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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

StreetFlow - A Voice-based Tour Guide For Any Road Trip [FREE]

Man, you gonna love this app! You know why? Because it needs absolutely ZERO effort on your side in order to make it work. Just one click actually. The one that opens the app.

So what is StreetFlow?
An informative app to help you find more about interesting places around you. The beauty in it is that you just need to open the app, and once a location is set (automatically), it will give you a brief information about cities, services, landmarks, and nature in your area. The app uses Instagram, and Flickr to present relevant pictures, and Wikipedia for the content you hear. You can also share on Facebook pictures and sites you have found withing the app.

So whether you're walking, traveling by car, train, bus, etc, in your area or anywhere else in the world, you can open StreetFlow and immediately discover new points of interest along your route.

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posted by Orli Yakuel at 4:58 PM 5 comments

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Make Your Facebook Page Looks Like A Pinterest One

You can like or hate Pinterest, but you can't argue about its innovative design that little by little changes the way we use to view content on the web.

If you have a Facebook page and you usually publish content that is worth pinning, you may want to try this new Facebook application called Pinvolve - It will instantly create a Pinterest look & feel interface out of your page content.

Pinvolve uses the same like and comment format as in Pinterest, so you can expect your page to look something like this:

If you're happy with the result, you can make this tab as your main one through the page 'edit info' settings, under the 'manage permission' section.

Live examples: Freshome | iPad4Kids

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posted by Orli Yakuel at 6:46 PM 1 comments

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Friday, February 17, 2012

Loudlee is like Pinterest for Music (and men can use it too)

The first time I opened Loudlee (and thank you TNW for the invite), I knew I'm going to use it. I guess it is part of the magic you're looking for in a web service: something that will look inviting enough to use. Loudlee is it.
Yes, it has almost the same interface like Pinterest, but the reason I don't care much is because this platform works very well with music it is just a brilliant match.
So what can you do with Loudlee?
In a nutshell: you can search for favorite artists and music, create playlists, and discover new music through friends or the rest of Loudlee community. All the music comes from Youtube (like it or not, this is how it usually works in most music web services) - Loudlee just organized it better so it will be easy and fun to use.

What, are you kidding me? I use Spotify..
OK, while this may sound surprising, I have some issues with Spotify.
Being located outside of the U.K./U.S. I can use it only over a VPN connection. I've done that, but still I feel this is much like having a second iTunes, and maybe it is just me that prefer a Web-based service than anything else. Quality is king, but most of the time I'm fine with a regular video clip coming from Youtube, so Loudlee fits perfect for me. Also, I don't feel like Spotify yet cracked the social aspect of its community. In Loudlee I see it straightforward.
In anyway, there is not a real comparison here, after all these are two different services.

While I like the service a lot, there are some missing features that I'd love to see:
  • The ability to like shared songs by friends (that's require a 'Like' area for later view)
  • Soundcloud support (search and post songs from soundcloud)
  • Easier way to follow people, by free choice
  • Friend suggestion list based on music taste (can be from the entire community)
  • A better way to find playlists (it's a bit tricky now)
  • A way to know if someone is listening to music based on my recommendations,
  • Which lead me to activity stream.. there are some interesting information and connections that I'd like to know about
  • A profile URL with a username on it will be nice to have.
Last thing, I personally find the auto-following feature annoying, but I can see the viral aspect on that decision. Maybe find a way to highlight this part of settings right from the beginning.

If you'd like an invitation to test Loudlee - use this link.
My music profile can be found here.

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posted by Orli Yakuel at 5:41 PM 5 comments

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Sunday, February 12, 2012

6 Chrome Extensions To Perfect Your Pinterest Experience



If you use Pinterest and already acknowledged your addiction, then these bunch of Chrome extensions might come in handy on your next pinning/exploration journey.

1. Quick access to Pinterest from Chrome Startpage

This extension simply link to Pinterest.com from your Chrome startpage. I organized my page to show all the sites that I visit regularly so it will be easier to find them. In case you do the same, this can be a small yet nice addition to your app page.

2. How many people pinned this page?

This extension (by Shareaholic), allows to see how many people pinned a certain page by simply visit it. If you have any content that you think people share on Pinterest, this is a great way for you to get a quick view on how many people shared it. Additionally, when clicking on this extension button, you can pin the page you stand on.

3. Pinterest Image Expander

A great zoom in tool to help you see a bigger preview of a picture - which eliminating the need for an extra click in order to see the picture in full mode. Just hover over an image and it will get larger. (my favorite extension)

4. Pin Search

Let's say you see something on Pinterest and you want to know more about it, now you can do it with a single click - just hit on the search button and the extension will use Google Image Search to find more information about it based on its image recognition technology.

5. Quick Pinterest
OK, this is a really neat extension, and probably the quickest way to pin something. Right click on any picture you see on the web, choose the album you want to pin it in, and your pin is published. No popup, no need to visit on the Pinterest site. (however, you can't open a new album from within this process)

6. Pin to Pinterest with just a keyboard shortcut (Ctrl+Alt+P)
For keyboard shortcut lovers , when you're on a site that you'd like to pin:
  1. Use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Alt+P
  2. Choose a picture
  3. Choose a board
  4. Describe your pin
  5. Pinned!



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posted by Orli Yakuel at 12:23 PM 4 comments

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Sunday, February 05, 2012

Why should you use Pinterest?

Pinterest has had the tech scene sizzling lately, especially over the fact that it is a platform mostly used by women. And according to these stats, it is true. I actually couldn’t care less about who’s using it by gender. If you aren’t using it yet, it is your loss (whether you are male or female).

“ But what do I need it for?” This is the most common question I hear whenever I’m recommending it for people to use .

Here are some reasons:

As a Visual Bookmarking tool - As an addicted Delicious user, I’m pretty amazed by the easiness of moving from one platform to another after so many years of becoming accustomed to the former one. But it is not anything like Delicious. The visual bookmarking concept is something else entirely for me. For daily links from tech blogs that I see and like, I mostly use the +1 button (to save everything as a list in my Google+ profile), but anything that looks good, and I know I will remember based on a visual memory and category, goes inside one of the albums I’ve created in Pinterest. And, I love that it can be DIY content that you created (such as food or craft photos that you can upload) along with content you find around the web.

As an Inspirational Platform - Thinking of remodeling your house? Having a party and need some desserts ideas? Feeling too geeky and looking for something fashionable to wear? All of these and more are click away when it comes to Pinterest. The most amazing thing I’ve learned quickly is that even if you think you just shared the most unique cake or gadget, there will be always something better posted by someone else - it is an endless lot of brain pickings and recommended goodies.

As a Discovery Tool for New People/Businesses - The beauty in Pinterest is that anything you share can be viewed by people you don’t even know, and you can see whatever other people share, just by searching a category or an album name. It is a great way to discover new small businesses or any other stores worth visiting, online or offline. The more you search for things that you like, the more you have the chance to find new people that share your interests, and start following their albums and pins.

Now, all the above are from an individual user point of view.

If you have a business (online or offline), and you have visual elements to showcase it, here’s how it can work for you:

As a Traffic Booster and Business Promotion - I don’t see lots of businesses using Pinterest as a marketing tool yet, and there are only few blogs that I’ve noticed having embedded the pin-it button. However, I usually read mostly Tech Blogs so this might just be particular to my web experience.

In any case, I’m sure Pinterest will grow like wildfire. If you have something to sell or you want people to see and talk about something, and it also looks good, go and place the pin-it button on your blog posts, and if you have a store that you want to market, start posting on Pinterest, let your customers know that they can follow your Pinterest account if they want to get updated directly by placing an actual display in the store itself and/or if you have an online store, you can simply place a follow-us button on your site - there are not many buttons out there, but again, I know it will just be a matter of time before people start creating goodies for Pinterest. Meanwhile, you can use whatever on their site: Pinterest Buttons.

Make sure your Pinterest is visually appealing and that everything you want to showcase is easy to find through albums. Also, make sure you maintain it often enough to keep people interested.

The re-pin system is what makes traffic skyrocket, it is somewhat like “reshare” and “retweet,” but moreover, it reminds me of stumble upon. Because it is focused on the visual and everything is shared publicly, the chances more people will see something is higher than at any other place. Offering your audience another way to follow, connect and track you online and your chances of getting some engaged traffic towards your site increases.

In summary, I want to say that I don’t think Pinterest is the best tool for just any business. If you don’t have anything visually attractive, it will be hard to get people to pin it. However, I do think this is a service for everyone and I’ve seen people taking it to so many directions, I can’t even tell you what Pinterest is/does for them. I can only speak for myself. And for me, it is a great discovery and bookmarking tool. But again, it can be something else for you.




posted by Orli Yakuel at 9:28 AM 5 comments

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