3 Ways Social Media Was Used During Fashion Week


Last week, anyone who’s anyone in the fashion industry packed their bags and hopped on the nearest mode of transportation to spend some time in New York City. Now, it would still be a great experience to attend any of these events in person, but a new trend in the fashion industry allows the average person to”go to fashion week” without actually jet setting. Right off the runway, social media is the Fashion Industry’s Hottest Trend. Because this new trend isn’t gaucho pants, or Ugg boots, it will not be going out of style any time soon.

Instagram Makes Dreams Come True

Social media started impacting fashion week months before it even started this year. Designer Rebeeca Minkoff launched an Instagram contest with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. All you had to do to be entered was take an Instagram image showcasing how you rock Rebecca Minkoff styles and tag the image with the hashtag #RMCatwalk. The luck winner,Kate Ogata, did just that and won two tickets to the runway show. She then returned the favor through none other than social media, as she bloggedher way through the grand prize.

Up Close and Personal

The most sought after seats of fashion week have just been snatched up! By who? Well, that would be you. With the use of social media, anyone in the world can feel like they have front row tickets to their favorite designer’s new collection.

Twitter snapshots, Pinterest boards, Tumblr blogs, and Youtube livestreams all give up-to-the-minute visuals of everything going on during the events, so you won’t miss one gown, shoe, or outrageous hair accessory.

The immediacy of the social media that was used during Fashion Week allowed for “real time fashion analysis of consumer behavior.” This immediate feedback from customers is unlike anything that Fashion Week has ever seen before. The brand will immediately know if its target market is hyped up about the new collection, or if they should pull the plug on similar designs that are in the works.

Google’s New Accessory

Only Google would be able to make geek look chic.

picture from here

This new piece of technology made its debut as an accessory during the Diane Von Frustenberg runway show. This product quickly moved through the social media sphere as pictures of models wearing the glasses surfaced on the DVF Facebook page, as well as a Youtube video that premiered on their Google + page.

These glasses contain:

  • A Touch pad
  • A Built-in camera and camcorder
  • A Speaker
  • A Microphone
  • A display to feature multiple radios and information
  • Hands-free smartphone access

The designer, and self professed “techie,” expressed her opinion on this new fashion statement as she said, “I am so excited to introduce Glass to the fashion world and use this revolutionary technology to give everyone a unique perspective into fashion.”

Not Out of Style Yet

I think social media and fashion are a pair that won’t be breaking up any time soon. What do you think? Leave your opinions in the comments down below!

The Facebook App Gets a Facelift


On Thursday August 23rd, the millions of iPhone and iPad owners rejoiced as one of their most frequently-used apps received an update. Facebook has over has 543 million monthly mobile users, and this growing statistic supports the idea that technology is going mobile.

People are always on the go, and with this update, Facebook dramatically improves the mobile experience. Facebook responded to user complaints, and “rebuilt [the app] so it’s faster and easier to use.” Customers previously took to forums and blogs to complain about the app’s scrolling speed and the constant lags when retrieving updates. So, when the Facebook team went to improve the app, they knew exactly where to start.

The Vision for the New Version 

Product manager Mick Johnson explained, “The app is actually a complete re-write of Facebook for iOS.” They felt this was necessary because those who are in charge of making changes are also users of the app. They have the user experience to pinpoint the problems while using the app in their personal lives. With this in mind, they experienced firsthand the speed issue and opted to make the app twice as fast.

Other improvements include:

  • Scrolling through the news feed is faster than ever
  • New banner lets you tap to quickly see more stories – no need to refresh
  • Allows you to see when person has seen your message
  • Instant Access to your notifications

  • Photos open fast and close with one downward swipe
  • Faster photo uploads

Consolidation

The messages component of this app received a great deal of improvement in this update through the integration of the previously separate messenger app. The look, feel, and features of the messenger app are all now included in the standard Facebook app.

The iPad App Joins In

Along with the iPhone updates, the iPad app also received a facelift, which included the introduction of timeline for the iPad. Now that almost all Facebook users have reluctantly been forced into timeline, it’s about time that this feature made its way to the retina display of the iPad.

The People’s Opinion

Overall, this update seems to have received a positive response. I agree that this is “the best update in a very long time” because it actually delivered what the customer wanted. It seems that this group of developers finally got it right.

Anything Left to Improve?

Even with all the revisions made, there is always room for improvement. Some of the most frequent complaints after the update include the need for a share button and the ability to tag people in comments. Another problem that the Facebook mobile team should tackle is the quick decline in battery life. Users continue to fuss out about how this app, update or not, continues to drain their battery life even if the application is only running in the background.

So, you hear that Facebook? This is what we, the users, want to for version 6.

What’s your opinion on the Facebook App Update? Feel free to share in the comments below!

My Top 5 Apps for Back to School


As the end of August is near it is now the time to pack up everything from home, jam way too many suitcases in a small car, and move back to school! Some younger teens might not want to think ahead to the daunting reality that school is right around the corner, but for most college students it is actually the opposite. Excitement is in the air because within the next few weeks college students will either be stepping onto campus for the first time as freshmen, or returning and cheerfully reuniting with friends.

Now, along with the usual back to school necessities such as jeans and a backpack, many college students will not leave home without their favorite accessory, a smartphone. When you look at the popular selection of apps on a smartphone they will normally include cult favorites such as FacebookAngrybirds, and Pandora. While all those apps are nice to pass the time on the drive to school, college students should stock their phones with apps that will help them succeed during the year. I thought I would share my favorite back to school apps that make your backpack a little bit lighter, and allow your smartphone to make you a little bit smarter.

  • Flashcards– This app is one of the best study tools because it allows you to learn loads of information through the use of digital flashcards. One of the world’s most efficient study tools is now more environmentally friendly because you can make hundreds of flashcards without using any paper.This app also allows you to simply create a new set of cards right from the app and immediately start studying. Another option is you can download flashcards from Quizlet, the leading online study site, and add them to your library for offline studying.
  • The Wolfram series of apps are great for any math course you may encounter. The list of available apps match popular math courses, and although they are not free, these apps are a great tool to help with homework and go over concepts learned in class. Instead of just having generic examples for you to do, each of these apps can solve specific problems, that you enter, while providing step by step solutions. They can integrate, differentiate, and really serve as a “mini tutor” to help work out any equation.
  • A modern idea that smartphones explore is cloud storage with the two most popular apps being Dropbox and GoogleDrive. Through this service students can have access to documents, photos, and videos, no matter the location. Both apps basically serve the same purpose, so a lot of people find themselves asking Is Google Drive that Different from the competition?
    I personally use Dropbox because I find the design to be very clean and easy to use, but any cloud storage app will provide a similar result. No matter the service, it will allow the everyday student to overcome the problem of procrastination by granting quick access to his or her files online so he or she can print a research paper in the library the morning it is due.
  • I have always liked to use my phone instead of a standard, written agenda to keep track of all my “to do’s.” Keeping with the synced devices theme, the app Wunderlist helps me stay on top of homework and any outside tasks I need to get done.This specific app also allows you to sort your list by order of importance, set reminder notifications, and share your lists with friends. You can collaborate through social networks and email, or you always have the option to print your list out.
  • My last app is not specifically school related, but the app GroupMe allows you to create chats with friends no matter what type of phone or provider they have. This app is a great, free way to collaborate on group projects, to be in constant contact with your roommates, or just to keep in touch with friends from home.

Now that I have listed my top 5 apps for back to school, let me know what your favorites are! Do you agree, or are you outraged that I left your favorite off the list? Let me know in the comments below.

Who Are the Contenders to Be the Next Instagram?


Since its launch in 2010, Instagram has gone viral. They have over 30 millions users and their acquisition by Facebook made front page news. Now, their worldwide success is what many startups aspire to obtain. I thought I would take a look at companies that have the potential to achieve the same level of success, and came up with a list of 3 companies that I think are the contenders to be the next truly massive success story.

Viddy

An app called Viddy takes on a very simular concept to Instagram. It has the same idea framework, but instead of sharing photos, Viddy allows users to captures 15 second video clips. The next steps remain the same as Instagram as you take the captured media, add a filter, and share with friends. Some might find the 15 second mark “insanely short,” but it forces you to cut out any unnecessary footage and get right to the point.

Why do I think this copycat app won’t just be thrown aside?

Because it already hasn’t been. Celebrities have already taken an interest in Viddy as a way to let fans into their lives through little video snippets.

With music icons and even Facebook’s own Mark Zuckerburg using the app, it sets off an influx of new users.

This kind of free advertising creates a buzz large enough to give Viddy the possibility to become the next Instagram.

Pair

I found out about this app from an article on mashable, and I think it has real potential. Pair is an app that makes it easier to stay in touch with that one person who you send 90% of your text messages to. Instead of sending messages to a single person using tools that were designed to send messages to everyone you know, Pair allows you to send photos, video, your location, and even things like sketches to one person in a single message.

(picture from here)

Beyond the basics, they have some cheesy features for couples to enjoy.  ThumbKiss is a feature that lets you see where your partner’s finger is on the screen, and when your thumb meets theirs, both of your iPhones will vibrate.  If that’s a little too much tech love for your liking, you can relax when you’re miles apart by sharing a live white board. Some possibilities to use this are to play games, share drawings, or create a mutual shopping list.

Why I think this App will gain momentum

I know so many people in my life that have the need for this app. I could see people in middle school all the way through married couples finding use for this app and loving the features it provides.

Pose

This app takes on photo sharing from a fashion perspective. Pose enables you to snap a photo of an item of clothing, tag it with the item’s price, brand, and store, and post it to Pose.  Your followers can “heart” an item (a la Instagram) or discuss their opinions in the comments.

Now, the practicality of this app is that brands can use it to drive business. The most common way to use the app is when you’re in a store and you come across and item of clothing you may want to buy, Pose invites you to take a snapshot. You can then tag it with your current location and the item’s price, and share it with friends. While a lot of popular brands have their own accounts where they can post professionally styled outfits, anyone can take a shot at styling the pieces and then share the same way.

Why I think Pose is a strong contender

The idea is really attractive to anyone interested in fashion. You get to share your style and the looks you create with fashionistas all over the world. People you don’t even know can approve of your style. There are also brand names already on the site such as LevisCoco Rocha, and Jewelmint. Getting the experts in on this app has driven all their fans to start posing themselves!

Free is the Key

Something all these apps have in common with each other and Instagram is the price, as they are all available for free in the Apple App Store.   When the app is free there is no reason not to try it out, so see what you think.

Who do you think is the strongest contender? Is there an underdog that I didn’t mention? Let me know in the comments!

Clicks for A Cause – A NonProfit Search Engine


Think about how many times a day you use Google. Any time you want to look up a new recipe for dinner, or check for the hundredth time if you should be using there, their, or they’re in the paper you’re writing, you always end up with the same conclusion to just “google it.” I sometimes believe in the phrase

Since everyone takes the same course of action for any question they might have, Google makes billions of dollars off advertising. Normally that would just be called becoming successful, but what if another site provided the same service, but donated all the money they made to help the world. Now that success could be shared with the world.

Introducing Benelab

Benelab is a student startup that does just that.

A Genuine Creator

So who is the creator of this startup that takes a billion dollar idea and tweaks it for good? That would be none other than Jack Kim, a student that used his skills from a high school web design class to create the non profit search engine. He even gives an honest and relatable reason why he started it as he explains, ”The reason for the nonprofit was that I really didn’t care much about making money – I mean, I didn’t have to feed myself, and experience was the only thing to gain. Alongside Kim is a small team of 10 of his classmates, each of which he lured into the project by sayingyou know it really wouldn’t hurt to say in your college apps that you helped found a nonprofit web startup in high school. I think something about that statement really hit home with the potential teammates and thus Benelab was born.

Minimal Effort Required

Why does this idea have such great potential?  Benelab generates funds while we do something we all do each and every day: search. It barely requires you to go out of your way to make an impact in the world. Everybody takes the time to do a simple search whenever they don’t know the answer to something, so why not just bring that act to a different site. This way you put in no extra effort, but if many people make the switch all the money made will be reinvested in our world.

Starting Off Small with Room to Grow

While this may be the first you’ve heard of Benelab, users have already flocked to it and have shown how powerful this tool can be. In the month of May, the Benelab team took to their blog to show how much of a profit was made, and where they decided to donate the money that month. For that month they choose the Ronald McDonald House, and were able to donate $330.

And in June they raised $400 to purchase and send 20 hand-powered LED lanterns to Peru.

(Images from here)

Although that is not nearly as much as what Google makes in a month, it is a start. They were able to help out some great causes and will only continue to grow and donate.

Room to Improve

You may be thinking, “if this invention is so great then why is everyone not already using it”? Well, I always thought the idea was great, but during the time I took to test out Benelab I did notice a few shortcomings. Some of these weaknesses stem from that fact that Benelab uses Bing’s API instead of Google’s API. Now, people already use Google over Bing because they like it better, so a new product that builds off the lesser of the two is not an easy sell. This search engine is not as lightening fast as Google, as I found it takes about 2 seconds to complete a search on Benelab as apposed to .36 seconds on Google. Now after researching the benefits that Benelab can bring to our world, I think that is a small price to pay.

Why You Should Still Give Benelab a Chance

The technicalities of each search engine will very likely improve as time goes on, but what they stand for will remain the same. I believe that Benelab can grow and compete with the “big dogs” because if more people become aware of their site and what it stands for, they will want to make the change. If you are willing to make the change, change your homepage to Benelab and continue to search away.

How Instagram’s Coming Alive


my post on infospace.ischool.syr.edu

What was once the quirky iPhone app is now being developed into real life technology. I’m talking about Instagram. The app that is makes it easy for you to take professional (and a little hipster) looking photos for free at the touch of your iPhone button.

Now if you are saying “wait… What’s Instagram?”

  1. You must be living under a rock
  2. But I’ll forgive if you READ UP. and then continue here.

Since the launch of Instagram, it has skyrocketed in popularity. It [has gone] from zero to forty million users, in a mere 1,5 years time, and only continues to reach a larger audience. The growth has been so explosive that developers have decided to take it off the little screen and into real life.

Now I’m not joking, but this video is

While we can all sit and snicker at the idea of Instagram Snap, an Italian designer Antonio De Rosa thinks this is no laughing matter. He sees real potential in this technology and is in the process of creating a “real life Instagram” called Socialmatic.

(Picture from here)

(and also here)

Socialmatic ? Explain More…

It may look a little strange, but see it in all its glory for yourself: 

The large version of the app allows you to take filtered photos, share them immediately with friends, and then hit the print button for a physical version of the image. Your image prints out with a QR code, so anyone who receives it can scan and follow you on Instagram. Some say it is an all-too-obvious cross between a Polaroid and an iPhone 4, but is that combination ridiculous or genius?

De Rosa, What Were You Thinking?

Well, I can tell you exactly what he was thinking

Socialmatic, make your photo cool as you want and share it directly on Facebook trough the powerful InstaOs. If you want, you can print it directly on Instagram Paper Sheets, thanks to the internal printer. Every Instagram printed photo reports on front side your Instagram nickname and a QR code, to be followed by another Instagrammer, simply pointing his/her Socialmatic on your printed QR Code

He’s Got the Idea, But Needs a Little Help Along the Way

De Rosa has started a campaign on Indiegogo to raise $50,000 for the Socialmatic. If he reaches his goal, his idea will be put into action. The campaign runs until Sunday, June 1st. You can contribute on Indiegogo if you have faith in his creation. If the goal is reached, De Rosa is promising a “massive discount” for whoever previously contributed. If the funds are not sufficient to bring Instagram to life, everyone who donated will be fully refunded.

What’s The Vote?

Some people say

But other’s think it’s completely unnecessary.

Jury’s Out

Do you think Instagram should make the jump from the small screen to the real world?

The Guy who Imprinted himself with an iPod


So I actually heard this news story first from my grandparents. A guy named Dave Hurban implanted magnets in his wrist himself so he could wear his iPod nano without a wristband.

…Yeah, some people go to extremes…

Image
Now, although cool, I’m not sure if this is worth it just to avoid buying a wristband. I see a few flaws with this plan.

  • Now the first thing I think of is Dave becoming a human magnet. Keys, picture frames, you name it I would suspect woud attach in place of the iPod

ImageThat doesn’t look like too much fun

  • One other slightly important issue is that Apple comes out with new versions of the iPod every couple of years. What happens when his iPod becomes the new mini. Old and Outdated is not something you want ingrained into your arm.

Now this is just me… What do you think of this idea? Will you be running to your nearest tattoo parlor to be next in line for this procedure, or will you skip out on this one?