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?
As much as we all were sent in shock and general frustration/unhappiness with Google when they decided to let us know they were pulling the plug on Reader, there definitely has been some good to come out of it. It has shed light on other apps that are out there for RSS and better yet, it has given developers the opportunity to create something different and better than what Reader was. It has given people the ability to take a step back, think about what was good about Reader, and then create something that builds on that legacy.
MultiPlx is one of those apps. It is taking things that were good about Google Reader and then adding another layer to – hopefully – make it better. Currently, it is in beta, but there are doing some good things to make me believe that my RSS feeds won’t just go away when Google kills reader this summer. Let’s take a more in depth look at MultiPlx and what it has to offer.
Yes, this is another post on another type of Google Reader replacement, but this one takes a little different strategy than some of the others that are out there. As you know, we at Web.AppStorm have been scouring the internet for replacements for our Reader fix. A little while back, I did a review on Taptu, which I actually do like and think it can be a solid replacement. But, as always the tech nerd in me is always searching for something better, something that can really meet all my needs for a replacement.
Unfortunately, I don’t think I will honestly find something on the web that will satisfy me unless it syncs with my iOS devices. But, the one that I am about to review today definitely got my attention, enough so that I actually decided to pay for the app. Yes, we have been spoiled with a free service like Google Reader, but in my opinion that is what led to its demise; Google just didn’t want to bother with a product that wasn’t going to make money. But I digress, time to switch gears and talk about Feedbin, a possible RSS reader replacement that you might actually want to pay for as well. Let’s take a look.
As an educator who is obsessed with technology, I am always looking for ways in which my class and I can use technology to help enhance their learning. I am also looking for ways to utilize the web with students as much as I can because it usually offers two things that are great for education. One, with the web, apps are usually accessible where ever there is a browser available, and that means students have no excuse to be able to access it. Two, most times, web apps are low cost or even free, which with education, is a huge thing being that budgets are always tight.
So, when I got to play around with Padlet for a couple of days, I really got excited for how I could use this both in my personal life as well as with my students. Padlet takes the concept of a blank piece of paper, and lets you put whatever you want on it and share it with people. With the web, this takes this “blank piece of paper” concept and lets you do even more. Let me show you more about what I am talking about.
With the advent of the smartphone, we are increasingly taking more and more pictures all the time. What makes it even worse, or better depending on how you look at it, is that smartphones are starting to get better in picture quality and almost rivaling mid-level digital cameras. Then we have apps like Instagram, Facebook, Flickr, etc., where we can take and host our pictures for free or for a nominal fee. Needless to say,we all have quite a collection of pictures that we have taken over the years in a variety of different places. Some of them are in Instagram, maybe some on Facebook, and others on our computer.
Over the past year, there have been a few services that have come up that are willing to host your photos and gather them from all of these different places and charge you a fee to do that. Now, granted some of these services have been around for years, Flickr and Photo Bucket to name a few, but it has only been recent that developers are seriously targeting this market for the everyday user. For example, the web app that I have been testing out, Trovebox, caters to and targets the everyday user who wants a place to store their photos. Unlike their competitors, they have some features that set them apart, but will it be enough to convince people to make the switch? Let’s take a look.
One of the things that I truly love about social media is how you can make connections with people that you have never met before in real life. For example, my editor and I live on practically opposite ends of the earth, we have never met face to face, but yet, I feel like I know him decently well. It is amazing how many people I have been able to connect with and share ideas and talk tech through social media. There is something about it that makes people feel “safe”, and they can let their guard down and be themselves.
Over the past year or so, I have started to see a different type of social media avenue crop up around the web. These are sites where you can throw out a question to people, and you let the power of social media help with getting you an answer. There are formal sites like Branch and Quora that are set up for this, and then you have informal ones like Twitter and Facebook where you can solicit feedback as well. But, the app that I have been testing for the past few days, Yabbly, takes a somewhat different approach and so far, I like what I see.
I’m not only a confessed app junkie, I’m an email hoarder, too. I just counted the number of accounts in Thunderbird and there are a whopping 19 email accounts that I monitor for various reasons. That’s not to mention my various social media accounts. As you can guess, I am always on the lookout for the next great app and I may have stumbled upon one.
Enter Unified Inbox, a new app designed to bring all of your inboxes together. It’s currently free in invite-only beta, and let’s find out how Unified Inbox can wrangle your email and social media accounts and keep you on top of your game. (more…)
When my mother gifted me a copy of Haruki Murakami’s IQ84 a few weeks ago, I felt weird holding reading material in my hands. I suddenly realized that most of the reading I did through 2012 was on screens, and consisted mainly of blog posts and articles online. While I’m not happy that my balance of reading literature and non-fiction is totally out of whack, I now understand that reading online is undeniably a big part of my life.
That said, it’s great to have tools to keep track of what you read on the web — I subscribe to RSS feeds aplenty using Google Reader, save stuff for later with Pocket, and have set up a recipe with IFTTT to push links from my favorited tweets to Pocket as well. But wouldn’t it be nice to have a community of fellow fans of longform content, to share new things to read with? Enter Readingly.
One of the things that I absolutely love about the web is that it’s a place where people can start to collaborate on projects and other things. As the web improves so does creating projects and collaborating on them, which opens up more possibilities for great things to happen. What is so great is that web apps are starting to replace desktop apps and are actually on par with them as far as features, and throw in social features and they’re even better than desktop apps could be.
Take for example a web app called Mural.ly, which gives the user a plain canvas on the web that they can use to their liking and then share it with others to collaborate on. What makes this so attractive is the fact that you can use Mural.ly for a wide variety of tasks and it can be used by just about anyone that needs a space to share things and get feedback. Not only that, but the developers of the app have made it very user friendly and have given you the ability to use many different formats to create your project. Let’s take a look.