Key Advice Blog

Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Aside

Posted on: 20/02/2012

Canada’s Public Safety Minister Vic Toews’ online surveillance Bill C30 has been lifted from parliamentary discussions and shot into the social media sphere with support from Vikileaks, Twitter and blogs. Who’s right or wrong may take some time to answer, but people are wanting answers now about the effects of social media on politics.

Social media research is a relatively new field. Melissa Martin’s column in The Winnipeg Free Press Voting with your tweet? Toews’ Twitter flap may show social media as new grassroots political force highlights some US research into the new media getting up-close-and-personal with politics. Heather LaMarre, a professor at the University of Minnesota, has been researching the ‘off-line’ effects of ‘online’ social media movements. The jury is still out – but research shows they are having an impact.

Martin’s refers to the academic lingo for this movement – ‘intermedia agenda-setting’ – then translates to ‘plain speak’ -meaning politicians listening via traditional media. Going one step farther, in plain language, the voice of the masses on social media are not only being heard, they are being sought out.  The translation, on the surface, is simple and clear. They are sending out strong waves of public sentiment that can not only alter, but bring down, political decisions, officials and parties.

Grassroots movements are growing like weeds on the Web. Attempts to squash them, will be a bit like trying to control dandelions by hand-picking them. For every one eliminated, a new one seems to grow in its place.

CBC’s Community Team discussion ‘Should the controversial surveillance bill be scrapped?‘ is gaining some momentum, driven by the force of public and social media rejection of the bill and concern over its extensive reach into their lives. When the minister supporting a bill that has potential to infringe on its citizens’ privacy, personal communications and online presence isn’t aware of the Bill’s small print, it is time for a stop and think session.

What do you think?

Social media surveillance exposes Bill C30

Advertisements
It looks like technology has joined chocolate and coffee as one of human's top cravings. According to a recent survey tablets 
have surpassed laptops on the consumer 'tech craving' list. But, that's just the tip of the chocolate shavings pile.

If seeing is believing, watch Mashable.com's video explaining research results saying 69% of consumers crave tablets.
And if you thought an apple a day was the way to go, would you believe two? Opinion-based social community SodaHead.com 
polled 1,150 readers about this year's gift wish list. Guess what we are craving? Yes, Apple's iPhone 4S led with 39%; with
31% sinking our teeth into the iPad2. Kindle Fire and Xbox Kinect followed in third and fourth - quite a distance behind.
With Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project study finding 66% of adult Americans use social media, it is
no wonder that tablets, smart phones and readers top the list.

What's topping yours?

The latest report on real-time communications tools surpassing e-mail in popularity and practice is not a new finding. But, it is a new warning to Canadian businesses to embrace social and interactive media so they don’t get left behind. And, the sooner the better.

According the Calgary Herald story, nearly half of chief information officers surveyed said instant, interactive and intuitive platforms  – like SharePoint, Google Docs and Skype – will replace e-mail in five years. Shocking? No. Social Media Today reported this in 2008. Transform Magazine, in 2002, reviewed three  business case studies about collaborative technology in an article ‘Collaboration: Beyond E-mail’. In reality, it is already happening.

In a recent blog post – Social Media as a professional tool – I reported that although 77% of Canadians have a social media presence, less than 30% used them for professional reasons. Personal use will increase confidence. Professional use will increase connectivity. All of this can lead to an increase in benefits to your organization.

Like newspapers, email will probably not disappear. But, the speed, social interaction and resource saving aspects of the new communications sharing technology cannot be ignored. Plug-in now and join the conversation – before you are left behind.

Having relocated from the UK to Canada I find I am using Skype and FaceTime about 3 times as much as my landline for personal calls. But, what are businesses using? And, why aren’t they using visual conference calling more? This branch of the social media tree is powerful, persuasive and cost saving – with many of the options free.

Mashable profiles all four, recognizing freeconferencecalling.com as a starting point.

Then they analyze Rondee, Wiggio, GroupMe and Google Voice. They all have outstanding characteristics: Rondee, easy meeting coordination; Wiggio, other group management services; GroupMe; the quintessential mobile group meeting App; and Google Vocie, people simply call your contact number at the same time and you approve.

This technology has come a long way, and it is quite surprising that many people – who also complain about the travel time and expense – are still driving, flying, riding to meetings that could be just as effective in a virtual environment. And, reduce the carbon footprint and costs substantially.

Today is the Oscars, that celebration of all things cinematic. But what about award-winning technology? Well, these articles on top iPhone apps caught my eye. And, that’s just the tip of the app mountain.

Everything PR‘s Lior Levin takes a look at what’s hot in the app world for small businesses for learning on the go. Try iTunes U, offering you a link to learning anything, anytime, anywhere, it’s like having your university in your pocket. If you like visuals, the free Skill Pill app connects you to short video refrehsers on a host of business skills. If getting reasonably priced petrol to get you to work is your biggest challenge, Mashable.com just featured three iPhone apps to help you find the best petrol prices.

If you are an Oscars fan, but don’t have a TV handy, check out their streaming link. Or check out these iPhone apps courtesy of Tapscape. The Globe and Mail rated their Top 5 Oscar-worthy apps in the Technology Trending Tech blog, by Amber McArthur.

And, if you have simply misplaced your phone, why not try this ‘Where’s My Phone’ app. Now, that’s an award-winning idea.

Apps rule…and there’s still time to get plugged in.

Google Instant is the next development in intuitive search – saving time and completing your search results before you finish keying in your search string. But is faster always better? Let’s see what people are saying.

Google’s View

The search engine promotes Google Instant benefits as being fast, saving 2-5 seconds per search, prediction support, it guesses what you are looking for offering options for the undecided, and instant results.  However, if you go to the Advertisers FAQ you will see this quick answer may raise some questions amongst advertisers who can win or lose on the system.

eConsultancy Round-up

eConsultancy searched around the minds of SEO consultants and web developers to get their verdict. It ranged from recommending a look at Bing to concern over PPC.

Instant and Desktop Together

Tony Bradley at ITbusiness.ca thinks Google should go to the next level and combine Instant and Desktop to give users a total search experience.

Blogger Wonders about death of SEO

Blogger Adam Tinworth wrote a piece Google Goes Instant. Death of SEO predicted (again). He may be a sceptic, but there are threads of truth in his article.

If you use PPC, it is worth doing some investigative work, tracking changes and making up your own mind.

Geo-tagging is nothing new – with Facebook Places the current talk of the town. But, the Hotlist geo app brings all the key social media services together at one table, serving up a tasty treat for users.  It’s about integrating, morphing and mashing everything that’s social about a location – and feeding our appetite for geo data.

Mashable’s  Jolie Odell takes a  bite big picture – giving you a review of what Hotlist looks like to the user – just in case you haven’t activated it. It’s mobile use – all these things are geared for the urban traveller – is the icing on the cake. You can find out what’s happening, who’s there, ration of male to female participants, follow Twitter chat, post to Facebook.

So far it’s only available for iPhone.  Blackberry and others will just have to wait – but not long.


Visit keyadvice.net

Key Tweets

Like ThisCanadianLife Facebook Page