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Community Generated Acts of Kindness

“Smart mobs”, the title of Howard Rheingold’s 2002 tome, is a term first used to describe group activity coordinated by real time communication technologies; in 2002, it was cell phones. Fast forward a decade and smart mobs have evolved into powerful societal infrastructures that use cell phones, cell cameras, Twitter and Facebook to overthrow North African governments and occupy […]

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Building Business Models Based on Local Influence

The advent of Klout and other new forms of social influence tabulation mirrors the power shift of media influence from traditional to social channels. Anybody with a voice can build a following, and the new business models evolving around influence metrics allow businesses to reward influencers with the hopes of converting them into advocates. Klout’s first foray […]

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Klout as Good Will Engine

Klout is known as a metric for assessing social influence. Like Google Page Rank, few understand what else Klout can do beyond being an iconic metric. One overlooked practical role that Klout faciliates is influencer curation. Through curation, brands garner good will by providing recognition, even rewards, to influencers who have synergetic relationships with that […]

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Airbnb creates real estate liquidity

Airbnb (see my previous article on Airbnb for a description of the business) creates a new revenue layer in real estate that supplements cash flow for property owners (and even renters).  Yes, vacation rental sites like HomeAway and VRBO have established rental classifieds system but they operate as advertising media and require upfront annual subscription […]

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Social travel – how Airbnb changes hospitality, even real estate

Airbnb, according to Techcrunch and others, is planning a mega-round raise at a $1 billion+ valuation, and validated social travel in one swoop. It redefines what a “hotel room” is, even one year ago the only viable short term rental space for the masses. Airbnb allows anybody to rent out living space – a refurbished basement, […]

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Why Groupon has Legs

With Facebook Deals and Google Offers launching the exact same service as Groupon (and have been tagged “Groupon Killers“), pundits are questioning Groupon’s sustainability and market share. Deals have become commodities, and Groupon will certainly lose market share simply due to the growing volume of deals being distributed by a wider array of publishers. So […]

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Groupon for Real Estate

Groupon-like deals can work for real estate, but not as a typical $10 for $20 worth of product purchase. Real estate can’t be sold as a 30% off purchase price item (although they certainly tried variations of this at California real estate investment clubs in 2005). Real estate marketing has generally relied on variations of […]

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Real time deals will herald in a new consumer mantra: don’t buy early

On Media Transparent last October, I explored the idea of real time deals, which requires consumption of a daily deal within a limited time frame. Merchants with perishable products – seats at a restaurant, theaters, hotel rooms, airlines – want a deals system that quickly and efficiently fills excess inventory, especially at a moment’s notice. […]

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In the age of Groupon, the return of Local Customer Service

In this age of Groupon, consumers are ostensibly looking for and testing new business relationships with coupons. Price has become a commodity, and now local merchants need to distinguish themselves based on service in order to build and maintain a loyal customer base. I myself have been witnessing a vast sea change on how banks, […]

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Social commerce proliferates across niche group buying systems

Social commerce won’t be just the playground of Internet giants Groupon, Google and Facebook. White label social commerce platform providers will allow any publishing entrepreneur to easily build social buying applications. In my previous post, I discussed how the success of social commerce hinges on media distribution – how to get social deals noticed by […]

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