Always Digital

Line2: the smartphone app every entrepreneur needs

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Continuing our series of showcasing tech tools for your new business, today I’d like to talk about Line2 by Toktumi, Inc. (Get it? Tok…tu…mi? Anyway…)

Line2 does exactly what its name implies. It adds a second line to your iPhone or Android-based phone. Simply download the app, create an account and pick a local phone number of your choosing, and you will have a new phone line. Unlike simply adding another number that connects to your carrier’s cell network, Line2 is a self-contained world that uses VoIP technology within the app so that your call never uses up carrier minutes. The app automagically utilizes WiFi if your phone is connected, or barring that it uses your carrier’s 3G data network. Since carriers bill by X number of gigabytes rather than phone minutes (and some like a Sprint still offer an unlimited data plan), the cost savings is significant.
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Become a Solo Video Producer with Swivl

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As everyone knows by now, video is a primary medium with which to communicate to potential clients and customers, and with the explosion of online media outlets such as YouTube and Vimeo, anyone can become a video producer. But a challenge arises if you are on your own. How do you do a video shoot with yourself? The only answer is to mount your camera on a tripod — which is no easy feat if your camera is also your smartphone (as is increasingly the case). Right? Well, not anymore!

Enter Swivl. What does Swivl do? It “makes your camera follow your action” using some pretty sophisticated gadgetry.
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Be a WIMP: Interview with Joshua Simmons

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For those of us located in the North Bay who are in the digital and online media professions, it can feel rather lonely at times. In the past, a sense of camaraderie and vibrant community felt missing in this area — but, thankfully, a number of groups have sprung up in recent times to bring people together and provide opportunities for education, networking, and just plain fun.

One such group is the Web & Interactive Media Professionals group, otherwise known as WIMP. We caught up with one of the founders of WIMP, Joshua Simmons, to ask him more about how it got started and where it’s headed.

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We Are the Gatekeepers: the Impact of Local + Social

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An interesting thing happened to me. I got a call from a restaurant that recently opened in town whose website I had developed. They were all excited to tell me the latest news…their first review had appeared on Yelp! I replied, “That’s great! Or is it…?” Yes, it was — they’d gotten a friendly and fair 4-star review. That was the news.

A simple exchange to be sure, but to be perfectly honest, I was slightly taken aback. Why?

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Trello: Free Web-based Project Management Software

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I am a project management software junkie. Every few months I think to myself “there’s gotta be a better tool to organize everything I’m trying to work on and figure out!” Usually I end up cobbling together a home-brewed solution based on common tools like calendars, reminder lists, note-taking, and so forth. Actually, I must say I’ve grown quite fond of Evernote, the much-hyped cloud-based notes app. But I digress.

What I’ve really wanted all along is a tool that combines the functionality of sticky notes, to-do lists, and comments & social sharing all together in one easy-to-use, visually compelling package where I can see everything that needs my attention at a single glance.

Enter Trello.

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Decoding the Phenomenon of Google+

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Time to deviate a bit from our usual fare of covering local startup tips and news, and turn our attention to a new service that’s taken the web by storm:

Google+

It seems the collective punditry of the tech movers and shakers out there have split along fairly predictable lines: (a) Google+ is innovative with a dash of awesome, and both Facebook and Twitter are going to get thrashed, or (b) Google+ has some interesting features but once Facebook (and to a lesser extent Twitter) tweak some things on their services, Google+ will cease to stand out. In either case, everyone acknowledges Google’s uphill battle in the face of Facebook’s 750 million strong user base.

Here’s my take on the matter, having used Google+ for a little while now (like everyone else on the new service).
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