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Twitter Roles Out In-Tweet purchases “Buy Button”

Twitter-Testing-a-way-for-you-to-make-purchases-on-Twitter

Twitter announced today that it will begin to role out a test aimed at a select group of subscribers who will begin receiving options to buy from a few dozen brands, recording artists, and nonprofits. Pilot brands and personalities include Brad Paisley, Burberry, Demi Lovato, Home Depot, and Panic at the Disco.

Tarun Jain shared the announcement on the Twitter blog describing the test as an early step toward turning Twitter into a functional commerce platform. Tweets from brands will present both Android and iOS users with exclusive offers. Once they tap on an initial buy button, they’re taken to another screen with larger product presentation and pricing information (see below). Pressing a second buy button on this page sends the buyer to a confirm screen and the transaction submitted to the merchant.

Individuals’ payment and shipping information will be encrypted and stored in Twitter’s database for use in subsequent transactions. Twitter will not note purchases on subscribers’ timelines or profiles. At this point, Twitter says that personally identifiable information obtained from purchasers will be shared only with the merchants filling their requests. You can read more about their security and privacy policies here.

“This is targeted right at direct-response advertisers and brands as we head into the all-important Q4,” says Dayna Moon, senior director of  social at 3Q Digital. “With this release, I think you can expect to see a slight shift in budgets — especially if the handful of test users show good results.”

Twitter’s move into Internet retail has been widely expected since the company named ex-Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard its head of commerce last August.

About Harrison Blum

HDB cirHarrison is the owner and Chief Executive Officer at Z interactive. Harrison is a seasoned marketing professional and got his start working in entertainment helping venues leverage forward-thinking internet strategies to pack stadiums and concert halls across the Central Southwestern United States. Follow Harrison Blum on Twitter for great marketing, technology, and craft beer content!

September 8, 2014 at 10:54 pm Leave a comment

Top 10 Best Places to Find Free Images

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If you are like me then you’ll know it’s not only time intensive but a rather daunting task to find great stock images. That’s why it’s imperative to have a go-to resource where you can quickly and easily find great images for free! Not only that but it’s also nice to visit a stock website where the legal terms are clear, easy to understand and easily assessable. That’s why I’ve organized the best of the best sources for finding great free stock images  for all your creative needs.

A project of Viktor Hanacek, designer, who understands the importance of high quality images in a designer’s life. New photos are uploaded daily. Fantastic work, and completely free. There is a paid membership for $6/month if you want even more from Viktor. Image restrictions: None
A personal project of Ryan McGuire of Bells Design. Very beautiful high-resolution images added weekly, completely free of copyright. Image restrictions: None
A collection of images that are personally uploaded by contributors underCreative Commons Public Domain. The site functions beautifully and has great navigation, sorting, and searching functions. Image restrictions: None
This is a database of completely free images that you can use however you want. A very large selection that’s rather simple to search, but can be time-consuming due to lack of sorting features. For a long time, this was my go-to site for free images. Image restrictions: Various
Compfight allows you to search through Flickr’s Creative Commons listed photos. It’s pretty simple to use and will automatically generate the html code to insert photo credit. It can be a bit buggy sometimes though, so you may be better off going straight to Flickr.com and doing an advance search for Creative Commonsphotos. Image restrictions: Various
Much like Compfight, Photopin allows you to search Flickr Creative Commons photos. Image restrictions: Various
Similar to Stock Xchng, this is a big searchable database of free images. It also has some great filtering options to really find the photos you’re looking for. Image restrictions: None
Built on tumblr, a minimal one-column site that releases ten new high-resolution images every ten days. You can subscribe via email and the images will be delivered to your inbox, or you can just visit the site every ten days to see what’s new. They’re always amazing photos and definitely worth bookmarking and subscribing to. Image restrictions: None
Very minimal, single column site with beautiful free imagery just like Unsplash. It also features an email subscription which will deliver seven new images (as opposed to Unsplash’s ten) every seven days. So essentially they’re doing the same exact thing as Unsplash, just more frequently. Image restrictions: None
Very minimal, single column site with beautiful free imagery just like Unsplash. It also features an email subscription which will deliver seven new images (as opposed to Unsplash’s ten) every seven days. So essentially they’re doing the same exact thing as Unsplash, just more frequently. Image restrictions: None

 

About Harrison Blum

HDB cirHarrison is the owner and Chief Executive Officer at Z Interactive. Harrison is a seasoned marketing professional and got his start working in entertainment helping venues leverage forward-thinking internet strategies to pack stadiums and concert halls across the Central Southwestern United States. Follow Harrison Blum on Twitter for great marketing, technology, and craft beer content!

September 7, 2014 at 1:49 am Leave a comment

Our Favorite Things About New Imagined Myspace

Bringing Sexy Back!

You may have caught wind of Justin Timberlake’s recent single with Jay-Z, “Suit & Tie” quickly climbing to #1 on iTunes just after one day. The song is a perfect segway to introduce the brand new Myspace, now open to the public and ready to turn heads. Back in September, Myspace announced a revamped, re-imagined platform for users and artists. According to the CEO of Specific Media, Tim Vanderhook, the new MySpace would be available to everyone by the end of 2012. By his side, the one and only superstar and part owner of Specific Media, Justin Timberlake would see it through.

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MySpace has been under the radar for the past months in invite-only mode. Years before, the abandoned social network felt like a city demolished by a zombie apocalypse. Users were finding shelter in smarter social networks while the platform slowly ate away at every revenue generating opportunity until nothing was left. 

Once a pinnacle, it was only a matter of time before the music-driven social site got a makeover. Here are our favorite features:

Synced with user’s Facebook & Twitter accounts

MySpace will not be trying to persuade current Facebook and Twitter users to solely use the new MySpace.  The new MySpace will allow users to sign in to the site using their Facebook and Twitter logins. This will be easier for people to start using MySpace because “it integrates with Facebook and Twitter to be able to pull over your social graph and pull over your identity of who you are” says Tim Vanderhook the CEO of Specific Media in an interview with ABC News. It is one less step and social media site that users have to manage. MySpace will find connections from the user’s current friends and followers.  MySpace allows users to post to multiple sites in one step. 

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Focused on Music, Artists, and Fans

The new MySpace will be a site that gives filmmakers, photographers, various artists, and musicians a place to express their creative talent on their profiles.  Tim Vanderhook expressed to ABC that, “the idea to create something unique and drive a connection with a fan base has a lot of equity”. Artists’ pages will feature a “music catalog”, songs and videos by the artist. These songs can be dragged and dropped to a fan’s playlists. Fans can see upcoming concert events and read more about the artists’ background. The new MySpace will give users the ability to build playlist, add photo albums, and connect with artists in a visually appealing format that will have users in awe. For artists MySpace allows them to gain insights and demographic information about their fans. 

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Minimal Design of the page

After watching the video for the new MySpace, there is a definite difference between the late Myspace and the new. The sleek, minimalistic design is intriguing, clean, and aesthetically pleasing.  When asked about the design inspiration Chris Vanderhook, COO of Specific Media, said, “We wanted to build for today and for the future. A lot of the elements from the design is built for widescreen formats for tablets and smartphones”. The new MySpace will allow users to explore the site in a visual way, while streaming music from the site. The new MySpace browsing is horizontal, rather than the popular vertical format used by other social media sites. 

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The Stream

The Stream that the new MySpace features is similar to the format of Pinterest boards. The Stream allows users to see their own recent activity, their friend’s activity, and updates from artists. Mixes and photos that are posted by connections on MySpace can also be seen on the stream. People may post comments on the Stream as long as they say it in 140 characters or less, like Twitter. This adds to the minimal design, it will eliminate long comments and statuses to be posted on the Stream. 

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Mixes & Navigations

One feature that has not changed with the new MySpace, is the music. Users can use a drag and drop feature for adding songs to playlists and mixes. People can create a list of songs and collage of photos called mixes. A user’s connections can comment or share it with others. The new MySpace has a navigation bar at the bottom of the page, out of the way from all the photos and videos users can view.  The discover tab allows users to access trending topics, search people, search radio, and find events going on. 

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Will the buzz of the new design and features be enough to drive traffic to the once forgotten site? We highly recommend you spend a little time using the features above and decide for yourself. 

The New Myspace: How to Get Started

 

January 15, 2013 at 5:29 pm Leave a comment

Startup Spotlight: Youtoo Can Be On TV!

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By Frank Jabati 

Your favorite shows are interesting enough to keep your attention right? With all that is infinitely accessible via smart phones, laptops, and tablets, you might want to think again. With the incredible spike in popularity among coming social media and television, it appears we enjoy watching our beloved reality sitcom drama documentaries with others who love them too.  Now with the rise of social TV, Youtoo.com has made tv even more social.

Youtoo is a Social TV network that allows millions the opportunity to be on TV with a mere click of the mouse. Users can record and upload 15sec videos called “Fame Spots” with smartphones, tablets or personal computers, and be chosen to air during national shows such as The X-files. For those new to Social TV, let’s take a look at similar applications.

Other social TV networks making a splash include GetGlue, which lets users “Check in” to TV shows and movies they are watching to socialize with friends, get recommendations and earn rewards. Yahoo’s Social TV baby IntoNow gives users a Shazam-ish option to check in via a live broadcast and create an interactive TV experience to discuss and dissect shows in real time. Other sites such as Viggle partner with brands to reward viewers with movie tickets, gift cards to Target, or cups of coffee from Starbucks.

It seems only natural that social networking and technology would make a natural transition to better integrate with TV, and provide a proactive way to interact with fans, reach new audiences, and drive viewership. Haven’t heard of shows using Social TV to reach fans? “True Blood”, “Walking Dead”, and “WWE” which announced earlier this year they were teaming up with Tout, are all great examples of shows and brands exploring the benefits of Social TV and scoring big.

Youtoo also has the potential to reach a large amount of viewers, because let’s face it, who wouldn’t want to be on TV? It’s the perfect example of Social TV, using the real allure of being on screen, via whatever device they have in their hands.

September 24, 2012 at 9:26 pm Leave a comment

Getting Social at Fashion Week #NYFW 2012

by Kristen Kassab

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With New York Fashion Week coming to a close we thought it only appropriate to do a social media round up of this year’s festivities. As always the fashion world is at the fore front of using social media. Every editor, blogger or celebrity sitting front row can be seen at any given moment holding at least 2 mobile devices. From the blackberry for emails to the iPhone and iPad for instagram and Twitter updates, social media is a constant at New York Fashion Week. You almost wonder how they have time to watch the shows? But don’t worry these guys practically invented the word multi-tasking.

Some of the hottest people to follow this year included:

Derek Blasberg @DerekBlasberg – Fashion writer and Harper’s Bazaar Editor

Billy Farrel Agency @BFA_NYC – Everyone knows they always have the inside scoop

Women’s Wear Daily @womensweardaily – So many updates from them it’s hard to keep up

Refinery29 @refinery29 – Great for trend spotting and up close runway shots

Leandra Medine, Man Repeller @ManRepeller – The hottest blogger around in my opinion. You can always count on her for her witty commentary and a good laugh.

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For most people sitting front row at New York Fashion Week is never going to happen. But lucky for us social media has made it where we get the front row experience while sitting at home in our sweatpants with a laptop and a glass of wine! (No painfully high stiletto heels or week long fasts so you can fit into the perfectly fashionable outfit necessary)

Here are some of the best ways to follow the action of #NYFW:

YouTube: LiveFromTheRunway– check out the schedule and catch live video streams of all your favorite designers shows as they are happening. You get to feel like one of the chosen few sitting front row and you won’t miss a thing (like the model who fell at the Dennis Basso show, OOPS!)

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Twitter: Follow the Hashtag #NYFW (disclaimer: it can be overwhelming). You might also consider following some of your favorite designers, models, or fashion editors instead.

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Facebook: Like Mercedes Benz Fashion Week as well as any of your favorite designers Facebook pages. Many of them will have links to live streams of their shows.

Instagram: This is probably one of my favorite ways to follow the action. Designers post photos from backstage and people sitting front row will be snapping pictures of almost every look as it passes them by. 

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Pick your poison. Whichever social media source you prefer there are endless amounts of #NYFW updates at your disposal. If you were late to the game this year don’t worry there will be plenty of recaps to come and there is always next year!

http://guestofaguest.com/new-york/fashion-week/the-nyfw-wire-11-social-media-accounts-trending-this-fashion-week

September 14, 2012 at 7:21 pm Leave a comment

DFW Event Spotlight – Live Music, Food Trucks, Beer, and Dogs?

by Harrison Blum

Grab your four-legged furry friends and get ready for the first-annual Barkfest September 15th! From 6-9PM Dallas non-profit Paws in the City will transform Deep Ellum’s 1.2 acre dog park to create a neighborhood party you won’t forget, all to benefit a good cause. Experience live music from local DFW artists, the city’s best food trucks, and local craft beer with a committed goal to raise money and awareness to end overpopulation, abuse, neglect of Dallas area dogs and cats. The event is free to the public and canines of all sizes are invited to join the party as well.  If you’ve yet to experience this wonderful park read all about it here. If you don’t have a dog of your own, then your in luck. Barkfest will have plenty of adoptable dogs there looking for their forever home!

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Pet-friendly vendors will be out in the masses including a pet photographer, a gourmet pet bakery, and Community Pet Outreach who will be offering low cost vaccinations and micro-chipping for only $25 with lifetime registration.

​​Bring some cash* and your friends and know that your partying for a great cause!

September 13, 2012 at 2:55 pm Leave a comment

Does London 2012 Get the Gold for Web Design?

by Harrison Blum

Most bad websites are merely annoying.  They may load slowly because of too many scripts.  They may have loud and obnoxious music.  They may rely on flash or java, which don’t work well over slow connections and on certain computers.

Some bad websites, however, go beyond “annoying” into the realm of the truly infuriating.  These websites are so poorly designed and cumbersome that prolonged exposure can actually ruin the user’s day.  One such website is London2012.com.

Upon googling “Olympics”, a prominent banner on the results page leads us to the official Olympics site.  The site is incredibly busy (Figure 1), and if you don’t speak either English or French (particularly likely given that it’s the Olympics) you’re out of luck.  The best way to illustrate the website’s problems is to actually look for something.

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Figure 1: Busy, busy, busy.

Let’s say we want to find all the medals up for grabs today.  Our first instinct is to click where it says “15 medal events today” in the “Latest Gold Medal” box.  But there’s no link there, so we click the name of the most recent medal winner.  This takes us to the results for that particular event, weightlifting.  Dead end.   We’ll either try the “Medals” or “Schedules & Results” tab next, but “medals” also leads nowhere, so let’s try “schedules”.

We arrive at a page that is incomprehensible (Figure 2).

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Figure 2: What does it mean??

Let’s try the “List View”.  We get a very long list of every event today (prelims, quarterfinals, everything) that we must scroll through to pick out the finals (Figure 3).  What about the “Latest Results” tab?  Another complete list of events that we must scroll through to find finals.

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Figure 3: It’s even worse if you expand everything.

Actually, the tab with information on today’s medal events in the most accessible form is “Full Schedule” (Figure 4), the least likely (from a user perspective) to contain such information.

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Figure 4: Ah-ha.

What if we want to see how athlete Ryan Lochte has been doing?  We click over to “Athletes”, search his name, and find his profile (Figure 5).  What medals has he won?  Clicking on the medals icons won’t work, nor does it say anything in the long text-only profile.  We have to click over to each event he’s swimming in (some of which haven’t occurred yet) and search each results page for his standings.

 

Figure 5: And be careful, because this profile “has not been confirmed”.

Want to see what medals Team USA won today?  There’s no way to do this, other than by visiting the pages of every event the USA has placed in and finding the ones whose finals were today.  Want to look up the 100-meter dash?  Hope you know that it falls under “Athletics” sports, because there’s no way to search for specific event.

It’s important for a website to look good and appear in search results, but it’s even more important that it actually works.  The official Olympics site is a classic example of a site that values form over functionality.  It’s difficult to use even for patient, web-savvy users, and impossible to use for non-English or French speakers.  It does, however, teach us a valuable lesson: Even the most high-profile organizations in the world could sometimes use help with their websites.

August 8, 2012 at 4:23 pm Leave a comment

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