3D Print Your Child into a Marvel Superhero. Yes, Really.

This is maybe the best new thing in the world. Between September 19th & 28th, you can go to one of 10 Walmarts (and two Sam's Clubs) in NY, LA, Chicago, and Houston, and you'll get to experience "Super Awesome Me." This will allow you to scan your face (it takes less than a minute, supposedly), select Captain America or Iron Man, and then turn yourself into a superhero action figure.

Read more: Hasbro Is Letting Kids Make Themselves Into Superhero Action Figures Through 3D Printing - Business Insider.

Baby Boomers, iPad Mini Accessories, and Facebook Follower ROI in the Social 6 for 10/12/12

Hey look, it's the Social 6! This is the first time in awhile not a single one of the articles came from Mashable, oddly enough. There's plenty of good reading below, capped by a very nice piece by @sarahneedleman & @EvelynRusli. Here's your Social 6:

#6: ComScore: Instagram attracts more site engagement than Twitter on smartphones (Brafton)

#5: Social media or sex? A study shows more people are going online (WHP TV)

#4: All Eyes Turn To Boomers And How They Use The Internet bit.ly/PnKQlU (ReadWriteWeb)

#3: The solo entrepreneur's guide to social media time management (Crain's Chicago Business blog)

#2: Retailers gearing up for Apple's 'iPad mini' with plans for accessory displays (Apple Insider)

#1: What's a Facebook Follower Worth? (Wall Street Journal)

Enhanced by Zemanta

Big Bird, iPad Mini, and Taco Bell Top the Weekend Social 6 Roundup

Did you take a break from reading news across the Interwebz this weekend? I surely hope so. Assuming you did, here's some of what you missed, including how Taco Bell is fighting world hunger, why inventory will be the key to the iPad Mini's success, and how social media can take a so-so job search to a stellar one. There's plenty more, of course; let's dive in:

#6: How the Eels' rugby team leverages social media to succeed (JeffBullas.com)

#5: Don't Mess With Big Bird (New York Times)

#4: Taco Bell launches social media campaign to end hunger (QSR Web)

#3: The Best Ways to Use Social Media in Your Job Search (Forbes)

#2: iPad Mini's likely launch date means inventory will be everything, say analysts (Computerworld)

Gilt, Pepsi, Wilcoxson, iPad Mini, & Social Scoring dominate the Social 6 roundup

Wow, yesterday was a pretty packed day on the Interwebz. In fact, it was tight enough that ReadWriteWeb's piece on how journalists are using SoundCloud or The Next Web's Can TV go social without being ruined? article didn't make the cut. Oh, and there's the list of 100 Worst Songs Ever from AOL radio that was clicked on & shared an incredibly amount, but I thought that's not what you guys want, is it?*

Here's your Social 6 roundup:

#6: iPad Mini News: Pictures, Pricing, Release Date, Rumors Leak Out (News For Shoppers)

#5: Social search is largely about food & Italian leads the pack [graphic] (The Next Web)

#4: If You're Interested In Influence, Social Scoring Is Of Historic Importance (Fast Company)

#3: For Gilt, selling on Facebook 'was like trying to sell something at a bar' (Business Insider)

#2: Wilcoxson's Ice Cream Sparks Social Media Firestorm (Huffington Post)

#1: Pepsi's head of social sums up his strategy in one word: 'Homophily' (Business Insider)

*Admit it, you clicked on the worst songs ever list.

The Social 6: 8/25/12 News Roundup

Social media in sustainability: your questions answered

This Guardian piece is a Q&A with Dana Poole, a global digital communications consultant with BP. The answers given here are useful not just for a social media practitioner interested in sustainability, but for anyone involved with social marketing in general.

Storytelling, One Frame at a Time

Want a compelling for how visuals elicit engagement on social platforms? Look no further.

Global communications agency M Booth developed this great Infographic from multiple data sources,which was then shared on Mashable, which I then pinned, and later tweeted. Don't you just love how information spreads these days?

Facebook releases update for iPhone/iPad app, claims it's twice as fast

I'll admit I was late on sharing this news: the new "5.0" version of Facebook's iOS app debuted Thursday on the App Store, debuting to largely solid if not spectacular reviews.

What's wrong with Microsoft's new logo, & how to avoid the same mistakes

Microsoft unveiled its new logo this past week, and many have called it an outright failure. While there's truth in the fact that a logo might have less power for a multinational conglomerate for which most people have quite established views already, it's hard to argue logos simply don't matter. This Entrepreneur piece by Jason Fell outlines what went wrong, and how to avoid those pitfalls yourself.

Multiple People Shot Near Empire State Building

I work a few blocks from the Empire State Building, and yet I found out about the situation via social media. Within minutes, the news of the shooting was seemingly everywhere. Yesterday's shooting was another case study in how quickly journalists need to get the story right, as there's such pressure to be the first to report on details.

Apple v. Samsung verdict, & what it means

As you've probably read, a judge had a $1 Billion+ settlement in favor of Apple in its case against Samsung.  We'll probably be dissecting this case for awhile to come, but Rachel King's ZD Net piece begins to frame how Samsung and other phone manufacturers will have to steer pretty clear of designs and gestures originated by Apple in the future. When you think about it, isn't that better for us consumers?

The Social 6: News You Missed Yesterday, 8/22/12 Edition

Fifteen-Year Olds Create Reserverr, Hoping To Replace Your Calendar 

Talk about starting off young: two fifteen year-olds have founded Reserverr, a site that helps users automatically books reservations free of charge. Billy Gallagher reports for TechCrunch on why this deceptively simple app could make waves.

Gannett buys social media ad company Blinq Media

Traditional media player Gannett, which counts USA Today among its properties, announced that it had acquired Blinq Media, an up and coming firm which develops social media ad campaigns. This is just part of the ongoing trend of traditional media firms buying up rising tech companies so they can broaden their digital expertise, especially on social and mobile channels. I'd rate this as a smart move; the traditional media companies that continue to modernize themselves will win, and the ones that don't will eventually go away. Period.

Predictors of In-App Purchases? Not Having Paid Apps And Playing Lots of Games, Apsalar Finds

In-app purchases are turning into the primary way that many mobile developers make their living. In fact, the majority of the top 25 highest-grossing iOS apps are free to start playing! Analytics company Apsalar conducted a deep dive into mobile apps and spending, as Kim-Mai Cutler of TechCrunch reports.

Dave Kerpen & Likeable Media in Inc. Magazine

Very happy for my friends Dave and Carrie Kerpen, who are featured in this month's Inc. Magazine. The Inc. story features how Dave and Carrie built Likeable Media, the social media and word of mouth marketing agency. Pick up the magazine to read their story, as well as some of the fastest-growing small businesses around. In case you can't tell, I *love* the magazine.

Social Media Fan Advocacy & Loyalty Software roundup, courtesy of @JasonFalls 

Social media thought leader (I don't throw that around too often) Jason Falls offers up some great analysis on fan advocacy and loyalty platforms, including 500 Friends, Brandsforce, Zuberance, and more. If you want to understand how to build advocacy and loyalty, and how they're related but different, this is a must-read.

iPhone 5 rendering based on leaked video

‘Leaked’ iPhone 5 Video Reveals Radical New Design

Gee, there's serious interest in the iPhone 5 launch. Are you honestly surprised? This quick Mashable clip links to the "leaked" video for the iPhone 5 teaser, which indicates a relatively substantial deviation from the iPhone 4 and 4S.

The Social 6: Key Stories of The Last 24 hours, 8/9/12

As you guys may be aware, I’m a pretty voracious reader and generally share a bunch of news & reviews via my social platforms. Here’s a countdown of the top six most important articles I’ve shared in the last day. I curate this top six based on number of retweets, clicks, favorites, and mentions, so you guys are a large part of what ends up listed here :).

#6 Backed By $900K From Keith Rabois And Angels, Breakthrough Is Your New Online Shrink

Did you know that one in four Americans suffer from a diagnosable mental illness? To go along with that, only one-third of those people are treated! Its no secret that the poor are a few of many that can't afford treatment. Rip Empson writes for TechCrunch about Breakthrough, launched out of TechCrunch50, and how it offers a way for users to privately connect with mental health professionals via email, phone or HIPAA-compliant video chat.

#5 Y Combinator-Backed Canopy Labs Unveils A Self-Serve Approach To Customer Modeling

Canopy Labs, one of the startups in Y-Combinator’s current class, is aiming to help mid-sized businesses organize their sales leads and focus on high-value customers. Anthony Ha delivers a TechCrunch article outlining Canopy’s value proposition, and how an “actionable and quick” solution is better than a custom solution built in-house.

#4 Boutine Lets Women Build Their Own Virtual Boutiques

A new website called Boutine  allows women to browse and create new looks by mix-and-matching items. Similar to Polyvore in many ways, the website aims to be the place where you actually purchase the items you mix. Founder Pramod Dabir, was inspired to try his hand at a fashion startup after years of working in investment banking thanks to a little inspiration from his then fiancee, now wife. Yet another fashion-focused startup, but this one looks like it has the business model to stick around if it gains any traction.

#3 Apple puts 24-hour suspension on phone based resets of Apple ID passwords, in response to recent hack

Apple put a 24-hour ban on users changing their Apple ID password via phone, after at least one hacker used some phone trickery to get access to users’ accounts.

#2 Google to Include Gmail Results in Search Results

Yesterday, I reported that Google is looking to include Gmail results inside regular web search queries, and explored what this could mean for the future of search. Read the piece to see how to sign up for the private beta.

#1 Square Partners With Starbucks, Raises $25M For Series D; Howard Schultz Joins The Board

While Square started largely at a grassroots level, here’s one more indicator that it’s heading for the bigtime. Beginning this fall, Square will be the exclusive debit and credit card transaction partner for Starbucks across the U.S. Plus, pay with Square users will be able to the nearest Starbucks by accessing the Square Directory from their iPhone or Android phone. This is a huge coup for Square in becoming a mainstream transaction handler.


The Social 6: Key Stories of The Last 24 hours, 8/8/12

#6 The Pitfalls of the Unmanaged Customer Experience

What makes your brand, ultimately, is the experience you give to your customers, not just the product you actually sell them. Yes, we all know this. No, most companies still don’t adhere to this somewhat important rule. Malcolm Carlow writes for E-Commerce Times, and provides some nice, high-level advice on customer service.

#5 Bingo! Facebook Gambles On Games Using Real Money, Not Credits, To Engage Users

Facebook hasn’t had such a good time in the news lately, as I’m sure you’re aware. However, Facebook is rolling out something that could be minor game-changer. Ingrid Lunden, writing for TechCrunch, says not only is this a new way to interact with people but you can win real money! It’s only in the UK for now, but it will be interesting to follow this and see how much traction this gets.

#4 Instagram & foursquare Photo Contest Boosts Engagement Across Social-Mobile Platforms

Interesting case study: Barney’s Beanery ran a two-week photo contest across all its locations and offered prizes such as $100 gift cards and much more. According to Moment Feed writer Joergan Aaboe, Barney’s Beanery sees 66 percent increase in photos taken and tagged to their locations relative to Facebook and foursquare check-ins.

#3 FAQ: Why did Google buy these companies?

Jon Gold, writing for NetworkWorld, gives a rundown about Google's history of acquisitions, and how each one has fit into the company’s strategy. Overall, I'd say Google has acquired pretty intelligently, acquiring expertise where they were lacking.

#2 Why Apple Should Buy Foursquare

Do you believe Foursquare is just another app? At the moment it doesn't have much room to grow, according to many; even though I’m a big fan of the app, usage is nowhere near some other social platforms. However Jon Mitchell writes for ReadWriteWeb and says Foursquare would be a perfect fit to be purchased and embedded into Apple’s iOS strategy.

#1 Facebook Introduces Mobile Ad Unit to Promote Apps

Mobile is becoming an increasingly important part of going social, and Facebook simply won’t be competitive if it can’t find a way to monetize mobile media. Given that, only a few weeks after the debut of its first-ever ad unit for mobile,  Facebook is releasing a new mobile unit in beta, so that app developers can better promote their apps.

Guys, read my lips, this is the start of something pretty major.

The Social 6: Key Stories of The Last 24 hours, 8/3/12

As you may know, I’m a pretty voracious reader and generally share a bunch of news & reviews via my social platforms. Here’s a countdown of the top six most important articles I’ve shared in the last day. I curate this top six based on number of retweets, clicks, favorites, and mentions, so you guys are a large part of what ends up listed here :).

#6 Image Ad Startup Cortica Raises $7M From Li Ka-Shing's Horizons Ventures And Ynon Kreiz

Cortica announced that they have raised $7 million in funds. The company's image recognition technology helps serve up incredibly relevant ads; just take a look at the example inside this article. TechCrunch blogger, Anthony Ha, says the money comes from Horizons Ventures, the firm owned by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing, and from Ynon Kreiz, the former chairman and CEO of the Endemol Group, the world’s largest independent TV production company.

#5 Sign and Send Contracts From Your iPhone For Free With HelloSign

Not quite a social story, but bear with me - this is a pretty big productivity booster! HelloFax, the company that allows you to send and receive digital faxes, has spun off its digital signature service into a new product called HelloSign. Emily Price, writer for Mashable, says documents can be signed and securely returned to their sender from both the web and the company’s new iPhone application. Unlike other services and apps that are already out there, digital signatures using the service are free and unlimited so you can send and receive just a few documents with no cost.

#4 Why Is Great Service So Rare?

Great service is something that every customer wishes to have at all times. Everyone loves a customer-friendly brands like Zappos, and gets weak in the knees when a customer service rep actually treat us to great service. Who couldn't agree with that? But besides the obvious business advantages, outstanding service remains frustratingly mysterious, as contributor Dorie Clark outlines in this Forbes piece.

#3 Is Social Media Destroying Real-World Relationships? [INFOGRAPHIC]

It's no secret that social media allows us to organize our real-world relationships.It allows you to meet new people outside the digital realm — both of which can be great, life-enhancing things. Sam Laird writes on Mashable asking if social networking could have an adverse effect on our quality of life? After all, 24% of respondents to a recent survey indicated that they had missed out on participating in a major event in person because they were too busy documenting their life online. Pretty useful infographic included in this piece, too.

#2 Rumor: Google Puts A Hold On New Google+ Acquisitions

Frederic Lardinois and Alexia Tsotsis report for TechCrunch that Google may be putting a stop to all acquisitions related to Google+, at least until the end of this year. Google is cautious of both growing the Google+ team right now and providing the product with any more resources until January. It will be interesting to see if Google+ marketing spend goes down in the short-term. Is Google looking to see if Google+ can continue its forward momentum without as much of a concentrated push on their part? Could be. At a certain point, Google+ has to succeed or not on its own merits.

#1 8.7% of Facebook accounts are fake? Still, that leaves 872m bona fide users.

According to Paul Sawers, writer for The Next Web, 8.7% of Facebook accounts are fake, as CNET noted earlier today. That means about 83m users, if we’re using the 955m figure announced by Facebook recently. While  this obviously leaves Facebook with a pretty significant number of worldwide adoptees, the amount of accounts purported to be fake is pretty staggering.

The Social 6: Key Stories from The Last 24 hours, 8/2/12

As you may know, I’m a pretty voracious reader and generally share a bunch of news & reviews via my social platforms. Here’s a countdown of the top six most important articles I’ve shared in the last day. I curate this top six based on number of retweets, clicks, favorites, and mentions, so you guys are a large part of what ends up listed here :).

#6 5 Ways to Get Email Overload Under Control

Email's still one of the top ways that people are going social on a daily basis, but "email hell" is an issue for many of us. I'll confess, email is a pretty significant weakness of mine - which you may know if you've ever emailed me. Dmitri Leonov of Mashable says the only good news is that you’re not alone and that the average person gets more than one hundred emails per day. This piece has a number of great suggestions to keep email at bay, including but not limited to the super-useful Inbox Zero philosophy.

#5  13 Tumblrs to Satisfy Your Olympic Appetite

Are you a big Olympic follower and are waiting for the next big Olympic event? Well, I'm not. I could just never get into the Olympics the way it seems 95% of my colleagues do. That said,  Tumblr has plenty fan-made sites that will keep you entertained and on top of all the latest Olympic developments. Christine Erickson of Mashable uses this piece to highlight some of the best.

#4 Pinterest adds new categories and is rolling out a redesigned repinning process

Pinterest has just added new categories, which could have a pretty big impact in terms of what types of content people curate onto Pinterest. The new categories include Quotes, Tattoos, and Weddings. Given how specific these categories are, we’ll probably see more appear as long as the site continues to grow in popularity. Plus, this piece has more on Pinterest's reported upcoming redesign of its popular repinning feature.

#2 Pinfluencer Gets Around the Pinterest Analytics Problem

More Pinterest news! Pinterest hasn’t been very friendly to people who try to use its site for commercial purposes. Liz Gannes of AllThingsD says the site flags short URLs and strips tracking codes, both of which are standard practice for brands in social media. Pinfluencer sits on top of Pinterest, rather than helping with any kind of tracking into user pinning and repinning activity.

#2 Psst. Facebook Turned On Its App Center Worldwide Overnight [Updated]

Facebook continues to make efforts into furthering its dominance as a social platform. Ingrid Lunden of TechCrunch reports that the company has now made its App Center, the storefront for Facebook desktop and mobile applications, available across most of the world. The App center went global overnight between 7/31 and 8/1, reportedly. It had already been overnight in most of the English-speaking world and a few other key markets - but the global rollout means that Facebook is doubling down on pushing itself as the dominant social platform across all devices and form factors.

#1 Google Buying Social Media Startup Wildfire

Here's a small piece I shared about Google's acquisition of Wildfire from Time's Techland section. Wildfire, one of the leading social media marketing companies, is now joining the Google empire - just like Salesforce purchased Buddy Media and Oracle acquired Vitrue. Not only does this show how the bigger players are looking to add social media marketing for business to their repertoire, but it also shows a concerted effort for these companies to have some ability to "keep tabs" on Facebook, by acquiring firms that leverage Facebook as their primary marketing channel.