Category: News and Reviews

wifi coverage mapA big day for FreedomPop today as the company announced a new wi-fi network of 10 million hotspots available to users on an unlimited basis of $5 per month.  Coverage began this morning and has continued throughout the day, with more to come.  The team secured coverage from The Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, GigaOm, CNET, PCMag and many more as you can see below.
Wi-Fi Release Coverage 1/21:
Wall Street Journal
Could This New FreedomPop Wi-Fi Service Be An Alternative To Wireless Bills?
By Ryan Knutson and Thomas Gryta
January 21, 2015
“FreedomPop’s offering highlights a mini uprising of Quixotic efforts to carve out new, cheaper business models in the wireless business… Now, though, the ubiquity of Wi-Fi is making it more possible to use carrier service as a fallback or, for some earnest pioneers, to ditch it altogether.”
FreedomPop Cobbles Together a Wi-Fi Network of 10M Hotspots
By Kevin Fitchard
January 21, 2015
On Wednesday it will turn on access to a Wi-Fi network of 10 million hotspots and an unlimited voice, SMS and Wi-Fi data plan for $5 a month – quite a deal if you don’t mind cutting the tether to the cellular network completely.”
FreedomPop Turns On Unlimited WiFi In The US For $5/Month
By Ingrid Lunden
January 21, 2015
FreedomPop, the startup that is trying to steal users away from mobile carriers by offering free, basic cellular voice and data plans, is adding another string to its bow today… The service is potentially a shakeup for carriers that have been rolling out LTE services priced at a premium, and seems to fit usage patterns around already.”
FreedomPop rolls out unlimited Wi-Fi for $5 a month
By Lance Whitney
January 21, 2015
“FreedomPop is aiming the service at a variety of users — those who don’t want to chew up their cellular minutes or data, those with a Wi-Fi-only tablet, and even those who have a cellular-deactivated phone but would still like to use it to get online via Wi-Fi.”
Tom’s Hardware
FreedomPop Launches ‘LTE Alternative’ Carrier-Independent WiFi Service, $5 Per Month
By Seth Colaner
January 21, 2015
“FreedomPop really, really wants to punch the mobile wireless industry in the neck. (Or turn it on its head, whichever seems less violent to you.)”
FreedomPop CEO: We’ll crack 1M subscribers in Q2 or Q3
By Phil Goldstein
January 21, 2015
“Sprint MVNO FreedomPop will cross 1 million total customers sometime in the second or third quarter of 2015, earlier than expected.”
FreedomPop Launches $5 Wi-Fi Service
By Angela Moscaritolo
January 21, 2015
“If you constantly go over your smartphone data each month, FreedomPop has a new offer that might entice you.”
FreedomPop Launches Unlimited Wi-Fi For $5 Per Month
By Adnan Farooqui
January 21, 2015
“The company is going down this part as major carriers continue with the rollout of their LTE networks in the U.S. Those data services come at a high price and FreedomPop is targeting their customers with a cheaper Wi-Fi service.”
Multichannel News
FreedomPop Launches $5 Wi-Fi Only Plan
By Jeff Baumgartner
January 21, 2015
“He also sees the model appealing to consumers on a tight budget or those who can’t afford cellular services. Stokols said WiFi product could also give FreedomPop a way to eat into the prepaid smartphone market.”
Wireless Week
FreedomPop Offers $5 Unlimited Access to 10M Wi-Fi Hotspots
By Ben Munson
January 21, 2015
“Customers will gain access to FreedomPop’s aggregated Wi-Fi network via an Android app that automatically connects and authenticates. The service is available to any Wi-Fi-enabled smartphone or tablet regardless of compatible service provider.”
FreedomPop Wi-Fi Service Offers Unlimited Voice, Text and Data
By Joan Engebretson
January 21, 2015
“Stokols sees considerable pent up demand for the product from end users who have inquired about the company’s cellular offering but have not been able to switch to it because they have GSM phones and FreedomPop uses Sprint’s CDMA network.”
FreedomPop WiFi opens 10m hotspots in new carrier challenge
By Chris Davies
January 21, 2015
“FreedomPop’s offer of auto-connection at a relatively low price could be one solution for those more interested in getting online than spending their time hunting for a free option.”
FreedomPop Adds $5/Month Unlimited Wi-Fi Phone Service 
By Joseph Palenchar
January 21, 2015
Many of the hot spots are closed to public access, the company contended.”
FreedomPop’s $5 phone plans work on 10 million WiFi hotspots
By Brad Linder
January 21, 2015
“The company is positioning its nationwide WiFi network as a cheap alternative to 4G LTE networks. While the service will likely be far less reliable, it’s also far less expensive: you typically have to pay $50 or more per month for unlimited talk, text, and data on a cellular network. FreedomPop’s service will cost one tenth as much… I suppose paying $60 per year could look a lot better than paying $600 or more.”
FreedomPop’s Unlimited WiFi Plan Challenges Carriers
By Eric Zeman
January 21, 2015
“That said, however, FreedomPop’s offering is a compelling option for tablets or spare phones. At $5 month, it’s certainly worth testing.”
The Consumerist
FreedomPop Launches $5 Unlimited Public WiFi Access, But Is It Worth It?
By Ashlee Kiefer
January 21, 2015
“Or if you are constantly using your wireless data and regularly come up against the limits of your monthly allotment, a service like this might be an alternative worth looking into rather than committing to a more expensive data plan.”
Christian Science Monitor
FreedomPop debuts $5 unlimited Wi-Fi plan in 200 cities
By Tess Daniels
January 21, 2015
“The success of FreedomPop’s new model has yet to be determined, but with its low prices and high promises, this cheap Wi-Fi service could find an audience among city dwellers.”
Digital Trends
Unlimited Wi-Fi service for $5 a month comes to FreedomPop
By Malarie Gokey
January 21, 2015
“FreedomPop may be the biggest uncarrier of them all with its low-cost smartphone plans and Internet services. Now the game-changing startup will offer another intriguing service: connection to unlimited Wi-Fi for just $5 a month.”
FreedomPop Opens National Wi-Fi Hotspot Network
January 21, 2015
“FreedomPop is not building out its own Wi-Fi network, but has tapped a number of un-named partners to help power the new service. “
Android Authority
FreedomPop debuts calling, texting and access to 10 million Wifi hotspots for $5 per month
By Jimmy Westenberg
January 21, 2015
“The carrier is taking the next step in cheap plans by introducing a new plan that offers unlimited calling, texting and data access for only $5 per month.”
Android Headlines
$5 a Month Will Get You Unlimited Text, Data and Voice on FreedomPop’s WiFi Network
By Tom Dawson
January 21, 2015
“You can use this $5 a month to save on your data plan, making that 5 or 8GB low-cost plan of yours run a little further for just 5 bucks a month on top.”
Headlines & Global News
Smartphone Startup FreedomPop Offers Users Unlimited Wi-Fi Across America for $5 Per Month
By Christopher Hutton
January 21, 2015
“The service certainly sounds neat and makes a lot of sense for FreedomPop’s clients, but it’s not clear if the service will attract users outside of FreedomPop’s customer base.”
FreedomPop launches LTE Wi-Fi network in the US
January 21, 2015
“With auto-connect access to the Wi-Fi network, the company will offer any smartphone or tablet user, with any wireless carrier, unlimited voice, text and data on more than 10 million Wi-Fi hotspots nationwide.”
FreedomPop rolls out $5/month unlimited Wi-Fi hotspot plan, works with any carrier
By Shawn Knight
January 21, 2015
“Another potential use is with abandoned phones; those that you may have lying around that aren’t signed on with a wireless carrier. FreedomPop’s plan could bring new life to those old devices, perhaps as a phone for your child or teen or again, as a way to cut back on data use on your primary plan.”
Latin Post
Wireless Wifi Internet Access Hotspots App: FreedomPop Allows Users to Buy Unlimited Wifi Network With Their Android Device
By Julia Harris
January 21, 2015
“Los Angeles-based startup FreedomPop is rolling out a low-cost WiFi service with automatic sign-on and unlimited use of 10 million hotspots across the U.S. for $5 a month.”
States Chronicle
Unlimited Voice, SMS and Wi-Fi with FreedomPp for $5/month
By Alicia Johnson
January 21, 2015
“Last year, the Wi-Fi only phone was victoriously release by FreedomPop, and the sales have been a blast. It was only one more step left towards a notorious success: that the mobile virtual network operator started promoting and selling Wi-Fi service.”
FreedomPop Launches $5 Monthly Wi-Fi-Only Plan
By Humberto Saabedra
January 21, 2015
“The service will allow for unlimited voice and messaging through a new Android app that will automatically locate and allow subscribers to connect to Wi-Fi hotspots found in Starbucks, Home Depot and other major locations such as public squares in the new network. “


We are proud to present this snapshot of the media coverage secured around the funding news and launch of Thync.  The company emerged from stealth in October and shared the first details around the upcoming product – a consumer, lifestyle wearable that uses a neurosignaling algorithm to shift you into a state of calm or energy.  Watch for news in 2015 for more details.  But in the meantime, we’ve worked to secure coverage in the major media outlets in the U.S., U.K., and France.

John Shinal of USA Today wrote, “Thync has the potential to create the most transformative consumer technology to come out of Silicon Valley in a long time.”  The Guardian / Observer in the U.K. included Thync as one of the “Top 20 Innovations for 2015.”  We think they are onto something!

December snapshot

The Consort Team is busy pulling together collages for our clients to showcase the coverage we’ve generated as their publicity partner.  We’re proud to share with you a collection of highlights from Declara, a company that has developed a platform to facilitate formal learning with informal learning – inspired by the incredible story of the founder Ramona Pierson and her experiences having to relearn and readapt to life after a near-death accident.

The company has been covered by print, online and broadcast media – in fact, hitting newsstands today is a feature story about Ramona in Entrepreneur Magazine.

We are deeply honored to be an extended part of the Declara team.

This week, Zuli announced a milestone partnership with Logitech, bringing the reality of a truly smart and intuitive home to the masses a huge step forward.

Zuli’s smartplugs are now integrated into the Logitech Harmony Living Home products. What this means is that you will be able to simply walk through your home and the connected devices and appliances will respond to your presence and your preferences. The TV will turn on and tune into ESPN while the lights come up and the heating comes on. If you move from the living room to the kitchen, the TV programming will pause as the lights go on and the coffee pot begins to percolate. It sounds futuristic and magical, but it’s possible today with Zuli and Logitech’s family of connected partners.


Mark de la Vina and I attended the Logitech announcement event this week along with Zuli co-founders Taylor Umphreys and Sid Bhargava (in the photo at the top). In attendance were members of the press, Logitech partners, and executives. The event took place in the penthouse of The Battery, a swanky seen-and-be-seen private club in the heart of San Francisco and afforded us some spectacular views and the sun went down (Mark and I are showing the way to the TransAmerica Pyramid).


Don’t forget to pre-order your Zuli Smartplug now, for delivery in early 2015.

Media Highlights:

New Logitech Harmony remotes, apps control smart home devices too (hands-on)
David Carnoy and David Katzmaier
17, 2014

Fast Company
Alice Truong
17, 2014

Logitech invests in the smart home with Harmony remote and hub
Stacey Higginbotham
17, 2014

Logitech extends Harmony line to control more of your home
Ben Drawbaugh
17, 2014

Control Your Home With Logitech’s New Harmony Remotes
PC World
Will Greenwald
17, 2014,2817,2468691,00.asp

Logitech outs new Harmony remotes as smart home expands
Slash Gear
Chris Davies
17, 2014

Logitech Harmony Ultimate Home remote will control your whole home
The Slanted
John Stewart
17, 2014

News Ledge
Alex Chavers
17, 2014

Logitech’s new Harmony remotes can be used to control homes
Delhi Daily News
18, 2014

Logitech debuts harmonious command hub for the home
Tech Times
Quinten Plummer
17, 2014

Logitech Debuts Harmony Home Automation with Harmony Living Home
Electronic House
17, 2014

Logitech Expands into Home Automation with New Harmony Living Home Remotes and App Enhancements
Big Picture Sound
Rachel Cericola
17, 2014

Logitech introduces its DIY Harmony Living Home automation system
Technology Tell
Joe Paone
17, 2014

New Logitech Harmony Remotes Out Now
States Chronicles
Evan Roberts
17, 2014

Logitech presenta Harmony Home Control
Cristiano Ghidotti
17, 2014

Zuli and Logitech Team Up to Make Smart Phones Into Home Automation Sensors
Green Tech Grid
Jeff St. John
18, 2014

FreedomPop continues to stir up the market to the benefit of consumers by launching a new line of tablets, including free LTE voice, data and text. Media scooped up the story, as shown in the line up of stories listed below. Congrats to the team!

LOS ANGELES, CA – July 30, 2014 – FreedomPop – the free mobile service company offering free voice, text and data – today announced that it is now offering discounted LTE tablets with free data plus expanding tablet functionality to include phone capabilities: a unique phone number, voice and texting. Specifically, users will be able to associate a unique phone number with any FreedomPop tablet and make free calls and texts. This functionality does not currently exist for tablets offered by large carriers, partially because of the potential to cannibalize high margin phone plans.

“The line between smartphones and tablets continues to blur,” said Steven Sesar, FreedomPop Co-Founder and COO. “As a result, people want to use the device they’re most comfortable with, in a way that is most useful to them. We felt it was important to offer an expanded FreedomPop tablet experience by including telephony, and not just to enable calls but also for using apps like WhatsApp or Uber that require a device phone number to integrate seamlessly.”

Sesar added, “Whether it’s the integration of the ‘internet of things’ or increasing one’s productivity on the road, people are just beginning to tap into the potential of what tablets can do. With this platform becoming increasingly important to customers, they shouldn’t be harnessed by phone carriers’ restrictions.”

At issue for many has been the cost of adding data to a second device like a tablet. Less than 70 percent of new tablets are purchased with LTE. With FreedomPop’s new tablet and data options, consumers now have the luxury of free data plans for both phones and tablets.

In addition to the popular iPad mini and Samsung Tab 3 tablets, users with existing LTE tablets can also move their existing tablets to FreedomPop and get the same 500 MBs of LTE data, 200 voice minutes and 500 texts absolutely free. Users can bring their own iPad or Tab device or purchase one from FreedomPop. The iPad mini will sell for $319 and the Samsung Tab 3 for $199.

These popular LTE tablets join the growing list of mobile phones and devices available to FreedomPop users since its launch, which include the iPhone 5, several of the top-selling Android smartphones and portable Wi-Fi hotspots. To order a smartphone or tablet from FreedomPop and to sign up for service now, go to

About FreedomPop

FreedomPop provides disruptive mobile services so that no one is left off the “connected grid.” Launched in 2012, FreedomPop is rewriting the rules of the telecoms industry and is backed by Mangrove Capital, DCM and Skype Founder Niklas Zennstom’s Atomico. The company offers consumers access to free high-speed Internet and mobile phone services nationwide.


FreedomPop brings free voice, data, and texting to tablets
By Rick Broida

FreedomPop’s free data and voice are now available on tablets
By Jon Fingas

The Next Web
FreedomPop expands its free US mobile service to tablets, landing first on iPad Mini and Samsung Tab 3
By Kaylene hong

FreedomPop Adds iPad mini, Galaxy Tab 3 to Its Lineup
By Ina Fried

FreedomPop brings free calling, texting and data to tablets, will sell the iPad mini, Samsung Tab 3
By Phil Goldstein

FreedomPop brings free voice and data plans to tablets
By Simon Cohen

FreedomPop starts selling tablets with free data and voice plans
By Kevin Fitchard

FreedomPop adds iPad mini, Samsung Tab 3 to its free no-contract plans
By Bryan Wolfe

Cult of Mac
Get totally free talk, text and data on your iPad, thanks to FreedomPop
By John Brownlee

You Can Now Get Totally Free Talk, Text and Data on an iPad
By Eric Limer

9to5 Google/9to5 Mac
FreedomPop brings its free voice, text & data plans to tablets including a $199 Samsung Galaxy Tab 3/#319 iPad mini
By Jordan Kahn

MVNO FreedomPop Adds Tablets With Voice Calling
By Joseph Palenchar

FreedomPop Delivers Free Data for Tablets
By Edwin Kee

FreedomPop offers free data and voice to iPad
By John-Michael Bond

Tom’s Hardware
FreedomPop Brings Free Calling And Data To 4G LTE Tablets
By Seth Colaner,27347.html

Wireless Week
FreedomPop Selling LTE Tablets with Free Voice, Text, and Unique Numbers
By Ben Munson

FreedomPop adds tablets to its free data, voice, text network
By Brad Linder

Digital Journal
FreedomPop, the free mobile provider, now offers LTE tablets
By James Walker

Dean Karnazes, named by Time magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential People in the World” and Men’s Health Magazine as the “Fittest Man on the Planet” is a world-recognized expert on technology and fitness. He’s best known for pushing human limits including running 350 continuous miles, without sleep, in three days; winning the Badwater Ultramarathon covering 135 miles in Death Valley in the middle of summer with temps up to 120 degrees; and for completing 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days.

The world-recognized expert on technology and fitness, and member of The North Face ambassador team, will help you look and feel your best by showing you how the latest fitness gadgets and smartphone can help you achieve your health and fitness goals. Dean will share his tips and secrets for living healthier using technologies, ranging from free apps to the latest gadgets.

We’ll have free technical t-shirts, Clif Bars and ZICO coconut water, and a chance to win a free Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone ($649.99 MSRP), or a Fitbit Flex wireless activity and sleep wristband ($99.95 MSRP).

Following Dean’s presentation, he’ll be on hand to sign autographs and meet attendees. Full details can be found at Facebook.

Texas’ leading early-stage tech VC, LiveOak Venture Partners, announced this morning that it has closed the largest tech VC fund in recent TX history. As its inaugural fund, the all-senior VC team is aiming to close the disparity between capital availability and level of entrepreneurship in the nation’s second largest tech employment and innovation market.

The firm’s founding partners have a collective 40 years of experience, have created more than $1.5 billion of enterprise value and hail from Austin Ventures – breaking away to focus on one of TX richest resources, early stage tech startups. They are now seeking to create opportunity for TX and Silicon Valley investors by bridging the resource gap between the two.

Here’s a sample of some of the early morning coverage with even more still anticipated. Congratulations to Consort Partners’ newest client and the team!

Wall Street Journal
LiveOak Venture Partners Closes First Fund To Boost Investments In Texas
By Deb Gage
May 21, 2014

Wall Street Journal
The Daily Startup: Tech Startups Compete to Make You Take Your Medicine
By Zoran Basich
May 21, 2014

Dow Jones Venture Wire
LiveOak Venture Partners Closes First Fund To Boost Investments In Texas
By Deb Gage
May 21, 2014

LiveOak raises more than $100 million to back Texas startups
By Dan Primack
May 21, 2014

Reuters peHub
LiveOak Venture Partners beats targets on debut fund with $109 mln
By Chris Witkowsky
May 21, 2014

Dallas Morning News
Austin-based Live Oak Venture Partners is looking for opportunities in Dallas with its $109 million fund
By Hanah Cho
May 21, 2014

Austin Business Journal
Tech startup specialist LiveOak Venture Partners closes fund, ready to invest
By Christopher Calnan
May 21, 2014

LiveOak Venture Partners raises a $109M fund, deepens Austin’s early stage capital pool
By Michael Carney
May 21, 2014

LiveOak Venture Partners Raises $109M Venture Fund
By Ben Kuo
May 21, 2014

LiveOak Venture Partners closes $109M fund
By Steven Loeb
May 21, 2014

LiveOak Venture Partners beats targets on debut fund with $109 mln
May 21, 2014
Austin-based Live Oak Venture Partners is looking for opportunities in Dallas with its $109 million fund
May 21, 2014

Latest VC News
LiveOak Venture Partners raises a $109M fund, deepens Austin’s early stage capital pool
May 21, 2014

Sent from my iPhone

Man, this plane is so cramped that my purse barely fits. Off soon – 34 minute flight at 19k ft to Fresno for a connection to Las Vegas for my first CES.

Posted via email from Kathy’s posterous

By now you may have heard of Chatroulette (chat – roulette). It’s a phenomenon whereby you can “meet” a stranger via a random webcam connection. There are no profiles to fill out, no registration requirements, no ways to predict who might be on the other end. For some, it’s a heart-racing thrill to see who appears in the video box. Driven by chance, mystery, voyeurism, and that odd human behavior of having to look at things like a car wreck, it picques curiosity and takes people-watching to a whole new level.

On the other hand, as you can imagine, it’s also a petri dish of every aspect of humanity – on one occasion, I gave it a whirl with a friend and we saw a person with a Venetian mask, another who had his webcam pointed at his chest so his face wasn’t visible, and another, well, we’ll leave that to your imagination.

Nonetheless, the utter simplicity of the navigation makes this site easy and addictive. Find a weirdo, click next. Find somebody interesting, chat away.

The psychological motivations of this site fascinate me. Like watching a scary movie or riding a roller coaster, Chatroulette provides that rush of adrenalin – not knowing what to expect and not being able to control it. And with an expectation of adventure – based in the safety of your own room – you can simply click “Next” to swiftly proceed to the next stranger. For some, it’s definitely the cat’s meow.

Posted via web from Kathy’s posterous

RightHealth, a medical and health-related resource that provides a comprehensive collection of content, videos, photos, community commentary and more, has today launched a brand new feature on their DailyDose blog. Starting today and following on every Monday, Dr. Steven Chang will be answering questions from the community in his “Ask the Doctor” column.  All you have to do is submit your question to

The first question from reader Mark is shown below.  Who needs Dr. Oz or your The Doctors when we have Dr. Chang in the house!

QThe cardiologist who recently examined President Obama, an admitted occasional smoker, told the Commander in Chief that although he received a clean bill of health, he’s still at risk for heart disease because he is a smoker in a high-stress job. Does smoking less frequently or just occasionally reduce the health risks for smokers?

ASmoking accounts for over 400 thousand deaths annually in the United States, mostly in the form of lung cancer, stroke, and coronary heart disease. In fact, smoking increases every kind of cancer risk with 80% of lung cancers linked to smoking. It doesn’t matter if you smoke only one cigarette a day or one pack a day. The act of smoking will increase your risk of these diseases. We also know there is a clear link between second hand smoke and cardiovascular disease. Approximately 23 to 70 thousand premature deaths occur each year in the U.S. because of second hand smoke.

Does smoking less reduce health risks? The answer is yes. If you smoke three packs a day as opposed to one pack a day, you do have more of a risk for heart disease.  But it’s not until you quit smoking do you see some amazing results. Here’s what we know:

  • At 20 minutes after quitting your blood pressure decreases and the body temperature of your hands and feet increase, due to improved circulation.
  • At 24 hours you begin to see a decrease in heart attack risk.
  • At 48 hours your senses of smell and taste improve and nerve endings actually begin to regrow!
  • After 1 year your risk of coronary heart disease drops by 50%.
  • After 5-15 years your stroke risk drops by 50%.
  • After 10 years your risk of lung cancer drops by 50%.
  • After 15 years your risk of coronary heart disease and death rate returns to the same level as those who never smoked.

Posted via web from Consort Partners

We recently completed a globally-focused 10-day social media campaign for one of our clients which resulted in over 1,300 new Twitter followers, overwhelmingly positive Twitter sentiment and also generated over 250 new Facebook fans and traffic to the company’s website and blog.

Here are a few of the basics I used to get up the campaign, manage it, and measure it.

Benchmarks:  Before your first Tweet, make sure to take note of of how many people are already following you on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn (groups, etc.) so you can compare the before-and-after scenario.

Identifying goals:  While it’s easy to see the hard results – did your numbers go up or down – there’s more to social media metrics than hard numbers.  Sentiment is hard to quantify, but it’s easy to see.  In our campaign, one day we asked people to tell us why they liked what our client was doing.  We received such a great response – comments that were creative, funny, and inspiring.  Of course, you also open yourself up for negative commentary, but in our experience, we have found the community to be collaborative and supportive.  When a snarky comment did appear on another day, the community came to the defense.  A perfect validation of why it’s important to maintain an open dialogue and relationship with the community.

Tone of Voice: For our particular exercise, the voice we used for Tweeting was humorous, approachable and a bit irreverent.  We decided to use this tone as it not only caught the attention of the community but also made people smile, question, and comment.  It was in sync with the client’s brand and messaging.  All elements of the communication – from the press release, to the blog, to the Twitter feed, to the YouTube video, to the Facebook fan page and more reflected upon one another and carried this voice.

Once we had our basics down, then began the work.

We used a variety of free tools to make our job easier, as we provided daily reports on metrics, sentiment, and milestones (by the way, I did try out a couple of paid services, but I found I could gather the same information without paying the subscription fees).  Here are the tools we used:

Tweetdeck:  Tweetdeck’s desktop client was the hub of my Twitter communications.  I set up a few different search columns to make sure I had visibility into all sides of the conversation.  One column was dedicated to the hashtag we used, anothers to particular search terms, and of course others for @ replies and DMs.

Seesmic Web app:  I also used Seemic’s web app as it provided a cleaner and easier way for me to view responses and had a deeper historical view, which was important to me as we were managing this campaign across all time zones (i.e. 24 hours a day).

TwitterCounter:  A great chart that shows how many followers you have today, how many more you just accrued, and how many are predicted to come in a day more more.

Trendrr:  More useful charts and information on the number of mentions on Twitter, blogs, and search engines.

SocialOomph:  When you want to get your message out at 8:00AM in London but you’re based in San Francisco which is 8 hours behind, there’s an alternative to staying awake late or asking your colleagues in London to take on the task for you (assuming you have colleagues in London).  This is where SocialOomph comes in.  You can preschedule a Tweet to go out on a specific date/time.  It’s a great thing to use occassionally, but I don’t advocate you use it often, as the whole point of social media is the conversation, which means you have to have a real-live human on the both ends.

Another analytic tool I did not use during this last campaign but am considering for the future is SocialMention which provides a nice snapshot of all the social media elements you can imagine.

At the end of the campaign, it was gratifying and satisfying to see the upward trend of followers, the collection of great Tweets and comments from the community, and the impact on other social media touchpoints.  We embraced the community to share and ReTweet our news, tips, and were thrilled to see our messages amplified.


Poems often tell us more about street life than any tourist guide or history book. An unusual new app – City Poems – for the iPhone/IPod Touch/iPad just released uses satellite location to link streets, buildings, statues, buried remains, taverns and memories in central London to classic poems written about them. Whether you are in New York or Trafalgar Square you can see how far you are from a poem and click to read it on the screen of the phone. Fresh poems will be added regularly as they are uncovered.

Vic Keegan spent months digging out poems from books and online sources and was amazed at the things he learned about a city he thought he knew very well: vivid descriptions of public hangings at Newgate, public burnings in Smithfield (“his guts filled a barrel”), the real reason men stay at the posh Athenaeum Club, the stories behind the sculptures in Trafalgar Square and a verbatim report of a rowdy street football match in Covent Garden by John Gay, author of the Beggar’s Opera in which the players are called “crews” not teams. He came across one seventeenth century poem entirely about a pub crawl across London in search of a decent glass of claret. At a tavern in Holborn they were interrupted by a man in manacles escorted by guards who was being allowed a final drink before resuming his journey to be hanged at Tyburn. This is believed to be the origin of the phrase “one for the road”.

Vic chronicles the development of his new app in his column in The Guardian – an excerpt follows:

“The truly amazing fact is that we have already entered an era in which it is possible for anyone to dream up a service for their mobile phone at low cost, which can be sold to a potential market of billions of people as practically everyone has, or will have a mobile phone. Ours is a tiny example of this. I have no idea how many copies, if any, of our app will be sold but it has convinced me that there are awesome possibilities out there for people prepared to take a risk.”

And he also shares personal milestones:

“For me it ends an interesting period. This month I finally left the Guardian after nearly 47 years. At the end of last week I had my 70th birthday and today my first iPhone app came out. Life is full of surprises.”

I wonder if City Poems will also reveal where Vic will be penning past and future poet masterpieces…

Posted via web from Kathy’s posterous

I recently went to my local sushi restaurant and was compelled to “check in” via Foursquare. While location-based services such as Foursquare and Gowalla are igniting big cities across America, it’s a rare occasion to see anyone else “checked in” to a location spot here in Marin (just north of San Francisco).  On this evening though, I did see that another Foursquare member had checked in a few minutes before me, and as I looked at his profile picture, I was able to spot him sitting at the sushi bar. That was kinda cool.

The game of “checking in” is a fun way to promote your whereabouts and snoop on what your friends are doing, but the flurry of location-based services have yet to deliver real value on my local community and surroundings. With DeHood, the game has fundamentally changed.

Imagine preparing for a run at “The Dish” near Palo Alto, a scenic area of rolling grassy hills and oak trees.  You pull up DeHood, click “Reports” and see members reporting that a mountain lion has been spotted and the area has consequently been closed. In the “Shouts” tab, members are lamenting the wintery weather we’re experiencing in the Bay Area and adding comments to posts.  And in the “places” tab, I discover there are so many more businesses around me than I ever knew, as the content in DeHood is pre-populated from local directory services and with one click, I can call any of them from my mobile phone.

Another nice feature is “Shop” which aggregates deals from local and chain stores in my neighborhood. In fact, I just discovered Peet’s is offering $200 off an espresso machine – I can see the image of the machine, share the offer with others, check out the profile of the person who discovered/input the offer, and more.

There are times when it’s fun to know that my friends in London or NY or Tacoma might be checking in to In ‘N Out Burger, but it’s tangibly relevant for me to know what’s happening in my city, neighborhood, or street on a daily basis.

Location, location, location is not only important in real estate.  That triple location emphasis is where neighborhood-based services really shine

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Last night we went to the opening of Brick & Bottle in Corte Madera. The restaurant employed various means to let the public know when their doors would open, including old school measures like hanging a banner outside of the premises with a countdown to the opening day, as well as new school tactics like a Facebook fan page, Twitter account from the owner/chef @chefscotthoward and email blasts from lifestyle/fashion mavens such as Thrillist.  The restaurant was completely packed, with a constant stream of locals, VIPs and foodies curious to see, taste and explore the new Marin hot spot.

In addition to social media controlled by the restaurant, they’ve also benefitted by the public voice, courtesy of services such as DeHood, Yelp, Foursquare, and others.

It was also gratifying to see the chef personally meet and greet customers while keeping an eye over the open kitchen.  While technology-enabled social media tools are helping businesses take control of their brand on connected devices, it’s important to deliver on the “last mile” which is extending the care and attention allocated on your online social media to simply being social… in person.

Here are 12 reasons compiled by MyVenturePad to use social media:

Twelve reasons to use social media to help grow your business:

1. Own your brand’s social presence: If you don’t create official channels online, it’s only a matter of time before your fans do it for you and create their own profiles and communities around your brand. It’s important to claim your brand name across all the major social media platforms. Here are two sites that will help you do this:

  • KnowEm: KnowEm has the highest number of sites (over 350) available for checking username availability. Simply by entering your desired username, you’ll be able to find out instantly if it’s still available. KnowEm also offers paid plans, from just signing up and registering you at 150 sites, to a full-featured plan which also fills in all profile details, complete with pictures, at 100 to 300 different networking sites.
  • namechk: Covering 72 major social networking sites, namechk is simple, fast, and easy to use. If your desired username or vanity URL is still available, you simply click through each one to claim it. If your brand isn’t consistent across the Web, namechk can help you by determining which usernames are still available on a number of the most popular sites.

2. Look like you “get it”: Your target audience is becoming more shrewd about leveraging social media sites as an integral part of their daily lives. If you want to appear relevant and in-step with the latest advances in technology, your potential customers will want to see you on these sites as well. If you don’t have a presence, you appear as if you’re not very savvy.

3. Brand recognition: You need to go where your customers are, and they are increasingly spending a great deal of time on social networking sites. Using social media enables your company to reach a huge number of potential customers. Getting your name out there is incredibly important — studies suggest that people need to hear a company’s name at least seven times before they trust and respect it enough to become a customer.

4. Take your message directly to consumers: Social media tools enable you to directly engage consumers in conversation. Be sure to build trust by adding value to the community consistently over time.

5. Increase your search engine rankings: Social media profiles (especially those on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn) frequently rank highly with major search engines. Creating keyword-rich profiles around your brand name can help generate traffic for your both your social-networking sites and your company’s Web site.

6. SEO benefits: Many social media bookmarking sites use NOFOLLOW tags that limit the outbound link value of posts made on their sites, but there are still many leading sites that allow DOFOLLOW tags — including Friendfeed, Digg, and Mixx. You can also benefit from posting to bookmarking sites that use NOFOLLOW tags if people read your posts and link back to your Web site.

7. Social media content is now integrated with search results: Search engines like Google and Bing are increasingly indexing and ranking posts and other information from social networks. Videos from popular sites like YouTube can also be optimized for indexing by the major search engines.

8. Brand monitoring: Having a social media presence gives you a better understanding of what current and potential customers are saying about your products and services. If you actively monitor social conversations, you have the opportunity to correct false or inaccurate information about your brand and address negative comments before they take on a life of their own.

9. Generate site traffic: You can create additional traffic if you regularly post updates on social networks that link back to your Web site. Social media bookmarking tools like Digg, Reddit, and Stumbleupon can also generate additional traffic to your site if you create frequent articles and blog posts.

10. Find new customers through your friends: You shouldn’t neglect your personal social media accounts as potential avenues to promote the activities of your business. Posting regular updates relating to your business and activities can remind your friends about what your company does and influence them to use your services or make referrals.

11. Find new customers through your company profile: Your company profile is a great opportunity for you to post regular updates on your activities and about important news and trends in your industry. This will attract the attention of new customers interested in your industry and increase your reputation as an expert in your field. It’s important to post regularly if you want to increase your followers or fans and convert them to potential leads.

12. Niche marketing: Social media enables you to reach very specific subsets of people based on their personal preferences and interests. You can create unique social media profiles to target these audiences or create strategies based on addressing individual interests.

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Technology has empowered us with the ability to broadcast ourselves far and wide. We can be like Ashton Kutcher and collect a fanbase on Twitter, we can be like Peter Bratt’s film La Mission that has an active fan page announcing the next screening, or we can be the next Tom Colicchio and judge our local restaurants and name our own Top Chef.

I love the variety of voices and personalities I can discover through social media. Most are very positive, constructive and, well, social. But it really irks me when social media is used to be anti-social.

Case in point – I was sitting in a restaurant last week where a lone waitress was managing our section and doubling as the sole bartender. A rush of people came in and suddenly she was completely overwhelmed, scurrying at full speed to accommodate the thirsty and hungry diners. Consequently, we all had to be a bit patient – but it certainly wasn’t her fault as she was clearly doing her best.

Then, in comes a machismo guy towing along his partner. He plops down in a seat and announces he wants some drinks. The waitress sprints to the bar to fulfill his request and queues up his order after the others that are waiting. Another waiter pops by and offers menus. Dude guy refuses. Then dude guy gets frustrated waiting for 5 minutes and makes a scene. “Forget about my order!,” he barks. The waitress flushes with embarrassment and apologizes sincerely for the delay. He pushes away from the table, grabs the girlfriend, and storms out. With his back to the restaurant, he loudly declares “That’s what Yelp is for.”


This really peeved me. Is this guy such a techno-bully that he has to resort to social sites to air his grievances when they could surely have been immediately addressed in person?

I agree there are times when establishments deserve public criticism by the community at large (hello, BP). But I do hope the behavior I witnessed in the restaurant is something that won’t give a voice to those who only know how to yell.

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I’m very fortunate and honored to be included in TumbleCloud’s first Artist Project featuring the works Brian Andreas, known for his Story People series of illustrations and poetry; Carole Austin and her multidimensional box sculptures; Farrol Mertes’ moving photography; and me.  A portion of the proceeds from any sales of the show will go to Architecture for Humanity’s Lulan Artisans Project, a locally driven social venture that creates an alliance of textile designers and gifted artisans in Southeast Asia to produce luxurious hand-woven fabrics. By providing economic opportunity, the Lulan Artisans Projects helps preserve hand-weaving in Asia while creating environmentally sustainable fabrics.

The reception is open from 4pm – 8pm on Tuesday, July 13th at the Tumblecloud office.  I’ll be there from 6pm – 8pm.

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This is an awesome idea! Social media meets running meets marketing meets doing good for others. 

Join Nike in helping rebuild Haiti after the earthquake by committing your Nike+ runs to the effort. By doing so, you will be helping Nike raise up to $100,000 as part of their overall commitment to donate $500,000 to the efforts in Haiti. $1 will be donated for every mile/kilometer run with a goal of reaching 100,000 miles or 160,000 kilometers. For more info visit


I’m a member of Nike+ and while I had occasional struggles with the device, the website and social aspects of the site have never let me down.  To me, Nike+ does a great job of feeding into our natural competitive instincts and adds a touch of humor as well.  Additionally, their strategies of employing social media are chock full of inspirational ideas.  Users can create their own groups and challenges to spurn on more running (and more purchases of the Nike+ device and membership in the site), individual members can establish goals for themselves (resulting in recurrent visits and stickiness) and there’s even integrated chat called “Trash Talk” which allows members to broadcast their thoughts and opinions to the group.

This latest endeavor – Help for Haiti – is another brilliant execution by Nike.  It’s a call to action to run more with the Nike+ device because not only will it benefit yourself, but will benefit those in need in Haiti.  I’ve been feeling especially lazy after returning from Hawaii (plus, I’m still nursing my pulled muscle) but this encourages me to get out there as soon as possible.  Every mile counts.  For me.  And for them.

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It’s Friday. I’m supposed to be on vacation (I’ve been on vacation for the entire week… not that anyone could tell…I’ve been online the entire time… but that’s my fault… anyway, I digress….).

I just saw this video and had to share. For anyone in the news business, I think you’ll appreciate the tongue-in-cheek lesson. Well, I thought it was funny.  But then again, I’m holed up in a hotel room with my 120 degree laptop on my legs, getting sweaty and radiated, when I should be getting sweaty and radiated by the Hawaiian sunshine.

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Hey, I know it’s not much, but the gesture made her smile. I found a housecleaning lady in the hallway of the Hilton and handed them to her. I think she was pleasantly surprised. Too bad for both of us that I’m so bad at gambling.

Sent from my iPhone

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So funny that there are slot machines right next to the gate. In case you’re feeling especially lucky.. Or bored.

Sent from my iPhone

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We’re off to a sprint as the year gets started with the debut of a new client, PerfectStream, which has backing from MP3 co-inventor Professor KarlHeinz Brandenburg.

“When I first met these guys it sounded crazy to me,” Brandenburg told AFP while courting partners for PerfectStream at the Consumer Electronics Show that ended Sunday in Las Vegas.

“But I have a fondness for crazy ideas because when we started MP3 it seemed crazy to everyone as well.”

PerfectStream is set to change the way we consume audio and video content over the Internet, as the technology allows all IP-enabled devices from mobile phones, to TVs to “dumb” devices like digital picture frames to stream personalized content from a variety of sources.

We’re also excited to be working with Kosmix‘s RightHealth health site, which pulls together information about various health subjects and consolidates the data into a comprehensive package, ideal for patients, caregivers, and those concerned about particular health matters (aren’t we all).

Today also marks the first exit in 2010 from pan-European VC, Wellington Partners.  This proves that Wellington’s strategy is paying off as they have sold their stake in eCircle, one of the leading email marketing service providers worldwide, to TA Associates, Boston, as part of a majority investment of over €60 million of the Boston-based growth private equity firm.

There are a couple of other big new developments on our side which we’ll reveal soon, but we’re very excited and happy with the way 2010 is going.  Onwards and upwards!

This is awesome. A great example of Pay(ing) it Forward. I just donated through the link.

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Last week I played a bit of a matchmaker – introducing tech companies to the leading venture capitalists in the Bay Area. While the companies had different stories to pitch, and the VCs had different areas of emphasis, the one common denominator in all of the meetings was the emphasis by the VCs to the entrepreneurs to maintain a laser focus on solving one problem and doing it extremely well.

I think it’s the normal ambition of an entrepreneur to do things well, but given the Type-A personality of most entrepreneurs, it’s also common to see them want to pursue multiple problems with their solution. It’s a hard temptation to resist, knowing you could build a solution that has a bevy of features applicable to a variety of problems. But, just as best-selling author Daniel Pink (@danielpink) says in his newest book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, it’s critical to come up with a one-sentence description – whether that one sentence describes who you are, what you do, what you want to do, the company you’ve created or work for, etc.

So, for me and the Consort Partners team, I think we’ll keep focusing on public and financial relations for technology companies. Keeping it simple. And focused.

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It’s raining cats and dogs outside at the moment.  The window next to me has just fogged up so I can no longer see outside.  Meanwhile, I’ve been online with various clients, colleagues, and reporters discussing upcoming news for the mainstream consumer audience.

The fog on my window has forced me to focus on the things close to me as I can no longer see the vista beyond.  Sometimes, I have to also remind myself that beyond the foggy window, or finger of fog descending upon the hills, there lies a world where not everybody has an iPhone, not everyone Tweets every day or plays Foursquare, and those who, dare I say, don’t even check their email every nanosecond like I do (I know… loser).

When it comes to technology public relations, it’s easy to fall victim to the TLAs (three-letter acronyms), buzz words (social graph, anyone?) and common assumptions (what?! you don’t have an iPhone?) that we in Silicon Valley toss around in our daily conversations.  But as I was reminded by a colleague today, this unique vocabulary and set of beliefs we have can sound like a foreign language and thereby distance the message from those who actually might be interested in hearing it.

So while the stereotype of the geek may have changed from the guy above to Neo of The Matrix or to Mr. Million Twitter Followers Ashton Kutcher, I still remind myself to leave the acronyms at the door and just speak in plain English.  It’s not about the features.  It’s what the features can do for me.  And now, I think I’ll wipe off that fog from my window.

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