background preloader

The Jig Is Up: Time to Get Past Facebook and Invent a New Future - Alexis Madrigal - Technology

The Jig Is Up: Time to Get Past Facebook and Invent a New Future - Alexis Madrigal - Technology
After five years pursuing the social-local-mobile dream, we need a fresh paradigm for technology startups. Finnish teenagers performing digital ennui in 1996 2006. Reuters. We're there. The future that visionaries imagined in the late 1990s of phones in our pockets and high-speed Internet in the air: Well, we're living in it. "The third generation of data and voice communications -- the convergence of mobile phones and the Internet, high-speed wireless data access, intelligent networks, and pervasive computing -- will shape how we work, shop, pay bills, flirt, keep appointments, conduct wars, keep up with our children, and write poetry in the next century." That's Steve Silberman reporting for Wired in 1999, which was 13 years ago, if you're keeping count. The question is, as it has always been: now what? Decades ago, the answer was, "Build the Internet." What we've seen since have been evolutionary improvements on the patterns established five years ago. That paradigm has run its course. Related:  sort

Google Drive: Why you’re a sucker if you pay for online file storage Photograph by Google. Rumors that Google would get into the online storage game have been swirling longer than some of its rivals have been in business. The first bit of evidence appeared online in 2004, the year Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook. Every few years since then, Google acolytes have stumbled upon fresh proof that the GDrive was imminent. And yet it never came. Farhad Manjoo is a technology columnist for the Wall Street Journal and the author of True Enough. Follow Eventually, people stopped waiting. Now, finally, Google is joining the party. To be fair, there are some unique features built into Google Drive. But don’t pay Google for extra space. Google, Microsoft, Dropbox, SugarSync, and box.com all give away some space for free, and then ask you to pay a few dollars a month for more. For Microsoft and Google, this state of affairs isn’t so bad. Imagine a service that kept track of all these different drives for you.

Expanded tweets: Tweets are about to get a whole lot longer. Hooray! Photograph by Brian Harkin/Getty Images. Almost a year ago, I proposed that Twitter double its character limit from 140 to 280. The microblogging site long ago outgrew its original purpose as a platform for simple status updates. Now people use Twitter for news, jokes, conversations, and ferocious arguments—and 140 characters is too cramped for all of these things. That’s why people often resort to hacks like multipart tweets, ugly textese, and TwitLonger to express their expansive thoughts. Farhad Manjoo is a technology columnist for the Wall Street Journal and the author of True Enough. Follow Everyone thought I was nuts. Lots of folks on Twitter called me a moron, too, and I had a long, mostly incoherent argument about the merits of longer tweets with Mathew Ingram, a blogger at GigaOm, who wrote a piece calling my idea “dumb.” Imagine my surprise, then, when I read last week that Twitter is beginning to push past the sacrosanct 140. How many characters is all that? But I kid.

Building It Is Not Enough: 5 Practical Tips On User Acquisition Building It Is Not Enough: 5 Practical Tips On User Acquisition The following is a guest post by Brian Balfour, Co-Founder and CMO of Boundless. You can read more of his writing on his blog at BrianBalfour.com. Stories about the growth of "hot" startups such as Facebook, Instagram, AirBNB, and others have created a belief that if you build the right product, customer acquisition will be easy. If you build it, they may not come. You probably have a product roadmap and a development process. Finding scalable customer acquisition channels is as much of a process as software development or finding product market fit. 1. This is the ol' throw stuff against the wall and see what sticks strategy. Inbound marketing takes an incredible amount of time for content development. It is easy to think that the fastest way to find a channel is to test a lot at once. 2. Entire companies are typically built on the back of one or two channels. 3. Every, and I mean every, acquisition channel costs money. 4.

Six degrees of aggregation Of the many and conflicting stories about how The Huffington Post came to be—how it boasts 68 sections, three international editions (with more to come), 1.2 billion monthly page views and 54 million comments in the past year alone, how it came to surpass the traffic of virtually all the nation’s established news organizations and amass content so voluminous that a visit to the website feels like a trip to a mall where the exits are impossible to locate—the earliest and arguably most telling begins with a lunch in March 2003 at which the idea of an online newspaper filled with celebrity bloggers and virally disseminated aggregated content did not come up. The invitation for the lunch came from Kenneth Lerer. He was 51 and casting about for something new, having recently left his position as executive vice president for communications at AOL. He brought the book with him and Watts would recall that the copy was dog-eared, the flatteringly telltale sign of a purposeful read. 1. 2.

You Don’t Have to Tweet to Twitter November 15, 2011: [Follow Me on Twitter] “In a brand new direction A change of perception On a brand new trajection” - UB40 [Disclosure: Benchmark Capital is a major investor in Twitter, and my partner Peter Fenton sits on the Twitter BOD.] Twitter is having a remarkable year. So, Twitter’s traffic has been growing in leaps and bounds. Twitter suffers from two key misperceptions that need to be resolved before the business can reach its true potential. As its roots are in communication, a key part of the Facebook value proposition is sharing information. The second, and more critical, Twitter misperception is that you need to tweet, to have something to say and broadcast, for the service to be meaningful to you. Twitter is an innovative and remarkable information service. In many ways, Twitter is much more of a competitor to other “discovery tools” and “information sources” than it is to Facebook. Some who understand this point have suggested that Twitter is merely a “Better RSS reader.”

Kickstarter Sets Off $7 Million Stampede for a Watch Not Yet Made But he couldn’t even get a foot in the door, let alone secure any money for what he called the Pebble watch. So he turned to Kickstarter, a site where ordinary people back creative projects. Backers could pledge $99 and were promised a Pebble watch in return. Less than two hours after the project went up on the site, Mr. “By that night, we were at $600,000,” said Mr. As of Friday afternoon, nearly 50,000 people had pledged close to $7 million — and there is still two weeks left before the fund-raising window closes. Pebble is the latest — and by far the largest — example of how Kickstarter, a scrappy start-up sprouted in the New York living room of its founders three years ago, is transforming the way people build businesses. The large amount of money that Pebble has raised — equivalent to what a young company would get in a second round of venture capital financing — also signifies a coming of age for Kickstarter. Mr. But Kickstarter is the biggest. Mr. Mr.

News - Life after Firefox: Can Mozilla regain its mojo? 10 April 2012Last updated at 19:05 ET By Dave Lee Technology reporter Mozilla knows it needs to diversify its income possibilities if it is to survive Mozilla Foundation president Mitchell Baker is sitting on a ticking time bomb. The survival of her company, which pledges to make the web a better place, is at the mercy of one of its main competitors, Google. If you haven't heard of Mozilla, you almost certainly know - and perhaps use - its most famous product: the Firefox browser. Since 2002, it has been steadily gaining market share against Internet Explorer (IE), Microsoft's pre-loaded, oft-criticised equivalent. It now has about half a billion users, a huge number of which are evangelists for the software. Google likes this. This investment is believed to represent about 85% of Mozilla's entire income. Mozilla loves that, no doubt, but can they trust it? Mitchell Baker tells the BBC it is important for Mozilla to diversify its income Why would Google pull out or scale back its contribution?

Noos Bodino Noos Le premier héros du temps planétaire Maurice, un jeune berger, se découvre des aptitudes surprenantes. Lui qui n'a pas de lettres écrit spontanément un poème digne des plus grands. Lui d'habitude si réservé captive ses collègues, par une animation improvisée. Lui qui ne connaît pas cette femme qu'il rencontre, découvre dans ses carnets un dessin qu'il a réalisé il y a cinq ans et qui la représente trait pour trait. Que se passe-t-il? Par un lent processus qui élude une à une les interprétations mystiques ou religieuses, matérialistes ou doctrinaires, le roman développe et met en œuvre la fascinante hypothèse de la noosphère, autrefois avancée par Teilhard de Chardin. Philippe Bodino,enseignant puis officier de sapeurs pompiers, ancien directeur de l'école nationale supérieure des officiers de sapeurs pompiers a exercé des métiers qui ont pour point commun l'humain, la relation, la confrontation permanente au réel et à l'urgence.

Early Startup Time Wasters A major difference between launching a brand new startup and working on one that’s a year or two old is quality of shot selection. Every day begins with 1,000 doors in front of you: which door do you go through to make the most progress? Shot selection is choosing what to focus on at the expense of other forgone opportunities. It’s one of the most critical skills in running a startup. As a company matures, it should be normal (ideally) for judgment to improve and shot selection to get a lot better, resulting in less wasted time and more forward momentum. Looking back on the first six months of my own startup, I’m embarrassed by how terrible my shot selection was. I wish I had never spent time on: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. It’s easy to criticize with the benefit of hindsight, but I believe most of these mistakes were avoidable at the time. Home ↑

Is Facebook Making Us Lonely? - Magazine Yvette Vickers, a former Playboy playmate and B-movie star, best known for her role in Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, would have been 83 last August, but nobody knows exactly how old she was when she died. According to the Los Angeles coroner’s report, she lay dead for the better part of a year before a neighbor and fellow actress, a woman named Susan Savage, noticed cobwebs and yellowing letters in her mailbox, reached through a broken window to unlock the door, and pushed her way through the piles of junk mail and mounds of clothing that barricaded the house. Upstairs, she found Vickers’s body, mummified, near a heater that was still running. Her computer was on too, its glow permeating the empty space. The Los Angeles Times posted a story headlined “Mummified Body of Former Playboy Playmate Yvette Vickers Found in Her Benedict Canyon Home,” which quickly went viral. Also see: Live Chat With Stephen Marche The author will be online at 3 p.m.

bomomo Do You Want the Good News First? I’VE spent the last week traveling to two of America’s greatest innovation hubs — Silicon Valley and Seattle — and the trip left me feeling a combination of exhilaration and dread. The excitement comes from not only seeing the stunning amount of innovation emerging from the ground up, but from seeing the new tools coming on stream that are, as Amazon.com’s founder, Jeff Bezos, put it to me, “eliminating all the gatekeepers” — making it easier and cheaper than ever to publish your own book, start your own company and chase your own dream. Never have individuals been more empowered, and we’re still just at the start of this trend. “I see the elimination of gatekeepers everywhere,” said Bezos. Thanks to cloud computing for the masses, anyone anywhere can for a tiny hourly fee now rent the most powerful computing and storage facilities on Amazon’s “cloud” to test any algorithm or start any company or publish any book. This is leading to an explosion of new firms and voices.

How Twitter Makes the Internet More Local Last year marked the 15th anniversary of "Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace," a manifesto by the poet and political activist John Perry Barlow that presented a vision of cyberspace as being "both everywhere and nowhere," outside the control of the governments of "the industrial world." Today, many consider online social media as having ushered in the "global village" prophesied by the media theorist Marshall McLuhan, connecting everyone and anyone and giving them the power to promulgate social movements and engender democracy. It only took a few years for China to contradict Barlow by developing its so-called Great Firewall, which has proved quite capable of blocking undesirable foreign Web sites and plenty of domestic ones, too, as it did earlier this week, when Beijing strangled the hugely popular microblogging sites Weibo.com and t.qq.com. But other borders are emerging online, these more ad-hoc. To continue reading, please log in. Don't have an account? Register

Related: