At first glance, you might mistake Clipboard, the impressively-backed web clipping service, for yet another Pinterest clone. But any similarities are only skin deep. Clipboard’s real rivals are things like Evernote’s web clipper, SpringPad, Delicious, Dropbox and Microsoft’s OneNote. That’s because, explains Clipboard CEO Gary Flake, Pinterest is about expressing an aspiration, but Clipboard is about getting things done.For half a year, the company has been trucking along in a private, invite-only beta. But today, it’s open to all with a fresh redesign in tow and a new button for website owners.Granted, there are several similarities between Pinterest and Clipboard. For starters, its collections are also called “boards.” And they’re laid out graphically, with a heavy emphasis on the image associated with the clipped content. But Clipboard isn’t just for clipping an inspiring or pretty picture – it can clip all kinds of stuff, including slideshows (like those from SlideShare), audio, a functioning web app (like an online calculator), an online game, and more. And the clips are functional, too. The calculator works, the games play, you can click the links in the copied text.
Welcome to the new Bitly. Today the URL shortener unveiled its major redesign with a focus on its social bookmarking features. Other updates include the ability to search for these bookmarks, beefed-up profiles, and the release of Bitly’s first iOS app (iTunes link). Unfortunately, the new design sacrifices the URL shortening experience to instead compel users to sign up.The impact of Bitly’s importance on the Internet has been unprecedented as the site sees 300 million of its Bitly links clicked on daily, with a total of over 25 billion Bitly links saved since the URL shorteners’ inception in 2008. Yet, the company is shifting its resources with an emphasis on its social bookmarking features, which Bitly has coined as “bitmarks.”This emphasis is evident. On Bitly’s landing page, you’ll notice that the URL shorting form itself has been push to the bottom of the screen. Instead, your eyes will immediately be greeted by a “Learn More” call to action, accompanied by Facebook and Twitter sign in buttons.
Pinterest may be the hot new social network on the web, but the idea behind the site isn’t exactly new — in fact, it dates back to at least 2006. Writing for GigaOM, Yelp co-founder David Galbraith has briefly detailed the history of Wists, a site he launched six years ago that is functionally quite similar to Pinterest. “I get too much credit for RSS and for Yelp,” Galbraith says, “but the one thing that I can unashamedly claim to have invented is visual bookmarking.” Wists let users add images to the site using a bookmarklet, and just like with Pinterest, much of the community took to using it as a sort of virtual shopping list — the site even adopted the tagline “social shopping.”So where did Wists go wrong? Galbraith provides a few potential reasons. For one, he never acquired the resources necessary to turn the site from a “quick and dirty prototype” to something slick and polished like Pinterest. He also feels that the site launched too early, as networks that could help drive growth like Facebook weren’t near as big as they are today. “The lesson to be learned here is that first to market is not as important as sometimes claimed,” he explains. “Most successful internet platforms are second or third generation versions of an earlier idea.” Wists is actually still live, so you can check it out to see what Pinterest might have looked like had it launched a few years ago.
Pinterest was the breakout star of 2011. It changed the way many thought about social media and online behavior. Mashable listed Pinterest’s gender breakdown as 68% female in February. As more users join Pinterest that number will likely close. Still, it leaves an obvious opportunity for a number of “man-ups” like Gentlemint, DudePins, Manteresting and Dartitup. Also, theCHIVE mentioned in a previous interview that they will introduce a “game-changer” called Tapiture to their established network. An old question comes to mind when introducing a product or service to the market. Is it better to be first or best? In this case, it’s the latter. There’s enough competition. Now it will come down to two things.
After a consistent stream of bad news from Yahoo’s executive offices, the fading giant search company has finally launched a big new development that takes on its core business challenge: staying relevant. The company on Thursday launched its own Web browser called Yahoo Axis.Axis is centered around searching, bookmarking, and content syncing across multiple devices. While Yahoo says Axis is both a desktop and mobile browser, it is really just a mobile browser for the iPad and iPhone, and a plug-in for Safari/Chrome/IE/Firefox which amounts to a little more than a “next-gen Yahoo Toolbar.”With that being said, Yahoo in 2012 has moved toward adopting a “mobile first” strategy, and third-party browser share in the mobile realm is still up for grabs, so concentrating on its mobile application is a solid maneuver.
From Twitter to Facebook, to Google+, to YouTube, to Foursquare and more, social media use is the hottest thing in marketing. But does it really work?Brands and businesses are certainly making a stronger push than ever on social media, which makes sense — that’s where the people are. Figuring out just how much social media marketing returns on investments of time and money, however, is harder to do.Facebook marketing company Pagemodo recently pulled research from sources around the web to produce the infographic below, looking at just how much faith marketers have in social media. The aggregated data shows a sense of conservative optimism.Sixty-four percent of business owners say social media marketing is a promising tactic and they believe it provides returns — but they aren’t willing to go all in with it just yet and favor a more cautious approach. Another 20% are more bullish on its potential, according to the same study, while just 6% are hardcore skeptics.
Today’s internet users are bombarded with content. As a result, they are tuning out the noise and raising the bar on the content they choose to pay attention to.For social media marketers, this means that it is more important than ever to understand what content will resonate with target groups and which will fall flat. Without good ways to identify the content preferences of target groups, the only option is to throw marketing mud against the wall and hope that it sticks — an approach that is costly, more likely to fail, and may damage the credibility of budding social media programs in the eyes of senior management.Measuring the social engagement elicited by different types of content can help social media marketers pinpoint what is effective — and what isn’t worth precious time and budget. Here are three ways to do it.
An ex-Digg user by the moniker of “Zetadog” has a crafty idea, proposing to create an alternative to the ever-decreasing popularity of social media bookmarking site Digg.com.His creation, called Thruzt, is tied in with the game of social media and networking. Where getting attention is up to your own creativity. The goal of Thruzt is to build up your network in order to attract attention to user-submitted content.Thruzt focuses on serving as a tool for bloggers and journalists. But it’s not exclusive to the former — it’s for anyone with something to share with the world. The emphasis of Thruzt is really about building strength in an active social media community that can generate traffic to third-party sites.
It’s been three and a half weeks since Google unleashed the wrath of Penguin upon the world, and if like me, you suffered at the wrath of what is usually considered a rather docile and friendly bird, you may be feeling some undue hostility towards Penguins right about now. Fear not I’m here today to give you a plan of action to get your site back on track to page 1!
Your small business needs advertising if it wants to survive and grow. But because you don’t have a huge budget you have to find ways to get “free advertising.” One of your best bets is to get “free press.”Free press is a game changer, and fortunately the social media revolution has really made connecting with journalists a whole lot easier than it was in the past. There are so many tools and tips out there and ways to connect with them. Influential bloggers are even right at your fingertips.So, let me show you some ways I’ve used these new rules to get press for my businesses and my clients.
Measuring the impact of social media on your bottom line is one of the most pressing challenges that marketers have when they first dive into their data. Without clear social media goals and KPIs, analysts find themselves spending hours in front of the screen scratching their heads and asking “where do I start?”Today, we will take a deep dive into our analytics reports and look at how we can slice and dice our data to get more value out of our social media. But first, let’s get a few definitions out of the way so we know how we classify our traffic.
Web startups are made out of two things: people and code. The people make the code, and the code makes the people rich. Code is like a poem; it has to follow certain structural requirements, and yet out of that structure can come art. But code is art that does something. It is the assembly of something brand new from nothing but an idea.This is the story of a wonderful idea. Something that had never been done before, a moment of change that shaped the Internet we know today. This is the story of Flickr. And how Yahoo bought it and murdered it and screwed itself out of relevance along the way.Do you remember Flickr’s tag line? It reads “almost certainly the best online photo management and sharing application in the world.” It was an epic humble brag, a momentously tongue in cheek understatement.
Even if most small businesses don’t understand search engine optimization (SEO), that doesn’t mean they can’t be helped by it. For those who don’t know SEO from their CEO, it is in essence a means of improving the ranking of your business in the Google search algorithm. This in turn, can help a business move up in Google’s search listing. Sonam Lama, CEO of Achieve Visibility, a SEO site specializing in helping small- and medium-size businesses, says there are a few quick fixes that small businesses can take to help improve their Google rankings. The best part is they are free and simple.
In an effort to gain traction in the search engine space historically dominated by Google, Microsoft’s Bing search engine will soon integrate Facebook’s and Twitter’s social features into its search results. Unveiled Thursday, the changes mark a fundamental redesign in how Bing displays search results.Microsoft is counting on the new format to help Bing gain a significant share of the search market, something it has been unable to do up to this point, shadowed by Google’s popularity. This is partly prompted by the fact that Microsoft’s online division has lost more than $6.3 billion since Bing’s debut in June 2009.Bing has been mining Microsoft’s close relationship with Facebook to provide more personalized results for the past two years, but it hasn’t been enough for most Web surfers to take notice. However, the new changes, effective next month, will be dramatic, and come with a full marketing blitz complete with TV and Internet ads.
You have heard it all before – Social media is an important element to your marketing strategy. You have heard it so many times in fact, that you are now blind and deaf to the topic. So Class of 2012 pay attention!I assume you are one of the following three groups regarding social media and its effect on SEO.You/your company:Use social media and understand its importance.Use social media and have no understanding how it affects SEO.Do no social media and have no understanding how it affects SEO.If you somehow fall into “Do no social media and understand how it affects SEO” then I hazard a guess you are just about to launch your social media marketing campaign. I hope so.
It’s quite likely that your customers (depending on the audience demographic) are addicted to it. While it may appear irrelevant for your business, I wouldn’t discount the social media darling quite yet.I’m referring to the Palo Alto-based social networking and visual bookmarking site, Pinterest. Co-founded by Ben Silberman, Paul Sciarra, and Evan Sharp, relatively unknown entrepreneurs (until recently), the three founders managed to secure financial backing from Silicon Valley and $37.5 million in venture capital to propel their growth.Not too shabby for a company that has been hailed as the next big thing in social media. Rumor even has it that the site, developed in late 2009, is now driving more referral traffic than Google+.
When asked about brand building strategies, marketers in a recent Forrester survey said that search and social media were neck-and-neck. Search won by a nose thanks to business to business marketers who rated social media lower than business to consumer marketers. But overall, it’s clear that social media is having a big impact.Digging a little deeper we see that online video is hot with the B2B crowd (who knew) while mobile is the weapon of choice for B2C.
As one who has read, dissected and written about many a study regarding social media, brands and consumers, I can tell you I for one was quite surprised to see read the findings of a survey recently conducted by Market Force – a worldwide leader in customer intelligence solutions.In querying more than 12,000 consumers in the US and UK, they wanted to see how consumers engaged with varying industries – retail, restaurant, travel, entertainment and financial businesses to be specific, via the big dogs of social media: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.One finding which was not surprising was the fact that 81% of US respondents indicated posts from their friends directly influenced their purchase decision. This finding supports an early study done by the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council and Lithium, a social media tech firm, which revealed 80% of respondents “tried new things based on friends’ suggestions.”
GOLDMAN Sachs is advertising for a “social media strategist”. The investment behemoth has 3,700 followers on @goldmansachs but hasn’t tweeted one dicky bird yet. That looks set to change, and staff are reportedly getting tutorials on how to best use Facebook for work, now that Goldman is a €400m investor there.If the multibillion earning ‘Vampire Squid’ is taking social media seriously, your business probably should too.You can do a lot for absolutely no money (though it will cost you time). Think you don’t need to bother? There are 1.8 million Irish ‘active users’ of Facebook and 200,000 on Twitter. Are these audiences you can afford to ignore?Here are some do’s and don’ts to help you start turning hashtags into hard cash.
OK, this is cool. A new networking utility called Hachi is taking some of the best functionality offered by LinkedIn (searching by name, company, title, etc. and seeing how you’re connected to other users), and is merging that with your social graphs from other services like Facebook, and soon Google contacts, Twitter and even your Outlook address book. That way, you can see who you know where – meaning, the actual path of connections between you and another person – even if you’re not connected on LinkedIn.Um, totally bookmarking this.Also cool: unlike LinkedIn, the service isn’t limited to 2nd or 3rd degree connections – it can go deeper than that. And it can offer cross-network paths to get you from point A to point B. For example, it can show you how you’re connected to PersonA via LinkedIn, who knows PersonB on Facebook, who’s connected to PersonC via Twitter (Twitter integration goes live next week).
Facebook introduced a new feature to Facebook Timeline that will allow people to perform new functions from stories that appear in their news feed, timeline or ticker. The new feature is being called “action links.”In the announcement, Facebook uses geo-locational social app Foursquare as an example. They say that when someone checks into a location using Foursquare and they share that check in with friends on Facebook, the Facebook update will appear with a small link beside the others that are typically included such as “Like” and “Comment.”The “action links” that can be added to the various updates that show up in someone’s timeline, news feed and ticker will be created by the Facebook developers that are building apps for Facebook’s Open Graph initiative.
There are rumors floating around that the once popular bookmarking site Digg is being acquired by the Washington Post. TechCrunch reported that the staff has been acquired, but the site itself has not.Anthony Ha explains, “In other words, this is a talent acquisition, and in fact Digg properties, patents, and assets are still for sale.”So Digg staff will be heading over there to work on enhancing and perfecting current projects with the Washington post, but does that mean the actual Digg site will get shut down for good? It’s hard to say for certain, but it definitely looks like it might happen.So long, Digg. It was nice knowing you, but I honestly haven’t used you in years.
There’s information all over the web. Consider the following scenario: you come across an enticing article, but you’ve got other things to do before you can get around to reading it. What do you do? Leave it open in your browser? Email the link to yourself? No, you use your favorite bookmarking tool so you can easily access it later when you have time. But what if you don’t have a favorite bookmarking tool? Well, that’s why we put the following list together featuring some of the best tools on the web today.