Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Help us choose which "sharing" widget to use on our site!

I've found three different little widgets that seem to have every option covered when it comes to sharing something on the web, be it a photo or video, a blog post, a recipe or a (insert item here).

If you look in the lower portion of this post (and on each post in this blog) I've included all three widgets so we can test which one works the best for us.

Each one has something good about it. So, I'm asking you all to try them out and then vote on which one we should use.

The first one you'll see is the "TellAFriend!" widget.

The one right below that one is the "Addthis" widget.

And the third one (bottom right of this post) is from "Sharethis"

Powered by Wufoo
Help us choose which "sharing" widget to use on our site!SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Monday, October 6, 2008

testing the Hulu widget

Hulu is an online TV site that is at the top of its class.

Since we do a lot of entertainment related events, just checking what the Hulu widget is like, perhaps we can integrate it as value added content for our partygoers to the national party page? or even in partyvision?

testing the Hulu widgetSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Create online & print scrapbooks from you photos with Scraplog

I just noticed that Photobucket, one of the webs most popular photo management websites/apps (owned by Myspace/Newscorp) has extended their offering by partnering with Scraplog, a stand-alone web application with which you can create beautiful photo scrapbooks that can be shared online, as well as printed into a coffe table-worthy hardcover book.

Photobucket has introduced a new tab that says "Create a Scrapbook," which links out of the site to the scrapbook creation application over at scraplog.com, but with a Photobucket logo branding the application (the only customized branding, very minimal!) and a bin filled with all your Photobucket albums and folder for building your scrapbook.

Scraplog's scrapbook creator is loaded with tons of amazing, ready to use templates, or you can start from a blank canvas to build a custom book. The tools are very easy to use, and the best part is that when you're done, you can share it with friends & family online via facebook, myspace, blogger etc., or you can have hard copies ordered.

Since we've thrown two scrapbooking themed events (Canon & Hershey's bliss) this is something we should earmark as a potential solution/offering for future events like this.

We could initiate a Contest/Sweeps for hosts/guests telling them to go off and create scrapbooks at scraplog.com about a certain theme (the event theme) and then paste the embed code into a certain area of the National Party page, and we'd get a whole bunch of submissions that can be rated/voted on by the House Party community.

We can do that without even partnering with Scraplog, though a partnership would be ideal since we'd share in the revenue of books that get printed through their application.

check out the Scraplog tour: http://www.scrapblog.com/tour/tour.aspx
Create online & print scrapbooks from you photos with ScraplogSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Forrester Groundswell awards submission

House Party, a leading word-of-mouth marketing company, conducted more than 10,000 in-home parties across the country to help The Hershey Company launch Hershey’s Bliss™ chocolate, a new rich, creamy and bite-size chocolate indulgence. House Party, which engages a select group of consumer advocates to host house party events and provides an exclusive hands-on experience with a brand, reports that more than 129,000 people attended the parties, making the event the largest in House Party history.

Conducted in homes across America over the weekend of April 25, the bliss-themed launch parties introduced guests to Hershey’s Bliss chocolate – available in three unique expressions, Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate and Milk Chocolate Meltaway – while transporting their senses into a state of bliss with the world’s most indulgent chocolate. Targeting female chocolate lovers, the parties celebrated everyday bliss by gathering with friends and family to share personal stories of bliss while sampling Hershey's newest indulgence. Stories, photos and videos were shared at www.houseparty.com/hersheysbliss before and after the parties, as House Party’s word-of-mouth marketing tactics are designed to help continue buzz about the product.

More than 22,000 digital photos were uploaded by hosts, and more than 15,000 blogs were posted about the various parties. Party hosts are asked to recount their party through photo and video downloads on the House Party website as well as by posting detailed blog entries. For example, many of the blog posts from the Hershey’s Bliss hosts stated that party guests loved the chocolate and enjoyed the parties. An example follows:

My friends were split between the meltaways and the dark chocolates. They had a great time though and loved all the goodies to take home. I had a spa theme and we did our own manicures and pedicures while we snacked on all the Bliss flavors. It was great!

Hershey and House Party provided party ideas for the hosts. Hosts were encouraged to have “A Taste of Bliss” tasting party creating an area where each of the three Hershey’s Bliss flavors could be experienced. Another suggestion was a scrapbook party or “Blissful Memories” party where guests were invited to bring their favorite photos and memorabilia to create their own Blissful Memories Scrapbook. House Party provided downloads of scrapbooking supplies for the hosts and guests were also invited to bring their own. “Bliss and That” Trivia Game was another party theme that Hershey and House Party developed. Hosts were invited to find blissful facts on Houseparty.com/hersheysbliss in the weeks before their party and create a bliss-quiz for their guests.

In addition to party theme ideas, Hershey and House Party provided party packages to the hosts, which included:

  • The three flavors of Hershey’s Bliss chocolate: Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate and Milk Chocolate Meltaway

  • (3 bags of each flavor – plenty for the party and for guests to take home)
  • One personal photo album especially for the host – a special thanks for the time and effort they put into hosting

  • 15 Cocktail napkins to serve Hershey’s Bliss chocolates

  • Great gift giveaways for the guests, including grocery list pads, pens, and fridge magnets (15 of each)

  • 15 White party gift bags for guests’ take-home gifts.

Hosts could download graphics from House Party’s website to create blissful stickers to decorate the bags

How does this entry accomplish business or non-profit goals?

This entry accomplished business goals as Hershey’s wanted to introduce its new Bliss™ chocolate brand and the different varieties to women who lead full lives ages 25-49. They wanted to support the brand positioning efforts as a blissful, everyday indulgence while building brand loyalty.

The promotion succeeded in engaging females in the target market to host parties for girlfriends and introduce them to the varieties of Hershey’s Bliss chocolate. The party packs were enthusiastically received, achieving the goal of building brand loyalty. Overall, more than seven million people were reached as a direct result of the Hershey’s Bliss Chocolate House Party.
Forrester Groundswell awards submissionSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Thursday, September 4, 2008

“Partygoer Dashboard” Layouts

We're about to launch a new addition to the House Party platform that will serve as a home-base for all of our party people: the Dashboard. We've all seen and used dashboards in our lives, and probably take them for granted. It's been a long time coming, but we're finally moving forward with this.

The screenshots here are near final, and some minor changes will most likely occur between writing this, and the launch of this new feature. For those of you new to House Party, it might not yet be clear just how important the addition of this element is for making the navigation of the House Party website for our users, whether they're a host, a guest, or an applicant for an event. Once this is launched, after logging into the site, all of our users will be taken to their Dashboard where they'll see a summary of all of their activity on our site, and direct links to the places they need to get to. This dashboard will also be the foundation for ongoing communication with our party peeps, and there's really no limit to the modules and features that can be introduced on this screen.

So, feast your eyes on our soon to be launched Partygoer Dashboard. If you've got anything to say about it——good or bad!——feel free to post your comments to this post.

“Partygoer Dashboard” LayoutsSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Every website should be doing this!

Cheers to 37 Signals once again. This is actually the first time I've seen a website make this announcement. Imagine how fast we can rid the world of non-standards compliant browsers if the major players out there adopted this approach.
Every website should be doing this!SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Friday, August 15, 2008

House Party Site Redesign

Here's a sneak peek of our new site design. It's got 200% more fun injected into it, and I'm very excited to get it live. We're still doing some preproduction on this, but we're very close to slotting this into the development schedule.

The main image area will be an dynamic, animated Flash module that will be used to show some eye candy, and to show off our hosts, our party packs, and site features, all in a fun way.

While at first this might seem like a cosmetic upgrade to our site, there's going to be much more to it than that. We're going to revisit each area of the site and at each page, we'll ask the questions: What is the most important task/content of this page? What are the main tasks/goals of our partygoers and/or visitors on this page? How can the page be improved to clarify what can be done here, and how can it be done faster, smoother, and more intuitively? Usually, if those questions are addressed, then an elegant design solution reveals itself and the rest is all about finishing touches, choosing colors and styles. But the real work of redesigning our site will be rethinking the information architecture, and the clarity and ease of use of the site by our partygoers.

I hope everyone is as excited as I am to unleash a new House Party on the world! I'd love to hear any feedback you have about the redesign, and any questions you might have about the process.
House Party Site RedesignSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend