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Social Shopping Experience Wins Best Invention of 2007

Social networking is so popular online that it’s spilling into the physical world – at actual stores. Called social retailing, the concept debuted at the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) show last January 2007. Recently, the concept, by IconNicholson was selected by Time Magazine as One of the Best Inventions of 2007.

The technology was developed for renowned fashion designer Nanette Lepore and was tested at Bloomingdale’s early this year. Aimed at young women, they can get other’s opinions on what clothes look good and what their peers are buying. They can also text message, IM and email each other about their shopping choices. Live video feeds show what they try on, send a video of an outfit, and get friends feedback. They can also try on outfits virtually. Retailers get something out of the experience too – real time feedback on inventory, buying habits, and preferences for a pretty fickle group of shoppers.

Imeem Offers Universal’s Music Free

The music industry has had a lot of shakeups recently, and here’s yet another. Social media community imeem has signed a licensing deal with Universal Music group, the largest music label in the music industry. Now you can listen to Universal’s streaming music and watch videos free.

Rather than make money on the music, they show ads and split ad revenues. This isn’t a new model, of course and I wonder what the artists make from it.

Universal is finding ways to get around Apple’s stronghold by not only working with imeem, but also with cell phone provider Nokia. There Comes With Music feature comes with a one-year, unlimited access music download service. Not only are the songs available on your cell phone but you can keep any music you downloaded after your subscription expires.

Want a Company Wiki? Just Add Wetpaint

wetpaint.pngI’ve long told businesses that instead of trying to get the perfect Wikipedia profile, they should simply build their own wiki using Wetpaint. Of course, Wetpaint is designed to allow your business to build a wiki for any practical purpose–not just for a company profile–and with today’s launch of “Just Add Wetpaint,” companies can now get their own fully-customized wiki platform.

The new service is aimed at larger companies–or anyone that can afford the $10k price tag–and includes the following:

  • A full-featured social computing platform. The Wetpaint platform includes complete wiki and discussion forum functionality, tagging, commenting, social profiles, private messaging, newsletters, and one-click widget insertion for images, video, polls, chat, Flash applications, and more.

LinkedIn Reinvents as Business Dashboard

pic-home-310x310.jpgWhile it may appear that LinkedIn has no answer to the recent surge of people moving to Facebook for their business networking, the company has quietly worked behind the scenes to revamp itself.

Announced today, LinkedIn is rolling out a host of new features which the company hopes will convince members to use the network as a business dashboard–with snapshots of key information and events in your business network.

The first new addition is the introduction of company news. Your LinkedIn homepage now shows the five most read news items about your business and you can click through for more items.

Company News feed ranked by relevance and popularity…by your colleagues this past week or in the past 2 weeks thereby providing you a complete history of the hot business topics in your professional world.

PR Leap Introduces Social Media Press Releases

I’m already a fan of using keyword-optimized press releases as part of your online marketing. It’s often a low cost way to get backlinks to your site adn build your search engine presence. Yes, some industries are less effective and they have fallen in importance, but SEO press releases can still be a very cost-effective strategy to getting search engine rankings.

I’ve long recommended PRLeap (and Clickpress) as an SEO press release distribution option for small businesses. It’s ideal for small budgets or for times you don’t need or want a lot of extra features. You just want a link.

Zuckerberg on Beacon: “We’ve Made a Lot of Mistakes”

For the first time in over a year, there’s a serious enough issue with Facebook that CEO Mark Zuckerberg was compelled to write on the company blog (normally handled by lesser underlings developers and directors).

You get ten guesses what the issue was. And if you didn’t guess “Project Beacon,” you’re in big trouble. We’ve been covering this one for a while: announced almost a month ago, within weeks they were facing an FTC complaint threat and outraged users which lead to drastic changes.

And now they’ve done themselves one better: Facebook has apologized. Actually, Mark Zuckerberg did the apologizing, saying:

Facebook Gets Another $60 Million

While still not officially announced there is news that Facebook got another $60 million from Chinese billionaire Li Ka-shing. He is the chairman of Cheung Kong Holdings Limited and Hutchison Whampoa Limited and is 79 years old. He has massive investments in all sorts of companies and has recently invested in more internet companies.

According to sources, Li is not making the investment in Facebook via the companies he controls, but through another investment entity. He also has the right to invest another $60 million in Facebook, meaning he will own .4 percent, and Microsoft’s 1.6%.

He has recently invested in more Internet companies, including a $45 million investment in Joost (the Internet television site founded by the co-founders of Skype). Read about him on Wikipedia and he’s right out of The Millionaire Next Door. You couldn’t tell by the way he dresses or acts that he’s one of the richest men in the world.