Quora, Chain.ly, Coca-Cola, The Walking Dead: The Social 6 News Roundup for 9/6/12

The last 24 hours saw a nice mix of news, from Coca-Cola and The Walking Dead's major milestones to a hot new startup, a great piece on how to best leverage Google+ to make connections, and more. Let's get to it:

#6: Chain.ly Is the Craigslist for Finding People Who Can Help Out

"Chain.ly is a community board that wants to impact the world by making Internet-driven connections less serendipitous. While Twitter hashtags or Reddit campaigns can sometimes lead to success, Chain.ly hopes it will be a go-to platform for people to find the help they need...co-founder Bruno Ligutti added, 'We want to position Chain.ly as the Craigslist meets Kickstarter — not a fundraising website but a social platform for asking for help.'"

#5: Quora Arrives on Android, Complete With Voice Search, Widgets And A Deep Search Integration

"After a long wait, Quora just arrived on Android today...Quora is launching the Android app simultaneously in Google’s Play store and Amazon’s appstore. The app allows you to do almost everything you can on the site."

#4: What my Google Plus “About” Page Does for Me

"The untouched missing element in LinkedIn is the lack of any means of real-time communication...contrast this with Google+: people search terms and tags, come upon content-sharers whom they may not already be following and Circle us or comment on our posts."

#3: ‘The Walking Dead’ Celebrates Facebook Milestone With Awesome Poster

"AMC’s The Walking Dead just passed the 10 million fan mark on Facebook. That’s a big number — especially for a television show on cable TV.To celebrate the event, AMC created an awesome graphic to thank fans of the show. A pitch-perfect homage to the movie poster from 2009′s The Social Network, the graphic even has its own tagline: 'You don’t get 10 million fans without eating a few.'"

#2: With Embeddable Timelines, Twitter Widgets Become More Interactive

"Twitter announced a new feature today that’s supposed to make it easier for publishers to embed a timeline of relevant tweets — the company describes it as a way for 'publishers, writers, developers, and any Twitter user to drop a rich, interactive piece of Twitter into their websites.'”

#1: Coca-Cola Is First Retail Brand to Pass 50 Million Facebook Fans

"Coca-Cola passed 50 million fans on Facebook shortly after 9 a.m. Tuesday...[it] is the first retail brand to hit this milestone. Disney, Converse and Starbucks, three of the other most popular retail brands, each have fewer than 40 million fans on Facebook at the moment."

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The Social 6: 8/31/12 News Roundup

The last 24 hours or so had a bunch of news (& views), considering it's late August. Here are some of the highlights:

#6: The #1 Oversight in Social Media Community Building

"No matter now compelling your content, how widespread your reach, how generous your reward, community attrition will be the undoing of any social media campaign leaving you to constantly rebuild sand castles at the foot of waves.To avoid this a brand of any size launching nay campaign must studiously walk through five stages:..."

#5: Facebook Sponsored Stories: Engaging Content is More Important than Ever

"Brands wanting to connect with fans need to be even more creative about the content they post, especially if you plan to use Sponsored Stories. Your fans still want to look smart in front of their friends, share funny photos and feel like they have a connection to something larger than themselves. Even if you pay for that positioning, these rules still apply."

#4: Bing rolls out a dedicated tool for searching your friend’s Facebook pictures

"Today, Bing announced and released ‘Friends’ Photos,’ a tool that allows you to search the social giant for specific pictures that your friends have uploaded....Bing’s recent redesign includes Facebook integration, but this new tool is a singular tool, unlike the right side-bar in the New Bing."

#3: Twitter launches 'Certified Products' to further encourage the apps it wants

"Twitter launched a new certified products platform Wednesday. The program is initially launching with three verticals Twitter says are “based on the needs we see from partners every day” — Engagement Products, Analytics Products, and Data Reseller Products...the 12 partners launching today are Attensity, ExactTarget, HootSuite, Mass Relevance, Radian6, Sprinklr, SocialFlow, Crimson Hexagon, Dataminr, Topsy, DataSift, and Gnip."

#2: Is Google selling off a portion of Motorola?

"Google (GOOG) supposedly wants to sell a portion of its recent acquisition of Motorola, and has hired Barclays Plc (BCS) to do the dirty work of finding a buyer. Google wants to sell the “Home Business” division of the messy ex-techno-giant, which it acquired for $12.5 billion in May. Bloomberg opines that this unit might net about $2 billion."

#1: I Am A President -- Obamamania Shuts Down Reddit

"In another social-media first, President Barack Obama took to Reddit today to become the first sitting head of state to moderate the site's "AMA," or, ask me anything, series. 

The chat lasted an hour, and got so much attention that it shut the site down during his post."

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The Social 6: 8/24/12 News Roundup

As you may know, I’m a voracious reader and tend to share a good deal of news 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: Nicholas Sparks Beat Box Office Predictions After Social Media Campaign

While this is old news in that The Lucky One came out earlier in the year, Jason Boog of Galleycat shows how author Nicholas Sparks used social media to spark (sorry, I tried to avoid it!) increased word of mouth and box office receipts.

#5: News Corp.'s digital chief, Jonathan Miller (former AOL CEO) is stepping down, as company prepares to split

News Corp.'s Jonathan Miller, who has led its digital efforts for a year years, is stepping down. This is just one of many executive moves since the company announced it would be splitting its traditional publishing business from the company's other properties. Miller's departure is just another sign that News Corp. is going through a pretty significant overhaul.

#4: Facebook Has 44% Fake Followers; Twitter Has 33%

The @facebook account on Twitter's following is 44% fake, and @twitter's number is at 33%. That's according to the new online tool provided by StatusPeople, a social media management company out of London, that looks at a Twitter account's following and estimates its number of fake, inactive, and authentic followers. I've tried this tool, and while I can't (yet) attest to their entire methodology, it's certainly a good place to start. From some of the accounts I've tested already using their tool, it appears that it's at the very least a good tool to get a directional sense of whether or not you have an inactive/fake follower problem.

#3: Mayor Bloomberg & NYC launches digital toolkit for small businesses

Mashable, Google, Tumblr, Weebly have partnered with the City of New York to provide small businesses a digital education program to, essentially, start kicking butt and taking names with respect to their digital aptitude. Rachel Sterne, NYC's Chief Digital Officer, will be teaching the Digital Toolkit's first course on September 20th. All in all, a really cool initiative to give small businesses some of the tools they need to compete effectively.

#2: 7 Ways YouTube Can Grow Its Platform

Is YouTube still one of the top social platforms, and the web brand most associated with video? Absolutely. However, it's important to continuously innovate and address its challenges to stay ahead. In my second piece for Mashable, I outlined ways that YouTube can accomplish just that, some of which are already in the process of being addressed (good for them!).

#1: 3 of 4 CMOs Say Social Media Impacts Sales

This Forbes piece shares results of a Bazaarvoice survey asking 100 members of the CMO Club how they feel about social media. While it's a pretty small sample size, over half of the CMO respondents represent brands with over $1 billion in annual revenue, so it's very interesting -- and important -- to note their results on how social media affects sales.

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The Social 6: Stories You Missed Yesterday, 8/21/12 edition

#6: Internet and Attitude, a Powerful Combination

The NY Times Room for Debate typically has some interesting conversations going on, and this piece by Spencer Ackerman of Wired.com isn't any exception. Nice discussion of Russia's Pussy Riot controversy, and how social platforms like YouTube and Twitter played major parts in the story.

#5: Coca-Cola worried about Ottawa Public Health campaign

Jessica Smith writes in the Metro about a compelling story: some Coca Cola managers in Ottawa have written letters to the city's Mayor, expressing their misgivings over Ottawa Public Health's planned social media campaign about sugar-sweetened beverages. Key takeaway from this piece: just because you can raise social media awareness for your business or cause's issues, doesn't mean your opponents can't use "going social' tactics to respond in kind.

#4: A Hidden Evil of Google Plus

Margie Clayman writes a really nice Business 2 Community article talking about how Google Plus' privacy settings have had a negative impact on Google Analytics, and getting to know your customers better. Kind of interesting how Google's social platform, in some ways, hurts site owners when it comes to going social with customers!

#3: PR and Social Media: A Beautiful Relationship

This Business 2 Community piece was shared my good friends at DKNY on Twitter, letting it reach a pretty sizable audience -- many of which found this pretty interesting! Laura Szatkowski writes from the perspective of a young PR person building a career, and noticing how social media can really benefit a PR career. Worth a read for PR mavens in the making, but also for young people in general.

#2: Here’s Why Zuckerberg Needs to Stay as Facebook’s CEO

This piece by yours truly elicited considerable interest, especially considering how many investors and pundits have looked for reasons why Facebook's stock has sunk so low. Zuckerberg is really not the problem, which I outlined in this piece that a number of you found interesting.

Beyoncé for World Humanitarian Day. Photo: Cliff Watts

#1: For World Humanitarian Day, Beyoncé Helps Makes Social Media History

Did you know World Humanitarian Day was August 19th? I admittedly missed it, and personally, I think it ought to be a bigger deal. MTV News Australia shares news about how Beyoncé collaborated with the United Nations to help raise awareness for World Humanitarian Day, and how social media played a part.

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The Social 6: Key Stories of The Last 24 hours, 8/16/12

Without any further ado, here's a roundup of what I shared, and what you guys found interesting, over the last 24 hours:

#6 AfterCollege Relaunched, Looks To Build A LinkedIn For College Students And Recent Grads

AfterCollege is now looking to be, in essence, the “young LinkedIn.” There’s more to it, of course, and Rip Empson writes a great article on TechCrunch outlining what the new AfterCollege looks like.

#5 Campaigns' calls for voter videos going unanswered

Both major presidential candidates are seeking homemade videos created by voters, but surprisingly, there is very little user-generated content being submitted. Callum Borchers wrties a great piece for The Boston Globe explaining what’s going on.

#4 6 Paid-Owned-Earned Ideas in Retail from eTail's Social Day

Allison Tepley writes for AddThis’ blog, sharing insights from eTail’s Social Commerce & Engagement Summit, and which themes and topics were front and center.

#3 Google Plus Starts Offering Vanity URLs

Google+ is stepping up its game by offering vanity URLs at long last! Sanjeez Ramachandran delievers a piece with a great explanation. Unfortunately,  they’re only for verified accounts right now, but it’s a good, necessary step for the social platform.

English: Barnes & Noble Nook
English: Barnes & Noble Nook (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

#2 Barnes & Noble Tosses Nook to the Discount Pile

B&N is cutting the retail price of their Nooks, looking to be possibly the most inexpensive option on the tablet market. If this works, I’m all for it: the healthier the Nook can be, the more likely we are to have Barnes & Noble stick around.

#1 Pinterest Nudges Users Off the Couch and Into the World With New Android and iPad Apps & There’s more: Pinterest is launching for the Kindle Fire later this week

This is a tie between two articles that both touch on how Pinterest is becoming so much more than a browser-based experience. With this week’s releases, it’s pretty clear that Pinterest is looking to do whatever it takes to put its platform in front of as many people and as many devices as possible. I’d say they’re doing a good job of becoming more ubiquitous.

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The Social 6: Key Stories of The Last 24 hours, 8/14/12

#6 Now In 20 Cities, Startup Grind Aims To Inspire The Next Generation Of Global Entrepreneurs

Rip Empson writes for TechCrunch profiling Startup Grind, an event-based community for entrepreneurs.

#5 How Maker Camp uses Google+ to give teens a behind-the-scenes look at tech and science

Now here’s a pretty cool initiative: a new summer camp is in the making and the markers are Google and Make Magazine! This new online camp is targeted at 13 to 18 year olds that want to learn more about science and technology. Anna Heim writes for The Next Web explaining more about this new online initiative.

#4 Answer Underground Aims To Be A Mobile-Focused Quora For Education, Hits The iPad This Week

Did you know there are 3.7 billion web searches every month for education-related topics? I sure didn’t. Sallie Severns, formerly of Answers.com, founded and created Answer Underground, to help fill this information niche. Answers Underground is a mobile-focused learning utility created to help students share information and get answers quickly. Rip Empson shares more details in this TechCrunch piece.

Kim Dotcom

#3 Kim Dotcom promises that disruptive new music service, Megabox, will launch this year

Writing for The Next Web, Jon Russell says Dotcom's new venture, Megabox, will allow artist to sell music to direct users, and is said to launch before the end of the year.

Mindy Kaling
Mindy Kaling (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

#2 Case Study: Twitter and Mindy Kailing

An article on Pocket Stop’s Basement Blog about Mindy Kaling, , and how her new show on Fox, The Mindy Project, might not have gotten off the ground without the strength of her voice on Twitter. This is a great lesson for any sole proprietor or personality: having a strong “social voice” clearly can pay huge financial dividends.

#1 Google makes another huge move in travel with rumored acquisition of Frommer's 

Fresh off of acquiring Zagat a few months back, Google is  now acquiring Frommer's brand of travel guides! Brad McCarty writes for The Next Web outlines the move, which should improve Google’s travel-planning searches.

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The Social 6: The Weekend Recap, 8/13/12

You know the drill by now: 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 Tips to Take Food Photos Good Enough to Eat

I think most people can agree, seeing great pics of food can make you hungry. Samantha Murphy delivers a great piece on Mashable giving you tips on how to take great food photos using your smartphone.

#5 5 Reasons Why Your Social Media Training Will Fail

There are things to always keep in mind so your social media training does not fail. This Business 2 Community piece by Kate Rose gives 5 reasons why training fails, and some tips for making sure this doesn’t happen to you.

#4 Stronger, Faster, Nastier

The Summer Olympics had plenty of viewers and pundits going social, turning to social media and traditional media to criticize Olympians in real-time. Even if you’re not remotely involved in the Olympics, this is a great piece to read to get an understanding of the problems with media scrutiny in 2012 and how to best deal with it.

#3 Funded! Dalton Caldwell’s Twitter alternative App.net reaches $500,000 funding goal

App.net , a “real-time social feed without the ads,” reached its funding goal ahead of time. The approach Dalton Caldwell and his team have taken is commendable: reaching out to users and developers first, with the goal of putting them ahead of advertisers. There’s an alpha available at https://alpha.app.net/global/ if you want to check it out. Great project and worth rooting for.

#2 Paul Ryan Is Gabe From 'The Office'

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


The most newsworthy story this weekend undoubtedly had to be Mitt Romney's selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate. While there's tons of serious analysis out there, Amanda Wills takes a different approach, and posts a great slideshow illustrating the similarities between Gabe and Paul Ryan. Nice to see that Gabe Lewis is (in a way) finally getting what he's always wanted - a shot at the bigtime. Personally, I've noticed some similarities between Gabe and VP nominee Paul Ryan, so it's nice to see I'm not the only one.

#1 Viewpoint: 11 Reasons a 23-Year-Old Shouldn't Run Your Social Media

Wow. This story sure elicited plenty of feedback and retweets from you guys. I think the provocative title may have helped.

Technology is changing at a rapid pace, sure; however that doesn't mean you must hire a 23 year-old to manage your social media. Hollis Thomases writes for TIME Business and offers some great guidance. Don't be misled by the title of this article; the analysis inside is a serious, thoughtful approach to how a brand should be handling its social strategy.

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[BREAKING] Google to Include Gmail Results in Search Results

Want to get Gmail search results whenever you run a Google query? Looks like that's what the future of search may look like.

Google is running a field trial to see how this goes. To sign up for the trial, go to http://g.co/searchtrial. The experiment is limited to just 1 million users and not available for Google Apps accounts, so not all of you will be able to participate.

Side note: as a Google Apps user, it's unfortunate that Google continues to, in a way, treat paying customers (i.e. Google Apps users) worse than non-paying customers (Gmail users).

Key takeaway from this story? The future of search entails personalized search, and no more generic search results. And, that's a good thing. However, it remains to be seen how this increased relevancy can be directly monetized.

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 from This Past Weekend, 8/6/12

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 I Respect Your Social Media Community- Do You Respect Mine?

“You can’t just go head first and sell into a community you don’t know,” writes Pam Moore, one of my favorite writers and marketers. This piece is full of thought-provoking questions that will help anyone interested in going social, from a novice marketer to a senior executive. Read Pam’s piece. Really.

#5 Why A/B testing is essential to your startup's campaigns

Companies live and die by how alert they are and how they’re meeting the requests of their customers. But the age-old question is, “How do I know what customers want?” If you’re Steve Jobs, you can make bold statements such as, “It’s not the consumers’ job to know what they want,” but for the rest of us, there’s A/B testing. In this The Next Web piece, Dan Taylor, writes that if you’re not measuring, you’re not marketing. As a huge, huge proponent of A/B testing, this is a must-read.

#4 5 Things Your Digital Agency Isn't Telling You

Delivering sound, successful communications strategies to clients is your 100% focus if you are a digital firm. Jessica Payne argues that, as part of any valued relationship, they should be providing you — the client — with counsel that may not always be easy to swallow.

#3 Will Facebook Ever Let You Edit Posts? Here's Why it Should

Emily Banks of Mashable asks if Facebook will one day give you the ability to edit your status updates. She believes it most likely will, and in the near future. After all, comments can already be edited. Personally, I think this change is long overdue, and I expect to see it implemented before 2012 is over.

#2 McDonald's is answering tough, sometimes bizarre customer questions

McDonald's in Canada has launched a new social media campaign that has been pretty buzzworthy. This FoxNews.com piece reports that since June, McDonald's employees has been answering all kind of questions on its website, “Our Food. Your Questions.” Some of the questions are incredibly bizarre, such as “Does your Egg McMuffin use real eggs?” – but yet McDonald’s is answering them in a transparent, engaging manner. I highly recommend you check out this campaign – it’s a pretty great one.

#1 What will Facebook look like in 2022?

If you study the history of digital powerhouses such as Google, Yahoo, and even Amazon, it’s pretty clear that Facebook will have to reinvent itself on an ongoing basis the Internet landscape changes. Allen Gannett delivers a thoughtful piece on The Next Web exploring what the future may hold for Facebook.