Trendhunter drew my attention to Tikatok, a social network that enables kids to design their own books. Books can be viewed online and purchased as hardcovers or paperbacks for about $20 apiece. Trendhunter says it "could be a great gift from kids to their parents."
That is, assuming kids only ever produce happy stories. Titles on Tikatok currently include The Food Pyramid that is Alive, The Nervous Basketball Star, A Dark Deep Pipe, and The Ballerina Who Wanted to be Beautiful.
I'm sensing a little melancholy there. (Especially where dark deep pipes get involved.)
It's just a matter of time before books are published bearing not merely titles but retributions waiting to be hashed out when the wee author is college-aged. My bets are on Daddy's Magic Bottle, Why Does Teacher Cry Before Class? and The Little Bully that Could.
Hayden Panettiere, star of NBC's Heroes and whale lover, has signed an endorsement deal with social site Zude and Shopit to sell clothes and raise money for Save the Whales Again, a Whaleman Foundation and Animal Welfare Institute campaign to "create awareness about the industrial slaughter of whales and dolphins."
The effort is getting added awareness with promotional placement on the homepage of eBay which points to a branded eBay page for Save the Whales Again.
As part of the promotion, an auction is being held to raise money with the winning bid (bidder plus five friends) getting tickets to a celebrity fundraiser held at Eva Longoria's Beso restaurant and a whale watching tour with Hayden in the Channel Islands.
In exchange for a little bit of personal information, Toyota Matrix will trick one of your friends into thinking that some nightmare stalker version of you wants to live with them.
But that's not the best part!
Promote this effort in a video ad and turn it in here. If your video goes live on Current.com, you could win $2500. And if Toyota decides to use it somewhere else, expect to cash in on up to $60,000, depending where the spot appears.
The campaign is called "Your Other You" -- which I guess is apt, since it's the "dark" you that will be freaking out your friends, and the lame aspirational Ashton Kutcher-wannabe you that will be proliferating the idea on video.
Way to ride the same mule twice, Toyota.
Hot girl-on-girl arm-wrestling action preaches the gospel of First Premier Bank. Link takes users to where you, yes you, can contribute to the credit crisis.
Because why master Twitter yourself when you could pay a consultant $400 per hour?
Consider this a warning to those that like to overpromise.
Thanks to Jon N. for the image, which originally came from Voidstate, a very good blog written by a man with triplets.
Right now on WeeWorld, WeeMees can invite Presidential would-bes into their rooms and talk about them. This is something WeeWorld's PR lady calls "fanning the youth vote flames."
Preview the action here and here. (I like the one of Hillary smoking a pipe. Oh, wait. That's a bucket of champagne.)
Obama is currently the most popular in-room addition; McCain, the least.
Guided by the belief that everything should taste like bacon, two whimsical dreamers named Justin and Dave launched a product called Bacon Salt. Flavors come in Original, Hickory, Peppered and Natural. Buy it here.*
If you're not sold by its merits, check out Operation Bacon Salt, a patriotic effort to bring the comforting flavor of bacon to American soldiers overseas. Bacon Salt's blog keeps readers updated on Operation Bacon Salt and, as a bacony, salty bonus, provides health news and sassy Bacon Salt recipes.
Also -- also!!! -- there are shirts!
This is what the American Dream is all about. (Well, this and girl-on-girl roller derby.) Thanks blood and milk for the tip.
This is too perfect not to share. Four years ago, I was peer pressured into joining Facebook. Now, I'm totally hooked but immediately following graduation, I was sent the following group invite from a classmate:
Group Name: peace out facebook
Group Description: "Well I am all grown up and graduated and I think it is time to leave this whack ass marketing tool behind me. I will be a slave no longer. In a day or two once I collect any pictures or correspondence off my account I might be wanting I will be leaving Facebook behind forever. So say your goodbyes!"
I don't really know what this video's all about, but I'm pretty sure it isn't worth $25,000 in prize money.
By the way, what a completely insane amount of dosh for a UGC contest. I mean seriously, way to piss off your bottom-line guys.
"Hey, chief. Uh, yeah. Not only did Budget not win new car rental customers, but our low-budget 'Travel Budget!' marketing strategy also cost us over 25 grand."
Just because you're not spending $2.5 million on TV doesn't mean you should wipe your ass with the savings.
UPDATE: It turns out the video linked above was made by Budget employees in a deluded effort to encourage more users to enter the contest. How. Very. Sad.