Business Evolution.

Business Evolution.

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Branding: How It Works in the Social Media Age [INFOGRAPHIC] (Mashable)


Branding: How It Works in the Social Media Age [INFOGRAPHIC]

It’s time to shed some light on branding and social media, and to do that, AYTM Market Research surveyed 2,000 Internet users, randomly chosen from its huge built-in online panel. The researchers asked a variety of questions about how Internet users like to get updates about brands, where they like to hang out online, the kinds of people brand managers can expect to encounter in the social media universe, and whether prospective customers prefer to interact with brands on social media.



Branding and Social Media Statistics - How People Are Interacting With Brands Online

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Tagstand Wants to Make NFC Technology Simple for Businesses (Mashable)

The Spark of Genius Series highlights a unique feature of startups and is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark. If you would like to have your startup considered for inclusion, please see the details here. 

Name: Tagstand

Quick Pitch: Tagstand is an NFC platform that simplifies the NFC stack for businesses and developers.

Genius Idea: Program and manage NFC stickers on the web.

“The way your phone interacts with the real world is going to become quite fundamental,” predicts Kulveer Tagger. Tagger is betting on the trend with Tagstand, a startup serving as a platform that businesses and developers can turn to for NFC tag procurement and management.

Customers can purchase packs of stickers, and then use the Tagstand Manager to program — and reprogram as often they see fit — how those stickers function on objects in the real world. They can also track sticker usage.

Tagstand could theoretically, depending on the whims of the tag owner, allow a consumer with an NFC-enabled device to touch his phone to a sticker to check in onFoursquare one day and view a promotional video or product page the next. The point is clearly to commodify NFC technology — to package it up, sell it to businesses and marketers, and make it consumer-friendly in the process.

One problem: consumers aren’t yet toting around NFC-enabled devices en masse. But should that change — and research firm Juniper forecasts that it will — Tagstand, says Tagger, hopes its first-mover status will solidify it as a harbinger of the NFC revolution in the states.




In the right-here and right-now, Tagstand appears to be pulling in impressive sales and traction for a three-month startup in a nascent market. “We’ve had loads of developers and businesses contact us,” Tagger says. “We’re basically finding out what we think are going to be the first applications of NFC.”

Outdoor marketing is surfacing as the most popular application, he says. A Tagstand customer in India, for instance, made a bulk purchase of 20,000 tags for $10,000. The customer plans to put tags on movie posters at malls and cinemas in India, he says.

Next on the agenda for Tagstand is to give startups access to NFC payments capabilities and release an API for its tag management system.

Tagstand is a graduate of Y Combinator’s summer of 2011 session. The startup is in the process of raising additional funding.

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New York Model Management/LA Models/Van’s Warped Tour.



New York Model Management and LA Models is on the Van’s Warped Tour this year. Conceptual set up the promotion from conception, execution and social media blasting. Our prime target is 14-18year old M/F. Van’s Warped Tour met our demographic requirements right on.

Not only is NYMM and LA Model’s Warped Tour booth beneficial for scouting new faces but, their photo booth is a great medium for social media branding. All photos taken in our red carpet-styled photo booth were posted to Facebook. Branded stickers were passed out with NYMM and LA Model’s Facebook address, for the attendee’s liking, and participants were encouraged to tag themselves. Not only does this promotion increase Facebook likes and brand exposure, any tagged photos will show up in the participant’s News Feed, allowing for a viral element of branding.













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HOW TO: Set Up a Facebook Page (Mashable)

HOW TO: Set Up a Facebook Page

This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum, where Mashable regularly contributes articles about leveraging social media and technology in small business.

There are 500 million active users on Facebook — it’s about time you get in on the action and start a Facebook Page for your business. After all, the best marketing reaches out to consumers where they already are, and people spend more than 700 billion hours a month on the site. Exposure to that many eyeballs could translate to a lot of business for your company.

Not tech savvy? That’s not a problem — the process isn’t too technical. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you initiate your Facebook marketing campaign.

1. Create Your Page

Go to and click “Create Page” in the upper right hand corner.

The next screen asks you to select a category from the following list:

  • Local Business or Place
  • Company, Organization or Institution
  • Brand or Product
  • Artist, Band or Public Figure
  • Entertainment
  • Cause or Community

2. Fill In Information

Once you select the category for your business, you can fill in the name, address and phone number. Check the box next to “I agree to Facebook Pages Terms” and click “Get Started.” You’ll see a Page that looks like this:

3. Add a Photo

Upload a picture for your page. It can be a logo, a photo of a store or a photo of a person — whatever makes the most sense for building your brand. The file needs to be smaller than 4MB, and it can be square or a vertical rectangle. However, note that the avatar that shows up next to status updates and wall posts is square, so if you don’t want anything chopped off, square might be the way to go.

4. Suggest Your Page to Friends

Get your Page started off with some “likes” by recruiting your own friends. Start typing in names and when you drag the cursor over someone’s name, it will highlight in blue. Click once to check the person and add them to your invite. Click “Selected” to see who’s on your invite list. When you’re ready to invite, click “Send Recommendations.”

5. Import Contacts

Click on “Import Contacts” to reach out to your email contacts about your new Page. You can upload a file (Outlook, Constant Contact, .csv) or you can enter your email login info so Facebook can access people in your email contact list. Again, you can check the box next to the names you’d like to invite, and you can preview the invitation to see what it’ll look like. For people who are already on Facebook, they’ll get a “Recommended Pages” widget on their Facebook, while everyone else will get an email that looks like this:

6. Start Writing Content

Once you have a photo uploaded and have a few fans on board, you can start engaging.

For status updates, you can either share with everyone or you can target by location or by language. Targeting comes in handy if the Page is for a business with several locations in various states, especially if there is a contest, event or update that is only for a particular city.

If you want to post a link to a blog post or news story, don’t just type or paste the URL into a status update. If you do, it will look like this:

To post a link the proper way, click “Link” and paste the URL. Click “Attach.” Once you “attach” the URL, you’ll see that the text and photo from the page you’re linking to will populate automatically. You can change the title, paste different text into the snippet, and change the pictures (if there are several options, indicated by the “Choose a Thumbnail” prompt):

This is the best and cleanest way to link to another page. The post looks better and it will perform better if the link is attached instead of typed in to the status. Note that you can click on either the link or the snippet to change the text before you click “Share.”

7. Get a Vanity URL

Once you have 25 fans on your Facebook Page, any of a Page’s admins can reserve a vanity URL so that your Facebook URL is Go to the Username page, select the Page name from the dropdown menu and then write in the name you’d like to use. Click “Check Availability.” If it’s available, a prompt will ask, “Are you sure you want to set [URL] as [Facebook Page]‘s username?” Click confirm to lock in that URL — and keep in mind that you can’t change the URL for a Page once you confirm.

8. Use the Tools That Are Available

Facebook Insights is a great tool that can help you figure out when to post and what kind of content does well. Measuring social media success is complicated, but many brands focus on engagement. Activity on your Page is a good sign, and you can keep tabs on activity by clicking “Facebook Insights” on the right sidebar, just below the admins.

8. Assign Other Admins

Speaking of admins, you can invite several people to run the Page and post content — links and statuses will come through as written by the Page and not the individual. (Note, the statuses above were generated when I was on my personal account — but the posts came through from “My Sweet New Candy Shoppe” because I am an admin.)

In the “Admins” section of the sidebar on the right, click “See All.” A new page will populate with the names of the admins. To make someone else an admin, just type in his name (it’ll populate in real time) — there is no limit to the number of admins a Page can have. Admins are kept abreast of happenings on the Page — including comments and posts so that your company can interact with its fans — via email.

Now that your Facebook Page is all set, you can learn more about what to dowhat not to do and when to postto get the best engagement.

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New York Times Editor Is a Horrible Troll Who Doesn’t Understand the Modern World (Gizmodo)

New York Times Editor Is a Horrible Troll Who Doesn’t Understand the Modern World

 Mat Honan — Bill Keller, the executive editor of the New York Times, thinks modern communication technologies make you stupid, destroy your relationships and even your soul. He is wrong.

The crux of Keller’s argument lies in a single paragraph:

Basically, we are outsourcing our brains to the cloud. The upside is that this frees a lot of gray matter for important pursuits like FarmVille and “Real Housewives.” But my inner worrywart wonders whether the new technologies overtaking us may be eroding characteristics that are essentially human: our ability to reflect, our pursuit of meaning, genuine empathy, a sense of community connected by something deeper than snark or political affinity.

Keller makes the same mistake in dismissing Twitter and Facebook and, well, modernity, that critics ten to twelve years ago made in dismissing blogging: he confuses medium with message. Twitter, and any technology, is what you make of it. If you choose to do superficial things there, you will have superficial experiences. If you use it to communicate with others on a deeper level, you can have more meaningful experiences that make you smarter, build lasting relationships, and generally enhance your life.

Instead he focuses on the short form, and its rapid fire nature. He bemoans what it does to memory and genuine interaction. His criticism echoes what previous generations said about television, about newspapers about pamphlets and even about the written word itself. In fact,it’s strikingly similar to the argument Socrates leveled against writing (which presumably Keller is in favor of):

[F]or [the use of letters] will create forgetfulness in the learners’ souls, because they will not use their memories; they will trust to the external written characters and not remember of themselves. The specific which you have discovered is an aid not to memory, but to reminiscence, and you give your disciples not truth, but only the semblance of truth; they will be hearers of many things and will have learned nothing; they will appear to be omniscient and will generally know nothing; they will be tiresome company, having the show of wisdom without the reality.

Yes! You are right, Bill Keller. Technology will change the way we think and interact. Our brains will process information differently and we will interact with each other differently thanks to the tools we use, be they databases, communications mediums, or language itself. But Keller seems to mistake the changing nature of the way our brains work to process information and communicate with us having lost something as a society. That’s just not true.

If we lose the art of penmanship, but gain a greater ability to clearly communicate what is ultimately lost? If we become unable to recognize simple patterns in data with our eyes because we have built machines that can see complex ones our brains could not process in many lifetimes, are we truly intellectually bereft for it?

Bill Keller seems to think so. He cites the loss of our collective ability to memorize vast quantities of information as proof of a greater cognitive loss.

“Until the 15th century, people were taught to remember vast quantities of information. Feats of memory that would today qualify you as a freak – the ability to recite entire books – were not unheard of.

Then along came the Mark Zuckerberg of his day, Johannes Gutenberg. As we became accustomed to relying on the printed page, the work of remembering gradually fell into disuse. The capacity to remember prodigiously still exists (as Foer proved by training himself to become a national memory champion), but for most of us it stays parked in the garage.

Sometimes the bargain is worthwhile; I would certainly not give up the pleasures of my library for the ability to recite “Middlemarch.” But Foer’s book reminds us that the cognitive advance of our species is not inexorable.”

Yeah. See. The thing is not that we’re dumber, or that our cognitive advance has slowed or reversed. It’s that we need different mental abilities to process information and the modern world.

We don’t simply use new technologies, we become immersed in them. We live in an era of information assault. Data is everywhere. Ads come at us from all sides. Email pours into our boxes. The Web, and television, and radio and, yes, fucking newspapers spew information at us like, well, like newspapers once spewed from printing presses before they began drifting into irrelevance.

Memorization was once a tool for preserving information. But today the more important skill is the ability to process and filter it. To quickly decide what needs to be analyzed and responded to, and what ought to be ignored. That’s not a cognitive loss, it’s an evolutionary advancement.

There was a time, not so long ago, when it was possible to be versed in all the world’s ideas. Men like Benjamin Franklin were able to master the accumulated knowledge we as humans had built up over the whole of our history. That’s impossible now! Could you even do that with the news that came out last week?

The era of The Great Man, if it ever existed, is past. We are all smaller pieces of the pie now. Our achievements tend less towards great leaps than incremental change. And yet our technology is advancing at a much greater rate than ever before due to these incremental advances of a great many than it ever did by the actions of a few learned white men of letters. We are becoming specialists. That doesn’t make us dumb.

Similarly, just as we encounter much more data each day, we also encounter many more people. Think back 20 years ago. How many people did you interact with in a 24 hour period? Almost certainly, all of your interactions were in person or via the telephone. The majority required speech. A small subset likely took place via the written word. In technologically advanced societies, that trend has reversed itself.

If you are like me, most of your daily interactions with other people take place electronically. You probably interact with a greater number of distinct individuals via emails, tweets, Facebook updates, chats, and text message than you do verbally or in person. (Unless you have a job that requires a great deal of public interaction like, say, a sales clerk at a busy department store.)

Again, you need to be able to process those relationships quickly and efficiently. It’s a basic tool for modern life. Yet that does not mean that your interactions in those mediums are any less genuine, or less soulful, even if they take place more rapidly.

Though Keller may not have done so himself, for those younger than him I think the experience of making a friend online who later becomes a friend in person is relatively commonplace. You can put the word friends inside of quotation marks all you want to denigrate those relationships, but the fact is that tools like Facebook, and Twitter, and email and the Web serve not simply as communication aids, but as the connective tissue of modern relationships.

Much of Keller’s evidence relies on a lone experience, when he sent a message to Twitter stating “#TwitterMakesYouStupid. Discuss.” Keller did not ask any important questions, or engage with the other people using Twitter to communicate. He just rolled up and trolled. He went into a venue where people have elected to be, and told everyone that their presence there makes them stupid. He then laments that he did not receive more positive responses from within that forum itself.

LOL! It’s funny because it’s so fucking facile.

Calling me stupid isn’t generally the best way to get a nuanced, reasoned response out of me, Bill. To prove this point, I have broken out my notecards, and composed an old-fashioned letter to you which I am sending in the old-fashioned mail. I eagerly await your handwritten response.

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Twitter Origins (Gizmodo)

The Lost Origin of Twitter

 Mat Honan — Before Twitter was public, it was just an AIM hack on Jack Dorsey’s pager.

Twitter founder Jack Dorsey had a background in messenger culture. He had even launched a dispatch software startup called D-Net, back in 1999. He was also captivated by his friends status messages on AOL Instant Messenger. He wanted to combine the two. And in an era when AIM was king, he did just that.

“I loved seeing at a glance my friends status updates. But I also really appreciated at the same time the dispatch aspect, where you’re out in the world doing something away from the keyboard and IM did not allow that,” said Dorsey. “I had a RIM pager, the 850, the first email device. I programed a system where I could fire off an email from that and set my status from anywhere. And it worked! And I was able to also at a regular interval pull my buddy list and get those updates sent to my email address. It was awesome! But the number of people who had those mobile devices was so minimal that the timing was just not right. This was 2001.”

In 2006, when he was working for Evan Williams at Odeo, Dorsey resurrected the idea. He combined the timeline aspects of LiveJournal with the status updates of instant messenger and the concept of dispatch software that delivers them all remotely. Boom. That’s Twitter.

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