Monthly Archives: June 2012

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Create compelling images for Pinterest or your blog in less than a minute.

I have been preaching the need for including compelling images in blog posts for a while now.

They are essential to Pinterest, and with Facebook’s recent changes you likely should stop sharing your own links and instead upload an image and then post the link in the body of the update (you get more screen space this way and more engagement). In either case, images matter.

But most of us have limited time. It can be hard enough to finish a blog post,  and then you have to find or perhaps create a compelling image to go with it.

Recite This is a tool that takes any text you can come up with and turns it into a great looking image. I have included some of the different image styles in this post.

I have tried other services that are similar. I even paid for Share As Image Pro. But the templates that Recite This is using are some of the best I have seen, and they even let you download a fairly large version of what you create.

Right now the service is entirely free, and you don’t even have to create an account. I think Recite This will quickly get popular, and you will start to see these style of images more frequently. So some of the newness may wear off, but for now you should consider trying out the service and making some quick, shareable images to go with your blog posts or to even just share.

Thanks to Kelly Lieberman for mentioning this cool service.

Pinterest is making Etsy the center of the social commerce world.

Pinterest attribution changes put Etsy at the center of the social commerce universe.

Pinterest just announced on their blog that they are adding more attribution tags to pinned content. Content from Etsy, 500px, Kickstarter, SlideShare and Sound Cloud are all now supported. The change will apply to all pins going forward, and Pinterest will slowly be adding this attribution to previous pins.

How the Etsy attribution works on Pinterest

Like the previous attribution links for YouTube and Vimeo, the Pinterest user will see the full attribution on the pin page with a link to the item page, the store page and to Etsy (see each red arrows below).


Clicking on the image to go to the Etsy shop.

Perhaps even more important, the Etsy shop attribution link actually shows up in user’s pin streams (see image on the right). The red arrow points to Etsy attribution link. Clicking there takes you to the Etsy shop.

This greatly increase the exposure and likely the traffic going to Etsy shops. The friction between seeing something compelling an going to the ecommerce site is significantly reduced.

Etsy now has the unique status of being the only ecommerce site with attribution from Pinterest.

While Pinterest adding attribution may be in part a effort to fight against potential copyright issues, adding Etsy attribution is unique in the history of ecommerce. We already have a number of studies that show that Pinterest is the leader in driving sales from social, but now they are actually providing attribution to just one ecommerce site.

Even small retailers spend thousands of dollars trying to get users to go to their online retail stores. With Pinterest attribution change, Etsy sellers now are getting direct links to their store with every image pinned and repinned. This type of promotion is difficult to put a value on, but it is significant.

It is unlikely that Pinterest will stop with just Etsy. The natural next step would be to add Amazon, iTunes and other popular retailers. For now, Etsy has exclusivity among retailers, and those using this ecommerce platform will be placed at a significant advantage.


Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina

The importance of social media during severe weather is highlighted by a recent Facebook Page suspension.

James Spann, a popular meteorologist in Alabama, had his 90,000+ “Liked” Facebook page suspended in early June. While the suspension was reversed twelve hours later, this situations points to the importance of social media to inform the public about severe weather. It also shows the risks that come with relying on a social network when you don’t “own” your account.

Details of the Facebook account suspension

James Spann was interviewed by Leo Laporte for the This Week in Google (TWIG) show (all the quotes included here come from that interview).  James uses his popular Facebook page to inform people in Alabama about everyday weather but also severe storm issues. During the first weekend in June he went to post information on his Facebook page; he got a message that his account was disabled.

He told Laprorte that, “it’s horrifying because that platform is a very critical way of diseminating information. Understand, when you have an F4, F5 tornado on the ground, this is serious business. This is life threatening.”

Spann contact Facebook via email and got a message back a message indicating that he need to provide a copy of his driver’s license. He sent a scanned version of it back with all his personal information blacked out. His page, “came back magically mid-morning Sunday. It was out for about 12 hours”.

Jeff Jarvis one of the co-hosts of This Week In Google emailed the head of PR for Facebook’s Washington office. Jarvis indicated that, “Facebook can confirm this was an error. They apologize for any inconvenience”.

Social Media and Sever Weather

Southern severe weather at its worst. The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina

While Facebook might be an important part of your businesses overall strategy, cases like this one point to how Facebook updates can literally be “life or death” important when it comes to something like severe weather and tornados. While individuals should have alternative ways to access this information (TV, radio, SMS), people have come to rely on social media, like Facebook, to keep them informed.

Here is Kansas, many of us Twitter users rely on the hashtag #KSstorms to keep updated on the latest severe weather. As someone whose home was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, I wish that Facebook or Twitter had been available at that time, not only to inform people of the risk, but also to help provide better communication during and after the storm.

“Social media is crucial to what we do”, said James Spann on TWIG. He views it as a “two way street”. Not only can he inform the social media audience about severe weather, but the audidence also is helping crowdsource information that can then be shared.

In referencing the tornados of 2011, Spann makes clear that social media saved lives.

Facebook and Twitter usage was critical… I will tell you right now there are people who are walking around in Tuscaloosa Alabama … because these people got the tornado warning via Facebook or Twitter.

You don’t own your Facebook page

Spanns case points out the risk that come with Facebook pages. His page didn’t have any controversial content or even discuss politics; it was strictly weather. He indicated that there was no email to let him know when his page came back, nor was there any type of explination as to why it was removed.

Leo Laporte made an excellent point which is worth remembering:

These are private companies. This in not broadcasting that is licensed by the Federal Communications Commission. They can do what they want.

If your Facebook account is disabled

If your personal account is suspended, go this personal profile disabled page to submit the issue to Facebook so they can look into it.

I was unable to find an official Facebook explanation of how to get a page re-enabled. Hopefully that is because page suspensions are rarely done. If you have experience with this situation or have advice, please add it to the comments.

James Spann agreed to let me send him some questions, but he didn’t end up having time to respond. My guess is he was busy reporting on the serious weather that the South has been dealing with this month.

Dot Unicorn Domain Extension

From A to Unicorn to Z. Irreverent look at the most popular new domain name extensions.

ICANN released the full list of new domain name extention applications today. While some things have changed since the last round of domain name extentions (APP is now most requested), many of the most popular extensions could have been guessed at before the Interent even existed.

Here is my irreverent look at the most popular new extensions for every letter in the alphabet.

APP (13 Requests)

When every business has an app, and no one is actually using them, we will still be able to find them. The most requested domain extension starts us out.

BOOK (9)

Books are not dead, but somehow I doubt these groups are thinking of paper.


Until the apocalypse, the cloud isn’t going away. Ok, even then there might be a different type of cloud.


It isn’t just Apple telling us that design matters. This term won the ICANN cage match vs DATA.

ECO (4)

These groups actually care about the environment or at least cashing in on it.


How happy was I to see that the word FREE still has some value. Reference: @free on Twitter.

GMBH (6)

I felt I might be out of touch with hipster terminology, but this is actually an abbreviation for a German term meaning “a company with limited liability”. Thanks Wikipedia.

German. Not sure on his hipster credentials or business ownership.

HOME (11)

Trying to figure out if the intended use will be a “home” page or if it is for “home” decor. Thinking the former, but didn’t Google buy our home page (read: souls) from Microsoft?

INC (11)

You should likely register .ink right now. Don’t act like you don’t know anyone that won’t be confused.


Juegos means games. I am sad to say I had to Google this one too.

KIDS (2)

We aren’t having as many of them, but just enough that two groups applied for this extension.

LLC (9)

If you ever started a business you read a whole book that could have been summarized in three words:

Form an LLC


How appropriate that we have a tie. Entertainment isn’t going anywhere, and I am getting tired of movies needing to use 40 character domain names to host their sites.

NEWS (7)

Another supposed dying industry that is still important to our lives. This is true even if the majority of our news now involves cute cats and celebrity breakups.

I am not judging. I follow @Gawker on Twitter. 😐


You are online right now. Did I guess that right?


Sounds like a good night to me.


Scrabble players should have been consulted. They know all the best “Q” words.


Listening to the radio (sorry podcast), sitting in a house (these days more like an apartment) & eating delivered food. They got the last part right.

SALE (9)

Couldn’t figure this one out. Surely all nine of them meant SAIL. Oh yeah, the last quarter of the year, when I can’t stop buying things.

TECH (6)

I predict you are using some piece of technology to view this page. Sorry. Is getting near the end, forgive my lack of intelligent comments.


VIP (6)

Beating out VIDEO, and I know you will be shocked, VOTE. Because everyone likes to think they are special.

Web (7)


A tie only because .XXX was already taken.

YOGA (3)

Hope for humanity. A semi-physical activity has three suiters.



All images credited to me. Yes, me. I paid $1 for the right to use that Unicorn image! 😐 One of the proudest moments of my life.

What domain names are you surprised to not see show up? Add your insightful or snarky comments below.

For those looking for something more serious. Here is the full list of domain name extensions applied for:

GTLD strings June 2012


What is on your Pinterest plate

What is on your Pinterest plate? [Infograph]

Click the image for the full sized version.

Want to post this infograph on your site?

Just copy and past the html code below into your post. I only ask that you provide a link back to this page (example included in the code).

<a href=""><img src="" alt="What's On Your Pinterest Plate" imgclass=alignnone size-full</a><a href="pinterest-food-infograph">Infographic from</a>


I did my best to draw food words from Dan Zarrells data on the most pinnable words. I excluded words that didn’t relate to food. In a borderline cases like “cut”, I kept it in the list as it is frequently seen in descriptions about recipies.

I understand the the Pinterest food pyramid is not reflecting of Pinterest users’ diets, but it is interesting to see what a food pyramid would look like based on the most popular food repins.