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Forget social influence, Prollie scores your skills and passions

prollie profile

Social media marketers have heralded influence and reach as today’s standard for social media excellence. And “influence,” according to applications like Klout, Kred, and PeerIndex, is more or less defined by retweets, comments, and shares. Introducing itself at SXSW, Prollie is a newcomer and wants to popularize its social media analytic that puts quality over quantity, and passions over influence. As easy as it is to drop Prollie in the same bucket as the previously mentioned, the platform begs to differ.

There’s an element to Prollie that we’ve seen already with the three influence-oriented platforms. Prollie is admittedly another site that analyzes your social media presence and tacks a score to your name, although instead of numbers Prollie uses a grade.

prollie search

Prollie, unlike Klout, Kred, and PeerIndex, isn’t really a tool to just keep track of your grade. Even if you see a grade between A and C- next to your profile picture, the point of Prollie is simply to find other users. To do this Prollie provides a search engine tool for consumers to find someone with interests that align with their own.

prollie search results

But before we write off grades completely, CEO Michael Fabbri explains that grades provide an important function. Because Prollie is part-search engine, users will want to appear at the top of search results. However, not everyone gets to top the search results so grades help users “understand why they aren’t getting suggested or not. The way we can do that is to make it very transparent about why we chose to recommend this person over the next.”

Where Prollie differs from the influence-driven analytic platforms is the type of signals that it tracks for. Instead of “influence” Prollie cares about your “passions” and “skill.”

The idea here is that the quality of what a user is publishing to their social networks matters far more than the number of followers you have. Even if you were an average Joe or Jane passionate about music but had just 200 followers on Twitter, you actually might have more quality things to say than Justin Bieber with 35.7 million users and might deserve more followers than the pint-sized pop star.

How Prollie works behind the scenes to figure out your passions and grade is that it analyzes the content that you’re sharing or publishing textually and contextually. By textually we don’t mean that Prollie just tracks the number of times you mention “technology” for its algorithm to figure out that one of your passions is technology. Mind you there are four passions that Prollie algorithmically determines for you based on what you’re saying on social networks. But the algorithm goes deeper than that. For instance if you connect your Foursquare account to Prollie and you’re a wine connoisseur, Prollie will recognize that you’ve checked into a winery on Foursquare and use that signal to figure out if you just love talking about wine, or you really do love wine with a passion.

There’s a second part to the algorithm that makes how Prollie’s team shaped its algorithm quite interesting. To figure out what constitutes quality content, the algorithm picked apart the words of certain people that Prollie respected as communicators on social media. They then found patterns in the attributes that all these influential people shared. To give you a small look at Prollie’s algorithm at its surface level, Fabbri explained that how you use hashtags, how to mention someone or tag someone, are some ways Prollie is able to figure out the quality of your social media presence. For example, “If you’re on Foursquare not only checking in, but do you leave tips as well to tell people what to get or what to do; and then really utilizing the robustness of each network to tell your message,” says Fabbri.

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Francis Bea
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Francis got his first taste of the tech industry in a failed attempt at a startup during his time as a student at the…
Enough! Here are a few ways to mute the SXSW madness
grumpy cat hates sxsw

In case you didn't notice, this year's SXSW is off to a roaring start. It's an awesome festival that includes interactive and gaming presentations, film screenings, and musical performances - so you can count on being bombarded with reports over the coming days and weeks detailing everything you're missing out on (yes, including Grumpy Cat).  Whether you decided to stay at home and skip it or you came to Austin for the full experience, you cannot avoid the onslaught of massive SXSW online content.  But don’t worry - there are a number of ways to temporarily minimize (if not completely block) SXSW’s presence on your social media radar. 
Transform your browser into a SXSW-blocking machine
A more common problem experienced by many Facebook users on a daily basis is the constant reposting of political propaganda and die-hard opinions you don’t necessarily agree with, and while it currently doesn’t seem possible to actually filter posts from within the social networking site, there are quite a few browser extensions and add-ons you can activate that can help you avoid such content.  There’s no reason why you can’t use the same tools to help you avoid too much news about SXSW.
Social Fixer, like the name implies, aims to improve your Facebook functionality and the content you’re exposed to.  It offers you a bunch of features that may overwhelm you upon first installation and use, but once you get the hang of it, it is quite effective.  Specifically, its advance feed filter option takes away the hassle of having to unfollow or hide contacts on your Facebook news feed (although that is a suitable back-up solution) by allowing the user to declare their own keywords they want to block. 
Another extension with an obvious name is FB Purity, a tool that filters spam and specific keywords on Facebook.  If an extension’s effectiveness and popularity is gauged by how much Facebook wants to shut them down, then FB Purity probably takes the cake because they are currently going through some issues with the platform.  It has gotten rave reviews in the past, but due to Facebook’s negative response toward this add-on, users should probably take extra precaution in using this to solve SXSW-related problems.  If you’re feeling gutsy, then try at your own risk. 
Facebook Filter is quite simple.  It filters unwanted posts from your Facebook News Feed.  That’s it.  So if you want a quick and easy way to filter out SXSW posts, check this extension out., aside from being a browser extension offering built-in presets that block political posts, can also be used to stop you from accidentally seeing SXSW spoilers or control your feed from flooding.  It currently works on both Facebook and Twitter, but the extension’s site promises to cover more websites in the future. 
Thanks to the concept of hashtags, it’s very easy to block tweets with certain topics on your Web browser, including SXSW.  For Chrome users, the Proxlet Tweet Filter is a great way to not only mute certain users, it also allows you to effectively weed through your Twitter feed and block annoying updates, from Foursquare check-ins to every SXSW photo your friends take.  Another nifty tool is DeClutter, a javascript bookmarklet that gives you the option to create a blacklist of keywords you want to shush up.  It has been tested on Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer, but it might work on other browsers as well.  Don’t know what a bookmarklet it?  Don’t worry—the creator has a pretty simple explanation.
Just in case you’re also worried about an overflow of SXSW posts on Tumblr, we found something that could ease your pain: Tumblr Savior will keep your feed at bay and “valiantly protect your delicate sensibilities” by putting your keywords in a blacklist and blocking them. 
Google Reader/RSS Feeds
If you collect all your favorite Internet sources in one place and would like to temporarily turn a blind eye on the SXSW, sadly you can’t do it within Google Reader without unsubscribing yourself from your toggled sites.  However, there is a way around it if you set up a Greasemonkey script like this one that’s designed to hide stuff you don’t want to know about (like SXSW).  Bear in mind that Greasemonkey is an extension for Firefox, so this script will run okay on that browser.  However, some scripts have been known to work on Safari, Opera, and Internet Explorer, too so don’t be afraid to test it.  Another option is Feed Rinse, which you can try for free.
General websites
Some of the blogs that you may be following actually have filtering functions.  You can take your time and tinker around with the settings and you will discover that sometimes, all it takes is an extra /not:SXSW or /exclude/SXSW in the address bar of your browser.  Otherwise, there’s always TinyFilter on Chrome and ProCon Latte on Firefox that offer blacklist blocking, so when you go to a site that has SXSW-related keywords, you are spared.  These two are originally designed and usually installed to keep kids from browsing pornographic and other adult content, but you can use it to mute SXSW in the meantime.
There’s an app for that!
Most people use the official Facebook smartphone app to keep up to date with their News Feed, and as far as we know, an internal way to filter out specific content is not possible at the moment.  You could download different Web browsers on your phone and try accessing Facebook assisted by the extensions we mentioned above, but for now, let’s focus on Twitter apps that can help you mute #SXSW.
Normally, Tweetdeck would be an awesome go-to solution for this sort of filtering problem, but in case you haven’t heard, it’s on its way to digital extinction.  We did mention a great alternative, though:  Tweetcaster (Android, iOS, Web) has a “zip-it” option that allows you to not see users and keywords on your feed without having to unfollow them.  You can also unzip at any time if you want to take a quick peak at everything SXSW on Twitter.  UberSocial (Android, iOS, Blackberry) is also an effective Twitter client that has mute capability, so if you have friends attending SXSW 2013, you can temporarily hide them for a selected period of time.
Have an Android device?  Twicca has a long list of features that includes tweet filtering.  Are you more of an iLover?  For under $3, you can either get Tweetlogix and Tweetbot in iTunes store for your blocking-without-unfollowing needs.
When all else fails, unplug.
Read a book.  Bake a cake.  Listen to a few old records.  Go outside and take a walk.  Resist the temptation to go online.  Yeah, good luck with the last one.
There you have it!  Keep in mind that all of the tips we've outlined above are reversible, so you will have no difficulty in catching up on the latest SXSW news once you decide you want to be in-the-know again. 

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YouTube co-founder teases mystery video collaboration service at SXSW

Despite persistent competition from Vimeo and DailyMotion, YouTube remains, after all these years, numero uno in people’s minds as the online video-sharing service. Now, YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley, who left the company in 2010, hopes to top his past success with a brand-new "video-based" product that he says promises to deliver “flexibility for people to work together and create content." Unfortunately, the rest of the details about Hurley's new venture remain a mystery.
What’s Hurley up to? Our guess is as good as yours
Those who were lucky enough to attend this SXSW event on Saturday can tell you the same thing: We have virtually no idea what Hurley’s next move is. While speaking at SXSW, Hurley did a stellar job being as vague as possible about the venture, but he made sure to let the people attending SXSW 2013 know that he’s got something up his sleeve that will revolutionize video collaborations. "I wish South by Southwest was a month later because I could unveil the new product," said Hurley in an interview with Digg founder and Google Ventures partner Kevin Rose, according to AdWeek. 
The only real clue we have is the fact that his current company, AVOS, is looking to hire more software developers and engineers, perhaps in anticipation for a new batch of products. But with today’s social media developments constantly inspiring innovators to come up with something fresh, it would be safe to assume that Hurley’s vague statement hints at a feature-packed endeavor that aims to pique the interest of many video enthusiasts.
Hurley is well aware of what a huge success YouTube, which Google purchased for $1.65 billion in 2006, has grown to be. And he hopes he can match – if not ride alongside – its ongoing success. According to his Q&A with Rose, Hurley's goal is not to “kill YouTube,” but to design a platform that allows people to team up over video projects more seamlessly.
What’s in the online video editing market today, collab-wise

Currently, there already are a few websites that are geared towards online video collaboration. Showcased in the YouTube clip above (yes, it’s a bit ironic that this feature is on YouTube) is Stroome, a simple drag-and-drop video collaborating tool. The official website is currently going through a face lift, but according to its CrunchBase profile, Stroome offers video editing tools "that make it possible to work on videos together and remix other people's work."
Another company, Mediasilo, gears itself for professionals who want to easily brainstorm media presentation ideas and edit projects with team members. And a third possibile competitor to Hurley's forthcoming offering, Cozimo affords its users synchronized video collaboration that supports a number of popular video formats.
WeVideo is the sleekest of the bunch, offering video collaboration capabilities we hope Hurley has used as his peg. The cloud-based platform has a wide range of online editor modes that cover different levels of expertise and a central hub that makes online media management and teamwork easily accessible. WeVideo will orchestrate a live demo of their product at the SXSW Trade Show, which will be held until March 13, 2013. 

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Just in time for SXSW, lets you skip the lines and grab the merch

It's a conundrum that's plagued concert-goers since the dawn of time (or concerts): You dig the music, but you also want to support them by picking up a t-shirt ... just not enough to wait an hour in line after the show. So what do you do? Just in time for SXSW music week,  there’s an app for that. is an e-commerce mobile platform for bands to sell their merchandise, with a perk: Fans can use the app to buy merch during a live concert and pick up their purchase after the fanfare has died down.
TheHub also doubles as an e-commerce platform. This one though is optimized for mobile devices in more ways than the one we’ve already mentioned.
While picking up the merchandise in person is a choice, what if the size, color, or design that you’re looking for has sold out? Even if this is the case, there’s no reason to fret. Out of stock merch can be placed on backorder and once the band has the merch on hand, they can ship it out straight to your front door. founder and 32 year music industry veteran Jonathan Block is also experimenting with bridging the gap between how bands interact with fans beyond this e-commerce model. "As our community loses value for culture in a free download digital era, this new platform is focused on uniting the elements of merchandising, music sales and live shows for bands and their fans in a new way. The music business has needed a tool that improves the direct band-to-fan relationship for a long time,” Block says. is full of features for fans to get a chance to know and meet the bands. Free digital downloads, exclusive tracks, and direct interaction with bands are available, as are a host of other tools. Bands can also customized the easy-to-setup digital storefronts. 
Right now is in the negotiation and courting stages to bring on more bands to try out and hopefully adopt the platform. But Block says that bands aren’t the only types of customers he’s talking to and is interested in getting designers and brands on board too. 

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