Archive for July, 2009

Jul 30

Posted by andrew

Posted in Clients

Client News: Redux unleashes addictive entertainment

If you’re like us, sometimes you want to move your hands away from the keyboard and mouse, take a break, sit back, and just be entertained… whether it’s Ben Stiller and Will Ferrell in the ‘H is O’, a TED Talk, or Patches, the horse that thinks it’s a person, there’s something to be said for great entertainment.

But finding entertainment on the Net has become difficult if only for the sheer mass of stuff that’s out there. More than 20 hours of content is uploaded to YouTube every minute, and while there’s a myriad of web services where you can share stuff, none of them are focused on entertainment (video in particular). Enter Redux…

Redux is a place to find great entertainment, recommended by people who are into the same videos, photos, music and websites as you.

Today we introduced 1500 lucky Mashable, TechCrunch, and Webware readers to Redux, a personalized entertainment guide to the web.

Unlike other sites, Redux is all about entertainment – no need to import your friends, post updates about your status, or worry about pimping your profile. Users submit their favorite links and include them in channels of entertainment like Fail videos, sports highlights, dance music, and other themes (GI Joe PSAs!). Users who join a channel can watch everything that’s submitted in real-time, and submit their own favorites for others to enjoy.

The newest feature – the one reporters have highlighted most – is TV mode which plays videos submitted to the site one after another in full-screen. As with the regular mode, the most recent activity on the site rises to the top so newly submitted or commented videos rise to the top and play next.

The site will publicly launch in a few weeks time (they’re in private beta now), but if you’re looking for an invite in the meantime, message us on Twitter (@S2) and we’ll hook you up!

Jul 29

Posted by emily

Posted in Clients

Client News: VUDU Teams up with LG to Stream HD Movies Directly to Your TV.

It’s fairly apparent to us that the era of physical media for delivering content is nearing its end, with the Internet replacing the need for tapes, disks, cartridges, and virtually anything else. VUDU first hit the scene with a custom “Internet set-top box” a couple of years ago, and made amazing progress building the world’s largest library of HD movies available for streaming on demand. The company is now thinking, wait for it, “outside the box” (sorry, we couldn’t resist) and is embedding their service directly into next-generation TVs.

Today VUDU- the best possible service for streaming HD movies- is in New York showcasing their new service alongside their first TV partner: LG. This alliance means VUDU is now embedded on all broadband HDTVs from LG. No more box, no more wires, no new things to plug in. Just a really smart high definition television set that has it’s own “virtual video store” inside.

Some of the key features:
* Users can rent or purchase movies in full 1080p resolution with Dolby 5.1 surround sound (both are unique to the VUDU platform)
* An elegant, super-responsive UI that’s extremely easy to use, with built-in movie discovery features
* Virtually no buffering (typically about 3 seconds or less) means movies that start playing instantly or long wait times for downloading (yes, even in high def!).
* There are no monthly fees for the service

News:

Jul 21

Posted by Jeremy

Posted in Stage Two

Stage Two is hiring someone awesome. Is it you?

We are looking to add an Account Manager with at least two years of media-relations experience (read: prefer three, and please, nobody right out of college unless you want to test your skills as an intern) who has seen the light and wants to get into influencer marketing. We are definitely looking for someone who knows both the bloggers and traditional press in the consumer electronics and consumer Web space (please don’t apply if you haven’t already worked with journalists and influencers).

This is an exciting industry, and this is a chance to get involved with exhilarating projects and learn a lot in the process! We are industry-insiders, wizened tech masters and pop-culture junkies who know how to maintain a proper work/life balance – whether it’s ending the day early to catch the hottest blockbuster, or drinking scotch with a client at one of our many local watering holes.

Qualifications:

  • Able to work within dynamic start-up environment
  • Fast learner and self-starting with impeccable organizational skills
  • Can manage and prioritize the needs of multiple client relationships simultaneously
  • Extremely strong communications skills, especially written
  • Good understanding of consumer technology (video, mobile, etc) with a genuine interest in new trends in tech, media, and culture
  • Decent grasp of new media, including bloggers and social networks (you throw sheep, you tweet, you generally have too many methods to communicate with your peeps, and of course, you know that people don’t say “peeps” any more)
  • Confident and articulate, yet brilliantly creative
  • Brownie points to gamers, bloggers, pop culture geeks (extra credit given for the subtle use of Arrested Development quotes)

Responsibilities:

  • See above, and…
  • Coordinating media lists and event logistics
  • Monitoring client and industry press
  • Conceive, develop, and implement influencer-marketing strategies for clients
  • Build and nurture relationships with key bloggers, industry influencers, press/media, analysts, and potential marketing partners
  • Outreach and traditional PR for new stories, company launches, product launches, etc.
  • Take a consumer product from 80 or 90% to 100% readiness for launch
  • Understand and explain consumer behaviors to clients
  • Find and evaluate event participation opportunities (speaking, booths, panels, etc.) for clients
  • Attend local industry networking events (yup, shmoozing is a job requirement)

Our office is in North Beach, close to several MUNI stops, great restaurants/bars, and fine entertainment establishments. If you’re interested, email us:

  1. a resume (preferably link to an online one)
  2. a short bio
  3. your salary requirements
  4. why you think this is a perfect fit for you
  5. which of our clients excites you the most, and why

Any emails without all 5 of the above will be ignored, and probably marked as spam (this includes the salary question).  Feel free to let us know if you have any questions. Otherwise, we look forward to hearing from you. If you read nothing else (you won’t get the job, but…) be sure to at least read this and this.

Ready to be our newest rock star?  We’re waiting…

ps – our loyal readers will note that we recycled a lot of this content from the last time we posted – there’s a good reason for it.

Jul 21

Posted by David

Posted in Clients

Client News: Face.com launching a new app today!

Today Face.com announces their second facial recognition app for Facebook.  The new app, Photo Tagger, scans through albums of photos and suggests tags for faces that it identifies – the end result is that you tag an entire album of photos in a fraction of the time it would normally take.

In March Face launched their first Facebook app, Photo Finder.  Since it launched Photo Finder has scanned more than 1.5 billion (with a B) photos, and identified more than 2.3 million faces.

Photo Tagger (the new app) and Photo Finder (the first app) are both in private alpha, but it doesn’t take too long do get in and check out the alpha.  If you’re wanting to check out the Photo Tagger right away, some searching on the Internet may help you find some invites.  A few different publications are giving out invites to test out the app.

Below is a list of the coverage the announcement is getting.  Several of these outlets have invites available.  We will update the list as new coverage comes in.

Jul 05

Posted by Jeremy

Posted in Marketing

PR: Quite a Big Industry to Generalize

Psst, want to know an easy way to piss off technology bloggers?  Generalize them into one group and then make some rude comment like “and all their posts are always full of typos” or “written by a bunch of 17-year-olds”.  Within nanoseconds of such a comment hitting the open Internet you’ll see individuals from all walks of life calling you narrow-minded, outdated, and probably some remark that only makes sense if you think invisible cats that have bad grammar are funny.

But somehow when a blogger decides to make a negative comment about someone who works in PR, it’s deemed okay.  In fact other bloggers will often rally to their sides and talk about how they too know that all PR people are in fact bad people.  Then some snotty CEO of a startup will chime in about how you don’t need PR, just do it all yourself and you’ll get the same exact results (psst – don’t look at these companies’ traffic charts a year later, it spoils all the fun).  It’s not quite as bad as the flak parking meter enforcers take, but it’s pretty up there.

There’s an article in the NY Times called “Spinning the Web” and it tells some tales about using “influencers” and has some fun-to-read anecdotes.  It’s otherwise full of crap.

I’ll make it quite simple to understand: this industry is simply too vast to generalize.  There are PR firms and individuals who understand influence, social media, and bloggers.  There are firms who don’t.  There are those who know how to leverage all the changing media to benefit their clients.  And there are those who don’t.

Like virtually every other services business, there are companies who are absolutely excellent at what they do, where every dime spent is paid back many times other.  And there are also plenty of buzzword merchants, and people with their heads stuck in the sand still praying on the effectiveness of a wire release.  And by the way, while I like to think it’s really easy to figure out the good from the bad, the bad are all somehow still in business, which means it’s not so clear to everyone.

You know, just like the bad bloggers who accept money for posting without telling anyone, or copy other people’s content, or use nothing but attention-grabbing headlines. Someone’s reading them, otherwise they’d go away, right?

Maybe we can stop with the generalizations while we let the good continue to separate from the bad…