As you know, today is April 1 and what’s synonymous with the first of April is one of the most popular holidays for jokesters. It’s April Fool’s Day and this is when people can really become creative and come up with great gags and hoaxes that most people might normally fall for, on any normal day, that is. But since April Fool’s Day is upon us, I thought it would be interesting to cast the spotlight onto five interesting things that tech companies and publications are doing in order to try and fool everyone.
Editorial note: I’d like to apologize to the companies I’m about to promote here for dousing their ambitious attempts at trying to trick people…really, I thought about how best to do this before I penned this post. I don’t mean to ruin your joke.
Bringing faxing back
So someone decided to create a pretty lavish campaign centered around the antiquated fax machine. It’s called Down to Fax and they’ve billed themselves as being the “chatroulette for fax machines”. Yeah, so if you ever cared to try and hook up with someone, then forget using services like eHarmony or Match.com because the newest way to get someone to go out with you is through the fax machine. Someone clearly put a bunch of effort into the site because you can view “random submissions” that someone has sent in using the Down to Fax service and there’s even a Frequently Asked Question section of the website. Basically, it’s a free service, but of course local fax charges may apply. Never worry again about things getting lost in one’s spam folder or lost since they can’t get to the proverbial “Inbox Zero”. Hell, you don’t really need a fax machine–all you need is an email address and the service will send you potential matches. And as a word of caution, please don’t go out to your nearest Best Buy or Office Depot and buy yourself a fax machine.
You might think of this as the analog version of eHarmony.
Early today, Bloomberg Businessweek reported something that we probably all shouldn’t be too shocked to hear: Facebook is possibly going to dive deeper into the world of search. It was only a matter of time, quite frankly. Bloomberg Businessweek points out that never has Facebook made search a priority. In fact, the social network has placed their priority in helping to curate social data–they want you, the consumer, to share your data and content with them so that they have the human aspect of information that people would be so engrossed to learn from. Over the past seven years, Facebook and worked on organic growth of their social data without even putting as much effort into other forms of search–sure they’ve partnered with Microsoft’s Bing search engine, but it won’t give you the information that you really want to know about.
Facebook’s supposed effort to dive into the world of search could be seen as a potshot against their competitor, Google, but All Facebook believes that the effort to improve the search capability of the largest social network is indeed benevolent. Instead of the “anything you can do, I can do better” shtick, Facebook indents to help their users locate relevant content better amongst all the noise of status updates from games, apps, photos, videos, and other shared content, including from content on sites liked by other users.
Did you know that today marks around one year since the announcement was made that yet-to-be-proven startup Color declared that it had received $41 million in funding. All because they were developing a brand new (and supposedly “revolutionary”) photo-sharing application that dozens of other companies had already gone and did. The industry was rather chagrined and dismayed when they heard this, with even some publications declaring that the infamous “bubble” had returned. What made Color so fascinating for some people? It helped develop a brand new “paradigm” for photo sharing, but that you would take a photo and view the pictures that those around you would share photos. Simply put, according to GigaOm, it was more like Foursquare than existing photo-sharing services. The technology itself probably made it plum for the reputation that it was worth $41 million, but it ultimately was a bust, having hardly gained any traction.
But now, a year later, Color has undergone a bit of a pivot–moving past being an app displaying real-time’ish photos from those around you to now being an app that will enable you to basically broadcast live right from your phone, without requiring any upload time–give yourself 30 seconds and then your status update is now on the world’s largest social network. An interesting pivot, don’t you think?
Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Magdalena Georgieva, an inbound marketing manager at HubSpot. HubSpot is a marketing software company based in Cambridge, MA that makes inbound marketing and lead management software.
Those of us who spend a significant amount of time watching online video are smitten with the inspirational TED talks. But what do we know about the local TEDx events? I am glad to report that they are equally enchanting and present a great lesson in experiential marketing.
If I had to use one word to describe the TEDxSomerville event I attended on March 4th, it would be “purposeful.” Everything there – from the event logo, stage design, and curated art to the bands playing, sponsors, and the organic soy milk offered along with the coffee and tea — was intentional. These elements came together to build a holistic experience that helped attendees truly connect with the content and people around us.
This sense of purpose is what transforms an alright event into a fantastic performance. It conveys a strong message that lingers even after one leaves the event. In this post, I will walk you through the different elements at the TEDxSomerville event and how they came together to build a memorable experience.
If the music video killed the radio star, then what kills music videos? Probably online media. We all know that MTV doesn’t have real music television anymore–it’s mostly made up of reality shows and nonsensical programming. So how exactly are musicians and artists going to try and get their name out to the masses and be heard? Well you could try and go with Pandora or even Spotify, but most likely you’re going to need some sort of label backing you in order to be considered to be placed. And another thing you might need to worry about is just how are you going to make sure that your music is shared with the rest of the world–traditional means of distribution just doesn’t have that much widespread appeal or reach anymore…well not compared to leveraging social media.
And that’s where a brand new startup is gearing up to help artists from all genres get noticed and build a better engaged community. Tracks.by is a young company created by two former UStream TV employees who helped offer services to some of their most prominent VIPs, including musical artists. Founders Mazy Kazerooni and Matt Schlicht saw that there was a need for a service to emerge that would help musicians leverage the new forms of communication and get the attention of their fans, without necessarily going through their record labels. In essence, Tracks.by is probably geared towards cutting through the middleman and connecting directly with those most passionate and interested in helping to spread the word about the artist’s work.