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Social Media

We don’t live on a single site or write on a single blogging platform any more. Instead, more and more of us are opting to use a range of social networks and services. We post photos to Flickr, blog in WordPress, update our status on Twitter and Facebook, bookmark with del.icio.us, share items in Google Reader, checkin with Gowalla, and more.

It can be a pain to update them all consistently, and even more frustrating to pull all of your online data together. In an effort to remedy this problem, many people spend their time putting together a site and embedding various widgets from each site, but that can take considerable amounts of time and can even be expensive depending on how you do it.

Pubwich is an open-source web application that does that job for you, bring together multiple services into one self-hosted webpage, much like the scenario I previously explained. Just a head’s up though – before we get into the review – that this is not a web application per se because it will require you to find a hosting solution yourself. Once you do, though, you’ll be up and running in no time.

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In the real world, we carry identification cards, drivers licenses, passports, and more to make sure people know who we say we are. No matter where you live, you’ve likely got one official ID that covers almost anything you’d need verified. Even just your name and date of birth is often enough.

For all the talk of needing a universal online ID, though, truth is your email address is really your online ID. Here’s some ways to keep your email safe, and still share your email with others.

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Facebook has been chastised a lot over the years for their constant stream of small (sometimes unannounced) changes that they’ve made to the site: moving the chat around several times, modifying the profile, changing how news is displayed, and more. These have each been strongly criticized by people who immediately hate changes. Facebook’s Timeline, when it finally rolls out, is going to be a huge change and I know people will hate it just because.

Here’s a quick overview of the new changes, so you’ll hopefully be more prepared when they’re finally implemented. Quick hint: Timeline looks awesome, and odds are, you’ll love it!

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Creating buzz online is no easy task. Unlike conventional media channels, you can’t popularize a brand with a blitzkrieg ad campaign. Throwing money at banner ads and Google AdSense won’t help much either. To create a sustainable, positive and grass roots level word of mouth chatter, your campaign should go viral.

Going viral requires some really cool ideas that grab the attention of people in few seconds or less. One key ingredient of such a successful campaign is a gorgeous landing page that reveals hardly anything arousing curiosity. A landing page might sound like a single static HTML page, but when done right it can and will work wonders for your brand.

Kickoff Labs emphasizes that it helps you acquire customers. That’s a bold statement and I’m not going to believe them until I try it out myself. Care to join me?

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After taking a break from social networking, I was interested to see a review of the Twitter app Wren in our sister site Mac.AppStorm.net. Wren’s a beautifully designed app for posting on Twitter … and nothing else. You can’t see your Twitter feed, DMs, @replies, or anything else. All you can do is post your thoughts to Twitter.

Sounds like a crazy idea perhaps, but truth be told, most of us are bombarded with too much information anyhow. It’s nice to share your thoughts online throughout the workday, and sometimes you come across something you feel you’ve got to share. Problem is, you’ll likely find yourself still browsing random links a half hour later instead of getting back to work.

Wren is a Mac-only app, and it’s only for Twitter. But turns out, most social networks have a way to post online without getting distracted by your feeds. Here’s how you can use Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and even Reddit and Hacker News in a distraction-free way.

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People sure do ask a lot of questions. When you’re trying to make a large purchase, or find a new tool for your needs, chances are you’ll come up with a ton of questions you want to ask. Since a lot of purchasing of products and services is happening online, it’s only natural for potential customers to expect an active communication channel to get their questions answered. While not everyone expects a toll free number, a decent FAQ section is absolutely mandatory.

Answerbase is a web app that helps you to create and add a Q&A community on your website in just a couple of minutes. The Q&A platform enables the visitors on your website to ask questions and get relevant answers regarding your products or service. We’ll take a look at how to create a Q & A site ourselves after the break.

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Anyone who’s anyone in the social media game these days is familiar with Klout. It’s a service that measures your social media influence across multiple platforms by determining who you engage with and how effectively you engage with them. It’s a great metric for determining who you influence, how much you influence them, and what you’re influential about. But what if you want to take it a step further, and make your social media engagement more effective? Crowdbooster is a (relatively) new service designed to do just that.

Crowdbooster gives you “tweet-level” metrics on how your message fares on its journey toward reaching as many people as possible. Then, it gives you actionable suggestions of how to utilize that information to increase your influence. Crowdbooster is presently in closed beta, and while anyone can sign up for an invite, you can never be sure of how long the waiting list is. I was fortunate enough to score an invite through Klout, and here is what I’ve found.

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Even before the social media revolution, we have always linked to popular things things we find online, usually the latest trends and things that popular people are using. I like Will Smith and might be willing to check out the gadgets or apps he is using. However, not everyone likes Will Smith (outrageous, I know). But we all like our friends (at least we hope so!).

Usually, there is a very good reason we’re friends with the people we are – we have a lot in common. So, if they liked something, there is a very good chance you might like it too. Strawberryj.am, wants to show you what is popular, right now. The web app does this by analyzing what links your friends are sharing the most. Let’s take it for a spin to find out more about this social app.

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Google+ is in many ways the hottest social network in these days.  It’s reported to have gotten 25 million users faster than any other social network, and has already seen a lot of engagement from popular users. Whether it’s found a place in your social networking life or not, Google+ can definitely be another great way to promote your products and site, just like Facebook, Twitter, and more.  While Facebook has an official badge creator, Google+ is yet to provide the same.  In this article, we’ll have a look at some Google Plus profile widget creators that can help you get one in seconds.

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The biggest problem that faces anyone trying to make a name for themselves, their band, book or company is gaining quality exposure. You could have the best idea in the world, but without a great marketing department capable of generating word of mouth discussion, it’s likely to stagnate and die.

What’s more, most digital products (software, books, music, etc.) are available for free online. This takes the wind out of the sails of most would-be musicians, artists and authors. What’s needed is a new payment model that works with this trend, instead of the conventional ‘pay and receive’.

Pay with a Tweet have solved both of these problems. It does pretty much what it says on the can and on the face of things it seems like a cop-out for artists. But frankly, for the clever entrepreneur it’s anything but. It’s finally a way to make paying forward a real part of business.

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