Last Friday, February 15, 2013, marked the official launch of Thinkit Media’s newest project: uSave.it. Even though this represents the culmination of over 18 months of work, sweat and planning, we somehow managed to keep the familiar “dude, I hope we’re ready in time…” urgency that we’ve grown so accustomed to over the years. And as if simply meeting a launch deadline weren’t enough pressure, we thought it would be a good idea to do a trade show in support of our new endeavor on the very day the site went live!
It’s not total lunacy on our part, though. It just so happened that our projected completion dates were somewhat aligned with TicketStock; an event that our most influential user and primary endorser hosts each year. Sports Radio 1310am KTCK The Ticket out of Dallas dominates the male listening demographic and some of their shows have been using the uSaveit platform in beta and have given us invaluable feedback and high praise along the way. It only made sense that we would “officially” debut uSaveit at their show.
That event went really well and should serve as a nice warm-up to a much larger event we have plans to attend: the upcoming National Association of Broadcasters show in Las Vegas in early April. With almost 100k attendees registered, this will provide the ultimate induction into a new industry and we’re looking forward to it.
What is uSaveit?
uSave.it is a platform that offers users the ability to record and archive streaming broadcasts on the web. Think of it as DVR for streaming radio.
uSaveit For Broadcasters
There are thousands of internet radio broadcasts every day but only a fraction are actually recorded and archived. uSaveit offers a perfect and inexpensive solution for this. Keep your content alive!
uSaveit For Listeners
If you have a favorite radio show that you aren’t able to listen to live because you’re at work, asleep, or just off-the-grid in general, uSaveit enables you to schedule a recording of that show so you can listen to it whenever you want, from wherever you want. It’s pretty cool.
Google announced their “Disavow Links” tool while we were at Pubcon last month and it’s become quite the topic of conversation.
My take on it has always been, why “disavow” any links? Sure, get rid of any bad links that you can…if you can. But even if you had bought a bunch of spammy links, would it really help to disavow them or would it just be an “admission of guilt” to the Google cops?
I can’t imagine that Google would just say, “Oh, thanks for disavowing these links you bought. Since you did, we’ll go ahead and lift the penalty we’ve slapped on you. Thanks…welcome back to #1 positions.”
No way. If you’ve been penalized, you’re going to serve whatever the term of the penalty they impose on you.
Barry Schwartz posted an interesting read about a discussion on WebmasterWorld about a guy who seems to have thought that because he disavowed 100% of his links that his Google jail sentence be cut short for good behavior. I’ll be interested to see how it plays out.
**photo credit MarketingLand.com
Watching the Dallas Cowboys pre-season game Saturday night, I kept noticing superimposed ads for LivingSocial being displayed on the playing field. The game was on our local CBS affiliate and I can’t say that I’ve ever noticed this before.
As a football fan, this bums me out. I mean, is this the future of advertising in the NFL? Will the next progression be for players to wear advertiser logos on their jerseys as they do in soccer? The two most valuable sports franchises in the world already do, so I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before we see this in the NFL, too.
San Francisco, here we come. The upcoming Search Engine Strategies conference will be, technically-speaking, Thinkit Media’s first foray into the trade show circuit. We’ve been attending, exhibiting, speaking & sponsoring events under other guises for years, but never as Thinkit Media. It should be a blast.
With a cool new display, a great attitude & lots of useful knowledge in tow, I think it’s safe to say we’re pretty excited for next week. Will you be there? Come by and say hello…booth 1918!
If you’ve been watching the Olympics, you’ve probably seen the social media segments NBC is airing that feature Ryan Seacrest talking about athletes and their Twitter followers and such. Last night’s big “social media moment” revolved around this congratulatory tweet from Barack Obama to Michael Phelps:
My wife and I pondered this as we enjoyed a glass bottle of wine and wondered if ol’ Barry had actually sent that tweet himself or not. My first thought was “no way.” Surely, that was the work of an official White House PR rep or something.
I understand that all politicians now have to at least “appear” to be engaged in social media as a way to make themselves seem current, human, hip, etc., but they aren’t typing those 140 characters themselves. With all of the political correctness and guarded double-speak that goes on, I would seriously doubt that they’d let those guys anywhere NEAR Twitter…much less, give them the correct login!
“No, your password isn’t ‘BarackRocks’ and I’m not telling you what it is. Just tell me what you want to say, Mr. President…I’ll tweet it for you…”
So, did Barack Obama physically tweet that himself last night? Did he instruct an official “presidential tweeter” to? Is he even aware that he tweeted that at all???
What do you think?
Not to be overly critical or anything, but if he did, he really should have mentioned @MichaelPhelps and added a #hashtag or two. Just sayin’.
Full disclosure: I’ve always been fascinated by all-things space. From Star Wars to missions to Mars, I’m in on all of it. So, it almost cliche that I’ve chosen to write a social media piece with a tie-in to space, but hey, that’s what you get with me.
Last November, NASA launched a mission to Mars that features a rover dubbed Curiosity. And this extra-planetary ATV is scheduled to land in just a few shorts days on August 6th to begin looking for past signs of life.
(Here’s where I refrain from sharing with you how amazed I still am that the geniuses at NASA are able to land a golf-cart precisely where they want to on a planet many tens of millions of miles away…all by remote control…because anyone could do that, right?)
Maybe I’m not the only space-nerd around, after-all?
I don’t think they’ve hurt themselves in giving the little guy some personality, either. Here is some of Curiosity’s recent promotional tweet-shtick:
NASA has done a great job in recent years using the popularity of Twitter to host tweetups (now referred to as NASA Social) to create buzz and give followers access to behind-the-scenes mission content and personnel. It’s been so successful that they’ve moved beyond just Twitter to include other social platforms like Facebook; hence the name change.
I think it is nothing short of genius how NASA continues to adapt and increase its’ audience….especially amongst our youth. Big brands could learn a thing or two about social media campaigns from NASA because most of them are not getting it right like Starbucks, Nike & a few notable others.
As private-sector entrepreneurs like Sir Richard Branson and Elon Musk begin to commercialize the rapidly growing “space” space, social media is being taken to new heights. Literally. The Mars-One project just might shape up to be the single biggest mediasocial media event in history. (There will be LOADS more on this one down the road.)
So, good luck @MarsCuriosity! I hope your 7 minutes of terror go off without a hitch and I’ll be anxiously awaiting your first tweet as a Martian!
I used to love nothing more than getting the newspaper every morning and skimming through the entire thing. I dug the whole process of it; having a full cup of coffee, setting my favorite sections aside so I could read them last and ripping through the rest…just looking at headlines until something jumped out at me.
Then, the internet showed-up. Hello, computer/phone/iPad….good-bye, newsprint.
I still love the news. In fact, I consider myself to be a total news-junkie. The only difference between now and “then” is that I have no need for an actual newspaper anymore. Yes, I am sad to report that my subscription to The Dallas Morning News lapsed a very long time ago.
But why pay for what I can get for free? Why subscribe to a single newspaper when I can just add feeds to MyYahoo and aggregate loads of content that I know I’ll be interested in? I mean, isn’t that what people do these days??
Of course it is. The problem is, as a lover of news, I’m basically stiffing everyone working in the industry that creates the product I claim to love. That’s the dilemma.
And what’s worse is, the big newspaper companies that have managed to survive are serving up watered-down versions of their former selves; opting for cheap or scraped or spun content in place of actual reporters and journalists to create stories for them. It sucks being part of the problem, but I guess it is what it is. (**ashamed…walks away…**)
The Olympics. A quadrennial highlight for the thousands of participating athletes, coaches, family members and, of course, the millions of fervent global spectators watching at home. It’s hard to believe, but those 17 magical days are right around the corner!
I love the thrill of the competition, the triumph and the sportsmanship; all revealed before us on the world’s biggest stage. But what I love most of all are the stories we will learn about the competitors themselves during the course of the Games. This wonderful event moves people like no other and I’ll be front-and-center for the whole thing. (I love my DVR!)
As viewers, we can consume these Olympics like we have never been able to before. We are no longer confined to television coverage, newspaper stories & SportsCenter highlight reels.
No. We now have direct access to the biggest ticket item that the Olympics has to offer; the athletes themselves. We no longer must rely on traditional media with the hope that they give us what we want…what you want as an individual. Instead, we can proactively follow those we’re interested in and hear what they themselves have to say first hand. We can custom-tailor our own Olympic experience. And that really is a wonderful thing.
Obviously, things have not always been this way. Perhaps I’m showing my age a bit here, but one of my favorite Olympic moments of all time was in 1996. I vividly remember watching Kerri Strug stick the landing on her famous final vault in Atlanta. On one leg.
Right after that moment, we wanted to share this incredible emotion we were feeling and celebrate and be a part of that unbelievable victory forever. We wanted to talk to our friends and family. We wanted to congratulate those girls and shower them with praise.
But, alas, there was no Twitter. There was no Facebook. (Hell, there was barely an internet!)
We called some friends (from our land-line)…maybe even logged in over dial-up and sent a few emails. (After the phone calls, of course, because you couldn’t do both simultaneously.) But for the most part, it was just me and her watching and celebrating at home…by ourselves…hoping that NBC would air enough interviews to quench our thirst for more coverage.
But the stories that, as of today, I know nothing about are the ones I will probably remember the most. A month from now I’ll be following people on Twitter who I currently don’t even know exist…hanging on every tweet they’ll soon make.
It happens every time. Before Beijing in 2008, I’d never heard of Michael Phelps or Ryan Lochte, and I’m sure a large majority of people hadn’t either. Fast-forward four years, though, and Michael Phelps has 215k Twitter followers & 5.3 million Facebook likes.
With the emergence of social media, it’s a completely different time with an entirely new set of rules. It’s almost like having a backstage-pass.
What if Twitter and Facebook had been around in 1996? How many “likes” or “followers” would our hero Kerri Strug have had? Surely, she’d have far more than the 1546 Twitter followers she has today. More importantly, though, we would have been able to immediately issue our congratulations and support. “Way to go, Kerri! You’re our hero!! We love you! Hope your ankle heals soon!! #usawomensgymnastics #atlanta1996 #goldmedal”
Or, what about the legendary Carl Lewis? His Olympic career spanned 4 games (LA, Seoul, Barcelona & Atlanta)…winning his final gold medal in the long jump at age 35! Wow. Yet, he only has 2871 followers? Really? That’s crazy and unbelievable, but it’s just a sign of the times.
The game has officially changed in 2012. The International Olympic Committee has created an online hub where you can find, follow and interact with your favorite Olympic athletes. That’s pretty awesome. Never before have we been given such an opportunity to be so involved.
The IOC is a smart bunch and they’re taking advantage of the opportunities that social media coverage provides them. Check out their infographic below that highlights the evolution of Olympic media coverage…it’s fascinating.
The two tech behemoths are agitated, territorial and they both want the same thing: online dominance. (And bragging rights.) “And in this corner, boasting a 2011 revenue of $37.9 billion dollars…supporting over 32,000 employees…fighting out of Mountain View, California…”
Google. The established alpha male. In 1998, they entered the ring and punched Yahoo, Excite, Alta Vista, LookSmart and everyone else right in the face…then shoved them aside and never looked back.
“Introducing the challenger…fighting out of Palo Alto, California…with a revenue of $1 billion dollars and 3500 employees…”
Then, Facebook came along and…BAM! All the sudden, there’s this young, pimply-faced kid from Harvard in town. And he is really popular. Google’s first actual contender in years landed a punch of their own and the two have been at it ever since.
As a spectator, I could not be happier.
The reason I find this whole thing so interesting is because I’ve worked in SEO for the last 9 years and Google has always sort of been my enemy. (Or, “frenemy” as my daughters might say.) I don’t hate Google. Overall, I think they’ve improved life on the web. But still, it’s always been an “us vs. them” type of relationship and their efforts to constantly improve and refine their algorithm have made the SEO space very volatile.
Then there’s Facebook. They rule the social roost. I was a big Facebook fan early on but quickly became annoyed with reading about what everyone had for breakfast or how kick ass their workout was. Yawn.
I guess what I’m saying is, I’m Sweden in this fight. I do not care who wins, but I’ll be front-row for the fight.
It’s clear to me that search is going to look a whole lot different soon. For those paying attention you know it’s been changing all along. The integration of social signals as ranking factors in search algorithms will be one of the most impactful changes we have ever seen. I read a great article on Distilled a couple weeks ago about this very thing.
As Google sticks and moves, Facebook is throwing hay-makers. This will be worth the price of admission. Even though Facebook is taking some damage right now, you can’t count them out.
Today is a big day for us. We issued our first press release today announcing the “birth” of Thinkit Social and we’re pretty excited around here about the soft launch of the company. Our site is still thin and we are only using a contact form initially so we can manage the flow of new customers during this important time in our tenured fledgling history. As we move down the road, we’ll open things up a bit more but for now, we’re focused on our current clients and giving them everything we’ve got!