Bravo Invites You To Play Live and Twitter Tightens its Hold on TV

brad brad worldOn Wednesday night, I sat down in front of the TV to watch Bravo’s all new fashion night. I’m not what you’d call a fashionista but I love The Rachel Zoe Project and It’s a Brad Brad World. I dutifully checked in through Viggle but quickly realized that I was missing out on an opportunity to interact throughout the night.

Poll results kept popping up my screen – a product of the Bravo Play Live online and mobile app. I’ve seen this kind of action popping up during actual LIVE TV shows such as the Oscars, but it’s rarely used on pre-recorded shows.

What Bravo has done is take the polls and trivia you find on many second screen apps, then pushed the results on to the TV in real time. That, to quote Rachel Zoe, is maj.

Fandango Builds Fanticipation with New Social Recommendation Tool

HouseOfIdeas_MindyBest3Imagine Spring Break for the artsy-techy crowd — that’s the South by Southwest Conference & Festival, better known as SXSW.

It began in 1987 in Austin, Texas and it was all about the indie music scene. In 1994, they expanded to include independent film and interactive media and now it’s turned into a lollapalooza of grand ideas that straddle the worlds of media and tech.

This year’s schedule includes a variety of panels on apps, social media and startups, for example; “Go Fund Yourself,” “The Secret Dangers of Online Influence Marketing,” and ‘Warhol Goes Social: Creativity in the Tech Age.”

I wish I could be there, but I’m here with breaking news from Fandango.

Text Message Spammers – The FTC is Coming For You

giftcardText messages are one of the most annoying forms of advertising I’ve ever encountered. There are probably a few people reading this post right now who know how to do it properly, but you’re in the minority.

Text spam is on the rise. 2.2 billion message in 2009,  4.5 billion in 2011 and experts say we’re in the middle of a boom that will top that.

Text message spam isn’t just annoying. It can cost you money and it can compromise your identity if you follow through.

The FTC is ready to crack down on text spammers, starting with those horrendous “Free Gift Card” offers.

Facebook Launches a New, Mobile-Inspired Container for Your Content

Facebook gathered the gang together this morning to say goodbye to clutter and hello to a whole new news feed design. Actually, it’s not “all” new. You’ll still recognize it as Facebook, but they made a few tweaks that are supposed to make the experience more enjoyable.

new facebook feed

The Facebook design team took their inspiration from the clean, bold presentation that comes with mobile. They’ve done their best to deliver the same experience across all platforms; the web, mobile phones and tablets, so you don’t have to reorient yourself every time you log in. That’s nice.

Like an old TV show on Syfy, Facebook posts have been “reimagined” to make the most of whatever it is your friends are sharing. Photos and videos will be bigger. Links will have more text and the photo that goes with a linked story will also be larger.

Infographic Gives Google’s Mobile Push High Marks

Larry Kim of Wordstream published an infographic today that blew my mind. It was all about how Google is using their mobile apps and ad programs to create new revenue streams. Larry grouped the products in categories then graded them based on quality, value to users and marketers and other factors.

Overall, it looks like Google’s doing a pretty good job. But what really made me stop and gasp was the sheer number of mobile products Google has in the works. Who (other than Larry) knew?

how google makes money

 (This clip doesn’t do it justice. You need to click here to see the whole, big and beautiful infographic.)

Twitter Invites All Advertisers on to the Nielsen Brand Bandwagon

The folks at Twitter just moved the Nielsen Brand Effect survey tool from the closed beta side of the board to the open to all side of the board — “all” meaning, anyone who pays for a Twitter ad campaign.

If you’re not convinced that Twitter’s Promoted Tweet system is right for your company, they’ve also published testing results that might nudge you their way.

First, here’s a look at the survey tool. It’s pretty nifty.

Twitter Brand Survey Screenshots


Twitter has labeled these bad boys “Brand surveys” but the name and this graphic might be misleading.  The image makes it seem as if only Twitter can ask brand-related questions, as in “which brand do you prefer.” I assume the survey widget can be used by anyone with a Twitter campaign to ask any question, such as “which of our flavors do you like best?”

Will Turning a Profit Turn Users Off to Tumblr?

Selling ads is often equated with “selling out” which can be a big problem for sites that built their reputation on being hip and out-of-the-box.

Tumblr is one of these sites. Essentially, it’s a free blogging tool but it’s developed its own artistic personality. It leans heavily on graphics and moving GIFS. Humor, art and pop culture routinely collide and it’s primarily populated by younger users who use it both as a scrapbook of minutia and a place for social commentary.


Tumblr is unique and the site’s rise in popularity has been impressive. Says Forbes:

Tumblr’s tens of millions of registered users create 120,000 new blogs every day, for a total of 86 million and counting, which drive some 18 billion page views per month.