7 Kick-ass Web Apps Integrated with Buffer App

\"Buffer

Buffer App

I have used Buffer app for a long time and it solves a  very basic problem in sharing content on social networks – over sharing. If you have not used Buffer and you tweet a lot, you need Buffer to space your tweets apart or distribute them in scheduled intervals so that your followers won\’t receive consecutive tweets invading their Twitter timeline or Facebook news feeds. In many ways, it makes you more courteous. Buffer apps makes you more productive too because it gives you the opportunity to optimize and tailor your tweets or posts delivery date.

Buffer app works stand alone as a web app, browser extension and mobile app. I am going to focus on web apps integrated  with Buffer because these apps give users flexibility in sharing content.

So let\’s start the list for 7 kick-ass web apps integrated with Buffer app.

7. Twylah

Twylah brings focus to your Twitter stream and it makes it easy to organize what topics you are tweeting about in Twitter. You can embed Twylah widget in your blog to display your trending topics. You can also host your own Twylah page on your domain to give your readers a clear overview on what you are talk about online.

You can use Buffer when doing Power Tweets. A Power Tweet is simply a tweet sent from Twylah which includes a custom landing page. It\’s great for tweeting videos, photos, audio and other interactive media.

\"Buffer

6. IFTTT

If This Then Than (IFTTT) is a service that uses different web apps or even real-life objects like WeMo to let you combine triggers and actions using channels (apps/object). These combinations are called recipe.

Buffer is included in the 1st batch of channels available in IFTTT.

\"Buffer

5. Strawberry Jam

Strawberryj.am is one of the first, if not the first, 100% friend based trend spotter for Twitter. It compresses similar tweets of people or brands that you follow.

\"Buffer

4. Kippt

I only discovered Kippt recently because I am Delicious fanatic. It is a link saving site similar to Delicious but it seems to be influenced by Instagram and Pinterest design. Functionally, it reminds me of Spring Pad without the thumbnails and images.

What\’s different with Kippt is that it is integrated with a lot more social networks. Aside from Facebook and Twitter it connects to Tumblr and App.net too. You can also read your links later with Instapaper, Readability and Pocket.

\"Buffer

3.  Jugnoo

Jugnoo is a relatively new social CRM. It has many bells and whistles needed for your social media campaign including social post, social dashboard, social search, Facebook coupons, video creation and distribution and a lot more.

Buffer app integration comes in social post feature.

\"Buffer

2. Tweriod

The Buffer app + Tweriod combo is one of the best method to maximize scheduled tweets.

Tweriod can analyze your last 1,000 followers for free to give you the best time for scheduling your tweets. Then, you can use the proposed time from Tweriod to Buffer using their integration.

\"Buffer

 

1. SocialBro

SocialBro is a powerful browser app that became even more powerful when it was made available in the cloud recently. You can get accurate information about your community, find the best time to tweet, know the time zones of your followers, monitor your follower grow, filter and sort followers/following using different criteria as well as manager your Twitter lists.

The integration of Buffer comes in Best Time to Tweet (BTT) feature. You can use the data from SocialBro BTT and import it to Buffer to define your custom schedule.

\"SocialBro

As you can see above, Hootsuite also entered the scheduled Tweets space and is also integrated with SocialBro.

There are many more social tools trying to do what Buffer has done but what makes Buffer special is its deep integration with these web apps and native mobile apps.

Bonus

\"Commun.it

Commun.it will soon have Buffer app integrated as well. Commun.it makes it easier to build relationship and manage your community.

Update: Commun.it has now shipped the Buffer app integration, live:

\"Buffer

I have not included extensions and native mobile apps here because at least in Android Buffer can be integrated really easily with built-in Android sharing feature. In IOS not so much but I am seeing similar trend — more and more social media tools are integrating Buffer.

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Social Media for Social Good: Donate for Philippines Flood August 2012 Victims

\"Philippine

Philippines Flood August 2012

The last few days in the Philippines is a test for Filipino spirit. Thanks to social media, it has never been easier to seek help and rescue in times of crisis using crowd-sourcing.  In fact, hashtags helped rescue and relief efforts in many ways. Technology also helped in bringing more awareness of flood risks. Websites like NOAH and nababaha.com helped in preparation and crisis management while Google People Finder helped in getting crowd-sourced emergency information.

About 90% of Metro Manila was flooded and nearby provinces suffered the same fate due to prolonged torrential rains enhanced by south-west monsoon, displacing many people in low lying areas and left many people homeless.

It\’s never too late to donate

For international donations for Philippines Flood victims, you can\’t go wrong in donating to Philippine Red Cross. There is a PayPal donate link in the donation page and other methods of donation as well.

For in-kind donation please follow their instruction in shipping goods:

  1. Send a letter of intent to donate to the PRC.
  2. A letter of acceptance from PRC shall be sent back to the donor.
  3. Immediately after shipping the goods, please send the (a) original Deed of Donation, (b) copy of packing list and (c) original Airway Bill for air shipments or Bill of Lading for sea shipments to Philippine Red Cross – National Headquarters c/o Secretary General Gwendolyn Pang, Bonifacio Drive, Port Area, Manila 1018, Philippines.

If you are in the Philippines you may want to bring your donations in any of these relief/donation areas.


View 2012 August – Donation Center Map in a larger map

I struggled to look for an infographic to include in this post but I finally found the best one. See below. I also featured the links from the infographics and made them clickable:

http://x.co/phflood1 – Philippine Red Cross

http://x.co/phflood2 – LBC Foundation

http://x.co/phflood4 – Google Crisis Map: Philippine Flood August 2012

\"August

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10 Outlook.com Features That Makes It A Gmail Killer

Gmail vs. Outlook.com

\"Outlook.comI am testing Microsoft Office 2013 suite in my PC and I immediately recognized the change of Outlook\’s icon color from yellow to blue. I thought there has to be a reason for that change. Several weeks ago I had no clue what it meant but now its obvious. Outlook is the new free webmail service replacing Hotmail. I think for branding reasons Microsoft had to change the traditional yellow color of Outlook to blue so that it would be more recognizable in the web.

Gmail has been my number one choice since Google introduced it and I never looked back at Hotmail or Yahoo. Today, I still keep my old Hotmail and Yahoo email addresses for the sake of keeping one.

However after the announcement was made and Outlook.com went live, it is very tempting to take a deeper look at Outlook.com. Microsoft made a very bold move in re-imagining  email from the failed attempts of Live mail and Hotmail brand.

The following are the top features which might give you a reason to dump Gmail for Outlook.com

1. Unlimited Storage Space

Gmail has more than 10GB of storage space and still counting (slowly). On the other hand, Outlook.com has virtually unlimited space. It allocates more space as you demand more space as long as you don\’t fill your inbox too fast or if you don\’t do anything shady.

If you deal with very large email and it is important to you, you will not worry about storage space at all. Outlook.com also has the functionality to manage big email eating up your inbox space. You can easily sort the size in ascending or descending order.

\"Outlook.com

2. Bigger File and Attachment Support

Outlook can support up to 100Mb attachment and if you link your account to SkyDrive it is upgraded to 300Mb file size limit. In contrast, Gmail only supports 25Mb. This is not a problem if you use Google Drive or Dropbox but the tight integration with SkyDrive gives Outlook.com easier sharing  of big files.

3. Email Alias

Hotmail email alias had been around for some time but Yahoo had this feature for the longest time I could remember.

It is a very helpful in giving a disposable email address. What is unique in Outlook.com is the functionality to completely change your email address and/or username. If you are switching from Hotmail.com email address, Outlook.com automatically creates an alias to forward incoming emails from your old Hotmail.com email address.

\"Outlook.com

4. Quick Views

Gmail has labels which essentially works like folders but unlike folders, you can put different labels on your emails with Gmail.

With Outlook.com, Microsoft is not throwing away folders but this time they are introducing Quick Views. With Quick Views Outlook.com can automatically detect newsletter, social updates, bills, and other content categories automatically so that you can organize and clean up your inbox faster.

If you want to view every pictures sent to you, you can just go to Photos category and Outlook.com will show all emails with pictures. You also get to preview and browse all the pictures in a slideshow. Same with documents. If you wish to get only the emails with attached documents, spreadsheet or slide presentation then you can go to Documents category and access your documents right away.

You can go to where you want faster in fewer clicks. For me, Quick View is  smarter than Gmail\’s priority inbox. It is more flexible and you can always create your own category depending on the rules you create. Think Quick Views like smart Libraries in Windows.

For power users Gmail is still more flexible in tailoring your own filter rules but for an average joe, Outlook.com gives powerful options that anyone can easily understand.

5. Sweep

This one-click clean up scheduling gives you a  convenient way to delete emails from  someone or move/archive all emails from one folder to another.

You can even set the age of the email that you wish to delete or move.

\"Outlook.com

This feature was inspired by Office Outlook; Added in Hotmail way back in 2010 and then carried forward in Outlook.com. Gmail has no equivalent feature to automate deletion of emails that you do not want to keep.

6. Recover Deleted Email

Outlook.com can recover deleted messages even if you have permanently emptied deleted email folder. Outlook.com will recover as much as it can recover and it is very useful when you accidentally deleted an email permanently. I know how stupid it sounds but it happens.

What I am not sure is how long Microsoft stores deleted emails. I am guessing there is a threshold on how long they keep deleted emails. However, there is a privacy setting to disable this feature if you are worried about Microsoft keeping your deleted emails.

7. Privacy

Speaking of privacy, Microsoft claims that they never scan email content. For some people this is great advantage over Gmail.

Also, there is no annoying ads in Outlook.com right now but that doesn\’t mean it won\’t have in the future.

What\’s interesting is that Outlook.com does not keep history of your instant messages by default. Compare this to Google and Yahoo — both companies keep instant messages record by default.

Microsoft\’s  selling point here is that you are in control of your data when you use Outlook.com. Let\’s hope so.

8. Office Suite Integration

Outlook.com comes with the online version of Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Not to mention it comes with SkyDrive integration as well. If you were able to test SkyDrive during its beta period you might have enjoyed the permanent 25Gb storage upgrade for free so it\’s great for storing your documents online.

The advantage of Office web apps over  Google Docs is still debatable. On one hand, Google Docs is a departure from the usual document editing that we go used to. However, Office web apps are trying to incorporate the same web elements in its Office web apps suite, for free! You got to love Google and Microsoft competition.

I like both Google Docs and Offices web apps so Gmail vs. Outlook.com is not as easy as choosing between apple vs. orange.

Of course, for people who use Office suite exclusively Office web apps is a no-brainer.

9. Social Integration

Get updates and connect with your friends right from your inbox. You can chat with your Facebook friends not to mention you can also link Twitter and LinkedIn. It\’s like having a simpler version of Rapportive built inside Outlook.com. It totally rocks!

Later on, Microsoft will also integrate Skype which is like de-facto standard for online voice and video calls. I\’m sure that it will drive a lot of interest, too, but Microsoft is yet to show us how it will be done.

Gmail is only integrated with Google+ and Hang out is a unique feature only found in Google+. Still, Social integration in Outlook.com is one step higher. You get multiple social network support which is much-needed by social media enthusiasts.

10. Refreshing Design and Mobile Experience

For me, the most important reason why you should take a look at Outlook.com is the refreshing design concept and modern look. Microsoft has made a very  clean user interface — in fact much cleaner than Gmail in my opinion. There is no menu for other Microsoft services but it is integrated deeply with other services.

The UI is responsive and the Windows 8 inspired design speaks for itself. The design is also optimized for mobile devices and shows the dedication of Microsoft in delivering the best mobile experience for users.

To use Outlook.com on your phone or tablet, you can use the instructions from Microsoft.

I have included a short walk-through of Outlook.com — let me know what you think in the comments below.

What\’s your opinion about Gmail vs. Outlook.com?

 

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Google Search Education Makes You a Better Googler (Part 2)

This is a continuation of Google Search Education Makes You a Better Googler (Part 1).

Below is my summary of classes 4 to 6 of Power Search class by Google Search Education.

Find facts faster

Class 4 focuses on other tools that makes searching faster and easier.

Search by Image

Google Image search by image feature processes the image and looks for the best possible match for other pictures. It is great for  finding the description of image, what it is and where it came from.

A great tip from Daniel Russel: If you found something you don\’t know, just take a picture of it in white background, then use search by image to search the web. It\’s like taking Google search in the real world.

Search Features

\"Google

Basically these are search string shortcuts that you can use in order to find what you really need really fast.

movies + [location]

capital of + [location]

weather in + [location]

weather + [zip code]

flight code

time + [location]

common disease/medical condition/medical term

There are more and the complete list is located here: Google Search features

Conversion and Calculator

I have used this for a very long time already. You can use this to convert about any US units to metric units. Just use the search format:

[number units in units]

\"Google

population of [place]

You can do basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division using Google. There are also easter eggs like this one:

\"Google

If you trigger this specific Google search features, Google will show up a new area for converter or calculator as seen above.

Left hand panel and Date range limiting

You can use date range limiting to limit the recency of Google search results. In news, this is very important so you only get the freshest ones.

For books and other reference materials, you can use this to search for very old archives. Want to find which books are published during 1980\’s? Just go to Google Books and filter them.

Translation and search

Most people would be familiar with Google Search but beyond that, most people don\’t know that you can use Google to search for translated foreign websites.

That is the end of class 4. Class 5 focuses on checking facts when doing your search.

Checking Your Facts

Credibility

Some pointers:

  • Highest ranked webpage does not mean the source is credible.
  • Different terms make different implications, so choose the query terms appropriately.
  • Do a variety of search, not just one. Always do one more search.
  • Look at the URL – sometimes it signals where the perspective of the page.

Using time range filter you can check whether this quote is really from Martin Luther King.

\”I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy.\”
—attributed to Martin Luther King, Jr.

If you look at the search results over time you can get a hint how it got published after 1999 but not before it. Of course something is fishy here.

Variant Data

One challenge about doing web searches is the vast amount of data available out there that a simple fact could have one or more subtlety involved in it.

You have to ask question like: does this fact vary based on some contextual information?

You need to find the source. Where it came from? How was it measured?

Use the precise information you have to verify source; Use a generic description to confirm fact.

Don\’t add your answer into your query  to avoid confirmation bias (believing a pre-conceived notion).

Using Books to verify a quote

Quotes are typically hard to find where they came from but books offer authoritative information for this type of information.

WHOIS

If you need to more information about the domain name of a page, there are WHOIS database that can give you information on who owns it.

How do you know if an entity is a business? Use the entity name and the term [contact]. It should give you information how to locate it and how to get in touch with it. That\’s why if you are a business you should always have a \”contact us\” page

Misconceptions

  1. You cannot buy a better ranking
  2. A Google service logo on a site does not mean Google has vetted it
  3. Google ads on a page does not mean Google has vetted it
  4. Rank is not equal to authoritative

That\’s the end of class 5 and now for the last class.

Putting it all Together

Combining methods

Doing good search is an iterative process. Starting from simple search to a complex search with filters

Think broadly

Using other tools in combination, streetview, maps, translation, etc.

All the tools are available online and the best training to practice all these are the activity that comes with the online classes. The reason I summarized this class is for me to look for the lessons quickly when I forget something. Of course, the best learning materials are still found in Power Searching with Google website.

There are two extra two hang out videos with the search experts. You can get valuable lessons from these, too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhhiXxiAVtM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwlpViuIYgU

Just in case you are interested on how the certificate looks like, see below.

\"Google

Hint: the font used is Helvetica.

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Google Search Education Makes You a Better Googler (Part 1)

Google Search Education

If you have used Google a lot, you might be seasoned enough to know how to get the best search results but even if you are using Google for a very long time you might be using the wrong approach in your searches.

I have participated in the first Power Searching class with Google Search Education. It is the first of its kind combining online classes with Google+ hang out activities and forums to have interactive search education. If you happen to participate on early registration last month, you probably got a certificate. However, even without a certificate this is worth your time.

I have taken down notes and summarized the entire curriculum. Now, read on.

Learn the Basics of Google Search

Class 1 talks about how filtering image searches by color, how Google search works and the art of keyword choices.

Searching images is an easy task but if there are many options available it gets a little challenging. Color gives you filtering options that you may not find in the text associated with the image. It gives you information only available to the eye. For example, if you are searching for old photographs, you may want to use black and white so that only old photos will appear.

The art of keyword choices can be learned and you just need is:

  1. think what you are trying to find,
  2. choose words that you think will appear on the page and…
  3. put yourself in the mindset of the author of those words.
The words you use will influence the kinds of results  you will get from search. This is might be common sense  but some people don\’t alter the search term a little bit to get what they are looking for.
In the example given by Google, notice how you can get the best search results by changing a simple phrase.

Bad: What was the old city in san francisco bay called?

Better:  old city san francisco bay

Best: ghost town san francisco bay

\"Google

The best option is to use an  alternative term for old city, which is \”ghost town\”, giving you a precise target on old towns and cities. Also note that you have to get rid of unimportant words that doesn\’t help with the search at all.

Word Order Matters

Every word matters in your query and even the word order matters for common phrases. For example, try searching for sky blue and blue sky. You\’ll get very different results.

\"Google

What does not matter in Google searches

  • Capitalization
  • Most special characters: § ¶ ¥ £ € © ® ≅ ≠ √
  • With a few exceptions like C++. C#. #hashtag, Google+, $100

Control-F / Command-F

Find functionality is in your browser and it helps speed up in finding what you want to search from a particular web page. This is kind of surprising but according to Google, only 10% of all searches knew about using CTRL+F or Command+F.

That\’s the end of class 1. Now for class 2, the main subject is interpreting results.

Using search result suggestion

There are several ways in which Google search results can help you suggest what you are trying to find.

Panels on the right hand side

The results here are often taken from from Wikipedia.

With the addition of Google Knowledge Graph, the right panel helps you provide answer. Google is now able to identify entities and it knows the nodes and relationships of different information. It is very useful for a very popular entity. Google compiles information about persons, animals, books, movies, etc

Autocomplete

It a great way to sense the kind of things other people have been looking for. Sometimes the suggestions in autocomplete can help you get unstuck as you search, or get new ideas about how to approach finding something you want.

Search-as-you-type

It works in tandem  with autocomplete search. Search-as-you-type gives you search results without you needing to figure out a whole query.

Related searches

For me, this is very useful in searching because it can give you a different approach in finding what you are trying to find.

Thinking more deeply about your search

Another method to build more targeted queries is to learn new, more precise terms to describe what you seek. Often, these terms show up somewhere in your search results, and if you are attuned to noticing them, you can use them to help you find information faster.

For example if you are looking for [immigrate send money home]

You may notice the word remittance.

\"Google

You can use dictionary in Google using the syntax below:

define [word]

\"Google

Understanding Different Media

When you do search in Google, you are not only confined with the classic text search. You can explore different modes in Google  searches: images, videos, shopping, etc.

Sometimes the best answers is in images so when suggestions comes up for that, go check it out. If you are looking for how-to instructions a video instruction might be the best reference you are looking for instead of images. If you are looking for the price of a gadget, look for shopping. If you are looking for scholarly materials for research papers and thesis, use Google Scholar.

Sometimes, using other Google products such as Google Maps can help you plan your travel by utilizing street view.

All these are available at the left panel.

Reading Search Engine Results Pages (SERP)

Using Page Preview

Apart from skimming the results, you can use this to check what can be found inside the webpage from search engine result pages.  Instead of visiting each links you can hover the guillemets  or the sideway chevron when you hover at the search result block.

\"Google

Understanding Individual Search Result

I\’ve mentioned result block awhile ago. So do you know the parts of a search block?

Here it is:

\"Google

Page title is in blue, web address is green and snippet in black.

Take note that the snippet is generated by Google algorithm and it could contain different part of the page content. You have to watch out for the ellipsis because it means that other text before or after it are truncated.

If you are searching a relatively large website, a box right below in the SERP will appear. In essence it gives you the option to search right within the site.  It is similar to using  the site: operator to restrict results to a domain, website or directory.

Using the entire results page

Sometimes you are presented with contradicting information so you must understand what you are looking for first before jumping to a conclusion. Like if you are searching for different types of cats. There are several organizations that categorizes cats so the exact number of breeds would vary for each organization. If you do not try to understand this first, you will be confused why there are different count for cat breeds on your search results.

Different kinds of content

Previously, we looked at different media available through Google such as images, videos, news, etc. There are more such as blogs, discussions, recipes, patents, books, 3D models, and legal documents.

Take note that the left panel does not appear on tablet computers (iPads and Android devices).

That concludes class 2. Class 3 covers advance techniques using operators.

Advanced Techniques using operators

Here are the different operators that you can use in Google

site:

The site: operator restricts the searches on a particular website or web page.

filetype: pdf, doc, docx, ppt, pptx, txt, csv, dat, kml

If you are interested on a specific filetype, you can use the filetype operator to get only filetypes you are interested.

minus operator removes search results we are not interested in.

Original query:
[ salsa ]

To remove “salsa as dancing” we use:
[ salsa –dancing ]

To remove the vegetable too:
[ salsa –dancing –tomatoes ]

OR and quotes

Use quotes to do phrase search and use OR if you want to combine ideas together, like if you are searching with synonymous words.

Take note: you must use OR in all capital letters. Otherwise it will not work.

1. OR is all capital letters
Effective: [uk OR england]
Ineffective: [uk Or england]
Ineffective: [uk or england]

2. OR acts on the words touching it
Effective: [“tesla coil” OR “jacobs ladder”]
Ineffective: [tesla coil OR jacobs ladder]
Generally, OR only applies to the words directly on either side of it, so search engines read [tesla coil OR jacobs ladder] with the OR only applying to coil and jacobs.
Google interprets this query to mean that you want all the pages to have the words tesla and ladder, since they are not next to an OR. Only putting the two names in quotes, you make the OR apply to tesla coil and jacobs ladder as set phrases.

intext

It allows you to find pages that have a specific word in the body of the text somewhere–it forces inclusion on the page.

When you search for multiple terms on it, some terms my drop out because they are not frequent enough. If you want to force the inclusion of that word on the page, you use intext.

Example:

[coral bleaching site:stanford.edu intext:geophysics]

If you  need more advance search options, you can always use the advance search (gear menu) found at upper right side.

\"Google

That\’s the summary of classes 1 to 3 of Power Search course by Google Search Education. I will cover classes 4 to 6 on my next post.

Read part 2 here: Google Search Education Makes You a Better Googler (Part 2)

 

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OS X Mountain Lion Resources for Apple Newcomers

\"OS

OS X Mountain Lion

It is a great week for Apple. The ninth major release of OS X Mountain Lion (version 10.8) was finally made available in Apple App Store on July 25, 2012. It has many features inspired from iOS including notifications, game center, iMessage, Twitter and Facebook integration,  familiar applications such as Reminders and Notes, and  more than 200 other new features.

Those who recently ditched Windows for an Apple MacBook or iMac should be really excited to experience the best OS X experience Apple can give to date.

I gathered the resources that I think should be of great use to any beginners out there as well as seasoned OS X users who wants to upgrade to OS X Mountain Lion.

\"OS

Upgrading

If you bought a new machine recently pre-installed with OS X 10.7 Lion, you can get Mountain Lion for under $20. I wish every OS upgrade would be as cheap as this. Seriously there\’s no way you can complain for that price.

Make sure you read the pre-requisites from Apple website.

Your Mac must be one of the following models:

  • iMac (Mid 2007 or newer)
  • MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum, or Early 2009 or newer)
  • MacBook Pro (Mid/Late 2007 or newer)
  • MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer)
  • Mac mini (Early 2009 or newer)
  • Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer)
  • Xserve (Early 2009)

Wonder why older machines are not supported? It appears to be the graphics drivers so if you think of getting a second-hand Mac, take note of the hardware limitation.

Make sure you have Lion or the latest version of Snow Leopard before you download OS X Mountain Lion from the Mac App Store.

Free Upgrade

You can save yourself $20 if you purchased your Mac from Apple, an Apple Authorized Reseller or an Apple Certified Refurbished computer after June 11, 2012. Check the details here.

Software Compatibility

You can check App Compatibility Table by RoaringApps for the list of applications that works with OS X Mountain Lion. It is important to check this so that you you won\’t be surprised when some of your old programs do not work properly after the upgrade.

New Installation

If you want a clean fresh install of OS X Mountain Lion, you will need to burn the installer to a DVD or a bootable USB drive.

You can install your copy to as many Macs as you want as long as your machines share the same Apple ID. Now, if you have another Mac that doesn\’t share the same Apple ID you can use a work-around to add a new Admin account on that machine and use it to login using the same Apple ID you use to buy Mountain Lion.

Install Best Mac Apps

\"Mac

There are some good apps that comes pre-installed in OS X but you definitely need more apps. You can find here the best 100+ Mac applications for all your needs. Some of them are linked to Mac App Store.

Setup iMessage, tweak some settings to get the most of the new Mountain Lion featuresget rid of some annoyances, add OS X Server if you wish.

Book Reference

\"OS

OS X Mountain Lion, The Missing Manual covers OS X 10.8 and iCloud. It is perfect for newcomers because you can get crystal-clear, jargon-free introduction to OS X and then you can go in-depth with new key features such as Messages, Reminders, Notification Center, Gatekeeper, AirPlay Mirroring, Share Sheets, and more.

\"OS

OS X Mountain Lion Pocket Guide is a handy guide with all the details you need to know on OS X system preferences, built-in applications, utilities, and other features. It can be a great resource for problem-solving and troubleshooting on the fly.

Further readings

If you wish to read a detailed review, I recommend you read this very long Ars Technica article about OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion review. If you want to read something shorter perhaps this review from The Verge will do. Both articles will give you a taste of what OS X Mountain Lion can do.

For any PC owners out there, you may want to try creating your own Hackintosh. Tech Erra has  a detailed step-by-step instruction on how to run OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion on a PC. Of course, nothing beats having your own authentic Mac.

What else are you waiting for? Dive in, read these resources, and let me know if I missed any important resource here.

 

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Paper.li Epiphany: Why It Doesn\’t Work and How To Fix It

\"\"

I\’ve discovered Paper.li 2-3 years ago. I remember being fascinated by it….for about 3 minutes. And then never returning to it ever again. Why?

What is Paper.li?

If you already know, you can skip this section.

From their About page, they say that Paper.li is a content curation service. It enables people to publish newspapers based on topics they like and treat their readers to fresh news, daily.

How Does It Work?

Really, really easy.

You sign in with Twitter and click to create your own newspaper. Amazing! AMAZING! Technology.

If this technology existed in the 90s, it would have put NewYorkTimes (and all other newspaper-y blogs) our of business.

How It\’s Used

People usually use it as a self-promotional tool. This is natural, of course. Humans ARE Attention-seeking animals.

I have never, EVER, clicked on someone\’s paper.li link to check out what they\’ve \”curated\”. I will explain why in a minute.

How It Should Be Used

I think it would be way more effective if you shined a spotlight on someone else, and hyper-focused it on one subject.

For example, a god way to generate your own paper.li is to include people who are authorities in a particular subject. Pulling all of their work into your paper on weekly basis might come in kinda handy.

Why It Doesn\’t Work

The thing is, no matter what you do, it\’s not going to result in any tangible benefit, and here\’s why.

The people you\’ve included in your paper are not going to feel thankful and reciprocate simple because it takes no effort what-so-ever for you to feature them in your paper.

Potential readers are not going to read it because:

  1. They also know it took no work what-so-ever to generate this page
  2. Since it\’s SO EASY to generate your own paper, if they want to keep an eye on certain folks, they can just create the paper of their own

Humans are willing to pay more money for hand-made products rather than mass-produced ones. Because we understand, deep down inside, that one is worth more than the other not because it\’s better necessarily, but because it took longer to produce.

How To Fix It

Make it harder.

There\’s an apocryphal tale of Betty Crocker\’s initial failure (in the early 1950s) to appeal to housewives because it provided a ready-made cake mix with everything you need to make your family a delicious cake.

This marketing campaign, which focused on the easy of use, failed miserably.

The sales were sluggish, and the appeal of the product was abysmal.

So, General Mills -the company behind the Betty Crocker brand- put a psychologist to work who came back with an idea. Make it harder, he said.

Remove the egg-mix from the box and have housewives add eggs themselves. This will make them feel like they are part of the process and that they had higher degree of involvement with the baking process.

The theory goes — and it turned out to be correct- that if Betty Crocker does all the work, then she gets all the credit. But if the housewife adds the egg, then that tiny, little small step allows her to see her self as a crucial player in the cake-baking process.

Therefore the satisfaction the family gets from eating the delicious cake goes to the wife, not to Betty Crocker.

Sure enough. Betty Crocker removed the egg-mix, and launched a new marketing campaign focused on the pivotal role of the matriarch in the cake-baking process.

Note the focus on the \”homemade goodness\”, and \”YOU add the eggs\”.

Find Yer Egg

I think paper.li needs to find its egg.

Maybe they pull the free version and make it unavailable to all. Turn their technology into a WordPress premium plugin and sell it to businesses who are dying for a good curation-solution.

It has the be a plugin because I want the curated content on my blog, not on paper.li. And no, embedding paper.li on my blog is not enough.

I admire the fact that they developed this technology and they have stuck with their basic model from the get go. I think the basic model is hurting them now.

They need to make it more exclusive. Customer focused (instead of paper.li focused which is currently the case), and they need to find their egg.

Too Easy

I\’ve said it before, and I\’ll say it again. Making things too easy can backfire.

Here\’s a 2 part question gor you.

  • How can you make things more difficult for your customer whilst improving their experience?
  • How can paper.li do the same?
\"Dino

Dino Dogan

Founder of Triberr. Lousy Mixed Martial Artist and a recovering Network Engineer. Pretty good singer/songwriter, trainer of dogs, and a blogger of biz. Fun at parties and a global force for badassery.
Website: http://diyblogger.net
Twitter: dino_dogan

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