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  • Spredfast Releases Spark, A Social Tool For In-The-Moment Marketing

    Aiming to aid brands with their in-the-moment marketing, Spredfast today announced the release of Spark, a new social media dashboard that enables users “to tune into timely moments and conversations the minute they start.” We’ve well documented the trend of newsjacking —…

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  • Google Glass’ Lead Electrical Engineer Adrian Wong Defects To Oculus

    Adrian Wong still lists himself as a “professional daydreamer” on LinkedIn, but he’s just left Google[x] where he was a lead electrical engineer on Glass to start “Building the Metaverse” at Oculus VR. Wong had been at Google since December 2010 following a stint at Sandia National Laboratories, but now he’s working at Facebook’s latest mega-acquisition. A… Read More …read more

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  • Marketing On Pinterest? Here’s Some Data About Pinners’ Daily Obsessions

    Pinterest bills itself as “the world’s largest human created collection of things,” with more than 30 billion pins on 750 million boards. It’s a treasure trove of data about user interests that Pinterest digs into to serve more relevant related content to Pinners. Today, it shared some…

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  • How VolunteerMatch Brings Individuals and Organizations Together

    While social networking holds a great deal of value for any organization, it’s essential for nonprofits. When working with the often limited resources of a nonprofit organization, sometimes creative solutions are needed to tackle everyday business challenges — and social offers a great way to reach huge audiences without much of a marketing budget.

    “Social media has enabled many smaller organizations to achieve more visibility and support than otherwise, simply because they can more easily reach a wider audience,” explains Shari Ilsen, Director of Engagement with VolunteerMatch. “The fact that social media can instantly and authentically connect people from across the world has changed the nature of nonprofit and volunteer engagement. It’s no longer necessary to stick close to home to find supporters.”

    Making Volunteering Social

    VolunteerMatch, a nonprofit dedicated to matching up the right volunteers with the right charities, is all about making connections between good people and good causes — and this community-minded philosophy makes it a great fit for social media success. “Social media helps us connect with new people who might not know about us and strengthen our relationships with those who already do,” says Ilsen. “We have a lot going on, a lot of ways for people to get involved with what we do and with each other around volunteering.”

    VolunteerMatch isn’t just a tool for making social connections work: it goes beyond simple matchmaking to provide resources for volunteers, socially responsible businesses, and nonprofits. This kind of added value makes VolunteerMatch shine on social channels, where it highlights both its own content as well as information from around the web that’s relevant to its users. “Everything is part of our over-arching strategy of ‘Provide Value,’” explains Ilsen. “We only post if it’s useful for someone in our audience. We keep it light, engaging, approachable, and focused …read more

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  • How to Optimize Your Facebook Page Images for the News Feed

    Earlier this year, Facebook introduced a more streamlined look for News Feed and Pages. While the latter made it easier for admins to access the features that are important to them, the News Feed revamp put an even greater emphasis on the images you share. As a result, brands have had to abide by a fresh set of image-sizing guides.

    Although you’ve likely already made the necessary adjustments to your Facebook Page’s cover photo and profile image, the visual content you’re uploading might not be optimized for News Feed. In this article, we’ll review the sizing requirements for your Page’s assets and provide best practices for sharing News Feed-optimized content.

    Cover Photos and Profile Pictures

    It can be frustrating having to tweak your cover photo and profile image every time Facebook makes a design change, but working with the recommended heights and widths ensures that your Page looks fantastic.

    The current size of cover photos is 851 pixels wide by 315 pixels tall. Uploading an image that’s smaller than these dimensions will result in stretching to meet the larger size. This means that an less than ideal version of your asset could be displayed. As a general rule, cover photos must be at least 399 by 150 pixels.

    To ensure the fastest load times for your Page, your upload should be less than 100 KB. If you’re cover photo includes your logo or text, you can improve the quality of your image by using a PNG file.

    Profile pictures are square and display at 160 by 160 pixels; however, the photo you upload must be at least 180 by 180 pixels. Uploading a square image is recommended, otherwise rectangular images will be cropped to fit a square.

    Creative Examples

    If you’d like to get creative with your cover photo and profile picture, the latter is located 23 …read more

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  • Quora’s Misogyny Problem

    The Guardian recently asked five feminists whether sexism has become more prevalent in the digital age, or simply more visible? There is no doubt of its growing visibility on Quora.

    Last month, one male Quora user’s “first ever post” was to the Rage Against Quora blog — created for “questions, answers, policies and design issues that really annoy you.”

    The post, titled Dear Men @ Quora, points to the site’s increasing problem with misogyny. Quora’s growing community of women are repeatedly subjected to sexual discrimination, denigration, sexual objectification and even stalking.

    The post’s author appeals to Quora’s male-dominated community to start behaving like “gentlemen” and calls for “all men to stop this kind of behavior.”
    A few days ago I came across this question:

    Women on Quora: What are the issues that women face when writing on Quora today (March 2014)? What should Quora do about these problems?

    The revelations made here are absolutely shocking and embarrassing.

    The most shocking was Alia Caldwell’s situation, in which her online stalker actually moved near her and coerced her to leave her hard-worked-for home.

    After reading this, I was shocked that these kinds of things have happened on Quora. In many of the cases I’ve read here, men continued to make advances even after being explicitly told NO.

    We all came to Quora to gain knowledge, to know things we never knew existed. We did not come here to harass women and stalk them or be harassed and stalked.

    The first comment under the post is by Rage admin Tatiana Estévez, who says, “We’re definitely considering all the issues that have come up on this page.” Still, until SocialTimes contacted the site on Tuesday, there had been no official response from Quora regarding what specific steps the company is taking to deal with the issue.

    The …read more

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  • Add life to your mixes with these reverb tips from The Handsome Family’s Brett Sparks

    The Handsome Family‘s gothic Americana music has a timeless sound. That’s one of the reasons HBO’s True Detective series used their tune “Far From Any Road” in the opening credits. The haunting song sounds like it could’ve been recorded in any year between the mid-1960′s and now.

    What’s the secret to their classic sound?

    Well, like most compelling recordings, it’s a combination of good writing, a memorable performance, and magical production.

    Brendan Doherty, writing for the website Pyragraph, recently interviewed Brett Sparks of the Handsome Family about the band’s creative influences and recording secrets.

    One part of the interview I found particularly interesting was Sparks’ tips on reverb. Asked how he’s able to get such an immediate, present sound while also keeping things spare, Sparks says:

    I record in a small very dead space. That helps.

    As far as intimate goes, let’s just say I’ve been through my cavern reverb phase. That’s distancing. These days I try to use reverbs that are small. Small to medium rooms or plates. Lately I have also been tending toward using more convolution reverbs. These are “real” reverbs generated from impulse responses (IRs) of actual spaces. Kinda like sampling. So you can put the reverb IR from the Ryman Auditorium (former home of the Grand Ole Opry) on your vocal if you choose. There are hundreds of online IR libraries. I especially love the samples of classic studios.

    Don’t forget: You can EQ your reverb. If it’s too bright and diffuse, many reverbs have an EQ feature so you can dampen the “space.”

    A good, simple way to get presence is through the use of predelay. <a target=_blank rel="nofollow" title="Predelay is a parameter on a reverb unit" …read more

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  • Jill Abramson’s ‘Badass New Hobby’


    Former New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson has a “badass new hobby.”

    That’s according to her daughter, Cornelia Griggs, who posted a photo to Instagram on Thursday that shows the ousted editor wearing boxing gloves and posing for the picture

    Alongside the caption were two hashtags: “#girls” and “#pushy,” a reference to Ken Auletta’s source reported in the New Yorker:

    “She confronted the top brass,” one close associate said, and this may have fed into the management’s narrative that she was “pushy,” a characterization that, for many, has an inescapably gendered aspect. …

    More about New York Times, Media, and Social Media …read more

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  • Upgrade Your Social Mobile Marketing with Snapchat

    Now is the time to get on board with social mobile marketing; explore the possibilities of Snapchat, and see what develops. Snapchat can indeed upgrade your social mobile marketing and advance your business, especially if you have a young target audience.

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  • New AdSense “Magazine” Ads Render Text Ads In Display Formats

    Google has launched a new AdSense ad format in which text ads are rendered in display formats called magazine ads. Publishers that opt to only show display ads on their sites may now have text ad advertisers entering auctions for those ads. When a text advertiser wins an auction, the ad will appear…

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  • Ariel Hyatt – Featured on The Legendary CD Baby Podcast: On Fans, Fears & Funding

    I was THRILLED to be invited back to the CD Baby Podcast again – It’s been several years since I was interviewed by Kevin Breuner, CD Baby’s Director of Marketing who I have known and respected for more years than I can count.

    I share some social media tips, and discuss why Facebook isn’t your best bet these days. I also dish online marketing advice, and my own experiences and insights with my crowd funding campaign.

    PLUS I finally and publicly set a self-imposed release date for my upcoming book CrowdStart, on Fans, Fears & Funding.

    It will be JUNE 20, 2014!

    Click on the image above to listen in! Or click here to listen.

    THANK YOU TO CD BABY for the opportunity to be included on your fabulous Podcast!

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  • Nuzzel Releases An iPhone News App With Simple Setup And Personalized Alerts

    For those of us who have been following social news startup Nuzzel, there’s been a long wait for the startup today’s iPhone launch. I first spoke about Nuzzel with founder Jonathan Abrams (who also founded Friendster) back in September 2012. Since then, Nuzzel has been a browser-and-email product, although Abrams told me recently that the iPhone app was “95 percent done.” Now I guess they’ve… Read More …read more

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  • Social Media Scheduling App Buffer Adds Content Feeds In Dashboard Play

    Buffer, the social media scheduling app with 1.5 million users, picked up a bit of notoriety when it got hacked and its users started sending out weight-loss spam to followers, but also kudos for its generally transparent approach to business. Today, it is announcing a pivot of sorts. The company is adding two new features – a feed-reading service and curated content suggestions —… Read More …read more

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  • 6 Nonverbal Hacks for Your Website So it Captures Attention and Converts

    You have 0.05 seconds to make a good first impression online.

    That’s only 50 milliseconds to hook someone — according to researchers at Carleton University.

    Most important, this happens before a user reads any of your content. So, you have to capture their attention with your website’s nonverbal cues.

    Do you have any of the following?

    • Low conversions
    • High bounce rate
    • Short average visit duration
    • Low sales
    • Slow traffic

    Then you need to optimize your website’s nonverbal first impression.

    I’m a human behavior hacker, and I’m going to show you how to use science to optimize your website.

    Why human behavior science?

    Let me be blunt:

    If you don’t understand online human behavior your website will fail.

    Sure, you can produce killer content — and that’s a great start. But even if your blog unveils the meaning of life while saving baby pandas from grumpy cats, it’s not enough.

    You have to understand your reader’s behavior to get them to convert. This is all about making sure your website produces a killer nonverbal first impression.

    Below I have laid out six scientifically proven hacks to improve your website’s visual cues.

    Hack #1: Understanding eye patterns

    Do you know how your readers see your website?

    The Poynter Institute tracked eye behavior as users read various web pages. They found that reader’s eyes follow an F-Shaped pattern on a website. Typically they start in the upper left hand side of a web page …read more

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  • The UN Battles Killer Robots. Yes, a Robocalypse May Be Coming



    So, the UN is holding a meeting to discuss the legality of killer robots. We don’t want you to panic, but let’s face it, a killer-robot-apocalypse is probably right behind the corner

    Meanwhile, a student at the University of British Columbia is trying to teach a robot right from wrong. This could be our only hope, folks

    If the thought of killer robots intrigues you, you should probably check out the last episode of Mashable Minute, in which Elliott Morgan discusses a huge Godzilla and tiny dinosaurs

    [youtube] …

    More about Robots, Social Media, and Youtube …read more

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  • How To Effectively Promote Your Music Video on Facebook

    Being an up and coming musician can be both a delightful and dreadful gig. You’re always writing music, recording, performing in bars and/or clubs, and trying to sell yourself on social media platforms. Selling yourself also means shooting a music video for your best song. You can always just upload the video to YouTube and engage with trolls, or upload to Vimeo and engage with trolls. But you want to, not only sell your music video, you want to engage with your growing audience and earn more fans. Facebook is the answer for that.

    Create a Page

    It seems like a no brainer to create a page for your music video but most musicians seem to overthink it. You’ve encountered pages on Facebook before but they’re usually for products, films, or some cause to have you donate money to. You can create a page for yourself (or your band) to garner an online following and inform people of events, concerts, and more. Creating a page for a music video seems kind of redundant but it’s a great step forward for you.

    For a music video page, go to ‘entertainment’ and locate ‘music video’

    Like a film, a music video is a story with an arc and a message to tell but set to music. It’s not a novel idea since music videos have been around for about forty years but you need to treat each one of your videos like a huge premier set to be seen by millions. The process of creating and maintaining the page is just the same as maintaining your musician or band page; you can update on the filming and editing of the video.

    When your music video is complete you can upload it directly to the page and inform those followers. The uniqueness of the music video …read more

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  • The Strange Bubble Economics of Selfies


    A couple of months ago my 13-year-old son came to me with a true story. One of his acquaintances had given him control of an Instagram profile with roughly 3,500 followers as a gift.

    A few days later, my son and his friends met some famous rappers. They took a few selfies with them and posted the images on the Instagram profile. Almost immediately the number of followers exploded from 3,500 to about 9,000. Then my son’s friend offered to buy the profile from him. There is apparently so much social value, acclaim and recognition associated with the account that it is now worth actual money.

    Social capital is being traded for hard capital online now. Social media profiles function as online campaigns for selling an image or perception of yourself. It’s even stranger than …

    More about Bubble, Social Media, Justin Bieber, Economics, and Marketing …read more

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  • A.1. Steak Sauce’s Social Life is More Interesting Than Yours



    Breaking up is hard to do, and it’s even harder when you go as naturally together as steak and A.1. But not all change is a bad thing.

    After nearly 50 years, A.1. is removing the “steak” from its name in order to include all the other delicious food pairings that the savory sauce can accompany. After years listening to customers’ stories of their sauce’s love affairs with various other dishes, A.1. Sauce is embracing all foodies with its “For Almost Everything. Almost.” campaign, which imagines the conscious uncoupling occurring on Facebook

    See also: …

    More about Facebook, Advertising, Viral Videos, Social Media, and Funny …read more

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