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Archive for the 'Hot Sites' Category

10 sites to check out this week and pass on

Wow, it finally it might be warming up in the Northeast. And we’re only mid way through April! With that being said, you’re still going to have some down time here and there since you might be bumming a little that Kristy Lee Cook finally got the ax on American Idol.  So as you peruse all the info that you can get your hands on regarding American  Idol, here are 10 other websites you might want to check out that may deliver more a bit more than Idol updates.

Shout Out to Google

First off let me throw some major props out to Google.  If there is one thing that I will not stand for, it is the exploitation of children in any way, shape, and form, and child pornography would have to be #1 on my list. The fight against child pornography is getting an assist from technology designed by Google to help identify copyright-protected clips on its YouTube video-sharing site.

Four Google employees used their “20% time” — during which the company encourages them to pursue unofficial, out-of-the-box projects — to customize the copyright software for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s program for identifying children in sexually explicit photos and video.

Software already has been used to match known images, but when new ones are submitted by law enforcement and service providers, analysts generally make identifications manually, often based on recollections. The center has recently employed facial-recognition technology to make those IDs easier, but with limited success.With the new Google tools, analysts can also seek matches based on other attributes, such as the color and shape of a couch or the wallpaper pattern in the background of a photo.

Anything to stop this in it’s tracks, I’m all for, so right on Google.

Next up is an Ad agency in Pittsburgh Called Smith Brothers I personally know these guys and they are a good bunch. They just received some major recognition out at the Adtech 11th Annual Awards Ceremony in San Francisco, The Brothers received top honors for Best Integrated Campaign for the Heinz Top This TV Challenge campaign – beating out hundreds of entrants from top advertising and interactive agencies worldwide Smith Brothers’ campaign featured the innovative use of messaging on the labels of millions of Heinz ketchup bottles and ketchup packets – combined with integrated support from print, TV and interactive advertising. The campaign invited consumers to visit TopThisTv  where they could create, upload, view and vote on the best consumer-generated Heinz TV commercial. To further promote and facilitate consumer participation, Smith Brothers formed a strategic partnership with Google and YouTube – and the response was unprecedented. The campaign received over 10 million views, 8,000 consumer-generated commercials and visitors to the site spent over 127,000 hours interacting with the brand while viewing and voting on the consumer-submitted videos Good job fellas.

You Guys Rock

 

 

On a side note that has nothing to do with Heinz or Smith Brothers, but plenty to do with branding, check out John Mayer and his ever evolving sleeve!

John Mayer\'s sleeve

 

I came across this site the other day, though I’m not sure how. It’s called the experience project  It seems rather cool and unlike “most” social network sites. Here’s the description”

Experience Project is the first social experience website where you can anonymously share the experiences and personal stories that matter most to you. Quickly build a network of supportive new friends who understand your life, while exploring over one million life experiences told first-hand by people just like you. You can be yourself here.

 

The experience project

Awhile back, I had thrown a question out my Linkedin Network which asked whether social media sites were doing enough for the poor and underprivledged. The responses were interesting, but one of the sites that I was made privy to was a site called Kiva whose tag line is,”loans that change lives”. Essentially it is a social networking site that helps to put donors of cash in touch with 3rd world or developing nation entrepreneurs. A cool concept if you ask me. And it’s a way to give back through the power of a social network!

Kiva

Another site that caught my eye is called Friendfeed FriendFeed enables you to keep up-to-date on the web pages, photos, videos and music that your friends and family are sharing. It offers a unique way to discover and discuss information among friends. Hey anyway that I can keep the chaos that takes place on my desktop in some sort of order works for me, check it out and let me know what you think.

Ok, the spring time means lots of things in lots of places. In New Orleans, where I grew up it means 2 things to me. One is the Jazz Fest and the other is Crawfish. If you have never been to NO then you need to go to the JazzFest, generally the weather is awsome though there might be the occasional sprinkle, and the combination of music and food over a 2 week period is ridiculously fun.  Check out this small snapshot of a line-up:The Neville Brothers, Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel, Jimmy Buffett, Tim McGraw, Santana, Maze feat. Frankie Beverly, Sheryl Crow, Widespread Panic, Dr. John, Al Green, Diana Krall, Keyshia Cole, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss….Woooowheeee… Ok.. So if you can’t make it, then the next best thing might be a few pounds of crawfish. The above link will ship them right to your door. Live. You do know how to prepare them right?

I saw this sight Rollyo and all I could think of…well never mind what I thought, but it has a pretty cool app when it comes to search. And remember folks, just because Google is the big dog, doesn’t mean that the other breeds of dogs are bad…So Check out Rollyo 

This last site you will def have to bookmark. It’s called Workhappy. Hey, any website titled “work happy” is going to grab my attention. It’s sorta entrepreneurial based but I’m sure you know someone who could benefit from it.

I came across this other day to and it seemed sorta interesting, let me know if you had any opinion of it, good or bad. It’s called Loladex and the tag line is, “Local picks from people you trust…” What if you trust no one?

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5 more websites to sustain us for the rest of the week of April 12th.

So you’re sitting at home and the weather is finally starting to break and you’re thinking, “Maybe I should just move to LA and become a movie star.” Seems like a solid plan. With that being said you might want to go to Hollywood Profiles “We are the absolute best resource on the internet for talent and casting agents alike. Post your profile and get noticed! Or search our extensive database for the perfect talent for your project.” And no they are not paying me. Actually they were getting some major play and were mentioned as a site on the rise.

 

Hollywood Profiles

 

LocalPages  Seems to be pretty cool. It has a nice clean interface but looks like it might be heavy on ad driven content. I played around with it a little bit and it has a nice LBS feature as well.

Moli  was an interesting site. Picture a website for Sybil. Sybil was a book and movie that told the story of a woman who was treated for multiple personality disorder in which she had up to 16 co-existing personalities. Moli allows you to create multiple profiles that you can use depending on who you interact with and what you want them to know about you. The name is a bit odd though.

SpiralFrog  is  another music site but for now it’s offering free songs. Though they do force you to load a “download manager”. Which always makes me nervous. But hey… Free music right?

 

Vlaze hot original content…hmmmmm, that was the pitch. Vlaze  delivers original  video content while connecting artists and entertainers to a global audience. Vlaze features a 24/7 live television stream with a full-lineup of daily programming, a Vlaze On Demand content library, and an interactive social network. It appears to be an interactive, streaming media, social networking content driven site.

Well I hope you make it till the weekend with these and we’ll see you on the flipside. If there is a site worth mentioning let me know and we’ll check it out. If it’s worthy. You’re in!

 

7 more websites that will captivate and engage you till Saturday

I was watching American Idol last night with the kids and we saw according to the girls, dreamy dread guy, Jason Castro. One of the kids asked how are dreads made, and I said, “Uhhh… you don’t bathe for a really long time and with mud, right?” Apparently I was way off base. For those of you just like me, here is a good site telling us all how Dreadlocks are created. For those times when you are randomly asked how dreads are made.

jason-castro.jpg

Driving down the street the other day, one of the kids asked about why gold and silver are so valuable.  I proceeded to tell them about all the gold in Fort Knox. I figured it would be a good moment to reflect on it being the place that Goldfinger wanted to rob in one of the more memorable James Bond Movies. They didn’t really like that part of the answer. Although,  It might have been because of my descriptive story of how Oddjob threw his hat to cut off the statues head. Huh? What’s dad talking about?

bond-james-bond.jpg

However, upon further research, This site that I came upon might be a good one for the kids. It not only explains the US government in a very engaging fashion, but also the U.S. Treasury It’s a fun and very interactive site as well.

Speaking of cool kid sites; and in an effort to enrich their lives beyond killer graphics in Call To Duty IV, check out this site for the New York Philharmonic for Kids. Want to keep children engaged in music, any music? classical music? Then, here is one that will captivate.

nycphil.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So you just hit a town, you got some free time that night and you wanna keep it clean. So you decide to see some live music. You grab the “local” local paper or you checked out Flavorpill

 flavor.jpg

and now you just have to figure out how to get there since you have zero clue. Check out Gruvr,

gruvr1.jpg

It’s a map based live music locator that shows you where all the live music is, in a radius that you can control. LBS for you live music junkies out there. Very cool, easy to use and it’s quick.

And you thought I could go this long without mentioning something about another interesting social media site? Hah!  Well…You know how everyone sometimes sits around and someone will offer up their two cents on why not do this, this way, and that maybe they should do this, that way? Did that make sense?  Well anywho, now there is a site called, lo and behold, “WhyNot?” It’s a social site that allows you to communicate, submit and exchange your ideas with others. Based on a popular book, of the same name, the site is an extension of the book that simply provides solutions to problems big and small. That should at least get you to Sunday.

Am I missing a site that would compliment the topics above? Shoot it on over and I will add it to the next list. 

12 Random sites to make the week go quicker.

So every once in awhile I will go through my bookmarks and try and prune stuff that I bookmarked for a reason that might escape me when I actually revisited it. In this case I’m going to share some sites that have some value or bring some value to what I do. Or at least they did at the time… Some of you, actually I suspect a good portion of you have never heard of Vivisimo a little tech company out of Pittsburgh. Besides the fact that Pittsburgh is a jewel in the rough, this company is too. You will do the same as I did and ultimately bookmark them.

Next up, a friend once told me the way to go in regards to investing was to look at Vanguard, so I bookmarked it. Though when I look at the site, I blink and keep it and then I move on. I suspect that a lot of people besides myself do the exact same thing with some of their bookmarks. Made sense at the time. Though, I’m not sure Vanguard is hip to the payment plan.

So I have this one, The Sand Trap bookmarked and I never go to it but hey, that’s 75% of my bookmarks. If you have zero interest in golf, then don’t bother going here. But if you want a mortgage calculator then go here. Seems to be a timely site.

 I think thats the great thing about what you save and why, it’s a total glimpse into what you do and what you like etc etc. I would say that the majority of my bookmarks are marketing, internet and social media marketing type sites and the rest are just what I’ve shown you above. Though, I do love a good  Stone IPA brew.

Lastly I came across the Big Idea site hosted by Donny Deutsch It’s kind of a cool site for all of us dreamers out there. On the site they mention a product called the Body Buddy, I decided to check it out and the website looks great and the product has some genuine potential. Except… As I’m clicking thu the site, I wanted to check out some of the press they were getting and lo and behold I was transported to PDF land which I cannot stand. Nothing annoys me more then when a site feels the need to run with PDF’s instead of  converting pages to html, xml or php. I can understand white papers and case studies, and in that case I will print them out. But nothing is more of a deal killer for me then to have to put up with PDF”s. I know it’s one person’s opinion and we’ll leave it at that.  But every machine I’ve ever had handles PDF’s differently and it’s just an uneccessary step for a very, in this case, slick site.Though I do hope the fine folks from Oklahoma do succeed with the “Body Buddy”; it does seem to fill a need/niche.

Here is your last 2 killer sites that all of you should actually bookmark and then go back to: Gruvr and Liferemix

I know, I know, you can thank me later.

The top searches for the week? Obsessing over hot women.

In a tribute to the female form, apprently all anyone wants to search on anymore is female actresses and models. So does this mean that the majority of all searches done this week were done by males? Possibly. Does this mean that all they care about is hot women? Perhaps. Does this mean that the war in Iraq and the presidential elections don’t matter to them? Probablly. Of the top 20 searches according to the Lycos 50, 9 of them were the usual suspects when it comes to women in the news. Hillary notwithstanding.

Oh and the obsession with Clay Aiken continues, as he slides in with the number 2 ranking this week. Interestingly enough, if you are to look at the big picture of what is getting press right now, 2 of the entries were Facebook and MySpace, which I thought were curious searches in that one merely needs to type the addresses into the browser. So perhaps it might have been parents who were doing research on, “what this Facebook, Myspace stuff was all about”.

At #1, is there any real surprise?

Lindsay Lohan

Clay Aiken

Britney Spears

Paris Hilton

Angelina Jolie

Pamela Anderson

Disney

Pokemon

Naruto

Easter

Juno

Facebook

MySpace

Jessica Alba

Apple

WWE

Jessica Simpson

Poker

BitTorrent

Carmen Electra

Golf

NBA

Salma Hayek

Sailor Moon

Disaboom, One of the most socially relevant social networks today

I’ve preached for the past 6 months about how social networks need to become more focused in order for them to sustain any type of growth and visibility, let alone profits. It’s at this point that I must point you in the direction of a website called Disaboom.  I’m going to quote from their site a bit so here goes:

Disaboom.com was founded by Dr. J. Glen House, a physician specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation who is also a quadriplegic. His firsthand knowledge of the challenges faced by individuals with disabilities and those whose lives they touch has driven the Disaboom.com mission: to create the first comprehensive, evolving source of information, insight, and personal engagement for the disability community.
In essence, he created a social networking site for individuals with disabilities. Truly a niche based and even more needed network for people who need to find other like-minded individuals or services or programs that are geared towards them, their families and friends and their particular disability
Disaboom.com is based on the following core beliefs:
Expertise comes in many forms. Often the best advice comes not just from medical experts but also from “peers” – others who’ve walked the path you’re on. That’s why in addition to providing solid medical expertise, we’ve also put together the largest online network of individuals to share their personal experiences with you, providing honest, practical answers to hard questions.
Knowledge is power – and so is community. Disaboom.com strives to provide you the tools and guidance you need to live active, engaged lives. But when it comes to sharing stories and personal insights, there’s nothing stronger than the power of community – which is why we’re connecting the millions touched by disability to both information and each other.
You don’t have to be disabled to be touched by disability. The Disaboom.com community is as diverse as the communities we live in, made up of mothers and models, surfers and surgeons, babies and baby boomers. Our network of 180 million and growing includes not just individuals with disabilities, but also medical practitioners, caregivers, employers, family members, teachers, and others. In so many important ways, people with disabilities may be anyone – and everyone.
The word “disability” may apply to us – but will never define us. We decide who we are, and what lives we will create. The goal of Disaboom.com is to provide the information, community, and connection you need to define who you are, and what life you will lead.
Launched in the fall of 2007, Disaboom truly is a niched based social network that serves the greater good of it participants rather than the greater good of advertisers and angels.

LifeRemix

I came across this site the other day and I just had to share it with our readers. LifeRemix. Here is a quote from the about page:

LifeRemix is basically a band of bloggers who enrich people’s lives through blogging. The blogs are hand-selected, and each one is incredible. They have excellent writers, and their content is quite unique.

With the constant swelling of the blogosphere, good writing can be hard to find. We’re trying to act as a filter so only the best writing is showcased, while at the same time learning a thing or two

Bookmark and visit it from time to time and see what you think.


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The Deets

Marc Meyer is a Digital and Social Media Strategist at DRMG. This is my personal blog where I share observations, thoughts and opinions that are all my own.

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