Archive for the ‘ Technology ’ Category

Startup Funding – Infographic

I’ve worked with startups in the past with everything from creating videos, developing strategies, to actually helping them execute strategies. Overall, I love the idea of working in a startup company when I graduate. So, if you’re like me, then you’ll love this infographic to.

Image via Mashable

Want to Land a Job at Google, Facebook or Apple?

In these tough economic times, it can be difficult to find a job. However, it’s possible to be hired by companies like Google, Facebook, and Apple, you just need to know what to do. I love this infographic from Mashable. Enjoy!

Image Credit: Mashable

The Ever-Changing Facebook Layout (Part Deux)

Way back in February of 2010, I wrote about a huge Facebook overhaul that changed everyone’s profiles and News Feeds. After f8 yesterday, and a huge overhaul on your News Feed a few days ago, Facebook is once again changing the game. However, this time around, I think the changes are going to be much more profound and have a larger impact on the way you Facebook. Here are some of the highlights:

  • The Timeline
    Your Facebook profile is going to be much different than you currently know it to be. A new algorithm is being introduced to your profile in which it sorts out the most “important” events from your profile and highlights them on your page. Not only that, but your Facebook will go back to when you were born. How crazy is that?! You can go in and add photos to your childhood years so your Facebook essentially is the timeline of your entire life. Personally, I think this feature is incredibly cool and it’s going to make changing from Facebook to another social network (ahem, Google+) all the more difficult. Why would you abandon your profile when it chronicles your entire life?Some are even talking about Facebook replacing scrapbooks with the new Timeline feature.
  • The Cover
    A lot of people on my Twitter feed were commenting about how the Facebook redesign looks a lot like a blog, mainly because of the Cover feature. On the top of your profile you’ll have a “Cover” or a photo that you chose to represent who you are. It’s the first thing people see and in my opinion, it’s going to be a huge personal branding opportunity.
  • Stories
    With the new algorithm, I mentioned that Facebook picks what events were most “important” in your life and highlights them on your profile. But fear not, it’s still customizable. There will be Star and Remove options where people can chose what to highlight, and what to remove. That way, your Facebook page becomes uniquely you and exactly what you want others to see.
  • Open Graph
    Open Graph will allow apps to be much more integrated with your Facebook profile. It will allow the apps to automatically update in the background what you’re doing. Facebook has partnered with several different companies (including Netflix, Spotify, and Nike+) to create this seemless integration. Out of everything in the f8 conference, this is what I think will be the least popular feature. We don’t want to share what we’re doing all the time with our friends. To be honest, I don’t really care what my friend Jessica is listening to on Spotify at that very moment, or what Mike is watching on Netflix. I want the option to filter what people see and what they don’t.

Overall, I think the changes are a great move for Facebook. It’s making itself THE social networking tool for your life, and possibly forever. Who wants to switch from Facebook to another platform when Facebook already has your entire life chronicled?

What are your thoughts on the new Facebook profile?

My Love Affair with Mint

Recently, I moved into a new apartment and started my senior year at Emerson College. Needless to say, between class, my internship, and a social life, I don’t have a lot of time for work. As a result, I’m kind of broke. I came to this sudden realization during a recent grocery shopping trip in which I almost couldn’t pay for my food that week. So, I decided it was time to take action and get my finances in order. A long time ago I heard of Mint.com but I never really had a use for it, until now.

I signed up for Mint almost a week ago, and if I wasn’t in love, then I wouldn’t be writing about it. Here are some reasons why I think Mint is such a great personal finance tool.

  • It’s simple, stupid.
    You would have to be a monkey not to figure out how to use Mint. They make it simple to set up your bank accounts, they ask you if you have any credit cards, real estate and regular bills that you have to pay. Based on your accounts they set up Alerts, bill reminders, and even advice.
  • It’s like talking to your momma
    Not exactly, but you get the idea. Like I mentioned, Mint generates personal finance advice based on your account activity. For me, they recommended I started saving money in case of an emergency. They gave me an amount that I should try to save towards, along with the amount I should save each month to make my goal and when I should get there. They also have advice on how to save for retirement, pay off loans, pay off credit cards, take a trip or even improve your home.
  • Great for students about to graduate college.
    Like I mentioned, Mint can help you plan to pay off your loans, especially when you graduate college. Most students pay the bare minimum each month when it comes to paying off their loans. Mint gives you a real-life view of how much you should pay each month so that you aren’t in debt until your death.
  • It’s even mobile!
    Okay, who doesn’t have a mobile app now-or-days? But at the same time, the Mint app is a really nice looking app. It’s a much more simplified version of the web application (for example, your Goals don’t show up on the app) but it’s just what you need when you’re on-the-go.

Granted, using Mint is only as successful as you make it. If you’re terrible managing your money, Mint may help, but it comes down to you as a person. It’s up to you to put down your debit/credit card and budget your money wisely.

Happy spending!

 

Why I Broke Up With BlackBerry

Note: This post was originally written for Emerson Social Media.

This is the start of a wonderful relationship

The other day, I broke up with my BlackBerry. To be honest, we just weren’t getting along lately. I could barely get through a day without needing the charge it several times, it would always freeze on me, I couldn’t get BlackBerry 6, and for some reasons companies now or days don’t even bother to develop BlackBerry applications (case and point, SCVNGR). I’d always get the shaft.

So, I decided it was time for a change. Since my father barely can use a computer, let alone his own BlackBerry, he decided to let me use his upgrade as an early birthday present (yes, you can start with the Happy Birthdays. I love it).

When it came time for me to chose a phone I was confused. The Thunderbolt had just come out on Verizon, the Incredible was a good option too, but there’s something about the iPhone. After upgrading my computer to a MacBook back in August, I had already become pretty familiar with the Apple OS. The thought of learning a whole new system on an Android phone wasn’t that appealing, even though the Android marketing is growing fast. In fact, the Android just beat out the BlackBerry in terms of smartphone market share.

But it’s hard to deny the iPhone. It’s a powerhouse and it seems like everyone has one (not literally). It’s fast, sleek, and with the huge number of apps available for downloading, you can make it your own. There is something for every possible need.

Not to mention the fact that people always develop the iPhone applications first. If there is a new app on the market, you know they’re going to have it on the iPhone before anything else (ex: Color).

A friend of mine today actually said, “I never thought I’d see you as an iPhone person, but I’m glad you are”. So am I.

Here are some of my initial thoughts on my iPhone:

  • Typing on a touchscreen isn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be. It’s taking some getting used to, but I’m learning quickly
  • I’m going app crazy. There are so many different things to chose from. WHICH ONES SHOULD I CHOSE?
  • I’m really glad someone told me about the iPhone multitasking and how to stop running apps to conserve battery power.
  • Apparently there is a glitch with Gmail and the iPhone 4. My email doesn’t update automatically on my phone, I need to tell it to update. Being a freak about checking my email, this poses a problem. Or, if I’m doing something wrong, please let me know.
  • I’m terrible at Angry Birds. After waiting forever to actually play it, this makes me very angry.

Since I’m still in the honeymoon phase with my phone, things could change. But for right now I’m happy I broke up with BlackBerry.

Top 7 Webcomics

Note: This post was originally written for The Next Great Generation.

In my humble opinion, without webcomics, life on the Internet wouldn’t be as fun. They’re a hilarious ray of sunshine that can brighten up anyone’s day.

Thus, I decided to create a list of the best webcomics, for everyone to enjoy. If you don’t already have some of these comics in your Google Reader, then you might as well be your parents’ age (just kidding).

7. Joy of Tech

It’s kind of hard to ignore the fact that the most avid readers of webcomics (and comics in general) are nerds. Joy of Tech is a webcomic that makes hilarious technology-related jokes (not much of a stretch there).

6. Left Handed Toons

Illustrated by two right-handed dudes named Drew and Justin, every weekday they post something new drawn with their left hands. The comics are a bit more universal and touch on things that everyone has thought before, but never told anyone. A personal favorite, 5 Uses for a Trembling Chihuahua addresses what many have thought before: Chihuahuas are annoying and they need to have some sort of purpose, right? Why not turn them into an egg beater?

5. Penny Arcade

Another nerd-focused webcomic, what can I say? The two guys who do the comic, Mike and Jerry, are also responsible for a major geek convention called Pax East. Needless to say, the comic focuses on the Internet, gaming, and more than one Pokemon joke.

 

Penny Arcade

4. Ctrl+Alt+Del

While I’ve found that most webcomics are created bunch a bunch of guys, this one is create by just one guy, Tim Buckley. He started Ctrl+Alt+Del in 2002 and has managed to become one of the most successful online webcomics. Once again, this is another geek-focused comic strip, but it’s something everyone can laugh at. It started off as just two guys sitting around playing video games, but it’s evolved to guys and their robot friends.

3. xkcd

xkcd is one of the most popular online comics, from the mind of Randall Munroe. This comic is less tech-focused with more of an emphasis on adult humor, bad language and math. The stick figures are reminiscent of characters that anyone could draw, but the jokes and humor aren’t exactly what most people would think of.

 

xkcd

2. Cyanide & Happiness

One of my personal favorites when it comes to webcomics. It’s illustrated by four guys, Chase, Matt, Dave and Kris. Each artist has his own distinctive style, characters, and humor. Since each day’s comic is by a different artist, it never gets dull or boring. There’s always something to laugh at. Sometimes, the guys even publish animated shorts to go along with their comic strips. They’ve even published two books, one of which I personally own.

1. The Oatmeal

If you don’t know The Oatmeal, you might as well go crawl back into the hole you live in and stay there. The brainchild of Matthew Inman, there is no doubt that The Oatmeal is the most successful webcomic on the webz. After quitting his job as a web designer, 20-something Inman decided to create his own website and dedicate his time to drawing comics online. His comics are so popular, Digg even created an entire section dedicated to The Oatmeal for every time a new one is posted. Inman has spoken at SxSW about the 7 Principles of Viral Content, and has published a book (which I also own). The best thing about The Oatmeal is that the comics are all about what we’ve all thought, but never said. One of his most popular comics, 10 Words You Need to Stop Misspelling, takes something very simple, spelling, and turns it into something hilarious we can all enjoy. There is no doubt in my mind that everyone can find something enjoyable about The Oatmeal.

 

The Oatmeal

Side note: Matthew Inman, if you’re reading this, we should go on a date sometime. Kthnx.

Click the pictures to link to the comic. All embedded comics are property of their creators.

RIP Zune

Note: This was originally written for the Emerson Social Media Blog.

Believe it or not, I used to be a Zune owner. Most people made fun of them for being the poor man’s iPod, despite the fact that they were comparably priced. Ultimately, the Zune was Microsoft’s version of an mp3 player, and it didn’t work out so well. Everyone always thought of it as a crappy version of an iPod.

However, I loved mine when I had it. In an attempt to be “cooler than everyone else” I decided to rebel against the norm and get myself a Zune. I started off with a clunky white version, but it held 30GB of music. Needless to say, I was good to go. Eventually I upgraded to a Zune 80GB with custom etching on the back. It was easy to personalize my Zune and it did exactly what I needed it to do – play music.

Then, this summer I decided I hated my crappy Dell laptop and needed to upgrade. Naturally going to a school with a bunch of film majors, I figured that Macs were the best, and this die hard PC user was going to join the dark side. While at the Apple store, I learned that not only could I get a free printer with my computer, but also a free iPod. What harm could that do?

Even though my new iPod only holds 8GB for music, pictures, applications and video, it still gets the job done, and I don’t seem like an outcast. However, saying goodbye to my Zune was difficult, but we had to part ways. I’m a Mac now.

Today I heard through the grapevine that Microsoft is getting rid of the Zune hardware all together now. As in, you would no longer be able to buy a Zune player. The Zune software would still be used on Xboxs and Windows 7 phones the world over for content, music and gaming.

Despite all this hoopla about the death of the Zune, Microsoft commented:

“We have nothing to announce about another Zune device – but most recently have introduced Zune HD to Canada via Zune Originals store and remain committed to supporting our devices in North America. We are thrilled by the consumer excitement for Zune across many new platforms, including Windows Phone 7 and Xbox 360. Our long-term strategy focuses on the strength of the entire Zune ecosystem across Microsoft platforms.”

It’s unclear as of right now whether or not the Zune players are still available for sale. On the Zune website right now, the focus is on the Zune software, and the actual hardware isn’t really advertised. At the end of the day, you’d need to be dumb not to recognize the fact that the Zune doesn’t have much of a future anymore. Apple has a stronghold on the mp3 player market and it would be practically impossible for the Zune to ever hold a serious place in a consumer’s mind.

Zune owners, be careful not to sell the ones you have. They could become collectibles some day.