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News from the Case Foundation and what people are talking about in the world of giving, tech and everything in between.
Pepsi Refresh expands into 2011 internationally
As the AP reported last week, PepsiCo announced that it would continue its Pepsi Refresh Project, its online grants competition, into 2011. The program, which was announced in January as Pepsi's alternative to spending money on Super Bowl advertising, will also expand into international markets in Europe, Latin America and Asia. As this AdAge article reports, Pepsi will begin soliciting new ideas for the program from the public, via its Facebook page. This ClickZ article shares some insights on the effect the program has had on the company's brand perception:
Speaking with ClickZ, PepsiCo Beverages' head of digital, Shiv Singh, said the campaign has not only benefited grant recipients and the communities in which they lie, but has also had an "extremely positive" effect on the Pepsi brand. "It's hard to directly compare this campaign with previous ones, because we're not measuring impressions, we're measuring the impact on a community... but based on more strategic metrics like brand health, favorability, and intent to purchase, it's performed exceedingly well," he said, adding, "It's working for the communities, and it's working for us."
As our colleague, Josh Tabb shared on our blog, last week marked the anticipated launch of Challenge.gov, a comprehensive database for government challenges and a home base for all individuals looking to help the government resolve today’s issues and build tomorrow’s future. The launch got quite a bit of media attention, particularly from the federal press. This article from PBS NewsHour includes video of U.S. CTO Aneesh Chopra and U.S. CIO Vivek Kundra discussing the site's launch and the use of technologies to help drive citizen engagement with the government. As this article on technology news blog Switched.com reports,
The challenges are not new, but having them all in one place is. Challenge.gov should save time and effort by allowing agencies to focus on judging the quality of submissions instead of worrying about the submission methods and IT infrastructure.
Federal News Radio also covered the launch of Challenge.gov and in a related story Brad Rourke, author of our report, Promoting Innovation: Prizes, Challenges and Open Grantmaking, on the summit we co-hosted with the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy and the White House Domestic Policy Council earlier this year, talked with the evening drive host about the benefits and pitfalls of challenge programs.
Google Instant Search - the death of SEO?
The big news in the tech world this week was Google's unveiling of Google Instant, a new dynamic search feature that according to Google "takes what you have typed already, predicts the most likely completion and streams results in real-time for those predictions." Currently, the search feature is only available through Google.com and in certain browsers, but as TechCrunch reported, will be coming to mobile devices in the fall. Following the launch, there was a debate about what Google Instant means for SEO, with PR blogger Steve Rubel stating that the new service makes SEO "irrelevant":
Here's what this means: no two people will see the same web. Once a single search would do the trick - and everyone saw the same results. That's what made search engine optimization work. Now, with this, everyone is going to start tweaking their searches in real-time. The reason this is a game changer is feedback. When you get feedback, you change your behaviors.
While some bloggers, including Google's own Matt Cutts, disagreed with this assessment, most seemed to agree that SEO would certainly change with the rollout of this new feature. This article from eWEEK does a good job in laying out the discussions around SEO's potential evolution, and Danny Sullivan at Search Engine Land offers his thoughts on why "SEO is here to stay."
Bloglines shutting down
As Mashable reported this weekend, Ask.com announced that news aggregator & RSS reader Bloglines will shut down effective October 1, noting that "being locked in an RSS reader makes less and less sense to people as Twitter and Facebook dominate real-time information flow." This announcement led many to speculate about the "end" of the RSS reader - in this post from PaidContent, Joseph Tartakoff looks at the decline in RSS reader usage over the last few years, and begins to speculate as to what Google might do with its own reader tool. On BlogHer, Melissa Ford poses the same question as to whether RSS is "dead" with a lot of great feedback in the comments below.
Other links we like
- PopTech announces 2010 Fellows - on the Social Entrepreneurship blog, Nathaniel Whittemore notes: "The third class of PopTech Social Innovation Fellows reinforces that fact, and will bring together exceptional changemakers in areas as diverse as mobile credit, conflict resolution and promotion of the sciences."
- Beth Kanter offers some great advice on how the Networked Nonprofit can leverage Faceboook.
- In a guest post on the NTEN blog, Steve McLaughlin of Blackbaud offers insights into the latest online fundraising trends.
- Sean Stannard-Stockton shares a video from charity:water admitting to failure, and commends the organization for its transparency.