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Adobe Photoshop App

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 11.54.18 AM.png 

I don't know about you but I'm not one to take many selfies but with this new photoshop app from Adobe I know I'll be taking more pictures. Now many of us are familiar with Adobe photo editor on our PC however this new app will be able to bring a more accessible way to interface.
Adobe has been working on mobile apps for years, on 2011 the first edition of photo editor for mobile devices from Adobe came out named as Photoshop Touch, unfortunately it wasn't all the it was cracked up to be, it wouldn't let you display any more than the most basic information for a file; for instance, it didn't show the image dimensions or any EXIF info. It also offered only the most basic sharing, which was e-mailing a link and only allowing comments. In May, Adobe announced the end of Photoshop Touch while offering a sneak peek at Project Rigel, the new photoshop app, predicted to come out in october. This new app however will only be eligible for download for Apple's iPhones and iPad. No worries Android fans, Adobe still offers a couple other related mobile apps, Photoshop Express app for lightweight photo editing and Photoshop Mix for combining two photos.

Posted in <a href="">apps</a>, <a href="">internet</a>, <a href="">iphone</a>, <a href="">mobile</a>, <a href="">technology</a> | Post Comment

The Great Smartphone Debate

It could be the most heated debated rivalry of the century. It's a question that has caused passionate arguments across the world: Which is better, iOS or Android? You could walk into a room full of people and ask each one which is their favorite smartphone operating system, and the odds are pretty good that most would have a preference. Some would even be able to explain why one is better, despite having never really used the other.

iScreen shot 2015-07-15 at 8.47.26 AM.pngt's interesting that it appears that smartphone users are split right down the middle, when the Android operating system actually dominates the global market. As of this year, 78% of smart devices run the Android operating system, with iOS making up only 17%. With such a wide gap, one could make the argument that these two products aren't really competitors in the traditional sense at all. What these numbers more accurately show, is the market share of people who are more inclined to spend money on their brand new devices versus the people who are less inclined.

iOS users account for 23% of online sales, while Android users account for only 5%. As you can see, these sets of numbers outlining market share and the amount of money being spent on them are pretty reversed. This shows to some degree that Android devices are viewed by many as the natural replacement to their previous products that do not run such software. Have you found that you use barely any of your smartphone's features? Would you agree that many use their smartphones as the new basic phone? We'd like to hear your thoughts in a comment below!

Posted in <a href="">android</a>, <a href="">apps</a>, <a href="">internet</a>, <a href="">Inventions</a>, <a href="">iphone</a>, <a href="">mobile</a>, <a href="">technology</a> | Post Comment

Extending Your Android Phone's Battery Life


Take a look at this screenshot of the home screen on my Nexus 5 smartphone. Do you notice anything unusual? Besides the fact that I use instead of Yahoo Mail or Gmail, what is different about my smartphone is the fact that my LTE connection is turned off. I do this intentionally to preserve battery life.

I have found that leaving my internet connection on all the time burns through my battery life must faster compared to leaving it off by default and only turning it on when I need to use it.

The Gains

Prior to experimenting with this way of saving battery life, a charge would last me about a day, if that. Now, depending on usage, I regularly get well over a day per charge, but not quite two full days.

How To Quickly Toggle Internet Connectivity

Starting with Android 5.0, the Android platform no longer allows 3rd party apps to toggle internet activity due to security reasons. Gone are the days when you could simply download a widget that could quickly toggle internet connection with just one click. Now, the fastest way I have found requires 2 clicks. Simply add Settings to your homepage as a shortcut, and select Data Usage as the item to display. On my phone, this is what the new "widget" displays when clicked:


This screen enables me to not only quickly toggle internet connection, but also view where I am in my usage for the month. If you feel that your battery life is much less that what you think your phone is capable of, I highly recommend you consider looking into managing your smartphone's internet connection.

Posted in <a href="">android</a>, <a href="">apps</a>, <a href="">Google</a>, <a href="">mobile</a>, <a href="">technology</a> | Post Comment

Tablet Purchasing Tips

New Tablet PicI, like millions of consumers around the globe, plan on purchasing a tablet computer in the next few months. This will actually be my second attempt at purchasing a tablet. About a year ago, I purchased a 7" generic tablet from Amazon. I figured that all tablets were pretty much the same and that I didn't need to spend more than a hundred dollars in order to get a decent functioning tablet. How wrong I was!

I soon learned that a tablet is not one of those items that you should skimp on. The device that I had was not terrible, but it failed in 2 key areas. First, the display was very bland. It had a screen resolution of 800 X 480, which does not look very good on a 7" tablet. I remember being able to see the actual pixels on some games and pictures. I mainly used the tablet to read PDF files, so seeing the text pixelated at times was quite distracting.

Second, the particular tablet that I purchased did not run and was not able to run Google Play, the official Android app store. This did not seem like such a big deal at first, as I figured downloading and using another popular app store would suffice. This proved to be unsatisfying as well, since competing app stores generally have a limited selection of apps and their versions of the most popular apps tend to be outdated.

All things said, I learned a valuable lesson in tech purchasing: don't focus your eye on the cheapest product. A new rule of thumb I use is to calculate a nice middle ground and shop within that price point. For example, a cheap generic tablet may cost about $100 and a premium tablet may cost about $500, so right now I'm comparing what kind of tablet I can get for about $300. Have you ever been disappointed by a tech purchase? We'd love to hear your thoughts and what you learned in a comment below.  

Posted in <a href="">android</a>, <a href="">apps</a>, <a href="">internet</a>, <a href="">mobile</a>, <a href="">technology</a> | Post Comment

Google Announces Revolutionary Email Platform Called "Inbox"

New gmail called Inbox by GoogleToday, Google announced the launch of a new email platform called "Inbox."  The project has been in the making for two years, and was built by the same people who launched gmail.   This isn't going to replace gmail, but it will compete.  Inbox was built to revolutionize the email industry, and that's just what it's going to do.  

Of all the new features entailed, we believe Inbox's most impressive feature to be what Google calls the "Highlights" feature.  This gives Inbox the ability to read through your emails, identify the key information, and highlight that part of the message, so that you don't have to spend countless time browsing.  More impressively, Inbox will access your flight itinerary, for example, and display it with the real-time flight status, which Inbox is able to retrieve from the web.

New Google Email Gmail called InboxIn addition to Highlights, Inbox will feature more comprehensive bundles to sort your email.  In the current gmail interface, the system automatically tags emails as either: Primary, Social, or Promotions.  The idea was to let you quickly move through certain types of emails, like Twitter updates or Upcoming Events.  The new system will do just that, but it will take bundling to a new level.  You will now be able to look through your bank statements at once, and you can even teach the system to read your mind by telling it what type of emails you'd like to be grouped together.

Inbox has also made strides in developing the way you are reminded of upcoming events, tasks, and follow ups.  The product itself is not yet available to the public, but Google has announced that you can get an invitation to use it when it becomes available by emailing Google at

Posted in <a href="">apps</a>, <a href="">Calendar</a>, <a href="">email</a>, <a href="">Google</a>, <a href="">news</a> | Post Comment

The King of Android File Managers

OI File ManagerIf you're a consumer, the odds are high that at some point in your life you have experienced the excitement of opening a box containing a brand new smartphone and marveling over its beauty, speed, and capabilities. For most people, half of the apps that come with the phone are unusable, so they go straight to their app store of choice to download some alternatives.

Of all of the apps on an Android device, the file manager is considered by many to be the most sensitive. People expect their file manager to work right out of the box, and they can become quickly frustrated when it can't fix the problem it was supposed to solve.  When they don't work as planned, the more popular and recognizable apps will send across a message like this: "This is the way our app is designed and this is the way it works. Good luck finding an alternative that is as good." But, because of plentiful competition and because the file manager performs such a seemingly simple task, it's unable to make such claims.

If you visit the Apps section of the Google Play Store and search for "file manager", you will be pleased to find that there are hundreds of different options. What is not pleasing is trying to guess which ones are usable, avoiding the ones that are horrible, and finding the one that is great and provides a consistent experience. I'll save you a little bit of time: somewhere around the 10th result you'll see an app by the name of "OI File Manager". Go ahead and install that one.

OI File Manager MenuThe OI stands for "Open Intents", which reveals that the app is very much open source. (It is so open source that you can quickly download the app in just 2 clicks from the website using any browser on any device.) The fact that the app is open source plays a huge part in why it is the best. With all of the apps that you use that contain ads, why add another one to the list? Also, why would you need to give any company access to the private files on your device?

Another reason why OI File Manager is awesome is because it allows you to extract files from a zip file. This sounds so simple, but you would be surprised to know how many different apps I had to go through before finding one that was able to do so in such a straightforward way. Straightforward is the keyword to remember. If you're frustrated with how confusing, incapable, and slow your local file manager is, check out OI File Manager.

Posted in <a href="">android</a>, <a href="">apps</a>, <a href="">mobile</a>, <a href="">Productivity</a> | Post Comment

Android Apps Coming To A Computer Near You

Android on ComputerEvery once in a while, a programmer makes the news for creating something extraordinary. He or she creates something that pushes the boundaries of what code was believed to be capable of. Today, that award goes to a developer by the alias of "Vladikoff". In order to understand what he built, you first need to think about the way Android apps currently work. If you want to run an Android app, what would you use to run the app?

For most people the answer is obvious: any device that runs the Android operating system. Most people believe that only Android smartphones and tablets are capable of running such apps. Those who are tech savvy know that, in addition to such devices, one can run apps on their computer using developer tools, virtual machines, emulators, etc. 

Although running Android apps in the Chrome browser is in its early stages and still prone to errors, Vladikoff created a "hack" that allows you to simply drag an app into the Chrome window and begin running it. Since Chrome is a web browser available on all major computer operating systems (Windows, Mac, and Linux), this progress is a game changer. It means that even Mac users, whom Apple has been trying to protect from the Android ecosystem, will now be able to run Android apps. Android is not far from being a part of everyone's computing experience.    

Posted in <a href="">android</a>, <a href="">apps</a>, <a href="">internet</a>, <a href="">Inventions</a>, <a href="">Java</a>, <a href="">linux</a>, <a href="">mobile</a>, <a href="">news</a>, <a href="">technology</a> | Post Comment

Who Will Have Access To Your Phone?

Phone Disabled PicIt's a scenario that fiction novels have touched on for decades: organizations tapping into our personal devices and using them to harvest information about us. We have all gotten so used to the idea of large organizations having our data that most people don't resist it anymore. Purchasing a smartphone and loading it with personal information is now commonplace. What is more, people will download social network apps with the sole purpose of sharing their personal information. Whether the devices have this information or not, they are still valuable to thieves.

In the US, smartphone theft has been hailed as an "epidemic", with about 120 devices being stolen every minute. That is a staggering number. In the time it took you to read this sentence, about 4 people had their cell phone stolen. As a result, state governments have been pondering over what laws to create or measures to take to curb this relatively new problem.

California has recently announced a bold measure: creating a law that requires all smartphones sold in the state to have a "kill switch" built in that forces the device off if it has been reported as lost or stolen. What this means is that stolen devices would no longer be of any value, being in a sense paperweights until reactivated. What are your thoughts on this proposal? Would you be okay with the state having access to this "kill switch" on your phone? Share a comment below!

Posted in <a href="">apps</a>, <a href="">Complaint</a>, <a href="">Facebook</a>, <a href="">Government</a>, <a href="">internet</a>, <a href="">iphone</a>, <a href="">mobile</a>, <a href="">opinion</a>, <a href="">security</a> | Post Comment

A New Angle


The other night a notification popped up on my phone screen, it was from the Snapchat Team. Which typically I wouldn’t have opened, but I just clicked on it and to my surprise I was drawn into what they were informing me of. It contained an entire tutorial on this new story option they had created just for EDC stories on Snapchat. At that moment, I knew what EDC was but had no understanding of the concepts or dynamics behind it. Then I had a realization of the popularity of this event for one application as well-known as Snapchat to recognize one event so big that they decided to create a whole category for it. My curiosity at this point initiated my research behind what all of this was about.

 I have been to music concerts before but EDC would blow any of those out of the water I am sure. EDC standing for Electric Daisy Carnival is put on by Insomniac and a carnival it is. They don’t only play music but they have live performers, light shows, interactive art, and circus acts, but the audience participation is their number one focus. They create this experience for their guest’s that allows every sensation of their bodies to be enticed in this moment. From the lights to the creatures they bring to life all around the audience, they create a world unlike any other place on this earth.

While reading about the journey he has had to overcome, Pasquale Rotella is finally living his childhood dreams. He is the true mastermind behind EDM (Electric Dance Music). He held the vision of these extremely detailed events and technological advances now have helped him put all of this together to create EDC. He has not just created an entirely new category of music and concerts, but an experience for his guests that can never be taken away. The intricate detail that is behind the designs, with the coupling of technology is a powerful and almost unrealistic thought. The way these two extremes come together is pure beauty.

Now, I understand why Snapchat took such an interest to this event. They have always had stories where “snaps” can be shared with your friends for 24 hours, but now they turned it up a notch. With simply one location of an event, Snapchat can now bring all of these stories together. EDC was chosen to be the test run for this new category at their annual event in Las Vegas, Nevada this last weekend. Don’t worry though, your pictures weren’t shared automatically. The EDClive account would have to be added and your location turned on your phone.

The real reasoning behind this new feature is to be able to see every different angle and side of an event. This, in my opinion, is extremely creative. Now it won’t be just a curiosity of what the stage looks like from a different area, everyone added to this stream will get a slide show of everyone’s position and angle of EDC. How brilliant it is to merge this popular event and application, and it will, without a doubt, be a pivotal occurrence.

Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">apps</a>, <a href="">internet</a>, <a href="">iphone</a>, <a href="">technology</a>, <a href="">tutorials</a> | Post Comment

Review: Android 4.4.3 Software Update

2 days ago, I received a unique notification on my phone: one that I do not get very often. This notification is one that puts a grin on the face of just about every Android enthusiast. I'm talking about an OTA update, or "over the air" update. This time, it was for the latest 4.4.3 update for my Nexus 5. My Nexus 5 is actually the first Nexus device that I have ever owned, and I must say I love the phone! It is very fast and the battery life is exceptional. I actually use an app called "Data Enabler" which I use to turn off my LTE connection when I am not using it, and this causes my battery to usually last me 2 or 3 days per charge. This is phenomenal, considering that most smartphone users have to charge their phone every day.

Nexus 5 - Android 4.4.3

As I finished downloading the 4.4.3 software update, I was not surprised to see that not much had changed in terms of visuals. Just about everything looked the same with the exception of the default phone dialer app. This app had actually been overhauled. In terms of usability, it was definitely a step in the right direction, but in terms of visuals I still do not understand why just about every contact in my phone has to be a different color. Nevertheless, I am very happy with the resulting software, and am very glad that I have a Nexus device and am able to get the latest updates as they are released by Google.

As I was browsing the internet for more information regarding this update, I discovered that Google's policy is that it only updates its Nexus devices 18 months with the latest software. I was a little dismayed to learn this, but once again not surprised. A business won't survive if it updates/fixes its products forever. For now, I am happy with the phone, and when that sad day comes when my Nexus 5 is considered "too old" by Google for more updates, I plan on looking for alternative software.

Posted in <a href="">apps</a>, <a href="">Google</a>, <a href="">mobile</a>, <a href="">technology</a> | Post Comment

Inability To Move Messages From iOS to Android Causing Lawsuits

For decades, Apple has prided itself on providing its users with a tightly-controlled, high quality ecosystem. Once you join the family of Apple devices, you enjoy a seamless user experience across thems, whether they be computers, iPads, or iPhones. Apparently all is well until you decide you want to leave and take your messages with you.


At the center of a lawsuit filed May 15th is iMessage, the messaging app Apple released as the default messaging app for iOS devices. The lawsuit points to the fact that the iMessage app shows preferential treatment and sends text messages to other iOS devices faster than other devices. While this is not surprising, as soon as that fact was discovered, it led investigators to another startling fact: the iMessage app would hold messages for long periods of time before sending them to Android users, if ever sending them at all.

How slow of delivery are we talking here? Well, imagine your friend texts you with his iPhone to invite you to the movies, and then your Android phone gets the message the next morning. Such a scenario is all too possible, as many users report getting messages days after they were reportedly sent.

Iphone Messages Pic

What's more, further investigation found that a bug exists in iMessage that actually "ruins" your phone number in such a way that if you attempt to later receive messages to that number using an Android device, you won't get them. Also, it is impossible to seamlessly transfer text messages from iMessage to Android.

What do you think about Apple's strategy? Do you think "strongly encouraging" your customers to stay is a good idea, or a recipe for disaster? Leave a comment below?

Posted in <a href="">apps</a>, <a href="">Google</a>, <a href="">internet</a>, <a href="">iphone</a>, <a href="">mobile</a> | Post Comment

Does your business need a mobile website or a mobile app?

The mobile age has come upon us, whether we are ready for it or not. The popularity of smartphones and tablets has made it more than necessary for businesses to have some sort of mobile presence. Within this very year, internet usage on mobile devices is expected to surpass internet usage on desktop computers. As Bob Dylan would testify, the times sure are changing.

Perhaps you or your business currently own and maintain a website, but you want to get started on your mobile presence. To make the most effective use of your funds, you will want to choose between optimizing your website for mobile or building a mobile app because its possible you don't need both right away.  I will share several questions that will help guide your decision.

Do your customers need to have an internet connection in order to take advantage of your service?

  • If your services/products require an internet connection (shopping cart, logins, etc.) you may want to consider a mobile site.

Will you be consistently updating your mobile content and services?

  • When you release a version of an app, even the smallest change will require you to go through the process of releasing a new version of the app.  Mobile sites are just like desktop sites in that you can make and release changes fast.

Are you targeting all internet users, or a specific population?

  •  A mobile site can be accessed by any device with a web browser and internet connection. Mobile apps are specific to their platforms, which means you will need to develop separate apps for iPhone users and Android users.

Mobile apps truly are more versatile and the better option for small businesses.  Contact us today and we can help get your site mobile optimized.  We can also help you if you need a custom app solution.

Posted in <a href="">apps</a>, <a href="">domains</a>, <a href="">ecommerce</a>, <a href="">internet</a>, <a href="">iphone</a>, <a href="">mobile</a>, <a href="">technology</a>, <a href="">web projects</a> | Post Comment

Mobile Savvy: 5 Key Points Small to Medium-Sized Businesses Can’t Afford to Ignore

Can I tell you a secret? I know you may feel (at least occasionally) that mobile devices have ruined your life (just a little bit.) I know sometimes you really, really wish the fad would just die already. I don't relish being the bearer of bad news, but the truth is, that shiny, overpriced, white thing that appears to be super-glued to the body of every teenager and the majority of adults under 50, isn't going away.

Hard as it may be for some to hear, small business to medium-sized businesses need to embrace mobile if they wish to stay competitive within the consumer market. As we near the beginning of 2014, here are 5 tips for taking your business to the mobile market.

Location, location, location

Unlike desktop users, mobile users are more likely to only perform local searches. In some cases they search only within their neighborhood, but others will search only within their own zip code.

In addition to optimizing mobile versions of your website text for your local neighborhood(s) and zip code(s), it’s critical to make sure that your information on Google Maps, FaceBook Business Pages,, and other popular popular geo-location sites is up to date with accurate contact information.

When it comes to pulling a map and/or directions, the easier you can make it for mobile users, the better.

Visuals are worth more than 1000 words

Short of reading an e-Book, mobile users are typically uninterested in anything text heavy. Pictures are great, but video is the way to a mobile user’s heart.

With that in mind, keep it simple. You don’t need long segments. In fact, length can hurt more than help. Focus on short (think 1 minute or less) segments that are tailored to your industry. Useful tips and hints, brief advice and more are all viable ideas.

Whiteboard animation videos are intriguing and quality whiteboard videos can be made for reasonable rates. Don’t say no; video in one area in which you definitely want to drive right in.

M isn’t doesn't only stand for Mobile —it’s also stands for Marriage

We live in a culture where our mobile devices are always with us. iPhone is the face on the pillow next to us in the morning. We say goodnight to Android after we’ve said goodnight to a romantic partner. As much as many say they want to escape, few of us can afford the costly divorce.

Rather than filing for separation, incorporating the 24/7 culture of mobile involvement is an important piece of any mobile marketing strategy. People can, do and will continue to access your mobile website, social media platforms, and any of your mobile apps at all times of the day, whether you’re at work or not. Keep it in mind and use it to your advantage.

Social butterfly says: ‘Just call me Queen Bee’

Mobile + social goes hand in hand. The majority FaceBook users connect via mobile device. Etsy has seen a 45% increase in users accessing the popular e-commerce engine via app. With this in mind, the more social you can be, the better.

It’s important to have a plan before diving in to the world of social media, but with that in mind, the more mobile-friendly you are, the greater your success with what is a rapidly growing user group.

Mobile promotions are the new black card.

Okay, not quite. Yet in all seriousness, offering special promotions and coupons specific to mobile users (think FourSquare…) is a great way to target this niche audience and encourage them to visit your business. Food trucks, boutiques, restaurants… mobile promotions or investing in mobile advertising, is the future.

So what’s the bottom line for small and medium sized businesses?

You can’t afford to ignore mobile users. Period. Larger companies and web-based start-ups brought us in to a mobile world. Each day that sees users becoming even more dependent on their mobile devices, means a day you’ve lost if you’ve held off on targeting this unique share of the market.

With mere weeks until we welcome 2014, now is the time to start planning your mobile marketing campaigns. Get a head start, make it your New Years Resolution… and remember, this won’t force you to give up cake! So... to prosperity and mobile in the new year? Cheers.

Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">apps</a>, <a href="">Design</a>, <a href="">Facebook</a>, <a href="">Facebook</a>, <a href="">internet</a>, <a href="">iphone</a>, <a href="">mobile</a>, <a href="">Online Marketing</a>, <a href="">SEO</a>, <a href="">social media</a>, <a href="">Social Networking</a>, <a href="">technology</a>, <a href="">Utah Search Engine Optimization</a>, <a href="">video</a> | Post Comment

Maximum Exposure: when is the best time to post to Facebook?

Despite a number of experts offering advice to the contrary, there simply is not a one size fits all solution when it comes to the best day and/or time to engage with your FaceBook followers. So, are there any words of wisdom can I impart? Of course there are… I mean, this would be an extremely short (not to mention pointless!) sentence otherwise, right? So, how do you determine what’s best for your business? Well, let’s start with this…

Forget knowing your audience —you must understand them.

You may know your audience, but understanding your audience means you also know and understand their patterns and behaviors. What does their day typically involve? What type of schedule do they follow? Because the majority of posts on FaceBook will receive around half its reach in the first 30 minutes following its debut, these little intricacies are more important than you may think.

Who is your audience?

You may be surprised by the demographic that dominates your FaceBook friends list. Their gender and age range is easily accessible to you by simply opening your FaceBook insights and taking a peek at the ‘Likes’. It’s also worth your time to review location information. Why? Even if you know you have a large customer base in one state, you may be overlooking a large segment of people in differing time zone.

How do they spend their day?

If you have a large following of stay-at-home-moms, chances are their viewing habits will vary greatly from someone who is say, a Fortune 500 CEO.

Apply common sense.

Now you have additional information about your audience. Remember, the demographic on FaceBook may not match up with the one you’ve determined regularly visits your website itself. That’s okay. It simply means you need to tailor your posts to fit the correct demographic.

A Few Fun Facts About FaceBook & Mobile Devices:

  • A FaceBook user is more likely to access FaceBook via smartphone or mobile device as opposed to their desktop.  
  • About 80% of Smartphone users between the ages of 18—44 make it a priority to check their phone 1st thing in the morning.
  • An astounding 86% of smartphone users state they engage more with their phone around meal times, and while watching TV.
  • Time spent on a smartphone or mobile device during the week is nearly double when compared to the weekends.


Hold up. I know you’re anxious to put your newfound knowledge to the test, but here’s the thing… have you considered when you have the most competition? Even if users are on FaceBook, if you’re competing with a user’s other FaceBook friends and brands/celebs/or bands they follow, you’re still unlikely to develop as much engagement as you’d like.

Unfortunately, there is no foolproof method for developing social engagement, but rather a game of trail and error while trying to find a magic combo of when most of your FaceBook following is online, while simultaneously figuring out when they are subjected to fewest number of new posts.

What is the real secret to gaining maximum exposure on FaceBook?

  1. Know and understand your audience.
  2. Understand there is no such thing as a one-size solution, but rather what is right for your business. 

Posted in <a href="">apps</a>, <a href="">branding</a>, <a href="">Facebook</a>, <a href="">Facebook</a>, <a href="">iphone</a>, <a href="">mobile</a>, <a href="">Online Marketing</a>, <a href="">organization</a>, <a href="">Productivity</a>, <a href="">SEO</a>, <a href="">social media</a>, <a href="">Social Networking</a> | Post Comment

Living Vycariously Is No Longer Limited to FaceBook & Twitter (or Instagram)

v(y)·car·i·ous (sic)

1. experienced in the imagination through the feelings or actions of another person.

If you’ve ever dreamed of living vicariously through the experiences of your friends, you’ll be thrilled to know there’s a new app for that.

In a social media world that is seemingly already over-crowded, Vycarious is now available for iOS users who wish to create and share their own experiences, or, as the name suggests, live vicariously through that 3-week vacation of a friend.

More of the social media same? Well, yes & no.

What sets it apart from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram… and numerous other apps which offer virtually the same things? As Vycarious  CEO & co-founder, Rosalie Bartlett recently answered critics by musing that Vycarious  offers users one thing those other apps do not: organization.

‘With Twitter, it’s tiny snippets. They have broken it down in to moments; they’ve condensed it. But there’s no organization,’ Bartlett recently told Mashable.

How does Vycarious work?

Choose an experience.

Users begin by creating a description of the experience they wish to share. Naturally, the next question becomes, 'Such as?'

  • Shopping at Target? Okay.
  • A day in the office of the Luna team? Needs to happen.
  • A first date? Sure, but could anyone actually get away with this and have hope for a second?

Create some ambiance.

Choices, choices...

  • Upload a video or a photo as the main image.
  • Decide on a starting date and time.
  • And of course, #hashtag it (aka make it searchable).

Hit the ground running.

Let's get going! In order to document and create a well rounded user experience, you'll want to continue to upload photos, videos, etc… until your allocated time period runs out.

Worthy mention:

Although you will no longer be able to contribute to your posted experience after its set time has lapsed, your friends can continue to live Vycariously for as long as you keep it alive on the site.

Let us live Vycariously through you!

Simply put, the Luna team would love to get a look into the lives of our followers. Whether you want to share the experience of shopping at Rite Aid on Broadway & 5th in Downtown Los Angeles, to shopping at a Walmart in a small town in Texas, to a first date at a number of Salt Lake City locales, there’s few limits regarding what may be defined as an experience.

Let us live Vycariously by tweeting us or sending us your links via Facebook so we can get to you you better. Either way, we’d love to know what you think of the latest social network newcomer to enter the scene.

Posted in <a href="">apps</a>, <a href="">iphone</a>, <a href="">mobile</a>, <a href="">news</a>, <a href="">social media</a>, <a href="">Social Networking</a>, <a href="">technology</a> | Post Comment

For Real-Time Info On LAX Tragedy, Officials Direct the Public to... Twitter?

Today around 9:30 am Pacific Time, a shooter opened fire at Los Angeles International Airport, tragically killing a TSA agent and wounding several others. It goes without saying that the actions that took place at LAX are senseless and devastating. With rumors and speculation already hitting the social sphere, at 10:37, the following tweet was posted:

For members of the social media community, the response from officials is something those in our industry are noting closely.

Although they declined to identify the shooter at a press conference, they informed the public that the LAX Official Twitter account, @LAX_Official, would be their best source for getting the most ‘up to date information on both the shooting and the effects on inbound and outbound flights.’

Are there any uses of social media that have surprised you? What do you think about Twitter (or other social networks) doubling as news sources?

Posted in <a href="">apps</a>, <a href="">blogs</a>, <a href="">internet</a>, <a href="">iphone</a>, <a href="">mobile</a>, <a href="">news</a>, <a href="">social media</a>, <a href="">Social Networking</a>, <a href="">technology</a>, <a href="">viral</a> | Post Comment

Simple Tips to Aid In Attracting (and Converting) Mobile Consumers

With the explosion in the mobile market, the number of shoppers who opt for mobile devices to serve their shopping needs is only going up. Virtual market places such as Etsy report they are seeing as much as 45% of their site traffic arriving via mobile phones and tablets.

Is your website or mobile device application ready for the future of the online consumer market? Check out our super star strategies for attracting and converting mobile shoppers.

1. (Mobile) Shop 'Til You Drop.

Don’t worry; no money need change hands for this part. We’re merely encouraging you to put yourself in the shoes of your customers. Take a look at how your e-commerce store and website stacks up compared to others.

  • What do you like about your go-to mobile e-commerce website?
  • Are there parts you find difficult to navigate?
  • Is it cluttered or clean?

Chances are you’ll begin to see commonalities in mobile market places that receive praise and positive word-of-mouth reviews.

2. Tighten and tailor.

No, not clothes. Think writing.

  • Use short, succinct titles offering only pertinent information.
  • Resist the urge to give too much information.

Research has shown that when it comes to browsing the web, readers skim for key words. TMI is well... too much.

3. Invest in an information bank. 

Analytics/website statistics software, such as Luna’s ‘Lunalytics’ platform are a great way to gain in-depth knowledge about the patterns of your web traffic. By adding Lunalytics to your monthly Luna Subscription, you will be able to gain valuable insight in to the patterns of those who visit your website.

Have you ever wondered...

  • Which are the busiest day(s) of the week for your website?
  • The time of day that sees the most traffic? 
  • The types of blog posts and content that garner the most attention?

I've only listed three things and with those alone, the marketers out there can already see how this type of information can be priceless in planning how best to reach potential clients.

4. Focus on fierce photography.

High quality photography is a important for desktop websites, but when it comes to mobile, high quality photographs vs. a lack thereof are often key to success within the mobile consumer market.

Despite the fact that screen size and thus, ratio will vary depending on a user’s device of choice, high quality images are critical. If you are unsure about how to obtain high quality photographs, contact the Luna team for photography and online marketing help today. 

Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">apps</a>, <a href="">Design</a>, <a href="">ecommerce</a>, <a href="">iphone</a>, <a href="">mobile</a>, <a href="">Online Marketing</a> | Post Comment

6 Seconds of Video is the New 140 Characters of Text

I recently returned from Kentucky where I spent the 4th celebrating with my family. While hanging out with my brother, I was reintroduced to Twitter’s Vine app. I had put it in the back burner of my mind, but after watching some of my brothers posts, I realized what an amazing tool it can be for business marketing.

If you haven’t heard of Vine, they describe themselves as a new tool “to see and share life in motion” with 6 second looped videos. My brother uses it to post videos of our family celebrating America with lacrosse sticks, bikes and pinatas. But it can be used by businesses to creatively market themselves to a wide audience. Here are my top 6 ways to use Vine as a business:

1. Product or Service Demonstration
Did you just create the most mouth-watering buffalo burger ever grilled and plated? Make a short film showing how it’s made and why it’s delicious. Entice customers and clients with a teaser video of your latest product or service.

2. Interviews with employees or testimonials
Put a face, voice, and personality with that staff member bio. Introduce clients to your team with videos of employees demonstrating their expertise. Film satisfied customers and create a testimonial post.

3. Promotions
What’s on sale today? Create a video of the sale items and entice customers to come in and see what else you have to offer.

4. Share News
Your company got mentioned in a business magazine. Make a video showcasing awards and recognitions to share the latest company news with clients. Just moved to a new office space? Showcase the new company pad with a video tour.

5. Educate
If you get asked the same questions by clients frequently, create a short video with an answer. Show users how to access that feature or who to contact for more information. A visual answer can go a long way in helping confused customers understand your product.

6. Be Your Brand
Vine is a great tool to tell the world what your business is all about. Are you a fun-loving social media startup? Create a video of the fierce competition at the company volleyball tournament. Even if you are a straight-laced banker, you can humanize your business by showing your involvement in community non-profits.

So start thinking in 6 minute increments and get on Vine. With creativity and a smartphone you can create compelling videos that show the world what your business can offer.

Posted in <a href="">apps</a>, <a href="">iphone</a>, <a href="">motion graphics</a>, <a href="">Online Marketing</a>, <a href="">Social Networking</a>, <a href="">technology</a>, <a href="">video</a> | Post Comment | 1

Great Idea: Adobe Makes Popular Touch App Available for FREE (And It Kinda Rocks!)

Adobe Ideas, is a professional vector drawing Touch App for iOS. Following a sweet update, Illustrator's tablet-based app companion has been made available for FREE, courtesy of Adobe, for iPhone and iPad users. Sure, the former $10 price tag is essentially next to nothing in the world of Adobe software, but who doesn't love free stuff?

So, what features can you expect in the latest version?

  • Toolbar customization, allowing you to add your 'I-Can't-Live-Without-Them' brushes
  • Capabilities to assist you in drawing with more accuracy & precision
  • Social media sharing for seamless (or shameless!) self-promotion on FaceBook and Twitter
  • Your color themes can be synced with Kuler.

And finally...

  • If you're a Creative Cloud member, no worries —syncing Ideas between your iPad, iPhone and the iWhatever Computer of your choice, is a snap.

That's great, but I'm not a designer... I'm a business owner...

And that's not a problem.

Part of what makes Ideas a fun must-download is that while it is meant for professional designers, it has color tools and abilities that not only make it a fun 'toy', you never know what you may create by accident. Plus...

Adobe's upcoming companion app, great for artists and businesses

Adobe Kuler will also be soon to make its iPhone debut and even better, it has the potential to benefit small businesses. Users will be able to take a photo and capture colors from street art, a garden, or anything else in their day-to-day worlds, and create a color theme in seconds.

So what are you waiting for? Pop over to the app store, download Adobe Ideas and play away. For those who love to over share, now is the time to indulge on social media and use those newly added sharing features. I personally can't wait to see them, so be sure to connect with us on Twitter at @lunawebs and show me what you create.

Posted in <a href="">apps</a>, <a href="">Design</a>, <a href="">Graphic Design</a>, <a href="">iphone</a>, <a href="">mobile</a> | Post Comment

Mobile Apps, Mobile Sites or Both, The Debate

With the advent of smart phones, it's unsurprising that strong debate has erupted over corresponding mobile applications vs. mobile websites. As business owners determine how best to interact with existing clients, grow their business, and cultivate new relationships, many find themselves at a loss.

'What does my business really need?' they ask. 'Should we build a mobile website? Everyone says we need an app, right? We should do both just to be safe.'

Before you proceed with any type of mobile development, familiarize yourself with a few rules of thumb to help you evaluate what's really in the best interest of your business.

Mobile Applications vs. Mobile Websites

1. Is the mobile application the product itself?

If you are building a new product or service and they way in which a customer will access the product is via the mobile application then a mobile site will most likely not meet your needs.

Example: Gaming applications.

It is far easier to build a mobile gaming app, compared to building a mobile website packed with the same features and functionality needed for the site to operate as intended for gaming. Uber online game developer, Zygna Inc. would have had a difficult time building all of their mobile application games as mobile sites. Farm-ville and Words with Friends are much more enjoyable (not to mention less buggy!) as mobile applications. 

2. Are you repackaging existing information available on your current website? 

If you are simply repackaging the same information that's already available on your current website, a mobile application may not be the right move. Why? A mobile website typically allows you the ability to offer a mobile version of your website, while taking advantage of your existing database, content and infrastructure.

Important to Consider: the experience of your user.

Smart phone users have numerous apps to maintain. It is annoying to users to download a new mobile application only to find that the same information could be (and is!) available more instantaneously and seamlessly via a mobile site. 

And finally you need to ask yourself...

3. Do I have the resources to maintain a mobile application? 

Mobile applications are not a 'one and done' deal. Whether you are building a mobile application for iOS, Android, or Windows, all will require ongoing monitoring and maintenance to ensure interoperability within their respective operating systems, to keep the mobile application listed on the app store or the marketplace, and to release updates when and if they are needed. 

Remember: mobile apps mean commitment is non-negotiable.

Websites and related applications are an investment.

There are many more considerations when deciding whether or not you want to build a mobile app or a mobile website. Choose carefully! Once you have selected your path it is difficult to abandon your investment. The world of mobile is still relatively in its infancy, making it impossible to predict what your needs may be a year or two down the road.

By doing your research and understanding the differences between mobile websites and mobile apps, you will be better prepared to determine the best solution for your business. 

Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">apps</a>, <a href="">ecommerce</a>, <a href="">Google</a>, <a href="">internet</a>, <a href="">iphone</a>, <a href="">mobile</a>, <a href="">technology</a> | Post Comment

Tablet Computers: 3 Years Later

Apple's iPad has made tablet computers a must-have for the masses. What's not to like? They're slim, their portability is second to none, and so long as you've disabled Siri, they don't talk back. When it comes to their use in the work-place, I've been very interested to see how (or if) they would evolve in to a genuine productivity tool.

  • Apple and Nordstrom have their sales associates charging credit cards, e-mailing receipts, and more thanks to the world of mobile.
  • Physicians now have the ability to access patient health records virtually, show images as they meet with patients, even look up information without having to grab a medical book, saves time and let's face it... the doctor with the iPad isn't exactly a bad PR move.

And in what I can only describe as beautifully inspiring...

  • Former reporter, Susan Spencer-Wendel typed an entire memoir on her iPhone using only her thumb after ALS stripped her of the use of her other limbs.

While studies show that certain office tasks that are traditionally completed using spreadsheets, word processing software, or customer relationship managers (CRM) tend to remain dominated by PCs, Tablets aren't coasting. When it comes to file syncing, sharing, social media and yes, presentations, tablet computers are playing to win.

Although they remain in their infancy, the mobile technology of smartphones and tablet computers has changed the world in only a few short years. Where will they go next?

Do you use a tablet computer for your business? We'd love to know more about your thoughts on tablet vs. PC; drop us a comment or connect with us via Twitter!

Posted in <a href="">apps</a>, <a href="">Inventions</a>, <a href="">iphone</a>, <a href="">mobile</a>, <a href="">Productivity</a>, <a href="">technology</a> | Post Comment

SAAS (Software As A Service): What You Need to Know About Social Media's Popular Virtual Assistant

Being active in social media is a struggle for many organizations. Even those who understand the importance and genuinely want to be involved often lack one key necessity: time. Enter software as a service. Many of our clients are familiar with Luna's Social Media Module (SMM), and in fact, it's one of our most popular software offerings.

Social Media Meets SAAS (aka Software as a Service)

In the case of Luna's Social Media Module, as well as other similar SAAS offerings, the value is found in enabling a user to draft one update, and post it to multiple social networks. As with our SMM, for example, it can even link to your company blog and automatically notify followers of new content. For small businesses in particular, the time saved is priceless.

So, what's the problem?

Familiarity Breeds Contempt... Or Worse: Laziness

When dealing with social media, familiarity and ease makes it more likely that your online presence will be all automated, all the time... To be blunt, it's easy to get lazy. It may not seem like that big a deal, right?


Put a Ring On It

Translation for those who aren't rocking out to Beyonce: engagement is a must. It's been talked about time and time again, and while you may think I sound like a broken record, there's a reason: it's true.

There's no doubt that the use of social media SAAS platforms are designed to make your life easier. While they certainly do serve that purpose, it's imperative to understand that your social media presence must be cultivated and nurtured by a real person.

Community Building

For our Utah-based clients, you're probably familiar with recent ads, produced by Stevens-Henager College. Their most recent campaign features that to which they as their 'Good Neighbor Initiative'. Long story short, the focus is on presenting the school as part of the community as a whole while featuring some of their free offerings.

While I am not endorsing the service(s) they advertise, from a marketing perspective, they have the right idea. Social media, whether it's FaceBook, Twitter, or Vine, the members are a community of their own. In order to reap the benefits, you've not only got to join in, you must do so in such a way that jives with the rules and guidelines already set in place.

SAAS Designed to Assist, Not to Replace

Although Software/SAAS certainly aids in producing links and content, it's meant to be used as a tool to help, not replace. At the end of the day, remember this: even the best software platforms cannot replace genuine and personal interaction.

Are you active on social media? What types of interactions have you experienced that have made a strong impression on you?

Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">apps</a>, <a href="">blogs</a>, <a href="">branding</a>, <a href="">Content Writing</a>, <a href="">Facebook</a>, <a href="">internet</a>, <a href="">iphone</a>, <a href="">Online Marketing</a>, <a href="">organization</a>, <a href="">PR Public Relations</a>, <a href="">SEO</a>, <a href="">social media</a>, <a href="">Social Networking</a>, <a href="">technology</a> | Post Comment

Pheed Feeding the Hunger for Social Media

Are you hungry for a social media platform that doesn't involve the words twit or face? If Apple's list of Top Free apps is any indication, the answer is a resounding, YES. New app kid on the block, Pheed, has jumped to Apple's #1 most downloaded social app, #5 overall.

Pheeding the (Over) Crowded Social Net

Pheed entered the social media sphere late last year to a lukewarm reception. After all, it's hard enough to keep up with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and now, Vine. It had all the makings of a failure because let's face it... how many apps can one use?

Four months, 30 countries, and over a million users later, Pheed appears to be getting the last laugh.

Pheed Feeds What?

Teenagers. Creatives. Filmmakers... Oh, you mean, what is its purpose?

Well... that's the thing... take Twitter, YouTube, Fac— Oh, just take all of the popular social media platforms and for all intents and purposes, you've got Pheed.

Users are able to share texts, photos, videos, audio tracks, voice memos, as well as live broadcasts.

You Own Your Content. Really.

With all of the recent controversy over Instagram, Facebook, and whether online content is really your own, Pheed has nipped that guessing game in the bud.

Post your photos. Post up to four hours of video... yet, unlike those other social media sites, Pheed offers one potentially priceless feature: monetization.

It goes like this:

For just under $2 up to $34.99, users can charge those interested in viewing their content. Costs are either done via pay per-view or a monthly subscription cost. Although Pheed does receive half of the revenue in order to cover their bandwidth, storage, and payment processing costs, the rest is all yours. Better yet, there's no ambiguity about who owns your content. You do; end of story.

Staying Power

Whether Pheed is here to stay is up for debate. It's a great idea in theory, however, sustainability for pay per-view or subscriptions may be the part that makes or breaks its success. After all, with users long having had access to celebrity generated content on social media for free, are they really going to start paying up now?

Do you have a Pheed? We'd love it see what you guys are going. See that comment box below? Talk to us!

Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">apps</a>, <a href="">internet</a>, <a href="">iphone</a>, <a href="">mobile</a>, <a href="">news</a>, <a href="">Online Marketing</a>, <a href="">social media</a>, <a href="">Social Networking</a>, <a href="">video</a> | Post Comment

Vine Means More Opportunity for Businesses (If You Know Where To Start!)

Social media is my well-documented addiction. Unsurprisingly, I'm currently pretty much obsessed with Twitter's new Vine app. While Vine had its share of early controversy, its popularity and fascination with six-second looping video is only continuing to grow. For business owners, Vine means one thing: opportunity.

Golden Goose

It may seem easy to write off, but business owners should ignore the potential marketing goldmine, Vine, can offer. Sure, many Vine videos involve cats, bad holiday sweaters, or seemingly endless cups of coffee, but hang out for a while and you'll quickly see numerous, and often unexpectedly creative videos.

Six-Second Storytelling

Yes, seriously. You'll be surprised by just how much creative storytelling those few seconds can offer. By removing the need for video editing, Vine offers businesses a unique tool to aid in advertising.

Unlimited Unique Content Opportunities

For all the talk about the importance of creating unique content, few (if any) platforms offer quite the same ease of use and low-cost provided by Vine. Because marketers know that video is more likely to get views than pages of content without visual, even the simple enhancement of a blog post became well within reach.

Let's Chat...

Now I'd love to know your thoughts! Are you interested in further exploring Vine for business use? Or if you're already using it, what do you think?

Posted in <a href="">apps</a>, <a href="">blogs</a>, <a href="">branding</a>, <a href="">iphone</a>, <a href="">mobile</a>, <a href="">news</a>, <a href="">Online Marketing</a>, <a href="">social media</a>, <a href="">Social Networking</a>, <a href="">technology</a>, <a href="">video</a> | Post Comment

Vine: Dos & Don'ts for Business Users

Telling short stories, unlocking the creativity of your team members, connecting with your target audience... Only your mind will limit what you can create with Vine.

Opportunity goes without saying, but knowing how to use Vine, and more importantly, how to do so effectively is something you can't afford to overlook. Whether you're currently using or planning to use the much-gabbed about app for business, you won't want to blur personal and professional lines with another social network before checking out our list of dos & don'ts.

Don't be unrealistic.

Vine's new. It's fun. It has a lot of hype. Now that you realize it, ignore it. The micro-vids you create with Vine are highly unlikely to result in a rapid gain in leads, followers, or cash... especially not initially. A slow build is to be expected.

Don't over-share.

This should go without saying, but given the commonality of Downfall via Social Media, it earned a place on this list. If you think it has even a slight chance of being viewed as inappropriate, don't post it on a business account. Period.

Do maximize creativity.

For all the comparisons between the two, Vine is not Instagram. Let your six-seconds provide viewers with storytelling or even a stellar how-to tutorial, but leave the feet pictures and most of the randomness to Instagram.

Do embrace consistency.

As with any social network, you can't post sporadically and expect people to come back. Even if you aren't able to post new clips daily, do so a few times a week to keep things fresh and interesting enough for viewers to want to follow you.

Do have a purpose.

If I watch your video and respond with, 'Why are you sharing this with me?' you've failed. Going back to creativity, Vine enables you to tell a micro-story. Unless you own a restaurant and it's a how-to for a new menu item, what you made for breakfast doesn't interest me.

Don't ignore industry trends.

You may know your industry as a whole, but knowing the latest trends and technology enables you to maximize Vine's potential. Telling a story means constantly having new ideas, so what better way to create relevant content than knowing the latest happenings within your industry?

Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">apps</a>, <a href="">iphone</a>, <a href="">Online Marketing</a>, <a href="">social media</a>, <a href="">Social Networking</a>, <a href="">video</a>, <a href="">viral</a> | Post Comment

Withering Vine: The Swift Implosion of Twitter's New Video-Sharing App

Well, that was fast...

The launch of Twitter's new brainchild, Vine, is already coming under fire thanks to users who've adopted the app as a way to post pornography. Although users have the option to report content they feel is in appropriate, that does little to negate the problem.

Acceptable Use

While Vine says it will remove videos that violate their Terms of Service, a quick browse and keyword search shows that there's no mention of nudity or pornography being against acceptable use. The developers have said that those videos that have been flagged will be placed behind a filter stating a user may find inappropriate content if they continue, but according to ABC News, the filter it hit and miss.

Apple Says...

Apple has been very strict about the standards put in place in order to safeguard against inappropriate images and material, even pulling a new photosharing app this past week after consumer complaints. Interestingly, they've declined to comment on Vine, which for better or worse, received Apple's Editor's Choice Award... They may have quietly pulled that glowing endorsement, but is there even anything to say other than, 'Yikes!' and 'Can this mess really get any worse?!'

Yes. Yes, it can...

Nail In the Coffin

Just when you thought it couldn't get worse (I mean, really?) it does.

An explicit video ended up as the 'Editor's Choice' in the app early this morning, causing Twitter to release a statement apologizing for 'human error'. The full statement issued by Twitter reads:

"A human error resulted in a video with adult content becoming one of the videos in Editor's Picks, and upon realizing this mistake we removed the video immediately. We apologize to our users for the error."

Withering Vine?

Since the internet became an integral part of life, pornography and the limiting of inappropriate content is one giant battle in keeping websites and now mobile apps, in the G-rated category. Flickr is an example of a photo sharing service that's managed to do reasonably well at filtering inappropriate content. And that's what's truly mind blowing; Vine's developers seemed to forget about the problems of those services preceding them. I mean, Viddy! aka Vine before Vine, met its demise for the same thing. Given the long history and knowing that inappropriate content looms large on the net, this whole snafu makes virtually no sense at all. 

The Aftermath

While PR teams are presumably in full panic mode and determining how best to spin the mess and do some desperately needed damage control, it brings up a variety of issues and questions pertaining to what role technology companies play in all of this. While it should go without saying that this is a reminder for parents to closely monitor the content being accessed by their children, is it really that simple? Do companies also have a responsibility to do their part to combat the problem of inappropriate content?

Vine's fate will be revealed in time, but for now, it looks like we're left with more questions than answers. For now, perhaps the only thing left to say is simply, no comment...

Posted in <a href="">apps</a>, <a href="">news</a>, <a href="">Social Networking</a>, <a href="">technology</a>, <a href="">video</a>, <a href="">viral</a> | Post Comment

Welcome to Vine: Twtitter's New InstaVideo App

Twitter's new brainchild known as 'Vine,' has quickly earned the description of being 'like Instagram but for videos.' According to Apple's app store, features include:

  • Unlimited Uploads
  • Instantly post on your Vine... then share via Twitter or Facebook
  • Find/Follow Friends
  • Use of hashtags to explore posts
  • Much more... (?)

To give a bit more detail, users can either register via e-mail or an existing Twitter account after which they will be able to start sharing their own video clips... Well, so long as the clip is six seconds or less.

So how does it work?

First, Vine lacks a record button. You simply hold your finger to the screen and release after you've captured your shot. Rather than traditional style editing, this 'catch/release' method works quite well. The best part is that in the end, no editing is necessary because you've already 'edited in' multiple shots.

Is it really the next Instagram?

Hard to say. It's possible, thanks to the design of the app itself being solid. It's simple, easy to use and most notably, I can foresee it being a solid tool for businesses. Not only are people all about video, it's a good way to develop and personalize a brand. The potential is there.

Welcome to Reality...

Fact of the matter is, video sharing + Instagram has been done. One can't think of a social network for video without remembering SocialCam, Viddy and Color... you know... those other 'Instagram of Video' apps. Needless to say, the fact that there's another video sharing app trying to target the same niche market as those before it doesn't exactly bode well for capturing that still-elusive niche market.

The harsh truth is simply this: watching bad video is painful and for better or worse, most people are not closet-filmmakers underneath.

Bottom Line

Vine is well made. It's useable. You have nothing to lose by the free download. That in mind, I can't say I agree with it being the 'Instagram of Video' quite yet. The potential is there, but it's just that: potential. And when you're looking at a coveted niche that has been done and re-done without success, only time will tell if Vine will be the breakout star.

Posted in <a href="">apps</a>, <a href="">iphone</a>, <a href="">Online Marketing</a>, <a href="">social media</a>, <a href="">Social Networking</a>, <a href="">technology</a>, <a href="">video</a> | Post Comment

InstaAnger: The Billion Dollar Backlash

What would you do with a billion dollars? I would buy a Gulfstream G650, an on-call pilot and commission Karl Lagerfeld to design my in-flight loungewear. Go big or go home, right? Of course if your name is Instagram (aka FaceBook), a billion dollars only buys a whole lot of controversy.

Since Facebook aquired the popular photo sharing app earlier this year, news media, bloggers and social networks have speculated as to how FaceBook would change Instagram. Many suggested whatever changes were on the way would be for the worse; they were right.

On Monday, Instagram released a new version of its Terms & Conditions, which specifically stated users would '...agree that a business or other entity may pay us [Instagram] to display your username, likeness, photos... in connection with paid and/or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.'

Perhaps New York-based photographer & popular Instagrammer, Clayton Cubitt said it best, opting to tweet a screenshot of the new terms and conditions, dubbing it simply, 'Instagram's suicide note'.

He wasn't alone.

Public backlash was swift with numerous Instagram users opting to delete their accounts and the app. I personally was given the push to finally sign up for FlickrPro.

Although Instagram has now backed away from its advertising plan, promising it would be 'reviewing' the policies that caused the revolt of a typically loyal fan base, the long term damage may already be done.

Despite claims that Instagram's intention is not to sell your photos and the terms having merely been written in broad terms for legal purposes, it's the type of controversy people are unlikely to forget any time soon.

For most of us, the real question is whether or not this policy is something you can accept. Sure, Instagram needs to make money in order to make FaceBook believe it's billion dollar investment was worth the cost. Since I'm not particularly worried about my billion dollar investment, I'm simply left to ponder the interesting, not to mention some potentially concerning issues surrounding who really owns what we believe is 'personal' online content.

Posted in <a href="">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="">apps</a>, <a href="">iphone</a>, <a href="">news</a>, <a href="">PR Public Relations</a>, <a href="">Social Networking</a> | Post Comment

What is a Smarter Website™?

Was your website built pre 2010? It may be time for an upgrade. Websites have come a long way and having the right tools to market and manage your busienss are critical to compete in today's online enviroment.

We partner with LunaSoft (our parent company) to build Smarter Websites™?

Here are some things to consider when determining if your website may need to be upgraded:

  1. Editable Website.  You are not able to edit the website yourself.
  2. Mobile/Responsive.  Your website is not mobile/ressponsive. It doesn't look good on all devices like smart phones, tablets and ipads.
  3. Online payments. You have to use a 3rd party to receive digital payments instead of your own branded website.
  4. Screen Size. Your site was built before screen resolutions had grown. You're not taking advantage of the fulll screen real estate you could.
  5. Favicon. If you don't have a quick bookmark favicon - you're kind of behind the times.
  6. Apple Icon. If your users can't make a quick icon for their apple device - same with favicon - let's get you cleaned up.
  7. Mass email. Are you having to constantly export lists to a 3rd party to do an email blast? THat's a thing of the past now.
  8. Quickbooks Integration. Can your approved staff see QBO sales data to support your customers without having a login to QBO?
  9. Too many integrations. Are you having to login to more than 2 locations to maintain your digital presence? It's worth looking at why.
  10. Password protection. Can you easily password protect a page and limit it to only groups you want to share with?
  11. Permissions. Can you create roles for your organization and limit access to the tools on your website as you wish?
  12. Contact Management. Can you and your team view contact information from the web on your site. Do new leads and emails automatically get entered into your contact CRM database?
  13. Analytics. Can you see visitor traffic, browser and operating system analytics from your website dashboard or do you have to login to another system?

These are just a few things that make a Smart Website. Is your website Smart?

Posted in <a href="">apps</a>, <a href="">opinion</a>, <a href="">SaaS</a>, <a href="">technology</a> | Post Comment

SocialCam 4.0: Six Simple Numbers, 136 Years, & Passion for Social Networking

174465. In a society that's hooked on news regarding a billion dollar mobile app, or debating the morality of CEOs who rake in 63 million dollar bonuses, 174465 is a number that's seemingly unspectacular. On the contrary, this number changed the world.

The year was 1876. The Date? 07 March. The United States issued Patent No. 174465 to Alexander Graham Bell. Given that early enthusiasm was limited at best, disappointing at worst, chances of our ancestors being early adopters are likely slim to none. 

136 years, 6 simple numbers, and billions of people later, many of us lived through the development of the first cellular phone. We remember our cars having home-style telephones. Years later, we camped out to get our first iPhone. A few years later brought a mad rush to be one of the first to own a tablet computer. Today, some of us have gone so far as to purchase a new luxury sedan that doubles as a mobile hotspot, ensuring its passengers are never without the internet.

Unlike its relic cousin once removed, internet-based 'smartphones' provide instant, continual, and relatively inexpensive communication. The fact that you're located in the States, while your best friend is based in Geneva, Switzerland, has now become a non-issue.

Of course, When you look at the history involved, the rise of a mobile picture-sharing app, such as Instagram, is unsurprising. While many will debate the secrets Instagram's success, most will agree on several factors:

  • It provided a users with a simple, easy-to-use platform.
    Its selection of custom filters & minor editing tools offered users additional personalization.
    It offered users the ability to capture, edit, upload, and share their feed, directly on the site, in addition to selective linking to other social networks.

Don't worry... you're not going to be treated to me digging up the horse, solely so I can beat him a bit more. Photo-sharing is old news. Mobile video-sharing, however, is just getting started.

Enter SocialCam 4.0.

Launched in March 2011 by (duh) San Francisco-based internet start-up,, the original SocialCam app was initially like many others. You capture video. You share video. Now? Let's just say that if you're one who's craving an Instagram-esque video app, you need not look beyond this app. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Custom filters
  • Filters with themes
  • Choice of instrumental soundtracks

Full disclosure: yes, everything above can be done without this app. With that in mind, it's also a process. For those unfamiliar, this is a rough overview of what it typically.

  • Capture video with your iPhone.
  • Download an app to add video filters.
  • Buy iMovie to add a title sequence.
  • From here, go through licensing-related work so videos would avoid being blocked on certain website.
  • YouTube upload.
  • By now you need a nap, but you have one final step...
  • Grab that YouTube link, and share with your followers.

What makes SocialCam worthy of a download is well... it's free. Okay, yeah, that's part of it, but, most importantly, this app offers you the benifit of not only being able to do everything I mentioned above, you have the luxury of doing it all within the same app. Not only does it have the tools, it is its own social network. Edit. Upload. Add friends. Comment. Meet people. Whatever. Yet if the thought of giving up outside social networks terrifies you, don't worry; you can register with your Facebook account, maintain your Twitter account, etc.

And the best part about SocialCam? It's just getting started. Additional soundtrack choices are in the the works. Higher speeds are coming. The features we may see by this time next year, is anyone's guess.

I don't know about you, but I am quite intrigued by where SocialCam will go from here. I'll be interested to find out whether they will end up become in video-sharing version of Instagram, or whether some yet-to-be-seen video-sharing app will be the one to command the title of, It app. User interest is high. Technology can only become stronger. If an video-sharing app developer can crack the code to balance a positive user experience with word-of-mouth marketing, I won't be surprised if we're hearing of another billion dollar buyout in the not-so-distant future.

Photo Credit -

Download SocialCam 4.0 from iTunes

Posted in <a href="">apps</a>, <a href="">internet</a>, <a href="">Inventions</a>, <a href="">iphone</a>, <a href="">mobile</a>, <a href="">opinion</a>, <a href="">social media</a>, <a href="">Social Networking</a>, <a href="">video</a> | Post Comment


January 2020


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