- “Money & Messages” : kiosks installed in homeless shelters that let guests communicate with family through simple email system and receive money on preloaded cards (with restrictions - food, meds, etc). By using machine to check for funds, guests are agreeing to let family know their current location. Service fee on money transfers split with shelters.
- “Who googles Better?” Multi player trivia game where goal is to google your way to the correct answer quicker than opponent. Bonus points for not falling for highly ranked but factually incorrect links. Scoreboard ranks winners by devices, OS’s, location too. (Androids vs iPhones!)
- GeoJobs: location-based, passive job search engine. Only one button to get started: on or off. Using LinkedIn data and skills/endorsements/keywords etc., mobile app pings you when you’re in a location (a business, walking nearby, visiting a friend at work, etc.) which is hiring for position matching your skill set. HR manger gets real-time alerts (for hard to fill positions!) , can message you in app to drop by and say hi while there. Practical for “normals” too: by scouring job ads (eg like Indeed.com) can tell you if restaurant needs waitstaff, local retailer is hiring salespeople, etc.
- GymCookie: MyFitnessPal-like calorie tracking app where you enter in the equipment you’re about to get on (treadmill, bike, etc.) at gym, and it tells you the settings you need to configure to match your goal (lose 10 lbs) or how to correct your failings that day (ate 2 cookies, eg)
- InstaNanny: subscription-based babysitting service. Like Care.com in terms of vetting sitters, but instead of having to contact sitters, check schedules, arrange times, etc., you just “push a button” and sitter would arrive in 30-60? mins. to take the job. Uber-like rating system + ability to block sitters you didn’t like so won’t be matched again + favorite ones you do like to make algorithm better. Could work outside major metro markets too! (Possible spinoff: InstaPetNanny)
- 10 Minute Books: stay a part of water cooler gossip without having to actually read drivel like “50 Shades…” Gives you the Reader’s Digest Condensed version, some notable quotes, and talking points / discussion starters. Bundle with actual eBook and audiobook subscriptions so people can waste time reading/listening to books they really like (which might also possibly be “50 Shades…”)
December 31, the day of a billion lists. Best of. Recaps. Predictions. Resolutions. Rather than subject you to any of those, I thought I’d use the day to answer a question I get asked quite often: what apps do I actually use?
By “apps” here, I mean mobile and tablet apps. There are obviously still a number of web/desktop apps I use regularly, but mobile/tablet has all but taken over my life and basically all the services I use regularly now have apps.
I plan to do such a recap every year going forward. I think it will be interesting to see how my own usage of apps changes over time and whether that mirrors any larger industry trends or whether I’m a strange outlier.
I love this idea of doing an annual recap list. Here’s mine, in no particular order:
- Work Stuff: Convo, Reeder (Feedly), Sunrise Calendar, Skype, CloudMagic, Evernote, Dropbox, Google Drive, LinkedIn, TestFlight
- Email (Apple’s Mail app still, followed by Gmail native app)
- Google for iOS (used more than my browsers, Safari and Chrome!)
- Facebook: Facebook, Messenger, Instagram.
- Twitter; sometimes Tweetbot (Vine if bored, I’ll browse but not really that into posting on it. Platform for creatives and performers.)
- My FiOS (Verizon FiOS - mainly to turn on Disney Jr. on living room TV from bed so I don’t have to get up at dawn when my daughter does)
- Candy Crush (to the point of addiction)
- Foursquare (waning usage)
- Family stuff: Life 360, eFamily (formerly Origami)
- Amazon (main app)
- Loom and Cluster (goodbye Flock from Bump; goodbye Flickr)
- Yahoo Weather
- Red Stamp & Ink (Sincerely)
- HBO GO
- Chromecast (more and more)
- Spotify; Pandora
- Kindle for iOS
- Simple (and my other bank’s app)
- Zillow & Trulia
What Joise has been super into:
- Disney Junior
- Monkey Preschool Lunchbox and other spinoffs
- everything from Toca Boca
- Leo’s Pad
- Playsquare TV
- Nick app
- PBS Kids Video
- Stumpy’s alphabet
- ABCMouse (music videos about the letters)
"Please welcome the newest member of the Yahoo workforce, Jennifer Lawrence."
No seriously, this is how the post on the Yahoo Movies website introduced their stop on the press junket tour which found “The Hunger Games” star conducting an awkward interview alongside “Catching Fire” director Frances Lawrence and Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen Mayer asking questions like “Jennifer, who was your teen crush?” or what was Hawaii like?, or “which dress was the worst to walk in: your Oscars dress or Katniss’s wedding dress?”
Mayer spent an hour asking the actress questions sent in from Tumblr’s fan base in this ill-conceived “Tumblr Ask Live” event. The questions, repeated verbatim, were downright cringeworthy at times.
"Hey Jennifer, are you aware of the fact that you are pretty much the QUEEN of Tumblr?," Mayer relayed on behalf of user thedarjeeling who went on to squee, “many blogs here are dedicated to your awesomeness.”
How on earth did such an even ever come about?
I have an idea.
Time: a couple of months earlier.
Interior: Mayer’s office.
Mayer sitting at her computer, examining spreadsheets.
A Yahoo editor walks in. Mayer looks up.
Did you hear? We’ve got J-Law!
Jennifer Lawrence! You know, J-Law. She’s agreed to do our live Tumblr Ask event.
Jennifer Lawrence. From “The Hunger Games?”
Editor, shifting on his feet, now uncomfortable.
It’s the new Twilight. She’s very popular.
You might know her from “Silver Linings Playbook.”
OK, I’ve heard of that, Mayer says. Great, carry on.
She returns to the spreadsheets.
Well…<coughs>. There’s one condition. She’s sort of the “queen of Tumblr,” and has agreed to only be interviewed by the queen of Yahoo. Which is, well, you.
Me? I’m a little busy right now trying to figure out how to grow Yahoo revenue, you know.
I know, of course. But you should see the pageviews she pulls. Wait, I’ve got a Google Doc.
(Mashes buttons on his phone.)
Mayer clicks a button on her computer. Reads the figures on the screen. Then sighs.
Fine. Where do I have to be?
I’ll send you an email!, shouts the editor, sailing out of the office. Don’t worry! All you have to do show up and read from notecards. Piece o’ cake.
DAY OF INTERVIEW
Intern, snapping photos sits next to Associate Movies editor, who has his elbows on knees, head in hands.
Editor: This is not going well. It’s like they are competing on who can be the most awkward.
Intern: Shhh. I’m trying to live GIF this thing.
Editor: Oh my god. Is Marrisa really talking about boy crushes?! We’re all going to be fired!
Intern: Do you think I should use a filter?
Editor: Why are you not worried about this? This is a nightmare!
Intern: Hey, I’m just an intern. I’m only doing this for college credit.
Editor: Well, we’re going to have to make this blow up on Tumblr even more now. Or our heads will roll.
Intern: It’s cool, man. I’ve got the thing about the haircut all GIF’d out. We’re so set.
Editor: OK. <sighs> Do some latergrams too.
Intern: Yep. I’m on it.
Editor: And remember to write your posts in Tumblr lingo.
Intern: Totally. <rolls eyes>
A few minutes later: Editor, looking over intern’s shoulder.
Intern typing: "#Latergrams from Jennifer Lawrence’s visit to Yahoo yesterday. We’re shipping hard, you guys."
Editor: Um. I don’t think you’re using that term correctly. Who exactly are you shipping? JLa and…the director? That would be kind of weird. Are you shipping Marissa and J-Law? That’s uh, you shouldn’t post that.
Intern: Don’t worry about it. No one reads Tumblr.
“Innovation is a good thing. The human condition – put aside bioterrorism and a few footnotes – is improving because of innovation,” he says. But while “technology’s amazing, it doesn’t get down to the people most in need in anything near the timeframe we should want it to”.