Deepweb’s new Product StorConnect

Over the last year, We have been working with a client, All Secure Self Storage, to enable his customers to move away

from paper application forms and replace them with an electronic form.

To do this, we have created a web application that interfaces with Storman Software, (software that manages the self storage facility). We have called this StorConnect.

This means an elimination of errors on the input side, as the customer is the one doing the inputting, plus a virtual removal of paper in the office as all of the documents are stored electronically. Good for the environment, but also a great disaster recovery option, as they are stored offsite.

After the initial installation at All Secure, we launched the product and the Self Storage Association of Australasia (SSAA) annual conference last week.

This was a great time, meeting facility owners, talking with other providers and the feedback was extremely positive and we were delighted to sign up some facilities to this new product.

The icing on the cake was winning the 2011 Innovation Award at the conference Awards for our new product. We were up against another significant player in the industry for the award and so are delighted with the award.

You can see more information at the StorConnect website.

Incubus’ Clever Use of the Internet

There are an increasing number of clever uses of the internet as a marketing tool for companies, products and brands.

Once that I think is really good is that of the band Incubus.

They are releasing a new album soon called If Not Now,When? and using (as far as I can tell) a novel method to promote the album, have been using a website called http://www.incubushqlive.com/ where they have been streaming live performances from the band plus interviews and clinics from band members.

But it also seems to be a great way to promote the band while practising for upcoming appearnaces and concert tour.

Each of the performances can be attended by emailing the site and getting an invite. The venue is small, only really big enough for a ring of people around the band as they play their set. The performances have been a mix of old songs and those off the new album.

The interaction of the band with the small audience is great too, they make mistakes, laugh about it and go again, till they get it right.

Most performances I have seen there have been over 4 thousand people watching the stream. Tweets with the bands hashtag get displayed live on the screen behind the band.

All in all a great use of social media and technology to promote an upcoming album.

Speaking of social media, how did I find out about this? Facebook. I’m a fan and so follow them on Facebook, where they have been advertising what has been happening at “HQ” leading up to the album release. This along with their website provide all of the information needed for fans to get prepared.

All we need now is for them to come to NZ   *hint, hint*

Google + , I’m in!

I am happy, I thought I was missing out.

But I got into Google + today. It’s a bit echoey, but looks like it might actually have some interesting features to it that will attract a few people.

They real question is what effect it will have on the social scene.

Will it be a threat to Facebook?

Will it become a social aggregator like Friendfeed was.

One thing is for sure, Facebook felt threatened. With their “awesome announcement” today that Facebook will be integrating Skype video chat into it’s site, Facebook has shown that the video feature of Google+, the hangouts, was enough for the to appear to rush this announcement and get product to market.

I can imagine the code cutting that went on since knowledge of the inner working of Google + became known to Facebook. Determined to release something before Google+ made it to general release.

In turn the Facebook announcement seems to have hurried up the public roll out of Google+. Originally the invitation beta was due to last a few more weeks, but there are now noises that Google+ is going public pretty much straight away.

Competition in this way is great, it speeds up innovation and we the user get the benefits.

As Google get closer to a social network and Facebook drive more search within it’s site it is inevitable that competition between these two juggernauts will escalate.

How have you found Google+

 

Empire Avenue – What is it Good for?

Empire Avenue is an interesting concept in this world of Social Media and Social Media Marketing.

We are told to network, to make connection in our industries and across others to broaden our horizons, to reach out to our customers. Engage, Engage, Engage!

With all of this engaging going on, who’s doing all the real work? (Only joking)

Many people still don’t see the benefits of Social Media, it took the advent of Tweetdeck for me to see the benefit of Twitter as a networking tool. But slowly as these things come more into the mainstream and more importantly, experiences are discussed about the benefits and pitfalls of this new form of marketing.

Empire Avenue takes all of this engagement and networking and turns it into a game.

I used to play AlexaDex, it was a share trading game based on the traffic that websites recorded according to Alexa.

Empire Avenue does something similar where it gathers information about your social connections via sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Youtube and Flickr, plus what you do on the Empire Avenue site and give you a score, or a share price.

If people in the game think you are an upwards mover, they can buy shares in your profile to hopefully make a profit on your rise.

It seems to me that it is a really fun version of Klout, or similar social media analytics programs.

It is a great way to make measuring your connectedness and engagement fun.

To be honest, you may even engage more, to increase your share value.

A bit of a chicken and egg scenario then, not only does it report on your social engagement, but it encourages you to engage more.

I like it. I like the fact that it can make the measurement fun. It has encouraged me to be more vocal in social networking circles, which in itself is not a bad thing.

What is your experience? Do you like it? Do you think it is a big waste of time?

(I had to put this in…)



 

Twitter has New Follow Button

Under the Resources section on Twitter.com, you can find the new Follow Button.

Using the setup screen, it generates the code needed to put on your site to display the follow button. The good thing here, is that the button allows for the visitor to follow you on Twitter without leaving your site.

This is how it looks


Looks good and well implemented.

 

Streaming Tech TV – Great Stuff

twit live tvMy latest must see is TWiT. It is a streaming online Tech tv service that has shows screened throughout the day and then replayed around the live broadcast times.

For the broadcasts I have seen, they are, for the most part, well presented and produced pieces. With a variety of themes around technology there is a good range to keep techheads up to date with whats happening.

For me the ones I return to are TNT with Tom Merritt, All about Android and The Week in Google

All have one or more main presenters usually with guests beamed in to the show by video.

There seems to be good banter between the hosts and guests which makes for a much more watchable experience.

Go and have a look for yourself.

 

iPad2 – a bit of a yawn?

You are either one or you are not.

Most definitely I am not. It harkens back to the day when I was at University and spent the entire 3 years of my computer science degree and did not touch a PC at all.

Now, I have always thought that Universities are supposed to prepare you for your career after you leave, but to not even use a PC is a bit of a joke.

Anyway, we used Apple computers for the first two years doing programming and other things. My flatmate was an Apple devotee, I was not. I can see the design aesthetics, I can sometimes see the usability benefits. But I much preferred my PC.

Zoom forward nearly 20 years and we have now have two iterations of the iPad.

I am using one (v1) at the moment for a client project and so have had quite a play with it.

It’s nice, it’s easy to use (for some things) and it makes my kids go all gooey, but it still leaves me cold.

My smartphone and my laptop seem to be a better combination that the iPad. It just seems to me to be a device that does things OK, but it doesn’t seem to fit a need.

What is there that the iPad can do that other devices can’t? What is it that made it a “must have” device?

Seeing the recent launch hysteria of the iPad 2 makes me wonder if it is any better than the original.

Can anyone help me out with this one?

Avalon Biddle – Awesome Bike Racer

We are proud to sponsor Avalon Biddle. She is an amazing person, racing a Honda rs125 amongst the men in the 125gp class here in New Zealand and Australia.

We provide her website services and it is a real priviledge to help her in this way.

Here is a great view of her doing a flying lap at Hampton Downs (around 240 kph down the straight and it still didn’t sound flat out!)

Well done Av! Check out her website here

Avast Antivirus – Wow!

I have used a number of Antivirus programs over the years. I was a big fan of Mcafee back in the DOS days, moved onto Nortons when it came with my PC (Threw it away when it got too bloated). Tried a number of others and then settled on AVG.

AVG was great. It was free, wasn’t bloated like Norton was (I have been assured that the 2009 and 2010 versions are much better) and seemed to do everything, except custom scheduled scans, you needed to pay for that.

Over the last few years it has worked great for me and I have been through a number of versions, till the recent v8.

However, I noticed it too was getting a bit bloated, using memory and system resources that seemed a bit big while idle.

I thought I would try Avast.

It too is a free anti virus program, for non commercial use and has all of the current drop of shields including Instant Messaging, Web,Mail, Network and more.

Resource wise it was better, not to much between them, but it definitely used less memory than AVG. This was ideal for my laptop that only has 256mb of RAM.

After some toing and froing between versions, the newest version of Avast has been released, so installed this on the resource challenged laptop.

Well some of the initial tests have been quite stunning.

While the proof will be in the protection it provides (The previous versions seem to be good in that regard), the resource usage of this new system is quite staggering.

With AVG installed, the laptop idled once fully loaded at around 260mb (remember this only has 256mb of RAM)

With Avast this reduced to 195mb, around 65mb less. On such a tight resource budget this is huge. Updates and scans obviously take more cpu and RAM, but that is to be expected. Why waste resources when they are not needed.

Well done to Avast, they have made a good product even better, enough to get a WOW out of me!

You can download it here