Lazyfeed Now Exercising BOTH Sides of Your Brain

Lazyfeed is a wonderful blog aggregator that effortlessly collects blog entries from across the Web on topics that you choose in a mesmerizing, scrolling, real-time display. No need to subscribe to individual feeds, just enter your topics of interest and get relevant content.I previously have extolled its virtues here in the Studio (link here).

Until recently, Lazyfeed was all about passive information consumption – you could sit back and watch the news filter in and, in the process, pick up a few cool new blogs to follow more closely. Or, for me, when I had exhausted my usual news sources, I would turn to Lazyfeed as my last resort for finding something new.

But all of that changed today with the arrival of a new email message in my inbox from the fine folk at Lazyfeed titled, curiously enough, “Follow Me On Lazyfeed.” Lazyfeed CEO Ethan Gahng piqued my curiosity with his cryptic message:

There’s a huge announcement for Lazyfeed today. Lazyfeed has transformed from a “Read” tool into a “Write” tool. Sounds like a drastic change, huh?
I don’t want to bore you by explaining all the details in this email, so you can visit our blog and check out the post where I talk about the update: http://blog.lazyfeed.com/2010/05/follow-me-on-lazyfeed.html
Or if you want to take a look right away, you can directly come check out Lazyfeed now: http://www.lazyfeed.com
This update is so big that the update itself is larger than the original Lazyfeed product. It took us quite a while to build this, so I hope you would like it. I would love your feedback!

Well, with an invitation like that, I could hardly say no. So, what is Lazyfeed up to?

Passive content consumption tool no more, Lazyfeed has now been equipped to bring out the curator in you, as explained in this simple graphic from their blog:

Through two new tools, “Channel” and “Post”, you can sub-aggregate your content from your topics of interest stream within Lazyfeed. These are called Channels. Populate your channel stream and then publish it to your Lazyfeed followers (that’s right, Lazyfeeds gone all social on us), your Twitter followers and your Facebook profile. You can create as many channels as you have interests and populate those channels with relevant blog content. Posting is super-simple: just click on a blog post of interest, add a comment if you wish and hit “post”. The blog entry will show in the left-hand column of your screen, which shows your Channel.

Follow other Lazyfeeders to get their updates. Find follows by plugging in your Facebook, Twitter and email accounts and matching your contacts with existing Lazyfeed profiles. It’s nice to have the option of getting the content curated by other users you know and trust.

I can’t say enough about the new interface. While the old scrolling page was mesmerizing, the new tools and accompanying tweaks are downright space-age! Hover over your own stream and see your comments pop up in little comment bubbles. And, with the addition of social features, Lazyfeed moves beyond simple news aggregation – it really distills content search, commenting, posting and sharing process down to its essential and efficient core. Sounds just like a blog, but lazier.

Check out my page (link here). Right now, I have one channel dedicated to law, technology, legal tech, and a lot of the subjects I already blog on, but I am hoping to expand to a broader topic set. I encourage you to come on over, build a profile and follow along – maybe we can discover some hot new content and share it!

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Weave Your Social Streams Together With Threadsy

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Email. Twitter. Facebook. Chat. These are just four of the major message sources on the Web these days. If you have a few friends and professional contacts, the messages really start to pile up. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to aggregate all of your messages and most of your social contact in one place?

You can functionally achieve message aggregation using Gmail as your master inbox, but this solution cannot touch the flash and ease of Threadsy (link here). Threadsy is  another social web application, but its focus is on managing your messages across services. Threadsy combines Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, MobileMe, Yahoo Mail, and other IMAP accounts, and popular chat formats. Being able to view them all in one locale is cool enough, but Threadsy takes it one step futher by allowing you to reply, archive, delete and manipulate your messages and set status posts like you would in each application.

As you can see above, the window is split, with messages showing in the left-hand window, and status updates (tweets, etc.) in the right-hand window. Threadsy also incorporates social information into your meta-inbox – simply click on a user’s profile and see their bio, photos and other publicly available information. Gives it a bit of a Xobni or Rapportive touch to your inbox.

Everything is click-able and expandable. Of course, it pulled my art blog handle, rather than my legal tech blog handle for the bio – not sure how to fix that yet.

Several months ago, I got an invite to Threadsy’s private beta and I really liked what I saw. I ultimately gave up on using it on a daily basis because it seemed to bog down my browser when I left it open. Threadsy has just become public and is sporting an even slicker image. So far, it seems to be performing more smoothly than before. I am committed to giving it another try – any tool that’s free and boosts my efficiency will find itself at the top of my tool belt!

Check out Threadsy – would love to know what you think about it.

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Your Personal Window On The World of "Likes"

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“Liking” is everywhere. On Facebook. In the news. And now, on a website near you. I wrote about installing my own “like” button on my business site, AdvantageAdvocates, last week (link here).

Do you want to see what people you know and love and trust are liking across the Web? Check out LikeButton.me.  This site collects the “likes” of friends across the web in a one-page dashboard of sorts. Quickly view what your friends think.

Before you privacy nuts go crazy, remember that the information sent by Facebook across the web is the same information that shows on your default Facebook public profile, which has was already publicly available prior to the changes. If you are uncertain of whether you want to share, then hit up your privacy settings in your Facebook profile under Account, and make sure you check the privacy settings on your Applications too.And remember as well, that “internet” and “privacy” are oxymoronic terms!

Happy surfing!

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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About IM

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Royal Pingdom (link here) is at it again, and I can’t resist reprinting it here – a graphic representation of all things instant messaging. Check out the stats on usage, the IM time line, the popularity of the various clients, and more. Did you know that there are 10,000 United States laws and regulations pertaining to electronic messaging and records retention? You do now. Want to know more? Check out this Apture Link here .

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Facebook Friend-zy

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Image via Wikipedia

Hard not to have been hit over the head the past couple of days with all of the news about Facebook . Big changes that affect your privacy, how you interact across the Facebook site and how you interact across the Web are in a state of flux.

On some level, I must have subconsciously known that these changes were in the air, because I was struck with a major Spring cleaning “friend-zy” and, over the past several days, have been strengthening the connections between my profile and business page AdvantageAdvocates and between the business page and its web page.

I found tons of great Facebook apps and some new plug-ins to assist me in the process. Rather than go through them all right now (you can see many of them in the new boxes and tabs on both my Facebook Profile (link here) or on my Business Page (link here), I thought I would highlight one that I just installed on my website. This one is part of the big story that Facebook is planning to add a “like” button to the entire Web.

Remember back, over a year ago, when Facebook was threatening to conquer the Web with its universal check-in, Facebook Connect? Well, its’s deja vu all over again. The like button is another iteration of this concept – if you have a Facebook profie and see a “like” button on a site, you can quickly connect to the and with the site wherever you happen to be.

To that end, I installed a brand new plug-in on the home page of AdvantageAdvocates (link here). It looks like this:

It’s dynamic in that it shows updates from the page. The images of the fans also change with different clicks, just as they do on your Facebook Profile page. But most importantly, the button allows a web surfer far from the confines of Facebook’s walled garden to reach into Facebook and effect a “like” of my business page. More dynamic and engaging that simply “sharing” my page into another social site.

How did I do it? Well, that was not difficult. Over at the Facebook Developers Page (link here), there are eight brand, spanking new social plug-ins that feed off of this new “like” vocabulary. I personally used the Like Box (link here). There are also a Like Button (link here), Recommendations (link here), Login with Faces (link here), Comments (link here), Activity Feed (link here), Facepile (link here), and Live Stream (link here).

Click the link of the desired plugin. Get your Page Id. I know there must be an easier way to get it than I did – I used an old Promote Your Page Fan Box Widget Link that didn’t work, but I was able to lift my Page ID out of the html. Simply insert that Page ID into the marked box, hit enter and up pops the code. Copy the code, paste it onto the desired page and in the desired location in your web site editor and Voila – dinner is served!

Will it result in more fans, better connection, better engagement? I certainly hope so! Come on over to my page (link here), jump in and let’s talk about it!

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Chart: Social Media Demographics

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Highly detailed chart on who is using what social media sites. Created by the fine folk at Flowtown (link here). Get your magnifying glasses out again. Or hit the link for the wide screen view (link here).

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Wanna Chat? Check out Pip.io

There are so many places to hang out on the Web. There are the big two: Facebook  and Twitter . There are other larger planets in the solar system, like LinkedIn  and MySpace , as well as countless other satellites that revolve around these two, such as Google Buzz ,  Plaxo , Friendfeed , Plurk , etcetera.

So, you probably aren’t thinking right now: “Gee, where can I spend even more of my on-line time publishing, communication and connecting?”  But maybe you should.

Check out Pip.io (link here). It is a relatively recent social tool that just came out of beta last month. More than a social network, Pip.io  calls itself a “social operating system.” I call it Google Wave  for the masses. Pip.io’s format is very chat-like – you create your profile and then set your “availability” for your connections to see. When you communicate via Pip.io, you can set your parameters narrowly (e.g. a private chat with a single individual) or broadly (a public broadcast to all friends of Facebook and Twitter and YouTube). You can also “target” someone’s stream with a post: not quite private but focused communication intended for a specific user or group. Pip.io gives you tools to be both efficient and private in your web communications at the same time. Sort of like your own dashboard for your social web communication.

Just this weekend, a Twitter friend was telling me that he communicates differently on different platforms, that he holds back more on Facebook because the audience dictates more discretion. With Pip.io, you can set who sees what across platforms by creating groups for certain types of communications, thereby eliminating concern with your degree of sharing.

But that is not all. You can form rooms and invite others to join you to discuss or share on topics. There is also a video chat feature. Pip.io has its own version of a retweet – you can reshare within Pip.io or send the content forth to your own social outposts. “Friending” on Pip.io is like Twitter and Friendfeed, where you can follow anyone without their express agreement or any obligation to follow you back.

I still struggle with Twitter as a communication platform. I agree as well with my Twitter friend that my Facebook population does not promote the same “free” communication I might employ elsewhere. If your desire is to streamline your communication on-line, to implement better channeling and discussion, and break down boundaries to that discussion, Pip.io may well be the best option. At the least, it affords a simple “one stop” locale for managing chat, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube activity. At the most, it appears to provide a true communication forum for social interaction.

Check it out. I would love to hear what you think.

Incorporating A Social Media "Back Channel" In A Presentation

There is nothing quite like the immediacy of real-time conversation about your presentation while the presentation is going on! This is particularly true if your presentation is about the power of social media. I found this great tutorial on how to create such a back channel for your next presentation. The website is called “140 Learning” and the topic is “Incorporating a Back channel in a Presentation” (link here). The article presumes your use of Powerpoint, Keynote or Sliderocket in your talk. It is relatively short but quite comprehensive and impressive, discussing issues that range from how to create a hashtag prior to the presentation to how to encourage dialog, from tools for easily adding your own postings during the presentation to ways to encourage dialog, from how to show the Twitter stream to how to invite feedback after the presentation. There is a lot of other great stuff in this article, so I highly encourage you to hit the jump if you are considering adding such a high-tech feature to your next presentation!

If you are interested in sprucing up your presentations generally, check out Ray Ward’s suggestions over at the (new) legal writer on better Powerpoint presentations (link here). Thanks Ray!

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Managing Your Twitter Lists With A Power Tool

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ResearchBuzz alerted me to a cool new Twitter list management tool: ListiMonkey (link here). ListiMonkey allows greater precision in creating and monitoring keyword searches by designating a Twitter list as the search base. ListiMonkey will then send the results to your specified email address at designated intervals. This works for your own lists as well as other public lists – a very handy feature if you trust the list curator. Updates to the service now make it possible to specify keywords you want and keywords you don’t want.

Of course, this slows down the real-time benefit of a Twitter search a bit, but it does increase the validity (and anti-spamminess) of your results. Plus, it brings the results straight to you.

Read the ResearchBuzz review here.

Have you used ListiMonkey? Any thoughts or comments on its effectiveness?

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Sobering Social Media Numbers

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WSJ‘s tech blog Digits ran this article yesterday (link here) regarding conversational use of social media sites by adults. Author Jennifer Valentino writes that 30% percent of adults use social media sites for quick conversations, with relatively regular updates on at least a weekly basis. Seventy percent of adults are spectators – viewing these updates on a regular basis. Forrester Research surveyed more than 10,000 adults and, although the cut-off age was 18, more than 70% of those responding were over 30 years old.

The number of social media citizens is growing rapidly – nearly 60% of those online visit social media sites and maintain profiles. A mere 17% of internet users avoid these hangouts, and that number is dwindling.

Is there any doubt where your peers and potential clients are hanging out?

Hat tip to Resource Shelf

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