Tag Archives: Business

‘Elle’ Invites Facebook Fans to Collaborate on Photo Shoot


In a creative crowdsourcing endeavor, Elle magazine is using Facebook to conduct a “readers’ choice” fashion shoot with creative director Joe Zee.

Between now and Sept. 20, the Hearst-owned fashion title is asking readers to choose between themes (“The New Great Gatsby,” “Big Top” or “Femme Fatale”), models, clothing, accessories and one surprise category. Voting will be held in five consecutive rounds in a Milyoni-powered Facebook app. Clothes and accessories are being provided by Amazon-owned retailer Shopbop.

On the 21st, Elle will livestream the shoot on Facebook. The final images will appear in a spread in the magazine’s December issue, which hits newsstands Nov. 13. Augmented reality technology will be incorporated into the issue to enable readers to pull up additional content from the shoot, Elle said in a statement.

To maintain reader enthusiasm between the end of September and mid-November, Elle will host a range of social media contests related to the shoot. Fans will be encouraged to create Pinterest boards and stage their own photo shoots to post to Instagram. Contest winners may be eligible to appear in an upcoming issue of Elle.

This isn’t the first time a brand has handed over the styling reins to online audiences. In late 2010, London-based fashion label Ted Baker invited fashion bloggers to partake in an online styling session. Participants used a live video stream and Twitter to direct hair stylists, makeup artists, runners and models as they created a number of different looks from pieces of Ted Baker’s Autumn/Winter 2010 collection. Spectators could watch and tweet in their own suggestions, but couldn’t take part in the process as directly as they will be able to with Elle.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2012/09/11/elle-facebook-photo-shoot/

Watch This Magazine Cover Transform Into an Interactive Game


The cover of ShortList, a weekly men’s magazine in the UK, took on a uniquely interactive quality this week thanks to Blippar.

Using Blippar’s augmented reality app for iPhone or Android devices, readers can scan the arcade game-style art on the cover to bring a fully playable version to life on their phones, as shown in the video above. Elsewhere in the issue, readers can use the app to pull up extra slideshows, vote in polls, take quizzes and more.

Blippar, a UK-based startup that set up its first U.S. office in Manhattan earlier this year, has been making increasingly frequent appearances in ads and even the cover of Justin Bieber’s last big album release, Believe. Meanwhile, augmented reality and other 2D-code-activated applications are being integrated into a broader array of magazine titles, including Allure, The Atlantic, Elle and Esquire.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2012/11/09/magazine-interactive-game-cover/

Are Unmanned Drones the Future of Journalism?


Independent journalist Tim Pool thinks the future of journalism could rely on drones. Mashable is thrilled to announce that he will give an in depth discussion on this at the 2012 Mashable Media Summit.

The Mashable Media Summit is a one-day conference that explores how new forms of technology are redefining media. The brightest minds in the industry will come together Nov. 2 at the TimesCenter in New York City to explore the latest innovations in the space and the future of journalism. Get your tickets now before they sell out!

Eventbrite - Mashable Media Summit 2012

Tim Pool was featured as part of TIME‘s person of the year (The Protester) as “Media Messenger of Zucotti Park.” Pool was also a nominee for TIME‘s 100 most influential people in the world. He will answer the most pressing questions about drone journalism.

This will definitely be a discussion you won’t forget, so make sure to get your tickets now! Tickets include all conference sessions, breakfast, lunch and a networking reception.

Also speaking at the Mashable Media Summit is a stellar lineup of speakers from Facebook, Reddit, Tumblr, Salon, AKQA, PBS and Hearst, among others. This one-day conference promises to offer a dynamic program of topics, ranging from the digital transformation of traditional media organizations to the latest trends in major social networking sites.

Image courtesy of Flickr, cliff1066™.

Mashable Media Summit Information

Date: Friday, Nov. 2, 2012
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Location: The TimesCenter, 242 West 41st Street, New York, NY 10036
Tickets: Purchase tickets on Eventbrite.

Supporting Sponsor

Sponsorship Opportunities

A limited number of sponsor opportunities are available for the Mashable Media Summit. This is an excellent opportunity to get in front of Mashable’s passionate and influential audience. Contact sponsorships@mashable.com for opportunities.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2012/10/05/tim-pool-media-summit/

70+ Events in Business, Innovation and More


Le Web Paris 2013 Conference on December 13, 2013
Image: Flickr, Le Web

The Mashable Events Board is a great place to find leading conferences in your industry, whether it’s advertising, technology, media or public relations. This week, we’re highlighting five events that we think can help move your career forward, from those in Boston to London. If you don’t find something that’s right for you, check out more than 60 events featured in our complete listing.

On the Events Board, you can sort listings by date added, get discount codes as a Mashable reader and watch videos of past events to get previews of what to expect. You can also follow @MashableEvents on Twitter to catch the best events before they sell out.


Augmented World Expo: NY
Date: Mar. 25
Location: New York, N.Y.

Some of the most notable names in AR and Wearable tech will showcase their latest innovations at Augmented World Expo: NY including Metaio, Augmate, Flyby, Vuzix, Deloitte, Daqri and more. Enjoy exciting live demos and presentations by leading Smart Glasses, Wearables and Augmented Reality companies, Educational sessions and tutorials for developers and designers.


Silicon Valley CrowdFunding Conference
Date: April 3 to 4
Location: Palo Alto, Calif.

We invite you to the 2nd annual Crowdfunding Conference which will bring together traditional private investors and crowdfunders. Crowdfunding Conference provides the participants with the unique opportunity to discuss current state of the industry, to learn from experts in venture capital, business angel and crowdfunding fields, to network and find new partnerships.


Useful Business Analytics Summit
Date: June 10 to 11
Location: Boston, Mass.

The Useful Business Analytics Summit is a platform for corporate peers to meet and determine how analytics can improve business decision making. The focus will be on how to identify and analyze useful data, to get useful insights which can drive useful business decisions. Presenters will be exclusively corporate practitioners -professionals who are dedicating their careers to promoting and facilitating data driven decisions in their organizations.


Engage London 2014
Date: April 30
Location: London

Socialbakers invites you to Engage London 2014, an international conference for social marketers, by social marketers. A day of exclusive insights, expert advice and interactive discussion, Engage is where the future of social marketing gets delivered.


Innovation Forum 2014
Date: Mar. 27
Location: Berkeley, Calif.

How can you take your company’s innovative ideas to the next level? Join The Economist’s Innovation Forum for discussion and debate about the critical issues surrounding innovation and product development across industries. The fifth-annual conference will gather the country’s most respected experts to explore how to create and implement your company’s innovative ideas.

Visit our full list of upcoming conferences and events here.

Want to promote your event on the Mashable Events Board? Post it here.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2014/03/12/events-business-innovation-more/

Hate Telemarketing Robocalls? FTC Wants to Stop Them


Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz is not a fan of Rachel from Card Services.

“Rachel, you are now Public Enemy No. 1,” Leibowitz joked on Thursday at the start of an FTC summit focused on ways to crack down on the not-so-humorous subject of illegal robocalls, which are automated telemarketing calls. Leibowitz said the commission gets thousands of complaints a month about the robocalls from Rachel and the credit card scam her sponsors are pushing, as well as many others.

The FTC summit focused on both technological and regulatory tools to curtail annoying robocalls to consumers from telemarketers. While the calls are often associated with landline phones, robocalls also are migrating to wireless phones as more Americans give up their landline phones and rely only on a cell phone.

Experts who appeared at the summit offered consumers a variety of ways to help reduce the annoying calls. Some of the proposed remedies are as simple as using caller i.d. and signing up for the National Do-Not-Call Registry to screen out unwanted calls or technologies that aim to block such calls. For wireless callers, there are apps that consumers can use to screen out both wireless robocalls and associated text messages, said Andrew Whitt, Verizon Communications director of network operations and corporate technology. But none of these solutions are foolproof.

The FTC said it is aggressively going after companies that call consumers with pre-recorded telemarketing calls without their permission. Violators could face fines as stiff as $16,000 per call. Despite this, there is still enough of an economic incentive for robocallers to chance getting caught, said Kevin Rupy, US Telecom’s senior director of law and policy. Some of the ways they make money include getting consumers to respond to the scams they are pushing, which might promise lower-credit card rates, he said.

The FTC offered up a challenge on Thursday to innovators to come up with a “technological solution that will reduce substantially the number of illegal robocalls both on landlines and mobile phones,” FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection Director David Vladeck said at the end of the summit.

The agency is offering a $50,000 award to college students or other individuals or small companies who come up with a new solution that blocks illegal robocalls but allows legitimate calls to go through. It must be easy to use and deploy and work much better in tackling the robocall problem than other technologies on the market today, Vladeck said. The contest formally opens on Oct. 25 and the deadline for submitting a solution is Jan. 17. The FTC plans to announce the winner in early April.

“Everyone wants to put Rachel and her robotic colleagues in their rear view mirror,” Vladeck said.

Image courtesy of Flickr, brenbot

This article originally published at National Journal

Read more: http://mashable.com/2012/10/19/robocall-challenge/

40+ Events in 3D Printing, Entertainment Tech and More


Mashable‘s Events Board is a great place to find the leading conferences in your industry — whether that’s advertising, technology, media or public relations. This week, we’re highlighting five events that we think can help move your career forward. Our picks below include events in New York, Chicago and London. If you don’t find something that’s a fit for you, you can check out more than 40 events in our complete listings.

On the Events Board, you can sort listings by date added, get discount codes for Mashable readers and, in some cases, watch a video of a past event so you can know what to expect. You can also follow our events account on Twitter so you’ll catch the best events before they sell out.

Inside Bitcoins
Date: July 30
Location: New Yorker, New York City

Virtual currencies are taking off, as platform and processing systems become more reliable and traditional merchants begin to adopt new forms of payment. The Inside Bitcoins conference and expo on July 30 will explore key issues including the future of currency, FinTech business trends, investment strategies and opportunities, and more. The program is designed to provide an overview of where the virtual currency industry is today and what business opportunities are on the horizon.

Inside 3D Printing Conference & Expo
Date: July 10 – July 11
Location: McCormick Place Convention Center, Chicago

Inside 3D Printing Conference & Expo has rapidly become the B2B tradeshow for the 3D printing industry. The recent New York City conference attracted more than 3,000 attendees and had significant 3D printing organizations as exhibitors, including 3D Systems, MakerBot, and Stratasys. The summer edition, programmed by Hod Lipson, takes place in Chicago. The program is geared to provide attendees with a strong foundation and understanding of where the 3D printing industry is today and what business opportunities are on the horizon.

Augmented Reality Summit (AR Summit)
Date: June 20
Location: Altitude London, London

Now in its 3rd year, the AR Summit, a one day conference & expo is set to return in 2013, providing a unique insight into the capabilities, innovations, successes and future direction of AR. This platform is designed to bring together the industry advocates, leading technology providers and innovative companies/brands looking to discover, explore and embrace the concepts AR brings.

Content Summit for PR, Social Media and Marketing Professionals
Date: June 24 – June 26
Location: Gleacher Center, Chicago

Master the most critical element in PR and marketing today: Content. 17 speakers will discuss the ROI of developing irresistible content, and how to get your staff excited about writing narratives that help employees and customers solve problems and share knowledge.

Mashable readers save $200 by using the code MASH12.

Entertainment Technology in the Internet Age
Date: June 18 – June 19
Location: Stanford Graduate School of Business, Knight Management Center, Stanford

Through a series of panel discussions and presentations, with ample opportunity for audience participation, the ETIA conference will examine topics within the areas of Internet-focused content creation, distribution, and monetization, as well as technical tools and solutions for shaping the user experience.

Visit our full list of upcoming conferences and events here.

Want to promote your event on Mashable‘s Events Board? Submit it here.

Image via Mario Tama/Getty Images

Read more: http://mashable.com/2013/05/30/events-3d-printing-entertainment/

A Sneak Peek at This Year’s Exciting Media Summit


Mashable Media Summit Speakers 2012

With less than one week until the Mashable Media Summit, tickets are selling out fast. Now’s your chance to purchase your ticket to learn about the hottest trends from the biggest leaders in media.

The Mashable Media Summit is a one-day conference that explores how new forms of technology are redefining media. The brightest minds in the industry will come together in a few days on Nov. 2 at The TimesCenter in New York City to explore the latest innovations in the space and the future of journalism. Get your tickets now.

Eventbrite - Mashable Media Summit 2012

We’ll be hitting on the biggest trends in media and what to watch for in 2013. Here is some of what you can expect to hear about at the Mashable Media Summit:

  • Digital media trends to watch in 2013

  • How to monetize without hurting community

  • Demystifying data-driven journalism

  • Why social media sites are becoming publishers

  • The future of journalism could be drones

  • How mobile is changing media for the better

  • What you should be measuring with social analytics

  • How brands are outpacing publishers

  • The digital transformation of politics

  • How Facebook has reinvented the entertainment industry

Other influential speakers joining the summit include Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit, Kay M. Matadi, head of entertainment at Facebook, Bonita Stewart, vice president of Americas Partner Business Solutions at Google, David Carey, president at Hearst Magazines, Joan Walsh, editor-at-large at Salon, and Tom Bedecarre, CEO of AKQA.

You can view the agenda online, and check out the highlights below of last year’s sold out Mashable Media Summit. Get your tickets now before it’s too late!

Amazon, Stop Messing Around and Ship Hachette’s Books


Portrait of American businessman and Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos poses in an aisle of bookshelves with a shopping cart full of books and compact discs, Seattle, Washington, September 1998. (Photo by Rex Rystedt/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)

Amazon is an amazing online retailer, capable of shipping products within 48 hours (or even less) from the moment you click “Buy Now with 1 Click.” It’s a miracle of modern logistics and technology.

So why, for one particular book publisher (Hachette), does Amazon appear to be using a horse and buggy for its deliveries?

Could it be spite?

Under founder and CEO Jeff Bezos’ leadership, Amazon has become the world’s most aggressive retailer. It gives no quarter to any competitor and is always looking for ways to deliver products from its voluminous catalog as soon as possible. The company is actually investigating how to intuit in advance what products you’ll buy in the future, so Amazon can have enough of that stuff at a nearby fulfillment center and delivered to you even faster. Bezos is so concerned with fast, cutting edge delivery that he even went on CBS’s 60 Minutes and unveiled a completely impractical drone delivery service.

Bezos, it’s fair to say, is obsessed with fast delivery.

But here I am, thinking about buying the new book Good Talk, Dad by William Geist about conversations with his father, legendary CBS Sunday Morning commentator Bill Geist, only to find that it will ship in “three to five weeks.” At Amazon’s chief online book competitor Barnes & Noble I can get the hardcover edition shipped to me within 24 hours.

I’m signed up for Amazon Prime, which means I get two-day shipping on everything I buy from the site, so I’m not about to rush off and order from another service. Still, I’m willing to put aside Geist’s warm humor for something different.

Years ago I met Mariano Rivera, the Yankee’s legendary Major League Baseball closer; his autobiography looks intriguing. On Amazon, The Closer by Mariano Rivera is still in hardcover and, for Prime members, a good deal at $16.80. It ships in … two to five weeks.

Barnes and Noble beats Amazon’s hardcover price by a penny, and it ships in 24 hours (or I can pick it up at one of their hundreds of retail locations).

What is going on here?

Amazon, it appears, may be doing something awful. According to numerous reports, the retail giant is locked in contract negotiations with publisher Hachette, the company that — you guessed it — publishes both Geist’s and Rivera’s books, along with those of other well-known authors such as David Sedaris and Malcolm Gladwell. Amazon apparently wants better terms from Hachette.

Bezos’ company has said little about what’s going on here. The only on-the-record statement I got from Amazon was “we are not commenting on this.” Hachette has publicly stated that there are no supply issues on their end, and that Amazon is holding onto minimal amounts of Hachette books “for reasons of their own.

I don’t know what new terms Amazon is seeking — but if it’s doing what Hachette and others say it’s doing here is true, it’s petty and just plain wrong.

Amazon is unquestionably the most powerful book seller in the world. It is the de facto gatekeeper for new titles and a kingmaker for new and upcoming authors. A bestseller on Amazon (even on their Kindle Single platform) can make or break a book and its author. Fiddling around with the entire line of a publisher can also do its share of damage.

Oddly enough, there’s at least one Hachette book that is relatively easy to get via Amazon — and it’s about Amazon. The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon, by Brad Stone, a tome lambasted by Bezos’s wife and published by, yes, Hachette, can ship to you in a few as four days.

Some observers have speculated that the alleged Hachette supply action is Amazon’s retaliation for the book, but that seems unlikely. It’s not much of a tell-all. Bezos is described in it as an extraordinarily bright child who grew into an “avid problem solver.” He also, apparently has “a chess grandmaster’s view of the competitive landscape.”

Is Bezos playing chess here? For brand new Hachette books, at least, he’s not living up to Stone’s glowing description of the company: “[Amazon] has perfected the art of instant gratification, delivering digital products in seconds and their physical incarnations in just a few days.”

One quote Stone attributes to Bezos may offer some insight into his alleged actions here:

There are two kinds of retailers: there are those folks who work to figure how to charge more, and there are companies that work to figure how to charge less, and we are going to be the second, full-stop.

Whether or not he said it that way, this is clearly Bezos’ strategy. He sells his own products with virtually no margins so he can get more people shopping in his online store. Bezos himself told me that he sells his Kindle Fire HDX tablets at “break even.” Perhaps he’s still trying to push Hachette in that direction as well.

Of course, you can go elsewhere for hard- and softcover Hachette books and, if you really want to read The Closer today, you can order the Kindle Edition. Personally, I haven’t read a hardcover book in years. However, there are many people, like my daughter, who still prize physical books. If you’re lining up your summertime reading, a book retailer who can’t deliver before the first week in July is unacceptable.

Amazon’s relationship with publishers has been fraught with animus from day one. While hardcover books on the site now range in price from $9.99 to $24, at first Amazon sold nearly all books, no matter how new, for $9.99. Publishers who wanted to be on the vital new platform had no choice but to acquiesce. They were not happy, nor were authors who saw returns tumble. Some, like James Patterson, kept their books off Amazon for years.

In the end it was Apple that turned things around. When the company launched iBooks, it went with the more traditional agency model, which let publishers set the prices and gave Apple a 30% cut. But if Apple found out that the same books were being sold more cheaply elsewhere, the publishers would be contractually forced to lower the price for Apple, too.

Oddly enough, this price gerrymandering resulted in Amazon switching to the agency model as well — and in the end, both online retailers ended up selling books for roughly the same price.

It’s not clear what Hachette is doing to upset Amazon, but it is clear that something here is amiss. The retailer cannot afford to have even the appearance of impropriety when it comes to stocking and selling partner books. It’s simply too powerful.

My suggestion is for Amazon to stop messing around, and pledge that it will never use its position as the world’s number one bookseller for leverage. You can’t play hardball on a world stage unless you expect to get bruised.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2014/05/23/amazon-hachettes-books-op-ed/

Is This What it Takes to Market Vodka? Pitchmen Pose as Window Washers


How do you reach white-collar professionals who routinely work 80-hour weeks? Ultimat Vodka offered one answer to that question, though it’s not clear how scalable it is.

The vodka brand dispatched a dapper-looking gentlemen in New York and Chicago to pose as a window-washer outside office buildings. Peering in from the windows, they shook the workers out of their stupor with an honest admission written on a placard: “You people are hard to reach.” The spokesmen then beckoned the workers to get out in the fresh air — preferably before 6 — and have a drink.

If the video above is to believed, the technique worked: The office drones cracked smiles and met the Ultimat pitchman later for cocktails.

Though sending Ultimat’s window washers out to recruit more fans would be challenging on a grand scale, thanks to the magic of YouTube, a million or so people have been won over since the video went up on July 26.

What do you think? Would you take Ultimat’s spokesman up on his offer? Do you give the brand points for cleverness? Let us know in the comments.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2012/07/30/market-vodka-pitchman-window-washer/

Sometimes Fat Cats Are Actually Fat Cats

You might’ve suspected that a fat cat runs your bank. Now you know for sure.

A new ad from Affinity Federal Credit Union puts a real feline face on that well-known trope, creating a character that’s a mix between Grumpy Cat and Ebenezer Scrooge. Instead of helping you reach your financial goals, this plump pet would rather bleed you dry, using the spoils to set himself up with a tricked-out condo, a wheelbarrow full of catnip and an age-inappropriate girlfriend. Bad kitty!

Affinity, on the other hand, is “100% fat cat free,” the ad says.

The campaign from ad agency DiMassimo Goldstein, New York, is its first work for new client Affinity. While conveying the message that Affinity is not a traditional bank, agency executives also aimed to tap into the Internet’s ongoing kitty love.


Video: YouTube, Affinity

“We wanted to personify that big bank mentality in a way that people would respond to,” said Tom Christmann, chief creative officer. “So we thought, ‘Cat video plus I-hate-banks equals fat cat,’ which might be the algorithm for a viral video.”

Even though the country is six years post-recession, consumer sentiment still leans toward the banks-are-evil mindset, he said. That creates an opening for a business like Affinity at a time when credit union membership is growing steadily.


Video: YouTube, Affinity

Not to deflate the image, but the star of the campaign isn’t actually fat. The exotic shorthair kitty, named Elvis and chosen after a casting call of more than a dozen felines, bulked up with a custom-made fat suit, Christmann said. And those aren’t his paws, either. Puppeteers provided the tiny cat “hands” and gestures in the ad.

Nor is Elvis a greedy megalomaniac. He is, after all, just playing a character.

He’s the Robert DeNiro of cats. He’s the sweetest guy, Christmann says.”

Look for another ad in this series, coming later this summer, where the “fat cat” tosses potted plants off a desk, mimicking another Internet sensation. It’s all about waste and how, of course, Affinity doesn’t use your money for needless overhead.

The campaign is focused mostly in New Jersey, Affinity’s home base, with cable TV spots and billboards. But its social media tentacles will reach much further, via online banners, search and YouTube. There will be a Fat Cat Tinder profile, and the character will take over Affinity’s Twitter account. Also in the works: a music video about Fat Cat and his paramour, Shailene.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2014/07/18/fat-cat-bank-ad/