Monday, 31 March 2008

Twitter tips

Since I joined Twitter I've encouraged a number of friends and family to join. Here are a few tips for getting more out of Twitter.

  • Install twhirl to allow for easier posting and following tweets (also allows cross-posting to Jaiku).
  • Add your full name to your profile.
  • Upload your photo.
  • Add your 'location' & 'one line bio'.
  • Don't select 'protect my updates' - Twitter is much more fun if you allow anyone to follow you.
  • Set up your mobile number to send and receive tweets on your handset.
  • Change the device updates option for your key friends so you get a SMS when they update.
  • Change the background design for your Twitter homepage.
  • Update regularly!

You can follow me here on Twitter.

And don't forget to check out this video about Twitter.

Sunday, 30 March 2008 Mobile

Spotted Mobile today. Nice easy way to search on your mobile phone without having to go through the browser.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Nokia S60 handsets

Next time you're in the market for a new mobile handset, there's a good chance you'll be looking at Nokia as at least one of the options. Make sure that you look at a Nokia S60 smartphone handset. S60 handsets provide much more functionality than standard handsets as S60 is ‘Open’ – you can easily add new applications to your S60-based phone. In reality this means you can install applications like Google Mail, Google Maps, Jaiku, WorldMate and many others. The Nokia E and N series handsets are all S60 powered, as well as some others like the 6120 Classic which is fantastic value. The S60 website is a great place to learn more about S60. Samsung and LG also make S60 powered handsets.

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Personal replaces property communication

Looking back over changes in the way we communicate by phone, the biggest change for me is the move from 'property' based communication to 'personal' communication. Historically, if we wanted to contact someone we had to phone their home or office number and hope we reached them - we weren't calling them, we were calling their home or office. Now we call their mobile phone and call them as an individual. What does this mean in reality - it improves the chance of actually reaching the person you want to speak to (assuming they have their phone with them!) and removes the frustration of leaving and taking messages for others. Now, when the home phone rings it's never for me - I've managed to move my callers over to my mobile - so I tend to ignore it! Communication has always been about person to person communication but it's taken mobile phones to make that a reality. The one issue in the UK that still acts as a barrier to person to person communication is the higher cost of calling a mobile. However for many, convenience outweighs cost; and the gap is narrowing.

Wednesday, 19 March 2008


The big development I'm waiting for is presence, based around that ubiquitous device - the mobile phone. Being able to see a person's availability, with context sensitivity will be a huge development. Availability will depend on who is making the contact and will cross reference to a calendar to check availability. It will also reflect different contact media - voice, SMS, IM and so on. Some of this is here now - Iotum has done some great work in this area. Skype offers presence but it's invariably out of date. Jaiku and Twitter provide a degree of presence. But what's missing is presence, based on the one device almost everyone has, the mobile phone. Presence must be seamless but allow for human intervention to respect privacy. The building blocks are there - it just needs someone to do it.

My Mobile Family

For anyone who doesn't read SMS Text News, here is the full article.

You know how we’ve been getting mobile industry execs to write about how they use their mobile in a day, well SMS Text News Reader Jonathan Jensen has a family, and they all use mobiles. So for a bit of a different take on the mobile day, read on to find out what they’ve got, how they use them, and that age old thing called the generation gap.

Chatting to Ewan the other day we got onto the subject of how people use their mobile phones in the real world. What they use, why they use it and how they use it. It started me thinking about my family and the different ways we all use mobile comms.

My first mobile phone was a NEC P3 (anyone else remember them?) and since then I’ve had at least 21 handsets (those are the ones I can remember)! I’m currently using a Nokia 6120 Classic on 3 and a Nokia E65 for Truphone – a must have service in any mobile armoury. 3 insisted I had a new (free) handset from them when I renewed my contract last month, as well as generously discounting my monthly service charge by £8 (32%) – nice loyalty touch. I asked for a bigger discount and no free handset but it doesn’t work like that! The 6120, despite being an inexpensive Nokia S60 smartphone is a great handset; HSDPA 3G data, improved web browser and faster processor make it a real improvement over the E65, plus it’s very compact. I use the 6120 for a mixture of calls, SMS and web browsing plus lots of useful mobile apps (more on those at a later date). A decent browser is vital for quickly entering Twitter and Jaiku updates when I haven’t got my PC with me. In addition I have a business use BlackBerry and Nokia 6230i for the usual business stuff.

Moving on to the rest of the family; my wife also uses a Nokia 6120 on 3, although her focus is on calls and SMS. She’s a prolific texter, sending 500 to 600 SMS a month! SMS is now her primary communication medium, supplemented by a bit of Skype chat, Facebook and now Twitter. My 15 year old daughter uses a pink Nokia 7373 (she likes ‘fashion’ phones) on the Tesco Value prepay tariff. This is a great tariff for light users who just want to text and call. There’s no data or roaming but why pay for it if you don’t need it. My 13 year old son also has a Nokia 6120 Classic on 3 (3 – your marketing people should hire us!). He’s a prolific talker and texter and loves the ability to customise the S60 software. He likes installing stuff – themes, applications, bizarre ringtones he’s created with his friends! My youngest daughter, who is nine, has an old Siemens handset, that’s all pink (very important, as it’s her favourite colour!). I put a spare Vodafone prepay SIM in it which she uses to text Granny occasionally. She has great fun with it and it costs me virtually nothing.

Being something of a mobile geek I’m fascinated to see how each of them uses mobile technology. For the kids, mobiles are second nature and the idea of one, maybe two, hardwired phones in the house (that you needed a second mortgage on to pay the bill) is another world.

With thanks to SMS Text News.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

SMS Text News

I've recently started writing for the SMS Text News blog. SMS Text News is a great place to follow the mobile world with a mix of news and comment on all things mobile. You can read my first article here & find out what makes my mobile family tick!

Sunday, 9 March 2008

What is Twitter?

Twitter is a great way to keep in touch with what your friends are doing. Whether or not you've heard of Twitter - this video from the guys at Common Craft tells all.

You can follow me on Twitter here.

With thanks to Sheryl Breuker and Ken Camp at Stardust Global Ventures for highlighting this one.

Saturday, 8 March 2008

Free icons

Just found a great site for royalty free icons. If you're looking for some different icons for your website it's worth a visit.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Alien Camel

I've been using Alien Camel for a while to manage my personal email. Although not free (but you get what you pay for), Alien Camel is easily the best mail product I've used. Excellent spam & junk mail functionality, including white and black list address management, web client, POP3 and IMAP4 support, disposable email addresses, full backup and no ads. To quote Alien Camel - it's the last email you'll ever need. In case you were wondering, Alien Camel is an acronym for 'clean email'!

Sunday, 2 March 2008

What will they come up with next?

Saw this in the Metro newspaper and again on Pat Phelan's excellent blog. So that's why a lot of us are getting odd looks ...


If you're a fan of Facebook, Jaiku, Twitter and others you should take a look at HelloTxt. HelloTxt allows you to update your status on multiple micro-blogging and social networking sites in one go. There's also a mobile version allowing you to update your status anywhere.

Saturday, 1 March 2008

3G coverage

Since setting my Nokia 3G handset on 3 to only use 3G coverage & not GSM I've had much better service. The handset used to spend its time switching between 3G & GSM when coverage was flaky. This seemed to be far from seamless. The result was that I regularly used to lose signal where the coverage was a bit flaky. 3 has disabled the ability to set the handset to GSM only (because they pay roaming fees to Orange, their GSM partner) but 3G only works fine for me.

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