It’s Heere!

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We’re back with YouTube Friday. Here are our favorite videos of the month.

I have to go with Old Spice’s social media marketing campaign featuring Isaiah Mustafa. It’s a really cool campaign that’s actually targeted towards women who buy bath products for their boyfriends and husbands. My man already uses Old Spice, but if he didn’t, these commercials and tweets would persuade me to buy it for him! — Paige

I think we can all agree that this guy is extremely talented. — Michael

These are cutest bunnies in the world! — Liz

SF residents felt the ground shaking the other day when a little earthquake hit near Daly City. With earthquakes on the mind, I revisited what happened when the ‘89 earthquake hit by watching this 45-minute story by National Geographic.– Morgan

Lady Gaga and glee club, two of my favorite things in the world — Shannon

We’ll be back with YouTube Friday in August. Until then, happy viewing!

Larsson Takes the Lead

Gadgets, People, Technology

Exciting news for the fans of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy – The Wall Street Journal reports that “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” “The Girl Who Played With Fire” and “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest” have made Larsson the first author to sell over 1 million books on the Amazon Kindle. Unfortunately, Larsson is not around to celebrate this milestone (passed away in 2004), but readers of the computer hacker mystery series are jumping in their shoes! Have you read any of these titles?

Just Like Borrowing a Cup of Sugar From Your Neighbor

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Although I don’t necessarily need an 8’ x 24’ portable flat face soccer goal at the moment, thanks to NeighborhoodGoods.net I know that there is one available for my borrowing pleasure if I ever need one… as well as 371 other items within 50 miles from my house. The site, which connects you with neighbors who are willing to lend out anything from lawn mowers to shoes, integrates social networking as well as Google Maps to make for an easy and personalized borrowing experience that’s close to home.

The goal is to allow you to save money on something you might need only once by borrowing instead of buying; you receive confirmation emails revealing how much you would have spent on an item that you instead borrowed for free. As far as trusting people with returning your personal goods? The site uses a rating system, similar to Ebay, so you are aware of any dishonest borrowers. You also have the advantage of completing the transaction in person.

In addition to getting the awesome feeling of doing a good deed as a lender, you might also get to know a great neighbor in the process. Check out NPR’s article on NeighborhoodGoods.net for more information. You can also take a look at this video.

Why the iPhone is Better Than a Digital Camera

Apps

The Los Angeles Times posted an awesome article this week on the best iPhone apps for spicing up your pictures. My favorite apps mentioned include: HazelMail, which turns your pictures into mailable postcards for $1 each; Pano, which can stream together several pictures to create a panorama; and Animoto, an app that allows you to select 12 to 16 photos, add music, and create a video/slideshow.

Below is my attempt at giving you a larger picture of the view from my roof using Pano. Although mine looks a little rough around the edges, I think the app has great potential for creating some awesome panoramas once I get the hang of it.

 

 

Check out the article for even more apps. Which one is your favorite?

Cutline at Mashable’s Summer Tour SF

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Mashable’s Summer Tour invaded San Francisco last week and a few of us Cutliners were able to head over and enjoy the evening. We snacked on delicious apps and listened to the Mashable team introduce themselves to a room full of bloggers, developers and overall social media enthusiasts.

Needless to say, there was mingling, networking and even a Pete Cashmore sighting. We’re looking forward to enjoying this event annually. A big thanks to the folks at Mashable for organizing a fun evening!

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What do cubes, rubber ducks, and 100 dollar bills have in common?

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Last week we had a friendly little competition here at Cutline… a cube decorating contest. The final judging was on Friday afternoon and much to the chagrin of all involved, everybody won something. Sure, there were rubber ducks and paper guitars and massage pillows in the prize pool but nobody walked away empty-handed. Well, this Friday they will. Because now the real competition and smack talking starts. Beginning today, several Cutliners will be participating in the Facebook Fan Favorite competition to see who can get the most votes (in the form of new fans, likes and comments) for the time they took to jazz up their cubes. The winner of the Fan Favorite competition can buy their own rubber ducks when they become one with a Benjamin. And then perhaps the lucky duck will buy us all drinks. Who’s your favorite? Head over to our Facebook fan page to cast your vote! Voting ends at 12:01 pm PST on Friday, July 23.

“From Over Stuffed Shoe Boxes to Cluttered Flickr Streams”

Technology

Growing up in the age of computers, I can’t really remember a time when the use of digital storage to keep track of pictures wasn’t the norm. The only evidence I have that such times existed is my parent’s garage which holds boxes upon boxes of photo albums and printed pictures of memories past. Whenever I feel the need to take a walk down memory lane, I realize that doing so would mean finding and dragging out heavy boxes, and I normally end up changing my mind.

The process of storing pictures has since switched from storage boxes and old photo albums to hard drives and sites like Flickr and Photobucket. The difference between the two methods when it comes to organization? Sonia Zjawinksi from the New York Times argues that the two are one in the same: “Overstuffed shoe boxes have simply been replaced with cluttered hard drives and Flickr streams, leatherbound albums supplanted by Facebook uploads.”

There is, however, one advantage when it comes to digital storage; we now have the ability to integrate and utilize technology that was once limited to professionals in order to transform our uploaded photos into wall art for our homes

Zjawinksi highlights websites that do just that. Below are a few she mentions in her article:

  • Canvaspop.com: The site prints your photos onto a stretched canvas, and the end result is a professional looking picture ready for your wall.

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  • Collagewall.com: An easy way to create picture collages. The site takes your uploaded pictures and sends you everything you need to make a collage, including: mounts for your pictures, a grid to guide the placement of your photos, and push pins to hang the photos. Check out their video to learn more.
  • Wallhogs.com: This site turns your pictures into decals that are gentle on your wall. The prints are removable, adjustable, and versatile. Zjawinksi even claims that the print she ordered of her cat was so lifelike, that her “calico’s sibling stopped in her tracks when she saw it.”

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If only I knew about these sites a few weeks back for our Desk Decorating Contest that was held on Wednesday. Make sure to visit our Facebook page today and vote for your favorite desk!

Hey, doc, can I get a minute?

Technology, This Week in Apps!

We’re all familiar with OpenTable and its awesomely easy and convenient restaurant reservation system. What if there was a similar self-service appointment system for doctors? And what if that system also knew what kind of health insurance I have and could search for in-network doctors in my neighborhood?

Questions answered: the team over at ZocDoc which just landed a $15 million Series B round led by Founders Fund, has developed a Web service that enables patients to find doctors and make appointments (even same-day!) and helps health care providers to more efficiently manage their appointment books.

I checked out the service and it’s pretty cool. Enter your health insurance information and ZocDoc will pull up a list of health care providers in your area (the service is currently available in New York, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Chicago), along with each provider’s availability. Each provider has a profile page that lists his or her contact information, credentials, relationships with insurance companies, availability, and reviews from patients.

I use OpenTable all the time, and if I were looking for a new doctor, I would definitely use ZocDoc. I know that similar services already exist for the fitness and beauty industries, but this is the first I’ve seen for health care. Would you be comfortable making a dentist or doctor appointment over the Web? Which other industries would you like to see adopt this method of scheduling?

A Day at Social Media Marketing 2010

Events, PR, Technology

Last week I attended the Social Media Marketing conference in San Francisco – a full-day event that brings together leading brands and marketing experts to examine the viral power of social networks. The speakers and topics were awesome – offering tips on how to engage consumers via social media and providing information about social media trends that impact us now and into the future.

Key Themes and Topics:

· How publicists interact with journalists. All journalists who spoke agreed that they are interested in publicists who don’t just pitch their client, but rather educate the reporter on the industry or sector. That approach is more likely to make them want to learn more about it and write about it.

· Numbers and stats are always a good thing to include in a pitch. Kym McNicholas, Anchor and Reporter for Forbes.com, said that her editors always say “show me the numbers.” A lot of times, this is difficult for start-ups or young businesses, but if there is something positive, even just a small bit, they want to know about it.

· Big picture impact. David Gelles, technology and social media reporter for the Financial Times, made the point that he isn’t concerned about what’s happening in Silicon Valley, rather, he’s concerned more about how Silicon Valley is impacting the world. All great points and things we always try to keep in mind at Cutline.

· Building a brand/small business through social media. Prior to launching/branding, many panelists suggested a small business ask itself: Why are you doing social media and what is your goal? It is important to target specific places you want to be and create a content strategy.

· Small businesses should have three valuable things to say each day, whether through Twitter, Facebook or another social medium. We completely agree that building a brand is all about providing meaningful information.

· Utilize the proper social media for your brand, not just Twitter or Facebook. If the brand is more visual, perhaps the medium should be Flickr.

Though I only touched on a few key themes and presentations, the bottom line is that social media is becoming an increasingly important vehicle for businesses, both big and small. Whether it’s branding, advertising, or launching a business, early adopters of social media platforms (and the PR/marketing firms they engage) will be ahead of the curve if they do it the right way. Though embracing social media is an important step, succeeding can be difficult which is where I thought this conference was most helpful – giving advice on how to use these channels to take a business to the next level.

What types of social media tips do you offer your clients? We’d love to hear.

Quirky Finds For Your Summer BBQ

Technology, Tips+Tricks

To continue on with Paige’s theme of online party invitations, I thought I’d share with you Fred & Friends, a website dedicated to supplying fun and alternative products to give your summer BBQ a quirky edge.

Whether it be using “nails” instead of toothpicks for snacks,

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freezable high-heels to keep your drinks cold but not watered down,

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or “tooth picks” for snacks,

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the site has an awesome selection of products and pictures to browse through. Not only for parties, but for the office as well. I found myself chuckling at products like Toasted Notes, the Writer’s Block, and the Daily Mood notepad for your desk.

What do you think? Will you be turning to Fred & Friends for your next summer get-together?

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