Facebook, HootSuite, Flook, Google... and other double O's

Ooooooo....  that's interesting...  loads of stuff happening with double O's in their names.  I doubt it's a sign of anything though.  A quick run through then:


Facebook announcements. Last night saw (the now slightly more famous because there's a film about him) Mark Zuckerberg, referred to as Zuck in the IT press, announce some new bits and pieces over at Facebook. And finally it looks like they might actually be trying to get something right. Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting I suddenly feel the need to trust them with anything, but they are making the right noises, al be it slowly.  There's a full summary of what Zuck terms "Giving You More Control" over here on the Facebook Blog, but the two key elements that stood out for me are 1) The ability to download your data and take it somewhere else and 2) A new way of handling groups.

Downloading your data may not seem like a big deal, but it's got to be useful if you decide you want out, but want to keep a copy of your facebook life. AS usual with any new large-ish change at Facebook though, it's not available in the UK yet. When it is, you'll just nip into your "Account Settings" and near the bottom of the page there's a "Download" option which will generate a file on their servers and send you an email when it's ready for you to collect.. Quite a neat way of dealing with it I think. Now all we need is a really secure, new, facebook-like site, that works the way it should, to be able to import this downloaded file :-)

Facebook groups are long overdue a fix.  They've had a sort of groups system for sometime, but it's been a headache to manage and doesn't really work in a way that reflects the real world. Now they have this: http://www.facebook.com/groups/  I'm still not 100% certain it solves all the problems, but I'll give it a go first before I write them off. 10 out of 10 for effort at least.


HootSuite. This is an interesting toolset that I've yet to make proper use of but I like the look of. They've announced some very confusing changes to their pricing structure. Anyone with a team on Twitter should probably be using it though. Can anyone figure out which bits are free and which bits you pay for??  http://hootsuite.com/


Flook. Here's an idea. Take a picture of a useful, interesting or secret place and post it with geographical refrences online so that other people can find out about it.  Sort of like a do-it-yourself yellow pages but looking like post-cards. it's a nice interface and has clearly been thought about, much like Gowalla is growing on me over Foursquare (but that's another story). I'm not sure it's going to meet it's goals, which have been described as "Geo-Google", but it's fun trying and actually has some really neat little elements to it. While it began life as purely an iPhone app, it is now available via a web browser, so theoretically across any Internet enabled mobile device. Even plays nicely with Twitter & Facebook. Give it a go. http://flook.it/


Google TV @ Logitech. We're no seeing signs of Google TV actually arriving soon, although still no news about a UK launch. Logitech have announced the pricing for their set top box (STB) to be $299.99. It's called the Logitech Revue. Read all about it over here: http://www.logitech.com/en-us/smartTV/revue

Two other O apps for the Mac that I want to mention, but not doubles this time...

AppOmater, which can be found here: http://www.appomator.com/ helps you develop iPhone applications without any programming knowledge. In my book, this is the lazy way, but then again, there are thousands of p[eople out there with ideas for applications that may never get realised without something like this.  

It's not a freebie mind you. It is free to sign up and download and start using their application, but if you have something you  want to get published, you have to pay $50 to register with their service and then an ongoing fee for hosting the application you've developed. They also get a cut of any profits you make from the App Store, but it's still entirely possible for you to make a small fortune with next to no development skills.

I've not heard of anyone else offering this kind of service yet, so it might be just what you're looking for. Give them a go.

The other one is CronniX. This is just a tiny little freebie app to help you manage the cron. If you don't know what that is, then you probably don't need it. To be perfectly honest, if if you do know what that is, you don't necessarily need it. After all, the cron is just a text file full for your Mac (or Unix box).

Imagine it's your systems TODO list. It just helps it manage whats in it's diary. When things need to get done, that weren't already being done somewhere else. It's a time-based job-scheduler. Anyway, if you want a GUI front end to your Mac cron, it's here: http://code.google.com/p/cronnix/

Enough geekery, back to work....  These pencils won't push themselves you know. oooooO


This post originally appeared here: Posterous