Category Archives: Social Media

By Julie Bluastein

JETLAG landed big at the Redwood Room on Thursday, the 18th. of November in San Francisco. It was hopping, the music was pulsating and the scene was pure fun. The room was truly filled with glamorous trendsetters and world-travelers as promised. A runway was set up between the bar and the restaurant offering a great view of G-Star Raw HOT models that included Trendy Lime’s founder, Liana Burtsava.

DJ Nader and Playdoughboy, and DJ Huggie spun the music, Nkechi Live! catered for an unforgettable soul performance, and chic denim fashion was provided by G-Star Raw. Sponsors included ArkBay Club and RedBull along with Media Partners SFAMA (San Francisco Fashion and Merchandise Alliance), Eclectic a la Mode360 Fashion NetworkModa Epidemic and me, Julie Blaustein Photography.

If you have not joined JETLAG yet, what are you waiting for? JETLAG is the upscale social events for Trend-Setters, Entrepreneurs and Businesses. Once you join, you will receive invite-only to fun, exclusive events. Join Now!

Trendy Lime is a producer of upscale social and networking events and a social network comprised of “global socialites.” They are setting the standard in classy, exclusive events for Trend-Setters, Entrepreneurs, and Ambitious Professionals in prime venues of San Francisco

Hip and Happening photos from the scene & fasion show More photos here!

JETLAG Designer Chic

JETLAG Designer Chic

JETLAG Designer Chic

JETLAG Designer Chic

JETLAG Designer Chic

JETLAG Designer Chic

JETLAG Designer Chic

By Julie Blaustein

A company’s failure is something that people don’t usually speak of, as if it were a bad omen or a skeleton in the closet. But, as FailCon ’10 made clear, failure happens to everyone, including those used to always being on top. The conference, held Monday in San Francisco, made failure appear to be a badge of honor. In the world of start-ups, failure is a way for one to learn lessons and to succeed as a result of failing in the past. FailCon ’10, now in its second year, was launched by event planner Cassie Phillipps of WebWallfower Events and took place in the Hotel Kabuki in San Francisco.

Steve Blank of Four Steps to the Epiphany

The opening speaker was serial entrepreneur and business school professor Steve Blank who was also available to sign his book, The Four Steps to the Epiphany. It’s about early stage start-ups and the four stages of growth any start-up goes through in order to become a real company. Right on target with the theme of the conference. His talk was based on the key task of any start-up; creating a working business model. He also provided some practical advice such as, “Don’t expect the VC’s to be lined up waiting for you to hand you money when you get off the plane in Silicon Valley.”

Jay Adelson of Revision3

Blank was soon followed by a number of speakers from very successful companies who spoke about what they learned from their mistakes. The line-up included Chad Dickerson of Etsy, Chrysanthe Tenentes of FourSquare and Cathy Brooks of OtherThanThat, who asked her usual probing questions when interviewing former Digg CEO, Jay Adelson. Adelson did not share too much with the audience that wasn’t already news, such as his departure from Digg as CEO, but he did share his thirst for being a part of the start-up process, whether it is successful or not.

Hotel Kabuki is a convenient venue, not only for its great restaurants in Japantown but ideal for a conference thanks to its numerous rooms that provided both speaker presentations and workshops. How Not to Fail at SEO presented by Vanessa Fox, formerly of Google and now of Nine By Blue, provided a great presentation of do’s and don’ts for SEO that one can find in her book, Marketing in the Age of Google.

The Audience of FailCon '10

A number of start-ups provided demos of their products and services in the “Demo Room” including: Footfeed, Near2There, FoodSprout, Wordchuck, SurfMark, Doochoo, CardMunch,, MogoTix, hiyakoo, MyNextCustomer, R/A Profit$, and Bee.TV. Throughout the day they offered demos of their product or service for those that wandered into the demo room during sessions and breaks. The audience texted their favorite using Poll Everywhere and the three favorites of FailCon were MyNextCustomer, CardMunch and MogoTix. MogoTix, the winner of the popular vote, provides scannable tickets on your mobile phone and for the event organizer, instantaneous viewing of who has arrived. Perhaps they will have some small failures in order to ensure that they will be successful in the end.

Researching people on Twitter is very limited – users have to settle for reading a 160 character bio, some recent tweets, and one link to another site. Twitter has proven to be an excellent medium for discovering new contacts, but often the information there isn’t enough. So, do you turn to Google and wade through an ocean of results? Look up their LinkedIn bio, blog, company website, or…?

With qwerly, one can simply type in a Twitter username, and the site aggregates all related social profiles tied to the account. It will even include recent activity for the profiles, including recent tweets and Plancast posts.

There are similar services for aggregating social profile info about users (Gist, Rapportive), but these services are for people you are already in contact with (mostly via email). With Qwerly, you just need to visit their site and type in a Twitter username.

What tools do you use to discover people on Twitter? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter.

Want to show your support to your favourite brand, cause or event? Wish to reward your frequent customers and increase brand loyalty? Find a way to endorse your friends and colleaques?

Don’t worry, there’s a badge for that!

What Foursquare and Gowalla didn’t know, when they first created badges to reward user check-ins, was the massive snowball effect of badges they were about to start, now swiping over the social web like there’s no tomorrow. Everybody’s gotta have one.

Brand Awareness and Loyalty

As Loic Le Meur,  founder and CEO of Seesmic, reminds us, building your online brand is NOT about you, it’s about highlighting others. Badges work as a great vehicle for endorsing and highlighting others, while at the same time strengthening ones own online presence and brand.

Brands are quickly catching up on combining marketing efforts with game mechanics and social networking. One of the interesting companies in the space helping brands to achieve their goals is GetGlue, a social network for entertainment. Users can check-in and rate tv shows, movies, music and books to discover new favorites, see what friends are into, earn badges and even get a free copy of the sticker sent in the mail, for free. In September, over 500 000 users had created 10 million new unique ratings and check-ins, the official and authorized badges coming from major brands like HBO, FOX, Showtime and PBS.

As GetGlue explains it: It’s about emotions, enabling users connecting with the content. Check-in to Mad Men, anyone?

Connect with content, reward engagement and frequent users is also something CNN iReport aims to do by launching “On the campaign trail” badge for those participating in the iReport Election Challenge. More badges and surprises are reported to be released.

Even Q&A service Mahalo Answers has hopped on the train of badges, finding them a great and complementary way to engage and reward its frequent users.

Besides from encouraging user activity and increasing brand loyalty, badges can also be a way to create scarcity around, as to increase search engine ranking, of a brand, company or an organization.

Basno is a new platform that offers authenticated badges either to be sold or given away to users. With help of unique serial numbers, embedding unique invisible watermarks, and creating 2d bar codes for each instance of any badge on the platform, Basno aims to increase the value of digital goods through limited issuance of badges. The badges are stored in a vault, but can be shown on all major social networks.

Social recruiting

As many other industries, recruiting is also being disrupted by the social web, offering new ways to find, refer and match talent with job openings. In addition to competition from professional social network LinkedIn, now listing over 70 million members and one million company profiles, there is an increasing number of niched services like Endorse, helping people connect through friendly recommendations, and Twitter stream filling up with hashtags hunting for talent. How the yet to be launched Work Market, a marketplace for employers and workers with promise to make work work, is to disrupt the recruitment business, remains to be seen.

Founders of Estonian, a social recruiting service expanding the reach of job postings via social networks, are also creators of Talentag, your social CV online. Talentag makes it easy for people in your network, professional or private, to give you career boosting kudos in form of badges and thumbs up. By answering questions and giving thumbs up, or down, a chart with personality traits, such as cheerful, friendly, sophisticated, trustworthy, or giving, gets added to ones profile. Fast, easy, and yes, a playful way to endorse someone in your network. All endorsements can then be displayed and distributed on Facebook. Sign up with your Facebook or Linkedin account and see whether you also are to be endorsed as a Social Media Rockstar?

Talentag also offers event organizers a possibility to let event participants claim and display event badges on their profiles. A quick and visual way of listing my past events from Plancast or LinkedIn, for example.

As a good general rule of thumb when designing to include any type of social endorsements in your service, neither badges nor recommendations are simply just to be given away, they are to be earned.

Paula is online strategist and startup evangelist. She is also a mentor for startups at Seedcamp. She blogs at and here at
Connect with her on Twitter, LinkedIn,
Drop her email at paula.marttila[at]gmail[dot]com

Recently Gap rolled out a new logo and already a twitter account impersonating the logo itself is out there – @GapLogo. This is obviously not an official company account, but simply someone who wants to state their opinions and have some fun with the new Gap logo. This is a clear case of trademarked logo infringement — someone has decided to use a brand’s protected image for their own purposes on a social network. What prompted the fake account was apparently an attempt by the Gap to crowdsource ideas for their new logo on Facebook, which has resulted in thousands of unhappy fans and the return to the old logo.

Everyone probably remembers the fake @BPglobalPR Twitter account which was created to make fun of BP’s handling of the gulf oil spill. A lot of people questioned the reasons why Twitter allowed them to continue to impersonate a major brand and corporation, but did you take a look at the logo they used? They took BP’s actual trademarked sunburst logo, photoshopped it black and white and added a few oil drips for good measure. Aside from actively impersonating the company’s PR team, they blatantly infringed on the trademarked image.

Twitter does have a Trademark Violation Policy, which states “Using a company or business name, logo, or other trademark-protected materials in a manner that may mislead or confuse others with regard to its brand or business affiliation may be considered a trademark policy violation.” They do assert they will suspend or release an account in violation, but they appear to be either very slow or very reluctant to take any action on this policy.

This kind of logo impersonation raises the question, what kind of protection do brand and trademark owners have on social networks? If large companies like BP and Gap can be so easily impersonated and have their logos misused with no repercussions, what chance do you think your trademarked brand or logo will have in social media?

Barry Wise is co-founder of the social media trademark and brand protection firm KnowEm specializes in protecting trademarks in social media and provides free searches for username and domain name availability.