Posts Tagged

Social

One of the things I have the hardest time with is that my immediate family is so spread out. My wife and I live in Washington State, my parents and grandparents live in Hawaii and my sister lives in California. It is so hard to get to see each other on a consistent basis, and we are hardly ever all together in the same place. This makes staying in touch so much more important, but with busy lives sometimes, we always can’t stay in touch as much as we would like to.

Kincast is one of those apps that can hopefully bridge that gap of communication just a little bit more. As much as I try to talk to my parents at least once a week so that they can see our son, they still wish they could stay in touch more. The same goes for my sister and I, and so I decided to try out Kincast to see how it could help us out.

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Nowadays, it doesn’t take much to make your own website. You could probably go right now, get a site up say on WordPress.com, and have it running in about 5-10 minutes without even need to know anything about writing code. That’s made a basic site not enough. If you are like me, you not only want to create a website, but you want it to look good and to work well, but also not cost an arm and a leg. But still, you’ll likely want to create sites for all of your projects.

I’ve recently been trying out a new web app called Strikingly, which carves out its own niche for creating sites. It is not quite as powerful as WordPress, but still has some outstanding features. Let’s take a look at Strikingly in depth.

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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.

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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…)

The world wide web can be a dangerous place for me at times, especially when I see a cool new product. I have a hard time when I come across a cool iPhone case, or some other cool gadget that I just “need” to have. I know I am somewhat obsessed with technology, but I always feel like I have to have the latest and greatest. Granted, I don’t go too overboard and I make sure to stay within my limit and there are times when I have to save the item that I want for later and actually save up for it.

There are a variety of ways that I have tried to save things that I find on the internet that I want to buy later. I have bookmarked websites and I have also tried to use sites like Pinterest and Clipboard as well. Needless to say, for whatever reason none of the things that I have tried seemed to work well. So, a little while back I found out about Wanelo, which is a place where you can store things that you want to buy. But it is more than just that, it is kind of like Pinterest, but more of a niche service. Let me show you what I am talking about.

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One of my favorite rituals is to wake up early in the morning, while the rest of the family is sleeping, make a nice pot of coffee and sit down and read the tech news of the last 24 hours. This is something that I have been doing for the past three years or so, and it is my time to just sit and be. I love using Google Reader to collect all of the tech news that I am interested in reading and over time, I feel like I have crafted a pretty solid list of blogs and news outlets to stay on top of the latest and greatest.

But, how I consume all of this information is a little more difficult than putting together a list of great tech blogs to read. For me, Google Reader on the web just doesn’t cut it. I tend to do most of my reading on my iPad Mini and I have been faithful to The Early Edition because I liked their newspaper layout and the settings. The other day, I was introduced to Feedly - the web app – by my editor, and I was instantly hooked. It’s a nice, iPad style news reading app for the web, one you should be sure to try out.

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The web has made it possible to be able to share anything we want to show off to close friends and people we may not even know. The problem is, it’s not so easy to share large files with everyone, and social networks and email aren’t designed for sharing much more than smallish pictures and documents. There’s Dropbox, but then you have to manage files and folders, and keep everything on your computer still.

I have tried out a variety of apps that can let you send big files, but they all seem to have a “catch” to them. For the past few days, I have been able to play around with Dropify, a new sharing service, and the one thing that I appreciate about it is the ease at which I could get a file on there and share it with the world. It made sending files a breeze. If you need to send large files, you need to read further.

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The web can be a powerful place to advertise and to promote your business or yourself. There are so many different ways to advertise on the net and depending on how much you are willing to spend in time and money, you can definitely be creative with what you are trying to promote. But sometimes we don’t have the time or the finances to create something that goes viral and gets us a ton of exposure. Sometimes, we just want a simple way to let people know about our business or just to promote ourselves.

If you fall into this category, don’t fear, there are still a wide variety of ways that you can promote your business on the web without having to fork over a lot of money. One of those ways can be done using a cool web app called Onepager, where you can create your own page to promote just about anything you want to. I have been playing with it for most of the day and I have to say I was intrigued by it and I could definitely see the different possibilities for how it can be used.

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There are so many good books to read, movies to watch, and music to listen to. I don’t know about you, but I always find myself without enough time in the day to be able to sit down and just dive into a good book. Then, there are those times when I hear a good song on the radio and I try to remember it so I can buy it later, but that never works. I am not sure if it’s because I am getting older (I am really not that old), but I cannot seem to remember things unless I write them down.

I have been using a web app called Done Note Done to jot down some of the books, music, and movies that I want to check out. It has been a good way for me to keep track of all the things that I want to get to later – with a dash of social networking thrown in. Granted, you can use your favorite task manager for this as well, but this app may just get me to read and watch more movies. Let’s take a deeper look into Done Not Done.

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Over the past couple of years I have built a pretty solid, interactive group of people on both Facebook and Twitter, including close, personal friends and others that I have met through various opportunities. I appreciate the most that I can throw out an idea or question to my friends on both networks, and I can usually get a wide range of responses. Sometimes you get recommendations from someone that are just awesome ideas, while others confirm that your original hunch was correct. Either way, you’ll end up with a ton of things you want to try out.

With the new year arriving, I started to make some lists for myself and our family, goals that we want to see ourselves accomplish over the next year. As I started down this process, I was making all kinds of lists, and remembered an app called Well.io that helps you create lists with a social twist. The gist behind Well.io is that you create a list and have others help contribute to it, which lets you get ideas from friends in a more structured format than what I’d been doing.

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