iPad: what can you do with this?

Apple iPad

Making electronic media easier to access.

In the interest making our lives easier, more convenient, and fun I wanted to throw out some pragmatic thoughts regarding the new iPad.

I am excited for this new product from Apple.

If you are an Apple enthusiast/apologizer, none of this will matter and you will greatly agree with it all.  If you have used/own an iPhone or iTouch you know EXACTLY how great this iPad is going to be.

Think back to when MP3 players and online music was taking off.  Not everyone jumped on the wagon and bought a SanDisk mp3 player or an iPod, but soon enough people did and now the iPod is the common name for any portable music device (like “walkman” was in the 80’s).

The next big move is the iPad.  This device is basically a larger form factor of the iPhone/iTouch with a few more bells and whistles.  I won’t go into the details, you can read at Apple.  I would rather offer my thoughts on how you can use this device.

Your first question to an Apple Store sales guy/gal would be “what would I do with this”?  The sales”person” would show you many features.   Basically it boils down to using the wifi or 3G communication to get on the web and do what you do on the web (facebook, cnn.com, youtube, hulu, etc.).  There is also all of the features of photos, movies, and apps.

It is a great appliance to keep around the house to lay in bed or on the couch and consume your favorite media.  It’s light and easy to use with the touch screen.

Here where I think this device is going to be huge.  You will see this device in hospitals and clinics.  The iPad is going to offer the conduit for healthcare workers to gain access or input information within Electronic Health Records (EHR).  Quicker access to your medical and demographic information will mean quicker visits and less time filling out paperwork on the clipboard.  This process will make healthcare more efficient.

The iPad could also boost the news market by offering the ability to consume a newspaper in its traditional look and feel.  The iPad is another eReader.  But an eReader without a linear function.  You don’t want a Kindle and an iPad do you?  See New York Times Adobe Air offering.

Sidebar: News is free on the internet for the most part.  Subscribing to news has not been very successful for the news organizations and their readership has gone down over the recent years.  There is still a market of people who like and want the newspaper as we know it today.  They want the newspaper layout in sections and pages with images.  eReaders, like an iPad, can offer an electronic version of your favorite paper maintaining that look and feel.  You can stop subscribing to the physical paper and for a cheaper subscription get the electronic version.  Cheaper for your, better for recycling.  The only loser is your hamster and pinata’s.

Newspapers are only part of the picture.  eBooks and magazines are the other selling point.  You can use the iPad’s larger screen to read your favorite stuff just about anywhere.  Imagine going on a 2 week vacation where you want to “catch up on reading”.  It would require a bunch of heavy books (as airlines charge for bags, you want to avoid this).  Download all your electronic media on iPad and away you go.  See More about eReaders.

There is an obvious downside.  Locations where you might not want to use the iPad (poolside, beach, bright light, etc).  Understandable.  There is also the battery life.  2-3 hours seems short, but with time I suspect this will increase.

The pricing structure is very reasonable too.

PS.  I don’t work for Apple and I don’t own a Mac.

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Facebook: create a list

Friends list

Create a Friends List

I posted an article the other day with a macro look at social network then added a link to a blog that offered the 10 features of facebook you should know about.

I took it to heart and started really using friend lists.  You probably already know but I will offer my experience.

As your friend list grows and you logon to see the news feed, you will see quite a few and lots of noise.  Let’s be honest, not all the friends are close friends but moreso an acquaintance.  This is a fine.  You don’t necessarily want to follow their posts and updates.  Maybe you do.  Either way here is how you can follow the people you want to follow.

Create a friends list.  Then go through your friends and add them to a list or more than one list.  I have a list called “funny follows” within which are you people that I find humorous.  Christy, you are one of them.  I created a list for “family”.  I have another for work people.  You get the idea.

I recognize I sound like a total Facebook nerd, but I can live with that.  I will say it again… Facebook has brought people together and we can keep up with each other in an efficient manner.

May the Force be with you.  Go forth and Prosper?  Peace.  and God Bless.

iPod Nano 16GB blue

Valentines Day is coming up.  I have a sweetie that is employed and married to a guy who wants …Err NEEDS!  a new iPod.  My classic 40GB is trashed.  Bought is used and now the battery won’t hold a charge.  It has displayed the frowny apple icon twice in the last month.  I think it is time to retire the old girl and get something new.

Apple iPod nano 16GB MP3 Player(5th Gen) - Blue

Do we really like Twitter?

Twitter out?

Has Twitter seen it's peak?

Has Twitter peaked?  (News on CNN) Is it on a downward turn? I don’t use Twitter as much.  It is somewhat annoying when you use it full time.  It is more fun and interesting in small doses or when you are using it via your mobile with friends/colleagues.

The article does not that most people use an alternate interface to post.

Twitter might be the next Atari.

What is social networking?


Social Networking

I know that my writing about social networking now is way late.   The MySpace’s, Facebook’s, and Twitter’s have been running a long time.   I have been using Facebook and Twitter for a good 6 months.  I started with MySpace to get the low-down in order to keep up with my pre-teen nieces.  I am the technical person of the family and it is my unwritten duty to be in the know.  I hung out on MySpace and got quickly annoyed.  There was nothing of interesting.  It was full of teen angst and “pimped out pages” with flashy screens and favorite songs streaming.   The kicker was the constant spamming from porny/dating/chat things.  Ultimately I moved on.

I started using Facebook after reading something about it.  It was a cleaner interface and once I got signed on, old friends started coming out of the woodwork.  The friend list grew and catching up with people was great.  Keeping up with photos and other goings on is fun too.  You will go to a store and run into someone and have something to say other than “how have you been?”.  You now have “I saw you had a good time at [blah blah]”.  It’s good.  It’s friendly.

Most adults sneer at Facebook.  They think it is for kids.  It can be, but it is really like your school cafeteria.  You have a bunch of friends and people you know.  You interact with a small sub group (‘your table’) of those friends and occasionally wander off to another table and chat or share some information.  You have the ability to avoid people and not share details with people.  Facebook allows you to setup groups and security to limit what people can say and do.  Ultimately you can unfriend or even block a person.  You can setup events and invite people to come.  You can share events that are going on so that people are informed.  It’s great for communicating to the masses.

To some this sounds like a time sink.  It can be, admittedly.  What is the value?  I would say the common value is keeping up with people and easily sharing photos.  It is great to share a photo and tag people so that the photo shows up on their page too.   Commercially, it is another online  way you can get your brand out for people to consume.  It is a great communication tool.  You can post your new products and sales events.

What are people really doing with Facebook?  Some people troll for lovers, others just lurk.  Most people express their emotion of the moment.  Status Updates can be funny, pitiful, self aggrandizing, sad, hopeful, a question, boring, etc.  Do we really need to know what people are doing every hour of the day?  No.  But it can be fun to read what people are up to and it is sometimes therapeutic to share your thoughts.

Twitter is similar but a much more minuscule communication tool.  Twitter is a 140 character micro blog.  Both Facebook and Twitter can be used on mobile devices which keeps the constant contact going.  Obviously people love it.  The to can be used in integrated fashion also where you tweet and it appears in both networks.

Other than the reasons above, why join?  Here is my thought.  Spam.  Annoying unsolicited email.  I don’t check my regular home email as often.  I have found that I communicate with my friends and family more commonly via Facebook.  Email boxes are getting hit with spam and you have to monitor and clean up.  Posts and tweets can go by without notice and you don’t need to do anything.  You can go back and check them if needed.  If someone needs to be sure you see their message, they can send something to your Facebook inbox.   Facebook has become my first place to check for messages.

I like it when people share links to interesting news stories or youtube videos that are funny or interesting.  It is a great way to consume news without going to websites and feeding on the mass message.  It’s the same as your office buddies saying, “did you see that story about the house fire” or “did you catch Conan last night”?

The dark side….  Facebook is no different that hanging out at a large party with diverse people.  There are some people that can get annoying.  That’s life right?  You get the good with the bad.   Facebook can also start debates and heated discussions.  Like any other venue, you have to maintain a certain level of decency in mixed company.  Opinions are like assholes and we all got ’em.

I know it might sound ironic right now.  If you have read this far, you might have clicked over from facebook to read this since I posted it on my page.  I DO realize that I might be one of the annoying ones.  I know I have been unfriended for political talk in the past.  So be it.  Not everyone agrees.  I make no apology nor do I blame you for not agreeing.  It is perfectly American to do so.

I encourage anyone to try social networking.  Anytime someone new joins, they quickly find old friends and enjoy it immediately.

Other Resources:

10 Privacy Settings you should know about.