Protected by Copyscape Unique Content Checker
Showing posts with label share. Show all posts
Showing posts with label share. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Draw.chat free online whiteboard (etc) collaboration tool

Screengrab of draw.chat's homepage.

Draw.chat is an innovative collaborative progressive web app, or PWA, which allows users to communicate in visual drawings as well as through text chat, audio, videos and by uploading files.

Progressive web apps are technically normal web pages available through modern browsers such as Google Chrome, but they look more like something users would see on a mobile. They allow all kinds of tricks that regular web pages wouldn’t too, such as being able to draw a response in a chat window, swap files and work on a mobile as seamlessly as a PC.

Draw.chat describes itself as a free online whiteboard, but the site also allows video conferencing and text messages with offline notification. The video conferencing side allows images and files to be dragged and dropped into the chat, while the text messaging option will suit those more used to chatrooms than video conferencing.

Draw.chat is powered by Sketchpad.pro and has an extensive lexicon of keyboard shortcuts available for Windows and Mac systems, These cover all aspects of tool use, navigation and editing functions. It looks fairly simple to use, whether on the elderly Mac laptop I own or my more modern Android phone.

A meeting is initiated via the Start Meeting button available on most pages of the site. It’s as simple as that. Collaboration is easy, whether users write, draw or speak their ideas by preference. I can see this PWA appealing to the severely dyslexic people I have worked with, who were able to understand pictures much quicker than words, as well as those who prefer to speak to someone face to face and people like me who prefer words on a page.

Yes, there have been drawing apps before which have a chat element; the similarly named DrawChat or Draw Something (both 2012 releases), for instance. But this isn’t an app. It doesn’t appear in Google Play. Users simply type draw.chat into their browser and the site will load. On a desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile, it looks and works the same. And unlike many apps, this PWA has a solid business purpose. It can bring together collaborators from around the world in a couple of clicks, and allow them to share ideas across different media simply and quickly, crossing boundaries of language and expression.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Wizdiary - bringing even more customers and businesses together two years on



Wizdiary video 2017.
YouTube link provided and used with permission.


When I first wrote about Wizdiary, almost two years ago in June 2015 (WizDiary.com, bringing customers and businesses together online), it was a very new company which didn’t even have a complete website yet. It could almost have been called a ‘concept’ rather than a fully fledged business at that stage.

Wizdiary’s USP back then was a series of innovative multilingual YouTube videos explaining the business’ aims to provide a social-media-style gateway for small and medium sized companies to connect online with their potential worldwide customers. The idea was to allow businesses to advertise for new clients by showing photographs of their products or sharing examples of their work, almost like an online version of the newspaper back pages classified advertising service.

Two years later, I am pleased to say that the company is now fully operational and doing well. Businesses can advertise via the Billboard and Posted Jobs areas to bring their skills to the attention of potential clients. Billboard allows businesses to post images of goods or projects to share with those in a particular location, while Posted Jobs allows companies to advertise for specific staff or requirements for a particular project.

This simple move of filtering traffic has helped to streamline the site and point users in the right direction. Registration is free and a Billboard entry is required as part of the normal profile setup to educate future clients about the company behind the advertisement. The explanatory video for Wizdiary's Billboard and Posted Jobs areas emphasises Wizdiary’s social side while the updated introductory video goes into more detail about the clientele-locating strengths of the company. It explains the simplicity of the site and the chance for advertisers to showcase unique selling points, special products, experience or talents using photographs and existing work.

Wizdiary’s videos make the point that not everyone is looking for the same thing. A company which specialises in offering simple solutions at lean prices to small business owners and startups is not likely to be looking for a client who wants all the bells and whistles from a vastly experienced provider. A lean entrepreneur is not likely to choose the most expensive business, because their prices will be beyond a small budget and their solution could well be too complicated for the limited interest a smaller business is likely to get. Similarly, depending on the market, not everyone will want a University-educated worker; some may prefer an experienced seller who has fewer qualifications.

All kinds of people and companies can use Wizdiary to be found by new clients, connect with like minded people with similar skills and expertise or to find people with the knowledge they need. That’s the beauty of Wizdiary. It is totally adaptable to individual circumstances. If you’re a business owner who is prepared to give a new worker a break, or an experienced provider wishing to use your experience to help new businesses get off the ground, Wizdiary has a place for you.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Linkbutton, a new take on social media

The Linkbutton logo, image provided and used with permission

Linkbutton.com sounds like the next big thing for apps, websites and social combined. It’s not quite here yet, but coming soon for those social hounds who just have to be in on the next big thing. And this sounds like quite a thing.


Social media has become an integral part of marketing and online interaction in the last few years and there are sites for sharing just about anything these days, in any format. Like and share buttons appear on almost every post, while some employers will check a candidate's social presence as part of the hiring process.


Linkbutton.com is launching soon to join the party. Linkbutton.com is going to be a free site for users to link to their content, offering a choice of over 100 actions or call buttons (including BUY, CALL, SHARE, DONATE, DOWNLOAD or VOLUNTEER) from a personal or business account. The default action will be ACCESS, which will simply let readers read the posted content.


As with many other social media sites, the clue is in ‘social’. Having followers and being followed is the goal, according to the founders, although businesses will have profile categories to help drive followers to the right content. In true social media style, the site will also access links shared by other users. Those users could be businesses, individuals, brands or blog sites, who knows? In the modern always-on world, everyone and everything is a brand. Linkbutton.com is aiming to be a one-stop shop for all kinds of social media interaction. Users will be engaging with others in many ways; from simply liking a post about a business’ new range to ordering a meal, supporting a crowdfunding page, sharing their CV or resume with a company they’d like to work for, or booking tickets for a gig. For a more personal experience, linkbutton.com may be a lower key alternative for sharing photos and posts with people who are not on bigger social media sites.



Copyright: Getty Images
(Diversity People Connection Digital Devices Browsing Concept)
Credit: Rawpixel, Stock #: 521545050

The site has iOS and Android apps planned, although these are not active yet, so those users who habitually post on the move will be able to update quickly and easily. The one-stop-shop scenario may appeal to netizens who prefer their interactions all in one place, while the wide variety of media permitted will allow any active blogger, v-logger or business to share new content easily. (It is advisable to read the Upload Policy on the website before starting off though.)


As perhaps expected, Linkbutton Inc is already active on social media itself, as linkbuttonmedia on twitter and Facebook. This is a vital tool to build awareness ahead of the official launch. A search for the name brings up twitter users who have shared the company’s introductory video, showing a typical search engine query for sites where potential customers can see interesting content. Their website is simple and uncluttered, with a choice of personal or business accounts and examples of how both work. Action keywords are the way to share the posts, whether those posts are messages, photos, videos or links, so users can share a new blog post with the keyword ‘comment’, or a crowdfunding campaign by instructing ‘donate’. Businesses can post instructions including Menu > Order and Product > Buy among others. Maybe a transport company could offer links to their latest timetables or real time map, or a recruiter could designate individual ‘apply’ action buttons uniquely linked to each of their vacancies. The possibilities are endless.


The site sounds simple to use and benefit from, and is likely to appeal to an individual or company currently posting across several social media platforms but wanting to expand their reach. Linkbutton.com will allow those known for their blog posts to share videos, and those known for panoramic video shoots to showcase breathtaking still photographs all in the same timeline. Seemingly, linkbutton.com could well appeal to those who find larger social media sites to be too cluttered, overly complicated and intrusive, because as it is currently small, there will not be the wide attention given to bigger platforms.


No matter what topic users are promoting, they will be able to share the links via linkbutton.com, subject to the usual caveats about content copyright and decency, of course. The site aims to combine the best of all the big social sites and then some, as there is nowhere else offering quite the breadth and variety of options. Sure, there are plenty sites for link sharing, article promotion and video posting, but fewer where a link in a post leads directly to a takeaway restaurant’s menu and orders page or where a jobseeker can share their resume without having to go through a full application process.


Linkbutton. Buttons that link people to others via actions. Coming soon.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Cofie - A Selfie with Friends

Cofie app logo, taken from Google Play page


‘Selfie’ was recognized as the Word of the Year by the Oxford Dictionaries in 2013. Since then an entire lexicon of similar words has been coined. There’s ‘belfie’ (a selfie of the photographer’s rear) and ‘lelfie’ (a similar version of the photographer’s legs), both usually taken to highlight how shapely, fit or toned the photographer’s particular body parts are. Unsurprisingly, celebrities are leading the way with these trends, but now ordinary mortals can get in on the act too.

Now there’s another word to add to the glossary of mobile phone images taken with the intention of sharing on social media: ’cofie’.

Cofie is the name of a new free Android app available in beta version from StillWater International Inc. The app takes the idea of a selfie one step further. To take a cofie, or collaborative selfie, once downloaded, users send their friends, who also need to download the app, an invite at a suitable time. Then, when everyone is ready, they can take a selfie remotely but together. The result is a conglomerate photograph of two or more friends in different locations, yet by the power of the app, displayed in the same image.

This app is still in beta testing phase, so it may not work fully on every handset. The list on the Google Play Store page gives the handsets it has been tested on so far, together with a request for anyone testing on a mobile not listed yet to send in their feedback. Many other features are promised as the app is further refined, according to the developers. From the screenshots on the app instructions and the Google Play page, it looks as if the selfies taken as a cofie appear side by side in the same frame rather than as an amalgamated image, so they are separate photos that happen to be taken at the same time rather than a Photoshop style montage of various people in one photograph.

For those who want to try it, signing up is ridiculously easy, you have to provide your name, email country code and mobile number, plus an optional profile image. A verification code will be sent by SMS text message which may incur a charge from your provider. Once users and their friends are signed up, a simple message to your friends when you’re ready will allow the cofie to be taken and made available to all participants. This app carries a Parental Advisory due to the type of media being shared. It is licensed for use by those of age 12 and over only.

As with many of these newly released apps, the developers are always keen to hear from those who find a bug. In the case of an app like Cofie, which is still at beta stage, this feedback is invaluable to allow for development of the code, tweaking of the app and overall improvement of user experience.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Klink - Share Content, Get Paid

Klink app logo. Image supplied and used with permission.
This could be interesting. I’m not a video fan and I’m too old to ‘get’ Instagram. Anyway, Instagram is a Facebook company and I don’t ‘get’ that either.

But for those who love those little Vine video clips and share Instagrams the way I share Tweets, the new Klink social media app is a mix of the two. And you get paid for sharing your content too. Well, it was going to happen eventually, after the rise and fall of revshare sites for words, as the fashion moved on to videos and images, so the revshare model would follow.


Interested potential users should be aware that this app requires a 5th generation Apple device running iOS7. My iPod Touch is a 4th generation so stops at version 6.1.6. Shame, because being paid to find out about the fuss surrounding Instagram-style apps would have been fun.


This app is brand new, only available on Apple (no Android version yet as they only launched a month ago). The developers tell me the app supports full screen, high quality photos and video, which makes it easy to capture, share and monetize your still or moving images. Yes, monetize. This app works just like the revshare sites for writers, or YouTube for podcasters, and pays you for sharing your content. This is achieved by including small banner ads with your content and sharing the revenues between all those users whose work has displayed those adverts. The screenshot on the support page link indicates a rate of $1 for 1,000 views which is around the industry average for written or visual content on this new breed of mobile social media. Anyone familiar with the Like system on Facebook will feel right at home here, where a like more or less indicates having viewed the content. A featured post can be purchased for 99 cents, or you can save the money earned from your views and withdraw it at a later date.


If you check the hashtag #klinkapp on Twitter or Instagram, you will see examples of the app in use and find out more about how it works. The latest version is only a couple of days old and features a live feed of all new content and better video quality, including video ads. Even though I can’t download it, it looks from the screenshots as if it should be fairly easy to use, and certainly the comments seem to bear that out. There’s a toggle switch to swipe between video and photo and buttons to like, comment and upload content. Swiping corrects blurred view and the piggy bank icon allows you to share the app and invite friends to join too. Naturally, the main idea is that you share your content across other social media sites. Facebook may not take too kindly to monetized content from other sites being shared on feeds, but Instagram and Twitter seem to be pretty cool about it, at least judging from the site’s popularity on those platforms.


videoOf course, Klink app is new, and despite serious testing there have still been reports of bugs. The developers hope they have ironed many of them out with the latest update but comments, moans, gripes and suggestions are all welcome via the support email. Early adopters are eligible for a Super Elite Klink Creator badge, and should email the developers for more information on applying.

Now, if the developers could just release an Android version, I would be able to give it a really good test and report back in a month or so with my findings. Anyone fancy seeing photographs of the neighborhood cats?

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Orly Lobel at TEDx UCIrvine: Too Many Secrets and Too Few Sparks



Orly Lobel gave a TEDx talk entitled 'Too Many Secrets and Too Few Sparks' a month or so ago. It is around 15 minutes in length and deals with the idea that today's culture of protection of ideas is not allowing the spread of creativity.

Orly believes that this attitude of secrecy is affecting all areas of life, not just technological innovation. Developers in many fields are bound by nondisclosure agreements, copyright and non-compete clauses.


From my own experience, writers often have to sign nondisclosure agreements even when writing short articles. Vast sums of money can be charged for copyright, with hundreds of dollars/pounds/Euros being earned by authors for even a short extract from a successful book or research paper. Damages awarded to companies for intellectual property and trademark infringement cases can run into billions of pounds, as demonstrated by the long running Apple v Samsung court case.


Orly feels that all this protectiveness is throwing great creative ideas off balance and that we are simply not sharing enough sparks these days. It's something where she has had personal experience. Her background is in military intelligence, so she was trained in keeping secrets. During her time in the military, she was unable to tell friends and family about her role, telling the audience that she used the line 'I could tell you but then I would have to kill you'. The military is good at keeping secrets secret, encrypting information and only sharing what needs to be shared.


Military life taught Orly and her fellow recruits about many fields where information could be shared but did not always need to be. The recruits were encouraged to build trusted networks to take beyond the military, and many companies today trace their origins to these networks. They operate on a simple premise; secrets are kept secret while all the rest of their information is in the public domain.


The only problem is that there are people who would like everything to be in the public domain. This leads to situations where talented programmers in various industries are being arrested and charged for sharing secrets. This is not just Wikileaks-style sharing, this is as simple as someone emailing a work document to their home email.


The FBI tells us that the risk of spreading knowledge is as dangerous as terrorism these days. If information that should have been kept secret finds its way to someone with a use for it, intentionally or by accident, then it could certainly be turned against the originating company or even their country.


Orly goes on to explain that major companies, previously feverishly innovative, are now more protective of information. In some cases, she opines, they are spending more time, money and effort enclosing and protecting their existing innovation than on new research and development. Copyright is now held well beyond the creator's lifetime. Anything in the fields of music, art, and literature is now protected by a copyright term of the author’s lifetime plus 70 years.


The problem is that in some environments, research and ideas are like rabbits - they will breed no matter how hard you try to prevent it. Universities are particularly fertile ground, and ideas almost appear out of the air to manifest themselves on paper. Orly suggests that 'knowledge spread is power'; those who have the ability to spread knowledge will acquire the power. No wonder universities and Silicon Valley are so productive! Some companies, though, are stagnating in their industry, they need to show their hand as leaders. The only way to do that is to share knowledge.


Elon Musk of Tesla Motors has decided to share the technology knowledge behind the cars. He has made all of the company’s development open source so that everyone, even competitors, can benefit. Often, companies which have adopted this strategy have experienced rapid growth when the knowledge is shared. Orly summarizes it as ‘loose lips build ships’, meaning that knowledge is not just for entrepreneurs but for everyone.


The best way to engage with knowledge, at least for the scientific community, is to work together. Knowledge is not a weapon of terror, but rather a tool for engagement, according to Orly Lobel. Connectivity and networking is the best way to win the global talent war these days, she reckons. Given the multinational representation in most labs and teaching hospitals, that wouldn’t seem too far off the mark. This multicultural, multilingual, multi-influence mix harks back to the likes of 15th Century Florence. More recently, Hollywood, Nashville and Silicon Valley have become hotbeds of creativity and knowledge sharing, therefore also power centres of the same. We are sharing, not enclosing, innovation; creating the next generation of inventors and trend setters. This is the right balance between secrets and sparks - enough secrets to make it interesting, enough sparks to drive invention.


The Tower of Babel (or as Orly calls it, 'Babylon') is an allegory of not being able to work together. We speak different languages, metaphorically and physically, and even if we have the same ideas we are sometimes unable to communicate them to each other. Destroying the Tower of Babel will allow us to communicate effectively, hide or share ideas accordingly and learn from each other where possible.

Friday, June 26, 2015

WizDiary.com, bringing customers and businesses together online

 WizDiary.com, matching businesses to clients around the world.
Video shared with permission.

WizDiary.com is a new online business for clients to find and work with businesses of all sizes. It is so new that there is no website as yet (although it is under development at WizDiary.com) and all the currently available information about the business is found in a set of multi lingual animated videos on YouTube.

So, what is Wizdiary.com? It is a free online business social network offering a gateway for small and medium sized companies globally to connect with their customers no matter where they are in the world. The video describes the firm as a company which provides professional services to other businesses, and its aim is to act as a platform for organizations and individuals to work one-on-one or collaboratively as a group. Once a company’s user profile is completed, the users can upload photographs of the products or services the business provides, giving potential clients a clearer idea of the range of services on offer. When the client knows what they are getting, they will be far happier, and may even feel that they are getting better value for money.

Wizdiary.com is essentially customer oriented, aiming to enhance communication between clients and customers, leading to more satisfied and better informed customers. This platform is designed to appeal to all levels of company in many different fields, from professionals to mom-and-pop style small family firms and work at home enterprises.

As a business owner, with Wizdiary.com, your clientele can see the difference between you and your competitors through photographs and examples of your work, designs, projects or expertise. You can showcase your skills, highlight any unique selling points about your services or highlight any specific qualities you believe you can bring to a task. A photograph speaks a thousand words, as the saying goes. You can have your portfolio not just speaking for you, but shouting out your abilities from the rooftops, a really vivid visual image.

It is said that sometimes, a potential client may well choose someone with day-to-day experience of a situation over someone who holds a University degree. It could be that the client is looking for someone with specific knowledge, rather than theoretical learning. You will have the opportunity with Wizdiary to highlight why your particular brand of knowledge can benefit your clients, and gain an audience and recognition as a result.

Wizdiary.com aims to bring customers and businesses together in one location and offers an easy to use template to allow you to start showcasing your business quickly and easily. You can reach a global audience, and maybe even break into new markets as a result. If you feel your business needs greater visibility and a wider audience, then Wizdiary.com could be for you. Sign up today, create your profile, upload your photographs and watch your business grow.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Juspax, the citizens' court

Juspax logo. Used with permission.


It's been a good week for online legal websites. In the UK, a new service has just launched to allow minor motoring offences to be settled online: Online motoring offences plea service launched (BBC News website, 27 February 2015).

Meantime, in the USA, JusPax.com, a social media site for resolving issues unofficially, aims to function in a similar manner to the Ancient Greek courts, because the member jurors decide the outcome of cases. There is no judge or prosecution, and anyone can register a case against anyone else. A plaintiff can file a petition, appoint a legal team, submit evidence and have an independent group of members take a look at the evidence, offering advice and support as needed, before reaching a decision.


Now, this is not a replacement for the judicial courts, but rather a chance to see whether something a plaintiff holds dear has a chance of being heard in the regular courts before they commit to the financial and emotional expense that such a move is likely to bring. The home page mentions that the site specializes in righting wrongs, advising on complaints, helping to settle disagreements and offering support for open cases. It sounds almost like a peer review system for petitioners.

The system can be used in addition to the judicial court system or independently of it. If you want to find out whether you think you have a case to take to the judge and court, you can run it past the member jurors and see what they think. If you have a cause you want to fight for, you could see what level of support it gets from others before going to the expense of setting up a campaign, a petition or a paper. I guess, as a plaintiff, if you think the judge is not going to deliver the verdict you would like, you could try your case out on the citizen jurors of JusPax and see what they say. (Mind you, if they side with the judge, it might turn ugly for someone.)

Anyone can start a petition through the site to highlight or help their cause. As a legal expert, if you're interested in pro bono work, this could be an outlet to consider. JusPax also has an area for NGOs and other similar charitable, legal or development organizations to register their interest in advising people or seeing their causes petitioned. There are themed listings to allow many different types of firm to show their interest in this site and those who use it. This site and its backers can help gauge likely public and judicial opinion in many scenarios, for a fraction of the cost of raising a case and taking it through the regular courts.

For that alone, JusPax.com is worth a try if you find yourself in the position of needing to canvass opinion before making an official case.