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In 2013 that sales of fake Twitter followers have the potential to bring in $40 million to $360 million to date and that fake Facebook activities bring in $200 million a year.

Liar Liar: Faking Social Media Followers Is a Booming Biz, But Watch Out” via AlleyWatch

As a growing startup company looking to energize and grow our social media engagement, we are constantly bombarded with spam from companies trying to sell us ways to buy followers. We always shy away from it because we want our engagement to be viral and hopefully authentic. It’s great to see networks clamping down on fake followers and the emergence of tools that help make it simple to see how “real” someone’s followers are.

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Just remember this: VCs need you as much as you need them. Level the playing field by becoming a man/woman of value. Find your swagger. Be memorable. Be insatiable. Let the world know why you are the best entrepreneur out there.

How To Approach VC’s Like a Pickup Artist” via AlleyWatch

Even though I read the Pickup Artist book after I was married, it was still equal amounts hysterical and repulsive, with some very useful tips sprinkled throughout for how to talk to other people (not just women). 

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Awesome to see Office Online getting the branding, unification, and ease of access it sorely needed. 

Microsoft launches new Office Online

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The Goldilocks Syndrome: Why Startups Can’t Find Employees

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Working in small batches ensures that a startup can minimize the expenditure of time, money, and effort that ultimately turns out to have been wasted.

The power of small batches” via StartupLessonsLearned.com

This came up in one of our team meetings the other day here at Contactive as we were talking about a processing workflow in our backend – should we go with small or large batches? Inaki (our CEO) shared this article and I was reminded again how powerful small, learning-based iterations can be for a startup. 

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Google Plus may not be much of a competitor to Facebook as a social network, but it is central to Google’s future — a lens that allows the company to peer more broadly into people’s digital life, and to gather an ever-richer trove of the personal information that advertisers covet. Some analysts even say that Google understands more about people’s social activity than Facebook does.

The Plus in Google Plus? It’s Mostly for Google” via The New York Times.

I am mostly pleased (although sometimes caught off guard) whenever Google’s services help me out in a way I didn’t expect. My favorite scenario is a simple one: when I map an address on my Mac at work, and then 15 minutes after leaving the office I pull out Google Maps on my phone when I (inevitably) get lost getting to my destination. One tap in the search field and it pre-populates with the last search destination from my desktop, saving me a step. Again, nothing revolutionary but very helpful. 

As a technologist and someone who wants to understand and make the most use of anything I sign up for, Google+ frustrates me because I don’t feel like I use it at all. This article is a good reminder that although many of us feel that way, G+ is becoming the key to Google’s service fabric and will likely have a big impact on the way you use their services (if it hasn’t already).

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This part of the business — the lifestyle aspiration, further fueled by user content — is the next well to tap. As it becomes a challenge to differentiate at a hardware level, GoPro has an option not available to its competition: become a platform as well as a product.

GoPro’s IPO isn’t about selling cameras, it’s about creating a media empire” via Engadget

A great read on some of the history of GoPro and how it has morphed from a pure hardware shop to an end-to-end ‘lifestyle experience’ provider. Given how much better prepared they are for an IPO than a few recent big technology companies (read = they have revenue and a sustainable business model), I’m very interested to see how they do this year. 

Disclaimer: I do not own a GoPro camera. But I can’t stop watching that insane GoPro video of the Russian dudes climbing that crazy-tall tower in Shanghai. 

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This is very much me. I still use SMS a lot but at the same time switch almost hourly through Skype, WhatsApp, GroupMe (yes, still), and several others since I have friends scattered across the networks.

Mobile Messaging Startup UppTalk Evolves Into A Low Cost Cell Service With Launch Of UppWireless In U.S. | TechCrunch