January 23, 2013

Social Commerce or Just Social Advertising?

The rise of social commerce has been all the rage these days, but a recent report from hip company (insert laugh track here) IBM has poured cold water on this trending topic. Sales directly attributed to social media took a deep dive on Black Friday last year compared to 2011 says an IBM Smarter Commerce benchmark report.

“Shoppers referred from Social Networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube generated .34 percent of all online sales on Black Friday, a decrease of more than 35 percent from 2011,” stated the report. The report also concludes that Twitter drove ZERO SALES on Black Friday.

While social networks have to be responsible for referring some sales, this report missed one key point. Social referrals (aka links to listings on other websites) is NOT social commerce. It’s just commerce driven by advertising or social advertising. And this is extremely difficult to track, and cannot be easily quantified.

Here at VOXUS, we represent in-stream social commerce platform Chirpify. The company offers the ONLY way for commerce to take place on Twitter and Instagram without ever leaving the social media outlets. Tracking its success is relatively simple. Someone tweets or posts a listing and people respond with “buy” or “donate.” No hop to a website followed by entering credit card information, legitimizing with a captcha, etc. Just a response or comment, and you’ve got your digital or physical goods.

So the next time someone mentions social commerce, take it with a grain of salt. It might not really be social commerce.

November 2, 2012

I’ll Buy That With a Comment!

We do it literally every day at VOXUS. Launch the latest/greatest tech solution or company. Just this past week, we found ourselves in the midst of a launch that seemed to take the press by storm and captured their imagination more than ever.

What am I talking about? The company is called Chirpify and it’s the first and only platform to buy, sell, donate and give in-stream on Twitter and Instagram. Chirpify initially launched this social commerce platform on Twitter this February. Well, last week, they expanded that footprint by enabling the same in-stream transaction technology for Twitter on get this—Instagram. How do they make the magic happen on Instagram you may ask? Take a look from last week’s press release:

Selling and fundraising with Chirpify on Instagram is easy. Sellers and fundraisers can create a listing directly from within the Instagram app. To sell within Instagram all they need to do is post a photo and set the initial comment to “#InstaSale $amount” and Chirpify will automatically create a listing that people can transact with by commenting back. Fundraisers can list requests for donations by setting the initial comment to “#InstaFund $amount.” Chirpify will post back a comment on the photo that instructs followers how to purchase.

Consumers use Chirpify to securely connect their Instagram and PayPal accounts, and once linked, comment on an Instagram post to transact with “buy” or “donate.” Chirpify then sends a secure download or receipt via email.

Coverage by the press came fast and furious with outlets like Fortune, TechCrunch and Mashable writing glowing reviews of the new service. We’re talking dozens of articles and more than a dozen interviews in just a few days!

Some VOXUS colleagues asked me, “Why so much attention.” Well that’s simple. It falls right in a sweet spot. Chirpify is something new and totally original that both consumers and businesses need, and media seem to be dying to talk about—solutions that actually enable people and businesses to transact, and not just exchange ideas on social media. It doesn’t hurt that it’s so easy to use that some people are simply calling it magic.



November 8, 2011

Yowie, Nice To Meet You!

We recently had the opportunity to begin working with a company that is taking a new, much more visual approach to social media… call it the living Web if you will. Say hello to Yowie.

Now what is Yowie (other than Australia’s version of big foot)? Yowie allows people to video chat with their friends and favorite celebrities in an online group chat environment. From Colin Farrell to Amy Poehler to Interpol to The Melvins to Andy Richter – Yowie’s had some pretty recognizable names use their chats to connect with their fans and they’re just getting started.

Just last week, I had the privilege to sit in on a Yowie chat; the first completely live unmoderated online video town hall by a U.S. presidential candidate in Republican presidential candidate Gary Johnson. Take a look at this replay of that chat. In all, Johnson’s town hall was viewed by more than 10,000 people, more than 175 questions were asked and Johnson had enough time to answer 32 of those inquiries.

Judging by thousands of people’s willingness to interact with a former two-term governor and U.S. presidential candidate on Yowie, the service could be a major player in the next wave of new social media outlets. Yowie, it’s sure nice to meet you!


December 9, 2010

Reports For Reporters

“We should issue a report”… possibly the most used five word phrase I’ve heard from clients. But it’s not as simple as just issuing a research report, putting a press release together, sending it out to journalists and voila – hello New York Times.

Here’s the thing. Reporters love controversy. Give them data that’s controversial, surprising or anything along those lines and you’ve got gold. But in order to cash in with that gold, you’ve got to prove your credibility with a track record of good data and good reports.

Bottom line – before you start writing your report, step away from your computer! Here’s some simple steps to help make that report sing:

-       Analyze concrete data thoroughly. Have analysts pour through data, double check results and make sure they’ve got it right.

-       Issue reports on a regular basis (monthly, quarterly, annually). Building credibility means building a track record.

-       Do not tie results back to your solution. The point of issuing reports isn’t to position your product but rather position your organization as thought leaders.

A great case study is with VOXUS client and Internet security provider IID (Internet Identity). They’ve been issuing quarterly phishing trends reports for a couple years now. These reports aren’t just one pagers – they’re more like journals. IID has teams of security analysts pouring through thousands of pieces of data and condensing that information into reports that usually span at least ten pages long. Every time they issue a report, more and more press take head as IID’s credibility and reporter’s anticipation for the reports builds.

For example, IID’s reports have recently been mentioned with Fox News, PC MagazineConsumer Reports, InfoWorld, eWeek, security reporting god Brian Krebs’ blog and the list goes on.

So there you have it. Reports for reporters with some strategic steps.

July 2, 2010


Adding to our body of new client work is a company that you most likely heard about unless you were living under a rock lately: Rumblefish (www.rumblefish.com). With VOXUS driving the PR ship, Rumblefish launched a new music service for YouTube (www.youtube.com) called Friendly Music (www.friendlymusic.com). The Friendly Music service is the first ever to offer non-commercial music licenses that last a lifetime to edit songs into YouTube videos. Think of it as iTunes for digital video. Not too bad of results if I do say so myself with 24 briefings and hundreds of articles resulting. Here’s some of the more high profile stories:

- Associated Press (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20100623/us-youtube-rumblefish/)

- New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/28/business/media/28rumblefish.html)

- ABC (http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/AheadoftheCurve/techbytes-tunes-youtube/story? id=11030951)

- NPR (http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2010/06/23/128060136/get-music-rights-for-1-99)

- Mashable (http://mashable.com/2010/06/28/rumblefish-friendly-music/)

- TechCrunch (http://techcrunch.com/2010/06/29/rumblefish-friendly-music/)

- Gizmodo (http://gizmodo.com/5575507/friendlymusic-lets-you-buy-legal-licensed-tunes-for-your-youtube-videos-for-2)

- Billboard Magazine (http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/content_display/industry/e3i14a7e72d3d44c14d9c4c11d4da9c480a)

- CNET (http://news.cnet.com/8301-17939_109-20009289-2.html)

- PC Magazine (http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2365573,00.asp)

- FOX Business (http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2010/06/30/hulus-premium-service-plus-lawsuit-free-soundtracks/)

-posted by Andrew

October 28, 2009

Disco balls, shag carpet and barcodes

I’m not one to blog about client news, but this one was just too out of the norm to pass up. Recently, VOXUS client Ryzex announced the oldest operational barcode device as part of its Big Upgrade contest (www.bigupgrade.com). But what’s even more interesting is that after combing through numerous entries, Ryzex found what it believed to be the oldest operational barcode device on the same day the Google logo was replaced by the ubiquitous black-and-white barcode design. This was done to celebrate the 57th anniversary of the first barcode patent.

The oldest device, the MSI 2100 from the early 1970s, was found to be the oldest operational barcode device out of two months of submissions. The portable data collection terminal is battery powered and even includes a cassette tape for data memory… and get this IT STILL WORKED! So I admit this isn’t as catchy as finding the first mobile phone, but for someone who lives and breathes AIDC (Automatic Identification and Data Capture) devices, this is pretty cool.

-posted by Andrew

July 22, 2009

AdReady CEO Named to PSBJ's "40 Under 40"

We have some great news to share: CEO Aaron Finn has been named to the prestigious Puget Sound Business Journal’s “40 Under 40″ listing. Selected from more than 200 nominations, Finn was recognized for his entrepreneurial and civic accomplishments, which include co-founding AdReady, and supporting his local community.

Aaron will accept his award at the Honoree Bash being held at the Seattle Repertory Theatre on September 15. 

Way to go, Aaron!

Earlier this year, the Washington Technology Industry Association named AdReady “Service Provider of the Year” in their 14th annual Industry Achievement Awards.

-posted by Lindsay

June 16, 2009

Video Interview: Ortiva Wireless at CONNECTIONS

Last week, Craig Lee at Ortiva Wireless participated in the “Multimedia on Mobile Devices” panel at the CONNECTIONS conference in Santa Clara, CA. Craig also chatted with Parks Associates about Ortiva’s latest developments and mobile video market trends.   Check out the video interview here.

-posted by Lindsay

May 18, 2009

I Want My BTV (Bathroom TV)

I recently spent a few days in Las Vegas for an annual vacation. We try to stay in a different hotel each time. This year it was MGM Grand’s turn. Very quickly I decided this would be MGM’s only turn. There were a couple of reasons, but one of them was the fact that there was no TV in the bathroom. How could there be no TV in the bathroom? You’re rated four stars, get with it MGM! And while you’re at it, please get a luggage software tracking solution that helps vacationers who temporarily misplace their claim ticket to more easily find their bags. Walking your Costco-sized warehouse of checked luggage is exhausting!

On a recent trip to Santa Monica, I was pleased to find my must-have flat screen TV in a single room at the Loews Hotel. The provider? You guessed it — VOXUS client Totevision. Thank you Totevision for making my dream of having a TV In every hotel bathroom a reality.

-posted by Lindsay

April 20, 2009

Video Interview at CTIA: Ortiva Wireless

Craig Lee of Ortiva Wireless discussed the latest mobile video trends with Greg Galitzine of TMCNet at CTIA earlier this month.   Check out the video interview here.

-posted by Lindsay