Archive for January, 2009
The old adage “Seeing is believing” has been around a long time because people just need visual proof sometimes. We have all had co-workers or clients that want to see the proof. Sometimes, we really need visuals to solidify a concept.
Whether it is in the form of wireframes, design mockups or prototypes, people like to see how it will work, or why it was broken. As concepts get more complex and customized, the need for showing concepts and creating a visual language is even more important.
I have found that using Jing screencasts from Techsmith has been very helpful in demonstrating a point online. I used it in a post early this year about Ask.com to demonstrate what was happening in my browser.
There are a couple of shortcomings to what Jing can do – you need to have the software installed and it doesn’t provide that many options for integrating video. Another software,ScreenToaster, has a few more features available including:
- Web-based recording – no need to have software installed
- Ability to manage audio
- Ability to record from browser but jump between browsers and desk
- Advanced playback features to speedup or slow down.
I signed up for the service and did a quick trial of the tool to check out its features. From the initial look and see, I think that ScreenToaster has seems to have more advanced features overall, but there were a few bugs with using the recorder. Definitely worth checking out.
There has been a health dose of posts about Twitter on View from West 6th. One of the things I find so fascinating is that so many companies using Twitter and the 752% growth the property experienced in 2008.
Part of the power of Twitter is the ability for programmers to use the Twitter API and the company’s Wikipedia for it to develop other tools. There are so many tools, that Mashable gave up counting and just calls it 140+ tools.
Here are a couple more that I stumbled upon today:
- Flickr Backgrounds for Twitter
- Pop up messages for the Twitter homepage
- Outwit – integrating Twitter with Outlook
- Secret Tweet – for when you need to post anonymously
- Tweet Later – schedule when you want tweets to be published
You can also check out Mashable’s entire list of Twitter tools to see if there is a tool that fits you tweeting needs.
With the inauguration coming, companies are leveraging Obamania. The latest one is Krispy Kreme in the United Kingdom.
According to Springwise’s report, if you walk into a Krispy Kreme in the United Kingdom and say Yes we can” to its barista, you get a free Americano coffee sporting Obama’s image. The barista can create an image of Obama in the foam using an intricately designed coffee stencil.
Last September, I wrote a post about a mobile recognition software from a company called SnapTell. Now, it seems that Microsoft has gotten on the bandwagon.
We know that QR Codes have been around in Japan since the mid-1990s. However, the trend of using them has not caught on in the United States.
Camera phones are now so pervasive, the consumer market might try its hand at the new technology. The mobile recognition creates a great pull technology for people on the go. It gives people immediate access to information, instead of hoping they remember it later.
The Google phone has introduced some of these features in their Android Market – such as comparative shopping by scanning ISBN codes on products. I was very surprised this features was not talked about more during the holiday season. There was one broadcaster who picked up on this features, but it was largely ignored (apparently, Google doesn’t really know how to market itself).
It also seems the iPhone users have a high tendency to snap and share photos. The camera type statistics maintained by Flickr show iPhone contributors exploding.
With a generation of cell phone users who are getting comfortable with camera and SMS technology, it looks like Microsoft is aiming to be the big player in the market. They do have a knack for not being the first, but being the most pervasive. I think they will be one to watch if they can get the right partnerships and marketing in action.
Imagine if Microsoft decided to stop competing against a hardware company and get back to comparing itself to software companies. There is a novel idea.
When Gmail first launched, I was really attracted by the way Google made email conversations more like a message board. They grouped all of the related messages together so you could read the email updates as a stream.
On Twitter, although a great tool that I love, it is sometimes difficult to follow conversations over a period of time if you are not constantly in there.
Tweetree now offers the message string functionality that I find so useful in Gmail.
The application also addresses something else I find slightly annoying about Twitter – everything is a snipr or tinyurl. You don’t really get any context about where the link will take you. Tweetree shows you the extended title page and in some cases the website URL.
For someone you have been following and that you trust, it isn’t so much of an issue. With someone you don’t know, it is a bit scary. Considering the recent Twitter phishing scam, it makes me even more aware.
Granted, I do a lot of twittering from the web, so I don’t use alot of other tools out there, but there is a reason to make a shift to Tweetree is you are a web user.