My Favorite Apps

AppsWhich apps have I been using enough that I want them on my main iPhone screen? Here’s a rundown (right now, I have two more screens of apps that I don’t use nearly as much, but are pretty handy once in awhile … like a flashlight or the calculator app):

  • Messages – default text messaging app.
  • Calendar – self-explanatory, and used a lot!
  • Clock – I set lots of alarms to remind myself to do stuff (like picking up a child from dance practice). I also use the alarm clock feature when I’m traveling.
  • Camera – self-explanatory. Does video too.
  • Evernote – I use this for random note-taking, jotting down quick ideas, that type of thing. I also keep some lists here (ie., lists of books I want to read)
  • RTM (Remember the Milk) – It’s a to-do list that works well with the Getting Things Done method.
  • reQall – Very cool app that I just discovered. It’s replacing the Jott service I’ve been using, and doing a nice job of it, too. Basically, you can record a 30-second voice memo, and it turns it into text and emails that text to you. You can do a lot more with it … that’s for another post
  • Photography – These are all different cameras, photograph editors, or effects that I’ve been playing with:

    • CameraBag – has some neat filters, like 1962 (looks like an old photo, Fisheye, etc.
    • Darkroom Pro – alternate camera I was playing with, until …
    • Camera+ – I discovered this one! They were kicked out of the iTunes app store for awhile – not sure if they’re back yet. But it’s a great camera app – better than the default one, plus it has some great filters built-in. The only reason I haven’t replaced it with the default app is video (as in, it takes none).
    • CameraPlus – not sure why I still have this here … must play with it again, then probably delete.
    • PS Express – as in Adobe Photoshop Express. Great little app with some handy editing features.
    • Flickr – a flickr browser.
    • TiltShiftGen – makes those funky tiltshift “miniature” style photos. It’s fun!
    • Photos – default iPhone photo browser.
    • Qik Video Pro – this one’s been a disappointment. I bought it because it has some fun video filters (like black & white, frost, etc.). But guess what? It doesn’t do the 16X9 HD video that my iPhone 4 can do (even though the iTunes app store description says “works with iPhone 4!”). So that’s no fun! Otherwise … the app posts live video to Qik, and sends to other places like Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.
  • Bibles – a couple different Bibles I use:
    • AcroBible – the NIV version. A classic.
    • Bible (YouVersion) – I use the Bible part of this app, primarily … but it’s really more of a social network with a Bible in it. You can friend people, see any notes they create, set up virtual Bible studies, hook your calendar up with a variety of Bible reading plans, etc. The app comes from lifechurch.tv – a church that makes apps and social networks!
  • TWC – as in The Weather Channel. Hey – I live in Tornado Alley!
  • Wikipanion – a Wikipedia app. I bet I use this app almost every day…
  • Reeder – a Google Reader app. Also used almost every day.
  • Location Stuff – I’ve been experimenting with location-based services, so…
    • Foursquare – you can be the mayor…
    • Gowalla – another cool tool.
    • Brightkite – a third service I play with.
    • Loopt – the first location-based service on the iPhone.
    • check.in – web-based app that lets you checkin to multiple places at once. Right now, I have it hooked into Foursquare, Gowalla, and Brightkite. It’s very beta, so doesn’t always work.
    • Mayorama – lets you see how many checkins you need to be mayor (Foursquare only). Sorta fun playing with this… 31 more checkins until I’m mayor of Lake Shawnee!
    • Whrrl – another location service.
  • Shazam – cool music service. If I hear a song, I can hold it up, press “Tag Now” and find out who it is, and most of the time, it works great. Unfortunately, I’m often listening to weird college radio or a christian station … neither of which are mainstream. So I sometimes get an “unrecognized” out of it.
  • Facebook – self explanatory.
  • Twitter – self explanatory.
  • And of course, my phone/mail/safari/ipod apps that show on every page.

So, that’s what I’m using. What do you have on YOUR smartphone’s main app page? What can’t you live without?

Finding and Saving Those Tweets

After I posted Twitter Search Engines a couple days ago, Gary Price chatted with me about TwapperKeeper. Basically, Twapperkeeper can save tweets and hashtags, and creates an archive of them for you… so you, say, don’t lose track of a hashtag you created a couple of weeks ago.

What other similar tools are out there? Check out these useful posts:

Hope you find these useful!

Twitter Search Engines

Twenty two days ago, I asked readers to tweet how they get permission to do stuff using the #getpermission hashtag in Twitter. Yesterday, I remembered that I needed to copy/paste some of those tweets into my How YOU Get Permission post … and failed miserably! Why? Because tweets pretty much disappear after about a week and a half. Technically the tweets are still there – they’re just not found by most search engines, Twitter’s included.

So I did some furious searching, and actually found a few of those hashtag tweets! Which search engines worked?

Here’s a list of Twitter search engines and what they found. Thankfully, there’s one #getpermission tweet out there right now, so theoretically, every search should at least find that recent tweet. Let’s see what happens!

Found the most recent tweet plus something else:

  • Topsy – found it, plus three others (including the ones I quoted in my last post). You have to click “all time” to get those. It’s obviously NOT all time, or it would have found everything else, too. Not sure what’s up with that. But hey – it’s something!
  • twazzup – found it, plus found my last post, a news article that mentioned “get permission”
  • crowdeye – found it plus one other, plus my blog post.

Found the most recent tweet only:

And finally, search engines that found nothing – not even the most recent tweet:

  • Tweetmeme
  • twitority
  • twitalyzer – this one didn’t search at all – they claimed that Twitter was acting up again, and said “come back later!”
  • yauba
  • tweefind
  • cloud.li
  • trendistic
  • twittertroll – Interestingly, they said “no results. We suck” when nothing was found. Well … yes, you do!
  • twitterment – This one doesn’t seem to search hashtags. It took my hashtag, separated the words, and ran a search for “get permission”
  • oneriot – this search stripped out the hashtag and found something completely unrelated.
  • twitmatic – dunno. still waiting for the search to complete its “first time indexing” …

So there you have it! Want to find an “ancient” tweet (as in, older than 10 days)? I’d suggest using Topsy or Crowdeye (probably both).

Fun Twitter bird by Marc Benton

How YOU Get Permission

Here’s my third post on Getting Permission. In the first post, I covered how I get permission. The second post asked for tips from you guys.

Here’s what you said (from my comments):

  • Chris Freeman: “selling the outcome of the idea as opposed to the “tool” that will create the outcome is helpful. What will be better about our services if we implement this idea rather than “hey, here’s a new idea for us to try”?”
  • Chris also said: “identify who the “informal power brokers” are in the organization. Having an influential person stating support for your plans goes a long way toward swaying those who control whatever resources you need to accomplish your goals.”
  • Michael Casey: “If you can plug your idea into the strategic plan and highlight any efficiencies the idea might offer — either direct financial savings or staff-time savings — then you’re off to a good start.”
  • Genesis Hansen: Don’t just ask for permission to do what you want, offer something in return. Our City Council was very squeamish about letting departments use social media. In order to get myself on our City’s social media policy committee and be allowed to participate in a social media pilot project I compiled a lot of research on social media policies, organized it and sent it to the Committee chair. I also offered to do social media and policy training for other departments in the City. As a result, I was included in the process, got to give input into policy formation (didn’t win every battle, but did win some important ones), and made some valuable contacts in other City departments. And now any department that wants to start using social media will go through training with library staff.
  • Genesis also said: “Always try to demonstrate the tangible benefits your project will offer. If you’re in a place where the powers that be are generally resistant, don’t phrase your request as “this is something cool I want to try” but “I think I know a way to help the library meet this particular service goal, and I’m happy to do the legwork to make it happen.” Make it as easy as possible for your boss to say yes.”
  • ananka: “talk to someone who supports me and my ideas first, bounce it off them. It helps if they have some weight behind them with admin. Sell it to them, work out some of the issues that might arise, then slowly (within reason, depending on the scope of your idea) begin telling others about it, working your way up. Pretty soon they will be asking when your program starts.”
  • David Whelan: “The most important element is to be willing to ask the question. Some of the projects I have started came about because I sat with the decision maker and said, here’s what I want to do, how can I do it? It engages them and it highlights where your plan may need work. So once you’ve asked, be prepared that you may need to ask again. Sometimes a decision maker just need to be asked and you’re good to go.”
  • Lori Reed: “start small. Starting with small projects allows you to prove yourself. So instead of a social media makeover maybe just start with a Facebook page for one branch.”
  • Lori also said: “Now for ideas…you can look outside your organization as a place to grow. The ALA Learning Round Table has allowed me to stretch my wings and gain experience with skills that I could not use (at least not initially) in my day job.”

I also received some great tips from some of you via Twitter, as well (for another post – yes, I set up a hashtag #getpremission. No, I didn’t save the thing anywhere. Yes, I forgot that tweets pretty much disappear after 1 1/2 weeks. Yes, I waited too long to post this – lesson learned. Drat).

Heather at i_librarian said this:

  • 1. Do your homework.Get evidence. Provide WHY it is valid and what it will do for your library. #getpermission @davidleeking (found here)
  • 2. Mock ups, mock ups, mock ups. People need to see what it will look and feel like. Be as concrete as you can. #getpermission @davidleeking (found here)
  • 3. Get buy-in from others who will be affected. 4. Spell out who and how the work will get done #getpermission @davidleeking (found here)

Laura J. Wilkinson said this:

  • Make it easy for your boss to say ‘yes’ to your idea – think it out and manage any risks #getpermission (found here)
  • Make the business case for your idea #getpermission (found here)
  • Identify success criteria and agree a trial period. Monitor, evaluate, review #getpermission (found here)
  • Be prepared to work on your idea on your own time #getpermission (found here)
  • Get the support of someone in authority. Give examples of what similar libraries have done (works well in Oxford!) #getpermission (found here)
  • Make it easy for your boss to say ‘yes’ to your idea – think it out and manage any risks #getpermission (found here)

Did we miss something? Some great tip on how YOU get permission that isn’t here? Please share!

Pic by JanneM

It’s the Experience that Matters – Notes from a ULC Webinar

I attended an Urban Libraries Council webinar on the customer experience today – it was good! Here are some of my notes from the session.

Speaker – Melanie Huggins, Richland County Public Library

Stuff I found interesting…

Definitions:
User Experience (UX) – interaction between technology and humans
Customer Experience (CxP) – all aspects of a customer’s interaction with an organization, its product and services

Think about the whole interaction – the before, during, and after – that’s the customer experience.

6 laws of customer experience:

1. Every interaction creates a personal reaction
– An experience designed for everyone satisfies no one. You need to optimize for a specific set of customers (ie., use personas)

2. People are instinctively self-centered
– don’t sell things – help customers buy them
– don’t show your corporate underpants

3. Customer familiarity breeds alignment
– think of your company as a large production crew making the stars (front-line employees) shine on stage (during customer interactions) – nice thought!

4. Unengaged employees don’t create engaged customers

5. Employees do what is measured, incented, and celebrated
– me – ok. “encented” is a silly word.
– don’t just expect staff to do the right things. Instead, clearly define good behaviors.
– watch for mixed messages

6. You can’t fake it!
– it has to be top priority to be successful
– advertise to reinforce, not create, positioning (ie., job ads)

Definition of brand: a customer’s gut feeling about a product, service, or organization.

Good stuff!