Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Foursquare gives business owners their own app to manage specials, track customer visits

Foursquare gives business owners their own app to manage specials, track customer visits

Foursquare gives business owners their own app to manage specials, track customer visits

Foursquare just recently tweaked its privacy policy to share more user information with local businesses, and it looks like it's already putting some of that data to use in a new app now that the policy has gone into effect. Launched today for the iPhone and iPod touch, Foursquare for Business is just that -- an app designed for business owners instead of customers. In addition to letting managers upload new photos and refresh their specials regularly, it'll also give them a peek into customer activity at their business (or businesses), including information on check-ins and the ability to keep an eye on their top customers. As Foursquare notes in its privacy policy, though, you can opt out of having that check-in information visible to businesses in the app's privacy settings.

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Via: About Foursquare

Source: iTunes, Foursquare Blog

Original Page: http://www.engadget.com/2013/01/29/foursquare-for-business-ios-app/

Nexus 4 available in the U.S. Google Play store [feedly]

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Nexus 4 available in the U.S. Google Play store

Nexus 4

Go. Buy. Now. Before it's too late.

Thanks, Jeremy!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

GeeksPhone reveals Firefox OS phones for developers [feedly]

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GeeksPhone reveals Firefox OS phones for developers
Mainstream customers need not apply, but programmers who like the openness of Mozilla's browser-based Firefox OS will soon get a chance to help make it a reality.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

How to start your social media year off with a bang [feedly]

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How to start your social media year off with a bang
114986190 520x245 How to start your social media year off with a bang

January is normally the time where we look back on the last twelve months and decide what we want to improve. Cue promises that we'll go to the gym more often, quit smoking, learn a new skill or language and so on. However, not only is it difficult to keep up any new changes, but the chances of you reverting back to your old habits increases with every new promise you take on.

Therefore, whether it's for yourself or for your business, a clear plan of action is required if you want to make these changes a reality. It doesn't matter how ambitious or modest your ambitions are, so long as they're important to you, that's what matters. While it can be difficult to get started, all big aims start with small steps so keep these in mind when you're putting your plan together.

What do you want to achieve?

The best and most straightforward way of solving this is to get all of your thoughts down on paper. Yes, it's a low-tech solution but there's something about having your ambitions and aims in physical form that makes it more real.

Once you have your general aims written down, it's time to break it down into more manageable chunks. It's well and good that you want to increase page views or improve interaction, but how are you going to achieve this? The trick is to break it down into more manageable goals that you can achieve in the short-term, while keeping your long-term goals. This gives your goals a clear path for you to follow, and the sense of achievement you'll feel from completing these mini-objectives will ensure that you complete them.

By extension, putting together a social media strategy can help you out in the long-run too. Knowing what questions to ask yourself can sometime be just as important as the answers you provide so think about what you want to offer and what you want to achieve.

Social media profiles

FacebookCollage 765x430 How to start your social media year off with a bang

So you're looking at your different profiles and you feel that things are getting a little stale. Maybe it's the content you publish, or how the page is presented, or maybe it's just a number of little things. Whatever the reason is, there are a number of different things you can do to brighten up your profiles.

Update & Modify Your Profiles

Maybe your Twitter bio has gotten a little stale, or your LinkedIn profile might need to be updated to match your experience and skill set. Either way, why not take a moment or two to go through your main profiles and see what you can change or update.

The easiest way to do this is to change what images you use. The majority of sites make use of cover photos so it's a good time to update it. Never underestimate the power of imagery, it's a brilliant way of communicating the direction you or your company is going and will freshen things up a little.

After that, it's worth looking through the 'about' section of your pages and general information to see what is worth updating. Companies change and develop as time passes so showing all the services you offer in a concise manner is important. If the last update took place longer than six months ago, it's worth reviewing it and deciding if there are any areas that need updating.

Spring clean your profiles

Chances are you have subscribed to a number of pages and apps that you quickly used and forgot about, which is clogging up your news feed. In other cases, you could be following people that you aren't as interested in. For Facebook alone, there are a number of ways you can tidy up your profile so that you only see the content you want, while for Twitter, there are a number of apps that can help you reduce the number of people you follow so that your feed isn't as congested. A good one to start with is ManageFlitter which lets you manage your followers and identify inactive accounts.

Manage multiple accounts together

If you're managing multiple accounts and finding it difficult to keep on top of them, you're better off bringing all of them together on the one dashboard to keep things simple. If you crosspost content regularly, then there are a number of different dashboards that will help you out. However, the functionality tends to be somewhat limited so if you regularly use more advanced features like promoted posts or targeting, it's better to post directly from the site.

Tweetdeck How to start your social media year off with a bang

If all else fails, prioritise

Sometimes our ambitions can get the better of us. We make promises and start new things without really considering how much time or effort you have to invest into it. If it's a case that you've too much to update, you're better off temporarily dropping excess accounts and focusing on two or three main accounts instead. The more time you're able to spend on a platform, the better quality you will be able to provide, especially if you use these channels exclusively for customer service.

Increasing productivity

Astrid2 How to start your social media year off with a bang

While it's easy to put all these changes into action, you need to make sure you can dedicate a regular amount of time to these tasks. If you're struggling to find time to keep this up, it could be your organisation and timekeeping that's holding you back.

Create a timetable

No matter what day it is, there are certain tasks that you need to complete on a daily basis. Things like replying to emails, meetings and brainstorming sessions are accounted for in your day. So why don't you schedule a time to complete social media tasks?

While it's tempting to just schedule an hour a day to check your accounts, resist the urge to do this. The major flaw to this is that if a person replies or mentions you after this, they will have to wait 23 hours before a response. A good response is a quick one so instead you should set times throughout the day for checking your account.

A better strategy is to break this hour down into smaller sections throughout the day. As social media updates in real-time, it's better to dedicate three 20 minute slots to replying, monitoring and posting content. That way, you will be aware of any changes and will be able to react accordingly.

Also, for your Twitter account, putting office hours in your bio shows your followers the best times to get in touch with you. If you have an international audience, put down the time zone you're in to avoid confusion.

Schedule content

Social media is a real-time resource, we've been pretty much conditioned to post updates as they happen. That's the way it should be, but if we're going to be realistic, you're not going to be beside your computer 24/7 and there will be times where you will be away from the office. If this is the case, then get into the habit of scheduling tweets and updates.

Doing so is relatively easy and the only thing you need to make sure of is that the content you're posting isn't time sensitive. A news article will only have a lifespan of a few hours at best, while a feature or opinion article will be relevant for longer. This is handy if you have followers from different parts of the world, especially for Twitter where tweets can be easily missed. Alternatively, you can use apps like Buffer which will post content at times your audience will see them.

Become more organised

If you're not organised or prepared then the chances of you accomplishing anything gets lower. If the simple pen and paper isn't doing the trick, there are a number of apps that you can download for free. If you're focused on completing goals, then an app like Astrid will help you out, while Remember The Milk is useful for when you're breaking down tasks into more manageable chunks.

If you're looking for something more suited to team organisation, there are similar mobile and cloud apps out there to help you out. Services like Basecamp will help you out with general projects, while creative and design related projects would benefit more from a service such as Cage.

cageapp 765x450 How to start your social media year off with a bang

Image Credits: Oli Scarff/Getty Images, The Noun ProjectInternet by Fernando Vasconcelos, Euro by Vinad Khanna

szlogo How to start your social media year off with a bang

This article is published in association with SimplyZesty, a digital marketing agency.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Microsoft Retires Messenger As Of March 15, 2013 [feedly]

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Microsoft Retires Messenger As Of March 15, 2013

The Microsoft Messenger team is sending out e-mail letting everyone know that, as of March 15, 2013, the company is retiring its messenger offering globally, except in mainland China where Messenger will continue to be available. Those who want to continue staying in touch will have to get used to Skype. Messenger and Skype features will be unified and any holder of a Microsoft Account can use that to log in with Skype (something that has been available for a while now). Everything will function normally until March 15 when users, except those in China, will not be able to sign in and ...

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

10 Weeks of BlackBerry 10: BlackBerry World [feedly]

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10 Weeks of BlackBerry 10: BlackBerry World

In our '10 Weeks of BlackBerry 10' series we'll explore one feature of BlackBerry 10 each week leading up to the launch event on January 30th. This week: BlackBerry World

BlackBerry World

BlackBerry 10 is getting closer each and every day -- we can't help but think about it every waking moment and then dream about it at night. As you've seen in this series, there are a many great features that we're looking forward to in BlackBerry 10. From the BlackBerry Hub to the amazing new keyboard, there is just so much we can't wait to get our hands on. 

One new feature that we're also excited for is the new BlackBerry World store. Formerly know as BlackBerry App World, the 4-year old app store is expanding to include not only applications and games, but also movies, TV shows and music. It's a great step forward that we couldn't be more excited about. Keep reading to see why BlackBerry World is one of the features we're most looking forward to on BlackBerry 10.

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CrackBerry.com's feed sponsored by ShopCrackBerry.com. 10 Weeks of BlackBerry 10: BlackBerry World

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Look at how great a Google smartwatch could be [feedly]

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Look at how great a Google smartwatch could be
Google 520x245 Look at how great a Google smartwatch could be

With wearable tech a bit of a buzzphrase right now and talk of a possible Apple/Intel smartwatch doing the rounds, this concept for what a Google watch might look like is right on cue.

Using Google's latest design language, this 'Google Time' concept by Adrian Maciburko is a nice idea for a super-simple take on the kinds of features such a device might have, including voice and touch interfaces.

What strikes me though, is how a smartwatch from Google would be a perfect fit for working with Google Now. A Google Now-equipped watch would be in sync with your Google account, notifying you about upcoming meetings, flight delays, birthdays and more just as Google Now does on recent versions of Android. What do you say, Larry? Make it happen!

google time full 730x572 Look at how great a Google smartwatch could be

google time nav 730x643 Look at how great a Google smartwatch could be

tumblr mg4w4yP3B21ro8kemo1 r2 1280 730x386 Look at how great a Google smartwatch could be

Header image credit: AFP / Getty Images

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

‘iPhone 5S’ to reportedly launch by June with multiple color options and two different display sizes [feedly]

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'iPhone 5S' to reportedly launch by June with multiple color options and two different display sizes
iPhone 5S Release Date

After a seven-month run that took Apple (AAPL) shares to an all-time high in late September, the company's stock plummeted more than 25% and touched new lows as 2012 drew to an end. According to Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White, Apple's strong portfolio, a reversal of the negative news trend surrounding the company, and a fresh new "iPhone 5S" will help the stock rebound in 2013, and he maintains a Buy rating on Apple shares with a sky-high price target of $1,111.

"Apple is our top overall pick for 2013," White wrote in a note to investors on Wednesday that discussed Topeka's stock picks moving into the new year. "With the 25% correction in Apple's stock from the high in September, the stock is now trading at just 7.7x our CY13 EPS estimate (less cash) and the company's portfolio has never been stronger, in our view."

He continued, "We believe tax-related selling was largely to blame for the downward bias in the stock price as we exited 2012 and this created a negative news cycle around Apple that we believe will be broken as we enter 2013. We believe there is still plenty to look forward to at Apple, including the potential for greater choices (i.e., colors, sizes) around the next iPhone in 2013, combined with accelerating momentum with the iPad mini and continued strength with the iPad franchise at large."

White went on to explain that the iPad mini has seen incredible demand thus far in China, outselling the full-size iPad in the country. The analyst also called the rumored China Mobile iPhone launch and release of Apple's HDTV "moving targets," and he expects at least one of these major catalysts to become a reality in 2013.

In a separate note, White said that according to his checks with Apple's suppliers, the next-generation iPhone will represent a huge departure from earlier models.

"Our checks indicate that the next iPhone will have more choices for customers," the analyst wrote. "This entails an expansion in both the color patterns and screen sizes with the next iPhone (i.e., likely called the iPhone 5S) that we currently believe will be launched in May/June with certain supply production starting in March/April."

White believes the next iPhone will be available in five different colors: pink, yellow, blue, white & silver and black & slate. He also believes there will be two different screen sizes available on the device, marking the first time Apple has released one phone with multiple display size options.

"Our checks are also indicating that the next iPhone will offer customers more choice in terms of screen size," White reported. "Although Apple offers a 4-inch screen on the iPhone 5 and a 3.5-inch screen on the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4, the Company has never offered multiple screen sizes for a single model. We believe this is about to change with the next iPhone offering different screen sizes that we believe will allow Apple to better bifurcate the market and expand its reach."

He continued, noting that multiple screen sizes could allow Apple to better address emerging markets with a lower-cost iPhone.  

Asus launches Atom-powered Vivo Smart Tablet [feedly]

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Asus launches Atom-powered Vivo Smart Tablet
Asus has launched its Atom-powered Vivo Smart Tablet. Unlike the Asus Vivo Tab RT, the Vivo Smart Tablet runs Windows 8 on x86 and is backwards compatible with Windows desktop software. The device can be paired with an optional TranSleeve Keyboard that does triple duty as a cover, keyboard and stand, adopting a similar approach to the Microsoft Surface....

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Upgrading your phone to be truly social: A chat with Just.me founder Keith Teare (video) [feedly]

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Upgrading your phone to be truly social: A chat with Just.me founder Keith Teare (video)
153967692 520x245 Upgrading your phone to be truly social: A chat with Just.me founder Keith Teare (video)

A few months ago, I had the chance to catch up with British serial entrepreneur Keith Teare at the Pioneers Festival in Vienna, where we sat down for a brief interview to discuss his latest venture, Just.me.

The startup, which is backed by the likes of Google Ventures, SV Angel and betaworks, is building a 'new type of social network' that lives on your smartphone and the cloud and can be accessed from your desktop browser, rather than the other way around.

Just.me 212709 Upgrading your phone to be truly social: A chat with Just.me founder Keith Teare (video)

Teare has been around the entrepreneurial block a few times. Now mostly involved with Just.me and Palo Alto incubator Archimedes Labs, he has also in the past been actively involved in the founding of ventures like TechCrunch, Easynet, RealNames, cScape and fotopedia, among others.

He's also quite a good thinker and writer about the mobile space, as his latest posts on TechCrunch prove: you absolutely must read The Mobile Paradox and Unnatural Acts And The Rise Of Mobile if you have an interest in the mobile industry.

Just.me is still in stealth mode, and was actually supposed to hit app stores before the end of 2012. That didn't happen, obviously, but Teare has confirmed that it will launch in beta at Digital Life Design (DLD) on January 21.

Upon launch, native mobile applications will be available for both iOS and Android. The service will be free of charge (both the app and storage) and be available in a host of different languages, including English, Chinese, Korean and Japanese.

Screenshots of the upcoming apps can be found below the video.

We can't wait to give it a whirl.

In the interview, Teare describes Just.me thusly:

"Just.me is an upgrade to email and SMS. It integrates the two of them in a single app, and it sits on top of them, so you can send messages in Just.me to friends from your address book. And if they don't have Just.me, it will use email and SMS as fall-back transports."

I asked Teare to tell me a bit more about the service, the business model (which Teare says is patented), and Archimedes Labs.


just.me 212942 Upgrading your phone to be truly social: A chat with Just.me founder Keith Teare (video)

just.me 212906 Upgrading your phone to be truly social: A chat with Just.me founder Keith Teare (video)

Top image credit: Thinkstock

Should the Internet Be a Utility?

Should the Internet Be a Utility?

Our nation's high-speed internet is in the hands of just a few private companies that act, in many regions, like monopolies. That's indisputable. But while it's easy to attack the monopoly part, should we be focusing on private? Is the internet such an ingrained part of existence at this point that it should be considered—and regulated as—a public utility? More »

Original Page: http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/gizmodo/full/~3/4ejUev685BI/should-the-internet-be-a-utility