Our goal is to do all we can to help promote discussion for each post you publish, and at the same time give you the control in a single interface to tell where those updates end up. We think that’s pretty powerful!
I like it.
Every once in a while I feel the need to talk about a specific tweet or series of tweets.
It doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, I invariably find myself taking screen captures of the tweets to illustrate or copying and pasting the twitter user info to the twitter user name in the post. You know the dance. Today I stumbled upon a plugin I really like called WP Quote Tweets. With a simple short code that uses the tweetid, you get a nice little graphic display of the tweet like this one:
WP Quote Tweets provides you with variety of selectable display styles. The one I’ve chosen above is called Twitter.tidy and it’s described this way, “This layout is like the twitter template, but with a smaller font and the name information background color is the same as the user’s sidebar fill color. Just like the twitter template, the thick border around the quote has the same color as the user’s background color.” Of course, you get to pick your own style.
I like it.
We want to have the Twitter account be relevant and beneficial to our customers. Brad Coy sent me a DM this morning that included a link to a new Screencasting site that is built around sharing via Twitter and I think it will become an important part of how we eventually use our company Twitter account.
Screenr is the name of the service and it does one thing very well and very simply. It records what you’re doing on your computer screen and saves it to be shared via Twitter. Here is an example below:
As you can see, the quality is excellent. It works on both a PC and a Mac and can be viewed on iPhones. Additionally, you can download the resulting MP4 file and with the click of a button, share on YouTube as well. With very little training, our customer service staff will be able to publicly address customer service questions with simple demonstrations and share them with all of our clients via Twitter.
I like it.
Back in November of 2008, I wrote up a quick review of two iPhone panorama stitching applications – Panorama vs. Pano. Shortly after that review, Panorama changed it’s interface, but it has remained my panorama app of choice. Until tonight.
Enter AutoStitch for iPhone.
AutoStitch appears to be based on the same core technology as my favorite desktop stitching application, Calico. It was almost two years ago to the day that I found a Mac application using the AutoStitch technology and AutoStitch for iPhone is a great way to celebrate that anniversary.
Unlike either Panorama or Pano, you can simply point Autostitch to photos you’ve already taken and it will automatically analyze the images to create the best panorama possible from them. This DRAMATICALLY reduces the time it takes to capture a panoramic image. There is no need to worry about accurate alignment. For the sample image below, I took 15 photos in quick succession. I only almost no care in making sure there was consistent overlap. Those photos were automatically saved to my iPhone photo album.
After launching Autostitch, you simply select the photos you want it to stitch together. AutoStitch has a “tutorial” on their site, but it’s not needed. Point it at your photos and let it rip. AutoStitch analyzed the photos and created a panorama from the images in short order.
Here are some screen captures from the process:
Here is the resulting image. (Click to view larger)
And here is the cropped version. (Click to enlarge)
It just doesn’t get any simpler than this. And don’t worry that your panoramic image doesn’t look very clear on your iPhone. When you get it to your computer you’ll find a nice surprise. As the AutoStich FAQ explains, “The iPhone Photos app limits the resolution at which it displays images. As it limits display resolution to a maximum in each image dimension, the display resolution can seem particularly low for long and narrow images.”
I’m going to have some fun with this app!
UPDATE: Here is a sample AutoStitch for iPhone photo set on Flickr. To demonstrate ease of use, took the 14 photos in 48 seconds.
Does Google email you your messages? How accurate are they at taking the spoken word to text? That is my biggest issue… that and my messages are getting cut off before I get the phone number. Does it go to your email (gmail) or to a text on your phone? (Do you use the Google Phone? or who is your service with) Do you have a blackberry or IPhone?
So I thought I’d take the advice I often give to others and write a blog post as the answer to her questions. I asked Amy to call into my Google Voice number and leave a message. I use an iPhone, so I’m with AT&T, but the Google Voice service doesn’t care. It’s entirely independent of my network. I have my notifications sent to send to me via SMS and email. It will send to any email you wish. You can see the images below. But Google Voice also stores every message online for you.
Here is Amy’s message. (Yes, you get an embed code for each message.)
This is the exact transcription:
hey jeff this is amy programer from cincinnati ohio thanks so much for suggesting that i’d give you a call to see how well google translates voice to text i’ve been having some trouble with my spending box the i guess it’s AT&T or cincinnati bell wireless and wanted to see how well it translated hi find that motormen messages or getting cut off prior to my client or customer is actually leaving their telephone number at the end of the message which is the whole point of getting it translated so that all i have to do is look in my email and just click on the number and call them back without having to almost rack my car reading the number down and then dialing it back so let’s see how long this allows me to talk and it it puts my number again my number is (513) 377-3637 i’m currently using a blackBerry and hopefully this will work very well i’m curious to see if it goes to your google mail your email or jess at text message because my current service because it’s a text message thanks so much again this is amy programer with facebook and i hope you’re having a great day and sunny california see you later bye bye
Here is how it came to me on my iPhone via SMS:
And here is how it looked in email:
I think you can judge for yourself how well Google did at converting the human voice to text. I’ve been very pleased with the improvements they’ve made to the old GrandCentral.com service. And this is one of the features I’ve enjoyed the most.
Amy, what do you think?
Ever since I received my invite to GrandCentral.com, I have held steadfastly to the belief that it was going to be a winner. I think my excitement was evident in March of 2007 when I wrote, “GrandCentral Called And I Answered.”
When Google purchased GrandCentral in July, 2007, I replaced my regular phone number with my GrandCentral number. Today, that decision was validated by Google’s launch of Google Voice. The new feature list is impressive. You can read them there for yourself.
A Few Hiccups.
Like a kid on Christmas morning, I couldn’t wait to try one of the new features, conference calling. So, I sent out a twitter message to see how many people I could get on one call – using the same number I’ve had for the last two years. The first test was solid, except for my own error in hitting a couple of wrong keys. At one point I had five others on the line with me. The only failure, attempts to record the conference call all failed.
Undaunted I attempted another call later in the day, this time in a more controlled test. I reached out to three friends using Facebook chat, Stacy Lang, Ines Hegedus-Garcia and Nicole Nicolay. Stacy, on a Verizon cell phone, had no issue getting through, but both Ines and Nicole could not get through on their AT&T cell phones. When they both switched to land lines we were able to have our four way conference call without issue, but still unable to record. I was also unable to record any one-on-one conversations today.
The Great Promise
I sent a text message a few moments ago to someone who called me during dinner. I didn’t listen to their message. I just read the transcription and sent a text message to let them know I’d call them in the morning – without ever leaving Google Voice. I copied and pasted a portion of the transcription in to my Google Calendar to remind me in the AM to make the phone call. Life is good.
The transcription is not perfect, but it’s good enough to get a sense of what is being said. Here is a sample that came as a result of my pushing the wrong buttons on the first conference call. This is the exact transcription: “hey jeff ken montvale saw your we don’t we’re about testing this out thought i’d give it a shot and got this recording talk to you later bye.” And here is the actual message:
The new interface is a vast improvement over the old GrandCentral interface. It’s easier to navigate, cleaner, more feature packed. Google Voice lets me create multiple widget configurations too. GrandCentral didn’t. If you click on this one, for example, you will only get my voicemail.
I think I’m in love again.
From “Pew Internet: Adults and SNS“:
The share of adult internet users who have a profile on an online social network site has more than quadrupled in the past four years — from 8% in 2005 to 35% now, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project’s December 2008 tracking survey.
Overall, personal use of social networks seems to be more prevalent than professional use of networks, both in the orientation of the networks that adults choose to use as well as the reasons they give for using the applications.
When I saw the description for the Twootball iPhone App, a smile came to my face.
Twootball has one simple function – display a live stream twitter conversation about NFL teams, organized around the games for that week. The idea of sitting in front of an upcoming playoff game and easily meeting new people via conversations about the action on screen seemed like a no-brainer to me. So, even though I don’t usually interface with technology on Sundays, I downloaded the free app and waited to give it a whirl.
Selecting which game I wanted to have a conversation around was simple.
On first glance, it delivered just what I was hoping for. Unfortunately, the moment I went to reply to one of the tweets in the stream, I was disappointed. Nothing happened. I touched my finger to the screen several times. I expected a window to open giving me the ability to reply to the sender, or retweet their comment. Instead, nothing happened. I even restarted the app to make sure it hadn’t frozen in some way. No luck.
Without the ability to reply or retweet, Twootball becomes somewhat pointless. Especially since I can enter hashtags into Summizer, or even create a special football page on Tweetgrid, that would allow me to do exactly that with minimal effort. I was surprised to find that even on the Twootball.com website, replies and retweets are not possible. This seems like basic functionality to me.
I love the concept of Twootball, and the interface is nice, but I don’t want to simply watch a stream of comments. I want an easy way to engage in a conversation. In that regard, Twootball fumbles the ball.
I hate saying the name, but I love using Tweetie. Tweetie is a recent addition to the slew of Twitter applications available on the iPhone.
I’ve tried every Twitter application on the iPhone, including the favorites Twinkle, Twitterific, and Twittelator. I’ve even tried Tweetsville, TwitterFon and GPSTwit and fired off photos with Twitfire. But in the end, I always ended up coming back to Hahlo, a web-based Twitter client built specifically for the iPhone.
Why? Simplicity and the ability to separate “replies” from “direct messages.” I wish it were more complicated than that. It’s not. I don’t want my direct messages mixed in with my replies and I certainly don’t want them mixed into my friend stream, indicated only by color. I want to choose easily whether to reply in public or private and I want to be certain that choice is honored. Hahlo did all of that for me. Tweetsville does it as well, but doesn’t allow me to access replies on the main screen. And… the one feature that was missing from Hahlo, was the ability to retweet, to easily repost something interesting.
Tweetie gives me all of that and more.
It is has now replaced Hahlo on my main iPhone toolbar. Tweetie allows me to set up multiple Twitter accounts, as you can see below. That’s helpful. My only “complaint” is that they’ve gone overboard on the text bubbles. I’d like to see more tweets on screen at one time and the graphics are taking up too much space.
That said, the fact that “Tweets,” “Replies,” and “Messages” are easily accessef from the main menu was the first clue that I was going to like this app. And when I choose to reply, the option buttons are large and easy to hit accurately. I can’t tell you how frustrating the small icons on most of the iPhone apps are to hit accurately.
The ability to copy and paste links was an unexpected bonus! When you access a link in a tweet, it opens inside the Tweetie browser.
The icon on the lower left then gives you the ability to either open the link in Safari or “post the link,” which copies a shortened URL into a new tweet. Sweet.
Ahh, but there’s more. Easy access to Twitter Search features and trends. And a quick way to search for tweets directed at me, but not directly at me, via the “Search @ResPres” button.
In addition, Tweetie allows me to save drafts and easily follow and favorite right from the app. Simply put, this is finally a Twitter iPhone App I can recommend. Now, if only Twitter would take the limits off the API. The reason I keep resorting to Search.Twitter.com, even on the iPhone, is this:
But I know it’s not Tweetie’s fault. So, my first click is on Tweetie now. If that fails, then my saved Twitter Search icons are my fallback plan.