5 Ways to Stay Connected with Your Co-workers

    Do you have to work with people who are located in another city or country?
    What do you do when you need to work with others on a project but all those people are spread all over the world?

What to do if you don’t have an access to expensive platforms like Microsoft Exchange?

Applications you can use to communicate with others:

  • e-mails –> who didn’t do that? Sending tons of e-mails with 10th version of the document. It’s useful when only 2 people are working on it but when you have a lot of people who need to collaborate with each other then it’s a problem
  • google docs –> in case if you don’t want to collect many versions of the same documents, you can use application by google – which allows you to share the documents on-line, make changes in the document by others, post comments, etc. Type of documents you are able to share/edit: word, spreadsheets, presentation, form, drawing. You can also chose between many templates.
  • skype –> which gives you options: sending files, chat box, video calls, etc.
  • jamcloud –> it’s a free social music app that allows you play music and watch videos with your friends in real time. Create listening rooms with an international audience where you can chat about what’s playing and vote. With a library of over 325 million songs and videos. So if you need to talk about some songs/video you can do that watching it at the same time with people all over the world.
  • linqto –> It’s a many to many live online app. Easy to use, no download is required, and is available as a Facebook application. A standard URL is also provided as an additional entry point to the live site. This application is not free, version 1 cost $8/month

What on-line application can you suggest?

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8 Useful Twitter Tools

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    What do you know about Twitter?
    Do you use Twitter?
    How many Twitter-related applications do you use?

Here are 2 applications you can use to manage your tweetstream:

  • tweetdeck –> TweetDeck allows you to monitor, manage and engage in your social world by bringing together your Twitter and Facebook feeds in a powerful and flexible column-based dashboard.
  • hootsuite –> similar to tweetdeck application. You can manage your blog/linkedin/facebook/twitter accounts from one place; schedule posts/tweets, create report, etc.

Here are applications which can help you to locate topics/trends/people/communities:

  • hashtags.org –> you can find here the most popular hashtags on Twitter – what’s most popular.
  • Twitscoop –> a real-time visualisation tool which enables users to “Mine the thought stream” provided by Twitter. Hot trends/words which are buzzing right now on twitter/search feature/
  • Listorious –> “Listorious has the best Twitter people search on the web so you can find anyone by topic, region or profession — powered by data from the tens of thousands of list curators. Once you find the right person, you can interview them by asking questions over Listorious”
  • twellow –> Twitter yellow pages
  • TweetMeme –> “it’s a service which aggregates all the popular links on Twitter to determine which links are popular. TweetMeme categories these links into Categories, Subcategories and Channels, making it easy to filter out the noise to find what you’re interested in.”
  • twopular –> search popular trends on Twitter

More useful links which helps you to measure your on-line activities.

    Do you know other applications worth to share?

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Do We Need Google Offers?

    What do you think about shopping? Do you like it? Just think about going to the shopping mall and search for some things you need to buy or maybe you prefer to do shopping on-line?

It’s all about collective buyer power – you can find offers with up to 60%, 70%, 80% discounts.
There is another player on the market – Google Offers

So far I was searching Groupon for daily deals (spa, theater, restaurant, etc.). I was wondering how Groupon, Livingsocial and GoogleOffers works. All of daily offers platforms works similar:

  • subscribe –> you will receive e-mails with daily offers in your city (city you choose) or check on website or on Facebook page or Twitter
  • choose –> chose the offer you like
  • pay –> purchase chosen deal
  • get the coupon/voucher –> wait for the e-mail with voucher/coupon
  • enjoy –> enjoy your purchase and remember about the deal’s expiration date

Here is a youtube video on how Groupon works:


groupon1

    Pro: interesting feature is that you can purchase a giftcard on Groupon – which is nice option as a present.
    Con: during purchasing process you need to provide your credit card details (every time) – but maybe that’s should be consider as pro (I’m not sure).
    How Livingsocial works:

livingsocial1

    Ok, so now lets look at the Google Offers:
    Pro: wow, everything in one place (on Google); you can sign in using your google account.
    Con: it’s just the beginning so google offers is available only in 6 cities; I’m not sure whether having everything in one place (google) is a good way. It’s a short way for google to have a monopoly on the market.
    Here is a youtube video on how google offers works:
    Google Offers payment option: you need to provide your credit card details once and it will be saved in your account. That option is provided by Google Checkout

I believe that many people might move from Groupon or Livingsocial to Google Offers just because they have Gmail accounts and because of that they have less passwords to remember.

The question is do we need another daily deals platform? Will Google Offers win the competition race? I don’t know. It’s another project by Google – lets wait a while and see what happen.

How to Publish Pictures on Twitter

    Do you like to share pictures on-line? I do
    Would you like to share a pictures directly on Twitter? I would
    Now we can do that. No more Twitpic, Flickr, yFrog – now you can directly publish photos on Twitter using Twitter message box:

twitter_message box_photo

    Now you can go crazy and publish your pictures directly on Twitter, but please be aware of:
  • you can upload any image that is 3MB or smaller
  • Twitter will scale the image to fit into the display pane on the right side of Twitter.com timeline
  • more “how-to” upload picture on Twitter you can find on Twitter Help Center

    3-steps how to publish picture on Twitter:

    twitter_uploading photo
  • 1. type text in message box + click on “camera button” and chose image you want to publish + click “tweet”
  • 2. your tweet is now in your timeline stream, so all your followers are able to see your tweet with link to your picture
  • 3. when you click on your tweet you can see the picture on the right side of your Twitter website

Facebook on Your Wrist

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    Do you like to share photos and update your Facebook status while on vacation? Do you get impatient when you have to find free Wi-Fi or nearest available computer with internet access? of course you can pay your mobile provider for internet access (good luck with if you are abroad) or you can go and look for free Wi-Fi at the hotel you are staying at. But it takes time and some efforts and what is most important – it takes time (and usually it won’t be “live”).
    …so how to share your off-line holiday experience on-line “live”?
    Check how Ushuaia Beach Hotel in the European summer clubbing capital (Ibiza) has combined guests’ obsession with Facebook and cutting edge RFID technology by using wristbands.
    What’s the RFID technology?

smart labels, also called radio frequency identification (RFID) tags. RFID tags are intelligent bar codes that can talk to a networked system to track every product that you put in your shopping cart.

    Hotel’s guests are wearing RFID wristbands and every time they want to share pictures or update their Facebook status all they have to do is to swipe the wristband at various RFID-points that the hotel has set up around the resort. Using their wristband they can login to their Facebook account and take a picture/update status/post comments.

youtube video here:

QR codes are getting more and more popular all over the world. Companies are using qr codes more often, but how about RFID tags/labels? As long as that RFID-technology is well known in retail industry (e.g. books at the bookstore) I am not sure how often companies are using this as a part of their marketing strategy.

Do you remember one of my previous posts regarding Facebook 2 Reasons Why We Love and Hate Facebook?

“See what happens, Facebook, see what happens when worlds collide!”

As long as on-line and off-line worlds collide we might see more of those gadgets on the market. I am wondering what’s next, what new hi-tech gadgets we will see on the market. I can’t wait.

    I guess time will tell.

New Way of Shopping?

Do you like shopping? Wait a second, don’t answer that question yet…if you have a chance to shop in a “friendly shop”:

  • without standing in a long line to cashier’s desk
  • without trying to find a place to park your car

wouldn’t be easier to answer “YES” to my question?

We can all those on-line stores, whether it is Walmart, Bestbuy, ebay.

Did you buy something on on-line stores? What do you think are obstacles of buying on-line?

  • clothes/shoes –> how to make sure is the right size, etc?
  • test –> how to test item before making decision whether to buy it or not
    Companies are trying to shorten the distance between customer and store by opening on-line store but we know that’s not enough anymore. So what to do?
    Here are some ideas what companies are trying to offer their customers:
  • Home Plus is Tesco’s Korean branch decided to create “virtual supermarket” on one of the subway stations. They posted wall-size posters of stocked shelves onto subway walls. Customers were able to scan products’ QR codes and by doing that they were able to purchase items which later were delivered to their homes.

    Just think how many people are using public transportation (in cities) like subway. 2x a day they are becoming potential clients (on the way to work and getting by home). Simple click-click (scanning QR code) and gallon of milk is on the way home.

  • applications for 3D cameras –> which will create two-way mirrors on computers

almost 38 percent of women don’t buy online, according to Forrester Research, because they want to be able to see and touch items before they hand over a credit card.

    payvement via facebook

I’m wondering what’s next?

What is the Hubspot?

hubspot and smexaminer logos

    Have you ever wonder what’s the Hubspot or Social Media Examiner?

HubSpot Inbound Marketing Software helps our 4,000+ customers generate traffic and leads through their websites, and convert more of those leads into customers. HubSpot software includes tools for: blogging, landing pages, lead nurturing, marketing analytics, content management, social media, SEO, CRM integration, email marketing, and more.

    Hubspot it’s a Internet Marketing Company. What they did (and that was great) they started from sharing content by e.g. providing a lot of webinars. I think that it’s similar case study to Social Media Examiner, where Michael Stelzner decided to share content and not trying to sell at first.
    So what Social Media Examiner is all about?:

Social Media Examiner is a free online magazine designed to help businesses discover how to best use social media tools like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to find leads, increase sales and generate more brand awareness. Technorati and AdAge rank us as one of the world’s Top 100 business blogs. Our more than 92,000 email subscribers look forward to our daily original content.

    Here is an example how Hubspot is trying to get business closer to their service – by offering free 30-days trial, here’s a video:
    I think that’s a great, new way of promoting and building your brand by creating and sharing content and not trying to sell as much as possible right away. I understand that it takes more time and efforts (?) to achieve goals this way but at the same time you are able to build a strong and well-known brand and have a big number of followers/viewers/users/subscribers.
    The moment you have your own business and you need professional support – where will you go to find that? Would you chose company you know or try the one you don’t know? I bet you will try the one you know, right? I think that Social Media Examiner and HubSpot started from building their brands and when they become recognizablevia social media they decided to launch next stage of their business plan – sale.

So what is your strategy?

How Can You Control Your Mobile?

I just saw a TV commercial (do you remember TV? I know, something you don’t watch that much).
There is a something called Wirless Leash by ZOMM

The Wireless Leash by ZOMM will keep you from ever leaving your phone behind. It’s the perfect way to keep your phone where it needs to be – with you.

zomm

That device looks like a key chain, so all you need to do is to attach it to your keys.
I checked the specification of that product and every time you want to use the Bluetooth connection in your car you will need to remember to switch from one device to the other (from Zomm to your car Bluetooth), right?

Good that there is a mobile application which helps your to find your keys and the Zomm device attached to your keys. And Then if you are too far away from your mobile, Zomm will start beeping to let you know that you forgot your mobile.

The price is high (in my opinion) – $79.99

The question is how often do you forget to take your mobile with you?

4 Social Media Platforms You Should Use

    How many social media applications/platform are you using?

ohhh…do you have problems to count all of them? Let me guess, some of those applications you are using on your mobile, some on your computer.

    Pick a number:

Lets think how many (really) social media applications/platforms we can use and be up-to-date:

  • Google –> google docs, google reader, gmail, google voice, google search, Picasa, google maps, etc. – covers a lot of our needs
  • Facebook –> instant communication, sharing photos, status updates, videos, etc.
  • Twitter –> another way of text messages, great for networking, etc.
  • Linkedin –> network application for professionals

Big trio and google

    That’s a great beginning, isn’t it?
    Ask yourself a question:
  • how many applications do you really need?
  • haw many applications do you have but didn’t use for last few weeks?

Facebook vs. Google+

    Did you hear about Google new platform called Google+ ?
    If not – here is the Goodle+ demo:
    Have you noticed that Google changed it’s layout? top menu bar and +1 button added to research results links googleplusproject_layout
    The feature I find the more useful so far is the Google+ Hangouts – it’s alternative for Skype, etc. Facebook should think about similar option as well. Here is the youtube video of Google+ Hangouts:
    Mario Sundar* at Quora published interesting (and very useful) feedback regarding Google+ platform:

    (Google+ Circles, but it’s still just a far easier-to-setup-and-use friend list. Facebook allows you to create different friend lists today (think “Limited Profile”) and even prompts you to bucket your friends when you connect — but how many users use that.

    and

    Don’t get me wrong: Google+ gets an A for effort (So, did Friendfeed as well as Google Wave). But, now they’ve their task cut of out them. And, they’re very well aware of it.

    Facebook answer to Google+ Circle is app called CircleHack:

circlehack_sample image

    PCWorld published article regarding Google+ Circle and Facebook circlehack tools.

A new site called Circle Hack uses a drag-and-drop format similar to Circles on Google+ that lets you organize your Facebook friends into lists quickly and easily

Deborah from kommein published post 10 Google+ Tips to Help You Get Off to a Good Start. You will be able to find there few interesting tips to make sure you are using Google+ right.

After testing Google+ and using Facebook I think that:

  • we will have to use few/many application to be able to organize our activities in social media environment – which might be pain in the neck. But at the other hand maybe that’s good – because we have options to choose from
  • I don’t like to maintain the same content (e.g. my friends’ list) on few social media platforms – it’s a big time-consuming disadvantage

….so now the question is: who Google+ will compete with Facebook? and Is there enough space for both? The ideal situation would be collaboration between Facebook and Google – but I guess it won’t happen too soon.

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*Mario Sundar – Chief Blogger at LinkedIn, the World’s largest online professional network.