Category Social Networking

Pinterest: Vision-Boarding for Fun and Profit

Pinterest has become a treasure trove of marketing and branding mojo, as well as a valuable weapon to carry on your ninja toolbelt

The State of Video – How Brands Can Use Vine as Part of an Overall Content Strategy

You’ve heard of Vine, Twitter’s newly-released video sharing app — and you may have heard just enough about it to wonder who on earth would ever use such a thing or even care about it.

New beginnings in 2010

We announced this morning that Powered, Inc. has acquired crayon – here’s the official press release http://bit.ly/4rIR1q. We’re very excited about this merger and where it takes us, especially as the roll-up also includes two other great companies, Drillteam and StepChange.

The Big Picture – iPhone Photo Apps

I’ve had a Flickr Pro account for over 2 years. There’s been this fantasy that I’m going to buy one of those amazing cameras, take a class and carry it with me everywhere (like CC Chapman and Brian Solis). So far, not so much.

Then I bought a Diana Camera this year – a quirky, plastic, “toy camera” that’s been a lot of fun and taught me a lot about patience in my instant-gratification life. But still, not so much my everyday companion.

I love my iPhone – and I’m an AppStore addict – so I constantly download, add (and subtract) applications, and was so excited to find an app called “ToyCamera”.

ToyCamera takes the kind of quirky, light-leaks filled pictures that I get with my Diana, without the wait for photo development. I think the developer, Takayuki Fukatsu, is an amazing talent, and has created an app that surprises you with every shot. The filters included in this app include:

  • Vintage Green effect
  • Vintage Yellow effect
  • Vintage Warm effect
  • Low Saturation
  • High Saturation
  • Toning Sepia
  • Black and White
  • HiCon Black and White

It also has an uploader to the BigCanvas Photoshare – which I don’t use – as well as a Flickr group.

This month I’ve made a commitment to take 5 pictures of wherever I am each morning and post them to Flickr, no matter how I feel they turn out. You can follow my progress here (and this one is my favorite so far). Takayuki Fukatsu has also made a couple of other fantastic apps, OldCamera (Black and White pictures), SepiaCamera (just as it sounds) and QuadCamera, a really neat effect that takes 4 quick pics and puts them in a number of different ways, stacked, side-by-side, etc. All of them are just as addictive as ToyCamera.

To upload to Flickr, I’ve been using the application by XK72, Mobile Fotos. Mobile Fotos allows you to view photostreams, favorites, tags, sets and groups, as well as search for photos, read and make comments, or see other Flickr members photos.And of course the easy uploader – I can upload to groups as well as my photostream.

Since this is a relatively new passion, I’ll see if this sticks beyond my alloted commitment. But it feels like it will. And I’m looking forward to seeing it in action at the next conferences I’m at.

Are there other apps I should check out? Any tutorials? Let me know.

Update 1.24: Just released – an online companion to QuadCamera, QuadAnimator, which takes your QC pictures and saves it as an animated GIF file.  Fun!

Disqus – Threaded comments on your blog

Thanks to my FriendFeed, I saw a blog entry from Fred Wilson about Disqus.

Enjoying Mahalo – Social Search that Works

I’ve been using Mahalo, Jason Calacanis’s “people-powered” search engine for about 5 months – and am really enjoying it.

Growing Up with Social Networks

I was celebrating the Holiday with my sister, friends and a bunch of kids (two of whom were my niece and nephew). They were playing Guitar Hero 3 on the Wii, when I overheard this conversation (which I Twittered), “Club Penguin was last year. WebKinz is now”.

About this time, my nephew (who’s eight today), sits next to me, takes my iPhone and shows me all the sites he visits everyday. Most of the adults there were intimidated by technology, most used the Internet at work and only a bit at home.  They couldn’t get how to use the iPhone. Their kids (no older than 10) were all over it. They passed my iPhone around discussing their favorite websites and communities and answering my questions about what they liked about each. They all own iPods and can connect to iTunes and either buy music, or make a list of songs for their parents to buy. Most had their own cellphones and were adept at taking pictures and video and sharing that media with friends and relatives. None had been on Amazon.com.

They all knew MySpace and most had been on the site or knew kids that had set up profiles – 2 knew of kids who had posted profiles saying that they were 21 (they ARE 10). My niece told me that she has a defined number of sites that she can visit, but if she tries to surf outside the list, she’s blocked and her parents are notified by email. She can’t look at the site until her parents confirm that it’s ok (an email verification).

All the kids talked to me about WebKinz.com, where you register toy animals bought offline and where you can build rooms for these pets and interact with other owners. Club Penguin is still around, but it doesn’t interest them (maybe they grew out of the demographic?).

All the kids were really excited about these new toys they all got for Easter – U.B. Funkeys.

UB Funkeys
From Amazon.com:

“This specialty starter kit will have you well on your way to U.B. Funkey world — and a possible collection addiction. Funkeys are creative vinyl characters that plug into a larger Funkey hub attached to a computer in order to travel around their virtual world, play games, build a “crib,” and interact with other Funkeys. This starter kit includes the 5-inch-tall white Funkey hub, USB cable, two 2.75-inch-tall Funkeys, and installation software. All in all there are 42 different Funkey characters: three different colors in 14 different designs. Of the three in each design, one is quite common, one is rare, and the third is very rare by collection standards.

By playing games in the U.B. Funkeys world, characters earn coins that they can then use for purchasing items for their “crib.” These rooms are customizable, from wall colors to furniture and plants to accessories, and can also be uploaded for friends to see. Just give your “crib” a name, share it with your friends, and they can visit anytime they’re logged on. There are four zones that offer a total of 16 games for players to conquer, and 30 stores where they can spend their hard earned coins on more than 1,000 virtual items. Now the question is: Are you Funkey?”

This is Second Life for the Tween-crowd, with a level of marketing, engagement and commerce that SL has yet to achieve. This makes (uneasy) sense to me – their parents understand collecting – from Beenie Babies to baseball cards, which is passed down to their children.

One of the things that interest me is the complete play between offline and online. These kids may need help getting on the Web, permission and (hopefully) supervision once they are on – but they know how to interact and how to become part of the community. They know how to make and share media, email and text message. They all wanted my Gmail address to keep in touch.

These kids never knew a time that computers, cell phones and even DVD’s did not exist. They aren’t cynical over the effects of technology, it’s a part of their everyday life and they are much more comfortable handing the overload and overstimulation of information.

I’m excited to keep this particular conversation going.

Social Media Inside the Firewall : [chrisbrogan.com]

Social Media Inside the Firewall : [chrisbrogan.com]

This week I’m starting an experiment. It might last 3 days or longer, depending on how it impacts my workflow. I’m not going to respond to email conventionally – but by alternate methods of communication including social networking messaging, video and audio messages and texts. I

This was inspired by Chris Brogan’s post last month, “Social Media Inside the Firewall”. I want to see if the methods of communication he discussed were viable today.

I’ll update my progress and my challenges here.

(Via [chrisbrogan.com].)

Christopher Penn on OpenSocial

There’s going to be a lot of news about this today as Google scoops Facebook’s spotlight (until next week when FB’s up at bat with their “SocialAds” announcement). I’ll be looking at all the news, but I’m interested in viewpoints. Who’s thinking what.

One of the great people I saw and met at PodCampBoston this weekend was Christopher Penn (one of the founders). In a post today, Christopher discusses OpenSocial and how it will aggregate and reference data across participating SN platforms.

If this works, I see this as the ultimate social network aggregator. One profile to rule them all. It’s been the missing link in social media – one that many have tried to address before. Plaxo is doing a fine job – but for some reason I can’t integrate it into my lifestream. But Google, Ning (where I have JaneQuigley.com and others are where I live. So is Facebook. But if Google makes it easier to social network elsewhere – somewhere where my friends have also found it easier and fun to be – why would I stay?

Which is a shame, because I love FB and the way it’s grown the company, my friends, my groups, etc. Not so fond of the vampires, zombies, etc. – you take the good with the bad(evil).

(Via Awaken Your Superhero.)

Mashable: A Vision of The New Facebook Ad Network

What the Facebook Ad Network Might Look Like

This is an interesting view of the Facebook/Microsoft partnership and what might be announced on November 5th. While Microsoft partnership in Facebook gives MS a giant step forward in social networking, it also gives Facebook access to Microsoft’s ad network.

Only a week to wait!

(Via Mashable.)