Archive for April, 2013

Nike: Microsoft’s unexpected rebranding inspiration

Nike: Microsoft’s unexpected rebranding inspiration

April 29, 2013  |  Blog  |  No Comments

Look up. Those are upcoming Microsoft logos — as strange as it may seem. They’re new designs for Bing (left) and another Microsoft product (either Yammer or Skype), part of Microsoft’s overall effort to re-imagine itself, reports the Verge. Clearly, Microsoft is aiming for the same flat design we see in its new Windows and Office logos — and that’s a good thing. The new logos feel cleaner and more modern than Microsoft’s previous designs, and the change shows the software giant isn’t afraid to try something different. The new designs were a part of a presentation by Windows Phone design student manager

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Social gifting boom spawns dozens of companies

Social gifting boom spawns dozens of companies

April 29, 2013  |  Blog  |  No Comments

Buying a birthday present for a friend? Forget the wrapping paper and bow. This is the age of social gifting, and all you need is a Facebook account and mobile app. The latest buzz in e-commerce is a new category of business that lets people give gifts on social networks or through texting or email. Text a relative a digital gift card to say Happy Birthday -- no last-minute trips to the post office necessary. Dozens of social gifting companies have cropped up since 2011, many in the Bay Area, promising to make giving gifts easier for consumers and drive more sales

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How to Take the Guesswork Out of Your Advertising

How to Take the Guesswork Out of Your Advertising

April 29, 2013  |  Blog  |  No Comments

If Rana el Kaliouby has her way, you will never have to channel surf again. Affectiva, the company that el Kaliouby founded with MIT colleague Rosalind Picard, develops technology that reads minute facial expressions to measure emotion. A television equipped with a webcam and Affectiva's technology could determine which shows you like to watch, given your past emotional reactions to them, and program your television accordingly. Affectiva's facial-reading software, Affdex, is already being used by major advertisers, including Unilever and Coca-Cola, that previously depended on focus groups and surveys to test ads. The problem with the old approach? It requires people

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When Your Data Wanders to Places You’ve Never Been

When Your Data Wanders to Places You’ve Never Been

April 29, 2013  |  Blog  |  No Comments

A FEW weeks ago, a friend received a flier in the mail inviting her to an event in Manhattan for patients with multiple sclerosis. “What’s in it for you?” said the flier from MS LifeLines, a support network for patients and their families that is financed by two drug makers, Pfizer and EMD Serono. “Strategies for managing and understanding your symptoms. Information about available treatments for relapsing M.S.” The thing is that my friend, who requested that I keep her name out of this column, does not have multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system. But last year, she

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What the Heck Is P-Commerce?

What the Heck Is P-Commerce?

April 29, 2013  |  Blog  |  No Comments

First there was ecommerce, a term developed in the early '80s to abbreviate "electronic commerce," or sales made possible through electronic funds transfer (and later, the Internet). Since then, marketers have gleefully affixed various letters to the word "commerce" to describe sales (or the potential for sales) made through different platforms: m-commerce for mobile, f-commerce for Facebook and p-commerce, which I've discovered recently, is an abbreviation for both "participatory commerce" or "Pinterest commerce." What Is Participatory Commerce? A few quick Google searches reveal that the phrase participatory commerce was first coined in 2005 by Mark Pincus, founder and CEO of gaming juggernaut

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Square Beefs Up Its Register for Restaurants

April 29, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Commerce startup Square rolled out an update to its Register product on Monday, the software given freely to merchants to use as a point-of-sale system in conjunction with the Square card reader. The update makes the software more amenable to short-order restaurants by giving them the ability to create customized kitchen tickets and order modifications, essentially an attempt to make its software useful to more types of businesses in the SMB demographic.

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Dear Wikipedia Editors

April 29, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Not all of you, just the ones who decided that it was a good idea to start removing women from the category “American Novelists” and putting them into a new category: “American Women Novelists.” You guys. What the hell, man? What’s wrong with you? – From Amy Letter and Brian Spears, addressing the gradual removal of women from the category of “American Novelists” on Wikipedia

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Comedy Central Brings Live Stand-Up to Your Phone

April 29, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

This June, stand-up comedy is coming to your cellphone. And your iPad. And your connected TV. And your computer. It’s all part of Comedy Central’s CC: Stand-Up app, a sort of video encyclopedia of comedians that features a regularly updated livestream of new content and a suggestion feature designed to recommend the next installment in a comedy binge. It’s also ad-supported, which dovetails nicely with the Viacom cable network’s big upfront push. And it represents the next step in the ongoing battle to engage the young men who often sidestep TV in favor of video games. “Millennials have been harder to engage because there are so many platforms to reach them,” explained network president Michele Ganeless. Now, with a huge catalog of bits from the likes of Louis C.K., Nick Kroll and Kristen Schaal, Comedy Central is trying to recreate with a slick new interface the same kind of experience consumers get on YouTube, much like what SNL is doing with Yahoo. Comedy Central has several advantages. The clips on CC: Stand-Up (which is rolling out on iOS, Xbox Live and the company’s website, with Android support to come) are all professionally produced and edited, as opposed to cellphone camera footage captured at the local Chuckle Hut, and are curated by the network’s programmers. Advertisers looking to buy Louis can do so; advertisers interested in the new stuff can buy the new stuff. Nielsen ratings have not been Comedy Central’s strongest suit over the last couple of years. Horizon Media research Brad Adgate says the network’s total deliveries are down two years running, but he’s not sure that matters. “They’re effective in targeting young males,” he said. “If you’re that adept at reaching that group, winning the ratings race is not as important because they have that high concentration of their core viewers.” Adgate also suspects those viewers are on other screens, too. Comedy Central’s new programming this year reflects its symbiotic relationship not just with stand-ups but with Web video in general. Veteran comic Daniel Tosh not only has bragging rights to the most popular show on the network—the most recent new episode drew 2.26 million viewers, more than tripling Comedy Central’s prime-time average for the week—but Tosh.0 also happens to be a show built around online video. Moreover, the stars of Comedy’s biggest scripted show in recent years, Workaholics, got the network’s attention with a Web series

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Meet Some of YouTube’s Core Talent

April 29, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

YouTube is nurturing the next generation of media 'stars'— a collection of talent with huge followings producing content unlike anything else in the traditional media world. And the company is actively trying to foster more talent. Some of these folks are making a living on YouTube. Others have already cut their teeth in TV, and are looking to conquer the Web. And some are struggling to get discovered, while still doing something else to pay the bills. Here are a few YouTubers Adweek recently spent time with. Meet YouTubes Core Talent here

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Will a Semi-Presence in Cannes Mollify U.K. and Spain?

April 29, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Cannes topper Thierry Fremaux unveiled the final four films in next month’s Official Selection on Friday.

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