The BFG Spin on all things digital,

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Archives for 12

What’s Wrong With Paper.li?

Posted by Hal Thomas on December 30, 2010

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Back in October, Mashable named new start-up Paper.li as one of their 5 most innovative uses of an API. Here's what they said:

Information overload is a serious problem in the social web, and there are a lot of companies trying to tackle the problem. One of them is Paper.li, a service that organizes the links shared on Twitter into mini-newspapers.

The app is simple — just connect it to your Twitter account or choose a keyword or Twitter list as the basis of your new newspaper. Paper.li will then generate a summary of the most popular and relevant links based on your keyword or friend list, and it wil be updated every day, week or month, depending on your preference.

With just a few APIs, Paper.li has figured out a smart way to curate the most popular links on the web.

On the surface, Paper.li seems like an innocuous little social app—a fun way to consume Twitter content from the people, Twitter lists, and Twitter searches you follow. But things take a turn for the worse thanks to one of Paper.li's features which auto-tweets "top stories" from the user's "daily paper".

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I have three really big problems with this. First, it's automated. Automated and social are mutually exclusive in my book. Social exchanges do not happen...

 
 
 
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Carl’s Jr And Hardee’s Launch Location Based Rewards

Posted by Sara Swiatlowski on December 29, 2010



In honor of full disclosure let me first state that I've never been to a Carl's Jr or a Hardee's and I don't ever intend on doing so, even in the name of the BFG Blog. I do, however, find the above commercial hilarious.

The restaurant chains have recently launched their own location based application that allows you to check in at a location, and after four check-ins, spin an app based wheel to get a reward. They call it The Wheel of Awesome (think Price is Right wheel). The idea is to drive loyalty at each location and reward frequent guests with delicious prizes and other rewards.

I find it interesting that they went through the effort to create their own app when they could have easily partnered with an already established location based service. They say they opted to create their own due to privacy and efficiency concerns with Facebook Places, Gowalla, and Foursquare. That seems silly to me, not to mention the opposite of efficient. I'll be interested to see how successful their efforts are on this one. I definitely applaud them for trying something new that hasn't been tested in the fast food arena.

On the other hand, in my mind, this campaign would have been perfect for SCVNGR. Not only would they be able to include the check-in element, but they could design fun challenges that would allow them access to more relevant user created content than just a simple number of check-ins. They could also tailor these challenges throughout the year to supplement any other partner marketing that they might be doing,...

 
 
 
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Technology: It’s OK to say ‘No Thanks’ Sometimes

Posted by Alex Trevisan on December 29, 2010

Back in November, Virgin released their hyped up iPad-only magazine, Project. $2.99 for the inaugural issue put it on par with the cost of a traditional magazine, but still wasn't enough to peak my interest in trying. For the holidays, Virgin is giving their first issue out for free, so I decided to give it a whirl. It is still available for free in the iTunes App Store if you too are interested.

Basically, Project is designed to push the limits of what is possible in regards to content on the iPad and it does a worthy job. This is apparent when opening the magazine and witnessing the flashing lights and quality animation on the cover. TechCrunch has put out an in-depth video walk-through, so rather than me explain, you can watch after the jump.

After reading through the first issue and experimenting with the loads of features, I have decided that Project isn't for me. There is so much functionality encased in this little guy that it seems a bit overwhelming. In order to capture all the content that is housed within each issue, you would have to sit there for quite a substantial amount of time.

Honestly, I don't want to devote that much time to a "magazine". With a traditional magazine, you are able to read the headlines and decide if the article is worth pursuing. If it isn't you move on, but you know what you are leaving behind. With Project, you don't necessarily know what you are missing until you click through on each button. There lies my dilemma; I don't want to put this much time into a single magazine, but I also don't want to miss out on something...

 
 
 
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The Post Consumer Era

Posted by Hal Thomas on December 28, 2010

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Here's a great infographic that shows how purchase influences have evolved over time. The infographic accompanies an insightful post David Armano wrote last year on marketing in the post consumer era. The post is every bit as relevant today as it was then and is totally worth your time to read. Or you can be lazy and just watch the video below, which covers similar ground.

 
 
 
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Twitter Account Strikes A Chord

Posted by Sloane Kelley on December 28, 2010

How do I love thee, Twitter? Let me count the ways...

People are always asking me why I love Twitter, why it's my favorite social network. It's simple. Twitter is a platform open to all kinds of creativity. Just consider some of my favorites of 2010, which happen to center around drawing attention to current events: @TSAGov and @BPGlobalPR. Or even consider something less newsy, my own labor of love @JamesBondTheDog.

What do these Twitter accounts have in common? Creative content.

Now add music criticism to that list of Twitter creativity and give credit to the Village Voice for recognizing this type of writing. They've named a Twitter account, @Discographies, Music Critic of the Year.

While the writer of @Discographies wishes to remain anonymous, the Village Voice is running an interview with him/her, which points out the possibilities of Twitter and its 140 characters.

Skeptics might think that the brevity of 140 characters would foster a kind of surface-y and impersonal interaction, but I think it does exactly the opposite: it forces you to communicate in a way that's more signal than noise. Those are two really powerful functions--spreading ideas and connecting people--embedded in one convenient place. And I think we're just beginning to discover what the combination of those things might yield.

Well said.

 
 
 
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