ThingLink Appoints Tech PR Veteran Neil Vineberg as CMO

San Francisco, CA (August 01, 2011) — ThingLink, the provider of in-image interaction tools, today announced that Neil Vineberg, a former executive at leading communications firms Middleberg Euro and Golin/Harris, has been appointed as the company’s chief marketing officer.

Vineberg, whose 20+ year career includes pioneering strategic work for clients across digital music, social media, online communities and technology, will oversee ThingLink’s marketing and PR functions, drive U.S. business development for the Helsinki-based company, and manage soon-to-be opened offices in New York and San Francisco.

“Neil’s vast experience in and out of the tech sphere makes him the ideal person to introduce ThingLink to a wide range of prospective partners and brands across the U.S.,” commented Ulla Engeström, founder and CEO of ThingLink. “He has been associated with some of the most creative work in the business and boasts a strategic track record that speaks for itself.”

Vineberg’s varied consultancy career has seen him take up advisory roles with UNICEF, Procter & Gamble, United Airlines, IBM, Sony, Sprint, MP3.com, and eMusic, while also cultivating a successful career as a renowned contemporary acoustic guitarist and composer. Performing under the name ‘Shambhu’, his debut album ‘Sacred Love’ peaked at #1 on the World Music charts and was named “One of the Best of the Year” by Common Ground magazine.

“By turning images into a platform for rich media, ThingLink is innovating a new paradigm in consumer engagement,” added Vineberg. “I look forward to working with our team and growing community of partners in the U.S. and around the world to drive the growth of this exciting multi-media platform.”

Launched in 2010, ThingLink transforms images into a navigational surface for rich, relevant content that enhances a viewer’s knowledge and experience. The free-to-use application installs seamlessly onto blogs, websites or community pages allowing publishers to maximise the usability of images for story telling, advertising, promotion, sales and retention.

For more information, visit ThingLink.com.

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How to Insert SoundCloud’s Player in ThingLink Tags

Cool video of how to set up a SoundCloud player in ThingLink tags. There’s a post on my music site about ThingLink, an innovative company that I’m working with.

Read music marketing master Michael Brandvold’s post on ThingLink.

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GUITARIST SHAMBHU RELEASES DEBUT “SACRED LOVE”

“It’s the project I had on the shelf and it emerged thanks to a decline in the economy, which gave me personal time to discover and create this music,” says Shambhu, who’s debut CD, Sacred Love was released today.

Described as a “soul-elevating and magical journey, like riding a perfect wave,” Sacred Love features an all-star list of Grammy award-winning collaborators brought together by Shambhu, including Windham Hill Records founder Will Ackerman (co-producer) and recording and mixing engineer Corin Nelsen.

One reviewer praises Sacred Love as “possibly the best project Will Ackerman has ever been involved in.” The other artists that Shambhu and Ackerman assembled are no less impressive. They include: Tony Levin on bass (tours with Peter Gabriel), George Brooks on saxophone (recorded with John McLaughlin and Zakir Hussain), Ravichandra Kulur (tours with Ravi Shankar and Anoushka Shankar), Jeff Haynes on percussion (toured with Pat Metheny), Celso Alberti on drums (toured with Steve Winwood), Charlie Bisharat on violin (toured with Shadowfax), Premik Tubbs on flute and windsynth (toured with Santana and Mahavishnu Orchestra) and Eugene Friesen on cello (toured with Paul Winter Consort).

With the economy faltering, Shambhu decided to embark on a journey that many would have considered unthinkable. Putting his public relations business on the side for a year, he assembled the creative team and all-star artists behind Sacred Love, thereby finally realizing his life’s passion of creating a CD of his own music, and dedicated this effort to his 87-year-old mother who did not expect to live through the making of the CD due to health issues. Thankfully she is still alive enjoying this music, the realization of her dream, too.

“Each song on Sacred Love is a journey and the music flows with space for listener self-discovery and reflection,” Shambhu said. “That is thanks to decades of meditative practice with Indian mystic Sri Chinmoy, and my personal intention to infuse each note on the CD with love.”

Shambhu added, “The world needs oneness now more than ever. It is realistic and practical to believe that if we lead with love through the actions of our lives – and in my case, through the music of my life – we can help bridge the misunderstandings that separate people across religious, cultural and national boundaries, and create a world of oneness.”

Watch a 25-part YouTube series, “The Making of Sacred Love” at youtube.com/shambhumusic.

Buy Sacred Love at SacredLoveCD.com.

Visit Shambhu at ShambhuMusic.com

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Tips For Running a Brilliant Speaker Panel

How often have you attended a conference only to sit through poorly managed panels featuring speakers with interesting bios that should have been more effectively engaged by moderators?

I’m at a morning conference listening to potentially interesting people participating in a few poorly moderated panels. Here are a few tips for moderators running panels based on events I’ve organized and joined as well as a conference series I organized for a former blue chip client.

1. Creative. Creatively title the panel. Come up with something that captures attention and draws audience.
2. Pre-interview Panelists. A week prior to the panel, speak with participants by phone to determine their strengths and weaknesses, competencies, and relevant success stories and methodologies you can point to during the panel. Determine questions you might ask panelists from this pre-interview, and during the live panel, draw from a list of these questions.
3. Avoid Lengthy Intros. Rather than turn intros over to panelists who will likely waste valuable time regurgitating bio elements that are usually in print, write a script that excerpts 20 seconds of pertinent information from each speaker’s bio, and get that out of the way quickly so you can get into the topic of the conference.
4. Manage Time. Make sure you manage your time during the actual panel so that you can make it through your questions in ways that engage every participant. If one participant speaks too long and delivers information that is off topic and puts your plan in jeopardy, be proactive and politely cut off the speaker. You’re doing this for everyone’s benefit.
5. Interactive. You are managing time. Make sure the panel is interactive. Ensure that everyone has a chance to speak, and encourage cross-talk.
6. Q&A. Leave some time for audience questions at the end.
7. Twitter. Set up a hashtag (#) for the panel (i.e. #panelname) that folks can use to tweet questions, and announce it at the start of the panel. You might find some potential questions and useful comments from these Tweets from attendees during the panel and incorporate these into the discussion.
8. Inspire. Drive personal energy through the session in ways that inspire the audience.

What are your ideas?

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Shambhu Sacred Love is Live


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FTC Guidelines on Endorsements and Testimonials

If you’re a blogger getting paid to post, you’re now going to have to disclose it. The social Web is under Federal Trade Commission (FTC) scrutiny. I have worked with several mommy bloggers with very high integrity. A few, however, were running pay for post operations — printing product reviews in exchange for cash — without revealing payments. That is influence gone awry. Now the FTC has put bloggers on notice with a requirement to disclose payments or promotional consideration related to such reviews.

The Federal Trade Commission recently approved final revisions to the guidance it gives to advertisers on how to keep their endorsement and testimonial ads in line with the FTC Act.

The notice incorporates several changes to the FTC’s Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising, which address endorsements by consumers, experts, organizations, and celebrities, as well as the disclosure of important connections between advertisers and endorsers. The Guides were last updated in 1980.

Under the revised Guides, advertisements that feature a consumer and convey his or her experience with a product or service as typical when that is not the case will be required to clearly disclose the results that consumers can generally expect. In contrast to the 1980 version of the Guides – which allowed advertisers to describe unusual results in a testimonial as long as they included a disclaimer such as “results not typical” – the revised Guides no longer contain this safe harbor.

Read more

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Enjoy the Love at Shambhu Music

Enjoy beautiful new age guitar music by Shambhu at ShambhuMusic.com. Learn more about Shambhu.

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