5 Things You Might Have Missed

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5 Things You Might Have Missed

Here’s our weekly roundup of social media nuggets, techie tidbits and advertising gems you sure don’t want to have missed.

  1. LEGO’S Latest Online Film: “The Brick Thief” is a whimsical short film from Pereira & Odell and part of LEGO and LEGO Click’s online video campaign. The visually fantastic film features a man with a memorably-large mustache who discovers the fun just a few colored bricks can provide. If you’ve been bogged down with work since returning from the holidays, take a break with this nifty movie from a brand that continues to do it right.
  2. PandoProjects: The trend of empowering folks to do something for their communities using social media is one we’ve seen more and more of over the last 2 years. PandoProjects is the latest campaign to help empower individuals to make changes. The concept is simple: The website serves as a platform with online tools to start local activism while giving aspiring do-gooders the chance to fundraise and grow without mountains of red tape. The Beta site doesn’t launch until February, but PandoProjects has already piqued our interest.
  3. Popcorn, Indiana is on the Map: The indie snack food company from New Jersey has been popping up all over the place. First the brand was featured on The Apprentice when contestants had to cook up an ad campaign for the company. This week, Popcorn, Indiana’s Munch Better Contest got press when it enlisted the help of amateur videographers to come up with a popcorn commercial superior to those featured on The Apprentice. Not too shabby for a brand nobody had heard of a few months ago.
  4. Death to Ed Hardy: Like most people who have eyes, we are totally tired of seeing sparkly Ed Hardy t-shirts and embroidered trucker hats. So when we found Super Top Secret, we jumped for joy. Send Super Top Secret your Ed Hardy or Affliction t-shirts, and the organization will donate your clothes to the homeless and give you a new shirt in exchange. As its website says, “You get some rad new gear and at the same time help bring this gaudy, glittery, gold-flaked trend down to its base function as a shirt.”
  5. Amazing Movie Posters, Meh Movies: As we pondered this list of last year’s best movie posters, we were blown away with how stunning the images in film advertising were last year. Yet we couldn’t help but notice how many of 2010’s films themselves were not that fantastic. Regardless, we’re happy that awesome movie poster art has come back strong.

Loose Lips Sink Mobile Marketing Ships

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Loose Lips Sink Mobile Marketing Ships

Social media, the Internet and privacy were big issues in 2010, with heated Facebook and WikiLeaks debates erupting more regularly than that geyser thing in Wyoming. While those sandbox fights are so last year, don’t expect the privacy debate to go anywhere anytime soon. The latest privacy battle is heating up and it’s all your smartphone’s fault.

Every good battle needs a first shot fired, and the mobile marketing vs. privacy war started with a bang, as well. Apple was struck with a nasty class action suit that not only made headlines but also opened a big old can of worms. The suit, filed on December 23, claims that Apple and several big-shot OS developers have allowed apps developed for iPad and iPhone to transmit user’s personal information to advertisers and marketers. While theories that smartphone apps are simply just more insidious ways for marketers to creep into our brains have been floating about for years, the lawsuit draws a definitive line in the sand and isn’t afraid to call out the names of the alleged bad guys. The Weather Channel, Pandora, TextPlus and Dictonary.com also are named in the lawsuit. Apple and the other brands don’t seem to be shaking in their boots, but mobile marketers are already making moves to save the industry’s face.

The Mobile Marketing Agency (MMA) took the offensive this week by introducing privacy guidelines specially designed for the industry. MMA has asked its members to join in the privacy effort just in time for the upcoming Florida conference, entitled the Consumer Best Practices Meeting. While it is nice to see the industry jumping in to correct matters, we have to ask”¦ Is all of this necessary?

And the answer is yes. As we have seen, nipping the privacy pest in the bud before it destroys consumer loyalty is a must. As smartphones become mechanical members of our families, knowing how much we can trust them and who they talk to when we’re not around is a fight that has only just begun.

Getting Ready to Rumble with StumbleUpon

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Getting Ready to Rumble with StumbleUpon

Yesterday Forbes ran a piece applauding the Chia Pet-like growth of StumbleUpon. According to all the Internet whiz kids and numbers crunchers, StumbleUpon surpassed Facebook as the No.1 source for social media traffic in the U.S. The website hunting service accounted for a full 43 percent of U.S. social media traffic on January 1st, while Facebook accounted for 38 percent. This is big news for sure, but how can the average small business beef up its presence on StumbleUpon?

Since StumbleUpon is really a social bookmarking site, striking it rich in here can pay off big-time as you can potentially reach millions. And like Facebook, Twitter and even Las Vegas, your odds of winning at StumbleUpon increase the more you play. StumbleUpon is social, so the easiest way to get play is to be social (duh). Follow sites on StumbleUpon that your clients would like and pass on content you are interested in. You can always see who has checked out your profile so you always know who to follow back on StumbleUpon. Interact with followers and friends like you do on Twitter and over time you’ll see results.

The other powerful thing about StumbleUpon is that it runs on recommendations. Not only can users recommend content to one another, they also can recommend their own content. Contributing your blog posts to StumbleUpon truly throws your hat in the ring. By recommending and thumbing through content and following more users, your content gets more recommendations and more users. It’s a social media version of the circle of life. Yet the easiest way to increase your StumbleUpon juju is to simply tell people you’re on StumbleUpon (duh part deux). Obviously lots and lots of folks are using the site, so it might be helpful to add an “SU” badge to your blog and website. Also, don’t forget to cross-promote SU on Facebook and other social media sites.

Will StumbleUpon continue to blossom and be a true social media giant? Can SU really help you? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below!