Seeding the Social Mesh with Sprout Social

I’ve been testing several social media managers to continue the brand consolidation of everything Bolesian — and to help make updating the Social Mesh a much easier, and more centralized task.  I used to spend all day writing new updates for each, individual, social network.

Yes, handcrafting unique updates is always best, but sometimes time and tide work against that noble effort because you’re propagating old work instead of creating something new.  The rise of Google+ Pages Vanity URLs broke the handcrafted dam.

My first shot into managing all the social profiles — LinkedIn, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ Pages — was HootSuite.  I ultimately found the Hoot experience overwhelming and brittle and I hated using their image network and link-shortener.

Next, I tried Buffer — a good choice, but the vanity URL shrinker did not reliably work across all profiles, and images posted to my Twitter stream would not natively expand in view.  You had to click on the images to get them to show even though they were in the Twitter image bin.

Enter Sprout Social.  Yes, Sprout Social is expensive — a free 30-day trial does not equate with a free account like HootSuite and Buffer offer — but I knew NYU and other big organizations were using Sprout Social and, I thought, even though I now have over 20 social profiles to manage, and Sprout Social limits me to 10 accounts on their $39.00USD per month first-tier plan, I should still give them a try.

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Problems with iTunes Match Matched Music

I have, generally, had a pretty good experience with Apple’s new iTunes Match music service since its debut last week, but there is one particular album that is giving me fits on iTunes Match.

As you can see in the screenshot below, Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “Complete” album — consisting of over 300 songs in total — is having trouble “matching” 63 of those songs on iTunes Match so I can download them to my computer via iTunes.  The error I’m getting is 5002 — so, preternaturally — Apple blames my local network connection, even though I can buy and download new music and pull other matched songs from the iCloud without incident.

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Poor Google Apps Premier Support and Missing Google Search Returns

There’s nothing quite as harrowing as having anything Google go toes up — because there is no clear path to getting a hassle-free technical support experience even if you pay your way as a Google Apps Premier Customer and even if you write the first Google Apps Administrator Guide book to market.  I have a long history of writing technical books and providing online technical support and, without question, Google are the absolute worst problem solvers when it comes to the individual incident and fixing the outlier and resolving the uncommon anomaly.  We won’t get into how generally awful Blogger tech support is today — we’ll just stay focused on Google Apps Premier for now.

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Google Video Tech Support Trouble for Google Apps Premier

Last week, we discussed the ongoing problems we have with Google Video not working on the Google Apps Boles University domain. This week we still do not have a resolution — but Google Tech support did finally reply asking for the following information:

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