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 (bradblog@gmail.com).

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!

How your mobile phone or tablet could save your life

d1.jpg

Believe it or not, there are many ways your mobile smart phone could be used when you find your­self in the middle of an emer­gency situ­ation,  aside from the obvi­ous — mak­ing a phone call for emer­gency assist­ance, I mean.

The recent events in Japan and New Zea­l­and have shown that when dis­aster strikes, get­ting the most accur­ate inform­a­tion is likely the best way to make choices that could save your life.

Browser
Provided the event hasn’t taken out the loc­al mobile net­work, your mobile phone’s browser will help, link­ing you with many loc­al, nation­al, and inter­na­tion­al news ser­vices, as well as many dif­fer­ent chan­nels of com­mu­nic­a­tion (email, voice chat, twit­ter, etc).

Hard­ware
f1.jpgBut there are oth­er ways your smart phone can help. For example, many smart phone’s dis­play screens are bright enough to be used as a make­shift flash­light when the power goes out. Col­or Flash­light is a lead­ing Android app and Flash­light 4 is one of the most pop­u­lar ones in Japan right now.

As well, most phones these days know where they are in the world, either by tri­an­gu­lat­ing between com­mu­nic­a­tions towers, wifi sources, or built-in GPS sys­tems. Tie this in with any of the pop­u­lar map­ping applic­a­tions and you have a good visu­al under­stand­ing of where you are. Help­ful when you have to find an altern­ate route or trans­port­a­tion sys­tem in an unfa­mil­i­ar city.

An app for that? You bet!
As you can ima­gine, there are many things that you could need in an emer­gency. And, of course, there are some apps that can help.

Dur­ing the Tsunami warn­ings fol­low­ing the Japan earth­quake, inform­a­tion like that provided by this Hawaii­an-developed Dis­aster Alert app helped keep islanders informed about the impend­ing waves.

And after an event, find­ing people and shel­ter is a pri­or­ity.

Google launched their Google Per­son Find­er dur­ing the Christ­ch­urch earth­quake, and updated it for the Japan event.

And the Amer­ic­an Red Cross has released their free Shel­ter View app.

So as you can see, with just a few book­marks, per­haps an hour of app-store brows­ing, and a few dol­lars invest­ment, you can have a pretty good emer­gency pre­pared­ness kit all tucked neatly into your mobile data phone.

I think it’s time I star­ted on mine, what have I missed that I should add?
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SoundCloud — Flickr for musicians?

SoundCloud Logo

Recently I’ve star­ted pok­ing around syn­thes­izer and music tech­no­logy on my iPad and desktop com­puter. I’ve not made any­thing note­worthy to share yet, but when I do, I’ll be using Sound­Cloud as one of my medi­ums to share.

Like Flickr you say?
Sound­Cloud is very much like Flickr — an online des­tin­a­tion where mem­bers upload and share con­tent.

In SoundCloud’s case, the con­tent shared is sound — be it music or sound effects or whatever! If it’s audio and is upload­able, then you’ll find it on Sound­Cloud. And embed­dable and share­able — here’s an example:

Smooth ipod (NanoStu­dio) by NiceTh­ings

Com­munity
Yep, now this is one of the import­ant parts of both Sound­Cloud and Flickr — the com­munit­ies that can devel­op around a par­tic­u­lar mem­ber, or activ­ity, or group.

Friends and Groups work as you’d expect them to. For example, there’s an online mobile music site called Palm Sounds — and they’ve got a Group on Sound­Cloud that I’ve joined.

In that group, I can listen to con­tent that oth­er mem­bers of that group have uploaded to Sound­Cloud and shared with the Palm Sounds group.

This is exactly the same way that Flickr handles groups and image shar­ing.

There are oth­er sim­il­ar­it­ies, but I leave that for you to explore for your­self if you’re inter­ested.

I am, and you can find me on Sound­Cloud here — I’ve shared a couple of sound items, mostly things I’ve fea­tured in past blog posts.

And if you’re on Sound­Cloud, give me a ping and let me know what you’re into!