Vitaminwater introduces a new flavor inspired by … Facebook?

Posted on Wed Jan 13 2010


It's kind of bitter, it puts me on edge, and I'm sure it's not good for me. But I can't stop drinking it. I'm powerless against its empty calories. I haven't even tasted it yet, but I fully expect this to be my reaction to Connect, the new Vitaminwater flavor inspired by omnipresent social-not-working site Facebook. Why should the caffeine-laced drink be any different than its namesake? TechCrunch gives us the vitals: It launches in March with Facebook logos and slanguage on its packaging; it's black-cherry lime with "eight key nutrients"; and it came about after a contest on the site to design a new flavor. (Congrats, Sarah from Illinois!) Soon, we'll all be able to physically ingest what we've been gobbling up virtually all this time. Check out the infomercial here that kicked off the sweeps.

—Posted by T.L. Stanley

Friendster returns, hoping to scoop up those jaded by Facebook

Posted on Thu Dec 3 2009

Remember Friendster? It was sort of the Xerox of the social-media age: a company that was onto a groundbreaking idea, but somehow screwed it up (see also: AltaVista). Before we count Friendster out, though, watch this video and reconsider. After all, it's true that "nobody wants to hang out in a place that's plain and boring" and is "too common" and generic. "I mean, if everyone's there, whoop-de-doo. How fun for you!" the narrator says. "I want my own space." OK then, how about, uh, MySpace? It's not the most persuasive argument, but then again, Friendster doesn't have many cards to play. Updating the site (to look more like Facebook) is a good start, as is the new tagline: "Connecting smiles." But isn't the point of a social network to have a lot of people in one place? After all, there are lots of failed social networks to visit if you want some quiet time.

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

PayPal social Facebook push tries to prove capitalism still works

Posted on Mon Jul 6 2009

Do-stuff-for-money Is it true that everyone has their price? PayPal certainly thinks so. The e-commerce site hopes to prove that point and raise awareness for its Send Money tool via social networking. PayPal has created a microsite where consumers can "Do Stuff for Money." The site lets anyone enter a friend's name, the dollar amount they want to pay them, and the offer (sent via Facebook or e-mail). Such proposals can range from doing the chicken dance or eating 10 hot dogs at once to walking the dog or going on a date with someone. The point is to show how easily the app works “without the hassles of checks or ATM visits,” wrote director of product marketing Heinz Waelchli in PayPal's blog. Note: You won't actually have to pay your friend to do the chicken dance, but don't let them know that so they don't chicken out. 

— Posted by Elena Malykhina

Yes, it's come to this: WD-40 has started its own social network

Posted on Fri May 22 2009


Ooh, baby, baby, it's a wild world. And we all have to bond together on these Internet social systems so we know we're not alone. As time marches on, social networks evolve from global gathering grounds to cul-de-sacs devoted to specific interests. You might join a network of crafters. I might flock to a hub where people debate the meaning of Beatles lyrics. But seriously, folks, has it devolved to the point where we need a social network devoted to the type of lube one might use to silence a squeaky wheel? Yes, the WD-40 Co. has launched The Money-Saving Tool community. At this budding Peyton Place of cyberspace, members are encouraged to share money-saving tips and tricks—through stories, photos, videos, what have you—to show the creative ways they protect their investments and avoid paying for expensive repairs or replacement goods. According to the WD-40 Web site, the substance boasts more than 2,000 uses. As a virtual welcome wagon during the site's launch earlier this month, WD-40 offered the first 40 community residents a value pack containing its WD-40 Smart Straw can, WD-40 Big Blast can and WD-40 No-Mess Pen assortment.

—Posted by Becky Ebenkamp

Demetri Martin mastering the art of low-tech social-network ads

Posted on Tue Feb 10 2009

It's not often that I write a fan letter, so you know I'm being sincere when I drop Demetri Martin a mushy note on MySpace to compliment him on his awesome moptop hairdo and stoner-comedy show, Important Things With Demetri Martin, which debuts on Comedy Central on Wednesday. The Viacom network has been plugging the program regularly for a month or so on air, and Demetri even got a little (hair and) face time during Sunday's Grammy Awards telecast on CBS. But on Monday evening, a MySpace bulletin from the Gen Y comic with the subject line "these = printable flyers for new comedy central show" was posted as a personal note to me (and Martin's other 145,473 site friends) in his own special, no-frills, Post-It-note style: "hi. i made these flyers for my show," the note began. "if you have time/interest, feel free to print one and tape it up somewhere. the show premieres on wednesday on comedy central at 10:30pm/9:30pm central. thanks. i hope you are doing well. demetri."
  The missive was followed by a quartet of hand-scribbled anti-ads with captivating headlines like "This is a flyer," "IGNORE THIS extremely new and good tv show" and "HOLY SHIT!" Golden lightning bolts were added for urgency and emphasis. God only knows what this kid has planned for Facebook.

—Posted by Beck Ebenkamp

Find your baldness cure and city council member on Facebook

Posted on Mon Feb 9 2009


Considering Facebook's reach—150 million-plus users and counting—it's often surprising to see the weak level of ad support it garners. It's not uncommon, for instance, to spot headlines like "Anti-Aging Discovery" and "Stimulate Your Wallet" down the right column of your Facebook homepage. Now, there's a new ad out there, but instead of shilling work-at-home jobs or baldness cures, the advertiser is Maria Derr, a candidate for the New York City Council, 3rd District.
  "Forget Sarah Palin," reads the ad, which shows the youngish Derr with a Palin-esque brunette 'do. The ad goes on to outline her C.V. (she graduated from John Jay College and New York Law School and is a native of the Village) and her deep roots in the community. Derr, a big Obama supporter, is gunning for Christine Quinn's seat. (Quinn will be term-limited in December.) Here's her campaign Web site. Will Derr's social networking woo the voters of the district, which spans Hell's Kitchen to the West Village to Murray Hill? Perhaps. She already has 226 supporters, and she hasn't even revealed 25 things about herself yet.

—Posted by Todd Wasserman



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