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Feb 4th 2013

TechCrunch Announces the 6th Annual Crunchies Award Winners

It's that time of year when the world pauses and looks back on the best of 2012 and offers up accolades including the Golden Globes, the Oscars and the Grammys. In the spirit of the season, the 6th annual TechCrunch's Crunchies Awards honored some of the best products and companies in technology at their ceremony last week.

This year's Crunchies Award event was Co-Hosted by TechCrunch and partners GigaOM and VentureBeat with actor and comedian John Oliver as the emcee. The Awards honored winners across 20 categories from Best New Startup to Founder of the Year.

Here are some of the Crunchie winners:

Visit Techcrunch for the entire list of winners. Missed the show? Watch the video below for some highlights from the event.

May 8th 2012

HuffPost Canada Announces Regional Expansion

The HuffPost Canada team is just two weeks shy of celebrating its first birthday and what better way to celebrate than to announce the regional expansion of two new sites: HuffPost B.C and HuffPost Alberta. Scheduled to launch this fall, the sites will feature HuffPost's signature blend of news, blogging, community, and social engagement, to capture the unique cultures of both provinces, with regional editorial teams leveraging the power of the HuffPost platform to deliver the most important and most entertaining local stories.

"HuffPost Canada was our first international edition and has always had a special place in the HuffPost family," said Arianna Huffington, president and editor-in-chief of HPMG. "And I'm delighted that we'll be welcoming even more voices to the conversation by expanding to British Columbia and Alberta, just as we expanded to Quebec in February. Since we're already in a celebratory mood with HuffPost Canada approaching its first birthday, there's no better time to enlarge the discussion with the unique perspectives of these vibrant provinces."

The strong social DNA, vital to the HuffPost model, will extend to connect with the social communities of B.C. and Alberta. The Huffington Post Canada currently generates more than 2 million social actions a month through its commenting and sharing platforms and its social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.*

Arianna will be joining the team, including bloggers, clients, media and friends of HuffPost, in Toronto to reflect and commemorate the success of its first year. Join us in the celebration by exploring our new sites.

*Based on HPMG internal data.

Apr 9th 2012

MapQuest Makes Adding Maps to Pinterest Easy

If you can dream it, you can pin it. Heck, even if you can't dream it, someone else dreamt it and you can just 're-pin' it. Unless you have been living on a remote island in the south pacific for past six months, you've probably heard about the tremendously popular social platform that enables people to create pin boards of things they love or are inspired by, called Pinterest. Travel, be it a place you've visited or a place you like to go to, is a big part of what people share on Pinterest. We thought we'd make travel 'pinning' even better by giving people the option to create maps that work with Pinterest so each trip has context to followers.

Here are some cool examples of how people on Pinterest use MapQuest to make their travel related pins even cooler.

How does it work? It's super easy, if you just want a map of a location, simply create your map on MapQuest and then click the "Pin It" Button at the top right of the MapQuest page. This will create a map image and link that you can then upload to Pinterest and add to your 'pin board'.
Careful...it's addictive!

Feb 13th 2012

Social Fresh East: A look back

Last week I had the pleasure of joining some of the smartest minds in social media at Social Fresh East, a gathering of social media marketers and communication managers in Tampa, Florida. The third edition of the conference marked my first trip, and it was well worth the travel!

I had the opportunity to wrap up the conference with a look into the future of social media by talking about the slow ripples of fragmentation that have started to develop within social networks and the meteoric rise of interest based networks like Tumblr, Foursquare, Instagram, and the newest media darling, Pinterest, which recently became the fastest site ever to reach 10 million uniques.

I believe there is a growing shift in the nature of social media interactions. When Facebook first started to grow, the focus was very much on making connections to people you had relationships with "your friends" (your social graph). The truth is, we're not always going to be interested in everything your friends share, think or create, especially when the definition of a Facebook "friend" is becoming blurry. As a result of this, Facebook has become a bit of a social shopping mall - something for everyone, but not everything someone may want.

It's hard to quantify in numbers, other than showing the growth of new interest based social networks in members and uniques, and the slowing of unique visitor growth of Facebook in relative terms, but regardless the cause, users are starting to augment and even replace their Facebook content consumption with interest based social networks that are delivering content more targeted to their interests (the interest graph). As a result, brands are now starting to include them more often in their social marketing plans.

People seem to be more willing to trade the familiarity of people they know, for the serendipity of discovering content about things they are interested in. Indeed, if you take the collective of Tumblr, Foursquare, Pinterest and Instagram, each one is well designed for these moves in user behaviors.

A biproduct of this interest graph movement is the need to involve someone in their social strategy who can understand the value of content and the relationship with the platform they will be placed on. The need for content strategy that's "interesting" (I.e. Akin to user interests) is higher than ever before, and how doing a content audit to see exactly what you have to work with is critical. I coined the term "content museums" to encourage marketers to consider each piece of content for it's individual merit, and considering the social networks as the museum that they will post to.

I wrapped my presentation by offering up some tips for how to adapt to these new networks, and what content to use where to take advantage of the communities already built.

Other speakers from a wide range of industry presented tips, trends and best practices for social media:

You can view all of the presentations from Social Fresh East 2012, and all prior Social Fresh conference events on their Slideshare page, and visit Socialfresh.com or follow @socialfresh on Twitter to learn more about future events.

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