• David Flowers

Tech recommendations for you


Image courtesy of Don Bergquist. Licensed under Creative Commons.

I’m feeling better today than I have in weeks. I am back at the office and don’t have time to write a fresh new post, but hope this will at least marginally interest some of my readers. This is from a Facebook post I put up today, which in turn was based on an email I recently sent to a friend.

Tech I predicted would succeed/adopted early:

1. Palm Pilots. Early adopter and managed to get a lot of other people to buy them too, who in turn convinced others. 2. Smart phones. Early adopter again, buying what became one of the first broadly successful smart phones, the Palm Treo 600. 3. Microsoft Office. Long ago, there was a little old package called Word Perfect that looked like it might take over the world. Though I preferred it greatly to Word, and wish it had won out, I nonetheless switched to Word when I first saw Word in action, and predicted it would eventually be dominant in the market over Word Perfect, and certainly over Lotus Notes. 4. The web. I know this seems ostentatious, but hear me out. In 1995 I went to a conference for youth leaders in churches. Over 500 youth workers were there, and when the speaker asked for a show of hands, I was one of fewer than ten people in the room who had a functioning website set up for my youth group. That means I was in the first 2% of people in that room who understood that this was going to be important. 5. Facebook. Back when everybody was still on MySpace, a little company called Facebook started allowing people who didn’t attend Harvard to set up an account. I set mine up and my first friend was Kristen Hendricks, who was then a student at Harvard. I started telling everybody how cool it was and that MySpace was trashy compared to Facebook. It took another couple of years, but eventually people switched over and now, of course, the general response is “WhatSpace?” 6. Firefox. Though Firefox has lost market share to Chrome, I was an early Firefox adopter, using it when nearly everyone was still using Internet Explorer. The reason I eventually caught the Chrome wave is because my loyalty for products never extends even an inch beyond beyond what the product can do for me. The moment something else comes along that works faster or better, I scrap whatever I’m using and adopt what’s new. 7. Gmail. I got into Gmail during its overly-long beta phase. I received my invitation from my friend Carter Clark. 8. Chrome. I think I downloaded and began using Chrome almost the first day it was available. At that time it was very fast, but incomplete, and was sometimes frustrating to use. Now it has basically replaced Firefox as the go-to alternative browser. If you’re still using IE, Download Chrome and give it a shot. 9. Google Apps. I set this up years ago for my church when it was mostly being used only with huge organizations.

Why did I list all of these? Because I have a knack for being “early in” on a lot of tech things. Not sure why, but I do. Based on that, I have some tech recommendations for you.

These three products are worth a serious look. I predict that Moped, at least, is going to really grow legs. I think the other two are deserving, but we’ll see how it goes.

a. Moped.com. It’s a personal messaging app that combines the best of Twitter, email, Foursquare, and texting. Fantastic apps for your Android and iPhone. Amazing desktop interface, so you can text using your PC’s keyboard, which is killer. Allows you to easily attach files, and do check-ins. I’m really rooting for this one and believing it will make a bit impact. It’s a game changer.

b. Google+. I have posted many times about Google+. Google+ is to Facebook what Facebook once was to MySpace. It’s the new kid on the block, lesser known, but far cooler, and we’d all be better off if everyone switched. If you set up your account, find me there at http://gplus.to/davidkflowers

c. On that note, there’s yet another social media app out there that I’m rooting for, called App.net. This one gets advertising completely out of the game, by asking users to pay $36/year. For that pittance, you get a social media experience designed from the ground up not for advertisers, but for YOU. The problem with this one is it’s hard enough to be a Google+ user when most of your friends aren’t on it. Can you imagine opening an account on App.net and starting to pay, when you don’t know anyone else using it? I’m rooting for success here, but that’s a tough hurdle to get over.

UPDATE: I have just now signed up for a one-month subscription at app.net. Anybody else want to pay $5 and check it out with me? (Update: You can view the Global stream at http://alpha.app.net to see the Global stream of posts.) The cool thing about getting in early is you get to select your username at a time when it’s very likely you can get anything you want.

Summary: I’m pretty good at this stuff. 🙂 Moped has a future and it’s worth your taking a look at it. Google+ is better than Facebook, is less in your face with ads, manages photos way better, and has far better apps for your mobile device. App.net, from what I have seen so far, is a beautiful landscape where YOU control what you see in your feed. No pushy game invitations. No annoying ads. SUPER HUGE ATTENTION TO PRIVACY! So much clean space on the page. It’s all about you and your friends.  I hope you will sign up soon and meet me there.

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