Facebook Has Already Screwed Beluga


Just hours after announcing they would be acquiring group messaging service Beluga, Facebook has already screwed it all up. The latest update to the Beluga app on Android requires you to sign up using a Facebook account.

This move runs completely counter to why anyone would use a group messaging service like a Beluga in the first place. I wanted to be able to chat with anyone with a supported device. Now, I can only chat with Facebook users. I could’ve done that crap directly on Facebook or with the Facebook app.

When I covered the acquisition earlier, this is exactly the type if stuff I was hoping they wouldn’t do.
Beluga alternatives, anyone?

How To Update All Your Social Networks Using Google Voice Actions #teamandroid

A while back, Lifehacker reminded us that Google Voice Actions can be used with any web service that supports SMS or Email. You can easily send SMS and Email messages by speaking into your phone, so any service that lets you interact via SMS and/or Email is fair game. Keep in mind that most of this also applies to Vlingo or any other voice command software.

Simple Scenario

One primary example would be Twitter. By activating your mobile phone on the Twitter home page, you can send a tweet by texting it to 40404. Combined with Google Voice Actions, you would be able to say something like “SMS Twitter, That Rahsheen guy is some kind of awesome” and GV handles the rest. Of course, this assumes you have a contact in your address book named “Twitter” with a phone number of 40404.

Kicking It Up 10 Notches

If you want to be a Social Media Mogul, you will immediately recognize that this just isn’t powerful enough. There are other worlds than Twitter and you need to be able to update them all on the go using GV. Most of you already know where I’m going with this: Ping.fm. Both a blessing and a curse, Ping.fm is a powerful tool for updating all of your social networks simultaneously.

Once logged into Ping.fm (you do have an account, right?), navigate to ping.fm/sms and save the number in your contacts as something simple like “Ping.” You want to make sure you pick a name that will be easily recognized when you say it and “Ping” works pretty well. While you’re at it, go to ping.fm/email and add your unique posting address to this contact as well.

Now, you can long-press your search button, say what you want, and broadcast to everyone everywhere. As always, feel free to leave a comment here or hit me up on Twitter (@rahsheen) if you have questions, comments, or concerns.

Simple Examples:

  • “SMS Ping, I just ate a mango”
  • “Send Email to Ping, Flipmode is the greatest”

Lifehacker Post: Use Google Voice Actions with Any Web Service that Supports SMS or Email

One-to-Many Posting Options Still Lacking

I just recently (today) started using a service called Amplify that I learned about on Twitter. It’s supposed to let you easily share things across your social networks and provides a central place for discussion. I won’t get into too much detail about the specifics, but there is one major thing that instantly bothered me. Here is a screenshot of a post on my Ampblog regarding the RPM Challenge:


Looks good, right? The bookmarklet is excellent. Let’s you select regions of the page and intelligently pieces them together into a baby blog post. I was impressed, until I took a look at how Amplify posted to my other services.


Ok, fair enough. Twitter doesn’t do images and is limited to 140 characters. This is good. I believe the URL is only that long because I hadn’t connected Bit.ly yet.


Uh, what’s this? It looks just like the tweet. I’m quite sure Facebook is capable of handling images and including thumbnails of stuff when you share it, so why is this Facebook share so bland?


Here is the Amplify post on my Posterous blog. Again, no images. Why is the good stuff being stripped away?

As you all may know, I’m a Ping.fm-aholic. It’s my go-to service when I want to speak to everyone everywhere. My problem with Ping.fm has always been that it doesn’t really do video and images (well, it does photos to flickr). I can’t be mad at that because Ping.fm wasn’t created that way. It’s all about status updates.

The other tool I use a lot for posting one-to-many is Posterous itself. It actually does do a better job of carrying over video and photos, but it has the same problem that Amplify does when it comes to Facebook. No Media!


Well, sometimes photos show up, but videos don’t embed. Oh, I also have to run it through Feed-buster to get images in FriendFeed (yes, I still FriendFeed).

I am well aware that there are probably technological, underlying issues with getting media into Facebook and getting it to display nicely. I’m also aware that there may be issues with trying to get external images and video to show up on a 3rd party service. As a user, though, none of that matters. The point is still that I can’t share stuff the way I want. I have to settle for less…and that kinda sucks.

Never Listen To Marketers About Social Media

BrickArms Army, Attention!

There is a serious scam going on in the social media world and I’m tired of seeing people get got. Marketing has come a long way, changed a lot, and still remained the same. The problem is that the pillars of the MLM community are fooling you with a false narrative. They want you to think that you will become a marketing powerhouse in social media with thousands of customers running after you, wallets out and purses open,  by simply following the steps in their latest e-book or whatever info product they’re slinging.

Don’t get me wrong, there are marketers out there that know what they’re talking about. You can tell they know what they’re talking about because the tech world recognizes them as equals. Not only are they skilled marketers, but their circles intersect with the people who help build and promote these new media tools.

It goes back to the question of , “Can you be a social media expert without being in social media?” The answer is, “Hell No!” If you aren’t in the trenches building your community and interacting with people, you cannot claim to know how to use this stuff.

The reason these MLM and Network Marketing gurus get such huge followings on all these social networking sites is that they already had huge followings to begin with. Look at how long some of these guys (and gals) have been around. Their tribe was built a long time ago. All they’ve done is leverage that tribe. A simple call to action to their existing mailing list and they’ve suddenly got 30,000 followers on Twitter. It’s that simple…for them.

You will never be able to duplicate this. There is nothing in anyone’s e-book or video series that changes that reality. You don’t have a standing army of customers. You are starting from scratch and you will have to put in the work to build your own community from the ground up. Anyone offering a magic shortcut to this end is blatantly lying you will waste a lot of time failing really slow if you buy into their crap.

Don’t believe me? Try and prove me wrong. I’ll wait…

…on second thought, I won’t. I’ve got better things to do.

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