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Up to 70 Percent of Toy Companies’ Samples Go to Bloggers

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LeapFrog's LeapPad sent to mom bloggers to create buzz

The Holiday toy shopping season has come and gone and toy companies are now analyzing their sales and marketing efforts. “What worked and what didn’t?” they ask. How toy companies get the word out about their products has changed drastically over the years.

The Associated Press recently published a story on how mommy bloggers can make or break a toy’s success. It was just five short years ago that 98 percent of the samples toy companies sent out went to TV stations, newspapers and magazines. Enter 2011 and as much as 70 percent of their toy samples went to bloggers, says the AP. That’s a huge shift.

LeapFrog’s $99 LeapPad was almost impossible to purchase as we got closer to Christmas and part of that reason could definitely be attributed to mom bloggers, such as Colorado blogger Emily Vanek of ColoradoMoms.com. She was contacted by LeapFrog’s PR to host a “mommy party” for the product. This was LeapFrog’s chance to use word-of-mouth marketing in real life, as well as the online marketing efforts of mom bloggers all over the United States.

Of course, with all things related to mom blogging, there are your critics. Just read the one comment left by “dosolivas” who says, “Mommy blogs are an industry with a scheme ripped straight from ProBlogger.com to build up the ILLUSION of influence. One way they do that is by creating notice on big media sites, soliciting to appear on morning shows, and things like that. This creates the I SAW IT ON TV effect that gets people to think the site must be legit because… they saw it on tv.”

Another commenter chimed in and said they’ve worked with mom bloggers for close to two years and working with them has overall proven to generate buzz for a product.

It will definitely be interesting to watch how companies and mom bloggers (or bloggers in general) work together over the next few years.

Do you think companies will continue to reach out to bloggers for their marketing efforts for years to come, or are we hitting a spike that’s about to start going downhill?

Corporate Supporters Back Away from SOPA

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After the official list of SOPA supporters was published and a post on Reddit about GoDaddy supporting SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) created a PR nightmare for the company, it looks like the list of corporate supporters is getting shorter.

For those of you not familiar with the SOPA and GoDaddy debacle, here’s the short story.

After GoDaddy showed up on the list of SOPA supporters, a single post on Reddit asking people to move their domain names elsewhere, caused GoDaddy to withdraw their support. On December 23rd, GoDaddy made the announcement:

“Go Daddy is no longer supporting SOPA, the “Stop Online Piracy Act” currently working its way through U.S. Congress.

“Fighting online piracy is of the utmost importance, which is why Go Daddy has been working to help craft revisions to this legislation – but we can clearly do better,” Warren Adelman, Go Daddy’s newly appointed CEO, said. “It’s very important that all Internet stakeholders work together on this. Getting it right is worth the wait. Go Daddy will support it when and if the Internet community supports it.”

You can read their entire letter here.

GoDaddy isn’t the only company speaking out and asking to be removed from the SOPA list of supporters. Law firms and companies who were listed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as SOPA supporters are not only asking to be taken off the list, but are also saying they have no idea how they ended up on it in the first place.

One company’s message on Twitter was “Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet!”

Does it look like to you SOPA and its “corporate supporters” is crumbling before our very eyes?

Facebook Releases Their Top Games of 2011 List

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Social gaming has been huge this year, from Facebook launching new game features to Google+ adding gaming to their social network. It will be both fun and interesting to see what 2012 has in store for game play within our favorite online social hangouts.

Facebook released their Top Games of 2011 list yesterday (December 21). I was very surprised to see that Gardens of Times earned the top spot. I fully expected to see CityVille, but given the way Facebook pulled together this list, it explains why it wasn’t number one.

Facebook said, “This list was compiled by looking at the top games on Facebook with more than 100,000 monthly active users and giving priority to those games with the highest user satisfaction scores. The result is a list of the games that received the most user recommendations in 2011.”

Here are Facebook’s Top Games of 2011:

  1. Gardens of Time (by Playdom)
  2. The Sims Social (by EA)
  3. Cityville (by Zynga)
  4. DoubleDown Casino (by DoubleDown Entertainment)
  5. Indiana Jones Adventure World (by Zynga)
  6. Words With Friends (by Zynga)
  7. Bingo Blitz (by Buffalo Studios)
  8. Empires & Allies (by Zynga)
  9. Slotomania-Slot Machines (by Playtika)
  10. Diamond Dash (by wooga)

Which Facebook game is your favorite and sucks the most time out of your day?

A Huge List of Companies Supporting SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act)

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Allison recently wrote about SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and why it scares her. For those of you not familiar with SOPA, it’s a new legislation in the United States that is seeking to punish people for posting pirated content.

You can read Alli’s entire post on SOPA and how there are loopholes, that in her opinion will get abused, here. Some are calling this the worst thing to ever happen to the internet.

Congress published a list of companies who are supporting SOPA, among the list are Walt Disney, Marvel, CBS, ESPN, Viacom and VISA…just to name a few.

Here is the entire list of companies supporting SOPA. Gizmodo has published this list, along with ways to contact each company, if you so desire to tell them how you feel about this new legislation.

SOPA Supporters

How do you feel about SOPA? Is it dangerous and ridiculous or necessary?

Santa’s Ho Ho Hotline and Gmail Team Up

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Would you like to send someone a phone call from Santa? Now you can thanks to Santa’s Ho Ho Hotline and Gmail, who have teamed up together this Holiday season.

You can send a personalized Holiday phone call to anyone in the U.S. or Canada, as well as give Santa a call and leave him a message on his Google Voice number – 855-34-SANTA.

Google also announced on their blog, that anyone in the world can create and send a personalized video message from the big man himself – Santa. Check out their sample video to get some ideas.

Just go to SendaCallfromSanta.com and follow the instructions to create your video message. After you create your video, you can share it through email and Google+.

Santa has gone hi-tech! Happy Holidays!

YouTube’s 2011 Year in Review

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I rounded up some of the best viral videos of 2011 here and now YouTube has posted their 2011: Year in Review. It’s no surprise Rebecca Black topped the list. She’s a viral video wonder whether we like it or not.

You might be wondering how YouTube comes up with their Year in Review lists and Kevin Allocca, YouTube Trends Manager, answered that question in a blog post from today.

“To compile these lists, we looked at global view counts of popular videos uploaded throughout this year, and, in some instances, we aggregated views across multiple versions of the same video. 2011 was a year of amazing new channels and new stars being discovered, awesome creativity, and of course, Rebecca Black. It was also a year of powerful news stories playing out on YouTube, as people witnessed and documented uprisings and natural disasters, touching personal moments and moments of protest.”

Here are the 10 most viewed YouTube videos globally: (excluding videos from major music labels)

  1. Rebecca Black – Friday (OFFICIAL VIDEO)
  2. Ultimate Dog Tease
  3. Jack Sparrow (feat. Michael Bolton)
  4. Talking Twin Babies – PART 2 – OFFICIAL VIDEO
  5. Nyan Cat [original]
  6. Look At Me Now – Chris Brown ft. Lil Wayne, Busta Rhymes (Cover by @KarminMusic)
  7. The Creep (feat. Nicki Minaj & John Waters)
  8. Maria Aragon – Born This Way (Cover) by Lady Gaga
  9. The Force: Volkswagen Commercial
  10. Cat mom hugs baby kitten

Cats, babies and music always seem to be popular. Which video, out of the 10 listed, is your favorite of 2011? I’m going to have to go with the talking babies.

YouTube’s 2011: Year in Review

How People Are Traveling This Holiday Season, Winter Travel Infographic

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Are you packing up for your Holiday travels? Or maybe you are already on the road, at the airport or waiting at the train station. Twitter is on fire with Holiday travel tweets, from complaints about plane delays (what’s new?) to how people are booking their flights and hotels.

The people at Mashwork were curious about how people are traveling, how they are booking their travel, where they are staying and just Holiday travel in general. They put together this handy Winter Travel Infographic after analyzing over 20,000 travel tweets.

The top states tweeting about travel are New York, California, Illinois, Texas and Pennsylvania. Priceline is the top way people are booking their hotels, with Orbitz topping the list of airplane travel booking. The top train company being tweeted about is Amtrak with Delta snagging the top spot for airlines.

Are you traveling this Holiday season? If so, safe travels from the BlogWorld team!

Remembering 9/11 and Steve Jobs Photos Make Flickr’s Year in Photos 2011

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2011 is coming to a close in just 2 weeks and people are busy posting their year end lists. We did our Best Viral Videos of 2011 and there are hundreds of others posted across the web.

What tells the story of the year more than just about anything are pictures. Pictures capture emotion, events as they’re happening and are memories we can look back on for years to come.

I love how powerful Flickr’s Year in Photos 2011 gallery is. It shows some of the most important moments over the year. Some are sad, some inspiring and some are even entertaining.

A few photos that made their Year in Photos 2011 include:

  • The March 11th earthquake and tsunami in Sendai, Japan [Picture]
  • The Royal Wedding [Picture]
  • President Obama and staff huddled in the White House Situation Room during the capture of Osama bin Laden [Picture]
  • The Devastating Tornado in Joplin, Missouri [Picture]
  • Remembering 9/11 10 Years Later [Picture]
  • Apple fans mourning the loss of Steve Jobs [Picture]

Take a look at the entire Flickr Year in Photos 2011 gallery here. Which event or moment of 2011 sticks out to you the most?

Instagram Co-Founder Tops Forbes 30 Under 30 for Social & Mobile List

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Forbes came out with their 30 under 30 list where they highlight some of the brightest minds and most successful people in different categories such as media, social & mobile, science and entertainment.

Instagram co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom, is featured in the 30 Under 30 for Social & Mobile list. It’s no secret Instagram has become a huge success and wildly popular. It was just back in August the site reached 150 million downloads in just 9 months.

Systrom spoke to Forbes about the app saying, “We worked really hard on making it really easy for people to share their lives in a beautiful way. It’s one thing to share a photo. It’s another for that photo to be gorgeous.”

Other names who made the Social & Mobile list include Tumblr creator David Karp, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Pinterest creators Ben Silbermann and Evan Sharp.

You can see the entire list here. You also might want to check out their 30 Under 30 list in Media. There are definitely a few names you’ll recognize there, such as Mashable’s Pete Cashmore.

 

New WordPress Plugin – P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler)

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A new WordPress plugin authored by GoDaddy has been released. The P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler) “creates a profile of your WordPress site’s plugins’ performance by measuring their impact on your site’s load time.”

Many plugins can cause major issues with WordPress sites, but this plugin helps profile and report performance issues.

If you have ever had issues with a site that loads slow, it can often be due to a poorly configured plugin or because there are too many plugins installed in the first place. With the P3 plugin, you can pinpoint what’s causing the slowness of your site.

To download the P3 plugin, visit the plugin page on the WordPress.org site here.

Have you downloaded the P3 plugin yet? I am downloading it now and am hoping it will help my blogs’ performances.

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