National / International News

Ghanaians ask for asylum in Brazil

BBC - Fri, 2014-07-11 01:23
Some 200 Ghanaians who went to Brazil to watch their team playing in the World Cup ask for asylum, saying they are fleeing religious conflict.

VIDEO: Turning a wish into a butterfly

BBC - Fri, 2014-07-11 01:22
How to turn a wish into a virtual butterfly at Barbican's Digital Revolution exhibition

London Welsh sign All Black Weepu

BBC - Fri, 2014-07-11 01:02
Premiership newcomers London Welsh complete the signing of World Cup-winning New Zealand scrum-half Piri Weepu from Auckland Blues.

Social media's new matchmakers pair users with brands

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-07-11 01:00

Increasingly, big brands are adding social media to their ad budgets, often placing ads directly with users who’ve built large online followings on sites like Instagram, YouTube, and Vine. But how do companies and these influencers hook up? There’s a new crop of matchmakers eager to help pair companies with people who will post ads to their feeds.

For Jessica Shyba, companies' interest in her blog and social media networks took off back in November, after she posted photos of her son napping with the family’s new puppy coiled around him.

The photos went viral, and suddenly, she was everywhere.

“At that point, I hired an agent,” said Shyba, turning to Cara Braude, though she’s not sure the word “agent” is the best fit. “You know, when I introduce her to brands or to PR representatives, I introduce her as being in charge of my sponsorships and partnerships.”

Whatever the right title, it was clear Shyba needed help. On Instagram alone, she has nearly half a million followers, which draws lots of attention from brands. On the other side of the table, companies need help finding the Shybas of the internet.

These matchmakers can range from independents like Shyba’s rep or fancy tech start-ups. But the questions they help answer are similar.

“So if you have a have a budget that you want to allocate to Instagram but you’re like, ‘Well how do I go about finding the 30 people who are the perfect brand ambassadors for me?’” says Rob Fishman, co-founder of Niche, which helps companies place packages of ads across a handful of social networks. “Once I find them, how do I reach out, how much should I be paying them and how do know what the return on my investment is?’”

Another company, Reelio, currently focuses exclusively on YouTube ads.

“YouTube’s the big dog,” say Ben Williams, one of Reelio’s founders as well as its CTO and CIO.

Eventually, the company plans to add other sites, but Williams says YouTube is a good starting point for brands.

“The top hundred channels on are really easy to find,” say Williams. As a result, placing ads with them can be competitive, with rates hitting as much as $30,000 or $50,000 per sponsored video.  

Finding YouTube  "influencers" with more modest, but still significant subscriber bases can be more time consuming, which is where Reelio and its matching algorithm comes in. They typically broker deals where compensation is based on the viewership of a sponsored video.

For example, Reelio matched a YouTube creator with a few hundred thousand followers with Squarespace, a company that helps people make websites.

 The video’s producer staged a race between two smartphones to test their processing speed, even though Squarespace doesn’t sell the phones.

“It’s more for brand recognition, like traditional advertising,” says Williams.

The video had about 330,000 views. People had chosen to watch the video because they were interested in the content -- which is the real match companies are seeking.

Miliband lobbies for Obama meeting

BBC - Fri, 2014-07-11 00:45
Ed Miliband has been lobbying hard for meeting with Obama

Kerry: Afghan poll crisis 'critical'

BBC - Fri, 2014-07-11 00:31
US Secretary of State John Kerry says Afghanistan is at a "critical moment" as he tries to resolve tensions over the disputed presidential poll.

Brooks hearing delay to allow talks

BBC - Fri, 2014-07-11 00:29
An Irish government committee hearing on why Garth Brooks' five Dublin gigs were shelved is postponed to avoid hindering talks to save the shows.

In pictures: PhotoIreland Festival 2014

BBC - Fri, 2014-07-11 00:13
Photographic projects on show in Dublin

Your pictures: Panama

BBC - Fri, 2014-07-11 00:10
Readers' photos of Panama

VIDEO: Appeal to help memory loss man

BBC - Fri, 2014-07-11 00:03
Doctors have appealed for more information to help ''Robert,'' a man who cannot remember any details of his life including his name, age or where he is from.

US 'ready to broker Gaza ceasefire'

BBC - Fri, 2014-07-11 00:01
The US is ready to broker a ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza, President Barack Obama says, amid continued unrest.

How much science in new Planet of the Apes film?

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-10 23:49
Is there any science behind Planet of the Apes?

Moray Firth subsea cable approved

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-10 23:30
A planned subsea electricity cable connecting two sides of the Moray Firth is approved by the industry regulator, developer SSE says.

Maternity closures due to shortages

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-10 23:22
Many NHS trusts in England have temporarily shut maternity units in the past year, commonly because of lack of staff and beds, a BBC investigation shows.
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