Monthly Archives: December 2012

Little Bird with Marshall Kirkpatrick | TheSocialNetworker Episode 37

Little Bird logoLittle Bird launched in 2011 under the watchful eye of CEO and co-founder Marshall Kirkpatrick. This Twitter tool helps you quickly find and analyze who the top experts are, including their social graph and interaction with each other, based on keywords you select.

The simple and very clean interface of Little Bird allows you to quickly begin building reports or even viewing some sample live reports they have built for you.  There seemed to be a heavy push toward wine and cheese in those sample reports for some reason.  Take a look at the interview below that Marshall afforded me on short notice before we go on.

What I found, as shown in the video, was an interesting filtered approach to looking at what you would once consider Twitter searches. You would then manually sort through the results looking for interesting people to follow or hope to gain their attention.  Little Bird does all of this for you and then correlates the experts (or insiders as they are called in the application) to show newest, oldest, most followed and most active experts on Twitter in a tabbed report format.  You are able to reply, retweet and favorite results as you would expect.

I did appreciate some additional tools Little Bird built-in that reached outside of Twitter to show what the experts are sharing, reading and blogging. This gives me a better indicator of who they are and content they actually share. I was able to skim in a magazine format images, links that were retweeted and more. There was also the amazing Comparison feature that allows you to enter any Twitter name and show how many experts that account follows and how many experts follow it.  Great for competition in business or even your own personal account.

We reviews hundreds of tools on EverythingTwitter, each with their own unique target.  Little Bird aims to be a solution for companies (individuals are welcome to use the service) to find experts they can interact with across Twitter and strengthen relationships and even leverage their social graph. Knowing and graphing what experts follow each other is something I have not seen in other tools.

The site itself is currently in beta and you can easily get a free 14 day trial to see how it works and begin building reports. Head over to Little Bird to get your account and tell Marshall I sent you

VivaStream – connect to attendees and information or not

vivastream logo

VivaStream is an app for iOS, Android and BlackBerry that is supposed to help connect you to people before, during and after events and conferences. I have seen attempts like this before with Lanyrd, Plancast and some smaller launches. I also predict that VivaStream will fall to the same fate after testing it.

Vivastream tells you Who to Know based on your interests, profile, and skills, and helps you connect and interact with other like- minded individuals before, during and after the event.

I walked through the setup of VivaStream in this picture slideshow and was not impressed with this application even with the decent mobile look. After looking at the limited amount of downloads on Android and iOS and the low reviews it received, I am not surprised.

VivaStream launch screen on Android

The first image above shows the initial registration screen using Android.  You can create an account directly with VivaStream or authenticate with Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. I chose to create my own account as shown in the second image and then link social accounts later if I found value.

I did receive a verification email as expected. Once inside the application you are able to edit your profile. This was very basic. I could add my first name, last name, position and company. However adding a picture via the mobile interface was not possible on Android. I did find it via the web interface (more on that later).

Google announces no more free Apps for Business version

Google Apps for Business

Google Apps has been a favorite of mine, running a few small business domains freely for years now.  In a blog posting today, Google announces that all new customers will have to sign up for the premium version. This means a per user/per year charge for each and every mail account when signing up for Google Apps for Business.

instead of two versions, there will be one. Companies of all sizes will sign up for our premium version, Google Apps for Business, which includes 24/7 phone support for any issue, a 25GB inbox, and a 99.9% uptime guarantee with no scheduled downtime. Pricing is still $50 per user, per year.

The blog states that the time spent supporting the growth in the smaller businesses and offering the same support levels has outgrown their capability when it first launched. With millions of businesses of all sizes utilizing Google Apps for Business I can see where support would begin to deteriorate.

The good news is that if you are an existing company (under 25 employees) that is currently on Google Apps for business then you shall be grandfathered in at the no charge rate until you break the user limit or Google changes their mind again. You can also add multiple domains to a single apps for business account so keep that trick in mind.

Will this affect user to migrate to other platforms? Alan Lepofsky asks this very question on Twitter. I think the Apps Market is far more mature on Google than something like IBM SmartCloud and even Office 365 if you are thinking beyond email.

Do yo use Google Apps for Business? Are you a free customer? Would you look at alternatives?