Social Media and Communities

Marketers are increasingly aware of the crucial differences between social media and the media technologies that preceded it. Yet, many marketers still have not realized that Marshall McLuhan's famous declaration, "the medium is the message," applies just as much to social media as it did to earlier media technologies. Despite the growing awareness of most marketers, there are some who continue to view social media as simply another vehicle for delivering marketing messages, no different from print or television. However, there are important differences between social media and all previous forms of media technology and-as McLuhan's famous statement suggests- these differences have profound implications for marketers.

Posted Oct 13, 2011

People love saving money. Sales and coupons are time-honored advertising traditions for a broad field of retail businesses, from supermarkets to office suppliers. The latest manifestation of human beings' long-running obsession with coupons is the daily deal-websites and mobile apps that deliver a selection of daily coupons and deals to savings-hungry consumers.Companies such as Groupon, Inc. and LivingSocial have made a name for themselves by combining daily coupons, group buying, and local marketing. And the success of these two companies is spawning a thriving ecosystem of businesses, publishers, and deal networks all looking to get a piece of the pie.

Posted Oct 12, 2011

Ektron, Inc. and PR Newswire Association, LLC. partnered to integrate press release publishing and social media monitoring into the Ektron platform with PR Newswire Sync and the PR Newswire Listening Dashboard.

Posted Oct 11, 2011

Social networks are changing the way consumers obtain information about products and services. Nearly everyone -- except for Prince, who declared the internet dead -- is getting in on the action.Consumer research indicates that members of social networks are more likely to purchase products and services referred to them by their friends, fans, and followers. In fact, 90% of consumers say they trust recommendations from people they know; 70% trust opinions of unknown users. 71% claim reviews from family members or friends exert a "great deal" or "fair amount" of influence on what they purchase, while the same number of consumers don't believe the claims made in traditional advertising messages at all.

Posted Oct 06, 2011

Mzinga released OmniSocial 2011, its social business software suite, available for immediate purchase. This latest version is equipped with various upgrades and additions to allow businesses to create, manage, and repurpose virtual sub-sites. OmniSocial 2011 includes new user permission and personalization options in addition to greater content management and design control.

Posted Oct 06, 2011

Vouchfor!, Inc. launched its cloud-based referral marketing platform, Vouchfor!, which allows businesses to connect with customers over social networks and build customized local rewards programs. Designed to harness the ubiquity of social media, Vouchfor! lets customers "vouch for" the business and refer friends.

Posted Sep 27, 2011

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis computer scientist Ali Jafari introduced a classroom-oriented social network called CourseNetworking (CN). A free online platform, CN combines social with the functionality of a learning management system (LMS) to connect teachers and students worldwide.

Posted Sep 22, 2011

The Wall Street Journal launched the beta version of WSJ Social, a Facebook app that lets users read, share, and comment on news articles from The Wall Street Journal within Facebook. Content includes articles and blogs from that cover breaking news, columns, analysis, and opinion.

Posted Sep 20, 2011

Think Before You Engage: 100 Questions to Ask Before Starting a Social Media Marketing CampaignDave PeckJohn Wiley & Sons, Inc.Paperback$19.79

Posted Sep 20, 2011

As digital natives immerse themselves in emerging entertainment channels-and concurrently force old ones to change in order to meet their expectations-they are reshaping the way people are entertained, as well as how they entertain. In the natives' world, the tools of content creation available through these emerging platforms are free (or cheap) and readily accessible. And they have been that way since a native first thumbed his name into a smartphone.

Posted Sep 19, 2011

When social media first came onto the scene, many people said, "Oh, it's just a passing fad - the soup du jour." Now, though, just about everyone is on the bandwagon, but that doesn't mean people really understand social media marketing and how to go about it. Social media can be simplified and demystified by looking back at some traditional approaches to marketing.

Posted Sep 08, 2011

LOOKK, a platform that connects young fashion designers with consumers through an open social network, went live with a team of seed investors. LOOKK provides a platform for designers to showcase their fashion to a community of fashion lovers, giving aspiring designers and new labels a different way to enter the fashion market.

Posted Sep 01, 2011

Facebook will likely announce the addition of a music platform, which will allow users to listen to music from within Facebook, at the f8 conference in San Francisco on Sept. 22. Speculation about a Facebook music platform has been circulating after possible coding for it was spotted in the code for its video chat platform.

Posted Sep 01, 2011

Ness Computing debuted its personal search engine app in Apple's App Store as a featured app. The free app, called Ness, tailors search results specifically to each user, learning a person's preferences over time and considering friend's recommendations when providing search results.

Posted Aug 30, 2011

Take a minute and imagine what it was like to be a marketing professional just a few short decades ago. In those days, marketing meant advertising, and the companies with the biggest budgets won the battle for consumer attention. To get reporters interested in what you did, a Rolodex was critically important and you needed a reliable fax machine to get those pitches out.

Posted Aug 29, 2011

Orbitz, LLC launched Orbitz 50 Faves, a free Facebook game that gives fans of Orbitz the opportunity to win 50 vacations, worth up to $15,000. Players must first like Orbitz on Facebook, and then they will receive an initial five bids, each representing one entry to the drawing. They can browse the different trips and choose which ones they would like to enter.

Posted Aug 23, 2011

Miramax debuted a large-scale, multi-title Facebook streaming app called the Miramax eXperience through which Facebook users can rent movie titles directly from the Facebook interface. Miramax joins Paramount Pictures, Universal Studios, and Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. in the small but growing group of studios to make movies available over Facebook.

Posted Aug 23, 2011

Chinese web services company Baidu announced that it was closing its microblogging platform Shuoba as a result of a "business adjustment." Launched last year, Shuoba provided Chinese users with a Twitter-like service for sharing short updates and other content. The exit of Baidu from the microblogging market leaves competitor Sina as the only significant player in that market in China.

Posted Aug 11, 2011

Telligent, a developer of social software for enterprises, released its Telligent Community 6.0 suite. The suite is designed to provide tools to create custom enterprise communities and is built on the new Telligent Evolution 6.0 platform. The suite features more than 50 new features, including social search and content discovery, native social integration, interactive profile and avatars, smart content recommendations, and social calendars.

Posted Aug 04, 2011

Social media giant Facebook snapped up Push Pop Press, a digital publishing company that developed a multi-touch interface for enhanced ebook publishing. The company, which was founded by two former Apple engineers, recently published Our Choice, an enhanced ebook by Al Gore detailing research and concepts for helping fight global warming.

Posted Aug 04, 2011

With more than 750 million accounts, Facebook accounts for 90% of all time spent on social networking sites in the U.S. according to comScore, Inc. Add 700 billion minutes per month people spend on Facebook updating statuses, perusing newsfeeds, and commenting on posts, we are talking big numbers. With statistics like these, it is only natural that companies are scrambling to crack the social media code, promote brands, and engage fans with captivating Facebook posts. How to best accomplish this feat is an ongoing question, but Vitrue, a social media publishing software provider, has determined that with the right tools and techniques, the answer may not be as complex as one would think.

Posted Aug 02, 2011

The Harry Potter fan and ebook website, which officially launches to the public in October, began a contest on July 31 to grant 1 million winners access to the beta site. As part of the "Magical Quill" contest, a clue will be posted on the Pottermore homepage each day for a week. Those who solve the clue then have the opportunity to register for early access to the site. A limited number of people can register each day, and the Pottermore site and @Pottermore Twitter account will indicate when registration for the day has come to a close.

Posted Aug 02, 2011

Game designer Zynga has taken one of its most popular mobile apps-Words With Friends, a two-player Scrabble-like game-and made it available on the Facebook platform. Best known for creating Angry Birds, Zynga created many games specifically for iOS and Android devices, including Words With Friends. With a larger user base on Facebook, Zynga has brought many of the games it originally launched on the Facebook platform to mobile devices, but this is the first time that it has launched one of its mobile apps on Facebook.

Posted Aug 02, 2011

A team of four informatics and computing professors from Indiana University who established the Truthy website received a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant of $905,000 to broaden its analysis of the public data stream from social networks. The team gained national attention last year after they established the website, which identified political astroturfing on Twitter. The researchers eventually plan to create and maintain a web service that allows people to follow trends, bursts and suspicious memes based on the stream of information from large-scale social networks.

Posted Aug 02, 2011

A study of 250 marketing decision makers in the U.K. conducted by EPiServer found that 68% of businesses have appointed or plan to appoint a social media or online community manager within the next year. The survey, titled "The rise of the community manager," found that 28% already employ a social media or community manager and another 41% expect to hire one in the next 12 months.

Posted Jul 26, 2011