ROSS LAROCCO

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Monthly Archives: December 2010

2010 in 1:30

@Foursquare and Flat Tires

Flat tire.  It happens to people at annoying times.

As I was jacking up my car,  I checked-in on Foursquare mentioning the flat tire. Totally expected to get teased by friends, but instead received DM’s asking if I needed help.

Jason a.k.a @MrZL1 left a comment on Foursquare mentioning he was down the street if any help was needed.  It was a really awesome example of what geolocation can do. One Foursquare checkin noting a minor crisis got the attention of a community.  My dad also noticed it, and he’s not into Foursquare.

Dad showed up with an Impact Wrench which sped things up since the lugs were frozen.  Jason also showed up on his own accord to see if things were going well. I’m totally blown away by this.  It made an annoying ordeal into something really fun.

As I tweeted @nlwest2 earlier,  It was so fun I wanna do it again!  Community stuff rocks my boat.  Never know who could be out there until something happens.

Social Media Under the Christmas Tree

How do people know I like tea? I don’t talk about it much.  Google Analytics doesn’t help much with Christmas shopping.  Many social sites have online bios that give a short description of one’s likes or dislikes.  It might not increase the number of gifts under the tree, but the quality could be a surprise 🙂

My Dailymile Santa knows I like tea. It added more mystery participating in a Secret Santa event online.  Now I’ve connected with someone new in North Carolina.

Received a gas card from my aunt.  She knew which one because of Foursquare. Skeptical of location based services?  It’s a side dish that goes with anything.

I also do quite a few blog posts about iPhone apps.  However, I didn’t mention any iTunes related gift ideas this year.  Sure enough, a couple iTunes gift cards popped up under the tree.  Regardless if your blog posts receive comments,  PEOPLE are listening!

Happy Holidays!

YOU are on the web. Now what?

It’s your first time on Twitter, or it’s your first time typing a web address at the top of a browser.  You may not think of yourself as a tech savvy person, but you don’t have to be anymore. YOU are on the web reading this!

Reading a local newspaper online, or the New York Jets could be looking for it’s next Flight Crew member.  People can do whatever they want on the web.  

Doing anything you want can sound like winning the lottery, living in Maui, and having an assistant organizing your schedule for you.  Good stuff, but only a small portion of what the web can offer.  Personally, I think saying hello to people is more powerful than all those things. One of those introductions could make a difference.

The web is becoming a very community oriented place.  It can blur a city’s population by engaging new situations and people from a web browser.  Psychologically, it’s like moving from a small city to a big one.  

Have you met anyone online? Do you learn things faster from reading them online, or the morning newspaper?  Let me know 🙂 

Clear Your Holiday Cookies!

Tis the season to shop online.  Shopping sites like Amazon.com grind through Christmas shopping without the crowds.  However, it’s one of the high traffic conditions that can affect the well being of your web browser and security.

After you’ve surfed all those shopping sites, it’s a good idea to clear your cookies. Cookies are tidbits of information that websites store on your computer so it can access later.  Even better, clear everything! 

All web browsers have the ability to do this.  I use Google Chrome.  It has the easiest settings to manage in my opinion.

If you’re looking for some advanced tools to keep your Mac or PC squeaky clean, check these out below. Let me know if you have any other suggestions.

Windows:

CCleaner

AVG Anti-Virus

SpywareBlaster

Spybot Search & Destroy

Mac:

Cocktail

ClamXav

Bell ringing! But not in the ring.

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Tonight was the first time getting my “bell rung” outside of the ring (long story, ask me sometime). Some of my Twitter friends and I got together at Shopko Express on Ballard Rd to ring bells for the Salvation Army. It was good conversation as usual.

It tells a story of not only friendship, but how powerful social media is for a cause. Not just ringing bells, but any cause.  Lots of people who walked by probably wondered why there was such a large group actually participating.  Strength in numbers yes, but we enjoy each other’s company as well. I wouldn’t be grinding my teeth from being cold if it weren’t for the good company.

We went out to eat afterwards, and ended up being a perfect night.  That’s not a generalization, right Tommy? 🙂

Are you on @Dailymile?

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If you’re a runner, cyclist, have interest in fitness, you should be on Dailymile. It has the largest support system I’ve ever seen.  Easy enough to use Twitter and Facebook, but the interaction is less likely to be from fellow fitness enthusiasts.

Other than being community focused, Dailymile has tools to track workouts, monitor progress, goals, and challenges.  My favorite part are challenges.  Racked up over 200 miles in the month of July, and my goal was only 100.

I have the endurance to be a marathon runner,  but my left knee does not right now.  However, I grind my teeth together when I notice friends like Anne out in the early morning killing it.  It’s still a support system even if the anatomy can’t support it.  

It’s a process, not an end result.  Drag your knee along for the ride,  the support will be there.

Google Voice: What’s the point?

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Google Voice isn’t new, but the most common question I get is “Why have another phone number?”.  It’s an easy answer, because a Google Voice number can ring all of your numbers at once.  It’s still only one phone number.

Another advantage is free texting and calls in the US & Canada.  The cost of texting plans can go completely un-noticed since it’s a rapid fire way of communicating.  Most of my immediate communication is done with Google Voice or another type of messaging application.

Met some crazy people you’re not sure about?  Give out your Google Voice number.  The call screening feature makes people identify themselves before your phone even rings. This can be customized however you wish.

Ideally, it’s a phone number with privacy enhancements.  It also can email or text a transcript of voicemail messages.  So far it’s been more humorous than accurate 🙂

Chrome Web Store: What’s good?

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Google currently consists of Docs, Gmail, Voice, Picasa, RSS aggregation, and so forth.  Recently, the fastest web browser (benchmark proven) Chrome launched a web store.  Not a great first impression since the apps didn’t function any differently than a bookmark. So what’s good?

TweetDeck:

If you use the desktop version, you’re in for a real treat.  New look, imports your current columns, and organizes accounts better in my opinion.  Haven’t used the desktop version in awhile, but noticed you can post to the new Facebook Groups.

Aviary Vector Editor: 

If you’re a graphic designer,  you shouldn’t need to ask.  Perfect for creating vector art, logos, designs and more all within a web browser.

Sliderocket:

Tired of Powerpoint? Want to create presentations and have them stored in your web browser? Perfect solution.

Amazon Windowshop:

Shopping on Amazon.com can feel like bungee jumping into a large abyss. Sometimes it’s better to walk by a window and see something you want.

SpringPad:

Comprehensive to-do and note taking app.  Combines functionality of Evernote and Remember the Milk.

Find any apps you think are worth mentioning? Leave a comment below.

Keeping up to date? Use @Instapaper

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Reading content can take time,  even using RSS alerts.  Often find myself using the down arrow to skim through a pile of headlines until something interests me. Sometimes there’s a bunch of things, so Instapaper comes in real handy.

Instapaper is like a bookmark, but stores content you want to read later in one spot.  It’s built-in to many RSS readers, smartphone apps, and even works on the Kindle.  Sign up for an account, and you’re ready to go.

It’s been a big help lately since I easily forget what or why I bookmarked something 🙂