Click Click Hooray! Backupify Saves Your Deleted Gmail Messages!

 - by Libby

About the Author

Greg Rublev is a dedicated web products geek, blogger and the founder of LeanWagon, a startup helping dieters eat healthy and lose weight.

Click Click Hooray! Backupify Saves Your Deleted Gmail Messages

There are a few situations where you might feel like pulling out your hair or letting out a scream that can be heard around the world. Returning to your laptop only to find you left it unplugged and consequently (dun dun dun!) deleting the most important email of your life is one of those scenarios we are all too familiar with.

What if Google suddenly decided to suspend your services? If one day you log in and can no longer access any of your important information? If you haven’t taken the time to back up your email, calendar or contacts, you might feel a panic coming on. Luckily, there’s an easy way to restore accidentally deleted messages from Gmail, and other Google services, called Backupify. With this third-party app, you can rest assured that despite user error or corruption your emails will never be permanently deleted.

Retrieving Deleting Emails with Backupify

  1. Log in to your Backupify account.
  2. Click the “Add” link next to Gmail to add your Gmail account.
  3. Log in to your Gmail account, after you’ve added Gmail to your active services on Backupify. When you’ve added this service, there will be a link to Backupify from Gmail’s “more” menu. If you’ve already added your Gmail account to Backupify, you can skip these steps.
  4. Click the “Archive” tab in Backupify to view the backup of your Gmail messages.
  5. Choose the account from which you deleted the message.
  6. Scan the list for any messages you wish to restore.
  7. Click “Restore” to restore Gmail emails back into your Gmail account. When you log in, it will appear under the “Backupify” label in your Gmail inbox.

 

Helpful Hints

When using Backupify, you can view the message content or save it as a “.eml” file to your computer. This helps you determine which message is the one you’re looking for, if you have several similar messages.

You can also delete emails directly from your Google trash folder without installing any additional Google Apps. Simply log in to your account, click on the trash folder, select the email and choose to restore Gmail messages from the trash. (Backupify can help you to retrieve data from other Google Apps for business, including your Google Calendar, Google Docs, and Google Contacts.)

Backupify lists emails in reverse chronological order, so you’ll save time and effort by knowing when you received the deleted email.

Backupify initially takes 24 through 72 hours to create a backup of your data, so you should add your important accounts as soon as you register for the service. You may not be able to use the restore feature if you sign up for Backupify after you accidentally delete a message.

Whether you just want to save messages from your recent family vacation or your entire company relies on Google Apps for business purposes, it’s important that you can restore deleted emails, protect yourself from unauthorized access to your Google account and respond to other unexpected situations. Backupify isn’t the only tool that offers such protection but, whatever tool you choose, it’s better to do it now and be prepared for the unexpected.

Fool Proof Guide to Activating Your G+ Account in Google Apps

 - by Libby

Google+ is now available for Google Apps!  What does this mean?  Businesses that have Google applications like Google Calendar/gmail/Docs through a company account (for example: a company gmail account doesn’t end in @gmail.com but ends in @trendbabble.com) couldn’t create a Google+ account.  Now they can.  If you have a business account for your company or blog, here’s how you can activate your Google+ account:

Sign into your Google Apps account such as your gmail.  Once signed into gmail, click onto “Manage this Domain” on the top right:

 

 

From there, you will be taken to the “Google Apps Dashboard”.  Click on the second tab that says “Organization & Users”:

 

 

Then click “Services”:

 

From there, scroll down until you find the Google+ application which will be switched to off:

 

 

 

Click the ON/OFF button to turn ON the Google+ application and the below pop-up window will appear.  Click “Turn Google+ On” at the bottom:

 

 

Now the ON switch should be highlighted green.  Press “Save Changes” at the bottom:

 

 

Now you need to sign up at google+: http://www.google.com/+

 

Sharing Your Profile URL

To share your profile, you have two options:

1) Click on your profile name and copy the URL in the browser address bar.

2) If that doesn’t work, maybe try searching your Google+ profile name in Google (which will not come up right away in search results).   Click the link and copy the URL from there.  This option may not work for those with extremely common names like ones ending in Smith…

If you click “invite friends” (and then click either “invite by email” or copy URL)  it will require them to sign into Google+ before being allowed to view your profile.

 

Profile Visibility

I believe the profile defaults to your profile being visible in search.  If you don’t want this, (which if you’re a business I suggest keeping it visible…) then click “Edit Profile” and scroll to the bottom and click “Profile Discovery.”  Uncheck “Help others discover my profile in search results.”

 

Name Changes

Please note, that Google+ will allow you to change your name a limited number of times.  Once you reach the limit, you won’t be able to change your name for a while.  If you’re still having issues, check out these helpful sites:

 

Google Support Roll Out Tips

Google Support Enable Google+

PCMag How to Activate Your Google+ in Google Apps

Conflicting Account Users 

Google Blog

QR Codes Are Taking Over Scenic Views

 - by Libby

I was walking down the lovely city of Boston and couldn’t resist taking note of these random qr codes posted along the bridge I was walking across.  Where did these qr codes take me?  I was directed to Fortpointpier.com, “Boston’s premiere public launch site for kayak and canoes.”

Their site also provides a little history on the Fort Point Channel and recent developments since the late 1990′s.  I always wanted to learn a little bit more about this channel.  Had I not scanned the qr code, I wouldn’t have learned these interesting random facts.

SEMPO Talks About the Evolution of Search and Schema.org

 - by Libby

Today was SEMPO’s (Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization) fall event hosted at the Hubspot offices in the gorgeous Davenport building in Cambridge, MA.  The topic of discussion was the evolution of search and how major search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo! are trying to create more targeted search engine results by improving  their methods of categorization.

One of the interesting topics the presenters talked about was how search engines are going to the next level by making better categories for words with more than one meaning. Sherwood Stranieri, the founder of Skypromote SEO, cleverly broke down one of the major concepts into laymen terms: when a website includes a word like Avatar this could have two meanings  1) Avatar the film or 2) avatar the profile photo found on blog sites.  Search engines are working to make better distinctions from these words in order to categorize them more effectively in search results.

If you didn't get the movie reference, click the image. :)

This year Google, Bing, and Yahoo! introduced a new standard for writing the programming language HTML so search engines can more accurately categorize website content.  This new standard of HTML incorporates additional tags that distinguish between Avatar the movie versus the avatar one uses as their blog profile photo.  These tags help identify names of events, people, professions, titles, etc.  Schema.org put it best:

“Your web pages have an underlying meaning that people understand when they read the web pages. But search engines have a limited understanding of what is being discussed on those pages. By adding additional tags to the HTML of your web pages—tags that say, “Hey search engine, this information describes this specific movie, or place, or person, or video”—you can help search engines and other applications better understand your content and display it in a useful, relevant way. Microdata is a set of tags, introduced with HTML5, that allows you to do this.”

How does this relate to marketing and SEO? 

Using these new HTML tags will help websites categorize content so they show up in the right places within search engine results.  If a website is writing about Avatar the film then using the HTML tag to this information will increase the chances of the site showing up in results related to Avatar the film.   This might lessen the chances of  the site being miss-categorized among search results related to avatar profile photos.

As a blogger, I’m curious to see how CMS WordPress will incorporate these new HTML tags.  It looks as though third parties such as Schemaforwordpress.com are already creating plugins to help bloggers add tags without knowing HTML code. It will be interesting to see how companies adapt and what new tools will develop as a result of this change.

In order to learn more about Schema.org’s new HTML tags and how they relate to SEO, check out these sites:

Schema.org

Schema.org FAQ

Drupal

GlobalWebmasterCentral 

 

Have You Started Paying Up with LevelUp?

 - by Libby

I’m constantly fumbling through my unfiltered purse of old receipts, biz cards, and coupons. At local cafes and coffee shops I sometimes hear the mumbling from impatient customers behind me, “OMG, can she take any longer?  So annoying!” They subtly gripe under their breath as I frantically look through my bag to find the credit card I should have pulled out before reaching the cashier.  I might have foreseen this had I not been overwhelmed by the large menu selection or become consumed with my own thoughts about work or that silly video post on Facebook.   Nevertheless, I shamefully handed over my belated method of payment in the form of pitiful plastic card.  As I shift aside, I noticed the next customer swiftly scan his phone toward the merchant’s scanner.   I observed, flabbergasted at his effortless transaction and immediately probed, “My God!  What is that thing?”  To which he replied, “It’s my LevelUp qr code scanner!”

The moral of the story is people who don’t have a Nexus S phone with the Google Wallet app, but want to pay with their Smartphone should to take advantage of SCVNGR’s LevelUp payment service. Not only do LevelUp users make transactions more easily than ever before, but the company created added incentives to use this technology at local retailers.  When members get their friends to use LevelUp, they’ll each get $5 to spend at any place that scans LevelUp qr codes.

LevelUp gives first time users credit to loads of local merchants, from $1 to $20.  There are plenty of places around the Boston area where members can drool over the selection and discounts.  Here are a few of my top favorites:

Channel Cafe

Fajitas & Ritas

Au Chocolat

Tasca’s Spanish Tapas

Kickass Cupcakes

Hennessy’s

Topshelf

Users also get discounts at spas, salons, pet stores, and more.  Members will unlock more credit through their favorite local merchant the more they spend.

Merchants who’ve yet to jump on the bandwagon might be interested in how this service can help their business. SCVNGR claims their technology can provide insight into visitation and purchasing patterns.   Their site also states that the service will help promote customer loyalty and increase sales.

Who knows where LevelUp is going and if Google Wallet will have a leg up (sorry, couldn’t resist!) once the Wallet app is more available as future versions of the Android Smartphone come about.  Either way, users should check out this interesting technology, take advantage of the discounts, and save time at the cashier!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anybeat Offers an Anonymous Alternative to Social Networking

 - by Libby

 

Article first published as Anybeat Offers an Anonymous Alternative to Social Networking on Technorati.

Anybeat is a new online community for meeting new people rather than connecting with ones you already know.  Remember back in circa 1997 when AOL AIM chat rooms emerged or before Myspace was dominated by bands and artists? Members would enter into these online communities to discover new people and other social circles.

Google+ and Facebook have evolved into an online gated community:  ”Only the chosen ones shall be allowed to see my wall, interests, updates, and photos!  All others are bound to the “restricted” page or the “Acquaintances” circle!” People want to stay connected while holding back viewers who they feel don’t deserve to look at photos and daily activities.  The restrictions are only necessary since these sites strive to ensure its users display their true identity. Many people want control over their information to make sure it’s disseminated to the appropriate audience.  I’m an honest person, but that doesn’t mean I want all of my personal information blasted over the internet just to appease the social networking lords and their advertisers.  When I post to my Facebook wall I think about the content I’m sharing and what it says about me.  Ninety Nine percent of the time I opt to not post controversial links or status updates in order to prevent the negative association it might add to my online presence.  Some may agree that Facebook and Google+ aren’t about expressing oneself freely, it’s about maintaining connections and upholding an image that employers, friends, and family are familiar with.

Anybeat is so attractive because it allows people to socialize anonymously with people they’ve never met.  This new social community may become a more open form of sharing where members feel comfortable participating in online discourse about deep philosophical ideas, art, hobbies, and more.  Anybeat users don’t worry about their employer, friends, and family members associating their profile with their real-life identity.  This doesn’t mean members are permitted to behave inappropriately and post harmful content.  Anybeat states that they strive to keep their site a safe and open community that is comfortable for all.

How Does Anybeat Work?


Anybeat.com Tour from Dmitry Shapiro on Vimeo.

Users start by creating an online profile and choose a pseudonym or disclose their real name.  From there they can post photos, interests, links, and status updates.  Things start to get interesting in the Public Square where people post topics about love, music, technology, and more.  Members also post questions to find common interests or to get feedback.   Those that prefer not to participate in discussions about technology can filter topics based on their own interests like religion, sports, business, etc. First time users may be struck with a feeling of openness of expression.  The social code of communication on Anybeat encourages freedom of expression and an open exchange of knowledge, opinion, and interests.

 

Besides the general concept, Anybeat’s user interface is clean and intuitive.  Information about sharing and identity are clearly stated on their main page.  As Anybeat points out in their video, default privacy and notification settings are in the user’s favor: users must check boxes if they want to receive notifications and share via Facebook.  While members of Facebook and Google+ grow tired of restrictions and anonymity issues, Anybeat offers an enticing alternative.  It will be interesting to see if this service or a similar one will become a supplement to the social networking giants.

Would you join Anybeat?  Do you know of any services that offer similar advantages like a pseudonym.

Twitterize Yo’ Self with Visual.ly

 - by Libby

A picture is worth a thousand words and visual.ly helps pick out most of them for you.  Visual.ly’s twitterizer is definitely an image of inspiration and is worth a mouthful of tweets.  I just twitterized myself this morning and saw a visual representation of where I stand in the whole twittersphere: not very high.  It makes me realize, that much more, how easily one’s personality and interests are gauged through their presence on Facebook and Twitter.  Just like how brands measure sentiment from Facebook posts and Tweets, Twitterizer and other tools can sum up a person’s interests, mood, and popularity.

What does my twitter data generated infographic say about me?  Geeky smile, techie, happy posts, and not one of the popular twitterers in the grand scheme of things.   Although, I have a ways to go to get more followers and site traffic, it’s nice to know my interests are accurately represented and positive.  The only thing visual.ly got wrong are the unflattering cargo pants and overall poor fashion sense. So, next time you think about making a twitter post (especially negative or controversial) think about how it makes your infographic look!

 

Along with the twitterizer, visual.ly is working on some tools to allow users to create their own infographics whether it be about a company, product, or event.  If you want to be one the first to use this new feature, check out their site and sign up to receive updates.  Also, don’t forget to twitterize yourself to see what visual.ly’s infographic says about you!

 

GreenBean Recycle Turns Recycling into an Online Competition

 - by Libby

Article first published as GreenBean Recycle Turns Recycling into an Online Competition on Technorati:

My typical response when I discover that little recycle symbol on my soon-to-be-empty almond butter container is, “Aww man, I have to wash this sticky stuff?  Ugh, I suppose that’s a good thing!”  I think many people can agree with me that recycling isn’t exactly the most exhilarating task. With GreenBean Recycling, people may soon discover a more fun way to recycle other than the moral obligation combined with the five-cent reimbursement.

Gaming has become the newest phase of social media and mobile applications by transforming real places into a digital playground. Apps like Foursquare and Scavenger are so popular because users can incorporate these games into their real-life and take advantage of incentives like discounts at local retailers.  The founder of GreenBean Recycle, Shanker Sahai, has taken this gaming concept a step further by putting it toward an environmentally responsible cause.  Their mission is to encourage recycling through a fun and morally satisfying competition.

GreenBean Recycle took their own spin on reverse vending machines by allowing members to sign into their account to earn points and track their progress.  Users first register through the site by creating a profile and choosing a team.  As of now, the machines are only located in two places: MIT and Tufts.   This means the service and teams are exclusive to MIT and Tufts.  Once registered, they’re given the option to choose a fraternity or sorority as a sub team.   The next step asks users to decide if they prefer to earn money, receive tech cash (i.e. funds added to their university cash card), or make a donation.  Due to the Massachusetts Bottle Bill Law, refunds are only made from carbonated beverages.  Water, juice, and sports drink containers do not include a five-cent deposit but can be put in GreenBean Recycle’s reverse vending machines.

Click here to see their video: Screencast by greenbean from Screenr.com

After signing up, GreenBean Recyclers can use machines at their registered location.  The first question that popped into my mind was, “What sets GreenBean Recycle’s reverse vending machines apart from other bottle return machines?”  The answer is that people can sign into their account through the touch screen to keep track of points against their competitors.  Not only can users earn money from carbonated beverage bottles, but they can potentially earn prizes through competitions.

Within the GreenBean recycle site, the “Trends” page displays progress by school, team, and user.   The whole idea is to motivate people to recycle by creating a fun competition that shows measurable results.  Under the “Trends” page, users can click on the “Energy Saving” tab to see the amount of kilowatt hours saved from recycling.  The kilowatt hours are calculated based on iWARM (Individual Waste Reduction Model).  The Environmental Protection Agency describes iWARM as, “the energy saved by recycling small quantities of common household products, rather than landfilling them.”  Between the two colleges, they’ve saved 1356 kWh as of October 16th 2011.  I’m rooting for Kappa Sigma because they make up at least 563 of those kilowatt hours (cough, Nu Delta has zero kWh, cough).  Tufts is also at zero kWh but we’ll give them a handicap because they won’t be starting until later this fall.

 

There’s more ways GreenBean Recyclers can track their progress.  If members want to see a list of the top contenders they just click on the “Network” page to view the top five.  I checked to see how I measured up to the head of the competition (we’ll call them GreenBean Master for anonymity sake) and found out I needed to find 333 bottles in order to catch up.  The point in all of this is to show people how each bottle makes a difference.  Users will feel both gratified and accomplished when they beat their competitors.

This year, GreenBean Recycle is pilot-testing these machines and are only being used within the MIT and Tufts community.  If these take off, I think they’ll be popular in places like condos where people can compete against their neighbors.  Condo associations can create added incentives like prizes for residents who recycle the most.  Hopefully soon we’ll see more of these machines pop up around the Boston area.

What do you think of the GreenBean Recycle reverse vending machine?   Do you think the competition will motivate you to recycle?

 

Spill Now: Where Psychology and Technology Meet

 - by Libby

College is difficult as it is with the 20 page essays and two hour exams.  There’s no question that college life for a lot of students breeds doubt, self-esteem issues, and anxiety toward the unforeseen future.  It goes without saying that added concerns like roommate issues and other personal dilemmas only add to the stress and confusion.   Many students become isolated because they struggle to find a worthy confidant among friends and are hesitant to seek therapy.  Luckily, startup company Spill has confronted a lot of these problems for students all over the US.

SpillNow.com offers an online support community made up of student volunteers who read “Spills” from anonymous members looking to seek help and guidance.  Rather than receiving professional advice from a psychologist, Spill provides peer to peer support.  At first, I was skeptical about the idea of support from student volunteers in place of professional psychologists, but after reading through their site I realized peer to peer support has advantages over professional counseling.  What better way to feel self-assured than hearing advice from fellow peers who’ve been there themselves?  This is exactly what a lot of anonymous spillers say about Spill’s online support:

How Spill Works

1)  Students sign up anonymously and spill (i.e. write) about anything that bothers them.

2)  Spills are screened by student volunteers to look for crisis situations and to rid of any information that leeks personal identity.

3)  Student supporters who experienced similar situations respond within 24 hours with letters of empathy, support, and campus resources.

Another useful aspect of Spill is the that data from anonymous spillers are used to analyze and identify student issues among college campuses. This information is reported back to colleges and universities in hopes to create or improve campus support programs.

Where Spill is Going

Currently, Spill is working to reach out to more colleges and universities in order to provide online support for students across the United States.  In the future, Spill hopes to create another online support community geared toward the military to provide an alternative resource for troops and veterans to spill about stress and trauma.

Below is some more useful information about Spill’s program and volunteers.  To find out more, check out their FAQ 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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