Persuasive Picks for week of 4/2/12

Bored with your boards? Jennifer Van Grove of VentureBeat reviews one of the most requested features as Pinterest introduces customizable board covers – offering “pinners” the ability to choose a pin to be the cover for each board.

Tara Meehan writes that properly regulating social media shouldn’t be viewed as a negative. In fact, a compliant social media strategy can strengthen your messaging, build better relationships with existing clients and make you more attractive to potential clients. Here’s 4 Reasons Why All Companies Should Be Social Media Compliant via iMediaConnection.

Want Real Business Results From Facebook? Run a Social Campaign writes Mark Schmulen in this MarketingProfs post that provides examples of effective social media marketing via Facebook; as well as, explains how Facebook social campaigns can drive business results.

Businesses are getting more sophisticated in their use of social networking, so too are the metrics by which they measure social business ROI. As your business gets more social-savvy, Debra Donston-Miller of InformationWeek provides 5 Social Media Metrics That Matter Now that will help strengthen your metrics strategy.

Influencers Who Inspire: VentureBeat’s Dean Takahashi

As PR professionals, we’re often asked “who do you know” and “will they take your call?” It’s part of the reason that we started our “Influencers Who Inspire” series – to not only validate those questions but to support and promote the work by influencers that we all admire and follow. And we were stoked when Dean Takahashi of VentureBeat agreed to catch up with us for our next interview.  Dean is lead writer for GamesBeat at VentureBeat. He covers video games, security, chips and a variety of other subjects. Dean previously worked at the San Jose Mercury News, the Wall Street Journal, the Red Herring, the Los Angeles Times, the Orange County Register and the Dallas Times Herald. He is the author of two books, Opening the Xbox and The Xbox 360 Uncloaked. You can follow Dean on Twitter at @deantak.

What’s the strangest/most memorable place from which you ever conducted an interview?

I interviewed Steve Ballmer, chief executive of Microsoft, in a car driven by his bodyguards. It was hard to concentrate on asking questions in the moving vehicle.

How do you keep your sense of humor when managing multiple deadlines?

Who has time for humor? Well, I enjoy writing. So that makes a big difference. I consider most of my work to be fun.

What are your interests outside of tech/gaming (hobbies or passions)?

Taking pictures. Traveling. Going to the kids’ sports games. And, I do play games for fun.

You have authored two books. Do you have any others in the works and can you tell us a little bit about them?

I’ve written two long stories that we have turned into eBooks for VentureBeat. We posted these on the Amazon Kindle and Apple App stores. The Complete History of Zynga (so far)  and Xbox: The Making of a Bad Ass Machine.

What is your favorite travel destination and why?

I enjoy my annual trip to Seattle for a game conference. It’s a great city and there are always cool places to see and great places to eat. And good coffee.

What is next for you in 2012?

We’re expanding GamesBeat into a destination site, as the second main property at VentureBeat. We’ve hired our Review Editor, Sebastian Haley, and our Editor in Chief of GamesBeat, Dan “Shoe” Hsu. We have 11 freelance game writers working for us. Now we have to execute on bringing our crowdsource writing team, Bitmob, into GamesBeat and then write as much as we can for rest of the year.

Hopefully we’ll write some more long stories that can be turned into eBooks.

2010: So Far, So Good at PerkettPR

I’m excited to share some good news from our agency – news focused on growth, hard work and expansion, thanks to the dedication of the amazing staff at PerkettPR. We’ve kicked off 2010 with a new attitude – shaking off the cobwebs of 2009 and jumping right into the New Year with a “Best Tech PR” finalist nod from the tech community in January’s Crunchies (co-hosted by GigaOm, VentureBeat and TechCrunch), as well as the recent addition of several new clients across healthcare, technology and higher education. We also expanded our footprint into the Research Triangle region near Raleigh, NC.

Client details are below. More fun facts – including what we’re doing and where we’ll be in 2010 – are in the accompanying video or the full press release.

Some of our new clients include:

HealthLeap(New York, New York) – Bridging the communication gap between doctors and patients to improve care, compliance and practice profitability through free, web-based appointment software.

Northeastern University College of Business Administration– (Boston, Mass.) – Established in 1922, the College of Business Administration provides its students – undergraduate, graduate, and executive – with the education, tools, and experience necessary to launch and accelerate successful business careers.

Norwell Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice(Norwell, Mass.) – Founded in 1920 and the only independent nonprofit home health care agency serving Boston’s South Shore.

Proliphix (Westford, Mass.) – The leading provider of Internet-managed energy control systems.

St. Louis Children’s Hospital – (St. Louis, Mo.) – Founded in 1879, St. Louis Children’s Hospital is one of the premier children’s hospitals in the United States serving children around the world.

VersionOne– (Atlanta, Ga.) – VersionOne is recognized by Agile practitioners as the leader in Agile project management tools.  By simplifying the process of planning and tracking Agile software projects, they help development teams consistently deliver software faster.

Thanks for all of your continued support. (PS We’re actively recruiting – especially in Mass. and Calif.)

Writer Kristen Nicole — Quiet Rebel and Social Aficionado

Kristen NicoleIn this week’s installment of our journalist interview series, we catch up with Kristen Nicole, editor/writer at AllFacebook & The Social Times, and co-author of the Twitter Survival Guide. In addition to her passion for technology and writing, Kristen lets us in on how social media has changed her world, the importance of her family and friends, and her interest in quantum mechanics. A self-proclaimed quiet rebel, Kristen is a true renaissance woman who may have been a social revolutionary in a past life…

PPR: How did you get into writing?
KN: The story of how I got into writing is a little indirect, as I studied bio-psychology in undergrad at the University of Michigan. But let me tell you, there are a lot of papers you have to write when your studies revolve around research and the subsequent findings. After working in clinical research after college, I later found myself helping my friend Emile Cambry Jr. research features needed for his web-based startup Soceeo.com. Reading blogs like TechCrunch helped a great deal in my research, and I wanted to do something similar for the city of Chicago in regards to blogging about the local web-based startups in my own town. In my spare time I began blogging, and eventually started doing interviews with the CEOs of various web-based startups. From there I went on to contribute to larger online publications like CenterNetworks and Mashable. After Mashable founder Pete Cashmore offered me a full-time job, I officially transitioned into the writing profession.

PPR: In your current role as a contributing writer, what angles attract you the most?
KN: I’m actually contributing to AllFacebook and SocialTimes now. Taking that into consideration, anything Facebook-related is an attractive angle for AllFacebook. :) All jokes aside, for AllFacebook we like to see stories that affect everyday users, brands leveraging Facebook’s Platform and Facebook Connect, and those turning to Facebook for organic social graph marketing. We’re also interested in the larger social and political implications that Facebook has on our online and offline culture.
For SocialTimes, we take a broader approach to our coverage, branching out to social networks and media spaces outside of Facebook.

PPR: What else do you like to write about besides technology?
KN: It’s hard to find time to write about things outside of technology, and when I do have a chance to “unplug” I’m often too tired to think about writing at all! But I very much enjoy writing about my own personal experiences, or writing letters to friends and family members, which can be a therapeutic and artistic form of communication in and of itself.

PPR: How do keep up with emerging trends and new technology?
KN: Stay online all the time! Even if I’m hanging out with friends, I’m constantly checking up on technology news via my mobile phone. Google Reader is a huge help, and having RSS delivery options through SMS also helps me stay updated to trends. I also attend as many conferences and events as possible, so I can see what the new companies and products are, as well as meet the people behind them. I find that personal relationships are the best way in which to stay abreast of trends and new technology, as immersing in conversation with others can be an enlightening experience.

PPR: What do you feel are the hottest trends in technology for 2009?
KN: I think mobile social networking is really starting to take off, because the applications we’re seeing on mobile devices like the iPhone are better designed for easy access and content delivery, without having to fully engage in a mobile web experience. I also think we’ll see a lot more for large social networks’ platforms creating an economy around their platforms for enabling direct transactions between end users, themselves and third parties. This could have large implications for social networks as they rely less on ad revenue, as they have been able to in the past. This also leads to another trend for 2009, which is more creative, engaging and integrated advertising in the online realm. I don’t think there will be any radical changes, but the bar has definitely been raised in terms of the necessity to find better ways in which to engage with consumers while still being budget-conscious. Much of this we’ll see from third party advertising and reporting companies, and I imagine as the economy stabilizes and the social networks themselves find better ways in which to create an industry around user data, we’ll see more robust (and expensive) options coming directly from these networks.

PPR: How has social media changed your world?
KN: Honestly the biggest way in which social media has changed my world is in enabling me to have a career that’s both different and fulfilling. For something that was a bit of a haven in high school, growing up in a rather protected environment where online social networks became a viable outlet for me, my early and ongoing interaction with online social networks has lent me first hand experience that translated quite well into becoming a social media expert. Social media has allowed me to publish myself in ways I never would have thought possible, providing a way to build my own credibility and become a participating member of the never-ending discussions that take place around the very social media industry I’m lucky enough to be member to.

PPR: What tech gadget could you not live without?
KN: My Nokia N95. It’s the coolest phone I’ve ever had. It lets me do just about anything I want in regards to media and media sharing. I love that I can stream video live to the web, add applications that make media sharing an automated service, and overall turning me into a distribution launch pad for anything I’d like to share on the web. It’s a mini computer, really. I love it.

PPR: What do you do for fun when you aren’t working?
KN: Is there such a thing? To be honest, I love watching old movies. I read books on quantum mechanics and peruse Google videos for BBC documentaries nearly every Saturday evening. I’m not a complete recluse, though! I love to go out to see indie films with my best friends, go to art shows, live performances and lounges as well.

PPR: What type of music do you listen to when you want to unwind?
KN: I’m still a big fan of neo-soul. Amel Larioux is one of my favorite artists. Stevie Wonder is my all time favorite, though he’s more rock. And I’m not sure what genre this would be, but I’ve really been into music from artists like Adele, Alice Smith and Santegold lately. Would that be considered rock of some sort? i wouldn’t even know.

PPR: Who has been the most influential person in your life and why?
KN: My parents. The two of them are so extreme in their personalities that I’ve been able to learn from the best of both their worlds and strive for a happy medium in terms of being career driven and remaining a genuine person. My business partner Emile Cambry is also one of the most influential people in my life, because he’s been a supportive and catalyzing factor in my career decisions. Working with someone like that can really keep me moving forward.

PPR: What did you do in a past life?
KN: Ha! I think I was a social revolutionary of some sort, even if I only influenced a handful of people. I tend to be a quiet rebel at times, and I suppose that comes from my revolutionary mentality from my past life. :)

Who Caught Your Eye in 2007? Tell the Crunchies Committee

Anyone that hasn’t had a chance to nominate for the Crunchies Awards should take a look and place votes for your favorite sites, people and emerging tech companies of 2007.

Nominations are only open through tomorrow, December 12, so log on and list your favorites now. The Crunchies Committee will then choose five finalists from the submissions and voting will start on December 13 and last for approximately one month.

If you are looking for some inspiration on who to vote for, check out some of PerkettPR’s clients nominated for selection this year:

Conduit ; “best international start-up” – community toolbars

Moola.com ; “best time sink site,” “best consumer start up” and “best international start up” – the world’s first Massively Multiplayer Rewards Game (MMRG)

Ezmo ; “best consumer start up” and “best international start-up” – social music sharing

Sosius ; “best business model” – free online collaborative workspaces

Here’s some additional background on the awards from the Crunchies blog:

“Together GigaOm, Read/WriteWeb, VentureBeat and TechCrunch are pleased to announce that nominations for the inaugural 2007 Crunchies Awards are now open.

We created twenty award categories to recognize the year’s most innovative technical, creative and business accomplishments of key companies, products and people. We hope you’ll agree that the award categories are good reasons for celebration and fit for a proper ceremony.

We invite you to submit your favorite companies and products for consideration. Read the official rules. Nominations will be open through midnight pst Wednesday, December 12. Finalist voting will open Thursday, December 13 and run for approximately one month before the awards ceremony on Friday, January 18 in San Francisco.”