Big Ideas

Calling all Entrepreneurs: Pitchup15 Wants Your Ideas!

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emaze logoSpring is in the air and I think it’s safe to say we’re all excited for the change of season. Among other fresh and bright things that come with spring, this month we’re proud to sponsor an exciting contest, hosted by our friends over at emaze. It’s called PITCHUP15 and it’s open right now for your bright ideas and the chance to win $10,000, plus a trip to DEMO!

I had the opportunity to interview Daniel Glickman, CMO of emaze, to learn more about their fast-growing company and how the idea for PITCHUP15 came about. More

How Mitel Motivated Over 1,300 Employees to Promote Their Company Message

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social media 01

How do you promote your brand and share your company message? Most of the time, we rely on the expected channels of Twitter or the tedious effort of engaging with those top influential people in the industry, hoping that one day they’ll share your latest blog post. What many companies overlook is their most powerful marketing asset, the employees, who are right within arm’s reach. But with everyone’s busy lives, impossible schedules and over-flowing inboxes, how can you expect your employees to take the time to share your company message and become your next “brand ambassador?”

We found one company with an amazing success story behind their recently launched employee advocacy program. Here, we interview Liz Pedro who initiated Mitel’s advocacy program and saw stellar results beginning on day one. More

All Enroll! How We Created The PMG University

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PMG University

A few months ago, I stepped into our CEO’s office with an idea that had been floating around in my head for a few days. The premise was simple: What if we could build a simple framework to share all of the knowledge and expertise we’re accumulating as digital marketers? Wouldn’t Pravda Media Group be a better place if everyone could freely and openly share their insights?

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Babylon Touch, PrimeSense and OpenNI at GDC 2012, and the OpenNI Challenge

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We’ve got some exciting things happening for our clients:

Babylon just launched a cool new app for the iPhone that received over 100,000 downloads in the first week!  The reviews are coming in, and the consensus seems to be that the Babylon Touch is both useful and user-friendly.


See?

GDC 2012

In other news, OpenNI and PrimeSense just presented at the GDC in San Francisco.  The discussions were lively and stimulating, and covered an array of topics including the capabilities of 3D sensing technologies.

Meanwhile, OpenNI is also getting ready to launch an exciting challenge for game developers. This contest will take place from April 1st-August 1st, and is two-fold:  The first part of the competition is a Twitter raffle from April 1st-May 1st where participants tweet in order to enter to win one of ten free ASUS Sensors. Anyone can enter — you just have to follow @OpenNI on Twitter and tweet with a specific message which will  be released by our client very soon.

But that’s not all!  Meanwhile, developers will also be able to  create an app using the OpenNI standard — and, if they win the Twitter raffle, they may also use the ASUS sensor.  Once completed, they can upload the app and a short video explaining how the app works to the official competition website where it will be voted on by website viewers as well as by a panel of distinguished industry leaders.   The grand prize is a free trip to IBC 2012 in Amsterdam in September!

For more information, please check out http://www.opennichallenge.com/

We’d also love to hear what’s going on in your company!  What’s new?  Has it been an interesting and challenging week?  What sort of projects do you have on the horizon?

Coffee Break: Superbowl commercials, Israeli start-ups, Facebook's Clay Feet and Google's (Potential) Greek Tragedy…

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We’ve been reading some great stuff at Pravda Media Group that you might enjoy as well.  So, pour yourself a cup of coffee, sit down, and get your read on — you’ll feel more productive than if you’re just trawling Twitter.  Unless you’re Robert Scoble.


Super Bowl 2012: 10 of the best commercials from this year’s Big Game

What was favorite commercial the Superball?  We’re (still) loving the Seinfeld Acura ad.

10 Israeli Startups With Huge Potential

We love startups, especially when they are lean, responsive and building something useful we love. Ben Lang wrote a great post @ Epic Launch featuring top 10 Israeli startups with huge potential. We agree with his assessment.

Facebook: Here Are the 35 Things That Could Kill Our Company

Now that Facebook has gone public, it has had to disclose the top 35 things that could destroy the company.

It’s Not Whether Google’s Threatened. It’s Asking Ourselves: What Commons Do We Wish For?

John Battelle makes an interesting case for the future of the web, and claims that the web as we know it is under severe, long-term attack by forces of our own creation.  Think Greek Tragedy.  Only Postmodern.

The Half-Life: How Social Media Changes the New Immigrant Experience

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I’ve heard the stories at least a hundred times: My Great Grandma Tsiryl dry-heaving over the side of a steamer ship as they rolled up into Baltimore Harbor in 1904. A pregnant Great Grandma Esther stoically clutching the belly that held the baby that would one day be my grandfather while ocean waves battered the hull of the last ship out of Europe before World War I.

Two different women from two different places, and yet they shared such a similar experience with each other and with the thousands upon thousands of other Jewish immigrants who left Eastern Europe for American shores. They crammed their lives into small suitcases – sometimes with incredible forethought, other times in great haste, they kissed their families goodbye, and on trains or buggies or by foot they traveled over hostile terrain toward distant harbors, and ultimately onto ships that would take them excruciatingly slowly, slowly, slowly away from the achingly familiar.

And like so many others who left the cities and shtetls of Eastern Europe during those fragile years at the turn of the 20th century, my Great Grandmothers made it work.  They gave birth to American babies. They raised their children in broken English. They played Mah Jong and drank coffee with other landsman in cramped apartments in big cities far away from their childhood friends. They waited for letters from their families. They dreaded the inevitable telegram. They celebrated mitzvahs and simchas at the synagogue. They sat shiva. They buried their own on foreign soil.

You have to be an optimist to pack up and move for a life unknown like that and survive.

And not only did they survive, they thrived as they grew roots in a new world.

For me, it’s different. I wasn’t escaping pogroms and persecution.  I took a freaking stretch limo to the airport because I have delusions of grandeur.

My worldly goods amounted to three suitcases, two carry-ons, one purse, a laptop player with a battery life of 12 ½ hours and a Smartphone.

My voyage was 14 hours, not 14 days, and I spent most of it spent Tweeting from the airplane like a rockstar.

Can't a girl get some #peanuts around here?

Unlike my Great Grandmothers who started from scratch, with Facebook and Twitter I am connected 24/7 to my life back home – clinging to moments and milestones in real time, ten time zones away.  In some ways, it’s a good thing:  When Krystal posts “10 centimeters, people! It’s show time!” I know her baby is about to be born (and by inference, that she got that epidural she swore she would never in a million years get, because seriously, no woman in hard labor without an epidural can post on Facebook, believe you me). When Aaron’s grunge band plays their first gig, I get to see pictures of the show right away thanks to Instagram. I even know what Michelle had for lunch.  (Girl sure loves her #Sushi!)

In a culture of openness and (over)sharing, Facebook is a great way to keep the intimacy going even when you live on the other side of the world.  And yet, it’s really a false intimacy, because friendships are really built on a series of moments large and small cobbled together in shared  real space and not online.

Who needs a cafe when you can hang out with your homies on Facebook?

So I guess this begs the question:  How does Social Media change the New Immigrant Experience?

Unlike my Great Grandmothers who tumbled headfirst into their new lives and were forced to learn a new language and make new friends, With my Android phone and my iPad (I carry both because Heaven Forfend one should run out of battery or stop working or fall in the toilet and I should be disconnected from Facebook and Twitter) I carry my old life with me  like two virtual security blankets.   When I ride the train, I update my Facebook status, and send tweets instead of interacting with the passengers around me.  Headphones complete my self-imposed isolation while I listen to (English) music and watch (American) videos on Youtube.

Hey, who needs to integrate, when I can be in two places at once?

But over the last year, I’ve learned  you can’t really be in two places at once, and as much as I try to keep up with my friends in the virtual world, they’re moving on.

And so am I.

Fortunately, there are ways that Social Media can actually make it easier for the New Immigrant to integrate.   Meetup groups either on Facebook or through other online channels like Meetup.com or Yahoo Groups are a great way to connect with people going through similar struggles.   And since the goal of these communities is to get you to meet in person, joining these groups is a baby step towards getting off the freaking laptop and into the cafe (or bar!) in the real world.

I’ve also found that when sharing your own struggles online in a public way, others going through similar things can find you. (And so can internet stalkers, for that matter, but that’s another post for another time.) But seriously, over the last year,  I’ve made several “IRL”  friends here in Israel through Facebook, Twitter and other online arenas, and I am grateful to these Social Media channels for helping me get off the internet already and start living in real life.

A Facebook Friendship IRL.

 

 

 

 

Pravda Media Group (Sort Of) at CES 2012

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The PrimeSense Booth at CES

Every January, the Consumer Electronics Show becomes the center of the tech universe, and geeks and gadget lovers from all over the globe flock to Las Vegas for four days of sensory overload.

This year, Pravda Media Group was at CES, too.

Sort of.

One of our clients, PrimeSense revolutionized the living room experience at CES,  and we had to be there too.  Right there, in the PrimeSense “living room.” At CES. In Las Vegas.  On the other side of the world.

But since we haven’t yet figured out a way around the whole space/time continuum thing we did the next best thing:

We created a Live Room,  a real-time marketing operation that allowed us to engage with our target audience as if we were directly on the floor at CES.

The War Room from Dr. Strangelove ain't got NOTHING on Pravda Media Group

We used Tra.cx and TweetDeck to search the internet for relevant people and discussions related to the event.  Then, we were able to engage with them on various social media platforms in real-time.   In addition to this, we also had a camera at the PrimeSense booth rigged to send images directly to us so we could post the photos and videos online on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, as well as add them to the Live Site we created to feature real-time PrimeSense and CES coverage.

Our Live Site offered real-time updates, photos and videos of PrimeSense and CES.  We combined live  news, video, Twitter, and Instagram feeds to create a virtual experience for anyone who wished they could be at CES and couldn’t, or who were at CES and wanted an effective way to see everything that was happening at the event in real-time.

@GoPrimeSense is at #CES 2012!

And so it went, on into the night: While folks in Las Vegas drank their coffee and traipsed the halls of one of the biggest tech shows in the world, all of us at Pravda Media Group pounded our keyboards and scoured the internet for interesting material to share about our client and provide value for our target audience.

(And we drank coffee, too. After all, it was after midnight in Israel.)

In Yiddish, there’s a saying “you’re tuchus can’t dance in two weddings at the same time.” Well,  it turns out, you can.   Through solid team-work both internally at Pravda Media Group, and with PrimeSense, we made it happen.  And the numbers also reflect the success of this operation: PrimeSense was mentioned over 1600 times on Twitter, and using our various monitoring platforms along with our rapid response time, we were able to increase engagement on Twitter by almost 300%.

And, at the end of the day, (well, um, the beginning of the day, because of the time difference!), we all enjoyed the challenge of being in two places at once.

Coffee Break: Startup Branding, Apple and the American Middle Class, Killing Hollywood, Textbooks and the Future of education

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We’ve been reading some great stuff at Pravda Media Group that you might enjoy as well.  So, pour yourself a cup of coffee, sit down, and get your read on — you’ll feel more productive than if you’re just trawling Facebook.

Startup Branding: A Practical Guide for Entrepreneurs

http://onstartups.com/tabid/3339/bid/76648/Startup-Branding-A-Practical-Guide-for-Entrepreneurs.aspx

 

This is a fantastic post by  Mike Troiano about branding, and why startups should invest more time and clarify  the emotional value of their brand.

 

 

Apple, America and a Squeezed Middle Class

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/22/business/apple-america-and-a-squeezed-middle-class.html

 

New York Times offers a fascinating look at the changes in economics and manufacturing which have caused America to lose almost all its manufacturing labor and have severely damaged America’s middle class.

 

Killing Hollywood Will Require Learning Hollywood’s Game

http://pandodaily.com/2012/01/20/killing-hollywood-will-require-learning-hollywoods-game/

 

With the SOPA fiasco, Y Combinator’s Paul Graham wrote an interesting piece  Just kill Hollywood. The point of his post is that it’s not piracy that will kill the movie business, instead it’s different forms of entertainment that will emerge in the upcoming years and gobble up the old paradigm.   Lacy claims that in order to actually “kill” or compete with Hollywood, start-ups need to learn their game and let go of the mindset that eyeballs equal quality.

 

Why textbooks of the future are not books

http://gigaom.com/apple/why-textbooks-of-the-future-are-not-books

 

Erica Ogg wrote a post about Apple’s new foray into education with textbooks. (rightfully!) claims that these new textbooks are not books at all, but are instead interactive learning experiences: You have text, of course, but you can drag in image galleries, embed videos, 3D models, presentations and slideshows. You can touch and swipe and watch instead of just reading and taking notes.

 

 

PrimeSense LIVE at CES 2012

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Our client, PrimeSense is getting ready for CES 2012 which begins Tuesday, January 10th.

For real-time coverage of the world’s largest Consumer Electronics Show, we hope you’ll visit PrimeSense LIVE at CES 2012.

Coffee Break: Four Articles Worth Reading

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We’ve been reading some great stuff at Pravda Media Group that you might enjoy as well.  So, pour yourself a cup of coffee, sit down, and get your read on — you’ll feel more productive than if you’re just trawling Facebook.

 

Eight Ways To Go Viral

http://techcrunch.com/2011/12/26/eight-ways-go-viral/

Uzi Shmilovici, CEO and founder of Future Simple, explains virality and demonstrates some great tools companies use to boost theirviral factor.

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Why Android updates are a mess: it’s the business model

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/bott/why-android-updates-are-a-mess-its-the-business-model/4300

Ed Bott explains why The Android business model practically guarantees that updates will be a mess.

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The Amazing Power of Deflationary Economics for Startups

http://www.bothsidesofthetable.com/2011/12/22/the-amazing-power-of-deflationary-economics-for-startups/

Mark Suster argues that the most succesfull internet companies are the ones that offer amazing value  at high volumes which  makes it nearly impossible for high-cost incumbents to compete.

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The year in mobile apps: Where we’ve been, where we’re going

http://gigaom.com/2011/12/25/the-year-in-mobile-apps-where-weve-been-where-were-going/

Erica Ogg gives a nice overlook at the year we’ve had of mobile apps and has some great predictions for what’s ahead.

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And we’re curious:  What have YOU been reading?