fans.

So, why are employers so interested in connecting with recruits on the world’s largest social network if candidates seem creeped out by Facebooking with recruiters?

Potentialpark interviewed HR professionals about their motivation to be active on Facebook and found that they had multiple reasons for involvement. Here’s an overview of reasons why recruiters cited a preference for Facebook when dealing with young talent:

  • 1. It’s more engaging. With Facebook, employers can follow a “let them come to us” strategy by setting up a business page for recruitment and career purposes. Recruiters noted that the interesting content on pages leads to comments, discussions and more personal interactions. With LinkedIn, the communication is very much one-way in the recruiting world, as employers proactively search for candidates and message them.
  • 2. Facebook is where the action is. Recruiters perceive that few students and recent graduates actively update their LinkedIn profiles, whereas they are quite active on Facebook. Therefore, it just makes sense to connect with them where they already hang out online.
  • 3. It’s free. Employers like that Facebook enables them to upload advanced recruitment content, such as testimonials, videos, pictures or a job search — and it’s all free of charge. This broad range of tools enables a company to showcase itself as an attractive employer.
  • 4. It’s a bigger network. Facebook offers a larger audience, with more than 800 million active users worldwide, compared with LinkedIn’s user base of around 120 million members.
  • 5. It’s more open. Facebook is free for all members and requires no premium accounts to use certain features. As a result, it’s a more open network than LinkedIn.
  • 6. The Like button. When it comes to career website integration, Facebook takes the cake — Facebook feeds and the Like button are easier to integrate.
  • 7. It’s better for branding. Recruiters report they tend toward LinkedIn and other business networks for networking, screening and recruiting. However, when it comes to employer branding activities and talent communication — especially with students, graduates and early career professionals — many prefer Facebook.

Having an active presence on Facebook is certainly a great start for employers looking to attract and communicate with young talent.

Do you think Facebook trumps LinkedIn when it comes to interacting with employers? Tell us in the comments below.

Social Media Job Listings

Every week we post a list of social media and web job opportunities. While we publish a huge range of job listings, we’ve selected some of the top social media job opportunities from the past two weeks to get you started. Happy hunting!

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, ilbusca

More About: Facebook, features, job search series, linkedin, mashable, Recruiting

The Force is Strong in Bones Mello, the Star Wars AT-AT Dog [PICS]

Posted: 09 Oct 2011 01:19 PM PDT

Meet Bones Mello, the mysterious AT-AT dog who apparently already has his Star Wars Halloween costume picked out and built. Here’s a gallery of the making of this now-famous whippet’s costume, where he’s not looking too happy about the process.

Listed as a “public figure” on Facebook, he says he was coaxed into submission at the photo shoot with “a lot of cheese.” Judging from the expression on his face, we’re thinking he’s wishing his costume creator would go to a galaxy far, far away.

More About: Bones Mello, costumes, Facebook, Star Wars

5 Amazing Eco-Friendly Office Buildings of the Future

Posted: 09 Oct 2011 12:44 PM PDT

Sustainable design. Experts have been telling us for decades that we should be building with these two words in mind, but which projects are really pushing the envelope, and which are merely adhering to the current standards?

We’ve done some digging and found wonderful architectural designs that are either planned or in development. The projects are not only beautiful — they’re also easy on the environment.

Be it by reducing the carbon footprint, saving water, or harnessing renewable energy sources such as sun and wind, these projects stand out as examples of the direction we should take if we want to make the world a more pleasant and healthy place to coexist.

More About: architecture, green, green architecture, green offices, sustainable design

For more Social Good coverage:

Which Carrier’s iPhone 4S Will Be the Fastest? [MAP]

Posted: 09 Oct 2011 11:33 AM PDT

Want to look before you leap into an iPhone 4S? OpenSignalMaps used 46,600 speed tests from real-world users (ironically, using an Android app) to find out where carriers are bringing the top speed, and where they’re lagging behind the others.

As you can see in the map above, the iPhone 4S on AT&T will be the speediest in 31 states in the U.S., with Verizon coming in a distant second in 6 states. Sprint didn’t win any states at all. Those other greyed-out states didn’t gather enough data for reliable results.

The researchers at OpenSignalMaps emphasize this doesn’t mean AT&T’s network is the overall fastest, but that the iPhone 4S will perform faster on that network (in certain states) than on the other two. Also keep in mind — this data doesn’t take into account the frequency of dropped calls.

Why did AT&T win this speed race? The company recently upgraded its HSPA network to HSPA+, which has a faster theoretical upload and download speed:

According to OpenSignalMaps’ crowdsourced results, that translates into a real-world speed advantage.

SEE ALSO: iPhone 4S: 4 Reasons to Upgrade

One of the more useful parts of the OpenSignalMaps interactive page is its service plan comparison tool, where you can set its filters on which iPhone you’d like, which networks to compare, and amounts of talk time, SMS, data and storage you want, and then compare prices.

Here, I’ve filtered the lowest-priced iPhone 4S plans, comparing their pricing from each of the three carriers. In this example, you get what you pay for – notice the reported slowest network, Sprint, comes out with the lowest monthly price of $69.99:

To interactively drill down into the data state-by-state, compare the various carriers, their service plans, the resale value of the phones, as well as their upgrade and return policies, go to the OpenSignalMaps site, where you can sift and filter the data yourself to find out exactly which iPhone 4S is best for you.

iPhone 4S

The iPhone 4S looks and feels exactly like the iPhone 4.

Click here to view this gallery.

More About: att, iPhone 4S, OpenSignalMaps, sprint, verizon

Inside the Most Successful Digital Music Licensing Service You’ve Never Heard Of

Posted: 09 Oct 2011 10:26 AM PDT

x5 classical image

Leave it to the cold, dark shores of Scandinavia to finally crack the code on digital music distribution. X5, a tiny music group from the great Scandinavian North has not only made money by selling digital music, it’s beat out music giants like Sony and Warner Music on the Billboard charts.

If you’ve never heard of X5, we can’t blame you. The company, started in 2005, has been quietly making a huge splash on the classical music scene by releasing massive compilation albums. The music group doesn’t have any permanent in-house musicians and seeks to sign licenses rather than artists.

X5 focuses on back catalogs of classical music and creating custom compilations with titles like “The 99 Darkest Pieces of Classical Music” or “The 50 Most Essential Pieces of Classical Music” which, since being released in 2008, has made more than $2 million worldwide. Essentially, they buy up a truckload of song licenses at low-rates, package them into winning compilations and resell at a moderate markup. X5 has released more than 8,000 of these thematic albums — some by composer, mood, holiday, etc. — with most falling under the “classical” genre.

In 2010, X5 was the number two classical label in the U.S. with a 20% market share, and had 13 #1 Billboard Classical albums — more than any other label, save for Universal Music Group (with whom X5 is currently in talks).

The company has been able to make all that money through some simple tricks: The albums are inexpensive, the artwork is simple but striking, X5 distributes through all major music sites — iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Rhapsody, etc. — and designs albums with a kind of “music SEO” in mind. “Think of the person that types ‘classical’ into the iTunes search box,” says Scott Ambrose Reilly, X5′s new U.S.-based CEO. “That’s the kind of person we’re trying to sell to.”

x5 piano image

The idea is for an X5 album to show up at the top of every list when a user searches for “classical” or “classical music” in whatever service they’re using. Classical is a notoriously difficult genre for new listeners to broach. There is so much content, it’s hard to know where to start. X5′s success is as a kind of musical sherpa, ushering casual fans into the essentials and then selling them thematic compilations as their tastes evolve. It’s a pattern that is replicable across genres, says Reilly.

X5 has just branched into the States and is hoping Reilly, who formerly helped Amazon run its music distribution platform, can help the company grow into new markets like rock, hip hop, country and beyond.

X5 is not reinventing the wheel. Compilation records have existed for a long, time but few have realized the importance of optimizing those compilations for social search. Social search, the act of finding music and albums via social networks or app search bars, has become the main way that a lot of people get their tunes. Tapping into these methods is X5′s secret sauce: the ability to optimize for the modern music consumer.

Free music streaming services like Spotify seem like a natural obstacle to X5′s model, but even these services rely heavily on curated playlists and search for music discovery. It doesn’t hurt that Northzone Ventures, one of Spotify’s major funders, recently invested approximately $9.2 million in X5.

x5 house image

The model isn’t perfect, though. X5 constantly optimizes its albums to sell well even as they’re being made. “When the producers are creating albums, we’re constantly calculating the break-even point based on the time that went into it, the amount of tracks, the artwork, the publishing … ” Reilly says.

The danger is that these optimized albums will focus on sure-fire hits and ignore lesser known songs and artists in order to reach a certain sell point. Reilly insists, however, that the goal is always to use as much of their purchased catalogs as possible. Beethoven and Chopin may show up more than once across X5′s albums but users will also get songs from lesser-known composers and artists.

X5 is set to expand quickly with a model tailored to how people actually get their music. The emphasis on curation over signing artists gives the music group far more flexibility than traditional record labels while also allowing X5 to adapt to new platforms and radical shifts in the music industry. As long as X5 can sign a license, they can turn a profit.

More About: Music, SEO

For more Entertainment coverage:

7 Disruptive Innovations That Turned Their Markets Upside Down [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted: 09 Oct 2011 09:24 AM PDT

Who are the movers, the shakers, the companies that affect profound change? And what products do they bring to market that disrupt all others, making other companies completely re-think their strategies? Let’s take a look at seven of those products whose competitors wish had never existed.

That’s what we’ll find out with this infographic by professional networking site You’ll see how 7 companies such as Skype, Netflix, Apple and Google rolled out products and services that approached their market in such a unique way that they changed everything.

Besides those usual suspects, there are a few surprises in the group, too — products that lowered prices, approached their markets in unheard-of ways, even created new markets — and changed the world. See how they did it in this rich infographic, and then let us know of disruptive innovations you’ve encountered. What do you think will be the next disruptive product or service?

Infographic courtesy

More About: apple, Disruptive Innovations,, Google, infographic

Facebook Timeline: 10 Stunning Designs [PICS]

Posted: 09 Oct 2011 08:13 AM PDT

1. Janet Medina

We like the simplicity and the warm message that Janet's profile delivers.

Click here to view this gallery.

Facebook’s new Timeline gives users a large “cover photo” space at the top of the page. As we’ve already shown, this is a great opportunity to get creative with your profile presentation.

We had so much fun with the last gallery, we’ve collected 10 more awesome profiles, this time focusing on creations that may be simple, but make for stunning designs.

SEE ALSO: 10 Facebook Timeline Designs That Will Blow You Away [PICS] | How to Enable the New Facebook Timeline NOW | HOW TO: Make the Most of the New Facebook Timeline Cover Photo

Take a look through the image gallery. Spread the word and keep sharing your designs in the comments. We’re particularly interested in any Halloween-themed designs for a forthcoming Mashable gallery, so get those pumpkins carved!

More About: Facebook, facebook timeline, features, gallery, Photos

5 Ways Tech Can Make New Hires Feel Like Part of the Team

Posted: 09 Oct 2011 07:07 AM PDT

This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum, where Mashable regularly contributes articles about leveraging social media and technology in small business.

Once an employee is hired, our job isn't over. In fact, it's just begun. Especially when there are surveys out there that say 84% of employees plan to look for a new job this year, we have to make sure all of these new hires feel welcome and are successful.

As we become a more mobile workforce, it's essential to think of orientation and onboarding as more than just a single event that takes place on an employee's first day. We have to retool our thinking to help employees become a productive member of the team, and technology is an important factor. Here are five ways that companies are using technology and social media to benefit new hires.

1. Create a Virtual Bulletin Board for the Community

The first thing any new hire is looking for is information – about the company, his job, benefits, etc. Lullabot, one of the world's top open web development, strategy and training organizations, has developed a special process to fill the information gap. Esther Lee, human resource manager, explains the technology resource they've created for employees. "We’ve set up an internal site called the Daily Report where we post 'welcome' greetings for each new employee, and other employees can add welcoming comments. The Daily Report is also where we post birthday announcements, weekly games (often based around getting employees to know each other better), travel tips (for those doing training or attending conferences), as well as other HR-related information on benefits, vacation, etc. It’s a go-to resource for new employees as well as those who have been with us for years."

Lee added that Lullabot's culture encourages its virtual workforce to get to know each other via resources like The Daily Report, but also use it for collaborating and finding better technology solutions. “We’re pretty efficient at testing different things and determining what works for us and what doesn’t. Basically, individually, if we see something we like, we try it. And if it rocks, we will try it as a team. And if we love it, we will keep it as a company practice,” Lee says.

2. Train Your Employees With Multimedia

Jake Sigal, founder and CEO of Livio Radio, a company that manufactures simple devices and software to help get Internet radio like Pandora, NPR and Grooveshark into the home and car, creates video vignettes and saves them for when new hires come onboard.

"Anytime part of our crew is learning how to do something new, we take a screen video that captures audio from Skype or the phone with our questions/answers, save it and add it to the shared drive under the appropriate folder. When someone new comes onboard, it’s amazing how much faster they can learn something by watching a 1 to 3 minute video, without taking someone else off a project to teach them. Additionally, when interns leave to go back to school, they make videos to show best practices and send to their supervisors before leaving."

Another company using video in a big way for training is, a superstore stocking hundreds of thousands of water filtration systems and replacement cartridges. In keeping with its commitment to environmental sustainability, it operates in a 98% paperless format. Karl Rist, content marketing specialist, explains what that means for the company: "Our corporate trainer utilizes a large flat-screen monitor to teach new associates the ‘ins and outs’ of the company’s order-processing software used for placing, tracking and shipping orders. Every new associate is issued a laptop to follow along, and to place ‘practice orders’ of their own. When the trainees move out into the warehouse for additional product training, they bring their laptops with them in a wireless environment to look up different filter specs on the website while further examining them on the shelves."

New employees continue their filtration education in a series of YouTube videos featuring Certified Water Specialist Tony (a.k.a. "Aquaman").

3. Make Employees More Productive With Communication and Collaboration Tech

Shortly after coming onboard, employees start learning the daily workflow. Then, it's time to share with them the tools they need to be a contributor to the team. Stella Fayman, marketing ninja for FeeFighters, a credit card processing marketplace and gateway, says that her company looks to solve problems with technology. "The extent to which we use technology is usually a bit surprising to new hires, but they get used to it very quickly. Using [37Signals] project management tools like Basecamp and company chat tool Campfire just makes communication and organization much easier. There is usually a bit of a learning curve, but these tools are made with the user in mind, so they end up saving time and effort."

Fayman recalls an instance of technology bringing one of her team members closer to the group. "One of our designers is from Bulgaria — we’ve never met him in person but have worked with him extensively for more than two years. Once, we were making a video and really wanted to include him. We used Skype to incorporate him into our video and make him feel part of the team. In the video, everyone is dancing and there is a clear shot of Tisho [the Bulgarian coworker] also dancing in tandem on the screen behind us."

FINE Design Group, a digital branding agency that creates, designs, builds and manages the touchpoints that connect brands with people in the digital space, also leverages technology to keep employees productive. Josh Kelly, managing partner at FINE, says "The primary vehicle they use is their internal custom wiki (built on PBWorks) which houses everything from company policies and org charts to impromptu lists of best lunch spots and nicknames. This grew organically from the need to point people to documents and info on policies, and 'at a glance' info, but became more focused on culture over time. It’s had the effect of cutting down on mass internal email chains dedicated to novelty ideas, and is a very robust way to generate lists of resources of all kinds."

4. Use Software to Show Employees How They Fit Into The Big Picture

Nick Bauder, customer service manager at Nerds On Call, a company offering on-site computer and electronic repair services to businesses and consumers, shares how communication was key in the employee and company's success. “NERDS created an open policy to allow staff members to see what everyone else in the company was doing. Anyone can sit down at a workstation and get a feel for how the company is doing — in real time — through our self-designed database. NERDS have a 'scoreboard' running that shows how many appointments have been booked, which location they were booked for and whether or not the customer was a return customer or a new customer. We started this process in 2007, and NERDS still uses it today to help employees and employer keep going strong."

Bauder adds that NERDS found a way to extend its communication strategy to field technicians. "A field technician leads a busy work life, often spending much of his time in the car driving from appointment to appointment, and when our locations are spread as far apart as they are, it tends to be a solitary employee existence. We have a Facebook group that has allowed us to create a community among our employees. It affords us the ability to celebrate achievements, birthdays, weddings and company anniversaries, in addition to providing a forum for company-wide communication. It is even used as a basic training tool for technicians — if a technician runs into a new virus or computer issue, they can use this forum to tell others how they solved the problem or learn from others."

5. Capitalize on Social and Gamification to Make Work Fun

Lawrence Coburn, CEO and founder of DoubleDutch, a builder of mobile productivity apps for enterprises, was able to use the company’s knowledge of an app suite to create something fun for their internal customers (a.k.a. employees.) "Our HYVE application is designed to boost employee productivity and collaboration. It uses geo-location, social, gaming and analytics features to allow employees to 'check in' to projects, customers and locations in one interface. This knowledge allows our employees to celebrate achievements around customers and projects.

Coburn says the employees love the app so much that they decided to make it public — you can download it for free [iTunes link]. "It helps employees understand how they fit in the company and what everybody’s roles are. It’s a natural way to quickly immerse new hires into the company culture from day one. They quickly see that victories at work, no matter how small, are valued and should be shared with the team on HYVE."

It’s All About Culture

No matter what kind of company you run or work for, successfully onboarding new hires is important to your business and helps to shape and grow the corporate culture. Employees will always need resources and require training, and they want to be productive and look at the big picture. Lastly, they absolutely love to have fun. Therefore, it’s the HR department’s role to create a company culture that supports these things.

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