labs

Top Story: Yahoo Acquires Flickr, Launches Re-design

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In the wake of Yahoo!’s social media shopping spree, they have launched a newer, more hip version of the photo sharing site Flickr. While yahoo managed to acquire the property in 2005, they haven’t done much with the site until now. The new redesign focuses on three main points. Flickr is now “biggr” meaning more storage is available to users, more “spectaculr” meaning now users can upload full-resolution photos, and of course is now available “wherevr” with ever-so-instagram-like iPhone upgrade.  Now you can host your photos, and of course as is in vogue, add filters. The site itself is visually stunning. It harkens to the Pinners, Instagrammers, and Facebookers of the world by focusing solely on tiled picture searches. This gorgeous new layout definitely added some pepe to the previously bland white-space background, but will it resonate? Yahoo! hopes that this will unleash Flickr’s full potential, but many are wondering if it’s too little too late, in light of their last-ditch effort to keep the failing company afloat with the recent acquisition of the Tumblr name (for which they paid a cool $1.1 Bil for). Time will tell with this brand. In the meantime, We want to know when Yahoo! Will invest in bringing back the billboard at the Bay Bridge. What do you think? Is this Yahoo!'s comeback?  

Under the Radar: Target Targets Millenials with Cartwheel Launch

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As society becomes more digital, online shopping gains greater popularity as people stray away from physical stores for the convenience of their mobile phones and home computers. Rather than ditching the traditional brick-and-mortar, Target is marrying the digital shopping experience with a physical visit to the store with its new “Cartwheel” application. Cartwheel is a digital coupon app aimed at creating a more social shopping experience. Consumers use their Facebook accounts to sign in. Once they're in, they can choose deals and discounts on products. Each Cartwheel user receives up to 10 spots to add coupons and acquires a badge for every item they add. Cartwheel then creates a single barcode for all deals in the “cartwheel.” Users must then go to a Target store, find the items, and have a sales associate scan the coupon. Where does the social aspect come in? The deals chosen by Cartwheel users then appear in their Facebook Newsfeeds, sparking conversation about the deals with their friends and in turn generating free advertising for Target. The more users shop and talk about deals on Facebook, the more coupons, badges, and discounts they acquire. Thanks to Target’s new Cartwheel application, shoppers now have the luxury of browsing items online, receiving some great savings, and combining their multiple coupons into a single one on their mobile device. Do you think Cartwheel will attract more consumers to Target stores, or do you think it counteracts the ease of online shopping and home shipping?  

Tool of the Week: Bondsy

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We’ve all been there – looking at something that we’ve outgrown or that just isn’t right for us, but would be great for someone else. You could use Ebay or Craigslist, but dealing with strangers just isn’t what you’re up for. In fact, you don’t even want to deal with money. Enter Bondsy, an iOS app bringing bartering into the 21st century. Founded by Brazilian designer Diego Zambrano, the app allows users to trade anything they want to get rid of in exchange for anything their social connections have to offer. What sets Bondsy apart from other peer-to-peer marketplace models is its move away from purely financial exchange. Instead of money, the app places the real value of service on shared experience between connections. “It’s beyond sales,” Zambrano says. “It’s about connections and how we interact with each other. When you’re not restricted to paying for things with cash, things get a lot more interesting.”a When you sign up for the app, you can choose to allow access to your Facebook, Twitter, and phone contact list for a compilation of users in your existing networks who are currently on the app. From there you can see what your connections are looking to trade. Once you post an item you can choose what you are willing to trade for – anything from movie tickets to see The Great Gatsby to a home-cooked meal.

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Bondsy combines the classic trade system of bartering with the added benefits of a closed, social network. Would you use the app? What would you offer to trade?  

Around the Hub: Remembering Our Fallen Heroes

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Memorial Day weekend is almost upon us. For most of us, that means a long-weekend of barbeque, brews, and beaches in the (hopefully) summer sun. While we’re off with family and friends enjoying the day, let us not forget the true reason for celebration. If anyone has passed by the Boston Common the past few days, you can’t help but to notice the sea of American flags planted on the green. More than three hundred volunteers met on Wednesday to plant the 33,000 flags, each representing the life of a fallen service member from Massachusetts from present day all the way back to the Civil War.

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Yesterday, Mayor Thomas Menino and Governor Deval Patrick helped complete the garden with the remaining 170 flags, representing the number of Massachusetts service members who gave his or her life defending the country since September 11, 2001. Following the planting, the Mayor and Governor joined family members of the fallen service members for the reading of the names ceremony. Started in 2011 by the Massachusetts Military Fund, a local non-profit dedicated to supporting the families of deceased Massachusetts military personnel, the flag garden is just one way to honor the bravery and strength of our military heroes. For those looking for other Memorial services to participate in, here are a few: Mount Hope Cemetery in Mattapan will host a ceremony and parade Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The short parade will begin inside the cemetery gate and march to the WWI and WWII Monument where the ceremony will be held. On Memorial Day, an 8 a.m. service will be held at the Fogg-Roberts American Legion Post 78 in Hyde Park. From there, participants will march to a Mass at Most Precious Blood Parish at 43 Maple Street. They will return to the Post for the start of a tour of local veteran’s squares. The procession will end at the Civil War Memorial at Fairview Cemetery for closing ceremony at 11 a.m. Evergreen Cemetery in Brighton will also hold a Memorial Day observance from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. That evening, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino and the city's Veteran’s Services will host a free concert titled, “Remembrance 2013: A Musical Tribute to Our Heroes,” at Christopher Columbus Park at 6:30 p.m. The Metropolitan Wind Symphony and the Boston City Singers will perform.