Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Mobile with MoonPie Drop

The corner of St. Joseph and St. Francis Streets in downtown Mobile will be the hot spot for New Year’s fun this year. Prepare for a “Fantastic Voyage,” as Lakeside warms up the crowd before legendary rockers Three Dog Night ring in 2012, along with the MoonPie Drop, a laser show and fireworks from atop the RSA BankTrust Building and in Mobile Bay. The event has caught the eye of Travel + Leisure magazine and USA Today, both of which are planning to showcase Mobile’s MoonPie in the coming days.

The events will kick off with a Mardi Gras-style parade at 7:30 p.m. that will parade through downtown. Lakeside and their funky “Fantastic Voyage” will kick off at 9:00 p.m. and be followed by Three Dog Night from 11:00 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. The music will be both diverse and family-friendly taking revelers on a musical flashback. Whether you prefer RC Cola or a glass of champagne, ring in the New Year in downtown Mobile.

“We looked at several locations and wanted to bring the MoonPie Drop and stage location closer together,” said Mayor Sam Jones of Mobile. “The combination of the great entertainment, the uniqueness of the MoonPie Drop and an anticipated large crowd have the makings of one amazing evening,” said Jones. “Our sponsors are making this possible and we are delighted that nearly 20 media markets will be counting down the new year live from Mobile, Alabama.”

The new stage location, adjacent to Bienville Square, will allow for larger crowds, better protection from the weather and great views of the MoonPie and the fireworks shows. A new VIP area on the sixth floor of the RSA BankTrust Building parking deck will enable sponsors to get a bird’s eye view of the entertainment and the falling cookie. The 12-foot-tall electronic MoonPie will descend from the 34-story RSA BankTrust skyrise as the city welcomes 2012 and the beginning of Mardi Gras season.

This year’s MoonPie Over Mobile celebration will start with a Mardi Gras-style parade double the size of the 2010 parade and will feature floats, bands and a few surprises. Afterwards, a street party of live entertainment will help draw thousands of people downtown. Downtown Mobile will be one giant street party that will last into the early hours of the New Year.

“Mobile’s New Year’s Eve Celebration featuring the MoonPie Over Mobile has become a cultural phenomenon in the entire USA,” said Mobile City Councilman Fred Richardson.  “Last year we had more than 40,000 people attend MoonPie Over Mobile and we hope to make it even larger this year,” said Richardson. “I look forward to this New Year’s Eve being the best that has ever been in our city.” First started in 2008, MoonPie Over Mobile gives locals and tourists a chance to experience New Year’s Eve with a bit of Mardi Gras flavor. “It is time to ‘Celebrate,’ just like the Three Dog Night song.” Richardson is credited for creating the MoonPie Over Mobile concept.

“All eyes will be on Mobile this New Year’s Eve,” said Kent Blackinton, general manager of Renaissance Riverview Plaza and president of the Mobile Hotel Association. “We are going to make a great party even better this year, and we are looking to fill the streets of Mobile and the hotel rooms in the city. Television viewers throughout the Central Time Zone can watch MoonPie Over Mobile live in a 35-minute telecast on Raycom stations, but we would rather have you being part of the excitement.”

 

Why a MoonPie?

Mobile is the home of America’s first Mardi Gras celebration, and the MoonPie is the favored “throw” of the hundreds of Mardi Gras maskers riding the floats during the extensive Mardi Gras parade season.  MoonPies were first thrown from Mardi Gras floats in 1952. Today, Mobile consumes more than four million MoonPies annually, and has adopted the delicious treat as an informal emblem. For the MoonPie Over Mobile celebration, this southern city has teamed up with Chattanooga Bakery, the maker of the iconic MoonPie marshmallow sandwich, to create the largest electronic MoonPie as the featured attraction for its New Year’s Eve celebration. This is the fourth year an electronic version of the delicious treat will light up downtown Mobile.

Mardi Gras was first discovered in the New World in 1703 at Twenty-Seven Mile Bluff, the first settlement in Mobile. The first masked parading society, the Cowbellion de Rakin society, was formed in 1830. Mobile currently has more than 50 parading and non-parading organizations. An estimated 850,000 people attend parades, parties and other organizations associated with the carnival festivities. This number will likely increase in 2012.

 

About Lakeside

The Lakeside journey began when a group of high school students from Ohio formed a band made up of talented musicians and has sustained them for more than 27-years. Recording moguls Motown, ABC and Solars have felt the Lakeside vibe producing many of the “Fantastic Voyage” mega hits that took the music industry by storm. The sound of funk hits such as “All The Way Live”, “Raid” and “Outrageous”, are known to draw people to the dance floor like a magnet to metal. And of course, there is the Lakeside anthem that sets the band apart from all the rest. Brought back by Coolio, “Fantastic Voyage” boasts to be the only song to knock Michael Jackson’s “Heartbreak Hotel” from the number one position on the Billboard Charts in 1980. The hit single “Fantastic Voyage” continues to entertain new and seasoned fans.

 

About Three Dog Night

Legendary music icons, Three Dog Night, celebrate their 4th decade, performing to sell-out crowds and bringing along some of the most astonishing chart statistics in popular music including 21 consecutive Top 40 hits, including three #1 singles, 11 Top 10’s, and 12 straight RIAA Certified Gold LPs.

Perfectly re-creating their larger than life songs, Three Dog Night will perform their hits including “Mama Told Me (Not To Come)”,  “Joy to The World”, “Black and White”,  “Shambala”, “One”, “Liar”, “Celebrate” and many more songs that drive their success. Three Dog Night, which is made up of founding members Cory Wells and Danny Hutton on lead vocals, original band mates Jimmy Greenspoon (keyboards) and Michael Allsup (guitar) and completed by Paul Kingery (bass and vocals) and Pat Bautz (drums), now perform for audiences spanning several generations. After nearly 40 years together, Three Dog Night continues to grow its fan base and develop new ways of doing business.   Since 1986, they have performed over 2,000 shows including two Super Bowls.

 

Where Will MoonPie Over Mobile Be Televised?

Raycom Media will be doing a live 35-minute telecast from MoonPie Over Mobile. It will be telecast on the following stations:  WAFF – Huntsville, AL; WBRC – Birmingham, AL; WSFA – Montgomery, AL; WDFX – Dothan, AL; WTVM – Columbus, GA; WPGX – Panama City, FL; WLOX – Biloxi, MS; WDAM – Hattiesburg, MS; WLBT – Jackson, MS; KAIT –  Jonesboro, AR; KTRE – Lufkin, TX; KLTV – Tyler, TX; KCBD – Lubbock, TX; WAFB – Baton Rouge, LA; KPLC – Lake Charles, LA; KSLA – Shreveport, LA; WMC – Memphis, TN; KFVS – Cape Giradeau, MO and KYOU – Ottumwa, IA. Locally, WKRG in Mobile will air the telecast. Other stations are certainly welcome to create their own live telecast.

 

MoonPie Over Mobile Timeline

New Year’s Eve – Saturday, December 31

7:30 p.m. – New Year’s Eve Parade

The downtown parade will feature some of Mobile’s best Mardi Gras floats and marching bands. As America’s first Mardi Gras, Mobile takes great pride in this family-friendly celebration.

8:45 p.m. – Opening ceremony and remarks on Main Stage

Mobile’s elected officials will officially kick off the MoonPie Over Mobile celebration and help prepare the crowd to welcome the New Year and Mardi Gras season. Street vendors will offer a variety of food and drink options for the revelers. *** No glass containers will be allowed on Mobile streets during these events.***

9:00 p.m. –Lakeside performs on the Main Stage.

Get ready for a “Fantastic Voyage” as Lakeside hits the stage. Dauphin and Royal Streets will become a funky party full of fun.

11:00 p.m. – Three Dog Night performs on the Main Stage.

International hits include “Mama Told Me (Not To Come)”, “Joy to The World,” “Black and White,”  “Shambala,” “One,” “Liar,” “Celebrate,” and many more.

11:30 p.m. – Light show begins downtown

Three Dog Night will continue to perform as the lights of RSA Battle House Tower and the Renaissance Riverview Plaza put on a light show for the crowd.

11:59 p.m. – Countdown starts as the giant MoonPie descends from atop the RSA BankTrust Building.

Midnight – MoonPie Drop reaches 6th floor of building. Laser and fireworks show over downtown Mobile.

In addition to the giant MoonPie and laser show on the RSA BankTrust Building, Mobile will have two synchronized fireworks shows to help properly welcome 2012.

12:30 a.m. –Three Dog Night performance concludes.

Crowds enter downtown bars, restaurants and hotels to continue celebrating the New Year.

 

MoonPie Over Mobile Sponsors

City of Mobile

Retirement Systems of Alabama

Thyssenkrupp

International Shipholding

Signal International

Blue Gill Restaurant

SMG

Toomy’s Mardi Gras

Mobile Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau

Chattanooga Bakery

 

Additional Information

For details on MoonPie Over Mobile, visit www.mobilenewyear.com

Information on visiting Mobile and images can be found  www.mobile.org.

More information on Three Dog Night is available at www.threedognight.com

Yes, Twitter is Down, No, Your Internet Isn’t Broken LOL

Don’t Panic Twitter is Down!

After receiving at least 20 phone calls from clients, and trying to send a few tweets myself, I am able to confirm Twitter was indeed down.  Much to everyone’s relief, Twitter is up and running again!  The very popular social networking site Twitter suffered an outage midday Thursday.  The main site, twitter.com, was completely down for more than 45 minutes.  Tweetdeck and other similar Twitter related platforms were down as well.

I did miss seeing the famous fail whale that graced the site often in it’s growing stages when it would hit capacity.  During today’s outage, the company said in a post to it’s status blog, at status.twitter.com, “Users may be experiencing issues accessing Twitter” at status.twitter.com. “Our engineers are currently working to resolve the issue.”

Twitter is Down June 2012 Screenshot

No further reason has been given at this time for the disruption.  We’ll keep you posted.

 

UPDATE on Twitter Outage:

CNN has just reported that the June 21st Twitter outage was the longest disruption in service since an hour-long episode on October 7, which came during a month filled with hundreds of very brief outages, according to Pingdom’s data.  Downtime is a common problem for websites, though Twitter has been far better lately than it was a few years ago, when the site became notorious for its extensive outages.

“Engineers are currently working to resolve the issue,” a Twitter spokeswoman told CNNMoney on Thursday. She declined to comment on a reason for the outage.

Read More from CNN regarding the Twitter Outage.

 

 

Product: Twitter
Website: twitter.com
Company Twitter

Twitter allows users to post text updates via SMS, instant messaging, email, Twitter’s website and third party applications. Users have their own profile page that displays their latest updates. In addition, users can become “friends” with one another, or simply be a “follower.” Other than reading another person’s profile page, a user can also receive others’ updates through text messages, RSS or third party applications. Twitter itself is a free service.

Consumers Using Pinterest to Engage With Retailers More Than Facebook, Twitter

One-Third of Smartphone Owners Who Shop Online Share Their Location With Retailers

Never before has social media been so attractive to consumers, literally. According to the 2012 Social and Mobile Commerce Study, a joint research project by Shop.org, comScore and The Partnering Group, the visually-appealing social media site Pinterest has become a big player in an even bigger arena, with online U.S. consumers reporting that they already follow an average of 9.3 retail companies on the site, compared to the average 6.9 retailers they follow on Facebook and the 8.5 retailers they track via Twitter. Overall, almost two out of five (38%) online consumers follow retailers through one or more social networking sites.

For retailers engaged in the social media sphere, customizing their approach with social and mobile strategies is leading to social commerce success. The report outlines that as social media continues to grow, retailers are actively evaluating where their customers want them to be. The survey found company blogs, YouTube and Facebook command the majority of consumers’ social activity. In particular, seven in 10 (70%) of those who follow a retailer’s blog click through to the website, and though sometimes overlooked in the overall social media mix, more than two-thirds (68%) of consumers use YouTube to browse and research a retail company.

“Retailers have done a commendable job embracing social media – engaging their customers where it makes sense while keeping their brand relevant, interesting, appealing and exciting on each platform,” said Shop.org Executive Director Vicki Cantrell. “Specifically, Pinterest has given retailers another channel to ‘listen’ to and interact with both existing and new customers, telling an ongoing visual story through images of their products and their brand ‘spirit’ – a story that customers can then tell again to their friends and family members.”

When it comes to what spurs consumers to follow retailers on social media platforms, the study found that finding good deals is still the leading reason, but that deals and promotions have lost a little bit of their luster. This year, 51 percent say they follow a retailer to get information on deals and coupons, down from 58 percent who said so last year. Four in 10 (43%) say they are looking for product information and 36 percent want to post/read comments about merchandise or services. Additionally, three in 10 consumers who follow retailers via social media say they are actively looking for information about events (34%), current trends and ideas (31%), or photos and videos (30%), such as “how-to’s” and styling ideas, as well as expert opinions (27%).

“There are significant new opportunities for retailers to entice smartphone owners who may be within a few feet of their store — or already in the store — thanks to technology that lets shoppers who want to hear from retailers instantly interact with them,” said Jennifer Vlahavas, Senior Director, comScore, Inc. “And while check-in and store location functionality are already gaining popularity, retailers have just begun to scratch the surface of using location data to better serve their customers. In-store shopping maps and customized shopping lists are a few of the emerging mobile technologies that promise to shape consumers’ future behavior.”

Smartphones Allow “Social Shopping” Experience for Consumers

Smartphone-toting Americans seem to have no qualms about sharing their location with friends and family members through social media channels, and the study finds they are also interested in sharing their location with retailers. One-third (33%) of those who own smartphones say they have shared their location with retailers. Location-based services, such as Groupon Now!, FourSquare and Facebook have effectively helped retailers instantly reach new and existing customers by targeting special offers, discounts and coupons to their mobile devices once they’ve “checked-in.”

“For retailers, the possibilities are endless when it comes to enticing smartphone owners who may be within a few feet of their store or even already in the store, thanks to technology that lets shoppers who want to hear from retailers instantly interact with them,” said Jennifer Vlahavas, senior director, comScore, Inc. “And while check in and store location functionality are already gaining popularity, retailers have only just scratched the surface of using location data to better serve their customers. In-store shopping maps and customized shopping lists are a few of the possibilities that will cater to the consumer.”

The study found that men are more likely than women to share their location with a retailer (40% vs. 25% respectively), and nearly half (46%) of those aged 18-34 say they have shared their location, compared to just two in 10 (22%) of those aged 35-54.

In very different ways, tablets and smartphones are still an integral part of the average person’s shopping experience these days. The survey found those with smartphones are most likely to use their device for social reasons, such as contacting friends and family about products they see and searching for items nearby, while tablets are more likely to be used to make purchases and comparison shop. Specifically, nearly four in 10 (37%) smartphone owners who shop online say they use their smartphone to take pictures of products and more than one-third (34%) said they send the pictures of the products they see to friends. U.S. online consumers surveyed also say they text/call friends/family about specific products while shopping (33%).

About the survey

The 2012 “Social Commerce Study” provides a unique look into the behaviors and attitudes of consumers regarding social media. The study covers consumer shopping activity and engagement via Facebook, Twitter, customer reviews on websites, group-buying sites and location-based social platforms. 1,507 online U.S. consumers participated in the survey which was conducted in March 2012 by comScore, Inc. The survey participants were selected to ensure that results were representative of the demographics of the U.S. online adult consumer. Results were weighted to accurately reflect U.S. demographics.

comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR) is a global leader in measuring the digital world and preferred source of digital business analytics. For more information, please visit www.comscore.com/companyinfo.

The Partnering Group (TPG) is a global strategy and management consulting firm. Our mission is to build sustainable incremental value for leading retailers worldwide. For more than two decades, TPG has helped retail clients address their strategy, marketing, merchandising and supply chain challenges in order to maximize shareholder value. TPG’s ecommerce, omni-channel and digital marketing practice area is led by consultants with hands-on executive experience at retail. Learn more at www.thepartneringgroup.com.

Shop.org, a division of the National Retail Federation, is the world’s leading membership community for digital retail. Founded in 1996, Shop.org’s 600 members include the 10 largest retailers in the U.S. and more than 60 percent of the Internet Retailer Top 100 E-Retailers. It’s where the best retail minds come together to gain the insight, knowledge and intelligence to make smarter, more informed decisions in the evolving world of the Internet and multichannel retailing. Shop.org programs and activities include benchmarking research, events and networking communities.

Facebook Camera Launches

Today, Facebbook is launching Camera, a new mobile app that makes using Facebook photos faster and easier.

See Your friends’ Facebook photos all in one place

When you launch the camera app, you’ll see a feed of just great photos from the people you care about. You can swipe to see more of any album or tap to enlarge an individual photo.

Facebook Camera Launches

Share multiple photos fast

Now you can quickly share multiple photos all at once instead of having to post one at a time to Facebook. Just select the shots you want to share by tapping the check-mark on each photo and then hit post. You’ll have a chance to add a caption, say where you were and tag your Facebook friends before you share on Facebook.

Facebook Camera Launches Share Multiple Photos Fast

It’s also easy to edit photos with new tools like the ability to crop, rotate and add filters to any picture in your camera roll.

How to get Facebook Camera App

Camera will be available for iPhone starting later today. Get a link to the app  sent via sms to your phone or just search for ‘Facebook Camera’ in the App Store.

Facebook Military Tools Launches Today for U.S. Veterans

[iphorm id=1 name=”Contact Us”][iphorm id=1 name=”Contact Us”][iphorm id=1 name=”Contact Us”][iphorm id=2 name=”Advertiser Contact”][iphorm id=2 name=”Advertiser Contact”]Today, Facebook announced new military crisis content, developed in partnership with Blue Star Families and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Social media use is prevalent throughout military families. Blue Star Families announced their 2012 Annual Survey Results, which showed that more than 90% of respondents reported using some type of social media, of which 86% reported using Facebook daily. The military survey also found the percentage of military family members (for example, military spouses) who have considered suicide (10%) is almost equal to the percentage of service members who have considered suicide (9%).

Because of this, Facebook engineers developed a customized solution to help identify military families and military personnel. In times of need or concern, these groups can find specific information about crisis services for the U.S. military, including the Veterans Crisis Line.

To learn more, read a note on the U.S. Military on Facebook Page or watch a Facebook Talk on May 10 at 3PM EST with representatives from Blue Star Families, Facebook, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Wounded Warrior Project.

4 Ways Facebook’s Instagram Acquisition Works for Brands

Facebook’s $1 billion acquisition of Instagram is a blessing for brands.

Love the deal or hate it (I’m talking to all you early adopters and hipsters), it is time for brands to start building a strategy for the photo-sharing and story telling application.

Yes, I know—another social media platform to worry about? But unlike with other platforms, this one is plugged into the Facebook community, which is still the largest social media website (one in 13 people on the planet are on it!).

While having a Facebook page is crucial for communicating with consumers, Instagram provides brands the opportunity to communicate with consumers in more in-depth ways. Because Instagram is a delightful, easy and curated application to consume and share (as Pinterest is), it could be a pivotal platform for brands.

Here are four reasons the new Instagram acquisition is good for brands:

  1. Instagram is simple. Take a picture, write a short caption, put a pretty filter on it and you’re done. As Pinterest has proved, less is more. Brands that have photography should upload them to Instagram’s straightforward format. Let your photos on the application do the talking for you, and people will follow and comment naturally.
  2. Visual storytelling is key. New studies are showing that consumers are changing the way we see brands with Facebook’s Timeline. When EyeTrackShop recorded eye movements of participants scanning Timeline, where did eyes gaze first? On the cover photo, especially ones with faces versus objects. Photos are important to tell a brand’s story, and Instagram does it in a beautiful way. Furthermore, consumers engage more when photos are involved. Posts including a photo album, a picture or a video generate about 180 percent, 120 percent and 100 percent more engagement than the average post, respectively.
  3. Brands have found ways to advertise in a nonintrusive way. Brands such as Red Bull and PepsiCo have been on Instagram for a while now, engaging with customers with campaigns, like the “daily awesome” image (Red Bull). The thinking is that if people are taking cool pictures anyway, then why not take pictures of their products. Letting consumers spread the word with their photos through their networks is a much better way to spread your message without inundating them with your ads.
  4. Instagram was made for mobile. With all the complaints of Facebook’s mobile application, Instagram was made for mobile, thus making your brand even more visible on today’s most important touchpoint.

Facebook’s purchase of Instagram really is worth all the hype it has received over the weeks. It’s only a matter of time before brands learn their stories through the photo-sharing application—because a picture really is worth a thousand words (or in this case, a billion dollars).

Melissa Pitts is a marketing intern at gyro. She blogs regularly at Newstaco.com, FlamingTortillas.com and Americas Quarterly. Follow her at @mpittsm

EventDay: Smoother Events, Greater ROI

Event Day Logo Microsoft Bizspark Featured Startup

Editor’s Note: Microsoft BizSpark is a global program that helps startups succeed by providing technology, business and technology consulting, access to its vast marketing and partner network, and fostering a BizSpark community. This article is part of a special series that features some of the 45,000-plus startups that have joined the BizSpark program with an eye toward creating successful businesses, jobs and superior value.

Virtual events haven’t replaced in-person events, but they’ve upped the pressure to deliver superb value to attendees, sponsors and organizers. Microsoft BizSpark One startup EventDay uses Windows Azure and mobile technologies to help ensure that the benefits of meeting in person justify the physical effort and time commitment for attendees.

“If you want to know where someone’s deepest interests lie, look at the events he or she attends in person,” says Scott Mitchell, EventDay’s CEO and co-founder. EventDay founders set out first to identify why attending events in person is important to people, then to provide event organizers with the tools to better market, manage and monetize their events.

Whereas most event management companies rely on less-efficient approaches, EventDay from the beginning built its solution on cloud technologies, specifically Windows Azure, coordinated with smartphones and other mobile devices, to provide rapid scalable responsiveness.

For its two primary types of clients — medium-sized organizations holding events with a large number of attendees and organizations running big-ticket, elite events for a few VIP participants — EventDay saves enormous amounts of time and stress for planner and attendee alike through microsites, ticketing and registration, a mobile app, digital signage, archived event content, and lead generation for future events. Its services translate into more efficient, successful and profitable events. The ability to quickly and efficiently fashion effective post-event engagement with attendees is a core value of the system and key to growing a strong customer base that provides excellent return on investment for events.

“Whether it’s a big event to launch a new consumer electronics product, a select gathering for top executives of Fortune 50 companies or ongoing registration of up to 1,000 people a day at a Florida timeshare hotel, EventDay creates value for everyone involved,” says Scott Cate, co-founder and CTO of EventDay.

From Annoying to Smooth and Successful Events

“Event management traditionally is annoying, and so many things can go wrong the day of an event,” says Mitchell. “Our main focus, regardless of the scope or the size of an event, is to reduce the amount of time participants spend standing in line to check in. We also work to add value to everyone: the organizers, sponsors, participants and speakers.”

EventDay check-in happens in about three seconds, which is the time it takes the EventDay software to scan a quick response (QR) code from a participant’s smartphone and transfer the data via Azure to an onsite printer that prints out the participant’s badge.

“Instead of the bottleneck we’re all accustomed to seeing at an event’s registration desk, EventDay keeps lines of attendees moving continuously as they approach the desk and receive their badges,” says Cate. “People can’t believe how fast we handle this traditionally tedious process.”

The foundation of EventDay’s approach to event management rests on participant identity: knowing who’s who and what they’re doing before, during and after the event. This focus informs a full range of activities, including printing badges and digital signage on demand, promoting greater connections among participants and with sponsors, triggering post-event marketing workflows, and boosting organizers’ return on investment through improved efficiencies as well as revenue streams from follow-on content distribution.

“One recent EventDay client reported three times its return on investment from using our software because content presented at the event was archived, ready for download and available to re-monetize within 24 hours,” says Mitchell. “For every dollar this client invested in its event, it generated three dollars in revenue — from videos and other content purchased by participants at the in-person event and from offering a companion virtual event to people unable to attend in person.”

Windows Azure and Mobile Technologies Power EventDay

“Windows Azure is an essential ingredient in our superfast check-in,” says Mitchell. “And we were lucky that the maturation of the Windows Azure platform coincided perfectly with when we started EventDay, enabling us to be cloud-based from the ground up.”

Clients using the EventDay software platform begin with a simple “create a new event” process that leads to a true microsite encompassing an event’s sessions, topics, timing, speakers and logistics. The EventDay software automatically creates mobile applications, which are based entirely on native code, that contain this same information. Changes made at any time up to and during the event are reflected instantly on both the microsite and the mobile apps.

One recent EventDay client reported three times its return on investment from using our software because content presented at the event was archived, ready for download and available to re-monetize within 24 hours.

Scott Mitchell, EventDay co-founder and CEO

When a participant arrives at the check-in desk, EventDay turns a complicated task into a smooth experience that takes only seconds. Its software scans the attendee’s QR code on his or her mobile device, sends a message to a Windows Azure service that logs the credentials for storage, and then publishes the card verification number. From there, the service broadcasts the message down to a printer at the check-in desk to create badges, digital signage and other materials. The software can also use radio frequency identification, though most organizers choose QR codes. The process creates a secure and organized system that provides several benefits to customers.

“Windows Azure provides true platform-as-a-service (PaaS), as opposed to merely infrastructure-as-a-service,” says Cate. “This PaaS approach takes care of so many details that we don’t have to spend time specifying in the software. It also allows us to scale up and down at will, which is invaluable for a business such as ours, where we might have multiple huge events one day, then nothing for a week.”

BizSpark Supports EventDay’s Fast, Organic Growth

The BizSpark One program identifies a small number of high-potential companies in the Microsoft BizSpark program composed of more than 45,000 startups from over 100 countries around the world. Microsoft works closely through a one-to-one relationship with these companies, providing customized engagement plans to accelerate their growth.

“Our BizSpark One cloud portfolio director, Karun Bakshi, is really working on our behalf and is clearly on the same team,” says Mitchell. “Through the BizSpark One program, we gain contact with the right people at Microsoft, especially in marketing and thought leadership, who can help us with both information and guidance as well as introductions to additional resources. For example, when we might be ready to seek outside investment, we have already been introduced to several leading venture capitalists through BizSpark.”

When EventDay was invited to join the BizSpark One program, the founders were interested from a strategic business standpoint. Participation in the program provides access to the latest Microsoft technology, mentorship and solid business advice.

“It’s really great to have smart people working on our behalf, and the BizSpark feedback is invaluable for building our company,” says Cate. “Because EventDay has grown totally organically, using all our own money, we focus our decisions on a few key criteria: does it work? Is it efficient? And what’s the impact on our wallets? Our BizSpark advisors help to amplify our business and marketing efforts so we can continue building on our early success, and the Windows Azure technology base allows us to put our precious personal dollars toward software development rather than systems administration. These things are a really big deal to a startup like EventDay.”

Facebook IPO Price Announced Today at $28 to $35 Per Share.

facebook IPO Price Announced Today 28 to 35 Per Share

Facebook IPO Price

Facebook, founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg,  announced this afternoon the opening price for its initial public offering at $28 to $35 per share. Facebook will offer 157,415,352 shares of Class A common stock in the near future.  At the time of it’s IPO, which could take place within a few weeks, Facebook is on course to become the world’s most valuable U.S. Internet company surpassing current record holder, Google, which was valued at $23 billion when it first went public in 2004.   The Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook would price its shares in the high $20s to mid $30s range, putting the company at a valuation of $85 billion and $95 billion.

Facebook Statement From Their S1 Filing Reads:

“Facebook, Inc. is offering 180,000,000 shares of its Class A common stock and the selling stockholders are offering 157,415,352 shares of Class A common stock. We will not receive any proceeds from the sale of shares by the selling stockholders. This is our initial public offering and no public market currently exists for our shares of Class A common stock. We anticipate that the initial public offering price will be between $28.00 and $35.00 per share.”

“We have two classes of common stock, Class A common stock and Class B common stock. The rights of the holders of Class A common stock and Class B common stock are identical, except voting and conversion rights. Each share of Class A common stock is entitled to one vote. Each share of Class B common stock is entitled to ten votes and is convertible at any time into one share of Class A common stock. The holders of our outstanding shares of Class B common stock will hold approximately 96.3% of the voting power of our outstanding capital stock following this offering, and our founder, Chairman, and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, will hold or have the ability to control approximately 57.3% of the voting power of our outstanding capital stock following this offering.
We have applied to list our Class A common stock on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “FB.”  ”

“We are a “controlled company” under the corporate governance rules for NASDAQ-listed companies, and our board of directors has determined not to have an independent nominating function and instead to have the full board of directors be directly responsible for nominating members of our board.”

Facebook S1 Amendment Filing IPO 28 to 35 Per Share

Download the full Amended S1 Facebook Filing Here.

See Facebook Fact Sheet here.

Discovery Channel Acquires Revision3 Top Digital Video Provider

Purchase  of Revision3 Will Bolster Discovery’s Leadership in Creating & Delivering Content Across All Screens

Revision3 acquired by Discovery Channel

Discovery Communications announced today that it has entered into an agreement to acquire San Francisco-based digital video provider Revision3. Leveraging Revision3’s vast experience in creating engaging online video content in a cost-effective manner, the transaction helps fuel Discovery’s strategy of being the number one nonfiction media company on all screens.

Revision3 was founded in 2005 by Kevin Rose, (I call him Genius) also founder of Digg.com and TechTV, Jay Adelson (Digg, Equinix) and David Prager (TechTV). Louderback, former editor-in-chief of PC Magazine and a veteran of TechTV, joined Revision3 as CEO in 2007. Louderback and team will continue their leadership of Revision3 under the new ownership structure.

*For those of you that don’t know the history of Digg.com and Kevin Rose, we will be sharing a post later this week regarding how Digg.com and Revision3, under Kevin and Jay’s direction, helped change the way the media delivers your news online today!

“Discovery’s mission to ignite viewers’ curiosity and its history of pioneering new platforms – from cable to HD to 3D – make it the logical leader in this explosive new wave of digital video growth,” said JB Perrette, Chief Digital Officer, Discovery Communications, who made today’s announcement. “With Revision3’s industry-leading management team and roster of great talent, we look forward to cultivating more original content and fresh personalities that resonate with passionate communities online and across all platforms, while enhancing our innovative marketing solutions for advertising partners.”

The leading independent Internet digital video production company, with more than 23 million monthly unique viewers across 27 digital channels, Revision3 has created a technology and distribution platform that powers the scalable production, monetization and distribution of video content for passionate online communities. With programs hosted by authentic online celebrities, including top bloggers, Twitter stars and YouTube sensations, the company’s content aligns with many of Discovery’s top linear program genres, such as tech, cooking and popular science. Revision3 boasts one of the 10 largest networks on YouTube and distribution with more than 40 other partners including iTunes, Google, AOL, Yahoo!, TiVo, Roku, Boxee, CNET and Zune.

“Revision3 has always focused on creating compelling programs featuring authentic hosts that sit at the center of engaged and targeted communities,” said Jim Louderback, CEO of Revision3. “We’re huge fans of Discovery’s networks, and couldn’t imagine a more appropriate company to team up with to develop the future of original web-based video.”

For this transaction, Discovery Communications was advised by Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, and Revison3 was advised by RBC Capital Markets and Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian, LLP.

The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, and the parties expect the closing to occur on or before June 1.