Archive for category Tools

HootSuite Adds More Awesome to Hootlet with AutoSchedule – HootSuite Social Media Management


HootSuite / Hootlet has become one of my favorite tools to manage twitter accounts and my Facebook account and Facebook pages for myself and my clients.  I’ve tried many but this web based service seems to have the best of both words and I have come to expect it on all the machines I work on.

HootSuite Adds More Awesome to Hootlet with AutoSchedule

Post is in the News & Events Parent Category July 17, 2012 by Andy Au0

HootSuite adds more awesome to Hootlet with new features including AutoSchedule – a powerful new link share tool that determines the optimal time to schedule social media messaging. Now you can automatically queue messages throughout the day to maintain a consistent social media presence.

via HootSuite Adds More Awesome to Hootlet with AutoSchedule – HootSuite Social Media Management.

Hootlet – Time Saver

This Chrome extension is one of the first I add to any machine I work on.  It has saved me countless hours.  One of the new time savers is Auto-schedule feature.    When I’m pushing content to my to biggest twitter accounts try and space it out.  So you can imaging when you are pushing 20 updates the time management can get a bit tricky.  Now this is taken care of.   I have used it today and like it thus far.

Schedule Still Works

Now, if I’m managing a campaign for a client, I still manage the schedule manually.  I can release the updates to Twitter and Facebook based on the campaign we have designed.  This still remains so you don’t lose anything there.

Possible Improvements

Here are some ideas I would love to see in this new capability:

  • Load Balancing – As you put more updates in, they auto-adjust to spread out over time, maybe a range you give them.  9 to 5 or 7 to 7, don’t know.
  • More Automation – Since HootSuite is already watching, they should build in auto-responder capability.  That would be awesome.
  • 7 Drip Logic – Have a singe post/update  set for distribution X number of times.  The logic here is that a message doesn’t really sink in until it’s heard 7 times by the consumer.

So what do you think of the tool?  What other suggestions would you recommend to HootSuite.

Good Hunting!

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

4 Comments

Photo Booth: Icebreaker for All Day Events


Have you ever been to an all day, or all weekend, event and just dreaded the beginning of each day’s start.  The awkwardness of getting to know new people, or people you don’t see often.  The desire of some to just keep their distance and slide into a chair and coast into the event,  hoping their social boundaries aren’t broadened.

Answer: Add a Photo Both

At our last family new year’s eve party, Outa-Tha-Box DJ service came to show off their stuff.  One of the items they brought was their Photo Booth.  After talk with Outa-Tha-Box owner, Paul Compton, about how he handles the Photo Booth Rental.  I learned that the photo booth can be rented by itself, and this got me to thinking.

Have a photo booth at your event to start off each morning.  This is a great item to break the ice.  The photo booth often comes with props.  The printer can print two strips, one for the participants, the second for event host / coordinator.  I have not seen a person come out of the booth without smiling.

Starting Ideas

Here are some contest ideas on what to do with the photo booth at your event.

  1. Most funny face – event attendees get to vote
  2. Most Faces – unique photos without repeating partners
  3. Best Costume - event attendees get to vote
  4. New Friend Game – you must take a picture with someone you don’t know

Just think … you too could have countless memories, like this one with my brother at our New Years Eve Party … at your next event!

Yes that's me on the right!

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

4 Comments

Flickr improves sharing options


In my weekly review of feeds concerning Web 2.0 and Web 3.0  I ran across the news that Flickr has improved their ability to share content with other sites.  As I continue to collect material for my “WEB 2.0 for Students” class that I’ll be teaching at our local college, this one hit home.  I use Flickr for my photo repository.  So it is nice to see new feature showing up in this service since I haven’t seen to many in the last year.

Flickr adds to sharing options, now easier to share photos across the Web

by Erez Zukerman on March 31, 2011 at 03:30 AM

It sure is nice to see some new developer action over at Flickr. The relatively slow-moving photo-sharing service has just announced a new sharing update, which consists of several new and easy ways to embed or link to your photos:

via Flickr adds to sharing options, now easier to share photos across the Web.

So the thought came to me that this is nice but what could be implemented to improve the experience:

  1. Photo comments made on Flickr would also be shown on the shared item in Facebook.
  2. Post comments made on the shared item would also be available on Flickr.
  3. Multiple authors – One pool.  One of the biggest problems I have with my clients.  Many photographers, one common pool to associate them with.

Either way, Flickr is a great tool to use to keep all your photos.  It’s worth a good look at if your in the market to implement such a capability.

Good Hunting.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

9 Comments

LinkedIn Today gives you social news from your peers


LinkedIn Today

LinkedIn has introduced a news aggregation service called LinkedIn Today. This delivers a personalized news experience, letting you quickly discover the top headlines of the day based around what your connections and industry peers are reading and sharing.

via LinkedIn Today gives you social news from your peers.

Well this really isn’t much of a surprise, but it is a feature I think is long overdue.  Anyone that has a large network will tell you that it’s difficult to keep up with what everyone thinks is important.  We started receiving emails with the ‘top stories’ from our networks some time ago.  I really thought that new email was helpful.  Now if they can merge in my delicious and stumbledupon and (name your tagging tool here) to this mix and make it contextual based on something you also have deemed important then we are well on our way to heading to web 3.0, in my opinion.

Either way, this is a welcome add on to LinkedIn and I look  forward to the tool’s growth in capability and features.

Good Hunting.

, , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Techno Valentines Idea: Cloud Tags


Here’s an idea I worked on and provided my wife.  And it WORKED!  Generally speaking, create a thought stream of your loved one in any word processor.  Don’t worry about sentence structure.  Just type out any word that comes to mind.  Don’t worry about punctuation.  Don’t worry about duplicating words, in fact, that’s the point.  The words that are most important should be repeated naturally in the thought stream.

Wordle Tag Cloud

You can create a cloud at Wordle.net for this exercise.  Cut and paste your text into the box they provide.  Below I have included a cloud created from one of my blog post. (I don’t think my wife would want to put my gift to her on this, it was a bit intimate … hint, hint)

Ditch the Office: Next Week is National Telework Week

Good hunting and good luck!

, , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Ditch the Office: Next Week is National Telework Week


More than 35,000 companies and organizations have pledged to participate in the event. According to the official Telework Week Website, this would save an estimated $2,451,069 and more than 1,600 tons of pollutants from entering the atmosphere. Where these numbers come from is not entirely clear, but it stands to reason that fewer people commuting would help save money and reduce pollution to some extent.

National Telework Week is sponsored by Telework Exchange and Cisco, which makes telepresence and communication products, as well as other tools to facilate remote working.

via Ditch the Office: Next Week is National Telework Week.

To: Non-Teleworkers

I would suggest you spend some time understanding what it would take to perform your work outside the office.  As I would explain to past staffs, just because a weather day or some unplanned disaster occurred, project deadlines remain the same.  If you and your manager, or if you are the manager, haven’t spent enough time creating a work force that is flexible enough to handle the unique demands of performing all department requirements outside of the normal office space, you will find yourself in the awkward situation of losing value to the company.

Disaster Recovery Planning

OK, maybe it’s because my first job in a large IT organization was helping implement the annual remote disaster recovery test plans that I seem to gravitate to this fact.  I ask all my clients, if your office burned down this weekend, what you do on Monday.  Close shop?  Declare bankruptcy? Put everything on hold until you get a new office leased?  What about your paper records?  How about your leads?  How about your contracts in progress? Are you’re files stored off-site, and if so how long would it take to get them back and running at the new location?

These are all questions that should bring a leader or manager to the point of understanding how important teleworking can be to this scenario and their organization.

Improved Productivity

An important factor in improving your productivity is to design a work environment that helps you accomplish your work faster and smarter then your competition.  Well how about all the time you are not in the office?  Are you tied to a paper filing system … how could you change that? (Evernote.com)  Can your assistant and team members update file and get them to your quickly? (DropBox.com) Can your team, partners, and client see your calendar and plan accordingly?  (Google Calendar)  Can you conduct training sessions without having to be on-prem at the client’s location? (WebEx) Can you brainstorm with your team, partners, and clients regardless of their geographical location? (MindMeister.com)  Can you manage your To-Do list, or better yet, can your assistant manage your list for you? (Remember the Milk).

My guess the most difficult thing to change in your work space is the paper trails you live with.  You probably have become so accustomed to getting something in paper, working on it, then passing it on.  Reguardless, it is possible to go paperless.  It’s worth the time to implement also.

My Office

Over the past 10 years I have moved to a paperless process.  That is how I had to look at it.  I focused on the process, not the piece of paper or some other physical object.  Many of the web based applications I mentioned above I use today.  It allows me to complete my client requests while knowing that all the items I need are right at my fingertips.

So what have you done to make it possible to telework or telecomute?  I’d love to compare notes some time.

Good Hunting.

, , , , , , , , ,

3 Comments

Team Collaboration Gets Better


Screenshot of the MindMeister mind map editor

Screenshot of the MindMeister mind map editor (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of my favorite tools for team collaboration and idea collection is MindMeister.  I use it for organizing my thoughts on large blog posts (see Marketing Warfare: The iPad Battle and Mind Map: The iPad Battle), helping my boys organize their thoughts for their school writing assignments, and many more instances.  Because it can update the mind map in real time with many users signed into the map simultaneously, I have found it to be valuable when working on conference calls while trying to keep the team focused and not hindering the collection of tangent ideas in the middle of a thought stream that is being debated.

MindMeister 4.7 has been announced with some improved features:

  • drag and drop attachments and images directly from their desktop to a selected node
  • Google API used to view attached files rather then requiring you to download them
  • a new social sidebar
  • Auto Condensing of maps
  • iCalendar task feed has been updated
  • Team Edition will now find custom branding options

Check out MindMeister, I think it will help you organize your thoughts and projects.

Good Hunting

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Social Media Tool: NutshellMail.com – account aggregation


I’ve been noticing a theme in some of the posts/news feeds/articles I’ve been reading about social media.  There seems to be a question about what is coming up next in the realm of technology now that we’ve got Twitter and Facebook clearly entrenched as leaders in the social media space.  MySpace seems to be loosing ground.  Linked is specialized for business use.  Twitter is creating so much content volume you begin to ask a the question, if I tweet and no one replies or retweets did I really tweet?  Facebook users will probably keep the psychiatric industry funded for year because more and more people are feeling inadequate when friends don’t ‘like’ their status updates, links, and notes.

Small Business Owner Problem

So how does a small business owner, or maybe a person on their staff, try to keep up with all this volume of data flying past their eyes and still do their day job.  You could literally be connected 24 hours a day and still miss something.  How do you find out what people are saying about you on Twitter.  Maybe you are a company that has several fan pages and you are having a hard time keeping up with all that is going on.  What you really need is a tool that aggregates the content into a simple email that helps you review all this material in one sitting.

That tool is NutshellMail by Constant Contact.

In a nutshell …

Earlier this year Constant Contact acquired  NutshellMailConstant Contact is a service provider that I recomend to my client for email marketing activities.  In the past they added Survey, Event Marketing tools,  and continue to improve their primary email marketing tool.  Now with the addition of NutshellMail they continue to improve their offering.

Here are some reasons why you might want to give NutshellMail a try:

  • If you have or help manage multiple Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and LinkedIn accounts
  • You want a better way to communicate with and manage all your messaging accounts
  • You can save time by only logging into the accounts that had any activity
  • Keep track of what people are saying about your company with saved searches being delivered to you email in-basket
  • You can’t access personal messages while at work
  • With your smart phone you can see all activity from one email while away from your computer
  • You want to monitor your children’s incoming messages
  • It’s Free, Easy, and Secure

Oh did I mention it was FREE!

Good Hunting.

Sample Email

, , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Affordable Video Phone for Home & Business


Affordable Video Phone

Small Business

I can’t remember if I have ever posted anything about hardware.  I often find myself contemplating process improvements,  marketing tactics, and internet tools which I assume will help small businesses improve their market share.

I know a version of this affordable video phone was on Donald Trump’s show “The Apprentice” and this launched the phone to new heights, but I can’t help but think that the video phone would be a great tool for a small business to improve it’s image.

Family Friendly

This phone in the hands of families across the US and world will enjoy video conversations with each other.  As more house holds have the phone the more fun each family will have in hold video calls with each other.  I can’t wait until all my family in Germany have these phones either.

Phone Information

ACN’s newest revolutionary video phone gives you enhanced features that you can only get here!

  • See the person you’re talking to
  • Unlimited calling to the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico
  • Send and receive video mail messages
  • Project your conversations onto a larger screen
  • Bonus Feature: Display photos with the Digital Photo Frame

Added Benefits

  • Automatic Network Detection: easier for customers to set up their Video Phone
  • Enhanced Video Clarity: images/colors are sharper
  • Automatic Bandwidth Adjustment: automatically adjusts bandwidth setting to match available bandwidth speed
  • Enhanced Light Sensor Camera: camera offers higher pixels for improved A/V sync plus more clarity in the video
  • Dual Speakers: audio speakers offer stereo sound quality
  • New, Sleek Interface: user-friendly options for exceptional customer experience
  • Softkeys: allows user to make selections from the specific screen for easy navigation
  • Large 7″ screen: for face-to-face conversations

Plus traditional calling features you expect:

Caller ID • Call Forwarding • Call Waiting • Do Not Disturb • Speed Calling • Three-Way Calling
Call Return • Auto Redial • Voice/Video Mail

Phone Plans

Family Plans
$11.99 /month/ line

$159.99 per Video Phone

See your loved ones more often! Purchase additional Video Phones and add up to four lines to your account. Calls on Family Plan lines can only be made to other ACN Digital Phone Service customers.

Virtual Phone Numbers
$4.99 /month/ line
Stay local! Create a virtual phone number from any domestic area code – no matter where you live.

International Calling Plans
Bring your world a little closer. Take advantage of discounted rates on our 300-minute plans
European Plan $4.99/mo
Asia Pacific Plan $5.99/mo
Central & South America Plan $9.99/mo

See the Phone Here

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2 Comments

Twitter’s Design Flaw


I have come to the conclusion that Twitter has a major design flaw and it is making it difficult for me to continue to grow my network of followers.  Not that my number of followers are very large,  this is more of a philosophical debate raging inside of me to justify my limited time I have on this planet and the effort it takes to accomplish something in said limited time.  I, like others, am a complex human being.  I have many faces or areas in my life which are in different stages of maturity.  I don’t just share on a singular topic.  I expose myself in many ways, to the horror of some, yes!

For Twitter to continue to become the social force that it is destined to be, it must move beyond this singular voice that it has granted us.

Before I Forgettwitter-follow-me-180

What kind of a Twit would I be if I didn’t take this opportunity to invite you to follow me on Twitter.  Sometimes the most obvious mistake for Twits is not to simply ask people to follow them.  Thanks!

My Many Masks! (or Filters?)

So, what are the chances that my Twitter followers are just like me.  That they enjoy everything I do, or for that matter, are at the same maturity level in those similar areas of our lives.  Here are some of the areas I Tweet about, randomly mind you, and often based on what other’s Tweet about also.

Religion - As a Christian, it shapes my thought process and value system immensely.  I enjoy studying and talking with people of other faiths, but it is unlikely that this interaction with change my core belief system.

Family - I love talking about my family.  My wife and boys are the greatest gift and treasure  I have and love sharing them with others.

Marketing - My passion, my hobby, my mistress.  Yes, I tend to focus my vocation on internet marketing, but I still love the field.  I happen to follow the principles of Marketing Warfare which at times places me at odds with other marketers in how we approach solutions to problems, but that is also part of the fun!

Soccer (true Football) – I absorb all that I can about the game.  My hands on experience is at the youth level, mostly because of my four boys.  I train, coach, ref at the U15 level or below and volunteer with different clubs and organizations in the area.  If there is a match on the TV, I’m watching it over all else.

Chess - I consider myself a novice.  Yes, I can put my boys is a good chess smackdown (sometimes) every now and then but put me in a room with a person rated over 1500 and I look like a fool who’s never seen a board before!

SUDOKU - I loves all things Sudoku.  I’m even thinking about learning Japanese so I can solve puzzles faster!

And the list goes on and on ……

Now imagine trying to find a set of people on this planet who have the same interests.  Ok, now I have a following of 5.  Now what?  What are my odds of getting to six, without investing heavily into cloning?

Twitter is Tone Deaf!

Now images your Tweets had Tones!  Let’s say that each of the areas I’ve described above had a Tone.  This would allow people to follow not only the person, but the areas of their life they had an affinity with.  Thus, when I  Tweet, I would associated a Tone to the Tweet so that you would only hear the items you wanted to and not the other things I find so interesting (and bore the hell out of you!).

Or ….

Twitter was simply meant as tool to tell others “Hey I’m going out to lunch, will be back in 30 minutes” and there is some developer  somewhere laughing his ass off for what Twitter is being used for today!

Good Hunting,

See Also

Business Twitter Idea

What is Social Media

, , ,

5 Comments

  • Reading Goal

    2012 Reading Challenge

    2012 Reading Challenge
    Tim has read 7 books toward his goal of 24 books.
    hide
  • Goodreads

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Top Rated

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,846 other followers

%d bloggers like this: