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Moved July 22, 2008

Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Uncategorized.

I’ve decided to host my own blog so you can find all my new home at http://DorianoCarta.com


FriendFeed Karma July 18, 2008

Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Friendfeed, Web 2.0.

If you want to make sure you are following everyone that’s following you on FriendFeed then you need to use this cool service called FriendVenn that’s just like the excellent Twitter Karma service that does the same thing for Twitter members.

Just enter your login ID and password for FriendFeed and you will see the following information:
People you are subscribed to but do not follow you back (Shame on them!)
People you follow that follow you back (Karmariffic!)
People who follow you but you don’t follow back for some reason (Shame on you!)

Here’s my FF results which shocked me! I didn’t realize so many didn’t follow Pai back (Most of them friends elsewhere!) and I didn’t realize that I didn’t follow back so many that I thought I was.

29 people you are subscribed to. 29 people who both sub to you and you sub to. 12 people who only subscribe to you.
Alana Taylor
Cheryl Smith
Chris Heuer
Chris Johnston
Chris Messina
Christina Warren
Christine Lu
Jason Calacanis
Jeff Pulver
Julia Roy
Kevin Rose
Leo Laporte
Loic Le Meur
Marshall Kirkpatrick
Meg Canada
Neha Narula
Nik Butler
Robert Scoble
Susan Reynolds
laura fitton
loren feldman
michael arrington
Ben Borges
Christine Cavalier
Hao Chen
Jay Martinez
Linda Mills
Lucretia Pruitt
Mari Adkins
Mykl Roventine
Nathaniel Payne
Nicole Randome
Orli Yakuel
R. Staehlin
Rachel Rubin
Robert Kuhlmann
Stacee Schmidt-Cottrell
Stefan Hayden
Stevi Deter
Todd Jordan
Veronica Giggey
Whitney Hoffman
phil baumann
robert holiday
Charlie Anzman
Chris Rodgers
Dan Covington
Dave Evans
Jeff Turner
Jim Jannotti
Rick Mahn
ingo ju
the constant skeptic

Note: I want to thank Hao Chen for sharing this with me. He has created some excellent grasemonkey scripts for FriendFeed on FireFox so I asked if he had plans for doing this type of thing and he sent me the link to FriendVenn! I would checkout his very cool scripts too!
Oh, my FF is http://friendfeed.com/paisano

BrainDumping July 17, 2008

Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Collaboration, Lists, Mobile, Personal, Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , ,

Sometimes you just need to capture a thought in your head or else it’ll be gone forever. There are many ways to record these ideas or brainstorms, but none of them truly take full advantage of the social media and social networking benefits available today. Sure, there are many good mindmapping tools online but none of them work well with mobile devices which is critical when it comes to capturing thoughts wherever and whenever you have them. The process needs to be quick and easy too. Here are some mobile methods for handling your braindumping on the go.

Wridea has just released 2.0 after two long years in Beta. It was previously reveiwed here in the Best Checklist Sites. Judging from my initial experiences with the new look and feel of Wridea’s totally overhauled GUI, I have to admit that it is much improved.
Here are some of the key new features:

  • Full API support for integrating Wridea with third party projects, systems, websites, desktop and mobile applications
  • New user interface for faster idea management
  • Improved idea collaboration with friends or other Wridea users
  • RSS feeds of your idea pages and idea comments
  • Better friend management
  • Expandability with Idea Tools

The best feature of Wridea is the ability to send your ideas to your account via your own email address. The format of the email is Idea_username@wridea.com so it’s easy to remember. Just add the entry to your cell phone’s address book and you will be able to capture your thoughts and ideas anytime, anywhere straight to your wridea account. You can share these entries and collaborate if you want but mostly I think it’s best suited for braindumping.

Here are a couple of screencasts of the new and much improved Wridea.
What is Wridea?
What are the best new features of Wridea 2.0?

Jott is an excellent service to use for capturing your ideas thru your cell phone. Unlike Wridea which does this thru the use of a personalized email address that posts to your online account, Jott accomplishes this in a unique manner via your own phone number. Once you call Jott it asks “Who do you want to Jott?” and you simply reply with “Me” to capture thoughts and ideas to your account. The nice thing about this is that Jott also transcribes your audio message to text and emails it to you so it can be copied and pasted as you wish. The accuracy isn’t that bad but it isn’t 100% either so you must double-check every time. Here’s a visual explanation. Here’s a list of all the tricks you can do with Jott on your cell phone.

Zoho Planner also allows you to send thoughts and ideas to your online account via your own unique email address. You can then turn those notes into to do items, appointments on your calendar or add them as notes to your planner. While the functions work and come in handy, the interface is gludgy and not very user-friendly.

Remember The Milk is mostly for tracking tasks and appointments but you can very well use it to manage your thoughts and ideas because it also provides you with your own email address. So, you can use your cell phone to send any idea you had right to your RTM account. Another perk is the way that RTM integrates seamlessly with GMail (thanks to Firefox)! Here’s a video of how that looks. Here’s a tour of what it can do.

Utterz is like a hybrid of Twitter + Seesmic + Tumbler + Jott. It has some new features that allow you to send ideas privately to your utterz account via email (the format is very easy to remember, username@utterz.com). You can record private audio messages on your cell phone and send them to yourself privately to play back later on or make public and embed on your website or in the utterz public timeline.

Final Thoughts on Thought Capturing
Look for this space to continue to catch on fire thanks to the ever increasing popularity of social networking and mobile devices like the iPhone, Blackberry and many others. It will become increasingly easier to capture and share whatever we want, even those thoughts that used to vanish into thin air.

Give Your Windows an Apple Polish July 15, 2008

Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Apple, Microsoft.
Tags: , ,

You might not be able to make Windows perform like a Mac but you can definitely make it look and feel like one with some free tools you can install in minutes. Checkout the following tips, tricks and tools and enjoy your new Mac-lite PC.

Rainlender is a skinable desktop calendar

Trillian is a universal instant messenger that resembles iChat.

iTunes is most likely already on everyone’s system but just in case, here ya go!

Change your desktop wallpaper to one that the Mac Leopard OS uses. Search google for other images if you don’t like this one.

Change your mouse cursors to Mac OS X cursors

Apple icons are a must have to put the finishing touch on your pseudo-Leopard OS.
Here are over 1,400 icons.

Replace your Internet Explorer browser with either Safari or Firefox (if not already!).

Replace Microsoft’s Gadgets with Yahoo’s Widgets which look and feel more Mac-like.

RocketDock will probably give your PC the most Mac-like appearance and functionality because it replaces the windows taskbar and allows you to launch all of your applications from its very Leopard-style interface. Here’s a good video of how it works:

ObjectDock is similar to RocketDock. Give them both a try to see which one you like better.
Here’s another screencast:

Note: It doesn’t make sense to have RocketDock or ObjectDock and the Windows taskbar visible at the same time so it’s best to hide the taskbar. Right click a blank space in ObjectDock, go to the settings tab, select behavior then on the box with check marks select “Hide the Windows Taskbar”, and hit OK.

Installation Kit
For Windows XP users, you can try FlyakiteOSX which is a free installation kit that does most of the dirty work for you. I’m not sure it will work with Vista so I cannot vouch for it! Let me know if you get it to work though. 🙂

Final Thoughts
Yes, I know it’s a lot of work, isn’t it? Why not just get a Mac if you’re willing to go to all this trouble to make your PC look like one? Well, I actually happen to love how my Vista looks and performs and merely offered this up for those that want the Mac look n’ feel but for whatever reason are stuck with a PC (being in IT, I hold many MacHeads captive to the Windows OS because of corporate policy). Maybe I’ve done this out of guilt for keeping these Apple lovers away from their beloved OS.

Extending Yourself July 10, 2008

Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Browsers, Firefox.
Tags: , , , ,

I finally jumped into the Firefox 3 pool with both feet and started playing with all of the add-ons, extensions and greasemoney scripts and I’ve been blown away. It’s mindboggling how much you can do with this browser. Now I understand why Firefox users are such zealots!

There are countless tools you can add to FF to improve your online experience, not only to save time but just to have more fun as well. Here’s a primer for noobs like me.

First and foremost, get thine a real browser: Firefox or Flock 2.0 Beta (which uses Firefox 3)

Get the Greasemonkey extension at http://www.greasespot.net

Go to http://userscripts.org for the largest collection of scripts for FF & greasemonkey

Here’s a sampling of the best scripts for FriendFeed on Firefox (or Flock 2.0):
Better friendfeed
retaggr card on ff
Add profile page to ff
Add favicons to ff rooms
Add Twitter client with counter to ff
Filter FF by Service

There are also countless tools for enhancing your twitterXperience such as this one:
Retaggr card on Twitter profile
This is what it did to DemoGirl’s twitter profile (added her Retaggr card)

There are also many scripts for other sites like YouTube like the Download YouTube videos script
and Flickr such as the Flickr Group Organizer

There are scripts for just about every site and service you can think of! Just type in the service you want to enhance and you will see a bevy of options available! StumbleUpon, Medium, Digg, Facebook, MySpace, you name it!

If all that weren’t enough, you still haven’t checked out the jaw-dropping FireFox Add-on library!
These are even easier to install because it doesn’t require the greasemonkey script. Simple click install and it’s done.

Here are some very useful Surfing Tools
Tab Mix Plus (MUST HAVE!)
Save to Delicious
Sync Bookmarks on multiple computers
One-Click Auto add to Google Reader (Bypassing igoogle option)

If you want to learn how to create your own scripts then Dive Into greasemonkey!

Videos & Screencasts
DemoGirl serves up warm and toasty screencasts on the best Firefox extensions on a regular basis so visit her blog often.

Here’s an excellent video on Firefox 3

Note: By the way, if you’re concerned like I was about doing all this work to install all of these add-ons and scripts EVERY time you have to setup a computer with Firefox (at home, work or anywhere else) then fear no more! Someone came up with FEBE! This cool tool saves all of your extensions and add-ons and backs it up so you can easily re-install them all whenever and wherever you want!

Final Thoughts

The world is your oyster thanks to Firefox and all of its add-ons and scripts. It’s easy to install and best of all, it’s all free!

1984 All Over Again July 9, 2008

Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Apple, Microsoft.
Tags: , , ,
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Ridley Scott has always been one of my favorite directors so you can imagine the surprise I had today when I learned that he was the one who directed the memorable 1984 Apple commercial! Obviously, looking at it now with this knowledge makes perfect sense. It does have the same look and feel as his classic Blade Runner and Alien movies. 

Here’s a special behind the scenes interview

Here’s the classic commercial that was aired during the SuperBowl

Here’s Steve Jobs introducing the 1984 commercial at the 1983 Keynote

Just for comparison’s sake, checkout Apple’s first TV commercial from 1977!

Fast Forward again this time 30 years to 2007 for the ground-breaking iPhone commercials

Final Thoughts
Even though I am a big supporter (literally) of Microsoft, I have a deep respect and admiration for Steve Jobs and Apple. I think Steve and Bill both realize that they needed each other in order to push the industry as far as it could. Because of their rivalry we’ve all benefited. Their  companies continue to innovate and take technology to the next level.

How to make Outlook the Ultimate Social Media Tool July 3, 2008

Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Email, Microsoft, rss, Social Media, social networks.
Tags: ,

Believe it or not, Microsoft can actually help you create the ultimate social media tool! If you use Microsoft Outlook 2007 as your email client then you have the basic foundation for creating a powerful social networking monster. Here’s how I use my most important communication tool on a daily basis.

Most organizations have Microsoft Windows networks with Exchange server which means most of corporate America is using Microsoft Outlook as their email client. At the heart of Outlook is the inbox, which is where you get all of your company related emails. It also manages everyone’s calendar and appoinments as well as tasks and notes. Not too shabby right out of the box.

However, with a few simple and free plugins and add-ons you can supercharge Outlook into an even more powerful web 2.0 communication tool with built-in social networking! Here are just some of the best services you can snap into Outlook.

Here’s view of my data center, Microsoft Outlook. Click image to enlarge.

Here’s a breakdown of each highlighted section of my Outlook:

1. Business Email: The inbox is grand central station for Outlook, the heart of your mailbox. All of my corporate emails go here.

2. Personal Email: Outlook allows you to add many other email accounts to your client so you can access your personal email accounts from services like Bellsouth, Earthlink and even web based services like GMail. Here’s an excellent tutorial on how to add gmail to outlook.

3. xobni: If you want extended information about the people that send you emails than checkout Xobni which has been covered on here before. Xobnix snaps inside Outlook and displays many new details about the senders and all of the emails that you’ve exchanged with them. They now connect directly to their LinkedIn account if they own one which opens a whole new world of possibilities.

4. OutTwit: If you want to use Twitter from inside Outlook then try this gem. OutTwit adds a tiny toolbar that lets you send new posts to twitter as well as read and reply. You can now use TinyURL and send direct messages to anyone. The beauty of it all is that it looks like your working but you’re actually goofing off with your twitter pals. You can have all new tweets appear in a folder called Tweets (if desired) just like email! It’s also firewall friendly. 🙂

5. Plaxo with Pulse: The address book is very important and Outlook does a great book with managing our contacts. Adding Plaxo with pulse and its excellent Outlook toolbar turns your Outlook into a dynamic social network. In essence, it’s like having FriendFeed in your email client. Also, Plaxo will sync all of your contacts online with your local address book. The most powerful feature is the way Plaxo can manage all of your contacts from many different email systems such as gmail, yahoo mail, and more.

6. RSS feeds: Outlook can become an excellent way to keep up with all of your RSS feeds! While I still love Google Reader, I find myself using Outlook’s excellent RSS reader more and more because I am always in my email. I get notified of new blog posts instantly as they appear in my Outlook just like new emails. I’m hoping they will add the sharing capabilities that other readers have but other than that, Outlook RSS reader is a great time saver! Here’s how to add RSS feeds to your Outlook.

7. TimeBridge: One of the best features of Outlook is the ability to check everyone’s calendar for meeting availability times. The problem with that excellent feature is that it only worked inside the firewall within an organization’s private network. Well, that is no longer the case thanks to services like TimeBridge which understands how valuable this feature is to everyone. It also snaps into Outlook and allows you to share your calendar and availability to people outside of your firewall and local network! This is a powerful way to schedule appointments that will save enormous amounts of time and frustration. Here’s an excellent DemoGirl screencast.

But wait there’s more!
These are just some of the many cool tools you can use with Outlook. I also use other things that work with Outlook that aren’t as visible as these other tools. Tools such as McAfee anti-virus and c2c’s ArchiveOne for archiving older emails with attachments while leaving the headers in my mailbox giving the appearance as if everything were still there (double-clicking the email retrieves it from an archive on another server, saving tons of mailbox space). So, there’s far more than meets the eye when it comes to Outlook

Final Thoughts

Outlook is like the Swiss Army Knife of communications. Sure, it’s a master when it comes to managing your emails, tasks, contacts and calendar appointments, but as you have seen it can do far more than you ever imagined. The possibilities are endless as increasing numbers of new services are developed to work with Microsoft Outlook. Choosing the right tools can help you turn Outlook into an even more powerful communication tool.

Social Media’s Trojan Horse for the E… June 27, 2008

Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Enterprise, social networks.
1 comment so far

Don’t look now but social media and social networking tools have begun its assault on the enterprise! They have successfully penetrated company firewalls and have started to infiltrate corporate email systems without anyone noticing yet!

How have they accomplished this impressive task despite all of the security measures that anti-social media administrators have set in place? Well, very simply and quietly via plug-ins such as the clever Outlook email service called XOBNI which has been covered on here previously.

The latest version of Xobni (inbox spelled backwards by the way) includes a hook into LinkedIn which means whenever you are viewing an email in Outlook you can now see their LinkedIn profile and information! This includes their photo, title, current emplorer details and much more! It might not look or sound like a big deal but trust me, this is a game-changer folks!

This is a major breakthrough for the future of the enterprise and incorporating the best of social media into the workplace. It is the shot heard round the world wide web. Ok, maybe it’s more of a small ripple in the ocean which ultimately becomes a tidal wave down the stream!

The concept of sneaking social media into the enterprise has been covered on here before but that process was far more obvious than this new stealth method. Talk about sneaky! Xobni has established a blueprint for all other web 2.0 services that want to go to work with corporate America and world wide for that matter. They just need to figure out how to present their service in a similar subtle and useful manner. Sometimes a whisper is far more powerful than a shout.

For the record, Xobni isn’t the first service to attempt this invasion of the enterprise, but they have come up with the best and most useful service. Some others have managed to scale the walls of IT defense.  Here are a couple that come to mind that I used a great deal:

Breaking & Entering Innovators

Plaxo was actually the first service that I can recall that plugged into your Outlook client and connected you to your online account and all your contacts and friends. When they added their Pulse technology you then had your entire social network in your Outlook toolbar! Think FriendFeed for your email client. Here’s the Outlook plugin for Plaxo.

Outwit was another Outlook plugin that allowed you to read and post Twitter messages. It didn’t have all the bells and whistles of other Twitter clients such as Thwirl but it was and still is a very clever way to sneak in a web service that blended well with your existing business communication tool, in this case your email client.

Utterz 2.0 June 25, 2008

Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Blogs, Mobile, Online Services, Social Media, social networks.
1 comment so far

Utterz 2.0 is now LIVE! The biggest change is the user interface of the home page. It is much cleaner, less cluttered and easier to use! Check it out here:


New Profile URL

User profile pages are also vastly improved and easier to remember. The URL is no longer this long and hideously cryptic address! Instead, it’s as simple as Pai. http://www.utterz.com/Paisano



Mobile Utterz

Using utterz on your mobile device is even better than ever! Call: 1-712-432-6666 *record, listen AND reply.

Video, pics, text:
-public: go@utterz.com
Title your last utter:

Look at all the new options available from your cell phone’s keypad! http://www.utterz.com/u/cli_doc.php

Go to m.utterz.com from your handset to browse and reply to friends’ messages

Sending a message to go@utterz.com or private@utterz.com within 10 minutes of recording matches up your photo, video, or text with the recording.


New Personal Email Address

Members now get their own personal email address for easier direct communication.

For example, send a message to paisano@utterz.com and it will get routed to me instantly.

Also, taking a queue from Twitter, You can now send an utter to someone’s inbox by including ‘@username’ anywhere in the text of your message!


Finding Friends

Adding your friends from your address book or other services such as Twitter has also become much better! Just login to your service and Utterz will show you which friends already belong to Utterz. Just click follow and you will be linked to them on Utterz. http://www.utterz.com/u/find_friends/network-twitter


Come check it out!



I.T. Happens No. 12 June 19, 2008

Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Comic Strips, IT Happens.
Tags: , ,
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Is your doctor web savvy and into the whole social media and web 2.0 thing?
Listen carefully for keywords he/she might use.

Here’s the entire “I.T. Happens Series