Google is getting more social , and its web analytics tools are no exception; Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools have added new tools for tracking the impact of tweets, likes, +1s & more on your website’s traffic. Google Webmaster Tools now has a “+1 Metrics” section, which provides reports on the impact of the +1 Button on search. The new analytics show how +1s affect your website’s clickthrough rate (CTR).
While it’s easy to think of Memorial Day as another wonderful Monday in the sun and the unofficial start to summer, it’s important to remember that the day celebrates the many men and women that died while in the military service. Mentions of the U.S. military stir up mixed emotions and controversy. Democrats, Republicans, pundits and citizens of all stripes have argued about what the role of America’s army should be. But even the most vociferous of critics will respect and honor the soldiers for their dedicated service even in the face of that debate. In that spirit, we’ve collected some ways that you can show your support for the troops using social media this Memorial Day. Let us know in the comments how you plan to help, especially if you are honoring someone you know. Dog Bless You Dog Bless You , a community created by the founder of Explore.org in partnership with Iraq and Afghanistan War Veterans of America (IAVA). The campaign is donating service dogs to returning soldiers who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Rather than ask for donations, Dog Bless You is asking for a show of support. Users can upload patriotic photos, videos and comments on their Facebook Page . For every 5,000 “Likes,” Dog Bless You will donate one dog, up to 100 dogs (worth roughly $500,000 in total)
The Apple-Samsung patent infringement lawsuit is heating up: Samsung’s lawyers have filed a motion for Apple to provide them with a sample of the next generation iPhone and iPad. Since Apple keeps very tight wraps around all its upcoming products, it’s highly unlikely that the company will comply with this request, at least without a fight. However, recently Samsung was ordered by a judge to give Apple samples of its yet unreleased tablets and smartphones, including the Galaxy S2 and the Galaxy Tab 10.1. Add to that the fact that Samsung has also filed a countersuit against Apple citing several patent infringements, and suddenly Samsung’s claims don’t seem that far-fetched.
Online influence is the golden fleece for politicians. Control of the digital world is becoming just as important as control of the offline world. This week we saw former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty announce his presidential bid online, a breakdown of online Klout for presidential candidates, Twitter’s CEO announced as part of a White House telecommunication advisory council, and an official White House rapid response Twitter feed. This weekly series picks out the week’s top stories in the intersection of digital technology and politics. Tim Pawlenty Announces Presidential Bid on YouTube Tim Pawlenty announced he was running for president last Sunday in a video posted to YouTube. Oddly enough, the video actually pre-empted Pawlenty’s formal announcement planned for the following day, reported the New York Times . Pawlenty calls out President Obama for giving fancy speeches rather than fixing problems and claims that he, and not Obama, has the courage to tackle tough issues. Using YouTube may also help give Pawlenty’s image some color. Which Presidential Candidate Has the Most Klout
Daily deals, offers, merchant rewards and checkin specials are becoming de facto ways to entice consumers to pay a visit to new restaurant or shop. This summer, one startup will scrap the discount in favor of a freebie, offering credit and debt card holders cash gifts at various stores and restaurants. The startup is FreeMonee , a newly launched endeavor from former senior executives at eBay, Oracle and Visa that’s already raised $11 million in funding. It’s neither daily deal service nor mobile coupling app, but instead a self-proclaimed “cash-gift network.” What is a “cash-gift network,” you ask
Android users, rejoice: Netflix is finally available — at least on select devices. U.S. Netflix users who have an HTC Incredible, Nexus One, Evo 4G, HTC G2 or Nexus S can download the app from the Android Market and watch TV shows and movies over 3G or Wi-Fi. Why is the app only available on a smattering of Android smartphones? On the official Netflix blog , Roma De from the product team says that a lack of “standard streaming playback features” is a challenge for bringing Netflix to more devices
Mobile devices and tablets offer TV networks new opportunities to create interactive programming that extends to second screens. But, do users, in fact, want to watch TV and engage with related content simultaneously? Entertainment checkin application Miso presumed the answer might be yes, but it wanted to test the hypothesis to learn more. So Miso created Miso Sync, a private beta application for Android. Built by Miso’s in-house innovation team Miso Labs, Miso Sync works only with Boxee. On launch, the application can determine whether there’s a Boxee device in the room, connect to the device and automatically identify what the user is watching and how far along he is in the show. Miso Sync then displays character or show information on the mobile screen in real-time, timed and synced with the show’s content — much like what VH1 did with Pop-Up Video , but on the second screen. For example, if a user is watching The Office, Classy Christmas Part 2 via Boxee when the character Holly Flax appears on screen, Miso Sync sends along information on Amy Ryan, the actress who plays Holly Flax. If the app is closed, Miso Sync sends the user a ping when a new piece of content is available.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship, the world’s largest mixed martial arts (MMA) organization, is going to award fighters with monetary bonuses for using Twitter, the head of UFC announced at the UFC Fighter Summit in Las Vegas. UFC and Strikeforce (another MMA promotion company, owned by the UFC) have a unique plan on how to do that. Starting June 1, they will divide their fighters into four categories based on their Twitter follower count. Then, after every three months, three fighters from each category will get a $5,000 bonus based on how many followers they’ve gained, the biggest percentage of new followers gained and the most creative tweets, judged by UFC head Dana White. This is an interesting and innovative approach to social media, uncommon in mainstream sports, where players are often reprimanded for tweeting . The UFC’s approach allows the big stars who already have a large Twitter following have the same chance of getting a bonus as the up-and-comers. UFC fighters and the MMA community are very lively on Twitter
A recent online promotion for LG ’s Optimus phone in Germany highlights a simple fact: 5 million is a lot. The Pixel Hunt effort, by Vodaphone , went like this: A photo composed of 5 million pixels was displayed on a website. Consumers were asked to find 100 photos hidden within that picture. Each of the 100 photos was equal to one pixel. The winners got a 5 megapixel Optimus phone. It took a month for consumers to click all 5 million pixels. Clearly, some tried many times since just 300,000 people visited the site. For such consumers, a pixel might not have been worth 1,000 words, but it was worth a significant portion of their time