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Swift.FM – Share a Music Station with Friends

swiftfmSwift.FM lets users create a shared music list with friends to build an online radio station via Twitter. Users log into Twitter from the Swift.FM main page and start by building a Swiftlist of favourite music. This is done by filling in a link to an MP3 file on the net and adding a message to be posted to Twitter. To include the MP3 in a specific channel add hashtags, such as #hiphop or #techno. MP3 files of up to 10MB can also be uploaded, so users could add their own original music.

Swift.FM helps with links to music sites and music search engines, and aims to help promote musicians and events by spreading awareness of the music people are enjoying. Once MP3s are uploaded a message goes out to the user’s followers on Twitter. Friends and family can build a customised radio station together, making this a fun site and an extra way for original musicians to share their work and get noticed. This website is still in beta so difficulties are still being resolved, but it’s a well thought out and appealing use of Twitter. The tips and help pages are clearly presented and welcome at this stage of development.

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StartPR – See What Social Networks Say About You

startprBusinesses, organisations and individuals can find out what’s being said about them on social networks and blogs using StartPR. For businesses and organisations this provides the kind of information that would prove costly using standard market research methods. With StartPR you can type the name of your brand into search and find out all the mentions of it on the main social networks. As it searches all the Web 2.0 hotspots this also takes in blogs. It can also send alerts and daily digests, all the kinds of information press agencies used to be hired to provide.

I tested it out with brands I work with and also my own name, and the results were thorough and surprising. The problem with the main social networks is that there’s too much information to read through, but this kind of search highlights what the buzz is about a brand. For people who have a public presence it helps to see how they are being received, and if they are being written about and promoted.

Basic membership is free, and each search gives a title or whole tweet, together with links to the whole articles. Free accounts allow two projects, 2 users and 256MB of storage space. This could be enough to keep track of one or two activities. Professional accounts start at $19 per month.

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TWITTIMG – Share Photos on Twitter

TwittimgThis is a simple idea, but so necessary that it should catch on. TWITTIMG is a quick and easy way to add photos to Twitter messages. There’s no need to log into Twitter – users can log into TWITTIMG with their Twitter name and password to upload a photo. If they want to add a message this can all be done on the main TWITTIMG page. I tried it out and my message appeared on Twitter with a URL to display the photo.

Sharing images on social networks is on the increase, with photos added for humour, for promotional purposes, and to share personal experiences with friends and family. Twitter hasn’t been the easiest place to share other media and this is improving, with services like TWITTIMG helping. A look through recently shared pictures shows how it’s being used by authors to promote books, by companies for advertising, by broadcasters to provide a dynamic image from sports or the news, and by photographers to show their best shots.

Other social networks like plurk.com make it incredibly straightforward to add a video, photo or link to brief messages, but as Twitter has so many users this kind of application is essential. My only disappointment was that the image appears as a weblink rather than an image, unlike the attractive way plurk.com presents images and videos.

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