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Uberconference’s Beta Gamification Is Kinda Awesome

Uberconference’s Beta Gamification Is Kinda Awesome

Uberconference is the new kid on the block for online meetings. It looks like it’s gonna kick WebEx in the shins–if not in the mouth. So, yeah, I did this:

Uberconference's join beta input field

Uberconference’s Beta Sign-Up Form

 

And that brought me to this brilliant little game: Promote my interest in Uberconfernce and get points. Get enough and I get ‘to the front of the line’.

That’s pretty smartypants. And damn simple. Wonder if they did an A/B test–and what the lift is.

It’s scavenger hunt-esque.

Uberconference's Beta Invitation Gamification

Uberconference’s Beta Invitation Gamification

This also makes me think of the amount of time it took to build this company vs. WebEx. I’m sure it’s a multiple of 10.

 

 

Why Pinterest Should Pivot And Help The Real Contributors Of The Web Get Paid

Reviewers of the world it’s time to start getting paid.

There’s something wrong with the state of the internet. In particular, reviews.

We write them. We look through them. We rely on them!—even when they’re written by total strangers. They provide enormous value to internet users worldwide. They’ve transformed ecommerce. Yet we don’t own what we write.

Amazon does!

Can’t we snap our fingers and ask the silicon valley rainmakers to take the democratic ethos of the internet one step further and give individuals automatic intellectual property rights for the content we create?

Pinterest is almost there.

It allows users to curate what matters to them—but it doesn’t let us get paid if our curation brings value to a company or organization. I do recall them surreptitiously trying to swap out user-pasted urls with affiliate-laden ones. Hmm. Good idea–bad execution.

Gumroad is making waves by making any link an ecommerce storefront. Not sure if this can be executed as a default in one’s ‘lifestream’.

Yotpo is doing something interesting–using algorithms (what else!?) to find the best reviews for any product. And, Yotpo, will the writer of that ‘best review’ get something in return?

And then there is VRM–or Vendor Relationship Management. There’s lots of interesting things over there–for example, a few of their goals:

  • Make individuals the collection centers for their own data
  • Give individuals the ability to share data selectively
  • Give individuals the ability to control how their data is used by others

It’s good to know we’re heading in the right direction. Heck, there may be a startup being featured right this very instance who has solved the problem.

Regardless–let’s decide to turn the corner together and demand ownership of our thoughts and social content.

 

Do I Really Want To “Like” Bad News?

Do I Really Want To “Like” Bad News?

No. I don’t.

And this draws attention to a unique Facebook issue–on their mobile app.

Take a look:

In this circumstance, I would like to share this news–but it’s a bit creepy to “Like” it. You know, the other meanings of the word “Like”?

They’ve got it figured out on their web site–but when are they going to get to updating their mobile app?

Lesson: be on the look out for semantic snags or the linguistic impact of your UI elements.

I throw this in as a bonus (if Facebook happens to be reading this!): let me share with a subset of my friends not everybody. Google+ has got you here, FB.

Small Biz Folks, Ditch Your Crusty Email Newsletter Sign Up Form Now!

Small Biz Folks, Ditch Your Crusty Email Newsletter Sign Up Form Now!

If there has ever been an analog-t0-digital snafu worth solving, it’s the small biz email newsletter sign up form.

How many times have you seen those little note books covered in pizza sauce, jammed-up on the counter, closed or otherwise being ineffective and uninviting? It screams: “We’ll never add these to anything and you’ll never get an email from us!”

That’s why MailChimp’s Chimpadeedoo is my hero. Looky here:

MailChimp's Chimpadeedoo

That’s a sweet iPad rendering of their new technology. With auto-sync to their email platform, MailChimp has elegantly left small biz folk with a sweet opportunity: to actually communicate with their clients via email.

There’s no reason anymore not to do it.

Technology that makes things suuuuuuper easy takes the cake every time.

The Google Car Will Be the Biggest Mashup Ever

Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

If Google can create a car that chauffeurs you around safely, then I think it’s safe to assume that they will tap into Google Maps—along with their traffic stats—to optimize your drive.

BUT IT GETS BETTER!

What if Google could then get all local, state and federal governments to create and provide access to traffic light systems?

Isn’t it conceivable that Google could totally optimize the world’s driving, reducing congestion, saving gas, time, wear and tear on cars???

They’re applying the Google Optimizer philosophy to driving.

I’m in!

Actually, I walk to work, but would welcome a world with fewer cars, creating less gas, fewer accidents, and people in cars less.

 

Realtor.com App Lets You Draw Custom Geos

Realtor.com App Lets You Draw Custom Geos

Anybody who has grappled with building a local app has struggled with how to structure local searches and local information.

Is it by zip code? Area code? Town name? Mailing address? Miles from current location? Nearest largest city?

Well, Realtor.com has introduced a pretty sweet feature in their iPhone app that’s so intuitive an lightning fast–and downright HELPFUL that I have to show you:

Here’s how it works:

  • You hit the lass0-looking icon
  • You draw your on circle of interest
  • It populates your custom geo with the info you want
This has all the markings of greatness: it works the way you think, it’s easy and it’s fast.
Great UI and great UX Relator.com team!

 

Share the Meme Not the App

Share the Meme Not the App

I have Dictionary.com’s iPhone app, and I receive their Word of the Day. Today I actually looked at it and it was a gem:

Bandersnatch: An imaginary wild animal of fierce disposition.

There’s something about this words that seems so cool and useful that I’m definitely gonna use it. Ok, that makes me a little strange… My instinct, though, was to share it on Facebook–where my geeky linguaphile friends would surely drool over my discovery.

Alas, the only sharing on the Dictionary.com iPhone app was for the whole app!

Who wants to share a whole app!

People tend to share the smallest parts of our culture—song, photo, text, quote, link, video… Have you ever heard of an app going viral?

And so Dictionary.com could enable the sharing of words because that’s what people do. Marketing strategies might share apps, but people sure don’t.

It’s the meme that counts!

 

Mixed Messaging: How Blackberry Flubbed Its Tablet Launch

Folks, the tablet/pad market is ablaze–and RIM was the last one in the room. Well their catch-up efforts just walked through the door. So far? Not impressed with their positioning.

RIM has always been the corporate device maker–because of their security protocols; however, they’re only lightly leaning on this differentiator.

In their massively heavy ad space on NYTimes.com, they start with “Introducing the world’s first professional grade tablet.”

That makes sense.

But then they show the tablet in use: screen shots of the NYTimes.com, video, games… Why wouldn’t they put in the Office products or graphs or charts?

And then the name! Playbook. Sure, this has sports connotations which are perfectly suited for biz, but it also denotes the stuff my kids do: play. How about something that connotes ‘professional grade’.

I think if RIM wanted to leap frog back over the competition it should have started from its strong point: get the the IT managers excited. It’s not a bad place to be–ensconced in major corporations. It’s a market in and of itself.

10 Reasons Why People Use Twitter

10 Reasons Why People Use Twitter

I dig Twitter. No doubt I’d prefer that all my friends and family use it–but they don’t! Here’s why: they all think that it’s used to tell people what you had for breakfast. Who started that rumor?!

So this blog is dedicated to showing some things you can do in 140 characters–aka the Tweet!

1. You can point/link to something you find interesting.

 

 

 

2. Point to your own content–for publishers/bloggers.

 

 

 

3. Update your users.

 

 

 

4. Post a fact related to your industry.

 

 

 

 

5. Post a job.

 

 

 

6. Practice diplomacy.

 

 

7. Provoke.

 

 

8. Ask a question.

 

 

9. Be funny.

 

 

10. Post a pic.

 

 

 

 

Natural Language Search–Give It A Try

I’m not exactly sure why, but I’ve been testing Google: I’m using natural search language. I think the results are as good–if not better.

Instead of googling ‘outlook restore pst file’ I’ll use ‘how do i restore a pst file in outlook’.

Is anybody else doing this?

It’s so much easier from a user’s perspective–um, my perspective.

Here’s why I might be doing this?

  • Google is all about good UX (user experience)–so I’d expect them to be thinking about…
  • Crafting a human language question probably gets users (searchers) closer to their intended target–versus a user trying to distill their thoughts into ‘keywords’. Think of it this way: Simply tell Google what you want.
  • I’ve seen savvy bloggers creating titles like this.
  • Perhaps it’s Vlingo! An awesome voice to text iPhone app.
  • I’ve been experimenting with writing content right into email subject lines.

Really, it’s about getting to the point. And fast.

I’m Kicking An Old Habit: Microsoft Word

Here’s some naked lunch I woke up to this morning: Microsoft Word is dead.

I’m just done with it. Cold Turkey.

Here’s why: it’s a tool for printing stuff.

I’ve been using Word since I was in, like,  middle school–and it was always in preparation for printing.

It sounds like an epiphany–but it’s really been a long train coming.

I think the first thing that happened was that I checked out Google Docs–which doesn’t have a lot of fancy formatting tools. But it made me think: what formatting tools do I really need?

The next thing that happened is that I switched my Word ‘View’ from ‘Print layout’ to ‘Web layout’–which allowed my content to fill  my entire screen. Really, why would you want to reproduce the constraints of paper on a screen? This was the ‘ahah’ moment.

Here’s the nugget of truth I’ve been working on:  we need tools to enhance our thinking–not to structure the output of our thoughts; otherwise, the tail starts wagging the dog. The focus should be on synergy, interrelatedness and sharing. The goal is enhancing thoughts (like shoes enhance walking!).

I want a tool that lets me cut, paste, share, email, tweet, blog, label, hide/unhide, connect, disconnect, save–whatever.

The last thing I need to worry about is getting my indent perfectly at 1 1/4 inches (who hasn’t lost a day in their life trying to get Word to obey!).

Let’s agree to move away from tools that constrain (not even a tool then, right?) to tools that liberate and accelerate.

Right now I’m using Evernote–not perfect, but totally digging the shackle free experience. No tabs. Just content.