Sunday, May 31, 2009
If you consider yourself an Influential, then you’re reading the right column. And if you’re reading this column at all, then you must be digital, so welcome to the Digital Influential!
A little over a year ago I started writing this column because people were always asking me what I thought was cool, which is quite ironic when you get to know me and realize that I’m pretty much not cool. I wanted to make it easier to share with my online compatriots what I found to be of interest and see if I could spark the fire of virality to help some of these up-and-coming companies succeed. After a year I can say that in some cases I helped and in some cases I didn’t, but along the way I came to realize that it’s not the outcome or the destination that counts, but more the excitement of the journey itself. I’ve used this column as a motivator to stay on top of the new and innovative and I’ve found it to be an enjoyment unto itself! I find that I truly appreciate surfing some of my usual suspects to see what modish new sites are driving the zeitgeist. Hopefully when you read this column you become inspired to do the same, and if you do, please send me a note and let me in on the secret so we can share it with the rest of the readers and discover the new together!
And with that, let’s get into it, shall we…?
If you find yourself surfing the web from your mobile device and want to bookmark something for later use online, check out SMUB (http://smub.it/). At first the name sounds like another dot-pocalypse waiting to happen, but the underlying technology is very cool and will be extremely useful as you begin surfing from more and more divergent devices.
If you’re like me, you also like to play web designer once in awhile and now you can actually look good doing it with Google’s latest effort, GOOGLE WEB ELEMENTS (http://www.google.com/webelements/). The premise is simple; provide web developers with lots of Google gadgets and tools that can be embedded into your site. I remember when coding took lots of hard work and a degree in computer programming. Then along came Geocities and everything went to hell in a hand-basket. Now Google goes and makes it even easier. Pretty soon my 1 month old son will be launching a web 3.0 website featuring Google gadgets and widgets and accessing it from his mobile device!
Speaking of my 1 month old, I just read an amazing fact in Time magazine that the average teenager in the US sends 2,272 text messages per month (source: Nielsen). Are you kidding me?
Anyways, now that I’m a proud papa I find myself visiting a whole new plethora of sites that will help me to be a great dad, which is how I found GREAT DAD (http://www.greatdad.com/). The site is written to help dad’s figure out how to be, well, great! I discovered that there are loads and loads of sites aimed at mom’s, but not as many for dad’s, so when I come across one I feel I have to share!
And in the area of “things to keep an eye out for”, come the 800 lb gorilla of Google with GOOGLE WAVE and Microsoft with their new search engine, BING. Neither one is ready for public consumption yet, but both are riding the wave that a good PR person can generate. The success of either one will be a total coin flip, with the slight edge going to Google. From the screenshots and the chatter, Wave represents a quantum leap for your online communication tools whereas Bing sounds like more of the same half-hearted efforts that Microsoft tends to make when it comes to search. Check back in 3 months and let’s see how the dust settles.
In the world of iPhone apps, I recommend checking out PAGEONCE’s Personal Assistant. I actually don’t recommend you check out anything else this month, just this app. It creates a mini-personal concierge on your iPhone and allows you to manage everything from one location!
Thanks for reading this past year and please don’t forget to submit your newest and greatest when you have a spare moment!
Monday, May 25, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
If you manage multiple Twitter accounts, check TWHIRL (http://www.twhirl.org/)- Simple desktop app- Simple solution for complex management.
TWEETSCAN (http://www.tweetscan.com/)-simple Twitter search, since search on Twitter isn’t so simple. See a search cloud for research, too.
Share files on Twitter with TWEETCUBE (http://www.tweetcube.com/). Excel, PPT, Word or whatever you desire can now be shared via microblog.
Want to postpone your pithy posts? Use TWEETLATER (http://www.tweetlater.com/)- build a queue of tweets to post later (like the name says).
Use TWEETBEEP (http://tweetbeep.com/) to receive alerts when your key words are being tweeted. Like Google Alerts, only Twitter-focused.
To graph the popularity of terms in the twitter-verse, check out TWEET VOLUME (http://www.tweetvolume.com/). Compare 5 terms to see stats!
Want to know who you should be following on Twitter, check out WHO SHOULD I FOLLOW (http://www.whoshouldifollow.com/). ‘Nuff said.
Writing a blog and want to auto-post to Twitter? Check out TWITTERFEED (http://twitterfeed.com/). Multiple platforms made easy.
As you can see, there’s no shortage of Twitter tools that can be used for any purpose in this dynamically evolving environment. Of course, part of what makes Twitter so interesting is the way that it merges mobile and the web, with so many people updating their Tweets from their phones. So for the iPhone crowd, check out:
TWITTERTREND shows you what everyone else is doing on Twitter. TWITTERRIFIC is a popular Twitter client, but I use TWITTELATOR. TWITTERPICS allows you to search for pictures in Twitter.
Now go and have fun with the Twitter, and tell them the Digital Influentials sent ya!
Friday, May 8, 2009
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Monday, May 4, 2009
It can be hard to identify the next cool thing because being cool is very much a subjective concept. Remember The Fonz (Happy Days for all you young folks)? He was cool, apparently. I think marketing is pretty cool, does that count? Cool is subjective, so for this week I spent some time trying to uncover what I thought was new and “cool”. Let’s see what you think!
Are you constantly searching for a cool way to do a presentation? If so, check out PREZI (http://prezi.com/). Prezi provides a tool for creating “zoom in” presentations. They’re a flash based version of a map-like model for creating presentations and you can drill down into specific areas for detail. Web-based and pretty easy to use, it’s another way of creating a new presentation interface. Oh, and don’t worry that most of the examples are in Italian.
I know that Twitter is apparently cool and is growing by leaps and bounds every day, but if you were wondering what you can do to better understand Twitter and the impact it has, check out TWITTERATR (http://twitrratr.com/). This simple interface gives you a quick snapshot of the positive and negative sentiment around your query through the Twitter-verse. Most brands pay thousands of dollars for this kind of real-world focus group info, but here it’s yours for free and delivered in seconds.
I did mention that I think marketing is cool, so I have to point your attention to Joe Jaffe’s newest incarnation, JAFFE JUICE TV (http://www.jaffejuice.com/jaffejuicetv/). Joe is a friend and is consistently a thought leader in marketing, so I like to see what he says. It’s also a great way to stay on top of what’s cool in fashion by seeing what shirt Joe has on that day, and he’s a snappy dresser!
Watching TV online can be a very solo experience, but CBS recently started using a tool called ClipSync to create engaging, interactive experiences in their CBS SOCIAL-ROOM (http://www.cbs.com/socialroom/). I do need to disclose that I have done some work with ClipSync, but I also need to disclose that they create some cool features for social engagement around video. I think it’s cool that I get to work with such cool companies. Now, that’s cool! What CBS is unique, too – I have been a fan of their interactive efforts for many years and they continue to push it forward.
On a personal note, I want to highlight what I think is one of the coolest Pearl Jam related sites online; THE SKY I SCRAPE (http://www.theskyiscrape.com/). If you’re a Pearl Jam fan, you already go there all the time for news, but if you’re just a casual fan, you may not know about it. Since I personally believe that Pearl Jam is cool, and its clear they are about to have a new album and tour, I thought I’d point out the site for your viewing pleasure!
And you know what else is cool? Any day now our little baby boy will be born! Now THAT’S cool!
As for iPhone apps: check out AWESOME BALL as a cool way to waste some time and check out YOWZA as another to save money and gather valuable coupons. In a time of economic recession, saving money is cool!
That’s it for this week!