BBM Early Access Launch Worked Perfectly

BBM

It might be too little, too late for BlackBerry, but their latest success (though it has been marred by some scandal) is another example of why exclusivity, even for a short time, is often the best marketing tool available. Their wildly popular instant messaging app, BBM, started off as an exclusive “early access only” app. Anyone could download it but it could only be used by the “special” people.

That lasted a week. Now, it’s open to everyone, making one wonder why early access was even necessary. It wasn’t, but that’s not the point. The reality is that people love to have things that others do not. It’s human nature. Every launch should be done with some variation of this theme. Launching to everyone isn’t as effective as launching to a select few and then releasing it to the world. It’s what really made Facebook the better option over MySpace in the early days and it will always work as a marketing technique.

In this case, BlackBerry allowed anyone to download the app, but only those who had requested information about it before were able to access it. That made them feel special, forward thinking, and in some ways mildly visionary. They were rewarded by getting something that millions of other people wanted. Now, after 10 million downloads, it’s open to all on iOS and Android. This all played out well for BlackBerry. Now, if they could only make their phones as effective…

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Over Half of the Internet is Posting Photos and Videos

Sharing Pictures on Smartphone

Everyone is a content producer or distributor nowadays, or so it seems. The real numbers are astounding; according to Pew, 54% of US internet users post their images or videos online.

The rise of smartphones has put a camera within reach all the time. The increase in the ease of posting on social networks like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat have made it as simple as the push of a couple of touchscreen buttons. This combination has led to the rise and there’s no reason to believe that it will stop any time soon.

According to The Next Web:

More than half of US adult Internet users (54 percent) post original photos or videos online that they themselves have created, while just under half (47 percent) take photos or videos that they have found online and repost them on sites designed for sharing content. These numbers are both up from 46 percent and 41 percent last year, respectively.

Read More: The Next Web

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Why Teens Love Snapchat

Teens on Snapchat

I know the feeling that many parents get when they find out their kids are using Snapchat. It doesn’t matter how much you trust them. The first question that comes to mind for those parents that know anything about the temporary messaging system is, “are they sexting?”

Thankfully for most parents, you’re children are not. As much as mainstream media would love for us to believe that the service is evil and part of the moral degradation that is gripping our country, the standard Snapchatting teen is using the service because they really don’t want their actions as teens to catch up to them as adults. It’s a mentality that makes Snapchat such a hot service and parents need to understand that in many ways Snapchat is a good thing.

Don’t get me wrong. There are plenty of bad things that can happen on Snapchat and tons of reasons why parents should be concerned. Even if their children aren’t doing bad things on the service doesn’t mean that they’re not receiving bad things from their friends. It’s really no different from normal real-world interactions. Good things can happen and bad things can happen. It’s all about raising them to focus on the good things and to be able to handle the bad situations appropriately. It’s about parenting.

As was noted on Techcrunch today, kids see Facebook the way adults see LinkedIn:

Kids are in a petri dish, where their every social post can be scrutinized and used against them. That’s why disappearing media startup Snapchat is important, says its investor, Benchmark‘s Bill Gurley. Teens don’t want their daily lives permanently recorded. Gurley said at TechCrunch Disrupt Europe in Berlin that Snapchat board member Mitch Lasky’s kids tell him they view Facebook like adults view LinkedIn.

Read More: Techcrunch

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Cloud Storage: Keeping Your Holiday Memories Safe

halloween kids

The train’s about to leave the station. Next stop: Candy

I still remember the moment my Dad took the picture of my friend and I in our costumes. I remember it because I’m able to go back and look at the picture to this day. It was Halloween, 1980 and I was proudly dressed up as a train conductor while my friend Rich dressed up as Jerry the Cat from the “Tom and Jerry” cartoons. We happily strolled up and down the blocks near our houses, under the watchful eyes of our parents, collecting Snickers and lollipops while getting frightened by crazy neighbors who turned their front yard into a haunted house. I’ll never forget all those Halloween memories, and pictures like this are part of the reason why.

At this point in my life, all that really remains of that holiday are photos, and a few snapshots in my mind. I still remember some excitement here, a vision of a pile of candy there. I can still see my elderly next door neighbor who gave out Hershey Kisses. But a lot of what happened that night is gone. The unfortunate thing about this photo is that it’s fading along with the memories themselves. The fortunate thing is that this doesn’t have to happen anymore. Cloud storage is making it a thing of the past. Here are some of the reasons why the cloud is taking away that fear of losing your Halloween memories.

Don’t Let Your Memories Fade

One of the best things about cloud storage is that images don’t slowly lose their sharpness and brightness as the years go by. While going through a pile of photos the other day, I saw that the stuff from my Mom’s childhood was getting particularly faded. Oh sure, I could take all those ancient negatives and bring them to a photography store where they turn them into pictures again. It’s almost at the point though where it’s too inconvenient to drive to wherever that service is still done, pay the expensive price, and then still be stuck with a physical photo that is just going to fade again. In this situation, I recommend uploading them to a cloud service right away. Cloud storage services like Box, Bitcasa, Sugarsync and many others are perfect for converting these old photos into files that will stay in the same condition forevermore, saving your memories from certain doom. Bitcasa even has an “Infinite Drive” that lets you store an unlimited amount of these memories.

pictures on floor

Old-school cloud storage

Say “Bye” to Photo Envelopes, “Hello” to Convenience

When I want to reminisce about Halloweens past, a lovely pile like the one above is what I must sift through. I keep all the old photos and many keepsakes in a large moving box. Many of the pictures are in plastic bags. At that point, I must rummage through old envelopes filled with photos that were once developed in a Fotomat booth in a shopping mall parking lot back in 1977.

The modern convenience of cloud storage has made all that obsolete. I remember my mother shared photos by mailing them in a large manila envelope and writing “handle with care” on the front. Now, I share my holiday photos on Twitter and Facebook from my tablet or smartphone through one of the more advanced cloud storage mobile apps. With Bitcasa, you can send friends and family a single link that takes them to a folder with dozens of photos from that glorious, candy-filled night.

Another Halloween memory preserved in the cloud.

Another Halloween memory preserved in the cloud.

Bad Weather is No Threat

When I was 15 years old a massive earthquake hit the San Francisco Bay Area where I live. After the 7.1 quake struck, we all watched on TV as thousands of people lost their homes in fire and rubble. This type of disaster makes many of us worry about what might happen to the precious memories of our childhood that we store in shoeboxes around the house. I specifically remember the sadness when I thought about life with no record of holidays and birthdays. The threat of tornadoes and floods still plague thousands of people who don’t realize that cloud storage is a great option. In fact, it ends this worry once and for all. Whether it’s your Facebook timeline, your Instagram feed, or your Dropbox account, those pics of beloved pets are safe on a server. If you’re interested in getting started with a cloud storage service or just want to compare some of the best out there, please check here.

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