Solving HTC Desire low disc space issues

I love my HTC Desire mobile phone, but for the last few months we have been at war. It started with a Low Disc Space warning. I retaliated by ensuring every app that could be moved to SD card was moved. I cleared the cache and even for some apps the data – which was a pain as I had to re-enter passwords.

I researched and convinced myself I would root my phone, but I chickened out and opted for a Factory Data Reset. Even that was nerve racking.

But something had to be done as in addition to the low disc space messages, I was also getting warning messages that my phone wasn’t functioning properly – not surprising when you have less thank 500kb free!

So Friday night I performed a factory data reset available through settings. The reset was really quick and it took only about an hour to re-enter passwords, install apps etc.

During my research I found that people recommend a data reset after a firmware upgrade, though rooting is the best long term solution.

I have resigned myself to the idea that I may have to reset frequently but it’s only until June when I upgrade, and now that I’ve done it once, I know it’s no big hassle. At least I can go back to using it as a smartphone now that I have room to reinstall Tweetdeck and G+ and a couple of days later I am pleased I took the plunge and wish I had to had the courage do reset sooner.

TIP: Check the apps you want to keep, there may be an option to export data to your SD card. You will still have to reinstall each app from the Marketplace (which remembers which apps you have bought) but at least any data associated with that app will be saved – though will probably still have to re-enter your passwords. And, if you have synchronised your contacts with your Google account they will magically reappear once you’ve re-synchronised.

So don’t delay take the plunge – but you will still have to be harsh on which apps to reinstall, especially if you want resource hungry apps like G+ and Facebook.

How Google could make G+ the perfect blogging platform

In my previous blog post about Google+ I was giddy with Geeky lust. I predicted that G+ could replace Facebook, Twitter and Blogging.

Three weeks later I stand by my post. However, what I really mean is that G+ will become THE blogging tool. At least it will if Google implement the following enhancements:

  1. add G+ auto-save and a draft feature rather than having to faff about using a drafts circle
  2. add the the ability to categorise G+ posts as a blog post. Ideally you would be able to have multiple blogs
  3. produce a a blogging product (enhance Blogger?) that integrates fully with G+. So, when a post is categorised as a blog post it appears on the blog as well as within G+. And it can be done vice versa, so a blog post will automatically post into G+, not as a link but in full
  4. the killer feature would be to combine comments. So comments left via G+ would appear on the blog and vice versa.

If Google implement these features it would be simply amazing. Don’t you think?

How Google+ will replace Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Email & eBay

Google+ is the social media toy of the moment. So far most people seem to think that it might even be so awesome that it could topple Facebook.

I have been lucky enough to have received an invite from @R2UK and below are my thoughts so far as to how Google+ might take over the world and replace blogs, Twitter, Facebook, email and eBay.

Quick Google+ Overview

I’m aware that most people don’t have Google+. In fact most people I know haven’t even heard of it.

Therefore, if you are one of those people, think of Google+ as being rather like Facebook but with greater privacy control settings. You add friends into circles and when you post you can specify whether to make your post public, visible to only certain people, circles or extended – your friends and their circles.

It also has a number of extra features which have cute names like huddle and hangout.

How Google+ will take over the world

Well it’s not going to happen overnight but I like what I’ve seen and once Google+ opens its doors to everyone it will be very interesting to see what happens.

Replacing Blogs & Twitter

It seems to me that sending a public post is similar to posting on Twitter or writing a blog post.

There is some loss of functionality but I am guessing that will come with time e.g. there is no concept of Twitter hashtags.

Also I only seem to come across public posts when one of my friends comments on a post. But the viral marketing opportunities are plenty.

Replacing Facebook

For private posts like photos of the kids or what you did last night, you simply post to certain circles.

But even better is that you can use your circles to only tell those groups of people who you think are interested in certain things – or to exclude certain people from seeing your posts, like your parents or your boss.

And the mute button which turns off notifications for that post is just pure genius – it will I’m sure get used a lot.

Replacing Email

Instead of email, you just post to people or circles.

Again the mute button will be very useful, but it will be both fab and annoying. Great for if you get fed up with the constant difficulty some people have distinguishing between the reply all and reply button. Annoying if someone replies with the expectation that you are listening.

Google+ is definitely the first tool to really put some meat to the idea that email will cease to exist in the future.

Replacing eBay

The cost of selling on Ebay has rocketed. We now use a local Facebook group to buy and sell for free.

Extended posts could be for buying or selling. Where you hope that if your friend is friends with this person it will mean that they won’t rip you off. Only problem is that because the circles work as they do, people will be more relaxed about adding everyone. So I think the extended circles will be less trusted than the same concept in other social media tools.

Do you have a Google+ account? What do you think of it so far? Could you ever see yourself giving up blogging, Twitter, Facebook, email or eBay for Google+?

Twitter – Choosing Who To Follow & To Stay Following

Following (no pun intended) @nickie72‘s blog post it made me realise that people must have different reasons as to why they follow people on Twitter.

I am not saying that my way is right, but it works for me.

My Geeky way of choosing who to follow is based entirely on whether or not I am interested in their tweets. Yes it would be lovely to have them follow me back, and even better if they actually tweeted me, but those are added bonuses rather than a requirement of my following.

For this reason, whilst I do try to check my new followers every so often, I don’t auto follow back.

I usually find new followers by:

  1. Conversation – if they aren’t a spammer and genuinely tweet with me, I will usually follow back
  2. Recommendation – if one of the people I follow retweets a tweet of theirs or a blog post I really enjoy reading, then I also usually follow.

However, I never ever follow without first reading their bio and checking out their latest tweets.

If I don’t follow back it’s often because I am very time poor and don’t get around to it, or something in their bio or timeline puts me off. But I do revisit.

This works for me as I don’t track how I am doing. I don’t track my follow count and I don’t use unfollow apps. So if someone stops following me I won’t notice and I won’t unfollow them. I am still at the ooohhh, I got a mention stage in my Twitter life, so I also don’t get upset when people don’t respond. But even once I have reached Twitter stardom, I really hope I manage to keep my feet on the ground. I don’t read every tweet, so how can I expect other people to do so. Yes, Twitter tools do let you know when you have been mentioned, but they are notorious for not working 100% of the time. But even if someone does read my tweet, there can be many more reasons as to why they don’t reply.

Maybe that sounds foolish but if you remember, I don’t follow to be polite, I follow in the hope that I am going to read some great things, that doesn’t change just because that person no longer follows me or because they haven’t answered my twitter question.

Maybe when I have some Klout then I will join in with the stress of worrying about those apparently important numbers, but until then, I will continue to enjoy Twitter as a great source of useful info, links and chatter without too much obsession.

And in case you do want to follow me, be careful to pick the right Geeky Mummy, there are a few of us out there. I am @GKMummy.

My First Twitter Chat

Last night I participated in my first ever Twitter chat and had a thoroughly good time.

For those that don’t know, a Twitter chat is a timed event that anyone can join to discuss a particular topic. You use a particular hashtag to ensure everyone can easily pick out the Twitter chat tweets.

I participated using Tweetdeck on my HTC Desire mobile. It was really easy to set-up a column to follow the hashtag.

Tweeting on my mobile is really easy but it annoyingly took ages for my text entry to learn to auto complete the hashtag. Tweetdeck if you are listening, would be great if you could add a Twitter Chat feature whereby hashtags are auto added to tweets if replying to a hashtag column.

I was a little uncertain as to how I would cope, lots of people, all tweeting at once. And, just to increase the difficulty, I had to get a reluctant 6 year old off to bed part way through.

Fortunately there seemed to be only about four or five people on the chat and that made it a lot easier.

I found myself really getting into the swing of it, though the subject matter was a good one for me – buggys. Great opportunity to have a moan about rain covers and get on one of my favourite soap boxes – the importance of rear facing buggys.

Granted, this was a chat aimed at promoting the Quinny Zapp Xtra, but mostly we discussed what is important in a buggy and what we think of all makes.

In addition to making me want to upgrade my Zapp to a Zapp Xtra, which I guess was the downside (from a financial point of view), I also found some new people to follow and discovered that there is a lightweight version of the Shade-a-Babe called the SnoozeShade that I am told has better sun protection. Yes, my geekyness isn’t restricted to electrical gadgets.

So for me, I can’t wait for the next one. Would especially like one on toys, but almost any subject will do me.

If you fancy reading the tweets from last night, check out #quinnycasters.

Have you participated in a Twitter Chat? Did you find it difficult following the conversation? Does anyone know how I can get my hands on a free Quinny Zapp Xtra?

Parents share local info using New Facebook Groups

Facebook have launched New Facebook Groups and yes, just to be confusing, have called it New Groups!

I first became aware of this due to a post on StopThinkSocial which I promptly shared with my Facebook friends.

One of those friends was inspired to create a private local parent group and thanks to the viral effect of friends adding friends, within a couple of days there were 75 members.

So far we have shared half term activities, firework displays and general useful links

Tip: when people started posting duplicate info it became clear we needed to make use of docs, which are great, because all members can update docs. We created docs for different types of info – e.g. half term activities 2010, fireworks 2010 etc

Finding previously created docs is however not immediately intuitive. The temptation is to treat the links at the top as tabs, but clicking on the docs link simply creates a new doc. Docs are stored on the right and you may need to remind members of this.

It remains to be seen as to whether the initial flurry of participation continues or whether it was just a result of the initial novelty. But this geeky mummy is hoping for the former as New Facebook Groups are in my opinion a great addition to Facebook.

So what do you think of the New Facebook Groups? Have you set up your own New Group? Have Facebook got it right?

Social Media Success – Facebook status update reveals shoe buying secret

The summer holidays are rapidly drawing to end. With only two weeks left, parents up and down the country are breathing a mixed bag of emotions from ‘can’t come soon enough’ to ‘where did the time go’. However one thing unites all parents of school age children – the dreaded shoe shopping.

This without doubt has to be the busiest time of the year for shoe shops. Parents waiting as late as possible to ensure that their child doesn’t grow out of their shoes before term starts, but not wanting to leave it too last minute just in case shoes have to be sourced elsewhere.

Busy is bad news for parents as busy = queues = waiting = bored child + fractious baby = stressed mummy

We have a number of local buying options including an excellent independent store and the usual chains.

Checking my Facebook newsfeed, one of my mummy friends posted that she was at said independent store and after three quarters of an hour was seriously considering giving up. And so competitive ‘we waited the longest ever’ battle ensued mixed in with the occasional smug ‘I turned up and was in and out within 5 mins’.

However, one hero of a mummy revealed what I can only describe as the most crazy best kept secret. Crazy because it is simply brilliant yet why, as a mummy, did I not know this important stress and time saving gem of information?

Clarks allow you to book appointments! You then just turn up and get seen straight away.

no queues = no stress = happy mummy

The person that revealed this little known secret was not a friend, but is a friend of a friend. This is a great example of how social media and specifically Facebook has saved me time and stress.

Three cheers for Facebook!