Flickr Make it Easier to Share Images

You see an image on Flickr and you want to share it with a friend or a family member. Now you have to copy and paste the link into an email or some other form of getting that link to them, right… Not any more.

Send_to_a_friend screenshotFlickr have introduced easy photo sharing right from the source of the image. Now my only problem was that after hearing about the feature and wanting to check it out but I’d be damned if I could find the feature. After a bit of looking around in a few menus  and having no luck I went back to the image page and looked more thoroughly. I spotted the option in the bottom right of the page in small print. “Send to a Friend”

Not sure why Flickr has made this feature so hard to find. Or is that that I am not observant enough? Features like this should be easy to find and use. No problem with the ease of use, in fact 10/10. They get a 2/10 for easy to find, in my opinion. Maybe they are trying to save on the bandwidth or something. Beats me.

Clicking that link throws you to a page with the option to send the image via email or to another Flickr member. There is a default message that you can add to or just send as is. The default message is fine in my book. I sent one to myself. The cool thing about this feature is that the recipient gets the message and the image in their inbox with an additional link to the page on Flickr that it comes from. What this means is that they can save the image locally. To save a photo on Flickr from the web page you have to have an account and be logged in. Now you don’t, provided someone with an account send it to you.

Nice feature and I think I might actually upgrade my account to a pro account as this is great for family and friends and I am going to use it a lot. I am actually trying to update my Flickr page more often, to keep the family in the loop a bit better. Some of our family are a couple of 1000 kay away and I know they will appreciate it. Thanks Flickr!

Flickr_Home_Screenshot

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PR Pitching

I was just reading a blog entry by Steve Rubel about the fact that he is receiving more PR pitches (for what he does not say) and that his inbox is full of poor quality pitches. We get a few of these a week from different companies a web site or a developer and I was thinking about what I thought about the practice and agreeing to review their product.

Steve was mainly concerned about the fact that the quality of the PR pitches that he was receiving were getting worse than better. Which is surprising since it seems one of the best ways to get noticed in a crowded space is to get blogged about by an A-lister. You want to put your best foot forward and deliver quality all round, not just your product or site. Even if you have a great new start-up or a good quality product it might be ignored if the pitch is crap.

So we at The Global Geek Podcast get a few of these “pitches” a week. I am sure we are not getting the volume that people like Steve Rubel get! But we get a modest few. Usually it is for a site review or something like that. One of the segments that we have in the podcast is called “Sites and Services”. It is actually one of the most loved segments of the show and the one that generates the most feedback from developers and listeners both. So it stands to reason that we are pitched, plus they get a link in the show notes. Generally, we just get a pleasant email saying something like, please have a look at [site name] and consider for review in the podcast.

It feels great to know that companies want us to look at their product. We are fairly new at this so it is a bit of a buzz. But the way that I respond to these is that I look at them all. We don’t review them all on the podcast though. If it is crap or does not interest us it gets the boot. If we include it in the podcast the the response from the developer is often mixed.

Occasionally the developers and owners are none too impressed at what we have to say. We don’t trash sites but we do give our honest opinion. We do this with a few things in mind. That is we think of our audience and we think about what we stand for. I wonder if the developers thought about this before they sent us an email?

Our policy is that we review or report on a website or service based on the fact that we are users. Not uber geeks, users. If I recommend a site in the show then I do not want our listeners writing to us flaming us that the site was for example “hard to understand” or “had a bad interface” (or just generally shit). If we think it is cool then we say why and how and they are the reactions that we think our listeners will have to it. That doesn’t mean a website or service has to be simple, you might have a bloody unreal website with great features and it might even be revolutionary but if there is no instruction book then your effort is wasted on the user. (This happens a lot)

Yes, we have even had hate mail as a result of a review. But when you put your product out there and ask for it to be judged then you better be confident in your product and also be prepared to accept what has been said. Or we get email back saying that we did not “get it” and here is some more information about the service so we might better understand it. Okay, so if you need to tell us what it is about and how to use it or what is so good about it, then why was that information not included on the site? How do you expect the public and the average “user” to understand and adopt your technology?

The best feedback that we have ever had for sites and services are those which have been unsolicited or non-pitched, sourced with our own resources. Ironic. These are the ones that give us a link in their company blog and are very thankful that we spoke of them. Nice.

Steve Rubel goes on to mention the tatic that Pete Cashmore from Mashable has taken to overcome the in-box inundation of pitches that I am sure he has. That is to post pitches “as is” and unedited on the blog then to add his own take on the service or whatever it is. Good idea but hard to do for a podcast. Although we can just report it and let the listeners judge it. But then we want to let our listeners know where the best or the useful or the special or the remarkable is not just have a look and judge for yourself.

I just hope that The Global Geek in-box doesn’t resemble a Web 2.0 mash-up as time goes on. I don’t have enough time to do what I have to now, but we are always open to suggestions. Just one tip to the potential “pitcher”: Don’t pitch your website or service with an assumption as to what the reviewer might say, it might be glowing or it might be negative it might be mixed. Take that on the chin and agree or disagree or be thankful that it was tops. Or better; use it to improve what you are offering and ask the reviewer back to reconsider their initial verdict. The latter speaks volumes.

Odeo Email Issues?

Odeo LogoI think that there might be a problem with Odeo’s email notification. I was actually told by someone yesterday that they had sent The Global Geek Podcast an audio message via Odeo. The message was from our CEO Cameron Reilly so it was important that we got it. More importantly it is important that we get audio messages from the listeners.

I don’t visit our Odeo Inbox on a regular basis, I rely on the email notification to let me know there is a message waiting. I have not checked the RSS feed for a few days. I have been busy doing other things and I only regard the RSS feed as a backup to the email notification.

I am still waiting for the email notification for the Odeo inbox from a message that was left two days ago. I am starting to think that the email notification is busted or at least has malfunctioned in some way.

Before you think that the email settings are wrong or that my spam filter has canned it, think again. I have checked the settings in my account at Odeo and all is correct there. In addition to that it is not only me that gets an email notification that a message has been left. My, co-host also gets a notification as well. We have a pretty cool email setup where we have multiple recipients for a single address by default. So Sebastian is still waiting for an email as well.

Marketing Our Podcast: A Challenge Issued!

TPN LogoWe are having some trouble at The Global Geek Podcast HQ! We need some kick-arse marketing strategies and quick. No, I am not doing what my brother suggested:

“…Tattoo the URL to your penis, photograph it, then post it on your blog, digg the article.”

While this strategy might spike some interest and probably work; it was not really what I had in mind when I asked him if he had any ideas about exposure! So I am asking the faithful readers of my blog to do a couple of things that will help.

  • If you have not checked out the podcast, head on over to The Global Geek Podcast homepage and at least have a listen to the show, if you like it SUBSCRIBE to the RSS feed.
  • If you like the podcast or you think someone else might then tell them.
  • If you have a blog then why not give us a bit of a plug or put the podcast in your blog roll or links. I can get you a logo or graphic if you want it to look good.
  • We reviewed a site called Folkd in the last podcast it is a great “Digg” type site but very, very good and looks awesome, I have posted our podcast on there so that it can be voted on. If you like the podcast then Register and give it a Folkd! (vote/”digg”).
  • Same for Shoutwire and Newsvine
  • If you have a Digg account then why not Digg the latest episode? (doesn’t look so good if we do it…)
  • Let us know what else we might do to spread the word about the podcast.

I think that we have a reasonable podcast and that our content is good. So now we need exposure. We are trying to do that but we need your help! If you listen to the podcast and reckon other people should as well then tell them, or at least another two people, then tell them to do the same. It is greatly appreciated.

So I also issue a challenge! Read on…

If one person truly blows me away by something that they do to give us some major exposure (that we can see results from – like more downloads), I will personally fund a prize for that person! That’s right I’ll send you clobber. Don’t expect anything too amazing, we are not making money you know, but it will be cool and practical – cause that’s what you do when you don’t have much cash!

And you are on the show (if you want to be) to tell everyone what you did!

If there are any podcasters out there or anyone else for that matter with some great ideas then let me know by dropping me a comment or you can also send us email at The Global Geek Podcast. Thanks everyone I appreciate it and so does The Podcast Network!

The Global Geek Podcast: http://www.globalgeekpodcast.com

RSS Feed: http://globalgeek.thepodcastnetwork.com/feed/

Odeo Respond, Download Link Returns!

As posted yesterday it appeared Odeo had decreased it's functionality of the "send me an Odeo message" by not allowing users to download the mp3 of the left message. Well there has been a great response from Odeo with emails and even a blog comment. All is restored in the Odeo universe.

Odeo Download LinkBiz Stone who works for Odeo left a comment on the Rail yesterday that indicated that the omission of the Download link on the web page was a bug and implied that they were unaware of the problem until I had blogged about it. So great I found a bug! The emails that were recieved were also prompt and promised a resolution. The action by Odeo to resolve the issue has been excellent. When I logged onto my inbox this afternoon, the download link is now present and accounted for. Everyone breath a sigh of relief. I am yet to see if the enclosure in the RSS feed from the "inbox" has been fixed as well but I am assuming that it has.

I commend Odeo staff on their excellent response time and the fact that they responded at all. They could have easily just resolved the problem and pretended that it did not happen. Great work Odeo, we still love you 😉 (In a nice blokey type of way…).

In fact I am not really sure how Biz found my humble blog, and if he is reading this then I wouldn't mind knowing. The other thing that I was curious about was if the staffers at Odeo patrol the BlogOsphere looking for tags and posts regarding Odeo, to see what people are saying and suggesting. I know that one suggestion that I made in the past was implemented, so that was cool.

Thanks Odeo keep up the good work.

Odeo Cripples Functionality

Odeo LogoOdeo seem to be updating and improving their services every other day of late. However, it is not every day that you see such a great service actually remove a feature and make it harder for users to utilise their service. They have indeed done so and perhaps in doing so shooting themselves in the foot.

One of the great features that is available to Odeo users is to have an "inbox". If you were to place a button on your website, be it blog or some other site you have enabled your readers to leave you audio comments by clicking the link. They get taken to a page that has a recording interface, which is simple and easy to use and the result is great audio. You as the user of Odeo get that recorded audio in your inbox once it is sent to you. You are notified of this by an email.

Another great feature is that you can subscribe to an RSS feed of your own inbox! So this is a great way to receive feedback on anything. Including podcasts. Seb and I saw it as a great way to get feedback for Global Geek Podcast, so we set up an account. The advantage of getting audio as feedback is that you could go to your inbox once you were notified and click the new Odeo comment that was left for you. You can listen to it. But the biggest feature was that you could click a "download as MP3" button and download the audio comment and insert it into a podcast! The result was excellent and we loved it.

The ability to download the MP3 has been removed from the play window! So what the hell is Odeo thinking in removing this key functionality. It means that it is impossible to download the audio from the page to your local machine. Rather it makes it a pain in the butt to do it.

I found that there is a work-around but it is messy: Open Audacity, set the source to "stereo mix" get ready to hit record… Open the Odeo message that you want to record. Flip back to Audacity and hit record, nip over to the Odeo page and click play. Go back and hit stop on the recording when it has finished. As I said messy. In addition the audio that you end up with is less than ideal and requires a bit of editing.

I am utterly dismayed as to why Odeo have removed this from their site. The only thing that I can think of is that they want users to listen to audio, only from them and not from another source. Perhaps they were not aware that the service was being utilized in this way and they have done it ignorantly, I just don't know. Sebastian has suggested that perhaps they are beginning to think about implementing a pay service and this has something to do with it. But since when has any site reduced their services as opposed to offering more. We are not the only podcast doing this. I can honestly say that if this situation remains as it is; the blogging and podcasting community could deliver some negative press, big time.

Global Geek Podcast has mentioned Odeo on every show that we have done. Not only that there is a link on the Global Geek Podcast website to Odeo, there is a link to Odeo on Rooster's Rail, Seb's Random Thoughts and we have plugged them for their service and functionality since utilizing their service. It is not like we have not given back to Odeo. This I feel is the thanks that we get.

Global Geek Podcast have sent off an email to Odeo in regards to this issue and we await a response, I will let you know what we get back from them when and if we do.

Update: Please check out the Follow-up Story

FeedDemon 2.0.0.23: Update

It would seem from both the comments on the blog post and the prompt reply on email that the update of FeedDemon to 2.0.0.23 was indeed legit!

It is apparent that the silence from the usually vocal development team confused more people than myself, so I don't feel so bad about questioning it. Nick Bradbury has taken the concerns regarding this; on board and will let everybody know in the future of pending updates. Phew 🙂

But yet again NewsGator and Nick have proved, to me in any case, that they are committed to their user base and most importantly responsive to their concerns and wishes. Thanks guys.

I am just glad I was not fighting some rogue virus or spyware at this point in time… I think I would have definitely been kicking myself and asking others to do it for me when I had finished.

I just can not speak highly enough of this program and the support, I just love it for lots of reasons and this is one of them.