Letter of Commendation from NAFSA

We received a letter of commendation from one of our newer customers, The National Arts Festival of South Africa. Tony agreed to allow us to post it here on our blog.

NAFSA_LetterheadChris Bucchere
Social Collective
13800 Coppermine Road
Herndon, VA 20171
USA

7 May 2009

Dear Chris,

Just a note of sincere thanks to you and your team at Social Collective for the highly professional way in which you’ve approached the implementation of your tool on our website.

Undeterred by the fact that his client is several thousand miles and timezones away, Mike has done a great and very patient job of attending to the implementation and the multitude of requests for tweaks and changes from us.

The end result is great and in the couple of days the site has been live the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive.

You’ve got a great product and a great team – we’re very glad to have encountered both!

Thank you.

Regards,

Tony Lankester
CEO: National Arts Festival, South Africa

Social Collective, Inc. Joins Launch Box Digital Class of 2009

launchboxCo-founding CEO Chris Bucchere and CTO and Lead Developer Mike Buckbee of Social Collective, Inc. just accepted a seed round of funding from Launch Box Digital and an invitation to join their 2009 summer incubator program, which began on Monday.

“We’re thrilled to be a part of this great summer program and very excited to work with the investment team, sponsors and advisers to continue to give Social Collective, Inc. the momentum it needs to keep gaining traction with conferences, trade shows and festivals worldwide,” said Social Collective, Inc. President and CEO Chris Bucchere.

The company also recently announced the acquisition of several new customers, including National Association of Dental Professionals, The Sloan Consortium and the Open Government and Innovations conference. In addition, they recently brought on software sales veteran Clinton Bonner as Senior Vice President of Sales.

For more information about Social Collective, Inc. or to schedule a demo, contact them at [email protected].

Free Breakfast Seminar in Alexandria, VA on 4/9

Join association thought leader Jeff DeCagna, Chris Hopkinson of DC-area startup DubMeNow and Chris Bucchere of The Social Collective for a free breakfast seminar entitled “Strategies for Association Success in the Era of Social Business” on Thursday, 4/9 in Alexandria, VA.

Registration is limited, but there are few spots left. Sign up now!

my.SXSW Goes Mobile

South by Southwest (SXSW) Music, Film and Interactive Conferences and Festivals has launched the official mobile social networking and scheduling tool for their 23rd annual event, which begins Friday, March 13th. Powered by the industry-leading whitelabel conference software application, The Social Collective, the mobile site integrates seamlessly with my.SXSW’s networking, messaging and calendaring features. Open to registrants of the film, music or interactive events, the site can be accessed by loading http://my.SXSW.com in most mobile phone web browsers, including Blackberry, iPhone, Andriod, Treo and other handsets with modern web-browsing capabilities.

SXSW teamed up with The Social Collective to provide anywhere/anytime access to all the official films, music showcases, parties, interactive panels and other events via my.SXSW.

People who have phones with web-browsing capabilities can use my.SXSW’s lightweight and highly optomized mobile web experience. People who do not can still build their personal schedules using my.SXSW via a full-blown web browser and then use the provided iCal synchronization to push events to Apple’s iCal, the Google Calendar, or any other iCal-compliant software, which can then be synchronized with virtually any mobile device. my.SXSW also supports personal schedule export into Microsoft Outlook, which can be synchronized with many other types of phones including Blackberry and Treo devices. Finally, in leiu of (or in addition to) using a mobile phone calendar, registrants can use my.SXSW to sign up for SXSW Alerts, which provide realtime schedule updates via SMS.

“We didn’t want people to feel that they needed to lug their laptops around at SXSW,” said founder and CEO of The Social Collective, Chris Bucchere.

“Nearly everyone is already going to be carrying some sort of mobile device and we didn’t want to leave anyone in the dark.”

“So if you have an overacheiving ‘smartphone,’ you can use my.SXSW through your phone’s web browser. If your phone is more of a C-student, you can probably still synchronize your calendar using iCal, Google Calendar or Microsoft Outlook. If your phone is more of the ‘beauty school dropout’ variety, at least you can still use SMS.”

The launch of my.SXSW’s mobile experience will make finding contacts, finding great events, and finding the locations of the different venues dead-simple, quick and portable. With The Social Collective’s modular design, enabling the mobile version of the hosted software was easy and painless. The resulting mobile web application carries the SXSW trademark and brand, just like the rest of the integrated social networking, messaging and scheduling features of my.SXSW.

“Our goals were simple: provide SXSW-branded social networking and scheduling capabilities to the greatest number and variety of mobile devices possible,” said Scott Wilcox, CTO of SXSW.

“Between The Social Collective and SXSW Alerts, we can easily reach nearly all of our registrants and provide a great user experience.”

SXSW opens Friday, March 13th with the concurrent film and interactive festivals. The music festival starts Wednesday, March 18th. Find out more about SXSW at http://my.sxsw.com

The Social Collective provides whitelabeled social networking, messaging and calendaring for events of all shapes and sizes. Visit http://thesocialcollective.com to find out how they can help you grow and serve the community around your next event.

You Are What You Eat

twittersheepI’ve never really understood the phrase, “You are what you eat.” If it were true, I’d probably be an In-N-Out burger (double double animal style) or something far worse for you and/or better tasting.

Recently, I overheard someone on Twitter saying something to the effect of:

“You are the sum of the five people you hang out with the most.”

My immediate reaction was to disagree vehemently. I’m totally not like that! I’m exactly who I want to be! I don’t subject myself to the influence of others like that! Etc.

Not only am I completely wrong about this, but it may be that — in some strange cosmic way — I’m actually the sum of ALL the people around me, good, bad and everything else under the sun.

Today I discovered TwitterSheep. (No, this has nothing to do with sheep, fraternity rituals or anything else of a sexual nature, I assure you.) TwitterSheep simply looks at your followers and constructs a tag cloud based on keywords in their bios. That’s not really remarkable, but what is remarkable is that when I ran my Twitter account through the application, the resulting tag cloud literally read like my own bio. Seriously. It’s a visual representation of terms that — when you sum them all together — equal me. The largest words are what I do and care about most.

Am I right about this? Are you the sum of your followers?

Try TwitterSheep and let me know how it worked for you!

Adding Context to my.SXSW Tweets

There has been quite a bit of chatter that we’ve been following in the SXSW community about the launch of my.SXSW. Fortunately, most of it has been good news. (Phew!) We’ve also gotten some great, constructive feedback and some fabulous ideas for new features that we wish we would have thought of ourselves!

There’s one issue that has come up a few times that we’d like to address in this post. Several people in the community have expressed concern about the lack of context in tweets coming from my.SXSW. (This only applies to people who have integrated their Twitter accounts.)

We’ve applied two changes to The Social Collective software to help with this. First off, we changed the application source from “The Social Collective” to “my.SXSW” with a link back to the my.SXSW site. Also, we added a “on http://my.sxsw.com” link back to messages that notify people when you join a group.

Keep the feedback coming — we’d love to hear from you!