Shoutomatic Trademarks Shout

Shouts, in the context of audio messages used on the Internet as part of social media, have been given trademark protection by the US Trademark Office.

This is of course good news for Shoutomatic, the web service that allows you to record and deliver short audio messages via Twitter or Facebook or directly from their own web site and who did the actual trademark submission.Continue reading

Our Favorite Biz Apps, Summer Edition

Summer is here and the time is right for another Technoverse list of our favorite business apps.

Our files are stuffed with notes from the last few months of attending trade shows and meetups, quizzing CEOs, and testing software in our state-of-the-art lab. The focus of this list, as in our past enumerations, is on small-to-medium businesses.

The distribution of employers in the US is skewed towards small: most businesses—something like 98% — are considered small, with roughly under 25 employees. Even more astonishing: they hire 50% of the US workforce.

But unlike in the past, the cost of starting and running a small business doesn’t necessarily require emptying a bank account.

We have computing to thank for this, everything from cheap biz apps in the cloud, low-cost communications and collaboration, inexpensive social media marketing, the ability to crowdsource certain tasks, and on and on.

Herewith are a few apps that should help you kickstart and manage your business:Continue reading

Tales from Startup Alley: Shoutomatic

If tweets are the short form of a blog post, then what’s the short audio equivalent for a podcast?

I found the answer at Shoutomatic’s booth talking to its co-founder and COO Michael Levy. The idea is simple: why not give give the people the power to quickly record short audio messages or shouts, and tweet out the embedded link or post it onto a FaceBook wall?

There are other, more cumbersome ways to do this kind of thing in the Web world.

Shoutomatic, though, is its owns ecosystem and social network—profiles, real-time shout stream, follow-follower model, etc.

Most intriguing to me and a powerful differentiator of this service is its celebrity shouters, which include Andy Dick, Eurythmic’s Dave Stewart, rapper Chuck D, Danny Bonaduce, and American Idol winner Bo Bice.

Celebrity and branded shouts are really the core of the for-pay business of this startup.
Continue reading