One Lap: The Orange Chef Preps At Full Speed

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Every industry is ripe for disruption, and food preparation is no exception. Traditional recipes are static and driven by standard portion sizes. With experience, a good chef knows how to properly modify recipes according to objectives of taste and healthiness. But this process today is driven by intuition based on years of experience cooking and learning what works and what doesn’t. Read More

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Contextly Expands Its Content Recommendation Platform To Include Videos And For-Sale Products, Too

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contextly With the latest expansion of its content recommendation tools, startup Contextly isn’t just pointing visitors to relevant articles, but videos and products, too.
Co-founder and CEO Ryan Singel (a former editor at Wired) told me that this is “doubling down” on the company’s current strategy. Read More

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Lyft VP Of Ops Stephen Schnell Defects To Uber

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rockem-uber-lyft Uber’s putting that $1.2 billion in funding to good use poaching execs from its top competitor. After hiring former Lyft COO Travis VanderZanden earlier this month, Uber has now scored Lyft’s VP of Operations Stephen Schnell to work on international supply growth, according to Schnell’s LinkedIn. Bloomberg reporter Serena Saitto tweeted about the move earlier. Schnell worked… Read More

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Hilarious Video Captures How Social Media Marketing Is Getting Out of Hand

If you're in advertising and feel the pressure to be always on, 24/7, ready for that real-time moment, then you'll identify with the latest marketing buzzword: reactervising.

Toronto-based John St. posted this "reactervising" parody video that perfectly captures the demands of today's marketer, and shows the risks of jumping too fast into social media without thinking.

We've all thumbed through our Twitter feeds and wondered if a brand fully thought out that message—just today Arby's paid an estimated $200,000 to promote the trending hashtag "trick or meat." Sometimes, the real-time tweet hits and then sometimes it doesn't.

John St., which has lampooned Internet cats in advertising and other industry memes, posted its reactervise video this week accompanied by a few shorter pieces—one is about how push notifications could get a little too creepy.

Have a look and laugh:




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This Week On The TC Gadgets Podcast: HP Sprout, New Fitbits, And Other Wrist-Worn Tech

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gadgets141031 Fitbit announced a few new devices, including the Fitbit Charge and the Fitbit Surge, both of which we’re excited about. Plus, HP is doing all kinds of weird things, not least of which is the announcement of an odd new computer, projector type device called the Sprout.
Plus, we’re still fascinated with the Apple Watch so we’re talking about all things wrist this week. Read More

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Mad Genius Radio Feels Like A Smarter Version Of Old-School Radio

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Screenshot 2014-10-31 13.58.14 Mad Genius Radio is taking a somewhat old-school approach to streaming music.
In a world where most radio services use correlation algorithms to figure out what you want to hear, based on beats per minute and cadence and genre, without really thinking about the right rotation of new and old music. Thus, the stations you end up listening to the most become a bit stale.
But Mad Genius is… Read More

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Why People Leave Your Website [Infographic] by HubSpot

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lonely-child-sitting-in-cornerAttracting visitors to your website is only the first step — once they get there, you want to make sure they hang around.

What’s more, you want them to click through to other pages on your website, whether that means reading a blog post, filling out a landing page form, or (hallelujah!) actually buying Continue reading “Why People Leave Your Website [Infographic] by HubSpot”

Why ‘Captain America’ and ‘Katniss’ Are Most Likely to Flirt This Halloween

Still trying to decide on a Halloween costume? Dating site PlentyOfFish surveyed 1,200 heterosexual single men and women between the ages of 21 and 40 to figure out what they were going to dress up as and which characters they were most likely to hit on.

Out of a list of current pop culture icons, men said they were most likely to dress up as:

  • Captain America (345 percent)
  • Walter White from Breaking Bad (17 percent)
  • John Snow from Game of Thrones (16. percent)
  • Lego Man (8 percent)
  • Rocket from Guardians of the Galaxy (8 percent)

If you're a guy looking for a date, you probably won't go wrong with Captain America. Women said they were most likely to approach the superhero at a Halloween party, followed by a Lego Man then Walter White.

Women, on the other hand, said they were most likely to dress up as:

  • Katniss from The Hunger Games (20 percent)
  • Sleeping Beauty (16 percent)
  • Katy Perry (15 percent)
  • Khaleesi from Game of Thrones (12 percent)
  • Maleficent (8 percent)

Men overwhelmingly said they preferred sweet/submissive female costumes to strong/alpha female ones. However, men said they were most likely to hit on Katniss, Katy Perry or the Mother of Dragons—which, as a trio, seem rife with contradictions.

Other insights included:

  • Thirty-eight percent of women said they were most likely to dress up in a cute costume, while 33 percent wanted to dress up sexy. Half of men said they would pick a funny costume, and a quarter said they would dress up scary.
  • Thirty-two percent of women and 38 percent of men are open to having a first date on Halloween.
  • Twenty-eight percent of women and 35 percent of men believe that they can find their future boyfriend or girlfriend on Halloween night.
  • Both sexes said they go out on Halloween mostly to have fun with friends. Only 2 percent of women and 9 percent of men are trick-or-treating for a date. Seven percent of men are looking for a one-night stand.
  • But, the chance of having a one-night stand on Halloween is very slim. Only 7 percent of women and 15 percent of men copped up to doing the deed during a past All Hallow's Eve.




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IBM’s Business Clients Are Getting More Twitter Data

IBM and Twitter are teaming up to offer businesses more data from the social network.

For example, Big Blue's business customers can employ its Watson Analytics to mine 500 million daily Twitter messages for business trends. On a company blog, vp Chris Moody explained that the system is designed to answer specific questions, such as, "What do customers like best about my products?" And here's another example he gave: "Why are we growing quickly in Brazil?"

Moody added that the deal includes "training tens of thousands of IBM Global Business Services consultants on the business applications for Twitter data."

In addition, IBM plans to develop new enterprise apps that help companies use Twitter to better engage their customers, said IBM CEO Ginni Rometty. Twitter data will be integrated into Bluemix, IBM’s sales and marketing software platform.

Beleagured Twitter Appoints New Head of Product

Also on the Twitter news front, Bloomberg reported that the tech company's Kevin Weil is being appointed head of products, replacing Daniel Graf, who moves to special projects.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, who is under intense investor scrutiny, is hoping to build Twitter’s user base by adding more features to the microblogging site. His company recently added embedded audio files to its features list.

Investors have been hammering the company's stock because of poorer-than-expected growth.




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Check Out This Week’s 10 Must-See Digital Marketing Stats

Here are this week's 10 most intriguing statistics from the digital marketing world, including a trio of basketball-driven data points as the NBA season is upon us. Check them out below.

1. That Matthew McConaughey SNL parody actually helped Lincoln. Amboee looked at the impact of Jim Carrey's merciless skit from last weekend in terms of digital content and social media impressions. According to the company's data, Lincoln saw impressions jump 103 percent from Oct. 25 to Oct. 26. Amobee said the boost represented the car brand's highest peak of online mentions in the last three months, and was 86 percent higher than normal for the marketer.

2. MJ builds buzz. The Charlotte Hornets turned over their Twitter handle to the incomparable hoops legend, Michael Jordan, on Tuesday, attempting to stir up excitement for the new NBA season. Jordan, who played for the Chicago Bulls but is now a Hornets owner, helped lift the team's Twitter following by 25,300, according to team reps. The Hornets exceeded 300,000 followers with the endeavor, celebrating a 9 percent lift in a single day—during which they also won their game versus Milwaukee.

3. King James goes home and provides slam dunks for sponsors. Per 4C's report this week, LeBron James' return to Cleveland has aided his brand immensely. But that's only the beginning. The data company's research shows that, since LeBron revealed he would play for his home state team on July 11, his sponsors have seen huge boosts in before-versus-after positive engagement on Facebook. Here are the brand lifts in terms of consumer interactions on the social platform, according to 4C: Dunkin' Donuts (+ 6,016 percent); Beats by Dre (+ 5,861 percent); Nike (+ 4,736 percent); Coca-Cola (+ 4,128 percent); State Farm (+ 1,280 percent); and Samsung (+ 1,017 percent).

4. AOL's grind toward a programmatic foothold continues. The two-decade-old Web player announced a new cross-device ad targeting system this morning called One. Early test brands such as Citi, T-Mobile and others have seen a 30 percent increase in the effectiveness of their ads, with a $55 cost per action dropping to $35, according to AOL.

5. Even for Taco Bell, this development looks to be on a fast track to success. The quick-serve chain introduced a mobile order app this week, while cleverly promoting it with a "social media blackout." The anti-social strategy apparently worked wonders. The brand self-reported that 75 percent of its locations nationwide got a mobile order in the app's first day. 

6. There are at least 204,086 sugar-minded "tweet ghosts" out there. That's how many mentions KitKat has gotten on Twitter from Oct. 1 through Oct. 29, making it the No. 1 Halloween candy brand on the social platform, according to Crimson Hexagon. Snickers was second with 145,836.

7. Instagram hashtags help quite a bit, #thankyouverymuch. Instagram posts with at least a single hashtag average 12.6 percent more engagement, according to Simply Measured. 

8. Like speed in sports, location kills in marketing. From the same Simply Measured study (click here to glean more data): just 5 percent of Instagram posts tag a location, but the ones that do use this feature get 79 percent more engagement.

9. Smartphone-based ads continue to anchor Facebook's growth. In fact, mobile represented roughly 66 percent of its ad revenue in the third quarter. Comparatively, mobile accounted for 49 percent of ad sales during 2013's Q3.

10. Psyched for some roundball. Google claimed that searches made for the keywords "NBA season" have increased 400 percent since July.




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