Like us, you've probably just come out of a tryptophan-inspired coma on a relative's couch and are jonesing for some tech news. Unfortunately, the newsmakers are likely in the same position. While we cull the tubes for Internet-related happenings, check out this panoply of sites, apps, curiosities, trends and more.
"Somewhat" Frank Gruber Is Thankful For His New Web Project
Our good friend Frank Gruber has been working on Thankfulfor.com, a social gratitude journal.
Gruber writes that he and partner Jen Consalvo wanted to create "a forum for expressing gratitude routinely as a foundation for happiness and well-being."
Frank and Jen with Sir Richard Branson earlier this year.
"People come to the site and post what they are thankful for to their personal journal of thanks. People can also choose to send each Thankfulfor post to their social network on Twitter (each post starts with the #thankfulfor hashtag) extending the good vibes far and wide."
During the holiday season, Gruber's hosting a Gratitude Challenge for the remainder of the holiday season to encourage users around the world to spread the love. A great idea from a couple of great people!
Helping the Hungry Through YouTube Videos
Most of the Americans reading this are probably ridiculously stuffed with turkey and the associated edibles, but the good folks at YouTube recognized our annual gluttony as a great opportunity to help the less fortunate.
Using their own homepage and blog as a platform, the site asked users, a.k.a. Video Volunteers, to create videos to promote the hunger-related nonprofit of their choice. along with the organization Feeding America and special curator David Arquette, YouTube has selected three submissions on the site. Here's one we liked:
Next week, curator Morgan Freeman will kick off another round of submissions, this time focusing on human rights.
Search Traffic Gets Seasonal, Economy Remains Slow
Hitwise research director Heather Dougherty writes that year after year, Thanksgiving is the peak day for Internet visits to major retail websites, outstripping Black Friday, the day after Christmas, and other traditional big shopping days. Typically, for search engines, Thanksgiving also marks a peak in user searches for major retailers.
However, yearly trends show significant drops in traffic and searches between 2007 and 2008. And, Doughtery writes, "The daily visits to the Retail 500 are down compared to last year leading up to the big holiday weekend." Check out the purple line on this graph; it represents search traffic for major retail brands leading up to the holiday, and it's measurably lower than in previous years:
Also, the orange line on this graph shows site traffic stats for the same group of retailers. It, too, shows a decline from traffic in previous years.
Take heart, online retailers! Stats for traffic coming from email marketing are actually quite robust. Are email marketers with cleverly presented bargains succeeding in these times of woe and want? This seems to be the case.
SocialVibe's Facebook App Aims to Feed Folks in Need
SocialVibe is all about helping brands and users create positive social change. In a typical SocialVibe setup, a brand "sponsors" users, who take small actions and engagements to raise money for the charity of their choice.
The new SocialVibe Facebook app involves partnerships with multiple brands and allows users to help feed the hungry through the UN World Food Programme.
Users create virtual Thanksgiving tables, choose one of three decor themes, pick food items to bring, and and invite friends. By engaging in simple, free brand interactions, users are able to furnish their and their friends' tables with turkeys, mashed potatoes, and all the traditional dishes - and best of all, each food item in the app equates to a specific number of meals the UN World Food Programme will be able to provide to hungry families and individuals.
That wraps up this year's Thanksgiving around the web. What new sites, apps, or campaigns did you notice and love this year? Tell us all about them in the comments!