A lot of people ask me why I use certain social media services, namely Four Square and Instagram. While there are several reasons why I use them a really big one that I think most people are unaware of is Timehop. Timehop is a service which connects your various social media accounts and each day it allows you look back and see what you did (essentially what you shared on those platforms) one year, two years, three years and even as far back as five years ago. I look forward to launching the Timehop app each day, seeing what I was talking about in years past and reminiscing about what my wife and I were doing on that day years ago. Timehop has the ability to pull in data from Facebook, Foursquare, Flickr, Instagram and Twitter so you get location data, photos and obviously tweets. Data is presented in an attractive UI and is arranged in chronological order.

Timehop - 1 Year   Timehop - 2 Years   Timehop - 3 Years

Like I mentioned before I use these services for a number of reasons but I can say that the number one reason I use Foursquare is because of the Timehop integration. It's really entertaining to see where I was in years past and what I was up to.

If you use any number of the services that Timehop supports I highly recommend signing up for the (free) service.

The World In Links [8/22-8/28/2011] -- Business, Nodejs, PHP, Photography

The World In Links by Nicholas Kreidberg Business: Thoughtbot's playbook.

Design: A showcase of creative 404 pages.

Freelance: 6 essential tasks that all consultants must be in the habit of doing.

HTML5: 15 inspiring HTML5 experiments.

Nodejs: ldapjs is a pure JavaScript framework for implementing LDAP clients/servers in Nodejs.

Photography: 6 fun things to do with your Instagram photos.

Startup: Steps to take when launching a startup from the perspective of a lawyer.

Tutorial: A step-by-step tutorial on creating an advanced Twitter widget with jQuery and PHP.

Crowdbooster Review + 50 Free Invites

As a result of the popularity and influence of social media a lot of services have popped up recently that attempt to help individuals/businesses measure the effectiveness of their social media usage. Many of these services just aggregate data in different ways and end up telling you a lot of what you already know. Crowdbooster takes this concept a lot further and provides some great insight into how effective your social media usage really is.

Crowdbooster SidebarCrowdbooster Dashboard

The first thing you will notice after setting up an account on Crowdbooster is that it provides a very easy to read dashboard which illustrates the reach and influence of your tweets. This is useful because you can really draw some conclusions about when tweets are most likely to get noticed and who your target audience really is. Timing is everything and Crowdbooster not only provides insight on that topic but also allows you to schedule your tweets for maximum reach. Being able to determine the impact/influence of each tweet before you send it out really makes a huge difference and enables you to make more informed decisions.

Crowdbooster Recommendations

Identifying and understanding the interests of your target audience is a critical factor in engaging and building your network. The data driven recommendations and insights that Crowdbooster provides are very helpful in identifying those interests and acting on them. Rather than just shooting (or in this case Tweeting) blindly you can take use information that Crowdbooster provides and really shed some light on what areas you need to improve on as well as what areas you are having a significant impact.
Crowdbooster Monthly Statistics

Obviously no analytics system is complete without a set of reporting tools and Crowdbooster is no exception. It features a number of customizable reports which provide further insight into both growth and impact trends. One of the features I like most is the ability to view specific details of a tweet including retweets, @ replies, link information (when applicable) as well as the number of impressions.
Crowdbooster Tweet Detail

Crowdbooster is not just for Twitter, it also supports Facebook fan pages as well. The information Crowdbooster provides with Facebook is similar to Twitter data but instead of focusing on your followers it targets your fans. You can drill down further on a user-by-user basis and based on what they have liked you can really get a sense of what keeps them most engaged. A big part of understanding your community is knowing what gets their attention and what keeps them interested. To learn more about Crowdbooster's Facebook integration check out their recent blog post.

I think Crowdbooster could improve in a couple of areas. I would like to see data on tweets that have been added as favorites by other users as I think this would provide some interesting insight beyond just tweets that have been retweeted. I find the influential followers section to be rather limited and would like to see that expanded quite a bit. If you upgrade to either the business or agency level accounts you can generate on-demand CSV reports which is great but I would like to see Crowdbooster adopt the same model that Simply Measured has and allow personal users to generate a CSV report for the price of a tweet. I think that model works really well and enables personal users to work with the data on a more intimate level while still promoting the product, it's a win/win.

All-in-all I really like Crowdbooster and think that it is well on it's way to becoming the de-facto standard for social media analytics. I want to give a big shout out to the Crowdbooster team for providing 50 free invites for my readers. To give Crowdbooster a test drive (it is still in private beta) just click here to setup your FREE account.