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Monday, August 30, 2010

Track Webpages Sharing Stats Through Chrome Browser

When you're a blogger, or a site owner, it is important that you place some share buttons in your blog/site so it will be easier to share your content (stating the obvious here) - What also might be important for your visitors, or any other site visitors, is the ability to see sharing stats on each page without looking for the buttons on the page itself.
If you use a Chrome Browser, you can see any webpage sharing stats at a glance:

The coolest, and most valuable thing is that you can see these kind of states even if the site doesn't have any sharing button integrated.

Shareaholic, a well known sharing platform, has released three useful chrome extensions to help you know more about the page you are about to read. The extensions are separated so you don't really need to install them all, it is of course up to you.
Facebook - Combines Share & Likes.
Twitter, and Buzz counter (you'll need to enable the Buzz Count in this extension)

These extensions will also allow you to instantly share content onto the Facebook/Twitter/Buzz platforms - Directly from your browser.

I'm not sure if the numbers are always accurate, but it sure is the first time that I can actually see any kind of states over a Twitter page...

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posted by Orli Yakuel at 10:19 AM 0 comments

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Friday, August 20, 2010

My Own Personal Facebook Rant

It seems like lately I've been ranting about Facebook a lot, so I've decided it would be best to write this down, since just maybe, you feel the same as I do.

I just want to state first, that I adore Facebook. I use this platform so often that maybe this is why all of their recent changes lately are even more frustrating.

Here's what bothers me the most:

Facebook pages resizing - On the 23rd of this month, Facebook will change the size of the pages you have already created (thousands of them) to a size of 520pixels (instead of 760). I get the idea of a new and improve navigation, but would it kill Facebook to actually explain nicely to the their users why this is happening and how to adapt these pages? I guess it is fine for them to just give us a heads up about these changes...
Facebook page

It would be fine, if that was the only thing Facebook is changing. But, they are changing stuff daily now, making it very difficult for users or page admins to feel comfortable in space and maintain their profiles and pages accordingly. While it is great to have new features, it is getting harder to enjoy the platform when items that you have used are removed or replaced that easily.

Which brings me to the Question feature. With this one, Facebook changed the whole publish box from this interface:

to this one:


Don't worry, you'll get use to it, right? Until, you'll realize all the nice things like posting a song, gift, or any other thing on a friend's wall are gone for some reason. Why is Facebook taking all the fun out of its platform? Shouldn't it be a huge part of what we do while networking with each other? Have you noticed that your daily stream has become more and more link-based and less and less friend-based?

Back to the Question feature, I'm still trying to get it. Why Facebook released a semi-product (even if it is only to a small percentage of its users) is beyond me. Navigation is a drag. From the main Questions area, you can't get to your own questions - only from your profile. You can't answer directly from a stream (either on the homepage, or from your profile) this option is not there and this is really a basic obvious feature.

Check out this screenshot below: I can't see how many people answered my question, nor can I open a new question right from my user's question zone. I need to go inside each question to find out more. I would love to see this at first glance though. It would save a lot of time for users. And the oddest part is that I can't open a new question from anywhere else but the box in my wall. What?!

You know this feel bad? Because this is not the user experience I expect to have on Facebook. I consider it on the cutting edge, in terms of bringing users fresh and new features that ultimately leads to a completely different behavior from users all over the web. So to get this bad experience from them is disappointing to say the least.

I don't have the Places feature yet. Which is OK.. living in outside of the U.S., I've learned to be patient...
But, just from a quick look at a friend's page, I can see it still needs polish:

  • I understand The Edgewater is a hotel, so a badge/image/icon for different types of places would be helpful.
  • Reviews/Recommendation by friends
  • Connect existent service pages to their location
I hope Facebook will allow proprietors to do something with this page. If The Edgewater could connect this place page to their service page on Facebook it would be great. That way a proprietor can control what information is on the page and can offer deals, coupons, etc. Anyway, it is much early to predict what Facebook will do with 'places' and now that they know not only what you like, but also where you are at, the sky is the limit - but mostly for advertising opportunities.

I'm actually looking forward to trying it out myself and can't wait to see what will become from it. I'm sure people that have been reluctant to sign on to similar services will be more open to trying them now. Perhaps they will feel more comfortable on Facebook rather than another location-based platform.


Last but not least, we come to Global support. Living in Israel, I can tell you it is not easy to get Facebook's attention. I'm not saying that each country needs to have a Facebook office. But, I do think that if there are millions of users in one country, Facebook could at least allocate a small team to deal with service issues & local business problems (ideally, in that language), rather make them go through an exhausting journey with the help center. That just doesn't cut it, Facebook..

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posted by Orli Yakuel at 5:05 PM 1 comments

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Monday, August 16, 2010

Chat with Friends while Sharing Huge Files Instantly


Dushare (Dubai-based), is a P2P file-transfer service which makes it easy to send unlimited file sizes between two people.

The service does not require uploading a file to a server and the other peer downloading it. The moment you send a file, the other peer starts downloading instantly in real-time. Peers can also communicate with each other over the built-in messaging box. All through a very simple-to-use interface.

Since Dushare uses a direct connection, no one but the peers can see the files (or chat history).

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posted by Orli Yakuel at 1:09 PM 3 comments

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Auto-Tag Your Facebook Friends' Photos from Your iPhone

AutoTagger is a tagging application that uses face.com recognition technology. It automatically tags your Facebook friends' on photos when taken with your iPhone.

After you download the application, login with Facebook connect, then choose a picture from your iPhone album or take a new one. If AutoTagger recognizes your friend's face, it will automatically tag it. That way, when you share it on Facebook, it appears tagged already, which obviously saves you time. (Note: that only your Facebook friends' can be auto recognized because of privacy issues).

While this app concept is so cool that I honestly wish Facebook offered this themselves, it does not always work properly. But as people correct the tags or add new ones, the better this app will get for everyone.

When uploading a picture to Facebook after tagging, AutoTagger will also Auto-open an album with all the pictures you sent via this app - which is okay if you want to easily find your pictures later. What I didn't like (really, really didn't like) is that they add the logo of AutoTagger on top of the picture. Which pretty annoying, unnecessary and old school marketing style all together.

Bottom line, if this app would offer at least 80% accuracy in terms of tagging results, it would be completely worth using.

Another take on this app can be found on TNW.

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posted by Orli Yakuel at 12:26 AM 1 comments

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Friday, August 13, 2010

Custom Button for iPhone App Owners

Appsto.re, A URL shortener service for iPhone applications has just released a simple tool that enables developers and app owners to create a custom application button and place in signature, forums or any other site.

Instead of using this plain button

You can use something that is more informative and inviting to use. You can control button's content with the ability to show/hide star-rating, price and to modify the app name. Clicking on the button will direct visitors to the App Store.

Click here to start
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examples:

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posted by Orli Yakuel at 11:45 AM 1 comments

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Thursday, August 05, 2010

Keep the Kids Busy Having Fun this Summer

It is always such a great pleasure to discover a new kids' site, but during summer vacation, it could also be very helpful in terms of giving them something to keep occupied with that's fun, constructive, and safe.. I'm sure you parents will appreciate this one even more.

Israel-based Kidopo is a new site that offers an innovative coloring application for coloring pages, which simulates a real coloring experience. Kids can enjoy hundreds of coloring pages divided into categories for easy searching. Pages can also be easily printed if your kids want to put their creation on the fridge or display.

Other sections of the site include the kids printables, which is a very sweet section where you can find all kinds of activities kids love to do such as stickers, Connect the Dots, Mazes, Birthday Invites and more. In the game section, your kids will find games that can enrich their education and allow them to spend some quality time on the web.

Overall, I found Kidopo to be a good online source for children learning and playing on the net with safe and educational content. Now, no running with the scissors!

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posted by Orli Yakuel at 10:55 PM 2 comments

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