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Like & Follower – Malaysia’s New Social Media Advertising Space [REVIEW]

I recently got to know of a site that is trying to gather all Malaysian businesses that use the social media to advertise their brand. Like & Follower acts as an advertising platform for the social media created by a few guys with real interest with developing/social media, and I also noticed that one of them is an ex-Hartamasian (a shoutout to the ex-Hartamasian!)

Like & Follower displays this ads as small icons in blocks, categorized by several categories namely Fashion & Living, Beauty & Health, Food & Beverages, Photography, Self-Promotion, Services, Automotive, Wedding & Events. I’m pretty sure more categories would be added soon once the volume of advertisers increase. The site is rather organized with a simple yet attractive design. The simplicity actually attracts people to have a good look at this icons. When you hover an icon, you can view it’s details, including links to their Twitter and Facebook pages.

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The Facebook Timeline ain’t that bad after all

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As we all know Facebook recently rolled out loads of changes to the site. It started off with the list feature on the news feed, and then a huge change to the news feed followed by the introduction of Timeline. While Timeline is not publicly available to everyone, a beta version can be enabled. If you want to know how to enable the Timeline before everyone else, click here.

As usual, changes to Facebook ends up being filled by cries, rants and anger by its users. It’s common isn’t it? I’ve seen my news feed filled with anger everytime they change something ever since I got an account. So I guess I’m used to it now. Well, at first I wasn’t all excited about these changes (if anyone followed my Tweets), and that was largely due to the fact that I’m partially out of Facebook (well, how long can you spend at one social media site?). I had my rants, especially on the new news feed which even to this very moment of writing this post, is annoying me. And also the fact that Facebook is copying off other social media sites and trying to make Facebook “the site” to visit bothers me. For example, why would I want to check in on Facebook Places when I can do it on Foursquare (and then post in to not only Facebook but also Twitter)?

To be honest, the news feed is slightly more organized but I just feel like I’m not getting my news right. Everything is divided as “Top Stories”, “Recent Stories”, and “From Earlier Today”. I don’t know if it fits, because Facebook isn’t as real time as Twitter. One thing I like is that all the unneccesary stuff like comments and likes ends up at the little ticker at the side. Personally, I’m still pissed off that Facebook messed with my Lists. I had them organized the way I wanted it and now I have two lists of each because Facebook smartly created their own. It sort of messed things up a little.

But this post isn’t about the news feed, it’s about the Timeline. My profile page transformed from this:

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to this:
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Finally, and organized layout

Yes, it is a complete overhaul! All the posts are moved down, giving room to a good introduction about myself. I really think the cover photo feature comes in really well with the new layout. Things are more organised. Information is easily found because the cluttered profile page is gone. Recent activities also do not clutter my profile or outdo other important stuff on it anymore because it’s well organized into one box on my timeline.

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A Virtual Time Capsule

The best part of the Timeline is that I am able to go back in time and view not only what I have posted on Facebook but also all the memorable events in my life over the years. It’s like a time capsule. I spent loads of time just scrolling down, going through past memories until I ended up at the date I was born (which obviously, Facebook didn’t exist then).

born

 

Featuring the big moments

But really, the Timeline just features everything well. And I’m pretty sure it wasn’t easy to code that. You can also feature posts on the timeline, so not everything comes out in two columns. Featuring the posts happens to be a huge part in the timeline, and helps differentiate big moments from the small ones.

feature post

 

Bye bye Ads!

And did anyone notice the lack of advertisements? The old profile was filled with them, especially one the right column of the profile – The ads and the “People You May Know” or as I call it, people Facebook assumes you should be friends with. The Timeline equals to no more sponsored stories. So, where is Facebook going to dump all these ads, you ask? After all, advertisements are the sole reason they’re surviving. Well, I think the right answer should be your News Feed. Because where else are they going to put them. But to be honest, it wouldn’t just be the News Feed, I’m pretty sure other pages will have them too, but the Timeline to date doesn’t contain ads and even if they do include ads, would be limited in numbers.

 

Privacy isn’t (exactly) dead

A lot of people I came across (not just on Facebook, but on all other medias) was complaining about the privacy features on Facebook being thrown away. To my opinion, privacy on Facebook isn’t (exactly) dead. Just because you can now view all your past posts, photos and videos clearly on you Timeline, doesn’t mean your privacy controls are missing. They’re just not the way they used to be. Have a look at this:
privacy options1
When posting a status with the old profile, users only had the option of “Friends of Friends”, “Friends” and “Custom”, now they have added the lists options (which previously wasn’t there and could only be included if you clicked “Custom”) This makes a whole lot easier to block content from reaching a specific group of people. And you can easily feature or hide news from your Timeline. And a few additional stuff (a few, not much) were added to the Privacy Settings, such as this one:
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What is this Subscribe?

Facebook also introduced the “Subscribe” feature. It’s is actually meant for those who have a Fan Page, so they don’t have to manage two accounts at once but instead just control the setting on their account while posting feeds. By default, you are subscribed to all your friends and you can unsubscribe of subfeatures your friends post about, such as their Games updates. For a better view into the subscribe feature read this article. It gives a comprehensive review of the whole thing.

 

So basically, privacy isn’t dead, and having a time capsule for your online presence isn’t a bad idea after all. As a huge critic to Facebook (I have my reasons), and as someone who doesn’t spend more than ten minutes on that site (I still have my reasons), I have to admit that they might have got it right this time around. But, one thing that really bothers me is that it’s called a Timeline. Now, I have two Timelines on two different social media platforms (yes, I’m talking about Twitter). Originality might be the key here.

A tour of Blogger Draft

Blogger has finally come out of the bushes with a whole makeover, probably the first in ages. Although this is still called Blogger Draft, it has become a default for most of its users already. The new layout or as I would like to call the ‘New Blogger’ has a rather simple yet slick design, and is indeed very organised compared to its predecessor.

 The new dashboard has the same features as its predecessor but the design is obviously different. You can view your primary and secondary blogs seperately now, but unlike its predecessor, doesn’t allow you to create a new post or edit the designs or settings straight away. You can also easily manage them as primary or secondary blogs by using the little arrows that appear when you hover the blog names.

 The landing page for each blog now gives you an overview of your blog with stats like pageviews, comments, posts et cetera. It also has a couple of Blogger related posts for its users. The navigation bar that used to be at the top now comes to the left side and looks much neater than the previous one. On the top bar, (as you can see in the screenshot above) is a navigation to the dashboard, new posts, all posts and to the blog respectively. Overall, this interface is much cleaner and more appealing.

 Click on Posts lands you on the ‘all posts’ page and not the ‘create post’ page. The only changes here is the design and not the usability has the features still remain the same.
The ‘create post’ page on the other hand looks completely different. Post title is right at the top where the ‘Publish’, ‘Save’ and ‘Preview’ button is now located. Formating options remains the same while the space to write your post is just the white box over there (which expands as you type and kinds off give a office application touch). The post settings at the side is a good touch too. Everything is really organised, easy to use and there is a location option too.

 The Layout section of Blogger Draft is more or less the same. However, Blogger has introduced some new features (it may not be ‘new’ at the time of this post, but is certainly something we really need) and one of it is the Favicon option. I remember stuggling through codes trying to insert a Favicon but Blogger wasn’t accepting it. Now, blogger have an easier way of using favicons with no codes necessary.
 Blogger also has a couple of new gadgets in their list. Although personally, I don’t use gadgets on my blog (everything is coded and inserted in the HTML) this is certainly something that will be usefull for the many. Users can now follow by email and have their popular posts and stats on their sidebars.

 Blogger Draft has differentiated ‘Layout’ and ‘Template’ which used to be together but subcategorised as ‘Page Layout’ and ‘Edit HTML’. The Template section encourages bloggers to use the Blogger Template Designer instead which although may have some great features can be quite annoying for the average blogger who prefers to edit the html and css codes instead. But no worries, unlike previous versions of the draft, this one still gives the option for bloggers to edit their layout the old school way.
 The Edit HTML function is just in a better design now but a few good stuff is that it uses more of the screen now so your codes aren’t crammed into a small box, and when you save the template the cursor still remains at the same spot so you don’t have to go searching for your codes again.

There has also been an addition to the Pages feature. Users can now create tabs to redirect its readers to another web site. Although this can be done via editing the html, it would be useful for the bloggers who have no experience with html and css.

Overall, Blogger Draft is certainly a great step forward by Blogger. It has grown over the years to be more friendly towards an average Blogger with no coding experience so bloggers can actually get the most out of their blogs. The interface may be confusing at first, but it stands out over its predecessor. This is also well called for considering the many changes going on at Blogger which will soon be known as Google Blogs.

Don’t forget to tell us your opinion on Blogger Draft in the comments section below.

Review: Imo Instant Messenger

If you always had a problem with having many Instant Messaging accounts opened at the same time or if you dislike the interface of certain instant messaging applications and how troubling it is to download them, we’ve found an application just for you.

Imo IM logoImo IM (or Imo Instant Messenger) is a web application that allows users to link all their IM accounts to one, and chat using several accounts in one tab. Currently, Imo IM supports IM accounts on Windows Live Messenger, Skype, Yahoo Messenger, Google Talk, AIM/ICQ, Jabber and MySpace. Imo IM doesn’t require its users to sign up or download any application, all you have to do is authenticate your IM accounts, and Imo IM instantly links it up together. So, the nest time you sign in one account, it would be link with all your other accounts.

Services supported

The interface for Imo IM is simple yet nice. It looks like a desktop on its own with chat windows floating around the page. Users can also change the view to the tab view which makes the chat windows appear as tabs just like we see in our web browser window. Users have complete control on how the windows would be placed, and the size of the windows thus giving priorities to who you want to chat more. Chat windows from different IM’s are differentiated by the logo of the IM at the top of the chat window.

Imo IM interface

There are also many features offered by Imo IM, and being a third-party application it doesn’t deprive users of the normal IM features they get at their original IM providers. Among them are voice messages, Video and Audio chats as well as group chats and your chat history being saved for later references. Besides that, Imo IM also gives users privacy by allowing them to block other users, allowing yourself to appear invisible to other users and also the ability to change the preferences on Imo IM so they don’t store all your information.

Imo IM app is also available for iPhone, iPad and Android.

I have been using Imo IM for quite some time now and I’ve been loving every bit of it. The interface is simple but it is organized and allows users easy navigation through their features. It also doesn’t require any downloading or sign up which saves all the hassle and they don’t have any information about you. This also means no spam mail we usually get from the applications we use. I hope to see more upgrades from the guys at Imo IM that shall be allowing more features into this already well-to-do application.

We would like to hear from our readers about your opinion on Imo IM and if you don’t use it, we will like to know if you would give it a try. We truly recommend it.

Blogger Dynamic Views

A great new tool has come to Blogger.com, the much used (and of course, free) blogging tool. Viewers are now able to view Blogger blogs in five different ways: Flipcard, Mosaic, Sidebar, Snapshot and Timeslide.

This viewing method which was announced last week only works on public blogs and shows off Blogger’s usage of AJAX, HTML5 and CSS3. Using this, viewers can avoid the pain of waiting for a page to load when you click the “next page” button as there is infinite scrolling. There is also more interactivity with the blog’s content and viewers get to view a blog in their preferable way.  The video below was released by Blogger as an introduction to Dynamic Views:

 

Currently, there a two ways to use this Dyamic Views tools.

The first way to to add “/view” to the end of any blogger url. For example: “http://randomness-speaks.blogspot.com/view” This will automatically direct users to the Dynamic Views page thus, allowing them to view the blog in five different ways.

Dynamic Views

The second way is by installing the Blogger Dynamic View Chrome Extension. Obviously, this only works if you are using Google Chrome. With this extension, the Blogger icon will appear at the end of the address bar if you come across a Blogger blog and Dynamic Views is available. This will also let you choose the way you want to view the blog instead of going to the viewing page and choosing it from there.

Dynamic Views Chrome Extension

This is indeed a great move by Blogger. Tell us what you think of it? And will you actually make use of this viewing types or do you prefer to use to conventional way of viewing a blog?

Internet Meme: Rebecca Black

When you read this post, I’m very sure you have heard the song Friday by Rebecca Black.

Rebecca Black’s song went viral over the Internet with much criticism over the song lyrics and how it really didn’t make any sense. Many covers are hitting YouTube with everyone taking a shot at Rebecca Black. Not to forget the amount of jokes on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr.

The lyrics include the most obvious fact of all like “Yesterday was Thursday, and Tomorrow is Friday” and “Tomorrow is Saturday, and Sunday comes afterwards”

Tell us what you think about the video in the comments below.

My Fridays would never be the same again.

When Tumblr Is Down

Tumblr has been down for the past hour. This time it’s not the “We’ll be back shortly” Error or the Tumbeast error. Tumblr users are able to read their dashboard but unable to post something or reblog a post. This is the error page that is currently familiar to most tumblr users:

Tumblr Error

In this frustration I stumbled upon a site called When Tumblr Is Down. This site contains funny quotes starting with the word “When Tumblr Is Down”, for example:

When Tumblr Is Down

You guys should check out this site too and laugh out loud just as I did. And don’t forget to tell us what you do when Tumblr is down.