My birthday is coming (I have a cunning plan!!)

Next week is my birthday (Friday 19th). I’m not saying that to get attention, but to utilise that attention. We live in a Social Media age, and everyone uses that media to wish ‘Happy Birthday’ to all those they haven’t spoken to in years.

I have a cunning plan:

Please feel free to wish me a Happy Birthday on twitter or facebook (or anywhere else for that matter), but please, if you do, consider making a donation to World Vision to support their African Appeal that is currently on (if you want to donate to the New Zealand branch – I’m a proud kiwi – the link is here).

The way I see it, if every well-wisher gave a one-off $5 donation, we could definitely help some kids.
Now, this is an honesty-box style arrangement. No one will know if you actually give or not, but I figure 30-40 tweets and 20-30 wall-posts starts to add up to a much nicer sum than $0 (and it’s a lot cheaper than actually buying me a present!!).

So, please, think about it, and give a little. It’s not about me. It’s not about you. It’s about them.

Thank you, Egyptian youths on Facebook

This Egyptian protester was spotted holding a sign that, when translated from Arabic, says along the lines of:

Thank you, Egyptian youths on Facebook. We are standing firm and will not leave.

[via @richardengelnbc]

Social networking around the world

Courtesy of vincos.it, here’s a world map of social networks and their prevalence around the world.

tweet of the year

The lovely @five15design sent me a tweet earlier today that was full of flattery:

Why? You may ask, well here’s the reason:

I have to say I was feeling rather witty at the time!!

checking out the new tweet-embed plugin for WordPress

Just to try out this new tweet-embed plugin for WordPress, I’ll post the tweet of my this blog post just to be self-referential [this meant I edited the post after completion and it being automatically tweeted].

It pulls the tweet from Twitter with all the same styling as the Tweeter’s own Twitter page, but this also means it keeps the tweet live for each visitor to your blog (ie the time stamp displayed is relative to your page viewer’s time of visit to your blog).

my iPad app round-up

So, I’ve had my iPad for over a month now, and I felt it was time to review the apps I have on it now. I figure a month is enough time to settle into my usage patterns and have discarded apps that just didn’t do it for me afterall.

1: Social Networking –

I don’t run one app for all my social networking, some people prefer to but I have found it better to have apps that focus on one thing, and do what they do do well. For Twitter, I was originally using Twitterific, and had just upgraded to the paid version the day before Twitter released their own app. Since then I have been devoted to the official Twitter app which is clean, intuitive, and just pretty much perfect in my book.

For Facebook, I am still floating between two apps; Friendly and the official Facebook iPhone app. Both are pretty good, Friendly is more aesthetically pleasing due to being designed for the iPad form-factor, while the official FB app seems a little more intuitive and “like” Facebook itself (as you would expect).

I’m also running FourSquare on my iPad, as I don’t have an iPhone (still!!).

2: Utilities / Lifestyle –

I have quite a few utilities set up on my iPad, for news I am running the fantastic NYTimes app, the TVNZ News app, and the NZ Herald app. I also use GeekNews to pull all my geeky tech blogs together into one streamlined place. The Mashable! app is great for a quick check up on what is trending or popping up online currently.
I am currently using PrinterShare for printing directly from the iPad on my home network. This will hopefully change when iOS4 is released for iPad (rumors indicate late November 2010 maybe).
I also have Google Earth, the IMDb app, and a great tracking app – Parcel – which allows you to just put in your tracking code allocated to the delivery you are expecting. Saves having to visit different websites and remember your tracking numbers for different companies. Some other little gems are:
Epicurious
Wikipanion
Evernote
– The WordPress app for blogging on the go
Shazam
Then for a bit of creative fun, I have GrooveMaker and Drums! GrooveMaker lets you mix tracks, and even create your own tracks on the fly. Drums! is just that, a complete drum set on your iPad – in fact, it’s actually three complete drum sets, as you can choose between Standard, Groove, and Acoustic kits. The sound is true to life, so go get it.

3: Web Dev –

A few free web-dev helpers tucked on the iPad too. I’ve got JsAnywhere and three great apps from Interactive Blasphemy. JavaScript Anywhere is a JavaScript tool which enables you to edit your JS script, adjust the CSS, and then view the results in an HTML page. You can email the results to yourself. From Interactive Blasphemy I have robots.txt, which is just that, a robots.txt generator; Password, which generates passwords of random characters of length and complexity specified; and RGB/HSB/Hex, which enables you to create that perfect shade for you web job, and also then suggests good matching and contrasting colors.

4: Games –

Yep, the main reason most people have an iPad. I am personally a big fan of the logic/strategy games. I’ll list them all, then comment on a few of them, with more in-depth reviews being added, along with links to the iTunes store, later on:
– iFighter – essentially the classic fighter game 1945 remade for the iPad
– Harbor Master
– FlightControl HD
– Canabalt
– Gravity Hook
– Angry Birds
– Angry Birds (Halloween Special)
– Cut the Rope
– Pocket Frogs
– Plants vs Zombies
– Fruit Ninja HD
– Steve Young Football
– Build-A-Lot 2
– Blue Block
– Crazy Traffic: Crashed XL
– Train Conductor 2: U.S.A.
– No, Human
– Trainyard
– UFO On Tape
– Railway
– Chicktionary
– NOM
– Fish Eat Fish
– Dismount
– GearedHD
– Air Hockey
– TicTacDojo
– Little Metal Ball
– Soosiz HD
– Physics HD
– Gravity HD
– Tilt to Live HD
– NinJump
– Red Bull RC
– Asymmetry
– 8Bit Rebellion (the Linkin Park game)

Surprisingly enough, I have found my usage of the iPad to be alot different than I planned for. I have found the games an easy way to take a 5 minute break when I need to, but have found that I actually now tend to jump on Twitter or a news site when I want a 5 minute chill out. I am still just working with iBooks as my book-reader and PDF-reader of choice. Primarily because I have no need of the flasher features of the other readers out there. Overall, I have to say that the iPad is proving itself to be very worthwhile as a tool; and I keep finding new ways for it to excel and prove it’s worth.

quick update – checking out Posterous

I just started testing out Posterous last night. Posterous is a site that launched in 2008 allowing you to post content simultaneously to multiple social media sites by email.

As they say themselves:

You can attach almost any document or link and Posterous will format it for you correctly and even embed the players if necessary. If you have multiple photos, it’ll even automatically create a gallery and reformat the pictures for online viewing, while retaining the full scale photos so that others can download them.

We launched Posterous in July 2008 because we loved sharing thoughts, photos and videos with our friends and family, but we didn’t like how hard it was.

So we decided to make sharing as easy as sending an email.

Since then, we’ve grown steadily by adding added fun, new ways to share while keeping to our original pledge of simplicity.

 

Today, I’m experimenting with posting to WordPress from email through Posterous.  If you tweet, this is also an easy way to post content that is longer than 140 characters, add photos, etc. and have it all in one place. This is helpful, especially when posting from your smartphone (which I am about to get once New Zealand has some iPhone4 stock!!). Currently, my tweets are texted to Twitter and my Facebook status is updated via API from WordPress and TwitterNoe, one email can knock all of this out for me.
 
Also, I have the option to post selectively to each of the services you’ve added — just by modifying the email address you send to (i.e., twitter@posterous.com for a tweet vs. twitter+facebook@posterous.com for selective post to twitter and facebook only vs. post@posterous.com for everything).
 
I’m going to try out Posterous for a few weeks and see what happens.