Category Archives: Technology

Update!

Wow– can’t believe how much I’ve let myself neglect this blog. I’m making another comeback…starting today. :)

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Hibernate.

I’ve been lacking posts on here! Also I promised a Google+ review, which is sadly, still not complete. But I haven’t forgotten! I’m just getting settled with a number of things and will be back posting regularly this week. First up will be my Google+ thoughts. In the meantime, however, here are a few posts I’ve done for Daily Waffle:

How To Cleanse Your Digital Footprint

Will Netflix Thrive in Europe?

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Google+ Review: Soon I Promise!

I’m working on a lengthy, fun review of Google+, which unsurprisingly, is taking me a long time to get through. Mostly because I’m distracted by the real world (e.g. Harry Potter, Women’s World Cup, errands and more Harry Potter), but also because I’m giving my review a lot of thought. It will be finished soon! Think you’ll enjoy it. Until then…

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Filed under Google, Harry Potter, Technology

Facebook & Skype

Facebook’s “awesome” event this past week was, I think, the first of many integrations we’ll start to see on world’s largest social network. Having already pioneered so many of social media’s innovations, it appears that it’s time for it to take a tip or two from others.

Hence, Facebook + Skype.

Critics may argue that this announcement was Facebook’s attempt to backfire against Google+. Maybe they’re right but who knows. Maybe not. I think inserting video chat onto the platform was an inevitability. Arguably, it may have even been better to announce it while the topic of video chat was hot, with the introduction of hangouts on Google+. Furthermore, it was better for it to team up with the most popular video chat platform instead of trying to compete against it.

Regardless, the new product is rather “awesome” (for some reason, I feel strange using Zuckerberg’s words). Not groundbreaking in any way, but practical. Setup was easy and it works like a charm. There’s nothing to complain about. It could become useful for business settings, especially when and if (the if really isn’t necessary– it definitely will happen) group chat is added.

So kudos, Facebook. This move was smart. You’ll continue to make smart moves by welcoming third parties onto your platform in the future. It’s a nice change. Plus, by consolidating the number of portals we use, we’ll be more than happy to spend more time on your site, which is what you want anyways.

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Filed under Facebook, Google, Skype, Social Media, Technology

In-Stream Ads On Twitter: Coming Soon!

Remember a little over a year ago, when Twitter made it clear that ads on the site were the dreaded word, inevitable? That they would be incorporated over time?

We all panicked, made some angry tweets, and then realized that for the most part nothing really changed. The #newtwitter arrived, which we all came around to enjoy, and even the ‘Who to Follow’ tab had its perks. It seemed that the only advertisement was that constant, #1 spot on the Top Trends list– otherwise known as the Promoted trend.

–Today’s Promoted trend (6/27) is #GreenCity. Sadly, though, I’m not sure what that’s in reference to.

And so it was. Some users, myself included, welcomed promoted trends and tweets and let them become an integral part of our user experience.

Fast forward to the present– TechCrunch reported a few days ago that more ads, specifically, in-stream ads on Twitter will be implemented…soon. This decision, and this move into a more corporate atmostphere shouldn’t be shocking. Just look at Facebook and its success with ads and applications. TechCrunch’s article highlights that this past year, Facebook expects $3.5 billion in ad revenues. That is absolutely stunning.

In comparison, Twitter expects $100 million. Not too shabby, but clearly, changes are in order. Again, the word inevitable comes to mind– it’s simply just the way the world turns in this century.

But as TechCrunch reporter, Alexia Tsotsis, points out:

So while there should be little doubt that in-stream Twitter advertisements are imminently on the horizon, the question is whether users will take to them, or whether they’ll revolt…Then again, actual user reaction will depend on the execution, look and feel of the final in-stream as product, which we know very little about. If the Promoted Tweets blink and take up your entire screen and look like crap then sure, users will be angry.

This is so true. So long as Twitter implements ads in a non-harrassing way, I have no doubt they’ll be effective. And if I were a betting (wo)man, I’d bet they’ll also be welcomed by users in no time. Just like the new Twitter was.

Can’t say it any better than that. So I won’t even try.

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Filed under Advertisements, Social Media, TechCrunch, Technology, Twitter

Pottermore: A New Era of Literature

Harry Potter was the original online fandom. You can thank it for midnight releases and the terms “fanboy” and “fangirl” and most importantly, “shipping.”

All of which are now vital to all fandoms in any industry. Books, movies, television and so forth. If you don’t believe me, go onto Tumblr and search for the amount of blogs dedicated to shippers of Lea Michele and Dianna Agron’s characters on ‘Glee.’ You will be stunned by how much Gleeks want this pair, known by “Achele” or “Faberry,” to get together.

Back to Harry, though.

Yesterday, author JK Rowling released a huge announcement regarding the Harry Potter series on YouTube. What she revealed was Pottermore: a new, inventive, up and coming project where you can read her international bestsellers online. Here’s the video. I highly recommend you watch it:

So aside from the leaked material about Pottermore and other mishaps that occurred with yesterday’s announcement, what exactly does this mean?

Pottermore is what I like to think of as a new era of literature. A pave way for digital media and fiction to come together in the best way possible. And it’s only fitting that this fandom (the original one I’d like to emphasize again!) is the first to pioneer this new direction.

As Rowling describes, PotterMore is “an online reading experience unlike any other…the same story, with a few crucial additions, the most important one, is you…Pottermore will be the place where fans of any age can participate in, and rediscover the stories.”

The rediscovering part is where Rowling plays a major role. It is reported that she has nearly 18,000 words and other, new material that all Harry Potter fans can find on Pottermore.

So it’s part book, part new material, part encyclopedia, part interaction. Almost like a real-time video game– for book nerds like me. As a fanatic of the series, this is very, very exciting. I’ll spare you my gushing, however, and leave it at that.

This revelation also proves that once again, digital media is winning. It’s persuading all forms of traditional media to embrace all that is possible on the Internet. And since so much of the Potter series’ success is due to its online fandom, it’s pretty darn cool that this project is coming to life. For those that participated in it when Rowling was still writing, and for those who will fall in love with Harry’s story in years to come.

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Filed under Culture, Digital Media, Harry Potter, JK Rowling, Literature, PotterMore, Technology

foursquare’s 10 Millionth Check-in.

10 million users for any platform is impressive. Really impressive, actually. Lucky for foursquare, which can now say it’s a part of this club. Reports from TechCrunch and MSNBC’s Technolog describe the social network’s announcement today that it has surpassed 10 million users across the globe.

Of course, this is exciting for all tech junkies and anyone who supports social media across the board.

But this announcement signifies just how wrong I’ve been about foursquare since its existence. I guess letting everyone know where you are at all times of every day has become more of a fad than I ever thought possible. Please note my sarcasm. Still trying to wrap my head around the safety, purpose and direction this service will take in the future. If it ever is made clear to me, maybe I’ll join. Just maybe.

Though I must admit, the stats given with the press release on the growth and history of foursquare are pretty cool. My favorite–since March 2009, foursquare has had 1,061 birth announcements, based on recorded check-ins at hospitals. It’s incredible when you really think about it.

You can see the rest here:

foursquare statistics

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