#Rokerthon, Twitter Improved Interface, Raise.com & DigiRevCon

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Top Story: #Rokerthon

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Al Roker, well known weather anchor on NBC Today, completed an incredible feat this morning. He successfully beat the world record for the longest uninterrupted weather forecast-an awe-inspiring 34 hours.

The Guinness World Record was officially established this morning, during the Today show forecast. The previous record holder was by Norweigian television host Eli Kari Gjengedal, who forecasted for 33 hours straight. Roker managed to garner a tremendous amount of public support and attention during this 34 hour period.

The incredible television broadcast began to be compared to a marathon, which led to the coining the creative tagline #rokerthon. Various social media platforms are trending the hashtag, and television stations around the world streamed his forecast. Screen Shot 2014-11-14 at 11.22.47 AM Screen Shot 2014-11-14 at 11.23.13 AM Screen Shot 2014-11-14 at 11.23.39 AM Screen Shot 2014-11-14 at 11.47.23 AM

Roker kept audiences entertained with jokes throughout. During his first bathroom break, he suffered a microphone malfunction where the audio was kept live. He joked to audiences by mentioning, “live streaming has a new meaning”. His hilarious one liners had the viewers engaged- for example at 12:05 am he said,

“Im sorry, I just napped there” or at 5:18 am-“If I see the groundhog, I’m slapping him.”

Roker’s wife Deborah Roberts dropped off hot chocolate in between, and many other celebrities (including Aaron Sorkin, Diego Klattenhoff, Nick Lachey, and more) showed their support by visiting the studio.

The 34 hour challenge left Roker with an incredibly raspy voice, but unhindered spirit. His accomplishment was celebrated by everyone in the studio with confetti explosions and hearty congratulations upon his receiving the world record. He mentioned, in an exasperated voice, “I don’t feel that tired”. When asked if he would attempt to beat the record again next year, he replied by saying,

“I’ve done this once. That’s it”.

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Roker managed to raise $70,000 for the United Service Organizations (USO) by beating the world record, and even get accolades from US Vice President Joe Biden, who called in to congratulate Roker on the Today Show.

“You never cease to amaze me, man! All that money for the USO! Thanks, Buddy!”

 

Tool of the Week: Raise.com creates the ultimate app for your inner bargain hunter

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The app lets users buy discounted gift cards for instant rewards and savings.

Raise.com’s website has just gone mobile. The tool, which lets users buy unused gift cards at a discounted price, reveals a barcode for scanning within seconds for point-of-sale moments when a shopper is in need.

Raise.com initially raised $18.1 million last December for series A funding. Although CEO and founder George Bousis wouldn’t disclose exact numbers, it seems as if the company’s recent expansion onto mobile devices indicates increased revenue, which is most likely due to the company’s 500% growth since last year. Bousis claims

“hundreds of thousands” of users have bought gift cards from the site, which boasts over 750 to 850 brands at any given time.

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If you’re unfamiliar with how the site works, here is a quick rundown:

“The website, for those unfamiliar, is a typical online marketplace. Sellers can list their gift cards without any selling fees, and then Raise.com takes a 15% commission on gift card sales. The idea is that, for sellers, their unused or partially used gift cards are items they’d rather sell for a little less than face value in order to receive cash or put the funds toward a gift card of their own choosing. For buyers, Raise.com is an even more appealing – you’re basically getting free money when you buy a gift card for less than what it’s worth.”

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The service’s online presence called for a little bit of ahead-of-time planning, but with the app, shoppers can now receive on-site saving. In the future, Raise.com hopes to launch push notifications that alerts users when a gift card is available for the store they are visiting.

Whether for $100 or $10, Bousis hopes the application will create a mutually beneficial relationship for the holders of unwanted gift cards and potential buyers.

“For us, it’s opening up that spectrum to allow anyone to save money at any store.”

 

Under the Radar: Twitter aims to welcome all with an improved interface

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Twitter recently held a 7-hour Analyst’s Day conference call that outlined modifications that will fundamentally change how all users interact with the social media site.

CEO Dick Costolo held the meeting to discuss specific, attainable advancements that would ease the initial challenges for new users to adjust to the twittersphere. The company will also aim to re-engage the 500 million of its monthly logged out visitors that are intrigued but not completely sold on the social media platform.

Here is a list of some of the (many) transformations that Twitter will implement within the coming months:

Instant Timeline

There’s no need to feel lonely on Twitter as a new user; The social media platform has launched a timeline pre-filled with interesting and engaging content. In addition, users’ feeds will also be changing with a new “While you were away” feature, which shows the best tweets since your last visit on the website. This new component shows a shift from Twitter’s traditional unfiltered feed to a decidedly more pointed and sorted list.

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New Initial Set-Up Interface

When users first join twitter, they often feel marooned on a lonely branch with few friends or interaction. Luckily, the new onboarding process is noticeably shorter, easier, promotes the significance of joining, and quickly generates a welcoming timeline.

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A series of steps guides users through a tutorial of Twitter’s benefits, shows options for selecting categories of interest that can be added to their timeline and prompts new members to upload contacts so they can instantly connect. At the final step, Twitter uses this previous information to suggest additional accounts to follow.

Additional Tools

All the fun new features weren’t just saved for new users.

Twitter users will now have the added function of uploading, editing and sharing videos in real-time. This new option will counteract Vine, which is not able to open from within the app.

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Messages will now be available for only a select few with Twitter’s new ability to privately share a tweet. Direct messaging will be easier due to the added function of a button that instantly shares a tweet.

New Ad Pages

The Card platform, a new interface within the tweet that allows brands to create numerous numbers of formats, will allow almost every piece of information to be turned into paid placement. New layouts including interactive configurators, instant dialing to companies and polling cards will create canvases that allow brands to generate personalized, direct messages to its most engaged followers.

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Twitter for All 

These improvements will allow Twitter to forge stronger brand-to-consumer relationships, expand user sign-ins and create inviting, easy interfaces. With these changes in mind, it looks as if the social media platform is fully committed and eager to reach its goal of 1 billion users. Lets hope in the midst of making the company more marketable to brands, Twitter continues to provide an engaging online community that serves all voices.

For more information about additional updates, changes and additions, here’s a full list of what Twitter has in store.

 

Around the Hub: 451 Marketing Hosts DigiRevCon

DigiRevCon

On Tuesday, 451 Marketing hosted DigiRevCon, a conference centered on the digital marketing revolution. Thought leaders from all aspects of marketing joined together in discussing the new age of digital marketing, and how to best serve brands and consumers. Here are a few takeaways from Tuesday’s conference:

“Focus on quality- Jeff Avalon”, IdeaPaint

“Do something that challenges you. Don’t create something easy to create”- Robin Ruttle, Wagamama

“Humanize your brand. Don’t dwell on the negativity- Damien Smith”, Yelp Boston

Explore these insights and more on the DigiRevCon roundup on 451Heat, written by Pampan Zhang!

 

451 Labs

451 Labs conducts experiments in creative design, advertising, public relations, digital marketing, media buying, experiential events, and content marketing to give you the inside scoop on the latest in digital marketing.

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