Thank You, Virgin America, for Getting Us (and sorry about the device rule change)

Virgin America Safety

It isn’t often that an airline safety video gets over 2 million YouTube views in two days, but Virgin America isn’t your standard airline. They “get” us in ways that most other airlines just seem to fail at miserably.

The good news – their safetytainment video is a hit, surely making travelers smile before take-off and exposing the company to the social media world as the forward-thinking company that they are. The bad news for them is good news to us. The rules are changing about turning off electronic devices, so that part of the video may be obsolete soon.

No matter. Mission accomplished. They win once again in the uber-competitive airline arena. Here’s their video:

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How Solves the Problem of Geeks on a Schedule


It’s hard being a geek. You have to keep up with all of the things happening in the tech world but you don’t have the time to sort through it all. There are literally hundreds of valid sources of news. A good feedreader can’t handle all of the sources without muddying the water and the standard news aggregators just don’t quite get what we need.

Then, there’s Techi. It’s a project that we’ve worked on for a couple of years now and it’s reached its culminating state of being the ultimate source for the most relevant tech news out there. There are others out there that work fine. Google News has a nice Technology section that doesn’t get updated nearly enough (strange, considering that it’s Google, but what are you going to do?). Techmeme has always been an excellent source but their leaning towards the business side of tech means that much of their news is about rich people or big companies giving lots of money to startups.

Reddit, HackerNews, and Slashdot have the social aspect cornered. Their challenge – they “like” some sites and tend to not like others. The politics within the community are part of what make them strong, but it’s also what keeps some of the most important or interesting news from rising to the point of visibility.

This is where Techi comes in. Yes, it’s a chronologically ordered list of links with some original content worked in, but that’s not what makes it special. The real juice comes from the style of selection. The stories are sorted by editors who try to find the definitive source on a subject regardless of the domain. Just because Techcrunch runs a story doesn’t mean that Hot Hardware doesn’t have a better variation. Unlike Google News, which gives preference to the high traffic sites, or Techmeme, which favors some sites and dismisses most, Techi digs deep into the stories. The editors read the options and determine which one is going to be the best source for the particular topic at hand.

Each story gets a brief lead that either tells the gist of the story in a sentence or two or leads into the bulk of the story if there’s a need to elaborate in order to do the story justice. All of the stories are sourced properly – there’s no scraping and posting like so many other aggregators do. If the best content is on Techdirt, that’s where the reader is directed.

Finally, it’s a 24-hour site. There’s no east-coast/west-coast. There’s no time zone limitation at all. The best tech news around the world is monitored and revealed 24-hours per day, 7-days per week, 365-days per year. Somebody is watching at all times.

There’s serious tech news. There’s offbeat stuff. There are plenty of videos and just the right amount of original content written by some of the same people that contribute to Soshable. It’s a winning mix that can help any geek (or non-geek) get just the right amount of tech news every single day.

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Why Teens Love Snapchat

Teens on Snapchat

I know the feeling that many parents get when they find out their kids are using Snapchat. It doesn’t matter how much you trust them. The first question that comes to mind for those parents that know anything about the temporary messaging system is, “are they sexting?”

Thankfully for most parents, you’re children are not. As much as mainstream media would love for us to believe that the service is evil and part of the moral degradation that is gripping our country, the standard Snapchatting teen is using the service because they really don’t want their actions as teens to catch up to them as adults. It’s a mentality that makes Snapchat such a hot service and parents need to understand that in many ways Snapchat is a good thing.

Don’t get me wrong. There are plenty of bad things that can happen on Snapchat and tons of reasons why parents should be concerned. Even if their children aren’t doing bad things on the service doesn’t mean that they’re not receiving bad things from their friends. It’s really no different from normal real-world interactions. Good things can happen and bad things can happen. It’s all about raising them to focus on the good things and to be able to handle the bad situations appropriately. It’s about parenting.

As was noted on Techcrunch today, kids see Facebook the way adults see LinkedIn:

Kids are in a petri dish, where their every social post can be scrutinized and used against them. That’s why disappearing media startup Snapchat is important, says its investor, Benchmark‘s Bill Gurley. Teens don’t want their daily lives permanently recorded. Gurley said at TechCrunch Disrupt Europe in Berlin that Snapchat board member Mitch Lasky’s kids tell him they view Facebook like adults view LinkedIn.

Read More: Techcrunch

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Why Facebook’s New Publishing Tool is a Threat to Twitter

Buzzfeed Facebook

Since the beginning, Facebook has been a place where people share what they’re doing. They post pictures, videos, and status updates that let their friends and family know what’s going on in their lives at that very moment. Some use it to post thoughts on things that are happening at that moment. Others simply share the latest joke they heard. For the most part, Facebook has not been successful at driving traffic to websites relative to its size.

That has changed in the last year. People are more open and willing to open links from Facebook. They are willing to use it to see interesting posts on blogs and news websites. This can be most easily seen from sites like Buzzfeed that saw a 855% increase in traffic year over year compared to a “mere” 208% for news site TIME.

The one thing they haven’t mastered is in real-time news. That’s Twitter’s wheelhouse. Despite the shared real-time nature that the sites share, the simplicity and chronological order of posts on Twitter make it a faster way to see the current links of immediate stories. Publications can post much more often to Twitter without losing followers than they can on Facebook where over-publishing can force them to lose fans. Facebook’s new publishing tool hopes to change that.

With the new tool, publishers will be able to see what stories they have on their website that have not been published to Facebook. They’ll also be able to see which ones they should post to Facebook based upon its success in being posted by other users. The immediate goal for Facebook is to encourage publishers to post more often. The end goal is to get them to spend money promoting their posts because of the attention that they’re able to get.

Facebook is already the highest traffic-sending social media site out there, but those numbers are misleading. Relative to their size, they’re actually not sending nearly as much traffic as they could. If they could get more publishers to share more content (something they’ve tried and failed at in the past) then their chances of turning that into additional ad revenue increases.

This is a problem for Twitter. They are banking on major media outlets to pay them for more exposure. Facebook is already making tremendous strides in the business world through their advertising program. If they can take dollars from publishers, television, and other media outlets, it could hurt Twitter in their bread and butter business. Twitter needs publishers to want to promote their posts because they are more effective at the news than at direct business engagement.

Facebook owns business marketing. If they can take over media promotions as well, Twitter might be left with a big chunk of their advertising dollars (as well as their hopes for the future) heading to their nemesis.

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Empire Avenue is the Most Important Social Media “Game” that You’re Not Playing


I always get a little blown away any time I meet a social media “guru” or “specialist” who isn’t using Empire Avenue. Granted, I wasn’t impressed the first time I gave it a shot in 2011, but since rejoining the site in May of 2012 I’ve learned that it may be the most invaluable tool in the world of social media promotions.


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