Archive for August, 2012

Google Plus Goes to the Office

Google Plus Goes to the Office

August 31, 2012  |  Blog  |  No Comments

NYTimes.com - Google announced Wednesday that it is integrating features from Google Plus, its large but underutilized social network, with Google Apps, the online document, calendar and spreadsheet service that Google sells to corporations. (It has free versions for consumers.) The most intriguing feature here is probably the integration of Hangouts, a video chat service for up to 10 people at once, with calendars, e-mail, and documents. It’s still early on, but it’s easy to see how this could be an efficient way to bring workers to a virtual meeting, collaborate during it and embed in a calendar the future work

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Pinterest, Instagram continue meteoric growth

Pinterest, Instagram continue meteoric growth

August 31, 2012  |  Blog  |  No Comments

latimes.com - Pinterest and Instagram, two social networks that gained mainstream popularity in just the last year, are continuing to grow at exponential rates, a new study shows. Weekly visits to Pinterest's website from North American users hit nearly 29 million in July, up from 1.27 million a year earlier, according to Experian Marketing Services. That's an increase of 2,183% for the social network, which has been especially popular among women. Pinterest, which lets users collect and post images the way people do with pinboards in real life, began to see its popularity pick up dramatically early this year. That culminated in

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TV audiences go social as US Republican convention coverage wanes

TV audiences go social as US Republican convention coverage wanes

August 31, 2012  |  Blog  |  No Comments

Reuters - Howling wind, driving rain and potential damage in New Orleans from Hurricane Isaac hasn't yet dampened U.S. Republican convention media coverage, but early TV ratings proved only so-so while many people instead "tuned in" to social networks. Republican fears that Isaac's battering of the U.S. Gulf Coast would steal the spotlight eased on Wednesday, a day after a key speech by Ann Romney, wife of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, stole the show from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. But the biggest problem for the Republicans was less the hurricane and more dwindling interest in convention-watching by the general public,

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Chief innovator in a hoodie

August 31, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Facebook needs its spiritual leader and chief innovator in a hoodie. But it doesn’t need him as CEO, placating investors in a collared shirt. There are plenty of people who could manage the Facebook business. –Reuters blogger John Abell , writing about Mark Zuckerberg after Facebook’s first earnings report

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Bertelsmann soars on ‘Fifty Shades’ success

August 31, 2012  |  Variety  |  No Comments

International News: Random House trilogy boosts bottom line

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Svensk Filmindustri taps Denward

August 31, 2012  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Film News: SFI exec to become head of production

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Zynga Hires a New Executive to Lead Online Gambling Ambitions

August 31, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Zynga has added some firepower to its online gambling ambitions. AllThingsD has learned that Maytal Ginzburg is joining Zynga as the company’s chief operating officer in charge of new markets, according to her LinkedIn profile . As recently as July, she was the SVP of regulated markets at 888holdings, where she was responsible for acquiring customers and other operations. 888 Holdings operates an online portal at 888.com , offering real-money games, such as poker, bingo and sports betting, in markets were online gambling is regulated. More recently, it started to investigate the opportunity in social and mobile gaming through the 2010 acquisition of Mytopia from Real Dice. Ginzburg has not yet started to work at Zynga, but is expected to begin soon. Social Casino Intelligence  was first to point out  that she was hired by the company. A spokesperson declined to comment. The hire is important for the Facebook games maker because it shows that while a number of executives have decided to leave , it can still recruit talent at a very high level. During the company’s last earnings call, CEO Mark Pincus confirmed that its first real-money products were in development and that it believes it has a huge opportunity to leverage its strong casino presence on Facebook, including with Zynga Poker, and newer properties, like Bingo and Slots. Pincus said expect to launch our first real money gaming products in international markets in the first half of 2013, subject to licensing approvals. At this time, it’s unclear what Ginzburg will be doing at Zynga, but from an interview she conducted with a U.K. publication, you can tell Zynga was very much on her radar. She told Inside Poker Business that she believe it was important to integrate social features into 888′s existing products in order to make interactions less serious and more welcoming to casual players. One product that helped a lot was providing PokerCams, which allowed users to see who they were playing online. “We want to attract players who will play for casual entertainment, and we therefore needed to deliver social platforms that are easy to use yet provide all the interactive features users expect,” she told Inside Poker Business, adding later that “the biggest risk we were running was that casual players avoided the product because of a lack of interaction, which is why so many have gone to Zynga.”

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Workday Files for a $400 Million IPO

August 30, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Workday, the fast-growing cloud software company, has filed for a $400 million IPO, a public debut that will likely become one of the most-watched tech offerings in the pipeline. In a document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission today, the company said that the bulk of the proceeds will go toward working capital and other general corporate purposes. Underwriters include Morgan Stanley, Allen & Co., Cowen and Co., Pacific Crest Securities, Canaccord Genuity, Wells Fargo Securities, JMP Securities, J.P. Morgan and Goldman Sachs & Co. The seven-year-old company, which has 1,450 employees, says it has seen tremendous growth for its enterprise resource management software. Over the past three years, the company’s revenue has skyrocketed, increasing 400 percent to $134.4 million. And in the first six months of 2012 it has already booked $119.5 million in revenues. However, the company has a history of losses. In the year ended Jan. 31, it lost $80 million. In the prior year (which is slightly different, because the company changed its fiscal calendar), Workday lost $56.2 million for the year ended Dec

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ESPN, Nissan Return to the Heisman House

August 30, 2012  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Robert Griffin III has an arm like a howitzer and can shoot the eyes off a potato bug at 40 paces. He also runs a 4.41 in the 40-yard dash, making him the fastest quarterback since Michael Vick broke the sound barrier at the 2001 NFL Combine. For all that, the 2011 Heisman Trophy winner isn’t without his shortcomings. As a new spot from Nissan demonstrates, RG3 is an absolute disaster around a pair of hedge clippers , displaying a sloppiness that prompted one scout to question whether the quarterback has the topiary chops to make it in the NFL. One of six themed executions cooked up for Nissan by CreativeWorks , ESPN’s two-year-old in-house ad unit, the 30-second spot offers a humorous look at the pecking order within the Heisman House. (As the most junior member of the fraternal order of the Heisman, RG3 is charged with doing all the grunt work, serving as the designated gardner and auto detailer.) ESPN and Nissan first rolled out the Heisman House concept a year ago, and while the fundamentals remain intact, some of the faces have changed. New to this season’s campaign are: former USC quarterback Matt Leinart (2004) Georgia Bulldogs legend Herschel Walker (1982) and Archie Griffin, college football’s only two-time Heisman winner (1974, 1975). Starring alongside the 12 gridiron greats are actor Sean Astin (he appears in the aptly titled “Rudy”

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Facebook Bumps Up Its Ad Targeting, Too – Using Your Phone Number and Email Address

August 30, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Twitter’s not the only social network tweaking its ad targeting program . Facebook says it will start letting marketers find prospects on the social network by using personal information like phone numbers and email addresses. The catch: In order for a company to track a Facebook user using any of that data, the Facebook user has to have already given the company that data on their own. Or to put it another way: Facebook is letting marketers hunt down existing customers on the site. InsideFacebook first reported the development this morning, and Facebook now says it will be rolling out the targeting option widely next week. It will give advertisers the ability to use phone numbers, email addresses, and the “UID” code that Facebook users generate when they install apps on the network. The idea is that advertisers hand over that data to Facebook, which will match with the user data it already has. So, say, Virgin America could advertise to people who have already flown on the airline. Both data sets are supposed to be “ hashed ” before they’re matched, which should mean neither Virgin or Facebook would actually know the identity of the people being targeted. Don’t like the sound of that, anyway

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