Archive for February, 2013

Original iPhone + iPhone 3G + iPhone 4

Original iPhone + iPhone 3G + iPhone 4 (Photo credit: Yutaka Tsutano)

Apple picking. It’s not just with that tree in your backyard anymore.

I was at the gym last night peddling away on one of the recumbents when a news story about a new trend in iPhone stealing popped on the screen. It’s one that’s gaining traction in the US. Has it happened here yet? Not sure, but it could.

Apple Picking. As in, mugging you for your phone while you’re on it. The report said women were often the target. The older, the better. We’re often unaware of our surroundings when we’re lost in conversation or in text. Stolen iPhones can be sold for as much as $300 according to a nameless and faceless source during the story.

A few tips for keeping your phone in your hands:

  1.  Put it away. We’ve survived plenty fine in the world before cell phones. Save your texting and you’re talking for a time when you’re out of that big open public space.
  2. Get yourself a hands free, wireless set. Then you can continue on your merry way with smart phone in a zipped up pocket somewhere and still have your conversation.
  3. Don’t keep your phone on the table at a restaurant. Another easy walk-n-snatch opportunity. Take that photo of your food and then… put it away. Your dining companion is sure to thank you too. If you’re on call, set it to vibrate and keep it in your lap.
  4. Have a backup and don’t store important information or access to it on your primary phone.

Taking photos from your iPhone or iPad, talking, texting… what are other day-to-day behaviours that would make it easy for a thief to make off with our gadgets?

 

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I don’t wait in line. I’ll either try something out before it’s super big, find a way onto the VIP list or wait until the hype has died down. Let me rephrase. I don’t wait in big lines.

And yet, as soon as there’s a lineup, people will join it. They’ll wait in line for hyped products, for new releases, for rides, for food trucks, or sometimes even for something unknown. Is it a North American thing? Or a human thing? I’m not sure. But… the fact remains, all you need is a lineup.

The proof is in the pudding with the virtual lineup Mailbox has created. “Put email in its place,” the tagline touts. A redesigned inbox promising to make the ever elusive Inbox 0 goal an attainable, sustainable reality. I first heard about it on Instagram when one of my fellow grammers posted her wait time. “What is that?” I wondered. I followed the link, downloaded the app and set my clock to wait. Then… I posted my wait time. “What is that?” a few of my friends wondered. I was waiting in line and posting about it. It must be important. Next thing I know, they’re waiting in line with me. We don’t even know if what we’re waiting for is as impressive as it promises to be.

Mailbox1

Now, the lineup’s still growing, and I’m 143,214 people away from my new inbox. It sounds silly, but every few days I check in to see how quickly the “lineup” is moving. I want that inbox dammit!

And… my friends are doing the same! And I’m so totally jealous of those much farther in front me.

See? Lineup. All you need is a lineup.

Photo Credit: Paull Young

Photo Credit: Paull Young

Way back when I started going to meetups explaining what this social media stuff was all about, there was one important message that I kept hearing over and over. In its simplest form, the message is this:

Social media is nothing more than word of mouth.

That’s it. It’s not about Pinterest or Twitter or Instagram or blogging or YouTube or any of the other mediums out there. It’s simply word of mouth. And those who are good at getting people to interact with them, to create stories and experiences with them and share these with others… those are the true social media practitioners.

If you have a blog or a website and you’re trying to use social tools to drive more traffic to your website, you are NOT employing social media, you’re building an audience. It’s not bad, they’re just two different things.

If I put a pen in your hand, does it make you a writer? A poet? An artist? Or just a person holding a pen?

So, before you say you want to engage in social media, define first what it is you’re hoping to accomplish. And then know that just because you’re sharing information through online channels, it doesn’t mean you’re engaging in social media. It means you’re broadcasting, answering questions, delivering customer service. The social media part comes when your audience, customers, friends, whoever, become a part of what you’re building. They take ownership for having an influence over your brand and they do so simply by sharing.

Social media isn’t new. It isn’t a tool. It’s a technique. And when applied correctly using tools, either online or off, it’s a more powerful force than any we could hope to harness individually. Because the whole is greater than the sum of its part, it’s impossible for social media to exist without a community behind it.