Posts Tagged 'Twitter'

Google Buzz button for WordPress.com

Google Buzz: a hybrid between the Facebook share feature and Twitter.

Take two cups of Facebook share, add a spoonful of twitter and two quarts of no respect for peoples privacy and you’ll get Google Buzz.

How to Generate a Google Buzz Button for WordPress.com?
I’ve added a new feature to GetSocial Live: you can now use it to generate Google Buzz buttons for your WordPress.com blog!

Try It (It’s alpha transparent and will work on all types of backgrounds):

Add to Google Buzz

The button is routed through Google Reader. it’s a temporary solution until a better API for Google Buzz becomes available. Get yours now!

For the best results, you should use your permalink (instead of shortlink) when you generate Google Buzz buttons. The reason for this is that the source of the link is extracted from your post URL. If you’ll use the shortlink GetSocial will not be able to extract the name of your blog. Instead, it will assign WordPress.com as the source for your link (the link itself will work fine, and correctly connect to your post though).

For regular updates and status reports follow GetSocial Live on Twitter.

What is Google Buzz?
Google Buzz is a new service from Google. it was launched a few days ago, and is probably intended to compete with twitter. You can post text and images there, comment, ‘like’ and follow/unfollow people. It’s a hybrid between the Facebook share feature (which automatically fetches images and other information from your posted links) and Twitter (excluding its famous 140 characters limitation).

What’s Wrong With Google Buzz?
Google Buzz was integrated into Gmail, so it’s already got a huge user base. That’s also one of my problems with it – I think that Google Buzz is imposing itself on Gmail users, and that’s just ain’t right. Also, many Gmail users found themselves ‘following’ (and being ‘followed’ by) random people who Google Buzz have automatically selected from their email contacts. This was done without them even using the new service! That’s bad for privacy, and also not particularly fun – do you really want to find out that you’ve been “following” your ex?

But wait, it gets even worse: since you can click through to other people’s profiles and see who they follow and who follows them, you can (at least in this early stage) deduce who they’ve been exchanging emails with – and again, that’s without them even using the service! I’ve personally found out the secret identity of an anonymous blogger using this method.

The thing that really amazes me about Google Buzz though, is its name. What’s going on here? Doesn’t Yahoo already have a service called Yahoo Buzz? Am I the only one to notice that? ‘Like’? ‘Follow’? I think we’ve seen all this stuff somewhere else already…

In my opinion Google Buzz, like GTalk and Google Wave before it, was designed to keep you connected to your Google account for as much as possible so that Google could phish (and keep, forever) even more personal information about your browsing habits and use it for targeting ads. But hey, that’s just me.

PERMALINK / SHORTLINK

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GetSocial Live Status Updates @ Twitter

Follow GetSocial Live @ Twitter
GetSocial Live users might have noticed some new updates recently (better tooltips, interactive previews). Since it’s much easier to update a website than it is to update an application, GSL users can expect a much more rapid rate of new developments! So if you think of some new features you’d like to see in GSL, do tell :)

Some updates (on the domain side) require scheduled downtime, and that’s why I’ve recently created this Twitter account as an independent source for updates about GSL upgrades, new versions and maintenance downtime. Needless to say, it’s a 100% spam free twitter account – so go ahead, start following GetSocial Live now!

If we’re already talking about downtime, some of you may have noticed that GetSocial Live was unavailable at times during the last few weeks. The reason for this, is that GetSocial Live was hosted (for free) on Google Pages. When the service suddenly shut down, GetSocial Live became unavailable. Migrating to Google Sites (the successor of Google Pages) was impractical because you can’t run HTML files directly from Google Sites, and that’s why GSL went down. Currently, GSL is temporarily hosted on a paid host, but will soon migrate to a permanent location (still paid though). I apologize in advance for any resulting downtime, and will try to provide alternative links via the GSL Twitter as needed.

PERMALINK / SHORTLINK

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Google Wave: most overrated technology since Twitter

Morton Rhue's new book: 'The Google Wave'

Google Wave seems like an overly complex solution to a non-existing problem. Nowadays the issue is not how to communicate with your friends and colleagues, the real challenge is to get some actual work done between answering your email and watching viral videos online.

A few months ago, when it was released, I actually sat down and watched the entire 80 minutes or so of the Google Wave presentation in YouTube (please note that this atrocity, which I bet almost no one watched in full, currently have a 5.0 star rating!).

I’ll skip the part where I rant about the well fed and self satisfied Google lecturers, who seem to stretch every bit of information that could have been thoroughly explained within seconds into minutes upon minutes of arrogant and graceless presentation. I don’t bear a grudge against them for wasting my time with the video though, after all Google Wave is designed for that very purpose – wasting valuable time.

Last Thursday 100,000 “lucky” users got a chance to test what is hyped as the future of the internet (and then blog about it I guess). What truly amazes me right now is that everywhere you look (okay, everywhere within the constraints of your monitor) people are raving about the mythical powers and neon bright economic future of Google Wave (whose actual nature and/or use seems to elude even its own developers).

This reminds me of two things: the thousands of blog posts and “articles” about why your business must be in Twitter right now (the short answer is ‘because’) and the educational book “The Wave” (no pun intended) by Morton Rhue (Todd Strasser), where a US high school is caught in an experiment of mass brainwashing, dictatorship and let’s face it: hype.

I just don’t get all those people who rain praise and positive reviews about what seems to be at best a half baked idea just because it comes from Google. I might be proved wrong somewhere along the line, but in my opinion Google is too big and too clumsy for its own good. I think that right now, in the shadow of the economic crisis they’re just shooting in all directions.

Specifically, Google Wave seems to me like an overly complex solution to a non-existing problem. Nowadays the issue is not how to communicate with your friends and colleagues, the real challenge is to get some actual work done between answering your email and watching viral videos online.

Because Google Wave is a real time service, and because it’s about conversations and not about posting, I predict that every ‘wave’ will soon turn into a huge tsunami requiring literally hours to follow. Consider the level of commitment required to use this service, especially if you’re not stuck near the computer the entire duration of your day, and need to catch up with what went down with your 643 friends. It’s like trying to read all the comments in a popular YouTube movie – long, repetitive and rarely rewarding.

In the bottom line, if Google Wave was named ‘Whatever Wave’ (or even worse: ‘Microsoft Wave’) no one would care about it. At best.

PERMALINK / SHORTLINK

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Get social with GetSocial 1.04

a brand new GetSocial!

GetSocial 1.04 – new and improved :)

There is a new version of GetSocial, what are you waiting for? Go get it now!

What is GetSocial?
GetSocial is a slick application that will help you add Social Bookmarking buttons to your WordPress.com blog! It’s fast, reliable, user friendly and absolutely free! :)

What’s new in version 1.04?
Well, there are all sorts of neat stuff:

Yahoo Buzz: Diigo.com purchased and then scrapped furl.net , so a free spot became available in the GetSocial toolbar. It was rapidly occupied by a shiny new Yahoo Buzz button (via AddToAny).

3rd party functionality: GetSocial 1.04 can generate AddThis & AddToAny buttons in a snap! Also, ‘Email to a friend’ and ‘Press This’ buttons are now available (via AddToAny).

Try it:

Press This

Email to a friend

Technorati Fix: GetSocial 1.04 is fully adapted to the modifications that were implemented by the Technorati team.

Better SEO: GetSocial 1.04 marks all outgoing links as nofollow. It’s okay if you don’t know what I’m talking about :)

Optimization: Some tweaks and a smaller executable, as usual.

Where can I download GetSocial?
You can always find the latest version of GetSocial here.

How can I help?
Make a donation, give as much (or as little) as you want :)

Contributors of 25 USD or more will receive a 50 USD worth* promotional Google AdWords coupon code for free!

Download GetSocial

<3Thanks!

* The coupon code is only valid for new (less than 14 days old) Google AdWords accounts. The coupon marked value is 200 NIS, actual value in USD may vary. Available while supplies last.

PERMALINK / SHORTLINK

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Thriller

If that's not live footage from a zombie invasion, I don't know what is!

It’s sometime around one o’clock when I arrive at the Riff-Raff. A friend of mine, who is already there, holding a beer, informs me that Michael Jackson has died. I try to estimate his credibility as a source of such information, but his face remains sealed. This is huge! I think for myself, and although I can’t quite believe it at first, internet enabled cell phones begin to transform rumors into facts soon enough. Twitter is going to have a field day over this…

The death of something which is more than human is a humbling event. Michael Jackson was rich, powerful, talented and famous. He was adored by millions, but in a single instant it was all over. As if life hasn’t got all of its day-to-day problems, we are once again reminded about its temporal and grim nature. I finish my beer, while the DJ pays homage with a remix of ‘Billie Jean’.

Later, at home, I turn to the tube to see how many TV specials are already on the making. As I’ve expected every station has already rushed someone to the archive in order to fetch some Jackson 5 videos and pop star footage from the nineties. No one is really sure about what happened exactly, and no new information is available, so each network conducts it’s own collection of bizarre interviews.

One of the 24hr news channels displays real time live footage from outside of the UCLA medical center, where hundreds of people begin to form a curious mob. This distant image of people walking aimlessly, taken with a cheap video camera from some rooftop reminds me of zombie movies. I’m instantly reminded of the ‘Thriller’ video as well. I note to myself that the same footage could have been easily labeled ‘The dead walk the earth’ or ‘zombies attack!’ and I guess that such an event would not have been much more surprising than the death of Michael Jackson. Both events seems huge and unreal (and both are dead/undead related!)

PERMALINK / SHORTLINK

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Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger: GetSocial 1.03 is here!

Oh boy, have I got some neat stuff for you today – GetSocial 1.03 is ready, and it’s jam-packed with new stuff, go get it now!

What is GetSocial?
GetSocial is a program I’ve made, that will generate social bookmarking toolbars for your blog or website within seconds! Because it makes pure HTML code without scripts, GetSocial is the ideal social bookmarking solution for WordPress.com bloggers. Oh, and it’s also absolutely free!

What’s better in GetSocial 1.03?

Add to Twitter
I’ve considered replacing the Ma.gnolia button with either Twitter or Yahoo! Buzz, but apparently there was nothing to consider: Twitter it is! I’ve decided to go with the following twitting format: “Title @ Permalink”.

Character limit handling
Twitter has a 140 characters limitation, so I’ve designed GetSocial to handle long inputs when necessary. Realizing that your link is the most important bit of information, the title will be automatically trimmed if the total length of the message is too long. If there’s only enough room for 5 characters of title or less, only the permalink will be sent to Twitter. Note that your permalinks will never be trimmed, even when the link itself is longer than 140 characters.

Inspired by the Twitter thingy, I’ve also added auto handling for Digg (which has a 60 characters limit for its title field).

Permalink verification & Automatic error correction
Okay, I’m officially sick and tired of this bug in WordPress.com where you get the permalink all messed up if you copy it from the edit window (the PLEW bug). The first thing I did with the new version of GetSocial was to add a permalink check feature. This (optional) feature pings your website while making the toolbar, and makes sure that the permalink you’ve entered actually exists.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t enough to solve the permalink bug because WordPress.com generates error pages, so if you’ve got the domain name right, there is no (simple) way for the program to know that the post address is correct.

This is why I’ve also added a special algorithm that detects and autocorrects permalinks that are affected by the PLEW bug. This is a heuristic algorithm, but tests have shown very high (>95%) rates of success in detecting and repairing affected permalinks.

Support for CSS effects
If you’ve got the CSS upgrade from WordPress, you’re going to love this! With GetSocial 1.03 you can easily add special graphic effects to your GetSocial buttons, simply by pasting some CSS code to your blog.

For example (Internet Explorer only):

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(Hover your mouse over this toolbar and see what happens)

CSS Code:

#primary .getsocial img {
filter:gray
}
#primary .getsocial a:hover img {
opacity:1;filter:alpha(opacity=100)
}

Add the above code to your blog’s CSS, and your GetSocial buttons will appear in B&W. When visitors to your blog will hover over them with the mouse – they will change to full color. There are tons of other effects you can make, but if you want to support browsers like Firefox you can only use alpha effects (you can find an example at the bottom of this post).

Text links
In additional to the regular buttons, GetSocial is now capable of producing a text-only version of the social bookmarking toolbar:

Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Furl | Newsvine

Better support for Mozilla Firefox and Google chrome
Your toolbars will now have tooltips for Firefox/Chrome in addition to the previously available tooltips of Internet Explorer.

Code and image optimization
I’ve managed to remove a few extra bytes from the images GetSocial puts in your blog, and there are also 5 new mirrors for the images. Some tweaking I’ve done also slightly reduced the size of the GetSocial executable (so this time you’re actually getting more for less!)

As usual, I’ll be absolutely delighted if you’ll click either one of these buttons (preferably both!):

Download GetSocial

<3Thanks!

PERMALINK / SHORTLINK

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Which social bookmarking network would you like to see in the next version of GetSocial?

Google <3 GetSocial!

First of all, get this: my very own GetSocial is now featured in Google’s auto-suggestions – yeah!

On a different note, I’m currently working on a new version of GetSocial, and I’ve decided to remove the Ma.gnolia button and make some room for one lucky social bookmarking network (as you may or may not know, Ma.gnolia isn’t doing very well lately).

Now I need your help: which social bookmarking network would you like to see in the next version?

I’m thinking either Twitter or Yahoo! Buzz but I’m open for suggestions…

UPDATE (February 26, 2009): GetSocial 1.03 is ready, Twitter is in da house!

PERMALINK / SHORTLINK

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Taken with FLIR Systems InfraCAM SD

Chillin' @ Heat Transfer Lab
(May 2007)

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Hillel Stoler - הלל סטולר
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