Instagram just released Hyperlapse, their new (iOS only) app that allows you to create hyperlapse videos directly on your iPhone or iPad. Don’t know what a hyperlapse is? Check out this video for a quick introduction to Hyperlapse:
I recently wrote about how Buffer can help you easily share great content to your social profiles without having to spend all day online. ifttt is another app that can help you automate tasks you want to accomplish so you can spend your time on more important things.
Quite simply, ifttt (short for If This Then That) is an app that lets you create automated Tasks or Recipes (tasks created and shared by others). For example, I have a task set up so every time I post a photo to Instagram, ifttt will automatically save a copy to a folder in my Dropbox account. I also have another task set up so when I star an article in my Google Reader, it will automatically add that article to my Buffer account to be posted to my social profiles.
You can create an account at ifttt.com and you’ll get up to 10 tasks for free. ifttt currently offers 41 different channels like Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Buffer, Facebook Pages, LinkedIn, Readability, SMS and many more. With all the channels they offer, the number of tasks you could possibly create are nearly endless.
ifttt continually adds new channels, so if one that you frequently use isn’t yet supported, chances are they’ll add it once enough people start using it. Below, I’ll explain how to go about setting up a Task on ifttt.
Do you ever notice people that seem to always be online? Always posting to Twitter or Facebook? Just because they’re posting several times throughout the day doesn’t necessarily mean they’re on Twitter or Facebook all day long. They could be using one of several apps that allows you to schedule or spread out your posts throughout the day. One of the best apps I’ve found to do that is Buffer.
Unlike robust social media management tools like HootSuite and TweetDeck (both excellent tools), Buffer does one thing and it does it exceptionally well. Buffer is a status update scheduling tool, but unlike a more full-fledged social media management tool, Buffer doesn’t ask you when to post your updates. Buffer initially selects four times throught the day when your posts will go out (but you can add, subtract or edit any of those times). Each time you add a new post to Buffer, it simply throws it into the buffer queue behind your other scheduled posts. In the screenshot below, you can see that there are several posts scheduled to go out over the next 24 hours. This is how Buffer works.
Now, I can spend 20 or 30 minutes over lunch or in the evening reading news updates from my Google Reader account or (some of my new favorites) Flipboard (iOS app link), Zite (iOS app link) or even the Bloomburg BusinessWeek (iPad app link) apps on my iPad. Then, when I read interesting articles, I can add them to my Buffer knowing they’ll post later and not inundate my followers as I read each article.
Buffer also makes it VERY easy to add content, whether you’re sharing links of articles you’re reading or whether you just want to schedule a post without a link. Buffer has created more than a dozen different ways to add content to your account. In addition to being able to update from the website, you can also update with an Android app, iPhone app, Firefox and Chrome extensions and (one of my favorites) a way to add to your Buffer via email, it’s easy to keep your Buffer full wherever you are. Below is a screenshot that shows how to add an update to Buffer via email. You’ll receive your own exclusive @to.bufferapp.com email address and everything you send to that address will automatically get added to your Buffer. Just add the email address to your contacts and you can add to your Buffer from anywhere.
Buffer is a free service, but there is also a couple paid versions available. For free, you can have up to 10 updates in your queue, and you can have one account each of LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. For $10/month you get up to 50 updates at a time, six social networks and up to two team members per account. There’s also a $99/month plan that gives you lots more.
I’ve been using Buffer for about six months now and it has become an indispensable part of my day and my social media routine. If you’re interested in checking out Buffer, click here (referral). If you sign up through my referral link, we’ll both get one extra space added to our Buffer queue.
**Update Thanks to Troy Thompson of Travel 2.0, you can use Tweriod (a free service) to find out the best times to tweet. Simply connect Tweriod with your Twitter account and it will let you know the historically best times to post content to get the most interaction from your followers. Tweriod is included as part of the paid Buffer subscription, but you can look up the times on your own for free as well. **
At its core, Pinterest is a social bookmarking site similar to Delicious or SpringPad, but where Pinterest differs (and where they really shine) is how their bookmarks are organized. Rather than saving a list of text links, Pinterest is 100% image-based. The visual nature of Pinterest creates a clean and easily browsable interface that can be extremely addicting.
So, how does Pinterest describe itself?
Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes.
You’re likely to find boards and pins full of decorating ideas and recipes as well as just about anything else you could think of, but Pinterest has a really unique opportunity to be a great place for Tourism entities to set up shop. In fact, I set up an account for Visit Indiana a couple months ago and have received a pretty good response so far. I’ve created boards for Favorite Indiana Destinations, Indiana Artisan Products, Indiana Beer and Wine, Indiana Arts and Crafts and Indiana Experiences. Each time I come across a great picture of somewhere in Indiana or something Indiana-related on Etsy, I pin it and share it with everyone who follows Visit Indiana.
You can browse Pinterest in several different ways. You can view just pins from your friends or you can search for and browns pins in countless topics (travel, decorating, recipes, etc.). One of the coolest features on pinterest is the ability to “repin” other people’s pins. Just like sharing on Facebook or retweeting on Twitter repinning posts the pin on your board so your friends can see it. It’s a great way to catalog pictures or links you want to keep handy.
Regardless of what kind of tourism organization you work for (State, County or City DMO or individual attraction or lodging facility) Pinterest offers you the ability to share great photos of places in your area, locally-made products or hidden destinations for visitors and residents alike.
Note that Pinterest is only available on iPhone/iPod Touch right now.
Are you already using Pinterest? If not, do you think its a good fit for your organization?
Apps like Yelp and Foursquare let you take pictures and leave reviews at restaurants, but unlike those and other apps, Foodspotting is completely devoted to food and pictures of food. Like many other apps, you can hook Foodspotting up with your Facebook and Twitter accounts and start following friends through there, but where Foodspotting really differs (and really shines) is in the ability for you to follow not just friends, but places (specific restaurants) or foods you love (pizza, burgers, etc.). Think about that for a minute – you can follow specific foods through Foodspotting. If your favorite food in the world is a breaded tenderloin pork sandwich (if that’s true, then you really need to come to Indiana) you can follow tenderloin sandwiches and find the places near you that have the best ones.
Also, similar to the way Gowalla allows users to create Guides, Foodspotting also lets users to create Guides like Taste the Vintage in Bucks County – created by the Bucks County Conference and Visitors Bureau. This particular guide looks great on both the mobile app and on the website and it details some great wineries throughout the county. As a bonus, you earn a badge once you visit all the wineries within the Guide.
As a tourism office, you’re in the unique position to be the curator for great food in your area. Like Bucks County did, you could created Guides for great wine, great burgers, great ethnic food or anything else food-related for visitors and residents to complete and add to. The more people that jump on the platform and add their favorite foods, the more useful and robust the app will become.
Check out the screenshots below for examples of the Footspotting mobile app (Foodspotting is now available for iPhone/iPod Touch, Windows Mobile and Android devices right now – a Blackberry app is coming soon). Have you used Foodspotting before?
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