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Pinterest Blogger captures stardom by pinning 5700 images on site.

Christine Martinez spent the past week frolicking on the Caribbean island of St Barts after becoming a star by sharing her sense of style at Pinterest.com.

Pinterest has become the web’s hottest young website, particularly among women, by giving people virtual bulletin boards that they decorate with pictures showcasing interests in anything from food to sports, fashion or travel.

“Gawd I love Pinterest,” fashion blogger Martinez said in a Twitter message fired off between flights on Friday as she made her way back to her home in the Californian city of Oakland

Nearly a million people have signed up to follow Martinez at Pinterest where people “pin” pictures they have taken or, in most cases, plucked from elsewhere on the internet.

“I have a penchant for pretty,” Martinez said in her Pinterest profile, which had a picture of her with her cherished dog ‘Miles.’

As of Saturday, she had 43 Pinterest boards with more than 5700 images reflecting her taste in jewellery, swimsuits, and more.

Pinterest is such an influential fashion venue that chic beachwear label Calypso St Barts took her to the French island territory for a week to “live pin” the label’s swimsuit photo shoot.

“Pinterest is the latest procrastination tool of the masses,” Avery Spofford of fashion website shefinds.com wrote in an online post citing Martinez’s adventure as evidence of Pinterest’s clout.

“Mostly, people just like to look at photos of puppies and cake and interior design,” Spofford continued. “Us, too!”

Pinterest was launched in early 2010 and has been growing at a dizzying rate in the past six months despite being invitation-only. The website reportedly has more than 13 million users.

Pinterest is driving more online traffic to retail websites than social networks LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+ combined, according to a January report from Shareaholic.

The first investor to back in the venture, Brian Cohen, is delighted with its results so far.

“Pinterest’s traffic charts aren’t hockey sticks – they’re rocket ships,” internet tracker RJ Metrics said in an analysis released last month.

“Pinterest is the hottest young site on the internet.”

Brands are leaping onto Pinterest, setting up pages to appeal to prime shopping demographics or forming collaborations such as the one between Martinez’s MilestoStyle.com blog and Calypso.

“The amount of free advertising a brand gets on Pinterest is ridiculous,” blogger Kerry Sauriol wrote at WomenInBizNetwork.com.

“Without even having their own Pinterest boards, clothing companies, furniture designers, tech companies, and on and on have their products pinned and adored,” she continued.

“Think of the marketing power of a brand that does have a board.”

Other websites have begun adding “pin it” buttons inviting visitors to decorate Pinterest pages with images using a single click, according to co-founder Ben Silbermann.

“The last few months have been a whirlwind here at Pinterest,” Silbermann said in a recent blog post. “It’s humbling, and exciting.”

The small Pinterest team works in box of an office in single-story building in downtown Palo Alto in Silicon Valley.

About a dozen engineers were working at rows of desks in an undecorated room when an AFP correspondent visited.

Pinterest said it was too swamped with attention from users and media for interviews.

Rampant pinning of images snagged from the internet has raised concerns about copyright violations at Pinterest.

The website follows procedures set out in US copyright law and has a form at the site for reporting violations, Silbermann explained. Each “pin” has a flag icon for marking pirated content.

“We care about respecting the rights of copyright holders,” Silbermann said.

“Copyright is a complicated and nuanced issue and we have knowledgeable people who are providing lots of guidance.”

Pinterest fans include Dave Morin, a longtime member of the Facebook team who left the leading social network to start Path.

Morin sees Pinterest as part of a trend for people in “the world’s biggest club” Facebook to form sub-groups based on interests or close relationships.

“Now that the world understands how to be social through the internet people want unique experiences in different contexts,” Morin said, noting that Path lets people intimately share with family and close friends.

“Pinterest has a space where you can talk about your deep interests,” he continued. “In my case, deep interests in ski gear or photography gear.”

Sourcd & published by Henry Sapiecha

PepsiCo to launch social

vending machine

(Reuters) – PepsiCo Inc is introducing a “social vending” machine that lets users buy each other drinks remotely, further proof that its decades-old rivalry with Coca-Cola Co is going ever-more high tech.

A prototype of the new technology will debut at a trade show this week in Chicago. Coke started testing its Freestyle vending machine, which has a digital touchscreen and can dispense more than 100 flavor combinations, in 2009.

Pepsi’s new system lets users give their friends a beverage gift by entering the recipient’s name, mobile phone number and a personalized text message or video. The gift is delivered with a system code and instructions to redeem it at any similar machine.

“Social Vending extends our consumers’ social networks beyond the confines of their own devices and transforms a static, transaction-oriented experience into something fun and exciting,” said Mikel Durham, an innovation officer at PepsiCo Foodservice.

The system also allows “random acts of refreshment,” or the ability to buy a drink for a stranger, in situations such as sending “a symbol of encouragement to a city that’s experienced some challenging weather or a congratulatory beverage to a university that just won a championship,” PepsiCo said.

Another technological front in the companies’ ongoing battle is recyclable packaging. Pepsi was second to say it could make a recyclable plastic bottle from plant matter, but its bottle will be made from waste products — such as orange peels and oat husks — whereas Coke’s bottle is derived from sugar cane.

(Reporting by Martinne Geller, editing by Maureen Bavdek)

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

Social networking

leads to sex faster:

Survey finds….

January 25, 2011 – 8:53AM

Nearly four out of five women and three of five men say they believe texting, Facebook and other social media tools for staying connected cause new couples to jump into bed faster, a survey released this week has found.

However, only around 38 per cent of women say they have actually slept with a date any sooner because of digital intimacy, according to the 1200 women and men who participated in the third annual sex survey by Shape and Men’s Fitness magazines.

Smartphones and laptops are the new toys that lead to the bedroom, it said, with almost 80 per cent of women and 58 per cent of men saying social media tools leads to sex much faster.

Texting is the number one way lovers stay in touch, the survey found, with men texting 39 per cent more often than phoning and women 150 per cent more.

Even before the magic begins, 70 per cent of women and 63 per cent of men use Google and other online tools to screen potential dates.

A full 65 per cent of those polled said they had been asked out by text and 49 per cent through a Facebook message.

Once the relationship clicks, 72 per cent of women report scouring a current partner’s ex-girlfriends’ Facebook pages.

Even in the heat of passion, some people just can’t get enough of their digital devices, the survey found.

When a call or text comes in during sex, a full 5 per cent of respondents said they glance to see who is calling and 1 per cent say they stop to answer the phone.

And when the spark is extinguished, digital dumping is the new way to break up, with 43 per cent of women and 27 per cent of men reporting getting a text along the lines of a dear John “It’s not you, it’s me”.

For the heartbroken, the internet keeps hope alive, with 81 per cent of all respondents saying they won’t de-friend an ex on Facebook and 75 per cent admitting to constantly checking a former sweetheart’s page.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

Pope warns of alienation risk

in social networks & virtual friends

Pope Benedict XVI waves to a crowd gathered in Saint Peter's square during his Sunday Angelus blessing at the Vatican January 23, 2011. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

Pope Benedict XVI waves to a crowd gathered in Saint Peter’s square during his Sunday Angelus blessing at the Vatican January 23, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Tony Gentile

By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY | Mon Jan 24, 2011 7:32am EST

(Reuters) – Pope Benedict gave a qualified blessing to social networking Monday, praising its potential but warning that online friendships are no substitute for actual human contact.

The 83-year-old pontiff, who does not have his own Facebook account, set out his views in a message with a weighty title that would easily fit into a tweet: “Truth, proclamation and authenticity of life in the digital age.”

He said the possibilities of new media and social networks offered “a great opportunity,” but warned of the risks of depersonalization, alienation, self-indulgence, and the dangers of having more virtual friends than real ones.

“It is important always to remember that virtual contact cannot and must not take the place of direct human contact with people at every level of our lives,” Benedict said in the message for the Catholic Church’s World Day of Communications.

He urged users of social networks to ask themselves “Who is my ‘neighbor’ in this new world?” and avoid the danger of always being available online but being “less present to those whom we encounter in our everyday life.”

The vast horizons of new media “urgently demand a serious reflection on the significance of communication in the digital age,” he said.

The pope did not mention any specific social networking site or application by name, but sprinkled his message with terms such as “sharing,” “friends,” and “profiles.”

He said social networking can help “dialogue, exchange, solidarity and the creation of positive relations” but he also offered a list of warnings.

“Entering cyberspace can be a sign of an authentic search for personal encounters with others, provided that attention is paid to avoiding dangers such as enclosing oneself in a sort of parallel existence, or excessive exposure to the virtual world,” he said.

“In the search for sharing, for ‘friends’, there is the challenge to be authentic and faithful, and not give in to the illusion of constructing an artificial public profile for oneself.”

The pope is known to write most of his speeches by hand while his aides manage his forays into cyberspace. In 2009, a new Vatican website, www.pope2you.net, went live, offering an application called “The pope meets you on Facebook,” and another allowing the faithful to see the Pope’s speeches and messages on their iPhones or iPods.

The Vatican famously got egg on its face in 2009 when it was forced to admit that, if it had surfed the web more, it might have known that a traditionalist bishop whose excommunication was lifted had for years been a Holocaust denier.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

Twitter + Random Acts of

Kindness =

A Successful Social Campaign

Running out of cereal is usually a problem that one must face on his own. But when David Berkowitz awoke to the dilemma one morning this October, he got some support from an unexpected source. After reading a tweet about his irritation, Edge Shave Gel sent him enough cereal that it should be a very long time before he runs out again.

“I’m still eating the cereal they sent me, so the positive brand association continues,” says Berkowitz.

Since September, 234 people have benefited from similar random acts of kindness from the @EdgeShaveZone Twitter account. As part of Edge’s Anti-Irritation Campaign, a team of two devotes its full-time efforts to seeking, responding to, and relieving irritation across Twitter(Twitter), much of which is conveyed using Edge’s #soirritating hashtag. The team has given out everything from iPads and computers to megaphones and dancing panda YouTube(YouTube) videos in their efforts to “solve irritation.” One woman tweeted that she had voices in her head that were speaking in Spanish — Edge responded with the gift of a Spanish/English dictionary.

In about three months, @EdgeShaveZone has gathered about 1,500 followers, the #soirritating hashtag has been used about 6,800 times, and attention from numerous media outlets has contributed to mounting buzz — all of which likely contributed to Edge’s decision to continue the campaign throughout 2011. Mashable(Mashable) recently spoke with the team at Edelman Digital, that runs the campaign, about the factors that have contributed to its success.


Using Twitter, Not Changing Twitter


Twitter_profWhen was the last time you used Twitter to rave about a product you use every day? Most of us do that quite often. Designing a Twitter campaign that both promotes a brand effectively and fits the platform can be challenging. Instead of trying to change the way that people use the platform, the #soirritating campaign builds on top of what Twitter users are already doing: complaining.“We picked Twitter because we noticed that a truth about Twitter was that people were always talking about how irritated they were about things, and we have a product that matched that truth, which was anti-irritation, so that was a good place for us,” says Katie Facada, the copywriter who composes tweets for @EdgeShaveZone.


The ‘Behind the Social Media Campaign Series‘ is supported by Oneupweb, an agency specializing in search marketing, social media and design for mid-to-enterprise level brands. Keep up with Oneupweb through its blog and monthly newsletter.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha