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15 February 2011

The REport

Social media – as an investment – received a big boost this week when JPMorgan Chase announced that it is starting a new fund for investors to back privately held technology companies like Twitter and Groupon.  The company hopes to raise between $500 million and $750 million in funds to spend on digital media companies.  The fund would provide a steady stream of income to companies in advance of their IPOs.  Social networking sites are certainly emerging as powerful players outside of Silicon Valley.  It will be interesting to see if this fund takes off.

One place where social media has had no problem attracting dollars is across marketing departments.  However, marketers are looking for more concrete evidence of what their dollars can buy.  According to a new report, “74 percent of CMOs predict they will finally tie social efforts to hard ROI this year,” according to Mashable.

If you are carrying out a campaign, make sure you are not talking a lot about nothing.  Sounds basic, right?  According to a new study, “more than 90 percent of consumers unsubscribe, ‘unlike’ or stop following brands because of too frequent, irrelevant or boring communications.”  What do you do to keep your communications pithy and relevant?

Here is a way to use social media to be somewhat antisocial, so to speak.  A new app, When Should I Visit?, lets users know when a destination is least busy as based on Foursquare data.  It’s a great tool for those who want to avoid large crowds at museums, libraries and theaters.  Never stand in long lines again!

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Modern Living Room

According to AdWeek, as brands are looking for new revenue streams, home-collections are the newest trend in brand-extensions.  Brands including: Paula Dean (yes, the Food Network star), Trump (yes, the real estate mogul) and Westin (yes, the hotel chain) are crossing-over into home décor to offer everything from recliners to glasswear to throw pillows.  What brand would you like to see in your living room?

Thinking about switching cell phone carriers?  Do your due diligence and check OpenSignalMaps, a service which crowdsources locations of cellular towers and their strength, for the areas you frequent most.

Planning a trip? Check out one of the newest social media-inspired travel websites for tips and advice. Gogobot, Afar Connect, Bonvoy, and Vacation Relation have all hit the web as great research tools.  If you are planning a trip to a foreign-speaking country, Google’s Translate for iPhone app is now available.  Bon voyage!

If Valentine’s Day had you dreaming of sweets this week, check out Mashable’s list of top apps for chocolate lovers.

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