social media watch

Will Facebook's Social Search Feature Also Reveal a Brighter Future?

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 16, 2013 11:44 AM

Will Facebook’s newly unveiled social graph feature soon bring the company profit and additional relevance? 

Mixed reactions are meeting Graph Search, which CEO Mark Zuckerberg called "one of the coolest things we've done in a while" in announcing the feature on Tuesday.

Graph Search enables search using natural language and replaces links to answers with direct results. Sample searches include “Movies my friends in San Francisco like,” “Photos my friends took in the 1990s,” and “Languages my friends from college speak.”

"This is a beta product," Zuckerberg said at the company's rollout event in Menlo Park, Calif. "We focused on a few use cases that we think are good. Even as an early product, Graph Search is a completely new way for people to get information on Facebook."Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: HP, News Corp., Amazon and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on November 21, 2012 08:45 AM

In the News

HP CEO Meg Whitman pilloried over $8.8 billion start-up acquisition charge for Autonomy as stock plunges and former CEO comes out of woodwork.

News Corp. reportedly eyeing Simon & Schuster as add-on to HarperCollins and acquires 49% of YES Network as former newspaper execs charged with bribery. YES, meanwhile, extends Yankees TV rights through 2042.

Amazon unveils brand pages and looks to reinvent publishing model with Tim Ferriss book.

Apple products top kids' holiday wish lists, while spaceship-like campus delayed until 2016.

BlackBerry dropped by US agency over device reliability concerns.

Big Ten college sports conference brand could be diluted by eastern driven.

Darden CMO defects to Ruby Tuesday.Continue reading...

To Cell or Not -- While Dining Out

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 21, 2012 11:14 AM

The escalating battle over digital displays in public has reached new heights…or lows…depending on your position on personal freedom versus a modicum of civility. Between texting, tweeting and Instagram-ing restaurant meal photos, "distracted dining" is the latest scourge on the most basic of manners, the art of face-to-face conversation.

Eva Restaurant on Beverly Boulevard in Los Angeles is offering diners a five percent discount on their bill to check their tech at the door. "For us, it's really not about people disrupting other guests. Eva is home, and we want to create that environment of home, and we want people to connect again," said owner/chef Mark Gold. 

About half the customers at Eva, a 40-person restaurant with European nuance, take the discount. "I think once the server approaches the table and they're presented with the offer, they like the idea of actually talking to each other again," adds Gold.

Interested in wooing business in a challenging economy, and accommodating a younger, wired clientele, many restaurants now cater to diners who have morphed into "food paparazzi." Continue reading...

bubble watch

Groupon’s Wheeling and Dealing to Stay on Top

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 14, 2012 01:07 PM

Groupon, grandfather of daily deal websites and portmanteau for "group coupon" is under scrutiny after its second quarter revenue fell short of expectations, exacerbated by the frail European economy which curtailed online coupon sales.

In the biggest decline since November’s IPO, its shares fell 23% to $5.80 on Monday, leaving the company with a market value of $4.88 billion, significantly less than the $6 billion buyout offer from Google before it chose to go public. 

“We had some challenges in Europe,” commented Groupon's chief financial officer Jason Child. “Because over half of our business is outside the U.S., the strengthening of the U.S. dollar versus the variety of currencies that we transacted declined since we gave guidance last quarter.” Continue reading...

web watch

Groupon Brand: Growing Up, Slightly More Boring

Posted by Dale Buss on July 17, 2012 12:58 PM

Things seem to be a lot more serious at Groupon headquarters in Chicago these days. There are more accountants and lawyers, and fun-loving CEO Andrew Mason is cracking fewer jokes, according to a profile in Bloomberg Businessweek magazine.

That's because at least two very serious things are going on at the originator of the online-enabled, locally based discount deal. First, Groupon is straining to cope with growth expectations now that later-coming rivals such as LivingSocial, Yelp and others have mimicked its local deals business model.

But second, Mason and company have become very deliberate about advancing his plan to elevate Groupon above its competition — and to ensure its long-term future and robust growth — by becoming a key digital partner to small businesses across the range of their application needs. That means not just helping them produce a quick glut of customers responding to a Groupon-advertised coupon but also becoming what Mason calls "the operating sytem for local commerce" with tools such as loyalty programs, scheduling software, and potentially a credit-card payment service.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: AB InBev, DQNY, RIM and more

Posted by Dale Buss on June 25, 2012 08:55 AM

In the News

AB InBev closes in on buying remainder of Mexico's Grupo Modelo for more than $12 billion.

Apple adds Yelp check-ins to iPhone maps app, sees Motorola Mobility patent case shut down by federal judge and retail workers described by NYT as "loyal but short on pay."

Best Buy tries to regain edge before back-to-school season.

BlackBerry owner RIM reportedly considers a plan to split its company in two.

Cadillac surprises with integration of Apple's Siri voice.

Carl's Jr. and Hardee's set Spider-Man movie tie-in.

Dewar's announces three-year partnership with TED.

Dairy Queen gripes about New York menu restrictions as it enters the city.Continue reading...

tech in the spotlight

Apple’s WWDC News: Siri Makes New Friends But It's All About the Mac

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 11, 2012 05:31 PM

In addition to an even trippier special edition of its tie-dye logo, Apple unveiled more than one dozen new products today at the brand's highly anticipated 2012 Worldwide Developers Conference. While Apple’s main growth drivers remain the iPhone and the iPad, its Mac line remains a cornerstone.Continue reading...

social media watch

Confirmed: A Table for Four(square) at 8pm

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 4, 2012 02:02 PM

Foursquare is squaring off against Yelp, and has become a “mobile, socially powered version of Yelp," as Fast Company puts it, thanks to the Explore tool that gives users dining and bar recommendations based on location check-in.

Add the latest tweak to the tool, a proximity-based finder for maps that zooms and can be dragged and pinched at will, and Foursquare’s search iterates from present to future location. The sophistication of the app's user interface puts it ahead of Google Maps, MenuPages, Urban Spoon and Yelp.

Foursquare recently partnered with Open Table, adding a reservations function that covers more than 15,000 restaurants including hours of business and menu perusal.Continue reading...

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