Posts tagged productivity

How can Social Networking Sites with Q&A Help My Business?

Q & A Sites are websites where members can pose and answer other member’s question. In case of some sites users also tend to enjoy the option to rate the response on the basis of how informative it is. Through these Q & A sites free sharing of knowledge takes place regarding human experiences, ranging from how to access different features of a website to public experiences with regards to a product or service used. Questions are posed about health issues, food, family, school/college, products, services etc. There are many Q & A websites on the web; however the most popular of these platforms include Yahoo answers, LinkedIn answers, Facebook questions and Quora.

Yahoo answers was usually considered to be the largest Q & A site with 21 million users in the United States alone and approximately 90 million users worldwide. Here people can ask questions from every walk of life and answer others on varying topic of interests. Yahoo answers provide an opportunity to users all over the world to share their knowledge and experience with each other. What makes it more useful is that the users also have the option to rate the best answer and earn points by providing informative answers to questions. Through the use of point system, Yahoo answers ensures active participation and discourages irrational and irrelevant responses. Moreover this system also ensures that issues should not continue on indefinitely and shall be considered resolved once the best answer is chosen.

Unlike Yahoo answers, LinkedIn answers focus more on questions related to employees and employers. Business, employment and work related questions are usually posted by the members. Moreover it has the benefit that members can pick people from their contacts, who according to them are more likely to provide informative reply to their question and thus receive a wide range of replies in return from members and their connections. Like Yahoo answers it also allows members to gain credit by providing best answer to questions.

Facebook has recently launched a Q & A site called Facebook answers. With over 750 million users so far, it seems that it will take on all other popular Q & A sites. Facebook answers not only provides opportunities to its members to pose and answer questions relating to all walks of life but also provides opportunities for businesses and industries to pose questions about their products and services and gain insightful customer opinion within a very short span of time saving lot of money and energy. Like LinkedIn Facebook also restricts who can answer the questions by limiting it to the news feeds of friends and their friends. However unlike some other Q & A sites the answers are not open ended. Users have to select one among the multiple choice options presented.

Quora is another online Q & A site which allows users to share knowledge with one another by asking and replying to questions. Quora has approximately 310,000 users. Like other Q & A sites Quora accumulates questions and answers regarding various aspects of life from social welfare to QR Codes in marketing. However it also allows its users to join forces by not only editing their own question and answers but by suggesting improvements to the answers given by other users thus improving the overall quality of the information being shared on the website.

These Q & A sites allow opportunities for individual entrepreneurs as well as businesses and industries to reach a wide range of people in a short time span. Companies can get instant feedback regarding their product or service and gain valuable suggestions for example to gain insight into iPhone productivity apps . They can also run customer opinion polls free of cost through the use of such Q & A sites. Thus saving cost and achieve greater efficiency. Companies can conduct marketing surveys through these sites thus anticipating the response to their newly launched products and make improvements based on the suggestion.

However there are certain drawbacks as well. Not all information posted is useful. Each site has some devoted members who try to provide the best possible answers. However a lot of people are posting just for the sake of socializing and not for the purpose of sharing information. Moreover a lot of people just go with the flow saying what others are saying regardless of their personal opinion. Furthermore opinion from anonymous sources cannot be trusted, and the data obtained will be only limited to that segment of the population who regularly visit these sites, disregarding the others. Thus the information obtained through polls conducted by businesses and entrepreneurs would be subject to bias and might not be representative of the entire target population.

Despite the above mentioned shortcomings theses Q & A sites provide a great opportunity for businesses and entrepreneurs to interact directly with their customers and gain firsthand knowledge about user`s experience with the products and services.

11 iPhone and iPod Touch Apps to Enhance Productivity

The dedicated website owner, blogger or Social Media enthusiast used to be confined to their office or at the very least laptop and broadband dongle. Nowadays however, these creative individuals can run their online empires from the comfort of, well, anywhere. Cue devices like iPhone and iPod Touch.

Below follows my top 11 Apps that I use to keep track of trends in education, communicate with colleagues and other creative professionals and update my websites and blogs with text as well as files and graphics. This list is by no means exhaustive and only contains apps I personally find effective, some of which are free whilst others come with a modest price tag.

If you use other one which would be worth mentioning please add a comment.


1. wordpressWordpress 2 (free)
WordPress 2

This is a simple, fast and effective application that enables you to update your Wordpress blogs at the press of a button. It focuses on adding and editing posts, pages as well as handling comments but has left out other Wordpress features like changing themes, plug-ins and major administrative settings.


Picture 62. EverNote (Free) Evernote

I started using EverNote way later than most it seems and it’s got to be said that it really does improve your workflow as well as your organisation. This app lets you save ’snippets’ from your online as well offline experience including photographs, text (whatever you copy like hyperlinks and standard text) and you can record audio and save it on the EverNote app. After you press save it will automatically sync with your online (free or premium) account that you set up via the app. Similarly, it’s a good idea to install the software on all the machines you use as it will sync with all. There’s also a handy web widget to install for most browsers so that saving to EverNote becomes a breeze. Many productivity apps now allow you to save directly to EverNote (like Qipit below). Superb.

Picture 43. Documents ToGo Premium (£8.99) Documents To Go® Premium

A very handy app to have as it allows you to open, edit and create Word, PowerPoint and Excel files straight on your device. I have found it invaluable particularly when I really need to do last-minute amendments to a presentation or handout. A tad pricey for what it is but hey it’s still under a tenner so won’t break the bank and coupled with DropBox and FTPOntheGo you’re invincible!

Picture 54. Drop Box (Free) Dropbox

To put it simply, DropBox is outstanding. It syncs all files saved on its server to all computers (PC and Mac) where you have the software installed. It’s as if you saved the document to all of your computers in one go. There are also other powerful features which makes DropBox superb:

  • File Sharing: share an entire folder or specific files on DropBox with friends and colleagues. A great way of using DropBox is to open a ‘Public’ folder which you can use to link to files from websites and emails.
  • Back-up: use DropBox as your online back up. The free account allows you to upload 2G of data which is a pretty good start. If you need to backup all your music and video files then upgrading is very cost effective.

The app does not allow you to access all of these features from the handheld device, but you can still:

  • Access media, photos and documents you can’t fit on your iPhone
  • Sync photos and videos from your iPhone to their secure online storage
  • Download files from your dropbox to your iPhone for offline use (just select your favourites and they will be downloaded straight to your device)


Picture 85. FTPOntheGo
(£3.99) FTP On The Go

I love this tool! Upload your files straight to your server without any hassle. It will also allow you to upload using secure FTPS. Perhaps the best feature is the ability to edit files within the App and upload on save ( (Word/PowerPoint and any text file such as PHP/HTML) as well as take a photograph or video with your phone, resize it and upload, all witin the App – clever.


Picture 106. Mocha VNC (£3.99 or Free) Mocha VNC

I started using this app initially when my daughter was a newborn as it was difficult to access my Mac when she was sleeping (generally on me). I just launched Mocha VNC and controlled the Mac from the iPhone. Hmm a bit fanatic I know. However it will also allow you to use your machine from anywhere – very clever and immensely useful particularly if you need to send larger files and you haven’t got access to a fast connection or PC/Mac.


Picture 37. Qipit
(£1.19) White

QiPit turns your iPhone or iPod Touch into a scanner! This handy little gem will turn any photographs of written and printed materials into scan quality digital documents so if you are in a lecture theatre or workshop and want to save time, then take a snap of the Interactive Whiteboard, Flip-chart or handouts and QiPit will digitize the photo and tweak it until it’s readable. Then just send it to EverNote or email, all within the app. Genius.

Picture 28. ColorSplash (£) ColorSplash

Originally I wasn’t going to add any design or graphics apps but the following two apps are too good to miss out.

ColorSplash is a stunning application for what you pay. You start by taking a photo with your device or import a photo from your Photo Album. ColorSplash will then convert the photo to black-and-white and it is your job to ‘add a color-splash’ which really does draw people’s attention to the image. You can zoom in and out of the image which means that you can create very detailed and sophisticated images. Fantastic for your blog posts or department website.


Picture 19. Sketches 2
(£1.19) Sketches 2

Sketches 2 is the web designer, blogger, artist or doodler’s dream. You can use it to just draw images using the various painting and drawing tools (very similar to PhotoShop), sketch ideas for webpages, prototypes, layout of your own iPhone app or whatever else you’d use the various backgrounds, shapes and icons for. You can also add your own images as backgrounds. Perhaps the most clever feature is the ability to add a background map (satellite, map or hybrid) based on your location! It also offers extensive export features of your amazing canvas to the Photo Album, Twitter, email, PDF as well as JPG/PNG.


Picture 710. EchoFone Pro for Twitter (£2.99) Echofon Pro for Twitter

I tried eight different Twitter clients before realising that EchoFon is the most efficient and easy-to-use of them all. The most significant features I use are:

* Multiple accounts (Pro version)
* Searching for people you follow auto-list their usernames for quick selection
* Creating lists
* RT your own Tweet menu
* Who has RT you menu
* and a lot more!


Picture 1111. Skype
(free)

I always question how this can be a free service everytime I speak to my friends and colleagues abroad. Even when there were 21 million users talking and VC:ing at the same time, the quality was still good. Skype is the ideal tool to stay in touch and signing up only takes a few seconds. All you have to do then us to search for your friends and colleagues and add them to your Skype list – if they haven’t got Skype tell them to download it ad it works on both PC and Mac as well as most mobile devices.