Got Social?

iPad Apps

A friend posted something to Facebook about her musing over buying a Kindle or an iPad.  Given the two are so totally different, it was easy to advise her:  If you want a device to read something on, and that’s pretty much about it, go with the Kindle.  If you want to do more, via apps, then the iPad is the choice.  An interesting discussion among her friends ensued hashing around on some finer points, but mostly everyone who responded agreed that she should probably invest in the iPad.


I don’t see tablets as toys.  I see that many people use them that way, but many also do not.  So, let’s try to agree that the iPad is a device, nothing more, how you USE the device depends on how it would be categorized to you (and others who use it in similar ways).  A parent gets one for email, web, movies or shows, but to keep mini-me happy, sometimes you open a game app and let them play (like, in the car).  Its a device.


I promised my friend I would post to my blog what apps I have on my 1st Generation iPad Wifi.  Quick history, I got mine on day 1, which JUST SO happened to be my birthday (define providence?)  I bought the smallest drive and not on 3G.  I do not currently own a laptop and so I use my iPad for a few things at work but it is my mobile technology of choice for my doctoral work at NYU.  I do have a desktop, and I do use that a lot, but for mobile devices, its my iPad.

Two main apps for schoolwork: DocsToGo Premium and iAnnotatePDF.  DocsToGo lets me interact with documents (create, edit, etc…) and iAnnotatePDF does exactly what you’d think from the name, plus much more.

I have foursquare, HootSuite, Facebook,, Twitter, LinkedIN, Flickit, Echofon, and Google+ in a folder called Social.  I’ve stopped using foursquare (grew bored of it), use HootSuite for all the Twitter accounts, Don’t usually do Facebook on the iPad or my iPhone, but I use the app when I do (meh – expected more from the app), don’t use the Twitter app, don’t usually connect to LinkedIn on the iPad or iPhone, used to use Flickit to upload pictures, have stopped uploading so …, Use Echophone when I only want to see @aj_kelton, don’t use the Google+ app often.

In a folder called Travel I have: Weatherbug, and TWC (they use different station points), Maps, which is an awesome tool for finding things (and built into the iPad OS), Boingo’s Wi-Finder (I subscribe to Boingo, don’t use it often but it pays for itself every time I do.), and an AWESOME traffic app called INRIX.  I have the free version.  I find it especially helpful in the NY/NJ tri-state area and in the City.  Its usually spot-on accurate and, its freaking free!  How cool is that?  :-)

In a folder called Utilities I have: Calculator XL, BatteryLife, Find iPhone, Translator, Convertor, iHandy Level, Flashilight, and Speed Test.  Most are self explanatory, and there may be other apps that do the same thing that you like better.  I find BatteryLife  particularly useful on my phone, don’t really use it on the iPad.  If you subscribe to (transitioning to iCloud), you could have a tracking service for the iPad and iPhone.  It works quite well.  iHandy Level is free, and a good thing to have when you need it.  I find it more useful on my phone.  Speed Test is also handy, if you can what your upload/download speed are and how long a ping takes.

I do have a folder called Games.  I don’t consider myself a gamer, so I very rarely use any of these.  Some I prefer to play on my iPhone.  So, for games I have: GF All-Stars, Jenga HD, WTD, BClassicLite, Morocco, Magic8ball, Cubes Lite, Anaconda, Dragon’s Lair, Mirror’s Edge, AngryBirds Lite, Robot Rampage, Tree Planter, Cut the Rope, HornetSmash, Blimp, and Time Killer.  Nearly all of them I downloaded because someone suggested I do\.  I play Anaconda a lot, and I’ve gotten addicted to Robot Rampage, thanks to my advisor {shakes fist at Chris], I was mildly into Mirror’s Edge for a very short time, but then I got stuck and just don’t have the time to invest.  The most interesting one to me is The TimeKiller, by SAS.  Read the story here. Its fun.

In my Entertainment folder I have: Pandora, Shazam, IMDb, iTunes (Store), YouTube, Music (my iTunes), Videos, Starbucks, and Urbanspoon.  No surprises here.

Under Communications I have: Skype, LucyPhone, Dragon Dictation, NumberGuru, Tungle, Messages, MagicJack, Flipboard, Contacts, and a delete duplicate contacts app.  I rarely use Skype from the iPad, NumberGuru does reverse look up on a phone number.  Very cool app, and free.  Tungle I use because my advisor uses it, so that’s how I book time with him.  Its fine, its a good program, and it does sync to my gCal.  The MagicJack app is worth having.  Just like Magic Jack, it lets you talk free across the country.  Flipboard I don’t use, but I know people who do and like it.  Contacts is contacts but, a word of warning, if you have the iCloud service (or and you sync over multiple devices, if you don’t have the settings just right, you WILL get duplicates.  I had way too many of them.  Had to get a duplicate contact deleting program.  It worked as it said it might, but I was disappointed in the end.

Under Gadgets I have GiantTimer (very cool, useful, and free), iBannerHD (also useful but not frequently), Mappiness, which I don’t do anymore, and a QR app, which is useless to me since I have a 1st Gen, so no camera, but I have my apps synced and so it came over from the phone.

In Finance I have Bank of America, Capital One, an app called CheckPlease (for dividing the tab or figuring the tip) and a very cool program called GroceryIQ.  I use it mostly on my iPhone but its great for keeping a shopping list, you can scan in the bar code and it will add it, a number of options, and I think it was free.

Under Productivity I have Blackboard Mobile Learn (yuck!), Kindle (love it), iBooks, Dropbox (could not live without this cloud service.  If you don’t have an account, they are free up to 2GB I think, use this link and get 250MB of extra space for free (and I get 500MB), Evernote (never use but know folks who do), Wiggio (tried, meh), ShowMe (cool app, was in beta, think its out now, no use for me but I could see it big in some types of courses or levels), Keynote (much prefer over Powerpoint, but Mac only except on the iPad), WordPress (all of my blogs are WP (the one you’re reading now, and this, this, this, this, and especially this), so this gets used a lot), Inkling (interesting, will be awesome as the library grows), Eventbrite (used for ELD11 and will use again for ELD12 – one of the best designed apps I’ve ever seen), RememberTheMilk (still the best to-do list out there, I think, even though I’m not using it for a shopping list anymore, ironically), and BookMyne, an app I can use to interact with the MSU library.  Its a great app, very helpful.

I have the mail program to read my main Google email account, to which all of my other accounts are forwarded.  There are some things that can’t be done on the iPad that can on a computer, but it is good enough for 99% of the use cases.  I also use Safari as the web browser.

whew [wipes brow]


Since moving this blog over to my own domain, I’ve been using the default theme.  I plan to take some time soon (probably this week) to hunt down an appropriate theme, but I was wondering if anyone had a suggestion.  If so, feel free to leave it in Comments.  The theme should match (or reflect, or capture, or…) the content in some way.

Social Media Experiment – 2 days of observation

At 4:25pm on Saturday I posted about a change I’m making in my approach to the use of Facebook.  For all the details, click here.

I currently have 249 friends. I added three today, more on that in a moment.  So that means I had 246 at the time I made the original posting.  Since that time:

  • 8 responded to the original post - 25% only left a comment, 38% only “liked” it, and 25% both liked and commented on it (so, overall 63% “liked” it and 50% commented on it).  One only sent me a direct message.  The 8 responses represent a 3.3% response rate.
  • 14 have responded to something else that I’ve posted since then, but did not respond to the post mentioned above.  That’s 5.7%
  • The combination of the two represent a current response rate, over the last 50 hours, of 8.9% (the difference is accounted for due to my calculator rounding up lol).
Something just dawned on me.  Is what I am doing “research”?  My results are being published – here, in my blog.  I’m posting a link to these blog entries to my social networks.  Its not juried or reviewed, but it IS open for a type of review (read: comments).  Its not “scholarly”, exactly, but it is a type of scholarship, I guess.  Would (should) I have to go to everyone on my Friends list and “inform” them that they are each “subjects” in my  ”research”.  Do I, at the least, need to post something to my wall that says I’m doing this.  I’m not planning to publish this in an academic journal.  I’m writing this entry, and have posted publicly about it in the past.  Does that qualify as notification?  Where are these lines?
Anyway, in keeping the experiment moving forward I’ve decided to open up my rather closed mentality of my “friends” list.  I’ll still apply the “standards” to the noobs, interaction or – pow – you’re off the island!.  :-)  LOL  But if I want interaction to be the core value of my Facebook social footprint, why not expand the “hive”? Facebook has been the most productive for input, why not grow it instead of restricting it?
Yes, I have a problem with Facebook’s approach to our privacy.  I could be wrong, but the image in my mind is that they do the very minimum they think they can get away with for the least amount of “damage”.  Yes, minimize risk and maximize return is a good thing, when you are investing one’s money, and I assure you a ton of money is changing hands on this information nearly-all-you-can-eat buffet.  But at what point does a corporation, or an individual, become responsible for acting publicly responsible? Profit is important, but there are some important non-tangible things that portions of the corporate world have not embraced due to its greed.
But I digress…

Rethinking the rethinking

So, as you all know ([bonk bonk] is this thing on? [bonk bonk]), I’ve been reassessing my social media footprint for some time.  I actually think its makes sense to rethink it constantly, as the social media market is constantly changing.  For instance, I tired of Foursquare and quit playing.  I’m not sure why, 100%, but that’s for another post.  Right now, I’m talking about reassessing, again, which is what I’ve been doing, again.

Facebook.  Ugh.  I wish they had a soul, because I could SO love using them.  Anyway, I’m finding it hard to quit completely for two reasons.  One, I don’t “want” to.  I mean, I do want to, because they f*#k us in the privacy department, make no bones about it, kinda actually taut it in our face and say “ha ha, where ya gonna go?  Huh?  Huh? Right! So now shut up!”.  How many of you reading this couldn’t imagine Mark Zuckerberg totally saying that.  Now, I don’t know the man personally, and I’m sure he’s very nice, and he probably wouldn’t really say that, but for some reason, my image of him, is that I could totally hear him saying that.  Anyway, I digress…

So, I don’t really WANT to leave Facebook, but I’ve been reducing my exposure.  This, as part of trying to find a place for each social network I’m in, even though I post nearly the same content to all of them.  Sometimes I post something only to a specific network, when its only appropriate for that network, but generally, my posts are not so much personal. But, I do like to keep, for instance, LinkedIn to professional contacts, and Facebook, I’ve tried narrowing to close friends and family.  But…

… and you knew there had to be a but …

but, there are some people I like having in my stream on Facebook (don’t know what I mean by “stream”? Check here, and see toward the end).  And for some, Facebook is the ONLY way I will be able to keep in touch with them and I don’t want to lose those contacts.  Finally, and pretty importantly, I use Facebook for professional reasons, such as the VWER and the College accounts.  So, I really CAN’T pick up and leave.

Anyway, all this is a long way of saying, I’m reconsidering my Facebook friends, yet again.  I think I only want to be connected to people on Facebook who contribute in some way.  I mean, they don’t have to comment on every post, or even on ANY of them, but a Like once in a while, would be great, something to let me know they are actually paying attention or even care.

So, I think I’m going to try an experiment.  I think, once I week, I’m going to post to Facebook “If you are reading this, please LIKE – unless you’ve already liked a post like this from me in the past”.  Same text.  Once a week.  And I’ll do it for, lets say, 3 months.  I’ll keep track of everyone who, at the very least, Likes a post I make, commenting counts, too.  And then anyone, after 3 months, those who has not even Liked something I’ve posted I’ll drop.  If they’re not paying attention, they’ll hardly notice.  Is that a fair amount of time, 3 months?  Is it even fair to use interaction as a barometer? Leave your thoughts in the comments, I’m still open on this.