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Facebook Confirms Gowalla Hire


Facebook confirmed on Monday (December 5th) the rumored acquiring of the Texas-based online location service Gowalla.

The plan behind the deal is to hire the talent behind Gowalla and shut the service down completely. They have not purchased the Gowalla technology or service, but rather have hired the team.

Facebook said in a statement, “Gowalla co-founders Josh Williams and Scott Raymond, along with other members of the Gowalla team, are moving to Facebook in January to join our design and engineering teams.”

Neither company would say how many employees Gowalla has or how many would be joining Facebook. They also didn’t comment on what they would be working on together, but from Williams comment in his blog post, signs are pointing to the Facebook Timeline.

Williams said, “The Gowalla Passport has become a record of all the places we’ve visited, the people we were with, the photos we took, and the stories we told. Many of you even use Gowalla like a scrapbook of sorts — a place to keep all those memories.”

What are your thoughts on this announcement? Did you use Gowalla?

Must Use Self Serve Ad Networks


As an affiliate marketer, or even just a blogging, the end goal is to bring new traffic to your landing pages, sites and blogs. What is changing, is how you can advertise and bring in a new flow of traffic to your target points. No longer do you have to blindly create ad campaigns on a CPM basis, and just hope for great results. The same can also be said about targeting and who will see your ad. The days of having to wait for a sales or support team to upload your ad creatives and get back to you within 24-48 hours for your first set of stats is also a thing of the past … all thanks to self serve advertising platforms.

Finally, ad networks and social networks are getting smart and letting the advertisers do the work and setup ad campaigns the way they want. Now you can target specific demographics, only target to certain countries and use a full rotation of different ad copies, all thanks to the self serve ad networks listed below.

Facebook Ads

With over 800 million users and quickly approaching the 1 billion mark, Facebook has changed the way we advertise, thanks to their amazing Facebook Ads platform. Since every one on Facebook is all about sharing information, Facebook uses that same information to allow advertisers to create ad campaigns that advertise to their exact customer match. Looking for single females in New York that love “Desperate Housewives“? In a few simple clicks you can target them all on Facebook.

Facebook allows you to create your own ad campaigns made up of headline text, a description and a 110×80 image to represent your offer. Through the Facebook Ads manager you can create a ton of ad campaigns and different ad copies, which makes it extremely for you to perform split testing. All advertising is on a CPC or CPM basis.

Plenty of Fish

Just like Facebook launched their own advertising platform, Plenty of Fish, which is the largest free dating web site in the world, soon followed up with their own self serve ad platform. Dating web sites work the same way social networks do, as in people provide detailed information about themselves, which is then used by the networks for advertising targeting.

Plenty of Fish has even more detailed information than Facebook when it comes to targeting. From pet ownership to hair color and how many children someone has, POF has become a playground for internet marketers. Through the use of a Plenty of Fish Ads Uploader you can quickly create hundreds of ad campaigns in just minutes, then weed out the best offers for further monetization and improvement. All advertising on Plenty of Fish is on a CPM basis, so make sure you work on your click through rates!

Mochi Media

Lastly we have an exciting wonderland for anyone in the gaming niche. Mochi Media is one of the largest networks out there when it comes to gaming and getting the attention of players around the world. Through their advertising platform you can target nearly any county in the world, while also selecting what type of gamers you want to connect with.

Advertising through Mochi Media is setup through a CPC or CPM basis, and will vary in price depending on what country to you target. The only creative allowed on the self serve network is the 300×250 ad size. Don’t forget to check out our Mochi Media review.

As you can see, the way advertisers are creating ad campaigns is much different from what you may be used to. If you are still buying traffic without full demographics and targeting, you need to start playing around with these self serve networks. Not only will you reach a whole new audience, but you will learn a ton about yourself and advertising in the process.

Feel free to leave any comments on your favorite self serve platforms or any that may have not been mentioned.

The BlogWorld Community – Places to Connect Online


Isn’t the internet a wonderful place? One of the things I love most is the various types of communities around. You’ve got Flickr, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and so many more! It’s pretty great that you can choose to be part of one, ten, or twenty different communities on any given topic.

That being said, I’d like to introduce to you the BlogWorld & New Media Expo Communities with some official links to get you going. Personally, I’ve got them all bookmarked in a folder on my toolbar, so I can simply select, “Open All in Tabs” and whammo – there they are!

Facebook Page

The BWE Facebook page has (as of my typing this) over 5,000 members. It’s where we push out links to our blog posts and updates, communicate with fans and attendees, have random and not-so-random discussions, and in general is where people interact with each other about various topics, links of interest, and so on. I probably currently spend most of my time here right now.

Facebook Event RSVP Page

This is the page we’d love to see our community use some more! Facebook events are great things, because you can RSVP there and show all your friends and colleagues that you’re planning to attend BlogWorld! You can also use it to invite others to attend as well.

Twitter (official accounts and #bwechat)

When I’m tweeting for BlogWorld (which is all day, every day), you’ll find me on @blogworldexpo, which is the official BlogWorld account, and the place to go if you have any questions or anything like that. Deb Ng, our wonderful Conference Director, also runs a weekly #bwechat there, every Wednesday night at 9pm EST. We often feature special guests like some of our speakers, or active members of the community who have something to share. You never know who may show up, so don’t miss it!

BWE Forum

I’ll be working on the BWE Forum quite a bit in the coming months. Ideally, I’d like to see this community grow to a place where “newbies” and “veterans” can come together to learn, teach, share, and explore. I’m not thinking, “All BlogWorld, All The Time” with this one (*gasp*), but more so for it to become a great place to connect and support each other in our endeavors as bloggers, podcasters, vloggers, and content creators, all year round.

LinkedIn Group

Did you know we have a LinkedIn Group for BlogWorld? You can use this tool to network with other attendees and fans, connect on LinkedIn with people you know or would like to get to know, and share thoughts and ideas freely in there! Networking at the conference event is a crucial activity, but with the LinkedIn group, you can keep in touch with those you meet at the events, or find people you’d like to meet at the next one!

Flickr & YouTube

We also have some great places you can check out photos of our events, speaker videos, and more, with our Flickr and YouTube accounts! We’d love to see you share your BWE photos in our Flickr pools too!

So there you have it – all the places you can go online to connect with us, with fellow attendees, and with our speakers. Come join us, hang out, learn and share. See you ’round the interwebz!

Need a Reminder About Being Careful on Social Media? Take This Lollipop


Usually, I don’t get too freaked out by social media sharing. I keep my Facebook profile set to “friends only.” I don’t have any friends on Foursquare or Gowalla and only use it for things like finding people at conferences. I’m careful about what I say on Twitter, especially in terms of my location. I figure, if some creepo out there really wants to find me, they’re going to find me whether I’m even more careful online or not.

But sometimes we all need a reminder just how serious social media privacy really is. Check out Jason Zada‘s new site, Take This Lollipop. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Woah. That’s seriously scarey, right? It’s a good reminder for all of us to be diligent with privacy settings and think before we post or allow apps access to our profiles. After all, even if you have your privacy settings pretty tight, you don’t know who is behind those Facebook apps you’re using. It’s relatively easily to create an app and people don’t think twice about allowing access.

Little know fact: before I got into writing and new media, I was a research assistant for my college’s Institutional Advancement and Development office. Basically, that’s the office that helps raise money for the school through donations from alumni, parents, and community members. As a research assistant, my job was to find as much information possible about potential donors so that staff could know how to best reach out to them and convince them to donate. I liked to say that I was a “professional stalker.” This was back in 2004 – 2006, and even then, you would be amazed at the stuff I could find online about people – everything from home values (with addresses) to favorite hobbies to social security numbers. YES – social security numbers. And like I said, this was several years ago. Imagine all the new stuff online now.

Please don’t stop using social media sites. They can be fantastic tools for not only marketing your blog or business, but also connecting with awesome people from around the world. Just think before you post. There are some bad apples out there and you don’t want to put yourself or your family at risk.

Why You Should Stop Complaining About Facebook


The Internet has been exploding over the last few days as Facebook announced (and already made in some cases) a ton of changes, most notably to profile pages. Most of what I’ve been hearing is complaining. It seems like every time Facebook makes changes, even minor ones, people get bent out of shape about it. Today, I’d like to encourage you to stoppit. Stop complaining about Facebook, because it doesn’t make sense. Here’s why:

Change Isn’t Always Bad

Have you actually tested out the new changes? There are always going to be things I would have done differently when it comes to how any platform operates, but now that I’ve tested it out, I actually understand why the changes were made and I’m not going to lie…they’re pretty awesome changes, for the most part. At least in my opinion. If you don’t like the changes, it’s okay to voice that opinion, but at least test it out before you complain. It’s always a good policy to understand what you’re so mad about, right? You can start by checking out Julie’s post which lists 10 places to learn about the new Facebook timeline, including how to preview your new timeline if you don’t want to wait until September 30. Don’t just complain based on what you’ve read. Use it yourself first.

Facebook is Optional

You don’t like Facebook? Don’t use it. No one is forcing anyone to use Facebook, yet every person I see complaining about Facebook is still a member of Facebook. In fact, most of the complaining I see is on Facebook. If you really don’t like using Facebook…stop using it. Move to Twitter or Google+ or stay connected with your friends the old-fashioned way – pick up the phone. I know lots of people who don’t use Facebook and they haven’t died. The only way we can truly tell Facebook that we disagree is by not using it anymore.

Facebook is Free

Facebook is a free service. You don’t own it, nor do you pay to use it. As users who have helped make it successful, I’m not saying that you have no right to voice your opinion if you don’t like something, because, after all, without us, Facebook wouldn’t make any money. However, Facebook is not your blog. The Facebook overlords are going to make the changes they think makes the most sense, and your best interests may not be in mind. Don’t make Facebook your home base, because you’ll never truly have control over your content there. If you want control, buy your own domain name and actually take ownership of your content rather than just complaining. Facebook is going to do what Facebook is going to do, and you can’t really stop it. On your own blog, you get to control everything.

Complaining is a Waste of Time

Complaining, at least the way most people are going about it, is a waste of time. It’s easy to point out what is wrong with something, but are you actually making suggestions on how to make things better? And, more importantly, are you voicing your opinions in a way that matters? If you just spout off a bunch of profanities as a Facebook status update, what good is it really going to do? Send an email to the Facebook team with your opinion. You can at least try to get your suggestions in front of people who really matter. Not that your roommate’s second grade best friend and former college tutor aren’t great…but like your other Facebook friends, they can’t do anything about your complaints. It’s really easy to be critical, but it’s not so easy to be helpful. If you’re going to be negative, try to be helpful as well.

It’s Just Facebook

At the end of the day…it’s just Facebook. I understand that a lot of people rely on Facebook to keep in touch with loved ones or to promote their blogs, but if Facebook disappeared tomorrow, I assure you, we would all survive. Every moment you spend complaining about Facebook is a moment you could be spending on things that are more important in life, like your family or building your business in ways where you actually control the content. The way I see it, life already throws a lot of crap our way that we have to handle. Why spend even more time on negativity? In other words…there are more important things in life than Facebook. Spend your time on those things.

The bottom line, the moral of the story, the thesis of this entire post, is this: I definitely want to hear people’s opinions on the new Facebook changes; I just want it to be productive. Don’t let useless complaining drown out the real conversation.

Does Facebook’s New Locked Search Bar Signal a New Design is Coming?


Some of you may have noticed there’s a slight change on Facebook that appeared yesterday. The search bar at the top is now locked and stays with you as you scroll down the page. Before, the search bar just stayed at the top and you didn’t see it as you scrolled down.

The change keeps important information like notifications, friend requests and messages on the left accessible, as well as Home, Profile and Account on the right. Both Twitter and Google+ have the same design, which is one more way Facebook seems to be trying to follow the lead and keep an eye on the features of their competitors.

According to Inside Facebook, they believe this new design tweak could be a signal a new design is coming, which would be unveiled at Facebook’s F8 conference next week. They think this is a slight change to get users ready for changes in the news feed.

I noticed the locked search bar on my Facebook account. What about you and what do you think about the slight change, that might actually be leading up to a bigger change?

Image: Inside Facebook

Nielsen Releases Their “State of the Media: The Social Media Report”


Yesterday (September 11th) Nielsen released their “State of the Media: The Social Media Report” which “looks at trends and consumption patterns across social media platforms in the U.S. and other major markets, exploring the rising influence of social media on consumer behavior”.

Here are a few of the highlights from the report:

  • Social networks and blogs continue to dominate Americans’ time online, now accounting for nearly a quarter of total time spent on the Internet
  • At over 53 billion total minutes during May 2011, Americans spend more time on Facebook than they do on any other website
  • Tumblr is an emerging player in social media, nearly tripling its audience from a year ago
  • Nearly 40 percent of social media users access social media content from their mobile phone
  • Internet users over the age of 55 are driving the growth of social networking through the Mobile Internet
  • 70 percent of active online adult social networkers shop online, 12 percent more likely than the average adult Internet user
  • Across a sample of 10 global markets, social networks and blogs are the top online destination in each country, accounting for the majority of time spent online and reaching at least 60 percent of active Internet users

It’s no surprise that Americans spend more time on Facebook than any other website. From my FB friends who say they’re addicted to it and take frequent Facebook fasts, to the amount of people (is it 750 million now?) who are on the social networking site.

It’s also no surprise that nearly 40% of social media users are accessing the content from their phone. Especially after the article I posted today of the prediction about where PCs will be by 2015.

You can read the full report here. From the highlights I posted, are than any statistics and trends that surprised you?

Facebook Comes in 5th on the “50 Things You Couldn’t Live Without” List


Facebook comes in 5th place on a “50 things you couldn’t live without list” beating out things like a flushing toilet, a shower, email and Twitter. Actually, Twitter came in last place at number 50, but at least it made the list!

The list I am referring to is a recent study conducted by the London Science Museum. They surveyed 3,000 people about 50 things they could not live without.

The intention of the survey was in support of the museum’s latest exhibition, Water Wars: Fight The Food Crisis, which shows the need for fresh water and the technologies focused on helping solve the problem.

Here is the full list of results via TheNextWeb:

  1. Sunshine
  2. Internet connection
  3. Clean drinking water
  4. Fridge
  5. Facebook
  6. NHS
  7. Cooker
  8. Email
  9. Flushing toilet
  10. Mobile phone / smartphone
  11. Tea and Coffee
  12. Washing machine
  13. Shower
  14. Central heating
  15. Painkillers
  16. Fresh vegetables
  17. Vacuum Cleaner
  18. Kettle
  19. Sofa
  20. Shoes
  21. Fresh fruit
  22. Google
  23. Car
  24. Hair straighteners
  25. Public transport
  26. Laptop
  27. Chocolate
  28. DVD Player
  29. Wristwatch
  30. Make-up
  31. Flat screen TV
  32. Wedding ring
  33. Tumble dryer
  34. Bottled water
  35. Ebay
  36. Bicycle
  37. Ipod
  38. Air conditioning
  39. Disposable nappies
  40. Light bulbs
  41. Spell-check
  42. Sat Nav
  43. Push-up bra
  44. Nintendo Wii
  45. iPad
  46. Gym Membership
  47. Season ticket to your football club
  48. Freezer
  49. Xbox
  50. Twitter

What item shocks you the most that made the list? Or, is there anything that didn’t make the list that you think should most definitely be on there!

The fact that Facebook made it in the top 5 along with clean drinking water really surprises me. And it beat out a flushing toilet? Seriously people?!

Want to Sit By Your Facebook Friends at a Concert? Ticketmaster Can Help


Ticketmaster has now integrated Facebook into its interactive seat maps, which allows you to tag yourself in a seat. You can let your Facebook friends know where you’re going and where you’ll be sitting.

You can share your plans with who you want – everyone, friends or even nobody at all. Once you connect your account, you’ll see a map infused with your Facebook friends (picture to the right) and where they are sitting. The miniature Facebook flags will let you know.

The feature is currently live for more than 9,000 Ticketmaster and Live Nation events.

Once you share your Ticketmaster seat tag on Facebook, whomever you decided to share it with will see a “Check out my seats” post. They can then decide when purchasing their tickets if they would like a seat next to yours. Or, possibly a seat no where near yours.

The idea of the Ticketmaster Facebook integration is to take ticket buying to the pre-web stage, Ticketmaster executive vice president of ecommerce Kip Levin told Mashable. “Online took away from the old experience of going down to the record store to purchase tickets. This is a way to go back to that.”

Here’s a video which shares the new Ticketmaster Facebook feature.

Will you use this new Ticketmaster feature to let your friends know where you’ll be sitting? Or would you rather them not know?


Man Sentenced to 4 Years in Jail for Facebook Riot Page


Social Media can be used to spread good news for a good cause and as we saw with the London riots, it can also be used to spread violence which tears a city apart.

Two young men, who used Facebook to post messages during the London riots, have been sentenced to 4 years in jail, says The Guardian.

Twenty-year-old Jordan Blackshaw (left) created a Facebook event called Smash Down Northwich Town. Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan (right), 22, used his Facebook account to design a web page entitled The Warrington Riots.

Neither posts are believed to have actually caused any meetings or disturbances.

While some are saying these sentences are a little extreme, The Crown Prosecution Service said in a statement, “While the judge heard the two defendants were previously of good character, they admitted committing very serious offenses that carry a maximum sentence of 10 years. The consequence of their actions could have led to more disorder and this was taken into account.”

Nearly 1,300 suspects have been brought before the courts and the sentences have been harsh. Crown court judge Andrew Gilbert QC, is making it very clear why.

He said, “The principal purpose is that the courts should show that outbursts of criminal behaviour like this will be and must be met with sentences longer than they would be if the offences had been committed in isolation. For those reasons, I consider that the sentencing guidelines for specific offences are of much less weight in the context of the current case, and can properly be departed from.”

Home Secretary Theresa May and other UK officials will be meeting with Facebook and Blackberry Messenger to discuss the possibility of banning people from social networks when they know they are using them for “plotting violence, disorder and criminality”.

Image Source: The Guardian

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