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Foursquare Check-ins Help Play a Role in Your Klout Score

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Towards the end of June, it was announced that Klout had come to Facebook, which gave brands a new way to engage with fans. It also results in brands offering rewards to their fans based on their Klout score.

Ever since this bit of news hit the web, the big question has been “How do I raise my Klout score?”. If you use Foursquare, you’re in luck! Your Foursquare check-ins now help play a role in your Klout score.

Klout  just added Foursquare to its scoring system and it’s in good company sitting alongside Facebook, Twitter and Linked In – all of which already help determine your online influence.

It’s super easy to integrate Klout with your Foursquare check-ins. Just head on over to your Klout dashboard and click the orange “Connect Now” button to be one of the first users to be scored with Foursquare.

 

Have you checked your Klout score lately?

Facebook Announces the “Facebook for Every Phone” App

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Facebook announced today their Facebook for Every Phone app, which offers the Facebook experience for over 2,500 different phones. The app includes popular features such as the News Feed, Inbox and Photos – as well as allows you to upload photos and find friends from your phone’s contacts.

In celebration of the launch, Facebook is making the app free for 90 days in many countries, which they have listed here. The app is available today. Just go to go to m.facebook.com and scroll down to the bottom. You can also enter this: d.facebook.com/install directly into your phone’s browser to instantly download the app to your phone.

Go here for more information on how to download the app, as well as how to use it so you can stay connected with your family and friends. And don’t forget to download it within the next 90 days to receive it for free.

E-Reader Ownership Continues to Dominate Over Tablets

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According to a recent study by Pew Internet, adults in the United States are buying e-readers at a much faster rate than tablets. The number of adults who own an e-book reader doubled to 12%, compared to only 8% who own a tablet.

Both numbers have seen growth over the past six months, but the e-reader owners jumped by a much larger percentage. Adults owning an e-book reader were at 6% in November 2010 and tablet owners were at 5%.

E-Readers Over Tablets

Other interesting growth statistics from the last six months include:

  • E-reader ownership among parents has grown more rapidly than it has among-non-parents.
  • E-reader ownership grew at a faster pace among Hispanic adults over white or African-American adults.
  • Ownership among adults ages 18-49 grew more rapidly than any other age group.

The study also tracked how many people owned both an e-reader and a tablet. 5% say they own a tablet but not an e-reader. I’m assuming they mean a physical Kindle or Nook. But … why would they when they can just download the app for free?

There’s definitely still a debate brewing over whether to purchase an e-reader or a tablet. While I personally would rather own a tablet with the Kindle app, I think it ultimately depends on what you plan to use it for, what you’re looking for, and how much you’re willing to spend. CNET has a great article that discusses the pros and cons of both.

So, tell us – do you own an e-reader, a tablet, or both?

Daps’em – A Virtual Fist Pump to Show Your Appreciation

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Poke. Like. Retweet. Daps’em. What’s Daps’em you ask? It’s a ‘virtual fist pump’ to show people you think they’ve done something awesome.

Pick any friend from Facebook, Twitter or your email contacts and ‘Dap’ them when they’ve done something you appreciate.

Other users can then give your Dap a ‘Yay’, which is similar to Facebook’s ‘Like’ feature.

Here’s an example:

It’s likely you’ve never heard of a ‘Dap’ because they’ve been under the radar since their launch. But you might start seeing more #daps on Twitter. Why? The company just updated the app so you can ‘Dap’ anyone on Twitter, even if they’re not a Daps’em user.

Here’s one way the company Daps’em used the hastag, #Daps, on Twitter.

Daps’em is available on the app store and you can follow them on twitter (@dapsem). Can you see Daps’em taking off and being used by Social Media enthusiasts?

Social Media Quickly Becoming the Leading Way to Communicate During National Disasters

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The National Hurricane Survival Initiative released a new survey today that shows both social media and texting are leading the way in terms of how people communicate during national disasters. Not only are social media users using it to communicate back and forth, but it’s also the way they are receiving important information.

The survey revealed that “72% of Americans are members of a social network, such as Facebook, Twitter or MySpace and 45% said they would rely on it to communicate with friends and loved ones in the event of a natural disaster; another 24% said they might.”

“Being prepared for any hazard is critical and can save lives,” said Bryan Koon, Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management. “Surviving natural disasters, such as hurricanes, in 2011 means having a disaster supply kit that includes devices such as smart phones as well as knowing how and where to receive updates through social media.”

There is still room for improvement in educating Americans how to best effectively use the new technology to both protect themselves and seek help during a disaster.

The survey also revealed that social media use is more prevalent within the 18 to 34 age range, so emergency managers need to use a variety of strategies to get the word out and reach all age groups.

With forecasters predicting a highly active hurricane season for 2011, we can definitely expect to see social media use for national disaster information on the rise.

Have you ever used social media to either communicate or get important information during a disaster?

 

Mastering Your Mobile Marketing Mojo

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… by Doug Devitre

The power of a computer in the palm of every person enables our society to receive, disseminate, and share information faster than ever before. The mobile phone we once relied on only made calls. Now we can watch videos, communicate face to face, and share documents from anywhere, anytime, and in any format.

Entrepreneurs can now be more flexible in servicing client needs with minimal investment and without being physically present. Innovations like cloud computing, mobile video, and apps systematize business operations. The time saved by integrating these into practices gives professionals more time to focus on prospecting, appointments, and sales opportunities.

Cloud Computing
Take a look at the My Documents folder of your computer and ask yourself which documents do you send out most to clients, customers, or partners on a regular basis. A company brochure saved as a .PDF, template employees can edit in a .DOC. file format, or .XLS spreadsheet that others can perform calculations from the equations you create.

Two tools www.Box.net and www.Dropbox.com will store the documents others request online and give everyone quick access to preview, download, and share. Every document and folder of documents is assigned its own unique hyperlink.

Download the apps for Box and Dropbox to your iPhone, Blackberry, etc. and when logged in all of your documents will be ready to share right from your device. This way when you are sitting in the fast food drive thru and someone requests your company brochure you can send it without waiting until you get back to the office.

Vivacious Video
Would you rather watch a 2 minute video or read a 500 word article? Personally I like videos because they explain advance concepts with visuals rather than trying to interpret text. YouTube videos are different than other video hosting providers because they can be watched on most devices just like they can be on a computer. Every video uploaded to video is a link. This link can be shared by email, text message, Facebook, or Twitter and watched on the mobile phone when clicked.

Instant Lead Follow Up
A website that asks for customer contact information in exchange for a special report, product offering, or service inquiry must be responded to quickly or lose the opportunity. The contact information can be emailed to you however few people check their email every 5 minutes. In addition to the receiving the lead by email set up a system where you receive a text message. Every mobile phone carrier has an email to text message address. Find yours here. Include this email in your website follow up system in addition to your business email address so that when someone inputs their contact info you receive both a text message and email in order to follow up.

Apps
The mobile phone that rests in your pocket runs applications very similar to the ones on your computer. Although they may not have the same functionality the ability to access contacts, documents, and budgets make it is easy to follow up on the fly. Some of my favorite iPhone apps are Box.net for online document storage, Kayak for booking travel, Tripit for storing travel plans, and Groups for email groups and group instant messaging.

Small business owners have many options to run their business while on the road and there is no one single solution. Those options can be customized to fit your specific needs by innovating solutions that the provider may not have intended. The more creative, practical, and succinct you are at arriving at your objectives the easier it will be to make more money from your mobile device.

Doug Devitre, Chief Experience Officer of Doug Devitre International, Inc. helped real estate professionals, brokers, and associations save money, time, and creates value using affordable technology solutions all over the world. Join Doug on the conversation on Facebook, on Twitter @DougDevitre or subscribe to Doug’s blog to get the freshest ideas on how to use technology in real estate.

Get a Signed eBook Copy of Your Fave Book!

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I’m a sucker for book signings and signed copies of novels (I just went to a midnight book launch with Cassandra Clare and Holly Black last week), and I know there are a ton of people out there who feel the same way.

But what about the fans of eBooks, who don’t want hardcover novels lining their wall? What are they to do? There have been various workarounds – things like having an author sign a postcard or bookmark or even digitally signing a photo of their book – but there’s a new app in the works that sounds like the best solution of all … and it will debut at BookExpo America in May!

Autography Autography is a new tool that allows for a signed photo to be inserted IN to the eBook itself. Here’s how it works: A fan poses with the author for a photograph. The image immediately appears on the author’s iPad. The author uses a stylus to sign the photo and include a message if they choose. The author then taps a button that sends the fan an e-mail with a link to the image, which can be downloaded into the eBook.

It takes about 2.5 minutes, which is a little more than a normal autograph … but let’s face it, most fans want to sit and talk to the author for a minute anyway!

Autography also promotes the virtual tour, which is becoming pretty popular, especially with children’s book authors who do Skype tours with various schools. Now an author can have the tour and provide digital autographs, all without leaving their house.

And the app doesn’t just have to be used for eBooks. It can be a picture of concert tickets, a baseball card, a comic book, or whatever you want signed.

Some authors feel this further promotes a distance between themselves and the reader, but I think it can only help those who have already jumped on the eBook bandwagon. What do you think?

5 Fun Digital Photo Effects Apps for the iPhone/iPad

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We all know how important multi-media elements are to a blog post. Using digital photography is a great way to quickly obtain images relevant to a post. I use my phone constantly to snap pictures, and since I just got the iPhone 4 I’ve been playing around with all the fun photo effects apps! First I’m testing the free ones, and then I’ll see about upgrading.

Here are 5 fun apps for digital photo effects and my thoughts on each. For each app I used the same picture of a single rose stalk in my backyard that blooms four roses at a time!

Instagram:
I love the retro feel of the photo effects in this app! You can choose to take a new picture or use existing ones from your camera. Once you’re done zooming and cropping you can add one of a dozen effects and then share via Twitter, Facebook, Flickr or email. This picture uses the Hefe setting.

Color Effects:
Turn your photo to black and white, and then color select portions of the picture for accent. You can also change the color to a different one altogether. Note: After testing this out, I suggest zooming in several times to get into tight spaces for coloring!

Fotolr PS:
This app is like having a digital scrapbook tool in your pocket! You can edit portraits by adding/editing eyebrows, changing the hairstyle or color, removing acne, adding makeup and more. After you’re done you can add a frame or text and then place your photo into one of several scenes or backgrounds. That’s what I did here:

Comic Touch Light:
Along with a couple of effects, the best part of this app is the ability to add comic/thought/speech bubbles to your photos! The full version offers even more capability.

Old Photo Pro:
Select a picture and this app immediately converts it to look like an old photo. You can then tweak the brightness, contrast, and/or change the paper edges until it looks like it’s ready to slip into a frayed album.

What are your favorite photo effects apps?

March Madness On Demand Mobile App Helps 47% Increase in Visits

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Turner Sports, CBS Sports and the NCAA announced that NCAA March Madness on Demand (MMOD) has delivered a 47% increase in total visits across the broadband and mobile products for the first three rounds of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship.

In total, there were 26.7 million visits for the five days spanning the first three rounds of the tournament. Here are some interesting stats for the mobile app:

  • There are over 702,000 average daily users on MMOD.
  • MMOD was the #1 free app for both iPhone and iPad on Thursday, March 17 and Friday, March 18 in the App store.
  • 36% of all streams for MMOD on Saturday, March 19 and Sunday, March 20 were from the iPad and iPhone apps.
  • An average of 20.4 minutes per daily unique visitor was spent streaming MMOD on mobile apps Thursday, March 17 – Sunday, March 20.

Have you been following the tournament online? Learn more about how Mobile and Social are Changing the Game.

Top Apps to Prevent You From Social Media Blunders (aka Drunk Tweeting)

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It seems like it’s becoming easier and easier to be socially responsible. All you have to do is install apps that refuse to let you make social media blunders when you’re impaired. Seems like a good idea in theory, although I have to wonder if it takes away some personal responsibility. “Ooops, sorry, my app wasn’t functioning correctly.

If you truly feel you need an app to stop you from drunk tweeting, texting, or updating your Facebook wall … well here’s the list for you!

  • NIMBY (No Intoxicated Messaging By You). When you go to send an email or tweet, the app prompts you to complete one of three tests within 30 seconds. If you can’t finish in time, you can’t send the message! Here’s a demo:

     

  • Bad Decision Blocker. Stops you from calling, texting or emailing contacts in your address book you add to black list. The app places the chosen contacts into a “vault” for a predetermined period of time.
  • Don’t Dial. This app gives you two options – you can lock away contacts for a specified period of time (up to 24 hours), or you can give a designated friend a password to enter before you’re allowed to contact them

And now, if you forget to use your apps and DO take to Twitter and Facebook while drunk, you can now erase those messages. Last Night Never Happened is simple to use. You type in the time you started drinking, and the app deletes all messages from that time until the time you run the program (or a time you specify).

Of course, my suggestions are much easier (and free!). Leave your phone at home. Or drink responsibly 🙂

Learn About NMX

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