Monday, 23 April 2012

Mashable: Latest 17 News Updates - including “Fan Social Contest Will Decide Location of ESPN ‘College Gameday’ Ad”

Mashable: Latest 17 News Updates - including “Fan Social Contest Will Decide Location of ESPN ‘College Gameday’ Ad”

Fan Social Contest Will Decide Location of ESPN ‘College Gameday’ Ad

Posted: 23 Apr 2012 05:06 AM PDT

College students: Do you want the newest commercial for ESPN‘s wildly popular College GameDay football show to be shot on your campus? If so, you’d better start getting organized on the social web.

ESPN launched a social campaign on Monday for fans to vote for the location of a summer ad shoot for the college football season staple of highlights and analysis. More than 120 colleges and universities are eligible for voting. Fans can vote using the contest’s Facebook app, or via the site. It’s the first time a vote has decided a GameDay commercial location, and the ad will feature students from the selected school.

ESPN”s vice president of marketing Aaron Taylor says the contest is a natural fit for the show, which is shot live from a different campus each week of football season and traditionally features hosts bantering with crowds of screaming fans.

College GameDay has long been one of our most interactive programs,” Taylor told Mashable in an email. “It was inherently social before ‘social media’ existed. The foundation of the show has always been a big social gathering of thousands of fans on campus each week, expressing themselves with signs and joining in a community.”

SEE ALSO: Hilarious ESPN Ad Shows Why it Sucks to be Michael Jordan [VIDEO]

Until voting ends May 2, a live-updating leaderboard will encourage students and fans to rally support on their social networks during the contest.

According to Taylor, social media has helped the show expand its reach in recent years. More and more fans are incorporating second screens into their viewing routines, and younger demographics especially rely on social media to augment normal broadcasts.

“Fans on-site want to be part of the action with signs and painted faces, but for fans at home, social engagement helps transport them to campus and enable them to express their passion and point of view,” he writes.

ESPN has tried to leverage fan voting contests for a few promotions recently. Last season, a similar contest decided which school’s mascot would star in a GameDay spot, with Oregon State’s Benny Beaver winning the part. ESPN is also hosting a socially-driven contest to decide which player will grace the cover of the Madden NFL 13 video game. Voting for that ends Wednesday.

Where do you think the next College GameDay ad should be shot? Let us know in the comments.

More About: Advertising, sports

Mashable Weekend Recap: 49 Stories You Might Have Missed

Posted: 23 Apr 2012 04:16 AM PDT

With the northern hemisphere of the good earth in the full bloom of spring, social media, tech and all things digital were blooming all weekend at the same time. Count the 49 ways with our Mashable Weekend Recap.

While you were out enjoying the renewal of planet Earth, we were following the Earth Day festivities here at Mashable, and if you take a look at our lengthy list below, you’ll notice quite a few examples of the festivities going on across the planet.

Earth Day was certainly not the only thing going on during this rather leisurely but still engaging weekend. Don’t worry if you missed our full-bore and eclectic coverage — that’s why we’ve created this trusty Weekend Recap to get you all caught up to speed:

News & Opinion Essentials

Microsoft Research: Bringing Sexy Back

Top 10 Tech This Week [PICS]

Iran Claims to Have Cracked Captured Drone's Database

'One Day on Earth': The Most International Movie Premiere Ever

Happy Earth Day! Celebrate With Google Doodles [PICS]

This Olympic Moms Video Will Make You Cry

Norway Massacre Survivor Does Reddit Q&A

Space Shuttle's New York Arrival Delayed by Bad Weather

Smartphone Graphics to Soon Surpass Xbox 360? [VIDEO]

Facebook For Android Gets Performance, Features, Bugfix Update

William Shatner Takes His Millionth Twitter Follower Out To Dinner [VIDEO]

Watch the Lyrid Meteor Shower This Weekend — Even If It's Cloudy

Brain Electrodes Could Mean Movement For Spinal Injury Patients [VIDEO]

Google Accidentally Shows Android with Google Drive [VIDEO]

Cadillac Teases 'Super Cruise' Semi-Autonomous Car [VIDEO]

Klout Ranks the Time 100: Guess Who's #1?

Google Execs, James Cameron Plan Space Venture

Why '#420′ Didn't Trend on Twitter

Verizon Backing Microsoft In Smartphone War

How Streaming Video Is Killing the DVD [INFOGRAPHIC]

Instagram Star Users to Document NHL Playoff Game

Helpful Resources

5 Ways to Lose Your Dream Job During the Interview Process

10 Uses of Google Earth That Have Made Positive Impacts on the World

The Ultimate Digital Customer Service Guide

5 Ways Preparing Your Resume is Like Doing Taxes

10 Apps to Help You Go Green for Earth Day and Beyond

Gamechangers: 5 Social Entrepreneurs with Big Ideas

10 Office Gadgets to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

9 Digital Ways to Make a Difference This Earth Day

Top 6 Mashable Comments This Week

44 New Digital Media Resources You May Have Missed

7 Apps Worth Checking Out [PICS]

Parking Panda Helps You Find, Rent & Rent Out Parking Spaces

Mobile Advertising: 5 DIY Tips for Small Businesses

An End to Wireless 'Bill Shock'? New Site Points the Way

SEE ALSO: All the Weekend Recaps Ever Published

Weekend Leisure

Music Festival Tech Changes Drastically Since Woodstock [INFOGRAPHIC]

Valve's Hilarious Employee Handbook Reveals Amusing Secrets [VIDEO]

Earth Day: Pulling the Plug [COMIC]

Celebrate Spring With 10 Blooming iPhone Photos [PICS]

Robot Red-Light Districts By 2050? [VIDEO]

Nyan Cat Gets a Soundtrack Album [REVIEW]

Top 10 Twitter Pics of the Week

WestJet Rolls Out Child-Free Cabins With Kargo Kids [VIDEO]

April Fools' Day Classics: Top 10 Viral Pranks on YouTube

Why Mr. Sato Took on the 1,050-Piece Bacon Burger [VIDEO]

How Social Media Gave the UFC a Fighting Chance [INFOGRAPHIC]

Should You Eat That Bacon? [COMIC]

Take Down the Fed with Ron Paul: the Adventure Game [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO]

Want to Instagram the Night Sky? Adapter Puts iPhones on Telescopes

Here’s last week’s Weekend Recap.

More About: Weekend recap

Adobe Creative Suite 6 Pricing Revealed

Posted: 23 Apr 2012 01:18 AM PDT

adobe cs6

Adobe is launching a new version of its Creative Suite later today at an event in San Francisco, but the prices for the package, as well as individual applications in CS6 have already been revealed.

Adobe Creative Suite 6 consists of 14 applications, which are available in four different packages – Adobe Creative Suite 6 Design & Web Premium, Adobe Creative Suite 6 Design Standard, Adobe Creative Suite 6 Production Premium, and Adobe Creative Suite 6 Master Collection.

The Design Standard suite costs $1,299 and the Master Collection gives you all the bells and whistles for a hefty price of $2,599.

Probably the best-known app in the bunch, Adobe Photoshop CS6, starts at $699.

If the prices are too steep for you, you’ll be happy to know that Adobe has launched an entirely new way of purchasing the CS6 — the Creative Cloud. It’s a subscription service which gives you access to all of CS6 apps, plus Lightroom 4, for a monthly fee of $49.99 ($19.99 for students).

Adobe Creative Suite 6 products and Adobe Creative Cloud will become available within 30 days, but they can be pre-orderered right now.

More About: adobe, Adobe Creative Suite 6, Adobe CS6

For more Tech coverage:

Perch’s Interactive Displays Could Change the Way You Shop for Shoes [VIDEO]

Posted: 22 Apr 2012 06:31 PM PDT

Digital technology is making increasingly frequent appearances in offline retail environments. Those installations — think TopShop’s augmented reality fitting room in Moscow, PayPal’s “mobile shopping walls” in Singapore and Sephora’s iPad-enhanced makeup counters in the U.S. — tend to be fun and interactive, drawing in shoppers through novelty of experience.

This week, we spoke with Perch Interactive, a four-person firm developing a new kind of interactive projection display for retail environments. The “Perch display” uses projected light and motion sensors to enhance products positioned on tabletop counters. It can sense when and where a product — or the area around a product — is touched, and when it is picked up.

Perch gives retailers the opportunity to “build a life around a product,” says cofounder Jared Schiffman, a graduate of MIT’s Media Lab. “When you see a product on a shelf, you can imagine how it might be used or how it might be worn, but that doesn’t always happen or happen in the way the product creator intended,” says Schiffman. Perch has the ability to give retailers and creators greater control over that experience, he contends.

Imagine coming across a shoe lit up by one of Perch’s displays, as shown in the video above. You could press buttons around the shoe to learn more about it: to see what other colors it’s available in, for instance, or to see how it could be styled. When you lift it from the counter, details about the brand, model and price appear. Perch records your interactions with the display and submits it to the retailer, which the retailer could use to improve its system.

Schiffman admits Perch is not the first company to develop this kind of technology — indeed, Schiffman has been working on similar projects at Potion, the interaction design firm he cofounded in New York, for years. Those projects were primarily one-off, customized solutions for institutional clients, however. Potion is building a hardware and software platform that will open this kind of technology up to a much broader range of retailers, he says.

The Perch display will be officially unveiled at Decoded Fashion, a fashion and technology conference to be held at New York’s Lincoln Center on April 30.

More About: Perch, retail

5 Ways to Lose Your Dream Job During the Interview Process

Posted: 22 Apr 2012 04:03 PM PDT

Mona Abdel-Halim is the co-founder of Resunate, the makers of the Apply widget for startups. You can start attracting top talent free by getting an Apply widget for your company at Connect with Resunate on Facebook and Twitter.

If you've been on the job search for a while, it's likely you have a good idea of things you should be doing to land a new job, such as optimizing your resume or building your personal brand online. Of course, you can’t get the job if you don’t make a great impression on your interviewer or potential employer.

But there are also plenty of ways you can ruin your chances of getting a new job. It may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people kill their chances before they’ve even left their interview. If you're hoping to land your dream job, here's what not to do during the job hunt.

1. Blow Off the Phone Interview

If your resume makes it past an employer's applicant tracking system and impresses the hiring manager, it's likely you'll be invited for a phone interview. This is how employers whittle down their list of applicants to decide who they want to bring in for an in-person interview — so you need to be prepared and take the opportunity seriously.

Here's a great example of what not to do (courtesy of an anonymous employer via MyCrappyResume):

"[I] had a couple of phone screens with clearly drunken candidates. Also had a candidate sweating profusely through interviews and going to the bathroom every 5 minutes. (Word to the wise — if you’re THAT sick, reschedule!) Needless to say, none of them were hired!"

It's also vital that you're properly prepared for the interview. Sit in a quiet room without distractions, do your research beforehand and ensure you're actually able to speak on the phone for the allotted time. One job candidate learned this the hard way:

“I was asked to participate in a second phone interview while I was on vacation, and because I was very interested in the job, I obliged. Before I started to answer the first question, my phone completely died. I had no way of retrieving the phone number. Needless to say, I did not get the job.”

2. Talk About Other Job Opportunities

It may sound like common sense, but some job seekers feel the need to be overly honest when interacting with potential employers. There's always the chance that one opportunity might fall through, so don't jeopardize one position because you think you might get another.

Obviously, employers don't like being rebuffed, particularly when they've spent a lot of time reviewing your material and preparing for the interview. Here are two real stories that are almost hard to believe:

"Someone once started an interview with me by saying 'Okay. So, just to set this straight, I did interview for another job that I'm probably going to take if I receive an offer.'"

"During the interview, an alarm clock went off from a candidate's briefcase. He took it out, shut it off, apologized and said he had to leave for another interview."

3. Provide TMI

Unfortunately, there are a lot of jobseekers who have had a tough time landing a new job. Whether you're a new graduate, an older job seeker or one of the long-term unemployed, it's likely that you've had your fair share of challenges on the hunt for a new position. Sharing these sob stories with employers, however, is not going to get you the job.

One employer tells of an awkward interview situation that illustrates the point:

"I once interviewed a woman and asked her standard interview questions, such as 'What do you need from a boss?' To this question, she replied: 'I need my boss to be my best friend. I'm so lonely. We just moved here a few months ago, and I haven't made any friends. I need a friend.'"

4. Talk Negatively About Former Supervisors or Positions

It's easy to blame your former supervisor for issues you faced in the workplace. Sure, venting to a friend or family member can make you feel less angry, but do not bring it into a new job. Applicants who speak negatively about former positions, management or colleagues are not perceived positively by employers — it can often raise a red flag in their eyes if you're so quick to dish the dirt. In one instance, a candidate spoke badly of customers to his interviewer and ruined his chances of landing the job:

"I was interviewing a young man for a customer service position. He had worked at a hair salon, and in describing his experience there, he said, 'I had to deal with a lot of old biddies.' Needless to say, that's where his candidacy ended.”

5. Act Cocky

Confidence is key on the job search, but cockiness is less than appealing. You certainly don't want to sound like this jobseeker:

"One time a candidate said he was so well-qualified that if he didn't get the job, it would prove that the company's management was incompetent."

What’s your biggest interview “don’t”? Let us know in the comments.

Social Media Job Listings

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

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, PinkTag, gulfix

More About: features, job interviews, job search series, mashable, trending

For more Business coverage:

10 Uses of Google Earth That Have Made Positive Impacts on the World

Posted: 22 Apr 2012 03:46 PM PDT

google earth outreach 600

When Google acquired Keyhole — the tool that would become Google Earth — in 2004, the company believed it would become the ultimate video game. Google thought travelers could peruse potential vacation destinations and movie makers could use the detailed satellite imagery as a backdrop in films.

But Google had no idea the virtual globe and geographic data program had the potential to become a tool for grassroots mobilization, environmental protection and disaster response.

Today, through the Google Earth Outreach program, the tool has become a vital instrument for non-profits and public benefit organizations to visually tell their stories. For example, The World Wildlife Fund is using Google Earth to protect Sumatran tiger cubs, and relief workers used the tool for crisis response after Japan’s 2011 earthquake. Meanwhile, The HALO Trust uses the tool to locate and remove landmines, and Brazil’s Surui tribe uses Google Earth to map its home in the Amazon Rainforest.

The Google Earth Outreach team has created a tool kit of tutorials for organizations looking to create their own storytelling maps. You can add points, lines and polygons and embed YouTube videos to your annotated map.

Google Earth Outreach awards non-profits with Developer Grants to help them use mapping technologies to best tell their stories. Previous grant recipients include Water For People, which developed a mapping app to support sanitation-related businesses in African cities, and International Rivers, which created a video showing why dams aren’t the best response to climate change.

Take a look at 10 success stories from Google Earth Outreach.

Appalachian Voices Maps Mountaintop Removal

Appalachian Voices, a small North Carolina non-profit, used Google Earth to illustrate the scale of mountaintop destruction for coal mining.

Click here to view this gallery.

How It All Got Started

A few weeks before Google Earth Outreach Engineering Manager Rebecca Moore got her start at Google in 2005, she received an “inscrutable” notice about tree logging in her community in the Santa Cruz Mountains, with a confusing black-and-white map of the work to be done. Moore took to Keyhole, the tool that would become Google Earth, to begin plotting out the work described in the notice in a more digestible, digital manner.

“It was really striking how much more you could understand and I presented it to the community,” Moore told Mashable, describing the origins of a group she belongs to Neighbors Against Irresponsible Logging (NAIL). “As I remapped elements of that logging notice, that’s where I said there’s really something here.”

Moore’s Google Earth map convinced her community to come up with a better alternative than what had initially been proposed.

On Moore’s second day at Google, Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. The U.S. government asked Google to publish data, such as Craiglist postings of family whereabouts, on Google Earth, which would be the fastest way to reach the emergency medical responders. Google founder Eric Schmidt spoke with the engineers, Moore recalls, and said, “Whatever you’re working on right now isn’t important compared to saving lives in New Orleans.”

Through Google’s mapping, the first responders could see where people were stuck and could then decide if boats or helicopters were the best rescue tools in specific cases. The Coast Guard later told the Google team that its technical support helped save 4,000 lives.

“Non profits all over the world started writing to me and we had a feeling it could be used for all sorts of environmental projects,” Moore says.

When Google Earth officially launched in June 2007, Keyhole founder John Hanke saw the non-profit implementations of Google Earth and said the product’s girth was much more significant than he had realized.

Have you ever created a Google Earth map? What stories in your community do you think could be best told through mapping?

More About: Google, google earth, non-profits, Social Good, trending

Valve’s Hilarious Employee Handbook Reveals Amusing Secrets [VIDEO]

Posted: 22 Apr 2012 03:03 PM PDT

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work for game developer Valve? You might have thought the company was highly unconventional, but a peek inside its employee handbook gives you a better indication of just how deep that insouciant peculiarity goes within the organization.

Valve Software is a privately held Kirkland, Washington company, founded in 1996 by Microsoft employees Gabe Newell and Mike Harrington, is best known for its hit games including Half-Life, Counter-Strike, Portal, Left for Dead and Alien Swarm.

Valve’s Handbook for New Employees surfaced on the Flamehaus Forum this week, and you’ll probably find its contents highly amusing.

Is it true that Valve’s managers don’t actually exist? Mashable‘s Christian Bryant fills you in on the sordid details.

More About: Gaming, valve software, Video

For more Dev & Design coverage:

Earth Day: Pulling the Plug [COMIC]

Posted: 22 Apr 2012 02:30 PM PDT

It’s Earth Day — time to take stock in what we have here on our lovely blue planet. Mashable’s Chief Comic Officer and Editor-In-Chief Lance Ulanoff wonders what would happen if someone pulled the plug on us.

More About: comics, earth day

T-Mobile Ad Shows Signs of Rebranding Efforts [VIDEO]

Posted: 22 Apr 2012 01:46 PM PDT

Bubbly T-Mobile spokeswoman Carly recently traded in her pink sundress for a black leather look in the company’s latest ad to promote its 4G network. But this may be the first sign of the company’s rebranding efforts that will launch this fall.

T-Mobile, which is currently the number four wireless carrier, intends to distance itself from its failed AT&T deal and focus more on the speeds of its 4G network.

In the commercial, Carly throws out her dress and suits up in a motorcyclist’s outfit. She then jumps on board an ultra-fast Ducati superbike. The new angle — which the company is calling an "Alter Ego" approach — will likely be featured as a bigger part of the company’s greater rebranding efforts.

SEE ALSO: T-Mobile Spokeswoman Gets a New Look to Tout 4G

Peter DeLuca, T-Mobile's SVP for brand, advertising and communications, says the ad is about "challenging the status quo and taking bold steps in the marketplace as a challenger brand.”

"The makeover from the girl-next-door to an edgier, more tech-savvy and spirited Carly is synonymous with the evolution of the T-Mobile brand,” DeLuca adds.

Do you like the new approach? Is T-Mobile smart to embrace a new “Alter Ego” strategy to focus more on its faster 4G network? Let us know in the comments.

More About: 4G, Marketing, Mobile, smartphones, T-Mobile, trending

Top 10 Tech This Week [PICS]

Posted: 22 Apr 2012 01:13 PM PDT

1. Bandra Ohm Tower

Imagine having a pool for a balcony. That's the promise of this spectacular residential building designed by James Law Cybertecture for Parinee Developers, featuring cantilevered pools hanging out on the edge of the wild blue yonder. Sure, this is a design concept that might have to wait a few years for building technology to catch up, but I'm loving that fanciful design, letting you float in a cool pool as you gaze out on a magnificent view. Maybe someday soon this Mumbai-based design firm might actually build this lovely apartment building. [via Geekologie]

Click here to view this gallery.

Technology turned toward higher-performance this week, where we found faster wireless broadband, computerized cars that will help you drive more safely, a high-performance keyboard for iPad, and a near-miraculous battery that could last three times longer than those in electric cars today.

Even more delightful was the abundance of tech that reminded us of science fiction movies — making it even harder to believe that some of it is available today or someday soon.

SEE ALSO: Previous editions of Top 10 Tech This Week

It was another jaw-dropping week for tech, and to bask in the best of it, you’ve come to the right place. So sit back and enjoy the latest Top 10 Tech This Week, the most concentrated, efficient and exciting tech coverage on (and off) this planet.

Here’s last week’s Top 10 Tech.

More About: Cadillac, cars, Gadgets, iPhone 5, mercedes, Soundfreaq, Top 10 Tech, trending, verizon

The Ultimate Digital Customer Service Guide

Posted: 22 Apr 2012 12:32 PM PDT

In our recent Customer Experience Series, Mashable dove deep into the mysterious alchemy of customer service. Those who own their own business will tell you: Getting (and keeping) customers is not easy. There are so many different factors that must work together perfectly within a company to ensure that fans of your brand stay happy.

Whether its making sure that your ecommerce platform doesn’t drive your users crazy or organizing your social media to build your community, forethought is key to a premium customer experience. These articles will give you comprehensive knowledge of many facets of digital customer service, with expert advice from community managers, CEOs and web designers.

Here’s a roundup of all of our articles, brought together into this handy guide. To read more, click through to the full article, and you can access the entire series here.

1. 7 Ways to Lower Your Website’s Bounce Rate

Businesses need to make sure their first impressions reel in the visitor to keep the person on your website and engaged with your brand. To help you combat pesky bounce rates, we’ve put together a list of usability considerations that can be used to lower your site’s bounce rate and improve visitor retention. From optimized page layouts to faster loading, there are a number of ways to keep web surfers hooked.

Read the full story here.

2. 10 Essential Features of Every Good Business Website

So your business has a website — or you’re in need of one for your brand new venture. Web design can be an overwhelming process, so we’ve spoken to a few web designers who told us what you need to have on your site … and what you can probably do without (like crazy Flash animation). We’ve gathered 10 website must-haves that will ensure your customers have a positive experience on the site, improve your company’s digital footprint and increase engagement with your brand.

Read the full story here.

3. 8 Killer Web Form Builders for Your Site

So you have your website set up with all the necessary features, but what about customer feedback? You have to be prepared to field the questions and concerns of your users, and nothing really does that better than a form.

However, not all form builders are created equal. While they all seem to have some basic parts, there are special details and customizable options that make each builder unique. Here are eight great form-building options to choose from — find the one that fits you and your company’s needs.

Read the full story here.

4. What You Need to Know About Building a Mobile App for Your Brand

In case you haven’t noticed, most of your potential customers have gone mobile. Last June, consumers began spending more time on mobile apps than on the web, according to researcher Flurry.

While creating a mobile website seems like an easy, cheap way to maintain visibility in this environment, another option is to create your own app. A few years ago, that wouldn’t have made any sense. But now prices have come down, the audience has grown and there’s a good chance that if you don’t have a mobile app, your competition will offer one.

Read the full story here.

5. 10 Ways to Optimize Your Ecommerce Site for Google Search

google-magnifying-glass-600Ecommerce websites have several inherent qualities — shallow copy, duplicate content and a large product catalog — that make it challenging to achieve a high Google ranking. But there are some best practices you can employ, in addition to traditional SEO techniques, to help your ecommerce site gain traction on Google.

Read the full story here.

6. 4 Ways To Make Your Ecommerce Site More Visually Appealing

These days, every thriving retail business needs an ecommerce platform. While consumers flock to major online outlets like Amazon and eBay to get their share of products, smaller stores can benefit from the draw an online storefront can give them.

Ecommerce is definitely the future of sales, but there’s one thing that could send your ecommerce storefront to an early demise: an ugly layout. It’s plain and simple — no one wants to shop at an unattractive, dated or unintuitive online storefront. Just as a front window display encourages customers to come into your store and take a peek at your wares, the way that your ecommerce landing and merchandise pages look either will entice users to click the check-out button or drive them to other websites.

Read the full story here.

7. 12 Top Community Managers Share Their Tips for Better Engagement

Engagement is one of the most talked about metrics for ROI. Some argue that the raw number of Likes, comments and retweets don’t mean anything. Instead, they point to a fans’ level of investment, loyalty and engagement to determine whether social media is “paying off.” Mashable gathered tips from a dozen top community managers to help you boost activity on your social platforms.

Read the full story here.

8. 14 Community-Driven Tips for Better Customer Relationships

Partner HandshakeLike any other relationship, the foundation you establish with your client or customer is crucial to how the business relationship will develop over time. It requires taking the time at the start, going the extra mile and paying attention to detail.

Customers are more likely to give you their loyalty when they experience consistency and transparency from the initial pitch. They appreciate you being genuine and upfront about your policies — no one likes a half-hearted response or to feel like they’ve been tricked.

The following are some tips and tricks on how to build relationships with your customers from leaders in communications, PR and social media.

Read the full story here.

9. 6 Ways to Acquire New Customers via Social Media

We all know social media is an important tool for brand awareness and customer acquisition — but how exactly are you supposed to convert random Twitter and Facebook users into real-life customers? Well, that depends.

Whether you’re a clothing shop, a restaurant or a subscription service, you must tailor your strategy so that it makes sense for your brand. That said, there are a few universal ways to help your company attract new faces on the social web.

Read the full story here.

10. 2 Ways to Fix Customer Loyalty Programs

Consumers aren’t as loyal to loyalty programs as they used to be.

Why the dissatisfaction? Let’s call it the Groupon factor. Since 2008, there have been a flood of daily deal merchants, like Groupon and LivingSocial, that have filled customers inboxes with irrelevant offers. (Groupon itself has recently employed a Pandora-like “thumbs up, thumbs down” rating system to tackle this problem, which is best illustrated by the example of middle-aged men getting offers for bikini waxes.)

Read the full story here.

11. 7 Mistakes to Avoid on Your Ecommerce Site

We’ve all been there. You’re all set to buy something, credit card in hand, but for one reason or another you never close the deal.

Maybe the third time you were asked to enter your credit card number you gave in. Perhaps it was the exorbitant shipping costs. Maybe the site crashed.

If you actually want people to stick around and buy stuff from your site, you may want to take note of and avoid these common pitfalls.

Read the full story here.

Do you have a great customer service story? Tell us in the comments.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, ewg3D

More About: Customer Experience Series, features, mashable, roundup

For more Business coverage:

Celebrate Spring With 10 Blooming iPhone Photos [PICS]

Posted: 22 Apr 2012 12:02 PM PDT

1. Sakura 2012 by Junichiro Aoyama

Snapped at Eifukuji Temple at Kyoto, Japan, this flowery Instagram capture is especially striking thanks to the perspective.

Click here to view this gallery.

The great thing about mobile photography is that your camera is always with you. This means you can capture all of life’s little details instead of just the grand events.

These details can be found in the changing of the seasons, such as when winter turns into spring. To celebrate the start of the warm weather, we’ve taken a look at beautiful iPhone photographs that highlight the blossoming season.

SEE ALSO: Snow Day: 10 Wonderful Wintery iPhone Photographs

Take a look through our image gallery for a veritable bower of blooms. Post links to your own pictures in the comments of any images you’ve snapped on your mobile phone of spring in full bloom.

Thumbnail image courtesy of Tomohisa Suna

More About: apple, features, gallery, iphone, iphotography, photography, trending

5 Ways Preparing Your Resume is Like Doing Taxes

Posted: 22 Apr 2012 11:31 AM PDT

Josh Tolan is the CEO of Spark Hire, which combines a video job board and online interviewing platform to enrich interaction between job seekers and employers. Connect with him and Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter.

As we bid adieu to yet another tax deadline, it got me thinking about how doing your taxes is very similar to preparing your resume. As humor columnist Dave Barry, joked, "It’s tax time. I know this because I’m staring at documents that make no sense to me, no matter how many beers I drink." The same could be said when working on your resume.

In fact, the panic you may have felt during the weeks leading up to the deadline can be equated to the stress of preparing your resume as you begin a job search. Both require extreme attention to detail, and everything you put down can seem like a make or break move. However, creating your resume — typically the first introduction to a potential employer — doesn't have to be left to a professional you visit once a year.

Here are five ways in which preparing your resume is like doing your taxes.

1. You Must Tell the Truth

Both taxes and your resume require complete honesty. You can be fined and charged for the cost of prosecution if you’re caught lying on your taxes. And if you lie to investigators, you can face double that for interfering with the administration of IRS laws — and you could potentially go to jail if you willfully lie or attempt to evade your taxes.

While you likely won't be fined or placed in jail for lying on your resume, that's no reason to avoid the truth. In most cases, HR departments do background checks and at least compare your social media accounts to your resume. Apart from being morally and ethically wrong, lying on your resume can lead to problems and will ruin your credibility for any future jobs.

2. It’s Time Consuming

Doing your own taxes through a system such as TurboTax can eat up a large chunk of your time. Last year, the IRS estimated that it took the average taxpayer 22 hours to prepare and file a Form 1040. With the average cost to prepare a federal and state return at $229, according to the National Society of Accountants, it works out to about $10 an hour for all the work you’ve done.

Similarly, preparing a good resume is a time-consuming process, and it is common to have to do several revisions before completing the final copy. Your resume changes all of the time as you update jobs, activities, honors and awards, as well as your ongoing projects, leadership experiences and achievements. Choosing the right words and phrases are critical in selling your marketable skills and experiences. If you keep your resume up to date, an update shouldn't eat as much of your time as your taxes do.

3. Organization is Key

Being organized is extremely helpful when you sit down to do your taxes, especially if you don't want to spend hours searching for documents. Even worse, you could risk overpaying the IRS hundreds of dollars by overlooking deductions and missing chances to itemize — opportunities that may well be buried in the forest of lengthy tax forms and updates that you must file every year.

The same concept applies when you go to update your resume. Effective resume preparation is really about getting organized before you start putting your fingers to the keyboard. Then, once you do get your basic resume drafted, you must remain focused on keeping your resume up to date. People often have difficulty creating or updating their resume because they haven't kept track of dates, addresses, names, accomplishments, duties and other essentials. Once you have begun your resume (from hard copy documents kept nicely in a file), keep your resume clean and organized with concise writing.

4. You Must Decide Who Does It

For your taxes, you had two options — you either filed your own paperwork or hired someone to do it for you. Hiring someone to do your taxes is a good idea if you’re afraid of making an expensive mistake or overlooking an important deduction; U.S. tax code is complicated, with about 3,400 tax law changes since 2000. So even if you are very interested in personal finance, the more complicated your return is, the more you may want to consider hiring a professional.

When it comes to crafting a resume, there are also two options: going DIY or hiring a resume professional. According to blogger Penelope Trunk, an effective resume doesn't just get you a job; it gets you the job you want. A good resume writer can help you reposition yourself to shift careers or make you look more high-level than you have been in the past. Many good resume writers can also help you to talk about your resume in a way that will allow you to turn an interview into a job.

However, many others stick with writing their own. For starters, writing your own resume saves you money. Plus, who knows your accomplishments and skills better than you? Formatting and creating your resume, and turning it an effective document is possible if you take the time and energy to assure it's the best it can be.

5. Not a Lot of Fun

The bottom line is that writing your resume and doing your taxes are both necessary evils that are not a lot of fun. Having your resume together and ready at a moment's notice makes it easier to prepare your cover letters, your video resumes and fill out job applications.

One thing that might help is injecting some humor into the processes. As Charlie Brown once said, "On Tax Day it is good to remember: No problem is so big or so complicated it cannot be run away from."

Social Media Job Listings

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

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, Neustockimages

More About: contributor, features, job search, job search series, mashable, resumes, taxes

For more Business coverage:

‘One Day on Earth’: The Most International Movie Premiere Ever

Posted: 22 Apr 2012 11:02 AM PDT

one day on earth

Eighteen months after thousands of volunteer filmmakers in every country on the planet shot 3,000 hours of footage in one day, One Day on Earth will have the most widespread one-day premiere in history.

The film will be screened for free at the U.N. General Assembly in New York at 4 p.m. Sunday.

The film is an entirely crowdsourced project, inviting anyone to join the shooting process. Its website has become a social hub for filmmaker members, who can post updates and photos, and connect with other members.

“We’re a different kind of film,” Executive Producer Brandon Litman told Mashable. “A lot of people have an emotional stake. We’re really excited to put it out via our online community.”

Director Kyle Ruddick added, “We created this as a participatory film event and the only way for people to be recognized for their contributions is through this niche social network within the site.”

Mobile technology is at the heart of much of the footage from the developing world. Because of inexpensive video recorders — some of which were donated to One Day on Earth, others of which are part of mobile phones — the film captures images of parts of the world rarely seen on camera.

“The balance of classy profession footage and grainy lower quality really humanizes it,” Litman says.

The next step for this annual project: a One Day on Earth mobile app for content creation that will let you geo-tag and upload footage shot during the window for shooting. All of the footage in the first edition of the film was shot on 10/10/10. The community mobilized for shooting again on 11/11/11 and the third date is planned for 12/12/12.

SEE ALSO: How Thousands of Volunteer Filmmakers Captured “One Day On Earth”

The first One Day on Earth addresses the environment and water issues, women’s rights, health, poverty and life cycle events in an effort to simultaneously show the commonalities and differences of life in different regions.

“The film is loosely based on the cycle of life,” One Day on Earth Litman said at the Envision 2012 conference Tuesday, which was co-sponsored by the U.N. Department of Public Information, the Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) and the Ford Foundation.

“We’re basically a big reflection of what’s happening across the world. All these stories come in and we have to see what to make of them.”

The international premier is supported by the U.N., Oxfam and Human Rights Watch, among other organizations. U.S. premiere locations are partnered with startup Tugg, which lets people vote to bring movies to local theaters.

Will you take part in filming the next movie? Let us know in the comments.

More About: Film, one day on earth, Social Good, United Nations, World

Music Festival Tech Changes Drastically Since Woodstock [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted: 22 Apr 2012 10:29 AM PDT

Concerts have changed a lot since the Woodstock days of the late 1960s. Here’s an infographic that compares how technology is used by fans at music festivals such as the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in California compared to the iconic Woodstock festival held in 1969.

Now, concerts incorporate lots of advanced technology. Not only do some shows include holographic images of deceased artists and boast interactivity such as texting song requests to bands in real time, but it’s far easier to connect with family and friends back home than ever.

“In 1969, fashion defined a generation,” the infographic notes. “People expressed themselves by what they wore. Today, the most expressive accessory is our smartphone.”

Although 66% of concert goers nowadays take pictures at concerts via their smartphones, music fans carried around Polaroid cameras in the ’60s. These wonky devices weighed about 2.5 pounds and could take eight pictures with each pack. Smartphones weigh a lean 4.3 ounces and can hold about 5,722 photos.

SEE ALSO: 5 Most Popular Musicians to Subscribe to on Facebook

Meanwhile, people once lined up at pay phones to make calls to friends and families during concerts. Now, about 32% send Facebook updates or tweets from a show and 47% of ticket holders text and email others while at a show.

In addition, long gone are the days where lighters were used to signal a ballad or encore — the glow from smartphones accomplish the same thing.

How do you use technology at concerts? Let us know in the comments.

Please note: You may need to expand your browser width to see this extra-wide graphic.

Music Festivals Infographic

Image courtesy of Flickr, messycupcakes

More About: Entertainment, Facebook, Mobile, Music, smartphones, Social Media, trending, Twitter

For more Entertainment coverage:

Happy Earth Day! Celebrate With Google Doodles [PICS]

Posted: 22 Apr 2012 09:39 AM PDT


Two globes are featured in Google's first ever Earth Day Doodle.

Click here to view this gallery.

Happy Earth Day! April 22 is the anniversary of the modern environmental movement, dating back to 1970.

With a billion people a year marking the occasion, it’s described as the “largest civic observance in the world.” Boasting 22,000 partners in over 190 countries, this year the Earth Day Network is gearing up to celebrate “A Billion Acts of Green.”

Since 2001, Google has marked each and every Earth Day with a specially-designed Doodle adorning its famously sparse homepage. To celebrate this special occasion, we’ve gathered them all into a gallery showing all of the Doodles.

SEE ALSO: 13 Creative Google+ Cover Photo Hacks

Join us in marking this date by taking a look through our green Google-themed gallery. Let us know in the comments what you’re doing to mark Earth Day in 2012.

More About: earth day, earth day 2012, eco, features, gallery, Google, google doodles

For more Dev & Design coverage:

10 Apps to Help You Go Green for Earth Day and Beyond

Posted: 22 Apr 2012 08:19 AM PDT

Digital Earth Chalkboard

The modern environmental movement began on April 22, 1970, when Gaylord Nelson, a United States Senator from Wisconsin, headed an environmental teach-in with over 20 million participants. This event became known as Earth Day, now in its 42nd year and observed by more than 500 million people in 175 countries.

This year’s Earth Day theme is “Mobilize the Earth,” actively encouraging world leaders to put us on the path to sustainability and take the green economy seriously. Earth Day isn’t just for helping the planet one day out of the year — it’s a great way to begin a green, environmentally conscious lifestyle.

There are various avenues you can take to support this year’s Earth Day initiative, and a great way to mobilize the earth is by using mobile devices. Check out these apps that can help you go green in time for Earth Day, and set a precedent for the rest of the year.

1. iRecycle

With iRecycle, you get instant access to more than 1 million ways to recycle, plus the latest in green news and tips for improving your own lifestyle.

Available on iOS.

Click here to view this gallery.

More About: android, apps, earth day, features, green, iOS, ipad, iphone, trending

This Olympic Moms Video Will Make You Cry

Posted: 22 Apr 2012 06:08 AM PDT

As athletes get ready to take the global stage during the London 2012 Olympic Games less than 100 days away, Procter & Gamble has released a new ad praising mothers worldwide. Press play and cue the waterworks.

In three days, the video has received over 700,000+ views on YouTube. P&G, the personal care and cleaning products giant and Olympic partner, released the “Best Job” video in anticipation of the summer games.

The video, directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, features mothers on four continents in London, Rio de Janeiro, Los Angeles and Beijing. These inspirational women raising their young Olympians are the true champs.

SEE ALSO: Olympics Unveil Social Media Hub to Connect Athletes and Fans

The “Thank You, Mom” campaign is the largest in the company’s 174-year history, according to a P&G press release. It ties in social media and print elements.

On the official “Thank You, Mom” Facebook Page — with over 510,000 likes — the company connects its consumers with posts about its products, Olympics news and athlete updates. There’s also an app within the page where sons and daughters can thank the maternal figures in their lives with a video, pictures or a simple message.

Tell us in the comments if this video made you weep.

Thumbnail image courtesy of P&G

More About: Business, Facebook, Marketing, proctor & gamble, Social Media, social networking, trending, Video

Back to the top