Having lived in San Diego for a couple years after college, I have quite a few friends still in that area. Earlier this week, I noticed in my Facebook news feed that several of those friends had “subscribed to Deals.” Later, I started coming across articles introducing Facebook’s Deals launch.

Deals is Facebook’s version of Groupon or LivingSocial and has been released as a “test” in five cities: Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, San Diego and San Francisco. According to Time Magazine, “Facebook Deals will be the first among the major companies to truly integrate social networking with the online couponing business. Deals can be shared with friends, and users will be able see what their friends have bought.”

“The company hopes that it will distinguish itself from its competitors because Deals taps straight into the social network Facebook users themselves have already built up. That’s instant access to 600 million and counting users. It is a major disadvantage for competitors like Groupon and LivingSocial, which are built around the idea of buying shared deals but do not present an easy way to organize it.”

I’ve seen many friends post their Groupon deals on Facebook to share with their networks, so integrating the two worlds should be a seamless fit. I think it will be successful. However, I’m starting to feel like the online group discounting market is getting a little too saturated. I only want to receive so many offers in one day until I start to feel bombarded. Still, I’m curious to see when, if ever, Deals will hit Milwaukee.

April 29, 2011 · Posted by in marketing, social media  

Here at Z2 we’ve made some mistakes. Like you, we’re only humans, and we do our best to get it right the first time, but that doesn’t always happen. One thing we actively do to prevent mistakes is check one another’s work. (In fact, I just asked Olivia if it should be anothers or another’s or anothers’ in that last sentence.)

I grew up in the world of print, where mistakes were a lot more costly, but even in the digital world, we do our best to get it right the first time. If you just spent 20 minutes rendering a video file, and then another 20 minutes exporting and compressing it, the last thing you want to see is a typo.

I’m going to assume that other agencies do the same thing, and as for freelancers, well, I hope they have a good solution to proof something before sending it off to a client. (It’s often hard to see your own mistakes, especially when you’ve been working on a project for so long you can’t look at it objectively anymore.)

That said, it looks like the folks at the post office could use a bit of help in the proofing department.

Wrong Photo

It seems when the USPS issued a Statue of Liberty stamp, they used the wrong photo.

The Statue of Liberty depicted on a USPS stamp is actually the one at Las Vegas’s New York-New York Casino, and not the original in New York Harbor.


Remember kids, ask a friend to proof your work!

April 28, 2011 · Posted by in misc, photo  

Mashable Cat

Back in 2009 I was working in my office at home when my wife’s cat Cleo started head-butting my leg. This is her way of saying “Hey!” so I picked her up and put her on my desk. My wife then came into the office, saw my headphones on the desk, put them on her cat, and suggested I take a photo, so I did.

Since I like sharing the photos I take I uploaded it to Flickr and titled it Headphones Cat.

So last week Mashable did a story on 5 New Sites for Deep Discounts on Music and there was my photo!

So how did this happen?

When I published my photo on Flickr, I choose a Creative Commons license that allows others to use my work. The specific license I chose was “Attribution, Noncommercial, Share Alike” which means that if someone uses the photo, they have to give me credit, they can’t use it for commercial purposes, and if they make changes, the new image they create has to have the same license.

Flickr has a nice feature that allows you to search for Creative Commons licensed work. I’ve used it plenty of times. Typically, if I need photos for a presentation, I’ll use photos from Flickr with a Creative Commons license. (And I always provide credit and a link.)

If we get deep into the licensing issues of Creative Commons, there’s great debate over what constitutes “commercial” use. For instance, Mashable is free to access, you are not paying to read their site, but there are advertisements, and they make money from those advertisements. The story could exist fully without my specific photo. It was not a story about the photo itself, though the photo does help support it in a minimal way. These are the sort of issues that are tough to sort out, but for most cases, they don’t come into play.

We told Cleo she was on Mashable, but she wasn’t really impressed and appeared to instead wonder when she’d get her next treat.

April 26, 2011 · Posted by in misc, photo  

FN Cookie
A Fortunate Cookie

So when I opened this cookie I looked to my right and saw a 60+ year old man wearing an auto body shirt with oil stains. Some looked fresh and others put there in his youth. He was nibbling on a chicken wing as if it was caviar. He also had some form of breathing issues or a cold because it alone was disturbing.

Well then on my left was a young woman. Maybe in her low 20′s. Not eating any food. Actually not sure why she was even there. I was there for about 20 minutes and she never put her phone down. Maybe Facebooking or Foursquaring or simply texting her friends, but she did seem very confused based on her facial expressions.

So back to my cookie. Well if one of those 2 random people are my happiness then I’m a not really sure what I’m searching for.

Got an FN Cookie? Send it in, along with your comments, to info@z2marketing.com and we’ll post it here.

April 26, 2011 · Posted by in fncookie  

Easter. A chance for families to get together, eat a whole lot of food, and in the case of my family, the chance to hear laughably odd questions about technology from my grandfather.

Unlike other old farts I know, my grandpa desperately wants to be in the know. Rather than scoffing at social networking as something the young kids do, he wants to be a part of it. Setting up a Twitter account for him and attempting to teach him how to use it may have been one of the most painful things I’ve ever done.

Easter Sunday brunch kicked off with the question, “So what is ‘The Cloud’ exactly?” and went downhill from there. At one point in the conversation, he even asked what the difference was between “regular Internet” and “Apple Internet.” And the fact that he could access his new Gmail account from any computer was a revelation. Sigh.

So when I saw this Mashable article yesterday about grandparents responding to photo emails on a fancy new Kodak digital picture frame, I’ll admit I laughed.

I got down to the third paragraph that describes how easy this digital frame is, and it started, “If those loved ones have a wireless network….” I had an instant flashback to another family gathering, during which I had attempted to describe how wireless Internet works and how it is different than data on my phone. I think I lost my grandpa at “router.” So needless to say, I think many grandparents may be a little behind on technology for this gizmo.

Overall, however, the frame looks like fun. I do wish it had a keyboard, because your commenting is limited to a handful of predetermined phrases, including “OMG!” and “LOL!” which may also require some explaining for this older crowd.

All in all, it’s a great gift for grandma and grandpa… assuming you have five hours of your life to dedicate to teaching it to them!

April 26, 2011 · Posted by in misc  

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