Category: How to

Conversations with Siri on Periscope

A new live-streaming app called Periscope popped up a couple of months ago and it has already created ripples in the world of social media that have the potential to turn into a tidal wave!

Conversations with Siri: Review Preview

Discovering Periscope

Shortly after Periscope launched I jumped in and started showing my herb garden off, talking about the different herbs and their properties along with gardening techniques, accompanied by the ever present Bilbo the cat. I then started doing broadcasts of me playing the guitar and also giving short tutorials and tips on using the iPad.

Small screens, small keys – voice is the future

A lot can be achieved with voice and the amount of things that you can do with Apple’s built in assistant Siri is ever increasing. It seemed then, that Periscope would be a great platform to broadcast some more how-to videos. With it’s easy to use mobile app and it’s portrait-only mode, Periscope feels similar the short form video platform Vine, or even Instagram video, both of which I have used in the past to share how-to videos.

I’ve long wanted to push Siri to her limits to see if I can find new uses, or discover a new one of her quirky response that she has become known for. And so ‘Conversations with Siri’ was born.

Conversations with Siri

The concept of the show is simple, a short daily broadcast on Periscope that demonstrates and explores the different ways in which Siri can be employed to accomplish tasks that you are probably currently doing that hard way, with your finger.

A different topic is covered each day and is promoted on Twitter, Instagram, Vine, etc.

Audience Engagement

Viewers are encouraged to ask questions and offer up their own Siri tips in the live comments. Periscope’s heart feature also gives the user the ability to show their appreciating of what the host is doing or saying at any time simply by tapping the screen.

Often the conversation is carried on over at Twitter after the show. I always follow up with everyone who expressed interested in each broadcast on Twitter.

Some pre-show discussion occurs over on Instagram and Google Plus, which is where I regularly post the promos for each show about 12 hours in advance.

Sunday Sessions with Siri on Periscope

At the end of each week we look back at the past week’s episodes of ‘Conversations with Siri’, recapping what we covered and then looking forward at next week’s shows. Here’s Siri’s part of the today’s broadcast:

Next Week on Conversations with Siri

Next week we’ll be looking at the latest Siri-related news in episode 12 on Monday.

Because we are located Down Under we live in the future, and so it’ll be Tuesday when Apple’s Word Wide Developer’s Conference (WWDC) occurs, when all the shiny new things that are to come from Apple will be revealed. So we’re planning to have a look at some of these announcements. We’re expecting some very exciting news for Siri, if the rumours turn out to be true.

On Wednesday in episode 14 of ‘Conversations with Siri’ we go all Crocodile Dundee on you and show you how Siri rolls Down Under…crikey mate!

Thursday is our ‘how to’ session and this will be an exciting one! Did you think that Siri was trapped in your iOS device? You’ll see how Siri breaks out of you hand and onto the desktop with Siri on the Mac.

Then, due to audience requests, there’s another exciting ‘how-to’ in episode 16 on Friday: A Personal Assistant named Siri’.

We get into some deep thinking on Saturday and dig into some philosophy. There’ll be some difficult questions for Siri in this episode of ‘Conversations with Siri’.

  • Monday, episode 12: News
  • Tuesday, episode 13: WWDC
  • Wednesday, episode 14: Speak Australian
  • Thursday, episode 15: Siri on the Mac
  • Friday, episode 16: A PA named Siri
  • Saturday, episode 17: Philosophy
  • Sunday, episode 18: Recap of the Week & a look at the week ahead

Follow @Vintuitive on Twitter to receive notifications of when ‘Conversations with Siri’ starts.

See also the set on Flickr and also Instagram, Vine, and Google Plus where announcements are made of upcoming shows.

Google Maps, FourSquare, Twitter and Google Search on a map of AdelaideGet your business on the map by taking advantage of local events with Twitter.

Adelaide is a happening place this time of year. We’ve already had the Fringe Festival, Tour Down Under, the Adelaide Festival, Soundwave, Womadelaide, Adelaide Food & Wine Festival, and there are many more events to come. Such events often draw many tourists from interstate and overseas and these visitors can benefit from your goods and services, if they are aware of you.

Be a part of the conversation

Even though your business may not be directly involved in these events you can still jump in and participate on social media as a neighbourhood authority. Your own local knowledge can benefit others who are wanting to find information about the area. Mingling with others online who are talking about the event raises awareness of your goods and services with these visitors and introduces them to your business.

Twitter: backbone of the social web

Twitter is one of, if not the, most used platforms in conjunction with events and is often used as the backbone to other services. Many of the major social networks such as Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and GooglePlus have integrated Twitter as a means of sharing their information with the public.

Keeping an eye on Twitter and interacting with others there during an event can provide great commercial opportunities for local business.

FourSquare, the world’s most popular location sharing app and regarded as the “location layer of the internet”, recently united with Twitter to enable users to include their location in their tweets.

[tweet id=”580049522170011648″ align=”center”]

Earlier this year in February, Twitter also renewed a partnership with Google allowing the search engine giant access to it’s API, or ‘firehose’ of real-time activity on Twitter. Your tweets are now indexed by Google immediately after they are posted on Twitter and show up in Google search results.

This recent union of location and search with Twitter is terrific news for businesses that are using Twitter!

Hashtags: the cross-platform unifier

The simple concept of a keyword beginning with a pound sign was invented by Twitter user Chris Messina eight years ago. Hashtags have now become ubiquitous on the web, and even stretching outside of the internet appearing on television programs, commercials and news broadcasts.

[tweet id=”223115412″ align=”center”]

Other platforms such as Facebook, GooglePlus, Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, etc, and new comers Meerkat & Periscope have taken up the hashtag function and built it into their systems. A great benefit of this is that these clickable keywords retain their functionality across multiple platforms. The hashtags used in a post to Instagram, for example, will still function as links to related content when that post is shared to Twitter.

One detail you need to be aware of though is that some characters are not supported by certain platforms. As a general rule of thumb, it is best to avoid using +, !, $, %, -, ^, &, or * in your hashtags.

Finding the most relevant Twitter hashtags

Use the search function on Twitter to search for the event name. You’ll see in the search results some of the hashtags that are being used in relation to the event. If you are using the Twitter mobile app you can save the searches of these commonly used hashtags to make it easier to switch between hashtags.

screenshot of Hashtagify results

Using Hashtagify to find the top 10 Hashtags being used at an event.

There are also a range of online tools that can be utelised to find the appropriate hashtags, here are just a few:

  • Hashtagify – find the best hashtags to reach your audience – and it is completely free.
  • RiteTag – RiteTag provides you a set of tools to maximize your return on hashtags.
  • – Organising the world’s hashtags.
  • Tagboard – uses hashtags to collect public social media within seconds of being posted.
  • Keyhole – a real-time hashtag tracker for Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
  • TweetReach – Find out who else is tweeting that hashtag…and much more.

Getting Involved

Before the event see if you can locate those who will be attending, whether they be participants or punters. If you’re not comfortable tweeting to them directly, you can get their attention by retweeting or favouriting one or two of their tweets, or by following them. Reaching out and making these connections with them prior to the event will establish a level of trust and familiarity.

In the build up to the event, search for relevant people who are actively sharing information related to the event, consider following them and sharing their content with your audience.

During the event search for activity on Twitter using search terms and hashtags, find photos and retweet or favourite them and reply to the person who took the photo. To make these retweets most useful to others, I usually like to add my own short comment or hashtag to propel the tweet further.

Your business can provide a free service for an event by curating others’ content. Instead of sharing single YouTube videos as you find them, compile them into a playlist and share that to those who are following the event. Create a Twitter list of accounts that are involved in the event and share that to Twitter with the appropriate hashtags to create a richer experience for others who are following the event.

If you have a website consider creating an event page, with an embedded YouTube playlist or photo slide show, a custom Google Map, or a Twitter feed based on hashtags related to the event. By curating this sort of event-related content you are adding value and providing a free service to others. Each time you share that event page with the community you are also bringing visitors to your website and promoting your business as a result.

A screen shot of the SA Wine page on Vintuitive.

A page of curated content to provide a free service to others can attract visitors to your website.

Some examples of this sort of curation can be viewed here on Vintuitive on the following pages: Adelaide Cello Festival, Eye on Adelaide, South Australia Wine, Free Wifi Access in Adelaide.

When to tweet about yourself?

How you work your self-promotional tweets into the stream can be tricky without sounding too spammy and should always ensure that your tweets are relevant to the discussion. A general rule is to talk about the event and share event related tweets from others about 70% of the time and include relevant information about your own business about 30% of the time.

You can search out tweets from people looking for services that you offer in the area and respond to them. Twitter’s advanced search is useful for this task as you can hone your search with fine grained controls, or you can use one of the many third party tools as suggested above.

Putting a village on the map

A couple of months ago the 2015 World Alpine Ski Racing Championships was held in Vail, Colorado. Over 100,000 fans and spectators turned up to experience the renowned sporting event.

Nearby in the Vail Valley is a town called Eagle, which covers about 2.4 square miles and has a population of about 6,500 and 135 businesses.

I worked with a team of GooglePlus consultants that helped sixteen of these local businesses in Eagle “get on the Google Map” so they could be found easily in local searches, and thereby take advantage of this global event happening right next door.

A case study that documents the process and conclusions can be found here: Local Businesses on Google Maps – A Case Study.

Are you on Twitter? [twitter_follow screen_name=”Vintuitive” large]

Running iOS 8.2 on an iPad 2

Are you wondering if your old iPad 2 will run the latest operating system from Apple, iOS 8.2?
I stopped upgrading my iPad 2 at iOS 7.1 fearing that the iPad 2’s hardware was not up to running the more modern versions of iOS as they became more demanding. After reading that iOS 8.2 was running smoothly for many others who had an iPad 2, and not finding many negative reviews, I went and did it, I updated.

I’m very surprised by how well iOS 8.2 does run so I wanted to tell all of you who have an old iPad to try it out. Here’s a video demonstrating how there is no lag or delay when using iOS 8.2 on the iPad 2:

Don’t hesitate go and update now!

Do you like my Australian accent in the video and would like to give your iPad an Aussie accent? Check this video with Sarah Lane featuring a tip from Vintuitive on iPad Today!

Keep Calm, Keep Cool Adelaide

Keep Calm Keep Cool posterThe year has commenced with a scorching start! Today in Adelaide it will reach 42 degrees and will remain in the 40s most of the day, even until as late as 6pm!

How to stay cool

The hot weather can make some people very lethargic, others get uptight and agitated. In either case it’s not easy to work in such conditions. It’s important on these hot days to take measures to keep the fluids up and stay cool. Your health and wellbeing are integral to getting your work done. Dehydration and over heating is a very real threat to your heath and can result in cramps, heat exhaustion or even heatstroke. If you don’t have air conditioning in your home or office there are other methods to keep calm and remain cool and in control. SA Health has some good tips of dealing with extreme heat on days like these and you can find their Guide to coping and staying healthy in the heat online.

Here’s a tip I picked up while in Queensland – the Frozen Towel Technique:
Read More »

I want it all, and I want it easily and effortlessly. And you can have it all, with this simple keyboard shortcut.

Select All with this swift Keyboard Kung Fu move

As we saw with cutting, copying and pasting, using a keyboard shortcut is often much easier and more productive when completing common tasks.

How do you currently go about selecting all the files in a folder, or all the text on a page? Do you click and drag diagonally across the files or text? Or do you right-click and then choose ‘Select All’?

Use the Command-A keyboard shortcut to achieve the same result with very little effort:

A = select all

fingers on the command a keys to select all

Using the Select All keyboard shortcut with files

As mentioned above, this nifty little move works with both files and with text. If you find yourself needing to move all the files in a folder, Command-A will enable you to select all the files in any given folder very quickly and effortlessly.

Here’s an example of how Command-A could be used with a previous lesson, Send To Trash to select all the files in a folder and to trash them:

A then delete = select all those files and send them straight to the trash

Using the Select All keyboard shortcut with text

It can also be useful when editing large slabs of text. Command-A to highlight all the text and then copy or cut or adjust the font size, colour, etc.

Here’s an example of how Command-A could be used with a previous lesson Make Your Make Speak to select all the text on a page and trigger the text-to-speach feature to have the Mac read it out loud to you:

A then S = select all the text and have the Mac speak all the text on a page.

It really is such a simple tip but it’s power is great.

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A very simple tip this time, after all, simplicity is the way of the Tao. Have you ever wanted to make a key do the opposite of it’s usual function?

More than just uppercase

Most people think of the shift key as a way of reaching the uppercase of a key. For example, the letter ‘v’ can be turned into a capital ‘V’ by using the Shift key, or the ‘@’ sign can be obtained by using the Shift key with the 2 key:

v = V
2 = @

A little known fact is that the Shift key can also be used to reverse the function of a key. In fact, we’ve already seen it in use in an earlier Keyboard Kung Fu lesson, Switching Between Open Applications.

Tabbing and shift-tabbing through fields

Online forms are a good example of how the addition of the key can be useful.

shift and tab key held down on a vintage mac keyboard

You are probably already aware that the tab key can be used to move your cursor to the next field in a form or web page. But what happens if you accidentally move past a field and now need to move back to it? It is at this point that many will take one hand off the keyboard and reach for the mouse to reposition the cursor into the previous field.

Instead, the key can be held down while tapping the tab key to move back up through the previous fields:

tab in a form = jump to next field
tab in a form = jump to previous field

This is a very simple tip that can be utilised to reduce stress and increase productivity. Try it with other keys to see what other key functions you can reverse.

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This tip will help to increase your productivity while working with text, something many of us do every day. Whether it be writing an important business proposal, or just an email to a friend, while you are typing your mind is focused on writing. You don’t want to interrupt your train of thought by having to take your hands of the keys to operate a mouse just to move the cursor to a different point in the text. Instead, the same result can be achieved with a few taps of the arrow key.

One letter at a time too slow? An alternative option

Tapping that cursor arrow can get tedious very quickly if you find yourself needing to move around the text a lot. You may find that this tip is limited to certain apps, but this is where the Option key can be your arrow keys’ trusty companion. Holding the left Option key down with your thumb while tapping the left or right arrow keys will soon become second nature.

= move forward through the text word by word.

Option and forward arrow keys on a mac keyboard

Too many words in a line? You are in command

An additional tip that works well with this one is the Command key. Holding down the Command key instead of the Option key while tapping the left of right arrow will jump you straight to the end of the line.

= jump to the end of the line

Horizontal and Vertical

Both of these tips work moving back and forward through text horizontally but you can also move through lines and paragraphs by applying the same techniques.

= move up through the text paragraph by paragraph
= jump to the top of the page

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