If you consider yourself an Influential, then you’re reading the right column. And if you’re reading this column at all, then you must be digital, so welcome to the Digital Influential!
A little over a year ago I started writing this column because people were always asking me what I thought was cool, which is quite ironic when you get to know me and realize that I’m pretty much not cool. I wanted to make it easier to share with my online compatriots what I found to be of interest and see if I could spark the fire of virality to help some of these up-and-coming companies succeed. After a year I can say that in some cases I helped and in some cases I didn’t, but along the way I came to realize that it’s not the outcome or the destination that counts, but more the excitement of the journey itself. I’ve used this column as a motivator to stay on top of the new and innovative and I’ve found it to be an enjoyment unto itself! I find that I truly appreciate surfing some of my usual suspects to see what modish new sites are driving the zeitgeist. Hopefully when you read this column you become inspired to do the same, and if you do, please send me a note and let me in on the secret so we can share it with the rest of the readers and discover the new together!
And with that, let’s get into it, shall we…?
If you find yourself surfing the web from your mobile device and want to bookmark something for later use online, check out SMUB (http://smub.it/). At first the name sounds like another dot-pocalypse waiting to happen, but the underlying technology is very cool and will be extremely useful as you begin surfing from more and more divergent devices.
If you’re like me, you also like to play web designer once in awhile and now you can actually look good doing it with Google’s latest effort, GOOGLE WEB ELEMENTS (http://www.google.com/webelements/). The premise is simple; provide web developers with lots of Google gadgets and tools that can be embedded into your site. I remember when coding took lots of hard work and a degree in computer programming. Then along came Geocities and everything went to hell in a hand-basket. Now Google goes and makes it even easier. Pretty soon my 1 month old son will be launching a web 3.0 website featuring Google gadgets and widgets and accessing it from his mobile device!
Speaking of my 1 month old, I just read an amazing fact in Time magazine that the average teenager in the US sends 2,272 text messages per month (source: Nielsen). Are you kidding me?
Anyways, now that I’m a proud papa I find myself visiting a whole new plethora of sites that will help me to be a great dad, which is how I found GREAT DAD (http://www.greatdad.com/). The site is written to help dad’s figure out how to be, well, great! I discovered that there are loads and loads of sites aimed at mom’s, but not as many for dad’s, so when I come across one I feel I have to share!
And in the area of “things to keep an eye out for”, come the 800 lb gorilla of Google with GOOGLE WAVE and Microsoft with their new search engine, BING. Neither one is ready for public consumption yet, but both are riding the wave that a good PR person can generate. The success of either one will be a total coin flip, with the slight edge going to Google. From the screenshots and the chatter, Wave represents a quantum leap for your online communication tools whereas Bing sounds like more of the same half-hearted efforts that Microsoft tends to make when it comes to search. Check back in 3 months and let’s see how the dust settles.
In the world of iPhone apps, I recommend checking out PAGEONCE’s Personal Assistant. I actually don’t recommend you check out anything else this month, just this app. It creates a mini-personal concierge on your iPhone and allows you to manage everything from one location!
Thanks for reading this past year and please don’t forget to submit your newest and greatest when you have a spare moment!