A Sticker For Your Thoughts

There was a time when a glittery, gold star sticker was all the praise you needed for doing your homework or making your bed. There was something about that tiny spot of color that made going that extra mile worth it and that mentality holds true today — with a twist. These days, the prize is a virtual sticker or badge that shows your social media buddies that you’ve done something special.

Online communities such as FourSquare, GetGlue and CBS.com all offer virtual sticker incentives for performing a series of actions on the site. They have no monetary value and yet people will go out of their way to earn them. Why?

StumbleUpon Video: This Time It’s Personal

Nothing on TV tonight? Fear not, StumbleUpon can fill your evening with personally selected videos covering everything from cats playing the piano to entire episodes of The Dresden Files, to cooking lessons by a master chef. It’s all here – accessible from one “theater-like interface.”

What’s really new about StumbleUpon Video is that it’s not all about the most popular videos. The idea here is to present a custom list of videos perfectly suited to each person who logs on.

The system begins by connecting you to videos that fit into your chosen list of topics. From there, you can refine your stumbling to a particular source, or take only videos that were favorited by your friends.

Walmart Does Groupon Without Groupon

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but I’m not sure Groupon felt the love when they saw Walmart’s new marketing plan on Facebook.

They call it the “CrowdSaver,” and guess how it works. When a deal reaches a certain customer threshold, the deal is unlocked and everyone gets to buy in for a discounted price. The only difference between Walmart’s CrowdSaver and Groupon (and it’s a big one) is the upfront money.

When you choose a deal on Groupon, you’re committed to buy provided that the deal hits the threshold. (I’ve always wondered what percentage of deals never hit the mark. . .. ) Walmart isn’t looking for your credit card info or a purchase promise. All you have to do to join the deal on their Facebook page is “like” the deal.

Smart, Rich, Responsible People Love Coupons

When you think of coupon clippers, you probably picture a stay-at-home-mom snipping in front of the TV in order stretch the family budget. But according to a Deals.com poll, that’s not completely true.

MyType conducted the poll on behalf of Deals.com and they returned some surprising results, like the fact that “People with household incomes in excess of $100,000 per year are roughly two times more likely to be coupon lovers.”

So this is how the rich get richer!

Being an avid couponer myself, I was happy to see that the poll categorized me as being an imaginative, extravert who is socially responsible. I can buy that (but only if you give me $1.00 off.)

Here are a few more “coupon lover” facts:

Google Helps Local Businesses Go Places

Google may be global, but this week, they’re all about the local as they put the finishing touches on Boost for Google Places.

Boost is an easy to produce search ad designed to show up when someone does a related search. Own a Chinese restaurant in San Francisco? Then your ad might show up at the top of the page when someone searches for the best Kung Pao Chicken in the Bay Area. Google develops the pay-per-click ad from a short description supplied by the business owner and all of this is done using the dashboard in their Google Places account.

Says the Google Blog:

“Placement in the “Sponsored Links” section of the page will, as always, depend on factors such as your ad’s relevance and quality. Boost does not affect the ranking of the free, organic business listings in any way.”

Ebay Gets It’s Group-On

Ebay is the latest in a series of websites to partner with deal site Groupon and it  looks like a win-win for the two websites – but what about the site users?

The first deal to hit the site was The Body Shop offering $40 worth of product for $20 and just in time for the holiday shopping season. Groupon has its own eBay page which is tied to your IP address so you’ll only see offers that are national or local to your area. 1676 people picked up the deal today and as a bonus, they also received $1.00 in eBay Bucks.

eBay Bucks is a new loyalty program that gives you a small kick-back on every eBay purchase and purchases of related deals. At the end of the quarter, eBay gives the user back the bucks in the form of a gift certificate that they can spend on eBay.

In Hopes of Becoming Like Facebook, MySpace Apps Also Leak Data

Ask MySpace what he wants to be when he grows up and he’ll tell you flat out – “Facebook.” It’s a typical case of big brother worship and we shouldn’t laugh about it but it’s funny, you know. When the little one tries to dress and sound like his successful big brother. Clomping around in shoes that are too big, hoping his friends will come over and hang with you if you make it easy for them to connect.

But sometimes, idol worship can get you in over your head. Like this week, when The Wall Street Journal caught MySpace leaking user data through apps. Who does that sound like, huh? Who got caught by The Wall Street Journal just a few weeks ago doing the same thing? Facebook.