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Not Your Average Digital / Social Media Specialist

The Orange Great Balloon race is off! #balloonacy


After waiting for what’s seemed weeks after signing up for the Orange Balloon race across the internet, created by Poke –  we are off!

 I’d been excitedly looking at the preparing to launch screen since about 5pm GMT today and finally the contest started at about 7.30pm this evening (2 hours after it should have due to 
unforeseen bugs).


Whats it all about?  Andy Whitlock – Creative Director of Poke explains
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wd3-Va5ePwk



Offical website here. 

How to get involved

Go to the link above.  Then you need to sign up and choose an animal shaped balloon  – you choose from a dolphin (my one is called Flippy because flipper had gone ha!) a cat, a bird, a monkey or a camel.  You can host and play or just play or just host I guess.

Once you’ve got your balloon and named it, you are in the race –  click on the directional arrows to guide the balloon to collect items or to enter more games for small prizes to assist the game or just move up the screen as quickly as possible.There are also prizes but there is some pretty fierce competition so the race is on, mind your backs!

Sadly twice already I have lost my balloon, where the screen says your balloon is there but it doesn’t appear. This is obviously some sort of teething problem, which for me was fixed once I explained what had happened. 


If you have any problems like this please email hello@playballoonacy.com  and they’ll sort it out right away for you. 



Balloonacy is brilliant campaign that also ran in 2008 and was an award winning success !
Not only is this great advertising for Orange, its great fun and it gets more views to your websites or blogs and hopefully people will spot the blog and come back. 



PS Don’t forget to give me a wave or send me a message! 





Bulk Delete DM’s

People are always asking me or asking on Twitter of a quick way to bulk delete DMs, as its rather tedious to delete them one by one.  I’m always giving out the link, so I this maybe more helpful.
What you need is DM Whacker.  
From @dacort
DM Whacker is a brilliant little bookmarklet that deletes all of your direct messages from your profile.
It definitely works in Firefox, Google Chrome and Safari, not sure what others. 
There are various options 
  • All DM’s
  • All sent
  • All received
  • DM’s from a certain user

Or in advances features
DM’s containing a certain text.
Note – It will also delete all the DM’s in your recipients inbox (so they will know you have deleted them) 
Here are the instuctions from the site  http://dcortesi.com/tools/dm-deleter/  
Drag the link below to your bookmarks bar (or right click and save in bookmarks) and then open your Direct Messages page in Twitter. Click the bookmarklet you created and select whether you want to delete all direct messages, or just direct messages from a specific user (No @ in front of their name).
Please note that when you delete a message from your Sent mailbox, it will delete it from the recipient’s Inbox. The same applies for messages you have received.
Bookmarklet: DM Whacker
There is also a link to donate on the website if you like this, as it is free tool.
Any questions please ask.

iPhone Alarm Bug Problem – Solution.

Have you been waking up late in the mornings because of the iPhone alarm going off an hour late?  (Now, there’s a good excuse for a lie in.) There have been lots of complaints on Twitter and assorted websites about you late risers the last couple of days.  I don’t know how you all manage with just one alarm anyway – I have to have at least two! 

I use this  🙂 



After the first Monday morning with no alarm, there was a work-around given from various sources to delete all alarms set before the Daylight Saving Time change and reset them but after hearing complaints of lateness again today, I’m guessing that work-around didn’t work.  

Did it work for you? Please let us know. 
It appears that there is no solution as such until Apple release and an update or a patch to iOS4.1  Apparently though it doesn’t seem that this will happen as its rumoured iOS4.2 is due for general realise very soon and I read that Apple are saying the fix is there so we will just have to wait for iOS4.2 

Perhaps it will out by next week when the clocks in America are set back, if not USA you have been warned. 🙂 
What you can do however is simply set your alarm an hour earlier and to make sure you are not late for work again tomorrow, I’d just have a backup alarm as well. 


UPDATE
Evidently there is a new workaround, (given to me by an iphone alarm user). If you set your alarms to Every Day rather than selected days, the alarm will go off at the right time. 


Please let me know if this works for you. Thanks. 


Good Luck. 

Video won’t kill the blogging star.

Every now and then some one will say that blogging is in the past and vlogging is the future. (Like garlic bread?)  They’ve been saying this for years, and there are still more and more blogs, so I wonder if it will ever happen. 

If you’ve been hiding in the cupboard and don’t know what vlogging is, here is the definition.
Video blogging, sometimes shortened to vlogging is a form of blogging for which the medium is video, and is a form of Internet television.
I really only feel the need for video when I need more visuals like a “how to” video, otherwise I prefer the art of written words (with photo’s or pictures).    I think people are more artistic about how they write than how they speak. Its usually more interesting to read than to watch someone talk who might distract me with their funny expressions or fiddling hands. 
However…  
I love YouTube.
  • When I’m not listening to iTunes or the radio I often watch, listen to music videos.
  • I’m teaching myself how to use Adobe Illustrator as you may know and I often use YouTube to find hints and tips, and to see how its done is often easier than reading it.
  • I was also concerned about changing the screen in my sons netbook but I found a video on YouTube on how to do that – and it was a breeze.
There are the greats in video blogging some of my favourites are @ijustine  http://www.youtube.com/user/ijustine which obviously works because she has good visuals, the kids love her and so do the men.
And Paul @Renetto who’s funny, on the ball, and up to date, and manages to volg at all the best places http://www.youtube.com/user/renetto
Obviously video has become more accessible now with cameras built for vlogging, web cams built into laptops, video phones, this allows more videos, video chat, and live-streaming too. 

Yet its not as easy as it looks to produce a high quality vlog – no background noise, good lighting, and the essentials, no “Ummm” ing or fiddling with hands,  so not just anyone can produce a decent vlog. 
There are already hundreds of thousands of bloggers and vloggers, its not going to stop,  there will become more and I think each has its own place in the world of the internet. 
Video won’t kill the blogging star. Just the same as it didn’t really kill the radio star, did it? 

The Buggles 


Facebook message about Spam

After a recent AVG update I noticed that when I was posting a link on Facebook, occasionally this message came up…..


You appear to be using a browser plug-in that attaches spam to your Facebook posts. To complete your post, please remove this browser plug-in or switch to a different computer. 

For more information, please see the Help Centre.


This is all due to AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 2011 


to stop this ….


1)  Open AVG Anti-Virus  –  Click Components on the top bar next to file. 









2) Click Linkscanner – and then Tools/Advanced Settings. 









3) Uncheck – Add ‘Secured by LinkScanner’ to any send Facebook or MySpace message checked by LinkScanner



Simples 




Hope this helped 🙂 



Writer’s quest.

When I first met Claude Bouchard on Twitter I thought what a nice guy! He has lots of followers and always answers tweets (messages) seems to have time for anyone.  I’m not sure how we met, but I guess it was through writing, he’s a published author and I’ve written a book so am often talking about editing my work. Claude also knows how social media really works!  Then the lovely Luke Romyn was added to the mix and these guys hit it off right away and became their own little show, bouncing off each other like a rubber ball on a wall.  Luke is also published author.  
The Ellen Show
At this moment there are several campaigns to get these great writers on The Ellen Show. How it all started and rollerballed into the campaign it is today is a great story that I wanted to share with you.
It all started by accident. Claude and Luke were approached via Twitter to do a Skype video interview which they were to be emailed the details.  When Claude asked Luke on Twitter if he had received the said email, someone immediately asked Claude, “For what show?”  Claude replied jokingly, as he often does “The Ellen show”  Suddenly it all kicked off and people were pronouncing that they should be on “The Ellen show” It wasn’t long after that someone created this Facebook page –  2 Writers On Ellen.
All sorts of people are requesting that these two popular authors to appear on “The Ellen Show” There have been emails, Facebook messages, tweets galore but still nothing from @theellenshow 
There have been many stunts including when Luke and Claude put on Ellen’s hair on their twitter avatars for a while, that was really spooky I can tell you, but still nothing from Ellen.
Close your eyes if you can’t take spookiness now……. 
 
They have been on various radio shows including Blogtalk radio and Casey Ryan’s podcast “The Cutting Room Floor” where the conversations about their books went on to discuss The Ellen Show.



This last week there has been a petition…http://act.ly/2i7
Still nothing ……. I don’t get it, I really don’t get it.  
Quote….
TheEllenShow has not responded for 4 days.
Comedian, talk show host and ice road trucker. My tweets are real, and they’re spectacular.http://www.ellentv.com
I really think we should all help these guys, they have made it on their own by all their own hard work, which needs to be commended. You can sign the petition, all you have to do is tweet…
Petition @TheEllenShow to invite @LukeRomyn & @ceebee308  http://act.ly/2i7 RT to sign 
I’m from London UK, and I had to Google “The Ellen Show”  as I didn’t know what it was, its pretty famous evidently. Claude and Luke are making her show famous surely she could repay the favour.   However, I think she’d better snap up Luke and Claude  quick before she is asking them is she can be on their show!? 
Here are the names for Luke and Claude on Twitter if you want to follow.

Please help !!! thanks 😉 

Sparkling New Brizzly Social Media Reader




In December 2009 I trialled the Brizzly Social Media reader – here –   if you need help signing up to it, help is there. 
  
When I used Brizzly Beta at that time, I decided that although I liked the features that it had to offer, I couldn’t cope with the slowness and lag, and I didn’t really like the layout enough to change from Twitter.com.
Since then,
Things Labs have ‘merged’ with AOL (as they say on their own blog),
Brizzly is now New Brizzly and has many new features
Brizzly is now available on iphone 
Brizzly is now out of beta!
So, due the fact I like the sound of these new features but mostly because I don’t like the look of #newtwitter I am trying New Brizzly…..
…which I must say I am emphatically enjoying.
Lag
Hurrah! The slowness and lag have gone, you no longer feel like the whole thing is going to come crashing down on you like a MS Windows operating system.  Even though it could still be improved it is significantly smoother, which of course makes the whole experience much more pleasant. I wouldn’t think this had anything to do with AOL however 🙂
New Features
There are so many new features people are going to love!
Foursquare – Not only can you have Facebook and Twitter updates, you can also add everyone’s favourite application… Foursquare!
Picnic – You can create a picnic, which I didn’t try but its apparently a way to have a private chat with several people who you can add from Twitter, Facebook or email – and you can upload pictures and sent tweets to a picnic. If you liked Google Wave this is for you, I must try it out soon, sounds great. Fancy a picnic?
Themes – They have also added some themes, not many, but at least you get a choice now.  Although for some reason I do like the original turquoise one 🙂
Emoji – Emotions have also been included, (little smiley’s, pictures of hearts etc) which I don’t often use on other applications as not everyone can see them, but occasionally it is fun.
Translation – Also there is a translation button, which I love,  hopefully it won’t give the wrong translation too often 🙂 You just click the ? at the end, this will also give you more information about the tweet if you click it when it is already in your language.
I think the design is virtually the same as before, which isn’t perfect but I feel more comfortable with it now, I don’t think its as busy as it was, and it seems more like “old” Twitter.
Brizzly have also sorted out the followers and following count which is now the same as my old favourite Twitter.com.
I do love the simple format of Twitter.com but this is the closest in page views to Old Twitter I’ve seen and you can keep it simple if you want, or you can use all the of many added features. 
There is one thing that I miss that is “who follows who”  I seem to use that feature more and more, I like to see which of my followers is following a new person I might follow. Maybe I’m just too nosey. 
Someone suggested that I try the Brizzly Chrome Extension and as I use Chrome I thought this would be really useful, but sadly it doesn’t work very well for me, we are back to slowness. The button for type a tweet brings up add an account and it disappears when you change tabs, all in all its very frustrating so I won’t be using that. If you do try Brizzly don’t try the extension first, try it  here http://brizzly.com
The Results of this trial now suggest that when Twitter force me use New Twitter I will most likely be using Brizzly.   

Best Camera N8 or iphone? Who Cares.

There has been a lot of controversy this weekend about which mobile phone has a better camera , or more importantly takes better photographs, namely the Nokia N8 and the Apple iphone. Although its not just now, comparing camera’s on camera phones is always going on, I don’t get it!
If you want a high quality photograph, buy a camera!
As an almost average user, I believe a camera on a mobile phone is just a wonderful added extra, its useful to have if you want to take a shot of where you are to send to your friends or a shot of something funny to post on to Twitter or Facebook.  Those photos do not have to be perfect, those photos just need to be seen.  
I have an iphone and I personally cannot get very good pictures out of it, I’m not that fussed.  I know some people that take brilliant shots using the iphone, I don’t know if they use app’s or Photoshop to make them better but if I want to post something to twitter, its just ready, shoot and send, I’m not concerned enough to mess around making it look better. Its just a snapshot.
Most of this is just about the user, knowing how to get the best out of any camera. Different people get different results with the same camera. 
Lighting hinders my shots, I was trying to get a good shot of a van that someone wants me to draw and the lighting wasn’t right. I took these three pictures with the same phone, in the same place, within 5mins of each other, and look at the difference just because of the lighting.  (These weren’t shopped at all just resized.) So those shots we’ve seen recently comparing camera phones could be affected by light anyway. 
I’m not a photographer, I’m just a happy snapper and sometimes if I do capture a good shot I am pleased and will post it as a good shot here. http://www.flickr.com/photos/michelledh/  I don’t think we should expect the camera phone to take exceedingly high-quality photographs.  I can’t see photographers ever saying “Oh I’ve got my phone that will do to take shots of this wedding.”
Surely if you want to take lots of great photographs of an outing, a holiday or an event you will take a proper camera.
Yes!  It is useful and convenient to have a camera on a mobile phone, as its always there with you, I couldn’t do without it now, I’m not saying I couldn’t. Even though the shots I achieve aren’t great, I’m seriously not that fussed that the megapixels or accuracy, sharpness or colour to be any greater.  (The days are gone when you had really bad, grainy, blurry shots)  I do get an accurate representation of the item photographed which is what I need. When it comes down to it, I wouldn’t buy another phone just because it has a slightly superior camera. I would rather purchase a decent camera. 
Is it that important? What do you think?  A lot of fuss over nothing it seems to me.

What an exciting day for a certain teenager – Twifficiency

What an exciting day for a certain teenager its been today……
For me it started like this – I logged to twitter this morning and I immediately noticed trusted friends tweeting their Twifficiency scores, ooh I thought, that’s new, the scores are low, I wonder what it means. And I, like lots of other people clicked on the link to see what my score would be. We all love a high score 🙂 I knew it would tweet my score as I had seen everyone else’s. That much was clear in my book, so I’m not sure why people were surprised at that.

My Twifficiency score is 39%. Whats yours? http://twifficiency.com/

Hmm, that wasn’t much I thought but sadly it didn’t give any reasons, it just said on the app that it was rated based on your twitter activity – you followers followed and tweets. So that was a bit of a downer and pretty boring, that was that as far as I was concerned. Next……
Soon after however, people started tweeting that it was spam, it was just a random number generator and it was going to take your password, murder your cat and all sorts, thinking this was strange I popped over to have a peek at the creator of the app and I found him to be a very surprised 17 year coder with 100 followers who just had tweeted something like OMG I have a trending topic! Which I thought was great for him and also very cute. He didn’t seem like a spammer to me, (he didn’t have the long hair and the goatee for a start!) and then he started to apologise about the spamming explaining it was just him testing out an app for oAuth, awww sweet!
By this time it seemed that everyone was checking out the application and then complaining about it which kept it trending and got it a lot of attention. They say that all publicity is good publicity and in this case it worked as the more people complained the more people went to check it out.
I thought it had all calmed down but no, its still going on. Now when you go to search for Twifficiency there are something like 100’s of tweets per min, mostly with people saying its a scam and some still testing it out.
And the guy, James Cunningham now has almost 700 followers (lots of good ones too!) which is increasing at an astonishing rate and is an overnight success – I’m sure this will get him somewhere, its certainly got him noticed in the twitter world and further.
Good Luck to him I say… what’s next James? 🙂