2:42 pm // Sunday 10 August 2014
Your Weekly Social Media Diet

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So many social media sites, so little time. This is my plan for keeping on top of it all, and getting more out of your social media life.

Weekdays

Breakfast - catch up and schedule

Get the latest on what’s happening and find shareable content with Digg Reader for news and blogs, YouTrends for the latest trending videos, Reddit for trending funnies and Twitter for the big conversations globally or in your area. Instantly share the most interesting stuff using Buffer (and its brilliant Chrome plugin), which staggers your updates throughout the day. This keeps your Twitter and Facebook filled with good content, taking the pressure off in case you have a busy day. 

Lunch - respond and engage

This is when everyone jumps on Facebook and Twitter so a good time to check in on the ‘big two’. Use TweetDeck to view Twitter and respond to  engagement from your Buffered posts - thank any retweets and mentions with replies or favorites. Then have a scan for any recent developments worth commenting on or adding to your Buffer.

As you’re probably at a computer, this is also a great time to show some love on Pinterest, trawling through your feed to find great images to like and re-pin.

Dinner - longer reads

Chances are you’re in the majority that have flirted with Google+ but don’t use it regularly. I find that people get great value out of it once they start, so get the ball rolling by posting something and actively joining a conversation in a Community relevant to you or on your timeline, every afternoon. It’s a heavily American audience so early evening is a good time to start posting if you’re in UK/Europe.

This time is also when a lot of commuters are bored on the train, reading Twitter, so your Buffer should have a few scheduled slots between 5pm and 7pm. A good time to post links to well-written content (like the best stuff on Medium, for example)

Supper - prime time conversations

The peak of social media traffic in the week is always at around 8pm, in line with TV’s prime time. Conversation on Twitter is largely driven by real-time conversation around TV, so if you’re watching a popular show get tweeting about it with the hashtag, make any witty observations and retweet other people’s. Share relevant bite-sized content on the topic such as memes - as opposed to long blogs or videos.

If you’re really keen, now is a good time to put a few things in your Buffer so you have content going out to followers in other time zones while you sleep.

Weekend

It goes without saying you should try to maintain your weekday activity where possible, especially the ‘breakfast’ and ‘supper’ ones, but here are some weekend-specific to-dos:

Saturday - capture your moments

Typically the quietest day in social media as people spend the least time at screens on Saturdays, instead opting for shopping, seeing friends and doing stuff around the house. This is however when you’re likely to do your most interesting stuff so take lots of pictures with your phone’s camera app, and then Instagram them both on the day and later. Think of your fun weekend activities as opportunities to capture photos for use throughout the week.

Sunday - putting time into bigger content pieces

In opposition to Saturday, Sunday is traditionally the busiest day online, particularly in the mid-afternoon post-lunch lull. It’s when the most people are online, they have the most time and are most relaxed - meaning the best content to put out here is long-form content such as blogs, articles and videos. It’s also when you have the most time to properly produce and promote it.
Write a blog post or record your video blog or podcast in the morning, post it in the afternoon and then take the time to promote it across all your platforms. Beyond putting links with great hooks such as questions or counter-intuitive statements (e.g. Why Drinking is Good For You, Could Drinking Really Be Healthy?) generate conversation where possible through reaching out to passion centres of the topic e.g. tweet at influential people in that sphere asking them what they think, go to the Google+ Community or sub-Reddit and ask people there what they think. Remember to not take a promotional tone, but a human and conversational one.

Weekly Tasks

Twitter - follow new people, @mention influencers and keep an eye on your Buffer analytics to learn what’s working and what’s not. Use ManageFlitter to find new people to follow and clean out your Following list if bloated.

Blog - at least one post per week, but always as many as you can manage. Use Google Analytics to see what worked and where traffic is coming from.

Pinterest - find new boards and people to follow to keep your feed fresh. Pin cool stuff from around the web (sites like Tumblr, FFFFOUND!, editorial and interest-specific sites).

Periodical Tasks

Review your blog theme and any widgets you’re using. Is everything up-to-date? Is your bio still true or relevant across all networks? Do you still have links to sites you’ve abandoned?

Use ManageFlitter or Klout to chart your growth on Twitter and in social media over the year.

Most of all, have fun and enjoy it. I don’t get round to all of the above but now I’ve actually written it down in this post I’m going to start trying! Let me know any useful habits of yours in the comments below!

12:22 pm // Monday 4 August 2014
Destiny Beta - Everything You Ever Wanted To Know In One Epic Infographic

The beta of Bungie’s forthcoming shared-world shooter is over and the stats are in, thanks to this epic infographic just published by Bungie!

(click image for huge version!)
Destiny Beta Infographic

12:14 pm // Saturday 24 May 2014
Why The Moon Landings Would Have Been Harder To Fake Than Do For Real

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Great little video on how it would have been more of a technical challenge to fake the moon landings that actually just go to the moon for real!

10:03 am // Wednesday 26 February 2014
Samsung Galaxy S5, Gear 2 and Gear Fit Hands-On

I’ve been at Mobile World Congress 2014 with Samsung, where all the latest technology and mobile innovations are announced. I was lucky enough to be one of the first people to play with the Galaxy S5 smartphone, the Gear 2 smart watch and Gear Fit sports band.

Find out more about the new products over at Samsung’s site

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This was actually really hard with my brand new skinny jeans on

5:18 pm // Sunday 26 January 2014
6 Things ‘Her’ Tells Us About Our Future

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Spike Jonze’s movie about a newly single man (Joaquin Phoenix) who falls for his computer operating system (voiced by Scarlett Johansson) has not only made a lot of critics’ ‘film of the year’ lists but also struck anyone interested in technology with it’s unusually smart (for Hollywood) approach to portraying the future. The film is set in the near future but there isn’t a hoverboard or spaceport in sight, instead it’s packed with plausible predictions such as:

1. We will talk to computers like people, and they will respond like people

I don’t know if we’ll ever create computers with actual emotions, but it’s certain that we’ll continue to improve the realism with which our wired friends appear to have them. Siri is just the start, and the way Theodore talks to his computer seems only a few steps away. Some say that’s creepy but the movie showed it like having a perfectly efficient personal assistant who could plan your life, find everything you need and know what you’ll want. That sounds awesome.

2. When you buy and install new technology, it will learn everything about you instantly

When Theodore first installs ‘OS1’ the software asks him a few psychological questions to determine what sort of personality the operating system (OS) should adopt. This is just for effect of course because the real thing would simply scan every email you ever sent, every web search and website you visited, every post you ever made online and the content of your local and cloud drives. From seeing how you address people in emails to analysing how you deal with conflict, questions and problems an OS could read you like a book in a matter of seconds and know you so intimately as to interact with you in just the way you like. Again, sounds creepy at first but is probably awesome in practice.

3. Technology will become increasingly invisible

The most progressive aspect of Jonze’s portrayal of the future is how he correctly shows technology continuing to shrink into tiny things in our pockets, homes and ears. Instead of the usual Minority Report-style hologram interfaces everywhere the man-made world is ‘smart’ and responds automatically to us, so when people enter rooms there’s no clapping, the lights just come on. The phone handsets are still an all-doing device like today’s smartphones but have become cute little leather cigarette cases. The interaction is through a discrete wireless earpiece and characters are rarely seen looking at their phones. As both the miniaturisation and intelligence of our tech continue to progress we’ll see it become more invisible yet more powerful.

4. We’ll rehash 20th century fashion forever

The men’s trousers in Her are noticeable for their seriously high 1950s waistline, and everyone wears pretty normal-looking clothes made of cotton, wool and leather in the film which recognises that we’ll always want cotton shirts, denim jeans and leather shoes, even in 1,000 years.

5. We’ll roll back the mess of the industrial age

The industrial and modern age saw humans ripping up, rebuilding, remodelling and generally cluttering the planet. As we become more advanced we’re now trying to reverse the mess we made to what we really always wanted - elegant towns of stone houses filled with cosy furnishings of natural materials like wood, leather and cotton. And this all surrounded by the beauty of nature - an abundance of trees and open green spaces. Funnily enough it’s what men and women have aspired to since first going indoors tens of thousands of years ago, so rather than trying to create mega-sleek living pods we’ll be putting our innovation and energy into making our existing homes more environmentally-friendly, smarter and cleaner.

6. Our computers will learn from each other

In Her it transpires that Samantha is having speed-of-light conversations with other computers throughout the day and night. Their collective ‘brain’ power comes together to develop and deepen each other’s artificial intelligence, which is a scary thought because that’s the very point where we lose control and the outcomes start to look a lot like Terminator.

So the future is bright, and we really have no idea what will happen, but one thing is for sure - <movie industry rant> with the movie being released in some countries up to six months after the US, and given the tech-savviness of its target audience, sadly many people will witness this fine film via torrents and it will lose out on a ton of revenue, further sending a message to movie studios that they need to make terrible romcoms, mindless action or spectacularly animated kids’ films in order to turn a profit.</movie industry rant>. Hopefully in the future we’ve sorted that shit out.

12:08 pm // Thursday 26 September 2013
100 Amazing Diagrams That Changed The World

Diagrams, and particularly ‘infographics’ feel like an inherently modern phenomenon. Something that only people whose time is no longer consumed with avoiding plagues, scurvy and constant warring have the luxury of creating. But as 100 Diagrams That Changed the World: From the Earliest Cave Paintings to the Innovation of the iPod shows, there are some truly beautiful examples from medieval times and even earlier of man’s urge to bring order to the world around him through these highly technical yet aesthetically gorgeous works. Here’s a selection for your viewing, Pinning and printing pleasure:

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The Rosetta Stone - 196 BC
Allowed Egyptologists to decrypt hieroglyphics for the first time, due to the same message written here in three different languages (hieroglyphics, Demotic, Greek).

3:12 pm // Sunday 12 May 2013
Incredible Colour Footage of London Streets & Landmarks in 1927

This amazing film shows London in 1927 - 12 years before World War II tore through Europe and changed London’s people and landscape forever. We see people enjoying Hyde Park, dodging buses in the road, going shopping and generally doing the stuff we still do today in these familiar places, just in different clothes. With the film in such good condition, it feels eerily fresh and alive, even though perhaps no-one in the footage is still with us today.

(via @KevinSpacey )

6:36 pm // Saturday 11 May 2013
VIDEO: Prices of Vices Around the World - the $20 Test

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Wonder no more traveller, here is a minute-long guide to where the cheapest Starbucks, most expensive cocaine and most-cigs-for-your-buck is to be found!