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Nov 14th 2011

StudioNow's David Mason Talks to B2B Magazine


StudioNow CEO David Mason was interviewed by Matthew Schwartz for an article in BtoB Magazine discussing how small businesses use video as a powerful marketing tool for their own businesses and their clients'. Expanding its efforts to help companies produce and syndicate online videos, AOL StudioNow helps users create more localized-product videos and customer testimonial videos. In the article, StudioNow client Fan Page Generator notes that StudioNow's unique workflow management and high production values are playing a big role in their success:

"It really transformed my ability to do my business, let alone the product that we provide other businesses," said Jason Deitch, CEO of Fan Page Generator. "The platform behind it allows me to keep my eye on where the video is in the process. I can see any video at any point in time; I know if it's been delivered. I know if it's been approved and if there are any issues in the editing."

Click here to read the full article.

Oct 27th 2011

Local Guides by MapQuest

If you've been to MapQuest lately, you may have noticed a few changes. A new window pane at the bottom of the map features 3-4 unique local articles created by MapQuest editorial staff such as best viewing spots for fall colors and fun Halloween events.

These articles are targeted to the user's current location or their mapped locations. We selected the article topics based on data driven analysis from our MapQuest user behavior and search patterns. By reading these articles, you can discover new places around your city or along the way to your destination.

AOL has been investing in content for the last few years with good reason. People spend 50 percent of their time online with content, and the other 50 percent on social networking and email – where they're sharing content.1

Through years of search data, we've found that people love reading content about where they live. To that end, the majority of MapQuest searches are for local destinations.2

Now MapQuest is putting content about local areas at the source, and there couldn't be a better time. With the Oct. 13 launch of MapQuest Vibe, we are expanding on the brand users already know and trust to become even more helpful in their daily lives. MapQuest isn't just for finding your way anymore, but for inspiring where you want to go!

Visit MapQuest.com to find out the top places to view fall foliage and the top Halloween events in your area, or go to mqVibe.com for top rankings on neighborhoods, cities, hotspots and places of interest.

1 "Content fuels the Social Web" AOL and Nielsen, June 2011
2 Under 25 miles, internal data, October 2011

(This post originally ran on the AOL Advertising Blog.)

Oct 24th 2011

Who's the Most Creative 'Little Pumpkin' In All of Patchland? Heidi Klum Teams Up with Patch For Halloween Contest


Patchers tend to be pretty cool characters (at least that's what we tell ourselves). But even we are beyond excited about our new Halloween costume contest with none other than multihyphenate superstar Heidi Klum!

The model, TV star, entrepreneur and mother of her own four trick-or-treaters feels the same way about Halloween that we feel about candy corn: we can never get enough, and we wish it were around all year, not just in October. That's why this Halloween, Heidi and Patch are teaming up for "Patch's Little Pumpkin Costume Challenge"! With a committee of highly trained Halloween costume experts (drawn from our editors in over 850 towns coast to coast) choosing the ten most creative kids' costumes, Heidi will select the grand prize winner, who will be flown to New York City or Los Angeles for a 3-day, 2-night getaway for 2...including a meet-and-greet with The Queen of Halloween herself, Heidi Klum!

Since Patch is all about giving back to our communities, each of the nine runners-up and the grand prize winner will receive $1031 (get it?! 10/31! Halloween!) to donate to a local charity of his or her choice.

What more could you ask for (other than, y'know, more candy corn)?! It's fun, creative, a chance to show off how adorable your kids are, and all for a darn good cause. And speaking of good causes, please support Heidi's efforts to feed the hungry by visiting Trick of Treat for UNICEF (and find more of Heidi's Halloween favorites at heidiklum.aol.com).

Check out this video from one of our Patch sites for more info...All you have to do to get started is visit Patch.com, select the state you live in, and click on the name of your town! And through 9 pm on October 31, 2011, upload a photo of your child, 12 years of age or younger, in his or her Halloween costume. Full rules are here.

Happy Halloween, all...and, of course, boo! (We hope that wasn't too terrifying.)

(This post originally ran on the Patch Blog.)

Oct 12th 2011

Introducing MapQuest Vibe, A New Way to Explore



At MapQuest, we love maps. We've been creating millions of them every day for 15 years, helping people navigate among millions of places across the globe.

In the past couple years, the need for maps has changed, and although maps are great for roads and terrain, finding where you actually want to go can be a frustrating experience. Often you find a bunch of restaurants, all with 3.8 stars, and you need to read through hundreds of reviews to find a new place to eat. Or, if you find a "Best of" list, it's usually at the city level, which isn't what you want when you're hungry now and don't want to drive across town.

A few months ago, our MapQuest Labs team came upon a new way to tackle this problem, and we're proud to announce the launch of MapQuest Vibe, your shortcut to becoming a local, anywhere. This early beta cuts through the clutter of ratings, lists, and pins on a map, by giving you actual rankings of places based on key criteria within a local neighborhood context.

MapQuest Vibe gives you the local knowledge of, not just the best restaurant in Denver, but also the best Italian restaurant in the LoDo neighborhood in Denver.

The neighborhood pages let you explore everything that neighborhood has to offer, including restaurants, attractions, and services, all ranked in a clear order.

Or you can zoom out to a City Page to get a sense of the Neighborhoods that make up a city. It's a great way to quickly see where you'd want to spend a day or even get a sense of where you might want to buy a house.

All of this is available today at
http://mqvibe.com/ and will be available in a few weeks as a iPhone app.

The early beta of MapQuest Vibe, VibeRank, and these new neighborhood, city, and hotspot pages, are just a small first step in the next chapter of MapQuest's journey. Please try them out and let us know what you think. To learn more about MapQuest Vibe please visit our
MapQuest blog.

Oct 12th 2011

Patch, Moms, and Ad Week: A Match Made in Hyperlocal Heaven


Last week, Patch was delighted to host a panel discussion at Ad Week called "Real Moms, Real Power: A Real Conversation," about how brands can connect with moms as one of the most attractive - and valuable - consumer segments out there. Because moms are such a large part of our audience in Patch communities across the country, we were happy to offer a sounding board on behalf of this important group.


One of our goals is to be the most useful platform supporting busy working women in living better, more informed lives in their neighborhood, helping them make critical decisions, and empowering them to share and connect with each other. This panel was a great way to talk about "what makes moms click," and how brands are reaching out to this demographic. We brought together an all-star group of mom marketing experts: Ann Lundburg (EVP from CafeMom), Catherine Connors (Director of Community & Social Good from Babble.com), Rachel Fishman Feddersen (Parenting Group Editorial Director), and Lesley Solomon (a healthcare marketing executive and mother of 2 boys). I represented Patch and the local perspective on the panel (despite being a single guy with no kids! Talk about the hot seat!); Jim Norton, SVP of AOL Sales did a great job as the moderator. It was a lively discussion, to say the least, and helped solidify Patch's position as the place to reach moms locally (where they make 80% of their purchases) and in the home.

Following the panel it was time to have some fun at the Patch Block Party, which featured a local a cappella group (Select Blendz), a variety of specialty dishes from Patch towns (deep fried Blue Point oysters from Mt. Pleasant, SC NY Lady Apple creme brulee from Port Jefferson, NY and rock shrimp corn chowder from Newport, RI, to name a few!), and of course our Patch signature cocktail (spiked lemonade and iced tea!). We were also thrilled to have several Patch local editors on hand, sharing their experience covering local communities. A Patchy good time - and, we hope, very informative!

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