1. Free Flud T-shirts and Stickers!!

    Fluders, leave us a quick Facebook video or voice memo telling us about your 2-3 favorite Flud features. Whether it’s our design, the sharing capabilities, Flud iQ, speed, or whatnot, just let us know what you love! Don’t know how to leave a video? Just click “Photo/Video”, accept the permission prompt, and press record!

    Our 5 favorite videos will win Flud Tshirts* and 10 runner-ups will win Flud stickers. Feeling camera shy? No worries, just cover the camera and intoxicate us with your voice!  Once you’ve submitted your video, email us at pr@theflud.com with your address so we can send you the goods if you win.

    Happy Fluding!

    *limited to participants located in the U.S.

    Contest Directions

  2. We’ve got a Tshirt contest going on at our Facebook page. Just answer the sentence “I love Flud because _______.” You have 24 hrs to impress us - GO!!

    We’ve got a Tshirt contest going on at our Facebook page. Just answer the sentence “I love Flud because _______.” You have 24 hrs to impress us - GO!!

  3. When Creativity Meets Technology

    As a kid, I was never really into technology. The closest I came to hardware, or any kind of software, was loading games on my cousin’s ZX Spectrum.  Needless to say, like most children at that time, we spent what seemed like an eternity waiting for the crackling tones and beeps to load the game, only to lose and have to re-load the game again.

    I was however, interested in the artwork on the cover, the animation and graphics. For years afterwards, I was happy ‘pigeonholing’ technology as the geeky, complicated stuff and art and design as the cool, fun stuff I understood. Two very different creatures or so I thought, but that thinking could not be further from the truth.

    Today, you only have to look at companies such as Apple, Facebook and even Nike, to know that they have successfully integrated the best of both disciplines. Resulting in products and services that whilst disrupting their respective fields, positively influence human behavior.

    Roughly six years ago, Nokia was king. Content in creating phones, that ran Java applications and connected to the web. However, Apple in 2007, then entered the telecoms market with a revolutionary device, featuring a no hardware keyboard, large screen real estate and powerful software. In addition to the groundbreaking technology, Apple also had another great appeal. Through its design, it showed that it understood people and had considered the human experience. The phone was intuitive, easy to use and understand, even though it had adopted the new gesture based interaction with a mobile phone.

    The late Steve Jobs shared a wonderful quote about Apple’s thinking at his keynote
    speech in 2010.

    “We have always tried to be at the intersection of technology and liberal arts.”

    Summarizing Apple’s total commitment in bridging the gap, between people and technology by enhancing the users’ experience through design.

    Steve Jobs intersection of technology and liberal arts

    For me, design is much more than aesthetic appeal. It’s about how the product or service will work and what it will do for you, the actual experience. It’s about finding the sweet spot, between technology and creativity, which is critical to a successful outcome. With standards today set high, we expect designers to have devised a frictionless experience, or we will pick an alternative product or service.

    One such example is the infamous Facebook over MySpace discussion.
    We all know the story, of how MySpace was once the original dominant social networking site, until Facebook came along and snatched its crown. But how did this happen, when the basic technology was the same?

    In my opinion, it was down to the user experience. MySpace became too cluttered and over complicated, by ‘shoehorning’ every feature onto one page and allowing customization of pages. Too many options resulted in poor page layouts and poor user experience.

    Contrastingly, Facebook offered a clean and easy to navigate interface. An almost ‘boutique’ like site, its features were well considered and placed on the page and the site offered no customisation. Although the design was almost ‘basic’ in appearance, it was easy to understand and navigate and resulted in a better user experience. Without realising it, people actually prefer some decisions to be made for them; editing out the unnecessary and highlighting the important. Facebook understood its brand and reached its audience by curating excellent customer experiences. Quite simply, it made the complicated simple.

    Nowadays, changes in technology not only affect how we produce work, but also where we produce work. Like much of my work, for instance ideas for this article, start life as notes and ponderings on my iPhone, capturing these thoughts and moments on my commute to work. I am then able to flesh out these ideas, on my iPad at the coffee house, while the notes wait for me via Apples’ Cloud based service.

    It’s safe to say, that our expectations from technology have grown, but our behaviours are also being shaped by technology and its ability to track our daily progress, geographic location and social interactions. It really becomes interesting when these elements are combined, as they have in the Nike+ FuelBand.

    This simply monitors your movement and allows you to quantify your chosen exercise, by earning Nikes’ own currency of ‘Fuel’. Their thinking behind this, is that regardless of fitness or athleticisms, if two people both exercise for 20 minutes they would have done the same amount of exercise, therefore be rewarded the same amount. Creating a sort of level playing field, to encourage competitiveness and motivation.

    The technology, both hardware and software in the Nike+FuelBand, is not new or groundbreaking. It uses an accelerometer, similar to those found in most Smartphone’s, to measure movement and speed. This tracks your data, calculates your Nike Fuel points and feeds the information back to your Apple app and own dedicated webpage.

    In true Nike style, this innovative thinking has brought together the hardware, software and social interaction, giving credible meaning to the data about calories, BMI and KPH we collect in a way that has never been done before.

    What could be interesting in the near future would be a device that takes into account external factors, such as weather patterns and geo location to better prepare you for your workout. Or an app that detects that you will soon reach a plateau in your exercise regime, and adjusts the programme to help you move beyond your goal.

    In retrospect, I think the future of technology is about understanding human nature and delivering experiences, by using creative solutions to problems with technology as the catalytic tool to make it happen.

    It’s about collaborating to innovate.

     

    S.Odedra

  4. Highlights from London and Google Hires a Zuckerberg

    Olympic Updates: 

    Michael Phelps “locked up immortality” yesterday when he became the most decorated Olympian ever, boasting a total of 19 medals, 15 of which are gold. He still has three more events to swim in London. Phelps’ sponsors include Subway, Hilton, Omega and Speedo and his international stature just keeps growing. It is likely that Phelps will retire after the London Olympics, which won’t hurt him too much because some of the sponsorships should last well into his post-swimming retirement. 

    The U.S. Women’s gymnastics team took the gold for the first time since 1996 in Atlanta and the girls aren’t the only ones celebrating. Thus far, one of the most memorable parental moments in London is Aly Raisman’s parents reacting to her performance on the bar. The funny parents aside, the team really did work hard to get where they are today and some highlights can be found on the LA Times. 

    Oscar Pistorius, also known as “blade runner”, is a member of the South African track and field team and will be making history as the first athlete to compete in the Olympics with a prosthetic limb. In an interview with NPR he said, “this is just a challenge for me, and any good sportsman that wants to be better has to face up to the challenges that aren’t always as easy as some of the others.” He wasn’t allowed to compete in the Beijing Summer Olympics because skeptics said he has an advantage from his sleek carbon fiber prosthetics. Research showed that The Blade Runner uses the same metabolic energy as his peers, so he is looking forward to making history in London. 

    Finally, if you need a good laugh, Olympic divers will give that to you. These pictures gloriously capture what their faces look like as they take the plunge. 

    Awkward Family Photo: Google just announce the hire of Arielle Zuckerberg, Mark’s younger sister, which means Google is employing more Zuckerbergs than Facebook. Google recently acquired Wildfire, a social media marketing company and Arielle will be working for them. Google is hoping to improve their social media efforts as studies show that people spend more time on social networks like Facebook. “Not gonna lie…this feels pretty awkward,” said Arielle Zuckerberg. You think? 

    In other news: 

    image source: Sports Illustrated

  5. Flud News Roundup, June 23-25

    Happy Monday everyone! I hope everyone’s weekend was enjoyable. Did anyone do anything exciting? Share some of your favorite news stories with us via Flud app on Twitter and Facebook and let us know what you used Flud for this weekend! For now, enjoy some of the top stories from the last few days! 

    Arizona Compromise: Since the the law was signed in April 2012, SB 1070 from Arizona has been one of the most-watched cases regarding immigration. The Supreme Court made their official ruling on the matter today and both sides seemed happy when they decided to only rule out 3 of the 5 measures. Civil rights groups still aren’t satisfied with the results and they will continue to fight until they feel justice has been met. View the official ruling here

    MoreInterest: Creators of Pintics (a Pinterest analytics service) have found another niche. ShopInterest (a mashup of Shopify and Pinterest) is their latest venture, a service that allows anyone to turn their Pinterest boards into an online store. So many sales are generated via pins and boards on Pinterest so they decided to help make this process easier. Set up is easy and the idea is to allow your followers to shop and make purchases on the spot from your pins! Visit the ShopInterest site here.

    Find Your Friends, JK: Facebook quietly launched a new feature, Find Friends Nearby, a location-based app to find friends. However, just as quickly and quietly as it was released, it was disabled.  A Facebook spokesperson said it wasn’t a formal release and it was just something engineers were testing. They may build on the feature at a later date, but engineers will need to perfect their technology for critics who label location-based apps “creepy”. In addition to the sudden removal of the feature, another mobile app, Friendthem, it planning on suing Facebook for stealing their idea.

    In other news: 

  6. Flud News Roundup, June 16-18

    Egypt’s First Free Election: Mohammed Morsi, a representative of the Muslim Brotherhood, declared victory today in Egypt’s elections. The Supreme Council of Armed Forces tried to strip the president of most of his significant powers decreeing that they will control the drafting of a new constitution and won’t allow civilian oversight of its significant economic interests. Morsi’s victory won’t be confirmed until Thursday and if so, this will be the first Islamist victory in the recent wave of pro-democracy uprisings sweeping through the Middle East. The victory does have some concerned because of the anti-America ideals that could potentially come into play. 

    Greece Elections: More world election news coming from Europe after elections on Sunday. Antonis Samara declared victory and began pro-bailout talks immediately following. Even though this removes any fears of Greece’s exit from the single zone currency, attention was turned back to Italy and Spain and the crisis that still remains. Read more about the pros and cons of the election on the Wall Street Journal and Reuters

    Facebook gets a Face: Another big purchase for Facebook! Face.com is a mobile face recognition technology that was just purchase for about $100 million dollars. There is a possible integration in the works with Facebook, which could boost their mobile app offerings. 

    • Rodney King, the man whose beating inspired the LA Riots in the 90’s, was found dead in his pool on Sunday. 
    • Colorado firefighters will face harsh conditions today as they continue to fight a raging wild fire. Southern California is also in a red-flag warning as conditions get windy and dry. 
    • Government censorship is a lot higher than we realize, according to Google. 

    image source: Fox News

  7. The Four Must-Know Social Networks

    Social Media is an ever-growing and ever-changing world of sharing, connecting and promoting. As different platforms come, go and change how do we decide which ones are worth investing our time and energy in? Here are the four of the must-know social platforms to boost your personal and professional networks.

    Facebook

    Facebook has been making headlines for years with their ground breaking moves in social networking and more recently when they decided to become a publicly traded company. (A bold move in my opinion, as social media continues to evolve so often). Regardless of the positive and negative press they may receive, Facebook has the largest audience in the world. 800 million people around the world are actively using the site. The Timeline format gives meaning and a backstory to your personal (or business) posts, which is a great way of keeping in touch with your fans and followers. Post questions, updates, polls or links to your blog posts and tweets!  

    Twitter: 

    The internet soap box in 140 characters or less. Twitter allows the broadcasting of information and customer service in real time. Twitter is an extremely effective platform for continuous updates or interaction with your followers. Tweeting about relevant topics within your field of expertise allows potential to gain more followers as well. It’s a great way to reach out to individuals and companies to draw attention back to your business or product. 

    Pinterest/Instagram

    Show the face and culture behind your brand. These social networks allow businesses to put a face to the name. Pinterest is a fantastic way of creating photo archives of your company’s history whether it is your personal blog posts or other press. Pinterest will direct a lot of traffic back to your site if used properly. Instagram is similar to Twitter in that it allows you to share what’s happening in “real time”, but through photos. It’s a fun way of sharing photos in the office, sneak peaks or anything else involving your team that gives your followers the chance to connect to the personality of your team. 

    Flud

    Create context around your brand. Share stories that support your product or service, become a thought leader. Flud is a great way of gathering your interests and influencing your followers to be inspired and excited about the same things you are! Create a news profile where people can follow you and your “fluded” stories. Through the activity feed feature you can see who you have influenced and what stories have gained the most popularity through the “Most Fluded” feed. This is also an extremely effective way of staying on top the news related to your field so you are in the know of the latest and greatest, helping you stay on top of your competitors! 

    image sources: pinterest, OMSH

  8. Flud News Roundup, May 1

    I have it on good authority that not one person ever reads the article content preceding a list, so I will say whatever I want here. Just try and call me out on it.

    Facebook IPO set for May 18 (WSJ): On Monday Facebook will begin its roadshow, or pitching investors with its stock. The following tweet is *not* what talks will look like, but hey, we can dream.


    Cue any puns including “donor” and “friends”: Facebook’s announcement today was that you can list yourself as a donor on your Timeline. What really bugs me about this story is how little value is added with each story — there’s not much info further than the Facebook blog post itself — yet every tech or consumer site posted variations on the headline, followed by comparable information. It’s a problem in tech journalism. But I digress. Since there’s not an OrganBook or Donorstagram, at least not yet, including this information on your Facebook profile may make it easier to match donors with needs, and save lives, indeed.

    Drunken grandparents tow child behind an SUV (Jalopnik): It’s just like tubing on the lake, except on the asphalt in a Power Wheels car. Luckily, this slightly disturbing story came to a halt, with police intervention, before anyone got hurt.

    Men fail to blow up bridge in Ohio (NPR): The five men hoped to make a statement against corporate America. It seems odd that the explosives, which were not real, were provided by the FBI informant — so, had he not been involved, say they weren’t able to find another source, and therefore unable to carry out the plan and remained innocent? Regardless, the FBI claims this is a top strategy in preventing terrorism.

    *Pic via Consumer Product Safety Commission. Child pictured was not involved in related story.

  9. Flud News Roundup, April 26

    Here’s our pick of stories that were popular today in Flud and across the web.

    Here is the piece of paper that killed Bin Laden (The Atlantic): Of course, he wasn’t killed with origami, but this headline sure got our attention. The writing on the memo, by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, is about as messy as a doctor’s prescription but still got the job done.

    Gawker launches new comments (Nieman Lab): Nearly every news site or blog suffers from comments. It takes time to manage them and comments don’t always add value to the original article. Gawker’s new system does two things: it enables and protects anonymous commenters (site doesn’t store any info on them) and elevates “interesting” comments via a computer program. So it’s not a popularity contest. Another goal of Gawker’s is to promote conversation about stories themselves, rather than comments about Gawker.

    Criticism of “brogrammer” culture (Mother Jones): Plus, numbers to back it up. Turns out a smaller percentage of women are getting computer science degrees than were 30 years ago. This article captures some of the most recent embarrassingly public outbursts of sexism but also notes that many women just deal with the culture, or leave. From entrepreneur Dan Shapiro: “A widely understood truth that the single biggest challenge to a successful startup is attracting the right people. To literally handicap yourself by 50 percent is insanity.”

    Prelude to a shooting (Reuters): This profile of George Zimmerman based on interviews with family and friends, simply, is a must-read. We can all agree a downside of our social news culture is that some stories get amplified quicker than they can be given context, but Reuters was able to break that cycle here. This is the backstory, and it passes no judgement but brings light to a case that must find a balance between justice and witch hunt.

    Man steals girl’s Facebook phtos, reposts as porn (Philly.com): Bad news for anyone who still thinks Facebook is a good place to post pictures. This man obtained pictures from girls’ Facebook pages via friend-of-friend relationships, masturbated to them and then retook a picture that included the original, plus his penis. And then he reposted the picture to the girl’s page. The article describes the girls as “hysterical,” not surprisingly, and the 19-year-old perpetrator is now in jail with child pornography charges. Worse? He “didn’t think it was a big deal.”


    *Pic via Time.com

  10. Flud News Roundup, April 23

    [Insane] Soccer ball lost in Japanese tsunami washes up on the shore of Alaska: Not only is marker writing still intact, but the owner of the ball is found and he gets to talk to the man who found it. It’s an interesting visual of how the internet can connect people — but oceans can, too. Full story via MSNBC.

    Half of new grads are unemployed, *or* underemployed: AP reports on the prospects of people under age 25 with bachelor’s degrees. The promise of higher lifetime earnings when you have a degree seems to be failing when some people are working as baristas two years out of school. However, an economist at University of California, Irvine, notes: “ … even for lower-skilled jobs such as waitress or cashier, employers tend to value bachelor’s degree-holders more highly than high-school graduates, paying them more for the same work and offering promotions.” Newsweek posted a top 10 useless majors list on Tumblr and got some backlash, but still, the numbers show that what people chose to study factors into job prospects.

    Facebook amends S-1 in prep for IPO: Facebook’s monthly active users now total 901 million, up from 680 million a year ago, reports the Huffington Post. Also, if the Instagram deal falls through, Instagram is guaranteed to get $200 million. Wait, what? Yes, the government could prevent the purchase but TNW notes that with Twitter in the game, there is little chance Facebookgram could be seen as a monopoly.

    Would you buy skin by the square inch?: Apparently, people on the black market do just that. Gizmodo offers a breakdown of how much each body part may be worth, and notes you could trade your shoulder for an iPad (why hasn’t that surfaced in Twitter spam?!?).

  11. #FludReads March 22

    The Flud team took over today’s #FludReads! Here’s the best of the best in today’s news —

  12. #FludReads March 16-19

    Rounding up the top #FludReads of the weekend!

    Don’t know what #FludReads means? It indicates good, worth-reading, quality content. Include the hashtag along with your next tweeted article for a chance to have your tweet featured right here!

  13. HyperVocal Reports the Vital and the Viral on Flud

    Self proclaimed Internet Sherpas, HyperVocal is dedicated to bringing you the vital and the viral. They are online hunters and gatherers of what’s out there you need to see and read — groundskeepers of rationality and arbiters of reality and pseudo-nonsense. 

    Interesting, right? That’s exactly why they’re the latest Flud Featured Feed! For all you Millennials of the so-called Facebook Generation, this is your comprehensive look at the complete, hyper-frenetic news cycle.

    You can find HyperVocal under the Lifestyle category or in the list of featured apps on the Add Sources screen. Go on get Fluding… oh, and invite your friends too

  14. #FludReads Feb 28

    Loving today’s #FludReads

    Tomorrow we’ll be looking for news on Leap Year. Share interesting content and your tweet could be featured right here!

  15. Recommend Articles with #FludReads

    Fluders, you’re the most informed people we know, so of course we’re interested in the articles you read and recommend to your friends. We see what you Flud, but keeping track of the best articles you share elsewhere on the web is a little trickier.

    To solve this dilemma and round up your recommended reads, we’re introducing the hashtag #FludReads. It’s really easy to use and will help us, as well as other Fluders, find the good stuff you’re sharing.

    Here’s how it works: 

    • Every time you share an article to Twitter, include #FludReads in your message.
    • Each day we’ll pick three of our favorite #FludRead stories and feature them right here on our blog.
    • Plus, we’ll Flud your #FludReads recommended articles from our Flud account for maximum exposure. 

    Help make the web smarter one #FludRead at a time and be sure to check back here daily to see if your #FludReads article made it on our favorites list!