iPhone | Zach Everson

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Join me on Instagram

InstagramNo link to my profile here, as this photo-sharing social-media service is an iPhone-only app (for now), but I just joined Instagram.

If you’re using it too, look for me: z_everson.

[Update: Instagram enabled web access, so you can find me here.]

BlackBook City Guide (including my Louisville listings) now on Android

BlackBook's Android appToday BlackBook launched its City Guide app for Android phones: Download it for free at the Android Market.

In case you forgot, as BlackBook’s Louisville City Editor, I reviewed 100 Louisville bars, restaurants, hotels, and shops for the project, also deciding which ones got top billing as features.

From the app’s description:

The must-have city guide to new, notable, and noteworthy restaurants, bars, clubs, hotels, retailers, spas, salons and more in over 60 cities worldwide. All listings curated by BlackBook’s in-the-know local insiders and VIPS. Search for nearby hotspots, browse by venue type and features and share the on Twitter and Facebook!

You also can find the reviews online at BlackBook’s website or as a free iPhone app.

Photo: Courtesy Android Market

BlackBook Guides adds Louisville to iPhone app and website, puts me in your pocket

Ever been walking around Old Louisville hungry and wondered, where would Zach Everson go for a bison burger? Maybe it’s 3 a.m. and you’re thinking, what’s Zach Everson’s favorite Highlands’ dive bar for a nightcap of gin and Diet Sunkist (a cocktail called Sunset Over the British Empire)? Or maybe you’re curious what downtown hotel Zach Everson checks into for a little afternoon delight.

Thanks to BlackBook, problem solved: “the insider’s guide to where style and substance intersect in popular culture today” added Louisville to its City Guides. As the City Editor, I reviewed 100 Louisville bars, restaurants, hotels, and shops for the project, also deciding which ones got top billing as features.

Download the free app at the iTunes store.

You also can find the reviews online at BlackBook’s website (remember the web?). [Update June 11, 2011: It’s now on Android too.]

From BlackBook (slightly paraphrased):

BlackBook’s City Guide feature hundreds of succinct reviews identifying the hippest restaurants, bars, clubs, shops, and hotels for nightlife connoisseurs. Written by and for discerning savants in each city, these guides from the minds behind BlackBook offer fresh and pithy listings for the most intriguing and fashion-forward hot spots. The guides contain the latest venue details and break the city down by theme, style, and interest.

Ustream Broadcaster iPhone ap streams live video to the Internet, just not well

Ustream: "You're On." Maybe. But not in good quality.

Ustream: “You’re On.” Maybe. But not in good quality.

On my trip to San Diego and Kamiah, Id. last week, I tried out Ustream, a “live interactive broadcast platform that enables anyone with an Internet connection and a camera to engage their audience in a meaningful, immediate way.” Immediate, yes. Assuming it works And if by meaningful, Ustream means via video that gets hung up, truncated, or chopped up into installments–if makes it to the Internet at all–then it lives up to its billing.

I was hoping to use Ustream to share my travel experience immediately (the technical term is in real time) by broadcasting video live from my iPhone 3GS via the Ustream Live Broadcaster ap (free) to my Ustream channel at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/zach-everson. I configured my Ustream account to send out a Tweet with a link to my show as soon as I started broadcasting. And when I finished broadcasting, the video would save to my Ustream account, a link to it would go out on Twitter, and a copy of the video would be posted to my YouTube channel and Facebook profile. Nifty, huh?

The results? Mostly poor. The executive summary: don’t use Ustream unless it’s essential for you to post live video. And it’s probably never essential for you. The suggestion: keeping using your iPhone camera to record video and posting it to YouTube, where viewers can watch it (gasp) a minute or so after you took it.

Here are some other issues with Ustream.

  • I kept trying to add Travel as a tag for my show (in Ustream > Your Shows > Info) , but Ustream won’t save that term. I was able to save and delete other tags though. Bizarre.
  • There’s no way to customize the message that goes out to Twitter announcing a live broadcast is beginning. The default, “I’m broadcasting, from my iPhone, live on Ustream. Come watch!,” looks like spam and is likely to attract no viewers. A more specific message would draw more traffic.
  • Want to watch a Ustream video on your iPhone? You’ll need yet another ap, Ustream Viewer (free). But that ap only shows Ustream’s most popular shows, of which yours probably isn’t one.
  • I can’t edit my show’s status update. Sure, that problem might be my fault. But then again, I don’t seem to have problems updating my status on any other social networking site.

Solution: until Ustream gets better, post live only when you really need to. YouTube provides better quality and reliability. And it has a bigger audience.

Photo: Courtesy Ustream

Ping.fm solves the (admittedly self-inflicted) problem of updating your status on multiple social networking sites

With so many social networking and microblogging sites, updating your status on all of them can be a pain. In many people’s cases—including mine—it leads to either neglect or cutting and pasting.

Ping.fm solves the problem though. From Wikipedia:

Ping.fm is a free social networking and micro-blogging web service that enables users to post to multiple social networks simultaneously.

Making an update on Ping.fm pushes the update to a number of different social websites at once. This allows individuals using multiple social networks to update their status only once, without having to update it in all their social mediums individually. Ping.fm groups services into three categories – status updates, blogs, and micro-blogs – and updates can be sent to each group separately.

From Ping.fm I simultaneously post to Twitter and update my status on Facebook, LinkedIn, and MySpace. Ping.fm supports more than 30 social networking sites, including the behemoths that I just mentioned, new sites, and even dying networks (remember Friendster?).

I bookmarked Ping.fm and added it to the home screen of my iPhone for easy access when I’m away from my computer.

My first foray into Twitter: Some tips that will help you use and benefit from it

My friend Christine Prefontaine, who blogs at Facilitating Change, has been evangelizing about Twitter for a while, so I created an account today.

What is Twitter? From its Wikipedia entry:

Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service, that allows its users to send and read other users’ updates (otherwise known as tweets), which are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length.

Updates are displayed on the user’s profile page and delivered to other users who have signed up to receive them. The sender can restrict delivery to those in his or her circle of friends (delivery to everyone being the default). Users can receive updates via the Twitter website, SMS, RSS, email or through an application such as TwitterFon, Twitterrific, Feedalizr or Facebook.

At first Twitter seemed a little overwhelming, with no one following me and me not following anyone save Christine. What seemed like thousands of posts a minute, many not in English, were flying by on the public timeline.

But a search for Twitter tips yielded two great resources:

I also downloaded The Iconfactory’s Twitterrific for my Macs and iPhone, which made Twitter more manageable and user friendly.

Twitter seems like a great way to blast the masses, but, as with any social networking site, it takes effort to find content of value.

(My Twitter profile is at http://twitter.com/Z_Everson. If you already have a Twitter account and are logged in to it, select the link to my profile and then select Follow under my picture in the upper left corner. And you can create a Twitter account at https://twitter.com/signup.)

Automattic releases WordPress application for iPhone (and I’m posting via it now)

The first WordPress application for the iPhone, aptly titled WordPress, was released this week by Automattic.

While the features are limited—there’s no way to code links (I added the one in the first sentence after posting this entry), the function to change the date a post goes live isn’t working for me, and it’s not possible to edit anything on a site other than posts—the application is a good first step toward blogging on the iPhone.

WordPress for iPhone supports WordPress blogs running release 2.5.1 or higher. And, of course, it’s free.

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