Tech

The Apple Watch, iPhone 6 and iOS update

AplWatch-Hero-Tumble-PRINT-v-09sep14_bLike many other tech fans I’ve been waiting for the day that Apple released details about its new products- and they certainly didn’t disappoint me yesterday!

I’m most excited about the Apple Watch and how it will transform the wearable tech industry. I love watches and have a few timepieces that I rotate in a regular fashion. I’m also a self-confessed fashionista, and when it was announced that Angela Ahrendts was moving to Apple, I knew that wearable tech had found a fashionable friend.

It’s clear that Apple has focused on the fashion element of the product, with six different straps for all preferences available. The ability to customise the face is also really exciting, and their video shows how fun this element is going to be!

The watch works as a fitness tracker, message notifier, navigation device and vibrates to give feedback to its wearer. You are also able to send personal messages to other users, such as drawing pictures and also sending your heartbeat. The watch will only work with an iPhone and will be priced from £215 in the UK ($349 in the US.)

The iPhone 6 looks like a small iPad, and has a bigger screen than previous iPhones with a 4.7-inch display. Apple has also released  the iPhone 6 Plus (it has a 5.5-inch display). Whilst the latter won’t be for me, I’m looking forward to checking out the 6 when it is available to buy in a few weeks time.

We’ve also got the iOS 8 update to look forward to with QuickType predictive text, a new Health app, an improved photo app and the ability to place calls over wi-fi. Hooray!

Screenshot 2014-09-10 09.01.47

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Instagram, Social Media

Hyperlapse Hype

Screen-Shot-2014-08-26-at-8.50.05-AMInstagram’s latest offering to the world was released this week- and it’s one that you really must try. Hyperlapse allows users to create time lapse videos even whilst they’re in motion, and choose a playback speed between 1x and 12x before sharing to Facebook or Instagram.

The app is currently available on iOS and you don’t need to create an account to use it. I downloaded it earlier this week, and tried it out whilst on a walk with my pal Helen. It is super easy and fun to use, and I’ll be testing it out further over the weekend.

What are your thoughts on Hyperlapse, and will you be using it?

Check out some of the great Hyperlapse videos by using the hashtag #hyperlapse on Instagram and Facebook. This 15 second tour of the White House is my favourite!

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Pinterest, Social Media

The Power of Pinterest

Pinterest_logo

Pinterest is staking its claim in the world of social media- it is now the third most popular social network in the US in terms of traffic generated, and there has been a 145% increase in daily users since 2012.

I’ve been a keen user of Pinterest for a few years now, and I find myself more and more using it as a search engine tool. It is super useful for when I’m researching content for my blog Political Style, and I frequently use it to search for specific products that I am thinking of purchasing. Recent stats highlight that 38% of all active users bought something because they saw it on Pinterest, and 53% of these are daily users.

How do I use Pinterest to support and promote my blog?

  • Pin each post– every time a post is published on Political Style I pin it directly onto the Political Style board.
  • Pin at busy times of day– between 8pm-11pm are the most popular times to pin. Most evenings during this period I spend 30minutes updating boards and pinning new pins.
  • Sign up for a business account– this provides you with detailed analytics information and tips from the Pinterest team.
  • Use widgets on your blog– these are great for placing as an additional tool in themed or creative posts- the boards My Style and Dream Homes are some of my most popular.
  • Use hashtags and tagging correctly– Like Twitter, I  make sure I tag the official pages of brands/individuals in my posts as well as using hashtags.
  • Themed boards around different topics– When on the hunt for new eyewear, a board for glasses provided me with the great inspiration I needed! My boards around events like July 4th and Halloween have also proved to be popular.
  • Repin from your favourite blogs– sharing is caring!
  • Check analytics regularly– Pinterest’s analytics tools are super useful in helping me determine which pins are repinned, liked and shared my followers.
  • Know your audience– a mix of popular posts and key topics help to influence not only fresh content, but the types of pins that I share.

Do you use Pinterest for a blog or a business? Leave your link in the comments and I’ll check you out!

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Social Media

Achieving Immense Social Media Success

4314365065_f64a614b9d_zI recently read an article by Bruce Kasanoff, a contributor to Forbes.com about how to achieve immense social media success.

In his article, Kasanoff states that the one big mistake that we all make is taking part in the race to have the most followers on Twitter, and indeed on all the social networks that we use.

Kasanoff uses the example of if you had to meet all your followers in person:

“If you have 10,000 followers, imagine a concert hall filled with them. Now what? Do you have 90 minutes of great material to drive the crowd wild? I think not. Do you have the time to have personal, meaningful conversations with every visitor? That would take about 30 minutes times 10,000 followers, or nearly two years’ worth of eight-hour days.”

This by any means is a daunting prospect, and leads me to the secret, which is actually common sense. Focus on attracting a small number of followers that you actually want to interact with. At my time of writing I have 1523 followers on Twitter. This is fab- but how many of these do I actually interact with? Probably less than 10%.

I’m definitely going to try out Kasanoff’s advice, and hopefully, we can engage in stimulating and worthwhile discussion on the things that we’re really passionate about!

FYI- my Twitter handle is @lauraemilyd

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Twitter

Technological Multitasking: TV and Tweeting

If I’m watching the latest episode of my favourite television show or catching up with programmes I’ve recorded, the likelihood is that my iPad or iPhone will be close by.

It seems as if I am not alone, as research by Ericsson highlights that 75% of individuals multitask by using mobile devices whilst watching TV.

Recent events such as this year’s SuperBowl identified over 24.9 million tweets about the game, and the season finale of Pretty Little Liars recorded a record-breaking 1.5 million event-related tweets were sent during its broadcast.

Pretty Little Liars is an interesting case in point. It is branded as ‘must-see’ TV, with its viewers not just falling into the tween market. I admit I watch the show, and I’ve waited this long to find out who ‘A’ is, so it makes sense to continue!

In an age where you can watch television on catch-up, or go on a NetFlix binge, Pretty Little Liars offers the chance to participate in live water cooler talk- especially as Twitter explodes through the #PLL hashtag. Viewers don’t want to wait for catch-up and they are watching live whilst tweeting as they want to share their thoughts as every development happens.

This approach is supported by the show’s network, ABC Family, and every week it hosts live Twitter Q&As with members of the cast and crew. These are heavily branded and promoted events, and this approach naturally helps ratings- both on television and on social media. In its most recent season finale, the show amassed roughly 1.454 million tweets (a 43 share) by nearly 411, 000 unique contributors- peaking at a rate of 37,000 tweets per minute.

Pretty Little Liars hooks viewers with good writing that provides many questions (and seldom answers!) and it owes much to its strong and dedicated fan base. The show provides murder, intrigue, peril and people being buried alive- everything that appeals to a young audience.

This trend is certain to continue, with networks relying heavily on social media networks to promote their new offerings. It will be interesting to see if the season premiere of Pretty Little Liars can top its success on social media- but I’ll leave that reporting for another post.

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Uncategorized

Cub Comms- small bear trying to get big reach

“Write to be understood and speak to be heard.”- Lawrence Clark Powell

I’ve been fascinated with the world of communications and the media since an early age. Some of my earliest memories include accompanying my Dad to television studios when he was doing live interviews as part of his job, and another time when a film crew descended on our house to film a segment for a lifestyle programme. (I made a small cameo!)

Since then, I’ve started two blogs, guest blog for The Huffington Post, worked for politicians and started my own business.

Cub Comms will be about my journey, with my aim of setting the world on fire from South Wales. As a friend and mentor puts it- ‘this blog will log the trials and travels of a little minx trying to make it amongst the big hitters!’

So join me on this journey into the world of communications, with content from the heart and questions to challenge the mind!

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