Transferrable Internet Symbols (@ & #)

It’s not just media that’s interoperable between devices; social symbols are transferrable too.

A couple years ago, Facebook made it possible to copy someone in a post just by adding an “@” sign, a sign which Twitter gave birth.

Instagram made sure upon launch last year that it also enabled tagging.  In addition, Instagram has incorporated the Twitter hash tag (#) into its platform. Tumblr uses the hash tag too, which makes it easier for people to search topics by popularity or interest.

The “@” and “#” are now widely adopted social networking symbols that carry over into email and even physical space.  For example, Mexican soccer players will now sport the follow symbol on the back of their jerseys.

Social networking language is getting deeply embedded into our everyday lives.  You can’t avoid it.

From TV, To Live, To Instagram

My wife watched The Today Show this morning.  One hour later, I was in NYC for work and passed The Today Show going on live in Rockefeller Plaza.

Here’s my instagram photo of Al Roker.

In a span of 1.5 hours, I went from watching TV, to the live experience, to sharing that experience on Instagram, three different touch points with incredible marketing power.

TV masses the show; the in person experience solidifies it; and my public promotion via Instagram now encourages others to follow in my footsteps.  This is how we implant memories and create long living fans of brands or TV shows.

The whole point of mass promotion is to actually get you there to live it.

Twitter, Not an RSS Replacement

Twitter is not an RSS news replacement; Twitter is an additional socially curated news source.

You can’t rely on your followers to inform you of every nook and cranny in your interests. You still need a personal list of sources.

Sure, blogs and newspapers tweet links but they don’t tweet every link. You’re bound to miss something important if you just use Twitter as your news source.

We need to pull from multiple sources to shape our minds and opinions. The RSS reader is therefore still useful and relevant.

Facebook Is For The Lazy

The most exciting social networks start with T’s.

Twitter and Tumblr galvanize user-creation while Facebookers live in a world of passive sharing and friend feeds.

If you want to say something, share it with the world.  Your friends already know what you think, each post just reminds them of that.

Branch out, go public, and express yourself to the world.  There’s thousands out there like you.  But don’t be surprised if they find you first.

Why Amazon Beats The Nook

The central difference between the Kindle and the Nook used to be the color screen.

The central difference now is Amazon’s built in cloud service.

I own the old Kindle and have played around with the Nook color. The Nook felt instantly richer because of its touch display and color appeal. Amazon had no choice in updating to meet the standard.

But even before the Kindle Fire was announced, I felt more comfortable with an Amazon eReader mostly because of the content available.

You can’t get any of the Domino Project books on the Nook. I’m also more likely to receive an Amazon gift card for holiday.

Amazon beats out the Nook in the eReader market mostly because of its brand equity in the online space. People think of Barnes and Noble as a store, and I don’t know anyone who goes in there other then to relax in the cafe. Amazon has the edge.

We should all be glad that there’s more than one eReader. Competition means we consumers always get the coolest features and lower prices.

Linked Is Definitely In

Give credit where credit is due.

LinkedIn is officially a social networking survivor, now boasting 131 million members.

It survived because it stuck to its niche, helping professionals network through the Internet.

Still, the amount of people that actually get a job through LinkedIn is probably below 2%.  But that’s not its role anyways.

LinkedIn’s main role is to allow you to research potential employers.  That’s where LinkedIn gets its traffic and builds ad-revenue.  And it must be thriving on the the high unemployment rate.

Next up for LinkedIn, taking over the common application.

You Can’t Fight Openness

In the music industry, you can’t fight free.  In the social networking industry, you can’t fight openness.

Google is now indexing Facebook comments.

The shift from privacy to openness is a natural evolution forced by the public nature of the web.

Eventually, Google will pry your Facebook shares and comments completely open.

Twitter is teaching us that the Internet is a global forum; you will participate whether you like it or not.

Email is the only privacy you’ll get.

Now Hear This: Why Video Games Rule

On youth’s preference for video games over books:

…we will always read. And when we are not reading, we will play games.

Kids love video games mainly because they’re engaging, rewarding, and fun. Reading, on the other hand, is mostly a passive and stagnant experience.

Games also combine elements of reading, music, and decision making.

All in all, video games are a major force of distraction from traditional learning. What they teach is actually more indicative of real life skills like negotiating, building, and making decisions on the fly.

Note that music has taken a backseat to video games and reading. Music used to be at the forefront, a solo experience on its own.

The Internet basically turned music into an overly consumed commodity with no intrinsic value. Music is now but a mere background for many.

As we get older, video games take a backseat to books yet music remains the same; we’ll take it when we need it or when we’re doing something else.

The Internationalization of Halloween

No one is writing about this so I will. The Internet spread Halloween around the world.

My friends from Australia, Europe, and Asia are all posting Halloween pictures today.  This was not the case 5 years ago, even 3 years ago.

We can definitely pinpoint social networks as the main reason for the the internationalization of Halloween.

The world is intertwined, walls broken down.  Thanksgiving for all this year!

Innovators Innovate Differently

Walter Isaacson on Steve Jobs (NY Times Opinion):

Trained in Zen Buddhism, Mr. Jobs came to value experiential wisdom over empirical analysis. He didn’t study data or crunch numbers but like a pathfinder, he could sniff the winds and sense what lay ahead.

Bill Gates is super-smart, but Steve Jobs was super-ingenious. The primary distinction, I think, is the ability to apply creativity and aesthetic sensibilities to a challenge.

Like Mr. Jobs, Franklin enjoyed the concept of applied creativity — taking clever ideas and smart designs and applying them to useful devices.

We all think different.  Steve Jobs predicted and dictated consumer adoption with instinctive technologies; Bill Gates standardized software for the masses so we could all speak the same language.

Innovators innovate differently, each having profound impact on society as a whole.

Removing the “You” From YouTube

My tweet from yesterday:

@YouTube finally realizes that if it really wants to be profitable it’s got to get rid of the “You” and focus on professional content. #Tube

YouTube is taking steps to monetize its service which has been supporting the bandwidth of user-uploaded videos for years.

Instead of licensing shows from the major networks and competing directly with Hulu, YouTube is signing up celebrities and news services to make exclusive content for its platform.

YouTube is the largest and most powerful video/social network.  Glad to see it flex its muscles.

The Business of Streaming is Destroying Music Creation

The quality of music is declining.

I say that because every November, I typically have about 150 songs queued up as candidates for my end of year mix.  This year, there’s less than 30 songs in my playlist.

The business of streaming is destroying music creation. 

On the whole, people are incentivized to create music simply out of passion.  BUT passion only goes so far when the economics don’t work out.

The shift from CDs to downloads was bad enough; the shift from downloads to streams means that a musician/band can’t survive on record sales.  Simple case and point:  it takes at least 100 Spotify streams to equal 1 iTunes download.

For the past 5 years, the Internet has opened the doors to musicians to create, market, and distribute a world of music on the cheap only to find out they’re brand building efforts are not sellable.

The ease of creation has crowded the music market, and compounded by lower royalties on streams, musicians are completely discouraged from following their passion and producing good work.

The rise of cloud music lockers also negatively affects music consumption, to the point where music consumers are confused between which service to use and where and and how they’re going to play back their collection.

Such morass in music marketing and music consumption puts the industry at a dead end to which only Coldplay, Lady Gaga, and high tech music listeners will survive.

A Blog Underneath a Blog

That’s how I would classify Pen.io.

WordPress, Tumblr, Typepad, and Blogger are all blogging platforms.  They focus on rapid scrolling between multiple entries.

Pen.io on the other hand, is about that one entry or page, and makes it look minimalistic and beautiful by focusing strictly on the content.

Pen.io page examples – http://theicloud.pen.io/http://ripsteve.pen.io/

I recommend saving your best long-form content for Pen.io for the best user reading experience.  Don’t waste using Pen.io on quick impulsive posts.

Pen.io is on to something, a simplification of content publishing and design.

Social TV

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Simon Cowell on television viewers using social networks:

“The only powerful people now on TV are the people on Twitter and Facebook.”

Social networks drive tune-in.  In the case of Twitter, it can even serve as a TV replacement; for example, I follow soccer matches through Twitter feeds.

Social is also a HUGE engagement tool.  The X Factor allows fans to vote through Twitter instead of through SMS.  Free and easy voting creates a whole new market for participation where people want to do more on their phones while watching television than merely checking into shows using Get Glue.

Next up is watching and tweeting directly on the TV, with a side panel pulling in your friends and followers and indicating their votes.  You’d tweet through a TV touch screen.

TV, like music, is an inherently social experience.  This is just the beginning of TV/social integration.

The eBook Pre-Order

Internet consumers expect to order product when they want it, at that moment.

Pre-order is an afterthought because digital inventory is infinite and the purchase can be made instantly on the go.

The pre-order is merely a reminder or a check off the buy list. For example, those whom pre-ordered the Steve Jobs book on Kindle did so to just get it done; the book will download as soon as it becomes available.

Pre-order for physical goods Is based off limited inventory and first come first serve. Digital pre-order means we no longer have to wait in line.