Thursday, 17 November 2011

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “Samsung Galaxy S II to Get Ice Cream Sandwich”

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “Samsung Galaxy S II to Get Ice Cream Sandwich”

Samsung Galaxy S II to Get Ice Cream Sandwich

Posted: 17 Nov 2011 04:48 AM PST

Samsung‘s flagship smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S II, will get an upgrade to the latest version of Android – 4.0 or Ice Cream Sandwich – the company has announced.

“Hi, good news – the Galaxy S II will be receiving ICS, but there are no dates confirmed as yet. We will keep you posted,” reads the tweet posted from Samsung UK’s Twitter account.

Ice Cream Sandwich brings a host of important improvements to Google’s mobile OS, including a new launcher and app drawer, an overhauled notification bar, improved widgets and better voice integration.

The news follows HTC’s recent announcement that Ice Cream Sandwich is coming to several of its smartphones in early 2012. Motorola has also confirmed its Droid Razr will be upgradeable to the latest version of Android in early 2012.

Android Ice Cream Sandwich

Click here to view this gallery.

More About: android, brand management, Galaxy S II, Ice Cream Sadnwich, samsung, Samsung Galaxy S II, Twitter

For more Mobile coverage:

Porn Studio Vivid Wants HTC to Change the Name of Its Smartphone

Posted: 17 Nov 2011 01:55 AM PST

Adult movie studio Vivid Entertainment wants HTC to change the name of one of its smartphones, HTC Vivid, as it fears users might think the two are somehow connected.

Vivid Entertainment has sent HTC a cease & desist letter, threatening legal action if HTC doesn’t change the name of the smartphone by next Monday, Nov 21.

HTC Vivid "creates the false impression that your company and your company's products are affiliated, connected, or associated with and or sanctioned by Vivid Entertainment," said Vivid’s attorney Mark Hoffman in a statement.

While it’s a bit far fetched to believe consumers would confuse a smartphone with a porn studio, it is true that Vivid offers content through a variety of digital channels, including smartphones.

HTC did not comment on the matter.

Vivid Entertainment has been around since 1984 and is considered to be one of the biggest adult movie studios. It produced thousands of adult movies, including the infamous Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian sex tapes.

[via TMZ]

More About: cease & desist, htc, HTC Vivid, lawsuit, Vivid Entertainment

For more Mobile coverage:

Real-Time Data: You’re Doing It Wrong [VIDEO]

Posted: 16 Nov 2011 08:54 PM PST

When it comes to predicting the future, Chartbeat’s CEO Tony Haile thinks you’re awful. At the Mashable Media Summit, Haile spoke about the importance of real-time data and what your business should be doing with that information.

“The more we think we know, the more expert we believe ourselves to be,” says Haile, “and the more likely we are to trust our judgment when we shouldn’t and get things wrong.”

SEE ALSO: The Return of Real-Time Social Environments

Haile talks about replacing complex future predictions with simpler ones for right now, and looking at data as an environment instead of a generated report.

The Mashable Media Summit in Pictures

Media Summit 2011

The Mashable Media Summit on Nov. 4 at the Times Center in New York City attracted professionals in digital, tech, advertising, sales, marketing, mobile and publishing from all over the world.

Click here to view this gallery.

Presenting Sponsor: AT&T

More About: data, mashable media summit, Media, real-time, trending, Video

For more Business coverage:

JumpTime Changes How Online Publications Measure Content’s Value

Posted: 16 Nov 2011 07:49 PM PST

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: JumpTime

Quick Pitch: JumpTime analyzes the economic value of content based on both its own advertising value and the advertising value of pages to which it directs traffic.

Genius Idea: A new metric for measuring content value.

At first glance, popular web content translates to profitable web content. But after setting economists and computer scientists to work on modeling the reality of the situation, JumpTime begs to differ.

The company launched a product in 2009 that measures a web page’s real-time value based not only on how many times it’s viewed and how much advertisers have paid to be placed on it, but also on how good the page is at directing users to other valuable content on the site. In many cases, content with low appeal to advertisers still adds revenue to the overall website by leading more visitors to pages with higher appeal.

This was the case, for instance, with one of Jumptime clients’ user-generated content sections. From an editorial and brand standpoint, the publication liked the section. But the ad team couldn’t sell it, and the publication planned to eliminate it — until the company measured its value using JumpTime’s metric, FloPower, and saw that it was actually one of the most valuable areas of the site.

“People would go from these areas to the articles with high [ad costs],” JumpTime CEO Michele DiLorenzo says. "It was in [the publication's] best economic interest to drive traffic to what had before been considered an area with zero value.",, and Hearst Newspapers have all signed on for similar insights. JumpTime’s dashboard shows them the real-time value of each page on their websites and helps them move content that’s creating the most revenue to the forefront. Color overlays indicate more traditional metrics such as clickthrough rates.

While there are numerous tools such as Chartbeat and Google Analytics that help track website traffic data, few analyze the real revenue generated by that traffic. Better number crunching has changed games ranging from Baseball to the stock market, and web publishing could be the next.

"The only way you get this kind of insight is to use a big data solution," DiLorenzo says.

Image courtesy of istockphoto, Jaker5000

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: analytics, anderson analytics, bizspark, JumpTime, Media, publishing

For more Business coverage:

Find a Job in Social Media, Communications or Design

Posted: 16 Nov 2011 07:15 PM PST

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

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

Have a look at what's good and new on our job boards:

Mashable Job Postings

Community Intern (Winter 2012) at Mashable in New York, NY.

Editorial Intern (Winter 2012) at Mashable in New York, NY.

Editorial Intern (Fall 2011) at Mashable in San Francisco, CA.

Editorial Intern (Winter/Spring 2012) at Mashable in San Francisco, CA.

Tech Reporter at Mashable in San Francisco, CA.

Sales Marketing Manager at Mashable in New York, NY.

Billing Strategist at Mashable in New York, NY.

Mashable Job Board Listings

Online Marketing Manager at ADA Sport Inc. in Burbank, CA.

Advertising and Internet Strategy Executive at Hedge Fund Service in West Palm Beach, FL.

New Business Development Manager at M80 in New York, NY.

Digital/Social Media Faculty Position at University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, AL.

System Administrator at Synacor in Buffalo, NY.

Release Manager at Synacor in Buffalo, NY.

Front End Developer at Synacor in Buffalo, NY.

Quality Engineering Manager at Synacor in Buffalo, NY.

Digital Campaign Manager at The Readers Digest Association in New York, NY.

Vice President of Software Engineering at Synacor in Buffalo, NY.

Technical Director at roundhouse in Portland, OR.

Account Executive at Digitas in Boston, MA.

Multimedia Strategist at Winning Strategies in Newark, NJ.

SEM Coordinator at EyeTraffic Media in Arlington, VA.

node.js engineer at shutterstock in New York, NY.

Web Content Manager at Rare in Arlington, VA.

Brand Manager at Insight Cuba in New Rochelle, NY.

Senior Technical Data Analyst at AAA Mid-Atlantic in Wilmington, DE.

Senior Software Developer Mobile at Conmio Inc. in New York, NY.

Marketing Associate at Fenton in New York, NY.

UI Designer/Front-End Developer at University of Michigan-Flint in Flint, MI.

Social Media Program Manager at Vision Technology Services in Baltimore, MD.

Sr. Manager/Director, Community at Sermo in Cambridge, MA.

Social Media Marketing Executive at BBC in London, UK.

Social Media Manager at Leading Online News Destination in Los Angeles, CA.

Online Producer at Outside Magazine/Outside Online in Santa Fe, NM.

Product/Developer Evangelist – Telecommuting at Assembia LLC in Needham Heights, MA.

Software Engineer at Polyvore in Mountain View, CA.

Search Engine Marketing Manager – Digital Media Media at Morpheus Media in New York, NY.

Front-End Designer at Engage in Washington, D.C.

Web Visual Designer at Bloomberg LP in New York, NY.

Web Developer at Engage in Washington, D.C.

SEO Master at Time Out New York in New York, NY.

Internal Systems Developer at Atlassian in San Francisco, CA.

Mobile Apps Developer – iOS at Zite in San Francisco, CA.

Media Planner/Buyer at R&R Partnets in Las Vegas, NV.

Digital Marketplace Product, PR, and Community Manager at TMG in Washington, D.C.

Content Writer/Social Marketer at O’Rourke Hospitality Marketing, LLC in Newburyport, MA.

Software Developer at Goldrun in New York, NY.

Social Media Marketing Intern at Likeable Media in New York, NY.

Support Engineer – Dev Tools Job at Atlassian, creators of JIRA in San Francisco, CA.

Director of Product Management at LendingTree in Charlotte, NC.

User Interface Engineer at LendingTree in Charlotte, NC.

Marketing and Promotions Manager at NICKELS AND DIMES dba TILT STUDIO in Katy, TX.

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

Find a Web 2.0 Job with Mashable

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

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, YinYang

More About: COMMUNICATIONS, design, jobs, Lists, Social Media

For more Business coverage:

Earth’s Natural Beauty in Time Lapse [VIDEO]

Posted: 16 Nov 2011 06:45 PM PST

The ethereal beauty of our planet Earth becomes immediately evident when you watch this collection of time-lapse videos shot with a low-light camera on board the International Space Station between August and October, 2011.

It gets even better when an artist such as Michael König massages the footage using the latest digital video gear, cleaning up the pictures, taking out the noise and smoothing out the motion to the point where it’s into the realm of the surreal. Add music by Jan Jelinek, and it’s art.

According to König, here are the shooting locations in order of appearance:

1. Aurora Borealis Pass over the United States
2. Aurora Borealis and eastern United States
3. Aurora Australis from Madagascar to southwest of Australia
4. Aurora Australis south of Australia
5. Northwest coast of United States to Central South America
6. Aurora Australis from the Southern to the Northern Pacific Ocean
7. Halfway around the World
8. Night Pass over Central Africa and the Middle East
9. Evening Pass over the Sahara Desert and the Middle East
10. Pass over Canada and Central United States
11. Pass over Southern California to Hudson Bay
12. Islands in the Philippine Sea
13. Pass over Eastern Asia to Philippine Sea and Guam
14. Views of the Mideast
15. Night Pass over Mediterranean Sea
16. Aurora Borealis and the United States
17. Aurora Australis over Indian Ocean
18. Eastern Europe to Southeastern Asia

[via Vimeo]

More About: ISS, space, time-lapse, Video

35-Foot Robot Snake Weighs a Ton, Causes Nightmares [VIDEOS]

Posted: 16 Nov 2011 06:10 PM PST

Because we’re posting this story around bedtime for many of our readers, we must warn you that you might carefully consider whether you want to watch this video of a 35-foot robot snake.

This monstrous electro-mechanical beast named Titanoboa weighs more than a ton, and its makers plan to eventually cover it with what they call “a more polished-looking skin, and if all goes well, [it will] be able to move underwater.”

They wrote on the snake’s website:

The Titanoboa project is an exercise in alternative forms of propulsion and power applications in transport. The purpose is to showcase this experiment by harnessing and enlarging the mesmerizing movement of the snake. The huge serpent has undeniable appeal as a surreal mechanical beast that moves in a seemingly magical way over land and will glide stealthily through the water. One or more participants will eventually interact with the piece by riding it or for the more ambitious, driving it. The complex control needed to properly move hundreds of individual parts will necessitate a skilled operator who has taken time to become at one with the serpent.

That’s not even the half of it. In the opposing corner is another metal beast they built, the Mondo Spider, an eight-legged contraption powerful enough to transport a person from one place to another with enough clanking and foot-clapping noises to wake the dead. The world’s first walking electric vehicle, it weighs 1,700 pounds and was originally unveiled at Burning Man 2006. Together, the two robots create an atmosphere that’s beyond bizarre.

They’re not exactly fighting each other in this video, but the peculiar sounds each one makes and the slithering metallic serpent’s deliberate manner is the stuff of nightmares. We’re told this 35-foot version is a mere prototype of the final snake, which will be built to its 50-foot final length by sometime next year.

That brings it to the same size as the prehistoric snake Titanoboa it’s named after, a behemoth whose fossilized remains are those of the largest snake ever discovered. Crawling around the jungles of South America around 60 million years ago, the height of its body was as tall as a standing human.

Who are these brilliant robot builders? It’s the Mondo Crew, part of eatART of Vancouver, British Columbia — a group of artists, designers and builders who say they “make audacious and improbable large-scale kinetic, robotic, and mechanized sculptures that investigate our human relationship to energy use.” We think they put together these mechanical conveyances just for the fun of it.

Here’s another video of the snake in action:

[via Geekologie]

More About: burning man, robots, Snakebot

For more Dev & Design coverage:

Twitter Adds New SMS Options [VIDEO]

Posted: 16 Nov 2011 05:21 PM PST

Twitter has added SMS notifications for the Activity Stream, which was recently added to the service’s web interface. Now, Twitter users that have enabled SMS notifications can get text updates when other users retweet them, follow them or favorite their content.

For more details on Twitter’s SMS features, check out the video above. For step-by-step instructions on how to turn the new notifications on, visit Twitter’s support site.

More About: mashable video, SMS, trending, Twitter

For more Mobile coverage:

Retail Chain Uses Augmented Reality to Render Catalog in 3D

Posted: 16 Nov 2011 04:33 PM PST

British retailer Tesco is launching an ambitious augmented reality program on Thursday that will let consumers see 3D images of more than 40 products online.

As outlined in the video above, the technology requires a browser plugin. After that, consumers have to use a “marker” like a Tesco catalog or club card to active the augmented reality (AR). Users can then hold up images from the catalog to their computer’s webcam to see a floating 3D version of the product.

For instance, an image of a TV set in the catalog can be expanded onscreen so you can see its actual size and what it looks like on the back. The AR also lets you play with onscreen LEGO sets. Tesco worked with British tech firm Kishino on the project.

Tesco’s foray into AR comes as the technology recently made some serious inroads in the U.S. In one of the most high-profile AR pushes yet, Starbucks launched a holiday program this month that uses an iOS-based app to make its red holiday coffee cups project images of animated characters.

More About: Augmented Reality, Marketing, Tesco

Stop Online Piracy Act: What You Need to Know [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted: 16 Nov 2011 03:18 PM PST

Wondering what’s going on with the Stop Online Piracy Act, otherwise known as SOPA? Here’s an infographic that boils it all down to the key points for you.

Protests against the bill now under consideration by the U.S. House of Representatives have reached a fever pitch today, kicked off by a letter from Facebook, Google, Twitter, eBay, LinkedIn, Mozilla, Yahoo, AOL and Zynga to congressional sponsors of the bill. That letter appeared in The New York Times as a full-page ad on Wednesday.

There’s a hearing on that bill going on today (Nov. 16) in the House Judiciary Committee. The bill has a good chance of passage, because it’s backed by powerful corporate interests and bipartisan majorities in both the U.S. House and Senate.

Among its proponents are the Motion Picture Association of America, union representatives such as the Teamsters and the AFL-CIO who say it might save jobs, and U.S. Registrar of Copyrights Maria Pallante. According to Talking Points Memo, Pallante said in the hearing today, “It is my view that if Congress does not continue to provide serious responses to online piracy, the U.S. copyright system will ultimately fail.”

In opposition to that bill, public petitions are circulating, urging President Obama to veto the legislation, known by its opponents as the “E-Parasite Act.”

As with any bill, it’s complicated, but this infographic boils it down. An activist group organized by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Creative Commons, Mozilla, Public Knowledge, the Free Software Foundation and others who oppose the bill, created the infographic.

Infographic courtesy

More About: copyright, Internet Law, SOPA

No More Beta: Google Music Goes Live

Posted: 16 Nov 2011 02:35 PM PST

Google introduced Google Music to the public at its Android event in Los Angeles Wednesday afternoon. The service originally launched at Google I/O in May as Google Music Beta. It launches as a complete suite of music services — including a Music Store — today.

Google Music is Google’s attempt to take on iTunes and Amazon in the music store and cloud music storage space. Like iTunes Match and Amazon Cloud Player, Google Music lets users store their purchases and upload other files to the cloud.

The big news with Google Music is that the service finally has a store. Google has reportedly been trying to secure partnerships with the four major record labels for years.

Google Music Store is now available in the Android Market on the web. It will hit the Android Market apps in the coming days. The store requires Android 2.2 or higher.

The tech giant also announced a new web version of its music player that is compatible with all browsers, including iOS.

We’ll have more details about Google Music, including hands-on access in the next few hours.

Google Music Highlights

What you need to know.

Click here to view this gallery.

More About: android, Google, google music, google music store, itunes-match, Top Stories, trending

Dream Job: NASA Puts Out Open Call for Astronauts

Posted: 16 Nov 2011 02:15 PM PST

Ready for a new career with an office view seen by few humans? Start knocking on NASA’s door, as the space agency posted an open call for applications looking for the next wave of astronauts to support the International Space Station and future deep space missions.

Of course, not just anyone can be an astronaut; only 330 people have been selected as NASA astronauts since the first team in 1959 called the “Original Seven.” The list of NASA basic requirements for the Astronaut Candidate Program is specific. Candidates must have:

  • US citizenship
  • Height between 62 and 72-inches, as well as a resting blood pressure not to exceed 140/90.
  • 20/20 vision, though corrective eye surgeries like LASIK are allowed.
  • Bachelor’s degree in engineering, biological science, physical science, computer science, or mathematics. Despite the space flight factor, aviation degrees do not qualify.
  • Three years of relevant professional experience or 1,000 hours of pilot-in-command time in a jet aircraft.

Acceptance in to the Astronaut Candidate Program doesn’t even guarantee you’ll see space time. The final selection is dependent on the completion of training including Space Station systems, robotics skills training, learning Russian, and aircraft flight readiness. Astronaut candidates earn between $64,000-141,000 per year.

Should you meet the basic requirements and have always dreamed of exploring the final frontier, get started on the application immediately! From the time the job posting closes on January 27, 2012 candidates can expect over a year long hiring process including extensive interviews and medical examinations. Watch NASA’s astronaut recruiting video, which even showcases the inevitable human exploration of Mars.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, inhauscreative

More About: astronauts, jobs, mashable, NASA

How to Pick a Server for Your App

Posted: 16 Nov 2011 02:07 PM PST

The Mobile App Trends Series is sponsored by Sourcebits, a leading product developer for mobile platforms. Sourcebits offers design and development services for iOS, Android, Mobile and Web platforms. Follow Sourcebits on Twitter for recent news and updates.

For mobile app developers, building an app rarely takes place in a vacuum, as most users expect their apps to interface and work with various Internet services.

Building a mobile app increasingly means building an app that can interface with its own server or set of network services.

For mobile app developers, picking and choosing a server or cloud solution for things like storage, push notifications, user information and analytics can be a struggle.

Fortunately, a new wave of companies and services are stepping in to help developers make the best choices.

Yay Cloud

With AWS, Amazon has really led the way toward making cloud services and distributed computing and storage solutions affordable and easily accessible.

Thousands upon thousands of application developers — mobile, web and desktop — use Amazon for storage, to run processes and to store or query data.

Amazon and its competitors have APIs and toolkits designed to make integrating their services with an existing app backend a snap.

AWS SDK — Amazon offers an AWS SDK for Android and an AWS SDK for iOS. These SDKs offer libraries, code samples and documentation to help app developers leverage Amazon’s AWS services, including EC2, S3 and Amazon SimpleDB within their own apps.

Windows Azure — Microsoft is pushing its Windows Azure cloud as mobile-dev friendly. The company has released official SDKs and APIs for iOS, Android and Windows Phone.

Google offers Android developers the ability to link their apps to Google App Engine, using the Google Plugin for Eclipse.

Cloud Backend Solutions

In addition to self-selecting cloud services from various providers, a number of startup platforms offer easy access to a variety of cloud services and backends, but without a lot of overhead hassle.

This space is often called Backend as a Service [BaaS] or Platform as a Service [PaaS] and it is heating up fast.

Most of these companies will work directly with the major cloud providers, like Amazon, RackSpace and Windows Azure, but will abstract the process so the developer doesn’t need to mess with a lot of settings, accounts or configurations.

Some of the players in this space include:

Parse — Parse recently closed its Series A funding round and is used by Band of the Day, Hipmunk and Yobongo. It works with iOS and Android and can connect with Heroku. You can also use Parse in cross-platform apps like Appcelerator and Sencha.

StackMob — StackMob is currently in private beta and has an SDK for iOS, Android, Java and custom server side code. Like Parse, StackMob can integrate with Heroku. It also offers server-side integration with Facebook and Twitter.

Kinvey — Kinvey was one of the earliest players in the space and it dubs its solution, Backend as a Service. Kinvey uses AWS, RackSpace Cloud and Windows Azure to offer up its backend tools, along with its own APIs that developers can drop into their own apps.

CloudMine — Cloudmine supports Ruby, Python, PHP and Java.

Buddy Platform — Buddy Platform is kind of a hybrid between developer platforms like Appcelerator and backend platforms. It has APIs for access to features like user management, geo-location data, photos and album information and user messaging.

Your Tips

Have you used off-the-shelf or infrastructure as a service tools in your mobile app? What should developers watch for? Let us know.

Series Supported by Sourcebits

The Mobile App Trends Series is sponsored by Sourcebits, a leading developer of applications and games for all major mobile platforms. Sourcebits has engineered over 200 apps to date, with plenty more to come. Sourcebits offers design and development services for iPhone, Android and more. Please feel free to get in touch with us to find out how we can help your app stand apart in a crowded marketplace. Follow Sourcebits on Twitter and Facebook for recent news and updates.

More About: AWS, cloud computing, cloudmine, features, kinvey, mashable, Mobile App Trends Series, mobile developers, mobile development, parse, stackmob, Web Development

Last Week Was Google+’s Third-Biggest Yet for Traffic [STUDY]

Posted: 16 Nov 2011 01:58 PM PST

Using Google+? Add Mashable to your circles. You’ll get the latest about new Google+ features and tips and tricks for using the platform as well as top social media and technology news.

Google’s addition of brand pages to Google+ seems to have helped the site’s traffic. According to Hitwise, the week was the fledgling social network’s third-biggest yet in terms of U.S. traffic with 6.8 million visits.

The two biggest weeks took place in late September, right after Google opened the network publicly. Parsing the numbers, Heather Dougherty, director of research at Hitwise, found the week ending Nov. 12, was also a 25% improvement over a month prior and 5% more than the week before. Brand pages weren’t the only additions to Google+ last week. The company also introduced other enhancements, including a +1 button for Google Image searches.

Dougherty noted that eight of the 10 top referrers to Google+ were Google properties. Facebook, however, was number three. (Yahoo Mail was the other non-Google property, at number eight.)

SEE ALSO: How to Set Up a Google+ Brand Page

In a positive sign for Google+, traffic from returning visitors is also up. The share of returning visitors rose 18% if you compare an average of the first two weeks of November vs. the comparable period in October. Hitwise cautions, however, that the figures don’t include traffic from Google’s Notification Bar or from mobile sources.

Despite the enthusiasm over Google+ brand pages, some have complained that Google’s verification system needs to be improved. As if to prove the point, a Google+ profile lampooning Bank of America popped up last week. The page has been taken down.

Mini, Part 1

Commentary from Skinny: "This is the brand page. Take notice of Public Circles on the left, the Locations and Translate buttons and the content. This is what a user who visits MINI's page for the first time will see. It contains content pertaining to each Public Circle (each MINI product, in this case), giving a first time visitor a taste of everything MINI is doing with Plus, and an idea of who has joined which circle."

Click here to view this gallery.

More About: Brand pages, Google, hitwise

Was the AP Wrong to Reprimand Reporters for Publishing News on Twitter First?

Posted: 16 Nov 2011 01:34 PM PST

UPDATE (5:22 p.m. ET) An AP spokesperson has confirmed the email was sent by managing editor Lou Ferrara. He writes, “I wrote the email telling staff to knock it off. The reason is simple: We had people violating our own policies on social media. We break news for the AP first, for our products and our customers, and the information involving AP staff hadn't been reviewed by any editors. More significantly, we had staff that may be in custody and needed our attention. When we are dealing with sensitive matters like that, involving our staff in danger or swept into custody, our focus needs to be on them and securing their well-being rather than tweeting or posting information that may or may not be accurate."

An upper-level employee at the Associated Press allegedly sent an email Wednesday reprimanding reporters (and their managers) for breaking news on Twitter before it hit the wire.

Journalists arrested at Occupy Wall Street protests in Zuccotti Park Tuesday shared news of their arrests on Twitter before the AP published it.

“In relation to AP staff being taken into custody at the Occupy Wall Street story, we've had a breakdown in staff sticking to policies around social media and everyone needs to get with their folks now to tell them to knock it off,” says the email, which was published in part on “We have had staff tweet – BEFORE THE MATERIAL WAS ON THE WIRE – that [sic] staff were arrested.” Reps from the AP could not be reached for comment.

The AP’s social media policy, which is publicly available on its website [PDF], expressly forbids employees from sharing news on any medium before it’s published. “If you have a piece of information, a photo or a video that is compelling, exclusive and/or urgent enough to be considered breaking news, you should file it to the wire, and photo and video points before you consider putting it out on social media,” the policy reads.

Reuters’s social media policy is similar: “Don’t scoop the wire.”

Some think that idea is outdated. “So shouldn’t the wire speed up?!” New York Times media reporter Brian Stelter asked on Twitter.

It’s a difficult proposition. As we’ve seen countless times before, unverified information often spreads rapidly and widely on Twitter and other social networks. Neither the AP nor Reuters want to be responsible for spreading inaccurate news online through an employee, thus sacrificing their long-established trust with partners and readers for the sake of speed. Nor, we imagine, do they want denizens of the web turning to individual reporters as primary sources of information over the AP as a whole. But in an age in which so much live reporting is done on Twitter, is it wise, or even reasonable, to prevent reporters from sharing that information?

Anthony de Rosa, social media editor at Reuters, suggests that the wire itself is at fault. “If Twitter is beating the wire, the wire is not doing its job, assuming that Twitter information is accurate,” he says.

The challenge lies in developing a verification system that can move at the speed of Twitter. “Our first responsibility is to be accurate. Twitter may be fast but it’s not always right,” de Rosa says. Reuters is looking at ways to develop a system that is both accurate and fast — because if it doesn’t, it’ll be left behind, he says. “If we or anyone else ignores Twitter, they’re not going to be competitive.”

Thumbnail image courtesy of Flickr, The Whistling Monkey

More About: ap, Media, News, Occupy Wall Street, Reuters, trending, Twitter

For more Business coverage:

Celebrate With Us at MashBash 2012 During CES in Las Vegas

Posted: 16 Nov 2011 01:10 PM PST

We’re excited to host one of our best parties of the year, MashBash, which celebrates the best of digital from the Mashable Awards winners at CES in Las Vegas. Come have fun with the Mashable community, industry leaders and digital influencers from the biggest technology and consumer electronic brands.

The celebrations will take place at the brand new 1OAK Nightclub in the Mirage Hotel and Casino on Wednesday, January 11, 2012. You can expect a night of networking, dancing and celebration in true Mashable style at one of the hottest new clubs in Las Vegas.

Register for MashBash at CES celebrating Mashable Awards  (Las Vegas - 2012 International CES convention) [Ticketed Event] in Las Vegas, NV  on Eventbrite

If you haven’t registered for CES, you can register for free with priority code MASH12, by midnight, on December 1, 2011.

For MashBash sponsorship opportunities, email

MashBash Info and Tickets

Date: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 (during International CES Convention week)
Time: 8:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. PT
Location: 1OAK Nightclub, Mirage Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, NV (1OAK is located at the Mirage Hotel & Casino just off the North Valet access or Self-Parking entrance into the hotel)

More About: announcements, CES, mashable, MashBash

For more Entertainment coverage:

Google Gets Musical: Live From the L.A. Unveiling [LIVE BLOG]

Posted: 16 Nov 2011 01:00 PM PST

Google Music is in the house, as is Android and T-Mobile. That’s about all we know for sure about the mysterious Google event Wednesday in Los Angeles, and that’s just because Google’s elves are hard at work covering up those logos on the outside of the building.

Beyond that, it has been widely suspected for days that the event will see the launch of Google’s answer to the iTunes music store. But will the search giant’s store match up to Apple’s? How many labels are on board? How much will tunes cost? Will it be integrated with Google+?

UPDATE: Google has introduced Google Music to the public.

We’ll be bringing you all the answers in our live blog, starting at 4:30 p.m. ET.

More About: android, Google, google music

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Tumblr, Firefox and Reddit Censor Websites to Protest SOPA

Posted: 16 Nov 2011 12:46 PM PST

Tumblr, Firefox and Reddit drew broad black lines on their websites Wednesday to protest a proposed U.S. law that Internet companies have dubbed “censorship” and entertainment companies “piracy protection.”

Their symbolic design tweaks coincide with what several open Internet advocacy organizations have declared American Censorship Day — a day some of the Internet’s biggest web companies have dedicated to encouraging users to speak out against the Stop Online Piracy Act (called the Protect IP Act in the Senate). The bill strengthens the U.S. Justice Department’s power to go after websites that host disputed copyright material and could make sites such as YouTube and Tumblr that host such user-generated content liable for copyright violations.

Tumblr has blacked out all user-generated content you see when you first log in. When you click on the gray lines to investigate, you’re told: “Congress is holding hearings today and will soon pass a bill empowering corporations to censor the Internet unless you tell them no,” and then have an option to leave a phone number to be connected to your elected representative.

If you do so, you’ll receive a phone call from Tumblr CEO David Karp (or at least a recording of his voice) in which he suggests talking points before saying “thank you for doing your part to protect the Internet” and dialing the appropriate phone number.

Mozilla and Reddit are also participating in the so-called American Censorship Day, by censoring their logos, which click through to instructions for contacting representatives.

Other Internet companies that oppose the legislation protested in more traditional ways. Kickstarter published a blog post that explains why it opposes the bill.

“If, say, someone found a single instance of copyright infringement on Kickstarter, all of Kickstarter — every project — could be taken down until it’s removed,” the post says, “As you can imagine, this would be disastrous for everyone involved, and it would punish an entire community for the bad behavior (or honest mistake) of one person.”

AOL, eBay, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Mozilla, Twitter, Yahoo and Zynga delivered a letter to members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives that argues SOPA “pose[s] a serious risk to our industry’s continued track record of innovation and job creation, as well as to our nation’s cybersecurity.” On Wednesday, they ran the letter as a full-page ad in the New York Times.

“The solutions are draconian,” Google Chairman Eric Schmidt said during an appearance at the MIT Sloan School of Management, according to The Christian Science Monitor. “There’s a bill that would require (Internet service providers) to remove URLs from the Web, which is also known as censorship last time I checked.”

Have the various protests around the web caused you to get involved in supporting or opposing SOPA? What do you think of proposed legislation?

More About: Firefox, reddit, SOPA, stop online piracy act, trending, tumblr

Announcing a Live Chat With Reddit Co-Founder Alexis Ohanian

Posted: 16 Nov 2011 12:21 PM PST

At 9 a.m. ET tomorrow, Nov. 17, streaming live exclusively on Mashable, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian will be answering questions from readers. As part of the launch of the Young Entrepreneur Council’s new program called YEC Global, Ohanian will be answering questions live via video chat broadcast exclusively on this site.

Alexis Ohanian is the co-founder of social news site Reddit, founder of publisher Breadpig, helped launch Hipmunk, a YCombinator alumnus and ambassador, an angel investor, and startup adviser. He is the author of the upcoming book, “Without Your Permission.”

YEC Global is an international mentorship program of the Young Entrepreneur Council, an invite-only non-profit comprised of promising young entrepreneurs. Its goal is to promote and support young entrepreneurs around the world, as well as foster the thriving global entrepreneurial ecosystem by sending delegations to various countries around the world to lead in‐person, peer‐to‐peer mentorship programs, creative sessions, panel discussions and business competitions. The program also offers one‐to‐two week internships at YEC member-owned companies.

Check Mashable tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. ET where Ohanian will be answering questions from the audience live via video chat.

You can also sign up for an email reminder of the chat by visiting this registration page.

Image via Flickr, Scott Beale / Laughing Squid

More About: alexis ohanian, entrepreneurship, Live Chat, reddit, Startups

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6 Must-Have Tools for Non-Profits

Posted: 16 Nov 2011 12:19 PM PST

Trite but true: the best things in life are free (or at least, heavily discounted). For cause-driven companies and non-profits, purchasing corporate technology products — and hiring an IT team to manage them — is often out of reach, if not just unwieldy for an organization that’s big on mission but not bureaucracy. In recent years however, startups and tech innovators have stepped up to the development plate, quietly creating the next generation of web- and cloud-based management tools specifically suited for small and mid-sized organizations.

From newsletter-creation to targeted blog tools, running analytics and making donations, almost every useful service a non-profit or cause-based organization could want has received a technologically innovative makeover, complete with options for every set of needs, challenges, and price-points.

These six tools might not save the world on their own, but they can empower and facilitate users to achieve their own goals faster, better and more cheaply than ever before.

1. Wufoo: Need a form — fast, easily, and affordably? Wufoo launched in 2006 to help individuals and businesses handle everything from creating online surveys to event registration, as well as collecting payments and data. Much like iWeb, Microsoft Office, Pages, WordPress and other office suites and content management systems, Wufoo’s cloud-based system offers both templates and personalized forms (that don’t require a tech staff to create). Even better: Wufoo’s many forms are embeddable, brandable and priced between zero dollars and $199.95 per month.

2. iContact: This one-stop shop manages social media campaigns, email contacts, website analytics, and more. iContact’s real gem, however, is its no-brainer newsletter tool. The HTML-free system features drag-and-drop blocks, hundreds of pre-fab templates, and flexible pricing based on the size of the subscriber base. Prefer to try before you buy? iContact offers a free, 30-day trial.

3. Posterous: Wish you could master the social web, but tailor it to the needs of your organization? With the tagline “share smarter,” Posterous has reclaimed the world wide web with circumscribed, user-generated “spaces” that allow businesses and individuals to create and manage permission-based blogs and photo galleries with controlled access (and pleasing to look at formats). For member-based organizations looking to foster community in a walled web-garden, Posterous has your back. The site also makes good on its tagline by offering autopost services for any social-web destination you can think of — and then some.

4. mGive: Specializing in non-profit fundraising, mGive offers a text-to-donate system that simplifies the process for both contributors and organizations. Once non-profits register with mGive, donors can text a unique keyword to a code provided and “send” in a donation. The texted dollar amount appears on their mobile phone bill, and is distributed to the organization.

5. PageLever: Move over, Facebook Insights. There’s a new tool in town, and it’s all about more thoroughly understanding and utilizing the power of everyone’s favorite social network. PageLever allows organizations to move beyond counting “likes” and on to finding out how engaged its audience or constituents is by creating reports on each post, with a detailed and easy-to-understand analysis of each. The tool reveals which posts are the most engaging to fans, why posts are — and aren’t — reaching fans, and how to leverage and enhance fan bases or constituencies. With interactive and easy-to-read charts, graphs, and number comparisons, PageLever is user-friendly and offers tiered pricing packages (not to mention the occasional non-profit discount).

6. SendGrid: This customizable, cloud-based infrastructure is the tool of choice for non-profits with complex newsletter and outreach needs, as well as a little more web-development savvy on their side. No matter your skill-level in writing code, SendGrid handles a lot of the boring nitty-gritty (like monitoring ISPs and creating real-time analytics) of creating and managing custom email systems. The company’s secret weapon, in fact, is its superior customer service: according to one satisfied non-profit client, someone at SendGrid “always picks up the phone.”

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, manley099

More About: cause, fundraising, iContact, mashable, mGive, non-profit, Pagelever, posterous, Sendgrid, wufoo

Sony to Launch Internet-Based TV Service? [VIDEO]

Posted: 16 Nov 2011 11:58 AM PST

Sony is said to be preparing an Internet-based TV service that would stream content over connected TVs, PlayStations and blu-ray players and compete with cable television.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the electronics giant has approached a number of media companies about content deals for the service, including NBC Universal, News Corp and Discovery Communications.

Learn more about what Sony might have in store in the video above. Would you ditch your current cable provider for an Internet-based offering? Have you already? Let us know in the comments.

More About: mashable video, sony, television

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5 Products to Keep Your Tech Germ-Free

Posted: 16 Nov 2011 11:43 AM PST

Verilux CleanWave Sanitizing Wand

Cost: $69.95

In just seconds, the Verilux CleanWave Sanitizing Wand kills up to 99.9% of germs, bacteria and allergins using UV-C light. The device is great for those hard-to-reach cracks between buttons on your mobile, tablet, keyboard or mouse. You can also use it on-the-go to swipe public restroom handles or escalators.

Click here to view this gallery.

Were you freaked out when you heard 16% of cellphones have poop on them? Fear no longer! We’ve rounded up five great solutions to help keep your devices clean and germ-free.

Take a look through these five products and let us know if we missed one that you use.

Thumbnail image courtesy of Flickr, helpingtogrow1

More About: sanitation, tech germs

Credit Card Reader App Square Adds Loyalty Rewards, Cash Payments

Posted: 16 Nov 2011 11:25 AM PST

Square, an app that allows you to accept credit card payments, has released an update that adds several new features. Started by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey in 2010, Square has seen steady growth and recently announced that it transacts $11 million per day in mobile payments.

Reward regulars is one of the app’s new features, which it lets you define what makes a Card Case (Square’s companion wireless payment app) customer a regular. You then can add a discount on certain transactions, letting them know you appreciate their loyalty and repeat business.

Another new feature — one that users have been clamoring for — is the ability to use Square for cash transactions. Using your iPad you can wirelessly print receipts or open your cash drawer to make change. While the initial setup of this feature may look intimidating, Square walks you through connecting your drawer and receipt printer on their site.

Overall the update to the free app and card reader makes the entire package worth more to users. If you are just hearing about Square, it charges a flat 2.75% fee per swipe for all credit cards.

More About: mashable, Square

Gap Stores Begin Accepting Google Wallet Payments

Posted: 16 Nov 2011 11:21 AM PST

Gap Inc. stores, including Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic, are now accepting Google Wallet payments at 65 stores in the San Francisco Bay Area.

To sweeten the deal, the clothier will offer 15% off purchases through February for using the technology. Shoppers can also find and redeem promotions while in-store. Customers who don’t have Google Wallet can use MasterCard’s PayPass.

“We know you, our customers, love the convenience of smartphones (from finding stores to browsing products, to actually transacting),” Nick Sheth, senior director, global business development at Gap Inc. Direct, wrote in a blog post on Wednesday, “and these partnerships with Google and MasterCard are examples of how we're making it easier for you to shop using the devices you love.”

Google introduced Google Wallet for Sprint Nexus S 4G phones in September. The near field communication system was expected to launch in the summer. Though the technology is probably years away from becoming mainstream, Google has enlisted a number of major retailers, including Toys “R” Us, Macy’s, OfficeMax and Bloomingdale’s as partners.

This is Gap’s latest attempt to associate itself with a hot technology. The company last year offered a few promotions with that goal in mind, including a discount for checking in via Foursquare and a jeans giveaway for checking in on Facebook Places.

More About: banana republic, gap, google wallet, mastercard, old navy

Gmail App Returns to the iOS App Store

Posted: 16 Nov 2011 11:09 AM PST

The Gmail app for iOS has returned to the App Store two weeks after Google pulled it.

The native app brought the functionality of Gmail to the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. However, despite its features, the app suffered from several fatal flaws, including the nasty bug that broke iOS notifications. As a result, Google pulled the app hours after its launch. The app also received negative reviews for its lack of functionality.

“Two weeks ago, we introduced our Gmail app for iOS,” Google Product Manager Matthew Izatt says in a blog post. “Unfortunately it contained a bug which broke notifications and displayed an error message, so we removed it from the App Store. We've fixed the bug and notifications are now working, and the app is back in the App Store.”

Version 1.0.2 of the app fixes the critical bugs, but it doesn’t add any new functionality to the app. Gmail for iOS still doesn’t support multiple accounts and still fails to host email on the user’s device. The search giant says those features are around the corner, though.

“We're just getting started with the Gmail app for iOS and will be iterating rapidly to bring you more features,” Izatt says.

Check out some screenshots we took of the original app below, and let us know if you’re going to be installing the Gmail app in the comments.

Error Screen

Click here to view this gallery.

More About: gmail, Google, iOS app, iphone, trending

Microsoft Developing New Social Network? [VIDEO]

Posted: 16 Nov 2011 10:55 AM PST

Screenshots have surfaced of what appears to be a new social networking offering from Microsoft dubbed “Socl.”

First published by The Verge on Wednesday, Microsoft tells Mashable that, “Microsoft's FUSE Labs is an internal research group working on a number of forward-looking projects related to future possibilities around social search. Socl is one of the projects that we are exploring. We'll let you know as soon as we have more to share."

Learn more about what Socl might entail in the video above. Does Microsoft have a chance in social networking, or are they too late to the party? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

More About: mashable video, microsoft, social networking

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5 Common Mistakes to Avoid in Media Interviews

Posted: 16 Nov 2011 10:55 AM PST

Whitney Greer is the CEO of The Brandularity Group, where she specializes in big purpose brand narratives and delivery skills for media and executive communications. She's honed the delivery of hundreds of spokespeople, from high-octane tech startups to name-brand Fortune 500s. You can reach her at

You've mastered the pitch, and you've already networked with a few reporters at Web 2.0. But before you hop on the interview call, make sure to avoid common pitfalls guaranteed to derail even the most seasoned spokespeople. Here are five mistakes that top the list.

1. Quoting the Press Release

Ever taken an interview in which the reporter asks, "Tell me about your company," and found yourself regurgitating the press release? The interview is an opportunity to offer fresh perspective, not become a tour guide to something already written.

Before your quotability takes a nosedive, try moving beyond the what and sharing why you started the company, or how your team is solving a problem. People love a good backstory too. Or talk about your company's overarching goals, like delivering premium customer service similar to Rackspace or Zappos. Whatever direction you choose, don't skimp on the details.

If the reporter is on deadline, be mindful that he's probably looking for a quick quote. That's the time to share a thoughtful insight or a succinct analogy.

2. Taking a Passive Role

The best interviews sound like conversations, which means both parties ask and answer questions. Just as effective speakers know how to use a well-timed direct or rhetorical question, the same applies in an interview.

Here's an easy one: "You may be wondering why we did it that way. We did it that way because…" Maybe the reporter wasn't wondering, but perhaps they will now.

Prepare a few conversational questions that lead into your agenda topics. Otherwise, you may wait indefinitely for the right question to come along. If you were thinking of taking the political approach in which you maneuver your response toward a canned message, think again. In an age of authenticity and transparency, that prehistoric strategy will only erode your credibility.

3. Inserting Marketing Language

Reporters generally dislike pre-packaged stories or sales language. Try to avoid using phrases like "Our message is…" or "Our value-proposition…" It's like offering a reporter Cheez Whiz for her Ritz cracker when she wanted artisanal gouda. Share an insight or great backstory instead of channeling the press release.

4. Using Space-Fillers

Listen to any radio interview. At some point, you'll hear someone insert space-filler language ("It's kind of, or sort of like…") Remember that the reporter may quote this type of language, which could send a soft, non-committal message. If I'm a shareholder in your company, I want to know what you're doing with my money, not guessing until you hit it right.

5. Stumbling Over That Question

Suddenly you're asked the one question you didn't want to answer. Whether it addresses privacy practices within the company, or an employee layoff you'd rather not discuss, don't avoid the answer completely.

Rather, anticipate the concerning questions and have a go-to answer ready, then craft a way to transition the conversation to another topic. However, make sure your response doesn't come off scripted; your tone should be natural, conversational and matter-of-fact.

At some point, everyone stumbles in an interview or gets misquoted. However, if you position yourself as a great resource and an insightful industry leader in the long run, you'll create more opportunities than you miss.

Images courtesy of Flickr, chrisschuepp, Juror8

More About: contributor, features, interviews, Marketing, Media, pr

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Qualcomm’s New Snapdragon Processors Target Speed, Emerging Markets

Posted: 16 Nov 2011 10:28 AM PST

Chipmaker Qualcomm is expanding its Snapdragon S4 and Snapdragon S1 mobile processor lines.

With support for technologies like HSPA+ and LTE, the new S4 processors will make it easy for device makers to bring 3G and 4G connection speeds to their devices.

The S4 processors use the Krait CPU, which Qualcomm touts as being high performance along with solid battery life.

Qualcomm also gave its S1 line of processors an update. These processors are aimed at devices for emerging markets — areas that are currently transitioning from 2G to 3G.

The mobile chipset market is dominated by ARM chipsets and chipsets by ARM licensees (including Samsung, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments). The leading desktop chip maker, Intel, is continuing to invest in its own mobile chipsets. Quad-core mobile devices are expected to ship by the end of this year and make a big splash in 2012.

The first smartphones and tablets shipping with Qualcomm’s new processors should be in stores in early 2012.

More About: arm, mobile chipsets, qualcomm, snapdragon

Why Companies Should Invest in Google+ Brand Pages

Posted: 16 Nov 2011 10:00 AM PST

As the lines between search engine optimization and social media continue to blur and form one synergistic effort, it is critical that both small and large companies stay up to date with new opportunities for spreading brand awareness and connecting directly with their audiences. When Google makes a move in the social space, it’s important to pay attention to, understand, and identify how the offering can and should be leveraged for your business.

With the recent announcement of Google+ brand pages, many people may be saying “My business is already active on Facebook and Twitter, why should I bother with yet another social media channel?” This is a valid question due to the amount of time and resources that are required to effectively manage each social media channel. At the surface, Google+ brand pages may seem like just another Facebook with a fraction of the user base. However, these are a few unique elements that you should consider before writing it off:

Smaller User Base

While it’s true that Google+ does have a much smaller user base than Facebook (estimated at 40 million vs. 800 million), it doesn’t necessarily mean you should ignore it and focus all of your efforts on Facebook. With fewer users, come less noise and more focus in the space. Facebook is packed full of updates from the recent integration of services like Spotify and The Washington Post, as well as games, “happy birthdays,” and pictures of friends and family. Google+, on the other hand, seems to be driven more by content of a professional, informational, and industry-specific manner. Because of this, brands may be able to create a much more direct and personal relationship with their audiences.

Unique Functionality

Google+ offers very unique functionality with its ability to host “Hangouts,” or live audio/video chats, between itself and its audience. Hangouts provide an opportunity to directly engage in discussions, receive immediate feedback, and/or provide exclusive content. One example of a brand already using Hangouts is The Black Eyed Peas, where they hosted a session backstage prior to one of their concerts. The Hangout allowed them to connect with their fans, give some inside information on the band, and thank their fans for their support (watch the full recording here).

The Muppets are another brand utilizing Google+ Hangouts.

Another creative use of Hangouts can be seen with Dell. Michael Dell mentioned the possibility that the company may soon leverage Hangouts as a place for face-to-face customer support and sales rather than requiring customers to call in.

Future Integration With Other Google Offerings

As Google continues its recent effort to unify its products and offerings, Google+ is ripe for deeper integration with services such as Google Places and Maps, Web and Image Search, and YouTube. Google has already begun this process in several ways. One of the most recent is the addition of Google +1s into Image Search.

This could become beneficial to increasing a brand’s visibility, socially and via organic/image search, where the brand frequently post images to their Google+ brand page (such as artists or photographers who sell a product or service), and have an audience that is likely to share that content.

Ultimately, whether or not using Google+ brand pages is right for your business depends on your target audience and your level of creativity to use the service to its full potential. In most cases, businesses must fully understand what types of audiences they have, where they are spending their time online, and what types of content they want to consume from each service. Finding the right balance of social interaction and commercial promotion is critical in creating that connection, positively affecting other marketing initiatives such as SEO, and ultimately generating the next sale.

Are you using Google+ for your brand? If so, in what ways are you engaging your audience? And if not, why did you decide against it?

More About: branding, Google, mashable

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Evernote Launches Browser Extension to Remove Clutter From the Web Reading Experience

Posted: 16 Nov 2011 09:59 AM PST

Evernote has unveiled a new browser extension that removes ads and other distractions from the web-reading experience.

Evernote Clearly, which is now available for Chrome and soon other browsers, is a simple, one-click button that creates an alternative view of the content you’re reading online. It removes all the extra clutter, including navigation, advertising and unnecessary images. It even takes multi-page articles and turns them into one page.

Clearly comes with three themes for customizing the reading experience: Newsprint, Notable and Nightowl. Users can customize these themes further by changing the fonts, backgrounds and font colors.

The extension also adds a second feature to the browser, too: the Evernote Web Clipper. Web Clipper lets users save the content they find on the web to their Evernote accounts. The Clip button appears as Evernote’s elephant logo, and the “Clearly” button takes the form of a reading lamp.

The Web Clipper extension has about 375,000 Firefox users — good, but not great. It seems Clearly is designed to also get more people using Evernote’s clipping functionality.

Will you install Clearly? Let us know in the comments.

More About: browser extension, evernote, Evernote Clearly

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