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If you want to participate in the kickoff of the holiday shopping season without feeling too much like a market-driven drone, check Small Business Saturday with the help of these social networking tools.

Between Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the unending onslaught of online deals, there is another holiday shopping day that might get lost in the shuffle: Small Business Saturday. This year marks the second annual such event, a new tradition that tries to steal some addition from chain retailers and big e-commerce sites and give it to local vendors.

And this year, the fledging ritual is getting some serious attention from social media sites. Facebook, Twitter, and Google have all pledge their efforts in support, offering and encouraging small business owners to use their sites’ tools to promote shopping this weekend.

Local retailers aren’t the only ones who stand to benefit this weekend. What happens to consumers who want the discounts but sans the chain names (that are sometimes attached to controversy) they go hand in hand with? Small business Saturday can fill that void along with the help of some geo-social applications.

Foursquare

amex-foursquareFoursquare has been at the top of the social-meets-location game since it began, and Small Business Saturday will be no exception. If you have an American Express card, sync it to your Foursquare account following these directions. Then when you check-in to shops who have partnered with the service via Foursquare on Saturday, you will see a button that says “load to card.” Then when you spend at least $25 or more at the participating store, you’ll get a notification saying $25 was credited to your Amex account. American Express is a sponsor of Small Business Saturday, so ratcheting up sales is in its best interest, but turns out they’re willing to compensate you for helping make the event a success.

 

etsy_iconEtsy

The purveyor of all things handcrafted is a natural fit for small business Saturday—and will appeal to those who want to buy “local” without leaving their living rooms. Just searching “Small Business Saturday” on the site brought up a slew of items that will be on sale this weekend, andthis blog catalogued some of the best e-shops on the site that offered discounts last year.

 

 

thedealmixDaily deal sites

While the likes of LivingSocial and Groupon tend to offer food and spa deals, the occasional local retailer pops up. Between now and Small Business Saturday, a minimal amount of homework and creating an account with one (or all) of these sites could save you some Monday. We’d advise getting with something likeThe Dealmix, which collects a large variety of all these local deals. Keep an eye out on any of these applications for vendor or shop deals in your area. Then make a call or check Facebook to see if they are participating in Small Business Saturday. Then add those savings to whatever discount the daily deal site was offering. Of course, you should check that you can use coupons during the Saturday sale.

 

 

 

Facebook

Facebook is offering a slew of tools for small businesses to take advantage of, but the site is also catering to consumers. Check out the Small Business Saturday Facebook page and you’ll have access to a variety of information, including city guides for optimizing your local shopping in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco, as well as organized events in cities nationwide. Some of them include raffles, free gift wrapping, Santa visits for the kids, and community breakfasts.

 

 

 

 

smallbiz twitterTwitter

Be sure to follow your favorite local business on Twitter, if you haven’t already. We’re sure a great many of these sites will have implemented a Follow button (one of the tools in the Small Business Saturday kid), and will be using the hashtags #ShopSmall, #ShopSmallNov26, #SmallBizSaturday and #SmallBusinessSaturday to spread word of their discounts this weekend.

Facebook has been working for two years on a secret Facebook phone project named Buffy. Facebook is rumored to be teaming up with HTC to be build a device with a modified version of Android to create a fully integrated Facebook experience.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer might be making a comeback, but as a phone instead of a TV show or movie. Today AllThingsD is reporting that Facebook has been working on an official Facebook phone code named Buffy. The social media giant is rumored to have teamed up with HTC to produce a fully integrated Facebook mobile device. If these rumors are true we shouldn’t expect to see a Facebook phone for at least 12 to 16 months.

We started hearing rumors about a Facebook phone over a year ago, which seem to be true since the Buffy project has been in production for almost two years now. We have seen phones launch in the past year with Facebook integration, and even with a dedicated Facebook button. Buffy is said to be something completely different from anything we have seen thus far.

Buffy is said to run on a modified version of Android tweaked by Facebook so that all of its services are deeply integrated into the phone. It is also said to support HTML5 as a platform for applications, which means you should be able to play all of your favorite Facebook games on the phone.

Facebook’s app is one of the most popular app on iOS, Android, Windows 7, and Blackberry but being just an app comes with restrictions. With Google able to fully integrate Google+ into Android phones, and Apple’s new partnership with Twitter it seems like Facebook needs to make its own device to stay competitive.

Over 350 million people use Facebook apps on mobile phones, and Facebook knows that the future of social networking is mobile. Is the Facebook phone going to be too little too late when it finally comes out?

 

Provided by Mike Dunn

 

Thanks to FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and a slew of other social media platforms, job seekers are closer than ever to the decision-makers at their target companies.

While social media is wonderful as a stand-alone tool in any job seeker’s toolbox, you should know that it’s even better when combined with other “old-fashioned” standbys — such as your resume.

The glory of a resume is that it’s completely fluid. A resume can be big, small, online, offline, video-recorded, illustrated, etc. No matter the format, your resume will only improve when combined with social media.

Follow these four tips to optimize your resume with social media.

 


1. Link to Social


Nowadays, 10.9% of resumes include a social media link, and the number continues to rise. The more transparent you make yourself to potential employers, the the more comfortable they’ll be hiring you.

Include your FacebookTwitter and especially LinkedIn profile URLs along the top of your resume, next to your name, email and phone number. Make sure the links are handy so the employer can quickly learn more about you, without having to do a lot of digging.

 


2. Fact-Check Yourself


While sending your information out in a dozen different directions, it’s easy to overlook outdated information. Therefore, update constantly. An employer shouldn’t see one thing on your resume and something different on LinkedIn.

Keep a list of all the social media and career sites on which have professional accounts or information. Once a month, check to make sure everything is up-to-date and matches your current resume.

 


3. Don’t Just Copy/Paste


Your resume is full of content that also works great for your social media profiles. Feel free to use information from your resume for social network sections like “work experience,” “about me,” etc.

However, remember to share carefully selected content. Don’t just copy/paste your entire resume into your “about me” section. Not only will this flood your profile, but your resume’s formatting probably won’t travel well either.

Instead of copy/pasting, select a handful of solid phrases or anecdotes for your social profile. That way, you’ll guarantee that anyone reading your profile will get the most important information.

 


4. Use Keywords for SEO


Beyond your experience, skills and goals, remember that keywords are king. The unfortunate truth about today’s job search is that potential employers use Google and almighty Applicant Tracking Systems to peruse social media sites for the best candidates.

To stay on top of current industry jargon, study similar job listings for words that pop up frequently. Additionally, a variety of powerful SEO tools, which already exist for marketers, can easily be re-purposed to optimize your resume for search.

What do you think? What other tips should social media-savvy job seekers keep in mind when optimizing their resumes for social media? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

 

Provided by Gerrit Hall

unthink-invitation

Dubbed the “anti-Facebook,” newly launched social network Unthink aims to free users from the bonds of corporate money-making by giving them complete control over their personal data.

There’s a new social network in town, and it bills itself as everything Facebook’s not. Unthink.com, which opened up registration today for an initial round of beta users, says it is the “anti-Facebook,” and vows to give users complete control over their personal data.

Unthink, which is based in Tampa, Florida, came out swinging, with a manifesto that vows to “emancipate social media,” along with a promotional video that literally says “FU” to Facebook andGoogle+ for making money by “spying – yes, spying” on users and bombarding users with ads, among other grievances.

According to Unthink chief executive Natasha Dedis, the idea for a new kind of social network came to her in 2007, when her son asked to join Facebook. After reading Facebook’s terms and conditions, as well as the terms of MySpace (which reigned king of social media at the time), Dedis said in an interview with SixEstate that she realized that these companies were operating under a business logic that was “totally irrational and exploitative.”

“…I felt that they were basically taking my son hostage,” said Dedis. “He was giving them a perpetual license to do whatever they wanted, they could change the terms at any time. So I thought, ‘Oh my god, in the real world, no business could ask its clients to enter into such a legal relationship. So how is this even legal on the Web?’ It just baffled me.”

Unthink attempts to tackle the exploitation problem in a number of different ways. First, Unthink makes all user data private by default. Users may then allow others to see the information they want public, and keep private anything they want private. Next, Unthink doesn’t sell user data to companies. Instead, users can choose to have specific brands “sponsor” their pages. Any users who don’t want corporate sponsorship can pay a $2-a-year fee to use the service. In addition, Unthink users may choose how brands communicate with them via a section that’s totally separate from their regular information stream.

As we see it, Unthink faces an inconceivably difficult uphill battle against Facebook and Google+. At the same time, however, Unthink’s servers are, at the time of this writing, completely overwhelmed by the bombardment of traffic headed to the site today. While some may see that as evidence that the company is unprepared for the big leagues, it at least shows that people are interested in a Facebook alternative – something we saw in droves with the launch of Google+.

We’ll definitely be exploring Unthink more in the coming days. In the mean time, check out Unthink’s in-your-face promo video, and let us know what you think of, er, Unthink:

Provided by Andrew Couts

Facebook-browsing

With the addictive nature of Facebook growing with more personal information being shared on the social network, some women would ditch their partners to peruse the latest batch of status updates rather than spend time in the bedroom.

 

In a survey of over 2,000 women conducted by Cosmopolitan magazine, one in five women would rather give up sex for a week than giving up all the time spent on Facebook checking up on the lives of friends. Adding to that figure, about 57 percent of the female respondents would rather hang onto their computer than give it up for a week just to have sex and 50 percent would do the same with their mobile smartphone. However, 80 percent of the group would easily give up their favorite television shows for a week and 70 percent would stop texting over a mobile phone for a week to continue having sex.

A recent Telenav study in August 2011 found that one-third of Americans wouldn’t give up their smartphones for a week to continue having sex. Combine that with the Cosmopolitan survey and that percentage is likely skewed upwards due to more females over men ditching sex to hang onto their smartphone. Over vices and activities that ranked over 50 percent in that Telenav study included exercise, caffeine, chocolate and alcohol; all of which would easily be halted for a week to continue using a mobile phone. Another study from the presentation creating SlideRocket found that nearly one out of four people would give up sexual relations if that meant being able to avoid another boring PowerPoint presentation while in an office meeting.

Even more extreme, a Kelton Research study conducted during June 2011 found that 25 percent of college students would give up dating and sex for an entire year if they could ditch purchasing and lugging around heavy textbooks. The alternative would be in the form of digital textbooks through devices like the Kindle. Seventy percent of the group preferred the idea of digital textbooks over the paper alternative and over half of the group claimed that it would make studying more efficient.

 

Provided by Mike Flacy