More than ever personal electronics are taking center stage in our leisure time. From watching movies and television to catching
Fill out the survey below for a chance to win 1 of 3 iTunes giftcards!
up that book you’ve been meaning to get to, it’s becoming more and more likely that you’ll have a tablet, smartphone or laptop in tow.
With spring in full bloom and summer on the horizon, Racepoint Group wants to take a look at just how you plan to integrate tech into your summer fun. Spare a moment and submit your answers on this short survey we’ve put together and let us know how personal technology plays a role in your life.
Oh, and we’ll be giving out three $25 iTunes gift cards to randomly selected respondents to help kick start their summer movie fun!
Racepoint Group is very excited to present to you another episode of RPG Live, where a group of Racepoint Group employees discuss the latest culturally relevant issues and trends we’re seeing in the news and pop culture, hosted by our own Evan Siff. This week’s episode features a very special guest from RPG’s Hong Kong office, Emma Matuschka (coolest Kiwi in the world), Ben Haber, Nick Liberati and Ally Peebles. Please have a listen as we discuss:
1. Social Media During Disasters
Does social media help or hurt more during times of distress and tragedy?
Is social media too powerful in the wrong hands? What (if anything) can be done to prevent occurrences like the AP Twitter hack (and the subsequent stock market dip) from happening?
3. Google Glass
Have you tried anything like it yet? What do you think of the concept, is it inevitable that we’ll all be wearing these in a couple years? Will you be an early adopter?
4. Emma Loves Boston
What has been the best/worst part of Emma’s trip to Boston?
This is a guest post by Geri Butner. Follow her on Twitter at @geributner.
Several years ago, before the social media craze that is Pinterest was even conjured up, I scoured the internet for a picture to post with a blog at my internship. I had just taken Media Law in college and made an A, so naturally I thought I was prepared to carefully navigate the web to find the perfect, legal fit.
Flash forward to today, when a stock photo company has sent the business I formerly interned at a bill for thousands of dollars, because one of those images was unknowingly posted after someone else had picked it off the stock website 730 days prior. Was there any warning? No. Was there any notification that allowed them to take it down without a fine? No. But, was it legal? Yes.
Welcome to the world of image copyright infringement on the web. It’s a dangerous one, and even seasoned professionals who take the proper precautions can find themselves coughing up some major dough as a result of an honest mistake, or face a legal battle against corporate giants. The most recent wave of copyright infringement battles reminds me of the good ole’ Napster days, when students and professionals alike found themselves under fire for utilizing what initially appeared to be an open resource.
Enter our beloved Pinterest. The beauty of this tool is that it can be very useful for both individuals and businesses, leading many businesses to consider adding it to their social media campaign. But is it too much of a liability? According to Digital Trends writer Molly McHugh, it just might be.
“At the heart of everyone’s inner ‘to pin or not to pin?’ debate lies the question of citation. While Pinterest has made attempts to address this … the site’s viral nature means it’s not entirely able to avoid copyright issues. No matter what, passing around images without properly attributing them is far, far too easy,” says McHugh.
As a result of the major Google copyright infringement case five years ago, technically, Pinterest’s current repinning, reposting model is legal. But detractors argue that because Pinterest circulates full-resolution images (much larger than the thumbnails that were OK’d in Google’s case) there should be new legislation requiring references to the source.
Pinterest does give the public a way to report copyright infringements, but as I learned through my recent experience, some copyright holders simply do not care to give warnings before taking more extreme action.
With this in mind, it seems that the only fool-proof way for businesses to safely utilize Pinterest would be to pin only original images they have taken themselves. Sticking to uploading and pinning original images would still allow businesses to showcase their products, but it does take away from the social, in-the-moment pinning experience that the entire platform is built around.
Do you think it’s safe for businesses to use Pinterest? Would you recommend it?
This is a guest post by Nate Towne. Follow him on Twitter @Fancy_Lad.
You came back (By the gods, you need a hobby.)! But I’m glad you did return, because here’s where the rubber really meets the road when it comes to using Pinterest for business. Got a great product? A smashing storefront? The world’s biggest/largest/bestest thing ever, yet nobody seems to know or care about your brand? Pinterest to the rescue! Your brand can use the power of Pinterest to see and be seen, here are a few tips to get your Pinterest juices flowing…
Crowdsourcing! Creating a new logo? Designing a new package? Frosting a cupcake? Share your designs with the world and ask your fellow Pinheads to pick ‘em apart. By providing a range of options, you can see which designs get the most love. It’s just one more way to milk the feedback machine for all it’s worth. And oh, it’s worth it, believe you me. It’s like harnessing the commenting power of Facebook, but it’s interesting and not about a stupid farming game. Yes, THAT game. Ugh.
Give Props: Do you have a customer or client you just love? Pin their stuff and show them the love. They’ll see that you’re pimping them and will likely pimp you in return. You already do this in the real world (it’s called a “referral”) but I swear it’s much more fun on Pinterest. (User tip: if you add a “@” in front of a Pinhead’s name, the user will receive a notification of your love. Now that’s special!)
Play Well With Others: You can lighten the load on yourself by adding contributors to your pinboards. It’s the perfect way to showcase your intern’s quirkiness or highlight one of your favorite business partners. It’s super easy to collaborate on Pinterest, far easier than Facebook.
Recon: What the heck is that florist down the street doing that you’re not? How come THAT cupcake shop has crazy sales? Follow the boards of your competitors and others your brand aspires to become and “borrow” the best of the best – and leave the rest.
Okay, that’s enough for you to get started I think. But before you do, you need to ask yourself:
It’s cool, but is it appropriate for my business?
It’s cool, but is there a return on investment for all my hard work?
It’s cool (sense a theme?), but do I have the time?
If you answered “Yes! YES! OMG YES!” to questions #1 and #2, you’re ready to jump in (You’re also way too excited, so settle down.). If you’re on the fence with #3, you can still dip a toe in the water by creating a personal account first, and see what all the fuss is about. Then after you’re hooked, you can do a deeper dive. If you “set it and forget it” it’s probably not for you. Which is sad. ‘cause it’s REALLY cool. That is all – carry on.
This is a guest post by Nate Towne. Follow him on Twitter @Fancy_Lad.
So you’re considering Pinterest for your business are you? Well you’re not alone! As my last Pinterest post propounded, Pinterest has more than four million users and is growing each and every day. It’s the “hot new shiny toy” of the social media sites – which doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right for your brand. After all, thousands of people get their naughty bits pierced each year – that doesn’t mean you should, too (Or does it?). So if you are considering jumping on the Pinterest bandwagon for business, here are some insights to help you make an informed decision.
We can all agree Pinterest is pretty darn cool, but as responsible marketers, we must ask: is it right for your brand? If you’ve got some awesome visuals or products to share with the world, the answer is: yes. Whole Foods, Martha Stewart Living (R.I.P!), Better Homes & Gardens, Bergdorf Goodman – they all have Pinterest accounts, and more brands are joining each day. While the wedding , fashion and design industries appear to be leading the charge, there are many uses for any business – provided it sells something that is visually compelling, provided you want people to share your stuff online and provided you have the time to handle building and maintaining a Pinterest account (That’s a post for another time my dears.).
Pinterest is easy to use, which is yet another reason it’s great for businesses (Why, even my mother could figure it out, if she could put down her glass of wine.). It’s a website, it’s a search engine browser button, it’s an app – it’s everything you want it to be and everywhere your customers like to hang. You can login using Facebook or Twitter, you can take pictures and upload them to your pinboards – which can be customized according to your tastes. Yes Virginia, you can have a pinboard dedicated to burnt toast art. Whatever floats your boat!
So to make a long blog even longer, let’s cut to the chase. How can brands use Pinterest to boost the bottom line? Here are some thoughts to discuss amongst yourselves at the water cooler:
Share Your Look for Less: Creating virtual “Look Books” or reference boards to share with other Pinheads. Launching a new line of toiletries? Create a board! Pitching a big landscaping project to your local bank? Show them exactly the types of plants and materials you’d use – paint them a picture, that’s what Pinterest is all about. And if they share your boards, all the better!
Sell Product: While you can’t BUY anything on Pinterest, if you pin your products and link to the website within your Pin, your fellow Pinheads can easily jump to your ecommerce site. An added bonus: if you add a “$” to your Pins description, Pinterest will automatically add a price banner to the photo AND your Pin will appear in the Pinterest “Gifts” category. Sweeeet.
Demonstrate Subject Matter Expertise: You’re SMART and creative, damn it, so showcase your awesome sauce with pinboards! If you’re a company that sells shoes – own it. Create a board for your products, but also create boards for other shoe-related visuals. Like great places to hike or jog if you’re in the sports apparel game. Or pictures of celebrities who wear your shoes – or who should wear your shoes. Best dressed? Worst dressed? World’s most unappealing cankles? Pin it and become a SME superstar!
Next up in this hopelessly-devoted-to-Pinterest series: how Pinterest can help your business get more business through caring and sharing. Because just like the Hokey Pokey, that’s what it’s all about!
This is a guest post by Nate Towne. Follow him on Twitter @Fancy_Lad.
Pinterest, schminterest! What’s with all the buzz about this new social media channel? Is it worth your precious web surfing time? And how can you use it to build your business so you can feel less guilt about surfing boards on Pinterest on the company dime? Read on, fearless reader – you might just learn something (I swear it’s not my fault if you do.).
Our good pals at Mashable report Pinterest is currently enjoying the limelight as one of the top 10 social networks – and it’s still (technically) invite only. Though getting an invite is pretty easy if you’re on Twitter or Google+ – heck, just ask me and I’ll invite you. Or you can ask Pinterest for an invite –I’m betting dollars to donuts they’re not going to turn you down. I’m a sharing kinda guy. The premise behind Pinterest is pretty basic, it’s a cloud-based social media network that lets you organize and share all the cool discoveries you find on the web. Pinheads (yes, I’m coining that term) use pinboards to showcase their mad style, plan vacation shenanigans, organize their favorite recipes, share gifting ideas, and among other things, drive traffic to ecommerce sites – *gasp!*
What makes Pinterest a social network? It allows Pinheads (see? I’m running with it!) to browse pins and boards created by other Pinheads. Trust me, you could spend days browsing other Pinhead’s pinboards – they are a constant source of amusement, amazement and discovery. And if you’re an entrepreneurial kind of person, the two words that stand out here are “discover” and “share.” Who wouldn’t want Pinheads to discover and share your coolness on this hotter than hot internet destination?
Let’s face it – if you build it, and it’s cool, and it reaches MILLIONS of potential customers, businesses will come. But should your business jump on the bandwagon? According to ComScore’s recent data on Pinterest, the site has nearly five million users and shows no signs of stopping in its race to the top. Data from Google Ad Planner reports nearly 1.5 million unique users are visiting Pinterest daily, and spending more than 14 minutes on the site per visit (If you ask me, this number is a little low – Pinterest is *that* addictive!). If that data isn’t enough to get you thinking, digest this new insight from Shareaholic via GigaOM: Pinterest is now driving more web traffic referrals than Google+ (not surprising), on par with Twitter referrals (rather surprising!). But juicy and compelling data aside, is Pinterest right for your business?
That’s a question for another post – in fact, my next few posts will break down why brands should consider converting to Pinterest , or not as the case may be. I promise you dear reader, it will be worth the wait. And if not, I’ll gladly give you your money back…
Everyone knows that the media industry has experienced widespread changes during the past few years. As a result of these changes (particularly the creation of a 24/7 real-time news cycle) many media outlets have changed the way they work with businesses and PR companies.
There have been a few outlets that have been the driving forces of these changes, most notably TechCrunch, which has done its best to make the embargo extinct. Unfortunately, TechCrunch often takes on the role of the the schoolyard bully, blasting theentirePRindustry. That is why I want to take a moment to call your attention to Wade Roush, the chief corespondent at Xconomy.
I’ve worked with Wade many times in the past when he was located in the Boston area (he’s now in San Francisco) and each time he was an absolute pleasure to work with (I also did a Q&A with him for RaceTalk, which you can view here). After (what I believe to be) years of frustration around broken embargoes, Wade faced the music on May 6 and declared the embargo dead (for him). As TechCrunch did, Wade wrote a story about why he’s no longer going to work with embargoes. However, instead of attacking an entire industry while making this announcement, Wade provided reasoning, explanations and advice.
On July 29 Wade wrote another story related to PR, this time focused on how he decides which stories to write about. In this three page article, Wade explains the various ways that he finds story ideas, the types of articles that he wants to write and the best ways to approach him in order to maximize everyone’s time. Once again, the article was informative and respectful, and it was clear that Wade spent a great deal of time trying to educate and help the PR people that he currently works with and may work with in the future.
The purpose of this post is not only to share Wade’s tips and advice, so PR people can work well with him and other reporters and bloggers. I also want to take a moment and point out how Wade is a shining example of a great media person to work with. He is thoughtful, respectful, considerate, and most importantly, a great journalist.
This is a guest post from Sarah Willey, a Senior Account Executive at Racepoint Group. Follow her on Twitter @willey774.
As @bmfalc described in her post yesterday, most of us were learning about the death of Osama bin Laden in real time through social media. But can you imagine what it must have been like for the man who unknowingly tweeted about the raid on Osama.
It all started from a man in Abbottabad (the town where Osama lived) when Mr. Sohaib Athar, known to thousands of followers as @ReallyVirtual, first wrote about a helicopter hovering above him at 1 a.m., saying it was a “rare event.” That was 3:30 p.m. EST on Sunday. Within minutes, he tweeted, “A huge window shaking bang here in Abbottabad Cantt. I hope its not the start of something nasty :-S”. After a while when the sound of the helicopter stopped following a blast, Mr. Athar tweeted “seems like my giant swatter worked !” That was followed by a Twitter discussion about what had happened. He wrote to “@m0hcin the few people online at this time of the night are saying one of the copters was not Pakistani…” Mr. Athar noted that “Since taliban (probably) don’t have helicopters, and since they’re saying it was not ‘ours’, so must be a complicated situation#abbottabad”
Over the next two hours, Mr. Athar, who describes himself as an IT consultant, exchanged messages with a few other Twitter users about what had happened, learning that there was a helicopter crash. They wondered whether it was an attack or an accident.
“And now I feel I must apologize to the pilot about the swatter tweets :-/” tweeted Mr. Athar. He retweeted Ibrar Ali (@ibi2010) , who said: 1 dead and 1 injured in Abbottabad for heli crashed.”
Mr. Athar seems to have gone offline for a few hours, resurfacing this morning to tweet: “interesting rumors in the otherwise uneventful Abbottabad air today.” Shortly thereafter, Mr. Athar figured out what had happened.
He retweeted a tweet from Munzir Naqvi: “I think the helicopter crash in Abbottabad, Pakistan and the President Obama breaking news address are connected.”
Mr. Athar was clearly unhappy.
“I guess Abbottabad is going to get as crowded as the Lahore that I left behind for some peace and quiet. *sigh*”
A short time later, another Twitter user confirmed the news. Mr. Athar tweeted “RT @ISuckBigTime: Osama Bin Laden killed in Abbottabad, Pakistan.: ISI has confirmed it << Uh oh, there goes the neighborhood :-/”
As the Twitter world discovered Mr. Athar’s tweets, thousands of followers have added him to their list of followers. As of 8:46 am EST on May 3, 2011, @ReallyVirtual had 93,321 followers and counting!
Today at 1:00pm ET Apple is expected to announce the second generation iPad, which means the entire tech media world will stop, listen and write. We’ve decided to join in on the fun this time, but instead of following Apple’s announcement, we’re going to follow the live blogging of Apple’s announcement, examining how a few different media outlets are covering the news.
11:45am ET: The WSJ and Macworld already have live blogs up and ready to go. Engadget and Mashable haven’t yet published live blogs.
12:30pm ET: Engadget now has their live blog up, while the WSJ already has 3 updates to set the stage. Still nothing from Mashable.
12:50pm ET: The WSJ has two people live blogging, Jennifer Valentino-DeVries and Geoff Fowler. MacWorld has Jason Snell and Dan Moren. Joshua Topolsky is in the driver’s seat for Engadget, and Mashable is still silent. The WSJ and Engadget both report that they’re listening to the Beatles.
12:53pm ET: Uh oh. The WSJ live blog is down.
12:55pm ET: Macworld is working in some photographs – a nice touch.
12:59pm ET: The WSJ is still down, Macworld is taking reader questions, Engadget reports there is no Steve Jobs sighting (yet) and has a picture of an empty couch. Mashable still hasn’t posted anything. It’s likely Mashable will write separate posts for each update to try and maximize their clicks. It’s also a good way to frustrate readers by making them click several different pages to access the information they’re looking for.
1:02pm ET: Engadget and Macworld report the lights are dimming. WSJ still down. Nothing from Mashable.
1:03pm ET: Ok, Macworld’s updates are really fast. They report Steve Jobs is on stage and already have pictures posted. Engadget is right there too. WSJ is still down and nothing from Mashable. We have a two horse race.
1:06pm ET: Engadget has better photos then Macworld, but I think Macworld has a slight edge on the timing. As expected, Mashable is doing a new post for each piece of the press conference. Their first post went live a minute ago and has over 1,000 tweets. This number seems as inflated as as Mubarak’s past election results.
1:10pm ET: Major #fail right now for the WSJ. While they’re streaming live video on from the event (outside, not inside) with updates, the blog is still down.
1:14pm ET: Engadget and Macworld are doing a great job covering the event, with pictures and real time commentary. Mashable hasn’t actually provided any information yet. Now their tweet counter shows “0″ – something weird is going on there.
1:16pm ET: Engadget has some great photographs showing the iPad being used in schools and hospitals.
1:18pm ET: Mashable has 2 posts up now. Really going for those clicks and tweets.
1:19pm ET: Now we’re on to what’s new in the next iPad. Engadget had the update first, followed closely by Macworld. Mashable doesn’t have anything yet, and WSJ is still down.
1:22pm ET: Engadget seems to have more photos while Macworld has a bit more text. At this point I’m really disappointed with the WSJ live blog, as the site is still down. Mashable’s coverage is also disappointing, as it’s way behind and difficult to follow.
1:24pm ET: This is the message I’m getting on the WSJ live blog:
1:28pm ET: Mashable has 2 more posts up. I’m really not liking the way they’re doing this. Also, in 38 seconds one post has 565 tweets. I’m suspicious.
1:31pm ET: Macworld and Engadget have play-by-plays of the new iPad cover. Engadget has more pictures, but both do a good job. Nothing yet from Mashable on the cover. And there is good news – the WSJ is now up! Unfortunately, their last update was at 12:48.
12:34pm ET: I’m really liking that Engadget and Macworld update automatically. Mashable has separate posts so you have refresh the home page (annoying). The WSJ might have given up at this point on the live blog. They must realize they aren’t #winning this one.
12:38pm ET: John Paczkowski at All Things D is also live blogging the event. While they’re part of the WSJ network, I’ve heard Kara Swisher say multiple times that All Things D competes with the WSJ, so we’re counting this as a separate blog.
12:39pm ET: Engadget was first to report FaceTime. Macworld followed, still waiting for Mashable to put up their next post.
12:33pm ET: Apple’s event isn’t over yet, but our job for the day is done. Today’s rankings (from the outlets we watched) are as follows: First place to Engadget, second place to Macworld and (a distant) third place to Mashable. We’re giving the WSJ an incomplete grade due to their tech problems, and we’ll give their hard-working reporters another shot next time.
One of my favorite Twitter friends, Annie Colbert, recently posted an awesome infographic on the state of the blog economy in 2010 (view the full infographic here). The image is bursting with insightful information about who blogs, why they write, how they promote their posts and how much cash they earn for doing so.
Among the more surprising stats: 65% of bloggers write as a hobby, while only 1% of bloggers write for a corporate blog or as their full time profession. Given the rise of corporate blogs this year, that number seems low.
The most shocking number was in regards to revenue. Self employed bloggers, on average, earn $122,222 in annual revenue from advertising on their blog! Chew on that.