Audrey Watters

Audrey Watters
Audrey Watters is a Justmeans staff writer for Social Media. She is always on the lookout for tech startups that are innovating around social learning, collaboration, and communication.

Posts by This Writer

11 years 8 months ago

The USDA has announced the winners last week of its Apps for Healthy Kids competition.

The competition was a part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! national campaign to end childhood obesity within a generation. The competition invited software developers and game designers to build innovative tools to help teach nutrition and health concepts in an engaging way and to encourage kids to eat better and engage in more physical activity.

11 apps were selected out of 94 submissions, with over 20,000 votes cast to choose the Popular...

11 years 9 months ago

Speaking on a panel yesterday at the Techcrunch Disrupt conference today, Mark Pincus, the CEO and founder of the social gaming giant Zynga shared some interesting statistics and insights on not just the number of players, but on the company's philosophy about gaming. Zynga is the maker of games like Farmville, Frontierville and Mafia Wars, which have become synonymous in many ways with the ways in which people spend their time engaging with each other via Facebook.

Pincus says that Zynga has 215 million active monthly users on Facebook. And according to...

11 years 9 months ago

Although crisis-mapping is often associated, as the name suggests, with the crowdsourcing of data during a time of crisis, there are a multitude of ways in which mobile and social technologies can help gather and crowdsource data. In a post on the World Bank blog, Michael Trucano asks if it's possible to use these sorts of mapping tools to help address educational issues.

Trucano wonders if crowdsourcing with mobile phone technologies and a mapping platform like Ushahidi...

11 years 9 months ago

We've written here before about how the development of "crisis mapping" is merging social media, location-based networking, and activism. It's an emerging technology that has seen great use in Haiti, for example.

Improvements in mapping, mobile, and social media technologies have helped facilitate the development of tools to help first responders quickly and efficiently address crisis situations worldwide. "Crisis mapping," as its called, is a processing of collecting mobile and map...

11 years 9 months ago

Despite all the networking and new opportunities provided by social media, it can still be a challenge to match people who have the time and the skills and the inclination to volunteer with the organizations that need their help. The New York-based startup launched its beta last week, aiming to tackle that problem. Catchafire is a platform for matching professionally-skilled volunteers with non-profits and social enterprises.

Catchafire plans to charge non-profits a fee for each match that they make through the site. This fee, according to Catchafire,...

11 years 9 months ago

The Atlanta based startup SocialVest announces today an open beta of its online and in-store shopping platform that aims to make it easier for consumers to support their favorite non-profits. The free service rewards users with cash back from purchases at over 500 retails. The money that is earned by users can then be donated to over one million registered non-profits.

To use the site, customers shop via an online mall or in the physical stores which which SocialVest has partnered. The company then provides users with a rebate ranging from 1% to 15% of the purchase...

11 years 9 months ago

Over the last few months, the group buying trend has really taken off in social media, with companies like Groupon and Living Social becoming wildly popular. These companies offer deep discounts when a large enough group of people opt in and agree to purchase the item. These "daily deals" are offered at local restaurants, salons, hotels, shops, and so on and can range from 50% to 90% off.

Last month, CauseOn launched in Portland. Like these other group discount websites, CauseOn promises its...

11 years 9 months ago

Education and literacy are the cornerstones of economic growth, but in many parts of the developing world access to reading materials is limited. The mission of is to use the new technologies with electronic readers and digital books to deliver literature -- and literacy -- worldwide.

A non-profit organization, raises funds to help bring down the cost e-readers til they are a price that local governments can afford to pay. Also, the funding is used to develop and digitize locally generated content, as well as to maintain local support...

11 years 9 months ago

"The city says it cannot afford to count vacant property. We think it can be done for free." So reads the banner at the top of the Vacant NYC website. In order to tackle the dual problems of homelessness and vacant property in New York City, the Vacant NYC project seeks to turn over the counting of vacant buildings to the public.

Vacant NYC is a crowd-sourced project, and it uses the mapping technology that we've written about here before, the Crowdmap hosted...

11 years 10 months ago

Today marks the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, and both mainstream news and social media are full of stories and images and remembrances. My thoughts, however, are elsewhere. Five years ago today, I was widowed, as my then-husband and father of our then-12-year-old son died of liver cancer. He was 34.

As anyone who's lost a loved one knows, the process of dealing with a death is grueling -- on both a practical and an emotional level. That's nothing new. But with the rise of Internet technologies, some of the processes and practices we've developed around death and dying may be changing. As daily newspaper readership dwindles, for example, what...