Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Round-Up Volume 1, Issue 18: Explore Service and Take Action

With the historic inauguration of our 44th President, and subsequent re-swearing of the oath of office, we’ve officially entered into the future! One of the rallying cries of this fresh, new administration is of service and the responsibility of every American (every person, for that matter) to take action rather than just sit idly by and watch the world happen to them. Of course, when it comes to the Internet, this has been the modus operandi since inception. The Internet does not sit by and watch and nor do the citizens of the web! The Internet is a dynamic, fluid, rapidly evolving medium and this week we wanted to point out a number of cool sites and services that do just that; they allow you to take action and allow you to take responsibility. Let’s get on with it, shall we?

Since all eyes are on the new chief executive of the United States, let’s shift the gaze slightly to EXECUTIVE MOMS ( Executive Moms is more than a newsletter and more than a support group, it’s a burgeoning community to provide resources and information for the fabulous women who balance both work and home life. The goal of the site is to help these motivated and much-loved women achieve success in both worlds by tapping into their peers. We all know how important these women can be, so it’s great to see this community thriving online!

Maybe you already have your home life balanced and you need to drive some more growth in your business? Advertising always comes to mind, and online video is the hottest category right now, but it can be expensive to shoot your own video ads, right? Well, the truth is it can be expensive unless you use SPOT MIXER ( Spot Mixer allows you to make your own web videos to be used on your site or externally as an ad campaign. You can mix and match in an affordable, creative environment to come up with the best reflection of your brand or service.

Since we’re on the topic of creating, why not check out MUSIC SHAKE ( Music Shake is a site and service dedicated to letting you explore your inner Timbaland or P Diddy. The site provides a suite of tools that allow you to make songs that can be downloaded as MP3’s or ringtones and shared with the world to listen to. They also highlight the recent works of others and you can listen, comment or exchange with the community. There’ve been many attempts to create this type of service in the past, but the folks at Music Shake seem to have gotten it right!

If you’re in the mood to take action and share your actions with the world, but you want things to be simple and easy, then check out TUMBLR ( Tumblr is a blogging-esque service that makes it easy to share what you want to share. You may be using one of the other blogging services (Blogger, Typepad, Wordpress, etc.) and you may not want to examine another one, but Tumblr is radically easy to use and it’s worth checking out. At the very least you can check out what others are creating and it could inspire your own creativity and action!

Speaking of taking action (again), if you’re actions keep you on the go, then you need to have some mobile apps to work with as well. This week’s favorite iPhone apps include USTREAM which allows you to access and post live video streams from your iPhone. QIK is another service that does something similar, but I had problems using it and Ustream worked right away for me.

And if taking action costs you money, then be sure to check iTunes to see if your bank has an iPhone application. BANK OF AMERICA and CHASE both have iPhone apps and a number of others are in the works, so soon enough you’ll be able to handle all your banking through your phone, no matter where your money is being held.

That’s it for this week. Be sure to take some initiative on your own and make things happen! Take action!!

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