11 iPhone Apps for the Expert Content Aggregator

Photo cred: Tony Eccles

Sharing news and interesting stories related to social media is a big part of how I use social media.

By making a commitment to aggregating content for my followers, it keeps me up to date with any new developments in the industry.  Every morning I pick up my phone and scroll through a bunch of different news apps.  I’ve never been a huge “news” reader, but something about having it right on my phone has made it into a habit that I’m glad to have.

So, I wanted to share with you the apps that I use to stay on top of everything going in in my industry.

Here are the news apps I check regularly:

1. Huffington Post:  This app is awesome.  Not only is it constantly updated with new articles, but it’s sharing function also works with some of the most popular twitter apps (except hootsuite for some reason).  So when you click “tweet”, it takes you to your iphone app to share…which could also be considered annoying.  I like it.

2. Mashable:  I check Mashable daily.  Sure, not all the articles are interesting to me, but it’s easy enough to scroll to the good stuff.  I can be sure that I’m on top of any notable developments in the social media space.

3. New York Times:  I use the New York Times to start up to date with news in general, as well as tech news.  I can almost always find a good read to get my brain warmed up in the morning here.

4. Fluent News: Basically, a big mix of all the most mainstream news resource from CNN to ESPN to BBC.

5. ReadWriteWeb:  I don’t check this app too often to be honest. When I do, I’m usually looking through the ReadWriteStart section for startup tips.

6. Marketing Profs:  Sometimes I have to get my fix of marketing articles.

7. The Onion App:  Because what’s fun about only reading real news?

8. Regator: The best app to find high quality blog posts on different popular topics.

9. NetNewsWire:  My google reader…on my iphone.  I don’t use this as much as I’d like to these days but I’ll check up once in a while.

10. Techcrunch:  Much like the Mashable app, I don’t find every story interesting.  I love to read about the new startups that are sprouting up and how they’re developing.  Unfortunately, the share on twitter function on this app gives you a link and says “Check out this post” instead of inputting the title of the post.

11. Hootsuite: After I read an article, I can click ‘share’, copy the tweet into hootsuite and schedule them throughout the day.  By scheduling some of the tweets, I’m not overloading people with links in the morning.  If it’s a really great article, I may even schedule it to be shared again later in the day. It allows me to send it out from any of my twitter or facebook accounts.  Beyond that, hootsuite is my go to iphone app to follow twitter, where I always find loads of new articles to read and share.

That’s what I use.  What apps are you using to stay on top of the news in your industry?

The Most Hated Man on Twitter

Tim JamesHonestly, I’m surprised this didn’t get more buzz.

We’ve seen celebrities utilize their twitter popularity for good causes. Drew Carey and Drew Olanoff combined forces to raise money for Livestrong. Ashton, CNN and Oprah had their exciting fly net twitter race thing.

Daniel Tosh used twitter a little differently. On his show Tosh.o, he did a segment he called “Is it racist?” in which he showed this video from Tim James’ campaign for Governor of Alabama.  After reassuring us that it was in fact, very racist, he then tells the audience to tweet their thoughts to James on his twitter account: @TimJames2010.

Don’t bother looking up the account…it’s already been taken down.  I don’t think any amount of PR could weather that shit storm.

Luckily, twitter doesn’t forget, and a quick search for his twitter name will show you that people are STILL sharing their thoughts with James (the episode aired over a month ago on June 17, 2010).

You can watch the whole video it here.

Within seconds, James’ reply stream was flooded with messages of hatred and anger.  Tosh even responded hilariously to some of the tweets on the blog.

James abruptly became the first individual (using twitter) I’ve seen get ridiculed on such a large scale on twitter.  In a flash, he became the most hated man on twitter.

Of course the fact that he had a twitter account is what opened him up to this attack.  Because people could @reply him, they felt like they were talking to him, not just about him.

Think about this power.  The power to immediately drown someone’s reputation using the web.  You can’t search James’ name on twitter without some ruthless attacks coming up.

Makes you think about the power individuals have on the web today…and the importance of using that influence responsibly. [insert spider man quote]

It’s also a reminder that by creating an account on twitter, you are opening up a new communication line directly to you.  If you make a mistake, whether you want to use twitter to listen or not doesn’t matter.  People will tell you what they think if they want to…

…or if comedy central tells them to.

Join Us for the #u30pro One Year Anniversary Chat

Photo cred: Theresa Thompson

Tonight will be the One Year Anniversary of the very first #u30pro chat.

Oh the memories.  Chats with 10 people attending.  Launching the digest.  Scott joining the team.  It’s been a really exciting year for the community.

Tonight we’re going to bring back a crowd-favorite topic: Networking.  We discussed this topic almost a year ago and we’re ready to hit it up with the full force of what the chat has become today.

In just a year a lot has changed in the networking discussion.  The job market is different, starting a blog does always do what it used to, and new tools are coming out every day.  The discussion will be sure to come out with some valuable insights into networking in 2010 and beyond.

So, thank you for making the #u30pro community into what it is today.  It’s been an amazing experience for Lauren, Scott and myself.  We have some big plans for the next year, including a website, more meetups (the first one with Brazen Careerist was lots of fun last night) and more.

We hope you’ll join us tonight at 8pm est for the One Year Anniversary chat on Networking.

The Battle Between Our Hearts and Our Cameras

There’s this gorgeous little red cardinal that hangs out in my back yard.  I always try to get a picture of it but it’s the most elusive fricken thing ever. It’ll stay perfectly still until I point my lens in its direction, then it darts off right before I get a clear shot.

I get so frustrated because I want to record it’s beauty to be shared with the people around me…but I can’t damnit.  Only I got to see it.

I’m more concerned with documenting its beauty than I am in experiencing it for myself.

I watched Ricky Van Veen speak at the Mashable Media Summit where he spoke about this trend.  He showed a picture (seen above), from the Youth Ball on inauguration night, of President Obama and the first lady on stage. All the young people in the crowd, instead of looking at the president, looked at the back of their phones and cameras as they were taking pictures and recording video.

He said:

“We have a new generation that places documentation above experience”

It’s amazing how true this is, and it doesn’t stop there…

Because of the increased focus on sharing, and documenting experiences, there’s now this trend where we might even plan our experiences around the value of their documentation.

Could the ability to check in to foursquare and document your night determine which bar you go to?  Would my twitter followers be more interested in my thoughts on tonight’s movie premier, or my pictures from tonight’s concert?  Would a college student skip a frat party because of the possible negative facebook documentation that could occur?

Ricky gave the example of a girl deciding whether or not to go to a dance based on the potential pictures that she could take and share at the event.  Documentation is actually impacting our what we do and how we act.

We’re starting to think about the value of documenting our experiences, before the experience itself.

What happens when we can no longer sit back and enjoy something beautiful or fascinating simply for the experience? When the things that usually excite us are only exciting when documented?

The questions for you:

The point of Ricky’s talk was about content and regardless of your opinion on this trend, it’s a trend nevertheless.  So from a business perspective, is your content providing an experience worth documenting? And are you making it easy to document that experience?

Where else can you apply this trend?

Photo cred: Todd Ryburn

Using Seesmic Desktop to Manage Streams of Information

This week, our #u30pro chat is on “managing your information streams” so I figured I’d share a little bit about how I manage my twitter streams to consume, and share content.

Whether you’re a casual twitter user, or you tweet more than you speak, I highly recommend trying out a desktop client like Seesmic Desktop (the app I use) or the other big option, Tweetdeck.

I never really grasped the value in twitter until I started using some 3rd Party Apps. If you don’t want to download a client, try out Hootsuite.  I use it to schedule my tweets.

My stream is bigger than your stream.

I currently have 5 accounts that I manage using Seesmic:

  1. My personal twitter account.
  2. My personal facebook account.
  3. The Scribnia twitter account.
  4. The Scribnia facebook page.
  5. The #u30pro twitter account.

So any time I post a message, I can check off any number of these accounts, and the message will go out to each one I check off.

As you can see from the scroll bar at the bottom of that image, I have quite a few columns in there.  Let me go through them:

1. The Basics

The first 2 columns are where I view all the basic tweets. I’ll use the first column to click through the home feeds for each account and my direct messages.  The second column is where I see all my replies (for all accounts).

2. The Groups

Ok you caught me, I don’t keep a close eye on all 1000 people that I follow.  I do check up on each feed several times a day, but there are some people I want to make sure I don’t miss.

I have 4 groups:

  1. Focus. These are people that I don’t know too well yet, but I want to interact with them more often and get to know them better.  I keep this group to 20 or less people to make sure I am in fact, focusing on them.
  2. Twitter’s Finest. I’ve maintained this group for well over a year now.  It’s the people I know, and trust.  The people I don’t want to miss.
  3. Blogging Tips. This is a feed of people that share a lot of blogging tip content.  I use this group to find good content to share with the Scribnia community.
  4. Scribnia Community. These people are Scribnia’s most active and supportive members.  I use this group to be sure to I’m interacting with the people who have helped us grow.

3. The Searches

I won’t get too into detail for these ones because they tend to change pretty often.  A few keywords that I keep all the time:

  • Scribnia: to keep an eye out for mentions.
  • #u30pro: to see what content our community is sharing throughout the week
  • #blogchat: my other favorite chat that provides some solid content throughout the week

I keep a number of search columns open.  I experiment with different keywords such as “looking for new blogs” or “help blogging” that will allow me to find people in Scribnia’s potential audience to help on twitter.

I’ll also keep tabs on mentions of competitors, and random chats that I come across.

So…

That’s how I organize my streams of information.

How do you organize your streams of information? If you’re around, please join us tomorrow night (8pm est) for a #u30pro chat on managing your streams of information, on (and off) the clock.

A Problem With Twitter Chats?

Photo cred: Lise

Who owns a community on twitter? No one can moderate it so does anyone really control it?

After participating in #blogchat last weekend, I read a post from Mack Collier. The comments held a lively debate. I suggest you read a bit of the comments, but the basic argument was this:

Mack commented on the issue of people coming and tweeting out links to their posts using the #blogchat hashtag without really participating in the chat.
Ryan, one of the people Mack quoted in the post, contended that a hashtag isn’t “owned” by anyone. He was using the tag to reach people he thought would find those posts useful. There is no “wrong” way to use a hashtag.

As a fellow chat founder, I understand how Mack felt. He loves his community, and hates to see it mistreated. Still, I realized that our chats are run on a hashtag in a completely open forum. You can’t prevent someone from using a hashtag however they want. No one owns a hashtag.

If someone wanted to start a blogchat today, and say that it’s a hashtag used to share blog posts about blogging, there’s really nothing, the original blogchat community, could do about it. Same for #u30pro…same for any other chat.

Personally, I love that people share good posts in the #u30pro feed throughout the week, as long as it’s not spammy. But really, there’s nothing we can do about it.

Gathering around a common interest is great on twitter. But for large, organized communities, is twitter the best option?

Twitter is for Losers

Photo cred: Jesse CourteManche

That’s apparently what a lot of people think…

At another lively #u30pro chat last night, we discussed where social media might fail for young professionals.  One of the topics of discussion that developed really intrigued me.  It seems that not one, not most, but almost ALL the participants shared their experience of being mocked by their friends for using twitter.

If you’re on facebook?  That’s okay… who isn’t?

If you’re on linkedin?  That’s okay too…you’re just trying to network.

From my experience, the two things that seem to draw mockery are twitter and blogging.  They’re still viewed as “lame” by many who aren’t involved. And if your friends are saying it, you can only imagine what strangers are thinking.

Does it really matter? No. I know why I do what I do, and if someone has a problem with it…fuck em! Being mocked is just part of being friends.

But it’s interesting isn’t it?  The most open forms of social interaction online draw the most mockery while those platforms which essentially allow you to do that same, but within a “closed” or private network, are acceptable.

Why?

Have you been mocked for using twitter or blogging?