What are you using Posterous for?

I’m really intrigued to find out what other people are using Posterous for. The ease with which you can post by email, and send images and video which are automatically resized means I keep toying with it for various things but haven’t found something which has got me using in regularly (I’ve already got two self-hosted WordPress blogs including this one, and a pretty active Twitter account etc).

I know that Steve Rubel is using it as his main place to post in a lifestreaming style.

And the Austin American Stateman newspaper used it to crowdsource images from readers.

Plus more visually-creative people seem to be embracing it – e.g. Christian Payne.

But I need more inspiration – are you using Posterous, and if so, how are you using it? Alternatively have you seen particularly good or bad examples of people using it for a specific purpose or reason?

Find the best radio stations – online

Finding the best radio station is obviously a subjective experience. Are you looking for a particular band or genre? Do you want somewhere with variety? And how on earth do you find the station that’s right for you as an individual without going through every stop on the dial and noting down what they play for a whole day or more?


CompareMyRadio.com is the newest project to launch from One Golden Square Labs (Disclosure: One Golden Square Labs is from the team behind Absolute Radio, where I’m Digital Marketing Manager)

And it’s an incredibly simple and effective way to find and compare radio stations (I can say that honestly as it wasn’t my idea, sadly). All you need to do is enter the name of your favourite artist, track or station, and you’ll be presented with which stations play the most of your favourite music, or which music your station plays the most.

It also gives you a guide to how many tracks a station plays over a set period of time, and how much variety there is.

And best of all, the results are completely down to you as an individual – so there can’t be any implied bias. In fact, picking three bands at random from my collection, Metallica, The Lemonheads, and The Charlatans, Absolute Radio wasn’t the top result for the three, although it was in the running every time.

As with the recent launch of  a user-controlled radio station, Dabbl, it’s currently in Beta and there are plenty of plans for the future, so give it a go and share your feedback…

The Nokia N97: The ultimate geek phone?

Is the Nokia N97 the ultimate geek phone? You might need to stick with me for a moment while I explain…

So it’s pretty clear that the consumer smartphone market and awareness belongs to the Apple iPhone 3GS, while the business market is owned primarily by RIM’s Blackberry. (For an interesting discussion of the current statistics framed as an examination of Nokia, check out Tomi T Ahonen’s recent posts, particularly this one.)

Meanwhile the flood on Android phones is increasing in pace – the current HTC Hero is about to be joined by a positive plethora of handsets from Samsung, Motorola, HTC and many others.

So the iPhone has pretty much jumped the shark into mainstream awareness, the Blackberry marks you as someone who is emailing at 2am and doesn’t do anything else, and to be able to have geek cred on Android will mean swapping handsets every month and relying on the phone equivalent of trainspotters to recognise what you’re using.

Nokia N97 by William Hook on Flickr (CC Licence)

Nokia N97 by William Hook on Flickr (CC Licence)

Enter the N97.

It’s got good hardware – 5.0 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss lens, video capture, GPS, Wifi, Bluetooth, etc, etc.

But more importantly, the operating system takes time to learn (and indeed to operate!). It’s not easy to use, some things don’t work, and the Ovi Store has problems which have been discussed at length by consumers and developers.

And that’s what makes it the ultimate geek phone.

Ultimate geek stuff isn’t mass market, easy to use, or without character. I’m a big fan of Ubuntu, but I struggle to recommend it to a lot of people, and I’m not alone, due to some simplicity needed for everyday consumers. The same thing applies to Open Office, Gimp, and hand coding everything from scratch.

A while ago Robert Scoble asked on Twitter whether anyone could name someone in their geek circle who actually had an N97. I immediately thought of James Whatley and Corvida, both of whom are more credible phone geeks than me.

So here’s to the N97 and to geek cred for things which require more effort, persistance and curiousity to use than the average person has time or patience for.

The best webcam-based augmented reality application?

I’m following the rising trend of Augmented Reality applications very closely -not only is it fascinating, but there are a huge amount of opportunities to do innovative things.

For me, it’s the rise of the MoBorg :- Ubiquitous mobile computing in your hand/pocket which allows for all of the information innovation that was only previously accessible to those indulging in wearable computing or science fiction cyborgs.

The mobile apps have really overshadowed those using a computer and webcam for one reason – most webcam-based AR has been around the novelty of a 3D image.

Now, though, we’re finally starting to see some webcam-based AR with some practical uses:

Developed by AKQA for the US postal service, you can view a Virtual Box hologram over your postal packages, meaning you can get sizing/postal costs correct without having to drag yourself to the nearest postal service or try and guess.


You can try it for yourself at the USPS Priority Mail – Virtual Box Simulator.

More like this, please!

How many clients do you use for Twitter?

One thing I’ve when people compare Tweetdeck versus Seesmic Desktop, or when there are discussions around the top Twitter clients is the assumption that people only ever pick one client at a time.

At the same time, I’ve started to wonder if the arms race between Tweetdeck and Seesmic Desktop means that people assume users only ever want more features – rather than perhaps using a comprehensive client for work and a lightweight client for commenting whilst watching television for example.

So before I write my own assumptions I wanted to throw out the question:

Maybe I’m more successful than I thought!

Now here’s a nice boost on a Tuesday morning. I’d just spotted a post on Wikio’s top 20 influential UK tech blogs by Neville Hobson and thought I’d check out the full list.

The December rankings will be released tomorrow, December 3rd, on the Wikio site. Neville has a sneak preview of the Top 20, but I thought I’d take a quick look at the current rankings, as they actually list the top 100 on the site.

Scanning through the list for November, I spotted NevilleHobson.com at 33, and kept looking to see if there were any names I didn’t recognise and wanted to check out.

And then I spotted The Way of the Web at 70 (apparently down 3 places from October, but still!). I’m still getting used to the idea that I could legimately claim to be the 70th most influential technology blog in the UK, at least by one source!

There are details on how the rankings are calculated if you’re still finding it hard to believe!

Twitter quote of the week:

I thought I’d start republishing and compiling some of the best Tweets I see. Not only do they illuminate what happens inside Twitter for anyone who hasn’t jumped in, but they can also be funny, inspirational or downright odd…and a good balance to listing business cases!

First up appropriately comes from one of the co-founders @ev, quoting one of the more famous and oft referenced users, @zappos.

Twitter _ Evan Williams  'I just found out yesterday...

Pick and vote for the top Web 2.0 Rockstars

I need your help!

My colleague David Cushman and I are coming up with a list of Web 2.0 Rockstars to use for a fun list on Ditto.net. Ditto is a fun and easy way to find entertainment and other interesting topics, ranked by user voting. And it’s constantly evolving, with some big changes on the way. (Disclosure: I do some work with Ditto as it’s owned by the company I work for, Bauer Consumer Media)

So we want to celebrate the changes with a fun vote on who is the biggest ‘rockstar’ in Web 2.0, whether it’s because they founded the biggest site, live the most glamorous lifestyle, or have an addiction to Guitar Hero! You can see the list, links and info below, and add your suggestions and comments below, or on the Ditto blog. David and I will be compiling them all, and will let you know as soon as the list is ready for voting…

Forget Google Page Rank, Technorati listing, or Twitter followers…this is all about your opinions….

Rock Stars of Web2.0…in no particular order

And more being added after suggestions here, on Dav’s blog, on Ditto, and on Twitter:

So let’s hear the suggestions, omissions, complaints…

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Word of Mouth Marketing and Community Marketing defined

I’ve read a myriad of works attempting to quantify Word of the Mouth Marketing and Community Marketing, ranging from the likes of the Cluetrain, to Wikipedia. Many attempt a philosophical or pseudo-scientific approach, citing ideas such as messages spreading like viruses, key advocates, and bi-directional customer feedback flow.

That’s fine, and some of those approaches have a lot of worth. But I like to make things simple as possible.

Community Marketing and Word of Mouth Marketing is simply helping people to find the solutions to their problems (including finding news/sports/entertainment) by asking around. And it leads to the feeling you get when someone you know recommends a good plumber or carpenter who can fix your house, or a mechanic who can get your car on the road. For half price.

That’s it in the most basic nutshell. As a community marketing person, my job is to make the tools on our websites as simple and easy to use as possible to allow people to get to know each other and ask those questions in whatever is the best way for them at the time, and also to let people not currently on our sites know we exist in order for them to satisfy their needs.

That’s why most of the best Word of Mouth and Community Marketing experts aren’t employed by companies or marketing agencies. That’s why the best Word of Mouth and Community Marketing experts are those people who work for some spare cash as plumbers, electricians and carpenters. Because they can’t advertise, and they totally rely on recommendations.