Would you like an app with that?

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Think of something, anything. Chances are, there’s an app for it. Many companies are smart for jumping on the ship to appify their services; otherwise they might fall in the water and drown.

But what exactly is appify? According to definition-of.net, appify is a noun meaning “to create or modify an existing service as to make an application of it which in turn can be used in a larger application.” Fancy.

Apps make your life easier. They improve efficiency, multi-tasking ability, speed and ease of doing something. They give you instant access to services you “need” the most. That is, assuming you have data or wifi. Notice I said “need”. Do we really “need” to do all of these things that we consume our time with? Probably not. But hey, since the ability to do anything and everything instantly is available, then why not do them?

The WordPress app for example, makes blogging effortless. I have two blogs on WordPress – Mud Pie is my personal blog and Social Media Uncovered is a blog specifically created for my social media course, which I will likely end up keeping after.

Imagine if I have to boot up my laptop, go on the internet and login to WordPress every time I have to add a new post or modify an existing one. Not to mention toggling back and forth between the two blog dashboards. That would make blogging a chore. But thanks to the WordPress app, blogging is anything but.

There are even apps to make online shopping easy as pie. Of course this also means spending more money, sometimes unnecessarily.

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I was chatting about iPad apps with a colleague the other day when he told me a story of how his son started getting into Archie comics. His son then decided to check the AppStore for an Archie comic app. And lo and behold, there was one! Of course I already knew this since I also have that app on my iPhone and iPad, along with a Marvel comics app, Kobo and Kindle apps.

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My point to all this? The next time you come across a service, product or company that you like, ask yourself, “would you like an app with that?”

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Is social media killing print media?

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Social media has been around for a few years now but the growth of smart phones and apps have caused it to explode. You can do pretty much anything you want with social media – watch the news, watch videos, have conversations with friends and strangers, apply for a job, etc. The list is endless.

So what does this mean for print media? Is it dying? Is it eventually going to become obsolete?

It may seem that print media is dying with the amount of people using social media these days. But we have to keep in mind that there’s a correlation between technology and geographical areas. At work last week, I questioned the effectiveness of business ads that I was working on when I was reminded that these ads were for smaller communities such as Delhi, Simcoe, Strathford, etc. People in these smaller communities still rely heavily on newspapers for their daily news, classifieds and other advertisements. Some of them don’t even have internet.

The discussion of print vs. social media reminds me of my 90 year-old grandmother. She received a call from Bell a couple of weeks ago offering internet service, which she politely declined. When the Bell representative asked her why, my grandma told him that she did not have a computer. He was flabbergasted. Who in the world these days did not have a computer? My grandma then proceeded to tell him that she was 90 years old. Ah, that explains it!

Research done in the UK in late 2011 indicated that 62 per cent of respondents would trust print media more than social media. Only 21 per cent of respondents would take news from social media seriously.

I’m not suprised by the findings at all. It’s so easy to spread the word via social media. But it’s like playing the telephone game. News can get lost in translation. Who can we trust? But on the other hand, I think it really depends on the news source. For example, I would trust a tweet from CP24 or 104.5 more readily than a tweet from a friend.

While social media is going to continue to grow, I don’t think that it will kill print media. Perhaps one day the data might turn and more people will show more trust in social media news. However, there are still people like my grandma who has not been able to keep up with technology at all, let alone social media. I don’t think my grandma has even heard of social media and still relies heavily on print media.