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INTERVIEW: Facebook of Latvia, With More Members than Population, Starts New Businesses

Facebook of Latvia, With More Members than Population, Starts New Businesses

What does a com­pa­ny do to grow when it has 100% of its mar­ket and doesn’t want lose its employ­ees?  It starts new busi­ness­es.  With over 2 mil­lion mem­bers in a coun­try of 2 mil­lion peo­ple The Draugiem Group need­ed new ideas to grow.  They chose to offer employ­ees seed mon­ey to start new busi­ness­es rather than lose them to anoth­er com­pa­ny.  It has helped Draugiem grow into a $27 mil­lion dol­lar com­pa­ny with offices world­wide. We spoke with Davis Sik­snans, the man in charge of Draugiem’s new ven­tures. You can lis­ten to Davis’s Inter­view here and read it below: Roy:     My name is Roy Weiss­man from MediaJobs.com. We pro­vide job seek­ers the strate­gic insight into their job search. Today we’re speak­ing with Davis Sik­snans from Draugiem Group in Latvia, who has a very unique busi­ness mod­el. The Draugiem Group is an umbrel­la orga­ni­za­tion that hous­es the nation­al social media plat­form of Latvia, and cur­rent­ly incu­bates 16 star­tups. So Davis, you guys have a pret­ty inter­est­ing busi­ness.  You’re the Face­book of Latvia, but you’re many more things than that.  So maybe you can give us a lit­tle bit of a sense or a his­to­ry of how this all evolved, and…

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MyFitnessPal: the social startup that helps users get healthy and lose weight. Lots of it.

The aver­age social media man­ag­er can prob­a­bly only dream of such a hap­pen­ing. After boot­strap­ping for eight long years, you sud­den­ly bag $18 mil­lion from top-end investors in your fist fund­ing round. But for weight loss and fit­ness social plat­form MyFit­ness­Pal, this is no day­dream. It real­ly has walked away with said sum, cour­tesy of an invest­ment round led by Klein­er Perkins Cau­field & Byers, with par­tic­i­pa­tion from Accel Part­ners. Weight loss by social media Intrigued social media man­agers will doubt­less like to know how this boun­ty was bestowed upon a firm that had fund­ed itself for the best part of a decade. There’s a clue in the num­ber of reg­is­tered users: 40 mil­lion, and climb­ing at a rate of 1.5 mil­lion a month. And there’s anoth­er clue in the amount of weight they’ve lost between them: 100 mil­lion pounds so far. That’s about the same as 200+ Stat­ues of Lib­er­ty or 5,000 ele­phants. Co-founder Mike Lee, who launched MyFit­ness­Pal with his broth­er Albert back in 2005, said that fund­ing was becom­ing a neces­si­ty because their to-do list of fea­tures they want to include on the plat­form has been expand­ing well beyond their abil­i­ty to keep up with it (and…

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Networked Insights crunches big data like candy and gives insights in the now for advertisers

Networked Insights crunches big data like candy and gives insights in the now for advertisers

Busi­ness devel­op­ment man­agers keen to boost their agency’s online adver­tis­ing sales suc­cess­es might look to Chica­go for advice on the best data to use.  For­get stale data from focus groups or TV rat­ings sur­veys from Nielson.Co.  Net­worked Insights, a young ad tech com­pa­ny based in the city’s West Loop, uses “data in the now” to help agen­cies and adver­tis­ers make fast deci­sions about the direc­tion of a cam­paign. From math to mar­ket­ing Com­pa­ny founder and CEO Dan Neely hatched his idea sev­en years ago while liv­ing in Madi­son, Wis­con­sin.  An actu­ary with a degree in risk man­age­ment, Mr. Neely has brought his love of data to Deloitte and helped launch the inter­net insur­ance firm Esurance before set­ting up Net­work Insights, which uses cut­ting edge tech­nol­o­gy to whiz like light­ning through data aris­ing from ven­dors on more than 80 mil­lion con­ver­sa­tions every week.  Then it cat­e­go­rizes and stores the data it’s col­lect­ed, giv­ing clients a clear pic­ture in the here-and-now of what their clients think about their prod­ucts, where they’re chat­ting about it and what else they’re inter­est­ed in.  You don’t need to be a top-lev­­el busi­ness devel­op­ment man­ag­er to know that this kind of data is gold-dust. Last year in…

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RebelMouse founder turns to advertising to monetize his massively popular startup

Paul Berry, the ex-Huf­f­in­g­­ton Post CTO who launched social con­tent inte­grat­ing ser­vice Rebel­Mouse a year ago, is cap­i­tal­iz­ing on his startup’s suc­cess by turn­ing to adver­tis­ing for mon­e­ti­za­tion. As informed social media man­agers and con­tent man­agers will doubt­less be aware, the ser­vice lets users gath­er togeth­er con­tent that they’ve placed on diverse social net­works. And it’s now claim­ing brag­ging rights over 5 mil­lion unique vis­i­tors per month who between them have built 300,000 new sites to dis­play their inte­grat­ed con­tent. A gate­way, not a des­ti­na­tion For a one-year-old start­up, Rebel­Mouse has attract­ed the atten­tion of some big names, all of whom have used it (these include AOL, The Wall Street Jour­nal and Time). Finan­cial­ly can­ny social media man­agers may want to know how all this trans­lates into dol­lars. Accord­ing to Berry, the site is mak­ing mon­ey out of its sub­scrip­tion mod­el: for $9.99 a month, users can host their very own Rebel­Mouse site from their own domain. Berry is clear that he nev­er intend­ed the site to be a des­ti­na­tion; it’s all about help­ing to “open the web.” But he’s clear­ly got his busi­ness head on and plans to mon­e­tize, specif­i­cal­ly with the use of native adver­tis­ing. Although sea­soned social…

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4 Reasons Mobile Phones and Devices will Rule our World

4 Reasons Why Mobile Phones will Rule our World

At the 2013 Ad Age Dig­i­tal Sum­mit it was impos­si­ble to go more than 5 min­utes with­out hear­ing the words mobile phone, Smart­phone or tablet.  If you are a Busi­ness Devel­op­ment Man­ag­er, Social Media Man­ag­er or Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing Man­ag­er,  Mobile Phones are or will become a major part of your world. Here are four rea­sons why mobile phones may become the num­ber one mar­ket­ing focus:   Rea­son #1: Mobile Phone Pay­ments to be $1 Tril­lion by 2015 Star­bucks accepts over 3 mil­lion mobile pay­ments each month from their 10 mil­lion mobile phone users accord­ing to Alexan­dra Wheel­er, Star­buck­’s VP Glob­al Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing.   We’ve all heard about pay­ment Wal­lets like Google Wal­let, Square and many oth­ers.  You may have seen the Citibank com­mer­cials where they are send­ing mon­ey from their mobile phones.   Ken Moy, Senior VP-Group Head, US Emerg­ing Pay­ments Lead from Mas­ter­Card expects every con­nect­ed device to become a com­merce device.  Ken’s stats from the Yan­kee Group esti­mate that by 2015 there will be $1Trillion in mobile pay­ments and that 19% of shop­pers in 2015 would pay for their in-store pur­chas­es with their mobile phone. Rea­son 2:  The Face­book Effect – Share of Mobile Time In the last 12 months…

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