I miss blogging.

Instagram: you gotta pay

While the terms of service changes (and reversals) over at Instagram didn’t bother me much (they probably should have bothered me more), the changes did inspire me to have a few conversations around where original content should live.

It seems the WordPress mobile posting and syndication tools have come a long way in the past few years I want to see what it would mean to have my blog be the primary source for my content.

With that in mind, over the next few weeks, my plan is to think “blog first” whenever I feel inspired to share a link or post a photo and see what that looks like when implemented…  For those of you who follow along, hope you enjoy the ride!

Windows Phone Left Me Underexposed

Thanks to Microsoft, I recently had a chance to test out a Windows Phone (Samsung Focus) for about a month… and the timing couldn’t have been better since it arrived on the day I returned from a vacation to Paris where my iPhone 4s was stolen.

The Sumsung Focus with Windows Mobile is a tight phone and 4 years ago when I was still using a BlackBerry, this would have been one hell of a great upgrade.

The interface was easy to figure out and I really like how the interface emphasized the people who were important to me.  Most of the apps worked well enough and I was pleasantly surprised how many of my favorite iphone apps were represented in their windows app store (evernote, yammer, foursquare, etc.).

However, even with Microsoft paying all the bills, after a month of using the Windows Phone, I couldn’t continue without the 4s any more. Yesterday, I broke down and bought a new iPhone 4s.

Interestingly, the thing I missed the most about the 4s was the camera… and all the photography apps that make an iPhone so slick.

Despite the fact that my mother is a brilliant photographer, not much of that brilliance has ever rubbed off on me.  And yet with a iPhone 4s, I started to feel like I could take some great shots. Going back to the Windows Phone where the camera was (only) decent, and the good photography apps were almost non-existant (no instagram, snapseed, diptic, photoshop express) was just too hard.

Whereas I probably took over 2000 photos in the month before my iphone was stolen, I think I took about 35 photos with the Windows Phone.  The quality wasn’t there… and while I know that wasn’t all Microsoft’s fault (it was Samsung’s hardware afterall), it was part of the overall smart phone experience that made the windows phone unworkable for me.

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Curious aside.  

What’s the proper etiquette for dealing with a phone that was given to me for free that I’m no longer going to use.   Do I send it back?  Is it okay to sell it?  Is it okay to give it away?   The phone works great (as a phone) including minutes/apps paid for by Microsoft, but it came with no instructions, so not sure how long it will last that way.

10 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do with Your Smart Phone

Just walked out of the first Fusion event put on by the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate crew… So much fun!

I had a great time on stage yesterday with Jeff Turner, Gahlord Dewald and Wendy Forsythe talking internet marketing, building online influence, tracking and measuring results and the real value of conversations.

Also got a chance to hear some very inspiring speakers… I had never heard Tom Ferry speak, so that was a real treat… And the final keynote speaker, Keith Ferrazzi, gave an incredible talk on steps to improving business relationships.   (Did I mentioned I also got to hang with so many cool people like Andy Kaufman and Herman of Hermanity! AND that my grandma came out to watch one of my presentations! Again, so much fun!)

My involvement was to give two presentations.  The first on Building Online Influence and the second on 10 Things You didn’t Know You Could do with Your Smartphone.  Both were a lot of fun to give and since I promised the audience I’d share linkes to each of the apps I mentioned in the latter presentation, I thought I’d share them in this post. Enjoy!

Evernote
1. Take voice notes while driving
2. Scan text out of photos
3. Find your parked car

Beluga
4. Use group chat to keep up with your team

CardMunch
5. Accurately scan business cards

Amazon Price Check
6. Comparison shop

Starbucks
7. Pay for coffee

Square
8. Get paid for coffee

BoxCar
9. Get push notification for important emails

MadMimi
10. Build your email list

And I’m always looking to deliver super-informative (and fun!) internet marketing presentations, so don’t hesitate to reach out if you hear of an interesting opportunity!

Was doing some searching to see how Lins…

Was doing some searching to see how Linsey might be able to turn on Google Apps Labs on her account, when I came across Google’s URL shortener service specific to hosted domains. It was super easy to install and lets me send links out using any subdomain of 4realz. I choose the subdomain “z” (i.e. http://z.4realz.net) for no particular reason.

The idea being I can create my own URL shortener for any site on my domain. Here’s the link to the app using my service: http://z.4realz.net/oyhwh. It’s pretty darn simple, track clicks and appears to have an API architecture. So far, so good…