Start-up Product Launches @FlipBoard - Whoopsies!

So I’m up in the middle of the night and very smart, good guy Robert Scoble @scobleizer announces his new new fave thing @FlipBoard. He’s been pimpin’ it (whatever it was) for awhile on Twitter as a “killer app”. Robert says he has no financial interest in the company - he just likes it. Cool. And is willing to stake his reputation on it “[ABSOLUTELY. I don’t say this often.]”

So I’m UP @ 2:30 N da AM & I figure OK - I’ll give it a try. Why not? I’m always up to see the newest revolutionary #SocialMedia thingy. It’s definitely better than watching some crap movie or an infomercial.

I download it on my iPad (red flag #1). Click on it & get a stunningly beautiful picture of some landscape somewhere (red flag #2).

Then I try to enter my Twitter info so I can be dazzled by @FlipBoard’s social media newspaper/magazine thingy. No go. I get the were overwhelmed message…at 2:40 am NYC time.

So i do the Facebook thingy. Even worse…I get a code error message.

OK - imma all for lean start-ups & agile development & scrums & constant deployment, alpha, beta, blah blah. But I gotta say: What. The. Fuck.

It’s your big moment @Flipboard…and ya lay a turd. OK it’s the middle of the night and only the @scobelizer fan-boys & insomniacs are up. Ya got 6-7 hours to sort da shit out. AND I sincerely hope you do. But come on. It’s 2010. WTF.

Look I’ve been there. In 2000, I was part of a start-up team that had the utter joy of holding our dicks in our hands in front of our board/investors because our DBs crashed in the middle of night. And funding got cut immediately…rightfully so.

I’ve also walked into situations where existing teams have spent millions on sites & apps that clearly are not ready for prime-time. Then they weren’t and had to be re-built from scratch. Lotsa blood on the floor.

I hope and pray this isn’t you @flipboard. It’s ugly and painful.

I just gotta say WTF. Ya got good guy @Scobleizer on your side. He just twittered, “When it works…” That’s death. The clock is ticking. No pressure. ;)

Ya got do better. It’s 2010 yo!


Social Media Gurus, Experts, and Agencies - Check Please!

Yesterday I sat in on a free “Best Practices of Social Media Marketing” webinar put on by an “Social Media” agency. I know, I know…but it was free and was curious to hear what a “Social Media” expert I follow on Twitter had to say. So I figured why not. 

The SM guru kinda rehashed basic stuff that everyone and their grandmother (like Mari Smith) have said about the Facebook:  1. Set Community Expectations, 2. Cohesive Branding. 3. Be Up To Date, 4. Authenticity, 5. It’s a Two-way Dialogue, 6. Enable P2P Interaction, 7. Foster User Advocacy, 8. Solicit Call To Action. Snore. Nothing new and he lost some credibility with me.

The agency slyly pitched their social gaming/FB Credits POV & expertise while smartly sharing basic stats and “case studies” of what they can do. Fine.

But they both FELL DOWN and LOST ANY CREDIBILITY when one of the first Q&As was “How do you value your social media efforts with your other marketing efforts?” The obvious expected question. Queue the tap dancing??? Amazingly they hemmed and hawed about the value of “engagement” and real conversation with consumers BUT THEY NEVER ANSWERED THE QUESTION. 

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Flipboard is BEAUTIFUL and Fatally Flawed

It’s no secret that I seriously slammed Flipboard when it launched in July. Rightfully so. The launch deployment was beyond weak and their ongoing response was amateurish - watch a video to see how cool our product is; submit your email and we’ll let you know when you can use it? I never received my email by the way. 

That said, I’m not a hater. I decided to let them get their act together and take a second look at Flipboard two months post launch and after a recent software update. 

Flipboard is beautiful and fatally flawed. 

Hubba Hubba - First and foremost, Flipboard is stunningly gorgeous iPad app. Photos are amazing on Flipboard and if shot professionally, Drop. Dead. Beautiful. If not, they look like your usual crap camera phone pix on a nice display. The GUI is dead simple/intuitive. The recent upgrade allows you to add more custom lists which is an improvement over just the few originally available. I hope that they eventually allow users to move lists icons based on personal preference. It’s quick and simple to retweet on Twitter or post/like on Facebook. I like being able to read a paragraph from tweeted web pages and then quickly go to website. The scraping is slick although we’ll see how long they are “allowed” to do this as The Content Wars continue to heat up. 

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Here’s My #NewTwitter v #OldTwitter Limbo

Check out the photo below. It’s a screen shot from my laptop. It shows you the Twitter limbo I’m in right now. My personal Twitter account that I’ve had since Feb ‘07 is stuck in #OldTwitter world. A new startup biz account, started 3 months ago, has #NewTwitter. It’s the little things that drive you crazy. ;) Ha!

There’s too much stuff. It seems to me that almost all tools we rely on to manage information weren’t designed for a world of infinite info. They were designed as if you could consume whatever was out there that you were interested in.

Evan Williams: The Challenges of a Web of Infinite Info: Tech News and Analysis «

Completely agree. This is a huge opportunity for entrepreneurs to figure out. 

(via bijan)

And this is why I think the Tumblr community is so valuable. You guys go out there and find all the stuff you think is worth someone reading. After that, all I need to do is go out and find you.

(via caterpillarcowboy)

This deja vu completely floored me. This is the EXACT same discussion that went on pre-Google in the 90s. Yes there were other search engine’s but Google took it to a completely new level. I expect a truly social relevance search tool will emerge…or is it Facebook and @Ev doesn’t want to admit that? 

(via joshsternberg)

We are free to disagree with Gladwell over what is more or less “interesting” about the Egyptian uprising. But he has continued in one crucial misapprehension that is worth correcting: the Egyptian protesters are not just “using some of the tools of the new media to communicate with one another.” They are using Twitter to take their case outside Egypt; to document their own experiences truthfully and fairly, themselves, before governments and big media can get a chance to put their spin on everything.
The NYT page is like walking into a library, while the HuffPo page is like walking through Times Square.

Felix Salmon weighing in on the HuffPost-AOL merger deal in his piece, “Why the NYT will lose to HuffPo.”  

Fellow member ‘20’ member Anthony DeRosa says he’s not sure if he agrees.

My take: The driving force behind HuffPo’s success is the comments and feedback from readers, who send it along and add their own voices and thoughts on the topic. Although the Times site allows comments, it’s not as open or available.  Despite being run and named after an extremely rich female, HuffPo is the true populist news site —and the reason why, I agree with Salmon, it will topple the Old Gray Lady.  


(via the20newyork)

I’m not sure I represent the majority of people since I never go to Huffington Post, despite the fact they’re one of the most frequently trafficked websites on the Internet.

I think the above comment by Felix is spot on, and is exactly why I avoid HuffPo like the plague. I work in Times Square and try to escape from it as quickly as possible. I do agree with Felix’s point that I don’t navigate around the NYT. I go there because I’m directed to single articles. I read the article and leave and wind up coming back many more times to read other single articles, but never seem to be led down a path from one story to another by the Times itself. 

But does the sensory overkill on HuffPo work? The numbers speak for themselves. They get a ton of traffic and they’re profitable. Peter Feld defended the fact that people slam HuffPo for having 3,000+ unpaid bloggers. According to what I’ve heard, the paid staff is somewhere around 60 people.

Peter does make a solid point that we here on Tumblr are very much like that staff of 3,000 unpaid bloggers. When’s the last time Tumblr sent you a check for the billions of pageviews they received last month?

(via soupsoup)

I’m fascinated with how “traditional” media industries - newspaper/magazine/publishing, music, TV/movies, web 1.0 (AOL, MSN, Yahoo!, Google) - are thinking about and REACTING TO the emergence of social media integrated apps, games, business, sites, etc. like The Huffington Post, Zynga games, Tumblr, etc.

It’s still strikes me as we approach nearly 20 years of digital that the media companies usual reactions follows a cyclical pattern of disfunction:

1. Dismissal,

2. Ignoring early signs of success,

3. Looking for & latching onto the “me too” silver bullet gadget/retread business model,

4. Taking a half/wrong steps (e.g. DRM, paywalls, magazine/newspaper iPad apps), 

5. Continuing their methodical death march towards obsolescence hoping their half/wrong steps will work,

6. Going back to step 1 when the next digital innovation occurs.

Influential VC’s and tumblr users Fred-Wilson and Bijan Sabet had interesting posts about music/movie piracy and their frustration at trying to buy content and not being able to because of backasswards attitude/ineptitude of traditional media companies. 

Here’s the deal - while there will always be a market for purchased entertainment and information (Broadway/West End theatre, physical/digital music copies, print/digital information), they will all increasingly become smaller and more niche industries. 

The challenge that has been obvious for well over a decade now: How should media companies best proactively plan, change, and innovate for inevitable massively disruptive technology advances? I’m talking about fundamental repositioning of their value proposition, what they do, how many people they employ, their revenue expectations, HOW CONTENT DEVELOPMENT IS FINANCED, and most importantly, how they create new valuable business models that are not retreads of what worked in the past while realizing that they may not be as BIG as record vinyl discs were in the 70s-80s or CDs in the 90s. All that’s over. 

Unfortunately, my up close experience and work within these industries has shown me that the delusional cycle continues…and continues.

Meanwhile the most innovative thoughts/leadership comes from smart musicians likeDavid Byrne and Radiohead’s Thom Yorke…or bloggers like Anthony De Rosa (SoupSoup).


(Source: nbcnewyork, via soupsoup)

POYNTER: Journalists learn what works (& doesn’t work) on Tumblr
Could Twitter make me stupid? Absolutely. If I only followed funny cats that speak with poor grammar, I’d be on my way to a vapid state of mind in no time. But I don’t. I follow dozens of news outlets and writers; I follow chefs, neuroscientists and the president of the United States; and of course, I follow Mr. Keller.

NYT blogger Nick Bilton • Publicly taking his boss, Bill Keller, to task about his Twitter-bashing column earlier today, where he suggested allowing his daughter to use Facebook was like giving her crystal meth. Keller got a chance to respond in an update at the end of Bilton’s piece, where he tried to clarify what he was going for (as well as jokingly threatening to fire his talented blogger). “If Facebook is displacing real friendship, if Twitter is diminishing actual conversation,” he says, “then maybe that’s a good reason to limit how much of your life they consume.” You know, here’s the funny thing about Facebook and Twitter: For the people in your social circle, you can turn the service off and contact many of the people you’re talking to on Facebook and Twitter in the flesh. And the people you can’t, you can reach via the service. These services don’t take away from our knowledge. They expand our reach, as long as they’re not used to excess (a point both Bilton and Keller agree on). Bill just doesn’t explain this point very well at all. source (viafollow)

And Bill Keller just keeps on digging himself a deeper hole of digital ignorance. Amazed he, Punch, and Janet haven’t already killed it…Please retire already…

(Source: shortformblog)


Facebook’s Top ‘Places’

via steverubel:


“Here’s a look at Facebook Places data provided by social-media-software company Wildfire Interactive, which has run more than 100,000 campaigns for clients.”

The lack of diversity here and O’Hare airport topping the list makes me wonder just how much this service is being used so far.

YouTube Uploads: 48 Hrs of Video Per Minute
There is a 100/10/1 “rule of thumb” with social services. 1% will create content, 10% will engage with it, and 100% will consume it. If only 10% of your users need to log in because 90% just want to consume, then you’ll end up with the vast majority of your users in the logged out camp. Don’t ignore them, build services for them, and you can slowly but surely lead them to more engagement and potentially some day into the logged in camp.
Twitter users now create a billion tweets every five days, the Twitter Web site has 400 million monthly uniques, and mobile usage is growing 40 percent every quarter.
Friendship: why social networks are too crowded to get close
This will make da Mrs.’ head explode…
via smarterplanet:

Using Twitter Improves Students’ Grades, And Other Surprising Tech Usage Facts made an infographic based on results from a student/technology study.
Full Story: Business Insider
via emergentfutures:

This will make da Mrs.’ head explode…

via smarterplanet:

Using Twitter Improves Students’ Grades, And Other Surprising Tech Usage Facts made an infographic based on results from a student/technology study.

Full Story: Business Insider

via emergentfutures: