A Social Network For Skilled Workers Interview With NY Startup: SkilledWizard

LinkedIn is a professional business social network for all kinds of professionals. Sure there are some blue collar workers, and truck drivers out there on LinkedIn but for the most part “skilled workers” don’t have their own social network to go to. There’s a lot of money in trade labor, trucking, and manufacturing. There are plenty of people in these fields making great incomes and loving life. With more and more people turning to social networks every year there is a wide open opportunity for New York startup SkilledWizard.

The team behind SkilledWizard is hoping to connect “skilled workers” to each other, and to future employers. Skilled workers everywhere will be able to interact with each other, share extra side work, find out the ins and outs of employers and more, on their own social network.

SkilledWizard co-founder and CEO John Ducar climbed the corporate ladder in some of the companies that employ hundreds of thousands of skilled workers; UPS, DHL and even Saks 5th Avenue.

Many, including Ducar, say that there is a global shortage of “skilled workers” and SkilledWizard will help skilled workers across the globe connect with each other and with employers.

Check out our interview with Ducar below:

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Could Social Discovery Get Any Easier? Boston Startup Tagzidy Says Yes INTERVIEW

If you’re a long time reader of nibletz.com the voice of startups “everywhere else” then you are well aware of how we feel about social discovery startups. To get coverage here on nibletz, you need to “bring it” if you’re in the social discovery space. SXSWi 2012 was all about social discovery, and since then, hundreds have tried to do something in the space.

Tagzidy, a New York startup, has created a social discovery platform that is extremely easy. In fact, if you allow it to, Tagzidy will help you discover people with like interests, wherever you are, and you don’t even need to take your phone out of your pocket.

Tagzidy has a couple of unique components. You can tag and be tagged by people you don’t even know when you’re in close proximity to them (again with your permission). If you’re already linked up with that person your experience is gamified with trophies, points and other nifty stuff.

One of the really exciting features about Tagzidy is it may even be the replacement for business cards that Florida startup Fethr is hoping to be, without any button pushing, or taking out your phone.

We got a chance to interview Daniel McCarthy the co-founder of Tagzidy, who does an exceptional job of describing his startup in the interview below:

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Our Twitter Philosophy: Why We Tweet So Darn Much And It Works

First off Thank you for following us on Twitter and reading nibletz.com “the voice of startups everywhere else” everyday.  Whether you say it under your breath, have tweeted us about it, ignored it, or just noticed it we tweet a lot and we retweet the same story a lot with a different text before the owl.ly link.  We originally published this story on our first highly successful new media site. We entered an agreement where we can’t mention that site by name.

Also, I speak about Twitter, social media and this specific philosophy that’s been working for four years, at conventions, conferences, and seminars across the country.  The chart above is from Robin Sloan’s research that supports our theory.

In the post Robin Sloan correlates the twitter findings to TV.  We correlate it between Twitter and my experience in Radio in major markets.  As much as “active” people tend to say they hate it, I was instrumental in the 90′s to deriving the current top-40 format where the “hits” are played sometimes 90 times per week which equates to every 70 minutes. Imagine in the mid to late 90′s when the Spice Girls and MMMBop were the songs getting that spin factor.  Irritating right? However the stations that used this programming and still do today, and the artists that experienced it saw great ratings (and still do today) and the artists sold more records.  More ratings meant higher ad prices so even the bosses were happy.

Why though…

Radio, like twitter, can be very passive at times.  Especially now most people listen to the radio in a short car ride, a short job, or passively at their desks at the office. Maybe you listen baking a cake, or making dinner. What else did you do when you were listening to the radio? Handle a fussing child? Laundry? Cleaned? Dishes? An Argument? It was passive.

For most (not all but most) people using twitter it’s a passive form of social media.  When you log on to facebook you check your updates, profile, friends updates, maybe you play Farmville or Cityville or Family Feud, but your engagement time on Facebook is more than that on Twitter. What do you do with Twitter, most people “scan” it, just like the radio, looking for something that strikes their curiousity.

Add that to the fact that our analytics show us a mix of 50% US based twitter profiles follow us with the other 50% being based in other countries around the world, and that is exactly why we post things so much.  Without revealing our entire strategy we rank the stories as their posted at thedroidguy.com based on our keywords from analytics and what people are currently interested in.

Also consider the variety in followers we have, we have brand new people to Android, people who like Android but aren’t gung ho into it, Android Enthusiasts, Ecosystem partners, Android Developers and modders. Based on this variety and what’s hot we rank our posts, a top ranked post gets tweeted once by word press automatically, then we do a manual bit.ly link almost immediately following and then based on the ranking we tweet it out 32-56 times over the next 2-5 days.  If it’s really hot we’ll post it every 40 minutes for the first couple of hours.

Now consider some of our top retweeters and people we know that follow us religiously and have for a while (Thank you again) we’ve noticed, and you may have too, that even these folks who are on twitter all day may actually retweet something that was fresh 7 hours ago.

Now Robin’s piece was focused on Hashtags and not actual tweets but it tells the same story. We want you to read Robin’s post so we aren’t going to re-post the whole thing but link to it here

Here’s what Robin Sloan writes to explain the graph

“The vertical axis (P) is a fraction of Twitter users tweeting with a particular hashtag. The horizontal axis (K) is the number of times they had seen that hashtag before tweeting with it. So basically, the graph is telling us: You need to see a hashtag four or five times before it really clicks.”

Robin summarizes by saying that if you use a hashtag repeat it, users are more likely to pick it up and retweet it after more exposures.

Now back to MMMBop at a radio station in Washington DC the 8th largest market in the country, Mmmbop actually played on the radio station 214 times before it started requesting on the phone lines.

Linkage:

London Startup: GreenLight, Not Just Another Social Discovery App INTERVIEW

GreenLight,London Startup, Paul Carr, TechCrunch,PandoDailyEveryone could use more friends right? Well now that finding friends has turned to social networks and everyone wants to be the match.com for friends, social discovery has become a common household phrase (at least in startup circles).

Most social discovery platforms use your social graph to determine who you need to meet. For instance, before being acquired by Facebook, Glancee would use your likes and interests on Facebook to match you with likeminded people close by. We quickly realized how faulty this process was.

Case in point, I signed up for Glancee, and used it at SXSW. Now for whatever reason, when Mark Zuckerberg got a new puppy named Beast, I liked him on Facebook. Shortly after that when I attended SXSW this year I was matched up with 30 people who also liked Mark Zuckerberg’s puppy. Maybe we should have started a fan club and had a drinking party or something but really that raw data algorithm is flawed.

Gaz Evans, one of the co-founders of GreenLight, tells us that their social discovery platform is better. They actually ask personality driven questions about each user in order to match them up with other users. They also tap the users social graph so some of their likes are built in, but overall this may be a good alternative to other social discovery platforms.

We got a chance to interview Evans and the team from GreenLight, check the interview out below. You better read it quick though, before the next social discovery platform comes along.

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Miami Startup: Sumpto It’s Like Klout For College Students, But Better INTERVIEW

Klout is still a big mystery to most, how do you get those crazy Klout scores. If you know how it’s really calculated feel free to send me an email. Klout Perks is a great program that puts manufacturers products into peoples hands. They presumably want the cream of the crop when it comes to Klout, but we have no idea who that really is.

Sumpto is looking to do something along those lines when they launch next week. They’re going to match products to college students with influential social graphs. Sumpto will rank a college students social clout (with a c not a k) and then link manufacturers with college brand ambassadors who can presumably get the word about those products out to the masses.

Manufacturers love it when they can get exposed to people with real influence. Ranking that influence can be a challenge but Sumpto’s Founder and President Ben Kosinski seems to have figured out the magic formula. Yes, Sumpto’s partners will most likely reach the hands of the right people. 

The college demographic is a hard one to crack, with free stuff though it may be easier. When you add the free stuff to an exclusive layer of folks, your destined to gain exposure down the lines to the masses. That’s exactly what Sumpto is going to do.

We got a chance to interview Kosinski check out the interview below:

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Interview With Canadian Startup Hashcaster

Back in June we brought you this story about Canadian startup Hashcaster. Hashcaster provides a curation, and measurement (analytics) platform for event coordinators to manage their social media graph. It really comes in handy when gauging the effect of marketing, press and media efforts on behalf of an event just about any size.

At Social Media Camp in June not only was Hashcaster used by the event organizers but they also received a “Coastie” for “Most Innovative Social Media Product or Technology”.

Event organizers everywhere are counting on social marketing efforts more and more everyday as traditional marketing has fallen to the wayside. Organizers need to be able to capture tweets, likes, and mentions and then aggregate them, and analyze them to make sure the cohesive message is getting across. They also want to know who their top influencers are and what kind of impact any paid social marketing may have had.

All of these things are why Geoff Clendenning and Paul Vet created Hashcaster.

Now social media dashboards are nothing new but this particular use case is. Hashcaster also takes into consideration that the social graph of a particular event is going to swell as the event draws closer. When you’re at a popular event, especially one with a social media focus, tweets, likes and mentions can come in a matter of seconds.

We got a chance to interview Clendenning about Hashcaster, check out the interview below:

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Social Media: Why Wait For Zac Moffatt Of Course Romney’s New Twitter Followers Are Fake

A sudden surge in Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney’s Twitter followers has started making the rounds in the news. Our friends at Mashable have reported that Zach Green of 140elect.com, a blog that monitors Twitter trends revolving around end Presidential election, found an abnormal surge in Romney’s Twitter activity.

Romney normally receives between 3000-4000 new followers per day on Twitter. Friday he received 23,926 followers, Saturday he received 93,045 followers and Sunday he received 25,432 followers.

There has been a lot of discussion as to whether the Romney camp paid a Twitter following agency, and if those followers are fake.  In fact Vincent Harris, who was a digital advisor to former Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, rang out on Twitter in defense of Mitt Romney’s digital director Zac Moffat. Harris and the Gingrich camp were also accused of buying fake followers for their candidate.


I speak on social media and Twitter quite a bit and have used Twitter virtually since the beginning. I use a tool called Tweepi to maintain the health of both of our key Twitter accounts, my personal account and the account for Nibletz. So when this story started to break I went myself and checked out Romney’s newest followers and here’s what we’ve found.

First off over 40,000 of Romney’s new followers have yet to change their Twitter icon from the cute little egg you get when you first join Twitter.  This is usually a good indicator that someone has a lot of fake Twitter followers.

The next big indicator is that over 25,000 of the new followers have 0 followers themselves. Again this is a sharp indicator that the Twitter followers are fake.  Now in the interest of transparency many of the new Twitter followers Romney has that have 1 or zero followers themselves are the same ones that haven’t changed their profile pic.

Of course the final big indicator is the fact that 30,000 of the new Twitter followers Romney has have tweeted zero times or have tweeted just one time.

Another big indicator for fake Twitter followers is that many of these new followers have never updated their biography in their profile as well.

Their are several ways to buy followers. There are sites that sell followers with similar stats to these. They use bots and other methods to set up Twitter accounts very quickly and then sell a bulk follow, typically automated at one time.

It would take hours and hours to check President Obama’s Twitter followers but the first 500 pages of 200 Twitter followers on a page of the account @barackobama, the newest followers look like this:

 

These newest followers of Obama’s look to be a much healthier set of Twitter followers.

There would really be no benefit to fudging followers in a political campaign unless Romney’s camp is just looking to cross the million follower count. Currently President Obama has over 17 million followers while Romney is hovering at 800,000 followers.

President Obama was the first candidate to really embrace social media ahead of the 2008 election. He has seen a surge recently in new followers as the race gets down to the final months.

Source: Mashable

Interview With Florida Startup: Yovia, A People Engine

Yovia is a new startup in Jacksonville Beach Florida. They call themselves a people engine that focuses on the people that make social media work.

Yovia takes brands, products, services and leverages them across a network of people who has signed up on Yovia. Yovia users can use their hard earned social capital for good. So how is this achieved?

Well after you sign up for Yovia’s platform you are presented with opportunities to spread the word about products, services and brands across your social graph and are rewarded. Your rewards can be in actual cash or free products or a combination of both. Exploring the Yovia site we found, and participated in several offers. The offers ranged from $6.00 for a 200 word blog entry to $.08 and $.15 for liking something or sharing something across social networks.

Yovia is a great way to drive brand engagement, and social engagement. There were news blogs that needed a like or share, and new services that needed signups. None of the offers seemed too outlandish and so far none have asked for my credit card information. It looks to be on the up and up.

Now eight cents and fifteen cents may not seem like a lot however if Yovia continues to grow quickly it will be easier to find higher paying offers and easier to complete more lower paying offers.

We got a chance to talk to Jalali Hartman, co-founder of Yovia in the interview below:

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Baltimore Startup: SocialToaster Grabs $1.975M In Series A Round

SocialToaster,Social Media,Baltimore startup,Maryland startup,startup,startups,funding,series ABaltimore startup Social Toaster seems to be on the cutting edge of monetizing social media distribution. There are a lot of companies in the same space as Social Toaster but none some to be executing with the same results.

The concept is pretty simple. If you have are a digital publisher or major brand Social Toaster helps you register ambassadors and  super fans. These people are charged with helping to get your message out to the world, and because their fans, they do just that.  Ambassadors and Super Fans are the type of social media folks who carry a lot of weight. How much?

Well according to Social Toaster’s CEO and Founder Brian Razzaque, “One of our clients told us that with 60,000 ambassadors, we were more effective than their Facebook page of 2 million.” he told the Baltimore Sun

In fact, one of Social Toasters clients is the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens use Social Toaster for monthly media sharing contests which help their content go viral.

This isn’t a fly by night operation or a flash in the pan. Social Toaster has been perfecting their craft. Last year their sales were $300,000 this year they are projecting $2 to $3 million in sales. That’s why Razzaque was able to announce last week that the firm had completed a $1.975 million dollar series A round.

The round follows a seed round in 2011 from Neuberger Ventures and other individual investors.


Blu Venture Investors led Social Toaster’s latest round, Baltimore Angels, Wasabi Ventures, and Piedmont Investment Advisors also participated.

Razzaque plans to double the headcount from 22-50 and also plans moving the company to larger offices to Clipper Mill with about three times the office space they are currently operating out of.

William Militello, Founder of Piedmont Investment Advisors, LLC commented, “I am always excited to fund great entrepreneurs. I believe that true innovation occurs when skilled labor, intellectual capital, and entrepreneurs with great ideas are combined with the financial capital Piedmont can provide.”

Paul Silber of Blu Venture Investors, said, “our team was really attracted to SocialToaster’s novel “message amplification” solution, to the company’s leadership, and to the fact that they were rapidly gaining traction with recognizable name-brand customers. We liked the fact that their software solution offered a cost-effective and simple way for organizations of all kinds to effectively use social media to get their message out to a wider audience.”

Linkage:

For more info on Social Toaster visit them here at socialtoaster.com

Nibletz is the voice of startups “everywhere else” here are more stories from “everywhere else”

Source: Baltimore Sun

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Indianapolis Startup: Blab Bubble Is A DIY Platform For Pay Per Click Social Media Advertising INTERVIEW

If you haven’t noticed advertising is moving away from traditional online pay per click models of years past. Advertisers are reaching out to both mobile and social media channels for advertising.

Companies like Ad.ly,MyLikes and Sponsored Tweets allow individuals with good social media followings to capitalize on their tweets, likes and recommendations by offering cash based incentives. Blab Bubble is a new startup that’s coming into the same space with a new spin that may work out even better in the long run.

Blab Bubble spent a lot of time and money researching the market to find out where social media advertising is breaking down. They found two key areas that had the biggest pain points.

The first was that many advertisers felt that traditional social media advertising sites were too cumbersome when trying to create campaigns.  The other area that needed improvement was in the startup and small business arena. Most social media advertising companies targeted big brands and enterprise. Of course, with that, they were pricing small businesses and startups out of the market.

Blab Bubble has created a simple, easy to use interface for businesses of any size to set up social media campaigns. The process takes just a few minutes and the campaign is off and running. Blab Bubble also offers very easy to understand pricing, how about $.40 per click no matter who you are.

We got a chance to interview BlabBubble to find out more about this Indianapolis startup and their spin on social media advertising.

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Seattle Startup: MoxTree The Social Network For Moms INTERVIEW

Whether you’re a brand new mom or a veteran mom, you can always use the camaraderie and advice of other likeminded mothers. If you’ve just had your first child and you have a problem or a question it’s great to have experienced moms to help you out. It’s also great to have new moms to buddy up with and go through the goods and the bads of raising children together.

These are the basic principles around connecting moms to each other, and Mox Tree a social network for moms.

The Seattle startup was founded by 33 year old Victoria Oldridge who is the mom to two children under two and a a half. She was attending different mom groups for play dates and book clubs and found that for some reason or another most of these groups don’t stay together. Obviously the internet and a social network just for moms would be a great place to start.

MoxTree is still prelaunch and they have a sign up bar at the top of the page but Oldridge is very optimistic about meeting the general need to connect for moms.

Sure you can meet moms in the neighborhood or at the park,but we’ve all seen at least one episode of Desperate Housewives. Of course school can be a great place to meet other moms, and it can also turn into a competitive war zone.

Using MoxTree mothers can learn more and more about each other while connecting and forming friendships without these other issues in the way.

We got a chance to talk with Oldridge about MoxTree in this interview:

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Chicago Tech Week 2012: Check Out Social Defender

If you need to keep control of your social media presence than you need a social media dashboard. While there are a lot of them out there, Social Defender has one of the best designs that we’ve seen.

Your first account through Social Defender is free and after that you can add more accounts and features with a premium.

SocialDefender also analytical tools that give you instant feedback and monitoring of Twitter, Facebook,YouTube, Google Plus,Tumblr Blogger and More.

The interface is easy to understand and can show you instantly where you need improvement on the media front.

For more information check out the video below:

Linkage:

Find out more about SocialDefender at SocialDefender.com

Here’s more coverage from Nibletz at TechWeek

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Michigan Startup: What’s Shakin Tells You What’s Shakin By Location

While we try to manage our hashtags on Twitter every now and then we find that we deviate to make sure the umpteen hundred hashtags for events, startups and the like are all hit to gather the same news.  When we’re at an event, conference or convention, those hash tags get worse.

Take the International Consumer Electronics Show held in Las Vegas every January for instance. At this  years CES there were people using #CES #CES2012 #CES12 #EurekaPark #CESLasVegas #CESLV and several other variants. What’s Shakin handles that problem.

What’s Shakin is able to manage the social media throughput at an event, or venue by location. Now it’s not about the tag but rather the location the tag was created in, providing people are using geolocation in conjunction with the tags.

Now if you wanted to keep up with the social activity at the One Direction concert you don’t have to track 20 different hash tags, just one location with What’s Shakin.

We got to talk to Chris Hashley (I know great last name for this right?), about What’s Shakin in the interview below the break.

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Nebraska Startup: Arch Get Photo & Video Answers To Your Questions From Anyone

A Nebraska based startup called “Arch” has a different spin on the recommendation space. With Arch, you join the ArchCrowd network and then you are tasked with the duty of helping your fellow Arch network members with their requests for information, pictures and video.

Suppose you live in Kansas and you’re about to partake on your first trip to our nation’s capital in Washington DC. If you sign up for Arch you can ask questions, like “what is there to do in Washington DC”. From there Arch will find someone in the Arch network in Washington DC who can answer your question.

The Arch person answering your question can take photos or videos of things to do in DC and send them back to you. You’ll receive a push notification when a fellow Arch member has responded to your request. As more and more Arch members arrive in Washington DC to start their day or what have you, they will also get a notification to answer your question. Soon you’ve crowd sourced a bunch of things to do in Washington DC.

Archcrowd,Arch,nebraska startup,silicon prairie,pando dailyArch makes it easy to supply answers via photos, videos or even just text. If you’re looking for things to do, hotels to stay at, places to eat, places to walk or just a quiet corner to read a book on a trip, Arch lets you connect with real people who have decided they want to help people, by signing up for Arch.

The Arch platform at archcrowd.com is still in private beta. In fact Co-founder Joe Smith attended Apple’s WWDC conference in San Francisco CA this week and was fielding Arch requests from the San Francisco area all week long.

The Arch team of four co-founders spoke last month at Cornstalks a monthly forum for individuals interested in high growth entrepreneurship.

The team includes: (from their website)

Tim Hermanson: (top left) Arch project manager – Tim received a B.S. in business administration/finance from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2006. Tim has over 5 years of experience managing various projects at a large, local bank with a focus on compliance and operations.

Mike Ackerman: (top right) Webserver architecture and API specification for Arch – Mike graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2006 with a B.S. in Computer Engineering and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering. He has since worked in Industrial Automation and Software Engineering focusing on .NET.

Joe Smith: (bottom left) Mobile client application design and implementation – Joe received a B.S. in Computer Engineering from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Joe has 6+ years experience as a software engineer designing and implementing both server-side and user-facing software projects using a variety of technologies and platforms.

Kari Petsche: (bottom right) Arch graphic design lead – Kari graduated from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh with a degree in graphic design in 2001. In the past ten years, Kari has won several design awards working with clients such as Tim Burton, Warner Brothers, NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA, 20th Century Fox, Tavern On The Green & The Bonnaroo Music Festival.

Linkage
Check out Arch at their website here
Follow them on the Angel List here
Big props to our homies at Silicon Prairie For this story and that pic we borrowed
Nibletz is THE voice of startups “Everywhere else” support the team here