How To Use Google Bookmarks

Google Bookmarks quietly launched a couple of weeks ago, as the search giant looks prise Delicious and Yahoo bookmark users away from the threatened services.

Google’s curation of bookmarks is in-line with their cloud-based philosophy and will a welcome move for users who fear losing data from their normal social bookmarking providers.

The 3 step import process could not be simpler:

Sign in with your existing Delicious or Yahoo details.

You’ll have to wait a moment or two before you are presented with all your bookmarks. Select which ones you want to import – they’re all checked from the start to save you the hassle of clicking *everything* – and click import.

A few more moments later and you’ll be presented with all your bookmarks in order of title. You can change this to date if you wish!

On the left hand navigation bar there are a set of tools:

Manage labels – organize your labels and tags
Add bookmark – add a new bookmark
Import bookmarks – import additional bookmarks
Export bookmarks – export your bookmarks
Delete all bookmarks – delete everything (why would you do this if you’ve just uploaded them?!)
Delete all lists – delete pre-created bookmark lists
Web History – allows you to see your search and viewing history, a function you must enable and download the Google Toolbar for, if you want to use it

Initially this seems to be a great alternative product and may help to qualm many users fears that they’ll be losing all their bookmarks.

It’ll be interesting to see exactly how Google start to develop this embryonic offering.

Flickr and Delicious – The Yahoo Effect

Delicious and Flickr are feeling the force of Yahoo cost cutting measures, it has been reported over the last 24 hours.

Two of the web’s innovators, purchased by Yahoo now find themselves in a kind of “what next?” position, with staff layoffs and talk of ‘sunsetting’ abound.

Both entities must not be allowed to cease in their existence.

It matters because of the amount of data that users have uploaded to them and because cloud computing is the way forward for data storage.

Not only do they provide a service that is genuinely useful to millions of people, they have also the cloud at their core.

I’d like to see them sold, rather than go independent – they both need financial support to develop – which may see them end up in the deadpool.

Computer Games at Bus Stops

San Fransisco bus stops have a new way of alleviating boredom for waiting travellers: computer games.

The San Fransisco Examiner reported a few weeks ago:

…tech giant Yahoo has installed digital video screens at 20 bus shelters in San Francisco, mostly in the downtown area. As part of the promotion, transit passengers from 20 specified neighborhoods will get the chance to compete against each other in different video games — and the community that wins the two-month contest will host a block party featuring the rock band OK Go.

To compete, passengers need only to tap the screen and choose one of four games, which range from visual puzzles to sports trivia competitions. Once a rider has selected which neighborhood they want to represent, they can challenge any other waiting passenger to a live competition. Also, for anyone curious about duping the system, Yahoo has set up barriers to prevent any sort of automated competition.

Each time a rider wins a contest, their neighborhood receives 100 points. The neighborhood with the most points by Jan. 28 will be crowned the winner and get to party with OK Go on Feb. 5. Once the victorious community has been decided, the exact details of OK Go’s performance will be finalized.

What I really like about this is the community element of the game, as well as the integration of technology with a mundane activity.

It’s yet another example of how gaming is becoming more and more pervasive, less the preserve of geeks, and technology is injecting something genuinely fun, innovative and inspirational into everyday life.

iZoca

iZoca is a new social network which focusses on event management and helping organisations to communicate better.

I was first alerted to the service after reading about it on Sociable Blog, but it wasn’t until Susan Bardack from iZoca got in touch that my interest was perked.

iZoca has so far raised over $600,000 in funding, which has largely gone on developing the network itself.

Within iZoca the focus is on a section called ‘My World’ which contains your monthly calendar, your weekly agenda and upcoming events which you may be attending. There is a message function allowing you to connect with other members (I am 2663 so I assume that at the time of writing that is how many users iZoca has) and you can also search for individual members.

So one of the initial main priorities is to join a group and get to know some of them. However the vast majority of the groups at the moment are US-focussed and this means for a UK member it is, at the moment, not going to help me connect with other folks from Britain.

To try and establish some new friends, I tried searching for other UK members – however, you can only search by name, title or company at this stage, so an option to find members by location would be a nice addition.

I like the UI, it’s very easy to navigate and Intuitive to use – thumbs up from me on that one. Aesthetically I think it could be developed a little further, but I must emphasise that iZoca is still in that Alpha stage. A really cool feature is the ability to get your iZoca calendar on your iPhone, into Microsoft Outlook 2007, your Yahoo and Google calendars as well as on your Blackberry.

You can keep up to date with iZoca on their blog, and I’ll keep you updated with any newsworthy updates.

I like the concept and the thinking behind iZoca, what we need to see from the team now is some investment in some new features – what about some Twitter integration for example – and a development of the way the portal looks.

Good stuff so far.

Weekly Round Up 08.08.09

This week we’ve experienced social media meltdown as Twitter, Facebook, Livejournal and Google Apps Engine came under attack from cybercriminals. I’ve gone into more depth with what happened in my post Twitter Dies – Then What? but the latest development is the believed involvement of the Russian government who attacked the sites because of the activities of one user, known as cyxcmu. All very James Bond…

Rupert Murdoch has been banging his charge for content drum again, saying that the free for all online has ended, and that News Corporation’s approach will now be to force readers to pay for their website content. Why would you do this when a) The sites aren’t providing much value anyway and b) we can go elsewhere and find the same stories?

Delicious, everybody’s favourite social bookmarking site, has released some new features. Why is this important? It shows that Yahoo has remembered Delicious exists, and it reminds us that Yahoo still exists.

6 Month Blog Stats

Seeing as we’re half way through the year, I thought I’d briefly indulge in some catharsis by looking at some stats from this here blog (everyone else does it so why shouldn’t I?). As a blogger, it is always interesting to see what posts are most popular and then to try and work out why, so that you can start creating content that rings your community’s bell.

This year i’ve written 181 (now 182) posts, which is pretty much one a day!

So, the 10 most popular posts from January to now are:

Compare The Meerkat
Spotify, MTV Staying Alive and Safe Sex
Top Gear’s Stig is not Michael Schumacher
Michael Jackson dies – Internet crumbles
JCPR Twitter Index
Primark Sweatshop PR Disaster
Spotify – free ad-funded music
Seesmic Desktop Review – Twitter’s new Tweetdeck Rival
How To Get A Job in PR – Part 1
How to pitch to bloggers

This tells me two things: 1) Timely news pieces attract readers who wouldn’t have come acrtoss the blog 2) ‘How To’ guides are supposedly more interesting than the complex social media theories i’m coming up with (joke!)

To that end, how many people are actually coming here?

Page views: 23,516
Uniques: 17,843
First Time Visitors: 16,138
Returning: 1,705

Now I for one would prefer the page views to be a little lower and the number of people returning to be a touch higher! So, please let me know what sort of content you’d like to see more of and what I can do to keep your attention by leaving me a comment!

The numbers below are taken from WM Tips:

Rankings

Google Page Rank:3
Alexa 3 month Rank: 347,648 up 147,382
Compete.com rank: 33
Quantcast rank: 23
Netcraft rank:1,013,875
Technorati rank: 182,578

Links

On-Page links count: 311 (nofollow: 12)
PR/Links ratio: 0.01
Yahoo inbound links count: 589
Yahoo indexed subpages count:303
Sites linking in (Alexa): 44
Inbound blogs (by Technorati): 21
Links from blogs (by Technorati): 58
Del.icio.us: Saved by 0 people
Is page digged?: Yes, 1 diggs
Digged stories from this domain: 184

Over the next 6 months I hope to keep this blog growing and to keep producing content that will keep you coming back for more! Drop me any ideas for anything you’d like to see below :-)

Weekly Round Up 25.04.09

Mahable reported that AdMob’s Mobile Metrics Report for March 2009 has revealed just how quickly Android has been taken up in the US. The report says “the HTC Dream, the first Android-based phone, generates 2% of their US requests and is now the fourth smartphone overall, behind the iPhone, BlackBerry Curve, and BlackBerry Pearl. It has also managed to capture 6% share of the smartphone OS market in the US.” We’ve stil got a long way to go in the smartphone market until the iPhone has a serious competitor, but at least there are signs of serious challengers to it’s dominance.

Following on from the shocking Guardian footage of Ian Tomlinson’s assault and subsequent death at the G20 protests, it has emerged that one of the police officers present had posted on his Facebook profile “Rob Ward can’t wait to bash some long haired hippys up @ the G20.” WHile this is extremely disturbing and must be investigated, it also demonstrates that you must be careful about what you say in this web2.0 world.

Facebook users were polled on what set of T&Cs they’d rather adhere to, with initial results suggesting that 74.4% prefered the new set of rules.

And, what is possibly the final death knell for web 1.0, Yahoo announced this week that Geocities would shortly be closing it’s doors for good, with the growth of social networks, live forums and message boards taking over from the once valued at $5bn Geocities offering. All good things must come to an end, and it’ll be interesting to look back in ten years to see what web 2.0 innovations are committed to dust.