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Preview: My Web Toy is Bigger Than Yours

My Web Toy is Bigger Than Yours

Updated: 2018-03-05T15:16:31.045-05:00


My Social Predictions for 2016


A couple years back I wrote a post about my Social Predictions for 2013  on a personal blog and I have to admit, I did OK, but I wonder how controversial or "out of the box" I actually got to write that post... This year, I am going to pick up on some continuing and emerging trends that I think are a tad more subtle. (I hope).Here goes my Social Predictions for 2016:1) Major consolidations in persistent chat-based social collaboration players: It's impossible to have a prediction list about social and not include references to #Slack. Slack took the industry by storm this year and has become the go-to topic about Collaboration that even Airline magazines have reserved page-space for. The mobile-focused, persistent chat application that allows almost endless integrations with other SaaS services, Slack is a Silicon Valley darling and popular among the "Digital Natives" working in today's enterprises, large and small. The simplicity and sophistication of something that is able to translate the way that the younger generations tend to communicate into the corporate setting has gotten everyone near this space salivating about the threat or opportunity posed by such a new player. All of the big names are likely working on competing products to capture this space and keep the natives on their social graphs to conduct all of their communications (both social and work-related). There is no question these kinds of apps will continue to garner both tons of interest in the tech press (because of acquisition and merger implications), but also because they legitimately change the way that people communicate inside a business. They take people even further away from the traditional and well-managed/groomed channels and put them into tribes of people communicating to get a task done, share ideas or organize an event/launch. The only question that remains is who will end up chomping up who? Or, will all of the players continue to fight it out for another year, stratifying their user base even more as they release competing features, something that only means more and more "noise" for the users; something we'll talk about more in my 3rd prediction.2) Big names get even more serious and focused on Social in Business: Although announced last year and launched in more of a pilot form, Facebook at Work is set to get really big, at least from a promotion and full-court press perspective. Owing largely to the success and attention they have been able to devour from all of us daily (er hourly, or is minutely a word?) users of Facebook, the folks at the big lowercase 'F' are aiming their focus on business users to further leverage their services, and most specifically, their mobile messenger app. Like WeChat has done in Asia, Facebook is starting to load up complimentary services into their chat app (payment services, etc) and will find more and more ways to monetize the activity on this channel. The great thing about Facebook's endeavors in bringing their services into the corporate world is that one of the biggest hurdles of social adoption in an enterprise, overcoming the fear that many folks have about learning yet another application, is largely eliminated as most people have become quite the experts in using Facebook to keep up with their families and friends. I am eager to see how this plays out this year as we hear more and more stories of large-scale enterprises seeing the benefits of adopting Facebook at Work.3) Everyone, and I mean everyone, gets in on the "noise" risk of collaboration: As more and more channels and social applications get released, both consumer and business focused, only a small % fade away, which means each of us has to get increasingly adept at balancing our time across more possible channels. And with more channels come more "noise", that activity that doesn't inherently bring us value. Value in social comes from learning new things, meeting new people, knowing the people to whom you are already acquainted to a deeper level or by reaching an audience for the content and thoughts that you share[...]

THX Tune-Up


If you have ever tried to adjust and optimize your own home-theatre settings you know how difficult it can be.  There are literally thousands of possible combinations of tweaks that an untrained person like me is faced with.  From picture controls on the television/projector, to the levels on the various speakers located around the room, this app makes it easy to do.  Currently designed for iOS (of course), you can install this on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.


The only hitch is that you need a way to hook up your iOS device to your system - either HDMI cable, Digital AV connector or using AirPlay on an AppleTV device.  Once you've got that covered - you're all set to go.  Have fun tweaking!

Twitter's Vine App


Twitter has found a way to turn its approach to limited character posts into the video age by launching their new app called simply, Vine.  Vine is a smart phone app that allows you to capture 6 seconds of looping video (which can be stop motion or a full 6 seconds of 1 scene) and share it much like you "tweet" short messages to all of your loyal followers.

I think its definitely an intriguing idea, especially as our attention spans  - even for video, continue to diminish.  Just like twitter, you can follow users who's videos tickle your fancy, or just explore using the various categories like sports, how-to, travel, etc.  

At first I thought this was kind of a stale idea, but considering this SnapChat app has taken off with the younger set, I really think there is something here.  Let's see how long before we're using the phrase "just vine it." 

Ditto - Virtually Try On Designer Eyeglasses


There have been plenty of sites in the past that have allowed you to upload a picture of your face or sometimes even your entire body in order to try on the latest fashion, but this is the first that I have ever seen to take it to this level of 3-D accuracy.

Ditto is a new site for virtually trying on eyeglasses (both prescription and sunglasses) and it's catching a lot of attention right now. 

The site is really easy to work with - all it says it needs to get started is 1) a webcam and 2) a plastic card like a credit card (not to purchase, but rather to measure scale).  Once you go through the short wizard to scan your face from all directions, you simply choose the type of specs you are interested in (men's or women's prescription or sunglasses), your type of fashion interest (from traditional to edgy) and you're off to the races.

Ditto will begin by providing a set of recommended glasses based on your face shape and style preference and then allows you to expand your search from there.  Choose a frame and see it on your actual face, even from 180 degrees, left to right and back.  Once you find a frame that you really like and are bold enough to do so, you can share the look directly with your friends on Facebook.  Or, you can chat with a professional stylist who will provide you expert advice. 

The best part of all of this is that the frames plus prescription lenses are extremely cheap!  (Frames start at $109 and lenses starting at $59).  And - to top it off, shipping is free with a 90 day return policy and 2 year warranty that covers everything from scratches to crunching them while sitting on them on the couch.

Ditto says that eyeglasses have the lowest online retail penetration at just less than 3% - largely because of the reason that Ditto just seamed to solve.  People need to see how they look on their face  - from all directions.  I think Ditto is seriously be onto something here.  If this takes off I can see them expand to full fashion and accessories, although that is a much more crowded space.

Dish helps you find the best dishes around


Now there is a way to not only find the best places to enjoy a certain cuisine near your current location, but to find the best menu choices at those eateries.  Thanks to an innovative new app from, you now have the power of diner ratings on specific dishes aggregated from a number of sources like Yelp, FourSquare, Google and soon TripAdvisor.

Launched in mid December, currently only features restaurants/dishes in 2 cities (New York and San Francisco - of course).  According to an article in Mashable, the startup is planning to expand next into Los Angeles, Boston and Chicago with more cities coming on soon thereafter.

The thing I like most about this kind of ratings aggregator is that it starts to leverage publicly available ratings on restaurants and then analyzes the content of those ratings to get down to the things people are saying about specific dishes at those locations.  Soon, as more people use the application itself and submit their dish ratings on then the data will get that much more accurate.

It won't be long until progressive food establishments hand you an iPad interactive menu that displays the current score next to each item on the menu - perhaps even keeps the menu items in rank order as the scores change.  People can vote menu items off and food ordering becomes even more efficient.  You knew it was only a matter of time...

Well, I can't wait until this comes to my neck of the woods in Tampa.  Until then, I will give it a shot as I travel to these other cities.

Here's the link to the Apple iTunes store if you want to download it now.


Catalista: An Application to Find Local Volunteer Opportunities


For all of you that have a personal passion to volunteer in your community, there is a new application called Catalista that helps you find great opportunities in your area.  Simply sign in and locate the types of service that you have in mind and the application presents you with a ton of options.  You can even recruit your friends to join you at a volunteer event via Facebook.As many of you will be making your resolutions for the new year, this could be a great app for you to donate some of your time and valuable resources to a local agency that needs your help.As of this writing, I was able to find 15 immediate needs in my local area (Tampa, FL).  Download this application and give it a try.       [...]

My Social Media Predictions for 2013


This year of 2012 brought continued focus on the connected world as a growing number of users signed onto social networks.  Twitter saw its active user count grow dramatically again this year as the short form social network becomes more and more mainstream.  Its hard to see a commercial, print ad or hear a radio ad these days without a mention of a brand's twitter handle.Google+, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Quora, LinkedIn, tumblr, Foursquare, and of course, Facebook all held spots in the top social networks of 2012.  And, who would have guessed that mySpace has been making a run at coming back?So, what's in store for 2013?  Here are a few random thoughts according to the tea leaves that I happen to be reading at the moment...1. Mobile continues to dominate:  Every mobile device these days is designed from its inception with sharing in mind.  Whether that is through the ability to share your content (video/pics, thoughts, etc) across the top social platforms (which includes email of course) or by Near Field Communications (NFC) by "bumping" your devices together, sharing your content will continue to be what people care about in the feature lists of their devices.  So, what will be different?  Well, we saw what Apple did with the latest iOS update for their mobile devices - they enabled social sharing within all of their system applications.   Add your twitter and Facebook accounts into the core settings and now you magically have the ability to share your every moment from almost anywhere on the device.  This will become even more pervasive  - there will likely be a few more social networks added to this list of default accounts that Apple allows you to store - Pinterest, Quora in 2013?2. Social is allowed more serious time in business:  I have seen social go through the exact same business acceptance curve as the internet did in the late 1990s.  At first, the "net" had its access restricted to only a chosen few in the organization.  Seen as a major distraction, the internet was not viewed as a business resource in those days.  It was a what we now fashionably love to call a "business disrupter" and it finally became viewed not only as accepted, but essential to the way business is conducted, allowing access to any and all (although there are still a handful of cases I hear of all the time where internet access is still prevented from within the walls of the corporation - ugh).  Social is riding this same business acceptance curve and we're just now seeing more and more companies making major investments in connecting with their customers/partners and employees via social platforms.  From using social knowledge sharing tools within the enterprise to connecting an organization's CRM system to its employee's social graphs, social is now big time and it will only get bigger.  The other thing that we will see are large companies outsourcing their social media management to other companies who specialize in it - and you can guess where most of these people handling the interactions with the customers will be sitting; that's right, in another country with lower wages.   This will be a fun space to watch over the next year as the big behemoth tech companies try to reinvent themselves as social enterprises trying to convince their customers that they have always been in this game.  I won't mention any names, but those in the know will pick up on exactly what I mean.3. Consolidation?  That's so 2012:  There is a ton of time spent on speculating on who will buy who next in the social space.  For instance, bloggers and journalists love to predict who will buy Pinterest.  Is it Google, Yahoo, Facebook, MySpace?  My thought....who cares!  If you look back at the major acquisitions in this space for the las[...]

Yog - Find a running partner anytime, anywhere


Take one of the most popular exercise activities in the world and add in a social media component and you get a new offering called Yog.  This new free application for the iPhone allows you to find or schedule a run with a friend or better yet, a complete stranger.

Let's say you're looking to go running later today or perhaps tomorrow morning and you'd like to match up with someone at your similar skill level.  You add the details of your run "event" and you publish it to the app (or even to Facebook) so that others can join you if your run meets their criteria.

Now, for the most unique part - the people that join your run don't even have to be physically with you  They can be on the other side of the planet and still be running along with your scheduled run.  You all begin at the same time, it tracks your pace and determines who is in what position and distance run, etc.  Each runner receives audio queues when they pass (or get passed) by another runner or when you pass a mile marker.

The founder of the application has visions of moving this to all different sports and is even considering creating virtual races that competitors can enter from anywhere.

Facebook Poke App 2012


Well, Facebook is trying once again to keep up with all the chat competitors out there.  This time through resurrecting the old Poke application from the early days of  That annoying feature that allowed you to literally "bug" your friends by giving them a virtual nudge.

Now you can annoy them in a whole new way - by adding sound, video, pictures to your poke.  Admittedly, as of this writing, I haven't been able to really play with it to really share my impressions because none of my friends have yet signed up.  But, as you would expect, as soon as they do I will do my best to bug them with a few pokes every few hours.

Famous tech blogger Robert Scoble has been quite enamored by Facebook's  new offering and is getting a ton of pokes from his followers.  He is keeping us all up to date with his trials with the application.  If there is anyone that will put this thing through the ringer it will be Scoble.

I'll let you know more once I give it a real test in the coming week.

End of Day Christmas 2012 - iOS App Store Top Charts


Well - I wasn't correct about Facebook and twitter making it into the Top 10.  The tech giants of Google, Microsoft and Apple dominated the Top 10 to close out the day yesterday.  Interestingly, The Weather Channel's app held the #3 spot.  I guess a bunch of people stranded in their homes with their iPads watching the storms moving across the US was enough to move them up.

The screen shots below are as of 10 AM Eastern Time, Wednesday, December 26th (Boxing Day) for those who observe that.

#App Store, #iOS, #iPad

Apple iOS App Store - Christmas Mid-Day


Man, was I seriously wrong thus far...  YouTube is holding the top spot as of 12:45 PM ET on Christmas Day 2012.  Facebook is WAY down the list - #29 as of this writing.

It will take a few days for these holiday related apps to drop like rocks in the rankings and then we'll be back to normal with the social and movie apps holding the top 10 spots.

I would love if the App Store could report on app usage - the actual minutes/hours spent running on installed devices instead of just pure downloads.  Counting downloads is not so accurate as people download tons of apps that just sit there and crowd their screens.  Tracking the time they spent in the apps would be more of a Nielsen type rating of which ones are garnering the most attention from their users.

What you'd find on my devices is an absolute huge collection of apps and only about 10 that get any regular usage from me.  Facebook, Flipboard, Mail, Drudge, iBooks, App Store, Safari/Chrome.

Until end of day!

Christmas Day - iOS App Store Top Charts


Watching the iOS app store top charts throughout the day on Christmas Day is always one of my favorite traditions (I know, I'm demented).  Here is the current top chart listing as of 6:45 AM Eastern time on Christmas morning 2012.  Note, this is the top chart screen via an iPad - so the top apps for iPhones will be be slightly different, but they are usually pretty close.

My prediction is that Facebook and possibly twitter will move up into the top 6 by the evening as people install it as one of their first apps on their new iPads.  What are your guesses?

The amazing effect of Apple  - just imagine how many new iOS devices are in the hands of their new owners this morning.  I love just thinking about all of the Apple unboxing going on today!

#Apple  #iOS #AppStore

Merry Christmas!

Pixplit - Collaborative Photo Collages


The incredible popularity of various mobile social photo editing/sharing apps has continued to evolve with more and more creative ways to serve up your pics to (and now "with") your friends.  Uploading just any photo directly from your camera role without any kind of hip filter is so 2010.  People have gotten accustomed to viewing highly artistic photos from their friends using applications like Instagram, Path, Photoshop Express, PicStich, (the list is kinda endless) and this new application turns that fun into a social affair.  

Now, using a new application called Pixplit, when you upload a photo you choose a frame that you and your friends will use to arrange your fancy photos.  Then you can share that collaboration with all of your friends and really appear to be a hip photog team.

My challenge is that my Photography folder on my iPhone screen has been overflowing for quite some time requiring me to do a regular cleanout of those apps I seldom use.   This is a small price to pay to eventually land on a few great photo tools that you can't live without.

The most important observation in all of this is that people have a renewed interest in photography of all kinds and everyone seems to have that 'eye' for that perfect shot of their child's back staring up at a tree or their bare feet at the water's edge on the beach at sunset.  

This one looks fun - I think I'll give it a "shot" (get it?)

Polling tool that allows real time update of charts


How many times have you been in a meeting and wanted to get a private poll of a particular question and allow the group to see the responses real-time...WITHOUT having to supply them with devices or a PC to do then ask, how would they vote?  Simple...with the most ubiquitous device on the planet these days...the mobile phone/smart phone (i.e. iPhone).  Simply direct them to SMS their answer and their results show up either on a website or powerpoint slide that updates automagically....VERY cool.

Use for small groups for free or pay a modest monthly fee for much larger audiences...

Check it out at 

Here is my first try a this:

Simple Weather



In this world of complexity and multitasking there is Simple Weather.

Geneology with Geni!


This site ( let's you map out your family tree, and invite them to map out theirs.... It should spread like wildfire.

Funny, I had an idea to do this in 2002. I bought the domains "" and "". Unfortunatly, I never got around to doing it. Too bad!

Currently the site got nailed with the digg effect and is down. I can only imagine their traffic! 50,000 diggers, each adding 10 family members who get emails, and so on.... It would be exponential over time for a couple days. Wow... I bet their site is down for the whole day.

Oh yeah - I'm back.... :) Jason - Why haven't you blogged the phone service I found - Grand Central???

You Don't Know Jack!


Remember this game from the early 90s? This totally addictive party game is now back in true web2.0 fashion. In my opinion, this has always been the best pop culture trivia game out there...Enjoy!

You Don't Know Jack!

Mapwing - Create your own virtual tours


Here is a great idea..A way to create your own virtual tours by uploading various photos and registering the directions, so you can walk people through your house, your favorite vacation spot, etc.

Actually pretty slick - I haven't tried it out yet - trying to figure out the application (it depends on whether or not you can keep it secured to a select group of users).




(image) FanNation is an excellent web2.0 site for fans of all kinds of sports (NFL, NHL, MLB, NCAAF, NCAAB, Fantasy). You add you favorite teams and you can keep up to date on the latest news, blog posts, scores, records, schedules, etc.

It is a very fun site to use, which is always important to us web2.0 fanatics.

Register and add all of your teams - Enjoy!

CrowdSpirit - Groupthinking new product ideas


Here's an interesting idea on a web2.0 way to bring new products to fruition using the community at large to submit ideas, vote on them and collaborate on their development to the point they are primed for funding, for which this site has partnerships with investors or you can invest your own $$ in the projects. This has the potential to change the way that product development is done...involving the end customers to "build their own products." Pretty cool!

I love the idea and will love to participate...

Top 100 web2.0 Sites


Here is a great list of one guy's opinion on the top 100.

Some of the best are in the comments...

Etsy - Handmade Goods for Sale


Etsy is sort of like eBay for handmade goods. This is very cool for people that make their own stuff to sell to other people who like handmade goods. There are some great things for sale out here if you are into this kinda thing. I really like handmade kids clothes that you can't find anywhere else. WAY too many kids are wearing the same clone-clothes these days (Gymboree, Gap, Old Navy, Children's Place) I love seeing kids wearing originals.

Anyway, enjoy Etsy.

Bix - Online Talent Show


In the same category as another site I posted about recently (Singshot), Bix is a great online talent show where you can compete in several different categories from modeling, drawing, singing, etc.

Not a bad site. There are some fairly talented people out there. Yahoo has their own talent show site called just that, Yahoo Talent Show

Jambo Networks - Proximity Awareness for Social Networking


OK, It's been a while since I have posted - I apologize, but it's that time of year when nothing much else gets done but spending quality time with the family, eating delicious food and watching football....

I decided my first post back would be about this great service called Jambo Networks

This site allows you to link all of your social networking sites to a service that "sniffs" other nearby users (within 6 blocks) whom share similar profiles/interests and allows you to discover them to start up a conversation in their own chat application. I admit, I can't wait to give it a shot. Check out the video on their site to see how it works...I will report back and update this post once I have had a chance to make my first connection.

Cogmap - Wikipedia for Org Charts


Ok - every once in a while I am surprised by a web2.0 offering - something that I never knew we really needed until I saw it. How many companies have org charts that go stale the moment you print them. Well, here is a solution. A living, breathing org chart that allows anyone to edit it at any time. It is called cogmap and it is just plain cool!

I checked out my company (Accenture) and saw that it was pretty accurate and better then anything I have ever seen our company put together ourselves. I made a small edit (not sure I got it right, but if not, someone else will come behind and correct it). The power of Web2.0!