Hawksdomain’s Blog

Just a simple girl from Kansas

Archive for March, 2008

Don’t just read your feeds… Share them!

Posted by Paula on March 27, 2008

Toluu is a new social site where you share your feeds. I know, I had the same thought…. How the heck do you pronounce that? Well, Caleb was nice enough to answer this question: 2 (the number two) – Lou (as in ‘Skip to my Lou’) You can upload your OPML file, enter links manually, or add a bookmark that will automatically subscribe you to the feed on Toluu and your favorite (so long as it is in the top 10) feed reader.

I think that the one thing I like most about this site is that it tells you who you match up against. Of course, I have 2 that are at 100%, but that is only because they only have their own blogs loaded in their profiles. But, I have to admit that I was very impressed at 97% match that is listed for me. In order to protect myself from using names of people I do not know, I will not say who is my 97%, but that I had not previously befriended this person on any other site. I have seen this avatar and screen name on just about every site I spend any time on at all! So, I have decided to start secretly stalking this person some, to see if he or she might be someone I would really be friends with. Who knows, I may have found my social twin so to say!

The other really cool thing about this site is that you can see the blogs that others are reading. This is a great resource for someone new into learning about technology, social networking, or any other topic that your matches may read regularly! This may also be the way to find the next great blogger of our time! 🙂

The great guys at Toluu have given me a 7 invites, so if you haven’t secured your invite yet, you better be one of the first seven to ask me! 😉  Oh yes, and if you are already involved in Toluu, be sure to add me!

Advertisements

Posted in Social Networks | Tagged: , , , , | 16 Comments »

Checking back in on Jaanix

Posted by Paula on March 27, 2008

Well, it has been awhile since I blogged about jaanix, and I am also ashamed to say that I have not frequented the site quite so much, either. So, although my original intentions were to talk about another site or two I had checked out recently, I thought I should at least check back in with Joe at jaanix and see how he has been doing.

I have to tell you, I am quite impressed! The site seems to have grown massively beyond the young teen boy crowd! There is now a lot more geeky interest for people like me, who are fascinated by the social web!

I find it very interesting that the typical pages found on a website (about, FAQ, blog, and privacy) are not set up as you would find them in a different website, but each ‘subject’ is entered as a topic within the jaanix system. It is really rather clever, once you grow used to the site.

They have also minimized the tuner and have posted a teaser showing that you will soon be able to look at the web tuned by different individuals on the site.   This could be interesting!  😉

Posted in Social Networks | Tagged: | Comments Off on Checking back in on Jaanix

What Exactly is this Blog For?

Posted by Paula on March 22, 2008

OK – There is so much I want to talk about, so many interesting things that I’m finding that I am simply not getting to everything, and I know that there are sites that I am forgetting all about by not being able to check out every site out there. Part of my purpose for this blog is for it to follow my usage in the different social networking sites, and to be able to be my opinion of how it works.

I know, there are a lot of sites out there that review these kind of sites, but I am not going to try to providing their level of insight. In fact, I can’t even promise the same regularity of posts as the bigger sites. I am just wanting to give the opinion of someone who is fascinated and addicted to the many sites that seem to be popping up non-stop. They are all centrally driven. Driven by people. People like me, my family, my friends, my coworkers and you.

I’m not any type of an IT person. I know a bit of HTML and I’m trying to find the time to really get to play with PHP so I can get this blog moved. I work 40 hours a week for someone else so I can eat, sleep in a warm bed, and drive a decent vehicle. Such is the American way of life, right? I tried to do my own thing once. It was difficult. It was too unpredictable. Technologically speaking, it was several lifetimes ago, too!

Now, I just like to play around with computers. Sometimes I play the cheesy games, to clear my mind, and more recently I have become intrigued with all of these social communities popping up around the net. In reading blogs, I have come across a few that have truly struck a chord with me. I am realizing that some of these people (LOL, no, not all – at least not yet!) are also no different than me. I was recently asked why I started following someone in several different applications. I guess this person did not realize that he already gave the impression that he was of the caliber to have ‘groupies’. OK, that sounds super cheesy, I know, and I am sorry…. but that is truly the easiest way to explain it. Why do all of these people follow Robert Scoble, Steve Jobs, John Chow, Seth Godin, and Jason Calacanis (I’m hoping I win the MacBook Air!)? They are all groupies of one kind or another…. Geeky groupies, but fans just the same.

I hope you enjoy my blog, even if I am unable to post every day.  I do promise to do my best at making a post once a week at the very minimum.  I can always use this quiet time before the house wakes up on Saturdays!  🙂

Posted in Blogs | Tagged: | Comments Off on What Exactly is this Blog For?

Check out and Vote for the Next Web Awards

Posted by Paula on March 16, 2008

The Next Web Awards are the European awards for future accomplishments! The categories are Entertainment, Company, Social, Web Celeb, Weblog, Rookie of the Year, and On Stage Startup.

I am excited to have found this site, not to vote for the nominees, but because I have heard of so few of the nominees, yet these are things that are making an impact in Europe.   So much more to look into!!

Posted in Social Networks | Tagged: , , | Comments Off on Check out and Vote for the Next Web Awards

Jaanix – A Closer Look

Posted by Paula on March 11, 2008

I’d like to start by thanking Joe Petviashvili for taking the time to explain his new website a bit deeper with me. To save Joe from having to repeat himself, I’ve decided to post what I have learned about his new website, jaanix, and share with you all what makes this new way of sharing the web superior to so many other sites out there.

Joe explained to me that he is trying to solve a problem that is not currently solved by other social bookmarking or social news sites. His goal is to combine methods currently being used to gather the news we see into one site. He believes that with a mathematical algorithm his site jaanix can be tuned into your needs. The algorithm looks at the levels of various topics you select and compares this with others who have similar tastes, sites they have added, ways they have voted. You may be thinking that this could be the same as checking out what your friends have done on Digg, but it is much deeper than what Digg or other sites currently offer.

Other social sites allow you to like a topic or not. Jaanix allows you to like a topic a little, quite a bit, or anything in between, your choices of topics are only limited by what you choose to submit to jaanix! The first stop when arriving at jaanix is on the right… you will find a variety of topics with sliders, or tuners (this is how you tune the web to your taste!). First thing I did was turned ‘off’ the topics that I have no interest in and turned the topics I like way up! Then, as you go through and vote on submissions and submit items you find yourself, the topics will adjust to fit your tastes, as will the websites shown.

One thing that I certainly want to stress about jaanix is that it is not a cliquish voting site, as I had originally thought. The voting is purely for your own personal benefit. By voting for sites that you genuinely like, or voting down for sites you do not like, you are teaching the site to know what you want to see more of in the future.

 

Posted in Social Networks | Tagged: | 5 Comments »

Jason Calacanis – Just the Opinion of a Simple Kansas Girl

Posted by Paula on March 8, 2008

I read a couple of the responses to Jason Calacanis’ post on saving money and running a startup. I have to admit, I threw up a little in my mouth when I read this post by Jason yesterday. It truly made me think of the one person who drives me the craziest in this world…. MY BOSS!

I love working for a small up and coming company. It is the greatest thing in the world to be part of a company that struggled to make payroll a few years ago and made more than 8 times the profit in 2007 than it did in combined profit for 2002 – 2006!

However, in Mr. Calacanis defense, in looking over his post again this morning after reading all of the responses from blogs I admire like CenterNetworks, TechCrunch, Tech Confidential, Venture Chronicles, 37 Signals, and Sean Percival, there is method to this madness.

I work for a company where the owner/president works at least 12 hours every day. I’ve given up on telling him that he needs to find other things to do. He expects his staff to work as hard and be equally dedicated. We all work hard, but until there is more profit sharing involved, I can guarantee you that the dedication level varies. In order to compete with the big boys in our industry, even the president takes home much less than he would working for anyone else.

Yes, it does seem that Jason Calacanis does give quite a few more perks that my boss, but also consider that Mahalo has backers and is in LA.

Paying $50 per person for email? Ummmm no, but we do have company email addresses. We each have our own phone on a small phone network (but yes, our company is less than 10 employees). Everyone has everyone else’s cell phone numbers, too. If you are needed and you are not in the office, we gotta be able to talk to you.

Money
by AMagill

There is one significant thing that I am glad my boss does, or I would not have a job there! The outsourcing of Human Resources and Accounting??? GAH! My official title for the company is ‘Business Manager’. In four years, I have cut costs, reduced outstanding receivables, gotten the business aspect down to an art, created and implemented an employee handbook, researched and learned as much about our industry as I could find. I am there when the boss wants to know something (sometimes not even remotely close to our industry) and I am expected to find the answer. Of course, I get extra points if I can give the answer in 120 seconds or less. I gather the info that is needed by the company and put it in a logical location for other employees to find. Other things that I do but are really not issues once you have a system developed include the electronic and paper filing and maintenance of the website… I’m also the one who answers the phone, but as Jason mentioned in his post, most communication is via email in the business world now.

With all that I do, and because I have perfected my job functions so well, I have found the time to create this blog, do a lot of surfing, work on creating a social site presence, and chat away on my cell phone.

I have seen a few people leave… people who were not cut out to work for a small company. Many times I have thought of changing jobs myself. Yes, I do have a fairly easy work life, but more than three times a year in the last couple of years, I have had to correct the accountant. I have worked to cut costs by getting vendors to cut their profit down significantly (I’m almost worried that one may even be paying for our business now!). I am good enough to know several things off the top of my head, plus have such a filing system that I am able to pull up the answer 90% of the time within that 120 second limit.

Though his list of ways to save money sound frightening and the ‘fire people who are not workaholics’ opinion is not popular, it is how business is run in this country and not just in Los Angeles or New York. Jason Calacanis pretty much hit the nail on the head with how our company is run in Kansas.

Posted in Blogs | Tagged: , , , , | 12 Comments »

Apologies to Jaanix founder, Joe P. …

Posted by Paula on March 6, 2008

Am I really doing this is the first thing going through my mind… Well, yes I suppose I am. As with everything I do in life, I do want to be fair. It seems my post from yesterday annoyed Mr. P. a bit, because I incorrectly called his new site, jaanix, a voting site. Yes, although you do vote for different sites here, that is not the point of the site. The point of the site is to “tune your view of the world”.

I have now played with this site for about the past hour and I’m sorry, I still don’t get it. Here is the list of topics that you can slide to get more or less of a subject: humor, jaanix, xkcd, social, search, design, google, del.icio.us, weird, youtube, photography, web, blog, math, development, internet, webcomic, comic, tools, language, science, funny, rss, code, news, web2.0, and video. I hope I am not the only one who sees the recurring theme here, but I won’t even hold that against the site and will jump head first into the Google category – that shouldn’t be hard, right?

Along with being able to slide among the different topics listed, you can also click on any topic, again, I am choosing Google. The first item I am seeing this morning, ironically, is a submission I have recently made. It does have to do with Google, so far so good.

jaanix - Google

Click on the image to see the full sized screen capture. The first three items, as well as item number six could all fall under the topic “Google”. In fact, one is even tagged Yahoo, but as Yahoo and Google are in competition, I will give that the benefit of the doubt and not discount that item. The fourth item on this page is tagged cheerleading, wrestling, and soccer. The fifth item is tagged math, funny, and comic. I do not see where either of these fit in with Google.

I honestly had no intentions of saying anything negative about this site. I just wanted to go back and give it another chance, because Mr. P. seemed to feel that I did not look closely enough at his site. After looking closer at this site, I would not call it a voting site and I most certainly correct myself for saying that it was such a site. I have seen other sites refer to jaanix as a social bookmarking site. I can mostly agree with this description, but I’d like to add that it appears to be a social bookmarking site targeted for teenage boys. Seems that they really like humor and comics here at jaanix. My step son should really enjoy this site! 🙂

So that no one is limited to just my opinion on this site, I’d like to offer the following links of other views on jaanix:

As you can see by visiting the links above, it seems that my dislike of jaanix is not a popular view. Joe, I sincerely hope you do not take it personal that one woman in her mid 30s does not like your site! 🙂

Posted in Social Networks | Tagged: , | 7 Comments »

Contest at Feed Flare

Posted by Paula on March 6, 2008

Collin at Feed Flare is giving away some awesome stuff this month to introduce his new blog to the world. Obviously, that is why I chose to write about it today! 😉

In looking over his site, he has provided a great explanation of RSS feeds that internet newbies may want to check out.

Some of the sponsors offering these great prizes are:

1- Blogging Cents

2- My Radical Blogs

3- Jason Boom

4- Dat money

5- Graphic Identity

6- You Can Learn Series

7- BlueFur.com

8- BidVertiser

9- Firewalker Designs

10- The Prompt Writer

11- Self Made Chick

12- Revenue Canada (my tax return)

13- My Radical Blogs

14- One Buck Wiki

15- Unique Blog Designs

So, any bloggers out there wanting to get a great prize, (personally, I’m hoping for that $500!! 😉 ) be sure to go by Feed Flare and get entered!

Posted in Blogs | Tagged: | Comments Off on Contest at Feed Flare

8 New and Unusual Sites

Posted by Paula on March 5, 2008

  • The first interesting site I want to talk about is PrimeTime Rewind. A few drawbacks is that it only covers the big networks, plus USA, but you can catch the latest episodes of your favorites, whether it’s Jericho, Lost, Grey’s Anatomy, or even Family Guy!
  • Predictify is a fun site where you can earn a few bucks. You can submit questions, or just predict the answers to others’ questions on politics, sports, even earthquakes!
  • Another aggregator for your many social streams is Second Brain. This is one I like the name of… We all know how difficult it is to keep up with all that you find on the ‘net, so what could be better than looking at your ‘Second Brain’?
  • Next is the latest in voting for the internet: jaanix. If you vote up, it is called a jaa, if you vote down, it is called a nix. Not completely sure of this one yet…
  • Does Mahalo leave you wanting something a bit more? Try out Stumpedia! Rather than being told that your recommended link isn’t good enough, at Stumpedia you are allowed to enter your recommended link and then other users vote on your submission. Of course, I can imagine that does leave ways for the spammers to still have their say, but we can wish, can’t we?
  • For those who may want to stick with the comfort of the traditional forum, there is now a way to find what you were really looking for! Twing is a search engine of forums. I just did a brief search to check out how good this site might really be, I am amazed at the number of different forums it searches. If you are a big forum user, this is definitely for you!
  • Slashdoc is a place for all of those old research papers and other files left on your computer that you are unable to delete permanently. Upload your file to Slashdoc so that others may benefit from your sleepless nights banging away on the keyboard just to get the required 10,000 words.
  • College women are a special breed. It is a time in a young woman’s life that she needs to make some big decisions and sometimes a girl may not know just where to turn for the best advice. Young women with a .edu email address are now able to sign up at Chick Speak to discuss everything it means to be a woman in college today!

Posted in Bookmarks | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Social Aggregators – So many to choose from!

Posted by Paula on March 3, 2008

In January I was busy playing away with the private beta, Lifestrea.ms. Although a great concept, it is a mighty quirky site. In fact, I still haven’t figured it out! So, I have searched a bit more at the different aggregators out there, some are in beta, some have become recently released, and some can just be used as an aggregator but probably aren’t meant to be!!

Jaiku is currently still in invite beta only. I just checked and I have 10 invites available if anyone is interested. Jaiku is an aggregator that is also a bit Twitter-like and has groups that you can join. The groups look like they could be a great thing that sets Jaiku apart, but from the ones that I had interest in, all that the group consists of is a place where a bunch of people can sign up for an RSS feed of whatever the group creator has chosen. Yes, you can talk within the group, but it was not that common in the areas I was interested in. I even noticed that group creators seemed to have ‘spammed’ the good ideas of what could be groups by including their irrelevant RSS feeds for the members to receive.

Tumblr isn’t really a social site aggregator, but can be used as one. From what I’ve seen, I believe that Tumblr is supposed to be like a blogging platform, but you can plug in up to 5 different feeds (without having to bend over backwards for the Tumblr Gods). For blogging, there is no place to leave comments, so this is good if you just want people to be able to follow whatever topic you are covering. Of course, my topic is me! 🙂

And the last one I will talk about today is FriendFeed which has recently come out of beta and is my favorite social feed aggregator at this time. (You know a woman always has the right to change her mind later! 😉 ) Among the many different reasons to love FriendFeed is that you can add feeds directly from 27 different sites, plus your own RSS feeds from your blogs. You can go through and add friends the old fashioned way, or, if you are unable to find your friend in FriendFeed, you can make an imaginary account where you can add the feeds you want to track. You can add your imaginary friend’s Digg account, Twitter account, and many others and feel as though they are right there with you! This is so you can still keep up without having to send out yet another invitation to your friends who are probably close to having you committed for joining all of these crazy sites! 🙂 Another neat function of FriendFeed is that you can ‘Like’ a Tweet, Digg, or post of other users on FriendFeed. You can also leave comments on the various posts. You don’t have to be friends with someone to like what they posted or to leave a comment about it. This is truly a social site for social networking.

I know there are several other aggregators out there…. I’d love to hear which ones you like!

Posted in Social Networks | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »