Dynamic Signal Launches VoiceStorm To Manage Employees’ Social Media Promotion Efforts

voicestorm logoDynamic Signal, the social marketing company led by Adify co-founder Russ Fradin, is launching a new product today called VoiceStorm that encourages, manages, and measures employees’ efforts to promote a company on social networks.

Fradin told me that VoiceStorm is functionally similar to Dynamic Signal’s existing platform, which helps companies run word-of-mouth marketing campaigns — it’s just built for employees rather than customers or fans. Basically, Fradin aims to replace all those team emails and in-person encounters where someone is nudging everyone else into tweeting something, posting it on Facebook, and so on.

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Endorsements, LinkedIn’s Answer To Klout, Passes 1B Recommendations And Builds Up A New Data Set

Screen Shot 2013-03-06 at 15.58.31Endorsements, a lightweight way for people on LinkedIn to recommend each other’s skills, has picked up some significant traction in its first five months of life. Today, LinkedIn is announcing that Endorsements has passed the 1 billion milestone — with 58 million members getting recognition on their profiles for different areas of expertise, according to a blog post from Peter Rusev. The marker is a sign that, were LinkedIn so inclined, it could likely give sites likes Klout, which measure influencer status, a run for their money.

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Ev Williams: Medium Wants To Help Build A Sustainable Economic Model For Journalism

2118601809_4fb4b88e70_z1At the Launch Conference in San Francisco today, Twitter co-founder Ev Williams took the stage to talk to conference founder Jason Calacanis about everything from his experience at Twitter and the rise of Vine to sharing his take on Google and Facebook as well as the latest from Medium, his latest effort to shape the future of digital publishing.

For those unfamiliar, a serial entrepreneur, Williams has played a key role in helping to shape the way we create and share content on the Web, as the co-founder of Pyra Labs, which produced Blogger — and was bought by Google in 2003. In doing so, Williams is often credited with coining the term “blogger” and helping to popularize both the term “blog” and the medium itself. After leaving Google, Williams went on to co-found Odeo and “idea incubator” Obvious, which produced both Twitter and, most recently, Medium (among others).

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Evernote Saw First Signs Of Hacking On Feb. 28: Emails, Passwords And Usernames Accessed But Not Your Data Or Payment Details

evernoteEvernote is requiring its nearly 50 million users to reset their passwords after the popular personal note-taking app became the latest high-profile victim of wide-scale hacking attempts. The breach follows malicious activity at Twitter, Facebook and others in recent weeks.

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Yammer Taps Microsoft Translator To Bring Cross-Language Translation To The Enterprise Social Network

YammerMessageTransla_PageMicrosoft-owned Yammer has been relatively quiet since its acquisition by Redmond, but the company piped up today to announce plans to add instant message translation capabilities, which will allow multilingual collaboration on the “Facebook for the office.” The Yammer team is tapping Microsoft Translator to power the translations, which is yet another benefit of Microsoft’s $1.2 billion acquisition of Yammer. It’s relatively simple, and much like current auto-translation services you’d find on Google Translate (built into Chrome) or Airbnb, which has auto-translation for over 20 languages. Essentially, any time someone yams in a language that is not your default language, a “Translate” button will appear below the post. Once you hit translate, the entire thread will be translated into your preferred, default language. This means that the initial post (whether it was a reply or a thread-starter) will be translated, along with any response messages that are added to that thread (past, present, and future). Here’s what Adam Pisoni, Yammer co-founder and GM of Engineering had to say: Removing language as a barrier to cross-company collaboration can be a competitive game changer for multinational organizations. It opens a world of possibilities. This is another example of Yammer’s accelerated innovation following the Microsoft acquisition — we’re able to use Microsoft Translator to quickly deliver additional value to customers. Microsoft Translator supports 39 different languages. The company also claims that 65 percent of Yammer’s 7 million users do not live within the United States. Though the service has long supported various languages, this will allow for cross-language collaboration for Yammer’s clients. Here’s a video of the translation in action:

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Rock Health Launches Its Fourth Batch Of Startups, As Total Funding For Grads Hits $43M, $900K Each

DSC_03871After five months of testing, iterating, spit balling and pavement pounding, today Rock Health’s fourth class of HealthTech startups took the stage at Demo Day to pitch their fledgling businesses to investors. More than anything, these fourteen startups confirmed that digital health is not just alive and well, but beginning to gain some real traction. (More on that here.)

Like education, the healthcare industry is in the early stages of a massive sea change, and Rock Health’s startups collectively addressed some major pain points for the industry — from leveraging better coordination and patient engagement to lower the costs and simplify the tangled mess of health insurance, to incentivizing healthy behavior and improving secondary care.

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BitTorrent Sharpens Enterprise Focus, Launches SoShare To Send Large Files, Offering First Terabyte Free

SoShare bittorrentBitTorrent, the once-notorious P2P file-sharing site that has turned a new leaf as a legit, distributed computing provider, is today launching SoShare, a service to send large files from one computer to another, with the first terabyte of files sent free. Out today in beta for Google Chrome, Firefox and Safari for Mac; and Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer for Windows, the service competes with the likes of YouSendIt, as well as DropBox, Box and other cloud-storage and file-transfer services. SoShare was previously available in alpha as Share, and it complements Sync, BitTorrent’s cloud-based service that syncs your computer’s files with a cloud storage service, which itself launched in alpha in January. The idea behind SoShare is to target creative professionals – designers, photographers, musicians, and so on –  who handle large data files and need to send them to others. That makes sense, since it also targets that community for content for its consumer-facing services. SoShare is built by BitTorrent engineers, on BitTorrent’s P2P framework (not clear whether it uses Amazon’s EC2 and S3 services for caching, as it did in the alpha version), and will sit alongside Sync in Labs, BitTorrent’s “test kitchen,” where it puts work in progress for its community to try out and develop into potentially more commercial products. “For now, we’re going into the public beta without fees,” Catherine Meek, BitTorrent’s director of product strategy, noted in an email exchange. “Leveraging the distributed BitTorrent protocol has helped keep our costs low. We’ll be looking at a few options along the way, but building something that is reliable and adds value to the user is our primary objective.” With a number of companies like YouSendIt and SugarSync, newer players like Mega, and more established startups like Dropbox already developing names for themselves in the same space as SoShare, it will be worth seeing whether BitTorrent can entice more people to its platform by way of the very large file size threshold — one free terabyte being possibly the largest data allowance yet. BitTorrent is taking the approach of targeting one vertical first. “We saw a gap in the current offerings, a chance to introduce something new,” says Meek. “A key learning from the alpha was that there was a need within the creative community and we had the ability to fix a problem for them.” Meek cites figures from the Americans for the Arts that estimate 3.34 million Americans are

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The Veteran Team Behind G2 Crowd Looks To Build A “Yelp” For Enterprise Software

Screen Shot 2013-02-14 at 5.39.33 PMIt can be such a headache trying to figure out what internal collaboration tools a company should use. Even at TechCrunch, where we have a few dozen writers, product and sales people, we’ve switched tools many times and have gripes with all of them. Imagine how it must be for a company with more than 1,000 people, or even 10,000. G2 Crowd is aiming to solve that with a site of user reviews on everything from CRM (customer relationship management) software to productivity tools. Behind the company is an experienced team of founders that previously sold BigMachines, a company that specializes cloud-based product configuration, pricing, quoting, and proposal generation, to Vista Equity Partners and JMI Equity at a valuation of more than $100 million. After some time off, co-founder Godard Abel started thinking about new problems to work on. “We then founded G2 Crowd based on our frustration in selling business software,” he said. “We thought there had to be a better way.” On G2 Crowd, people can submit reviews of services like Salesforce, Oracle’s PeopleSoft or Sugar CRM and so on. The community is managed with contests and free iPad mini giveaways, and G2 Crowd also uses LinkedIn profiles to authenticate people and help encourage reviewers who actually have expertise in using these products. Interestingly enough, G2 Crowd is not going down Yelp’s path of getting reviewed businesses to buy ads or premium placement in search results. Abel thinks that could distort the reviews or incentivize the company in the wrong way. “We don’t want to do vendor advertising. We don’t want to sell leads. We think it makes you biased,” he said. Instead, they’re going after Gartner. IT managers can spend thousands of dollars on reports from companies like Gartner that help them decide what vendor to us. G2 Crowd will start its research in a lower price range of $99 and up. In those reports will be deeper data dives that will help you understand vendors that comparable companies use. Healthcare companies, for example, might want to know what software other healthcare organizations use. “We believe the data we can get is better than what you would get from Gartner,” Abel said. “Plus, we can gather the content at a lower cost. We’d want to pass on that benefit to the buyer.” Eventually, that one-off research report business could transition into a subscription model. While research businesses sometimes can have issues scaling depending

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With 3,500 Paying Customers, HipChat Launches A Native Mac Client To Vanquish The Lousy Adobe AIR App

hipchat-formacHipChat has been doing some good things since it was acquired by Atlassian back in March 2012, including updating its iOS apps with much-needed improvements, but the sorry excuse for a Mac app it offered built on Adobe AIR remained a huge sore spot. Today, the company is officially launching its native Mac client in beta form, and it’s already a complete 180 from the previous version.

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With Dual Mice And Collaboration In Any Window, YC’s Screenhero Gives WebEx And Screen Sharing Apps A Run For Their Money

screenhero-logoWe all love the idea of being able to connect and work with people in our always-online day and age, but ironically, when it comes to document collaboration, a lot of the software designed to aid in that — WebEx, GoToMeeting and the rest — is actually more geared to presenting rather than actually letting people work together on things, in real time, or focused on documents within a particular platform, like Google Docs.

Enter Screenhero. Part of the current batch of Y-Combinator startups, Screenhero is launching with a way of letting two (and potentially more) people work on documents, or even each other’s computer desktops, in possibly the easiest way to date, by simultaneously giving each collaborator an independent cursor and mouse, and complete control over a document, as if it were his or her own.

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