This site showcases the (mostly) digital work of Andrew DiFiore from both Virtual Arts Studios and answerYES Interactive as well as random thoughts and experimental projects too volatile to be contained anywhere else.

 
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    If you ever wanted to include images during your real-time Facebook chats, now you can!

    Facebook Smiley Chat Codes gives you a way to convert an image to “text” (special numerical strings that Facebook knows to interpret as an image) that you can easily copy and paste directly into your chat box.

    Facebook Smiley Chat Codes hosts your images for free but the site is supported by advertising so you may want to be discreet in your subject matter. This is not Snapchat for Facebook.

    Happy photo chatting!

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    Digg: From $164 Million to $500,000

    While most of us are still slack-jawed over Facebook’s $1 billion acquisition of Instagram, the Wall Street Journal reports Betaworks buys Digg for just $500,000. Once valued at over $160 million four short years ago (when Kevin Rose ruled the world), it is a reminder how fickle the Internet can be. Don’t blink, you might miss the next bubble burst.

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    Chill, The Next Cool Thing

    Chill is like the Hulu’s cooler little brother. But more than just catchup TV, Chill supports just about any video source from YouTube to ESPN.

    Content can be high-def TV shows (supplied by premium content partners like Hulu) to videos taken from your iPhone.

    The site has a sexy Pinterest-like grid layout with Turntable-like social viewing integration, including Path-like emoticons and a Facebook Timeline-like profile covers.

    You sign up using Facebook Connect. Once in, you can start a Chill Lounge or hang out in an existing Lounge (Lounges are like DJ Rooms in Turntable). Chill users can create a livestream Lounge simply by selecting the Live Video Stream option available in the Chill Lounge creation flow. The feature currently supports Ustream, Justin.tv, Livestream, YouTube Live, and Twitch.tv.

    Chill was founded by Brian Norgard and Daniel Gould less than year ago and as of last week has raised $8 million in Series A funding from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & ByersRedpoint VenturesAtlas VenturePaul KedroskyScience MediaWilliam Morris Endeavor, 500 Startups, Troy Carter, Mike Jones, Chris Sacca’s Lowercase Capital, and Michael Arrington’s CrunchFund. As of this post, Chill claims to have 19 million members.

    It has been an obvious feature long time coming: Scheduled Posts. Finally, you can do inside Facebook what third-party tools like HootSuite and TweetDeck have done for years. That is, if you can find the feature.

    Rolled out along with page security (admins can now assign roles), Facebook decided to make the scheduler a little hard to find.

    Maybe it is Facebook’s aggressive development cycle but I always get the feeling that half the features are afterthoughts, retrofitted into an architecture designed for something else.

    Now that Facebook is a public company, I imagine the pressure to appeal to advertisers and businesses is going to be greater. A good example is the new Promoted Post which allow brands to set a nominal budget for “sponsored” posts to appear within news feeds (kinda like Twitter’s Promoted Tweet feature).

    Not to worry, I’m sure the design team at Menlo Park will get around to fixing the usability issues… if the marketing team could stop telling the development team to skip the QA team.

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    Pinterest, Latest Social Media Darlin’

    Just when you were getting used to organizing your Circles on Google+ a new kid hits the block: Pinterest. This nubile social media site describes itself as a “virtual pinboard” designed to bridge the gap between your real life and your online one. But you can think of it as a sexy blend of Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.

    In just six months Pinterest has skyrocketed to 11 million strong, making it the latest social media darlin’ on the Web. And it would seem investors are as infatuated as the early adopters, pinning $37 million on the 8-person start-up. For sure, Pinterest is easy to use and easy on the eyes. I’m certainly more eager to go out on a date than I was when my cousin set me up with Tumblr (but that was in ancient times when computers had vacuum tubes, powered by mice in steel wheels).

    Alas, I guess I’ll have to add yet another social icon to this blog.

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