Tag Archives: Pinterest

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

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

And so it begins. Has Vine become the “in” thing?

A few days ago, I posted about Vine, the social video service launched by Twitter on Thursday.

Vine users can create short, six second videos, which can be published to their Twitter, Facebook and/or Vine profiles.

Well it seems that the world has gone Vine mad in the space of a few short days.

Over the weekend, at least two different sites have popped up, built off of the Vine phenomenon.

The first, Vinepeek, is a real time aggregator of Vine videos.

Vinepeek basically broadcasts an endless stream of these six-second Vine videos.

Since all Vine posts are public, viewers can see videos from everyone in the Vine network.

It’s really buggy, and videos frequently freeze, requiring you to reload the page often.

Another service, Justvined.com, lets viewers watch the last 20 videos on Vine.

justvined

The service is very simple, and offers few options beyond watching videos muted or with volume.

This service is buggy too.

If you visit the site from your iPhone, good luck with getting your browser back.

The videos launch automatically, one after the next, in an endless stream of annoyance.

I had to kill Safari to stop the madness.

Despite the limitations of these initial forays, the interweb is literally abuzz with Vine.

Every day new articles pop up about how marketers can use Vine to promote their goods and services, the abuses of Vine (aka Vine porn), and of course, the fallout between Facebook and Twitter over Vine.

Several blogs posts have been devoted to Vine etiquette, the proper way to create Vine videos, and conversely, why Vine signals the end of the world.

But whatever your perspective, Vine has clearly captured the attention of the (media) masses.

Whether Vine will be a flash in the pan or not remains to be seen.

But I suspect that Vine, like Pinterest before it, will develop a massive user community (aka eyeballs) that brands would be remiss to ignore.

One good thing about Vine is that fact this it is a video medium.

And brands can use it more effectively than long form videos, which requires a user sit through the entire thing.

Smart marketers will figure out how to sell folks in six seconds or less.

With the Superbowl coming up, I wonder whether the powers-that-be at Twitter had the foresight to buy up some of that Superbowl ad time.

Outside of the natural buzz they’re getting from the geekorati who are already up on these techie trends, the Superbowl represents an unprecedented opportunity to get Vine in front of the (tech-ignorant) masses.

But I suspect there are already several hundred thousand Vinies? Viners? out there already.

By the way, what is the appropriate verb for making Vine videos? Vining?

I’ll bet you the Crispin Porters of the world are already hard at work coming up with Vine pitches for their brands.

So what do you think?

Is Vine here to stay?

Are you planning to Vine?

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Filed under apps, digital advocacy, iPhone, mobile, technology

The difference between an app and a mobile site is…

The other day, I nearly smacked the sh*t out of my wife.

Or rather, I had the urge to smack the sh*t out of my wife.

Now, I’m not a violent person.

Nor do I support domestic violence of any kind.

But she asked me a question…

So vile…

So base….

That it took every sinew in my body to restrain myself.

What, pray tell, did she ask to create such an impassioned emotional response?

“What’s the difference (between an app and a mobile site)?”

Can you believe it?

The nerve of this heifer.

I’ve been married to this broad for almost 13 years.

I’ve been in the mobile app/technology space for over a decade.

Over this period, I regaled her with stories of my exploits in cyberspace.

I converted her from a cave dwelling savage to a member of civilized society.

Where once stood a technophobe, now exists a technophile.

I brought her from a clamshell to a smartphone.

Raised her from the ignorance of PCs to the enlightenment of Apple.

Brought her from the dark of online social isolation to the light of social media and networking.

But, I digress.

Why did I want to inflict bodily harm?

Well, she was “pinning” on her Droid II and remarked how fluid the Pinterest mobile website was.

I casually remarked that if the mobile site worked so well, that the app would probably work better.

Following my advice, she fumbled around trying to locate the link to the Google Play Store on her device before realizing that the app was already installed.

Apparently, months ago, when she became the Pinterest-junkie she is today, I had installed the app to feed her voracious pinning appetite.

She had been using the app for a hot minute, thinking she was on their mobile site.

It was then, that she uttered those three dreaded words: what’s the difference.

They cut me like a knife.

She was looking down at her phone and didn’t see the murderous rage in my eyes.

We were in a public place (Ruby Tuesday) with the kids, so I channeled my inner Shaolin monk to avoid lunging across the table and throttling her.

Could she really not know the difference?

Maybe all the times she feigned sleep as I recounted my days’ work, she was really dozing off and not paying attention.

I should have known, with all those Help Desk moments, assisting her to remotely recover a file she thought she had deleted or locate a download on her computer.

Perhaps she was…daft?

My rage was quickly replaced by pity for my poor ignorant spouse, who continually failed to avail herself of her husband’s brilliance.

And it dawned on me.

If my bottom bitch didn’t know the difference between an app and a mobile site, perhaps my thirteen readers didn’t either.

I must right this wrong.

First, let’s start with definitions.

An app is a software application that’s written in the language of the mobile platform upon which it operates.

A mobile site is a website that has been optimized for browsing on mobile devices.

Now lets look at the primary differences between them, in the areas of: access, connectivity, content and compatibility.

Access

Apps are usually accessed directly from the mobile device. Typically, there is an icon for the particular app you wish to utilize, which launches the app. Click it and you’re off!

Mobile sites, on the other hand are usually accessed from within the mobile web browser. In order to access a mobile site, you’ve got to open up your browser, plug in the URL and hit enter. On many smartphones, though, you can now create a shortcut, which allows you to save the location of the web page as an icon on your device, which then opens up like an app.

Connectivity

Apps are usually available whether you’re online or offline. While many apps require an Internet or wifi connection to update their content, most are built to be used regardless of whether a connection exists. Typically, if a user is offline they can continue to use their app, and it will update once they’re in range of a signal.

Mobile sites require a cellular or wifi connection to be used. If you’re not in range of a wifi signal or rocking a device with a robust 3G or 4G, then connecting to a mobile site will be slightly…problematic.

Content

When you’re on an app, the content in the app can be stored on the device, pulled from the web and downloaded to the device, or both. Most game apps usually have content stored on the device. They user isn’t required to be online in order to play. Many games in the Apple app store, however, are now adding Game Center capabilities, which allow you to play against other users remotely. Game center content requires an Internet or wifi connection.

If you’re on a mobile site, the content is only available online. If you can’t get online, you can’t get to the content of the mobile site you’re trying to reach. Period. If you’ve got cached web pages, they’ll appear when you open up your browser, but once you try to load/reload that page, you’re screwed.

Compatibility

Apps are designed specifically for the devices they operate upon. An iOS app will not work on an Android device. An Android app will not work on an IOS device. And nothing works on Blackberries. Compatibility is not really the forte of apps.

Mobile sites, on the other hand, are compatible across devices and browsers. With the exception of Flash (which still does not work on iOS devices) most features and functions on mobile sites work on virtually all mobile devices.

My sweet ignorant wife got the abridged version of this breakdown.

Hopefully it stuck.

In my pity, I no longer harbored the desire to smack the shit out of her.

While my pimp hand is strong, so is my compassion for the enfeebled.

Hopefully my explanation of the differences between apps and mobile sites are too.

Note to my wife: If you’re reading this blog, these are just jokes. I never want to smack the shit out of you…except when you’re talking to me while sports are on the tele…or when you prattle on endlessly about inane topics you know I could give a fuck about…or when you get on me for being on my phone. But aside from that, you know I loves you.

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Filed under apps, iPhone, mobile

I took a day off (from blogging) and now I feel…bad (not really).

I blog. Therefore, I blog.

So yesterday was the first day that I didn’t keep my 2012 blogging resolution of posting every day.

Yeah, I was running around between meetings…

And yeah, I had a class to teach at PAL Harlem Center…

And yeah, I was providing last minute tech support at the Red Rooster…

And I did spend several (valuable) hours (when I could have been blogging) driving around the city…

But there were at least two to three good hours yesterday, when I could have plopped myself down and banged out a post.

But I didn’t feel like it.

There.

I said it.

Yesterday, I simply didn’t feel like blogging.

And for no reason in particular.

I had loads of stuff I could have written about…

Like my meeting with Cheray Black and Q’tyashia Arrington, the founders of The Social Climb, a niche job search engine they’re launching this month…

Or even my meeting with Kembo Tom of GTM Central, the NYC/Atlanta/LA based creative agency that created the Smirnoff Master of the Mix

GTM+Je t'aime=GTM Central

I could even talk about my increasingly deep forays into Pinterest

This is my Pinterest page. I've started a few boards.

But I chose not to.

The hours whittled away and I didn’t make a single keystroke.

As midnight drew closer, I thought that perhaps I should throw something together just to keep on schedule.

The martial arts in this movie is incredible!

But then I started watching True Legend, and put it off.

Interesting movie. But too predictable and really poor casting.

And of course, since I had another movie I hadn’t seen in my Netflix Instant Queue, Knife Edge, I had to watch it.

That was a mistake – too predictable.

Anyway, as I sit here, reflecting on my active omission, I realize that this post is pure fluff.

I’m not really saying anything.

I’ve just got to blog.

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Filed under Smack talking