March 2015 Favorites: Tech Edition

Photo Credit: http://startupstockphotos.com/
Photo Credit: http://startupstockphotos.com/

Happy April! I’m excited to share some of my tech / digital marketing favorites with you. Check out this post for my February Tech Favorites!

Social Media Favorites


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My favorite social media network last month was Instagram. I love photography and it’s a great platform for sharing photos. It’s fun to look through various hashtags and see what people from around the world are posting.

But what I really love about attempting to update my Instagram more regularly is that it forces me to stop and notice the beauty in things. Without Instagram, I might walk by that pretty flower by the side of the road and not give it a second thought. But with Instagram, I notice it and try to find the right angle and filter so that other people might see its beauty too.

If you want to follow me on Instagram, click here or go to the app and search for @heyamyerickson.

Cell Phone: Apps, Accessories, & More

IFTTT

IFTTT is great simply because it saves time. I like to use it to share my Instagram photos on other platforms. Basically, you set up “recipes” like “If I do this, then do this.”

My current recipes are:

  • If I post a photo on Instagram, upload the photo to Twitter and tweet it.
  • If I post a photo on Instagram, upload the photo to Tumblr and save it in my drafts.
  • If I post a photo on Instagram, upload the photo to WordPress and save it in my drafts.

Blogs & Vlogs

Screen Shot 2015-04-01 at 12.58.32 PM

Taking photos on your iPhone comes with some challenges (especially if you’re used to a more robust camera). I recently discovered the iPhone Photography School blog and have been reading through their tips and app recommendations.

If you want to get serious about your iPhone photography, check it out!

What were your tech favorites last month? Are there any categories that I should include next time? Let me know in the comments below!

February Favorites: Tech Edition

Coffee & Computer

Happy March! I thought I’d try a new series out on this blog where I list my favorite things from the previous month. So here we go… my tech / digital marketing favorites from February 2015!

Social Media Favorites

Follow on Instagram and Twitter

I recently changed my Twitter and Instagram handles from @amye_ to @heyamyerickson. What can I say? The underscore was getting old.

Twitter wins as my overall favorite social media site for February. Although I’ve been on the site for years, it stood out to me last month because I feel like I connected with more people than usual. And that’s the point, right?

Cell Phone: Apps, Accessories, & More

Person Holding Cell Phone
Credit: DeathToTheStockPhoto.com

I did something last month that has been slowly changing my relationship with my cell phone: I turned off almost all of my notifications. I still have a couple of necessary ones on (text messages, phone, and WeChat), but everything else is off.

I still check my apps often, but I’m doing it on my own terms, not because the notifications are driving me crazy. And that’s a start.

Blogs & Vlogs

Saving Money In Your Twenties
Screenshot: SavingMoneyInYourTwenties.com

When I read blogs, I usually get frustrated because the lifestyle portrayed isn’t realistic for where I currently am in life. That isn’t the case with SavingMoneyInYourTwenties.com

The theme of the blog is that you can have anything you want, but not everything. If you splurge in one area of your life, you might need to cut back elsewhere. Ashley still enjoys eating out at Chipotle, but she saves money by cutting her own hair (which she shows you how to do!). Check out her blog for practical tips on how to save money!

What were your tech favorites? Are there any categories that I should include next time? Let me know in the comments below!

Twitter Tuesday: Are you a social media dork?

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I came across this quote today while researching something for work. It was funny, accurate, and somewhat related to Twitter Tuesday, so I thought I’d share.

Unlike Twitter users, most Facebookers are into social media for social media’s sake, they’re not social media dorks.

via 7 Ways to Get Your Blog Posts Shared On Facebook.

While just about everyone I know in my age group has a Facebook account, I know very few people who are active on Twitter. Most of the Twitter users I do know are active bloggers who are interested in other social media channels like Foursquare or LinkedIn.

For the record, I consider myself a social media dork. And I’m proud of it, thank you very much.

Do you find this quote to be true? And more importantly: Are you a social media dork?

Why Foursquare Didn’t Work for Me

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Back in November, I wrote about how I tried Foursquare. And despite my initial reservations, I thought it was okay . . . for about a month.

I stopped using it because it took up too much of my time. I don’t have a smartphone, so each time I wanted to check into a place I’d have to load the internet on my phone, visit the mobile site, find the place I’m looking for, and check in. Repeat for each stop and you can see how it would be time consuming. It is also possible to text your location to Foursqure for check-ins, but I found this method inaccurate.

To be honest, I never lost the uneasy feeling about random people knowing my exact location at all times. None of my friends ever tried it, so it wasn’t very fun (several use Facebook Places though, go figure).

I don’t think that Foursquare is a bad social networking site, it just wasn’t right for me at this point in time. I’m interested to see how it’s different from the business perspective . . . maybe I’ll post something on that in the future.

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Have you tried Foursquare? Let me know what you thought in the comments below!

Facebook Friday: Sponsored Stories

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Facebook will turn friend activity into a new ad format with “Sponsored Stories.”

Sponsored Stories is “a way for marketers to sponsor activities that happen throughout the News Feed,” Facebook Product Marketing Lead Jim Squires told Mashable. Companies can choose to take certain user actions — such as checkins or actions within Facebook apps — and feature them in the column on the right side of the News Feed.

via Facebook Turns Friend Activity Into New Ad Format.

So if you check into Starbucks, for example, it can appear in the sponsored stories column on the page of any of your friends. . . whether you want it to or not.

Likes, check-ins, page posts, and actions within certain applications can be turned into stories.

It’ll be interesting to see where this goes.

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What do you think about this? Let me know in the comments below!

Twitter Tuesday: What’s a Hashtag?

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When I try to explain Twitter, hashtags always baffle people. So I thought, “What a great idea for a Twitter Tuesday post.” Hashtags are such an important aspect of this social network, especially if you want to get serious about Twitter. If you have no idea what a hashtag is, or the concept evades you, read on!

WHAT IS A HASHTAG?
Simply put, a hashtag is a keyword. It is often preceded by the number sign (#hashtag). Sometimes, memes will go around Twitter using these hashtags (#tweetyour16yearoldself comes to mind). Hashtags can be used to find people talking about a particular topic. For example, if you want to connect with people in #Eugene, you can search for that hashtag. I had a public relations course at the University of Oregon where the professor assigned the class a hashtag and we could tweet her our questions. Other students could also chime in on the conversation.

If enough people use a hashtag, it can become a trending topic. When this happens, it will show up on the righthand side of the Twitter homepage under the trending topic list.

The point is, if you want to connect with people on Twitter, you need to use hashtags.

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Do you have anything to add about hashtags? Let me know in the comments below. Also, feel free to ask me your Twitter questions.

Mandatory Facebook Credits

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Do you pay Facebook games? On July 1st, all social game developers will be required to use Facebook credits to process payments.

This decision is fantastic news for Facebook, as they take a 30 percent cut of all Facebook revenues.

“In other words, if you pay $2.00 for a talking horse on FarmVille, Facebook collects $0.60 from the Zynga. Already, Credits has made promising contributions to the company’s ever-rising revenue estimates (currently at $2 billion annual for 2010.”

via Facebook to Make Credits Mandatory for All Onsite Gaming.

I know that I’m a social media person (it’s my job, after all), but I just don’t get why people would pay actual money to play online games.

Maybe it’s because I’ve never been a gamer myself. I had a Gameboy, back in the day, and I used to play Crash on our Playstation 1, but my idea of a good computer game is Spider Solitaire.
However, I can’t deny that it’s a smart move for Facebook.

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What do you think about this? Do you play Facebook games? Let me know in the comments below.

Facebook Friday: 2010 Status Trends

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On Tuesday, I posted Twitter trends for 2010, so for Facebook Friday I thought I’d give you the 2010 Facebook status trends. This information is courtesy of the Facebook blog. The comments on the trends are all mine.

  1. HMU
    • This apparently stands for “hit me up.” To be honest, I have never seen someone use it. Have you?
  2. World Cup
    • Self-explanatory, though I don’t follow soccer (“football” for all of you non-Americans).
  3. Movies
    • Specifically, Alice in Wonderland, Inception, Toy Story 3, Eclipse, and Iron Man 2. Why isn’t Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on this list?
  4. iPad and iPhone 4
    • I kind of want both of these.
  5. Haiti
    • The earthquake in January.
  6. Justin Bieber
    • Let me just say it . . .  what’s with Justin Bieber anyway?
  7. Games on Facebook
    • I don’t play any . . .  I should probably see what they’re like, but I don’t have the time!
  8. Miners
    • The Chilean miners.
  9. Airplanes
    • Because of that song . . . “Can we pretend that airplanes in the night sky are like shooting stars? I could really use a wish right now . . .”
  10. 2011
    • What, this was used more than 2010?

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What were your top statuses for 2010? Let me know in the comments below!

Twitter Tuesday: 2010 Trends

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Twitter can be a powerful tool for communication.

The site recently released a list of its top trends and tweets for 2010. This information is all courtesy of Twitter and can be found here. The things in this color are items that I remember tweeting about.


Overall Top Twitter Trends for 2010

  1. Gulf Oil Spill
  2. FIFA World Cup
  3. Inception
  4. Haiti Earthquake
  5. Vuvuzela
  6. Apple iPad
  7. Google Android
  8. Justin Bieber
  9. Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows
  10. Pulpo Paul

10 Most Powerful Tweets of 2010

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8.
http://twitter.com/#!/foster208/status/29551172941
9.


10.

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What are your top trends or tweets for 2010? Let me know in the comments below!

Twitter Tuesday: Retweeting

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WHAT’S A RETWEET?

If you actively use Twitter, then you already know the answer to this question. But if you’re just starting out and trying to learn the lingo, read on.

A retweet is when a tweet is reposted by another person (giving the original poster credit). The term retweet is often abbreviated to RT. There are two kinds of retweets, an “Old-Style Retweet” and a “New-Style Retweet.”

 

“OLD-STYLE RETWEET”

The “Old-Style Retweet” allows you to edit a tweet before sending. It looks like this:

Please note how you can add a comment to the tweet before sending. Some Twitter clients will post retweets like this:

This is actually a retweet of a retweet. Note the (via @username) at the end of the tweet, as that is what I was trying to show.

 

“NEW-STYLE RETWEET”

The “New-Style Retweet” does not allow you to edit a tweet before sending. It looks like this:

It’s faster, cleaner, and looks almost exactly like the original tweet. The downside is that you can’t comment on what you post. Because the tweet doesn’t add the @username or via @username, the it contains less characters than the old-style retweet.

 

WHICH ONE DO I LIKE BETTER?

They both have their advantages and disadvantages. I have the old-style retweet set as the default on TweetDeck because I like to comment on a tweet before sending it. The new-style retweet does have its advantages, and I will use it when it makes sense to (for example, when reposting a long tweet).

 

THE IMPORTANCE OF RETWEETING

  1. It helps you feel involved in the community.
  2. You can communicate with other users. Most will appreciate having something retweeted.
  3. It spreads the word about a link, post, comment, etc . . .
  4. Others might return the favor.

So start retweeting! The Twitter website and many applications have easy-to-use retweeting buttons.

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Do you feel that retweeting is important? Let me know in the comments below. Feel free to follow me on Twitter @amye_