Sunday, 16 October 2011

Mashable: Latest 9 News Updates - including “OCCUPY WALL STREET: 6,000 Protest in Times Square [PHOTOS]”

Mashable: Latest 9 News Updates - including “OCCUPY WALL STREET: 6,000 Protest in Times Square [PHOTOS]”

OCCUPY WALL STREET: 6,000 Protest in Times Square [PHOTOS]

Posted: 16 Oct 2011 12:34 AM PDT

Occupy Times Square

Thousands of #occupywallst protesters occupied Times Square Saturday afternoon and evening.

The group is opposed to growing economic inequality.

Image credit: @glomag / Twitpic

Click here to view this gallery.

The Occupy Wall Street movement, which seeks to highlight growing economic inequality, marched to New York’s Times Square on Saturday. The crowds were estimated to consist of thousands of people — Bloomberg claims that 6,000 were present.

Occupy Wall Street has effectively utilized social media to spread its message — the #occupywallst hashtag on Twitter helps to coordinate activities, while photos and videos of the protests are posted to YouTube, yfrog, Twitpic and other services. Some have compared the movement to the Arab Spring, in which the role of social media in organized demonstrations first became evident.

More About: occupy, Occupy Wall Street, occupywallst, Social Media, times square, twitpic

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Top 10 Tech This Week [PICS]

Posted: 15 Oct 2011 03:12 PM PDT

1. Acer Aspire S3 Ultrabook: Slim Like a MacBook Air, But With a Slimmer Price

Who says Apple's the only slim-laptop maker in the world? Take a gander at this 3-pound piece of aircraft-grade aluminum with a 13.3 -inch screen. Alluring, isn't it? And the best news of all: The cheapest model will only set you back slightly less than $900. [via Engadget]

Click here to view this gallery.

In a week dominated by the iPhone 4S and its accompanying iOS 5 operating system, we gather up those highlights and add even more techo-goodness in this week’s edition of Top 10 Tech.

More About: iOS 5, iPhone 4S, Top 10 Tech

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4 Simple Tools for Creating an Infographic Resume

Posted: 15 Oct 2011 02:31 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.

As a freelancer or job seeker, it is important to have a resume that stands out among the rest — one of the more visually pleasing options on the market today is the infographic resume.

An infographic resume enables a job seeker to better visualize his or her career history, education and skills.

Unfortunately, not everyone is a graphic designer, and whipping up a professional-looking infographic resume can be a difficult task for the technically unskilled job seeker. For those of us not talented in design, it can also be costly to hire an experienced designer to toil over a career-centric infographic.

Luckily, a number of companies are picking up on this growing trend and building apps to enable the average job seeker to create a beautiful resume.

To spruce up your resume, check out these four tools for creating an infographic CV. If you’ve seen other tools on the market, let us know about them in the comments below.

1. is a new app that turns a user’s LinkedIn profile information into a beautiful, web-based infographic.

After creating an account and connecting via LinkedIn, a user can edit his or her profile summary, work experience, education, links, skills, interests, languages, stats, recommendations and awards. And voila, a stunning infographic is created.

The company’s vision is to “be the future of resumes.” Lofty goal, but completely viable, given that its iteration of the resume is much more compelling than the simple, black-and-white paper version that currently rules the world.

2., a newer name on the market, is another app that enables a user to pull in and edit his or her LinkedIn data to produce a stylish web-based infographic.

The infographic layout focuses on the user’s name, title, biography, social links and career timeline — it also enables a user to add more graphics, including stats, skill evolution, proficiencies, quotes and interests over time.

Besides the career timeline that is fully generated via the LinkedIn connection, the other graphics can be a bit tedious to create, as all of the details must be entered manually.

In the end, though, a very attractive infographic resume emerges. This is, by far, the most visually pleasing option of all of the apps we reviewed.

3. Kinzaa

Based on a user’s imported LinkedIn data, Kinzaa creates a data-driven infographic resume that focuses on a user’s skills and job responsibilities throughout his or her work history.

The tool is still in beta, so it can be a bit wonky at times — but if you’re looking for a tool that helps outline exactly how you’ve divided your time in previous positions, this may be your tool of choice.

Unlike other tools, it also features a section outlining the user’s personality and work environment preferences. Details such as preferences on company size, job security, challenge level, culture, decision-making speed and more are outlined in the personality section, while the work environment section focuses on the user’s work-day length, team size, noise level, dress code and travel preferences.

4. Brazen Careerist Facebook App

Brazen Careerist, the career management resource for young professionals, launched a new Facebook application in September that generates an infographic resume from a user’s Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn information.

After a user authorizes the app to access his or her Facebook and LinkedIn data, the app creates an infographic resume with a unique URL — for example, my infographic resume is located at

The infographic features a user’s honors, years of experience, recommendations, network reach, degree information, specialty keywords, career timeline, social links and LinkedIn profile image.

The app also creates a “Career Portfolio” section which features badges awarded based on a user’s Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn achievements. Upon signing up for the app, I earned eight badges, including “social media ninja,” “team player” and “CEO in training.” While badges are a nice addition, they aren’t compelling enough to keep me coming back to the app.

Your Thoughts

Have you used a web app to create an infographic resume? If so, which tool did you use and how was your experience? Let us know in the comments below.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, SchulteProductions

More About: features, infographic, jobs, mashable, resumes

Facebook FAIL: Missteps and Shortcomings Revealed [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted: 15 Oct 2011 01:28 PM PDT

Facebook’s gone through some profound changes lately, which is exciting to us, but leaves others in a profound state of anger and frustration. Like it or not, all is not perfect with the world’s largest social network, and here’s an infographic by a company that’s more than happy to point out Facebook’s shortcomings.

This “Facebook Wall of Shame” was created by WordStream, Inc., a provider of search marketing software and services. Apparently Facebook‘s release of its iPad app left the company cold. For instance, WordStream points out how some critics who reviewed the Facebook iPad app called it “too little, too late.”

SEE ALSO: Mark Zuckerberg: “The iPad’s Not Mobile”

That iPad app’s release must have been the last straw for the company. The result? This hard-hitting infographic smackdown that reveals what WordStream calls “Facebook’s errors in judgment.” Take a look at this litany of complaints, and let us know in the comments which ones you think are justified or not.

Facebook for iPad Login Screen

The first step to Facebook for iPad is logging in.

Click here to view this gallery.

More About: Facebook, fail, infographics

4 Ways to Protect the Reputation of Your Small Business Online

Posted: 15 Oct 2011 12:24 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.

By now, most small business owners understand the important role the Internet can play in helping to raise and drive interest and demand for their products and services. With all the innovative online technologies out there, it's easy to feel tempted to rush into things. Please, for the love of your business, slow down.

Before you worry about launching a Twitter channel or pitching a post idea to a local blogger, you need to take a step back and consider how online conversations might impact the reputation of your small business. PR blow-ups aren't just a problem for big companies — there are risks for small businesses, too. Online engagement requires the same level of planning and thought you give to other parts of your business. Here are four tips for protecting your small business — and livelihood — online.

1. Research & Planning

Thinking through the details is the most important way you can start to protect your reputation online, whether you have a small bakery outside Detroit or a multi-national corporation. Ask yourself these important questions before you do anything:

  • What are my goals and objectives?
  • Who am I trying to reach? Where do I think those people are online?
  • What online channels or social media sites might be the right fit for my business?
  • How much time do I realistically have to invest in this?
  • Am I prepared for negative conversation about my products and services?

Use the intelligence you gather to assemble a plan, and think modestly to start. Remember, the goal is not to get on every social media channel out there. You should instead be contributing in the places online that make sense for you.

2. Monitoring & Listening

Like research and planning, listening to online conversations is a critical part of protecting your small business's reputation. There are a couple of reasons why.

First, before you start communicating, you should know what others are saying about you, your competitors and other similar businesses. This background information will help you determine what you can share that others might find of interest or value. It will also help prevent you from sticking your foot in your mouth. If you open a butcher shop, you’d want to know the most influential foodie blogger in your area is a vegetarian before you shoot him an email about your new organic bacon, for example.

Monitoring conversation is also important because it will help you uncover complaints and other problems that you might not otherwise know about. This is directly connected to how you respond to negative comments, which we’ll explore in a moment. There are number of easy ways you can monitor online conversation, such as using a tool like HootSuite for Twitter and Facebook and Google Alerts for blogs and traditional media coverage. Mashable has a number of great articles with more information on how you can do this affordably.

3. Joining the Conversation

How you engage in conversations online will vary depending on the channel you pick, whether that's Facebook or Foursquare. No matter what channel you choose, you can help mitigate risks to your business by planning ahead, being committed and showing transparency.

  • Planning ahead. Like newspapers and magazines, big companies often create editorial calendars for their online communications, aligning things like company events and press releases with messages on Facebook, Twitter and blogs. Your small business might not need an elaborate spreadsheet to schedule your updates, but you should look ahead and think through the news and information you might want to share in the weeks ahead. Try creating your own calendar every two weeks. After you give that a try, you can do it more or less frequently, depending on what works best for you.
  • Being Committed. When you join conversations, online communities will expect you to stick around. Oftentimes, people may have follow-up questions or new issues may arise. Don't post something and disappear. Keep your editorial calendar current and keep checking back on old posts and respond again, if warranted. If you don't, people will begin to see your online interactions as self-serving or lazy, and you will lose trust.
  • Showing Transparency. Lastly, always be transparent about who you are and what you're doing online. This is extremely important. Whenever you join conversations, whether it is emailing a blogger, commenting on a Facebook post or responding to a comment about your business on Yelp, always be very clear that you are responding on behalf of your small business. In some cases, it may even make sense to include your email address so people who would like more information can reach you. Online communities hate feeling misled — even if it is completely unintentional. Above, you’ll see a great example from a small indie record shop in Cleveland on how to keep your community informed about important policy changes that impact them in a friendly, casual and professional way.

4. When Conversation Turns Negative

Before you hit the ground running with your digital communications plan, there is one last thing to consider: What will you do if people write nasty things about you, or even worse, an issue explodes that could deliver a devastating knock-out blow to your business?

The risks can be scary, but the good news is that by preparing in advance and following the guidelines discussed above, you can manage those risks. The most important thing to do when you receive negative feedback is to respond as soon as possible — and that's true of almost any online channel. Below is an example from Capital Bikeshare in Washington, D.C. This is a successful response because it is prompt, open to the public and offers an apology to the customer for his inconvenience. There is nothing wrong with admitting a mistake or apologizing. Most people will stick with you if you work to make things right.

Our last point — and this is really important — is to be very cautious about deleting negative comments. By overreacting to negative discussion, it may look like your business has something to hide. This chips away at the community's trust in you. You also will lose a valuable opportunity to change opinions. Thoughtful responses to negative comments are a terrific opportunity to engage your customers, help correct their complaints and potentially turn them into advocates. Don't throw that opportunity away by simply making an uncomfortable discussion disappear.

Do you have more tips for small businesses looking to engage online communities? Let us know in the comments below.

More About: contributor, features, mashable, online reputation, Small Business Resources, Social Media

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Nicki Minaj Surprises 8-Year-Old YouTube Star on “Ellen”

Posted: 15 Oct 2011 11:37 AM PDT

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

A homemade video uploaded to YouTube last month recently went viral, attracting almost 11 million views and landing its star — 8-year-old British girl Sophia Grace Brownlee — a segment on The Ellen DeGeneres Show this week.

In the video (below), Brownlee performs a fierce a cappella version of Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass” as her younger cousin Rosie Grace McClelland provides cute background vocals and even cuter dance moves.

Ellen Degeneres flew the girls to be on Ellen and surprised them (above) when she brought out the blonde-and-blue haired Minaj, who later performed “Super Bass” with the pint-sized duo.

“I’m the second Nicki Minaj,” yelled Brownlee after Degeneres plopped a wig on her head.

Degeneres often features YouTube stars on her show. In 2010, she even launched a record label and immediately signed YouTube sensation Greyson Chance, who was 12 at the time and became famous for a middle school performance of Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi."

SEE ALSO: YouTube Cover Song Face-Off Series

More About: cover songs, ellen degeneres, music videos, Nicki Minaj, viral videos, viral-video-of-the-day, YouTube

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3 Fresh iPhone Apps for Your Mobile Convenience

Posted: 15 Oct 2011 10:44 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 selects startups we think are building interesting, unique or niche products.

In celebration of the release of the iPhone 4S, we’re featuring three startups with iPhone applications that will help you maximize your mobile lifestyle.

CardFlick’s answer to the digital business card is one of the best we’ve seen. Crowdmug could help you figure out where to go for a exciting night out. And Floop proffers both an entertaining and informative mobile polling experience.

CardFlick: iPhone Business Cards

Quick Pitch: CardFlick lets you create and share digital business cards with your iPhone.

Genius Idea: Digital business cards with panache.

Mashable’s Take: We know you’ve got (too many) options, but if you’re still searching for just the right digital business card application, consider giving CardFlick a whirl.

The application offers by far the simplest and most elegant card creation experience on the market, and it provides you with top-notch card design themes. Best of all, if you’re in the same room with another CardFlick user, you can literarily flick to send your card to your new contact. Our only gripe is that we’d love to be able to create more than one card.

And despite competition from a boatload of similarly-purposed applications, CardFlick reports it saw nearly 50,000 downloads in a 30-day period.

Crowdmug: See What’s Happening

Quick Pitch: Crowdmug lets you request photos or videos of places to see what the scene is like before you go.

Genius Idea: Cash-incentivized visual status updates.

Mashable’s Take: Finding the right bar scene can be a pain, so much so that startup Crowdmug is testing the theory that you’ll offer up a few bucks to get a first-hand glimpse at what’s happening at a particular venue.

The Crowdmug iPhone application lets you make location-related requests. You tell Crowdmug what you want to see (either a photo or video), where you want to see it and how much you’re willing to pay for your request. Your request is then sent off to app users in the area.

The app could, theoretically, come in handy if you’re curious about iPhone 4S lines, the crowd at the pub across town or the status of tables at your favorite local coffee spot.

You can also use Crowdmug to follow city-specific feeds of photos and videos being shared by other users who are out and about.

Floop: iPhone Polling

Quick Pitch: Floop is an iPhone app for polling and visual opinion graphing.

Genius Idea: Poll graphs that update in real time.

Mashable’s Take: This nifty iPhone application lets you measure the pulse of your friends or the community at large on a topic of your choosing. You can watch the opinion line graphs fluctuate in real time as responses pour in, cast your vote in others’ polls, and participate in group text or picture threads related to polls.

Plus, playing with Floop’s voting tool can be rather fun — just slide the yellow dot up or down to express your response to a question. Then, rotate your phone to landscape mode to see how others have voted over time.

Image courtesy of Flickr, pamhule

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, spark-of-genius, Startup Weekend Roundup

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iPhone 4S: Siri Politely Answers 10 Absurd Questions [PICS]

Posted: 15 Oct 2011 09:30 AM PDT

The classic question

Click here to view this gallery.

What happened when we put the iPhone 4S’s (somewhat) intelligent agent Siri on the spot, asking her absurd questions? You’d be surprised.

More About: iPhone 4S, questions, siri

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61 New Digital Media Resources You May Have Missed

Posted: 15 Oct 2011 08:17 AM PDT

icons image

By now, you may have heard of the iPhone 4S. Understatement of the century aside, we’ve celebrated iPhone release day with a hefty collection of how-to features and app resources.

This week’s features roundup not only provides you with iPhone feedback galore, it re-examines brick phones too! In the same throwback vein, we also analyze the return of the real-time environment and the life and times of Steve Jobs.

I guess you could say we’re committed to covering quite the time span: past, present and future (ahem, Apple, ahem)!

Editor’s 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

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

Image courtesy of Webtreats Etc.

More About: Business, Features Week In Review, List, Mobile, Social Media, web

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How to Launch a Promotion on a Daily Deal Site

Posted: 15 Oct 2011 07:05 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.

Daily deals have been a social media phenomenon over the last couple of years. Though there’s been a mad rush for companies entering the category and a growing sentiment that daily deals have jumped the shark, that doesn’t mean there isn’t still a great opportunity for you as a small business owner.

Think about it: How else can you get the weight of Groupon, LivingSocial, Amazon or any of the other dozens of daily deals competitors behind you? If you’re looking to draw some new customers, here’s a platform that will convince customers in your area to take a chance on your business. How exactly do you get in on the action, though?

Getting Started

Groupon is the biggest of the daily deals purveyors with 115 million subscribers, so that seems like a logical place to start. Groupon herds potential businesses through its GrouponWorks site, which asks you to fill out an online form. Then, you wait. The reality is that if Groupon really wants to do business with you, they’ll find you.

Happily, there are many, many alternatives to Groupon, the biggest being LivingSocial, whose application process is quite similar. From there, the big players are Google Offers and AmazonLocal. After that, there are tons more, including BuyWithMe, KGB Deals and the city-specific Signpost Deals and Rue La La, to name a few. (Groupon CEO Andrew Mason estimated last December that there were 500 other daily deals sites in existence.)

Maire Griffin, a rep for LivingSocial, says that since that company has representatives on the ground in all of its markets (“You can only do so much research on Google and Yelp”), the best thing a merchant can do to be considered is to, in effect, be a good citizen. Provide a solid product or service and treat your customers well and word will get around. Of course, you should be doing that anyway.

Here’s the Deal

OK, you’ve got your foot in the door. LivingSocial or one of the other daily deals sites has called you back and want to do business. What next?

Alpha Athletics, a Cary, North Carolina, firm that offers cheerleading instruction, took part in a LivingSocial deal over the summer. Kayleigh Scott, Alpha’s owner, says things happened pretty fast. “One of my cheer moms saw a LivingSocial commercial and suggested that we do a deal with them,” she says. Within a month, the deal, offering an eight-week session for $36 (vs. the usual $120) had gone live and Alpha was swamped with new customers. There were 177 in all, which was way more than Scott thought she’d get. Luckily, the business was able to handle the traffic. “We made it work, but we were very blown away,” Scott says, noting that Alpha still made a profit on each sale and about 50% of coupon redeemers stayed on for another, full-price session.

Perhaps your experience will be as smooth as Scott’s. But just in case, here are some tips on how not to get the short end of a deal. Dana Thayer, senior vice president for New York’s Chelsea Piers, is something of a daily deals expert. Thayer not only took part in a few Groupon deals as a merchant, but is a consumer of daily deals and is subscribed to several services.

Thayer offers the following tips to would-be merchants:

1. Do a Cost-Benefit Analysis

This should probably go in the “duh” category, but before you jump into a deal, have you run the numbers? In some instances, for example, having a flood of new customers doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have to spend more. Chelsea Piers has offered Groupon deals for free ice skating, but if there are 200 people on the ice or 50, the company still spends the same amount to keep the rink running. If you’re offering a lunch at 50% off, that may be a different story.

2. Analyze All the Data

That said, you should consider whatever you spend on your daily deal — whether it’s for extra bread for sandwiches or hourly wages for employees — to be a marketing expense. Tracking your customers’ interactions during the deal is a good way to figure out the ROI on that expense. Thayer suggests keeping data on not only what customers bought the day they redeemed their deal, but also what they purchased afterwards, if that’s the case.

3. Prepare for Crowds on the Day the Deal Ends

It’s common sense to gird for big crowds on the day a deal goes live, but what about the day a deal expires? Thayer says to expect a mob of customers on that day as well, since if they don’t cash in then, they lose out. And be prepared for some coupon-toting patrons after that date as well, which may put you in an awkward position: Redeem the coupon or refuse to budge on the date? Thayer says the goodwill you ensure by doing the latter will make it worthwhile, even if it may stick in your craw to do so. Says Thayer: “On the last day of the Groupon, there will be a line outside your door. If you can’t handle that, don’t do it.”

More About: daily deals, features, mashable, Small Business Resources

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