Archive for category Websites

Making couponing modern and sexy…

That’s right, digital enthusiasts & frugal-lites alike…I said couponing & sexy in the same sentence.

Today, Valassis officially announced the Facebook product I’ve been lucky enough to manage the last few months — a couponing app like nothing else out there. Sure, you’ve seen web based coupons before, but have you seen a Facebook app that enables the entire end-to-end couponing experience all within Facebook that ALSO allows you to…

  1. Add digital (paperless) coupons directly to your grocery store’s loyalty card in addition to enabling traditional coupon printing?
  2. Leverage an array of social capabilities beyond just sharing (Tweet it, Pin it, private message/email it, see what your friends are clipping, invite them to use the app, update, etc.)?
  3. See a timeline view of your savings goodness as well as a timeline view of your friends savings?
  4. Peruse your coupon shopping list by printed, clipped, & redeemed coupons?

Yup, RedPlum Social Savings does all that, and…

  1. It’s a white-label product — skinning & deploying a brand specific instance is a snap. By “snap” I mean being up and running in days vs months.
  2. It’s integrated the best of the Facebook platform with Open Graph. Since we quietly flipped the RedPlum skinned version of the beta app live in March, it’s organically grown  a user base of 25,000 users triggering 450,000 open graph impressions — just by  us pushing it live with no promotion what so ever (until today!).
  3. For the white label clients, they get the full suite of Facebook Insights analytics reports that they can run anytime to get an accurate pulse on the performance of their app.

All of that is stacked nicely on top of our incredibly mature couponing back-end & the Valassis powerhouse of major retailer relationships (side note:  the science of coupon security is fascinating — individual serial numbers, secret watermarks etc. — it’s just like currency)!

I’ve had the opportunity to demo many new web products in my career — many of those demos were rather hairy & drove me to drink heavily. Just kidding. Sort of. But really, the reaction of demoing this product to leading retailers, manufactures & CPGs has been consistently well-received — a true indicator that we’re filling a gap marketplace in a big way.

Props to Food Lion for snagging the first early adopter spot — we’re looking forward to launching their branded instance of the app soon!

Props to the team — Lea, Mandarin, Matt, Tom, Ana, Vinod, Jay, Duane, & Ian —  for designing and building an amazing app!

Props to the best interns ever for creating this video that tells the app’s story. Enjoy!


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Does your corporate social site inadvertently lock out compelling contributors?

To me, the primary objective of any company blog site should be to tear down all communication roadblocks (firewalls, difficult tools, overly rigid policy, etc.) that stand between employees & the world to enable free flowing human to human conversation. The Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta has done that with their blog site.

The content, in multiple formats (video, blog posts, etc.), as told through compelling stories by their employees is heartfelt — like this (they need a video embed feature).

Though the underlying recruiting objective of the site is obvious, the site’s design & functionality is super comprehensive & efficient to use — which is paramount considering the focus of the employees/medical practitioners is likely not blogging, editing HTML, etc.

When decision makers choose a new media platform for their employees, the employees’ skill set, work style & time available for blogging, is often not considered because the platform decision makers (usually in IT) are primarily focused on the technology — which can be just as important as considering the users capabilities to successfully utilize the tool. The level of effort involved with supporting less tech savvy, or time available individuals (CXOs, practitioners — as in doctors & nurses in this example, etc.) should not be under-estimated. Trust me on this one.

If the tool is too cumbersome & time-consuming to use (especially by the employees with the most compelling stories to tell), then what’s the point? And believe me, you want their contributions.


Have you ever drawn with your voice? Because you can.

This is crazy. Ze Frank, yeah that Ze Frank, created yet an other work of pure genius — a tool that enables you to draw with your voice. Seriously. Check it out. To the right is a drawing my little niece and I just made. Granted, it’s a bit more…uh…abstract than the museum quality pieces that Ze created, but that’s to be expected considering the man exudes awesomeness with everything he attempts. I still can’t stop watching his bagged sloth video:

Or, listening to his social network love song.

Sigh…[queue googly eyes]…

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[Optional mood music] [End of optional mood music]

Needless to say, money is top-of-mind for many folks. Times like these make or break some people, but in either case, the extra awareness is a good thing. If you’re shopping around the stock sales and are into Twitter, be sure to check out Stocktwits — “…an open, community-powered investment idea and information service. You can think of it as Bloomberg for the little guy and gal. Eavesdrop on what traders and investors are talking about RIGHT NOW or contribute to the conversation…”

The following intro by StockTwits co-founder Howard Lindzon offers a bit more context. At the very least, the video’s mood music will make you feel like this is something great…or perhaps simply make you feel like hugging him. 😉

What is StockTwits? from Jon Labes on Vimeo.


Become an AirBed & Breakfast Owner in just a few minutes

Via @jowyang, this is a really cool community site: AirBed&Breakfast.

What is AirBed & Breakfast?

AirBed & Breakfast is an online marketplace for peer-to-peer traveling.

We enable people to earn money by renting out extra space, and offer travelers a viable alternative to hotels.”

With tens of thousands of people converging in Denver, CO next week for the Democratic National Convention, it appears that many residents are more than happy to open up their homes and earn a few bucks in the process.

As for me, it’s a little outside of my comfort zone, but Elaine C.’s “Museum” quality cleanliness does sound appealing.


Give back with a click or your mouse

Before my ten minutes of fame tick away, I figured now is a good time to parlay possible new blog traffic on a post I’ve had mentally queued up all week.

I love that giving back to reputable charities is just a mouse-click away. Following are a few examples that I’ve recently become aware of, if you know of more please chime in and I’ll update this post. In just a few short minutes, you could give back to all three without ever opening up your wallet (of course, if you wanted to open up your wallet…;-)).

Via @monkchips, Play a word matching game and for each match you get, they donate 20 grains of rice via the UN World Food Program.

Via NASCAR (Kasey Kahne is my driver :-)), Help Chevy Help Autism: Take a virtual tour of the Chevy Malibu via a short video and Chevy will donate to Autism Speaks. I was hoping for information about autism in the video, but as ThinGuy reminds me, you shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

Via Mary, Play a short game and a malaria-preventing net will be sent to Africa on your behalf. More…

Update: Via John Bennett’s comment, Similar to, it’s a word matching game. For each correct match, 1/4 of a cent is donated to children in need.


Plumbing Solving Graph

Via Crappy Graphs (where you can create your own), I dedicate this one to Mr. S for persevering through a plumbing battle with the koi pond.

Spoiler: In a not-so-surprising twist, Mr. S wins the battle — tho’ it hasn’t quite happened, just yet. 🙂

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