How much inter-connection is too much?

My latest revelation: I think I should tweet more. Twitter seems like one of the best tools around once you actually start to use it, but people criticise it all the time.
I only just connected my WordPress with my Twitter. I’d been hesitant, I didn’t want people who follow me on Twitter or Facebook to read my blog – I’m shy and a little insecure about my writing, and my writing style. Well, the cat’s out of the bag on that now, and I guess I will be linking this post to Twitter too seeing as how I just blabbed about it…. what a mess…. expect no hashtags…

Maybe it had to do with privacy too, I wan’t keen to make myself public on the internet for all to see and connect the dots across Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and WordPress. But working for Bianca from Alphabet Pony and Dizzy Digital made me think twice about that. To gain exposure right now, you have to be willing to put yourself out there. You need to connect all those platforms to generate click between them! Get your Instagram followers onto your blog (especially if that’s where you’re making money), or over to you business’ Facebook page and then onto the main site. The blog is designed to function like an online portfolio, a showreel, a CV and if I can post decent, interesting content on Facebook and Twitter, what’s the harm in having them all connected?
Surely, if I don’t connect them, someone else will when the next all-new all-encompassing app comes out?

Citizen Journalism… what the?

The Guardian’s new app looks to create a community of contributors – embracing citizen journalism, but not really offering anything in return.

While the app does have a bit to offer more then anything it’s frought with potential disaster; legally in regards to ownership and opinion, but hey, they’re taking steps to fill a hole created by the rise of mobile phones and the citizen journalist with mobile phones and the citizen journalist… go figure

those apps

I want to air my frustrations surrounding the apps available on Android phones (and Windows 8 – but that doesn’t really count).

When looking to buy my smartphone last year I was told a number of times that I should get an Android
“There’s heaps more free apps”
“The market’s not as controlled so there are more, better apps”  … or so they told me….

Unfortunately, for creating videos (and for good image editing), there doesn’t seem to be a comparison.
Apple wins this one. Hands down.

  • Vine
  • Lightt
  • Cinemagram
  • Lumify

Some of the great apps available exclusively to iOS users.

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WHY?

I don’t know. They are all free yet they are not on Android. Android where they can have ads!

So, I’m almost ready to buy myself my very first iPod.

The eBook Phenomenon

Somehow I could never imagine myself in bed with an eBook.
However, times are changing, and I love my iPad for holding all my textbooks in year 12; making my schoolbag that much lighter. The eBook, or electronic book can be read anywhere any time. It is downloaded from the interent (using an app such as iBooks) and then read on an iPad, Kindle, smartphone, or other mobile device.

Pros:

  • The eBook means less paper used and therefore more space
  • Using a tablet or other mobile device allows you to carry multiple books at the one time
  • With some textbooks, on devices such as iPads – you can edit, mark, highlight and write note without ever defacing the book
  • Cheaper costs allowing for more opportunities for writers to publish their work (see image below)

 

Cons:

  • They don’t have the same feel as a book – there is something nice about buying a book, and holding one
  • Free and low cost eBooks are often not well edited, containing many mistakes
  • Retailers are suffering (and we have seen this with the closing of Borders and Angus and Robertson)

Click on the above image for a good review of Kindle

Overall, I will always prefer reading a physical piece of paper – I still print my readings, and I go out of my way to buy books inorder to support book retailers but the world of eBooks offers a great deal of opportunity for the author.

“There’s an app for that…”

New(ish) to the world of the smartphone I have enjoyed finding applications for my phone.
Supposedly, apps can make our lives easier, simpler, and more seemless – sometimes this is true, yet often apps need further development…

Apps or applications are just simply computing programs or pieces of software designed and written to fulfill a particular purpose of the user. They have been around since the birth of the computer, however it was the rise of the smartphone and subsequent need to create smaller more compact pieces of software that has led to the boom of the app that we have seen grow in recent years.

For a brilliant overview on apps, and some great facts – see this infographic!

Apps themselves have changed – they have become ‘smaller’ (more accessible, and not as large as traditional applications for computers that one would have gone to the shop to buy – eg. Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop etc), cheaper, and easier to access. We still can buy the BIGGER apps instore (however they are becoming  increasingly more available online).
The platforms and marketplaces where we can get them have also changed.

Pros:

  • easily back up work
  • easily link work across devices – through sync-ing devices to the web
  • you can get the same app on your mobile phone, laptop, tablet making it easy to work or socialise
  • free/’lite’ apps offer a trial version which

Cons:

  • free apps generally contain advertisements
  • cheap and free apps often freeze
  • some expensive apps don’t offer much, and rely on users buying in-app content

MY suggestions for apps:

  • Evernote – a great, free ‘productivity’ application I use it to take notes and record lectures at uni. I have it on all my electronic devices.
  • Angry Birds – probably my all-time favourite game =) and it’s free on Android =))
  • ABC iview – this is great because they upload si much of their on-air content and because it’s ABC it’s full of interesting TV
  • Facebook – …everyone has it, so why not have the app for it too

…for more great ideas see appSmitten – a website dedicated to finding the top apps (you can even sign up for their newsletter if you are that keen)

In my view, the challenge for apps, and their creators is to fabricate apps that all users to ‘break the rules’, such as watching videos of all formats on Apple products (ipads, etc.)
Being less ‘controlled’ or regulated, the Android market has more space to allow this, and if Apple doesn’t catch up, they will fall behind.