Simon Caine's blog

Simon Caine

Simon is a social media manager by day & a stand-up comedian by night. You can also Follow him on Twitter. He has written a book called "How To Find A Job Using Twitter" (£1.99, Guardian Shorts).

Simon Says: Twitter TV is both Good, Bad and Ugly

Twitter World Cup Hashtag Screenshot

Twitter must have seen it coming… with the World Cup in full swing Twitters “mute” button couldn’t have come at a better time for me (and anyone else who dislikes the spot).

It’s a great feature, but I’d be keen to see Twitter allow you to block out words and hashtags from your timeline. Never again will I have to see #JustinBieberForLife.

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Simon Says: Don't Live Through Your Phone

Do you know you're going to die one day? I remind myself of this every morning. Not for a depressed, self loathing, teenage angst kinda way. It's to push myself to get things done while I can.

My new years resolution was to stop using my phone while walking. My main two reasons for this are -

1) I hate the inconsiderate people (I previously included myself in this group) who slow down or even stop walking while on their phone in front of me. Nothing is that important you have to be staring at your phone that intensely, if it was, you wouldn't have forgotten about it or left it to last minute.

You might say “but I needed to check Google maps for directions”, but you could have moved to one side and not walked into oncoming people, or slowed down the people behind.

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Simon Says: Twitter Needs These 3 Improvements

tweet tweet

I love Twitter. I never shy away from admitting I think it’s the best social media platform around at the moment and will continue to be so. Why? Well it knows it’s place online. It knows that people are only using a handful of sites every day so to be one of those sites you need to have content that brings people back.

Twitter is a great place to find things out but this post is more about the main three things that bug me about the platform.

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Simon Says: TfL's Twitter Investment is Awesome


TfL don’t do a lot right in my eyes. I feel overcharged often and daily moan about the lack of signs alerting tourists to stand on the right. But recently they made a social investment that made me smile. Their homepage proudly proclaimed they were on Twitter.

I wasn't that impressed at the time as I’ve been following TfL for a while, but clicked the link anyway. They now have Twitter accounts for every line. Ahead of the Olympic Games this is going to be useful.

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Simon Says: Hashtag Pages, the (much needed) love child of Facebook & Google News

I’ve not been this excited in ages. After a while you see a lot of the same stuff getting repeated in social media. Rarely do you see a useful innovative product that people would actually use that benefits both brands and consumers.

Hashtag Pages does exactly what it says on the tin. They are a unique page designed to pull together all the media and interesting commentary around a certain hashtag. The first people to take advantage of this is #NASCAR.

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Simon Says: Tweet, Pin and Like me, please.


All I’ve been hearing about recently is Pinterest. The pinboard styled start-up that allows you to create image-based collections of things that matter to you. A great and simple concept, and having been a member for over a month now I can honestly say I love it.

Pinterest has found its way into the hearts and browsers of millions of people. But why? Well, in the past couple of years there’s been a growing need to share things. I say need; it’s more a “want” from people. We don’t need to share any of this information, but we’re compelled to.

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Simon Says: New Twitter is a Step in the Right Direction


Dear Jack,

Love the new twitter - I really do. Since I joined the website just over a year ago you've been my favourite way of actually networking online. You beat Facebook and LinkedIn by a country mile.

Almost over night you became my new discovery engine - I still argue Twitter has and will continue to have a massive impact on social bookmarking tools. And with the new app I have fallen in love with you all over again.

When you love something enough you see all of its faults. You just look past them and concentrate on what attracted you to the service. But seeing as you tweeted asking for suggestions on how you can improve I thought I would write you a letter.

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Simon Says: You're Wrong about Spotify


"Spotify Paid Lady Gaga $167 For 1,000,000 Plays"

This headline showed the “dark side” of music streaming start up, Spotify. Critics were in awe about how little artists were being paid for their hard work. Despite the short lived pleas from Spotify that they paid more per play people focused on this number, as if it was a bad thing.

Paying an artist less than 1p per play sounds like a raw deal, until you remember Spotify is a marketing platform. Spotify is designed as a service for people to listen to their favourite tracks cheaply. Why does this benefit the artist? Because if you love their music, you’ll go to the show, get the t-shirt and support the live scene.

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Simon Says: Supermarkets can do so much more with Social & Technology


Technology is designed to make our lives easier, faster and ultimately more fun.

Tesco is my supermarket of choice. This isn’t because it’s the nearest shop to me. Nor is it because I think they are the cheapest. It might have something to do with the fact I worked for almost all of the other big chain supermarkets in my teens and still have a little grudge about being treated poorly for minimum wage, but I think the main reason I’ll go to Tescos is the clubcard.

At the start of 2011 I purchased my first iPhone. When I got it home I immediately started downloading apps. Once I’d got Angry Birds, Facebook & Twitter I started to search for the more "specific" apps for me. I found the Tesco Clubcard app and moved straight over.

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Simon Says: Download These Apps - 5 Favourites You Should Try Before 2012


As 2012 approaches I thought I would write a nice post.

I hate the clichéd "prediction" articles you tend to get at this time of the year as peoples predictions tend to be either biased hopes (which never happen) such as me wishing for a hoverboard just because Back To The Future said they would happen. Or really really easy extrapolations of what's happening right now. The industry moves fast and predictions change hourly, so that's not what this post is about.

Here are my 5 favorite iPhone apps of 2011. And why I think you should get them for 2012. I've specifically avoided the usual suspects (Twitter, Facebook, FML etc). In no particular order...

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Simon Says: Google+ has a chance to sit next to Facebook

Google vs Facebook

Google+ started life as an attempt to be another Facebook. If I am honest it did a better job - but then again, it's not hard to stand on the shoulders of a giant (metaphorically speaking). The problem with Google+ is it doesn't offer anything additional to Facebook on first viewing.

Google+ is beautiful and easier to use than Facebook - my mum could set up an account on her own which is saying something. But after half an hour she was back in Facebook. Why? None of her friends were using Google+.

So does Google+ stand a chance? Until recently I would have said no.

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Simon Says: The Future Of Social TV

Twitter TV

TV is dead.

By "TV" I mean the scheduling, and by "dead" I mean it is on its last legs. With on-demand tv and a flood of illegal files flouting around forums minutes after shows have aired it's only a matter of time until all TV is on-demand, and more importantly social.

You can currently share links to TV shows on social sites but this is limited. You can also take part in real-time conversations about TV shows on Twitter, but this isn't always as formalised as it needs to be.

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Simon Says: QR codes are rubbish, use Google Goggles


You love Google.

It's one of those universal tools everyone has a soft spot for. I secretly imagine people who work at Yahoo use it when their boss isn't watching. Who couldn't adore a company who has an unofficial slogan "Don't be evil."

In April 2010 the search giant purchased "PlinkArt." PlinkArt was originally designed to identify works of art once you took a photo of it. The app was one of three winners of the Education/Reference category of the Google ADC2 (Android Developer Challenge 2). Google then purchased them and added the functionality to what we now know as "Google Goggles" - a visual search engine.

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Simon Says: The Future for Small Businesses is (potentially) Bright


Square is a company that caught my eye just over a year ago. If you’re not familiar with it, you should be. It’s an iPhone / iPad app that lets you receive credit card payments. The start-up (if you can call a company which transfers more than $3 million per day a "start-up") has recently received investment from Richard Branson and is "looking into international expansion in 2012", this excites me greatly, here’s why...

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Simon Says: Daily Deals are rubbish, at the moment

junk mail

This morning I woke up to several emails: new girls in my area wanting to talk on, are having another sale & Groupon offers me 40% off a weekend spa break. All 3 went straight into the Trash.

I know from past experience the “girls in my area” are either people I know or live too far away. Anything in the TopMan sale is there for a reason - usually because even the cast of Skins wouldn’t be seen dead in it. And Groupon clearly doesn’t know me from Adam.

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