Category Archives: Funding

by Michelle Lentz

A slew of Twitter news hit today, both big and small.


The biggest news, of course, is the new round of funding. According to a blog post from Biz Stone, they’re still chugging away on their last round, but weren’t going to turn away another offer either (and why should they?).

TechCrunch is reporting that the newest dollar amount is in excess of $35 million – a combination of funds from Benchmark and Institutional Venture Partners.  Apparently Twitter is now worth about $230 million. It’s good to be Twitter right now.

Looks like they can relax a little while longer before coming up with that business plan. ;-)

Style Guide

As an English major, I still hold tight to my worn and beat-up copy of Strunk & White. But I’m not really sure how I feel about a Twitter style guide. After all, Twitter is often about individuality. The New York Times did a brief piece today on Dom Sagolla and Adam Jackson’s new project: 140 Characters, A Style Guide for the Short Form. According to the article, the project will

..will revolve around eight key lessons from the Twitter universe, such as the importance of simplicity, honesty and humor. The project will also highlight notable figures worth following on Twitter, anecdotes from the community and even examples of the few occasions Twitterers have gone overboard: For example, Mr. Sagolla points to “bathroom tweets,” or messages about bodily functions, as falling into the category of things not to post to Twitter.

Could be interesting, but I’m not sure how well the Twitterverse will respond to a style guide. How many people read the countless Twitter Etiquette posts people always write when they get angry at their tweeple?

Who’s really behind that tweet?

Newsweek also ran a Twitter story. Real celebrities do tweet (Shaquille O’Neal, Stephen Fry, etc), but other accounts are written by publicists. The article has a nice interview with Bob Pearson, vice president of communities and conversations at Dell, who makes sure his staff is trained to use Twitter. But perhaps most interesting is the part about new company Twit4Hire. Yes, companies and personalities are looking for, um, professional twitterers. Heck, maybe I should apply.


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Email: michelle[at]writetech[dot]net, Twitter: @writetechnology, Friendfeed: michellel, Blogs: Write Technology,

Nominee for City Beat’s Best of the City: Vote for My Wine Education under Public Eye > Blog:

by Michelle Lentz

iWidgets has raised $4.1 million in Series A funding led by Opus Capital and University Venture Fund. This is big news in a climate where finding funding seems to involve turning over a lot of rocks. Tomorrow, iWidgets is also announcing the addition of Geoff Katz to the executive team as vice presiIdent of business development and marketing. Katz, an interactive television industry pioneer and digital media veteran, also currently serves on the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Board of Governors.  So not only are they acquiring money, they’re hiring as well.

iWidgets, which is a free service, has a business plan. They make money through syndicating professional viewers click on ads that appear at the beginning or end of an embedded video.

Why all the changes? “The audience has shifted to social destinations,” said Peter Yared, iWidgets CEO. “With these new investors, we are positioned to radically change the way publishers reach their fans online by helping them rapidly join the social media revolution at a massively reduced cost.” iWidgets technology allows publishing on MySpace, Hi5, Facebook, and iGoogle.


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Email: michelle[at]writetech[dot]net
Twitter: @writetechnology
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Nominee for City Beat’s Best of the City: Vote for My Wine Education under Public Eye > Blog:

by Brian Solis

Laura Fitton aka Pistachio, is a dear friend of mine. I got word of a special project she was spearheading and I was moved to contribute.

Using Tipjoy, a service that turns tweets into PayPal payments, Fitton is striving to raise $25,000 for CharityWater by Christmas. Fitton’s driven by a passionate wish to save the lives of children by providing clean, safe drinking water – 4500 kids a day die from a simple lack of it. All you need to do is enter your Twitter ID in the widget here and then fund a TipJoy account.

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by Brian Solis

Recession? What recession? The IPO seems to be making a rare appearance.

According to TechCrunch, FriendFinder Networks, formerly Penthouse Media Group, has filed to go public.

Here’s the S-1.

Renaissance Capital out of Russia is navigating the process. The company hopes to raise ~$460 million which earmarked to pay off the nearly half billion dollars in current debt .

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by Jacob Morgan

If you haven’t figured out the answer to the question it’s “Signal Patterns,” a new company that helps you discover…well, you! Simply put, Signal Patterns uses its Personality Traits and Music Patterns Web applications to help people learn more about themselves and connect with others like them. Users can also discover their top music traits and preferences (among other things). The apps offer users tremendous insight into how personality traits and music genre preferences influence behavior and choices – all based on behavioral sciences and years of psychology research.

As someone who has a degree in psychology I am very intrigued by the Signal Patterns. According to the CEO of Signal Patterns:

“Our technology and Web applications are based on decades of psychology research and studies from our team of industry-leading scientists,” “We take the science behind our technology and wrap it into friendly social Web applications that are designed to be simple, viral and fun for people, but at the same time offer real value to enhance their lives.”

In order to describe each person the algorithm uses 45 different personality traits that are each scored on a separate scale. This unique scoring allows people to measure unique personality traits as opposed to being grouped into common personality “buckets.”

The Personality Traits survey is based on unique personality traits rather than rough “buckets” of personality types, which provide higher accuracy due to the in-depth 45-score personality assessment algorithm.

According to the official press release

“With Personality Patterns people can:

* Gain deep insight into their unique personality traits and characteristics
* Discover other people who have similar traits and interests
* Engage with their results through an interactive visualization of their personality
* Understand and improve their relationships by comparing with their family and friends’ personalities
* With the related Facebook application, display their top traits on their Facebook profile through
an interactive widget, allow Facebook friends to take the survey and compare results, and
discover new Facebook friends.
* And with a new feature in the Facebook application, express their personality through the “Trait
of the Day” feature where people can send to friends or post to their profile messages like
“Today I’m feeling volatile” or “Do you think I’m too assertive?”

“With Music Patterns people can:

* Learn the underlying psychological music traits that characterize their musical taste across
different music genres
* Engage with their results shown in an interactive “equalizer” display
* Compare their music personality with other people’s
* Find other people who have similar music personalities
* Discover new songs and artists with an embeddable playlist from leading social music service
imeem with songs that match a user’s music personality”

Here are a few screenshots from the actual interface (you can get more here).

signal patterns screensho

signal patterns screenshot

signal patterns screenshot

If you want to find out more about these unique applications and how they help analyze personalty then check out the Signal Patterns website.

What do you think, pretty neat stuff right?

Jacob is a social media consultant and runs a team of technical SEOs

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