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Netflix profiles

EVERYONE uses Netflix; it's become a household staple. I log in through my Xbox to catch the odd flick or binge on a TV series -- it's fantastic. Netflix has finally announced user profiles. The reason for this is when Mom is watching Arrested Development upstairs, and I want to watch Californication downstairs, there can be a little discrepancy in the system. The user profiles will allow families to efficiently share an account. Also, Netflix has user recommendations. My mom watches crap TV, and all of the recommendations are hers. I don't want to see that. With user profiles, each family member has a personal account, which means the shows you watch will populate recommendations from your own viewing pleasure, not Mom's. This feature was long overdue, but I'm glad Netflix finally got it together and rolled this out. Tweet me some of your favourite shows/movies on Flix @thedavidbell.

Health apps

EVERYONE is trying to be healthy. You probably know a friend or family member who is trying to lose weight and it is a very difficult thing to do. Some people turn to diets and supplements, others turn to mobile apps -- some even use all three. MyFitnessPal was an app I reviewed in my column a long time ago and it still proves to be a useful application. A new startup based out of San Francisco has plans to aggregate all of your favourite social networks and dieting apps into one to make a very motivating, socially accountable service. The startup is called AchieveMint. Go for a run, it tweets. Go to a health-food store for a shake, check in via FourSquare. Once you've achieved enough points with the app, it converts those points into cold hard cash. Kanye West once said: "If you have a goal, announce it publicly so everyone can hold you accountable to it." Tweeting your goals is a very public display of your efforts, but it does hold you accountable to achieving that goal because all of your Twitter followers read it. CEO Mikki Nash said, "We don't think that health is just fitness or just diet, we sort of look at health as a much more holistic thing." I think for people who are working toward improving their health, an app like this helps. Money is always an incentive and being held socially accountable for your goals is pretty big motivation.

Social-media update

THE social sphere is evolving constantly. The main networks now are: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Vine. For business, Facebook is still incredibly prominent -- but the users are more than ever using Instagram, Twitter and Vine. For personal brands, and businesses too, you need to stop focusing so much on Facebook and diversify your portfolio and start delivering your story to the other networks. Never put too many eggs in one basket. People love Instagram and Twitter; that's where they go to see cool things and updates. Facebook is the place where people check to see if it's their friend's birthday and to see if the network has got any cooler (Newsflash: it hasn't). For my clients, I still focus hard on Facebook, but make sure my content on the other networks is just as good if not better. If you run a business and are using social media to increase word of mouth, or you are trying to push or promote something, rearrange the order of importance with social networks. Sooner or later, if Facebook doesn't change a few things, the numbers are going to start shifting heavily to other platforms. Although Facebook's stock price has finally closed above the original price when the IPO launched, which I'm sure investors are happy to see, it shouldn't be your sole social-media platform. If you have any questions regarding social media, maybe I can help --

Back on iPhone: One week update

LAST week, I wrote I'm officially back on iPhone. I know some of you were skeptical and predicted I'd start to dislike it again. But I must say, after using the BlackBerry Z10 and Galaxy S3, I am so happy to be back. The system is just so fluid and interconnected, it makes it the best phone for me to use every day. I am no longer an Apple fan-boy like I used to be, but after using the iPhone for a week straight I can happily say I'm incredibly pleased. I'm currently rocking the iPhone 4S, and when the new iPhone is announced, I plan on upgrading immediately.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 4, 2013 ??65521

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