For years, photographers and amateur photographers had only one hub: Flickr. I also used to be addicted to Flickr and made many great friends on there. It’s a huge bummer they became stagnant and really hard to use. I don’t even remember the last time I logged in… And I noticed more and more of my friends using Facebook as their main outlet for photographs.
Now I didn’t understand Instagram either, until I actually created an account and started using it. And the more I use it, the more it’s clear, Instagram is the next social platform for photographers. There are already ridiculous amounts of insanely talented photographers on there. I can’t wait to see the community keep growing.
So what makes Instagram so great? Well:
- discoverability with solid filtering. The noise to signal ratio is on. point. From the popular page to following your immediate friend’s photos, to even seeing activities from your friends (what they liked, what they commented on, etc.) Reminds me of the FriendFeed friend of friend feature, but it’s filtered, so you can choose to look any time you want to and doesn’t clog your feed. (News -> Following)
- community: interaction is pretty much like Flickr, where people can talk to each other without reservations. Plus, you can use handles, which is rare for newer sites these days. Part of the reason so many Asians are on there, to protect their identities.
- shareability is seamless — such a smart implementation, perhaps the best out there.
- MOBILE — it’s in all CAPs because that’s how important mobility will become. I’m excited to see how Instragram will keep iterating its product. And when the Android app comes out? I think the adoption will snowball, trickling down to the mass.
Hopefully, the Instagram team is working on an archiving system with option to store photos at higher resolutions. But I still stand by my statement from a few weeks back: “Finally get Instagram. It’s like Flickr (community and discovery), Myspace-Livejournal (hot girls posting self portraits) but way better.”
If you’d like to connect on Instagram, my user ID is ‘monagram’
Bonus: Check out these two photos from me and Christine. We were at the same place, sitting next to the other, drinking the same thing but the photo, well, take a look. It was so neat when it popped up in our feeds — we both said WOW at the same time.
I feel so fortunate to be surrounded by so many brilliant people — even more so now than ever before. New York is in an interesting place, where there are tons of companies building products catering to the critical mass. The intersection of business minded teaming up with the technically savvy are more prevalent here, than in the Silicon Valley, and the problems they are solving aren’t ones created by the SV tech circle.
Which is a problem on its own.
A lot of successful companies solved a problem they created. Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, even Amazon are almost all products and / or services we could’ve lived without, but now inevitables. Frankly, I am torn, as innovation comes from the technically brilliant, offering things we never knew we wanted, needed and now cannot live without, but where is the limit? How do we get over the Silicon Valley myopia?
The other day, I met with a company working on a product that blew me away (I’ll eventually share who and what) and we discussed in depth consumer behaviors, needs and desires. We talked about flash mob buying and agreed how we don’t see them having sustainable business models. I’ve repeated how Groupon, Living Social, et al.’s legacies are going to be economic dissertations or a Wharton case study.
We moved on to the topic of location based services and how we believe if done right -whatever right may be- mass adoption is highly likely.
But the question still remains: is there a way to elegantly introduce the habit of checking in? Or even initiating action via QR codes?
I’m excited to see who will solve that problem and how.
Just some quick thoughts on a rainy April Tuesday afternoon.
Bonus: Morgan Stanley’s Mobile Internet Report (summary) — pretty neat deck.
- In 2008, McDonalds’ net profit was 4.3 billion dollars and their advertising budget was $823 billion
- Foursquare Day took place on April 16th. Six months ago. McDonalds and Foursquare are still getting press
- Of the 45 brands/businesses that participated, McDonalds is the only company still being mentioned in press
Looking at the above, I wonder what McDonalds’ goals for participating were and if 33% more check-ins or 33% increase in foot traffic really matters to McDonalds.
Just throwing it out there.
Just remembered I never finished my tech predictions for 2010. #fail Maaaaan and my predictions are usually really good or straight on point. But I do know one prediction that was debunked way earlier than I thought: WinMo. Boy was I truly blown away. Microsoft’s WinMo team deserves major props for executing a social centric data driven OS overhaul. Too bad they didn’t make launch at the same time as iPhone (2G at the least.) I hope they are not too late to play catch-up. Also extremely curious as to how the browsing experience is. I would not want to be locked into any of their (sh*tty) products: Office, IE, and Silverlight, specifically.
Latter is the reason I am going Android. I really want to wait for the third iteration of Android but I am sick of my iPhone and most of all, sick of AT&T’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad service.
NexusOne baby, I’m looking at you!
…why I woke up at 1:20am and felt compelled to punch this out is beyond me.
Will it require a voice plan?
Ok, wait, I should back up.
In case you’re living under a rock, Nexus One launched today. Nexus One is the Google phone. Nexus One comes with GoogleVoice pre-installed. Now, Google Voice does everything a regular mobile number does and more, as you can see from this chart: Continue reading
…ok fine. So my Twitter addiction is not because of the above, but hey, I need something to blame, and I am sticking to the above as excuses.
When I first started Twitter, I had close to zero friends and didn’t really…well…get it. And by “getting it”, I mean Twitter. Most of the interesting people only interacted with each other and completely ignored me.
What. The. F**K.
It was sucky to be disregarded and I felt really lame…well…more like I was talking to a wall. Hi. Hi. Hi. Hi. *crickets*…ok, so I’d say more interesting things than HI or @Oprah I JUST ATE A GRILLED CHEESE FOR LUNCH TALK TO ME. But I digress. Where was I? Oh, ya. Twitter addiction.
Don’t know about you, but the iPhone app store is about 80% useless redundant. There are so many frickin’ apps, I don’t know what’s good, what’s bad, which apps have push notifications that actually…well…work…?
I may have found the triad of apps with push notifications. Since I’m feeling generous today, I will share with y’all.
1. For the email junkies: PushGmail
Now before you barrage the “TELL ME SOMETHING I DON’T KNOW“s; wait. And read. For people who have:
- multiple Gmail accounts
- one Exchange email already set-up on phone
PushGmail is the perfect solution. Still don’t follow? Ok, so I have my work Exchange email set-up, but I also Gmail all day errrrday. With PushGmail, my work emails get pushed onto my phone, and now my Gmail gets pushed too -read: best of both worlds. Have my cake and eat it too. I love this app more than fat kid love cake. At any which way, PushGmail RULES and is only 99cents. WELL worth the dollar (and some change)
2. For the sports addicts: Sportacular
In complete agreement with Kevin (jkontherun) who said: “Sports junkies that have an iPhone or iPod Touch owe it to themselves to take a look at Sportacular.” Holy smokes, this app is amazing. Scores are pushed (multi level settings, create alerts for only games and or teams you keep with) and it’s not just scores. Articles, breaking news, standings, etc., are available too but the best part? It’s free. Free. Screw ESPN. Sportacular is notch.
3. For the breaking news types: Twitter
Ok fine. So this one isn’t an app. But I’ve tried the AP and CNN apps but frankly, for instant breaking news, Twitter’s mobile alerting beats all. First, enable mobile alerts from Twitter to phone. Find your favorite news source and click the lil cell phone logo right by the “Follow” button and breaking news will be texted to you. Like this (points below)
So these are my three must have apps for push – what’re yours?
Seriously, you guys? So WHAT if Tweetie isn’t free.
Hold on, hold on, let me back up. Earlier, Patrick (whom I ADORE) over on Just Another iPhone Blog snagged an interview with the Tweetie creator to address the pricing issue. Apparently, there are people who are unhappy Tweetie is going to be a paid upgrade. (Patrick’s interview was awesome btw – even goes into upgrade, what an upgrade means to developers, etc., etc.)
Now I am definitely a cheap Asian when it comes to certain things. One of the most popular posts over on PixelBits (my geek blog) is the “How I Got Two iPhone Apps Refunded” post –and I was happy to share the information.
I am a firm believer of getting value out of my hard earned money – if the ratio is imbalanced, I am not afraid to ask for money back. In this case, Tweetie is one of the best Twitter iPhone apps and it’s really annoying how people are complaining about shelling out 3bucks.
Three. EFin. Dollars.
That’s like…two bags of gummi bears. A pint of beer. Three bags of 99cent chips. A cup of stinkin’ coffee. What the hell, people. Can we have some perspective, please? Do y’all realize how much time and effort goes into developing an app?
I’m sorry (well not really) but all you whiners please: SHUT YOUR TWITTERHOLES.
Thank you and have a great day.
Holy Moly, Apple does return and refund iPhone apps!!
I am THE biggest stickler for value:money (ratio), and firmly believe in “You get what you pay for.” Upon recommendation, I forked over cash for Beejive –an IM application, when iPhone OS 3.0 was released; mainly for the push function. (Push is notification of new activity, even when the application is closed).
Long story short, Beejive is still extremely buggy and utterly useless. i.e. super crashy, couldn’t log on with mutiple accounts, server errors galore…I just had all sorts of issues with it.
I felt ripped off.
$10 bucks for an iPhone app is HELLA money in my book. For 10bucks, I can get four iced espressos at Starbucks, eight bags of Swedish Fish, 9 soft serves from McDonald’s, or nine 99cent iPhone apps, etc., etc., you get the picture right? So I spent a few days complaining on Twitter about how much Beejive sucks.
On Saturday, I couldn’t take Beejive’s suckiness anymore so I Tweeted: “Dear Beejive, I would like a refund.”
I assumed iPhone application returns and or refunds were near impossible…iTunes and Apple’s site are clustermesses and for the life of me, I could not figure out how to request a refund. Seriously, try “Search” on both, it works but seriously needs help. People were sharing their personal nightmare experiences with Apple refunds, and Sean even got locked out of his iTunes account.
It looked like a refund wasn’t happening…until FriendFeeders Drew and Kisha linked me to two successful refund stories. I followed the directions and requested refunds for (1) Beejive and (2) Chocolatier –a game I purchased by “accident”. ;) hehehe.
These are the steps I followed to request a refund:
- Open iTunes
- Log on to your account
- Go to purchase history
- Report a problem
- Fill out form with reason for refund (nicely)
Apple resolved my issues with a quick turn around time, hassle free, and was really really nice about it, too. And I am not going to lie, it shocked the crap out of me! …It may have helped I was clear and concise: “Beejive is not working out for me because x and x. Therefore, I would like x.” Manners and politeness can be advantageous, too. :)
At any rate, thank you, once again, to the wonderful FriendFeed and Twitter communities for helping me out and offering advice, as well as sharing your own personal experiences. Though it is hard to respond to every single @reply and comment, I read every single one of them and appreciate the insight you guys provide. :)
Reason no. 98273948379823 Social Networks RULE.
*if you are interested, there is discussion on apps and personal experiences with Beejive here. Beejive sucked for me, but there are many who experience no issues.
**Apple’s iTunes help web form’s direct link is here.
I am way too cheap to buy apps and don’t do product/app reviews, since they are so time consuming (taking screen shots, explaining, etc) but this I have to share. I found this neat iPhone app by GAM products and it’s nothing like I’ve ever seen.
It’s a filter that applies light to iPhone photos.
Confused? Well, see for yourself:
BTW whoever says the iPhone’s camera sucks is WRONG. Proof is here.
(image via engadget)
I was truly baffled by the buzz surrounding Palm’s Pre.
During the keynote I was glued to my computer reading liveblogs, refreshing every second for new images, while watching Robert (Scoble)’s stream.
- First impression: Laughable.
Maybe the Pre is not photogenic but it’s… well… ugly.
- Second impression: It multi-tasks, has a removable battery, cut and paste, a touch screen… ok? That’s nothing new or revolutionary. Touchstone (the wireless charger) is nice, but that’s… it?
- Third impression: Dev tid-bits — webOS, HTML, CSS, JS… ok? So it uses a different technology. Uh, and? Oh, it’s on Sprint. That’s nice.
Then the updates halted and people like me who weren’t at the keynote were left baffled. Why Pre was already: “Amazing.” “Simply Amazing” “Palm is Back” “iPhone Killer” etc., etc., crowned the show stealer from trusted reporters of the tech industry and its stock jumping 35% was beyond me. With one demo there’s this much buzz?
Where are the answer to questions like: Will there be third party application? Where is the App Store? What is this Web-based OS? Would we be able to access the apps even while we’re not online? What about performance? Can the hardware actually keep up? Where are the technical specifications? Developer’s documentations? HUH? How is this going to work?
What sets it aside from the rest of the handsets?? Continue reading
So the 3G iPhone unlocking software release, due out on New Year’s Eve is being talked about on the Internet. The Dev-Team released a demo video of said software, ‘yellowsn0w’, working its magic by effortlessly switching the 3G iPhone from AT&T’s network to T-mobile’s, and actually made a call.
…sounds bad ass but um HUH? – seemed like the general consensus cuz I got A LOT of people asking me to explain. Don’t lie, your IMs, texts, and e-mails prove it.
Well – since I am an asshole, have no patience, and sure as heck not going to respond to every email, IM, DM, etc., etc., I consolidated the 15 most frequently asked questions here. Kinda like my Christmas gift to you guys? And if you don’t have an iPhone – well you’re assed the EF out. This is the only thing I’m giving this season. ;)
Any which way, here we go! Continue reading
It is the stupid, piece of crap, totally evil network.
I have lived and visited countless cities across the US of A.
I have been on Sprint, T-mobile, Verizon, and AT&T.
I used all four networks across those countless cities.
AT&T is still the worst. network. EVER.
Since my 2007 comparison, I continue experiencing:
- Dropped calls
- FAILed connections
- Bizarre background buzz
- SMS errors
- Voicemail errors
…shall I continue?
AT&T’s stagnancy and their failure to improve is apalling.
The only thing that went up is the damn pricing.
I truly truly dislike AT&T.
So much so, I wish somehow, some way, AT&T’s towers will be blown to bits. Completely dissipated, so they can start from ground up and rebuild better towers. You know, just like the other evil Empire’s super weapon was destroyed and the Death Star II was constructed? It was a more superior battle station, though it ended up being destructed. Actually, that sounds like a good solution since I refuse to Jailbreak my phone and hop on T-mobile’s network.
Anyone down to start a Rebel Alliance?
(image borrowed from Giz, found Googling “AT&T” and “evil”, made by Jesus Diaz. Go figure. Oh – the chicken scratch is mine)
BTW there’s a great discussion over at FF regarding real user experiences. Lots of people from various parts of the country weighing in. Come join! http://bit.ly/MB4G
There was an article on Forbes.com about a Finnish cyber securities firm discovering malware for the iPhone named”Mobile Spy”. For $99 a year, you can monitor calls, mobile web activities, and SMS this software logs, through your Mobile Spy account.
But fret not, Mobile Spy is not a security risk since it needs to be physically installed in the phone you want to monitor. So unless someone has access to your handset or you have a psycho stalker, an ex that turned psycho stalker, or you choose to have relationships with psycho stalkers (no judgements, to each their own!) that can access your phone, you’re safe. Now Spyware/malware, or what have you, is not breaking technology and has been around since I was an Internet n00b.
But this got me thinking. Continue reading
I used to be an early adopter, especially with all things mobile. I had to have everything first. From the Treo family (300, 600, 650), Hitachi’s monster PocketPC, Samsung’s compact Palm, MotoQ, I was addicted to all multi-tasking (mainly CDMA) phones and wasted invested a lot. I blame my Japanese genes, since in Japan, we go through electronics like new parents go through diapers. (That analogy was for you, LG)
Then, I grew-up. I was the cautious consumer for a few years, waiting for feedback before actually purchasing. I controlled urges. The only “new” technology I jumped on was MMS (multi media messaging) and stuck with the same handset for three years. A complete geek faux-paux. Finally, I was no longer an early adopter.
If you remember, last year was a mobile junkie’s dream and worst nightmare. The industry stepped up their phone games launching products and services targeted beyond business users. And it worked. 2007 changed the American mobile industry. Continue reading
From November 6th to the 15th Verizon is hiding BlackBerry Storm clues around the city. Using a map, you find a location, zoom in to get a visual clue, and text the answer to Verizon… Not sure what that means since the full details aren’t on the site (yet). I mean… can we do it virtually? Do we physically have to be there? OMG Do I need to book a flight back to NYC? So. many. questions! But I will be checking the site daily.
I was leaning towards an Android phone but sh*t, free is free. Plus Easter Egg hunts like these are BAD ASS!!
Background apps and multi processing ftw!
That channel also has several neat Android app demos. The one that caught my eye was Compare Everywhere. The dev pieced several APIs to efficiently geolocate, shop, and compare products — and it only took him two weeks to write it. HOT. Quick description taken from their site:
CompareEverywhere is a Google Android app that will change the way you shop forever.
- Scan any barcode and instantly search dozens of online and local stores, finding out if that “sale price” really is a good deal.
- Read product reviews, listen to music clips, and watch movie trailers with a single tap.
- Easily connect with stores in your area using driving directions or a phone call.
- Quickly build shopping lists, wish lists, and share them with friends.
Edit: Added Compare Everywhere video after jump.
The results don’t surprise me. At all.
I’m not quite sure what people expect performance wise of American 3G networks, but from experience, my expectations have been and still low. 3G works well in large metro cities, since a lot of cell towers are situated closer, so losing signal is less likely. If I lived in a rural area, there is no way I would invest in 3g — especially on AT and T.
I did a 2g vs 3g write up back in June. 98% of the post is still relevant (Since Android wasn’t out yet and Firefox’s new mobile browser just launched, so they’re not included) If you’re interested, I pasted the blog after the jump. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments. :)