1. Delicious by 6tags. An instructor I once had long ago said something that stuck with me for many years: you don’t need to remember every answer, you just need to remember where to find the answers. Perhaps that explains why I’m a social bookmarking junkie. Delicious is by far my favorite social bookmarking site and this app is a handy way to pull up your own bookmarks, search for new ones and see what others are saving. If there’s any downside, it’s that the app doesn’t provide a good way to see the bookmarks for people in my network, but then again, the app is free.
2. Alltop by AppMakr. Heard of Guy Kawasaki’s most recent endeavor Alltop? All the top blogs – it’s an online “magazine rack” that sort of works like a readymade RSS reader for specific categories. For example, type in “public relations” and you’ll have an instant page of blogs about PR. I’ve downloaded two apps carrying Alltop content – a channel for “marketing” and one for “social media.” This is a great way to get a quick read in whenever you have a minute. If there’s one drawback, it’s that the way the content is delivered makes it hard to share on social networks. Often you have to drill down to the Web link and hope the blogger has share buttons.
3. HootSuite Lite. I’ve tested out a whole bunch of mobile apps for Twitter, both on a Blackberry and an iPhone, including Twitterberry, UberTwitter, Twitterific, Twitter’s official app, and Tweetdeck – but HootSuite is hands down the best mobile app. It’s got a very sleek design, easy to use and manage, and the “Lite” version is free – allows you to manage up to three accounts. You can also tie it to other social networking sites like Facebook if you wish. I haven’t tested that yet, but in terms of mobile-Twitter-management, or MTM, (I just made that up) it works splendidly. (Update: 2/17/11: HootSuite phased out the “lite” version and the standard version, which used to cost money is now free. This is good news because the standard version is even better).
4. Ragan.com. I’ve got to hand it to the folks at Ragan.com for their mobile app — I’ve been using it for several months now and they’ve really set a standard. It lists the new posts, the tweets from the @MarkRaganCEO account, latest YouTube videos (which are also noteworthy), and of course, you can buy stuff from their store. The app is well conceived and makes it very easy to share content on social networks through your phone. Moreover of all the PR trades, I have seen or heard of any other trade publication offering an app. Ragan.com’s freemium subscription model means you can share the content for a couple days without suggesting a link only to have your Twitter buddy, you know, the one without a subscription, hit a paywall. If I were a big PR agency, I’d copy what they have done in designing a mobile content app for my clients.
5. Analytics Lite. If I’m a junkie for social bookmarking, then Google Analytics is irresistibility addicting. A few years ago when I really started getting into blogging, I also got into analytics. Every PR pro should – you will become a “magnitude of order” better at your job by studying those numbers. I’d also like to be able to check analytics on a mobile device – and Analytics Lite is a free app by Global Agent that seems to do the trick. It gives you all the key metrics you need to watch: page views, unique visitors, time on page, bounce rate, top landing pages, top exit pages and if you’re blog serves up Google PPC ads, it’s got an AdSense feature – I have not used that yet.
So how about it? What apps have you found handy?