All posts in “Many Cool Things”

Many Cool Things – November 16, 2012

Here’s this week’s edition of  #ManyCoolThings, a Social Media Group culture jam. These are the many cool things that recently caught our attention or inspired us:

Dominic Wilcox’s giant ScotchBlue tape flower sculpture
ScotchBlue and Design Milk launched a challenge for fans to create inspirational designs using ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape. Dominic Wilcox came up with the idea to piece together a giant blue flower.


Facebook, retailers testing ‘want’ button. Move could open sources of revenue
Facebook partners with seven retailers to test a feature that lets users of the social network create “wish lists” of home furnishings, clothing and other retail products, laying the groundwork for what some believe could be an eventual push into e-commerce.  

Multi-tasking is bad for your brain. Here’s how to fix it
All the streams from the social web have created a flood of information. With this influx of life and data streams comes the desire to stay on top of it all. But this is a bad idea, according to Clifford Nass whom GigaOm interviewed on the topic. Watch the video for Nass’s tips.

FoldIt – Solve puzzles for science.
FoldIt is an online puzzle video game about protein folding. The game is part of an experimental research project, and is developed by the University of Washington’s Center for Game Science in collaboration with the UW Department of Biochemistry. The objective of the game is to fold the structure of selected proteins to the best of the player’s ability, using various tools provided within the game. The highest scoring solutions are analysed by researchers, who determine whether or not there is a native structural configuration (or native state) that can be applied to the relevant proteins, in the “real world”. Scientists can then use such solutions to solve “real-world” problems, by targeting and eradicating diseases, and creating biological innovations.

For more on FoldIt, watch this short documentary.

Also, check out EteRNA, a sister project of FoldIt in which players help reveal new principles for designing RNA-based switches and nanomachines — new systems for seeking and eventually controlling living cells and disease-causing viruses.

Is this the blueprint for retailers to finally monetize Facebook?
Much has been written about retailers’ failed attempts at “F-Commerce”, but a look at what’s happening on Walmart’s Facebook page reveals what could well be the blueprint for how retailers will finally turn a profit on the world’s largest social network.
Walmart appears to be selling its suppliers promoted posts on its Facebook page, just like it sells its suppliers shelf space in store and half pages in their catalog. Yes folks, co-op marketing has arrived on Facebook.

Digital Marketing BS
What marketing buzzwords are most “electrifying”? Watch to find out.

Unsuck It – Need help translating all of those business buzzwords?
Unsuck It lets you input an overly complicated business term and it provides you with a definition in plain English. It’s just that easy. There’s even an option to “email the definition to the douchebag who used it.”

Many Cool Things – November 9, 2012

Welcome to this week’s installment of  #ManyCoolThings, a Social Media Group culture jam. These are the many cool things that recently caught our attention or inspired us:

Moral behaviour in animals

Empathy, cooperation, fairness and reciprocity — caring about the well-being of others seems like a very human trait. But Frans de Waal shares some surprising videos of behavioral tests, on primates and other mammals, that show how many of these moral traits all of us share.

Discover more on this topic in Nova Science Now’s “What Are Animals Thinking?”.

Digital Out of Home Experience
OMD created a storefront campaign at the MLB Fan Cave that would engage consumers through FourSquare.  To activate, consumers used their phones to check-in to the location on FourSquare.  The vending machine then dispensed a MLB official baseball for them and a few lucky participants received an autographed balled signed by Giants center fielder Willie Mays.

RecoverFeed – Take action on behalf of those affected by Hurricane Sandy. Aim for visible progress.

Big Spaceship (Digital agency in Brooklyn NY) created a page to help the recovery of Hurricane Sandy. The tag like is to ‘Aim for visual progress” and have included photos (looks like most of the photos are coming in from Instagram) to display this. There are options to donate and volunteer with multiple charitable options to choose from.

This start-up was founded in Oct 2010 in San Francisco. The name Wanelo combines a blend of the words “Want, Need, Love”. The platform positions itself a content curation tool, comparable to Pinterest, Fancy and Polyvore. In June 2012 they received $2M in investment. You can follow users and brands. Because it is integrated with Facebook, users can stay within Facebook chatting with their friends while they shop. This has also allowed the site to grow to about 30 million users.

Donation Box: The best idea Apple never had
How’s this for an innovative way to raise money for charity? In this promo video, Apple users are encourage to help fund the Salvation Army this Christmas using “Donation Box”. Simply drag and drop your unwanted apps into the Box and Apple will donate cash to the charity. Amazing… except unfortunately it’s not real.
The promo is so slick and professional, there’s no way you’d know this wasn’t an official Apple commercial – but it’s not. It’s actually a project made by a group of advertising students affected by Hurricane Sandy.

The Net-A-Porter Group Limited is the world’s premier online luxury fashion retailer.

This is a project that encourages citizens to report cases of corruption in Kosovo via a Ushahidi-based platform. (If you’re not familiar with Ushahidi, it’s a non-profit tech company that specializes in developing free and open source software for information collectionvisualization and interactive mapping.)

Virtual store for Toronto holiday shoppers
Holiday shoppers walking through Toronto’s business district now have the option of making purchases with their cell phones from a new virtual store. Walmart Canada and Mattel Canada have set up a digital pop-up store at Brookfield Place in the PATH — Toronto’s underground tunnel network — right next to an entrance to Union Station, the city’s commuter hub. The store features two walls with images of products like doll houses, toy trucks, and race car tracks, and will be open for the next four weeks. To purchase the products shoppers use a smartphone app to scan a code, or access the store’s website and find the product code manually.

Many Cool Things – November 2, 2012

Today, we held our second Social Media Group culture jam, which we call #ManyCoolThings.

Here are summaries and links to the #ManyCoolThings we found this week:

Facebook Gifts gets ability to make charitable contributions on behalf of friends
Facebook has begun testing the ability to give charitable contributions on behalf of friends in its Facebook Gifts product. The gifts product used to be limited to giving physical or digital items to friends and having them delivered, but now takes on a charitable bent.

Cory Booker uses Twitter to reach constituents in need during Hurricane Sandy
Hurricane Sandy has provided politicians across the Northeast with an excellent opportunity to prove how much they care about their constituencies — especially via social media, the easiest means by which public officials can demonstrate how ~in touch~ they are with real people.


Open Wines – “Open For Anything” campaign
Call the Open hotline (1-855-5-BE-OPEN) for a random suggestion of what to do tonight.

Image: Open Wines

Political Engagement Map
See the level of engagement by state by Obama and Romney tweets.

Science reveals how not to choke under pressure
Cognitive psychologist Sian Beilock has a formula for performing in the clutch: Don’t pay too much attention to what you are doing.
Nova Science Now show

La Carnita – Art and Tacos
La Carnita is an experiment in progress: one that combines the global street food and street art cultures with the local talent and ingredients we’re blessed to be near. For more, check their story or read about them in Marketing Magazine.

Louis C.K. Hates Twitter – Conan on TBS
Louis C.K. has the rare ability to live his life without looking at his phone all day.

Be sure to follow @SMG_Agency to participate live in future #ManyCoolThings culture jams.

Introducing "Many Cool Things" – An SMG Culture Jam

At Social Media Group, sparking creativity and inspiration is a collaborative effort for our clients and ourselves. Recently, we launched an SMG culture jam we call #ManyCoolThings. The idea is that, Fridays when we have lunch together as a team, everyone shares a cool thing that they read or saw in the past week and explain why they think it’s cool. It’s kind of like show and tell for grown ups. The cool things we share are not solely related to social media. They may be anything that we find interesting or inspiring, from media to music, advertising to politics, technology to fashion, inspiration is what it’s all about.

We want you to be part of #ManyCoolThings too. So, every Friday we host our jam we’ll post summaries and links to the many cool things that we find on the blog. You can also follow along live on Twitter through @SMG_Agency.

Incase you missed the live jam today, here are the #ManyCoolThings:

Maxipad Brand Goes for Blood in Brilliant Reply to Facebook Rant
Brands often freeze up when they’re criticized on Facebook. U.K. maxipad maker Bodyform makes the most of it. A week ago, a man named Richard Neill posted a rant on Bodyform’s Facebook wall, humorously calling out the brand for false advertising. Rather than ignore it, Bodyform one-upped Mr. Neill with the video below, in which it pretends to fess up about its pathological lying.

OOH advertising responds in real time to social web:
A newly-installed billboard for Jell-O constantly studies the ratio of happy and sad emoticons on Twitter, then uses the ever-changing data to make a face on the ad smile or frown.

iAd: Breast Cancer Self-Check iPad Ad
Here’s a really simple, smart, actionable iPad Ad created in conjunction with Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the National Cancer Society of Malaysia.

Earmarkd is a search engine that shows perspectives from left/right and center political sources. It was created for a competition called Rails Rumble, a 48 hour contest where teams across the world develop web apps using Ruby on Rails and other open source tools.

Epic Marketing WIN: Byzantium Security
This is an amazing interactive marketing campaign for a fictional company called Byzantium Security, which, as it turns out, is promoting “Hunted”, a new show on Cinemax.

Binders Full of Women on Tumblr
The 2012 US election, twisting words and social media. Mitt Romney’s “Binders full of Women” comment in the Presidential debate sparked this dedicated tumblr within minutes of him saying it and  is now one of the hottest sites this week.

Kraft NFC pilot delivers 12 times the engagement level of QR codes

Kraft recently piloted a near field communications (NFC) program at select grocery stores, with results showing significantly higher engagement levels compared to QR codes.

Make a Smarter Notification System for Your Phone or Tablet with Pushover
No offense, but your phone’s notification system sucks. With a clever app called Pushover, you can create your own custom notification system that’s a heck of a lot smarter, so your phone only bothers you with notifications you want, when you want them.

McDonald’s: Our Food. Your Questions.
Ever wanted to ask us about the food in our Canadian restaurants? Now’s your chance! We’ll answer any questions about our food.

Starting with Pinterest, Curalate makes it easy for brands to measure, monitor, and grow their social curation presence. And we’re just getting warmed up. The platform uses image recognition technology.

What cool things have you found recently? Share them with us in the comments.