Twitter and your smartphone, bringing the cloud to the people


Earlier today I had to write a 2 line, non-technical explanation of “in the cloud” as it applied to a consumer friendly application. Boy was that challenging. You see I think the “cloud” as a term is the same pile of dog turds as terms like “smartphone” and “utilise“.

But you have to market it somehow, don’t you? And “a modern take on client/server environments leveraging web based technology and distributed storage and services” wasn’t going to cut it for my target market.

So just as I discovered while doing the citizenship exam here in Australia recently, sometimes you have to pitch yourself at the lowest common denominator in order to prevent setting yourself up for failure. So I wrote

Facebook is a good example of an in the cloud application

Which brings me to twitter and the “ecosystem” it has created over the years. There have been plenty of “hot new startups” trying to use twitter as some spinal cord for their service. A transport route to create interest in their cloud application. While many turned into abject failures or glorious turkeys, the odd moderate success exists.

I can think of one service above others which I think has gone beyond moderate success and that is Instagram. And yet, like anything which doesn’t want to be cap in hand to a master, it doesn’t depend on it one jot.

Tweetdeck and other services which started out by providing a usable interface to a dumbed down system now struggle to diversify following twitter’s guidance to get off my lawn. Instagram, thanks to a focus on getting it right on the iPhone first, has created an ecosystem of it’s own. The nascency of Instagrid proves this.

I’ve gushed over Applications before despite being hesitant at with many of them. I’ve decided Instagram has cottoned on to two things which help it:

  1. We like to take photos
  2. We like to share

Instagram imagery

    Instagrid now gives you the opportunity to share all of those photos in one place on the web, somewhere instagram had to date left alone. Have a look yourself.

    Other things people like to do as well as take pictures is to Read and to listen to music.

    I’ve been a user of last.fm to store my musical taste for many years now, but it’s sharing features suck and the kowtowing to “rights owners” appears to have killed any “official” last.fm app on my iPhone in Australia.

    So step in blaster.fm. I’ve been using it for a few weeks now, and love what it does. Sure it’s got some rough edges, but I’m pretty sure the developer knows what he is doing to take it to places which Apple and CBS Interactive would likely workshop out of existance.

    I wouldn’t call it “successful” like I would call Instagram, but fingers crossed it gets there.

    Final shout out to Goodreads, which despite having an iPhone App designed by committee, is going some way to getting me interested in reading books again.

    We use these in the cloud applications each day, many of which use twitter to do what twitter is intended to do, share stuff with your friends and others and help people talk. I suggest Twitter, rather than writing confronting pieces, should focus on better promoting those services which use their API’s the “right” way.

    What Twitter based Applications do you use which make you go back daily?

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