Category : Why we do what we do

ThingLink and WTF Helsinki Launch Interactive Book for iPad

ThingLink, the largest interactive image community for businesses and consumers, and Helsinki-based advertising agency WTF Helsinki, today announced the launch of an interactive book player for iPad powered by ThingLink.

The book, called Finnish Design Thinking, features 52 Finnish companies within design and technology. The iPad version of the book, powered by ThingLink, features interactive images with branded content, links and videos presenting contextual content on the topic.

”The consumption of the web is moving to mobile and we are pleased to work with WTF Helsinki on an interactive book that combines image viewing with a touch-based browsing experience,” said ThingLink CEO Ulla Engeström.

“The ability to touch and discover content inside ThingLink interactive images delivers a more compelling consumer experience around images that drives engagement and a stronger sense of a brand,” says Pauliina Savolainen – CEO, WTF Helsinki.

 

About WTF Helsinki

‘WTF Helsinki is a creative agency currently operating in Finland and the Baltic region. Our state of mind empowers to define and design new concepts while challenging existing idea. WTF Helsinki is idea driven rather than industry specific, and our customer base incorporates both ends of the business spectrum – from the Baltic’s biggest hotel chain to a small potato farm in Vuojalahti, Finland. We firmly believe that everyone is unique and find divergence a positive attribute that can help a company excel in its field. While we operate out of Helsinki and Tallinn, the world is our playing field’. -Pauliina Savolainen –

www.wtfhelsinki.fi

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ThingLink Rich Media Tags: An overview

We’ve strived to make all content online embeddable on ThingLink images, ranging from streaming media to social profiles to any site enabled with Open Graph. We wish you to be positively surprised every time you drop a link into the image editor and discover that we support virtually all rich content from around the web. In the slide set below you’ll see many of our most popular Rich Media Tags. Head over to ThingLink and try it out for yourself.


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ThingLink Moves Into Euro Fashion with Pixboom Acquisition

ThingLink has today announced the acquisition of Pixboom, the leading interactive image tagging service for the Swedish fashion industry.

Pixboom, founded in 2008 by entrepreneurs Jonas Sujkerbuik and Daniel Aspers and based in Stockholm, enables interactive images on hundreds of Swedish fashion blogs.

ThingLink CEO Ulla Engeström said: “Sweden leads the way in fashion blogging, and we’re excited to merge our collective expertise to build innovative interactive image services for fashion brands in ways that engage consumers and communities.”

Pixboom CEO Jonas Suijkerbuijk said: “We’re thrilled to be part of ThingLink and look forward to providing Pixboom clients with full access to ThingLink’s rich array of media tags, including sound and video players, e-commerce and social tags, image embeds, and one-click image sharing to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and email.”

Fashion blogger Lovisa Hansson added: “During the days I have been using ThingLink, my blog stats increased, and I personally think that the images now have a different function with these tags that I can add on them.”

Pixboom CEO Jonas Suijkerbuijk will join the ThingLink Advisory Board. ThingLink will also establish a community manager position for the fashion industry.

Since launching in 2010, ThingLink has innovated the interactive image category, enabling more than 20,000 publishers of interactive images, including leaders in music, publishing, entertainment, politics, e-Commerce and education.

For more information visit ThingLink.com.

 

 

ThingLink förvärvar Pixboom och tar steget in i Europas modevärld

ThingLink har i dag meddelat att de förvärvar Pixboom, den ledande interaktiva taggningstjänsten för den svenska modeindustrin.

Stockholmsbaserade Pixboom, som grundades år 2008 av entreprenörerna Jonas Sujkerbuik och Daniel Aspers har möjliggjort för hundratals bloggare att öka interaktiviteten på sina bilder på ett enkelt och snyggt sätt.

ThingLinks VD Ulla Engeström säger: “Sverige banar väg för modebloggningen, och vi är ivriga att sammanföra vår samlade expertis för att bygga innovativa interaktiva verktyg för modeindustrin i syfte att engagera nya konsumenter och grupper på nätet”.

Pixbooms VD Jonas Suijkerbuijk säger: “Vi är glada att vara en del av ThingLink och vi ser fram emot att förse alla Pixbooms användare med full tillgång till ThingLinks samling av medietaggar, inklusive audio- och videospelare, e-handel och sociala bildtaggar, bildinfogningar samt delning till Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr och epost med en klickning.”

Modebloggaren Lovisa Hansson tillade: “Under den tid jag använt ThingLink har min statistik på bloggen gått upp, och jag tycker personligen att bilderna nu har en annan funktion med de bildtaggar som jag kan sätta ovanpå dem.”

Pixbooms VD Jonas Suijkerbuijk ansluter sig till ThingLinks rådgivande panel. ThingLink anställer också en community manager för att assistera användare inom modesektorn.

Sedan lanseringen 2010 har ThingLink förändrat den interaktiva bilden, och möjliggjort taggning av bilder för fler än 20.000 utgivare, inklusive ledare inom musik, förlagsverksamhet, underhållning, politik, e-handel och utbildning.

För mer information besök Pixbooms sida på ThingLink.com.

 

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Chris Graham, Digital Strategy Director at Wind-up Records, talks about music marketing, engaging fans and the effectiveness of ThingLink

1. How did you come to be in your current position at Wind-Up?

I started at Wind-up in 2010 and was originally brought in to handle all the labels physical and digital production, as well as digital asset delivery and A&R operations. Being an indie label, we all wear many hats. Having come from a creative background with Universal (was their prior to Wind-up) I grew to take on indie Sales + Marketing, then Digital Marketing and finally to hold my current position of overseeing the Digital Strategy as it relates to Marketing and Sales for Wind-up.

 

2. What are the most important digital trends in the music industry right now? What tools are artists and labels overusing, and what are they under using?

I think the most important trends differ depending on where you are in your career as an artist. For instance, a new band, with no major, or major indie backing them can do so much more than ever before. It’s been said a million times, but you can do a lot on your own now. You can use Sonicbids to book shows, you can sell direct to fans with Topspin, you can get your music on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Spotify and numerous other sites. You can sell it, ask fans to pay what they want, you can give tracks for email and really create a fanbase like never before.

However, having said that, I feel as if I am just repeating what the masses are saying. You still need to separate yourself from other artists. You need to be creative with how you do everything, you need to really have a plan and your plan must be consistent, creative and in-line with what you want your bands image to actually be. And then at the end of the day, your music has to be GREAT.

   

As far as tools, I think it depends on the band and their audience. Twitter and Facebook are obvious and should be used, but sites like Foursquare to offer specials at your shows and drive merch sales and awareness should be considered. Using the basic tools to spread the content in a creative way is far more valuable than spreading yourself thin and trying to establish a relationship with fans on numerous platforms. As a band, use what you would use yourself as a fan and then grow your base from there. Know where your fans are and know how to use the technologies you do use.

I think Flickr, or Instagram works for photos, Foursquare for check-ins, ThingLink for embeds and video promos/photo promos, as well as Facebook and Twitter on a regular basis. You might want to use Google+ and integrate YouTube into that since they tend to go hand and hand, but the most important thing is to not repeat yourself on these platforms. I also think a lot of artists are using Topspin, but I think more should. It feels underutilized to me for some reason. I also think bands are overlooking mobile. Have a mobile website – make sure everything loads on an iPhone and Android, as well as a Kindle and iPad. Do that right now.

 

3. What are the most common mistakes artists and labels make when engaging fans online?

Not asking a question to the fans and thinking that just posting “something” is engaging

 

4. What did you first think when you say Thinglink, and how have you used it with your artists?

I saw what Simple plan did and wish we had gotten to it first. Then we launched some exclusive Evanescence photos with it and they become some of the most shared items ever. I thought it was so simple and effective, that I was actually looking for “what else it did” – it didn’t need to do anything else though – it accomplished numerous items that we use so many other things for. It allowed for sharing, purchasing, following, liking and was engaging and creative all at the same time.

 


 

5. If you could create one killer app or digital tool for artists, what would it look like?

I can’t say because we are currently trying to build the answer to this question.

 

This is the first interview in a series on best practices for using ThingLink in publishing, e-commerce, education, and entertainment. Stay tuned for more.

Interview by Cortney Harding.

 

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Five Ways Interactive Images Can Enhance Brand Engagement

This post by ThingLink CMO Neil Vineberg was recently published by MarketingProfs.com.

Remember image maps? Invented in 1993 at Honolulu Community College by student Kevin Hughes, image maps allow you to include multiple “clickable” areas within one image that link to specified URLs.

With more than 100 billion images online, several companies have expanded on the image-map concept with interactive image technology that lets users aggregate and tag content within images, offering marketers news ways for engaging brand communities.

Continue to the story.

 

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Make today a special Valentine’s Day with a personalized ThingLink card

Oh god, it’s Valentine’s Day again. The Hallmark holiday created to celebrate love has now become a thorny minefield of consumption, rage, heartbreak, and chocolate. It always seems you have two options: you can either protest or give in.

Or you can go the third way and define Valentine’s Day for yourself, celebrating everything you love. Not just romantic partners but friends, kids, mentors, and people you’ve never met but admire and appreciate. Excellent blogger Maria Sheila Riikonen has created a number of interactive Valentine’s cards that celebrate love between partners, but also between childhood friends and classmates. Her images are whimsical and joyful, tagged with a variety of songs, videos, pictures, and links.

So this Valentine’s day, you can sulk, pay too much for dinner, race to the drugstore and buy a card and box of candy at the last minute — or you can use ThingLink to create personalized messages for the people you love. No stuffed animal you snag at the last minute will deliver the same DIY message that a photo with links can provide.

Head over to ThingLink and create your personalized message now!

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ThingLink Celebrity Wish Lists

People like presents. It’s a fact, and as much as we can talk about the spirit of goodwill during the holidays, people still like getting gifts. And it’s almost as fun to put together a gift list as it is to receive the actual gift — from kids poring through toy catalogs to the adult surreptitiously ripping pages out of the Sky Mall catalog on the plane (that adult might be me).But how to convey those wishes to friends and family? Letters to Santa get a little creepy after age ten, and dropping hints (or torn out Sky Mall catalog pictures) doesn’t work all the time.

Why not create an interactive wish list so cool-looking and captivating that people who see it won’t even realize you’re hitting them up for goodies.ThingLinked wish lists are easy to make, fun to share, and you’ll get your money back if no one shells out for those cool presents*. Just sign up for ThingLink (or sign in if you already have an account) then upload your image and tag away.

Here are a few examples:

(disclaimer: the celebrity examples were created by us and not the celebs themselves. Please don’t sue us. And if you are a celeb and want to use us for your wishlist, feel free to do so. Also, the ThingLink staff wishlist was created by us and we do actually want those things, so feel free to buy them for us).

*See, making the wish lists is free, so you don’t put any money in, so you wouldn’t get any back.

 

Lady Gaga

     

 

Newt Gingrich

 

Justin Bieber

 

 

Kim Kardashian

 

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For all you squares out there, here is our official release:

 

ThingLink Launches Voice Recordable Holiday Cards and Wish Lists

Record A Voice Message into Your Holiday Photos

San Francisco, CA – [14 December 2011] – Just in time for the most wonderful time of the year, image engagement tools provider,ThingLink is celebrating the holiday season with the launch of its Interactive Holiday Cards and Wish Lists Maker. The free to use web service allows users to record and embed personal audio messages into holiday greeting cards to give their loved ones something to remember, or to make favourite gift ideas on wish lists come to life, empowered with content from around the web.

“For many younger people, traditional holiday cards are boring and standardized eCard greetings are still somewhat impersonal. At ThingLink, we’ve developed an easy and novel way to share heartfelt, personalized greetings inside digital holiday cards and wish lists,” said ThingLink CEO Ulla Engeström. “Our single image upload service eliminates the need for a separate publishing platform, meaning that anyone can post, tag and share interactive images directly from our homepage at ThingLink.com.”

Visit ThingLink.com and upload your favourite holiday photo, either by dragging the image anywhere atop the ThingLink.com home page or by clicking the ‘upload’ button and selecting one from your computer. Video and music players such as YouTube can be added, along with Flickr photos of family members and personal audio messages can be brought into the mix by using the record feature, powered by leading social sound platform, SoundCloud, to make your greeting card a tailored, interactive experience.

Favourite holiday songs and videos, links to relevant websites (or gift ideas) are all embeddable, and if all you want for Christmas is more followers, rich media tags linking to Twitter or Facebook can be added too. Friends and family can be encouraged to upload their own images and create their own greetings at the ThingLink site via sharing on social network platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. Cards are then ready to email, to avoid taking chances with the Christmas postal service.

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ThingLink Holiday Cards

It’s the most wonderful time of the year — time to send out holiday greetings to your friends and family! Er, maybe not. But at least this year they can be a little more fun and interactive with ThingLink.

With ThingLink holiday cards, you’ll be able to include tons of content, record messages, and send without standing in line at the post office. Simply go to ThingLink.com, sign in or sign up, and upload a great holiday photo (can’t go wrong with the one of your cat wearing antlers and glaring hatefully).  Just like you can use a ThingLinked image to embed and share a video or a song, you can use it to send a recorded message (just use the SoundCloud record feature, or add a YouTube video message). You can also link embed favorite holiday songs and videos, links to sites you love (or gift ideas) and if all you want to Christmas is more followers, you can add a rich media tag to Twitter or Facebook, too.

Since it’s the season to help others, feel free to add a link to support an organization you care about in your message. You can also encourage friends and family to upload their own images and create their own greetings at the ThingLink site.

Here are a few examples we’re created to show you how to spread the holiday spirit:

 

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ThingLink Ramps Up PR Photos

Originally published by O’Dwyer PR.

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Digital PR photos can be enhanced to include links and other content through an expanding service called ThingLink.

Neil Vineberg, the veteran PR pro who is chief marketing officer of Finland-based ThingLink and heads its North American operations, sees the service as a “generational shift” in how users interact with images.

“The job of photo editor becomes more interesting and puts publishers or PR professionals in a position to keep people on their own content,” he said.

With the service, users can embed website links, video content and pop-up info within images, without learning complicated Flash or programming. The “ThingLinked” images are then embeddable by fans, users and journalists within standard web publishing software, creating a trackable PR image unit.

“Instead of emailing a publicity photo to journalists, you can tell them to ‘take my embed code,’” said Veinberg.

Updates made to the images by ThingLink users are distributed to the embedded content so, for example, if a reporter embeds an ThingLinked image in a story, the creator of the image can update the image’s content.

While adopted early as a publicity vehicle in the music industry, use of the service is spreading to publishing and beyond as infographics and other news illustrations are given interactive and tracking capabilities with the service. The popular rock group Evanescence, for example, used ThingLink for its album release Oct. 11 to include embedded links in an image of the album cover to the band’s Twitter and facebook feeds, iTunes and YouTube, among others.

Mashable recently used the service for an infographic on the iPhone (below) while Canada’s National Post created a powerful graphic of the twin towers embedded with links to the windows where victims of 9/11 worked.

Vineberg believes ThingLink has vast potential for the PR sector because of its measurability, ease of use and ability to include information directly from a client (captions, links to websites) within an image.

“It’s a generational shift in how we interact with images,” he said.

(Roll your mouse icon over the image below to see its embedded content)

   

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Building the future of entertainment at Hollywood Hack Day

Over the weekend of November 5 and 6, nearly 70 hackers crowded into the Katalyst offices in LA to build the future of the entertainment industry. Along the way, they were visited by Robert Scoble, Ashton Kutcher, Patrick Vlaskovits, D.A. Wallach from Chester French, and many others. ThingLink was happy to sponsor this event, as well as using it to debut our brand new image application development environment.

 

ThingLink inspired a number of hacks that weekend, including rich media tags for Rdio and Polldaddy (see below).

Another developer, who wound up taking the prize for the best use of ThingLink, created a tag where you can record a video. He also created a tag through which you can call to a cell phone (see below).

The ThingLink team also chatted with guys from Spotify, Topspin, RootMusic, SoundCloud and other cool startups like Mashery, Rdio, Rovi, MOG and Tracks.by, getting some new ideas and sharing feedback.

As always, the hack day had plenty of coffee, Red Bull, programming, and even a little controversy (was the Adobe team really presenting a hack or a corporate reel? The world may never know). We’re definitely looking forward to our next hack day and continuing to build great things.

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