July 17, 2012

How Flipboard is changing everything

Chris AbrahamI first told you that Pinterest redefined social media from being mostly text to being mostly photos, illustrations, graphics, and infographics.

Now, illustrating your content is not just preferable, it’s mandatory. Facebook, Google+, and Twitter have become much better at following links and automagically populating your shares with photos, videos, titles, and teasers (instead of just making your Bit.ly links hot); aggregator sites such as The Huffington Post and link-share and social bookmarking sites also spider the link, proffering a selection of images to choose from to be associated with each submission.

If your goal is to be shared or read and you’re participating in social media in order to further your personal or corporate brand, then blog, tweet, Facebook, Tumbl, and Posterous without illustrating that content with a photo, chart, illustration, pull-quote, logo, portrait, or infographic at your own peril.

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May 10, 2012

UppSite: Turn your website into an app in minutes

JD LasicaAfew days ago I sat down with Gal Brill, the founder and CEO of UppSite, an Israel-based start-up that can turn your website into an app in just minutes. At top is a video UppSite produced about their service, and at bottom is my interview with Gal.

As the Web turns increasingly mobile — with a majority of online Americans set to access the Internet through their mobile devices rather than their desktop or laptop computers within a couple of years — any sensible Web publisher should be thinking about how to optimize his or her site for mobile users.

“We’re democratizing the mobile era for any publisher.”
— CEO Gal Brill

I’ve written about a few such services, including WPTouch Pro (Have you made your site mobile-ready?) and OnSwipe (Make your site ‘swipeable’ on the iPad). But UppSite is the first service to come along that can turn any website or blog into an app — on the iPhone or Android — for free, in a matter of minutes. That’s pretty cool. (A Windows Mobile version is coming in a few months.)

Watch, download or embed our video interview on YouTube.

CEO Brill likens UppSite’s entry into the marketplace as akin to WordPress’s disruption of the blogging world, when it make it drop-dead simple to get a blog up and running in 5 minutes. UppSite’s mission is to help you enter the mobile era “in a truly easy way,” he says. In the coming years, he hopes and expects millions of sites — particularly small or mid-size publications — to do so.

“We’re democratizing the mobile era for any publisher,” he says.

A cross-platform solution that actually works

Up until now, online publishers have had to deal with the nightmare of developing and maintaining applications for each separate operating system: iOS (iPhone and iPad), Android, Windows Phone 7 and so on. Not only that, you’d be out of luck in some cases, depending on whether your site runs on WordPress, Blogger, Drupal, etc. While other services often offer little more than a prettified version of an RSS feed, UppSite promises native apps that offer a complete version of your site, with all of the important content and functionality. Continue reading

September 20, 2010

What’s your guilty pleasure app?

Is it Angry Birds, Air Hockey, or an Air Horn?

David SparkI know you like to think that you’re highly productive with your mobile device, but in reality you probably spend more time playing Angry Birds than any other application. At the APPNATION Conference in San Francisco, shooting interviews for Dice, I asked the attendees to reveal their “guilty pleasure app.” Do you know all these apps? Have you played with any of them?

Got a guilty pleasure app of your own? Reveal what it is and why on the Dice Facebook page and you could win a Samsung Galaxy S mobile phone.

To enter the contest go to http://facebook.com/dice and click on the “Contest” tab. Hurry, deadline is September 30th, 2010.

September 15, 2010

What do you wish you knew about mobile app development?

Even looking back most people still can’t figure out the mobile app market

David SparkAt the opening night party at the APPNATION conference where I was reporting for Dice, I asked the attendees, “What do you wish you knew a year ago that you know today about mobile app development?” Their answers are fast, impulsive, and conflicting.

Also from APPNATION is this Amazing example of augmented reality on top of a print magazine. Check out this new way of cheating at crossword puzzles.