Too Little Too Late For Tumblr

David Karp:

For one dollar, your post will stand out in the Dashboard with a customizable sticker to make sure your followers take notice!

As part of its new content aggregation team Tumblr is also rolling out promoted Tumblr posts.

It’s the equivalent of a Facebook sponsored story or a promoted Tweet. For $1, your content will appear as a highlighted post in your Tumblr followers newsfeeds or dashboard.

I hate to break it to Tumblr but (1) the ad only shows up in your feed if you follow that person and (2) no one scans the Tumblr newsfeed the same they do Facebook and Twitter.

Tumblr is a blogging platform with social elements. Users consume content more often on a Tumblr built website than the dashboard. Highlighting a post would be ideal if the eyeballs were in the dashboard like they are Twitter and Facebook.

It’s good to see Tumblr entering the ad supported arena. But is it too late? Pinterest is gaining ground.

AT&T’s Data Limit

AT&T emailed me Monday morning threatening to slow down my 3G Internet. Apparently I’ve already used up 5% of my allotted capacity. But I have an unlimited plan. I can use as much as I want.

iPhone sales broke AT&T’s 3G services, slowed it down completely and is now warning unlimited data customers like me for high data use.

Warning customers for rights they paid for is horrible business. Instead, how about examining my data use, putting me into the top 5% of heavy users, and building new towers to accommodate my habits. That’s a customer blind solution to a real problem that ultimately keeps customers on board.

Service is everything, especially in the Internet business. Invest the money in improving bandwidth.

Facebook is the Coke of Social

People use ‘Facebook’ and ‘social media’ like fungible items. But Coke isn’t soda and soda isn’t coke.

While Facebook kicked off social and is the predominant player and money maker, the company doesn’t encompass social media as a whole.

Social is too innovative and large of an arena to own fully. Twitter, Instagram, and Google+ are in the game too as are fast growing sites Tumblr and Pinterest.

What people mean though when they say Facebook for social is a social hub.

Everything that can be plugged into Facebook will be. That’s why Instagram creates albums when you share on Facebook and why tacking the ‘#fb’ on Tweets distributes them to your Facebook profile.

I’ve written about Facebook’s malaise driven by a lethargic US user base but again and again I’ve restated that Facebook will always be there like our library.

Every once in a while there’s a memory or a great link or photo that’ll bring you back in and make you feel like you never left.

Teens Will Remain on Facebook

The AP reports that teenagers are dopping Facebook for Twitter, allegedly.

So more young people have started shifting to Twitter, almost hiding in plain sight.

First of all, Twitter is a public platform.  Facebook is a private platform.  Teenagers may be naively using Twitter in private groups right now.  They’ll learn quickly though that the only way for celebrities to reply to their tweets is if they’re running an open account.  As I previously blogged, a retweet is the new autograph.

Twitter is the world’s chat room where you can converse with an array of interesting people, more people you don’t know than you know.  You inevitably open up and make an effort to engage with the people you’re interested in.

Although Facebook’s US engagement levels have declined it’s made a permanent stake as a friend repository.  It’ll always be there and most of everything else will just plug and play right into it.

The article lacks concrete evidence on a complete teenage shift to Twitter from Facebook for privacy purposes.  Both social networks coexist and they’re used for completely different purposes.  The AP should republish this article in a year’s time when Twitter is 3x bigger and Facebook is 1 billion users strong.

Privacy is the antithesis of Twitter.

Quick laughs:

“Facebook is like shouting into a crowd. Twitter is like speaking into a room”

“They just want someplace they can express themselves and talk with their friends without everyone watching,…”

Content Is King on Facebook

American Express social media head on Facebook:

“The people own your brand now.”

Yes and no.

Brands are now media companies.  Brands provide the engaging content.  Without content, there’s no community, comments, or likes.  Just likes there’s no fans without a record, movie, or book release.

The creative comes first, how people react second. Depending on crowd reaction, you create more or less or try something completely new.

Content, then context.

As Steve said:

“A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”

iMessage Me

iMessage, also know as free text messaging between iPhone users, is growing slowly but surely.

I scrapped text messaging 6 months ago and now am $120 richer.

SMS is for emergencies only. My whole family knows this so they simply email me if they want a quick response. And they call, of course.

Many teenagers are communicating in groups too via Twitter. It just makes sense given the shortness, ease, and timeliness of conversation. Twitter feels like it’s part of the phone.

Instant mobile messaging is actually a gift from Blackberry. BBM stirred the Arab Spring last year but the company is looking for answers in an Android/iOs world.

AT&T will raise our data plans to account for the supplemental billions of SMS plans lost through 3G instant messaging. So enjoy saving money while you can.

Murdoch’s Tweets

On Rupert Murdoch’s Tweets:

His posts are devoid of nuance, partisan in the extreme and prone to crankiness, all consistent with the Rupert Murdoch we have come to know.

We can almost see Rupert Murdoch fidgeting with his iPad in one of his homes in LA, NY, or London.

He reminds us of our own Dad, making funny typos while speaking wisely from the heart and mind.

Clearly, if this was a PR stunt the words would’ve been controlled and more promotional. But the tweets are sharp and authentic.

You also get the sense with his tweets how he’s slightly out of touch with the digital society, wrapped in his own cocoon. His myopia on the repercussions for Internet creativity on SOPA said it all.

You may have all the power in the world at the top but the customer is always right. Thanks to Twitter, at least now we know Murdoch is listening.

Barnes & Noble, Bright and Gloomy

Barnes & Noble Chief executive William Lynch Jr. paints a rosy picture in today’s New York Times.

Store sales are up 4% over the Holiday, its holds 27% of the ebook business, and its stores “are not going anywhere.”

The reality is that stores are closing as I witnessed in Georgetown a few weeks ago and that Amazon is dominating the ebook and ereader market.

People hang out and Barnes & Noble to access the Internet on their non-B&N devices and drink Starbucks coffee all without ever buying any books.

In short, Barnes & Noble is a great hangout spot for sampling books you’re going to buy elsewhere.

At this point Barnes & Noble is using its stores to market its future in the digital book market.  It’ll probably downsize though and use its display space for the top sellers and major releases and keep the cafe as its hub for bringing in foot traffic.

The good news is that there’s a huge appetite for books in a social setting.  Books inspire people to think and create.  And you can’t get that sitting on your couch.

Obstruction and Circumvention Vs. Free and Paid

One way to circumvent a content roadblock is to search for it on Google within 24 hours of publishing.

For example, clicking an article on brings up the registration/account login screen. But Googling that same article gives you the whole article.

The Internet is all about working around hurdles to access stuff you desire.

This is why free and accessible stuff is so gratifying.  The New York Times and The Economist post articles for free.  Readers pay for delivery, packaging, and presentation.

Spotify is mostly free.  3 million subscribe to get complete, unfettered access.

Making content free and accessible is the key to converting users into long-term customers.

“If Twitter Censors, I’ll Leave”

2 days ago famous artist and Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei ripped Twitter for permitting censorship.

But Twitter’s adjusted policy finally opens up its platform from the Great Chinese Firewall, which has been blocking Twitter and Facebook since 2009.

Twitter wants to be the default real-time worldwide breaking news platform and social network.  The timing for its global expansion is perfect.

Millions of people across the word are accessing the Internet for the first time on their mobile devices.  For many, Twitter will be the first public communication tool they use.

Twitter will make it easier for the Chinese government to spread its messages and watch over tweets at the same time.  It’ll be a requirement for citizens to use their real names.

Big Brother Twitter is just around the corner.

Foursquare Does What?

1.  Visit

2.  Watch this.

Hi! I want to learn more about foursquare! from foursquare on Vimeo.

3.  And now tweet a cool Instagram photo about where you are.

Exactly.  Please leave a comment below if any of your friends actively use Foursquare.

The CEO still uses flickr.

♫ Is All That Matters

Content is queen, re:  Lady Gaga and Adele.

But yesterday’s article by The Guardian calls Gaga’s success “hard work” while Adele’s hits appear effortless.

It was the feeling that she delivered great music so easily. These days the results might still be exciting, but it all looks a bit like hard work.

Music is only hard work when you make songs with synched marketing in mind:  the dancing, the story, the clothes, and Gaga’s speciality, the weirdness.

Contrast that perfection with Adele’s focus on getting the music right first with delicate songwriting and harmony.

In music, ‘keep it simple’ and ‘stick to the fundamentals’ are old adages that ring true.  Even Kanye silences his entertainment side and mums his social network activity when producing.

Image and music are mutually exclusive.

Pinterest Edging Tumblr In Pageviews

gif via Mashable

Cheers to the web prodigy @shl for the tweet.


  • Pinterest focuses on one thing only, images.  Simplicity like Instagram.  Tumblr allows posts on text, quotes, pictures, video, link, chat, and audio.
  • “Repin” conjures quickness.  Publish, boom, we feel like contributors.  “Reblog” sounds lengthy.  Internet denizens have 3 second attention spans.
  • Pinterest is a Facebook Timeline app which means your pins show in the real time ticker.  Log into Facebook, you can’t miss your friends’ pins.  Tumblr awaits.

  • Pinterest is searchable.  Tumblr search is confused by the plethora of mixed media content and too many tags.  Again, simplicity.
  • Pinterest users all have the same looking template.  Like Facebook.  Tumblr has 1000+ designs to choose from including create your own.
  • Pinterest is a girl’s world.  Tumblr is for “Teebowing.”

Compare stats.

SoundCloud’s Storywheel Is One Way To Make Sound Bigger Than Video

A couple days ago I wrote that Youtube’s hour per minute upload stats essentially squashed Alex Ljung’s “sound will be bigger than video” prediction.

That’s until I saw SoundCloud’s latest Lab’s creation called Storywheel.

Storywheel integrates SoundCloud and Instagram, allowing users to tell a story through photos.

Here’s my first attempt:

Now the facts.


  • Photos are more engaging pieces of content than video.
  • Photos tell a thousand words and take no more than three seconds to like.
  • Video still requires attention and is stuck in the weird world of flash and HTML 5.
  • Most Internet videos you’re willing to watch are professionally made.  Most amateur videos go unseen unless they’re viral or shared by someone in your social network.


  • Siri
  • Siri
  • Siri
  • Siri

Electronic devices will be voice controlled in a couple years.  People will get used to talking again.

The reemergence of sound plus the ever growing popularity of filtered photos creates a whole new space for audience engagement.

After all, isn’t video just a fast aggregation of photos and sound?