Bump, the popular mobile sharing app that lets users exchange photos and information by bumping their smartphones together, is getting in touch with a new device: the computer keyboard. And it appears to also be taking on a new frontier: cloud-based photo-sharing.

Now with 85 million downloads of its app under its belt, Bump is beta testing a new, very simple service that lets users of the app select a photo on their phones, navigate to bump’s site on their computer, bump their space bar on their keyboard with the phone, and then see the image magically appear on the screen. From there, a user can keep it in the Bump cloud, download it to their computer, post it to Facebook or send someone a link.

Photos.bu.mp is very basic at the moment, and Bump itself hasn’t done much yet promote it. There’s precious little info on the site itself, too — although that makes discovering what it does part of the fun.

Read More: http://tcrn.ch/IM5wuH

Springpad was founded back in 2008 with a simple mission: Help people “remember stuff today so that they can make better decisions tomorrow.” For those unfamiliar with the digital organizer, the startup is the maker of free web, Android, and iOS productivity apps that constitute a multi-platform, cloud-based digital notebook, designed to help you discover, save, and share the things you care about. Springpad lets users jot notes, save websites, images, products, at which point its semantic data-parsing tech comes into play, analyzing your content and serving you alerts on relevant news, offers, price drops, and coupons

Click here to read more: http://tcrn.ch/I86pzH

You never won’t know what you can’t achieve until you don’t achieve it.
Mr. Gordon -
21 Jump Street (2012)

It’s one of those big mysteries that a lot of people on Twitter (myself included) desperately want to know:

“When is the best time for me to Tweet?”

Google has announced the launch of a revamped version of Google+. The new version will provide users with the ability to customize the way the social network looks and display the content that is relevant to them with a new interface. In an official blog post, Google said that the social network now has 170 million members, and that the company wants to accelerate its efforts “to create a simpler, more beautiful Google”.

Read More at TheNextWeb.com

Quora: a Fab (fabulous) or a Flop?

Quora, the crowdsourced question-and-answer website where people can not only ask about work related matters but also about anything they are interested in whether it’s content involving sports, entertainment, or anything else, is considered a gold-mind in the digital world.

Having scored several awards for best start-up, Quora is on its way to becoming the new digital “big thing”. This is mainly due to the fact that it is being perceived differently from any other platform, for its professionalism and high caliber content. As Internet entrepreneur and blogger Jason Calacanis once stated “It doesn’t feel like Yahoo! Answers or WikiAnswers — it feels like Silicon Valley Answers”, unlike the infinite number of Q&A sites such as Yahoo! Answers and Answers.com, Quora’s addressed answers don’t feel impersonal and disorganized. Despite the fact that plenty of valuable information and advice can be found on Q&A sites such as Yahoo! Answers whose popularity attracted online appearances by celebrities and politicians, including Barack Obama, Leonardo DiCaprio and Stephen Hawking, their disadvantage is that they’re awkward and it’s extremely hard to figure out whether their provided answers are reliable or not. Unlike the other Q&A sites, Quora is firmly monitored by administrators and contains a social networking component to it which will allow users to know their answerers and judge their answers accordingly. Thus, in a comfortable and secure ambiance, users can discuss topics with the safe knowledge that the website’s moderators uphold a strict policy that forces users to register with their real names and use their real identities.

Quora’s concept being based on the fact that people need answers to intelligent questions from reliable sources, it is being perceived as a continually improving collection of questions and answers created, edited, and organized by everyone who uses it.

Quora has come a long way since it was founded in June 2009, than first launched in private beta in January 2010, by Adam D’Angelo and Charlie Cheever, two young IT geniuses who met working at Facebook,.

In its continuous effort to ameliorate customers’ experience, Quora is now “paying” people to answer questions. Every time a user asks a question on Quora, the site presents him with the incentive to spend 50 credits to “add topics” which allows him to show his question to all topic followers. Also this reflects positively on the quality of content and questions because users will think long and hard about the questions they ask and its added value. For those who are planning not to pay; Users can still see non-paid for questions if they’re still following people who ask the question or follow the question. If a question becomes followed enough, it automatically gets added to a topic.

 

However this is not the only trick that Quora has up its sleeves, it took the experience to mobiles by offering users on Android, Blackberry, or iPhones a mobile site optimized for handsets; users can also enter questions with supporting context via email. This allows Quora to target users during their flexible time away from their computers…  

By combining an answer voting mechanism & upvotes with a strict identity requirement & a one-to-many follower model, Quora has cleverly found a way of extracting high-quality practical knowledge out of people.

But despite all its advantages and its labeling as the dethroner of Wikipedia, Quora is now facing a lot of challenges that have earned them a lot of criticizes by high caliber personalities such as Katherine Boehret from the Wall Street Journal, Matthew Ingram from GigaOM and TechCrunch contributor Vivek Wadhwa…etc.

Critics’ blames are centered on the fact that Quora is a huge noise generator and could be used by many for selfish reasons such as self-promotion, advertising own brand or companies or products.

 Despite Quora’s monitors being highly alert for self-serving content and the website’s offered feature of devoting or unfollowing users with such type of contribution, this generates a lot of noise that can appear as a spam and over-shadow the interesting replies or answers that one could get for his questions.  But the noise generation isn’t limited to self-promotion and uninteresting contributions, but the amount of notifications received whether in real-time or by email, can quickly become overwhelming especially when users can still get notifications of old questions which has been reactivated.

The noise generated by Quora is so powerful that it spreads to other networks such as Facebook and Twitter; especially that users are given the option of linking their Quora account to their Facebook account to convert “up-votes” into “likes.” The same goes to Twitter, where a search for “My answer on Quora” grows rapidly.  But the noise generation doesn’t end there, users who follow too many topics or users on Quora will find themselves buried alive with notifications.

Add to all that, the flip side of the upvotes system is that famous contributors gets upvoted instantly regardless whether or not they’ve supplied a good answer just because they are celebrities and people respect their opinion and seek their attention. Furthermore, the upvotes system isn’t infallible; users can falsify results by asking their friends and acquaintances to upvote their answers to the top of the question thread.

Quora seems to be focused on evolving its environment to foster genuine, appealing, and fun engagement between people rather than companies or brands. It has started doing so by giving incentives to keep contributions as well as participations high and interesting, thus making it more social to achieve real-world relationships. Many challenges are still ahead as the website will have to find a way to reduce its generated noise, motivate high-caliber professionals to contribute and help people discover new knowledge and connect with those with similar interests without getting spammed or buried with notifications and having their questions out-ranked for not being famous. Quora is an extremely interesting site with great potential, whether it is a fab or a flop only time will tell; it all rests in the hands of its team.

Rita Ghantous

AN IDEAL COMMUNITY MANAGER

The social media landscape is becoming more and more crowded a wide range of categories, such as: Social Networks; Social Bookmarks; Social News sites; Community Forums; Social Wikis; Blogs; Microblogging tools,Sharing sites,  …etc.

Businesses are realizing their need for a talented navigator to venture safely into these traitorous waters. This is where the role of a good community manager comes to mind. With social media no longer limited to Facebook and Twitter, but also Google+, LinkedIn and specialty networks such as Foursquare, Yelp and Instagram. Companies need a skillful person able to juggle their accounts on all these mediums and establish their presence in an interesting yet entertaining way.

The ideal Community Managers should be able to act as the brand’s ambassador; representing the corporation and knowing everything there is to know about it, whether: its mission or vision or activities or orientation or strategy. The skillful community manager will be able to achieve balance between upholding a corporate responsibility and advocating for the customer.  Being a brand ambassador means that the Community manager will play the role of the corporation’s eyes and ears; therefore actively monitoring Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, review sites, blogs, forums, message boards, etc.., looking for mentions, good and bad, so the brand can respond accordingly will be a must.

These actions all converge to serve the same purpose: build the brand’s reputation and endorse its message; communicating it and marketing it to other people. That’s the Community Manager’s purpose: to strive to get the message out in a way that gets the crowd excited. 

It would be naïve to think that anyone can be a Community Manager, a special type of personal fits this job; a good Community Manager should be:

·         A Social Person able to attract people to engage with a brand.

·         A great communicator: in order to get the brand’s message across to others in fewer than 140 characters.

·         A Passionate person: whose core responsibility is to promote the brand and convince others about it.  

·         A Relatable individual: who inspires people and compel them to interact with him while making them feel comfortable enough to talk.

·         An altruist who highlights the brand, not himself.    

·         A workaholic who will be around whenever needed to deal with a community that never sleeps and a business that never closes. 

·         A helpful person who enjoys going out of his way for others, whether colleagues/friends/or customers.

·         A smart and Resourceful individual who understands how his job plays into lead generation, brand awareness, customer service, operations, etc. 

The challenges to be faced by the Community Manager are numerous, however there lies his opportunity to shine, he will be required to:

·         Generate proper Content - writing posts, articles, newsletters, communications materials, and material for social media channels.

·         Perform Social media marketing - creating, managing and growing the company’s presence through blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and other strategically relevant online properties

·         Deal with the media; creating, executing and measuring media campaigns.

·         Manage CSR by replying to online (social media) feedback 

·         Communicate marketing strategy thus providing direction for the company’s public-facing communications.

·         Analyzing social media presence through measurement tools to provide reports on metrics, and continually find ways to improve on those metrics through testing and new initiatives

 

2012 promises to provide yet more challenges to Community Managers, the question is how many of those will be armed with the right tools and attitude to face it.

Rita Ghantous