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'Internet Famous,' a raunchy comedy with an all-Pittsburgh cast+crew

What happens when a young urban professional living in Pittsburgh goes viral and finds fame on the internet?
 
Internet Famous is a new web comedy series that premieres online tonight, Jan. 22, with a red carpet showing at the Hollywood Theatre in Dormont.
 
Creators Chris Lee (Pitt, MFA grad) and Tom Williams (Pittsburgh Filmmakers) met through friends and quickly found they had a mutual admiration for “good comedy." So they wrote a script and staged a successful Kickstarter campaign, which earned them about $7500, giving them enough to hire an all-Pittsburgh cast and crew.
 
The film was shot on location throughout the city during the recurring heatwaves in July and August of 2013. Lawrenceville, the East End and Shadyside served as backdrops for the story. 

“In a lot of ways, it’s the future of TV,” says Williams. “Netflicks and Hulu are producing original content. Digital production makes it all possible.”
 
The story follows a young urban professional named Andy and his friends—they hang out together at Remedy, by the way—as he discover the highs and lows of instant celebrity and internet fame.
 
“It’s Seinfeld comes to Pittsburgh, but a little more vulgar,” says Williams.
 
The music also draws from the local music scene: The Harlan Twins, Neighbours, Nic Lawless and His Young Criminals, Delicious Pastries and The Gotobeds, to name a few. Spruce Films in Lawrenceville pitched in on the production side.  
 
Trent Wolfred plays the lead role of Andy. A grad of Penn State University, he was last seen in Lucas McNelly’s Blanc de Blanc and is a cast member at Pittsburgh Public Theatre where he is the house manager. Matthew Robison, a graduate of Point Park University, plays Andy’s sex-crazed roommate. His previous work includes local short films and videos.

Seven short webisodes were shot, all of which will be shown tonight at The Hollywood. From here, the producers are hoping to find sponsors and local investors to begin season two. Check out the trailer and premiere.
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Tom Williams, Internet Famous
 
 
 

2014 DATA Awards want to be the SXSW for art+tech innovation in Pittsburgh

Move over SXSW, Pittsburgh is raising the bar and taking the annual Design, Art and Technology Awards Exhibition to the national level this year.
 
The DATA Awards have always shown off both the hottest and coolest companies on the local tech scene. In an effort to attract more attention and buzz to the scene, the event is expanding to a two-day creative summit that invites  regional and companies from across the country to come to Pittsburgh and share the love.
 
“We really want to get national exposure for Pittsburgh companies and artists,” explains Kim Chesney Harvey of the PTC. “At the same time, we want to bring leading-edge ideas here. The idea is to engage people with each other.”
 
“The closest thing to this is SXSW in Austin,” she adds. “This is homegrown. You’ll see things here you won’t see anywhere else.”
 
PTC is calling on designers and artists—from Pittsburgh to Austin, San Francisco, Chicago and New York City—to be a part of the summit as either entrants or designers. The summit will feature workshops, panels, performances and networking opportunities.
 
The summit will be capped off by the Design, Art and Technology Awards Gala, and the DATA 2014. Entrepreneur, career guru and internationally known blogger Penelope Trunk will keynote.  
 
DATA 2014 will be held at the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust May 7 and 8th. The deadline for entries is Feb. 17.
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Kim Chestney Harvey, PTC

Pittsburgh's rue21 takes teen retail to new heights

Last year was one of monumental growth for the Cranberry-based teen clothing retailer rue21
 
In October 2013, the company returned to the private sector with London-based Apax Partners' purchase of the retailer for $1.1 billion. It was back to business for Apax, which owned rue21 before the company went public in 2009.
 
Then things took off. Within a month rue opened its 1000th store, launched a revised store format and expanded selection for guys and hung its shingle for online business. The discount retailer for guys and girls apparel and accessories continues on a steep growth trajectory. Forbes and DDIonline recognized it as one of the fastest growing retailers in the country.
 
This month the company announced the opening of its 1007 store along with ambitious plans to open 100-125 new stores across the country (in the 47 states) every year for the next five years, says Dan Harris, director of visual merchandising for rue21. 
 
rue21 employs 500 between its Weirton, Va., fulfillment center and corporate office in Warrendale and another 10,000+ people in stores across the country. The last reported sales were in 2012 of more than $900 million. 
 
The company’s sweet spot is catering to an underserved market, putting stores in strip centers and small towns, not necessarily the malls explains Harris. “We go into areas where American Eagle wouldn’t go. We can tandem in a Walmart."

“The crazy thing is people don’t realize rue21 is based in Pittsburgh, let alone how big we are,” he says.
 
rue21 rose from the ashes of Pennsylvania Fashion, a retailer that filed for Chapter 11 back in 2002. Since then, the company has been quietly reinventing itself and growing its presence through the private and public iterations. CEO Bob Fisch came on from Casual Corner in 2001.

More recently, the stores and merchandising has undergone a bright and colorful redesign. Much of rue's success comes from contantly taking the pulse of the teen market, says Harris. 

“We can react to a trend faster than most retailers can,” he says. “A teens perception of what’s cool is changing constantly. We can buy a trend and get it out faster.”
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Dan Harris, rue21

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? Openings in energy, gaming, design, law, real estate and beer

Aquion Energy is ramping up for the production of its new age battery storage units, which can only mean hiring. The manufacturer has numerous openings, primarily in engineers.
 
Eighteen positions are posted in Pittsburgh, Belle Vernon and Mt. Pleasant: battery design engineers, commercial product managers, environmental health and safety manager, production supervisors, test manager, manufacturing engineers, product engineers and a test manager.
 
This week the company received a share of $3.6 million in federal funding for a clean-energy project underway with an Israeli company.
 
Pittsburgh-based Schell Games is on the move to bigger space in Station Square. Schell currently has seven openings and internships: art director, game designers, engineering manager, gameplay programmer and more.
 
“Hiring plans are not set in stone, but it wouldn't be crazy to think we would add 5-10 people in the next 12 months or so,” says Jake Witherell at Schell.
 
Clark Hill Thorp Reed is hiring an associate in its corporate and real estate finance practice group. 
 
BEA, Inc. of Belgium, makers of automatic door sensor technology, is looking for a bilingual (Spanish/English) inside sales rep. Pittsburgh is the headquarters of Bea’s American operation.
 
Three Rivers Waterkeeper is looking for a new executive director, someone with experience with Quickbooks, WordPress and Constant Contact or other email and data management systems. 
 
Landesberg Design is on the hunt for a mid- to senior-level designer. The position requires three to ten years experience, basically someone who is a design thinker and doer. Send a resume or bio plus sampling of work to gainful@landesbergdesign.com
 
Prudential Preferred Realty, a major real estate company in Pittsburgh, is hiring new and experienced real estate agents. Training and scholarships are available for interested candidates.

Portabeer, a Pittsburgh startup and makers of a patent-pending portable keg system, is hiring a sales associate. 

Have hiring news? Email Pop City and send the career links!
 
Writer: Deb Smit

Show us the money. Several Pittsburgh firms receive millions in funding and other news

All the venture capital and innovation news you need to know in Pittsburgh this week:
 
It’s no secret that Microsoft founder Bill Gates is supporting the promise of next generation battery startups with funding. This month Gates again lent his support to Pittsburgh-based Aquion Energy, which recently completed a $55 million Series D round.  The funding will allow Aquion to ramp up production at its Westmoreland facility.
 
New investors, in addition to Gates, included Yung’s Enterprise, Nick and Joby Pritzker of Tao Invest, Bright Capital and Gentry Venture Partners.
 
Glen Meakem’s new startup, Forever, raised more than $4 million this month toward a $16 million goal, according to SEC filings. The downtown company closed on $8.6 million funding round earlier this month.
 
Forever is a cloud-based, personal social storage site for paid members that preserves cherished media memories— vintage photographs, audio, video and digital media—in a standard format and stores it in the security of cloud, Meakem told Pop City in December.
 
Pittsburgh-based Aethon has closed on a $3 million investment from Mitsui & Co. USA, which invested $4 million in the firm in 2012. Aethon develops automated robotic technology for hospitals across the country.
 
In energy-related news, a Bucks County startup has announced plans to build a small-scale natural gas-fired power plant in Chartiers Township near MarkWest Energy on Route 591.
 
IMG Midstream of Yardley, formerly Iron Mountain Generation, says it strives to bring economic benefits to the communities in the Marcellus Shale region while “minimizing any potential negative environmental effects” through smaller-scale technologies that realize “up to a 50 percent reduction in carbon dioxide  per kWh generated when compared to traditional coal burning facilities.”
 
Writer: Deb Smit

Pitt opens cutting-edge Electric Power Lab and research-based Brain Institute

University of Pittsburgh opened two new leading-edge research centers this month, an Electric Power Systems Lab and a Brain Institute.
 
The Electric Power Systems Lab was unveiled last week in the in the Swanson School of Electrical Engineering, giving the next generation of electric power engineers the tools to learn the latest in electric-grid technology.
 
Eaton in Moon Township was a major collaborator and contributer to the center, a 1,500 square-foot lab on Swanson’s “Energy Floor” filled with the latest in technical and electrical equipment. The center will foster research across a wide range of electric power areas including energy efficiency, smart grid and microgrid systems and alternative energy.
 
“This is an engineers dream,” said Daniel Carnovale of Eaton during the ribbon-cutting ceremony last week. “This will allow students to work on modern equipment that will be used for the next 20 years.”
 
“It kickoffs a new era of electrical power learning,” added William Stanchina, chair of the electrical and computer engineering department at Pitt.  “Pittsburgh has had a tradition of expertise in this area dating back Westinghouse. This will allow us to be leaders in this field.” 
 
In other Pitt news, the university announced the creation of a new Brain Institute, a $45 million research center that will delve into the mysteries of the brain to develop new treatments and cures for brain disorders.
 
Pitt has always been on the forefront of brain research, especially the areas of Alzheimer’s, polio and autism, said Mark Nordenberg, Pitt Chancellor. The Institute will focus on the areas of neurotechnology, neurogenetics, brain mapping, learning and discovery in neuroscience.
 
“We have the intellectual firepower to take a lead role in the nationwide effort to revolutionize the understanding of the brain,” he added in a prepared statement. “The creation of our Brain Institute reflects the high priority that we have assigned to this important work and will position Pitt for even higher levels of impact and achievement in the years ahead.”
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: University of Pittsburgh

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh for the new year? Niche, GNC, Songwhale and more

Happy 2014! Do you know where your next job is? Each week Pop City reports on the latest company and hiring news.
 
Niche, formerly known as College Prowler, is expanding from 20 to 28 employees in the next six months. The firm provides in-depth reviews and analysis on colleges and K-12 schools. Niche is looking for business analysts, database engineers, a sales director, product managers, software engineers and web marketing specialists and analysts.
 
GNC, the nutritional supplement company with corporate offices in downtown Pittsburgh, has at least eight positions open in the region for everything from web and applications developers to merchandise managers, facilities administrators, financial services and marketing.
 
Victory Media in Corapolis, creators of marketplaces and publications that connect the military and civilian worlds, is hiring: digital product manager, web developer, national account executive, marketing director and QA analyst.
 
Songwhale is seeking a qualified part-time English to Japanese translator. The desired candidate must have native-level fluency in both Japanese and English (reading, writing and speaking) and great communication and organizational skills. Send resumes to info@songwhale.com 

Human Capital Consultants, a human resources and recruiting firm, has at least six openings in Pittsburgh for engineers, sales reps, recuitors and more. 

Avere Systems, which moved in new offices on the North Shore, has openings for engineers.

The Children's Museum of Pittsburgh is hiring a development coordinator who will be responsible for supporting the museum's overall fundraising efforts.

The Western Pennslvania Humane Society is looking for a director of marketing and publicity.
 
Writer: Deb Smit

Innovation that Mayor Bill Peduto wants that Pittsburgh needs

While the weather outside was frightful, the inauguration of Pittsburgh’s 60th mayor on Monday couldn’t have been warmer. 
  
From rocker Joe Grushecky intoning “…won’t you be my neighbor” with backup from the CAPA chorus, to poet Vanessa German inciting us to rise up and become change agents on our own front porches, to gospel singers and homemade pierogies, the Pittsburgh promise generated a heat all its own. 
 
“There is nothing wrong with the institutions of this city that cannot be repaired by good faith, square dealing and hard work,” Peduto told the gathered crowd at Heinz Hall.
 
“I will not make the mistake of assuming that my ascension to the office of mayor is, in itself, political reform. It is my job to turn this moment into an opportunity for reform.”
 
A self-described data-driven guy, Mayor Peduto moves into the office armed with 1100 pages of notes generated by a citizen-lead advisory committee that worked through the holidays on ideas to lead the region forward.
 
He has an ambitious to-do list of his own, as well, no less than 100 highly-detailed ways to lead the region, often tapping technology to get the job done.
 
Here’s a sampling of a few of the items on his innovation checklist, things Mayor Peduto wants that Pittsburgh needs:
 
· User-friendly government, beginning with a new cabinet position. Among the first hires will be a chief performance and innovation officer, a job expected to go to Debra Lam. Bring on big data!
 
· City streets with smarter traffic signals. Streamlined digital building permit systems and equal opportunity technology for all.
 
· A green tech and clean tech investment fund.
 
· Quality education and growing STEM opportunities for students.
 
· Showcasing neighborhoods through pedestrian way-finding. It will be interesting to see what this looks like.
 
· And GPS tracking for snow plows.
 
Let the new year and new season for the region begin.
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Photos copyright by Brian Cohen.

Mobile fashion trucks dress up the streets of Pittsburgh no matter the weather

Looking for the latest in fashion in Pittsburgh is as far as your nearest mobile fashion boutique.

A small fleet of fashion boutiques have rolled out in the last year. There’s StyleTruck, the adorable pink and lavender shop on wheels owned by Jackee Ging, XX. StyleTruck specializes in fashions at affordable prices for the professional woman.

Broke Little Rich Girl made its debut about the same time last July. Owner and driver Samantha Lugo, 28, sells women’s clothing and accessories, pieces she finds on shopping trips to her hometown of New York City. The collection includes one-of-a-kind finds—many pieces are handmade—but Lugo keeps the prices reasonable.

“Women don’t want their friend to be carrying the same handbag or scarf,” she explains. “I try to find pieces that are fun, different and unique.”

BLRG, a Chevy Grumman, can be found in the Strip District on many weekends, near Marty’s Market, when it isn’t attending a special event or festival. She also sells clothing online.

Cailey Breneman’s Roadie Fashion Truck offers a vintage line from her RV-boutique. Having grown up in a retail clothing business—her family owns Yesterday News on the South Side—Breneman says she has always aspired to be a wardrobe stylist.

Roadie specializes in second-hand clothing at affordable prices and is working on developing a men’s line, which is difficult given that men rarely get rid of the clothes they own.

While Breneman, 28, occasionally joins the other two fashion trucks for events during the warmer months, she hopes to find a pop-up shop where she can operate regular winter hours.

She also hopes Mayor Peduto keeps his promise and establishes a Fashion District on Smithfield Street downtown, a thoroughfare where boutique shops will coexist.

“Pittsburgh is really ready for something like this,” she says.

The more trucks the better for all, she adds, when asked about the competition. Lugo is the local ambassador on behalf of the American Mobile Retail Association, a member organization that represents and supports awareness and service around the mobile retail business.

“Our styles and demographics are very different. It’s cool to have all of us around.”

Writer: Deb Smit

Samantha Lugo of Poor Little Rich Girl displays her line.

How Penn Brewery was saved. The "ladies of lager" tell their story at Chatham this Friday.

It’s a refreshing story just waiting to be told--how two smart Pittsburgh businesswomen came to the rescue of the Penn Brewery on the North Side. 
 
Sandy Cindrich and Linda Nyman had successful careers in corporate America. Nyman worked in marketing and brand management for corporate clients like HJ Heinz and Sara Lee. Cindrich specialized in software engineering and project management for USX Steel Corporation and BNY Mellon.
 
Their husbands, business partners and craft beer drinking guys, were looking at real estate when they noticed the brewery, which was about to be shuttered and closed. The year was 2009.
 
“It was serendipitous,” says Nyman. “We were not looking for it. It came out of the blue.”
 
With the help of two other partners, the women purchased the brewery and embarked on a new path in an industry that has been traditionally male. Since then, they have rehired several of the original brewers and rebranded and created a new craft beer line.
 
The brewery is back in production on the North Side and the restaurant is again open for business.
 
“Penn was one of the first craft breweries on the scene in the entire country,” adds Cindrich. “When it closed down, people felt they were not only losing a beer they loved, but a piece of Pittsburgh history.”
 
Now they are ready to tell their story. This Friday the “ladies of lager” will speak at Chatham University’s Women Business Leader’s Breakfast Series. The event gets underway Jan. 10th from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.
 
“Neither of us is the type to crave the spotlight,” says Nyman, explaining why they chose to quietly go about their work without fanfare, until now. “As much as we’d love to believe Pittsburgh adores us, we know it’s all about the beer!”
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Linda Nyman and Sandy Cindrich
Photo courtesy of Becky Thurner

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? Lots of year-end openings: Avere, Songwhale and more

Each week Pop City reports on the latest in company and hiring news.
 
Avere Systems, a developer of storage solutions for enterprise data centers, is hiring several positions for its Pittsburgh office: technical support engineer, software engineer, software QA engineer and technical inside sales.
 
Songwhale, a fast-growing interactive tech company that enables brands and companies to reach consumers with their message across multiple digital touch points, is hiring an iOS developer, Android developer, senior software engineer and senior project manager.
 
The Heinz History Center in the Strip District is hiring for six full-time positions: web and social media content writer, exhibit/experience designer, events coordinator, conservation services manager, Fort Pitt Museum customer service associates and a security officer.
 
The MAKERSHIP Project in Pittsburgh is hiring. The project is developing a new concept in tools training for next generation firms with the help of a Dept. of Labor Workforce Innovation Fund grant. The project seeks a training program coordinator responsible for building and operating a rapid training program to equip workers with the skills necessary to excel in digitized manufacturing and startup environments.
 
Neighborhood Allies is a new nonprofit set to launch in early 2014, replacing the Pittsburgh Partnership for Neighborhood Development (PPND) that began in 1982 as a community development funding intermediary to support community development in the region. The nonprofit seeks a dynamic individual with the vision and strategic sensibilities to pick up its mission and move the organization into the future.
 
Rivers of Steel Heritage Corp. is hiring a director of receptive services to identify, generate and evolve business development opportunities in the promotion of the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area.
 
TAKTL, a Pittsburgh-based, international designer and manufacturer of facade panels and high-tech architectural elements, is hiring an architectural projects and sales coordinator for its Glenshaw office.
 
The Resumator, a self-described “quirky software company that is reinventing the way employers hire,” is hiring. The Resumator is looking for a customer success engineer with great technical know-how who will engage customers, deliver outstanding support and exceed expectations.

The Jewish Community Center has an immediate need for a digital marketing specialist, someone proficient in using content management systems and website analytics.
 
TowerCare Technologies seeks a skilled website developer and customer support manager for its Wexford office. The successful candidate will join their team to provide web services to non-profit organizations.

Immunetrics, Inc., a Pittsburgh-based bio-simulation company that creates mechanistic mathematical models of biological systems to accelerate the development of drugs, clinical diagnostics and medical devices, has six openings: a user-interface software engineer, mathematic modeler, data administrator and software engineers.
 
BlueBelt Technologies is hiring a software quality assurance engineer. The firm is developer compact, handheld robotic tools for orthopedic surgeons.
 
The Pittsburgh Tribune Review seeks a seasoned business reporter to provide sophisticated coverage of the region’s economy.
 
Have hiring news? Ring in the new year and email us with your firm’s latest job listings. Happy Holidays!
 
Writer: Deb Smit

Shop local gifts to love for the holidays. Can you say Pittsburgh-brewed advent beer?

Shopping local for last-minute holiday gifts that not only keep giving but also give back to Pittsburgh?
 
Aside from supporting your favorite nonprofit, local artist or neighborhood boutique, here’s a few gift ideas:
 
Advent calendars have grown up. While it might be a tad late to start one, Pennies from Pittsburgh will help you catch up fast. Devon and Tim, husband and wife, have created an inspiring advent guide to great craft beer drinking, including many local brands.  Your favorite craft beer drinker might appreciate a case of their suggested advent brews.
 
Pittsburgh comic artist Ed Piskor has been documenting the early days of hip hop music through his online comic strip. Now his paper volume (Fantagraphics, $24.99) is flying off the online shelves. The word on the street is Pittsburgh is the only place with copies still available, but not for long.
 
Piskor’s book chronicles, through cartoons, the formative years of hip hop, capturing “the vivid personalities and magnetic performances of old-school pioneers and early stars like DJ Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, plus the charismatic players behind the scenes like Russell Simmons; Debbie Harry, Keith Haring and others,” says the New York Times.
 
The Phantom of the Attic Comic Book Store in Oakland and Copacetic Comics Company have a few signed copies left. Piskor himself will be signing more books at the Brillo Box tonight from 7-9 p.m.
 
Another Pittsburgh graphic artist, Frank Santoro, has released a new graphic novel “Pompeii,” ($15.11 on Amazon) packed with illustrative drawings that conjure Roman art and architecture. The story chronicles the journey of Marcus, a young expat artist and assistant to Flavius, the famous painter and is getting rave reviews. Santoro will join Piskor at the Brillo Box tonight.
 
Support the Pittsburgh startup community and show your love for the ‘burgh with a Dahntown tee ($20) offered by Kit Mueller and BuiltinPgh.
 
Nothing shouts out Pittsburgh like a basket filled to the brim with stuff made here. Basket of Pittsburgh does just that, with a Heinz Hamper for your favorite sport’s fan, a Taste of the Town, Incline Edibles and our personal favorite, Thanks a Dot, including Pittsburgh Popcorn, coffee and more.

Have a good holiday gift idea? Share it with the rest of us!

Happy Holidays one and all.

Writer: Deb Smit

An invitation to the White House. Three business leaders report from the nation's capital

Several Pittsburgh business leaders received invitations to the White House this month for a discussion on job creation, business opportunities for women and new ways to fuel the nations economy and manufacturing sector.
 
Rebecca Harris, Chatham University’s director of the Center for Women's Entrepreneurship, and Lynn Banaszak Brusco, executive director of the Disruptive Health Technology Institute (DHTI) at CMU, attended the White House Business Council and Business Forward roundtable discussion.
 
Ilana Diamond, director of Innovation Works’ AlphaLab Gear, attended the White House Mayors Manufacturing Summit, where she touted Gear’s success in supporting manufacturing startups and offered suggestions on how others might replicate the program in their own communities.
 
The Business Council discussion was convened by Sam Brown, director, and brought White House senior officials together with local business leaders from across the country. The primary purpose was to enlighten the administration on ways to support the national job economy and increase the pace of recovery and job creation, says Harris.
 
“Much of the information will be reviewed by the President for possible inclusion in the State of the Union address,” she adds.
 
For her part, Harris highlighted the need for more support for women in business, especially in accessing capital and providing opportunities to serve on corporate boards. A recent study, she noted, reports that inclusive companies where women serve on the boards perform more successfully than those with all-male boards.
 
“It is critical that the issues that women in business face be represented at these discussions and become part of agenda for the President's State of the Union upcoming address,” she says.
 
Adds Brusco: “I was pleased to see that the administration is focusing on innovation as a key driver in the delivery of health care. Our institute is built around the mission of researching and deploying new technologies to help reduce health care costs and improve outcomes for patients.  People across our community and our country have begun to demonstrate a restlessness regarding health care. 
 
At DHTI, we are abandoning the old model of innovation, where a great idea is hatched and cultivated, and a market is sought later.  We know the market exists–better health care at a lower cost–and that the nation is demanding it. The market demand is our starting point. Working backward, DHTI is using the insurance data of Highmark and the expertise of the faculty at CMU to meet that surging market need. We were excited to be part of this White House dialogue that is driving future health care policy and implementation.”
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Lynn Banaszak Brusco, Ilana Diamond and Rebecca Harris

CMU researchers peek inside the minds of consumers using social media snapshots

What better way to understand the heart and mind of the consumer than through an analysis of the images that people post on social media?
 
Dr. Gunhee Kim, currently with Disney Research Pittsburgh, and Eric Xing, CMU associate professor, analyzed more than five million images and—not so surprisingly—found social media to contain a motherlode of strategic ideas for marketers.
 
The potential is staggering, they say.
 
Marketers strive to get into the heads of consumers to find out what a brand makes them think and feel. For example, what thought does the name Tiger Woods conjure? How does a McDonald’s hamburger make us feel? The researchers pulled the images from sites such as Pinterest and Flickr.
 
“If someone takes a picture and texts it as Nike, the picture is a pictorial impression about Nike,” explains Kim. “By culling millions of these images, we can read people’s minds for Nike.“

The research marks a first time researchers have systematically mined marketing data from social media and analyzed the messages, he says. Several practical applications may be explored on the basis of the research. 
 
For example, competitor mining through social media may one day help marketers to identify which companies are its primary competitors. Contextual advertising may assist companies in generating keywords or categories that best describe the image, which would lend itself to text queries for Google AdWords and BingAds.
 
The research was supported by the National Science Foundation and by Google.

Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Dr. Kim Gunhee, CMU

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? IKM, Pittsburgh Parks, Chatham University, ASSET STEM and more

Each week Pop City reports on the latest in company hiring news.

Pittsburgh-based architectural firm IKM is hiring a marketing coordinator with strong organizational and writing skills. Stay tuned for more job openings in the future as well.

Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy is hiring a director of finance and administration who will be responsible for the effective management of the conservancy’s finances, business administration, human resources, information tech and risk management.

ASSET STEM Education, a national education improvement nonprofit, is hiring a communications coordinator to increase ASSET's brand awareness and donor and membership levels through marketing communications, event planning and social media.

The RJ Lee Group in Monroeville, providing industrial forensic and engineering solutions, has several openings: certified industrial hygienist, XRD scientist I, senior software engineer and instrument technician – technician III.

Smith Brothers marketing agency on the North Side is looking for a senior content creator and copywriter, someone with a portfolio full of digital examples with well-crafted copy.

Carlow College is looking for an executive assistant of academic affairs, a position that requires strong professional administrative and communications skills with a customer service orientation.

Chatham University is hiring a program assistant for interior and landscape architecture.

The Ward Home, a nonprofit devoted to training at-risk adults in practical life skills in safe, nurturing environments, is looking for a director of development with a minimum of four-years experience in a related field. 
 
Have hiring news? Email Pop City and send the career links.
 
Writer: Deb Smit
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