iPad App Deja Revealed Today

iPad’s are awesome and the applications are even better. I read about Deja, a new and highly anticipated iPad application last night that released today. I woke up excited because Deja is said to be similar to one of my favorite and most used apps, Flipboard. Flipboard is an app that beautifully arranges a completely customizable database of a users favorite websites, Twitter, Flickr, magazines and other online publications into a newspaper or magazine like layout. Then allows you to “flip” through different pages and view organized content seamlessly within the app. It is said that Deja does for videos what Fliboard does for photos and text and that is something to be excited about, after all Flipboard was named, “App of the Year,” in 2010.

I downloaded the app this morning and was instantly attracted. Videos are extracted from my Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google and RSS accounts, then compiled into a sleek and user-friendly design. Videos are updated accordingly and the sharing option is easier than ever. Users can share content on Twitter, Facebook or to email. Deja is what an iPad app should look and feel like. The interface displays tiles you can swipe threw zoom in on, and watch. Deja has a feature called ‘fling,’ where you can take whatever video you’re watching via Deja on the iPad, and view it on a TV connected to Apple TV.

You can search and view video’s, easily make playlists, view related videos, save and share in one place. It is beautiful and innovative but also very new. There are a lot of bugs and Deja crashed on me almost every time I used the app. I usually get very frustrated when something doesn’t work but I think Deja has serious potential and I can put up with it for now. A lot of time, effort and $200K of funding went into the Apps development and I really don’t think it’s going to fail. I’m hoping that the iPad 2’s video recording capabilities will help provoke the development of an option to upload videos directly to Deja. I want more customizable options for account preferences and I am also wondering if there are any privacy concerns. Deja has the potential to be a great social media marketing tool and I am interested to see how the iPad application evolves.

Memorial Day Fun in Ann Arbor

Find your old American Flag t-shirt and bathing suit and kick the summer off right this Memorial Day weekend in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Honor America’s Veterans and take advantage of all the special events and deals around town.

Finding a place to stay can be expensive and annoying, but Weber’s Hotel and Restaurant Memorial Day weekend specials make finding a place to stay easy and affordable. The Ann Arbor hotel room rates start at $99 and poolside rooms and suites receive $49 off. If you decide to stay another day rooms are only $49 on Monday, 5/30. You can relax in the sun all day and enjoy Weber’s Four Seasons pool and recreation area, game room and Cabana Café. For more details visit Weber’s Facebook page.

The Annual Memorial Day Observance will honor veterans this Monday. The event begins at 2 p.m. and will consist of a flag ceremony, 21-gun salute, notable speakers and much more. This is a great way to teach your children or siblings the importance of Memorial Day. Bring a blanket or lawn chair to 2521 Glazier Way and experience the fun.

There are events throughout the weekend to keep everyone busy. The Washtenaw County Historical Society will host a series of activities to honor American history and Veterans Saturday and Sunday 5/28 – 5/29. The activities include a Civil War exhibit, wreath making and card making. The cards will be donated to the Ann Arbor, VA Hospital. The event is another great way for children to learn about our country and the origins of Memorial Day.

Relaxing on Memorial Day is always a good option. The Ann Arbor Country Club will host an open pool party on Memorial Day from 12 noon – 6pm. Guests are admitted for free and can enjoy a wonderful day by the pool with friends. Food is available for purchase and guests are encouraged to check out the benefits of an AACC membership. The event is also a fundraiser for Dexter community students and teachers. 10 percent of any AACC memberships sold will go to support the students and teachers in the Dexter Community School district.

Ring the summer in the right way. Celebrate Memorial Day in Ann Arbor by honoring our Veterans, spending time with friends and family, relaxing and having a great time.

Visit Ann Arbor.com for a complete list of Memorial Day events and specials.

Virtual Tradeshow Experience LIGHTFAIR 2011

It’s back! The second annual Virtual Tradeshow Experience for LIGHTFAIR 2011 is here and in full swing.The digital agency Ingenex redesigned last year’s Virtual Tradeshow website for LIGHTFAIR International 2011.

Commercial and architectural lighting companies congregate once a year to attend the largest lighting industry event in the world. The creation of the Virtual Tradeshow Experience allows curious people and potential customers to jump in on the action from LED manufacturer OSRAM Opto Semiconductors booth at the tradeshow and conference. LED fans can even enter to win an iPad 2!

The Virtual Tradeshow Experience for LIGHTFAIR 2011 engages and connects customers with each other through easy to find links to OSRAM’s YouTube Account and Facebook fan page, creating conversation about the event, OSRAM and their products. Viewing my Facebook news feed provides an example of how effective social media is during an event. I was surprised that an article or post regarding LIGHTFAIR 2011 appeared more than a couple times on the same page.

Before the start of LIGHTFAIR 2011 there were informational videos on the Virtual Tradeshow Experience website educating viewers on LED’s and Solid State Lighting technology from OSRAM. This was important to build a “buzz” about LIGHTFAIR 2011 before the event and provided individuals much like myself, who are illiterate when it comes to LED technology, an easy to understand overview of LED technology while igniting my curiosity about the product.

Ingenex sent a team of three to Philadelphia, PA to LIGHTFAIR International 2011 which takes place May 17th – 19th. The team has been working to upload photos, create and edit video, keeping viewers engaged and updated during the event.

During LIGHTFAIR 2011 interviews from OSRAM employees and other important people in the lighting industry were filmed, edited and uploaded to the website right from OSRAM’s booth on the showroom floor. Web viewers were not forced to wait until after the tradeshow to hear industry leader’s opinions about up and coming lighting technology and about OSRAM.

Photos are also updated daily from OSRAM’s booth at LIGHTFAIR 2011. There are images of various LED displays showcasing new technologies including SSL and Horticultural LED Lighting. There are also photo displays showcasing indoor home LED lighting solutions and other LED lighting applications.

Ingenex creatively and interactively engaged customers to help build brand awareness and establish a lasting presence in the lighting industry and online community. I am curious to see what other photos, interviews and news stories will be posted during LIGHTFAIR 2011 and I can’t wait to see what innovations the Virtual Tradeshow Experience website will have next year.

Common Craft: Simplifying Explanations

Social Media, Twitter, Blog, RSS, many words and phrases used today to describe components of digital marketing. But maybe you are wondering what these words and phrases mean, or maybe you are having a hard time explaining it to someone else.

If that is the case, I introduce you to, Common Craft, a company based out of Seattle, Washington that produces simple, short and informational videos “in plain english.” Each video features paper cut outs, increasing the ease of comprehension.

Simply put,  Common Craft, is a simple company, that gives perfect explanations, and that is all there is to it. This video is one of the many technology related videos on the website, and will explain “Blogs in Plain English:”

Now that you have see the Common Craft explanation of a blog,  visit other Ingenex blog pots:

  • The Digital Bus, to learn about digital marketing from the professionals at Ingenex
  • Eco-Friendly Internship Blog, to find out what is new in digital marketing and eco-friendly from the interns at Ingenex
  • New Media Drivers License, will feature posts by students as they learn about new media in the course instructed by Derek Mehraban, Ingenex CEO

A Taste of Ann Arbor – Seva

It’s restaurant week here in Ann Arbor! That means gourmet food at phenomenal prices. Megan and Lauren are both on vacation, so Eric Rodriguez (our Client Services Manager) and I decided to take on A Taste of Ann Arbor.

Seva is nestled into the heart of downtown on E. Liberty St. As a fully vegetarian restaurant, Seva takes pride in creating new, tasty, and organic dishes. Eric chose the Burrito con Elote stuffed with butternut squash, corn, beans, and cheese (which can be modified into a Vegan dish) while I munched on a Quinoa-Spinach Salad. Both were served by friendly staff that smiled as they passed and never let our water glasses go dry. 

Seva offers as many organic and local products as possible. In keeping with the eco-friendly theme, the restaurant offers biodegradable items, such as little paper cups of salsa and guacamole instead of plastic. If you are looking for a natural pep, try one of their juiced drinks. I decided to order a Ginger Shot. The ingredients are simple: ginger, which is known for its healing properties.

The vegetarian hot spot offers reasonable prices, but during Ann Arbor’s Restaurant Week, Eric and I enjoyed our entrees for $12 and found a new place to frequent.

Getting business through social networking

A couple days ago I found an interesting discussion in Flickr. In the wedding photographers group some of the members were discussing about how to get business through social networks. The idea is simple, but effective: Post the pictures you take for a senior portraits session, engagement or a wedding on your Facebook and tag your customers. If your privacy options are set up so everyone can see those pictures, allow comments, and you will be the guy who took those cool senior portraits or those cute engagement shots, and that will surely bring you business.

The same idea applies to many different businesses. If you do a good job in whatever you do, you can probably ask that customer to left a recommendation for you on any of the social networking sites, or ask him to refer your site to other potential customers.

If you are writing a blog, write about what you have done for that customer and put pictures of up it if possible. Then let your customer know and he will surely show your blog entry to colleagues and friends, spreading the word about whatever service or product you do and how well you do it.

Word of mouth is proven to work well, and social networking is a powerful tool for keep spreading the word about your business.

How to get the most of Twitter

Twitter is a great tool for networking, by using its 140 characters messages you can connect with many people around the globe that can be potentially interesting for your career or even your business. The following ones are some guidelines that will help you to get the most of each tweet:

  • Use every word to make an impact (you only have 140 characters, don’t waste them)
  • Use your real name or last name, your WoW name may be popular among the other dwarfs or orcs, but maybe not so well known for anyone else.
  • Link, link and link again to your site or blog.
  • Use tinyurl, this will allow you to introduce longer web addresses. Also try to use the custom URL option if possible.
  • Be selective with your contacts, you don’t need to be antisocial but there is no need to follow back everyone who adds you, especially if their profile pictures are kind of suspicious (half naked women, etc…).
  • Share anything you think is useful, it may be useful for others and it adds interest to your twitter account.
  • Pimp your twitter account.
  • Keep your profile update, link to your blog.
  • Interact with your followers, comment on their tweets.
  • Try to tweet everyday, don’t let people forget about you!

Hope this little advice help. I’ll see you on Twitter.

Ann Arbor Bloggers: Andrew Miller – YourSearchAdvisor.com

The Author

For the last seven days I have been following Your Search Advisor’s corporate blog. The blog’s author, Andrew Miller, is the founder of Your Search Advisor, an Ann Arbor based company that offers SEO (Search Engine Optimization) services and is located, as Ingenex Digital Marketing, in the Brickyard. In addition to his entrepreneurial efforts with Your Search Advisor, Andrew is also the co-founder of RichmondWiki, a Wiki site about Richmond, VA, where he went to college at the University of Richmond, graduating with a double degree in Computer Science and Spanish.

The Blog

As an addition to corporate websites, corporate blogs have become a great tool for companies, not only to promote their business, but also to be closer to their customers. Andrew does both things very well, in his corporate blog; he has some very interesting SEO analysis, analyzes digital marketing news and trends, and also has time for some more personal posts. Examples of this are the different topics in his last posts, which are very broad; from the very recent challenges and opportunities of an in-house SEO to the Yahoo Mash failure, passing through the analysis of the current state of the mobile web or the more personal post of how his old laptop “went nuclear”.

I think Your Search Advisor’s blog is a very interesting and enjoyable read. It is not only entertaining and written using very clear language (you don’t have to be a digital marketing guru for understanding its articles), but also very informative about the latest digital marketing trends and SEO news. I will definitely be following this blog in the future, its feed has made it to my Google Reader and I look forward to reading the upcoming post on how to be a successful in-house SEO.