Storyboard: A Better Press Pack

Creating a personal website can wind up being more trouble than its worth. And as for maintaining one? Well, things can get expensive. Even a basic set-up of a simple blog is likely to lack luster in the design department.

You could use WordPress or Blogger as a free alternative, sure. But Storyboard.me offers something much more stylish, chic and powerful for telling the world who you are.

The company aim their service as individuals and small business who want to portray who they are and what their brand stands for. It’s already becoming a hit with artists and writers, but would it work for you? (more…)

TwittStorm: The Fastest Way to Monitor Twitter Conversations

Breaking news is what Twitter does best. Whenever something huge happens both users and journalists turn to tweets to find out exactly what’s happening and to get pictures or videos. Monitoring this live stream of events is important to the media and companies that have a reputation to uphold. There are many services which offer this, including Twitter themselves; the search function can be a quick way to get hold of popular tweets on a story or event. However, they’re often lacking.

TwittStorm is a new take on monitoring Twitter in realtime, one that looks great and is fast enough that it seems more promising than most Twitter apps. Let’s take it for a spin and see how it holds up.

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The New Zagat Brings Location Reviews from Google

Aside from roaming aimlessly around the streets, the Internet is the most obvious way to find new places to eat, drink and relax. Yelp dominates the directory market in most countries but since 2011 Google have been building up a small acquisition of theirs: Zagat.

Zagat has just relaunched with an all new business model and apps to go along with it. The chic review site gained popularity in wealthy US cities such as San Francisco, New York and Washington DC. Now they’re taking things global by expanding into Europe, with London as their flagship city.

But what makes one jumped up directory site different from the rest? The new Zagat, for one, has added some cool features to embrace online communities and social networking, with quality multimedia content to boot. It’s definitely worth checking out.

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EyeEm: Social Stock Photos to Take on Instagram

Six months ago, Instagram was valued at $1 Billion when they were bought out by Facebook, an amount thought absurd by most. Shortly thereafter came huge changes to their Terms of Service, explicitly stating that they could store and sell any photos uploaded to the site. Users were angry – and rightly so.

The online stock photography market is worth $5 billion each year – and commission photography worth $12 billion. So I guess you can see why Facebook and Instagram wanted to cash in, especially as neither had decent revenue streams. They’ve since changed their terms of service back, for the most part, but the reputation damage was already done.

Now, a new kid on the block is becoming more and more popular – EyeEm. It’s a German “visual search engine” and social network for photographs. The new contender is far from ready for prime-time, and is much smaller than the mighty dominant Facebook. But on the Internet, it’s users’ clicks that matter, and they’re flocking to the new service. Could it be the next Instagram?

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Turn Google Drive Into Your Own Music Service with Drive Tunes

Listening to music via a browser normally involves YouTube – and by association the terribly annoying Vevo. If I wanted advertisements before a song I’d turn on the radio. Soundcloud is an alternative but unfortunately caters mostly to the Alternative genre.

The Drive Tunes extension for Chrome however promises a seamless listening experience straight from your Google Drive. As with most things good and Googly – it’s free, it works and isn’t chock full of malware.

On the face of thing’s all is well. But is it usable? Is there even a point to a browser music player? Oh, and does it play nice with Google’s other offerings? The plot thickens.

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What do you have to say for yourself?” is the question your Twitter account answers.

Opinions, experiences, current geographic location and ability to find hilarious links are what set one tweeter apart from the next. The platform itself evolved from a simple ‘status update’ tool to a flourishing ecosystem of people interacting, sharing and discovering.

As with any ecosystem there are those on top and those at the bottom. The higher you are the more active followers and influence you’ll have. This is a fairly useless observation for those who use Twitter to find news and check up on friends. But for people who use Twitter to interact with a community, market their product or service or research a segment of people, analyzing a Twitter account is a top priority.

Here’s a few tools that’ll will check out your Twitter, tell you what’s going on in the world and how much power you hold in it. (more…)

Readlists: Turn Your Articles Into an eBook

If it wasn’t for my Kindle, I seriously doubt I’d read half of what I do now. Whatever about the incredible Kindle store or the high resolution e-ink display, the main selling point is having thousands of books, magazines, newspaper and journals condensed into one little device.

Listed under Experimental on my Kindle lives the world’s worst Internet browser. A suggest use is accessing websites for further reading, yet trying to read a blog on Kindle is like reading War & Peace on a Tamagotchi.

The obvious solution here is to use something like KindleFeeder to send RSS feeds to my kindle. The unobvious flaw is that regular reading of blogs is best set for a PC or tablet given the usual inclusion of video and other media. What’s more I rarely read every article a blog publishes. I prefer to read by the subject. If I have a insatiable hunger for FarCry3 reviews, I want only FarCry3 reviews.

In sweeps Readlists like a squirrel in one of those flying squirrel suits. Loads of articles, all derived from related lists, straight to my kindle, inbox, phone or PC. How does it work? Should I even bother? Let’s check it out. (more…)

Jaconda – A Great API for IM Group Collaboration

Collaboration Software is nothing new. As early as the 1990s big companies were developing cool programs that enabled people to work remotely, together. They were reserved for the larger corporations. Now web apps such as Basecamp have revolutionised the scene enabling any group such as college students working on assignments or AppStorm writers brainstorming for ideas to work together; no matter where they are in the world.

While this is all well and good there are limitations. A company called Jaconda realised that web development teams were often ignored when it came to collaboration software. What there was on offer didn’t amount to much. So they released their own app to allow motley crews of developers to code happily together. Upon my first glance it appeared to be nothing more than a glorified IM system. But when I looked closer I found a cool API that would surely impress team leaders.

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Website heatmaps have revolutionised how major companies, particularly the ones trying to sell you something, design their website. For those of us unfamiliar with heatmaps they’re graphical overlays which demonstrate ‘high’ usage parts of a webpage.

In the early days of the Internet such information seemed unnecessary. But now, people click a lot faster than before with most webpages only open for a matter of seconds. This is thanks to both increased user browsing ability and faster connections.

So with the likes of Amazon making use of ‘Big Data’ to capture your every twitch of the mouse how can us little guys still make a buck from our website. Well MouseStats claim that they offer highly accurate heatmaps to small users. But I was sceptical. Heatmaps have been reserved for larger companies involving expensive software packages. If MouseStats actually can offer heatmaps for your website are they any use to small businesses?

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Soonr – Collaboration for Professionals

Collaborating with one another online is pretty much a prerequisite these days for small businesses, large enterprises and the humble college assignment group. Ease of use, secure file storage and the ability to work remotely in our underwear being big advantages.

Most people’s first port of call would be Google Drive. Everyone is familiar with the company, it’s free and has years of great development behind it. Yet every few weeks a new kid shows up on the block promising better security, easier usage and a more successful business as a result.

Soonr stands right in the face of the likes of Dropbox (and even alludes to the company in their promo video) and says “I’m so much better than you”. But are they just another entrant to the screaming competition that has been going on since cloud computing became layman’s speak a few years back? What can they offer me in return for both my hard earned cash, and my abandonment of my beloved Google Drive?

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