America Checks In (and Tweets) at the Polls for Election 2012

By the end of today we’ll (hopefully) know who will be leading our country for the next four years – along with a number of other important races/initiatives.

This year is really being considered the first “Social Media” election as both candidate and voter use of social to communicate ideas, intent, and to mark their participation is at an all-time high.

Facebook, with their ability to tap into a large percentage of the American population, has a data-rich, real-time graphic at that updates whenever a users clicks the “I Voted” button found after logging in.

Foursquare actually has a real-time view that can be embedded in sites. Check that out below. right here. Seems like it’s not working well with embedding right now.

No matter which party, candidate, or measure you vote for or against today, remember that we’re all Americans and the very fact that we have the option to go to a polling place (or our couch here in WA) and cast a vote is pretty incredible.

Ours is a shared destiny and only through working together and for the greater good can we leave a legacy that we can be proud of.

God Bless America! Brings Infographics to the Masses

Infographics are everywhere these days, not just in the pages of USA Today., recently launched publicly as a place to share, view, and post infographics. They even have a Labs section that lets you make your own:

One of these is true: Zuck is Bored or Sponsored Stories Aren’t Selling Well

Just had this “Sponsored Story” pop up when I signed in to Facebook. Yes, that’s Beast… yes, Mark Zuckerberg‘s dog.

Either Mark (or his girlfriend) is bored or Sponsored Stories aren’t quite selling as well as Facebook had hoped.

Either way, I’ll admit that I keep up with that little pup’s shenanigans. I really hope it’s actually Zuckerberg writing the copy/taking the pics, because I’ll just cry if it’s actually some intern.

The K-9 already gets more engagement on his posts than most brands could hope for. I think it’s a little unfair he also has unlimited access to Facebook’s marketing platform as well.

HomeAway Gets Social with Second Porch Purchase

Image representing HomeAway as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

One of the largest vacation rental portals around, HomeAway, increased their focus on social-aided vacationing with a purchase of Portland-born Second Porch.

Second Porch, started in 2009, uses your social graph to help you find and rent vacation properties from owners, while also giving owners piece of mind in knowing (at least in a “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” sense) to whom they are renting their properties.

I had a chance to work with Second Porch (briefly) as they were getting their social presence and tool figured out and can say it’s a great product when you have a social graph large enough to take advantage of. However, since many users are simply using it as a second HomeAway, many listings are open to the general public.

Check it out and head to TechCrunch for more info.

Facebook/Google Battle for the Hearts, Minds, + Dough of Skype

A recent Reuters piece points to talks between Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg as possible clues to a potential buyout or partnership between the 500+ million user social network and the Luxembourg-born communications platform.

According to the piece, Facebook isn’t the only caller courting SkypeGoogle is also making a pass (or at least looking for a heavy partnership).

Analysts put a potential Skype + Facebook/Google deal between $3-4 billion based on an expected IPO (maybe still in the second half of 2011?) of about $1 billion.

Read the full Reuter’s article here.

Does Relevance Translate to Resonance (and More Importantly, Dollars)?

When Polaroid appointed Lady Gaga, the meat-wearing, beat-dropping, gender-bending, pop star their creative director in 2009, I thought it was kind of fun. Sure, take a visible, creative person and give them some magical unicorn title and let the press salivate and type away for a couple weeks. That makes sense. However, at this last CES she actually paraded a number of products in front of the techy masses that weren’t half bad.

Now today, Intel announced that, the auto-tuned, dapper rapper, has become their Director of Creative Innovation. What he’ll actually do in that role is yet to be seen.

What I found really interesting was Intel’s statement about the deal (hire?):

“It’s imperative that Intel and our innovations are kept in front of the global youth culture that embraces new devices and new forms of communication and entertainment.” – Deborah Conrad, Intel

So, if this is about keeping their innovations in front of the global youth culture, why didn’t they sign up Justin Bieber to be their guy?

This really begs the question: is relevance really translating to resonance? Will this global youth culture see and connect the fact that he’s promoting the processor in their computer or mobile device? Will they even know what a processor is/does?

I hope this means every IDF will open with a BEP performance, or at the very least that “I Gotta Feeling” is playing every time Paul Otellini steps on stage.

Disclosure: I worked closely with Intel for 3 years while at Owen Media Inc.

You’re Getting a New Facebook Profile – Whether You Like It Or Not

Facebook logo

Image via Wikipedia

Facebook rolled out a sly little update to their profile look and feel the other day as users started seeing preview links in their homepages.

The new profiles, which put a lot of emphasis on connections (adding the ability to prominently position friend groups on the left-hand side) and photos (now the most-recent pics of you will be shown in a ribbon on the top of your profile) are slowly rolling out and users are now given the “option” to change to the new layout.

What do you think?

Oh, here’s a video they put out that’s supposed to show you all about the new layout and why it’s awesome… I’m still trying to figure out why it’s supposed to be helpful.