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Friday, April 27, 2012

Dashboard apps for your tablet and smartphone


If you are on the go, or just have a schedule that keeps you away from your desk, you might find social media dashboard apps for your table or smartphone to be quite useful.  Just like desktop dashboards, apps allow the user to:
                                                                                                    Figure 1. 
  • monitor several social media accounts, 
  • create streams with lists and hashtabs (Figure 1), 
  • schedule when tweets should post
  • easily attach photos to tweets, 
  • shrink links, 
  • and add locations (latitude and longitude) pertaining to the message. 

To help you understand what dashboard apps (for example, TweetDeck, HootSuite, or Yoono) look like I have included screenshots of various social media networks as they appear on my iPhone.  These apps will have a similar appearance and functionality on Android phones. 

Facebook

I have included a few screenshots of my Facebook news feed, as it appear in the TweetDeck app, to demonstrate that is it possible to access quite a bit of posted information.  Not only can I scroll through the stories, posts, and announcements of the day (Figure 2), but I can also to “like,” “comment,” and/or see images that Denise Gardner, Penn State Extension Enologist, has posted on her Facebook page (Figure 3).  Figure 4 shows the detail of an image associated with Denise’s post.  


Figure 2.                                                                   Figure 3.

Figure 4.







       Figure 5.






How many Facebook accounts can I access?
                                                                                                              
Even on my iPhone I like to have access to both my personal Facebook page and the Ag. Entrepreneurship Extension Team’s Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/FarmBusiness).  If you have more than one Facebook account that you would like to monitor on your mobile device your choice will be limited; however, HootSuite will allow you to do this.  For comparison, I've included an image of this Facebook Page as it appears in the HootSuite app (Figure 5).  

What if you like to monitor your LinkedIn account?

Figure 6. 
Networking with those in your LinkedIn community is as accessible on your mobile device as it is on a desktop dashboard.  Using Yoono, one of the dashboards that provides a mobile connection to your LinkedIn account, you'll be able to read what others have posted, publish posts, and learn about notifications (for example, who you have recently "connected" with on LinkedIn) (Figure 6).  





Concluding thoughts

These are just a few features of social media dashboard apps.  Each app has certain benefits as well as limitations.  If you use FourSquare - you will want to consider the HootSuite app.  Do you use Flickr?  Then you will want to select Yoono.

I have found that the dashboard I use on my desktop is not the same dashboard that I prefer to use on my smartphone – so you may find that you will not use TweetDeck or HootSuite exclusively.   What you need to consider when selecting an app is which one do you find the easiest to read (each app has a different background/font color combination) and which app provides access to the social networks you use most often.


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