Bethany

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Top Holiday Shopping Sites

In General, Strategy, Trends, Uncategorized on December 3, 2010 at 8:24 am

Tis the season to be jolly!  :)

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love the holiday season…and I love giving!  However, I have to be honest…I struggle writing a blog post that might remotely promote the idea of ‘useless’ or ‘excessive’ spending.  Most can agree that we Americans go overboard with shopping, food, clothing, etc.  And it’s not too shortly after New Year’s that the jolly and cheery spirit of people, comes to a screeching halt…boom, the first credit card bill arrives!

Soooo…instead, a list of shopping sites has been compiled below (with help of Cameron Huddleston & Kay Whittenhauer!), that will help you SAVE money on the gifts you’re looking to purchase.  :)  Perhaps with the money that is saved…everyone can do a random act of kindness to help someone in need…or donate to a cause (check out Advent Conspiracy)?  :)  That’s definitely spreading good cheer.

ZingSale.com – set up alerts for items you’re looking to purchase, and you’ll get notified when the product goes on sale!
Yotify.com – similar to zingsale, check out the demo
Retrevo.com – the ultimate electronics marketplace
DealNews – reviews the incentives of over 2,000 online retailers (and refuses to cover sites with poor customer service)
Gottadeal.com – comprehensive listing of deals
Slickdeals.net – includes deals + passionate penny-pinching and helpful community forum
DODTracker.com – condenses the information from hundreds of “deal of the day” sites; big win for the 24 hour deal shoppers
Amazon.com, Pronto.com, & Google Product Search – great comparison shopping sites
Couponcabin.com, Couponwinner.com, & Alexscoupons.com – great resources for coupon clippers.  Alex’s Coupons donates a portion of its profits to childhood cancer charities.
Plasticjungle.com & Giftcardgranny.com – sell gift cards for less than their face value (also the sites will buy or trade gift cards you don’t want for 80-90% of their value).
Freeshipping.org & Freeshippingday.com (Dec 17) – awesome at helping consumers save $$ on shipping gifts for free!
Wallet Pop’s JuliaScott, the Bargain Babe offers GREAT shopping tips & deals for savvy spenders
HSN.com – under the “gift store” tab there’s an option to choose “gifts under $25”
QVC.com – on their home page, put your mouse on “Christmas” you’ll see an option for gifts under $25.  Great return policy too
Overstock.com select the department of your liking, and then scroll down to the price section and choose “under $20” (most furniture will not be under this selection though).
REI – Great gifts for those who like outdoor activities, and they offer the same “$20 or less” shopping option too.

Also, if your company is looking for a unique and healthy gift idea for another company you work with… check out fresh fruit delivery at FruitToWellness.com :)
What other sites do you recommend?
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Bee Brains can Out Smart Computers ?

In General, Uncategorized on October 26, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Okay, so this post doesn’t have anything to do with social media, directly…

    However, since the Social Buzz Media “mascot” is BUZZ, the Bee…we figured we would share how cool he really is.

    We’ve all heard how a bumble bee shouldn’t be able to fly, given the size & weight of the bee, and how small their wings are. And people say “the reason the bumble bee can fly is because nobody every told him he couldn’t.” Well, that is the same mentality and principle we started with at Social Buzz Media as we helped small businesses & entrepreneurs get started with social technologies. (By the way – research has shown that the bee can fly because it’s wings move at a SUPER FAST rate, in a helicopter-like motion.)

    Anyway, Buzz just got a promotion. :-) Research has now shown that bees can solve complex mathematical problems, which keep computers busy for days. (The full report will be featured in American Naturalist journal.)

    “The insects learn to fly the shortest route between flowers discovered in random order, effectively solving the “traveling salesman problem,'” said scientists at Royal Holloway (Univ. of London).

    It’s amazing that bees manage to reach the same location as a computer would choose, using a brain the size of a grass seed!

    “Despite their tiny brains bees are capable of extraordinary feats of behaviour,” said Raine. “We need to understand how they can solve the travelling salesman problem without a computer.”

    —————————————————–

    Hmmm – makes me ponder whether we rely on computers too much… if a bee can figure it out, do we really need to rely technology to do our thinking/problem solving? Our minds have unlimited potential. Hey, I love technology – just thinking we could take the lesson from the bee who uses his own mind. Just pondering out loud. :)

Fact: Facebook Improves Your Happiness

In Uncategorized on October 5, 2010 at 8:02 am

We’ve all had days that we’ve felt “not as great as usual.”  Well, apparently we just need more time on a social networking site, like Facebook.  I say that half-jokingly, because of the following report…and I’ll explain more at the end.  Read on to see what Computer Weekly shared:

Facebook, social network, social networking, social media

Using social networking sites, such as Facebook, makes a direct impact on our happiness, according to a report by the Chartered Institute for IT, BCS.

A report, titled “The Information Dividend: Why IT makes you happier”, claimed the use of IT and internet connectivity has a positive impact on life satisfaction. The benefits of social networking are most pronounced in the first two years of connectivity, says the British Computer Society (BCS).

Paul Flatters from the Trajectory Partnership, which carried out the research on behalf of the Institute, said: “Social networking makes us happier. Given the immediate uplift in life satisfaction that people experience when using these sites, teaching people about how to use services like Facebook could be a more effective way of bridging the digital divide and getting people online.”       Complete Story

Now, adding to the above report… it’s the SOCIAL INTERACTION and ENGAGEMENT that takes place that makes people happier.  And it just so happens that Facebook is one of the TOOLS that enable social interaction and engagement.  Plus, social networks (as well as mobile technologies), satisfy the typical American behavior of “we want Minute rice in 30 seconds,” with the quick conversations that can take place.  (Wooowwee, remember back when we waited for snail mail?)

At the end of the day, or the end of life…it’s all about the RELATIONSHIPS we have with people.  Yes, we are fortunate to be living in a time that we can communicate easier, quicker and with more people…however, we still need meet people FACE TO FACE and to pick up the phone and TALK to folks, whenever possible.   I’ll save the psychology for another blog post. :)

“BEE” HAPPY!

 

Your Company’s Social Media Policy

In Uncategorized on September 1, 2010 at 7:52 am

More companies are figuring it out – whether they want to have a presence online or not, they need some sort of social media policy in place to protect their company & employees (whom all seem to be participating).  Further, if a company is trying to ignore this shift in the way we communicate, they should at least become educated on social media and the importance of a policy (and plan!). 

Click on the image below to check out a list of policy examples on Social Media Governance. You can search by industry.

Own Your Name Across the Web

In Uncategorized on August 20, 2010 at 8:55 am

With the hundreds of social sites across the web – all requiring a username — it can be quite difficult keeping a consistent identity (especially if you have a common name).  With the services listed below, you are able to check the availability of your username on multiple sites at once, and many also offer the option to create your profile on each site (for a fee).

Check out these tools, and it could save you some time:  (via Mashable)

1. Knowem

You’re probably not interested in all 400 sites that Knowem features, but whatever you are interested in — blogging, bookmarking, photo, video, business, community, design, entertainment, health, information, microblogging, music, news, tech, or travel — you’ll be able to search that block of sites for your desired username.

For $99, they’ll sign you up for 150 profiles (you handle the e-mail confirmation and profile info). The $599 Enterprise package creates 300 profiles in your name and handles all confirmation and profile information details. The site also launched a domain name search feature today.

2. ud.com

Before you decide on a brand name, check this simple site for domain name, social media, and trademark availability. The site features much fewer profiles than other username checking services, but it’s far more manageable and easier to read: Green, available. Red, taken.

3. namechecklist

Another great free tool for deciding if your username is an optimal and searchable choice, namechecklist tells you what percentage of social media sites and domains have existing profiles that match your choice. The site also runs the name through popular search engines to gauge how common it is on the web.

4. claim.io

You give Claim.io your username and three alternates to use if your first choice has already been claimed. They start signing you up for social media sites with a randomly generated password. In 5-7 days, you receive a report with login information and links to each of your new profiles (which, thankfully, have already been populated with your photo or logo, website, and basic message). They even set up a new e-mail address so that yours doesn’t get spammed by the 300 new sites you’ve just joined. Join 100 profiles for $129 or up to 300 for $329.

5. TM.biz

Policing the social web for trademark infringement can be exhausting. This site helps monitor and protect trademarks by searching more than 500 sites at once. Trademark owners can search name availability for free and opt to purchase a report with screen shots of each profile that uses their name, a service that defensively registers them for sites, or a monitoring service that periodically searches for their trademark in usernames.

The site uses criteria like website traffic and membership size to rank the sites by popularity, and pricing is based on how many of the “top” sites the user wishes to monitor or sign-up for.

6. namechk (Namechk)

A descendent of the since shut-down usernamecheck.com, this site offers a quick-glance view of username availability. A nifty “sort by rank” button rearranges the sites to show you the most popular on top.

7. Domainr

If your ideal “.com” is already occupied, it might be beneficial to explore the nontraditional, often clever, domain suggestions on domai.nr (case in point). The site gives suggestions for creating your chosen URL using domains. For instance, some suggestions for “Justin Bieber” were bieberjust.in and justinbie.be/r. It also lets you know if the suggested domains are taken.

Facebook Begins Testing Automated Face-Tagging Photo Feature

In Uncategorized on July 10, 2010 at 3:33 pm

Last week, Inside Facebook had an article about one of Facebook’s next new features – Automated face-tagging.

“It works similar to face-recognition features on cameras and other photo software. Photos of people will now start showing rectangular outlines around their faces, if they’re not tagged already, with a text box beneath each rectangle allowing you to enter their names.

Photos have long been one of Facebook’s most popular features… 99% of Facebook users have uploaded at least one photo, and more than 100 million photos are uploaded every day.

The new feature is now appearing in live tests, but has not yet rolled out. But by directing users to add more tags to photos, Facebook is likely to see the application getting even more growth and engagement.”

Article found at Inside Facebook.

LinkedIn is Rocking!

In Uncategorized on June 22, 2010 at 5:38 pm

As a business professional, you understand the power of people and networking.  At some point or another you’ve received an invite for LinkedIn or have heard about it from someone in your network.  LinkedIn is the #1 social networking site for business professionals, with over 70 million users.  (If you’re not on there, get signed up and complete your profile soon.) 

Anyway, over the past month, LinkedIn has stepped up its play with various new and improved features and functions.  The site continues to get better and better – and easier to use.  Many of the additions/changes are mirroring the other top social networking sites, like Facebook & Twitter. 

Check out a few of the headlines…and stay tuned for more to come!

LinkedIn Takes Groups To The Next Level With Likes, Follows And More, TechCrunch, June 22, 2010
LinkedIn Makes Some Changes to Groups, WebProNews, June 22, 2010
LinkedIn Tops 70 Million Users; Includes Over One Million Company Profiles, TechCrunch, June 20, 2010
LinkedIn For BlackBerry Storm And BlackBerry Pearl Now Available, RIMarkable, June 7, 2010
LinkedIn for Blackberry 1.1 Adds Storm, Pearl Support, eWeek, June 7, 2010

Launch of Google TV, this Fall.

In Uncategorized on June 1, 2010 at 4:17 pm

Imagine having the high quality viewing experience of television, married with the easily accessible information of the Web… 

An interactive television-watching experience, where you choose what you view:  your favorite videos, television shows, pictures, websites, news sites, ….  and at whatever time you please (no waiting for a program to come on).

Well, GOOGLE TV is doing just that…putting a spin on the “American Dream,” or lifestyle, as we know it.

Google TV is a new experience for television that combines the TV that you already know with the freedom and power of the Internet. With Google Chrome built in, you can access all of your favorite websites and easily move between television and the web. This opens up your TV from a few hundred channels to millions of channels of entertainment across TV and the web. Your television is also no longer confined to showing just video. With the entire Internet in your living room, your TV becomes more than a TV — it can be a photo slideshow viewer, a gaming console, a music player and much more.

Google TV uses search to give you an easy and fast way to navigate to television channels, websites, apps, shows and movies. For example, already know the channel or program you want to watch? Just type in the name and you’re there. Want to check out that funny YouTube video on your 48” flat screen? It’s just a quick search away. If you know what you want to watch, but you’re not sure where to find it, just type in what you’re looking for and Google TV will help you find it on the web or on one of your many TV channels. If you’d rather browse than search, you can use your standard program guide, your DVR or the Google TV home screen, which provides quick access to all of your favorite entertainment so you’re always within reach of the content you love most.

Google’s latest innovation should be something for web developers to be thinking about too… read more & check out the video below.

Check here for full article from Google

How Toyota Made Loyal Friends on Facebook

In Uncategorized on March 2, 2010 at 6:18 pm

Despite piles of bad publicity, Toyota has increased its number of Facebook fans by 10% since initiating a recall of potentially defective vehicles.  The success is credited to the social-media unit Toyota assembled to engage brand loyalists on Twitter, Facebook, blogs, Digg and elsewhere (via Advertising Age).
The Cult of Toyota

Yes, I agree that Toyota’s SM unit has done a solid job of strategizing & handling the situation.  Great example for other companies.  However, I’m curious what the auto-company’s average Facebook Page fan growth is per month.  Sure, 10% sounds nice…but what if they average that number or typically exceed that percentage any previous month?  Also, how has the fan engagement/feedback been?  Maybe their should be a poll in regards to whether people who were planning on buying a Toyota, still are…and if this will effect one’s buying decision in the future?  ;) 

What do you think?

Social Media Definitions

In Uncategorized on February 13, 2010 at 2:28 pm

In teaching several social media classes at two local colleges, I’ve found that it’s best to define certain terms at the beginning.  Class seems to go smoother when the audience/students know what you’re talking about.  Haha, imagine that!

So below are a few resources with the various social media terms, if you want to catch yourself up.  (You’re not going to find these terms with Webster…).

Social Media Dictionary by Biznet

Guest Pulse Dictionary of Social Media Terms

The Official Social Media & Mobile Glossary of 2010 – Top 20 Labels, Buzzwords to Describe Our Curious Stampede to the Social Media & Mobile Future

Blog – A website where entries are commonly displayed in reverse chronological order. “Blog” can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.

Crowdsourcing – Posing a question or problem to a large group of people to try to get to the best answer quickly. This can be very powerful but also can backfire.

Podcasting – A digital media file, or series of files, residing at a unique web feed address and distributed over the internet for playback on portable media players or computers. The term is a combination of “broadcast and “pod” referring to a container of some sort or the ubiquitous Apple Ipod.

RSS Feed – Really Simple Syndication. RSS is how your “social media inbox” (RSS reader) knows when something new gets posted to a blog/podcast/site that you follow.

Social Media – The tool set (including blogs) which everyone can use to publish content to the web. This can include audio, video, photos, text, files…just about anything. And these days, everyone is a content producer.  (I consider “social media” the umbrella term, which includes social networking, blogging, podcasting, video, etc.)

Social Networking – A term for the tools and platforms people use to publish, converse and share content online. The tools include blogs, wikis, podcasts, and sites to share photos and bookmarks

User Generated Content – Any kind of web content created by the end user, from blog posts to video clips; also known as consumer generated media. User generated content is a central component and key aspect of Web 2.0. It includes everything from blogs to free, amateur digital videos on sharing sites like YouTube or Google. Example: http://www.youtube.com

Vlog – Rather than a blog, which consists of text-filled posts displayed in reverse chronological order, a vlog consists of digital video posts, most often of the v-logger speaking into a Web cam or camera and creating two- to five-minute video vignettes and displayed in reverse chronological order. Example: http://askaninja.com

Wiki – Providing community-edited information, a wikipedia can be likened to an open-source online encyclopedia. Example: http://www.wikipedia.org