New York’s Gets Ahead Of The Curve

What’s in a name? If your name is Pilot Inspektor, hopefully not much. But for, it means a lot of media attention.

As reported on Uncubed, New York’s Selfie is an iOS app that allows users to have asynchronous video conversations with anyone – complete strangers, close friends, experts, or celebrities – posting 24-second video clips and replying to those clips with new videos.

The app officially launched in September, but the startup’s first coup was in securing the domain long before the term had burrowed its way into the English language or onto ABC’s primetime lineup.

“We saw a hole in the social media space where all the cool stuff that goes along with face-to-face communication was missing,” CEO and cofounder Alex Lasky told us. “As we were iterating on the project, we were out one night and some girls were taking a picture and they used the term ‘selfie’ and that really resonated for us.”

That was in 2012. Within a year the word “selfie” had become ubiquitous, and people wanted to know who was behind the mysterious splash page at

“In early investor meetings we had to explain what selfies were,” CTO and technical cofounder T.C. Meggs said. “So when the media started wondering who’s behind this, it was really exciting.”

Do You Know How You’re Spending Your Money?

Can I afford this right now? Whether it’s a new computer or an old debt, it’s a question we’ve all asked ourselves at one time or another.

New York-based Moven, a mobile banking service, hopes to answer that question – offering consumers the ability to track and analyze their real-time spending.

Though the company was founded in 2011, it’s in the last eight months that things have really started moving for Moven. In March they took their mobile app out of beta, and shortly thereafter raised an $8 million Series A, with plans to expand their operations to Canada and New Zealand.

“There are a lot of mobile banks, but no one is pursuing it from a mobile spending perspective, offering real time insight,” Amanda Stanhaus, Moven’s Community Manager, told us. “…The app is built around giving you data about your spending habits to help you spend better.”

With reportedly booming sign-ups, Moven is hiring new community managers every day – get all the details here.

And if you’re interested in getting a handle on your finances, you can learn more about Moven and download the app for iOS or Android here.

Tap That App Recap @SMW14 #NYCRewind

Last year at SMW NYC,  MKG had a blast hosting the Tap That App: Get Turned On By Mobile Innovation session. Their panel’s picks were as diverse as the presenters themselves, who represent a variety of industries including tech, design, travel, lifestyle, art and more.

There were so many gems, but between the laughter, dancing, and surprise text messages it was almost impossible to take them all in! Problem solved – our “wrAPP up” below includes all of the favorites that were shared during the session, plus some bonus material…

RASHID ZAKAT: Adjunct Professor, The Art Institute of Philadelphia

Rashid kicked things off with some seriously killer music related apps like Traktor DJ, Jukely, and Keezy (which got the room bumpin’ thanks to Rashid’s rendition of Biz Markee’s Just a Friend). Other apps he enjoys – Timehop and Thinglist.

MATTHEW KNELL: VP, Social Media & Community Strategy,

Matthew kept us on our toes, threatening/promising some tap dancing, while sharing his favorite apps. He’s a fan of Penultimate and loves how Feedly and Bufferwork together. On the more playful side, Matthew enjoys Plants vs Zombies 2 andDots.

JAMIN WARREN: Founder, Kill Screen

As founder of a videogame arts and culture company it’s no surprise that Jamin shared some awesome gaming apps – ThreesStair Dismount and Device 6 – when feeling more productive, he likes Slack.

NEIL BLUMENTHAL: Co-Founder & Co-CEO, Warby Parker

As someone who has no time to spare, ever, Neil shared some awesome apps that he finds useful for de-cluttering and streamlining his days including Pocket,Clear and Waze.

LAUREN AUSTIN: Creative Director, MKG

A self-described “bingo wheel of weird ideas”, Lauren started off with Herps and Purps (decorating fellow panelist Neil with blemishes & black eyes – hot), Coco’s Workout World and Lulu which all proved to be fan faves. Other apps Lauren finds helpful – Whitagram, Venmo & Songkick.


Shantell ended the session with an amazing live demo of her trademark ink drawing and a thoughtful suggestion that sometimes we just need to put down our phones and pick up a pen. But, she has her fave apps too! Pitch Painter,ThicketSnowdriftPaper 53

As a bonus…our very own Digital Creative Director, Dave Brown, hosted the event and wanted to share a few apps he thinks are awesome too: ReporterFlipboard and The Amazing Game of REcollection.

If you missed out on the session, or just want to take it all in again, check out the livestream below. Are you ready to do it all again! Thanks to presenting partners MKG and Crowdcentric, passes for #SMWNYC are now 35% off. Get your pass here. See you in February!


7 Apps, Websites, And Stadiums At The Forefront Of Sports Media Innovation

Tensions have run high between Kansas City and the Bay Area ever since those plucky west Missourians earned the honor of being city number one for Google Fiber installation, overshadowing the less publicized beta launch on Stanford’s campus. That history is sure to motivate the San Francisco Giants and Kansas City Royals as they clash in this year’s World Series, starting tonight.

Well, maybe not, but Uncubed will use the occasion as an excuse to talk sports – namely, sports media, a landscape long dominated by that fratty, four-lettered behemoth from Bristol, Connecticut known as ESPN. From new broadcasting formats to futuristic stadiums to an athletes-only publication, Uncubed shares the lowdown on how sports media are finally escaping the shackles of complacency.

Players’ Ball

The dawn of Twitter brought with it something novel for sports fans: unfettered, instant access to many of their favorite athletes’ thoughts. Derek Jeter’s newly launched sports journal, The Players’ Tribune, gives athletes a new platform – an online magazine with a staff of athlete essayists. Since soft-launching at the start of October, Players’ Tribune pieces have addressed topics from domestic violence to Donald Sterling, offering thoughtful takes on hot-button issues in place of careful interview answers and publicist statements.

Voices In Your Head

A few months ago, we reported on SecondMic, which lets fans choose which broadcaster (or podcaster) they listen to during a game instead of being stuck with subpar commentators. With, enjoying an alternative audio feed while watching the game becomes participatory. Up to four remotely scattered friends can audio chat while browsing the app’s interface for game updates. Suddenly, watching your hometown team from across the country becomes a bit less lonely.

All In The Community

If Facebook is like a giant high school cafeteria, think of FanCred as the locker room (sans nudity). The iOS app creates a digital scrapbook for sports fans to share their excitement and exasperation in real time. On the other side of the spectrum, social networks for aspiring athletes are also cropping up – FieldLevel helps four-year college coaches connect with high school and junior college coaches in the recruiting process, and BeRecruited serves as a LinkedIn for aspiring college athletes.

Crowd Fun

A day out at the stadium is rife with tradition – the same chants, the same lines, the same overpriced hot dogs. Levi’s Stadium, the new stadium of the San Francisco 49ers, is changing all that. In-house apps enable line tracking, food and beverage delivery, and streaming video of other games in action. The public reception has been mixed due to various bugs, and there’s still no app for inadequate leg room, but other stadiums are sure to follow the tech-ready model.

Facebook Paper: This Could Change Everything

Launching last Thursday, Facebook’s new app, Paper, is a curated content application that integrates with the existing Facebook platform in a refreshing way. The app allows users to get news about their friends as well as from the around world, all in one place. When you first log into your Facebook account on Paper, you choose different topics like “Tech”, “Headlines” or “Cute” to decide which content interests you and will appear in your Paper. This re-imagination of the Newsfeed expands the type of content that users can enjoy on the go and may have serious implications for brands and marketers.

image (1)Designed by Mike Matas, the brilliant mind behind the iPhone and iPad’s UI, the UI of Paper is unparalleled. Swipe across the top half of the screen to browse through topics and swipe horizontally at the bottom half of the screen to browse through the specific stories under each topic. Paper creates new avenues for accessing content and makes that content more visual. This app makes it easy to kill a few minutes on the go, reading content that people actually care about.

Currently, 53% of Facebook’s ad revenue comes from mobile, and Paper has the potential to increase that percentage significantly, by selling space for branded content. In a recent interview with Tech Crunch, higher-ups at Facebook admitted that Paper had already completely replaced the Facebook app for them (which could mean that the Facebook app will also be abandoned by their general user-base). We will definitely be following Paper as its mobile-focused platform creates new opportunities for marketers. It may require them to rethink their entire mobile strategy!

Mobile content is an important topic at SMW NYC, and we are excited to hear from our friends at Thrillest, TIME Magazine, Deep Focus, and Facebook in their session, The Future of Content in a Mobile World. We have a feeling that Paper will be getting a shoutout.

Get your pass for SMW NYC here and be sure to check out our schedule for other events you won’t want to miss!

Madonna, Nightlife, & Marketing: Michelle Klein Takes Smirnoff To New Heights

How does one get a dancer on stage behind Madonna? It takes a global perspective and some creativity, and that’s something Michelle Klein has in spades. Michelle is VP Global Marketing Comms & Digital for Smirnoff, which you may not know is the number one premium spirit in the world in terms of value and volume.

“Often when you’re in a global role, you tend to sit in global headquarters,” she said. “If you haven’t seen the world, then I think you have less of an appreciation for global culture.”

Being named one of AdAge’s Women to Watch, Michelle draws on her experience living on four continents to oversee some incredible marketing projects. Take for example Smirnoff’s “Nightlife Exchange Project.” People in 50 countries exchanged party ideas for one global party. Now in its second year, the campaign leverages social media as the common thread throughout the activity, engaging over 10 million people globally. This year, the project features Madonna, who, in partnership with Smirnoff, searched for the world’s best dancer to join her as part of her next tour. The search culminated in a global dance-off on November 12th.

She also helped launched “Midnight Circus,” a global tour that features performers, mixologists and interactive art exhibits.

Drawing on the mobile movement, Michelle and Smirnoff created the app “Mixhibit,” allowing users to pull photos from their social accounts creating a collage with custom music. “Mixhibit will unlock the power of our community and provide a platform for them to have fun, be creative, and experience the brand in social occasions, to take the physical experience into a digital one,” Michelle said.

Michelle will be on stage this February to share more of her marketing successes and what brands can learn from Smirnoff. The question is, will you be there to get it all?

Coverage of SMW12: Socializing the News


Moderated by Peter Himler – President — Publicity Club of New York
With Panelists:
Anthony De Rosa — Social Media Editor, Thomson Reuters
Craig Kanalley — Social Media Editor, NBC News
Elizabeth Heron — Social Media Editor, The New York Times
Jake Porway — Data Scientist, The New York Times
Mat Yurow — Social Media Producer, Bloomberg News and BusinessWeek
Steve Krakauer— Senior Digital Producer, CNN/U.S


The Socializing the News luncheon began with Publicity Club of New York’s President, Peter Himler introducing Jake Porway, the Data Scientist at The New York Times’ Research & Development Labs to demonstrate his company’s Cascade app, which I must say is likely the most *beautiful* tool presented during Social Media Week 2012.

Project Cascade goes beyond the two dimensional graphs most companies currently use. It’s a three dimensional representation of how news is shared and how it spreads. The app uses data from the New York Times website and Twitter, well-worn territory but and it adds a key element: information from, the URL shortener. By working with, staff were able to see when New York Times links were shortened or expanded. Altogether, a full tapestry is exposed: Read; Share; Engage.

Person 1 browses the NYT site, reads an article of interest, uses to shorten the URL, shares on Twitter; Person 2 clicks on the link, expands the URL to read the story; Engagement via returning to the NYT website, retweets and conversation. A very powerful data set emerges from these actions. Using the tool developed at the NYT, researchers can see the cascade of events which happens whenever someone tweets one of their news stories.

Project Cascade shows all the sharing behavior based on a tweet. All the layers of retweets. The echo effect across Twitter. The degrees of separation from the original tweeter. Analysts can see the reach of an article by seeing how tall the graph gets, built by layers of retweets. They can also see when others enter and leave a conversation, streaming over time. Consequently, they can also pinpoint influence by large spikes in the data. Who are key players and what are they saying? The app allows analysts to understand the nature of a tweet and how it spreads by looking at the backbone of influential people. Does it help when someone asks a question or adds their thoughts? Do they use a certain hashtag? How does conversation evolve? On which branch do people enter the tapestry? How do things change over time? Using the tool, analysts have quantifiable data to ask questions like “When is the best time to tweet?” They can test the hypothesis and see what works best. They can see who are consistently bringing people back to the site. Which articles are likely to spread and why. What are the sections which affect the flow of conversation? How do journalists become a part of the conversation? Should we retweet ourselves? Should stories be managed or should they be allowed to grow organically? Now, all these questions can be looked at because Project Cascade offers a lens into what is happening in social media.

But Socializing the News wasn’t all apps. Steve Krakauer shared on how social media has a real impact on what companies do. What happens on the digital space translates into more viewers on CNN. Now, the question is how to harness that. Piers Morgan is a great example of how Twitter can build a brand. He is a personality with a strong following. And it really is Piers who tweets. Google+ doesn’t have a good metric or analytics system, yet, and it hasn’t opened up the same way Facebook and Twitter have. For those reasons, people hesitate.  For big organizations to consider Google+, it will have to show more of the back end data. With Facebook and Twitter, you can have a community where you can hit people with what they are interested in. Cultivating a community that already exists is almost as important as reaching out to new people. But most important is people clicking on links, replying, retweeting and commenting, more so than follower numbers or likes.

Mat Yurow joined the dialogue, offering his perspective from Bloomberg. Bloomberg‘s wire service is its main source of revenue. In a world where Twitter is becoming the source for breaking news, how does a company balance service offerings which are free v. charged? Mobile apps have been optimized for sharing and discussion and that is where the organic growth will happen. At the moment, it’s about building a following. Each social network has its own strengths, and those strengths are primed to be taken advantage of.

His company has found that it gets much more traffic from Facebook and people spend three times as much time reading articles on the site, as opposed to the traffic from Twitter, while LinkedIn is used by reporters to find leads. Play the slow game and build relationships. There are few tools better at relationship building than Twitter. Social media editors are responsible for building their credibility and clout to make people listen to what is being said; PR people are responsible for checking-in periodically even when they are not pushing or selling a story. Become a familiar face on a journalist’s timeline, and journalists will be much more willing to respond.

Yurow instructed attendees to find a way to add value to your followers, and play to the vanity of people. Mention them in a newsletter, and then let them know they have been included. Send out tweets at different times, depending on when people read. Understand your audience and find out when you can offer most value.  Consider scheduling tweets to post at night or on the weekends because social sites may be blocked at your followers’ workplace. Don’t lose your audience because they are not able to be at a desk when you are.

Then the New York Times’ Elizabeth Heron offered her views. On Twitter, the company uses the main @NYT account to break news. However, each desk has its own account and is responsible for its own social media strategy, so things don’t need to be completely centralized. “Hashtag Science” is used to create short hashtags which clearly identify the story and invite people to contribute. For example, #iEconomy to discuss how Apple is affecting the economy; how does Apple differ from other major companies that manufacture in China; do factory conditions affect people’s choice to buy iPhones?

To give readers access to journalists, the New York Times also holds live chats on Facebook, as well as on Google+ hangouts. The company likes to give direct access to reporters who work on series. And this international contingent of reporters is great for crowdsourcing. NYT considers the journalistic value of social media. It’s difficult to quantify, but if the company finds sources it would not have found otherwise or it’s able to cover breaking news more comprehensively, then it is significant. On the business side, the company cares about referral traffic. Engagement metrics are much more important than number of followers.

Craig Kanalley expounded on the role of the social media editor: to tell stories. Carve a niche and innovate to use social media creatively. There are endless possibilities. It’s also part of the employee’s responsibility to break out of a Twitter Monkey role. Engage journalists on Twitter by offering timely information.

Keep in mind that Pinterest is sustainable because it appeals to the mainstream audience, not the tech-geeky crowd. Finally, it’s better to post in real time in possible. Scheduling tweets can make you look outdated if not done correctly, so be careful.

The panel concluded with Anthony De Rosa. He stated that in order to be the place where people go for news, you should be the beacon for all news – it makes you valuable. You shouldn’t feel like you can only report those stories coming from your newsroom. However, make sure to validate; due diligence is necessary. Be a megaphone for your own content, but also act as a curator so you’re the central source for everything. The difference between social media and headlines is that you don’t have to be as literal with the former. Social media writers are aiming to grab attention rather than gain the SEO system. Ride the line of interesting and engaging, but don’t mislead.

Pinterest popped up again as a great distribution channel for videos, and LinkedIn was positioned as good for gathering information because it allows users to filter others by who people are: which companies do they work for and which positions do they hold? Listen on LinkedIn. This function doesn’t exist natively on Twitter, but can be maximized on LinkedIn.

Peter Himler helped us end the event by pointing us to MuckRack, which tracks thousands of journalists on Twitter and social media.

At the end of the event, I walked away feeling like I had a great sense of the myriad ways the news can get social and how companies are doing it.


Lisa Chau
 has been involved with Web 2.0 since graduate school at Dartmouth College, where she completed an independent study on blogging. She was subsequently highlighted as a woman blogger in Wellesley Magazine, published by her alma mater. Since 2009, Lisa has worked as an Assistant Director at the Tuck School of Business. In 2012, she launched GothamGreen212 to pursue social media strategy projects. You can follow her on twitter.