Neville Hobson: Posts

Entrepreneurial business communicator with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Co-host of the weekly business podcast For Immediate Release: The Hobson and Holtz Report. Also an occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Follow me on Twitter and Google+.

Friction-free donating with SnapDonate

SnapDonate

Sometimes you see an app for mobile devices that’s simply brilliant in the idea and concept of it.

Such is the case with SnapDonate, a new app for Android devices that lets you make a snap decision, ‘snap’ the charity, and donate there and then – I guess that’s how they came up with the name – right from your smartphone or tablet.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Load the app and point your phone’s camera at a charity logo wherever you see one.
  2. The app will automatically recognize it if it’s one of the nearly 70 it currently can (and you can find more with the app’s search tool).
  3. Select an amount to donate, starting from the minimum of £2 (about €2.50, $3.20).
  4. Add a message, your name and an email address if you want a receipt (all optional), or connect with your Facebook account.
  5. Hit the send button and your donation will be on its way to the charity of your choice via JustGiving, the world’s top platform for online fund-raising. (You can also save your intent for later – handy if there’s no network connection where you are at that moment.)

I tried it – installed the app on my Galaxy S4 and went through the procedure that really is simple and fast.

SnapDonateSnapDonate

SnapDonateSnapDonate

There’s no doubt that, from capturing a charity’s logo where you see it – in my example, Macmillan Cancer Support from the logo on their website – you can complete and send a donation in less than a minute.

I did encounter some flaky behaviour using the app, though – it crashed whenever I took one of the screenshots – and it didn’t actually get me to the completion point: sending the donation. I sent in crash reports each time. I see the app on Google Play is version 1.0.0 and requires Android version 2.3.3 or later (my S4 runs 4.4.2) so hopefully things will be fixed in the next update soon – reinforcing the wisdom, perhaps, of waiting for version 1.0.1 of anything. Note that a version for iPhones is coming soon.

Still, the idea is excellent even if the execution is a bit flawed at the moment in my experience.

I like the idea a lot, especially for situations such as when I come across a charity volunteer collecting outside the supermarket or in the High Street, and I don’t have actual cash on me. It always sounds pretty lame when you say, “Sorry, I don’t have any cash.” If the collector sports a big logo, I can snap it and donate cashlessly there and then or save for later.

With Christmas fast approaching, the pressure on everyone to support causes with donations will be mounting. While no one can support everyone, SnapDonate will certainly make choosing a favoured charity simpler and actual giving easier while you’re on the go.

(Via TNW)

Get up to speed on social business at the Enterprise 2.0 Summit London

OUTATIME

If you want to know what’s happening in social business in the UK, an event in London next month is right up your street.

Organized by my friend David Terrar, the Enterprise 2.0 Summit London on November 26 is a conference on driving business value with digital and social transformation, co-produced by Kongress Media and Agile Elephant.

Speakers and contributors include some of the UK’s leading social business influencers – Andrew Grill (who’s staked his career on the growth of social business), Anne McCrossan, Benjamin Ellis, Euan Semple and Lee Bryant, to name but a few – along with European case studies from Barclays, Shell, Deutsche Bank, Euroclear, Sanofi Pasteur and CEMEX.

So if you want to get up to speed on topics such as:

  • Key drivers for the adoption of social technologies in large organizations
  • Aligning social ideas with organization structure and management culture
  • Key factors for the engagement of remote staff
  • Success factors for leveraging social adoption and business transformation
  • Discussion about the structure and building blocks for the future of organizations
  • Success factors for enabling internal connections and sharing of insights

…then the Enterprise 2.0 Summit London is for you.

The venue is the attractive Carlton House Terrace facilities of the British Academy, in between Buckingham Palace and Trafalgar Square in the heart of London.

I’ll be there, too, to listen and learn. And a definite highlight of the event will be live blogging and cartoons by Adam Tinworth and Matthew Buck respectively.

So why not sign up and come to this one-day event to listen and learn, too? (There’s also a pre-conference workshop on November 25.) See you on November 26!

Bonus links:

The Hobson and Holtz Report – Podcast #779: October 27, 2014

FIRWe’re together in London, recording face-to-face instead of at remote ends of a Skype call, with a different format for this episode: conversation and opinion, not reports, on the broad theme of experiences.

Intro: Neville recognized for Outstanding Contribution to Social Media in the UK Social Media Awards, Shel named Platinum Fellow of Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media;

Quick News: Fake news sites are spreading Ebola fears, Nokia name will live on in Microsoft’s entry-level phones, employees who socialize on internal social networks are less likely to get laid off; Ragan promo;

News That Fits: Experiences during a day of touring in London #1: Babylon at the Roof Gardens; Dan York’s Tech Report: TwitPic, Facebook Rooms, Ello; the Media Monitoring Minute with CustomScoop; listener comments in audio and in the FIR Podcast Community on Google+; the past week on the FIR Podcast Network; Igloo Software promo; Michael Netzley’s Asia Report: an Australian government ad campaign targeted at illegal immigrants, miscommunication between China and the US; experiences during a day of touring in London #2: the London Underground, the London Eye (and the London Dungeon) including the 4D experience, The Tea Room at Harrod’s, the Samsung Gear 2 Neo smartwatch;

Music from A Beautiful Curse; and more.

Listen Now:

Get FIR:

Messages from our sponsors: FIR is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications, serving communicators worldwide for 35 years, www.ragan.com; Save time with the CustomScoop online clipping service: sign up for your free two-week trial, at www.customscoop.com/fir; Igloo Software, providers of an intranet you’ll actually like, delivered securely with our cloud platform: learn more at www.igloosoftware.com/fir.

For Immediate Release: The Hobson and Holtz Report for October 27, 2014: An 88-minute podcast recorded live from London, England.

Links to websites, blog posts and other content we discuss in the show are posted as Delicious bookmarks to facilitate your connection with the discussions and sharing of that content.

FIR Community on Google+Share your comments or questions about this podcast, or suggestions for future podcasts, in the online FIR Podcast Community on Google+.

You can also send us instant voicemail via SpeakPipe, right from the FIR website. Or, call the Comment Line at +1 415 895 2971 (North America), +44 20 3239 9082 (Europe), or Skype: fircomments. You can tweet us: @FIRpodcast. And you can email us at fircomments@gmail.com. If you wish, you can email your comments, questions and suggestions as MP3 file attachments (max. 3 minutes / 5Mb attachment, please!). We’ll be happy to see how we can include your audio contribution in a show.

To receive all podcasts in the FIR Podcast Network, subscribe to the “everything” RSS feed. To stay informed about occasional FIR events (eg, FIR Live), sign up for FIR Update email news.

So, until Monday November 3…

(Cross-posted from For Immediate Release, Shel’s and my podcast blog.)

FIR Speakers and Speeches: In conversation with Millennials at Syracuse University London

Syracuse UniversityThe ability to effectively communicate across cultures is rapidly becoming a required competency – and not only for those who plan to travel, live or work abroad.

It’s the broad topic of study for a group of Millennials at Syracuse University London campus, aka the #CRS400 class, a group FIR co-host Neville Hobson had the pleasure of meeting on October 6, 2014.

Invited by course professor Dr Barbara Gibson, Neville delivered a presentation to the class followed by an informal discussion that was recorded and is the content of this podcast.

Introduced by Barbara, the discussion includes a series of Q&A with Neville together with shared perspectives and insights on social media, online marketing, brand behaviours, and more from a group we frequently comment on in The Hobson and Holtz Report weekly show.

Now, here’s a chance to hear directly from a group of Millennials who tell us what they actually do think about social media and more.

Listen Now:

Get this podcast:

About the Course Leader

Barbara GibsonDr Barbara Gibson is a consultant, researcher and lecturer focused on intercultural communication and global business. Her recently completed doctoral research explored “Intercultural Competencies Needed by Global CEOs.”

With more than 25 years’ experience as a business communication professional, she has worked with companies worldwide, and is a past international Chair of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). She currently serves as President of the UK chapter of the Society for Intercultural Education, Training & Research (SIETAR).

She lectures on intercultural communication and global management subjects at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels for a number of institutions, including Birkbeck, University of London; Syracuse University London Program; Hult International Business School – London; and Oklahoma City University in Singapore.

  • Connect with Barbara on Twitter: @barb_g.

About the Course

This course explores both intercultural communication and social media, examining how our cultures affect our use of social media and how social media may affect our cultures.

The course is designed to increase intercultural communication competence, including increasing the student’s cultural self-awareness, heightening cultural sensory perception, and developing the ability to adapt thinking, behaviour and strategies to achieve more effective communication.  It also aims to develop a broader understanding of social media as a means for global communication, and as a data source for research.

FIR Community on Google+Share your comments or questions about this podcast, or suggestions for future podcasts, in the online FIR Podcast Community on Google+.

You can also send us instant voicemail via SpeakPipe, right from the FIR website. Or, call the Comment Line at +1 415 895 2971 (North America), +44 20 3239 9082 (Europe), or Skype: fircomments. You can tweet us: @FIRpodcast. And you can email us at fircomments@gmail.com. If you wish, you can email your comments, questions and suggestions as MP3 file attachments (max. 3 minutes / 5Mb attachment, please!). We’ll be happy to see how we can include your audio contribution in a show.

To receive all For Immediate Release podcasts including the weekly Hobson and Holtz Report, subscribe to the full RSS feed.

This FIR Speakers and Speeches podcast is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications, serving communicators worldwide for 35 years. Information: www.ragan.com.

Intro music clip from Accelerated Ideas and used with permission.

(Cross-posted from For Immediate Release, Shel’s and my podcast blog.)

The Hobson and Holtz Report – Podcast #778: October 20, 2014

FIRIntro: Shel’s in Copenhagen, Neville just got back from Sweden, so this show is a ‘compilation episode'; coming this week – podcast with Syracuse University  London campus students;

Quick News: McDonald’s hires former MythBusters host to address food issues, BBC launches WhatsApp service in West Africa to help people be better informed about Ebola, marketers flee from YouTube in favour of videos on Facebook, internet trolls in the UK face up to two years in jail under new laws; Ragan promo;

News That Fits: Introducing ‘digital naturals,’ replacing ‘digital natives’ and ‘digital immigrants’ – will it fare well?; Dan York’s Tech Report; a brief conversation about executives and intranets with IntraTeam’s Kurt Kragh Sorenson; the Media Monitoring Minute with CustomScoop; listener comments from the FIR Podcast Community on Google+; from “The Internet of Caring Things:” The doctor will see you now – via Google; Michael Netzley’s Asia Report; Igloo Software promo; last week on the FIR Podcast Network; travel industry gets what others must figure out: employees are your best spokespeople;

Music from Holly Benton; and more.

Listen Now:

Get FIR:

Messages from our sponsors: FIR is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications, serving communicators worldwide for 35 years, www.ragan.com; Save time with the CustomScoop online clipping service: sign up for your free two-week trial, at www.customscoop.com/fir; Igloo Software, providers of an intranet you’ll actually like, delivered securely with our cloud platform: learn more at www.igloosoftware.com/fir.

For Immediate Release: The Hobson and Holtz Report for October 20, 2014: A 70-minute podcast recorded live from Wokingham, Berkshire, England, and Copenhagen, Denmark.

Links to websites, blog posts and other content we discuss in the show are posted as Delicious bookmarks to facilitate your connection with the discussions and sharing of that content.

FIR Community on Google+Share your comments or questions about this podcast, or suggestions for future podcasts, in the online FIR Podcast Community on Google+.

You can also send us instant voicemail via SpeakPipe, right from the FIR website. Or, call the Comment Line at +1 415 895 2971 (North America), +44 20 3239 9082 (Europe), or Skype: fircomments. You can tweet us: @FIRpodcast. And you can email us at fircomments@gmail.com. If you wish, you can email your comments, questions and suggestions as MP3 file attachments (max. 3 minutes / 5Mb attachment, please!). We’ll be happy to see how we can include your audio contribution in a show.

To receive all podcasts in the FIR Podcast Network, subscribe to the “everything” RSS feed. To stay informed about occasional FIR events (eg, FIR Live), sign up for FIR Update email news.

So, until Monday October 23…

(Cross-posted from For Immediate Release, Shel’s and my podcast blog.)

Putting a Samsung Gear 2 Neo to the test

Samsung Gear 2 Neo

I speak and write quite a bit these days about wearable technology, a topic I have a keen interest in.

While the overall tech is a major part of my interest, it’s also largely about how people use it, especially in one area that’s getting a lot of attention – smartwatches.

As I don’t have one myself, I’ve been thinking about which one to get. It surely is hard to talk about a device with even a little credibility if you don’t use one yourself.

After spending time these past few weeks in considering different devices, including asking friends for opinions and reading many reviews, today I bought one – a Samsung Gear 2 Neo, pictured above.

Of all the smartwatches currently on the UK market that I considered – the list included not only direct competitors like the Pebble Smartwatch, Sony SW2 and the LG G at the premium-price end, but also really low-cost brands out of China such as Foxnovo, Lemfo and Lenofocus – I kept circling back to the Gear 2 Neo.

Part of the reason is trust in the Samsung brand as someone whose other mobile devices are Samsungs. And the big plus – the Gear range is geared, as it were, specifically to Samsung devices to enable a range of rich features, many of which I find compelling.

These include:

  • Seamless pairing via Bluetooth with my Galaxy S4 smartphone (Samsung has made 17 smartphone models able to pair with the Gear 2 Neo).
  • Receiving notifications of incoming messages, etc, from a wide range of apps installed on the S4 smartphone including Twitter, WhatsApp, Google+, Facebook and many more.
  • Ability to manage and customize many aspects of the smartwatch from the smartphone with the Samsung Gear Manager app.
  • The Gear 2 Neo has 4 gigs of internal storage so you can store lots of content, from video and audio to installable apps from Samsung’s App Store.
  • Very easy-to-understand interface – you don’t really need to read the manual.
  • Excellent hardware build quality including dust and water resistance.
  • Beautiful screen size and resolution – 1.64-inches, 320 x 320 pixels, Super AMOLED touch screen.

I expect to discover more as I get to know the Gear 2 Neo.

The device also lets you interact with it for a range of fitness-type activity such as heart-rate monitoring, a pedometer, etc. Those don’t interest me at all – so played no factor in my purchasing decision – and as a Twitter friend mentioned to me earlier today, devices like Fitbit do a far better job of that.

Where I think the Samsung Gear 2 Neo will excel is in areas like notifications of events from apps (how seamless will that be especially in a workplace environment or when out and about?), customization and installing third-party apps.

One other device I did briefly consider was also from Samsung –  its entry into the Android Wear market with the Samsung Gear Live, coming very soon. In my view, that’s one for the very early adopters (see this review by TechRadar), which I don’t want to be for my first smartwatch.

The Samsung Gear 2 Neo is a really nice device; I am pleased with it and feel I made a good decision. Still, time will tell: review to come once I’ve kicked its tyres a while.