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Two years ago, we asked you what was your favorite social network. You split the vote almost exactly in thirds between Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, that is if you don’t include the 11% that said they can’t stand social networking.

It’s a different world today in many ways, but the tides really don’t seem to have changed that much in social networking. Google+, if anything, has continued to be less popular than Facebook and Twitter, despite its continued improvements. Facebook has continued to change its settings and design on a regular basis, but we all keep coming back to it since everyone else is there. And Twitter, despite shutting down most 3rd party apps, has continued to grow and dominate the public online conversation.

There’s other networks, of course. App.net was started to make a Twitter alternate that’s more developer friendly, and has turned into quite the nice network of its own. And blog platform Tumblr was bought out by Yahoo! not just because it’s a great place to start a blog, but also because it’s actually a social network of a sort. And that’s not all. Mobile messaging apps like Line have taken the world — or Asia at least — by storm, and are building up their own in-app social networks.

My personal loyalties lie divided between Twitter and App.net, and I only seldom use Facebook and nearly never use Google+. How about you? We’d love to hear what social networks you prefer in 2013.

I’ve tried archival services for Twitter in the past, and they can be terribly handy when you need to find a link you shared in the past or some old conversation you had months back. Journalists, especially, are likely to end up finding the services very useful. But now that I’ve been using App.net a lot more, I’ve started searching for apps that would help me search through my ADN account.

I ended up stumbling upon a web service called Watermark.io, provided by Riverfold Software (the same developer behind the fantastic Tweet Library archive service). Watermark.io supports not only my ADN archive, but also my Twitter archive, which makes it great no matter which social network you prefer — and especially great if you use both services a lot.

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You’ve likely already heard of App.net, the new paid social network that’s similar to Twitter, yet more developer friendly. App.net is something that I was cautious about trying. After all, a subscription is $36 a year. I wrestle with giving up any money on a monthly or annual basis, especially for a service that I don’t know will continue to be around.

That being said, I’m past my worrying. ADN is going to be here for a while, and I think there’s never been a better time to join (perhaps with the free accounts we’re giving away below). Here’s why.

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There has been much said about Google’s decision to shut down Google Reader, and while for many people it is just another closure of a little used service, for lots of others it means losing a valuable source of news.

If you had come to rely on Google’s news reader to keep up to date with the latest news and posts from your favorite websites – including Web.AppStorm! – you could turn to Twitter to plug the gap. Here we’ll take a look at Twitter lists and show how they can be used as a viable alternative to RSS feeds.

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When Google announced that they planned to close Reader on July 1, the online community’s reaction varied from surprised approval, to shocked horror. Google’s decision was based on the flagging number of users who still use feeds in preference to social media.

But as any self-respecting RSS aficionado will know, flicking through your tweets, or browsing your Facebook timeline, isn’t the best way of finding interesting content. Until now, though, there have been very few services providing a halfway house between feeds and social media.

Rockmelt, which was once a socially-orientated web browser, has been reinvented as a social media-based, feed-reading network. But is Rockmelt‘s new course bound for being accepted as a great new way to read the news, or is it heading more in the direction of the doomed FriendFeed? Let’s see.

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The social media revolution has undoubtedly broadened our social horizons, but, in my case certainly, it has also broadened the spectrum of online chores to be completed on a daily basis. Keeping up with social media appearances, and the content-hunting which that entails, can easily turn into a full-time vocation.

There are already some apps at hand to ease this burden. Schedulers, like Hootsuite and Buffer, allow you to designate a time at which your posts and tweets should be sent out. Both of these services, and some of their competitors, also offer analytics, meaning you can track how popular each of your missives has been. Services like Feedly make the process of content-gathering easier, although trawling through a catalogue of feeds isn’t a quick process.

A new invite beta-stage startup, called Swayy, aims to streamline these processes into one, simple workflow. Swayy offers a stream of shareable content tailored to your choice of subjects, along with scheduling and analytics options. But can Swayy really be the master of all trades?

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It’s been a tragic week for the US with the Boston Marathon bombing, as well as the events that have unfolded over the past few hours with gunfights and more in Boston. There’s also been a factory explosion in Texas, ricin-laced letters sent to the president, an even worse bombing in Iraq, and more. Scary stuff.

There’s so many ways to get the news, and you’d always figure the internet would be the best way. Often it is; cable news seemed incredibly slow compared to Twitter, say, in the events of the past few hours. But local TV — which, incidentally, I watched over the internet — had some of the best coverage, as did Reddit, a site most of us wouldn’t trust for authoritative information (sorry!).

And then, if you were actually in the area of the disasters, authorities were requesting that cell phones be turned off, and during the marathon bombing the networks were nearly overloaded with calls, making internet use, at least from your phone, not such a good option. Suddenly, old-fashioned FM radio made the most sense.

It made me wonder what you turn to first when you need immediate news. Do you turn a dial on a radio still, or are you more likely to turn on the TV? Or is Twitter the first place you’d think to check?

Have you ever wanted to integrate Twitter in real-time in your presentations, or perhaps on a team monitor screen in your office? There’s so many ways you can put the live data from Twitter to use for your events and more, if only you have a simple and elegant way to display it. That’s what LiveTweetApp, our sponsor this week, brings to the table.

LiveTweetApp helps you search, moderate and display tweets on a big screen during an event. Tweets get directly displayed as a Twitter Wall either one a time, or as a poster, where tweets sit next to each other. Your live tweet display fits into each event with the customization of colors and logo.

However, we think automatic Twitter Walls aren’t suitable for every context. That’s where moderation comes in. LiveTweetApp includes this important feature so you can easily go through each aggregated tweet and select the ones you want to approve or reject. Or, you can create automated walls that show new tweets automatically, unmoderated. It’s your choice, so your LiveTweetApp tweet wall will work the way you want.

Track Live Tweets Yourself!

Ready to create your own Live Tweet wall? You can create a LiveTweetApp account for free and start grabbing tweets from many hashtags, mentions and users as you like and can display up 30 at the same time. Then, you can upgrade your account for 72 hours at a time starting at 19€ so you’ll just pay for premium features when you’re doing an event, or you can get a monthly account.

Best of all, if you’ve tried out LiveTweetApp and want to get a pro pack, you can get 50% off the pro pack by entering the coupon code APPSTORM this week. And hurry: the deal is only good for the first 500 users.

Think you’ve got a great app? Sign up for a Weekly Sponsorship slot just like this one.

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 I first started to use Twitter about three years ago, I saw it more as a social tool, a place where I could let people know what I was up to and see what my friends were doing as well. It took me a good five months or so to truly realize how powerful Twitter could actually be and how beneficial it could be for me. I finally understood that it was more than just a place to tell people what I just ate, but it was a way where I could almost instantaneously get news and breaking stories on just about any topic that was going on in the world.

Fast forward a couple of years, and Twitter has continued to evolve. Not just the app itself, but the way that Twitter is used has changed. Take, for example, the hashtag. At first, it was a nice way for us to label tweets as we wrote them. But over time the hashtag has become a powerful way to aggregate tweets and to cut through the noise.

Now, there’s apps built fully around Twitter hashtags, such as Tagboard. Tagboard specializes in this and is able to hone in on making hashtags even more powerful than they already are.

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