The Dangers Of Driving In Heels!! Pinterest Competition

Confused.com an online website which provides people with online insurance quotes is trying their hand at using Pinterest for a marketing campaign.

The company is trying to highlight the perils of driving in heels using this fun video which you can check out below. Its shows a (fairly) elegant women strutting her stuff a long the high street getting admiring glances from passersby. When she gets to her car though that’s when her troubles begin.

To be in with chance to win a pair of Butterfly Twist lightweight folding flat pumps (very desirable i’m told!)viewers are encouraged to post their own pictures of the most preposterous footwear on Confused.com’s new Pinterest page.

The ad is clearly aimed to the female market which goes hand in hand with Pinterest usage which is strongly skewed to the feminine side!

According to Confused.com’s research, British drivers have some odd, and unsafe, habits. Forty percent of women drive in heels, while 24% of women and 22% of men have driven with bare feet. (And 46% of drivers eat while driving.) Not everyone even gets dressed before they get behind the wheel: 25% have driven while wearing their pyjamas.

There only seems to be about 7 entries so far so it might be worth getting out the old electric picnic wellies!

Lets us know what you think!

Pinterst competition, confused.com

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The Next Pinterest or Twitter? Review of the next big Start Up Companies

Y Combinator was set up in 2005 and put into place a new model of funding for start up’s. They invest a small amount of money (average $18k) in a large number of start up technology firms. Each of these start ups’s will move to Silicon Valley for 3 months where Y Combinator will work intensively with them to get them in the best possible shape to pitch to investors. Each of the start up’s will then present to a large audience on Demo day.

To date they have assisted in the start up of over 385 companies. Here are my favourites from this years Demo Day which happened on March 27th.

the next big start up company, tech, silicon value, y combinator

Pair : This one is a little bit cheesy but it could be a lot of peoples dirty little secret!  A private social network for couples.  Pair lets two people create a private timeline where they share photos, videos, sketches, activities and more. The iPhone app, which launched just four days ago, has already garnered more than 50,000 registered users who have used Pair to send more than 1 million messages. Pair has received funding from SV Angel and Path founder Dave Morin, who told Pair’s team that Facebook has created social networking’s “cities,” Path is building its “houses,” and Pair is like its “bedroom.” I think the the one-click “Thinking of you” button could be a big hit with guys.

Priceonomics: With the ever blurring line between online and offline purchase decisions I think this one will be huge.  An online price guide for anything. Type in anything you want to own and it will tell you how much it should cost, like a Kelly Blue Book for smartphones, laptops, TVs, stereos, etc. Priceonomics crawls through hundreds of millions of transactions to find out what people are selling and how much they’re selling it for. It got 250,000 page views in March, plans to make money through targeted advertising, and already has funding from SV Angel, Andreessen Horowitz, CrunchFund, and several angels.

Sonalight: If anyone is on the road as much as me this will be great. I have even looked for an app like this before unsuccessfully so it is definitely going on my list.Touting itself as “Siri on steroids,” Sonalight is an app aimed at letting you send text messages while driving by using just your voice. The app purportedly works even while a phone is your pocket. Already, the app has been used to send 500,000 text messages at a rate of 50,000 per week since its debut back in October.

Midnox: Why is it that my perfect videos from a night out always seem so wobbly the next morning…?! Well  the Luma is an iPhone app that stabilizes the videos taken with a mobile phone in real time. The app also adds full resolution visual filters in real time, which are “non-disruptive,” meaning that they can be changed or removed after recording is over. The company has also built editing tools and sharing features for the videos taken with Luma.

Some really great start up’s there so keep your eyes open and I’m sure we will be seeing them in no time.

 

Chirpify – Will People Buy Things On Twitter?

With Facebook’s IPO on the horizon and the success stories of other tech companies like Google, Apple and even Netscape still fresh in our minds, there seems to be increased media attention on the latest start up’s potential tech stars of the future. I recently blogged about Pinterest, the fastest growing social platform online, and today I wanted to have a quick look at another company which has caught my eye.

Facebook IPO Social Commerce, Start Up Companies, Chirpify

Chirpify enables businesses and consumers to buy, sell, donate and exchange funds on Twitter, turning Tweets into transactions. Everyone keeps saying social commerce is the next big thing. On a basic level this means giving people the ability to purchase products directly through social media sites. This is already relatively prominent through the likes of Facebook even if a lot of these products aren’t actually real. Last year Zynga made up 12% of Facebook’s massive revenue, and that was largely through the sale of virtual components for their games.

Looking to the not to distant future though companies are likely to leverage the concept of influencers by offering people the ability to earn discounts by sharing products they like or have bought and thus encouraging others to buy them too.

Lockerz, which has received a whole bunch of funding itself over the last two years has just recently launched a Pinterest like pin board platform, where users can actually gain points which can then be used for purchases, by pinning items to their own boards.

So with these media rich social platforms all trying to coax people out of bricks and mortar stores and online to make their purchases, what hope does a company aiming to use 140 characters to get people to buy have?

There is already a certain degree of selling happening through Twitter. Brands send out links to discounted offers, or celebrities use the micro blogging site to flog their own merchandise to their followers but all of this happens outside of Twitter. People click on a link and are brought some place else where they can make purchases. The whole process isn’t exactly seamless.

What Chirpify does is to allow people to buy, sell, donate and transact directly on Twitter simply by replying to a Tweet. This is done by integrating Chirpify and Pay Pal directly with your Twitter account. Users can then purchase an item on Twitter by simple replying to a Tweet listing with the word buy. This could certainly make for some interesting drunken purchases if it is in fact as easy as this to transact.

Social commerce, buying things drunk, Chirpify

There also seems to be potential for donations and with the every tech savvy Obama camp gearing up for another election campaign, being able to get set priced donations directly from people on Twitter simply by them replying donate, seems like a huge benefit.

Another feature which I thought was cool was that it provides an easy platform for people to exchange money. For example if you and a friend or splitting a bill. One of you can simply pay the other person by directly responding to a tweet.

However the fact of the matter is that most of these things can be done already,directly through Pay Pal, but leveraging the huge user base of Twitter might just catch on.

Some start up’s get millions in funding, and the fact that Chirpify, formally known as       sell simp.ly got their first investment of just $50,000 recently, might suggest it is small scale. But with social media sites determined to do all it takes to keep users on their site rather than sending them elsewhere, perhaps…Twitter themselves might come knocking?!

Twitter interest in start ups

Pinterest – Do we really need it?

Pinterest. Have you heard about it? You probably have. It is the fastest growing….. social platform on the web. I paused there because this is the thing. I am not quiet sure how to categorise it yet!! Is it a social networking site? Is it a photo sharing site? What exactly is a virtual pin board?!

what is pinterest

Using Google insights we can see the phenomenal growth in searches for information to the site over the last 3 and a half months.  A few interesting facts that can be revealed from my Google insights search are

  1. The country with the 4th highest regional interest in Pinterest is Macadonia (after USA, Canada and New Zealand)
  2. Ireland rates 8th
  3. The highest search term is “what is pinterest”?
  4. Search levels really began to grow in November 2011 and exploded in January 2012.
Pinterest explosive growth. Women users
The site’s mission statement is to “connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting.” So their intentions are definitely to capitalise on people’s insatiable appetite for all things social. But the question has to be asked are we really able to find the time to squeeze in more social media especially when it is based largely on images of what other people think are cool?
 The site still operates on a semi closed basis with people needed to be invited by other members, or requesting an invite directly from Pinterest (which takes a few days) to get access. This is all the more reason why their 11 million unique visitors is so impressive as access isn’t granted automatically. There’s no doubt this has added to the hype around the site through increased curiosity, but making your potential user wait a few days could be risky! They want to see the site now, but might not be so bothered by the time they get around to accepting the invite! How and ever it seems to be working and I have no doubt the site will continue to grow rapidly for at least a certain period of time.
Right now it’s the early adoptors that I know that are on board and trying to find a usage for the site. Pinterest encourages you to follow people in your area of interest when you sign up to the site which makes sense. Exposing you to the types of “pins” you like will increase  the chance of you coming back.
But lets face it if a site wants to be social then it needs to connect people who know each other. Google+ is great, but only a few of my friends are on it which means Facebook is still the de facto location for connecting with people.
Currently I have 9 friends on Pinterest and their “boards” consist of a few haphazard cool photos, a few social media related infographs…and the odd image of books or films they think other people should know they like!
I’m no different too. I’m not arguing that the site isn’t extremely slick and easy to use. But right now anything I have posted there is simple to have something there. I have never once though wished there was someplace to gather random images online of the things I love!
Instagram and Pinterest Similar
But maybe I have it all wrong. Instagram is a place for people to post pictures to in a semi similar fashion and people are passionate about it. I never thought I would take so many pictures of random objects and landscapes, but instagram has changed that.
Pinterest is simple taking this a step further. In the same way they there is a whole tribe of people out there called instragramers where people are bonded through their common love of take instagram images, Pinterest recently held their first meet up in San Francisco where people could come together and reveal in the joy of this new application!
So when the dust settles from all this hype who is actually going to the main users of the site? Right now there seems to be a strong following amongst women. According to Ignite social media almost 80% of users are women and I suppose this makes sense. My girlfriend, and I will go out on a limb here and say she is not unique, spends an awful lot of time looking at pictures of what other women are wearing.
Whether its in fashion magazines or high street store websites she wants to see clothes. Pinterest allows users to easily take images from any (not Facebook actually) site and Pin them to designated boards in a cool aesthetically pleasing way. This could be very appealing to no end of people whether that is fashion magazines or stores themselves, or stylists, designers or simply enthusiasts who want to show their keen eye for good fashion.  It also allows people (girls) to pin items that they would like to their own boards as a kind of wish list.
80% of pinterest users are women
And this is where Pinterest stands apart from some of its counterparts in their early start up days. It is actually earning revenue. Each pin that is added to the site is a link, and Pinterest takes these links and modifies them by adding a affiliate tracker code. Through an existing company called skimlinks, retail sites will pay a small commission each time they sell a products to the site that has sent them that customer through a link. What that means in affect is that if my girl friend had a pin up of a lovely coat she wanted to buy, and some one clicked on that pin and went to the site it was being sold and then bought it, Pinterest would make a small commission from that. Now take into account that Pinterest directed more traffic to retailer sites than YouTube, Linkedin or Google+.  In the last six months, the retail deal site ideeli.com has seen a 446 percent increase in web traffic from Pinterest and sales resulting from those visits have increased five-fold.
So now I am beginning to see the potential of the site, how can businesses take advantage of this? From what I can gather from meandering through board after bored (!) of pins is that content is still king. Pin good images of what your target audience is interested in and you will get followers. But to really fully leverage Pinterest I think it is key to engage. Along with other social media sites having a dedicated person looking after engagement will allow businesses to follow people who follow them back, comm
enting on there pins, re-pining them and making people feel involved.
Over the next few weeks I am going to be working on my boards so be sure to follow me and I promise I will follow back! Any thoughts or feed back good or bad is really appreciated.

http://pinterest.com/barrytg/

 Accolades 
  • Development of Pinterest began in December 2009 and the site launched as a closed beta in March 2010.
  • On August 16, 2011, Time magazine published Pinterest in its “50 Best Websites of 2011” column.
  • In early 2011, the company secured a $10 million Series A led by Bessemer Venture Partners. Shortly thereafter, in October 2011, the company secured $27 million in funding from Andreessen Horowitz, which valued the company at USD $200 million.
  • The company was named the best new start up of 2011 by TechCrunch
  • In January 2012, comScore reported the site had 11.7 million unique users, making it the fastest site in history to break through the 10 million unique visitor mark.