Sunday, April 25, 2010

Second Life

A virtual world is an online community in which users take form of Avatars and interact in a 3D environment.

SecondLife is one of many virtual worlds online today.

SecondLife is a free online virtual world developed by Linden Research, Inc. Users can explore, meet other residents, socialize, participate in individual and group activities, and create and trade 'property'  and services with one another, or travel throughout the world. Avatars may take any form users choose (human, animal, vegetable, mineral, or a combination) or format themselves resembling their real life characteristics. Each user can create one avatar per account, but users are allowed multiple accounts. Users communicate via Instant Messaging, which can be viewed on the screen in-real-time.

That's the general synopsis of what SecondLife is.

What is interesting about this and other virtual worlds is that businesses and companies are establishing themselves, using and participating in them.

Business are now holding meetings, conventions, presentations, etc in SecondLife communities. It seems like an easy way to bring people from all over the world together for a short time to meet. Some businesses even hold their weekly meetings in SecondLife. Take IBM as an example:

"IBM is using the virtual world of Second Life as the next best thing to being there for corporate meetings.
The venerable computer maker has established at least one virtual island in Second Life where it has hosted employee meetings."

Businesses find that they can save a lot of money by meeting in this virtual world verses trying to fly everyone in for an event.

"This past fall, the IBM Academy of Technology held two major events in Second Life. The first was a specific Virtual World Conference for over 200 members... saved $320,000."

Virtual worlds could prove to be an economical strategy for companies.

Oprah Mobile Application

Who doesn't know this face?

As if Oprah Winfrey did have everything already, she now has her own phone application. 

Oprah has dabbling in acting in such movies as The Color Purple and the Bee Movie. She owns her own production company, Harpo Productions. She helped produce the Broadway sensation The Color Purple.  She produces two magazines: O, The Oprah Magazine and O at Home. She has a radio show on XM Satellite Radio called Oprah and Friends.  She was one of the founders of the television network Oxygen and is now establishing the Oprah Winfrey Network. Her net worth is 2.3 billion big ones. 
Well, the only reasonable next step was of course making an App. 

Oprah's new app featured on her web page allows you to:
  • Receive alerts and notifications about the availability of reservations for The Oprah Winfrey Show.
  • Watch video highlights from The Oprah Winfrey Show, including backstage interviews with your favorite guests.
  • Access the latest articles and features from and O, The Oprah Magazine.
  • Listen to audio clips from Oprah Radio, including Gayle King, Dr. Laura Berman, Dr. Mehmet Oz.
And much more!

This app is available for iPhone, Blackberry, Android, and Palm.

So if you're a Oprah Winfrey fan, this is the app for you!

What the Trend

Want to know what the latest Twitter trends are? provides the public with up-to-date trends on twitter.

For example: if you want to know what is currently trendy or trendy today, it provides a top ten list of both:

What if you wanted to know the trends for the past month? It can do that too.

It looks like in the past month some hot topics have been: Justin Bieber, Easter, Glee, and Zodiac Facts.

It also provides viewers with who is most active contributor and what country is the most active contributor:

It even provides a map:

If you want more information than this, you have to become a Pro Member. It only costs a $450 a month! (sarcasm)

What The Trend is used mostly by professionals hence the great introductory price. Companies such as AdvertisingAge, Mashable, The New York Times, Tech Crush and The Next Web are avid users of What The Trend. Why just today Mashable used What The Trend in a blog entry.

Check it out!

Social Media Monitoring Tools

This week I have a social media audit project due in my Social Media for Public Relations course. We were provided with a list of ideas and tool we could use for this assignment. Here are some really great tool you could use if you wanted to monitor a company/brand/person/event etc.

First of all Google Reader is an essential social bookmarking tool. It is a place were you can send all the information from all your monitoring tools through RSS feeds and keep it organized and compressed.  I use Google reader on a day to day basis.

Back to the presented topic. Here are some great tools I used for my project:

Google Alerts:
Google Alerts tracks the Web for Sites, Blogs, News, Microblogs, videos, and Images.
For this project, I created a Google Alert for any of the above having to do with iPad, iPod, iPhone, iTouch, iTunes, Mac, MacBook, and/or Steve Jobs.

The Alerts will be sent directly to my Google Reader as-they-happen.

Twitter Advanced Search:
Twitter Advanced Search gives the option to find tweets based on words, phrases, hashtags, people, places and attitudes.

Here's what my results feed looks like:

You can also RSS Feed these results, which of course I did. I highly recommend you do as well. This search also provides 'in real time' results like Google Alerts.

IceRocket searches the Web for sites, blogs, news and more for your key words of choice. Here are my results:

IceRocket provides you with the option of viewing results from today, the past week, month or you can choose dates yourself. It has RSS feed capability as well as the others.

There are many more site like: Social Mention, BoardTracker, Delicious, Yahoo Pipes, etc.

You can also monitor the subject of your choice on Facebook and Myspace.

The point of all this monitoring is basically to research and see what other people are saying and reporting on your topic. It is a very helpful research tool, essential for social media savvy university students like me!

The Democratization of Fashion

If your a fashion enthusiast and love social media, you'll love CHIQ

This week I Finished my Personal Learning Project for my Social Media for Public Relations course. This Project was aimed at providing the student with the opportunity to tailor an assignment to our own learning needs and course related interests. I chose to create a digital media kit for

I believe that Chiq is unique and I am confident in it's mission to reshape the dissemination of fashion.

Chiq is an online community that encourages women who follow style to become fashion leaders. It is an indespensable resource for fashion dissemination and the Internet's only open platform social networking site devoted exclusively to fashion and online sales. Community members upload photos of their favorite clothing, shoes and accessories and are awarded points from other members who cast CHIQ-it votes for the items they consider 'hot'.

Now I know this doesn't make much since right now, but let me explain a little further...

Becoming a user:
Becoming a user is simple and best of all it's free! Just go to the Chiq web site and click the 'my chiq' link and it will prompt you to sign in or create an account. 

Once a member:
Once a member of the Chiq online community, you can upload and submit items from multiple sources which you believe are fashionable and want to share. It's an easy and convenient way to share your favorite fashions.

Chiq it:
Once a piece is uploaded, other users can vote on the item with the "chiq it" icon.

What's it for?
With users consistently uploading new items daily, everyone can keep up with what's new, trendy, and successful. Further, not only do members help determine what is showcased, but they also have the opportunity to network with other users who are passionate about fashion. 

What all does the site entail? 

Chiq provides an up-to-date feed of what users are uploading.
It provides a real time list of what's most popular via chiq votes.
 A blog reporting all the latest trends from around the world.

A list of the hottest topics being talked about in the chiq community.
Chiq is also participates in social media communication, such as Twitter and Facebook, so you can follow Chiq updates whenever you want!

So what makes Chiq different?

Chiq isn't just for fashionistas! It also for the user of bloggers, lables, and linkage partners. how so you ask?
Fashion bloggers can both utilize and contribute to Chiq tremendously. Bloggers can pull trends and new ideas from users and contribute to the forum by communicating their own thoughts to the community. 
Lables can take consumer feedback on their products and use the information to benefit the growth and innovation of their company. The more products produced by a label posted, the more feedback is provided.
Linkage partners can utilize Chiq as a promotional vehicle for fashion items as well as a traffic accelerator and sales mechanism.

Why Chiq matters!

Chiq is so unique and important because users now have a voice in shaping the marketplace.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The iPhone: What your Blackberry can't do

Can your phone navigate the night sky? Can you tune your guitar with it? How about record how many miles you just biked If you have an iPhone, it can!

There is an iPhone app for just about anything and everything today. Here are just a few apps to temp you to flip from your old phone to a smart phone:

Star Walk - With Star Walk you can navigate the sky in real time. If you tilt your phone towards the night sky, the app can tell you if you are staring at Orion himself. You can also review the phases of the moon and see what it will look like tomorrow or next week. With the Time Machine display within Star Walk you can even travel through time to see what the whole sky will look like a year from today. And, If your unsure about a constellation you are observing, it's okay! Star Walk also has Wikipedia access, which can look up any information you need to know.  

Cleartune- Cleartune is an instrument tuner and pitch pipe. The built in mic within your iPhone picks up noise and creates a convenient and accurate way to tune your guitar or other instrument like a pro.

"As a regularly performing professional musician with a college degree in music and teacher I would reccomend this product to anyone."


iMapMyRide- iMapMyRide uses your iPhone's GPS technology to track your path and find out how far you bike. Now it's easy to track your progress and reach your goals. There is no more second guessing. You can feel confident and comfortable knowing time, distance, pace, speed and elevation. Once you're done with your ride, you can save your data and it will automatically upload to

There are thousands of apps out there to help you doing anything from manage money to finding you a good dinner spot. There are over 50,000 apps out there for you to discover. Don't be shy, take a look at more apps at the Apple web site.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Archiving Tweets

Twitter has made it all the way to the Library of Congress!

According to the library of congress blog, your tweets will now be archived in the Library of Congress. Every tweet since the beginning of twitter history (March 2006) will be archived digitally and housed in the infamous Library of Congress.  These tweets will be made public.

The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world. It  receives copies of every book, pamphlet, map, print, and piece of music registered in the United States. It is the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States and serves as a research tool to congress and the public.

According to the Twitter Blog: "Today, fifty-five million tweets a day are sent to Twitter and that number is climbing sharply."

Why are our tweets going to Congress?

“Tweets and other short-form updates create a history of commentary that can provide valuable insights into what’s happened and how people have reacted,” wrote Dylan Casey, Google’s product manager for real-time search.

Our tweets are seen as a time-line of history that have recorded important world event such as the presidential election of Obama, and the earthquake in Haiti. The Library of Congress believes that are tweets can have a large contribution to history.

Also in twitter news: Google has created a wonderful new way to revisit tweets related to historic events.

You didn't think that the Library of Congress was going to take the whole cake did you?

It's called Google Replay.

"Since we first introduced real-time search last December, we’ve added content from MySpace, Facebook and Buzz, expanded to 40 languages and added a top links feature to help you find the most relevant content shared on updates services like Twitter. Today, we’re introducing a new feature to help you search and explore the public archive of tweets", says