tumblr.

The microblogging site tumblr allows you to post text, photo, quote, link, chat, audio, and video..

Tumblr was founded back in 2007 in New York City by David Karp. I’ve been on tumblr for about a year now. At first I mainly lurked and didn’t post much. When I joined talklaunch I started posting my weekly column as a mirror. I slowly started to post more content and now I’ve totally hooked on tumblr. I joined tumblr because I read an article on Mashable able how great the content was and they were right. tumblr is my laugh factory each day and night. My daily dashboard view is absolutely hilarious because there are some very talented people on tumblr with animated gifs.

Tumblr is also a great way to express your creativity and a great alternative to Twitter. In your dashboard view you can search tags that are applied to posts on tumblr.

I searched a particular tag and I was given the option to track the tag.

If you click on track you’ll now be alerted each time the particular tag  is used on a post.

Then all you have to do is click on the particular tag to view the post(s) where that tag is applied to them.

Tumblr allows you to customize your page anyway you could possibly think of. Like Blogger, tumblr allows you to buy your own private domain and attached it to your tumblr page.

I love how for anything that you post you are able to select from when or how the content you’re sharing will be published such as publish now, add to queue, publish on…, save as draft, and private. Tumblr allows you to modify the post date to whatever date or time you want to enter. If you happen to be “borrowing” content from another source and you want to give thanks and give the original source their proper credit then you can enter the URL to the website in the content source field on your dashboard. For the budding SEO in you, feel free to add tags that way they’re completely searchable. Lastly tumblr allows you to even set a custom post URL and let people photo reply.

If you head over to http://www.tumblr.com/themes/ you can select from an assortment of fully customizable themes that are available for tumblr. Some of the themes are free to use and some require payment for you to be able to access.

Tumblr allows you to edit the html and adjust your blog’s appearance. As you see, I prefer to keep my tumblr in a minimalist theme that’s easy on the eyes.

Tumblr also allows the user to edit their posts in a rich text editor, plain text/html editor, or a markdown editor. I like that I can link my tumblr to other apps I enjoy such as GetGlue and SoundCloud. I’m a brand new iPhone 4S owner so I just linked it up to Instagr.am and the mobile app for iPhone. I look forward to putting both of them to use in the future. Recently President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign took up residence on tumblr. This just signifies how bright the future for tumblr is at this point. I just hope that the folks who run tumblr don’t mess up the format and formula that made tumblr the best blog site on the web.

Advertisements

iPhone

January 9, 2007, was the day the technology world was turned upside down. Steve Jobs revealed the iPhone to the public and the cell phone business was never the same afterwards. The original iPhone was released on June 29, 2007 to rave reviews and a huge amount of media attention. Apple was found April 1, 1976 and incorporated on January 3, 1977. Up until January 9, 2007, Apple was known as Apple Computer, Inc., for thirty years. The announcement of the iPhone prompted this change and told the world that Apple was now into more than the Mac computers that carried the company from it’s humble beginnings. The iPhone forever revolutionized the way people and the cell phone companies use, design, and think about their cell phones. The iPhone is way more than a cell phone, it has a camera, an iPod, mobile email client, Safari web browser, and more applications (apps) than you could ever download and actually use in your lifetime.

Apple released the iPhone 3G July 11, 2008, with the choice of 8GB or 16GB capacity. The 16GB iPhone 3G was available in black or white. Apple decided to stop sending software updates to the iPhone 3G. The version of iOS was 4.2.1, that was released November 22, 2010. This essentially made the iPhone 3G obsolete which I’m sure has helped push users to purchase either an iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4. On June 19, 2009, much to the surprise of a lot of iPhone 3G owners, Apple cranked out yet another release that was billed as the iPhone 3GS. The iPhone 3GS was initially available in 16 GB or 32 GB capacity and 8 GB iPhone 3GS came along a little while later.

The iPhone 4 was announced on June 7, 2010, and released on June 24, 2010. The iPhone 4 was a complete re-design of the iPhone 3GS and included the nifty capability of Apple’s FaceTime that was ported over from MacBook. The iPhone 4’s launch stumbled when antenna gate started. Early adopters of the iPhone 4 reported signal strength would drop off when they touched the lower left edge of the iPhone 4. Apple simply issued a statement telling users to “avoid gripping (the phone) in the lower left corner.” After public outcry Apple decided to issue the iPhone 4 plastic bumper that fit around the edge of the iPhone 4 to help with the antenna issue. Speculation of the newest incarnation of the iPhone so far billed the iPhone 5, has reached a fever pitch. Apple plans to make the official announcement for the new iPhone tomorrow at its Cupertino, California headquarters. Many wonder if the newest iPhone will actually be the iPhone 5 or simply the iPhone 4 re-branded with subtle upgrades as the iPhone 4GS. I guess only time will tell what the actual release will be so we’ll all just have to wait and see. Regardless of which version is released it seems that early adopters are already lining up to get their hands on the newest iPhone. Mashable.com just reported the iPhone 5 Expected to “Shatter” Sales Records.

Google Chrome

Google released their web browser Chrome as a beta for Windows on September 2, 2008. Initially, I downloaded the installer and checked it out and it seemed to be a decent browser. At the time I was a heavy Mozilla Firefox user so I had little use for a secondary web browser so at first Google Chrome got no love from me. Thanks to Microsoft’s dominance majority desktops and laptops with Windows operating systems come pre-installed with Internet Explorer, so unfortunately for a while it was the web browser of choice for many. Gone for me were the days of Microsoft’s horrible offerings of Internet Explorer with exception of using it at work which I’m still totally reluctant to do. A little while passed after the launch of Google Chrome and my wonderful Mozilla Firefox started to quickly fall apart. Over and over the browser crashes occurred only to continue with more frequency and frustration. Then Mozilla Firefox started to have constant issues with Adobe Flash and after sometime fighting this I grew tired of it and decided to revisit Google Chrome. It only took me a little while to take a look around and get used to things and unlearn my habits from Mozilla Firefox and apply them to Google Chrome. After about a week of continuous use I eventually got the feel and hang of Google Chrome and I loved it. It felt a lot more lightweight than Mozilla Firefox did at the time so I never looked back. Page load time is a major item that I could tell a big difference in from Mozilla Firefox. I was quite happy to ditch Mozilla Firefox and it’s constant crashing. Now please understand this was with the 3.0 versions of Mozilla Firefox and they’ve appeared to resolve the issue in the newer releases and I still feel that Mozilla Firefox is a much more solid web browser than Microsoft Internet Explorer ever will be.

Screenshot of the last version of Chrome to display the original Chrome logo. Google decided to simplify the Chrome logo and here’s why they said they did it. Many of you who currently use Chromium or the Chrome early Channels have probably noticed that the logo is getting a makeover. Today, Google is talking about the change in an effort to “make the web quicker, lighter, and easier for all”. That’s evident in the new-look logo that you can see is more simplified than the previous version.

Currently, I’m running the 14.0.835.186.beta-m of Chrome for Windows. After seeing this post http://goo.gl/9jilu by Louis Gray who is the Product Marketing Manager on Google+ I had to grab the 16.0.887.0.canary build for Chrome and run it along side the beta.

Here’s a screen shot of the 16.0.887.0.canary build of Chrome. With the Google Chrome canary build I’ve learned that Twitter experiences a few problems and likes to freeze and then lead the page. Other than that bug it’s been quite useful to have a second flavor of Google Chrome to run alongside of the Google Chrome beta I use as my day to day web browser. I run the Google Chrome beta because I enjoy staying on the bleeding edge of improvements and adjustments that are made to Google Chrome.

Above is a screenshot for the download page for the regular Google Chrome release. If you’re looking to improve your experience on the internet then I suggest you head over to http://www.google.com/chrome and try it for yourself today!

Be sure to checkout the Chrome Web Store in order to grab a whole bunch of goodies for your browser. Here’s a list of some of the extensions I utilize… 1-Click Weather for Chrome by The Weather Channel, Adblock Plus for Google Chrome (Beta), Amazon Cloud Player, AVG Safe Search, Clock – Version 1.5, Google Calendar Checker (by Google), Klout (beta), Screen Capture (by Google), and TweetDeck.

– Incognito mode – if you click on the

and select New incognito window you’ll see the following…

You can hack the target for the shortcut where you launch Google Chrome from to automatically launch Chrome as an Incognito window each time you open it like shown in the example below. C:\Users\Profile\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe -incognito Simply add -incognito to the end of the executable you can launch an incognito window every time. I only use Google Chrome as incognito mode once I found out about this. If you need a rock solid web browser that can do just about anything you can think of, strongly consider Google Chrome because I can promise you will not regret your decision.

Foursquare

On March 11, 2009 @dens and @naveen launched Foursquare.

Foursquare is a location-based social networking website available to users with GPS-enabled mobile devices such as smartphones. Users “check-in” at venues using a mobile website, text messaging or a device-specific application by running the application and selecting from a list of venues that the application locates nearby.Each check-in awards the user points and sometimes “badges”. “Foursquare (website).” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 16 Sept. 2011. Web. 19 Sept. 2011.

My Foursquare badge list a.k.a trophy list. I recall it was only available in large market cities at first then it eventually launched in the smaller markets. When I signed up https://foursquare.com/jason_ I was User ID: 161,321. In 2010, the Foursquare user base grew at an exponential rate of 3,400% and they had a total of six million users signed up! The number of users has greatly increased since that blog post.

My first Foursquare check-in. 2,495 check-ins, and 170 badges later, Foursquare has become an integral part of my social media interaction with the world. On my recent vacation at the end of June first part of July, I shared the highlights of my vacation with those who follow me. Foursquare has allowed me to discover different places in cities I would have never seen had it not been for a user’s tip or suggestion. If you frequent a location enough you can eventually become the “mayor” of the venue. Some businesses offer discounts and specials for the mayor. I went to a barbershop this past Saturday and the special there was on your first check-in you receive a t-shirt. I thought it was pretty cool promo, one of the best I’ve seen so far.

Typically your initial check-in at a business location can earn you something like 15% off, or something similar. Usually when I go to check-in I generally see anywhere 29 to 30 specials available in the immediate surrounding vicinity. More and more businesses are seeing the value of having a presence on Foursquare. Previously, a business page had to be created by the Foursquare staff. Recently they started to allow end users to create their own business page on Foursquare. I’ve established a business page for my father’s company on Foursquare and I must say setup was quite easy and user friendly. If you submit at least five tips then your business page will be shuffled in the mix with the featured business pages on Foursquare. I bet they have the algorithm tweaked to look for the businesses who offer the most tips so I’d put as much as possible. In a short amount of time, Foursquare has established itself as the dominate location based check-in application. Other options such as Gowalla, Google Latitude, and the now defunct Facebook Places have not fared as well as some had projected they would. Gowalla for example, actually chose to join forces with Foursquare and are currently in the middle of making big changes to shift their focus from location based check-in to re-focus on travel with guides, and stories. As it stands now, the future of location based check-in appears to solely be in the hands of Foursquare. Businesses always mention Facebook and Twitter as their social media outlets of choice. What they don’t realize, Foursquare can offer them just as much if not more customer interaction and traffic to their brick and mortar store front or even their domain.

Gmail

April 1, 2004 marked the end of email dominance for AOL and Yahoo. That is the date when Gmail was launched as an invitation-only Beta. Like many others I had a Yahoo and Hotmail email account at the time and I was quite curious to find out what the all chatter was in regards to Google’s entry into the email race.

I eventually scored an invite and set up my Gmail acct on July 1st 2004. The first email I sent was to all my friends and family telling them all that I had switched over to Gmail from my Hotmail/Yahoo accounts and this change was for good. Here we are seven years later and I’m still using the same account and I don’t regret the change one bit. I was sick to death of all the spam emails that I was receiving through my Hotmail/Yahoo accounts and Gmail’s ability to screen out all the spam garbage won me over immediately.

Classic view in Gmail The ease of sign up and use, 1 GB of space (at that time), and the lack of spam made Gmail a runaway success. I’m amazed at how Gmail how grown in storage space (7GB +) and functionality due in part to the Google Labs and are tested and sometimes they eventually graduate into a full fledged new feature for Gmail. If you’ve not done this, go into your Gmail account settings and click on Labs and checkout all the available experimental stuff that Gmail can do. One feature I was extremely happy to see integration of was pictures in the body of Gmail because for the longest time you had to attached all of your images. The undo send feature is a lifesaver sometimes if you happen to click send by accident and it allows you the ability to stop the email from sending. Signature tweaks was another great addition because like Outlook, it allowed you to create an email signature so you didn’t have to type out this information for each email you sent.

With the additions of Google Documents, Google Calendar, Google Talk, Google Voice, Google Buzz, Google +, Gmail has grown to become even more useful on a daily basis and began to gently nudge users towards for integration to running everything they do on their laptops in the cloud. Already Google has completely redesigned the Gmail, Google Documents, Google Calendar interfaces in an attempt to get them to match up to the newly launched Google + interface. Preview (Dense) view in Gmail

I enjoy the mobile versions of Gmail on my iPod touch and iPad. I’ve used the iPod touch version of Gmail mobile since November of 2007 and I love it. I bought my iPad December 2010 and I’ve used it an enormous amount on it as well. I’m really looking forward to using Gmail when I upgrade to my new iPhone sometime next year. I didn’t realize at the time when I signed up for my Gmail account that I was also establishing my Google account that would unlock the door to everything else that Google would eventually have to offer, all for free. If you are looking for a stable email with 7 GB of storage you should seriously consider switching over to Gmail. Google also offers Gmail to businesses and universities for a fee. The next ten years should be quite interesting to see the direction that Google takes Gmail.

Klout

How influential are you on the internet? That is the question Klout is trying to answer. I joined Klout when I was invited to their Beta after discovering their site through a start up list blog I read. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of the site at first since you could only link your Twitter and Facebook accounts to it. I’m not a big fan of Facebook so I hardly use my account. On the other hand, Twitter is where it’s at for me. I’ve been a heavy user of Twitter since 2008 under various handles but jason_. I’ve watched Klout grow and the media attention increase as the months go by. As your Klout score increases you unlock perks made available through certain advertisers. So far I’ve grabbed the perk for the TNT show Falling Skies, where I received a cool survival package of a army compass, army canteen, army field nap satchel, and army style cap and this stuff isn’t cheaply made either. The other perk I snagged was an invite to the U.S. release of Spotify. I’ve enjoyed this perk quite a bit and I was even able to earn a full month of the premium service when I got five people to sign up under my referral link.
Klout now allows  you to link your Klout account to your Twitter, Facebook,LinkedInFoursquareYou TubeInstagramtumblr.BloggerLast.fm, andFlickr accounts. I’ve seen where connections to Google +Quorayelp,posterous, and WordPress are coming soon. Each connection you make to your Klout account will increase your influence therefore increasing your overall Klout score. As you see I’ve got each one tied to my Klout account with the exception of Instagram because I don’t own an iPhone yet, which will change soon. Recently,  I’ve read where Klout is being used by hiring managers to find talent to gauge the applicant’s social media influence.

Your Klout account is broken down into the following:
Score Analysis – Your Score – The Klout Score measures influence on a scale of 1 to 100.
Network Influence – Network indicates the influence of the people in your True Reach.
Amplification Probability – Amplification indicates how much you influence people.
True Reach – True Reach is the number of people you influence.

Klout also provides the user with the following information:

Topics – these are the topics that Klout feels you’re influential about to your connections.
Influencers – shows who you influence and who influences you.
Lists – You can build a list of people on Klout – for example I havehttp://klout.com/#/JoeFernandez – who is the CEO and Cofounder of Klout on my list that I just started yesterday,
Klout Style – You are a Specialist – You may not be a celebrity, but within your area of expertise your opinion is second to none. Your content is likely focused around a specific topic or industry with a focused, highly-engaged audience.
Achievements – So far I’ve managed to earn the Klout OG – “You’ve been around the block with us and then some. Thanks for being there in the early days and sticking it out. Just kick it a while longer and see how far we go. Or else…” and

Summer of Klout – “Way to go! Your Klout Score braved the dog days of summer and still came out on top! Maybe it’s time for  a vacation?”

 If you wish to display your Klout score on your blog or website you can grab a widget from here http://widgets.klout.com/

 


Currently my Klout style is…

 

Your Klout style will vary as your Klout score goes up or in some cases down. I use a handy Klout extension for Google Chrome that displays the Klout score for each person / company in your Twitter feed as shown in the screen shot below.

I can see how companies can easily utilize Klout to market new products via Klout perks to those who are more influential across the internet. It’s quite entertaining to see just how much what you say and do on the internet can determine your Klout score in either direction. Klout has made me think much more about the content I post and how I go about doing it as well. I suppose only time will tell if Klout will continue to be a benchmark for social media influence.

Twitter

Twitter has revolutionized the way and speed in which we obtain news and information about people we know as well as notable figures in different fields such as sports, movies, television, technology, and world government just to name a few. It’s totally changed the method in which breaking news is announced worldwide. I had no idea when I first signed up how hooked I would become on the site and how much I would depend on it to view majority of my web content daily.

One night in March of 2008 while watching Attack of the Show on G4, Kevin Pereira mentioned a unique site that he was using and wanted to share it with the viewers. That night Kevin introduced viewing audience to Twitter. I had previously signed up for Plurk and was unimpressed so I abandoned my account. I was curious about Twitter because Kevin spoke so highly of the site that night so I headed over there and signed up under the name @microblogger (which I no longer use). Under my original account I managed to accumulate around 9,900 tweets under that account before I deleted it and switched over to my current handle. Originally when I signed up for my second account my Twitter handle was @jasoncroberts but sometime later I was able to snag @jason_ because it was a dormant account because @jason already belonged to Jason Calacanis. I simply asked @Support if I could switch my account over and they approved and ported all my tweets over too. I definitely grabbed a great piece of digital real estate and I’ve enjoyed my experience on Twitter a lot more since the switch.

 

 

In the short time of three years and four months I’ve witnessed the exponential growth of Twitter and it’s been an amazing ride so far. At first I was a tad bit skeptical at first when I signed up because it just wasn’t that busy of a site like it is today. Now I laugh to myself when I hear people that are Twitter newbies say that it’s a waste of time and I’ll never use my account then a month later they’re completely addicted to the site. To a novice internet user I can see how Twitter could be overwhelming and quite confusing with retweets, url shorteners, etc. I’ve always enjoyed the simplicity of the Twitter and that I don’t have to write a long involved statement, I can just tweet out 140 characters of goodness at a time.

The day I felt that Twitter had arrived as a commercially accepted tool for communication and for media usage was on January 15, 2009 when Janis Krums aka @jkrums tweeted this Twitpic with the quote:

“There’s a plane in the Hudson. I’m on the ferry going to pick up the people. Crazy.”

Janis Krums was of course talking about the now famous picture he snapped that shows US Airways Flight 1549 sitting in the Hudson River which went viral and spread like wildfire across the web in no time. The fact that Krums beat every national news outlet to the punch with his picture proved how valuable Twitter can be. Capt. Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger and crew were hailed as heroes and the story was a sensation for months to come. I was in amazement how fast Twitter allowed information to be shared and how far behind the news networks were.

 

#Hashtags are an integral part to the success of Twitter. #Hashtags when used properly allow you to track a conversation on Twitter and it makes it easily searchable. A perfect example of this is when in mid 2009 when the #iranelection story broke on Twitter the world watched their monitors closely as each bit of information trickled in from the few on the ground in Iran that were still able to transmit their tweets and pictures. Late 2010 early 2011 Twitter was a driving force of communication that helped to spark the revolution in #Egypt when the people demanding that former Egypt’s president, Hosni Mubarak step down after being in power since October 1981. I learn a tremendous amount from the various sources of articles and snippets of information that are available. Twitter keeps me alerted to various happenings around the country and around the globe.

Twitter quickly replaced my RSS feeds because I’m able to follow everyone or every source of what interests me on the internet and in real life. I’m a firm believer of cycling through my list of people that I follow to give my timeline a fresh perspective. I tend to mainly unfollow accounts that have become inactive since I started following them or others ones with poor content. Your timeline can quickly become flooded with too much information if you follow too many users so being selective about who you follow is very important.

Spammers were far a few between in 2009 when I first signed up but as Twitter’s popularity grew it seemed that spammers took to the site like crazy. I love the Block and Report … for spam options that Twitter provides the user and I use them both frequently. I’m always extremely cautious when clicking on a shortened url unless it’s from a trusted, verified, official Twitter account. You can easily be redirected into a scam site that can hijack your Twitter log in so I suggest you think before you click on what you think is the hot trending topic url.

Without a doubt Twitter has quickly become one important piece to the modern method in which we communicate. Twitter makes brands who provide online customer service like @ComcastCares easily accessible. The account is now managed by Bill Gerth but it was originally established by Frank Eliason. When my Comcast internet had issues this past May I actually contacted the Comcast Cares account and Bill helped to expedite the process and made my ticket a corporate escalation which was eventually resolved. Other companies have taken notice of Comcast’s success and now provide excellent customer service on Twitter. Twitter also allows the average person to interact and contact celebrities, professional athletes an news media personalities and many other interesting people.

The dreaded Fail Whale

In the early days of Twitter the Fail Whale (as seen above) was a common site due to strain on the servers from the mass of traffic spikes. The afternoon that Michael Jackson passed was something to see internet wide. I recall reading my Twitter feed at work and I was totally shocked to see the headline about Michael. Twitter users are infamous for killing famous people off early even when they’re perfectly alive and breathing. The most recent victim is Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner.

In the coming years it will be interesting to see what direction @jack guides Twitter into. I’ve seen reports of advertisements coming soon to user time lines very soon. I wonder how the user base will respond to them once they start showing up? The current promoted trending topics are off to the side and are easy to be ignored. With the mass of tech related companies in line to go public I wonder how long down the road it will be before Twitter decides to file for their initial public offering (IPO). Linked In had a successful IPO and Facebook looks to have a huge IPO in 2012 so I personally feel that it will be just a matter of time before Twitter follows suite. The future appears very bright for Twitter as long as they continue to stay true to their original mission and don’t let advertisers ruin the site.