Tag Archives: google-buzz

Reshare Your Favorites on Google Buzz

Our brains are already programmed to hit that Retweet button on Twitter. Now, Google is making it simple for us to do the same thing from within Buzz. The new Reshare button will be rolling out to all users during the next several days. It works much the same as the RT feature does, so users will feel comfortable using it immediately. There’s nothing to configure or install. Just click Reshare any time you come across a post you want your followers to see as well.

Choose whether you want to share a post with all of your followers or just with those you select. This feature only works with public posts, and will not work for those that are private. You’ll find the new button down between “Like” and “Email” at the bottom of your Buzz items. Click to share it out and start new conversations within your group. Add your own comments to the item if you wish. Keep in mind, though, that you will not have the ability to edit the original Buzz item. It’s cool to note that you are no longer restricted to 140 characters, so you don’t need to hack away at a reshared item in order to make it “fit.”

One of the cooler portions of the Reshare feature is the way the items are handled after you click that button. Mashable describes it as: “Once you reshare an item, it will be posted to your own timeline with attribution to the author and a link to the original post (this is the opposite of how the retweet function works on Twitter). Once an item as been reshared, it will update to highlight each of the Buzz users who have shared it publicly and outline the chain of reshares.”

This feature has been much in demand from users, and is already being met with much approval. If you’ve used it already, what are your thoughts? Are you happy with the way they set everything up?

Social Media Questions and Answers

Add to iTunes | Add to YouTube | Add to Google | RSS Feed

‘Social Media’ is the phrase of the day. Many of us were doing things socially online long before the term was even coined. No one can seem to decide what, exactly, social media really IS, anyway. Craig sent a series of questions to me from Scotland, asking five questions about social media. I thought it would be fun to record my answers as a video. Also, by having them out there this way, hopefully more people will be able to learn something – instead of only Craig! I’m always interested in hearing your thoughts and ideas. If you don’t agree with one of my answers, go ahead and leave a follow-up comment to tell us what you think!

  • What are the advantages, as you see it, for social media experts engaging through social media activity? – The advantages are that they can connect with other people. You’re sharing, collaborating and communicating about thoughts, ideas and anything you can think of. People are going to be talking whether or not you are a part of it. Don’t miss out on getting your two cents in.
  • What advice would you have for a social media expert looking to break into the world of social media engagement? – That’s a good question, honestly. You could be a social media expert just by signing up for Twitter, right? That’s what many people seem to think, anyway. My advice is that if you happen to be an expert in your field is to just sign up for an account and jump in. You want to tread water at first. Don’t go in thinking that you own the Universe. Just…. DO IT already! Join in the conversation!
  • What damage can be done to a brand if the social media engagement isn’t properly executed? – When I’m frustrated with a product or service that I’m using and something goes wrong, I tend to talk loudly about it. Keep in mind that I’m only talking about things I’ve paid for. People who complain about free things are just not even cool. Anyway, if you pay for something, you deserve to have your voice heard. For a brand that isn’t listening to what their customers are saying… shame on them. They’re playing on the sidelines. There really is no excuse for companies these days to NOT be on Twitter and the like. They need to be where the conversations are happening. They need to listen!
  • How do you see the social media environment evolving in the future? – The future is pancake media! Seriously, perhaps it will be bamboo media! Okay, okay… social media will be known as something else. However, it will still be the same thing. People will still be talking online, engaging each other in conversations. We will still network on websites, even if they have names other than Twitter or Facebook. There will be more services and ways to track what is going on. Social media is in this constant state of evolution, which is very cool to see!
  • If you could change anything about the social media landscape as it is currently seen, what would it be? – I wish there was certification! We throw about the word “expert” a lot. However, most of those who label themselves as an expert truly are NOT. There needs to be a bar set, which would be the base level of expertise. You cannot call yourself an expert… someone else has to! There are so many “social media experts” running around on the web. There needs to be accountability!

The bottom line is to just jump in and get started. A few of the nay-sayers may try to claim I’m just a flash in the pan. Well, I’m a flash in the pan that’s now lasted online for twelve years! I am by no means an expert at anything. However, I’ve learned a lot over the years. I do know about some of the things that work, and many that don’t!

What are YOUR thoughts?

Want to embed this video on your own site, blog, or forum? Use this code or download the video:

Social Media Site Management Strategy

Add to iTunes | Add to YouTube | Add to Google | RSS Feed

On an average day, how many web browsers – or tabs – do you have open at any given time? If you’re like me, there are one heck of a lot of them. Heck, just managing all of your social media sites can be a nightmare. You have to keep track of your Facebook account, your Flickr page, your Google Buzz threads and even your Twitter. You may use a separate utility to keep track of all of this for you. Sometimes, though, those can cause more trouble than they’re worth.

This past weekend, Jake and I put together FaceBuzzer. This is simply eight IFRAMEs put together on one page. What we’re doing is pulling in the iPhone-optimized content from eight of the most popular social-media sites into one easy place.

You can scroll each IFRAME independently, and they are fully functional. You can easily refresh the page, and see the latest information at any given time. You’ll need to log in to your Google account, as well as authenticate the Hahlo account for Twitter. If you hover over a pane (in the white space) and then move your mouse, you can drag-and-drop each IFRAME into whatever order you wish.

FaceBuzzer is not optimized for your iPhone, nor is it intended for use on the iPhone. It’s a way to have all of these experiences in one browser window or tab.

There are small issues, as there can be with any new website. For instance, Google Buzz may give you trouble at times. Keep in mind, however, that Buzz is still fairly new itself.

If there is enough interest, we may look into adding other features in the future, such as being able to close individual frames if one chooses, and / or adding others.

How could this little desktop aggregator be improved upon? Only your support will lead to further development of this collection of IFRAMEs. Yes, customization could be possible.

Want to embed this video on your own site, blog, or forum? Use this code or download the video:

Is the School Spying on Your Child?

According to a new lawsuit filed recently, the Lower Merion School District issued laptops to students, and then used the built-in webcams to spy on them. The school allegedly spied on the kids not only during school hours, but also at home… invading families’ privacy.

The parent who filed the suit allegedly disciplined his child in an “inappropriate” manner. The school then reported the incident to authorities by using a photograph taken with the webcam. The suit is a class action, brought on behalf of all students issued with these machines.

If it is true that the school could turn on the cams from a remote location and were using them to spy on the students… the world has sunken to a new low. This is just creepy, and wrong. I think if a school ever issues a laptop to my child, I’ll be covering up the webcam with some black duct tape!

What are your thoughts? Do you feel that the school district has the right to “spy” on a student if using a school-issued laptop? Or, is that a serious invasion of privacy? (I’m leaning toward the privacy issues, of course.)

iPhone to Verizon? Not Anytime Soon

I recently had an excellent conversation on Google Buzz with several people. I opened the convo, and the commentary was so thought-provoking, I wanted to share it here with you. You can also head over to read the post for yourself.

Ever since the iPhone came out, some AT&T customers have been complaining about their overwhelmed network. The network just hasn’t been able to keep up with the demand. However, AT&T says they are improving things. I believe they really are. Still there are many people with wireless contracts that have expired, and are waiting for iPhone to come to Verizon before signing a 2 year contract again.

Sorry folks! An iPhone move to Verizon is not gonna happen this year. Apple is committed to AT&T even though they may not be happy with the performance of the network. In a year, AT&T’s network will probably improve dramatically, leaving no reason for Apple to leave a deal that bring exclusivity to the iPhone and keeps prices for the device higher.

Christopher Barry Bellis – Good to hear your optimism Chris. How do you feel about Google’s Nexus One as an iPhone killer? Due to my poor service from AT&T on my 3G (not 3GS), I’m strongly considering the Nexus One when it becomes available for Verizon… Thoughts?

Bakari Cooper – Last week I thought of buying a 4G iphone for a $1,000(When it comes out). I wish the iPhone would leave AT&T. News like this discourages me.

Toby Satterthwaite – That’s sad to hear! I think that if the iPhone were to come to the Verizon network, Apple would really see a boost of sales. I’m sure that AT&T is keeping thousands away from the iPhone.

Bryan Crisler – Even Better yet, iPhone should be release to all carriers, and we can see who everyone will pick as their service provider.

Bakari Cooper – Good idea Bryan

Timothy Lyon – “I’m sure that AT&T is keeping thousands away from the iPhone.” I’d think it would be more in the millions range than the thousands.

Bryan Crisler – If the iPhone is a good thing, why only have rights to one service provider?

Michael Davis – It’s not as simple as “releasing to all carriers”. Verizon operates on a somewhat different tower type (CDMA) than the majority of carriers worldwide (who operate GSM). So, to provide for Verizon, they’d have to manufacture a special, CDMA only, version of the phone. Supporting CDMA wouldn’t grab them that may carriers (and therefore customers) versus the added manufacturing and support costs. Not to mention all of their current US promotions list AT&T all over them and they’ve been branded together since launch. So, as Chris says, it’s not likely.

Miikka Skaffari – Why not have it open and working in all networks? I understand the initial exclusivity in exchange for marketing effort, but I doubt it’s in Apples interest to have it exclusive to any network. I understand the GSM/CDMA difference, but with the margins Apple is pulling from iPhone they could easily afford to lisence CDMA chips/SW from Qualcomm.

Ahron Darnell – Consider Android

Brian Johnson – As a Droid owner and all around Android supporter, I personally find this as good news. I want to see Android adoption increase, and don’t think that would happen if the iPhone came to VZW.

Bryan Crisler – I think that if Google can do it, releasing it to CDMA and GSM Networks, what is stopping Apple? As far as I can tell Apple has brought a lot of customers to AT&T, but many of those customers are unhappy with the service that AT&T provides. Many would like to goto Verizon. Aside from Manufacturing costs, why not release it? Many people would buy it.

Andrew Rowland – I think the Google phone is similar to FireFox and what it did to IE. It won’t take over but will make Apple adapt.

Google Buzz Abandons Auto-Follow

Due to the public outcry against Google’s lack of concern for our privacy with the introduction of Buzz, the company has wisely chosen to nix the auto-follow feature. This comes as excellent news to most people. However, for some, the damage has already been done. The following system is now being switched to a “suggestion model”. Google will present you with a list of friends they think you’d like to follow. You get the chance to deselect them before you start using the service.

When Buzz launched four days ago, one of its selling points was that it took no work on the user’s part to get started, because Buzz would automatically follow the people you interact with most on Gmail. Their first response to the situation was to makes it easier to hide which users you are following. However, that wasn’t enough to quell the tempers of most people. Therefore, Google rolled out this newest change today.

Two other changes makes sense to me, as well. Buzz is also going to stop automatically connecting Google Reader and Picasa albums to your account. However, those options will still be available. Additionally, you can now – FINALLY – adjust your Buzz settings right from within your Gmail Settings page.

The changes today bode well for the future of Buzz, in my opinion. What do you think?

Don’t forget to stop by our Software Center to see what new apps and software we have available today!

2010 Winter Olympics Opening Clouded By Athlete Death

The 2010 Winter Olympics is now officially off and running, albeit under a cloud of sadness. While the opening ceremony was indeed a spectacular event, it was also touching to see the support for fallen Georgian athlete, luger Nodar Kumaritashvili. The remaining members of the Georgia delegation waved a flag with a black ribbon attached to the top, as well as wearing black armbands. Athletes from other countries were seen with the armbands in a show of fellowship and support, as well.

Kumaritashvili was killed during a practice run earlier today when he flew off the luge sled and out of the track into a steel beam. At one point during the day, Georgian officials were pondering pulling the remaining team members out of the Olympics. However, they have thankfully decided (as of now) to compete. These people have trained for years, some their entire lives, for this moment. While their hearts are heavy, it would be a shame for them to not have the opportunity to reach their ultimate goal.

Despite the pall cast over the night, the festivities were beautiful, and the crowd of thousands roared their approval throughout the event. Whether or not you’re a sports fan, the Olympics hold special appeal for many. I certainly hope you’ll be watching, and cheering on your home teams!

Don’t forget to stop by our Software Center to see what awesome deals we have for you today!

Edit Photos Online for Free

Aviary has long been one of the best online photo editing services. Up until now, people were required to pay about $25.00 a year in order to take advantage of everything the site offers. However, thanks to recent funding increases from outside sources, the service is now 100% free! Existing paying customers will no longer be billed, and those that signed up in the last 30 days will get a full refund.

Aviary is quite powerful, yet simple to use. It allows you to do so much more than apply simple edits to your pictures. There are vector editor, color editor, and even image markup tools available. You can use Aviary to create logos and websites, or try out your own color palette! There is no limit to what you can do with this excellent image site, other than your own imagination. Aviary has been compared with Adobe’s free online version of Photoshop. However, you are limited to only 2 GB of usage with Adobe. Why limit yourself in any way? You no longer have to with Aviary!

Go ahead and try it out, and let us know what your thoughts are. I’ve been playing around with some of my pictures, and I’m pretty impressed with the results. I’m thankful that someone in our community posted the news about this earlier. We have such a talented group of people on all of our sites! What have you been posting – and reading – today?

Make sure you stop by our Software Center to see what new deals we have for you today!

Is Google Buzz Invading Your Privacy?

According to the BusinessInsider, Google Buzz could be invading your privacy in a big way. As is often the case, privacy issues with Buzz are opt-out, instead of opt-in as they should be. When you first set up the Buzz for yourself, it automatically sets you up with followers and people to follow. Those people are picked based on whom you email and talk to the most on Google. That’s fine, right? However, your list of followers (and those who follow you) are made public by default. That, my friends, is not cool.

Before you change any settings in Google Buzz, someone can check out your profile and see who you email and chat with most. When you first begin to set up your profile, you’ll be prompted to enter your photo and name. In that same tiny box, you’ll see minuscule wording that states that “Your profile includes your name, photo, people you follow, and people who follow you.”. The problem is that they don’t even tell you that the general public can see this information.

We all know that most of us don’t bother reading all of the fine print before saving and continuing to create profiles. We’re in a hurry, right? However, not taking the time to check things out in this way can also cause you a lot of headaches. Do you really want the world to know who you are talking to? Is it their business? Not in my book, it’s not. It is up to ME if I want everyone – and their brother – to know who I talk to the most… and who I follow.

We shouldn’t have to opt out of things such as this. My followers – and yours – should be private by default. It should be our choice whether or not they are displayed. What bothers me the most is that many people don’t realize this is happening, nor will they understand that they can hide their lists with just a few clicks of the mouse.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you feel strongly that Google made a huge boo-boo in regards to your privacy? Do you feel companies (especially such large ones who should KNOW better) should automatically make these things hidden by default, and allow you the control over your information?