Archive for “October, 2010”

Social Media Roundup: Best of Halloween 2010

This week’s social media roundup is special for Halloween, here are seven of our favorites from around the social web.

Enjoy and have a safe and awesome Halloween from all your friends at Social Media Group.

Quoth the Raven, Nevermore

I always have a soft spot for Edgar Allan Poe’s “Raven”.  I’m pretty fond of the Simpson’s version, but this version read by John De Lancie (who played Q on Star Trek) is excellent. (via BoingBoing)

Foursquare offers Two Halloween 2010 Badges

More treat than trick, Foursquare has released two badges for users this Halloween. Confession: I checked into the office today today just to unlock the badge. I’ve been a sucker for badges since Brownies.

Via Jaunted:

2010 Foursquare Halloween Badges

In order to score Halloween 2010 badge (above, at right), simply check in anytime this weekend, anywhere on Foursquare, but make sure to shout “Happy Halloween!” when you do. The more coveted badge, the Spooky Swarm (above, at left) is only for those hosting the rowdiest parties, as you’ll have to check in at a party spot with as-yet-undisclosed large number of fellow Foursquare checkins. We’re guessing somewhere between 50-100 others, but listen for the full how-to on Twitter over the weekend as people unlock this.

Much healthier than those tasty teeny chocolate bars

All this Halloween-related surfing has made me peckish. Perhaps I should grab one of these Halloween-themed Bento Box Lunches? (via: The Kitchn)
Halloween Bento Box Lunches

Trick-or-Treater Index: Data Crunched for List of Best US Cities

Over at The Daily Beast, Richard Florida writes:

“The idea for the Trick-or-Treater Index came to me several years ago, right after my wife and I spent our first Halloween in Toronto and I wrote about it in my Who’s Your City?. I’d lived in many urban neighborhoods in the United States in New York, Boston, D.C., Pittsburgh, Columbus, and Buffalo, and frankly never seen many trick-or-treaters…”

Chicago, San Diego and Trenton, NJ made the list. For all the details, check out the Best Cities for Trick-or-Treating media gallery at The Daily Beast.

John Savio’s iPhone 4 Costume Rules

(Via Gizmodo)


Adam Frucci at DVICE writes of John Savio’s costume: “This epic homemade costume consists of a jailbroken iPhone 4 hooked up to a 40-inch LED LCD panel, a back camera LED light and a whole lot of polish. The phone connects to the display via VGA out, allowing John to control the screen and display, making it look like a real-deal giant iPhone.”

Awesome halloween costume bonus link: Ben Heck’s Portal Costume (via OhGizmo!)

Best Social Media-Themed Costumes

Staying with costumes, Mashable ran a Social Media Media Halloween Costume Contest this week. Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and YouTube make a good showing. I’m all about memes as Halloween costumes, so the guy dressed as Sad Keanu gets my vote.

New Yahoo! Game uses Zombies to Teach Economic Theory

Just in time for Halloween, Yahoo! labs developers have released a zombie game that goes beyond the norm (rising from the dead, eating brains, etc) and enters the realm of (gasp) education.

Via PCWorld:

Shambling Hordes is a simple game of territory control that challenges players to assume the mantle of “Zombie Warlord” and conquer a desolate island with a limited supply of undead legions.

Shambling Hordes from Yahoo! Labs

Best Carvings: Pumpkin Geek

Elevating the time-honoured tradition of carving faces into pumpkins for jack-o’-lanterns, is Alex Wer, the Pumpkin Geek who has an incredible online gallery of carvings. Hmm, I wonder if it is too late to order a Social Media Group logo-carved pumpkin?

Pumpkin Geek Yoda

Social Media Roundup for October 22, 2010

NASA Astronaut Checks-in from Space

That’s right,  NASA astronaut and Commander of the International Space Station, Doug Wheelock, has checked into Foursquare from Space! Normally most users check-in to their favorite venues, restaurants, and work places. Since the International Space Station technically qualifies as Wheelock’s work place, we’re all for it. In honor of the check-in, Foursquare has created a special badge for the occasion with the following description:

“You are now 220 miles above Earth traveling at 17,500 mph and unlocked the NASA Explorer Badge! Show this badge and get a free scoop of astronaut ice cream.”

Of course, our default question becomes, “how close to the International Space Station do you technically have to be to check-in?”

(via TechCrunch)

Drag-n-Drop for Your Facebook Photos

This week Facebook continued to improve the photo services for users by now allowing for drag-n-drop organization of albums. This is a very welcome update as now users can simply drag photos in their albums to change their display order.

(via Mashable)

Startup Funded by Web Giants

Do you have the latest and greatest idea, service, or tool for social media? Getting help starting may have just gotten easier for you. Companies like Facebook, Amazon, Zynga, and Comcast have joined forces to create the $250-million sFund to help entrepreneurs get started. The fund will help with costs and providing counseling for social media startups. Cafebots is the first startup that has taken advantage of the fund and received $5-million.

(via Montreal Gazette)

Happy Birthday from Google!

Have you ever noticed the special Google Doodles for various anniversaries and events on the Google homepage? Google now announced that if a user has a Google profile that contains their birthday they will now see a special Google Doodle on their special day. Of course, this is probably just a way for Google to get better demographic data on their users… but who doesn’t enjoy a good birthday wish?!?

(via Google Blog)

Viral Video Launches Atomic Tom to the Forefront

Last but not least this week, proof that with enough practice and creativity, you can achieve almost anything with technology and the Internet. By using the iPhone apps iShred, Drum Meister, Pocket Guitar, Virtuoso, and Microphone, 3 iPhones to shoot the video, and a surprised audience on a New York subway train, the band created a live performance video of their single “Take Me Out” that has had almost 2,456,000 views on YouTube to date. In addition to bringing the band almost instant stardom, the video has also persuaded enough people to head over to iTunes to purchase the single which made it to #86 on iTunes top 100 list this week.

Feel inspired by the creativity of the video? We’d love to hear what kind of creative things you like to do with your BlackBerry, iPhones, Androids.

Webinar: Leveraging Paid Social Media to Demonstrate ROI

I’m really excited to be able to share something really cutting edge with those of you who were unable to make my BlogWorld Expo session last week. I’m going to be delivering a webinar that shares our learnings in working with emerging social platforms to scale social media and demonstrate very serous ROI (especially around earned social). Please join me on Friday October 29th at 1pm EDT (it will also be available on demand) for a webinar being offered by Bulldog Reporter’s PR University. Here’s the official blurb:

Social media placements are great, but are they really helping you reach your PR and marketing objectives? Are they driving clicks to your web site, boosting awareness of your key messages and ultimately driving sales? If not, you may want to learn more about a fast-rising trend: paying for social media placements.

What are the do’s and don’ts of correctly—and cost-effectively—combining paid social media into your PR mix? Join PR University for an exclusive webinar with Maggie Fox to get all the answers you need to implement a wildly successful paid social media program

You can sign up here, and I hope you can join me!

Social Media Group's Vacation Policy on CBC's The National

We were surprised and overwhelmed at the response to our recent blog post detailing our unlimited vacation policy. We were inundated by calls from media – radio, national print and television. This story obviously hit a chord with folks. The CBC did a piece on the policy that ran across the country, and we’d like to share the link with you. However, the story really focused on how “unlimited” doesn’t really mean “unlimited” (which I guess is true – the policy isn’t about letting people be on vacation five days a week – that wouldn’t be a job, that would be a very generous unemployment benefit).

I think our staff did a great job of conveying the accountability that makes this policy work – we have a fantastic, hardworking team, and that really shone through (nice work, guys!). I also want to stress that this is about rewarding that hard work. I’m going to do something that feels kind of weird and quote myself,

Sometimes your work blends into your life (working late or on weekends, doing what you need to do to deliver quality results). Why shouldn’t your life blend into your work (taking an afternoon off to spend with your kids)? …No more worrying if you have enough vacation time saved to keep yourself healthy. Take time when you and your family need it; you have earned it.

We know that to be the best in a business that is disrupting the worlds of advertising, PR and increasingly business consulting, we need fantastic people that will go the extra mile to deliver awesome. The policy that we introduced in September is about attracting and retaining that awesome, and we think it’s going to work very well from us. One of our main proof points? Netflix has been doing this for a decade.

Why we decided to offer unlimited vacation at Social Media Group

There has been a ton of discussion about the merits of unlimited vacation, offered by companies like Netflix,

The 400 salaried employees are evaluated on their individual performances, not face time. Still, they must be able to balance work and vacation responsibly to get their work done. And they must be able to work without constant supervision.

The more I read about unconventional methods of rewarding and retaining employees, the more the SMG management team discussed it, the clearer it became that offering unlimited paid time off to our employees made a ton of sense. Our business is extremely fast-paced, and while we are relatively small, we are mighty – working with huge organizations like 3M, Ford, CNN, SAP, Thomson Reuters and one of the top three global banks. We’re playing with the “big boys” and our incredible team has to deliver their A+ game – Every. Single. Day. (and sometimes after the day is technically over). Like Netflix, we are not interested in the adequate – our team is made up of exceptional, hard-working individuals because that’s what it takes to be the best.

It was that last part that really underscored the appropriateness of letting people take time when they needed it. Realistically, there is no such thing as a “work/life balance”. I think of it instead as a “work/life blend”. Sometimes your work blends into your life (working late or on weekends, doing what you need to do to deliver quality results). Why shouldn’t your life blend into your work (taking an afternoon off to spend with your kids)?

So, starting in September, Social Media Group began offering all of our employees unlimited time off. We obviously have some guidelines in place (with rewards come responsibility: you’re responsible for your own mental health, your clients and your colleagues), but I feel like it’s really lightened the load in our high-pressure, high-quality, top-notch delivery environment: no more worrying if you have enough vacation time saved to keep yourself healthy. Take time when you and your family need it; you have earned it.

What do you think about this policy? How do you think your organization would manage if a similar policy was instituted where you work?

Social Media Roundup for October 8, 2010

Social Networks Preferred Tool for Online News Distribution

This week, CNN, a Social Media Group client, announced the results of a study concerning how online news is shared. The preferred method for CNN’s online audience? Social media networks and tools accounted for 43% of shared news online. Email (30%), SMS (15%), and IM (12%) were also listed as preferred methods, but were not as popular as social media.

The study also indicated that a minority of users are responsible for the majority of sharing:

The study found that 27% of frequent sharers (those who share at least six stories per week) account for the online distribution of 87% of all news stories. The average consumer of online news content shares 13 stories per week and receives 26 stories via social media and/or e-mail.

(Via Mashable)

.LY Domain Shuts Down American Website

The .LY domain, administered by Libya Telecom and Technology shut down American Violet Blue’s website this week, citing an “offensive” image of the writer drinking a beer in a sleeveless shirt, among other reasons.

This may be a problem for other sites using the .LY domain, and there are many.

Libya actively encourages foreigners to register domains in the country, selling them in U.S. dollars on an English language website, and indeed the Libya Telecom representative told Blue “we pride ourselves on being the online destination for many well known websites internationally.” Indeed, one of the most popular URL shorteners on Twitter, bit.ly, uses a Libyan domain, as do a significant number of other popular websites and web applications created over the past few years.

(Via Gawker)

Google Translate Introduces Latin

Graduate students and historians had a reason to rejoice yesterday. Google Translate has added Latin to its list of supported languages. Thousands of books with Latin passages are available in Google Books and can now be translated, although the results seem to be a bit unreliable for now.

(Via Google Operating System)

The Art of Giving Up Control

Today, Maggie participated in a webinar with Charlene Li and Steve Rubel on the importance of supporting social media in organizations. Hopefully you were able to listen in!  If you missed it, check back on Monday, when the recording will be available here.

Webinar: The Art of Giving Up Control

This coming Friday at 1pm EDT I’ll be participating in a free webinar with Charlene Li and Steve Rubel on “The Art of Giving Up Control” (which really means “change management to support social in the enterprise”, but that’s a little too long ;-) . Here’s the official blurb, and I’d love it if you would join us and ask a bunch of tough questions!

Steve Rubel and Maggie Fox work closely with some of the biggest businesses in the world, where they frequently counsel leaders who are afraid to give up control. We’ll discuss how they broach this subject with their clients and how they show the value and upside of embracing being open. Some questions we’ll discuss include:

  • How do you convince executives that giving up control is inevitable?
  • How to quantify the value of giving up control?
  • What are the best ways to bring reluctant leaders into the social space?
  • And how can you help your organization embrace the new openness?

The webinar is this Friday at 1pm EDT, and you can register – free – here. Hope to see you Friday!

Social Media Roundup for October 1, 2010

Influence and Popularity Not the Same on Twitter

(via Mashable):

Kim Kardashian isn’t the most popular celeb on Twitter. She’s a couple million followers behind the heavy-hitters of Internet-savvy entertainers; however, she’s accomplished something no other individual celebrity has done: She’s the celeb who gets the most traffic referrals from Twitter.

Kardashian’s stats prove that popularity and influence — quantity and quality — are two different things. And we think the ability to direct web traffic is a pretty big part of influence.

Nokia Ships New Smartphone

Thursday, Nokia began shipping their new smartphone, the N8. Intended to compete with the Blackberry and the iPhone, the N8 is the first to run on the Symbian OS. Also of note is the 12 megapixel camera, in comparison to the 5 megapixel cameras available on Blackberry and iPhone.

(via HuffPo):

Nokia said deliveries would begin immediately for pre-orders of the touch screen model, which had received “the highest amount of consumer pre-orders in Nokia history.” Worldwide availability would be “in the coming weeks” and will vary by country, Nokia said.

The N8, which looks like an iPhone, features a 12-megapixel digital camera with Carl Zeiss optics and a 3.5 inch display. It is built on a new version of the Symbian software with photo uploading connections to social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

SAP & B2B Social Media Marketing Excellence

Our friends and clients over at SAP wrote a great post this week over at Social Media Today. It offers four steps for best practice in setting up a B2B social media marketing strategy.

The Value of Facebook Likers

On Wednesday, Facebook released more information about “likers.”

People who click the Facebook Like button are more engaged, active and connected than the average Facebook user. The average “liker” has 2.4x the amount of friends than that of a typical Facebook user. They are also more interested in exploring content they discover on Facebook — they click on 5.3x more links to external sites than the typical Facebook user.

As publishers work to identify the best ways to reach a younger, “always on” audience, we’ve found that the average “liker” on a news site is 34, compared to the median age of a newspaper subscriber which is approximately 54 years old, as reported by the Newspaper Association of America.

Google Takes Street View to Antarctica

While you probably won’t need to use it very often, it is pretty cool to get a street level view of what’s happening on Half Moon Island. The normal street level view icon of a green man is also replaced with an icon of a penguin.

(via The Daily What):