This guest post is authored by Lomesh Shah, President and Co-Founder of NonProfitEasy. Lomesh combines his entrepreneurial passion with more than 20 years of international corporate experience and has been a strong advocate for using the power of technology for the transformation of the nonprofit sector. Continue reading [Guest Post] 6 Tried and True Tips For Today’s Entrepreneurs
Twitter has acquired Cover, the Android app that allows users to create customizable lockscreens. The financial details of the deal were not disclosed. Continue reading Twitter Acquires Lockscreen Android App Cover
If you are a webmaster, chances are you already use Google Analytics for understanding and analyzing your user behavior. The tool from Google aggregates the data that can answer a ton of questions about your visitors which otherwise would have been kept unanswered. However, you need to spend some time and study closely to understand which data means what, and depending on that what changes are needed to be implemented to improve stats. GitGrow is here to help.
You will be required to authorize your Google account(which you use for Google Analytics) to get an account with GitGrow. Next you will have to add your analytics profile for the website you are willing to monitor with GitGrow. Once you are in, you will get to see insights based on your Google Analytics data.
Google Analytics and other tools that measure web visitors metrics for your website, only points out raw data (lately a bit of insights too). It happens often that you hardly know what to do with it. For example a rise in bounce rates indicates that your customers/visitors are not engaging with the content that you have, so you need to optimize your internal linking or landing pages. Similarly a study of the resolutions used by your site visitors gives you a good insight into how you can design your website to look or perform better on their screens. This is where GitGrow comes in. It analyzes your data and puts forward suggestions to leverage from the user metrics which serves great for website analytics.
The service comes at an introductory price of $49/month(which is free to use now). Other plans are priced at $499 and $799 per month with many more advanced features like recommendations, peer comparing etc.
In an age where the companies are understanding the potential of mining their user data in helping them improve their revenue opportunities and customer engagement, solutions like GitGrow are quite relevant. Currently in beta, GitGrow plans to integrate other popular analytics tools like Kissmetrics in later versions. Give a try if you want to know more.
Instagram is one of the most successful startup stories you’ll ever hear about. It took over a year to build such a great product in terms of popularity, usability and money it earned. Quite acceptable. However, as Mike Krieger (co-founder Instagram) likes to put it, “Instagram is an app that only took 8 weeks to build and ship, but was a product of over a year of work.”. But if you use Parse, a backend service for smartphone apps, Instagram could have been built in just 30 minutes. Now here’s an awkward statement for any founder.
Anypic is a latest open-source alternative released by Parse that replicates Instagram. You can download the source and put together your own version of Instagram. Parse claims that developers have already started tweaking Anypic to create intriguing photo apps. Cool, right?
Just like me, you must be wondering why would someone roll out a replica of a burgeoning service. Well it was not meant that way. The developers of Parse had other intentions in mind while building this app. Anypic commends how flexible and robust Parse(which also serves backend for Anypic) is. The 30-minutes-to-fame is actually complementing the fact that developing smartphone apps with Parse supporting the backend is as easy as pie.
As mentioned at the beginning, Instagram couldn’t have been built with Parse as the latter came along only while Instagram was already a hit. Parse is already serving backend for more than 25,000 apps which includes enterprise apps as well as apps from non-affiliated developers. On a closing note, Anypic is a great product-showcase app that reinforces the ability of Parse.
Planning to get your latest performance rated by like minded individual. Fandalism, a new startup, aims to get musicians on board to create a social experience around them. Launched in January and currently out of the invite-only mode, Fandalism lets musicians interact in a way they like most, by playing their hearts out.
Create a profile by choosing the genres you prefer, your location, musicians who influence you and instruments you can play. Get started with the network by sharing your compositions or performances. You can share YouTube videos or SoundCloud audio apart from lyrics and photos to show what you are capable of.
Like every social network out there, Fandalism also has a voting feature which is coined as “props”. So if you like a song/video from a user, you can quick vote it with props. The songs/performances that are “hot” have a tiny flame icon on it to clarify its hotness on the musician social network. You can follow users and search for great musicians based on location so you can work with them on your next composition.
Remember Philip Kaplan? The guy who founded the far-famed blog FuckedCompany and the ad network Adbrite has single-handedly built the next best thing for musicians around the globe. Based on the popularity with no conventional promotions, the necessity among the community is quite obvious.
As to monetizing the app, there is hardly any clue so far. However, reports suggest it would probably go for the sponsored ad model for music related companies. No seed funding is reported till date. Bootstrapped by one man and the huge number of musicians amassed, Fandalism can definitely make pots of money in coming days.
Unlike many other social startups with music as the core niche, Fandalism is more of a solo act. It serves great as a front page representing your musical entity. So whether you are planning to look for gigs or searching for perfect pianist for your band or just curious about the new kids in the business, Fandalism is a great place to hang out.
If you are team of 10 members or an enterprise consisting of 3000 individuals, Acunote is the latest entrant in the online project management and scrum software category that can provide you with a simple(akin to Gmail) yet robust tool for the tasks at hand. Founded by a YCombinator alum (from Winter 2011 class) the new startup aims to make project management a real-time job with better capabilities.
Start with a project and tasks can assigned to people which can then be bundled into sprints that pertain to specific group of people responsible for a role in the project. As in real scenario, during the period any project is under process tasks are often needed to be re-assigned(to a team or member) or rescheduled. The drag and drop assignment of task is a healer, while any change that is made to any section of the project is precisely reflected in real time across the network. Now if you have tasks that are meant to be performed for successful project completion but hasn’t yet been scheduled goes into the backlog section to be taken care of when a member/group/time is available.
Code view and commenting on pieces of codes being worked upon (or completed) provides an all-in-one interface for the coding team. Integration of other useful tools like Google Apps, source control systems (Subversion, Github, Perforce), bugtrackers (JIRA, Trac, FogBugz, Bugzilla, Mantis) helps make Acunote a complete solution for the coding folks.
Every task has a status which clearly depict whether it is in progress or completed or has not been acted upon. Aided by the task progress data, brilliant burndown and analytics charts as well as ETA predictions are shown with which the managerial team can easily make decisions for future. Wiki for tasks, timeline(log of events) and access control, keyboard shortcuts are also some key features to take advantage of this online tool.
Plans start from $49/month for small teams while bigger teams can opt for $99/month or $149/month with added advantages. While all the accounts are free for 30days with all the features, the company only accepts credit cards(Paypal payment not supported) for all sorts of payment. Acunote also has a free plan in place for small teams with 1-5 members. Although officially launched a little late, the company has been in action for quite some time already has an impressive clientele to brag about.
Compared to those obstreperous project management tools Acunote offers a wieldy interface that any Gmail user can familiarize with. Acunote provides flexibility for numerous iterative and incremental methodologies implemented for software development. So if you have a project at hand and need a hassle-free mechanism to manage it, Acunote is a great choice.
Bought a new pair of glasses? Or need some buying advice? Whatever be the case, we have questions to ask, we love responses and we need opinions. There’s always a good way to ask your Facebook or Twitter buddies or some may even try the Google+. Frankly from time to time the updates never receive attention as it is buried down with the flooding updates from others. Here is an Android app that does a great job in getting your updates rated or opinionaided(as they like to call it). The amount of responses you get is something makes it stand out in the crowd of already popular services that offers Q&A.
Thumb, with a simplistic method, lets you ask a question about anything you wish to get a second opinion. Once you have uploaded something the app algo shows it to random users listed in a random pattern with similar updates from people using the app. Users can vote on it with a thumbs up/down, express indifference with a neutral button or those who really wish to take participation to higher level can drop in a comment too. You can also add images to your questions to make them more intriguing.
Asking a question or voting on a question on Thumb is so surprisingly easy and judging by the obvious engagement big names have it already being termed as one of the most addictive social network around questions. The average responses ranges something around 70 per question which is not just a big number, it explains how addictive Thumb is already. The user engagement even astounded the company CEO Dan Kurani when it first took off. Check out the promo video, it demonstrates quite exactly how prompt, albeit, diverse thinkers the Thumb community comprises of.
The app once again proves that the social space is far from being called saturated. If you have right mantra and the right skills to implement it, getting someone into the social game is not that hard. As in this case, the app banks on the instinctive nature of humans, where the response is more impulsive rather than judgmental. Moreover, we all have opinions and we just love to express them even before we are asked. That’s me exaggerating, although, I believe Thumb took this simple logic into consideration.
Most people today use more than one social network. You either have a Twitter account or Facebook account or both. Wouldn’t it be awesome if there were a service that would aggregate all your social content into a single webpage?
Well, RebelMouse does exactly that! It’s a service that allows you to aggregate your social feeds from Twitter and Facebook and is created by Huffington Post’s former CTO Paul Berry.
Signing up for RebelMouse is a pretty straightforward process. You can either use your Twitter or Facebook account to sign up. Once signed up, you will be taken to the RebelMouse dashboard. Here you can configure your Facebook and Twitter settings. You can include your profile, the Facebook pages you administer and apps you own. For twitter, you can add different accounts on Twitter. While you need to be the owner/admin of the Facebook page that you are adding, you can add any public Twitter profile that you like.
You can even add multiple persons to administer your RebelMouse site. You can add them as Editor, Administrator or Guest. Once you have added the feeds, your post will automatically start appearing. At the moment, RebelMouse is offering a free account. But paid accounts for individuals and businesses with a top level domain name will be added soon, according to their site.
The interface of the site is pleasant to see albeit a little bit cluttered. They provide a few options on the fonts and that’s the only customization option you will get.
Coming to a conclusion, it’s an easy to use service to aggregate your content. Will anyone want to visit another site for social updates is an entirely different question. But considering they got about 12,000 signups within the first week, that isn’t an issue.
When it comes to job searching, having a resume that stands out, has all the relevant information and one that is a reflection of yourself definitely helps.
ResumUP is a web 2.0 service that creates a visually captivating resume for you. You can either login using your Facebook account or LinkedIn account. ResumUP will then analyse your data and convert it into a graphical resume.
The signup is a pretty straightforward process. As I mentioned above, you can use either your Facebook or LinkedIn account to login. Once logged in, you can immediately start building your resume by clicking the My Resume button at the top of the screen.
You can either choose to have a normal non-graphical resume or the more compelling graphical one. Most of the data will be automatically added depending on the information on the social profile that you used to sign in.
Apart from the general information such as education, work experience etc. you can also include more detailed information about your identity and skills using an easily manageable grading system. The Identity rating system was pretty straight forward to use but the Skill set infographic had me thinking for a minute to setup. May be that was just me, but I think they should have had made it just like the Identity section.
Once completed, you can share your resume using various sharing options provided by ResumUP, as well as download it as a PDF or PNG for attaching with emails or taking a printout. One thing I liked about the Export feature was that you could control the amount of information that you actually wanted in the PDF/PNG. That is, if you were intending to submit your resume to a particular company or individual and didn’t want to include your ‘intention’ such as the salary or position you are expecting, you can do that.
All in all, it is a very easy to use service with an easy-to-use interface. There aren’t many templates to choose from, but the one it uses is really compelling and interesting. I felt that one drawback was that there was no way you could download it without the ResumUP watermark. It would have been nice to have a paid option to download the resume without the watermark. So if you are a job seeker looking for a way to beef up your resume, ResumUP is a definitely a nice service to use.
The knockout stage has kicked off for Euro 2012 thereby taking the football fever to a higher level. There are plenty options you can socially connect to the madness. There’s Twitter and other apps like OnSports, PlayUp, Share The Match etc that does a fine job handling the social updates pertaining to the game.
However, a new social network, Kyck plans to make the experience more specifically soccer-centric. The service went live last summer with a website and the release was followed by an iOS app launched afterwards. The company plans to go mobile and an Android variant is expected during the end of the current year. The company was started by Mac Lackey, a vet in the online tech industry and was sold off later. The team currently consists of 14 members and 3 interns.
The social network is currently invite-only, although, the team urges users to ask for an invite which will most likely get answered in a day. Alternatively, you can ping them on Twitter, letting them know about your eagerness and passion to join the network by adding a hashtag #KYCKme to your tweet. Once you get in you can follow international teams as well as any player to check out the latest conversations related to the topic. Similarly, if you wish to get your views included in a specific conversation feed, you can tag them with the relevant tag. Check-ins to a game, club or player will ensure you get in-app or push notifications related to them in later times. The social element comes in as a hybrid of Twitter features. You can follow people to get updates(photos, comments, notes etc) from him/her on your stream. Moreover, the spiffy algo also curates a list of contents(Top Kyck) that are considered commendable by the community.
The new network is planning for a public release sometime during the next month. The UI and wider availability are two major elements they are putting their faith in to ensure better feel for the users.
While OnSports and PlayUp remains my favorite, I can’t stop myself from using the official Euro 2012 app in an unceasing manner while I’m not in front of a TV. But that said, the Euro 2012 app is for the time being I will certainly love to have something like OnSports that is entirely for soccer games and all sorts of them. Thankfully Kyck feels so much like it. Since I prefer Android, I will have to wait for some time to comment more on the mobile experience the soccer social network delivers. Until then we will love to hear more from you about your favorite sports apps.