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January 29 2014

When Everyone Is Thinking 'Football,' Advertisers Should Be Thinking 'Fútbol'

The Super Bowl (football) and the World Cup (fútbol) are two of the most highly publicized, talked-about and buzzworthy events in sports. Both inspire fanatical viewership, heartbreaks and triumphs, and they provide huge opportunities for advertisers and marketers that translate into dollars.

But when it comes down to it, which institution carries more weight in terms of viewership, revenues and economic impact — the Super Bowl or the World Cup? The answer may surprise many marketers

The disparities between the raw numbers associated with both events are pretty shocking when compared side-by-side, and even though the Super Bowl will be the most talked about event of the week, this weekend, the opportunity that the World Cup presents for marketers is unmatched. During the 2010 World Cup, 11 million tweets, from 172 countries in 27 different languages marked the largest period of sustained activity for an event in Twitter’s history at the time Read more...

More about Advertising, Marketing, Super Bowl, World Cup, and Business

January 02 2014

ESPN Delivers World Cup Drama in Epic Promo

Ladies and gentlemen, it is finally 2014 and that means one thing above all else: The World Cup is this year

ESPN just released its first ad for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Embedded above, the nearly two-minute spot will give soccer fans goose bumps as they while away these final six months until the greatest event in sports kicks off June 12

Set to a sweeping soundtrack, the ad looks back on iconic players and teams from past World Cups. It juxtaposes that history with current Brazilian stars and street scenes from the soccer-obsessed South American country, which ESPN calls the event's "spiritual home." Read more...

More about Soccer, Entertainment, World Cup, Advertising, and Videos

December 06 2013

World Cup Draw: What You Need to Know

Friday's World Cup draw made soccer fans around the globe go gaga over groupings, marquee match-ups and potential showdowns. The World Cup draw even turned the regular folk among us into sports fans — at least for a few hours. The field is now set, with eight groups of four teams apiece playing a round-robin schedule beginning June 12 to determine the 16-team elimination field that culminates in the July 13 final match.

Stateside, the day's biggest news was the U.S. national team landing in the World Cup's dreaded "Group of Death," as the toughest foursome in each World Cup is known. The Americans are grouped with soccer superpower Germany, Ronaldo-led Portugal and tough African side Ghana, which eliminated the U.S. from the past two World Cups. On top of that, the U.S. schedule includes nearly 9,000 miles of travel to reach stadiums scattered about Brazil, and the team plays one match in Manaus, a sweltering city in the heart of the Amazon Read more...

More about Twitter, Soccer, World Cup, Entertainment, and Sports

November 20 2013

Portuguese Announcer During Ronaldo Goals Is Pure World Cup Joy

The national soccer teams of Portugal and Sweden faced off in a do-or-die World Cup qualifying match on Tuesday night. The match pitted two of the biggest stars in soccer — Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo and Sweden's Zlatan Ibrahimović — against one another with stakes of the highest magnitude. The winning squad's prize: a ticket to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, which the losing side would have to watch from home

Ronaldo scored three goals to push Portugal through to a win and a berth in Brazil. The goals themselves were incredible, but Portuguese TV announcer Nuno Matos' calls of them may have been even better. The pure, unadulterated, frenzied, hysterical joy in Matos' calls shows why the World Cup is the most magical event in sports Read more...

More about Soccer, World Cup, Entertainment, and Sports

September 17 2013

Airbnb Users Already Cashing in on the Super Bowl

The Super Bowl and World Cup are fiercely competitive sporting events that pit rivals against each other for the ultimate victory. And we're not talking about the teams — it's all about the mighty struggle between Airbnb owners and renters.

The site typically affords travelers a low-budget way to check out a new city by renting spare couches, rooms and apartments that users list. But when the NFL's big dance hits the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, a 20-minute drive from Manhattan, local Airbnb hosts are set to cash in.

Let's take a look first at a listing close to Times Square for the first weekend in February. It's a small, stuffy, private room that normally rents for $91 a night. For Super Bowl weekend, it will cost $427 a night. A nearby room is $155 a night on the regular and $640 over Super Bowl weekend. Read more...

More about Rooms, Rentals, Football, Super Bowl, and World Cup

September 14 2013

Photographer Lands a Soccer Fan's Dream Job With Around-the-World Trip

If you're a fan of soccer or traveling, prepare to get jealous. If you're a fan of both, prepare to get really jealous

Joel Robison has a job from now through the end of April. His assignment? To go on an around-the-world tour with the World Cup Trophy, beginning and ending in Rio de Janeiro, while documenting each stop on Twitter to connect with fans, and help build anticipation for arguably the most anticipated event in global sports. The 2014 World Cup in Brazil begins next June.

Robison will visit 89 countries, as well as an undecided number of cities and towns during the journey, while posting original photos and other updates from the @TrophyTour Twitter account, he told Mashable in an interview. The goal? Read more...

More about Soccer, Coca Cola, World Cup, Entertainment, and Sports

May 17 2013

Military Robots Will Patrol World Cup

Even non-soccer fans know how hooliganism can quickly turn a harmless match into a veritable war zone, full of riots, stabbings, even death. To help keep the peace at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, FIFA has decided to go high-tech by enlisting military robots for security.

iRobot recently announced that it will outfit Brazil with 30 PackBot robots, units similar to those that have been deployed in Afghanistan, Iraq and inside Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant.

Each PackBot is camera-equipped and remotely controlled to allow operators to examine suspicious objects and explore threatening environments. The robots will work in tandem with thousands of soldiers who will be patrolling the 12 host cities in Brazil. Read more...

More about Robots, World Cup, Irobot, Us World, and World

July 18 2011

Top 3 Stories This Morning: World Cup Tweets, Adobe & David Beckham

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 three particular stories of interest today.

World Cup Games Set Tweets Per Second Records

At the end of Sunday’s FIFA Women’s World Cup final between USA and Japan, the number of tweets sent per second climbed to 7,196, a new all-time high previously owned by the consolation match between Brazil and Paraguay played hours earlier.

Before Sunday’s games, Twitter users sent the most tweets per second (6,939) when New Year’s Day 2011 began in Japan.

Adobe Buys EchoSign

Adobe Systems has acquired EchoSign, a startup that provides a service for people to sign documents electronically. Adobe plans to integrate the cloud-based digital service into CreatePDF, FormsCentral and SendNow.

David & Victoria Beckham’s Baby Photo Debuts on Facebook

Soccer star David Beckham used his Facebook Page to give the first public glimpse of his newborn daughter, Harper Seven. The Facebook photo shows his wife, Victoria Beckham, with the baby.

Further News

  • The researcher who accurately estimated that Google+ would soon reach 10 million users (it did), says that the male-to-female ratio on Google+ is not as disparate as some reports indicate: 33% of Google+ users are female, he estimates.
  • A new iOS app from The Polyphonic Spree is an interactive music video that allows you to explore an ever-changing environment as a small creature called You-Me.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, DNY59

More About: adobe, facebook, Google Plus, social media, twitter, world cup

For more Social Media coverage:

December 29 2010

How World Events Drove Mobile Shopping in 2010

eBay announced its most interesting mobile shopping trends of 2010 today. Among other topics, the company analyzed holiday season spending and shopping reactions to cultural events like Valentine’s Day, the World Cup and Apple’s iPad release.

The trends are based on the total value of items purchased using eBay’s mobile app, which more than 30 million people have downloaded. eBay spotted them using an interactive heat map it developed to demonstrate global mobile shopping in the top 20 of its shopping categories.

Sporting events were one area of cultural event the company found drove mobile sales. During the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, sales in the sports and memorabilia category peaked in Canada. During the Tour de France, the category peaked in France, and During the World Cup, where Germany placed third, the category peaked in Germany.

Gadget releases also powered sales. After the iPad debuted on April 4, there were more mobile sales in the consumer electronics category than any other day this year. Similarly, when the iPhone 4 launched in the U.S. on June 24, the cellphones and accessories category hit its peak as people flocked to eBay to buy new and pre-owned iPhones.

The most interesting finding when it came to Valentine’s Day was not related to jewelery or chocolate, but video games. Apparently geeks, perhaps reacting to a bevy of special online gaming tournaments, felt the need to stock up. eBay’s mobile app shoppers spent 68% more on video games in the week leading up to Valentine’s Day than they did last year.

Another impressive finding was the growth of mobile sales this holiday season. eBay’s mobile app sold nearly $100 million of merchandise in the U.S. during the month before Christmas, which represents an increase of 134% over last year at the same time. Considering that last year all U.S. mobile sales from all retailers all year long totaled about $1.2 billion, eBay alone selling about 10% of that in one month likely signifies an impressive growth rate for mobile commerce in general this year.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, Talaj

More About: ebay, mobile commerce, shopping trends, valentine's day, world cup

For more Mobile coverage:

December 04 2010

December 01 2010

November 21 2010

5 Magnificent Memes [Mashable Awards]

Mashable Awards Image

As part of the ongoing Mashable Awards, we’re taking a closer look at each of the nomination categories. This is “Best Internet Meme,” supported by Dynadot. Be sure to nominate your favorites and join us for the Gala in Las Vegas!

A favorite meme is a very personal thing — like a perfume, a haircut, or a uniquely diagnosed neurosis. Some appeal to cat lovers (let’s face it — most appeal to cat lovers), some strike a nerve among those with a darker sense of humor, and others are reserved solely for the utterly insane.

Below you will find my personal favorites from 2010 as part of a look into one of our newest Mashable Awards categories, “Best Internet Meme.”

Yes, there were a bevy of memes on the scene in 2010, and I’m sure every commenter has his/her own opinions as to what should make the cut. So read on, and then take to the comments and run and tell that or nominate your favorite.

Sad Keanu

Sad Keanu hit this past summer courtesy of a glorious paparazzi photo and the folks over at Reddit. Strangely enough, it took Reeves until October to find out about his own memetastic existence.

Thanks to still more amazing photos — and the skills of the Internet set — the meme continued to roll, from sandwiches to helmets to cupcakes. How can one possibly be sad whilst eating a cupcake? Here’s how:


You know what’s more annoying than the most annoying sound in the world? When said sound becomes a meme. When the World Cup kicked off last summer, so did the memification of the vuvuzela — a stadium horn blown by fans at soccer matches in South Africa.

The horn found its way into Twitter accounts, iPhone [iTunes link] and Android apps, Facebook apps and parody protest videos. YouTube even added a vuvuzela button.

While this meme waned as the weather has grew warmer — and the festivities drew to a close — we’re looking forward to a renaissance come next World Cup. This time, we’re packing ear plugs.


Granted, I’m a bit biased on this one considering — full disclosure — I write a humor blog about hipsters, but there’s really no denying that this was the year that the plaid-clad ones became a certifiable meme.

From the roots of blogs like Hipster Runoff and Look At This F**king Hipster sprung a whole genre of Internet culture devoted to poking fun at “the hipster.” See: Unhappy Hipsters, Hipster Puppies, Hipster Wife Hunting, If Superheroes Were Hipsters, Hipster Dating, and, of course, corporate America’s attempt at getting in on the game: How Much Hipster Can You Fit in a Jazz?

I would wager to say that this is the first counter culture (yeah, I know, that term is in contention) to go this intensely viral. It makes one wonder what would have happened had the Internet existed in the ’60s as it does today. Look At This F**king Hippie, anyone?

Cee-lo Green’s “F**k” You

When this song hit, the Mashable team dubbed it the “unofficial song of the summer.” Now it’s become the unofficial cover song of the Internet set.

With contributions from 50 Cent, Madam Butterfly (the female version), 8-bit, William Shatner and even Glee, “F**k You” has gone full-on meme. Why? I guess there’s a lot of angry people out there.

Double Rainbow

My final choice for meme of the year was a tough one — boiling down to a face-off between “Double Rainbow” and “Bed Intruder.” I guess it’s just the optimist in me, but, in the end, I chose rainbows.

Hungrybear9562’s (a.k.a. Paul Vasquez) ode to rainbows hit at the beginning of July, capturing our hearts and imaginations with the beauty of a simple act of nature: The rainbow. Vasquez posted the video of himself “freaking out” about the rainbow in Yosemite, California back in January; it only had a few hits until comedian Jimmy Kimmel tweeted about the comedic merits of the now-famous clip.

Fast forward to today, and there are now auto-tuned covers (see above), numerous parodies, a Windows commercial and even an iPhone app. Looks like old Hungry Bear has found his pot of gold.

What’s Your Pick?

Which memes captured your heart this year? Let us know in the comments or nominate them for a Mashable Awards.

The Mashable Awards Gala at Cirque du Soleil Zumanity (Vegas)

In partnership with Cirque du Soleil, The Mashable Awards Gala event will bring together the winners and nominees, the Mashable community, partners, media, the marketing community, consumer electronics and technology brands and attendees from the 2011 International CES Convention to Las Vegas on Thursday, January 6, 2011. Together, we will celebrate the winners and the community of the Mashable Awards at the Cirque du Soleil Zumanity stage in the beautiful New York New York Hotel. The event will include acts and performances from our partner Cirque du Soleil Zumanity. In addition, there will be special guest presenters and appearances.

Date: Thursday, January 6th, 2011 (during International CES Convention week)
Time: 7:00 – 10:00 pm PT
Location: Cirque du Soleil Zumanity, New York New York Hotel, Las Vegas
Agenda: Networking, Open Bars, Acts, Surprises and the Mashable Awards Gala presentations
Socialize: Facebook, Foursquare, Meetup, Plancast, Twitter (Hashtag: #MashableAwards)

Sponsorships are available. Please contact sponsorships@mashable.com for more information.

Register for Mashable Awards Gala at Cirque du Soleil Zumanity stage (Las Vegas - 2011 International CES convention) [Ticketed Event] in Las Vegas, NV  on Eventbrite

Thanks to our sponsors:

Mashable Awards Gala Partner:

cirque logo From a group of 20 street performers at its beginnings in 1984, Cirque du Soleil is now a global entertainment organization providing high-quality artistic entertainment. The company has over 5,000 employees, including more than 1,200 artists from close to 50 different countries.

Cirque du Soleil has brought wonder and delight to nearly 100 million spectators in 300 cities on five continents. In 2010 Cirque du Soleil, will present 21 shows simultaneously throughout the world, including seven in Las Vegas.

For more information about Cirque du Soleil, visit www.cirquedusoleil.com

Mashable Awards Online Partner:

The Fresh DietHave you ever wished for your own personal gourmet Chef?

The Fresh Diet is like having a Cordon Bleu chef prepare your meals in your own kitchen. There’s no cooking, cleaning, shopping – just fresh prepared delicious meals, hand delivered to your door daily! Whether you want to lose weight or just want to eat healthy, The Fresh Diet can help you meet your goals. The best news, we’re giving away a FREE week of The Fresh Diet every day on our Facebook page. Just click here to become a fan and you could be the next winner. Join now!

Mashable Awards Partner:

Join us at the 2011 International CES®, the global platform for inspired ideas and innovation. With 2,500 exhibitors, CES continues to be the world’s largest consumer technology tradeshow and always reflects the dynamic consumer electronics industry. The International CES is not open to the general public and all attendees must be in the CE industry to be eligible to attend the show. Register FREE for the 2011 CES with priority code MSHB, an exclusive promotion for Mashable Readers.

Mashable Awards Category Sponsor:

About Research In Motion (RIM)

Research In Motion is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of innovative wireless solutions for the worldwide mobile communications market. Through the development of integrated hardware, software and services that support multiple wireless network standards, RIM provides platforms and solutions for seamless access to time-sensitive information including email, phone, SMS messaging, Internet and intranet-based applications including the BlackBerry® wireless platform. For the latest on BlackBerry products join us at www.facebook.com/BlackBerry.

Every great website starts with a name.

At Dynadot we know the value of your name on the Web. Dynadot is an ICANN accredited domain name registrar and web host where you can register the perfect domain name affordably, reliably, simply and securely. Whether you are a blogger, business owner, or planning on creating the next best Internet meme you need a domain that represents you. Let Dynadot help you establish your web identity today. Join us on Facebook for special offers and Mashable awards fun!

Mobile Future is a broad-based coalition of businesses, non-profit organizations and individuals interested in and dedicated to advocating for an environment in which innovations in wireless technology and services are enabled and encouraged. Our mission is to educate the public and key decision makers on innovations in the wireless industry that have transformed the way Americans work and play and to advocate continued investment in wireless technologies.

Our “Mobile Year in Review 2010” animation proves a glimpse into the most notable breakthroughs in the wireless industry this year.

Yahoo! is an innovative technology company that operates the largest digital media, content, and communications business in the world. Yahoo! keeps more than half a billion consumers worldwide connected to what matters to them most, and delivers powerful audience solutions to advertisers through its unique combination of Science + Art + Scale. Yahoo! is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. For more information, visit the company’s blog, Yodel Anecdotal.

Mashable Awards Gala Silver Sponsor:

Aro Mobile is an intelligent mobile experience that includes better email, connected contacts, smarter calendar and improved browsing.

The Aro system automatically learns what’s important in your life—the people, places, dates and organizations you care about most. In your communications, Aro automatically identifies people, places, events, dates,organizations and locations. From any recognized term, Aro offers quick action menus to speed up your day.

The unique Aro experience is powered by advanced web services: next generation natural language processing and semantic data analytics services. Aro gives you the power to see through the clutter and focus your mobile life.

About Research In Motion (RIM)

Research In Motion is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of innovative wireless solutions for the worldwide mobile communications market. Through the development of integrated hardware, software and services that support multiple wireless network standards, RIM provides platforms and solutions for seamless access to time-sensitive information including email, phone, SMS messaging, Internet and intranet-based applications including the BlackBerry® wireless platform. For the latest on BlackBerry products join us at www.facebook.com/BlackBerry.

Mashable Awards Gala VIP Lounge sponsor:

Influxis image

Influxis specializes in the deployment of creative streaming solutions. Services include large scale deployment, mobile streaming, turn-key applications, and enterprise support with custom network options. With the unique combination of a worldwide network, knowledgeable developer support and nearly a decade of streaming media experience, Influxis is an essential partner to businesses, advertisers, developers, educators, and others who seek expertise in innovative streaming.

Mashable Awards After Party Sponsor:

About Research In Motion (RIM)

Research In Motion is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of innovative wireless solutions for the worldwide mobile communications market. Through the development of integrated hardware, software and services that support multiple wireless network standards, RIM provides platforms and solutions for seamless access to time-sensitive information including email, phone, SMS messaging, Internet and intranet-based applications including the BlackBerry® wireless platform. For the latest on BlackBerry products join us at www.facebook.com/BlackBerry.

Top image courtesy of Flickr, Velo Steve, Keanu Image courtesy of Bauer Griffin

More About: 50cent, android, cee-lo, double-rainbow, Dynadot, hipsters, iphone, keanu-reeves, mashable awards, mashable awards 2010, Meme, sad keanu, twitter, viral video, vuvuzela, world cup

For more Entertainment coverage:

October 26 2010

World Cup-Predicting “Paul the Octopus” Dies

The octopus that accurately predicted the outcomes of eight World Cup matches this year died peacefully on Tuesday in Sea Life Center aquarium in Oberhausen, Germany. The staff members responsible for his care say they’re “devastated” and are considering erecting a permanent monument to him on the aquarium grounds.

Named “Paul” by the media and aquarium staffers, the octopus achieved international fame by picking the winner of every World Cup match he was presented with. His caretakers would place two boxes in the water, each with a flag representing one of the teams in an upcoming match, and he would swim to one of the boxes. Every time, he swam to the box representing the team that ultimately won the match.

Paul ranked highly in Twitter trends and was the inspiration for several Internet memes, many of which Buzzfeed has listed in tribute to mark the occasion of his death. He even had his own iPhone app. It allowed you to enter two choices and see which one the digital octopus would choose.

The octopus died of natural causes at a ripe old age — for octopuses, anyway. Thankfully, none of the German soccer players who threatened him with death over his (correct) prediction that Spain would defeat Germany were behind his demise. Neither was Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who called Paul an agent of “Western propaganda and superstition,” according to the New York Post.

More About: football, Meme, memes, paul the octopus, psychic, soccer, sports, world cup

For more Entertainment coverage:

August 05 2010

Top 16 Unusual Foursquare Badges

Since Foursquare’s launch in March 2009, there has been a lot of excitement about where the company is going. But we’d like to take a moment to reflect upon where it’s been, via one of its most entertaining features — badges.

Badges are, for many users, one of the main benefits of the app, driving competition among friends, co-workers, and even enemies. Whether the badges provide a real-life benefit or just bragging rights, users go crazy to figure out how to unlock the latest ones.

We talked to Foursquare’s Lead Designer, Mari Sheibley, about the stories behind some of the most unusual badges in their collection. It’s only fitting to showcase 16 of the most unusual badges here today since Foursquare launched with exactly 16 badges back in the day. Without further ado, please enjoy this collection of interesting badges, ranging from rare and retired, to quirky and puzzling.

1. Mr. Bill

This badge was created by interaction designer Eris Stassi in celebration of her beau’s birthday. David Bill, the lucky birthday boy, and CTO at CoTweet, said that his friends nicknamed him Mr. Bill as a joke, with reference to the Mr. Bill character on Saturday Night Live from the ’70s and ’80s.

To unlock this badge, you had to attend Bill’s birthday party at Dave’s on July 2, 2009. As Stassi put it, “The best gifts are happy experiences. And what would bring a smile to his face more than realizing his checkin earned him a badge specifically celebrating his birthday and general awesomeness?” Hat tip to Stassi for giving one of the best, and geekiest gifts of all time.

Sheibley explained the specificity behind the badge: “In very special cases we’ve created one-off badges for friends who have been big supporters of Foursquare. This was the first of these ’special friend badges.’ ”

2. PK JG 2010

Another instance of a “special friend badge” was the PK JG 2010 badge, which celebrated the marriage of Paul Kermizian and Janelle Gunther on June 26, 2010, at The Montauk Club in Brooklyn, New York. Those who unlocked the badge now receive free drinks for life at Barcade, a bar arcade in Brooklyn which Kermizian co-owns.

3. The Graduate

This badge was designed to be unlocked at the 2010 Stanford Graduate School of Business graduation ceremony, which took place on June 12, 2010. Why? Tristan Walker, VP of business development at Foursquare, would be receiving his MBA. With Tristan’s Foursquare bot suited in a mortarboard cap and decked out in Stanford colors, this badge would have been an amazing surprise for attendees checking into the ceremony. Unfortunately, the badge wasn’t activated in time. It’s the thought that counts.

4. The Prom King

The Prom King badge is yet another secret badge created for a Foursquare teamster. Sheibley gave us the details: “Co-Founder Naveen [Selvadurai] threw a giant prom-themed party for his birthday this past February in the auditorium of a children’s school in downtown Manhattan. We wanted to make a badge for him (it was a secret) as a present. Anyone who would check in to the location that night would unlock it. Unfortunately, it didn’t get put into the code in time, and it’s never been unlocked.” We’re sure Naveen would have won Prom King either way.

5. Banksy Fan

To celebrate the opening weekend of street artist Banksy’s first film “Exit Through the Gift Shop,” Foursquare created a special badge featuring a rat in star glasses, reminiscent of Banksy’s artwork. Sheibley commented, “We very strongly try to have the special badges uphold the Foursquare aesthetic (simple, iconic, rounded corners, etc). Our style and Banksy’s are very different, so we definitely had to work towards a happy medium that reflected both our ideals and Banksy’s art.”

6. Last Degree

During April of this year, 15-year-old Parker Liautaud and 44 year-old David Newman raced to be the first to check-in at the North Pole via Foursquare. Only one prevailed. Liautaud checked-in first and became the only person to unlock the Last Degree badge on Foursquare. Don’t put your skis on just yet; this badge was a once in a lifetime offer, never to be unlocked again.

7. Groupie

To unlock this badge, you have to be a true Foursquare groupie. You have to collect six different business cards from Foursquare employees (which all have different badges on the backs), and then go to foursquare.com/bizcard, where you can select the correct badges to unlock the Groupie badge.

Sheibley explained, “We made it for SXSW [2010] and carried it over for everyone to unlock after the conference was over… We wanted our business cards to be a game to go along with the game aspect of our product. During SXSW, it encouraged people to come up and say hello and talk with us, which is always fun.”

8. Early Adopter

Foursquare offered a slew of badges at SXSW 2010, one of which was the Early Adopter badge. As you may know, Foursquare launched two days prior to SXSW 2009, and was the breakout mobile app at the conference.

The Early Adopter badge was a nice surprise for Foursquare users who had previously checked in at SXSW 2009 events and were also attending SXSW 2010. Sheibley explained, “We wanted a clever way to thank all the early adopters from SXSW 2009 — the people who tried out our product from the very start.”

9. Karaoke RV

Not all badges are planned at Foursquare. This one, among a few others, was a spur-of-the-moment creation, based on user behaviors. Sheibley elaborated, “Karaoke RV is special, because it was made on the fly during SXSW 2009 to reflect activities that were going on that we didn’t know about when we first made the SXSW badges. We didn’t anticipate everyone driving around in a bus singing karaoke, but it was a hit, and so we created a badge for it.”

10. Internet Week 2010

Sheibley noted that “The Internet Week 2010 badge was unique, because it allowed you to skip party lines, which is not something we’ve ever done before.” Internet Week geeks unlocking the badge had the opportunity to skip lines to parties hosted by The Onion, #140conf, Pop Everything, Obliterati and SoundCtrl. Now that’s a badge with benefits.

11. World Cup 2010

This is another example of a badge made on the fly. During the 2010 World Cup, Sheibley designed the badge based on what users were saying and doing. Namely, users were mimicking the vuvuzela sound by shouting “zzzzzzzzzz,” and announcing goals by exclaiming “GOOOOOOOOOOOAL!” She commented, “Who had heard of a vuvuzela before this? It took a while for some users to realize one way to unlock it was by shouting 10 Zs.”

12. Gossip Girl

The Gossip Girl badge was originally called “Socialite,” but was later changed to “Gossip Girl in NYC.” “It’s unique because it’s actually really hard for people to figure out how to unlock it. It’s not tag-based (which people often believe), and not necessarily related to the [TV] show. People assume they can get it by going to places in the show, which isn’t necessarily true,” Sheibley explained, and pointed me to a blog post showcasing just how obsessed people can get about unlocking this badge.

Sheibley noted that “the Gossip Girl badge will soon be taken over by [the Gossip Girl account], so it will soon make more sense for everyone!”

13. Met Lover

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is just one of many brands on Foursquare, but not all brands have their own badge. Foursquare users who check in twice at the Met earn the Met Lover badge, which bears the iconic logo of the Museum. This badge is perhaps most unique, though, because it is reminiscent of the colored pins that visitors receive at the door to wear as entrance tickets as they walk about the museum.

14. Tarantino

Among the long list of Foursquare badges offered at SXSW 2010 was the Tarantino badge. This badge had Foursquare groupies in a fit trying to figure out how to unlock it. Many badge lists, which chronicle all of the latest badges along with how to unlock them, presumed that the badge could be tapped by attending Quentin Tarantino film screenings at SXSW. And other attendees assumed that the badge could be unlocked by attending a panel that Tarantino was scheduled to speak on (but never showed up to).

“This badge didn’t really have anything to do with Tarantino,” Sheibley explained. “It was previously called ‘Redford,’ but we had to change it since Robert Redford is affiliated with Sundance, not the SXSW film fest. It was definitely unlocked, although not as much as the other SXSW 2010 badges.”

15. Andy Cohen

Bravo TV has a huge Foursquare presence, with a large offering of badges, one of which is the Andy Cohen badge.

“Other than the badges we’ve made for co-workers, this is the only badge that features a recognizable face,” Sheibley pointed out. “Bravo felt strongly that they wanted to use Andy’s face on the badge to drive home [his] brand recognition. In general, I try to push away from this, because it doesn’t marry well to our desired aesthetic of simplicity. My goal is always to communicate a concept with the least amount of details.”

Luckily, they found a happy middle ground, incorporating a simple outline of Cohen’s animated face.

16. Jobs

This badge is actually the second iteration of the Jobs badge. The original Jobs badge, unlocked after three checkins at Apple Stores, depicted the Apple logo.

Regardless, Apple fans love this badge. Famous Apple fangirl Justine Ezarik, better known as iJustine, tweeted her excitement when she unlocked the badge. You can see the original badge design in her TwitPic.

Sheibley’s clarified the reason behind the design change: “We just wanted to make sure there were no trademark infringement issues, so we changed it to something more generic. People picked up on the change pretty quickly!”

These are our top picks for the most unusual Foursquare badges around. Which would you add to the list? Let us know in the comments below! And if you have unlocked some of these zany badges, feel free to take full advantage of your bragging rights, too!

More Foursquare resources on Mashable

- How Non-Profits Can Maximize a Foursquare Account
- Beyond the Checkin: Where Location-Based Social Networks Should Go Next
- 7 Ways Journalists Can Use Foursquare
- Why the Fashion Industry Loves Foursquare
- 5 Cool Non-Profit Uses of Location-Based Tech

More About: Andy Cohen, apple, badge, badges, Banksy Fan, bravo, early adopter, foursquare, geo-location, geolocation, Gossip Girl, Groupie, Internet Week, Internet Week 2010, jobs, karaoke, Karaoke RV, Last Degree, location, location based social networks, location networking, location-based, location-based networking, Met Lover, Mr. Bill, PK JG 2010, social media, Tarantino, The Graduate, The Prom King, Unlock, world cup, world cup 2010

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July 17 2010

July 15 2010

Paul the Octopus Gets His Own (Unofficial) iPhone App

You know that German octopus who successfully predicted all those World Cup games? He’s back in the form of an iOS app that makes predictions about anything you want it to, not just football.

The uTouchLabs-developed app is called “Ask the Octopus” [iTunes link] and it’s available in the App Store for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad (though it doesn’t have a special iPad version).

It’s pretty basic. When you start it up, you see an animated octopus, and you’re asked to enter in two things to compare (Soup or salad? Paper or plastic? Jacob or Edward? We’re sure you can think of better things to compare). After you’ve picked the options, the octopus drifts to the sea floor and selects a box, just like Paul. It’s random, of course — we don’t believe this octopus has secret predictive powers, but like a Magic 8-Ball, it’s fun to play with.

You wouldn’t call the real Paul’s selections random, though. Surely, he had some reasons for them, but who knows what they were. Whatever his animal methodology, he at least got incredibly lucky, accurately predicting the winners of seven German World Cup matches, then picking Spain as the winner over the Netherlands in the final.

What do you think? Was he legit or did he just really like the colors yellow and red?

Reviews: App Store, iPhone

More About: apple, apple app store, iOS, iOS 4, ipad, iphone, iPod Touch, paul the octopus, sports, uTouchLabs, world cup, world cup 2010

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July 13 2010

July 10 2010

July 09 2010

July 05 2010

David Beckham Jumps onto Yahoo Answers

Football star David Beckham is set to answer questions from fans using Yahoo Answers, part of his new role as the company’s “Global Sports Ambassador” – a deal that also has Beckham contributing commentary to Yahoo Sports during the World Cup.

The live Q&A event takes place on July 14; until then, users are encouraged to ask their questions over on Yahoo Answers, where some 250+ answers to the question “what would you ask and why?” have already been submitted.

The most interesting part, perhaps, is that the selected questions will come from 20 different countries, with the fans that came up with the questions asking them over live video via Cisco TelePresence. Additional questions can be submitted during the live event via Yahoo Mail, Beckham’s Facebook Page and Twitter.

It would make sense for Yahoo to continue to add such events to Answers – it’s one of their more successful social offerings. Meanwhile, YouTube has been ramping up its own live video offerings, with recent Q&A style events featuring White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs and a BP executive responding to questions about the oil spill and cleanup efforts.

Reviews: Twitter, YouTube

More About: david beckham, football, soccer, world cup, Yahoo, yahoo answers

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