The mobile photo sharing app Instagram grew 78% in April.  Most of this can be attributed to it’s buyout by Facebook and the launch of their Android app.  More and more people are falling in love with the simple app that allows you to put cool filters on your photographs and share them within the network and out to Facebook and Twitter.

The downside is that there is no web integration.  People have to like and comment on photos from their phones.  That’s where this weeks cool tool Statigram comes in handy.  Sign up with your Instagram account and you have instant access to your Instagram feed from your computer.  There are also a couple of really handy features.

Stats

Statigram Statistics for Instagram
Insightful Statistics On Your Instagram Account

When I first heard about the stats page I wasn’t sure what it could possibly offer that wasn’t available on the Instagram app itself, and yes if you had too much time on your hands you could probably collate all these stats yourself.  What I like about statigram stats is that they are presented in a very easy to digest way.  The obvious ones are there; how many likes and comments you have, how many followers and folowees your have but there’s also a whole lot more. You can delve into your own behaviour further; how many photos have you posted, which filters do you use the most, you can even see which filters get the most likes for your account.  There’s a section on tags, the ones that you use and the ones that are most popular on Instagram and an area where you can view your most liked and most commented photos.

Management

Manage Instagram Comments With Statigram
Manage Instagram Comments

From the management menu you can respond to comments on your photographs or add comments.  This is very handy if you want to add a stream of #tags in the comments. Typing these on your phone could be slow and frustrating, particularly if you have autotext.

Promote

Promote Instagram with Statigram
Share your Instagram feed and add Facebook tabs

I think it was what I found behind the promote tab that really sold me on Statigram. Here you can find links to your photostream, an RSS feed for your stream and tools to add an Instagram tab to your Facebook page or a box to your Facebook Timeline.  I’ll be playing with these myself over the next couple of weeks.  I love that I can now share my full feed via the web, it also allows people to comment on your photos by logging in with Facebook. Here’s my feed.

Contests

Discover Instagram Contests with Statigram
Enter and run contests on Instagram

If you are a good photographer and enjoy competitions the contests tab shows you active competitions that you can enter.  Even more interestingly it has a built in competitions tool box that helps you run your own contest.

Have you used any of the tools from Statigram? If you have or if you try them out as a result of reading this post I’d love your feedback. Lets talk in the comments section.

Social 7

I’m still trying to ignore the Facebook IPO. I’m no expert in finance so find it hard to comment on what’s happening.  What has caught my eye this week is some interesting marketing from the ‘Alien’ prequal Prometheus, that amazing moog Google Doodle, Microsoft’s new social network and how one print magazine is incorporating Pinterest.

So.cl  Microsoft’s social network

Microsoft so.cl
Microsoft so.cl a new social sharing site

So.cl was launched this week.  According to PC World it’s not exactly a social network.  I’ve had a quick sniff around but not enough of one to have a fully informed opinion yet.  Reading this really good article and walk around has helped me understand it more. Some of the features do look interesting, it seems users will congregate around interests and that makes sense, we’re doing more of this on Facebook with groups and interest lists and Google+ with circles. The big question has to be is it different enough and compelling enough to compete against the big boys?

Official Twitter guide for small businesses based in the UK

Twitter have always had a small business guide but this week saw them release one specifically for the UK.  As you have probably noticed the language and style of social media varies between America and the UK.  I’ve always felt that Ireland sits somewhere between the two.  The Irish version isn’t out (yet) but you can download the UK one here.  And if you’re a little annoyed that they haven’t launched one for us in Ireland yet you will probably smirk when you read that they have upset most of the UK by using the tag #LDNlocal.  Read more here.

Magazine allows pinning from print

This is a fascinating story, it really caught my eye this week.  Print magazine House Beautiful has devised a way to allow users to pin content from their paper magazine onto Pinterest. Readers just need to use a mobile app connected to their Pinterest account to share images from the magazine.  Without trying it for myself I can’t see how easy it is to use but it’s definitely clever thinking. More here.

Guide to Twitter abbreviations

When you have been using Twitter for a while it can be easy to forget how confusing it can be for a newbie.  I was asked whilst running a course this week was it written in another language.  In a way it is.  What with RT, MT, HT, HTT, #tags, @replies not to mention text language it must seem quite confusing for someone who is brand new to the site.  Luckily this guide is here to help.

Websites with seamless social media integration

Social Media Intergration
One of the beautiful sites with great social media integration

I’m always in the midst of redesigning my website in my head, one day it will happen in real life.  Obviously a big part of the design is the social media links.  Should you have buttons or Like boxes and Twitter streams.  Just when I was convinced the Like box was the way to go I saw this website.  Of course I’d have to make the rest of the website beautiful enough to work any of these ideas in.  For a bit of inspiration alone have a look at these examples.

Clever viral marketing from Ridley Scott’s Prometheus

I have to admit that sometimes I can be a bit of a geek and the movie Prometheus turns me to full on geek mode.  The film, a prequal to ‘Alien’ is released next week and I’m pretty sure that it won’t be able to live up to the marketing hype.  We’ve seen Twitter used in conventional advertising, great viral videos and the latest are personal messages from ‘Wayland Corporation’ (the business featured in the film) to Linkedin users. This is creativity at it’s best.  Read more here and see a faux TED video that has been doing the rounds as well.

Moog Google Doodle inspires geeks

Now that I’ve admitted my geekhood you might understand why I like these.  On Wednesday the Google Doodle was a playable Moog Synthesiser, a massive time suck and it looks like some people spent an inordinate amount of time creating their masterpieces.  Here’s some of the geekiest and best.  Below is my personal favourite, a rendition of the Dr. Who theme.

And from Spiderworking.com this week

New mobile app for Facebook pages

Facebook have launched a stand alone mobile app for page managers.  As I’m writing this it still seems to be only available for iPhone but Android is on the way.  I had a quick look around, here’s how it works.  I’ve been using it for a week now and I’ve found it a great way to keep on top of comments when I’m on the move.  I also love that I can see insights for the entire page or individual posts directly from the app.

What happens to your social media and blog when you are gone?


We are encouraged to make a will so that our physical assets can be split up as we wish when we are gone, we include our wishes for our funeral and our burial but should we be including what we want to happen to our digital life when we are gone?  I looked at how social networks deal with death and looked at how we can ensure our blogs live on. Not a cheery topic but one we should all be thinking about. Read the full article here.

Google+ Case Study – The Reluctant Speakers Club

This week sees a return of my videocast.  I spoke to Eammon from the Reluctant Speakers Club about his success with Google+. In just one month Google+ has become a significant driver of quality traffic with 6% coming from the network.  More here.

Have a great weekend and don’t forget to share any stories you enjoy reading this week with us on Facebook.

 

This week I talked to Eamonn O’Brien of the reluctant speakers club about his success in driving quality traffic to his website using Google+.

In the last month of using Google+ he has discovered that;

- Google+ has been great for finding things that are genuinely useful to himself and other people
- Easier to spark up conversations than on other social networks
- More professional people and business people on Google+
- Content is more useful from a business perspective than on Facebook
- There are better in depth and quality conversations
- After just one month he’s getting 6% of his web traffic from Google+
- He’s getting more Google organic search traffic since he’s started using Google+
- Visitors from Google+ are spending around 13 minutes on his site compared to traffic from Pinterest that stays an average of 10 seconds
- The bounce rate from Google+ is lowest of all the social networks he uses
- He’s building new relationships and connecting with people he meets on Google+ elsewhere.

Eamonn is the CEO of The Reluctant Speakers Club, a leading provider of public speaking courses in Ireland. To learn how he can help you gain more trust and inspire others with your ideas, email eobrien@thersc.ie , call +353.1.5311196 or log onto www.thereluctantspeakersclub.com

You can circle Eamonn on Google+ here and the Reluctant Speakers Club here.

Have you had success with Google+?  I’d like to hear about your experiences.

Daisy

Have you ever considered what will happen to all your social media accounts after you die?  It may not be a topic that we want to think about but it is important.  What really brought it home to me was this article, the story of a Mother who found comfort in accessing her deceased daughters account and reading messages.  Facebook eventually blocked access to the account.  As much as I sympathise with the parent in this situation it led me to thinking about how I would feel if my loved ones could access my social media accounts after my death.  Would I want people to read my personal messages?  The answer for me at least is no. We are all encouraged to make a will so that there can be no confusion when we are gone as to what should happen to our assets, we may add details on how and where we want to be buried or cremated, how the funeral should be conducted so why not add social media to this list?

What are the options?

Facebook

Of all the social networks I looked at Facebook really do have it sussed, they are the only ones to have thought it out fully and offered options to the relatives and loved ones of the deceased.

Facebook has a policy of ‘Memorialising’ pages of deceased users, you can apply to have the page of a loved one memorialised here.  Memorialising a page means that only friends will be able to see the page or find it in the search.  There is no access to the account, no log in and it cannot be altered or accessed by anyone.

Remove page – if you are not comfortable with the memorial style page you can request that a close relative applies to have the page removed. Click here for more info.

I’ve always loved those films where someone records a video to be shown after their death, usually resulting in some sort of caper or chase to find the missing inheritance.  Maybe that’s why this app appeals to me, it allows you to record a video or write an update and posts it to your Facebook Timeline when you are gone.  Of course I’ve not been able to test it and I guess there’s no guarantee that Facebook will still exist by the time I’m gone, but it’s a nice idea.

Twitter

There are fewer options with Twitter, however I’d be less worried about access to my Twitter account.  Most of what we do on Twitter is public and with DM’s being restricted to 14o characters there’s no real conversation there.  Twitter accounts can be removed if proper documentation is produced. More here.

Google+

It’s harder to find information on what will happen to Google+ if you die.  This article suggests that a Gmail account will automatically be deleted nine months after your last login.  Google has a process that relatives or next of kin of deceased persons can follow to get access to accounts.  There are a lot of hoops to jump through which is yet another reason to include details of accounts in your will if you wish someone to have or not have access after your death.

Linkedin

For Linkedin the only option is to apply to have the account deleted.  Here’s full details on the process.

Your Blog

This is probably a part of you that you would like to live on.  Your words of wisdom, carefully crafted online forever.  It’s unclear what happens to your blog if you use Blogger, will your blog disappear when your Gmail account gets deactivated?  The solution is to regularly back up the content and make sure you express your wishes and details of the backups in your will.  If you wish to delete the blog entirely the process is easier, although your executors will need access to the account so make sure you include log in details in your will or in a place where they can be easily accessed.

If you are using WordPress.com the good news is the sites don’t seem to disappear.  I’ve just looked at a blog I set up about five years ago… and never blogged on and it’s still there.  However, as with Blogger backing up on a regular basis is always a good idea.  If you want the site deleted here’s the details.

If you are using WordPress.org, hosting on your own site, your blog will only last as long as you keep renewing your domain name and hosting package.  If you want your blog to live on it’s important to make sure that your executors know how to back up the information and you should think about leaving an allowance to keep the site up and running after your death.

What should you do next?

Visit your solicitor and be sure to have details on how you want your digital life handled after your death added to your will.  We are encouraged to change passwords on a regular basis for privacy so including log in details in the will itself won’t really work. Instead keep a record of where your executors can find the login details if you want them to have access once you are deceased.

How do you want to be remembered digitally?  Do you want to let your blog live on long after you are gone or would you prefer to let all your social media die with you?  I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences.

Last week I was out of the office a lot, trying to manage a business page from your mobile phone is a challenge.  There are only certain kinds of posts that work. You can’t see your notifications… and more.  I discovered I was not alone when I asked people on my Facebook page if they were also frustrated. With 44% of Facebook users accessing the site via mobile it surprises me that the iPhone and Android apps are still lacking in features.  The good news is that Facebook have just launched an iPhone app ‘Facebook Page Manager’.  As yet it’s not available on Android in Ireland but it is on the way.

Here’s a quick look at the features

At first look it doesn’t seem that different from the full Facebook application.  You can still only write a status update or add a photo.  If you click on the three lines on the top right hand side it brings you into a list of the pages that you manage.  The active page shows at the top with options to look at insights or admins.  Clicking on ‘insights’ gives you a snapshot of your page engagement, choosing ‘admins’ just shows you who the admins are.

On the page itself you can see notifications and any new ‘Likers’.  You can also filter posts and view hidden posts (posts that Facebook may have marked as spam)

As with the full Facebook mobile app you can comment and like posts.  Swiping your finger accross a post gives you the option to delete it, or if it’s a post from another user you can choose to hide the post or ban the user.

There’s plenty missing from this app, it would be nice to see it expand to give page managers full functionality but it’s a good start.

Do you find the Facebook mobile experience restricting?  What feature would you most like them to add?

Of course the biggest news this week was that Facebook finally launched onto the markets.  My interest in this is purely user based. I’m hoping that we’re not going to see our news feeds flooded with advertising in the future.  I’m also envious that Zuckerberg is brainy enough and driven enough to achieved so much at the age of 28.  I hope he keeps the hoody flying!

I haven’t included the Facebook IPO in this weeks links but I have found some great Facebook and Pinterest tips, there’s news that General Motors don’t think Facebook ad’s work, an update from Google and a bit of fluffy fun.  Have a great weekend.

Google Update

Whenever I hear Google mentioned these days I think of Google+ before search.  Maybe that’s because of the amount of time I’ve been putting in to the network.  However Google still is the king of search and I don’t see that changing any time soon, even though Bing are fighting hard.  This week Google released an update to their search engine, the Knowledge Graph.  It’s clever and makes perfect sense.  Now when you search for a word with  many meanings Google will give you a choice of results depending on the meaning.  Confused?  Don’t be.. Read Write Web describes it much better than me.  And here’s a video from Google.

 

GM pull all of their Facebook ads

GM Motors Facebook Advertising
GM Motors pull Facebook Advertising

This week, just prior to the IPO General Motors pulled all their Facebook ad’s.  They had been spending around 10 million a year on advertising to Facebook users.   Why?  We can only guess that they felt they weren’t seeing a return on investment, however other car companies have not followed suit and are still using the platform.  This article from Social Fresh is a quick look at why they might have taken the step.

Irish social media statistics

It can be challenging to find up to date localised social media statistics.  Luke Abbot has handily compiled statistics on Irish Internet and social media use.  It makes fascinating reading, particularly the section on politics that reveals that politicians with a Facebook or Twitter presence got a bigger share of the vote.  More here.

New app to manage Facebook pages

Facebook Page Manager Mobile App
Facebook launch mobile app for managing pages

Managing your Facebook page via your mobile can be a struggle.  What you can do is severly limited.  You can’t use Facebook as your business, you can’t share most posts, you can’t see your notifications and you can only make status updates or post updates. Posting links, questions or anything else is impossible.  Good news! This week Facebook launched a new app ‘Pages manager’, although it doesn’t address all the issues it does at least let you see your notifications and hidden posts.  I’m sure we’ll see it improve over time.  More here.

Pinterest Pinterest Pinterest

Yes it’s still a phenomenon, the conversations I find myself having about Pinterest are very similar to the conversations I had in the early days of Facebook. Some people love it, some are confused, some don’t like it at all but however people feel it’s becoming a strong conversation starter wherever I go.  This excellent post from Sian Phillips on Tweak Your Biz is a compliation of links that will help you navigate your way through the new network.

10 Facebook tips for power users

I love the term ‘power user’.  There is no doubt I’m a power Facebook user, I’m on the network all the time (mostly work related of course ;)) and love finding the little tips on tricks that make it work.  This article from Mashable went down really well with my Facebook page likers this week, it’s full of those little tips that the average Facebooker may have missed.

Icons from the past

Old Fashioned Object Icons
Real life objects from the past used for Internet icons

Have you ever noticed that we use old fashioned real life items to represent stuff online.  For example we use an icon shaped like a floppy disc to represent ‘save’, an old fashioned phone handset to represent a ‘phone’ and a manilla folder to represent an online folder. There’s more here from Scott Hanselman.  They really put a smile on my face this week.

And from Spiderworking.com this week

Run Twitter contests

I found this really handy little app for managing Twitter competitions.  It’s far easier to run a competition on Twitter, there’s none of the strict guidelines involved in Facebook contests. This app just makes it easier to manage and keep track of entries.

From our Facebook community

We asked you to share your top links of the week, here’s the social media related ones I couldn’t squeeze into the main roundup:

Managing your Social Media Whilst On Holiday – From Sage Ireland

Brandfrog reveals why senior management needs to start engaging online – From John Twohig on Tweak Your Biz

 

 

Binkd Twitter Contest
Run Twitter competitions for free with Binkd

We talk a lot about competitions on Facebook but Twitter can be a great tool for a competition.  The promotional guidelines are looser and it’s easier to reach a mass audience.  This weeks cool tool helps you manage your Twitter competition, it allows you to see entries, prompts entrants to share it via Twitter and can choose a winner for you. (I’m waiting for my Twitter competition to close to see how this works). It took me around 10 minutes to set up a basic competition but you may need a little longer to add your own privacy policy and terms and conditions.

To get started visit the Binkd website and sign up for a free account.  Free accounts allow you to set up a free Twitter competition so after signing up scroll down the options until you find Twitter contest.

Binkd Free Twitter Competition

Next you will need to name your contest, set the dates and times for start and finish of it.  You need to visit each tab on the interface to complete information.

- ‘Twitter’ connects the application to your Twitter account, and allows you to compose the tweet you want entrants to send.

- ‘Prizes’ allows you to describe your prize, categorise it and upload a photograph or image of it.

- ‘Terms’ allows you to add the T&C’s of your contest, e.g. no cash alternative, one entry per person and your Privacy Policy e.g. we won’t share your email address etc.

- ‘Design’ allows you to add a header image if you wish to brand your page more strongly.

Create Twitter contest

Now you’re ready to launch your contest.  I’ve created a test competition here that just runs for one day.  You can see the page below.

Twitter competition page

Once someone enters they are prompted to Tweet an automated tweet to tell their followers about the competition.

Tweet Twitter contest

 

I’ve played with lots of Twitter competition apps in the past and even tried to manage them manually, this one beats all of them hands down for simplicity.  I’m dying to set up a real Twitter contest now so keep an eye on my Twitter account over the next few weeks for details.

If you set up a Twitter competition using this app I’d love to see it so do leave your links below in the comments.

Social 7 Social Media Roundup

Mark Zuckerberg wore a hoodie this week, everyone seems to be talking about it.  In other news Facebook is still rolling out new features left right and centre and Pinterest is still the topic grabbing all the headlines.  This week I look at that self driving car from Google, how the ad breaks are becoming better than the TV shows, and a great article on using Google+.

Google and the self driving car

The Google self driving car
The Google self driving car

It sounds like something out of a science fiction novel but it looks like the driverless car is well and truly on it’s way.  This week saw the new Google car that drives itself get the go ahead for real life road tests in Nevada, although it still needs to be accompanied by a responsible adult.  This is Knight Rider, Total Recall and more all rolled into one.  Unfortunately the car doesn’t look quite as cool as KITT.  Many of my Facebook friends are wondering if you can drink and sit in one of these as it drives you home.  More on the driverless car from PC Mag.

Facebook launches document sharing

I’m a big fan of Dropbox, for those of you who aren’t aware of it Dropbox is a cloud based system that allows you to save and share documents. It’s easy to use and means you can access your documents from any PC or Smart-Phone.  A couple of weeks ago Google launched Google Drive, a similar application that some called the Dropbox killer.  Yesterday Facebook announced that tit was going to be rolling out it’s own document sharing to all Facebook groups.  As a heavy Facebook group user I’m going to find this really handy, although I don’t seem to have it yet.  Instead of using Google docs or the limited document creation that Facebook has previously allowed I will now be able to share stuff directly to a group instead of linking off site.  There seems to be some concern within the online community that Facebook may be gearing up to take on Dropbox and Google Drive but I see no evidence this so far.  I also feel trust levels about Facebook aren’t high enough for people to share sensitive documents the way they might on Dropbox.  For more on the new document sharing feature check out this article from Mashable.

The power of an Obama Tweet

Barack Obama ReTweets
Obama at almost 60,000 RT’s after endorsing same sex marriage

Obama has to be partly responsible for the clamour of politicians using social media.  He set the standard during his last election campaign, utilising social media across the board.  Many have tried to imitate him, some successfully some woefully.  Can anyone forget Gordon Brown’s YouTube videos, even his fans felt slightly uncomfortable watching his cheezy performance on screen.  This week shows that Obama has lost none of his power, a Tweet from his account endorsing gay marriage received almost 60,000 Re-tweets, and counting.  Read more here and follow the live RT score here.

Shazam advertising and Britain’s got Talent

You may be familiar with Shazam, it’s possibly the first iPhone app I ever heard of. The original application helped you identify music that was playing, so if you were in a shop or a club you no longer had to ask a member of staff what was playing, you could let your phone tell you.  Since then they have expanded and this weekend sees the first TV advertising using Shazam.  During Britain’s Got Talent on Saturday night advertisements from Pepsi Max and Cadbury will display tags, prompting Shazam users to check in, those who do might win something cool.  At the moment I have no concept how this will work but I am downloading the app and will tune in to the ad breaks to see what happens.  More here.

Is Google+ a ghost town?

I’m really beginning to like Google+, it takes a while but once you realise it really isn’t Facebook and understand how to discover stuff and interact it really is a great network. It’s still new but I’m finding myself getting more and more immersed in it.  This article is full of great tips on how to make the most of Google+, I won’t be implementing all the suggestions but it’s a great reminder of some of the features that we may have forgotten about.  If you read this and follow the advice I guarantee you will find G+ more fun.  A big hat tip to FIR podcast for alerting me to this article.

Social gifting – what’s that?

Social gifting is a trend I will be keeping an eye on.  Already consumers are getting used to doing their gift shopping online and sites like Groupon show that their is an appetite for online voucher buying. Now there are applications springing up that allow you to send gift vouchers to friends phones.  More here.  Although I love the simplicity of this idea I’d hope that people would use it for spontaneous gifting, I think the process of choosing, buying and wrapping a gift for your loved ones is important and I’d hate to see a future where exchanging Christmas gifts would just be a series of beeping phones.

A marketers guide to Pinterest

This is a really clever video that turns infographic into infovideo.  A great guide to Pinterest it’s filled with stats and hints presented in animated infographic form.  It certainly holds your attention.  I’m imagining we’re going to see a lot more of these in the future, maybe they will become as viral as infographics.

And from Spiderworking.com this week

Preview links on Twitter before you click with Embedly


I really love this tool for Twitter, it’s a browser add on that allows you to preview links from Tweets the same way you preview images and videos. In fact it’s so useful that I’ve been using it a week and I can’t remember life without it.

Awards, Awards, Awards

This is the story of how I happen to be running the Blog Awards Ireland this year and why I’m so happy to be nominated in the Social Media Awards.

Have a great weekend and don’t forget to share any cool links you find on our Facebook page or in the comments below.

Last week I was away in the Highlands of Scotland, relying on a sporadic Internet connection so it was by text that I heard that I’d made it into the finals of the Social Media Awards for this blog.  Of course I’m delighted, and I’m even more delighted to be nominated alongside Beatrice Whelan (for the Sage Ireland blog) and Lorna Sixsmith (for Write on Track).  As you are probably aware Beatrice, Lorna and myself have been working together on various blogging events over the last two years.

In 2010 Lorna and myself met eight other keen bloggers in the Clanard Court Hotel in Athy and the KLCK (Kildare, Laois, Carlow, Kilkenny) Bloggers network was born.  We’ve been meeting every month since and it’s been great to see some fantastic business blogs evolve.  Beatrice was one of the bloggers we saw bloom in our first year.  She started blogging after attending one of our meetings and made it into the final of the Blog Awards in 2011 for her own tech blog.  Lorna also made it into the finals of the Blog Awards with the Garrendenny Lane blog.

In 2011 we ran our first bigger event, Beatrice had at this stage joined the committee of KLCK and together we joined with a social media group in Chipping Norton for ‘Bloggers International‘.  We packed out the room we’d hired in Portlaoise, it was great to meet so many bloggers from all over Ireland.

As you may be aware last year Damien Mulley, who was the brains and brawn of the Irish Blog Awards, announced that 2011 was to be the last awards.  As a passionate blogger I didn’t want to see an end to what had become an institution.  Irish Blogging deserves to be celebrated, it’s a massively efficient business marketing tool and Ireland is full of amazing blogs, I for one wanted to make sure we could continue the tradition and it didn’t take me long to persuade Lorna and Beatrice to join me in my madness.  We chatted to Damien and pumped him for advice.. and two months later we’re in the grips of organising what will be our biggest event yet.

One of the disadvantages of taking on the Blog Awards is that I can’t win!  In the last year I’ve made massive changes to the blog, I’m constantly working to make it better.  The first hint that I was on the right track was when I made it into the finals of Social Media Examiners best Social Media Blogs of 2012, this spurred me on to work even harder and as a result a blog that didn’t make it into the Blog Awards finals at all last year has made it into the one and only blog category in the Social Media Awards.  Of course I want to win, the competition is fierce and any one of the other blogs would be a deserving winner but I can’t help but want to have an award for my mantelpiece.  I’ll find out next Thursday night, I’ll be Tweeting, follow the hash tag #sockies.  But if I don’t win I’d be almost as delighted to see one of my fellow KLCK team take the trophy.

Would you like to sponsor Blog Awards Ireland 2012?  We have category sponsorship available so do get in touch sponsor@blogawardsireland.com.

One of the features I like the most on the new Twitter is the ability to preview images and videos right there on the feed.  I’m more likely to expand an image than click it.  With links and articles this problem can escalate. How do you know if it’s worth your while to click through and read?  That’s where this weeks cool tool comes in handy.  Embedly is a browser extension – an application that attaches to Chrome, Firefox etc. – that allows you to preview any piece of content on Twitter before you click.

To enable Embedly you will need to visit their site and download the extension.  I downloaded it for Chrome for Windows and the install was quick and painless.

Now when you visit Twitter you can see the option to ‘expand’ each individual post, revealing a quick preview of any link attached to it.

If you use Instapaper there is an option to add the story to your account to read later.  This is a great little tool and I can see it improving my Twitter experience, because I can see what I’m getting into before I click I anticipate that I will discover lots more great articles and blogs.

So now it’s up to you to give it a try.  Let me know how you get on.