Do you need help understanding the internets?

The internet is a busy place. Sometimes it can be too busy. Technology is also a busy and ever changing industry. As soon as new technology gets released people seem to just start talking about the technology that will come along afterwards.

I felt this about a year ago when the iPhone 4 was released. As soon as it released, people started to talk about the iPhone 5. Which might be released in the coming weeks.

If you don’t have your head constantly in technology websites, you can miss stuff. Even more if you didn’t understand the technology in the first place.

If you are confused, it’s ok, there is some help. The ABC has put together a handy little website called “Technology Explained” to help out people who want to get caught up on where technology is up to. Below is a video about social media, and you can look at some more here.

Video: Killing the net

I use the internet for alot of things. Every day I use the net for things like this website, facebook, twitter and all of my college resources are available on the net.

The other day I was reflecting on what it would look like if the internet got shut off. The internet is free and open right? Well maybe not.

Introducing @TwitSprout.

Any good website owner will have analytics attached to it. These analytics will give them vital information about the people who visit that website. It tells you how long they spent at your site and how many pages they looked at, along with 100’s of other things.

With so much communication moving away from just websites, to now incorporating stuff like facebook and twitter, the challenge has appeared as to how to analyse data from these services. You need good data so that you can make good decisions about how you or your organisation use that service etc. This is where a handy app called TwitSprout enters the scene.

But first a story.

A couple of weeks ago I spotted a tweet from a friend which was advertising the beta test of a new twitter service. I’m normally dubious of advertising on social media, but the tweet read; I’m one of the first in line for the “One Page Twitter Dashboard” from #TwitSprout. Join me via @TwitSprout.

I was immediately hooked, firstly I could be one of the first people in the world to test out a new twitter service, and with a name like twitsprout, how could I refuse?

I clicked the link, quickly put my details into their webpage. I was kindly told that it would take a little while for my stats to grow, but that they would be watered and looked after by the team at TwitSprout. Nice!

I hadn’t really thought that much about it until this morning, when I received an email saying that, “your seeds have finally sprouted!”. My twitter stats were ready.

I clicked the link, and I was presented with an awesome page of analytics for my twitter account. I realised that I tweet the most on Thursdays, and the least on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. After seeing this, It completely made sense, Tuesday and Wednesdays are my two busiest days of the week, with Thursdays being alot less busy. It also gave me a neat graph of my followers and people I am following. It’s a really neatly laid out page, with heaps of useful info.

Then a little box popped out of the bottom of the webpage. It was a guy called Dan. Dan is the CEO of TwitSprout. Dan was offering me help in understanding the data that I had just been presented with, an awesome thing, because not everyone knows alot about reading graphs. Even though these graphs are super easy to understand.

Dan was also asking my opinion about things that I would like to see added to TwitSprout in the future. I said it would be cool to have some stats on re-tweets, and he thought it was also an excellent idea.

To sum up, today ive been shocked by 2 things.

  1. That someone has actually made a really good, accessible and understandable twitter analytics application.
  2. That the CEO of this (little) company has made the time and invested the effort to not only speak to his users individually about what they would like to see in the future, but to walk them through their own stats. Both rare, and helpful.

If you are on twitter. Sign up for the beta here.
If you are not on twitter. Get on twitter and then sign up for the beta here.

Video: Nike Football: Write the future

I love football. Some people call it soccer, but these people don’t usually know that it is mostly called football by people all over the world.

I also love the world cup, even more since Australia has been in it.

The world cup isn’t just about the football though, it’s also about the advertising and sponsorship. Mostly because of the money available through selling t-shirts and TV ad space.

Last year Nike made this awesome ad for the world cup. It’s called ‘Write the future’. The basic premise is, that you need to command what your future will look like. You can have success or you can have failure. Sadly most of the players in this ad never really achieved success during the world cup. This lead to the phrase ‘Write the future curse’ to be used.

Regardless, it is still an awesome ad. I like to call it ‘The three minutes of awesome’. Enjoy.

Video: What do you pray for?

I find videos really helpful. I love what you can learn from a video. You can get alot of information across in a short amount of time.

I’m a Christian, and I like to pray to God. I believe that because of Jesus, I can now pray to God like he is my father. This video was shown at the end of Hungry Beast this past wednesday night. It is asking the question, “What do you pray for?”.

I really liked it, I hope you do too.

Video: When did you last cry?

Crying is a powerful thing. It can convey joy, heartache and sadness. You might cry alot, you might cry a little. But in your life, there will probably be a time when you cry about something.

Most of my crying has been done though listening to people tell me about the difficulties and injustice that they have experienced. Ive also cried about hearing good news. Day I married Kirsty was such a happy and joyous day that I almost cried. And every time my sister comes home for holidays, I’m so happy to see her, I tear up a little bit.

I also cried once at the end of The Chipmunk Adventure. Mostly because I didn’t want it to end, but also because I was only 4 years old.

Watch this video, it’s about crying.

Practising Hospitality, in style.

I don’t know about you, but my Wife and I love to have people over to our home. We often have our friends over to our house for dinner or afternoon tea. Being open and welcoming to others is something that both of our families exampled to both of us as we were growing up. So, to Kirsty and I it is just a normal thing that we do, and because we learnt heaps of stuff from our parents, we don’t find it that difficult.

You might fall into the category of not quite knowing what to do, or why you should even be hospitable to others.

If this is you, then I want to commend a great website to you. Its called Practising Hospitality, and it is run by two friends of ours, Calum and Alice Henderson. Kirsty and I met Calum and Alice a few years ago while we were all leading on Kiama Beach Mission. Ive found their website incredibly helpful in thinking about being hospitable to others. From how to cook a roast, to how you should approach food allergies, to what kind of music should you play when guests are over. (Salmon Hater might of made it into the 2002 hottest 100, but it is never a good option for dinner parties)

So check out their website, you might even enjoy it.

You can also follow them on twitter @practisinghosp