Sunday, 2 October 2011

Mashable: Latest 9 News Updates - including “62 New Digital Media Resources You May Have Missed”

Mashable: Latest 9 News Updates - including “62 New Digital Media Resources You May Have Missed”

62 New Digital Media Resources You May Have Missed

Posted: 01 Oct 2011 03:44 PM PDT

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This week seemed to go by fast, am I wrong? You barely had time to finish last week’s roundup — it was a doozy with 61 stories — before our newest list rolled out this week.

Not to worry! Mashable has organized all of our features into manageable categories so you can peruse at your leisure. After all, in addition to relaxation, weekends are best for catching up on the latest Facebook changes, the newest Amazon tablet and the most popular Tumblr accounts. Don’t you agree?

Editorial Picks

Social Media

For more social media news and resources, you can follow Mashable’s social media channel on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

Tech & Mobile

For more tech news and resources, you can follow Mashable’s tech channel on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

Business & Marketing

Blogger Outreach: 5 Tips for Connecting With Top Influencers

Posted: 01 Oct 2011 03:14 PM 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.

Some of the most respected influencers on the Internet today were viewed as illegitimate sources just a few years ago. You know them as "bloggers." In a recent Technorati poll, more than 40% of those surveyed stated that their views closely align with those of bloggers, while their trust in mainstream media continues to wane.

For those who seek to market a product or service online, this is the perfect moment — many of the top industry influencers are also the most accessible. A single relationship with the right blogger could lead to thousands of instant relationships with targeted readers who fully trust that particular source; not to mention the back links. Unfortunately, the hunt for the right blogger can be a job all its own. Here are five tips to help make the hunt for the perfect blogger a bit easier.

1. Look Right Under Your Nose

Simply scouring the web in search of the right blog can result in an overabundance of bloggers ill-matched to your business. Why search aimlessly when some bloggers have done a lot of the work for you? Review your site for comments, revisit old emails and check for Twitter mentions where a blogger may have already reached out to you. Bloggers who have made the effort to engage you have proven they are diligent marketers and will help get your brand seen and heard once you collaborate.

2. Reference Blog Directories

Browse Technorati, review Alltop, crawl BlogCatalog and search Alexa to determine who is the big blog in your field. Find the top influencers in your industry, research them and move in for the kill. If there is a blogger you wish would highlight your business, but you feel they are too big to conquer, search the content of their blog for mentions of smaller, yet related blogs that you can successfully connect with. Once you have built relationships with these smaller blogs, you can return to the once-unapproachable site with some posts under your belt that are worthy of mention.

3. Help a Reporter Out

Join HARO, a service that compiles lists of queries from reporters and bloggers who are seeking experts willing to share their experience, tell their story or sell their product. HARO sends out thousands of daily requests directly to your inbox and can often be better than the best of leads. Since 2008, HARO has published more than 750,000 journalist listings, including many from The Huffington Post and Lifehacker, all of whom need someone like you to complete their post. This tip is a must — it's free and extremely useful.

4. Utilize a “Blogger Dating” Tool

The rise in popularity of blogger outreach prompts the emergence of sites based entirely on this concept. There are now a number of services to help you find, research, contact and track your outreach effort. Much like dating sites for bloggers and marketers, services like BlogDash, eCarin and GroupHigh help you find relevant influencers and allow you to rate them, group them, contact them and follow up.

5. Utilize Good Ol' Fashion Google

With all the Google products in existence, it's no wonder that more than one can aid with blogger outreach. The obvious choice, Google Blog Search, is where you can search keywords relevant to your business as well as your business name. This allows you to locate and contact those who may already be an evangelist of your product (see Tip #1 above). Similarly, Google Analytics can reveal your product preachers through reports of blogs that have linked back to your site. Need just a simple blog suggestion tool? Google Reader suggests blogs that address the topics you care about and never seems to run out of recommendations.

Follow these five tips and you will find many relevant bloggers, but unless you properly organize your findings, you will end up overwhelmed and discouraged. From the very beginning of your hunt, list all possible candidates in spreadsheet that includes columns for contact email addresses, dates of interaction or engagement, page rank, web statistics and, once a post is uploaded, back links. Implement these tactics in an organized manner and you will be well on your way to a successful and pleasant blogger outreach effort.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, loooby

More About: bloggers, Business, features, mashable, pr, Small Business

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iPhone 5 Launch: Top 10 Questions

Posted: 01 Oct 2011 02:18 PM PDT

Apple’s iPhone event is rapidly approaching, and most of us are wondering precisely what’s going to be announced. So now we come to you, the millions of Mashable readers, asking you to answer our 10 poll questions so we can crowdsource this information, perhaps getting closer to the truth of what will really be happening on Tuesday morning at 10 A.M. Pacific Time in Cupertino.

Please respond to each of the following (admittedly unscientific) mini-polls, where we hope to harness the wisdom of crowds, whose collective IQ is way beyond that of any individual’s. Please vote for what you think is the most likely answer — not the one you’d most like to see. Pass this along, and if we get enough responses, we might be able to see into the future.

We’ll check back after Tuesday’s Apple event and see just how accurate we were.

1. Announcements

2. Processor

3. Camera

4. Voice

5. Design

6. Screen

7. GPS

8. NFC

9. The Button

10. Adobe and Apple

More About: apple, iPhone 5, polls

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Amazon Silk: An Ingenious Plan to Get You To Buy More Stuff

Posted: 01 Oct 2011 01:22 PM PDT

Pretty much everyone knew that Amazon would introduce a tablet PC last week, but what may have come as a surprise to many was that the company also planned to get into the browser business.

Amazon Silk, as the new browser is known, is a somewhat unusual product introduction for the company, which is best known for online retailing. Then again, with Kindle, Amazon proved it could successfully market a hardware product, too, so perhaps the move isn’t that hard to fathom. If you’re wondering why Amazon has put a lot of energy and research into creating a product for which it will probably never earn a dime, here are a few reasons:

1. Quick Browsing

This is the ostensible reason for launching Silk. As outlined in the YouTube video above, engineers at Amazon thought the browser needed an update from the basic design that had been initiated in the mid-’90s. Silk employs a “split architecture” that allows the cloud to do much of the heavy lifting in web browsing. The upshot is that on the user end, browsing will go a lot faster and will be hastened further by using predictive technology to pre-cache content that’s likely to be requested by the user. For instance, if you read The New York Times‘s front page, Amazon will pre-cache the Business section because that’s where many people go next. Amazon’s in a great position to launch a browser of this type because it’s already big into the cloud computing business and, as one engineer in the video notes, “our back end has some of the fattest pipes to the Internet that you’ll find.”

2. Consumer Data

People don’t pay for browsers per se, but they do in the sense that they tend to give up a lot of valuable personal data when they use them. Not surprisingly, Silk has prompted some privacy concerns. For instance, Chester Wisniewski senior security advisor at Sophos Canada points out that Amazon will act as the middleman for all the web browsing you do on Kindle Fire. “If you think that Google AdWords and Facebook are watching you,” Wisniewski writes, “his service is guaranteed to have a record of everything you do on the web.” (For its part, Amazon says it tracks the data anonymously and is stored in the aggregate.) The combination of such data and Amazon’s predictive technology will no doubt lead to better targeting by the company than it’s getting just from its website.

3. It Will Get You to Buy More Stuff from Amazon.

This, of course, is the ultimate goal of anything Amazon does, and rightly so. Yet, it’s hard at first blush to see how creating a web browser will sell more books, toothpaste, diapers or whatever else Amazon wants you to buy. The fact is, though, that Amazon has created Kindle Fire to be a media consumption device rather than an end to itself like Apple’s iPad. Anyone who buys a Kindle or downloads the Kindle app can attest that there’s now an instant gratification aspect to buying books that is hard to resist. But what if Amazon used its Silk technology to hit you with offers in a timely fashion that you’re thinking of purchasing and can get it to you right now, at a good price? It will be hard to resist the idea that Amazon, which is losing about $10 on every Kindle Fire it sells, is investing that money well. After all, it’s seeding the market with state-of-the-art buying machines.

This post reflects the opinions of the author and not necessarily those of Mashable as a publication.

Image courtesy of Flickr, peterjroberts

More About: amazon, Amazon Silk, kindle fire, Silk

Facebook Says It’s Looking Beyond Click-Throughs [INTERVIEW]

Posted: 01 Oct 2011 12:32 PM PDT

As innovative and influential Facebook is, the company still mostly relies on a technology that's been around since 1994: display advertising.

Facebook's display ads get fewer click-throughs than those that run elsewhere, at least according to one researcher. Not surprisingly, Facebook is looking to redefine the technology and de-emphasize click-throughs as a performance metric. In an interview with Mashable, Brad Smallwood, Facebook’s head of measurement and insights (pictured), discussed how the standard metric for online advertising — the click-through — is largely irrelevant to most advertisers, why Facebook is working with Nielsen and why digital media buyers are behind the curve on online ad measurement. Excerpts from the interview appear below:

Why is click-through a poor measurement of performance?

A lot of online has really been focused on search and [the direct-response ad industry] has really been the early adopters online and they're looking at click-through rates, click-to-conversion ratios, all those hard measures. As the Internet grows up, you want to be talking about brand advertising and the stuff that happens beyond the click. There's a study that Nielsen put out that says those things aren't that correlated with one another, that there's actually a negative correlation between CTR and brand lift measures.

"A lot of the digital buyers are very focused on that CTR measure. The guys who are buying on TV they understand that they're not expecting someone to watch a TV commercial and then jump inside a TV and buy the product.”

The thing about CTR though is it is a measure. Without that, how are they supposed to know if an ad works?

Just like CTR is a measure of performance, there are a couple of companies like Dynamic Logic and InsightExpress that are trying to measure the other measurements like as a result of being exposed to the advertising, first did it change people's awareness of the product or the message that the advertisers were trying to get across? And did it change a stated intent, like did I intend to go to a Walmart based on what was in this ad? Those companies all have those measures, so what we're focused on is developing standards around those measures so that people can understand how advertising is driving upper funnel measures.

Are most marketers sophisticated enough to know that CTRs aren't important?

A lot of the digital buyers are very focused on that CTR measure. The guys who are buying on TV — they understand that they're not expecting someone to watch a TV commercial and then jump inside a TV and buy the product. But the online guys don't have those measures. I'd say there is a massive education that needs to happen and having a bunch of standards that those TV buyers are used to having is a really powerful tool.

Is that what's behind your use of Gross Ratings Points with Nielsen?

There are three main factors — Who is the ad hitting?, Does the ad actually move perception in those people's brains? and the last is, Does it actually lead to sales?. The [online conversion rate] is really focused on that first one. Is it hitting the right people? The OCR product that Nielsen developed is really about allowing understands who are you hitting? What are their ages and genders and what do those people look like? With what frequency are you hitting them? in exactly the same way they understand the overnights for TV which describes what American Idol hit in terms of ages and genders so it gives a measure that's identical on the reach side.

More About: Advertising, display advertising, Facebook, Nielsen

3 New Apps for Sharing Gifts, Trips & Products

Posted: 01 Oct 2011 11:33 AM 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.

Each weekend, Mashable picks startups we think are building interesting, unique or niche products.

Here we highlight three social applications that help friends share content and products.

SocialGift helps organize group gifts. Capsule is a private space for sharing and archiving content surrounding an event, and Thinng is a visual online pinboard for products.

SocialGift: Collective Gift Buying Made Easy

Quick Pitch: SocialGift helps coordinate group gift purchases.

Genius Idea: An easy-to-share landing page.

Mashable’s Take: Group gift-giving is an obvious pain. SocialGift makes it a bit easier by helping groups spread the word that a collective gift is being planned, helping them decide what gift to buy through a poll among paricipants, and handling payment. Users can browse items on the site to suggest one as a gift and can invite friends through Facebook, email or a link to the landing page.

A product called Let’s Gift It has similar functionality for gift buyers, but has successfully targeted brands such as with a widget that allows them to install the functionality on their sites.

Getting collective buying widgets in front of gift-givers at prime online gift-buying locations — such as wedding registries — might be a better strategy than introducing them to a new online destination.

SocialGift says it will soon launch its own retailer widget.

Capsule: A Content Box for Events & Trips

Quick Pitch: Capsule is a platform for group event planning and communicating.

Genius Idea: An easy way to save the content surrounding an experience.

Mashable’s Take: Capsule is a private space where several people who are planning an event can chat and share content. Photos, comments and files are all saved in one streamlined conversation that is only shared with people who are a part of the “capsule.” Individuals can be notified of new posts via email or text message if they choose, but it’s not just real-time sharing and planning that the founders hope to capture.

“Every piece of content is captured and preserved within the context of who, what, when, and where — meaning revisiting those memories later is a more complete and rich experience,” explain its creators.

It’s hard to imagine too many situations in which Capsule would be significantly more useful than a Facebook group message. But if there is a demographic to whom sharing and documenting an experience across content forms is important, Capsule does make doing so easy.

Thinng: An Instapaper for Products

Quick Pitch: Thinng is an online pinboard for products.

Genius Idea: The extra “N.” (Just kidding.) A slightly more specific focus than Pinterest.

Mashable’s Take: Pinterest is a visual bookmarking site that allows users to collect photos around the web and put them on topic-specific boards. Someone could, for instance, create a board called “celebrities wearing yellow” and use a bookmarklet to add new pictures of yellow-clad celebrities either via URL or a bookmarklet. Other users can follow that board or easily add images to their own board.

Thinng works by the same concept, but specializes in lists of products (i.e. “Cool Men’s Clothing“) and is based in Australia instead of Palo Alto.

Though, like Pinterest, the site is still in private beta, the first 1,000 Mashable users who click this link can try it out.

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, Capsule, SocialGift, Startup Weekend Roundup, Thinng

Facebook 101 [COMIC]

Posted: 01 Oct 2011 10:46 AM PDT

Top 10 Tech Stories We Almost Posted This Week [PICS]

Posted: 01 Oct 2011 09:46 AM PDT

We sniff out a boatload of tech stories every week, but this week was unusual — it was outlandishly rich in bounty and packed with punchy techo-goodness. There were so many stories, we couldn’t even get to them all, but we didn’t want you to miss out. So here they are, the top 10 stories that we just about, almost, brushed up against, and came really close to posting this week.

More About: Gadgets, Top 10 Tech

HOW TO: Subscribe to the Mashable Team on Facebook

Posted: 01 Oct 2011 08:27 AM PDT

Ever since the launch of Facebook Subscriptions, the Mashable team has been excited to jump into this new way to interact with our community.

Just like we did with Google+, we wanted to give the Mashable community an easy way to locate our team on Facebook.

Here’s a list of individual Mashable employees that you can subscribe to on Facebook. Simply click the person’s name you’d like to subscribe to in the list below, then click Subscribe, and you’re done.

Collect ‘em all! We look forward to engaging with you.

We’ll continue to update this article as more of us join in!

More About: Facebook, mashable staff, Subscribe

Hot Tips For Landing Jobs at Google, Apple and Facebook [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted: 01 Oct 2011 07:11 AM PDT

Google, Apple and Facebook are the tech trifecta, so we found facts that could help you land a job at one of these companies. No doubt, there will be stiff competition: Nearly one in four young professionals wants to work at Google, for instance, but there’s more room in the Googleplex for software developers. Facebook gets 250,000 applications a year and sifts through them to find the cream of the crop, preferring those who build things, whether they’re apps or organizations. And Apple wants, well, Apple fanboys to help create the next generation of gadgetry, but you ought to have a reference from an existing Appler.

The tech field is booming, and the industry needs bright young talent to keep innovating. Some facts:

  • An IT manager can make more than $110,000 a year
  • Android app developers are especially coveted
  • Data mining and statistical analysis are ideal collegiate specializations

So, if you’re like most other young professionals and are looking to nab a job at any of those three companies, take a gander at the infographic below. There are tips on how to optimize your resume, how to land an interview and how to impress the HR team. If you’ve landed a job at any of these companies, feel free to offer tips and insights 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!

Infographic courtesy of

More About: apple, Facebook, Google, infographic, job search series, Tech

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