3 Cool Google+ Features

May 16, 2012 § 1 Comment

Since it was launched in June 2011, Google+’s project launch has not exactly attracted users as the company intended. Many were quick to join Google+, but the success slowly faded as users and media leaders alike were quick to criticize its functions and mark it as a shortcoming in comparison to its social media predecessors. Because many users were not taking the time to get acquainted with Google+, its appealing features were left unexplored and were simply compared it to its predecessors. Before you take part in the criticism, or dismiss the idea of getting involved, introduce yourself to some pretty cool features that Google+ has to offer.

Circles

If you’re sharing links/images/anything on Google+, breaking your connections up into Circles a great way to target certain users and prevent overshare with others. It is also much easier to break up your friends list into Circles than it is to select Facebook friends for groups/friend lists (thanks to Google’s quest to simplify interaction). Companies and brands could definitely take advantage of this feature by targeting customers of a certain demographic for specific posts.

image via GeekyGadgets.com

Hangouts

Hangouts is an awesome way to video chat with a group of people. From catching up with a couple of friends to giving a cooking lesson to an audience, Hangouts can definitely be very useful. Brands could take advantage of this feature in many ways. Celebrities could host short Q & A sessions with select circles to show their fans some love. New start-ups could introduce themselves to potential/new customers. Fashion companies could give loyal followers a preview of new collections. This is definitely a hot feature that I predict will gain popularity as people take the time to explore it.

Sparks

Sparks is an especially usable feature for people who are just beginning to use Google+. Its sort of a cross between Stumble Upon and a Google News search. You can search for a topic on the Google+ home screen and then select “Sparks” to see hot new articles. However, because it uses boolean logic and bases results off of your interests and demographics, it is more likely that the list of results will “spark” your interest. A few great things about Sparks is that: 1) you can easily share one of these links with your circles without copy/pasting any links, and 2) you can create a personalized feed of articles by adding results to your interests.

I’ll be the first person to admit that Google did not necessarily use the simplest of techniques to present these features to users. It took some digging for me to find them/learn how to use them. But I think if a company or brand wants to really get ahead of the competition and do something to captivate an audience, there’s definitely potential in investing time into Google+.

I’m looking forward to seeing how brands use Google+ to enhance their social media presence. Have you seen a specific brand use Google+ in wow-worthy way?

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Citizen Cope at the Paramount, 2/11

February 15, 2012 § Leave a comment

This past Saturday night I saw Citizen Cope perform acoustically at the Paramount Theater in Huntington (on Long Island). This was my fourth time seeing him, and as usual, he does not disappoint.

Citizen Cope, or Clarence Greenwood, is a songwriter and singer who creates an eclectic, alternative mix of rock and blues music. He’s produced 5 albums since his start in 1992.  His most recent album is The Rainwater, from 2010.

Clarence Greenwood has the type of voice you could listen to anywhere, any time. He sounds even better live. As much as I love his performances with his band, and with Alice Smith (who he sometimes records and performs duets with), it was great having Clarence as the sole focus of my listening pleasure. It was definitely a more calm and intimate vibe than his usual, jamming out-type performance.

In addition to playing my favorites (“Pablo Picasso,” “Sun’s Gonna Rise,” “Let the Drummer Kick,” “Healing Hands,” “Hurricane Waters,” & “Sideways,” to name a few), Citizen lent the audience some extra audial pleasure by introducing a few new songs that will be released this year in his new album.

If you’ve never heard any of his music, I’d definitely suggest giving him a try. Download any of the songs I mentioned. He also does an awesome cover of Radiohead’s “Karma Police” (I personally think it’s better than the original).

NYFW: Rag & Bone Fall Winter ’12

February 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

On Friday, the tenth, I went to my first ever NY Fashion Week show. I saw the Rag & Bone Fall Winter ’12 show, which was at 5 PM at Pier 57, right on the Westside Highway at 15th.

The show was amazing and the venue definitely gave it some personality, as it was off the beaten path of Lincoln Center, where many other NYFW shows take place. The runway was longer than usual and there was seating only to the left, so everyone had the same side-view of the models and looks. Here are some of the photos my sister and I took from our phones & instagrammed:

The collection was abundant with textures, patterns, and my personal favorite, mixtures of leather and fur. I loved the shades of maroon, navy, and black. The patterns were gorgeous– especially the darker florals used for a bag and jackets, and the stripes in a variety of long, draped vests that were cinched at the waist with belts. I definitely will be adding one of those vests to my list. The Rag & Bone shoes never fail… Need multiple pairs. A collection of handbags was also introduced, which included a larger, rectangular-shaped leather bag with large pockets and a small “rag & bone” logo embossed on the front. As for the makeup, the mix of grunge with pale faces and dark eyes was very fitting. I especially loved the messy hair.

I took a video of the finale. It’s a little dark but I think it’s pretty cool to see the run-through of the entire show:

Obviously I took many pictures on my iPhone but they didn’t do the clothing justice. Here are some of my favorite looks from the collection, from fashionsta.com (click to see the rest of the looks from the show):

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