Shady but smart: Secret’s CES feed copies Yik Yak for a new crowd

That savvy Secret. The anonymous sharing network, which recently redesigned its entire product to save itself, isn’t going quietly into that dark night.

It unrolled a new feature Monday allowing people at CES to view and post to an exclusive CES feed on Secret. Only those in the Las Vegas area can add content, turning Secret into a geofenced members-only club for whining about Mandalay Bay Wi-Fi, discovering the best after party, and mocking Samsung’s keynote.

A location based social feed — it’s like Twitter circa SXSW 2007. But where Twitter grew too large and noisy to deliver on its initial events flair, Secret’s geofencing makes sure the party stays small.

Yik Yak peek feature

Yik Yak’s Peek Anywhere list, with featured themes and events at the top

As others have said, it’s a “fun experiment“, one that “could give Secret an edge over Yik Yak.” There’s just one caveat: Yik Yak already has this feature. It created it months ago. (For a primer on Yik Yak, a college campus staple, read here).

In its “Peek Anywhere” section, Yik Yak users are prompted to check out feeds from geofenced areas around events like college football games and music festivals. The Featured peeks change day-by-day depending on what’s happening, and allow people to get a glimpse of the action on the ground somewhere. Yik Yak, in turn, probably got its Featured Peeks idea from Snapchat’s Featured Stories.

Secret, for its part, says it has been thinking about event-based feeds since March 2013, when it played with a location feature at SXSW. When I asked Secret co-founder Chrys Bader whether Secret copied Yik Yak with its redesign a few weeks ago, he deferred.

“If you look at any text-based social network, it’s all text,” Bader pointed out. “I suspect Yik Yak and Secret will diverge a lot over the next six months.” He wouldn’t elaborate, but hinted that Secret’s upcoming design and feature changes will focus on other contexts besides location.

Regardless of whether Secret is ripping off Yik Yak, it’s a time honored truism that the tech company that succeeds is the one that executes the best, not necessarily the one that executes first (see: Facebook v. MySpace; iPad v. many tablets that came before).

If Secret can spread through the tech crowd to other demographics, perhaps it could beat Yik Yak at its own game. After all, Yik Yak has largely ignored the Silicon Valley audience until this point. Instead, it has grown virally the way Facebook did, through college campuses.

By launching an events based feed at CES, Secret might get a leg up on the early adopter audience. Assuming that Twitter circa SXSW 2007 is still something people in tech want.

5 Tips for Getting the Most out of Google Reader

More efficient use of our RSS readers can have a big impact on our overall productivity. As Google Reader is one of the more widely-used RSS readers, I thought it would be a good idea to share some tips for getting the most out of it.

iPad RSS Reader Roundup

Feed reading is arguably one of the primary uses of the iPad, so making a good RSS client for it very important. Here’s a run-down of the five feed readers available now for the iPad. Invites For WebWorkerDaily Readers is still in private beta, but we have some invite codes if you’d like to try it out for yourself. The first 25 WebWorkerDaily readers to sign up with the code will be able to start syndicating and tracking content through today.

CinemaView Apple-Geared Monitors Get Refresh Before Release


I’ve had my eye on CinemaView monitors since they were announced, but was a little put off recently by the lack of any forthcoming news. Now, Collins America, the makers of the upcoming CinemaView Mini DisplayPort compatible monitors that you can actually afford without selling any of your children, are letting us know that they’re not only still in the works, but that they’ve already undergone a refresh.

That probably means that the displays have yet to see a production line, since major changes in product offerings after you’ve already produced a thousand units isn’t generally regarded as a profitable approach. And Collins America’s changes aren’t minor, either. It’s dropped the 19- and 20-inch models entirely and added a new, high-end offering that makes me drool and is actually priced very reasonably, in line with previous offerings. Finally, it’s added an external HD TV tuner, too, so you can use your CinemaView as your television. Read More about CinemaView Apple-Geared Monitors Get Refresh Before Release

More Efficient RSS Reading

In my recent post about using Harvest to track my time, I discovered that I was spending too much of my time consuming information. As a result, I’ve been working on ways to further increase my efficiency, starting with some Twitter efficiency improvements, and I thought that a post about becoming more efficient at consuming blogs and other news content via RSS would be a good next step.

I love information and wish I could spend more time reading and consuming it, to learn more about a variety of topics. However, the harsh reality is that there are only so many hours in the day that I can spend reading and learning. I could take the easy way out and just read less, but my goal is to become more efficient at finding the content that I want to read the most. Read More about More Efficient RSS Reading

Snackr Gives You Another Way to Consume Your Feeds

Snackr home pageIf you are looking for a new way to “nibble” on your news, you can try Snackr, an Adobe AIR-based app that creates a ticker across the bottom of your computer screen that teases random articles and blog posts from RSS feeds of your choice. The app works on both OS X and Windows.

Once installed, the Snackr user interface is nothing more than a plus sign where you add feeds; an icon for options including manually adding and removing feeds and changing feed preferences such as the ticker speed and placement; an icon to expand or collapse your ticker, and an X to quit the app. Tiny, compact, virtually unobtrusive. Read More about Snackr Gives You Another Way to Consume Your Feeds

RSS Feed of New Apps

Pinch Media is a small company that serves iPhone developers (and iPhone users). They are located in New York and get a kick out of tracking and analyzing App Store data. They measure the percentage of free apps and things like that. They don’t have any of Apple’s sales data, or anything like that, but they do organize a lot of user-side data. It is pretty interesting, and fun to watch.

Today, however, they released something that will benefit a lot of users: an RSS feed of new apps.

Whenever a new App is updated, this RSS feed tells you. It gives you the name of the app, the category, release date, price, and a link to the app’s page in the App Store. They are working on including the description as well.

Pinch media offers a similar feed for updated apps as well. In addition to those two feeds, you can also get a daily list of the top 100 paid and top 100 free apps. Be forewarned: the top 100 apps will show up as 100 different items, so your reader might explode.