Highlighting Thinglink’s new features

Thinglink recently launched a new front page and we’re proud to highlight some of the features. The updasite makes it easier for brands, bloggers and publishers to get started with Thinglink and signing up is just one click away. We’ve listed some of what’s different in the image below. Feel free to browse around.





We are also testing out an Amazon affiliate model with image tags . Drop us a line at info@thinglink.com and we’ll tell you more on how you can try it out.


We would love to hear what you think, so please comment here or let us know on Twitter.

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Amazon associate beta testers wanted

Thinglink will beta release an Amazon associate feature today. This means that you’ll be able to link your image tags to Amazon products and generate revenue on sales completed through your links. It’s already working like a charm but we would like to know what our users think. Therefore we’re now looking for a few good beta testers.

Just drop a line to info@thinglink.com and we’ll tell you more about it.

What is the Amazon Associate Program? and how might I benefit from it by linking my images?

 

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Thinglink sticker challenge: Suggest a design and win an iPad

Thinglink (www.thinglink.com) challenges visual thinkers to create a visual graphic concept to be used by Thinglink in promo stickers. We have two favorite slogans, which we would like to see on a sticker with our logo.

Further specifications:

– Each sticker design should contain one slogan.

– Slogans to be used: “ONE THING LEADS TO ANOTHER” and “THINGS WILL NEVER BE THE SAME” (free choice of capital letters).

– Each design should contain the Thinglink logo (see attached)

– No size restrictions, ideally suitable for laptops, note pad covers, etc. small items

– The design should be applicable to stickers, and possibly with small alterations to posters and T-shirts

Here is the Thinglink logo

Prize – iPad!

Thinglink will post the candidates on the thinglinkblog.com and people can vote for their favorite by mousing over the image. Our small but influential Jury will award one winner with a brand new iPad.  On top of this you will get praise on our blog.

Rules

The challenge is open to anyone.

Several entries per person are allowed.

Designs must be submitted before January 31, 2011.

Designs must be your original work and exclusive property.

All intellectual property rights for winning entries will be assigned to Thinglink.

Thinglink may rework the image/design to prepare it for use.

Send submissions via email to jonas@thinglink.com.

About Thinglink

Founded in 2008, Thinglink creates image interaction tools for publishers. Thinglink technology lets businesses and consumers connect objects within photos to anywhere on the Internet. Read more: thinglink.com

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5 Tips for Tagging Images with Thinglink

Thinglink image tags make photos interactive, adding value for readers and enhancing their viewing experience. Here are five suggestions for tagging your images.

1. Make Tags Engaging
Think about what triggers a click. Put yourself in the reader’s place and add tags to objects (people, places and things) that engage readers with fun, interesting links.

2. Tell a Story
Use tags that tell the story under the surface of a photo: what is happening in the image. Uncover the hidden and explain the non-obvious. Use links to navigate readers from inside the image to interesting informational details and links that will make your readers come back for more.

3. Place Tags Tastefully
Remember that anything placed directly on top of a face or object may disrupt the viewing experience. So if you tag a person, don’t cover her face. Place your tags tastefully.

4. More Than One, Less Than Twenty
How many tags should you use? In-image tags make photos interactive. Add 3 to 5 tags to each image to make it interesting and fun. On the other hand, twenty tags may create clutter. The rule of thumb is: if an image is not clearly visible with a tag on it, don’t tag it at all.

5. Direct Links
Make it easy for your readers to enjoy your photos by sharing accurate links. If you tag a lamp or sofa, link directly to that object’s page on a manufacturer or store web site, not a company home page. Avoid spamming.

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Why are we excited about images

Our CEO, Ulla-Maaria Engeström just wrote an interesting post on the eve of the Microsoft Social Computing Symposium taking place in New York City. Here are some excerpts from her post.

1. An image can directly serve the objects it shows

Every image tells more than a thousand words. The most common question asked is, “What’s in Your Photo?” What is this object? Where can I get it? Who else knows about or likes this? Images can answer these questions and more. They can become a new navigational surface for search.

2. An image can serve advertising, commerce, information sharing, social connection, and shopping

According to Forrester, by 2014, 53% of total retail sales (online and offline) will be affected by the Web, as consumers increasingly use the Internet to research products before purchasing. Consumer purchasing decisions are being made based on images and user preference and ratings: Should I read this article? Should I reserve a room at this hotel? Should I meet this guy?

We make decisions based on images. Search is becoming image-based. And in-image interaction tools developed by Thinglink are enabling image-based advertising, commerce, information sharing, social connection and shopping.

3. Images entertain and drive traffic

Advertising is, at its best, art photography or photographic art. Image ads constitute half of the content of major fashion magazines with the best photographers shooting the best models wearing clothes and accessories from major brands. What if all these image advertisement became interactive with links to retailers? Images would become the new point-of-sale.

4. A good image is the least irritating advertisement.

Online banners ads are quickly losing their effectiveness. There is way too much inventory, ads looks the same and prices are falling. Thinglink aims to recreate banner ads with interactive links, better call to action links and user preference data that provides increasing value to marketers.

5. New vocabulary: Image Inventory and Image Interest Factor

Publishers need to start asking: Do your images serve your business goals? How much of your image inventory drives traffic to points of sale? Does your image inventory enable robust user interaction? How much of your image inventory drives reader retention?

In sum, images are being transformed by in-image links to relevant information for advertising, commerce, entertainment, and social connection. With photos constituting perhaps 20 per cent of web real estate, the hundreds of billion of photos online offer rich opportunities for in-image links to engaging user experiences that will revolutionize and transform image interaction. That’s an incredible opportunity that we are very excited about sharing.

Image: yachtingmagazine.com

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Looking for frontend- and backend -developers

We are looking for frontend- and backend- masters to a great startup.

Join us in creating exciting new tools for the web! Thinglink is developing a web service, which allows anyone to tag any image and share them. Our service is live at http://www.thinglink.com/.

Imagine:
* Working side by side with excited and skillful people in downtown Helsinki. We have plenty of experience in making good quality code and not get hung up on irrelevancies
* Participating actively in concepting and seeing the results of your work quickly on a live service
* Taking part in a developer community: talking with others and communicating your experiences
* Seeing one of the most exciting startup-scenes in the world from the inside. Thinglink is funded by two experienced venture capital companies, and is blessed by having Jaiku veterans on board.

Come work with us!

FRONTEND DEVELOPER

Are you excited about new Javascript libraries, HTML5, User Experience Design, Dashboards, analytics, making usable web services or graphic design of web services?

We expect that you have
* A deep understanding of the web (HTML5, HTTP, CSS, Javascript)
* Creativity and ability to work independently
* A desire to improve the way work is done, and the ability to teach others

Our ideal candidate would also have
* An eye and a hand for visual design
* Unix and Java -experience
* A working knowledge of TDD, YSlow, OOP, Scrum and Cassandra
* Experience with graphic software (e.g. Photoshop & Illustrator)
* Experience in handling massive data
* Cross-industry experience and ability to work with experts from different fields
* A fan-relationship with John Resig, Doug Crockford, Ben Fry, Dieter Rams, Steve Souders, Aza Raskin, Edward Tufte or Danah Boyd.

BACKEND DEVELOPER

Are you excited about cloud services, big data, analytics, optimization, NoSQL or just working on a new product?

We expect that you have
* A deep understanding of the web (HTTP, AJAX, REST)
* Creativity and ability to work independently
* A strong Java and Unix background
* A desire to improve the way work is done, and the ability to teach others

Our ideal candidate would also have
* Ruby and/or Python -experience
* Practical experience on cloud services (e.g Amazon EC2)
* A working knowledge of TDD, YSlow, OOP, Scrum and Cassandra
* Experience in handling big data (e.g. Hadoop or Pig)
* Experience in Javascript & JQuery
* A good knowledge on how to build scalable systems
* A fan-relationship with John Resig, Joel Spolsky, Doug Crockford, Guido van Rossum, Dave Hyatt or Steve Souders.

Send your free-form (and convincing) application to jobs@thinglink.com

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Jonas Forth joins Thinglink as community manager

Just before publishing the Thinglink private beta in 2009, I was browsing the web looking for web-savvy object enthusiasts who we should invite to test the new service. I came across forth.fi, and found a guy named Jonas Forth whose flickr photos and writings were full of appreciation and passion for objects — and the stories behind them. So I emailed Jonas, and asked him to join the Thinglink beta community.

Within a couple of months Jonas became the most active member of the group with others who started following him and asking advice and help in product identification and valuation. With his professional background and interest in media, and passion in quality objects, Thinglink was a good match for Jonas too.

It is therefore our great pleasure to announce that after two years of active community participation, Jonas has officially joined Thinglink as its new community manager. In this position Jonas will start developing publisher and brand community relations, key account management and community events.

Jonas has over ten years of experience of content production for TV, web and print through positions at YLE, Kinoproduction and MediaCity, specializing in storytelling in cross- and trans-media environments. He has also worked with coordination of productions, conferences and co-projects. Jonas has a Masters degree in political science with a focus on journalism and mass communication. Through his personal interest in design he has promoted design history, individual objects and product development for most of his adult life. He even has his own regular slot in the Finnish-Swedish television as design expert. All in all, there couldn’t be a better person to understand the richness of links that an object can have to its environment — and how all that will eventually change the media.

Follow Jonas on Twitter and on forth.fi.

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Thinglink helps Seiska Engage Readers

Improving reader engagement and retention are among several key challenges facing online publishers. That’s why Seiska, Finland’s largest weekly magazine, is transforming their images with in-image links by Thinglink.

“Tell me and I forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I’ll understand,“ sub-editor Lide Murto from Seiska magazine, quotes Benjamin Franklin when sharing her view on the importance and role of pictures in today’s media. Thinglink gives reader a possibility to involve deeper as they study the picture in detail.

Lide works for Seiska, Finland’s largest weekly magazine with a circulation of over 220 000.  The magazine’s online version Seiska.fi features celebrity and fashion photos.  The popular site receives around 200 000 unique visitors per week.

“At Seiska we pay special attention to the selection of pictures.  Too often in media we see examples where illustration is done carelessly, for example the caption and the illustration don’t work well together. There is an article telling of a miserable celebrity, but a picture of a smiling celebrity is featured.  In Seiska we think that every picture is full of details. The details tell much more of the person and situation in the picture than the distinguished look on the face”, says Lide.

Thinglink as an editorial tool

Web Editor Milla Leinonen works daily with online photos, writing interesting captions with all the juicy details about photos.  Thinglink adds a new and exciting dimension to her work.  Now she can Thinglink the people, places and things in images to past Seiska stories about them, their style and lives. Thinglink also provides publishers with real-time data on how readers interact with images, including metrics on views, hovers and mouse clicks.

Milla says the Thinglink tool is easy to use and it increases reader engagement and time spent at seiska.fi.

Images in mobile and tablet devices

Seiska’s editorial staff believe that images will play a more central role in the future. As reading online magazines on mobile and tablet devices becomes more common, images will become a key navigational surface for search.

Want to improve reader engagement at your blog like Seiska? Create a Thinglink account and implement your personal tagging tool today.

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Koto Living blog likes Thinglink

Koto Living is a Finnish lifestyle blog featuring tips on creating Christmas decorations and gifts, along with product recommendations, food recipes and more.

Host and editor Anu Harkki recently added Thinglink in-image tags to her photo inventory. Thinglink lets you tell the story of things inside your photos. You can link objects (people, places and things) to information channels (Facebook, Twitter, video, e-stores and more) and foster social connection around things.

“When Thinglink was enabled on my blog I became extremely happy,” said Anu. “Using Thinglinks, we’re improving the experience of readers by connecting Koto Living products directly to points-of-sale and fun information.”

In addition to blogging, Anu Harkki has hosted two seasons of a DIY & Crafts show, Ratula, on Sub TV Finland. See video with Anu sharing her Thinglink experience (in Finnish)

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How to enable Thinglink with TypePad

1. Sign up on Thinglink


2. Under your account information, click the blue link Add Thinglink to your entire site



3. The little code snippet is your personal tagging tool. Choose Copy to Clipboard


4. Sign in to your TypePad account. Choose Desing tab from the top navigation followed by Content from the left hand side navigation


5. Scroll down the modules list, choose Embed your own HTML and Add this module . You can name your module as you wish, then click OK and save.

10. Next time you browse your TypePad blog images, a Thinglink icon appears in the left hand corner of your pictures.


11. By choosing the edit, you can add image tags and links. Happy tagging!

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