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Percolate Hack Day 2013: Highlights

On Friday, the teams at Percolate – business and product – assembled for #hackpercolate 2013.

Nourished by a delicious and healthy breakfast and raring to go, we divvied up into teams to work on projects ranging from a mobile site to a dashboard view of key metrics in Percolate to an internal website that showed the occupancy state of the bathroom. Yes, you read that correctly and can read the dedicated post for how well that went.

team-aroma

Dispatch from Team Aroma (Arduino Light)

Team Aroma started with the bare materials of Arduino and ended with a product that shows – via LED smiley face –  1. when a client logs in and 2. when a client post is published via Percolate. Erik taught Sarah, Song, and Max to solder, which was key to connecting the circuits so that the display would work. Meanwhile, JOB and Luke worked on programming for the Arduino device (after Max did the original Arduino set-up), enabling it to communicate with the server and display a corresponding bitmap image. On the back end for the server, Danny checked for new posts and logins with Max’s help.

Great news, the team’s prototype worked on the first try–boom! Currently, we are trying to be fancy and get usernames to scroll that will correspond to the login. Sarah christened this project with the name “Aroma.” Erin also made an excellent presentation to showoff everyone’s hardwork. And, in the end, JOB cleaned up our mess. Thank you sir.

Team Perco-Users

Dispatch from Team Perco-Users

The Perco-user team was comprised of two developers, one designer and five business folks with a shared goal of making it easier for all Percolate employees to understand the frequency of client usage.  Peter, an account manager at Percolate, tracks and analyzes client usage data daily.  He knows this information like the back of his hand.  However, Percolators in other functions don’t have easy access to this data.  Our goal was to fix that. We set out to build an internal dashboard that easily communicates software usage.  The ultimate objective is to understand client behavior to improve our product.

We began the brainstorm to find a balance between business need, creativity and product feasibility.  Once we had the general concept, each discipline got to work. With a framework for the dashboard, we needed to understand how to best represent the data to keep it easily consumable.  We decided it should be represented in two forms; an aggregate snapshot of all business, and a detailed breakout of each client.

In the end, the output was a blend of our unique perspectives from across the business. Now, everyone can understand software usage and work together – product and business – to get clients Percolating to their full potential.  Because the more you Percolate, the happier you are!

KeepGoing!

And, a very special thanks to Kate Whitlow for her fantastic and healthy catering services.

FOOD


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The Friday Five

The Friday Five: ‘The real life of your brand is created by your followers’

Welcome to The Friday Five, curated reads about media, advertising, content marketing and technology from @Percolate.

Building brands that breathe
In this thoughtful post, designer Matt Steel argues that ‘consistency’ in brand identity – ‘use the logo this way (not that way), these colors as strictly defined, this font as prescribed, all the time, ad infinitum, amen’ – is less important to a brand’s followers than ‘how well you inform, inspire, and empower them’.

6 Social Media Trends You Should Not Ignore in 2013
End of year lists have given way to 2013 outlook lists. In that vein, this Jeff Bullas post on likely trends in social media this year is worth checking out (not least since we’re delighted to see the concept of social scale appear on the list, almost exactly one year to the day after this little blog post).

Why Silicon Valley Fumbles Ads
Because what’s Friday without a little bit of rhetorical bomb throwing, here’s an op-ed in Digiday which argues against the concept of social scale, at least as far as traditional advertising is concerned: ‘Advertising is not an automate-able, scalable craft. (In fact, craft is not scalable by definition.)’.

Seven publishing trends that will define 2013
Another strong list, this time from Pando Daily, which outlines some important content and publishing trends.

Nike Women's Marathon FB page

Nike takes social media in-house
MarketingWeek reports that Nike has moved its social media strategy in-house, after years of collaboration with agencies like R/GA, AKQA, Wieden & Kennedy, and Mindshare.

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The Friday Five

The Friday Five: The $42 million question – to print or not?

Welcome to The Friday Five from @Percolate: good reads about media, advertising, content marketing and technology from @Percolate.

What would you do with $42 million dollars?
Tina Brown isn’t going to be spending it on printing costs as she talks about Newsweek in an excellent feature from New York Magazine.

Do you have a digital edge strategy?
Learn how a “digital edge” is better than digital automation in this Harvard Business Review blog post.

How a band of outsiders brought HOPE back
The Atlantic features the dream team of engineers from Facebook, Twitter, and Google who built the software that drove Barack Obama’s reelection.

Hey CMOs, want to increase your lifespan?
Your CEO doesn’t want to be trained, but AdAge’s CMO Survival Guide suggests your job security begins with a suggestion.

If you were starting over, who would you model your company after?
Percolate co-founder James Gross talks about becoming the Bloomberg for marketers.

It’s Friday. The turkey is monopolizing the fridge. Help everyone out by making yourself a turkey breakfast sandwich, a piping hot cup of coffee and enjoying these reads.

It’s easy to share The Friday Five with your friends: just send them the link to sign-up to receive our weekly missive by email: http://bit.ly/thefridayfive

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The Friday Five

The Friday Five: Understanding Like-gate

Welcome to The Friday Five, curated reads about media, advertising, content marketing and technology from @Percolate.

Pinterest buttons up, launches business accounts
It had to happen eventually: Pinterest has revised its terms of service to allow companies and brands a formal presence on the platform. Brands can convert existing Pinterest accounts to business accounts, which come with their own suite of tools (including, of course, verification).

Understanding Like-gate
Not a week goes by without a fresh take on Facebook’s changes to EdgeRank. This time, Dalton Caldwell argues that “what we are in fact witnessing is the unfurling of the full-fledged Facebook business model” and that “the very best advertising is content”.

The 7 Biggest Mistakes in Social Media Marketing (and How to Avoid Them)
Who doesn’t love a list on a Friday? ClickZ offers some advice on how to avoid the seven biggest mistakes in social media marketing. TL;DR: don’t wing it, don’t spam, don’t be boring, talk to and not at your audience, don’t lose focus.

Who owns your social media content?
A handy breakdown of how the terms of service for the major social platforms might affect your ownership of the content you post to them.

Percolate helps brands act like they’re human on social media
In case you’ve been wondering what the folks behind this list do when they’re not wrestling Mailchimp themes into submission, GigaOm breaks it down.

Happy Friday, from the team at Percolate! We appreciate you reading all the way to the end. Did we mention we’re hiring?

It’s easy to share The Friday Five with your friends: just send them the link to sign-up to receive our weekly missive by email: http://bit.ly/thefridayfive

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The Friday Five

The Friday Five: Does your brand live at the intersection of Stock & Flow?

Welcome to The Friday Five, curated reads about media, advertising, content marketing and technology from @Percolate.

Have you challenged your brain today?
It’s Friday. Surely that means you should be taking a break? Not according to this piece by Intelligent Life, which argues that putting a few obstacles in your path might boost your brain’s creativity.

Brands must live at the intersection of Stock and Flow
Percolate co-founder James Gross pops up at Pando Daily talking about how successful brands stay culturally relevant in real time. Here’s looking at you, Oreo and Intel!

Fortune 100 Companies with the highest engagement on Twitter
Mashable summarizes recent research by Sling Digital showing Twitter activity for 31 Fortune 500 brands. Key finding: ‘just 8.8% of Twitter followers for each of these companies talk about or engage with it on the social network [because] most big brands are still using Twitter as a one-way publicity tool rather than using it to have a true two-way conversation.’

Is Facebook “broken on purpose” to sell promoted posts?
Tech media heavy weight Ars Technica weighs in on the question: Why Facebook, why you make it so hard to reach followers?

A weekend with the iPad Mini
iPad minis have started popping up at the Percolate office. If you’re in the market, here’s an comprehensive review from David Chartier (tl;dr? “really, really good”).

Happy Friday, from the team at Percolate! We appreciate you reading all the way to the end. While you’re here, would you mind nominating us for a crunchie? We think we’re a pretty sexy enterprise startup…

Want to suggest links for next week’s issue? Tweet @percolate with the hashtag #thefridayfive or email thefive@percolate.com

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The Friday Five

The Friday Five: Brands Will Become Media (And Here’s How)

Welcome to The Friday Five, curated reads about media, advertising, content marketing and technology from @Percolate.

Creativity is the enemy
Offbeat WSJ piece on Tom Sachs, an artist who “manages his 15-man operation like a Fortune 500 company”. Sachs is the man behind Ten Bullets, a short film about company culture originally designed as an on-boarding video for studio employees, and that has fans at Nasa and Nike.

Smartphones Work Round The Clock, Tablets Come Out At Night
We know: mobile is winning. But ‘mobile’ includes both smartphones and tablets, and as this infographic shows, consumers use these devices at different times of the day (and night). Interesting implications for mobile campaigns.

Brands Will Become Media
From a longer, excellent piece by David Armano at Edelman Digital Chicago on how brands must (and can) build their own media empires: “a real-time newsroom-meets-marketing model requires community managers who understand not only how to manage a Facebook page but also know when to put a dollar behind high quality and timely content that will spread.”

The Social-Creative Newsroom: Edelman Digital

Social Media Training Is Now Mandatory: Five Ways To Make Sure Your Company Does It Right
A social media policy is no longer enough, according to this Forbes piece. Training is necessary, too.

5 Social-Media Commandments For Better Brand Tweeting
Solid advice here. Our favourite: honesty matters.

Happy Friday, from the team at Percolate! And to all our East Coast friends, we hope you’ve survived Sandy in good spirits and health.

Want to suggest links for next week’s issue? Tweet @percolate with the hashtag #thefridayfive or email thefive@percolate.com

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The Friday Five

The Friday Five: Twitter’s number one gift to the world

Welcome to The Friday Five, curated reads about media, advertising, content marketing and technology from @Percolate.

How to use Twitter for conversation about an event, not just promotion
Some good tips here on using Twitter to facilitate, encourage and track conversation about an event – before, during and after.

The Top Four Trends Shaping Social Enterprise in 2013
TL;DR version: think beyond marketing; ‘the three-way between social, big data, and the cloud is where it’s at in 2013′; time to move from ad hoc and rogue social media initiatives to a comprehensive approach; educate, empower and inform.

How can your brand help your audience chill out?
We liked this piece from Ad-Age on how McDonald’s, Tetley Tea and mobile phone company Orange are helping their customers “take a break from being ‘always on’”.

Inside Quaker Foods’ Facebook Content Strategy
At the heart of Quaker Foods’ Facebook strategy? The importance of continuity: “We get to talk to consumers 365 days a year, several times a day.”

Twitter’s Number One Gift To The World Is The Art Of Brevity
Couldn’t have put it better ourselves: “you know what I appreciate about Twitter the most? Ushering in the notion of “brevity” for the entire Internets.” How good is your brand at the art of being concise?

Happy Friday, from the team at Percolate!

Want to suggest links for next week’s issue? Tweet @percolate with the hashtag #thefridayfive or email thefive@percolate.com

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The Friday Five

The Friday Five: People are mean to brands. Why can’t brands be mean to people?

Welcome to The Friday Five, curated reads about media, advertising, content marketing and technology from @Percolate.

Should your brand adopt a ‘mean girl’ strategy?
Interesting discussion from BBH Labs around whether brands adopting a more ‘human’ persona online should also mean they adopt the less-than-nice traits people sometimes (often!) display on the internet. (Here at Percolate we think people should be excellent to each other. Anything else is just not…fetch)

Can ‘Native’ Ads Scale?
Digiday weighs in on whether native options offer enough inventory and flexibility fo advertisers: ‘Instead of annoying readers with ads that interrupt the experience, publishers are turning to branded content to supplement or, in some rare cases, replace standard display ads. But there’s one significant hitch: native ad products, by definition, can’t scale the way the dominant banner can.’

Why visual storytelling is the future of digital
Is your brand ready for the new demands – speed, scale, spontaneity – of visual storytelling?


It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s a superfan.

A new study from Napkin Labs and reported by Mashable posits that only 6% of fans engage with a brand’s Facebook page. What’s a brand to do, especially as Facebook continues to tweak EdgeRank in favour of paid reach? Cultivate superfans: “on average, the engagement of each one of a brand’s 20 most engaged fans is equal to that of 75 average fans.”

Today in the Pinterest-ization of everything…
Who would have thought: the next big breakthrough in email management might come from AOL, which this week previewed a Pinterest-inspired visual approach to managing your inbox. Here’s Fast Co’s take: ‘the real secret sauce of Alto is the way users can navigate these various stacks. Traditionally, to find an attachment or photograph, you’d often have to search for that one message, from that one contact, containing that one file. But in Alto, all photos, attachments, and other stacks are presented visually, allowing for navigation that’s much easier than scrolling through never-ending pages of text-based lists.’ Where do we sign up?

Happy Friday, from the team at Percolate!

Want to suggest links for next week’s issue? Tweet @percolate with the hashtag #thefridayfive or email thefive@percolate.com

Share The Friday Five with your friends – send them the link to sign-up to receive our weekly missive by email: http://bit.ly/thefridayfive


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The Friday Five

The Friday Five: Beg for Likes. Don’t reply to questions. Lose all your followers.

Welcome to The Friday Five, curated reads about media, advertising, content marketing and technology from @Percolate.

An Exhaustive Study of Twitter Users Across the World
When Beevolve say this is an exhaustive study, they’re not kidding: this a review of 36 million Twitter user profiles. Some of the stats are what you’d expect: Twitter users skew female (53% vs 47% male) and are geographically concentrated in the US and UK. But did you know that the vast majority of tweeps – more than 80% – have fewer than 50 followers?

What’s a Facebook Follower Worth?
Did you know that the average business post to Facebook reaches only 16% of a brand’s fans? Many small business owners didn’t, and according to this report in the WSJ, Facebook is starting to get pushback on its “promoted” posts option, a paid-for feature designed to increase that reach. (WSJ, $)

How to Feed the Social Media Content Beast? Layers
ClickZ offers some excellent tips on doing more with less when it comes to your content strategy for social – not least including what they call “evergreen” content alongside curated content, or what we at Percolate often refer to as stock and flow.

Stock * Flow

Beg for Likes. Don’t reply to questions. Steal someone else’s thunder.
Excellent reminder from B2C that certain kinds of behaviors will lose you customers and clients, and fast. ‘Like’ this one: “If every post on your Facebook page contains the phrase “’Like’ us if…” you’re both telling people what to do and applying pressure.”

Digital Ad Growth Slows, but Mobile Doubles
AllThingsD breaks down the most recent research from the Interactive Advertising Bureau. The headline numbers, for the impatient among you: digital ad spending grew 14% in the first half of 2012, vs 23& growth over the same period one year ago. On the mobile front, well, gangbusters: “Mobile ads nearly doubled, to $1.2 billion, during the first half of the year.

Happy Friday!

Want to suggest links for next week’s issue? Tweet @percolate with the hashtag #thefridayfive or email thefive@percolate.com

Share The Friday Five with your friends – send them the link to sign-up to receive our weekly missive by email: http://bit.ly/thefridayfive


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The Friday Five

The Friday Five: Marketing, Gangnam Style

Welcome to The Friday Five, curated reads about media, advertising, content marketing and technology from @Percolate.

Instagram trumps Twitter in daily mobile users
AllThingsD has the scoop on a recent report from ComScore, which shows that hroughout August, Instagram had an average of 7.3m daily active users logging in to the application from their smartphones. That compares with “just” 6.9m for Twitter over the same period. And Instagram users are highly engaged, spending an average of 257 minutes accessing the photo-sharing app in August. And as AllThingsD put it, “Instagram’s users appear to be returning to the site on a more frequent basis, and spending longer on the site each time they return.”

A Guide to Instagram for Brands
…and now that we’ve got you thinking about your Instagram strategy, here are some helpful tips to using the platform effectively.

Marketing, Gangnam Style
In which the Harvard Business Review draws insights for marketers from the galloping success of Gangnam Style, including the even-more-difficult-than-it-sounds, ‘find an uncommonly-common emotional denominator that resonates across cultures’.

Gangnam Style

Do you remember your MySpace password?
Headline of the week goes to AdAge with this gem on the don’t-call-it-a-comeback of MySpace: “Sexy Myspace Redesign Makes Some Wish They Hadn’t Deleted Their Account in 2008″. The article’s good, too.

Brand building and tailgating have more in common than you think
Don’t take our word for it. Here’s Wired: “[tailgating] is about creating a sense of community — of belongingThis does more than build community. It builds a brand.”

Happy Friday!

Want to suggest links for next week’s issue? Tweet @percolate with the hashtag #thefridayfive or email thefive@percolate.com

Share The Friday Five with your friends – send them the link to sign-up to receive our weekly missive by email: http://bit.ly/thefridayfive


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Get in touch and we’ll show you our system in action.