Thursday, December 22, 2011

Salesforce.com signs on the dotted line, acquires Radian6

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Summary: Salesforce.com signs agreement to acquire Radian6, one of the industry’s leading social media monitoring platforms

Today, Salesforce.com announced that it will be acquiring one of the original gangsters of social media monitoring, Radian6.

As one of the largest owners of customer/contact data in the known digital universe, I think this is a smart move by Salesforce.com. In my opinion, I think they’re gaining more out of the data than they are from Radian6’s actual product offering. Their arduous and unintuitive interface is not something that many have been a fan of.

If Salesforce.com can successfully and accurately start marrying public social data with individual contacts and groups within Salesforce.com’s databases for their customers, the sky is the limit for business development, market segmentation, and targeted communication for both B2B and B2C.

Things to think about

It will be interesting to see what happens to Radian6 as a product. Will they trash the presentation layer and start fresh with a new, more thoughtful interface that is fully integrated with their own product suite or just leave it and add to/improve it?

It will also be interesting to see what happens to all the companies that make their cheddar as a social CRM solution. If Salesforce.com can do it right, this infusion with Radian6’s data will render some third party solutions useless. Their only hope may be lower pricing.

Rich Harris has been a web marketer for over 10 years, with over 14 years experience in high-tech, both in the consumer and enterprise spaces.


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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

SocialVest raises $1M in Series A funding, helps consumers give back

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Posterous follows the personal curation trend, introduces "Spaces"

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Summary: Taking a hint from Google+ Circles, and Facebook’s new Inline Profile Controls, Posterous launches “Posterous Spaces,” available on the web or on their iPhone and Android applications. As a Posterous user, would you use this new feature?

Earlier in the week Posterous announced its launch of Posterous Spaces. It’s clear that all the positive feedback about Google+ Circles prompted both Facebook’s addition of Inline Profile Controls and now Posterous Spaces.

Introducing Posterous Spaces from Posterous on Vimeo.

The other cool thing about this update is that the Spaces feature is also included in the Posterous Android and iPhone mobile apps so that you can make sure that your content is organized and flowing to the right group of people every time. They’ve also added a couple new features including a new reading experience, 3x faster load times, and five new professional looking themes.

If you are a new blogger, or an experienced blogger who likes things simple, accessible and easy-to-use, Posterous is a great solution for you.

Rich Harris has been a web marketer for over 10 years, with over 14 years experience in high-tech, both in the consumer and enterprise spaces.


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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Twitter scoops up TweetDeck: The rumor mill grinds again

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Summary: The buzz about Twitter acquiring TweetDeck started flying again. No deal has been signed yet but everyone is waiting to see what happens next.

The rumors of inevitability finally moving into the realm of reality, are well, still rumors. CNN did a great job of “getting all TMZ” on us with the headline Twitter acquires TweetDeck to pull in some page views but the deal has not yet been inked. Back in April the Wall Street Journal started buzzing about the talks between Twitter and TweetDeck but nothing ever materialized.

TweetDeck, has been one of the most popular, if not THE most popular, third-party Twitter clients to be adopted and used by the masses. I’ve been using it for personal Twitter activity and hashtag monitoring on my desktop for a couple of years now and love it.

Twitter plays an interesting role in social media. They don’t have the best third-party app for their own users (hence the TweetDeck acquisition possibility) and they don’t have the best stats/activity tool available to make sense of their own data for the rest of us to use for business or otherwise. However, they house billions and billions of conversational patterns from all over the world. While I don’t think they’ll ever eclipse Google when it comes to the importance and value of data housed - 140 character conversations vs. search queries - regardless if you like sites like Tumblr or Posterous better, Twitter is the king of the microblog universe.

After LinkedIn’s IPO and the rumored Zynga IPO being kicked around, will Twitter continue on a strategic acquisition warpath with an actual acquisition of TweetDeck, or a monitoring/measurement solution, and maybe some other tools to eventually set the stage for a big IPO opportunity?

[ UPDATE: It looks like it's official now. Breaking news is very breaking in this day and age. Here's a link explaining what the acquisition means to you - http://bit.ly/kEOGOW ]

Rich Harris has been a web marketer for over 10 years, with over 14 years experience in high-tech, both in the consumer and enterprise spaces.


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ZionEyez unveils 'social media eyeglasses'

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Summary: ZionEyez announces “Eyez”, eyeglasses equipped with a built-in 1080p HD camera and 16GB of flash memory, designed to stream first-person video to your favorite social site.

I’m usually a pretty open-minded person. In my line of work, innovation and crazy ideas are a staple. It’s part of the reason I enjoy what I do. However, I have to draw the line somewhere.

ZionEyez recently announced “Eyez”, a pair of glasses that will supposedly ‘revolutionize’ video on social networking sites. The goal here is to provide a first-person perspective from a more conspicuous version of a helmet-cam that streams HD 1080p video via Bluetooth or USB to your computer, tablet or mobile device. The social tie-in is being able to stream the video straight to your favorite social networking sites.

Their press release reads as if first-person-video-on-a-website-from-your-everyday-Joe Q. Public-for- everyone-to-see‘ is a brand new idea. When you go to their website, it’s flash-heavy, enshrouded in dramatic music and provides a ‘Place Order’ link that spawns a window containing placeholder copy from lipsum.org. Sigh.

All I see so far is less revolution and more known technology with the words ’social media’ attached it. ZionEyez, the “social media company” (it says that on their website) should consider chilling out on the buzz words and concentrate more on delivering their own version of putting personal video on the internet.

Sorry guys, a product that does what most of us are already doing isn’t innovation. Also, a little website QA goes a long way. :-)

Rich Harris has been a web marketer for over 10 years, with over 14 years experience in high-tech, both in the consumer and enterprise spaces.


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Monday, December 19, 2011

HootSuite hatches reporting, deeper analytics

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Summary: HootSuite’s latest release includes their new Report Builder feature, allowing customizable and scheduled reporting for their customers.

I’m a little late to the breaking news party with this information (HootSuite announced this offering Friday, March 11) however I’m ok with it as I was packing for Austin, TX and can plead SXSW.

I’ve been using HootSuite at an enterprise level now since March of 2010 and one of the crucial features that I always thought was missing with their solution was solid, robust reporting. In the enterprise, thoughtful, customizable, extensive social media reporting is what will allow any social media professional to ensure that all the conversations and interactions being monitored out there can be put to actual business use, helping to drive real business decisions for a company in a proactive manner.

If you are already using HootSuite, after logging in you’ll notice right away that the whole upper left-hand corner has been simplified into clean iconic organization, removing some of HootSuite’s branding from the interface. As much as I love seeing HootSuite owl staring at me all day, I’m really glad they did this. The implementation is much more intuitive now and feels faster, cleaner and easier to use.

Where the rubber meets the road

Now let’s get to what makes this latest release really useful for businesses - reporting. Since HootSuite was already pulling in data from your tweets, Facebook Insights, and Google Analytics, building out their own reporting system to leverage all this data for customized reports was the next logical step. Their first foray into this is nothing short of awesome.

You can basically construct your own custom reports with their Report Builder, have them emailed to select team members either manually or on a schedule. This is especially useful for enterprise-level requirements where you have multiple teams that use social media for different reasons and need to see different types of data in their reporting presented in a very specific way. Social media data is only useful if it is presented in a meaningful way to a key decision maker, tailored to their specific needs. This is now possible with HootSuite.

In large companies and organizations we all know that there is no single report that makes sense for an entire company so the real benefit of HootSuite’s reporting feature is that each report can contain a set of specific data types that you choose out of a huge bucket of items. Just hover your mouse over the plus sign of any module and simply add it to your report.

This is a huge step for HootSuite as they to build out their feature sets for big business. With the release of Report Builder and an interface that was always easier on the eyes than other tools like Radian6, HootSuite shows us that they are listening to their customer feedback and making changes quickly and accordingly. I’m looking forward to more great features and improvements from them in the coming months. They are definitely on the right track.

Rich Harris has been a web marketer for over 10 years, with over 14 years experience in high-tech, both in the consumer and enterprise spaces.


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Winners, losers and surprises, the social network battle rages on in 2011.

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Summary: Ignite Social Media puts demographic data from Google about various social networks in their latest infographic.

A couple weeks ago Ignite Social Media put together an infographic covering the current state of social networks in 2011. All the data behind this information came from Google, primarily through Google Ad Planner and Google Insight for Search.

There are the obvious results you’d expect like Facebook’s dominance and the decline of MySpace, however, there are also a couple other nuggets in there that were eye-openers for me.

It’s clear looking at the data that we may have finally reached a plateau when it comes to the rise of social networks but it’s also very interesting to see which networks are in the top ten, broken out by gender, age and economic status. The most interesting part of this infographic to me is the rise of the microblog and content consumption management sites like Reddit and StumbleUpon. It’s no mystery that there is now so much information accompanied by millions of conversations about said information that we all now realize the major need to organize all of it before our heads explode.

The rise in LinkedIn activity and membership is probably the result of a struggling economy and the fact that they’ve made the syndication of their content easier with a more open API.

I’m not surprised that the Ning numbers are in decline. White-label social networks were only successful before we knew how much work it took to maintain a niche social network versus just being a participating member.

Rich Harris has been a web marketer for over 10 years, with over 14 years experience in high-tech, both in the consumer and enterprise spaces.


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