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: 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


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


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


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


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.


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


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



Before You 'Friend' Your Parents on Facebook, Make Sure They Understand These Six Rules

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Dear Parental Unit –

Uh, welcome to Facebook.  I guess.

I accepted your Facebook friend request on good faith but we’ve reached a point where I think we need to lay out a few ground rules because I am seriously thisclose to defriending you.


  1. First of all, the poking has got to stopSeriously.  It’s just weird.   Please don’t make me explain why.  (Not since we talked about where babies come from have I been this uncomfortable.)
  2. Why are you commenting on every status update? And do you even know what LMFAO means?
  3. Please take down any and all family pictures where I am wearing headgear, have a mullet, and/or am in the buff. If you ever want me to get married and give you grandchildren, you will comply with this request immediately.
  4. And on that note, please stop playing matchmaker. Just because it says “doctor” or “lawyer” in someone’s profile does not mean you need to send me a friend suggestion.  It’s especially weird when you don’t even know the person you’re suggesting I friend in the first place.
  5. Um, hey guys? Everyone can read what you write on my wall.  Everyone. So please stop publicly reminding me to “get that rash checked.”  Again, if you ever want me to get married and give you grandchildren, you will stop doing this right now.
  6. And finally, if I delete a wall post (see above) do not repost it just in case I didn’t see it. Believe me:  I saw it.

Look.  I think it’s great that you’ve gotten all cyber-savvy and whatnot.  No, really, I do.  Especially the online banking thing – Please keep those cash infusions coming twice a month.

That way, I can beat you in Mafia Wars and Farmville.



Happy End of the World

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What would you like to do in your last day on Earth? That’s the main question Axe/Lynx asks you in their Facebook app promoting the Final Edition deodorant. An interesting idea, with a very well done app, but with a major failure: The brand doesn’t  bother to help you realize your wishes — it just invites you to think about them and share.  That said, some might argue that by “putting these thoughts out into the universe” you can bring them to fruition.  What do you think?

To check it out you need to like the page first: https://apps.facebook.com/lynx-lrg/

Pimp Your Holiday Card

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Tired of the same old same old paper cards, emails and e-cards over the Holidays? So is Adidas. That’s why they brought Snoop Dog and Jeremy Scott to handle it this year. Through a Facebook app people can write their own personalized messages, choose the friend to receive it, the date to be sent and voila!

While it’s too late to submit your own message now, you can check out more than 300 videos that were recorded in the app: http://apps.facebook.com/originalsgetthegift/

What do you think?  If they offer this next year, will you try it?

Facebook and Twitter: One Helluva Party

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Social Media is like the party after prom where all the good stuff really happens.



Sometimes it’s a little confusing. Even a little dangerous. But, life on Facebook and Twitter can enhance your “IRL” experience.

Sure, while there is nothing quite like meeting in person, by keeping up with friends and family through Facebook and Twitter feeds, you can eliminate some of the B.S. smalltalk when you do get together – and more than that, you actually have some salient talking points to rally around.

From the flippant:

(“Oh, did you see Krystal from Palms Middle School is sporting a mullet?”)


(“Eamon’s new girlfriend looks like her face got caught in a wind tunnel.”)

To the life-changing:

(“I love all the pictures you posted of your new baby – He’s absolutely perfect!”)


(“I read the status about your mom’s passing. I’m so sorry. What can I do to help?”)

Not only that, but since everyone and their mother — literally — seem to be using Social Media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, if you’re a company or a consumer brand, then these are great outlets to get your message across to clients and prospective clients.

For instance, Facebook has over 800 million users.

I’ll repeat that: Facebook has over 800 million users. That is one banging party, people.

But, if a tree falls in the woods and nobody hears it, then does it make a sound?

Philosophy 101 was a long time ago, my friends, but I do know this: The more “likeable” your posts are, the more apt people are to share them on Facebook. In essence, if you put out great content, then your fans will do the work for you and your message will be heard.

According to Mashable, more than ever, now is a great time for companies and brands to open a Facebook page:

“When Facebook unveiled Timeline… many users were struck by the idea of humanizing your profile by summarizing your life and connections… Timeline may have a similar effect on brands as well. In fact, the brand benefits of Timeline could be huge, and will let companies tell a more engaging and authentic story.” (Mashable)

Yeah, of course traditional means of advertising are great, and should be used. Who doesn’t like a great billboard ad, or a catchy radio jingle? But at a fraction of the cost, companies and brands can engage with consumers (and potential consumers) through live updates, dynamic pictures, and relevant article and blog links.

In other words, your company or brand will seem more human when using this kind of digital media interface. And you sure don’t want to be left out of one helluva party.

From Cave Paintings to Wall Posts…

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“Be careful what you put in writing,” my mother warned  me once upon my teenage years.  “Because once it’s out there it’s out there. And that’s that.”

She said this before  we  all found ourselves careening down a cyber superhighway, racing pellmell toward online discoveries … A fantasy land where both exhibitionists and voyeurs feed off the others need for instant gratification.

“Once it’s out there it’s out there … ” These words echo in my mind while I log onto Facebook.

Paper may disintegrate but the Internet is forever.  (Forever-ever?  Forever-ever.) Our ancestors had cave paintings. And we have Walls.   Our forefathers and mothers wrote lengthy missives on leather parchment, and we have blog posts.  They had oil paintings.  We have Instagram. We have gleaned great insight into the world of the past through these artifacts, and  its hard not to wonder what our cyber leavings  will tell a future generation  about our civilization.

Oh dear.

Maybe it’s time to delete those photos from the party on Saturday night.

Facebook CIA Project: The Onion News Network

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Even though this is satire, it really makes you think twice about what you’re posting on Facebook.