Tag Archives: YouTube

What the f*!king f*!k? Top 10 reasons I hate the iPhone X.

Even though I’m an Apple fanboy, who will go to great lengths to extol the virtues of my beloved Apple, I’m also a realist, ready to expose Apple’s flaws notwithstanding.

Case in point, the iPhone X.

Typically, I get the latest Apple devices the minute they hit the stores – more accurately, I pre-order them as soon as they are available.

I bypassed the iPhone 8 Plus specifically to be first in line to get what I was initially calling iPhone “X” but have since been advised is actually called the iPhone “10.”

Now that I’ve had it for a week or so, I definitely have buyer’s remorse. I had built it up in my mind to be this next level ish. But it’s just meh.

It’s more than “meh.” It’s downright frustrating.

More than once I’ve contemplating asking for my first born back and returning the phone to Apple.

There are sooo many things wrong with it, I couldn’t possibly list them all.

But not to deprive you of my expert analysis of the iPhone, and as an homage to the iPhone X (I mean “10”), here are the top 10 reasons I hate the iPhone X (I mean “10”).

1. I miss the Home button. When Apple first disclosed that they were going full-screen, like most people, I thought “wow!” In theory, getting rid of the Home button would free up some serious real estate for video, apps and games. But in actuality, the transition to no Home button has been hard. Per Apple’s design guidelines and best practices, you’re not supposed to use that space for anything but the Home bar, which isn’t quite as useful and intuitive as the Home button (to which so many of us had become accustomed). Now instead of pressing the Home button to turn on your phone, log in (via Touch ID), exit out of apps, take a picture, etc., you’ve got to do a bunch of different things to achieve the desired result.

2. Force touch is a farce. I used to be able to swipe left from the side or up from the bottom of the phone on the lock screen to access the camera or flashlight (which was stored with other functions on the control panel). The first few times I tried to access the camera, by doing the obvious and holding the camera icon, nothing happened. It took me a few attempts to get the camera to open, and when I tried to do it again, I couldn’t. I had to resort to a Google search and videos before I understood that force touch and release was the trick.

3. Face ID sucks. Apple touted Face ID as the hot new shit. Per Apple, “Face ID lets you securely unlock your iPhone X, authenticate purchases, sign in to apps, and more—with just a glance.” It was supposed to be uber-secure. But as we now know, it’s quite easy to fool Apple’s biometric security system, as one 10 year old was able to demonstrate on YouTube. Not only does it unlock on siblings’ and offsprings’ faces, a well made mask will also do the trick!

And that’s when it works. I’ve wanted to smash the phone on my face for all the times that nothing happens at all. Or when I held it up and am presented with the keypad to type in my security code. WTF?!!

4. Missing: battery percentage indicator. There is nothing more frustrating than running out of juice on your phone. The battle of the battery was made manageable by the little percentage indicator that let you know exactly how much juice you had left before you were assed out. But with the iPhone X (I mean “10”), you’re reduced to guesstimating when trying to determine remaining battery life. Of course, you do get to see the amount of battery your phone has left, when you connect it to a charger, but what good is that when you’re out and about? Hey Apple, maybe if you got rid of that f*cking notch you’d have more space to give us back our percentage indicator.

5. I just want to turn off the f*cking phone! If you’ve ever owned an iPhone, you know that rapid charger or nah, your phone charges much faster if it’s turned off than when it’s on. So you can imagine my chagrin when I couldn’t figure out (a) how much battery I had left, and (b) how to turn the damn thing off so that it could charge faster. Before, you could just hold the side button for a few seconds which brought up the slider allowing you to turn the phone off. Now the side button dials up Siri. In order to turn off the phone, you’ve got to hold the side button and either volume button in order to get the slider and turn the phone off.

6. App switching is a bitch. Prior to the iPhone X (I mean “10”), I was able to access the apps I had running in the background by a simple double press of the home button. But the home button is gone. So now what? More goddamn gestures. That’s what! To access your apps, you’ve got to swipe up from the bottom of the screen in whatever app you happen to be in and hold it in the middle of the screen. If you do it correctly, then you’ll see the rest of your apps pull in from the left side of your screen. Now allegedly, you’re also supposed to be able to switch between apps by swiping along the bottom of the screen from left to right or right to left in order to access apps quicker. But I’ve yet to be able to master that lil trick.

7. Wireless charging is whack. The iPhone is a notorious power drain. So it was with great joy and excitement that I greeted the news that wireless charging was coming the the iPhone. Lesser phones had wireless charging, and now Apple saw fit to bestow that capability upon its loyal subjects. In anticipation of being able to charge my phone without tethering, I purchased the Mophie wireless charging base. Boasting the latest Qi technology and up to 7.5W fast-charging speeds, I just knew that I was stepping up my game when it came to keeping my iPhone juiced up. Alas, twas not to be. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve placed my phone on the damn Mophie overnight only to wake up the following day to a half-charged phone. Even when you get the alert on the home screen that your phone is charging, it may not actually be charging. Back to being tethered.

8. Can I puh-lease just close the friggin’ apps? Remember how you used to be able to exit out of apps by double-clicking the home button to pull up all the apps you had open on your iPhone, and simply swiping up? Those days are long gone. With the iPhone X (I mean “10”) you’ve got to swipe up from the bottom and hold to reveal all your apps. Then you’ve got to long hold one of the open apps to get the “-” symbol to appear on the top left corner of the app, before you either swipe up or press the “-” symbol to exit out of an app.

9. Why can’t the iPhone just open to the home screen? One of my biggest pet peeves with the iPhone X (I mean “10”) is the fact that it never opens up to the home screen after you unlock it. Never. You’ve got to swipe up from the bottom on the lock screen to expose whatever screen you happened to be on when you last used your phone. And then swipe up from that screen to get to the home screen. That’s just too much work if you ask me.

10. What’s with that stupid notch? When the “all screen” iPhone X was announced, I thought, what are they going to do with the phone and earpiece? I had fantasies of a camera hidden behind the glass and an earpiece embed seamlessly into the screen. And then I saw that notch and thought, that’s hideous. And then came the Samsung commercials and memes, which (I had to admit) were spot on. Not only is the notch aesthetically unappealing, it also wreaks havoc on app makers who haven’t yet updated their content to meet Apple’s exacting design guidelines. Note to developers – make sure you do to avoid having navigation buttons and other functionality inaccessible in landscape mode.

Now despite my distaste for the above, I still love my iPhone X (I mean “10”). Most of my complaints go to the fact that I’ve got to unlearn everything I knew about navigating on an iPhone and acclimate myself to doing things on the X.

Like the missing headphone jack, it’s going to take a bit of getting used to. But it also means that I’m riding the wave of the future for Apple devices.

Do you have an iPhone X (I mean “10”)? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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From Vimeo to Periscope. Do we really need another video app?

The War for Eyeballs

First, there was Vimeo, the first video sharing website.

Vimeo allowed users to upload, share and search for videos online, and life was good.

Then there was YouTube.

YouTube gave us our fill of all the videos we could no longer see on cable or broadcast TV, all with a quick search.

Vevo popped up after that.

Vevo was a great alternative to YouTube because it had higher quality videos, without all the associated riffraff of user generated content.

Suddenly UStream appeared, and not only could you watch video replays, but you could tap into live video streams.

Couldn’t be there, but want to experience it live?

UStream let you do just that.

We had achieved video Nirvana.

Not to be left out of the fray, Facebook offered its own native video player, giving its millions of users an easy way to upload and share videos on its platform.

All of your low res, hi def, canned or live streaming video options were covered.

Right?

Apparently not.

Because then came SnapChat with it’s expiring videos.

Wait, that’s a thing?

And then Meerkat, the app that lets you broadcast yourself doing whatever to whoever wants to tune in.

And finally (and I say “finally” loosely) Periscope, which let you do the same thing.

So, what’s with all the video apps and services?

Well, video is a big thing.

No, I’m not talking about the bandwidth it requires.

I’m talking about the appetite folks have for it.

And they money that can be made.

Think about it.

Instagram has added video, so that its not just still photos anymore.

YouTube now offers “premium” channels.

Content companies, like HBO, are cutting ties with Cable companies and offering their content directly to consumers through apps and consoles.

Netflix and Hulu let you watch television and movies on the go.

Virtually everywhere you look – elevators, cabs, subways, planes, trains – video is offered.

And regular people are getting in on the action.

“YouTubers” is a thing.

Shooting a video of a melee and yelling “WorldStar!” is a thing.

People try to make “viral” videos as a way of getting their 15 minutes.

Folks earn bookoo bucks as YouTube broadcasters, creating often funny, niche content, attracting tens of thousands of viewers, and earning income as well.

Buzzfeed, FunnyOrDie, College Humor and many others’ business models are built exclusively off producing and marketing video content.

So while I think the current ‘fight’ between the creators of apps like Periscope and Meerkat is stupid, because…well just because, there is clearly an insatiable appetite for virtually any kind of video.

Have you ever watched a sensory video – the kind that’s supposed to give you tingles just by watching?

I digress.

To answer the question posed in the title of this post, “do we really need another video app?”

No. We don’t.

Are Meerkat or Periscope the last of the video apps we’ve seen?

No. Not by a long shot.

There’s a war for eyeballs currently being waged.

With billions of dollars to be made.

And folks out here seeking fame by turning their cameras on and streaming themselves doing whatever.

And with all of our shiny, powerful, always-on mobile devices clutched in our collective sweaty palms, we’re all in the crosshairs.

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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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Watching TV on the toilet. Simulcasting to apps is the future (of broadcasting)

You must master the four screens.

You must master the four screens.

This weekend, I was watching The Alien, 48 year old Bernard Hopkins defend his title against Karo Murat, the 30 year old challenger from Germany.

The fight was fairly spirited and I was thoroughly engaged.

But as my salsa and cheese dip decided they wanted out, I had a difficult choice to make.

Do I suffer through the next six rounds and try to suppress my bowels or make a b-line for the commode and miss the fight?

My trips to the latrine are rarely brief.

My intestines got the better of me, and as round six ended, I reluctantly broke for the bathroom.

Back in the day, this story would have ended with me Googling the results or checking The Bleacher Report or ESPN.

But something told me to check out the App Store to see if there was an app that would let me watch the fight live from the toilet.

The fight was on Showtime, so I decided I’d start there.

What was there to lose?

As I plopped down upon my throne to handle the affairs of state, I whipped out my iPhone and quickly located the Showtime Anytime app.

showtime anytime

I downloaded and launched the app, and true to form, there was a Live TV tab in the footer.

When it pulled up the program choices, there was a ‘Watch Now’ button next to the Hopkins/Murat listing of the fight.

Before I knew it, I had taken in six rounds of boxing on the crapper, and I realized that broadcasting had come a long way.

The future of broadcasting was in my hands.

No. Not the toilet paper. I had already flushed that.

Although toilet paper is a wonderful invention.

I’m talking about apps which allow you to consume live media.

I think HBO was the first content provider to drop an app which let their subscribers access content from their mobile devices.

Others quickly followed suit and there were similar offerings from the likes of ESPN, A&E and Cartoon Network.

Soon regular broadcast players joined, including ABC, PBS, CBS and TBS.

Not to be left out, cable providers made sure they had skin in the game with their apps, including Time Warner, Cablevision, Verizon Fios and Xfinity.

The battle for eyeballs has gotten so fierce that if you’re not present on all platforms, you’re giving up valuable ground to the competition.

It used to be enough to have a broadcast channel with good content.

Back in the day, all you had were the broadcast television networks, like ABC, CBS, and NBC.

The networks had a virtual monopoly.

Then came cable, which changed the game.

No longer were you restricted to ‘tame’ television.

You had options. And no commercials.

And then the internet decided to change things up a little more, offering tons of video content that you couldn’t find on television or cable.

And for the most part, it was free.

YouTube was the genesis of this, but other players like Hulu and Vimeo kept things interesting (and ever expanding with user generated videos and internet only shows).

When Netflix brought their DVDs by mail into the home, first streaming over the internet and then through set top boxes, the broadcast ecosystem fractured even further.

And now there’s mobile.

It’s not enough that you’re proficient on one platform at the expense of the others.

To meet the needs of an increasingly mobile and demanding audience, you’ve got to master them all.

And as a content creator, you’re going to want to leverage distribution methods that ensure you’re meeting your audience, wherever they are.

If you’re not simulcasting (or offering your content simultaneously across multiple platforms), best believe the next guy is.

As technology evolves, users are going to expect faster, more streamlined access to all forms of media.

I predict that in the future, we’re going to see more players offering content that is traditionally delivered to televisions being delivered to set top boxes, online, and through apps simultaneously.

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Apple TV, Roku, watch your backs. There’s a new dongle in town. Chromecast.

Chromecast dongle

One of my colleagues, Salvador Risk (not his real name), is an avowed Google fanatic.

Google Glass, Chromebook, Jellybean. If Google makes it, he lauds it.

Invariably, whenever there’s a Google announcement or milestone, he shoots a link over IM for us to check out.

It was he who recommended that we watch the hellacious Google 1/0 2013.

My eyes are still bleeding.

We usually mock him for being so devout a disciple.

Yesterday was no exception.

You see yesterday, in his typical zeal, he shot us a link for some new innocuous Google product.

Followed by the statement (and I quote) “i so want this” (lowercase “i” and all).

Of course, we mocked him mercilessly, once again.

Who the heck would want “this” stupid thing?

“This” is another attempt by Google to stick it’s tentacles where they don’t belong.

“This” (we opined) would go the way of many of Google’s other lame-brained, ill-fated, poorly executed schemes.

What was “this”?

“This” was Chromecast.

What the heck is Chromecast, you ask?

Well it’s a dongle which will allow you to stream content from your phone, tablet or laptop, directly to your TV.

Simply plug Chromecast into an HDMI port of your HDTV, and voila! You’re streaming.

Chromecast in your TV

Even though the Chromecast dongle isn’t available yet (it’s available for pre-order in the Google Play store), it’s already making waves.

Why all the commotion, you ask?

For one, it’s not a box.

It’s a…dongle.

Unlike other set top box makers, like Apple and Roku (among the more recognizable names in the game), Chromecast won’t take up any space on your TV stand.

It’s just a simple fob that plugs in discretely to your TV.

Which means no power cords or HDMI cables.

With Chromecast, there’s nothing to hide, tuck away or get tangled in.

Actually, there is a little cord, which plugs into a micro USB port in the top of the dongle…but it’s not a big cord.

Second, you don’t need a remote control.

Virtually every other set top box is manipulated by some additional piece of hardware.

But not with Chromebook.

Your Android, iPhone or tablet device serves as your remote.

Third, Chromecast provide much of the same utility of other set top boxes.

Like Apple TV and Roku, Chromecast lets you grab content from Netflix and YouTube.

But they also let you access content from your Google Play account (like iTunes/iPhoto) and the Chrome browser.

But wait! That’s not all.

Lest you think that Chromecast is just some dumb portal that simply lets you stream what’s on your device to your TV, Google claims that Chromecast will also automatically update apps.

And if they’re going after Apple and Roku, I can see the available list of options growing in short order.

Finally, and more (or most) importantly, there’s the cost.

Chromecast is only $35.

That’s way below Apple’s $99 price point.

And significantly less than Roku’s $49.99 streaming player.

In the final analysis, even though we were originally ribbing Salvator (not his real name) mercilessly for his blind allegiance to Google, we had to concede that he was really onto something.

Call me gullible (and a nerd), but I’m kinda excited for the release of Chromecast.

As someone who rocks with Apple TV, I’m interested to see how Chromecast stacks up.

Anyway, nerdfest over.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled life.

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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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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

Get Back! Take a trip down the AfroBeatles rabbit hole.

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Its been almost a month since Yoda placed me on my AfroBeatles mission.

He planted the seed and I have meticulously tended to it.

Day by day, I’ve given the AfroBeatles my focused attention.

Fast forward to today and I’m steeped in AfroBeatles lore.

I’m subsumed by the Fela Kuti Beatles collaboration in this alternate universe.

As I learn more about Fela, the individual, the prospect of this imagined group, The AfroBeatles, is even more intriguing.

Its been made all the more real, by my examination of the actual people.

Every day, I’ve been listening to the music, watching videos and researching.

I’ve queried my relatives on their impressions of Fela coming up in Nigeria.

Probing to determine what they thought of him as a person, musician and revolutionary.

I even downloaded This Bitch of A Life by Carlos Moore onto my ipad.

Its an auto-biography of sorts on Fela.

Fela This Bitch of A Life

Fela’s candid impressions of his life, and his experiences, told in his own words and from the perspective of those closest to him, provide a real depth of understanding for who he was.

It gives insight to why he held the convictions he did and what made his message so controversial.

Yoda gave me Revolution In The Head, the definitive “must read” on The Beatles.

Revolution In The Head

The first 20 pages put the Beatles in a light I had never previously considered.

As opposed to being a bunch of guys putting messages into their music, music was their message, and their lyrics an afterthought.

My targeted Google searches on both Fela and The Beatles unearthed troves of information, casting more light on who these guys really were.

And I’m not the only one.

Every day there are more blips on Yoda’s mental radar.

I’ve been manning the AfroBeatles online and social media command center, and the blips are there too.

A steady stream of blips congregating around certain AfroBeatles properties.

Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest, are all seeing clusters of regular activity and steady growth.

Which tells me that AfroBeatles is sticky.

It could be a bunch of Yoda’s little disciples, doing his online bidding…

But hey, blips are blips.

Eventually we’ll arrive at a tipping point.

Right now, I’m listening to Get Back vs Colonial Mentality.

And once again I’m tapping and typing.

When the Beatles recorded Get Back in 1969 the song just came to them.

Over the course of a few days, they followed an idea for a song.

A rehearsal and twenty-something takes later, Get Back was here.

By contrast, Colonial Mentality came from Fela’s observation of African behavior over time.

Colonial Mentality became a scathing critique of the African adoption of English ways, to the exclusion of their own cultural traditions.

The mashup of these songs and their messages forces me to ponder how we are all trapped in constructs not of our own making.

Like Yoda’s little experiment.

Sometimes, we are creatures of accident.

But at others, we are conscious cognizant willing participants to these constructs.

I know I sound crazy when I talk like this, but stay with me.

Take this trip down the rabbit hole with me.

Watch Get Back on YouTube…

Or listen to the special Independence Day playlist on SoundCloud…

And tell me that you’re not intrigued.

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Filed under branding, music, social media

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 a digital world. Why are you still analog?

analog vs digital

We are a digital generation.

Our lives are inextricably intertwined to technology.

Wherever you look, there are signs of the digital era.

Think about the last major storm or natural disaster you heard about.

Mobile phones and Twitter were how most people first reported or got wind of them.

That’s powerful.

If you look at your own behavior, you’re checking your email, text messages or social media accounts on your phone.

These activities didn’t exist a decade ago.

There was no Facebook, YouTube or Twitter.

Smart phones were still several years away from being mainstream.

Or affordable.

But today, things have changed.

Smartphones, social media, texting, instant messaging, wifi.

We can’t imagine living without them.

See something interesting? What do you do?

Whip out your phone, take a snap or shoot a video and post.

Can’t remember the name of song on the radio? What do you do?

Dial up the Shazam app on your phone or Google the lyrics.

Need directions? What do you do?

Hit up MapQuest for turn-by-turn directions.

Why am I going into all this?

Because for all the advances that are taking place in technology, I still hear people say “why do I need this or that” and it drives me absolutely bonkers!

I was in Miami for a few days, and I came across (yet another) brand, a hotel, without a mobile website, app or any form of social media.

When I started talking about all the reasons why they should have any one (or all three) of these things, they pashawed me like I was talking gobbledygook.

They went on and on about how their demographic used computers.

Wouldn’t use mobile phones to make reservations.

Weren’t on Twitter or Facebook.

And have no need for an app.

Despite my eloquent arguments to the contrary, they gave no ground.

It was only when I showed them the mobile site of one of their competitors that the lightbulb went off, and they finally understood what I was talking about.

But it shouldn’t be this way!

How is the digital world growing, changing and advancing by leaps and bounds, but folks are missing it wholesale?

Sure, traditional ways of doing things still work.

Want to advertise a sale at your store? You could take an ad out in the paper.

Or place an ad online.

If anyone sees either, they’ll know that you’re having a sale.

The one who sees it in print will have to get in their car, drive to the store and then check out what’s for sale.

The one who sees it online can go right to your site and check out what you’ve got for sale, right then and there.

If they’re on a mobile device they can browse and buy on the go.

The difference between the two are night and day.

Know ye this: I’m on a mission.

To bring analog cave-dwellers to the digital light.

It’s going to be a long road.

But I’m ready for the challenge.

Analog heathen beware!

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Filed under digital advocacy, mobile, social media, technology