Big companies have been using social media to good effect for some time now. Ford used Twitter to extinguish a public relations crisis. Dell combs the blogosphere looking for disgruntled customers, then reaches out to make amends.
These examples, like most uses of corporate social media, are reactive. Companies, it seems, are willing to engage with their customers, but only once they’ve become upset.
Yet as sophisticated communications teams get savvier with social media, some companies are getting proactive. Read more
The FT’s John Gapper writes that Apple, which just released the new iPhone 3GS, has become the hub of a creative network that is helping it stay ahead of its rivals.
It seems odd that companies can gain an advantage by working with others and by sharing knowledge. Yet being part of a network not only can help a company to gain from others’ knowledge but also can reinforce its market position, as Apple’s contest with Palm shows. Read more
RealNetworks is piling on the functionality of its RealPlayer software in the face of strong competition for its well known video and audio player.
Apple announced Quicktime X this month, adding editing capabilities to its player. Mozilla’s Firefox 3.5 browser now has the same ability as RealPlayer to download web video. Meanwhile Apple, Mozilla and Google are pursing HTML5 standards that can do away with the need for separate video-playing software and plug-ins. Read more
The confirmation of Jeff Weiner as CEO of LinkedIn – a job he has effectively been doing for the last six months – looks like the final piece to fall into place before an IPO.
Like all CEOs in this position, Weiner, formerly of Yahoo, insists that he has his eye focused on business and he isn’t distracted by the allure of Wall Street. But when I spoke to him today, he also pointed to the recent strong showings by OpenTable and Solar Winds as signs that the stock market seems to be opening for business again when it comes to tech IPOs. Read more
Boxee is breaking out of that box we had put it in and labelled: Upstart Internet TV pioneer unloved by the establishment.
At a San Francisco party on Tuesday night, it announced a partnership with Major League Baseball to offer thousands of games live and on-demand in high-definition. Read more
Facebook appears to be moving closer to cashing in on the social gaming phenomenon it has created on its platform and, judging by the numbers being quoted at the second annual Social Gaming Summit, that can’t come soon enough.
In a session on Tuesday featuring executives from leading social-gaming publishers, John Pleasants, the new chief executive of Playdom, revealed its Sorority Life game received feedback from users this month asking for cars as virtual goods, with a pink Volkswagen in particular receiving strong support. Playdom came up with the goods and sold $100,000 worth of virtual VWs in two days. Read more
How exciting can a vending machine get?
If you’re Coca-Cola, the answer is “very” – when it’s a “multimedia Coke machine”.
Also known as the uVend, Coke debuted its interactive, touch-screen vending machines at the Beijing Olympics. It’s now starting to put them into malls across the US. Today, the uVend is a novelty that generates lines stretching around the block – for a machine that still, at heart, just dispenses fizzy drinks.
But for Coke, these networked, brightly lit devices open up a new world of marketing potential. Read more