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!