I goofed & I fixed

Last night I had a comment on a Google+ post that both stopped me in my tracks and made me really look at how I use social media.

I make no secret of the fact that I use Twitterfeed to pull out a couple of top posts every couple of hours from a couple of the top tech news blogs. I do this as much for me, as it prompts me to read the top stories throughout the day, as my followers (the general response has been positive).

The comment on Google+ called me up on the automated feeds and that immediately made me think about how I’m using Twitter (and how I want to use Google+ for that matter).

I stopped the automated feeds instantly as I realised that, although I read all of the articles I share via Twitterfeed, there’s no value-add for my followers. I neglected the automated feeds and let them run far too long.

So, from this point forward, I will still be sharing interesting content but all manually. Nothing will be posted automatically so that I can share with my thoughts attached (I do have automated cross posting from my blogs of course but that’s my content and it saves me having to write out a tweet for every post).

Let me know if the changes work (or if they don’t!).

You can check out my tech blog here, my photo blog here, my daily ramblings here, my Twitter posts here and my Google+ posts here. Everything is linked from my about.me page here.


Huge thanks to Richard Mackney for the wake up slap 🙂

TweetDeck for iPad

Nope, there’s no mention of it if that’s what you thought when you read the title. But it is the subject of this musing.

I wonder if we will still see TweetDeck on the iPad following the Twitter buy-out. I really hope so as I love TweetDeck on Chrome, it’s by far the best Twitter experience, in my most humble of opinions, and I truly hope that an iPad app is stil in the making and that it will offer a similar experience to “ChromeDeck”.

What do you think? Will we see TweetDeck on the iPad?

I am @craigt44 on Twitter and you can find me on Google+ here.

Internal communication

I tweeted earlier about the need for strong internal communication and had a brief discussion with @LTB27 and @1980_anna on the same subject who had, it seems, been discussing the very same subject earlier.

I’ve worked for 4 companies now, 2 major corporate giants, one brand spanking new startup and a privately owned, moderately sized business.

They have all handled internal communication very differently and, it is fair to say, all have room for improvement. That’s not to say any one of them were / are particularly bad at it but I don’t think companies, in my experience, really give it enough attention. I guess it’s not really fair to say the “company” either as it’s the people within the company that do the communicating. Therefore people need to give more focus and attention to how they communicate internally.

I find that, a lot of the time, people assume that everybody knows what is going on. Assumption is dangerous. Whilst I doubt I am perfect at communicating I certainly try not to assume anything but seek to clarify and confirm understanding. That way there’s no ambiguity and certainly fewer (hopefully none) surprises further down the line.

Anyway, not wanting to go into any particular detail here, just a random thought for the day.

I am @craigt44 on Twitter and you can find me on Google+ here.

Technology on a huge scale

Sat watching the National Geographic channel and a program called Megafactories, the subject of this particular episode being the Lego factories and suddenly having one of those moments of awe.

It is truly awe-inspiring when you consider the scale of these factories. I don’t just mean the physical size of the building (which is phenomenal) but the size and scale of the logistics, of the mechanical assembly of the factories and of the machinery that creates, assembles, packs and manoeuvres the product, of the electronics involved in every stage of the manufacturing process and of the software that meticulously controls everything.

When you stop to think about the scale of the overall operation, from a technology perspective, it is mind-blowing.

Food for thought?

I am @craigt44 on Twitter and you can find me on Google+ here.

Flickbooks for iPhone

When I first heard of Flickbooks I immediately saw the potential for a great novelty gift for family and friends.

Flickbooks is an app for the iPhone that allows you convert a 6-15 second video into a 50 page Flickbook, delivered to your door.

How it works

The process is very straightforward and the app well designed, making it all very easy.

Using the Flickbooks app you can either shoot a video directly within the app or choose an existing video clip from your iPhone. As the Flickbook needs a video clip of between 6 and 15 seconds , the app then presents an editing screen that allows you to choose the segments you prefer.

Editing is simply a case of dragging start and end markers until you have a section of suitable length video. There is a handy indicator at the side of the video editing screen that shows the duration of the segment you are editing. Choose the start and end points, ensuring the indicator sits between 6 and 15 seconds and you are ready to move to the next stage.

Video edit screen

The app now uploads your edited video clip to the server (you will need WiFi or a good 3G connection here) and presents you with the Flickbook cover for you to customise. Here you get to choose the text that adorns the front of the Flickbook as well as text colour and the colour of the Flickbook cover.

Cover edit screen

That’s just about it, it really is that simple. You can, at this point, either save the Flickbook to edit later or order a copy. Flickbooks are just €9.90 plus postage (typically €3 plus €1 per extra copy).

As a novelty gift idea I think that’s quite reasonable. Yes, you can view the video on your computer at any time but there’s something about having a tangible, physical thing to hold, it’s all so tactile and, in my opinion, a great keepsake for years to come.

I have created a Flickbook and shall update this post when it arrives in the post. I’m really looking forward to seeing how it comes out and showing the boys (I think they will love it).

I am @craigt44 on Twitter.

Google+ is growing on me

No, I’m not about to post another review of Google+. However, I just had to get off my chest that I am starting to really like it…. a lot. Circles is a great feature. I’ve just been looking over my Circles and seeing the simplicty of the setup.

Being able to target your posts is simply brilliant.

For example I can post local information to my “Local” circle which means I don’t have to spam everyone that follows me with information they really don’t want to hear / don’t care about.

I have a Circle for Warwicktweetup which allows me to communicate ONLY with the WTU members.

I have a test Circle that allows me to test out ways of using Google+ or for testing out other stuff without filling up streams.

It’s growing on me and I think it will be a long-term relationship.

Oh and the iPhone app makes it almost fully mobile (almost as it’s not possible to share posts, edit comments or target comments to individuals). The iPhone ap will develop further and should become very good indeed.

No, I won’t be leaving Twitter.

I am @craigt44 on Twitter and you can find me on Google+ here.

The task list

As I tackle my task list for the day it has me thinking about how I tackle it. Like many, I guess, I don’t think too much about it but I do tend to (must be a subconcious thing) start with a quick win task. The first task I clear off is one I know will be straightforward and quick to complete. That sets me off on a positive track.

I then tend to delve into the less exciting tasks (I’m a product compliance engineer so there are many dull tasks on the list) or the ones that equire more thought. I’m at my best in the morning and into early afternoon so clearing off the more taxing tasks generally happens then.

Randomly throughout the day I pick out a couple more of those easy win tasks to give me a mental boost whilst ensuring that I save a couple for the end of the day (when I’m generally more mentally tired).

My lunch break is often spent doing personal stuff (blog posts, shopping, stretching my legs or generally escaping the office).

How do you work your task list into the day?

I am @craigt44 on Twitter and you can find me on Google+ here.