The latest in self-service, simplicity, the ties that bind, postscripts and things that go bump in the night from Hong Kong on the Hudson, the City that Knows How and the Fair City, Venice of the North and the Colonial Capital.

A Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On

New York City-based Sizmek has released a new “self-serve toolset for building and distributing rich media ads across major social properties on any device.” Sizmek’s new social toolset is designed as an easy way for publishers, advertisers, and agencies to build ads that "drive better results and disseminate them" across the newsfeeds of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr.

A. J. Vernet, global vice president of social at Sizmek said the new toolset "puts the power in the hands" of its clients and cuts costs and time it takes to get an ad created and live.” He said the tool is intended to give brands the ability to put messages out to market quickly across all key social and mobile channels.

Sounds like about a seven on the Richter scale.


Intercom Earns its Stripe

This week San Francisco and Dublin-based Intercom announced an exclusive integration with Stripe, its San Francisco neighbors, in what it hopes will lead to becoming “the de-facto payment system for web businesses.”

According to the people at Intercom: “Knowing if a customer is paying, how long they’ve been paying, and how much they pay can inform lots of business functions.”

Some examples they give are:

  • Customer support: Prioritize your paying customers over your long-term free users
  • Marketing: Target your various upsells and cross-sells to qualified customers
  • Product management: Categorize your feedback by the type of customer it comes from (free versus basic versus premium)

“Pretty much every Software-as-a-Service business in the world can benefit from Intercom,” Patrick Collison, co-founder and CEO of Stripe, boasted. “So we’re super excited that it's integrating so deeply with Stripe.”


Forward the Foundation

The Document Foundation (TDF), the governing body of LibreOffice, this week joined the Open Source Business Alliance (OSB Alliance) with the goal of “creating stronger ties with companies and organizations deploying the free office suite on a large scale.” Currently, TDF — based in Berlin —has more than 3,000 volunteer contributors.

The OSB Alliance, a key-stakeholder in LibreOffice, is Europe's largest association of companies and organizations “developing, building and using open source software.”

OSB Alliance Chairman Peter Ganten stated: “Open Source Office Software like LibreOffice has always been very important to most of our members, and there is a long and successful history of cooperation between the OSB Alliance and the respective projects.”

As the foremost Foundation authority, Isaac Asimov, once said: “To succeed, planning alone is insufficient. One must improvise as well.”

P.S. They Goofed!

As promised in the footnote from Ad Forecasters Offer 'Mildly Bizarre' Glimpse of the Future Gordon Borrell of Williamsburg, Va.-based Borrell Associates supplied its “stunningly wrong” prediction. “In 2009 we predicted newspapers would bounce back the following year, with no more annual ad-revenue losses. Not only were we colossally wrong, but we also waited too long to revise that forecast … In 2009, many of our clients were newspaper companies, and we wanted to give them good news. We found some evidence indicating things might be OK, so we went with it," he said. Moral of the story: You can only predict things after they have happened.

And Just Because Today is Halloween

Here are 13 Short, Creepy Stories that will scare the crap out of you.

(Don’t forget to leave the night light on.)