Friday, June 10, 2011

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “The 6 Biggest Stories in Tech, Business & Social Media This Morning”

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “The 6 Biggest Stories in Tech, Business & Social Media This Morning”


The 6 Biggest Stories in Tech, Business & Social Media This Morning

Posted: 10 Jun 2011 05:02 AM PDT

Social Media News

Welcome to this morning’s edition of "First To Know," a series in which we keep you in the know on what's happening in the digital world. We're keeping our eyes on six particular stories of interest today.

Google In Talks to Acquire AdMeld for $400 Million

Google is in the final stages of acquiring AdMeld, a firm that specializes in ad optimization and ad inventory for publishers, according to several reports.

HuffPo Surpasses NYT in Monthly U.S. Uniques

The Huffington Post has surpassed The New York Times in monthly uniques from the U.S., according to data from comScore.

Facebook Testing “Happening Now” Feed

Facebook is testing a “Happening Now” feed, designed to help users see what their friends are doing in real-time.

Hackers Protest Censorship by Taking Down a Government Website in Turkey

A group of hackers known as Anonymous has taken down a Turkish government website in a protest against recently introduced Internet filters.

Motorola Announces Second 4G Phone

Although it has yet to ship its first 4G phone, Motorola has already announced a second: the Photon 4G for Sprint.

Twitter To Automate Ad Buying by End of Year

Twitter plans to offer an automated ad-buying system for small businesses that should lead to a torrent of new advertising for the platform.

Further News

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, DNY59

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Hackers Protest Censorship by Taking Down a Government Website in Turkey

Posted: 10 Jun 2011 03:03 AM PDT


A group of hackers known as Anonymous has taken down a Turkish government website in a protest against recently introduced Internet filters which many consider to be censorship.

“(The Turkish government) has blocked thousands of websites and blogs while abusive legal proceedings against online journalists persist. The government now wants to impose a new filtering system on the 22nd of August that will make it possible to keep records of all the people’s internet activity. Though it remains opaque why and how the system will be put in place, it is clear that the government is taking censorship to the next level,” said Anonymous in a message on its website (currently offline).

Anonymous took down the site for Turkey’s Telecommunications Communication Presidency (TIB), which is still inaccessible at the time of this writing.

Turkey has a long history of Internet censorship, with the country’s ISPs having blocked YouTube and numerous other sites over the course of the last couple of years.

In a similar move in February 2011 Anonymous took down the sites of the Ministry of Information and President Hosni Mubarak's National Democratic Party to protest against Internet censorship in Egypt.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, ssuni

[via Reuters]

More About: anonymous, attack, censorship, hack, hacker, hacking, turkey

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Celeb Q&A: Formspring Adds Special Features for the Famous

Posted: 09 Jun 2011 10:52 PM PDT


Formspring, the addictive Q&A app, has announced it’s giving celebs, including musicians, comedians and actors, special features to communicate with their fans.

The stars will have verified accounts as well as a string of other features to help them better communicate and engage with their fans.

In general, Formspring allows users to ask and answer questions on its platform. One special feature is the ability to ask questions anonymously. The app currently has 25 million users, a huge milestone considering the app just launched a year and a half ago.

Now the service will start catering to celebs. A group of 50 entertainers are currently getting the special Formspring treatment, including Adam Duritz of Counting Crows, comedian Margaret Cho, and a slew of others.

First, the service is using site-wide promotions to help its shortlist of celebs get more exposure and have real conversations and share stories with their fans on Formspring. The promoted accounts will appear in the right column of the site as Formspring Favorites:

In addition to the promotion, stars can ask all their follows a single question at once.

New Formspring features for celebs include, inbox sorting to bring the best questions asked to the top, private follower counts, and verified accounts similar to those on Twitter, with the identity of the celeb confirmed by Formspring.

“Bringing a group of our musicians into the global community Formspring has built gives fans a new way to get to know each of them and interact with them about their tours, new albums and personalities,” S-Curve Records CEO Steve Greenberg said in a release. “We’re excited to see what the interactions do to engage fans in a totally fresh way.”

We’re looking forward to seeing more interesting Q&A with celebs on Formspring. If A-listers take to the platform, it should give us plenty of fodder for celebrity/social media reporting, to say the least.

More About: formspring, q&a, startup

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Facebook’s Newest Talent Acquisition Is All About Design

Posted: 09 Jun 2011 09:25 PM PDT


Facebook has acquired the team behind Sofa, an Amsterdam-based software firm known for its design prowess.

“We expected to keep working at Sofa forever,” the company said in a blog post announcing the talent acquisition, “but after Facebook first made contact, we were quickly convinced to join forces.”

You’re probably familiar with Sofa’s work if you’ve ever browsed the web with Firefox or used a TomTom. The company has designed icons for Mozilla, 280 North, Nike and more. It’s also the creator of several pieces of Mac software, including Kaleidoscope (a file comparison tool), Versions (a subversion client), Checkout (a tool for managing retail stores) and Enstore (a tool for managing web stores).

As is true with many of Facebook’s acquisitions, the company will not be acquiring Sofa’s products, primarily Kaleidoscope and Versions. This is all about getting a team that has proven adept at creating beautiful icons and simple software.

"We were just blown away by the Sofa team's work, from their Mac and web software to the interfaces and brand identities they created for clients," Facebook Director of Design Kate Aronowitz said in a statement.

The Sofa team will be relocating from Amsterdam to Facebook’s headquarters in Palo Alto in the next few weeks. The company promises to find good homes for its applications. While Kaleidoscope and Versions will have to find new owners, Checkout and Enstore created under joint partnerships and thus will have an easier transition.

More About: acquisition, design, facebook, kaleidoscope, Sofa, versions

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Kickstarter Project Aims to Open Fashion Week to the Public

Posted: 09 Jun 2011 08:45 PM PDT


The Spark of Genius Series highlights a unique feature of startups and is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark. If you would like to have your startup considered for inclusion, please see the details here.

Name: L.E.S Runway

Quick Pitch: A platform for emerging fashion designers to show and sell their wares during New York Fashion Week.

Genius Idea: Cheryl Maleh wants two things to happen during New York Fashion Week in September:

  • 1) She wants emerging New York designers to have the opportunity to host their own fashion shows affordably.
  • 2) She wants to open up more runway shows to the public.

The fashion industry veteran and Lower East Side resident is using crowdsource funding platform Kickstarter to raise $8,500 for the initiative, which will invite local designers to apply to be apart of the program. If selected, designers will be provided with all they need to host a show, including space, models and logistics help.

In addition, the space used for the shows will act as a storefront during the day, enabling the public to purchase items straight off the runway.

We’ve seen similar initiatives from individual designers in the past, and now we’re glad to see this come to the Lower East Side on a larger scale.

L.E.S Runway will run throughout the month of September, with a different designer or group of designers featured each night, and shows throughout the weekend.

The project has received more than $4,300 from 75 backers thus far. To learn more, check out the video below.


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: fashion, fashion week, kickstarter

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HOW TO: Squash Bugs in Your Code Without Really Trying

Posted: 09 Jun 2011 07:48 PM PDT


If you’re a .NET dev who likes the sound of predictive bug-squashing, you might want to give Armadillo a shot.

This handy tool runs in the background and analyzes your code, flagging lines that need to be corrected. It follows you as you test your code and creates a safety net, protecting your work from regression bugs.

Armadillo creates validation scenarios that are continuously verified as you modify your code. If a bug is found, Armadillo pinpoints it so you can debug the code in question without running the whole app.

And best of all, as the software learns more scenarios, it is able to prevent more bugs. Armadillo will also show you unverified code so you can add validation scenarios yourself.

Armadillo works on Windows machines and can be used with Visual C# on Visual Studio 2010 to prevent bugs in WPF, WinForms and Console applications. ASP .NET and SharePoint scenarios protection is coming soon for web app support.

You can get a 21-day free trial, or you can subscribe for $25 each month. Commercial licenses, ideal for .NET shops, are $299 plus a $99 annual maintenance fee.

More About: armadillo, bugs, code, developers, development

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Celebrate Social Media Day With Mashable in San Francisco

Posted: 09 Jun 2011 06:40 PM PDT


Mashable‘s Social Media Day is a day being recognized all over the world through Meetups organized by local communities. And on June 30, more than 175,000 people will come together to celebrate the advancements happening online that allow us to connect with others.

In San Francisco, we’re coming together to have some fun with a huge event at House of Air, an indoor trampoline park. There will be free jumping, dodgeball and basketball from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and networking the entire night.

We hope to fill the 500-capacity venue, so come join us for a night of socializing with your online community in a fun way offline!

We have sponsorship opportunities available for Social Media Day in San Francisco. Email us at sponsorships@mashable.com.


San Francisco Social Media Day Details


Date: Thursday, June 30, 2011
Time: 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Location: House of Air, Building 926 at 926 “Old” Mason Street, San Francisco, CA 94129
RSVP: Meetup, Facebook Event, Plancast
Hashtag: #smday


View Larger Map

We can’t wait to celebrate our biggest and best Social Media Day yet with you. Hope to see you there!



Not in San Francisco? Attend a Social Media Day Meetup Near You »


More About: community, mashable meetup, smday, social media day

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Nintendo Wii U: First Impressions [PHOTOS]

Posted: 09 Jun 2011 06:15 PM PDT


Nintendo stole the show at E3 with the unveiling of its Nintendo Wii U console, but does it have enough to beat the competition and surpass its predecessor?

The Wii U is Nintendo’s attempt to create a console that will appease the casual and hardcore gaming crowds. Its selling point is a handheld controller with a 6.2-inch touchscreen. The controller’s second screen opens up a new realm of gaming possibilities, some of which Nintendo had on display at its booth on the E3 show floor.

I had a significant amount of time to try out the Nintendo Wii U, hold the controller, and play with Nintendo’s various demos. While I will have more to say about the console and its place in the gaming ecosystem, I wanted share my initial thoughts about the console and its unique controller.

Here are my first impressions of the Nintendo Wii U:

  • Key specs to remember: The Wii U controller has a 6.2-inch touchscreen, is 1.8-inches tall, 6.8-inches wide and 10.5-inches long. It supports up to 1080p HD video, has four USB connector slots, runs a IBM Power-based multi-core processor and is backwards compatible with the Wii.
  • The controller definitely feels big in your hands. It’s bigger and heavier than a handheld gaming system (including the PlayStation Vita), but once you start playing, you really forget about its size.
  • The controller’s touchscreen is gorgeous and responsive. It’s a full 6.2-inches, more than enough for clear viewing and gaming.
  • The controller uses circle pads rather than analog sticks. While this may be a sticking point with more traditional gamers, it didn’t really get in the way of gameplay. I thought I was going to hate the circle pads.
  • The first demo I tried was one where you block shots from pirates from multiple directions. It was a cool experience seeing the pirates shoot from the TV and then defending myself with the controller. The ability to place different content on the controller screen and the TV screen is a killer feature that could lead to some amazing gameplay.
  • The controller works in 360-degree environments. I found this out by using it to fly a spaceship during a battle with a few Nintendo people. It makes for a really intense gaming experience that goes a step beyond what the Nintendo 3DS and the PlayStation Vita offer.
  • The graphics, from a Legend of Zelda demo I saw, are definitely on-par with what you find on the PS3 or Xbox 360. I reserve judgment on this though until I see a Gears of War or Call of Duty game on the Wii U.
  • The Wii U can also use Wiimotes as controllers, and it makes for a fun experience when you can play the same game with completely different controllers and screens. Because it supports four Wiimotes and the Wii U controller, you can play five-player games. Nintendo wouldn’t tell me how many people a Wii U game will support in total.
  • The console itself simply looks like a fatter Wii. We don’t know how much memory it has or exactly how big it is. I’m sure Nintendo will slowly reveal details about the console as the launch approaches.

Conclusion: The Wii U is definitely a game-changer for the gaming industry. The controller system is crisp and opens up a world of possibilities. The graphics are powerful enough to appease hardcore gamers, who will definitely like the advanced gameplay mechanics the new touchscreen controller enables. It’s still early, but so far I’m impressed.

Check out the photos I snapped, as well as Nintendo’s official Wii U promo pics below. Let us know what you think of the Wii U in the comments.


Hands-On: The Nintendo Wii U



Wii U Controller




This is the Wii U controller. It's 1.8-inches tall, 6.8-inches wide and 10.5-inches long. The screen is crisp and the controller is easier to hold than you might expect.


Wii U in HD




A Nintendo representative shows off the Wii U's HD graphics.


Wii U Shield Demo




A gamer is getting the tutorial on how to use the Wii U controller as a Shield


Wii U Battle Demo




In this game, the person with the Wii U controller flies a ship and tries to shoot players on the ground. The other players in the game control their characters with Wiimotes.


Wii U with Wii Controllers




A photo of me playing against a Nintendo representative in a space-themed battle game. I controlled a guy on the ground with the Wiimote and nunchuk while he flew a spaceship with the Wii U controller.


Wii U Console




This is the console. I didn't get to touch it, but it looks like a fatter Wii.


Nintendo Wii U Promo Pics



Wii U




Nintendo says it chose "U" for the name of its new device to emphasize the personal aspect of the new controller.


Wii U and Controller




The new controller is the most innovative aspect of Wii U, bringing a video screen/touch experience to the console.


Wii U Console




The console looks quite nondescript, gone are the more striking lines of the Wii.


Wii U Sans TV




Although the Wii U controller does require a console, you can play games without having to interface with the TV.


Wii U Controller




The new controller features a camera and a full control pad, in addition to the 6.2" screen.


Wii U Stylus




The Wii U is touch friendly but can also be interfaced with using a stylus, a la the Nintendo DS and the 3DS.


Wii U Controller in Action





Wii U Multiplayer Mode




When four players isn't enough, the Wii U can act as a controller/screen for a fifth friend.


Wii U Touch




The screen is touch sensitive.


Super Mario Bros. Mii




This is a screenshot from the Super Mario Bros. Mii game for Wii U.


Wii U Stylus in Action




If you think this looks like half of a DS, you're not alone. Nintendo is taking what it has used with its portable devices to make its home console even better.


Wii Remote Plus and Wii U





Wii U Portrait Mode




The Wii U Controller has an accelerometer and a gyroscope built in and it can be used in alternate orientations.


Wii U Web Control




The Wii U controller can be used to zoom in and navigate web content on your TV.


Wii U Controller Rear




This is how the controller looks from the rear.

More About: e3, gaming, Nintendo, nintendo wii, Nintendo Wii U, Wii, Wii U

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9 Lessons From Successful Brands on Twitter

Posted: 09 Jun 2011 05:30 PM PDT

twitter image

Dave Kerpen is the CEO of Likeable, a social media agency that has worked with more than 200 leading brands including 1-800Flowers.com, Verizon and Neutrogena. He is author of Likeable Social Media.

Brands are beginning to establish best practices for communicating with their customers and prospects on Facebook. But many of those same brands with large Facebook fan bases have smaller Twitter followings or none at all.

With more than 300 million user accounts, Twitter has become an important network for companies to leverage in their communication plans.

Below are nine brands that have found success on Twitter along with takeaway lessons on what they do right and how you can emulate their success.


1. JetBlue




JetBlue has no fewer than 14 people tweeting for its account, assisting customers, apologizing when they make mistakes, sharing specials and interacting with others on Twitter. With more than 1.6 million followers, this is no small task. But JetBlue still manages to showcase the humans and personalities behind their account using Twitter lists.

Lessons: Don't be afraid to say "I'm sorry." Showcase the people and personalities behind your brand.


2. Starbucks




With more than 1.5 million followers and a global brand, Starbucks could tweet all day about nothing but their own products. But instead, they have fun with their followers, tweeting things such as "This weekend is supposed to be amazing, enjoy!" and "We like the color blue (pic)." They also host polls and contests and share lots of pictures and videos.

Lessons: Bring your brand's personality to life with multimedia. Have fun with your followers.


3. Vevo




Vevo uses Twitter to not only engage with its own fans but the fans of its featured musicians and the celebrities themselves. A recent look at their Twitter stream shows them talking to Aziz Ansari and Rihanna.

Lesson: Authentically engage with celebrities. With much larger followings than most brands, celebrities can easily influence your brand and follower count on Twitter.


4. Charlotte Russe




Charlotte Russe often sends a direct message to new followers with an exclusive, valuable offer. The brand then follows up with prizes, giveaways and deals for all of its followers on a regular basis.

Lesson: Everyone loves a good deal. Use contests and offers to drive excitement about your brand.


5. Bergdorf Goodman




The luxury retailer tweets about topics including New York, fashion, style and more. They do an excellent job tweeting about the kind of things their followers would be interested in, rather than only sharing about the brand.

Lesson: Twitter's not about you, it's about your audience. Figure out what your audience wants to hear about and tweet it.


6. Taco Bell




For a global brand, Taco Bell does a remarkable job not taking themselves too seriously on Twitter. They recently asked their followers to help get them into Twitter's "Trending Topics" with great success. They also embraced the bad tweets with the good, tweeting; "It's all real here! Don't filter out the bad stuff" and linking to a fan who wrote: "Picture looks great but your food still sucks."

Lessons: Don't take yourself too seriously on Twitter. Accelerate the positive comments and embrace the negative ones.


7. Delta




Delta's "Assist" account notes that "We're listening around the clock, 7 days a week." They don't just listen, they respond to customer questions and complaints, whenever and wherever they are made.

Lesson: If your customers use your product or service outside of business hours, figure out a way to be responsive on Twitter whenever they need help.


8. Dunkin' Donuts




Dunkin' Donuts twitter stream looks like the best digital carnival ever: Non-stop trivia, prizes and fun.

Lesson: Not every brand can be quite as much fun on Twitter as Dunkin' Donuts, but we can all learn to lighten up a little, ask questions and give away free stuff.


9. Cisco Systems




Cisco shows how well business-to-business brands can do on Twitter. They ask and answer questions in addition to participating in and hosting Twitter chats around relevant hashtags.

Lesson: Find Twitter chats to join by using hashtags. Consider starting and hosting your own Twitter chats on a regular basis.

These nine brands all demonstrate worthwhile lessons in Twitter marketing and engagement. What are your favorite brands doing on Twitter? And what other lessons have you learned? Let us know in the comments below.


More About: brand, business, MARKETING, social media, trending, twitter, Twitter marketing

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Google In Talks to Acquire AdMeld for $400 Million [REPORT]

Posted: 09 Jun 2011 05:02 PM PDT


Google is in the final stages of acquiring AdMeld, a firm that specializes in ad optimization and ad inventory for publishers, according to several reports.

AdMeld gives publishers the ability to get the best prices for their ad inventory. The New York-based company helps publishers choose their ad buys across dozens of advertising networks and get the best price possible. Competitors include Rubicon Project and PubMatic.

Google is apparently willing to pay a lot for AdMeld’s technology and customers: around $400 million, according to The New York Times. This is an area of the online advertising market segments Google doesn’t already dominate, so the acquisition makes sense on Google’s end. However, this acquisition is likely to undergo heavy scrutiny from government regulators, as Google is already the dominant force in text and display advertising.

If acquisition talks are indeed underway, Google isn’t talking. “We do not comment on rumors or speculation,” a Google spokesperson told us.

More About: acquisition, AdMeld, business, Google

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Qwiki for iPad Flies Past 500,000 Downloads in 7 Weeks

Posted: 09 Jun 2011 03:53 PM PDT


Qwiki for iPad, an application from the information experience startup by the same name, has surpassed 500,000 downloads in seven weeks.

The startup announced the milestone Thursday, adding that millions of Qwikis have been watched via the app since its launch in late April.

"Compared to our web product, the Qwiki App for iPad presents a drastically improved user experience,” says Doug Imbruce, Qwiki's founder and CEO. “As a result, user traffic from the Qwiki App quickly surpassed traffic to the Qwiki website, reinforcing our vision that Qwiki is a perfect medium for the post-PC era."

If you recall, Qwiki’s mission is to change the way people consume information via its more than three million interactive presentations.

Its iPad application gives users a way to explore the world around them, or at large, through information. It presents app users with popular and notable Qwikis on people, places and things, as well as a finger-friendly map that they can use to virtually fly around the world and learn about landmarks.

It seems fitting then that the startup reports that iPad app users are flocking most to its education and travel-related Qwikis.

Qwiki has raised $10.5 million in funding to date. It claims to see more than 1 million unique visitors per month and have millions of users across its web and mobile platforms.

More About: ipad app, qwiki, Qwiki for iPad

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Woman Catches Husband in Fake Murder Plot With Fake Facebook Profile

Posted: 09 Jun 2011 03:39 PM PDT


We know Facebook gets brought up in a lot of divorce cases, but this is ridiculous.

A 29-year-old woman going through a difficult divorce created a fake profile in an attempt to get some dirt on her soon-to-be-ex-husband.

Posing as a 17-year-old girl named Jessica Studebaker, Angela Voelkert contacted her husband, David, 38, on Facebook. The friendship that developed between the husband and the fake profile turned out to be a lot more incriminating than Angela could have imagined at the outset… or so she thought.

In messages with “Jessica,” David predictably asked the girl to run away with him; he also admitted that he had installed a GPS tracking system on his wife’s vehicle — both of which are enough for criminal charges in themselves.

The husband then proceeded to tell “Jessica,” a.k.a. Angela Voelkert, that he wanted his wife out of the picture — and by “out of the picture,” we mean “deceased.”

However, David has been able to prove to prosecutors he knew the fake account was his wife all along. Although he fed his ex quite a line in the messages, the charges have been dropped.

This is the fake profile the wife used to catch her husband supposedly plotting her murder.

Here are some excerpts of the messages from court documents:

“Once she is gone, I don’t have to hide with my kids… I can do what I want and not have to worry about not seeing my family anymore. You should find someone at your school. There should be some gang-bangers there that would put a cap in her ass for $10,000. I am done with her crap!

… See, I am taking care of everything! I will finally be free, my kids can grow up and not be around all the hatred, it will be over. With me gone with my kids, the police can’t pin anything on me as I will be in another state, so I will be fine.

Will you be ready to go with me on the 10th? Let me know, baby!”

There are so many takeaways from this news item. Don’t feed the trolls, especially if the troll in question is your ex. Don’t start drama on Facebook. Don’t get police and criminal courts involved in your petty personal issues.

But if you learn nothing else from this news, please put this piece of advice in your back pocket: If you’re going through a divorce, don’t use Facebook. At all. Ever. Period.

More About: Angela Voelkert, facebook, Jessica Studebaker, murder plot

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HuffPo Surpasses New York Times in Monthly U.S. Unique Visitors [CHART]

Posted: 09 Jun 2011 03:02 PM PDT


The Huffington Post has surpassed The New York Times in monthly uniques from the U.S., according to data from comScore and illustrated in a chart by Business Insider above.

In May, The Huffington Post pulled in 36.6 million unique visitors from the U.S., compared to 35.5 for The New York Times.

Before you new media cheerleaders get too excited, note that AOLNews.com began redirecting to huffingtonpost.com at the beginning of May. We’ll have to wait to see how long the boost lasts — and whether the NYT can do anything to strike back against its upstart rival.

More About: ComScore, Huffington Post, media, new york times

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True Blood Takes You & Your Facebook Friends Inside Interactive Teaser

Posted: 09 Jun 2011 02:43 PM PDT


Season four of the popular vampire drama True Blood premieres on HBO June 26. To celebrate, the network is teasing the season via an interactive Facebook app.

To access the app, visit the show’s Facebook Page, “Like” it, and navigate to the “Immortalize” tab. When you click on “Make Your Video,” the app will pull in info about you and your Facebook friends to make a personalized, Flash-based teaser in which you are the star. Your friends’ photos are integrated into missing persons’ files, as well as applications for exotic dancers, etc., and you become a mysterious assassin whose services the vampires decide to enlist.

After watching a version featuring random Facebook friends, you can create your own iteration of the teaser, including any friends you like. Check out mine here; I think you’ll recognize some faces and names. (Note: you have to “Like” True Blood on Facebook before you get to see the video.)

“Every time a video is viewed it essentially gets created and assembled in real time,” says Paul Hernacki, CTO of Definition 6, who worked with HBO on the project. “Behind the scenes we are using Facebook APIs, Google APIs, Bit.ly APIs, different forms of tagging, and a lot of thought into how it performs: cloud farms, CDN's, and SaaS providers combined. It's really chock full of Flash, After Effects, PHP and some open source goodness under the covers.”

Gil Wolchock, Definition 6‘s director of client services, says the project was inspired by a video promotion that came out last year titled “Lost in Val Sinestra”, an interactive trailer that pulls in your Facebook friends.

Wolchock says that the teaser itself was written by the True Blood team, and picks up where season three left off. Still, the teaser will live on Facebook alone.

“It’s a very rabid fan base,” Wolchock says of the show’s following. “Anything that comes up that’s True Blood-related, they soak that up. We wanted to give them something that they would not only watch once, but that they would share with their friends.”

The campaign was all about celebrating the fans last season, says Sabrina Caluori, director of social media and marketing at HBO. “We wanted to top that,” she says.

Last year, HBO had a 50-city screening event that fans could score tickets to by interacting with a Facebook app every six minutes and 13 seconds between 6:13 p.m. and 6:13 a.m. (vampire hours).

“What fans really want is to be a part of the show,” Caluori says of this year’s campaign. “[So the teaser] had to have the production quality that the series does. We really wanted to make sure that it felt like you were in the episode.”

Check out the app and let us know: Did HBO succeed?

More About: definition6, facebook, hbo, MARKETING, social media, television, true blood

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7 Les Paul Google Doodle Tunes From Mashable Readers

Posted: 09 Jun 2011 02:16 PM PDT


If you’ve used Google at all on Thursday, you probably saw the Google Doodle tribute to guitarist Les Paul. Chances are many hours of productivity at offices around the world have been lost to Google’s interactive toy that puts 10 guitar notes at your fingertips.

Mashable readers have filled the comments of our earlier post on the doodle with their own recordings — an option only available in the U.S. version. Here are some of our favorite tunes:

Creating a Google Doodle song isn’t as hard as it looks. Searches on the Twitter hashtag #GoogleDoodle brought back plenty of people typing out the keyboard arrangements for popular songs. Gretchen Vaughn even made a compilation of songs and tutorials using Storify.

Since it looked so easy, I even tried my hand at playing “The Imperial March” from Star Wars.

Thanks to all those who submitted their Google Doodle songs!

Which of these tunes is your favorite? Tell us in the comments below, and feel free to post yours.


More Google Doodles


BONUS: Check out the Top 10 Animated Google Doodles, embedded below.


The Christmas Google Doodle


Each package gets larger with a mouse-over, and a click on it returns search results pertinent to a specific country or the particular items featured in a scene. This one is from December 24, 2010.


Charlie Chaplin Google Doodle


The Google Doodle team stars in an homage to the silent film era's greatest star's 122nd birthday, April 15, 2011.


Google Logo Repelled by Cursor


This one's done in HTML5 and was published Sept. 7, 2010. To get the full effect, here's one you can interact with.


John Lennon Google Doodle


This Doodle commemorated John Lennon's 70th birthday in October 2010.


Martha Graham


Debuting May 10, 2011, this Google Doodle marks dance choreographer Martha Graham's birthday.


Robert Bunsen


Commemorated the birthday of the inventor of the Bunsen burner, German chemist Robert Bunsen on March 31, 2011.


Thomas Edison


The great inventor's birthday was honored on February 11, 2011.


Independence Day


Marking Independence Day 2010.


Pac-Man's 30th Anniversary


A real crowd pleaser was this playable Pac-Man game, which appeared on May 21. 2010. Here's a playable version.

More About: community, google doodle, guitar, music

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Twitter Will Automate Ad-Buying by the End of the Year

Posted: 09 Jun 2011 02:08 PM PDT


Twitter plans to offer an automated ad-buying system for small businesses that should lead to a torrent of new advertising for the platform.

Adam Bain, Twitter's president of global revenue, says that small businesses now have to go through Twitter's sales department, which doesn't have the infrastructure to field all the requests. To meet the need, Twitter plans to roll out a turnkey ad solution "later this year," Bain tells us.

Twitter introduced an online form for advertisers in December 2010. The program lets marketers express their interest in Promoted Tweets, Trends or Accounts. Bain says that form is used to find leads for Twitter's sales reps, who contact the advertiser afterward.

Right now Twitter's sales staff focuses on the top 500 online advertisers. In April, though, Twitter rolled out geotargeting, which lets marketers buy ads by country as well as in any of 210 designated market areas.

If implemented, an automated-buying process for small businesses could lead to new advertising for Twitter and also drive up prices for ads, which are sold on an auction basis a la Google AdWords. Since Twitter is still in the early stages of rolling out its advertising platform, researcher eMarketer has estimated that Twitter will hit advertising revenues of $150 million this year — about the same amount Facebook made in 2007, when it got serious about selling ads.

Twitter’s situation, however, is the exact reverse of Facebook‘s. Facebook’s ad-buying system is automated, but designed for small advertisers. Large marketers who want to buy ads on Facebook usually work through a group of firms that Facebook allows to use its ads API.

More About: advertising, facebook, google adwords, twitter

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Congress Members Produce 30% Fewer Tweets After Weinergate [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted: 09 Jun 2011 02:03 PM PDT


On the evening of May 27, Rep. Anthony Weiner of New York accidentally posted a lewd photo to Twitter, deleted it and claimed that his Twitter account had been hacked. Two weeks later, we’re still embroiled in what is now known as Weinergate, as even more sordid details of his extramarital online relationships continue to surface.

The lesson here for members of Congress might be to avoid engaging in inappropriate online romances altogether, or at the very least, to be more cautious when sending direct messages. But, preliminary data in the aftermath of Weinergate shows that the actual lesson Congress members are taking to heart is to avoid Twitter altogether.

TweetCongress, a site aggregating tweets from members of Congress, looked at the Twitter activities of Democrats and Republicans from May 9 to June 8, with weekends excluded, and found that tweets from members of both parties are down roughly 30% since Weiner's lewd photo.

The infographic below includes a timeline of Weinergate-related events, as well as color-coded graphs on how the 232 active Republican Congress members on Twitter and the 168 active Democratic Congress members on Twitter have changed their tweeting ways.

*click to enlarge

More About: Anthony Weiner, politics, social media, twitter, Weiner, weinergate

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New Blog Blends Snapshots of the Past With the Present

Posted: 09 Jun 2011 01:31 PM PDT


Although tangible photographs will probably be obsolete in 10 years or so, there’s something inherently wonderful about old snapshots. A new blog titled Dear Photograph highlights that nostalgic wonder by incorporating old pictures into modern life.

Dear Photograph is like a hybrid of Sleeveface and Young Me, Now Me. In it, folks hold up old pictures in the rooms/locations that they were taken, match up the edges, and take new pictures.

The blog is the creation of Taylor Jones, who resides in Ontario, Canada. He launched it two weeks ago. “I was sitting at the my kitchen table with my Mom, Dad and brothers, looking at an old family album,” he says. “I pulled a picture out of the album, held it up, and realized it was in the exact same range and place from where I was sitting. Eureka! Took a picture!”

Jones has added more photos and started crowdsourcing snaps from other web denizens. He hasn’t been approached for a book deal yet, but we think it might be only a matter of time.

More About: blog, dear-photograph, humor, pop culture, tumblr

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Why Business Collaboration Is Necessary in a Socially Sustainable World

Posted: 09 Jun 2011 01:05 PM PDT


The following is an excerpt from Simon Mainwaring’s new book We First: How Brands and Consumers Use Social Media to Build a Better World, which aims to help brands, marketers, non-profits and socially-conscious citizens use the latest social media, mobile and gaming platforms to build communities, profits and positive impact.

Creating a better world requires teamwork, partnerships, and collaboration, as we need an entire army of companies to work together to build a better world within the next few decades. This means corporations must embrace the benefits of cooperating with one another. This is not to say that brands should not compete for business or seek to attract the largest number of customers. But when a larger goal can be established, companies can benefit from working together to breed innovation and arrive at the most effective solutions. The corporate world is full of intellectual property and research departments that remain unnecessarily proprietary when they could be helping each other solve problems. There are four ways that companies can seek to collaborate.


Across Industry Sectors


An example of this is the Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy (BICEP), jointly founded in 2008 by Nike, Starbucks, Levi Strauss & Company, Sun Microsystems, and Timberland. Together, these five companies have crafted several proposals to reduce greenhouse gases through renewable energy and fewer coal-fired power plants. To express their commitment to the proposals, each company has also vowed to reduce its energy consumption or emissions.


With Competitors


Since most corporate competitors have the same problems with sustainability and social reputation, it's worth trying to solve them together. For example, in March 2010, Safeway became the first American grocery chain and manufacturer of private-label merchandise to join the Sustainability Consortium, which already includes such grocery store staples as General Mills, Procter & Gamble, and PepsiCo, and funds scientific research on creating a more sustainable global supply chain for the entire industry.


With Supply Chains


More and more companies are reaching out to their suppliers and contractors to work jointly on issues of sustainability, environmental responsibility, ethics, and compliance. Walmart has notably led the way in helping to educate its vast chain of suppliers in sustainable business practices.


With Government


Corporations often partner with government after natural disasters, as many companies did in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. As a rule, however, long-term civic/corporate partnerships are still rare.But this need not remain the status quo, as many opportunities are available for such partnerships.

The Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, for instance, is a new consortium formed at the behest of First Lady Michelle Obama to require 80 of the leading U.S. food and beverage manufacturers — including Campbell's Soup, Kraft Foods, Kellogg, General Mills, and PepsiCo — to take collective action against the rapidly rising rates of obesity in America, especially among children. In a major transformation of their practices, these manufacturers have agreed to cut the calorie counts in their products by 1 trillion in 2012 and 1.5 trillion by the end of 2015.


Different Approaches, and the Role of Social Media


There are many ways that corporations can collaborate.

  • Offer their intellectual property as open-source when it might help other industries.
  • Share development expenses and research leading to advances beneficial to all.
  • Co-fund or co-sponsor emerging ideas of common value.
  • Co-conduct seminars and learning workshops for employees and management.
  • Co-host events to raise awareness and funds for research or causes.
  • Combine employee volunteer activities to generate greater awareness and impact.
  • Lobby jointly for new legislation to improve efficiencies and reduce environmental damage.

Social media is, by definition, a tremendous enhancement to collaborative efforts. It gives people the space and tools to form virtual "communities of practice" focused on shared goals and values, as well as the ability to share white papers or webinars for information exchange and training, among many other benefits.

The momentum for corporate collaborative efforts is building, and a growing number of websites are tracking trends in cooperation, collaboration, and co-creation. Industry leader CSRwire, for example, tracks what companies and groups of companies are doing to bring about more responsible and sustainable business practices, while international non-profits like Net Impact serve to inspire, educate, and equip corporate executives and business students for operating in a more socially and environmentally sustainable world.

From We First, by Simon Mainwaring. Copyright © 2011 by the author and reprinted by permission of Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd.


Image courtesy of iStockphoto, lisegagne

More About: bussiness, collaboration, social good, social media, sustainability

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Top 10 Animated Google Doodles [VIDEOS]

Posted: 09 Jun 2011 12:35 PM PDT


Blown away by the interactive Google Doodle for guitarist/inventor Les Paul’s birthday? So are we, and it’s left us hungry for more. The Google Doodle design team has created more than 700 works of art, many of them are moving in more ways than one.

SEE ALSO: 7 Les Paul Google Doodle Tunes From Mashable Readers

The graphic at the top of this story is one of Google’s first animated doodles, written in Javascript and commemorating the 366th birthday of Isaac Newton on January 3, 2010.

Follow along in our gallery, and you’ll see nine more of the best-moving Google doodles. Some are animated, some are interactive, some are videos, but all are engaging.


The Christmas Google Doodle


Each package gets larger with a mouse-over, and a click on it returns search results pertinent to a specific country or the particular items featured in a scene. This one is from December 24, 2010.


Charlie Chaplin Google Doodle


The Google Doodle team stars in an homage to the silent film era's greatest star's 122nd birthday, April 15, 2011.


Google Logo Repelled by Cursor


This one's done in HTML5 and was published Sept. 7, 2010. To get the full effect, here's one you can interact with.


John Lennon Google Doodle


This Doodle commemorated John Lennon's 70th birthday in October 2010.


Martha Graham


Debuting May 10, 2011, this Google Doodle marks dance choreographer Martha Graham's birthday.


Robert Bunsen


Commemorated the birthday of the inventor of the Bunsen burner, German chemist Robert Bunsen on March 31, 2011.


Thomas Edison


The great inventor's birthday was honored on February 11, 2011.


Independence Day


Marking Independence Day 2010.


Pac-Man's 30th Anniversary


A real crowd pleaser was this playable Pac-Man game, which appeared on May 21. 2010. Here's a playable version.

SEE ALSO: More Google Doodles

More About: google doodles, Les Paul Google Doodle, Top 10 doodles, video

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Watch The Black Eyed Peas Perform Live From Every Angle

Posted: 09 Jun 2011 12:18 PM PDT


The Black Eyed Peas are playing in New York’s Central Park Thursday, but you can catch the group’s performance whether you live in the Big Apple or not — in full 360-degree vision.

Thanks to the charity Robin Hood Foundation and interactive video company Immersive Media, Black Eyed Peas fans will be able to take in the Chase Presents show tonight at 7:30 ET via Livestream. Viewers will be afforded a 360-degree view of the stage and will be able to switch from camera to camera to catch different angles of the show. You can even view the show from the band’s perspective. The experience also includes the ability to check in via Facebook and Twitter.

This isn’t the Peas’s first foray into 360-degree video; to kick off his digital media company, will.i.apps, frontman Will.i.am released a mobile app featuring an immersive music video that let users control what aspect of the vid they were watching.

More About: black eyed peas, facebook, live video, twitter

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HOW TO: Share & Embed Your Favorite Comic Books on Any Site

Posted: 09 Jun 2011 12:04 PM PDT


Comic book fans, are you ready to share your passion with the world? Or at least with your Facebook friends, Twitter followers and blog readers?

Graphicly, a web startup that’s all about comic books, has just launched the new Graphicly.com, a slick portal for sharing and discovering comic books via social media.

Users can now embed any Graphicly.com comic book on any site around the web. The embed doesn’t just feature the comic itself, but also comments from other fans and share counters.

It works a lot like embedding a YouTube video. Here’s an example, featuring the legendary Stan Lee’s Starborn #1:

The site also features Facebook-esque comment streams for each comic book:

Fans can also use the web app’s “Graphicly View” — that is, the spread-by-spread or frame-by-frame view modes.

The startup’s been focused lately on its mobile and tablet apps, so it’s nice to see the website getting an overhaul too.

It’s hard to imagine any digital experience completely replacing the traditional hard-copy comic book, but Graphicly’s site does a lot to get new, web-savvy audiences to hooked on the art and storylines of comics.

More About: comic books, comics, graphicly

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New York City Adds Free AT&T Wi-Fi to Public Parks

Posted: 09 Jun 2011 11:46 AM PDT


New York-dwelling tech geeks rejoice: Pretty soon, you’ll be able to access Wi-Fi while lounging in the park.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, along with AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson, announced Thursday a five-year initiative to bring free Wi-Fi to 26 locations in 20 New York City parks across the boroughs. Today, AT&T Wi-Fi will be up and running in Battery Bosque (a garden in Battery Park), the north-end playground in Joyce Kilmer Park in the Bronx, and around the recreation center at Thomas Jefferson Park in East Harlem.

The other 23 locations will begin to pop up over the summer — Wi-Fi is even coming to the blighted grass of Brooklyn’s McCarren Park, where I personally plan to while the summer away.

The city has been getting increasingly digital of late, adding Wi-Fi to subways, car services and hotspots like Times Square (via AT&T as well). This new parks effort, however, is a part of New York’s Road Map for the Digital City, a plan unveiled in May 2011 to make the city more connected. AT&T, meanwhile, gets some badly-needed PR.

Image courtesy of Flickr, Ed Yourdon

More About: att, new york, wi-fi, Wireless

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Google Offers Employees 30 More Electric Cars To Share [VIDEO]

Posted: 09 Jun 2011 11:25 AM PDT

Google has shored up its environmental bonafides by adding more than 30 electric vehicles to Gfleet, its employee car-sharing program. And it’s providing free charging for Googlers with electric cars.

Google is adding Nissan Leafs and Chevy Volts to its existing fleet, which are used for running errands and other activities. As the company explained in its Official Blog on Thursday, there were no electric vehicles on the market when Google launched its RechargeIt sustainability initiative in 2007. So, Google bought Toyota Priuses and Ford Escapes and had them retrofitted with A123 Hymotion batteries

The company now offers more than 200 chargers for electric vehicles at its Mountain View, California, Googleplex campus and plans to add 250 more soon. Google's goal is to electrify 5% of its parking spaces. The company has about 23,000 employees, and most of them are stationed at the Googleplex.

Google calculates that it’s taking 2,000 cars off the road every day because of the charging program, Gfleet and its employee shuttle.

More About: Chevy Volt, electric cars, Google, Nissan Leaf, sustainability, Toyota Prius

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How Agencies Are Spending Online Media Budgets [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted: 09 Jun 2011 11:03 AM PDT


Before the Internet, media agencies planned clients' campaigns with a fairly straightforward menu of TV, radio, print and outdoor advertising options.

These days, TV buys still take the largest piece of the global spend, but the share of money going to Internet advertising is rising steeply, and the options for those dollars are multiplying and morphing just as quickly. Twitter, YouTube and Hulu each offer their own menu of customized advertising options, and Facebook ranked as one of the Top 10 online advertising properties earlier this year. And since online ad spending is not yet keeping pace with Americans’ time spent on the Internet, the upward trend in spending still has plenty of room to grow.

Of the money going to online buys, nearly half goes to search and a quarter goes to display. But even within these categories, online ads are becoming more social, and spending on lead generation and email marketing is shrinking. At least a quarter of social media users connect with businesses along with their friends, and the most valuable campaigns lead to an alchemy of the traditional and the social. This past year, several big-budget Super Bowl ads lived on as viral YouTube hits, gaining popularity and millions of views that money still can’t buy.

Check out the infographic below for more details on how agencies are allocating online media budgets.


Series Supported by IDG

The Modern Media Agency Series is supported by IDG. IDG predicts online ad spend will reach almost $35 billion in the U.S. for 2011, an increase of nearly 14% from 2010. While online advertising continues to register significant gains quarter to quarter, the percentage increases are nowhere near pre-recession levels. Click here to learn why.


More Business Resources from Mashable:


- 7 Ways Ad Agency Pros Stay on Top of Social Media Trends
- 5 Ways Social Media Has Changed Marketing Campaigns
- The Pros & Cons of Working at Niche Marketing & PR Agencies
- The Impact of the Social Web on Media Agencies
- What Makes the Modern Media Agency [INFOGRAPHIC]

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, ooyoo

More About: advertising, coca cola, facebook, Mashable Infographics, Modern Media Agency Series, online advertising, social media agency, Super Bowl, Super Bowl ads, youtube

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Like Cats? You’ll Love This Girl [VIDEO]

Posted: 09 Jun 2011 10:51 AM PDT


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

A little video buzzing around the web today purports to be an “eHarmony Video Bio” featuring a woman just mad for cats. We’re about 99.99% sure it’s a joke, which is too bad for all the fellas out there.

The video, starring “Debbie,” appears to have been made by a YouTuber named Cara, whose channel features two other spoofy videos. The cat one, however, has been racking up the views and popping up on viral blogs today.

Would you date this girl?

More About: cats, humor, video, viral video, viral-video-of-day, youtube

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Dartmouth & Stanford To Live Stream Commencements on YouTube

Posted: 09 Jun 2011 10:00 AM PDT


Never made it to your college commencement ceremony? (All-night celebratory benders can do that to you.) Never fear. YouTube will be live streaming the graduation ceremonies of two top-tier U.S. schools on Sunday for your nostalgic viewing pleasure.

There are tons of commencement speeches up on YouTube — Foursquare’s Dennis Crowley gave a particularly inspiring one at Syracuse — and now, thanks to the site’s expanded live streaming platform, you can take in some of those events as they happen.

On Sunday, June 12, YouTube partners Dartmouth College and Stanford University will broadcast their ceremonies to the YouTubeverse. Dartmouth’s ceremony starts at 9:30 ET and Conan O'Brien will deliver the commencement address. President George H.W. Bush will also be scoring an honorary degree.

Stanford’s commencement will start at 12:30 ET, and Mexican President Felipe Calderón will speak. The ceremony will also include the traditional “Wacky Walk” (graduates dressed in silly costumes, walking into the stadium).

YouTube is increasingly giving us wider access to the world — from the tsunami in Japan to commencements on opposite sides of the country. Will you tune in this Sunday?

Image courtesy of Flickr, jameskm03

More About: Conan O'Brien, Dartmouth College, live video, Stanford University, video, youtube

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Hearst Unveils Think Tank for App Development

Posted: 09 Jun 2011 09:44 AM PDT


Hearst unveiled its fabled App Lab to members of the press Thursday. The lab is a plush, windowless, gadget-filled room designed to serve as a “think tank” for app development and advertising across the company’s many brands.

If you advertise with Hearst, expect to schedule a lot of meetings in this room.

Elegance aside, the App Lab does represent a growing commitment to app development within the company, which employs 44 in-house developers, producers, editors and designers. Hearst’s titles have launched more than 100 apps across Apple iOS, Google Android, Barnes & Noble Nook and the Zinio Newsstand.

In addition to the beautiful print-to-tablet adaptations of magazines such as Esquire and O: The Oprah Magazine, with built-in collaboration with ScrollMotion, many of Hearst’s titles are launching their own one-off paid apps, such as Esquire‘s puzzle app for the iPad and House Beautiful‘s paint colors app, which I’m currently using to devise a color scheme for my shoebox Manhattan studio.

The App Lab is located on the 41st floor of the Hearst Tower on 8th Avenue. I’ll update this post later with photos.

Image courtesy of digitizedchaos

More About: app lab, hearst, ipad, magazines, publishing

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Fab.com Relaunches With Daily Deals & Design Inspiration

Posted: 09 Jun 2011 09:26 AM PDT


Fab.com‘s creators have just taken the wraps off a new portal for daily deals — up to 70% off retail in some cases — for those who crave beautiful, well-designed things.

Visitors can see current flash sales, and they can also get an idea of upcoming sales for the next week. Prices aren’t revealed until the sale goes live.

Sales run for three days, and currently selling items range in price from a modest $8 (a book on jewelry made from non-precious materials, 60% off retail) to $624 (a vase by “ceramics superstar” Hella Jongerius, 35% off retail). One of today’s sales is a huge selection of signed Milton “I Heart NY” Glaser posters, which cost between $105 and $120 each.

Users can earn cash — not virtual currency but real cash — by inviting friends to join the site. The cash can be applied toward Fab.com purchases.

In addition to daily design deals, users can also enjoy and add to the Inspiration Wall. Half crowdsourced mood board, half design-geek Tumblr, the Inspiration Wall allows users to upload and browse inspiring images.

Fab.com has gone through some major transitions since its launch last June. In fact, it began life as Fabulis, a web trend-infused social network for gay men.

And when we say “trend-infused,” we mean that Fabulis gave its members every hot social feature possible, from Q&A to virtual currency to event planning. The founders eventually added a gay men-specific daily deals feature, too.

While we loved the idea, Fab.com founder and serial entrepreneur Jason Goldberg said, "Gay rights progress over the past year had a positive impact on the gay community but a negative impact on the demand for our services." In other words, LGBT folks are living “out” more and more on mainstream sites, so the demand for niche networks has diminished.

Still, those daily deals seemed like a great direction, so that’s where Fab.com pivoted.

Due to an incentivized pre-launch promotion, the new Fab.com already boasts 200,000 members. The company also has partnerships with 175 artists, designers and retailers.

Ashton Kutcher’s angel fund, A Grade, has joined SoftTechVC and First Round Capital, The Washington Post Company, Baroda Ventures and others in a new round of seed financing leading up to the launch today. Kutcher will also advise the company.

Additionally, Goldberg tells Mashable exclusively, ” I’ve now invested more than half my personal earnings from selling socialmedian into Fab.com.”

More About: daily deals, design, Fab.com, pivot

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Exclusive: Fund Offers Smaller Investors a Piece of High-Profile Private Companies

Posted: 09 Jun 2011 09:15 AM PDT


Small scale investors wanting a piece of burgeoning private companies such as Zynga, Groupon or Facebook before they go public may have a new friend in MicroAngel Capital Partners.

The alternative fund management company is launching Thursday to offer first-time venture fund investors and those looking to invest smaller chunks of cash a chance to invest anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000 in some of the most coveted internet startups.

MicroAngel Capital Partners will pool investments in individual funds for hot pre-IPO technology, social media, green tech and mobile companies. Regional funds will also be available. Once it raises roughly $1 million per fund, MicroAngel Capital Partners will buy up stock via sellers on secondary stock markets and dole out shares to fund participants.

“MicroAngel Capital Partners will give more investors opportunities to invest in higher-profile startups such as Groupon, LinkedIn or Yelp by investing smaller amounts of capital,” says CEO and fund manager Bill Clark.

Before you get too excited, MicroAngel Capital Partners does vet each would-be investor, which means you’ll need more than a bit of extra cash in your pocket to gain access to its soon-to-be-sought-after funds. Investors will need to be accredited with a net worth of $1 million or more, or go through a screening process.

Lest you think that the venture fund manager is simply going after the most buzzed-about names, Clark assures us his team performs due diligence before starting a fund by looking at market research reports and polling its investors on the startups they want to invest in.

MicroAngel Capital Partners is Clark’s second initiative in the alternative investing space. He first founded MicroVentures in 2010 as a broker dealer to match startups looking to raise capital with a group of investors who each have $1,000 to $10,000 to invest.

Image courtesy of Flickr, Johnny Vulkan

More About: investing, MicroAngel Capital Partners, MicroVentures, venture capital

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