Category Archives: Social Media

27
Jul

Social Music Review: TurnTable, Google Music, and Spotify

In the past 4 months or so, Social Music has been at the forefront of my day. Honestly, most of it is spent in TurnTable.fm, and with good reason!

The latest wave in music apps have focused on organizing and playing music in the cloud, detaching us the tethers of the wire as well as introducing us to music we have never heard. For all you iTunes fanboys out there, this is serious competition. Gone may be the days of “syncing” your iPod to your PC. (and having to erase and restore all your device data if you reformat your PC.)

8
Jul

Google+ in Gmail = Gmail+ A Match Made in Heaven

Gmail+, that’s what it is! An amazing mashup of services. Now I can check my social media updates from Google+ while in my Gmail inbox, which is where I always am anyways. I can even read a comment and reply to it without leaving the inbox.

So what do I have now? E-mail, Voice, Chat, Video Chat, Calendar, Docs, Contacts, Task List AND Social Network all on one screen? Amazing. *Clap* for Google.

The integration is Seamless, albeit in order to use it you have to use Gmails newest theme (Preview). I highly recommend it. It transforms Gmail to look similar to Google+. This was why they were rolling out the black Google Menu bar, it was part of the Google+ Project and eventual Gmail integration. Google Calendar got the same Treatment!

Google seems to have realized that uniformity of look and feel among their products was a must, and this round they decided to change all of them. I wont be surprised when Google Docs gets the same skinning treatment. I rather like the new look, it has that soft edge yet square feeling to it, somewhat metallic with nice simple unobtrusive highlights.

Oh, and can I say…its about time the “Back to Inbox” button got replaced with a real button!!!

The only drawback is information overload. There is so much to do now…and on one screen, it makes it hard to filter out. How can I not check that I have 20 notifications in Google+ when I can see it glaring at me in my google bar’s top right corner?

Information overload isn’t that much of a problem for me though…here’s looking at whatever other Goodies are coming our way from Big G+.

 

8
Jul

Google+ “Nearby”, What Latitude + Buzz Should Have Been

Google+ on Android is amazing. It has a feature called “Nearby” that lets you see a public stream of messages that are occuring near your GPS Location. I haven’t been able to find this feature on the web version (for obvious reasons I am guessing).

Google Latitude used Google Buzz to pull this off, but it was much more difficult to do. You could only do it from Google Maps, and for a while only from your phone, and you would have to navigate over chat bubbles on the map to click and see them. There was also no real ability to follow the person from that menu and it was just tedious to use, although cool. The way it worked also changed frequently without word, or at least an easy way to get to some update notes.

The big problem with Buzz + Latidude is that it was 2 apps, and 2 apps most people don’t understand, so it kinda went the way of Google Wave. Without publicity and ease of use it just wont work. Google+ is a great step toward that usability. It is simple, clean and makes sense very quickly.

This has already helped me! I started adding people talking nearby that looked like they were in tech and already found a designer I may be interested in commisioning. The applications here are pretty endless for those seeking or providing services.

They also seem to have a check in feature similar to Foursquare for the mobile apps, that may make sharing info about places easier, though I think we need a “stream” per location rather than just overall nearby.

So far I am rather Impressed with Google+. especially with it’s integration into Gmail. Being able to check updates and respond in the same window that I am always in is very helpful!

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Alexander Conroy is Chief Optimization Officer and Co-President of Esotech in Miami Florida
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