The big question in my mind is the sustainability of the arbitrage models which underpin pretty much every internet business plan. Essentially we have two markets: one where everybody consumes but pays in metadata and another where everybody consumes aggregated analytics but pays in cash. An internet business is the arbitrageur who takes advantage of the inability of each market to price the other. History shows that arbitrage markets tend not be stable as information begins to leak across markets. Therefore what would blow the internet up is if consumers could become wiser about what they are giving up and advertisers would become wiser about aggregating consumer data. I imagine a system where each individual would allow bids on their consumption and a market mechanism where bidders competed for that data. This of course depends on users taking control and ownership of their own data. What might help is the realization of what mass state surveillance can do and the realization that internet giants have more information about us than the government could ever hope to possess.
It would create a new era which will have political dimensions. I imagine we’ll need an internet citizen’s bill of rights or some such movement which will reset expectations. Economically, could bode well for those who position themselves as protectors of the individuals and be a crisis for those who take advantage of consumer ignorance.An Interview With Horace Dediu: On Blogging, Apple And What’s Next - Forbes
Instagram photos ceased being viewable on Twitter last December due to a strategic decision by Facebook management, which Twitter CEO Dick Costolo said was “their prerogative.” At the time Instagram was building out a web presence and seeking overall to drive more consumers to view photos within Instagram controlled properties (their website, their apps), rather than through Twitter. Since that time Instagram has continued to grow – 150 million user now – so everything seemingly is healthy. But is it?
What Instagram gave up, in my mind, was owning the word “photo” on Twitter. I spend a lot of my social tech time on Twitter and anecdotally see far fewer Instagram links than I used to. Or maybe it just feels that way since I certainly click on fewer than I did when the picture was embedded right there. These days “photo” for me on Twitter could mean their own native hosting, or FrontBack, or imgur, or any number of other destination links.Instagram Stabbing Itself By Leaving Twitter Cards Off | Hunter Walk
"Google is epic in the sense that on brand keywords such as Zaggora or HotPants, things that are really key to us as a business, we see a five or six times return. For generics, people searching for sportswear or fitness wear, it is a bit less and comparable to Facebook.
"The difference between Google and Facebook, is that Google is very reactive. You can only advertise to people who are searching for that particular keyword, whereas on Facebook we are able to proactively advertise to those people who we think are most interested in our products. That’s why we love Facebook because we have that extra element of control."
Does social media keep the business honest? “Absolutely. There is nowhere to hide anymore,” says Bell. “Everyone now has a voice. This empowerment means that you lose a lot of control over your brand messaging. Like it or not your brand and marketing message is now held by your social following. Therefore if your customer service is crap, if your product is crap, then people will talk about it, they will write on Facebook about it, they will tell their friends.
"There is research that tells you that people who love your product might tell four or five other people, but people who have a bad experience will tell ten or fifteen. There is nowhere to hide so before you look outwards, look inwards and make sure you are doing things in the best possible way. You are never going to reach perfection, you constantly need to evolve with the needs of your customers."Google is epic but Facebook is better | Technology | theguardian.com
You’re probably familiar with highway rest stops, but drivers might soon be seeing something a little less ordinary along the road: text stops. New York plans to establish 91 “Texting Zones” along state highways, encouraging drivers to wait until they can safely pull off the road to respond to a text message. The signs will read “Text Stop” and “It can wait,” and both will note how far away the nearest texting zone, rest stop, or parking area is that drivers can pull off at. The initiative is more marketing and awareness than a big undertaking, as it largely rebrands existing rest points by simply plopping down a sign.New York unveils ‘text stops’ to curb crashes by distracted drivers | The Verge
MOOCs are absolutely terrific for the people who already know what they want and just need to dig deeper. The meme out of Silicon Valley is that if we just give people access to the knowledge, we will unleash these incredible efficiencies and people will gobble up all the lessons themselves. But I don’t think that’s true for most people. I think that is because Silicon Valley is full of autodidacts, folks who taught themselves to code on their own. I would not have thrived in that situation. I’m pretty nerdy, but I still needed teachers to push me.
I don’t like that MOOCs are being sold, especially the for-profit ones like Udacity, as a replacement for college. The reason you go to college is to learn how to learn, and you still need teachers for that. The idea that MOOCs could replace higher education is, frankly, a bad idea. But, hey — I’m a Canadian, so I think the whole idea of for-profit education is stark raving mad.Smarter than you think: the internet isn’t dumbing us down after all | The Verge
“Our longer-term vision is … to build the world’s first economic graph … to visualize every economic opportunity in the world, every skill required to obtain those opportunities,” Weiner said at TechCrunch Disrupt 2013.
Eventually, Weiner said, his company hopes to have a profile for every one of the world’s three billion working people and its entire store of companies and higher education institutions.
“We’re already down that path,” he continued. “This isn’t science fiction.”LinkedIn CEO: We’re aiming for 3B profiles and a map of the world’s economy | VentureBeat
This is how you beat software fragmentation. When you can update just about anything without having to push out a new Android version, you have fewer and fewer reasons to bother calling up Samsung and begging them to work on a new update. When the new version of Android brings nothing other than low-level future-proofing, users stop caring about the update.
This gets even more interesting when you consider the implications for future versions of Android. What will the next version of Android have? Well, what is left for it to have? Android is now on more of a steady, continual improvement track than an all-at-once opening of the floodgates like we last saw with Android 4.1. It seems like Google has been slowly moving down this path for some time; the last three releases have all kept the name “Jelly Bean.” Huge, monolithic Android OS updates are probably over—”extinct” may be a more appropriate term.Balky carriers and slow OEMs step aside: Google is defragging Android | Ars Technica
've asked my kids and their friends about this and I've observed behavior a bit and that tells me a few things:
1) the social pressure to post something great to Instagram is high among the hyperactive social media teens that make up an important cohort on these services. it’s easier to take risks on Vine, where most people have less followers, than it is on Instagram
2) as a result Vine videos are funnier, edgier, and crazier than those posted on Instagram
3) scrolling through the Instagram feed casually looking through photos and liking them is interrupted by playing videos and many Instagram users I talk to don’t end up playing a lot of the videos that are posted there.
4) Vine is all about video and so it does not suffer from the “being part of the photo feed” problem
Once again, it appears that the category creating innovator isn’t hurt too badly when the bigger and more popular social platform copies their signature feature in their product. We have seen this before with Twitter and Facebook and Foursquare and Facebook and many other similar situations.
My guess is Vine will continue to grow in popularity as long as the Vine team can improve the service and make it better and better over time. And as a Twitter investor, I sure hope they do.A VC: Some Lessons From Vine
The evolution of data storage
What they didn’t count on were the effects of several months of self-iteration within the complex machine-learning code which gave Kenji his first tenderness. As of last week, Kenji’s love for the doll, and indeed anybody he sets his ‘eyes’ on, is so intense that Dr. Takahashi and his team now fear to show him to outsiders.
The trouble all started when a young female intern began to spend several hours each day with Kenji, testing his systems and loading new software routines. When it came time to leave one evening, however, Kenji refused to let her out of his lab enclosure and used his bulky mechanical body to block her exit and hug her repeatedly. The intern was only able to escape after she had frantically phoned two senior staff members to come and temporarily de-activate Kenji.TechandFacts » Robot Programmed to Fall in Love with a Girl Goes too Far
Facebook joins a growing legion of traditional media and Internet companies, including Google Inc. GOOG -0.19% and Twitter Inc., that are trying to grab money that advertisers currently spend on television, a decades-old medium. Advertisers are expected to spend $66.4 billion on TV ads in the U.S. this year and just $4.1 billion on online video ads during the same period, according to eMarketer. Still, the amount spent on online video is expected to grow by more than 40% this year, the research firm says.
For Facebook, video represents a potential catalyst for the company. In the past two weeks, Facebook’s stock has risen 45% to above its IPO price after showing in an earnings report it is making money from mobile advertising faster than many investors expected.Nervous About Backlash, Facebook Moves Cautiously on Video Ads - WSJ.com
But while Tetris is famous for its infinite replayability, Rymdkapsel only wants players to get good enough to reach three goals, each of which involves surviving against increasingly deadly waves of alien invaders and collecting data from four towers on the map. You don’t have to do all three in one go, but if you get really good at the game, you very well may be able to.
Reaching all three goals means you “beat” the game, and at that point you can probably just quit playing. The game even goes so far as to throw up a “The End” screen.
“This is just the size [it] ended up being,” Rymdkapsel creator Martin Jonasson told WIRED in an email. “I’ve agonized quite a bit over it being too small, but there’s a few hours of good playtime in there so I feel I can stand by it.”
This is particularly unusual for a real-time strategy game, a genre known for lengthy campaigns and multiplayer modes with seemingly endless depth. Even budget-priced strategy titles on mobile marketplaces have continued this trend.Forget ‘Addictive.’ Give Me a Game That Only Lasts Three Hours | Game|Life | Wired.com
We may be discovering that e-books are well suited to some types of books (like genre fiction) but not well suited to other types (like nonfiction and literary fiction) and are well suited to certain reading situations (plane trips) but less well suited to others (lying on the couch at home). The e-book may turn out to be more a complement to the printed book, as audiobooks have long been, rather than an outright substitute.The flattening of e-book sales | ROUGH TYPE
So how does News Feed know which of those 1,500 stories to show? By letting people decide who and what to connect with, and by listening to feedback. When a user likes something, that tells News Feed that they want to see more of it; when they hide something, that tells News Feed to display less of that content in the future. This allows us to prioritize an average of 300 stories out of these 1,500 stories to show each day.News Feed FYI: A Window Into News Feed | Facebook for Business
The News Feed algorithm responds to signals from you, including, for example:
How often you interact with the friend, Page, or public figure (like an actor or journalist) who posted
The number of likes, shares and comments a post receives from the world at large and from your friends in particular
How much you have interacted with this type of post in the past
Whether or not you and other people across Facebook are hiding or reporting a given post