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- Disqus app: first on Windows Phone Tweet Reading online articles, news stories, or blogs, often leaves us wanting to contribute to the discussion with the author and other readers. That’s where a good commenting system comes in handy, something that Disqus excels at providing. Now, you can take all those discussions with you when you’re away from your computer, thanks to the Disqus app – for Nokia Lumia smartphones. Download Disqus Press the Search button on your Nokia Lumia and then tap Vision Scan the QR code Tap on the link when it appears on the screen Install the application from the Windows Phone Store With over six years experience, Disqus knows a thing or two about keeping the conversations flowing by providing a system that just works and is so simple to use. So easy in fact, that over half a billion people use this commenting system (including us here at Conversations), and about 640,000 comments a day are sent through Disqus. It’s a commenting system that spans a vast array of different sites, from cars, gardening, technology, plumbing, flower arranging, anything you can think of. You name it; Disqus is powering their comments. Comments are a vital part to every site’s ecosystem. It allows brands, companies, and individual authors to communicate directly, and sometimes more personally, to their readers. This is something we all expect in today’s fast-paced, digital world. Let’s not forget the commenters themselves. The comment section on any site is where people meet with other people with similar interests and often virtual friendships are formed. The new Nokia Lumia 720 Curved glass, slim design and full of features. Find out more. The Disqus app helps to keep you in the conversation when you’re away from your desk, meaning those conversations don’t just simply expire, but continue. Ryan Valentin, Community Support at Disqus tells us why a mobile version is so important: “It’s part of a broader effort to bring Disqus closer to you, the user. The most exciting part about this is that each interaction is in a place that likely wouldn’t have happened before, such as on a bus or while waiting for a doctor’s appointment.” The app consists of four panels. The first is your dashboard that gives you access to app settings, a notification section and your own profile that details all the comments you’ve left across the Disqus network, as well as who you’re following or who’s following you. There’s also a top communities tab that allows you to jump straight to your favourite sites and engage with other commenters. The second panel – suitably called network – is where you can see the latest comments from the people that you follow, but this can be changed to show your most recent discussion by selecting the text at the top – a drop-down menu will appear. Explore is the best place to go to find new discussions with an assortment of categories which can be broken-down further when you select one. Then finally, we have the moderate panel. I suspect this is only available if your Disqus profile is one of a moderator, and that’s to say that you run a site that uses Disqus as its commenting system. If you have this feature available, this is a really valuable tool for site admins. While you can’t currently edit comments, you can approve pending comments, or delete comments that may have slipped through the filter system. During your commenting time, you’ll undoubtedly begin to recognise other commenters within that particular community, as regular commenters are usually quite keen to express their opinion. If you want to hear more about what person has to say, select their profile and then press follow. That person will then appear in your networks panel we discussed earlier. You can also ‘upvote’ or ‘downvote’ individual comments from each comment. These votes are a way of silently agreeing with what that person is saying. Think of is as a nod, or a shake of the head. If you want to share those comments to a wider audience, then go ahead and press the share icon. You can let your LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook friends know what you’re into, hopefully encouraging them to join in the conversation. As with most Windows Phone apps, Disqus utilises the Live Tile feature. If you want to stay up-to-date with your Disqus networks and discussions, pin the app to the Start scree. Periodically, the Live Tile will inform you of the latest content from within your networks. If you’re only interested in one story, you can pin individual articles to the Start screen, too. The same can be said for the moderator section. These pins help you reconnect with the discussion without manually checking, prompting for continual conversations. The Disqus app is available to download now from Windows Phone Store – for free. It works on Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone 8 smartphones Are you a Disqus user? Feel free to comment, via your newly downloaded Disqus app – or the usual way, below.
- Tweeting plants at the Nokia House rooftop garden Tweet Growing vegetables, herbs and other plants in an urban setting is not really a new thing. All kinds of urban gardening projects, from the NYC High Line to community gardens and city farms built in unused urban spaces, have been gaining popularity in recent years. This summer, one of the rooftop terraces at the Nokia head office in Espoo, Finland, has also been blooming with strawberries, herbs, vegetables and other more exotic plants. Up until now, the rooftop terrace, which has an amazing view of the Baltic Sea and the surrounding areas, has been mostly unused. Earlier this year, though, the Nokia Sustainability team and a group of gardening enthusiasts at Nokia put their heads together and decided put the space to good use and bring urban gardening to Nokia House. In early June, wooden containers and many bags of soil were brought to the terrace. Nokia employees could sign up for the project and have their own containers (for themselves or for their teams) where they could grow vegetables, herbs, flowers and other plants of their choice. I’m a big fan of locally produced food and interested in gardening, so I signed up immediately. I wouldn’t say I had a “green thumb”, but after attending an urban gardening workshop and gathering all kinds of seeds and saplings from friends and family, my enthusiastic gardening colleagues and I were ready to give it a go. But I wanted my gardening project to be more than just about watching tomatoes, peas, strawberries, mint, basil and lavender grow in our wooden container. I wanted the plants to tell us when they needed water and how they were doing up there on the windy terrace. I wanted them to tweet! A quick search online revealed that there weren’t many off-the-shelf solutions available for this purpose, so I turned to Nokia Research Center (NRC) for help. I was put in touch with Teemu Savolainen, from NRC Tampere, who got very excited about the idea and promised to help. Using components such as moisture sensors, ZigBee radios, a recycled laptop and an old Nokia E7 , he assembled a system that would do exactly what I needed. In no time, our plants at Nokia House rooftop garden were tweeting! During the short Finnish summer, the gardeners and those following the Nokia House rooftop garden Twitter account could see how thirsty the plants were or what growth strategies they had in mind. The tweeting plants project was an experimental “hobbyist” project for Teemu and NRC, but it was also a chance to learn something new about the “ Internet of Things ” and how devices can communicate with each other. Teemu concludes: “Building up this setup was an energizing exercise, allowing us to test in practice some of the ‘Internet of Things’ research and standardization activities we have ongoing in NRC. Sometimes it’s difficult to explain to others what we do, but this project has proved to be handy in making pieces of our research more concrete for people. And for us it’s a good foundation to build new things on – for next summer and beyond.” At the Nokia House rooftop garden, summer has already turned into autumn, the crop has been harvested and the plants have stopped tweeting. But come spring, I’m sure new plants, with new growth strategies and tweets will appear.
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