There’s something to be said about images, pins, and browsing behaviour in a social media world. Our minds our visual. We know that. Photos represented a huge chunk of Facebook’s attention platform. That is why they bought Instragram.
We’re saying less and less in the form of tweets and read less online compared to the long-form print media articles that won prizes for journalistic excellence. Not sure where this is all headed but more and more folks are talking about “restlessness” and for the need to “unplug”. Read this article.
- Pinterest drives more than window shopping (pcworld.com)
- The Story Behind Pinterest’s Soaring Popularity (sysomos.com)
- STUDY: Pinterest Tops Facebook In Shopping Engagement (allfacebook.com)
I guess the web will be flooded with Pinterest clones now. Afterall, one top domain in the XXX.com category (you figure it out) went Pinterest on us.
- eBay launches Setify, a Pinterest-like app for comic and coin collectors (digitaltrends.com)
- Pinterest: Why Your Business Needs It (aboutsocialmedia.com)
- Using Pinterest to Fuel Small Businesses (prweb.com)
- A CEO’s Guide to Pinterest (Infographic) (pinterestinsider.com)
I am going to tackle this one from two fronts.
US PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES - 2012
For the first time, I watched the entire debate through broadband access via ABCNew’s iPad App in live-stream format but also shifted to YouTube’s live-stream via the Mac. Honestly, a different experience with the heavy integration of social traffic from Twitter embeds on YouTube to Storify embeds via the ABCNews iPad app. Technically, the delivery was flawless BUT…
The post-debate analysis was an absolute disaster! For the first time ever, the post-debate analysis came down to thing: pitch, form, function and delivery. Verus real facts. Every single “analyst” focused on why Obama didn’t show up with his “A game”. No where in the 45+ minutes of post-debate coverage did I see anything about FACT-CHECKING! Where are the facts that need to be checked?! For a fact, many claims made by Romney and Obama required fact-checking and no single guest analyst had anything worthwhile to say!
If we’re going to seek value through broadband-driven broadcasts, ABCNews and others will need to bring forward their “A Game” folks to provide anything of real value. Undoubtedly, we’ve been Jersey-Shored by the pathetically weak ABCNews panel available to us on YouTube and the ABCNews iPad app. What a pathetic disgrace!
An ABCNews panelist even had the nerve to ask, “Do we have a sense of who was _winning_ based on twitter volume?” God Lord.
We’re doomed. Where has the strong journalism gone?
Heck, ABCNews even had a “spin room” and sadly, the spin was to avoid hard fact-checking. Absolute garbage. ‘Nuff said.
THE FOURTH SCREEN AND EXPERIENCES
Earlier today, while reviewing my twitter stream, someone oddly tweeted (paraphrased):
My first screen is my iPad or iPhone
My second screen is the television
My third screen is the balcony door and window
I replied to that tweet and said, “My first screen is the balcony door and window.”
Personally, I cannot believe someone is prepared to give up reality, life and experiences for technology. Sorry, but as someone that works in the technology sector, this is plain wrong.
Philosophically, technology is a double-edged sword because it has given us great freedom, efficiency and convenience but at the same time (I believe this) has complicated our lives in so many other ways that have led all of us towards complexity vs. simplicity.
We are at a pivotal moment in humanity’s evolution where old world infrastructure is being displaced rapidlyby new world technologies and delivery platforms which shift our behaviour, our consumption and how we interact with media, technology and fellow humans.
We are on dangerous ground when people are prepared to give away real life experiences, human interaction, and “special moments” for a tweet, an Instagram upload or a Facebook comment. We’re dangerously close. Even I have fallen victim to the ecosystem of “iDevices” which are available to all of us - sure, we can easily shut them off and go on a typical i-Diet, so to speak. Sure - make no bones about it, we don’t need to be controlled by “i-Devices” but there is no doubt their influence has affected how we live and interact.
Just today, a younger soul that should know better made an independent decision to save us the grief and hassle of paying for a school trip (a two-day camp) so that he could stay home and um, do what? Play Xbox? NOT COOL! Kids today need extra and vigorous surveillance against the total flood called “access and distraction” to grow and “experience” real life. We immediately delivered a lecture and are in motion to ensure that the young offender is on a two-day camp trip so that he’s on his “A game” in the real world versus the virtual world.
If you’re reading this and have children in the critical early teen years, it is absolutely essential to manage their time (for school work), time around technology (Xbox, Internet, i-Devices) because it is simply overwhelming! We make a personal effort to buy physical books that can be read “with focus” like I used to do when growing up. No child should ever be displaced from a field trip, camp visit, or regular trip in return for Xbox gaming — unless the reason is “economic”.
I never thought I’d ever see the day when I’d take a negative position as someone who grew up with the early days of Silicon Valley, Atari 2600 and old Apple II games. Back then, we had console games and televisions built on Nielsen family rankings. But we still had a mix of options which included extra-curricular activities like sports, movies, parks and science centres that competed with technology. Parents - please pay attention.
While the Fourth Screen brings great wonder, joy, knowledge and access, it can also take us away from the much finer things in life that include much of the human interaction we grew up with. Dangerous.
We must defend the human soul as much as possible even as technological advancement continues unabated to encircle our daily lives at a rapid clip!
Dear Alex Bosika,
In recent weeks, Twitter announced policy changes* that will affect how applications and users like yourself can interact with Twitter’s data. As a result of these changes, on September 27th we will be removing all Twitter Triggers, disabling your ability to push tweets to places like email, Evernote and Facebook. All Personal and Shared Recipes using a Twitter Trigger will also be removed. Recipes using Twitter Actions and your ability to post new tweets via IFTTT will continue to work just fine.
At IFTTT, first and foremost, we want to empower anyone to create connections between literally anything. We’ve still got a long way to go, and to get there we need to make sure that the types of connections that IFTTT enables are aligned with how the original creators want their tools and services to be used.
We at IFTTT are big Twitter fans and, like yourself, we’ve gotten a lot of value out of the Recipes that use Twitter Triggers. We’re sad to see them go, but remain excited to build features that work within Twitter’s new policy. Thank you for your support and for understanding these upcoming changes. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at email@example.com.
*These Twitter policy changes specifically disallow uploading Twitter Content to a “cloud based service” (Section 4A https://dev.twitter.com/terms/api-terms) and include stricter enforcement of the Developer Display Requirements (https://dev.twitter.com/terms/display-requirements).
- IFTTT To Remove Twitter Triggers Due To API Constraints, Your Recipes Are Baked (techcrunch.com)
- Twitter Screws Up IFTTT.com For The Rest Of Us (problogservice.com)
- IFTTT forced to remove Twitter triggers to comply with new API policies (thenextweb.com)
- IFTTT disables Twitter triggers, but not because of recent API changes (siliconrepublic.com)
- IFTTT disables Twitter Triggers due to Twitter’s third-party app policies (neowin.net)
- Twitter’s Walled Garden Will Leave IFTTT Recipes Out in the Cold (betabeat.com)
- IFTTT disables Twitter Triggers in response to Twitter’s new third-party app policies (theverge.com)
- Thanks Twitter…NOT! IFTTT Forced to End Twitter Mashups (infodocket.com)
It’s a good move by Apple to kill something that just isn’t working out. And they have the guts to admit when they screw up.
Whatever the reasons for Apple & Facebook not working out a suitable framework to integrate their ecosystems for useful social community, it’s clear that managing another profile independent from the myriad of services already available would fall into the “big fail whale” or “Johnny Come Lately” bucket.
Ping profiles (see above) looked barren, had limited engagement (above: since September 17, 2010) and offered little in terms of engagement.
Oddly, today was the first time I noticed anything related to PING within iTunes after I authorized another MacOSX laptop to access my iTunes music from iCloud. When I searched for some ambient music, I saw search results for “People” which, in all honesty, I had never seen before.
In essence, iTunes/PING was serving up “People” profiles relevant to my musical interests. Does this work, though? Yes, I can connect with REAL friends over music but random profiles? Maybe. I do realize there are some wildly popular fan clubs for bands and such but I don’t think this kind of community spawns that quickly unless it starts with friends and your social circle.
The lack of connectivity to other services and Apple’s inability to get Facebook on board, simply mean that PING was dead on arrival. In PING’s current form, the mobile features only offer an option to comment on someone’s purchase. Big deal. Boring.
Beyond editing my profile, offering reviews, finding folks with similar interests and creating PING playlists, there simply wasn’t enough to spend time in PING’s universe. A random walk through artist profile pages showed limited engagement from the artist’s too!
A single Eminem update from December 2010 isn’t going to keep fans coming back to PING.
On the other hand, Paul Hardcastle (a personal favourite!) is very active with other social platforms. He has a vibrant fan base on Facebook, shares upcoming mix edits via SoundCloud, releases “lost” mixes (the 19 mix that got him the big kahuna is way cool!) and provides twitter updates when he feels like it. No doubt, you feel more connected to the artist this way but have to follow their presence across many platforms.
Imagine if all of this could be curated within the iTunes ecosystem:
- Soundcloud mixes
- Podcasts (interviews) when available
- Live streams (interviews, concerts)
- Integrated Facebook and Twitter status messages
- Tagged photo uploads from recent concerts (a fan’s personal cloud for video, photos) from their iPhone, Instragram etc etc.
- Crowdsourced fan-generated YouTube video uploads
- Integrated live chat supporting live chat between fans
- Google Alerts-style news aggregation about the artist
- and so on..
I am sure that much of this exists in some form with other services but it didn’t exist within PING and as such, it looked like a barren wasteland. With no active artist or user participation and community content (whether artist-driven or community-driven), why would anyone spend time to add random comments about someone’s recently purchased song. Yes, I might “discover” some new music but if I have no reason to follow people and engage with them, music discovery isn’t the top priority. ;-)
Even worse, if you don’t find your friends on a service and it’s considerable work to connect with them to engage over music, that’s an uphill battle. Plus, by only offering the ability to find friends through twitter vs. the myriad of other services (non-music and music-focused), things just weren’t going to scale.
Sorry Apple. This one sucked. The best option would be to offer deep integration to the ecosystems that already have scale or you run the risk of looking like Google+. I logged into Google+ a few days ago and have seen absolutely little other than a barren wasteland with little engagement — that spells disaster to me. Especially after not logging in for more than a month. Ouch.
Oddly, one comment regarding PING’s death suggests that the service failed because it did not offer an option to be anonymous. Or to offer privacy options. This may be a valid argument…for a social community. Afterall, you may not want all your purchases (audiobooks) displayed to the community. If you’re a Harlequin audiobook listener, everyone doesn’t need to know that so giving users some options to control this would make sense. Not very well thought out Apple.
Better luck next time.
- WSJ: Apple working on streaming music, custom ‘stations’ (ipodnn.com)
- iTunes 11: What’s New (mashable.com)
- Apple To Kill Off Ping Once And For All September 30th (cultofmac.com)
- What’s New in iTunes 11, and Does it Still Suck? (gizmodo.co.uk)
- Apple officially killing Ping social network on Sept. 30 (gigaom.com)
- R.I.P. Ping (September 2010-September 2012) (allthingsd.com)
Findings concluded that:
- 20m minors used Facebook within year prior to the Consumer Reports study
- 7.5m minors were under 13
- 5.0m minors were 10 years or younger
- 1.0m children were harassed, threatened or subjected to other cyberbullying the year prior to the study
A June 2012 Wall Street Journal (WSJ) article also confirmed that Facebook was exploring options to provide access for kids with specific control mechanisms in place so that parents could manage their access.
I can see a million reasons why this may present many problems for Facebook and parents. In today’s world, parents must be extra vigilant and pro-active with their children. Technology has brought great opportunity to learn and communicate but has also brought the darker aspects of society within reach of a minor. As such, parental responsibility, I feel, is far more complex in today’s world than the one I grew up in.
Recently, I noticed a strange rise in #spam follower accounts within Instagram. Some of the profile accounts were tied to specific apps, developers and even porn properties. In all instances, the photos and hashtags used had no direct relation to whatever snapshot I had posted. Even worse, some of the profile accounts started to “follow me” in typical twitter-verse ideology that theorizes that if I follow a social media account, others will “discover” me under this account and by some twisted rule, inspire me to follow this spammy profile account. Duh. Only works with legitimate social accounts that actually “create value” in sharing and engagement. It’s not one-way.
Recently, Instagram’s experience has been coughing up “younger users” who either like a photo or follow. In my opinion, some of these recent “followers” were too young to be on the service — while their photos were “safe”, I took the liberty to block and flag the profile account for either potential abuse of terms of service (age?) or operating a spam account.
I don’t actually recall if Instagram ever asked for my age when I signed up with the iOS app but the recent follows raised some interesting issues. Facebook, it would seem, may have another problem on its hands with Instagram. Without any mechanisms in place to control usage (preventing minors in accessing the service), Facebook potentially faces the same challenges with Instagram after acquisition as it has already experienced with its broader platform. There is no doubt there are minors on the service as the other study has already discovered with Facebook.
But if we went deeper into the rabbit hole, Instagram may be even more challenging given its rapid distributive effects and the fact that photos can be distributed in real-time and more quickly. Instagram is popular because of photos that are extremely viral. Let’s assume most profile accounts are legitimate (it is apparent that some are spammy or grey hat accounts designed to raise awareness for a product or service).
What happens in the Instagram ecosystem if minors start to post photos of a questionable nature OR others start to distribute questionable photos? There is certainly a risk that stalkers could target these profile accounts or even engage minors who are using the service. Big problem. When you add in another layer called “spammer account”, you see that there is a darker side of risk here.
After some peripheral searches through Google, I didn’t find much on the subject of minors and Instagram beyond one, good article. Written by “Your Sphere: For Parents”, it tackles the topic about Instagram and Kids Safety (Click for Article) and outlines several precautionary steps that parents should take and be aware of when it comes to their children.
One thing most people still don’t know is that smartphone devices today enable GPS geo-location data tagging in photos, thereby allowing you to determine where the photo was taken on a map. Apple’s iPhoto, for example, imports photos from your iPhone and places them on a map to show where they were taken. A great many people don’t know about this.
To unsuspecting users, with geotagging on, all photos collect location data by way of EXIF data. (Click for Article). For parents, this should be a concern if they’ve purchased iOS or Android smartphones for their children because they could be taking photos and sharing them online with this data easily available.
Exact Steps to Turn Off Geotagging for iPhone’s Camera App?
Even though there are mechanisms in place within the Instagram app to report violations or concerns in a crowd-sourced fashion, I think it is going to be very important for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and many others to take a more aggressive stance on privacy and the protection of minors in the large-scale, highly-engaged ecosystems that they’ve helped create.
Only time will tell how all of this will unfold.
Parents! Please MAKE time to talk to your children and be extra vigilant about their activities on the web and through smartphone devices.
Not even a favourite? Bot crazy or real.
#spambots in full force on #instagram. Do a post with #apps or something closely related to it and you “instantly” get loves and likes from a bunch of fake app-themed profiles. Like the good old #pornstar profiles that follow your #tech-focused #twitter feed. I guess I would say “why would they waste there time” but it’s all automated software. Sigh. (Taken with Instagram)
Starting or being part of a startup can be fun, exciting, and scary. :-)
Between business models, team structure, vision, leadership, burn rate and office supplies, there’s a lot to deal with!
Awareness is even more difficult. Want people to know about you? Well, there are a myriad of options to get the job done. Video marketing. Content marketing. Search Engine Optimization. Blogging. Inbound Marketing. Adwords or Search Engine Marketing. Or gray hat techniques like Instagram, Pinterest, or Digg. How about social media like Twitter and Facebook or even a bit of social bookmarking from Delicious and StumbleUpon and on an on. :-)
Heck, why not just tack your company info on the map. The work has been done for you. You just need to add water. :-)
ADD YOUR STARTUP
If you are a tech startup located in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Halifax or Waterloo, then visit your site below and add your company info. All submissions require review before approval but we strive to be quick. When you’re on the map, people find you easier and the easier they find you, the better the opportunity for mutually beneficial business development opportunities. :-)
- [PRESS RELEASE]: Seven Canadian Tech Startup Portals Launch. (alexanderbosika.com)