Can’t Keep Up? Which New Social Networks to Consider or Ignore (Part 2)

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

I’ve begun dabbling in other social networks, just to see what kind of things are popping up now that Facebook had its less-than-stellar IPO. Although I still see Facebook hanging around for quite a while, there are definitely some others that may be worth noting. A couple I’ve been invited to as Klout perks (and I’m a sucker for free stuff and exclusive access) and a couple are already establishing themselves well.

LoveIt touts that it is “your personalized visual community where you can easily share everything that interests you, find people who have similar tastes and discover new things you may not have found otherwise.” That’s all well and good, but I haven’t been able to find a single thing that distinguishes it from Pinterest other than the cute squirrel logo. I came across LoveIt as a Klout perk, gaining early access to it. Once I signed up, It was immediately evident that it was going to be a Pinterest-type site. I gave it a chance though, and began actively searching for things that differentiated it from its predecessor. Now, I understand taking an idea and trying to improve on it with new features or better functionality, but this is not the case. LoveIt is exactly like Pinterest. I can’t find any distinguishing characteristics. If I’m missing something, let me know. Otherwise, if you already have Pinterest, skip this one folks. It’s not worth starting your boards all over again. Sorry LoveIt, you’re just not original enough for me to love it.

Image from Learni.st

Learni.st is another social network that bears similarity to Pinterest. This one, however, makes certain to distinguish itself from its predecessor both in improved functionality and cause. Learni.st is meant to be a learning community. As their help board puts it “Use Learnist to share what you know. Create a Learn Board on a subject you understand and add ‘learnings’ by pointing to existing web videos, blogs, images and documents. Anything.” The site cleverly has an entire section of Learn Boards dedicated solely to the user experience, complete with FAQs, problem reporting, feedback and terms of service. Learni.st is currently in live beta, where you can sign up and use some of the site’s primary functions. You can get full access if someone invites you (see below if you’d like me to send you an invitation to get started!).

There are a handful of key distinguishing factors that I think make Learni.st pretty cool:

  • Your interaction is more than just liking or re-adding (i.e. repinning) a post. You can actually check off that you’ve ‘learned’ it, and your profile will keep track of your learning progress in specific categories. In this way, you can actually visually build up your credibility in a category by showing how many blogs you’ve read, videos you’ve watched or articles you’ve perused. You can also check up on others’ progress on their profile and see if they’re a resident expert, or still have some work to put in.
  • If someone has a Learn Board that interests you, you can follow and like that board. Even better, if you have something you think would make a great addition to that board, you can suggest a learning for that user. Suddenly boards can become community projects, which enriches the experience of other visitors to that board.
  • Let’s face it. Some sites just aren’t pin friendly. Either the images don’t come up to select, or the ones that do come up are rubbish (or ads for something unrelated). Learni.st lets you get around that by allowing you to directly link to an image URL or upload your own images. I’ve found it nice to use a grabbing or snipping tool to capture something from the page and save it to my computer, then upload the image to represent my learning. You may even be able to use Curate.us to create an image, although I haven’t tried that yet.
  • As is becoming a standard, you can add an applet to your bookmarks bar, allowing you to ‘Learn It!’ whenever you’re browsing the web. I really dig that ability. Streamlining is key.

A snip of what the Learni.st interface looks like

The team at Learni.st are obviously still working out some bugs, since it is in beta, but they have been amazingly quick to respond, and the turnaround and communication is unparalleled. This is a great set of people, with an awesome mission, and brilliant customer service. I’ll be using Learni.st for a while. I want to see this one launch.

There are a couple areas of potential improvement. An on-site notification of interaction (likes, follows, comments, etc) would be great. To my knowledge, there is not anything set up aside for email notifications. Also, tagging people in comments would be nice, especially if you want to recommend that someone checks out the board. This may help with inter-board traffic, which will enhance the social feature a bit more.
Are you using Learni.st already? Do you want to check it out with full functionality? If you leave a comment below and email me at robzaleski1@gmail.com (if you’re not comfortable tossing your email address in a comment), I will send you an invitation for full access! Watch for part 3 of this series next week.

Now go get your social on!

Follow this blog on your mobile device with Google Currents! Download the app and go here to subscribe.

Can’t Keep Up? Which New Social Networks to Consider or Ignore (Part 1)

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

I’ve begun dabbling in other social networks, just to see what kind of things are popping up now that Facebook had its less-than-stellar IPO. Although obviously Facebook will be hanging around for quite a while, there are definitely some others outside the top 5 (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and Pinterest) that may be worth noting. A couple I’ve been invited to as Klout perks (and I’m a sucker for free stuff and exclusive access) and a couple are already establishing themselves well. Let’s take a look.

Image courtesy of So.cl

So.cl (pronounced “social”) is an experiment in social search from Microsoft and FUSE Labs. It has the appearance of a social network (most closely resembling Google+) but is more of a piggy-back network. So.cl gives up some functionality that other big social networks have, touting in its FAQs that it is an experiment on the fusion of social and search. In their words So.cl “Let’s you use search to express and share ideas though beautiful story collages.” Here’s the setup.

  • You have a feed that you can filter by Everyone, People I Follow, My Interests (which you pick upon setup), Conversations (between you and other So.cl users) and your own posts. You have the option to like posts (using the “:)” emoticon button), “riff” on a post (add your own visual reaction via an image that you search for), comment or share. So far, clicking the like button doesn’t seem to undo the function, so be careful that you’re sure you like a post.
  • So.cl has a function called “video parties” that I initially expected to be similar to Google+ Hangouts. Turns out, you can join one and add videos for others to watch (typically revolving around a theme). It ends up becoming almost a crowdsourced MTV (y’know, since MTV doesn’t actually show music videos anymore). This function is pretty cool. You could start a party of 80’s hair metal and get a group of people who love big hair rock to all add videos. Anyone can join (there doesn’t seem to be a private setting, so you may have to watch for eventual trolls to ruin the fun). You can even keep the videos playing in the rightmost column of your page while you continue to work away, creating background music for you while still allowing you to view the video without being stuck in a chat room-like setting.
  • You search (using Bing) for terms and post updates all in the same box. This is not by accident. Your searches are completely public (unless you click the button to the right of your search term box, thus locking it). The reason for this is that your searches are meant to become visual representations on your post so others can see. So.cl display search results from the network, from people you follow, and from general internet results, much like Sociabell does for Facebook. You can also opt to make So.cl your default search in your browser so that you can “benefit” from So.cl (as the site claims). People, please be careful with this. I already called out a guy who searched for popular adult film star Alexis Texas, and his search (along with numerous pictures of her abundant derrière) showed up as a headline on the top of my feed, and likely many others’ as well. He promptly deleted the search term post from his profile after I commented. Embarrassing.
  • The posting mechanism is very similar to Google+ in that you add links separately from your post text, and you have the option to go back and edit your post after it goes live. Just like in Google+, there is an arrow button to the right of your post that allows you options to edit, delete, acquire embed code and translate.
  • Directly from the homepage, there is an Applet button that you can drag to your browser’s bookmarks bar, which will allow you to post to your So.cl profile from any website you find interesting. Also, similar to other networks, you can @tag people you follow in posts and comments.
  •  In the FAQs, So.cl makes it abundantly clear that all activity is meant to be VERY PUBLIC. There is no illusion of privacy associated with So.cl and you should proceed as such. Whereas this may not be the place to record your deepest, darkest meditations, I can see brands taking full advantage of this soon. So.cl could be to Bing what Google+ is to Google. I have yet to find any info on whether you’re more likely to show up in search results from Bing.com, but So.cl users that are searching for things relative to your business may find you as a resource to answer their questions within the social network.

The social network seems to be very popular with users outside of the U.S. Keep this in mind if you use it, as the time frames when it is going to be most active may be slightly skewed to your own. I think So.cl has potential to garner many more users, as it is already off to a strong start, and seems almost poised in direct opposition with Google+ (you use your Facebook or Windows Live login to set up your account). I’ve talked to some users who have found interesting uses for the network. One guy named Rodrigo Viana actually managed to get help on his homework! He used the network to crowd source tutoring. How’s that for a positive use of social networking? Although it is specifically mentioned that So.cl is not meant to replace other social networks, I have a feeling that there should be a parenthetical addition adding (yet) to that clause.

Stay tuned for Part 2, where I discuss another interesting network to look at, and one not to even bother with.

Now go get your social on!

Follow this blog on your mobile device with Google Currents! Download the app and go here to subscribe.

Found Tweet Friday


Found Tweet Friday!

May 25th (National Geek Pride Day, as it turns out!)

Welcome to the Redlight District of Twitter

I spend a good part of my day using Twitter to find potential customers for my clients. I use the Twitter search function and locate people talking about relevant things that could translate to needs my clients’ products or services could fulfill. During this digging through the nonsense, the marketing messages, the slang and abbreviated hashtags, I find some pretty ridiculous tweets. Many that make my jaw drop. It never ceases to amaze me how many people forget that their tweets are completely public while they treat their Twitter conversations as if they were private. Some of those are simply too offensive or gross (not to mention misogynistic and lewd) for me to bother posting, but below are a collection of this week’s gems that I just had to share. My occasional commentary will be the parenthetical portions. Enjoy!

****Warning: Some content may be inappropriate for young or easily offended readers****

Found tweets:

  • if you’re one of those people that don’t pick up your dog’s shit then I actually hate you and hope you get gum stuck in your hair (This is included because I agree with this statement. Wholeheartedly.)
  • Damn I wanted too go too changes too get a pedi today but I forgot I got too work. (At least there’s consistency…sigh…)
  • Say NO to racism. Be like a panda: They’re black, white, and Asian… but not Mexican… so be like a panda holding a taco. (#twttr4equalityy…we’ve still so far to go.)
  •  hairy bumhole. Nipples come in all shapes and sizes, but hairy bumhole is quite preventable (While a true statement, the mental image that is conjured just makes me dry heave. Ew.)
  • …..so apparently there are bridal uggs, is that weird or is that weird (Sure, weird it ONE word for it. At least the bride would be comfortable. Right? Are Uggs comfortable? I honestly don’t know.)
  • The loose skin at the point of your elbow is often known as a “weenus”….you’re welcome (The more you knooooooow)
  • “WAS IT A CAR OR A CAT I SAW” is the only full English sentence that, when read in reverse, will be the same. #randomfact” (These are the kind of random facts I love. Did you already know this?)
  • I was going to buy a new car today. Turns out I’m short a down payment, a better job, and 400 points on my credit score. So close! (The sad, sad 140 character story. Poor fella.)
  • Impromptu to heal shopping in sweats is priceless. People look at you weird rocking heals in sweats. But hey I got two pairs of sweet heals. (*sigh* The homophone strikes again…)
On an unrelated note, I downloaded the Facebook Camera app that just released yesterday. I may write a full post on it once I play with it a bit more this weekend, but I’d like to hear others’ initial thoughts. I’m a little peeved that it forces you to turn location services on just to access your photo roll. I don’t even have location services allowed on Facebook. The app’s functionality closely resembles Instagram (which would finally resolve the question of why Facebook bought Instagram) but allows you to upload multiple pictures at one time, which is a nice time saving feature. I’m not sure that being able to upload multiple pictures at the same time is worth always having to have location services activated. We’ll see. For those of you who do not have iOS (i.e. Android and Windows phone users) or are not currently in English-speaking countries, you’re not missing a whole lot thus far if you have have Instagram, unless you absolutely feel the need to flood your Timeline with multiple photos at one time.

There you are folks! I will try to keep this going on a weekly basis. Obviously, some weeks will be less interesting than others, but I hope you enjoy it. Also, if you ever see any great ones worth pointing out, send them to me at robzaleski1@gmail.com

Now go get your social on!

Follow this blog on Google Currents! Download the app in your app store or marketplace and click here to subscribe.

The Social Gnome’s Hoard

Welcome to the Social Gnome’s Hoard, a collection of this week’s most interesting finds from the Social Gnome’s internet travels.

Week of May 23, 2012:

Social Gnome hoard image

Today we’ll start with some great blogging tips that I’ve come across from blogging masterminds across the web.

Christopher S Penn, Awaken Your Superhero

Photo from ChristopherSPenn.com

  • In his blog post “Closing techniques are for content creators, too” Christopher S. Penn discusses methods for closing your blog post and encouraging engagement. Simply stating “Comment below” or “What are your thoughts” are not enough to get real engagement. You will see my slyly changing my tune thanks to this brilliant marketer.
A simple plan for writing one powerful piece of content per week

Photo clipped from Copyblogger.com

  • Another great piece of blogging advice that I cam across this week was courtesy of Pamela Wilson’s article on Copyblogger titled “A Simple Plan for Writing One Powerful Piece of Online Content per Week.” If you’re pressed for time and can’t come up with something brilliant every day like, say, Mitch Joel, then this article offers some insight on how to come up with something worthwhile on a weekly basis. Definitely worth a read if you blog but are short on time.
Six Sinister Blog Time Wasters from Pushing Social

Photo from PushingSocial.com

  • Speaking of those who are pressed for time, Stanford at Pushing Social provides a list of “Six Sinister Blog Time Wasters” to help you in streamlining your blogging process. Some of them are so delightfully simple, you’ll wonder why you weren’t doing them already. Probably because you were too busy worrying about other things on you to-do list. Worthwhile tips for bloggers of any skill level.

Hubspot.com blog post on Google's Knowledge Graph

  •  Hubspot delivers a blog post about the most recent change to Google’s search engine: Incorporating what it calls the Knowledge Graph. This upgrade is meant to make Google search more human-like. It will be looking at your search terms not as a string of characters, but actually in relation to what the words mean and what they are related to. It is concurrently creepy and brilliant, but should provide better results as well as better suggestions.
BuzzFeed Ways to use items

Image from Buzzfeed.com

  • On a non-business note, Buzzfeed had a great post on “35 Lifechanging ways to use everyday objects.” Some of these you’ve likely heard of before, but there were a few in here that even surprised me. Did you know that eating marshmallows can help soothe a sore throat? Could there BE a better remedy? I submit that there can NOT.
Is Google+ engagement equivalent to a ghost town?

Photo from FastCompany.com

  • Ladies and gentlemen, there is a lot of hate out there for Google+. It is tough to be a raving proponent of it when they are articles like this. Fast Company likens Google+ engagement to a ghost town in the article by Austin Carr “New Google+ Study Revelas Minimal Social Activity, Weak User Engagement.” Now, I love Google+. Sure, I’m not as directly connected to it as I am with Facebook and Twitter, but I really don’t understand these statistics. Maybe I just follow really active users, but let me tell you: when I have my Social Media Contacts circle selected for my feed, it’s all I can do to keep up with the stream. Videos and blog posts and articles and funny pictures galore. If there’s no engagement, I’m not seeing it. I’ve been known, on more than one occasion, to mute posts because I get tired of getting updates on all the responses. I simply think that Google+ is where all the cool kids are hanging out, and the others just don’t get it. Yeah, I said it.
Your Favorite Martian song Douchebag

Image from YouTube.com – YourFavoriteMartian

  • Finally, on a little more of a personal note. I would like to dedicate this video, by the hilariously sarcastic and satirical Your Favorite Martian, to some of my neighbors. Those cat-calling tools who shout at every woman that passes by their nasty apartment, begging them to “Come in and party” with them. This song and video, “Douchebag,” goes out to you. You’ve certainly earned it. (Warning, if you watch any of the other videos by Your Favorite Martian, some of them may be offensive to people. You’ve been informed.)
  • Have you seen the Google Doodle for today, May 23? It’s an interactive synthesizer in honor of Robert Moog’s 78th birthday. He is the inventor of the Moog synthesizer and is responsible, inadvertently, for things like techno, dub-step, and Flock of Seagulls (though I don’t think we can thank him for the accompanying hairstyles). Play with it. It’s really cool and allows you to record. Let the synthesizer geniuses go crazy! https://www.google.com/

So there you are. Another weeks’ worth of noteworthy, interesting or just funny content to keep you in the know. Did I miss anything great that you came across? Were you surprised by any of the 35 uses of everyday objects? Let me know with your comments.

Now go get your social on!

Follow this blog on your mobile device with Google Currents! Go to the app store and download Google Currents for your iPhone or Android and subscribe to Robzie Social HERE!

Today…it just hit me

Path Screenshot of my run

The craziest part of this screen capture is the ultra low battery level

In almost every bio I use on social media sites, I typically describe myself as a “self professed social media nerd” (sometimes geek, depending on my mood). Aside from my constant social media addiction, I also like to run. When I run, I use the Nike+ GPS app to track my runs and share them on Facebook, Twitter and Path (I know, some people hate it, but I’m damn proud of surpassing my goals and I’m gonna boast about it!). This past weekend, I forgot my headphones. Ugh. Now instead of the distraction of pulsing beats and moving rhythm, I was going to have to listen to…nature. Not exactly motivating, but I carried on undeterred.

Without my distraction, as would be expected, I started paying a little more attention to what was going on around me. I saw a family of four: the dad fishing, the mother, son and daughter dipping their toes in the water. I noticed people walking their pets. I noticed people lazily lounging in the shade and on benches. One thing that every one of these people had in common, was they had their noses buried in a smartphone. I could’ve ran up carrying a giant sized, Warcraft style battle axe and attacked the guy walking his dog, and he’d have been none the wiser. As a matter of fact, had I not changed direction, we would definitely have collided. There was a couple walking side by side, not saying a word to each other, but both furiously texting away. And the family? The only one not on a phone was the dad, who had his hands full with his fishing rod. Now I’ve caught some flak from my girlfriend on more than one occasion for pulling out my phone to check-in on foursquare (I’m hooked on the gamification of trying to accrue mayorships and beat my friends in points) and logging a funny quote from the evening immediately on Facebook. I still manage, however, to find times to disconnect. I truly think we still need to do that.

Photo from TED.com

In her TED talk, “Connected, but not alone?”, Sherry Turkle discusses how this constant connectivity not only changes what we do, but also who we are. It changes the way that we relate to others, but also the way we relate to ourselves. It’s a very interesting and definitely worth a watch. The generation that is growing up with this technology may develop an inability to actually relate to other people, especially face to face, and not develop the crucial communication skills they need to form real relationships. She makes the case that people may eventually prefer digital connection, or even connection to a digital device or robot, to real human interaction. Interesting and terrifying.

On that happy and joyful note I leave you to think about this. Also, if anyone out there is using Path, send me a friend request. I literally only actually know 3 people on there, and I have one more person that added me and I excitedly accepted. I’d be willing to add randos if I know we have something in common. Thanks for reading. Now it’s your turn. What do you think about our constant connectivity and how it affects our relationships? I’d love to collect people’s thoughts into a follow-up blog next week, quoting some highlights, so please give your feedback below!

Now go get your social on!

Follow this blog on your mobile device with Google Currents. Download the app and then follow this link!

Found Tweet Friday


Found Tweet Friday!

May 18, 2012

Welcome to the Redlight District of Twitter

I spend a good part of my day using Twitter to find potential customers for my clients. I use the Twitter search function and locate people talking about relevant things that could translate to needs my clients’ products or services could fulfill. During this digging through the nonsense, the marketing messages, the slang and abbreviated hashtags, I find some pretty ridiculous tweets. Many that make my jaw drop. It never ceases to amaze me how many people forget that their tweets are completely public while they treat their Twitter conversations as if they were private. Some of those are simply too offensive or gross (not to mention misogynistic and lewd) for me to bother posting, but below are a collection of this week’s gems that I just had to share. My occasional commentary will be the parenthetical portions. Enjoy!

****Warning: Some content may be inappropriate for young or easily offended readers****

Found tweets:

  • Was told this weekend is a Mexican holiday…I must ride a wooden stick horse with no pants, wear a fake moustache, and sleep in vomit! (I’m fairly certain those things have absolutely nothing to do with Cinco de Mayo. Ah, America…)
  • Klout thinks im influential about running. I hate running. (You expected Klout to know the real you…?)
  • Give your mom something she really deserves this Mother’s Day: an apology. (Ouch. That’s a dim outlook. Sorry mom…?)
  • Overheard: “That guy should be in a retirement home, ’cause he’s a pervert.” (Sound right. I’ve heard about those old men at retirement homes. They kind of ARE perverts…)
  • Will exchange sexual acts for new house slippers! #anytakers? #oldladytweets? (Boy the standards have gone down these days…)
  • Facebook status: “How short should I get my hair cut?” Comment: “Just cut a mundane-question-that-no-one-cares-about’s worth.” (SOMEone was in a mood…)
  • A dog who attends a flea circus most likely will steal the whole show. (Two drums and cymbal fall off a cliff)
  • To lazy too pee (You get a D- for effort. You’re lucky I don’t fail you…)
  • I always wanted a baby manatee. An adult manatee would never fit in my bathtub (It makes sense, yet is still so ridiculous…)
  • I hope my job’s hair gets sucked into the back of hell’s hair dryer, eaten in a Faustian quiche & twosied out of satan’s bifurcated humdrum (I…just…wait. What…?)
  • Wonder if iron man even irons his own clothes… And what if he’s anemic for lack or Iron? Wouldn’t it be ironic? #epictweet (You have now ruined the word iron…)

There you are folks! I will try to keep this going on a weekly basis. Obviously, some weeks will be less interesting than others, but I hope you enjoy it. Also, if you ever see any great ones worth pointing out, send them to me at robzaleski1@gmail.com

I’m also on the hunt for guest bloggers, so if you’re interesting, have a point of view and a personality, and love social media, send me an email. Bonus points if you like to blog about social media for small and local business!

Now go get your social on!

Subscribe to this blog on Google Currents!

Tweaking and Guest Post Request!

Social Gnome hoard image

There will be no Social Gnome’s Hoard this week, as I’m trying to tweak the way I do it. I might perhaps look into a Paper.li, the way I’ve seen many others doing it. The way I’ve been trying to insert images and my personal notes are just taking way too much time and not looking the way I’d like them to. I’ll be working on that this weekend, and it will be back next week, so fear not friends!

On a side note, I am looking for a guest blog writer to add something new to my blog. I am looking for someone with a personality, insight, and if you have a specific interest in social media for local businesses, extra consideration will be taken. Please submit guest posting requests to robzaleski1@gmail.com with a link to your current blog or writing samples. I will start a queue of guest posters if I get multiple interests that seem like a good fit!

For the time being, here is a funny reading that my literary friend Jake shared with me.

McSweeney’s THE BEING AND NOTHINGNESS NETWORK: SOCIAL MEDIA FOR EXISTENTIALISTS

Thanks for reading and I hope to hear from you soon. Now go get your social on!

Subscribe to this blog on Google Currents!

Found Tweet Friday


Found Tweet Friday!

May 11th, 2012

Welcome to the Redlight District of Twitter

I spend a good part of my day using Twitter to find potential customers for my clients. I use the Twitter search function and locate people talking about relevant things that could translate to needs my clients’ products or services could fulfill. During this digging through the nonsense, the marketing messages, the slang and abbreviated hashtags, I find some pretty ridiculous tweets. Many that make my jaw drop. It never ceases to amaze me how many people forget that their tweets are completely public while they treat their Twitter conversations as if they were private. Some of those are simply too offensive or gross (not to mention misogynistic and lewd) for me to bother posting, but below are a collection of this week’s gems that I just had to share. My occasional commentary will be the parenthetical portions. Enjoy!

****Warning: Some content may be inappropriate for young or easily offended readers****

Found tweets:

  • I woke and my lick was in my living room my fuckin grandma lets anyone in (Grandma’s a free spirit, what can she say? And it’s your own fault for leaving your lick in the living room…..Wait. What’s a lick, anyway? Someone help me with this one.)
  • Fact #20- two nude self portraits of me currently hang on display in my parents’ living room. Yeah, that’s me West Bend. Deal with it. (Well that’s just awkward…I mean, I guess they’re really proud parents, right?)
  • me &my mama havin a Movie night in the living room on friday.. Just like the good old days -when i was an ONLY child. (Yikes! Sibling rivalry much?)
  • When you’re out to dinner with your dad and he sees someone he knows and leaves you to go talk to them. #stranded #potato (One of these hash tags is not like the other)
  • If u gt dne wrg by family dnt unexpect that frm sumbdy thats nt. #JustSayn (WHY? WHY do you hate the vowels?? What did they ever (I do to you?)
  • Every time some douche decides to wear a polo shirt Satan steals the souls of six babies. Please, save them and don’t wear that shit ever (I wonder how many he steals if you pop the collar? Does it double?)
  • food menu is legit and the boot well if you can walk away from it you a better man then me i drank what and got home how ??? hahah (In re: to a 3 liter beer boot. Obviously, written post consumption)
  • oooh nice! We have naked babies running around here tonight cuz of the heat lol. I’m just watching tv (Wait, shouldn’t you be watching the naked babies so they don’t, y’know, hurt themselves?)
  • Mom is half off on Mothers Day! Come join us at ********** (Business name withheld for obvious reasons. Who sells half off moms on Mother’s Day? Have some dignity people! Or some grammar. You had plenty of characters left in your tweet to fix that…)
  • I’ve never seen a Brazilian woman’s breasts, but I can only assume pineapples and other tropical fruits grow from them (It’s unfortunate how sorely let down he may be one day.)
  • Horse Massage Therapist Opens for Business (I have a feeling, in this economy, this might be a tough racket to keep afloat.)
BONUS: For those of you who, like me, were excited this week to hear President Obama’s (albeit politically motivated) endorsement of gay marriage, here is a funny Tumblr full of GIFs to make you giggle. Have a great weekend.

There you are folks! I will try to keep this going on a weekly basis. Obviously, some weeks will be less interesting than others, but I hope you enjoy it. Also, if you ever see any great ones worth pointing out, send them to me at robzaleski1@gmail.com

Now go get your social on!

The Social Gnome’s Hoard

Welcome to the Social Gnome’s Hoard, a collection of this week’s most interesting finds from the Social Gnome’s internet travels.

Week of May 7, 2012:

Social Gnome hoard image

Clip of repost.us grabbed using curate.us

  • If you’re not already aware, there are two excellent tools for sharing great content: Curate.us and Repost.us. Curate.us allows you to clip an article or webpage and share the image in a blog, email, etc. (like what you see to the right here.) Repost.us allows you to embed an entire article, like you would a video, into an email or blog. These are fantastic tools, especially if you know a bit about HTML. Another special thanks to Jay Baer for using this tool in his daily One Social Thing emails newsletter, which is how I found out about these tools.
crowdfunding-nets-millions-for-game-developers1

Image credit: Entrepreneur.com

  • An interesting article from Entrepreneur.com’s blog talking about the use of crowd funding to finance video games. Those seeking hundreds of thousands of dollars in backing are finding that they’re getting well into the millions in some cases. The article warns that this should still be considered the exception, rather than the rule. I’m interested in seeing how well these games do financially once they actually hit the market and they’ve promised copies to all the backers – the very ones who would have been their market in the first place. Will solely realizing the game be enough, or will the meager profits steer creators away from promising free merchandise for backing?

Photo credit: TechCrunch.com

  • TechCrunch featured an article spotlighting recent investment into Chicago startup Belly, who is trying reinvent the customer loyalty aspect of social business “through gamification, digital check-ins and a <sic> iPad setup for businesses.” It sounds like it would at least get rid of those pesky customer loyalty keychain cards everyone hates. Although, “scanning” or “swiping your Belly” just doesn’t have a great ring to it. It sounds kinda weird, actually. Nonetheless, this is a start up to keep an eye on.
  • I have a guest post on The Social Penguin Blog this week discussing 4 Important Aspects of Handling Online Reviews. If you have customers that review you online, this is something you really need to take a look at.
  • If you haven’t read my previous post this week on Google Currents vs. Flipboard, check it out. I’ve made myself a Producer on Google Currents as well. You can go here (https://www.google.com/producer/editions/CAow7ZynAQ/robzie_social) to subscribe via Currents if you have the app. I do recommend downloading and using it if you read articles and publications on your mobile device (iOS or Android). It’s pretty slick. Also…I need to get to 200 subscribers so that I can actually be found via search. When you first submit your content, people can only subscribe with the link provided. Help mmeeeeeeeee. :D

Credit: TheOatmeal.com

  • And finally, I leave you with a laugh. As usual, The Oatmeal gets it right, and makes it hilarious, with their State of the Web, Spring 2012. This captures some of the highlights of what we’ve seen in recent internet and social media news. Things such as Facebook’s purchase of Instagram, a jab at Google+, and constant gamification.
If we haven’t already, let’s connect on Facebook and LinkedIn. I’m always looking to grow my network. If anything, I share interesting and funny things.

So there you are. Another weeks’ worth of noteworthy, interesting or just funny content to keep you in the know.

Now go get your social on!