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July 09 2011

40 New Digital Media Resources You May Have Missed

Whew! This week was awash with news. So, we transformed that news into advice, tips and how-to’s that you can reference for years to come.

Take Facebook’s video chat launch — we’ll guide you in setting it up. Or the space shuttle launch — we provide the Twitter accounts for dozens of astronauts and space experts. And Google+ has been on the minds of millions — we present its pros and cons. Mashable not only releases breaking news, we help you learn how to apply it to your business, your interests and your personal life.

If spare time for reading didn’t exactly factor into your busy week, here’s a roundup of resources that appeared on Mashable.

Editors’ Picks

Social Media

July 06 2011

7 Winning Examples of Game Mechanics in Action

Gabe Zichermann is the author of the books Game-Based Marketing (Wiley, now available) and Funware in Action (Manning, Q3/2010). He is also the CEO of professional mobile social networking startup beamME and frequently muses about games and the world at funwareblog.com.

Gamification is the use of game thinking and game mechanics to engage audiences and solve problems. In other words, it means taking the best lessons from games like FarmVille, World of Warcraft and Angry Birds, and using them in business. Whether targeted at customers or employees, across industries as diverse as technology, health care, education, consumer products, entertainment and travel, gamification’s impact can already be felt.

While some have criticized the concept of gamification as shallow or demeaning, the initial findings from gamification specialists are nothing short of astonishing. Regardless of your business model, the following seven gamified innovations should inspire you to strategize via game analysis.

1. Make a Market: Foursquare

The first incarnation of the location-based networking field was littered with carnage, leading many to write off the entire concept. But Foursquare’s founders, veterans of the now defunct Dodgeball, succeeded with an ace in the hole: game mechanics. Exposed to the concept while working at Area/Code (Zynga’s recently acquired New York City-based game design shop), Dennis and Naveen concluded that mobile social networking would work if you were to change the dynamic from multiplayer to single player.

Instead of depending on the action of the crowd to provide intrinsic reinforcement (e.g. “Hey, you’re around the corner. Let’s grab a beer!”), Foursquare overcame the empty bar problem by becoming a single-player game. The user competes for badges and mayorships whether or not anyone is there to meet him. In the process, Foursquare proved that location-based networking wasn’t doomed to fail, that simple game mechanics can affect behavior, and that you can engage 10 million customers — all while raising $50 million.

2. Get Fit: NextJump

When you listen to NextJump CEO Charlie Kim describe his zeal for physical fitness, you immediately understand the energy that has propelled this interactive marketing platform into one of the nation’s fastest growing businesses. But keeping fit isn’t just Kim’s personal goal — he told me it’s also a practice he believes his employees should value as a tool for improving their lives, reducing company insurance costs and preventing employee absenteeism. To achieve those goals, NextJump installed gyms in its offices, and built a custom application that enabled employees to check in to each workout. Ultimately, they rewarded the top performers with a cash prize. After implementation, around 12% of the company’s staff began a regular workout regimen.

But Kim wasn’t satisfied. By leveraging the power of gamification, he retooled the fitness “game” to become a team sport. Now NextJump employees could form regionally based teams, check in to workouts and see their team performance on a leaderboard. Leveraging the game themes of tribalism and competition had an astonishing effect on behavior. Today, 70% of NextJump employees exercise regularly — enough to save the company millions in work attendance and insurance costs over the medium term — all the while making the workplace healthier and happier.

3. Slow Down and Smell the Money: Kevin Richardson

In many countries, speed cameras snare thousands of drivers each year — a quick shutter flash earns a miserable ticket in the mailbox. In some countries, particularly in Scandinavia, ticket amounts correspond with the driver’s salary, rather than his speed. But Kevin Richardson, game designer at MTV’s San Francisco office, re-imagined the experience using game thinking.

His innovative Speed Camera Lottery idea rewards those drivers who obey the posted limit by entering them into a lottery. The compliant drivers then split the proceeds generated from speeders. Richardson used gamification concepts to turn an negative reinforcement system into a positive, incremental experience.

When tested at a checkpoint in Stockholm, average driver speed was reduced by 20%. If the plan were scaled across the U.S., the results could mean thousands fewer injuries, millions of dollars worth of reduced costs and substantial environmental benefits.

4. Generate Ad Revenues: Psych & NBC/Universal.

Psych is a popular program on the USA Network, but these days, creating value for TV advertisers means connecting to the web and social media in creative ways. Enter Club Psych, the online brand platform for the show, and among the first major media platforms to get gamified.

The brainchild of NBC/Universal executive Jesse Redniss, Club Psych implemented gamified incentives to raise page views by over 130% and return visits by 40%. The resulting rise in engagement has generated substantial revenue for the company, bringing registered user counts from 400,000 to nearly 3 million since the launch of the gamified version. The media conglomerate has since embraced the strategy across properties, bringing gamification to ratings leaders like Top Chef and the The Real Housewives.

Other content publishers, like Playboy, have seen similar results. Their Miss Social Facebook app has achieved an 85% re-engagement rate and 60% monthly revenue growth with gamification.

5. Make Research & Evangelism Count: Crowdtap

Getting product feedback is a costly and challenging effort. Therefore, most marketers have come to loathe ineffective surveys and expensive focus groups. Enter Crowdtap, the hot New York City startup launched earlier this year that reached $1 million in revenue and 100,000 users in just over 90 days. The company offers consumers gamified rewards to complete research tasks and to share brand advocacy with others — something mere market research simply cannot do.

Through the use of gamified, virtual rewards, the company has been able to raise average user participation by 2.5 times, thus reducing research costs by 80% or more for key clients. By targeting consumer rewards along a motivational (not demographic) axis, CEO Brandon Evans reports that competition-oriented users are four times more likely to create quality comments and 12 times more likely to refer others to the platform. Instead of competing against the system, they challenge themselves and peers to excel — an extraordinary achievement by any measure.

6. Save the Planet: RecycleBank

Modern life is wasteful, and easy fixes are rare. By tapping into people’s desire for reward and competition through gamified experiences, governments, utilities and entrepreneurial powerhouses are rewriting the rules of sustainability — and making the world a better place.

In a Medford, MA pilot program, households competed in an energy smackdown in which the winning family managed to lower its carbon footprint by 63%. In a program called Putnam RISE, Indiana families are making thousands of pledges to reduce power usage through a competition. The schools whose families conserve the most energy receive a cash prize. And across the country, incentives experts at Recyclebank are using the power of gamification to radically improve home environmental compliance. So far, they’ve utilized game mechanics such as points, challenges and rewards to drive breakthroughs. For example, the project has seen a 16% increase in recycling in Philadelphia, where the recycling rate has broken 20% for the first time in history.

7. Make Teaching Fun: Ananth Pai

As former globetrotting business executive turned elementary school teacher, Ananth Pai has seen it all. But when he inherited his class in White Bear Lake, MN, Pai realized there had to be a better, more engaging way to teach. So he grouped students by learning style, and retooled the curriculum to make use of off-the-shelf games (both edutainment and entertainment) to teach reading, math and other subjects. Students play on Nintendo DS and PCs, both single and multiplayer, for example. Their overall point scores are tabulated and shared using leaderboards.

In the space of 18 weeks, Mr. Pai’s class went from below third grade average reading and math levels to mid-fourth grade. The classroom success is supported by video interviews with his kids, who say “Learning with Mr. Pai is fun and social.”

In addition to these seven great tips, dozens more success stories pour in each week, underscoring the tremendous investment of time and money into gamification. Gartner Group estimates that by 2015, 70% of the Forbes Global 2000 will be using gamified apps, and M2 Research forecasts that U.S. companies alone will spend $1.6 billion on gamification products and services by that same year.

Gamification spans the gamut — from the hundreds of startups that launch with game mechanics incorporated into their products, to the big brands that make gamification a hallmark strategy. Regardless, the message is the same: the future will be more connected, more social and more fun than ever before.

More About: competition, foursquare, game mechanics, games, gamification, incentives, social media

For more Business & Marketing coverage:

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HOW TO: Use CoTweet as a Marketing Tool

The Social Media 101 Series is sponsored by Global Strategic Management Institute. GSMI’s Social Media Strategies Series are the leading educational events for organizations looking to advance their online capabilities. Learn more.

One of the greatest challenges of social media marketing is juggling multiple accounts across a variety of networks. As messaging, engagement and analytics differ from platform to platform, keeping yourself organized is vital.

A great way to keep your social media presences in line is with CoTweet, a web-based social media management and analytics tool. It has a simple design and the basic plan, which has fairly robust features, is free. Like HootSuite, it’s accessed through your web browser rather than a desktop client.

Mashable spoke with Kevin Bobowski, CoTweet’s marketing director, for an explanation of how to use the platform for social media marketing.

Setup Support

While some platforms might leave you to your own devices after a product demo, CoTweet’s Services team is on hand to help you set up your account. This can be helpful if it’s your organizations first go at social media management. The social consultant will customize the setup and training based on your needs, and he or she will also record the training session, so you don’t have to worry about memorizing each step.

Already a social media management pro? You’re welcome to pass on the setup help and get your business started on the platform however works best for you.

Tweets as Teamwork

CoTweet is an excellent tool for small businesses or divisions of larger businesses that spread social media duties among team members and have a customer service approach to engagement. It has a number of features in place that ensure each employee is doing his or her work — and taking responsibility for it.

Like many social media management services, CoTweet allows updates and follow-up messages to be assigned to specific social media managers. This can make responses more relevant as team members with certain knowledge bases can handle appropriate questions and comments from followers. The responder’s initials are included at the end of the tweet, letting the follower know there’s a person behind the handle. This not only puts the follower at ease, but also the marketing manager as he or she will know who to talk to if questions (or congratulations!) arise for a specific tweet.

What’s different about CoTweet is its OnDuty status, which notes who is responsible for social streams at a certain time. Aside from organizing your social updates schedule, it allows for more passive monitoring. The person on duty can receive e-mails when something needs to be acted on, freeing him or her up to go to meetings or take calls while remaining aware of social media activity.

Campaign Conversion

The ability to track campaigns is the most important feature many marketers look for when deciding on a social media management tool. With CoTweet, you can not only manage clicks on content you publish within the application, but also integrate any web analytics platforms with campaign codes and shortened URLs.

“This provides closed-loop reporting and allows marketers to associate revenue and other success metrics to social media activity,” Bobowski says.

The platform recently launched a new Data Integration framework that allows you to extend the CoTweet application across other CRM tools, including Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Integration. This means you can associate a conversation from Facebook or Twitter with an individual’s existing CRM profile and then tag it as a lead or opportunity. The feature breaks down silos by integrating data across platforms, allowing you to create more comprehensive customer profiles and have more relevant conversations in social media.

“We’re delivering the industry’s first solution to give businesses a complete view of their customers across online, offline and social channels,” says Jesse Engle, general manager of the ExactTarget Social Media Lab, in a press release. “This will help enterprises significantly extend the benefits of social to sales enablement to better target campaigns, increase product demand, improve client satisfaction and quantify the true ROI of social media.”

Worth a Try?

Whether you’re looking for a high-level social data reporting solution or just combating “Twitter overwhelm,” CoTweet is worth a shot. The platform supports Twitter and Facebook and has an iPhone app. The Standard edition is free and allows up to six Twitter accounts. The Enterprise version costs $1,500 a month, but you can request a free demo.

Have you used CoTweet for marketing? Would you recommend it? Tell us your experience with the tool in the comments below.

Series Supported by Global Strategic Management Institute

The Social Media 101 Series is sponsored by Global Strategic Management Institute, a leading source of knowledge for today’s leaders. Learn more by visiting GSMI’s website, liking it on Facebook and following it on Twitter.

More Marketing Resources from Mashable:

- HOW TO: Start Marketing on Foursquare
- HOW TO: Start Marketing on Gowalla
- The PR Pro’s Guide to Facebook
- How Barbie & Ken Were Reunited by Social Media
- How Converse Became the Biggest Little Sneaker Brand on Facebook

More About: analytics, cotweet, Social Media 101 Series, social media management, social media tools

For more Business & Marketing coverage:

July 05 2011

5 Tips for Creating More Efficient Social Media Processes

The Social Media for Business Leaders Series is supported by The Awareness Social Marketing Hub, the leading social media marketing software for marketers to publish, manage, measure and engage across the social web. Request a demo here.

Creating, executing and evaluating a social media plan takes a healthy amount of time, money and talent — resources that are scarce in today’s business world.

Mashable spoke with Altimeter Group Industry Analyst Jeremiah Owyang and Intel Social Media Strategist Ekaterina Walter to get their thoughts on how businesses can save time, money and other valuable resources by creating more efficient social media processes. Here are five essential tips.

1. Utilize Your Existing Team

“Leverage your front-line workers who already support customers in different mediums like live chat, phone, and in person,” says Owyang. “Use the support and customer service teams that already know your products and services and have been trained in customer relations. Take a page from Best Buy’s ‘Twelpforce‘ that empowered thousands of retail professionals to take to Twitter than just train a new social savvy workforce.”

Tread lightly when figuring out how to organize social media efforts, though. Walter says that too much time is spent “fighting over who owns what” when developing a social media strategy. “Different stakeholders (PR, web, legal, privacy, security, marketing, HR, etc.) need to partner on this and work closely together on the structure and processes that are beneficial to everyone,” she says.

Walter suggests against “putting [social media practitioners] into a box with too many guidelines,” and instead is all for “unleashing the employee potential and giving them some freedom to engage online.”

2. Build a Plan That is Nimble

While a triage system can be helpful for novice social media programs, make sure your communication process isn’t complicating problems. After all, social media is meant to make communications easier, not more tedious.

Walter says, “The biggest issue is the amount of time it takes to make a decision internally. It is a time of ‘now marketing,’ or what I call ‘agile marketing’ — we cannot afford to spend too much time making decisions or creating elaborate processes of approval. We need to act quickly and nimbly; otherwise, the opportunity is gone forever. This is the biggest hindrance to digital creativity.”

“Most companies like an effective triage system to pass information around the company directing who will respond and how,” says Owyang. “As a result, more than one business group may respond to customers — reducing efficiency and of course, potentially confusing customers.”

3. Minimize Spend on Tools & Consultants

From her experience, Walter points out two areas where businesses tend to spend too much money — social media tools and consultants. Here are her thoughts on both:

  • Social Media Tools: “A variety of tools perform similar functions. If you utilize several key tools and establish the right infrastructure centrally, it will allow a number of business units and geographies to use the same tool across the company. This will accomplish a number of things: It will allow you to compare results apple-to-apple across various campaigns; negotiate global contracts centrally to achieve huge cost-savings across the company; and have central enablement in place where key training on the tool and its support will be provided in the right way.”
  • Social Media Consultants: Stay away from “bringing expensive consultants in who only provide high-level information that is already knows internally. Management needs to trust their employees internally to know the subject and provide the best strategy and direction.”

4. Hire Qualified Talent

After searching your ranks to find the right talent internally, don’t be afraid to hire experienced social media and community managers. Granted, you probably won’t need to hire a full social media team, but bringing on at least one strategist could save your organizations dollars in the long run.

“Most of the time we want to hire interns to do the work of experienced community managers, but then we complain that they didn’t handle something right,” says Walter. “I think the issue for most companies is that they don’t hire enough seasoned people to truly manage communities and online conversations on behalf of a brand. You need to have experienced people in place to manage communities, advocacy programs, etc. — these are the voices that know and represent your brand appropriately. And most of the time we are not willing to pay for people like that, citing lack of resources and then paying the price of damaged brand reputation or dead or inactive communities.”

5. Learn From Others

Equipping social media practitioners with the proper knowledge will save them lots of time, says Walter. This means building social media education programs, creating spaces where colleagues can discuss best practices and learning from other organizations.

Leading Intel’s social media strategy has enabled Walter to figure out the best ways for educating employees of social media processes and best practices. Here are her tips on how to effectively communicate new information about your company’s social media plans to those in the field:

July 04 2011

The History of America, As Told by Facebook [PIC]

In honor of Independence Day, The New York Times visualized America’s would-be Facebook profile in its Op-Art section, translating the history of the U.S. into Facebook’s iconic narrative structure.

The piece (below), “Like It or Unfriend It?” was created by novelist Teddy Wayne, Vanity Fair staffer Mike Sacks and designer Thomas Ng.

The graphic recalls a similar piece published by Slate‘s Christopher Beam and Chris Wilson in May, which chronicles recent U.S. events in an imaginary Barack Obama Facebook feed.

Last year the Washington Post published pieces of a real Facebook feed in “A Facebook Story: A mother’s joy and a family’s sorrow” to tell the tragic story of a young mother’s illness and subsequent death.

All three pieces acknowledge a new kind of plot structure told through the incremental and often brief updates we post on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Notably, all three pieces subvert the reverse-chronological order in which these updates are normally displayed.

Image courtesy of Flickr, ladybugbkt

More About: america, art, facebook, facebook page, social media, the new york times, united states

For more Social Media coverage:

July 02 2011

42 New Digital Media Resources You May Have Missed

No doubt your summer celebrations this weekend will leave you little time to catch up on reading. To help you out, we’ve compiled a handy roundup of this week’s most helpful, informative and inspiring stories.

We’ve celebrated iPhone’s birthday, we’ve pondered celebrity impact on social good, and we’ve laughed over geeky gadgets. This week Mashable overflowed with engaging content. Find out what you missed!

Editors’ Picks

Social Media

July 01 2011

HOW TO: Leverage Location for Better Ad Campaigns

David Staas is senior vice president of marketing at JiWire, overseeing the marketing and product management of JiWire’s location-based media channel that reaches the on-the-go mobile audience. He has more than 13 years of marketing and product management experience in the mobile and advertising industries.

Location isn’t new to advertising. Take the billboard on the highway — there because that brand knows its target audience will see it. Merchants have been placing signs in places where their target audience will see them since the beginning of commerce. Today more than $130 billion is spent in the U.S. each year on locally targeted advertising. Most of that spending isn’t digital, but rather, more traditional formats like billboards and newspapers — places where marketers are accustomed to advertising. So while location advertising may not be new, marketers can now digitally localize their ads. The question is, how do brands win in this new world of location media?

Build for Scale

One of the most exciting aspects of location is the explosion of new content and services. There are now tens of thousands of location-based mobile apps, and even more that have made location a key feature. Many of these apps provide great platforms to test location ideas. However, they don’t provide the audience size to roll out an impactful campaign or concept on a regional or national scale.

The key is finding balance. Advertisers must first develop campaign concepts that allow flexibility. Ask these questions: Can I scale this concept easily to all of my locations? Can I incorporate locations other than my own? Can I expand my target zone? Am I able to go beyond the immediate vicinity to engage consumers one mile, five miles, even ten miles away? If you can meet these qualifications, and reach an audience in the tens of millions, your location scale is justified.

“Locationize” Your Brand

Advertisers are used to evolving. They’ve “digitized” their brands using the Internet, “socialized” their brands with social media and now are learning how to “locationize” with the mass market adoption of location media. I use the term “locationize” because success requires more than just using location as a targeting attribute. Sure, you can deliver a standard, national ad to a variety of targeted zip codes or DMAs, but you’ll be missing out on the full opportunity. Add location relevancy to the creative and to the messaging itself.

There are three ways brands have experimented with this concept:

  • Local messaging: Use different creative messages in different locations directly in the ad. In a national campaign, for example, a brand incorporated the Statue of Liberty into New York ads, and the Santa Monica pier into Los Angeles ads in order to incorporate a local element. My company found that this kind of campaign typically sees a 40% increase in consumer engagement compared to non-location-based ads.
  • Include a local call to action: Highlight the address of the nearest store in order to drive foot traffic. We calculated that these campaigns average 100 to 120% increase in consumer engagement.
  • Let consumers engage with a specific location: Mobile services like Foursquare or Gowalla provide the platform for people to check in to a location or a brand. Shopkick’s retail partners let you browse merchandise and earn points for visiting their store. At my company, we’ve created brand campaigns that identify all the stores near a consumer, provide walking and driving directions to that location and even allow customers to set appointments in each store. We’ve seen that the addition of location averages a 200% increase in consumer engagement. The more location-relevant an ad is, the greater consumers are likely to respond.

Consider Proximity

Not surprisingly, most consumers don’t spend all of their time in the immediate vicinity of your brand. Sometimes they may be in your store, and other times within the neighborhood or even miles away. Each distance presents an opportunity.

In recent research of more than 5,000 mobile consumers, 31% said that they most typically research something on their mobile device before purchasing it physically in the store. Mobile and location drive real world revenues. In a similar study done by my company, consumers shared how far they were willing to travel to get a good deal. When posed with discounts off of a $100 item, 55% said they would travel up to 15 minutes for a 10% discount. However, 45% said they would travel 30 minutes for a 25% discount, and another 40% were willing to travel an hour for a 50% discount.

This fascinating demand curve shows how consumers react via a distance-to-discount ratio. In practical terms, this means marketers can engage customers miles away with great results. By considering proximity, marketers can develop strategies beyond the checkin to generate new customers and to engage existing customers well beyond the neighborhood.

Redefine the Metrics

Every new form of media creates its own unique metrics, like the click-through rate created by digital advertising. Location gives us entirely new ways to measure advertising and thereby gain new insights around a brand’s business. Consider evolving the click-through rate. If we apply location and proximity, we can begin to look at click-through rates based on proximity to a brand’s location. How many people check in when they are in a store? What is the engagement rate of a campaign when people are within a mile of a store? Five miles? This insight helps brands understand how far people are willing to travel for their service or products.

Better yet, these metrics can surface potential insights around a brand’s distribution channel. What retail partners generate the most engagement? Are there pockets of high engagement where a brand doesn’t currently have a store? Considering the consumer data on distance-to-discount ratios, these metrics begin to inform the marketing mix.

For example, a consumer around the corner from a store can easily stop in as a result of a location-based ad. If the product is unavailable, it’s not a major imposition on the consumer’s time. However, the person willing to drive an hour for that 50% discount is another story — that customer’s ability to check on product availability beforehand takes on greater value. Different information has value at different proximities.

The combination of mobile and location advertising is already transforming media, content, services and commerce. Location media is achieving mass market adoption, and raising consumer awareness around the value of location services and advertising. There will be a lot of experimentation and innovation along the way, but these best practices will help advertisers achieve success earlier and more often as they explore how to “locationize their brand,” and ultimately have a scalable impact on their business.

Image courtesy of Flickr, william couch.

More About: advertising, business, foursquare, location-based, MARKETING, media

For more Business & Marketing coverage:

June 30 2011

June 29 2011

Meet the People Who Scored Twitter’s Shortest Usernames

If you registered for Twitter in the past two or three years, chances are you didn’t get your top choice handle. That’s probably because Twitter use has grown exponentially, topping 200 million accounts this year. But get ready to meet the users that scored premium real estate with the shortest Twitter usernames on Earth.

When Twitter launched in July 2006, it would only issue usernames of four or more characters. But user @r (Rex Hammock) says he simply petitioned Twitter employees for something more succinct. “At the time,” he remembers, “Twitter probably had three employees, so it wasn’t a bureaucracy that met about stuff like who deserves a one-letter username.”

So are you ready to meet them? We’ve got you covered from @A to @z (and @0 to @9). Some are early Twitter adopters, others took over accounts in later years, while a few remain stubbornly private. In any case, the shortest Twitter usernames seem to have the most to say. Their bios are often mysterious, their tweets philosophical and, not oddly, a great number of them seem to be from San Francisco.


A</a>" width="400" />

Date registered: March 11, 2007

Location: San Francisco, California

Followers: 10,439

Memorable Tweet: "It'll be a huuuge egg on our faces if it turns out that all the spam over the years was actually aliens trying to communicate with us."

Did you know Twitter was going to be big? How? No, I didn't realize how much it would blow up eventually. ... I guess the mainstream audience didn't get on it until probably early 2009, just about when Oprah and such started talking about it.


b</a>" width="400" />

Date registered: December 17, 2007

Location: Spokane, Washington

Followers: 2,574

Memorable Tweet: "6 shows down... So far so good. Day off in redding, hoping they don't kick us out of the mcdonalds for using their wifi for hours on end :)"


c</a>" width="400" />

Date registered: January 14, 2007

Location: San Francisco, California

Followers: 5,598

Memorable Tweet: "@x Hey! I'm about 5 hrs upstate from ya, Gene. Guess I missed @k on NPR. Hopefully the clip is online somewhere so I can hear it."


d</a>" width="400" />

Date registered: October 26, 2006

Location: Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York

Followers: 2,279

Memorable Tweet: "When people ask me if I'm a musician—something that's apparently easy to guess—I'm like, uh, kind of?"


e</a>" width="400" />

Date registered: September 8, 2006

Location: Santa Cruz, California

Followers: 2,450

Memorable Tweet: "Okay Santa Cruz, I forgive you."


f</a>" width="400" />

Date registered: September 8, 2006

Location: Portugal

Followers: 8,032

Memorable Tweet: "do twitter bots implode if I mention iPads, iPhones *and* justin bieber on the same tweet?"

When did you first sign up for Twitter? [When I signed up, Twitter] was uglier, had only a few people and a name that wasn't very good. But it was a great idea, let me keep in touch with people I cared about in the valley after moving back to Europe, and I stuck around.


G</a>" width="400" />

Date registered: December 4, 2008

Location: Fayetteville, Arkansas

Followers: 1,184

Memorable Tweet: "Hey, @DanielleFusco, @Joel_DiPippa, @kellymacneil, et al: Is it too late to call an emergency meeting of the Burger Caucus for lunch Monday?"


h</a>" width="400" />

Date registered: January 7, 2008

Location: Dublin, Ireland

Followers: 2,873

Memorable Tweet: "Watching friends hit on girls is an interesting experience! You always learn what to NOT do :-)"


i</a>" width="400" />

Date registered: December 2, 2010

Location: n/a

Followers: 885

Memorable (and only) Tweet: "Haha I dont like kids that have ugly proplem so juh"


j</a>" width="400" />

Date registered: October 25, 2007

Location: San Francisco, California

Followers: 5,691

Memorable Tweet: "OH: Someone's going to make money off of virtual dog ice cream, and it might as well be me."


k</a>" width="400" />

Date registered: November 1, 2006

Location: "SFO"

Followers: 16,246

Memorable Tweet: "Free shoes for Twitter employees means everyone's going to be wearing the same shoes tomorrow. Yoga class should be fun."


l</a>" width="400" />

Date registered: June 24, 2009

Location: "Here, there and everywhere."

Followers: 1

Memorable Tweet: n/a. Tweets are protected.


m</a>" width="400" />

Date registered: August 6, 2007

Location: Bad Kreuznach, Germany

Followers: 4,401 

Memorable Tweet: "I just became the mayor of Hunsrück-Klinik Simmern on @foursquare! http://4sq.com/g6jLcB"


n</a>" width="400" />

Date registered: March 10, 2007

Location: Palo Alto, California

Followers: 3,317

Memorable Tweet: "@smtakeda every meals i posted this week, yes. only because i should feed my son something other than garbage :p"


o</a>" width="400" />

Date registered: November 9, 2006

Location: Montréal, Quebec, Canada

Followers: 873

Memorable Tweet: "What kind of URL shortener we would be if we didn't have the shortest of Twitter usename? Check us out @o"

Did you know that Twitter was going to be big? How? I did, it was a time when the term microblogging started to appear here and there and my minimalist (not to say lazy) self realized that not just Twitter but all those "straight to the point" services will be the future.


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Date registered: October 30, 2006

Location: "trailing off, away, offshore."

Followers: 2,136

Memorable Tweet: "back here after years. who are all these followers? did we step all this way through evolution & time just to have bots listening to us?"


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Date registered: April 13, 2010

Location: Tel-Aviv, Israel

Followers: 509 

Memorable Tweet: "קמתי מאוחר, הלכתי למשרד, שכחתי את הארנק בבית, הלכתי הביתה, שכחתי את המפתחות במשרד. חזרתי למשרד, הכרתי בחוסר הטעם ביום הזה. ים?י" (I woke up late, I went to the office, I forgot my backpack at home, I went home, I forgot my keys in the office. I returned to the office, I know what today is missing? The beach.)


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Date registered: December 22, 2006

Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Followers: 7,127

Memorable Tweet: "Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fly-fish, you'll sell him fly-fishing gear the rest of his life"

Did you know that Twitter was going to be big? Like a lot of early users, the utility of Twitter didn't sink in until SXSW a couple of months later...Pretty soon, however, people were using it to say what was taking place in the session they were attending, and you could start noticing people leaving sessions if people in other session started tweeting about how great it was.


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Date registered: September 10, 2010

Location: Portland, Oregon

Followers: 4,101

Memorable Tweet: Hasn't tweeted yet.


t</a>" width="400" />

Date registered: November 7, 2006

Location: San Francisco, California

Followers: 15,887

Memorable Tweet: "despite appreciating NYC's energy and pace, relieved to find myself feeling happy to be home in SF. not moving yet. :)"


u</a>" width="400" />

Date registered: February 26, 2009

Location: n/a

Followers: 3,624

Memorable Tweet: "http://inlinethumb10.webshots.com/48905/2500522840104544006S600x600Q85.jpg setts, bench"


v</a>" width="400" />

Date registered: May 11, 2008

Location: n/a

Followers: 0

Memorable Tweet: n/a. Tweets are protected.


w</a>" width="400" />

Date registered: July 17, 2006

Location: n/a

Followers: 32

Memorable Tweet: n/a. Tweets are protected.


x</a>" width="400" />

Date registered: March 29, 2007

Location: San Francisco, CA

Followers: 2,001

Memorable Tweet: "@Photojojo dude I've been wanting to unleash 1000 superballs down a steep SF street & photograph it except a mini test run hit an old lady"

Did you know Twitter was going to be big? How? I didn’t – at first it seemed pretty useless until I started going to tech parties where people would ask what your twitter handle was instead of your actual name.


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Date registered: Summer 2006

Location: London

Followers: 0

Memorable Tweet: n/a. Tweets are protected.

Are you an early adopter for other social media/tech? I wouldn't say I'm necessarily an "early adopter" -- I tend to use well designed and simple services. I'm not a user of Facebook for instance. I'm currently loving mlkshk.com.


z</a>" width="400" />

Date registered: March 27, 2007

Location: San Francisco, California

Followers: 1,884

Memorable Tweet: "You know that feeling when you wake up hungry from a nap and none of your roommates are cooking you dinner? I hate that feeling."


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Date registered: September 26, 2010

Location: "Earth"

Followers: 8,682

Memorable Tweet: "0 is wondering why people even bother to follow him?"


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Date registered: January 12, 2009

Location: n/a

Followers: 4,300

Memorable Tweet: "No longer the loneliest number. Bumping up my 'following' count."


2</a>" width="400" />

Date registered: September 10, 2010

Location: n/a

Followers: 879

Memorable Tweet: n/a. Hasn't tweeted yet.


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No user data. Profile was suspended.


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Date registered: January 12, 2007

Location: n/a

Followers: 0

Memorable Tweet: n/a. Tweets are protected.


5</a>" width="400" />

Date registered: March 17, 2007

Location: China

Followers: 1,543

Memorable Tweet: "无聊" (bored)


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Date registered: January 19, 2007

Location: "iPhone: 37.788361,-122.408410"

Followers: 4,345

Memorable Tweet: "@Beaker @tqbf I'd respond to a polite query (but it have no relationship with the FBI.) C'mon, they couldn't even /catch/ me."


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Date registered: February 20, 2011

Location: "Baby Las Vegas"

Followers: 186

Memorable Tweet: "@6 was scared of @7 because @7 'ate' @9"


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Date registered: March 17, 2007

Location: China

Followers: 1,587

Memorable Tweet: "今天愚人节哦,大家节日快乐" (oh, April Fools Day today, happy holidays)


9</a>" width="400" />

Date registered: March 8, 2011

Location: Australia

Followers: 109

Memorable Tweet: "Meme sounds [link]"


Date registered: March 16, 2007

Location: "@_98119"

Followers: 4,208

Memorable Tweet: "Credit card encryption hack: Divide the digits embossed on the front of the card by 1 to get the credit card number."

More About: List, Lists, social media, social networking, twitter, usernames

For more Social Media coverage:

June 26 2011

44 New Digital Media Resources You May Have Missed

Wow, we have a ton of resources this week. And we’re perfecting one of the most engaging ways to view news: the infographic. Our team loves them and we know you will too. Enjoy the infographic posts below.

We’ve also generated helpful How-Tos, gathered tons of apps and presented cutting-edge technology for your business. For a rich roundup of resources, search no further. We’ve got your back.

Looking for even more social media resources? This guide appears every weekend, and you can check out all the lists-gone-by here any time.

Editors’ Picks

Social Media

June 25 2011

Top 10 Twitter Trends This Week [CHART]

Twitter Chart Image

In a rare occurrence for Twitter, a holiday trend topped our chart for two weeks in a row. Father’s Day remains in the number one spot with a mix of sentiment and related hashtags.

International soccer returns to the number two slot after a week on the bottom rungs, and buzz about the NBA Draft kept basketball top-of-mind for tweeters, even after the championship games have come and gone.

To see the full list, check out the chart below. Because this is a topical list, hashtag memes and games have been omitted from the chart. The aggregate is based on Twitter’s own trending algorithm, and does not necessarily reflect raw tweet volume.

You can check Twitter trends from the past in our Top Twitter Topics section.

Top Twitter Trends This Week: 6/17 – 6/23

Father’s Day
Some users celebrated their fathers while others lamented fathers who were absent in their lives. Relevant hashtags included #ILoveMyDadEvenThough and #MyDadGetsNoCallBecause along with #HappyFathersDay.
Soccer players, managers, coaches and owners generating a lot of conversation this week were Andre Villas-Boas, Lionel Messi, Sylvain Marveaux, Daniel Levy, Joel Natalino Santana, Vitor Pereira and Raheem Sterling.
Several conversations contributed to this trend. First, there were #BasketballQuotes that reflected users’ attitudes towards players and teams. There was also the news that Ron Artest is trying to legally change his name to Metta World Peace. Finally, on Thursday night, the NBA Draft took place and many NBA draft picks hit Twitter trends.
Summer/Winter Solstice
For the Northern Hemisphere, June 21 was the longest day of the year, the first day of summer. But for those in the Southern Hemisphere, the day marked the beginning of winter. Notably, Google commissioned Japanese pop artist Takashi Murakami to create a Google doodle to mark the solstice.
Ryan Dunn
Jackass star Ryan Dunn died in a car crash in Pennsylvania on June 20. There was controversy over movie reviewer Roger Ebert’s comments against drunk driving and the timing of his remarks.
Fried Kool-Aid
Chicken Charlie’s (a staple of fried rations at fairs across the country) is selling 400 to 600 orders of deep-fried Kool-Aid. Twitter users seem both fascinated and repulsed by the food.
Chris Brown
Fans of Chris Brown tweeted their affection for the singer while other responded harshly to the hashtag #ChrisBrownNeedsTo.
Jonas Brothers
Eagle-eyed Jonas Brothers fans generated several related trends when they noticed that Demi Lovato followed Joe Jonas and Nick Jonas, after unfollowing them earlier.
Clarence Clemons
Bruce Springsteen’s longtime saxophonist Clarence Clemons died on June 18 of complications from a stroke. He was probably best known for the sax solo in the song Jungleland. Clemons was 69 years old.
MuchMusic Video Awards
The MuchMusic Video Awards are annual awards presented by the Canadian music video channel to honor the year’s best music videos. Lady Gaga won Best International Video (“Judas”) and Favorite International Artist which caused her fans to celebrate.

Data aggregate courtesy of What the Trend.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, 123render

More About: Father's Day, jonas brothers, List, Lists, NBA, Ryan Dunn, soccer, social media, Top Twitter Topics, twitter

For more Social Media coverage:

June 18 2011

47 New Digital Media Resources You May Have Missed

This week’s roundup delivers news, advice and trends aplenty. Searching for the next Facebook? Nervous about the security of mobile payment options? Eager to incorporate game-like incentives into your workplace? We’re here to satisfy your curiosity and fill you in on all that you may have missed this week.

Looking for even more social media resources? This guide appears every weekend, and you can check out all the lists-gone-by here any time.

Editors’ Picks

Social Media

June 16 2011

3 Social Publishing Apps That Empower Human Curators

Steven Rosenbaum is a curator, author, filmmaker and entrepreneur. He is the CEO of Magnify.net, a real-time video curation engine for publishers, brands and websites. His book Curation Nation from McGrawHill Business was published this week.

The mantra of a lot of web software is the same: Use technology to take the human agents and costly middlemen out of the equation. Connect consumers to sellers, thus creating a more efficient marketplaces. There are many examples of this working well and generating fantastic new business opportunities.

Along the way, the web aggregated everything: airfares, hotel rooms, auctions, stock market data, weather information — you name it. The only problem is, the software that made everything comparable has also made things increasingly unfindable. Today, as the web shifts from data to content, the sheer volume of undifferentiated content makes the very tools that have propagated and cataloged data increasingly part of the problem. While data is the ideal candidate for disintermediation and aggregation, content — when placed in orderly stacks of undifferentiated muck — becomes less and less valuable.

This is why the new software frontier isn’t about removing humans, but empowering them. And software tools, many of them now in beta, are creating scalable opportunities for editorial teams and individuals to curate their collections.

Here are three examples of software products built for humans, rather than as a means to replace them.

1. Paper.li

I spoke with Paper.li’s founder Edouard Lambelet at this year’s Blog World Expo. Paper.li has 1.5 million monthly unique visitors, and more than 300,000 Paper.li “newspapers” have been created.

“Paper.li is about narrowing things,” Lambelet said. “I think mainstream media can’t cover everything, really. It’s extremely difficult to search for this kind of content top to bottom. You really need to have small curators [and] small editors in chief — millions of them covering content.”

How does it work? Paper.li extracts tweets that include URLs and extracts the content found on these URLs from people you follow. It creates sections, based on categories, and publishes a daily “newspaper” around your community. By entering search queries, you can narrow the scope of tweets brought into your paper. This can be done with keywords, hashtags or usernames.

Simply put, each Paper.li publication is curated around a user’s interests, narrowed and filtered further for focus. But Paper.li isn’t about removing the human element — far from it. It’s about embracing human curation and giving a new class of publishers the tools to find, filter and focus the content that interests them.

2. Storify

Storify’s co-founder Burt Herman was a bureau chief and correspondent for the Associated Press, where he covered politics, conflict, culture and business across the United States, Europe, the former Soviet Union, the Middle East and Asia. He was was an embedded reporter with the U.S. Marines and Air Force during the 2003 Iraq war and covered fighting in northern Afghanistan, as well as the U.S. military buildup in Central Asia after the September 11 attacks.

He returned to school, as a Knight fellow at Stanford, to explore the future of journalism. The result was Storify, which offers tools for journalists and bloggers to turn curated social content into stories. You can use tweets, photos and videos from multiple social networks and pull individual elements into your story. Reordering them and expanding on them with context is simply a matter of “drag-and-drop.”

“We see witnesses everywhere,” says media pundit and blogger Jeff Jarvis. “Some of them reporters, some people who happen to be at a news event before reporters arrive … some who may be participants but are sharing photos and facts via Twitter.” Jarvis says that tools like Storify can turn social media into a coherent narrative — this at a time when, as he says, “an article can be a luxury. Let the record show that I am not declaring the article useless or dead. Just optional.”

3. Pinterest

While both Paper.li and Storify are about links and tweets, Pinterest is a visual feast of images and ideas. I met founder Ben Silberman almost a year ago. The site is still in closed beta today, but from the moment I saw what he and his co-founders had done, I knew they were tackling a piece of the curation puzzle that had yet to be conquered.

Pinterest describes itself as a “virtual pinboard,” but others call it a “moodboard site” because it’s so visually stimulating. Pinterest users can “pin” an image or a link to their profile, sharing something that they find beautiful, dramatic or inspirational.

Pinterest is about empowering visual curators. As they explain it: “We know you have great taste in something. Our mission is to make Pinterest the best place for you to share your taste with the world.”

And while you can “pin” anything, the site clearly leans toward powerful and emotive images. “People use Pinterest to collect and share all sorts of things — wedding inspiration, favorite T-shirts, DJ equipment,” says the site. “You name it, people are pinning it.”

The site is full of graphic artists, photographers, designers and illustrators — folks with amazing eyes for images who curate via color and style. So while Twitter is about 140 characters, Pinterest is about visual ideas. You can even read interviews (pinterviews!) with some of the site’s most active members here. Clearly, Ben and his co-founders don’t see their tech replacing humans, but rather being driven by quirky human taste.

Will any of the “newspapers” published by Paper.li be as well-read as The New York Times? Certainly not. But big isn’t the goal in the new world of micro-content. It’s about focus, and voice, and giving content and domain experts the ability to find and publish a “narrowcast” paper that a small group of enthusiastic readers will enjoy.

More About: -local, aggregation, curation, editorial, human editors, journalism, media, paper.li, pinterest, social media, Storify, web apps

For more Social Media coverage:

June 12 2011

51 New Digital Media Resources You May Have Missed

icons image

Hello and welcome back to Mashable‘s weekly roundup of tool and resources for your daily life. This week we have some cool stories on how to start marketing on SCVNGR, social media campaign case studies, top announcements from both E3 and Apple’s developer conference as well as a gallery of Google’s best animated doodles.

Looking for even more social media resources? This guide appears every weekend, and you can check out all the lists-gone-by here any time.

Editors’ Picks

Social Media

For more social media news and resources, you can follow Mashable’s social media channel on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

Tech & Mobile

For more tech news and resources, you can follow Mashable’s tech channel on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

Business & Marketing

For more business news and resources, you can follow Mashable’s business channel on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

Image courtesy of Flickr, webtreats

More About: business, facebook, Features Week In Review, gadgets, List, Lists, Mobile 2.0, social good, social media, tech, technology, twitter

For more Social Media coverage:

June 10 2011

June 09 2011

9 Well-Designed User Registration Pages To Learn From

Captchas, confirmation emails, account activation, and credit card details — let’s face it, user registration can be a headache. When your goal is to convert visitors to users and get as many sign-ups as possible, the last thing you want is for your registration page to act as a barrier.

Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Different markets and different services all require different treatments when it comes to signing up.

We’ve rounded up 9 samples of great user registration pages, some simple, some complex. We’ll take a look at each one and give you some ideas about what they did right to help you streamline your process or find some inspiration.

1. Convore

Convore doesn't waste any time getting down to business. As soon as you hit the landing page of this communications and messaging platform you're presented with a registration for the Convore service. Simple, fast and to the point. Convore only collects the most essential information — name, email and password — entered once with no confirmation. Not only is the sign-up process dead simple and easy to find, the registration form flows well with the rest of the content on the page.

2. Ballpark

Project estimation web app, Ballpark, has a nice approach to user registration. While they collect a little more information than Convore, it's still kept to the essentials. The structure of the form here is great. Everything is presented in a very neat and tidy manner with some nice iconography to denote the different types of data being collected. Though it looks simple, a lot of attention has been paid to the details like the soft colors, subtle gradients, light borders and 3D elements that give the signup form a polished, elegant feel.

3. Fourteen Dayz

Time tracking app Fourteen Dayz takes a similar approach to user registration, using a soft color palette with boxes for each step of the registration process. However, the form is minimal and flatter, lacking gradients and drop shadows. Nonetheless, the overall effect is still that of a clean, easy to read, logically organized registration form. The text and font treatment on this form is quite nice, with large headings, plenty of descriptive text and clear, organized labels. Instructions are clear and readily available without having to hunt for them.

4. Spreedly

Sometimes less is more. Spreedly's signup page is dead simple, both in terms of its visual appearance and the information it collects. Pick a username, enter your email and choose a password. That's it. You're done. There's no activation process and upon submitting the form, you can start using the service immediately. This is a great example of making registration easy. Spreedly signup only takes a few seconds and instant access to test accounts means you can start exploring the service right away. It's not until after you've had a chance to fully test the app and have decided to subscribe that you are presented with a screen to begin your subscription and enter payment details.

5. Culinary Culture

Culinary Colture, a social site for foodies, doesn't even bother to move their registration onto a separate page. Like Convore, the signup is right on the landing page. It's a little further down the page, just below the fold, and beside the activity feed, but the treatment on the form here is really nice. The site saves space by eliminating labels for form elements and placing the prompt directly inside the form field itself. Simple, stylish icons inside each input box also help to illustrate what types of data belong in the fields. Finally, the subtle details on the borders and button gradient gives the form a finished look.

6. Launch List

Launch List's registration page starts out with a pricing table at the top and a FAQ below. Select a plan and the FAQ fades away to load a user registration form complete with instructions. The whole visual identity for Launch List is vintage cool. On the pricing table, the teal background, fat icons and the Buck Rogers style rocket of the Launch List logo give everything a clean sort of retro feeling. We like the use of subtle changes in value in this form, from the contrast of light grey text verses white headings to the subtle boxes behind sections of the registration form.

7. Freckle

Time tracking app Freckle asks for a little more information on its registration page. The app's designers have done their best to make the process as painless as possible. There's not a lot of clutter on the page, which is composed almost entirely of just the signup form. Each section is cordoned off into its own box with slightly larger text for lables and inputs. The soft colors and the instructions in the margins give the whole form a friendly, less intimidating feeling, which is helpful for a form that collects personal and payment information right off the bat.

8. Litmus

Email marketing service, Litmus, is another example of a web app that collects a fairly large amount of data upon signup. Like Freckle, Litmus keeps it organized by breaking the form up into logical chunks and providing helpful information where needed. We find the mix of top-aligned labels in the beginning of the form versues left-aligned labels in the payment section to be an unusual choice but overall the form is visually simple enough that this doesn't cause too much confusion.

9. Ember

Ember is a web app for sharing design ideas and inspiration with other designers. The signup process itself is simple but there's a lot more to this registration page than just a couple of form fields. All the form's instructions are clearly listed down the right-hand side of the page while the top left contains fields for personal details like name, email and password. We find the layout interesting in that the pricing table is below where the actual registration details are entered. It's not something you see often but with only two plans to choose from, it works well: Enter your information, pick a plan, and you're done.

More About: business, dev & design, registration, registration pages, social media, web

For more Dev & Design coverage:

June 07 2011

6 New & Innovative Social Media Campaigns to Learn From

The Social Media for Business Leaders Series is supported by The Awareness Social Marketing Hub, the leading social media marketing software for marketers to publish, manage, measure and engage across the social web. Request a demo here.

We’re always on the lookout for innovative social media campaigns at Mashable. This week we scoured the web and our Twitter feeds to find some of the most interesting campaigns out there.

From utilizing online video in an inventive way to creating a unique presence on Facebook, these six social media campaigns are some of the most original pieces of work as of late. Let us know about your favorite recent social media campaigns in the comments below.

1. Intel: Targeting a Digitally Savvy Audience

Ad agency Amsterdam Worldwide unveiled the first in a series of blogger films, called “Visual Life,” for technology brand Intel back in January 2011. The series showcases top bloggers discussing how they use technology and how it has transformed their work.

The first video of the series documented the work of fashion blogger and photographer Scott Schumann, The Sartorialist. The video garnered nearly a quarter of a million views in its first two weeks and has been viewed more than 850,000 times on YouTube and the Intel site, helping increase Intel’s YouTube channel views by 200%.

The video went viral when it was embedded on The Sartorialist blog, but also gained a lot of views from Facebook, The Cool Hunter and mobile devices. This campaign has done quite well, as it targets a digital savvy audience that is interested in learning about how top bloggers are utilizing photo and video technologies. Such viewers are more likely to share the videos with their social graphs, increasing the virality of the series.

This week, the campaign launched its most recent video (embedded above), which documents the role technology plays for two young Chinese wedding photographers, Kitty and Lala.

Overall, the series takes on a lifestyle approach that is uncommon for tech brands, focusing on the effects that technology has had on each video’s featured subject, both personally and professionally.

2. The Century Council: Using YouTube Ads for a Good Cause

In April, The Century Council, a national non-profit organization dedicated to fighting drunk driving and underage drinking, teamed up with a bipartisan group of 23 attorneys general from around the country to release a creative public service announcement (PSA) in conjunction with Alcohol Awareness Month. The attorneys general each taped an animated or radio version of the PSA that encouraged kids to say “yes” to a healthy lifestyle and “no” to underage drinking. The animated version of the PSA leads attorneys general through many scenes depicting the type of behavior that the council is promoting.

The campaign, called “Ask, Listen, Learn,” has proven to be an amazing success, garnering millions of views via The Century Council’s YouTube Channel. Much of this success was due to smart ad placements on YouTube.

“Utilizing YouTube’s TrueView ad format, we worked with Google’s specialists to buy keywords likely to rack up traffic fast within our core demographic,” says Ralph Blackman, president & CEO of The Century Council. “For example, two of our top five Ad Group Themes were ‘first dance Justin Bieber youtube’ and ‘Baby lyrics Justin Bieber YouTube.’ Utilizing YouTube’s TrueView format, we were less concerned with ad waste and more concerned with impact, as disinterested users were more likely to skip through the ads, resulting in no cost to us.”

“Our main goals were to get our message across to kids nationwide and to put the participating attorneys general in front of their youngest constituents,” says Blackman. “In that regard, we considered our ad buy an enormous success. We racked up more than 2.5 million views over the campaign, had all of our videos frequently embedded, and had website traffic at 11 times its normal levels. Our view-through rate hovered at around 25%, with daily views anywhere from 60,000 to 125,000. Many attorneys general afterward said they were surprised at the reach it delivered as well — constituents frequently mentioned seeing their PSAs.”

3. Johnson’s Baby Canada: Offering Low-Value Prizes for High Return

Johnson’s Baby Canada tripled its Facebook fan count in just three weeks with a baby photo contest that offered users the chance to have their little ones featured on the Johnson’s site.

For Johnson’s Canada, offering a low-value prize (placing a baby’s photo on its website) yielded high returns in fans and engagement. Besides tripling its fan base, it also garnered more than 1 million visits to the Facebook application, more than 3.5 million photo views, and more than half a million votes. The brand benefited from entrants who shared through their social graphs to rally votes; there was an average of 10 clicks per shared link.

The campaign was developed by Edelman Digital on the Strutta contest platform and was available in English and French, as it was targeted towards a Canadian audience.

4. Ford Fiesta: Behind-the-Scenes Product Placement

Car manufacturer Ford, product placement company Stone Management and online marketing agency Wpromote, recently teamed up to launch a behind-the-scenes social media campaign in conjunction with the forthcoming Tom Hanks film Larry Crowne.

The campaign promotes the Ford Fiesta via product placement and features Hanks’ assistant Bo Stevenson, also known as “FiestaBo.” During the filming of “Larry Crowne,” Stevenson and Stone Management took videos and pictures of behind-the-scenes action, which would later be used as engaging content for both the movie and the new Ford Fiesta. The content was then posted to YouTube and Facebook. The YouTube channel has received more than 70,000 video views, and the Facebook Page has garnered nearly 16,000 Likes.

In the embedded via above, Stevenson explains the campaign as a “social media experiment” that attempts to give fans a true behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like to work in Hollywood. As Stevenson assists Tom Hanks, viewers get to see what it’s like to drive Hanks to work every morning, fetch a typewriter for Hanks to make old-school script changes and chat with the other actors on set.

While the success of the campaign is mediocre, we’re more impressed with the innovative approach to product placement. As the film wasn’t car-centric, Wpromote and Stone Management needed to launch a creative way to showcase that the Ford Fiesta was key to the movie’s filming. Highlighting the daily life of Tom Hanks’ assistant as he drove around in the lime green Fiesta was an inventive way to do just that.

5. Samsung: Driving Engagement and Sharing

Created by social media agency Ignite Social Media, Samsung TV’s “Like It, Reveal It, Win It” campaign features a weekly product giveaway on Facebook that incentivizes users to participate regularly and invite friends to join them.

After “liking” Samsung TV’s Facebook Page, users are able to enter to win Samsung products by unlocking pixels, which can be done by recommending the contest to friends. The more pixels a user unlocks, the more chances he or she has to win the hidden weekly prize, a Samsung TV-related product. The contest also dynamically incorporates hidden Easter-egg prizes that can be unlocked instantly.

Unlike a standard contest, where users enter once and then leave the page, this campaign actively engages fans on a weekly basis and gives them a reason to invite more of their network to the page.

Facebook fan acquisition is Samsung’s key goal with this campaign. The company saw an increase of more than 12,000 new fans within the first week and a half, and reports that growth seems to be accelerating as the contest continues and entrants reach out to their networks.

6. Mello Yello: Relaunching with an Existing Fan Base

Remember that citrusy soda from your childhood called Mello Yello? Well, it still exists, and it’s doing what it can to make a comeback.

Mello Yello recently relaunched its brand under the campaign “They Call Me Mello Yello,” which circles around retro kitsch and a remake of Donovan’s 1966 hit song. The brand is utilizing social media, especially Facebook, to spread its message.

After discovering a consumer-created Facebook Page for Mello Yello, marketing agency BFG Communications identified the owner of the page, contacted him and worked with him to transition it to an official brand page. At that point, BFG worked with Mello Yello to develop a brand voice by creating a character sketch that would become the framework for the tone, language and topics the brand would use on Facebook. This distinct voice officially came to life as the brand took on management of the Facebook Page in August 2010, focusing on posting fun content, answering fan questions and responding to comments.

The Facebook Page features a Retro Smooth Photo Generator, which enables users to transform a photo of themselves (by uploading or using their webcam) from “not so smooth” to “smooth,” using a hipster-feeling photo filter. The Page also features a Smooth Quiz, where users can find out just how suave they really are. For a limited time, users can also download the free “Mellow Yellow” remix.

“The goal was to reach 10,000 fans by the end of 2010,” a brand representative told Mashable. “Without any gimmicks or ads, we surpassed that goal within one month of content and community management. The Page continues to grow, and currently has around 78,000 fans. It is also notable that about 80% of the Page’s fans are 24 or younger, showing that the brand is reaching a new generation of fans, not just the consumers who remember Mello Yello from the early ’80s. Many brands focus on bells and whistles to attract a social media audience. The Mello Yello experience shows that personality, content and responsiveness, while simpler, can go a long way and lead to long term engagement.”

Your Picks

The Internet is a massive abyss that’s not easily traversed — consequently, it’s inevitable that we’ve overlooked some amazing campaigns. Feel free to school us by sharing the details of your favorite social media campaigns in the comments below.

Disclosure: Ford is a Mashable sponsor.

Series supported by The Awareness Social Marketing Hub

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More About: digital marketing, facebook, intel, MARKETING, online marketing, samsung, social media, social media for business leaders series, social media marketing, youtube

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9 Beautiful One-Page Websites for Design Inspiration

Single-page websites have been commonplace on the web for a few years now. First made popular by designers seeking a clean, simple way to showcase portfolios, the one-page website now has a number of uses, including advertising software and promoting events. It’s a great way to have a large impact with a small amount of content.

Below, we’ll take a look at 9 great one-page websites, explore how they’re used and what makes them so awesome. Get ready to be inspired!

1. Blacktie

The designers over at Blacktie have put together a slick portfolio showcasing some of their best works. What we love most about Blacktie is its bold color palette and smooth navigation. Browsing the portfolio feels responsive and snappy. Changing the background color to white (via the links at the top right) dramatically changes the feel of the portfolio. It's also a nice touch to feature screenshots on the devices for which they were created.

2. Corpus

Corpus is a content management system that's a little more "cerebral." Type, color and illustrations combine to set a mood that feels more suited to academia than web development. However, that's just the feeling that Corpus is aiming for. Its web app is focused on inspiring creativity and freedom of expression without the limitations of a content management system. The site offers just enough information to pique one's interest: There's just a brief introduction, a short list of features, logos of existing clients, and a large, centrally located email for further inquiries.

3. Think Green Meeting

Think Green Meeting is a conferencing service for the environmentally conscious. It's a unique and accurate look at the benefits of digitizing your workplace. The site has some great interactive components like the grid of automobiles and airplanes that vanish when moused-over. It's a cool metaphor for the reduction in cost and emissions which the company stands for. Other great elements include the earthy, natural color palette and large, tightly-spaced headings juxtaposed by spacious body copy to give the site a very clean, modern and sophisticated feel.

4. Owl Concept

Owl Concept is an example of a one-page site that takes advantage of the screen real estate afforded it. Upon visiting the site you see a large photographic backgorund in cool colors with a subtle grid overlay in bold colors. It's visually impressive. Click on the portfolio link to the far right, however, and distractions slide away and you are presented with two carousels of featured works on a white background (hover effects complement the rollover effect on the navigation menu), with the header, navigation and footer remaining in place for consistency.

5. Captain Wallace

Here's an idea - how about designing your website to directly mirror the UI and illustrative style of the application it's promoting? That's exactly what the designers of the Captain Wallance iPhone/iPad application have done. The site is fun and immediately draws you in with its soft color palette, large, friendly type and cheery illustrations. It's almost impossible to look at this site without wanting to at least try out the touch app for preschoolers. You get an immediate feel for the application, its straightforward interface, and the lovely illustrations of animals you'll encounter while adventuring with the Captain.

6. Head 2 Heart

Single-page sites aren't just for iOS apps and portfolios. A number of non-profit organizations are starting to utilize these high-impact, user-friendly sites as brochures for a number of causes and programs. Head 2 Heart is a fundraising campaign by newly-forned NGO Collyde, which aims to raise money for programs dedicated to providing clean water, medical care, and promoting a safe environment for young girls in developing countries. Head 2 Heart takes you on a cleverly illustrated journey as you step through the side-scrolling website via the bottom navigation. It presents factoids and talking points along the way, explaining the goals of the organization and eventually bringing you to a donation page and list of additional ways you can support the cause.

7. Kickoff App

Kickoff App is collaboration software for Macs. The site developers do a great job capturing that Apple feel in everything from the typography, the icons, the arrangement of the screenshots and the grid that makes up the underlying structure. Sometimes innovation in design isn't necessary. Sometimes what you really need is a just a solid layout that's easily recognizable for what it is. This gives users a sense of familiarity and clearly promotes your product with minimal distraction. Kickoff App's website does a great job doing just that.

8. Garbageman

Garbageman is an iPhone/iPad app from Doubleleft. The goal is simple: Clean the city and earn money. We like the fun illustrations that tie in with the look and feel of the app along with the large slideshow. The layout is simple and the content minimal, giving you just enough information to get a good impression of the game and how it works without overloading you with too many details. Finding the balance on just the right amount of content is an important consideration when choosing whether to build a single-page site or something more complex. Doubleleft's Garbageman page is an example of single-page content done well.

9. Enzo Li Volti

Until recently, doing sophisticated typography on the web was over-complicated at best. But as web font technogies and delivery services improve, more and more designers are getting creative with text. Italian designer Enzo Li Volti lets layout and typography do all of the talking on his personal website. Breaking from the traditional thumbnail and screenshot portfolio with just a series of links, Li Volti creates his work of art with letters and font faces. We love the bold simplicity of this site, which would look just as great as a poster on the wall.

More About: case study, landing page, one page site, social media, web

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