Lifestyle and Emerging Technology In Plain English

Category Archives: Social Media

Posts about the social media channel.

On Flipboard

EDIT: 2 days later and my read­er­ship has almost doubled!

So. I’ve got 28,000 51,000 read­ers of my online gam­ing magazine — a Flip­board titled On Gam­ing.

Holy Cow!!!! When I star­ted my Flip­board I had never real­ized it would become this suc­cess­ful. I’m totally humbled and blown away.

What’s a FlipBoard?

If you fol­low me on Face­book (and if not, why not? :D )  you likely have seen that I’ve been post­ing or cross­post­ing more art­icles to Flip­Board, a gor­geously laid out magazine format cur­a­tion sys­tem for content.


Flip­board is, quite simply, an online magazine that lets you take con­tent you find online and group it into one online ‘magazine’. Sim­ilar to what Pin­terest lets you do with vari­ous image con­tent. Flip­board ori­gin­ally launched on the iPhone and iPad, now is avail­able for Android devices and Com­puters too. A very nifty plat­form. To quote the cre­at­ors:

Mil­lions of people use Flip­board to read and col­lect the news they care about, cur­at­ing their favor­ite stor­ies into their own magazines on any topic ima­gin­able. Now magazines cre­ated by our read­ers, from Nepal to Sauce and spread, can be shared and enjoyed on the Web by any­one, anywhere.


And why is it some­thing you’d want to do?
Well, in my case, I love find­ing neat stuff and shar­ing it with oth­ers. And, hav­ing a suc­cess­ful Flip­board allows me to extend the reach of art­icles *I* write by simply includ­ing them in the appro­pri­ate Flipboard.

As well, hav­ing a pop­u­lar Flip­board also enhances my abil­ity to pro­file con­tent I think is important.

So, if you’re so inclined, feel free to check out On Gam­ing, or any of the other magazines I cur­ate, and let me know what you think! If you’ve got some­thing you’d like me to share with my read­ers, just con­tact me. And if you start your own Flip­board magazine, then let me know too! I’d love to have a look!

Godspeed Commander Hadfield

Cana­dian astro­naut, space enthu­si­ast, edu­cator, social media sen­sa­tion, and now enter­tainer? Yep, those are just a sampling of the roles that Com­mander Chris Hadifeld ful­filled dur­ing his 146 day post­ing to the ISS as Sta­tion Commander.

His Soyuz cap­sule returns to Earth tomor­row even­ing, but as a last sur­prise, the Com­mander released this video rework­ing of David Bowie’s Space Oddity. Enjoy, and thank you Com­mander Had­field! Have a safe jour­ney home!

So. Google’s shutting down Google Reader

Frankly I’d not thought about my RSS read­ing pro­cess in a while. I use NetVibes (pic­tured above) as my main reader, and it’s been pretty stable up until today; they pos­ted a note say­ing they’re deal­ing with an influx of new mem­bers — likely emig­rants from Google Reader.

I like NetVibes because it gives me a simple headline-in-a-tile view that makes it easy to quickly scan my news, and NetVibes man­ages my feed sub­scrip­tions.

This is where the pain will be felt by those using Google Reader when the big G shuts it down. Many 3rd party apps for mobile devices use Google Reader as the ‘sub­scrip­tion man­age­ment’ fea­ture of their app. When Google Reader closes on July 1, these apps will have to have in place some sort of replace­ment for sub­scrip­tion man­age­ment, or they’ll break.

Update: If you’re look­ing to migrate your Google Reader sub­scrip­tions to NetVibes, the team at NetVibes have this handy guide. (Thanks Randy!)

For now, this won’t impact me or my news­read­ing habits, but as I men­tioned at the top, I’m rethink­ing my RSS read­ing, and as Dave Weiner states, rethink­ing my use of Free when applied to ser­vices I’m com­ing to depend on.


A better mobile eBook reader?

It’s been a while since I took a look at what’s cool in the mobile eBook reader space, as I’ve been quite sat­is­fied with my cur­rent read­ing apps (GoodReader for PDFs, Stanza for ePubs) and their use with Cal­ibre (a must-have eBook lib­rary man­age­ment pro­gram).

So today I’ve installed Read­Mill — a ‘social’ eBook reader that works with both open ePubs as well as open and DRM pro­tec­ted PDFs (a valid Adobe ID is required). The blurb from the developers states:

Read­mill is a unique ebook reader that lets you read share and dis­cover great books. Avail­able as an iPad and iPhone app, Read­mill works with ebooks in ePub and PDF format. It’s all about shar­ing what you read, and all of the high­lights and com­ments you make between the pages. It’s also a great place to dis­cover new books through friends, and find out what’s most pop­u­lar in your social graph. Wel­come to a world of reading.

So I’m just get­ting star­ted with it. Feel free to check out my Read­Mill pro­file and fol­low me.

I’m think­ing the Read­Mill exper­i­ence will be sim­ilar to GoodReads, but will update my exper­i­ences here as I use it more.


Hashable is shutting down

Long time Twit­ter ‘access­ory’ Hash­able is finally out of beta, and clos­ing down effect­ive July 25th 2012, accord­ing to an email I received late yesterday:

Dear Hash­able Users,

We regret to inform you that the Hash­able mobile apps and will be shut­ting down on July 25th. The ser­vice will be unavail­able after this date.

While we are still very pas­sion­ate about mak­ing bet­ter con­nec­tions and meet­ing new people, the time has come for us to focus our energy elsewhere.

Some of you have stored valu­able inform­a­tion in Hash­able, and we want to give you the oppor­tun­ity to save that data for your own records. If you’d like to receive a file with your com­plete his­tory, please log onto, nav­ig­ate to the “Pro­file” tab, then to the “Your His­tory” sec­tion on that page. You can down­load the file by click­ing “Export full his­tory to .csv” and accept­ing the dia­log that pops up.

We are incred­ibly grate­ful for all the people we have met through Hash­able. Thank you for all your sup­port, and we hope to con­nect with you again in the future.

All the best,
The Hash­able Team

As it says, mem­bers can down­load and archive their data stored in Hash­able by fol­low­ing the instructions.

Love Skyrim? Love creative music videos? Then this video’s for you!

So, I’ve been watch­ing the amaz­ing work of Peter Hol­lens for a while now, both through Empire Avenue and his You­Tube chan­nel. And this Skyrim theme cover is some of his best. And yes, I’m writ­ing about it because it hits a few areas for me, multi-voice tracks, video gam­ing, soundtracks. Oh, and it also has the amaz­ing violin work of Lind­sey Stirl­ing. Nuff said. Watch and enjoy!

I’m Moving to Empire Avenue!

This likely won’t come as a shock to many of you; I’ve been invited to go work on Empire Avenue.

Of course, I said yes.

Start­ing Thursday, Septem­ber 1st, my role will be, as with any star­tup, kinda fuzzy to begin with. Offi­cially I’ll be the Dir­ector of Social and Com­munity Man­age­ment. In real­ity, I’ll be blog­ging, work­ing with the vari­ous com­munit­ies, and help­ing the team get things done. Whatever those things may be. Clean up after the Squir­rel, you know.

What I’m leav­ing behind
For the last five years, I’ve been a Web Con­tent Spe­cial­ist and Web Busi­ness Ana­lyst with the Alberta Motor Asso­ci­ation.

It’s be a great time with a mar­velous people and a great employer who’s allowed me to make mis­takes, grow, and test the cor­por­ate waters with innov­at­ive social media exper­i­ments (hello @AMARoadReports)!

If you’d like to check out the pos­i­tion I’m leav­ing, here’s the link to the offi­cial post­ing. And I’d be happy to dis­cuss the role, or the organ­iz­a­tion should you have any ques­tions — email me (

The Future
Well, as I said, it’s going to be kinda fuzzy. Empire Avenue is a star­tup, and as such, there are lots of cool things that we’re doing, and that can be done! And in my work with com­munity, I’m going to be work­ing with and ask­ing a lot of ques­tions of *you*.

So, what can we do, together, on ‘the Avenue’, hmmm? Let’s find out!