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Reaction Packs for Facebook

I’m not a big fan of un-necessary extensions in my browser, but this is pretty funny!

Reaction Packs for Facebook

A couple of my favourtes are

Via Mobile Syrup

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WordPress Social Sharing

How can I post to Google Plus, Twitter, and Facebook at the Same Time?

a.k.a. Why are the social networks so anti-social towards each other?

a.k.a. Yet another diatribe on the dichotomy of Google.

We’ve all been in this situation: we’ve got a bunch of friends on Facebook; another bunch on Twitter, and a couple on Google+ (but if you’ve still got friends using MySpaceOrkut, or AOL I’m afraid I can’t help you). Now how do you share your words of wisdom, pithy commentary on life, and hilarious snap-shots with all your friends? You don’t want to neglect anyone but it’s a lot of effort post and re-post.

TL, DR; Use WordPress! Either WordPress.com or install your own from WordPress.org. You can link to all your social networks and the world (wide web) is your stage. Tumblr is a close second, and so is Flickr quite frankly (just use Ctrl+Enter to split your paragraphs)! Continue reading

Google+ Sad

Google+ vs Facebook (vs Twitter)

I get it Google, you’re on a noble quest to save the world from Facebook. I believe in your vision, I’m on your side, I applaud your efforts.

BUT YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG!

My phone automagically uploads all the pictures I take to Google+ where they are auto-enhanced to look great. You even animate them, make panoramas, and add sparkles!!!

THAT’S GREAT!


I can organise them into albums. Google+ is not as good as Picasa Web was, but if you just made it possible to create an Album and an Event in one shot (from mobile as well as desktop) then you’d be a head of Picasa Web in one quick move.

SO FAR, SO GOOD ENOUGH!


But one of the main things I want to do with my photos of the kids is share them with the grand-parents! The grand-parents are not interested in Google+ or Facebook or Twitter. They don’t want a social network – they have line dancing classes and bus trips to the casino for that!

#FAIL: STOP HARASSING PEOPLE!!!


So just show them the damn album of their grand-kid’s latest activity or recital or performance or antics! Don’t tell them how great Google+ is, how easy it is to get signed-up, or how many people are already using it (trust me, their friends probably are not and never will).

I know they have an Android tablet. I thought that would easier than them getting a computer and maintaining it. But your assumption that using a Google account to activate the tablet, install apps, and receive Gmails means that they want to join Google+ too is WRONG!

Please Google, you do all kinds of cool stuff to open the world up to people from the comfort of their computer screens. Keep that in mind too with your own services and make their availability the highest priority.

Cross-posted on Schultzter’s Blog
Cross-posted on 2FatDads

What About the New Flickr

There’s been a HUGE resurgence in Flickr‘s popularity on Twitter lately. Especially amongst me and my tweeps. So what has Flickr done to be cool again? Why is everyone abandoning Instagram, TwitPic, and the rest in favour of Flickr?

In fact, the new Flickr is exactly the same as the old Flickr. It’s still the professional quality photo-sharing/managing/editing web-suite that was hugely popular before. Even their super-powerful mobile apps haven’t changed that much – they were among the most powerful and fun to use even before Instagram came along.

The first thing that happened is Instagram got Facebooked! I said it before, Instagram wasn’t worth $1-billion if Facebook just let it sit there. They have to do something with it; and when they did there was outrage and anger and a stampede back to Flickr!

The other thing, is Yahoo – credit to their new commander-and-chief Marissa Mayer – finally realized their most valuable property is Flickr. No one cares about Yahoo Auto, Yahoo Dating or Yahoo omg! These are copy-cat services in that there’s a million of them out there and if you’re not number one you’re irrelevant.

Although there’s other choices for sharing your photos, the social aspect and the community are very important. Other’s have tried, but Flickr has made professional (community and tools) their priority though they’ve still kept it easy to use.

The others, have just focused on the social aspect. Instagram is all about quirky filters; Google’s schizophrenic Picasa Web aka Google+ Photos is all about something depending on which of the three ways you access it (don’t forget it’s Blogger‘s backend too); TwitPic, Yfrog, etc. are all about tweeting photos on Twitter, which Twitter does by themselves now and prefers; 500px, MyShoebox, PhotoBucket, OpenPhoto, and the rest are trying to find their niche amongst the big players. And Microsoft’s Skydrive Photos fits in there too somewhere, mainly for the clueless and complacent.

The nicest thing about Flickr on Twitter is you get more than the short tweet (126 characters once the Flickr link is factored in) because the integration pulls in the photo, the caption, and the description!!!

Unfortunately your Flickr photos don’t show-up in the Twitter photo-stream, like they do if shared via Twitter, TwitPic, etc.

So, it looks pretty much like Flickr is going to become my photo-tweeting service of choice – replacing TwitPic; but I’ll still edit up the photos using Aviary‘s amazing full-featured editor before posting them.

Cross-posted on 2FatDads

Instagram vs. Lightbox vs. PicPlz vs. Aviary and More…

Ever since the bombshell dropped, that Instagram had sold out to Facebook, a lot of us have been looking for an alternative.

Now the sell-out may not be the end of the world as we know it, but we expect in a very short time that Instagram will change their terms of service to read All yur pics iz mine! and we’ll be forced to share on Facebook primarily. That may not happen. Facebook might simply embed Instagram as the built-in camera on their smartphone apps and leave the rest of us who don’t Facebook to use a stand-alone Instagram like we do now. But is that really why they invested a billion dollars to acquire Instagram!?

Some of the alternatives that have been mentioned include: Aviary, Flickr, Hipster, Lightbox, Magic Hour, MOLOME, PicPlz, Pixlr-o-matic, Poctos, and StreamZoo.

A search on the Google Play store for “photo filters” or even just the Photography category reveals more than 1,000 results! Granted they aren’t all Instagram-like apps, but reading through the first few pages reveals that there are a lot of choices. More than we can possible review here, sorry.

So for your consideration, here are some alternatives to Instagram. Not an exhaustive list, but the list I am considering. They aren’t all drop-in replacements for Instagram, but the ultimate result is the same: sharing fun, quirky photos.

Lightbox

This was the first Instagram-on-Android app that I tried. It worked really well, and pretty much works like Instagram. The most interesting twist for Lightbox is the camera is interchangeable, so if you prefer another camera app you drop that in, or you can use Lightbox’s camera independently of Lightbox.

PicPlz

This is what I first switched to after the sell-out announcement. It too works pretty much like Instagram, in fact pre-dating Instagram in it’s creation. The interface is not as intuitive though – it sounds simple enough: one touch effects. But you end up with a long list of combinations when in fact having a few separate toggles and lists would probably be faster. The coolest thing about PicPlz is that it integrates the Aviary tools so you can go beyond effects and actually edit your photos on your phone.

Hipster

This one actually sounds cooler than Instagram and represents something I’ve done on family vacations: I use my phone to send personalized, custom e-mail post-cards. The Hipster app takes this simple idea, builds-in a camera, filters & effects, and makes an entire community out of it. You can flip your post cards over and see more information about the photo.

Flickr

Perhaps not one you’d expected to see in this list, the Flickr app actually works perfectly as an Instagram replacement – it even has a built-in camera to go with the filters & effects and sharing. And it has the added benefit of the power of Flickr once you’re back at your computer. So everything you share ends-up in your Flickr account, the same place you share the photos you take with that hefty DSLR – no integrating multiple sites into your workflow or directing your followers all over the intertubes.

Aviary

This is another odd member in the list. Aviary revolutionized online media editing (not just photos) and has a suite of tools anyone can integrate into their apps (either mobile or web based). But this isn’t an app, in fact this is a sharing plug-in that allows you to add filters & effects (and a whole lot more) to your photos before the final step of sharing them via your favourite service (ex.: TwitPic for Twitter). Even though Aviary is free, there are add-ons (filters, lenses, stickers, etc.) available for purchase.

Pixlr-o-matic

This is the big-daddy of filters and effects. There are so many it would overwhelming, but they’ve thoughtfully included an effects manager so you can decide which ones show up as your initial choices. Obviously the coolest thing about Pixlr how much you can do with your photos (84 effects, 287 overlays, and 193 borders), and their interface is solid and well thought-out so it doesn’t have be overwhelming. This is app will have you playing with the same photo for hours if you’re perfectionist.

What’s missing? Something Native!

Especially from Google, that has PicasaWeb, I would have expected something like the Flickr app. Between Google+, PicasaWeb, Google Docs, Blogger, and the upcoming GDrive they offer at least four ways to store and share your photos. But the mobile experience is horrid (PicasaWeb synchronization is either all or nothing, Google+ auto-uploading is unreliable, third-parties filling the gap aren’t really an integrated solution).

And Apple too, known for their outstanding media software, should be leading the way rather than leaving the way for others to build a billion-dollar enterprise!

In conclusion

After trying all the aforementioned apps on my phone, a few more in an emulator, and visiting a few web sites (but the apps didn’t make the cut) I can say one thing for sure: there are a lot of choices!

My current, likely final, solution is using my built-in camera and embellishing the shots I want to share on Twitter (via TwitPic) using Aviary. The Aviary tools are very powerful, though typically I’ll just crop and add a filter, if I need to there’s a lot more I can do. And I’m really tempted to buy the Viewfinder effects.

The other thing I’m adding to my workflow, that I discovered while researching this article is QuickPic. This replaces the default gallery and makes working with the photos (and videos) on my photo much easier, including opening them in Aviary and sharing them.

Happy snapping!

Cross-posted on 2FatDads

Why I Quit Facebook

Twitter is awsome! 140 characters then STFU!!! I only follow people I know so even if I only check it on the train twice a day I’m still not scrolling more than a couple pages to catch-up. And it only takes a few seconds to read each tweet. If there’s something really interesting I can star it and come back to it later.

For companies, blogs, etc. there’s RSS feeds in Google Reader.

It’s nice to have that separation. I know I can flush my backlog in Reader without missing something a friend says. And I know my Twitter is a quick catch-up on my friends without any corporate-ad-crap interlaced.

If I could do that with Facebook – and they had had a bit more respect for my privacy – I would still be active there. But I can’t. So I’m not.

Source: Young & Thrifty

Cross-posted on 2FatDads

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Why I think Facebook Has Gone Rogue

I agree entirely with what you say! I don’t really use Facebook any more, but I still use Smart Twitter to post my tweets onto Facebook because so many friends only live on Facebook – to them that’s the internet!!!

But I want to add that the “network effect” you speak of is observed elsewhere: why are so many tech companies in Silicon Valley? Or car companies in Detroit? In those two examples the logic is a little more concrete but the basic idea is the same – it’s a proximity effect. Sure Google could move to the middle of the desert and save a ton of money on rent and make their solar panels much more effective, but they loose much more from being out of the tech community!

Also, the free market has pre-requisites (and they’re not to be confused with effects). One of those is information – consumers need to have and be able to understand the information pertaining the product/service they’re buying. That’s why there’s standardized nutrition information on food, and labels on clothing, and oversight on pharmaceuticals that are beyond the average consumer’s comprehension, so we can make informed choices. That kind of thing is missing from all social networks – not just Facebook – and some (like Facebook) take advantage of that. It’s not really a free-market if it’s inefficient, and it might sound counter-intuitive but a little regulation could go a long way to make the market freer by helping consumers understand their choices and make informed comparisons.

Why I think Facebook Has Gone Rogue