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Social Networking

Social networks are precious data mines that are available for free. Accessing them isn’t a problem as all popular social network APIs are open and free. Making sense of the billions of existing messages and the millions that are generated everyday is where the problem arises. From customer feedback to competition analysis, social networks have opened a whole a new frontier for businesses.

Web apps of varying sizes and formats are available to track, monitor and consume the social data in a meaningful way. Sprout Social is one among them and it emphasizes on the four components of social media effectiveness: Monitoring, Engagement, Measurement and Growth. Let’s take a closer look!

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We all have done it or thought about it at one time or another: keeping a proverbial Bucket List, a list of all the major things you plan to do. It is one of those things that I don’t necessarily keep a good track of as some other people do, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have things that I want to make sure I do before I pass on. I haven’t necessarily decided whether I should actually sit down and make one at some point as I take the approach of “one day at a time.”

Having the opportunity to try out Bucketlistly over the past couple of weeks has really made me think twice about making a bucket list for myself and our family. The developer of the app has taken what is a simple task and turned it into a social network of sorts. At first I thought the concept was a little interesting, but the more I played with it, the more I started to see how useful it could be. Let me show you more of the app and you can decide for yourself whether you want to use it or not.

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I have always been jealous of others that are able to be disciplined enough to keep a journal and be consistent with it. I have tried so many different times to start one, only to stop in a week or two. I tried a variety of ways to make this happen, including pen and paper,  typing, using cool apps to do it, but nothing seems to work for me. I struggle with this because, I feel like I am at a point in my life where I want to be more reflective as there are some very significant things happening right now and I want to be able to look back on them and see what my thoughts were.

A few weeks ago, I came across a web app called Loccit, that takes a different approach on journaling. When I watched their video on how it works, I started to realize that they may be on to something. Their whole premise is to take the apps that you use on an every day basis to share what is going on in your life and bundle them into one to create your own journal. Now, there are other similar services out there that do this, but this one just seemed like it was interesting to try.

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Ever find you’d like to share a bit more than your Facebook status update or Tweet will let you? Perhaps you’d be interested in writing more long-form content, or sharing more context with your images, but you don’t want to go to the trouble of setting up a blog. You have a story to tell, and you don’t want to have to figure out 50 thousand settings to just write and share what you wrote with your social network friends. And if you discover other great stories from other people in the process, that’s great.

Sounds like you need Storylane. It’s the latest twist on an almost-blog app that feels more like a social network. Similar to Tumblr, but even simpler, it lets you have the space to tell your full story, not just 140 characters of it. And it’s rather fun to use, too.

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I don’t know about you, but since the dawn of social networking sites, I’ve managed to put a great deal of information about myself on the web. I have posted status updates on Facebook, tweeted, shared my location on FourSquare, instagrammed photos, pinned art to Pinterest, put my resume on LinkedIn and so much more. To sum up, I’ve generally managed to probably overshare a great deal of my life, and now that information is there and waiting for the next time someone searches my name.

With this tendency towards oversharing having become the norm, a growing number of sites are popping up which allow us to create and protect our overall online presence or “brand.” Vizify is a relatively new (still in public beta) site which allows you to create an interactive and visually appealing infographic landing page. The site connects with the social networks of your choosing in order to summarize and showcase the best of your (appropriate) online presence. Stay with me after the jump to learn more about this exciting new service and what I think about using it.

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As the web continues to get better and better, something that I take for granted a lot of the time is the amount of information that is on it. It continues to amaze me at how I can type in a random question or phrase and usually always find an answer very quickly and easily. Add on top of that the increase in blogging and how easy it is for someone to set one up, you will soon have an internet with an almost infinite wealth of knowledge.

But, what about those times where you want to ask a specific question to people, and you want to gather information and opinions in somewhat real time? Yes, a Google search can help with that, but it doesn’t always get the job done. Enter in a web app called Branch, where you can ask questions in real time and get answers from the millions of people around the world. I have been able to test it out over the past week or so, and I have learned some interesting things about it and how it works.

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How many of us are connected to Facebook and Twitter 24/7, but couldn’t pick our next door neighbors out of a lineup? Well there’s a new service that aims to bridge this gap: Nextdoor. Yes, it’s another social network, but this time, it’s one designed to help you get to know the people that really live around you in your own neighborhood.

Nextdoor was launched in October 2011 and has over 4,500 neighborhoods signed up in 48 states. You can use it it to get recommendations for babysitters, see recent crime activity, and invite neighbors to your upcoming Halloween party. Instead of posting fliers on your neighbors’ doors, post to Nextdoor when you want to throw a party or get a recommendation for a lawn service.

Or at least that’s the idea. Let’s see just how easy it is to create an online neighborhood and get your neighbors to join and participate.

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Social networking sites abound all over the Internet these days. That’s why, when a new social networking site and concept arrive on the scene, it’s always interesting to take a look and see how they will attempt to set themselves apart.

Evemi, a social network still in beta mode, is one of the newest sites on the scene. Rather than make connections based upon physical factors and already established connections, Evemi links you with others who share one or more of your interests. Traditional social networking tools, like location-based connections, are sure to become more of a focus as the number of users increases, but for the time being, Evemi is a unique new site. Stick with me after the jump to learn more about this interesting new site and what I think of it.

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Family gatherings are always somewhat bittersweet for me since my immediate family lives about 2,000 miles away and can’t necessarily come to where we are, and vice versa. Now, with our little boy in the picture, they make it here more, but it still isn’t the same. We try our best to stay in touch with them through Skype, and sending pictures on our blog, but it never seems to be enough. Not only that, but the majority of my family members are not on social media sites like Facebook, so that doesn’t help either.

All that to say, I am always looking for ways that our family can stay updated with each other through the beauty of the web. With family all over the western United States, that can be tough, but I came across a web app called Family Leaf a little while back and I was somewhat intrigued by what it did and what it could accomplish for families like mine. After I started to play with it a bit, I knew that I had to try to convince the rest of my extended family to sign up as well.

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Microblogging is everywhere. Twitter and Facebook have popularized updating the world on our status, and now, most of us use it daily. From the way it allows people to communicate and requiring minimal effort to the fact that it could be considered one of the most effective ways to communicate with people as a whole in the digital realm, it’s no wonder that so many businesses embrace microblogging in the ways in which it deserves.

For this reason, people have tried to do the concept justice and create new and innovative ways of using it to really get people talking. It’s no further surprise that smart tools like StatusNet have sprung up to make the process a lot simpler for enterprises looking at embracing the social network format that we’ve seen so many times before. Read on to find out more about StatusNet and its powerful set of features.

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