We’re very excited to announce the launch of the Parents Community, the social community for Parents.com.
We’ll be talking more about the community in the coming days and weeks (so stay tuned), but today want to share some of the cool community features, as well as let you know why we’re so excited about this community.
Why We’re Excited
Meredith chose the Ripple6 social networking platform when they began developing Mixingbowl.com over a year ago. They’ve shown through the development of MixingBowl, as well as the special-edition magazine of the same name, that Meredith is committed to utilizing communities (and our platform) strategically.
Parents (magazine and website) is the “go to” resource for millions of moms and dads. Now they’ve deployed our platform on Parents.com, giving that audience the ability to connect with each other, share ideas/tips, talk to editors, and have fun with contests! We think it’s an extension of their commitment not just to our platform, but to connect people and marketers across social networks. And we think that’s cool.
What’s Cool in Parents Community
Here’s a quick look at some cool features for users of the Parents Community.
“Talk to The Editors” section: Allows users to submit and discuss story ideas for Parents and American Baby magazines, as well as Parents.com.
Due Date Clubs: Users can join moms with similar due dates to share the joys and struggles of their pregnancy brings.
“Meet Moms”: Using Ripple6 Smart Groups, users can find groups and other moms with similar interests based on their submitted profiles.
Facebook Connect: Users can link their activity in the Parents Community with their FB news feed…sharing stories, posts and groups they belong to.
Treats: Users can send their friends special messages and online treats as a way to have fun and build online relationships.
We’ll talk more about the community in the coming days and weeks, so check back for more!
This is a guest post from our Senior Director of Business Development – Linda Centkowski.
As we all know, a magnitude-7.0 earthquake struck Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Jan. 12.
Most of us, thankfully, will never be personally touched by a tragedy of this magnitude. As a native New Yorker, I know first-hand what it is like to have tragedy thrust on your doorstep. Human nature dictates that most of the world will begin to settle back into their routine within a month or two. Not to forget, but to pick up the pieces and move on, as we are resilient. Many will pay attention to the news in Haiti, send funds, or volunteer their time to help them rebuild. Others, due to distance from Haiti or a lack of a personal connection, may not truly ‘process’ what happened to the people, country, and economy there. For many reasons, Haiti hit home for me, and it has remained on my mind ever since.
One of my dear friends has family in Haiti. She’s not only a friend of mine but a friend of Ripple6. Her brother was in Haiti visiting family when the quake struck. Luckily, he and the rest of the family came through physically OK. Her brother has since stayed on to help with the relief efforts, which makes me wonder about what we can do to help him.
We’re a mere 1500 or so miles away from this country in desperate need of our help. However, when I think about our quality of life, sadly, we’re light years away. I know that my colleagues, partners and friends in the advertising community have been some of the first to donate their time, resources, energy and attention to disasters like this. I look forward to helping Haiti with what I can, and welcome you contact me with an idea for a benefit to raise funds.
My head is still spinning from the most recent Social Fresh.
I was asked to come and moderate a panel about social media in the music industry, and had the great pleasure of asking Tessa Horhled, Ted Wright, Stephen Linn and Ben Bennett questions submitted by Social Fresh community members and Twitter, as well as a few of my own.
While moderating the panel was great, the highlight of the event for me was talking with fellow attendees and attending many of the other stellar sessions.
In no particular order, here are the things that stuck with me through my flight home and day back at the office:
Dan Zarrella Wow. If you aren’t paying attention to him, you should start. He looks at social media from a scientific perspective, and his presentation left me with an urge to go back and look at our own metrics and historical data with a new eye.
The ROI of Community panelists (DJ Waldow, Lisa Hoffmann, Amber Naslund and Zena Weist) This panel was absolutely enlightening. The panelists come from a variety of companies, including Blue Sky Factory, Duke Power, Radian6 and H&R Block. The audience wasn’t shy about asking hard-hitting questions, and the panelists responded candidly, with great insight about what the challenges and rewards are of developing a community.
Southwest Airlines Paula Berg (formerly of Southwest Airlines, now with Linhart PR) gave a great presentation to open up the day. Southwest Airlines has really shown consumers that they care about them as people, not just wallets, over the last few years. It was refreshing to see how truthful this message was carried throughout the organization, and I learned a lot about the culture inside the Southwest organization. If possible, I respect them even more after hearing Paula speak, even though I raised my hand as one not in favor of their “open seating” policy.
Some sessions stick out in my mind as “I wish I had attended”. Jason Falls gave a much-tweeted about presentation, talking about moving the needle in social media. Geno Church closed out the day with a presentation referred to by attendees as “a work of art”, speaking about the work of Brains on Fire.
What was the biggest takeaway for me? The people.
Connecting in a community online, commenting on a blog, posting on a message board, exchanging messages on Twitter or Facebook are all great methods to keep up with people who may be in a distant location, but nothing beats sitting down and sharing a meal, or chatting over a cup (or three) of coffee.
If you haven’t been to Social Fresh, I highly urge you to take a look at the schedule of events of the rest of the year and go to an upcoming conference. We are happy to have been a part of two events so far, and are looking forward to being a part of Social Fresh Tampa as well.
2010 is already off to a busy start here, and we’re excited to continue the momentum by speaking at Social Fresh Nasville, the second in a new series of social media conferences for marketers.
Sang Kim, our CEO, spoke last fall at the inaugural Charlotte Social Fresh event, which was attended by over 200 marketing professionals from companies including Walmart, Best Buy, Lowe’s, Duke Energy, Bank of America, Family Dollar, Ruby Tuesday, IBM, Rubbermaid, and the Humane Society. We were thrilled to be invited to speak at both Nashville and Tampa, and have been monitoring the buzz about the upcoming events on Twitter, the Social Fresh Community and through our RSS feeds ever since.
Nashville’s complete lineup can be found here, and we’re speaking as part of the “Social Media in the Music Industry” panel in the 10:15-11:00am slot.
Our fellow panelists include Tessa Horehled, Senior Strategist – Social Media at THINK Interactive, Ben Bennett, Online Promotions and Mobile Marketing Manager at the Country Music Association (CMA) and Justin McIntosh, Manager of Web Services and Marketing at Big Machine Records.
In advance of the panel, here are some interesting music-related statistics (full report):
Digital platforms now account for around 20% of recorded music sales, up from 15% in 2007
Single track downloads, up 24% in 2008 to 1.4 billion units globally, continue to drive the online market, but digital albums are also growing steadily (up 37%).
Hypebot recently posted a short article about George Howard, taken from his 9GiantSteps blog.
“The first moment of leveling occurred with the advent of ProTools. No longer did one need to collateralize their creativity in exchange for funds from a record label to create a competitive recording.
The second moment of leveling arose via firms like TuneCore. No longer did one have to be signed to a label to have distribution.
The third moment of leveling revolved around the emergence of social media. While not completely obviating the need for traditional promotion, the rise of social media certainly shifted the power away from people like publicists and into the hands of the creator.We now arrive at a place where musicians/artists are comparable to chefs. All chefs, within reason, have access to the same ingredients. Certainly, geography plays a role for access to ingredients, in a similar manner as geography plays a role for musicians/artists – if you don’t like your geography/feel it’s a competitive disadvantage, move.”
For further thought on the subject, check out Ian Rogers, CEO of Topspin Media being interviewed by Wired. It’s a long(ish) video, but worth the watch.
NARM 2009 Keynote Interview With Ian Rogers from NARM on Vimeo.
We’ll be keeping these points in mind as we head to Nashville, and are looking forward to discussing how social media has/is impacting the music industry on Monday with our fellow panelists.
What do you think?
We’d love to hear your questions, and you can either leave them in the comments or submit them directly to the panelists on the Social Fresh Community.
When we launched Ripple6 OnDemand in late August, our goal was to bring you a turnkey and fully featured community platform. Today we are excited to announce an update to Ripple6 OnDemand – one that is designed to better integrate with other social sites while increasing functionality of the core platform.
Here are a few highlights of what’s inside our December release:
Improved integration with Facebook and YouTube
More homepage flexibility, including custom areas for images, embed code or HTML with an optional image carousel, which can be turned on or off as needs require. Additionally, the right rail HTML adopts on pages across your network, not just on the homepage.
Facebook Connect Tracking which enables community owners to discover which specific newsfeed users come to the network from, and what activity feeds they’re responding to.
Our new Facebook app allows you to bring the home page of your Ripple6 OnDemand site into your Facebook fan page.
So – what does it all mean?
Community owners or managers will have more control over the look and feel of their homepage as well as more easily track activity coming in from and going out to Facebook, providing an easier way to scale, connect and syndicate your message across your member’s social graphs.
Have questions about the release? Feel free to leave a comment, or send us an @ message on Twitter – @Ripple6.