Tag Archives: Instagram

Wanna be first at something cool? You better Brabble.


It’s not every day that you’re the first to do something.

That’s especially true in the tech space.

The minute you think you’ve got an original idea or stumbled onto the next big thing, someone drops it or says that they’ve already heard of it.

Got a great idea for a social media network?

Oops! Some kids at Harvard thought about that a minute ago.

And by the time you were up on it, you were far from a first mover.

You were on it – eventually.

And it probably took you a minute before you even were comfortable using it.

The same was probably true of Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest and any of the myriad other social media trends that were once obscure platforms you never heard of, and are today the targets of billion dollar acquisitions – if not technology behemoths themselves.

And even though you may not have been there at the beginning, you probably fancy yourself “hip” when it comes to being able to spot and adopt social media trends.

Vine. WhatsApp. Snapchat.

You do that.

You may not have been first, but you were up on it by the time it became vogue.

And you were probably first among your friends or network for some things.

Shoot, I’d heard of Pinterest, but my wife actually put me on.

And now she can’t get off the damn thing.

But I digress.

Anywho, I’m about to put you up on the next ish.

What if you could have Facebook, Twitter, Instragram and Vine/Snapchat in one?

Where you could capture something in the moment.

Tag it up.

Decide who you wanted to share it with.

And post it in an instant.

See who’s posting.

Like.

Comment or respond to directly.

Share.

All from a mobile or web dash.

Well now you can.

It’s called Brabble.

And it’s barely a year old.

So you’re not exactly first first.

But you’re damn near close.

And it’s that next thing.

Trust me.

“What do you know Stephen? You couldn’t spot a trend if it walked up and bit you on the ass.”

Sure, my bum is a bit tough.

But I knows my nose knows.

What’s so great about Brabble?

It’s just another social media platform like Twitter.

Right?

Wrong!

It’s better, and I’ll tell you why.

For one, think of it as a dashboard.

Even though it IS a social media platform, what it DOES is give you the ability to manage multiple social media activities, within one place.

Sure, you can take a picture with your iPhone’s camera, and email, text or post it to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or Instagram.

Yes. You can shoot a video and upload it to Facebook or YouTube, and share it.

But once you’re done, your plopped back into your camera or photo album.

If you start from inside an app, say Instagram, and shoot a picture or video you’re stuck where you are.

And the user interface and experience for most social media platforms leaves much to be desired.

Especially on your mobile device.

Buttons are too small.

Items located too close to the edge of the screen are virtually inaccessible.

At the end of the day, you’re simply scrolling through an endlessly loading stream of posts, or pictures.

But not with Brabble.

For one, you start off with a Flipboard-like grid of images.

My Feed

You can elect to view content in either a grid or basic view.

Grid or standard view.

Clicking any image immediately pulls you into the thread of that Brabble (their version of “conversation”)

Second, the UI is basic.

Your primary navigation is found at the bottom of the screen, titled (quite simply) Menu, My Feed, Explore, Notifications and a big “+” sign to add a post (Brabble) of your own.

Like, love, Brabbleback.

Third, “liking” (one heart press/click) or “loving” (two heart presses/clicks), something, responding to or commenting on a Brabble (“Brabbleback”), is as simple as clicking on an icon and typing.

Finally, Brabbling (posting) is also super basic.

Brabbling. I think I just made up a term – must be sure to trademark that.

Hitting the big “+” sign opens up an overlay, with a large dialogue window to enter text, radio buttons you can select if you want to post to Facebook and Twitter, and icons above your dialogue box which lets you select which type of media you want to share with your post (or not).

A simple drop down next to the “Post to..” button lets you select whether to share your content with the World, your Followers, your Friends or Privately.

Brabble overlay

You can even save your posts to your Feed to send later.

This is not to say that there’s no room for improvement.

If I were going to make any changes to Brabble, they’d be few (and I could live without them).

But if I were, I’d make a persistent footer.

Generally, whenever you’re on the app, the footer is present.

Mine too deep into any individual piece of content, though, the footer goes away.

And you lose your bottom navigation.

If you go back, it returns, but there should be a persistent way to get back to “start” without having to repeatedly hit the “back” button.

It looks like the deeper you go into the app, there’s a transition from native to mobile web pages (which may account for the loss of your footer).

I could go deeper, but you get the picture.

Brabble is a cool app, which seamlessly aggregates all the things you like to do with your mobile device, into one app.

It’s not perfect, but it’s enough to make me take the leap.

And recommend it to all of you (my 42 readers).

I’ve been on the platform for three days now, and it’s pretty cool.

There isn’t a heck of a lot of traffic right now – and if you sign up, consider it part of an extended Beta.

Now go and Brabble, and be the first among your friends to be up on the latest and greatest tech trend.

And remember who told you about it when it tips….

 

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Filed under apps, iPhone, mobile, social media, technology

Status update: 10 signs that you’re a social media addict.

Social media addictAs I was riding the train yesterday, I look across the aisle to see the faces of five of my fellow passengers – an entire row of people – buried in their mobile devices.

For the whole ride from Montclair to New York Penn Station, they remain transfixed to the little screens of their “i” devices.

Social media addicts, the lot of them.

Social media addicts, the lot of them.

No small talk.

No exchanged glances.

No pleasantries.

Nada.

Expressionless faces peering into the void.

Looking around the train car, I noted that virtually everyone was on something.

With the exception of one couple deep in a conversation, everyone else – literally everyone else – was on some form of electronic device.

The lady to my left was ensconced in her Facebook feed.

The dude next to her was scrolling through Instagram.

Not to be the odd man out, I whipped out my iPhone, dialed up my Facebook app and began mindlessly “liking” updates in my News Feed.

Like a zombie, I stared blankly into my iPhone’s screen waiting for that thing – that visceral feeling – that made me ‘thumbs up’ one inane item or another posted by my friends.

And in that moment, I realized that I was addicted to social media.

Somehow, I had transformed from someone who thrived on human connections, to one subsisting on virtual interactions.

I knew something was amiss.

I also knew that I wasn’t alone.

Like the passengers on the train, there are probably millions out there, similarly addicted.

Today’s post is devoted to helping you figure out if you too, are an addict.

So here are the top 10 signs that you’re addicted to social media.

1. The first thing and last thing you do every day is check out your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram feed.

2. You ask people for life advice on Facebook. “Hey FB, am I addicted to FB?”

3. You’re always taking and posting selfies.

No, wait. I've got it. Hold on...just one more. No. That's not quite right. Just one more. Umm...

No, wait. I’ve got it. Hold on…just one more. No. That’s not quite right. Just one more. Umm…

4. You talk in acronyms. OMG! I’m a SM addict! SMH LMFAO

5. You constantly use hashtags. #youreaddicted #toptenlist #stephenchukumbarocks

Am I really going to search "#24yearsold"? Get your hashtag game right Maureen!

Am I really going to search “#24yearsold”? Get your hashtag game right Maureen!

6. You threaten to “unfriend” or “unfollow” people.

7. You get offended when people don’t accept your friend request or follow you back.

8. You experience the “phantom buzz” even when you don’t have your phone on you.

9. You check your phone impulsively and at the most inappropriate times.

10. You start or end you day with a greeting to your “Facebook family.”

Are we really your family, Judith? Really?

Are we really your family, Judith? Really?

If you exhibit any of these signs, put down your phone or tablet device, and get help immediately.

You could be suffering social media addiction.

If you don’t seek treatment right away, you may find yourself incapable of holding regular conversations and social interactions may become increasingly awkward.

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Why the acquisition of WhatsApp is bad news. Facebook is the devil.

Facebook acquires WhatsAppFacebook is the devil.

So I’d be wary of anything the devil does.

Clearly a company that started off in a college dorm and became a multi-billion dollar company in the span of ten years must be in league with the devil.

If not the devil himself.

How else would you explain Facebook’s meteoric rise to the top of the social media food chain?

Sure, they’ve got millions upon millions of users.

Sure, they extract a pound of flesh from advertisers to hawk their wares to Facebook’s captive audience.

Sure, their IPO netted them a gazillion dollars.

But damn!

Enough is enough!

If you’ve been paying attention, startups on Facebook’s roster are batting zero.

Case in point.

Let’s look at the giant’s appetite over the past decade, shall we?

  • Connect U – shut down
  • Friend.ly – shut down
  • Gowala – shut down
  • Lightbox.com – shut down
  • Face.com – defunct
  • Threadsy – shut down

Suffice it to say, not all acquired companies fare well under Facebook’s oppressive thumb.

And these are just the more public purchases that Facebook has made.

There are scores of others too obscure to mention, scattered across Facebook’s post-acquisition landscape.

Facebook claims that WhatsApp will continue to operate independently, but their track record doesn’t paint a convincing picture of post-acquisition bliss.

And while, Instagram, Branch and Friend Feed are still thriving on-going concerns, who can say when they will cease to please the devil and have their heads lopped off?

Facebook is a fickle beast, no?

I’m just saying.

I use WhatsApp.

I like WhatsApp.

Unlike most of Facebook’s crap, there are no distracting ads or mindless drivel mucking it up.

So you’ll forgive me if I think that Facebook’s acquisition to WhatsApp can’t possibly bode well for me and countless other WhatsApp users.

Sure, the creators of WhatsApp are making out like bandits, but who gives a fuck about them?

My misgivings are not without merit.

It’s happened before.

It can happen again.

I predict that Facebook is either going to scuttle WhatsApp completely or turn it into some ad-laden behemoth that I won’t want to fuck with.

With a track record like their’s, the devil Facebook is not to be trusted.

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Filed under apps

Are you a Selfie Master? The art of the selfie.

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard of ‘selfies.’

Selfies are simply pictures you take (and post) of yourself.

What started off as a way of capturing yourself in the moment, in the absence of someone else to take the picture for you, has transformed into a global phenomenon.

It’s so serious that selfies now have their own Olympic Games (of sorts).

The Selfie Olympics started this week and they are over the top.

Peep #SelfieOlympics on Twitter if you want to keep up with them.

Folks everywhere are taking selfies.

But there are folks out there, who have mastered – MASTERED – taking selfies.

Veritable Selfie Masters.

What makes them masters?

One glance at their Facebook, Twitter or Instagram feeds, and you’ll know that they take taking pictures of themselves seriously.

You know when you’ve encountered a Master.

Their pictures contain the tells.

Look for the eyes.

Sometimes wide-eyed. Sometimes, narrow slits. Sometimes opened just so.

But always with a ‘come hither’ expression, regardless of width.

Check the mouth.

Sometimes smiling. Sometimes serious. Sometimes with puckered lips.

But, somehow, always inviting.

Peep the pose.

Sometimes with their head thrown back. Sometimes bent slightly forward (with generous cleavage). Sometimes in repose.

But always beckoning you closer.

It takes work to master the selfie.

It doesn’t just happen by accident.

You’ve got to be committed.

Learning to hold your camera or camera phone just so takes practice.

Getting that smile that looks genuine, and not rehearsed, requires dedication.

Keeping your outstretched arm from being in the shot, and appearing to have had the picture taken by someone else, is high art.

Selfies are an art form.

There, I’ve said it.

Selfies are an art form.

Think about it.

Do you look good in every photo you take of yourself?

Be honest.

No. You don’t.

Know why?

You’re not a master.

Admit it.

You aren’t committed.

I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t take a good selfie to save my life.

No matter what I try, my forehead is always too big, or shiny or enveloped in shadow.

Don't stare at the top of my forehead. You may go blind.

Don’t stare at the top of my forehead. You may go blind.

Even with my best efforts, my hairline is too scruffy, unkempt or appears too far back on my head.

Am I mad because my hairline appears to be receding?

Am I mad because my hairline appears to be receding?

If I’m conscientious or not, my clothes look disheveled, ill-fitting or dirty.

Why do I have a picture in my 'man-jammies'? Anyone?

Why do I have a picture in my ‘man-jammies’? Anyone?

Generally, when it comes to selfies, I end up looking a hot mess.

It’s not like I don’t try to take a good picture.

Shit, if I’m really honest, I take dozens – dozens of shots, trying to get just the right angle or perspective.

I rarely succeed.

I end up looking like a cow in a fisheye lense.

But that’s just me.

Alas, I am not a Selfie Master.

Perhaps one day, I will have mastered the art of the selfie, and will join their storied ranks.

For now, I’ll just suffer through self-photographing mediocrity.

What about you?

Are you a Selfie Master?

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Peer-to-peer. The (past and) future of social.

morpheus

Do you remember Morpheus?

How about Bitorrent?

Who can forget Napster?

Why am I asking about obscure software companies?

Peer-to-peer, that’s why.

These now mostly-defunct software companies were trail blazers, the precursors to modern-day social media networks.

What’s peer-to-peer?

Only the most important thing in the world, that’s what!

Wikipedia describes peer-to-peer networks as follows:

peer-to-peer (P2P) network is a type of decentralized and distributed network architecture in which individual nodes in the network (called “peers”) act as both suppliers and consumers of resources, in contrast to the centralized client–server model where client nodes request access to resources provided by central servers.

In a peer-to-peer network, tasks (such as searching for files or streaming audio/video) are shared amongst multiple interconnected peers who each make a portion of their resources (such as processing power, disk storage or network bandwidth) directly available to other network participants, without the need for centralized coordination by servers.[1]

When you think peer-to-peer, it probably conjures up images of networks of interconnected servers, passing digital files between them.

And you wouldn’t be far off.

The internet did start off as a collection of interconnected computers, sharing data, after all.

But I’m not talking about the hardware (or software) itself.

There’s more to social media than file sharing.

Don’t get it twisted.

Social media is about sharing.

Whether its a gif, photo, video, song or simply information, social media is THE way information gets disseminated online.

But that’s just one part of the equation.

The bigger issue are the peer networks – the underpinnings of social.

pure peer network

At its core, social media relies heavily on peer networks.

Nodes exerting influence on and over one another.

Without the cooperation necessary to allow one computer to access another, peer-to-peer networks would never have come to be.

Similarly, social networks work because of the inherent trust that exists between people.

Even if only loosely.

For the most part, being connected to someone (in a social media context) is like being vouched for in the Mafia.

You’re vetted by who you’re connected to.

The more connected you are, the more trusted you’re perceived as being.

Sure, social media is (somewhat of) a popularity contest.

But online, this popularity translates into trust.

Or credibility, rather.

I feel like I’m rambling.

There was a point to make in there somewhere…

Oh right!

Social has its origins in peer-to-peer networks.

Think about Facebook.

It was originally designed as a peer-to-peer network of Harvard students.

Now it’s a collection of numerous peer networks.

And all other social networks work in much the same way.

LinkedIn. Twitter. YouTube. Instagram. Pinterest. Google+.

As soon as you set up your account, what do you do?

Find and follow all your friends.

The folks most reach out to first are invariably people you already know.

Not to say that we don’t extend our virtual reach beyond the safe confines of people we know.

But when we do, there are usually less than six degrees of separation between us.

What was the point I was trying to make again?

Oh yeah…peer-to-peer networks are the underpinning of all modern day social networks.

If you’re interested in building a successful social network presence, focus first on your peers.

Those people closest to you, who you can rely upon to follow you, like your content and share.

Without a whole bunch of cajoling, bribery and/or sexual favors.

Once your peer network is in place, the sky’s the limit.

Or at least getting that next batch of friends/likes/followers won’t be quite as difficult.

Note: If this post comes of as rambling and incoherent, that’s because it is. But read it, re-read it, and re-read it again. It will eventually make sense.

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Filed under advocacy, digital advocacy, social media

Like to blog? Get Blogsy.

It’s been a while since I reviewed any apps.

So today, I decided to take a look at the apps I have on deck and talk about one of them.

Checking out the apps on my iPad, the choices are many.

I’ve got them arranged (roughly) by category: productivity, social networking, entertainment, finance, etc.

Since I find myself opening up my social networking dash quite often, I figured I’d write about one of them.

I’ve got nine apps designated as social networking: AIM, Facebook, Blogsy, WordPress, Find Friends, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn and Hootsuite.

Now which to write about…

With the exception of Find Friends, each of these bad boys gets run.

And since I’ve already written about WordPress on at least one occasion, that brings us down to seven.

Hmmmm…

I guess I’ll do this scientifically.

Eenie, meenie, miney, mo…

Blogsy it is!

So Yoda put me up on Blogsy a minute ago.

If you’re not up on it, Blogsy is a blogger’s dream app.

In one spot, you can create blog posts, tag them, drag & drop photos and video, and post to virtually any blogging platform.

Sounds too good to be true right?

But it is!

Blogsy has a powerful dashboard that lets you access any of your supported accounts, including YouTube, Vevo, WordPress, Tumblr, Instagram, Picasa, Flickr, and Facebook, all from within the app.

You can configure all of your accounts in Settings, and access them in the handy drawer conveniently tucked away on the right side of Blogsy’s main window.

In addition, its got a built in browser, that lets you find and grab content from the Internet and drop it right into your post!

I initially started this post in WordPress (force of habit) before switching over to Blogsy to complete it.

What better way to demonstrate how something works?

So here is a shot of me launching Blogsy in the built in browser.

And here’s a preview of this post inside of Blgsy.

And here’s a video from YouTube.

In addition to being able to grab stuff from virtually anywhere, you can also publish directly from Blogsy to any of your blogs.

Case in point: I published this right from my iPad.

Or save your drafts locally or in your platform of choice.

It’s really a complete, well thought out and super convenient app, and I highly recommend it if you’re a power blogger like me (not really).

Not that there aren’t some glitches.

For example the drop and drag function is a bit wonky.

Placing an image or video exactly where you want it to go can be…challenging.

Your text goes all haywire and its hard to know where your image or video is going to end up.

If you’ve got multiple blogs, like I do, figuring out which one you’re in and making sure you’re posting to the right one is a chore.

And getting around the app take a bit of getting used to at first.

But I found that messing around a bit will help you to not freak out and figure out how things work.

Anyway, I dig Blogsy a lot.

And I think you will too.

So get out there and blog(sy)!

Note: I am not being paid by Blogsy to endorse their product. But if anyone from Blogsy wants to cut a brotha a check, I’d be much obliged.

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Filed under apps, iPad, technology

Digital game changers: Social media interns

social media interns

I regularly extol the virtue of interns.

Having been an intern myself, I know how much I learned from simply being in a professional environment.

Benefits flow both way.

For the intern, it’s a great opportunity to grow and develop real world skills.

For the business or brand hiring interns, it’s an excellent opportunity to pre-screen potential future staff and get work done at the same time.

I routinely recommend interns, for both the free labor (yeah, I said it) and the inherent skill set today’s interns bring to the table.

Back in the day, interns were simply young people you took under your wing.

It was more of a mentor/mentee type relationship.

You were the sage, they the sponges soaking up knowledge at your feet.

They interned specifically because they wanted to know what you knew.

Experience the real world.

Build their resumes.

And hopefully land a paying gig after college if they played their cards right.

Interns could type, make copies, get coffee.

All the grunt stuff that secretaries executive assistants were for.

Interns of today, however, provide far more valuable than interns of old.

Why, you ask?

Social media, that’s why.

Eff typing and making copies.

These kids today know social media like the backs of their hands.

They routinely Facebook, YouTube, Tweet, Instagram, Snapchat and Vine in their sleep.

They tweet, post, like, share, and favorite more times before their sugar-laced breakfasts, than you have in the past year.

They engage more forms of social media than you and I even know exist.

More so you, than I, but I digress.

They’ve got time on their hands and spend an inordinate amount of it on social media.

Their mobile devices are virtual extensions of their fingers.

Have you ever seen kids texting without looking at their screens?

Or speed texting?

Unlike my generation, these kids are growing up with the technology that still baffles most of us.

Of you, rather.

My point is that today’s interns are bring a lot more to the companies with work for in this new technological and social media landscape.

They get it.

Inherently.

The understand the nuances of social media, as no two platforms are alike.

There is a distinction between Facebook and Twitter.

YouTube and Vimeo.

Snapchat and Vine.

Instagram and Pinterest.

For some organizations, the whole social media learning curve can be steep.

But virtually every brand has an online and social media presence.

I won’t beat you upside the head now about it, because I know that you know you need it.

More importantly, you need people who know it.

The ability to sustain that presence turn upon whether you have people within your organization, with an intimate understanding of the inner workings of each platform.

And bodies.

To sustain a successful online and social media presence, you’re going to need the bodies to throw at it.

As my friend James Andrews put it, you’ll need a social media command center.

And while you could pay a social media expert to man the helm of all your social profiles, you’ll get far more bang for your (free) buck with (social media savvy/connected) interns.

Cats I’ve turned on to the importance of social media – and social media interns, are killing it.

I’m talking followers and likes in the tens of thousands (peep Free Angela on Facebook).

So sleep if you want, but if you’re really interested in turning your social media around, get you some interns.

I mean who else is willing to work for Doritos and a reference?

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Filed under digital advocacy, opinion, social media

It’s 2012 and you’re still not on mobile? For shame!

20120822-113600.jpg

Several years into the mobile revolution, and I still find myself grappling with the relatively few number of brands that have adopted mobile as a reality.

I can’t accept how many websites fail to have mobile equivalents.

Invariably nine out of ten sites I visit from my mobile phone, aren’t optimized for mobile.

Many brands that (I think) would naturally benefit from being on mobile – retail, restaurants, transportation, media – simply aren’t adopting mobile as a viable platform.

And (I think) to their detriment.

The explosive growth of apps like FourSquare and Instagram, highlight the fact that people are always on their phones and have them with them wherever they go.

I challenge you to walk down any street, anywhere, and find five people without a phone in their hand, up to their ear or on their person.

Mobile phones have become literal extensions of the human body keeping us inextricably connected to the world (wide web).

As such, it behooves brands to adopt a mentality (and methodology) that speaks to this interconnectedness.

Having been in the mobile space actively for the past six or seven years, I’ve witnessed mobile go from fringe to mainstream – globally.

But despite the widespread adoption of mobile devices, and the rapid advances in technology (which have made devices more powerful yet less expensive), brands are slow to get with the program.

And the results of this slow pace equal huge losses for businesses whose audiences are being turned off (and away) from sites that aren’t optimized for the third screen.

I have no greater peeve than when I try to navigate a full HTML website from my iPhone.

And while I CAN navigate a a full site from my phone by employing the swipe and pinch functions, I shouldn’t have to.

Especially if it means that pinching or swiping takes other critical sections of the page offscreen (compromising the overall utility of the site/page).

There are a few sites that I use regularly, that ‘get it’ and have really thought through the intended utility of their sites for their users.

These include Expedia, CBS, CVS, NJTransit, and Amazon.

There are others, that simply leave me scratching my head (NBC, Mohegan Sun, Gucci).

Not having a mobile presence (mobile site, mobile app, tablet-optimized site) gives your competitor a tremendous advantage in this increasingly competitive world.

Mobile transactions are increasingly factoring into the bottom lines of many businesses, and the failure to accommodate your users, in this way, could materially impact a company’s revenue stream.

So take my advice…

Mobilize or perish!

The choice is yours.

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Filed under digital advocacy, mobile, opinion, technology

I’ve got no Klout? Gimme a break!

I’m like a gangsta without a gun…I’ve got no Klout!

I just created an account on Klout and was appalled to discover that I had an influence rating of 10.

10!

Mind you, the Klout measures influence on a scale from 1 to 100.

So you can imagine my shock to learn that I had the influence of a kumquat.

In my professional self, I regularly discuss influence as measured by services like PeerIndex, Twitalyzer and Klout, as points of reference for how individuals and entities can assess the impact of their social media.

But I hadn’t thought of the type of influencer I was.

I publish a blog for chrissakes!

True. I haven’t published very regularly since April…

And I’ve completely fallen off the wagon on Facebook…

Can’t recall the last time I pushed a flick up on Flickr either…

But of course I have influence!

I’m registered with virtually every social media platform (of significance) under the sun.

When I signed up with Klout, I registered my Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Flickr, WordPress and Instagram accounts.

Even though I’ve got a Blogger and Tumblr account, I left those ones out because I rarely use them (but perhaps I’ll go back in an add those too….hmm).

And every so often, folks comment on my blog posts, retweet my tweets, share my Facebook updates, watch my videos and generally seem to respond to my virtual ramblings.

But clearly not enough for Klout to feel that I have real influence!

Damn you Klout!

Now I’m not really smarting about my dismal Klout rating.

Yes I am.

But it does present a compelling case study for how influential one really is online.

Prior to registering with Klout, I had received numerous requests from friends and associates (via Facebook) to join Klout.

To me, it was yet another app fracturing my attention online, that I would have to show some love.

Unless, it’s one of those truly useful apps, that runs in the background, without you having to log in and actually do anything, and actually provides value, I’m sure it will go the way of many of the social media platforms/applications vying for users/user attention, and fall into obsolescence once the sheen wears off.

But who knows, I may find Klout truly useful and have a change of heart.

I doubt it.

The relationship with Klout has already started off a bit too rocky for my taste…

…an influence rating of 10…

Klout you’ve got some m*tha f*ckin’ nerve!

PS If you’re within the sound of my blog, please throw some K’s on a bruh!

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There’s (Already) An App For That. Just Make Your’s Better!

I think I've got an idea...maybe not.

So the other day, I thought I had a killer idea for an app.

It was a variation of the peek-a-boo pens from back in the day.

You know, the ones where you flip the pen and the girl’s clothes disappear revealing her undergarments.

I shared the idea with a few people, who were also of the impression that I had a killer app idea on my hands.

I was brainstorming for a client that caters to ‘adult’ themed entertainment – not personal, mind you.

The idea was so good that I raced home to sketch a few ideas out on OmniGraffle.

But then it hit me…

This idea was too good.

Not that I’m a dunce or anything, but I couldn’t imagine that an idea this good hadn’t been done already.

So I Googled it.

And wouldn’t you know, my app idea had been done – by no less than four different developers.

They were all variations on a theme, and each executed with varying degrees of aplomb.

Mind you, I come up with apps all the times.

Clients are constantly asking me what they should do, and I’m a wellspring for app ideas.

The one thing that I tell all my clients, is to find an app out there, that they like and think works well, and improve upon it.

With over half a million apps in the iTunes App Store alone, it’s very likely that any idea you’e got (as I found out) has already been done.

And that’s not to say that original apps aren’t still being created.

It’s just that it’s unlikely that most of us will come up with something that is truly original.

And that’s okay.

The reality of it, is that you wouldn’t necessarily want to be the first app to do one thing or another.

Unless you knock it out of the park on your first try, you’re probably going to have an app that’s buggy, and delivers an ‘ok’ user experience at best.

Believe me.

I’ve created a number of novel web and mobile applications that, despite how hyped and excited as we were about it, our initial market trials were…not good.

But what we did learn from those experiences, was that being second (or even third) to market was useful, because it gave you invaluable insight into what your competitors were doing.

It also helped you figure out what the market would bear (i.e. should your app be premium or free).

The most important thing you can get from building an app based on a pre-existing app, is that there is room for more than one.

Photo sharing app.

Think Instagram and Path (and now Wyst).

Music identification apps.

Or Shazam and SoundHound.

Checkin apps - there sure are a bunch of 'em!

And how about Foursquare, Gowalla, Loopt, SCVNGR, and now Yelp for Mobile.

You get the picture.

This underscores my point that even if your app idea has already been done, you can still make a mark or carve out a niche by doing something – even just one thing – better than the rest.

So don’t be discouraged if you find that you idea for the next killer app has been co-opted by someone else.

Check them out. Bide your time. And once the feedback starts coming in about what they did wrong, drop yours!

What’s your killer app idea? Wait…don’t tell me…it’s been done already. Right?

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