Thursday, April 28, 2011

You Know You Wanna Send Your Friends a Free Pepsi

Just pay a visit to one of Pepsi's new Social Vending Machines. Pepsi recently announced that their newest line of vending machines will feature touch screens, take cash or credit cards and the most notable new feature is their ability to send a free drink to one of your friends! When at one of these new vending machines, simply enter your friend's name, cell phone number and if you want even a personalized video message recorded straight from the machine and it sends a text message to them letting them know where they can redeem the beverage you just sent them.

People can even send a free beverage to a stranger by selecting to send it to another Social Vending Machine as part of their "Random Acts of Refreshment" project.

Pretty cool idea, huh?

Check out this video from PepsiCo that explains the whole process:

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Another win for Android!

A new survey was released today by Nielsen of U.S. consumers planning on getting a new smartphone. In the second half of 2010, a full 33% of consumers reported wanting an iPhone, but the latest survey results from the first quarter of 2011, suggest that 31% want Android and iOS dropped down to only 30%, with RIM's Blackberry coming in third at 11%, 8% preferring others such as Windows Mobile 7 or Palm WebOS and a full 20% are still undecided.

Android does have an advantage in the fact that its platform runs on multiple devices whereas iOS only runs on the iPhone, but the trends do indicate that smartphone buying consumers preferences are now leaning towards Android devices instead of of the iPhone. It's very possible that the iPhone market is pretty much saturated. Almost anyone who wants an iPhone probably has one at this point, but many first-time smartphone users are jumping on the Android bandwagon.

The full results of the Nielsen survey are listed here.

Monday, April 25, 2011

NOOK Color gets major firmware update!

So this isn't exactly networking or social media news per say, but it is really cool! Barnes & Noble just announced today that the NookColor will be receiving a major firmware update to the NOOK Color. They are updating the device to Android 2.2, which runs Flash 10.1 and will have a (albeit small at first) app store that includes Gmail and even Angry Birds! I love my NOOK Color and basically used it like a tablet before, but now with this update, this thing really packs a big tablet punch for a small e-reader price ($250). If you have the NOOK Color, the updates will be coming out OTA this week, or if you can't wait like me, you can update it manually with these instructions from Barnes & Nobile here. Happy updating!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Web 2.0? That's SO last season. Bring on Web 3.0!

There's been a lot of talk lately of how the web is transitioning from Web 2.0 to a more semantic, 3.0 version. Where Web 2.0 was about social networking and customization, Web 3.0 is all about personalization. Tim O'Reilly of O'Reilly Media has often been credited with the term and in this video from Techcrunch, he talks about the future of the web and how customer favorite Groupon could really embrace the user-data centric model and very easily become one of the pioneering Web 3.0 companies.

Check out the video:

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Most Innovative Companies 2011

FastCompany.com put out their list of the Most Innovative Companies for 2011 a few months back. Pay attention to these guys. Innovation is where the money's at and everybody wants to be "the next big thing." You have your usual heavyweight contenders like Apple, Facebook, Google and Twitter, but check out the newcomers Groupon, DonorsChoose.Org and the ad agency Wieden + Kennedy who are behind the ingenious Old Spice guy ads.

Some truly innovative and inspiring companies on this list and I would love to work for almost any of them someday.

http://www.fastcompany.com/most-innovative-companies/2011/index.php

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Crew at Seattle Rep Theater: The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs Pre and Post Show Events

I have seen a few ads around for the latest show at the Seattle Rep Theater: The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs and it sounds like an fascinating show. It is written and acted by Mike Daisey and is a high energy and provocative look at "how one obsessive man changed the world to his liking—and at what cost?" (Show Synopsis)

The Crew at Seattle Rep is a "social and cultural group for young professionals. Our 200+ members meet up for top-notch theatre and amazing parties." (Seattle Rep website) I have been to one of the Crew events before and had a great time. The next event is this Friday, April 22nd starting at 6:30 before the show for a bit of mingling, hors d'oeuvres spread and a private open bar. Then join back up again after the show for a party and a chance to meet the actors.

If you're looking for a unique way to spend a Friday night and make some new networking contacts at the same time, check out this event. Should be highly interesting!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Coachella Live: Social Media at Its Best

http://www.youtube.com/coachella

Watching Coachella Live on their YouTube Channel. Twitter is all aflutter with posts about Mumford and Sons right now. THIS is what social media and instant sharing and streaming was made for. I cannot wait until I'm a California resident and will hopefully be able to go to Coachella next year!

Social Media and Politics: Good or Bad?

I ran across this story recently on MSNBC, 2012 Presidential Candidates Using Social Media, that looks at how politicians are using social media for their campaigns. Part of what got Obama elected in 2008 was his ability to connect with the younger demographic through social media like Facebook and Youtube. However, this time, the Republicans are getting in on the action too, trying to ignite their base for the upcoming 2012 election. For better or worse, Sarah Palin is exceptional at using social media to communicate with her followers, with presidential possibilities Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee close behind. The question is, will all of this new usage of social media translate into actual votes, or will it just get lost in the noise of the webosphere?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Winners and Losers of Social Networking

I love Mashable's infographics. An interesting article on the "winners and losers" of social media. One thing is for sure, Web2.0 is constantly evolving. To quote Project Runway, "One day you're in, and the next you're out." Now the question really becomes, how can you make sure that you stay "in" the right network? It's also interesting to see that some of the largest networks are not even in the US. Yet another reason to constantly be thinking globally?

http://mashable.com/2011/04/12/social-networks-infographic


Friday, April 15, 2011

Girl Power Hour

Have you ever seen those women who are successful, enviously fashionable and seem to be able to charm the pants off anyone they meet and you wonder, how do they do it? Where do they form their connections? If you're in the Seattle area, the answer is most likely Girl Power Hour. Girl Power Hour was founded in 2007 by Darnell Sue and they haven't looked back since. They hold stylish and exciting networking events, seminars, and lifestyle events that encourage women to get together and build relationships both personal and professional.

I first heard about Girl Power Hour while perusing the web for new ways to make some new friends with similar networking interests. I have had the pleasure of attending five Girl Power Hour events so far and have been continuously impressed with each one. The events range from stylish cocktail hour networking to salon makeover tips to clothing swaps and drives, with each one allowing for new opportunities to network and build relationships with talented and inspiring women. They also give away *fantastic* swag bags at each event which have goodies from local businesses and sponsors galore.

Girl Power Hour has been such a wonderful tool for opening new doors in the world of business and networking. It can sometimes be intimidating to be in a room full of people and to know what to say, but GPH proves such a comfortable, empowering environment that it's hard NOT to make some new contacts.

If you are a woman in the Seattle area that is looking for a way to network and mingle with some of the most talented, successful and inspiring women you can find, sign up for the next Girl Power Hour event. You won't regret it!