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Thirst

Cut through the twutter.

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Facebook, Just Like American Soccer

Curiosity and experimentation create innovation.

Innovation gets rewarded, at its peak today with the Facebook IPO.

But Facebook’s innovation all seems kind of robotic. Nothing truly innovative has really come out of Facebook the last couple years. All its innovation is copied (e.g. check-ins) and brought to its masses or simply bought.

Questioning the modus operandi is not in Facebook’s blood. It reminds me of an article I read this morning about an American soccer playing trying to make it in Brazil.

As we spent the next hour taking turns at bending kicks at an imaginary target, I was amazed at how enthusiastic he was about all the ways to strike the ball. The curiosity he had was startling. While I ran extra drills to sharpen certain movements, young Brazilians were always thinking of new moves that nobody had seen before. And because of that constant exploration, they never got tired of the game.

The key to success is doing the everyday things well but more importantly trying new stuff with enthusiasm. Boredom and emulation are the enemy.

Apple and Google enjoy the beautiful tech game more than Facebook. They are thinkers and pioneers bettering the world through product and interconnectivity. Facebook’s thinking is stale.

The real value in Facebook is having fun and acting unpredictably creative. And that starts with thinking differently.

Source: soccershoes-stores.com via Wells on Pinterest

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Pinterest: International By Nature

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Images are languageless.

With its masonry layout Pinterest turns images into stories. The layout of the board is just as important as the images in it.

Pinterest will expand outside the US faster than Instagram mainly because it’s less focused on original content and more focused on curation and sharing.  The “Pin it” button also feels like a piece the web browsing experience, as does Twitter on mobile.

Pinterest still needs some mobile work.  Right now an image pinned on the mobile browser redirects you to its app where it’s difficult to pin and credit the source.  All editing occurs on the desktop.

The Internet is a pinnable copy-paste machine. And the world could be Pinterest oyster.

Sit back and watch it grow.

Source: nickelsonwooster.tumblr.com via matthew on Pinterest

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Facebook Fortitude

Word on the street says that mobile threatens Facebook’s future. The mobile screen is way smaller and difficult to insert ads without disrupting the whole user experience.

The Facebook app is janky as it stands with bugs and slow response. That needs to get fixed first. One thing that Instagram taught all app developers is that speed is key to growth. No one wants to wait to see content. Instagram starts uploading user images even before the filter gets selected.

But have no fear, Facebook will figure it out. Zuckerberg feels the heat and is fiercely persistent. He’ll keep adding companies to his portfolio until he figures out how to create the ultimate mobile experience that keeps advertisers on board.

Every time we doubt Facebook it proves itself again. It could disappear one day like MySpace but we should remember that it still has Instagram just like Microsoft has the Xbox. It also knows more about us than our parents.

Facebook has enough manpower to come up with innovative solutions for its users and advertisers. There’s no quit.

People love to hate Facebook and use it at the same time. That part won’t change.

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Public’s Public

When we look back at Facebook we’ll have to congratulate it for opening up interest based networks that were reserved for early adopters and niche interests.

Now the only way for startups to scale quickly is to enable sharing activity to Facebook. But not everyone likes this strategy, especially the users.

As soon as Instagram sold out its most passionate users went nuts. How could something so cool, creative, and expressive sell to a behemoth? The same thing almost happened to Foursquare in 2010 and most likely will happen to Pinterest if it keeps it’s pace.

But the main reason people dislike Facebook absorption is mass. Networks like Instagram and Quora were public networks without feeling public. One could post content ‘anonymously’ and grow a tribe outside his or her friends.

As soon as Facebook intervenes users get disturbed. Don’t users want to grow their follower base with the inclusion of Facebook friends? Not really.

As a network, scale is the priority. As a user, niche expression and the feeling of uniqueness are priorities.

The user friction between mass and special interest networks is still overhyped. The best products get recognized and swallowed. And the users keep using.

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Forcing Artist Productivity in the Interconnected Era

There’s an expectation today that artists must produce faster and release more content to stay relevant.

If you’re an author, you need to write 2 books a year instead of one and maybe a manifesto or novella on top of that. If you’re a musician, you’re expected to make an album, an EP, and drop a couple Internet singles in a year. The relentless demand for productivity goes on.

Daily communication via Twitter is another demand on artists. Fans want to interact and get the inside scoop. Some writers like Seth Godin maintain a daily blog to keep fans entertained.

Today fear drives an artist’s work. If an artist stays silent too long the risk is irrelevancy. There’s always new authors and endless forms of Internet entertainment that will make people forget. Artists are also competing with amafessionals that release stuff for free. And some of the content is pretty good.

Art is judged on productivity. There’s simply too much noise to be the old fashioned reclusive artist that ships once every decade. There will always be respect for scarcity and quality for masterpieces but artists must have some type of other presence whether it’s blogging or on Tweets. It comes down to this: Hyper-productivity keeps an artist relevant so fans and new followers will buy more stuff.

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