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Crave a Twinkie? The price is going up fast online – Yahoo! News

Box of TwinkiesSAN FRANCISCO (AP)Twinkies are being sold on the Internet like exquisite delicacies.

Hours after Twinkie-maker Hostess announced its plans to close its doors forever, people flocked to stores to fill their shopping baskets with
boxes of the cream-filled sponge cakes and their sibling snacks — Ding Dongs, Ho Hos and Zingers.

Late Friday and Saturday, the opportunists took to eBay and Craigslist. They began marketing their hoard to whimsical collectors and junk-food lovers for hundreds — and in some cases — thousands of dollars. That’s a fat profit margin, when you consider the retail price for a box of 10 Twinkies is roughly $5.

Greg Edmonds of Sherman, Texas is among those who believe Twinkies are worth more now that Hostess Brands Inc. has closed its bakeries. He lost his job as a sales representative eight months ago, so he is hoping to make some money feeding the appetites of Twinkie fans and connoisseurs.

After spending a couple hours driving around to stores Friday, Edmonds wound up with 16 boxes of Twinkies and Ding Dongs. He started selling them Saturday on eBay, advertising three boxes for a hefty price of $300.

“I could really use the extra money since I’m unemployed,” Edmonds, 50, said. “I figure I better sell them pretty quickly because I am not sure how long this novelty is going to last.”

via Crave a Twinkie? The price is going up fast online – Yahoo! News.

Online retailer Etsy taps weaving, knitting skills to create export market | The Australian

Image representing Chad Dickerson as depicted ...ONLINE retailer Etsy is tapping Australia’s basket-weaving and jumper-knitting skills to create a major export market, with a forum for arty and crafty types to sell their handiwork to the world.

The company, which bills itself as “the world’s handmade marketplace”, focuses on home-made and vintage furniture, clothing and decorative items, with mass-produced merchandise strictly prohibited.

Chief executive Chad Dickerson said Australia was now the fourth-largest source of buyers and sellers for the company, which launched in the US in 2005 and made $US525 million in sales worldwide last year.

The site charges a flat US20c for listing an item for sale, and an additional 3.5 per cent commission on the sale price — well below online market leader eBay, which in Australia charges up to $3 per listing and 7.9 per cent sales commission.

Mr Dickerson, visiting Sydney for the Vivid Festival of creative arts, said the company had set up a physical showroom in Melbourne to highlight the quality of artists selling through the site, although the items on display were not for sale.

“It’s really to give people a sense of what is sold on Etsy,” he said. “We’re promoting it the same way as we do most of our marketing — through social media like our Facebook page and Twitter accounts, which both really help with word of mouth.”

Mr Dickerson is also conducting seminars for local designers on how to make the most of the site. “While we’re a business, we’re trying to do things to really help the selling community, not just our own bottom line,” he said.

“In the past we haven’t really invested in Australia, but now we’re putting our own people on the ground and investing in a big way to help train sellers to be successful.”

This month, the privately held company raised $US40m from a syndicate of venture capitalist funds in order to fund expansion projects, including a push into new markets outside the US.

Launched in 2005, the company boasts 875,000 sellers and 15 million users around the world.

via Online retailer Etsy taps weaving, knitting skills to create export market | The Australian.

Strange Random Craft Quote:

No man who is occupied in doing a very difficult thing, and doing it very well, ever loses his self-respect. – George Bernard Shaw

Knights, Pirates, Trees Flock to Facebook

Captain Morgan

Mascots and Other Embodiments of Corporations Make a Comeback in Order to Tweet and Interact

A new marketing campaign for StubHub, the ticket-resale website, stars a 25-foot-high animatronic talking tree with tickets as leaves. In commercials, the tree, known as the “Ticket Oak,” lives in a suburban backyard and doles out tickets to neighbors.

It is quite a departure from StubHub’s last ad campaign, which showed people dreaming about getting a ticket to a concert or a big game. But with the Ticket Oak character, StubHub hopes to make a splash on Facebook and other media.

StubHub, a unit of eBay Inc., (EBAY +2.67%) is just one of a number of marketers that have turned to characters—both live action and animated—to help sell their products in the past year. Hormel Foods Corp. (HRL +0.96%) now has a little cartoon knight named Sir Can A-Lot. Diageo (DEO +2.01%) PLC launched an ad campaign for its Captain Morgan rum last May that starred a live-action Captain character. It is the first time the character has appeared in TV ads, although the rum’s label has long included a drawing of the pirate.

Ad executives say consumers on Facebook are more likely to bond with a character than the traditional company page on the social-media website.

“Consumers are less likely to have a conversation with a logo or a PR guy on social media,” said Jeff Charney, chief marketing officer for auto insurer Progressive Corp. (PGR +1.36%).  Since 2008, Progressive’s TV ads have centered on a perky sales clerk named Flo, who touts the insurer’s rates. She now has 3.5 million fans on Facebook, where she posts comments about new Progressive products.Characters also offer a softer way to sell a product, which is important on social media where executives fear that blatant selling or promotion can turn people off.

via Knights, Pirates, Trees Flock to Facebook – WSJ

Strange Random Mascot Quote:

“Did anybody notice that the NCAA made the ridiculous ruling banning American Indian mascots from its headquarters in INDIANapolis, INDIANa? … Just wondering.” – Mike Bianchi

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Pinterest quietly profits off its users’ links – Feb. 10, 2012

NEW YORK CNNMoney — The social networking field’s buzziest startup is under fire this week for not being completely transparent with its users.

Pinterest, which allows users to create a virtual pinboard showcasing items they find around the Web, has quietly been appending affiliate links to some pins — the ones featuring goods for sale online through Amazon (AMZN), eBay (EBAY),  Target and thousands of other merchants. Those links generate payments for Pinterest from the retailers if someone clicks through and buys a product featured in the pin.

The practice has been going on for months, but drew little notice until a blog post this week on LLsocial.com highlighted and explained the modified links.

“It’s big news in the tech community because Pinterest is the social network that everyone wants to take to the prom this year,” says Amy Webb, CEO of strategy firm Webmedia Group. “As a result, everyone’s paying close attention.”

Pinterest was founded in early 2010, but its traffic soared over the past six months as its popularity snowballed. CNN.com commentator Pete Cashmore recently called it “the breakout social network of 2012.”

Pinterest’s pins let users create online catalogues spotlighting their passions, such as travel, fashion and design. But many users weren’t aware that that the company had been monetizing their content.

via Pinterest quietly profits off its users’ links – Feb. 10, 2012.

Strange RandomTruth Quote:

There are only two ways of telling the complete truth – anonymously and posthumously. – Thomas Sowell

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BBC News – Yossi Vardi, godfather of Israel’s hi-tech industry

Yossi Vardi

“The secret sauce of Israel’s success is the Jewish mother.”Yossi Vardi, the godfather of Israel’s hi-tech industry, cracks yet another joke, sitting comfortably in his spacious house in Tel Aviv.

In the past few decades he has invested in and helped build some 80 Israeli start-ups – ranging from software firms to mobile phone and clean technology companies to name a few. Many of them he sold to international tech giants.

One of his possibly most famous investments was the first popular internet instant messaging service ICQ, bought by AOL in 1998 who turned it into AOL Messenger.

He played a part in the creation of Answers.com, invested in software solutions firm Gteko bought by Microsoft in 2006 and the Gifts Project acquired by eBay, in Airlink, Scopus, BrightCove and many others.

At times, Mr Vardi – or simply Yossi, as he wants to be called – may sound only half-serious, but when he talks about in which kind of start-up to invest his money, he certainly means what he says.

Yes, there are a few things driving the rapid rise of the country’s technology sector, not least government money and the army’s specialised high-tech units.

But for Yossi, it has always been about people.

via BBC News – Yossi Vardi, godfather of Israel’s hi-tech industry.

Strange Random Technology Quote:

Do you realize if it weren’t for Edison we’d be watching TV by candlelight? – Al Boliska

 

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