Tag Archives: best social media

The Sharing Economy & the Cloud: Services On the Go

The internet has always brought people together – but it’s bringing people together in totally new ways by taking new connections between strangers off-line. People are on the move and user-based programs are helping them get where they want to be. Like so many things with the internet, there are some huge advantages to these new services, and perhaps a few disadvantages as well.

Car Services

You may have seen names like Über or Lyft in the headlines recently. This isn’t because the services have done anything wild or crazy, but because they seem to make so much sense. The way these car services work varies slightly by company, but the premise is the same.

If you need a ride, rather than pay the high prices the taxi and van companies charge, why not pay less for a ride from someone going the same direction you are? This is like digital carpooling or freelance chauffeurs.

There are differences, of course, BlaBlaCar operates in Europe for long-distance travel between cities. Users can rate themselves on how chatty they are the car as well to be sure you get a good match. Are you Bla? Or perhaps BlaBlaBla? BlaBlaCar doesn’t allow drivers to profit either – just charge riders for gas and tolls.

Uber_iconUber and Lyft are the more common names in online ride sharing. Über is more professional with its car services and charges a bit more than Lyft, which is more laid back. Über more closely resembles the traditional taxi service with a formal driver and quiet ride while Lyft can be chatty and more casual as a form of transportation.

lyft_iconMake a request online and someone will swing by to pick you up, take you where you’re going and charge you what usually amounts to a price notably less than you’d pay for a cab driver to do the same thing.

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Social Site Roundup: Artistic Expression

The internet is good for many things, but easily one of the best is the varied means of self-expression. The internet has truly brought the world together in many ways, and through social media websites dedicated to the arts, individuals are able to create, share and enjoy the work of others around the globe in specialized communities.

Communities like Instagram, Vine and Flickr represent some of the most well-known picture and video networks, but there are networks out there as well for just about every sort of music, film and art specialty that you enjoy as well.

Instagram

icon_InstagramOwned by Facebook, Instagram brings social networking and followers to pictures and videos. With Instagram, you can follow the feeds of others and enjoy your own group of followers as well. You post your own pictures or videos or enjoy and then repost the creations of others.

Instagram is most popular for the ability to use the filters provided by the app or community. When you take a picture, you can change the appearance of the image using a variety of approaches to enhance and edit that image before posting it. These filters allow even beginning photographers (or just bad photographers) to turn out impressive images with flare.

InstaGram Filter
Filter Away!

Instagram also allows comments and discussion on the images and posts. The focus here is to post the image or video first and then make the conversation secondary. Often the comments and discussion fuel new niches within the larger community as well. Continue reading

Social Site Roundup: Micro Blogs and Blogging Micro

The microblog. We get that it’s a short little burst of text, perhaps peppered with images or links. But why have these short bursts of information become so appealing?

The question implies that we have only recently decided that we like short bits of text and updates. This simply is not true. We have always enjoyed skimming headlines. There are far more headline readers in the heyday of newspaper sales than there were folks who read the thing from cover to cover.

We like to grasp the basic idea of something and then either move on or stick around and learn more. The microblog is simply a new way of reading headlines – lots and lots of headlines.

Why People Post and Follow Micro Blogs

You skim the status updates, images and tweets. Some things make you smile, some you flat out ignore and others catch your attention – what is she talking about here? Or perhaps what is he linking to that everyone thinks is so interesting?

Suddenly you’re doing more than skimming headlines. You’re digging deeper into the network. Perhaps you’re following links to read articles or pulling up older posts to get some background information when something catches your eye.

That may explain why headlinewe like to read the microblogs, but why do so many people enjoy writing them?

That part is a bit simpler to explain. The microblog asks you to throw out a quick note, summary or headline. You can then link to more information, but you don’t have to take the time to write everything up in your own words. You can just throw out a quick expression or mention and your job is all but complete. This is often the exact goal in office memos and journalism – making the microblogs a fit in many different areas.

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