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Ars Technica’s OS X Lion review made $15,000+ in 24 hours on the Kindle

The Next Web - Facebook-tagged - Tue, 26/07/2011 - 7:30pm

Will people pay for quality digital content? It’s an argument that has been on the table for quite some time, with naysayers pointing towards downloads of discographies instead of paying attention to concrete purchasing decisions.

Last week, Apple released its new version of Mac OS X “Lion”, and as per usual, Ars Technica’s John Siracusa delivered a whopping 27,300 word review of it. His 19-page story, published last Wednesday is available for free online and has already received over 3 million page views.

In a telling turn of events, Ars Technica also decided to sell his review as a $5 Kindle ebook. In its first 24-hours on sale, the ebook sold 3,000 copies. And at $5 a pop, that’s a cool $15,000 in revenue in just one day. Harvard’s Niemen Lab interviewed Ken Fisher, the founder and editor of Ars, who is “pleasantly surprised by the outcome”. In fact, Fisher thinks of it as “free money” and that “he underestimated the power of Amazon’s one-click experience, which makes impulsive purchases painless.”

For those naysayers who think $5 is an outrageous price, Fisher said, “Only in today’s First World economies can people complain that they can’t get something for free that they can get for free.” Niemen Lab points out that “Amazon’s tiered royalty structure is designed to incentivize slightly higher prices,” so “Ars’ revenue from a $4.99 ebook is roughly 10 times what it would make from a 99-cent ebook.” And unfortunately, freelancer John Siracusa will not share directly in the proceeds, but Fisher says that Ars gives him “what he wants and more.”

“Our roots are in long, in-depth, technical explainers, and this is just another great explanation that people appreciate that content and open their wallets for it. We’re definitely going to plan more in-depth stuff,” Fisher said in the interview. “We don’t have to put up a paywall for people to consume it. We just offer it in different ways.”

Ars Technica first sold ebooks on the Kindle this past March with “Unmasked,” a collection of stories about the hacking group Anonymous, which has sold 1,000 copies for $1.99 a pop.

Categories: Facebook

All Facebook - Tue, 26/07/2011 - 7:12pm

Now that app developer SocialAppsHQ has , the New Delhi, India-based company has turned its attention to real estate.

SocialAppsHQ announced the rollout of Real Estate for Facebook Pages, which allows realtors to list their available properties on the social network and get leads from other Facebook users.

This application lets realtors:

  • List properties, complete with photos
  • Set up a simple “contact us” form
  • InviteFacebook users to comment and join mailing lists
  • Display market statistics for cities and states
  • Include maps with property listings
  • Customize pages with cascading style sheets
  • Access real-time analytics, and
  • Create different versions of pages for fans and non-fans
  • Create Facebook widgets.

The app is already in use by realtors including and .

Readers, have you looked at real estate listings on Facebook — or would you consider doing so?

Categories: Facebook

UK’s ITV Player arrives on Freesat

The Next Web - Facebook-tagged - Tue, 26/07/2011 - 7:05pm

UK TV channel ITV is making its online video-on-demand service available to view on Freesat.

ITV Player was launched in 2008, allowing viewers to watch programmes from across ITV1, ITV2, ITV3 and ITV4 online. The service was added to BT Vision’s TV Replay service in late 2008, and the deal was the broadcaster’s first foray into partnering with VOD operators. And we reported back in December that ITV Player was to be made available on PlayStation 3 on the PlayStation Network.

Freesat was launched as a joint venture by ITV and BBC in May 2007, and it was designed as a satellite alternative to Freeview on digital terrestrial TV.

Pocket Lint reports that ITV Player is now available on Freesat to viewers with a Humax Foxsat-HD box, and programmes can now be accessed directly through the electronic programming guide (EPG), having previously been accessible with a beta code.

Freesat has 1.5m customers across the UK, with around 1,000 hours of programmes available covering the previous seven days. Robin Pembrooke, managing director of ITV online and on-demand, said:

“It’s another important step in our mission to give audiences access to our content when and where they choose to view it whilst improving the underlying technology and user experience across the board.”

Categories: Facebook

All Facebook - Tue, 26/07/2011 - 6:58pm

Randy Wright needs a for his ailing condition, so he turned to Facebook as a means that will hopefully save his life.

The 45-year-old has polycystic (multiple cysts on the kidneys) which went undetected, until a freak accident two years involving his falling off a tractor, wound him up in a hospital where his condition was diagnosed.

Wright has been campaigning for organ donations and has tried to spread the word to everyone he comes into contact with — even a Walmart clerk.  When the carpenter spoke to the retail clerk about the importance of organ donation, she in turn hipped him to the power of social media.  So Wright, who lives in Huron County, Ohio decided to spread the word about his cause and his own plight via Facebook.

Reportedly, there are nearly 112,000 Americans awaiting organ transplants, including nearly 90,000 who need kidneys.  An estimated every 11 minutes a person is added to an organs waiting list and about 18 potential transplant patients die each day because they arer never called for the procedure.

On Wright’s “Need ‘O’ Kidney” (he has O type blood)  community page which is liked by 97 people, he has the slogan: Will swap two ‘A’ kidneys for one ‘O.’ Stay tuned in my quest for a kidney, and please Donate Life.”

Upon perusing Wright’s landing page on the social networking site, you’ll also find words of encouragement for him and stories from others who have shared similar plights.  The dad of three is hoping to not only offer support and hope for folks who are in his similar situation but to also spur support for his organ donation cause.

Wright has two younger brothers who are each willing to donate their kidneys in a paired chain (that would be the trade alluded to in the slogan on the Facebook page).

Dr. Michael Rees, a transplant surgeon at the University of Toledo Medical Center, where Wright is currently on a waiting list, has developed a method to increase the number of kidney transplants that can be done by starting chains of donations, with the first beginning in 2007.  He created the Maumee-based Alliance for Paired Donation Inc., which helps people with willing donors who are not matches by lining them up with other recipients and donors.

So in the meantime, Wright just sits, waits and continues his home hemodialysis sessions several times a week while keeping hope alive that his advocacy efforts through Facebook will help find a match that could possibly save his life.

We wish Wright the best of luck — and hope he gets to share in the good fortune that others have had in finding organ donors on Facebook.

Readers, do you think Facebook might eventually replace all other channels for finding organ donors?

Categories: Facebook

Possible prototype iPhone 5 cases show larger screen and home button

The Next Web - Facebook-tagged - Tue, 26/07/2011 - 6:52pm

About 2 months out from the release of every new iPhone or iPod we normally begin to see leaks from case manufacturers that, at times, give us hints about the look of the device. Today’s leak comes from Mobilefun, a UK site that is heavily into iPhone accessory and case sales and shows what appears to be cases designed for an iPhone with a larger screen and a lozenge-shaped home button.

The images come in two forms, with one being a sort of design document, used for specifications in making cases, while the other is an actual physical prototype. Both of them exhibit some physical details like buttons that have been moved to the opposite side and a curved back reminiscent of, well, the iPhone 3G. Many of these details sound much like rumors posed by This is My Next, a few weeks ago.

The home button opening of the cases depicted here is also an oblong, “lozenge” style opening, which suggests a touch sensitive home button. It’s impossible to tell whether it would be a physical button or not, but I’d say that it is more likely to be a regular push button than a touch-sensitive capacitive job.

In the CAD mockup you can clearly see that the screen has been enlarged to an apparent 4″, minimizing the bezel, especially at the edges. The volume buttons have also been moved halfway down the side, perhaps to make it easier to use them as a shutter release for the camera, a feature of iOS 5.

The curved back is the most interesting detail to me though, as it simply screams ‘curved glass’ to me. Ever since the news leaked out that Apple had purchased machines used for cutting curved glass, almost every site out there has been shopping rumors that the next iPhone will have a curved glass screen. I’m 100% positive that it will not and, from the very day that the machinery purchase came to light I’ve been convinced that if Apple is including curved glass in the iPhone at all, it will be on the back of the device, not the front.

If these case designs are accurate, the back of the iPhone 5 will go back to a curve, which I feel is much more ergonomically sound than the current flat-backed design of the iPhone 4. If we do see a curve, it very well may be an aluminum back, as some have supposed, but my money is on glass.

Of course, for every case design that accurately predicts the appearance of an iPod or iPad product, we also see dozens that are instead mockups based on rumors or design documents that change significantly before the product is released. So I would note this as an interesting rumor but I wouldn’t start basing any solid ideas as to the look of the next iPhone on it.

Categories: Facebook

All Facebook - Tue, 26/07/2011 - 6:50pm

Members of Congress like it, they really like it… Facebook, that is.

According to survey findings released today, social media managers and senior staff on Capitol Hill prefer Facebook for understanding constituents views as well as sharing opinions.

The Congressional Management Foundation’s report, “Perceptions and Use of Social Media on Capitol Hill,” reveals that Congressional offices are embracing Facebook to gauge public opinion, communicate with constituents and reach new people.

In a event today, CMF Chief Executive Officer Bradford Fitch (pictured) contrasted social media with more traditional mainstream media:

The personality of members of Congress comes through on social media. These channels allow for an inside view of how the institution operates. For example, members can share their memories on a national holiday, like Memorial Day. Or discuss the tone of a caucus meeting.

Highlights of the survey include:

  • Nearly two out of every three (64 percent) of the senior managers and social media managers surveyed think Facebook is a somewhat or very important tool for understanding constituents’ views and opinions.
  • Nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of the senior managers and social media managers we surveyed think Facebook is somewhat or very important for communicating their Members’ views.
  • Almost three out of every four staffers (72 percent) believe that social media allows their members to reach people they had previously not communicated with.

Andrew Noyes, manager of public policy communications for Facebook in Washington, D.C.  said:

We’re pleased that more than 400 members of Congress use Facebook to communicate and connect with their constituents in an official capacity. The Congressional Management Foundation’s new findings underscore how Facebook has empowered Capitol Hill offices and citizens to connect in a way that is simple, personal, and engaging.

Facebook is one of the few third-party websites that has been approved for official use by both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.

Readers, what do you think of your elected officials’ use of Facebook?

Categories: Facebook

All Facebook - Tue, 26/07/2011 - 6:03pm

organized via Facebook can be fun, but they can also run afoul of the law, as one apparently did in the Georgetown section of Washington, D.C., Monday afternoon.

The Daily Mail reported that a Victoria’s Secret store within The Shops at Georgetown Park was victimized by a group of men and women who organized the crime by using Facebook and Twitter.

According to the Mail, two men and two women entered the store with two baby strollers at approximately 2 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, and the robbers used a small child to distract the staff, while others grabbed merchandise and fled. The newspaper added that similar incidents have occurred at other stores in the popular shopping area.

Metropolitan Police Department Lieutenant John Hedgecock told Fox News, as reported by the Mail:

They come in and they do it so fast — within a matter of seconds. What happened in this store probably lasted around 20 seconds. They go in, they distract the employees, and they grab the merchandise. They are in and out.

We have some information that they may be using some of the social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, to schedule an event, if you will.

And Alex Brown, who works at Riccardi, a store in the same mall, told the Mail:

The people who do it don’t care and sometimes pose. They will stand there and look at the camera in a funny way.

We can’t help feeling amazed at the brazenness of these robbers; organizing a crime via social media is only a few steps shy of directly asking law enforcement to come arrest you. But we have observed a growing number of criminals posting about their illicit activities on Facebook, seemingly ignorant of how much police use the site.

Readers, have you witnessed any Facebook users openly discussing illegal activities — and have you ever reported it?

Jackie Cohen added commentary to this post.

Categories: Facebook

All Facebook - Tue, 26/07/2011 - 5:31pm

Remember the pre-released , which was initially discovered Sunday night and widely reported on Monday? Don’t get too attached to it.

Toronto computer engineering student Marvin Bernal Monday afternoon that the social network had blocked logins to the app, saying, “It appears that Facebook has disabled logins through the ‘iPad’ version. Time to wait for an official release,” according to Computerworld.

As originally reported by MG Siegler of TechCrunch, the iPad app was discovered within the code for Facebook’s iPhone app, but iPad owners who wanted to install the unofficial app had to jailbreak their devices, with The Next Web providing now-obsolete step-by-step instructions on how to do so and install the app.

According to TechCrunch, the app will still launch, with new users being rejected at the login screen, and “existing” users, like Siegler, having access to limited functionality, with features like notifications having been disabled.

Readers: Did any of you try to download and install the app?

Categories: Facebook

PeopleBrowsr’s Playground analyses sentiment from 1000 days of your data

The Next Web - Facebook-tagged - Tue, 26/07/2011 - 5:24pm

At Techweek in Chicago I caught up with Jodee Rich and Andrew Grill from social media anylitics tool PeopleBrowsr. The team previewed Playground for us which analyses 1000 days of data to understand exactly what is being said about you and/or your brand across the web. Having seen quite a few social media anlytics dashboards in the last couple of months I was a little dubious about Peoplebrowsr but after being given a demo it’s far more complex and intricate than other social media analytic tools on the market.

You can see results for your name or brand based on location, sentiment and gender, but also download the data as a spreadsheet so your developers can easily access the data. 1,000 days of data means you can analyse your Twitter, Facebook and other feed data as far back as 2008. Check out the video to hear more in-depth about Playground.

Categories: Facebook

Inside Facebook - Tue, 26/07/2011 - 5:00pm

Popular musicians composed about half of our list of the fastest growing Facebook Pages by Likes this week. Topping the list was the recently departed Amy Winehouse, although other pop musicians also made the list. Then there was a bunch of movie and TV show Pages, a few big brands, Jesus, Snapfish and cereal.

Most of the Pages are list regulars in categories like music and media, requiring between 190,300 and 649,400 Likes to make the list this week. We compile these lists with our  tool, which counts the number of fans added to a Page each week.

Name Likes Gain Gain,% 1.  Amy Winehouse 2,824,662 +649,428 +30% 2.  Special K 462,976 +462,976 +0.0% 3.  Nicki Minaj 12,125,807 +416,398 +4% 4.  Jesus Daily 7,613,180 +414,841 +6% 5.  Dior 4,358,483 +405,517 +10% 6.  Titanic 12,272,585 +382,572 +3% 7.  The Bad Girls Club 3,493,769 +359,674 +11% 8.  Beşiktaş 341,384 +341,384 +0.0% 9.  Domo 338,405 +338,405 +0.0% 10.  Kesha 15,630,328 +303,903 +2% 11.  Captain America 969,959 +297,608 +44% 12. Sagopa Kajmer, En Anlamlı Söz Yazan Rap’ci Diyenler … 246,554 +246,554 +0.0% 13.  Bruno Mars 10,076,700 +244,363 +2% 14.  Chris Brown 13,976,774 +221,274 +2% 15.  Pitbull 9,162,669 +218,603 +2% 16.  Pirates of the Caribbean 8,398,011 +206,042 +3% 17.  Snapfish 201,319 +201,319 +0.0% 18.  Trey Songz 10,932,424 +197,266 +2% 19.  Britney Spears 13,042,547 +190,981 +1% 20.  Wiz Khalifa 10,195,789 +190,281 +2%

As mentioned Amy Winehouse’s Page grew the most this week with 649,400 Likes in light of her death. Nicki Minaj’s Page grew by 416,400 Likes; she’s currently on tour with Britney Spears, whose Page grew by about 191,000 Likes. Kesha’s Page grew by 303,900 Likes, as she’s giving out free tickets to her concerts. Bruno Mars saw 244,400 new Likes, while Chris Brown’s award of free Spotify invites for fans attracted 221,300 Likes for his Page. Pitbull’s new single, combined with his tour and media posts, generated 281,600 Likes while Trey Songz’s new song gathered 197,300 and Wiz Khalifa added 190,300.

There were brands and other Pages on the list. Special K breakfast cereal has been providing users with a free diet app on Facebook, generating about 463,000 Likes in the past week. The Jesus Daily Page grabbed 414,800 likes, Dior’s Page saw 405,500, Turkish Beşiktaş saw 341,400 likes and the Japanese character Domo’s Page grew by 338,400, perhaps in part due to ComiCon or new merch. Snapfish photo service saw 201,300 likes this week, and the Page is currently running a free stuff promotion.

Movie and TV Pages also made the list in force this week. The “Titanic” Community Page grew by 382,600 Likes. Reality TV show “The Bad Girls Club” grew by 359,700 Likes, the “Captain America” movie saw 297,600 new Likes, a Turkish music Page,  Sagopa Kajmer, En Anlamlı Söz Yazan Rap’ci Diyenler … grew by 246,600 Likes and the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie Page grew by 206,000 Likes.

All data in this post comes from our traffic tracking service, AppData. Stay tuned for our look at the top weekly gainers by daily active users on Wednesday, and the top emerging apps on Friday.

Categories: Facebook

All Facebook - Tue, 26/07/2011 - 4:55pm

Perhaps it’s not yet time to choose whether to use Google Plus instead of or in addition to Facebook — eventually you’ll end up using the search giant’s nascent social network, both.

That’s the gist of a video created by , and we’ve embeded the footage beneath this post. Let us know what you think of it.

Categories: Facebook

America’s CTO says Startup Visa is critical to the American economy [Video]

The Next Web - Facebook-tagged - Tue, 26/07/2011 - 4:42pm

My past week has been spent getting to know Chicago’s technology scene at Techweek. It was an epic, week-long conference where startups, VCs and technology enthusiasts came together to share ideas and understand how technology can kick-start America’s economy out of recession and into job creation.

I was keen to grab an interview with Aneesh Chopra, US Chief Technology Officer and Associate Director For Technology to ask him what’s going on with Startup America, an initiative set up by the Obama administration to encourage entrepreneurship and about Startup Visa, the petition for a new bill being passed through congress allowing early-stage startup entrepreneurs to grow their companies in the US.

Categories: Facebook

Egyptians use Twitter to raise over $200,000 in 1 week

The Next Web - Facebook-tagged - Tue, 26/07/2011 - 4:32pm

We recently told you about the Tweetback initiative, where a group of Egyptian activists and professionals, have teamed together to raise both money and awareness using Twitter.

The initiative, spearheaded by blogger and activist , managed to bring in over $200,000 in just one week.  Salem told The Next Web, “We managed to reach seventy percent of what we need to do in phase one.”

Local and multinational companies including Coca Cola, Mobinil and Azza Fahmy Jewelry donated a total of $150,000 collectively, while anonymous donors accounted for about $70,500 of the total.

What did the donors get in return? A group of influential tweeps from the Egyptian online scene all gathered during a one-day event where the donations were announced, and the information was disseminated on Twitter.

Tweetback participants also shared information about Ezbeit Khairallah, the impoverished community of over 650,00, which will be benefiting from the donations.

“In phase two, we hope we’ll exceed the remaining thirty percent, where we’ll be crowd-sourcing the donations,” Salem continued. An IVR line and an SMS campaign have been set up allowing Tweetback to continue to accept donations, starting with as little as under a dollar.

We spoke to a few of the tweeps involved asking them why they decided to participate, and what they thought of the initiative and this is what they had to say.

Al Jazeera journalist : I think it’s a great initiative to incorporate social media, which was a huge factor in bringing so many people together for the revolution, and has been a great source of information, so it just seems like a logical continuation by that very same process to take it to helping communities and using social media to really do grassroots work by drawing on the strength of the very same people who helped get out so much of the information to the outside world.

Award-winning Egyptian journalist : I think it’s a brilliant initiative. Why haven’t we thought of this before? We use social media so much, we have so much reach. It doesn’t cost anything, it benefits everyone and it’s very easy to do. There’s no hassle for me. It’s such a positive way for me to contribute with minimal effort. It just requires you to tweet, which I do all the time anyway, so I might as well tweet it in a constructive way.

Nile FM Radio DJ, : We’re getting our hands digitally dirty. It’s important to go out there and really get your hands dirty, but this is a great way to raise awareness. You can get 20 tweeps in a room and they can make a difference by just clicking buttons. We can’t forget that welfare is important, because if people are well off, there’s no room for bickering based on ideological differences.

Doctor and YouTube celebrity : People of this class have always been accused of being unaware of what is happening around them in the country. This is a way to tell them, we’re here, we’re aware, and we just need to know where to direct our energy.

Daily News Journalist : Everyone has been talking about generating money out of Twitter or out of the online world. Some have done it successfully. The idea here is to do it in Egypt but not to generate money for profit, but rather for development. A lot of companies are working on their social media presence, so why not use an initiative like this and the human resources, so to speak, of the social media –  tweeps and people on Facebook. It doesn’t cost anyone anything. The projects that are being planned are developing projects, not charity projects. They’re  working on infrastructure and workshops. That sort of thing in the long-term is sustainable rather than giving them a set amount of money.

Twitter is not the only form of technology that has been used to improve the living conditions of Ezbeit Khairallah residents. The NGO involved in the initiative, Peace and Plenty, used Google Earth to scale the community and the Egyptian government now relies on the data that the non-profit has generated.

Categories: Facebook

All Facebook - Tue, 26/07/2011 - 4:24pm

Google Plus memberships are growing rapidly to an estimated 18 million of them as of today — and the service hasn’t even been around for a full month yet.

That pace naturally begs the question of .

We duly note that half of the 6,237 PCMag.com readers polled say they would “ditch” Facebook altogether in favor of Google Plus — although the actual question used the present tense, “Are you ditching Facebook for Google Plus?”

So we’re long overdue for our own reader poll. We’re curious to see how sentiments may have changed since we asked you all in March whether you’d use the +1 in addition to the Facebook like to share content with friends.

By all means, please share you opinion in the poll below; in the comments section beneath this post you can also give your rationale for your vote. Then come back later to see how everyone else is voting.

Are you using… Google Plus, Facebook, both or neither?

Categories: Facebook

What are the most playlisted tracks on Spotify? You might be surprised

The Next Web - Facebook-tagged - Tue, 26/07/2011 - 4:20pm

has been warming the cockles of European music lovers’ hearts for around three years, whilst the US has been enjoying its charms for the best part of two weeks now.

With Spotify now open to a potential audience of over 500m users, there will be many more playlists shared around the world. Share My Playlists holds a library of around 47,000 playlists covering everything from rock ‘n roll to sixties soul, and here’s a look at the top playlisted tracks on Spotify so far…and you may be surprised by some of these.

Categories: Facebook

Inside Facebook - Tue, 26/07/2011 - 4:19pm

There were some big and interesting hires this week. Buddy Media brought in a managing director for their Europe office, there were various engineering and sales positions across several companies, 140 Proof hired a VP of Product, North Social hired a VP of Business Development and SocialShield hired a chief of safety.

If your company is bringing in new people or making a notable promotion, please let us know. Email mail (at) insidefacebook (dot) com, and we’ll get it into next week’s post. Also, please note that information about most new hires, below, comes directly from company updates from .

Looking for new opportunities? Check out the Inside Network Job Board, which shows the latest openings at leading companies in the industry.

Here’s this week’s list of hires:

  • Luca Benini, Managing Director, Europe – effective August 1; previously worked as VP, Commercial Director, comScore Europe.

  • Edward Chow, Statistician - formerly a Data Analyst at the Canadian Red Cross.
  • Mohammad Adil Khan, Manager, Client Solutions - previously a Summer Marketing Intern at Tkaro, Inc.

  • Alan Shusterman, Vice President of Product – founder of Jobnob and formerly worked as VP of Client Services for Edusoft.

  • Gregory Vindry, Client Services Manager – previously worked as an account manager specialist at Microsoft Advertising.
  • Reginald Sebastian, Social Media Analyst – formerly worked as an associate at the Life Management Institute at LOMA.

  • Kefan Xie, Ruby on Rails Developer Intern – formerly worked as a QSL Developer at Qualcomm.
  • Chase WIlson, User Interface Developer - previously worked as a Frontend Web Developer at Oakley.

  • Abhik Pramanik, Senior Software Engineer – formerly the founding engineer at Top Prospect.

  • Bradley Wolf, Sales Manager – was previously an Account Executive at Wildfire.
  • Mithya Srinivasan, Sales Associate – worked as an International Communication Intern at Facebook.
  • Natalie Parks, Account Management Intern – previously worked as an intern at UBS Financial Services.
  • Gregory Furmanek, Software Engineer – founded Elegant Software.

North Social

  • Mike Johnson, Vice President of Business Development – formerly a digital marketer with Electronic Arts.


  • Steve DeWarns, Chief Safety Officer – founder of Internet Child Safety and a former police officer.
Categories: Facebook

All Facebook - Tue, 26/07/2011 - 3:40pm

Versace had quickly disabled the user commenting on the designer’s after protestors marked it up on July 6 with gripes about a dangerous technique used for creating distressed denim, called sandblasting.

We think the designer could have handled this in a better way. Regardless, here’s what the incident can teach all of us.

Follow The Leaders

Learning from others in your industry is crucial. In Versace’s case, many designers have already taken a strong stance against the issue. Both Levi’s and Gucci have cut sandblasted denim in their collections and received praise for doing so.

Take note of important trends and implement them within your business to either gain the same respect, or if anything, to avoid the backlash of being seen as a business reluctant of change.

An Apology Goes A Long Way

Although Versace has yet to take any action regarding the cleanup of their messy situation; it’s recommended that they apologize soon.

Bad publicity is not good public relations, especially when it comes to Facebook. But the public is quick to forgive –-as long as there’s action behind those words.

Support A Cause

Saying sorry is one thing, but making a change is another. Versace’s brand recovery effort needs to include supporting a good cause.

The Clean Clothes Campaign is one group in Versace’s industry that, right about now, the designer ought to hold hands with. Keep in
mind, through a genuine approach, your efforts will be applauded.

Give Users Their Voice Back

Versace’s response on Facebook situation was quick and reactive, but not proactive in the least. The designer acted defensively, which can strip a business dignity or integrity. Removing fan publishing rights will only get you so far.

We’ve said it before:  Don’t ignore or delete  bad comments. Face them head on. And if hate is in the masses, like it was for Versace, work fast on implementing one of the suggestions.

Learn From Mistakes

Above all, learning from your business’s mistakes is most important. It’s not the way you fall that matters, but how you get up.

In Versace’s situation — and others like it- - redemption is possible. All it takes is the willingness to listen and to change.

The team at ShortStack guest wrote this post.

Categories: Facebook

All Facebook - Tue, 26/07/2011 - 2:50pm

Facebook recently fixed a bug that was allowing friends to see the name, thumbnail, description and people tagged in a video even if it was marked private.

A Facebook spokesperson confirmed via email:

Yesterday, we were alerted of a bug that allowed people to view thumbnails and descriptions of videos they normally would not be able to see. If someone clicked on one of those videos, they would encounter an error message. The videos themselves were never exposed. The bug has since been fixed.

The error message had read, “This video either has been removed from Facebook or is not visible due to privacy settings.” But the revealing of the thumbnail and description is still a cause for concern.

When they’re working (and they usually are), Facebook’s privacy settings can protect your video shares. Here are some good tips to make your sharing worthwhile.

Send A Video Message

Instead of boring, old text, you can send a video message. When creating a new message, click the video icon at the bottom left of the window and use a webcam to record your video. You can message up to 20 friends at once.

Upload Via Email

If you can’t upload directly to Facebook, there is a way to upload photos or videos to your profile via email. Go to your video settings to get a designated email address where you can send your photo and video attachments. The email subject will be used as the caption. If there is no photo or video, the email subject will be used as your updated status. Photos and videos uploaded via email are visible to everyone by default but you can change that in your privacy settings.

Optimize The Quality

Make your footage more bandwidth friendly and everyone will be able to see it more readily. To avoid a long encoding process, optimize the quality of your video. The best video format to upload is H.264 video with AAC audio in MOV or MP4 format. H.264 offers the best video compression available for Facebook’s file-size limitations. To avoid rescaling, the larger edge shouldn’t exceed 1280px. If it is less than that, keep the dimensions to multiples of 16px for best compression. The frame rate of the video should be at or below 30fps. Use stereo audio with a sample rate of 44,100hz.

Make It Private

You don’t have to share a video with everyone on Facebook, and it’s much cooler if you don’t. Limit your video share to friends, friends of friends, other specific people or just yourself. You can also share by network and hide it from certain people. Don’t forget to tag others that appeared in the video and provide a title and description.

Use Groups

Groups are much more interactive these days. No longer a medium for just posts and events, you can share any link, photo, video or question within the group. You can even create a document or chat online with the entire group.

Readers, what other tips do you have for sharing videos?

Categories: Facebook

Former Google CIO: Music piracy was great for iTunes

The Next Web - Facebook-tagged - Tue, 26/07/2011 - 1:50pm

Douglas Merrill joined Google in late 2003, and the VP of Engineering and CIO jumped ship to join EMI in April 2008. He resigned almost a year later, before going on to found ZestCash.

During his keynote speech at this year’s annual CA Expo in Sydney, Merrill stated that punishing and demonizing file-sharers isn’t a good idea. And contrary to assertions that music pirates are bad for business, he revealed that previous profiling research that he carried out whilst at EMI discovered that LimeWire file-sharers were in fact iTunes’ biggest customers. Though LimeWire was finally killed by legal action in December last year.

As reported on TorrentFreak, Merrill said that companies that are stuck in the past are at risk of becoming irrelevant. As former COO of New Music and President of Digital Business at EMI, Merrill knows all about the RIAA, of which EMI was a member. He said:

“The RIAA said it isn’t that we are making bad music, but the ‘dirty file sharing guys’ are the problem. Going to sue customers for file sharing is like trying to sell soap by throwing dirt on your customers.”

It was the revelation that music pirates were actually big spenders on iTunes too that is particularly interesting. And this backs up what many other have argued in the past, that downloading pirated material is actually a way to sample music before buying it. Merrill said, tongue no-doubt firmly in cheek:

“That’s not theft, that’s try-before-you-buy marketing and we weren’t even paying for it… so it makes sense to sue them.”

An interest theory as to why music pirates were also big spenders, though it’s not entirely clear from Merrill’s comment why someone would download music illegally, and then go and pay for it on iTunes.

Categories: Facebook

How Poppy Dinsey went from fashion blogger to startup founder

The Next Web - Facebook-tagged - Tue, 26/07/2011 - 11:39am

Fashion by its very definition is something that’s constantly changing. And changing is something 24-year old blogger Poppy Dinsey knows all about.

Poppy set up What I Wore Today (WIWT) back on January 1st 2010, and it has always been a blog with a simple underlying  premise: Upload and share one photo each day of Poppy in a different outfit. Interesting idea…but why?

With a new year underway, Poppy pondered whether she could create a photo diary of herself in a different combination of clothes for the next 365 days.

It wasn’t so much about buying new clothes, it was more about making use of the extensive collection she had already amassed over the years.

Whilst many among us might dream up similar quirky plans and stick to them for a couple of weeks, Poppy didn’t miss a single day.

WIWT has developed beyond its initial remit, and Poppy now also interviews celebrities on what they’re wearing, and there’s even a section called The Lust List. Check it out for yourself.

With around 90,000 monthly visitors and a burgeoning reputation in the fashion blogging fraternity, Poppy has taken WIWT from a hobby through to a money-making business. And to capitalize on this, WIWT is about to relaunch as a community-based fashion website, where anyone can upload and share pictures of themselves in their latest clobber.

I caught up with Poppy to discuss blogging, business, estate agents…and her plans for WIWT as a fully-fledged startup.

The birth of a blogger…

Poppy is from near Guildford, Surrey, and 13-year old Poppy also had a penchant for blogging, using Open Diary, way back in 1999. By her own admission, her first flirtation with the blogosphere was “mainly fiction, made up stuff”,  and when she continued on through college and university, she moved over to Windows Live Spaces, before hitting the likes of Posterous and WordPress in recent years.

But it was during her time studying Economics, Business and East European studies at London’s UCL that Poppy’s blogging career really took off. And she wasn’t writing about fashion, either.

Zoomf is a UK property search engine, and Poppy worked there whilst still a full-time student, from May 2007 until September 2008. It was whilst a Marketing Executive at Zoomf that Poppy’s passion for blogging was flamed, and was where she got the opportunity to write about one of her other interests.

“I was one of these people who was obsessed with estate agent websites”, says Poppy. “A lot of girls are like that…they want to move house the whole time. I’d left home at 18 and at that point I’d lived in about 6 different flats in London and Brighton. I was also looking for a Web job, and when I saw a disruptive startup involving property search, I had to go for it.”

Poppy jumped ship for Zoomf’s competitor Globrix, where she worked between September 2008 and January 2010. But it was through both her roles at Zoomf and Globrix where Poppy managed to carve a niche in the property blogging sphere.

“I had studied economics, and I was reading a lot about the property market anyway”, says Poppy. “I managed to carve my niche through writing about the property market and its effects on the wider economy. But I wrote about it in this very cheeky, funny way. But, what shone through was a very in-depth understanding of what I was writing about.”

In October 2008, whilst at Globrix, Poppy was voted the fifth most influential property blogger in the world by Global Edge, and it was during this time that she was invited to write for websites in the US and attend conferences Stateside too. So now Poppy’s made the move from freeholds to frocks, does she miss it?

“Sometimes I still miss it, but there’s only so long you can deal with estate agents and write about property before you get a bit sick of it”, says Poppy.

After leaving Globrix in January 2010, Poppy worked as Marketing Manager at School for Startups with entrepreneur Doug Richard, at the same time as she was launching WIWT. She left School for Startups in June 2010 to commit to WIWT and it’s been an upwards trajectory since then.

It seems that working for the likes of Zoomf and Globrix gave Poppy the taste for the startup scene, something that may have been instrumental in her launching her own digital company.

“I got addicted to the idea of working in small teams, you really know who did what”, says Poppy. “And you see the outcome of your work immediately, I’d say I’m quite an impatient person.”

And you won’t get many smaller teams than what’s currently at WIWT. Whilst she does have support in the form of Shoreditch-based developers Caffeine Hit, Poppy manages and produces all the content by herself.

A passion for fashion?

So how much into fashion is Poppy?

“I’ve always been into style, but I’m not a slave to fashion”, says Poppy. “I’m not one of those people who buys hundreds of fashion magazines, but all my money has pretty much gone on clothes. I’ve always liked having completely different outfits every day. Before I launched WIWT, I was quite often tweeting pictures of my outfits, and I just realized they were going nowhere, sitting in my Twitpic account, and it seemed like a wasted concept really.”

When 2010 was over, Poppy didn’t feel the need to continue with her ‘new outfit each day’ philosophy, because strictly speaking, it was just a year’s challenge. But she still continued to upload new outfits on many days, and the content Poppy has built up over the past year and a half will soon be carted off into archive on a yet-to-be-determined website, to make way for the launch of WIWT v2.0:

The site is currently in beta mode and is invite only, and the site should be launched to the public some time in August, in plenty of time for Fashion Week which kicks off in September. Whilst the site could potentially exit closed beta now, a major part of the WIWT relaunch will be an iPhone app, which users can use to take photos of themselves and upload directly to WIWT.

And this is the main difference between the two sites. Whilst WIWT at present is largely all about what Poppy is wearing, the new site is about the community, where users follow each other and connect their profiles with Facebook and Twitter to share what they’re wearing with their own friends.

Will this mean that Poppy will be growing the company and taking on more staff and investments? It doesn’t seem so.

“I’m being really frugal with the money”, says Poppy. “Someone asked me recently why I don’t build-up my team now, but I’ve worked at startups that have 20 people at the beginning and you just don’t need that amount of people. These are the companies I think don’t do very well in the long-run, I think. They take on a lot of investment, and grow way too quickly. I’ve turned down investment, and it’s amazing how much I can get away with not spending and I get by just fine. If it’s your money, you do tend to be a lot more careful.”

Wise words from a young entrepreneur, who realizes that she’s in a very good position to really take off into the fashion blogging stratosphere. “This has the potential to be huge”, says Poppy. “Now’s the perfect time to do it. I’m single, I don’t have kids or a mortgage…it’s the most risk-free time for me to do this.”

And is Poppy back to buying more clothes now that her year’s challenge is over? “I get sent lots of clothes now”, she says. “But I do still buy clothes too.”

At 24-years young, Poppy seems to be living the dream. But as the sole proprietor at WIWT, she works 16/7, and on a recent ‘holiday’, her beach doubled as a surrogate office. “I don’t particularly like having to work the whole time, but I like what I do, so it’s fine”, says Poppy.

Categories: Facebook

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