Ello review

Anyone who knows me knows I’m an early adopter, I always jump on new apps and networks, I like to understand the system first and then understand if its worth my time or energy.

Ello to those who do not know is a site that is the “ad-free network” or “open” alternative to Facebook.

Despite the buzz and a lot of online chatter I highly doubt ello is actually going to more than a 6 months fad. Don’t worry I am going to go into the why below.
I was made aware of ello a couple of months back when it got it first round of buzz and sign up’s but didn’t have the time to play with it.
After using ello for over 24 hours and having a grand total of two friends – I really don’t see this taking off. It’s not mobile friendly, it doesn’t have any interaction, (no stand out) features and even when trying to use hashtags it pushes you to Twitter – questionable if not worrying.

My tip to the ello team: take all the best parts of Google+ (photo’s, simple UI and communities) and really push hard for engagement between users and groups.

SEO’s will probably want to jump on there as links at the moment appear to be dofollow.

For the social media professionals out there I can see a flood of excited community managers and PR’s looking for another way of engaging with their fans or push out your messages, my honest (brutal) first thoughts do not waste your time until there is a much larger user sign up.

If you want a different type of social network or movement away from your typical friends group (across Twitter, Facebook etc) this simple network might be for you but if you want to know more or have FOMO you really aren’t at the moment.

If you read this and want to add me i’m dannyd. If you would like an invite let me know below (its invite only via email)

Mailbox for Mac Review

I’ve been using Mailbox for mac for the last couple of week’s and it’s quite an impressive app.

I actually do not use the iPhone or iPad version of mailbox, it just didn’t help me manage my multiple inboxes – I did not feel I had a need for inbox zero on my mobile, as the majority of professional emails I send are still from desktop.

The reasons why mailbox might help you:

  • It’s like outlook, it notifies you of emails – annoying to some but you get a quick snapshot of the emails coming on
  • You can schedule when you want to address the email – the swipe gestures can be a little annoying but you get use to them
  • Mailbox is smart at making you clear and delete useless emails – my mailboxes are much clearer now

A couple of points to note:

  • Mailbox only currently works with emails sent through gmail / googlemail and iCloud so many people will not be able to use it at the moment.
  • The signature option is not easily found and auto completed with a default signature, if you are looking to add a signature go to: mailbox for mac (in main menu, go to preferences and last option to edit is signatures.
  • If you are a stickler for email format like me – you will want to keep an eye on formatting, often spacing is an issue, you might want to write emails in notepad and copy paste into mailbox.
  • Search needs work – if you are used to outlook or gmail mailbox search feature is very basic
  • If you have more than three email accounts connected it does crash far more than if you have two accounts.

Overall it’s a decent mail client and if you like the mobile app you will love the mailbox for mac desktop app.

If you would like a betacoin (the free trial) I have a few coins left so just let me know.

Twitter introduces mobile buy button

Twitter have been working hard on turning its social network into an attractive offering to retailers. This year alone Twitter cards have become common place and more sophisticated, especially with the addition of amazon cart / amazon basket.

Yesterday Twitter announced their latest move into social commerce, the buy button: currently the buy button is only available to a small % of users in the US.

I have two quick notes:

1. This won’t actually help the problem with acquiring new users and keeping existing customers happy, it will probably mean less followers and less people who want to be sold to on a social network with a growth and retention issue.

2. Brands will abuse it until it hurts them and Twitter – Twitter is smart to roll out the buy button (and shows investors it can make money away from it’s questionable ads platform and I have to say the Twitter analytics platform is more powerful than most people realise) however brands are going to try and turn Twitter from an open communication medium into a sales extension or direct shop window and I am sure this will frustrate users.

Marketing teams including their community managers, social media managers, customer services and the sales teams are going to have to work closely together to create attainable goals and targets – this won’t be easy for any team especially ones that have built an engaged community on Twitter.

What are your thoughts?