Connect with us

Social Media

How to Choose?




I love toys

I mean I really do. I don’t even think its a “guy thing” since I hang out with women that seem to love gadgets easily as much as I do. Luckily I use my toys in my business so they are easy to rationalize. But they’re toys nonetheless. I mean a video camera? Important. A Flip Video camera, very useful (but I bought it because it was cool). Laptops? A must! Having both Mac and PC? A little more of an indulgence (though I am willing and able to rationalize that one too).

A PDA? Got to have one. A smartphone? Important and utilitarian, and let’s you get rid of the PDA (Do they still make stand alone PDAs? – I haven’t carried one for years now). And here is where the problem starts.

Why did They Make That deal?

When Apple debuted the IPhone, I was crushed to find that it was tied to a phone network that didn’t have the greatest reputation in my marketplace. And since I use my phone as a phone frequently, that function is still primary to my needs. So I bit the bullet and decided I would continue to use my Treo for all of the great smartphone functions – integration of contacts, appointments, to do lists, phone calls, messages, and emails.  And with a decent web browsr (it seemed) I was a pretty happy guy.

Then I was offered a free Blackberry Curve by another carrier we used in our company. Being a toy freak, I decided I would try th Blackberry for a whie and see if it was as good as they said when it came to handling email. it was – and the web nterface wasn’t too bad (though I do get spoiled rapidly) . However I liked to the calendar/contact/phone functionality of the Palm Treo better, so now I was stuck (and have been for the past year) carrying two phones with me. Yes, they’re light, and easy to carry, and sometimes having a second physical phone with me has proven to be handy, but it just indicates to me that neither of the phones “got it right”

IPhone Versus Pre

The IPhone was just so sexy and slick that I had decided that I might have to bite the bullet and get one. I was advised by good friend and longtime IPhone user Jeff Turner that a new version would be out soon, and to wait for it, so I resigned myself to possibly spotty phone coverage , limited battery life, and a hefty price tag.

And then I heard that another good friend and gadget guy Jim Marks had bought a Palm Pre, and was thrilled with the functionality of the phone, and its awesome features.  I was stunned into immobility.

My Dilemma

So now I have to make a decision and I need help. If two smart tech leaders like Jeff and Jim disagree, the entire universe may be tilting out of whack. I have to face the possibility, frightening though it may be that one of them has made a worng choice. This frightens me, as the infallibility of both of them is part of the fabric of my universe. Both men are succesful in their businesses, both are recognized as social media leaders, both are married to smart, funny beautiful women, and each of them rock a different cutting edge phone – so what am I to do .

My Answer

I can only hope that you , the readers of the finest real estate blog on the planet can help me by sharing your thoughts and opinions. And that I will be able, after seeing and reading them to make a choice about what needs to be done here. I look forward to your answers!

Dueling Smartphones courtesy of

Bill is an unusual blend of Old & New - The CEO Century 21 Advantage Gold (Philadelphia's Largest Century 21 company and BuzzBuilderz (a Social Media Marketing Company), He is a Ninja CEO, blending the Web 1 and 2.0 world together in a fashion that stretches the fabric of the universe. You can follow him on twitter @Billlublin or Facebook or LinkedIn.

Continue Reading


  1. Will

    June 10, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    I am stuck in the same dillemma. I carry around my aged Treo and really am having a hard time accepting winmo’s constant issues. The phone is just dying on me. And as much as I hate winmo I also appreciate that anything I want to do with it I can… even if it is kinda ugly.

    Then there is the iPhone. All sexy and seductive with some really cool apps. Toss on the 3G S with video capabilities and a much improved camera and we have serious enticement. BUT no SD card slot (good as the cameraphone may be we both know real cameras are better and if I could pull the SD from my camera, plug it into the phone, and then email the pic it would be better), it’s still locked down by Apple (unless you jailbreak it), and the other carrier would charge me a significant premium over my current carrier’s plan. Is it worth it over the contract’s life? All that extra money?

    Then there is the Pre. Ooohhh. Ahhhhh. Love it in video and pictures. Will also be on my current carrier (Bell in Canada). BUT the apps aren’t there yet and it can’t play books. This will all change, I’m sure, but until they get the critical mass of developers and big brands on board, I’d wait.

    So what to do? What to do? Much as I hate to admit it I think the HTC TouchPro 2 looks pretty swank. Better in specs from both except in the OS department. And then there is the fact that my carrier, Bell, is upgrading their network right now in time for the 2010 Olympics… so maybe I will just wait until next May when my contract runs out and then we’ll be hearing about all sorts of good stuff coming out. Including whatever the next Palm phone will be using WebOS and probably iPhone 3G S+ (or whatever they call it). Not to mention winmo 7.

  2. Bill Lublin

    June 10, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    Thanks so much for your studied and informative comments – I only want to muddy the waters by telling you that Jim indicated that the level of integration of your calendars and profiles and contacts from all over is nothing short of amazing

  3. Loren Nason

    June 10, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    Bill, I have been a WinMo phone user for at least 7 years. Back in the early days they really sucked now they are just so-so.

    I’m a hard core windows die hard user. But my next phone will be the iPhone. The Palm Pre really is appealing but I don’t want to switch carriers. In my area ATT isn’t too bad unless your in Laguna like Jim and there ATT sucks and Sprint is better.

    I choose my phone based on the carrier not on the phone as much. And even though I think Verizon is the best carrier i think their prices and policies are out of whack so I’m sticking with ATT

    So, for me the new phone will be the iPhone 3G S

    And the fact that the iPhone supports exchange is another bonus.

    In conclusion i don’t think my thoughts will help you make your decision but from what I have been reading and hearing the Palm Pre is looking real good and if you on Sprint then I would probably suggest it.

  4. Linsey Planeta

    June 10, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    I will be following this discussion closely.

    By the time I got rid of my Treo, I felt very tempted to back my car over it several times for the sheer satisfaction of witnessing it’s destruction. It had been cruel and unkind to me for far too long. Never looked back.

    I currently have a Blackberry Curve. I’m satisfied. It does the job.

    But I do iPhone envy. I won’t lie. All those cool apps! I’m married to Verizon for a while so no big change anytime soon.

  5. James Malanowski

    June 10, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    I’ve been a Treo user since the 600 and am currently on a Centro after my 650 died and insurance “upgraded” me. I’ve been waiting for the Pre since I heard about it in January. Sure, I’ve got som iPhone jealousy, but I’ll never switch to AT&T. Sprint has been good to me for years with no complaints from me.

    When the iPhone came out there weren’t any apps for it either and it also had several OS issues that were later corrected. So here’s another vote for the Pre. Palm has historically been more business-oriented and with the thousands of Palm developers I’m sure the lack-of-apps issue will be cut short as soon as the dev kit is released for general consumption. Palm can’t afford to drop the ball with this device or their new OS, so I’m willing to bet that any software issues will be corrected quickly.

    I hope to go down in the next couple of weeks and start enjoying all the Pre goodness. Of course, I’ve always been one to root for the underdog. 🙂

  6. Louise Scoggins

    June 10, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    I was also a Treo user for many, many years and like Linsey would have loved to back my car over it when I finally switched over to the BB Curve. I stuck it out with the Treo for so long b/c it was lockbox compatible and eliminated the need for carrying my lockbox key at all times. I loved having the 2 in one. However, my Treo was NOT compatible with the way my website emails are set up (3 REW sites) and ultimately the need to be able to do emails on the road won out over lockbox compatibility. Luckily, the spiffy new FOB key allows me to use my BB for lockbox through infared (which is pretty cool).

    I have heard that the iPhones are not as email compatible as the BB, which was my main consideration for not going with the iPhone. And the whole lockbox issue. I guess I am really against carrying the traditional lockbox key after not having one for so many years :-)Anyway, for me the BB Curve is working great! Good luck with getting it figured out!!

  7. Michael J. Stefonick

    June 10, 2009 at 3:16 pm


    For what it is worth I am switching my blackberry for the new iphone on June 19th.
    I have been playing with the iTouch since Christmas and can see incredible opportunities for those in the Real Estate Business.
    Yes I know there are smart phones everywhere, but I am betting on the iPhone and Apple TV.

  8. Ben Goheen

    June 10, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    I’ve been with T-Mobile for…well, forever. At least 10 years now. They aren’t the most innovative company but it’s hard to beat their price in my area.

    After some hesitation I upgraded to the Blackberry Pearl a couple years ago and haven’t looked back. Now I’m using the new Blackberry curve 8900, which is fairly similar to the Bold. It works very well with Google sync for both my contacts and calendar. Using the desktop app Rainlendar ( I can add appointments to my desktop calendar and sync that to my Google calendar so they’ll show up on my phone.

    Practically everyone who doesn’t have an iPhone has some envy. It’s shiny and new and has great apps but Blackberry is the slow steady workhorse in business phones. Overall I’m happy with my Curve and won’t be switching anytime soon.

  9. Ken Brand

    June 10, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    I’m an iPhone guy.

    So here’s the deal, for me, it’s like your wheels or your lover or your beer or your coffee. When I engage, I want to smile. If your phone doesn’t make you smile with the things it does, it’s a missed opportunity to enjoy something you spend a huge amount of time with.

    Who want’s, “hey, it’s not THAT bad”, or “it get’s the job done”….when you can have a big smile and think WOW.

    Life’s 2 short for suckage you can avoid.

  10. Hal Lublin

    June 10, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    You know my preference lies with the iPhone – I was not a fan of the WM OS on the HTC Touch, and I doubt I will be any more of a fan, no matter how cool the Pre may be. As a Social Media addict, I think the flexibility and versatility that SM apps bring the iPhone are second to none.

    Of course, I’m still rockin’ the Curve.

    Here’s a head to head comparison, courtesy of one of your muses – Monsieur Turner:

  11. Mike Galdi

    June 10, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    I have had 3 Blackberry curves and the last 2 replacements, I lose my icons some manufacturer malfunction, very inconvenient-

  12. BawldGuy

    June 10, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    AT&T is, to be kind, not on my A-List as a cell carrier in San Diego. Verizon beats them hands down for coverage. Even when traveling I find Verizon’s coverage superior.

    The iPhone seems to me, with the exception of contact info, more of a toy than a business tool. Though I’m not a house agent and don’t need to access the MLS ‘right now’ while on the road, iPhone can’t access 90% of MLS’s in the country anyway. That being true, why are real estate agents so in love with it? I don’t get it.

    Since I don’t show property, or have the need for other out of the office (business) pursuits, email or web access simply isn’t a big deal. I suspect it’s not that big of a deal for others either. I have a phone, and folks can call or text me.

    The contact info is where the gold is, of course, but pretty much any of the newer phones handle that easily. The rest? They seem like fun to me, but not much more than toys.

    Am I missing something?

  13. Matt Stigliano

    June 10, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    Bill – BawldGuy brings up a good point. If your MLS, contact management systems, and such won’t run on an iPhone, it becomes little more than a pretty thing. I’m lucky, my MLS works great, my website works well, and I can even update blogs with the new WordPress app. Of course, they need to get on board and get Flash working, because although the world has stopped some of the more ridiculous uses of Flash, it still is used widely.

    I love my iPhone. I toyed with Pre the other day and my one worry is the moving parts. I’m notorious for breaking those parts somehow. Flip phones were a nightmare for me – hinges always just stopped working. My Blackberry died when the trackball stopped moving anything on screen. I just don’t like “parts.” One of the reasons I love my iPhone.

    Although you won’t look as cool as you would have a couple of years ago pulling out your iPhone, they still have a coolness factor, but I don’t think you need help there.

  14. Dan Connolly

    June 10, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    Well I really want to pound my iphone into dust, and then back over it with my car.

    Don’t forget, there is no damage warranty or loss or theft insurance and if you have one in your shirt pocket and bend over and it drops…oh about 4 feet to a tile floor, it breaks the screen.

    It will still work with a broken screen, just not that well. It wasn’t working all that well in all the same ways before I dropped it, but the little smug apple jerks that work in the store just smirk when you try to tell them that. They say, if the screen broke the mother board probably broke too.

    It routinely doesn’t light up and give you an option to answer the call, yes it was doing that before I dropped it. The GPS likes to freeze up and force a reboot and re-imput of the address, just as you approach spaghetti junction. That was happening before I dropped it. Oh yeah it also likes to store voicemails and not display them on the screen, and yes it was doing that before I dropped it. It also drops about 25% of the calls I am on. What else? lets see… its browser is super slow…. but it does have all these cool apps!!!

    Moral of the story, if it ain’t working right, take it back before you drop it two feet on the carpet and break the screen.

  15. Dale Chumbley

    June 11, 2009 at 4:44 am

    My thoughts? I’m loving this conversation and will continue to watch it grow.

    I’m a Verizon guy. Service & coverage IMO is the best. Yes, I still am pounding away on my Treo 700wx. It has been an awesome phone for me and I have no desire to back over it with my car. I can do pretty much everything I need to do (it may not be as sleek or sexy as the iPhone but it gets the job done). It also gets me into houses which is huge for me. I don’t like having to carry “extra” stuff.

    I’ll actually be keeping my phone PAST the contract date (everyone gasp!) to wait for something better. If all goes well the Palm Pre will become available on Verizon after the 6 month Sprint gig. iPhone has a chance of hitting the shelves next year. I’ll be evaluating this (& letting GE Supra build the bluetooth access for the house thing) and keeping a close eye on each phone.

    Looking forward to what you decide Bill!

  16. Brian Block

    June 11, 2009 at 6:44 am


    By no means am I a phone expert, but from everything I’ve heard, I’m jumping on the new iPhone. There’s just so much created for them in terms of Apps that it steers me to thinking that it’s the way to go.

    Not to mention my sister-in-law works at Apple corporate headquarters in CA.

  17. Elaine Reese

    June 11, 2009 at 7:41 am

    I’m not interested in changing from Verizon as service/reception is very good here.

    Last year I got the Voyager since it was Verizon’s answer to the IPhone. Didn’t like the touch screen even though it had a lock. It would unlock itself and access the browser or make calls. It was cumbersome using the browser and the email didn’t allow me to read attachments. I got tired of always having to unlock the screen in order to answer or make calls.

    A couple weeks ago I switched to BB Curve and love it. I’ve ordered the fob to lockboxes. Good access to the MLS. Using the browser is easy. It does a whole bunch of things and so far is doing all of them well. It’s like having a laptop in my hand.

    Like Matt S said, my only concern is with the durability of the trackball.

  18. Derec Shuler

    June 11, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    Brian, are you getting the hookup on new iPhone? I wish AT&T had a better upgrade option for current users!

  19. Missy Caulk

    June 11, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    Bill I use the curve. I love it.

    I also want the Iphone for MobleMe syncing since I switched to the MacPro at Christmas.

    My delema is I use a phone for a phone and blackberry is great. I would find myself playing with the Iphone for the internet capabilities and apps.

    So I am in limbo now even though I have watched the Iphone new video a couple of times.

  20. Paula Henry

    June 12, 2009 at 8:03 am

    Just when I was ready to pack up my old BB and move to ATT for the iphone – I find the response is still 50/50.

    What to do?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Social Media

Instagram makes IGTV videos more accessible with automatic closed captions

(SOCIAL MEDIA) This new feature for Instagram opens avenues for viewers who don’t or can’t use audio on IGTV videos, creating more accessibility for all.



Instagram live being recorded will now feature auto captions.

In an effort to expand accessibility efforts, IGTV videos on Instagram will now include an auto captions option. While its parent company, Facebook, has included auto captions on uploaded videos since 2017, this new-for-Instagram feature is expected to widen audience viewership and increase potential viewing by those who prefer watching sans-audio.

In a statement by Facebook, the company states: “While there is no shortage of information, not everyone can access it. It needs to be available to the hundreds of millions of people in the world who are deaf or hard of hearing. According to the World Health Organization, over 5% of the world’s population – or 466 million people – have disabling hearing loss, and that is projected to increase to over 900 million by 2050.”

Current events have made the need for auto captions even more critical for inclusion. “The rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic caused a spike in both the supply and demand of public health information. Several local and state governments, that were accustomed to holding live press conferences but didn’t have the resources, staff or technology to record, stream, and caption their live events, turned to Facebook Live. Several governments also discovered that video captioning was not just a nice-to-have, but imperative, especially in the absence of available sign language interpreters,” states the company.

Currently, Facebook provides auto captions for videos in 16 languages and has announced that Instagram’s IGTV will have access to the same features. The caption accuracy is determined by the video’s audio quality, although AI technology is constantly improving in both precision and speed.

Additionally, branded content ads are likely to see an increase in consumer interaction. Recently published data by Facebook shows ads visually designed for watching with the sound off have 48% more relevance to viewers and a 42% higher purchase intent. As auto captions normalize across social media, users can expect ad content to utilize this feature to the fullest.

Continue Reading

Social Media

New tool organizes your Reddit feed (and makes it actually usable)

(Social Media) Reddit’s UI hasn’t always been super intuitive. ‘Deck for Reddit’ organizes your feed into themed columns, making it way more user-friendly.



Deck for Reddit on display on laptop on desk.

Love it or hate it, the mass collection of forums on Reddit have some form of content for everyone. The simple UX design places content straight down the middle of the screen and the infinite scrolling feature allows you to view a limitless amount of content from cute puppy images to cringe-worthy videos. However, its simplicity isn’t very practical, and is something that I think should be voted down.

Yes, Reddit has come a long way from its previous text-heavy form, but there is still a lot to improve on. Charles Yang, a frustrated Reddit user, has created a web app that could change all that: Deck for Reddit, a desktop optimized, alternative way to browse your favorite forums.

“I built it to show as much content as possible at a glance, while respecting your screen real-estate,” writes Yang.

Currently, the web app is in open beta. With a very similar experience to Tweetdeck, this Reddit tool seems to hold some promise.

On the far left side of the website, there is a list of icons with all the subreddits you’ve subscribed to. Clicking on an icon will take you directly to that subreddit column. This is very convenient for users with a bunch of subscriptions. Additionally, by making several subreddits visible on the screen all at once, Yang succeeds in his goal of taking advantage of the vast empty white space that Reddit failed to use.

From this display, you can click on a post, and it instantly expands to show all the comments. Hit the back button, and the post collapses. Now, you are back to seeing all the posts related to that subreddit. And at the top of each subreddit, you can easily sort the content by what’s new, popular, and trendy. Engagement has never felt easier.

Along with everything else, this extension also adds another great feature in setting customizations. The theme can be switched from light to dark mode. Fonts, text size, and even the shape of the subreddit icons can all be adjusted. Preferences can be changed to hide viewed submissions and reduce animation motion. And if you’re slacking off at work or want to chill, you can set it to hide NSFW content.

Overall, Deck for Reddit makes the user experience smooth sailing, and it truly makes Reddit the “front page of the internet.”

Continue Reading

Social Media

Instagram now lets you create and share fundraisers

(SOCIAL MEDIA) If you’ve been wanting to start a fundraiser for something you care about, Instagram’s new feature lets you do just that. Go check it out!



Instagram Fundraiser

Instagram announced last week that it has launched a test for a Personal Fundraiser tool on its platform. The feature will allow users to start their own fundraiser if it complies with guidelines or choose an existing cause to support. The launch began in some US, UK, and Ireland markets and is available on Android and iOS.

In its announcement, the company confirmed that since January, more than $100 million has been raised for COVID-19 across Facebook and Instagram (also owned by Facebook), citing that donations on Instagram have doubled in the US in the past 30 days. The announcement said, “from people raising money to buy medical equipment for Black Lives Matter protesters, rebuilding Black-owned small businesses affected by COVID-19 and funding educational resources related to racial justice, people are eager to mobilize around causes they care about.”

Personal Fundraisers are short-term and meant to serve time-sensitive causes, with the initial duration lasting 30 days with the option to extend for an additional 30 days. Users must be 18 to create a fundraiser and have a designated bank account in which funds can be deposited. Donations will be processed through Facebook Pay, which also powers Instagram’s new shopping features. The platform covers fees for non-profits, but not for Personal Fundraisers. Donors can choose to keep their information hidden from the public, but organizers will be able to see user names and donation amounts.

To start a Personal Fundraiser, users with access to the feature can tap “Edit Profile”, “Add Fundraiser”, followed by “Raise Money”. They can then choose a photo, select the fundraiser category, and write out a story to encourage donations. When approved, users will be able to raise funds.

Instagram says it will expand the number of users who have access to this feature in the months ahead, as well as give users access to share fundraisers both in their Feed and within Stories. Fundraising features already offered by the company include Donation Stickers for Stories and a Live Donations feature for live streams.

This feature is similar to the fundraising feature already available on Facebook, Instagram’s parent company.

Continue Reading

Our Great Partners

American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for news sent straight to your email inbox.

Emerging Stories

Get The American Genius
neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to get business and tech updates, breaking stories, and more!