Social Media Week Bingo - Play NOW!

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It's Social Media Week! To celebrate, we've put together this very special print-out-then-cut-out-then-keep-then-throw-away-after-a-few-days SMW bingo card. The rules are pretty simple:

1. Click to enlarge the image below.

2. Print out then cut out then... you get the idea.

3. Attend as many events as possible at your friendly neighbourhood conference.

4. When you see things, tick them off on your card. Not any old things though - just the things featured on the card. Don't tick off a pretty rainbow or a worrying mole on your forehead.

5. As soon as you've ticked off all 16 things on the card, shout "I'm a winner!"

6. Feel very good about yourself.

7. Contact us about about your prize.

8. Feel sad about there not being a prize.

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Enjoy, and we'll see you down the front, moshing to Gartner's keynote on big data.


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Analysis: Paddy Power are favourites to revolutionise social

Paddy Power In-Play

"Every man", said Paddy Power CEO Patrick Kennedy on a recent call with city analysts, "over the age of 18 on Facebook in the UK is connected to at least one Paddy Power fan."

Them's fighting words and, being a) a man, b) in the UK and c) waaaay older than 18 (weep), I thought I'd give it a go. Guess what? I'm connected to three Paddy Power fans. Turns out that hot air wasn't nearly hot enough.

The important thing, though, is that Paddy Power aren't simply sitting back on their laurels and enjoying their place at social's top table. It's not enough for them to have over a million people listening to them on Facebook, they've got people talking about them, too. In fact, if you compare them with other brands who have similar a number of Fans, they generate six times as much conversation as Costa Coffee, 48 times as much as Pringles and 83 times as much as Blackberry. And Blackberry are in the conversation business.

All this is because, 18 months ago, Paddy Power totally reassessed their growth strategy. As underdogs, they were in no position to compete on level terms with the likes of


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Five ways gamification can ignite your retail sales

Five ways gamification can transform retail

I have no idea how fruit machines work. Sure, I get the 'line up three bunches of cherries to win' classic, but the all-singing-all-blinking monstrosity that mocked me in the pub yesterday? Absolutely clueless. And yet, somehow, its combination of twinkly lights, bashy buttons and blippy noises had me chucking coins into it like owning money was going out of fashion.

That's because, as a species, we're far more likely to engage with something if there's an element of gaming involved. I'm sure there's an evolutionary imperative behind all this: if you took a chance on the lady monkey with the weirdy, opposable thumbs, there was a better chance your offspring would survive the great banana famine of 7,000,000 years BC. That kind of thing. Don't ask me, ask Richard Dawkins.

Anyway, we love gaming (and its sidekick, competition), and the introduction of these elements - conceptually known as 'gamification' - into any environment works wonders. The LinkedIn profile completeness bar is a famous example, and rightly so: users fill in more and more info to achieve a 100% complete 'score' and, in so doing, provide mountains more data back to LI, its users and, of course, its


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Is LinkedIn about to become the Amazon for business?

LinkedIn world First

Since its launch 10 years ago, LinkedIn has become the world's leading social network for business and recruitment. More recently, it's evolved into a powerhouse content publisher, hosting bespoke content from the likes of Barack Obama and Richard Branson.

But, as of next week, LinkedIn is set to become a fully-fledged sales channel.

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg predicted that social commerce - selling things through social networks - was about "to blow up". Now buyapowa, the people who have helped B2C brands like Sony, Pepsi and Robbie Williams run social commerce channels in Facebook, are about to take the phenomenon to the B2B market, unlocking the massive potential of LinkedIn by powering the site's first ever social commerce campaign for Clarion Events - the UK's largest independent events organiser.

Clarion Events, will be offering professionals in the gaming industry the chance to buy tickets to the GiGse and Social Casino Summit events in San Francisco next month. Customers will be able to flex the power of their LinkedIn networks and the site's uniquely active groups to invite other professionals to join them in buying tickets - and the more people who buy, the better the price will become for everyone.

The


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Social commerce is about to hit LinkedIn

Social commerce is about to hit LinkedIn

200 million members (including over 11 million right here in the UK), plus 2.7 million company pages - no wonder LinkedIn generates over $250 million every year. But how much is your company making directly from LinkedIn? We're guessing nada.

That's going to change in 2013 - the year when LinkedIn becomes THE destination site for B2B social commerce.

Think about it: just about every soup manufacturer in the country has a company page on LinkedIn. Just about every canned goods buyer has a professional profile. And, thanks to LinkedIn's extremely granular search functionality (which puts the likes of Facebook to shame) and its flourishing network of groups, it's only a matter of time before the former companies are able to collect the latter buyers into harmonised, communal transactions - meaning they'll be able to shop collectively, securing the kinds of bulk-buy discounts usually only enjoyed by the supermarket giants.

Of course, we're not just talking about soup. We're talking about everything from financial services to corporate car fleets, from nannying to deep-sea mining. We're talking about the entire world of B2B social commerce, an absolutely massive step-change in the way we do business.

We can't go into detail,


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