Pandora Spins My Hits

Pandora Screen Shot

Pandora Screen Shot

Pandora combines two things that I love – music and technology!  I’m busy! I don’t have the time I used to download songs from iTunes , then create a play list. I hardly have time to fit in my morning run, but when I do, I enjoy listening to music.  Gone are the days when I was a Napster nut – who had time to download an entire CD.  Now, I’m hard pressed to name one song in the top 40.  Needless to say my iPod playlist is certainly sad.  When Chris Brogan tweeted about listening to Pandora one day, I went straight to iTunes and downloaded the free application.  I haven’t stopped listening since I did.

Pandora is an Internet radio website, and most recently, an iPhone application that streams music to your desktop or iPhone.  It very customizable, you can define and refine the stations that are streamed to you.  Users have the ability to customize stations by genre, artist or both.  My stations are dancehall raggee, Beenie Man (raggee artist), hip hop, R&B, traditional gospel, and southern rap.  I was more than happy with 95% of the songs that were streamed to me.  There were a few that I skipped over, but all in all, the selections that were chosen were dead on.  The streams I receive are a nice mix of new music and older songs, that I will definitely add to my collection – as it needs of a lot of help.

iPhone Station List

iPhone Station List

The ability to bookmark a song on both the iPhone application and the website is easy and very convenient,  Although you cannot replay the entire song only a portion of it, you can purchase the song on iTunes or Amazon – both which I have an account with.  When you make changes to you iPhone stations or bookmark a song, it is automatically updated on your web-based account – nice! The convenience of one-click buying with both iTunes and Amazon make Pandora a must have for every iPhone owner and music lover!

Update: Pandora has reached over 2 Million iPhone users!

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BrightKite, My New Favorite Mobile Application

iPhone screenshot of BrightKiteI started using Brighkite two weeks ago, and I can’t stop.  For some odd reason, I enjoy using BrightKite more than I do Twitter.  Don’t get me wrong – I really, really like using Twitter.  But, BrightKite is more about me – where I’m at (GPS), and what I’m doing (ability to post pics) at any given time.  Where as Twitter is primarily a platform for short status updates.  I can tell an annotated story with BrightKite – with Twitter? No not really.  In Chris Brogan’s post, “If I Owned Brightkite”, he discusses the untapped potential for BrightKite,

I see such potential in BrightKite, after using the iPhone application. The website is nothing nearly as nuanced and obvious. In fact, it’s fat and bloated. I’d strip it now that I’ve used the iPhone app. I’d make it closer to the experience that is so simple. (I understand the difference. The iPhone, by providing location information, makes the value far more obvious.)

How do I know it’s my favorite?  Well, last week I caught myself posting a note at 5:30 am before I headed out for my morning run.  Ok, really, who cares?  No seriously, who would be up at 5:30 am, that really cared about me going for a run? But BrightKite is so darn easy to use, why not post GPS-tagged photos about my drive to work, eating dinner at a restaurant, or reading a magazine at Barnes and Noble?  Which I did, with ease.

BrightKite used my Twitter profile to connect me with my friends from Twitter, who also used Brightkite.  Two were listed, Wayne Sutton and Chris Brogan, who both graciously accepted my invitation to connect on BrightKite.  (Thanks Wayne and Chris!)  To my delight I was able to see Wayne ride a Segway in an X-Mas parade, and Chris’ airport adventures in Arizona.  Both were like watching a movie in 3D, as opposed to Twitter, which is like watching it on tv – two totally different experiences.

Do you use BrightKite more than Twitter?

Add me to your friend list on BrightKite and Twitter!

My BrightKite profile online

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Darn! Zhiing only for Smartphones

Zhiing "How it Works"

Zhiing

This weekend I planned to try out Zhiing, a new iPhone application, that uses GPS to text your location direction to someone you have Zhiinged.  Normally my weekends are spent hanging out with my friends, and shopping in the St. John’s Town Center (follow me on BrightKite for a tour of the Town Center). The Town Center is an outdoor mall in Jacksonville, FL.  I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to try out this app.  I shop with my sister and a few friends and were usually in and out of stores, and at least one person always wanders off.  I intended to use Zhiing to reconnect anyone who has strayed from the group.

When I Zhiinged my sis, she received a text that indicated that she received a Zhiing from me, and for her to text her address to the number shown, then she would receive directions to my location!   The reason being – she doesn’t have a smartphone.  Zhiing is built for smartphones, although non-smartphone users can receive Zhiings from their friends who own an iPhone or Blackberry -there are additional steps the non-smartphone user has to take to receive the directions.  I’ve been after her for months to upgrade her phone – she’s still hanging on to Betsy  – her old Verizon flip phone. Had she had a smartphone, she would have received a link in her email that would have taken her to web-based directions to my location.  In the end she called to find out where I was…it was easier!  The idea behind Zhiing is very smart unfortunately I haven’t been able to see it at work.

I haven’t given up…there is a group of us (some with smartphones) going shopping on Black Friday…surely I will have to send a Zhiing!

Have you used Zhiing?

Zhiing on Mashable:

Zhiing Challenges Loopt on iPhone

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AlphaInventions.com, How Does it Work?

63011eaa42f5f2d82dfe50cd1158c7f6Chreu Jackson, a coder, is the mastermind behind a website called AlphaInventions, which allows bloggers to comment in real-time.  Here is how it works (in the words of the coder):

If you update or publish your blog at the same time my visitors are browsing blogs in my site then my visitors will get a chance to see your blog in real-time. BAM! (the entire blog is in their face instantly) It’s not even annoying to watch.  Is it alpha addicts??

I also provide a link to your blog in case they want it to open your blog in a new window, or bookmark your blog . The links provides your title, and description to help my visitors get a better understanding on what your blog is about, and get more interested. Alphainventions.com is useful for wordpress.com , typepad.com, spaces.live.com, and blogger.com I love it, and want to grow it like a tree. Yahh!

To get more traffic from alphainventions.com just keep your blog updated . It’s so simple.

AlphaInventions

The aim of the site is to provide a way for bloggers to see how readers react to their post in real-time, as soon as you publish a blog post. Its a very interesting concept.  One that I sure will soon appear in a social media mashup of some kind.

There are over 200 comments from bloggers who have tried the AlphaInventions.  So I tired it, and soon after I submitted my site, I had over 6 visitors to my blog!

Try it and tell me what you think!

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SearchMe an Impressive Visual Search App for the iPhone

iPhone users, SearchMe is a fantastic iPhone application to add to your iPhone. After reading Michael Arrington’s post in TechCrunch on SearchMe – I downloaded it, and instantly fell in love.

As an editor/writer for BrightHub.com’s project management channel, I was eager to see what a search for “project management” would yield. To my delight the search produced an impressive array of results from some of the leading project management sites on the Web – all in the visual browsing format that is native to iTunes and Macs.

iPhone screenshot of SearhMe results

iPhone screenshot of SearhMe results

Even more impressive was the abiity to filter the results according to keywords such as: management, software and web development!  Check out the screen shot from my iPhone.

This is app is definitely a must have.  I have also installed BrightKite, Yelp, Zhiing, and the new Google voice-activated search application.  Have you tried any of them – I would love to hear your opinions.

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Refseek Competition for Google Scholar?

Refseek logo

After reading Stan Schroder’s article in Mashable about refseek, a new academic search engine, that was launched today in beta mode.  According to the reseek site,

RefSeek (rĕf-sēk) is a web search engine for students and researchers. refseek aims to make academic information easily accessible to everyone. refseek searches more than one billion documents, including web pages, books, encyclopedias, journals, and newspapers.

In comparison to Google refseek indexes more that just scientific publications, thereby returning more search results. The site also has a a “narrow your search” feature that suggests terms to help you narrow your search for better results.  Another noticible difference is there are no ads in refseek’s search results, which is always a plus when your diligently researching a topic and prefer not to be distracted.

I’m adding refseek to my arsenal of research tools.  Hopefully it will prove to be useful.  you think of

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My tribute to the President of the United States: Barack Obama

Herbrews 11: 1-11

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

For by it the elders obtained a good report.

Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.

By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:

For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.

Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.