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How my iPhone evolved how I tell stories | DesignNotes by Michael Surtees

How my iPhone evolved how I tell stories

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Notes about DesignNotes for my creative meeting this morning

Comparing how I integrated blogging with other websites only a couple months ago to what I’m doing now with my iPhone – it’s evolved more then I would have first thought. There’s a number of reasons for this. Part of it has to do with me using more platforms to tell my story. Previously it was just flickr and delicious that I would use to integrate content that I created. A number of new sites have come into the fold for me now; facebook, virb (you’ll notice that friends in facebook and virb are quite different – maybe that’s worth a post in itself…), twitter and Tumblr. I use each of those other sites differently and for different period of times of course. What has me most excited is the quick mobile posts that I can now do with Tumblr via my iPhone.

To this point I haven’t really posted anything that noteworthy to Tumblr. Just simple observations when I’m away from my computer. It’s as simple as taking a picture with my iPhone and emailing it to my Tumblr address with the body of the content written in the subject line. It’s the immediacy plus the simple idea that a message noteworthy enough can be typed in a subject line. I do plan at some point to have my Tumblr feed be readable at DesignNotes as a side bar column – but that’s a little ways off.

The other thing that I noticed about my new diagram is how all the different platforms can feed into each other. My blog posts from DesignNotes and my flickr photos can feed into Virb, twitter can be read in facebook, and with a simple rss I can send feeds anywhere else that I want to. It makes a crazy loop that makes my content very universal. People that wouldn’t normally see my photos from flickr might catch them on Virb or Facebook as an example. What this manages to do is build a base of curious people that have their own way of finding content.

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  • http://tokyohanna.blogspot.com Johanna

    This is super interesting. I never thought about the cross-aggregation, or whatever one wants to call it.

    1. I’ve been looking for an excuse to start a Tumblr account for so long. It looks awesome.

    2. What do you think of Virb? I like the UI and design, but all that has happened to me since I joined (maybe in July of this year) ahs = friend requests from bands. Just like MySpace! And you can’t block these!

  • http://designnotes.info/ michael

    Johanna –

    Cross-aggregation is a great term for that. I think the best way to understand the concept is to start flowing content from one site into another and see what happens. A simple start is hosting blog images on flickr with a link to the blog post + keeping in mind that you should also tag the images in flickr.

    There were a couple things that impressed me about Tumblr: how fast it was to sign up, the fact that it was free, the fact that the learning curve to start is relatively simple – but broad enough that if you have the tech know how to do other things with it. At this point I really haven’t opened it up at all, but the fact that I could makes it very attractive.

    Virb’s an interesting beast. From a user perspective I think the editing tools are great. The real time ability to change your profile page in an understandable way is really smart. The social factor is kind of good, but it depends on your perspective. You’re exactly right about who is friending who – bands, or in my case a group like the suicide girls. I’m not complaining too much about that “friend”, though I wonder if others would be hesitant to friend me after that association. The one simple feature that they do really well that does speak to why particular bands are trying to friend you is because of what information you have in your profile. I’m not sure if you’ve ever used their browse function – but it’s incredibly detailed, and very useful for a band or perhaps a stalker. The way it’s set up, I could browse all 25 year old females in New York. Of course I could also add a couple tags of other interests to the search. Those people that fit the profile that a band is looking for then add you as a potential person to try to friend. So it’s a great site if you’re a band, maybe not if you’re simply a fan. As for sites that evolve over time, I think Virb would be one to watch.

  • http://tokyohanna.blogspot.com Johanna Beyenbach

    I don’t know if this is related to anything here other than social media, but have you tried out Flock? Amber was raving about it a couple of days ago and I downloaded it… it has a little side bar that tells you whenever one of your networking sites updates – you can set it up with Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, Blogger etc… there’s a built-in feed reader, a streaming media bar etc. It’s pretty neat but I still have to get used to it.

    I hope you’re right about Virb because I really like the format /design /options you get. And it still always remains nice looking as opposed to when MySpace gave you those options. I didn’t know that the search function was so robust… I sincerely do hope that the bands are ones I would genuinely like instead of cold friend-requesting anybody they can. I guess I’ll take a look… 15 requests from bands! eesh.

    “A simple start is hosting blog images on flickr with a link to the blog post + keeping in mind that you should also tag the images in flickr.” – I’ve tried this and gotten a good amount of traffic from my Flickr images (as seen on my Statcounter – thank you :))

  • http://designnotes.info/ michael

    I use flock, but only for uploading photos to flickr. They have a function where I can upload as many photos as I want, and then order them the way I see fit before they upload to flickr. From an aesthetic pov, Flock has way too many shiny elements that make it hard for me to want to stay on that browser for any period of time. Maybe I’m getting old or that I’ve seen that style for the last four years ( :

  • http://tokyohanna.blogspot.com Johanna Beyenbach

    Yeah I’ve actually moved back to Firefox for now because with all of those extra things, the actual browser window is so tiny! I do like it in theory a lot though. Google Reader has a nicer UI for RSS so I don’t use that feature on it… I didn’t know you could switch the order around on the photo uploader! I tried it yesterday but just for one… thought I’d stick with the Flickr Uploadr instad. Not sure.

  • http://serialconsign.com Greg J. Smith

    A big post of mine just vanished into the ether!

    So to be concise:

    Michael, you may consider adding Jaiku into your aggregator watchlist.. it is my favourite lifestreaming platform out there. I guess I need to take another look at Virb.

    On the topic of Jaiku, Jyri Engeström posted some of my favourite commentary on Interoperability this past summer.

    Some very thoughtful commentary Michael! I just ffffound your diagram so now this post will get even more attention. 😉


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