Reclaiming Our (Real) Lives From Social Media

“Like a virus slowly invading its victim, social media has methodically started to consume every hour of my day.”

And so Nick Bilton reads books instead, at least in his first waking hour.

I doubt the new habit will last.


All Is Fair in Love and Twitter

He quickly considered the name “Vibrate,” which he nixed, but it led him to the word “twitch.” He dismissed that too, but he continued through the “Tw” section of the dictionary: twist, twit, twitch, twitcher, twitchy … and then, there it was. He read the definition aloud. “The light chirping sound made by certain birds.” This is it, he thought. “Agitation or excitement; flutter.” Twitter.

Nick Bilton breaks down the Twitter story. Jack Dorsey was the originator of the idea but also an internal renegade.


Facebook + Google Out of Touch?

Nick Bilton argues that Facebook and Google suck at mobile because the employees are stuck in the corporate engine all day. Free bus rides, free food, free gym, and just about everything is made free and accessible just to keep employees housed inside working.

As Nick writes, “Sadly, this isn’t how the rest of the world works.”

Real workers have to go outside to get lunch, coffee, take their kids to day care, and handle their own transportation to get to work.

Missed reality is missed opportunity.

If you want to see consumer technology adoption ride the Metro North to work every day. The majority of commuters have their noses in their phones and tablets. On the way to work it’s no different. The head is down on mobile and comes up only to snap a photo.

Sometimes Facebook and Google products feel so insular and anti-consumer. The new Gmail is horribly designed. The new Timeline is not scannable. The two companies are too big now and too distant from their consumers. Myopic. Fortunately for them, they can just buy talent.

Perks make employees happy with their work. But the personal life can be a grind. It’s ok to be on your own every once in a while.


Why App Store Lists Work

There’s over 500,000 apps in the Apple App Store.  No wonder users need lists to sort through it all.

If an app is not on any Top 10 or Top 25 lists it’ll most likely never will be found.

This was the case when I worked at a record label.  Getting on the front cover of iTunes sold more records, plain and simple.  And if the record made it into the top 10 overall or top 10 in its respective category, sales were self-perpetuating.

As Nick Bilton puts its, “Once at the very top of those iTunes charts, it takes a long time to fall off.”

The primary marketing of an app is therefore in its popularity rankings where people vote, as Clay Johnson writes, with “clicks” or downloads.

But unlike music where there’s a lot of good content that goes undiscovered on iTunes weekly, there’s a lot of bad apps that never get found for a reason.  This is why the lists system really work for the App Store.

Apple curates what its thinks will be the best apps for iPhone users, features them, and the blogosphere spreads the word.  And for the most part, they all get it right.