Blog Archives

Getting Paid to Build the Future is Pretty Cool

I normally don’t take the time to blog about every intimate detail about the work I do daily as the Lead Social Strategist at Livefyre, probably the best social engagement management system on the market today, but today is different.

In the past few months of work here, I have been privileged to be challenged beyond anything I ever imagined. From helping improve the engagement and development of community for our publishing customers to coming up with new campaign ideas daily for major brands, working on new features of the Livefyre product and even a moderately successful attempt at writing a few JSON config files for our product team as we launched an awesome Super Bowl News Hub, it’s safe to say that Livefyre is unlike any company out there today.

We see it in the media reports daily, social content is flourishing and brands/publishers are stuck somewhere in the middle trying to figure out how to get the critical mass behind their communities on external social networks without sacrificing their brand’s core values to the consumer or monetization strategy.

livefyre on techcrunch

We’re doing this at Livefyre every day, which is why it’s really refreshing to announce that we have raised $15 million in funding to pursue this reality, led by U.S. Venture Partners (USVP), Greycroft Partners, Cue Ball, HillsVen Group, and ff Venture Capital (the last of  which I previously had the pleasure to write a blog post for).

Livefyre is expanding to new markets faster than we can staff our offices, while our reputation of innovation for existing and future customers remains unmatched. We still have the best customer service team in the online commenting game, and pretty soon you’re going to see how we take these skills and become the dominant force behind socially-powered content experiences for brands and publishers.

This can start on the web, but live anywhere…be that a smartphone (like our client Bravo’s BravoNow app), social command center, Jumbotron, or even bringing you socially-relevant content streaming live through your TV.

I am fully committed to working with the biggest and brightest agencies and brands, so if you’re interested in learning more about the types of services Livefyre offers, email me (nick@livefyre.com) or drop me a note here.

To learn more about the buzz surrounding Livefyre’s funding announcement and plans for growth, check out these articles on TechCrunch, TheNextWeb and BetaKit.

Instacube launches on Kickstarter

After months of patiently waiting, Instacube finally launches today on Kickstarter.

In case you haven’t already heard from my tweets or posts, Instacube is a really awesome marriage of design and social interaction in one gorgeous cube. Basically by liberating Instagram photos from your smart device, Instacube feeds your favorite images wirelessly at 3x the size.

“When designing Instacube, I was inspired by the idea of creating a living canvas,” says John Whaley, Head Industrial Designer at D2M | Design to Matter and visionary behind Instacube. “Up until this point, Instagram has been a very inward, pocket-sized experience. With Instacube, our Instagram feed becomes an outward expression. Now we can enjoy our Instagrams as they happen, and appreciate them in full-­scale for the pieces of art they are.”

I met Savannah Peterson, Manager of Business Development, Marketing & PR for D2M | Design to Matter at the Mashable Connect Conference this past May. She was one of the more outspoken and active participants on the event’s social site before, during, and after, so we truly clicked as just friends.

Next thing you know it’s three months later, I’m building them an Instacube sweepstakes app on Facebook (which you can enter now) and today the D2M team rolls out their Kickstarter project (which you can begin backing here). It’s go time.

The design is awesome, the concept is killer, you should back the project (or at least register to win one). I’ll be waiting to find the first musician who shoots a music video behind a wall of Instacubes with live fans streaming photos behind them.

Disclosure: Instacube and D2M asked me to build a Facebook app for them. I did it for free….so I really don’t need a disclaimer, just go back their project.

UPDATE: The Instacube has been funded! You can still enter to win one here and also purchase one here.

Facebook Campaign Icons in Newsfeed Sidebar

I recently discovered the addition of Facebook Ad campaign icons in the news feed side bar as well the Ads Manager icons that had been there before.

Talk about a time saver!

It has always been hard to access individual campaigns because you had to go through the ads manager screen and then sort your campaigns to see the results for each. Now there’s a quick and easy shortcut.

Have you seen this on your pages yet if you’re running ads?

End of an Era

So there comes a time when all good things must come to an end, and my time in Jacksonville with On Ideas has reached that point. In just under a year of work with the agency, I’ve been proud to accomplish a number of things and meet so many great professionals.

It’s kind of crazy to think about all I got to do in under a year. From creating Mustache Mania with Khan You Dig it…

to being invited to blog for Chevrolet at SXSW…

to launching corporate social media strategies for Fortune 500 companies…

…and building apps for CPG’s like Softlips, and spending an entire day cooking crawfish and taking instagram pictures for little ol’ Captain Stan’s Smokehouse in Georgia.

I have had the pleasure to experience what social media is truly about…PEOPLE!

Winning a few ADDY awards for social media campaigns for the Jacksonville Jaguars (Khanyoudigit.com) and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition didn’t hurt either.

So what’s next?

Well first I’ve been working with a number of small businesses as a consultant, growing their brands helping with Facebook ad buying and overall social media development. If you need real solutions in social media I can certainly help you, just check out my contact page here for more info and we’ll chat. This is a no BS, no FLUFF type of consultancy. I’m here to provide measurable solutions to achieve your goals.

Second, I am coordinating volunteers for the Social Fresh West Social Media Conference on September 27th and 28th in San Diego, CA. The conference features speakers from Pepsi, Hershey’s, Cisco, Citi, Hubspot and more. Additionally I have increased the number of blog articles I’m writing for Mashable and Social Fresh.

Finally, I’m on the hunt for a new position. Do you know of any Social Media Strategist positions available? I’m open for conversation and can bring a wealth of skills to any organization looking to grow their digital presence with actionable results. I’ve embedded my resume below, give it a look.

Til the next adventure, keep reading the blog for great content on social media marketing, music, and more!

Thanks for all your support Jacksonville, Florida, and the world at-large.

Make your foul shots with today’s interactive Google Doodle

As a follow up to yesterday’s hurdle doodle, today Google is highlighting basketball with an interactive shooting game. Step up to the foul line and sink as many shots as you can before the 24 second shot clock runs out.

Start by pressing the space bar to charge up your shot and press it again to release, trying to time it just right and sink one. When you’re finished share your score with your friends on Google+ or online.

These Olympic-themed Google Doodles take advantage of the prime real estate that is the simplistic Google search site. Earlier this year, they introduced a Moog simulator to commemorate Robert Moog’s 75th birthday. As Ryan Germick, Google Doodle team leader, said to Ned Potter in an ABC News story yesterday, “We always aim to surprise and delight.”

While Twitter may be the official curator for the 2012 London Games, Google is definitely getting into the Olympic spirit in a simple but effective way.

What other sports should Google consider including to round out the week in London?

A walkthrough of the new Foursquare features

Local Updates were yesterday, and now with today’s roll-out of new Foursquare features for users and managers, the site is beefing up it’s value as a place to enhance the real world around you through social data. Here’s a brief walkthrough of latest changes to foursquare:

A new way to explore: Foursquare offers up personalized suggestions based on the time

It’s 5 O’Clock here, so clearly Foursquare knows it’s time to burn some steam.

Access manager tools with the accounts menu

Just hover over your profile picture in the upper left corner and select the account you wish to manage from the drop-down menu:

You can go back to using foursquare as yourself at any time by clicking “exit” on the yellow bar at the top of your screen.

Want to check in somewhere? Search for it.

To check in to places, search for the place using the search box at the top of your screen:

Once you select the place you’re planning on checking in to from the results, click the check in button:

Remember to link your Facebook and Twitter accounts — pushing to those networks only takes one more click.

Introducing three new management tabs

Click on these links at the top of the screen to access:

  • Updates – See your past activity on foursquare
  • Dashboard – See stats about how your page is performing
  • Tools – Edit your page information and settings

More likes = bigger audience

When people like your page, your tips, lists, and check ins will show up right in their friends tab!

Forecast App Shutting Down July 1st

Forecast, a social meet up application from Hurricane Party Inc. is shutting down the app’s functionality on July 1st. Citing a lack of resources as the reason for the shutdown, the company sent out the farewell emails to app users signed from René Pinnell and Team Forecast as you can read below: Read the rest of this entry

Facebook adds new “Voice” Link in Nav Bar for page admins

A new addition to Facebook pages discovered early Thursday morning adds a “Voice” link in the page navigation bar at the top of the window. With a strikingly obvious blue bar across the window the site adds the command line:

You are posting, commenting, and liking as (your name) — Change to (your page). Read the rest of this entry

Twitter drops the pop-up on replies

When posting my co-worker’s blog on Swacket late Tuesday night I discovered that when replying to tweets in the mentions view, the box has changed.

When you reply, the entry box is now under the original tweet, removing the popup. Looks like, just as with the recent announcement of expanded tweets, Twitter is moving toward a more streamlined approach to encouraging conversation on the platform. Image

Three Problems with Controlling Minors on Facebook

Today reports broke that Facebook would be exploring features that would allowed children under 13 to use Facebook. These reports, which initially surfaced in the Wall St. Journal and later supported by Mashable, do no more than speculate, but as a social media professional, I think this is a dangerous arena to play in.

It was not long ago that I got a text from a friend at Action News Jax, one of the city’s local news stations, that they wanted my reaction to a local school that had been torn apart by Facebook bullying. Students used the groups feature to create “Burn Pages;” sharing pretty nasty memes about other students using the popular meme-generator.net. Parents had no idea how to stop it, and school officials felt as though they weren’t in the right to take action. After a few fights in school, the staff politely asked students to take it down, but that was about it.

While Cyber bullying is a threat at any age, I believe many problems of youth today are caused by the influx in power that kids born into the information age have. I’m all for the openness of the web, and I was a young foolish kid online too, but recently I’ve seen too many hurt children, too many cases of abuse and suicide as a result of social bullying.

So without riding too high on my soapbox, here are three personal reasons why I believe we need to seriously think about how we are allowing minors to use Facebook.

On the internet no one knows you’re a dog.

The great cartoon famous now for symbolizing anonymity on the internet still holds true today. While sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have made huge strides towards the personalization and humanization of the web, it’s still very much anonymous.
As a 13 year old with the internet in 1999, things were a lot different for me. My parents were more worried about putting my personal information out in a chat room or on AIM. Facebook has amplified the amount of personal information shared daily. If I were a teen today, I’d be hard pressed not to share the details of life with my friends…heck I’m hard pressed not to do that now!

What you write is forever!

Anyone can create a Gmail in five minutes and have an entirely new online persona from Twitter to their own blog. There is no filter, no system of checks and balances, and for the increasing number of our minors with access to smartphones, laptops, and the mobile web, anything can be written about anyone, and this lasts forever. Granted, you might have a few years to counteract the bad stuff, but SEO is no joke today, and I’d hate to be 13 and have hateful pieces of media floating around my name.

“They’re already there or Parents can control it” is a weak argument

We all were 13. The concept of “parental control” is loose once you hit high school. You are exploring yourself and defining who you are as a social individual, these are the formative years. Do you think having your parents control it will make it any better?

We already have had multiple news reports about parents crossing the line and approaching (even choking) children who have bullied their kids. The space is there, and the fearlessness of youth will always prevail over common sense.

Do I think kids under 13 should be allowed on Facebook? Not really. Do I think kids should be educated about the data-driven society we live in today? Yes.

According to a Mashable article a few weeks ago, MinorMonitor, a tool for parents to watch their children’s Facebook activities, surveyed 1,000 parents about how their children use Facebook, finding that 38% of children on Facebook are 12 and under. Of the 1,000 children represented by their parents, 40 were under age six.

Clearly media education in our schools is something that is totally necessary, especially in the digital world we live in today.

This may sound silly, but I’ll close this little diatribe with a Dave Chappelle bit. How old is 15 really? Sounds funny, but he makes a great point…a person is not as smart as they’re going to be at 15…but with the internet, anything goes. A parent can hope that they’ve educated their child to a point where they can make their own decisions in the moment, but in the end it takes a village to raise a child.

Now I say all this as a former kid who definitely had his fair share of teasing, but I’m not a parent, so I really hope that some parents can weigh in on this situation. This also doest even scratch the surface on a market’s responsibility when advertising in spaces where minors and adults congregate together…

So please make your voice heard below and let’s start a conversation.

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