Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Latest Buzz with Google Buzz

Have you heard the latest buzz? Google is going social with their newest creation “Google Buzz.” Like any other social networking website, Google Buzz allows its users to share images, videos and of course the famous status updater. Google Buzz plans to be the next biggest hit and its features will be available through web applications on smart-phones, like the iPhone, so that users can connect instantly where ever they are. When becoming a member, you have the choice to make your profile public or private. If made private, all of your postings can only be viewed by your “Buzz followers.”

Google makes Google Buzz easy and accessible for everyone since it is built right into your Gmail account. Buzz makes setting up easy because it does the setting up for you. For instance, it automatically follows the people you chat and e-mail to regularly. Having e-mail integrated, Google Buzz has made a distinctive identity for itself, giving it a personal and competitive edge against its competitors like Facebook and Twitter. Buzz is going up and beyond status updates and messages; its features by design pull up links and images associated with what you have written. Its features also allow users to view pictures better than Twitter and Facebook—they come up bigger and faster. Another feature Buzz has is that it allows its members to connect with other sites used, such as Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, etc. This feature shows your followers exactly what you are doing around the web. Another interesting feature that gives Buzz an advantage is that it identifies posts that may interest you or your followers, and “recommends” them to you. It allows you to see posts from others, even though you are not directly following them.

So there you have it. That’s the latest buzz with Google Buzz.
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Sunday, February 7, 2010

To Tweet or Not to Tweet?

Many of us have been wondering whether or not we should sign up and become one of the hundreds of billions using Twitter. I don’t know about you, but before I signed up to Twitter I had no interest in ever becoming a member. I didn’t understand what all the hype was about Twitter and why everyone was joining it when other websites like Facebook could do the same thing and even more. It took me about two weeks after becoming a Twitter member to actually understand and grasped the concept behind this amazing website. I have realized that when used properly, Twitter can be a very powerful tool. With that being said, here are a few different ways on how people use Twitter.

1) Keeps Friends and Family connected: Like Facebook and MySpace, Twitter is able to keep friends and family in touch. With the Status Updater that Twitter offers, you can always be in the loop, and reply to everyone’s tweet. This feature comes in handy when family members and friends move away. I know that when teens go off to college worried mothers are constantly wondering what their children are doing. Twitter allows them to put their minds at ease since they are able to access their child’s account and view their timely updates. Twitter is one of the best Social Media websites that are being used to stay connected with friends and family.

2) Great Source of Free Advertising: Many companies such as Apple and Microsoft make Twitter accounts to Tweet out information to the public, about the latest technological innovations that have been discovered. With a push of a button, large corporations and small businesses can get the word out to all, which will ultimately bring in more revenue. Twitter is a great, and not to mention cheap, way to market and advertise new products to the Twitter world.

3) Legalized Celebrity Stalking: Who says you need to go to California to stalk celebrities when you can do it in the comfort of your own home. That’s right-- Twitter has made it possible to enter into the minds of many celebrities. We no longer have to wonder what stars do on a Sunday afternoon, or what they ate earlier that day because it will most likely be posted on their Twitter page. Celebrity Twitter stalking is probably the number one reason as to why everyone is signing up to this website—I know that influenced my decision to sign up and activate my account. I find it fascinating and entertaining that with a click of a button on my Twitter App on my Blackberry that I can see exactly what celebrities are doing.

There is so much more to learn about Twitter-- so if you're ever wondering whether to Tweet or not to Tweet, I would definitely suggest that you Tweet.

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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Facebook Addiction

How many of you consider yourself as a Facebook Addict? It has come to my attention that Facebook has become more of an addiction than a social networking tool. I know a lot of individuals, including myself, who use Facebook as an escape from reality; we enter this virtual world where most of our friends and family are connected. We use Facebook to find old friends who we have lost touch with, plan events, blog, post pictures, socialize with friends, play games, and much, much more. The question as to whether we are addicted or not begins to answer itself when we are having trouble signing off, or when we cannot go a couple of hours without logging in via personal computer or smart phone to check recent updates.

Having a Facebook addiction can become very dangerous, especially for College/University students, and office workers. The reason why it is dangerous for these two types of individuals is because of the minimal amount of productivity that will come out of them. When College/University students are using their laptops in class, we all know that #1 they are on Facebook, and #2 they are not learning a single thing. I find that Facebook has become a major distraction for students both inside and outside of the classroom. For instance, when students are chatting online via Facebook during a class lecture, any information being taught will automatically be shutout. This learning dissadvantage could leave a negative effect on these students depending on how frequent they are using Facebook during class time.

Facebook addiction is also very dangerous when it comes into the workplace. I know a couple of people who sit at their desks all day long playing on “Farmville” and doing other unrelated work activities on Facebook. Bringing this addiction into the workplace will lower their performance and work productivity, and consequences for this kind of behavior could range from a written warning to termination.

Like any other addiction, individuals cannot just quit or "deactivate" their account cold turkey. It will take time, but the best advise I can give is to monitor Facebook usage. I would also suggest for addicted individuals to uninstall and delete the Facebook application off of their Smart phone so that there is no temptation for them. By doing so, they will slowly be able to go about their day in the "real world," and ultimately enhance both performance and productivity for once addicted students and employees.

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