Category Archives: Reviews

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2015 SXSWi Recap by J.R. Atkins

Some of my friends and clients ask what the big deal is with South by Southwest Interactive or SXSWi. In short; ideas, technology and trends are introduced there that affect our lives and business. Technology such as Twitter (2006), Square (2009), Foursquare (2009), Uber (2009), Pinterest (2010), iPad2 (2011),  Microsoft Surface (2012), Google Glass (2012), Pebble Smart Watch (2013), Oculus Rift Virtual Reality head gear (2014) and see more historic trends at 22 Years of SXSWi.

At the 2015 SXSWi Festival I noticed the following 5 tech trends worth noting.

  1. New social Media App – MeerKat – Spontaneous video via Twitter
  2. Health Tech – Mobile App: Measure by Phillips Healthcare
  3. 4k TV – Samsung – 2X the Pixels
  4. International Flair – It’s a global event – Krista Hendriks, Utrecht Area, Netherlands
  5. com – It’s like UBER for overnight dog care

Please let me know if you find any of this interesting or beneficial to you or your business.

  1. MeerKat: http://meerkatapp.co

MeerKat is a new app that allows users to easily live stream video from their cell phonesJ.R> Atkins uses MeerKat via their Twitter accounts. You can “Schedule” a video and your MeerKat followers will get a notification of when you are about to begin. Or, you can create a live “stream” in the moment for those who are watching. Like Twitter, MeerKat video can be seen by anyone. It’s similar to a Google Hangout or Skype video call but much easier. Just download the app, sign in with twitter and click on “schedule” or “stream” and you’re ready to broadcast. The idea is making use of our desire to have a spontaneous connection.

Related story by David Gilbert of the International Business Times.

  1. Measure: in beta test

Nike Fit bit bits the dustPhillips Healthcare is building an online portal that will allow you to feed your data from non-Phillips devices such as a Fitbit, Moves App, Misfit Flash and Phillips devices such as Blood Pressure Cuff. Even the data from my Nike Plus (no longer supported by Nike) can be uploaded to the portal.

Moves App used by J.R> AtkinsPrior to this portal, each App or fitness solution had a separate place to store and view data. With the Phillips Measure platform, you could, in theory, import health measurement data.

During my visit, I was able to meet the developers, debug some code and gain some keen insight into the future of Individual Healthcare Monitoring. A person to follow is Hans Notenboom, Global Head of Digital at Philips Healthcare based in the Netherlands.

  1. Samsung Curved 4k TV: http://www.samsung.com/us/video/tvs

Samsung 4k curved TVI first heard of 4k in early 2014 from one of my videographer friends and I was think, “I’m just getting use to HD.” 4k means 4000 pixels vs HD which is 2000 pixels. So 4k is 2X. A 4k TV will have a resolution of at least 3840 x 2160.

Samsung took over a restaurant in Austin and turned it into an “experience” with fresh juices, snacks, a big video wall made of Samsun Tablets, a virtual reality experience and a blogger lounge.

The curved, 4k TVs were the big thing for me. Unlike the past, you don’t have to wait for the Cable and local TV stations to upgrade to 4k. YouTube, Netflix and Hulu are already broadcasting shows in 4k. So now that a 60” HD TV at Walmart id $600 or less, get ready to upgrade to 4k for $2500.

 

  1. International Flair

Meet Krista from the NetherlandsWhile having lunch at a sidewalk café in Austin, I met Krista Hendriks who was in town from the Netherlands to give a presentation on “Cuddly Drones” a project exploring the emerging surveillance culture, exploring the democratization of surveillance tools and how do teach children to critically explore this drone-filled future? Yea, you can meet people anywhere, but at SXSWi there is an instant level of trust and interest around how technology is affecting our lives.

Technology is bringing our world closer together and SXSWi is helping. Check out her profile on LinkedIn.

  1. com: www.Rover.com

J.R. Atkins uses Rover.comMy dog, Forte, travels frequently with me and he went to Austin to see the sights and keep me stress-free. Yet, I needed an overnight dog sitter so my wife and I could party on Saturday night. In steps Rover.com, an Uber like solution to help you connect with home based dog sitters. Download the app and in just a few minutes you are connecting with locals who can keep your pet overnight for about ½ the price of a Vet or animal boarding service. Send a message, confirm, and set up the drop-off and pick-up time. Rover.com covers the collection of fees. I called their customer service and had a great experience.

Events Worth Considering

03/30/15 – Principles of Social Media (CTC)
04/01/15 – LinkedIn for Success (CTC)
04/06/15 – Successfully use of Facebook (CTC)
04/08/15 – Using Video for Success (CTC)
04/10/15 – Selling in the Digital Age (CTC)
04/14/15 – Website Trends (CTC)
04/18/15 – Successful Marketing Plans (CTC)

04/22/15 – Social Media Basics – Lewisville Chamber & SCORE

04/23/15 – Your Effective Strategy Plan – Webinar


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If you like Instagram, you’ll love the related Apps

Dallas social media speaker J.R. Atkins likes the Instragram AppNancy Messieh of “The Next Web” did a great job of compiling a list of related Apps for Instagram, the photo sharing and filtering App for iPhone.

“You know an app is on its way to going mainstream when a major brand like Starbucks has its own account. There’s simply no denying Instagram‘s popularity. In fact, it looks like the app just got a little bit more popular when Justin Bieber shared an image of LA traffic using Instagram.”

The List:

Inkstagram gives you the missing web interface that Instagram so desperately needs.

Pictarine gives you a unique way to browse your own Instagram photos, along with photos from other online services including Flickr, Facebook, Picasa and Twitter.

ExtraGram is another site which gives you the means to keep up with your feed, with popular photos and to interact with other users in a browser.

Webstagram lets you keep up with your feed as well as see the latest popular photos on Instagram.

Gramfeed gives you a web interface making it easy to get to all of Instagram’s features in your browser.

Mac users can bring the Instagram experience to their desktop with Carousel, an app that allows you to interact with other users, comment and like photos, as well as follow and unfollow other users.

Flipboard makes it easy to keep up with your Instagram stream, and like Instagallery, takes advantage of the iPad’s larger screen.

InstaFB is an easy way to connect Instagram and Facebook in a much more efficient way than what Instagram provides.

Gramjunction gives you a visually appealing way to display the images that you’ve shared on both Instagram and Flickr.

Instadrop allows you to backup all of your Instagram photos using Dropbox. After connecting the two services, any photos you share on Instagram will be automatically saved to your Dropbox folder in real time.

Since there’s no easy or direct way to do this just yet, Edward Boches came up with a workaround to share your Instagram images with your Google+ followers in real time.

Insta-Great displays a slideshow of popular photos on Instagram.

Heroku allows you to to search Instagram photos, and you can also narrow down your results to photos taken using a specific filter.

Instagallery is a $1.99 iPhone, iPad and iPodTouch app which lets you keep up with your friends’ photos, view your own photos and your favourites.

Cartagr.am lets you browse Instagram photos based on location.

InstaCat has to be one of the most niche Instagram websites available and it displays photos of only one thing – Cats.

If you’re more of a dog person, InstaPuppy will bring you all the puppy-goodness found on Instagram to your browser. InstaPuppy does also have it’s own kitty sister site, InstaKitty, if the constant scrolling in InstaCat proves to be too much for you.

Instarium is a flash-based screensaver which you can download for your Mac or Windows computer.

Screenstragram is another screensaver which displays the latest popular Instagram photos, but it is currently a Mac only download, compatible with Snow Leopard and up.

Instagrid allows you to create a pretty slick online gallery of your Instagram photos.

Instawar pits Instagram photos against each other in a little game where two random images are displayed side by side.

Pic-a-Fight is similar to Instawar, minus the ability to create a diptych. You can add your own photos into the mix by connecting your Instagram photos.

Instaprint is one of the coolest ideas we’ve seen emerge as a result of Instagram’s popularity. If you have a special event or party, rent Instaprint’s special Instaprint Box. Each box is associated with a specific location or hashtag, so any photo tagged with either will be automatically printed. Instaprint is kind of like a photobooth and Polaroid camera all rolled into one

Instagoodies will provide you with a book of 1 inch stickers created using your Instagram photos.

Instamaker will turn your Instagram photos into t-shirts, mugs and postcards.

Stickygram turns your Instagram photos into fridge magnets.

If you’re looking for a way to print Instagram photos, Printstagram gives you a ton of cool options.

TeenyTile gives you a way to turn your Instagram photos into a cute little 2 inch ceramic tiles.

Postagram is an iPhone, Android and web-based app which allows you to send your Instagram photos as postcards.

If the smaller sticker size available from Prinstagram and Instagoodies doesn’t suit your taste, you can use ArtFlakes to order large 4 inch stickers using your Instagram photos.

With Keepsy, you can create a gorgeous book of your Instagram photos. In addition to Instagram, the site also supports Picasa, Flickr, PicPlz and Facebook, as well as the ability to upload photos from your computer.

For $19, HatchCraft will let you create a Boo Box simply by entering the url of your Instagram photo. A 4 inch print of your photo will be placed in a gorgeous bamboo shadow box to frame your photo.

Instaport makes it easy to download your Instagram images to a zip file, and a direct export service to Facbook, Flickr and RSS is in the works.

CopyGram works in the same way as Instaport, allowing you to download all of your Instagram images as a zip file, in addition to providing you with an easy-to-remember vanity url with your username.

 

 

 

 


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Cool iPad App to display your Portfolio

If you are photographer, artist or other creative type who would like to have a cool digital portfolio for show and tell on the iPad, check out the “PadPort App.”

Dallas social Media speaker J.R. Atkins recommends the use of PadPortPADPORT is an elegant portfolio presentation App for the iPad – designed by and for professional media artists. PADPORT allows photographers, artists and a multitude of other visual artists to assemble a digital portfolio of their works and use the iPad as a new media presentation tool.

The Key Features of the App include:

> MINIMALIST INTERFACE – to allow the content to be the center of attention.

> MULTIPLE PORTFOLIOS – The user can create sets of works to be presented in categorized portfolios.

> MULTIPLE THEMES – The App allows the user to select from different Themes and use different Themes for each portfolio.

> KIOSK MODE – The App allows the user to present their Portfolios in a private Kiosk mode – disallowing other users or viewers from editing the Portfolio.

Dallas Social media speaker J.R. Atkins uses the apple App Store

> EASE OF USE – The App is designed without unnecessary features or complexity – focusing on ease of use by the user.

 


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TikTok and LunaTik iPod Nano Watch Bands

Dallas social media speaker J.R. Atkins likes the LunaTik Watchcase for the iPod NanoI love cool design!

So, when my wife gave me an iPod Nano for a Valentines Day gift, I wanted to find just the right case for it. Or, why not wear it as a watch? Ok, but I wanted a cool looking and sleek feeling watch band. Check out the TikTok and LunaTik designs and guess witch one I now have.

 


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How much to include in version 1.0?

Dallas social Media speaker J.R. Atkins comments on App developmentHave you seen the new photo sharing  app called Path? It was developed by former Facebook employee Dave Morin and Shaw Fanning of Facebook and Napster fame. Most of the Blogs, forums and reviews are hammering the new app for its lack of functionality and limitations–like being able to only connect with 50 friends.  I contend they are on the right path by offering an app with limited functionality.

Take a look at TechCrunch blogger Eric Schonfeld comment; “Path is designed to share photos with only your closest 50 friends, primarily through the app itself. You can’t Tweet out links to your photos or share them on Facebook”. But remember this is version 1.0. I’m sure as Path increases in usage V1.1 or V2.0 will offer more features.

“I find it refreshing to see a project launch with such a tight focus and function.  Clearly the aim of Path is to be the very best at one thing vs. pretty good at a lot of things” says Jason Franzen of [x]Cube LABS in Dallas. “This is an approach to admire in a sea of “Swiss Army Knife” apps that tend to equate Quantity with Value.”

What Jason is referring to is the attempt of developers or clients to add too many features to an initial application. This complicates the development process and often creates confusion for the end user. Think back to when Facebook first started, (or remember the movie) it offered a picture and status update “what are you doing now”. Over time features and functions have been added to become a robust social media network.

Dallas Social Media speaker J.R. Atkins reads TechCrunch dailyIf you are considering an app for the iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry or Microsoft platforms, keep it simple! Start with a set of high value features that will attract new users. If the applications is interesting, solves a problem, or is entertaining then people will use it and tell others. Once usage is high enough, then release version 2.0 with added functionality. If you are smart, provide a means for users to suggest new features and help you prioritize updates.

As Franzen says “The smart phone is already the ‘Swiss Army Knife’, all we really need are new blades to help us cut to the chase.”


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The Social Network Movie

The Social Network Guy J.R. AtkinsHow will the release of The Social Network movie affect the use of Facebook and Social Media in general? This is the question I asked before the movie was release. Will more people give Facebook another shot? Will the people who have never tried Facebook be more likely to try it once they have seen The Social Network? Guy 1 and girl 2, are you spending more time on Facebook?

I think those of us who advertise on Facebook will see a real spike in impressions and clicks following the release of the social network movie. In fact, as a social network guy, I have been telling my clients to place their Facebook advertisement now to make use of this spike in viewers.

I have no doubt that millions of movie viewers will walk out of the theatre after seeing the social network and start sharing on their smart phone and laptops. Facebook reports that it has over 500 million users today. What will it be after the move? How long before Facebook reaches 900 million users?

Some companies still think of Social Media as a fad and Facebook is only for the consumer market. Just you wait. They are about to wake up to the day where they realize that Facebook is main stream and that social media is a communication tool just like the telephone. Im sure that 100 years ago, someone said the telephone is just a fad, now look at it as a business tool. We cannot live without it! Before long, Social Media and Facebook will be the same; Business tools that you cannot live without.

So join the social network guy, J.R. Atkins, and let him help you use Facebook as an effective communication tool for your business, non-profit or ministry.


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How is the Roxy using Social Media to lift the Club?

Category : Reviews , Social Media

The Roxy on Twitter

Nic AdlerNic Adler

Twitter is often dismissed as a frivolous way to keep track of celebrities, or to announce to friends that youre not going to the gym today. Its actually become a lot more powerful a tool than that. Today Dick Gordon talks with the owner of the legendary music club The Roxy about the way social media has brought new life to the Sunset Strip club.Nic’s dad, Lou Adler, started the club in 1973 – the same year Nic was born. Nic literally grew up there, but by the time he took over, the entire Strip was in decline. Nic is now reviving the club, and his business community,with social media strategies,dropping print ads in favor of spreading the word on Twitter andFacebook.

For the Audio story, go toThe Roxy on Twitter and scroll down to “Listen Now”


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