MeetUp - the social site that encourages you to meet in person.

MeetUp – The greatest social network you’ve never heard of

– by Cam Clark

One of the most prominent complaints I hear against social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter is that they actually make us less social. They suck you into interacting on a superficial, virtual basis rather than face-to-face.

There are arguments for and against this thought process, but for the past ten years one social network has been quietly and successfully nullifying these two assertions right under our noses by creating a network of people who meet virtually and congregate physically. is one of the rare websites that actually encourages people to meet in real life. The website aims to help people create communities unified by a common interest, such as: politics, books, sports, movies, health, pets, jobs or other hobbies. Members just enter their ZIP code or their city and the topic they want to meet about, and the site helps them arrange a place and time to meet.

Meetup’s mission is “To revitalize local community and help people around the world self-organize. Meetup believes that people can change their personal world, or the whole world, by organizing themselves into groups that are powerful enough to make a difference.”

This under-recognized social networking site is the world’s largest network of local groups, with people getting together somewhere on the planet every 13 seconds. Meetup boasts an impressive 9 million visitors per month in 45,000 cities worldwide, and has 280,000 monthly Meetups on every topic imaginable. Sure, compared to Facebook numbers, 9 million is a drop in the bucket and the site could use a visual overhaul, but just because this site has been outshined by others does not mean you should ignore it.

I personally have made some great connections through this site, and in a very short time frame. I’ve pub-crawled with the “20 and 30 somethings in Portland,” happy-houred with the “Happy Hour Aficionados of Portland,” run with the “NoPo Run Club” and even sung my face off with the “Portland Karaoke Singles.” There is so much fun to be had.

If you don’t think you have time to check it out, do me a favor. Go to, enter in a topic that interests you and your zip code, and just see what comes up. If you are unable to find anything interesting, come to one of our PR 3.0 meetings and I will buy you a beer. Or, maybe, just maybe, you will find a group of people that will forever change your life. Either way, what do you have to lose?


Curation key to a quieter internet

by Cam Clark

In 1990, when Sir Tim Burners Lee created the first ever web page, he imagined the web being a worldwide tool. I doubt, however, he ever could have imagined that in 2012 there would be more than a trillion web pages on the net. In fact, the Internet has become so large that one of Tim’s latest jobs has been to figure out a way to measure just how big the Internet really is, in both size and impact.


So far, the ways invented to deal with this growing glut of web pages have come in the form of lists, directories, search engines and wikis. Even with all of that, the internet has become nothing more than semi-organized noise. All of these technologies are helpful but, with Internet users worldwide spending a collective 35 billion hours of time online every month, if you don’t know exactly what you are looking for, navigating the internet can be a huge waste of time. How can we use that time more efficiently and find stories that are interesting, timely and relevant even if we don’t know they exist?

Currently this is accomplished in one of three ways:

1. Professional Curation – This is what we normally think of as news. For example, An editor there decides what information is important for you to see. This is good for world and national news. Websites linked to TV stations and newspapers are often the most trusted, but they may be poor at targeting your personal interests. They’re not extremely timely by today’s Internet standards, where a story that is 15 minutes old is considered stale, and they tend to lean toward the sensational.

2. Social Curation – This is the information that your friends share on places such as It’s great for finding information that is of personal interest, obscure or local, but generally poor at finding the types of items a professional curator would choose.

3. Trending Curation – This is the opinion of the masses, as found on sites such as Google Trends or trending on twitter. These work well to keep you informed of up-to-the-minute breaking stories or the latest cute cat video, but information can be misleading if it turns out to be based on rumor.

If we are to stay sane and on top of what is happening in the world, we need to bring the concept of web curation to the next level. All the pieces are in place. It just comes down to combining them correctly. Easier said then done.

What will this information source look like? How could these sources be combined to use each one’s strengths to limit their weaknesses? That is the part I haven’t fully figured out – yet. Maybe it will be some sort of dashboard that has a column of the most immediate trending information along with top stories from news organizations all vetted for truth and tailored to your specific tastes, geolocation and what your friends are posting about.

With Google Plus’ recent update to include trending information, I believe they are getting very close. The problem is, they don’t, at this time, have the same strength of social graph that Facebook has. Facebook also could attempt this, but it does not have the strength of search that Google has. Even if Facebook partnered with Bing or bought Yahoo!, both have less than 5% of the search market, so it’d still be a stretch.

What do you think the future of Sir Tim Burners Lee’s creation looks like? What would be the most useful combination of these three types of content for you to keep up with your friends and the world at large?

Spreading the news

New website causes media sensation, freshens breath while you read

The word is out. Thanks to Gawker blogging about it, Perez Hilton tweeting a catty remark in regards to it, and Lady Gaga wearing an outfit made entirely from computer screens displaying it, you’ve by now heard that AM:PM PR has a new website.

First of all, we want to make it clear that this isn’t how we wanted to roll out the new site. We wanted you to find out by us telling you about it right here. But, as the recent media circus has made undeniable, the cat’s out of the bag. We might as well address a number of questions/misconceptions that have already popped up in our conversations with the media.

Claim: The website is based on complex numerology decoded from a previously unpublished section of “The Wu-Tang Manual.”

Reality: This is true.

Claim: Using AM:PM PR’s website can help cure depression, freshen breath while you read.

Reality: Again, this is true. Perhaps we’ll move on to some misconceptions.

Claim: Staring directly into Alexis’ eyes in the group shot on the homepage can make you go cross-eyed.

Reality: OK, also true, but only in extreme cases. This isn’t going well. Let’s give it one more shot.

Claim: This website revamping is a shameless promotional ploy for Pat’s upcoming, last-minute presidential run.

Reality: While Pat does have designs on world domination, and his common-sense perspective would certainly make for a refreshing alternative to some other candidates we might name, he won’t be running for president. At least not in 2012.

Speaking of Pat, stay tuned to this site for his upcoming blog post, which will offer an in-depth look at our new package-pricing system, and how we think that it will help us help you to reach what science has coined “maximum awesometude.”

In the meantime, know this:

– Yes, our new site will better emphasize the strategic relationship we have with ace app developers 7/Apps.

– No, you won’t be able to control our new website with your mind, a la Clint Eastwood’s jet in the film “Firefox.”

– Yes, site design and navigation have both been improved, creating an experience that one critic has called, “THE feel-good action-packed romantic rollercoaster thrillride of this year or any other.”

– No, no McCormicks were harmed during the making of the new site. That’s our story and we’re sticking to it.

– Yes, you will still have access to all the same great videos, hyperlocal storytelling, and dangerously sharp snark as before, but now it will have 30% less MSG.

Stay tuned, friends, family and cabal mates. The future is now, but we’re only leaking it one day at a time.

Consumer Electronics Show sans hoverboard

by Cam Clark

Last month I got the chance to attend the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. CES is so huge that it is hard to comprehend even after going. It’s 28 football fields of consumer electronics – a geek’s paradise. I spent three days walking the floors and was only able to cover 3/4 of the entire show. Any more and my feet would have fallen off or my eyes would have exploded.

consumer electronics show
One of my favorite areas at the show was the personal health and fitness area. Health and fitness happens to be a personal passion of mine, so combining that with electronic gadgets completely sucked me in.

Taking a look at products like Nike Fuel, MotoACTV, Fitbit and BodyBugg, Wi-Fi Smart Scales and Lose It!, among many others, I started to see a trend toward allowing average people to collect large amounts of accurate data on themselves. Using devices and applications like these will allow you to be able to build a personal profile of all the health-related parts of your life.

You can track your weight, body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, caloric intake and output, and sleep patterns among others. With the help of Application Programming Interfaces (API) in the very near future, all of these devices will start to talk to each other, and you will be able to share this info with your doctor, personal trainer, or family.

consumer electronics show
Another amazing concept at CES was the idea of 3D printing at home. They’ve taken something that for years has been reserved for manufacturing companies with large piles of cash and produced it at a cost in the range of the normal human. Now, home inventors can make rapid prototypes. Missing a piece to your favorite board game? Print one. Your kid’s favorite action figure broke a limb? Print a new one. I personally think 3D printing is as big a deal as color printing.

Not everything at CES was earth-shattering. A lot was ho-hum and some things were just plain weird. Take for example the concept of Celebrities and Booth Babes. If I mention the names 50 Cent, Justin Bieber and Xzibit, images of stadiums or music venues may pop into your head. What if I told you that they were how some companies tried to draw people into their booths at the world’s largest electronics show. In my opinion, it was kind of odd.

consumer electronics show
Now, picture some extremely good-looking women prancing around in skimpy outfits and you may start to think of a beach in Brazil, a club in Miami or the red-light district in Amsterdam. But in the context of CES, you have yourself a “Booth Babe,” beautiful women strategically placed to catch the eye of the wandering geek. Sadly, it works. Unfortunately, no matter how strong the frontal cortex of a man, the reptilian brain is a force to be reckoned with.

Overall, I really enjoyed my time at CES and look forward to the experience again at some point. I’m still hoping that one of these years, I’ll finally get my hoverboard.

walkie talkies

Voxer’s new app is a “10-4, good buddy”

by Cam Clark

voxer logo

Do you ever read a text and swear you can hear the person on the other end saying it? Well, you might be hearing things, or you might just be using the new app Voxer.

Voxer is a walkie talkie application for smartphones that lets you send instant audio, text, photo and location messages to one or a group of your friends. Now, I know the the thought of a walkie talkie on a smart phone isn’t exactly a revolution. You would think it’s maybe even a step backwards. However, Voxer solves a major problem for me – texting.

voxer app I am not one that enjoys jamming out text on a smart phone. I have tried and been disappointed with today’s talk-to-text translators, such as Dragon. They tend to be cumbersome and error prone. Even as easy as today’s phones have made it to type, it’s still irritating to thumb your way through the alphabet. Then there are those texts that get interpreted the wrong way, and we have all had them. I would much rather talk than type.

Some would ask, “Why not just call?” To that I say that there are many social norms attached to calling someone. When you just need a quick answer, these niceties can feel bothersome and time consuming. But you don’t have to worry about being potentially interruptive, salutations or the obligatory need to carry on a conversation when texting. It’s perfectly socially acceptable to leave them out when communicating through that medium.

Looking forward at the industry as a whole, I can absolutely see this capability being implemented as part of the next iteration of MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) on all mobile phones. While this is unfortunate for Voxer, it’s good for you and me.

I have found myself a little obsessed with this app lately and I hope you will be, too. Check it out for iOS or Android and tell me what you think. Can you see yourself finding this type of communication useful?

revolution image

5 reasons to say “Viva la Television Revolution”


by Cam Clark

Viva la Television Revolution! TV has come a long way since 1926. If you think of the DVR as the Wright brothers’ airplane, then we are on the cusp of the jet engine of TV – a fundamental shift in how we consume, interact with and distribute video media. If you look at recent industry developments, a crystal-clear picture begins to emerge.

John Logie Baird

Jan 23, 1926 John Logie Baird gave the first demo of a television apparatus.

Lets start with a Neilson Poll that states “Online Video Usage was up 45% in 2011″ It increased to “68.2% of US internet users, or 158.1 million people watching video content online each month,” as stated by eMarketer. The site also said that “by 2015, that figure will increase to 76% of internet users, or 195.5 million people and In the same period, online video advertising spending will surge from $1.97 billion to $5.71 billion.” Those are some impressive numbers.

tv graph
More people than ever are turning to online video for their video entertainment. Add in a report from The Diffusion Group that states “Likelihood to downgrade PayTV Services is increasing for those that watch online video” (Netflix in particular in this study.) and you start to see a trend of people moving to online video in masses.

If that weren’t enough, services such as Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, iTunes, Amazon Video On Demand, Blockbuster Video Online and Vudu, just to mention a few, are rapidly growing in number and popularity. Netflix streaming alone is now the single largest source of peak downstream Internet traffic in the U.S., according to a new report by Sandvine. The streaming video service accounts for 29.7 percent of peak downstream traffic, up from 21 percent last fall.

Finally, many hardware companies are throwing their hat in the ring to make the next box to deliver these services. A few of these devices are: AppleTV, Google TV, Roku, Boxee Box, PS3 and XBox. Sony’s CEO says the company is investing heavily in “a different kind of TV set.” In Steve Jobs’ biography, he was quoted as saying, “I’d like to create an integrated television set, It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud … It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it.”  Apple has single-handedly changed the music, computer and mobile phone industries, and now has the television industry in its sights. Apple’s had a rumored game-changing TV for some time now. Two big hints of big moves by big companies coming soon.

Let’s recap:

  1. More people then ever are watching video online.
  2. Internet video usage went up 45% this year.
  3. Once people start watching video online, they tend to “cut the cord” of old methods of consumption.
  4. Internet video has become the No. 1 source of downstream traffic on the internet.
  5. Major companies are investing in industry-changing moves.

By now, the picture I was talking about earlier should be transmitting to your brain in high definition. Are you as excited as I am about the revolution that is about to unfold? If the answer is no, why not? If the answer is a resounding yes, then I bid you happy watching!

digital rain

Goodbye paper calendar, hello digital everything!

red calendar
by Brianna McLeod

The year 2011 has been one of transition in many respects. I weaned myself off of a paper calendar/planner that weighed at least three lbs. and was made of red leather (and I loved every ounce of it). At first, I was very skeptical about entering all of my activities, appointments, workouts, birthdays, anniversaries, and basically EVERYTHING only into my iCalendar.

I also became hip and current with my fancy iPhone. Prior to that, I had a cute little slider phone with push buttons, and it was just so adorable. Now I’m a big girl, and big girls use smart-phones. Both of these developments were thanks to 7/Apps LLC.

With today’s awesome technology, I am able to add things on my phone calendar, which is now my planner! I never thought I’d give in and go 100% digital. I love iCloud because when I upload a new event or action item on my calendar, it updates it on my computer and iPad. I can log in anywhere and everything is in sync.

I’m not going to lie and say I don’t miss highlighting my events, birthdays, networking events, volunteering commitments and fitness. I still have these categories color-coded exactly the same; I just don’t get to physically do it. Sad face. I also don’t get to cross things off or place check marks next to them, but I am adapting.

The organization and the convenience pay off when I really sit and think about it. Now I can enter birthdays and anniversaries one time and then have them repeat. I can enter my on-going commitments and they reoccur without me needing to add them over and over. That saves me time, and I can even set reminders! Love that. Thank you iCalendar.

icalTechnology is so fun. There are so many awesome apps you can download and put to good use. Some of my favorites include Shazam and SoundHound, which will recognize a song or artist that you don’t know the name of, and you can even download the cut to your phone right then if you want. I’m also in love with photo editing apps like Instagram and PS Express. You can turn any regular picture into a professional-looking shot. So fun!

When I am out or want to meet up with someone for a movie I use Flixster, which will show you the movie theaters and show times closest to you. Of course getting alerts from Groupon and Living Social is nice because then I can simply purchase a deal from my phone if I want, or send it to someone who I think would love the deal.
It’s exciting to imagine what’s next with technology. There are so many fun things out there that make life more enjoyable, connected and simple.

Brianna McLeod is VP of Operations at 7 Apps, AM:PM PR’s sister firm and office mate.

This blog was originally posted to Brianna McLeod’s Digital World


facebook colors

Facebook Profile changes to Timeline

by Cam Clark

This Wednesday, Facebook will release the new “Timeline” to the masses to what will, more than likely, be mixed reactions.

I am a bit of an oddball in that I enjoy change. Not many people do. The ratio is 5 to1 against change, according to a poll by Poll Position. Whether it’s Apple releasing a new gadget or Facebook pumping out yet another change to its format, I usually embrace it. It’s almost like a game to me. On your mark, get set, figure this new thing out.

zuckerburg image
I had a chance today to try out “Timeline”, witch will be replacing your current profile and have some mixed feelings myself.

1. It feels very busy. The new layout with the altered sidebar released last week, chat and advertising in the middle essentially equates to four columns of data. Much like America’s waist line, it’s busting at the seams. Seems like a lot of info to look at all at once.

2. It feels exposed. I’m not usually one to shy away from parts of my life being public. Especially since I have posted all this info myself. But I have posts going back to 2004, and something feels different about having it all condensed in one place. It feels a little drafty seeing it all all hanging out in the breeze like that.

3. I like strolling memory lane. It is fun to look back at the things that were happening a few years back. To be able to easily peruse pictures and posts that were significant is a good thing. It’s like scrapbooking without the work.

Overall, I am happy Facebook is trying new things. Unlike others. Especially in this industry, you either innovate or fail.

Timeline releases this Wednesday to the public. I hope you have fun exploring all the new options.

cam clark facebook

pile of wires

NFC – Tap to change the world (and your wallet)

by Cam Clark

Nostrodomus I am not, but I feel like I know a good thing when I see it. For a while now, I have liked what I have seen from the world of Near Field Communications (NFC). NFC is a short-range wireless technology already used throughout the world today. It’s gaining significant traction in places like Japan and Europe. As a cousin to Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), it operates on wireless frequencies connecting a user’s mobile device to a receiver or smart tag, usually a few centimeters away. NFC effectively allows you to wave your mobile device over a receiver or smart tag to exchange things like text, images and URLs effortlessly. You can also use it to make purchases and swap other data.

What will this have to do with you and me? A lot, potentially. With just a touch you could do any of the following:

NFC graphPair Electronic Devices

  • Home computer components
  • In-car devices
  • Home entertainment systems and remote controls
  • Headsets and handsets
  • Cameras and printers/digital frames


  • Quick and secure Wifi set-up. (Imagine just tapping your phone to a wifi base station to set up the connection)

Information Gathering

  • Just tap your mobile device to any smart tag and read product history or patient information, check in to a location or trade contact information, or get the latest movie trailer from tapping a movie poster.

Asset Management

  • Smart tags for product for inventory control


  • Ensure secure area access to your building or use your mobile device instead of a paper ticket.

The biggest impact will be in financial transactions. NFC is the first piece of tech to have a real chance to replace the credit card. Think about that for a second. Imagine how easy it would be to hold an NFC-enabled mobile phone close to a terminal to purchase products or services, download coupons or special offers, keep track of customer loyalty programs, pay for public transportation, go through pay turnstiles or even vending machines without cash, cards or tokens. We have been walking around with credit cards since the 1970s. Soon the swipe will be a tap.

NFC image
So what are we waiting for? Essentially, both the chicken and the egg. First off, you need a phone that has an NFC chip. Much like how phones started incorporating GPS chips a few years ago, new phones will start incorporating NFC chips. Juniper Research projects that by 2013, one in five mobile phones shipped will be NFC-enabled. We also will need to start incorporating smart tags and NFC tech into more products. Companies such as are already popping up to help make this a painless process.

If you take away one idea from this blog, it should be this: Keep your eyes, ears and smartphones peeled for new developments in this area. It should be a fun ride.


A conceptual video of what a day in the life of a college student equipped with NFC technology.

If you are a bit more geeky, like myself take a look at the first 17min of this video.

browser logos

Browser browsing: Not just for web designers anymore

by Cam Clark

Today’s blog is a bit of a PSA for all of you lovely people out there. You may or may not know that, just as you need to change the oil in your car regularly, you should be updating your web browser regularly, as well. “But why?” you ask.

browse happy
The number one reason is that using an outdated browser makes your computer unsafe. Older browsers lack proper or full web standards compliance. Some older browsers have implemented web standards incorrectly, and new web standards are being introduced all the time. This allows web designers’ work to be increasingly creative and efficient, and it greatly enhances your web browsing experience.

Another reason is that while all web browsers will get you to the web, they all do it a little differently and with their own flair. Go ahead and give some of the alternatives a test drive. You might be surprised that you like what you find. I keep at least the top three web browsers installed on my computer at all times. When I come across a web site that is not quite working right, I can load it up in another browser and it usually works fantastically.

So, how do I find the latest and greatest in browsing nirvana? I would like to introduce you to

According to the site, “Browse Happy is a way for you to find out what are the latest versions of the major browsers around. You can also learn about alternative browsers that may fit you even better than the one you are currently using.”

This concludes my technology PSA for today. Just remember Browse Happy, my friends.

browse happy my friends