Monthly Archives: December 2009

The Mighty Resolution

Written by: Digitally Approved
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As every New Year begins, so do our resolutions – be it to lose weight, save money, spend more time with our loved ones or, well you get the picture, everything we didn’t get done in past years’ – we all have a thing or two we intend on addressing as the calendar ushers us into a new decade. With Social Media taking such a prominent role in our lives, I’ve been thinking how it might be leveraged to help us achieve our 2010 resolutions.

I am willing to bet the most common resolution is to either lose weight or get in better shape. Sure you could do a Google search to find a good diet, but is that really connecting you to the right people or places? What about looking to your Facebook friends or starting (or join) a group to keep the motivation of the resolution going? A mobile phone app maybe? Not any one particular destination is the solution for everyone, it’s really about finding what’s right for you. But, social media can definitely lend a helping hand.

That's Fit Tweet

Virtual Weight Loss application

Virtual Weight Loss iPhone App

Looking for more quality time with the family or friends? Be it looking for Girls/Guys weekend get away to finding what to cook for dinner with little-to-no time? Social Media to the rescue. A recent article in the Chicago Tribune went into some detail on how social media shifts the way we travel and Mashable reported back in July 15 of the top social media sites for foodies, which includes everything from where to find local farm fresh fare to user submitted recipes.  You can even visit a directory site like The Mom Blogs or Blog Catalog to find the right blog for you and your family.

The Mom Blogs

Daddy Blogs

Trying to save some money? Yeah, social media’s got that too.

Retaim Me Lot Screen Shot

Not quite sure what you want to resolve? Take a look at what other people’s resolutions are at 43 things. It’s a great place to set up goals or wishes year-round and to connect with people who have similar aspirations. Once you meet the criteria you’ve set forth in your resolution, you can also provide tips and tricks on how to achieve it to help make it easier for others to complete their efforts.

43 Things

There are plenty of other resolutions out there that I haven’t touched upon. Suffice it to say that there’s likely a way social media can help you out.  If your resolution happens to be figuring your way into  social media, jump into the pool already, the water is warm and we’re waiting for you.

Best of ’09 – Tweets

Written by: Digitally Approved
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2009 was absolutely Twitter’s year. The popularity and dominance this micro-blogging site had this year was ridiculous. From the controversial elections in Iran, to celebrity-endorsed Tweets, it really was a tweet-tastic 2009. And here it is, the fourth installment of our four-part Best of ’09 series – our thoughts on the best use of Twitter.

From a shoppers standpoint, retailers took the Twitter plunge this year and really stepped up their game. Nordstrom has done a good job with updating their audience as has outdoor shopping center, The Grove in Los Angeles.  Although the promotion is now closed, Sephora’s Sephora Claus campaign granted a beauty product a day wish to 30 deserving customers and even added a $1 charitable donation from every purchase in the last few days of the promotion.

Customer service is playing a big role on Twitter as well. In a previous Digitally Approved post (Customer Service in the Twitterverse), the efficiency of the @BoseService team was discussed in connection to resolving a consumer issue that wasn’t even posted on their specific page nor did it have a # tag.  Nice looking out for your customers Bose!

blogbose3Massive shoe retailer Zappos.com is looking out for their customer base on Twitter by offering support and positive service, big box retailer Best Buy’s Twelpforce quickly trouble shooting and responding to product questions, and restaurant chain, California Pizza Kitchen, recently sending a follower a $30 gift certificate because of a bad dining experience. In an era of questionable customer service, big thumbs up to our Tweeting retailers for really good customer service.

As a company or a brand, want a way to track and gauge the relevance of your tweets? Give Tweeiator a go. This application is easily loaded to your site and, in real time, you can see where your tweets are going and how they are received.

Tweetiator

Couldn’t leave our Tweet round up with out mentioning some of the best in celeb and athlete musings. Sitting at lunch today a few Fanscapers were talking about TV of all things and the Christmas episode of Always Sunny in Philadelphia came up and then turned to Danny DeVito’s Troll Foot diaries on Twitter. Will admit, didn’t really know about this, but hell if this ain’t some funny stuff. He takes pictures of his Troll Foot in various places and at various events then posts them to his Twitter.

Troll Foot

For some time now I have been raving about the one and only @OGOchoCinco.  He can be very profound like he has been the past few days in connection to the death of his friend and teammate, Chris Henry, but he can also be ridiculously funny (and sure a little self-serving) as well.

OGOchoCinco Tweets 2

You could be one of Ashton Kutcher’s more than FOUR MILLION followers, keep up with the Queen of all Media, Oprah and learn about the Carl’s Jr. menu from  Kim Kardashian, but you’re not going to get the non sequiturs like you could by following Rainn Wilson (of The Office fame). He can easily go from apologizing for being a downer and sharing his experienc in Hati to this:    

Rainn Wilson Tweet

Like stated from the onset, 2009 was pretty darn Tweet-tastic. Way too many amazing people, brands and retailers to list, but hopefully this little Best of gave you a few more places to check out or think about.

Best of ’09 – Sites

Written by: Digitally Approved
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As with the hip apps and gadgets, we are constantly discovering Websites that address some of our most basic or compelling needs. Sites like People of Walmart, Posterous and Wonderwall are fun and allow for us to embarrass people we know, write a little something or catch up on our celeb gossip all while putting a little dent into that eight-hour work day.  2009 also brought us some other pretty cool sites that are a combination of functional,  useful and amusing. At least we think so.

Talk about functional: downforeveryoneorjustme is one of the most minimalistic sites you’ll ever come across, but one of the most useful. Having a problem accessing a particular Website? Just type the name of the site in the box provided and click the ‘or just me’ hyper link and in a nanosecond you’ll know whether or not it’s just you that is experiencing problems. No need to IM your co-workers or friends, this site works just fine.

downforeveryoneorjustme screen shotWant to keep up on what people are chatting about in one fancy little destination? Check out Buzz Feed, the kind of stuff you want to send your friends. Sure it was founded in 2006, but this site never fails to deliver and 2009 was a great year for Buzz Feed. Where do you think we found some of the funny sites we’ve already brought your way?

Buzz Feed Screen Shot

Tumblr has been gaining traction this year, especially with it’s (pardon our French) “fuckyeah” trend. You love something “fuckyeah” it and follow. This lovely micro-blog moniker is really about people loving something enough to let everyone know. As a co-worker once told me, Tumblr is like Twitter on steroids. Indeed.

FY Tumblr copy

Companies like Coca-Cola and Ikea have been making moves in the social media space this year and have been pretty impressive. Coca-Cola’s Expedition 206 is off and running and the Ikea Facebook campaign has been generating much praise. Then there’s the good old scavenger hunt that has been gaining a whole lot of online attention this year. One in particular that stood out for us here at Fanscape is the Go Forth campaign brought to us by Levi’s.

GO Forth

One of the most creative campaigns we’ve seen this year. We were most impressed with the amazing amount of time that went into creating the back-story, hiding the $100,000 and the dig for the Grayson Ozias IV ( G.O. Forth) treasure.

Rounding out the brief  year in sites is one of the best things ever, Texts From Last Night. Not much explaining to do here, but a piece of advice, be careful what you drunk text because it could wind up right here.

Texts From Last Night

Next up: Tweeters of ’09

Best of ’09 – Gadgets

Written by: Digitally Approved
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Gadgets are fun for a myriad of reasons; having lots of the proverbial ‘bells and whistles,’ excellent functionality and even just because it looks cool. In the second installment of our best of 2009, we’re jumping into what we think are some of the cool gizmos of the year.

The Dyson Air Multiplier™

A fan with no blades? Rhetorically speaking, how crazy cool is this thing.

Dyson

Motorola Droid

“With the DROID, the company has perhaps created its most attractive and intriguing piece of technology yet.” so says Joshua Topolsky of engadget. We think so as well.

Droid

Not going to be as tech-talkie as engadget or gizmodo, but suffice it to say the coolest thing about this new phone is the updated Google OS and how visually impressive it is.  It’s functionality is pretty powerful too.

Amazon Kindle / Sony Reader

True these two digital reading devices have been around a little longer than 2009, but this was the year they really took off and have become a must-have for the avid reader and the tech-loving consumer.

Kindle

Sony Reader

Amazon introduced the second-gen Kindle and Sony has its three distinct editions – all of which have the e-publishing world booming this year.

Up next: Sites of ’09

Best of ’09 – Apps

Written by: Digitally Approved
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When it comes to Apps, Gadgets, Sites and Tweeters, 2009 was a pretty good year. Some just got started and some really made their mark in our public conscious. That being said, I’d like to share with you, in four different installments, what we here at Fanscape believe to be some of the best of the best for 2009. I’ll kick things off with the Apps.

Stella Artois Le Bar Guide

This great iPhone app gives Stella fans that are craving a freshly tapped pour a quick and easy way to find the closest locale to get their drink on.   The app has it all, including a simple way to get yourself a Le Taxi after you’ve tipped back a few.

FourSquare

We spoke about this great app/site before and simply can’t get enough of it.

FourSquare Home pageThe best part, it’s not just for iPhone users.

Whopper Sacrifice Facebook App

When Fanscape CEO, Larry Weintraub, wrote in his Smart Marketing blog about Clearing Up The Clutter,  he was talking (in part) about the social networking trend of un-friending and un-following. In 2009 Burger King took it to a rewarding level.  Sadly Faccebook killed this app earlier in the year, but what a great idea – A free Whopper when you un-friend 10 “friends”.

Pandora App

You like music? You Like free personalized streaming radio? Not a whole lot more needs to be said here. Go get yourself the Pandora app already.

Pandora for BB screen shotUrbanSpoon App

If you’re anything like me, when your friend(s) asks you where do you want to eat and all you can come up with is “I don’t care,” then the UrbanSpoon app will quickly become your best friend.

Give it a quick shake and you’ll be discovering restaurants you’ll want to care about.

Next up: Gadgets of ’09

Doing some good

Written by: Digitally Approved
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As we shuffle about trying to get all of our shopping done, planning travel to be with our families, NYE plans and what not, there are some that don’t have this luxury. I got an email from a family member over the weekend with the header  XEROX is Doing Something Cool and it got me thinking about some things we can do this holiday season that don’t involve malls or money that can have a profound impact on others.

Lets say thanks

If you go to www.LetsSayThanks.com you can pick out a thank you card and Xerox will print it and it will be sent to a soldier that is currently serving in Iraq . You can’t pick out who gets it, but it will go to a member of the armed services. A great way to bring so many of us together to say thanks that is FREE and only takes a few seconds.

Idealist

Volunteering is always an excellent way to make a big league impact on the lives of others and doesn’t cost anything but a little bit of your time. Idealist.org is a great site to check out to find opportunities in your area. The site complies single-day occasions as well as ongoing situations. Be a mentor to a child/youth, go to your local food bank and donating blood at the Red Cross are just a few simple ways you can give this holiday season and beyond.

Want to be a little more social about your volunteer efforts, try Facebook. There are plenty of organizations that have set up pages offering great ways to help out – food banks, children and seniors to name a few.

Sure I said that there were some cool things to do that don’t cost money, and there are, but what if you really just don’t have the time? The perennial favorite is to donate money to your favorite charity. It’s as simple as dropping a little bit into the bucket or bin before walking into a store. If you don’t have a favorite non-profit, you can visit a site like Charity Navigator that helps you find a worthy cause for your donation. Non-profits always appreciate money, but they also love their volunteers too.

Just a little food for thought.