Interesting tech trends can often be hard to find considering the data overload we deal with every day. Search no further; we’ve got your back! Below are 7 links that the Social Driver team found technologically cool, entertaining, and informative:
The shoe-niverse gained an awesome new addition as Google revealed an interactive shoe at this year’s SXSW. The Google Advertising team placed a small computer in the tongue of a pair of Adidas. Equipped with technology to assess your movements and connect to your phone, the shoes are fully capable of telling you to be more active if necessary. “The Talking Shoe is an experiment in how you can use connected objects to tell stories on the Web today,” said Aman Govil, head of the advertising team.
Recently announced, the new feed redesign for Facebook plans to offer minimized sidebars and a more intimate approach to convey a personalized feel. The design also plans to offer more real estate in individuals news feeds to those who promote post or own sponsored stories on Facebook. Find out more interesting changes in our What the New Facebook News Feed Redesign Means For Nonprofits post!
Could your workplace noise level (or lack there of) be hindering your creativity? Coffitivity, an online ambient noise provider, claims that studies show ambient sounds boost creativity. Using a coffee shop setting, Coffitivity suggest that working in too quiet or too loud of an environment can increase chances of unproductivity. Try it yourself! Visit Coffitivity, plug your earphones in, and let the creativity flow!
Should patients’ text or email their doctors as an added form of communication in healthcare? This question raises a lot of arguments and the article above reaches even more brow raising points. Considering digital progression and the many ways we communicate, the article shares that still less than “90% Americans have never emailed or texted with their doctor.”
Business Insider shared a list of 25 most innovative businesses in DC. From LivingSocial, a daily deals website, to Black Jack, a bar with a bocce ball court, the district is definitely home to some innovative businesses. Other interesting businesses that made their list include Capitol Bikeshare, Clean Currents, and Genius Rockets.
Nerds are not the only personalities on the programming scene. Douglas MacMillan shares the rise of the “more testosterone-fueled breed of coder.” With the onset of the “Brogrammer” meme’s floating around the Internet, the article shares interesting ideas and quotes from new age computer intellectualists who come from diverse backgrounds.
And here is an added bonus! If you often enjoy your friends’ playlists then you’ll enjoy Turntable. The online app allows a group of people to create a playlist for everyone to enjoy at the same time. Each person is deemed a DJ and has a chance at spinning their record and impressing the group. Even better, the app is also downloadable for iPhones.
What did you read about this week?
Facebook recently announced a new design of the Facebook News Feed. The design reduces the left and right sidebars and expands the main News Feed to show full-size vibrant images, offering more real estate to visual content and a set of new sub-feeds.
According to Facebook, the same stories will appear as did before, meaning that Facebook has not adjusted Edgerank, the algorithm that determines what content is posted on your News Feed. However, the design will be much more vibrant and colorful, centering around larger images.
Facebook says that this change will provide a more seamless experience between mobile and desktop viewing, but we surmise that this is an attempt by Zuckerburg to position Facebook as the premiere advertising platform for digital marketers.
With the redesign, companies’ promoted posts and sponsored stories that use images will be given more real estate in individuals’ News Feeds. So what does that mean for marketers in charge of managing organizations’ Facebook page?
Up until now, many marketers have seen huge ROI in promoted posts and sponsored stories, partly because of Facebook’s lower-than-market-value advertising rates.
Advertising experts expect that Facebook’s shift in focus on visual content will allow them to gain higher ad prices in the future. This means that the days of cheap advertising on Facebook will likely be coming to an end. We expect ad costs on Facebook and other social networks to significantly rise in the future, so plan your budgets accordingly.
Facebook already favored visual content, but this News Feed redesign further reinforces that focus. When planning your editorial calendar, try to figure out how you can share your information visually, through a photo or photo album.
Infographics are a great way to share information (and have high virality), as are images with overlaid text (think memes). If you are using text in your images, make sure you follow the <20% rule!
With the new sub-feeds, Facebook users will now have the ability to choose to filter content more heavily. As with many of the changes to News Feed, this will positively affect some marketers view rates and negatively affect others. Among other options, users can now view content posted by only their friends, effectively opting out of content from organizations who they aren’t friends with but may follow.
Users can also see content posted by all the pages they follow, content just relating to Games or Music, as well as a variety of other filters. You’ll be able to advertise in any of these feeds, but you’ll want to be mindful of the context. For example, an advertisement that shows up in the “All Friends” feed may be viewed as more disruptive as one that shows up in the “Pages You Follow” feed.
Regardless of these changes, competition for space on Facebook’s News Feed is becoming more and more cutthroat. Not only do you have to compete with other organizations, you now have to compete with larger and more prominent ad spaces integrated into the main News Feed.
On average, about 15% of your followers will see the content you publish for any given post. That means that the chances of spamming your followers is nearly impossible, unless you are posting more than 10 times a day.
Here at Social Driver we love technology and exploring the latest trends and how they could be used to benefit our customers. To make sure we’re keeping up with the latest technology, our company meets every Tuesday to talk about “Hot Topics.”
The most recent tech trend to catch our eye is Vine. Vine is a new app that allows iPhone users (sorry Droid lovers) to turn photos into short videos and share with their friends. The videos, similar in style to animated GIFs, range from funny art to advertising. Now that Vine has been around for a couple weeks, organizations are getting in on the action and posting fun videos with Vine as a new way to share content with their audience.
Could this new trend be used for your organization? Here are some things to consider when evaluating whether to use Vine to connect with your organization’s audience:
1) Are most of your audience members actively using Twitter? – Vine was developed by a Twitter-owned company and currently can only be shared over Twitter feeds, not on Facebook. If your audience is actively engaging others through Twitter, Vine could be a great option for connecting with them.
2) How concise is the message you want to deliver? – Vine videos are only 6 seconds long which means you have to get your message across within the blink of an eye. This still leaves time for making an impression, but it must be thought out and intentional.
3) How much time can you commit to planning and execution? – Even though the videos are short, the impact can be lasting. You should plan your Vine content and message just as you would messages communicated through other means of social media. There should be an obvious message and call to action for viewers of your Vine videos
If you decide to explore marketing with Vine we’d love to see your videos in the comments below! Feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like information on how we could help your organization use technology to reach your target audience.
At Social Driver, we like to think a lot about the future, but sometimes it’s fun to look back at the past and see just how far we’ve come. This infographic shows the state of our union 100 years ago compared to today. What do you think we’ll see in the next 100 years?
We know that women love using technology, but do they love creating the technology that they use? On average women tweet, like, share, and pin far more frequently than men and are quicker to adopt new digital products and services. Across all ages groups, women interact online more than men, yet only 5 to 20 percent of software developers in the US are women.
The ratio seems to remain the same, or even dwindle, as you look at other careers in tech. In 2010 only approximately 7 percent of investments backed by the successful incubator, Y Combinator, were led by women. Yet, statistics show that a more gender diverse company returns higher gains, up to 30%, from IPO. Startups led by females generate higher revenues per investment dollar than startups led by males.
Where is the disconnect? Is this trend changing?
In recent years, we’ve seen an emphasis on closing the gender gap in tech. In the early 2000s, the focus was closing the gender gap to create a better office culture, but now technology companies are realizing that having women in leadership roles actually benefits revenue. Shocking right? Who would’ve guessed that having women leaders in businesses whose largest population of engaged consumers is women would actually be financially beneficial.
Numerous groups have emerged to help provide resources and ammunition to the movement. Hackbright Academy is a 10 week programming fellowship in Silicon Valley exclusively for women. Rails Girls is an international movement promoting innovation with female entrepreneurs and developers through Ruby on Rails. Astia is an organization founded in 1999 whose mission is to propel women’s success as entrepreneurs and leaders.
Is the emphasis working? I think yes. We see a growing movement for women to contribute in the tech space. Female targeted groups are bringing access to technology and putting resources in front of female entrepreneurs and developers. Female leaders, like Marissa Mayer, are increasing visibility for women in tech. Female led startups like Popvox, Code for America, and CakeHealth are paving the way for women to create their own space in the tech industry while providing solutions that help everyone. But the fight is not over and we need to keep talking about women in tech.
Are you a female in tech? Do you think the gender gap is closing? What resources have you used to help launch your tech career? Let us know in the comments below.
Startups had a great year in 2012 but 2013 is looking even better. The most successful startups this year are bringing innovation to mainstream industries in need of disruption. Here’s the startups you should be watching in 2013:
Crowdtilt is the easiest way to collect, fundraise, or pool money with your group… for anything! With Crowdtilt you can easily bring your friends together to pitch in for something as small as a birthday present, football tailgate, drinks for a party, all the way to something as big as a community project or a large fundraiser for the Red Cross. The best part is that nobody gets charged until everybody has committed to pay.
Fab is changing the way people discover and connect with greatly designed products. On Cyber Monday 2012 the company sold $1.3million worth of products and recently launched in the UK. They’re in for a great year and leading the way in a changing e-commerce atmosphere.
Getaround is shaking up the transportation industry and solving car overpopulation. The company is bringing carsharing to everyone in a safe and fun environment. You simply log-on, rent a car from someone nearby, and get going. With a recent expansion to Chicago they’re making their way into a city near you soon!
LendUp is bringing tech innovation to payday loans. LendUp provides a simple online or mobile loan application and grant process along with ways to earn Trust Rewards. The Trust Rewards aim help customers rebuild credit and reach long-term financial wellbeing.
Coursera is a social entrepreneurship company that partners with the top universities in the world to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free. The company envisions a future where the top universities are educating not only thousands of students, but millions. With Coursera adding top-notch universities daily to their course list in the US and internationally it is on its way to being a global education leader. The company also recently announced it will be partnering with the American Council on Education to eventually offer college transfer credit for some courses.
Sherpaa helps companies optimize health coverage plans and then provides them with around the clock email and phone access to their network of friendly, tech-savvy doctors. Since launching in NYC this past year, they’ve saved companies from Tumblr to Skillshare thousands in unnecessary health fees, optimizing their insurance plans and advising on healthcare usage to ensure dollars are spent wisely. Companies that use Sherpaa pay a minimal monthly fee and end up saving many times that in health costs, creating for a service that pays for itself. Innovation in healthcare has come at last.
Google Analytics Tells You What Happened, KISSmetrics Tells You Who Did It. Instead of vanity metrics such as bounce rates or time on site, KISSmetrics focuses on people tracking. People tracking enables KISSMetrics to impact your business in a positive way by showing metrics that other analytics solutions can’t, such as: true conversion rates, lifetime value of customers, how users engage with your website or app over time through a co-hort, and even churn data.
With participation ever increasing in adult sport leagues the headache from managing leagues and teams is also increasing. RecBob is harnessing the power of social networking and back-end smarts to change the way team members interact off the field. RecBob is an app that manages adult rec sports teams, making them easy, fun and more social. He sends game reminders, collects payments, tracks who’s in and who’s out on game day and finds subs as needed so rosters are always full!
Platfora is making big data relevant and usable. The company’s platform transforms raw data in Hadoop into interactive, in-memory business intelligence with none of the IT friction or complexity of existing approaches. Platfora allows business professionals access raw data that has been previously hidden in data warehouses.
Sponsorfied brings brands and opportunities together through specially designed software. The company launched in August 2012 and has already facilitated 200 sponsorship deals. Sponsorfied is looking to do for sponsorship what Google did for targeted adds.
What tech startups are you most excited for in 2013?
As technology evolves more and more quickly, we can only wonder if older media will soon go extinct. Some already believe “print is dead” while others feel that print just needs to evolve into something more. Social Driver’s Devon Hopkins had the opportunity to speak with J. Ford Huffman, a man of many talents – editor, designer, writer, and artist. Huffman offered some wonderful insight into the challenges print faces and how print has the ability to conquer them.
Huffman recalls his commute on the metro to the Social Driver office where he noticed a fair amount of people around him reading a daily express paper. This paper still holds value because it is free, convenient, and easy to read. If you consider a college campus, daily college newspapers are very popular with students for the same reasons.
Huffman states, “if you had good content and you're in the right place at the right time and the right market, people will look at you and read you.” He puts a lot of emphasis on content.
Huffman still receives print magazines in the mail and enjoys them. You can read the news on your iPad, but you can't quite snuggle up with your iPad like you can a good magazine. And you can't replace your iPad, in the same ways you can replace a lost newspaper.
Maybe others are thinking this way too. Personally, I do not own an iPad and, I too, enjoy reading magazines while snuggled up on the couch. Huffman claims, ”I think print has been asleep for a while … and that people are beginning to understand that you can have both and maybe you even need both.”
Huffman explains this as the real problem, as opposed to whether or not “print is dead.” If anything, Huffman argues that the “print is dead” comments should send strong warnings to content suppliers and newspapers that they are not providing the quality content that their market wants.
Huffman says, “if the reader spots a hole, a missing part of a story, that makes the whole ne
wsroom look like it doesn't know it's content.. It needs the same content everywhere.” Readers should not spot a hole in any content at any time. Each news source must have someone with institutional knowledge to review the context before a crucial opportunity is missed.
He adds, “If you print an awesome graphic in the newspaper.. do not miss your opportunity to add a reference to where readers can find it on the Web. If you have an intriguing article in the middle of the newspaper that has the potential to be popular.. do not miss your opportunity to reference that on the front cover.”
Huffman says we need to be alert to tie-ins and put all the same content on every platform, leaning towards responsive design.
Huffman claims that if he were working in a newsroom he would be looking at digital agencies and talking with digital agencies to learn from them and share with them. Both newsrooms and digital agencies are huge content producers and should be offering ideas to one another regarding how they produce content. He says, “we need to get over that fear that it's all competitive and we can't share information… we need to build on each other.”
We need to make connections and share. Huffman says, “I think there is room for both print and digital. The smart thing is to figure out what works best on different medium.”
Huffman thinks we should take the opportunity to learn how to utilize every form and platform of media. Exposing yourself or your business to new things just might do the trick. Learning from a magazine that you have no interest in, talking to a new person at a cocktail party instead of the usual few people.
By looking around and sharing with others, we can develop new content and have a better understanding of how to utilize it. After that, importance lies on the fact that high quality work is produced with correct spelling, information, timeliness, superior images, and great content.
No matter who it is for, we have to work hard and be careful with the information we are giving out.
So what do you think? Is print media dead, dying, or drifting?
There is so much news buzzing around about Princess Kate Middleton and her pregnancy. Her time spent in the hospital must be far from enjoyable and we feel for her… how boring! So, we decided to create a list of the top 15 apps that Kate should download for information, entertainment, and planning for the arrival of her baby.
Now that Kate and Wills are expanding their family, they need to start searching for a new home. This app is the Zillow for Royal families. I can't think of a better app for a Princess! With this app, Kate can search high and low for the most beautiful castles, learning about historic architecture, ancient ruins, and fortress origins, all while potentially picking out a new home!
With this app, Kate and William can both bond with the baby before the big day! Whether they use an iPhone microphone or regular earphones, they can listen to the sound of the fetus' heartbeat, record it, and share it with family and friends. It brings creepiness to a whole new level.
Since the baby won't arrive for quite some time, the only available pictures for William and Kate are the ultrasound photos. In the meantime, why not jazz these up a bit. With Pimp my Ultrasound, they can add from a list of “pimp features” such as a baseball cap, world's cutest baby frame, or even a tiara (which might be the most fitting.)
To make the pregnancy even more exciting, Kate can set up a game for all of her family and friends on Baby Pool. Much like a fantasy football team, participants will compete and earn points by guessing the baby's birth stats correctly. Participants will predict topics such as baby's length, weight, birthday, and even exact time of arrival. Kate can set up a private pool, or we could all play. We basically already are, so why not earn some points in the process!
It's time for the Royal Palace to steer clear of cocktails. We bet this app will be filled with creative ideas and new twists on tasty juices and seltzers. The Royal parties are going to have to get savvy with the beverages over the next nine months, and with this app, there is no way they will run out of ideas!
We know what Kate looks like, we know what Prince William looks like.. Any takers on what the baby will look like? This app can help. All Kate has has to do is enter 21 facial traits from both her and William, then the app will configure the dominant and recessive traits, and automatically assign what traits the baby will receive from each parent. Lastly, a cartoon animated baby is illustrated to share the results with Kate.. and most likely everyone else on the Internet.
Let's face it, pregnancy changes everything. Kate can consult with this app on a daily basis to determine which foods are okay to eat and which foods to run from. Foods are broken up into categories for easy searching, so Kate can even pass her phone along to her personal chefs for easy menu planning!
Ahhhhh, peacefulness. By downloading White Noise Baby pre-baby, Kate can enjoy the soothing sounds of everything from an air conditioner and wind chimes, to the tones of a vacuum cleaner. Post-baby, when Kate needs instant entertainment for her baby, this app will turn into a rattle with fun shapes and sounds that will put the crying at ease.
Could there have been a better time for the new Snapseed release?! While in hide-out from the paparazzi, Prince William and Kate can take millions of photos of their new baby, like all new parents do. This app will let them edit the photos through enhancing colors, adding frames, and selecting filters to reach professional style. Plus, the photos can be shared in a cinch through Google+ capabilities to make sure the entire Royal family is included!
There is nothing like a trashy magazine to make the time fly. When she has time to kill, Kate can pick up an Us Weekly to stay up-to-date on the latest American gossip in Hollywood. The Royal family no longer wants to look at British tabloids anyway, so this magazine app is a perfect replacement for a Royal stress-free read.
Aside from finding out the gender of the baby, here is the next biggest question! What will Kate and William name “it?” This app will allow them to filter through thousands of names by popularity, meaning, origin, and sound. Once they find a few they like, Kate can create a favorites list of all the potentials before it's time for the final decision.
With the help of Eventbrite and sister Pippa, there's no way the Baby Shower could go wrong! Kate has two perfect opportunities to create the most royal of showers. Especially because we don't want any Royal invitations getting lost in the mail, Evenbrite makes it easy to share the shower online with everyone on the guest list. While Pippa does the planning, Kate can use the app to organize the details and see who has registered for attendance.
We all saw that Modern Family episode when Gloria, who is also pregnant, can't seem to keep up with her daily tasks of remembering what has to get done. We don't want Kate to suffer from pregnancy brain! With Remember The Milk, Kate can create to-do lists to connect to her gmail, iCal, and Twitter accounts to ensure she stays on track. When something needs to get done, Kate will get notified through all accounts, so she won't ever miss a thing.
Time for lots and lots of movie watching. Netflix makes the perfect app, especially when the TV remote is just too far out of reach. Since Kate no longer feels quite like herself, movies and TV shows will be a perfect way to spend time with her loved ones. Now that Disney signed an exclusive deal to Netflix, Kate won't have to leave the house to find her old favorites on DVD.
Since the whole world knows exactly which hospital Kate is staying, it must be hard for the Royal family to visit with and check on Kate. The best suggestion we came up with is Skype. With Skype, Kate can catch up with Pippa, Harry, Queen Elizabeth, along with the rest of the family to let them know how she is doing.
In all honestly, we wish Kate the safest and happiest of pregnancies. We can't wait to meet the newest member of the Royal Family!
Update: Our condolences go out to Jacintha Saldanha's family and friends.
Social Driver’s Anthony Shop will serve on a panel at The National Press Club on Tuesday, October 30th discussing how social media has been used as a part of presidential campaign strategies, the role of social media in future elections, and why it’s important for communication executives to pay close attention to these trends pertaining to your the goals of your clients. Audience questions will follow. Get your tickets to attend this event now!
The election is now two weeks away and our Facebook news feeds, Twitter feeds, and YouTube channels are exploding with opinions, facts, disagreements and discussion. Digital media is more important to the election than ever before, and we’ve got some numbers to show it.
Blogger Devon Glenn at SocialTimes shares an incredibly revealing infographic created by iProspect to give us a “Digital Summary” of the election. From Obama and Romney’s Facebook fans and Twitter followers to your friend’s very opinionated political posts, social networks are affecting how we talk about the election, as well as what we are talking about. It’s no wonder why the online campaign budget jumped 616% from 2008.
With the rapid and dynamic change in the digital world, we could not be more excited for the future!
Out with the old..
Office Endangered Species
We learned over at Tech Crunch that there is an ongoing list of office endangered species. LinkedIn Blog originally posted an infographic of the top 10 office tools and tends that are rapidly going out of style. This study was done by 7,000 professionals giving their two cents to what the office will be missing by year 2017.
..And in with the new!
The Leap makes Minority Report possible on your computer. Imagine an X-Box Kinect that can map movements to your individual fingers. The Leap will turn your everyday desktop monitor into a dynamic screen that you can control with the wave of your hand. Molly Wood from CNET took a trip to the Leap labs and you can watch her video here.
While some of us dream of convenient inventions, the rest of us make those dreams come true. The hotel Bellhop may be replaced in the future if the ‘Hop’ makes it to the market. We first learned about it over at Mashable. Hop is unlike anything you have ever seen before, picking up signals from your cell phone and following close behind you. Perhaps the days of carrying heavy luggage around the airport are over! Curious? Click the link to watch a video of the Hop in action.
Blogger Patrick James shares a large infographic on Co.EXIST mapping out the innovations of education technology. The idea that virtual learning environments will take the lead from the old classroom approach sparks the prediction that “65% of today’s grade-school children will end up at jobs that haven’t even been invented yet.”