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Google fires a shot at Yelp; brings Hotpot recommendations to Maps

A screenshot of Google Maps running on Windows...

Image via Wikipedia

Throwing caution to the wind and firing a shot over the bow of Yelp, Google has just announced that it has implemented Hotpot recommendations into Google Maps for your desktop. While it’s not yet perfect, according to the Google Lat Long Blog, “we’ll be building it out over time, making it even easier for you to keep track of your friends’ activities”.

Where will this get really interesting? Look at Google’s near-field communication that it has embedded into the Nexus S. Imagine going into a local venue and having your phone recognize where you are. You’re then given the chance to put a Hotpot recommendation into the system and your friends can immediately see what you think of the place.

Of course, that part is somewhat in the future. For now, it’s still a great recommendation system (and better in some ways than Yelp, even, by our standards) and well worth a try. Want to give it a shot, just head over to Google Hotpot and sign yourself up.

What do we want? A newly-updated version of Google Maps with Hotpot overlays, please.

This is HUGE. Ask me why… 😀

3 Questions to Ask When Planning Your Website

WordPress Logo

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The following is an excerpt from “Make the Website Work: The Small Agency’s Guide to Creating Effective Marketing Sites for Themselves and Their Clients,” Mark O’Brien’s forthcoming book to be published in 2011 by Rockbench. O’Brien is the president of web-development firm Newfangled.

You’ve heard from O’Brien before.  I interviewed him last October for “Five Web Development Myths Debunked.” And on Feb. 10, O’Brien will present “Cure for the Common Website: Using Personas to Boost Site Performance,” right here at MarketingProfs—$129 well spent, free for Pro members.

O’Brien says planning a website is hard to do, and most people miss the mark because they jump right into “doing” before giving enough attention to the planning. He suggests that the next time you start a web project, try starting by asking yourself these three questions:

  1. Who am I trying to attract?
  2. What do they want from my website?
  3. What do I want from them?

These deceptively simple questions will get you started on the right track for planning your site and the criteria by which you’ll measure its success for years to come.

We develop on WordPress and these three questions came just in time for the new website we’re building!

The Best RSS Reader?

Follow the ‘via’ link to read more…

Streaming CES: How We Did It

Image representing CrunchGear as depicted in C...

Image via CrunchBase

As the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show wraps up today, we’d like to share a few secrets. The CrunchGear writing team, with support from TechCrunch TV, provided more than 20 hours of live CES video coverage, taking our viewers right to the industry and media access only exhibit floor. For a look at video highlights, check out ces.crunchgear.com. Hundreds of Twitter questions were answered in real-time, giving our viewers a chance to interact with the company reps and win some giveaways. We also got a lot of questions on how we did it.

The traditional, old-school way of broadcasting a live event would involve driving up a satellite truck with a C or Ku band transmitter. Or, getting a special expensive video fiber circuit connected at the venue. But, that would only allow a video feed from a single location. Otherwise we’d need multiple circuits or time to drive and set-up the sat truck at different locations.

We wanted to stream at a moments notice, from the Sands Expo during CES Unveiled and the following Media Day, from the inside and outside the Las Vegas Convention Center, and from hotel parties and events all over the Las Vegas Strip. Plus, we wanted to roam the halls without any wired connection. We investigated some RF and microwave transmitter options but they involved great expense and production limitations. We finally settled on a mobile streaming solution, with a backup ‘nearly live’ wired solution. We never needed to resort to the taped backup.

If you’ve ever tried to ‘cover’ a tradeshow with social media + technology like I have, you’ll be fascinated with the rest of this article. Follow the ‘via’ link above…

How Would You Like Your Graphic Design?

 

A $38.67 investment that will change your year

Book Cover

Image via Wikipedia

If it’s true that the first hour is the ‘rudder of the day’ than the next few weeks are the ‘rudder of the year’. If you lead an organization like I do, here are 4.5 books that will give you all the insight you need to chart a course for the year…

Here they are in their recommended order of reading:

  1. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. There’s a reason why this book is one of the most popular of all time. Read or reread it!
  2. Getting Things Done. Another book that has become so popular that people have forgotten why.
  3. Awesomely Simple. This one is new, but powerful enough to be a must read for me.
  4. Your Best Year Yet! Enough said.
  5. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. What? Yes, read it. Franklin outlines his systematic approach to building new habits here.

Now for the how. Yes, I’m even going to tell you how to read them. Read them via Kindle. “What”, you say? “I’m not going to buy a Kindle just to read these books!” “Well”, I say, “you don’t have to”. Kindle software runs on Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, Windows Phone 7, BlackBerry and via web browser. It synchronizes wirelessly between devices creating a virtual library of all the books you download allowing you to use them anywhere at any time. So, if I’m reading a book on my Sprint Evo and highlight a section that I want to go back to later, when I get to my computer and synchronize my books, the same selection will be highlighted, along with any notes I’ve made, on my PC. Did I mention that most Kindle books are around $10 as well? Read more of this post

Most Popular Chrome Extensions and Posts of 2010

You can read the rest of the article here: lifehacker.com

How to choose the Twitter client that’s right for you

Hootsuite Twitter Client for Android

Image by barney.craggs via Flickr

More than a third of all tweets are sent by people visiting Twitter’s default Web client. Which is too bad, because Twitter, as a website, is by far the least effective way to use Twitter as a network.

But even though just about any third-party client will provide you with a better way to use Twitter, picking the client that’s right for you can be daunting. Should you install a client or use one that runs in your browser? Which features are really necessary? Should you pay for any of these services?

I typically prefer browser-based clients because I think it’s easier to move between browser windows than separate programs, but I wouldn’t turn my nose up at an installed client with a really great feature set just for that. The best client for you is the one that fits your workflow — if you really need to be able to schedule tweets to be effective and a client doesn’t give you that option, then it’s the wrong service for you, even if everyone else loves it.

Me? I’m a HootSuite guy — I love everything they do from the web to their Android app. How about you? btw, you can follow the ‘via’ link if you’d like to go to the source…

Android Smartphones Outrank iPhones in Top 30 Mobile Devices List

You call it ‘fragmentation’, I call it ‘freedom of hardware and network’ choice. THAT’S why Android rules…