November 1, 2012

Guide to events & conferences in December

A scene from Le Web London this summer. The original Le Web, in Paris, returns next month (Photo by kmeron on Flickr).

Ayelet NoffDecember, with all its holiday cheer, eases the pace of conferences and events in social media, marketing, and technology.

This December I’m most excited about Le Web in Paris, the city of lights, love and Internet innovation. This year Le Web will focus on how Internet-driven devices are taking over the world; just look at how much time people spend surfing “le web” on their phones. I’m also thoroughly excited for the 2012 startup competition where sixteen emerging startups will duke it out on stage. To learn more about this great conference read my take on Le Web.

For the full year, see our full Calendar of 2012 social media, tech and marketing conferences.

Continue reading

September 12, 2012

Social media tools your startup should be using

Pinterest, Quora, LinkedIn should be among the tools to take your business to next level

Ayelet NoffSocial media tools are everywhere, but how do you know which ones your startup should focus on? In our work at and Blonde 2.0, we’ve had access to dozens of tools and platforms, but not all social technologies are worth your time and effort.

Here, then, is a list of the top tools your startup should have in place to carry on daily social media activity and maintain a buzz around your product.

Set up a Facebook page

1Every startup should have a Facebook page. Whether you’re a B2C or B2B, a Facebook presence is necessary. In the first few years of this social network, many B2B startups didn’t see the value in using Facebook as a professional platform because they considered it to be a social arena rather than a business platform. This perception is long gone. With almost a billion people, this is a social network whose ubiquitousness cannot be ignored.

Get a Twitter profile

2Twitter is an amazing tool that lets you engage in a personalized manner with your users and potential users. There are many tools that enable you to find your exact target audience on Twitter — e.g., WeFollow and Twtrland — and engage directly with them. Twitter can also allow for real-time customer service between company and customer. Continue reading

December 28, 2011

Spend New Year’s Eve partying with your Facebook buddies

Schmooze with your buddies from around the world on .Friends

.FriendsAyelet NoffYou and your friends from all over the world walk into a bar on New Year’s Eve. The music is great, the bartender is friendly, and you and all your friends are dressed up in your favorite outfits. Your friend from London decides to pick a different song from the jukebox, your friend from Brazil decides to listen to the band instead, while the buddy you just met from Istanbul decides to play a cool YouTube video on the wall of the bar. You head out to the dance floor, whip out some amazing dance moves that are straight-out of a movie, and then the cute guy or girl you’ve been checking out comes over and buys you a drink. Before long you’re chatting it up like you’ve known each other forever, so you decide to have a video chat to get to know each other better.

The best part of all of this is that you never have to leave your living room.

The great virtual night out I just described is possible with .Friends (Dot Friends), a brand new app on Facebook that launched last week. The whole point of the app is to have fun, party with your friends and to meet new ones as well. You go into a virtual world, pick a hot spot from the world-map, and then live it up while chatting with your friends and meeting new ones.

I’m a heavy Facebook user so I know what an amazing platform it is for connecting with people. But Facebook is missing the unique element of personal interaction that is so important. That’s where .Friends comes in. It lets you create a virtual “you” and provides a bunch of cool places where you can party and hang out. .Friends provides a new way and a new venue to interact with people and lets you get together with people from all over the world and hang-out as if you were all in the same spot.

This should sound familiar to tech watchers since a similar app has been making waves recently and raised a “bit” of money as well. But where I think .Friends really shines is in its stunning visuals which make the app a lot more fun to use. Not only that, but you have a ton of options in terms of how you can look in the .Friends world. There’s a huge selection of hair styles, clothes and accessories to create a perfect look. After all, how can you meet people in a virtual world if the virtual ‘you’ doesn’t represent who you are and your own individual style?

Creating your .Friends avatarIt’s east to get started with the app. You can either follow the tutorial when you enter the app or just click on the .Friends logo on the top left. This will open a pull down menu that will enable you to navigate through the world, see the different venues around the globe, change your clothes and more. When you’re in a location and you see someone interesting, you can click on them and then you’ll get a menu of options such as writing them a private chat or buying them a drink. Be careful though, people notice when you buy the cheapest drink on the menu. .Friends also lets you start-up a video chat with someone right from the app making it a convenient and fun way to meet people face-to-face.

While all of this already makes .Friends addictively fun, I think one of the coolest features is still to come. The team at .Friends is putting the finishing touches on a feature that lets you build your own location in the .Friends world. So if you’ve always dreamed of opening up your own bar or club and turning into a world-leading entertainer, you can do it all on .Friends.

Facebook and other social networks are transforming the way we communicate and stay in touch with our friends, making it easier than ever to maintain relationships that span the globe. .Friends – and other social tools that duplicate real-world scenarios – are going to extend the range of interactions we have on the web, add new depth to our online experiences, and strengthen our relationships with friends on social networks.

Disclosure: Blonde 2.0 handles .Friends’ social media activity.

November 16, 2009

An era of total transparency

Image by

With the new platforms of openness, all you need is social love

Ayelet NoffThese days we’re living a historian’s wet dream. We are consistently recording history through all our social tools. Our actions, feelings, thoughts, our everything, constantly being recorded. From where we are eating to what we are annoyed about to what it is that makes us tick. Not only are we recording the “big” things but we are recording everything. It’s history without hiccups.

Ben Parr wrote an excellent post on Mashable on the topic. Parr: ” For the first time in human history, the day-to-day interactions between people are being permanently recorded and formatted in easily organizable segments of information.”

Millions of us are publicly recording our daily activities on our Twitter feeds for the world to know for the rest of time. All details are recorded from who we were with and what we were doing to when and where. Historians in the future will not need to guess any details. They’ll have all the information right in front of them.They’ll actually probably know more than they care to know. With pictures on Flickr and videos on YouTube and text on Twitter and links on Facebook and, to top it all off, personal blogs, historians will have much the info they need about our interactions with one another. Continue reading

September 16, 2009

Tools to build an engaged online community

JD LasicaHere’s the Social Media Bootcamp presentation I gave at Seizing the Moment, the workshop for ethnic media publishers at San Francisco State University the other week. At 41 slides long, it’s called “Tools to Build an Engaged Online Community.” (See it on Slideshare or download the PDF.) And while it’s geared to ethnic media publications, its lessons apply to traditional media outlets, news organizations and citizen media sites, too.

You’ll find the sites all tagged on delicious at my socialmediacamp account, with subsections on tools and platforms.

Free one-page handouts

Also, I prepared two nice-looking flyers for the bootcamp participants, which I’m hosting on Amazon S3:

Resources, Platforms, and The power of geotagging (PDF)

Social news ecosystem, Sites we like, and Facebook Groups & Fan Pages (PDF)

8 tactics to build community

The presentation addresses strategies in the sharing economy and suggests eight tactics to build community:

1. Be first with breaking news
2. Leverage Twitter
3. Enable conversations
4. Community video
5. Online petitions & causes
6. Geocoding & citizen photography
7. Google map mashups
8. Facebook communities Continue reading