Pikter.com – The Ping.fm of Pictures

Pikter.com – The Ping.fm of Pictures

I discovered another useful social networking tool that is in beta. It is called Pikter. The concept behind this tool is similar to what http://ping.fm does with status updates, but for pictures.

You submit your picture to Pikter.com via a secret email address and your picture automatically gets sent to the social networks that you have choosen to setup with Pikter.com. Currently, you can send to twitter, Gospelr, Flickr, Picasa, and Jaiku. I expect that they will be adding more services in time.

I really look forward to this service evolving with more networks in the near future. This is already so extremely valuable for those of us who have friends on different social networks. This allows us to get our pictures into most of our friends hands without needing to go to each social network. In short, this is a real time saver.

My personal wish list of features for Pikter.com:

Facebook – have the picture go to the mobile upload area for a Facebook account.
Blogger – Create a blog post with the picture in it.
WordPress.com &.org – Create a blog post with the picture in it. (or maybe even allow self hosted setups choose a default folder to upload the photo to.)

Pikter.com is currently in beta, so you will need an invite code to setup an account, so if you would like an invite code send me a message and I will get one to you.

gospelr.com – Good News for Social Networking

gospelr.com – Good News for Social Networking

I happened across a micro-blogging / status updating service intended for Christians that I would like to share with you. It is called gospelr (sounds like gospeler). The idea behind this service is for Christians to share updates with family and friends (just like twitter, or any other similar service), but also to broadcast prayer requests or ministry updates to a social community of believers. I think this is a very clever use of social technology to promote the Gospel. It is nice to see a young generation of Christians thinking outside of the box and looking for new avenues to share their faith, and to help others do the same. I have big hopes for gospelr.com and hope they can pull in a large base of Christian users.

Gospelr.com is also connected with Twitter (via Twitters API), so you can actually setup your gospelr.com account to automatically post to twitter.com as well. This is a nice addition which makes it so you won’t need to post your update in multiple places, you could simply update gospelr.com and twitter gets it too. I am personally hoping that ping.fm will support this service in the near future as well. (I use ping.fm to update a wide array of social networks all at once.)

So, why not check out gospelr.com and see how social networking can be used to share the Good News?

PS: If you are interested you can find me on gospelr.com at http://gospelr.com/jeffbristow

iPhone 2.1 Update Letdown

iPhone 2.1 Update Letdown

photo.jpgToday the highly anticipated iPhone update was released to the masses. I had been excited about this update because of all of the various rumors circling around on the internet. The biggest rumor was that cut & paste would finally be added with the 2.1 update. There were many more big rumors, and they all had me itching to get my hands on 2.1.

The Update
Updating my iPhone didn’t seem to go as smoothly as I had anticipated. iTunes was forcing a backup to happen before the update, which makes sense. I like having a recent backup before making big changes. But when the backup completed iTunes would disconnect the iPhone briefly which would then cause an error with the 2.1 update process. So, after attempting this twice and wasting a ton of time as it ‘backed up’ my settings, I declined the upgrade, backup up my iPhone via iTiunes and then performed the upgrade. This worked perfectly. Too bad I had already spent an hour and a half trying to perform the 2.1 update the way iTunes wanted to do it.

The Experience
This minor setback didn’t phase my excitement to see what new features may await me with iPhone 2.1. I unplugged my iPhone from the USB cable and slid the unlock graphic to the right. To no surprise it looked the same. But it was already operating faster than it had before. Which is a great improvement. I opened a few applications and noticed that it was consistently opening and closing applications noticeably faster. I am liking this more and more so far. So, I began trying to find the new features.

The Features?
A feature that has sadly been missing with the iPhone is the ability to download your Podcasts without syncing to your computer. I checked out iTunes on the iPhone and the iPod application, but quickly realized that any hope of this update making it into 2.1 was dashed. I guess 2.2 may have this…. maybe. I also realized that there is no cut & paste available in 2.1. Another vital component that is for some reason missing on the iPhone, yet it seems so basic. In fact, I couldn’t seem to find a new feature. After scratching my head I decided to head over to apple.com and see what the official ‘new features’ actually are in 2.1

So, what did they add?
Here is the official list from Apple

  • Decrease in call set-up failures and dropped calls
  • Significantly better battery life for most users
  • Dramatically reduced time to backup to iTunes
  • Improved email reliability, notably fetching email from POP and Exchange accounts
  • Faster installation of 3rd party applications
  • Fixed bugs causing hangs and crashes for users with lots of third party applications
  • Improved performance in text messaging
  • Faster loading and searching of contacts
  • Improved accuracy of the 3G signal strength display
  • Repeat alert up to two additional times for incoming text messages
  • Option to wipe data after ten failed passcode attempts
  • Genius playlist creation

This list seems far from impressive. Certainly nothing to get excited about. Unless you really like the new ‘Genius’ playlist function…. which is pretty cool. So I tested out a few of the fixes.

I installed a few applications and it truly is a much better experience than with 2.0.2. I also noticed that when you upgrade an application it keeps it on the screen you had it placed, previously it would get moved to the first available open slot, often causing me to need to rearrange my applications after one app would be updated.

Essentially I am disappointed with the 2.1 software in regards to any of its ‘enhancements’. It is really just a patch to fix bugs that should have been worked out with a 2.0.3 release but they tossed in a few ‘enhancements’ so they could use the 2.1 label. However, I am grateful that the iPhone is now more stable and operates a bit snappier. I was just hoping for more. Maybe next time Apple. Maybe next time.